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1 HOW much mistaken are the men, who think
2 That all who will, without restraint, may drink,
3 May largely drink, e'en till their bowels burst,
4 Pleading no right but merely that of thirst,
5 At the pure waters of the living well,
6 Beside whose streams the MUSES love to dwell!
7 Verse is with them a knack, an idle toy,
8 A rattle gilded o'er, on which a boy[Page 2]
9 May play untaught, whilst, without art or force,
10 Make it but jingle, Musick comes of course.
11 Little do such men know the toil, the pains,
12 The daily, nightly racking of the brains,
13 To range the thoughts, the matter to digest,
14 To cull fit phrases, and reject the rest,
15 To know the times when HUMOUR, on the cheek
16 Of MIRTH may hold her sports, when WIT should speak,
17 And when be silent; when to use the pow'rs
18 Of Ornament, and how to place the flow'rs,
19 So that they neither give a tawdry glare,
20 Nor waste their sweetness in the desart air;
21 To form (which few can do, and scarcely one,
22 One Critick in an age can find, when done)
23 To form a plan, to strike a grand Outline,
24 To fill it up, and make the picture shine
25 A full, and perfect piece; to make coy rime
26 Renounce her follies, and with sense keep time,
27 To make proud sense against her nature bend,
28 And wear the chains of rime, yet call her friend.
29 Some Fops there are, amongst the Scribbling tribe,
30 Who make it all their business to describe,[Page 3]
31 No matter whether in, or out of place;
32 Studious of finery, and fond of lace,
33 Alike they trim, as Coxcomb Fancy brings,
34 The rags of beggars, and the robes of kings.
35 Let dull Propriety in State preside
36 O'er her dull children, Nature is their guide,
37 Wild Nature, who at random breaks the fence
38 Of those tame drudges Judgment, Taste, and Sense,
39 Nor would forgive herself the mighty crime
40 Of keeping terms with Person, Place, and Time.
41 Let liquid Gold emblaze the Sun at noon,
42 With borrow'd beams let Silver pale the Moon,
43 Let surges hoarse lash the resounding shore,
44 Let Streams Maeander, and let Torrents roar,
45 Let them breed up the melancholy breeze
46 To sigh with sighing, sob with sobbing trees,
47 Let Vales embroid'ry wear, let Flow'rs be ting'd
48 With various tints, let Clouds be lac'd or fring'd,
49 They have their wish; like idle monarch Boys,
50 Neglecting things of weight, they sigh for toys;
51 Give them the crown, the sceptre, and the robe,
52 Who will may take the pow'r, and rule the globe.
53 Others there are, who, in one solemn pace,
54 With as much zeal, as Quakers rail at lace,
55 Railing at needful Ornament, depend
56 On Sense to bring them to their journey's end.
57 They would not (Heav'n forbid) their course delay,
58 Nor for a moment step out of the way,
59 To make the barren road those graces wear,
60 Which Nature would, if pleas'd, have planted there.
61 Vain Men! who blindly thwarting Nature's plan
62 Ne'er find a passage to the heart of man;
63 Who, bred 'mongst fogs in Academic land,
64 Scorn ev'ry thing they do not understand;
65 Who, destitute of Humour, Wit, and Taste,
66 Let all their little knowledge run to waste,
67 And frustrate each good purpose, whilst they wear
68 The robes of Learning with a sloven's air.
69 Tho' solid Reas'ning arms each sterling line,
70 Tho' Truth declares aloud, "This work is mine,"
71 Vice, whilst from page to page dull Morals creep,
72 Throws by the book, and Virtue falls asleep.
73 Sense, mere, dull, formal Sense, in this gay town
74 Must have some vehicle to pass her down,[Page 5]
75 Nor can She for an hour ensure her reign,
76 Unless She brings fair Pleasure in her train.
77 Let Her, from day to day, from year to year,
