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Posts Tagged ‘England’

Calm was the day, and through the trembling air
Sweet breathing Zephyrus did softly play,
A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay
Hot Titan’s beams, which then did glister fair;
When I whose sullen care,
Through discontent of my long fruitless stay
In prince’s court, and expectation vain
Of idle hopes, which still do fly away
Like empty shadows, did afflict my brain,
Walked forth to ease my pain
Along the shore of silver streaming Thames,
Whose rutty bank, the which his river hems,
Was painted all with variable flowers,
And all the meads adorned with dainty gems,
Fit to deck maidens’ bowers,
And crown their paramours,
Against the bridal day, which is not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

There, in a meadow, by the river’s side,
A flock of nymphs I chanced to espy,
All lovely daughters of the flood thereby,
With goodly greenish locks, all loose untied,
As each had been a bride;
And each one had a little wicker basket,
Made of fine twigs, entrailed curiously,
In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket,
And with fine fingers cropt full featously
The tender stalks on high.
Of every sort, which in that meadow grew,
They gathered some; the violet pallid blue,
The little daisy, that at evening closes,
The virgin lily, and the primrose true,
With store of vermeil roses,
To deck their bridegrooms’ posies
Against the bridal day, which was not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

With that, I saw two swans of goodly hue
Come softly swimming down along the Lee;
Two fairer birds I yet did never see.
The snow which doth the top of Pindus strew,
Did never whiter shew,
Nor Jove himself, when he a swan would be
For love of Leda, whiter did appear:
Yet Leda was they say as white as he,
Yet not so white as these, nor nothing near.
So purely white they were,
That even the gentle stream, the which them bare,
Seemed foul to them, and bade his billows spare
To wet their silken feathers, lest they might
Soil their fair plumes with water not so fair,
And mar their beauties bright,
That shone as heaven’s light,
Against their bridal day, which was not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

Eftsoons the nymphs, which now had flowers their fill,
Ran all in haste, to see that silver brood,
As they came floating on the crystal flood.
Whom when they saw, they stood amazed still,
Their wondering eyes to fill.
Them seemed they never saw a sight so fair,
Of fowls so lovely, that they sure did deem
Them heavenly born, or to be that same pair
Which through the sky draw Venus’ silver team;
For sure they did not seem
To be begot of any earthly seed,
But rather angels, or of angels’ breed:
Yet were they bred of Somers-heat they say,
In sweetest season, when each flower and weed
The earth did fresh array,
So fresh they seemed as day,
Even as their bridal day, which was not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

 

Then forth they all out of their baskets drew

Great store of flowers, the honour of the field,

That to the sense did fragrant odours yield,

All which upon those goodly birds they threw,

And all the waves did strew,

That like old Peneus’ waters they did seem,

When down along by pleasant Tempe’s shore,

Scattered with flowers, through Thessaly they stream,

That they appear through lilies’ plenteous store,

Like a bride’s chamber floor.

Two of those nymphs meanwhile, two garlands bound,

Of freshest flowers which in that mead they found,

The which presenting all in trim array,

Their snowy foreheads therewithal they crowned,

Whilst one did sing this lay,

Prepared against that day,

Against their bridal day, which was not long:

Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

‘Ye gentle birds, the world’s fair ornament,
And heaven’s glory, whom this happy hour
Doth lead unto your lovers’ blissful bower,
Joy may you have and gentle heart’s content
Of your love’s complement:
And let fair Venus, that is queen of love,
With her heart-quelling son upon you smile,
Whose smile, they say, hath virtue to remove
All love’s dislike, and friendship’s faulty guile
For ever to assoil.
Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord,
And blessed plenty wait upon your board,
And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound,
That fruitful issue may to you afford,
Which may your foes confound,
And make your joys redound
Upon your bridal day, which is not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.’

So ended she; and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong,
Which said their bridal day should not be long.
And gentle echo from the neighbour ground
Their accents did resound.
So forth those joyous birds did pass along,
Adown the Lee, that to them murmured low,
As he would speak, but that he lacked a tongue,
Yet did by signs his glad affection show,
Making his stream run slow.
And all the fowl which in his flood did dwell
Gan flock about these twain, that did excel
The rest so far as Cynthia doth shend
The lesser stars. So they, enranged well,
Did on those two attend,
And their best service lend,
Against their wedding day, which was not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

