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Such feems thy gentle height, made only proud
To be the bafis of that pompous load,
Than which, a nobler weight no mountain bears,
But Atlas only which supports the fphears.
When Natures hand this ground did thus advance,
"Twas guided by a wiser power than Chance ;
Mark'd out for fuch a use, as if 'twere meant 55
T'invite the builder, and his choice prevent.
Nor can we call it choice, when that we chuse,
Folly or blindness only could refuse.
A crown of such majestick tow'rs doth grace
The gods great mother, when her heavenly race
Do homage to her, yet fhe cannot boast 61
Among that numerous, and celeftial hoft,
More hero's than can Windfor, nor can Fames
Immortal book record more noble names.
Not to look back fo far, to whom this isle
Owes the first glory of fo brave a pile,
Whether to Cæfar, Albanact, or Brute,
The British Arthur, or the Danish Knute,
(Tho' this of old no less contest did move,
Than when for Homers birth seven cities ftrove)
(Like him in birth, thou should'st be like in fame,
As thine his fate, if mine had been his flame)
But whofoe're it was, Nature defign'd
First a brave place, and then as brave a mind.
Not to recount those several kings, to whom 75 It gave a cradle, or to whom a tomb;
But thee, great Edward, and thy greater fon,*
(The lillies which his father wore, he won)
And thy Bellona,† who the confort came
Not only to thy bed, but to thy fame,
She to thy triumph led one captive king,
And brought that son, which did the second bring.‡
Then didft thou found that order (whether love
Or victory thy royal thoughts did move,
Each was a noble cause, and nothing less
Than the defign, has been the great fuccefs,)
Which foreign kings, and emperours esteem
The second honour to their diadem.
Had thy great destiny but giv'n thee skill
To know, as well as power to act, her will,
That from those kings, who then thy captives were,
In after-times should spring a royal pair
Who should poffefs all that thy mighty power,
Or thy defires more mighty, did devour:
To whom their better fate reserves whate're
The victor hopes for, or the vanquisht fear;
That bloud, which thou and thy great grandfire shed,
And all that fince these sister nations bled,
Edward the third, and the Black Prince.
+ Queen Philip.
The kings of France and Scotland.
Had been unspilt, had happy Edward known That all the blood he spilt had been his own. 100
When he that patron chose, in whom are joyn'd Soldier and martyr, and his arms confin'd Within the azure circle, he did feem
But to foretell, and prophefie of him,
Who to his realms that azure round hath joyn'd, Which nature for their bound at first defign'd. 106 That bound, which to the worlds extreameft ends, Endless itself, it's liquid arms extends.
Nor doth he need those emblems which we paint,
But is himself the foldier and the faint.
Here should my wonder dwell, and here my praise,
But my fixt thoughts my wandering eye betrays,
Viewing a neighbouring hill, whofe top of late
A chappel crown'd 'till in the common fate
The adjoyning abby fell: (may no such storm
Fall on our times, where ruine must reform.) 116
Tell me, my muse, what monftrous dire offence,
What crime could any Christian king incense
To fuch a rage? Was't luxury, or lust?
Was he fo temperate, fo chaft, fo juft?
Were these their crimes? They were his own much
But wealth is crime enough to him that's poor,
Who having spent the treasures of his crown,
Condemns their luxury to feed his own.
And yet this act, to varnish o're the shame 125
Of facriledge, must bear devotions name.
No crime fo bold, but would be understood
A real, or at least a feeming good:
Who fears not to do ill, yet fears the name,
And free from conscience is a flave to fame: 130
Thus he the church at once protects, and spoils:
But princes fwords are sharper than their ftiles.
And thus to th' ages past he makes amends;
Their charity destroys, their faith defends.
Then did religion in a lazy cell,
In empty airy contemplations dwell;
And like the block, unmoved lay; but
As much too active, like the ftork devours.
Is there no temperate region can be known,
Betwixt their frigid, and our torrid zone?
Cou'd we not wake from that lethargick dream,
But to be restless in a worse extream?
And for that lethargy was there no cure,
But to be caft into a calenture?
Can knowledge have no bound, but must advance
So far, to make us with for ignorance? 146
And rather in the dark to grope our way,
Than led by a false guide to erre by day?
Who fees these dismal heaps, but would demand
What barbarous invader fackt the land?
But when he hears, no Goth, no Turk did bring
This defolation, but a Chriftian king;
When nothing, but the name of zeal, appears "Twixt our best actions and the worst of theirs, What does he think our facriledge would spare, When fuch th' effects of our devotions are? 156
Parting from thence 'twixt anger, fhame and fear,
Those for what's past, and this for what's too near,
My eye, descending from the hill, furveys
Where Thames among the wanton vallies strays :
Thames, the most lov'd of all the Oceans fons
By his old fire, to his embraces runs ;
Hafting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.
Though with those streams he no resemblance hold,
Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold; 166
His genuine and lefs guilty wealth t' explore,
Search not his bottom, but furvey his fhore;
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing,
And hatches plenty for th' enfuing spring. 170
Nor then deftroys it with too fond a stay,
Like mothers which their infants overlay.
Nor with a fudden and impetuous wave,
Like profufe kings, refumes the wealth he gave.
No unexpected inundations spoyl
The mowers hopes, nor mock the plowmans toyl:
But god-like his unwearied bounty flows;
First loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor all his bleffings to his banks confin'd,
But free, and common, as the fea or wind; 180
When he to boast, or to disperse his stores,
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Vifits the world, and in his flying towers
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours;