1783
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Ode on Peace

London Chronicle (4 February 1783) 116.

M. Applin


A patriotic ode in three couplet stanzas on something like the Miltonic plan. The interesting thing about this poem is the construction of its stanzas, which consist of three lines in heroic couplets followed three in octosyllabic couplets, a contrast dramatizing the lightening prospects following the American war: "We all embrace thee now with eager arms, | Admire thy beauty, and adore thy charms. | Inspir'd by thee the Muses smile, | And welcome thee to Britain's isle." The ode is signed "M. Applin, Winbourn, Jan. 26"; I have not identified the author.

In striking contrast to the peace concluding the Seven Years' War, the inglorious peace of 1783 received scant attention from the poets. Neither university issued a gratulatory volume.



Fell war avaunt, thou bane of every good;
Plunder, and rapine, are thy daily food;
Thy jaws voracious have ten thousands slain,
Wilt thou curs'd tyrant thirst for blood again?
Know this, mild Peace shall rob thee of thy pow'r,
And on fair Albion wonted blessings shower.
Peace shall bind thy cruel hand,
Bid thee quit our weary land,
Banish thee destructive foe,
Cause of orphans, widows woe:
Peace, soft harbinger of joy,
Shall thy haughty wiles destroy.

Welcome sweet Peace, to thee all hail be given,
Long wish'd for comfort, messenger from Heav'n;
Pleas'd with thy birth, thy nurse Compassion smil'd,
And Pity owns thee her beloved child:
We all embrace thee now with eager arms,
Admire thy beauty, and adore thy charms.
Inspir'd by thee the Muses smile,
And welcome thee to Britain's isle,
In cheerful strains again they sing,
"Happy People, happy King."
Lovely Peace with us remain,
Whilst the race of George shall reign.

Commerce now shall raise her drooping head,
Again be cherish'd in thy downy bed;
The thirsty Merchant shall new schemes pursue,
With climes remote, lost friendship shall renew,
The Husbandman shall whistle o'er his land,
Nor dread the blast of war's devouring hand.
Now shall flourish arts and trade,
Peace and plenty make us glad;
We with thankfulness to heav'n,
Shall confess the blessing giv'n;
In our hearts shall never cease,
Gratitude for thee sweet Peace.

[p. 116]