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The Poetical Works of Beattie, Blair, and Falconer by Rev. George Gilfillan [Ed.]

Part 7 out of 7

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Instructed thus by virtue's lore,
His happy steps the realms explore, 100
Where guilt and error are no more:
The clouds that veil'd his intellectual ray,
Before his breath dispelling, melt away:
Broke loose from pleasure's glittering chain,
He scorn'd her soft inglorious reign:
Convinced, resolved, to virtue then he turn'd,
And in his breast paternal glory burn'd.

CHORUS. Broke loose from pleasure's glittering chain,
He scorn'd her soft inglorious reign:
Convinced, resolved, to virtue then he turn'd, 110
And in his breast paternal glory burn'd.

So when on Britain's other hope she shone,
Like him the royal youth she won:
Thus taught, he bids his fleet advance
To curb the power of Spain and France:
Aloft his martial ensigns flow,
And hark! his brazen trumpets blow!
The watery profound,
Awaked by the sound,
All trembles around: 120
While Edward o'er the azure fields
Fraternal wonder wields:
High on the deck behold he stands,
And views around his floating bands
In awful order join:
They, while the warlike trumpet's strain,
Deep sounding, swells along the main,
Extend the embattled line.
Then Britain triumphantly saw
His armament ride 130
Supreme on the tide,
And o'er the vast ocean give law.

CHORUS. Then Britain triumphantly saw
His armament ride,
Supreme on the tide,
And o'er the vast ocean give law.

Now with shouting peals of joy,
The ships their horrid tubes display,
Tier over tier in terrible array,
And wait the signal to destroy. 140
The sailors all burn to engage:
Hark! hark! their shouts arise,
And shake the vaulted skies!
Exulting with bacchanal rage.
Then, Neptune, the hero revere,
Whose power is superior to thine!
And, when his proud squadrons appear,
The trident and chariot resign!

CHORUS. Then, Neptune, the hero revere,
Whose power is superior to thine! 150
And, when his proud squadrons appear,
The trident and chariot resign!

Albion, wake thy grateful voice!
Let thy hills and vales rejoice!
O'er remotest hostile regions
Thy victorious flags are known;
Thy resistless martial legions
Dreadful move from zone to zone.
Thy flaming bolts unerring roll,
And all the trembling globe control: 160
Thy seamen, invincibly true,
No menace, no fraud, can subdue:
To thy great trust
Severely just,
All dissonant strife they disclaim:
To meet the foe,
Their bosoms glow;
Who only are rivals in fame.

CHORUS. Thy seamen, invincibly true,
No menace, no fraud, can subdue: 170
All dissonant strife they disclaim,
And only are rivals in fame.

For Edward tune your harps, ye Nine!
Triumphant strike each living string;
For him, in ecstasy divine,
Your choral Io Paeans sing!
For him your festive concerts breathe!
For him your flowery garlands wreath!
Wake! O wake the joyful song!
Ye Fauns of the woods, 180
Ye Nymphs of the floods,
The musical current prolong!
Ye Silvans, that dance on the plain,
To swell the grand chorus accord!
Ye Tritons, that sport on the main,
Exulting, acknowledge your lord!
Till all the wild numbers combined,
That floating proclaim
Our Admiral's name,
In symphony roll on the wind! 190

CHORUS. Wake! O wake the joyful song!
Ye Silvans, that dance on the plain,
Ye Tritons, that sport on the main,
The musical current prolong!

Oh, while consenting Britons praise,
These votive measures deign to hear!
For thee my Muse awakes her lays,
For thee the unequal viol plays,
The tribute of a soul sincere.
Nor thou, illustrious chief, refuse 200
The incense of a nautic Muse!
For ah! to whom shall Neptune's sons complain,
But him whose arms unrivall'd rule the main?
Deep on my grateful breast
Thy favour is imprest:
No happy son of wealth or fame
To court a royal patron came!
A hapless youth, whose vital page
Was one sad lengthen'd tale of woe;
Where ruthless fate, impelling tides of rage, 210
Bade wave on wave in dire succession flow;
To glittering stars and titled names unknown,
Preferr'd his suit to thee alone.
The tale your sacred pity moved;
You felt, consented, and approved.
Then touch my strings, ye blest Pierian choir!
Exalt to rapture every happy line;
My bosom kindle with Promethean fire;
And swell each note with energy divine!
No more to plaintive sounds of woe 220
Let the vocal numbers flow!
Perhaps the chief to whom I sing
May yet ordain auspicious days,
To wake the lyre with nobler lays,
And tune to war the nervous string.
For who, untaught in Neptune's school,
Though all the powers of genius he possess,
Though disciplined by classic rule,
With daring pencil can display
The fight that thunders on the watery way; 230
And all its horrid incidents express?
To him, my Muse, these warlike strains belong;
Source of thy hope, and patron of thy song!

CHORUS. To him, my Muse, these warlike strains belong;
Source of thy hope, and patron of thy song!




A nymph of every charm possess'd,
That native virtue gives,
Within my bosom all confess'd,
In bright idea lives.
For her my trembling numbers play
Along the pathless deep,
While, sadly social with my lay,
The winds in concert weep.


