1761
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Untitled, "Hence to shades of blackest night."]

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

Basil Thomas


Yet another imitation of Milton's companion poems, signed "B. Thomas of Emmanuel College." Following a conventional formula in gratulatory verse, Basil Thomas relates the journey of Queen Charlotte (1744-1818) from Germany to Britain in a series of couplet stanzas.

Queen Charlotte eventually outlived her welcome. Half a century later, Melesina Chenevix Trench wrote, "The Queen's death has been so long expected as to make no impression on the little circle around me. I feel for those who must regret her; but no woman who reigned so long has ever taken so little root in the hearts of her people. Her own supposed heartlessness chilled all the warmer feelings" November 1818; in Remains of Mrs. Richard Trench (1862) 390.



Hence to shades of blackest night,
Baneful foes of fond delight;
Jealousy, that loves to pry,
Wan Despair's perpetual sigh,
Pert Conceit, himself surveying,
Folly with her shadow playing,
Insolence with proud grimace,
And Ignorance's laughing face:
Baneful foes of fond delight,
Hence to shades of blackest night.

But come, thou rosy-dimpled Boy,
Source of ev'ry heart-felt joy;
Deign awhile to quit the groves,
Where the Graces with the Loves
In their ever-sportive round,
Trip it o'er th' enamell'd ground;
Where the silent, conscious green
Oft has view'd the Cyprian queen:
Source of ev'ry heart-felt joy,
Come thou rosy-dimpled Boy.

Haste to Britain, haste away;
Britons now demand thy stay:
Look where Albion o'er the plains
Fruitful spreads it's wide domains;
Look where thro' a thousand meads
Thames his silver current leads:
There to hail thee on thy way,
Hymen burns his torch to day.
Britons now demand thy stay;
Haste to Britain, haste away.

Let the jovial bowl go round;
Britain's prayer at length is crown'd.
Hark! I hear the herald's voice
Loud proclaim the royal choice:
And while mingled shouts arise,
Loudly echoing to the skies,
See each British hand prepare
Safe to guard the royal Fair.
Britain's prayer at length is crown'd;
Let the jovial bowl go round.

Be thou Cupid, there unseen
With thy beauteous mother queen.
Choose the bark that safely glides
Sweetest o'er the rolling tides:
Let her be of royal wood,
Tallest sister of the flood:
Let her strength be well survey'd;
Lo! she bears a royal Maid.
With thy beauteous mother queen,
Be thou Cupid, there unseen.

Lull each boist'rous wave to sleep;
Calm and silent be the deep:
May no hostile, envious blast
Overload the bending mast;
But let Eurus' mildest gale
Gently fan the swelling sail,
While the vessel wafts her o'er
Safely to the British shore.
Calm and silent be the deep;
Lull each boist'rous wave to sleep.

Gladsome with the royal store
Now the vessel gains the shore;
While, to fill the splendid train,
A thousand Nereids croud the main.
Hark! the musick soft and clear
Sweetly steals upon the ear;
Warbling from each vessel's side,
Echo wafts it o'er the tide.
Now the vessel gains the shore,
Gladsome with the royal store.

This is thine and Cupid's day;
Haste, fair CHARLOTTE, haste away.
Where yon regal turrets rise,
And the flow'ry-border'd Thames
Pours along his silver streams;
There enthron'd 'midst royal sway,
GEORGE expects Thee on thy way.
This is thine and Cupid's day.

Happy King, and happy Queen,
May your joys be all serene!
Springing from your royal line,
May a matchless offspring shine,
Fill'd with all their Father's worth:
May their valour blazon forth,
Such as Gallia's Sons shall dread,
Stooping low their servile head.
May your joys be all serene,
Happy King, and happy Queen!

[sigs Gg-Gg2]