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The fubjects arm'd, the more their princes gave,
Th' advantage only took, the more to crave:
Till kings, by giving, give themselves away,
And even that power, that should deny, betray,
"Who gives conftrain'd, but his own fear réviles,'
"Not thank'd, but fcorn'd; nor are they gifts, but spoils."
Thus kings, by grasping more than they could hold,
First made their subjects, by oppreffion, bold:
And popular fway, by forcing kings to give
More than was fit for fubjects to receive,
Ran to the fame extremes; and one excess
Made both, by striving to be greater, less.
When a calm river rais'd with sudden rains,
Or fnows diffolv'd, o'erflows th' adjoining plains,
The husbandmen with high-rais'd banks fecure
Their greedy hopes, and this he can endure.
But if with bays and dams they strive to force
His channel to a new, or narrow course;
No longer then within his banks he dwells,
Firft to a torrent, then a deluge fwells:
Stronger and fiercer by restraint he roars,
And knows no bound, but makes his power his fhores.
SECOND BOOK OF VIRGIL'S ENEIS.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1636.
The firft Book speaks of Æneas's voyage by fea, and how, being caft by tempeft upon the coast of Carthage, he was received by Queen Dido, who, after the feast, defires him to make the relation of the deftruction of Troy; which is the Argument of this Book.
all with filence and attention wait, Thus fpeaks Æneas from the bed of state;
Madam, when you command us to review
Our fate, you make our old wounds bleed anew,
And all thofe forrows to my sense restore,
Whereof none faw fo much, none fuffer'd more:
Not the most cruel of our conquering foes
So unconcern'dly can relate our woes,
As not to lend a tear; then how can I
Reprefs the horror of my thoughts, which fiy
The fad remembrance? Now th' expiring night
And the declining ftars to reft invite;
Yet fince 'tis your command, what you so well
Are pleas'd to hear, I cannot grieve to tell.
By fate repell'd, and with repulfes tir'd,
The Greeks, fo many lives and years expir'd,
A fabrick like a moving mountain frame,
Pretending vows for their return; this fame
Divulges, then within the beast's vast womb
The choice and flower of all their troops entomb;
In view the isle of Tenedos, once high,
In fame and wealth, while Troy remain'd, doth lie, (Now but an unfecure and open bay)
Thither by stealth the Greeks their fleet convey.
We gave them gone, and to Mycenæ fail'd,
And Troy reviv'd, her mourning face unvail'd;
All through th' unguarded gates with joy refort
To fee the flighted camp, the vacant port.
Here lay Ulyffes, there Achilles; here
The battle join'd, the Grecian fleet rode there
But the vast pile th' amazed vulgar views,
Till they their reason in their wonder lofe.
And first Thymotes moves (urg'd by the power
Of fate or fraud) to place it in the tower;
But Capys and the graver fort thought fit
The Greeks fufpected prefent to commit
To feas or flames, at least to search and bore
The fides, and what that space contains t' explore.
Th' uncertain multitude with both engag'd,
Divided ftands, till from the tower, enrag'd
Laocoon ran, whom all the crowd attends,
Crying, what defperate frenzy's this, (oh friends)
To think them gone? Judge rather their retreat
But a defign, their gifts but a deceit ;
For our deftruction 'twas contriv'd no doubt,
Or from within by fraud, or from without
By force; yet know ye not Ulyffes' fhifts?
Their fwords lefs danger carry than their gifts.
(This faid) against the horse's fide his fpear
He throws, which trembles with inclosed fear,
Whilft from the hollows of his womb proceed
Groans, not his own; and had not fate decreed
Our ruin, we had fill'd with Grecian blood
The place; then Troy and Priam's throne had ftood.
Meanwhile a fetter'd prifoner to the king
With joyful fhouts the Dardan fhepherds bring,
Who to betray us did himself betray,
At once the taker, and at once the prey;
Firmly prepar'd, of one event fecur'd,
Or of his death or his design assur’d.
The Trojan youth about the captive flock,
To wonder, or to pity, or to mock.
Now hear the Grecian fraud, and from this one
Conjecture all the rest.
Difarm'd, diforder'd, cafting round his eyes
On all the troops that guarded him, he cries,
What land, what fea, for me what fate attends ?
Caught by my foes, condemned by my friends,
Incensed Troy a wretched captive feeks
To facrifice; a fugitive, the Greeks.
To pity this complaint our former rage
Converts, we now enquire his parentage,
What of their counfels or affairs he knew:
Then fearless he replies, great king, to you
All truth I fhall relate: nor first can I
Myself to be of Grecian birth deny;
And though my outward ftate misfortune hath
Depreft thus low, it cannot reach my faith.
You may by chance have heard the famous name
Of Palamede, who from old Belus came,
Whom, but for voting peace, the Greeks purfue,
Accus'd unjustly, then unjustly flew,
Yet mourn'd his death. My father was his friend,
And me to his commands did recommend,
While laws and councils did his throne fupport,
I but a youth, yet some esteem and port
We then did bear, till by Ulyffes' craft
(Things known I speak) he was of life bereft :
Since in dark forrow I my days did spend,
Till now difdaining his unworthy end,
I could not filence my complaints, but vow'd
Revenge, if ever fate or chance allow'd
My wifh'd return to Greece; from hence his hate,
From thence my crimes, and all my ills bear date :
Old quilt fresh malice gives; the peoples ears
He fills with rumours, and their hearts with fears,
And then the prophet to his party drew.
But why do I these thankless truths pursue ;
Or why defer your rage? on me, for all
The Greeks, let your revenging fury fall.