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'Tis all in vain what we can do:
All our roses and perfumes
Will but officious folly fhow,
And pious nothings to fuch mighty tombs.
The poets may their fpices spare,
Their coftly numbers, and their tuneful feet:
We know to praise thee is a dangerous proof
The one's extinguish'd quite;
the other never is more bright. So they that write of thee, and join
Their feeble names with thine;
Their weaker fparks with thy illuftrious light,
Will lofe themfelves in that ambitious thought;
It's for our pens too high, and full of theme :
And in thy facred urn furvive,
Without the food of oil, which we can give.
'Tis true; but yet our duty calls our fongs;
Duty commands our tongues :
Though thou want not our praises, we
Are not excus'd for what we owe to thee; For fo men from religion are not freed,
But from the altars clouds must rise,
Though heaven itself doth nothing need,
And though the gods don't want an earthly sacrifice.
Great life of wonders, whofe each year
Full of new miracles did appear !
Alone a chronicle, or history!
But thinly scatter'd here and there;
All one continued light, of undistinguish'd day;
Thou may'ft in double shapes be shown,
Like Jove, fometimes with warlike thunder, and
In what thy head, or what thy arm hath done,
So full of substance, and so strongly join'd,
That the leaft grain of it,
If fully fpread and beat,
Would many leaves and mighty volumes hold.
Before thy name was publish'd, and whilst yet
Whilft yet the happy bud
Was not quite seen or understood,
It then fure figns of future greatness shew'd :
Then thy domestic worth
Did tell the world what it would be,
When it should fit occafion fee,
When a full fpring fhould call it forth :
As bodies in the dark and night
Have the fame colours, the fame red and white,
As in the open day and light;
The fun doth only shew
That they are bright, not make them fo.
So whilft but private walls did know
What we to fuch a mighty mind fhould owe,
Though in a lefs and more contracted sphere,
Though then thine was not so enlarg'd a flood;
'Tis true thou was not born unto a crown,
Thy fceptre's not thy father's, but thy own:
Thy purple was not made at once in haste,
It took the deepest princely dye at last.
And private thoughts, took up thy private years:
On meaner things with equal mien.
That foul which fhould fo many fceptres fway,
From family, and fingle man,
Was by the small relation first
Of husband and of father nurs'd,
And from thofe lefs beginnings past,
To spread itself o'er all the world at last.
But when thy country (then almoft enthrall'd)
Thy virtue and thy courage call'd;
When England did thy arms intreat,
Was a true vein of earth, and run with blood:
Fill'd every place, and every ear;
When the great ftorms and difmal night
Did all the land affright;
'Twas time for thee to bring forth all our light.
Thou left'ft thy more delightful peace,
Thy country wounded was, and fick, before
Unto the weapon didst apply;
Thou didst not draw the fword, and fo.
As if thy country fhou'd
Be the inheritance of Mars and blood:
That peace might land again upon the shore,
The husbandmen no fteel fhall know,
And though our sky was overspread
With a deftructive red,
'Twas but till thou our fun didft in full light appear.