THE FEMALE REIGN:
1 WHAT can the British senate give,
2 To make the name of ANNA live,
3 By future people to be sung,
4 The labour of each grateful tongue?
5 Can faithful registers, or rhyme,
6 In charming eloquence, or sprightly wit,
7 The wonders of her reign transmit
8 To th' unborn children of succeeding time?
9 Can painters' oil, or statuaries' art,
10 Eternity to her impart?
11 No! titled statues are but empty things,
12 Inscrib'd to royal vanity,
13 The sacrifice of flattery
14 To lawless Neros, or Bourbonian kings.[Page 70]
15 True virtue to her kindred stars aspires,
16 Does all our pomp of stone and verse surpass,
17 And mingling with etherial fires,
18 No useless ornament requires
19 From speaking colours, or from breathing brass.
20 Greatest of princes! where the wand'ring sun
21 Does o'er earth's habitable regions roll,
22 From th' eastern barriers to the western goal,
23 And sees thy race of glory run
24 With swiftness equal to his own:
25 Thee on the banks of Flandrian Scaldis sings
26 The jocund swain releas'd from Gallic fear:
27 The English voice unus'd to hear,
28 Thee the repeating banks, thee ev'ry valley rings.
29 The sword of heav'n how pious ANNA wields,
30 And heav'nly vengeance on the guilty deals,
31 Let the twice fugitive Bavarian tell;
32 Who, from his airy hope of better state,
33 By lust of sway irregularly great,
34 Like an apostate angel fell:
35 Who, by imperial favour rais'd,
36 I' th' highest rank of glory blaz'd:
37 And had till now unrivall'd shone,
38 More than a king contented with his own;
39 But Lucifer's bold steps he trod,
40 Who durst assault the throne of GOD;[Page 71]
41 And for contented realms of blissful light,
42 Gain'd the sad privilege to be
43 The first in solid misery,
44 Monarch of hell, and woes, and everlasting night.
45 Corruption of the best is always worst;
46 And foul ambition like an evil wind,
47 Blights the fair blossoms of a noble mind;
48 And if a seraph fall, he's doubly curst.
49 Had guile, and pride, and envy grown
50 In the black groves of Styx alone,
51 Nor ever had on earth the baleful crop been sown:
52 The swain without amaze, had till'd
53 The Flandrian glebe, a guiltless field:
54 Nor had he wonder'd, when he found
55 The bones of heroes in the ground:
56 No crimson streams had lately swell'd
57 The Dyle, the Danube, and the Scheld.
58 But evils are of necessary growth,
59 To rouze the brave, and banish sloth;
60 And some are born to win the stars,
61 By sweat and blood, and worthy scars.
62 Heroick virtue is by action seen,
63 And vices serve to make it keen;
64 And as gigantick tyrants rise,
65 NASSAUS and CHURCHILLS leave the skies,
66 The earth-born monsters to chastise.
67 If, heav'nly Muse, you burn with a desire
68 To praise the man whom all admire;
69 Come from thy learn'd Castalian springs,
70 And stretch aloft thy Pegasean wings:
71 Strike the loud Pindarick strings,
72 Like the lark who soars and sings;
73 And as you sail the liquid skies,
74 Cast ona
a The Menapii were the ancient inhabitants of Flanders. Menapian fields your weeping eyes:
