Thomas Parnell

(1679 - 1718 / Ireland)

On Queen Anne's Peace, Anno 1713 - Poem by Thomas Parnell

Mother of plenty, daughter of the skies,
Sweet Peace, the troubl'd world's desire, arise;
Around thy poet weave thy summer shades,
Within my fancy spread thy flow'ry meads,
Amongst thy train soft ease and pleasure bring,
And thus indulgent sooth me whilst I sing.

Great Anna claims the song; no brighter name
Adorns the list of never-dying fame,
No fairer soul was ever form'd above,
None e'er was more the grateful nation's love
Nor lov'd the nation more. I fly with speed
To sing such lines as Bolingbroke may read,
On war dispers'd, on faction trampled down,
On all the peaceful glories of the crown.
And if I fail in too confin'd a flight,
May the kind world upon my labours write;
'So fell the lines which strove for endless fame,
'Yet fell attempting on the noblest theme.

Now twelve revolving years has Britain stood
With loss of wealth and vast expence of blood
Europa's Guardian; still her gallant arms
Secur'd Europa from impending harms.
Fair honour, full success, and just applause,
Pursu'd her marches, and adorn'd her cause;
Whilst Gaul, aspiring to erect a throne
O'er other empires, trembled for her own,
Bemoan'd her cities won, her armies slain,
And sunk the thought of universal reign.

When thus reduc'd the world's Invaders lie,
The fears which rack'd the nations, justly die:
Pow'r finds its balance, giddy motions cease
In both the scales, and each inclines to peace.
This fair occasion Providence prepares,
To answer pious Anna's hourly pray'rs,
Which still on warm Devotion's wings arose,
And reaching Heav'n obtain'd the world's repose.

Within the vast expansion of the sky,
Where Orbs of gold in fields of Azure lie,
A glorious palace shines, whose silver ray
Serenely flowing lights the milky way,
The road of angels. Here with speedy care
The summon'd Guardians of the world repair.
When Britain's Angel on the message sent
Speaks Anna's pray'rs and Heaven's supream intent,
That war's destructive arm shou'd humble Gaul,
Spain's parted realms to diff'rent monarchs fall,
The grand alliance crown'd with glory cease,
And joyful Europe find the sweets of peace.
He spoke: the smiling hopes of man's repose,
The joy that springs from certain hopes arose
Diffusive o'er the place; complacent airs
Sedately sweet were heard within the spheres;
And bowing all adore the sovereign mind,
And fly to execute the work design'd.

This done, the Guardian on the wing repairs
Where Anna sat revolving publick cares
With deep concern of thought. Unseen he stood
Presenting peaceful images of good
On Fancy's airy stage; returning Trade,
A sunk Exchequer fill'd, an Army paid,
The fields with men, the men with plenty bless'd,
The towns with riches, and the world with rest.
Such pleasing objects on her bosom play,
And give the dawn of glory's golden day,
When all her labours at their harvest shewn
Shall in her subjects joy compleat her own.
Then breaking silence, 'tis enough, she cries,
That war has rag'd to make the nations wise.
Heav'n prospers armies whilst they fight to save,
And thirst of further fame destroys the brave;
The vanquish'd Gauls are humbly pleas'd to live,
And but escap'd the chains they meant to give.
Now let the pow'rs be still'd and each possess'd
Of what secures the common safety best.

So spake the Queen, then fill'd with warmth divine
She call'd her Oxford to the grand design;
Her Oxford prudent in affairs of state,
Profoundly thoughtful, manifestly great
In ev'ry turn, whose steddy temper steers
Above the reach of gold or shock of fears;
Whom no blind chance, but merit understood
By frequent tryals, pow'r of doing good,
And will to execute, advanc'd on high,
O soul created to deserve the sky!
And make the nation, crown'd with glory, see
How much it rais'd itself by raising thee!
Now let the schemes which labour in thy breast
The long Alliance bless with lasting rest:
Weigh all pretences with impartial laws,
And fix the sep'rate Int'rests of the cause.

These toils the graceful Bolingbroke attends,
A Genius fashion'd for the greatest ends,
Whose strong perception takes the swiftest flight,
And yet its swiftness ne'er obscures its sight:
When schemes are fix'd, and each assign'd a part,
None serves his country with a nobler heart,
Just thoughts of honour all his mind controul,
And Expedition wings his lively soul.
On such a Patriot to confer the Trust,
The Monarch knows it safe as well as just.

Then next proceeding in her Agents choice
And ever pleas'd that worth obtain the voice,
She from the list of high-distinguish'd fames
With pious Bristow gallant Strafford names:
One form'd to stand a church's firm support,
The other fitted to adorn a court,
Both vers'd in business, both of fine address,
By which experience leads to great success:
And both to distant lands the Monarch sends,
And to their conduct Europe's peace commends.

Now ships unmoor'd to waft her Agents o'er
Spread all their sail, and quit the flying shore.
The foreign Agents reach th' appointed place,
The Congress opens, and it will be peace.
Methinks the war like stormy winter flies,
When fairer months unveil the blueish skies,
A flow'ry world the sweetest season spreads,
And doves with branches flutter round their heads.

