Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ANNUS MIRABILIS: THE YEAR OF WONDERS, 1666, by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: In thriving arts long time had holland grown
Last Line: And gently lay us on the spicy shore.
Subject(s): Great Britain - Dutch War (1664-1667); Monck, George. 1st Duke Of Albemarle; Navy - Dutch; Navy - Great Britain; English Navy


IN thriving Arts long time had Holland grown,
Crouching at home, and cruel when abroad:
Scarce leaving us the means to claim our own;
Our King they courted, and our Merchants aw'd.


Trade, which like Blood should circularly flow,
Stopp'd in their Channels, found its Freedom lost:
Thither the Wealth of all the World did go,
And seem'd but Shipwrack'd on so base a Coast.


For them alone the Heav'ns had kindly heat;
In Eastern Quarries ripening precious Dew:
For them the Idumaean Balm did sweat,
And in hot Ceilon Spicy Forrests grew.


The Sun but seem'd the Lab'rer of their Year;
Each waxing Moon supplied her watry store,
To swell those Tides, which from the Line did bear
Their brim-full Vessels to the Belg'an shore.


Thus, mighty in her Ships, stood Carthage long,
And swept the Riches of the world from far,
Yet stoop'd to Rome, less wealthy, but more strong:
And this may prove our second Punick War.


What peace can be, where both to one pretend?
(But they more diligent, and we more strong)
Or if a peace, it soon must have an end;
For they would grow too pow'rful were it long.


Behold two nations then, ingag'd so far,
That each seven years the Fit must shake each Land;
Where France will side to weaken us by War,
Who only can his vast Designs withstand.


See how he feeds th' Iberian with delays,
To render us his timely Friendship vain;
And, while his secret soul on Flanders preys,
He rocks the Cradle of the babe of Spain.


Such deep designs of Empire does he lay
O're them, whose Cause he seems to take in hand:
And, prudently would make them Lords at Sea,
To whom with ease he can give Laws by Land.


This saw our King; and long within his breast
His pensive counsels ballanc'd too and fro;
He griev'd the Land he freed should be oppress'd,
And he less for it than Usurpers do.


His gen'rous mind the fair Ideas drew
Of Fame and Honor, which in dangers lay;
Where wealth, like Fruit on precipices, grew,
Not to be gather'd but by Birds of prey.


The Loss and Gain each fatally were great;
And still his Subjects call'd aloud for War:
But peaceful Kings, o're martial people set,
Each other's poize and counter-ballance are.


He, first, survey'd the Charge with careful eyes,
Which none but mighty Monarchs could maintain;
Yet judg'd, like vapours that from Limbecks rise,
It would in richer showers descend again.


At length resolv'd t' assert the watry Ball,
He in himself did whole Armado's bring:
Him aged Sea-men might their Master call,
And choose for General were he not their King.


It seems as every Ship their Sovereign knows,
His awful Summons they so soon obey;
So hear the skaly herd when Proteus blows,
And so to Pasture follow through the Sea.


To see this Fleet upon the Ocean move,
Angels drew wide the Curtains of the Skies:
And Heav'n, as if there wanted Lights above,
For Tapers made two glaring Comets rise.


Whether they unctuous Exhalations are,
Fir'd by the Sun, or seeming so alone;
Or each some more remote and slippery Star,
Which loses footing when to Mortals shown.


Or one that bright companion of the Sun,
Whose glorious aspect seal'd our new-born King;
And now, a round of greater years begun,
New influence from his walks of light did bring.


Victorious York did first, with fam'd success,
To his known valour make the Dutch give place:
Thus Heav'n our Monarch's fortune did confess,
Beginning conquest from his Royal Race.


But since it was decreed, Auspicious King,
In Britains right that thou shouldst wed the Main,
Heav'n, as a gage, would cast some precious thing,
And therefore doom'd that Lawson should be slain.


Lawson amongst the formost met his fate,
Whom Sea-green Syrens from the Rocks lament:
Thus as an off'ring for the Grecian state,
He first was kill'd who first to Battel went.


Their Chief blown up in air, not waves expir'd,
To which his pride presum'd to give the law;
The Dutch confess'd Heav'n present, and retir'd,
And all was Britain the wide Ocean saw.


To nearest Ports their shatter'd Ships repair,
Where by our dreadful Canon they lay aw'd:
So reverently Men quit the open air,
When Thunder speaks the angry Gods abroad.


And now approach'd their Fleet from India, fraught
With all the riches of the rising Sun:
The attempt at Berghen.
And precious Sand from Southern Climates brought,
(The fatal Regions where the War begun.)


Like hunted Castors, conscious of their Store,
Their way-laid wealth to Norways coasts they bring:
There first the North's cold bosome spices bore,
And Winter brooded on the Eastern Spring.


By the rich scent we found our perfum'd Prey,
Which flanck'd with Rocks, did close in covert lie;
And round about their murdering Canon lay,
At once to threaten and invite the Eye.


Fiercer than Canon, and than Rocks more hard,
The English undertake th' unequal War:
Seven Ships alone, by which the Port is barr'd,
Besiege the Indies, and all Denmark dare.


These fight like Husbands, but like Lovers those:
These fain would keep, and those more fain enjoy:
And to such height their frantick Passion grows,
That what both love, both hazard to destroy.


Amidst whole heaps of Spices lights a Ball,
And now their Odours arm'd against them flie:
Some preciously by shatter'd Porc'lain fall,
And some by Aromatick Splinters die.


And though by Tempests of the Prize bereft,
In Heavens inclemency some ease we find;
Our foes we vanquish'd by our valour left,
And only yielded to the Seas and Wind.


Nor wholly lost we so deserv'd a prey;
For storms, repenting, part of it restor'd:
Which, as a tribute from the Baltick Sea,
The British Ocean sent her mighty Lord.


Go, Mortals, now, and vex yourselves in vain
For Wealth, which so uncertainly must come:
When what was brought so far, and with such pain
Was onely kept to lose it nearer home.


The Son, who twice three months on th' Ocean tost,
Prepar'd to tell what he had pass'd before,
Now sees in English Ships the Holland coast,
And parents Arms, in vain, stretcht from the shore.


This careful Husband had been long away,
Whom his chaste Wife and little Children mourn;
Who on their fingers learn'd to tell the day
On which their Father promis'd to return.


Such are the proud Designs of human kind,
And so we suffer Shipwrack every where!
Alas! what port can such a Pilot find,
Who in the night of Fate must blindly steer.


The undistinguish'd Seeds of Good and Ill,
Heaven, in his bosom, from our knowledge hides;
And draws them in contempt of human skill,
Which oft, for friends, mistaken foes provides.


