1777
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode for the King's Birth Day.

Universal Magazine 60 (June 1777) 322.

Anonymous


An imitation of Milton's L'Allegro bidding "Hence, daemon hence" to the American war: "Nor with thy presence blast the light | Of that auspicious day, which Britain gives to joy. | But come thou softer Deity, | Fairest unanimity!" The poem is not signed.



Driven out from heaven's aetherial domes
On earth insatiate discord roams,
And spreads her baleful influence far:
On wretched man her scorpion stings
Around th' insidious fury flings
Corroding every bliss, and sharp'ning every care.
Hence daemon, hence! in tenfold night
Thy Stygian spells employ,
Nor with thy presence blast the light
Of that auspicious day, which Britain gives to joy.
But come thou softer Deity,
Fairest unanimity!
Not more fair the star that leads
Bright Aurora's glowing steeds,
Or on Hesper's front that shines
When the garish day declines.
Bring thy usual train along,
Festive dance, and choral song,
Lose-rob'd sport, from folly free,
And mirth, chastis'd by decency.
Enough of war the pensive muse has sung,
Enough of slaughter trembled on her tongue:
Fairer prospects let her bring,
Than hostile fields, and scenes of blood.
If happier hours are on the wing
Wherefore damp the coming good?
If again our tears must flow,
Why forestall the future woe?
Bright ey'd hope, thy pleasing power
Gilds at least the present hour;
Every anxious thought beguiles,
Dresses every face in smiles,
Nor let's one transient cloud the bliss destroy
Of that auspicious day, which Britain gives to joy.

[p. 322]