ON THE BIRTH OF GEORGE PRINCE OF WALES.
WRITTEN AFTER AN INSTALLATION AT WINDSOR, MDCCLXII.
1 IMperial dome of Edward wise and brave!
2 Where warlike Honour's brightest banners wave;
3 At whose proud tilts, unmatch'd for hardy deeds,
4 Heroic kings have frown'd on barbed steeds:
5 Tho' now no more thy crested chiefs advance
6 In arm'd array, nor grasp the glittering lance;
7 Tho' knighthood boasts the martial pomp no more,
8 That grac'd its gorgeous festivals of yore;
9 Say, stately dome, if e'er thy marshall'd knights
10 So nobly deck'd their old majestic rites,
11 As when, high-thron'd amid thy trophied shrine,
12 George shone the leader of the garter'd line?
13 Yet future triumphs, Windsor, still remain;
14 Still may thy bowers receive as brave a train:
15 For lo! to Britain and her favour'd pair,
16 Heaven's high command has sent a sacred heir! [Page 232]
17 Him, the bold pattern of his patriot sire,
18 Shall fill with early fame immortal fire:
19 In life's fresh spring, e'er buds the promis'd prime
20 His thoughts shall mount to virtue's meed sublime:
21 The patriot sire shall catch with sure presage
22 Each liberal omen of his opening age;
23 Then to thy courts shall lead, with conscious joy,
24 In stripling beauty's bloom the princely boy;
25 There firmly wreath the braid of heavenly die,
26 True Valour's badge around his tender thigh.
27 Meantime, thy royal piles that rise elate
28 With many an antique tower, in massy state,
29 In the young champion's musing mind shall raise
30 Vast images of Albion's elder days.
31 While, as around his eager glance explores
32 Thy chambers rough with war's constructed stores,
33 Rude helms, and bruised shields, barbaric spoils
34 Of ancient chivalry's undaunted toils;
35 Amid the dusky trappings hung on high,
36 Young Edward's sable mail shall strike his eye:
37 Shall fire the youth, to crown his riper years
38 With rival Cressys, and a new Poictiers;
39 On the same wall, the same triumphal base,
40 His own victorious monument to place.
41 Nor can a fairer kindred title move
42 His emulative age to glory's love,
43 Than Edward, laureat prince. In letter'd truth,
44 Oxford, sage mother, school'd this studious youth:[Page 233]
45 Her simple institutes, and rigid lore,
46 The royal nursling unreluctant bore;
47 Nor shunn'd, at pensive eve, with lonesome pace
48 The moonlight cloyster's checquer'd floor to trace;
49 Nor scorn'd to mark the sun, at mattins due,
50 Stream thro' the storied window's holy hue.
51 And O, young prince, be thine his moral praise;
52 Nor seek in fields of blood his warrior bays.
53 War has its charms terrisic. Far and wide
54 When stands th' embattled host in banner'd pride;
55 O'er the vext plain when the shrill clangors run,
56 And the long phalanx flashes in the sun;
57 When now no dangers of the deathful day
58 Mar the bright scene, nor break the firm array:
59 Full oft, too rashly glows with fond delight
60 The youthful breast, and asks the future fight;
61 Nor knows that Horror's form, a spectre wan,
62 Stalks yet unseen along the gleamy van.
63 May no such rage be thine: no dazzling ray
64 Of specious fame thy stedfast feet betray.
65 Be thine domestic glory's radiant calm,
66 Be thine the scepter wreath'd with many a palm,
67 Be thine the throne with peaceful emblems hung,
68 The silver lyre to milder conquest strung!
69 Instead of glorious feats atchiev'd in arms,
70 Bid rising arts display their mimic charms:
71 Just to thy country's fame, in tranquil days,
72 Record the past, and rouse to future praise:[Page 234]
73 Before the public eye, in breathing brass,
74 Bid thy fam'd father's mighty triumphs pass:
75 Swell the broad arch with haughty Cuba's fall,
76 And cloath with Minden's plain th' historic hall.
77 Then mourn not, Edward's dome, thine ancient boast,
78 They tournaments, and listed combats lost!
79 From Arthur's board, no more, proud castle, mourn
80 Adventurous Valour's Gothic trophies torn!
81 Those elfin charms, that held in magic night
82 Its elder fame, and dimm'd its genuine light,
83 At length dissolve in Truth's meridian ray,
84 And the bright order bursts to purer day:
85 The mystic round, begirt with bolder peers,
86 On virtue's base its rescued glory rears;
87 Sees civil prowess mightier acts atchieve,
88 Sees meek humanity distress relieve;
89 Adopts the worth that bids the conflict cease,
90 And claims its honours from the chiefs of peace,