Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1814 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 22 January 1814]

[Editor: A poem by Michael Massey Robinson, published in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 22 January 1814.]



The Queen’s Birth-Day, 1814.

By Mr. M. Robinson.

IN Early GREECE, when War no more,
With Aspect wild, deform’d her Shore;
Nor longer on the tented Plain
Swell’d the shrill Clangor’s martial Strain,
Proud to retrace their native Soil,
Her Swains retir’d to rural Toil;
To Scenes which oft in fond Review
Fancy’s sweet Illusions drew;
Add there the crippled Warrior told
Of Battles won by Prowess bold;
Of hair-breadth ’Scapes on hostile Ground,
Of Comrades scarr’d with many a Wound;
Then Industry, with busy Hand,
Rester’d the long neglected Land,
And Shepherds sung, while Peasants toil’d,
Till Vales with waving Plenty smil’d:—
For hush’d was howling Discord’s baleful Train,
The Olive bloom’d, and Peace proclaim’d her Reign!

And then the graceful Muses found
Their sacred Haunts on classic Ground;
What Time their HOMER’S magic Page,
Enlightning, charm’d a wond’ring Age,
Form’d the bold Theme, and, with aspiring Strain,
Sung ILIUM’S Fall — and mourn’d her Heroes slain.

Then ATHENS saw her rising Day
Illum’d by Wisdoms’s spreading Ray,
And Arts, and Science, hand in hand,
Advance progressive o’er the Land.
The Painter’s Skill, the Sculptor’s Toil,
Bade Genius venerate the Soil:—
Hence splendid Structures rose on high,
Whose polish’d Columns reach’d the Sky;
And ample Domes, and hallow’d Fames,
Where Piety inspir’d seraphic Strains:—
Temples, where Truth shone forth with radiant Rays,
And swelling Choirs prolong’d the Notes of Praise.

But tho’ rude Time, that with relentless Sway
Bids “cloud-cap’t Tow’rs” and stately Domes decay,
Has levell’d all those Monuments of Taste,
And Ruins, only, mark the wilder’d Waste;
Still shall fair Wisdom’s Page uninjur’d stand,
Still brave the Wreck of Time’s impairing Hand;
And ancient GREECE one Meed of Glory claim,
To raise her Annals high in story’d Fame;
Whilst faithful Mem’ry pauses to review
The brightest Æra polish’d ATHENS knew!

When her enlighten’d Seers of old,
Skill’d in prophetic Lore, foretold
That o’er the Western Main an Isle
Should flourish under FREEDOM’s Smile;
Whose mighty KINGS, thro’ Times unborn,
The regal Sceptre should adorn;
Whose CONSORTS, form’d with Virtues rare,
Should prosper — HEAV’N’s peculiar Care;
Whose august Race, by kindred Worth ally’d,
Should rise the Hope, and prove the Nation’s Pride.
THAT ISLE has flourish’d, eminent in Fame,
Supreme in Arms, and ALBION IS HER NAME!

ALBION! on whose distinguish’d Heroes brave,
Illustrious Wreaths of blooming Laurels wave:
Such as left NELSON’s Name renown’d in Story,
And now embellish WELLINGTON’s with Glory!

Hence has the Muse, with vent’rous Lay,
Aspir’d to sing this halcyon Day,
And bade her humble Lyre proclaim
Thro’ distant Climes, OUR CHARLOTTE’s NAME.

From chilling Zembla’s snow-cap’t Lands,
To sultry Afric’s burning Sands;
From Pole to Pole the Trump of Fame
Swells the proud Note to CHARLOTTE’s NAME!

Ador’d thro’ ev’ry Stage of Life;
By Nature’s Impulse taught to share
THY CONSORT’s ling’ring Hours of Care.

And when consuming Sickness spread
Pale Terrors o’er His drooping Head;
When trembling Hope could scarcely dare
To snatch one Respite from Despair,

’Twas THINE to charm with Sympathy’s sweet Pow’r,
Trace the faint Gleam, and watch the doubtful Hour,
’Twas THINE with fond Solicitude to prove
Duty was Friendship — and that Friendship, Love.


Jan. 18, 1814. }

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 22 January 1814, p. 2

Editor’s notes:
Spelling retained as in the original text:
Afric (Africa)
ally’d (allied)
enlightning (enlightening)

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