« ПредишнаНапред »
THRENODIA AUGUSTALIS: A FUNERAL PINDARIC Poem, sacred to the happy Memory of King CHARLES II.
HUS long my grief has kept me dumb :
Sure there 's a lethargy in mighty woe,
Tears ftand congeald, and cannot flow;
And the sad foul retires into her inmoft room :
Tears, for a stroke foreseen, afford relief;
But, unprovided for a sudden blow,
Like Niobé we marble grow;
And petrify with grief.
Our British heaven was all serene,
No threatening cloud was nigh,
Not the least wrinkle to deform the sky;
We liv'd as unconcern'd and happily
As the first age in nature's golden fcene;
Supine amidst our flowing store,
We slept securely, and we dreamt of more :
When suddenly the thunder-clap was heard,
It took us unprepar'd and out of guard,
Already lost before we fear'd.
Th’amazing news of Charles at once were spread,
At once the general voice declar'd,
“ Our gracious prince was dead.”
No sickness known before, no flow disease,
To soften grief by just degrees :
But like an hurricane on Indian feas,
The tempest rose;
An unexpected burst of woes :
With scarce a breathing space betwixt,
This now becalm’d, and perishing the next.
As if great Atlas from his height
Should sink beneath his heavenly weight,
And with a mighty flaw, the flaming wall
As once it shall,
Should gape immense, and rushing down, o’erwhelm
this nether ball ; So swift and so surprising was our fear : Our Atlas fell indeed; but Hercules was near.
II. His pious brother, sure the best
Who ever bore that name,
Was newly risen from his rest,
And, with a fervent flame,
His usual morning vows had just addrest
For his dear sovereign's health;
And hop'd to have them heard,
In long increase of years,
In honour, fame, and wealth :
Guiltlefs of greatness thus he always pray'd,
Nor knew nor with'd those vows he made,
On his own head should be repay’d.
Soon as th’ill-omen'd rumour reach'd his ear,
Ill news is wing’d with fate, and flies apace,
Who can describe th' amazement of his face !
Horror in all his pomp was there,
Mute and magnificent without a tear :
And then the hero first was seen to fear.
Half unarray'd he ran to his relief,
So hasty and so artless was his grief :
Approaching greatness met him with her charms
Of power and future state;
But look'd so ghaftly in a brother's fate,
He shook her from his arms.
Arriv'd within the mournful room, he saw
A wild distraction, void of awe,
And, arbitrary grief unbounded by a law.
God's image, God's anointed, lay
Without motion, pulse, or breath,
A senseless lump of sacred clay,
An image now of death.
Amidst his fad attendants groans and cries,
The lines of that ador'd forgiving face,
Distorted from their native grace ;
An iron flumber fat on his majestic eyes.
The pious duke-Forbear, audacious Muse !
No terms thy feeble art can use
Are able to adorn so vast a woe :
The grief of all the rest like subject-grief did now,
His like a sovereign did transcend ;
No wife, no brother, such a grief could know,
Nor any name but friend.
O wondrous changes of a fatal scene,
Still varying to the last!
Heaven, though its hard decree was past,
Seem'd pointing to a gracious turn again :
And death's uplifted arnı arrested in its haste.
Heaven half repented of the doom, And almost griev'd it had foreseen,
What by foresight it will d eternally to come. Mercy above did hourly plead
For her resemblance here below; And mild forgiveness intercede
To stop the coming blow. New miracles approach'd th’ etherial throne, Such as his wondrous life had oft and lately known, And urg'd that still they might be shown. On earth his pious brother pray'd and vow'd,
Renouncing greatness at so dear a rate, Himself defending what he could,
From all the glories of his future fate. With him th’innumerable crowd,
Knock'd at the gates of heaven, and knock'd aloud;
The first well-meaning rude petitioners.
All for his life assail'd the throne,
All would have brib'd the skies by offering up their
own. So great a throng not heaven itself could bar; 'Twas almost borne by force as in the giants' war. The prayers at least for his reprieve were heard ; His death, like Hezekiah's, was deferr'd:
Against the sun the shadow went;
Five days, those five degrees, were lent
To form our patience and prepare
th' event. The second causes took the swift command, The medicinal head, the ready hand,
All eager to perform their part;
All but eternal doom was conquer'd by their art :
Once more the fleeting foul came back
T'inspire the mortal frame ;
And in the body took a doubtful stand,
Doubtful and hovering like expiring flame,
That mounts and falls by turns, and trembles o'er the
The joyful short-liv'd news foon spread around,
Took the same train, the same impetuous bound :
The drooping town in smiles again was dreft,
Gladness in every face exprest,
before their tongues confeft.
Men met each other with erected look,
The steps were higher that they took,
Friends to congratulate their friends made haste;
And long-inveterate foes faluted as they past :
Above the rest heroic James appear'd
Exalted more, because he more had fear'd :
His manly heart, whose noble pride
Was still above
Dissembled hate or varnish'd love,
Its more than common transport could not hide;
But like an eagre rode in triumph o'er the tide.
Thus, in alternate course,
The tyrant passions, hope and fear,
Did in extremes appear,
And flash'd upon the foul with equal force.