1776
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Prince's Nativity. — A Pindaric.

General Evening Post (13 August 1776).

M.


A birthday ode in four irregular stanzas, signed "M.," who was the house poet at the General Evening Post. The third stanza, which glances at the American Revolution, is in the rhyme-pattern of Gray's Hymn to Adversity.



I.
As on this day all-beauteous Heaven
Pour'd down her choicest blessings on our isle,
And promis'd much for future years,
When to a future GEORGE it shall be given
To bid applauding millions smile,
And raise their honest hopes, and chace away their fears.

II.
Let gratulations hail the day
That gave the blessing birth;
Let the bold Poet sound the British lay;
Let Music, with her amplest pow'rs,
Wake every strain — and let the list'ning Earth
Responsive echo; — let the playful Hours
Dance lightly on the green; while Britons, ye,
Ye eldest born of Liberty,
Triumphant sing, "The mighty boon is ours."

III.
No eye averted (at this mirthful time)
Shall stray beyond th' Atlantic sea,
In search of that unhappy clime,
Whose mournful name is death to all the Free.
For there arise a world of woes!
—The filial grief, maternal throes,
That thro' those blood-stain'd regions roam,
Would wound the feeling heart, and bring their sorrows home!

IV.
Arise, my Song, on wings of hope,
And wish a brighter day,
When those who, born old Freedom's prop,
Shall all conspire to hold her empire up:—
The Soldier with his martial steel,
The Seaman, he who knows to sweep
O'er the wide bosom of the deep,
The Legislator, wise in learned lore;
And ev'ry man whose gentle heart can feel,
He who thro' Hist'ry's ample fields shall stray,
And ev'ry Bard whom Nature bids attune th' inspiring lay.

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