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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1801.12
From the Belfast News-letter.
On the Peace

William Cunningham [1]
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXI (November 1801), p. 1030.

Long banish'd Peace again descends,
    Array'd in all her heav'nly charms;
Her dove-like wings to earth she bends,
    Bids Europe drop the deathful arms.

Aghast she stands at her return,
    To view War, Death, and Horror reign;
Hears widows, mothers, orphans mourn,
    For husbands, sons, and fathers slain.

Scarce had the Heav'nly Goddess spoke,
    When France and Britain heard her voice;
The hostile bands of war were broke—
    Let all the world around rejoice!

Armies commission'd to destroy,
    Shall ravage Europe's plains no more;
No longer they their arms employ
    To drench her fertile fields with gore.

The Rhine shall cease with blood to flow,
    Th' affrighted Po shall limpid stray;
Where late encamp'd the warlike foe.
    Blithe shepherds and their flocks will play.

Victorious Nelson! war give o'er,
    With laurel wreaths and olive crown'd;
Now moor thy fleet round Albion's shore,
    That long hath aw'd the great Profound.

Commerce displays her canvas wings,
    To foreign climes bounds o'er the flood;
Their choicest stores from thence she brings;
    Her constant aim's the public good.

Life-aiding Agriculture spreads
    Beneath th' industrious peasant's care;
The hostile bands no more he dreads,
    To mar the labour of the year.

E'en Science self will wake anew,
    In ev'ry grace divinely drest;
And ope new prospects to our view,
    While love and friendship warms each breast.

The tender mother fondly hears
    The darling son from danger freed;
Whose breast for his oft heav'd with fears,
    Lest War should him to battle lead.

The lovely nymph of blooming chains
    May fearless yield her heart and all,
Since War no more will from her arms
    Her favourite swain to battle call.

These, and a thousand gifts are thine,
    Sweet Peace!—which War can never know:
Now Europe bows before thy shrine,
    From thee her choicest blessings flow.


Notes

1. [The Gentleman's Magazine note]: "Having gratified our readers occasionally with the elegant productions of Mr. Stott, of Dromore, in Ireland, either under his assumed signature of HAFIZ, or his initials T.S. we have here the pleasure to introduce another genius, who has lately appeared in the same quarter, and of whom the following account was published in the Belfast News-Letter, Sept. 28, 1801, prefixed to an Elegy of his on the death of the late Marquis of Downshire:—'The following is by a youth only 20 years of age; who hath had no other education but what he has procured for himself by his own private application in the short intervals from a laborious employment.'

We have the pleasure to hear, that the Bishop of Dromore has rescued him from the laborious drudgery of the loom, and has placed him in his Diocesan Grammar-school; and though the first Verses he produced were not inelegantly written, yet his reading had been so irregular and desultory, chiefly of such odd volumes, &c. as he had been able to borrow, that he was unacquainted with the trite story of the Roman Lucretia. But this defect has since been remedied, and he has read the Roman and Grecian History and all the usual English Classics."

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September 2004

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