Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Of Helicon; we therefore may fuppofe
Thofe made not Poets, but the Poets those.
And as Courts make not Kings, but Kings the

Court,

So where the Mufes and their Train refort,
Parnaffus ftands; if I can be to thee
A Poet, thou Parnaffus art to me.
Nor wonder, if (advantag'd in my flight,
By taking wing from thy aufpicious height)
Through untrac'd Ways and airy Paths I flie,
More boundless in my Fancy than my Eye:
My Eye, which fwift as Thought contracts the
Space

That lies between, and firft falutes the Place
Crown'd with that facred Pile, fo vast, so high,
That whether 'tis a part of Earth, or Sky,
Uncertain feems, and may be thought a proud
Afpiring Mountain, or defcending Cloud,
Paul's, the late Theme of fuch a *) Mufe whofe
flight

Has bravely reach'd and foar'd above thy height:
Now fhalt thou ftand, tho' Sword, or Time, or
Fire,

Or Zeal more fierce than they, thy Fall confpire,
Secure, whilft thee the best of Poets fings,
Preferv'd from Ruin by the best of Kings.
Under his proud furvey the City lies,
And like a Mift beneath a Hill doth rife;

Whofe State and Wealth, the Bufinefs and the
Crow'd:

Seems at this diftance but a darker Cloud:
And is to him who rightly things efteems,
No other in effect than what it feems:

Where, with like hafte, tho' fev'ral ways they

run,

Some to undo, and fome to be undone;
While Luxury, and Wealth, like War and Peace,

* Mr. Waller.

P 5

[ocr errors]

Are

Denham.

Denham. Are each the others ruin, and increafe;
As Rivers loft in Seas, fome fecret Vein
Thence reconveys, there to be loft again.
Oh Happiness of fweet retir'd Content!
To be at once fecure, and innocent.
Windfor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells,
Beauty with Strength) above the Valley fwells
Into my Eye, and doth itself prefent
With fuch and eafie and inforc'd Afcent,
That no ftupendous Precipice denies
Accefs, no horror turns away our Eyes:
But fuch a Rife, as doth at once invite
A pleasure, and a reverence from the fight.
Thy mighty Master's Emblem, in whofe Face
Sate Meeknefs, heighten'd with majeftick Grace;
Such feems thy gentle height, made only proud
To be the bafis of that pompous load,

1

Than which, a nobler weight nɔ Mountain bears,
But Atlas only which fupports the Sphears.
When Nature's hand this ground did thus advance,
'Twas guided by a wifer Pow'r than Chance;
Mark'd out for fuch an ufe, as if 'twere meant
T' invite the Builder, and his choice prevent.
Nor can we call it choice, when what we chufe,
Folly or Blindnefs only cou'd refufe.

A Crown of fuch majeftick Tow'rs does grace
The Gods great Mother, when her heav'nly Race
Do Homage to her, yet fhe cannot boast
Among that num'rous, and Celestial Hoft,
More Heroes than can Windfor, nor doth Fame's
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 Caefar, Albanact, or Brute,
The British Arthur, or the Danish Knute,
(Tho' this of old no less Contest did move,
Than when for Homer's Birth fev'n Cities ftrove)
(Like him in Birth, thou fhouldft be like in Fame,
As thine his Fate, if mine had been his Flame)
But whofoe'er it was, Nature defign'd

[ocr errors]

First a brave Place, and then as brave a Mind.
Not to recount thofe fev'ral Kings, to whom
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 fecond bring.
Then didft thou found that Order (whether Love
Or Victory thy Royal Thoughts did move)
Each was a noble caufe, and nothing lefs
Than the defign, has been the great fuccefs:
Which foreign Kings, and Emperors esteem
The fecond Honour to their Diadem.
Had thy great Destiny but giv'n thee skill
To know, as well as pow'r to act her will,
That from thofe Kings, who then thy Captives were,
In after-times fhould fpring a Royal Pair
Who fhould poffefs all that thy mighty Pow'r,
Or thy Defires more mighty, did devour:
To whom their better Fate referves what e'er
The Victor hopes for, or the Vanquifht fear;
That Blood, which thou and thy great Grandfire
fhed,

[ocr errors]

*) Edward III, and the Black-Prince.

**) Queen Philippa.

***) The Kings of France and Scotland.

And all that fince thefe fifter Nations bled,
Had been unfpilt, had happy Edward known
That all the Blood he fpilt, had been his own.
When he that Patron chofe, in whom are join'd
Soldier and Martyr, and his Arms confin'd
Within the azure Circle, he did seem
But to foretell, and prophefie of him

Who to his Realms that azure round hath join'd,
Which Nature for their bound at first design'd.
That bound, which to the World's extreameft end,

[ocr errors]

End

Denham.

Denham. Endlefs itfelf, its liquid Arms extends.

[ocr errors]

Nor doth he need thofe Emblems which we paint,
But is himself the Soldier and the Saint.

Here fhould my Wonder dwell, and here my Praife,
But my fixt Thoughts my wandring Eye betrays,
Viewing a neighb'ring Hill, whofe top of late
A Chappel crown'd, till in the Common Fate
Th' adjoining Abby fell: (may no fuch Storm
Fall on our times, where ruin must reform.)
Tell me, my Mufe, what monftrous dire Offence,
What Crime could any Chriftian king incenfe
To fuch a Rage? Was 't Luxury', or Lust?
Was he fo temperate, fo chaft, lo just?
Were these their Crimes? They were his own much

more:

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'er the Shame
Of Sacrilege, must bear Devotion's 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 Confcience, is a Slave to Fame:
Thus he the Church at once protects, and spoils:
But Princes Swords, are fharper than their Styles.
And thus to th' Ages paft 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 ours,
As much too active, like the Stork devours.
Is there no temp'rate Region can be known,/
Betwixt their frigid, and our torrid Zone?
Cou'd we not wake from that lethargick Dream,
But to be reftlefs in a worfe Extream?

And for that Lethargy was there no cure,

But to be caft into a Calenture?

Can Knowledge have no bound, but muft advance
So far, to make us with for Ignorance?

[ocr errors][merged small]

And rather in the Dark to grope our Way,
Than led by a falfe Guide to err by Day?
Who fees thefe 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 beft Actions and the worst of theirs;
What does he think our Sacrilege wou'd fpare,
When fuch th' effects of our Devotions are?
Parting from thence 'twixt Anger, Shame and Fear,
Those for what's paft, and this for what's too near,
My Eye defcending from the Hill, furveys
Where Thames among the wanton Vallies ftrays.
Thames, the most lov'd of all the Ocean's Sons
By his old Sire, to his Embraces runs;
Hafting to pay his Tribute to the Sea,
Like mortal Life to meet Eternity.

Tho' with thofe Streams he no Refemblance hold,
Whofe Foam is Amber, and their Gravel Gold;
His genuine and lefs guilty Wealth t' explore,
Search not his bottom, but furvey his fhore;
O'er which he kindly fpreads his fpacious wing,
And hatches Plenty for th' enfuing Spring.
Nor then destroys 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 spoil

The Mower's hopes, nor mock the Plowman's
toil:

But Godlike his unweary'd Bounty flows;
First loves to do, then loves the Good he does.
Nor are his Bleffings to his Banks confin'd,
But free, and common, as the Sea or Wind;
When he to boaft, or to difperfe his Stores
Full of the Tributes of his grateful Shores,
Vifits the World, and in his flying Tow'rs
Brings home to us, and makes both Indier

ours;

Denham.

« ZurückWeiter »