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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/88

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POEMS 1809-1813.

A modest Monologue you here survey,

Hissed from the theatre the "other day,"

    Yet at that speed you'd never be amazed,
    Knew you the zeal with which the pile was raised;
    Nor even here your smiles would be represt,
    Knew you the rival flame that fires our breast,10
    Flame! fire and flame! sad heart-appalling sounds,
    Dread metaphors that ope our healing wounds—
    A sleeping pang awakes—and—— But away
    With all reflections that would cloud the day

    That this triumphant, brilliant prospect brings,
    Where Hope reviving re-expands her wings;
    Where generous joy exults, where duteous ardour springs.
    If mighty things with small we may compare,
    This spirit drives Britannia's conquering car,
    Burns in her ranks and kindles every tar.

    Nelson displayed its power upon the main,
    And Wellington exhibits it in Spain;
    Another Marlborough points to Blenheim's story,
    And with its lustre, blends his kindred glory.40

    In Arms and Science long our Isle hath shone,
    And Shakespeare—wondrous Shakespeare—reared a throne
    For British Poesy—whose powers inspire
    The British pencil, and the British lyre—
    Her we invoke—her Sister Arts implore:
    Their smiles beseech whose charms yourselves adore,
    These if we win, the Graces too we gain—
    Their dear, beloved, inseparable train;
    Three who their witching arts from Cupid stole
    And three acknowledged sovereigns of the soul:50

    Harmonious throng! with nature blending art!
    Divine Sestetto! warbling to the heart
    For Poesy shall here sustain the upper part.

    Thus lifted gloriously we'll sweep along,
    Shine in our music, scenery and song;
    Shine in our farce, masque, opera and play,
    And prove old Drury has not had her day.
    Nay more—so stretch the wing the world shall cry,
    Old Drury never, never soared so high.
    'But hold,' you'll say, 'this self-complacent boast;60
    Easy to reckon thus without your host.'
    True, true—that lowers at once our mounting pride;
    'Tis yours alone our merit to decide;
    'Tis ours to look to you, you hold the prize
    That bids our great, our best ambitions rise.
    A double blessing your rewards impart,
    Each good provide and elevate the heart.
    Our twofold feeling owns its twofold cause,
    Your bounty's comfiortrapture your applause;
    When in your fostering beam you bid us live,70
    You give the means of life, and gild the means you give."

    Morning Chronicle, October 17, 1812.]