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But strives in vain to conquer or divide,
THE CAMPAIGN, A poroi. To his or Ace the Duke of MARLeonough, 1705.
—Rheni pacator et Istri.
Esse aliquam in terris gentem quae suá impensä, suo labore ac periculo, bella gerat pro libertate aliorum. Nec hoc finitimis, aut propinquae vicinitatis hominibus, aut terris continenti junctis praestet. Maria trajiciat: ne quod toto orbe terrarum injustum imperium sit, et ubique jus, fas, lex, potentissima sint. Liv. Hist. lib. 33.
While crowds of princes your deserts proclaim,
That sees her bravest son advanc'd so high
A sudden friendship, while with stretch'd-out rays They meet each other, mingling blaze with blaze. Polish’d in courts, and harden'd in the field, Renown'd for conquest, and in council skill'd, Their courage dwells not in a troubled flood Of mountain spirits, and fermenting blood; Lodg'd in the soul, with virtue over-rul’d, Inflam’d by reason, and by reason cool'd, In hours of peace content to be unknown, And only in the field of battle shown: To souls like these, in mutual friendship join'd, Heaven dares intrust the cause of human-kind. Britannia's graceful sons appear in arms, Her harass'd troops the hero's presence warms, Whilst the high hills and rivers all around With thundering peals of British shouts resound: Doubling their speed, they march with fresh delight, Eager for glory, and require the fight. So the stanch hound the trembling deer pursues, And smells his footsteps in the tainted dews, The tedious track unravelling by degrees: But when the scent comes warm in every breeze, Fir'd at the near approach he shoots away On his full stretch, and bears upon his prey. ' The march concludes, the various realms are past; Th’ immortal Schellenberg appears at last: Like hills th'aspiring ramparts rise on high, Like valleys at their feet the trenches lie; Batteries on batteries guard each fatal pass, Threatening destruction; rows of hollow brass, Tube behind tube, the dreadful entrance keep, Whilst in their wombs ten thousand thunders sleep: Great Churchill owns, charm'd with the glorious sight, His march o'er-paid by such a promis'd fight. The western Sun now shot a feeble ray, And faintly scatter'd the remains of day: Ev’ning approach'd; but oh what host of foes Were never to behold that evening close ! Thickening their ranks, and wedg'd in firm array, The close-compacted Britons win their way; In vain the cannon their throng'd war defac'd With tracts of death, and laid the battle waste; Still pressing forward to the fight, they broke Through flames of sulphur, and a night of smoke, Till slaughter'd legions fill'd the trench below, And bore their fierce avengers to their foe. High on the works the mingling hosts engage; The battle, kindled into tenfold rage, With showers of bullets and with storms of fire Burns in full fury; heaps on heaps expire, Nations with nations mix’d confus'dly die, And lost in one promiscuous carnage lie. How many generous Britons meet their doom, New to the field, and heroes in the bloom Th’ illustrious youths, that left their native shore To march where Britons never march'd before, (O fatal love of fame! O glorious heat, Only destructive to the brave and great') After such toils o'ercome, such dangers past, Stretch'd on Bavarian ramparts breathe their last: But hold, my Muse, may no complaints appear, Nor blot the day with an ungrateful tear : While Marlborough lives, Britannia's stars dispense A friendly light, and shine in innocence. Plunging through seas of blood his fiery steed Where’er his friends retire, or foes succeed; Those he supports, these drives to sudden flight, And turns the various fortune of the fight. Fort-ear, great man, renown'd in arms, forbear, To brave the thickest terrours of the war,
Nor hazard thus, confus'd in crowds of foes,
And echoing hills the loud alarm repeat:
Gallin's proud standards, to Bavaria's join'd, Unfurl their gilded lilies in the wind; The daring prince his blasted hopes renews, And, while the thick embattled host he views Stretcht out in deep array, and dreadful length, His heart dilates, and glories in his strength. The fatal day its mighty course began, That the griev'd world had long desir'd in vain; States that their new captivity bemoan'd, Armies of martyrs that in exile groan'd, Sighs from the depth of gloomy dungeons heard, And prayers in bitterness of soul preferr'd, Europe's loud cries, that Providence assail'd, And Anna's ardent vows at length prevail'd; The day was come when Heaven design'd to show His care and conduct of the world below. Behold in awful march and dread array The long-extended squadrons shape their way! Death, in approaching, terrible, imparts An anxious horrour to the bravest hearts; Yet do their beating breasts demand the strife, And thirst of glory quells the love of life. No vulgar fears can British minds control: Heat of revenge, and noble pride of soul, O'erlook the foe, advantag'd by his post, Lessen his numbers, and contract his host; Though fens and floods possest the middle space, That unprovok'd