Poems, by Andrew Marvell

The Last Instructions to a Painter
about the Dutch Wars.


After two sittings, now our Lady-State,

To end her picture, does the third time wait;

But ere thou fall’st to work, first, Painter, see,

If’t be’nt too slight grown, or too hard for thee?

Canst thou paint without colours? Then ’tis right: 5

For so we too without a Fleet can fight.

Or canst thou daub a sign-post, and that ill?

Twill sute our great debauch, and little skill.

Or hast thou mark’d how antique masters limn

The aly-roof with snuff of candle dim,10

Sketching in shady smoake prodigious tools?

Twill serve this race of drunkards, pimps, and fools.

But if to match our crimes thy skill presumes,

As the Indians draw our luxury in plumes,

Or if to score out our compendious fame, 15

With Hook then thro your microscope take aim,

Where, like the new Comptroller, all men laugh.

To see a tall louse brandish a white staff;

Else shalt thou oft thy guiltless pencil curse.

Stamp on thy palate, not perhaps the worse, 20

The painter so long having vext his cloth.

Of his hound’s mouth to feign the raging froth.

His desperate pencil at the work did dart;

His anger reacht that rage which passed his art;

Chance finished that, which Art could but begin, 25

And he sate smiling how his dog did grin;

So may’st thou perfect by a lucky blow,

What all thy softest touches cannot do.

Paint then St. Alban’s full of soop and gold,

The new Court’s pattern, stallion of the old; 30

Him neither wit nor Courage did exalt.

But Fortune chose him for her pleasure’s salt.

Paint him with drayman’s shoulders, butcher’s mein,

Member’d like mule, with elephantine chin.

Well he the title of St. Alban’s bore, 35

For never Bacon studied nature more;

But age, allaying now that youthful heat,

Fits him in France to play at cards, and cheat.

Draw no Commission, lest the Court should lie.

And, disavowing Treaty, ask Supply. 40

He needs no seal but to St. James’s lease.

Whose breeches were the instruments of Peace;

Who, if the French dispute his power, from thence

Can strait produce them a Plenipotence.

Nor fears he the ‘Most Christian’ should trapan

Two saints at once, St. German and Alban; 46

But thought the Golden Age was now restored,

When men and women took each other’s word.

Paint then again her Highness to the life.

Philosopher beyond Newcastle’s wife. 50

She naked can Archimedes’ self put down.

For an experiment upon the crown.

She perfected that engine oft essayd,

How after child-birth to renew a maid;

And found how royal heirs might be matur’d 55

In fewer months than mothers once endur’d.

Hence Crowder made the rare inventress free

Of’s Highnesse’s Royal Society.

(Happiest of women if she were but able

To make her glassen Duke once malleable!) 60

Paint her with oyster-lip, and breath of fame,

Wide mouth, that ’sparagus may well proclaim;

With chancellor’s belly, and so large a rump,

There (not behind the coach) her pages jump.

Express her studying now, if China clay 65

Can, without breaking, venom’d juice convey:

Or how a mortal poison she may draw

Out of the cordial meal of the cacoa.

Witness, ye stars of night, and thou the pale

Moon, that overcome with the sick steam, did’st fall: 70

Ye neighbouring elms, that your green leaves did shed,

And fauns that from the womb abortive fled.

Not unprovoked she tries forbidden arts,

But in her soft breast love’s hid cancer smarts,

While she revolves at once Sydney’s disgrace, 75

And herself scorn’d for emulous Denham’s face;

And nightly hears the hated guard, away

Galloping with the Duke to other prey.

Paint Castlemain in colours which will hold

Her, not her picture, for she now grows old. 80

She thro her lackey’s drawers, as he ran,

Discern’d love’s cause, and a new flame began.

Her wonted joys thenceforth, and Court, she shuns,

And still within her mind the footman runs;

His brazen calves, his brawny thighs (the face 85

She slights), his feet shap’d for a smoother race!

Then poring with her glass, she re-adjusts

Her locks, and oft-tir’d beauty now distrusts;

Fears lest he scorned a woman once assay’d,

And now first wisht she e’er had been a maid. 90

Great Love! how dost thou triumph, and how reign,

That to a groom couldst humble her disdain!

Stript to her skin, see how she stooping stands,

Nor scorns to rub him down with those fair hands,

And washing (lest the scent her crime disclose) 95

His sweaty hoofs, tickles him betwixt the toes.

But envious Fame too soon began to note

More gold in ’s fob, more lace upon his coat;

And he unwary, and of tongue too fleet,

No longer could conceal his fortune sweet. 100

Justly the rogue was whipt in Porter’s den.

