British Women Romantic Poets Project

A Monody to the Memory of the Right Honourable the Lord Collingwood.

Champion de Crespigny, Mary Clarke, d. 1812

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British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
I.D. No. ChamMMonod

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 79
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor

A monody to the memory of the Right Honourable the Lord Collingwood

Champion de Crespigny, Mary Clarke

Cadell and Davis

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I:321. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:321mf.]

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[Title Page]

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141, STRAND. 1810.

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WERE I only to consider your Lordship's, exalted situation, and the very high public character which you so justly hold in England, I might feel very great timidity at presuming to lay at your Lordship's feet the following humble performance; but, when I consider the very long friendship with which you have honoured me, I am emboldened to take this even unrequested liberty.--Whose patronage could I so much wish to solicit upon this occasion as the only surviving hero under whom Lord Collingwood so nobly distinguished himself?--Lord Howe is no more.--Lord Nelson is likewise lost to his country.--To the victorious commander, then, in the ever-memo-

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rable victory off St. Vincent, a service to your country never to be forgotten, do I presume to dedicate the following lines, in respect to the memory of Lord Collingwood. I think your Lordship will not be displeased with the attempts of a humble muse to speak those sorrows which are felt in your Lordship's and every other brave and honest heart in the nation. And I hope you will forgive me for likewise presuming to take this opportunity of publicly assuring your Lordship, that, with the greatest possible respect for your private as well as public character,
I have the honour to be,
Your Lordship's much obliged friend
and obedient servant,


Lincoln's-Inn Fields,

4, 1810.

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A Monody.


    YE hardy sons of ENGLAND'S sea-girt shore,
Down your rough cheeks the heart-felt drops shall fall,
Ye whom nor storms nor battles e'er appal;
Ye shall, with honest sighs and many a tear,
Grieve for the man , who "has not left his peer,"
    For him, with whom you've conquer'd o'er and o'er.

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        Oh! would some muse my strains inspire,
        That I, with more than mortal fire,
        His praise with energy might sing;
        That I might boldly "sweep the string,"
    To sound a nation's sorrows, "wild and loud,"
    While he, alas! lies wrapt within his deadly shroud!


    With ardour for his king and country's weal,
He for that guerdon did all dangers brave,
And risk'd himself,--if others he could save.
Careless of life,--devoid of selfish fears,--
Far from his home--"he liv'd laborious years."--
    Depriv'd of all the joys which others feel;--
        Twenty, to him, long years are o'er,
        Since twenty months he pass'd on shore--
        Though ocean sends his honour'd name,
        Laden with victories, to fame,
    We, in his bosom, higher merits find,
    For every virtue grac'd his steady mind!--

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     * When Howe's brave fleet off Brest to Ushant came,
And gain'd, for England , valour's best-priz'd meed,
Victory!--numbers then were doom'd to bleed;
And Bowyer, early of his limb bereft,
To COLLINGWOOD 's command the Barfleur left;--
    Then gave he presage of his future fame.
        But long it had been understood
        That he was brave, and wise, and good;
        He thought that Fame, with all its pride,
        Could never stem remorse's tide;
    Conscience, his unseen judge, his actions sway'd,
    And all its rigid mandates he obey'd.
* Lord Howe's action, June 1st, 1794.

    When gallant + JERVIS , near the Spanish fleet,

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With eager hope, off Cape St Vincent lay,
Anxiously waiting the return of day,
And heard th' intelligence brave Foote obtain'd,
Who of the hostile ships the numbers gain'd,
    Sufficient to have justified retreat:
        His country's weal his bosom fir'd,
        To glorious deeds his soul aspir'd;
        Phlegmatic caution well he knew,
        Nothing would risk, and little do;
    But danger ne'er ST VINCENT could controul,
    Or check the fervour of his daring soul.
+"Lord St Vincent's action, Feb. 1797, with the Spanish fleet, when he engaged 27 of the enemy's ships with only 15 of the English line.--Five of the Spanish ships were taken,--and the fleet nearly destroyed; two of the largest ships struck to Lord Collingwood, who, not waiting to take possession of them, most gallantly pushed up, with every sail set, to assist his friend Lord Nelson, who was to appearance in a crippled state.--Lord Nelson afterwards most gratefully acknowledged his services in a very kind note of thanks."

    When that proud battle threw destruction round,

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COLLINGWOOD at his post undaunted stood,
And calmly view'd the deeply-crimson'd flood;
ST VINCENT knew his gallant deeds to prize,
For valour soon is seen by valour's eyes,
    Nor could an abler, purer, judge be found.
        Ah sure his COUNTRY then will raise
        A lasting tribute to his praise,
        Who equal suff'rings brav'd and bore
        With any favour'd son before;
    To him who all her enemies defied,
    To him who for her liv'd,--who for her died!


