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But fuch a rife as doth at once invite
A pleasure, and a reverence from the fight.
Thy mighty master's emblem, in whose face
Sate meeknefs, heighten'd with majestic grace;
Such feems thy gentle height, made only proud
To be the basis of that pompous load,
Than which, a nobler weight no mountain bears,
But Atlas only which fupports the spheres.
When Nature's hand this ground did thus advance,
'Twas guided by a wifer power than Chance ;
Mark'd-out for such an use, as if 'twere meant
T'invite the builder, and his choice prevent.
Nor can we call it choice, when what we chuse,
Folly or blindness only could refuse.
A crown of fuch majestic towers doth grace
The gods great mother, when her heavenly race
Do homage to her, yet fhe cannot boast
Among that numerous, and celestial host,
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 Cæfar, Albanact, or Brute,
The British Arthur, or the Danish Cnute,
(Though this of old no less contest did move,
Than when for Homer's birth seven cities ftrove)
(Like him in birth, thou should't be like in fame,
As thine his fate, if mine had been his flame)
But whofoe'er it was, Nature defign'd
First a brave place, and then as brave a mind.
Not to recount thofe feveral kings, to whom
It gave a cradle, or to whom a tomb;
But thee, great Edward, and thy greater Son,.
(The lilies 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 fon, 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 eftcem.
The fecond honour to their diadem.
Had thy great destiny but given thee skill
To know, as well as power to act her will,
That from thofe kings, who then thy captives were,
In after-times should spring a royal pair,
Who fhould poffefs all that thy mighty power,,
Or thy defires more mighty, did devour:
To whom their better fate referves whate'er
The victor hopes for, or the vanquish'd fear;
That blood, which thou and thy great grandfire shed,
And all that fince thefe fifter nations bled,
Had been unfpilt, and happy Edward known
That all the blood he fpilt, had been his own.
*Edward III. and the Black Prince..
+ Queen Philippa.
The kings of France and Scotland.
When he that patron chofe, in whom are join'd
Soldier and martyr, and his arms confin'd
Within the azure circle, he did feem
But to foretel, and prophesy of him,
Who to his realms that azure round hath join'd,
Which Nature for their bound at firft defign'd.
That bound which to the world's extreameft ends,
Endless itself, its liquid arms extends.
Nor doth he need thofe emblems which we paint,
But is himfelf the foldier and the faint..
Here fhould my wonder dwell, and here my praife,
my fix'd thoughts my wandering eye betrays,
Viewing a neighbouring hill, whofe top of late
A chapel crown'd, till in the common fate
Th' adjoining abbey 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 Christian king incense
To fuch a rage? Was't luxury, or lust ?
Was he fo temperate, fo chafte, so 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 fhame
Of facrilege, muft bear Devotion's name.
No crime fo bold, but would be understood
A real, or at least a seeming good :
Who fears not to do ill, yet fears the name,
And free from confcience, is a flave to fame:
Thus he the church at once protects, and spoils :
But princes' fwords are sharper 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 ftork devours.
Is there no temperate region can be known,
Betwixt their frigid, and our torrid zone?
Could we not wake from that lethargic dream,
But to be reftlefs in a worse extreme?
And for that lethargy was there no cure,
But to be caft into a calenture?
Can knowledge have no bound, but must advance
So far, to make us with for ignorance;
And rather in the dark to grope our way,
Than led by a falfe guide to err by day?
Who fees these dismal heaps, but would demand
What barbarous invader fack'd the land?
But when he hears, no Goth, no Turk did bring
This defolation, but a Christian king;
When nothing, but the name of zeal, appears
'Twixt our beft actions and the worst of theirs ;
What does he think our facrilege would fpare,
When fuch th' effects of our devotions are?
Parting from thence 'twixt anger, fhame, and fear,
Thofe for what's past, 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 fons
By his old fire, to his embraces runs;
Hafting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.
Though with those streams he no resemblance hold,
Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold;
His genuine and less guilty wealth t' explore,
Search not his bottom, but furvey his shore;
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 sudden and impetuous wave,
Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave.
No unexpected inundations spoil
The mower's hopes, nor mock the plowman's toil:
But god-like his unweary'd bounty flows;
Firft loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor are his bleffings to his banks confin'd,
But free, and common, as the fea or wind;
When he, to boast or to disperse his ftores
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Vifits the world, and in his flying towers
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours;
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants,
Cities in defarts, woods in cities plants.
So that to us no thing, no place is strange,
While his fair bofom is the world's exchange.
O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!