Inscribed to Joseph Addison, Esq. Secretary to Their Excellencies the Lords Justices.

Gaudia curis.


Sir, I have long, and with impatience, sought
To ease the fulness of my grateful thought,
My fame at once, and duty to pursue,
And please the public, by respect to you.
Though you, long since beyond Britannia known,
Have spread your country's glory with your own;
To me you never did more lovely shine,
Than when so late the kindled wrath divine
Quench'd our ambition, in great Anna's fate,
And darken'd all the pomp of human state.
Though you are rich in fame, and fame decay,
Though rais'd in life, and greatness fade away,
Your lustre brightens: virtue cuts the gloom
With purer rays, and sparkles near a tomb.
Know, sir, the great esteem and honour due,
I chose that moment to profess to you,
When sadness reign'd, when fortune, so severe,
Had warm'd our bosoms to be most sincere.
And when no motives could have force to raise
A serious value, and provoke my praise,
But such as rise above, and far transcend,
Whatever glories with this world shall end,
Then shining forth, when deepest shades shall blot
The sun's bright orb, and Cato be forgot.
I sing--but ah! my theme I need not tell,
See every eye with conscious sorrow swell:
Who now to verse would raise his humble voice,
Can only show his duty, not his choice.
How great the weight of grief our hearts sustain!
We languish, and to speak is to complain.
Let us look back, (for who too oft can view
That most illustrious scene, for ever new!)
See all the seasons shine on Anna's throne,
And pay a constant tribute, not their own.
Her summer's heats nor fruits alone bestow,
They reap the harvest, and subdue the foe;
And when black storms confess the distant sun,
Her winters wear the wreaths her summers won.
Revolving pleasures in their turns appear,
And triumphs are the product of the year.
To crown the whole, great joys in greater cease,
And glorious victory is lost in peace.
Whence this profusion on our favour'd isle?
Did partial fortune on our virtue smile?
Or did the sceptre, in great Anna's hand,
Stretch forth this rich indulgence o'er our land?
Ungrateful Britain! quit thy groundless claim,
Thy queen and thy good fortune are the same.
Hear, with alarms our trumpets fill the sky;
'Tis Anna reigns! the Gallic squadrons fly.
We spread our canvass to the southern shore;
'Tis Anna reigns! the south resigns her store.
Her virtue smooths the tumult of the main,
And swells the field with mountains of the slain
Argyll and Churchill but the glory share,
While millions lie subdu'd by Anna's prayer.
How great her zeal! how fervent her desire!
How did her soul in holy warmth expire!
Constant devotion did her time divide,
Not set returns of pleasure or of pride.
Not want of rest, or the sun's parting ray,
But finish'd duty, limited the day.
How sweet succeeding sleep! what lovely themes
Smil'd in her thoughts, and soften'd all her dreams!
Her royal couch descending angels spread,
And join'd their wings a shelter o'er her head.
Though Europe's wealth and glory claim'd a part,
Religion's cause reign'd mistress of her heart:
She saw, and griev'd to see, the mean estate
Of those who round the hallow'd altar wait;
She shed her bounty, piously profuse,
And thought it more her own in sacred use.
Thus on his furrow see the tiller stand,
And fill with genial seed his lavish hand;
He trusts the kindness of the fruitful plain,
And providently scatters all his grain.
What strikes my sight? does proud Augusta rise
New to behold, and awfully surprise!
Her lofty brow more numerous turrets crown,
And sacred domes on palaces look down:
A noble pride of piety is shown,
And temples cast a lustre on the throne.
How would this work another's glory raise!
But Anna's greatness robs her of the praise.
Drown'd in a brighter blaze it disappears,
Who dried the widow's and the orphan's tears?
Who stoop'd from high to succour the distrest
And reconcile the wounded heart to rest?
Great in her goodness, well could we perceive,
Whoever sought, it was a queen that gave.
Misfortune lost her name, her guiltless frown
But made another debtor to the crown;
And each unfriendly stroke from fate we bore,
Became our title to the regal store.
