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POEM ON THE PRINCE,

BORN ON THE TENTH OF JUNE, 1688.

OUR vows are heard betimes! and Heaven

takes care To grant, before we can conclude the prayer:

# " On the 10th of June, 1688, the queen was suddenly seized with labour-pains, and delivered of a fon, who was haptized by the name of James, and declared Prince of Wales. All the catholics and friends of James were transported with the most extravagant joy at the birth of this child; while great part of the nation consoled themselves with the notion that it was altogether fuppofititious. They carefully collected a variety of circumstances, upon which this conjecture was founded; and though they were inconfiftent, contradictory, and inconclufive, the inference was so agrecable to the views and passions of the people, that it made an impression which, in all probability, will never be totally effaced. Dr. Burnet, who seems to have been at uncommon pains to establish this belief, and to have consulted all the Whig nurses in England upon the subject; first pretends to demonstrate, that the queen was not with child; secondly, that she was with child, but miscarried ; thirdly, that a child was brought into the queen's apartment in a warming, pan; fourthly, that there was no child at all in the room ; fifthly, that the queen actually bore a child, but it died that same day; sixthly, that the fupposititious child had not the fits; seventhly, that it had the fits, of which it died at Richmond : therefore the Chevalier de St. George must be the fruit of four different impostures.” Smollett's History of England.

DERRICK. Ver. 1. Our vows ure heard] It might be expected, that a late and zealous convert to popery would join in the general ịriumph and exultation, felt by all his brethren, on the birth of a prince who might be the means of perpetuating the Catholic

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Preventing angels met it half the

way, And sent us back to praise, who came to pray.

Just on the day, when the high-mounted fun Did farthest in his northern progress run,

6 Ile bended forward, and ev'n stretch'd the

sphere
Beyond the limits of the lengthen'd year,
To view a brighter fun in Britain born;
That was the business of his longest morn;
The glorious object seen, 'twas time to turn.

Departing Spring could only stay to shed
Her bloomy beauties on the genial bed,
But left the manly Summer in her stead,
With timely fruit the longing land to chear, 15
And to fulfil the promise of the year.
Betwixt two seasons comes the auspicious heir,
This age to bloilom, and the next to bear.
Religion on the throne of these kingdoms, especially as this im-
portant event was imputed to a vow made by the Dutchess of
Modena to the Holy Virgin at Loretto, that her daughter might
by her means have a fon.

Jam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto. Which was the motto of a long poem in hexameter verse, and not bad Latin, now before me, written by Mr. J. Plowden at this time. Buruet certainly has disgraced his history by collecting all the idle and incredible tales, and inconsistent accounts of the birth of this prince, in order to prove it was a fuppofititious child, and has given a narration more worthy of a nurse or midwife, than of a bishop and historian. King William, with that generosity and magnanimity that distinguished his character, gave no credit or countenance to this improbable fiction.

Dr. J. WARTON. Ver. 6.

in his northern progress] Thus the original edition in 1688. Derrick has its.

TODD. Ver. 13. Her bloomy beauties] Original edition. Derrick, by an absurd error, has gloomy.

TODD.

* Last folemn fabbath saw the Church at

tend;

20

25

The Paraclete in fiery pomp descend;
But when his wond'rous f octave rolld again,
He brought a royal infant in his train.
So great a blefling to so good a king,
None but the Eternal Comforter could bring.

Or did the mighty Trinity conspire,
As once, in council to create our Gre?
It seems as if they sent the new-born guest
To wait on the procession of their feast ;
And on their facred anniverfe decreed
To stamp their image on the promis'd feed. 30
Three realms united, and on one bestow'd,
An emblem of their mystic union show'd:
The Mighty Trine the triple empire shar’d,
As every person would have one to guard.

Hail son of prayers ! by holy violence Drawn down from heaven; but long be ba.

nish'd thence, And late to thy paternal skies retire: To mend our crimes whole ages would require;

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• Whit-Sunday. Original edition. Ver. 20. The Paraclete in fiery pomp descend ;) So Parnell : The fiery pomp ascending left the view.

JOHN WARTON. + Trinity Sunday. Original edition. Ver. 37. And late to thy paternal skies retire :) Serus in cælum redeas. Hor.

Joux WARTON,

40

45

50

To change the inveterate habit of our fins,
And finish what thy godlike fire begins.
Kind heaven, to make us Englishmen again,
No less can give us than a patriarch's reign.

The facred cradle to your charge receive,
Ye feraphs, and by turns the guard relieve ;
Thy father's angel, and thy father join,
To keep possession, and fecure the line ;
But long defer the honours of thy fate :
Great may they be like his, like his be late ;
That James this running century may view,
And give his son an auspice to the new.

Our wants exact at least that moderate stay For see the Dragon * winged on his way, To watch the travail , and devour the prey. Or, if allusions may not rise so high, Thus, when Alcides rais'd his infant cry, The snakes besieg’d his young divinity: But vainly with their forked tongues they threat; For opposition makes a hero great. To needful fuccour all the good will run, And Jove affert the godhead of his son.

O still repining at your present state, Grudging yourselves the benefits of fate, this running century] Orig. edition.

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60 65

Todd. Ver. 50.

his fon] Orig. edit. Derrick has this fon.

TODD. * Alluding only to the Commonwealth party, here and in other places of the poem. Original edition.

+ Rev. xii, 4. Original edition.

Ver. 49.

Look up, and read in characters of light
A blessing fent

you

in

your own despight. The manna falls, yet that celestial bread Like Jews you munch, and murmur while you

feed.
May not your fortune be like their's, exild,
Yet forty years to wander in the wild :
Or if it be, may Moses live at least,
To lead you to the verge of promis'd rest.

70 Though poets are not prophets, to foreknow What plants will take the blight, and what will

grow, By tracing heaven his footsteps may be found: Behold ! how awfully he walks the round! God is abroad, and, wond'rous in his ways, The rife of empires, and their fall surveys; More (might I say) than with an usual eye, He sees his bleeding Church in ruin lie, And hears the souls of saints beneath his

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altar cry.

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Already has he lifted high the sign *,
Which crown'd the conquering arms of Con-

stantine : The moon + grows pale at that presaging light, And half her train of stars have lost their light.

The cross. Original edition. + The crescent which the Turks bear for their arms. Orig. edition.

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