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Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham by Edmund Waller; John Denham

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And with himself, his best adviser, talks;
How peaceful olives may his temples shade,
For mending laws, and for restoring trade;
Or, how his brows may be with laurel charged,
For nations conquer'd and our bounds enlarged. 120
Of ancient prudence here he ruminates,
Of rising kingdoms, and of falling states;
What ruling arts gave great Augustus fame,
And how Alcides purchased such a name.

His eyes, upon his native palace[7] bent,
Close by, suggest a greater argument.
His thoughts rise higher, when he does reflect
On what the world may from that star expect
Which at his birth appear'd,[8] to let us see
Day, for his sake, could with the night agree; 130
A prince, on whom such diff'rent lights did smile,
Born the divided world to reconcile!
Whatever Heaven, or high extracted blood
Could promise, or foretell, he will make good;
Reform these nations, and improve them more,
Than this fair park, from what it was before.

[1] See 'Macaulay.'
[2] Pall Mall derived its name from a particular game at bowls, in which
Charles II. excelled.
[3] 'Prelate': Cardinal Wolsey.
[4] 'Antique pile': Westminster Abbey.
[5] 'House': House of Commons.
[6] 'Hall': Westminster Hall.
[7] 'Palace': St. James's Palace, where Charles II. was born.
[8] 'Birth appeared ': it seems a new star appeared in the heavens at
the birth of the king.


Heroic nymph! in tempests the support,
In peace the glory of the British Court!
Into whose arms the church, the state, and all
That precious is, or sacred here, did fall.
Ages to come, that shall your bounty hear,
Will think you mistress of the Indies were;
Though straiter bounds your fortunes did confine,
In your large heart was found a wealthy mine;
Like the bless'd oil, the widow's lasting feast,
Your treasure, as you pour'd it out, increased. 10

While some your beauty, some your bounty sing,
Your native isle does with your praises ring;
But, above all, a nymph of your own train[2]
Gives us your character in such a strain,
As none but she, who in that Court did dwell,
Could know such worth, or worth describe so well.
So while we mortals here at heaven do guess,
And more our weakness, than the place, express,
Some angel, a domestic there, comes down,
And tells the wonders he hath seen and known. 20

[1] 'Prince of Orange': Mary, Princess of Orange, and sister to Charles
[2] 'Train': Lady Anne Hyde, daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, and
afterwards Duchess of York, and mother of Queen Mary and Queen Anne.


Great Queen! that does our island bless
With princes and with palaces;
Treated so ill, chased from your throne,
Returning you adorn the Town;
And, with a brave revenge, do show
Their glory went and came with you.

While peace from hence and you were gone,
Your houses in that storm o'erthrown,
Those wounds which civil rage did give,
At once you pardon, and relieve. 10

Constant to England in your love,
As birds are to their wonted grove,
Though by rude hands their nests are spoil'd,
There the next spring again they build.

Accusing some malignant star,
Not Britain, for that fatal war,
Your kindness banishes your fear,
Resolved to fix for ever here.[2]
But what new mine this work supplies?
Can such a pile from ruin rise? 20
This, like the first creation, shows
As if at your command it rose.

Frugality and bounty too
(Those diff'ring virtues), meet in you;
From a confined, well-managed store,
You both employ and feed the poor.

Let foreign princes vainly boast
The rude effects of pride, and cost
Of vaster fabrics, to which they
Contribute nothing but the pay; 30
This, by the Queen herself design'd,
Gives us a pattern of her mind;
The state and order does proclaim
The genius of that Royal Dame.
Each part with just proportion graced,
And all to such advantage placed,
That the fair view her window yields,
The town, the river, and the fields,
Ent'ring, beneath us we descry,
And wonder how we came so high. 40

She needs no weary steps ascend;
All seems before her feet to bend;
And here, as she was born, she lies;
High, without taking pains to rise.

[1] 'Somerset House': Henrietta, Queen-mother, who returned to England
in 1660, and lived in Somerset House, which she greatly improved.
[2] 'Ever here': she left, however, in 1665.


Fair hand! that can on virgin paper write,
Yet from the stain of ink preserve it white;
Whose travel o'er that silver field does show
Like track of leverets in morning snow.
Love's image thus in purest minds is wrought,
Without a spot or blemish to the thought.
Strange, that your fingers should the pencil foil,
Without the help of colours or of oil!
For though a painter boughs and leaves can make,
'Tis you alone can make them bend and shake;
Whose breath salutes your new-created grove,
Like southern winds, and makes it gently move.
Orpheus could make the forest dance; but you
Can make the motion and the forest too.


When as of old the earth's bold children strove,
With hills on hills, to scale the throne of Jove,
Pallas and Mars stood by their sovereign's side,
And their bright arms in his defence employ'd;
While the wise Phoebus, Hermes, and the rest,
Who joy in peace, and love the Muses best,
Descending from their so distemper'd seat,
Our groves and meadows chose for their retreat.
There first Apollo tried the various use 9
Of herbs, and learn'd the virtues of their juice,
And framed that art, to which who can pretend
A juster title than our noble friend,
Whom the like tempest drives from his abode,
And like employment entertains abroad?
This crowns him here, and in the bays so earn'd,
His country's honour is no less concern'd,
Since it appears not all the English rave,
To ruin bent; some study how to save;
And as Hippocrates did once extend
His sacred art, whole cities to amend; 20
So we, great friend! suppose that thy great skill,
Thy gentle mind, and fair example will,
At thy return, reclaim our frantic isle,
Their spirits calm, and peace again shall smile.


First draw the sea, that portion which between
The greater world and this of ours is seen;
Here place the British, there the Holland fleet,
Vast floating armies! both prepared to meet.
Draw the whole world, expecting who should reign,
After this combat, o'er the conquer'd main.

Make Heaven concern'd, and an unusual star 7
Declare th'importance of th'approaching war.
Make the sea shine with gallantry, and all
The English youth flock to their Admiral,
The valiant Duke! whose early deeds abroad,
Such rage in fight, and art in conduct show'd.
His bright sword now a dearer int'rest draws,
His brother's glory, and his country's cause.

Let thy bold pencil hope and courage spread,
Through the whole navy, by that hero led;
Make all appear, where such a Prince is by,
Resolved to conquer, or resolved to die.
With his extraction, and his glorious mind,
Make the proud sails swell more than with the wind; 20
Preventing cannon, make his louder fame
Check the Batavians, and their fury tame.
So hungry wolves, though greedy of their prey,
Stop when they find a lion in their way.
Make him bestride the ocean, and mankind
Ask his consent to use the sea and wind;
While his tall ships in the barr'd channel stand,
He grasps the Indies in his armed hand.

Paint an east wind, and make it blow away
Th' excuse of Holland for their navy's stay; 30
Make them look pale, and, the bold Prince to shun,
Through the cold north and rocky regions run.
To find the coast where morning first appears,
By the dark pole the wary Belgian steers;
Confessing now he dreads the English more
Than all the dangers of a frozen shore;
While from our arms security to find,
They fly so far, they leave the day behind.
Describe their fleet abandoning the sea,
And all their merchants left a wealthy prey; 40

Our first success in war make Bacchus crown,
And half the vintage of the year our own.
The Dutch their wine, and all their brandy lose,
Disarm'd of that from which their courage grows;
While the glad English, to relieve their toil,
In healths to their great leader drink the spoil.

His high command to Afric's coast extend,
And make the Moors before the English bend;
Those barb'rous pirates willingly receive
Conditions, such as we are pleased to give. 50
Deserted by the Dutch, let nations know
We can our own and their great business do;
False friends chastise, and common foes restrain,
Which, worse than tempests, did infest the main.
Within those Straits, make Holland's Smyrna fleet
With a small squadron of the English meet;
Like falcons these, those like a numerous flock
Of fowl, which scatter to avoid the shock.
There paint confusion in a various shape;
Some sink, some yield; and, flying, some escape. 60
Europe and Africa, from either shore,
Spectators are, and hear our cannon roar;
While the divided world in this agree,
Men that fight so, deserve to rule the sea.