    When sent off * Cadiz to the blockading fleet,

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A great attempt was open'd to his view:
Though highly hazardous, and bold he knew,
Yet, the best service anxious to fulfil,
Requiring almost more than human skill,
    Fearless, the danger he resolv'd to meet;
        With four ships triumph'd on the main,
        And aw'd the fleets of France and Spain:
        All saw his skill with wond'ring eyes,
        Proud of his daring enterprize,
    Which marr'd each hostile plan, 'till NELSON came,
    Who then with him pluck'd brilliant wreaths from fame.
*"Arriving off Cadiz, with only four sail of the line, he had the address to keep in nearly four times that number, by the judicious distribution of his own force. This was effected in the following manner:--two of his ships were kept close in, to watch the motions of the enemy, and make signals to the other two, who were so disposed, and at a distance from one another, as to repeat those signals from one to the other, and again apparently to other ships that were supposed to receive and answer them:--thus he continued to delude the enemy, and led them to conclude, that these were only part of a large fleet not in sight. By this stratagem he kept them in, and not only secured his own fleet, but effected an important service to his country, by preventing the execution of any plan the enemy might have had in contemplation."

    Now at Trafalgar--as on deck he stood,
He led the SOV'REIGN full in NELSON 's sight,
And, dashing foremost, quick began the fight;

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High beat his valiant heart in that proud hour,
NELSON , who saw, cried--"Mark his wond'rous pow'r,
    "See all the hero blaze in COLLINGWOOD !"
        As by degrees the storms arise,
        'Till hurricanes obscure the skies,
         So his tremendous fire increas'd,
        'Till all seem'd smoke--and daylight ceas'd,
    With furious zeal th' opposing fleets engag'd,
    And war with all its blood and horror rag'd!


    "Look at that noble fellow," NELSON cried,
"See him bring up his ship!--observe his style;
"His courage makes the hostile fleet recoil:
"Mark his manoeuvres, while he leads the van!"
And now midst hottest fires th'intrepid man
    Most firmly stood,--his country's friend and pride,
        Unthoughtful of the fatal hour,
        Decreed by a resistless pow'r,

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        That unseen pow'r which governs all,
        And doom'd victorious NELSON 's fall.
    Appal'd--the bravest trembled to relate
    A nation's loss in his untimely fate!


    When COLLINGWOOD the dreadful tidings knew,
His grieving soul almost forsook his frame,
And nearly all his fortitude o'ercame.
By dire misfortune now he seem'd pursued,
A victory half gain'd* with horror view'd,
    And baneful doubts in quick succession grew.
        Friendship and grief did then disclaim
        Each wish of glory, pride, and fame;
        Yet soon his heart began to feel
        Its ardour for his country's weal;

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    Resolv'd no shock should now his pow'rs controul
    Or shake the latent firmness of his soul.
*"Lord Nelson received a musket ball in his left breast about the middle of the action, and sent an officer to Lord Collingwood immediately with his last farewell, and expired soon after." --See Despatches to the Admiralty.

    Soon the most glorious triumph was complete,
But evils great, and often unforeseen,
Arise, by Heaven's decree, and change the scene:
Of raging billows now he heard the sound,
Dreaded the stormy winds, and shoals around,
    And with dismay beheld his scatter'd fleet;
        He saw the foaming waves arise,
        Each vessel mounting to the skies;
        Then his unrivall'd skill was shewn,
        And mercy that was all his own;
    SOLANA'S * marquis and his country knew
    How much to such humanity was due.
*"In clearing the captured ships of prisoners, he found so many wounded men, that, to alleviate human misery, as far as was in his power, he sent to the Marquis de Solana, Governor General of Andalusia, to offer him the wounded to the care of their country, on receipts being given: a proposal which was received with the greatest thankfulness, not only by the governor, but the whole country, which resounded with expressions of gratitude."

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    Two scions from the root of honour grew,
And twin'd themselves around each hero's heart,
Friendship well pleas'd united every part;
With NELSON , COLLINGWOOD ran glory's race,
And, step by step advancing, took his place,
    Brothers by choice,--no jealousy they knew.
        Far from their hearts had envy flown,
        Each made the others fame his own;
        And they, with confidence well tried,
        Did in each other's faith confide.
    As thus they liv'd, they seem'd decreed to die,
    And that they side by side in honour's grave should lie.


    Yet, ye exalted sons of England's isle,

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You, who still guard her still-defying shores,
And make her fear'd where'er your cannon roars,
Who pour your fatal thunder on her foes,
Far as the wide-extended ocean goes,
    Who feel no danger, and who spare no toil,
        Think not the Muse, in hapless strains,
        From sorrow's source of you complains;
        She views a host press to obey,
        Foremost where glory leads the way;
    And, though she mourns your GUARDIAN HERO dead,
    Could bind a wreath round many an honour'd head.


    With me that Hero mourn'd another lost;
Lost to our hopes,--ascending to the sky,
Who soar'd on glory's brightest pinions high:
And History in future time shall bring
MOORE'S worth and talents for each muse to sing,
    Though discord his career of honour crost.

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        But fragrant incense o'er each urn,
        The purest minds will ever burn!
        Unwept shall COLLINGWOOD remain,
        A tribute from no muse obtain?
    Or e'er unheeded on Corunna's shore,
    Shall dwell thy lov'd remains, LAMENTED MOORE ?