they would have fear'd to pass; Nor fens nor floods can stop Britannia's bands, When her proud foe rang'd on their borders stands. But O, my Muse, what numbers wilt thou find To sing the furious troops in battle join'd! Methinks I hear the drums tumultuous sound The victors' shouts and dying groans confound, The dreadful burst of cannon rend the skies, And all the thunder of the battle rise. [prov'd, 'Twas then great Marlborough's mighty soul was That, in the shock of charging hosts unmov’d, Amidst confusion, horrour, and despair, Examin'd all the dreadful scenes of war: In peaceful thought the field of death survey'd, To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid, Inspir'd repuls'd battalions to engage, And taught the doubtful battle where to rage. So when an angel by divine command With rising tempests shakes a guilty land, Such as of late o'er pale Britannia past, Calm and serene he drives the furious blast; And, pleas'd th' Almighty orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm. But see the haughty household troops advance 1 The dread of Europe, and the pride of France. The war's whole art each private soldier knows, And with a general's love of conquest glows; Proudly he marches on, and void of fear Laughs at the shaking of the British spear: Vain insolence 1 with native freedom brave, The meanest Briton scorns the highest slave : Contempt and fury fire their souls by turns, Each nation's glory in each warrior burns; Each fights, as in his arm th’ important day And all the fate of his great monarch lay: A thousand glorious actions, that might claim Triumphant laurels, and immortal fame, Confus'd in crowds of glorious actions lie, And troops of heroes undistinguish'd die. O Dormer, how can I behold thy fate, And not the wonders of thy youth relate How can I see the gay, the brave, the young, Fall in the cloud of war, and lie unsung
In joys of conquest he resigns his breath, And, fill'd with England's glory, smiles in death. The rout begins, the Gallic squadrons run, Compell'd in crowds to meet the fate they shun ; Thousands of fiery steeds with wounds transfix’d, Floating in gore, with their dead masters mixt, 'Midst heaps of spears and standards driven around, Lie in the Danube's bloody whirlpools drown'd. Troops of bold youths, born on the distant Soane, Or sounding borders of the rapid Rhône, Or where the Seine her flowery fields divides, Or where the Loire through winding vineyards lides, In heaps the rolling billows sweep away, And into Scythian seas their bloated corps convey. From Blenheim's towers the Gaul, with wild affright, Beholds the various havoc of the fight; His waving banners, that so oft had stood Planted in fields of death, and streams of blood, So wont the guarded enemy to reach, And rise triumphant in the fatal breach, Or pierce the broken foe's remotest lines, The hardy veteran with tears resigns. Unfortunate Tallard' Oh, who can name The pangs of rage, of sorrow, and of shame, That with mixt tumult in thy bosom swell’d, When first thou saw'st thy bravest troops repell’d, Thine only son pierc'd with a deadly wound, Chok'd in his blood, and gasping on the ground, Thyself in bondage by the victor kept The chief, the father, and the captive, wept. An English Muse is touch'd with generous woe, And in th' unhappy man forgets the foe! Greatly distrest! thy loud complaints forbear, Blame not the turns of fate, and chance of war; Give thy brave foes their due, nor blush to own The fatal field by such great leaders won, The field whence fam'd Eugenio bore away Only the second honours of the day. With floods of gore, that from the vanquish’d fell, The marshes stagnate, and the rivers swell. Mountains of slain lie heap'd upon the ground, Qr 'midst the roarings of the Danube drown'd; Whole captive hosts the conqueror detains In painful bondage, and inglorious chains; Ev’n those who 'scape the fetters and the sword, Nor seek the fortunes of a happier lord, Their raging king dishonours, to complete Marlborough's great work, and finish the defeat. From Memminghen's high domes, and A tressburg's walls, The distant battle drives th’ insulting Gauls; Freed by the terrour of the victor's name The rescu'd states his great protection claim; Whilst Ulme th' approach of her deliverer waits, And longs to open her obsequious gates. The hero's breast still swells with great designs. In every thought the towering genius shines: If to the foe his dreadful course he bends, O'er the wide continent his march extends; If sieges in his labouring thoughts are form’d, Camps are assaulted, and an army storm'd; If to the fight his active soul is bent, The fate of Europe turns on its event. What distant land, what region, can afford An action worthy his victorious sword 2 Where will he next the flying Gaul defeat, To make the series of his toils complete 2
where the swoln Rhine, rushing with all its force | Divides the hostile nations in its course,