78 In all her grave solemnities appear,
79 And, with the voice of trumpets, thro' the streets
80 Deal lectures out to ev'ry one She meets,
81 Half who pass by are deaf, and t'other half
82 Can hear indeed, but only hear to laugh.
83 Quit then, Ye graver Sons of letter'd Pride,
84 Taking for once Experience as a guide,
85 Quit this grand Errour, this dull College mode;
86 Be your pursuits the same, but change the road;
87 Write, or at least appear to write with ease,
88 And, if You mean to profit, learn to please.
89 In vain for such mistakes they pardon claim,
90 Because they wield the pen in Virtue's name.
91 Thrice sacred is that Name, thrice bless'd the Man
92 Who thinks, speaks, writes, and lives on such a plan!
93 This, in himself, himself of course must bless,
94 But cannot with the world promote success.
95 He may be strong, but, with effect to speak,
96 Should recollect his readers may be weak;[Page 6]
97 Plain, rigid Truths, which Saints with comfort bear,
98 Will make the Sinner tremble, and despair.
99 True Virtue acts from Love, and the great end,
100 At which She nobly aims, is to amend;
101 How then do those mistake, who arm her laws
102 With rigour not their own, and hurt the cause
103 They mean to help, whilst with a zealot rage
104 They make that Goddess, whom they'd have engage
105 Our dearest Love, in hideous terrour rise!
106 Such may be honest, but they can't be wise.
107 In her own full, and perfect blaze of light,
108 Virtue breaks forth too strong for human sight:
109 The dazzled eye, that nice but weaker sense,
110 Shuts herself up in darkness for defence.
111 But, to make strong conviction deeper sink,
112 To make the callous feel, the thoughtless think,
113 Like God made Man, she lays her glory by,
114 And beams mild comfort on the ravish'd eye.
115 In earnest most, when most she seems in jest,
116 She worms into, and winds around the breast,
117 To conquer vice, of vice appears the friend,
118 And seems unlike herself to gain her end.[Page 7]
119 The Sons of Sin, to while away the time
120 Which lingers on their hands, of each black crime
121 To hush the painful memory, and keep
122 The tyrant Conscience in delusive sleep,
123 Read on at random, nor suspect the dart
124 Until they find it rooted in their heart.
125 'Gainst Vice they give their vote, nor know at first
126 That, cursing that, themselves too they have curs'd,
127 They see not, till they fall into the snares,
128 Deluded into Virtue unawares.
129 Thus the shrewd doctor, in the spleen-struck mind
130 When pregnant horrour sits, and broods o'er wind,
131 Discarding drugs, and striving how to please,
132 Lures on insensibly, by slow degrees,
133 The patient to those manly sports, which bind
134 The slacken'd sinews, and relieve the mind;
135 The patient feels a change as wrought by stealth,
136 And wonders on demand to find it health.
137 Some Few, whom Fate ordain'd to deal in rimes
138 In other lands, and here in other times,
139 Whom, waiting at their birth, the Midwife MUSE
140 Sprinkled all over with Castalian dews,[Page 8]
141 To whom true GENIUS gave his magic pen,
142 Whom ART by just degrees led up to men,
143 Some Few, extremes well-shunn'd, have steer'd between
144 These dang'rous rocks, and held the golden mean.
145 SENSE in their works maintains her proper state,
146 But never sleeps, or labours with her weight;
147 GRACE makes the whole look elegant, and gay,
148 But never dares from SENSE to run astray.
149 So nice the Master's touch, so great his care,
150 The Colours boldly glow, not idly glare.
151 Mutually giving, and receiving aid,
152 They set each other off, like light and shade,
153 And, as by stealth, with so much softness blend,
154 'Tis hard to say, where they begin, or end.