But, nearer home, thy pencil use once more,
And place our navy by the Holland shore;
The world they compass'd, while they fought with Spain,
But here already they resign the main;
Those greedy mariners, out of whose way
Diffusive Nature could no region lay, 70
At home, preserved from rocks and tempests, lie,
Compell'd, like others, in their beds to die.
Their single towns th'Iberian armies press'd;
We all their provinces at once invest;
And, in a month, ruin their traffic more
Than that long war could in an age before.

But who can always on the billows lie?
The wat'ry wilderness yields no supply.
Spreading our sails, to Harwich we resort,
And meet the beauties of the British Court. 80
Th' illustrious Duchess, and her glorious train
(Like Thetis with her nymphs), adorn the main.
The gazing sea-gods, since the Paphian Queen
Sprung from among them, no such sight had seen.
Charm'd with the graces of a troop so fair,
Those deathless powers for us themselves declare,
Resolved the aid of Neptune's court to bring,
And help the nation where such beauties spring;
The soldier here his wasted store supplies,
And takes new valour from the ladies' eyes. 90

Meanwhile, like bees, when stormy winter's gone,
The Dutch (as if the sea were all their own)
Desert their ports, and, falling in their way,
Our Hamburg merchants are become their prey.
Thus flourish they, before th'approaching fight;
As dying tapers give a blazing light.

To check their pride, our fleet half-victuall'd goes,
Enough to serve us till we reach our foes;
Who now appear so numerous and bold,
The action worthy of our arms we hold. 100
A greater force than that which here we find,
Ne'er press'd the ocean, nor employ'd the wind.
Restrain'd a while by the unwelcome night,
Th' impatient English scarce attend the light.
But now the morning (heaven severely clear!)
To the fierce work indulgent does appear;
And Phoebus lifts above the waves his light,
That he might see, and thus record, the fight.

As when loud winds from diff'rent quarters rush, 109
Vast clouds encount'ring one another crush;
With swelling sails so, from their sev'ral coasts,
Join the Batavian and the British hosts.
For a less prize, with less concern and rage,
The Roman fleets at Actium did engage;
They, for the empire of the world they knew,
These, for the Old contend, and for the New.
At the first shock, with blood and powder stain'd,
Nor heaven, nor sea, their former face retain'd;
Fury and art produce effects so strange,
They trouble Nature, and her visage change. 120
Where burning ships the banish'd sun supply,
And no light shines, but that by which men die,
There York appears! so prodigal is he
Of royal blood, as ancient as the sea,
Which down to him, so many ages told,
Has through the veins of mighty monarchs roll'd!
The great Achilles march'd not to the field
Till Vulcan that impenetrable shield,
And arms, had wrought; yet there no bullets flew,
But shafts and darts which the weak Phrygians threw, 130
Our bolder hero on the deck does stand
Exposed, the bulwark of his native land;
Defensive arms laid by as useless here,
Where massy balls the neighb'ring rocks do tear.
Some power unseen those princes does protect,
Who for their country thus themselves neglect.

Against him first Opdam his squadron leads,
Proud of his late success against the Swedes;
Made by that action, and his high command,
Worthy to perish by a prince's hand. 140
The tall Batavian in a vast ship rides,
Bearing an army in her hollow sides;

Yet, not inclined the English ship to board,
More on his guns relies than on his sword;
From whence a fatal volley we received;
It miss'd the Duke, but his great heart it grieved;
Three worthy persons from his side it tore,
And dyed his garment with their scatter'd gore.
Happy! to whom this glorious death arrives,
More to be valued than a thousand lives! 150
On such a theatre as this to die,
For such a cause, and such a witness by!
Who would not thus a sacrifice be made,
To have his blood on such an altar laid?
The rest about him struck with horror stood,
To see their leader cover'd o'er with blood.
So trembled Jacob, when he thought the stains
Of his son's coat had issued from his veins.
He feels no wound but in his troubled thought;
Before, for honour, now, revenge he fought; 160
His friends in pieces torn (the bitter news
Not brought by Fame), with his own eyes he views.
His mind at once reflecting on their youth,
Their worth, their love, their valour, and their truth,
The joys of court, their mothers, and their wives,
To follow him abandon'd--and their lives!
He storms and shoots, but flying bullets now,
To execute his rage, appear too slow;
They miss, or sweep but common souls away;
For such a loss Opdam his life must pay. 170
Encouraging his men, he gives the word,
With fierce intent that hated ship to board,
And make the guilty Dutch, with his own arm,
Wait on his friends, while yet their blood is warm.
His winged vessel like an eagle shows,
When through the clouds to truss a swan she goes;

The Belgian ship unmoved, like some huge rock 177
Inhabiting the sea, expects the shock.
From both the fleets men's eyes are bent this way,
Neglecting all the business of the day;
Bullets their flight, and guns their noise suspend;
The silent ocean does th'event attend,
Which leader shall the doubtful victory bless,
And give an earnest of the war's success;
When Heaven itself, for England to declare,
Turns ship, and men, and tackle, into air.

Their new commander from his charge is toss'd,
Which that young prince[2] had so unjustly lost,
Whose great progenitors, with better fate,
And better conduct, sway'd their infant state. 190
His flight t'wards heaven th'aspiring Belgian took,
But fell, like Phaeton, with thunder strook;
From vaster hopes than his he seemed to fall,
That durst attempt the British Admiral;
From her broad sides a ruder flame is thrown
Than from the fiery chariot of the sun;
That bears the radiant ensign of the day,
And she the flag that governs in the sea.

The Duke (ill pleased that fire should thus prevent
The work which for his brighter sword he meant), 200
Anger still burning in his valiant breast,
Goes to complete revenge upon the rest.
So on the guardless herd, their keeper slain,
Rushes a tiger in the Libyan plain.
The Dutch, accustom'd to the raging sea,
And in black storms the frowns of heaven to see,
Never met tempest which more urged' their fears.
Than that which in the Prince's look appears.

Fierce, goodly, young! Mars he resembles, when 209
Jove sends him down to scourge perfidious men;
Such as with foul ingratitude have paid
Both those that led, and those that gave them aid.
Where he gives on, disposing of their fates,
Terror and death on his loud cannon waits,
With which he pleads his brother's cause so well,
He shakes the throne to which he does appeal.
The sea with spoils his angry bullets strow,
Widows and orphans making as they go;
Before his ship fragments of vessels torn,
Flags, arms, and Belgian carcasses are borne; 220
And his despairing foes, to flight inclined,
Spread all their canvas to invite the wind.
So the rude Boreas, where he lists to blow,
Makes clouds above, and billows fly below,
Beating the shore; and, with a boist'rous rage,
Does heaven at once, and earth, and sea engage.

The Dutch, elsewhere, did through the wat'ry field
Perform enough to have made others yield;
But English courage, growing as they fight,
In danger, noise, and slaughter, takes delight; 230
Their bloody task, unwearied still, they ply,
Only restrain'd by death, or victory.
Iron and lead, from earth's dark entrails torn,
Like showers of hail from either side are borne;
So high the rage of wretched mortals goes,
Hurling their mother's bowels at their foes!
Ingenious to their ruin, every age
Improves the arts and instruments of rage.
Death-hast'ning ills Nature enough has sent,
And yet men still a thousand more invent! 240

But Bacchus now, which led the Belgians on,
So fierce at first, to favour us begun;
Brandy and wine (their wonted friends) at length
Render them useless, and betray their strength.
So corn in fields, and in the garden flowers,
Revive and raise themselves with mod'rate showers;
But overcharged with never-ceasing rain,
Become too moist, and bend their heads again.
Their reeling ships on one another fall,
Without a foe, enough to ruin all. 250
Of this disorder, and the favouring wind,
The watchful English such advantage find,
Ships fraught with fire among the heap they throw,
And up the so-entangled Belgians blow.
The flame invades the powder-rooms, and then,
Their guns shoot bullets, and their vessels men.
The scorch'd Batavians on the billows float,
Sent from their own, to pass in Charon's boat.