At length they all to merry London came,
To merry London, my most kindly nurse,
That to me gave this life’s first native source;
Though from another place I take my name,
An house of ancient fame.
There when they came, whereas those bricky towers,
The which on Thames’ broad aged back do ride,
Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers
There whilom wont the Templar Knights to bide,
Till they decayed through pride:
Next whereunto there stands a stately place,
Where oft I gained gifts and goodly grace
Of that great lord, which therein wont to dwell,
Whose want too well now feels my friendless case.
But ah, here fits not well
Old woes but joys to tell
Against the bridal day, which is not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer,
Great England’s glory, and the world’s wide wonder,
Whose dreadful name late through all Spain did thunder,
And Hercules’ two pillars standing near
Did make to quake and fear:
Fair branch of honour, flower of chivalry,
That fillest England with thy triumph’s fame,
Joy have thou of thy noble victory,
And endless happiness of thine own name
That promiseth the same:
That through thy prowess and victorious arms,
Thy country may be freed from foreign harms;
And great Elisa’s glorious name may ring
Through all the world, filled with thy wide alarms,
Which some brave Muse may sing
To ages following,
Upon the bridal day, which is not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

From those high towers this noble lord issuing,
Like radiant Hesper when his golden hair
In th’Ocean billows he hath bathed fair,
Descended to the river’s open viewing,
With a great train ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to be seen
Two gentle knights of lovely face and feature
Beseeming well the bower of any queen,
With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature,
Fit for so goodly stature;
That like the twins of Jove they seemed in sight,
Which deck the baldric of the heavens bright.
They two forth pacing to the river’s side,
Received those two fair birds, their love’s delight;
Which, at th’ appointed tide,
Each one did make his bride
Against their bridal day, which is not long:
…..Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

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Nobly, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the Northwest died away;
Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay;
Bluish ‘mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay;
In the dimmest Northeast distance dawned Gibraltar grand and gray;
“Here and here did England help me; how can I help England?” – say,
Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise and pray,
While Jove’s planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.

 

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Now, George the third rules not alone,
For George the vandal shares the throne,
True flesh of flesh and bone of bone.

God save us from the fangs of both;
Or, one a vandal, one a goth,
May roast or boil us into froth.

Like danes, of old, their fleet they man
And rove from Beersheba to Dan,
To burn, and beard us – where they can.

They say, at George the fourth’s command
This vagrant host were sent, to land
And leave in every house – a brand.

An idiot only would require
Such war – the worst they could desire –
The felon’s war – the war of fire.

The warfare, now, th’ invaders make
Must surely keep us all awake,
Or life is lost for freedom’s sake.

They said to Cockburn, “honest Cock!
To make a noise and give a shock
Push off, and burn their navy dock:

“Their capitol shall be emblazed!
How will the buckskins stand amazed,
And curse the day its walls were raised!”

Six thousand heroes disembark –
Each left at night his floating ark
And Washington was made their mark.

That few would fight them – few or none –
Was by their leaders clearly shown –
And “down,” they said, “with Madam!

How close they crept along the shore!
As closely as if Rodgers saw her –
A frigate to a seventy-four.

A veteran host, by veterans led,
With Ross and Cockburn at their head –
They came – they saw – they burnt – and fled.

But not unpunish’d they retired;
They something paid, for all they fired,
In soldiers kill’d, and chiefs expired.

Five hundred veterans bit the dust,
Who came, inflamed with lucre’s lust –
And so they waste – and so they must.

They left our congress naked walls –
Farewell to towers and capitols!
To lofty roofs and splendid halls!

To courtly domes and glittering things,
To folly, that too near us clings,
To courtiers who – tis well – had wings.

Farewell to all but glorious war,
Which yet shall guard Potomac’s shore,
And honor lost, and fame restore.

To conquer armies in the field
Was, once, the surest method held
To make a hostile country yield.

The mode is this, now acted on;
In conflagrating Washington,
They held our independence gone!

Supposing George’s house at Kew
Were burnt, (as we intend to do,)
Would that be burning England too?

Supposing, near the silver Thames
We laid in ashes their saint James,
Or Blenheim palace wrapt in flames;

Made Hampton Court to fire a prey,
And meanly, then, to sneak away,
And never ask them what’s to pay?

Would that be conquering London town?
Would that subvert the English throne,
Or bring the royal system down?

With all their glare of guards or guns,
How would they look like simpletons,
And not at all the lion’s sons!

Supposing, then, we take our turn
And make it public law, to burn,
Would not old English honor spurn

At such a mean insidious plan
Which only suits some savage clan –
And surely not – the English man!

A doctrine has prevail’d too long,
A king, they hold, can do no wrong
Merely a pitch-fork, wthout prong:

But de’il may trust such doctrines, more, –
One king, that wrong’d us, long before,
Has wrongs, by hundreds, yet in store.

