To her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales

WITH THE TRAGEDY OF CATO. NOV. 1714.

The Muse that oft', with sacred raptures fir'd,
Has gen'rous thoughts of liberty inspir'd,
And, boldly rising for Britannia's laws,
Engag'd great Cato in her country's cause,
On you submissive waits, with hopes assur'd,
By whom the mighty blessing stands secur'd,
And all the glories that our age adorn
Are promis'd to a people yet unborn.
No longer shall the widow'd land bemoan
A broken lineage and a doubtful throne,
But boasTher royal progeny's increase,
And count the pledges of her future peace.
O born to strengthen and to grace our isle!
While you, fair Princess! in your offspring smile,
Supplying charms to the succeeding age,
Each heav'nly daughter's triumph we presage,
Already see th' illustrious youths complain,
And pity monarchs doom'd to sigh in vain.
Thou, too, the darling of our fond desires,
Whom Albion, opening wide her arms, requires,
With manly valour and attractive air
Shalt quell the fierce and captivate the fair.
O England's younger hope! in whom conspire
The mother's sweetness and the father's fire!
For thee perhaps, even now, of kingly race,
Some dawning beauty blooms in every grace,
Some Carolina, to Heav'n's dictates true,
Who, while the sceptred rivals vainly sue,
Thy inborn worth with conscious eyes shall see,
And flight th' imperial diadem for thee.
Pleas'd with the prospect of successive reigns,
The tuneful tribe no more in daring strains
Shall vindicate, with pious fears oppress'd,
Endanger'd rights, and liberty distress'd:
To milder sounds each Muse shall tune the lyrc,
And gratitude and faith to kings inspire,
And filial love; bid impious discord cease,
And sooth the madding factions into peace;
Or rise ambitious in more lofty lays,
And teach the nation their new monarch's praise,
Describe his awful look and godlike mind,
And Caesar's power with Cato's virtue join'd.
Mean-while, bright Princess! who with graceful ease
And native majesty are form'd to please,
Behold those arts with a propitious eye,
That suppliant to their great protectress fly;
Then shall they triumph, and the British stage
Improve her manners and refine her rage,
More noble characters expose to view,
And draw her finish'd heroines from you.
Nor you the kind indulgence will refuse,
Skill'd in the labours of the deathless Muse:
The deathless Muse with undiminish'd rays
Thro' distant time the lovely dame conveys.
To Gloriana Waller's harp was strung;
The queen still shines, because the poet sung.
Ev'n all those graces in your frame combin'd,
The common fate of mortal charms may find,
(Content our short-liv'd praises to engage,
The joy and wonder of a single age)
Unless some poet in a lasting song
To late posterity their fame prolong,
Instruct our sons the radiant form to prize,
And see your beauty with their fathers' eyes.
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