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Poem by Thomas Tickell

An Ode Inscrib'd to the Right Honourable the Earl of Sunderland at Windsor


Thou dome, where Edward first enroll'd
His red-cross knights and barons bold,
Whose vacant seats, by virtue bought,
Ambitious emperors have sought;
Where Britain's foremost names are found,
In peace belov'd, in war renown'd,
Who made the hostile nations moan,
Or brought a blessing on their own:


Once more a son of Spencer waits,
A name familiar to thy gates,
Sprung from the chief whose prowess gain'd
The garter, while thy founder reign'd.
He offer'd here his dinted shield,
The dread of Gauls in Cressi's field,
Which in thy high-arch'd temple rais'd,
For four long centuries hath blaz'd.


These seats our sires, a hardy kind,
To the fierce sons of war consign'd,
The flow'ry of chivalry, who drew
With sinewy arm the stubborn yew;
Or with heav'd poll-axe clear'd the field,
Or who in jousts and tourneys skill'd,
Before their ladies' eyes renown'd,
Threw horse and horseman to the ground.


In after-times, as courts refin'd,
Our patriots in the list were join'd,
Nor only Warwick stain'd with blood,
Or Marlb'rough near the Danube's flood,
Have in their crimson crosses glow'd;
But, on just law-givers bestow'd,
These emblems Cecil did invest,
And gleam'd on wise Godolphin's breast.


So Greece, ere arts began to rise,
Fix'd huge Orion in the skies,
And stern Alcides, fam'd in wars,
Bespangled with a thousand stars;
'Till letter'd Athens round the pole
Made gentler constellations roll,
In the blue heavens the* Lyre she strung,
And near the Maid the Balance hung.


Then, Spencer, mount amid the band,
Where knights and kings promiscuous stand.
What though the hero's flame repress'd
Burns calmly in thy generous breast;
Yet who more dauntless to oppose
In doubtful days our home-bred foes?
Who rais'd his country's wealth so high,
Or view'd with less desiring eye?


The sage who large of soul surveys
The globe, and all its empires weighs,
Watchful the various climes to guide,
Which seas, and tongues, and faiths divide,
A nobler name in Windsor's shrine
Shall leave, if right the Muse divine,
Than sprung of old, abhorr'd and vain,
From ravag'd realms and myriads slain.


Why praise we, prodigal of fame,
The rage that sets the world on flame?
My guiltless Muse his brow shall bind
Whose godlike bounty spares mankind:
For those, whom bloody garlands crown,
The brass may breathe, the marble frown;
To him, through every rescu'd land,
Ten thousand living trophies stand.

Thomas Tickell

Thomas Tickell's other poems:
  1. The Tomb of Addison
  2. To a Lady before Marriage
  3. To the Earl of Warwick, on the Death of Mr. Addison
  4. On the Prospect of Peace
  5. To Mr. Addison on His Opera of Rosamond

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