1 CAN the fond Mother from herself depart,
2 Can she forget the darling of her heart,
3 The little darling whom she bore and bred,
4 Nurs'd on her knees, and at her bosom fed?
5 To whom, she seem'd her ev'ry thought to give,
6 And in whose life alone, she seem'd to live?
7 Yes, from herself, the mother may depart,
8 She may forget the darling of her heart,
9 The little darling, whom she bore and bred,
10 Nurs'd on her knees, and at her bosom fed,
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11 To whom she seem'd her ev'ry thought to give,
12 And in whose life alone, she seem'd to live;
13 But I cannot forget, whilst life remains,
14 And pours her current thro' these swelling veins,
15 Whilst Mem'ry offers up at Reason's shrine,
16 But I cannot forget, that GOTHAM's mine.
17 Can the stern Mother, than the brutes more wild,
18 From her disnatur'd breast, tear her young child,
19 Flesh of her flesh, and of her bone the bone,
20 And dash the smiling babe against a stone?
21 Yes, the stern Mother, than the brutes more wild,
22 From her disnatur'd breast, may tear her child;
23 Flesh of her flesh, and of her bone the bone,
24 And dash the smiling babe against a stone;
25 But I, forbid it Heav'n, but I can ne'er
26 The love of GOTHAM, from this bosom tear,
27 Can ne'er so far true Royalty pervert
28 From its fair course, to do my people hurt.
29 With how much ease, with how much confidence,
30 As if, superior to each grosser sense,
31 Reason had only, in full pow'r array'd,
32 To manifest her Will, and be obey'd,
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33 Men make resolves, and pass into decrees
34 The motions of the Mind! with how much ease
35 In such resolves, doth passion make a flaw,
36 And bring to nothing, what was rais'd to law.
37 In empire young, scarce warm on GOTHAM'S throne,
38 The dangers, and the sweets of pow'r, unknown,
39 Pleas'd, tho' I scarce know why, like some young child,
40 Whose little senses each new toy turns wild,
41 How do I hold sweet dalliance with my crown,
42 And wanton with dominion, how lay down,
43 Without the sanction of a precedent,
44 Rules of most large and absolute extent;
45 Rules, which from sense of public virtue spring,
46 And, all at once, commence a PATRIOT KING.
47 But, for the day of tryal is at hand,
48 And the whole fortunes of a mighty land
49 Are stak'd on me, and all their Weal or Woe
50 Must from my Good, or Evil Conduct flow,
51 Will I, or can I, on a fair review,
52 As I assume that name, deserve it too?
53 Have I well weigh'd the great, the noble part
54 I'm now to play? Have I explor'd my Heart,
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55 That labyrinth of fraud, that deep, dark cell,
56 Where, unsuspected e'en by me, may dwell
57 Ten thousand follies? Have I found out there
58 What I am fit to do, and what to bear?
59 Have I trac'd ev'ry passion to its rise,
60 Nor spar'd one lurking seed of treach'rous vice?
61 Have I, familiar with my nature grown,
62 And am I fairly to myself made known?
63 A PATRIOT KING Why 'tis a name which bears
64 The more immediate stamp of Heav'n, which wears
65 The nearest, best resemblance we can shew
66 Of God above, thro' all his works below.
67 To still the voice of discord in the land,
68 To make weak faction's discontented band,
69 Detected, weak, and crumbling, to decay,
70 With hunger pinch'd, on their own vitals prey;
71 Like brethren, in the self-same int'rests warm'd,
72 Like diff'rent bodies, with one soul inform'd,
73 To make a nation, nobly rais'd above
74 All meaner thoughts, grow up in common love;
75 To give the laws due vigour, and to hold
76 That sacred ballance, temperate, yet bold,
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77 With such an equal hand, that those who fear
