1713
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode.

Academiae Oxoniensis comitia philologica in Theatro Sheldoniano decimo die Julii A.D. 1713. celebrata: in honorem serenissim  Reginae Annae pacificae.

Rev. Joseph Trapp


A patriotic ode in three irregular Spenserians (ababccC) signed "Jos. Trapp, Coll. Wadh. Prael. Poetices." This is the only English poem in the Oxford volume commemorating the Peace of Utrecht. The use of the Spenserian stanza at this time is unusual; this form had been invented by Phineas Fletcher and had been used several times in the first half of the seventeenth century. Possibly Trapp, then chaplain to the peace-negotiator Viscount Bolingbroke, intended it as a diminished version of that in Prior's Ode to the Queen (1706), composed to celebrate Marlborough's Victory at Ramillies. Or he may have intended it as rhyme royal in honor of Queen Anne, though if that is the case Trapp has failed to notice the central rhyme. The Oxford poet's dedication to the unpopular Tory peace was undoubtedly sincere; like his patron Bolingbroke Trapp was afterwards accused of Jacobite sympathies.

Joseph Trapp later composed an epigram on Oxford politics: "The King, observing with judicious eyes | The state of both his universities, | To Oxford sent a troop of horse, and why? | That learned body wanted loyalty; | To Cambridge books, as very well discerning | How much that loyal body wanted learning" Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the XVIIIth Century (1812-15) 3:330n.

W. Davenport Adams: "Joseph Trapp, D.D., divine (b. 1679, d. 1747), published a translation of Virgil in blank verse (1717), Praelectiones Poeticae (1718), and Notes on the Gospels (1747), besides translating into Latin the works of Anacreon, and Paradise Lost" Dictionary of English Literature (1878) 647.



With Noise of Cannon, and of Ratling Drums,
Our Songs of Triumph shall Resound no more;
Crouds shall no longer shout, The Conqu'ror comes,
Nor in our Verse shall warlike Thunder roar.
A milder, happier Strain we now begin;
Tuning to Peace, and Britain's glorious QUEEN,
The softly-breathing Flute, and sprightly Violin.

Peace is the Song; in Peace our Airs conspire:
Let all harsh Notes, and jarring Discords cease;
And sure no Theme can better fit the Lyre,
The Soul of Musick is the Soul of Peace.
Nor will we ev'n the Martial Trumpet spare,
The Martial Trumpet shall our Comfort share,
And sound the Joys of Peace with Harmony of War.

Where, Mighty ANNA, will Thy Glorys end?
Thou Great Composer of distracted States:
Thy Counsels Nations in Suspense attend,
And Monarchs from Thy Throne expect their Fates.
Nations, which, lately Hostile, now resign
Their Cause to Thee, shall in Thy Praise combine,
And All th' agreeing World in one Grand Chorus join.

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