Page images
PDF
EPUB

Waller his age renew, and offerings bring,

Our monarch's praife let bright-ey'd virgins fing;
Let Dryden with new rules our ftage refine,
And his great models form by this defign:
But where's a fecond Virgil, to rehearse
Our hero's glories in his epick verse?

What Orpheus fing his triumphs o'er the main,
And make the hills and forefts move again;
Shew his bold fleet on the Batavian fhore,
And Holland trembling as his cannons roar;
Paint Europe's balance in his steady hand,
Whilft the two worlds in expectation ftand
Of peace or war, that wait on his command?
But as I speak new glories ftrike my eyes,
Glories, which heaven itfelf does give, and prize,
Bleffings of peace; that with their milder rays
Adorn his reign, and bring Saturnian days:
Now let rebellion, difcord, vice, and rage,
That have in patriots forms debauch'd our age,
Vanish with all the minifters of hell:

His rays their poifonous vapours fhall difpel:
'Tis he alone our fafety did create,

His own firm foul fecur'd the nation's fate,
Oppos'd to all the Boutefeus 3 of the flate.
Authors for him your great endeavours raise;
The loftieft numbers will but reach his praife.
For me, whose verse in fatire has been bred,
And never durft heroick measures tread;
Yet you fhall fee me, in that famous field,
With eyes and voice, my beft affiftance yield:
Offer your leffons, that my infant mufe
Learnt, when the Horace for her guide did chufe:
Second your zeal with wifhes, heart, and eyes,
And afar off hold up the glorious prize..

3 Boutefeu fignifies an incendiary.

}

But

But pardon too, if zealous for the right,
A ftrict obferver of each noble flight,
From the fine gold I feparate the allay,
And show how hafty writers fometimes stray:
Apter to blame, than knowing how to mend;
A fharp, but yet a neceffary friend.

*

THRE

THRENODIA AUGUSTALIS;

A

FUNERAL PINDARICK POEM, facred to the happy Memory of King CHARLES II.

Fortunati ambo! fi quid mea carmina possunt,
Nulla dies unquam memori vos eximet ævo.

TH

I.

HUS long my grief has kept me dumb:
Sure there's a lethargy in mighty woe,
Tears ftand congeal'd, and cannot flow;
And the fad foul retires into her inmoft room:
Tears, for a ftroke forefeen, afford relief;
But, unprovided for a fudden blow,
Like Niobe we marble grow;

And petrify with grief.

Virg.

Our

Our British heaven was all ferene,

No threatning cloud was nigh,

Not the leaft wrinkle to deform the sky;
We liv'd as unconcern'd and happily
As the first age in nature's golden fcene;
Supine amidst our flowing store,

We slept fecurely, and we dreamt of more:
When fuddenly the thunder-clap was heard,
It took us unprepar'd and out of guard,
Already loft before we fear'd.

Th' amazing news of Charles at once were spread,
At once the general voice declar'd,
"Our gracious prince was dead."

No fickness know before, no flow disease
To soften grief by just degrees:

But like an hurricane on Indian seas,
The tempeft rofe;

An unexpected burst of woes :
With scarce a breathing space betwixt,
This now becalm'd, and perishing the next.
As if great Atlas from his height

Should fink beneath his heavenly weight,

And with a mighty flaw, the flaming wall
As once it fhall,

Should gape immenfe, and rufhing down, o'erwhelm this nether ball;

So fwift and fo furprifing was our fear:
Our Atlas fell indeed; but Hercules was near.

II.

His pious brother, fure the best

Who ever bore that name, Was newly rifen from his reft,

And with a fervent flame,

His ufual morning vows had juft addreft

For

For his dear fovereign's health;

And hop'd to have them heard,
In long increase of years,

In honour, fame, and wealth:

Guiltless of greatnefs thus he always pray'd,
Nor knew nor wish'd those vows he made,
On his own head fhould be repay'd.

Soon as th' ill-omen'd rumour reach'd his ear,
Ill news is wing'd with fate, and flies apace,
Who can describe th' amazement of his face!

Horror in all his pomp was there,
Mute and magnificent without a tear:
And then the hero firft was feen to fear.
Half unarray'd he ran to his relief,

So hafty and fo artless was his grief:
Approaching greatnefs met him with her charms
Of power and future ftate;

But look'd fo ghaftly in a brother's fate,
He fhook her from his arms.
Arriv'd within the mournful room, he faw
A wild diftraction, void of awe,
And arbitrary grief unbounded by a law.
God's image, God's anointed lay
Without motion, pulfe, or breath,
A fenfelefs lump of facred clay,
An image now of death.

Amidst his fad attendants groans and cries,
The lines of that ador'd forgiving face,
Distorted from their native grace;
An iron flumber fat on his majestick eyes.
The pious duke-Forbear, audacious mufe,

No terms thy feeble art can use

Are able to adorn fo vast a woe:

The grief of all the reft like fubje&t-grief did fhow,
His like a fovereign did tranfcend;

No wife, no brother, fuch a grief could know

Nor any name but friend.

III. O

« PreviousContinue »