78 May yet approve, and own my justice clear;
79 To be a Common Father, to secure
80 The weak from violence, from pride the poor;
81 Vice, and her sons, to banish in disgrace,
82 To make Corruption dread to shew her face,
83 To bid afflicted Virtue take new state,
84 And be, at last, acquainted with the great;
85 Of all Religions to elect the best,
86 Nor let her priests be made a standing jest;
87 Rewards for Worth, with lib'ral hand to carve,
88 To love the Arts, nor let the Artists starve;
89 To make fair Plenty through the realm increase,
90 Give Fame in War, and happiness in Peace,
91 To see my people virtuous, great and free,
92 And know that all those blessings flow from me,
93 O 'tis a joy too exquisite, a thought
94 Which flatters Nature more than flatt'ry ought.
95 'Tis a great, glorious task, for Man too hard,
96 But not less great, less glorious the reward,
97 The best reward which here to Man is giv'n,
98 'Tis more than Earth, and little short of Heav'n;
99 A task (if such comparison may be)
100 The same in nature, diff'ring in degree,
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101 Like that which God, on whom for aid I call,
102 Performs with ease, and yet performs to all.
103 How much do they mistake, how little know
104 Of kings, of kingdoms, and the pains which flow
105 From royalty, who fancy that a crown
106 Because it glistens, must be lin'd with down.
107 With outside show, and vain appearance caught
108 They look no farther, and, by Folly taught,
109 Prize high the toys of thrones, but never find
110 One of the many cares which lurk behind.
111 The gem they worship, which a crown adorns,
112 Nor once suspect that crown is lin'd with thorns.
113 O might Reflection Folly's place supply,
114 Would we one moment use her piercing eye,
115 Then should we learn what woe from grandeur springs,
116 And learn to pity, not to envy kings.
117 The villager, born humbly and bred hard,
118 Content his wealth, and Poverty his guard,
119 In action simply just, in conscience clear,
120 By guilt untainted, undisturb'd by fear,
121 His means but scanty, and his wants but few,
122 Labour his business and his pleasure too,
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123 Enjoys more comforts in a single hour,
124 Than ages give the Wretch condemn'd to Pow'r.
125 Call'd up by health, he rises with the day,
126 And goes to work, as if he went to play,
127 Whistling off toils, one half of which might make
128 The stoutest ATLAS of a palace quake;
129 'Gainst heat and cold, which make us cowards faint,
130 Harden'd by constant use, without complaint
131 He bears, what we should think it death to bear;
132 Short are his meals, and homely is his fare;
133 His thirst he slakes at some pure neighb'ring brook,
134 Nor asks for sauce where appetite stands cook.
135 When the dews fall and when the Sun retires
136 Behind the Mountains, when the village fires,
137 Which, waken'd all at once, speak supper nigh,
138 At distance catch, and fix his longing eye,
139 Homeward he hies, and with his manly brood
140 Of raw-bon'd cubs, enjoys that clean, coarse food,
141 Which, season'd with Good Humour, his fond Bride
142 'Gainst his return is happy to provide.
143 Then, free from care, and free from thought, he creeps
144 Into his straw, and till the morning sleeps.
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145 Not so the King with anxious cares oppress'd,
146 His bosom labours, and admits not rest.
147 A glorious Wretch, he sweats beneath the Weight
148 Of Majesty, and gives up ease for state.
149 E'en when his smiles, which, by the fools of pride,
150 Are treasur'd and preserv'd from side to side
151 Fly round the court, e'en when, compell'd by form,
152 He seems most calm, his soul is in a storm!
153 CARE, like a spectre, seen by him alone,
154 With all her nest of vipers, round his throne
155 By day crawls full in view; when Night bids sleep,
156 Sweet nurse of Nature, o'er the senses creep,
157 When Misery herself, no more complains,
158 And slaves, if possible, forget their chains,
159 Tho' his sense weakens, tho' his eye grows dim,
160 That rest which comes to all, comes not to him.
161 E'en at that hour, CARE, tyrant CARE, forbids,
162 The dew of sleep to fall upon his lids;
163 From night to night she watches at his bed;
164 Now, as one mop'd, sits brooding o'er his head,
165 Anon she starts, and, borne on raven's wings,
166 Croaks forth aloud Sleep was not made for kings.
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167 Thrice hath the Moon, who governs this vast ball,
