chapter
80 Pages

THE TRAGEDY OF THE LADY JANE GRAY.

To-night the Noblest Subject swells our Scene, A Heroine, a Martyr, and a Queen. And tho’ the Poet dares not boast his Art, The very Theme shall something Great impart, To warm the generous Soul, and touch the tender Heart. 5 To you, Fair Judges, we the Cause submit; Your Eyes shall tell us how the Tale is writ. If your soft Pity waits upon our Woe, If silent Tears for suff’ring Virtue fl ow; Your Grief the Muse’s Labour shall confess, 10 The lively Passions, and the just Distress. Oh! could our Author’s Pencil justly paint, Such as she was in Life, the Beauteous Saint; Boldly your strict Attention might we claim, And bid you mark, and copyout the Dame. 15 No wandring Glance one wanton Thought confess’d, No guilty Wish infl am’d her spotless Breast: The only Love that warm’d her blooming Youth, Was, Husband, England, Liberty, and Truth. For these she fell; while, with too weak a Hand, 20 She strove to save a blind ungrateful Land. But thus the secret Laws of Fate ordain; WILLIAM’s Great Hand was doom’d to break that Chain, And end the Hopes of Rome’s Tyrannick Reign. For ever, as the circling Years return, 25 Ye grateful Britons! crown the Hero’s Urn. To his just Care you ev’ry Blessing owe, Which, or his own, or following Reigns bestow. Tho’ his hard Fate a Father’s Name deny’d;14 To you a Father, he that Loss supply’d. 30 Then while you view the Royal Lines increase, And count the Pledges of your future Peace; From this great Stock while still new Glories come, Conquest abroad, and Liberty at home; While you behold the Beautiful and Brave, 35 Bright Princesses to grace you, Kings to save, Enjoy the Gift, but bless the Hand that gave.