Constant to England in your love,
As birds are to their wonted grove,
Though by rude hands their nests are spoil’d,
There the next spring again they build.
Accusing some malignant star,
Not Britain, for that fatal war,
Your kindness banishes your fear,
Resolved to fix for ever here.
But what new mine this work supplies?
Can such a pile from ruin rise? 20
This, like the first creation, shows
As if at your command it rose.
Frugality and bounty too
(Those diff’ring virtues), meet in you;
From a confined, well-managed store,
You both employ and feed the poor.
Let foreign princes vainly boast
The rude effects of pride, and cost
Of vaster fabrics, to which they
Contribute nothing but the pay; 30
This, by the Queen herself design’d,
Gives us a pattern of her mind;
The state and order does proclaim
The genius of that Royal Dame.
Each part with just proportion graced,
And all to such advantage placed,
That the fair view her window yields,
The town, the river, and the fields,
Ent’ring, beneath us we descry,
And wonder how we came so high. 40
She needs no weary steps ascend;
All seems before her feet to bend;
And here, as she was born, she lies;
High, without taking pains to rise.
 ‘Somerset House’: Henrietta,
Queen-mother, who returned to England
in 1660, and lived in Somerset House, which she greatly improved.
 ‘Ever here’: she left, however, in 1665.
Fair hand! that can on virgin paper write,
Yet from the stain of ink preserve it white;
Whose travel o’er that silver field does show
Like track of leverets in morning snow.
Love’s image thus in purest minds is wrought,
Without a spot or blemish to the thought.
Strange, that your fingers should the pencil foil,
Without the help of colours or of oil!
For though a painter boughs and leaves can make,
’Tis you alone can make them bend and shake;
Whose breath salutes your new-created grove,
Like southern winds, and makes it gently move.
Orpheus could make the forest dance; but you
Can make the motion and the forest too.
When as of old the earth’s bold children strove,
With hills on hills, to scale the throne of Jove,
Pallas and Mars stood by their sovereign’s side,
And their bright arms in his defence employ’d;
While the wise Phoebus, Hermes, and the rest,
Who joy in peace, and love the Muses best,
Descending from their so distemper’d seat,
Our groves and meadows chose for their retreat.