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Like hills th' aspiring ramparts rise on high,
Like valleys at their feet the trenches lie;
Batt'ries on batt'ries guard each fatal pass,
Threat'ning 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'erpaid 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 hosts of foes
Were never to behold that ev'ning close!
Thick'ning 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 the foe.

High on the works the mingling hosts engage;
The battle, kindled into tenfold rage
With show'rs 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 gen'rous 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 Marlbro' 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.

Forbear, great man, renown'd in arms, forbear
To brave the thickest terrors of the war,
Nor hazard thus, confus'd in crowds of foes,
Britannia's safety, and the world's repose;
Let nations anxious for thy life abate
This scorn of danger, and contempt of fate :
Thou liv'st not for thyself; thy queen demands
Conquest and peace from thy victorious hands;
Kingdoms and empires in thy fortune join,
And Europe's destiny depends on thine.

At length the long-disputed pass they gain,
By crowded armies fortify'd in vain ;
The war breaks in, the fierce Bavarians yield,
And see their camp with British legions fill'd.
So Belgian mounds bear on their shatter'd sides
The sea's whole weight increas'd with swelling tides;
But if the rushing wave a passage finds,
Enrag'd by watʼry moons and warring winds,
The trembling peasant sees his country round
Cover'd with tempests, and in oceans drown'd.

The few surviving foes dispers'd in flight,
(Refuse of swords, and gleanings of a fight)
In ev'ry rustling wind the victor hear,
And Marlbro's form in ev'ry shadow fear,
Till the dark cope of night with kind embrace
Befriends the rout, and covers their disgrace.

To Donawert, with unresisting force,
The gay victorious army bends its course.
The growth of meadows, and the pride of fields,
Whatever spoils Bavaria's summer yields,
(The Danube's great increase) Britannia shares,
The food of armies, and support of wars:
With magazines of death, destructive balls,
And cannons doom'd to batter Landau's walls,
The victor finds each hidden cavern stor'd,
And turns their fury on their guilty lord.

Deluded prince! how is thy greatness crost,
And all thy gaudy dream of empire lost,
That proudly set thee on a fancy'd throne,
And made imaginary realms thy own?
Thy troops, that now behind the Danube join,
Shall shortly seek for shelter from the Rhine,
Nor find it there: surrounded with alarms,
Thou hop'st th' assistance of the Gallic arms;
The Gallic arms in safety shall advance,
And crowd thy standards with the pow'r of France,
While to exalt thy doom, th' aspiring Gaul
Shares thy destruction, and adorns thy fall..

Unbounded courage and compassion join'd,
Temp'ring each other in the victor's mind,
Alternately proclaim him good and great,
And make the hero and the man complete.
Long did he strive th' obdurate foe to gain
By proffer'd grace, but long he strove in vain ;
Till, fir'd at length, he thinks it vain to spare
His rising wrath, and gives a loose to war.
In vengeance roused the soldier fills his hand
With sword and fire, and ravages the land,
A thousand villages to ashes turn,

In crackling flames a thousand harvests burn.

To the thick woods the woolly flocks retreat,
And, mix'd with bellowing herds, confus'dly bleat;
Their trembling lords the common shade partake,
And cries of infants sound in ev'ry brake;
The list'ning soldier, fix'd in sorrow, stands,
Loath to obey his leader's just commands;
The leader grieves, by gen'rous pity sway'd,
To see his just commands so well obey'd.

But now the trumpet, terrible from far,
In shriller clangors animates the war,
Confed'rate drums in fuller concert beat,
And echoing hills the loud alarm repeat:
Gallia'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
Stretch'd 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 pray'rs 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 heav'n 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 horror 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 possess'd 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 drum's tumultuous sound,
The victor's shouts, and dying groans confound,
The dreadful burst of cannon rend the skies,
And all the thunder of the battle rise.

'Twas then great Marlbro's mighty soul was prov'd,
That, in the shock of charging hosts unmov'd,
Amidst confusion, horror, 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's orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.

But see the haughty household troops advance!
The dread of Europe, and the pride of France.
The war's whole art each private soldier knows,
And with a gen'ral's love of conquest glows;
Proudly he marches on, and, void of fear,
Laughs at the shaking of the British spear:

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