« PreviousContinue »
The priests, who humble temperance should profess,
133 And God or king no longer were obey'd.
But that good angel whose surmounting power
Grow all (embracing what such frendship brings)
For this assurance pious thanks he paid ;
'Twas at that joyful hallow'd day's return, On which that man of miracles was born, At whose great birth appear'd a noon-day star,
Which prodigy foretold yet many more; Did strange escapes from dreadful Fate declare, 175
Nor shin'd, but for one greater king before. Though now (alas !) in the fad grave he lies, Yet shall his praise for ever live, and laurels from it rise.
For this great day were equal joys prepar'd, The voice of triumph on the hills was heard ; . 180 Redoubled shoutings wak'd the echo's round, And chearful bowls with loyal vows were crown'd.
But, above all, within those lofty towers,
Within a gate of strength, whose ancient frame
190 A reverend * dome there stands, where twice each day Assembling prophets their devotions pay, In prayers and hymns to heaven's eternal king, The cornet, flute, and shawme, assisting as they fing. Here Israel's mystic statutes they recount, 195 From the first tables of the holy mount, To the blest gospel of that glorious lord, Whose precious death salvation has restor'd. Here fpeak, my Muse, what wonders thou didft find Worthy thy song and his celestial mind.
Within this dome a shining't chapel's raisid, Too noble to be well describ’d or prais'd. Before the door, fix'd in an awe profound, I stood, and gaz'd with pleasing wonder round, When one approach'd who bore much sober grace, 205 Order and ceremony in his face ; A threatening rod did his dread right hand poize, A badge of rule and terror o'er the boys : His left a massy bunch of keys did sway, Ready to open all to all that pay.
* St. George's Church.
+ St. George's Chapel.
This courteous squire, observing how amaz'd
225 As if its use were more, no
Of the Knights of the Garter. † An old ifle in the church, where the banner of a dead knight is carried, when another succeeds him.
Here, in a heap of confus'd waste, I found
245 Fell in his prince's and his country's cause; But what his recompence? A short applause, Which he ne'er hears, his memory may grace, Till, foon forgot, another takes his place.
And happy that man's chance who falls in time, 250 Ere yet
his virtue be become his crime; Ere his abus'd desert be call’d his pride, Or fools and villains on his ruin ride. But truly blest is he, whose foul can bear The wrongs of fate, nor think them worth his care ; 255 Whose mind no disappointment here can shake, Who a true estimate of life does make, Knows 'tis uncertain, frail, and will have end, So to that prospect still his thoughts does bend ; Who, though his right a stronger power invade, 266 Though fate oppress, and no man give him aid, Cheer'd with th' assurance that he there fhall find Reft from all toils, and no remorse of mind; Can Fortune's smiles despise, her frowns out-brave, For who 's a prince or beggar in the grave ?