Page images

Your fubjects, while you weigh the nation's fate,
Sufpend to both their doubtful love or hate :
Chufe only, fir, that fo they may poffefs
With their own peace their children's happiness.

To the LORD CHANCELLOR HYD E. Prefented on New-Year's Day, 1662. MY LORD,

WHILE flattering crouds officiously appear

To give themselves, not you, an happy year; And by the greatness of their presents prove How much they hope, but not how well they love; The Mufes, who your early courtship boast, Though now your flames are with their beauty loft, Yet watch their time, that, if you have forgot They were your miftreffes, the world may not: Decay'd by time and wars, they only prove Their former beauty by your former love; And now prefent, as ancient ladies do, That courted long, at length are forc'd to woo. For ftill they look on you with fuch kind eyes, As thofe that fee the church's fovereign rife; From their own order chofe, in whose high state, They think themselves the fecond choice of fate. When our great monarch into exile went,

Wit and religion suffer'd hanishment.

Thus once, when Troy was wrap'd in fire and smoke, The helpless gods their burning fhrines forfook;

D 2


They with the vanquish'd prince and party go,
And leave their temples empty to the foe.
At length the Muses ftand, reftor'd again
To that great charge which nature did ordain;
And their lov'd Druids seem reviv'd by fate,
While you dispense the laws, and guide the state.
The nation's foul, our monarch, does dispense,
Through you, to us, his vital influence;
You are the channel, where those spirits flow,
And work them higher, as to us they go.

In open profpect nothing bounds our eye,
Untill the earth feems join'd unto the sky:
So in this hemifphere our utmost view
Is only bounded by our king and you:
Our fight is limited where you are join'd,
And beyond that no farther heaven can find.
So well your virtues do with his agree,
That, though your orbs of different greatness be,
Yet both are for each other's ufe difpos'd,
His to inclose, and yours to be inclos'd.
Nor could another in your room have been,
Except an emptinefs had come between.
Well may he then to you his cares impart,
And fhare his burden where he fhares his heart.
In you
his fleep ftill wakes; his pleasures find
Their fhare of business in your laboring mind.
So when the weary fun his place refigns,

He leaves his light, and by reflection shines.

Juftice, that fits and frowns where public laws Exclude foft mercy from a private cause,


your tribunal most herself does please; There only fmiles because the lives at ease;

And, like young David, finds her ftrength the more,
When difincumber'd from thofe arms fhe wore.
Heaven would our royal master should exceed
Most in that virtue, which we most did need;
And his mild father (who too late did find
All mercy vain but what with power was join'd)
His fatal goodness left to fitter times,

Not to increase, but to abfolve, our crimes:

But when the heir of this vaft treasure knew
How large a legacy was left to you
(Too great for any fubject to retain),

He wifely ty'd it to the crown again :

Yet, paffing through your hands, it gathers more,
As streams, through mines, bear tincture of their ore.
While empiric politicians ufe deceit,

Hide what they give, and cure but by a cheat;
You boldly fhew that skill which they pretend,
And work by means as noble as your end:
Which fhould you veil, we might unwind the clue,
As men do nature, till we came to you.
And as the Indies were not found, before
Those rich perfumes, which, from the happy shore,
The winds upon their balmy wings convey'd,
Whose guilty sweetness firft their world betray'd;
So by your counfels we are brought to view
A rich and undifcover'd world in you.
By you our monarch does that fame affure,
Which kings must have, or cannot live secure :

D 3


For profperous princes gain their fubjects heart,
Who love that praise in which themselves have part.
By you he fits thofe fubjects to obey,

As heaven's eternal monarch does convey
His power unfeen, and man to his designs,
By his bright minifters the stars, inclines.

Our fetting fun, from his declining feat, Shot beams of kindness on you, not of heat: And, when his love was bounded in a few, That were unhappy that they might be true, Made you the favourite of his last fad times, That is a fufferer in his fubjects crimes : Thus those first favours you receiv'd, were sent, Like heaven's rewards in earthly punishment. Yet fortune, conscious of your destiny, Ev'n then took care to lay you foftly by ; And wrap'd your fate among her precious things, Kept fresh to be unfolded with your king's. Shewn all at once you dazzled fo our eyes, As new-born Pallas did the gods furprize: When, fpringing forth from Jove's new-clofing wound, She ftruck the warlike fpear into the ground; Which sprouting leaves did fuddenly inclose, And peaceful olives fhaded as they rose.

How ftrangely active are the arts of peace, Whofe reftlefs motions lefs than wars do cease! Peace is not freed from labour but from noife; And war more force, but not more pains employs : Such is the mighty fwiftnefs of your mind, That, like the earth, it leaves our fenfe behind,

While you fo smoothly turn and rowl our sphere,
That rapid motion does but reft appear.
For, as in nature's swiftnefs, with the throng
Of flying orbs while ours is borne along,
All seems at reft to the deluded eye,
Mov'd by the foul of the fame harmony,
So, carried on by your unwearied care,
We reft in peace, and yet in motion share.
Let envy then thofe crimes within you fee,
From which the happy never must be free;
Envy, that does with mifery refide,
The joy and the revenge of ruin'd pride.
Think it not hard, if at fo cheap a rate
You can fecure the conftancy of fate,

Whofe kindness fent what does their malice feem,

By leffer ills the greater to redeem.

Nor can we this weak shower a tempeft call,
But drops of heat, that in the fun-fhine fall.
You have already wearied fortune fo,
She cannot farther be your friend or foe;
But fits all breathless, and admires to feel
A fate fo weighty, that it stops her wheel.
In all things elfe above our humble fate,
Your equal mind yet fwells not into state,
But, like fome mountain in thofe happy ifles,
Where in perpetual fpring young nature fimiles,
Your greatnefs fhews: no horror to affright,
But trees for fhade, and flowers to court the fight:
Sometimes the hill fubmits itfelf a while

In fmall defcents, which do its height beguile;
D 4


« PreviousContinue »