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Poem by Thomas Tickell

On Queen Caroline's Rebuilding of the Lodgings of the Black Prince

...and Henry V at Queen's College, Oxford

Where bold and graceful soars, secure of fame,
The pile now worthy great Philippa's name,
Mark that old ruin, Gothic and uncouth,
Where the Black Edward pass'd his beardless youth;
And the Fifth Henry, for his first renown,
Outstripp'd each rival in a student's gown.
In that coarse age were princes fond to dwell
With meagre monks, and haunt the silent cell;
Sent from the monarch's to the muse's court,
Their meals were frugal, and their sleeps were short;
To couch at curfeu-time they thought no scorn,
And froze at mattins every winter morn;
They read, an early book, the starry frame,
And lisp'd each constellation by its name;
Art after art still dawning to their view,
And their mind opening as their stature grew.
Yet, whose ripe manhood spread our fame so far,
Sages in peace, and demi-gods in war?
Who, stern in fight, made echoing Cressy ring,
Yet, mild in conquest, serv'd his captive king?
Who gain'd at Agincourt the victor's bays,
Nor took himself, but gave high heaven the praise?
Thy nurslings, antient dome! to virtue form'd,
To mercy listening, whilst in fields they storm'd;
Fierce to the fierce, and warm th' oppress'd to save,
Thro' life rever'd, and worshipp'd in the grave.
In tenfold pride their mouldering roofs shall shine,
The stately work of royal Caroline;
And blest Philippa, with unenvying eyes,
From heaven beheld her rival's fabric rise.
If still, bright saint, this spot deserve thy care,
Incline thee to th' ambitious muse's prayer!
Oh could'st thou win young William's bloom to grace
His mother Wales, and fill thy Edward's place,
How would that genius, whose propitious wings
Have here twice hover'd o'er the sons of kings,
Descend triumphant to his antient seat,
And take in charge a third Plantagenet!

The Black Prince and Henry V were alumni of the Queen's College.

Queen Caroline funded the extensive rebuilding of the College in the mid-18th century. As part of this rebuilding, the Black Prince's Chamber was demolished in 1751.

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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