168 Who rules most absolute o'er me, and all,
169 To whom, by full conviction taught to bow,
170 At new, at full I pay the duteous vow,
171 Thrice hath the Moon her wonted course pursu'd,
172 Thrice hath she lost her form, and thrice renew'd.
173 Since (blessed be that season, for before
174 I was a mere, mere mortal, and no more,
175 One of the herd, a lump of common clay,
176 Inform'd with life, to die and pass away)
177 Since I became a king, and GOTHAM'S throne,
178 With full and ample pow'r, became my own;
179 Thrice hath the Moon her wonted course pursu'd,
180 Thrice hath she lost her form, and thrice renew'd,
181 Since Sleep, kind Sleep, who like a friend supplies
182 New vigour for new toil, hath clos'd these eyes.
183 Nor, if my toils are answer'd with success,
184 And I am made an instrument to bless
185 The people whom I love, shall I repine;
186 Theirs be the benefit, the labour mine.
187 Mindful of that high rank in which I stand,
188 Of millions Lord, sole ruler in the land,
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189 Let me, and Reason shall her aid afford,
190 Rule my own spirit, of myself be lord.
191 With an ill grace that monarch wears his crown,
192 Who, stern and hard of nature, wears a frown
193 'Gainst faults in other men, yet all the while,
194 Meets his own vices with a partial smile.
195 How can a king (yet on record we find
196 Such kings have been, such curses of mankind)
197 Enforce that law, 'gainst some poor subject elf,
198 Which Conscience tells him he hath broke himself?
199 Can he some petty rogue to Justice call
200 For robbing one, when he himself robs all?
201 Must not, unless extinguish'd, Conscience fly
202 Into his cheek, and blast his fading eye,
203 To scourge th' oppressor, when the State, distress'd
204 And sunk to ruin, is by him oppress'd?
205 Against himself doth he not sentence give?
206 If one must die, t'other's not fit to live.
207 Weak is that throne, and in itself unsound
208 Which takes not solid virtue for its ground.
209 All envy pow'r in others, and complain
210 Of that which they would perish to obtain.
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211 Nor can those spirits, turbulent and bold,
212 Not to be aw'd by threats, nor bought with gold,
213 Be hush'd to peace, but when fair, legal sway,
214 Makes it their real int'rest to obey,
215 When kings, and none but fools can then rebel,
216 Not less in Virtue, than in Pow'r excell.
217 Be that my object, that my constant care,
218 And may my Soul's best Wishes centre there.
219 Be it my task to seek, nor seek in vain,
220 Not only how to live, but how to reign,
221 And, to those Virtues which from Reason spring,
222 And grace the Man, join those which grace the King.
223 First (for strict duty bids my care extend,
224 And reach to all, who on that care depend,
225 Bids me with servants keep a steady hand,
226 And watch o'er all my proxies in the land)
227 First (and that method Reason shall support)
228 Before I look into, and purge my Court,
229 Before I cleanse the stable of the state,
230 Let me fix things which to myself relate.
231 That done, and all accounts well settled here,
232 In Resolution firm, in Honour clear,
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233 Tremble ye Slaves, who dare abuse your trust,
234 Who dare be Villains, when your King is Just.
235 Are there, amongst those officers of State,
236 To whom our sacred pow'r we delegate,
237 Who hold our Place and Office in the Realm,
238 Who, in our name commission'd, guide the Helm,
239 Are there, who, trusting to our love of ease,
240 Oppress our subjects, wrest out just decrees,
241 And make the laws, warp'd from their fair intent,
242 To speak a language which they never meant,
243 Are there such Men, and can the fools depend
244 On holding out in safety to their end?
245 Can they so much, from thoughts of danger free,
246 Deceive themselves, so much misdeem of me,
247 To think that I will prove a Statesman's tool,
248 And live a stranger where I ought to rule?
249 What, to myself and to my State unjust,
250 Shall I from ministers take things on trust,
251 And, sinking low the credit of my throne,
252 Depend upon dependants of my own?
253 Shall I, most certain source of future cares,
254 Not use my Judgment, but depend on their's,
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255 Shall I, true puppet-like, be mock'd with State,
