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AN ODE, Humbly Inscrib'd to the QUEEN. ON THE Glorious Success OF Her MAJESTY's Arms, 1706.

Written in Imitation of Spencer's Style.

Te non paventis funera Galliæ, Duræque tellus audit Iberiæ: Te cæde gaudentes Sicambri Compositis venerantur Armis. Hor. [...]
[Page]
I.
1 When Great Augustus govern'd Antient Rome,
2 And sent his Conqu'ring Bands to Foreign Wars;
3 Abroad when Dreaded, and Belov'd at Home,
4 He saw his Fame encreasing with his Years;
5 Horace, Great Bard (so Fate ordain'd) arose;
6 And Bold, as were his Countrymen in Fight,
7 Snatch'd their fair Actions from degrading Prose,
8 And set their Battels in Eternal Light:
9 High as their Trumpets Tune His Lyre he strung;
10 And with his Prince's Arms He moraliz'd his Song.
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II.
11 When bright Eliza rul'd Britannia's State,
12 Widely distributing Her high Commands;
13 And boldly Wise, and fortunately Great,
14 Freed the glad Nations from Tyrannick Bands;
15 An equal Genius was in Spenser found:
16 To the high Theme He match'd his Noble Lays:
17 He travell'd England o'er on Fairy Ground,
18 In Mystic Notes to Sing his Monarch's Praise:
19 Reciting wond'rous Truths in pleasing Dreams,
20 He deck'd Eliza's Head with Gloriana's Beams.
III.
21 But, Greatest Anna! while Thy Arms pursue
22 Paths of Renown, and climb Ascents of Fame,
23 Which nor Augustus, nor Eliza knew;
24 What Poet shall be found to sing Thy Name?
25 What Numbers shall record, what Tongue shall say
26 Thy Wars on Land, Thy Triumphs on the Main?
27 O Fairest Model of Imperial Sway!
28 What Equal Pen shall write Thy wond'rous Reign?
29 Who shall Attempts and Feats of Arms rehearse,
30 Not yet by Story told, nor parallel'd by Verse?
IV.
31 Me all too mean for such a Task I weet:
32 Yet if the Sovereign Lady deigns to Smile,
33 I'll follow Horace with impetuous Heat,
34 And cloath the Verse in Spenser's Native Style.
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35 By these Examples rightly taught to sing,
36 And Smit with Pleasure of my Country's Praise,
37 Stretching the Plumes of an uncommon Wing,
38 High as Olympus I my Flight will raise:
39 And latest Times shall in my Numbers read
40 Anna's Immortal Fame, and Marlbrô's hardy Deed.
V.
41 As the strong Eagle in the silent Wood,
42 Mindless of warlike Rage, and hostile Care,
43 Plays round the rocky Cliff, or crystal Flood;
44 'Till by Jove's high Behests call'd out to War,
45 And charg'd with Thunder of his angry King,
46 His Bosom with the vengeful Message glows:
47 Upward the Noble Bird directs his Wing;
48 And tow'ring round his Master's Earth-born Foes,
49 Swift He collects his fatal Stock of Ire;
50 Lifts his fierce Talon high, and darts the forked Fire.
VI.
51 Sedate and calm thus Victor Marlbrô sate,
52 Shaded with Laurels, in his Native Land;
53 'Till Anna calls Him from his soft Retreat,
54 And gives Her Second Thunder to his Hand.
55 Then leaving sweet Repose, and gentle Ease,
56 With ardent Speed He seeks the distant Foe:
57 Marching o'er Hills and Vales, o'er Rocks and Seas,
58 He meditates, and strikes the wond'rous Blow.
59 Our Thought flies slower than Our General's Fame:
60 Grasps He the Bolt? (We ask) when He has hurl'd the Flame.
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VII.
61 When fierce Bavar on Judoign's spacious Plain
62 Did from afar the British Chief behold;
63 Betwixt Despair, and Rage, and Hope, and Pain,
64 Something within his warring Bosom roll'd:
65 He views that Fav'rite of Indulgent Fame,
66 Whom whilom He had met on Ister's Shoar:
67 Too well, alas! the Man He knows the same,
68 Whose Prowess there repell'd the Boyan Pow'r;
69 And sent Them trembling thro' the frighted Lands,
70 Swift as the Whirlwind drives Arabia's scatter'd Sands.
VIII.