And now, our royal Admiral success
(With all the marks of victory) does bless; 260
The burning ships, the taken, and the slain,
Proclaim his triumph o'er the conquer'd main.
Nearer to Holland, as their hasty flight
Carries the noise and tumult of the fight,
His cannons' roar, forerunner of his fame,
Makes their Hague tremble, and their Amsterdam;
The British thunder does their houses rock,
And the Duke seems at every door to knock.
His dreadful streamer (like a comet's hair,
Threatening destruction) hastens their despair; 270
Makes them deplore their scatter'd fleet as lost,
And fear our present landing on their coast.
The trembling Dutch th'approaching Prince behold,
As sheep a lion leaping tow'rds their fold;
Those piles, which serve them to repel the main,
They think too weak his fury to restrain.

'What wonders may not English valour work, 277
Led by th'example of victorious York?
Or what defence against him can they make,
Who, at such distance, does their country shake?
His fatal hand their bulwarks will o'erthrow,
And let in both the ocean, and the foe;'
Thus cry the people;--and, their land to keep,
Allow our title to command the deep;
Blaming their States' ill conduct, to provoke
Those arms, which freed them from the Spanish yoke.

Painter! excuse me, if I have a while
Forgot thy art, and used another style;
For, though you draw arm'd heroes as they sit,
The task in battle does the Muses fit; 290
They, in the dark confusion of a fight,
Discover all, instruct us how to write;
And light and honour to brave actions yield,
Hid in the smoke and tumult of the field,
Ages to come shall know that leader's toil,
And his great name, on whom the Muses smile;
Their dictates here let thy famed pencil trace,
And this relation with thy colours grace.

Then draw the Parliament, the nobles met,
And our great Monarch high above them set; 300
Like young Augustus let his image be,
Triumphing for that victory at sea,
Where Egypt's Queen,[3] and Eastern kings o'erthrown,
Made the possession of the world his own.
Last draw the Commons at his royal feet,
Pouring out treasure to supply his fleet;
They vow with lives and fortunes to maintain
Their King's eternal title to the main;
And with a present to the Duke, approve 309
His valour, conduct, and his country's love.

[1] See History of England.
[2] 'Young prince': Prince of Orange.
[3] 'Egypt's Queen': Cleopatra.


1 Poets may boast, as safely vain,
Their works shall with the world remain:
Both, bound together, live or die,
The verses and the prophecy.

2 But who can hope his line should long
Last in a daily changing tongue?
While they are new, envy prevails;
And as that dies, our language fails.

3 When architects have done their part,
The matter may betray their art;
Time, if we use ill-chosen stone,
Soon brings a well-built palace down.

4 Poets that lasting marble seek,
Must carve in Latin, or in Greek;
We write in sand, our language grows,
And like the tide, our work o'erflows.

5 Chaucer his sense can only boast;
The glory of his numbers lost!
Years have defaced his matchless strain;
And yet he did not sing in vain.

6 The beauties which adorn'd that age,
The shining subjects of his rage,
Hoping they should immortal prove,
Rewarded with success his love.

7 This was the gen'rous poet's scope;
And all an English pen can hope,
To make the fair approve his flame,
That can so far extend their fame.

8 Verse, thus design'd, has no ill fate,
If it arrive but at the date
Of fading beauty; if it prove
But as long-lived as present love.


Tasso knew how the fairer sex to grace,
But in no one durst all perfection place.
In her alone that owns this book is seen
Clorinda's spirit, and her lofty mien,
Sophronia's piety, Erminia's truth,
Armida's charms, her beauty, and her youth.

Our Princess here, as in a glass, does dress
Her well-taught mind, and every grace express.
More to our wonder than Rinaldo fought,
The hero's race excels the poet's thought.


When through the world fair Mazarin had run,
Bright as her fellow-traveller, the sun,
Hither at length the Roman eagle flies,
As the last triumph of her conqu'ring eyes.
As heir to Julius, she may pretend
A second time to make this island bend;
But Portsmouth, springing from the ancient race
Of Britons, which the Saxon here did chase,
As they great Caesar did oppose, makes head,
And does against this new invader lead. 10
That goodly nymph, the taller of the two,
Careless and fearless to the field does go.
Becoming blushes on the other wait,
And her young look excuses want of height.
Beauty gives courage; for she knows the day
Must not be won the Amazonian way.
Legions of Cupids to the battle come,
For Little Britain these, and those for Rome.
Dress'd to advantage, this illustrious pair
Arrived, for combat in the list appear. 20
What may the Fates design! for never yet
From distant regions two such beauties met.
Venus had been an equal friend to both,
And vict'ry to declare herself seems loth;
Over the camp, with doubtful wings, she flies,
Till Chloris shining in the fields she spies.
The lovely Chloris well-attended came,
A thousand Graces waited on the dame;
Her matchless form made all the English glad, 29
And foreign beauties less assurance had;
Yet, like the Three on Ida's top, they all
Pretend alike, contesting for the ball;
Which to determine, Love himself declined,
Lest the neglected should become less kind.
Such killing looks! so thick the arrows fly!
That 'tis unsafe to be a stander-by.
Poets, approaching to describe the fight,
Are by their wounds instructed how to write.
They with less hazard might look on, and draw
The ruder combats in Alsatia; 40
And, with that foil of violence and rage,
Set off the splendour of our golden age;
Where Love gives law, Beauty the sceptre sways,
And, uncompell'd, the happy world obeys.

[1] 'Triple combat': the Duchess of Mazarin was a divorced demirep, who
came to England with some designs on Charles II., in which she was
counteracted by the Duchess of Portsmouth.


The failing blossoms which a young plant bears,
Engage our hope for the succeeding years;
And hope is all which art or nature brings,
At the first trial, to accomplish things.
Mankind was first created an essay;
That ruder draught the Deluge wash'd away.
How many ages pass'd, what blood and toil,
Before we made one kingdom of this isle!
How long in vain had nature striven to frame
A perfect princess, ere her Highness came!
For joys so great we must with patience wait;
'Tis the set price of happiness complete.
As a first fruit, Heaven claim'd that lovely boy;
The next shall live, and be the nation's joy.

[1] 'Duke of Cambridge': The Duke of York's second son by Mary d'Este.
He died when he was only a month old, November 1677.


1 As once the lion honey gave,
Out of the strong such sweetness came;
A royal hero, no less brave,
Produced this sweet, this lovely dame.

2 To her the prince, that did oppose
Such mighty armies in the field,
And Holland from prevailing foes
Could so well free, himself does yield.

3 Not Belgia's fleet (his high command)
Which triumphs where the sun does rise,
Nor all the force he leads by land,
Could guard him from her conqu'ring eyes.

4 Orange, with youth, experience has;
In action young, in council old;
Orange is, what Augustus was,
Brave, wary, provident, and bold.

5 On that fair tree which bears his name,
Blossoms and fruit at once are found;
In him we all admire the same,
His flow'ry youth with wisdom crown'd!

6 Empire and freedom reconciled
In Holland are by great Nassau;
Like those he sprung from, just and mild,
To willing people he gives law.

7 Thrice happy pair! so near allied
In royal blood, and virtue too!
Now love has you together tied,
May none this triple knot undo!

