Samuel Boyse

(1708-1749 / Dublin/ Ireland)

An Ode Sacred To The Birth Of The Marquis Of Tavistock. - Poem by Samuel Boyse

Propitious Goddess of immortal song,
URANIA! from thy starry height descend;
As to thy care historic truths belong,
Inspire the measures, and the Muse befriend.
If virtue, and the weal of human-kind,
If kindred goodness thy protection claim;
Deign, pow'r benevolent, the wreath to bind,
Which duty brings to Russel's nascent name.
Charm'd with the hope new patriots still shall rise,
And with successive lustre gild Britannia's skies.

As o'er the blue expanse of golden light,
The orient sun ascending spreads her ray!
So BRITAIN pleas'd directs her smiling sight,
And views thy heir disclos'd to chearful day!
From the first dawn of thy distinguish'd name,
Observant, has she mark'd thy glorious race,
With faithful zeal, assert her antient fame;
Alike her ornaments in arms or peace:
Patriots and chiefs, who for her rights have stood,
And sanctify'd her laws, with their devoted blood!

Such was her RUSSEL, whose exalted mind
In virtue steel'd, by liberty inspir'd,
Glow'd with the gen'rous love of human-kind,
The point, to which his ev'ry thought aspir'd;
Not pleasure's sun-shine, nor ambition's crown,
Which charms the wanton, or deceives the weak;
Not instant death, nor the stern tyrant's frown,
The godlike martyr's steady soul could shake;
With fortitude he bore the friendly strife,
And smil'd for Britain's sake to yield his noble life!

Hail generous warmth! hail all-enliv'ning ray!
Which lawless force repels, and shines to save!
Hail emanation sprung from heav'nly day,
Fix'd in the bosom of the truly brave!
As thro' its lucid orb the radiant gem
Beams, self-supply'd, the blaze of living light:
So keeps unblemish'd honour its esteem;
So gains the judgment, while it charms the sight;
Which envy strives, but strives in vain to veil,
Too strong for all the clouds its brightness would conceal.

Early, illustrious peer, thy generous breast
This spark of worth hereditary caught;
Early thy love for freedom shone confess'd,
Seen in thy act, and rooted in thy thought;
Aw'd by no pow'r, no mean temptation sway'd,
Thy voice still follow'd truth's impartial side;
Scorn'd the vain blandishments ambition made,
A dignity beyond the reach of pride!
Merit intrinsical, outshining far
Th' embellishments of pomp, or tinsel of a star!

When to thy brow the ducal wreath was giv'n,
Applauding BRITAIN saw thy rising state;
Thy honours seem'd the care of fav'ring heav'n,
That for thy country smil'd to make thee great.
'Twas this to GOWER'S worth thy choice ally'd,
That bless'd thee with a British Portia's charms;
That gave thee JULIANA, spotless bride,
A treasur'd shrine of virtue to thy arms;
And now has crown'd your Union with an heir,
To long descending days, the lasting name to bear.

Nor placid thou, amidst the general joy,
Thy TAVISTOCK'S auspicious birth creates,
The Muse reject, who with delighted eye,
Beholds the future bliss thy heir awaits;
Soon (does she hope) with native ardour fir'd,
His conscious breast the patriot's fire shall know;
As the young eaglet rises self-inspir'd.
Lifts the strong plume, and leave the world below;
Plays in the solar flame, delights above,
And learns to grasp the bolts of formidable JOVE.

Illustrious youth, may heav'n to thee allow
A life secure from every wayward fate:
Propitious hear the faithful Muse's vow,
And make the circle of thy fame complete.
May every Muse with every grace conspire
Thy form to finish, and thy soul to raise,
Thy tender youth with virtue's love inspire;
Virtue! alone the Source of lasting praise;
A joy, which only noblest minds can know,
And truth's fair hand, alone, can authoriz'd below.

And once if aught the Muse prophetic feels;
If true the transport of her present flame,
The warmest hope thy worth but half reveals,
Illustrious infant! time shall swell thy fame!
Some happier Muse for thee shall tune the lyre,
Shall sing thy opening virtues fair express'd;
As now with recent joy, and fond desire,
Mine hails thee to thy natal hour confess'd,
And ardent wished to thy princely race
Establishment confirm'd, and durable Increase.

O honour'd BEDFORD! one directing fate
Allotts the Parts, whence life's distinction springs,
The ebb of poverty, the flow of state,
The chains of captives, and the crowns of kings!
To thy blest hand, and bounteousness of mind
Has giv'n extensive power's unslacken'd reign;
To me a barrenness of wish assign'd,
That grieves itself to see another's pain;
To thee has giv'n to smile, — to me to mourn,
Ev'n on that happy day thy Tavistock was born.

Yet let the Muse, my lord, with honest zeal,
The fair occasion of thy joy improve;
Thy noble line's increasing splendor hail,
And give this humble mark of duteous love:
Mean tho' her verse — by flatt'ry undefil'd;
Patriot's have not disdain'd to view her strain:
Stair has approv'd — and candid Tweddale smil'd,
And learned Stormont stoop'd to ease her pain!
Nor thou, mild Prince, disdain the humble lay
That mingles with the joys of this auspicious day.

So may just heav'n with ever-guardian care
Build on the basis of thy rising NAME!
To each successive BEDFORD grant an heir
Of worth resemblant, and paternal fame:
Like THEE, to guard Britannia's sacred laws
From dark corruption, and from lawless force;
To shine the great assertors of her cause,
Firm in the shock, and constant in the course:
Who round their brows the civic wreath shall bind,
And guard the glorious rights of BRITAIN and mankind


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 10, 2012



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