And Jermain straight has leave to come again.

Ah Painter! now could Alexander live,

And this Campaspe the Appelles give!

Draw next a pair of tables opening, then 105

The House of Commons clattering like the men.

Describe the Court and Country both set right

On opposite points, the Black against the White,

Those having lost the nation at Tick-tack,

These now adventuring how to win it back. 110

The dice betwixt them must the fate divide

(As chance does still in multitudes decide).

But here the Court doth its advantage know,

For the cheat Turner, for them both must throw;

As some from boxes, he so from the chair 115

Can strike the dye, and still with them go share.

Here, Painter, rest a little and survey

With what small arts the public game they play:

For so too, Rubens, with affairs of State,

His labouring pencil oft would recreate. 120

The close Cabal mark’d how the Navy eats.

And thought all lost that goes not to the cheats:

So therefore secretly for Peace decrees,

Yet as for War the Parliament would squeeze;

And fix to the revenue such a sum 125

Should Goodrick silence, and make Paston dumb,

Should pay land armies, should dissolve the vain

Commons, and ever such a Court maintain,

Hyde’s avarice, Bennet’s luxury, should suffice,

And what can these defray but the Excise? 130

Excise, a monster worse than e’er before

Frighted the midwife, and the mother tore.

A thousand hands she has, a thousand eyes.

Breaks into shops, and into cellars pries;

With hundred rows of teeth the shark exceeds, 135

And on all trades, like casawar, she feeds;

Chops off the piece where’er she close the jaw.

Else swallows all down her indented maw.

She stalks all day in streets, conceal’d from sight.

And flies like bats with leathern wings by night; 140

She wasts the country, and on cities preys. wastes

Her, of a female harpy in dog-days.

Black Birch, of all the earth-born race most hot.

And most rapacious, like himself begot;

And of his brat enamour’d, as ’t increast, 145

Bugger’d in incest with the mongrel beast.

Say, Muse, for nothing can escape thy sight

(And, Painter, wanting other, draw this Fight);

Who in an English Senate, fierce debate

Could raise so long, for this new whore of State. 150

Of early wittals first the troop march’d in,

For diligence renowned, and discipline;

In loyal hast they left your wives in bed,

And Denham these with one consent did head.

Of the old courtiers next a squadron came, 155

Who sold their master, led by Ashburnham.

To them succeeds a despicable rout.

But knew the word, and well could face about;

Expectants pale, with hopes of spoil allur’d,

Tho’ yet but pioneers, and led by Steward. 160

Then damning cowards ranged the vocal plain;

Wood these commands, knight of the horn and cane:

Still his hook-shoulder seems the blow to dread,

And under ’s arm-pit he defends his head.

The posture strange men laugh at, of his poll 165

Hid with his elbow like the spice he stole:

Headless St. Dennis so his head does bear.

And both of them alike French martyrs were.

Court officers, as us’d, the next place took.

And followed F[o]x, but with disdainful look: 170

His birth, his youth, his brokage all dispraise

In vain; for always he commands that pays.

Then the procurers under Progers filled,

Gentlest of men, and his lieutenant mild,

Bronkard, Love’s squire; thro all the field arrayd, 175

No troop was better clad, nor so well paid.

Then marcht the troop of Clarendon, all full,

Haters of fowl, to teal preferring bull;

Gross bodies, grosser minds, and grosser cheats,

And bloated Wren conducts them to their seats. 180

Charlton advances next (whose wife does awe

The mitred troop), and with his looks gives law.

He marcht with beaver cockt of bishop’s brim,

And hid much fraud under an aspect grim.

Next do the lawyers, merc’nary band, appear, 185

Finch in the front, and Thurland in the rear.

The troop of privilege, a rabble bare

Of debtors deep, fell to Trelawney’s care;

Then fortune’s error they supplied in rage.

Nor any farther would than these engage. 190

Then marcht the troop, whose valiant acts before

(Their public acts) obliged them to do more,

For chimnies’ sake they all Sir Pool obey’d,

Or, in his absence, him that first it laid.

Then came the thrifty troop of privateers, 195

Whose horses each with other interferes:

Before them Higgins rides with brow compact,

Mourning his countess anxious for his act.

Sir Frederick and Sir Solomon draw lots,

’ For the command of politicks or Scots; 200

Thence fell to words; — but quarrels to adjourn.

Their friends agreed they should command by turn.

Carteret the rich did the accountants guide.

