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III.

O wondrous changes of a fatal scene,
Still varying to the last!

Heaven, tho' its hard decree was past,
Seem'd pointing to a gracious turn agen:
And death's uplifted arm arrested in its hafte.
Heaven half repented of the doom,

And almost griev'd it had foreseen,

What by forefight it will'd eternally to come. Mercy above did hourly plead

For her resemblance here below; And mild forgiveness intercede

To ftop the coming blow.

New miracles approach'd th' etherial throne,
Such as his wondrous life had oft and lately known,
And urg'd that still they might be shown.
On earth his pious brother pray'd and vow'd,
Renouncing greatnefs at fo dear a rate,

Himself defending what he could,

From all the glories of his future fate. With him th' innumerable croud,

Of armed prayers

Knock'd at the gates of heaven, and knock'd aloud; The firft well-meaning rude petitioners.

All for his life affail'd the throne,

All would have brib'd the skies by offering up their own.
So great a throng not heaven itself could bar;
"Twas almost borne by force as in the giants' war.
The prayers, at least, for his reprieve were heard;
His death, like Hezekiah's, was deferr'd:
Against the fun the fhadow went;

Five days, thofe five degrees, were lent
To form our patience and prepare th' event.
The fecond caufes took the fwift command,
The medicinal head, the ready hand,

All

All eager to perform their part;

All but eternal doom was conquer'd by their art:
Once more the fleeting foul came back

T' infpire the mortal frame;

And in the body took a doubtful ftand,

Doubtful and hovering like expiring flame,

That mounts and falls by turns, and trembles o'er the brand.

IV.

The joyful fhort-liv'd news foon spread around,
Took the fame train, the fame impetuous bound:
The drooping town in fmiles again was dreft,
Gladness in every face expreft,

Their eyes before their tongues confeft.
Men met each other with erected look,
The fteps were higher that they took,
Friends to congratulate their friends made hafte ;
And long inveterate foes faluted as they paft:
Above the rest heroick James appear'd

Exalted more, because he more had fear'd:
His manly heart, whose noble pride
Was ftill above

Diffembled hate or varnish'd love,

Its more than common transport could not hide;
But like an eagre rode in triumph o'er the tide.
Thus, in alternate course,

The tyrant paffions, hope and fear,

Did in extremes appear,

And flash'd upon the foul with equal force.

Thus, at half ebb, a rolling fea

Returns and wins upon the fhore;

The watry herd, affrighted at the roar,

Reft on their fins awhile, and stay,

Then backward take their wond'ring way:

1 An eagre is a tide fwelling above another tide, which I have myfelf obferved on the River Trent.

The

The prophet wonders more than they,

At prodigies but rarely feen before,

And cries a king muft fall, or kingdoms change their sway. Such were our counter-tides at land, and fo

Prefaging of the fatal blow,

In their prodigious ebb and flow.

The royal foul, that like the labouring moon,
By charms of art was hurried down,

Forc'd with regret to leave her native sphere,
Came but a while on liking here:
Soon weary of the painful ftrife,
And made but faint effays of life:
An evening light

Soon fhut in night;

A ftrong distemper, and a weak relief,

Short intervals of joy, and long returns of grief.

V.

The fons of art all medicines try'd,

And every noble remedy apply'd ;

With emulation each essay'd

His utmost skill, nay more they pray'd:

Never was lofing game with better conduct play'd.

Death never won a stake with greater toil,

Nor e'er was fate fo near a foil:

But like a fortress on a rock,

The impregnable disease their vain attempts did mock; They min'd it near, they batter'd from afar

With all the cannon of the medicinal war;

No gentle means could be effay'd,

'Twas beyond parly when the fiege was laid:

Th' extremeft ways they firft ordain,

Prefcribing fuch intolerable pain,
As none but Cæfar could fuftain:

Undaunted Cæfar underwent

The malice of their art, nor bent

Beneath whate'er their pious rigour could invent:

VOL. I.

T

In

In five fuch days he suffer'd more

Than any fuffer'd in his reign before;
More, infinitely more, than he,

Against the worst of rebels, could decree,
A traitor or twice pardon'd enemy.

Now art was tir'd without fuccefs,

No racks could make the stubborn malady confefs.
The vain infurancers of life,

And they who most perform'd and promis'd lefs,
Even 2 Short and Hobbes forfook th' unequal ftrife.
Death and defpair was in their looks,

No longer they confult their memories or books;
Like helpless friends, who view from shore
The labouring fhip, and hear the tempeft roar ;
So flood they with their arms across;

Not to affift, but to deplore

Th' inevitable lofs.

VI.

Death was denounc'd; that frightful found
Which ev'n the best can hardly bear,
He took the fummons void of fear;
And unconcern'dly caft his eyes around;
As if to find and dare the griefly challenger.
What death could do he lately try'd,
When in four days he more than dy'd.
The fame affurance all his words did grace:
The fame majestic mildness held its place:
Nor loft the monarch in his dying face.
Intrepid, pions, merciful, and brave,
He look'd as when he conquer'd and forgave.
VII.

As if fome angel had been fent

To lengthen out his government.
And to foretel as many years again,
As he had number'd in his happy reign,

a Two Phyficians who attended on the King.

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So chearfully he took the doom
Of his departing breath;

Nor fhrunk nor ftept afide for death :
But with unalter'd pace kept on;
Providing for events to come,
When he refign'd the throne.
Still he maintain'd his kingly ftate:

And grew familiar with his fate.
Kind, good, and gracious, to the last,

On all he lov'd before his dying beams he caft:
Oh truly good, and truly great,

For glorious as he rofe benignly fo he fet!
All that on earth he held most dear,

He recommended to his care,

To whom both heaven,

The right had given

And his own love bequeath'd fupreme command:
He took and preft that ever loyal hand,

Which could in peace fecure his reign,

Which could in wars his power maintain,

That hand on which no plighted vows were ever vain. Well, for fo great a trust he chofe

A prince who never difobey'd:

Not when the most severe commands were laid;
Nor want, nor exile with his duty weigh'd:

A prince on whom, if heaven its eyes could close,
The welfare of the world it fafely might repofe.
VIII.

That 3 King who liv'd to God's own heart,

Yet lefs ferenely died than he :

Charles left behind no harfh decree

For fchoolmen with laborious art

To falve from cruelty:

Thofe, for whom love could no excufes frame,

He graciously forgot to name.

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