1746 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Chesterfield

Anonymous, "Ireland's Complaint" Dublin Journal (27 November 1746).



From lucid Regions of eternal Light,
Slow wafting, thro' the sable Cloud of Night,
HIBERNIA sought her STANHOPE'S late Abode,
And pensive o'er the regal Fabrick stood?
Each Mark divine had fled her heav'nly Face,
And Discomposure sadden'd ev'ry Grace;
She gaz'd the Pile, and saw, with grateful Eyes,
The flexile Arch and swelling Column rise;
Then strung her Harp, which by her Side was laid,
And thus to vocal Song resounding play'd.

"When shall I wake my Lyre to chearful Strains,
And Mirth inhabit my deserted Plains?
Wide-wasting Fury, and intestine Rage,
With Blood and Rapine fill'd the former Age;
Nor could succeeding Years of gentle Peace,
Rude Desolation's hostile Frowns deface,
Till CHESTERFIELD arriv'd, and brought along
The smiling Family of Arts and Song;
Then led each drooping Muse and festive Train,
And rising Science spread her favour'd Reign;
United Faith my loyal Sons inspir'd,
And sacred Freedom ev'ry Bosom fir'd;
Each hop'd for Blessing crown'd my happy Shore,
Now STANHOPE'S gone, and Pleasure is no more.

"What tho' my Sons, a brave allegiate Band,
Find Nature's choicest Blessings fill my Land?
What tho' remotest Climes my Store supplies,
With what less bounteous Heav'n to theirs denies?
What though my Ports capacious Vessels hide,
And waft in Wealth with each returning Tide?
What tho' my fertile Plains yield large Increase,
My Shores alone the Residence of Peace?
Not all these Scenes my Happiness restore,
For STANHOPE'S gone, and Pleasure is no more.

"'Twas STANHOPE'S Care my Welfare to defend,
His Soul's Delight to prove a Nation's Friend;
With ev'ry Grace, of his illustrious Blood,
To govern truly great, and nobly good:
Each Christian Virtue that adorns Mankind,
Sublimely center'd in his gen'rous Mind;
He, wisely provident, on all my Race,
Where Merit dawn'd, conferr'd peculiar Grace,
Nor fail'd his lib'ral Hand the Poor to bless,
To sooth the Pangs of Woe, and chear Distress:
His honest Heart glow'd with a Patriot Love,
And while to urge fair Freedom's Theme he strove,
Applauding Crowds in mute Attention hung,
And wond'ring Senates hail'd his tuneful Tongue.
Not Britain's Empire greater Worth can boast,
And few such Guardians shall approach my Coast:
Mourn all my Sons, your greatest Loss deplore,
For STANHOPE'S gone, and Pleasure is no more.

"Oh! should auspicious Heav'n prolong his Sway,
To Doric Strains, no more, my Harp should play;
Here should the Muses fix their pleasing Reign,
And sportive Pan frequent each chearful Plain,
Halcyon Days surround my happy Land,
And Ceres bless me with a plenteous Hand;
The merry Pipes, thro' ev'ry Vale should ring,
And grateful Swains consenting Paeans sing;
Peace, Mirth, and Plenty, Hand in Hand should join,
And old Arcadia's golden Age be mine;
Then far as Heav'n's wide Canopy extends,
Where-e'er the Sun the Race of Man befriends,
My Joys should reach, and from their native Air
Each distant Nation to my Clime repair.
Mourn all my Sons, HIBERNIA'S Loss deplore,
For STANHOPE'S gone, and Pleasure left our Shore."

She ceas'd, ascending from the statelly Pile,
And gain'd the Star, whose Influ'nce rules her Isle.