« EelmineJätka »
FROM lofty themes, from thoughts that soar'd on high,
And open'd wondrous scenes above the sky,
My Muse! descend: indulge my fond desire;
With softer thoughts my melting soul inspire,
And smooth my numbers to a female's praise :
A partial world will listen to my lays
While Anna reigns, and sets a female name
Unrival'd in the glorious lists of fame.
Hear, ye fair daughters of this happy land!
Whose radiant eyes the vanquish'd world command,
Virtue is beauty; but when charms of mind
With elegance of outward f. rm are join'd;
When youth makes such bright objects still more bright
And Fortune sets them in the strongest light,
'Tis all of heaven that we below may view,
And all but adoration is your due.
Famed female virtue did this isle adorn
Ere Ormond, her glorious Queen was born :
When now Maria's powerful arms prevail'd,
And haughty Dudley's hold ambition fail'd,
The beauteous daughter of great Suffolk's race,
In blooming youth, adorn'd with every grace,
Who gain'd a crown by treason not her own,
And innocently fill'd another's throne,
Hurl'd from the summit of imperial state,
With equal mind sustain'd the stroke of Fate.
But how will Guilford, her far dearer part,
With manly reason fortify his heart?
At once she longs, and is afra to know;
Now swift she moves, and now advances slow,
To find her lord; and, finding, passes by,
Silent with fear, nor dares she meet his eye,
Lest that, unask'd, in speechless grief disclose
The mournful secret of his inward woes :
Thus after sickness, doubtful of her face,
The melancholy virgin shuns the glass.
At length, with troubled thought, but look serene,
And sorrow soften'd by her heavenly mien,
She clasps her lord, brave, beautiful, and young,
While tender accents melt upon her tongue;
Gentle and sweet, as vernal zephyr blows,
Fanning the lily, or the blooming rose :
'Grieve not, my lord; a crown, indeed, is lost,
What far outshines a crown we still may boast;
A mind composed, a mind that can disdain
A fruitless sorrow for a loss so vain.
Nothing is loss that virtue can improve
To wealth eternal, and return above;
Above, where no distinction shall be known
"Twixt him whom storms have shaken from a throne,
And him who, basking in the smiles of Fate,
Shone forth in all the splendour of the great:
Nor can I find the difference here below;
I lately was a queen; I still am so,
White Guilford's wife: theo rather I obey,
Than o'er mankind exter.d imperial sway.
When we lie down in some obscure retreat,
Incensed Maria may her rage forget;
And I to death my duty will improve,
And what you miss in empire, add in love-
Your godlike soul is open'd in your look,
And I have faintly your great meaning spoke.
For this alone I'm pleased I wore the crown,
To find with what content we lay it down.
Heroes may win, but 'tis a heavenly race
Can quit a throne with a becoming grace.'
Thus spoke the fairest of her sex, and cheer'd
Her drooping lord, whose boding bosom fear'd
A darker cloud of ills would burst, and shed
Severer vengeance on her guiltless head.
Too just, alas! the terrors which he felt:
For, lo! a guard-forgive him if he melt--
How sharp her pangs, when sever'd from his side,
The most sincerely loved and loving bride
In space confined, the Muse forbears to tell;
Deep was her anguish, but she bore it well:
His pain was equal, but his virtue less;
He thought in grief there could be no excess.
Pensive he sat, o'er cast with gloomy care,
And often fondly clasp'd his absent fair;
Now, silent, wander'd through his rooms of state,
And sicken'd at the pomp, and tax'd his fate,
Which thus adorn'd, in all her shining store,
A splendid wretch, magnificently poor.
Now on the bridal bed his eyes were cast,
And anguish fed on his enjoyments past;
Each recollected pleasure made him smart,
And every transport stabb'd him to the heart.
That happy moon which summon'd to delight,
That moon which shone on his dear nuptial night, 90
Which saw him fold her yet untasted charms
(Denied to princes) in his enging arms,
Now sees the transient blessing fleet away,
Empire and love the vision of a day.
