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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.
All our incenfe, gums and balm,
Are but unneceffary duties here:

The poets may their fpices spare,

Their coftly numbers, and their tuneful feet:
That need not be embalm'd, which of itself is sweet:


We know to praise thee is a dangerous proof
Of our obedience and our love :
For when the fun and fire meet,

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;
And yet no fame to thee from hence be brought.
We know, blefs'd fpirit, thy mighty name
Wants no addition of another's beam;

It's for our pens too high, and full of theme :
The Mufes are made great by thee, not thou by them,.
Thy fame's eternal lamp will live,

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 !
Whofe every month might be

Alone a chronicle, or history!
Others great actions are

But thinly scatter'd here and there;
At best, but all one fingle star;
But thine the milky-way,

All one continued light, of undistinguish'd day;
They throng'd fo close, that nought elfe could be feen,
Scarce any common sky did come between :
What fhall I fay, or where begin?

Thou may'ft in double shapes be shown,
Or in thy arms, or in thy gown;"

Like Jove, fometimes with warlike thunder, and
Sometimes with peaceful fceptre in his hand;
Or in the field, or on the throne.

In what thy head, or what thy arm hath done,
All that thou didst was fo refin'd,

So full of substance, and so strongly join'd,
So pure, fo weighty gold,

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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
Thou only to thyself wert great,

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,
Then the fame virtues did appear,

Though in a lefs and more contracted sphere,
As full, though not as large as fince they were:
And, like great rivers' fountains, though
At first fo deep thou didst not go :

Though then thine was not so enlarg'd a flood;
Yet when 'twas little, 'twas as clear, as good.


'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,
But after many other colours past,

It took the deepest princely dye at last.
Thou didst begin with leffer cares,

And private thoughts, took up thy private years:
Those hands which were ordain'd by fates
To change the world and alter states,
Practis'd at first that vast design

On meaner things with equal mien.

That foul which fhould fo many fceptres fway,
To whom so many kingdoms fhould obey,
Learn'd firft to rule in a domeftic way:
So government itself began

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,
And 't had been fin in thee not to be great:
When every stream, and every flood,

Was a true vein of earth, and run with blood:
When unus'd arms, and unknown war,

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 private life and better eafe;
Then down thy fteel and armour took,
Wishing that it still hung upon the hook :
When death had got a large commiffion out,
Throwing the arrows and her fting about;
Then thou (as once the healing ferpent rofe)
Waft lifted up, not for thyself but us.


Thy country wounded was, and fick, before
Thy wars and arms did her restore :
Thou knew'ft where the disease did lie,
And like the cure of fympathy,
The ftrong and certain remedy

Unto the weapon didst apply;

Thou didst not draw the fword, and fo.
Away the fcabbard throw,

As if thy country fhou'd

Be the inheritance of Mars and blood:
But that, when the great work was fpun,
War in itself fhould be undone :

That peace might land again upon the shore,
Richer and better than before :

The husbandmen no fteel fhall know,
None but the ufeful iron of the plow;
That bays might creep on every spear:

And though our sky was overspread

With a deftructive red,

'Twas but till thou our fun didft in full light appear.

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