AN EPISTLE TO THE Right Honourable CHARLES EARL of DORSET and MIDDLESEX, Lord Chamberlain OF HIS Majesties Houshold.

LICENSED Sept. 26.

J. Fraser.

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LONDON, Printed for Francis Saunders, at the Blue Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange, 1690.

AN EPISTLE TO MY Lord Chamberlain.

WHat? shall the King the Nation's Genius raise,
And make us Rival our great Edward's Days;
Yet not one Muse, worthy a Conq'ror's Name,
Attend his Triumphs, and Record his Fame?
Oh, Dorset! You alone this Fault can mend
The Muses Darling, Confident, and Friend!
The Poets are your Charge, and, if unfit,
You should be fin'd to furnish abler Wit;
Oblig'd to quit your Ease, and draw agen,
To paint the Greatest Heroe, the Best Pen.
A Heroe, who thus early does out-shine
The Ancient Honours of his Glorious Line;
And, soaring more sublimely to Renown,
The Mem'ry of their pious Triumphs drown:
Whose Actions are deliver'd o'er to Fame,
As Types, and Figures of His greater Name.
When Fate some mighty Genius has design'd,
For the Relief, and Wonder of Mankind,
Nature takes Time to answer the Intent,
And climbs, by slow Degrees, the steep Ascent:
She toils, and labours with the growing Weight,
And watches carefully the Steps of Fate;
Till all the Seeds of Providence unite,
To set the Heroe in a happy Light;
Then, in a lucky and propitious Hour,
Exerts her Force, and calls forth all her Pow'r.
In Nassaw's Race she made this long Essay;
Heroes and Patriots prepar'd the Way,
And promis'd, in their Dawn, this brighter Day:
A Publick Sp'rit distinguish'd all the Line,
Successive Vertues in each Branch did shine,
Till this last Glory rose, and Crown'd the Great Design.
Blest be his Name! and peaceful lie his Grave,
Who durst his Native Soil, lost Holland, save!
But William's Genius takes a wider Scope,
And gives the injur'd, in All Kingdoms, Hope:
Born to subdue insulting Tyrants Rage,
The Ornament, and Terrour, of the Age;
[Page 3] The Refuge, where afflicted Nations find
Relief from those Oppressors of Mankind,
Whom Laws restrain not, and no Oaths can bind.
Him their Deliv'rer Europe does confess,
All Tongues extol, and all Religions bless;
The Po, the Danube, Boetis, and the Rhine,
United in his Praise their Wonder join:
While, in the Publick Cause, he takes the Field,
And shelter'd Nations fight behind his Shield.
His Foes themselves dare not Applause refuse;
And shall such Actions want a faithful Muse?
Poets have this to boast; Without their Aid,
The freshest Lawrels, nipp'd by Malice, Fade,
And Vertue to Oblivion is betray'd:
The proudest Honours have a narrow Date,
Unless they vindicate their Names from Fate.
But who is equal to sustain the Part;
D—n has Numbers, but he wants a Heart;
Enjoyn'd a Penance (which is too severe
For playing once the Fool) to Persevere.
Others, who knew the Trade, have laid it down;
And, looking round, I find you stand alone.
How, Sir! can you, or any English Muse,
Our Countrey's Fame, our Monarch's Arms, resuse?
'Tis not my Want of Gratitude, but Skill,
Makes me decline what I can ne'er fulfill:
I cannot sing of Conquests, as I ought,
And my Breath fails to swell a lofty Note.
I know my Compass, and my Muse's Size,
She loves to Sport and Play, but dares not Rise;
Idly affects, in this Familiar Way,
In easie Numbers loosely to convey,
What Mutual Friendship wou'd at Distance say.
Poets assume another Tone and Voice,
When Victory's their Theam, and Arms their Choice;
To follow Heroes, in the Chace of Fame,
Asks Force, and Heat, and Fancy, wing'd with Flame.
What Words can paint the Royal Warrior's Face?
What Colours can the Figure boldly raise?
When, cover'd o'er with comely Dust and Smoke,
He pierc'd the Foe, and thickest Squadrons broke?
His bleeding Arm, still painful with the Sore,
Which, in his Peoples Cause, the Pious Father bore:
Whom, clearing through the Troops a Glorious Way,
Not the united Force of France, and Hell, cou'd stay.
Oh, Dorset! I am rais'd! I'm all on fire!
And, if my Strength could answer my Desire,
In speaking Paint this Figure should be seen
Like Jove his Grandeur, and like Mars his Mien;
And Gods descending should adorn the Scene.
See, See! Upon the Bank of Boyne he stands,
By his own View adjusting his Commands,
Calm and serene the Armed Coast surveys,
And, in cool Thoughts, the diff'rent Chances weighs:
Then, fir'd with Fame, and eager of Renown,
Resolves to end the War, and fix the Throne.
From Wing to Wing the Squadrons bending stand,
And close their Ranks to meet their King's Command;
The Drums and Trumpets sleep, the sprightly Noise
Of neighing Steeds, and Cannons louder Voice,
Suspended in Attention, banish far
All Hostile Sounds, and hush the Dinn of War:
The silent Troops stretch forth an eager Look,
List'ning with Joy, while thus their Gen'ral spoke.
* Come, Fellow-Soldiers, Follow me once more,
And fixt the Fate of Europe on that Shore;
Your Courage only waits from me the Word,
But England's Happiness commands my Sword:
[Page 6] In Her Defence I ev'ry Part will bear,
The Soldier's Danger, and the Prince's Care,
And envy any Arm an equal Share.
Set all that's dear to Men before your Sight,
For Laws, Religion, Liberty, we fight;
