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OF HIS MAJESTY'S RECEIVING THE NEWS OF THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM'S DEATH.1
So earnest with thy God! can no new care,
No sense of danger, interrupt thy prayer?
The sacred wrestler, till a blessing given,
Quits not his hold, but halting conquers Heaven ;
Nor was the stream of thy devotion stopp'd,
When from the body such a limb was lopp'd,
As to thy present state was no less maim,
Though thy wise choice has since repair’d the same.
Bold Homer durst not so great virtue feign
In his best pattern :2 of Patroclus slain,
With such amazement as weak mothers use,
And frantic gesture, he receives the news.
Yet fell his darling by th' impartial chance
Of war, imposed by royal Hector's lance;
Thine, in full peace, and by a vulgar hand
Torn from thy bosom, left his high command.
The famous painter 3 could allow no place
For private sorrow in a prince's face:
Yet, that his piece might not exceed belief,
lle cast a veil upon supposèd grief.
'Twas want of such a precedent as this
Made the old heathen frame their gods amiss.
Their Phæbus should not act a fonder part
For the fair boy,4 than he did for his heart;
Nor blame for Hyacinthus' fate his own,
That kept from him wish'd death, hadst thou been known.
! Buckingham's death': Buckingham was murdered by Felton at Portsmouth, on the 23d of August 1628, while equipping a fleet for the relief of Rochelle. Lord Lindsey succeeded him. The king was at prayers when the news arrived, and had the resolution to disguise his emotion till they were over.—2 • Pattern ': Achilles.- Painter ': T'imanthes in his picture of Iphigenia.". Fair boy': Cyparissus.
He that with thine shall weigh good David's deeds, Shall find his passion, nor his love, exceeds: 28 He cursed the mountains whero his brave friend died, But let false Ziba with his heir divide; Where thy immortal love to thy bless'd friends, Like that of Heaven, upon their seed descends. Such huge extremes inhabit thy great mind, Godlike, unmoved, and yet, like woman, kind! Which of the ancient poets had not brought Our Charles's pedigree from Heaven, and taught How some bright dame, compress’d by mighty Jove, Produced this mix'd Divinity and Love?
OF Jason, Theseus, and such worthies old,
Light seem the tales antiquity bas told;
Such beasts and monsters as their force oppress’d,
Some places only, and some times, infest.
Sallè, that scorn'd all power and laws of men,
Goods with their owners hurrying to their den,
And future ages threat'ning with a rude
And savage race, successively renew'd;
Their king despising with rebellious pride,
And foes profess'd to all the world beside;
This pest of mankind gives our hero fame,
And through the obligèd world dilates his name.
The prophet once to cruel Agag said,
• As thy fierce sword has mothers childless made,
So shall the sword make thine;' and with that word
He hew'd the man in pieces with his sword.
Just Charles like measure has return'd to these
Whose Pagan hands had stain'd the troubled seas;
With ships they made the spoiled merchant mourn;
With ships their city and themselves are torn.
One squadron of our winged castles sent,
O'erthrew their fort, and all their navy rent;
For, not content the dangers to increase,
And act the part of tempests in the seas,
Like hungry wolves, those pirates from our shore
Whole flocks of sheep, and ravish'd cattle bore.
Safely they might on other nations
Fools to provoke the sovereign of the sea!
Mad Cacus so, whom like ill fate persuades,
The herd of fair Alcmena's seed invades,
Who for revenge, and mortals’ glad relief,
Sack'd the dark cave and crush'd that horrid thief.
Morocco's monarch, wond'ring at this fact,
Save that his presence his affairs exact,
Had come in person to have seen and known
The injured world's revenger and his own.
Hither he sends the chief among his peers,
Who in his bark proportion'd presents bears,
To the renown'd for piety and force,
Poor captives manumised, and matchless horse. 1
UPON HIS MAJESTY'S REPAIRING OF
That shipwreck'd vessel which th’ Apostle bore,
Scarce suffer'd more upon Melita's shore,
Than did his temple in the sea of time,
Our nation's glory, and our nation's crime.
When the first monarch of this happy isle,
Moved with the ruin of so brave a pile,
This work of cost and piety begun,
To be accomplish'd by his glorious son,
Who all that came within the ample thought
Of his wise sire has to perfection brought;
He, like Amphion, makes those quarries leap
Into fair figures from a confused heap;
For in his art of regiment is found
A power like that of harmony in sound.
Those antique minstrels, sure, were Charles-like
Cities their lutes, and subjects' hearts their strings,
On which with so divine a hand they strook,
Consent of motion from their breath they took:
So all our minds with his conspire to grace
The Gentiles' great Apostle, and deface
Those state-obscuring sheds, that like a chain
Seem'd to confine and fetter him again;
Which the glad saint shakes off at his command,
As once the viper from his sacred hand:
So joys the aged oak, when we divide
The creeping ivy from his injured side.
Ambition rather would affect the fame
Of some new structure, to have borne her name.
Two distant virtues in one act we find,
The modesty and greatness of his mind;
Which, not content to be above the rage,
And injury of all-impairing age,
In its own worth secure, doth higher climb,
And things half swallow'd from the jaws of Time
Reduce; an earnest of his grand design,
To frame no new church, but the old refine;
Which, spouse-like, may with comely grace command,
More than by force of argument or hand.
For doubtful reason few can apprehend,
And war brings ruin where it should amend;
But beauty, with a bloodless conquest finds
A welcome sovereignty in rudest minds.
Not aught which Sheba’s wond’ring queen beheld
Amongst the works of Solomon, excell’d
His ships and building; emblems of a heart
Large both in magnanimity and art.
While the propitious heavens this work attend,
Long-wanted showers they forget to send;
As if they meant to make it understood
Of more importance than our vital food.
The sun, which riseth to salute the quire
Already finished, setting shall admire
How private bounty could so far extend:
The King built all, but Charles the western end.1
So proud a fabric to devotion given,
At once it threatens and obliges Heaven!
Laomedon, that had the gods in pay,
Neptune, with him that rules the sacred day, 2
Could no such structure raise: Troy wall’d so high,
Th’ Atrides might as well have forced the sky.
Glad, though amazed, are our neighbour kings,
To see such power employ'd in peaceful things;
They list not urge it to the dreadful field;
The task is easier to destroy than build.
Sic gratia regum
Pieriis tentam modis
1. Western end': the western end, built at Charles' own expense, consisted of a splendid portico, built by Inigo Jones.—2 Sacred day': Apollo.