Odes to Roubiliac's Statue of Handel


Upon Handel's Statue being placed in Spring-Garden at Vaux-Hall

As in debate the tuneful sisters stood,
In what sequester'd shade, or hallow'd wood,
Should Handel's statue (musick's master!) stand,
In which fair art well mimick's nature's hand;
Thus spoke the god, that with enliv'ning rays,
Glads the whole earth, and crowns the bard
"Here bid the marble rise, be this the place,
"The haunt of ev'ry muse, and ev'ry grace;
"Where harmony resides, and beauties rove:
"Where should he stand but in Apollo's grove?"

Quoted in C.Hogwood Handel (London,Thames & Hudson, 1984), p.150, and in Otto Erich Deutsch,   Handel : a documentary biography (Adam and Charles Black,1955), p.463.
Originally printed in May 1738 in the Literary Courier of Grub-street, and in the London Magazine, the same month.



On Seeing Mr. Handel's statue in Vaux-hall gardens

How far the sculptor's utmost art can go
This statue, wond'rous proof thereof! may show;
Musick's great master's here's exprest so well,
So freely on the lyre his fingers dwell
That wholly it our soul's alarms confounds,
We listen, and expect the op'ning sounds.
But ah! in vain, 'tis Handel's self must give
The pow'r to charm, to move, to make it live.

Originally printed in July 1738 in the Literary Courier of Grub-street. Both this and the above printed in the Handel Institute Newsletter, Vol. 9. No.1, Spring 1998



Suppos'd to be written under the Statue, representing Mr. Handel, in Vauxhall-Gardens

Drawn by the Fame of these imbower'd retreats,
Orpheus is come from the Elysian Seats;
Lost to th'admiring world three thousand years,
Beneath lov'd Handel's form he re-appears.
Sweetly this miracle attracts the eye:
But hark! for o'er the lyre his fingers fly.

John Lockman, published in the London Magazine, May, 1738.



To the Master of Vaux-hall Gardens, on his employing the ingenious Mr. Roubillac to carve the Statue of Mr. Handel

As the rich diamond long conceal'd in mines,
Unknown to fame, in useless lustre shines;
But, from oblivion call'd to open day,
Exulting, emulates its parent's ray;
So when the shivering hand of meagre care,
A sculptor's genius checks, the justest air,
The softest elegance e'er chizzel drew,
That ease, which studious nature kept in view,
But embrioes are, just starting in design,
If he thro' cold neglect, or want, or repine;
Till some great spirit with blest candor warms,
And, in full light, reveals their various charms.
Such was thy case to merit in distress;
If future times thy generous ardor bless,
The finish'd beauties of the sculptor's hand
(Well pleas'd the muse foresees a glorious band)
Will all be deem'd fair off-springs of thy care,
Warm'd by thy influence, each a grateful heir.
When times remote dwell on Roubillac's name,
They'll still be just to thee who gave him fame.
Together blended, faithful friends you'll rise,
Whilst thou the means, and he the art supplies.
So when the Mantuan muse, with arduous height,
Surpriz'd all Latium in his daring flight,
Mecænas [sic] rose on the bard's tow'ring wing;
He who call'd forth, and rais'd the bard to sing.

I.W. (1)

(1) poss the Revd. John Whatley?

London Magazine, Vol. VII, (June 1738, p.302



"A Trip to Vaux-Hall"

. . . The Paphian Queen forsakes her fav'rite seat,
And rears new temples in this lov'd retreat;
. . . At distance see th'Idalian state appear. - . . .
. . . Let Orpheus boast his lyre, and matchless skill,
Who drew the brutes obedient to his will;
The stones assembled at Amphion's call,
Danc'd into form, and built the Theban wall:
Thy art, resistless, can alike engage,
Handel! thou Orpheus of the present age! . . .
. . . Thus Venus, Bacchus and Apollo join
In one kind aim, and all to please combine.

From a cutting headed"Poetical Essays in November 1739." p.569 , Vauxhall & Ranelagh Gardens Album, Harry Price Library, University of London.



From Greenwood Hall:

As still amaz'd, I'm straying
Thro' this inchanted Grove,
I spy a Harper playing,
All in his proud Alcove.

I doff my Hat, desiring
He'd tune up buxom Joan:—
But what was I admiring?
Odzooks! a Man of stone.



On our late TASTE in Musick By a Gentleman of OXFORD.:

. . .See Handel, careless of a foreign fame,
Fix on our shore, and boast a Briton's name:
While, plac'd marmoric in the vocal grove †,
He guides the measures listening throngs approve.


Gentleman's Magazine
, October 1740, Vol. X, p.520.

(The above is from a Poem in praise of English music, e.g. Tofts & Purcell, which promotes manly virtues, versus foreign music that enervates)



Seeing ye Marble Statue (carv'd by Mr Roubillac) representing Mr Handel in Spring-Gardens, Vauxhall.

That Orpheus drew a grove, a rock, a stream,
By Musick's power, will not a fiction seem;
For here as great a miracle is shown,
Fam'd Handel breathing, tho' transform'd to stone.

John Lockman, A Miscellany of Poems, London, 1740 (MS in Beinecke rare books & Manuscript Library, Osborn Collection, Yale University)



Fam'd Orpheus drew the Thracians with his Lyre;
The Britons, Handel's sweeter power admire;
O hear his Strains, & this bright circle view,
You'll think this tributary marble due!

John Lockman, A Miscellany of Poems, London, 1740 (MS in Beinecke rare books & Manuscript Library, Osborn Collection, Yale University)



To be written under the Effigies of Mr. Handel in Vaux-Hall Gardens.


High as thy genius, on the wings of fame,
Around the world spreads thy all-tuneful name.
Nature, who form'd thee with peculiar care,
Did art employ, to draw a copy here,
Emblem of that great self! whilst yet you live
Lending such helps, your better part can give.

J.A.Hesse, quoted in C.Hogwood, Handel,
London,Thames & Hudson, 1984) p.149, and Otto Erich Deutsch,  Handel : a documentary biography (Adam and Charles Black,1955), p.462



On viewing Mr. HANDEL'S STATUE.

The stones obey'd when sweet Amphion sung,
And to his soft persuasion mov'd along.
Could his own statue hear his Handel's strain,
The life infus'd would beat in ev'ry vein,
And the dead stone appear the very man.

London Magazine, April 1744, quoted in
Otto Erich Deutsch,  Handel : a documentary biography (Adam and Charles Black,1955) p.590
Also in the Scots Magazine, Vol. 6, (May, 1744, p.224










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