1721
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Throne of Justice; a Pindaric Ode.

The Throne of Justice; a Pindaric Ode; humbly dedicated to the Right Honorable the Lord Viscount Molesworth. By Mr. Browne.

Rev. Moses Browne


A Pindaric ode in eighteen irregular stanzas. In this juvenile poem, Moses Browne celebrates the Hanoverian succession in an allegorical ode addressed to his patron Robert Molesworth (1656-1725) who had supported William III in Ireland in 1688 and was created first viscount Molesworth in 1719. The allegory appears to allude to the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, as the poet appeals to Justicia to descend to Britain and "Give Justice to the Land again, and Discord put to flight."

Browne was an avowed admirer of Chaucer, Spenser, and Milton who composed the first avowed imitation of Lycidas in 1729. Here his model seems to be Milton's Nativity Ode, a very bold allusion if this is in fact the case. But the rough justice called for in this allegorical ode may also allude to the fifth book of the Faerie Queene, a more apt figure given Molesworth's position in Ireland.

Dedication: "I speak but the Notions all Men embrace of Your Lordship. It would be base in me to say less, and daring to say more; Indeed, my good Lord, I have too great a Value for you Excellence, than to aim at the Commendation of it in it's highest Particular Offices, in my present Imbecilities of Youth, and Natural, and Learned Capacities. Your Lordship is a good Judge in these things; and must know and consider that Sixteen Years is but a weak Instrument to produce so great a Work as the Subject and its noble Patron requires."

Robert Southey: "If Olney had not a far greater poet to boast of, it might perhaps have boasted of Moses Browne" The Doctor (1849) 252.

Raymond Dexter Havens: "Bishop Thomas Ken's verses On the Nativity (Works, 1721, i. 31-7), which he wrote before 1711, may owe something to Milton's [Nativity Ode]: 'Nature now stript of all her Summer-Dress, | And modestly surmizing, 'twere unmeet | For each rude Eye to view her Nakedness; | Around her bare Limbs wraps this Snowy Sheet'" Influence of Milton (1922) 566n.



I.
Restor'd to ancient Rule begin my Verse,
Thou whom few Bards rehearse,
Thou Queen Justitia whose Impartial Eye
Does ev'ry humane Fault descry,
Assist my Mind, assist my Song
Chief of the Sacred Throng,
To whom the Skill of Sounds belong,
Who when oppressive Vice did grow
Too potent for thy Rod, forsook the World below:
Return gay Goddess to thy Native Seat,
And thy long Work compleat;
Come thou with thy attendant Train,
Assert thy Legal Reign;
Shine lovely aweful to the sight, and bless the World again.

II.
With thee begins my Song, while some to Jove
Ambitious Pray'rs coutinual keep,
And some to softer Love;
The Mariner Leda, on thy Twin-born Seed
Officious calls, when Storms disturb the Sea;
Affrighted at the foaming Deep,
And Pious made by need;
Justitia to the Muse belongs, the Muse her guidance craves;
Assume thy Throne, assert thy Right, that Tyrant Vice enslaves.
'Tis done; and see the Goddess mounts her Seat,
Around her aweful Executi'ners stand,
Obedient all to her Command;
Bring me (she cries) the guilty Land,
Britain shall feel my long neglected Rage,
The shameful impious Age;
Whom I so oft have sought, by Kindness to engage,
I ev'ry Shame shall open lay, and ev'ry Plot defeat.

III.
Judgment, do thou my warning Summons bear,
And bid the Isle prepare;
Thro ev'ry Street, thro' ev'ry House proclaim,
My long unmention'd Name;
And my dread Execution sound in ev'ry Ear,
In vain shall Capital Offenders shroud,
Their guilty Heads among the Baser crowd.
In vain the stately Roof, in vain the gilded Pile,
Shall Screen the Villain from my Reach, and Judgments Sword beguile.

