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Here stop the current of the sanguine flood;
Require not, gracious God! thy martyrs' blood;
But let their dying pangs, their living toil,
Spread a rich harvest through their native soil;
A harvest ripening for another reign,
Of which this royal babe may reap the grain.
Enough of early saints one womb has given,
Enough increased the family of heaven; ]
Let them for his and our atonement go,
And, reigning blest above, leave him to rule below.
Enough already has the year foreslowed
His wonted course, the sea has overflowed,
The meads were floated with a weeping spring,
And frightened birds in woods forgot to sing ;
The strong-limbed steed beneath his harness faints,
And the same shivering sweat his lord attaints. *
When will the minister of wrath give o'er ?
Behold him at Araunah's threshing-floor!
He stops, and seems to sheath his
Pleased with burnt incense from our David's hand;t
David has bought the Jebusite's abode,
And raised an altar to the living God.
Heaven, to reward him, makes his joys sincere;
No future ills nor accidents appear,
To sully and pollute the sacred infant's year.
Five months to discord and debate were given; †
He sanctifies the yet remaining seven.
Sabbath of months! henceforth in him be blest,
And prelude to the realms perpetual rest!
Let his baptismal drops for us atone; §
Lustrations for offences not his own:
|| All the queen's former children died in infancy.
* The year 1688, big with so many events of importance, commenced very unfavourably with stormy weather, and an epidemical distemper among men and cattle.
+ 1 Kings, chap. xxxiv.
I Note VI.
Original sin, supposed to be washed off by baptism.
Let conscience, which is interest ill disguised,
In the same font be cleansed, and all the land bap-
Unnamed † as yet; at least unknown to fame;
Is there a strife in heaven about his name,
Where every famous predecessor vies,
And makes a faction for it in the skies?
Or must it be reserved to thought alone?
Such was the sacred Tetragrammaton. |
Things worthy silence must not be revealed;
the true name of Rome § was kept concealed, To shun the spells and sorceries of those, Who durst her infant majesty oppose But when his tender strength in time shall rise To dare ill tongues, and fascinating eyes, This isle, which hides the little Thunderer's fame, Shall be too narrow to contain his name: The artillery of heaven shall make him known; Crete || could not hold the god, when Jore was
grown. As Jove's increase, who from his brain was born, Whom arms and arts did equally adorn, Free of the breast was bred, whose milky taste Minerva's name to Venus had debased; So this imperial babe rejects the food, Thał mixes monarch's with plebeian blood : **
The Hind and the Panther," p. 224. + The prince christened, but not named.
Jehovah, or the name of God, unlawful to be pronounced by the Jews. DRYDEN.
Some authors say, that the true name of Rome was kept a secret, ne hostes incantamentis deos elicerent. Dryden.
|| Candia, where Jupiter was born and lived secretly. Dryden.
9 Pallas, or Minerva, said by the poets to have been bred up by hand. Dryden.
** The prince had no wet nurse.
Food that his inborn courage might controul,
Extinguish all the father in his soul,
And for his Estian race, and Saxon strain,
Might reproduce some second Richard's reign,
Mildness he shares from both his parents' blood;
But kings too tame are despicably good:
Be this the mixture of this regal child,
By nature manly, but by virtue mild.
Thus far the furious transport of the news
Had to prophetic madness fired the muse;
Madness ungovernable, uninspired,
Swift to foretel whatever she desired.
Was it for me the dark abyss to tread,
And read the book which angels cannot read?
How was I punished, when the sudden blast *
The face of heaven, and our young sun, o'ercast!
Fame, the swift ill increasing as she rolled,
Disease, despair, and death, at three reprises told:
At three insulting strides she stalked the town,
And, like contagion, struck the loyal down.
Down fell the winnowed wheat; but, mounted high,
The whirlwind bore the chaff, and hid the sky.
Here black rebellion shooting from below,
(As earth's gigantic brood by moments grow,)
And here the sons of God are petrified with woe :
An apoplex of grief! so low were driven
The saints, as hardly to defend their heaven.
As, when pent vapours run their hollow round, Earthquakes, which are convulsions of the ground, Break bellowing forth, and no confinement brook, Till the third settles what the former shook ; Such heavings had our souls, till, slow and late, Our life with his returned, and faith prevailed on
* The sudden false report of the prince's death. See Note VII.
By prayers the mighty blessing was implored,
To prayers was granted, and by prayers restored.
So, ere the Shunamite a son conceived,
The prophet promised, and the wife believed ;
A son was sent, the son so much desired,
But soon upon the mother's knees expired.
The troubled seer approached the mournful door,
Ran, prayed, and sent his pastoral staff before,
Then stretched his limbs upon the child, and mourned,
Till warmth, and breath, and a new soul returned.
Thus mercy stretches out her hand, and saves Desponding Peter, sinking in the waves.
As when a sudden storm of hail and rain
Beats to the ground the yet unbearded grain,
Think not the hopes of harvest are destroyed
On the flat field, and on the naked void;
The light, unloaded stem, from tempest freed,
Will raise the youthful honours of his head;
And, soon restored by native vigour, bear
The timely product of the bounteous year.
Nor yet conclude all fiery trials past,
For heaven will exercise us to the last;
Sometimes will check us in our full career,
With doubtful blessings, and with mingled fear,
That, still depending on his daily grace,
His every mercy for an alms may pass;
With sparing hands will diet us to good,
Preventing surfeits of our pampered blood.
So feeds the mother bird her craving young
With little inorsels, and delays them long:
True, this last blessing was a royal feast; But where's the wedding-garment on the guest ? Our manners, as religion were a dream, Are such as teach the nations to blaspheme.
In lusts we wallow, and with pride we swell,
And injuries with injuries repel ;
Prompt to revenge, not daring to forgive,
Our lives unteach the doctrine we believe.
Thus Israel sinned, impenitently hard,
And vainly thought the present ark their guard;*
But when the haughty Philistines appear,
They fled, abandoned to their foes and fear;
Their God was absent, though his ark was there.
Ah! lest our crimes should snatch this pledge away,
And make our joys the blessings of a day!
For we have sinned him hence, and that he lives,
God to his promise, not our practice, gives.
Our crimes would soon weigh down the guilty scale,
But James and Mary, and the church prevail.
Nor Amalek † can rout the chosen bands,
While Hur and Aaron hold up Moses' hands.
By living well, let us secure his days,
Moderate in hopes, and humble in our ways.
No force the free-born spirit can constrain,
But charity, and great examples gain.
Forgiveness is our thanks for such a day;
'Tis godlike God in his own coin to pay.
But you, propitious queen, translated here,
From your mild heaven, to rule our rugged sphere,
Beyond the sunny walks, and circling year;
You, who your native climate have bereft
Of all the virtues, and the vices left;
Whom piety and beauty make their boast,
Though beautiful is well in pious lost;
So lost as star-light is dissolved away,
And melts into the brightness of the day ;
Or gold about the royal diadem,
Lost, to improve the lustre of the gem,-
* 1 Samuel, chap. iv. v. 10.
+ Exodus, chap. xvii. v. 8.