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TO HIS SACRED MAJESTY
A PANEGYRIC ON HIS CORONATION
[Charles II was crowned on St. George's Day, April 23, 1661. This poem was published in 1661 and reprinted in 1688: see note on Astræa Redux, p. 7, above. There are no significant variant readings. The present edition follows the text of 1661.) In that wild deluge where the world was To
this happy day, while you appear drown'd,
Not king of us alone, but of the year. When life and sin one common tomb had All eyes you draw, and with the eyes the found,
heart, The first small prospect of a rising hill Of your own pomp yourself the greatest With various notes of joy the ark did fill:
part: Yet when that flood in its own depths was
Loud shouts the nation's happiness proclaim, drown'd,
And heav'n this day is feasted with your It left behind it false and slipp’ry ground; And the more solemn pomp was still de- Your cavalcade the fair spectators view ferr'd
From their high standings, yet look up to Till new-born nature in fresh looks appear'd.
you. Thus, royal sir, to see you landed here, From your brave train each singles out a Was cause enough of triumph for a year; 10
prey, Nor would your care those glorious joys And longs to date a conquest from your repeat,
day. Till they at once might be secure and great; Now charg'd with blessings while you seek Till your kind beams by their continued stay
repose, Had warm’d the ground, and call’d the Officious slumbers haste your eyes to close; damps away.
And glorious dreams stand ready to restore Such vapors, while your pow'rful influence The pleasing shapes of all you saw before. dries,
Next, to the sacred temple you are led, Then soonest vanish when they highest rise. Where waits a crown for your more sacred Had greater baste these sacred rights pre
How justly from the Church that crown is Some guilty months had in your triumphs due, shar'd;
Preserv'd from ruin, and restor'd by you ! But this untainted year is all your own; The grateful choir their harmony employ, Your glories may without our crimes be Not to make greater, but more solemn shown.
joy. We had not yet exhausted all our store, Wrapp'd soft and warm your name is sent When you refresh'd our joys by adding on high, more:
As flames do on the wings of incense fly: As Heav'n, of old, dispens'd celestial dew, Music herself is lost, in vain she brings You give us manna, and still give us new. Her choicest notes to praise the best of Now our sad ruins are remov'd from
Her melting strains in you a tomb have The season too comes fraught with new
And lie like bees in their own sweetness Time seems not now beneath his years to
He that brought peace, and discord could Nor do his wings with sickly feathers droop: atone, Soft western winds waft o'er the gaudy His name is music of itself alone. spring,
Now while the sacred oil anoints your head, And open'd scenes of flow'rs and blossoms And fragrant scents, begun from you, are bring,
Thro' the large dome, the people's joyful To take the fraischeur of the purer air: sound,
Undaunted here you ride when winter Sent back, is still preserv'd in hallow'd
With Cæsar's heart that rose above the Which in one blessing mix'd descends on you,
More I could sing, but fear my numbers As heighten'd spirits fall in richer dew.
stays; Not that our wishes do increase your store: No loyal subject dares that courage praise. Full of yourself, you can admit no more; In stately frigates most delight you find, We add not to your glory, but employ Where well-drawn battles fire your martial Our time, like angels, in expressing joy.
mind. Nor is it duty, or our hopes alone,
What to your cares we owe is learnt from Create that joy, but full fruition:
hence, We know those blessings which we must When ev'n your pleasures serve for our depossess,
fense. And judge of future by past happiness. Beyond your court flows in th’admitted tide, No promise can oblige a prince so much Where in new depths .the wond'ring fishes Still to be good, as long to have been such. glide: A noble emulation heats your breast, Here in a royal bed the waters sleep; And your own fame now robs your
When tir'd at sea, within this bay they rest:
creep. Good actions still must be maintain'd with Here the mistrustful fowl no harm sus
pects, As bodies nourish'd with resembling food. So safe are all things wbich our king proYou have already quench'd sedition's
From your lov'd Thames a blessing yet is And zeal, (which burnt it,) only warms due, the land.
Second alone to that it brought in you; The jealous sects, that dare not trust their A queen, from whose chaste womb, or
dain'd by fate, So far from their own will as to the laws, The souls of kings unborn for bodies wait. You for their umpire and their synod take, It was your love before made discord cease: And their appeal alone to Cæsar make.
