Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LONDON SURVEYED AND ILLUSTRATED, by JOHANNEM ADAMUS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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First Line: What dire calamities have enforced me
Last Line: Of londons trophies and our time and tense.
Subject(s): London Fire (1666); Great Fire Of 1666

What dire calamities have enforced me
Dear Transylvania, from thy Brest to flee
Who gavest me suck; and in whose lap I sate
Secure possessed with a good Estate?
O Land of unknown plenty! Where the Vine
Spreads forth her Branches and affords us Wine
More luscious then Nepenthe; where our Fruit
With Corn and Cattel vied; before the bruit
Of Warr was heard, and the insulting lust
Of Mahomet had laid us in the Dust.
Witness fair Alba-Julia, whose Eyes
Like studded Starrs enamelling the Skies
(Made her great Kings, and Emperours delight)
Sit now Ecclipsed in eternal night.
Henceforth (dear friends) we are constrain'd to fly
And seek for what our Own Home doth deny.
To thy safe armes London we are hurld
London the great Emporeum of the world,
Whose benigne Souls [sic] still ready is to bless
And succour strangers in their most distress.
Fame of thy Beauty, and great Bounty too
Extended to such Exile strangers, who
Profess the same Religion, which combin'd
With thy most liberal kindness, hath enclin'd
Me to believe blest England doth alone
Comprize the blessings of the spacious Zone:
England the fertile Mother of brave men,
Gemme of fair Europe! and more noble then
Thy sister Isles; O may Heavens Sun still shine
On thee the Granary of the world, and Mine
Of golden Oare! Indulger of just truth
And known Integrity! Whose vernal youth
Rains down sweet blessings in abundant showers
Exuberant as well in Fruits as Flowers.
Henceforth Rome nor Jerusalem shall be
With Libanus wealth, of such esteem with me;
Nor Spain, nor yet those Indies which do boast
And pay that boasted Tribute to her Coast:
Nor sweet Arabia's Gumms shall henceforth dare
With thy perfumes fair London to compare.
London to me more glorious then the wide
Frame of the world; who to me well ey'd,
Dost strike astonishment. How shall I then
Begin to speak of thee proud Pile? Or when
Shall I conclude? blest Muse goe thou before
And as my harbinger op'e every doore
To my design; shew me most ignorant, all
The pomp and glories of each Court and Hall;
And as well Houses which in vallyes lie
As Pallaces whose Turrets touch the Skie.
This is that place (if mine eyes doe not erre)
Where Britans King resides not farr from her
High streets; which City raigneth Soveraigne Queen
Of this great Realme; whose proud port and Meen
Rome must submit. This is great Troynovant
Built by the Peers of Troy which thence may vaunt
And challenge her descent; old Priams sons
Whose facts fill chronicles, with those Trojan Donnes
New risen from their graves doe all agree
To live, and Re-derive themselves from thee.
So sang the British Bards in dayes of Yore;
But now shee's chang'd from what she was before,
More glorious in her habit, port, and hue;
Old Troy some Centuries since, is now turn'd new.
Live happy Citty, live! So often woo'd
By me some lusters since, and now renew'd,
As much admir'd: Thy Churches, Towers, and Streets
Ravish our Eyes; Here great Astrea meets
In thy Tribunals, who art Head, Heart, Eye,
Of the whole Earth, and wonder of the Skie.
Now banish't I, behold thee as I pass,
Storehouse of men, and armes; who hast a Mass
Of wealth to-boot (and what doth more improve
Thy fame) the seat of Charity and Love.
Thy Reputation, fame, and stately port
Made me more willing to behold thy Court,
Heaven being my guide. Thine Aquoeducts, and founts
Are things of weight, and worth, and our accompts
Can't calculate great City each degree
Or part of Honour which belongs to thee.
Thy Conduits, Streams, and Cisterns being so great,
What shall I speak of that illustrious Seat
Fair Gresham Colledge, for some while repleat
With shops and men till Gresham's other frame
Fitted, shall reinvite them to the same.
What shall I say of Sion-Colledge, which
Like a great wealthy store-house doth enrich
The minds of men, where all the liberal arts
Concenter here divided into parts.