Let Munsters Prelate ever be accurst,
In whom we seek the German Faith in vain:
Alas, that he should teach the English first,
That Fraud and Avarice in the Church could reign!


Happy who never trust a Strangers will,
Whose Friendship's in his Interest understood!
Since Money giv'n but tempts him to be ill,
When pow'r is too remote to make him good.


Till now, alone the Mighty Nations strove;
The rest, at gaze, without the Lists did stand:
War declared by France.
And threatning France, plac'd like a painted Jove,
Kept idle Thunder in his lifted hand.


That Eunuch Guardian of rich Hollands trade,
Who envies us what he wants pow'r t' enjoy;
Whose noiseful valour does no Foe invade,
And weak assistance will his Friends destroy.


Offended that we fought without his leave,
He takes this time his secret Hate to show:
Which Charles does with a mind so calm receive,
As one that neither seeks, nor shuns his Foe.


With France, to aid the Dutch, the Danes unite,
France as their Tyrant, Denmark as their slave.
But when with one three Nations join to fight,
They silently confess that one more brave.


Lewis had chas'd the English from his shore;
But Charles the French as Subjects does invite:
Would Heav'n for each some Solomon restore,
Who, by their mercy, may decide their right.


Were Subjects so but only by their choice,
And not from Birth did forc'd Dominion take,
Our Prince alone would have the publique voice;
And all his Neighbours Realms would desarts make.


He without fear a dangerous War pursues,
Which without rashness he began before.
As Honour made him first the danger choose,
So still he makes it good on virtues score.


The doubled charge his Subjects love supplies,
Who, in that bounty, to themselves are kind:
So glad Egyptians see their Nilus rise,
And in his plenty their abundance find.


With equal pow'r he does two Chiefs create,
Two such, as each seem'd worthiest when alone;
Prince Rupert and Duke Albemarl sent to sea.
Each able to sustain a Nations fate,
Since both had found a greater in their own.


Both great in Courage, Conduct and in Fame,
Yet neither envious of the other's Praise;
Their Duty, Faith, and Int'rest too the same,
Like mighty Partners equally they raise.


The Prince long time had courted Fortune's love,
But once possess'd did absolutely reign;
Thus with their Amazons the Heroes strove,
And conquer'd first those Beauties they would gain.


The Duke beheld, like Scipio, with disdain,
That Carthage which he ruin'd, rise once more;
And shook aloft the Fasces of the Main,
To fright those Slaves with what they felt before.


Together to the watry Camp they haste,
Whom Matrons passing to their children shew:
Infants first vows for them to Heav'n are cast,
And future people bless them as they go.


With them no riotous pomp, nor Asian train,
T' infect a Navy with their gaudy fears:
To make slow fights, and victories but vain;
But war, severely, like it self, appears.


Diffusive of themselves, where e're they pass,
They make that warmth in others they expect;
Their Valour works like Bodies on a glass,
And does its Image on their men project.


Our Fleet divides, and straight the Dutch appear,
In number, and a fam'd Commander, bold:
Duke of Albemarl's Battle, first day.
The Narrow Seas can scarce their Navy bear
Or crowded Vessels can their Soldiers hold.


The Duke, less numerous, but in Courage more,
On wings of all the winds to Combat flies;
His murdering Guns a loud Defiance roar,
And bloody Crosses on his Flag-staffs rise.


Both furl their Sails, and strip them for the Fight,
Their folded Sheets dismiss the useless Air:
Th' Elean plains could boast no nobler sight,
When struggling Champions did their Bodies bare.


Born each by other in a distant Line,
The Sea-built Forts in dreadful order move:
So vast the noise, as if not Fleets did join,
But lands unfixt, and floating Nations strove.


Now pass'd, on either side they nimbly tack,
Both strive to intercept and guide the wind:
And, in its eye, more closely they come back,
To finish all the Deaths they left behind.


On high-rais'd Decks the haughty Belgians ride,
Beneath whose shade our humble Frigats go:
Such port the Elephant bears, and so defi'd
By the Rhinocero's her unequal foe.


And as the Built, so different is the Fight;
Their mounting Shot is on our Sails design'd:
Deep in their Hulls our deadly Bullets light,
And through the yielding Planks a passage find.


Our dreaded Admiral from far they threat,
Whose batter'd Rigging their whole war receives;
All bare, like some old Oak which Tempests beat,
He stands, and sees below hisscatter'd leaves.


Heroes of old, when wounded, Shelter sought;
But he, who meets all Danger with disdain,
Ev'n in their Face his Ship to Anchor brought,
And Steeple-high stood propt upon the Main.


At this excess of Courage all amaz'd,
The foremost of his Foes a while withdraw:
With such respect in enter'd Rome they gaz'd,
Who on high Chairs the God-like Fathers saw.


And now, as where Patroclus Body lay,
Here Trojan Chiefs advanc'd, and there the Greek:
Ours o're the Duke their pious wings display,
And theirs the noblest Spoils of Britain seek.


Mean time his busie Mariners he hasts,
His shatter'd Sails with Rigging to restore,
And willing Pines ascend his broken Masts,
Whose lofty heads rise higher than before.


Streight to the Dutch he turns his dreadful Prow,
More fierce th' important Quarrel to decide:
Like Swans, in long array his vessels shew,
Whose creasts, advancing, do the waves divide.


They charge, recharge, and all along the Sea
They drive, and squander the huge Belgian Fleet;
Berkley alone, who nearest Danger lay,
Did a like Fate with lost Creusa meet.


The night comes on, we eager to persue
The Combat still, and they asham d to leave:
Till the last streaks of dying day withdrew,
And doubtful Moon-light did our rage deceive.


In th' English fleet each Ship resounds with Joy,
And loud applause of their great Leader's Fame:
In fiery dreams the Dutch they still destroy,
And slumbring, smile at the imagin'd Flame


Not so the Holland fleet, who tired and done,
Stretch'd on their Decks like weary Oxen lie:
Faint Sweats all down their mighty Members run;
(Vast bulks which little Souls but ill supply. )


In Dreams they fearful Precipices tread:
Or, ship wrack'd, labour to some distant shore;
Or in dark Churches walk among the Dead;
They wake with horror and dare sleep no more.


The Morn they look on with unwilling eyes,
Till from their Main-top joyful news they hear
Second days Battel.
Of Ships, which by their mould bring new Supplies,
And in their colours Belgian Lions bear.


Our watchful General had discern'd from far
This mighty succour, which made glad the Foe:
He sigh'd, but, like a Father of the War,
His face spake hope, while deep his Sorrows flow


His wounded men he first sends off to shore,
(Never, till now, unwilling to obey. )
They, not their wounds but want of Strength deplore,
And think them happy who with him can stay.


