1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

Henry James Pudding, "Anticipation of an Ode for the New Year" Daily Advertiser (5 January 1809).



From realms of Hyperborean ice,
To the twin Capes of HOPE and HORN,
From the fragrant fields of orient spice,
To AFRIC'S sable sons forlorn;—
From shore to shore — from world to world;
Or, if the courteous Reader please,
In plainer terms, o'er land and seas,
Where blade can spring, or canvas be unfurl'd,
Th' electric faulchion plays:
Through the rent concave rings the roar,
Amain their urns the tempests pour,
And scarce can quench the red-hair'd blaze.
Birds, beasts, and fishes, heave unwonted sighs,
And man, immortal man, looks up and dies:—
Or else the Poet lies.

But the dread spirit of the storm,
Though cloth'd in terrors wild,
The work of love is destin'd to perform,
Of courtesy and mercy mild.
'Tis his to drive the murky power,
And hide their foreheads gaunt:
See, as he shoots his arrowy way,
'Mid meteors, clouds, and glare,
The hated Fiend resigns his sway,
And dissipates to air.

And touch'd, as by ITHURIEL'S spear,
The prostrate EARTH revives,
Feels new-born force her bosom cheer,
With new-born ardour strives.
Where'er th' attemp'ring meteor burns,
Health reascends, and Peace returns:
And round, and round, and round, and round,
The Poet's Laureat rhymes rebound,
All round and sound.

So call'd by sov'reign fate,
Where'er the skink-ey'd GALLIC Pest
Flings taint and uproar o'er the ball,
Famine and frenzy, death and thrall,
Great GEORGE, in BRITAIN'S thunders drest,
Leads on the dread refulgent state
(From the wild CATT'GAT to th' IBERIAN shore)
Of clouds and storm with repercussive roar.

Where'er th' electric tempest flames,
See, GALLIA'S legions melt in air:
"A God! A God!" the wond'ring crowd exclaims,
And Earth spins on, fresh-balanc'd — to a hair.

Thus yearly sings the Laureat Bard — and I,
'Clep'd Jemmy PUDDING, vie with Jemmy PYE.