71 His former Losses He forgets to grieve;
72 Absolves his Fate, if with a kinder Ray
73 It now would shine, and only give Him leave
74 To Balance the Account of Blenheim's Day.
75 So the fell Lion in the lonely Glade,
76 His Side still smarting with the Hunter's Spear,
77 Tho' deeply wounded, no way yet dismay'd,
78 Roars terrible, and meditates new War;
79 In sullen Fury traverses the Plain,
80 To find the vent'rous Foe, and Battel Him again.
IX.
81 Misguided Prince! no longer urge Thy Fate,
82 Nor tempt the Hero to unequal War;
83 Fam'd in Misfortune, and in Ruin Great,
84 Confess the Force of Marlbrô's stronger Star.
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85 Those Laurel Groves (the Merits of thy Youth)
86 Which Thou from Mahomet didst greatly gain,
87 While bold Assertor of resistless Truth,
88 Thy Sword did Godlike Liberty maintain,
89 Must from thy Brow their falling Honors shed;
90 And their transplanted Wreaths must deck a worthier Head.
X.
91 Yet cease the Ways of Providence to blame,
92 And Human Faults with Human Grief confess:
93 'Tis Thou art chang'd; while Heav'n is still the same:
94 From Thy ill Councils date Thy ill Success.
95 Impartial Justice holds Her equal Scales;
96 'Till stronger Virtue does the Weight incline:
97 If over Thee thy glorious Foe prevails;
98 He now Defends the Cause, that once was Thine.
99 Righteous the War, the Champion shall subdue;
100 For Jove's great Handmaid Power, must Jove's Decrees pursue.
XI.
101 Hark! the dire Trumpets sound their shrill Alarms:
102 Auverquerque, branch'd from the renown'd Nassaws,
103 Hoary in War, and bent beneath his Arms,
104 His Glorious Sword with Dauntless Courage draws.
105 When anxious Britain mourn'd her parting Lord,
106 And all of William that was Mortal Dy'd;
107 The faithful Hero had receiv'd This Sword
108 From His expiring Master's much-lov'd Side.
109 Oft from it's fatal Ire has Louis flown,
110 Where-e'er Great William led, or Maese and Sambre run.
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XII.
111 But brandish'd high, in an ill-omen'd Hour
112 To Thee, proud Gaul, behold thy justest Fear,
113 The Master Sword, Disposer of thy Power:
114 'Tis That which Cæsar gave the British Peer.
115 He took the Gift: Nor ever will I sheath
116 This Steel, (so Anna's high Behests ordain)
117 The General said, unless by Glorious Death
118 Absolv'd, 'till Conquest has confirm'd Your Reign.
119 Returns like these Our Mistress bids us make,
120 When from a foreign Prince a Gift Her Britons take.
XIII.
121 And now fierce Gallia rushes on her Foes,
122 Her Force augmented by the Boyan Bands:
123 So Volga's Stream, increas'd by Mountain Snows,
124 Rolls with new Fury down thro' Russia's Lands.
125 Like two great Rocks against the raging Tide,
126 (If Virtue's Force with Nature's We compare)
127 Unmov'd the Two united Chiefs abide,
128 Sustain the Impulse, and receive the War.
129 Round their firm Sides in vain the Tempest beats;
130 And still the foaming Wave with lessen'd Pow'r retreats.
XIV.
131 The Rage dispers'd, the Glorious Pair advance,
132 With mingl'd Anger, and collected Might,
133 To turn the War, and tell aggressing France,
134 How Britain's Sons and Britain's Friends can fight.
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135 On Conquest fix'd, and covetous of Fame,
136 Behold Them rushing thro' the Gallic Host.
137 Thro' standing Corn so runs the sudden Flame,
138 Or Eastern Winds along Sicilia's Coast.
139 They deal their Terrors to the adverse Nation:
140 Pale Death attends their Arms, and ghastly Desolation.
XV.
