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there are poets
which did never dream
Upon Parnatłus, nor did taste the stream
Of Helicon ; we therefore may suppose
Those made not poets, but the poets those.
And as courts make not kings, but kings the court,
So where the Muses and their train refort,
Parnassus stands ; if I can be to thee
A poet, thou Parnaffus art to me.
Nor wonder, if (advantag'd in my flight,
By taking wing from thy auspicious height)
Through untrac'd' ways and airy paths I Ay,
More boundless in my fancy than my eye:
My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space
That lies between, and first falutes the place
Crown'd with that sacred, pile, so vast, so high,
That, whether 'tis a part of earth or sky,
Uncertain seems, and may be thought a proud
Aspiring mountain, or defcending cloud,
Paul's, the late theme of such
* Muse whose flight
Has bravely reach'd and soar'd above thy height :
Now shalt thou stand, though sword, or time, or fire,
Or zeal more fierce than they, thy fall conspire,
Secure, whilst thee the beft of poets sings,
Preserv'd from ruin by the best of kings.
Under his proud survey the city lies,
And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise;
Whose state and wealth, the business and the crowd,
Seems at this distance but a darker cloud :
And is, to him who rightly things esteems,
No other in effect than what it seems :
Where, with like haste, though several ways, they run,
Some to undo, and some to be undone ;
While luxury, and wealth, like war and peace,
Are each the other's ruin, and increase ;
As rivers lost in seas, fome secret vein
Thence reconveys, there to be lost again.
Oh happiness of sweet retir'd content !
To be at once secure, and innocent.
Windfor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells,
Beauty with strength) above the valley swells
Into my eye, and doth itself present
With such an easy and unforc'd ascent,
That no stupendous precipice denies
Access, no horror turns away our eyes :
But such a rise as doth at once invite
A pleasure, and a reverence from the fight.
Thy mighty master's emblem, in whofe face
Sate meekness, heightend with majestic grace ;
Such seems thy gentle height, made only proud
To be the basis of that pompous load,
Than which, a nobler weight no mountain bears,
But Atlas only which supports the spheres.
When Nature's hand. this ground did thus advance,
'Twas guided by a wifer power than Chance ;
Mark’d-out for such an use, as if 'twere meant
T'invite the builder, and his choice prevent.
Nor can we call it choice, when what we chuse,
Folly or blindness only could refuse.
A crown of such majestic towers doth grace
The gods great mother, when her heavenly race
Do homage to her, yet she cannot boast
Among that numerous, and celestial host,
More heroes than can Windsor, nor doth Fame's
Immortal book record more noble names.
Not to look back so far, to whom this ifle
Owes the first glory of so brave a pile,
Whether to Cæsar, Albanact, or Brute,
The British Arthur, or the Danish Cnute,
(Though this of old no less contest did move,
Than when for Homer's birth seven cities strove)
(Like him in birth, thou should't be like in fame,
As thine his fate, if mine had been his flame)
But whosoe'er it was, Nature delign'd
Firft a brave place, and then as brave a mind,
Not to recount those several kings, to whom
It gave a cradle, or to whom a tomb;
But thee, great * Edward, and thy. greater Son,
(The lilies which his father wore, he won)
And thy + Bellona, who the confort came
Not only to thy bed, but to thy fame,
She to thy triumph led' one captive & king,
And brought that son, which did the second I bring --
Then didit thou found that order (whether love
Or victory thy royal thoughts did move)
Each was a noble cause, and nothing less
Than the design, has been the great success :
Which foreign kings and cmperors esteemi
The second honour to their diadem.
Had thy great destiny but given thee skill:
To know, as well as power to act her will,
That from those kings, who then thy captives werey.
In after-times should spring a royal pair,
Who should posless all that thy mighty power,
Or thy desires more mighty, did devour :
To whom their better fate reserves whate'er
The victor hopes for, or the vanquish'd fear ;
That blood, which thoạ and thy great grandfire lhed,
And all that since these sister nations bled,
Had been unspilt, and happy Edward known
That all the blood he spilt, had been his own,
* Edward III. and the Black Prince..
+ Queen Philippa.
# The kings of France and Scotland.
When he that patron chofe, in whom are join'd
Soldier and martyr, and his arms confin'd
Within the azure circle, he did seem
But to foretel, and prophesy of him,
Who to his realms that azure round hath join'd,
Which Nature for their bound at first design’d.
That bound which to the world's extreamest ends,
Endless itself, its liquid arms extends.
Nor doth he need those emblems which we paint,
But is himself the foldier and the faint.
Here should my wonder dwell, and here
But my fix'd thoughts my wandering eye betrays,
Viewing a neighbouring hill, whose top of late
A chapel crown'd, till in the common fate
Th’adjoining abbey fell: (may no such storm
Fall on our times, where ruin must reform!)
Tell me, my Muse, what monitrous dire offence,
What crime could any Chriftian king incense
To such a rage? Was't luxury, or luft?
Was he fo temperate, so chaste, so just?
Were these their crimes? They were his own much more:
But wealth is crime enough to him that's poor ;
Who, having spent the treasures of his crown,
Condemns their luxury to feed his own.
yet this act, to varnilla o'er the shame
Of facrilege, must bear Devotion's name.
No crime so bold, but would be understood
A real, or at least a seeming good :
Who fears not to do ill, yet fears the name,
And free from conscience, is a slave to fame :