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Poem by Anonymous
WHEN Europe, freed, confessed the saving power Of Marlborough’s hand, Britain, who sent him forth Chief of confederate hosts, to fight the cause Of liberty and justice, grateful raised This palace, sacred to her leader’s fame; A trophy of success; with spoils adorned Of conquered towns, and glorying in the name Of that auspicious field where Churchill’s sword Vanquished the might of Gallia, and chastised Rebel Bavar. Majestic in its strength Stands the proud dome, and speaks its great design. * * * * * Now through the stately portals issuing forth, The Muse to softer glories turns, and seeks The woodland shade, delighted. Not the vale Of Tempé, famed in song, or Ida’s grove Such beauty boasts. Amid the mazy gloom Of this romantic wilderness once stood The bower of Rosamonda, hapless fair, Sacred to grief and love: the crystal fount In which she used to bathe her beauteous limbs Still warbling flows, pleased to reflect the face Of Spencer, lovely maid, when tired she sits Beside its flowery brink, and views those charms Which only Rosamond could once excel. But see where flowing with a nobler stream, A limpid lake of purest waters rolls Beneath the wide-stretched arch, stupendous work, Through which the Danube might collected pour His spacious urn! Silent awhile and smooth The current glides, till with an headlong force Broke and disordered, down the steep it falls In loud cascades; the silver-sparkling foam Glitters relucent in the dancing ray. In these retreats reposed the mighty soul Of Churchill, from the toils of war and state, Splendidly private, and the tranquil joy Of contemplation felt, while Blenheim’s dome Triumphal ever in his mind renewed The memory of his fame, and soothed his thoughts With pleasing record of his glorious deeds. So by the rage of faction, home recalled, Lucullus, while he waged successful war Against the pride of Asia, and the power Of Mithridates, whose aspiring mind No losses could subdue, enriched with spoils Of conquered nations, back returned to Rome, And in magnificent retirement past The evening of his life. * * * * * Lo! where towering on the height Of yon aerial pillar proudly stands Thy image, like a guardian god, sublime, And awes the subject plain: beneath his feet The German eagles spread their wings, his hand Grasps Victory, its slave. Such was thy brow Majestic, such thy martial port, when Gaul Fled from thy frown, and in the Danube sought A refuge from thy sword. * * * * * Nor shall the constant love Of her who raised this monument be lost In dark oblivion: that shall be the theme Of future bards in ages yet unborn, Inspired with Chaucer’s fire, who in these groves First tuned the British harp, and little deemed His humble dwelling should the neighbor be Of Blenheim, house superb; to which the throng Of travellers approaching shall not pass His roof unnoted, but respectful hail With reverence due. Such honor does the Muse Obtain her favorites.
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