141 But while with fiercest Ire Bellona glows,
142 And Europe rather Hopes than Fears Her Fate;
143 While Britain presses Her afflicted Foes;
144 What Horror damps the Strong, and quells the Great?
145 Whence look the Soldiers Cheeks dismay'd and pale?
146 Erst ever dreadful, know They now to dread?
147 The Hostile Troops, I ween, almost prevail;
148 And the Pursuers only not recede.
149 Alas! their lessen'd Rage proclaims their Grief!
150 For anxious, lo! They croud around their falling Chief!
XVI.
151 I thank Thee, Fate, exclaims the fierce Bavar;
152 Let Boya's Trumpet grateful Iö's sound:
153 I saw Him fall, their Thunderbolt of War:
154 Ever to Vengeance sacred be the Ground
155 Vain Wish! short Joy! the Hero mounts again
156 In greater Glory, and with fuller Light:
157 The Ev'ning Star so falls into the Main,
158 To rise at Morn more prevalently bright.
159 He rises safe: but near, too near his Side,
160 A good Man's grievous Loss, a faithful Servant dy'd.
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XVII.
161 Propitious Mars! the Battel is regain'd:
162 The Foe with lessen'd Wrath disputes the Field:
163 The Briton fights, by fav'ring Gods sustain'd:
164 Freedom must live; and lawless Power must yield.
165 Vain now the Tales which fab'ling Poets tell,
166 That wav'ring Conquest still desires to rove!
167 In Marlbrô's Camp the Goddess knows to dwell:
168 Long as the Hero's Life remains her Love.
169 Again France flies: again the Duke pursues:
170 And on Ramillia's Plains He Blenheim's Fame renews.
XVIII.
171 Great Thanks, O Captain great in Arms! receive
172 From thy Triumphant Country's public Voice:
173 Thy Country greater Thanks can only give
174 To Anne, to Her who made those Arms Her Choice.
175 Recording Schellenberg's, and Blenheim's Toils,
176 We dreaded lest Thou should'st those Toils repeat:
177 We view'd the Palace charg'd with Gallic Spoils;
178 And in those Spoils We thought thy Praise compleat:
179 For never Greek, We deem'd, nor Roman Knight,
180 In Characters like these did e'er his Acts indite.
XIX.
181 Yet mindless still of Ease, Thy Virtue flies
182 A Pitch to Old and Modern Times unknown:
183 Those goodly Deeds which We so highly prize,
184 Imperfect seem, great Chief, to Thee alone.
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185 Those Heights, where William's Virtue might have staid,
186 And on the Subject World look'd safely down,
187 By Marlbrô pass'd, the Props and Steps were made,
188 Sublimer yet to raise his Queen's Renown:
189 Still gaining more, still slighting what He gain'd,
190 Nought done the Hero deem'd, while ought undone remain'd.
XX.
191 When swift-wing'd Rumor told the mighty Gaul,
192 How lessen'd from the Field Bavar was fled;
193 He wept the Swiftness of the Champion's Fall;
194 And thus the Royal Treaty-Breaker said:
195 And lives He yet, the Great, the Lost Bavar,
196 Ruin to Gallia, in the Name of Friend?
197 Tell Me, how far has Fortune been severe?
198 Has the Foe's Glory, or our Grief an End?
199 Remains there, of the Fifty Thousand lost,
200 To save our threaten'd Realm, or guard our shatter'd Coast?
XXI.
201 To the close Rock the frighted Raven flies,
202 Soon as the rising Eagle cuts the Air:
203 The shaggy Wolf unseen and trembling lyes,
204 When the hoarse Roar proclaims the Lion near.
205 Ill-starr'd did We our Forts and Lines forsake,
206 To dare our British Foes to open Fight:
207 Our Conquest We by Stratagem should make:
208 Our Triumph had been founded in our Flight.
209 'Tis Our's, by Craft and by Surprize to gain:
210 'Tis Their's, to meet in Arms, and Battel in the Plain.
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XXII.
211 The ancient Father of this Hostile Brood,
212 Their boasted Brute, undaunted snatch'd his Gods
213 From burning Troy, and Xanthus red with Blood,
214 And fix'd on Silver Thames his dire Abodes;
215 And this be Troynovante, He said, the Seat
216 By Heav'n ordain'd, My Sons, Your lasting Place:
217 Superior here to all the Bolts of Fate
218 Live, mindful of the Author of your Race,
219 Whom neither Greece, nor War, nor Want, nor Flame,
220 Nor Great Peleides' Arm, nor Juno's Rage could tame.
XXIII.
