1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Cumberland

S. H., "The Birth of Richard Cumberland, Esq. Feb. 19, 1732. A Tribute of grateful Respect" 1811; Gentleman's Magazine 82 (January 1812) 61.



Britannia, hail, imperial queen of isles!
Favour'd of Heav'n with its indulgent smiles,
With what peculiar lustre rose that morn,
Apollo's son on thy domain was born!
The bright pervading god who gilds the day
Resplendent darted his unclouded ray:
Minerva clasp'd the Infant in her arms,
She gaz'd enraptur'd on his early charms!
She press'd him often fondly to her breast,
Infus'd her wisdom, and by turns caress'd:
Soon for the smiling boy the Muses strove,
Each gain'd a pupil, each engag'd his love;
Scarce had two lustres fled with winged speed,
When Shakspeare's genius hover'd o'er his head;
The Graces finish'd what the Nine began,
And gave the world the all-accomplished Man!
Virtue allures him with engaging charms;
Her precepts pure his youthful bosom warms;
He offers incense at her sacred shrine,
The goddess crowns him with a wreath divine!
Fair Truth immortal leads him by the hand,
Proud to be known the friend of Cumberland.
Islington, Feb. 1811.