1766 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Camden

Sneyd Davies, "Verses address'd to old Camden's Picture, at Lord Camden's, in Kent" Lloyd's Evening Post (23 April 1766) 387.



Father of Britain! (late restor'd*) a-while
Attend, and cast a venerable smile,—
Know'st thou these walls, these walks, this woody brow?
Blush, good old man, and see its glories now,
Know'st thou the MAN,—
Whom neither fear nor favour can controul
His inborn worth and probity of soul:
Mild as the vernal gale, or softest lay;
Firm as the rock that spurns the roaring sea:
"Inflexible and steady to his trust:"—
Barely to say he's upright, is unjust.
Father! be proud; assume thy later fame:
Hear, and rejoice: He bears thy honor'd name.

Do I then flatter? What! for dirt and pence?
'Tis false (ye hirelings!) wretches, get ye hence.
What! for some meed? — with me as light as air;
Trifles and toys beneath my serious care.
Where int'rest, trifles, and ev'n pow'r are weak,
Freely I draw; and what I feel, I speak.
Ask, ask the people's, ask the Sov'reign's choice;
Ask thy own Britain, — she confirms my voice.

* This Picture (an original) which formerly hung in the same house in Camden's time, was lately presented to Lord Camden, by a Gentleman of his acquaintance.