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Heroic STANZAS on the Death of OLIVER
Cromwell, written after his Funeral.
ND now 'tis time; for their officious haste,
Who would before have borne him to the sky,
Like eager Romans, ere all rites were past,
Did let too soon the sacred eagle fly.
Though our best notes are treason to his fame,
Join'd with the loud applause of public voice ;
Since heaven, what praise we offer to his name,
Hath render'd too authentic by its choice.
Though in his praise no arts can liberal be,
Since they, whose Muses have the highest flown,
Add not to his immortal memory,
But do an act of friendship to their own :
Yet ’tis our duty, and our interest too,
Such monuments as we can build to raise ;
Lest all the world prevent what we should do,
And claim a title in him by their praise.
How fall I then begin, or where conclude,
To draw a fame so truly circular ;
For in a round what order can be shew'd,
Where all the parts fo equal perfect are ?
His grandeur he deriv'd from heaven alone;
For he was great cre forture made him fo:
like milts that rise againit the fun, Made him but greater seem, not greater grow.
No borrow'd bays his temples did adorn,
But to our crown he did fresh jewels bring;
Nor was his virtue poison'd soon as born,
With the too early thoughts of being king.
Fortune, that easy mistress to the young,
But to her ancient servants coy and hard,
Him at that age her favourites rank'd among,
When she her best-lov’d Pompey did discard.
He private mark'd the fault of others' sway,
And set as sca-marks for himself to mun : Not like rash monarchs, who their youth betray By acts their age too late would with undone.
And yet dominion was not his defign ;
We owe that blessing, not to him, but heaven, Which to fair acts unfought rewards did join ; Rewards, that less to him than us were given.
Our former chiefs, like sticklers of the war,
First sought t'infame the parties, then to poise :
The quarrel lov'd, but did the cause abhor ;
And did not strike to hurt, but make a noise.
War, our consumption, was their gainful trade :
We inward bled, whilst they prolong’d our pain ;
He fought to end our fighting, and essay'd
To staunch the blood by breathing of the vein.
Swift and resistless through the land he past,
Like that bold Greek who did the East subdue,
And made to battles such heroic haste,
As if on wings of victory he few.
He fought secure of fortune as of fame :
Still by new maps the island might be shewn,
Of conquests, which he strew'd where-e'er he came,
Thick as the galaxy with stars is fown.
His palms, though under weights they did not stand,
Still thriv'd; no winter could his laurels fade :
Heaven in his portrait Ihew'd a workman's hand,
And drew it perfect, yet without a shade.
Peace was the prize of all his toil and care,
Which war had banish'd, and did now restore :
Bologna's walls thus mounted in the air,
To seat themselves more surely than before.
Her safety rescu'd Ireland to him owes ;
And treacherous Scotland to no intercft true,
Yet bleft that fate which did his arms dilpose
Her land to civilize, as to subdue.
Nor was ke like those stars which only fine,
When to pale mariners they storms portend:
He had his calmer infiuence, and his mien
Did love and majesty together blend.
'Tis true, his count'nance did imprint an awe;
And naturally all fouls to his did bow,
As wands of divination downward draw,
And point to beds where sovereign gold doth grow.
When past all offerings to Feretrian Jove,
He Mars depos’d, and arms to gowns made yield;
Successful councils did him soon approve
As fit for cloíe intrigues, as open field.
To suppliant Holland he vouchsaf'd a peace,
Our once bold rival of the British main,
Now tamely glad her unjust claim to cease,
And buy our friendship with her idol, gain.
Fame of th' asserted fea through Europe blown,
Made France and Spain ambitious of his love ;
Each knew that fide must conquer he would own ;
And for him fiercely, as for empire, Itrove.
No sooner was the Frenchman's cause embrac'd,
Than the light Monsieur the grave Don out-weigh’d: His fortune turn'd the scale where'er 'twas cast; Though Indian mines were in the other laid.
When absent, yet we conquer'd in his right:
For though some meaner artist's skill were shown
In mingling colours, or in placing light;
Yet still the fair designment was his own.
For from all tempers he could service draw;
The worth of each, with its alloy, he knew,
And, as the confident of nature, saw
How she complexions did divide and brew.
Or he their single virtues did survey,
By intuition in his own large breast,
Where all the rich ideas of them lay,
That were the rule and measure to the rest.
When such heroic virtue heaven fets out,
The stars, like commons, fullenly obey ;
Because it drains them when it comes about,
And therefore is a tax they seldom pay.
From this high spring our foreign conquests flow,
Which yet more glorious triumphs do portend;
Since their commencement to his arms they owe,
If prings as high as fountains may
He made us free-men of the continent,
Whom nature did like captives treat before ;
To nobler preys the English lion sent,
And taught him first in Belgian walks to roar.