Page images
PDF
EPUB

Rich as the town which gives the Indies name,
With silver pav'd, and all divine with gold.

CCXCIV.
Already, lab'ring with a mighty fate,
She shakes the rubbish from her mounting brow,
And seems to have renew'd her charter's date,
Which Heav'n will to the death of Time allow,

[ocr errors]

1180

More great than human, now, and more august,
New deified, she from her fires did rise ;
Her wid'ning streets on new foundations trust,
And, op'ning, into larger parts she flies.

CCXCVI.
Before, she like some shepherdess did show,
Who sat to bathe her by a river's side;
Not answering to her fame, but rude and low,
Nor taught the beauteous arts of modern pride.

ccxcvi.
Now, like a maiden queen, she will behold,
From her high turrets, hourly suitors come:
The East with incense, and the West with gold,
Will stand like suppliants to receive her doom.

ccxcviti.
The silent Thames, her own domestic flood,
Shall bear her vessels like a sweeping train; 1190
And often wind, as of his mistress proud,
With longing eyes to meet her face again.

CCXCIX.

The wealthy Tagus, and the wealthier Rhine,
The glory of their towns no more shall boast,

And Seine, that would with Belgian rivers join,
Shall find her lustre stain'd and traffic lost.

ссс.
The vent'rous merchant, who design'd more far,
And touches on our hospitable shore,
Charm'd with the splendor of this Northern star,
Shall here unlade him, and depart no more, 1200

CCCI.

Our pow'rful navy shall no longer meet,
The wealth of France or Holland to invade;.
The beauty of this Town, without a fleet,
From all the world shall vindicate her trade.

CCCII.

1110

And while this fam'd emporium we prepare,
The British ocean shall such triumphs boast,
That those who now disdain our trade to share,
Shall rob, like pirates, on our wealthy coast.

cccini.
Already we have conquer'd half the war,
And the less dang’rous part is left behind;
Our trouble now is but to make them dare,
And not so great to vanquish as to find.

CCCIV.
Thus to the Eastern wealth thro' storms we go,

the Cape once doubled, fear no more;
A constant trade-wind will securely blow,
And gently lay us on the spicy shore.

1

But now,

BRITANNIA REDIVIVA:
A POEM ON THE PRINCE,

BORN JUNE 10. 1688.

10

o}

OUR vows are heard betimes, and Heav'n takes care
To grant before we can conclude the pray'r;
Preventing angels meet it half the way,
And sent us back to praise who came to pray.

Just on the day when the high-mounted sun
Did farthest in its northern progress run,
He bended forward, and ev'n stretch'd the sphere
Beyond the limits of the lengthen'd year,
To view a brighter sun in Britain born;
That was the bus'ness of his longest morn;
The glorious object seen, 'twas time to turn.

Departing Spring could only stay to shed.
Her gloomy beauties on the genial bed,
But left the manly Summer in her stead,
With timely fruit the longing land to cheer,
And to fulfil the promise of the year.
Betwixt two seasons comes th' auspicious heir,
This age to blossom, and the next to bear.

Last solemn Sabbath saw the church attend,
The Paraclet in fiery pomp descend;

20 But when þis wond'rous octave roll'd again, He brought a royal infant in his train,

30

So great a blessing to so good a King
None but th' eternal Comforter could bring.

Or did the mighty Trinity conspire,
As once in council, to create our sire ?
It seems as if they sent the new-born guest
To wait on the procession of their feast,
And on their sacred anniverse decreed
To stamp their image on the promis'd seed.
Three realms united, and on one bestow'd,
An emblem of their mystic union show'd;
The mighty Time the triple empire shar'd;
As ev'ry person would have one to guard.

Hajl Son of pray'rs! by holý violence
Drawn down from heav'n; but long be banish'd thence,
And late to thy paternal skies retire:
To mend our crimes whole ages would require
To change th' inveterate habit of our sins,
And finish what thy godlike sire begins.
Kind Heav'n, to make us Englishmen again,
No less can give us than a patriarch's reign.

The sacred cradle to your charge receive,
Ye Seraphs! and by turns the guard relieve,
Thy father's angel and thy father join
To keep possession, and secure the line;
But long defer the honours of thy fate;
Great may they be like his, like his be late,
That James his running century may view,
And give this son an auspice to the new.

50

Our wants exact at least that moderate stay ;
For see the Dragon winged on his way
To watch the travail and devour the prey.
Or, if allusions may not rise so high,
Thus, when Alcides rais'd his infant cry,
The snakes besieg'd his young divinity;
But vainly with their forked tongues they threat,
For opposition makes a hero great.
To needful succour all the good will run,
And Jove assert the godhead of his son.

65
O still repining at your present state,
Grudging yourselves the benefits of Fate,
Look up, and read, in characters of light,
A blessing sent you in your own despight.
The manna falls, yet that celestial bread,
Like Jews, you munch, and murmur while you feed;
May not your fortune be like theirs, exil'd,
Yet forty years to wander in the wild ?
Or if it be, may Moses live at least
To lead you to the verge of promis'd rest.

70 Tho' poets are not prophets, to foreknow What plants will take the blight, and what will grow, By tracing heav'n his footsteps may be found : Behold! how awfully he walks the round! God is abroad, and wond'rous in his ways, The rise of empires and their fall surveys : More (might I say) than with an usual eye, He sees his bleeding church in ruin lie, And hears the souls of saints beneath his altar cry. Volume 1.

K

« PreviousContinue »