To Sir John Barrington Bart.
On his Birthday Dec. 8th 1804
“Descended from an antient line,
That one the English sceptre swayed.”
This tribute, Barrington, be thine,
By friendship, grateful friendship paid.
And while the day that gave thee birth,
Thy guests devote to social mirth,
Permit, unblamed this simple song,
To rise sublimer lays among.
From that all-bounteous power on high,
Who gives to mortals grief or joy,
For thee I ask no beauteous wife,
Nor for itself protracted life.
I pray that from thy mansion far,
Be banished, sorrow, pain, and care;
That o’er thy Swainston’s sylvan scene,
Thou still may’s range with mind serene.
That Health may all thy steps attend,
Thy love, thy bride, thy bosom friend;
Wave o’er thy path her magic wand,
And with new beauties cloath the land;
To livelier raptures tune the song,
That winds thy woodland walks along;
Give to those walks thy taste has made,
A softer turf, a cooler shade;
Give to the rose more sweet perfume,
To every flower a fresher bloom;
And spread o’er nature’s varied face,
A richer, brighter, lovelier grace.
Nor less at home, the power be seen,
Of this enchanting fairy queen.
Still may her smiling presence chear,
Thy morning meal through all the year;
When to thy dome they friends repair,
As now, the natal feast to share,
May still the roseate nymph be there;
Still at thy plenteous board preside,
With chearful looks, and decent pride.
Nor with fair Winnifred retire,
But stay and trim the fading fire;
Still bid the temp’rate glass go round,
Still point the jest, not meant to wound.
Bid wit his harmless shafts employ,
And wed grave sense to laughing joy.
May Health, sweet mistress of thy day!
For thee unveil the orient ray,
Tinge with new dyes the setting light,
And fold thee in her arms at night.
Thus blest, if heaven my prayer attend,
With spirits light, and many a friend;
Unvex’d by sickness, pain, or woe,
What more can man desire below!
Fly time, pursue thy old career,
Whirl, swiftly whirl the circling year.
Steal, like a thief unheard, away,
And shorten life from day to day;
He who, (in pious hope resigned
To heaven’s all-wise, all-righteous mind)
In ease and health enjoys the hour,
Smiles at thy speed, and scorns the power.
And when shall come the appointed day
For mother Earth to claim thy clay,
(While upwards to the realms of light,
The joyful spirit takes her flight
To dwell joint-tenant with the blest,)
Close in her bosom may it rest.
Till that dread voice whose quickening flame,
Inform’d with life great nature’s frame,
Shall bid the righteous dead arise,
And join their partner in the skies.