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Who made the hostile nations moan,
Or brought a blessing on their own:
Once more a son of Spencer waits,
A name familiar to thy gates;
Sprung from the chief whose prowess gain'd
The Garter while thy founder reign'd,
He offer'd here his dinted shield,
The dread of Gauls in Cressi's field,
Which, in thy high-arch'd temple rais'd,
For four long centuries hath blaz’d.
These seats our sires, a hardy kind,
To the fierce sons of war confin'd,
The flower of chivalry, who drew
With sinew'd arm the stubborn yew:
Or with heav'd pole-ax clear'd the field;
Or who, in justs and tourneys skill'd,
Before their ladies' eyes renown'd,
Threw horse and horseman to the ground.
In after-times, as courts refin'd,
Our patriots in the list were join'd.
Not only Warwick stain'd with blood,
Or Marlborough near the Danube's flood,
Have in their crimson crosses glow'd;
But, on just lawgivers bestow'd,
These emblems Cecil did invest,
And gleam'd on wise Godolphin's breast.
So Greece, ere arts began to rise,
Fix'd huge Orion in the skies,
And stern Alcides, fam'd in wars,
Bespangled with a thousand stars;
Till letter'd Athens round the Pole
Made gentler constellations roll;
In the blue heavens the lyre she strung,
And near the Maid the Balance * hung.
Then, Spencer, mount amid the band,
Where knights and kings promiscuous stand
What though the hero's flame repress'd
Burns calmly in thy generous breast!
Yet who more dauntless to oppose
In doubtful days our home-bred foes!
Who rais'd his country's wealth so high,
Or view'd with less desiring eye!
The sage, who, large of soul, surveys
The globe, and all its empires weighs,
Watchful the various climes to guide,
Which seas, and tongues, and faiths, divide,
A nobler name in Windsor's shrine
Shall leave, if right the Muse divine,
Than sprung of old, abhorr'd and vain,
From ravag'd realms and myriads slain.
Why praise we, prodigal of fame,
The rage that sets the world on flame?
My guiltless Muse his brow shall bind
Whose godlike bounty spares mankind.
For those, whom bloody garlands crown,
The brass may breathe, the marble frown,
To him through every rescued land,
Ten thousand living trophies stand.
* Names of constellations.
AMES HAMMOND, a popular elegiac poet, was the second son of Anthony Hammond, Esq. of Somersham Place, in Huntingdonshire. He was born in 1710, and was educated in Westminster school, where at an early age he obtained the friendship of several persons of distinction, among whom were Lords Cobham, Chesterfield, and Lyttleton. He was appointed equerry to Frederic, Prince of Wales, and upon his interest was brought into parliament in 1741, for Truro in Cornwall. This was
nearly the last stage of his life, for he died in June 1742, at the seat of Lord Cobham, at Stowe. An unfortunate passion for a young lady, Miss Dashwood, who was cold to his addresses, is thought to have disordered his mind, and perhaps contributed to his premature death.
Hammond was a man of an amiable character, and was much regretted by his friends. His "Love Elegies" were published soon after his death by Lord Chesterfield, and have been several times reprinted. It will seem extraordinary that
the noble editor has only once mentioned the name of Tibullus, and has asserted that Hammond, sincere in his love, as in his friendship, spoke only the genuine sentiments of his heart, when there are so many obvious imitations of the Roman poet, even so far as the adoption of his names of Neera, Cynthia, and Delia. It must, however, be acknowledged, that he copies with the hand of a master, and that his imitations are generally managed with a grace that almost conceals their character. Still as they are, in fact, poems of this class, however skilfully transposed, we shall content ourselves with transcribing one which introduces the name of his principal patron with peculiarly happy effect.
He imagines himself married to Delia, and that, content with each other, they are retired into the country.
LET others boast their heaps of shining gold,
And view their fields, with waving plenty crown'd,
Whom neighbouring foes in constant terrour hold,
And trumpets break their slumbers, never sound.
While calmly poor Ì trifle life away,
Enjoy sweet leisure by my cheerful fire,
No wanton hope my quiet shall betray,
But, cheaply blest, I'll scorn each vain desire.
With timely care I'll sow my little field,
And plant my orchard with its master's hand,
Nor blush to spread the hay, the hook to wield
Or range my sheaves along the sunny land.
If late at dusk, while carelessly I roam,
I meet a strolling kid, or bleating lamb,
Under my arm I'll bring the wanderer home,
And not a little chide its thoughtless dam.
What joy to hear the tempest howl in vain,
And clasp a fearful mistress to my breast!
Or lull'd to slumber by the beating rain,
Secure and happy, sink at last to rest!
Or, if the Sun in flaming Leo ride,
By shady rivers indolently stray,
And with my Delia, walking side by side,
Hear how they murmur, as they glide away
What joy to wind along the cool retreat,
To stop, and gaze on Delia as I go!
To mingle sweet discourse with kisses sweet,
And teach my lovely scholar all I know!
Thus pleas'd at heart, and not with fancy's dream,
In silent happiness I rest unknown;
Content with what I am, not what I seem,
I live for Delia and myself alone.
Ah, foolish man, who thus of her possest,
Could float and wander with ambition's wind,
And if his outward trappings spoke him blest,
Not heed the sickness of his conscious mind!