75 For weep they surely must,
76 To see the bloody annual sacrifice;
77 To think how the neglected dust,
78 Which with contempt is basely trod,
79 Was once the limbs of captains, brave and just,
80 The mortal part of some great demi-god;
81 Who for thrice fifty years of stubborn war,
82 With slaught'ring arms, the gun and sword,
83 Have dug the mighty sepulchre,
84 And fell as martyrs on record,
85 Of tyranny aveng'd, and liberty restor'd.
86 See, where at Audenard, with heaps of slain,
87 Th' heroick man inspir'dly brave,
88 Mowing across, bestrews the plain,
89 And with new tenants crowds the wealthy grave.[Page 73]
90 His mind unshaken at the frightful scene,
91 His looks as chearfully serene,
92 The routed battle to pursue,
93 As once adorn'd the Paphian queen,
94 When to her Thracian paramour she flew.
95 The gath'ring troops he kens from far,
96 And with a bridegroom's passion and delight,
97 Courting the war, and glowing for the fight,
98 The new Salmoneus meets the Celtic thunderer.
99 Ah, cursed pride! infernal dream!
100 Which drove him to this wild extream,
101 That dust a deity should seem;
102 Be thought, as through the wondering streets he rode,
103 A man immortal, or a god:
104 With rattling brass, and trampling horse,
105 Should counterfeit th' inimitable force
106 Of divine thunder: horrid crime!
107 But vengeance is the child of time,
108 And will too surely be repaid
109 On his profane devoted head,
110 Who durst affront the powers above,
111 And their eternal flames disgrace,
112 Too fatal, brandish'd by the real Jove,
a VICEM GERIT ILLA TONANTIS. Pallas, who assumes and fills his aweful place:
VII. 114 The British Pallas! who, asb
b Homer, in his fifth Iliad, because his hero is to do wonders beyond the power of man, premises, in the beginning, that Pallas had peculiarly fitted him for that day's exploits. Homer's did
115 For her lov'd Diomede,
116 Her hero's mind with wisdom fills,
117 And heav'nly courage in his heart instils.
118 Hence thro' the thickest squadrons does he ride,
119 With ANNA'S angels by his side.
120 With what uncommon speed
121 He spurs his foaming, fiery steed,
122 And pushes on thro' midmost fires,
123 Where France's fortune, with her sons, retires!
124 Now here, now there, the sweeping ruin flies;
125 c c As when the Pleiades arise,
Indomitas prope qualis undas
Exercit auster, pleiadum choro
Scindente nubes, impiger hostium
Vexare turmas, & frementem
Mittere equum medios per ignes.
Sic tauriformis volvitur Aufidus,
Qui regna Dauni praefluit Appuli,
Cum saevit, horrendam quo cultis
Diluviem meditatur agris.[ed.]
126 The southern wind afflicts the skies,
127 Then, mutt'ring o'er the deep, buffets th' unruly brine,
128 'Till clouds and water seem to join.[Page 75]
129 Or as a dyke cut by malicious hands,
130 O'erflows the fertile Netherlands;
131 Thro' the wide yawn, th' impetuous sea,
132 Lavish of his new liberty,
133 Bestrides the vale, and, with tumultuous noise,
134 Bellows along the delug'd plain
135 Pernicious to the rip'ning grain;
136 Far as th' horizon he destroys:
137 The weeping shepherd from an hill bewails the wat'ry reign.
138 So rapid flows the unimprison'd stream!
139 So strong the force of MINDELHEIM!
140 In vain the woods of Audenard
141 Would shield the Gaul, a fenceless guard.
142 As soon may whirl-winds be with-held,
143 As MARLB'ROUGH'S footsteps o'er the foaming Scheld.
144 In vain the torrent would oppose,
145 In vain arm'd banks, and hosts of foes:
146 The foes with coward-haste retire,
147 Fly faster than the river flows,
148 And swifter than our fire.
149 Vendosme from far upbraids their shame,
150 And pleads his royal master's fame.
151 "By Condè's mighty ghost," he cries,
152 "By Turenne, Luxemburgh, and all
153 "Those noble souls, who fell a sacrifice[Page 76]
d Near this place the prince of Condè gave the Spaniards a very great overthrow, 1648. Lens, at Fleurus, and at Landen fight,
155 "Stop, I conjure, your ignominious flight."
156 But Fear is deaf to Honour's call.
157 Each frowning threat and soothing pray'r
158 Is lost in the regardless air:
159 As well he may
160 The billows of the ocean stay;
161 While CHURCHILL like a driving wind,
162 Or high spring-tide, pursues behind,
163 And with redoubled speed urges their forward way.
164 Nor less, EUGENIUS, thy important care,
165 Thou second thunder-bolt of war!
166 Partner in danger and in fame,
167 The wind, with MARLBOROUGH'S, shall bear
168 To distant colonies thy conqu'ring name.
169 Nor shall my Muse forget to sing
170 From harmony what blessings spring:
171 To tell how Death did enviously repine,
172 To see a friendship so divine;
173 When in a ball's destroying form she past,
174 And mark'd thy threaten'd brow at last,
175 But durst not touch that sacred brain,
176 Where Europe's mightiest counsels reign;
177 For strait she bow'd her ghastly head,
178 She saw the mark of heav'n, and fled,[Page 77]
179 As cruel Brennus once, insulting Gaul,
180 When he, at Allia's fatal flood,
181 Had fill'd the plains with Roman blood,
182 With conscious awe forsook the capitol,
183 Where Jove, revenger of profaneness, stood.
184 But where the good and brave command,
185 What capitol, what bulwark can withstand?
186 Virtue, approv'd of heav'n, can pass
187 Thro' walls, thro' tow'rs, and gates of brass.
188 Lisle, like a mistress, had been courted long,
189 By all the valiant and the young,
190 The fairest progeny of Vauban's art;
191 'Till SAVOY'S warlike prince withstood
192 Her frowning terrors, and thro' seas of blood
193 Tore the bright darling from th' old tyrant's heart.
e He bore a considerable share in the glory of that day on which Buda was taken. Buda saw him, when proudf
