ON THE DEATH OF
FREDERIC PRINCE OF WALES.
WRITTEN AT PARIS, BY DAVID LORD VISCOUNT
STORMONT, OF CH. CH. OXON.
Little I whilom deem'd my artless zeal
Should woo the British Muse in foreign land
To strains of bitter argument, and teach
The mimic Nymph, that haunts the winding verge
And oozy current of Parisian Seine,
To syllable new sounds in accents strange.
But sad occasion calls: who now forbears
The last kind office? who but consecrates
His off'ring at the shrine of fair Renown
To gracious frederic rais'd; tho' but compos'd
Of the waste flourets, whose neglected hues
Chequer the lonely hedge, or mountain slope?
Where are those hopes, where fled th' illusive scenes
That forgeful fancy plan'd, what time the bark
Stem'd the salt wave from Albion's chalky bourn?
Then filial Piety and parting Love
Pour'd the fond pray'r; "Farewell, ye less'ning cliffs,
"Fairer to me, than ought in fabled song
"Or mystic record told of shores Atlantic!
"Favour'd of heav'n, farewell! imperial isle,
"Native to noblest wits, and best approv'd
"In manly science, and advent'rous deed!
"Celestial Freedom, by rude hand estrang'd
"From regions once frequented, with Thee takes
"Her stedfast station, fast beside the throne
"Of scepter'd Rule, and there her state maintains
"In social concord, and harmonious love.
"These blessings still be thine, nor meddling fiend
"Stir in your busy streets foul Faction's roar;
"Still thrive your growing works, and gales propitious
"Visit your sons who ride the watry waste;
"And still be heard from forth your gladsome bow'rs
"Shrill tabor-pipes, and ev'ry peaceful sound.
"Nor vain the wish, while george the golden scale
"With steady prudence holds, and temp'rate sway.
"And when his course of earthly honours run,
"With lenient hand shall frederic sooth your care,
"Rich in each princely quality, mature
"In years, and happiest in nuptial choice.
"Thence too arise new hopes, a playful troop
"Circles his hearth, sweet pledges of that bed,
"Which Faith, and Joy, and thousand Virtues guard.
"His be the care t' inform their ductile minds
"With worthiest thoughts, and point the ways of honour.
"How often shall he hear with fresh delight
"Their earnest tales, or watch their rising passions
"With timorous attention; then shall tell
"Of justice, fortitude and public weal,
"And oft the while each rigid precept smooth
"With winning tokens of parental love!"
Thus my o'erweening heart the secret stores
Of Britain's hope explor'd, while my strain'd sight
Pursued her fading hills, till wrapt in mist
They gently sunk beneath the swelling tide.
Nor slept those thoughts, whene'er in other climes
I mark'd the cruel waste of foul oppression,
Saw noblest spirits, and goodliest faculties,
To vassalage and loathsome service bound.
Then conscious preference rose; then northward turn'd
My eye, to gratulate my natal soil.
How have I chid with froward eagerness
Each veering blast, that from my hand witheld
The well known characters of some lov'd friend,
Tho' distant, not unmindful? Still I learn'd
Delighted, what each patriot plan devis'd
Of arts, or glory, or diffusive commerce.
Nor wanted its endearment every tale
Of lightest import. But oh! heavy change,
What notices come now? Distracted scenes
Of helpless sorrow, solemn sad accounts;
How fair augusta watch'd the weary night
Tending the bed of anguish; how great george
Wept with his infant progeny around;
How heav'd the orphan's and the widow's sigh,
That follow'd frederic to the silent tomb.
For well was frederic lov'd; and well deserv'd:
His voice was ever sweet, and on his steps
Attended ever the alluring grace
Of gentle lowliness and social zeal.
Him shall remember oft the labour'd hind,
Relating to his mates each casual act
Of courteous bounty. Him th' artificer,
Plying the varied woof in sullen sadness,
Tho' wont to carrol many a ditty sweet.
Soon too the mariner, who many moons
Has counted, beating still the foamy surge,
And treads at last the wish'd-for beach, shall stand
Appall'd at the sad tale, and soon shall steal
Down his rough cheek th' involuntary tear.
Be this our solace yet, all is not dead;
The bright memorial lives: for his example
Shall Hymen trim his torch, domestic praise
Be countenanc'd, and virtue fairer shew.
In age succeeding, when another george,
To ratify some weighty ordinance
Of Britain's peers conven'd, shall pass beside
Those hallowed spires, whose gloomy vaults enclose,
Shrouded in sleep, pale rows of scepter'd kings,
Oft to his sense the sweet paternal voice
And long-remember'd features shall return;
Then shall his generous breast be new inflam'd
To acts of highest worth, and highest fame.
These plaintive strains from albion far away,
I lonely meditate at even-tide;
Nor skill'd nor studious of the raptur'd lay;
But still remembring oft the magic sounds,
Well-measur'd to the chime of Dorian lute,
Or past'ral stop, which erst I lov'd to hear
On Isis' broider'd mead, where dips by fits
The stooping osier in her hasty stream.
Hail wolsey's spacious dome! hail, ever fam'd
For faithful nurture, and truth's sacred lore,
Much honour'd parent! You my duteous zeal
Accept, if haply in thy laureat wreath
You deign to interweave this humble song.