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FOR THE KING'S BIRTHDAY 1721, by                 Poet Analysis    
First Line: When the great julius on britannia's strand
Last Line: Hush'd was the world when the messiah came.
Subject(s): Birthdays; Courts & Courtiers; Crowns; Europe; George I, King Of England (1660-1727); Odes (as Poetic Form); Olympus (mountain), Greece; Peace; Roman Empire; Royal Court Life; Royalty; Kings; Queens

When the great Julius on Britannia's strand
First leap'd, he cried, 'Thou sweet, delightful land!
'Tis Caesar tells thee, he must thee command.'
'Brave hero!' the pleas'd legions shout around;
'Brave hero!' all the list'ning cliffs resound:
'Thy equal in no future age shall rise:
One Caesar rule the earth, one Jove the skies!'

Vales of pleasure are her vales,
Peaceful smile her silent dales.
Smoothly flow her crystal floods,
Verdant rise her shady woods.
Nor let fam'd Olympus dare
With Albion's mountains to compare:
Tho', big with fabl'd gods, he shrouds
His lofty head amid the clouds.

Straight from a hallow'd grove there sprung,
Wreath'd with an acorn'd crown of oak,
The ruling Druid of the throng,
And thus the hoary prophet spoke.
'Caesar! wilt thou lend an ear?
Thou, the boasted pride of Rome!
Truths ungrateful cans't thou bear,
And not tremble at thy doom?'

The soldiers, with rash fury sir'd,
No foresight from the seer desir'd;
Not him, as sacred priest, rever'd,
Nor all his threatened dangers fear'd;
Swift had he felt a mangled death
For his mis-tim'd, prophetic breath:
But Caesar heard the whisper'd ruin run
Thro' all the cohorts, ere the crime was done;
And with one awful, Roman look,
Their impious conspiration broke,
And silent, more than speaking, spoke:
Then greatly bad the daring bard sing on.

'Will wild ambition know no bound?'
With heav'd up hands the Druid cried.
'Thou, Caesar, now shin'st in thy pride;
Thy conquests, warrior, are renown'd:
Enough!—Would'st thou be deify'd?
Proud mortal, know!—the fatal Ides shall come,
When thou thyself shalt bleed for bleeding Rome.'

'Tho' they flatt'ring minions tell thee,
None can rise who shall excel thee;
In revolving years, believe me
(Hero! I will not deceive thee)
From distant, German climes shall rise
A hero, more than Julius, wise;
More good, more prais'd, more truly great,
Courted to sway Britannia's state:
Such are the fix'd decrees of fate.'
The priest, the bard, the prophet then withdrew,
And to the thickest, sylvan covert flew.

Britons! The promis'd blessing you behold,
So many finished centuries foretold.
Inhuman Caesar strove to chain mankind;
Your gen'rous monarch labours to unbind.
That, to himself with joy saw altars rais'd;
This, blushes even to hear his merit prais'd.
He owns his glories to the pow'r divine;
Asks but his people's love, and not a shrine.
Caesar records his fame from captive lands,
But George from rescued kingdoms his demands.
Europe's firm peace is now his glorious aim;
The love of peace from heav'n derives its flame:
Hush'd was the world when the Messiah came.

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