IV.
Judgement; do thou my first Command obey,
Go dress'd in all my black Array,
And the Offenders slay.
HONOR and PEACE, shall my next call attend
The injur'd Patriots to defend,
And their large Worth extend.
MERCY, go thou Attendant on his way,
And rash Destruction stay;
On ev'ry House, on ev'ry Door,
Where Vice has never enter'd in;
Thy sparing Task begin,
And sprinkle the forewarning Blood, upon the Virtuos Floor,
Judgment observe the Signal there, and pass thy pest'lence o'er.

V.
Haste my dread Ministers of Death, and seal
The Sentence they must feel;
Drive thro' the Kingdom with unwieldy Force,
And in a Sable Cloud convey'd,
Make ev'ry Heart dismay'd;
Like the first Angel, in th' appointed Course
Pour from the Vials of my Wrath, despair
On ev'ry impious Soul, on ev'ry Being there,
Confus'd and trembling let 'em view the Sign
And as they at their Guilt repine
Big with Perdition shed thy Plagues, and make destruction mine.

VI.
From the high Cedar to the Shrub as low
With thy Artillery go,
Go to the Court my Ministers, and sound
My Orders all around;
Let none Corrupted in the Train escape thy aweful Wound.
Next to my Courts, my Courts of Justice hast,
And the black Numbers wast,
To each selected Criminal dispose,
The full of all his Woes,
And Judges that for Partial Bribes the guiltless Life expose.
To the City next return,
There let thy Ministers of Fate adjourn;
But first the Task, the mighty Task pursue,
And give to all their finish'd due;
In thy Right Hand my pointed Vengeance hold,
The Left let softer Mercy gently fold,
Search all the spacious Isle throughout, and purge the drossy Gold.

VII.
But think not All, tho' All deserve
To feel the most afflicting Pain,
I to like Punishments ordain;
Offending Governors must feel the smart
Of thy severest Dart;
The Public Trust betray'd does loudly call,
For publick Punishments on all,
Supremest Tortures for the Great, but easier for the small.
The Magistrate that by Tyrannic stealth,
Robs Cities of their Wealth,
Let thy strong Arm with double Fury bind,
And for my special Wrath design'd,
Let him Impal'd, around the Stake wreath Bloody as his Mind.

VIII.
Obedient to my Word behold they ride
In lovely dreadful Pride,
Aloft my Sov'reign Subject Vengeance sits,
And as the lesser Fates he guides
Thro' ev'ry Province he divides
His Numbers forth, and to each Fate his final Charge commits:
But thou by me ordain'd my great Viceroy,
Thy self shall the great City's Crimes destroy;
Perform my Will, Redress my Plight,
O thou of able might!
Give Justice to the Land again, and Discord put to flight.

IX.
Honor and Peace, my calmer Servants hear,
You ever to my Nature dear;
Fly to the Court, the City, and the Bar,
And spread my Message far.
Let the brave Patriot that in Justice cause,
Stood greatly for my Laws;
Share bounteous Honour of thy just Applause,
Around his Head, around his Heart,
Wreath Trophies of Desert.
Blow loud, and on thy Silver Wings, around his Fame impart,
Around the Fame, (for he deserves it most)
Of Glorious MOLESWORTH Boast,
My Brother and the choicest Friend,
That Heav'n to Purge a guilty Isle could send,
Form'd of the noblest Seeds of Worth, and Gen'rous to defend;
Spread first his Name, and let thy Trumpet blast,
To Time's extensive Period last;
Let the glad Sound in ev'ry Ear, in ev'ry Breast be cast.
In ev'ry Breast let MOLESWORTH'S Name,
Burn with Religious Flame;
The best good Man, the least in Fault, of all the Sons of Fame.

X.
Forgive the Muse and Patron that with Awe,
Would thy extensive Glories draw;
If she too faulty does attempt thy Praise,
Thou can'st her Weakness raise;
Fame only shall Eternity supply,
With thy Illustrious Memory:
And as her Golden Trumpet bears it round,
The Wide Concavity shall burst with the o'recharg'd Sound.

