James Hurdis Poems >>
A Poem, Upon a Prospect of the Marriage of the Prince of Wales
Season of darkness and contracted day,
Inclement Winter, whose approaching foot
Treads on the heel of Autumn, pause; nor strew
With thy rude gust the ill-surviving leaf
Which hangs discoloured upon hill and vale.
Still let the mellow-beam'd October orb
Protract its influence, and unobscured
Shed softest comfort round us; till decay
Seem lovely, and the sickly hues of Earth
Resigning all her beauty, please not less
Than the mild exit of the tranquil sage
Who smiles and disappears, and his white locks
Contented yields to the none-sparing grave.
Impending Season, to the frozen north
Bid thy strong gale and low redundant cloud,
Whose gloom down-stooping ev'ry hill-top sweeps,
Retreat: O'er Hyperborean regions shed
Thy feathery show'r, and drift it with thy breath.
Bind other streams with ice, and other lakes
Make firm as rock with thy congealing frown:
Elsewhere be tyrannous, but gentle here:
Here smile serene; and let incautious Spring,
Decoyed or e'er her season, on thy brow
An odorous chaplet place of early buds,
And deck with blossoms thy snow-sprinkled crown.
Be gay, dull Season; and inspired at length
By ling'ring Autumn and returning Spring
Learn all their dance and be as brisk as they.
Let the cold sceptre from thy hand depart;
And Spring be Queen instead, to welcome home
Brunswick's fair daughter, and before her strew
All vernal beauty on the British shore.
Meantime shalt thou, kind Season, the rude deep
Sooth with thine out-stretched arm; and bid the waves
That wildly furious their confounded power
Tumble, far-sounding in the midnight gale,
Upon the rocks of Britain, yet awhile
Their foaming frenzy curb, and lave the shore
With impulse inoffensive; murmur soft
Repose inducing more than stillest calm:
Then, tilting o'er the flood with streamers gay
And ev'ry sail unfurled, pilot the fleet
Which bears to Britain for her Prince a gem;
Freight thrice more precious than Peruvian gale
E'er wafted to Iberia. When her eye
Above the dancing tide the steady spot
First notes, which Britain's heav'n-aspiring soil
Proclaims apparent, thy dark cloud withdraw,
Wont on its brow to rest; and shed alone
Far-distant sunshine on its milky head:
In beams of purest day clothe ev'ry cliff
Slow-mounting o'er the waves; and, as the port
Extends to welcome her his ample arms,
With shouting thousands crowd the peopled shore.
Their loud huzza let the proud bark repeat
To ev'ry fellow vessel; and at once
All, as they pass, to either echoing shore
In flame, in thunder, and redounding smoke,
Their prosp'rous embassy announce. Around
Albion's firm barrier let the throat of war
The tidings bellow, till they reach thy ear,
Victorious Howe, and kindle all thy fires.
So shall Britannia at the loud applause
Of her own thunder quake, and think what pow'r
Could her indignant navy then withstand,
Intrepid warrior, when thy ev'ry port
Blazed death, and to the swift pernicious bolt
Gave wings that swept the war-encumber'd deep
And to the bottom sent her proud foe down.
Welcome, fair Princess, welcome to the shore
Thy Parent left reluctant. Reap thou here
Comfort's full harvest, by the hand of heaven
Placed on no isle forlorn, no desert rock,
No land of savages, no nest of slaves,
No kennel bloody of infernal hounds
Who bark for Freedom, and with tyrant mouths
Ere Freedom enters pull her to the ground:
Here Prince and People liberty alike
Give and receive, partake, and all enjoy.
Welcome, fair Princess, and be thy approach
The harbinger and promise of ere long
The dear return of renovated Peace.
