Edmund Waller.

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To him that feels the secret wound is known.

With the sweet sound of this harmonious lay
About the keel delighted dolphins play,
Too sure a sign of sea's ensuing rage, 35

Which must anon this royal troop engage ;
To whom soft sleep seems more secure and sweet,
Within the town commanded by our fleet.

These mighty peers placed in the gilded barge,
Proud with the burden of so brave a charge, 40

With painted oars the youths begin to sweep
Neptune's smooth face, and cleave the yielding deep ;


Which soon becomes the seat of sudden war
Between the wind and tide that fiercely jar.
As when a sort of lusty shepherds try 45

Their force at football, care of victory
Makes them salute so rudely breast to breast,
That their encounters seem too rough for jest ;
They ply their feet, and still the restless ball,
Tossed to and fro, is urged by them all : 50

So fares the doubtful barge 'twixt tide and winds,
And like effect of their contention finds.
Yet the bold Britons still securely rowed ;
Charles and his virtue was their sacred load ;
Than which a greater pledge Heaven could not give, 55
That the good boat this tempest should outlive.

But storms increase, and now no hope of grace
Among them shines, save in the Prince's face ;
The rest resign their courage, skill, and sight,
To danger, horror, and unwelcome night. 60

The gentle vessel (wont with state and pride
On the smooth back of silver Thames to ride)
Wanders astonished in l the angry main,
As Titan's car did, while the golden rein
Filled the young hand of his adventurous son, 65
When the whole world an equal hazard run
To this of ours, the light of whose desire
Waves threaten now, as that was scared by fire.
The impatient sea grows impotent and raves,

i. 1645, through.

B 2


That, night assisting, his impetuous waves 70

Should find resistance from so light a thing ;

These surges ruin, those our safety bring.

The oppressed vessel doth the charge abide,

Only because assailed on every side ;

So men with rage and passion set on fire, 75

Trembling for haste, impeach their mad desire.

The pale Iberians had expired with fear,
But that their wonder did divert their care,
To see the Prince with danger moved no more
Than with the pleasures of their court before ; 80
Godlike his courage seemed, whom nor delight
Could soften, nor the face of death affright.
Next to the power of making tempests cease,
Was in that storm to have so calm a peace.
Great Maro could no greater tempest feign, 85

When the loud winds usurping on the main
For angry Juno, laboured to destroy
The hated relics of confounded Troy ;
His bold ^Eneas, on like billows tossed
In a tall ship, and all his country lost, 90

Dissolves with fear ; and both his hands upheld,
Proclaims them happy whom the Greeks had quelled
In honourable fight ; our hero, set
In a small shallop, Fortune in his debt,
So near a hope of crowns and sceptres, more 95

Than ever Priam, when he flourished, wore ;
His loins yet full of ungot princes, all
His glory in the bud, lets nothing fall


That argues fear ; if any thought annoys

The gallant youth, 'tis love's untasted joys, 100

And dear remembrance of that fatal glance,

For which he lately pawned his heart in France ;

Where he had seen a brighter nymph than she

That sprung out of his present foe, the sea.

That noble ardour, more than mortal fire, 105

The conquered ocean could not make expire ;

Nor angry Thetis raise her waves above

The heroic Prince's courage or his love ;

'Twas indignation, and not fear he felt,

The shrine should perish where that image dwelt. 1 10

Ah, Love forbid ! the noblest of thy train

Should not survive to let her know his pain ;

Who nor his peril minding nor his flame,

Is entertained with some less serious game,

Among the bright nymphs of the Gallic court, 115

All highly born, obsequious to her sport ;

They roses seem, which in their early pride

But half reveal, and half their beauties hide ;

She the glad morning, which her beams does throw

Upon their smiling leaves, and gilds them so ; 120

Like bright Aurora, whose refulgent ray

Foretells the fervour of ensuing day,

And warns the shepherd with his flocks retreat

To leafy shadows from the threatened heat.

From Cupid's string l of many shafts, that fled 125

i .1645. Strings in 1664 and subsequent editions.


