« IndietroContinua »
So the false spider, when her nets are spread, O famous leader of the Belgian fleet,
Thy monument inscrib'd such praise shall we, And feels far off the trembling of her thread, As Varro timely flying once did meet,
Whose filmy cord should bind the struggling fly. Because he did not of his Rome despair. Then if at last she find him fast beset,
Behold that navy, which a while before She issues forth, and runs along her loom : Provok'd the tardy English close to fight; She joys to touch the captive in her net,
Now draw their beaten vessels close to shore, And drags the little wretch in triumph home. As larks lie dar'd to shun the hobby's flight The Belgians hop'd that, with disorder'd haste, Whoe'er would English monuments survey,
Our deep-cut keels upon the sands might run : In other records may our courage know: Or if with caution leisurely were past, (one. But let them hide the story of this day,
Their numerous gross might charge us one by Whose fame was blemish'd by too base a foe But with a fore-wind pushing them above, Or if too busily they will inquire
And swelling tide that heav'd them from below, Into a victory, which we disdain ; O'er the blind Hats our warlike squadrons move, Then let them know the Belgians did retire
And with spread sails to welcome battle go. Before the patron saint of injur'd Spain. It seem'd as there the British Neptune stood, Repenting England this revengeful day With all his hosts of waters at command,
To Philip's manes did an offering bring : Beneath them to submit th' officious flood; England, which first, by leading them astray,
And with bris trident shov'd them off the sand. Hatch'd up rebellion to destroy her king. To the pale foes they suddenly draw near,
Our fathers bent their baneful industry, And summon them to unexpected fight :
To check a monarchy that slowly grew; They start like murderers when ghosts appear,
But did not France or Holland's fate foreste, And draw their curtains in the dead of night. Whose rising power to swift dominion flex. Now van to van the foremost squadrons meet, In Fortunes empire blindly thus we go,
The midmost battles hastening up behind, And wander after pathless Destiny; Who view far off the storm of falling sleet, Whose dark resorts since Prudence cannot knox,
And hear their thunder rattling in the wind. In vain it would provide for what shall be. At length the adverse admirals appear :
But whate'er English to the blessed shall go, The two bold champions of each country's right : And the fourth Harry or first Orange meet; Their eyes describe the lists as they come near, Find him disowning of a Bourbon foe,
And draw the lines of death before they fight. And him detesting a Batavian fleet. The distance judg’d for shot of every size, Now on their coasts our conquering nary rides,
The linstocs touch, the ponderous ball expires : Waylays their merchants, and their land besets; The vigorous seaman every port-hole plies, Each day new wealth without their care provides; And adds his heart to every gun he fires!
They lie asleep with prizes in their nets. Fierce was the fight on the proud Belgians' side, So close behind some promontory lie
For honour, which they seldom sought before : The huge leviathans t' attend their prey ; But now they by their own vain boasts were ty'd, And give no chace, but swallow in the fry, as
And forc'd at least in show to prize it more. Which through their gaping jaws mistake the But sharp remembrance on the English part,
Nor was this all : in ports and roads remote, And shame of being match'd by such a foe, Destructive fires among whole fleets we send ; Rouze conscious virtue up in every heart,
Triumphant flames upon the water float, And seeming to be stronger makes them so. And out-bound ships at home their voyage end Nor long the Belgians could that fleet sustain, Those various squadrons variously design'd,
Which did two generals' fates, and Cæsar's bear : Each vessel freighted with a several load, Each several ship a victory did gain,
Each squadron waiting for a several wind, As Rupert or as Albemarle were there.
All find but one, to burn them in the road. Their batter'd admiral too soon withdrew,
Some bound for Guinea, golden sand to find, Unthank'd by ours for his unfinishi'd fight
Bore all the gauds the simple natives wear : But he the minds of his Dutch masters knew, Some for the pride of Turkish courts design d,
Who call'd that providence which we call’d flight. For folded turbans finest Holland bear. Never did men more joyfully obey,
Some English wool vex'd in a Belgian loorn, Or sooner understood the sign to fly :
And into cloth of spungy softness made, With such alacrity they bore away,
Did into France or colder Denmark doom, As if, to praise them, all the States stood by.' To ruin with worse ware our staple trade
Our greedy seamen rummage every hold,
And now no longer letted of his prey, Smile on the booty of each wealthier chest, He leaps up at it with enrag'd desire : And, as the priests who with their gods make bold, O'erlooks the neighbours with a wide survey,
Tako what they like, and sacrifice the rest. And nods at every house his threatening fire. But ah! how insincere are all our joys! (no stay : The ghosts of traitors from the bridge descend,
Which, sent from Heaven, like lightning make With bold fanatic spectres to rejoice : Their palling taste the journey's length destroys, About the fire into a dance they bend,
Or grief sent post o'ertakes them on the way. And sing their sabbath notes with feeble voice. Swell'd with our late successes on the foe,
Our guardian angel saw them where they sate Which France and Holland wanted power to cross, Above the palace of our slumbering king : We urge an unseen fate to lay us low,
He sigh’d, abandoning his charge to Fate, And feed their envious eyes with English loss. And drooping, oft look'd back upon the wing. Each element his dread command obeys,
At length the crackling noise and dreadful blaze Who makes or ruins with a smile or frown;
Call'd up some waking lover to the sight; Who, as by one he did our nation raise,
And long it was ere he the rest could raise, So now he with another pulls us down.
