THE POET'S Complaint of his Muse; OR, A SATYR Against LIBELLS.

A Poem.

By Thomas Otway.

Si quid habent veri vatum praesagia, vivam.

LONDON, Printed for Thomas Norman, at the Pope's Head in Fleetstreet near Salisbury-Court. 1680.

TO The Right Honourable THOMAS Earl of Ossory, BARON of MOOR-PARKE, Knight of the most noble Order of the GARTER, &c.


THough never any man had more need of excuse for a presumption of this nature, then I have now; yet when I have laid out every way to find one, your Lordships goodness must be my best refuge, and therefore I humbly cast this at your feet for protection; and my self for pardon.

My Lord, I have great need of protection, for to the best of my heart I have here published in some measure the truth, and I would have [Page] it thought honestly too, (a practice never more out of countenance then now) yet Truth and Honour are things your Lordship must needs be kind to, because they are Relations to your nature and never left you.

'Twould be a second presumption in me to pretend in this a Panegyrick on your Lord­ship; for it would require more art to doe your Vertue justice, then to slatter any other man.

If I have ventured at a hint of the present sufferings of that great Prince mentioned in the latter end of this paper, with favour from your Lordship I hope to add a second part and doe all those Great and Good men Justice, that have in his Calamities stuck fast to so gallant a Friend and so good a Master. To write and finish which great Subject faithfully, and to be honou­red with your Lordships patronage, in what I may do, and your aprobation or at least pardon, in what I have done, will be the greatest pride of

(My Lord)
Your most humble Admirer and Servant, Thomas Otway.

THE POET'S Complaint of his Muse; OR, A SATYR Against LIBELLS.

TO a high Hill where never yet stood Tree,
Where onely Heath, course Fern and Furzes grow,
Where (nipt by piercing Air)
The Flocks in tatter'd Fleeces hardly graze,
Led by uncouth Thoughts and Care,
Which did too much his pensive mind amaze,
A wandring Bard, whose Muse was crazy grown,
Cloy'd with the nauseous Follies of the buzzing Town,
Came, lookt about him, sigh'd, and laid him down.
[Page 2] 'Twas far from any Path, but where the Earth
Was bare, and naked all as at her Birth,
When by the Word it first was made,
Er'e God had said,
Let Grass and Herbs and every green thing grow,
With fruitfull Trees after their kind; and it was so.
The whistling Winds blew fiercely round his Head,
Cold was his Lodging, hard his Bed;
Aloft his Eyes on the wide Heav'ns he cast,
Where we are told Peace onely's found at last:
And as he did its hopeless distance see,
Sigh'd deep, and cri'd, How far is Peace from me?
Nor ended there his Moan:
The distance of his future Joy
Had been enough to give him Pain alone;
But who can undergo
Despair of Ease to come, with weight of present Woe?
Down his afflicted Face
The trickling Tears had stream'd so fast a pace,
As left a path worn by their briny race.
Swoln was his Breast with Sighs, his well-
Proportion'd Lims as useless fell,
Whilst the poor Trunk (unable to sustain
It self) lay rackt, and shaking with its Pain.
I heard his Groans as I was walking by,
And (urg'd by pity) went aside, to see
What the sad cause could be
Had press'd his State so low, and rais'd his Plaints so high.
On me he sixt his Eyes. I crav'd,
Why so forlorn? He vainly rav'd.
Peace to his mind I did commend.
But, oh! my words were hardly at an end,
When I perceiv'd it was my Friend,
[Page 3] My much-lov'd Friend: so down I fate,
And begg'd that I might share his Fate:
I lay'd my Cheek to his, when with a Gale
Of Sighs he eas'd his Breast, and thus began his Tale.
I am a Wretch of honest Race:
My Parents not obscure, nor high in Titles were;
They left me Heir to no Disgrace.
My Father was (a thing now rare)
Loyall and brave, my Mother chast and fair.