Whilst Aristotle doth possesse the chaire,
Philosophers with Physicians doe repaire
To drink down the distilled dew and hast
Here when most hungry to get some repast.
But here Theologie doth beare the sway,
And the divines have th' honor of the day:
Theologie which doth sound documents give,
Both to the good and bad men how to live.
Yea sacred Nymphs, infuse in me new fire,
Retune my tongue, and teach me to admire,
And in that admiration to proclaime
Those triumphs due to Londons ample frame.
Wondring at such variety of things,
My mind was taken captive, and her wings
Were imp't, not suffering her for to ascend
Those heights to which this stately pile doth tend.
Yet here I view no walls, or banks, t' amate
Th' insulting foe; no Towers for strength, or state
Inviron London; her's no Rock, nor shelf,
Londons a mighty Bulwark of her self.
So Lacedoemon did her self make good,
Her safety scorning walls of stone or mud;
Your works of Piety worthy Citizens
Do more immure you then your walls or pens
Which do inviron other Towns; 'tis known
You need no external aids safe in your own.
Thames is your Rampier. Thames which doth inviron
One side more safely then strong barrs of Iron.
Blest City whose commodious and sweet site
Invites the Eye to wonder, and delight;
Thou being cram'd with blessings in such store,
That Heaven could not well give, or Earth ask more.
Oh! With what splendor, and prodigious state
Doth she the Eyes invite! and yet amate
Them, dazled with her luster, where the port
Of every brave built house doth seem a Court.
I don't admire Amphions Pallaces
Nor Cadmus Towers, nor such lies as these
Which bragging Greece obtrudes, since I dare say
Quirinus liv'd not in so fine and gay
Structures, as now this City here and there
Presents the Eye, and suggests to the Ear.
Tell me brave Citizens, and let th' whole Earth
Admire the freshness of her late new birth.
Fair Troynovant! the glory of this Isle!
All things being rich, and nothing mean, or vile.
And what the Marble wants, Brick doth advance
To paint thee of a Ruddy Countenance:
That when thou art quite finisht thou shalt reign
Empress of Realms and sit sole Soveraign
Without a Rival; thy proud scituation
For strength and state ingaging every nation
To pay thee tribute; Poets too in dayes
To come hereafter, will proclaim thy Praise.
The staring stranger, and the stander by
Will gaze, and turn all senses to its Eye,
And with a liberal voice now bid adieu
To brave Old Troy, and welcome in the New.
As when the Phoenix putting off old fate
(Beyond the mighty River of Euphrate)
Puts on fresh years, the Birds on every side
Flock to behold the Beauties of their Bride,
Who propagates her self, her Midwife womb
Being at once her Cradle, and her Tomb.
Whilst she in Feathers glittering like Gold,
Array'd in new Robes, doth resign the old
Raggs of mortality, which once were worne,
But now cast off as useless, and forlorne.
So this unpattern'd Soveraign, whose site
And state are all mens wonder and delight
Inthroned sitting, hear's the minstril throngs
Of Bards and Poets, praising her in Songs.
What works do I see here? What immense Barrs,
And Engins fit as well for Peace as Warrs?
Not farr from hence the lofty Ships do stand,
The props, and watery Bulwarks of this Land;
With Oares, and Scullers, Masts, and many a Boat
Beyond the Rules of Number, or my Noat.
Hence, passing farther I contemplate Towers
Almost as high as Heaven; whose Guns in Showres
Of Iron-shot, command both farr and near.
Not farr from which stands a Renowned Pier
O're which the Noble Tower exalts her high
Turrets, which are near Neighbours to the Skie:
I'the midst of which great London's land-mark lifts
Her Head above the opposite Hills and Clifts.
She stands four-square; and yet doth seem but one
Compacted piece hewn out of solid stone,
Made by the Latian Lords, before the birth
Of Christ did bring Salvation to Earth;
A structure so antique, we must forbear
To nominare the time, or quote the Year.
They say that Julius Coesar the first Head
And Emperour of Rome, (whose fame doth spread
Throughout the world) when He was in this Isle
Laid the foundation of this stately Pile:
Here to delight himself in the soft charms
Of the nine Sisters, he put off his Arms;
And thus retir'd could accompt how farr
Each day he had proceeded in the Warr.