Thus injur'd trees adopt a foreign shoot,
And their wounds blossom with a fairer fruit.
Ye numbers, who on your misfortunes thriv'd,
When first the dreadful blast of fame arriv'd,
Say what a shock, what agonies you felt,
How did your souls with tender anguish melt!
That grief which living Anna's love suppress'd,
Shook like a tempest every grateful breast,
A second fate our sinking fortunes tried!
A second time our tender parents died!
Heroes returning from the field we crown,
And deify the haughty victor's frown.
His splendid wealth too rashly we admire,
Catch the disease, and burn with equal fire:
Wisely to spend, is the great art of gain;
And one reliev'd transcends a million slain.
When time shall ask, where once Ramillia lay,
Or Danube flow'd that swept whole troops away,
One drop of water, that refresh'd the dry,
Shall rise a fountain of eternal joy.
But ah! to that unknown and distant date
Is virtue's great reward push'd off by fate;
Here random shafts in every breast are found,
Virtue and merit but provoke the wound.
August in native worth and regal state,
Anna sate arbitress of Europe's fate;
To distant realms did every accent fly,
And nations watch'd each motion of her eye.
Silent, nor longer awful to be seen,
How small a spot contains the mighty queen!
No throng of suppliant princes mark the place,
Where Britain's greatness is compos'd in peace:
The broken earth is scarce discern'd to rise,
And a stone tells us where the monarch lies.
Thus end maturest honours of the crown!
This is the last conclusion of renown!
So when with idle skill the wanton boy
Breathes through his tube; he sees, with eager joy,
The trembling bubble, in its rising small;
And by degrees expands the glittering ball.
But when, to full perfection blown, it flies
High in the air, and shines in various dyes,
The little monarch, with a falling tear,
Sees his world burst at once, and disappear,
'Tis not in sorrow to reverse our doom,
No groans unlock th' inexorable tomb!
Why then this fond indulgence of our woe!
What fruit can rise, or what advantage flow!
Yes, this advantage; from our deep distress
We learn how much in George the gods can bless
Had a less glorious princess left the throne,
But half the hero had at first been shown:
An Anna falling all the king employs,
To vindicate from guilt our rising joys:
Our joys arise and innocently shine,
Auspicious monarch! what a praise is thine!
Welcome, great stranger, to Britannia's throne!
Nor let thy country think thee all her own.
Of thy delay how oft did we complain!
Our hopes reach'd out, and met thee on the main.
With prayer we smooth the billows for thy fleet;
With ardent wishes fill thy swelling sheet;
And when thy foot took place on Albion's shore,
We bending bless'd the gods, and ask'd no more.
What hand but thine should conquer and compose,
Join those whom interest joins, and chase our foes?
Repel the daring youth's presumptuous aim,
And by his rival's greatness give him fame?
Now in some foreign court he may sit down,
And quit without a blush the British crown.
Secure his honour, though he lose his store,
And take a lucky moment to be poor.
Nor think, great sir, now first, at this late hour,
In Britain's favour, you exert your power;
To us, far back in time, I joy to trace
The numerous tokens of your princely grace.
Whether you chose to thunder on the Rhine,
Inspire grave councils, or in courts to shine;
In the more scenes your genius was display'd,
The greater debt was on Britannia laid:
They all conspir'd this mighty man to raise,
And your new subjects proudly share the praise.
All share; but may not we have leave to boast
That we contemplate, and enjoy it most?
This ancient nurse of arts, indulged by fate
On gentle Isis' bank, a calm retreat;
For many roiling ages justly fam'd,
Has through the world her loyalty proclaim'd;
And often pour'd (too well the truth is known!)
Her blood and treasure to support the throne!
For England's church her latest accents strain'd;
And freedom with his dying hand retain'd.
No wonder then her various ranks agree
In all the fervencies of zeal for thee.
What though thy birth a distant kingdom boast,
And seas divide thee from the British coast?
The crown's impatient to enclose thy head:
Why stay thy feet? the cloth of gold is spread.
Our strict obedience through the world shall tell
That king's a Briton, who can govern well!