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And though the parish steeple
Be silent to the people,

Ring thou it holyday.
What though the thrifty Tower
And guns there spare to pour

Their noises forth in thunder, As fearful to awake This city, or to shake

Their guarded gates asunder? -
Yet let our trumpets sound,
And cleave both air and ground

With beatings of our drums.
Let every lyre be strung,
Harp, lute, theorbo sprung

With touch of dainty thumbs.

That when the quire is full
The harmony may pull

The angels from their spheres
And each intelligence
May wish itself a sense

Whilst it the ditty hears.
Behold the royal Mary,
The daughter of great Harry,

And sister to just Lewis,
Comes in the pomp and glory
Of all her brother's story,

And of her father's prowess.
She shines so far above
The feignèd Queen of Love

This sea-girt isle upon,
As here no Venus were,
But that she, reigning here,

Had got the cestus on!

See, see ! our active king
Hath taken twice the ring*

Upon his pointed lance;
Whilst all the ravish'd rout
Do mingle in the shout,

“Hey for the Flower of France !”
This day the court doth measure
Her joy in state and pleasure,

And with a reverent fear.
The revels and the play


this crowned day
Her two-and-twentieth year!

Two years later we have this by Ben Jonson :

TO THE KING ON HIS BIRTHDAY, 1632. This is King Charles his day ; speak it, thou Tower,

Unto the ships, and they, from tier to tier, Discharge it 'bout the island in an hour,

As loud as thunder and as swift as fire. Let Ireland meet it out at sea, half

way, Repeating all Great Britain's joy, and more, Adding her own glad accents to this day,

Like echo playing from the other shore.
What drums or trumpets or great ordnance can-

The poetry of steeples, with the bells,
Three kingdoms' mirth, in light and aëry man

Made lighter with the wine. All noises else,

* A favourite sport at festivals was this of “ riding at the ring.” Two perpendicular posts were erected, with a beam, from which a ring was suspended. The competitors, each mounted on horseback, and having a lance or pointed rod in his hand, galloped at full speed between the posts, and whoever carried away the ring on the point of his lance won the prize.



As bonfires, rockets, fireworks, with the shouts

Thatcry that gladness which their hearts would pray, Had they but grace of thinking, at these routs,

On the often coming of this holy day; And ever close the burden of the song, Still to have such a Charles, but this Charles long.

And later still, this, Ben Jonson's last offering to the same sovereign, Charles I., when the aged laureate was near the close of his earthly career :

Rouse up thyself, my gentle Muse!

Though now our green conceits be grey ;
And yet once more do not refuse

To take thy Phrygian harp and play,

In honour of this cheerful day.
Long may they both contend to prove
That best of crowns is such a love.
Make first a song of joy and love,

Which chastely flames in royal eyes;
Then tune it to the spheres above

When the benignest stars do rise,

And sweet conjunctions grace the skies,
Long may, &c.
To this let all good hearts resound,

Whilst diadems invest his head:
Long may he live, whose life doth bound

More than his laws, and better led

By high example than by dread.
Long may, &c.
Long may he round about him see

His roses and his lilies blown;
Long may his only dear and he

Joy in ideas of their own

And kingdom's hopes, so timely sown.
Long may, &c.

Soon after Ben Jonson's death, Sir William Davenant wrote the following courtly sonnet to the consort of Charles I.:



Fair as unshaded light, or as the day
In its first birth, when all the year was May;
Sweet as the altar's smoke, or as the new
Unfolded bud, swelld by the early dew;
Smooth as the face of waters first appear’d,
Ere tides began to strive or winds were heard;
Kind as the willing saints, and calmer far
Than in their sleeps forgiven hermits are;
You that are more than our discreeter fear
Dares praise with such full art, what make you

here? Here, where the summer is so little seen That leaves, her cheapest wealth, scarce reach at

green ; You come, as if the silver planet were Misled awhile from her much-injured sphere; And, tease the travels of her beams to-night, In this small lanthorn would contract her light.

That admired court poet, Waller, celebrated the twenty-fifth birthday of Catherine of Braganza, the queen

of Charles II. “On St. Catherine's day, the day her Majesty completed her twenty-fifth year, Mrs. Knight sang to her the following graceful birthday ode:”_

This happy day two lights are seen-
A glorious saint, a matchless queen:
Both named alike, both crown'd appear
The saint above, the Infanta here.

May all those years which Catherine
The martyr did for heaven resign
Be added to the line

your blest life among us here !
For all the pains that she did feel,

And all the torments of her wheel,
May you as many pleasures share !

May heaven itself content

With Catherine the saint!
Without appearing old,

An hundred times may you,

With eyes as bright as now, This happy day behold! I must not omit Waller's praise of tea as a birthday beverage in palaces (in his time it was a novelty) :

The best of queens and best of herbs we owe
To that bold nation,* which the way did show
To the fair region where the sun does rise,
Whose rich productions we so justly prize.
The Muse's friend, Tea, does our fancy aid,
Repress those vapours which the head invade,
And keeps that palace of the soul serene,
Fit on her birthday to salute the queen.

Thackeray, speaking of the customs of the last century, says :-“New clothes on the birthday was the fashion for all loyal people. Swift mentions the custom several times; Walpole is constantly speaking of it, laughing at the practice, but having the very finest clothes from Paris nevertheless. If the king and queen were unpopular, there were very few new clothes at the drawing-room. In a paper in the True Patriot, No. 3, written to attack the

* The Dutch, who first imported tea into Europe.

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