ODE on the VICTORY of WATERLOO

June 2015

In the fervour of national pride which followed Wellington’s victory at Waterloo, Elizabeth Cobbold put her prolific pen to work.

Her Ode on the Victory of Waterloo, in some 21 verses certainly met the expectation of length and also the requirement of dedication, in this case to His Royal Highness, George, Prince Regent.

Printed in Ipswich by J Raw and distributed in London, Bury St. Edmunds and Colchester, profits from the publication were appropriated to the Waterloo Subscription.

We show here the title page and reproduce just verses V, X and XXI together with Thomas Lawrence’s painting of the hero.

Three years later when the Duke of Wellington visited Lord Granville at Wherstead Lodge our ancestor presented him with a copy of her work splendidly bound in Morocco which it is said, was most graciously received and acknowledged.  Perhaps it remains in the Duke’s library to this day!

V

By treason rous’d, Napoleon sprung / Like lurking tiger from his den,
And far and wide the death cry flung, / And rear’d the blood-strip’d flag again:
But Britain’s firmness prov’d a charm / To wither that despotic am,
Which, grasping empire, would have hurl’d / Destruction o’er a subjugated world.

X

But O what song the praise can tell / Of those who, self-devoted, fell,
When ev’ry gallant leader fought / As if that glorious day he sought
To win as bright a wreath from fame / As circles Wellington’s name?
Each persevering soldier too, / A leader in that battle grew,
And felt as resolute in fight, / As firm, in British hardihood,
As though upon his single might / His country’s bulwark stood.

XXI

Again the tide of commerce pours / Its flowing wealth on Britain’s shores;
Again from all her rocky bounds / The festal shout of Peace resounds;
Her dusky artisan prepares / From swords to form the shining shares,
The massy anvils ring: / To sickles chang’d are gleaming spears,
And as they reap the ripen’d ears, / Her jocund peasants sing:
All rich in flocks and herds are seen / Her fragrant hills, her pastures green:
To e’vry gale her flag unfurl’d, / Triumphant floats the waters o’er,
And as it greets each franchis’d shore, / United Empires, great and free,
Hail BRITAIN,EMPRESS of the SEA / And GUARDIAN GENIUS of the WESTERN WORLD.

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