And in ill English all the world defi’d.

The Papists (but of those the House had none, 205

Else) Talbot offer’d to have led them on.

Bold Duncomb next, of the projectors chief,

And old Fitz Harding of the Eaters Beef.

Late and disordered out the drunkards drew,

Scarce them their leaders, they their leaders knew; 210

Before them enter’d, equal in command,

Apsley and Brotherick marching hand in hand.

Last then but one, Powel, that could not ride

Left the French standard weltring in his stride;

He, to excuse his slowness, truth confest 215

That ’twas so long before he could be drest.

The lords’ sons last, all these did re-enforce,

Combury before them managed hobby-horse.

Never before nor since, an host so steel’d

Troop on to muster in the Tuttle-field. 220

Not the first cock-horse that with cork was shod

To rescue Albemarle from the sea-cod:

Kor the late feather-man, whom Tomkins fierce

Shall with one breath like thistle-down disperse.

All the two Coventries their generals chose, 225

For one had much, the other nought to lose.

!Not better choice all accidents could hit.

While hector Harry steers by Will the wit.

They both accept the charge with merry glee.

To fight a battle from all gunshot free. 230

Pleas’d with their numbers, yet in valour wise,

They feign’d a parley, better to surprize.

They who e’er long shall the rude Dutch upbraid,

Who in a time of treaty durst invade.

Thick was the morning, and the house was thin, 235

The speaker early, when they all fell in.

Propitious heavens! had not you them crost,

Excise had got the day, and all been lost:

For t’other side all in close quarters lay

Without intelligence, command or pay; 240

A scattered body, which the foe ne’er tri’d,

But often did among themselves divide.

And some run o’er each night, while others sleep,

And undescri’d retum’d ’fore morning peep.

But Strangeways, who all night still walkt the round.

For vigilance and courage both renown’d, 246

First spi’d the enemy, and gave th’ alarm.

Fighting it single till the rest might arm;

Such Eoman Codes strid before the foe.

The faih’ng bridge behind, the streams below. 250

Each ran as chance him guides to several post,

And all to pattern his example, boast;

Their former trophies they recal to mind.

And, to new edge their angry courage, grind.

First entered forward Temple, conqueror 255

Of Irish cattle, and Solicitor.

Then daring S[eymou]r, that with spear and shield

Had stretch’d the monster Patent on the field.

Keen Whorwood next in aid of damsel frail.

That pierc’d the giant Mordant thro his mall: 260

And surly Williams the accountants’ bane,

And Lovelace young of chimny-men the cane.

Old Waller, trumpet-general, swore he’d write

This combat truer than the naval fight.

Of birth, state, wit, strength, courage, How’rd presumes, 265

And in his breast wears many Moutezumea.

These, with some more, with single valour stay

The adverse troops, and hold them all at bay.

Each thinks his person represents the whole,

And with that thought does multiply his soul; 270

Believes himself an army; their’s one man.

As easily conquered; and believing, can

With heart of bees so full and head of mites.

That each, tho duelling, a battel fights.

So once Orlando, famous in romance, 275

Broacht whole brigades like larks upon his lance.

Bat strength at last still under number bows.

And the faint sweat trickled down Temple’s brows;

Even iron Strangeway chasing yet gave back.

Spent with fatigue, to breathe a while toback 280

When marching in, a seasonable recruit

Of citizens and merchants held dispute.

And charging all their pikes, a sullen band

Of Presbyterian Switzers made a stand.

Nor could all these the field have long maintain’d, 285

But for th’ unknown reserve that still remain’d;

A gross of English gentry, nobly born,

Of clear estates, and to no Faction sworn,

Dear lovers of their king, and death to meet

For country’s cause, that glorious thing and sweet; 290

To speak not forward, but in action brave.

In giving generous, but in council grave;

Candidly credulous for once, nay twice;

But sure the devil cannot cheat them thrice.

The van in battel, tho retiring, falls 295

Without disorder in their intervals,

Then closing all, in equal front, fall on.

Led by great Garraway, and great Littleton,

Lee equal to obey, or to command.

Adjutant-general was still at hand. 300

The marshal standard, Sands displaying, shows

St. Dunstan in it tweaking Satan’s nose.

See sudden chance of war, to paint or write,

Is longer work, and harder than to fight:

At the first charge the enemy give out, 305

And the Excise receives a total rout.

Broken in courage, yet the men the same,

Eesolve henceforth upon their other game:

Where force had failed, with stratagem to play,

And what Haste lost, recover by Delay. 310

St. Albans strait is sent to, to forbear, stnight

Lest the sure Peace (forsooth) too soon appear.