256 Have nothing but the Name of being great,
257 Attend at councils, which I must not weigh,
258 Do, what they bid; and what they dictate, say,
259 Enrob'd, and hoisted up into my chair,
260 Only to be a royal Cypher there?
261 Perish the thought 'tis Treason to my throne
262 And who but thinks it, could his thoughts be known,
263 Insults me more, than He, who, leagu'd with hell,
264 Shall rise in arms, and 'gainst my crown rebell.
265 The wicked Statesman, whose false heart pursues
266 A train of Guilt, who acts with double views,
267 And wears a double face, whose base designs
268 Strike at his Monarch's throne, who undermines
269 E'en whilst he seems his wishes to support,
270 Who seizes all departments, packs a court,
271 Maintains an agent on the Judgement Seat
272 To screen his crimes, and make his frauds complete,
273 New models armies, and around the throne
274 Will suffer none but creatures of his own,
275 Conscious of such his baseness, well may try,
276 Against the light to shut his master's eye,
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277 To keep him coop'd, and far remov'd from those,
278 Who, brave and honest, dare his crimes disclose,
279 Nor ever let him in one place appear,
280 Where Truth, unwelcome Truth, may wound his Ear.
281 Attempts like these, well weigh'd, themselves proclaim,
282 And, whilst they publish, baulk their Author's aim.
283 Kings must be blind, into such snares to run,
284 Or worse, with open eyes must be undone.
285 The minister of Honesty and Worth,
286 Demands the Day to bring his actions forth,
287 Calls on the Sun to shine with fiercer rays
288 And braves that trial which must end in praise.
289 None fly the Day, and seek the shades of Night,
290 But those whose actions cannot bear the Light;
291 None wish their King in Ignorance to hold,
292 But those who feel that knowledge must unfold
293 Their hidden Guilt, and, that dark mist dispell'd
294 By which their places and their lives are held,
295 Confusion wait them, and, by Justice led,
296 In vengeance fall on ev'ry traitor's head.
297 Aware of this, and caution'd 'gainst the pit
298 Where Kings have oft been lost, shall I submit
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299 And rust in chains like these? Shall I give way,
300 And whilst my helpless subjects fall a prey
301 To pow'r abus'd, in Ignorance sit down,
302 Nor dare assert the honour of my crown?
303 When stern REBELLION, (if that odious name
304 Justly belongs to those, whose only aim
305 Is to preserve their Country, who oppose
306 In honour leagu'd, none but their Country's foes,
307 Who only seek their own, and found their Cause
308 In due regard for violated laws,)
309 When stern REBELLION, who no longer feels,
310 Nor fears Rebuke, a nation at her heels,
311 A nation up in arms, tho' strong not proud,
312 Knocks at the Palace gate, and, calling loud
313 For due redress, presents, from Truth's fair pen,
314 A list of wrongs, not to be borne by men,
315 How must that King be humbled, how disgrace
316 All that is royal, in his name and place,
317 Who, thus call'd forth to answer, can advance
318 No other plea but that of IGNORANCE.
319 A vile defence, which, was his All at stake,
320 The meanest subject well might blush to make;
321 A filthy source, from whence Shame ever springs;
322 A Stain to all, but most a Stain to Kings.
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323 The Soul, with great and manly feelings warm'd,
324 Panting for Knowledge, rests not till inform'd,
325 And shall not I, fir'd with the glorious zeal,
326 Feel those brave passions, which my subjects feel,
327 Or can a just excuse from Ign'rance flow
328 To Me, whose first, great duty is To KNOW.
329 Hence IGNORANCE thy settled, dull, blank eye
330 Wou'd hurt me, tho' I knew no reason why
331 Hence IGNORANCE thy slavish shackles bind
332 The free-born Soul, and lethargy the mind
333 Of thee, begot by PRIDE, who look'd with scorn
334 On ev'ry meaner match, of thee was born
335 That grave Inflexibility of Soul,
336 Which Reason can't convince, nor Fear controul,
337 Which neither arguments, nor pray'rs can reach,
338 And nothing less than utter Ruin teach
339 Hence IGNORANCE hence to that depth of Night,
340 Where thou wast born, where not one gleam of light
341 May wound thine eye hence to some dreary cell
342 Where Monks with Superstition love to dwell,
343 Or in some college soothe thy lazy pride,
344 And with the Heads of colleges reside,
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345 Fit mate for Royalty thou can'st not be,
