A SPOUSAL HYMN.
ADDRESSED TO HIS MAJESTY ON HIS MARRIAGE.
1 AS, when diffus'd in solemn trance
2 Her dear delight the Latmian shepherd lay,
3 Fond Cynthia came with lightning-glance,
4 And o'er his bosom stream'd her virgin ray:
5 So come, O gentle Muse, if e'er aright
6 I paid my vows, if e'er implor'd
7 One scanty beam of thy celestial light;
8 Proof to the muckworm miser's golden hoard,
9 Nor envious of the statesman's fair renown,
10 The warrior's death-bought wreath, and monarch's thorny crown.
11 Come, Guardian of my natal hour,
12 That bad'st me chuse the still sequester'd grove,
13 The pathless mead, and woodbine bower,
14 Where placid Cares, and pensive Pleasures rove;[Page 42]
15 Where oft by moon-light's silent, solemn glade,
16 Pale Passion musing loves to stray,
17 And hand in hand, by Melancholy led,
18 In thoughtful loneness wears herself away;
19 O come, in all thy radiant charms confest,
20 And fire with glowing zeal my fond, devoted breast!
21 I ask not flowrets fresh and gay,
22 From Pindus cull'd to please the vainly great;
23 No silken strain, no tinsel lay,
24 To cloke some public Knave from public hate:
25 No, Virgin, no — Fair Freedom's vestal flame
26 Pervades my soul; for Her I twine
27 The votive wreath, for Her thy hallow'd name
28 Invoke, O make thy choicest treasures mine;
29 Breathe Inspiration thro' each glowing line,
30 Thy genuine form impress, and stamp the work divine!
31 Then shalt thou, George, the song approve,
32 O British-born! O Freedom's sacred heir!
33 O thou, whom all the Graces love,
34 Religion's boast, and Virtue's darling care!
35 Fain would the Muse attempt thy various praise,
36 But ah, in vain! — thro't
t Theocr. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Ida's bowers
37 With dubious foot th' astonish'd woodman strays;
38 Where shall his work begin? — Ye sylvan Powers
39 Direct the blow; here oaks aspiring rise,
40 There, Monarchs of the grove, tall cedars prop the skies.
41 Say, shall the Muse thy patriot Sire
42 Recall to view? Tell how with conscious state
43 She saw the god-like Prince retire
44 To glorious exile, like Timoleon great?
45 Glad heard the voice, "Avaunt, ye wretched Train,
46 " Shall I my Country's cause betray?
47 "Betray my soul, my God, for sordid gain?
48 " Perish the thought! — Ye Slaves of gold away! —
49 "In venal courts tho' base corruption reigns,
50 " Know Liberty shall breathe thro' Kew's indignant plains. "