He wrong’d us forty years ago;
He wrongs us yet, we surely know;
He’ll wrong us till he gets a blow.

That, with a vengeance, will repay
The mischiefs we lament this day,
This burning, damn’d, infernal play;

Will send one city to the sky,
Its buildings low and buildings high,
And buildings – built the lord knows why;

Will give him an eternal check
That breaks his heart or breaks his neck,
And plants our standard on QUEBEC.

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The Door of Death is made of Gold,
That Mortal Eyes cannot behold;
But, when the Mortal Eyes are clos’d,
And cold and pale the Limbs repos’d,
The Soul awakes; and, wond’ring, sees
In her mild Hand the golden Keys;
The Grave is Heaven’s golden Gate,
And rich and poor around it wait;
O Shepherdess of England’s Fold,
Behold this Gate of Pearl and Gold!
To dedicate to England’s Queen
The Visions that my Soul has seen,
And, by her kind permission, bring
What I have borne on solemn Wing
From the vast regions of the Grave,
Before Her throne my Wings I wave;
Bowing before my Sov’reign’s Feet,
“The Grave produc’d these blossoms sweet
In mild repose from Earthly strife;
The Blossoms of Eternal life!”

 

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…………..The Two Georges

The royal George was England’s tyrant king,
A sea dividing him from his command.
But rebel George reigned there and closed the ring.

Into the Boston Harbor, men did fling
The tainted tea taxed by the threat’ning hand
Of royal George, then England’s tyrant king.

A rag-tag army rose from edict’s sting.
And who would lead that ragged little band
But rebel George who later closed the ring.

Against that mob, the empire would then fling
A regimented force and navy grand
From royal George, then England’s tyrant king.

Upon Cornwallis, fatal trap did spring.
The sea was lost, and to his strip of land
Came rebel George who round him closed the ring.

One squeezed a colony, but could not cling.
One was the father of his fatherland.
The royal George was England’s tyrant king.
But rebel George reigned when he closed the ring.

———————————————————

© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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Sketch of Lord Byron’s Life

“Lord Byron” was an Englishman
A poet I believe,
His first works in old England
Was poorly received.

Perhaps it was “Lord Byron’s” fault
And perhaps it was not.
His life was full of misfortunes,
Ah, strange was his lot.

The character of “Lord Byron”
Was of a low degree,
Caused by his reckless conduct,
And bad company.

He sprung from an ancient house,
Noble, but poor, indeed.
His career on earth, was marred
By his own misdeeds.

Generous and tender hearted,
Affectionate by extreme,
In temper he was wayward,
A poor “Lord” without means;

Ah, he was a handsome fellow
With great poetic skill,
His great intellectual powers
He could use at his will.

He was a sad child of nature,
Of fortune and of fame;
Also sad child to society,
For nothing did he gain

But slander and ridicule,
Throughout his native land.
Thus the “poet of the passions,”
Lived, unappreciated, man.

Yet at the age of 24,
“Lord Byron” then had gained
The highest, highest, pinnacle
Of literary fame.

Ah, he had such violent passions
They was beyond his control,
Yet the public with its justice,
Sometimes would him extol.

Sometimes again “Lord Byron”
Was censured by the press,
Such obloquy, he could not endure,
So he done what was the best.

He left his native country,
This great unhappy man;
The only wish  he had, “’tis said,”
He might die, sword in hand.

He had joined the Grecian Army;
This man of delicate frame;
And there he died in a distant land,
And left on earth his fame.

“Lord Byron’s” age was 36 years,
Then closed the sad career,
Of the most celebrated “Englishman”
Of the nineteenth century.

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Sinking of the Royal George

Sinking of the Royal George (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Loss Of The Royal George

Toll for the Brave!
The brave that are no more!
All sunk beneath the wave
Fast by their native shore!

Eight hundred of the brave
Whose courage was well tried,
Had made the vessel heel
And laid her on her side.

A land-breeze shook the shrouds
And she was overset;
Down went the Royal George,
With all her crew complete.

Toll for the brave!
Brave Kempenfelt is gone;
His last sea-fight is fought,
His work of glory done.

It was not in the battle;
No tempest gave the shock;
She sprang no fatal leak,
She ran upon no rock.

His sword was in its sheath,
His fingers held the pen,
When Kempenfelt went down
With twice four hundred men.

–  Weigh the vessel up
Once dreaded by our foes!
And mingle with our cup
The tears that England owes.

Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float again
Full charged with England’s thunder,
And plough the distant main:

But Kempenfelt is gone,
His victories are o’er;
And he and his eight hundred
Shall plough the wave no more.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Royal_George_(1756)

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