155 Both give us charms, and neither gives offence;
156 SENSE perfects GRACE, and GRACE enlivens SENSE.
157 Peace to the Men, who these high honours claim,
158 Health to their souls, and to their mem'ries fame:
159 Be it my task, and no mean task, to teach
160 A rev'rence for that worth I cannot reach;
161 Let me at distance, with a steady eye,
162 Observe, and mark their passage to the sky,[Page 9]
163 From envy free, applaud such rising worth,
164 And praise their heav'n, tho' pinion'd down to earth.
165 Had I the pow'r, I could not have the time,
166 Whilst spirits flow, and Life is in her prime,
167 Without a sin 'gainst Pleasure, to design
168 A plan, to methodize each thought, each line
169 Highly to finish, and make ev'ry grace,
170 In itself charming, take new charms from place.
171 Nothing of Books, and little known of men,
172 When the mad fit comes on, I seize the pen,
173 Rough as they run, the rapid thoughts set down,
174 Rough as they run, discharge them on the Town.
175 Hence rude, unfinish'd brats, before their time,
176 Are born into this idle world of rime,
177 And the poor slattern MUSE is brought to bed
178 With all her imperfections on her head.
179 Some, as no life appears, no pulses play
180 Through the dull, dubious mass, no breath makes way,
181 Doubt, greatly doubt, till for a glass they call,
182 Whether the Child can be baptiz'd at all.
183 Others, on other grounds, objections frame,
184 And, granting that the child may have a name,[Page 10]
185 Doubt, as the Sex might well a midwife pose,
186 Whether they should baptize it, Verse or Prose.
187 E'en what my masters please; Bards, mild, meek men,
188 In love to Critics stumble now and then.
189 Something I do myself, and something too,
190 If they can do it, leave for them to do.
191 In the small compass of my careless page
192 Critics may find employment for an age;
193 Without my blunders they were all undone;
194 I twenty feed, where MASON can feed one.
195 When SATIRE stoops, unmindful of her state,
196 To praise the man I love, curse him I hate;
197 When SENSE, in tides of passion borne along,
198 Sinking to prose, degrades the name of song;
199 The Censor smiles, and, whilst my credit bleeds,
200 With as high relish on the carrion feeds
201 As the proud EARL fed at a Turtle feast,
202 Who, turn'd by gluttony to worse than beast,
203 Eat, 'till his bowels gush'd upon the floor,
204 Yet still eat on, and dying call'd for more.
205 When loose DIGRESSION, like a colt unbroke,
206 Spurning Connection, and her formal yoke,[Page 11]
207 Bounds thro' the forest, wanders far astray
208 From the known path, and loves to loose her way,
209 'Tis a full feast to all the mongril pack
210 To run the rambler down, and bring her back.
211 When gay DESCRIPTION, Fancy's fairy child,
212 Wild without art, and yet with pleasure wild,
213 Waking with Nature at the morning hour
214 To the lark's call, walks o'er the op'ning flow'r
215 Which largely drank all night of heav'n's fresh dew,
216 And, like a Mountain Nymph of Dian's crew,
217 So lightly walks, she not one mark imprints,
218 Nor brushes off the dews, nor soils the tints;
219 When thus DESCRIPTION sports, e'en at the time
220 That Drums should beat, and Cannons roar in rime,
221 Critics can live on such a fault as that
222 From one month to the other, and grow fat.
223 Ye mighty Monthly Judges, in a dearth
224 Of letter'd blockheads, conscious of the worth
225 Of my materials, which against your will
226 Oft You've confess'd, and shall confess it still,
227 Materials rich, tho' rude, enflam'd with Thought,
228 Tho' more by Fancy than by Judgment wrought,[Page 12]
229 Take, use them as your own, a work begin,
230 Which suits your Genius well, and weave them in,
231 Fram'd for the Critic loom, with Critic art,
232 Till thread on thread depending, part on part,
233 Colour with Colour mingling, Light with Shade,
234 To your dull taste a formal work is made,
235 And, having wrought them into one grand piece,
236 Swear it surpasses ROME, and rivals GREECE.
237 Nor think this much, for at one single word,
238 Soon as the mighty Critic Fiat's heard,
239 SCIENCE attends their call; their pow'r is own'd;
240 ORDER takes place, and GENIUS is dethron'd;
241 Letters dance into books, defiance hurl'd
242 At means, as Atoms danc'd into a world.
243 Me higher business calls, a greater plan,
244 Worthy Man's whole employ, the good of Man,
