1 YET once more ye lov'd poplars, and once more
2 My silver Yare, your hallow'd haunts I tread,
3 The bough-inwoven bank, the damaskt mead,
4 And seek the sweet shade of the woodbine bower,
5 If haply here the British Muse abide:
6 For not on Isis' academic side,
7 Nor where proud Thamis rolls his royal waves
8 Thro' forest brown or sunny meadow fair,
9 Her rapture-breathing voice enchants the ear:
10 Nor in those fields that honoured Camus laves;
11 He, reverend sire, the sacred groves beneath
12 Oft deckt with laureat wreath,
13 Thro' the still valleys winds his pensive way
14 Without the sweet note of one warbled song;
15 Save ever and anon some plaintive lay
16 Pours its soft airs, the rustic tombs among,
17 To the low winds that thro' his osiers breathe,
18 And murmur to the rustling reeds beneath.
19 Does she o'er Cambria's rugged mountains stray,
20 Snowdon's rude cliffs, or huge Plinlimmon's height?
21 Or in rough Conway's foaming floods delight,
22 That down the steep rocks urge their headlong way? [Page 185]
23 There chaunts the raptur'd bard in solemn strain
24 Malgo's strong lance, Cadwallin's puissant reign,
25 High deeds recorded yet in druid songs:
26 Or swells his woe-wild notes, of power to spread
27 Chill horror round the ruthless tyrant's head,
28 For Urien's fate, for bleeding Modred's wrongs,
29 And smites the harp in dreadful harmony.
30 Or does she love to lie
31 In the mild shade of Hulla's softer groves,
32 And twine the vermeil wreath to grace the youth,
33 Whose rapt breast glows, as o'er the beach he roves,
34 Touch'd with the sacred flame of star-bright truth;
35 Whilst to her lore his manly measure flows,
36 "And wakes old Humber from his deep repose."
37 Yet deign, if not to dwell, thy presence deign
38 Here, heavenly visitant; and with thee bring
39 The loftiest note that swell'd the sounding string,
40 When stern Tyrtaeus rais'd the heroic strain;
41 To arms the warrior poet smote his lyre,
42 And all Laconia caught the martial fire.
43 Thee too, harmonious Maid, the strings obey;
44 Strike them, and bid the inspiring numbers slow,
45 Bid Britain's sons with Sparta's spirit glow,
46 And rouze old Albion with thy awful lay.
47 Thy lay shall well-born WODEHOUSE deign to hear,
48 As now with generous care[Page 186]
49 From Honour's fount th' enlivening streams he brings
50 To visit as they flow, that silver bower,
51 Where the fair plant of publick virtue springs,
52 And breathes pure fragrance from each glowing flower;
53 Like heaven's own amarant th' immortal tree
54 Shoots, blooms, and bears; the growth of KIMBERLEY.
55 Hast thou no verse then, heavenly Virgin say,
56 By Truth attun'd on Fancy's fairy plain;
57 No solemn air, no hymn of higher vein,
58 To hail the blessed morn's auspicious ray,
59 When, these tall towers rejoicing to behold,
60 Forth walk'd the orient sun, array'd in gold,
61 First on their glittering tops t' impress his beams;
62 Thence, glancing downwards, sparkled on the tide
63 That bends along yon hoar grove's moss-grown side,
64 And scattered crimson o'er its azure streams?
65 The Naiads, hasting from their coral caves
66 Beneath the chrystal waves,
67 (In pearled braids their amber tresses bound)
68 Thrice wav'd their hands, and hail'd the rising towers:
69 The wood-nymphs too, with florisht chaplets crown'd,
70 Forsook their groves, forsook their broidered bowers;
71 And thrice their hands they wav'd, and thrice they said,
72 "Raise, ye fair structures, raise your towery head!"
73 Next KYMBER came, slow winding o'er the lea,
74 His beard and sedge-crown'd locks all silver'd o'er
75 With reverend eld, as winter breathing frore
76 Hangs on the bare boughs of the spangled tree:
77 His urn was silver fretted round with gold,
78 With Runic rhimes imbost, and figures old,
79 The illustrious monuments of British fame:
80 Here stout Tenantius draws his righteous sword
81 To crush the curs'd rule of a foreign lord,
82 And spreads unconquered Freedom's sacred flame:
83 There war-worn Kymbeline, by victor's power
84 Forth driven from princely bower,
85 To the thick shelter of these shades retir'd,
86 Feeding high thoughts and flames of vengeful war,
87 (Like a chac'd lion with fell fury fir'd)
