AN ODE, &c.
1 HOW long, deluded Albion, wilt Thou lie(a)
(a) Augustam, amici, Pauperiem pati Robustus acri Militiâ Puer Condiscat, & Parthos feroces Vexet eques metuendus hastâ.
2 In the Lethargic Sleep, the sad Repose,
3 By which thy close, thy constant Enemy,
4 Has softly lull'd Thee to Thy Woes?
5 Or Wake, degenerate Isle, or Cease to own
6 What Thy Old Kings in Gallic Camps have done;
7 The Spoils They brought Thee back, the Crowns They won.
8 WILLIAM, (so Fate requires) again is Arm'd;
9 Thy Father to the Field is gone:
10 Again MARIA Weeps Her absent Lord;
11 For Thy Repose content to Rule alone.
12 Are Thy Enervate Sons not yet Alarm'd?
13 When WILLIAM Fights, dare they look tamely on,
14 So slow to get their Ancient Fame Restor'd,
15 As nor to melt at Beauties Tears, nor follow Valours Sword?
16 See the Repenting Isle Awakes,
17 Her Vicious Chains the generous Goddess breaks:
18 The Foggs around Her Temples are Dispell'd;
19 Abroad She Looks, and Sees Arm'd Belgia stand
20 Prepar'd to meet their common Lords Command;
21 Her Lions Roaring by Her Side, Her Arrows in Her Hand;
22 And Blushing to have been so long withheld,
23 Weeps off Her Crime, and hastens to the Field:
(b) Vitamque sub Dio & trepidis agat In rebus.Henceforth Her Youth shall be inur'd to bear
25 Hazardous Toil and Active War:
26 To march beneath the Dog-Stars raging Heat,
27 Patient of Summers Drought, and Martial Sweat.
28 And only Grieve in Winters Camps to find,
29 Its Days too short for Labours They design'd:
30 All Night beneath hard heavy Arms to Watch;
31 All Day to Mount the Trench, to Storm the Breach;
32 And all the rugged Paths to tread,
33 Where WILLIAM and His Virtue lead.
(c) Est & fideli tuta silentio Merces, &c.Silence is the Soul of War;
