A MONODY On the DEATH of Queen CAROLINE.
By RICHARD WEST, Esq; Son to the Chancellor of Ireland, and Grandson to Bishop BURNET.
1 SING we no more of HYMENEAL lays,
2 Nor strew the land with myrtles and with bays:
3 The voice of joy is fled the BRITISH shore,
4 For CAROLINE'S no more:
5 And now our sorrows ask a sadder string;
6 Come, plaintive goddess of the Cyrrhan spring,
7 Pour thy deep note, and shed thy tuneful tear,
8 And, while we lose the memory of pain
9 In thy oblivious strain,
10 — Ah! drop thy cypress on yon mournful bier![Page 275]
11 Begin: nor more delay
12 The sacred meed of gratitude to pay:
13 Begin: whate'er immortal song can do,
14 To the dear name of CAROLINE is due:
15 Who loves the Muse, deserves the Muse's love:
16 Then raise thy numbers high,
17 Sound out her glory to the throne of Jove,
18 Spread the glad voice thro' all the ambient sky,
19 From the dull marble vindicate her praise,
20 And waft it down to lighten future days.
21 Ye bards to come, the song of truth attend:
22 This, this is she, the Muse's judge and friend!
23 The royal female! whose benignant hand
24 Throughout fair ALBION'S land
25 Dealt every useful, every decent part,
26 Each MEMPHIAN science, and each ATTICK art:
27 Within the Muse's bower
28 She oft was wont to lose the vacant hour,
29 Or underneath the sapient grot reclin'd,
30 Her soul to contemplation she resign'd,
31 And for awhile laid down
32 The painful, envied burthen of a crown:
33 Mean time thy rural ditty was not mute,
34 Sweet bard of MERLIN'S cave!
35 Tho' rude, thy ditty was of her, who gave
36 Thy voice to sing, and tun'd thy oaten flute[Page 276]
37 In strains unwonted to the ear of swain:
38 As when the lark, ambitious of the skies,
39 Quits the low harvest of the golden plain,
40 Taught by the sun's inspiring warmth to rise,
41 Sublime in air he spreads his dappled wings,
42 Mounts the blue aether, and in mounting sings.
43 But whither wanders the licentious song?
44 Such joyous notes to happier days belong!
45 Ah me! our happier days are now no more: —
46 Return, sad Muse: see pale BRITANNIA weep,
47 See all the sisters of the subject deep
48 Their sovereign's loss deplore!
49 See fond IERNE gives her sorrows vent,
50 And as she tunes her brazen lyre to woe,
51 Indulge her grief to flow! —
52 See even the northern ORCADES lament!
53 Nor ends the wailing here:
54 Where-e'er beneath our flag wild Ocean roars,
55 From farthest ORIENT to HESPERIA'S shores,
56 From torrid AFFRICK to the world's cold end,
57 The BRITISH woes extend:
58 And every colony has dropt a tear.
59 O honour'd flood! with reeds Pierian crown'd,
60 ISIS! whose argent waters glide along
61 Fair BELLOSITE'S Lycaean shades renown'd,
62 Now aid my feeble song;[Page 277]
63 And call thy chosen sons, and bid them bring
64 Their lays of DORICK air,
65 With lenient sounds to steal awhile from care
66 Th' inconsolable King:
67 O! sooth his anguish, and compose his pains
68 With artful unimaginable strains,
69 According sweetly to the golden lyre,
70 Such as might half inspire
71 The iron breast of HADES to resign
72 Our lost, lov'd CAROLINE.
73 These are thy glorious deeds, almighty Death!
74 These are thy triumphs o'er the sons of men,
75 That now receive the miserable breath,
76 Which the next moment they resign again!
77 Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
78 Our golden treasure, and our purpled state?
79 They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
80 Nor stay the fearful violence of Fate:
81 — Virtue herself shall fail:
82 Else now, if virtue ever could prevail,
83 Death had not dar'd to violate the throne,
84 Nor had BRITANNIA heard her sovereign groan.
85 — Ye nymphs! recall the song:
86 For heaven-born virtue does to heaven belong,
87 And scorns the meanest of her sons should die,
88 But opens him a passage to the sky;[Page 278]
89 Her rod ay-pointing to th' eternal goal,
90 From the brute earth she frees the ardent soul;
91 Swift from the vulgar herd aloft she springs,
92 Spurns the moist clay, and soars on azure wings,
93 Then hence with sorrows vain:
94 Ye Theban Muses! elevate the strain:
95 Search o'er the records of immortal fame,
96 And high refulgent on the female line,
97 Imblaze in starry characters the name
98 Of BRITISH CAROLINE:
99 While sacred story rings with SHEBA'S praise,
100 While BERENICE'S virtues still inspire
101 The CYRENEAN lyre,
102 And GLORIANA blooms in SPENSER'S lays;
103 Thy name, great Queen, shall glow in every page,
104 Shall dwell in every clime, and live in every age.
105 When GEORGE shall go, where WILLIAM went before,
106 And all the present world shall be no more;
107 When the fond factions of unjust mankind,
108 The mean, the mad, the envious, and the blind,
109 Shall turn to worms and dust;
110 Then Time, impartial judge, that states the price
111 Of each man's virtue, and of each man's vice,
112 From thy bright fame shall clear the cank'ring rust;
113 And O! the Muses ever shall be just.
114 But lo! what sudden radiance gilds the skies?
115 'Tis Gratitude descending from above,
116 Known by the sweetness of her dove-like eyes,
117 Daughter of truth and universal love!
118 To HENRY'S sacred dome she wafts along,
119 And on thy tomb she pours
120 Celestial sweets and aramanthine flowers:
121 The old, the young, the rich, the wretched crowd
122 Numerous around her, and with accents loud
123 Raise the mix'd voice, and pour the grateful song:
124 "Hail Queen adorn'd by nature and by art!
125 "Thine was each virtue of the head and heart;
126 "Thy people blest thee, and thy children lov'd,
127 "And thy King honour'd, and thy God approv'd, "
128 But here my labours cease:
129 'Tis time the foaming courser to release.
130 And thou, O royal shade,
131 Forgive the Muse that these vain honours paid;
132 A Muse as yet unheeded and unknown;
133 That dares to sacrifice to truth alone,
134 Not prone to blame, not hasty to commend,
135 No foe unjust, no mercenary friend,
136 No sensual bosom, no ungenerous mind,
137 And tho' not virtuous, virtuously inclin'd.