88 Writhes on the lurking traitor's close-couch'd spear,
89 And bids the conscious grove, and bids the plain,
90 And kindred stream, his honoured name retain.
91 High on her warlike car BONDUCA stands,
92 The plumed helmet glittering on her brow,
93 Whilst loose in streams of gold her tresses flow,
94 The bow and pointed javelin grace her hands;
95 Deliberate courage lightens in her eye,
96 And conscious worth, and inborn majesty;
97 Heroic empress! as thy virtues spread,
98 Rome's ravening eagle cow'rs his quivering wings,
99 Hope smiles, fair Liberty her blessings brings,
100 And heaven-born Glory rays thy sacred head. [Page 188]
101 Grac'd with these sculptur'd scenes of ancient fame
102 With stately step he came;
103 Nor wanted in his way melodious sound
104 From pipe or pastoral reed, or dulcet voice
105 Of Nymph or Naïad him enringing round,
106 Or quiring birds that in his shade rejoice,
107 Or gently warbling wind, or water's fall
108 Soft trickling from his urn in murmurs musical.
109 Then on the stately structure's towery height
110 With conscious pride he fix'd his raptur'd eyes;
111 And as past scenes of ancient glory rise
112 Arrang'd on Fancy's field in order bright,
113 He paus'd; then graceful bow'd his reverend head,
114 And thus in lofty strain due homage paid.
115 "Ye strong-bas'd battlements, ye gorgeous walls,
116 " Ye princely structures, that with splendor crown'd,
117 "Shine o'er your wide dominion stretching round,
118 " To you with friendly voice your KYMBER calls,
119 "And bids you hail! thereto he adds your name
120 " Renown'd in ancient same,
121 "Hail Wodehouse-tower! To tell you with what pride,
122 " What triumph he your glittering state surveys,
123 "That dignifies his lilly-silver'd side,
124 " And wakes sweet memory of those glorious days,
125 "When full-plum'd Victory wav'd her golden wing,
126 " And deckt with trophies proud his honoured spring.
127 "Yes, KYMBER! now thou may'st with joy retrace
128 " The long succession of thy patriot line;
129 "With joy behold the unclouded lustre shine
130 " Which Virtue beams around her favour'd race.
131 "Canst thou forget the Lord of Wodehouse-tower,
132 " Whose strong built bastions scorn'd the Norman's power?
133 "From Deva's banks (whose mystic waters glide
134 " By holy Whitchurch, thro' those pastur'd plains
135 "Long since the warlike Talbot's rich domains,
136 " When from Blackmere he brought his lovely bride,
137 "The fair L'Estrange) thou saw'st the stout knight lead
138 " To Silfield's happier mead
139 "His Saxon train. There Beauclerk's royal ray
140 " Shin'd on his battailous bold offspring, try'd
141 "In many a hard and chevalrous assay,
142 " Whenb
b Sir George Wodehouse attended Henry I. on his expedition into Normandy, A. D. 1104. Neustria's fields with crimson gore he dy'd,
143 "Spread vengeful flames revolted Bayeux round,
144 " And dash'd the rampir'd pride of Caën to the ground.
145 "Oft as Britannia's royal ensign wav'd,
146 " And the stern clarion call'd in field to fight,
147 "The warlike WODEHOUSE march'd with prowest might,
148 " And the rough front of deathful danger brav'd.
149 "Let Bara tell, and let Bodotria tell,
150 " Fort, lough, and river, mountain, wood, and dell,[Page 190]
151 "All that from southern Eiden's flowery lea
152 " Reaches to bleak Strathnavern's northern strand,
153 "Was his sword sheath'd, whenc
c Edward I. whom Sir Bertram de Wodehouse accompanied in his wars in Scotland. Edward's iron hand
154 "Spread desolation wide from sea to sea?
155 " Or when the sable warrior's lifted lance
156 "Glar'd in the eyes of France,
157 " Was WODEHOUSE wanting to the hero's fame?
158 "Let Crecy tell, and Poictiers purple plain,
159 " And captive Valois' d
d The Oriflame was a banner of gold and flame-colour'd silk, consecrated and kept in the abbey of St. Denys. From the high opinion the French had of its virtue, it was made the royal standard by Lewis VI. and continued such till Charles VII. brought in use the white coronet.hallowed oriflame,
160 "His dreadless hardiment lete
e Two gallant commanders in the army of Henry earl of Trestamare, whom the Black Brince (attended by the flower of the English troops, among whom was Sir William de Wodehouse) defeated and took prisoners on the frontiers of Castile, thereby restoring Peter, surnamed the Cruel. Glequin's chain
161 "Record, and bravee
e Two gallant commanders in the army of Henry earl of Trestamare, whom the Black Brince (attended by the flower of the English troops, among whom was Sir William de Wodehouse) defeated and took prisoners on the frontiers of Castile, thereby restoring Peter, surnamed the Cruel. Dandrehen's froward fate,
162 "And poor Castilia's tyrant-wielded state.