8 The church shall be the happy place
Where streams, which from the same source run,
Though divers lands a while they grace,
Unite again, and are made one.

9 A thousand thanks the nation owes
To him that does protect us all;
For while he thus his niece bestows,
About our isle he builds a wall;

10 A wall! like that which Athens had,
By th'oracle's advice, of wood;
Had theirs been such as Charles has made,
That mighty state till now had stood.

[1] 'Princess of Orange': The Princess Mary was married to the Prince of
Orange at St. James's, in November 1677.


Mirror of poets! mirror of our age!
Which her whole face beholding on thy stage,
Pleased and displeased with her own faults, endures
A remedy like those whom music cures.
Thou hast alone those various inclinations
Which Nature gives to ages, sexes, nations;
So traced with thy all-resembling pen,
That whate'er custom has imposed on men,
Or ill-got habit (which deforms them so,
That scarce a brother can his brother know) 10
Is represented to the wond'ring eyes
Of all that see, or read, thy comedies.
Whoever in those glasses looks, may find
The spots return'd, or graces, of his mind;
And by the help of so divine an art,
At leisure view, and dress, his nobler part.
Narcissus, cozen'd by that flatt'ring well,
Which nothing could but of his beauty tell,
Had here, discov'ring the deformed estate
Of his fond mind, preserved himself with hate. 20
But virtue too, as well as vice, is clad
In flesh and blood so well, that Plato had
Beheld, what his high fancy once embraced,
Virtue with colours, speech, and motion graced.
The sundry postures of thy copious Muse
Who would express, a thousand tongues must use;
Whose fate's no less peculiar than thy art;
For as thou couldst all characters impart,
So none could render thine, which still escapes,
Like Proteus, in variety of shapes; 30
Who was nor this nor that; but all we find,
And all we can imagine, in mankind.


Fletcher! to thee we do not only owe
All these good plays, but those of others too;
Thy wit repeated does support the stage,
Credits the last, and entertains this age.
No worthies, form'd by any Muse but thine,
Could purchase robes to make themselves so fine.

What brave commander is not proud to see
Thy brave Melantius in his gallantry?
Our greatest ladies love to see their scorn
Outdone by thine, in what themselves have worn; 10
Th' impatient widow, ere the year be done,
Sees thy Aspasia weeping in her gown.

I never yet the tragic strain essay'd,
Deterr'd by that inimitable Maid;[1]
And when I venture at the comic style,
Thy Scornful Lady seems to mock my toil.

Thus has thy Muse at once improved and marr'd
Our sport in plays, by rend'ring it too hard!
So when a sort of lusty shepherds throw
The bar by turns, and none the rest outgo 20
So far, but that the best are measuring casts,
Their emulation and their pastime lasts;
But if some brawny yeoman of the guard
Step in, and toss the axletree a yard,
Or more, beyond the furthest mark, the rest
Despairing stand; their sport is at the best.

[1] 'Inimitable Maid': the _Maid's Tragedy_, the joint production
of Beaumont and Fletcher.


Rome was not better by her Horace taught,
Than we are here to comprehend his thought;
The poet writ to noble Piso there;
A noble Piso does instruct us here,
Gives us a pattern in his flowing style,
And with rich precepts does oblige our isle:
Britain! whose genius is in verse express'd,
Bold and sublime, but negligently dress'd.

Horace will our superfluous branches prune, 10
Give us new rules, and set our harp in tune;
Direct us how to back the winged horse,
Favour his flight, and moderate his force.

Though poets may of inspiration boast,
Their rage, ill-govern'd, in the clouds is lost.
He that proportion'd wonders can disclose,
At once his fancy and his judgment shows.
Chaste moral writing we may learn from hence,
Neglect of which no wit can recompense.
The fountain which from Helicon proceeds,
That sacred stream! should never water weeds, 20
Nor make the crop of thorns and thistles grow,
Which envy or perverted nature sow.

Well-sounding verses are the charm we use,
Heroic thoughts and virtue to infuse;
Things of deep sense we may in prose unfold,
But they move more in lofty numbers told.
By the loud trumpet, which our courage aids,
We learn that sound, as well as sense, persuades.

The Muses' friend, unto himself severe,
With silent pity looks on all that err; 30
But where a brave, a public action shines,
That he rewards with his immortal lines.
Whether it be in council or in fight,
His country's honour is his chief delight;
Praise of great acts he scatters as a seed,
Which may the like in coming ages breed.

Here taught the fate of verses (always prized
With admiration, or as much despised),
Men will be less indulgent to their faults,
And patience have to cultivate their thoughts. 40
Poets lose half the praise they should have got,
Could it be known what they discreetly blot;
Finding new words, that to the ravish'd ear
May like the language of the gods appear,
Such as, of old, wise bards employ'd, to make
Unpolish'd men their wild retreats forsake;
Law-giving heroes, famed for taming brutes,
And raising cities with their charming lutes;
For rudest minds with harmony were caught,
And civil life was by the Muses taught. 50
So wand'ring bees would perish in the air,
Did not a sound, proportion'd to their ear,
Appease their rage, invite them to the hive,
Unite their force, and teach them how to thrive,
To rob the flowers, and to forbear the spoil,
Preserved in winter by their summer's toil;
They give us food, which may with nectar vie,
And wax, that does the absent sun supply.


Swift as Jove's messenger (the winged god),
With sword as potent as his charmed rod,
He flew to execute the King's command,
And in a moment reach'd that northern land,
Where day contending with approaching night,
Assists the hero with continued light.

On foes surprised, and by no night conceal'd,
He might have rush'd; but noble pity held
His hand a while, and to their choice gave space,
Which they would prove, his valour or his grace. 10
This not well heard, his cannon louder spoke,
And then, like lightning, through that cloud he broke.
His fame, his conduct, and that martial look,
The guilty Scots with such a terror strook,
That to his courage they resign the field,
Who to his bounty had refused to yield.
Glad that so little loyal blood it cost,
He grieves so many Britons should be lost;
Taking more pains, when he beheld them yield,
To save the flyers, than to win the field; 20
And at the Court his int'rest does employ,
That none, who 'scaped his fatal sword, should die.

And now, these rash bold men their error find,
Not trusting one beyond his promise kind;
One! whose great mind, so bountiful and brave,
Had learn'd the art to conquer and to save.

In vulgar breasts no royal virtues dwell;
Such deeds as these his high extraction tell,
And give a secret joy to him that reigns,
To see his blood triumph in Monmouth's veins; 30
To see a leader whom he got and chose,
Firm to his friends, and fatal to his foes.

But seeing envy, like the sun, does beat,
With scorching rays, on all that's high and great,
This, ill-requited Monmouth! is the bough
The Muses send to shade thy conqu'ring brow.
Lampoons, like squibs, may make a present blaze;
But time and thunder pay respect to bays.
Achilles' arms dazzle our present view,
Kept by the Muse as radiant and as new 40
As from the forge of Vulcan first they came;
Thousands of years are past, and they the same;
Such care she takes to pay desert with fame!
Than which no monarch, for his crown's defence,
Knows how to give a nobler recompence.


Thus mourn the Muses! on the hearse
Not strewing tears, but lasting verse,
Which so preserve the hero's name,
They make him live again in fame.

Chloris, in lines so like his own,
Gives him so just and high renown,
That she th'afflicted world relieves,
And shows that still in her he lives;
Her wit as graceful, great, and good;
Allied in genius, as in blood.[2]

His loss supplied, now all our fears
Are, that the nymph should melt in tears.
Then, fairest Chloris! comfort take,
For his, your own, and for our sake,
Lest his fair soul, that lives in you,
Should from the world for ever go.
[1] 'Mrs. Wharton': the daughter, and co-heiress with the Countess of
Abingdon, of Sir Henry Lee, of Ditchley, in Oxfordshire.
[2] 'In blood': the Earl of Rochester's mother was Mrs. Wharton's grand


What revolutions in the world have been,
How are we changed since we first saw the Queen!
She, like the sun, does still the same appear,
Bright as she was at her arrival here!
Time has commission mortals to impair,
But things celestial is obliged to spare.

