The Marine Society’s Appeal
To the Ladies of Great-Britain
When ancient Rome the rage of Gaul defied,
Her daughters shar’d her patriot heroes’ pride:
From their fair forms the woven gold they tore,
And haul’d Apollo with the radiant store:
Their guardian God the sacred gift approv’d,
And fame and freedom crown’d the land they lov’d.
Kind Neptune thus from Albion’s fairer dames
A tribute rich of patriot virtue claims.
Neptune, whose arm defends her rock-built throne,
Whose farthest realms her potent empire own!
For him Britannia rears this blooming band,
The hope and glory of her envied land.
On you she calls to bless their infant years,
On you, whose pow’r the hero’s toil endears!
To you her noblest duty she resigns,
That bounteous task which Beauty’s hand refines.
O! haste to prop her broad dominion’s base,
Guard with maternal zeal her best lov’d race!
Not suppliant Charity your boon requires,
’Tis Justice calls, ’tis Gratitude inspires!—
For those blest shrines which sanctify your reign,
Those heav’n-taught laws which social bliss sustain;
For those dear homes where Peace and you preside,
Britannia’s heroes brave the raging tide.
For them they bleed—the Patriot’s cause is yours;
Your pow’r, your pride, his conqu’ring arm secures.
Let Rome no more her daughters’ zeal proclaim,
Or boast Cornelia’s yet unrivall’d name—
Renown for yours shall spread its brightest page,
Divine Cornelias of a nobler age!
Less glorious meeds imperial Greece bestow’d;
Less holy fire in Roman bosoms glow’d;
By mad ambition urg’d thro’ fields of blood,
On the wide ruins of a world they stood;
But Britain’s sons the task of heav’n perform,
Stem the broad deluge and subdue the storm.
Soon from beneath your bounty’s shelt’ring wing,
With eagle force, a youthful Hawke may spring;
A second Howe may Gallia’s homage claim;
Another Vincent stamp Iberia’s shame;
New climes may hear an Exmouth thunders roll,
And new Horatios shake the farthest pole.
Yet not the shouts rejoicing millions raise,
Not Gallia’s spoils nor rescued Europe’s praise,
Shall richer triumph to their hearts supply,
Than one approving glance from Virtue’s eye:
Their swelling hearts shall own its gentle sway,
As Ocean’s tides the queen of heav’n obey.
When in the noon of life and fame they glow,
Their love shall pay the generous debt they owe;
Beauty’s mild sun, which cheer’d their youthful morn,
Shall the bright evening of their days adorn.