Then to the rest, Rejoyce (said he) to-day;
In you the fortune of Great Britain lies:
Among so brave a people, you are they
Whom Heav'n has chose to fight for such a Prize.


If number English courages could quell,
We should at first have shun'd, not met our Foes:
Whose numerous Sails the fearful only tell;
Courage from hearts, and not from numbers, grows.


He said; nor needed more to say: with hast
To their known Stations chearfully they go;
And all at once, disdaining to be last,
Solicite every Gale to meet the Foe.


Nor did th' incourag'd Belgians long delay,
But, bold in others, not themselves, they stood:
So thick, our Navy scarce could sheer their way,
But seem'd to wander in a moving wood


Our little Fleet was now ingag'd so far,
That, like the Sword-fish in the Whale, they fought.
The Combat only seem'd a Civil War,
Till through their Bowels we our Passage wrought.


Never had Valour, no not ours, before,
Done ought like this upon the Land or Main:
Where not to be o'rcome was to do more
Than all the Conquests former Kings did gain.


The mighty ghosts of our great Harries rose,
And armed Edwards look'd with anxious eyes,
To see this Fleet among unequal Foes,
By which fate promis'd them their Charles should rise.


Mean time the Belgians tack upon our Reer,
And raking Chase-guns through our Sterns they send;
Close by, their fire-ships, like Jackals, appear,
Who on their Lions for the Prey attend.


Silent in smoke of Cannons they come on
(Such Vapours once did fiery Cacus hide. )
In these the height of pleas'd Revenge is shewn,
Who burn contented by anothers side.


Sometimes from fighting Squadrons of each Fleet,
(Deceiv'd themselves, or to preserve some Friend,)
Two grappling AEtna's on the Ocean meet,
And English Fires with Belgian Flames contend.


Now, at each tack, our little Fleet grows less;
And, like maim'd Fowl, swim lagging on the Main;
Their greater loss their Numbers scarce confess,
While they lose cheaper than the English gain.


Have you not seen, when, whistled from the Fist,
Some Falcon stoops at what her Eye design'd,
And, with her eagerness, the quarry miss'd,
Streight flies at check, and clips it down the Wind?


The dastard Crow that to the Wood made wing,
And sees the Groves no shelter can afford,
With her loud Kaws her Craven kind does bring,
Who, safe in numbers, cuff the noble Bird.


Among the Dutch thus Albemarl did fare:
He could not conquer, and disdain'd to flie;
Past hope of safety, 'twas his latest care,
Like falling Coesar, decently to die.


Yet Pity did his manly Spirit move,
To see those perish who so well had fought;
And, generously, with his despair he strove,
Resolv'd to live till he their safety wrought.


Let other Muses write his prosp'rous fate,
Of conquer'd Nations tell, and Kings restor'd:
But mine shall sing of his eclips'd estate,
Which, like the Sun's, more wonders does afford.


He drew his mighty Frigats all before,
On which the Foe his fruitless Force employes:
His weak ones deep into his Reer he bore
Remote from Guns, as Sick-men from the noise.


His fiery Canon did their passage guide,
And following Smoke obscur'd them from the Foe:
Thus Israel, safe from the Egyptian's pride,
By flaming Pillars, and by Clouds did go.


Elsewhere the Belgian force we did defeat,
But here our Courages did theirs subdue:
So Xenophon once led that fam'd Retreat,
Which first the Asian Empire overthrew.


The Foe approach'd, and one, for his bold Sin,
Was sunk, (as he that touch'd the Ark was slain: )
The wild Waves master'd him and suck'd him in,
And smiling Eddies dimpled on the Main.


This seen, the rest at awful distance stood;
As if they had been there as Servants set,
To stay, or to go on, as he thought good,
And not persue, but wait on his Retreat.


So Lybian Huntsmen on some Sandy plain,
From shady coverts rouz'd, the Lion chace:
The Kingly beast roars out with loud disdain,
And slowly moves, unknowing to give place.


But if some one approach to dare his Force,
He swings his Tail, and swiftly turns him round:
With one Paw seizes on his trembling Horse,
And with the other tears him to the ground.


Amidst these Toils succeeds the balmy night;
Now hissing waters the quench'd Guns restore;
And weary waves, withdrawing from the Fight,
Lie lull'd and panting on the silent Shore.


The Moon shone clear on the becalmed floud,
Where, while her beams like glittering silver play,
Upon the Deck our careful General stood,
And deeply mus'd on the succeeding day.


That happy Sun, said he, will rise again,
Who twice victorious did our Navy see:
And I alone must view him rise in vain,
Without one ray of all his Star for me.


Yet like an English Gen'ral will I die,
And all the Ocean make my spatious grave:
Women and Cowards on the Land may lie,
The Sea's a Tomb that's proper for the Brave.


Restless he pass'd the remnants of the Night,
Till the fresh Air proclaim'd the Morning night:
And burning Ships, the Martyrs of the Fight,
With paler fires beheld the Eastern sky.


But now, his Stores of Ammunition spent,
His naked Valour is his only guard;
Third day.
Rare Thunders are from his dumb Cannon sent,
And solitary Guns are scarcely heard.


Thus far had Fortune pow'r, here fore'd to stay,
Nor longer durst with Virtue be at strife:
This, as a Ransom, Albemarl did pay
For all the Glories of so great a Life.


For now brave Rupert from afar appears,
Whose waving Streamers the glad General knows:
With full-spread Sails his eager Navy steers,
And every Ship in swift proportion grows.


The anxious Prince had heard the Cannon long,
And from that length of time dire Omens drew
Of English over-match'd, and Dutch too strong,
Who never fought three days but to persue.


Then, as an eagle, (who, with pious care,
Was beating widely on the wing for prey,)
To her now silent Eiry does repair,
And finds her callow Infants forc'd away.


Stung with her Love, she stoops upon the Plain,
The broken Air loud whistling as she flies:
She stops, and listens, and shoots forth again,
And guides her Pinions by her Young ones cries.


With such kind passion hasts the Prince to fight,
And spreads his flying Canvass to the sound;
Him, whom no danger, were he there could fright,
Now, absent, every little noise can wound.


As in a drought the thirsty Creatures cry,
And gape upon the gather'd Clouds for Rain;
And first the Martlet meets it in the Sky,
And, with wet wings, joys all the feather'd Train.


With such glad hearts did our despairing Men
Salute the appearance of the Princes Fleet;
And each ambitiously would claim the Ken,
That with first eyes did distant safety meet.


The Dutch, who came like greedy Hinds before,
To reap the harvest their ripe Ears did yield;
Now look like those, when rowling Thunders roar,
And sheets of Lightning blast the standing Field.