Thus, in the British clime, a sumner storm Will oft the smiling face of heaven deform; The winds with violence at once descend, Sweep flowers and fruits, and niake the forest bend; A sudden winter, while the Sun is near, O'ercomes the season, and inverts the year. But whither is the captive borne away, The beauteous captive! from the cheerful day? The scene is changed indeed; before her eyes Ill boding looks and unknown horrors rise : For pomp and splendour, for her guard and crown, 105 A gloomy dungeon, and a keeper's frown:
Black thoughts each morn invade the lover's breast. Each night a ruffian locks a queen to rest.
Ali, mournful change, if judged by vulgar minds!
But Suffolk's daughter its advantage finds.
Religion's force divine is best display'd
in deep desertion of all human aid;
To succour in extremes is her delight,
And cheer the heart when terror strikes the sight.
We, disbelieving our own senses, gaze,
And wonder what a mortal's invart can raise
To triumph o'er misfortunes, smile in grief,
And comfort those who come to bring relief.
We gaze, and as we gaze, wealth, fame decay,
And all the world's vain glories fade away.
Against her cares she raised a dauntless mind,
And with an ardent heart, but most resign'd,
Deep in the dreadful gloom, with pious heat,
Amid the silence of her dark retreat,
Address'd her God Almighty Power Divine!
'Tis thine to raise, and to depress is thine;
With honour to light up the name unknown,
Or to put out the lustre of a throne.
In my short span both fortunes I have proved,
And though with ill frail nature will be moved,
I'll bear well (O strengthen me to bear!)
And if my piety may claim thy care,
If I remember'd, in youth's giddy heat,
And tumult of a court, a future state;
O favour, when thy mercy 1 implore,
For one who never guilty sceptre bore!
"Twas I received the crown; my lord is free;
If it must fall, let vengeance fall on me :
Let him survive, his country's name to raise,
And in a guilty land to speak thy praise!
O may the' indulgence of a father's love,
Pour'd forth on me, be doubled from above!
If these are safe, I'll think my prayers succeed,
And bless thy tender mercies whilst I bleed.'
'Twas now the mournful eve before that day In which the qucen to her full wrath gave way
Though rigid justice rush'd into offence,
And drank, in zeal, the blood of Innocence.
The Sun went down in clouds, and seem'd to mourn
The sad necessity of his return.
The hollow wind and melancholy rain,
Or did, or was imagined to complain;
The tapers cast an inauspicious light;
Stars there were none, and doubly dark the night.
Sweet Innocence in chains can take her rest;
Soft slumber gently creeping through her breast,
She sinks; and in her sleep is reenthroned,
Mock'd by a gaudy dream, and vainly crown'd.
She views her fleets and armies, seas and land,
And stretches wide her shadow of command:
With royal purple is her vision hung ;
By phantom hosts are shouts of conquest rung,
Low at her feet the suppliant rival lies:
Our prisoner mourns her fate, and bids her rise.
Now level beams upon the waters play'd,
Glanced on the hills, and westward cast the shade;
The busy trades in city had began
To sound and speak the painful life of man.
In tyrants' breasts the thoughts of vengeance rouse,
And the fond bridegroom turns him to his spouse. 170
At this first birth of light, while morning breaks,
Our spouseless bride, or widow'd wife, awakes;
Awakes, and smiles; nor night's imposture blames;
Her real pomps were little more than dreams;
A short-lived blaze, a lightning quickly o'er,
That died birth, that shonc, and were no more :
She turns her side, and soon resumes a state
Of mind well suited to her alter'd fate,
Serene, though serious, when dread tidings come
(Ah, wretched Guilford !) of her instant doom.
Sun hide thy beams; in clouds as black as night
Thy face involve; be guiltless of the sight;
Or haste more swiftly to the western main,
Nor let her blood the conscious day-light stain!