Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1818 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 24 January 1818]

[Editor: A poem by Michael Massey Robinson, published in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 24 January 1818.]



The Queen’s Birth-Day, 1818.

By Mr. Michael Robinson.

FANCY! let thy magic Wand
Wave — as erst on classic Land;
What Time the early Muses bore
The cultur’d Germes of letter’d Lore;
And Themes, that told of tented Plains,
And Victor-Warrior, swell’d their Strains:—
Themes, that amid the Spoils of Age,
Still triumph’d in historic Page:
And in enlighten’d ATHEN’s Days,
Inspir’d her hallow’d Minstrels’ Lays;
Wove for her Bards the laurel’d Wreaths of Fame
And gave to high Renown the GRECIAN Name!

Fancy! at thy wizard Spell,
The Muses sound their favorite Shell:
To thee the sylvan Reeds belong,
The mellow’d Strain — the martial Song;
They Course still rivals rapid Time,
And boundless spreads from Clime to Clime.
From dreary Greenland’s frost-bound Streams,
To Afric’s burning noon-tide Beams:
From the Atlantic’s distant Deep,
To hoary Calpe’s frowning Steep;
From Fashion’s proud fantastic Dome,
To Poverty’s unshelter’d Home;
From smiling Plains, where Freedom’s Favorites dwell,
To the lorn Captive’s melancholy Cell;
Climes, where the tutor’d Sons of Science soar,
Or where rude Natives roam the desert Shore.

Come, mystic Power! and, on thy Wing,
HOPE with her blooming Hand-maids bring,
And let gay Scenes — Perspectives bright,
Charm the fair Train of young Delight,

To hail this Morn, that drest with Smiles,
Breaks on our ALBION’s gladden’d Isles,
And hear her echoing Shores proclaim
The lengthen’d Peal to CHARLOTTE’s NAME!

And thou, bright Orb, who brilliant Ray
With added Splendor gilds this Day,
Long may thy lustrous Beams expand
O’er the tall Cliffs that guard THAT LAND,
Where FREEDOM sees her azure Robe
Wave — the proud Standard of the Globe!
Where COMMERCE spreads her prosper’d Sails,
And rich Abundance clothes her Vales;
Where Learning boasts her native Seats
On ISIS’ Banks — in CAM’s Retreats;
Where SCIENCE dates her genial Ray
From the bright Star of ALFRED’s Day;
Where JUSTICE, firm and faithful, shews
The sacred Source from whence it flows;
Where Orphan Plaints, and Widow’s Sighs
Are sooth’d by boundless CHARITIES!
And oh! where rank’d with Grace divine,
The Attributes of MERCY shine! —
That heav’n born Inmate of the human Breast
Grateful in granting — and in blessing, blest!

Does Mercy court the Muse’s Strain,
To picture her transcendant Reign?
Or tell with what supreme Command
She dignifies our PARENT LAND? —

In who charm’d Senates Justice urg’d the Plea
That set the sable Tribes of Afric free;
And, on the RIGHTS of NATURE’s earliest Laws,
Sought, and secur’d her Triumph in their Cause; —
Bade milder Suns revive their suff’ring Shore,
And human Traffic stain the world no more;
Restoring, on Philanthropy’s blest Plan,
The kindred Sympathies of Man to Man?

Oh, no! thro’ ALBION’s happier Isles,
Mercy with Grace spontaneous Smiles;
Pure as descend with morning Dews,
She softens — when MISFORTUNE sues;
And, nurs’d with Pity’s balmy Tear,
Behold her Blossoms flourish, HERE!

Time was, when friendless and forlorn,
The Exile droop’d, expos’d to Scorn;
For Prejudice, with Brow severe,
Had spurn’d Contrition’s starting Tear;
Indignant heard, unmov’d beheld
The Throb the captive Bosom swell’d
The Eye, that fix’d with lingering Gaze,
Retraced past Scenes of better Days;
The Pledge by Genuine Repentance giv’n
Sacred on EARTH, and hail’d with Joy in HEAV’N!

But MERCY had her Day of Triumph nigh,
And her proud Passport was — HUMANITY!
AUSTRALIA saw the cherish’d Scions shoot,
And the pure Hand that guarded, deal the Fruit!
And thou, fair GRATITUDE, who glistning Cheek
Marks the full Feeling that it cannot speak;
For thee, the GUARDIAN of this rising Shore
Shall bid bright HOPE its shaded Tints restore;
And Virtue’s Precept, and Religion’s Page,
Bid HIS Example shine thro’ every Age!

And oft, as on this festive Day
The Muses raise the choral Lay
Memory, with PATRIOT Pride shall trace
The Glory of the BRUNSWICK RACE!
And Fancy wave her magic Wand,
And all her wizard Sprites command;
And Echo, from the distant Dell,
Respond to the melodious Shell:
And Mirth, and Harmony unite,
To charm the Train of young Delight;
While happy NATURE consecrates the Scene
To Worth — to Virtue — and to ALBION’S QUEEN!

New South Wales, }
Jan. 18th, 1818. }

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 24 January 1818, p. 4

Editor’s notes:
Spelling retained as in the original text:
Afric (Africa)
shews (shows)

Speak Your Mind