Here he compil'd his commentaries who
Was a great Scholar, and a Conquerour too.
He was his own Fames Champion, and in spight
Of Fate will live, and be preserv'd to light
Of future ages. Here great Caesars Tower
(A Noble structure of both might and power)
Stands like some stately Pharoahs, whose chief end
Is even as much to threaten, as defend.
What shall I mention her Magnifique walls,
Round which stand Iron Guns, with equal Balls,
With their Artillery. O Nation firme
In Feats of warr, nor yet in Peace Inerme.
O Nation! faithful to thy Kings; for whom
Thou ne're didst fear to meet thy direst doom.
Ransack all Histories, and Angles too,
And tell me truly what e're Rome did do
Great, without English Aids, who still did stand
Firme to the Romans, when they did command,
In Parthia, or Illyria, or in quest
If of the spoils of Affrick, or the East,
The British Legions still the Camp supply'd,
Having been long so exercis'd, and try'd;
In eminent dangers resolute, and bold,
Apt to endure Hunger, heat, or Cold.
And scorning in the greatest pinch to flie,
Whose Motto was to Conquer, or to die.
Rome by these Aids, (whose City stood on seaven
Proud Hills) did raise her name as high as Heaven,
And still successful whereso'er she came
Made her Dominions ample as her Fame.
But I digress, and on the Eastern side
I spie a place once of great note, and pride.
Where Constantine the great did raise a Pile,
Which in the dayes of yore retain'd the stile
And impress of his name, 'till bigg, and bold
Buildings more new, quite justled out of old;
And swelling Thames too swallowing up a good
Part, left no sign, where that old structure stood.
Blest Constantine! The darling and the love
Of Mankind! dear to Earth, and Heaven above;
To whom thy Britain owes her self as farr,
As Rome to her Augustus; or in warr
Great Lacedoemon to Lycurgus; who
Was her first Light, and Legislator too.
Thus in my progress whilst I do advance
My tired steps, I seemed in a trance
To view Artificers in such a long
Series of Shops so huddle in a throng.
Here knocks the Joyner; there the Blacksmith beats
The batterd Anvil, and with labour sweats
Clothing the stubborn steel, and rusty blade
VVith a brighter habit then before they had.
On the other hand Artificers do sit
Who get their living by their hand, and wit.
These are the Clothiers, and the Dyers who
Teach th' innocent wool to put on every hue.
Bakers, Cooks, Butchers too, with many more
Tradesmen stand here, which I can't count, or score.
In hope of gain here young men trace each street,
And the grave matrons at the market meet
And mindfull of the main, how to safe keep
Their credits whole, do often break their sleep;
And to this purpose in their Morning-Gown
First in the house are up, and last, are down.
Anxious and careful to inhaunce their store
And make Provisions for their Young, and Poor:
Much like some Clucking Hen which in great hoe
For her small Chicken wanders too and froe;
Searching the Yard, the Stable and Barn-doors,
And here and there pecks Corn from the flowers,
Which to her little Brood she gladly brings
Fed first, then fosterd under her warm wings.
Thrice happy London in thy pleasant seat
Who art with bliss redundantly repleat.
How should I praise thee then? VVhose beauties are
Beyond my Pen, or mortal mans compare.
How shall I praise thy structures, or discrie
Thy Leaden-Hall old Londons Granarie?
Or thy renowned Guild-Hall? Where the Law
Well executed keeps bad men in awe.
Here Justice like a Queen inthron'd doth sit
To whom for love all good men do submit,
The Bad for fear; for regent wisdom here
Sitteth possest, in her own Orb, and Spheare.
The other Halls perhaps I may compile
Hereafter if my Patrons shall but smile
On these my labours; I shall then proclaim
With a more vocal Trump the mighty frame
Of the Exchange, which the proud Monument stands
Of noble Gresham, and the Mercers hands.
Then shall I speak of Paul's; and Englands best
Cathedral great St. Peter's in the West.
With brave White-Hal the Pallace of Great Kings,
And the Inns of Court, and Chancery; with such things
As may comport with the magnificence
Of Londons Trophies and our time and tense.

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