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And modern Afgyll, whose capricious thought
Is yet with stores of wilder notions fraught,
Too soon convinc'd shall yield that fleeting breath,
Which play'd so idly with the darts of death.
Some from the ftranded vessel force their way;
Fearful of fate, they meet it in the sea :
Some, who escape the fury of the wave,
Sicken on earth, and sink into a grave :
In journies or at home, in war or peace,
By hardships many, many fall by ease.
Each changing season does its poison bring ;
Rheums chill the winter, agues blast the spring :
Wet, dry, cold, hot, at the appointed hour,
All act subfervient to the tyrant's power :
And, when obedient Nature knows his will,
A fly, a grape-stone, or a hair, can kill.
For restless Proserpine for ever treads
In paths unseen, o'er our devoted heads ;
And on the spacious land, and liquid main,
Spreads Now disease, or darts afflictive pain :
Variety of deaths confirm her endless reign.
On curst Piava’s banks the Goddess stood,
Shew'd her dire warrant to the rising flood;
When what I long must love, and long must mourn,
With fatal speed was urging his return;
In his dear country, to disperse his care,
And arm himself by rest for future war ;
To chide his anxious friends officious fears,
And promise to their joys his elder years :
Oh! destin'd head! and oh! severe decree! Nor native country thou, nor friend, shalt see ; Nor war haft thou to wage ; nor year to come : Impending death is thine, and instant doom.
Hark! the imperious Goddess is obey'd : Winds murmur; snows descend ; and waters spread. Oh! kinsman, friend-Oh! vain are all the cries Of human voice, strong Destiny replies : Weep, you on earth ; for he shall Neep below: Thence none return, and thither all must go.
Whoe'er thou art, whom choice or business leads To this fad river, or the neighbouring meads ; If thou may'st happen on the dreary shores To find the object which this verse deplores, Cleanse the pale corpse with a religious hand From the polluting weed and common fand ; Lay the dead Hero graceful in a grave (The only honour he can now receive), And fragrant mould upon his body throw, And plant the warrior-laurel o’er his brow: Light lie the earth, and flourish green the bough.
So may just Heaven secure thy future life From foreign dangers and domestic strife ! And, when th’ infernal judge's dismal power From the dark urn shall throw thy destin'd hour; When, yielding to the sentence, breathless thou And pale shalt lie, as what thou buriest now; May some kind friend the piteous object see, And equal rites perform to that which once was thee!
ON HER MAJESTY'S BIRTH-DAY, 1704.
CHINE forth, ye planets, with distinguish'd light,
As when ye hallow'd first this happy night:
Again transmit your friendly beams to earth,
As when Britannia joy'd for Anna's birth.
And thou, propitious star, whose sacred power
Presided o’er the monarch's natal hour,
Thy radiant voyages for ever run,
Yielding to none but Cynthia and the Sun;
With thy fair aspect still illustrate heaven;
Kindly preserve what thou hast greatly given :
Thy influence for thy Anna we implore :
Prolong one life; and Britain asks no more.
For virtue can no ampler power express,
Than to be great in war, and good in peace :
For thought no higher wish of bliss can frame,
Than to enjoy that virtue still the same.
Entire and sure the monarch's rufe must prove,
Who founds her greatness on her subjects love ;
Who does our homage for our good require ;
And orders that which we should first desire :
Our vanquish'd wills that pleasing force obey,
Her goodness takes our liberty away,
And haughty Britain yields to arbitrary sway,
Let the young Austrian then her terrors bear,
Great as he is, her delegate in war :
Let him in thunder speak to both his Spains,
That in these dreadful illes a woman reigns :
While the bright queen does on her subjects shower
The gentle blessings of her fofter power;
Gives sacred morals to a vicious age,
To temples zeal, and manners to the stage;
Bids the chaite Muse without a blush appear;
And Wit be that which Heaven and she may hear.
Minerva thus to Perseus lent her shield;
Secure of conquest, sent him to the field :
The hero acted what the queen ordain'd;
So was his fame complete, and Andromede unchain'd.
Mean time, amidst her native temples fate The Goddess, ftudious of her Grecian's fate, Taught them in laws and letters to excel, In acting justly, and in writing well. Thus whilft she did her various power dispose, 2 The world was freed from tyrants, wars, and woes : & Virtue was taught in verse, and Athens' glory rose. J
“ -Cupidum, Pater optime, vires
“ Deficiunt : neque enim quivis horrentia pilis
“ Agmína, nec fractâ pereuntes cuspide Gallos”-
Hor. Sat. 1.
SINCE, hir'd for life, thy servile Muse must fing
Successive conquests, and a glorious king;
Must of a man immortal vainly boast,
And bring him laurels, whatsoe'er they cost :
What turn wilt thou employ, what colours lay
On the event of that superior day,
In which one English subject's prosperous hand
(So Jove did will; fo Anna did command)
Broke the proud column of thy master's praise,
Which fixty winters had conspir'd to raise ?
From the lost field a hundred standards brought
Must be the work of Chance, and Fortune's fault :
Bavaria’s stars must be accus’d, which shone,
That fatal day the mighty work was done
With rays oblique upon the Gallic sun :
Some Dæmon, envying France, milled the fight;
And Mars mistook, though Louis order'd right.