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In our late fight, when cannons did diffuse,
Preventing posts, the terror and the news,
Our neighbour-princes trembled at their roar;
But our conjunction makes them tremble more.
Your never-failing sword made war to cease;
And now you
heal us with the acts of peace,
Our minds with bounty and with awe engage,
Invite affection, and restrain our rage.
Less pleasure take brave minds in battles won,
Than in restoring such as are undone :
Tigers have courage, and the rugged bear;
But man alone can whom he conquers spare.
To pardon willing, and to punish loth,
You strike with one hand, but you heal with both:
Lifting up all that prostrate lie, you grieve
You cannot make the dead again to live.
When fate or error had our age misled,
And o'er this nation such confusion spread;
The only cure which could from heaven come down,
Was so much pow'r and piety in one!
One, whose extraction from an ancient line
Gives hope again that well-born men may shine:
The meanest in your nature mild and good;
The noble, rest secured in
Oft have we wonder'd, how you hid in peace
A mind proportion’d to such things as these;
How such a ruling sp’rit you could restrain,
And practise first over yourself to reign.
Your private life did a just pattern give,
How fathers, husbands, pious sons, should live;
Born to command, your princely virtues slept,
Like humble David's, while the flock he kept,
But when your troubled country call'd you forth,
Your flaming courage and your matchless worth,
Dazzling the eyes of all that did pretend,
To fierce contention gave a prosp'rous end,
Still as you rise, the state, exalted too,
Finds no distemper while 'tis chang'd by you;
Chang'd like the world's great scene! when without
The rising sun night's vulgar lights destroys. [noise
Had you, some ages past, this race of glory
Run, with amazement we should read your story';
But living virtue, all achievements past,
Meets envy still to grapple with at last.
This Cæsar found; and that ungrateful age,
With losing him, went back to blood and rage :
Mistaken Brutus thought to break their yoke,
But cut the bond of union with that stroke.
That sun once set, a thousand meaner stars
Gave a dim light to violence and wars ;
To such a tempest as now-threatens all,
Did not your mighty arm prevent the fall.
If Rome's great senate could not wield that sword,
Which of the conquer'd world had made them lord,
What hope had ours, while yet their pow'r was new,
To rule victorious armies, but by you?
You, that had taught them to subdue their foes,
Could order teach, and their high sp’rits compose :
To ev'ry duty could their minds engagę,
Provoke their courage, and command their rage.
So, when a lion shakes his dreadful mane,
And angry grows, if he that first took pain
To tame his youth, approach the haughty beasty
He bends to him, but frights away the rest.
As the vex'd world, to find repose, at last
Itself into Augustus' arms did cast;
So England now does, with like toil opprest,
Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse,
And ev'ry conqueror creates a muse;
Here in low strains your milder deeds we sing;
But there, my Lord! we'll bays and olives bring
your head; while you in triumph ride
O'er vanquished nations, and the sea beside;
While all your neighbour-princes unto you,
Like Joseph's sheaves, pay reverence and bow.
XXVIII. On Cowley's death, and funeral among the
Old Chaucer, like the morning star,
To us discovers day from far;
His light those mists and clouds dissolv'd
Which our dark nation long involv'd;
But, he descending to the shades,
Darkness again the age invades.
Next (like Aurora) Spenser rose,
Whose purple blush the day foreshews;
The other three with his own fires
Phæbus, the poet's god, inspires;
By Shakespeare's, Jonson's, Fletcher's lines,
Our stage's lustre Rome outshines';
These poets near our princes sleep,
And in one grave our mansion keep
They lived to see so many days,
Till time had blasted all their bays;
But cursed be the fatal hour-
That pluck'd the fairest, sweetest flower
That in the muse's garden grew,
And amongst wither'd laurels threw !
Time, which made their fame outlive,
To Cowley'scarce did ripeness give.
Old mother wit and nature gave
Shakespeare and Fletcher all they have;
In Spenser, and in Jonson, art
Of slower nature got the start;
But both in him so equal are,
None knows which bears the happiest sharc.
To him no author was unknown,
Yet what he wrote was all his own;
He melted not the ancient gold,
Nor, with Ben Jonson, did make bold
To plunder all the Roman stores
Of poets and of orators;
Horace's wit and Virgil's state,
He did not steal but emulate!
And when he would like them appear,
"Their garb, but not their clothes did wear;
He not from Rome alone, but Greece,
Like Jason, brought the golden fleece;
To him that language (though to none
Of th’ others) as his own was known,
On a stiff gale (as Flaccus sings)
'The Theban swan extends his wings;
When thro' th’ ethereal clouds he flies,
To the same pitch our swan doth rise;
Old Pindar's flights by him are reach'd,
When on that gale his wings are stretchid:
His fancy and his judgment such,
Each to the other seem'd too much;
llis severe judgment (giving law)
His modest fancy kept in awe;
As rigid husbands jealous aré,
When they believe their wives too fair.
His English streams so pure did flow,
As all that saw and tasted know.
But for his Latin vein, so clear,
Strong, full, and high, it doth appear,
That, were immortal Virgil here,
Ilim for his judge he would not fear;
Of that great portraiture, so true
A copy pencil never drew.
My muse her song had ended here,
But both their Genii straight appear;
Joy and amazement her did strike,
Two twins she never saw so like.
'Twas taught by wise Pythagoras,
One soul might through more bodies pass:
Seeing such transmigration there,
She thought it not a fable here;
Such a resemblance of all parts,
Life, death, age, fortune, nature, arts;
Then lights her torch at theirs, to tell,
And shew the world this parallel :
Fix'd and contemplative their looks,
Still turning over nature's books:
Their works chaste, moral, and divine,
Where profit and delight combine;
They, gilding dirt, in noble verse
Rustic philosophy rehearse.
When heroes, gods, or godlike kings
They praise, on their exalted wings
To the celestial orbs they climb,
And with th' harmonious spheres keep time;
Nor did their actions fall behind
Their words, but with like candour shin'd;
Each drew fair characters, yet none
Of those they feign'd excels their own.
Both by two generous princes lov'd
Who knew, and judg'd what they approv'd:
Yet having each the same desire,
Both from the busy throng retire.
Their bodies, to their minds resign'd,
Card not to propagate their kind:
Yet though both fell before their hour,
Time on their offspring hath no pow'r;
Nor fire nor fate their bays shall blast,
Nor death's dark veil their day o'ercast.
XXIX. On the death of George the Second. So stream the sorrows that embalm the brave, The tears that science sheds on glory's grave!
the vows which classic duty pays To bless another Brunswick's rising rays !
O Pitt, if chosen strains have power to steal Thy watchful breast awhile from Britain's weal; verse,
from sacred Isis sent, Might hope to charm thy manly mind, intent