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Our former chiefs, like sticklers of the war,
First fought t’inflame the parties, then to poise;
The quarrel lov'd, but did the cause abhor,
And did not strike to hurt but make a noise.
War, our consumption, was their gainful trade:
He inward bled whilst they prolong'd our pain;
He fought to end our fighting, and essay'd
To staunch the blood by breathing of the vein.
Swift and resistless thro' the land he past,
Like that bold Greek who did the East subduc,
And made to battles such heroic haste,
As if on wings of victory he flew.
He fought secure of Fortune as of Fame:
Still by new maps the island might be shown
Of conquests, which he strew'd where'er he came,
Thick as the Galaxy with stars is sown
His palms, tho' under weights they did not stand,
Still thriv'd: no winter could his laurels fade;
Heav'n in his portrait shew'd a workman's hand,
And drew it perfect, yet without a shade.
Peace was the prize of all his toil and care,
Which War had banish'd, and did now restore:
Bolognia's walls thus mounted in the air,
To seat themselves more surely than before.
Her safety rescu'd Ireland to him owes;
And treach'rous Scotland, to no intrest true,
Yet bless'd that fate which did his arms dispose
Her land to civilize as to subdue.
Nor was he like those stars which only shine
When to pale mariners they storms portend; 70
He had his calmer influence, and his mien
Did love and majesty together blend.
'Tis true his count'nance did imprint an awe,
And nat'rally all souls to his did bow,
As wands of divination downward draw,
And point to beds where sov'reign gold doth grow.
When past all off'rings to Feretrian Jove,
He Mars depos’d, and arms to gowns made yield,
Successful councils did him soon approve
As fit for close intrigues as open field.
To suppliant Holland he vouchsaf'd a peace,
Our once bold rival of the British main,
Now tamely glad her unjust claim to cease,
And buy our friendship with her idol, Gain,
Fame of th' asserted sea thro' Europe blown,
Made France and Spain ambitious of his love;
Each knew that side must conquer he would own,
And for him fiercely as for empire strove.
No sooner was the Frenchman's cause embrac!d,
Than the light Monsieur the grave Don outweigh’d;.
His fortune turn'd the scale where'er 'twas cast, 91
Tho' Indian mines were in the other laid.
When absent, yet we conquer'd in his right;
For tho' some meaner artist's skill were shown
In mingling colours, or in placing light,
Yet still the fair designment was his own.
For from all tempers he could service draw;
The worth of each with its alloy he knew,
And, as the confidant of Nature, saw
How she complexions did divide and brew.
Or he their single virtues did survey,
By intuition in his own large breast,
Where all the rich ideas of them lay,
That were the rule and measure to the rest.
When such heroic virtue Heav'n sets out,
The stars, like commons, sullenly obey;
Because it drains them when it comes about,
And therefore is a tax they seldom pay.
From this high spring our foreign conquests flow,
Which yet more glorious triumphs do portend;
Since their commencement to his arms they owe,
If springs as high as fountains may ascend.
He made us freemen of the Continent,
Whom Nature did like captives treat before ;
To nobler preys the English Lion sent,
And taught him first in Belgian walks to roar.
That old unquestion d pirate of the land,
Proud Rome, with dread the fate of Dunkirk heard,
And, trembling, wish'd behind more Alps to stand,
Altho'an Alexander were her guard.
By his command we boldly cross'd the line,
And bravely fought where southern stars arise;
We trac'd the far-fetch'd gold unto the mine,
And that which brib'd our fathers made our prise.
Such was our Prince; yet own'd a soul above
The highest acts it could produce to show;
Thus poor mechanic arts in public move,
Whilst the deep secrets beyond practice go.
Nor dy'd he when his ebbing fame went less,
But when fresh laurels courted him to live;
He seem'd but to prevent some new success,
As if above what triumphs earth can give.
His latest victories still thickest came,
As near the centre motion doth increase;
Till he, press'd down by his own wcighty name,
Did like the Vestal under spoils decrease.
But first the Ocean as a tribute sent
That giant prince of all her wat’ry herd;
And th' isle, when her protecting genius went,
Upon his obsequies loud sighs conferr'd
No civil broils have since his death arose,
But Faction now by habit does obey,
And Wars have that respect for his repose
As winds for halcyons when they breed at sea.
His ashes in a peaceful urn shall rest;
His name a great example stands, to show
How strangely high endeavours may be blest,
Where piety and valour jointly go.