1761
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Untitled. "On Brunswick's Tomb let Virtue's hallow'd Train."]

Pietas Universitatis Oxoniensis in Obitum Serenissimi Regis Georgii II. et Gratulatio in Augustissimi Regis Georgii III. Inaugurationem.

Rev. Thomas Fry


Five Prior stanzas describe the apotheosis of George II. Surely not the least of the improprieties committed by this poem is its application of ultra-Tory Oxford sentiments to a Hanoverian monarch! Thomas Fry, D.D. is signed "president of St. John's College."

John Nichols: Fry was "Fellow of St. John's college, Oxford, and an assistant in the Bodleian Library" Literary Anecdotes (1812-15) 1:698n.

Edmond Malone, noting the late king's ignorance of literary matters: "'Who is this Pope that I hear so much about?' said George II.; 'I cannot discover what is his merit. Why will not my subjects write in prose? I hear a good deal, too, of Shakspeare, but I cannot read him, he is such a bombast fellow'" Maloniana, circa 1786; in Sir James Prior, Life of Edmond Malone (1860) 369.



On Brunswick's Tomb let Virtue's hallow'd Train,
The Wreath of Fame, with solemn Homage, lay:
Let ardent Genius pour the Votive Strain,
And Freedom's Suffrage boast his happy Sway:
With Private Good, let Public Glory join
To speak how Vast his Thought, how Mild his Deed:
How each great Purpose, awfully benign,
Bade Mercy soften still what Right decreed.—
Loud let the General Chorus rise, and tell
How dearly lov'd he Rul'd, how justly mourn'd he Fell.

Perhaps, (tho' wing'd for Realms of brighter Day)
The rising Saint may catch the well-known Sound,
Indulge one tender Moment of Delay,
And hear a People's Duty echo round:
Then, when He listens, and intent enjoys
The mighty Bliss his Guardian Cares obtain'd,
And glows to mark how Gratitude employs
The Land, for which He Liv'd, for which He Reign'd,
Again, accordant, let the Pious Throng,
In Notes of New Applause, raise high th' enraptur'd Song.

Be this the Theme — that Not with Him shall end
The Merits, or the Glories of his Race;
That, in the Monarch taught to view the Friend,
His Honour'd Semblance Britain still can trace:
That still her Free-born Sons exulting feel
An Extasy, to Servile Breasts unknown;
And, while superior Worth seeks General Weal,
A Nation's Love supports a Patriot's Throne:
Who, conscious of the Charge to Crowns assign'd,
For Liberty Contends, and Conquers for Mankind.

Rais'd into Transport shall the Royal Shade
The Scene of all His Living Toils survey;
And, in th' auspicious Rising Ray display'd,
Greet the glad Earnest of an happier Day,
When Virtue, cherish'd by a Prince's Smile,
Taught by His Laws, Ennobled by His Deed,
Shall give New Conquests to the long-lov'd Isle,
And Freedom bless the Realms by Victory freed;
Till Publick Happiness prove Empire given
The Right Divine of Kings, the Sacred Boon of Heaven.

Thence, upward soaring, shall th' Illustrious Sire,
In Fields of Light, divinely radiant, Shine,
And trace Prophetic, with the Circling Choir,
The Future Honours doom'd to grace His Line:
For, with His Name, His Purpose shall descend,
And Britain's Kings th' exalted Plan pursue;
To spread her Blessings shall her Pow'r extend,
Just to Preserve, tho' Mighty to Subdue;
And, still Supreme, bid Tyrant Fury cease,
Alone give Laws to War, and add New Charms to Peace.

[sigs G2v-H]