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SIGNIOR ANTONIO VERRIO,
AT HAMPTON COURT;
ON THE GRANT OF WOODSTOCK PARK, &c.
TO THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH, 1704.
BAINBRIGG BUCKEREDGE, ESQ.
Renown'd in arms when mighty heroes rise,
Th’immortal Muse in lasting numbers tries
To future ages to transmit their fame,
And give them, after death, a living name.
The fields of bliss below, the shady grove,
Were the reward of all their toils above ;
The Mantuan Swain has fill’d the solemn place
With the wreath'd worthies of his Roman race;
While greater Marlborough disdains to wait,
Mature for fame, the slow approach of fate ;
But reaps that glorious harvest whilst he lives,
Which time to all his ancient heroes gives.
Elysian shades shall now no more be sought,
The gay creation of the poet's thought ;
The royal gift displays a nobler view,
No feign’d Elysium can exceed the true,
Woodstock her lov'd Plantagenet no more
Laments, when Marlborough shall her state restore ;
She for whom Chaucer's tuneful lyre was strung,
And Wilmot's Muse in softer transport sung,
From lonely bowers her lofty head shall rear,
And cheerful, like her conquering lord, appear.
Through her cool glades, on every verdant plain,
Eternal Plenty, Peace, and Pleasure reign :
High on her walls, Imperial Eagles tell,
By bolder hands how fierce Bavarians fell ;
Here we behold, by Verrio's pencil wrought,
The numerous spoils from Swabian conquests brought;
How o'er th' opposing Schellenberg he run,
Which none before but great Gustavus won.
Here, camps assaulted, and a city storm'd ;
There, on expanded plains, the battle form'd;
Through seas of blood the fiery coursers fly,
And rapid streams and thundering brass defy;
While echoing cliffs and sylvan heights around
With groans and shouts alternately resound.
Surrendering squadrons with their lilies torn,
And haughty chiefs before his prowess born ;
In exile One, and One beneath his chain,
Strive for a crown and liberty in vain.
Gild his victorious car, bold Artist; draw Albion rejoicing, and the world in awe; Paint in full splendor all his acts, that claim Triumphant laurels and immortal fame.
Make him Gaul's glittering flowers in homage yield,
To fix them faster in Britannia's shield ;
Let Austria's sacred branch in state descend,
To view the victor and applaud the friend ;
Let your great genius on the canvas show,
How the swift Rhine, and how the Danube flow,
How eastward this, in streaming purple strays,
How that, his captives to our coasts conveys;
How thus the trophies, he at once has won,
Haste to the rising and the setting sun.
RECAPITULATING THE PARTICULARS OF A
Sweet Nymphs, that dwell on Pindus' verdant side,
And o'er the woods without a blush preside,
Celestial Muses, deign your Bard a lay,
As on the winding banks of Yare I stray.
Yet if the Nymphs from Pindus scorn to bow,
Nor deign to listen to a voice so low;
Their pride I will repay, and in despite,
While such my theme, of all the Muses write.
Recall we then, for still 't will please, to mind
The morn we left dull Norwich smoke behind ;
When, as the lofty spire just sunk from view,
To a fair verdant water'd vale we drew;
Where 'midst fair Liberty's all-joyous plains
Popery still seems to hug her galling chains.
The dragon in Hesperian gardens old
Thus slumbering lay, and tasted not the gold ;
Thus, 'midst th' eternal spring Judea keeps,
The lazy poison of Asphaltus sleeps.
Bend then, my Muse, thy flight to Weston's plains. (No verse can flow where papal Slavery reigns), Weston I whose groves not envy Pindus' shade, Nor, blest with Ridley, want Apollo's aid. Here Virtue reigns, and o'er the fruitful land Religion walks, with freedom hand in hand; His little flock the pious priest informs, And every breast with Heaven-born doctrine warms; Soft flows his stream of eloquence along, And truths divine come mended from his tongue. Here the known bounty of the place we blest, And to our number join'd the cheerful priest.
Through ancient Elmham next our way we take, And gravely nodding wise reflections make; How strongest things destructive time o’erturns, And the waste town its ravish'd mitre mourns ; “ Mitrel repeats the priest with simpering leer, “ 'Twill fit at Norwich full as well as here."
But now, my Muse, in blushes hide thy face,
Nor deign the next vile town in verse a place :
Unless thou canst indite in Blackmore's strain,
And say, we call'd full hungry at the Swan,
* But found not hay for horse, nor meat for man.