ON THE MARRIAGE OF KING GEORGE THE THIRD AND QUEEN CHARLOTTE.
TO THE QUEEN.
1 WHEN first the kingdom to thy virtues due
2 Rose from the billowy deep in distant view;
3 When Albion's isles, old ocean's peerless pride,
4 Tower'd in imperial state above the tide;
5 What bright ideas of the new domain
6 Form'd the fair prospect of thy promis'd reign!
7 And well with conscious joy thy breast might beat,
8 That Albion was ordain'd thy regal seat:
9 Lo! this the land where Freedom's sacred rage
10 Has glow'd untam'd, thro' many a martial age. [Page 228]
11 Here patriot Alfred, stain'd with Danish blood,
12 Rear'd on one base the king's, the people's good:
13 Here Henry's archers fram'd the stubborn bow
14 That laid Alanzon's haughty helmet low;
15 Here wak'd the flame that still superior braves
16 The proudest threats of Gaul's ambitious slaves:
17 Here chivalry, stern school of valour old,
18 Her noblest feats of knightly fame enroll'd;
19 Heroic champions heard the clarion's call,
20 And throng'd the board in Edward's banner'd hall;
21 While chiefs, like George, approv'd in worth alone,
22 Unlock'd chaste beauty's adamantine zone.
23 Lo! the fam'd isle, which hails thy chosen sway,
24 What fertile fields her temperate suns display;
25 Where Property secures the conscious swain,
26 And guards, while Plenty gives, the golden grain:
27 Hence ripe with stores her villages abound,
28 Her airy downs with scatter'd sheep resound;
29 Fresh are her pastures with unceasing rills,
30 And future navies crown her darksome hills.
31 To bear her formidable glory far,
32 Behold her opulence of hoarded war!
33 See, from her ports a thousand banners stream,
34 On every coast her vengeful lightnings gleam!
35 Meantime, remote from Ruin's armed hand,
36 In peaceful majesty her cities stand;
37 Whose splendid domes, and tradeful streets declare,
38 Their firmest fort, a king's parental care.
39 And O! blest queen, if e'er the magic powers
40 Of warbled truth have won thy musing hours;
41 Here Poesy, from awful days of yore,
42 Has pour'd her genuine gifts of raptur'd lore.
43 'Mid oaken bowers, with holy verdure wreath'd,
44 In Druid-songs her solemn spirit breath'd:
45 While cunning bards, at ancient banquets, sung
46 Of Paynim foes defy'd, and trophies hung:
47 Here Spenser tun'd his mystic minstrelsy,
48 And dress'd in fairy robes a queen like thee.
49 Here, boldly mark'd with every living hue,
50 Nature's unbounded portrait Shakespear drew:
51 But chief, the mournful group of human woes
52 The daring artist's tragic pencil chose;
53 Explor'd the pangs that rend the royal breast,
54 Those wounds that lurk beneath the tissu'd vest!
55 Lo! this the land, whence Milton's muse of fire
56 High soar'd to steal from heaven a seraph's lyre;
57 And told the golden ties of wedded love
58 In sacred Eden's amaranthine grove.
59 Thine too, majestic bride! the favour'd clime,
60 Where Science sits enshrin'd in roofs sublime —
61 O mark how green her wood of ancient bays
62 O'er Isis marge in many a chaplet strays!
63 Thither, if haply some distinguish'd flower
64 Of these mix'd blooms, from that ambrosial bower,
65 Might catch thy glance, and, rich in Nature's hue,
66 Entwine thy diadem with honour due;[Page 230]
67 If seemly gifts the train of Phoebus pay,
68 To deck imperial Hymen's festive day;
69 Thither thyself shall haste, and mildly deign
70 To tread with nymph-like step the conscious plain:
71 Pleas'd in the Muse's nook, with decent pride,
72 To throw the scepter'd pall of state aside,
73 Nor from the shade shall George be long away,
74 Which claims Charlotta's love, and courts her stay. —
75 These are Britannia's praises. Deign to trace,
76 With rapt reflection Freedom's favourite race!
77 But tho' the generous isle, in arts and arms,
78 Thus stands supreme, in Nature's choicest charms;
79 Tho' George and conquest guard her sea-girt throne,
80 One happier blessing still she calls her own;
81 And, proud a fresh increase of fame to view,
82 Crowns all her glory by possessing you.