The seamen’s clamours to three ends they use,

To cheat they pay, feign want, th’ House accuse.

Each, day they hring the tale and that too true, 315

How strong the Dutch their equipage renew;

Meantime through all the Yards their orders run,

To lay the ships up, cease the keels begun.

The timber rots, the useless ax does rust;

Th’ unpractised saw lies buried in its dust; 320

The busy hammer sleeps, the ropes untwine;

The store and wages all are mine and thine;

Along the coasts and harbours they take care

That money lacks, nor forts be in repair.

Long thus they cou’d against the House conspire, 325

Load them with envy, and with sitting tire;

And the lov’d king, that’s never yet deni’d.

Is brought to beg in pubhck, and to chide:

Eut when this fail’d, and months enough were spent.

They with the first day’s proffer seem content; 330

And to Land-tax from the Excise turn round,

Bought off with eighteen hundred thousand pound.

Thus like fair thieves, the Commons’ purse they share.

But all the members’ lives consulting spare.

Blither than hare that hath escap’d the hounds, 335

The House prorogu’d, the Chancellor rebounds.

Not so decrepid -^son, hasht and stew’d

With magick herbs, rose from, the pot renew’d.

And with fresh age felt his glad hmbs unite.

His gout (yet still he curst) had left him quite. 340

What frosts to fruits, what arsnick to the rat,

What to fair Denham mortal chocolat,

What an account to Carteret, tliat and more,

A Parliament is to the Chancellor.

So the sad tree shrinks from the morning’s eye, 345

But blooms all night and shoots its branches high;

So at the sun’s recess, again returns

The comet dread, and earth and heaven bums.

Now Mordant may within his castle tower

Imprison parents, and their child deflower. 350

The Irish herd is now let loose, and comes

By millions over, not by hecatombs;

And now, now the Canary patent may

Be broach’d again for the great holy-day.

See how he reigns in his new palace culminant, 355

And sits in state divine like Jove the fulminant.

First Buckingham that durst ’gainst him rebel,

Blasted with lightning, struck with thunder fell;

’Next the twelve commons are condemn’d to groan,

And roll in vain at Sisyphus’s stone. 360

But still he car’d, whilst in revenge he brav’d,

That peace secur’d, and money might be sav’d.

Grain and revenge, revenge and gain, are sweet;

United most, when most by turns they meet.

France had St. Albans promis’d, (so they sing) 365

St. Albans promis’d him, and he the king.

The Court forthwith is order’d all to close,

To play for Flanders, and the stake to lose;

While chain’d together, two embassadors

like slaves shall beg for Peace at Holland’s doors. 370

This done, among his Cyclops he retires

To forge new thunder, and inspect their fires.

The Court, as once of War, now fond of Peace,

All to new sports their wonted fears release.

From Greenwich (where intelligence they hold) 375

Comes news of pastime martial and old.

A punishment invented first to awe

Masculine wives transgressing Nature’s law;

Where when the brawny female disobeys,

And beats the husband, till for peace he prays, 380

No concerned jury damage for him finds,

Nor partial Justice her behaviour binds;

But the just street does the next house invade,

Mounting the neighbour couple on lean jade.

The distaff knocks, the grains from kettle fly, 385

And boys and girls in troops run hooting by.

Prudent Antiquity! that knew by shame.

Better than law, domestick broils to tame;

And taught the youth by spectacle innocent:

So thou and I, dear Painter, represent 390

In quick effigie, others’ faults; and feign.

By making them ridiculous, to restrain;

With homely sight they chose thus to relax

The joys of State for the new Peace and tax.

So Holland with us had the mastery tri’d, 395

And our next neighbours, France and Flanders, ride.

But a fresh news the great designment nips

Off, at the isle of Candy, Dutch and ships:

Bab May and Arlington did wisely scoff,

And thought all safe if they were so far off. 400

Modem geographers! ’twas there they thought,

Where Venice twenty years the Turks had fought,

(While the first year the Navy is but shewn,

The next divided, and the third we’ve none.)

They by the name mistook it for that isle, 405

Where pilgrim Palmer travelled in exile.

With the bull’s horn to measure his own head.

And on Pasiphae’s tomb to drop a bead.

But Morrice leam’d demonstrates by the post.

This isle of Candy was on Essex coast. 410

Fresh messengers still the sad news assure,

More tim’rous now we are than first secure;

False terrors our believing fears devise.