Your love is destin'd to your country's Kind Heav'n so rare a temper did provide,
peace. That guilt repenting might in it confide. Both Indies, (rivals in your bed,) provide Among our crimes oblivion may be set; With gold or jewels to adorn your bride. But 't is our king's perfection to forget. This to a mighty king presents rich ore, Virtues unknown to these rough northern While that with incense does a god implore. climes
Two kingdoms wait your doom, and, as you From milder heav'ns you bring, without choose, their crimes;
This must receive a crown, or that must Your calmness does no after-storms pro
Thus from your Royal Oak, like Jove's of Nor seeming patience mortal anger hide.
old, When empire first from families did spring, Are answers sought, and destinies foreThen every father govern'd as a king;
told: But you, that are a sovereign prince, allay Propitious oracles are begg'd with vows, Imperial pow'r with your paternal sway. And crowns that grow upon the sacred From those great cares when ease your boughs. soul unbends,
Your subjects, while you weigh the nations' Your pleasures are desigu’d to noble ends:
fate, Born to command the Mistress of the Seas, Suspend to both their doubtful love or hate: Your thoughts themselves in that blue em- Choose only, sir, that so they may possess pire please.
With their own peace their children's hapHither in summer ev'nings you repair
TO MY LORD CHANCELLOR
PRESENTED ON NEW YEAR'S DAY
[The person addressed in this poem is Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, the greatest statesman of the earlier years of Charles the Second's reign. The poem was published in 1662 and reprinted in 1688: see note on Astræa Redux, p. 7, above. There are only small variations between the two copies; the 1662 text is the basis of the present edition.] My LORD,
In open prospect nothing bounds our eye, While flattering crowds officiously appear, Until the earth seems join'd unto the sky: To give themselves, not you, an happy year; So in this hemisphere our utmost view And by the greatness of their presents prove Is only bounded by our king and you; How much they hope, but not how well Our sight is limited where you are join'd, they love;
And beyond that no farther heav'n can find. The Muses, who your early courtship boast, So well your virtues do with his agree, Tho' now your flames are with their beauty That, tho' your orbs of different greatness lost,
be, Yet watch their time, that, if you have for- Yet both are for each other's use dispos'd, got
His to inclose, and yours to be inclos'd. They were your mistresses, the world may Nor could another in your room have been, not:
Except an emptiness had come between. Decay'd by time and wars, they only prove Well may he then to you his cares impart, Their former beauty by your former love; 10 And share his burden where he shares his And now present as ancient ladies do,
heart. That courted long, at length are forc'd to In
you his sleep still wakes; his pleasures
find For still they look on you with such kind Their share of bus’ness in your lab'ring eyes,
mind: Asthose that see the Church's sovereign rise; So, when the weary sun his place resigns, From their own order chose, in whose high | He leaves his light and by reflection shines. state
Justice, that sits and frowns where public They think themselves the second choice of
Exclude soft Mercy from a private cause, 50 When our great monarch into exile went, In your tribunal most herself does please; Wit and religion suffer'd banishment. There only smiles because she lives at ease; Thus once, when Troy was wrapp'd in fire And, like young David, finds her strength and smoke,
the more, The helpless gods their burning shrines for- When disincumber'd from those arms she
sook; They with the vanquish'd prince and party Heav'n would your royal master should exgo,
ceed And leave their temples empty to the foe. Most in that virtue which we most did At length the Muses stand, restor'd again
need; To that great charge which Nature did or- And his mild father (who too late did find dain;
All mercy vain but what with pow'r was And their lov'd Druids seem reviv'd by fate,
join'd) While you dispense the laws and guide the His fatal goodness left to fitter times, State.
Not to increase, but to absolve The nation's soul (our mon onarch) does dis
But when the heir of this vast treasure Thro' you to us his vital influence;
knew You are the channel where those spirits flow, How large a legacy was left to you, And work them higher, as to us they go. 30 (Too great for any subject to retain)
He wisely tied it to the crown again: She struck the warlike spear into the Yet passing thro' your hands it gathers ground; more,
Which sprouting leaves did suddenly inAs streams, thro' mines, bear tincture of
close, their ore.
And peaceful olives shaded as they rose. While emp'ric politicians use deceit,
How strangely active are the arts of Hide what they give, and cure but by a
Whose restless motions less than war's do You boldly show that skill which they
cease ! pretend,
Peace is not freed from labor, but from And work by means as noble as your end; 70
noise; Which should you veil, we might unwind And war more force, but not more pains the clue,
employs: As men do nature, till we came to you. Such is the mighty swiftness of your mind, And as the Indies were not found before That, like the earth's, it leaves our sense Those rich perfumes, which from the happy behind, shore
While you so smoothly turn and roll our The winds upon their balmy wings con- spbere, vey'd,
That rapid motion does but rest appear. Whose guilty sweetness first their world For as in nature's swiftness, with the betray'd;
throng So by your counsels we are brought to view Of flying orbs while ours is borne along, A rich and undiscover'd world in you. All seems at rest to the deluded eye, By you our monarch does that fame assure (Mov'd by the soul of the same harmony,) Which kings must have, or cannot live So carried on by your unwearied care,
We rest in peace, and yet in motion share. For prosp’rous princes gain their subjects’ Let Envy then those crimes within you see heart,
From which the happy never must be free; Who love that praise in which themselves (Envy, that does with Misery reside, bave part.