346 And if no mate for kings, no mate for me.
347 Come STUDY, like a torrent swell'd with rains,
348 Which, rushing down the mountains, o'er the plains
349 Spreads horror wide, and yet, in horror kind,
350 Leaves feeds of future fruitfulness behind,
351 Come STUDY painful tho' thy course and slow,
352 Thy real worth by thy effects we know
353 Parent of Knowledge, come not Thee I call,
354 Who, grave and dull, in college or in hall,
355 Dost fit, all solemn sad, and moping weigh
356 Things, which when found, thy labours can't repay
357 Nor, in one hand, fit emblem of thy trade,
358 A Rod, in t'other, gaudily array'd
359 A Hornbook, gilt and letter'd, call I Thee,
360 Who dost in form preside o'er A, B, C
361 Nor, Siren tho' thou art, and thy strange charms,
362 As 'twere by magic, lure men to thy arms,
363 Do I call Thee, who thro' a winding maze,
364 A labyrinth of puzzling, pleasing ways,
365 Dost lead us at the last to those rich plains,
366 Where, in full glory, real SCIENCE reigns.
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367 Fair tho' thou art, and lovely to mine eye,
368 Tho' full rewards in thy possession lie
369 To crown Man's wish, and do thy fav'rites grace,
370 Tho' (was I station'd in an humbler place,)
371 I could be ever happy in thy sight,
372 Toil with thee all the day, and thro' the night
373 Toil on from watch to watch, bidding my eye,
374 Fast rivetted on SCIENCE, sleep defy,
375 Yet, (such the hardships which from empire flow)
376 Must I thy sweet society forego,
377 And to some happy rival's arms resign
378 Those charms, which can alas! no more be mine.
379 No more, from hour to hour, from day to day,
380 Shall I pursue thy steps, and urge my way
381 Where eager love of SCIENCE calls, no more
382 Attempt those paths which Man ne'er trod before.
383 No more, the mountain scal'd, the desart crost,
384 Losing myself, nor knowing I was lost,
385 Travel thro' woods, thro' wilds, from Morn to Night,
386 From Night to Morn, yet travel with delight,
387 And having found thee, lay me down content,
388 Own all my toil well paid, my time well spent.
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389 Farewell ye MUSES too for such mean things
390 Must not presume to dwell with mighty Kings
391 Farewell ye MUSES tho' it cuts my heart
392 E'en to the quick, we must for ever part.
393 When the fresh Morn bade lusty Nature wake;
394 When the Birds, sweetly twitt'ring thro' the brake,
395 Tun'd their soft pipes; when from the neighb'ring bloom,
396 Sipping the dew, each Zephyr stole persume;
397 When all things with new vigour were inspir'd,
398 And seem'd to say they never could be tir'd;
399 How often have we stray'd, whilst sportive Rhime
400 Deceiv'd the way, and clipp'd the wings of Time,
401 O'er hill, o'er dale! how often laugh'd to see,
402 Yourselves made visible to none but me,
403 The clown, his Work suspended, gape and stare,
404 And seem to think that I convers'd with Air!
405 When the Sun, beating on the parched soil,
406 Seem'd to proclaim an interval of toil,
407 When a faint languor crept thro' ev'ry breast,
408 And things most us'd to labour, wish'd for rest,
409 How often, underneath a rev'rend oak,
410 Where safe, and fearless of the impious stroke
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411 Some sacred DRYAD liv'd, or in some grove,
