1727 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Chesterfield

Anonymous, "To his Excellency Philip Lord Chesterfield, on his extraordinary Embassy to Holland" The Craftsman (25 November 1727).



O CHESTERFIELD, with early Laurels crown'd,
For poignant Wit and nervous Sense renown'd,
Whom all the Powers of Eloquence adorn,
For publick Scenes and great Employments born,
Of every Art the Judge, to every Muse a Friend.

Now for two Years, by wrathful Heav'n ordain'd,
Discord and Strife thro' half the Globe have reign'd,
As long hath Britain mourn'd her wayward Fate,
Of Europe labouring to support the Weight.
As long her warlike Fleets have plough'd the Main,
And numerous Armies have been paid in vain,
While o're the World her boasted Commerce fails,
His Treasures seiz'd the Bankrupt Merchant wails,
The Looms stand still, Britannia's Golden Mines,
And starv'd in Ease the Artizan repines,
The various Burthens of the State increase,
Thus long prepar'd for War, nor yet assur'd of Peace.

In this dread Crisis, this Suspence of Fate,
When every Mail alarms the doubtful State,
When Hopes and Fears our Breasts alternate move,
Well does our King his wise Discernment prove,
While to such Hands he delegates his Power,
And deigns that Merit shall repine no more.

To recommend thy Name, in such a Reign,
Titles seem needless, and Distinctions vain,
On the strong Basis of Desert you stand,
Nor owe your Greatness to a second Hand,
By no mean Arts or servile Courtship rise,
But Virtue mark'd you out to Brunswick's Eyes,
In Knowledge, Sense, and Honour you confide,
And your high Lineage is your meanest pride.

Already, conscious of thy spreading Fame,
The Belgian Powers thy timely Presence claim,
In this nice Juncture of contending States,
Like Churchill once, to prosper their Debates.
Methinks I see Thee in their Councils join,
Of mystic Leagues unraveling the Design;
In upright Measures skill'd, thy generous Heart
Scorns the low Cunning of a Jugler's Art,
By Tricks and Fraud attempting to succeed,
Or skinning o'er the Wounds, which soon afresh will bleed.

For, if the Sanguine Muse aright presage
From thy known Talents, which forerun thy Age,
By prudent Counsels and deliberate Schemes,
(Proving all Ways, and shunning all Extremes)
The Broils of Europe thou shalt still compose,
And reconcile to Peace the Scepter'd Foes,
Avert from Britain her projected Fate,
And prove another TEMPLE to the State.

On Thee, my Lord, our quickening Hopes depend,
On Thee our Wishes and our Prayers attend;
Go forth, thy Country's Hope, thy Monarch's Boast,
And reach, with prosperous Gales, the destin'd Coast!
Of potent Realms prevent the direful Strife,
And call the withering Olive back to Life,
Restore the Peace of every jarring Land,
And fix the Balance fast in Brunswick's Hand.

That Work perform'd (a Work of so much Art,
That only STANHOPE can sustain the Part!)
Thy native, loud-applauding Shores regain,
And in the British Senate shine again,
Again thy Sovereign's Smiles and Counsels share,
By all the Nation blest, recover'd from Despair.