Their pledge of Marriage-vows was onely I;
Alone I liv'd their much-lov'd fondled Boy:
They gave me generous Education, high
They strove to raise my Mind, and with it grew their Joy.
The Sages that instructed me in Arts
And Knowledge oft would praise my Parts,
And chear my Parents longing hearts.
When I was call'd to a Dispute,
My fellow-Pupills oft stood mute:
Yet never Envy did disjoin
Their hearts from me, nor Pride distemper mine.
Thus my first years in Happiness I past,
Nor any bitter cup did tast:
But, oh! a deadly Potion came at last.
As I lay loosely on my bed,
A thousand pleasant Thoughts triumphing in my Head,
And as my Sense on the rich Banquet fed,
A Voice (it seem'd no more, so busy I
Was with my self, I saw not who was nigh)
Pierc'd through my Ears; Arise, thy good Senander's dead.
It shook my Brain, and from their Feast my frighted Senses fled.
From thence sad Discontent, uneasy Fears,
And anxious Doubts of what I had to do,
Grew with succeeding Years.
The World was wide, but whither should I go?
[Page 4] I, whose blooming Hopes all wither'd were,
Who'd little Fortune, and a deal of Care?
To Britain's great Metropolis I stray'd,
Where Fortune's generall Game is play'd;
Where Honesty and Wit are often prais'd,
But Fools and Knaves are fortunate and rais'd.
My forward Spirit prompted me to find
A Converse equall to my Mind:
But by raw Judgement easily miss-led,
(As giddy callow Boys
Are very fond of Toys)
I mist the brave and wise, and in their stead
On every sort of Vanity I fed.
Gay Coxcombs, Cowards, Knaves, and prating Fools,
Bullies of o're-grown Bulks, and little Souls,
Gamesters, Half-wits, and Spendthrifts, (such as think
Mischievous midnight Frollicks bred by Drink
Are Gallantry and Wit,
Because to their lewd Understandings fit)
Were those wherewith two years at least I spent,
To all their fulsome Follies most incorrigibly bent:
Till at the last, my self more to abuse,
I grew in love with a deceitfull Muse.
No fair Deceiver ever us'd such Charms,
T'ensnare a tender Youth, and win his Heart:
Or when she had him in her Arms,
Secur'd his love with greater Art.
I fansy'd, or I dream'd, (as Poets always do)
No Beauty with my Muse's might compare.
Lofty she seem'd, and on her Front sate a majestick Ayr,
Awfull, yet kind; severe, yet fair.
Upon her Head a Crown she bore
Of Laurell, which she told me should be mine:
And round her Ivory Neck she wore
A Rope of largest Pearl. Each part of her did shine
[Page 5] With Jewells and with Gold
Numbe [...]l [...]s [...] to be told;
Which in Imagination as I did behold,
And lov'd, and wonder'd more and[?] more,
Said she, These Riches all, my Darling, shall be thine,
Riches which never Poet had before.
She promis'd me to raise my fortune and my name,
By Royall Favour, and by endless Fame;
But never told
How hard they were to get, and difficult to hold.
Thus by the Arts of this most sly
Deluder was I caught,
To her bewitching Bondage brought.
Eternall Constancy we swore,
A thousand times our Vows were doubled o're.
And as we did in our Entrancements lie,
I thought no Pleasure e're was wrought so high,
No Pair so happy as my Muse and I.
Ne'r was young Lover half so fond
When first his Pusillage he lost,
Or could of half my Pleasure boast.
We never met but we enjoy'd,
Still transported, never cloy'd.
Chambers, Closets, Fields and Groves,
Bore witness of our daily Loves;
And on the bark of every Tree
You might the Marks of our Endearments see.
Distichs, Posies, and the pointed Bits
Of Satyr, (written when a Poet meets
His Muse in Catterwauling fits)
You might on every Rinde behold, and swear
I and my Clio had been at it there.