245 The good of Man committed to my charge;
246 If idle Fancy rambles forth at large,
247 Careless of such a trust, these harmless lays
248 May Friendship envy, and may Folly praise,
249 The crown of GOTHAM may some SCOT assume,
250 And vagrant STUARTS reign in CHURCHILL's room.
251 O my poor People, O thou wretched Earth,
252 To whose dear love, tho' not engag'd by birth,
253 My heart is fix'd, my service deeply sworn,
254 How (by thy Father can that thought be borne,
255 For Monarchs, would they all but think like me,
256 Are only Fathers in the best degree)
257 How must thy glories fade, in ev'ry land
258 Thy name be laugh'd to scorn, thy mighty hand
259 Be shorten'd, and thy zeal, by foes confess'd,
260 Bless'd in thy self, to make thy neighbours bless'd,
261 Be robb'd of vigour, how must Freedom's pile,
262 The boast of ages, which adorns the Isle
263 And makes it great and glorious, fear'd abroad,
264 Happy at home, secure from force and fraud,
265 How must that pile, by antient Wisdom rais'd
266 On a firm rock, by friends admir'd and prais'd,
267 Envy'd by foes, and wonder'd at by all,
268 In one short moment into ruins fall,
269 Should any Slip of STUART's tyrant race
270 Or bastard, or legitimate, disgrace
271 Thy royal seat of Empire! but what care
272 What sorrow must be mine, what deep despair
273 And self-reproaches, should that hated line
274 Admittance gain thro' any fault of mine![Page 14]
275 Curs'd be the cause whence GOTHAM's evils spring,
276 Tho' that curs'd cause be found in GOTHAM's King.
277 Let War, with all his needy, ruffian band,
278 In pomp of horrour, stalk thro' GOTHAM's land
279 Knee-deep in blood; let all her stately tow'rs
280 Sink in the dust; that Court, which now is our's,
281 Become a den, where Beasts may, if they can,
282 A lodging find, nor fear rebuke from Man;
283 Where yellow harvests rise, be brambles found;
284 Where vines now creep, let thistles curse the ground;
285 Dry, in her thousand Vallies, be the Rills;
286 Barren the Cattle, on her thousand Hills;
287 Where Pow'r is plac'd, let Tygers prowl for prey;
288 Where Justice lodges, let wild Asses bray;
289 Let Cormorants in Churches make their nest,
290 And, on the sails of Commerce, Bitterns rest;
291 Be all, tho' princes in the earth before,
292 Her Merchants Bankrupts, and her Marts no more;
293 Much rather would I, might the will of Fate
294 Give me to chuse, see GOTHAM's ruin'd state
295 By ills on ills, thus to the earth weigh'd down,
296 Than live to see a STUART wear her crown.
297 Let Heav'n in vengeance arm all Nature's host,
298 Those Servants, who their Maker know, who boast
299 Obedience as their glory, and fulfill,
300 Unquestion'd, their great Master's sacred will.
301 Let raging Winds root up the boiling deep,
302 And, with destruction big, o'er GOTHAM sweep;
303 Let Rains rush down, till FAITH with doubtful eye
304 Looks for the sign of Mercy in the sky;
305 Let Pestilence in all her horrours rise;
306 Where'er I turn, let Famine blast my eyes;
307 Let the Earth yawn, and, e're They've time to think,
308 In the deep gulph let all my subjects sink
309 Before my eyes, whilst on the verge I reel;
310 Feeling, but as a Monarch ought to feel,
311 Not for myself, but them, I'll kiss the rod,
312 And, having own'd the Justice of my God,
313 Myself with firmness to the ruin give,
314 And die with those for whom I wish'd to live.
315 This (but may Heav'n's more merciful decrees
316 Ne'er tempt his servant with such ills as these)
317 This, or my soul deceives me, I could bear;
318 But that the STUART race my Crown should wear,[Page 16]
319 That Crown, where, highly cherish'd, FREEDOM shone
320 Bright as the glories of the mid-day Sun,
321 Born and bred Slaves, that They, with proud misrule,
322 Should make brave, free-born men, like boys at school,
323 To the Whip crouch and tremble — O, that Thought!
324 The lab'ring brain is e'en to madness brought
325 By the dread vision, at the mere surmise
326 The thronging Spirits, as in tumult, rise,
327 My heart, as for a passage, loudly beats,
328 And, turn me where I will, distraction meets.
329 O my brave fellows, great in Arts and Arms,
330 The wonder of the Earth, whom Glory warms
331 To high Atchievements, can your Spirits bend
332 Thro' base controul (Ye never can descend
333 So low by choice) to wear a Tyrant's chain,
334 Or let, in FREEDOM's seat, a STUART reign.
