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Anna Jane Vardill

The Coronation Eve

[On the coronation of George IV]

THE sun is on his purple throne,
 While Eve before her Monarch strews
 Young hyacinths and perfumed dews,
Lending glad Earth her rosy zone:
There is but in the azure sky
One cloud that sails unheeded by;
That wandering cloud comes near, and lo!
 A light from the resplendent West
 Hath glanced into its envious breast,
 And it is changed into a pile
 Of such rare glories, as the toil
Of eastern Magi rear’d to show
The riches of the world below.

Towers, spires, and column’d arches rise
Bright with innumerable eyes;
A thousand glittering fanes unfold,
A thousand banners wave in gold;
Through arch and aisle the gorgeous throng
Rolls its broad wreath of pomp along;
Heralds and chiefs, whose pageants seem
Like the long sparkling of a stream,
That glorious in the noon of day
Through bowers of beauty wins its way;
Bowers all of living roses, such
As Pleasure’s angel loves to touch,
When in his vase of purest snow,
He bids the melted ruby glow.
Slowly the shining tide pours on,
Spreads, flashes, mingles, and is gone.—
And now a wondrous Hall is there
On radiant columns, such as bear
The Temple of Eternal Might
In the high firmament of light.
A thousand thousand silver flames
 Dance in their crystal orbs above
A royal feast; whose glory shames
 The banquet of the son of Jove.
Ten thousand gems their kindling rays
Mix in the congregated blaze;
Ten thousand guests exulting sit
While the bright pomp grows infinite,
As if the Spirits of the Blest
Had throng’d to the imperial West,
And in that glorious dome begun
The Coronation of the Sun.

Chief among Chiefs!—Britannia’s Heir!
 Thus ever in thy high career
 May the brief cloud that dims thy sphere
Change to a glory rich and rare.
Though these bright pageants of thy power
 Must vanish like the vapour-cloud,
 That in its floating mirror show’d
The visions of a summer hour;
Thou, in thine own true glory still
And, ere he closes thy renown,
Time from the Sun shall take his Crown.


The European Magazine, Vol. 80, July 1821, p. 65