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The field whence fam'd Eugenio bore away
Only the second honours of the day.
With floods of gore that from the vanquish'd
The marshes stagnate and the rivers swell.
Mountains of slain lie heap'd upon the ground,
Or 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
Marlbrô's great work, and finish the defeat.
From Memminghen's high domes and Augsburg's
walls, The distant battle drives the insulting Gauls; Freed by the terror of the victor's name, The rescued states his great protection claim; Whilst Ulm the 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? Where will he next the flying Gaul defeat, To make the series of his toils complete ?
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 bulkwark stands,
That all the wide extended plain commands ;
Twice, since the war was kindled, has it tried
The victor's rage, and twice has chang'd its side ;
As oft whole armies, with a 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:
Fix'd 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 encamp 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 Malbrô's sword and Hockstet's fatal plain.
In vain Britannia's mighty chief besets
Their shady coverts and obscure retreats;
They fly the conquerors 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 buasted 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 the embraces of the godlike man;
How were his eyes with pleasing wonder fix'd,
To see such fire with so much sweetness mix'd,
Such easy greatness, such a graceful port,
So turn'd and finish'd for the camp or court!
Achilles thus was form’d with every grace,
And Nireus shone but in the second place;
Thus the great father of Almighty Rome
(Divinely Aush'd with an immortal bl
That Cytherea's fragrant breath bestowd)
In all the charms of his bright mother glow'd.
'The royal youth by Malbro's presence charm’d,
Taught by his counsels, by his actions warm’d,
On Landau with redoubled fury falls,
Discharges all his thunder on its walls,
O’er mines and caves of death provokes the fight,
And learns to conquer in the hero's sight.
The British chief, for mighty toils renown'd,
Increas'd in titles, and with conquest crown'd,
To Belgian coasts his tedious march renews,
And the long windings of the Rhine pursues,
Clearing its borders from usurping foes,
And bless'd by rescued nations as he goes.
Treves fears no more, freed from its dire alarms,
And Traerbach feels the terror of his arms,
Seated on rocks her proud foundations shake,
While Marlbrô presses to the bold attack,
Plants all his batteries, bids his cannon roar,
And shows how Landau might have fall’n before.
Scard at his near approach, great Louis fears
Vengeance reserv'd for his declining years,
Forgets his thirst of universal sway,
And scarce can teach his subjects to obey;
His arms he finds on vain attempts employ’d,
The ambitious projects for his race destroy'd,
The works of ages sunk in one Campaign,
And lives of millions sacrific'd in vain.
Such are the effects of Anna's royal cares:
By her Britannia, great in foreign wars,
Ranges through nations, whereso'er disjoin'd,
Without the wonted aid of sea and wind :
By her the’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 eye!
Whilst in diffusive showers her bounties fall
Like Heaven's indulgence, and descend on all,
Secure the happy, succour the distress'd,
Make every subject glad, and a whole people bless'd.
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: Marlbrô’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 'em truest praise 'em most,
TO THE RIGHT HON. CHARLES LORD HALIFAX.
Salve, magna parens frugum, Saturuia tellus,
Magna virum ! tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
Ingredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes.
VIRG. Georg. ii.
While you, my Lord, the rural shades admire,
And from Britannia's public posts retire,
Nor longer, her ungrateful sons to please,
For their advantage sacrifice your ease;
Me, into foreign realms my fate conveys
Through nations fruitful of immortal lays,
Where the soft season and inviting clime
Conspire to trouble your repose with rhyme.
For whereso'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise ;
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground ;
For here the Muse so oft her harp has strung,
That not a mountain rears its head unsung,
Renown'd in verse each shady thicket grows,
And every stream in heavenly numbers flows.