To His Sacred Majesty, a Panegyrick on His Coronation, 1661


IN that wild deluge where the world was drown'd,
When life and sin one common tomb had found,
The first small prospect of a rising hill
With various notes of joy the ark did fill:
Yet when that flood in its own depths was drown'd,
It left behind it false and slipp'ry ground;
And the more solemn pomp was still deferr'd
Till new-born nature in fresh looks appear'd.
Thus, royal sir, to see you landed here,
Was cause enough of triumph for a year;
Nor would your care those glorious joys repeat,
Till they at once might be secure and great;
Till your kind beams by their continued stay
Had warm'd the ground, and call'd the damps away.
Such vapors, while your pow'rful influence dries,
Then soonest vanish when they highest rise.
Had greater haste these sacred rights prepar'd,
Some guilty months had in your triumphs shar'd;
But this untainted year is all your own;
Your glories may without our crimes be shown.
We had not yet exhausted all our store,
When you refresh'd our joys by adding more:
As Heav'n, of old, dispens'd celestial dew,
You give us manna, and still give us new.
?Now our sad ruins are remov'd from sight,
The season too comes fraught with new delight;
Time seems not now beneath his years to stoop,
Nor do his wings with sickly feathers droop:
Soft western winds waft o'er the gaudy spring,
And open'd scenes of flow'rs and blossoms bring.
To grace this happy day, while you appear
Not king of us alone, but of the year.
All eyes you draw, and with the eyes the heart,
Of your own pomp yourself the greatest part:
Loud shouts the nation's happiness proclaim,
And heav'n this day is feasted with your name.
Your cavalcade the fair spectators view
From their high standings, yet look up to you.
From your brave tram each singles out a prey,
And longs to date a conquest from your day.
Now charg'd with blessings while you seek repose,
Officious slumbers haste your eyes to close;
And glorious dreams stand ready to restore
The pleasing shapes of all you saw before.
Next, to the sacred temple you are led,
Where waits a crown for your more sacred head:
How justly from the Church that crown is due,
Preserv'd from ruin, and restor'd by you!
The grateful choir their harmony employ,
Not to make greater, but more solemn joy.
Wrapp'd soft and warm your name is sent on high,
As flames do on the wings of incense fly:
Music herself is lost, in vain she brings
Her choicest notes to praise the best of kings;
Her melting strains in you a tomb have found,
And lie like bees in their own sweetness drown'd.
He that brought peace, and discord could atone,
His name is music of itself alone.
Now while the sacred oil anoints your head,
And fragrant scents, begun from you, are spread
Thro' the large dome, the people's joyful sound,
Sent back, is still preserv'd in hallow'd ground;
Which in one blessing mix'd descends on you,
As heighten'd spirits fall in richer dew.
Not that our wishes do increase your store:
Full of yourself, you can admit no more;
We add not to your glory, but employ
Our time, like angels, in expressing joy.
Nor is it duty, or our hopes alone,
Create that joy, but full fruition:
We know those blessings which we must possess,
And judge of future by past happiness.
No promise can oblige a prince so much
Still to be good, as long to have been such.
A noble emulation heats your breast,
And your own fame now robs you of your rest:
Good actions still must be maintain'd with good,
As bodies nourish'd with resembling food.
You have already quench'd sedition's brand;
And zeal, (which burnt it,) only warms the land.
The jealous sects, that dare not trust their cause
So far from their own will as to the laws,
You for their umpire and their synod take,
And their appeal alone to Cæsar make.
Kind Heav'n so rare a temper did provide,
That guilt repenting might in it confide.
Among our crimes oblivion may be set;
But 'tis our king's perfection to forget.
Virtues unknown to these rough northern climes
From milder heav'ns you bring, without their crimes;
Your calmness does no after-storms provide,
Nor seeming patience mortal anger hide.
When empire first from families did spring,
Then every father govern'd as a king;
But you, that are a sovereign prince, allay
Imperial pow'r with your paternal sway.
From those great cares when ease your soul unbends,
Your pleasures are design'd to noble ends:
Born to command the Mistress of the Seas,
Your thoughts themselves in that blue empire please.
Hither in summer ev'nings you repair
To take the fraischeur of the purer air:
Undaunted here you ride when winter raves,
With Cæsar's heart that rose above the waves.
More I could sing, but fear my numbers stays;
No loyal subject dares that courage praise
In stately frigates most delight you find,
Where well-drawn battles fire your martial mind.
What to your cares we owe is learnt from hence,
When ev'n your pleasures serve for our defense.
Beyond your court flows in th' admitted tide,
Where in new depths the wond'ring fishes glide:
Here in a royal bed the waters sleep;
When tir'd at sea, within this bay they creep.
Here the mistrustful fowl no harm suspects,
So safe are all things which our king protects.
From your lov'd Thames a blessing yet is due,
Second alone to that it brought in you;
A queen, from whose chaste womb, ordain'd by fate,
The souls of kings unborn for bodies wait
It was your love before made discord cease
Your love is destin'd to your country peace.
Both Indies, (rivals in your bed,) provide
With gold or jewels to adorn your bride.
This to a mighty king presents rich ore,
While that with incense does a god implore
Two kingdoms wait your doom, and, as you choose,
This must receive a crown, or that must lose.
Thus from your Royal Oak, like Jove's of old,
Are answers sought, and destinies foretold:
Propitious oracles are begg'd with vows,
And crowns that grow upon the sacred boughs.
Your subjects, while you weigh the nations' fate,
Suspend to both their doubtful love or hate
Choose only, sir, that so they may possess
With their own peace their children's happiness.
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