« PreviousContinue »
In her chafte current oft' the Goddefs laves,
And with celeftial tears augments the waves.
Oft' in her glass the mufing fhepherd spies
The headlong mountains and the downward skies, 210
The watry landskip of the pendant woods,
And abfent trees that tremble in the floods;
In the clear azure gleam the flocks are feen,
And floating forefts paint the waves with green.
Thro' the fair scene rowl flow the ling'ring ftreams, 215
Then foaming pour along, and rufh into the Thames."
Thou too, great father of the British floods!
With joyful pride furvey'ft our lofty woods;
Where tow'ring oaks their fpreading honours rear,
And future navies on thy fhores 'appear.
Not Neptune's felf from all his ftreams receives
A wealthier tribute, than to thine he gives.
No feas fo rich, fo gay no banks appear,
No lake fo gentle, and no fpring fò clear.
Not fabled Po more fwells the poet's lays,
While thro' the fkies his fhining current ftrays,
Than thine, which vifits Windfor's fam'd abodes,
To grace the manfion of our earthly Gods:
Nor all his ftars a brighter luftre show,
Than the fair nymphs that grace thy fide below :
Here Jove himself, fubdu'd by beauty ftill,
Might change Olympus for a nobler hill.
Happy the man whom this bright Court approves,
His Sov'reign favours, and his country loves :
Happy next him, who to thefe fhades retires,
Whom Nature charms, and whom the Muse inspires;
Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please,
Succeffive ftudy, exercise, and cafe.
He gathers health from herbs the foreft yields,
And of their fragrant phyfic spoils the fields :
With chymic art exalts the min'ral pow'rs,
And draws the aromatic fouls of flow'rs:
Now marks the courfe of rolling orbs on high;
O'er figur'd worlds now travels with his eye:
Of ancient writ unlocks the learned store,
Confults the dead, and lives paft ages o'er :
Or wand'ring thoughtful in the filent wood,
Attends the duties of the wife and good,
T'observe a mean, be to himself a friend,
To follow nature, and regard his end;
Or looks on heav'n with more than mortal eyes,
Bids his free foul expatiate in the skies,
Amid her kindred ftars familiar roam,
Survey the region, and confefs her home!
Such was the life great Scipio once admir'd,
Thus Atticus, and Trumbal thus retir'd.
Ye facred Nine! that all my foul poffefs,
Whose raptures fire me, and whofe vifions bless,
Bear me, oh bear me to fequefter'd scenes,
The bow'ry mazes, and furrounding greens;
To Thames's banks which fragrant breezes fill,
Or where ye Mufes fport on Cooper's hill.
(On Cooper's hill eternal wreaths fhall grow,
While lafts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow)
I feem thro' confecrated walks to rove,
I hear foft mufic die along the grove ;
Led by the found, I roam from fhade to fhade,
By god-like Poets venerable made :
Here his firft lays majeftic Denham fung;
There the last numbers flow'd from * Cowley's tongue.
O early loft! what tears the river shed,
When the fad pomp along his banks was led ?
His drooping fwans on ev'ry note expire,
And on his willows hung each Mufe's lyre.
Since fate relentless stop'd their heav'nly voice,
No more the forefts ring, or groves rejoice;
Who now shall charm the fhades, where Cowley ftrung
His living harp, and lofty Denham fung?
But hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings !
Are these reviv'd? or is it Granville fings?
* Mr. Cowley died at Chertsey, on the borders of the Foreft, and was from thence conveyed to Westminster.
'Tis yours, my Lord, to blefs our soft retreats,
And call the Mufes to their ancient feats;
To paint anew the flow'ry fylvan fcenes,
To crown the forefts with immortal greens,
Make Windfor hills in lofty numbers rife,
And lift her turrets nearer to the skies;
To fing thofe honours you deserve to wear,
And add new luftre to her filver star*.
Here noble + Surrey felt the facred rage,
Surrey, the Granville of a former age:
Matchless his pen, victorious was his lance,
Bold in the lifts, and graceful in the dance :
In the fame fhades the Cupids tun'd his lyre,
To the fame notes, of love, and soft defire:
Fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow,
Then fill'd the groves, as heav'nly Myra now.
Oh would'st thou fing what Heroes Windsor bore,
What Kings first breath'd upon her winding fhore,
Or raise old warriors, whofe ador'd remains
In weeping vaults her hallow'd earth contains!
