Note from 'Visits Sheffield' chapter from 'Memoirs Of My Life And Writing' by Gibbon

OCCASIONAL STANZAS, by MR. Hayley, read after the dinner at MR. Cadell's, May 8, 1788; being the day of the publication of the three last volumes of MR. GIBBON'S HISTORY, and his Birthday.

Genii of England, and of Rome!
In mutual triumph here assume
The honours each may claim!
This social scene with smiles survey!
And consecrate the festive day
To Friendship and to Fame!
Enough, by Desolation's tide,
With anguish, and indignant pride,
Has Rome bewailed her fate;
And mourned that Time, in Havoc's hour,
Defaced each monument of power
To speak her truly great:
O'er maimed Polybius, just and sage,
O'er Livy's mutilated page,
How deep was her regret!
Touched by this Queen, in ruin grand,
See! Glory, by an English hand,
Now pays a mighty debt:
Lo! sacred to the Roman Name,
And raised, like Rome's immortal Fame,
By Genius and by Toil,
The splendid Work is crowned today,
On which Oblivion ne'er shall prey,
Not Envy make her spoil!
England, exult! and view not now
With jealous glance each nation's brow,
Where History's palm has spread'
In every path of liberal art,
Thy Sons to prime distinction start,
And no superior dread.
Science for Thee a Newton raised;
For thy renown a Shakespeare blazed,
Lord of the drama's sphere!
In different fields to equal praise
See History now thy Gibbon raise
To shine without a peer!
Eager to honour living worth,
And bless today the double birth,
That proudest joy may claim,
Let artless Truth this homage pay,
And consecrate the festive day
To Friendship and to Fame!