412 Where with capricious fingers FANCY wove
413 Her fairy bow'r, whilst NATURE all the while
414 Look'd on, and view'd her mock'ries with a smile
415 How we held converse sweet! how often laid,
416 Fast by the Thames, in HAM'S inspiring shade,
417 Amongst those Poets, which make up your train,
418 And, after death, pour forth the sacred Strain,
419 Have I, at your command, in verse grown grey,
420 Put not impaired, heard DRYDEN tune that lay,
421 Which might have drawn an Angel from his sphere,
422 And kept him from his office list'ning here.
423 When dreary NIGHT, with MORPHEUS in her train,
424 Led on by SILENCE to resume her reign,
425 With Darkness covering, as with a robe,
426 This scene of Levity, blank'd half the globe,
427 How oft', enchanted with your heav'nly strains,
428 Which stole me from myself, which in soft chains
429 Of Musick bound my soul, how oft' have I,
430 Sounds more than human floating thro' the Sky,
431 Attentive sat, whilst NIGHT, against her Will.
432 Transported with the harmony, stood still!
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433 How oft' in raptures, which Man scarce could bear,
434 Have I, when gone, still thought the Muses there,
435 Still heard their Music, and, as mute as death,
436 Sat all attention, drew in ev'ry Breath,
437 Lest, breathing all too rudely, I should wound,
438 And marr that magic excellence of sound:
439 Then, Sense returning with return of Day,
440 Have chid the Night, which fled so fast away.
441 Such my Pursuits, and such my Joys of yore,
442 Such were my Mates, but now my Mates no more.
443 Plac'd out of Envy's walk, (for Envy sure
444 Would never haunt the cottage of the Poor,
445 Would never stoop to wound my homespun lays)
446 With some few Friends, and some small share of Praise,
447 Beneath Oppression, undisturb'd by Strife,
448 In Peace I trod the humble vale of Life.
449 Farewell these scenes of ease, this tranquil state;
450 Welcome the troubles which on Empire wait.
451 Light toys from this day forth I disavow,
452 They pleas'd me once, but cannot suit me now;
453 To common Men all common things are free,
454 What honours them might fix disgrace on me.
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455 Call'd to a throne, and o'er a mighty land
456 Ordain'd to rule, my head, my heart, my hand
457 Are all engross'd, each private view withstood,
458 And task'd to labour for the Public Good;
459 Be this my study, to this one great end
460 May ev'ry thought, may ev'ry action tend.
461 Let me the page of History turn o'er,
462 Th' instructive page, and heedfully explore
463 What faithful pens of former times have wrote,
464 Of former kings; what they did worthy note,
465 What worthy blame, and from the sacred tomb
466 Where righteous Monarchs sleep, where laurels bloom
467 Unhurt by Time, let me a garland twine,
468 Which, robbing not their Fame, may add to mine.
469 Nor let me with a vain and idle eye
470 Glance o'er those scenes, and in a hurry fly
471 Quick as a Post which travels day and night,
472 Nor let me dwell there, lur'd by false delight,
473 And, into barren theory betray'd,
474 Forget that Monarchs are for action made.
475 When am'rous SPRING, repairing all his charms,
476 Calls Nature forth from hoary Winter's arms,
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477 Where, like a Virgin to some letcher sold,
478 Three wretched months, she lay benumb'd, and cold;
479 When the weak Flow'r, which, shrinking from the breath
480 Of the rude North, and, timorous of Death,
481 To its kind Mother Earth for shelter fled,
482 And on her bosom hid its tender head,
483 Peeps forth afresh, and, chear'd by milder skies,
484 Bids in full splendour all her beauties rise;
485 The Hive is up in arms expert to teach,
486 Nor, proudly, to be taught unwilling, each
487 Seems from her fellow a new zeal to catch;
488 Strength in her limbs, and on her wings dispatch,
489 The BEE goes forth; from herb to herb she flies,
490 From Flow'r to Flow'r, and loads her lab'ring thighs
491 With treasur'd sweets, robbing those Flow'rs, which left,
492 Find not themselves made poorer by the theft,
493 Their scents as lively, and their looks as fair,
494 As if the pillager had not been there.
495 Ne'er doth she flit on Pleasure's silken Wing,
496 Ne'er doth she, loit'ring, let the bloom of Spring
497 Unrifled pass, and on the downy breast
498 Of some fair Flow'r indulge untimely rest.
499 Ne'er doth she, drinking deep of those rich dews
500 Which Chymist Night prepar'd, that faith abuse
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501 Due to the hive, and, selfish in her toils,
