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to Thames's banks, which fragrant breezes fill, or where ye Muses sport on Cooper's Hill. (On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow, while lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow.) I seem through consecrated walks to rove, I hear soft music die along the grove:
led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade, by godlike poets venerable made;
here his first lays majestic Denham sung;
there the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue. O early lost! what tears the river shed,
when the sad pomp along his banks was led? his drooping swans on ev'ry note expire, and on his willows hung each muse's lyre. Since Fate relentless stopp'd their heav'nly voice, no more the forests ring, or groves rejoice; who now shall charm the shades where Cowley strung his living harp, and lofty Denham sung? But hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings! are these reviv'd? or is it Granville sings? 't is yours, my Lord, to bless our soft retreats, and call the Muses to their ancient seats; to paint anew the flow'ry sylvan scenes, to crown the forests with immortal greens : make Windsor-hills in lofty numbers rise, and lift her turrets nearer to the skies; to sing those honours you deserve to wear, and add new lustre to her silver star.
Here noble Surrey felt the sacred rage, Surrey, the Granville of a former age: matchless his pen, victorious was his lance, bold in the lists, and graceful in the dance: in the same shades the Cupids tun'd his lyre, to the same notes, of love, and soft desire:
fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow,
then fill'd the groves, as heav'nly Mira now.
Oh wouldst thou sing what heroes Windsor bore, what kings first breath'd upon her winding shore, or raise old warriors, whose ador'd remains in 'weeping vaults her hallow'd earth contains! with Edward's acts adorn the shining page, stretch his long triumphs down through ev'ry age, draw monarchs chain'd, and Cressi's glorious field, the lilies blazing on the regal shield:
then, from her roofs when Verrio's colours fall, and leave inanimate the naked wall,
still in thy song should vanquish'd France appear, and bleed for ever under Britain's spear. Let softer strains ill-fated Henry mourn, and palms eternal flourish round his urn. Here o'er the martyr-king the marble weeps, and, fast beside him, once fear'd Edward sleeps: whom not th' extended Albion could contain, from old Belerium to the northern main, the grave unites; where ev'n the great find rest, and blended lie th' oppressor and th' opprest!
Make sacred Charles's tomb for ever known, (obscure the place, and uninscrib'd the stone); 320 oh fact accurs'd! what tears has Albion shed, Heav'ns! what new wounds! and how her old have she saw her sons with purple death expire, her sacred domes involv'd in rolling fire, a dreadful series of intestine wars, inglorious triumphs, and dishonest scars. At length great Anna said, " Let discord cease!" she said; the world obey'd, and all was peace! In that blest moment from his oozy bed
old father Thames advanc'd his reverend head; 330
his tresses dropp'd with dews, and o'er the stream
first the fam'd authors of his ancient name,
the winding Isis, and the fruitful Thame: the Kennet swift, for silver eels renown'd;
the Loddon slow, with verdant alders crown'd;
Cole, whose dark streams his flow'ry islands lave; and chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave: the blue, transparent Vandalis appears; the gulphy Lee his sedgy tresses rears; and sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood; and silent Darent, stain'd with Danish blood. High in the midst, upon his urn reclin'd, (his sea-green mantle waving with the wind), the god appear'd: he turn'd his azure eyes where Windsor domes and pompous turrets rise; then bow'd and spoke; the winds forget to roar, and the hush'd waves glide softly to the shore. Hail, sacred Peace! hail, long expected days, 355 that Thames's glory to the stars shall raise! tho' Tyber's streams immortal Rome behold, tho' foaming Hermus swells with tides of gold, from heav'n itself though sevenfold Nilus flows, and harvests on a hundred realms bestows; these now no more shall be the muse's themes, lost in my fame, as in the sea their streams. Let Volga's banks with iron squadrons shine, and groves of lances glitter on the Rhine,
let barb'rous Ganges arm a servile train;
shall tend the flocks, or reap the bearded grain; 370 the shady empire shall retain no trace
of war or blood, but in the sylvan chace;
the trumpet sleep, while cheerful horns are blown,
and arms employ'd on birds and beasts alone.
Thy trees, fair Windsor! now shall leave their and half thy forests rush into the floods, bear Britain's thunder, and her cross display
to the bright regions of the rising day;
and seas but join the regions they divide; Earth's distant ends our glory shall behold, and the new world launch forth to seek the old. Then ships of uncouth form shall stem the tide, and feather'd people crowd my wealthy side, and naked youths and painted chiefs admire our speech, our colour, and our strange attire! Oh stretch thy reign, fair Peace! from shore to shore, till conquest cease, and slav'ry be no more;
till the freed Indians in their native groves
reap their own fruits, and woo their sable loves; 410 Peru once more a race of kings behold, and other Mexicos be roof'd with gold. Exil'd by thee from earth to deepest hell,
in brazen bonds, shall barb'rous Discord dwell; gigantic pride, pale terror, gloomy care, and mad Ambition, shall attend her there: there purple vengeance, bath'd in gore retires, her weapons blunted, and extinct her fires: there hated envy her own snakes shall feel, and persecution mourn her broken wheel: there faction roar, rebellion bite her chain, and gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain. Here cease thy flight, nor with unhallow'd lays, touch the fair fame of Albion's golden days: the thoughts of gods let Granville's verse recite, and bring the scenes of op'ning fate to light. My humble muse, in unambitious strains, paints the green forests and the flow'ry plains, where Peace descending bids her olive spring, and scatters blessings from her dove-like wing. Ev'n I more sweetly pass my careless days, pleas'd in the silent hade with empty praise; enough for me, that to the list'ning swains first in these fields I sung the sylvan strains.