The joy and the revenge of ruin'd Pride.) By you he fits those subjects to obey, Think it not hard, if at so cheap a rate As heaven's eternal monarch does convey You can secure the constancy of Fate, His pow'r unseen, and man to his designs Whose kindness sent what does their malice By his bright ministers the stars inclines.
seem, Our setting sun from his declining seat By lesser ills the greater to redeem. Shot beams of kindness on you, not of Nor can we this weak show'r a tempest heat;
call, And, when his love was bounded in a few, But drops of heat, that in the sunshine fall. That were unhappy that they might be You have already wearied Fortune so, true,
She cannot farther be your friend or foe; Made you
the fav'rite of his last sad times, But sits all breathless, and admires to feel That is, a suff'rer in his subjects' crimes: A fate so weighty that it stops her wheel. Thus those first favors you receiv'd were In all things else above our humble fate, sent,
Your equal mind yet swells not into state; Like Heav'n's rewards, in earthly punish- But like some mountain in those happy ment.
isles, Yet Fortune, conscious of your destiny, Where in perpetual spring young nature Ev'n then took care to lay you softly by;
smiles, And wrapp'd your fate among her precious Your greatness shows: no horror to afthings,
fright, Kept fresh to be unfolded with your king's. But trees for shade, and flow'rs to court the Shown all at once, you dazzled so our eyes,
sight: As newborn Pallas did the gods surprise; Sometimes the hill submits itself a while When, springing forth from Jove's new- In small descents, which do its height beclosing wound,
POEMS WRITTEN BETWEEN 1662 AND 1665 [Dryden's career as a dramatist began with the production of The Wild Gallant early in 1663. From that time until the publication of Absalom and Achitophel in November, 1681, his work, with the relatively unimportant exceptions of Annus Mirabilis (1666),
the translations from Ovid's Epistles (1680), and possibly a few songs, was exclusively concerned with the theater; and hence, since the text of the dramas is excluded from this volume, can be here represented only in the scantiest manner.]
TO MY HONOR'D FRIEND, DR.
ON HIS LEARNED AND USEFUL WORKS;
AND MORE PARTICULARLY THIS OF STONEHENGE, BY HIM RESTOR'D TO THE TRUE FOUNDERS
newly acquired power; they (the Danes] imployed themselves, during that time of leisure and jollity, in erecting Stonehenge, as a place wherein to elect and inaugurate their supreme commander King of England." (P. 64.)
The censor's imprimatur in Charleton's volume is dated 11 Sept. 1662, and the book was probably published before the close of that year, though dated in the following. Of this edition two issues are known, one of them lacking the above imprimatur. There are a few variant readings in Dryden's epistle as printed in the two issues; the text below is that of the issue without the imprimatur, which is probably the later. A reprint in Poetical Miscellanies, the Fifth Part, 1704, introduces further variants, which may possibly be due to Dryden himself. The poem is principally important as showing Dryden's early enthusiasm for natural science.)
(This epistle is prefixed to Chorea Gigantum ; or, The Most Famous Antiquity of Great Britain, vulgarly called Stoneheng, standing on Salisbury Plain, restored to the Danes: by Walter Charleton, Dr. in Physic, and Physician in Ordinary to His Majesty. London, 1663. Dryden's poem follows another epistle by Sir Robert Howard. Charleton, who was a man of mark both as physician and author, here presents an argument against the architect Inigo Jones. His summaries of his adversary's theory, and of his own, are as follows:
Mr. Jones his opinion, then, of the founders, antiquity, and design of Stonehenge, is: that it was a work of the Romans, built by them when they flourished here in greatest peace and prosperity ... not as a sepulchral monument, but as a temple, and particularly consecrated to the imaginary deity of Cælus, or Caelum, from whence their superstitious belief derived the original of all things." (P.
“I am apt to believe that having then overrun the whole kingdom, except only Somersetshire, and encamping their main army in Wiltshire, for near upon two years together, and setting up their rest in a confidence to perpetuate their
The longest tyranny that ever sway'd
charms, Hard words seal'd up with Aristotle's arms. Columbus was the first that shook his
throne, And found a temp'rate in a torrid zone: The fev'rish air fann'd by a cooling breeze,