Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SALUTATION OF HIS MAJESTY'S SHIP THE SOVEREIGN, by HENRY KING (1592-1669)



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A SALUTATION OF HIS MAJESTY'S SHIP THE SOVEREIGN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Move on, thou floating trophy built to fame
Last Line: With thine own triumphs be crown'd sovereign.
Subject(s): Ships & Shipping


MOVE on, thou floating trophy built to Fame!
And bid her trump spread thy majestic name;
That the blue Tritons, and those petty Gods
Which sport themselves upon the dancing floods,
May bow, as to their Neptune, when they feel
The awful pressure of thy potent keel.

Great wonder of the time! whose form unites
In one aspect two warring opposites,
Delight and horror; and in them portends
Diff'ring events both to thy foes and friends;
To these thy radiant brow, Peace's bright shrine,
Doth like that golden constellation shine,
Which guides the seaman with auspicious beams,
Safe and unshipwrack'd through the troubled streams.
But, as a blazing meteor, to those
It doth ostents of blood and death disclose.
For thy rich decks lighten like Heaven's fires,
To usher forth the thunder of thy tires.

O never may cross wind, or swelling wave,
Conspire to make the treach'rous sands thy grave:
Nor envious rocks, in their white foamy laugh,
Rejoice to wear thy loss's Epitaph.
But may the smoothest, most successful gales
Distend thy sheet, and wing thy flying sails:
That all designs which must on thee embark,
May be securely plac'd, as in the Ark.
May'st thou, where'er thy streamers shall display,
Enforce the bold disputers to obey:
That they, whose pens are sharper than their swords,
May yield in fact, what they denied in words.
Thus when th' amazed world our seas shall see
Shut from usurpers, to their own Lord free,
Thou may'st, returning from the conquer'd main,
With thine own triumphs be crown'd Sovereign.





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