VERSES ON THE DEATH

OF QUEEN

CAROLINE.

BY MR. SHIPLEY.

 

Oblivion wraps not in her silent shade
All human labours. Virtue blooms a flower,
That Time's rough hand shall never violate.
Still CAROLINE shall live in faithful verse,
Sweet nurse of Memory, and in the voice
Of grateful Britain. These shall testify
How well her calm impartial rule supplied
A monarch's absence; these commemorate
Her soul contemplative of peaceful Truth
And nature, mindful midst the pomp of Courts
Of wise retirement, and the silent grove.
She stretch'd thro' length'ning shades thy spacious walks,
Delightful Richmond, and the terrass rais'd
Of regal grandeur, whence the eye discerns
Fair Thames with copious waters winding slow
Midst pastures, spreading herds, and villages
Of aspect neat, and villas wrapt in shades:
Fair scene of chearful peace! the lovely sight
Frequent she view'd, and bless'd the honour'd reign
 Of her great Consort, provident and mild.
Now wander'd musing thro' the darkening depth
Of thickest woods, friendly to solemn thought:
Now o'er broad lawns fair opening to the sun.
Nor midst her rural plans disdain'd to mix
The useful arable, and waving corn
With soft turf border'd, and the lowly cot,
That half appears, in branching elms obscur'd.
Here beauty dwells, assembled from the scenes
Of various nature; such as oft inflam'd
With rapture Grecian bards, in that fair vale,
Thessalian Tempe, or thy favorite soil,
Arcadia, erst by awe-struck fancy fill'd
With wand'ring forms, the woodland Deities,
Light Nymphs and wanton Satyrs, faintly seen
Quick glancing thro' the shade at close of eve,
Great Pan, and old Silenus. Hither led
By solitary grief shall GEORGE recall
Th' endearing manners, the soft speech, that flow'd
From his lov'd Consort, virtue mix'd with love,
Prudence, and mild insinuating sense:
But chief her thoughtful breast of counsels deep
Capacious, nor unequal to the weight
Of Government. Such was the royal mind
Of wise ELIZA, name of loveliest sound
To British ears, and pattern fair to Kings:
Or she who rules the Scepter of the North
Illustrious, spreading o'er a barbarous world
 The light of arts and manners, and with arms
Infests th' astonish'd Sultan, hardly now
With scatter'd troops resisting; she drives on
The heavy war, and shakes th' Imperial Throne
Of old Byzantium. Latest time shall sound
The praise of female genius. Oft shall GEORGE
Pay the kind tear, and grief of tender words
To CAROLINE, thus oft lamenting sad.
"Hail sacred shade! by me with endless woe
"Still honour'd! ever in my Breast shall dwell
"Thy image, ever present to my soul
"Thy faithful love, in length of years mature:
"O skill'd t'enliven time, to soften care
"With looks and smiles and friendship's chearful voice!
"Anxious, of Thee bereft, a solitude
"I feel, that not the fond condoling cares
"Of our sad offspring can remove. Ev'n now
"With lonely steps I trace the gloomy groves,
"Thy lov'd recesses, studious to recall
"The vanish'd bliss, and cheat my wand'ring thoughts
"With sweet illusion. Yet I not accuse
"Heav'n's dispensation. Prosperous and long
"Have been my days, and not unknown to fame,
"That dwells with virtue. But 'tis hard to part
"The league of ancient friendship, to resign
"The home-felt fondness, the secure delight,
"That reason nourish'd, and fair fame approv'd."