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Still sing, O Cam, your fav'rite freedom's cause,
Still boast of Freedom, while you break her laws;
To Pow'r your songs of gratulation pay;
To courts address soft flattery's servile lay.
What tho' your gentle Mason's plaintive verse
Has hung with sweetest wreaths Museus' herse 5
What, tho' your vaunted bard's ingenuous woe,
Soft as my stream, in tuneful numbers flow?
Yet strove his Muse, by fame or envy led,
To tear the laurels from a sister's head.—
Misguided youth! with rude unclassic rage
To blot the beauties of thy whiter page;
A rage that sullies e'en thy guiltless lays,
And blasts the vernal bloom of half thy bays.
Let *** boast the patrons of her name,
Each splendid fool of fortune and of fame:
Still of preferment let her shine the queen,
Prolific parent of each bowing dean:
Be hers each prelate of the pamper'd cheek,
Each courtly chaplain, sanctify'd and sleek:
Still let the drones of her exhaustless hive
On rich pluralities supinely thrive:
Still let her senates titled slaves revere,.
Nor dare to know the patriot from the peer;
No longer charm'd by virtue's lofty song,
Once heard sage Milton's manly tones among,
Where Cam, meand'ring thro' the matted reeds,
With loit'ring wave his groves of laurel feeds.
'Tis ours, my son, to deal the sacred bay,
Where honour calls, and justice points the way;
To wear the well-earn'd wreath that merit brings,
And snatch a gift beyond the reach of kings.
Scorning and scorn'd by courts, yon Muse's bow'r
Still nor enjoys nor seeks the smile of pow'r.
Though wakeful Vengeance watch my crystal
Tho' Persecution wave her iron wing, [spring,
And o'er yon spiry temples as she flies,
"Those destin'd seats be mine,'' exulting cries;
Fortune's fair smiles on Isis still attend:
And as the dews of gracious Heaven descend
Unask'd, unseen, in still but copious show'rs,
Her stores on me spontaneous bounty pours.
See, Science walks with recent chaplets crown'd J
With Fancy's train my fairy shades resound;
My Muse divine still keeps her custom'd state,
The mein erect, and high majestic gait:
Green as of old each oliv'd portal smiles,
And still the graces build my Grecian piles:
My gothic spires in ancient glory rise,
And dare with wonted pride to rush into the skies.
E'en late, when RadcliiFe's delegated train
Auspicious shone in Isis' happy plain;
When yon proud *dome, fair learning's amplest
Beneath its attic roofs receiv'd the Nine; [shrine,
Was rapture mute, or ceas'd the glad acclaim,
To Radcliffe due, and Isis' honour'd name?
What free-born crowds adom'd the festive day,
Nor blush'd to wear my tributary bay!
How each brave breastwith honest ardours heav'd,
When Sheldon's fane the patriot band receiv'd;
* The Radcliffe Library.
While, as we loudly hail'd the chosen few,
Rome's awful senate rush'd upon the view!
O may the day in latest annals shine,
That made a Beaufort and a Harley mine;
That bade them leave the loftier scene awhile,
The pomp of guiltless state, the patriot toil,
For bleeding Albion's aid the sage design,
To hold short dalliance with the tuneful Nine!
Then Music left her sphere on high,
And bore each strain of triumph from the sky;
Swell'd the loud song, and to my chiefs around
Pour'd the full pasans of mellifluous sound.
My Naiads blythe the dying accents caught,
And listening dane'd beneath their pearly grot:
In gentler eddies play'd my conscious wave,
And all my reeds their softest whispers gave;
Each lay with brighter green adorn'd my bow'rs,
And breath'd a fresher fragrance on my flow'rs.
But lo! at once the pealing concerts cease, And crowded theatres are hush'd in peace.
See, on yon sage how all attentive stand,
To catch his parting eye, and waving hand.
Hark! he begins, with all a Tully's art,
To pour the dictates of a Cato's heart.
Skill'd to pronounce what noblest thoughts
inspire, He blends the speaker's with the patriot's fire; Bold to conceive, nor tim'rous to conceal, What Britons dare to think he dares to tell. 'Tis his alike the ear and eyes to charm, To win with action, and with sense to warm. Untaught in flow'ry periods to dispense The lulling sounds of sweet impertinence: In frowns or smiles he gains an equal prize, Hor meanly fears to fall, nor creeps to rise; Bids happier days to Albion be restor'd, Bids ancient justice rear her radiant sword; From me, as from my country, claims applause, And makes an Oxford's a Britannia's cause.
While arms like these my stedfast sages wield, While mine is Truth's impenetrable shield;