51 He spoke, and lo! the reptile crew
52 Struck dumb with wonder fled! — Hail, sacred source,
53 Whence George his patriot morals drew:
54 Prosper, ye heavenly Powers, their genial course!
55 O bid them branch into a thousand rills,
56 A thousand streams! — Where-e'er they flow,
57 Whether all glift'ring down the loftier hills,
58 Or thro' the still, and humbler vales below,
59 Let Health pursue, no noxious weeds be found,
60 But flowers immortal rise fresh-breathing sweets around!
61 Prophetic wish! — See Discord flies,
62 With all her rebel rout, her hell-born train!
63 See Faction falls, and Party dies,
64 They die fell serpents, in his dawning reign:
65 Thus sure presage of many a glorious deed,
66 Blest omen of immortal fame,
67 The Son of Jove, when near his infant head
68 Devouring snakes in poisonous volumes came,[Page 44]
69 Grasp'd in his brawny arms the scaly foes,
70 Smil'd on the danger past, and sunk to soft repose.
71 And now again, with careful hand,
72 Her goodly plants fair Science joys to rear;
73 And now again all blooming stand
74 The beauteous Progeny of Art; they fear
75 No killing frosts, no thick unkindly dews,
76 Such as from Belgian plains arise;
77 The genial clouds their pearly drops diffuse,
78 And shower increase of sweetness from the skies;
79 The youthful Sun, in his meridian throne,
80 Beams with indulgent ray his fostering influence down.
81 Hail, favour'd Isle! blest seat of Fame!
82 For conquering arms, and peerless arts renown'd!
83 Hail, mighty George! thy darling name
84 Oft shall the Muse with honest joy refound:
85 Not that abstemious, prudent, just, and wise,
86 Thy every deed fair Virtue guides;
87 Nor that thy thoughts with holy ardor rise
88 From Earth's low base, where Vice and Passion bides,
89 To Heaven's bright mansions, there their sweets dispense,
90 Grateful as hallow'd fumes from breathing frankincense.
91 Ay me so great, so bold a flight
92 Beseems not shepherd-swain, in lowly Mead
93 Far from Preferment's giddy height
94 Condemn'd, alas, an hireling flock to feed! [Page 45]
95 Yet will I sing how thy discerning eye
96 The boisterous sea of life surveys,
97 Where toiling fore the Sons of Merit lie,
98 Till call'd by thee their weary heads they raise:
99 What minute Drop, but cherish'd by thy care
100 A costly Pearl becomes of matchless Beauty rare?
101 Charm then your pipes, ye shepherd swains,
102 And bid the hills, and dales the Song repeat,
103 Your Patron, your Augustus reigns! —
104 But hark, with undulation soft, and sweet,
105 What melting music steals upon the ear!
106 Am I deceiv'd, or doth a Choir
107 Of winged Cupids fan the buxom air
108 Till Silence smiles; while from their silver lyre
109 Harmonious numbers flow, whose dulcet breath
110 Would recreate a soul beneath the pangs of death?
111 I did not err, a Choir of Loves
112 Sublime in air attune th' enchanting lay;
113 They leave Idalia's blooming groves,
114 And Cypria's myrtle shades, where jocund stray
115 The Graces, Smiles, and Hours, where Nature's care
116 Profusely kind allures the sight,
117 And wraps the sense in bliss: ye Virgins fair
118 Of Britain's Isle, sweet daughters of delight,
119 Receive the cherub throng, to you they fly
120 With welcome tidings fraught, blest harbingers of Joy.
121 Lo! lo she comes from th' Albine shore,
122 Your maiden Queen, adorn'd with peerless charms:
123 Like Phoebe, when by Taurus hoar
124 Enamour'd Alpheus strove with eager arms
125 To grasp the Fair: ah, fond and hapless boy!
126 Ah, cruel wayward Dame! — in vain
127 He breath'd his amorous soul, for all too coy
128 Swift as the Roe she sought the distant plain;
129 Left him to pour in tears his plaintive theme,
130 Till chang'd by love and grief he melted to a stream.
131 See where from Ocean's pearly bed,
132 Whose huddling waters pass unwilling by,
133 She comes with easy modest tread,
134 'Midst echoing crowds, and rapturous shouts of joy:
135 'Twas thus, the life-resemblingx
x The famous Picture of Venus by Apelles. tablet shews,
136 In youth and beauty fresh and gay
137 The Paphian Goddess from the waves arose,
138 While dolphins gamboll'd thro' the watry way,
139 Old Neptune smil'd, the sea-green sisters sung,
140 And all the rooks around with Iö Triumph rung.
141 But ah, what Daedal hand can trace
142 The glowing beauties of her air and mien;
143 The lively sweetness of her face,
144 And eyes where wisdom's azure beams are seen?
145 Her bosom fraught with honour's maiden treasure,
146 Unblemish'd faith, mild modesty,[Page 47]
147 Eternal love, unsoil'd by baser pleasure,
148 And constant truth, and spotless chastity,
149 Where thoughts, that angels might admire, are bred,
150 And flames of holy zeal, by pure Religion fed?
151 Hail, Virgin, hail, divinely blest,
152 By Heaven endow'd with all that's good and great!
153 O Flower of Virtue, in whose breast,
154 Imperial Reason dwells in royal state!
155 There, there she sits as Queen on ivory throne,
156 The vassal Passions round her stand,
157 In suppliant guise her rightful power they own,
158 And hear her still small voice, her soft command:
159 Far from the pure and unpolluted shrine
160 Each base affection flies, each haggard nurse of sin.
[Page 48] 161 Leave then, ye Sisters, leave they
y The river Cephisus in Baeotia, on whose banks the Graces were thought to reside. Pind. Olym. 14th. Spring
162 Whose hallow'd waters flow thro' Minyas' land;
163 Conduct to Britain's blooming King
164 This all-accomplish'd work of Nature's hand:
165 'Tis yours, imperial Nymphs, whate'er is sweet,
166 And fair and splendid to bestow;
167 On you attend Wealth, Wisdom, Beauty, Wit;
168 Nor seated on Olympus' laughing brow
169 Will choirs celestial move till you advance,
170 Nor share th' ambrosial feast, nor lead the sprightly dance.
171 And thou, O Queen of soft desires,
172 Whose radiant smiles dispel the gloom of care,
173 And kindling friendship's purest fires,
174 Chase from the soul Suspicion, Doubt, and Fear,
175 Those griesly forms: O come, bewitching Power,
176 Come gently, o'er the bridal bed
177 In genial dews thy choicest pleasures shower;
178 Such as in Arcady's voluptuous shade
z Jupiter. Lycaeus felt, when stretch'd on Maia's breast
180 An image of himself th' enraptur'd God imprest.
181 Nor thou, Lucina chaste and fair,
182 Nor thou, sweet Genius of the nuptial bower,
183 Be absent; on the royal Pair
184 Profuse of joy your kindly blessings pour!
185 O haste, ye Guardians of the sacred rites,
186 Whose aid prolific power supplies,
187 So shall Britannia bless their pure delights,
188 When future Georges, future Charlottes rise;
189 By whom reflected distant times shall find
190 The Mother's matchless Grace, the Father's virtuous Mind.