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After one battle lost, and country gone,
Vanquish'd again, alas! and twice undone.
Oh! where shall I begin? what language find
To heal the raging anguish of your mind ?
Or if you deign a willing ear to lend,
Oh! where will my disastrous story end ?
Conquest I often promis’d, I confess,
And who from such a pow'r could promise less ?
There Gallia’s force, and here Bavaria's shines,
'Th' experienc'd hou hold fills our crowded lines;
Already had our tow'ring thoughts o'erthrown
The Belgian host, while we survey'd our own,
Destroy'd their provinces with sword and flame,
Let in their seas, and fack'd their Amsterdam;
Already had we shar'd the fancy'd spoil,
(Imaginary trophies crown'd our toil)
Batavian standards to this temple gave,
In that the British crosses doom’d to wave,
A rural seat aflign'd each captive chief,
In flow'ry gardens to assuage his grief,
And by his arts, and first escape prepar'd,
On MARLBRO had bestow'd a doub guard.
Paris impatient for the conquer'd foe,
Hasten’d the tuneful hymn and solemn show;
Triumphal chariots for the victor stay'd,
And finish'd arches caít a pompous
With nicest art thę bards had dress’d their lays,
Of nothing fearful but to reach our praise ;
But all our hopes and expectation croit,
What lines have we? what fame has Boileau loft ?
Your army now, fixt on its high designs,
Ruth forth like vernal swarms, and quit their lines ;
Eager the Dyle they pass to seek the fight,
Judoina's fields with sudden tents are white,
The fue descends, like torrents from the hills,
And all the neighb’ring vale tumultuous fills :
Preluding cannons tell th' approaching storm,
And working armies take a dreadful form.
Soon your victorious arms, and itronger force,
Tore all the left, and broke the Belgian horse;
Their scatter'd troops are rally'd to the fight,
But only rally'd for a second fight :
As when high heav'n on some aspiring wood,
Which in close ranks, and thickest order stood,
Pours its collected stores of vengeance down,
Cedars are seen with firs and oaks o'erthrown,
Long ravages and intervals of waste !
So gor'd their lines appear’d, and so defac'd.
The third attack had ended all the war,
Sunk their whole force, and fav'd
care, Had MARLBRO, only MA R'LBRO, not been there.
As some good genius flies, to save the realms
Which, in his absence born, a plague o'erwhelms,
Through op’ning squadrons did the hero haste,
And rais'd their drooping courage as he past.
Amidst the routed Belgians he arriv'd,
Turn'd the pursuit, the fainting fight reviv'd,
Supply'd each rank, fill'd ev'ry vacant space,
And brought the battle to its former face.
With trembling hearts we see our fate decreed;
Where MARLBRO fights how can a foe succeed?
To reach his life our boldest warriors strive,
On him the storm with all its thunder drive;
He ftems the war, and half encompass’d round
Still clears his way, and still maintains his ground:
Amaz'd I saw him in such dangers live,
And envy'd him the death I wish'd to give.
But how our rifing pleasure shall I tell ?
The thund'ring steed, and the great rider, fell:
We thank'd kind heav'n, and hop'd the victor flain,
But all our hopes, and all our thanks were vain :
Free from the guilt of any hostile wound
Alive he lay, and dreadful on the ground.
As when a lion in the toils is caft,
That uncontrould had laid the
Th’insulting hinds surround him, who before
Fled from his haunts, and trembled at his roar;
So round beset the mighty Briton lies,
And vulgar foes attempt the glorious prize.
"Till fresh battalions to his succour brought,
Contending armies for the hero fought;
The wanted steed some friendly hand prepar'd,
And met a fatal, but a great, reward:
A glorious death ; of his lov'd lord bereft,
The pious office unperform'd he left.
The rescu'd chief, by the past danger warm'd,
Our weaken'd boufhold with new fury storm'd:
While all around to our admiring eyes
Fresh foes, and undiscover'd squadrons, rise.
The boasted guards that spread your name so far,
And turn'd where'er they fought the doubtful war,
With heaps of flaughter strow'd the fatal plain,
And did a thoufand glorious things in vain ;
Broke with unequal force such numbers die,
That I myself rejoic'd to see them fly.
But oh! how few preserv'd themselves by flight?
Or found a shelter from th' approaching night?
Thousands fall undistinguish'd in the dark,
And five whole leagues with wide destruction mark.
Scarce at Ramillia did the flaughter end,
When the swift victor had approach'd Ofend;
Took in whole states and countries in his way,
Brussels, nor Ghent, nor Antwerp gain'd a day;
Within the compass of one circling moon,
The Lis, the Demer, and the Scheld his own.
What in the foe's, and what in William's hand,
of France withstand ;
Tho' each campaign fhe crowded nations drain'd,
And the fat soil with blood of thousands stain'd;
Those forts and provinces does MARLBRO gain
In twice three suns, and not a soldier slain;
None can suspend the fortune of their town,
But who their harvest and their country drowns
Compell’d to call (his valour to evade)
The less destructive ocean to their aid,
Oh! were our loss to Flandria's plains confin’d!
But what a train of ills are still behind !
Beyond the Adige Vendome feels the blow,
And Villars now retires without a foe,
The fate of Flanders spreads in Spain the flame,
And their new monarch robs of half his fame;
But France shall hear, in fome late distant reign,
An unborn Lewis curse Ramillia's plain.
Whither, oh! whither shall Bavaria run?
Or where himself, or where the victor shun?
Shall I no more with vain ambition roam,
But my own subjects rule in peace at home?
Thence an abandon'd fugitive I'm driven,
Like the first guilty man by angry heav'n
From his bless'd mansions, where th’avenging lord
Still guards the passage with a brandish'd sword.
Or shall I to Brabantia's courts retire,
And reign o'er distant provinces for hire ?
Shall I with borrow'd government dispense,
A royal servant and another’s prince?
These countries too (oh my hard fate !) are lost,
And I am banilh'd from a foreign coast ;
Now may I fight secure of future toils,
Of no new countries a third battle spoils,