Half-peopled Gaul whom num'rous ills destroy
With wishful heart attends the promis'd joy.
For this prepares the Duke—ah sadly slain
'Tis grief to name him whom we mourn in vain:
No warmth of verse repairs the vital flame,
For verse can only grant a life in fame,
Yet cou'd my praise like spicy odours shed
In everlasting song embalm the dead,
To realms that weeping heard the loss I'd tell,
What courage, sense, and faith, with Brandon fell.

But Britain more than one for glory breeds,
And polish'd Talbot to the charge succeeds,
Whose far-projecting thoughts maturely clear
Like glasses draw their distant objects near.
Good Parts by gentle breeding much refin'd,
And stores of learning grace his ample mind,
A cautious virtue regulates his ways,
And Honour gilds them with a thousand rays.
To serve his nation at his Queen's command,
He parts commission'd for the Gallick land:
With pleasure Gaul beholds him on her shore
And learns to love a name she fear'd before.

Once more aloft there meet for new debates
The Guardian Angels of Europa's states:
And mutual concord shines in ev'ry face
And ev'ry bosom glows with hopes of peace,
While Britain's steps in one consent they praise,
Then gravely mourn their other realms delays,
Their doubtful claims through seas of blood pursu'd,
Their fears that Gallia fell but half subdu'd,
And all the reas'nings which attempt to shew
That war shou'd ravage in the world below.
'Ah fall'n estate of man! can rage delight!
'Wounds please the touch, or ruin charm the sight!
'Ambition make unlovely mischief fair!
'Or ever Pride be Providence's care!
'When stern Oppressors range the bloody field,
''Tis just to conquer and unsafe to yield:
'There save the nations; but no more pursue
'Nor in thy turn become Oppressor too.'
Our rebel angels for Ambition fell,
And war in Heav'n produc'd a Fiend in hell.
Thus with a soft concern for man's repose
The tender Guardians join to moan our woes,
Then awful rise, combin'd with all their might,
To find what Fury 'scap'd the den of night
The pleasing labours of their love withstands,
And spreads a wild distraction o'er the lands.
Their glitt'ring pinnions sound in yielding air,
And watchful Providence approves the care.

In Flandria's soil where Camps have mark'd the plain,
The Fiend, impetuous Discord, fix'd her reign;
A tent her royal seat. With full resort
Stern shapes of Horrour throng'd her buisy court,
Blind Mischief, Ambush close concealing Ire,
Loud Threat'nings, Ruin arm'd with sword and fire,
Assaulting Fierceness, Anger wanting breath,
High Red'ning Rage, and Various Forms of death,
Dire Imps of darkness, whom with Gore she feeds
When war beyond its point of Good proceeds.
In Gallick armour, call'd with alter'd name
Great love of Empire, to the field she came;
Now, still supporting Feud, she strives to hide
Beneath that name, and only change the side:
But as she whirl'd the rapid wheels around
Where mangl'd limbs in heaps pollute the ground,
(A sullen Joyless Sport,) with searching eye
The shining Chiefs regard her as they fly,
Then hov'ring, dart their beams of heav'nly light,
She starts, the Fury stands confess'd to sight,
And grieves to leave the soil, and yells aloud,
Her Yells are answer'd by the Sable Crowd,
And all on Bat-like wings (if Fame be true)
From Christian lands to Northern climates flew.

But rising murmours from Britannia's shore
With speed recal her watchful Guardian o'er.
He spreads his pinions, and approaching near,
These hints in scatter'd words assault his ear,
The People's Pow'r—The Grand Alliance cross'd
The Peace is sep'rate—Our Religion's lost.
Led by the Blatant voice along the skies,
He comes where Faction over cities flies;
A talking Fiend whom snaky locks disgrace,
And num'rous mouths deform her dusky face,
Whence Lies are utter'd, Whisper softly sounds,
Sly Doubts amaze, or Innuendo wounds.
Within her arms are heaps of Pamphlets seen,
And these blaspheme the Saviour, those the Queen;
Associate Vices: thus with tongue and hand
She shed her venom o'er the troubled land.
Now vex'd that Discord and the Baneful Train
That tends on Discord, fled the neighb'ring plain,
She rag'd to madness: when the Guardian came,
And downwards drove her with a sword of flame.
A mountain gaping to the Nether Hell
Receiv'd the Fury railing as she fell:
The mountain closing o'er the Fury lies,
And stops her passage where she means to rise,
And when she strives, or shifts her side for ease,
All Britain rocks amidst her circling seas.

Now Peace returning after tedious woes
Restores the comforts of a calm repose:
Then bid the Warriors sheath their sanguin'd arms,
Bid Angry Trumpets cease to sound Alarms,
Guns leave to thunder in the tortur'd air,
Red streaming colours furl around the spear,
And each contending realm no longer jarr,
But pleas'd with rest unharness all the war.

