Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BY OCCASION OF THE YOUNG PRINCE HIS HAPPY BIRTH, by HENRY KING (1592-1669)



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BY OCCASION OF THE YOUNG PRINCE HIS HAPPY BIRTH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: At this glad triumph, when most poets use
Last Line: Heir to himself, through all posterity.
Subject(s): Charles Ii, King Of England (1630-1685)


AT this glad triumph, when most poets use
Their quill, I did not bridle up my Muse
For sloth or less devotion. I am one
That can well keep my Holy-days at home;
That can the blessings of my King and State
Better in pray'r than poems gratulate;
And in their fortunes bear a loyal part,
Though I no bonfires light but in my heart.

Truth is, when I receiv'd the first report
Of a new star risen and seen at Court;
Though I felt joy enough to give a tongue
Unto a mute, yet duty strook me dumb:
And thus surpris'd by rumour, at first sight
I held it some allegiance not to write.

For howe'er children, unto those that look
Their pedigree in God's, not the Church book,
Fair pledges are of that eternity
Which Christians possess not till they die;
Yet they appear, view'd in that perspective
Through which we look on men long since alive,
Like succours in a Camp, sent to make good
Their place that last upon the watches stood.
So that in age, or fate, each following birth
Doth set the parent so much nearer earth:
And by this grammar we our heirs may call
The smiling Preface to our funeral.

This sadded my soft sense, to think that he
Who now makes laws, should by a bold decree
Be summon'd hence, to make another room,
And change his royal palace for a tomb.
For none ere truly lov'd the present light,
But griev'd to see it rivall'd by the night:
And if't be sin to wish that light extinct,
Sorrow may make it treason but to think't.
I know each malcontent or giddy man,
In his religion, with the Persian
Adores the rising Sun; and his false view
Best likes, not what is best, but what is new.
O that we could these gangrenes so prevent
(For our own blessing, and their punishment),
That all such might, who for wild changes thirst,
Rack'd on a hopeless expectation, burst,
To see us fetter time, and by his stay
To a consistence fix the flying day;
And in a Solstice by our prayers made,
Rescue our Sun from death or envy's shade.

But here we dally with fate, and in this
Stern Destiny mocks and controls our wish;
Informing us, if fathers should remain
For ever here, children were born in vain;
And we in vain were Christians, should we
In this world dream of perpetuity.
Decay is Nature's Kalendar; nor can
It hurt the King to think he is a man;
Nor grieve, but comfort him, to hear us say
That his own children must his sceptre sway.
Why slack I then to contribute a vote,
Large as the kingdom's joy, free as my thought?
Long live the Prince! and in that title bear
The world long witness that the King is here:
May he grow up, till all that good he reach
Which we can wish, or his Great Father teach:
Let him shine long, a mark to land and main,
Like that bright spark plac'd nearest to Charles' Wain,
And, like him, lead succession's golden team,
Which may possess the British diadem.

But in the mean space, let his Royal Sire,
Who warms our hopes with true Promethean fire,
So long his course in time and glory run,
Till he estate his virtue on his son.
So in his father's days this happy One
Shall crowned be, yet not usurp the Throne;
And Charles reign still, since thus himself will be
Heir to himself, through all posterity.





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