Ode for His Majesty’s Birth-Day, 1818 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 6 June 1818]

[Editor: A poem by Michael Massey Robinson, published in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 6 June 1818.]

Ode

For

His Majesty’s Birth-Day, 1818.

By Mr. Michael Robinson.

SUSPEND the Harp! be mute the Lyre
That thrill’d with glowing Fancy’s Fire,
As, sacred to this festive Day,
The Muses pour’d their fav’rite Lay!

Hush’d be the Lute! the Minstrel’s Pride,
That warbled oft o’er Thames’ charm’d Tide;
And late o’er Albion’s gladden’d Plains
Responded to the Bridal Strains!

Those Strains alas! no more shall bear
The blooming Primrose of the Year;
But linger in the blighted Vale,
Expos’d to Winter’s surly Gale;
Or hover o’er the Cypress Gloom,
Whose blank Shade guards the new made Tomb!
And in sepulchral Sounds, heart-rending, tell,
How GRACE and VIRTUE — YOUTH and BEAUTY fell!

Oh, George! thy silver’d Brow still wears
The venerable Grace of Years;
And still the Lustre of thy Crown
Reflects the wond’ring World’s Renown;
And still the Cliffs that guard thy Coast
Are Freedom’s Bulwarks, Nature’s Boast!
Then, whence shall Genius trace a Strain
Unsung — to hail thy sacred Reign;
Or glean, from the proud Page of Story,
A Theme that stamps it not with Glory?
Happy had still those Themes prevail’d to prove
The MONARCH’s Virtues, and His People’s Love!

Alas! now cheerless droops the trembling Chord
That charm’d to Extacy the Festive Board,
That wak’d the balmy Gales of Morn, to bring
The fragrant Incense of the breathing Spring,
And bade the Blossoms of the smiling Land,
With vernal Pride and glowing Tints expand;
Whilst England saw, in bright auspicious Skies,
Her brilliant STAR of REGAL GLORY rise; —
But, ah! has seen, amidst a World’s Regret,
That STAR she idolized — for ever set!

As with soft lustre breaks the orient Dawn,
The blushing Herald of the infant Morn;
Till in full Majesty the Orb of Day
Gilds the bright Landscape with resplendent Ray:
And, nurs’d by fost’ring Nature’s genial Care,
The smiling Seasons their rich Liv’ries wear:—
Sudden dark Glooms the angry Skies deform,
And Groves and Forests bend beneath the Storm;
Which, howling o’er the Ruins it has hurl’d,
Threatens to desolate a trembling World.

So dawn’d Our Charlotte in her vernal Bloom,
The Hope and Promise of bright Years to come;
Form’d for a NATION’s PRIDE! — for BRUNSWICK’s FAME!
She rose — the Boast and Glory of its Name:
And happy Nature triumph’d to behold
One finish’d Emblem from Perfection’s Mould;
Proud of that Form, where ev’ry Grace combin’d
With the charm’d Softness of an Angel’s Mind,
Where FILIAL Duty’s fondest Impulse shew’d
The Source whence every finer Feeling flow’d;
And Virtue gave it as a Pledge, to prove
The faithful Earnest of CONNUBIAL LOVE;
And oh! whilst Charity, with Look benign,
Beam’d from her Smiles, and made those Smiles divine:
Whilst playful Innocence endear’d those Ties,
Form’d to advance its sweetest Courtesies;
Religion hallow’d the Retreats she lov’d,
And Precept taught what bright Example prov’d.
False and delusive as the Phantom’s Light,
That gleams to cheat the wilder’d Trav’llers Sight;
Faithless as Rocks that lurk beneath the Wave,
To lure the Seaman to a wa’try Grave;
So human Hope’s aspiring Visions fail,
Sink in the Shade, or perish in the Gale;
So, CHARLOTTE! England’s fairest Flow’r and Pride,
Droop’d in her Bloom — bow’d to the Blast — and died!
AND THE DREAD FIAT TO MANKIND WAS GIV’N,
TO MARK THE AWFUL MYSTERIES OF HEAV’N!
And oh! blest Shade! whilst weeping Millions mourn,
In dumb Despair, around thy sainted Urn;
While distant Worlds, and Climes remote, deplore,
And sable Streamers wave from Shore to Shore;
What genial Balm can Sympathy bestow,
To meet the Plaints of universal Woe?
Or yield to agoniz’d PARENTAL Grief,
One short, one soothing Respite of Relief!
But, oh! from Youth’s delighted Prospects torn,
By Hope betray’d in Life’s confiding Morn;
While thy sad CONSORT, in his “Vale of Tears,”
Sighs o’er the Ruins of his blighted Years;
What human Guide can lead his “Paths to Peace?”
What human Charm can bid Remembrance cease?
Where shall he cling, or snatch one cheering Ray,
To gild the Gloom that shrouds His widow’d Day? —
THE LYRE IS MUTE! THE MUSE FORBEARS THE TALE!
AND, SILENT DRAWS THE GRECIAN PAINTER’S VEIL!

New South Wales, }
June 4, 1818, }



Source:
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 6 June 1818, p. 4

Editor’s notes:
Spelling retained as in the original text:
extacy (ecstasy)
shew’d (showed)

[Editor: Corrected “blighthed” to “blighted” to “cheerles” to “cheerless”.]

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