163 "Who has not heard of Somme's affrighted flood,
164 " How mournfully his cumber'd streams he roll'd
165 "O'er shining hauberks, shields, and helms of gold,
166 " His crystal current stain'd with prince's blood,
167 "When daring Delabreth in wanton pride
168 " The warlike Henry's way-worn troop defied? [Page 191]
169 "But all this gallant trim and rich array
170 " Lay soil'd in dust, when Bedford's burnisat spear
171 "Flam'd in their front, and thunder'd in their rear,
172 " And York's bright blade hew'd out his dreadful way.
173 "Rouze, royal England, rouze thy matchless might,
174 " And with a dragon's flight
175 "Sweep o'er th' ensanguin'd plains of Agincourt:
176 " And see thy WODEHOUSE, whose strong arm subdu'd
177 "The ruin'd bulwarks of yon aged fort,
178 " His golden chevron charg'd withf
f For this gallent action, Henry V. as a perpetual augmentation of honour, assigned him the crest of an hand, stretched from a cloud, holding a club, and this motto, FRAPPE FORTE: and the savage, or wild man, holding a club, which was the antient crest of the family, was now omitted, and two of them placed as supporters to the arms, which had a further augmentation of honour added in the shield, viz. on the Chevron Gutte de Sang, as they are born to this day. drops of blood,
179 "Rests on the woodmen wild that bear his shield,
180 " And hails thee victor of the well fought field!
181 "Can I forget how blythe my eddies roll'd
182 " And kiss'd their crisp'd banks, when to Tewksbury's plain
183 "My gallant son led hisg
g Sir Edward Wodehouse, who was knighted at Tewksbury, attended Edward IV. into the North, with two hundred men at arms, furnished at his own charge; being attended in his own retinue with two dukes, seven earls, thirty-one barons, and fifty-nine knights. heroic train,
184 "Stout earls, and princely dukes, and barons bold?
185 " Yet, ah for pity! these fierce hostings cease,
186 "That maiden blossom wears the badge of peace,[Page 192]
187 " And will you dye her white leaves red in blood?
188 "But if your flaming courage pricks you forth,
189 " See where the prowling pilferers of the North
190 "With inroad foul o'er Tine's forbidden flood
191 " Rush from their bleak hills, lur'd with scent of prey:
192 "Brook they your firm array?
193 " Far humbler thoughts on Eske's embattail'd banks
194 "They learn'd, as Somerset's victorious spear
195 " With foul disorder broke their bleeding ranks:
196 "Whilst vengefulh
h Sir William de Wodehouse was vice-admiral of the English fleet, and knighted for his noble service in the battle of Musselborough, where his elder brother Thomas was killed, A. D. 1547. Wodehouse taught their proud hearts fear,
197 "And bade his thunders tell them, as they fled,
198 " The brother triumphs where the brother bled.
199 "But not on camps and fighting fields alone
200 " My glory rests; when turtle-pennon'd Peace
201 "Hush'd War's harsh roar, and bade his fury cease,
202 " In these lov'd shades her softest lustre shone.
203 "Here heaven-rapt Piety delights to dwell,
204 " Train'd ini
i Sir William de Wod house founded the monastry at Flitcham, and made a cell to Walsingham, about the year 1260. monastic Flitcham's holy cell;
205 "Here plants her palm, whose hallowed branches spread
206 " O'er toweredk
k Roger de Wodehouse, a younger brother, was dean, or rather archdeacon, of Richmond, and chaplain to Edward II. Richmond's consecrated shrine,
207 "And form'd the only wreath e'er taught to twine
208 " Round desolate Caernarvon's hapless head. [Page 193]
k See note (e) relating to the crest and atchievement of the family: the impress on the shield is AGINCOURT. "E'en that strong arm, which stretching from a cloud
210 " Crests the atchievement proud
211 "Imprest with Agincourt's emblazon'd name,
212 " Among his laurels wove this sacred bough,
213 "Ennobling valour with Devotion's flame,
l He obtained licence of Henry V. to found a chauntry priest to sing for the souls of that prince, and his queen, of his beloved esquire John Wodehouse, and his wife, their ancestors, and posterity, in the cathedral church of Norwich. And taught the warbled orison to flow,
215 "As 'midst the taper'd choir the solemn priest
216 " Chaunts to the victor saint high heaven's eternal rest.