May every new year find her still the same
In health and beauty as she hither came!
When Lords and Commons, with united voice,
Th' Infanta named, approved the royal choice;[1]
First of our Queens whom not the King alone,
But the whole nation, lifted to the throne.

With like consent, and like desert, was crown'd
The glorious Prince[2] that does the Turk confound.
Victorious both! his conduct wins the day,
And her example chases vice away;
Though louder fame attend the martial rage,
'Tis greater glory to reform the age.

[1] 'Royal choice': a royal message, announcing the king's intention to
marry the Infanta of Portugal, was delivered in Parliament in May
[2] 'Prince': John Sobieski, king of Poland.


Venus her myrtle, Phoebus has his bays;
Tea both excels, which she vouchsafes to praise.
The best of Queens, and best of herbs, we owe
To that bold nation which the way did show
To the fair region where the sun does rise,
Whose rich productions we so justly prize.
The Muse's friend, tea does our fancy aid,
Repress those vapours which the head invade,
And keeps that palace of the soul serene,
Fit on her birth-day to salute the Queen.


The modern Nimrod, with a safe delight
Pursuing beasts, that save themselves by flight,
Grown proud, and weary of his wonted game,
Would Christians chase, and sacrifice to fame.

A prince, with eunuchs and the softer sex
Shut up so long, would warlike nations vex,
Provoke the German, and, neglecting heaven,
Forget the truce for which his oath was given.

His Grand Vizier, presuming to invest
The chief imperial city of the west, 10
With the first charge compell'd in haste to rise,
His treasure, tents, and cannon, left a prize;
The standard lost, and janizaries slain,
Render the hopes he gave his master vain.
The flying Turks, that bring the tidings home,
Renew the memory of his father's doom;
And his guard murmurs, that so often brings
Down from the throne their unsuccessful kings.

The trembling Sultan's forced to expiate
His own ill-conduct by another's fate. 20
The Grand Vizier, a tyrant, though a slave,
A fair example to his master gave;
He Bassa's head, to save his own, made fly,
And now, the Sultan to preserve, must die.

The fatal bowstring was not in his thought,
When, breaking truce, he so unjustly fought;
Made the world tremble with a numerous host,
And of undoubted victory did boast.

Strangled he lies! yet seems to cry aloud, 29
To warn the mighty, and instruct the proud,
That of the great, neglecting to be just,
Heaven in a moment makes a heap of dust.

The Turks so low, why should the Christians lose
Such an advantage of their barb'rous foes?
Neglect their present ruin to complete,
Before another Solyman they get?
Too late they would with shame, repenting, dread
That numerous herd, by such a lion led;
He Rhodes and Buda from the Christians tore,
Which timely union might again restore. 40

But, sparing Turks, as if with rage possess'd,
The Christians perish, by themselves oppress'd;
Cities and provinces so dearly won,
That the victorious people are undone!

What angel shall descend to reconcile
The Christian states, and end their guilty toil?
A prince more fit from heaven we cannot ask
Than Britain's king, for such a glorious task;
His dreadful navy, and his lovely mind,
Give him the fear and favour of mankind; 50
His warrant does the Christian faith defend;
On that relying, all their quarrels end.
The peace is sign'd,[2] and Britain does obtain
What Rome had sought from her fierce sons in vain.

In battles won Fortune a part doth claim,
And soldiers have their portion in the same;
In this successful union we find
Only the triumph of a worthy mind.
'Tis all accomplish'd by his royal word,
Without unsheathing the destructive sword; 60

Without a tax upon his subjects laid,
Their peace disturb'd, their plenty, or their trade.
And what can they to such a prince deny,
With whose desires the greatest kings comply?

The arts of peace are not to him unknown;
This happy way he march'd into the throne;
And we owe more to Heaven than to the sword,
The wish'd return of so benign a lord.

Charles! by old Greece with a new freedom graced,
Above her antique heroes shall be placed. 70
What Theseus did, or Theban Hercules,
Holds no compare with this victorious peace,
Which on the Turks shall greater honour gain,
Than all their giants and their monsters slain:
Those are bold tales, in fabulous ages told;
This glorious act the living do behold.

[1] 'Year 1683': see History.
[2] 'Peace is signed': the Peace of Nimeguen.


Since James the Second graced the British throne,
Truce, well observed, has been infring'd by none;
Christians to him their present union owe,
And late success against the common foe;
While neighb'ring princes, both to urge their fate,
Court his assistance, and suspend their hate.
So angry bulls the combat do forbear,
When from the wood a lion does appear.

This happy day peace to our island sent,
As now he gives it to the Continent. 10
A prince more fit for such a glorious task,
Than England's king, from Heaven we cannot ask;
He, great and good! proportion'd to the work,
Their ill-drawn swords shall turn against the Turk.

Such kings, like stars with influence unconfined,
Shine with aspect propitious to mankind;
Favour the innocent, repress the bold,
And, while they flourish, make an age of gold.

Bred in the camp, famed for his valour, young;
At sea successful, vigorous, and strong; 20
His fleet, his array, and his mighty mind,
Esteem and rev'rence through the world do find.
A prince with such advantages as these,
Where he persuades not, may command a peace.
Britain declaring for the juster side,
The most ambitious will forget their pride;
They that complain will their endeavours cease,
Advised by him, inclined to present peace,
Join to the Turk's destruction, and then bring
All their pretences to so just a king. 30

If the successful troublers of mankind,
With laurel crown'd, so great applause do find,
Shall the vex'd world less honour yield to those
That stop their progress, and their rage oppose?
Next to that power which does the ocean awe,
Is to set bounds, and give ambition law.

The British monarch shall the glory have,
That famous Greece remains no longer slave;
That source of art and cultivated thought!
Which they to Rome, and Romans hither brought. 40

The banish'd Muses shall no longer mourn,
But may with liberty to Greece return;
Though slaves (like birds that sing not in a cage),
They lost their genius, and poetic rage;
Homers again, and Pindars, may be found,
And his great actions with their numbers crown'd.

The Turk's vast empire does united stand;
Christians, divided under the command
Of jarring princes, would be soon undone,
Did not this hero make their int'rest one; 50
Peace to embrace, ruin the common foe,
Exalt the Cross, and lay the Crescent low.

Thus may the Gospel to the rising sun
Be spread, and flourish where it first began;
And this great day, (so justly honour'd here!)
Known to the East, and celebrated there.

Haec ego longaevus cecini tibi, maxime regum!
Ausus et ipse manu juvenum tentare laborem.--VIRG.



Where'er thy navy spreads her canvas wings,
Homage to thee, and peace to all she brings;
The French and Spaniard, when thy flags appear,
Forget their hatred, and consent to fear.
So Jove from Ida did both hosts survey,
And when he pleased to thunder, part the fray.
Ships heretofore in seas like fishes sped,
The mightiest still upon the smallest fed;
Thou on the deep imposest nobler laws,
And by that justice hast removed the cause 10
Of those rude tempests, which for rapine sent,
Too oft, alas! involved the innocent.
Now shall the ocean, as thy Thames, be free
From both those fates, of storms and piracy.

But we most happy, who can fear no force
But winged troops, or Pegasean horse.
'Tis not so hard for greedy foes to spoil
Another nation, as to touch our soil.
Should Nature's self invade the world again,
And o'er the centre spread the liquid main, 20
Thy power were safe, and her destructive hand
Would but enlarge the bounds of thy command;
Thy dreadful fleet would style thee lord of all,
And ride in triumph o'er the drowned ball;
Those towers of oak o'er fertile plains might go,
And visit mountains where they once did grow.