502 To her own private use convert the spoils.
503 Love of the Stock first call'd her forth to roam,
504 And to the Stock she brings her booty Home.
505 Be this my Pattern As becomes a King,
506 Let me fly all abroad on Reason's wing,
507 Let mine eye, like the Light'ning, thro' the Earth
508 Run to and fro, nor let one deed of Worth,
509 In any Place and Time, nor let one Man
510 Whose actions may enrich Dominion's plan,
511 Escape my Note; be all, from the first day
512 Of Nature to this hour, be all my prey.
513 From those, whom Time at the desire of Fame
514 Hath spar'd, let Virtue catch an equal flame;
515 From those, who not in mercy, but in rage,
516 Time hath repriev'd to damn from age to age,
517 Let me take warning, lesson'd to distill,
518 And, imitating Heav'n, draw Good from Ill.
519 Nor let these great researches in my breast
520 A monument of useless labour rest,
521 No let them spread th' effects let GOTHAM share,
522 And reap the harvest of their Monarch's care,
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523 Be other Times, and other Countries known,
524 Only to give fresh Blessings to my own.
525 Let me (and may that God to whom I fly,
526 On whom for needful succour I rely
527 In this great Hour, that glorious God of Truth,
528 Thro' whom I reign, in mercy to my youth,
529 Assist my weakness, and, direct me right,
530 From ev'ry speck which hangs upon the Sight,
531 Purge my mind's eye, nor let one cloud remain
532 To spread the shades of error o'er my Brain)
533 Let me, Impartial, with unweary'd thought,
534 Try Men and Things; let me, as Monarchs ought,
535 Examine well on what my Pow'r depends,
536 What are the gen'ral Principles, and Ends
537 Of Government, how Empire first began,
538 And wherefore Man was rais'd to reign o'er Man.
539 Let me consider, as from one great Source
540 We see a thousand rivers take their course,
541 Dispers'd, and into diff'rent channels led,
542 Yet by their Parent still supply'd and fed,
543 That Government, (tho' branch'd out far and wide,
544 In various Modes to various lands applied)
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545 Howe'er it differs in its outward frame,
546 In the main Ground-work's ev'ry where the same;
547 The same her view, tho' different her plan,
548 Her grand and gen'ral view, the Good of Man.
549 Let me find out, by Reason's sacred beams,
550 What System in itself most perfect seems,
551 Most worthy Man, most likely to conduce
552 To all the purposes of gen'ral use;
553 Let me find too, where, by fair Reason try'd,
554 It fails, when to Particulars appli'd,
555 Why in that mode all Nations do not join,
556 And, chiefly, why it cannot suit with mine.
557 Let me the gradual Rise of empires trace
558 'Till they seem'd founded on Perfection's base,
559 Then (for when human things have made their way
560 To Excellence, they hasten to decay)
561 Let me, whilst Observation lends her clue,
562 Step by Step, to their quick Decline pursue,
563 Enabled by a chain of Facts to tell
564 Not only how they rose, but how they fell.
[Page 27]
565 Let me not only the distempers know
566 Which in all States from common causes grow,
567 But likewise those, which by the will of Fate,
568 On each peculiar mode of Empire wait,
569 Which in its very Constitution lurk,
570 Too sure at last, to do its destin'd work;
571 Let me, forewarn'd, each Sign, each System learn,
572 That I my people's danger may discern,
573 E'er 'tis too late wish'd Health to re-assure,
574 And, if it can be found, find out a cure.
575 Let me (tho' great, grave Brethren of the gown,
576 Preach all Faith up, and preach all Reason down,
577 Making those jar, whom Reason meant to join,
578 And vesting in themselves a right divine)
579 Let me, thro' Reason's glass, with searching eye,
580 Into the depth of that Religion pry,
581 Which Law hath sanction'd; let me find out there
582 What's Form, what's Essence; what, like vagrant Air,
583 We well may change; and what, without a crime,
584 Cannot be chang'd to the last Hour of Time.
585 Nor let me suffer that outrageous zeal,
586 Which, without knowledge, furious Bigots feel,
[Page 28]
