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Let other mufes write his profperous fate,
Of conquer'd nations tell, and kings restor'd; But mine fhall fing of his eclips'd eftate,
Which, like the fun's, more wonders does afford.
He drew his mighty frigates all before,
On which the foe his fruitless force employs:
His weak ones deep into his rear he bore
Remote from guns, as fick men from the noise.
His fiery cannon did their paffage guide,
And following smoke obscur'd them from the foe: Thus Ifrael fafe from the Egyptian's pride, By flaming pillars, and by clouds did go.
Elsewhere the Belgian force we did defeat,
But here our courages did theirs fubdue:
So Xenophon once led that fam'd retreat,
Which firft the Afian empire overthrew.
The foe approach'd; and one for his bold fin
Was funk; as he that touch'd the ark was flain :
The wild waves mafter'd him and fuck'd him in,
And fmiling eddies dimpled on the main.
This feen, the reft at awful diftance ftood:
As if they had been there as fervants fet
To stay, or to go on, as he thought good,
And not purfue but wait on his retreat.
So Libyan huntfmen, on fome fandy plain,
From fhady coverts rouz'd, the lion chace:
The kingly beaft roars out with loud disdain,
And flowly moves, unknowing to give place.
But if fome one approach to dare his force,
He fwings his tail, and swiftly turns him round;
With one paw feizes on his trembling horse,
And with the other tears him to the ground.
Amidst these toils fucceeds the balmy night;
Now hiffing waters the quench'd guns
And weary waves withdrawing from the fight,
Lie lull'd and panting on the filent fhore.
The moon fhone clear on the becalmed flood,
Where while her beams like glittering filver play,
Upon the deck our careful general stood,
And deeply mus'd on the fucceeding day.
That happy fun, faid he, will rise again,
Who twice victorious did our navy fee:
And I alone muft view him rife in vain,
Without one ray of all his ftar for me.
Yet like an English general will I die,
And all the ocean make my spacious grave:
Women and cowards on the land may lie;
The fea's a tomb that's proper for the brave.
Reftlefs he pass'd the remnant of the night,
Till the fresh air proclaim'd the morning nigh:
And burning fhips, the martyrs of the fight,
With paler fires beheld the eastern sky.
But now his ftores of ammunition spent,
His naked valour is his only guard :
Rare thunders are from his dumb cannon fent,
And folitary guns are scarcely heard.
Thus far had fortune power, he forc'd to ftay,
Nor longer durft with virtue be at ftrife:
This as a ransom Albemarle did pay,
For all the glories of fo great a life.
For now brave Rupert from afar appears,
Whofe waving ftreamers the glad general knows
With full fpread fails his eager navy steers,
And every ship in swift proportion grows.
The anxious prince had heard the cannon long,
And from that length of time dire omens drew
Of English overmatch'd, and Dutch too Arong,
Who never fought three days, but to pursue.
Then, as an eagle, who with pious care
Was beating widely on the wing for prey,
To her now filent eiry does repair,
And finds her callow infants forc'd away:
Stung with her love, fhe ftoops upon the plain,
The broken air loud whiftling as the flies:
She stops and liftens, and fhoots forth again,
And guides her pinions by her young ones cries.
With fuch kind paffion haftes the prince to fight,
And spreads his flying canvafs to the found:
Him, whom no danger were he there could fright,
Now abfent every little noife can wound.
As in a drought the thirsty creatures cry,
And gape upon the gather'd clouds for rain;
And first the martlet meets it in the sky,
And with wet wings joys all the feather'd train.
With fuch glad hearts did our despairing men
Salute the appearance of the prince's fleet:
And each ambitioufly would claim the ken,
That with firft eyes did distant fafety meet.
The Dutch, who came like greedy hinds before,
Το reap the harveft their ripe ears did yield,
Now look like those, when rolling thunders roar,
And sheets of lightning blast the standing field.
Full in the prince's paffage, hills of fand,
And dangerous fats in fecret ambush lay,
Where the falfe tides fkim o'er the cover'd land,
And feamen with diffembled depths betray.
The wily Dutch, who like fall'n angels fear'd
This new Meffiah's coming, there did wait,
And round the verge their braving veffels fteer'd,
To tempt his courage with fo fair a baît.
But he unmov'd contemns their idle threat,
Secure of fame whene'er he please to fight:
His cold experience tempers all his heat,
And inbred worth doth boafting valour flight.
Heroic virtue did his actions guide,
And he the fubftance not the appearance chose: To rescue one fuch friend he took more pride, Than to deftroy whole thoufands of fuch foes.
But when approach'd, in ftrict embraces bound,
Rupert and Albemarle together grow:
He joys to have his friend in fafety found,
Which he to none but to that friend would owe.
The chearful foldiers, with new ftores fupply'd,
Now long to execute their spleenful will;
And in revenge for those three days they try'd,
Wish one, like Joshua's, when the fun food fill.
Thus reinforc'd, against the adverse fleet,
Still doubling ours, brave Rupert leads the way:
With the first blushes of the morn they meet,
And bring night back upon the new-born day.
His prefence foon blows up the kindling fight,
And his loud guns speak thick like angry men: It feem'd as flaughter had been breath'd all night, And death new pointed his dull dart agen.
The Dutch too well his mighty conduct knew,
And matchlefs courage, fince the former fight:
Whose navy like a stiff-ftretch'd cord did shew,
Till he bore in and bent them into flight.
The wind he fhares, while half their fleet offends
His open fide, and high above him shows:
Upon the reft at pleasure he defcends,
And doubly harm'd he double harms bestows.
Behind the general mends his weary pace,
And fullenly to his revenge he fails:
So glides fome trodden ferpent on the grass,
And long behind his wounded volume trails.
The increafing found is borne to either shore,
And for their stakes the throwing nations fear:
Their paffions double with the cannons roar,
And with warm wishes each man combats there.