The world's Restorer once could not endure
That finish'd Babel should those men secure,
Whose pride design'd that fabric to have stood
Above the reach of any second flood; 30
To thee, his chosen, more indulgent, he
Dares trust such power with so much piety.


Verse makes heroic virtue live;
But you can life to verses give.
As when in open air we blow,
The breath, though strain'd, sounds flat and low;
But if a trumpet take the blast,
It lifts it high, and makes it last:
So in your airs our numbers dress'd,
Make a shrill sally from the breast
Of nymphs, who, singing what we penn'd,
Our passions to themselves commend; 10
While love, victorious with thy art,
Governs at once their voice and heart.

You by the help of tune and time,
Can make that song that was but rhyme.
Noy[2] pleading, no man doubts the cause;
Or questions verses set by Lawes.

As a church window, thick with paint,
Lets in a light but dim and faint;
So others, with division, hide
The light of sense, the poet's pride: 20
But you alone may proudly boast
That not a syllable is lost;
The writer's and the setter's skill
At once the ravish'd ears do fill.
Let those which only warble long,
And gargle in their throats a song,
Content themselves with Ut, Re, Mi:[3]
Let words, and sense, be set by thee.
[1] 'Lawes': an eminent musical composer, who composed the music for
Milton's Comus.
[2] 'Noy': Attorney-General to Charles I., had died in 1635. By a
poetical licence Waller represents him still pleading.
[3] 'Ut, Re, Mi': Lawes opposed the Italian music.


1 Madam, of all the sacred Muse inspired,
Orpheus alone could with the woods comply;
Their rude inhabitants his song admired,
And Nature's self, in those that could not lie:
Your beauty next our solitude invades,
And warms us, shining through the thickest shades.

2 Nor ought the tribute, which the wond'ring Court
Pays your fair eyes, prevail with you to scorn
The answer and consent to that report
Which, echo-like, the country does return:
Mirrors are taught to flatter, but our springs
Present th'impartial images of things.

3 A rural judge disposed of beauty's prize;
A simple shepherd was preferr'd to Jove;
Down to the mountains from the partial skies,
Came Juno, Pallas, and the Queen of Love,
To plead for that which was so justly given
To the bright Carlisle of the court of heaven.

4 Carlisle! a name which all our woods are taught,
Loud as their Amaryllis, to resound;
Carlisle! a name which on the bark is wrought
Of every tree that's worthy of the wound.
From Phoebus' rage our shadows and our streams
May guard us better than from Carlisle's beams.

[1] 'Lady Carlisle': the Lady Lucy Percy, daughter of the Earl of
Northumberland, married against her father's wishes to the Earl of
Carlisle. She was a wit and _intriguante_.


Phyllis! 'twas love that injured you,
And on that rock your Thrysis threw;
Who for proud Celia could have died,
While you no less accused his pride.

Fond Love his darts at random throws,
And nothing springs from what he sows;
From foes discharged, as often meet
The shining points of arrows fleet,
In the wide air creating fire,
As souls that join in one desire. 10

Love made the lovely Venus burn
In vain, and for the cold youth[1] mourn,
Who the pursuit of churlish beasts
Preferr'd to sleeping on her breasts.

Love makes so many hearts the prize
Of the bright Carlisle's conqu'ring eyes,
Which she regards no more than they
The tears of lesser beauties weigh.
So have I seen the lost clouds pour
Into the sea an useless shower; 20
And the vex'd sailors curse the rain
For which poor shepherds pray'd in vain.

Then, Phyllis, since our passions are
Govern'd by chance, and not the care,
But sport of heaven, which takes delight
To look upon this Parthian fight
Of love, still flying, or in chase,
Never encount'ring face to face;
No more to Love we'll sacrifice,
But to the best of deities; 30
And let our hearts, which Love disjoin'd,
By his kind mother be combin'd.

[1] 'Cold youth ': Adonis.


Great Queen of Europe! where thy offspring wears
All the chief crowns; where princes are thy heirs;
As welcome thou to sea-girt Britain's shore,
As erst Latona (who fair Cynthia bore)
To Delos was; here shines a nymph as bright,
By thee disclosed, with like increase of light.
Why was her joy in Belgia confined?
Or why did you so much regard the wind?
Scarce could the ocean, though enraged, have toss'd
Thy sov'reign bark, but where th'obsequious coast 10
Pays tribute to thy bed. Rome's conqu'ring hand
More vanquished nations under her command
Never reduced. Glad Berecynthia so
Among her deathless progeny did go;
A wreath of towers adorn'd her rev'rend head,
Mother of all that on ambrosia fed.
Thy godlike race must sway the age to come,
As she Olympus peopled with her womb.

Would those commanders of mankind obey
Their honour'd parent, all pretences lay 20
Down at your royal feet, compose their jars,
And on the growing Turk discharge these wars;
The Christian knights that sacred tomb should wrest
From Pagan hands, and triumph o'er the East;
Our England's Prince, and Gallia's Dolphin, might
Like young Rinaldo and Tancredi fight;
In single combat by their swords again
The proud Argantes and fierce Soldan slain;
Again might we their valiant deeds recite,
And with your Tuscan Muse[2] exalt the fight. 30

[2] 'Her landing': Mary de Medicis, widow of Henry IV., and mother of
the King of France, and of the Queens of England and Spain, coming
to England in 1638, was very ill received by the people, and forced
ultimately to leave the country.
[2] 'Tuscan Muse': Tasso.


Rare Artisan, whose pencil moves
Not our delights alone, but loves!
From thy shop of beauty we
Slaves return, that enter'd free.
The heedless lover does not know
Whose eyes they are that wound him so;
But, confounded with thy art,
Inquires her name that has his heart.
Another, who did long refrain,
Feels his old wound bleed fresh again 10
With dear remembrance of that face,
Where now he reads new hope of grace:
Nor scorn nor cruelty does find,
But gladly suffers a false wind
To blow the ashes of despair
From the reviving brand of care.
Fool! that forgets her stubborn look
This softness from thy finger took.
Strange! that thy hand should not inspire
The beauty only, but the fire; 20
Not the form alone, and grace,
But act and power of a face.
Mayst thou yet thyself as well,
As all the world besides, excel!
So you th'unfeigned truth rehearse
(That I may make it live in verse),
Why thou couldst not at one assay,[2]
The face to aftertimes convey,
Which this admires. Was it thy wit
To make her oft before thee sit? 30
Confess, and we'll forgive thee this;
For who would not repeat that bliss,
And frequent sight of such a dame
Buy with the hazard of his fame?
Yet who can tax thy blameless skill,
Though thy good hand had failed still,
When Nature's self so often errs?
She for this many thousand years 38
Seems to have practised with much care,
To frame the race of women fair;
Yet never could a perfect birth
Produce before to grace the earth,
Which waxed old ere it could see
Her that amazed thy art and thee.
But now 'tis done, oh, let me know
Where those immortal colours grow,
That could this deathless piece compose!
In lilies? or the fading rose?
No; for this theft thou hast climb'd higher
Than did Prometheus for his fire. 50

[1] 'Vandyck': some think this refers to a picture of Saccharissa, by
Vandyck, in Hall-Barn.
[2] 'Assay': attempt.


1 Not that thy trees at Penshurst groan,
Oppressed with their timely load,
And seem to make their silent moan,
That their great lord is now abroad:
They to delight his taste, or eye,
Would spend themselves in fruit, and die.

2 Not that thy harmless deer repine,
And think themselves unjustly slain
By any other hand than thine,
Whose arrows they would gladly stain;
No, nor thy friends, which hold too dear
That peace with France which keeps thee there.

