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and not of necessity. Therefore, fir, I shall only call it an humble petition, that your majesty will please to pardon this new amour to my old mistress, and my disobedience to his commands, to whose memory I look
with great reverence and devotion : and making a serious reflection upon that wise advice, it carries much greater weight with it now, than when it was given; for when age and experience has so ripened man's discretion as to make it fit for use, either in private or public affairs, nothing blasts and corrupts the fruit of it so much as the empty, airy reputation of being Nimis Poëta ; and therefore I shall take my leave of the Muses, as two of my predecessors. did, saying,
“ Splendidis longum valedico nugis.
“ Hic versus & cætera ludicra pono.”
Your majesty's most faithful
and loyal subject, and most
dutiful and devoted servant,
URE there are poets, which did never dream
Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream Of Helicon ; we therefore may fuppose Those made not poets, but the poets those. And as courts make not kings, but kings the court, So where the Muses and their train resort, Parnassus stands ; if I can be to thee A poet, thou Parnassus art to me. Ner wonder, if (advantag'd in my flight, By taking wing from thy auspicious height) Through untrac'd ways and airy paths I fly, More boundless in my fancy than my eye: My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space That lies betiveen, and first salutes the place Crown'd with that sacred pile, so vast, so high, That, whether 'tis a part of earthi or sky,
Uncertain seems, and may be thought a proud
Aspiring mountain, or descending cloud,
Paul's, the late theme of such a * Muse whose fight
Has bravely reach'd and soar'd above thy height:
Now shalt thou stand, though sword, or time, or fire,
Or zeal more fierce than they, thy fall conspire,
Secure, whilst thee the beft of poets sings,
Preserv'd from ruin by the best of kings.
Under his proud survey the city lies,
And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise;
Whose state and wealth, the business and the crowd,
Seems at this distance but a darker cloud :
And is, to him who rightly things efteems,
No other in effect than what it seems :
Where, with like hafte, though several ways, they run
Some to undo, and some to be undone ;
While luxury, and wealth, like war and peace,
Are each the other's ruin, and increase ;
As rivers lost in seas, some secret vein
Thence reconveys, there to be lost again.
Oh happiness of sweet retir'd content !
To be at once secure, and innocent.
Windsor the next (where Mars with Venus dwellse;
Beauty with strength) above the valley swells
Into my eye, and doth itself present
With such an easy and unforc'd ascent,
That no stupendous precipice denies
Access, no horror turns away our eyes s
But such a rise as doth at once invite
A pleasure, and a reverence from the fight.
Thy mighty master's emblem, in whose face
Sate meekness, heighten’d with majestic grace ;
Such seems thy gentle height, made only proud
To be the basis of that pompous load,
Than which, a nobler weight no mountain bears,
But Atlas only which supports the spheres.
When Nature's hand this ground did thus advance,
'Twas guided by a wiser power
Mark'd-out for such an use, as if 'twere meant
T'invite the builder, and his choice prevent.
Nor can we call it choice, when what we chufe,
Folly or blindness only could refuse.
A crown of such majestic towers doth grace
The gods great mother, when her heavenly race
Do homage to her, yet she cannot boast
Among that numerous, and celestial host,
More heroes than can Windsor, nor doth Fame's
Immortal book record more noble names.
Not to look back so far, to whom this isle
Owes the first glory of so brave a pile,
Whether to Cæsar, Albanact, or Brute,
The British Arthur, or the Danish Cnute,
(Though this of old no less contest did move,
Than when for Homer's birth seven cities ftrove)
(Like him in birth, thou should't be like in fame,
As thine his fate, if mine had been his flame)
But whosoe'er it was, Nature design'd
Firft a brave place, and then as brave a mind.
Not to recount thofe feveral kings, to whom
It gave a cradle, or to whom a tomb;
But thee, great * Edward, and thy greater Son,
(The Hilies which his father wore, he won).
And thy + Bellona, who the confort came
Not only to thy bed, but to thy fame,
She to thy triumph led one captive & king,
And brought that fon, which did the second I bring.
Then didit thou found that order (whether love
Or victory thy royal thoughts did move)
Each was a noble cause, and nothing less
Than the design, has been the great success :-
Which foreign kings and emperors esteem
The second honour to their diadem.
Had thy great destiny but given thee skill
To know, as well as power to act her will,
That from those kings, who then thy captives wercy
In after-times should spring a royal pair,
Who should possess all that thy mighty power,
Or thy desires more mighty, did devour :
To whom their better fate reserves whate'er
The victor hopes for, or the vanquish'd fear
That blood, which thou and thy great grandsire shed,
And all that since these fister nations bled,
Had been unspilt, and happy Edward known
That all the blood he spilt, had been his own.
* Edward III. and the Black Prince. + Queen Philippa.
The kings of France and Scotland.