Whose heavy eyelids yet were full of night. • Yet, London, empress of the northern clime, The next to danger, hot pursued by Fate, By an high fate thou greatly didst expire;
Half-cloth’d, half-naked, hastily retire : | Great as the world's, which, at the death of Time, And frighted mothers strike their breasts too late, Must fall, and rise a nobler frame by Fire.
For helpless infants left amidst the fire.
A key of fire ran all along the shore,
And lighten'd all the river with a blaze:
And wondering fish in shining waters gaze.
In this deep quiet, from what source unknown,
Those seeds of Fire their fatal birth disclose; And first few scattering sparks about were blown,
Big with the flames that to our ruin rose. Then in some close-pent room it crept along,
And, smouldering as it went, in silence fed ; Till th' infant monster, with devouring strong,
Walk'd boldly upright with exalted head. Now like some rich or mighty murderer,
Too great for prison, which he breaks with gold ; Who fresher for new mischiefs does appear,
And dares the world to tax him with the old :
Old father Thames rais'd up his reverend head,
But fear'd the fate of Simois would return: Deep in his ooze he sought his sedgy bed,
And shrunk his waters back into his urn.
To either hand his wings he opens wide :
And plays his longing flames on th' other side.
So scapes th' insulting Fire his narrow jail,
And makes small outlets into open air : There the fierce winds his tender force assail,
And beat him downward to his first repair.
At first they warm, then scorch, and then they take ;
Now with long necks from side to side they feed ; At length grown strong their mother Fire forsake,
And a new colony of Flames succeed.
The winds, like crafty courtezans, withheld
His flames from burning, but to blow them more: And every fresh attempt he is repellid
With faint denials weaker than before.
To every nobler portion of the town
The curling billows roll their restless tide : In parties now they straggle up and down,
As armies unoppos'd for prey divide.
One mighty squadron with a side-wind sped, | The rich grow suppliant, and the poor grow prue!
Through narrow lanes his cumber'd fire does haste, Those offer mighty gain, and these ask more: By powerful charms of gold and silver led,
So void of pity is th' ignoble crowd, The Lombard bankers and the 'Change to waste. When others' ruin may increase their store. Another backward to the Tower would go, As those who live by shores with joy behold
And slowly eats his way against the wind : Some wealthy vessel split or stranded nigha, But the main body of the marching foe
And from the rocks leap down for shipwreck'd gold Against th' imperial palace is design'd.
And seek the tempests which the others fly: Now day appears, and with the day the king, So these but wait the owners' last despair,
Whose early care had robb'd him of his rest : And what's permitted to the flames invade ; Far off the cracks of falling houses ring,
Ev'n from their jaws they hungry morsels tear, And shrieks of subjects pierce his tender breast. And on their backs the spoils of Vulcan lade. Near as he draws, thick harbingers of smoke The days were all in this lost labour spent ; With gloomy pillars cover all the place;
And when the weary king gave place to night, Whose little intervals of night are broke
His beams he to his royal brother lent,
And pious tears which down his cheeks did shower: A dismal picture of the general doom ;
And half unready with their bodies come. He wept the flames of what he lov'd so well, Those who have homes, when home they do repair, And what so well had merited his love :
To a last lodging call their wandering friends : For never prince in grace did more excel,
Their short uneasy sleeps are broke with care, Or royal city more in duty strove.
To look how near their own destruction tends Nor with an idle care did he behold:
Those who have none, sit round where once it va Subjects may grieve, but monarchs must redress; And with full eyes each wonted room require: He cheers the fearful, and commends the bold, Haunting the yet warm ashes of the place,
And makes despairers hope for good success. As murder'd men walk where they did expire. Himself directs what first is to be done,
Some stir up coals and watch the vestal fire, And orders all the succours which they bring : Others in vain from sight of ruin run; The helpful and the good about him run,
And while through burning labyrinths they retire, And form an army worthy such a king.
