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The vast leviathan wants room to play,
And spout his waters in the face of day.
The starving wolves along the main sea prowl,
And to the moon in icy valleys howl.
O'er many a shining league the level main
Here spreads itself into a glassy plain:
There solid billows of enormous size,
Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.
And yet but lately have I seen, even here,
The winter in a lovely dress appear.
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasured snow,
Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow,
At evening a keen eastern breeze arose,
And the descending rain unsullied froze.
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclosed at once to view
The face of Nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten'd every object to my eyes:
For every shrub, and every blade of grass,
And every pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass;
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow.
The thick-sprung reeds, which watery marshes
Seem'd polish'd lances in a hostile field. [yield,
The stag, in limpid currents, with surprise,
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise:
The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine,
Glazed over, in the freezing ether shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
Which wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies,
The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends, And in a spangled shower the prospect ends;
Or, if a southern gale the region warm,
And by degrees unbind the wintry charm,
The traveller a miry country sees,
And journeys sad, beneath the dropping trees:
Like some deluded peasant Merlin leads [meads.
Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious
While here enchanted gardens to him rise,
And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
His wandering feet the magic paths pursue,
And, while he thinks the fair illusion true,
The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air,
And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear;
A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.
ONE OF THE LORDS JUSTICES APPOINTED BY HIS
PATRON of verse, O Halifax, attend,
The Muse's favourite, and the poet's friend!
Approaching joys my ravish'd thoughts inspire:
I feel the transport; and my soul's on fire!
Again Britannia rears her awful head:
Her fears, transplanted, to her foes are fled.
Again her standard she displays to view;
And all its faded lilies bloom anew.
Here beauteous Liberty salutes the sight,
Still pale, nor yet recover'd of her fright,
Whilst here Religion, smiling to the skies,
Her thanks expresses with uplifted eyes.
But who advances next, with cheerful grace, Joy in her eye, and plenty in her face?
A wheaten garland does her head adorn :
O Property! O goddess, English-born! [mourn!
Where hast thou been? How did the wealthy
The bankrupt nation sigh'd for thy return,
Doubtful for whom her spreading funds were fill'd,
Her fleets were freighted, and her fields were till'd.
No longer now shall France and Spain combined,
Strong in their golden Indies, awe mankind.
Brave Catalans, who for your freedom strive,
And in your shatter'd bulwarks yet survive,
For you alone, worthy a better fate,
O, may this happy change not come too late!
Great in your sufferings !-But, my Muse, forbear;
Nor damp the public gladness with a tear:
The hero has received their just complaint,
Graced with the name of our famed patron-saint:
Like him, with pleasure he forgoes his rest,
And longs, like him, to succour the distress'd.
Firm to his friends, tenacious of his word,
As Justice calls, he draws or sheaths the sword ;
Matured by thought, his councils shall prevail:
Nor shall his promise to his people fail.
He comes, desire of nations, England's boast!
Already has he reach'd the Belgian coast.
Our great deliverer comes! and with him brings
A progeny of late succeeding kings,
Fated to triumph o'er Britannia's foes
In distant years, and fix the world's repose.
The floating squadrons now approach the shore;
Lost in the sailors' shouts the cannons' roar:
And now, behold, the sovereign of the main,
High on the deck, amidst the shining train,
Surveys the subject flood. An eastern gale
Plays through the shrouds, and swells in every sail :
The' obsequious waves his new dominion own,
And gently waft their monarch to his throne.
Now the glad Britons hail their king to land,
Hang on the rocks, and blacken all the strand:
But who the silent ecstasy can show,
The passions which in nobler bosoms glow?
Who can describe the godlike patriot's zeal?
Or who, my lord, your generous joys reveal?
Ordain'd, once more, our treasure to advance,
Retrieve our trade, and sink the pride of France;
Once more the long-neglected arts to raise,
And form each rising genius for the bays.
Accept the present of a grateful song;
This prelude may provoke the learned throng:
To Cam and Isis shall the joyful news,
By me convey'd, awaken every Muse.
E'en now the vocal tribe in verse conspires;
And I already hear their sounding lyres:
To them the mighty labour I resign,
Give up the theme, and quit the tuneful Nine.
So when the Spring first smiles
among the trees, And blossoms open to the vernal breeze,
The watchful nightingale, with early strains, Summons the warblers of the woods and plains, But drops her music, when the choir appear, And listens to the concert of the year.
HONOURABLE JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.
AT HAMPTON-court, SECRETARY AT WAR, 1717.
THOUGH Britain's hardy troops demand your care,
And cheerful friends your hours of leisure share;
O, Craggs, for candour known! indulge awhile
My fond desire, and on my labour smile:
Nor count it always an abuse of time
To read a long epistle, though in rhyme.
To you I send my thoughts, too long confined,
And ease the burthen of a loyal mind;
To you my secret transports I disclose,
That rise above the languid powers of prose.
But, while these artless numbers you peruse,
Think 'tis my heart that dictates, not the Muse;
My heart, which at the name of Brunswick fires,
And no assistance from the Muse requires.
Believe me, sir, your breast, that glows with zeal For George's glory, and the public weal, Your breast alone feels more pathetic heats; Your heart alone with stronger raptures beats. When I review the great examples pass'd, And to the former ages join the last; Still, as the godlike heroes to me rise, In arms triumphant, and in councils wise, The king is ever present to my mind; His greatness, traced in every page, I find: The Greek and Roman pens his virtues tell, And under shining names on Brunswick dwell.