3 All these are less than that great cause
Which now exacts your presence here,
Wherein there meet the divers laws
Of public and domestic care.
For one bright nymph our youth contends,
And on your prudent choice depends.

4 Not the bright shield of Thetis' son[2]
(For which such stern debate did rise,
That the great Ajax Telamon
Refused to live without the prize),
Those Achive peers did more engage
Than she the gallants of our age.

5 That beam of beauty, which begun
To warm us so when thou wert here,
Now scorches like the raging sun,
When Sirius does first appear.
Oh, fix this flame! and let despair
Redeem the rest from endless care.

[1] 'Lord of Leicester': Saccharissa's father. He was employed at this
time in foreign service.
[2] 'Thetis' son': Achilles.


Fair fellow-servant! may your gentle ear
Prove more propitious to my slighted care
Than the bright dame's we serve: for her relief
(Vex'd with the long expressions of my grief)
Receive these plaints; nor will her high disdain
Forbid my humble Muse to court her train.

So, in those nations which the sun adore,
Some modest Persian, or some weak-eyed Moor,
No higher dares advance his dazzled sight,
Than to some gilded cloud, which near the light 10
Of their ascending god adorns the east,
And, graced with his beams, outshines the rest.

Thy skilful hand contributes to our woe,
And whets those arrows which confound us so.
A thousand Cupids in those curls do sit
(Those curious nets!) thy slender fingers knit.
The Graces put not more exactly on
Th' attire of Venus, when the ball she won,
Than Saccharissa by thy care is dress'd,
When all our youth prefers her to the rest. 20

You the soft season know when best her mind
May be to pity, or to love, inclined:
In some well-chosen hour supply his fear,
Whose hopeless love durst never tempt the ear
Of that stern goddess. You, her priest, declare
What offerings may propitiate the fair;
Rich orient pearl, bright stones that ne'er decay,
Or polish'd lines, which longer last than they;
For if I thought she took delight in those,
To where the cheerful morn does first disclose, 30
(The shady night removing with her beams),
Wing'd with bold love, I'd fly to fetch such gems.
But since her eyes, her teeth, her lip excels
All that is found in mines or fishes' shells,
Her nobler part as far exceeding these,
None but immortal gifts her mind should please.
The shining jewels Greece and Troy bestow'd
On Sparta's queen,[1] her lovely neck did load,
And snowy wrists; but when the town was burn'd,
Those fading glories were to ashes turn'd; 40
Her beauty, too, had perished, and her fame,
Had not the Muse redeemed them from the flame.

[1] 'Sparta's queen': Helen.


1 Why came I so untimely forth
Into a world which, wanting thee,
Could entertain us with no worth
Or shadow of felicity?
That time should me so far remove
From that which I was born to love!

2 Yet, fairest blossom! do not slight
That age which you may know so soon;
The rosy morn resigns her light
And milder glory to the noon;
And then what wonders shall you do,
Whose dawning beauty warms us so?

3 Hope waits upon the flow'ry prime;
And summer, though it be less gay,
Yet is not look'd on as a time
Of declination or decay;
For with a full hand that does bring
All that was promised by the spring.

[1] 'Lady Lucy Sidney': the younger sister of Lady Dorothea; afterwards
married to Sir John Pelham.


Fair! that you may truly know
What you unto Thyrsis owe,
I will tell you how I do
Saccharissa love and you.

Joy salutes me, when I set
My bless'd eyes on Amoret;
But with wonder I am strook, 7
While I on the other look.

If sweet Amoret complains,
I have sense of all her pains;
But for Saccharissa I
Do not only grieve, but die.

All that of myself is mine,
Lovely Amoret! is thine;
Saccharissa's captive fain
Would untie his iron chain,
And, those scorching beams to shun,
To thy gentle shadow run.

If the soul had free election
To dispose of her affection, 20
I would not thus long have borne
Haughty Saccharissa's scorn;
But 'tis sure some power above,
Which controls our wills in love!

If not love, a strong desire
To create and spread that fire
In my breast, solicits me,
Beauteous Amoret! for thee.

'Tis amazement more than love,
Which her radiant eyes do move; 30
If less splendour wait on thine,
Yet they so benignly shine,
I would turn my dazzled sight
To behold their milder light;
But as hard 'tis to destroy
That high flame, as to enjoy;
Which how eas'ly I may do,
Heaven (as eas'ly scaled) does know!

Amoret! as sweet and good
As the most delicious food, 40
Which, but tested, does impart
Life and gladness to the heart.

Saccharissa's beauty's wine,
Which to madness doth incline;
Such a liquor as no brain
That is mortal can sustain.

Scarce can I to heaven excuse
The devotion which I use
Unto that adored dame;
For 'tis not unlike the same 50
Which I thither ought to send;
So that if it could take end,
'Twould to heaven itself be due
To succeed her, and not you,
Who already have of me
All that's not idolatry;
Which, though not so fierce a flame,
Is longer like to be the same.

Then smile on me, and I will prove
Wonder is shorter-liv'd than love. 60

[1] 'Amoret': see 'Life.'


Brave Holland leads, and with him Falkland goes:
Who hears this told, and does not straight suppose
We send the Graces and the Muses forth
To civilise and to instruct the north?
Not that these ornaments make swords less sharp;
Apollo bears as well his bow as harp;[2]
And though he be the patron of that spring,
Where, in calm peace, the sacred virgins sing,
He courage had to guard th'invaded throne 9
Of Jove, and cast th'ambitious giants down.

Ah, noble friend! with what impatience all
That know thy worth, and know how prodigal
Of thy great soul thou art (longing to twist
Bays with that ivy which so early kiss'd
Thy youthful temples), with what horror we
Think on the blind events of war and thee!
To fate exposing that all-knowing breast
Among the throng, as cheaply as the rest;
Where oaks and brambles (if the copse be burn'd)
Confounded lie, to the same ashes turn'd. 20

Some happy wind over the ocean blow
This tempest yet, which frights our island so!
Guarded with ships, and all the sea our own,
From heaven this mischief on our heads is thrown.

In a late dream, the genius of this land,
Amazed, I saw, like the fair Hebrew, stand,
When first she felt the twins begin to jar,[3]
And found her womb the seat of civil war.
Inclined to whose relief, and with presage
Of better fortune for the present age, 30
Heaven sends, quoth I, this discord for our good,
To warm, perhaps, but not to waste our blood;
To raise our drooping spirits, grown the scorn
Of our proud neighbours, who ere long shall mourn
(Though now they joy in our expected harms)
We had occasion to resume our arms.

A lion so with self-provoking smart
(His rebel tail scourging his nobler part)
Calls up his courage; then begins to roar,
And charge his foes, who thought him mad before. 40

[1] 'Lord of Falkland': referring to the unsuccessful expedition of
Charles I. against Scotland in 1639, frustrated by the cowardice or
treachery of Lord Holland.
[2] 'Bow as harp': Horace, Ode iv., lib. 3.
[3] 'Twins begin to jar': Gen. xxv. 22.


To this great loss a sea of tears is due;
But the whole debt not to be paid by you.
Charge not yourself with all, nor render vain
Those show'rs the eyes of us your servants rain.
Shall grief contract the largeness of that heart,
In which nor fear, nor anger, has a part?
Virtue would blush if time should boast (which dries,
Her sole child dead, the tender mother's eyes)
Your mind's relief, where reason triumphs so
Over all passions, that they ne'er could grow 10
Beyond their limits in your noble breast,
To harm another, or impeach your rest.
This we observed, delighting to obey
One who did never from his great self stray;
Whose mild example seemed to engage
Th' obsequious seas, and teach them not to rage.

