1782 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Cumberland

Thomas Stratford, in "Pastoral Essays" First Book of the Battle of Fontenoy (1782) 62-63



My CUMBERLAND, conscious of ev'ry merit, but his own,
Reddens, like the bashful rose, when Zephyr woos
The blooming child of Nature, crimson'd o'er
With deeper blushes at the breath, that steals
The rich regale of heav'n. My CUMBERLAND,
Turn not away these bliss-diffusing eyes,
Which beam with Honesty's celestial fires.
Ah turn not from the Muse, that scorns, like thee,
The venal Paean of th' apostate bard,
Tho' Inspiration sweeps his raptur'd lyre,
And Genius, like a star-crown'd seraph, leans
From heav'n to hear the wonders of his lore.
The bard! who by Circean Fortune fall'n,
Bends from his native dignity to herd
With slaves, that haunt the threshold of the Great.
Stamp'd by thy name then sacred be the song
To Friendship; which, tho' bright her Vestal flame
Bursts from my breast, nay blazes to high heav'n,
To immolate the spotless victim, Truth,
E'en at Love's light-endearing shrine, disdains.
By slaves alone, or garter'd, or unrop'd,
Who blast with bold impiety of praise,
Let Truth, heav'n's guiltless Iphigenia, bleed.