35 Deliberate Counsel must prepare
36 The Mighty Work, which Valour must compleat:
37 Thus WILLIAM Rescued, thus Preserves the State;
38 Thus Teaches Us to Think and Dare;
39 As whilst his Cannon just prepar'd to Breath
40 Avenging Anger and swift Death,
41 In the try'd Mettle the close Dangers glow,
42 And now too late the Dying Foe
43 Perceives the Flame, yet cannot ward the Blow;
44 So whilst in WILLIAM's Breast ripe Counsels lie,
45 Secret and sure as Brooding Fate,
46 No more of His Design appears
47 Than what Awakens Gallia's Fears;
48 And (though Guilts Eye can sharply penetrate)
49 Distracted Lewis can discry
50 Only a long unmeasur'd Ruine nigh.
51 On Norman Coasts and Banks of frighted Seine,
52 Lo! the Impending Storms begin:
53 Britannia safely through her Masters Sea
54 Plows up her Victorious Way.
55 The French Salmoneus throws his Bolts in vain,
56 Whilst the true Thunderer asserts the Main:
57 'Tis done! to Shelves and Rocks his Fleets retire,
58 Swift Victory in Vengeful Flames
59 Burns down the Pride of their Presumptuous Names:
60 They run to Shipwrack to avoid our Fire,
61 And the torn Vessels that regain their Coast
62 Are but sad Marks to shew the rest are lost:
63 All this the Mild, the Beauteous, Queen has done,
64 And WILLIAM's softer half shakes Lewis' Throne:
65 MARIA does the Sea command
66 Whilst Gallia flies her Husband's Arms by Land,
67 So, the Sun absent, with full sway, the Moon
68 Governs the Isles, and rules the Waves alone;
69 So Iuno thunders when her Iove is gone.
70 Iö Britannia! loose thy Oceans Chains
71 Whilst Russell strikes the Blow Thy Queen ordains:
72 Thus Rescued, thus Rever'd, for ever stand,
73 And bless the Counsel, and Reward the Hand,
74 Iö Britannia! thy MARIA Reigns.
75 From MARY's Conquests, and the Rescued Main,
76 Let France look forth to Sambre's armed Shore,
77 And boast her Joy for WILLIAM's Death no more.
78 He lives, let France confess, the Victor lives:
79 Her Triumphs for his Death were vain,
80 And spoke her Terrour of his Life too plain. (e)[Page 6]
(e) — Illum ex maenibus hosticis Matrona bellantis Tyranni Prospiciens, & adulta virgo Suspiret, eheu! ne rudis agminum Sponsus lacessat regius asperam Tactu leonem quem cruenta Per medias rapit ira Caedes.
81 The mighty years begin, the day draws nigh,
82 In which That One of Lewis' many Wives,
83 Who by the baleful force of guilty Charms,
84 Has long enthraul'd Him in Her wither'd Arms,
85 Shall o're the Plains from distant Towers on high
86 Cast a-round her mournful Eye,
87 And with Prophetick Sorrow cry:
88 Why does my ruin'd Lord retard his flight?
89 Why does despair provoke his Age to fight?
90 As well the Wolf may venture to engage
91 The angry Lyons generous rage;
92 The ravenous Vultur, and the Bird of Night,
93 As safely tempt the stooping Eagles flight,
94 As Lewis to unequal Arms defy
95 Yon' Heroe, crown'd with blooming Victory
96 Just triumphing o're Rebel rage restrain'd,
97 And yet unbreath'd from Battels gain'd.
98 See! all yon' dusty Fields quite cover'd o're
99 With Hostil Troops, and ORANGE at their Head,
100 ORANGE destin'd to compleat
101 The great Designs of labouring Fate,
102 ORANGE the Name that Tyrants Dread:
103 He comes, our ruin'd Empire is no more,
104 Down, like the Persian, goes the Gallic Throne,
105 Darius flies, young Ammon urges on.
106 Now from the dubious Battel's mingled heat
107 Let Fear look back, and stretch her hasty Wing,(f)
(f) Dulce & decorum est pro patriâ mori, Mors & fugacem prosequitur Virum Nec parcit imbellis Iurentae Poplitibus timidoque tergo.
108 Impatient to secure a base retreat:
109 Let the pale Coward leave his Wounded King,
110 For the vile privilege to breath,
111 To live with shame in dread of glorious Death.
112 In vain: for Fate has swifter Wings than fear,
113 She follows hard, and strikes Him in the rear,
114 Dying and Mad the Traytor bites the ground,
115 His Back transfix'd with a Dishonest Wound;[Page 7]
116 Whilst through the fiercest Troops, and thickest Press,
117 Virtue carries on Success;
118 Whilst equal Heaven guards the distinguisht brave,
119 And Armies cannot hurt whom Angels save.
120 Virtue to Verse immortal Lustre gives,(g)
(g) Virtus repulsae nescia sordidae Intaminatis fulget honoribus Nec ponit aut sumit secures Arbitrio popularis aurae.