Full in the Princes Passage, hills of Sand
And dang'rous Flats in secret Ambush lay,
Where the false tides skim o'er the cover'd Land,
And Sea-men with dissembled Depths betray.


The wily Dutch, who, like fall'n-Angels fear'd
This new Messia's coming, there did wait,
And round the verge their braving Vessels steer'd,
To tempt his Courage with so fair a Bait.


But he, unmov'd, contemns their idle threat,
Secure of fame when e're he please to fight:
His cold Experience tempers all his heat,
And inbred worth doth boasting Valour slight.


Heroick Virtue did his Actions guide,
And he the substance not th' appearance chose:
To rescue one such Friend he took more pride,
Than to destroy whole Thousands of such Foes.


But when approach'd, in strict Embraces bound,
Rupert and Albemarl together grow:
He joys to have his Friend in safety found,
Which he to none but to that Friend would owe.


The chearful Soldiers, with new stores suppli'd,
Now long to execute their spleenful Will;
And, in revenge for those three days they tri'd,
Wish one, like Joshuah's, when the Sun stood still.


Thus re-inforc'd, against the adverse Fleet,
Still doubling ours, brave Rupert leads the way;
Fourth days Battel.
With the first blushes of the Morn they meet,
And bring night back upon the new-born day.


His presence soon blows up the kindling Fight
And his loud Guns speak thick like angry men:
It seem'd as Slaughter had been breath'd all night,
And Death new pointed his dull Dart agen.


The Dutch too well his mighty Conduct knew,
And matchless Courage since the former Fight!
Whose Navy like a stiff-stretch'd cord did show,
Till he bore in, and bent them into flight.


The wind he shares, while half their Fleet offends
His open side, and high above him shews,
Upon the rest at pleasure he descends,
And, doubly harm'd, he double harms bestows.


Behind, the Gen'ral mends his weary Pace,
And sullenly to his Revenge he sails:
So glides some trodden Serpent on the Grass,
And long behind his wounded Volume trails.


Th' increasing Sound is born to either shore,
And for their stakes the throwing Nations fear:
Their Passion, double with the Cannons roar,
And with warm wishes each Man combats there.


Pli'd thick and close aswhen the Fight begun,
Their huge unwieldy Navy wasts away;
So sicken waning Moons too near the Sun,
And blunt their Crescents on the edge of day.


And now reduc'd on equal terms to fight,
Their Ships like wasted Patrimonies show;
Where the thin scatt'ring Trees admit the light,
And shun each others Shadows as they grow.


The warlike Prince had sever'd from the rest
Two giant Ships, the pride of all the Main;
Which, with his one, so vigorously he press'd,
And flew so home they could not rise again.


Already batter'd, by his Lee they lay,
In vain upon the passing Winds they call:
The passing Winds through their torn Canvass play,
And flagging Sails on heartless Sailors fall.


Their open'd sides receive a gloomy light,
Dreadful as day let in to shades below:
Without, grim death rides bare-fac'd in their sight,
And urges ent'ring billows as they flow.


When one dire shot, the last they could supply,
Close by the board the Prince's Main-mast bore:
All three now, helpless, by each other lie,
And this offends not, and those fear no more.


So have I seen some fearful Hare maintain
A Course, till tir'd before the Dog she lay,
Who, stretch'd behind her, pants upon the Plain,
Past pow'r to kill as she to get away.


With his loll'd tongue he faintly licks his Prey,
His warm breath blows her flix up as she lies;
She, trembling, creepsupon the ground away,
And looks back to him with beseeching eyes.


The Prince unjustly does his Stars accuse,
Which hinder'd him to push his Fortune on;
For what they to his Courage did refuse,
By mortal Valour never must be done.


This lucky hour the wise Batavian takes,
And warns his tatter'd Fleet to follow home:
Proud to have so got off with equal stakes,
Where 'twas a Triumph not to be o're-come.


The General's force, as kept alive by fight,
Now, not oppos'd, no longer can persue:
Lasting till Heav'n had done his courage right;
When he had conquer'd he his Weakness knew.


He casts a Frown on the departing Foe,
And sighs to see him quit the watry Field:
His stern fix'd eyes no satisfaction shew,
For all the glories which the Fight did yield.


Though, as when Fiends did Miracles avow,
He stands confess'd e'en by the boastful Dutch,
He only does his Conquest disavow,
And thinks too little what they found too much.


Return'd, he with the Fleet resolv'd to stay;
No tender thoughts of Home his heart divide;
Domestick Joys and Cares he puts away;
For Realms are households which the Great must guide.


As those who unripe veins in Mines explore,
On the rich bed again the warm Turf lay,
Till time digests the yet imperfect Ore,
And know it will be Gold another day:


So looks our Monarch on this early Fight,
Th' essay and rudiments of great Success,
Which all-maturing time must bring to Light,
While he, like Heav'n, does each days labour bless.


Heav'n ended not the first or second day,
Yet each was perfect to the work design'd:
God and Kings work, when they their work survey,
And passive aptness in all Subjects find.


In burden'd Vessels first, with speedy care,
His plenteous Stores do season'd Timber send
His Majesty repairs the Fleet.
Thither the brawny Carpenters repair,
And as the Surgeons of maim'd Ships attend.


With Cord and Canvass from rich Hamburgh sent,
His Navies molted wings he imps once more;
Tall Norway Fir, their Masts in Battel spent,
And English Oak sprung Leaks and Planks restore.


All hands employ'd the Royal work grows warm:
Like labouring Bees on a long Summers day,
Some sound the Trumpet for the rest to swarm,
And some on bells of tasted Lillies play.


With glewy wax some new Foundations lay
Of Virgin-combs, which from the Roof are hung:
Some arm'd within doors, upon Duty stay
Or tend the Sick, or educate the Young.


So here some pick out Bullets from the side,
Some drive old Okum through each Seam and Rift:
Their left-hand does the Calking-iron guide,
The ratling Mallet with the right they lift.


With boiling Pitch another near at hand,
(From friendly Sweden brought) the seams instops:
Which well paid o'r, the salt-Sea waves withstand,
And shake them from the rising Beak in drops.


Some the gall'd Ropes with dawby Marling bind,
Or sear-cloth Masts with strong Tarpawling coats:
To try new Shrouds one mounts into the wind,
And one, below, their Ease or Stifness notes.


Our careful Monarch stands in Person by,
His new-cast Cannons Firmness to explore:
The strength of big-corn'd Powder loves to try,
And Ball and Cartrage sorts for every bore.


Each day brings fresh supplies of Arms and Men,
And Ships which all last Winter were abroad:
And such as fitted since the Fight had been,
Or new from Stocks were fall'n into Road.


The goodly London in her gallant Trim,
(The Phoenix daughter of the vanish'd old:)
Loyal London described.
Like a rich Bride does to the Ocean swim,
And on her shadow rides in Floating-gold.


