1814
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen: a Poem.

Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen: a Poem in Two Parts. By Mrs Grant, of Laggan.

Anne Grant


In a belligerently patriotic poem, Anne Grant salutes Good King George — and Robert Southey as Spenser's successor in the laureateship: "While shadowing to an allegoric age | The royal virtues in his tuneful page, | High-gifted Spenser through his fairy scene | Display'd the image of a British queen." The title may be intended as a reply to Anna Laetitia Barbauld's political poem, Eighteen Hundred and Eleven. Not seen.

Gentleman's Magazine: "This is a spirited and polished work: indeed, if we consider the subject in its proper light, it could not fail to rouse the utmost energy of Poetry to every breast devoted to the Muses" 84 (November 1814) 458.

Robert Shelton Mackenzie: "Mrs. Grant of Laggan, whose 'Memoirs of an American Lady' are well known in this country [the United States], wrote a variety of other works, among which her 'Letters from the Mountains' take the lead. She died in 1838, aged seventy-seven" Noctes Ambrosianae, ed. Mackenzie (1854) 5:379n.



The bard inspired by Heaven, and he alone,
Can shed a lasting lustre round the throne;
The noble deeds, sung to the immortal lyre,
The souls of future bards and heroes fire:
The love of virtue, and the thirst of praise,
Bids greener laurels spring, and fresher bays.
The virtuous monarch, and the heaven-taught bard,
Together rise, each other's best reward:
Thus Virgil sung to one distinguished throne,
And Roman bays encircled that alone.
Thus Spenser, in his allegoric strain,
Displayed the glories of the Maiden Reign:
Thus he, who sings the song of triumph now,
While Spenser's laurel decks his honoured brow,
In every future age, and distant clime,
By space unfettered, and untouched by time,
Shall tell how firm unconquered Britain stood,
What glories closed the reign of George the Good;
How bounteous Heaven redundant plenty showered,
Her golden horn how liberal Commerce poured;
From Britain how the kindling ardour came,
That touched the nations round, and burst in flame,
And close the lofty strain, with vengeance shed
By justice on the proud oppressor's head. . . .

Haply for thee, a fair imperial flower,
(To Britain given in some propitious hour;)
Its glossy leaves unfolds, its fragrance sheds,
To thy delighted eye its beauty spreads;
Smiles on a happy nation great and free,
Yet with superior sweetness smiles on thee.
While shadowing to an allegoric age
The royal virtues in his tuneful page,
High-gifted Spenser through his fairy scene
Display'd the image of a British queen,
In the mild majesty of mellow'd light
That reign of glory rises to the sight:
The manly strength of that well-cultured mind,
Which danger ne'er could daunt, nor falsehood blind;
The deep research of that far-seeing eye,
That wont the unacknowledged thought to spy;
The "lion-port," and awe-commanding grace,
That added dignity to highest place;
Decision firm, that made her laws revered,
Her friendship courted, and her anger fear'd;
In Fame's high temple bids her image stand,
The boast and guardian of her native land.

[pp. 19-20, 46-47]