William Whitehead

ON THE BIRTH OF THE YOUNG PRINCE 1

Thanks, Nature, thanks; the finish'd piece we own,
And worthy Fred'ric's love, and Britain's throne.
Th' impatient goddess first had sketch'd the plan,
Yet, ere she durst compleat the wond'rous man,
To try her power a gentler task design'd,
And form'd 2 a pattern of the softer kind.

But now, bright boy, thy more exalted ray
Streams o'er the dawn, and pours a fuller day.
Nor shall displeas'd to thee her realms resign
That earlier promise of the rising line.
'Tis hers a milder scepter to sustain,
'The world's fair light, not empress of the main.'
O'er hostile monarchs shall her charms prevail,
And beauty triumph where our arms would fail.

This be the virgin's fame; for thee remains
The dang'rous wreath, which lab'ring Virtue gains.
For thee, unshock'd, with equal strength to bear
The flatt'ring calms of peace, the storms of war:
With Num's prudence blend Hostilius' fire,
And strike with terror, as with love inspire.

And see, what signs his future worth proclaim!
See our Ascanius boast a nobler flame!
On the fair form let vulgar fancies trace
Some fond presage in every dawning grace,
More unconfin'd poetic transport roves,
Sees all the soul, and all the soul approves.
Sees regal pride but reach th' exterior part,
And big with virtue beat the little heart;
Whilst from his eyes soft gleams of mercy flow,
And Liberty supreme smiles on his infant brow.

____________________
1
Now Prince of Wales.
2
Lady Augusta. (Whitehead's note.)

-230-

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