Arise, Great God of Battles, Lord of Hosts,
Come down, Almighty Warrior, bow the heavens,
The cloudy chariot of salvation mount;
And let the stedfast empyrean burn
Under thy glowing wheels. Thy flashing spear
Brandish indignant o'er the cowering earth,
And send thy bickering arrows round the world:
Stir up the deep, and his uplifted wave
Pour headlong, flound'ring, against rock and cliff
Till ev'ry barrier fail, and the wild surge
Its foamy dance pursue, besieging close
And leveling earth's ramparts; the proud hold
But weak asylum of transgressor man:
Descend and touch the mountains. Let them smoke,
Shudder, and roar, beneath thy blazing car.
And when thy march begins from isle to isle,
O'er continent and deep, all boundaries
In turn high-over-passing, and in turn
All kingdoms visiting, let ev'ry isle,
Let ev'ry mountain, precipice, and hill,
Melt at the pressure of thy sultry foot:
Scatter all nations with the lighting down
Of thy sulphureous arm: Asunder drive them,
Never to meet and levy wars again.
Utter thy glorious voice, shake earth and heaven,
And thunder-drive thy foes to utmost hell.
Let ancient earth, too guilty to sustain
Thy frown and footstep, to her centre mourn
Shot through with agony. Rock to and fro'
Her everduring pillars, her strong base
Dissolve, and like a cottage let her reel,
Earthquake beneath, whirlwind and storm above:
Vex and confound her like the struggling bark
Which shatter'd, rudderless, before the gale
Stoops, and, exposing her unshelter'd side
To ocean's high-wrought fury, ill sustains
The foamy mantling billow that o'ershoots
And pours his roaring cataract upon her.
Nor let her live but as that sinking bark
Which hopeless, shuddering, from the troubled gulf
That yawns to swallow her fear-founder'd crew,
Through the bright rift of the quick-posting cloud
Lifts up to thee the supplicating eye
And mute petition, which thy anger stays
And smooths her passage to the port she sought.
Father Omnipotent, assert thy son
And give him all dominion. Bow the neck
Of unbelieving Gallia to his yoke,
The yoke of freedom. Vindicate the blood
Of her slain innocent, the martyr'd Prince,
Assassinated widow, murder'd maid,
Whose crime was only to be born of Kings.
Lift up the fatherless, the brazen doors
Of his dark dungeon burst, and let the Prince
Share with his people what thou gav'st to all
Dear liberty. No longer live a slave,
A tyrant live no longer, people, Kings;
All free and happy; by no fetters bound
Save those which only devils scorn to wear,
Chains of religion, rectitude, and faith-
Fetters expedient, chains imposed on all,
And only galling to the daring wretch
Who longs, like Lucifer, to blaze and fall
Pre-eminent in crime. Heav'n speed the day
When Pity shall unbar his Prison gates,
And Gallia welcome from his dark abode
Her orphan, innocent, insulted, King.
Arise, brave nation, and assert his cause:
Crush the fell hydra which thy dearest blood
Laps conscience-proof. Dare an Herculean task
To die or to extinguish all her heads.
One tyrannous Bastile your hands have razed:
Another grinds you. Under-delve the pile,
And scare all Europe with the thund'ring blow
Whose vast explosion proclaims Gallia free.
Horrible consistory, reeking troop
Of slaughter-fed assassins, wading deep
In your own country's blood, lavishly shed
To gratify ambition, abject fear,
Revenge, and jealousy, and tyrant hate,
Be Louis free as you are; free to sway
A righteous sceptre; but not free, like you,
To sup profusely of a nation's blood,
Dooming to confiscation and swift death,
Death without respite, death without reprieve,
Legions of innocent, of rich, and great-
Legions whose all transgression was to wear,
What best became them, hearts rebellion-proof,
Scorning desertion from a trampled Prince-
Legions that bore, and bore without offence,
Titles of princely favour, to record
Some deed of high renown erewhile atchieved
By their brave ancestry-Legions whose crime
Was to possess revenues, which your hands,
To murder, theft, and sacrilege, inured,
Had plundered from them ere ye doomed their throats
To the broad knife which hungers for your own.