With loathing eyes repeat what they would shon He sees the dire contagion spread so fast,
The most in fields like herded beasts lie down, That where it seizes all relief is vain :
To dews obnoxious on the grassy floor ; And therefore must unwillingly lay waste
And while their babes in sleep their sorrows drown. That country, which would else the foe maintain. Sad parents watch the remnants of their store The powder blows up all before the Fire :
While by the motion of the flames they guess Tli' amazed Flames stand gather'd on a heap ; What streets are burning now, and what are near, And from the precipice's brink retire,
An infant waking to the paps would press, Afraid to venture on so large a leap.
And meets, instead of milk, a falling tear. Thus fighting Fires awhile themselves consume, No thought can ease them but their sovereign's care,
But straight, like Turks, forc'd on to win or die, Whose praise th' afflicted as their comfort sing: They first lay tender bridges of their fume, Ev'n those, whom want might drive to just despair,
And o'er the breach in unctuous vapours fly. Think life a blessing under such a king. Part stay for passage, till a gust of wind
Meantime he sadly suffers in their grief, Ships o'er their forces in a shining sheet :
Outweeps an hermit, and outprays a saint: Part creeping under ground their journey blind, All the long night he studies their relief,
And climbing from below their fellows meet. How they may be supply'd and he may want. Thus to some desert plain, or old wood side, “ () God," said he, “ thou patron of my days
Dire night-hags come from far to dance their round; Guide of my youth in exile and distress! And o'er broad rivers on their fiends they ride, Who me unfriended brought'st, by wondrous ways,
Or sweep in clouds above the blasted ground. The kingdom of my fathers to possess : No help avails : for, hydra-like, the Fire
“ Be thou my judge, with what unweary'd care Lifts up his hundred heads to aim his way :
I since have labour'd for my people's good; And scarce the wealthy can one half retire,
To bind the bruises of a civil war, Before he rushes in to share the prey.
And stop the issues of their wasting blood.
Thou who hast taught me to forgive the ill, And now four days the Sun had seen our woes : And recompense as friends the good misled; Four nights the Moon beheld th' incessant fire: mercy be a precept of thy will,
It seem'd as if the stars more sickly rose, Return that mercy on thy servant's head.
And further from the feverish North retire. Or if my heedless youth has stepp'd astray, In th' empyrean Heaven, the bless'd abode, Too soon forgetful of thy gracious hand;
The thrones and the dominions prostrate lie, n me alone thy just displeasure lay,
Not daring to behold their angry God; But take thy judgments from this mourning land. And an hush'd silence damps the tuneful sky. We all have sinn'd, and thou hast laid us low, At length th' Almighty cast a pitying eye, As humble earth from whence at first we came : And mercy softly touch'd his melting breast : ke flying shades before the clouds we show, He saw the town's one-half in rubbish lie, And shrink like parchment in consuming flame. And eager flames drive on to storm the rest. O let it be enough what thou hast done ; (street, An hollow crystal pyramid he takes, When spotted Deaths ran arm'd through every In firmamental waters dipt above : ith poison'd darts which not the good could shun, Of it a broad extinguisher he makes, The speedy could outfly, or valiant meet.
And hoods the flames that to their quarry drove. The living few, and frequent funerals then, The vanquish'd Fires withdraw from every place, Proclaim'd thy wrath on this forsaken place Or full with feeding sink into a sleep : ad now those few who are return'd again,
Each household genius shows again his face, Thy searching judgments to their dwellings trace. And from the hearths the little Lares creep. O pass not, Lord, an absolute decree,
Our king this more than natural change beholds ; Or bind thy sentence unconditional :
With sober joy his heart and eyes abound at in thy sentence our remorse foresee,
To the All-good his lifted hands he folds, And in that foresight this thy doom recall.
And thanks him low on his redeemed ground. Thy threatenings, Lord, as thine thou may'st re-As when sharp frosts had long constrain’d the earth, voke:
A kindly thaw unlocks it with cold rain ; But if immutable and fix'd they stand,
And first the tender blade peeps up to birth (grain : ontinue still thyself to give the stroke,
And straight the green fields laugh with promis'd And let not foreign foes oppress thy land.”
By such degrees the spreading gladness grew 'Eternal heard, and from the heavenly quire In every heart which fear had froze before : Chose out the cherub with the flaming sword; The standing streets with so much joy they view, ad bade him swiftly drive th' approaching Fire That with less grief the perish'd they deplore. From where our naval magazines were stor'd
The father of the people open'd wide ne blessed minister his wings display'd,
His stores, and all the poor with plenty fed : And like a shooting star he cleft the night : Thus God's anointed God's own place supply'd, e charg'd the flames, and those that disobey'd And fill'd the empty with his daily bread. He lash'd to duty with his sword of light.
