Poems on several occasions: By Stephen Duck.
Duck, Stephen, 1705-1756.
On the Marriage of his Serene Highness the Prince of Orange.
ILLUSTRIOUS Prince! forgive the feeble Lay,
That now aspires to hail your Nuptial Day;
Nor scorn a Muse, the meanest of the Nine,
Who brings her humble Off'ring to your Shrine.
And you, Imperial Nymph! whose lovely Face
Invites the Hero to your chaste Embrace,
Vouchsafe a Spark of your celestial Fire;
Harmonious Words, and pleasing Thoughts inspire,
Soft, as your Love, and tuneful, as your Lyre:
So shall my Numbers charm the list'ning Ear,
And ev'n the glad NASSAU delighted hear.
Page 178 NASSAU has long enrich'd the Book of Fame,
And ANNA now adorns the noble Name.
Nations, who saw the Light of ORANGE rise,
With awful Splendor, in the Belgian Skies;
Shall soon behold it with new Lustre shine,
Join'd to a glorious Star, of BRUNSWIC's Line.
SO, where the flowing Sambre gently glides,
The Swain delights to view the beauteous Tides:
But, when his more extended Eye surveys
The shining Torrent join the spacious Maese;
Both Rivers, thus, with friendly Union flow,
And to the Sight superior Beauty show.
WHENE'ER the Gods a noble Race intend,
They suit the Causes to the destin'd End,
Nor yoke unequal Hearts in Nuptial Love:
JOVE's valiant Bird disdains the fearful Dove;
Page 179 Great Minds, by native Sympathy, combine,
As golden Particles the closest join.
Paternal Virtues in their Bosom roll,
Ally'd in Love by Nobleness of Soul:
Hence Thrones and Sceptres shine neglected Things,
Hence Royal ANNE prefers NASSAU to Kings;
While Britons with united Hearts rejoice,
And willing Senators applaud the Choice,
To see their KING (to Honour ever true)
Discharge the Debt to sacred WILLIAM due;
Immortal WILLIAM! by whose prudent Cares
We yet enjoy the Fruits of all our Wars;
Our Laws, Religion, Liberty, and Peace,
And ev'n the Blessings of the BRUNSWIC Race.
NOR Thou, Illustrious ORANGE! blush to own,
Thy Honour, thus ally'd to Albion's Crown;
Page 180 Blest with a Princess, in whose Form we trace
Her Father's Majesty, and Mother's Grace;
Bright Orbs of Pow'r, that, with propitious Ray,
Dispel our Clouds, and beautify our Day:
Not as the Comet, raging thro' the Air,
Infects the World with Pestilence and War;
But, like the Sun, their Beams of Goodness glow,
Inspiring Life, and chearing all below.
Such are the glorious SIRE, and gracious DAME,
From whence the beauteous Bride of ORANGE came.
And shall unerring Nature change her Kind?
What Lion e'er produc'd a tim'rous Hind?
The Royal Eagles Royal Eagles breed,
And Heroes from heroic Sires proceed:
Rome's Founder, thus, confess'd his Race Divine;
Thus NASSAU copies the NASSOVIAN Line;
Thus ANNA's noble Stream of Virtue flows,
High, as the Regal Spring, from whence it rose.
Page 181 Thrice happy Nymph, with ev'ry Grace supply'd!
Thrice happy Prince, with such a heav'nly Bride!
In whom superior Sense with Judgment joins,
Her Beauty much, but more her Merit shines.
How glorious! When such Worth adorns the Great,
We hear, we see, admire, and imitate:
Virtue, in Them, attracts remotest Eyes;
But, in the vulgar Soul, unheeded lies.
As radiant PHOEBUS darts superior Light,
While smaller Planets shun the watchful Sight.
ACCOMPLISH'D thus, let her Example fire
The drooping Muse, and wake the sounding Lyre:
To aid Religion, be her chiefest Care,
(Heav'n justly claims the Soul, it made so fair)
To stem the Torrent of licentious Rage,
And prop the Virtues of a sinking Age;
Page 182 Exalting Science to her ancient Height,
To raise declining Arts, and make the Rude polite:
While great NASSAU, whom native Glory warms,
Whene'er his Country calls him forth to Arms,
May fire the Belgians in the Field of MARS,
Consult their Peace, or animate their Wars;
Paint his Forefathers to their wond'ring Eye,
And teach 'em how to conquer, or to die;
Like him, who bravely dar'd to break their Chain,
Tho' held by all the Force and Fraud of Spain:
For injur'd Liberty the Sword he draws,
Resolv'd to gain, or perish in the Cause;
And having long the doubtful Combat try'd,
Like CAESAR vanquish'd, and like CAESAR *dy'd;
Tho' diff'rent far the Motives of their Mind;
That fought to conquer, this to save Mankind;
Page 183 Till prais'd, lamented, envy'd, and admir'd,
The Hero, Patriot, and the Prince expir'd.
O! where did then the Guardian Angels hide?
Nor watch'd to turn the guilty Ball aside;
When he, whom armed Hosts could not withstand,
Now falls a Victim to one Villain's Hand!
BUT rise, ye Muses, quit the pensive Lay:
Nor damp the Joys of this auspicious Day.
Since yet the glorious Name of ORANGE stands,
Since Royal ANNA seals the Nuptial Bands;
Soon may Imperial ADOLPHS rise again,
Again new FRED'RICS thunder on the Main,
Rouzing the Martial Youth to War's Alarms,
(If proud Iberians shine again in Arms)
To guard their Country from tyrannic Pow'r,
And be, what glorious WILLIAM was before.
NOR shall the States invading Forces fear,
Ere pregnant Time the promis'd Heroes bear;
Nor want Allies their Freedom to defend,
Since BRUNSWIC reigns, and ALBION is their Friend.
As branching Oaks protect the rural Swain,
Secure from Summer Heat, and Winter Rain;
So shall our Monarch, with paternal Aid,
His Regal Shelter o'er Batavia spread:
Long as the Sceptre fills his Royal Hand,
A true Palladium shall insure the Land.
AND if the prescient Muses guide my Lay,
Or future Secrets PHOEBUS can display;
The Day shall shine distinguish'd from the rest,
That ANNA dignify'd, and HYMEN blest;
In which AUGUSTUS fortifies his Throne,
And plans a Scheme of Union for his Son;
Page 185 Bespeaks Allies for Princes yet to come,
New Friends to Britain, and new Foes to Rome.
PROCEED, Great MONARCH! new Allies to gain,
And with new Nuptial Leagues our Peace maintain:
So shall thy beauteous Nymphs secure with Charms
That Safety, other Kings defend with Arms;
They, VENUS like, could MARS himself surprize,
And awe stern Tyrants with their conqu'ring Eyes.