[Page 6] Nay, by my Muse too I was blest
With Off-springs of the choicest kinds,
Such as have pleas'd the noblest minds,
And been approv'd by Judgements of the best.
But in this most transporting height,
Whence I lookt down, and laught at Fate,
All of a sudden I was alter'd grown;
I round me lookt, and found my self alone:
My faithless Muse, my faithless Muse was gone.
I try'd if I a Verse could frame:
Oft I in vain invok'd my Clio's name.
The more I strove, the more I fail'd.
I chaf'd, I bit my Pen, curst my dull Scull, and rail'd,
Resolv'd to force m'untoward Thought, and at the last prevail'd.
A Line came forth, but such a one,
No trav'ling Matron in her Child-birth pains,
Full of the joyfull Hopes to bear a Son,
Was more astonisht at th' unlookt-for shape
Of some deform'd Baboon, or Ape,
Then I was at the hideous Issue of my Brains.
I tore my Paper, stabb'd my Pen,
And swore I'd never write agen,
Resolv'd to be a doating Fool no more.
But when my reck'ning I began to make,
I found too long I'd slept, and was too late awake;
I found m'ungratefull Muse, for whose false sake
I did my self undo,
Had robb'd me of my dearest Store,
My precious Time, my Friends, and Reputation too;
And left me helpless, friendless, very proud, and poor.
Reason, which in base Bonds my Folly had enthrall'd,
I strait to Council call'd;
Like some old faithfull Friend, whom long ago
[Page 7] I had casheer'd, to please my flatt'ring Fair.
To me with readiness he did repair;
Exprest much tender chearfulness, to find
Experience had restor'd him to my Mind;
And loyally did to me show,
How much himself he did abuse,
Who credited a flattering, false, destructive, treacherous Muse.
I askt the causes why. He said,
'Twas never known a Muse e're staid
When Fortune fled; for Fortune is a Bawd
To all the Nine that on Parnassus dwell,
Where those so fam'd, delightfull Fountains swell
Of Poetry, which there does ever flow;
And where Wit's lusty, shining God
Keeps his choice Seraglio.
So whilst our Fortune smiles, our Thoughts aspire,
Pleasure and Fame's our bus'ness, and desire.
Then, too, if we find
A promptness in the Mind,
The Muse is always ready, always kind.
But if th'old Harlot Fortune once denies
Her favour, all our Pleasure and rich Fancy dies,
And then th'yong, slippery Jilt, the Muse too from us flies.
To the whole Tale I gave Attention due;
And as right search into my self I made,
I found all he had said
Was very honest, very true.
Oh how I hugg'd my welcom Friend!
And much my Muse I could not discommend;
For I ne'r liv'd in Fortune's grace,
She always turn'd her Back, and fled from me apace,
And never once vouchsaf'd to let me see her Face.
Then to confirm me more,
[Page 8] He drew the veil of Dotage from my eyes:
See here, my Son, (said he) the valu'd Prize;
Thy fulsome Muse behold, be happy, and be wise.
I lookt, and saw the rampant, tawdry Quean,
With a more horrid Train
Then ever yet to Satyr lent a Tale,
Or haunted Chloris in the Mall.
The first was he who stunk of that rank Verse
In which he wrote his Sodom Farce;
A Wretch whom old Diseases did so bite,
That he writ Bawdry sure in spight,
To ruin and disgrace it quite.
Philosophers of old did so express
Their Art, and shew'd it in their Nastiness.
Next him appear'd that blundring Sot
Who a late Session of the Poets wrote.
Nature has markt him for a heavy Fool;
By's flat broad Face you'l know the Owl.
The other Birds have hooted him from light;
Much buffeting has made him love the Night,
And onely in the dark he strays;
Still Wretch enough to live, with worse Fools spends his days,
And for old Shoes and Scraps repeats dull Plays.
Then next there follow'd, to make up the Throng,
Lord Lampoon and Monsieur Song,
Who sought her love, and promis'd for't
To make her famous at the Court.