335 If Fame, who hath for ages far and wide
336 Spread in all realms, the Cowardice, the Pride,
337 The Tyranny, and Falsehood of those Lords,
338 Contents You not, search ENGLAND's fair records,
339 ENGLAND, where first the breath of Life I drew,
340 Where, next to GOTHAM, my best Love is due.[Page 17]
341 There once they rul'd, tho' crush'd by WILLIAM's hand,
342 They rule no more, to curse that happy land.
343 The First, who, from his native soil remov'd,
344 Held ENGLAND's sceptre, a tame Tyrant prov'd.
345 Virtue he lack'd, curs'd with those thoughts which spring
346 In souls of vulgar stamp, to be a King;
347 Spirit he had not, tho' he laugh'd at Laws,
348 To play the bold-fac'd Tyrant with applause;
349 On practises most mean he rais'd his pride,
350 And Craft oft gave, what Wisdom oft denied.
351 Ne'er cou'd he feel how truly Man is blest
352 In blessing those around him; in his breast,
353 Crowded with follies, Honour found no room;
354 Mark'd for a Coward in his Mother's Womb,
355 He was too proud without affronts to live,
356 Too timorous to punish or forgive.
357 To gain a crown, which had in course of time,
358 By fair descent, been his without a crime,
359 He bore a Mother's exile; to secure
360 A greater crown, he basely could endure[Page 18]
361 The spilling of her blood by foreign knife,
362 Nor dar'd revenge her death who gave him life;
363 Nay, by fond fear, and fond ambition led,
364 Struck hands with Those by whom her blood was shed.
365 Call'd up to Pow'r, scarce warm on England's throne,
366 He fill'd her Court with beggars from his own,
367 Turn where You would, the eye with SCOTS was caught,
368 Or English knaves who would be SCOTSMEN thought.
369 To vain expence unbounded loose he gave,
370 The dupe of Minions, and of slaves the slave;
371 On false pretences mighty sums he rais'd,
372 And damn'd those senates rich, whom, poor, he prais'd;
373 From Empire thrown, and doom'd to beg her bread,
374 On foreign bounty whilst a Daughter fed,
375 He lavish'd sums, for her receiv'd, on Men
376 Whose names would fix dishonour on my pen.
377 Lies were his Play-things, Parliaments his sport,
378 Book-worms and Catamites engross'd the Court;
379 Vain of the Scholar, like all SCOTSMEN since
380 The Pedant Scholar, he forgot the Prince,
381 And, having with some trifles stor'd his brain,
382 Ne'er learn'd, or wish'd to learn the arts to reign.[Page 19]
383 Enough he knew to make him vain and proud,
384 Mock'd by the wise, the wonder of the croud;
385 False Friend, false Son, false Father, and false King,
386 False Wit, false Statesman, and false ev'ry thing,
387 When He should act, he idly chose to prate,
388 And pamphlets wrote, when he should save the State.
389 Religious, if Religion holds in whim,
390 To talk with all, he let all talk with him,
391 Not on God's honour, but his own intent,
392 Not for Religion sake, but argument;
393 More vain if some sly, artful, High-Dutch slave,
394 Or, from the Jesuit school, some precious knave
395 Conviction feign'd, than if, to Peace restor'd
396 By his full soldiership, Worlds hail'd him Lord.
397 Pow'r was his wish, unbounded as his will,
398 The Pow'r, without controul, of doing ill.
399 But what he wish'd, what he made Bishops preach,
400 And Statesmen warrant, hung within his reach
401 He dar'd not seize; Fear gave, to gall his pride,
402 That Freedom to the Realm his will denied.
403 Of Treaties fond, o'erweening of his parts,
404 In ev'ry Treaty, of his own mean arts
405 He fell the dupe; Peace was his Coward care,
406 E'en at a time when Justice call'd for war;
407 His pen he'd draw, to prove his lack of wit,
408 But, rather than unsheathe the sword, submit;
409 TRUTH fairly must record, and, pleas'd to live
410 In league with MERCY, JUSTICE may forgive
411 Kingdoms betray'd, and Worlds resign'd to SPAIN,
412 But never can forgive a RALEIGH slain.
413 At length (with white let Freedom mark that year)
414 Not fear'd by those, whom most he wish'd to fear,
415 Not lov'd by those, whom most he wish'd to love,
416 He went to answer for his faults above,
417 To answer to that God, from whom alone
418 He claim'd to hold, and to abuse the throne,
419 Leaving behind, a curse to all his line,
420 The bloody Legacy of RIGHT DIVINE.
421 With many Virtues which a radiance fling,
422 Round private men; with few which grace a King,
423 And speak the Monarch, at that time of life
