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Now view at home a second Constantine ;*
(The former, too, was of the British line)
Has not his healing balm your breaches clos'd,
Whose exile many sought, and few oppos'd?
O! did not Heaven, by its eternal doom,
Permit those evils that this good might come?
So manifest, that e'en the moon-ey'd sects
See whom, and what, this Providence protects.
Methinks, had we within our minds no more
Than that one shipwreck on the fatal ore,†
That only thought may make us think again,
What wonders God reserves for such a reign.
To dream that Chance his preservation wrought,
Were to think Noah was preserv'd for nought;
Or the surviving eight were not design'd
To people earth, and to restore their kind.
When humbly on the royal Babe we gaze,
The manly lines of a majestic face
Give awful joy: 'tis paradise to look
On the fair frontispiece of Nature's book:
If the first opening page so charms the sight,
Think how the' unfolded volume will delight!
See how the venerable Infant lies
In early pomp; how through the mother's eyes
The father's soul, with an undaunted view,
Looks out, and takes our homage as his due.
See on his future subjects how he smiles,
Nor meanly flatters, nor with craft beguiles;
But with an open face, as on his throne,
Assures our birthrights, and assumes his own.
Born in broad day-light, that the' ungrateful rout
May find no room for a remaining doubt;
Truth, which itself is light, does darkness shun,
And the true eaglet safely dares the sun.
Fain would the fiends have made a dubious birth,*
Loth to confess the Godhead cloth'd in earth:
But sicken'd, after all their baffled lies,
To find an heir-apparent in the skies:
Abandon'd to despair, still may they grudge,
And, owning not the Saviour, prove the Judge:
Not great Æneas stood in plainer day,
When the dark mantling mist dissolv'd away;
He to the Tyrians show'd his sudden face,
Shining with all his goddess-mother's grace:
For she herself had made his count'nance bright,
Breath'd honour on his eyes, and her own purple
If our victorious Edward,† as they say, [light.
Gave Wales a prince on that propitious day;
Why may not years, revolving with his fate,
Produce his like, but with a longer date?
One who may carry to a distant shore
The terror that his fam'd forefather bore.
But why should James, or his young hero stay
For slight presages of a name or day?
We need no Edward's fortune to adorn
That happy moment when our Prince was born:
Our Prince adorns this day, and ages hence
Shall wish his birth-day for some future prince.
Great Michael, prince of all the' ethereal hosts,
And whate'er inborn saints our Britain boasts;
And thou, the' adopted patron of our isle,
With cheerful aspects on this infant smile :
The pledge of Heaven, which, dropping from above
Secures our bliss, and reconciles his love.
Alluding to the temptations in the wilderness.
Edward the Black Prince, born on Trinity-Sunday
Enough of ills our dire rebellion wrought,
When to the dregs we drank the bitter draught;
Then airy atoms did in plagues conspire,
Nor did the' avenging angel yet retire,
But purg'd our still-increasing crimes with fire.
Then perjur'd plots, the still-impending test,
And worse-but charity conceals the rest:
Here stop the current of the sanguine flood;
Require not, gracious God! thy martyr's blood;
But let their dying pangs, their living toil,
Spread a rich harvest through their native soil:
A harvest ripening for another reign,
Of which this royal Babe may reap the grain.
Enough of early saints one womb has giv'n;
Enough increas'd the family of Heav'n:
Let them for his and our atonement go,
And reigning bless'd above, leave him to rule below.
Enough already has the year foreshow'd;
His wonted course the sea has overflow'd,
The meads were floated with a weeping spring,
And frighten'd birds in woods forgot to sing:
The strong-limb'd steed beneath his harness faints,
And the same shivering sweat his lord attaints.
When will the minister of wrath give o'er?
Behold him at Arauna's threshing floor!*
He stops, and seems to sheathe his flaming brand,
Pleas'd with burnt incense from our David's hand.
David has bought the Jebusite's abode,
And rais'd an altar to the living God.
Heaven, to reward him, make his joys sincere:
No future ills nor accidents appear
To sully and pollute the sacred infant's year.
* Alluding to the passage in the first book of Kings, chap. xxiv.
Five months to discord and debate were given;
He sanctifies the yet remaining seven.
Sabbath of months! henceforth in him be bless'd,
And prelude to the realm's perpetual rest!
Let his baptismal drops for us atone;
Lustrations for offences not his own.
Let conscience, which is interest ill disguis'd,
In the same font be cleans'd, and all the land bap-
Unnam❜d as yet, at least unknown to fame,
Is there a strife in Heaven about his name;
Where every famous predecessor vies,
And makes a faction for it in the skies?
Or must it be reserv'd to thought alone?
Such was the sacred Tetragrammaton.*
Things worthy silence must not be reveal'd;
Thus the true name of Rome was kept conceal'd,
To shun the spells and sorceries of those
Who durst her infant majesty oppose.
But when his tender strength in time shall rise
To dare ill tongues and facinating eyes,
This isle, which hides the little thunderer's fame,
Shall be too narrow to contain his name:
The' artillery of Heaven shall make him known;
Crete could not hold the god when Jove was grown.
As Jove's increase,† who from his brain was born,
Whom arms and arts did equally adorn,
Free of the breast was bred, whose milky taste,
Minerva's name to Venus had debas'd;
So this imperial Babe rejects the food
That mixes monarch's with plebeian blood;
* Jehovah: unlawful to be pronounced by the Jews.
Food that his inborn courage might control,
Extinguish all the father in his soul,
And, for his Estian race, and Saxon strain,
Might reproduce some second Richard's reign.
Mildness he shares from both his parents' blood:
But kings too tame are despicably good:
Be this the mixture of this regal child,
By nature manly, but by virtue mild.
Thus far the furious transport of the news Had to prophetic madness fir'd the Muse; Madness ungovernable, uninspir'd, Swift to foretel whatever she desir'd. Was it for me the dark abyss to tread, And read the book which angels cannot read? How was I punish'd when the sudden blast,* The face of Heaven and our young Sun o'ercast! Fame, the swift ill, increasing as she roll❜d, Disease, Despair, and Death, at three reprises told: At three insulting strides she stalk'd the Town, And, like Contagion, struck the loyal down. Down fell the winnow'd wheat; but mounted high, The whirlwind bore the chaff, and hid the sky. Here black Rebellion shooting from below, (As earth's gigantic brood by moments grow) And here the sons of God are petrified with woe: An apoplex of grief! so low were driven The saints, as hardly to defend their Heaven.
As when pent vapours run their hollow round, Earthquakes, which are convulsions of the ground, Break bellowing forth, and no confinement brook, Till the third settles what the former shook;
* A false report of the Prince's death.