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His old inftructor ere he loft his place,
Was never thought indued with fo much grace.
Good heavens, how faction can a patriot paint!
My rebel ever proves my people's faint.
Would they impofe an heir upon the throne,
Let fanhedrims be taught to give their own.
A king's at least a part of government :
And mine as requifite as their confent :
Without my leave a future king to chufe,
Infers a right the present to depofe.
True, they petition me t' approve their choice:
But Efau's hands fuit ill with Jacob's voice.
My pious fubjects for my fafety pray;
Which to fecure, they take my power away.
From plots and treasons heaven preserve my years,
But fave me moft from my petitioners.
Unfatiate as the barren womb or grave;
God cannot grant fo much as they can crave.
What then is left, but with a jealous eye
To guard the small remains of royalty?
The law shall still direct my peaceful fway,
And the fame law teach rebels to obey :
Votes fhall no more establish'd power controul,
Such votes as make a part exceed the whole.
No groundless clamours fhall my friends remove,
Nor crowds have power to punish ere they prove;
For Gods and god-like kings their care express,
Still to defend their fervants in diftrefs.
Oh, that my power to faving were confin'd!
Why am I forc'd, like heaven, against my mind,
To make examples of another kind?
Muft I at length the fword of juftice draw?
Oh curft effects of necessary law !
How ill my fear they by my mercy scan!
Beware the fury of a patient man.
Law they require, let law then fhew her face ;
They could not be content to look on grace,
Her hinder parts, but with a daring eye
To tempt the terror of her front and die.
By their own arts 'tis righteously decreed,
Those dire artificers of death fhall bleed.
Against themselves their witnesses will fwear,
Till, viper-like, their mother plot they tear;
And fuck for nutriment that bloody gore,
Which was their principle of life before.
Their Belial with their Beelzebub will fight:
Thus on my foes, `my foes shall do me right.
Nor doubt th' event: for factious crowds engage,
In their first onfet, all their brutal rage.
Then let them take an unrefifted courfe :
Retire, and traverfe, and delude their force :
But when they stand all breathlefs, urge the fight,
And rise upon them with redoubled might:
For lawful power is ftill fuperior found ;
When long driven back, at length it stands the ground.
He faid: Th' Almighty nodding gave confent;
And peals of thunder fhook the firmament.
Henceforth a series of new time beg*.n,
The mighty years in long proceffion ran:
Once more the god-like David was reftor'd,
And willing nations knew their lawful lord.
IN N the year 1680 Mr Dryden undertook the poem of Abfalom and Achitophel, upon the defire of king Charles the fecond. The performance was applauded by every one; and feveral perfons preffing him to write a fecond part, he, upon declining it himself, spoke to Mr. Tate to write one, and gave him his advice in the direction of it; and that part beginning with
"Next these, a troop of busy spirits press," and ending with
"To talk like Doeg, and to write like thee."
containing near two hundred verfes, were entirely Mr. Dryden's compofition, befides fome touches in other places. The preceding lines, upwards of three hundred in number, were written by Mr. Tate. The poem is here printed compleat.
ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHE L.
INCE men like beasts each other's prey were made,
Since trade began, and priesthood grew a trade,
Since realms were form'd, none fure fo curft as those
That madly their own happiness oppose;
There heaven itself, and god-like kings, in vain.
Shower down the manna of a gentle reign;
While pamper'd crowds to mad sedition run,
And monarchs by indulgence are undone.
Thus David's clemency was fatal
While wealthy faction aw'd the wanting throne.
For now their fovereign's orders to contemn
Was held the charter of Jerufalem,
His rights t' invade, his tributes to refuse,
A privilege peculiar to the Jews;
As if from heavenly call this licence fell,
And Jacob's feed were chofen to rebel!
Achitophel with triumph fees his crimes
Thus fuited to the madness of the times;
And Abfalom, to make his hopes fucceed,
Of flattering charms no longer stands in need;
While, fond of change, though ne'er fo dearly bought,
Our tribes outstrip the youth's ambitious thought;
His swifteft hopes with swifter homage meet,
And crowd their fervile necks beneath his feet.
Thus to his aid while preffing tides repair,
He mounts and spreads his streamers in the air.
The charms of empire might his youth mislead,
But what can our befotted Ifrael plead ?
Sway'd by a monarch, whose serene command
Seems half the bleffing of our promis'd land.
Whofe only grievance is excess of ease;
Freedom our pain, and plenty our disease!
Yet as all folly would lay claim to fenfe,
And wickednefs ne'er wanted a pretence,
With arguments they 'd make their treafon good,
And righteous David's self with flanders load
That arts of foreign sway he did affect,
And guilty Jebusites from law protect,
Whofe very chiefs, convict, were never freed,
Nay we have feen their facrificers bleed!
Accufers' infamy is urg'd in vain,
While in the bounds of fense they did contain,
But foon they launch'd into th' unfathom'd tide,
And in the depths they knew disdain'd to ride.
For probable discoveries to dispense,
Was thought below a penfion'd evidence;
Mere truth was dull, nor suited with the port
Of pamper'd Corah when advanc'd to court.
No less than wonders now they will impofe,
And projects void of grace or sense disclose.
Such was the change on pious Michal brought,
Michal that ne'er was cruel ev'n in thought,
The beft of queens, and moft obedient wife,
Impeach'd of curft designs on David's life!
His life, the theme of her eternal prayer,
'Tis fcarce fo much his guardian angels care.
Not fummer morns fuch mildness can difclofe,
The Hermon lily, nor the Sharon rose.