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Now Ovid boasts th' advantage of thy song, And tells his story in the British tongue; Thy charming verse, and fair translations, show How thy own laurel first began to grow : How wild Lycaon, chang’d by angry gods, And frighted at himself, ran howling through the woods.
O may'st thou still the noble task prolong, Nor age, nor sickness, interrupt thy song : Then may we wondering read, how human limbs Have water'd kingdoms, and diffolv'd in streams; Of those rich fruits that on the fertile mold Turn'd yellow by degrees, and ripen'd into gold : How some in feathers, or a ragged hide, Have liv'd a second life, and different natures try'd. Then will thy Ovid, thus transform’d, reveal A nobler change than he himself can tell.
Magd. College, Oxon.
June 2, 1693.
The Author's age 23.
F yet your thoughts are loose from state affairs,
Nor feel the burden of a kingdom's cares ;
If yet your time and actions are your own;
Receive the present of a Muse unknown :
A Muse that, in adventurous numbers, sings
The rout of armies, and the fall of Kings,
Britain advanc'd, and Europe's peace restor'd,
By Somers' counsels, and by Nassau's sword.
To you, my Lord, these daring thoughts belong
Who help?d to raise the subject of my fong ;
To you the hero of my verse reveals
His great designs, to you in council tells
His inmost thoughts, determining the doom
Of towns unstorm'd, and battles yet to come.
And well could you, in your immortal strains,
Describe his conduct, and reward his pains :
But, since the state has all your cares ingrossd,
And poetry in higher thoughts is lost,
Attend to what a lesser Muíe indites,
Pardon her faults, and countenance her flights.
On you, my Lord, with anxious fear I wait,
And from your judgement must expect my fate,
Who, free from vulgar passions, are above
Degrading envy, or misguided love;
If you, well pleas'd, ihall smile upon my lays,
Secure of fame, my voice I 'll boldly raise,
For next to what you write, is what you praise.
HEN now the business of the field is o'er,
The trumpets fliep, and cannons cease to roar,
When every difmal echo is decay'd,
And all the thunder of the battle laid;
Attend, auspicious prince ; and let the Muse
In humble accents milder thoughts infuse.
Others, in-bold prophetic numbers skillid,
Set thee in arms, and led thee to the field ;
My Muse expecting on the British forand
Waits thy return, and welcomes thée to land :
She oft has seen thee pressing on the foe,
When Europe was concern’d in every blow;
But durst not in heroic strains rejoice;
The trumpets, drums, and cannons drown'd, her voice :
She saw the Boyne run thick with human gore,
And Aoating corps lie beating on the shore ;
She saw thee climb the banks, but try'd in vain
To trace her Hero through the dusty plain,
When through the thick embattled lines he broke,
Now plung'd amidit the foes, now lost in clouds of smoke.
O that come Muse, renown’d for lofty verse,
In daring numbers would thy toils rehearse !
Draw thee belov'd in peace, and fear’d in wars,
Inurd to noon-day sweats, and mid-night cares!
But still the God-like man, by some hard fate,
Receives the glory of his toils too late ;
Too late the verse the mighty act succeeds,
One age the hero, one the poet breeds.
A thousand years in full succession ran,
Ere Virgil rais’d his voice, and sung the man
Who, driven by stress of fate, such dangers bore
On stormy seas, and a disastrous shore,
Before he settled in the promis'd earth,
gave the empire of the world its birth.
Troy long had found the Grecians bold and fierce,
Ere Homer muster'd up their troops in verse;
Long had Achilles quell’d the Trojans' lust,
And laid the labour of the gods in dust,
Before the towering Muse began her flight,
And drew the hero raging in the fight,
Engag'd in tented fields and rolling floods,
Or slaughtering mortals, or a match for gods.
And here, perhaps, by fate's unerring doom,
Some mighty bard lies hid in years to come,
"That shall in William’s god-like acts engage,
And with his battles warm a future age,
Hibernian fields shall here thy conquests show,
And Boyne be fung, when it has ceas’d to flow;
Here Gallic labours shall advance thy fame,
And here Seneffe shall wear another name.
Our late posterity, with secret dread,
Shall view thy battles, and with pleasure read
How, in the bloody field too near advanc’d,
The guiltless bullet on thy shoulder glanc'd.
The race of Naflau was by Heaven design'd
To curb the proud oppressors of mankind.