1761
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Untitled. "Ill-boding Fears away."]

Gratulatio Academiae Cantabrigiensis Auspicatissimas Georgii III. Magnae Britanniae Regis, et Serenissimae Charlottae Principis de Mecklenburgh-Strelitz Nuptias Celebrantis.

Rev. John Cooke


An imitation of Milton's companion poems signed "John Cooke, B.A. of Trinity College." The octosyllabic measures are intended to convey a sense of joy that the trials of the late war with France and the death of George II will be succeeded by happier times. Cooke had entered Emmanuel College as a sizar, but was apparently making his way successfully up the patronage system. The new reign brought good times for the poet, who obtained a rectory in Buckinghamshire and later became chaplain to Greenwich Hospital, both positions he held until his death in 1823.

Horace Walpole: "No British monarch has ascended the throne with so many advantages as George the Third. Being the first of his line born in England, the prejudice against his family of foreigners ceased in his person — Hanover was no longer the native soil of our Princes; consequently, attachment to the Electorate was not likely to govern our councils, as it had in the last two reigns. This circumstance, too, of his birth, shifted the unpopularity of foreign extraction from the House of Brunswick to the Stuarts. In the flower and bloom of youth, George had a handsome, open, and honest countenance; and with the favour that attends the outward accomplishments of his age, he had none of the vices that fall under the censure of those who are past enjoying them themselves" 1760; Memoirs of George III, ed. G. F. Russell Barker (1894) 1:3-4.



Ill-boding Fears away;
And all the sickly train of black Despair
With self-consuming Care,
Vanish, like shades, before the rising day:
Hie to some chearless grove,
As midnight dark, where sun-beams ne'er are seen
The clust'ring trees between;
Or to some lonely cloyster drear and pale,
Where meagre Phantoms sail;
There 'midst wan shapes and nightly horrors rove.

Rising on this happy Isle
Pleasure sheds her morning smile;
Op'ning to the genial rays,
The bud of Joy it's leaves displays:
Love and Glory now agree
To form a guiltless Jubilee.
British Nymphs your lays prepare;
Greet, O! greet this Royal Fair:
For sure much Grace and Beauty dwells
In Her, who even you excels.
British swains that wont to charm
With Celia's praise the lonely farm,
Now a loftier strain express
Sacred to GEORGE, and Happiness;
GEORGE, who in the rolls of Fame
High exalts the British name.
Let every feature of our Isle
Form itself into a smile:
Let each loyal foot advance
In a many-winding dance.

Come, fair Peace! with olive wand,
(Too long a stranger to this Land)
Join the jovial choir of Youth,
And all the sisterhood of Truth:
And each and all with glee conspire
To strike the silver-sounding lyre,
Whose magic strains shall quick impart
To the mazes of the heart
Raptures, that never know to cloy.
These with nicest skill apply;
And amidst the sprightly throng
Raise a sweet-enchanting Song:
Your notes to Royal CHARLOTTE give,
In whom the purest virtues life.

Hither come, at GEORGE'S call,
Bright Euphrosyne! and all
The Nymphs, who wait on favour'd Man,
And strive to bless Him all they can.
Thou too Erato combine,
With all the chorus of the Nine:
Sing of GEORGE in honour drest,
Tow'ring vict'ry for His crest,
Whom the bounteous Powers above
Have blest with CHARLOTTE and with Love.
Yet why your Presence do I ask,
Full glad of such a welcome task?
Why call I You to Britain's plain?
To bid You leave it would be vain.

But now each British bosom fraught
With all the warmth that Love e'er taught
Still prays (and may their Pray'rs prevail)
That Britain's blessings ne'er may fail.
We ask not of the Pow'rs above
Britain's blessings to improve.

[sigs P-P2]