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Starves in the midst of Nature's bounty curst,
O Liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores ; How has she oft exhausted all her stores, How oft in fields of death thy presence sought, Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought ! On foreign mountains may the Sun refine The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine, With citron groves adorn a distant soil, And the fat olive swell with floods of oil : We envy not the warmer clime, that lies In ten degrees of more indulgent skies, Nor at the coarseness of our Heaven repine, Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine : 'Tis Liberty that crowns Britannia's isle, And makes her barren rocks and her bleak moun
tains smile. Others with towering piles may please the sight, And in their proud aspiring domes delight; A nicer touch to the stretcht canvas give, Or teach their animated rocks to live : 'Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate, And hold in balance each contending state,
To threaten bold presumptuous kings with war,
their terrours cease, And all the northern world lies hush'd in peace.
Th' ambitious Gaul beholds with secret dread Her thunder aim'd at his aspiring head, And fain her god-like sons would disunite By foreign gold, or by domestic spite : But strives in vain to conquer or divide, Whom Nassau's arms defend and counsels guide.
Fir'd with the name, which I so oft have found The distant climes and different tongues resound, I bridle-in my struggling Muse with pain,' That longs to launch into a bolder strain.
But I 've already troubled you too long, Nor dare attempt a more adventurous song. My humble verse demands a softer theme, A painted meadow, or a purling stream; Unfit for heroes : whom immortal lays, And lines, like Virgil's, or like yours, should praise.
TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH, 1705.
Rheni pacator et Istri. Omnis in hoc uno variis discordia cessit Ordinibus; lætatur eques, plauditque senator, Votaque patricio certant plebeia favori.
CLAUD. de Laud. Stilic. Esse aliquam in terris gentem quæ suâ impensâ,
suo labore ac periculo, bella gerat pro libertate aliorum. Nec hoc finitimis, aut propinquæ vicinitatis hominibus, aut terris continenti junctis præstet. Maria trajiciat : ne quod toto orbe terrarum injustum imperium sit, et ubique jus, fas, lex, potentissima sint. Liv. Hist. lib. 33.
WHILE crowds of princes your deserts proclaim,
The haughty Gaul beheld, with towering pride,
Ausonia's states, the victor to restrain,
To Britain's queen the nations turn their eyes, On her resolves the western world relies, Confiding still, amidst its dire alarms, In Anna's councils, and in Churchill's arms. Thrice happy Britain, from the kingdoms rent, To sit the guardian of the continent ! That sees her bravest son advanc'd so high, And flourishing so near her prince's eye; Thy favourites grow not up by fortune's sport, Or from the crimes or follies of a court; On the firm basis of desert they rise, From long-try'd faith, and friendship's holy ties : Their sovereign's well-distinguish'd smiles they
share, Her ornaments in peace, her strength in war; The nation thanks them with a public voice; By showers of blessings Heaven approves their
Envy itself is dumb, in wonder lost,
Soon as soft vernal breezes warm the sky.
Our godlike leader, ere the stream he past, The mighty scheme of all his labours cast, Forming the wondrous year within his thought; His bosom glow'd with battles yet unfought. The long laborious march he first surveys, And joins the distant Danube to the Maese, Between whose floods such pathless forests grow, Such mountains rise, so many rivers flow : The toil looks lovely in the hero's eyes, And danger serves but to enhance the prize.
Big with the fate of Europe, he renews His dreadful course, and the proud foe pursues ! Infected by the burning Scorpion's heat, The sultry gales round his chaf'd temples beat,