1773
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Ode on Her Majesty's Birth-Day.

Lloyd's Evening Post (27 January 1773) 92.

Anonymous


A loyalist effusion performed at Dublin, not signed. The chorus adapts Milton's L'Allegro: "Come, thou ever smiling power, | Goddess of the festive hour, | Heaven-born mirth! and bring along | The tuneful harp, the loyal song." Simon Harcourt, first Earl of Harcourt (1714-1777) was made Viceroy of Ireland in 1772. The full title is "An Ode on Her Majesty's Birth-Day. Performed at the Castle of Dublin, on Monday the 18th od January, 1773." Compare the very similar ode composed by Benjamin Victor and published in the London Evening Post (2 February 1764).



FULL CHORUS.
Come, thou ever-smiling power,
Goddess of the festive hour!
Heav'n-born Mirth! and bring along
The tuneful harp, the loyal song;
Hibernia's Viceroy leads the train,
Harcourt commands the grateful strain:
Each willing mind with joy obeys,
And to the best of Queens the tribute pays.

SONG.
A form where awful Honour shines!
Where Sense and Sweetness move!
And Angel Innocence refines
The sentiment of Love!

RECITATIVE.
While Time brings mortal beauties to decay,
Fair Virtue gives what Time can't steal away.

SONG.
Those are the whole of Beauty's theme;
Without whose vital aid
Unfinished all the features seem,
And all the colours fade.

RECITATIVE.
Such bliss for Britain's King doth Heav'n decree;
(To us is given celestial Liberty)
A train of Kings their mutual love supplies;
A glorious scene to Albion's ravish'd eyes!

SONG.
What clouds soe'er without are seen,
Oh, may they never enter in!
But Virtue's pow'rs can safely bind,
And well protect the spotless Mind.

RECITATIVE.
See Britain's King and Britain's Queen,
Quit the throng'd palace, (splendid scene),
To seek the calm and sweet recess,
Where dwells that Cherub, Happiness!

SONG.
There, in the evening's solemn hour,
Adore that great Almighty Pow'r,
Who takes such virtues to his care!
And Angels guard the Royal Pair.

RECITATIVE.
Religion now fresh beams her chearing ray,
Since our lov'd Monarch gladly owns her sway;
At this example Vice astonish'd falls,
Detested Exile, from those happy walls.

FULL CHORUS.
Come, thou ever smiling Pow'r,
Goddess of the festive hour,
Heaven-born Mirth! and bring along
The tuneful harp, the loyal song.
Each willing mind with joy obeys,
And to the best of QUEENS the tribute pays.

[p. 92]