While each contracts its bounds, or wider grows, Enlarg’d or straiten’d as the river flows, On Gallia's side a mighty bulwark stands, That all the wide-extended plain commands; Twice, since the war was kindled, has it try’d The victor's rage, and twice has chang'd its side; As oft whole armies, with the prize o'erjoy'd, Have the long summer on its walls employ'd. Hither our mighty chief his arms directs, Hence future triumphs from the war expects; And though the dog star had its course begun, Carries his arms still nearer to the Sun: Fixt on the glorious action, he forgets The change of seasons, and increase of heats; No toils are painful that can danger show, No climes unlovely, that contain a foe. The roving Gaul, to his own bounds restrain'd, Learns to incamp within his native land, But soon as the victorious host he spies, From hill to hill, from stream to stream he flies: Such dire impressions in his heart remain Of Marlborough's sword and Hochtste's fatal plain: In vain Britannia's mighty chief besets Their shady coverts, and obscure retreats; They fly the conqueror's approaching fame, That bears the force of armies in his name. Austria's young monarch, whose imperial sway Sceptres and thrones are destin'd to obey, Whose boasted ancestry so high extends That in the pagan gods his lineage ends, Comes from afar, in gratitude to own The great supporter of his father's throne: What tides of glory to his bosom ran, Clasp'd in th' embraces of the godlike man! How were his eyes with pleasing wonder fixt To see such fire with so much sweetness mixt, Such easy greatness, such a graceful port, So turn’d and finish'd for the camp or court! Achilles thus was form'd with ev'ry grace, And Nireus shone but in the second place; Thus the great father of almighty Rome (Divinely flusht with an immortal bloom, That Cytherea's fragrant breath bestow'd) In all the charms of his bright mother glow'd. The royal youth by Marlborough's presence charm’d,
Taught by his counsels, by his actions warm’d,
Such are th' effects of Anna's royal cares: By her, Britannia, great in foreign wars, Ranges through nations, wheresoe'er disjoin'd, Without the wonted aid of sca and wind. By her th' unfetter'd Ister's states are free, And taste the sweets of English liberty: But who can tell the joys of those that lie Beneath the constant influence of her cyc' Whilst in diffusive showers her bounties fall Like Heaven's indulgence, and descend on all, Secure the happy, succour the distrest, Make every subject glad, and a whole people blest.
Thus would I fain Britannia's wars rehearse, In the smooth records of a faithful verse; That, if such numbers can o'er time prevail, May tell posterity the wondrous tale. When actions, unadorn'd, are faint and weak, Cities and countries must be taught to speak; Gods may descend in factions from the skies, And rivers from their oozy beds arise; Fiction may deck the truth with spurious rays, And round the hero cast a borrow'd blaze. Marlborough's exploits appear divinely bright, And proudly shine in their own native light, Rais'd of themselves their genuine charms they
boast, And those who paint them truest praise them most.
TO SIR GODFIREY KNELLER, on his ricture of the king.
KNEller, with silence and surprise
Thy pencil has, by monarchs sought. From reign to reign in ermine wrought, And, in the robes of state array'd, The kings of half an age display'd. Here swarthy Charles appears, and there His brother with dejected air: Triumphant Nassau here we find, And with him bright Maria join'd; There Anna, great as when she sent Her armies through the continent, Ere yet her hero was disgrac'd: O may fam'd Brunswick be the last, (Though Heaven should with my wish agree, And long preserve thy art in thee) The last, the happiest British king, Whom thou shalt paint, or I shall sing! Wise Phidias thus, his skill to prove, Through many a god advanc'd to Jove, And taught the polish'd rocks to shine With airs and lineaments divine; Till Greece, amaz'd, and half-afraid, Th' assembled deities survey'd. Great Pan, who wont to chase the fair, And lov'd the spreading oak, was there; Old Saturn too with upcast eyes Beheld his abdicated skies; And mighty Mars, for war renown'd, In adamantine armour frown'd? By him the childless goddess rose, Minerva, studious to compose Her twisted threads; the web she strung, And o'er a loom of marble hung: Thetis, the troubled ocean's queen, Match'd with a mortal, next was seen, Reclining on a funeral urn, Her short-liv'd darling son to mourn. The last was he, whose thunder slew The Titan-race, a rebel crew, That from a hundred hills ally'd In impious leagues their king defy'd.
This wonder of the sculptor's hand Produc'd, his art was at a stand : For who would hope new fame to raise, Or risk his well-establish'd praise, That, his high genius to approve, Had drawn a George, or carv'd a Jove?
PARAPHRASE ON PSALM XXIII.
The Lord my pastufre shall prepare, And feed me with a shepherd's care; His presence shall my wants supply, And guard me with a watchful eye: My noon-day walks he shall attend, And all my midnight hours defend.
When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Though in the paths of death I tread,
Though in a bare and rugged way,