« PreviousContinue »
Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise,
And all her jealous monarchs with amaze
And rumors loud, that daunt remotest kings,
Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings 5
Vićtory home, though new rebellions raise
Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays
Her broken league to imp their serpent wings.
O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,
(For what can war, but endless war still breed?) io
Till truth and right from violence be freed,
And public faith clear'd from the shameful brand
Of public fraud. In vain doth valor bleed,
While avarice and rapin share the land.
To the Lord General C R O M W E L L.
Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thyglorious way hast plough'd,
And on the neck of crowned fortune proud 5
Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued,
While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued,
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud,
And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains
To Sir H E M R Y V A N E the younger.
Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old,
Than whom a better senator ne'er held
The helm of Rome, when gowns not arms repell'd
The fierce Epirot and the African bold,
Whether to settle peace, or to unfold 5
The drift of hollow states hard to be spell'd,
Then to advise how war may best upheld
Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,
In all her equipage: besides to know 9
Both spiritual pow'r and civil, what each means,
What severs each, thou hastlearn'd, which few have
The bounds of either sword to thee we owe: (done:
Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans
In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.
When all our fathers worshipt stocks and stones, Forget not: in thy book record their groans 5
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piemontese that roll'd
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heav'n. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow Io
O'er all th’Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple Tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundred fold, who having learn'd thy way
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
On his Blindness.
Cyriac, whose grandfire on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounc'd and in his volumes taught our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench 5
In mirth, that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intends, and what the French.
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way; Io For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show, That with superfluous burden loads the day, And when God sends a chearful hour, refrains.