The City Poet too was there,
In a black Sattin Cap and his own Hair,
And begg'd that he might have the Honour
To beget a Pageant on her
For the City's next Lord Mayor.
Her Favours she to none deny'd:
They took her all by turns aside.
[Page 9] Till at the last up in the rear there came
The Poets Scandall, and the Muses Shame,
A Beast of Monstrous guise, and LIBELL was his name.
But let me pause, for 'twill ask time to tell
How he was born, how bred and where, and where he now does
He paus'd, and thus renew'd his Tale.
Down in an obscure Vale,
'Midst Fogs and Fens, whence Mists and Vapours rise,
Where never Sun was seen by eyes,
Under a desart Wood,
Which no man own'd, but all wild Beasts were bred,
And kept their horrid Dens, by prey far forrag'd fed,
An ill-pil'd Cottage stood,
Built of mens Bones slaughter'd in Civill War,
By Magick Art brought thither from a far.
There liv'd a widow'd Witch,
That us'd to mumble Curses eve and morn,
Like one whom Wants and Care had worn;
Meagre her Looks, and sunk her Eyes,
Yet Mischiefs study'd, Discords did devise.
Sh' appeared humble, but it was her Pride:
Slow in her Speech, in semblance sanctifi'd.
Still when she spoke she meant another way;
And when she curst, she seem'd to pray.
Her hellish Charms had all a holy dress,
And bore the name of Godliness.
All her Familiars seem'd the Sons of Peace.
Honest habits they all wore,
In outward show most lamb-like and divine:
But inward of all Vices they had store,
Greedy as Wolves, and sensuall too as Swine.
Like Her, the Sacred Scriptures They had all by heart,
Most easily could quote, and turn to any part,
[Page 10] Backward repeat it all, as Witches Prayers do,
And for their turn, interpret backward too.
Idolatry with Her was held impure,
Because besides Her self no Idol she'd endure.
Though not to paint, sh'ad arts to change the Face,
And alter it in Heav'nly fashion.
Lewd Whining she desin'd a mark of Grace,
And making Ugly faces was Mortification.
Her late dead Pander was of well-known fame,
Old Preshyter Rebellion was his name:
She a sworn Foe to KING, his Peace, and Laws,
So will be ever, and was call'd (bless us!) THE GOOD OLD CAUSE.
A Time there was, (a sad one too)
When all things wore the face of Woe,
When many Horrors rag'd in this our Land,
And a destroying Angel was sent down,
To scourge the Pride of this Rebellious Town.
He came, and o're all Britain stretcht his conqu'ring hand:
Till in th'untrodden Streets unwholsom Grass
Grew of great stalk, its Colour gross,
And melancholick pois'nous green;
Like those course sickly Weeds on an old Dunghill seen,
Where some Murrain-murther'd Hog,
Poison'd Cat, or strangled Dog,
In rottenness had long unburied laid,
And the cold Soil productive made.
Birds of ill Omen hover'd in the Air,
And by their Cries bade us for Graves prepare;
And, as our Destiny they seem'd t'unfold,
Dropt dead of the same fate they had foretold.
That dire Commission ended, down there came
Another Angel with a Sword of Flame:
[Page 11] Desolation soon he made,
And our new Sodom low in Ashes laid.
Distractions and Distrusts then did amongst us rise,
When, in her pious old Disguise,
This Witch with all her Mischief-making Train
Began to shew her self again.
The Sons of old Rebellion strait she summon'd all;
Strait They were ready at her call:
Once more th'old Bait before their eyes she cast.
That and her Love they long'd to tast;
And to her Lust she drew them all at last.
So Reuben (we may read of heretofore)
Was led astray, and had pollution with his Father's Whore.
The better to conceal her lewd intent
In safety from observing eyes,
Th'old Strumpet did her self disguise
In comely Weeds, and to the City went,
Affected Truth, much Modesty, and Grace,
And (like a worn-out-Suburb-Trull) past there for a new Face.