The brave Aemilius, his great charge laid down
(The force of Rome, and fate of Macedon),
In his lost sons did feel the cruel stroke
Of changing fortune, and thus highly spoke 20
Before Rome's people: 'We did oft implore,
That if the heavens had any bad in store
For your Aemilius, they would pour that ill
On his own house, and let you flourish still.'
You on the barren seas, my lord, have spent
Whole springs and summers to the public lent;
Suspended all the pleasures of your life,
And shorten'd the short joy of such a wife;
For which your country's more obliged than 29
For many lives of old less happy men.
You, that have sacrificed so great a part
Of youth, and private bliss, ought to impart
Your sorrow too, and give your friends a right
As well in your affliction as delight.
Then with Aemilian courage bear this cross,
Since public persons only public loss
Ought to affect. And though her form and youth,
Her application to your will, and truth,
That noble sweetness, and that humble state
(All snatch'd away by such a hasty fate!) 40
Might give excuse to any common breast,
With the huge weight of so just grief oppress'd;
Yet let no portion of your life be stain'd
With passion, but your character maintain'd
To the last act. It is enough her stone
May honour'd be with superscription
Of the sole lady who had power to move
The great Northumberland to grieve, and love.

[1] 'His lady': the Lady Anne Cecil, daughter of the Earl of Salisbury.
See a previous note.


With joy like ours the Thracian youth invades
Orpheus, returning from th'Elysian shades;
Embrace the hero, and his stay implore;
Make it their public suit he would no more
Desert them so, and for his spouse's sake,
His vanish'd love, tempt the Lethean lake.
The ladies, too, the brightest of that time
(Ambitious all his lofty bed to climb),
Their doubtful hopes with expectation feed, 9
Who shall the fair Eurydice succeed:
Eurydice! for whom his numerous moan
Makes list'ning trees and savage mountains groan;
Through all the air his sounding strings dilate
Sorrow, like that which touch'd our hearts of late.
Your pining sickness, and your restless pain,
At once the land affecting, and the main,
When the glad news that you were admiral
Scarce through the nation spread,[1] 'twas feared by all
That our great Charles, whose wisdom shines in you,
Would be perplexed how to choose anew. 20
So more than private was the joy and grief,
That at the worst it gave our souls relief,
That in our age such sense of virtue lived,
They joy'd so justly, and so justly grieved.
Nature (her fairest light eclipsed) seems
Herself to suffer in those sharp extremes;
While not from thine alone thy blood retires,
But from those cheeks which all the world admires.
The stem thus threaten'd, and the sap in thee,
Droop all the branches of that noble tree! 30
Their beauty they, and we our love suspend;
Nought can our wishes, save thy health, intend.
As lilies overcharged with rain, they bend
Their beauteous heads, and with high heaven contend;
Fold thee within their snowy arms, and cry--
'He is too faultless, and too young, to die!'
So like immortals round about thee they
Sit, that they fright approaching death away.
Who would not languish, by so fair a train
To be lamented, and restored again? 40

Or, thus withheld, what hasty soul would go,
Though to the blest? O'er young Adonis so
Fair Venus mourn'd, and with the precious shower
Of her warm tears cherish'd the springing flower.

The next support, fair hope of your great name,
And second pillar of that noble frame,
By loss of thee would no advantage have,
But step by step pursue thee to the grave.

And now relentless Fate, about to end
The line which backward does so far extend 50
That antique stock, which still the world supplies
With bravest spirits, and with brightest eyes,
Kind Phoebus, interposing, bid me say,
Such storms no more shall shake that house; but they,
Like Neptune, and his sea-born niece,[1] shall be
The shining glories of the land and sea;
With courage guard, and beauty warm, our age,
And lovers fill with like poetic rage.

[1] 'Nation spread': the Earl of Northumberland, appointed Lord High
Admiral in the year 1638.


Well fare the hand, which to our humble sight
Presents that beauty, which the dazzling light
Of royal splendour hides from weaker eyes,
And all access, save by this art, denies.
Here only we have courage to behold
This beam of glory; here we dare unfold
In numbers thus the wonders we conceive; 7
The gracious image, seeming to give leave,
Propitious stands, vouchsafing to be seen;
And by our Muse saluted Mighty Queen,
In whom th'extremes of power and beauty move,
The Queen of Britain and the Queen of Love!

As the bright sun (to which we owe no sight
Of equal glory to your beauty's light)
Is wisely placed in so sublime a seat,
T' extend his light, and moderate his heat;
So, happy 'tis you move in such a sphere,
As your high Majesty with awful fear
In human breasts might qualify that fire,
Which, kindled by those eyes, had flamed higher 20
Than when the scorched world like hazard run,
By the approach of the ill-guided sun.

No other nymphs have title to men's hearts,
But as their meanness larger hope imparts;
Your beauty more the fondest lover moves
With admiration than his private loves;
With admiration! for a pitch so high
(Save sacred Charles his) never love durst fly.
Heaven, that preferr'd a sceptre to your hand,
Favour'd our freedom more than your command; 30
Beauty had crown'd you, and you must have been
The whole world's mistress, other than a Queen.
All had been rivals, and you might have spared,
Or kill'd, and tyrannised, without a guard;
No power achieved, either by arms or birth,
Equals love's empire both in heaven and earth.
Such eyes as yours on Jove himself have thrown
As bright and fierce a lightning as his own;
Witness our Jove, prevented by their flame
In his swift passage to th'Hesperian dame; 40

When, like a lion, finding, in his way
To some intended spoil, a fairer prey,
The royal youth pursuing the report
Of beauty, found it in the Gallic court;
There public care with private passion fought
A doubtful combat in his noble thought:
Should he confess his greatness, and his love,
And the free faith of your great brother[3] prove;
With his Achates breaking through the cloud
Of that disguise which did their graces shroud;[4] 50
And mixing with those gallants at the ball,
Dance with the ladies, and outshine them all;
Or on his journey o'er the mountains ride?--
So when the fair Leucothoe he espied,
To check his steeds impatient Phoebus yearn'd,
Though all the world was in his course concern'd.
What may hereafter her meridian do,
Whose dawning beauty warm'd his bosom so?
Not so divine a flame, since deathless gods
Forbore to visit the defiled abodes 60
Of men, in any mortal breast did burn;
Nor shall, till piety and they return.

[1] 'Sea-born niece': Venus.
[2] 'Majesty's picture': Henrietta, daughter of Henry IV., married by
proxy to Charles I. in Paris, 1st May 1625. Marriages made in May
are said to be unlucky--_this_ certainly was.
[3] 'Great brother': Louis XIII., King of France.
[4] 'Graces shroud': 'Achates,' the Duke of Buckingham.


1 Amoret! the Milky Way
Framed of many nameless stars!
The smooth stream where none can say
He this drop to that prefers!

2 Amoret! my lovely foe!
Tell me where thy strength does lie?
Where the pow'r that charms us so?
In thy soul, or in thy eye?

3 By that snowy neck alone,
Or thy grace in motion seen,
No such wonders could he done;
Yet thy waist is straight and clean
As Cupid's shaft, or Hermes' rod,
And pow'rful, too, as either god.


Phyllis! why should we delay
Pleasures shorter than the day?
Could we (which we never can!)
Stretch our lives beyond their span,
Beauty like a shadow flies,
And our youth before us dies.
Or would youth and beauty stay,
Love hath wings, and will away.
Love hath swifter wings than Time,
Change in love to heaven does climb. 10
Gods, that never change their state,
Vary oft their love and hate.

Phyllis! to this truth we owe
All the love betwixt us two.
Let not you and I inquire
What has been our past desire;
On what shepherds you have smiled,
Or what nymphs I have beguiled;
Leave it to the planets too, 19
What we shall hereafter do;
For the joys we now may prove,
Take advice of present love.


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