[Page 146]

TO Mr. Robert Atwood.

THE Kingdom of the Wise Man.


1 THE rising Year beheld th' Imperious Gaul
2 Stretch his Dominion, while a hundred Towns
3 Crouch'd to the Victor: But a steady Soul
[Page 147]
4 Stands firm on its own Base, and reigns as wide,
5 As Absolute; and sways ten thousand Slaves,
6 Lusts and wild Fancies with a Soveraign Hand.
7 We are a little Kingdom: But the Man
8 That chains his Rebel Will to Reasons Throne
9 Forms it a large one, ATWOOD, whilst his Mind
10 Makes Heaven its Council, from the Rolls above
11 Draws his own Statutes, and with Joy obeys.
12 'Tis not a Troop of Well-appointed Guards
13 Create a Monarch, not a Purple Robe
14 Dy'd in the Peoples Blood, not all the Crowns
15 Or dazling Tiars that bend about the Head,
16 Tho' Gilt with Sun-Beams and beset with Stars.
17 A Monarch He that Conquers all his Fears
18 And treads upon them; when he stands alone,
19 Makes his own Camp; four Guardian Virtues wait
20 His Nightly Slumbers and secure his Dreams.
21 Now dawns the Light; He ranges all his Thoughts
22 In square Battalions, bold to meet th' Attacks
23 Of Time and Chance, himself a numerous Host,
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24 All Eye, all Ear, all wakeful as the Day,
25 Firm as a Rock, and moveless as the Centre.
26 In vain the Harlot Pleasure spreads her Charms
27 To lull his Thoughts in Luxuries fair Lap
28 To sensual Ease, (the Bane of little Kings,
29 Monarchs whose waxen Images of Souls
30 Are moulded into Softness) still his Mind
31 Wears its own Shape, nor can the Heavenly Form
32 Stoop to be model'd by the wild Decrees
33 Of the mad Vulgar, that unthinking Herd.
34 He lives above the Crowd, nor hears the Noise
35 Of Wars and Triumphs, nor regards the Shouts
36 Of Popular Applause, that empty Sound,
37 Nor feels the flying Arrow of Reproach,
38 Or Spite, or Envy. In himself secure,
39 Wisdom his Tower, and Conscience is his Shield,
40 His Peace all Inward, and his Joys his Own.
41 Now my Ambition swells, my Wishes soar,
42 This be my Kingdom; sit above the Globe
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43 My 'Rising Soul, and dress thy self around
44 And shine in Virtues Armour; Climb the height
45 Of Wisdoms lofty Castle, there reside
46 Safe from the Smiling and the Frowning World.
47 Yet once a Day drop down a gentle Look
48 On the great Molehill, and with pitying Eye
49 Survey the Busie Emmets round the Heap
50 Crowding and Bustling in a Thousand Forms
51 Of Strife and Toil, to purchase Wealth and Fame,
52 A Bubble or a Dust: Then call thy Thoughts
53 Up to thy self to feed on Joys unknown,
54 Rich without Gold, and Great without Renown.
[Page 150]

PART II. OR The Bold Stoick.

1 HOnour demands my Song. Forget the Ground
2 My Generous Muse, and sit amongst the Stars;
3 There sing the Soul, that Conscious of her Birth
4 Lives like a Native of the Vital World
5 Amongst these dying Clods, and bears her State
6 Just to her self: How nobly she maintains
7 Her Character, Superiour to the Flesh,
8 She weilds her Passions like her Limbs, and knows
9 The Brutal Powers were only born't obey.
10 This is the Man whom Storms could never make
11 Meanly complain, nor can a flatt'ring Gale
12 Make him talk proudly: He hath no Desire
13 To read his Secret Fate; yet unconcern'd
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14 And calm could meet his unborn Destiny
15 In all its Charming or its Frightful Shapes.
16 He that unshrinking and without a Groan
17 Bears the first Wound may finish all the War
18 With meer Couragious Silence, and come off
19 Conqueror: For the Man that well conceals
20 The heavy Strokes of Fate he bears 'em well.
21 He, tho' th' Atlantick and the Midland Seas
22 With adverse Surges meet, and rise on high
23 Suspended 'twixt the Winds, then rush amain
24 Mingled with Flames upon his Single Head
25 And Clouds and Stars and Thunder, he would stand,
26 And from the lofty Castle of his Mind
27 Sublime look down and Joyfully Survey
28 The Ruins of Creation; he alone
29 Heir of the Dying World: A piercing Glance
30 Shoots upwards from between his closing Lids
31 To reach his Birth-place, then without a Sigh
32 He bids his batter'd Flesh lie gently down
33 Amongst its Native Rubbish; while his Soul
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34 Breaths and flies upward, an undoubted Guest
35 Of the third Heaven, th' unruinable Sky.
36 Thither when Fate has brought Our willing Souls,
37 No matter whether 'twas a Sharp Disease,
38 Or a sharp Sword that help'd the Travellers on,
39 And push'd us to our Home. Bear up my Friend,
40 My ATWOOD, and break thro' the Surging Brine
41 With steddy Prow; Know, we shall once arrive
42 At the fair Haven of Eternal Bliss
43 To which we ever steer; whether as Kings
44 Of wide Command we've spread the Spacious Sea
45 With a broad Painted Fleet, or Row'd along
46 In a thin Cockboat with a little Oar.
47 There let my narrow Plank shift me to Land
48 And I'll be happy, thus I'll leap Ashore
49 Joyful and fearless on the Immortal Coast,
50 Since all I leave is Mortal, and it must be lost.


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Title (in Source Edition): TO Mr. Robert Atwood.
Author: Isaac Watts
Genres: blank verse; address; ode

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Watts, Isaac, 1674-1748. Horæ lyricæ: Poems, chiefly of the lyric kind. In two books. ... By I. Watts. London: Printed by S. and D. Bridge, for John Lawrence at the Sign of the Angel in the Poultrey. MDCCVI., 1706, pp. 146-152. [20],267,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T82397; OTA K067329.000) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Princeton Theological Seminary Library.)

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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.

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