1746 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Chesterfield

Henry Jones, "On his Excellency the Earl of Chesterfield's resigning the Government of Ireland" 1746; Jones, Poems on Several Occasions (1749) 209-12.



Where dismal Melancholy moping reigns,
'Midst a dark Vale which horrific Rocks surround,
Where steril Rigour rules the lonesome Plains,
Nor ever Verdure decks the blasted Ground:

Where howling Winds through clifted Caverns blow,
And Birds obscene their baleful Mansions keep;
Where mimick Echo mocks each Sound of Woe,
And humid Caves with Tears eternal weep:

Hibernia's Guardian Goddess, prostrate there
Lay brooding o'er her mighty Grief retir'd;
Her rev'rend Head reclin'd, her Bosom bare,
In tragick Weeds disconsolate attir'd.

Each Native Attribute dejected stands,
Each Virtue sunk, each Orphan Art dismay'd;
And widow'd Science wrung her plaintive Hands;
And listless Sorrow fix'd the Face of Trade.

The Muse, Attendant on the mournful Train,
With silent Grief the solemn Scene surveys;
In broken Sighs she breathes her Heart-felt Pain;
Her Lyre unstrung, and wither'd all her Bays.

As from a Trance the Goddess gently 'woke,
Then rising slowly with maternal Grace,
Thus in faint Sounds her lab'ring Anguish spoke,
Whilst copious Tears ran trickling down her Face.

Unhappy Isle! thy short-liv'd Triumph dies,
How scant the Sun-shine of thy brightest Day!
What Cloud malign o'ercasts thy chearful Skies!
What sudden Night obscures the Noon-tide Ray!

Too soon Britannia stretch'd her envious Hand;
Too soon (alas!) she snatch'd the Man so dear,
Whose Power serene in Perils could command,
Whose Skill thro' threat'ning Storms with Safety steer.

Each Art reviv'd by his auspicious Smile,
Shone, with new Elegance and Pomp array'd;
In decent State uprose the Regal Pile,
And the rich Column grac'd the new-born Glade.

Bless'd with the Fruits of his paternal Toil,
My grateful Sons with joyful Hearts obey;
Exulting Concord crowns my fertile Soil,
And ev'ry Virtue waits on STANHOPE'S Sway.

O Albion! to my longing Arms return
The godlike Patriot from thy warm Embrace;
With Pity hear thy faithful Sister mourn;
Calm her sad Conflict, and restore her Peace!

But if, alas! by Fate's severe Decree,
In thy bright Hemisphere this Star must shine,
Oh! may his Rays oblique yet glance on me,
Though his exalted Splendors still be thine.