“Ode to Peace”
O Thou who badst thy turtles bear
Swift from his grasp thy golden hair,
And sought’st thy native skies;
When War, by vultures drawn from far,
To Britain bent his iron car, 5
And bade his storms arise!
—–Tir’d of his rude tyrannic sway,
Our youth shall fix some festive day,
His sullen shrines to burn :—
But thou, who hear’st the turning spheres, 10
What sounds may charm thy partial ears,
And gain thy blest return!
O Peace, thy injur’d robes up-bind!
O rise! and leave not one behind
Of all thy beamy train: 15
The British Lion, Goddess sweet,
Lies stretch’d on earth to kiss thy feet,
And own thy holier reign.
Let others court thy transient smile;
But come to grace thy western isle, 20
By warlike Honour led;
And, while, around her ports rejoice,
While all her sons adore thy choice,
With him for ever wed!
1 badst “Commanded” (OED).
3 sought’st “To go in search or quest of” (OED).
4 War Reference to the second Jacobite rebellion (1745-1746), Charles Edward Stuart, the “Young Pretender,” was finally defeated in the Battle of Culloden, in northern Scotland, on 16 April 1746 (Britannica).
6 bade “Bid” (OED).
16 The British Lion “The lion as the national emblem of Great Britain; hence often used figuratively for the British nation (OED).
19 transient “Temporary; fleeting” (OED).
SOURCE: The Poetical Works of Mr. William Collins (Glasgow, 1777), pp. 48-49 [Google Books]
Edited by Montel Mosuela