Thou dread Requiter of all wrongs below,
Give to the mounted scale, which soars so high
And touches heav'n with its aspiring beam,
Momentum vast; and to the lowest deep
Plumb let it drop. As swiftly to the skies
Raise the depress'd, and be confirmed by all
War's awful arbiter and King of Kings.
Once more let Gallia, faithful, the sweet dawn
Of restoration welcome; and her Prince
Rise from his dungeon, like the orb of day
From the dark confines of tempestuous night.
Let his mild presence cheer-whate'er the storm
Has in his absence wreck'd; it's dying gust
Sooth into calm; its separating cloud
Disperse with smiles, and dissipate the dews
Which drop so largely from the weeping branch.
Return those happy days when willing France
Welcomed her Antoinette, as Britain now
Brunswick's fair issue to her laughing isle.
Let Gallia's Prince his blooming bride receive,
And Gallia hail him as Britannia hails
Her George, and bids him prosper. Prince beloved,
May no rude shock thy earthly peace disturb.
Vanish before thee machination deep,
And dark conspiracy that veils her cheek-
E'en from the moon-beam. Like thy prosp'rous sire
Assassination's poisoned dart, that spares
Not virtue's self, defy; the brittle knife
Of blind insanity, and pike concealed
Under the cloak of treason; while, like his,
Thy shelter is the hollow of Heav'n's shield,
Heav'n's arm thy confidence. Stand fast, like him,
In Christian panoply secure, nor fear
While virtue girds thee, and religion's helm
Nods o'er thy brow; for hosts omnipotent
Shall camp about thee, and immortal bands,
That slumber never, foil and repel thy foe.
Surrounded by their armies earthly prince
Is castled stronger, be the field his fort,
Than in the proudest battlements shell-proof
Where virtue not attends him. What though Hell
Her murky legions round about him pour,
Hell fire his ramparts, Hell in her own smoke
Cloud his recoiling bastions, Hell direct
His molten sleet, Hell shower upon the foe
His pond'rous hail intense, yet shall he fall.
But blaze at once from her unnumber'd mouths
All Earth, and blaze at once all Hell from her's,
Amid the flaming volley, though it plough
Earth as a furrow'd field, the righteous lives.
Live long religious Monarch. May thy throne
The rude concussion of all storms withstand;
And be, like thee, thy progeny secure
In their own goodness. As thou sitst above,
Superior to misfortune, like the cape
Or cloud-girt promontory high in air
Which ocean saps in vain, in vain assaults
With countless myriads of insurgent waves
Loud thund'ring, so prevail thy happy race.
Heav'n's smile for ever on their foreheads rest,
His storm sail far beneath; the salient deep
Pour his wild waters at their feet, unfeared;
Nor aught avail, save by incessant fall
To smooth and beautify the stedfast rock,
Which breasts his indignation tempest-proof
Nor feels the fury of the proudest surge.
Prince, be thy fortune as thy father's fair,
And share, like him, whatever bliss can flow
From life connubial. And while thou apart
Sweet peace domestic, peace as sweet enjoy
Britannia rescued from her ancient foe
By her own awful arm. An iron sleep
Close the grim ports of war. An iron sleep
Fall on his bulwarks. His infernal throat
That erst breathed fire and cloud voluminous,
Scaring the nations with gigantic boast
And instant thunderbolt, in silence dread
Lie slumber-seized; and undisturb'd her web
'Cross the still battlement Arachne weave.
Shew thyself, mighty Leader, strike the blow
Which shall to Britain her lost peace restore;
Once more in arms before thy foe appear;
And, Brunswick, mark me that the flaming bark
Which bears thy awful name, environ'd round
By hostile armament, about her dealt
No useless thunder ball, but all-subdued
Foes oath-bound her consumptive ire to slake
Or sink unconquered in the scared abyss.
Remember this, great soldier, and present
With thy fair daughter to her happy Prince
(Portion more precious than the widest realm)
The wreath of victory and branch of peace.
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Based on Keywords: arachne, inoffensive, voluminous, armament, sulphureous, protract, rudderless, recoiling, discoloured, herculean, congealing