To Sir John Barrington

Mr Porden

On His Birthday — Dec 8th 1808

That ghastly being long and spare
(So Parnel paints the villain care)
Which Horace tells and tells you true
Fly where you may, will still pursue
Ascend the deck and spread the sail
He follows in the favouring gale
And fleeter than the favouring wind
Your courser mount, He mounts behind.

This wretch, the child of want and fear
Has been my torment many a year
Has broke my rest with fearful dreams
Obscured Apollo’s golden beams
Embrown’d the verdant vernal plain
Untuned the lark and linnet’s strain
Has made the woodbine and the rose
For sweets a noisome fume disclose
And ta’en from natures cheerful face
Its richest hues its sweetest grace
The Muses, lovely froward fair
Detest this scowling caitiff care
And fly my humble roof since he
Has dwelt, a hated guest! with me;
But wanting now a birthday song
I call’d so loud, and call’d so long
They came — They coldly heard my prayer
And cast a sneering look on care.
Again I sued, What spleen pervades
Your bosom’s dear enchanting maids?
Have you forgot the youthful hours
I loitered in your mystic bowers
When midnight darkness gloom’d the skies
And sleep was banished from mine eyes
To hear the tales you sweetly told
Of lovely nymphs and warriors bold.
How liberal then was every dame
Of matchless verse and endless fame
Now each denies when age comes on
To give one line for Barrington.

The bounteous Lord of Swainston grove
Said Clio, All the Muses love
For him unbidden verse they bring
For him with willing voices sing
Derived from either regal rose
His blood in streams unsullied flows
And every movement of his mind
Shews honour in his breast enshrin’d.

This day — the day that give him birth
Shall friendship consecrate to mirth
Call round his hearth the social powers
That crown with joy the festive hours,
And though that snarling caitiff there
Forbids thy verse to greet his ear
Yet Hayter’s unaffected lays
Shall yield the mead of honest praise:
But know no praises can impart
Such transport to his liberal heat
As yon fair group of blooming maids —
I see them burst from Calborne shades
Joy swells their father’s breast, and joy
Gleams in their beauteous mother’s eye
While they with filial reverence bend
To him their uncle guardian friend.
There with another lively band
From sea-beat Osborne’s sylvan strand
With many a youth of naval name
And soldiers yet unknown to fame
Beat with brisk steps the echoing ground
And weave the dances mazy round
While age with young delight looks on
And thinks of years long past and gone
And every feeling bosom there
Spontaneous breathes a grateful prayer
That heaven their Barrington may bless
With life and health and happiness.

She spoke — His rugged front the while
Grim care relax’d and forc’d a smile
By Clio’s gentle accents chear’d
He bad me sing the song I’d heard
But ill my feeble powers retain
And ill my tongue repeats the strain
Else Barrington my plausive rhyme
Would scorn the envious rage of time
And to unnumber’d ages prove
They virtues & my grateful love.