424 When Passion holds with Reason doubtful strife,[Page 21]
425 Succeeded CHARLES, by a mean Sire undone,
426 Who envied virtue, even in a Son.
427 His Youth was froward, turbulent, and wild;
428 He took the Man up, e're he left the child;
429 His Soul was eager for imperial sway
430 E'er he had learn'd the lesson to obey.
431 Surrounded by a fawning, flatt'ring throng,
432 Judgment each day grew weak, and Humour strong;
433 Wisdom was treated as a noisome weed,
434 And all his follies let to run to seed.
435 What ills from such beginnings needs must spring!
436 What ills to such a land, from such a King!
437 What could She hope! what had she not to fear!
438 Base BUCKINGHAM possess'd his youthful ear;
439 STRAFFORD and LAUD, when mounted on the throne
440 Engross'd his love, and made him all their own,
441 STRAFFORD and LAUD, who boldly dar'd avow
442 The trait'rous doctrines taught by Tories now;
443 Each strove t'undo him, in his turn and hour,
444 The first with pleasure, and the last with pow'r.
445 Thinking (vain thought, disgraceful to the throne!)
446 That all Mankind were made for Kings alone,
447 That Subjects were but Slaves, and what was Whim
448 Or worse in common men, was Law in him;
449 Drunk with Prerogative, which Fate decreed
450 To guard good Kings, and Tyrants to mislead,
451 Which, in a fair proportion, to deny
452 Allegiance dares not, which to hold too high
453 No Good can wish, no Coward King can dare,
454 And held too high, no English Subject bear;
455 Besieg'd by Men of deep and subtle arts,
456 Men void of Principle, and damn'd with parts,
457 Who saw his weakness, made their King their tool,
458 Then most a slave, when most he seem'd to rule;
459 Taking all public steps for private ends,
460 Deceiv'd by Favourites, whom he call'd friends,
461 He had not strength enough of soul to find
462 That Monarchs, meant as blessings to Mankind,
463 Sink their great State, and stamp their fame undone,
464 When, what was meant for all, they give to One;
465 List'ning uxorious, whilst a Woman's prate,
466 Modell'd the Church, and parcell'd out the State,
467 Whilst (in the State not more than Women read)
468 High-Churchmen preach'd, and turn'd his pious head;[Page 23]
469 Tutor'd to see with ministerial eyes;
470 Forbid to hear a loyal Nation's cries;
471 Made to believe (what can't a Fav'rite do)
472 He heard a Nation hearing one or two;
473 Taught by State-Quacks himself secure to think,
474 And out of danger, e'en on danger's brink;
475 Whilst Pow'r was daily crumbling from his hand,
476 Whilst murmurs ran thro' an insulted land,
477 As if to sanction Tyrants Heav'n was bound,
478 He proudly sought the ruin which he found.
479 Twelve years, twelve tedious and inglorious years,
480 Did ENGLAND, crush'd by pow'r and aw'd by fears,
481 Whilst proud Oppression struck at Freedom's root,
482 Lament her Senates lost, her HAMPDEN mute.
483 Illegal taxes, and oppressive loans,
484 In spite of all her pride, call'd forth her groans,
485 PATIENCE was heard her griefs aloud to tell,
486 And LOYALTY was tempted to rebel.
487 Each day new acts of outrage shook the state,
488 New Courts were rais'd to give new Doctrines weight;
489 State-Inquisitions kept the realm in awe,
490 And curs'd Star-Chambers made, or rul'd the law;[Page 24]
491 Juries were pack'd, and Judges were unsound;
492 Thro' the whole kingdom not one PRATT was found.
493 From the first moments of his giddy youth
494 He hated Senates, for They told him Truth.
495 At length against his will compell'd to treat,
496 Those whom he could not fright, he strove to cheat,
497 With base dissembling ev'ry grievance heard,
498 And, often giving, often broke his word.
499 O where shall helpless Truth for refuge fly,
500 If Kings, who should protect her, dare to lie?
501 Those who, the gen'ral good their real aim,
502 Sought in their Country's good their Monarch's fame,
503 Those who were anxious for his safety, Those
504 Who were induc'd by duty to oppose,
505 Their truth suspected, and their worth unknown,
506 He held as foes, and traitors to his throne,
507 Nor found his fatal errour till the hour
508 Of saving him was gone and past, till Pow'r
509 Had shifted hands, to blast his hapless reign,
510 Making their Faith, and his Repentance vain.
511 Hence (be that curse confin'd to GOTHAM's foes)
512 War, dread to mention, Civil War arose;
513 All acts of Outrage, and all acts of shame
