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His old instructor ere he lost his place,
Was never thought indued with so much grace.
Good heavens, how faction can a patriot paint!
My rebel ever proves my people's faint.
Would they impose an heir upon the throne,
Let sanhedrims be taught to give their own.
A king's at least a part of government :
And mine as requisite as their consent :
leave a future king to chuse,
Infers a right the present to depole.
True, they petition me t' approve their choice :
But Efau's hands suit ill with Jacob's voice.
My pious subjects for my
Which to secure, they take my power away.
From plots and treasons heaven preserve my years,
But save me most from my petitioners.
Unsatiate as the barren womb or grave;
God cannot grant so much as they can crave.
What then is left, but with a jealous eye
To guard the small remains of royalty ?
The law shall still direct my peaceful sway,
And the same law teach rebels to obey :
Votes shall no more establish'd power controul,
Such votes as make a part exceed the whole.
No groundless clamours shall
Nor crowds have power to punish ere they prove ;
For Gods and god-like kings their care express,
Still to defend their servants in distress.
Os, that my power to faving were confin'd!
Why am I forc’d, like heaven, against my mind,
To make examples of another kind ?
Must I at length the sword of justice draw ?
Oh curft effects of necessary law !
How ill my fear they by my mercy scan !
Beware the fury of a patient man.
Law they require, let law then shew her face i
They could not be content to look on grace,
Her hinder parts, but with a daring eye
To tempt the terror of her front and die.
By their own arts 'tis righteoully decreed,
Those dire artificers of death shall bleed.
Against themselves their witnesses will swear,
Till, viper-like, their mother plot they tear;
And suck for nutriinent that bloody gore,
Which was their principle of life before.
Their Belial with their Beelzebub will fight :
Thus on my foes, my foes shall do me right.
Nor doubt th' event: for factious crowds engage,
In their first onset, all their brutal rage.
Then let them take an unrefifted course :
Retire, and traverse, and delude their force :
But when they stand all breathless, urge the fight,
And rise upon them with redoubled might:
For lawful power is still superior found ;
When long driven back, at length it stands the ground.
He said : Th’Almighty nodding gave confent;
And peals of thunder fhook the firmament.
Henceforth a series of new tiine began,
The mighty years in long procession ran :
Once more the god-like David was restor’d,
And willing nations knew their lawful lord.
- Si quis tamen hæc quoque, si quis “ Captus amore leget
N the year 1680 Mr Dryden undertook the poem of
Absalom and Achitophel, upon the desire of king Charles the second. The performance was applauded by every one; and several persons pressing him to write a second part, he, upon declining it himself, spoke to Mr. Tate to write one, and gave him his advice in the direction of it; and that part beginning with
“ Next these, a troop of busy spirits press," and ending with
“ To talk like Doeg, and to write like thee." containing near two hundred verses, were entirely Mr. Dryden's composition, besides fome touches in other places. The preceding lines, upwards of three hundred in number, were written hy Mr. Tate. The poem is here printed cornpleat.
INCE men like beasts each other's prey were made,
Since trade began, and priesthood grew a trade, Since realms were form’d, none sure so curft as those That madly their own happiness oppose ; There heaven itself, and god-like kings, in vain Shower down the manna of a gentle reign ; While pamper'd crowds to mad fedition run, And monarchs by indulgence are undone. Thus David's clemency was fatal grown, While wealthy faction aw'd the wanting throne. For now their sovereign's orders to contemn Was held the charter of Jerusalem, His rights t'invade, his tributes to refuse, A privilege peculiar to the Jews; As if from heavenly call this licence fell, And Jacob's seed were chosen to rebel !
Achitophel with triumph sees his crimes Thus suited to the madness of the times; And Abfalom, to make his hopes succeed, Of flattering charms no longer stands in need ; While, fond of change, though ne'er so dearly bought, Our tribes outstrip the youth's ambitious thought; His swiftest hopes with swifter homage meet, And crowd their servile necks beneath his feet. Thus to his aid while pressing tides repair, He mounts and spreads his streamers in the air. The charms of empire might his youth mislead, But what can our befotted Israel plead? VOL. I.
Sway'd by a monarch, whose serene command
Seems half the blessing of our promis’d land.
Whose only grievance is excess of ease;
Freedom our pain, and plenty our disease!
Yet as all folly would lay claim to sense,
And wickedness ne'er wanted a pretence,
With arguments they'd make their treafon good,
And righteous David's self with Nanders load :
That arts of foreign sway he did affect,
And guilty Jebusites from law protect,
Whose very chiefs, convict, were never freed,
Nay we have seen their sacrificers bleed!
Accusers' infamy is urg'd in vain,
While in the bounds of sense they did contain,
But soon they launch'd into th' unfathom’d tide,
And in the depths they knew disdain'd to ride.
For probable discoveries to dispense,
Was thought below a pension'd evidence ;
Mere truth was dull, nor suited with the port
Of pamper’d Corah when advanc'd to court.
No less than wonders now they will impose,
And projects void of grace or sense disclose.
Such was the change on pious Michal brought,
Michal that ne'er was cruel ev’n in thought,
The best of queens, and most obedient wife,
mpeach'd of curs designs on David's life!
His life, the theme of her eternal prayer,
'Tis scarce so much his guardian angels care.
Not summer morns such mildness can disclose,
The Hermon lily, nor the Sharon rose.