221 Their Tudor's hence, and Stuart's Off-spring flow:
222 Hence Edward, dreadful with his Sable Shield,
223 Talbot, to Gallia's Pow'r Eternal Foe,
224 And Seymour, fam'd in Council, or in Field:
225 Hence Nevil, Great to Settle or Dethrone,
226 And Drake, and Ca'ndish, Terrors of the Sea:
227 Hence Butler's Sons, o'er Land and Ocean known,
228 Herbert's, and Churchill's Warring Progeny:
229 Hence the long Roll which Gallia should conceal:
230 For, oh! Who vanquish'd, loves the Victor's Fame to tell?
XXIV.
231 Envy'd Britannia, sturdy as the Oak,
232 Which on her Mountain-Top She proudly bears,
233 Eludes the Ax, and sprouts against the Stroke;
234 Strong from her Wounds, and greater by her Wars.
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235 And as Those Teeth, which Cadmus sow'd in Earth,
236 Produc'd new Youth, and furnish'd fresh Supplies:
237 So with young Vigor, and succeeding Birth,
238 Her Losses more than recompens'd arise;
239 And ev'ry Age She with a Race is Crown'd,
240 For Letters more Polite, in Battels more Renown'd.
XXV.
241 Obstinate Pow'r, whom Nothing can repel;
242 Not the fierce Saxon, nor the cruel Dane,
243 Nor deep Impression of the Norman Steel,
244 Nor Europe's Force amass'd by envious Spain,
245 Nor France on universal Sway intent,
246 Oft breaking Leagues, and oft renewing Wars,
247 Nor (frequent Bane of weaken'd Government)
248 Their own intestine Feuds, and mutual Jars;
249 Those Feuds and Jars, in which I trusted more,
250 Than in My Troops, and Fleets, and all the Gallic Pow'r.
XXVI.
251 To fruitful Rheims, or fair Lutetia's Gate
252 What Tidings shall the Messenger convey?
253 Shall the loud Herald our Success relate,
254 Or mitred Priest appoint the Solemn Day?
255 Alas! my Praises They no more must Sing;
256 They to my Statue now must Bow no more:
257 Broken, repuls'd is their Immortal King:
258 Fall'n, fall'n for ever is the Gallic Pow'r
259 The Woman Chief is Master of the War:
260 Earth She has freed by Arms, and vanquish'd Heav'n by Pray'r.
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XXVII.
261 While thus the ruin'd Foe's Despair commends
262 Thy Council and Thy Deed, Victorious queen,
263 What shall Thy Subjects say, and what Thy Friends?
264 How shall Thy Triumphs in Our Joy be seen?
265 Oh! daign to let the Eldest of the Nine
266 Recite Britannia Great, and Gallia Free:
267 Oh! with her Sister Sculpture let her join
268 To raise, Great Anne, the Monument to Thee;
269 To Thee, of all our Good the Sacred Spring;
270 To Thee, our dearest Dread; to Thee, our softer King.
XXVIII.
271 Let Europe sav'd the Column high erect,
272 Than Trajan's higher, or than Antonine's;
273 Where sembling Art may carve the fair Effect,
274 And full Atchievement of Thy great Designs.
275 In a calm Heav'n, and a serener Air,
276 Sublime the Queen shall on the Summit stand,
277 From Danger far, as far remov'd from Fear,
278 And pointing down to Earth Her dread Command.
279 All Winds, all Storms that threaten Human Woe,
280 Shall sink beneath Her Feet, and spread their Rage below.
XXIX.
281 There Fleets shall strive by Winds and Waters tost;
282 'Till the young Austrian on Iberia's Strand,
283 Great as Æneas on the Latian Coast,
284 Shall fix his Foot: and This, be This the Land,
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285 Great Jove, where I for ever will remain
286 (The Empire's other Hope shall say) and here
287 Vanquish'd, Intomb'd I'll lye, or Crown'd I'll Reign
288 O Virtue, to thy British Mother dear!
289 Like the fam'd Trojan suffer and abide;
290 For Anne is Thine, I ween, as Venus was His Guide.
XXX.