217 "Here the firm guardians of the publick weal,
218 " Inspir'd with Freedom's heaven-descended flame,
219 "Rose nobly faithful to their country's fame;
m This family has served with an inviolable integrity in twenty-seven parliaments; in sixteen of which they have been returned for the county of Norfolk. In frequent senates pour'd their ardent zeal,
221 "Dash'd the base bribe from curs'd Corruption's hand,
222 " And sav'd from scepter'd Pride the sinking land.
n Sir Thomas Wodehouse, knight of the Bath, was sent ambassador into France by Henry VII. Another Sir Thomas was sent into France, Spain, and Italy, to qualify himself for the highest employments, by Henry, son to James I. prompt to answer bleeding Europe's call,
224 "To distant realms bore Britain's high behest,
225 " Bade the sword sleep, gave gasping nations rest,
226 "And taught the doubtful balance where to fall. [Page 194]
227 " But in the softer hour of social joy,
228 "When ceas'd the high employ,
229 " These woodland walks, these tufted dales among
230 "The silver-sounding Muses built their bower,
231 " Made vocal with the lute attemper'd song;
232 "Whilst blooming Courtesy's gold-spangled flower,
233 " Cull'd by the Graces, spread its brightest glow
234 "To deck unswerving Honour's manly brow.
235 "And you, age-honoured oaks! whose solemn shades
236 " Inviron this fair mansion, proudly stand
237 "The sacredo
o The oaks upon the hill, where the house now stands, were planted in honour of queen Elizabeth, the day she was at Kymberley, A. D. 1578. nourslings of Eliza's hand,
238 "When she with sovereign glory grac'd your glades,
239 " And pleas'd beheld herp
p Thomas Wodehouse, who was killed at Musselborough, married a Shelton, whose mother was a Boleyn. Boleyn's kindred line
240 "Ennobled with your trophied honours shine.
241 " Spring crestless cravens from such roots as these?
242 "Ask the paleq
q Sir Philip Wodehouse served queen Elizabeth both by sea and land, at home, in Portugal, and in Spain: he was knighted for his service at Cadiz by the earls of Essex and Nottingham, the queen's generals. Groyne, ask Tayo's trembling tide,
243 "Ask Cadiz weeping o'er her ruin'd pride,
244 " And Austria scourg'd o'er all the subject seas. [Page 195]
245 "From this deep root my blooming branches spread,
246 " And rais'd their florisht head,
247 "Chear'd with the princelyr
r Sir Thomas Wodehouse, Bart. was in great favour with prince Henry, son to James I. and of his bed-chamber; at whose decease he retired to Kymberley. Henry's orient ray;
248 "Till, rising on the morn, importune Night
249 " Spreads her black veil, and blots his golden day;
250 "Darkness ensues, dark deeds, and impious might;
251 " Whilst Discord, mounted on his iron car,
252 "Cries havock, and lets slip the dogs of war.
253 "What then could virtue, 'fall'n on evil days,
254 " On evil days thus fall'n, and evil tongues,
255 "With dangers compast, 'and opprest with wrongs,
256 " Save to the wild woods breathe her plaintive lays,
257 "And charm the shades, and teach the streams to flow
258 " With all the melting melody of woe?
259 "But what avail'd or voice, or tuneful hand,
260 " When hell bred Faction, rear'd on baleful wings,
261 "Stain'd with the blood of nobles and of kings,
262 " Spread total desolation o'er the land?
263 "Ah KYMBER! where was then thy princely state?
264 " Sunk in the general fate;
265 "Thy rich roofs sunk, o'er golden pendents spread;
266 " Fastolff's white croslet mouldered from the wall,
267 "And Hamo's lion dropt his gold crown'd head;
268 " The sacred chapel sunk, the festive hall;
269 "E'en thy tall towers, majestic in decay,
270 " Like thy lost monarch, low in ruins lay.
271 "Thus Britain sunk, and thus sunk Wodehouse tower;
272 " So sinks the sun, as o'er the turbid skies
273 "Sudden the storm-engendering clouds arise,
274 " And vex with uproar wild Night's fearful hour;
275 "That past, his bright beams resalute the day,
276 " And heighten'd splendors crown his orient ray:
277 "So Britain rose, so rose my princely state.
