1805 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Cumberland

George Hardinge, "To Richard Cumberland, Esq." 1805 ca.; Hardinge, Miscellaneous Works (1818) 2:105-06.



"Wake from its rest the comic lyre!
Put breath into its dormant fire!
Call into life Menander's vein!
And Britain's Terence crown again!

"Resign the amorous myrtle's hue!
No more the rose of youth renew!
Though evergreen thy age appears,
And smiles avert the destin'd years!

"Thee, ever sure of public fame,
Her gales invite, her transports claim;
The Muses to their Lover blest
Allow no interval of rest."

When Britain's Genius thus complain'd,
Mars th' ill-tim'd appeal disdain'd:
The nodding crest his plume arrays,
A sword the Veteran's thigh displays.

With sanguine flame the vesture glows,
The arts of Peace their lustre close:
Thalia's playful notes are dumb,
Scar'd at the fulminating drum.

'Tis past; — the Victor's wreath is ours:
With Peace return the laughing hours;
And Cumberland's dramatic page,
The mirrour of a living Stage.

With Satire — from the Muse a theft
(Whose rifled stores have nothing left)
His fertile wit's enchanting strain
Has built an Athens here again.