291 There, in Eternal Characters engrav'd,
292 Vigo, and Gibraltar, and Barcelone,
293 Their Force destroy'd, their Privileges sav'd,
294 Shall Anna's Terrors, and Her Mercies own:
295 Spain, from th'Usurper Bourbon's Arms retriev'd,
296 Shall with new Life and grateful Joy appear,
297 Numb'ring the Wonders which That Youth atchiev'd,
298 Whom Anna clad in Arms, and sent to War;
299 Whom Anna sent to claim Iberia's Throne;
300 And made Him more than King, in calling Him Her Son.
XXXI.
301 There Ister pleas'd, by Blenheim's glorious Field
302 Rolling, shall bid his Eastern Waves declare
303 Germania sav'd by Britain's ample Shield,
304 And bleeding Gaul afflicted by her Spear:
305 Shall bid Them mention Marlbrô, on that Shore
306 Leading his Islanders, renown'd in Arms,
307 Thro' Climes, where never British Chief before
308 Or pitch'd his Camp, or sounded his Alarms:
309 Shall bid Them bless the Queen, who made his Streams
310 Glorious as those of Boyn, and safe as those of Thames.
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XXXII.
311 Brabantia, clad with Fields, and crown'd with Tow'rs,
312 With decent Joy shall her Deliv'rer meet;
313 Shall own Thy Arms, Great Queen, and bless Thy Pow'rs,
314 Laying the Keys beneath Thy Subject's Feet.
315 Flandria, by Plenty made the Home of War,
316 Shall weep her Crime, and bow to Charles restor'd;
317 With double Vows shall bless Thy happy Care,
318 In having drawn, and having sheath'd the Sword.
319 From these their Sister Provinces shall know
320 How Anne supports a Friend, and how forgives a Foe.
XXXIII.
321 Bright Swords, and crested Helms, and pointed Spears
322 In artful Piles around the Work shall lye;
323 And Shields indented deep in ancient Wars,
324 Blazon'd with Signs of Gallic Heraldry;
325 And Standards with distinguish'd Honors bright,
326 Marks of high Pow'r and National Command,
327 Which Valois' Sons, and Bourbon's bore in Fight,
328 Or gave to Foix', or Montmorancy's Hand:
329 Great Spoils, which Gallia must to Britain yield,
330 From Cressy's Battel sav'd, to grace Ramillia's Field.
XXXIV.
331 And as fine Art the Spaces may dispose,
332 The knowing Thought and curious Eye shall see
333 Thy Emblem, Gracious Queen, the British Rose,
334 Type of sweet Rule, and gentle Majesty:
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335 The Northern Thistle, whom no Hostile Hand
336 Unhurt too rudely may provoke, I ween;
337 Hibernia's Harp, Device of Her Command,
338 And Parent of Her Mirth, shall there be seen:
339 Thy vanquish'd Lillies, France, decay'd and torn,
340 Shall with disorder'd Pomp the lasting Work adorn.
XXXV.
341 Beneath, Great Queen, oh! very far beneath,
342 Near to the Ground, and on the humble Base,
343 To save Her self from Darkness, and from Death,
344 That Muse desires the last, the lowest Place;
345 Who tho' unmeet, yet touch'd the trembling String;
346 For the fair Fame of Anne and Albion's Land,
347 Who durst of War and Martial Fury Sing:
348 And when Thy Will, and when Thy Subject's Hand
349 Had quell'd those Wars, and bid that Fury cease;
350 Hangs up her grateful Harp to Conquest, and to Peace.

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Title (in Source Edition): AN ODE, Humbly Inscrib'd to the QUEEN. ON THE Glorious Success OF Her MAJESTY's Arms, 1706. Written in Imitation of Spencer's Style.
Author: Matthew Prior
Themes:
Genres: Spenserian stanza; narrative verse

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Source edition

Poems on Several Occasions [English poems only]. London: Printed for JACOB TONSON at Shakespear's-Head over against Katharine-Street in the Strand, and JOHN BARBER upon Lambeth-Hill. MDCCXVIII., 1718, pp. 245-265. [42],506,[6]p.: ill.; 2°. (ESTC T075639)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

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