Thither all her Lovers flockt,
And there for her support she found
A Wight, of whom Fame's Trumpet much does sound,
With all Ingredients for his bus'ness stockt,
Not unlike him whose Story has a place
In th'Annals of Sir Hudibras.
Of all her bus'ness He took care,
And every Knave or Fool that to her did repair,
Had by him admittance there.
By his contrivance to her did resort
All who had been disgusted at the Court.
Those whose Ambition had been crost,
Or by ill manners had Preferments lost,
[Page 12] Were those on whom she practis'd most her Charms,
Lay nearest to her Heart, and oft'nest in her Arms.
Int'rest in every Faction, every Sect she sought;
And to her Lure, flatt'ring their hopes, she brought
All those who use Religion for a Fashion.
All such as practise Forms, and take great pains
To make their Godliness their Gains,
And thrive by the Distractions of a Nation,
She by her Art ensnar'd, and fetter'd in her Chains.
Through her the Atheist hop'd to purchase Toleration,
The Rebell Pow'r, the beggar'd Spend thrift Lands,
Out of the King's or Bishop's hands.
Nay, to her side at last she drew in all the rude,
Ungovernable, headlong Multitude:
Promis'd strange Liberties, and sure Redress
Of never-felt, unheard-of Grievances:
Pamper'd their Follies, and indulg'd their Hopes,
With May-day-Routs, November Squibs, and burning Past-board Popes
With her in common Lust did mingle all the Crew,
Till at the last she pregnant grew,
And from her womb, in little time, brought forth
This monstrous, most detested Birth.
Of Children born with Teeth w'ave heard,
And some like Comets with a Beard;
Which seem'd to be fore-runners of dire Change:
But never hitherto was seen,
Born from a Wapping Drab, or Shoreditch Quean,
A Form like this so hideous and so strange.
To help whose Mother in her Pains, there came
Many a well-known Dame.
The Bawd Hypocrisy was there,
And Madam Impudence the fair:
[Page 13] Dame Scandall with her squinting Eyes,
That loves to set good Neighbours at debate,
And raise Commotions in a jealous State,
Was there, and Malice Queen of far-spred Lies,
With all their Train of Frauds and Forgeries.
But Midwife Mutiny, that busy Drab,
That's always talking, always loud,
Was she that first took up the Babe,
And of the office most was proud.
Behold its Head of horrid form appears:
To spight the Pillory, it had no Ears.
When strait the Bawd cry'd out, 'twas surely kin
To the blest Family of Pryn.
But Scandall offer'd to depose her word,
Or oath, the Father was a Lord.
The Nose was ugly, long, and big,
Broad, and snowty like a Pig;
Which shew'd he would in Dunghills love to dig;
Love to cast stinking Satyrs up in ill-pil'd Rymes,
And live by the Corruptions of unhappy Times.
They promis'd all turns to take him,
And a hopefull Youth to make him.
To nurse he strait was sent
To a Sister-witch, though of another sort,
One who profest no good, nor any meant:
All day she practis'd Charms, by night she hardly slept.
Yet in the outcasts of a Northern factious Town,
A little smoaky Mansion of her own,
Where her Familiars to her did resort,
A Cell she kept.
Hell she ador'd, and Satan was her God;
And many an ugly loathsom Toad
[Page 14] Crawl'd round her walls, and croak'd.
Under her Roof all dismall, black, and smoak'd,
Harbour'd Beetles, and unwholsom Bats,
Sprawling nests of little Cats;
All which were Imps she cherisht with her blood,
To make her Spells succeed and good.
Still at her rivell'd Breasts they hung, when e're mankind she curst,
And with these Foster-brethren was our Monster nurst.
In little Time the Hell-bred Brat
Grew plump and fat,
Without his Leading-strings could walk,
And (as the Sorceress taught him) talk.
At sev'n years old he went to School,
Where first he grew a foe to Rule.
Never would he learn as taught,
But still new Ways affected, and new Methods sought.
