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WHILE crowds of princes your deserts proclaim,
Proud in their number to enrol your name ;
While emperors to you commit their cause,
And Anna's praises crown the vast applause;
Accept, great leader, what the Muse recites,
That in ambitious verse attempts your fights,
Fir'd and transported with a theme so new.
Ten thousand wonders op'ning to my view
Shine forth at once ; sieges and storms appear,
And wars and conquests fill th' important year ;
Rivers of blood I see, and hills of slain,
An Iliad rising out of one campaign.
The haughty Gaul beheld, with tow'ring pride,
His ancient bounds enlarg'd on ev'ry side,
Pirene's lofty barriers were subdu’d,
And in the midst of his wide empire stood;
Ausonia's states, the victor to restrain,
Oppos'd their Alps and Apennine's in vain,
Norfound themselves, with strength of rocks immur'd,
Behind their everlasting hills secur’d;
The rising Danube its long race began,
And half its course through the new conquests ran ;
Amaz’d and anxious for her sovereigns' fates,
Germania trembled through a hundred states ;
Great Leopold himself was seiz'd with fear;
He gaz'd around, but saw no succour near;
He gaz'd, and half abandon'd to despair
His hopes on Heav'n, and confidence in pray’r.
To Britain's queen the nations turn their eyes;
On her resolves the western world relies,
Confiding still, amidst its dire alarms,
In Anna's councils, and in CHURCHILL's arms.
Thrice happy Britain, from the kingdoms rent,
To sit the guardian of the continent!
That sees her bravest son advanc'd so high,
And flourishing so near her prince's eye;
Thy fav’rites grow not up by fortune's sport,
Or from the crimes, or follies of a court;
On the firm basis of desert they rise,
From long-try'd faith, and friendship's holy ties :
Their sovereign's well-distinguish'd smiles they share,
Her ornaments in peace, her strength in war;
The nation thanks them with a public voice,
By show’rs of blessings Heav'n approves their choice;
Envy itself is dumb, in wonder lost,
And factions strive who shall applaud them most:
Soon as soft vernal breezes warm the sky,
Britannia's colours in the zephyrs fly ;
Her chief already has his march begun,
Crossing the provinces himself had won,
Till the Moselle, appearing from afar,
Retards the progress of the moving war.
Delightful stream, had nature bid her fall
In distant climes, far from the perjur'd Gaul ;
But now a purchase to the sword she lies,
Her harvests for uncertain owners rise,
Each vineyard doubtful of its master grows,
And to the victor's bowl each vintage flows.
The discontented shades of slaughter'd hosts,
That wander'd on her banks, her heroes' ghosts
Hop'd, when they saw Britannia's arms appear, The vengeance due to their great deaths was near.
Our godlike leader, ere the stream he pass’d, The mighty scheme of all his labours cast, Forming the wondrous year within his thought; His bosom glow'd with battles yet unfought. The long laborious march he first surveys, And joins the distant Danube to the Maese, Between whose floods such pathless forests grow, Such mountains rise, so many rivers flow : The toil looks lovely in the hero's eyes, And danger serves but to enhance the prize.
Big with the fate of Europe, he renews His dreadful course, and the proud foe pursues : Infected by the burning Scorpion's heat, The sultry gales round his chaf'd temples beat, Till on the borders of the Maine he finds Defensive shadows, and refreshing winds. Our British youth, with in-born freedom bold, Unnumber'd scenes of servitude behold, Nations of slaves, with tyranny debas'd, (Their Maker's image more than half defac'd) Hourly instructed, as they urge their toil, To prize their queen, and love their native soil.
Still to the rising sun they take their way Through clouds of dust, and gain upon the day. When now the Neckar on his friendly coast With cooling streams revives the fainting host, That cheerfully its labours past forgets, The midnight watches, and the noon-day heats.
O’er prostrate towns and palaces they pass, (Now cover'd o'er with woods, and hid in grass) Breathing revenge ; whilst anger and disdain Fire ev'ry breast, and boil in ev'ry vein:
Here shatter'd walls, like broken rocks, from far,
Rise up in hideous views, the guilt of war,
Whilst here the vine o'er hills of ruin climbs,
Industrious to conceal great Bourbon's crimes.
At length the fame of England's hero drew
Eugenio to the glorious interview.
Great souls by instinct to each other turn,
Demand alliance, and in friendship burn;
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 mounting spirits, and fermenting blood;
Lodg'd in the soul, with virtue overruld,
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 thund'ring peals of British shouts resound: Doubling their speed, they march with fresh delight, Eager for glory, and require the fight. So the staunch hound the trembling deer pursues, And smells his footsteps in the tainted dews, The tedious track unrav’ling by degrees : But when the scent comes warm in ev'ry 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 :