Her Flag aloft spread ruffling to the Wind,
And sanguine Streamers seem the Floud to fire:
The Weaver charm'd with what his Loom design'd,
Goes on to Sea, and knows not to retire.


With roomy Decks, her Guns of mighty strength,
Whose low-laid Mouths each mounting Billow laves:
Deep in her Draught, and warlike in her Length,
She seems a Sea-wasp flying on the Waves.


This martial Present, piously design'd,
The Loyal City give their best-lov'd King:
And with a Bounty ample as the wind,
Built, fitted and maintain'd to aid him bring


By viewing Nature, Nature's Hand-maid Art
Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow:
Digression concerning Shipping and Navigation.
Thus Fishes first to Shipping did impart,
Their Tail the Rudder, and their Head the Prow.


Some Log, perhaps, upon the waters swam,
An useless drift, which rudely cut within,
And, hollow'd, first a floating Trough became
And cross some Riv'let Passage did begin.


In shipping such as this, the Irish Kern,
And untaught Indian, on the Stream did glide:
Ere sharp-keel'd Boats to stem the Floud did learn,
Or fin-like Oars did spread from either side.


Add but a sail, and Saturn so appear'd,
When from lost Empire he to Exile went,
And with the Golden age to Tyber steer'd,
Where Coin and first Commerce he did invent.


Rude as their Ships was Navigation, then;
No useful Compass or Meridian known;
Coasting, they kept the Land within their ken,
And knew no North but when the Pole-star shone.


Of all who since have used the open Sea,
Than the bold English none more Fame have won;
Beyond the Year, and out of Heav'n's high-way,
They make discoveries where they see no Sun.


But what so long in vain, and yet unknown,
By poor man-kinds benighted Wit is sought,
Shall in this Age to Britain first be shewn,
And hence be to admiring Nations taught.


The Ebbs of Tides and their mysterious Flow,
We, as Arts Elements shall understand,
And as by Line upon the Ocean go,
Whose Paths shall be familiar as the Land.


Instructed ships shall sail to quick Commerce,
By which remotest Regions are alli'd;
Which makes one City of the Universe;
Where some may gain, and all may be suppli'd.


Then we upon our Globes last verge shall go,
And view the Ocean leaning on the Sky:
From thence our rolling Neighbours we shall know,
And on the Lunar world securely pry.


This I fore-tel from your auspicious Care,
Who great in search of God and Nature grow;
Apostrophe to the Royal Society.
Who best your wise Creator's Praise declare,
Since best to praise his works is best to know.


O truly Royal! who behold the Law,
And rule of Beings in your Makers mind:
And thence, like Limbecks, rich Idea's draw,
To fit the levell'd use of Human-kind.


But first the toils of War we must endure,
And from th' injurious Dutch redeem the Seas,
War makes the valiant of his right secure,
And gives up Fraud to be chastis'd with ease.


Already were the Belgians on our Coast,
Whose Fleet more mighty every day became
By late success, which they did falsely boast,
And now by first appearing seem'd to claim.


Designing, Subtil, Diligent, and Close,
They knew to manage War with wise delay:
Yet all those arts their Vanity did cross,
And, by their pride, their prudence did betray.


Nor staid the English long: But well suppli'd,
Appear as numerous as th' insulting Foe:
The Combat now by Courage must be tri'd,
And the Success the braver Nation shew.


There was the Plimouth Squadron new come in,
Which in the Streights last Winter was abroad;
Which twice on Biscay's working-Bay had been,
And on the Mid-land sea the French had aw'd.


Old expert Allen, Loyal all along,
Fam'd for his action on the Smirna fleet:
And Holmes, whose name shall live in Epick Song,
While Musick Numbers, or while Verse has Feet.


Holmes, the Achates of the Gen'ral's Fight;
Who first bewitch'd our eyes with Guinny gold:
As once old Cato in the Roman's sight
The tempting Fruits of Africk did unfold.


With him went Sprag, as bountiful as brave,
Whom his high Courage to command had brought:
Harman, who did the twice fir'd Harry save,
And in his burning ship undaunted fought.


Young Hollis on a Muse by Mars begot,
Born, Caesar-like, to write and act great Deeds:
Impatient to revenge his fatal Shot,
His right hand doubly to his left succeeds.


Thousands were there in darker fame that dwell,
Whose Deeds some nobler Poem shall adorn:
And though to me unknown, they, sure, fought well,
Whom Ruperl led, and who were British born.


Of every size an hundred fighting Sail,
So vast the Navy now at Anchor rides,
That underneath it the press'd Waters fail,
And, with its weight, it shoulders off the Tides.


Now Anchors weigh'd, the Sea-men shout so shrill,
That Heav'n, and Earth, and the wide Ocean rings:
A Breeze from Westward waits their Sails to fill,
And rests, in those high beds, his downy Wings.


The wary Dutch this gathering storm foresaw,
And durst not bide it on the English-coast:
Behind their treacherous Shallows they withdraw,
And there lay Snares to catch the British Host.


So the false Spider, when her Nets are spread,
Deep ambush'd in her silent Den does lie:
And feels, far off, the trembling of her thread,
Whose filmy Cord should bind the struggling Fly.


Then, if at last she find him fast beset,
She issues forth, and runs along her Loom:
She joys to touch the Captive in her Net,
And drag the little Wretch in triumph home.


The Belgians hop'd that, with disorder'd haste,
Our deep-cut Keels upon the Sands might run:
Or, if with caution leisurely were past,
Their numerous Gross might charge us one by one.


But with a Fore-wind pushing them above,
And swelling Tide that heav'd them from below,
O'er the blind Flats our warlike Squadrons move,
And, with spread Sails, to welcom Battel go.


It seem'd as there the British Neptune stood,
With all his hosts of Waters at Command,
Beneath them to submit th' officious Floud;
"And, with his Trident, shov'd them off the Sand.


To the pale Foes they suddenly draw near,
And summon them to unexpected Fight;
They start like Murderers when Ghosts appear,
And draw their Curtains in the dead of night.


Now Van to Van the foremost Squadrons meet,
The midmost Battels hastning up behind:
Second Battel.
Who view, far off, the storm of falling Sleet;
And hear their Thunder ratling in the wind.


At length the adverse Admirals appear;
(The two bold Champions of each Countries right)
Their Eyes describe the lists as they come near,
And draw the lines of Death before they fight.


The distance judg'd for Shot of every size,
The Linstocks touch, the pond'rous Ball expires:
The vigorous Sea-man every Port-hole plies,
And adds his heart to every Gun he fires.