Not that he wanted parts
T'improve in Letters, and proceed to Arts;
But as negligent as sly,
Of all Perverseness brutishly was full,
(By Nature idle) lov'd to shift and lie,
And was obstinately dull.
Till spight of Nature, through great pains, the Sot,
(And th'Influence of th'ill Genius of our Land)
At last in part began to understand.
Some insight in the Latin Tongue he got;
Could smatter pretty well, and write too a plain hand.
For which his Guardians all thought fit,
In Compliment to his most hopefull Wit,
He should be sent to learn the Laws,
And out of the good old to raise a damn'd new Cause.
In which the better to improve his Mind,
As by nature he was bent
To search in hidden paths, and things long buried find,
A Wretche's Converse much he did frequent:
[Page 15] One who this World; as that did Him, disown'd,
And in an unfrequented Corner, where
Nothing was pleasant, hardly healthfull found,
He led his hated life.
Needy, and ev'n of Necessaries bare,
No Servant had he, Children, Friend, or Wife:
But of a little remnant, got by Fraud,
(For all ill turns he lov'd, all good detested, and believ'd no God)
Thrice in a week he chang'd a hoarded Groat,
With which of Beggars Scraps he bought.
Then from a neighb'ring Fountain Water got,
Not to be clean, but slake his Thirst.
He never blest himself, and all things else he curst.
The Cell in which he (though but seldom) slept,
Lay like a Den, uncleans'd, unswept:
And there those Jewells which he lov'd, he kept;
Old worn-out Statutes, and Records
Of Commons Priviledges, and the Rights of Lords.
But bound up by themselves with care were laid
All the Acts, Resolves, and Orders made
By the old Long Rump-Parliament,
Through all the Changes of its Government:
From which with readiness he could debate
Concerning Matters of the State,
All down from Goodly Forty one to Horrid Forty eight.
His Friendship much our Monster sought
By Instinct, and by Inclination too:
So without much ado
They were together brought.
To him Obedience Libell swore, and by him was he taught,
He learnt of him all Goodness to detest;
To be asham'd of no Disgrace;
In all things but Obedience to be Beast;
To hide a Coward's Heart, and show a hardy Face.
[Page 16] He taught him to call Government a Clog,
But to bear Beatings like a Dog:
T'ave no Religion, Honesty, or Sense,
But to profess them all for a Pretence.
Fraught with these Moralls, he began
To compleat him more for Man:
Distinguisht to him in an hour
'Twixt Legislative, and Iudicial power;
How to frame a Commonwealth,
And Democracy, by stealth;
To palliate it at first, and Cry
'Twas but a Well-mixt Monarchy,
And Treason Salus Populi;
Into Rebellion to divide the Nation,
By fair Committees of Association;
How by a lawfull means to bring
In Arms against himself the KING,
With a distinguishing old Trick,
'Twixt persons Naturall, and Politick;
How to make faithfull Servants Traitours
Through-pac'd Rebells Legislators,
And at last, Troupers Adjutators.
Thus well inform'd, and furnisht with enough
Of such like wordy, canting Stuff,
Our Blade set forth, and quickly grew
A Leader in a factious Crew.
Where e're he came, 'twas he first silence broke,
And swell'd with every word he spoke.
By which becoming sawcy Grace,
He gain'd Authority and Place:
By many for Preferments was thought fit,
For talking Treason without Fear or Wit;
For opening Failings in the State;
For loving noisy and unsound Debate,
And wearing of a Mysticall green Ribband in his Hat.
Thus, like Alcides in his Lion's skin,
He very dreadfull grew.
But, like that Hercules when Love crept in,
And th'Hero to his Distaff drew,
His foes that found him saw he was but Man:
So when my faithless Clio by her Snare
Had brought him to her Arms, and I surpriz'd him there,
At once to hate and scorn him I began;
To see how foolishly sh'ad drest,
And for diversion trickt the Beast.