And the French army, one from Calais spies.

Bennet and May, and those of shorter reach, 415

Change all for guineas, and a crown for each;

But wiser men, and men foreseen in chance,

In Holland theirs had lodg’d before, and France;

Whitehall’s unsafe, the Court all meditates

To fly to Windsor, and mure up the gates. 420

Each doth the other blame and all distrust,

(But Mordant new oblig’d would sure be just).

Kot such a fatal stupefaction reign’d

At London flames’, nor so the Court complain’d.

The Bloodworth Chanc’llor gives (then does recal) 425

Orders, amaz’d, at last gives none at all.

St. Albans writ too, that lie may bewail

To Monsieur Lewis, and tell coward tale,

How that the Hollanders do make a noise,

Threaten to beat us and are naughty boys. 430

How Doleman’s disobedient, and they still

Uncivil, his unkindness would us kill:

Tell him our ships’ unrigg’d, our forts unmanned,

Our money spent, else ’twere at his command;

Summon him therefore of his word, and prove 435

To move him out of pity, if not love;

Pray him to make De Wit and Euyter cease.

And whip the Dutch unless they’ll hold their peace.

But Lewis was of memory but dull,

And to St. Albans too undutiful; 440

Nor word nor near relation did revere,

But ask’d him bluntly for his character.

The gravell’d Count did with this answer faint,

(HIb character was that which thou didst paint)

And so enforced like enemy or spy, 445

Trusses Ids baggage, and the camp does fly:

Yet Lewis writes, and lest our heart should break,

Condoles us morally out of Seneque.

Two letters next unto Breda are sent,

In cypher one to Harry Excellent. 450

The first entrusts (our verse that name abhors)

Plenipotentiary embassadors;

To prove by Scripture, treaty does imply

Cessation, as the look adultery;

And that by law of arms, in martial strife, 455

Who yields his sword, has title to his life.

Presbyter Hollis the first point should clear,

The second Coventry the cavalier:

But, would they not be argu’d back from sea,

Then to return home straight in/ectd re. 460

But Harry’s order’d, if they won’t recall

Their Fleet, to threaten, — we’ll give them alL

The Dutch are then in proclamation shent.

For sin against the eleventh commandment.

Hyde’s flippant style there pleasantly curvets, 465

Still his sharp wit on States and princes whets:

So Spain could not escape his laughter’s spleen,

None but himself must choose the king a queen.

But when he came the odious clause to pen,

That summons up the Parliament agen, 470

His writing-master many times he bann’d.

And wisht himseK the gout to seize his hand.

Never old lecher more repugnant felt,

Consenting for his rupture to be gelt.

But still in hope he solac’d, e’er they come 475

To work the Peace, and so to send them home;

Or in their hasty call to find a flaw,

Their acts to vitiate, and them overaw:

But more rely’d upon this Dutch pretence,

To raise a two-edged Army for ’s defence. 480

First then he march’d our whole militia’s force,

(As if, alas! we ships, or Dutch had horse;)

Then from the usual commonplace he hlames

These, and in standing aimies’ praise declaims;

And the wise Court, that always loy’d it dear, 485

Now thinks all but too little for their fear.

Hyde stamps, and straight upon the ground the swarms

Of current myrmidons appear in arms:

And for their pay he writes as from the king,

With that curs’d quill pluckt from a vulture’s wing,

Of the whole nation now to ask a loan; 491

(The eighteen hundred thousand pounds are gone.)

This done, he pens a Proclamation stout

In rescue of the hankers hanquerout,

His imnion-imps, which in his secret part 495

Lie nuzzling at the sacramental wart,

Horse-leeches sucking at the haem’roy’d vein;

He sucks the king, they him, he them again.

The kingdom’s farm he lets to them hid least,

(Greater the hribe) and cheats’ at interest. 500

Here men induc’d by safety, gain, and ease.

Their money lodge, confiscate when he please;

These can at need, at instant with a scrip,

(This lik’d him best) his cash beyond sea whip.

When Dutch invade, and Parliament prepare; 505

How can he engines so convenient spare?

Let no man touch them, or demand his own,

Pain of displeasure of great Clarendon.

The State-affairs thus marsball’d, for the rest.

Monk in his shirt against the Dutch is prest. 510

Often (dear Painter) have I sat and mns’d

Wliy he should be on all adventures used;

Do they for nothing ill, like ashen wood,

Or think him, like Herb-John, for nothing good?

Whether his valour they so much admire, 515

Or that for cowardise they all retire,

As heaven in storms, they call, in gusts of State,

On Monk and Parliament, — yet both do hate.