f He was Bassau of the city, and lost his life on the breach. Apti fell,
195 Unhappy, valiant infidel!
196 Who, vanquish'd by superior strength,
197 Surrender'd up his haughty breath,
198 Upon the breach measuring his manly length,
199 And shun'd the bow-string by a nobler death.
XI. 200 Suchg
g This was the fatal battle to the Turks in the year 1687. Prince Eugene, with the regiments of his brigade, was the first that entered the trenches; and for that reason had the honour to be the first messenger of this happy news to the emperor. Harscam's field beheld him in his bloom,
201 When Victory bespoke him for her own.
202 Her favourite, immortal son,
203 And told of better years revolving on the loom:
204 How he should make the Turkish crescent wane,
205 And choakh
h This battle was fought on the 10th of October, 1697, where Prince Eugene commanded in chief; like which there never happened so great and so terrible a destruction to the Ottoman army, which fell upon the principal commanders more than the common soldiers; for no less than fifteen Bassaus (five of which had been Viziers of the bench) were killed, besides the supreme Vizier. Tibiscus with the slain;
206 While Viziers lay beneath the lofty pile
207 Of slaughter'd Bassaus, who o'er Bassaus roll'd;
208 And all his num'rous acts she told,
209 From Latian Carpi down to Flandrian Lisle.
210 Honour, with open arms, receives at last
211 The heroes who thro' Virtue's temple past;
212 And show'rs down laurels from above,
213 On those whom heav'n and ANNA love.[Page 79]
214 And some, not sparingly, she throws
215 For the young eagles, who could try
216 The faith and judgment of the sky,
217 And dare the sun with steady eye;
218 For Hanover's and Prussia's brows,
219 Eugenes in bloom, and future Marlboroughs:
220 To Hanover, to Brunswick's second grace,
221 Descendent from a long imperial race,
222 The Muse directs her honourable flight,
223 And prophesies, from so serene a morn,
224 To what clear glories he is born,
225 When blazing with a full meridian light,
226 He shall the British hemisphere adorn;
227 When Mars shall lay his batter'd target down,
228 And he, (since Death will never spare
229 The good, the pious, and the fair)
230 In his ripe harvest of renown,
231 Shall after his great father sit,
232 (If heav'n so long a life permit)
233 And having swell'd the flowing tide
234 Of fame, which he in arms shall get,
235 The purchase of an honest sweat,
236 Shall safe in stormy seas Britannia's vessel guide.
237 Britannia's vessel, which in ANNA'S reign,
238 And prudent pilotry, enjoys
239 The tempest which the world destroys,
240 And rides triumphant o'er the subject main.
241 O may she soon a quiet harbour gain!
242 And sure the promis'd hour is come,
243 When in soft notes the peaceful lyre
244 Shall still the trumpet and the drum,
245 Shall play what gods and men desire,
246 And strike Bellona's musick dumb:
247 When War, by parents curs'd, shall quit the field,
248 Unbuckle his bright helmet, and, to rest
249 His weary'd limbs, sit on his idle shield,
250 With scars of honour plow'd upon his breast.
251 But if the Gallic Pharaoh's stubborn heart
252 Grows fresh for punishment, and hardens still;
253 Prepar'd for th' irrecoverable ill,
254 And forc'd th'unwilling skies to act the last ungrateful part:
255 Thy forces, ANNA, like a flood, shall whelm
256 (If heav'n does scepter'd innocence maintain)
257 His famish'd desolated realm;
258 And all the sons of Pharamond in vain
259 (Who with dishonest envy see
260 The sweet forbidden fruits of distant liberty)
261 Shall curse their Salic law, and wish a female reign.
262 A female reign like thine,
263 O ANNA, British heroine!
264 To thee afflicted empires fly for aid,
265 Where'er tyrannick standards are display'd,
266 From the wrong'd Iber to the threaten'd Rhine.
267 Thee, where the golden-sanded Tagus flows
268 Beneath fairi
i The old name of Lisbon, said to be built by Ulysses. Ulyssippo's walls,
269 The frighted Lusitanian calls;
270 Thee they who drink the Seine, with those
271 Who plow Iberian fields, implore,
272 To give the lab'ring world repose,
273 And universal peace restore:
274 Thee, Gallia; mournful to survive the fate
275 Of her fall'n grandeur and departed state;
276 By sad experience taught to own,
277 That virtue is a noble way to rise,
278 A surer passage to the skies,
279 Than Pelion upon Ossa thrown:
280 For they, who impiously presume
281 To grasp at heav'n, by JOVE'S eternal doom,
282 A prey to thunder shall become;
283 Or, sent ink
k One of the mountains where Jupiter lodged the giants. Aetna's fiery caves to groan,
284 Gain but an higher fall, a mountain for their tomb.