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POEMS

SIR JOHN DENHAM.

COOPER'S HILL.

While luxury, and wealth, like war and peace,
Are each the other's ruin, and increase.

As rivers lost in seas, some secret vein
Sure there are poets which did never dream

Thence reconveys, there to be lost again. Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream

Oh happiness of sweet retir'd content ! Of Helicon ; we therefore may suppose

To be at once secure,

and innocent. Those made not poets, but the poets those. Windsor the next (where Mars with Venus And as courts make not kings, but kings the dwells, court,

Beauty with strength) above the va!'ey svells So where the Muses and their train resort,

Into my eye, and doth itself presert Parnassus stands ; if I can be to thee

With such an easy and unforc'd ascent,
A poet, thou Parnassus art to me.

That no stupendous precipice denies
Nor wonder, if (advantag'd in my fight, Access, no horrour turns away our eyes:
By taking wing from thy auspicious height) But such a rise as doth at once invite
Through untrac'd ways and airy paths I fly,

A pleasure, and a reverence from the sight.
More boundless in my fancy than my eye: Thy mighty master's emblem, in whose face
My eye, which swift as thought contracts the Sate meekness, heighten'd with majestic grace ;
space

Such seems thy gentle height, made only proud That lies between, and first salutes the place To be the basis of that pompous load, Crown'd with that sacred pile, so vast, so high, Than which, a nobler weight no mountain That, whether 'tis a part of earth or sky,

hears, Uncertain seems, and may be thought a proud But Atlas only which supports the spheres. Aspiring mountain, or descending cloud, When Nature's band this ground did thus ad. Paul's, the late theme of such a Muse, ! whose

vance, flight

'Twas guided by a wiser power than Chance; Has bravely reach'd and soar'd above thy height: Mark'd-out for such an use, as if 'twere meant Now shalt thou stand, though sword, or time, or T'invite the builder, and his choice prevent. fire,

Nor can we call it choice, when what we chuse, Or zeal more fierce than they, thy fall conspire, Folly or blindness only could refuse. Secure, whilst thee the best of poets sings, A crown of such majestic towers doth grace Preserv'd from ruin by the best of kings. The gods' great mother, when her heavenly Under his proud survey the city lies, And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise;

Do homage to her, yet she cannot boast Whose state and wealth, the business and the Among that numerous, and celestial host, crowd,

More heroes than can Windsor, nor doth Fame's Seems at this distance but a darker cloud :

Immortal book record more noble names. And is, to him who rightly things esteems, Not to look back so far, to wbom this isle No other in effect than what it seems :

Owes the first glory of so brave a pile, Where, with like haste, though several ways, Whether to Cæsar, Albanact, or Brute, they run,

The British Arthur, or the Danish Cnute, Some to undo, and some to be undone ;

(Though this of old no less context did move,

Than when for Homer's birth seven cities 1 Mr. Waller.

strove)

race

Like bin in birth, thou should'st be like in | No crime so bold, but would be understood
fame,

A real, or at least a seeming good :
As thine his fate, if mine had been his fame) Who fears not to do ill, yet fears the name,
But whosoe'er it was, Nature design'd

And free from conscience, is a slave to fame : First a brave place, and then as brave a mind. Thus he the church at once protects, and spoils : Not to recount those several kings, to whom But princes' swords are sharper than their It gave a cradle, or to whom a tomb;

styles. But thee great Edwards, and thy greater son, And thus to th' ages past he makes amends, (The lilies which his father wore, he won) Their charity destroys, their faith defends. And thy Bellona3, who the consort came Then did Religion in a lazy cell, Not only to thy bed, but to thy fame,

In empty, airy contemplations dwell; She to the triumph led one captive 4 king

And like the block, unmoved lay : but ours, And brought that son, which did the second 4 As much too active, like the stork devours. bring.

Is there no temperate regiun can be known,
Then didst thou found that Order (whether love Betwixt their frigid, and our torrid zone ?
Or victory thy royal thoughts did move): Could we not wake from that lethargic dream,
Each was a noble cause, and nothing less

But to be restless in a worse extreme?
Than the design, has been the great success': And for that lethargy was there no cure,
Which foreign kings and emperors esteem But to be cast into a calenturé ?
The second honour to their diadem.