Winged with those plumes which noble Fame had


As through the wondering world she flew, and told
Of his adventures, haughty, brave, and bold ;
Some had already touched the royal maid,
But Love's first summons seldom are obeyed ; 130
Light was the wound, the Prince's care unknown,
She might not, would not, yet reveal her own.
His glorious name had so possessed her ears,
That with delight those antique tales she hears
Of Jason, Theseus, and such worthies old, 135

As with his story best resemblance hold.
And now she views, as on the wall it hung,
What old Musseus so divinely sung ;
Which art with life and love did so inspire,
That she discerns and favours that desire, 140

Which there provokes the adventurous youth to swim,
And in Leander's danger pities him ;
Whose not new love alone, but fortune, seeks
To frame his story like that 1 amorous Greek's.
For from the stern of some good ship appears 145
A friendly light, which moderates their fears ;
New courage from reviving hope they take,
And climbing o'er the waves that taper make,
On which the hope of all their lives depends,
As his on that fair Hero's hand extends. 150

The ship at anchor, like a fixed rock,

i. 1664 and 1682, the.


Breaks the proud billows which her large sides knock :
Whose rage restrained, foaming higher swells,
And from her port the weary barge repels,
Threatening to make her, forced out again, 155

Repeat the dangers of the troubled main.
Twice was the cable hurled in vain ; the Fates
Would not be moved for our sister states ;
For England is the third successful throw,
And then the genius of that land they know, 160

Whose prince must be (as their own books devise)
Lord of the scene where now his l danger lies.

Well sung the Roman bard, "All human things
Of dearest value hang on slender strings."
O see the then sole hope, and, in design 165

Of Heaven, our joy, supported by a line !
Which for that instant was Heaven's care, above 2
The chain that's fixed to the throne of Jove,
On which the fabric of our world depends ;
One link dissolved, the whole creation ends. 170

i -1664, ***.

a. In the edition of i636 at the end of this line there is a
comma, which is not found in the previous editions.




WELL fare the hand ! which to our humble sight
Presents that beauty, which the dazzling light

Of royal splendour hides from weaker eyes,
And all access, save by this art, denies.
Here only we have courage to behold 5

This beam of glory ; here we dare unfold
In numbers thus the wonders we conceive ;
The gracious image, seeming to give leave,
Propitious stands, vouchsafing to be seen,
And by our muse saluted, Mighty Queen, 10

In whom the extremes of power and beauty move,
The Queen of Britain, and the Queen of Love !
As the bright sun (to which we owe no sight
Of equal glory to your beauty's light)
Is wisely placed in so sublime a seat, 15

To extend his light, and moderate his heat ;
So, happy 'tis you move in such a sphere,
As your high Majesty with awful fear
In human breasts might qualify that fire,
Which, kindled by those eyes, had flamed higher 20


Than when the scorched world like hazard run,
By the approach of the ill-guided sun.

No other nymphs have title to men's hearts,
But as their meanness larger hope imparts ;
Your beauty more the fondest lover moves 25

With admiration than his private loves ;
With admiration ! for a pitch so high
(Save sacred Charles his) never love durst fly.
Heaven that preferred a sceptre to your hand,
Favoured our freedom more than your command ; 30
Beauty had crowned you, and you must have been
The whole world's mistress, other than a Queen.
All had been rivals, and you might have spared,
Or killed, and tyrannized, without a guard.
No power achieved, either by arms or birth, 35

Equals love's empire both in heaven and earth.
Such eyes as yours on Jove himself have thrown
As bright and fierce a lightning as his own ;
Witness our Jove, prevented by their flame
In his swift passage to the Hesperian dame ; 40

When, like a lion, finding, in his way
To some intended spoil, a fairer prey,
The royal youth pursuing the report
Of beauty, found it in the Gallic court ;
There public care with private passion fought 45

A doubtful combat in his noble thought :
Should he confess his greatness, and his love,
And the free faith of your great brother prove ;
With his Achates breaking through the cloud


Of that disguise which did their graces shroud ; 50

And mixing with those gallants at the ball,

Dance with the ladies, and outshine them all ?

Or on his journey o'er the mountains ride ?

So when the fair Leucothoe he espied,

To check his steeds impatient Phoebus yearned, 55

Though all the world was in his course concerned.

What may hereafter her meridian do,

Whose dawning beauty warmed his bosom so ?

Not so divine a flame, since deathless gods

Forbore to visit the defiled abodes 60

Of men, in any mortal breast did burn ;

Nor shall, till piety and they return.



So earnest with thy God ! can no new care,

No sense of danger, interrupt thy prayer?

The sacred wrestler, till a blessing given,

Quits not his hold, but halting conquers Heaven ;

Nor was the stream of thy devotion stopped, 5

When from the body such a limb was lopped,

As to thy present state was no less maim,

Though thy wise choice has since repaired the same.