514 Stalk'd forth at large, disguis'd with Honour's name;
515 Rebellion, raising high her bloody hand,
516 Spread universal havock thro' the land;
517 With zeal for Party, and with Passion drunk,
518 In Public rage all private Love was sunk,
519 Friend against Friend, Brother 'gainst Brother stood,
520 And the Son's weapon drank the Father's blood;
521 Nature, aghast, and fearful lest her reign
522 Should last no longer, bled in ev'ry vein.
523 Unhappy Stuart! harshly tho' that name,
524 Grates on my ear, I should have died with shame,
525 To see my King before his subjects stand,
526 And at their bar hold up his royal hand,
527 At their commands to hear the monarch plead,
528 By their decrees to see that Monarch bleed.
529 What tho' thy faults were many, and were great,
530 What tho' they shook the basis of the state,
531 In Royalty secure thy Person stood,
532 And sacred was the fountain of thy blood.[Page 26]
533 Vile Ministers, who dar'd abuse their trust,
534 Who dar'd seduce a King to be unjust,
535 Vengeance, with Justice leagu'd, with pow'r made strong,
536 Had nobly crush'd; the King could do no wrong.
537 Yet grieve not, CHARLES, nor thy hard fortunes blame;
538 They took thy life, but they secur'd thy fame.
539 Their greater crimes made thine like specks appear,
540 From which the Sun in glory is not clear.
541 Had'st Thou in peace and years resign'd thy breath
542 At Nature's call, had'st Thou laid down in death
543 As in a sleep, thy name, by Justice borne
544 On the four winds, had been in pieces torne.
545 Pity, the Virtue of a gen'rous soul,
546 Sometimes the Vice, hath made thy mem'ry whole.
547 Misfortunes gave, what Virtue could not give,
548 And bade, the Tyrant slain, the Martyr live.
549 Ye princes of the Earth, ye mighty few,
550 Who, worlds subduing, can't yourselves subdue,
551 Who, goodness scorn'd, wish only to be great,
552 Whose breath is blasting, and whose voice is fate,
553 Who own no law, no reason but your will,
554 And scorn restraint, tho' 'tis from doing ill,[Page 27]
555 Who of all passions groan beneath the worst,
556 Then only bless'd when they make others curst;
557 Think not, for wrongs like these unscourg'd to live;
558 Long may Ye sin, and long may Heav'n forgive;
559 But, when Ye least expect, in sorrow's day,
560 Vengeance shall fall more heavy for delay;
561 Nor think that Vengeance heap'd on you alone
562 Shall (poor amends) for injur'd worlds atone;
563 No; like some base distemper, which remains,
564 Transmitted from the tainted Father's veins,
565 In the Son's blood, such broad and gen'ral crimes
566 Shall call down Vengeance e'en to latest times,
567 Call Vengeance down on all who bear your name,
568 And make their portion bitterness and shame.
569 From land to land for years compell'd to roam,
570 Whilst Usurpation lorded it at home,
571 Of Majesty unmindful, forc'd to fly,
572 Not daring, like a King, to reign, or die,
573 Recall'd to repossess his lawful throne
574 More at his people's seeking, than his own,
575 Another CHARLES succeeded; in the school
576 Of travel he had learn'd to play the fool,[Page 28]
577 And, like pert pupils with dull Tutors sent
578 To shame their Country on the Continent,
579 From love of ENGLAND by long absence wean'd,
580 From ev'ry Court he ev'ry folly glean'd,
581 And was, so close do evil habits cling,
582 Till crown'd, a Beggar; and when crown'd, no King.
583 Those grand and gen'ral pow'rs, which Heav'n design'd
584 An instance of his mercy to Mankind,
585 Were lost, in storms of dissipation hurl'd,
586 Nor would he give one hour to bless a world;
587 Lighter than levity which strides the blast,
588 And, of the present fond, forgets the past,
589 He chang'd and chang'd, but, ev'ry hope to curse,
590 Chang'd only from one folly to a worse;
591 State he resign'd to those whom state could please,
592 Careless of Majesty, his wish was ease;
593 Pleasure, and Pleasure only was his aim;
594 Kings of less Wit might hunt the bubble fame;
595 Dignity, thro' his reign, was made a sport,
596 Nor dar'd Decorum shew her face at Court,
597 Morality was held a standing jest,
598 And Faith a necessary fraud at best;[Page 29]
599 Courtiers, their monarch ever in their view,
600 Possess'd great talents, and abus'd them too;
601 Whate'er was light, impertinent, and vain,
602 Whate'er was loose, indecent, and profane,
603 (So ripe was Folly, Folly to acquit)