Can knowledge have no bound, but must advance
Had thy great Destiny but given thee skill So far, to make us wish for ignorance ;
To know, as well as power to act her will,

And rather in the dark to grope our way, That from those kings, who then thy captives Than led by a false guide to err by day? were,

Who sees these dismal heaps, but would demand In after-times should spring a royal pair,

What barbarous invader sack'd lhe land? Who should possess all that thy mighty power, But when he hears, no Goth, no Turk did bring, Or thy desires more mighty, did devour : This desolation, but a Christian king; To whom their better fate reserves whate'er When nothing, but the name of zeal, appears The victor bopes for, or the vanquish'd fear; 'Twixt our best actions and the worst of theirs : That blood, which thou and thy great grand. What does he think our sacrilege would spare, sire shed,

When such th' effects of our devotions are? And all that since these sister nations bled,

Parting from thence 'twixt anger, shame, and Had been inspilt, and happy Edward known

fear, That all the blood he spilt, had been his own. Those for what's past, and this for what's too When he that patron chose, in whom are join'd

near, Soldier and martyr, and his arms confin'd My eye descending from the hill, surveys Within the azure circle, he did seem

Where Thames among the wanton rallies strays, But tu foretel, and prophecy of him.

Thames, the most lov'd of all the Ocean's sons Wło to his realms that azure round hath join'd, By his old sire, to his embraces runs; Which Nature for their bound at first design'd. Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea, Tnat bound which to the world's extremest Like mortal life to meet eternity. ends,

Though with those streams he no resemblance Enrlless itself, its liquid arms extends.

hold, Nor doth be need those emblems which we paint, Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold; But is himself the soldier and the saint.

His genuine and less guilty wealth t explore, Here should my wonder dwell, and here my Search not his bottom, but survey his shore; praise,

O'er which he kindly spread his spacious wing, But my fix'd thoughts my wandering eye be- And hatches plenty for th' ensuing spring. trays,

Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay, Viewing a neighbouring hill, whose top of late Like mothers which their infants overlay; A chapel crown'd till in the common fate Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave, Th’adjoining abbey fell : (may no such storm Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave, Fall on our times, where ruin must reform !) No unexpected inundations spoil Tell me, my Muse, what monstrous dire of The mower's hopes, nor mock the plowman's fence,

toil: What crime could any Christian king incense But god-like bis unweary'd bounty flows; To such a rage? Was't luxury, or lust!

First loves to do, then loves the good he does. Was be so temperate, so chaste, so just ? Nor are his blessings to his banks confin’d, Were these their criines? They were his own But free, and common, as the sea of wind; much more:

When be, to boast or to disperse his stores, Put wealth is crime enough to him that's poor; Full of the tributes of his grateful shores, Who, having spent the treasures of his crown,

Visits the world, and in his flying towers Condernns their luxury to feed bis own.

Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours : And yet this act, to varnish o’er the shame Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants, Of sacrilege, must bear Devotion's name. Citjes in deserts, woods in cities plants.

So that to us no thing, no place is strange, 2 Edward III. and the Black Prince,

While his fair bosom is the world's exchange. a Queen Philippa.

O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream + The kings of France and Scotland.

My great example, as it is my theme

doll;

Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not | His soft repose, when the unexpected sound

Of dogs, and men, his wakeful ear does wound: Strong without rage, without o'erslowing full. Rouz’d with the noise, he scarce believes biis Heaven ber Eridanus no more shall boast;

ear, Whose fame in thine, like lesser current, 's lost Willing to think th' illusions of his fear Thy nobler streams shall visit Jove's abodles, Had given this false alarm, but straight his view To shine among the stars 5, and bathe the gods, Confirus, that more than all he fears is true. Here Nature, whether more intent to please Betray'd in all his strengths, the wood beset, U's for herself, with strange varieties,

All instruments, all arts of ruin met, (For things of wonder give po less delight, He calls to mind his strength, and then his To the wise maker's, than beholder's sight.

speed, Though these delights from several causes move; His winged beels, and then his armed head; For so our children, thus our friends we love) With these t'avoid, with that his fate to ineet ; Wisely she knew, the harmony of things,

But fear prevails, and bids him trust his feet. As well as that of sounds, from discorii springs. So fast he flies, that his reviewing eye Such was the discord, which did first disperse Has lost the chasers, and his ear the cry ; Form, order, beauty, through the universe; Exulting, till he finds their nobler sense While dryness moisture, coldness heat resists, Their disproportion'd speed doth recompense ; All that we have, and that we are, subsists. Then curses his conspiring feet, whose scent While the steep horrid roughness of the wood Betrays that safety which their swiftness lent. Strives with the gentle calmness of the food. Then tries his friends : among the baser herd, Such huge extremes when Nature doth unite, Where he so lately was obey'd and fear'd, Wonder from thence results, from thence de- His safety seeks: the herd, unkindly wise, light.