587 Fair in pretence, tho' at the heart unfound,
588 These sep'rate points at random to confound.
589 The Times have been, when priests have dar'd to tread,
590 Proud and insulting, on their Monarch's head,
591 When, whilst they made Religion a pretence,
592 Out of the World they banish'd common sense,
593 When some soft King, too open to deceit,
594 Easy and unsuspecting, join'd the cheat,
595 Dup'd by mock Piety, and gave his name
596 To serve the vilest purposes of shame.
597 Fear not, my People, where no cause of fear
598 Can justly rise Your King secures you here,
599 Your King, who scorns the haughty prelate's nod,
600 Nor deems the voice of priests, the voice of God.
601 Let me (tho' Lawyers may perhaps forbid
602 Their Monarch to behold what they wish hid,
603 And, for the purposes of knavish gain,
604 Would have their trade a mystery remain)
605 Let me, disdaining all such slavish awe,
606 Dive to the very bottom of the Law;
607 Let me (the weak, dead letter left behind)
608 Search out the Principles, the Spirit find,
[Page 29]
609 Till, from the parts, made master of the whole,
610 I see the Constitution's very Soul.
611 Let me (tho' Statesmen will no doubt resist,
612 And to my eyes present a fearful lift
613 Of men, whose wills are opposite to mine,
614 Of men, great men, determin'd to resign)
615 Let me (with firmness, which becomes a King,
616 Conscious from what a source my actions spring,
617 Determin'd not by worlds to be withstood,
618 When my grand object is my Country's Good)
619 Unravel all low Ministerial scenes,
620 Destroy their jobs, lay bare their ways and means,
621 And track them step by step; let me well know
622 How Places, Pensions, and Preferments go,
623 Why Guilt's provided for, when Worth is not,
624 And why one Man of merit is forgot,
625 Let me in Peace, in War, Supreme preside,
626 And dare to know my way without a Guide.
627 Let me (tho' Dignity, by nature proud,
628 Retires from view, and swells behind a cloud,
629 As if the Sun shone with less pow'rful ray,
630 Less Grace, less Glory, shining ev'ry day;
[Page 30]
631 Tho' when she comes forth into public sight,
632 Unbending as a Ghost, she stalks upright,
633 With such an air as we have often seen,
634 And often laugh'd at in a tragic queen,
635 Nor, at her presence, tho' base Myriads crook
636 The supple knee, vouchsafes a single look.
637 Let me (all vain parade, all empty pride,
638 All terrors of Dominion laid aside,
639 All ornament, and needless helps of art,
640 All those big looks, which speak a little Heart)
641 Know (which few Kings alas! have ever known)
642 How Affability becomes a Throne,
643 Destroys all fear, bids Love with Rev'rence live,
644 And gives those Graces Pride can never give.
645 Let the stern Tyrant keep a distant state,
646 And, hating all Men, fear return of Hate,
647 Conscious of Guilt, retreat behind his throne,
648 Secure from all upbraidings but his own,
649 Let all my Subjects have access to Me,
650 Be my ears open as my heart is free;
651 In full, fair tide, let Information flow,
652 That evil is half cur'd, whose cause we know.
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653 And thou, where e'er thou art, thou wretched Thing,
654 Who art afraid to look up to a King,
655 Lay by thy fears make but thy grievance plain,
656 And, if I not redress thee, may my Reign
657 Close up that very Moment to prevent
658 The course of JUSTICE, from her fair intent,
659 In vain my nearest, dearest friend shall plead,
660 In vain my mother kneel my soul may bleed,
661 But must not change When JUSTICE draws the dart,
662 Tho' it is doom'd to, pierce a Fav'rite's Heart,
663 'Tis mine to give it force, to give it aim
664 I know it Duty, and I feel it Fame.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): GOTHAM. BOOK III.
Themes: politics; monarchy (heads of state)
Genres: heroic couplet; satire

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Source edition

Churchill, Charles, 1731-1764. Gotham. A poem. Book III. By [ ]. London: printed for the author, and sold by J. Almon; J. Coote; W. Flexney; C. Henderson; J. Gardiner; and C. Moran, 1764, pp. []-31. [4],31,[1]p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T1710; OTA K020962.000)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.