278 " But not the swelling column massy proof,
279 "The moulded pediment, the fretted roof,
280 " Not this fair fabric proudly elevate,
281 "Tho' fix'd by Prowse's just palladian hand
282 " Its towred honours stand;
283 "Not this clear lake, whose waving crystal spreads
284 " Round yon hoar isle with awful shades imbrown'd:
285 "Not these pure streams that vein the envermeil'd meads:
286 " Nor those age-honoured oaks wide waving round;
287 "Exterior glories these, of humbler fame,
288 " Beam not that splendent ray which dignifies my name.
289 "The spark of honour kindling glorious thought,
290 " The soul by warm benevolence refin'd,
291 "The aethereal glow that melts th' empassion'd mind,
292 " And Virtue's work to fair perfection brought,
293 "Be these my glories. And thou, Power benign!
294 " Whose living splendors round the patriot shine,
295 "Immortal Genius of this far-fam'd land,
296 " This scepter'd isle thron'd midst the circling sea,
297 "Seat of the brave, and fortress of the tree,
298 " Oft hast thou deign'd to take thy hallow'd stand,[Page 197]
299 "These shades among; at Virtue's radiant shrine
300 " Oft caught the flame divine,
301 "When dark Corruption dim'd thy sovereign light;
302 " Thence beam'd thy solemn soul-ennobling ray,
303 "To gild these groves with all thy lustre bright,
304 " Where nobly thoughtful Mordaunt loves to stray,
305 "And manly Prowse with every science crown'd,
306 " In Freedom's rustic seat the polish'd Graces thron'd.
307 "And thou, to whom thy KYMBER tunes this strain,
308 " If strain like this may reach thy nicer ear,
309 "O deign in mine thy country's voice to hear,
310 " Which never to a WODEHOUSE call'd in vain!
311 "By the proud honours of thy martial crest,
312 " The trophied tombs where thy fam'd fathers rest,
313 "By Lacy's, Clervaux' , Hunsdon's, Armine's name,
314 " By Manhood's, Glory's, Freedom's, Virtue's praise,
315 "Wake the high thought, the lofty spirit raise,
316 " And blazon thy hereditary fame.
317 "That fame shall live, whilst Pride's unrighteous power,
318 " The pageant of an hour,
319 "Fades from the guilty scene, and sinks in night:
320 " That fame shall live, and spread its constant rays,
321 "Warm like the blessed sun with genial light;
322 " Whilst Vice and Folly spend their baleful blaze,
323 "As meteors, glaring o'er a troubled sky,
324 " Shoot their pernicious fires, amaze, and die. "
325 He ceas'd his gratulation: the high strain
326 Pierc'd the thick gloom where Britain's Genius lay
s A line of Spenser's Faery Queen. Cover'd with charmed cloud from view of day:
328 He heard, and bursting thro' the falsed train,
329 In all the majesty of empire rose,
330 And issued stern to quell his vaunting foes.
331 The Naïads saw, and swell'd their surging floods;
332 Old KYMBER saw, and smil'd; the burnish'd glades
333 Rejoic'd; the groves wav'd their exulting shades;
334 And lofty Feorhou bow'd with all his woods!
335 The lordly lion ramping by his side,
336 He march'd in martial pride,
337 And pour'd his flaming spirit o'er the land;
338 The kindling hamlets rouz'd with war's alarms,
339 Snatch the bright faulchion from the hireling hand,
340 And bravely train their free-born youth to arms;
341 Whilst Liberty her glittering ensign waves,
342 And bids each generous son disdain an host of slaves.
343 Then royally on the ocean wave enthron'd,
344 With all his terrors arm'd, he rode sublime,
345 And roll'd his thunders o'er each hostile clime:
346 Seine's silken vassals trembled at the sound;
347 The cloud-wrapt promontory shook, and all
348 Its rock-bas'd rampires nodded to their fall. [Page 199]
349 Reign ever thus, unconquer'd Britain, reign;
350 Whilst thy free sons in firm battalions stand,
351 And guard with lion-ramp their native land:
352 Thus fix thy throne, thus rule the subject main!
353 So shall bright Victory o'er thy laurel'd head
354 Her eagle-pennons spread;
355 Whilst soft-ey'd Peace, quitting at thy command
356 Her radiant orb in yon empyreal plain,
357 Waves o'er the willing world her myrtle wand:
358 So shall the Muse her Doric oat disdain,
359 And touch'd with sphere-born Rapture's hallow'd fire,
360 Swell her triumphal notes, and sweep the golden lyre.