Fierce was the Fight on the proud Belgians side,
For Honour, which they seldom sought before:
But now they by their own vain Boasts were ti'd
And forc'd, at least in show, to prize it more.


But sharp remembrance on the English part
And shame of being match'd by such a Foe,
Rouze conscious Virtue up in every heart,
"And seeming to be stronger makes them so.


Nor long the Belgians could that Fleet sustain,
Which did two Gen'rals fates, and Caesar's bear:
Each several Ship a Victory did gain,
As Rupert or as Albemarl were there.


Their batter'd Admiral too soon withdrew,
Unthank'd by ours for his unfinish'd Fight;
But he the Minds of his Dutch Masters knew,
Who call'd that providence which we call'd flight.


Never did Men more joyfully obey,
Or sooner understood the sign to flie:
With such alacrity they bore away,
As if to praise them All the States stood by.


O famous leader of the Belgian fleet,
Thy Monument inscrib'd such praise shall wear,
As Varro timely flying once did meet,
Because he did not of his Rome despair.


Behold that Navy, which a while before
Provok'd the tardy English close to Fight;
Now draw their beaten Vessels close to shore,
As Larks lie dar'd to shun the Hobbies flight.


Who e're would English Monuments survey,
In other Records may our Courage know:
But let them hide the Story of this day,
Whose Fame was blemish'd by too base a Foe.


Or if too busily they will enquire
Into a Victory which we disdain:
Then let them know, the Belgians did retire
Before the Patron Saint of injur'd Spain.


Repenting England this revengeful day
To Philip's Manes did an offering bring
England, which first, by leading them astray,
Hatch'd up Rebellion to destroy her King.


Our Fathers bent their baneful industry,
To check a Monarchy that slowly grew;
But did not France or Holland's Fate foresee,
Whose rising Pow'r to swift Dominion flew.


In fortunes Empire blindly thus we go,
And wander after pathless Destiny;
Whose dark resorts since Prudence cannot know,
In vain it would provide for what shall be.


But what e're English to the bless'd shall go,
And the fourth Harry or first Orange meet;
Find him disowning of a Burbon foe,
And him detesting a Batavian Fleet.


Now on their Coasts our conquering Navy rides,
Way-lays their Merchants, and their Land besets;
Each day new Wealth without their Care provides;
They lie asleep with Prizes in their Nets.


So, close behind some Promontory lie
The huge Leviathans t' attend their Prey;
And give no Chace, but swallow in the Frie,
Which through their gaping Jaws mistake the way.


Norwas thisall: In Ports and Roads remote,
Destructive Fires among whole Fleets we send;
Burning of the fleet in the Vly by Sir Robert Holmes.
Triumphant Flames upon the Water flote,
And out-bound Ships at home their Voyage end.


Those various Squadrons, variously design'd
Each Vessel fraighted with a several Load,
Each Squadron waiting for a several wind,
All find but one, to burn them in the Road.


Some bound for Guinny, golden Sand to find,
Bore all the Gauds the simple Natives wear:
Some for the pride of Turkish Courtsdesign'd,
For folded Turbants finest Holland bear.


Some English wool, vex'd in a Belgian Loom,
And into Cloth of spungy softness made,
Did into France or colder Denmark doom,
To ruine with worse ware our staple Trade.


Our greedy Sea-men rummage every hold,
Smile on the Booty of each wealthier Chest;
And, as the Priests who with their Gods make bold,
Take what they like, and sacrifice the rest.


But, ah! how unsincere are all our Joys!
Which, sent from Heav'n, like Lightning, make no stay:
Transit to the Fire of London.
Their palling Taste the Journeys Length destroys,
Or Grief, sent post, o'retakes them on the way.


Swell'd with our late Successes on the Foe,
Which France and Holland wanted power to cross,
We urge an unseen Fate to lay us low,
And feed their envious Eyes with English loss.


Each Element his dread Command obeys,
Who makes or ruines with a Smile of Frown;
Who as by one he did our Nation raise,
So now, he with another pulls us down.


Yet London, Empress of the Northern Clime,
By an high Fate thou greatly didst expire:
Great as the Worlds, which, at the death of time,
Must fall, and rise a nobler frame by fire.


As when some dire Usurper Heav'n provides
To scourge his Country with a lawless sway:
His birth perhaps some petty Village hides,
And sets his Cradle out of Fortune's way.


Till fully ripe his swelling Fate breaks out,
And hurries him to mighty Mischiefs on:
His Prince, surpriz'd at first, no ill could doubt,
And wants the pow'r to meet it when 'tis known.


Such was the Rise of this prodigious fire,
Which in mean Buildings first obscurely bred,
From thence did soon to open Streets aspire,
And straight to Palaces and Temples spread.


The diligence of Trades and noiseful Gain,
And luxury, more late, asleep were laid:
All was the nights, and in her silent reign
No sound the rest of Nature did invade.


In this deep quiet, from what scource unknown,
Those seeds of Fire their fatal Birth disclose;
And first, few scatt'ring Sparks about were blown,
Big with the flames that to our Ruin rose.


Then, in some close-pent Room it crept along,
And, smouldring as it went, in silence fed;
Till th' infant Monster, with devouring strong,
Walk'd boldly upright with exalted head.


Now like some rich or mighty Murderer,
Too great for Prison, which he breaks with Gold,
Who fresher for new Mischiefs does appear
And dares the World to tax him with the old:


So scapes th' insulting Fire his narrow Jail
And makes small out-lets into open air:
There the fierce Winds his tender Force assail,
And beat him down-ward to his first repair.


"The Winds, like crafty Courtezans, withheld
His Flames from burning, but to blow them more:
And every fresh attempt he is repell'd
With faint Denials, weaker than before.


And now, no longer letted of his Prey,
He leaps up at it with inrag'd desire:
O'relooks the Neighbours with a wide survey,
And nods at every House his threatning Fire.


The Ghosts of Traitors from the Bridge descend,
With bold Fanatick Spectres to rejoyce:
About the fire into a Dance they bend,
And sing their Sabbath Notes with feeble voice.


Our Guardian Angel saw them where he sate
Above the Palace of our slumbring King;
He sigh'd, abandoning his charge to Fate,
And, drooping, oft lookt back upon the wing.


At length the crackling noise and dreadful blaze
Call'd up some waking Lover to the sight;
And long it was ere he the rest could raise,
Whose heavy Eye-lids yet were full of Night.


The next to Danger, hot persu'd by Fate,
Half-cloth'd, half-naked, hastily retire:
And frighted Mothers strike their Breasts, too late,
For helpless Infants left amidst the Fire.


Their Cries soon waken all the Dwellers near;
Now murmuring Noises rise in every Street;
The more remote run stumbling with their fear,
And, in the dark, Men justle as they meet.