He was Poetry all o're,
On ev'ry side, behind, before:
About him nothing could I see,
But particolour'd Poetry.
Painter's Advices, Letanies,
Ballads, and all the spurious excess
Of ills that Malice could devise,
Or ever swarm'd from a licentious Press,
Hung round about him like a Spell:
And in his own hand too was writ,
That worthy piece of modern Wit,
The Countrey's late Appeal.
But from such Ills when will our wretched State
Be freed? and who shall crush this Serpent's head?
'Tis said, we may in Ancient Legends read
Of a huge Dragon, sent by Fate
To lay a sinfull Kingdom wast:
So through it all he rang'd, devouring as he past,
And each day with a Virgin broke his fast.
Till wretched Matrons curst their Wombs,
So hardly was their loss endur'd:
The Lovers all despair'd, and sought their Tombs
In the same Monster's Jaws, and of their Pains were cur'd,
[Page 18] Till, like our Monster too, and with the same
Curst ends, to the Metropolis he came.
His Cruelties renew'd again,
And every day a Maid was slain.
The Curse through ev'ry Family had past,
When to the Sacrifice at last
Th'unhappy Monarch's onely Child must bow:
A Royall Daughter needs must suffer then, a ROYALL BRO­THER now.
On Him this Dragon Libell needs will prey;
On Him has cast
His sordid Venom, and prophan'd
With spurious Verse his spotless Fame,
Which shall for ever stand
Unblemisht, and to Ages last,
When all his Foes lie buried in their Shame.
Else tell me why (some Prophet that is wise)
Heav'n took such care
To make Him every thing that's rare,
Dear to the Heart, desirous to the Eyes.
Why do all Good men bless Him as he goes?
Why at his presence shrink his Foes?
Why do the Brave all strive his Honour to defend?
Why through the World is he distinguisht most
By Titles, which but few can boast,
A most Iust Master, and a Faithfull Friend?
One who never yet did wrong
To high or low, to old or young?
Of Him what Orphan can complain?
Of Him what Widdow make her Moan?
But such as wish Him here again,
And miss his Goodness now He's gone.
If this be (as I am sure 'tis) true,
Then prithee, Prophet, tell me too,
[Page 19] Why lives He in the World's Esteem,
Not one man's Foe? and why then are not all men Friends with Him?
When e're his Life was set at stake
For his ungratefull Country's sake,
What Dangers or what Labours did He ever shun?
Or what Wonders has not done?
Watchfull all night, and busy all the day,
(Spreading his Fleet in sight of Holland's shore)
Triumphantly ye saw his Flags and Streamers play.
Then did the English Lion roar,
Whilst the Belgian couchant lay.
Big with the thoughts of Conquest and Renown,
Of Britain's Honour, and his own,
To them He like a threat'ning Comet shin'd,
Rough as the Sea, and furious as the Wind:
But Constant as the Stars that never move;
Or as Women would have Love.
The trembling Genius of their State
Lookt out, and straight shrunk back his head,
To see our daring Banners spread.
Whilst in their Harbours they
Like Batten'd Monsters weltring lay:
The Winds, when Ours th'ad kiss'd, scorn'd with their Flags to play.
But drooping like their Captains hearts,
Each Pendant, every Streamer hung.
The Seamen seem'd t'have lost their Arts.
Their Ships at Anchor now, of which w'had heard them boast,
With ill-furl'd sails, and Rattlings loose, by every Billow tost,
Lay like neglected Harps, untun'd, unstrung;
Till at the last, provok'd with Shame,
Forth from their Dens the baited Foxes came:
[Page 20] Foxes in Council, and in Fight too Grave;
Seldom true and now not brave.
They bluster'd out the day with shew of Fight,
And ran away in the good-natur'd Night.
A bloudy Battel next was fought,
And then in Triumph home a welcom Fleet He brought,
With Spoils of Victory, and Glory fraught.