She comes the Blessing comes, where'er she moves
New springing Beauty all the land improves:
More heaps of fragrant flow'rs the field adorn,
More sweet the Birds salute the Rosy Morn,
More lively Green refreshes all the leaves,
And in the Breeze the corn more thickly waves.
She comes the Blessing comes in easy state,
And Forms of Brightness all around her wait:
Here smiling Safety with her bosom bare
Securely walks, and chearful Plenty there;
Here wond'rous Sciences with Eagles sight,
There Liberal Arts which make the world polite,
And open Traffick joining hand in hand
With honest Industry, approach the land.

O welcome long desir'd and lately found!
Here fix thy seat upon the British ground,
Thy Shining Train around the Nation send,
While by degrees the loading Taxes end:
While Caution, calm yet still prepar'd for arms,
And Foreign Treaties, guard from foreign harms:
While equal Justice hearing ev'ry cause
Makes ev'ry Subject join to love the laws.

Where Britain's Patriots in Council meet
Let publick safety rest at Anna's feet:
Let Oxford's schemes the Path to Plenty shew
And through the realm increasing Plenty go.
Let Arts and Sciences in glory rise,
And pleas'd the world has leisure to be wise,
Around their Oxford and their St. John stand,
Like Plants that flourish by the Master's hand:
And safe in hope the sons of Learning wait
Where Learning's Self has fix'd her fair retreat.
Let Traffick cherish'd by the Senate's care
On all the seas employ the wafting air:
And Industry with circulating wing
Through all the land the goods of Traffick bring.
The Blessings so dispos'd will long abide,
Since Anna reigns, and Harley's thoughts preside;
Great Ormond's arms the sword of Caution wield,
And hold Britannia's broad-protecting Shield;
Bright Bolingbroke and worthy Dartmouth treat
By fair dispatch with ev'ry foreign State;
And Harcourt's knowledge equitably shewn
Makes Justice call his firm Decrees her own.

Thus all that Poets fanci'd Heav'n of old
May for the nation's present Emblem hold:
There Jove imperial sway'd; Minerva wise,
And Phœbus eloquent, adorn'd the skies;
On Arts Cyllenius fix'd his full delight,
Mars rein'd the War, and Themis judg'd the Right:
All mortals once beneficently great,
(As Fame reports) and rais'd in Heav'nly State;
Yet sharing labours, still they shun'd repose,
To shed the blessings down by which they rose.

Illustrious Queen, how Heav'n hath heard thy pray'rs,
What stores of Happiness attend thy Cares!
A Church in safety fix'd, a State in rest,
A Faithful Ministry, a People bless'd,
And Kings submissive at thy foot-stool thrown,
That others Rights restore, or beg their own.
Now rais'd with thankful mind, and rolling slow,
In grand Procession to the temple go,
By snow-white Horses drawn; while sounding Fame
Proclaims thy coming, Praise exalts thy name,
Fair Honour dress'd in robes adorns thy state,
And on thy Train the crowded Nations wait,
Who pressing view with what a temper'd grace
The looks of Majesty compose thy face,
And mingling Sweetness shines, or how thy dress
And how thy Pomp an inward Joy confess,
Then fill'd with Pleasures to thy glory due
With Shouts the Chariot moving on pursue.

As when the Phœnix from Arabia flown,
(If any Phœnix were like Anna known,)
His spice at Phœbus Shrine prepar'd to lay,
Where'er their Monarch cut his airy way
The gath'ring Birds around the Wonder flew,
And much admir'd his Shape and much his Hue,
The tuft of Gold that glow'd above his head,
His spacious Train with golden feathers spread,
His gilded Bosom speck'd with purple pride,
And both his Wings in glossy purple dy'd:
He still pursues his way, with wond'ring eyes
The Birds attend, and follow where he flies.

Thrice happy Britons, if at last you know,
'Tis less to conquer than to want a foe;
That Triumphs still are made for War's decrease,
When Men by Conquest rise to views of Peace;
That over Toils for Peace in view we run,
Which gain'd, the World is pleas'd, and War is done.
Fam'd Blenheim's field, Ramillies noble seat,
Blaregni's desperate act of gallant heat,
Or wond'rous Winendale, are war pursu'd
By wounds and deaths through plains with blood embru'd;
But good Design to make the world be still,
With human Grace adorns the needful Ill;
This end obtain'd, we close the Scenes of rage
And gentler Glories deck the rising age.

Such gentler Glories, such reviving days,
The Nation's wishes, and the Statesman's praise,
Now pleas'd to shine in golden Order throng,
Demand our Annals and enrich our Song.
Then go where Albion's Cliffs approach the skies,
(The Fame of Albion so deserves to rise)
And deep engrav'd for Time 'till Time shall cease,
Upon the Stones their fair Inscription place.
Iberia rent, the Pow'r of Gallia broke,
Batavia rescu'd from the threat'ned Yoke,
The royal Austrian rais'd, his Realms restor'd,
Great Britain arm'd, triumphant and ador'd,
Its State enlarg'd, its Peace restor'd again,
Are Blessings all adorning Anna's Reign.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010



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