So weary Bees in little Cells repose;
But if Night-robbers lift the well-stor'd Hive,
An humming through their waxen City grows,
And out upon each others wings they drive.


Now Streets grow throng'd and busie as by day:
Some run for Buckets to the hallow'd Quire:
Some cut the Pipes, and some the Engines play;
And some more bold mount Ladders to the fire.


In vain: For from the East a Belgian wind
His hostile Breath through the dry Rafters sent;
The Flames impell'd soon left their Foes behind
And forward, with a wanton fury went.


A Key of Fire ran all along the Shore,
And lighten'd all the River with a blaze:
The waken'd Tides began again to roar,
And wond'ring Fish in shining waters gaze.


Old Father Thames rais'd up his reverend head,
But fear'd the fate of Simoeis would return:
Deep in his Ooze he sought his sedgy Bed,
And shrunk his Waters back into his Urn.


The Fire, mean time walks in a broader gross;
To either hand his Wings he opens wide:
He wades the Streets, and streight he reaches cross,
And plays his longing Flames on th' other side.


At first they warm, then scorch, and then they take;
Now with long Necks from side to side they feed:
At length, grown strong, their Mother-fire forsake,
And a new Colony of Flames succeed.


To every nobler Portion of the Town
The curling Billows roll their restless Tide:
In parties now they straggle up and down,
As Armies, unoppos'd, for Prey divide.


One mighty Squadron with a Side-wind sped,
Through narrow Lanes his cumber'd Fire does haste:
By pow'rful charms of Gold and Silver led,
The Lombard Banquers and the Change to waste.


Another backward to the Tow'r would go,
And slowly eats his way against the Wind:
But the main body of the marching Foe
Against th' Imperial Palace is design'd.


Now Day appears, and with the day the King,
Whose early Care had robb'd him of his rest:
Far off the Cracks of Falling houses ring,
And Shrieks of Subjects pierce his tender Breast.


Near as he draws, thick harbingers of Smoke
With gloomy Pillars cover all the place:
Whose little intervals of Night are broke
By Sparks, that drive against his Sacred Face.


More than his Guards his Sorrows made him known,
And pious Tears, which down his Cheeks did show'r:
The Wretched in his Grief forgot their own;
(So much the Pity of a King has pow'r.)


He wept the Flames of what he lov'd so well
And what so well had merited his love:
For never Prince in Grace did more excel,
Or Royal City more in Duty strove.


Nor with an idle Care did he behold:
(Subjects may grieve, but Monarchs must redress;)
he chears the Fearful and commends the Bold,
And makes Despairers hope for good Success.


Himself directs what first is to be done,
And orders all the Succours which they bring:
The Helpful and the Good about him run,
And form an Army worthy such a King.


He sees the dire Contagion spread so fast
That where it seizes, all Relief is vain:
And therefore must unwillingly lay waste
That Country, which would, else, the Foe maintain.


The Powder blows up all before the Fire:
Th' amazed flames stand gather'd on a heap;
And from the precipices-brink retire,
Afraid to venture on so large a leap.


Thus fighting Fires a while themselves consume,
But streight like Turks, forc'd on to win or die,
They first lay tender Bridges of their fume,
And o're the Breach in unctuous vapours flie.


Part stays for Passage, 'till a gust of wind
Ships o're their Forces in a shining Sheet:
Part, creeping under ground, their Journey blind,
And, climbing from below, their Fellows meet.


Thus to some desert Plain, or old Wood-side,
Dire Night-hags come from far to dance their round:
And o're broad rivers, on their Fiends, they ride,
Or sweep in Clouds above the blasted ground.


No help avails: for, Hydra-like, the Fire
Lifts up his Hundred heads to aim his way:
And scarce the wealthy can one half retire,
Before he rushes in to share the Prey.


The Rich grow suppliant, and the Poor grow proud:
Those offer mighty gain, and these ask more;
So void of pity is th' ignoble Crowd,
When others Ruin may increase their Store.


As those who live by Shores with joy behold
Some wealthy Vessel split or stranded nigh;
And from the Rocks leap down for shipwrack'd Gold,
And seek the Tempest which the others flie:


So these but wait the Owners last despair,
And what's permitted to the flames invade:
Ev'n from their Jaws they hungry morsels tear,
And, on their backs, the Spoils of Vulcan lade.


The days were all in this lost labour spent;
And when the weary King gave place to Night,
His Beams he to his Royal Brother lent,
And so shone still in his reflective Light.


Night came, but without darkness or repose,
A dismal Picture of the gen'ral Doom;
Where Souls distracted when the Trumpet blows,
And half unready with their Bodies come.


Those who have Homes, when Home they do repair,
To a last Lodging call their wand'ring Friends:
Their short uneasie Sleeps are broke with Care,
To look how near their own Destruction tends.


Those who have none, sit round where once it was,
And with full Eyes each wonted Room require:
Haunting the yet warm Ashes of the place,
As murder'd Men walk where they did expire.


Some stir up Coals, and watch the Vestal fire,
Others in vain from sight of Ruin run;
And, while through burning Lab'rinths they retire,
With loathing Eyes repeat what they would shun.


The most in Feilds like herded Beasts lie down,
To Dews obnoxious on the grassie Floor;
And while their Babes in Sleep their Sorrows drown,
Sad Parents watch the remnants of their Store.


While by the Motion of the Flames they guess
What Streets are burning now, and what are near,
An infant waking to the Paps would press,
And meets, instead of Milk, a falling Tear.


No thought can ease them but their Sovereign's Care,
Whose Praise th' afflicted as their Comfort sing;
Ev'n those, whom Want might drive to just despair,
Think Life a Blessing under such a King.


Mean time he sadly suffers in their Grief,
Out-weeps an Hermite, and out-praysa Saint:
All the long night he studies their relief,
How they may be suppli'd, and he may want.


O God, said he, thou Patron of my Days,
Guide of my Youth in Exile and Distress!
King's Prayer.
Who me unfriended brought'st by wondrous ways,
The Kingdom of my Fathers to possess:


Be thou my Judge, with what unwearied Care
I since have labour'd for my People's good;
To bind the Bruises of a Civil War,
And stop the Issues of their wasting Blood.


Thou, who hast taught me to forgive the Ill,
And recompense, as Friends, the Good misled:
If Mercy be a Precept of thy Will,
Return that Mercy on thy Servants head.


Or, if my heedless Youth has stept astray,
Too soon forgetful of thy gracious hand;
On me alone thy just Displeasure lay,
But take thy Judgments from this mourning Land.


We all have sinn'd, and thou hast laid us low,
As humble Earth from whence at first we came:
Like flying Shades before the Clouds we shew,
And shrink like Parchment in consuming Flame.


