An ODE ON THE DEATH of Mr. PELHAM.
An honest man's the noblest work of God! POPE.
1 LET others hail the rising sun,
2 I bow to that whose course is run,
3 Which sets in endless night;
4 Whose rays benignant bless'd this isle,
5 Made peaceful Nature round us smile
6 With calm, but cheerful light.
7 No bounty past provokes my praise,
8 No future prospects prompt my lays,
9 From real grief they flow;
10 I catch th' alarm from Britain's fears,
11 My sorrows fall with Britain's tears,
12 And join a nation's woe.
13 See — as you pass the crowded street,
14 Despondence clouds each face you meet,
15 All their lost friend deplore:
16 You read in every pensive eye,
17 You hear in ev'ry broken sigh,
18 That Pelham is no more.
19 If thus each Briton be alarm'd,
20 Whom but his distant influence warm'd,
21 What grief their breasts must rend,
22 Who in his private virtues bless'd,
23 By Nature's dearest tyes possess'd
24 The Husband, Father, Friend!
25 What! mute ye bards? — no mournful verse,
26 No chaplets to adorn his hearse,
27 To crown the good and just?
28 Your flowers in warmer regions bloom,
29 You seek no pensions from the tomb,
30 No laurels from the dust.
31 When pow'r departed with his breath,
32 The sons of Flatt'ry fled from death:
33 Such insects swarm at noon.
34 Not for herself my Muse is griev'd,
35 She never ask'd, nor e'er receiv'd,
36 One ministerial boon.
37 Hath some peculiar strange offence,
38 Against us arm'd Omnipotence,
39 To check the nation's pride?
40 Behold th' appointed punishment!
41 At length the vengeful bolt is sent,
42 It fell — when Pelham dy'd!
43 Uncheck'd by shame, unaw'd by dread,
44 When Vice triumphant rears her head,
45 Vengeance can sleep no more;
46 The evil angel stalks at large,
47 The good submits, resigns his charge,
48 And quits th' unhallow'd shore.
49 The same sad morna
a The 6th of March, 1754, was remarkable for the publication the works of a late Lord, and the death of Mr. Pelham. to church and state,
50 (So for our sins 'twas fix'd by fate)
51 A double stroke was giv'n;
52 Black as the whirlwinds of the north,
53 St. J—n's fell Genius issu'd forth,
54 And Pelham fled to heav'n!
55 By angels watch'd in Eden's bow'rs,
56 Our parents pass'd their peaceful hours,
57 Nor guilt nor pain they knew;
58 But on the day which usher'd in
59 The hell-born train of mortal sin,
60 The heav'nly guards withdrew.
61 Look down, much honour'd shade, below,
62 Still let thy pity aid our woe;
63 Stretch out thy healing hand;
64 Resume those feelings, which on earth
65 Proclaim'd thy patriot love and worth,
66 And sav'd a sinking land.
67 Search with thy more than mortal eye,
68 The breasts of all thy friends: descry
69 What there has got possession.
70 See if thy unsuspecting heart,
71 In some for truth mistook not art,
72 For principle, profession.
73 From these, the pests of human kind,
74 Whom royal bounty cannot bind,
75 Protect our parent King:
76 Unmask their treach'ry to his sight,
77 Drag forth the vipers into light,
78 And crush them ere they sting.
79 If such his trust and honours share,
80 Again exert thy guardian care,
81 Each venom'd heart disclose;
82 On Him, on Him, our all depends,
83 Oh save him from his treach'rous friends,
84 He cannot fear his foes.
85 Whoe'er shall at the helm preside,
86 Still let thy prudence be his guide,
87 To stem the troubled wave;
88 But chiefly whisper in his ear,
89 "That GEORGE is open, just, sincere,
90 "And dares to scorn a knave. "
91 No selfish views t' oppress mankind,
92 No mad ambition fir'd thy mind,
93 To purchase fame with blood;
94 Thy bosom glow'd with purer heat;
95 Convinc'd that to be truly great,
96 Is only to be good.
97 To hear no lawless passion's call,
98 To serve thy King, yet feel for all,
99 Such was thy glorious plan!
100 Wisdom with gen'rous love took part,
101 Together work thy head and heart,
102 The Minister and Man.
103 Unite, ye kindred sons of worth;
104 Strangle bold faction in its birth;
105 Be Britain's weal your view!
106 For this great end let all combine,
107 Let virtue link each fair design,
108 And Pelham live in you.