121 Each by the other's mutual Friendship lives;
122 Aeneas suffer'd, and Achilles fought,
123 The Heroes acts enlarg'd the Poets thought,
124 Or Virgil's Majesty, and Homer's Rage
125 Had ne're like lasting Nature vanquish'd Age;
126 Whilst Lewis then his rising Terrour drowns
127 With Drums Alarms and Trumpets Sounds,
128 Whilst hid in arm'd Retreats and guarded Towns,
129 From Danger as from Honour far,
130 He bribes close Murder against open War:
131 In vain you Gallic Muses strive
132 With labour'd Verse to keep his Fame alive,
133 Your mouldring Monuments in vain ye raise
134 On the weak Basis of the Tyrants Praise:
135 Your Songs are sold, your Numbers are Prophane,
136 'Tis Incense to an Idol given,
137 Meat offer'd to Prometheus' Man,
138 That had no Soul from Heaven.
139 Against his Will you chain your frighted King
140 On rapid Rhine's divided Bed;
141 And Mock your Heroe, whilst ye Sing
142 The Wounds for which he never bled;
143 Falshood does poyson on your Praise defuse,
144 And Lewis' fear gives Death to Boileau's Muse.
145 On it's own Worth True Majesty is rear'd,
146 And Virtue is her own Reward,
147 With solid Beams and Native Glory bright,
148 She neither Darkness dreads, nor covets Light;[Page 8]
149 True to Her self, and fix't to inborn Laws,
150 Nor sunk by spight, nor lifted by Applause,
151 She from Her settled Orb looks calmly down,
152 On Life or Death, a Prison or a Crown.
153 When bound in double Chains poor Belgia lay
154 To foreign Arms, and inward strife a Prey,
155 Whilst One Good Man buoy'd up Her sinking State,
156 And Virtue labour'd against Fate;
157 When fortune basely with ambition joyn'd,
158 And all was conquer'd but the Patriots mind,
159 When Storms let loose, and raging Seas
160 Just ready the torn Vessel to o'rewhelm,
161 Forc'd not the faithful Pilot from his Helm,
162 Nor all the Syren Songs of future Peace,
163 And dazling Prospect of a promis'd Crown,
164 Could lure his stubborn Virtue down;
165 But against Charms, and Threats, and Hell, He stood,
166 To that which was severely good;
167 Then, had no Trophies justified his Fame,
168 No Poet blest his Song with NASSAW's Name,
169 Virtue alone did all that Honour bring,
170 And Heaven as plainly pointed out The KING,
171 As when He at the Altar stood
172 In all his Types and Robes of Power,
173 Whilst at His Feet Religious Britain bow'd,
174 And own'd him next to what We there Adore.
175 Say joyful Maese, and Boin's Victorious Flood,
176 (For each has mixt his Waves with Royal Blood)
177 When WILLIAM's Armies past, did He retire,
178 Or view from far the Battel's distant Fire?
179 Could He believe His Person was too dear?
180 Or use His Greatness to conceal His Fear?
181 Could Prayers or Sighs the dauntless Heroe move?
182 Arm'd with Heaven's Justice, and His People's Love,
183 Through the first Waves He wing'd His Vent'rous Way,
184 And on the Adverse Shore arose,
185 (Ten thousand flying Death's in vain oppose)
