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Poem by William Whitehead


Ode for the New Year, 1763


At length th' imperious Lord of War
Yields to the Fates their ebon car,
And frowning quits his toil:
Dash'd from his hand the bleeding spear
Now deigns a happier form to wear,
And peaceful turns the soil.
Th' insatiate Furies of his train,
Revenge, and Hate, and fell Disdain,
With heart of steel, and eyes of fire,
Who stain the sword which Honour draws,
Who sully Virtue's sacred cause,
To Stygian depths retire.
Unholy shapes, and shadows drear,
The pallid family of Fear,
And Rapine, still with shrieks pursued,
And meagre Famine's squalid brood
Close the dire crew. Ч Ye eternal gates, display
Your adamantine folds, and shut them from the day!

For lo, in yonder pregnant skies,
On billowy clouds the Goddess lies,
Whose presence breathes delight,
Whose power th' obsequious Seasons own,
And Winter loses half his frown,
And half her shades the Night,
Soft-smiling PEACE; whom VENUS bore
When, tutor'd by th' enchanting lore
Of MAIA'S blooming son,
She sooth'd the synod of the Gods,
Drove Discord from the blest abodes,
And JOVE resum'd his throne.
Th' attendant Graces gird her round,
And sportive Ease, with locks unbound,
And every Muse to leisure born,
And Plenty, with her twisted horn,
While changeful Commerce spreads his loosen'd sails,
Blow as ye list, ye winds, the reign of PEACE prevails!

And lo, to grace that milder reign,
And add fresh lustre to the year,
Sweet Innocence adorns the train,
In form, and features, Albion's heir!
A future GEORGE! Ч Propitious powers,
Ye delegates of Heav'n's high King,
Who guide the years, the days, the hours
That float on Time's progressive wing,
Exert your influence, bid us know
From parent worth wht Virtues flow!
Be to less happy realms resign'd
The Warriour's unrelenting rage,
We ask not kings of hero-kind,
The storms, and earthquakes of their age,
To us be nobler blessings given:
O teach us, delegates of Heaven,
What mightier bliss from Union springs!
Future subjects, future kings,
Shall bless the fair example shown,
And from our character transcribe their own:
"A people, zealous to obey,
A monarch, whose parental sway
Despises regal art:
His sheild, the laws which guard the land;
His sword, each Briton's eager hand;
His throne, each Briton's heart."



William Whitehead


William Whitehead's other poems:
  1. To the Honourable [Charles Townsend]
  2. The Vision of Solomon
  3. To the Same [Charles Townsend], on the Death of a Relation
  4. An Hymn to the Nymph of Bristol Spring
  5. The Sweepers


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