With Edward's acts adorn the fhining page,
Stretch his long triumphs down thro' ev'ry age,
Draw Monarchs chain'd, and Creffi's glorious field,
The lillies blazing on the regal fhield:
Then, from her roofs when Verrio's colours fall,
And leave inanimate the naked wall,
Still in thy fong should vanquish'd France appear,
And bleed for ever under Britain's spear.
Let fofter strains ill-fated || Henry mourn,
And palms eternal flourish round his urn.
Here o'er the martyr-king the marble weeps,
And fast befide him, once-fear'd§ Edward fleeps:
Whom not th' extended Albion could contain,
From old Belerium to the northern main,
The grave unites; where ev'n the Great find reft,
And blended lie th' oppreffor and th' oppreft!
*All the lines that follow, till within eight of the conclufion, were not added to the poem till the year 1710...
† Henry Howard, carl of Surry, one of the first refiners of the Engli poetry; who flourished in the time of Henry VIII.
Edward III. born here.
Make facred Charles's tomb for ever known, (Obfcure the place, and un-infcrib'd the ftone) Oh fact accurft! what tears has Albion fhed, Heav'ns, what new wounds! and how her old have bled! She faw her fons with purple deaths expire, Her facred domes involv'd in rolling fire, A dreadful feries of inteftine wars, Inglorious triumphs, and dishonest scars. At length great Anna faid-" Let discord cease!" 325 She faid, the world obey'd, and all was peace!
In that bleft moment, from his oozy bed
Old father Thames advanc'd his rev'rend head;
His treffes drop'd with dews, and o'er the stream
His fhining horns diffus'd a golden gleam:
Grav'd on his urn, appear'd the Moon that guides
His fwelling waters, and alternate tides;
The figur'd ftreams in waves of filver roll'd,
And on their banks Augusta rose in gold.
Around his throne the fea-born brothers ftood,
Who fwell with tributary urns his flood:
Firft the fam'd authors of his ancient name,
The winding Ifis and the fruitful Tame :
The Kennet swift, for filver eels renown'd;
The Loddon flow, with verdant alders crown'd;
Cole, whose clear ftreams his flow'ry iflands lave;
And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave:
The blue, transparent Vandalis appears;
The gulphy Lee his fedgy treffes rears;
And fullen Mole, that hides his diving flood;
And filent Darent, ftain'd with Danish blood.
High in the midft, upon his urn reclin'd,
(His fea-green mantle waving with the wind)
The God appear'd: he turn'd his azure eyes
Where Windfor domes and pompous turrets rife ;
Then bow'd and fpoke; the winds forget to roar,
And the hush'd waves glide foftly to the shore.
Hail, facred Peace! hail long-expected days,
That Thames's glory to the ftars fhall raife!
Tho' Tyber's ftreams immortal Rome behold,
Tho' foaming Hermus fwells with tides of gold,
From heav'n itself tho' sev'n-fold Nilus flows,
And harvefts on a hundred realms bestows;
These now no more fhall be the Mufe's themes,
Loft in my fame, as in the fea their streams.
Let Volga's banks with iron fquadrons fhine,
And groves of lances glitter on the Rhine,
Let barb'rous Ganges arm a fervile train;
Be mine the bleffings of a peaceful reign.
No more my fons fhall dye with British blood
Red Iber's fands, or Ifter's foaming flood;
Safe on my shore each unmolested swain
Shall tend the flocks, or reap the bearded grain;
The fhady empire fhall retain no trace
Of war or blood, but in the fylvan chace;
The trumpet fleep, while chearful horns are blown,
And arms employ'd on birds and beasts alone,
Behold! th' afcending Villas on my fide
Project long fhadows o'er the crystal tide.
Behold! Augufta's glittering fpires increase,
And temples rife, the beauteous works of Peace.
I fee, I fee where two fair cities bend
Their ample bow, a new Whitehall ascend!
There mighty nations fhall enquire their doom,
The world's great Oracle in times to come;
There Kings fhall fue, and fuppliant States be feen
Once, more to bend before a British Queen.
Thy trees, fair Windfor! now fhall leave their woods, And half thy forests rush into my floods, Bear Britain's thunder, and her Crofs difplay To the bright regions of the rifing day; Tempt icy feas, where fearce the waters roll, Where clearer flames glow round the frozen Pole; Or under fouthern fkies exalt their fails, Led by new stars, and borne by spicy gales ! For me the balm fhall bleed, and amber flow, The coral redden, and the ruby glow,