O let it be enough what thou hast done;
When spotted Deaths ran arm'd thro' every Street,
With poison'd Darts which not the Good could shun,
The Speedy could out-flie, or Valiant meet.


The living few, and frequent Funerals then,
Proclaim'd thy Wrath on this forsaken place:
And now those few, who are return'd agen,
Thy searching Judgments to their dwellings trace.


O pass not, Lord, an absolute Decree,
Or bind thy Sentence unconditional:
But in thy Sentence our Remorse foresee,
And, in that foresight, this thy Doom recall.


Thy Threatings, Lord, as thine thou maist revoke:
But, if immutable and fix'd they stand,
Continue still thy self to give the stroke,
And let not Foreign-foes oppress Thy Land.


Th' Eternal heard, and from the Heav'nly Quire
Chose out the Cherub with the flaming Sword:
And bad him swiftly drive th' approaching Fire
From where our Naval Magazins were stor'd.


The blessed Minister his Wings displai'd,
And like a shooting Star he cleft the night;
He charg'd the Flames, and those that disobey'd
He lash'd to duty with his Sword of light.


The fugitive Flames, chastis'd, went forth to prey
On pious Structures, by our Fathers rear'd;
By which to Heav'n they did affect the way,
Ere Faith in Church-men without Works was heard.


The wanting Orphans saw with watry Eyes
Their Founders Charity in Dust laid low,
And sent to God their ever-answer'd cries,
(For he protects the Poor, who made them so.)


Nor could thy Fabrick, Paul's, defend thee long,
Though thou wert Sacred to thy Makers praise:
Though made Immortal by a Poet's Song,
And Poets Songs the Theban walls could raise.


The daring Flames peep't in, and saw from far
The awful Beauties of the Sacred Quire:
But, since it was prophan'd by Civil War,
Heav'n thought it fit to have it purg'd by fire.


Now down the narrow Streets it swiftly came,
And, widely opening, did on both sides prey:
This benefit we sadly owe the Flame,
If only Ruin must enlarge our way.


And now four days the Sun had seen our Woes;
Four nights the Moon beheld th' incessant fire;
It seem'd as if the Stars more sickly rose,
And farther from the feav'rish North retire.


In th' Empyrean Heav'n (the Bless'd abode,)
The Thrones and the Dominions prostrate lie.
Not daring to behold their angry God:
And an hush'd silence damps the tuneful Sky.


At length th' Almighty cast a pitying Eye,
And Mercy softly touch'd his melting Breast:
He saw the Towns one half in Rubbish lie,
And eager flames drive on to storm the rest.


An hollow chrystal Pyramid he takes,
In firmamental Waters dipt above;
Of it a broad Extinguisher he makes
And hoods the Flames that to their quarry strove.


The vanquish'd Fires withdraw from every place,
Or, full with feeding, sink into a sleep:
Each household Genius shows again his face,
And, from the hearths, the little Lares creep.


Our King this more than natural change beholds;
With sober Joy his heart and eyes abound:
To the All-good his lifted hands he folds,
And thanks him low on his redeemed ground.


As when sharp Frosts had long constrain'd the earth,
A kindly Thaw unlocks it with mild Rain,
And first the tender Blade peeps up to birth,
And streight the Green fields laugh with promis'd grain:


By such degrees the spreading Gladness grew
In every heart, which Fear had froze before:
The standing Streets with so much joy they view,
That with less grief the Perish'd they deplore.


The Father of the People open'd wide
His Stores, and all the Poor with Plenty fed:
Thus God's Anointed God's own place suppli'd,
And fill'd the Empty with his daily Bread.


This Royal bounty brought its own Reward,
And, in their Minds, so deep did print the sense;
That if their Ruins sadly they regard,
Tis but with fear the sight might drive him thence.


But so may he live long, that Town to sway,
Which by his Auspice they will nobler make,
Cities request to the King not to leave them.
As he will hatch their Ashes by his stay,
And not their humble Ruins now forsake.


They have not lost their Loyalty by Fire;
Nor is their Courage or their Wealth so low,
That from his Wars they poorly would retire,
Or beg the Pity of a vanquish'd Foe.


Not with more Constancy the Jews of old,
By Cyrus from rewarded Exile sent,
Their Royal City did in Dust behold,
Or with more vigour to rebuild it went.


The utmost Malice of their Stars is past,
And two dire Comets, which have scourg'd the Town
In their own Plague and Fire have breath'd their last,
Or, dimly, in their sinking sockets frown.


Now frequent Trines the happier lights among,
And high rais'd Jove from his dark Prison freed,
(Those Weights took off that on his Planet hung,)
Will gloriously the new-laid Works succeed.


Me-thinks already, from this Chymick flame,
I see a city of more precious mold:
Rich as the town which gives the Indies name,
With Silver pav'd, and all divine with Gold.


Already I bouring with a mighty fate,
She shakes the Rubbish from her mounting Brow,
And seems to have renew'd her Charters date,
Which Heav'n will to the death of time allow.


More great than human now, and more August,
New deified she from her Fires does rise:
Her widening Streets on new Foundations trust,
And, opening, into larger parts she flies.


Before, she like some Shepherdess did shew,
Who sate to bathe her by a River's side;
Not answering to her fame, but rude and low,
Nor taught the beauteous Arts of Modern pride.


Now, like a Maiden Queen, she will behold,
From her high Turrets, hourly Sutors come:
The East with Incense, and the West with Gold,
Will stand, like Suppliants, to receive her Doom.


The silver Thames, her own domestick Floud,
Shall bear her Vessels, like a sweeping Train,
And often wind (as of his Mistress proud,)
With longing eyes to meet her Face again.


The wealthy Tagus, and the wealthier Rhine,
The glory of their Towns no more shall boast,
And Sein, that would with Belgian Rivers join,
Shall find her Lustre stain'd, and Traffick lost.


The vent'rous Merchant who design'd more far,
And touches on our hospitable Shore,
Charm'd with the Splendour of this Northern Star,
Shall here unlade him, and depart no more.


Our pow'rful Navy shall no longer meet,
The wealth of France or Holland to invade:
The beauty of this Town without a Fleet,
From all the World shall vindicate her Trade.


And, while this fam'd Emporium we prepare,
The British Ocean shall such Triumphs boast,
That those, who now disdain our Trade to share,
Shall rob like Pyrats on our wealthy Coast.


Already we have conquer'd half the War,
And the less dang'rous part is left behind:
Our Trouble now is but to make them dare,
And not so great to Vanquish as to Find.


Thus to the Eastern wealth through Storms we go,
But now, the Cape once doubled, fear no more:
A constant Trade-wind will securely blow,
And gently lay us on the Spicy shore.

Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net