Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
On the Poems of Sir Richard Blackmore
By Jane Turell (1708–1735)
 
BLACKMORE, thou wondrous bard! whose name inspires
My glowing breast to imitate thy fires,
O that my muse could give a lasting fame!
Then should my verse immortalize thy name.
Thy matchless lines thy inborn worth displays,        5
Inspires our souls, and fills our mouths with praise.
Thou for mankind’s preceptor Heaven design’d,
To form their manners, and instruct their mind.
In virtue’s cause undaunted you engage,
To stem the tide of vice, reform the stage,        10
And place the present with the golden age.
  What eyes can view thy heroes, and not find
In them the lively copy of thy mind?
None but a soul profusely great and good,
A soul with every princely gift endow’d,        15
Could draw such virtues in their native light;
Virtues in which heroic souls delight.
  With what sweet majesty Eliza stands,
While valiant Vere attends her high commands?
The vanquish’d Gauls before her cohorts fly,        20
And with their blood the Danube’s current dye.
  Here pious Arthur ploughs the watery main,
Heaven’s righteous cause and worship to maintain;
His pious deeds and his victorious arms
Are crown’d with peace, and Ethelina’s charms.        25
  The virtuous Alfred next imbark’d we find,
In quest of wisdom for a princely mind,
To empire born and for a throne design’d.
Sages and kings alike the prince admire,
The schools and courts yield him his whole desire:        30
His virtue, faithful Guithun, was thy care;
Nobly he fled the lewd Sicilian fair!
Chaste he return’d, and as an angel wise,
And more than crowns he found in fair Elsitha’s eyes.
  Thus Arthur, Alfred, and Eliza stand,        35
Drawn for examples by your matchless hand.
  Had but the Mantuan felt that heavenly fire,
That warms thy breast, whene’er you tune the lyre,
Rome ne’er had known a rival in her praise,
Nor to Augusta e’er resign’d the bays.        40
  To sacred numbers next your lyre is strung,
And mysteries divine flow from your tongue.
  What heart’s not sad, what eye flows not with tears,
When Job in all the pomp of grief appears?
His learned friends in vain attempt and try        45
God’s secret springs of acting to descry;
And Job condemn, till God does justify.
  With Israel’s Psalmist next in cheerful lays,
Raptur’d in sacred love and heavenly praise,
To Israel’s God your purer offerings rise,        50
For a sweet smell and grateful sacrifice.
  No more shall Epicurean doctrine find
Belief in any but a sickly mind;
Nor will the Stagyrite again persuade,
’Twas not in time these mighty orbs were made,        55
Who read creation by your wit display’d.
  Nor the bold Arian, whose blasphemous breath
The impure steam of sulphurous hell and death,
Shall scan the Almighty’s ways, his truths deny,
And from the Saviour tear the Deity:        60
No more shall he the gazing world delude,
Nor on mankind his hellish schemes obtrude:
While you Redemption sing our faith does cry,
“My God, my God, I see thy deity!”
  O happy land! and of unrivall’d fame,        65
That claims thy birth, and boasts so great a name!
Albion alone is blest with such a son,
A birth to ages past, and thee, O Greece, unknown.
 
 
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