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KING,

то THE

ON THE TAKING OF NAMUR.

IRREGULAR

ODE.

"Præfenti tibi maturos largimur honores :
"Nil oriturum aliàs, nil ortum tale fatentes."
Hor. ad Auguftum

OF

I.

F arms and war my Mufe afpires to fing, And strike the lyre upon an untry'd string : New fire informs my foul, unfelt before; And, on new wings, to heights unknowm I foar. 0 power unfeen! by whofe refiftlefs force Compell'd, I take this flight, direct my courfe For Fancy wild and pathless ways will chufe, Which Judgment rarely, or with pain, pursues: Say, faored nymph, whence this great change proceeds Why fcorns the lowly swain his oaten reeds, Daring aloud to strike the founding lyre, And fing heroic deeds;

Neglecting flames of love, for martial fire?

II.

William, alone, my feeble voice can raise;
What voice fo weak, that cannot fing his praise !
The listening world each whisper will befriend
That breathes his name, and every ear attend.

The

The hovering winds on downy wings fhall wait around,
And catch, and waft to foreign lands, the flying found,
Ev'n I will in his praise be heard;

For by his name my verse shall be preferr❜d.
Borne like a lark upon this eagle's wing,

High as the spheres, I will his triumph fing;

High as the head of Fame; Fame, whofe exalted fize
From the deep vale extend's up to the vaulted skies :
A thousand talking tongues the monster bears,

A thousand waking eyes, and ever-open ears;

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Hourly the ftalks, with huge gigantic pace, Measuring the globe, like time, with constant race: Yet fhall fhe ftay, and bend to William's praise : Of him, her thousand ears shall hear triumphant lays, Of him her tongue fhall talk, on him her eyes fhall gaze. III.

But lo, a change aftonishing my eyes!'

And all around, behold new objects rife !
What forms are thefe I fee and whence?
Beings fubftantial? or does air condense,
To clothe in vifionary shape my various thought?'
Are thefe by fancy wrought!

Can ftrong ideas ftrike fo deep the fenfe!

O facred poefy! O boundless power!

What wonders doft thou trace, what hidden worlds explore !

Through feas, earth, air, and the wide-circling fky, What is not fought and feen by thy all-piercing eye!

IV.

'Twas now, when flowery lawns the profpect made,
And flowing brooks beneath a forest's shade;
A lowing heifer, lovelieft of the herd,

Stood feeding by; while two fierce bulls prepar'd
Their armed heads for fight; by fate of war, to provė
The victor worthy of the fair-one's love.
Unthought prefage, of what met next my view l
For foon the fhady scene withdrew.

And now, for woods, and fields, and fpringing flowers; Behold a town arife, bulwark'd with walls, and lofty

towers!

Two rival armies all the plain o'erspread,
Each in battalia rang'd, and fhining arms array'd:
With eager eyes beholding both from far
Namur, the prize and mistress of the war.

V.

Now, thirft of conqueft, and immortal fame,
Does every chief and foldier's heart inflame.
Defenfive arms the Gallic forces bear,
While hardy Britons for the storm prepare :
For fortune had, with partial hand, before
Refign'd the rule to Gallia's power.
High on a rock the mighty fortrefs ftands,

Founded by Fate, and wrought by Nature's hands, A wondrous task it is th' Afcent to gain,

Through craggy cliffs, that ftrike the fight with pain, And nod impending terrors o'er the plain.

To this, what dangers men can add, by force or skill, (And great is human force and wit in ill)

Are

Are join'd; on every fide, wide-gaping engines
Teeming with fire, and big with certain fate;
Ready to hurl destruction from above,

In dreadful roar, mocking the wrath of Jove.
Thus fearful does the face of adverfe power appear;
But British forces are unus'd to fear:

Though thus oppos'd, they might, if William where not

there.

VI.

But hark, the voice of war! behold the ftorm begin!
The trumpet's clangor fpeaks in loud alarms,
Mingling fhrill notes, with dreadful din
Of cannons burft, and rattling clafh of arms.
Clamours from earth to heaven, from heaven to earth re-

bound,

Distinction in promifcuous noife is drown'd,
And Echo loft in one continued found.

Torrents of fire from brażen mouths are fent,"
Follow'd by peals, as if each pole were rent;
Such flames the gulf of Tartarus difgorge,
So vaulted Ætna roars from Vulcan's forge;
Such were the peals from thence, fuch the vast blaze that
broke,

Reddening with horid gloom the dusky fmoke, Whenthe huge Cyclops did with moulding thunder fweat, And maffive bolts on repercuffive anvils beat.

VII.

Amidft this rage, behold, where William stands,

Undaunted, undismay'd!

With face ferene, difpenfing dread commands;

Which, heard with awe, are with delight obey'd.
A thoufand fiery deaths around him fly;
And burning balls hifs harmless by:
For ev'ry fire his facred head must spare,

Nor dares the lightning touch the laurels there.

Now

many a

VIII.

wounded Briton feels the rage

Of miffive fires that fefter in each limb,

Which dire revenge alone has power t' affuage;
Revenge makes danger dreadless seem.

And now, with defperate force, and fresh attack,
Through obvious deaths, resistless way they make;
Raifing high piles of earth, and heap on heap they lay,
And then afcend; refembling thus (as far
As race of men inferior may)

The fam'd gigantic war.

When those tall fons of earth did heaven afpire;
(A brave, but impious fire!)

Uprooting hills, with most stupendous hale,
To form the high and dreadful scale.

The gods, with horror and amaze, look'd down,
Beholding rocks from their firm bafis rent!

Mountain on mountain thrown,

With threatening hurl, that shook th' ætherial firmament, Th' attempt did fear in heaven create ;

Even Jove defponding fate,

Till Mars, with all his force collected, stood. And pour'd whole war on the rebellious brood; Who, tumbling headlong from th' empyreal skies, O'erwhelm'd thofe hills, by which they thought to rife. C

Mars

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