Hold Homer durst not so great virtue feign

In his best pattern : for Patroclus slain, 1 10

With such amazement as weak mothers use,

And frantic gesture, he receives the news.

Vet fell his darling by the impartial chance

Of war, imposed by royal Hector's lance;

Thine in full peace, and by a vulgar hand 15

Torn from thy bosom, left his high command.

The famous painter could allow no place
For private sorrow in a prince's face :
Yet, that his piece might not exceed belief,
He cast a veil upon supposed grief. 20

'Twas want of such a precedent as this
Made the old heathen frame their gods amiss.

I. 1686, In his best pattern, of Patroclus slain ; for is the
reading of the 1645 edition, but there the line ends with a full
stop, which I have ventured to remove.


Their Phoebus should not act a fonder part

For their 1 fair boy, 2 than he did for his hart ;

Nor blame for Hyacinthus' fate his own, 25

That kept from him wished death, hadst thou been


He that with thine shall weigh 3 good David's deeds,
Shall find his passion, not his love, exceeds :
He cursed the mountains where his brave friend died,
But let 4 false Ziba with his heir divide ; 30

Where thy immortal love to thy best 5 friends,
Like that of Heaven, upon their seed descends.
Such huge extremes inhabit thy great mind,
Godlike, unmoved, and yet, like woman, kind !
Which of the ancient poets had not brought 35

Our Charles's pedigree from Heaven, and taught
How some bright dame, compressed by mighty Jove,
Produced this mixed Divinity and Love ?


SEDIBUS emigrans solitis, comitatus inermi
Rex turba, simplex et diadema gerens,

Ecce ! redit bino Carolus cliademate cinctus :
Hsec ubi nuda dedit pompa, quid arma dabunt.

i. 1645, 1664, 1668, the. 2. Cyparissus.

3. 1645, Yet he that weighs with thine.

4. 1645, lets. 5. 1645, blest.



OF Jason, Theseus, and such worthies old,

Light seem the tales antiquity has told ;

Such beasts and monsters as their force oppressed,

Some places only, and some times, infest.

Salle, that scorned all power and laws of men, 5

Goods with their owners hurrying to their den,

And future ages threatening with a rude 1

And savage race, successively renewed ;

Their king despising with rebellious pride,

And foes professed to all the world beside ; 10

This pest of mankind gives our hero fame,

And through the obliged world dilates his name.

The Prophet once to cruel Agag said,
" As thy fierce sword has mothers childless made,
So shall the sword make thine ; " and with that word 1 5
He hewed the man in pieces with his sword.
Just Charles-like measure has returned to these
Whose Pagan hands had stained the troubled seas ;
With ships they made the spoiled merchant mourn ;
With ships their city and themselves are torn. 20

i. 1645, crude.


One squadron of our winged castles sent,

O'erthrew their fort, and all their navy rent ;

For not content the dangers to increase,

And act the part of tempests in the seas,

Like hungry wolves, these pirates from our shore 25

Whole flocks of sheep, and ravished cattle bore.

Safely they might 1 on other nations prey,

Fools to provoke the sovereign of the sea !

Mad Cacus so, whom like ill fate persuades,

The herd of fair Alcmena's seed invades, 30

Who for revenge, and mortals' glad relief,

Sacked the dark cave, and crushed that horrid thief.

Morocco's monarch, wondering at this fact,
Save that his presence his affairs exact,
Had come in person to have seen and known 35

The injured world's revenger and his own.
Hither he sends the chief among his peers,
Who in his bark proportioned 2 presents bears,
To the renowned for piety and force,
Poor captives manumised, and matchless horse. 40

i. 1645, did. 2. 1645, well-cliosen.



WHERE'ER thy navy spreads her canvas wings,

Homage to thee, and peace to all she brings ;

The French and Spaniard, when thy flags appear,

Forget their hatred, and consent to fear.

So Jove from Ida did both hosts survey, 5

And when he pleased to thunder part the fray.

Ships heretofore in seas like fishes sped,

The mighty still upon the smaller 1 fed ;

Thou on the deep imposest nobler 8 laws,

And by that justice hast removed the cause 10

Of those rude tempests, which for rapine sent,

Too oft, alas ! involved the innocent.

Now shall the ocean, as thy Thames, be free

From both those fates, of storms and piracy.

But we most happy, who can fear no force 1 5

But winged troops, or Fegasean horse.

'Tis not so hard for greedy foes to spoil

Another nation, as to touch our soil.

