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HEROIC STANZAS on the Death of OLIVER CROMWELL, written after his Funeral.
ND now 'tis time; for their officious haste,
Who would before have borne him to the sky,
Like eager Romans, ere all rites were past,
Did let too foon the facred eagle fly.
Though our beft notes are treason to his fame,
Join'd with the loud applause of public voice;
Since heaven, what praife we offer to his name,
Hath render'd too authentic by its choice.
Though in his praise no arts can liberal be,
Since they, whofe Mufes have the highest flown,
Add not to his immortal memory,
But do an act of friendship to their own :
Yet 'tis our duty, and our intereft too,
Such monuments as we can build to raise;
Left all the world prevent what we should do,
And claim a title in him by their praise.
How fhall I then begin, or where conclude,
To draw a fame fo truly circular;
For in a round what order can be shew'd,
Where all the parts fo equal perfect are?
His grandeur he deriv'd from heaven alone;
For he was great cre fortune made him fo:
like mifts that rife against the fun,
Made him but greater feem, not greater grow.
No borrow'd bays his temples did adorn,
But to our crown he did fresh jewels bring;
Nor was his virtue poifon'd foon as born,
With the too early thoughts of being king.
Fortune, that eafy miftrefs to the young,
But to her ancient fervants coy and hard,
Him at that age her favourites rank'd among,
When the her beft-lov'd Pompey did difcard.
He private mark'd the fault of others' sway,
And fet as fea-marks for himfelf to fhun:
Not like rafh monarchs, who their youth betray
By acts their age too late would with undone.
Idominion was not his defign;
yet We owe that bleffing, not to him, but heaven, Which to fair acts unfought rewards did join; Rewards, that lefs to him than us were given. XI. Our former chiefs, like fticklers of the war, First fought t'inflame the parties, then to poife: The quarrel lov'd, but did the cause abhor; And did not ftrike to hurt, but make a noife.
War, our confumption, was their gainful trade:
We inward bled, whilft they prolong'd our pain;
He fought to end our fighting, and effay'd
To ftaunch the blood by breathing of the vein.
Swift and refiftlefs through the land he past,
Like that bold Greek who did the Eaft fubdue,
And made to battles fuch heroic haste,
As if on wings of victory he flew.
He fought fecure of fortune as of fame :
Still by new maps the island might be shewn,
Of conquests, which he ftrew'd where-e'er he came,
Thick as the galaxy with ftars is fown.
His palms, though under weights they did not stand,
Still thriv'd; no winter could his laurels fade :
Heaven in his portrait fhew'd a workman's hand,
And drew it perfect, yet without a fhade.
Peace was the prize of all his toil and care,
Which war had banish'd, and did now reftore:
Bologna's walls thus mounted in the air,
To feat themselves more furely than before.
Her fafety refcu'd Ireland to him owes;
And treacherous Scotland to no intereft true, Yet bleft that fate which did his arms difpofe Her land to civilize, as to fubdue.
Nor was he like thofe ftars which only fhine,
When to pale mariners they ftorms portend:
He had his calmer influence, and his mien
Did love and majesty together blend.
'Tis true, his count'nance did imprint an awe;
And naturally all fouls to his did bow,
As wands of divination downward draw,
And point to beds where fovereign gold doth grow.
When paft all offerings to Feretrian Jove,
He Mars depos'd, and arms to gowns made yield;
Successful councils did him foon approve
As fit for close intrigues, as open field.
To fuppliant Holland he vouchsaf'd a peace,
Our once bold rival of the British main,
Now tamely glad her unjuft claim to cease,
And buy our friendship with her idol, gain.
Fame of th' afferted fea through Europe blown,
Made France and Spain ambitious of his love;
Each knew that fide must conquer he would own;
And for him fiercely, as for empire, strove.
No fooner was the Frenchman's caufe embrac'd,
Than the light Monfieur the grave Don out-weigh'd:
His fortune turn'd the fcale where'er 'twas caft;
Though Indian mines were in the other laid.
When absent, yet we conquer'd in his right:
For though fome meaner artift's skill were shown
In mingling colours, or in placing light;
Yet still the fair defignment was his own.
For from all tempers he could fervice draw;
The worth of each, with its alloy, he knew,
And, as the confident of nature, faw
How the complexions did divide and brew.
Or he their fingle virtues did survey,
By intuition in his own large breast,
Where all the rich ideas of them lay,
That were the rule and meafure to the reft.
When fuch heroic virtue heaven fets out,
The ftars, like commons, fullenly obey;
Because it drains them when it comes about,
And therefore is a tax they feldom pay.
From this high fpring our foreign conquests flow,
Which yet more glorious triumphs do portend;
Since their commencement to his arms they owe,
If fprings as high as fountains may ascend.
He made us free-men of the continent,
Whom nature did like captives treat before;
To nobler preys the English lion sent,
And taught him first in Belgian walks to roar.