1763
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Untitled, "The gayly-gilded stream of light."]

Gratulatio Academiae Cantabrigiensis in Pacem Augustissimi Principis Georgii III. Magnae Britanniae Regis Auspiciis Europae Feliciter Restitutam Anno M.DCC.LXIII.

Rev. Michael Tyson


Seven irregular Pindaric stanzas replete with Miltonic imagery by an undergraduate friend of William Mason and Horace Walpole. Michael Tyson was an antiquarian, a painter and, to judge from William Cole's memoir, a colorful character.

Critical Review: "We cannot pass over Mr. Tyson's ode, without its due praise, as we do not remember to have met any thing in modern ode-writing superior to it, especially the following [sixth] stanza" 16 (August 1763) 188.



I.
The gayly-gilded dream of light,
Beaming from its wavy bed,
Plays on the purple cloud of night;
Hush'd is the thunder's awful sound,
No lightnings glare around,
No terrors from the clanging shield
Awake the frantic arm of war;
Desolation quits the field,
Upborn in regal state in blood-encrimson'd car.

II.
Mild as Zephyr's breezy wing,
Bright as Hesper's lucid ray,
Rise, fair Peace, — and with thee bring
The Sun of pure delight.
In gaudy trim and richly dight
Let thy loose robe wanton play:
No ruder winds shall tear
The ringlets of thy graceful hair;
For thou, like Cynthia queen of night,
Shalt beam the solemn stillness of thy silver light.

III.
With thee be seen
Disporting on the ample green
The nymphs that wanton in thy reign:
And foremost of the train,
Frisking wild in artless glee,
The wood-nymph Liberty.
By her the weary'd swain
Enjoys the pittance of his toil-earn'd gain;
Supremely blest,
Sinks in the downy arms of balmy rest.
Power's lawless sword
Wastes not the rich-pil'd board,
Where either India glows
And Nectar's purple stream profusely flows.

IV.
Science raise thy piercing eye,
The wonders of th' expanse descry,
Sail thro' the boundless realms of space,
And other worlds in unknown regions trace.
Strike ye the magic lyre!
Let Fancy mount on eagle wing,
Breathe the fervor of the Theban fire,
And rouse the music of each rapt'rous string!
For who amidst the din of arms,
When Death proud stalks in night alarms,
Could wake the soothing strain?
Lost is the whispering gale
Where thund'ring torrents roll their streams amain.

V.
Reclin'd in roseate bowers
When lightly fly the downy Hours,
The grateful Muse shall artful weave
The gift of her immortal wreathe,
For those who shook the trembling spear,
Uncheck'd by fear
Amidst the blood-stain'd strife,
And gave the liberal gift of generous life.
Uprais'd on wings sublime
'Tis thine to visit every distant clime:
Glory shall rouse at thy melodious strain,
Whether on Minden's plain,
Or where old Ocean laves
Canadia's trackless realm with his unbounded waves.

VI.
Vocal Nymphs, ye haunt no more
Ilyssus' hallow'd shore,
Or where old Tiber rolls his tide:
There jarring Discords murmur round,
Where erst each pleasing sound
Rapt the soul in extasy;
Savage Fury fires the sky,
Sad Superstition shakes her vengeful rod;
Each monument of grace
Falls at some sullen tyrant's frantic nod.
For ye, fair Nymphs, disdain to dwell
Where slavery opes her iron cell.
But Albion, daughter of the Sea,
Shall in her potent arms infold
The rulers of sweet harmony.
Such strains shall warble wild
As erst, on Avon's rushy-fringed side,
Sweet Fancy struck with flying hand,
And sooth'd her amber waves that murmuring glide.

VII.
From the blissful seats above,
Rob'd in stole of purest white,
Descend, Religion, star-crown'd maid,
Mild ray of heav'nly love.
Deign-to grace the busy throng
With the full splendor of meridian day,
Or like some fading meteors idly gay
In wayward dance they'll lead their steps along.
Lo! from the regions of etherial light
Thou beamest heavenly bright.
Around fair Peace what glories shine!
O piteous Nymph benign,
Long deign with influence mild to smile
On GEORGE's blissful hours, and grace fair Albion's isle!

[sigs *Zv-Aa]