If beauty's sacred influence charms
The rage of adverse fate;
Say why the pleasing soft alarms
Such cruel pangs create?
Since all her thoughts by sense refined,
Unartful truth express;
Say wherefore sense and truth are join'd
To give my soul distress?


If when her blooming lips I press,
Which vernal fragrance fills,
Through all my veins the sweet excess
In trembling motion thrills;
Say whence this secret anguish grows,
Congenial with my joy?
And why the touch, where pleasure glows,
Should vital peace destroy?


If, when my fair, in melting song,
Awakes the vocal lay,
Not all your notes, ye Phocian throng,
Such pleasing sounds convey;
Thus wrapt all o'er with fondest love,
Why heaves this broken sigh?
For then my blood forgets to move,
I gaze, adore, and die.


Accept, my charming maid, the strain
Which you alone inspire;
To thee the dying strings complain
That quiver on my lyre.
O give this bleeding bosom ease,
That knows no joy but thee;
Teach me thy happy art to please,
Or deign to love like me.



The springs of Helicon can winter bind,
And chill the fervour of a poet's mind?
What though the lowering skies and driving storm
The scenes of nature wide around deform,
The birds no longer sing, nor roses blow,
And all the landscape lies conceal'd in snow;
Yet rigid Winter still is known to spare
The brighter beauties of the lovely fair:
Ye lovely fair, your sacred influence bring,
And with your smiles anticipate the Spring! 10
Yet what avail the smiles of lovely maids,
Or vernal suns that glad the flowery glades?
The wood's green foliage, or the varying scene
Of fields and lawns, and gliding streams between?
What, to the wretch whom harder fates ordain
Through the long year to plough the stormy main?
No murmuring streams, no sound of distant sheep,
Or song of birds invite his eyes to sleep.
By toil exhausted, when he sinks to rest,
Beneath his sun-burnt head no flowers are prest: 20
Down on the deck his fainting limbs are laid,
No spreading trees dispense their cooling shade,
No zephyrs round his aching temples play,
No fragrant breezes noxious heats allay.
The rude, rough wind which stern AEolus sends,
Drives on in blasts, and while it cools, offends.
He wakes, but hears no music from the grove;
No varied landscape courts his eye to rove.
O'er the wide main he looks to distant skies,
Where nought but waves on rolling waves arise; 30
The boundless view fatigues his aching sight,
Nor yields his eye one object of delight.
No "female face divine," with cheering smiles,
The lingering hours of dangerous toil beguiles.
Yet distant beauty oft his genius fires,
And oft with love of sacred song inspires.
Even I, the least of all the tuneful train,
On the rough ocean try this artless strain:
Rouse then, ye bards, who happier fortunes prove,
And tune the lyre to Nature or to Love! 40



Amidst a wood of oaks with canvas leaves,
Which form'd a floating forest on the waves,
There stood a tower, whose vast stupendous size
Rear'd its huge mast, and seem'd to gore the skies,
From which a bloody pendant stretch'd afar
Its comet-tail, denouncing ample war:
Two younger giants, [1] of inferior height,
Display'd their sporting streamers to the sight:
The base below, another island rose,
To pour Britannia's thunder on her foes: 10
With bulk immense, like AEtna, she surveys
Above the rest, the lesser Cyclades:
Profuse of gold, in lustre like the sun,
Splendid with regal luxury she shone,
Lavish in wealth, luxuriant in her pride,
Behold the gilded mass exulting ride!
Her curious prow divides the silver waves,
In the salt ooze her radiant sides she laves;
From stem to stern, her wondrous length survey,
Rising a beauteous Venus from the sea: 20
Her stem, with naval drapery engraved,
Show'd mimic warriors, who the tempest braved;
Whose visage fierce defied the lashing surge,
Of Gallic pride the emblematic scourge.
Tremendous figures, lo! her stern displays,
And holds a Pharos [2] of distinguish'd blaze:
By night it shines a star of brightest form,
To point her way, and light her through the storm:
See dread engagements pictured to the life,
See admirals maintain the glorious strife: 30
Here breathing images in painted ire,
Seem for their country's freedom to expire:
Victorious fleets the flying fleets pursue--
Here strikes a ship, and there exults a crew:
A frigate here blows up with hideous glare,
And adds fresh terrors to the bleeding war.
But leaving feigned ornaments, behold!
Eight hundred youths, of heart and sinew bold,
Mount up her shrouds, or to her tops ascend,
Some haul her braces, some her foresail bend; 40
Full ninety brazen guns her port-holes fill,
Ready with nitrous magazines to kill;
From dread embrazures formidably peep,
And seem to threaten ruin to the deep:
On pivots fix'd, the well-ranged swivels lie,
Or to point downward, or to brave the sky;
While peteraroes swell with infant rage,
Prepared, though small, with fury to engage.
Thus arm'd, may Britain long her state maintain,
And with triumphant navies rule the main! 50

[Footnote 1: 'Younger giants:' fore and mizen masts.]

[Footnote 2: 'Pharos:' her poop lanthorn.]


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