XI.
Sire of the Muse, let Justice cheerful Word,
Life to thy Fame afford;
Her Servant Honor bowing to her Will,
Waits the glad Message to fulfil;
Well fitted to my Task (she cries) obey with dutious Skill,
MOLESWORTH, segacious MOLESWORTH, worthy Peer,
To the first Glories rear.
Who the first Glory shall with MOLESWORTH claim,
What Hero shalt thou raise to equal Fame:
Sing Muse to MOLESWORTH all thy Strains.
To him alone thy Verse pertains;
To him alone, let ev'ry Verse apply,
To him let every wanton Cadence fly,
And the Pindaric (Notes dance round in Music to the Eye.)

XII.
The Goddess speaks, again she cries attend,
Thou my chief Servant, and my Darling Friend;
To MOLESWORTH with the Conq'rous Laurels soar,
Burn Incense on my Temple Floor;
Within my Temple lead my Guest,
With shining Robes his Worth Invest;
Among the Train of Antient Heroes there,
That on my Side did openly declare;
Convey him to the Sacred Shrine,
There let his Name be Registred with mine;
And CATO to the British Patriot join;
Who to amazing Excellence can rise,
In Deeds Sublime as his great Soul, unbounded as the Skies.

XIII.
Thou Peace, my last Commission shall receive,
And the sad Hearts relieve;
Let Wealth and Traffic thy compleating Train,
Scatter Prosperity again;
The great Effect, the Wise Desert, of GEORGE'S happy Reign.
Of GEORGE'S happy Reign the Fruits display,
In that propitious Day;
A Father to my sinking Cause, and well dispos'd to Sway.
GEORGE with WILLIAM'S Name shall run.
Far as the Circuit of the Golden Sun;
Eternal Rounds of nameless time, for ever new begun.

XIV.
Now Blessings on ye all, my useful Friends,
Well fitted to my solemn Ends
Justice shall now no more forsake the Earth,
But rule the happy Birth,
Delighted with the Praestine Scenes, of Innocense and Mirth.
No more shall Warr, no more shall devious Rage,
Disturb this Golden Age;
Iron Ambition shall forsake her Cave,
Affrighted at the Day's approaching Light,
And fly beyond the Night;
There bound in Chains of dural Strength, unpityed let her Rave.

XV.
'Twas here my useful Ministers, 'twas here,
She first did her presuming Head appear;
Till guilty Times, and guiltier Men,
Intic'd her from her Den;
Ambition rais'd, contented with no State,
Soars to the Seat of Fate,
And calls the Ministers with Speed, from her attentive Gate
From Her attentive Gate they come,
Big with the fatal Doom;
And fill the Populary Tomb.

XVI.
Honor and Peace, when my Commands are sped,
Return at faithful Judgment's Head;
Thou Honor, on my Right Hand shall be plac'd,
Thou Peace, shall on my Left be grac'd;
Judgment and Mercy, my Almighty Pair,
Shall of the Favor share;
Return, return, fulfillers of my Laws,
Return, with earn'd Applause;
And to my Seat on Wings of Triumph born,
Each my great Side adorn;
Each my great Side, undauntedly uphold,
Me made of Ruling Mold.
To bring the haughty low, to make the Virtuos bold.

XVII.
Thou Goddess whose reviving Voice we hear,
Behold thy Suppliant near;
Let thy great Servant Honor to my Song,
Lend kindly, Help, and make the Feeble Strong;
MOLESWORTH, the Muse well minded would invest,
With Praises like his Glory dress'd;
The Theme on him; on GEORGE his Merits rest.
Nothing more great can humble Verse sustain,
Than MOLESWORTH'S glorious Deeds and GEORGE'S Golden Reign;
George can the Patriot of well-deserving raise,
Above a Poet's Praise;
Where like as on the Sun, we can but by Reflection Gaze.

XVIII.
Yet O! my Patron, and my Generous Peer,
Will I, forbid to gaze revere,
And as the Telescope that cheats the Eye,
By drawing Distance nigh,
When held reversely will expose,
At mighty Distance, what true Sight at near Observance shows,
Will I far off contract the boundless Space,
In a small compass'd Place;
Least aiming at each proper Part, I should the whole deface.

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