Page images
PDF
EPUB

His heart's delight, who was that glorious star
Which beautified the value of our land,
The lights of whose perfections brighter are
Than all the lamps which in the lustre stand
Of heaven's forehead, by discretion scann'd:

Wit's ornament, earth's love, love's paradise,
A saint divine, a beauty fairly wise.

A beauty fairly wise, wisely discreet
In winking mildly at the tongue of rumour;
A saint, merely divine, divinely sweet,
In banishing the pride of idle humour,
Not relishing the vanity of tumour,

More than to a female of so high a race:
With meekness bearing sorrow's sad disgrace.

A sad disgrace! O that the eyes of sense
Should pry

into the nature of the worst;
Poor fortune's envy, greatness, eminence,
Because themselves in worldly cares are nurs’d,
Deluding types of honour as accurs’d:

When they themselves are most accurs'd of all,
Who being lowest lower cannot fall.

Even as a quire of model-tuning birds,
Chirping their lays in nature's pliant strain,
Even so these courtiers flow'd in terms of words,
Until the nightingale in sweet complain,
Did urge the rest as ravish'd to refrain:

So this heart-stealing goddess charm’d their ears
To hear her fluent wit, they blush at theirs.

Let merit take her due, unfeed I write,
Compell’d by instance of apparent right,
Nor chok'd with private hopes do I indite,
But led by truth as known as is the light,
By proof as clear as day, as day as bright:

I reck not taunting mocks, but pity rather
The foolish offspring of so vain a father.

a

DEVONSHIRE, I write of thee, a theme of wonder,
Wonder unto posterity succeeding,
A style importing fame, as loud as thunder,
Sounding throughout the world; the times yet breeding,
Shall deify thee by this story's reading :

Making large statues to honorify
Thy name, Memorials' rites to glorify.

As oft as James, the monarch of our peace,
Shall be in after chronicles recited,
In that to heaven's applause and subjects' ease,
England and Scotland he in one united,
A sight with which true Britons were delighted;

So oft shalt thou eternal favour gain,
Who recollectedst Ireland to them twain.

A work of thanks in strengthening the force
Of such an entire empire now secure,
A world within itself, which, while the course
Of heaven continueth lasting, will endure,
Fearless of foreign power, strong and sure:

A bulwark intermur'd with walls of brass,
A like can never be, nor ever was.

'Twas the puissant vigour of thine arm,
'Twas the well-labouring project of thy brain,
Which did allay the further fear of harm,
Enriching Britain with this happy gain
Of blessed peace, which now it doth retain:

It was thy wary resolution brought it,
It was thy ready policy that wrought it.

a

Thou wert a phenix, such a bird is rare,
Rare in this wooden age of avarice,
When thirst of gold, not fame, may best compare
With those of choicest worth, rich men are wise!
• Honest, if honesty consist in vice:

'Strong purses have strong friends; he hath most praise
• Who hath most wealth: O blindness of our days!'

Die thoughts of such corruption, we intend
To shew the substance, not the shadow'd glose;
The praise we speak of doth itself commend,
And needs no ornament, unlike to those
Who by preconion's virtue doth impose

A task upon our quill; not what we would
Do we infer, but what in right we should.

He whom we treat of was a president,
Both for the valiant and judicious,
Both Mercury and Mars were resident
In him at once, sweet words delicious,
And horrid battle were to him auspicious :

Both arms and arguments to force or train,
To win by mildness, or by threats constrain.

Two special beauties chiefly did adorn
His fair, unblemish'd soul, and spotless mind;
To God religious he himself hath borne,
With zealous reverence in zeal enshrin'd;
And to his prince still loyal, ever kind :

At th' one's monarchal government he trembled,
'Cause it the other's deity resembled.

Devout in fervency of ardent love,
Unto the value of salvation,
The due respect of sov'reignty did move
Unto his prince's throne an intimation
Of fear, not mask'd in smooth dissimulation:

He of his race hereafter may be vouch'd,
That he was sound in both, in both untouch'd.

What more yet unremember'd can I say?
And yet what have I said that might suffice ?
He was the trophy of a greater day,
Than time would ever limit to our eyes ;
He was a peer of best approved guise:

He was the best, the most, most best of all,
Heaven's pride, earth's joy, we may him justly call.

Heaven's pride! for heaven into him infused
The quintessence of ripe perfection;
No gift on him bestow'd he hath abused,
But better'd by his better life's direction,
Keeping contempt of virtue in subjection:

A penitential, contrite votary,
To sanctimonious, taintless purity.

QQ

VOL. II.

Earth's joy! for in the earth he liv'd renown'd
By all the excellency of nature's art,
With all the boast and pith of honour crown'd,
That royalty to merit could impart,
The wreath of joys was set beneath his heart:

The light of worth's delight, the Pharaoh's tower,
Which was refulgent by his lordly power.

Thus in the jollity of human pleasure,
Advanced to steps of state and high degree,
Beloved and adored in equal measure,
Of greatest and the meanest fate's decree,
Bent power against his power, for, aye me!

(Fie on that for) while he in glory stood
Of worldly pomp, cold dropp'd his noble blood.

O what Heraclitus would

spare

his

eyes,
To shower tears in showers, and distil
The liquid of a grieved heart's sacrifice,
Which will consume itself? what doleful knell
Of piercing groans will sigh the worst of ill;

The worst of ill, the worst of cruel fate
Could spit even in the bitterness of hate?

[ocr errors]

All ye who hitherto have read his story,
Just panegyrics of heroic deeds,
Prepare your eyes to weep, your hearts to sorry
The wrack of darkness which from death proceeds,
The murder of delight which murder breeds:

Lo, here an alteration briefly chang'd,
Now all but joy, now from all joy estrang'd !

« PreviousContinue »