186 Like the great Ruler of the Day,
187 With Strength and Swiftness mounting from the Seas:[Page 9]
188 Like Him all Day He Toil'd, but long in Night
189 The God had eas'd His wearied light,
190 'Ere Vengeance left the stubborn Foes,
191 Or WILLIAM's Labours found repose.
192 When His Troops falter'd, stept not He between,
193 Restor'd the dubious Fight again,
194 Mark'd out the Coward that durst fly,
195 And led the fainting Brave to Victory?
196 Still as she fled Him, did He not o'ertake,
197 Her doubtful course, still brought Her Bleeding back?
198 By His keen Sword did not the Boldest fall?
199 Was He not King, Commander, Souldier, All —?
200 His Dangers such, as with becoming Dread,
201 His Subjects yet Un-Born shall Weep to Read;
202 And were not those the only Days that ere
203 The Pious Prince refus'd to hear
204 His Friends Advices, or His Subjects Prayer.
205 Where e're old Rhine his fruitful Water turns,
206 Or fills his Vassals Tributary Urns;
207 To Belgia's sav'd Dominions, and the Sea,
208 Whose righted Waves rejoice in WILLIAM's sway.
209 Is there a Town where Children are not Taught,
210 Here Holland Prosper'd, for here ORANGE Fought,
211 Through Rapid Waters, and through flying Fire:
212 Here rush'd the Prince, Here made whole France retire. —
213 By different Nations be this Valour blest,
214 In different Languages confest,
215 And then let Shannon Speak the rest:
216 Let Shannon Speak, how on her wond'ring Shore,
217 When Conquest hov'ring on his Arms did wait,
218 And only ask'd some Lives to Bribe her o're.
219 The God-like Man, the more than Conqueror,
220 With high Contempt sent back the specious Bait,
221 And Scorning Glory at a Price too great,
222 With so much Power such Piety did joyn,
223 As made a Perfect Virtue Soar
224 A Pitch unknown to Man before,
225 And lifted Shannon's Waves o'er those of Boyne.
226 Nor do his Subjects only share
227 The Prosp'rous Fruits of His Indulgent Reign;
228 His Enemies approve the Pious War,
229 Which, with their Weapon, takes away their Chain:
230 More than His Sword, His Goodness strikes His Foes;
231 They Bless His Arms, and Sigh they must oppose.
232 Justice and Freedom on his Conquests wait,
233 And 'tis for Man's Delight that He is Great:
234 Succeeding Times shall with long Joy contend,
235 If He were more a Victor, or a Friend:
236 So much His Courage and His Mercy strive,
237 He Wounds, to Cure; and Conquers, to Forgive.
238 Ye Heroes, that have Fought Your Countries Cause,
239 Redress'd Her Injuries, or Form'd Her Laws,
240 To my Advent'rous Song just Witness bear,
241 Assist the Pious Muse, and hear Her Swear,
242 That 'tis no Poet's Thought, no Flight of Youth,
243 But solid Story, and severest Truth,
244 That WILLIAM Treasures up a greater Name,
245 Than any Country, any Age, can Boast:
(g)And all that Ancient Stock of Fame
Virtus recludens immeritis Mori
Coelum, negatâ tentat iter viâ
Coetusque vulgares & udam
Spernit humum fugiente pennâ.
247 He did from His Fore-Fathers take,
248 He has improv'd, and gives with Interest back;
249 And in His Constellation does unite
250 Their scatter'd Rays of Fainter Light:
251 Above or Envy's lash, or Fortunes Wheel,
252 That settled Glory shall for ever dwell
253 Above the Rowling Orbs, and common Sky,
254 Where nothing comes that e're shall Die.
255 Where Roves the Muse? Where thoughtless to return
256 Is her short liv'd Vessel Born,
257 By Potent Winds too subject to be tost?
258 And in the Sea of WILLIAM's Praises lost?
259 Nor let her tempt that Deep, nor make the Shore
260 Where our abandon'd Youth She sees
261 Shipwrackt in Luxury, and lost in Ease;
262 Whom nor Britannia's Danger can alarm,
263 Nor WILLIAM's Exemplary Virtue warm:
264 Tell 'em howe'er the King can yet Forgive
265 Their Guilty Sloath, their Homage yet Receive,
266 And let their wounded Honour live:
267 But sure and sudden be their just Remorse;
268 Swift be their Virtues rise, and strong its Course;(h)
— Saepe Diespiter
Neglectus incesto addidit Integrum
Rario antecedentem Scelestum
Deseruit Pede poena Claudo.
269 For though for certain Years and destin'd Times,
270 Merit has lain confus'd with Crimes;
271 Though Iove seem'd Negligent of human Cares,
272 Nor Scourg'd our Follies, nor return'd our Prayers.
273 His Justice now Demands the equal Scales,
274 Sedition is Supprest, and Truth Prevails:
275 Fate it's great Ends by slow Degrees Attains,
276 And Europe is Redeem'd, and WILLIAM Reigns.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): AN ODE, &c.
Author: Matthew Prior
Genres: ode; Pindaric ode; address
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