To Him then every heart was open, down
From the Great man to the Clown;
In Him rejoic'd, to Him enclin'd:
And as his Health round the glad Board did pass,
Each honest fellow cry'd, Fill full my glass;
And shew'd the fulness of his Mind.
No discontented Vermin of ill Times
Durst then affront him but in show;
Nor Libell dash Him with his dirty Rhymes:
Nor may he live in peace that does it now.
And whose Heart would not wish so too
That had but seen
When his tumultuous misled Foes
Against Him rose,
With what Heroick grace
He chose the weight of wrong to undergo?
No tempest on his Brow, unalter'd in his Face,
True witness of the Innocence within.
But when the Messengers did Mandates bring
For his retreat to Foreign Land,
Since sent from the relenting hand
Of the most Loving BROTHER, Kindest KING;
If in his heart Regret did rise,
It never scapt his Tongue or Eyes:
With steady Vertue 'twas allay'd,
And like a mighty Conqu'rour He obey'd.
It was a dark and gloomy Day,
Sad as the Bus'ness, sullen too,
As proud men, when in Vain they woo,
Or Soldiers cheated of their pay.
The Court, where Pleasures us'd to flow,
Became the scene of Mourning, and of Woe.
Desolate was every Room,
Where men for News and Bus'ness us'd to come.
With folded Arms and down-cast Eyes men walkt,
In corners and with caution talkt.
All things prepar'd, the Hour grew near
When He must part: his last short Time was spent
In leaving Blessings on his Children dear.
To them with eager Hast and Love he went:
The Eldest first embrac'd,
As new-born Day in Beauty bright,
But sad in Mind as deepest Night.
What tendrest Hearts could say, betwixt them past;
Till Grief too close upon them crept:
So sighing He withdrew, She turn'd away and wept.
Much of the Father in his Breast did rise,
When on the next he fixt his Eyes,
A tender Infant in the Nurse's Arms,
Full of kind play, and pretty Charms.
And as to give the Farewell kiss He near it drew,
About his manly neck two little Arms it threw;
Smil'd in his Eyes, as if it begg'd his Stay;
And lookt kind things it could not say.
But the great pomp of Grief was yet to come.
Th'appointed Time was almost past,
Th'impatient Tides knockt at the Shore, and bid him hast
To seek a Foreign Home.
The Summons He resolv'd t'obey;
Disdaining of his Sufferings to complain,
Though every step seem'd trod with pain;
So forth He came, attended on his way
By a sad lamenting Throng,
That blest him and about him hung.
A weight his generous Heart could hardly bear,
But for the Comfort that was near,
His Beauteous MATE, the Fountain of his Joys,
That fed his Soul with Love;
The cordiall that can mortall Pains remove,
To which all worldly Blessings else are Toys.
I saw Them ready for departure stand,
Just when approach'd the MONARCH of our Land,
And took the charming Mourner by the hand.
T'express all noblest Offices he strove,
Of Royall Goodness, and a Brother's Love,
Then down to the Shore side,
Where, to convey Them, did two Royall Barges ride,
With solemn pace They past:
And there so tenderly embrac'd,
All griev'd by sympathy to see Them part,
And their kind Pains touch'd each By-stander's heart.
Then hand in hand the pity'd Pair
Turn'd round, to face their Fate:
She ev'n amidst Afflictions Fair;
He, though opprest, still Great.
Into th'expecting Boat with hast They went;
Where, as the troubled Fair one to the Shore some wishes sent,
[Page 22] For that dear Pledge sh'ad left behind,
And as her Passion grew too mighty for her Mind,
She of some Tears her Eyes beguil'd;
Which, as upon her Cheek they lay,
The happy Hero kist away,
And, as She wept, blusht with Disdain, and smil'd.
Straight forth They launch into the high-swoln Thames:
The well-struck Oars lave up the yielding Streams.
All fixt their longing Eyes, and wishing stood,
Till they were got into the wider Flood;
Till lessen'd out of sight, and seen no more:
Then sigh'd, and turn'd into the hated Shore.

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