Should nature's self invade the world again,

And o'er the centre spread the liquid main, 20

Thy power were safe, and her destructive hand

Would but enlarge the bounds of thy command ;

Thy dreadful fleet would style thee lord of all,

And ride in triumph o'er the drowned ball ;

i. In all editions previous to 1686, The mightiest still upon
the smallest fed.
2. 1645, stricter.


Those towers of oak o'er fertile plains might go, 25
And visit mountains where they once did grow.

The world's restorer never could l endure
That finished Babel should those men secure,
Whose pride designed that fabric to have stood
Above the reach of any second flood ; 30

To thee, his chosen, more indulgent, he
Dares trust such power with so much piety.


THAT shipwrecked vessel which the Apostle bore,
Scarce suffered more upon Melita's shore,
Than did his temple in the sea of time,
Our nation's glory, and our nation's crime.
When the first monarch of this happy isle, 5

Moved with the ruin of so brave a pile,
This work of cost and piety begun,
To be accomplished by his glorious son,
Who all that came within the ample thought
Of his wise sire has to perfection brought ; 10

He, like Amphion, makes those quarries leap
Into fair figures from a confused heap ;
For in his art of regiment is found
A power like that of harmony in sound. [15

Those antique minstrels sure were Charles-like kings,

i. 1645, once could not.


Cities their lutes, and subjects' hearts their strings,

On which with so divine a hand they strook,

Consent of motion from their breath they took :

So all our minds with his conspire to grace

The Gentiles' great apostle, and deface 20

Those state-obscuring sheds, that like a chain

Seemed to confine and fetter him again ;

Which the glad saint shakes off at his command,

As once the viper from his sacred hand :

So joys the aged oak, when we divide 25

The creeping ivy from his injured side.

Ambition rather would affect the fame
Of some new structure, to have borne her name.
Two distant virtues in one act we find,
The modesty and greatness of his mind ; 30

Which not content to be above the rage,
And injury of all-impairing age,
In its own worth secure, doth higher climb,
And things half swallowed from the jaws of Time
Reduce ; an earnest of his grand design, 35

To frame no new church, but the old refine ;
Which, spouse-like, may with comely grace command,
More than by force of argument or hand.
For doubtful reason few can apprehend,
And war brings ruin where it should amend ; 40

But beauty, with a bloodless conquest, finds
A welcome sovereignty in rudest minds.

Not aught which Sheba's wondering queen beheld
Amongst the works of Solomon, excelled



His ships, and building; emblems of a heart 45

Large both in magnanimity and art.

While the propitious heavens this work attend,
Long-wanted showers they forget to send ;
As if they meant to make it understood
Of more importance than our vital food. 50

The sun, which riseth to salute the quire
Already finished, setting shall admire
How private bounty could so far extend :
The King built all, but Charles the western end.
So proud a fabric to devotion given, 55

At once it threatens and obliges heaven !

Laomedon, that had the gods in pay,
Neptune, with him that rules the sacred day,
Could no such structure raise : Troy walled so high,
The Atrides might as well have forced the sky. 60

Glad, though amazed, are our neighbour kings.
To see such power employed in peaceful things ;
They list not urge it to the dreadful field ;
The task is easier to destroy than build.

. . . .Sic gratia regum

Pieriis tentata modis HoRAT. 1

i. -This quotation (Ars Poetica, 404-5) does not occur in the
edition of 1645.



THE YEAR I635- 1

VERSE makes heroic virtue live ;

But you can life to verses give.

As when in open air we blow,

The breath, though strained, sounds flat and low ;

But if a trumpet take the blast, 5

It lifts it high, and makes it last :

So in your airs our numbers dressed,

Make a shrill sally from the breast

Of nymphs, who, singing what we penned,

Our passions to themselves commend ; 10

While love, victorious with thy art,

Governs at once their voice and heart.

You by the help of tune and time,
Can make that song that was but rhyme.
Noy pleading, no man doubts the cause ; 15

Or questions verses set by Lawes.

x. This poem was first printed in " Ayres and Dialogues,
For one, two, and three voices." By Henry Lawes, London,
1653. Folio.

C 2


As a church window, 1 thick with paint,
Lets in a light but dim and faint ;
So others, with division, hide
The light of sense, the poet's pride : 20

But you alone may truly boast
That not a syllable is lost ;
The writer's, and the setter's skill
At once the ravished ears 2 do fill.
Let those which only warble long, 25

And gargle in their throats a song,
Content themselves with Ut, Re, Mi :
Let words, and sense, be set by thee.

i. " Ayres and Dialogues," For as a window.
2. " Ayres and Dialogues," ear.