604 Stood all absolv'd in that poor bauble, WIT.
605 In gratitude, alas! but little read,
606 He let his Father's servants beg their bread,
607 His Father's faithful servants, and his own,
608 To place the foes of both around his throne.
609 Bad counsels he embrac'd thro' indolence,
610 Thro' love of ease, and not thro' want of sense;
611 He saw them wrong, but rather let them go
612 As right, than take the pains to make them so.
613 Women rul'd all, and Ministers of State
614 Were for commands at Toilettes forc'd to wait;
615 Women, who have, as Monarchs, grac'd the land,
616 But never govern'd well at Second-hand.
617 To make all other errors slight appear,
618 In mem'ry fix'd, stand DUNKIRK and TANGIER;[Page 30]
619 In mem'ry fix'd so deep, that Time in vain
620 Shall strive to wipe those records from the brain,
621 AMBOYNA stands — Gods, that a King could hold
622 In such high Estimate, vile, paultry gold,
623 And of his duty be so careless found,
624 That, when the blood of Subjects from the ground
625 For Vengeance call'd, he should reject their cry,
626 And, brib'd from Honour, lay his thunders by,
627 Give HOLLAND peace, whilst ENGLISH victims groan'd,
628 And butcher'd subjects wander'd, unaton'd!
629 O, dear, deep injury to ENGLAND's fame,
630 To them, to us, to all! to him, deep Shame!
631 Of all the passions which from frailty spring,
632 Av'rice is that which least becomes a King.
633 To crown the whole, scorning the public good,
634 Which thro' his reign he little understood,
635 Or little heeded, with too narrow aim
636 He reassur'd a Bigot Brother's claim,
637 And, having made time-serving Senates bow,
638 Suddenly died, that Brother best knew how.
639 No matter how — he slept amongst the dead,
640 And JAMES his Brother reigned in his stead.[Page 31]
641 But such a reign — so glaring an offence
642 In ev'ry step 'gainst Freedom, Law, and Sense,
643 'Gainst all the rights of Nature's gen'ral plan,
644 'Gainst all which constitutes an Englishman,
645 That the Relation would mere fiction seem,
646 The mock creation of a Poet's dream,
647 And the poor Bard's would, in this sceptic age,
648 Appear as false as their Historian's page.
649 Ambitious Folly seiz'd the seat of Wit,
650 Christians were forc'd by Bigots to submit,
651 Pride without sense, without Religion Zeal,
652 Made daring inroads on the Common-weal,
653 Stern Persecution rais'd her iron rod,
654 And call'd the pride of Kings, the pow'r of God,
655 Conscience and Fame were sacrific'd to ROME,
656 And ENGLAND wept at FREEDOM's sacred tomb.
657 Her Laws despis'd, her Constitution wrench'd
658 From its due, nat'ral frame, her Rights retrench'd
659 Beyond a Coward's suff'rance, Conscience forc'd,
660 And healing Justice from the Crown divorc'd,
661 Each moment pregnant with vile acts of pow'r,
662 Her patriot BISHOPS sentenc'd to the Tow'r,[Page 32]
663 Her OXFORD (who yet loves the STUART name)
664 Branded with arbitrary marks of shame,
665 She wept — but wept not long; to arms she flew,
666 At Honour's call th' avenging sword She drew,
667 Turn'd all her terrors on the Tyrant's head,
668 And sent him in despair to beg his bread,
669 Whilst she (may ev'ry State in such distress
670 Dare with such zeal, and meet with such success)
671 Whilst She (may GOTHAM, should my abject mind
672 Chuse to enslave, rather than free mankind,
673 Pursue her steps, tear the proud Tyrant down,
674 Nor let me wear if I abuse the crown)
675 Whilst She (thro' ev'ry age, in ev'ry land,
676 Written in gold let REVOLUTION stand)
677 Whilst She, secur'd in Liberty and Law,
678 Found what She sought, a Saviour in NASSAU.
END OF THE SECOND BOOK.
About this text
Author: Charles Churchill
Themes: politics; monarchy (heads of state)
Genres: heroic couplet; satire
Text view / Document view
Churchill, Charles, 1731-1764. Gotham. A poem. Book II. By C. Churchill. London: printed for the author; and sold by G. Kearsly; W. Flexney; C. Henderson; J. Coote; J. Gardiner; and J. Almon, 1764, pp. -32. ,32p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T1711; OTA K020963.000)
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