To save your Wives from Rape, your Towns from Flame,
Redeem your Country sold, and vindicate her Name:
At whose Request and timely Call I rose,
To tempt my Fate, and all my Hopes expose;
Struggled with adverse Storms, and Winter-Seas,
That in my Labours you might find your Ease.
Let other Monarchs dictate from afar,
And write the empty Triumphs of their War,
In lazy Palaces supinely Rust;
My Sword shall justifie my Peoples Trust.
For which—But I your Victory delay;
Come on, I, and my Genius lead the way.
He said. New Life and Joy ran through the Host,
And sense of Danger in their Wonder lost;
Precipitate they plunge into the Flood.
In vain the Waves, the Banks, the Men, withstood.
The KING leads on, the KING does all inflame,
The KING—and carries Millions in the Name.
As when the swelling Ocean bursts his Bounds,
And, foaming, overwhelms the neighb'ring Grounds,
The roaring Deluge, rushing headlong on,
Sweeps Cities in its Course, and bears whole Forests down
So on the Foe the firm Battalions prest,
And he, like the Tenth Wave, drove on the rest;
Fierce, Gallant, Young, he shot thrô ev'ry Place,
Urging their Flight, and hurrying on the Chace,
He hung upon their Rear, or lighten'd in their Face.
Stop! stop! brave Prince! Allay that Gen'rous Flame
Enough is giv'n to England, and to Fame.
Remember, Sir, you in the Centre stand,
Europe's divided Int'rests you command,
All their Designs uniting in your hand:
Down from your Throne descends the Golden Chain,
Which does the Fabrick of our World sustain;
That once dissolv'd by any Fatal Stroke,
The Scheme of all our Happiness is broke.
Stop! stop! brave Prince! Fleets may repair again,
And routed Armies rally on the Plain;
But Ages are requir'd to raise so Great a Man!
Hear, how the Waves of French Ambition roar,
Disdaining Bounds, and breaking on the Shore,
Ordain'd by you to curb their wild-destructive Pow'r,
That Strength remov'd; Again, Again, they flow,
Lay Europe waste, nor Laws, nor Limits know.
Stop! stop! brave Prince!—what does your Muse, Sir. faint?
Proceed, Pursue his Conquests—Faith, I can't:
My Spirits shrink, and will no longer bear;
Rapture and Fury carryd me thus far
Transported and Amaz'd.
That Rage once spent, I can no more sustain
Your Flights, your Energies, and Tragic Strain,
But fall back to my Nat'ral Pace again;
In humble Verse provoking you to Rhime,
I wish there were more Dorsets at this Time.
Oh! if in France this Heroe had been born;
What Glittering Tinsel wou'd His Acts adorn!
There 'tis Immortal Fame, and High Renown,
To Steal a Country, and to Buy a Town:
Their Triumphs are o'er Kings and Kingdoms sold,
And Captive Vertue led in Chains of Gold.
If Courage cou'd, like Courts, be kept in Pay,
What Summs wou'd Lovis give, That France might say,
That Victory follow'd where He led the Way?
He all his Conquests wou'd for this refound,
And take th' Equivalent, a Glorious Wound.
Then, what Advice, to spread his real Fame,
Wou'd pass between Versailles and No'tredame?
[Page 9] Their Plays, their Songs, wou'd dwell upon his Wound,
And Opera's repeat no other Sound;
Boyne wou'd for Ages be the Painter's Theam,
The Goblin's Labour, and the Poet's Dream;
The wounded Arm wou'd furnish all their Rooms,
And bleed for ever Scarlet in the Looms:
Boileau wou'd plume with this his Artful Pen.
And can your Muse be silent? Think agen.
Spare your Advice; And, since you have begun,
Finish your own Design, the Work is done.
Done! Nothing's Done! Not the Dead Colours laid,
And the most Glorious Scenes stand undisplay'd.
A Thousand Gen'rous Actions close the Rear;
A Thousand Vertues, still behind, stand crowding to appear
The QUEEN her self, the charming QUEEN shou'd grace
The Noble Piece, and, in an Artful Place,
Soften War's Horror with her lovely Face.
Who can omit the QUEEN's auspicious Smile,
The Pride of the Fair Sex, the Goddess of our Isle?
Who can forget, what all admir'd of late,
Her Fears for Him, her Prudence for the State?
Dissembling Cares, she smooth'd her Looks with Grace,
Doubts in her Heart, and Pleasure in her Face.
[Page 10] As Danger did approach, her Spirits rose,
And, putting on the King, dismay'd his Foes.
Now, all in Joy, she gilds the chearful Court,
In ev'ry Glance descending Angels sport.
As on the Hills of Cynthus, or the Meads
Of cool Eurotas, when Diana leads
The Chorus of her Nymphs, who there advance
A Thousand shining Maids, and form the Dance:
The stately Goddess, with a graceful Pride,
Sweet and Majestic, does the Figure guide;
Treading in just and easie Measures round
(The silver Arrows on her Shoulder sound)
She walks above them All. Such is the Scene
Of the Bright Circle, and the Brighter QUEEN.
These Subjects do, my Lord, your Skill command,
These none may touch with an Unhallow'd Hand:
Tender the Stroaks must be, and nicely writ,
Disguis'd Encomiums must be hid in Wit,
Which Modesty, like theirs, will e'er admit;
Who made no other Steps to such a Throne,
But to Deserve, and to Receive, the Crown.

THE Life of Alexander the Great, written in Latin by Quintus Curtins, translated into English by several Hands, and now Dedicated to the QUEEN. By N. Tate.

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