Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, UPON THE KING'S HAPPY RETURN FROM SCOTLAND, by HENRY KING (1592-1669)



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UPON THE KING'S HAPPY RETURN FROM SCOTLAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: So breaks the day, when the returning sun
Last Line: In thankful sacrifice for your return.
Subject(s): Charles Ii, King Of England (1630-1685); Homecoming; Scotland - Relations With England


SO breaks the day, when the returning Sun
Hath newly through his winter tropic run,
As You (Great Sir!) in this regress come forth
From the remoter climate of the North.

To tell You now what cares, what fears we past,
What clouds of sorrow did the land o'er-cast,
Were lost, but unto such as have been there,
Where the absented Sun benights the year:
Or have those countries travel'd, which ne'er feel
The warmth and virtue of his flaming wheel.

How happy yet were we! that when You went,
You left within Your Kingdom's firmament
A Partner-light, whose lustre may despise
The nightly glimm'ring tapers of the skies,
Your peerless Queen; and at each hand a Star,
Whose hopeful beams from You enkindled are.
Though (to say truth) the light, which they could bring,
Serv'd but to lengthen out our evening.

Heaven's greater lamps illumine it; each spark
Adds only this, to make the sky less dark.
Nay, She, who is the glory of her sex,
Did sadly droop for lack of Your reflex:
Oft did She her fair brow in loneness shroud,
And dimly shone, like Venus in a cloud.

Now are those gloomy mists dry'd up by You,
As the world's eye scatters the ev'ning dew:
And You bring home that blessing to the land,
Which absence made us rightly understand.

Here may You henceforth stay! there need no charms
To hold You, but the circle of her arms,
Whose fruitful love yields You a rich increase,
Seals of Your joy, and of the kingdom's peace.
O may those precious pledges fix You here,
And You grow old within that crystal sphere!

Pardon this bold detention. Else our love
Will merely an officious trouble prove.
Each busy minute tells us, as it flies,
That there are better objects for Your eyes.
To them let us leave You, whilst we go pray,
Raising this triumph to a Holy-day.

And may that soul the Church's blessing want,
May his content be short, his comforts scant,
Whose bosom-altar does no incense burn,
In thankful sacrifice for Your return.





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