1789
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Stanzas, written on the Recovery of the King.

London Chronicle (7 March 1789) 227.

Rev. Luke Booker


Five irregular Spenserians (ababccdD) in the measure of Thomas Gray's Hymn to Adversity. The King's illness was felt by Luke Booker, as by many others, as a matter of public judgment: "No more dread Sovereign of the Skies, | May thy reclaiming vengeance rise; | No more may guilt, for which Messiah bled, | Advert thy vexing storms to GEORGE'S righteous head!" As a consequence the newspapers were filled for weeks with an almost unprecedented number gratulatory odes. The present poem is in the same measure as Booker's Hymn to Providence, written during the King's Indisposition, published the year before.



Bless'd by the Pow'r! whose watchful eye,
Regards the good with tenderest care,
Who bends from his pavillion high
To guard his checquer'd scene so fair;
Whose arm omnipotent remov'd
Disease from him his choice approv'd,
And, with a kind immutable decree,
Enthron'd him in the hearts of British Legions free!

Bless'd be the Pow'r! whose bounteous hand
With plenty crowns the laughing hills
Of this enlighten'd favour'd land,
And ev'n th' endanger'd wand'rer fills:
Oh! may thy choicest blessing — Peace,
Dwell in our walls, and discord cease
(Fir'd with ambition and invidious hate)
To turn celestial truth from Wisdom's hallow'd gate.

Bless'd be the Pow'r! whose pity heard
The suppliant Nation's Patriot pray'r;
Who stemm'd the wrath their guilt incurr'd,
Nor doom'd them their deserved share:
No more dread Sovereign of the Skies,
May thy reclaiming vengeance rise;
No more may guilt, for which Messiah bled,
Advert thy vexing storms to GEORGE'S righteous head!

Rapt with the bright rewards of Heav'n
Depicted in Redemption's page,
May vice repentant, vice forgiv'n,
Bid virtue hail the halcyon age,
When Treachery and fell Deceit,
With specious mien and hell-ward feet,
No more shall wake, in life's resplendent day,
Inquietude, black fiend! and horrent-hair'd Dismay.

Then shall Britannia's sons arise
Like plants which deck the vernal year,
Her daughters mild as summer-skies,
And as the polish'd marble fair:
Then shall no poison's massy wall
Th' untutor'd miscreant's mind appal,
But each shall sing, unaw'd by Terror's rod;
"Thrice bless'd and happy they whose confidence is God."

[p. 217]