This royal bounty brought its own reward, ne fugitive Flames, chastis'd, went forth to prey And in their minds so deep did print the sense; On pious structures, by our fathers rear'd; That if their ruins sadly they regard, - which to Heaven they did affect the way,
"Tis but with fear the sight might drive him thence. Ere faith in churchmen without works was heard.
But so may he live long, that town to sway, he wanting orphans saw, with watery eyes,
Which by his auspice they will nobler make, Their founders' charity in dust laid low;
As he will hatch their ashes by his stay, nd sent to God their ever-answer'd cries,
And not their humble ruins now forsake. For he protects the poor, who made them so.
They have not lost their loyalty by fire; or could thy fabric, Paul's, defend thee long, Nor is their courage or their wealth so low, Though thou wert sacred to thy Maker's praise: That from his wars they poorly would retire, sough made immortal by a poet's song ;
Or beg the pity of a vanquish'd foe. And poets' songs the Theban walls could raise.
Not with more constancy the Jews, of old e daring Aames peep'd in, and saw from far By Cyrus from rewarded exile sent, The awful beauties of the sacred quire:
Their royal city did in dust behold, at, since it was profan'd by civil war,
Or with more vigour to rebuild it went. Heav'n thought it fit to have it purg'd by fire.
The utmost malice of the stars is past, [town, w down the narrow streets it swiftly came,
And two dire comets, which have scourg'd the And widely opening did on both sides prey: In their own plague and fire have breath'd the last, nis benefit we sadly owe the flame,
Or dimly in their sinking sockets frown. If only ruin must enlarge our way.
Now frequent trines the happier lights among,
OR, THE POWER OF MUSIC. Will gloriously the new-laid work succeed.
An Ode in Honour of St. Cecilia's Day Methinks already from this chymic flame,
'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won I see a city of more precious mold :
By Philip's warlike son : Rich as the town which gives the Indies name,
Aloft in awful state With silver pav'd, and all divine with gold.
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne : Already labouring with a mighty fate,
His valiant peers were plac'd around; She shakes the rubbish from her mounting brow, Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound: And seems to have renew'd her charter's date,
(So should desert in arms be crown'd) Which Heaven will to the death of Time allow. The lovely Thais, by his side,
Sate, like a blooming eastern bride, More great than human now, and more august, In flower of youth and beauty's pride. Now deify'd she from her fires does rise :
Happy, happy, happy pair ! Her widening streets on new foundations trust,
None but the brave, And opening into larger parts she flies.
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair.
Who sat to bathe her by a river's side ;
Happy, happy, happy pair !
None but the brave, Nor taught the beauteous arts of modern pride.
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair.
Timotheus, plac'd on high
Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre : The silver Thames, her own domestic flood,
The trembling notes ascend the sky, Shall bear her vessels like a sweeping train ;
And heavenly joys inspire. And often wind, as of his mistress proud,
The song began from Jove, With longing eyes to meet her face again.
Who left his blissful seats above,
(Such is the power of mighty love.) The wealthy Tagus, and the wealthier Rhine, A dragon's fiery form bely'd the god The glory of their towns no more shall boast,
Sublime on radiant spires he rode, And Seyne, that would with Belgian rivers join,
When he to fair Olympia press d : Shall find her lustre stain'd, and traffic lost.
And while he sought her snowy breast :
Then, round her slender waist he curl'd, 'The venturous merchant, who design’d more far,
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign ált And touches on our hospitable shore,
The listening crowd admire the lofty sound, Charm'd with the splendour of this northern star,
A present deity, they shout around Shall here unlade him and depart no more.
A present deity the vaulted roofs rebound :
With ravish'd ears Our powerful navy shall no longer meet,
The monarch hears, The wealth of France or Holland to invade;
Assumes the god, The beauty of this town without a fleet,
Affects to nod, From all the world shall vindicate her trade.
And seems to shake the spheres,
And while this fam'd emporium we prepare,
The British ocean shall such triumphs boast, That those, who now disdain our trade to share,
Shall rob like pirates on our wealthy coast. Already we have conquer'd half the war,
And the less dangerous part is left behind:
And not so great to vanquish as to find.
But now, the Cape once doubled, fear no more ;
And gently lay us on the spicy shore.
With ravish'd ears
Affects to nod,
The jolly god in triumph comes;
Flush'd with a purple grace
He shows his honest face;
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain ;
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure ;