1 WHERE yonder trees rise high in cheerful air,
2 Where yonder banks eternal verdure wear,
3 And opening flow'rs diffusing sweets around
4 Paint with their vivid hues the happy ground;
5 While Thames majestic rolls the meads between,
6 And with his silver current crowns the scene;
7 There GARRICK, satiate of well-earn'd applause,
8 From crowds, and shouting theatres withdraws:
9 There courts the Muse, turns o'er th' instructive page,
10 And meditates new triumphs for the stage.
11 Thine, SHAKESPEAR, chief — for thou must ever shine
12 His pride, his boast, unequal'd and divine.
13 There too thy vot'ry to thy merit just,
14 Hath rais'd the dome, and plac'd the honour'd bust,
15 Bidding the pile to future times proclaim
16 His veneration for thy mighty name.
17 A place more fit his zeal could never find
18 Than this fair spot, an emblem of thy mind —
19 As hill and dale there charm the wond'ring eye,
20 Such sweet variety thy scenes supply —[Page 274]
21 Like the tall trees sublime thy genius tow'rs,
22 Sprightly thy fancy, as the opening flow'rs,
23 While copious as the tide Thames pours along,
24 Flow the sweet numbers of thy heav'nly song,
25 Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong —
26 Look down, great shade, with pride this tribute see,
27 The hand that pays it makes it worthy thee —
28 As fam'd Apelles was allow'd alone
29 To paint the form august of Philip's son,
30 None but a GARRICK can, O bard divine!
31 Lay a fit offering on thy hallow'd shrine.
32 To speak thy worth is his peculiar boast,
33 He best can tell it, for he feels it most.
34 Blest bard! thy fame thro' ev'ry age shall grow,
35 Till nature cease to charm, or Thames to flow.
36 Thou too, with him, whose fame thy talents raise,
37 Shalt share our wonder, and divide our praise;
38 Blended with his thy merits rise to view,
39 And half thy SHAKESPEAR'S fame to thee is due:
40 Unless the actor with the bard conspire,
41 How impotent his strength, how faint his fire!
42 One boasts the mine, one brings the gold to light,
43 And the muse triumphs in the actor's might;
44 Too weak to give her own conceptions birth,
45 Till all-expressive action call them forth.
46 Thus the sweet pipe, mute in itself, no sound
47 Sends forth, nor breathes its pleasing notes around;
48 But if some swain with happy skill endu'd,
49 Inspire with animating breath the wood,[Page 275]
50 Wak'd into voice, it pours its tuneful strains,
51 And harmony divine enchants the plains.
Quod spiro, et placeo, si placeo tuum est —HOR.