Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FOR THE KING'S BIRTHDAY 1697, by NAHUM TATE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

FOR THE KING'S BIRTHDAY 1697, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Summon to the cheerful plain
Last Line: Who fights to give freedom, and conquers to save.
Subject(s): Birthdays; Courts & Courtiers; William Iii, King Of England (1650-1702)

Summon to the cheerful plain
The Graces and the Muses' train.

They come, they come, in pompous throng,
And, as in state they march along,
This is the burthen of their song:

Virtue is at last regarded,
And the hero's toils rewarded.

Hark how the neighb'ring nations round
To Britain's echo'd mirth resound!
And various languages employ
To speak the universal joy.

Let winter smile, the fields be gay,
Woods and vales in consort sing,
Flowing tides their tribute bring,
To welcome peace and Caesar's day.

The trumpet's sound and cannon's roar,
No longer are the voice of war;
Yet both shall speak, and both be heard as far
In triumph now as in alarms before.

In ancient times of lawless sway,
When nations groaning lay,
Despairing all, and all forlorn,
Then was the great Alcides born.

Such was Europe's late distress,
When for the suffering world's repose,
With equal courage and success,
Our second Hercules arose.

O favour'd both of earth and Heav'n!
To thee, and only thee, 'tis giv'n
Rome's first Caesars to out-do;
Our Julius and Augustus too.

War's dismal scene is chang'd to peace,
Yet shall not his Herculean labours cease:
Nobler wars he now will wage,
Against infernal pow'rs engage,
And quell the hydra-vices of the age.

Grand chorus
So glorious a task does a hero require,
Whom valour and virtue alike do inspire:
'Tis a triumph reserv'd for the just and the brave,
Who fights to give freedom, and conquers to save.

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