Ode for His Majesty’s Birth Day [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 9 June 1810]

[Editor: A poem by Michael Massey Robinson, published in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 9 June 1810.]


For His Majesty’s Birth Day.

[By Mr. Robinson.]

THO’ far from ALBION’S hallow’d Coast,
OCEAN’S first Pride, and NATURE’S Boast:
Whose Fame the sacred Bards of old
In Strains prophetical foretold:
Though, wafted by the refluent Tides,
Yon watery Waste her Sons divides,
Still shall the Muse prefer her tribute Lay,
And Australasia hail her GEORGE’S Natal Day!
Auspicious Morn! to BRITONS dear:
The Pride of each revolving Year!

Whether on Greenland’s gelid Waves,
Where Day its doubtful Light deplores,
Or where the wand’ring Ganges laves
The sultry Banks of Oriental Shores,
Still the fond Theme by Gratitude is sung;
And echo’d Paeans pour from ev’ry Tongue

And this has been from Age to Age
Recorded in historic Page;
And this will grace the Muse’s Lore
Till Time itself shall be no more!
But, whilst around our Parent Isle
The Virtues and the Graces smile;
Whilst Patriot Britons, Hand in Hand,
Unite to guard their happy Land;
Whilst Commerce fills her swelling Sails,
And golden Harvests deck her waving Vales,

Behold! where MERCY’S genuine Fruits appear.
Form’d by CONTRITION’S hand, and foster’d HERE.

See PITY move, with melting Eye,
Led by her Sister, CHARITY,
Next INDUSTRY, with sturdy Stride,
And PERSEVERANCE by her Side.
Then comes RELIGION, heav’n-born Child!
With Look divine, and Accent mild:
Whilst REFORMATION’S sober Mien
Sustain’d by GRATITUDE is seen;
And HOPE, with Hand extended, smiling free,
Points out the Path to bright PROSPERITY!

Then let the Fiends of Faction fly
To desert Haunts, and Shores untam’d:
No more to rend that social Tie
Which Nature’s earliest Efforts fram’d.

Such is our MONARCH’S mild Behest!
Such the pure Meed His Wisdom sends
To bid the Din of Discord rest,
And Britons harmonize as Friends!

’Tis done! and lo! our CHIEF’S auspicious Hand
Spreads Peace and Plenty o’er the smiling Land
Whilst MERCY bids this fav’rite Legend shine —
“To err is human, To forgive, divine!”

But, hark! What dulcet Sounds are near,
Stealing on th’ enraptur’d Ear ? —
The swelling Cadence louder grows,
And, soft’ning, more melodious flows!
’Tis CHARITY, whose sacred Lay
Hails the bright Dawn of this distinguish’d Day.
Her Fingers ply the trembling Strings,
And thus in plaintive Strain she sings:

“For ever be the Hands rever’d
“That yon blest Sanctuary* rear’d:
“That bade the little Wanderers come,
“And find a sheltering, happy Home:
“That with maternal Fondness chas’d their Tears,
“And snatch’d from Scenes impure their op’ning Years.
Esto perpetua! live in Fame,
“Honor’d by thy Country’s Name!
“Live to foster Female Youth,
“And form their Minds to Virtue — Truth;
“Whilst Learning, from its ample Stores,”
“The Treasure of Instruction pours;
“And, to th’ admiring World displays
“A NATION’S Purity — a PEOPLE’S Praise!”

Such, may thy Triumphs, ALBION, still appear;
Such, the proud Trophies of each circling Year!
Oh, may they flourish long, and unborn Time
Find thy fam’d Standard wave thro’ every Clime?

* The Orphan House.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 9 June 1810, p. 2

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