    I must not call the Muse who Orpheus bore,
The strains I sing must be of sadder mood;
Nor must I talk of "Mincius honour'd flood,"
Nor "howling tempests," nor "perfidious bark,
"Built in th'eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark,"
    Which brought thee, lifeless, COLLINGWOOD , to shore;
        For Fancy must not rear her head,
        (She has no flow'ry path to tread,)
        Or sea-nymphs bid, on corded shell,
        In dark recess to sound thy knell:
    Fancy would now be ill-tim'd, light, and vain,
    And feebly paint a grieving nation's pain.--

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    But though a nation's sorrows touch the heart,
Yet there are woes more piercing to the mind,
Distress more keen,--and anguish we may find
Which human feeling shudders to relate;
Such overpow'ring, sudden, blasts of fate
    As apathy would tremble to impart.
        Th' heroic man intensely felt,
        And often did his bosom melt;
        "Will seas for ever me divide
        "From those I hold most dear?" he cried:
    "Few are the months I've seen my native shores
    "In twenty years,--or her my soul adores!"


    "I should not e'en my much-loved children know,
"But my soul yearns to act a father's part,
"And press them to my fond, my anxious, heart;

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"Yet dismal visions now assail my mind,
"Foreboding apprehension lurks behind,
    "And holds a mirror of despair and woe.
        "Still will my sorrows be repaid,
        "And blest the sacrifice I've made;
        "Even if lifeless I return,
        "England will venerate my urn,
    "And honour my remembrance with a tear,
    "Or twine a laurel round my humble bier!"


    "Yet shall I never my lov'd Sov'reign view?
"And must I never, at his honour'd feet,
"His kind and gracious approbation meet,
"Never again must in his presence stand,
"And for his favours kiss his bounteous hand,
    "For all that I have done--or wish'd to do?
        "Whatever was my Sov'reigns will,
        "It was my duty to fulfil;

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        "And my heart's wish, from day to day,
        "After my God,--him to obey.
    "My sinking spirits his applause would raise,
    "And smiles from him would bless my future days.''*
*Lord Collingwood had entered his 60th year, nearly fifty of which had been spent in the service of his king and country.--He said, in a letter to a friend, some years ago: "to my own children I am scarcely known; yet, while I have health and strength to serve my country, I consider that health and strength due to it;--and, if I serve it successfully, as I have ever done faithfully, my children will not want friends."

    In health's long absence,--in that sable veil,
Too often painful images are wrought,
Dark webs are wove,--and hidden evils sought;
Bubbles of thought and phantoms of the mind,
Will often wretches make of weak mankind,
    And all their comforts,--all their hopes, assail.--
        Through Fancy's maze we often run,
        By Fancy only are undone,

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        Imagin'd ill our peace destroys,
        And blights the flowers of real joys.
    We see not the events which rush between
     Present and future hours:--e'en death may intervene!


    The evils dreaded we may ne'er sustain,
But the sad presage of the loss we mourn
Was not by fleeting Fancy's pinions borne:
The Hero's frame could not resist disease,
So worn by various climes, and cares, and seas;
Nature subdued,--th' attempts of art were vain.
        Death gave reluctantly the stroke,
        Each fett'ring trammel then was broke;
        His spirit soon adorn'd anew,
        Quickly to happier regions flew.
    But to his wife,--in her distracted grief,--
    What can administer to her relief?

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    When the sad news reach'd her suspecting mind,
No word she spake,--no bitter tear she shed
And every ray of mortal sense seem'd fled;
Lost to herself,--and to her aged sire,--
Despair approach'd, and bade her life retire,
    As future comfort she would never find.
        But Reason sigh'd,--Religion frown'd--
        And all her faculties unbound;
        Grief had almost subdued her frame,
        When Resignation slowly came;
    Upheld by Heaven, she meekly kiss'd the rod,
    And bow'd, obedient, to the will of GOD .


    What dismal accents from his children broke!
"Ah! much-lov'd Father!--Father now no more,
"Is this thy greeting on thy wish'd-for shore?

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"Thy children not allow'd one last embrace,
"Nor once to kiss thy ever-honour'd face!"
    Dire sorrow pierc'd their bosoms as they spoke.
        Then sighs and tears together blend,
        They mourn the husband, father, friend!
        Their aged grandsire too a victim stands,
        With struggling bosom, and uplifted hands;
    His tears are dried,--though anguish bid them flow,
    His heart may break,--but cannot speak his woe!


    As all around the clouds of darkness rise,
And the sad news is spread from shore to shore,
E'en distant regions will his loss deplore;
And, while our sea-girt island still remains
A happy refuge from th'oppressor's chains,
    Oh COLLINGWOOD ! thy mem'ry we shall prize!
        We, for ourselves, shall mourn thy doom,
        And bathe with tears thy sacred tomb;

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        Thy country to thy name shall raise
        Resplendent monuments of praise,
    And sons of future ages shall be led
    To reverence the earth, where rests thy honour'd head!

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