MADAM, of all the sacred Muse inspired,

Orpheus alone could with the woods comply ;

Their rude inhabitants his song admired,

And Nature's self, in those that could not lie :

Your beauty next our solitude invades, 5

And warms us, shining through the thickest shades.

Nor ought the tribute which the wondering court

Pays your fair eyes, prevail with you to scorn

The answer and consent to that 1 report

Which, echo-like, the country does return : 10

Mirrors are taught to flatter, but our springs

Present the impartial images of things.

A rural judge disposed of beauty's prize ;

A simple shepherd was preferred to Jove ;

Down to the mountains from the partial skies, 15

Came Juno, Pallas, and the Queen of Love,

To plead for that which was so justly given

To the bright Carlisle of the court of heaven.

Carlisle ! a name which all our woods are taught,
Loud as his Amaryllis, to resound ; 20

Carlisle ! a name which on the bark is wrought
Of every tree that's worthy of the wound.
From Phoebus' rage our shadows and our streams
May guard us better than from Carlisle's beams.

i. 1645, the.



WHEN from black clouds no part of sky is clear,

But just so much as lets the sun appear,

Heaven then would seem thy image, and reflect

Those sable vestments, and that bright aspect.

A spark of virtue by the deepest shade 5

Of sad adversity is fairer made ;

Nor less advantage doth thy beauty get ;

A Venus rising from a sea of jet !

Such was the appearance of new formed light,

While yet it struggled with eternal night. 10

Then mourn no more, lest thou admit increase

Of glory by thy noble lord's decease.

We find not that the laughter-loving dame

Mourned for Anchises ; 'twas enough she came

To grace the mortal with her deathless bed, 15

And that his living eyes such beauty fed ;

Had she been there, untimely joy, through all

Men's hearts diffused, had marred the funeral.

Those eyes were made to banish grief : as well

Bright Phoebus might affect in shades to dwell, 20

As they to put on sorrow : nothing stands,

But power to grieve, exempt from thy commands.


If thou lament, thou must do so alone ;

Grief in thy presence can lay hold on none.

Yet still persist the memory to love 25

Of that great Mercury of our mighty Jove,

Who, by the power of his enchanting tongue,

Swords from the hands of threatening monarchs wrung.

War he prevented, or soon made it cease,

Instructing princes in the arts of peace ; 30

Such as made Sheba's curious queen resort

To the large-hearted Hebrew's famous court.

Had Homer sat amongst his wondering guests,

He might have learned at those stupendous feasts,

With greater bounty, and more sacred state, 35

The banquets of the gods to celebrate.

But oh ! what elocution might he use,

What potent charms, that could so soon infuse

His absent master's love into the heart

Of Henrietta ! forcing her to part 40

From her loved brother, country, and the sun,

And, like Camilla, o'er the waves to run

Into his arms ! while the Parisian dames

Mourn for their ravished glory ; at their 1 flames

No less amaz'd than the amazed stars, 45

When the bold charmer of Thessalia wars

With Heaven itself, and numbers does repeat,

Which call descending Cynthia from her seat.

i. 1645, her.



WHAT fury has provoked thy wit to dare,

With Diomede, to wound the Queen of Love ?

Thy mistress' envy, or thine own despair ?

Not the just Pallas in thy breast did move

So blind a rage, with such a different fate ; 5

He honour won where thou hast purchased hate.

She gave assistance to his Trojan foe ;

Thou, that without a. rival thou mayst love,

Dost to the beauty of this lady owe,

While after her the gazing world does move. 10

Canst thou not be content to love alone ?

Or is thy mistress not content with one ?

Though Ceres' child could not avoid the rape

Of the grim god that hurried her to hell,

Yet there her beauty did from slander 'scape, 15

When thou art there, she shall not speed so well :

The spiteful owl, whose tale detains her there,

Is not so blind to say she is not fair.

i. 1645, In Answer to a libell against her,&*c., immediately
following the preceding poem, which is headed as in the text.


Hast thou not read of Fairy Arthur's shield,

Which, but disclosed, amazed the weaker eyes 20

Of proudest foes, and won the doubtful field ?

So shall thy rebel wit become her prize.

1 2 3 4 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Online LibraryEdmund WallerThe poems of Edmund Waller; → online text (page 6 of 21)