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POEMS

BY

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 valley swells So where the Muses and their train resort, Into my eye, and doth itself prese it Pamassus 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 flight,

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 Ify, 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

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

| '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,

race 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 Pame'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 whom 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 contest did move, .

Than when for Homer's birth seyen cities Ms. Waller.

strove)

fear,

Like him 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 flame) 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 Edward, 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 * As much too active, like the stork devours. bring.

Is there no temperate region 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 calenture ? 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 the 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 hopes 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, Ir Parting from thence 'twixt anger, shame, and Had been unspilt, and happy Edward known 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 vallies strays. But to foretel, and prophecy of him.

Thames, the most lor'd of all the Ocean's sons Who 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, That bound which to the world's extremest Like mortal life to meet eternity. ends,

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

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

His genuiue 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 his unweary'd bounty flows; To such a rage? Was't luxury, or lust!

First loves to do, then loves the good he does. Was he so temperate, so chaste, so just ?

Nor are his blessings to his banks confin'd, Were these their crimes? They were his own. But free, and common, as the sea of wind; much more:

When he, to boast or to disperse his stores, But 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 Condemns their luxury to feed his 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, Edward III. and the Black Prince.

While his fair bosom is the world's exchange. 3 Queen Philippa.

O could I flow like thee, and make thy streams 4 The kings of France and Scotland.

My great example, as it is my theme!

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

Of dogs, and men, his wakeful ear does sound : Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full. | Rouz'd with the noise, he scarce believes his Heaven her Lridanus no more shall boast; Whose fame in thine,like lesser current, 's lost Willing to think th' illusions of his fear T'hy nobler s reams shall visit Jove's abodes, Had given this false alarm, but straight his view To shine among the stars 5, and bathe the gods. Confirms, that more than all he fears is true. Here Nature, whether more intent to please Betray'd in all his strengths, the wood beset, Us for bcrself, with strange varieties,

All instruments, all arts of ruin met, (For things of wonder give no 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 frtends we love) With these t'avoid, with that his fate to meet ; Wisely she knew, the harmony of things,

But fear prevails, and bids him trust his feet. As well as that of sounds, from discord 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 borrid roughness of the wood Betrays that safety which their swiftness lent. Strives with the gentle calmness of the flood. 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 dies, 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 his 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 done. 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 he 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 high or great. And taught the woods to echo to the stream Low at his foot a spacious 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'd,

So much his love was dearer than his life. Which shade and shelter from the hill derives, Now every leaf, and every moving breathi While the kind river wealth and beauty gives; Presents a foe, and every foe 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 placid, This scene had some bold Greek, or British bard Courage he thence resumes, resolv'd to bear Beneld 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 fight : flames?

But when he sees the eager chase renew'd, 'Tis still the saine, 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 courago, than his fear before; And thither all the horned host resorts

Finds that uncertain ways unsafest are, To graze the ranker mead, that noble herd, And doubt a greater mischief than despair. On whose sublime and shady fronts is rear'd Then to the stream, 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 to 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,

So towards a ship the oar-finn'd gallies ply, And wish a foe that would not only Ay. Which wanting sea to ride, or wind to fiy, 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, among th' enraged houpds, Where no man's eye, nor heaven's should in- | Repels their force, and wounds retums for vade

wounds.

And as a hero, whom his baser foes $ The Forest.

In troops surround, now these assails, now those

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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 bis unerring 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, bay ;

Whereof none saw so much, none suffer'd When in that remedy all hope was plac'd,

more: 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, crown

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 must be seal'd in blood.

Are pleas'd to hear, I cannot grieve to tell. The subjects arm’d, the more their prin gave,

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

The Greeks, so many lives and years expir'd, Till kings, by giving give themselves away,

A fabric like a moving mountain frame, And even that power, that should deny, be

Pretending vows 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 enNot thank’d, but scorn'd; nor are they gifts, but

tomb. 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, by 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 ; ard one excess

We gave them gone, and to Mycenæ sail'd, 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 dissolv'd, o'erflows th' adjoining plains,

sort The husbandmen with high-rais'd banks secure

To see the slighted camp, the vacant port. Their greedy hopes; and this he can endure.

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

The battle join'd, the Grecian feet 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 deluge swells:

And first Thy mætes moves (urg'd by the Stronger 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' ex-

plore.
TAE

Th' uncertain multitude with both engag'd,

| Divided stands, till from the tower, enrag'd D'ESTRUCTION OF TROY.

Laocoon ran, whrim all the crowd attends.

Crying, “ What desperate frenzy's this, (oh AN ESSAY ON THE

friends) SECOND BOOK OF VIRGIL'S ÆNEIS.

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 contriv', no doubt, The ARGUMENT.

Or from within by fraud, or from witbout

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 how, being cast by tempest upon the gifts.”

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

He throws, wbich trembles with enclosed fear,

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