Or chases him from thence, or from him flies, The stream is so transparent, pure and clear, Like a declining statesman, left forlorn That had the self enamour'd youth gaz'd here, To bis friends' pity, and pursuers' scorn, So fatally deceiv'd he had not been,

With shame remembers, while himself was one While he the bottom, not his face had seen. Of the same herd, himself the same had dune. But his proud head the airy mountain hides Thence to the coverts and the conscious groves, Among the clouds; his shoulders and his sides The scenes of his past triumphs, and his loves; A shady mantle clothes; his curled brows Sadly surveying where be rang'd alone Frown on the gentle stream, which calmly Prince of the soil, and all the herd his own ; flows;

And like a bold knight-errant did proclaim While winds and storms his lofty forehead beat : Combat to all, and bore away the dame; The common fate of all that's bigh or great. And taught the woods to echo to the stream Low at his foot a spacivus plain is plac'd, His dreadful challenge, and his clashing beam; Between the mountain and the stream em- Yet faintly now declines the fatal strife, brac'u,

So much his love was dearer than his life. Which shade and shelter from the hill derives, Now every leaf, and every moving breath While the kind river wealth and beauty gives; Presents a foe, and every fue a death. And in the mixture of all these appears

Weary'd, forsaken, and pursued, at last Variety, which all the rest endears.

All safety in despair of safety plac'd, This scene had some buld Greek, or British bard Courage he thence resumes, resolv'd to bear Beheld of old, what stories had we heard

All their assaults, since 'tis in vain to fear. Of Fairies, Satyrs, and the Nymphs, their dames, And now, too late, he wishes for the fight Their feasts, their revels, and their amorous That strength he wasted in ignoble flight : fames ?

But when he sees the eager chase renew'd, 'Tis still the same, although their airy shape Himself by dogs, the dogs by men pursued, All but a quick poetic sight escape.

He straight revokes his bold resolve, and more There Faunus and Sylvanus keep their courts, Repents his courage, than his fear before; And thither all the horned host resorts

Finds that unca rtain ways unsafest are, To graze the ranker mead, that noble herd, Avd doubt a greater mischief than despair. On whose sublime and shady fronts is rear'd Then to the stieam, when neither friends, nor Nature's great master-piece; to show how soon

force, Great things are made, but sooner are undone, Nor speed, nor art avail, he shapes his course ; Here have I seen the king, when great affairs Thinks not their rage so desperate to essay Gave leave w slacken and unbend his cares, An element more merciless than they. Attended to the chase by all the flower

But fearless they pursue, nor can the flood Of youth, whose hopes a nobler prey devour: Quench their dire thirst ! alas, they thirst for Pleasure with praise, and danger they would

blood, buy,

So towards a sbip the oar-finn'd gallics ply, And wish a foe that would not only fly. Which wanting sea to ride, or wind to fly, The stag, now conscious of his fatal growth, Stands but to fall reveng'd on those that dare At once indulgent to his fear and sloth,

Tempt the last fury of extreme despair : To some dark covert his retreat had made, So fares the stag, a:nong th' enraged hounds, Where no man's eye, nor heaven's should in- Repels their force, and wounds returns for yade

wounds.

And as a hero, whom bis baser foes
The Forest
In troops surround, now these assails, now those

6

bay ;

more:

crown

Though prodigal of life, disdains to die

coast of Carthage, he was received by queen By common hands; but if he can descry

Dido, who, after the feast, desires him to Some nobler foe approach, to him he calls,

make the relation of the destruction of Troy; And begs his fate, and then contented falls.

which is the Argument of this book.
So when the king a mortal shaft lets fly,
From his merring hand, then, glad to die,
Proud of the wound, to it resigns his blood,

While all with silence and attention wait, And stains the crystal with a purple flood.

Thus speaks Æneas from the bed of state ; This a more innocent and happy chase,

Madam, when you command us to review Than when of old, but in the self-same place, Our fate, you make our old wounds bleed Fair Liberty pursued', and meant a prey

anew, To lawless Power, here turn'd, and stood at And all those sorrows to my sense restore,

Whereof none saw so much, - none suffer'd When in that remedy all hope was plac'd, Which was, or should have been at least the last. Not the most cruel of our conquering foes Here was that charter seal'd, wherein the So unconcern'dly can relate our woes,

As not to lend a tear, then how can I All marks of arbitrary power lays down :

Repress the horrour of my thoughts, which Tyrant and slave, those names of hate and fear,

fly The happier stile of king and subject bear:

The said remembrance ? Now th' expiring Happy, when both to the same center move,

night When kings give liberty, and subjects love.

And the declining stars to rest invite; Therefore not long in force this charter stood;

Yet since 'tis your command, what you so well Wanting that seal, it inust be seal'd in blood. Are pleas'd to hear, I cannot grieve to tell. The subjects arm'd, the more their prin: gare,

By Fate repell'd, and with repulses tird, Th’advantage only took, the more to crave :

The Greeks, so many lives and years expird, T'll kings, by giving give themselves away,

A fabric like a moving mountain frame, And even that power, that should deny, be- Pretending rows for their return ; this Fame tray,

[viles, Divulges; then within the beast's vast womb " Who gives constrain'd, but his own fear re

The choice and flower of all their troops enje

tomb. Not thank'd, but scorn'd; nor are they gifts, but spoils.”

In view the isle of Tenedos, once high Thus kings, by grasping more than they could

In fame and wealth, while Troy remain'd, doth hold,

lie, First made their subjects, hy oppression bold;

(Now but an unsecure and open bay) And popular sway, by forcing kings to give

Thither by stealth the Greeks their fleet conMore than was fit for subjects to receive,

vey. Ran to the same extremes; and one excess

We gave them gone, and to Mycenæ saild, Made both, by striving to be greater, less.

And Troy reviv'd, her mourning face unvail'd; When a calm river, rais'd with sudden rains,

All through th' unguarded gates with joy reOr snows dissolvd, o'erflows th’adjoining plains, To see the slighted camp, the racant port.

sort The husbandmen with high-rais'd banks secure Their greedy hopes; and this he can enclure.

Here lay Ulysses, there Achilles; here But if with bays and dams they strive to force

The battle join'd, the Grecian fleet rode there; His channel to a new, or narrow course;

But the vast pile th' amazed vulgar views, No longer then within his banks he dwells,

Till they their reason in their wonder lose. First to a torrent, then a deloze swells:

And first Thy mậtes moves (urg'd by the Sisinger and fiercer by restraint he roars,

power
And knows no bound, but makes his power his of fate or fraud) to place it in the tower;
shores.

But Capys and the graver sort thought fit
The Greeks suspected present to commit
To seas or flames, at least to search and bore
The sides, and what that space contains t'es-

plore.
Th' uncertain multitude with both engag'd,

Divided stands, till from the tower, enrag'd
DESTRUCTION OF TROY.

Laocoon ran, wh' m all the crowd attends.
Crying, “What desperate frenzy's this, (oh

friends) SECOND BOOK OF VIRGIL'S AENEIS

To think them gone? Judge rather their re

treat WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1636.

But a design, their gifts but a deceit;

For our destruction 'twas contrivà, no doubt, THE ARGUMENT.

Or from within by fraud, or from without

By force; yet know ye not Ulysses' shifts? The first book speaks of Æneas's voyage by sea, Their swords less danger carry

than their and bow, being cast by tempest upon the

gifts.”

(This said) against the horse's side bis spear Runny Mead.

Ile throws, which trembles with enclosed fear,

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Whilst from the hollows of his womb proceed Chiefly when this stupendous pile was ras'd, Groans, not his own; and had not Fate decreed Strange noises fill'd the air; we, all amaz'd, Our ruin, we had fill'd with Grecian blood Dispatch Eurypylus t'inquire our fates, The place; then Troy and Priam's throne had who thus the sentence of the gods relates ; stood.

• A virgin's slaughter did the storm appease, Meanwhile a fetter'd prisoner to the king When first towards Troy the Grecians took the With joyful shouts the Dardan shepherds bring, seas; Who to betray os did himself betray,

Their safe retreat another Grecian's blood At once the taker, and at once the prey ;

Must purchase.' AH at this confounded stood; Firmly prepar'd, of one event secur'd,

Each thinks himself the man, the fear on an Or of his death or his design assur'd.

Of what, the mischief but on one can fall. The Trojan youth about the captive flock, Then Calchas (by Ulysses first inspird) To wonder, or to pity, or to mock.

Was urgʻd to name whom th' angry gods re® Now hear the Grecian fraud, and from this one

quird ; Conjecture all the rest.

Yet was I warn'd (for many were as well Disarm'd, disorder'd, casting round his eyes Inspir'd as he, and did my fate foretel) On all the troops that guarded him, he cries, Ten days the prophet in suspence remain'd, " What land, what sea, for me what fate at- Would no man's fate pronounce; at last, coutends?

strain'd Caught by my foes, condemned by my friends, By Ithacus, he solemnly design'd Incensed Troy a wretched captive seeks

Me for the sacrifice ; the people join'd. To sacrifice; a fugitive, the Greeks.”

In glad consent, and all their common fear To pity this complaint our former rage

Determine in my fate. The day drew near, Converts, we now inquire his parentage, The sacred rites prepar'd, my temples crown'd What of their counsels or affairs he knew: With holy wreaths; then I confess I found Then fearless he replies, Great king, to you The means to my escape, my bonds I brake, All trath I shall relate: nor first can I

Fled from my guards, and in a muddy lake Myself to be of Grecian birth deny;

Amongst the sedges all the night lay hid, And though my outward state misfortune bath Till they their sails had hoist (if so they did). Deprest thus low, it cannot reach my faith.

alas ! no hope remains for me You may by chance have leard the famous My home, my father, and my sons to see,

Whom they, enrag'd, will kill for my offence, Of Palamede, who from old Belus came, And punish, for my guilt, their innocence, Whom, but for voting peace, the Greeks pursue, Those gods who know the truths I now relate, Accus'd unjustly, then unjustly slew,

That faith which yet remains inviolate Yet mourn'd his death. My father was his By mortal men; by these I beg, redress friend.

My causeless wrongs, and pity such distress.” And me to his commands did recommend, And now true pity in exchange he finds While laws and counsels did his throne support; For his false tears, his tongue his hands unI but a youth, yet some esteem and port

binds. We then did bear, till by Ulysses' craft

“Then spake the king, Be ours, whoe'er thou (Things known I speak) he was of life bereft:

art, Since in dark surrow I my days did spend, Forget the Greeks. But first the truth impart, Till now, disdaining his unworthy end,

Why did they raise, or to what use intend I could not silence my complaints, but vow'd This pile? to a war-like, or religious end ?” Revenge, if ever fate or chance allow'd

Skilful in fraud (his native art), his hands My wish'd return to Greece; from hence his Toward Heaven he rais'd, deliver'd now from hate,

bands. From thence my crimes, and all my ills bear " Ye pure æthereal flames, ye powers ador'd date:

By mortal men, ye altars, and the sword Old guilt fresh malice gives ; the peoples' ears I scap'd, ye sacred fillets that involv'd He fills with ramours, and their hearts with My destin'd head, grant I may stand absolvd fears,

From all their laws and rights, rerounce ail And then the prophet to his party drew. But why do I these thankless truths true : Of faith or love, their secret thoughts proclaims Or why defer your rage? on me, for all Only, ( Troy, preserve thy faith to me, The Greeks, tet your revenging fury fall. If what I shall relate preserveth thee. Ulysses this, th’ Atridæ this desire

From Pallas' favour, all our hopes, and all At any rate." We straight are set on fire Counsels and actions, took original, (Unpractis'd in such mysteries, to inquire Till Diomed (for such attempts made fit The manner and the cause, which thus he By dire conjunction with Ulysses' wit) told,

Assails the sacred tower, the guards they slay. With gestures humble, as his tale was bold. Defile with bloody hands, and thence convey “Oft-have the Greeks (the siege detesting) The fatal image; straight with our success tir'd

Our hopes fell back, whilst prodigies express With tedious war, a stolen retreat desir’d, Her just disdain, her faming eyes did throw And would to Heaven they'd gone : but still dis- Flashes of lightning, from each part did flow may'd

A briny sweat, thrice brandishing her spear, By seas or skies, unwillingly they stay'd. Hier statue from the ground itself did rear;

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