All causes sure concur, but most they think

Under Herculean labours he may sink. 520

Soon then the independent troops would close.

And Hyde’s last project of his place dispose.

Euyter, the while, that had our ocean curb’d,

Sail’d now amongst our rivers undisturb’d;

Surve/d their crystal streams and banks so green, 525

And beauties e’er this never naked seen:

Thro the vain sedge the bashful nymphs he ey’d,

Bosoms, and all which from themselves they hide.

The sun much brighter, and the sky more clear.

He fbids, the air and all things sweeter here; 530

The sudden change, and such a tempting sight.

Swells his old veins with fresh blood, fresh delight;

Like am’rous victors he begins to shave.

And his new face looks in the English wave;

His sporting navy all about him swim, 535

And witness their complacence in their trim;

Their streaming silks play through the weather fair,

And with inveigling colours court the air,

While the red flags breath on their topmasts high

Terror and war, but want an enemy. 540

Among the shrouds the seamen sit and sing,

And wanton boys on every rope do cling:

Old Neptune springs the tydes, and waters lent

(The Gods themselves do help the provident),

And where the deep keel on the shallow cleaves, 545

With trident’s leaver and great shoulder heaves;

Pulls their sails inspires with eastern wind,

Puffs them along, and breathes upon them kind;

With pearly shell the Tritons all the while

Sound the sea-march, and guide to Sheppy isle. 550

So have I seen in April’s bud arise

A fleet of clouds sailing along the skies;

The liquid region with their squadrons filFd,

Their airy stems the sun behind doth gild.

And gentle gales them steer, and heaven drives, 555

When all on sudden their calm bosom rives.

With thund’r and lightning from each armM cloud;

Shepherds themselves in vain in bushes shroud; —

So up tho stream the Eelgic navy glides.

And at Sheemess unloads its stormy sides. 560

Sprag there, though practis’d in the sea-command,

With panting heart lay like a fish on land.

And quickly judg’d the fort was not tenable,

Which if a house, yet were not tenantable;

No man can sit there safe, the cannon pours 565

Thoro th walls untight, and bullets’ showers.

The neighbouEhood ill, and an unwholesome seat.

So at the first salute resolves retreat;

And swore that he would never more dwell there.

Until the city put it in repair; 570

So he in front, his garrison in rear,

March’d streight to Chatham to increase their fear.

There our sick ships unrigg’d in Summer lay.

Like moulting fowl, a weak and easy prey;

For whose strong bulk earth scarce could timber find.

The ocean water, or the heavens wind: 576

Those oaken giants of the ancient race,

That rul’d all seas, and did our Channel grace;

The conscious stag, tho once the forest’s dread,

Elies to the wood, and hides his armless head. 580

Euyter forthwith a squadron does untack;

They sail securely through the river’s track.

An English pilot too (oh, shame! oh, sin!)

Cheated of ’s pay, was he that shewed them in.

Our wretched ships within their fate attend, 585

And all our hopes now on frail Chain depend,

(Engine so slight to guard us from the sea,

It fitter seem’d to captivate a flea;)

A skipper rude shocks it without respect,

Filling his sails more force to recollect; 590

The English firom shore the iron deaf invoke

Eor its last aid: Hold, chain, or we are broke!

But with her sailing weight the Holland keel.

Snapping the brittle links, does thorough reel.

And to the rest the opening passage shew; 595

Monk from the bank that dismal sight does view.

Onr feather’d gallants, who came down that day

To be spectators safe of the New Play,

Leave him alone when first they hear the gun,

(Comb’ry the fleetest) and to London run. 600

Our seamen, whom no danger’s shape could fright,

Unpaid, refuse to mount their ships for spight,

Or to their fellows swim on board the Dutch,

Who show the tempting metal in their clutch.

Oft had he sent, of Duncomb and of Legge, 605

Cannon and powder, but in vain, to begg;

And Upnor castle’s ill-deserted wall,

Now needful does for ammunition call.

He finds, where’er he succour might expect.

Confusion, folly, treachery, fear, neglect. 610

But when the Eoyal Charles (what rage! what

He saw seiz’d, and could give her no relief; [grief!)

That sacred keel that had, as he, restor’d

Its exil’d sovereign on its happy board,

And thence the British Admiral became, 615

Crown’d for that merit with his master’s name;

That pleasure-boat of war, in whose dear side

Secure, so oft he had this foe defy’d,

Now a cheap spoil, and the mean victor’s slave.

Taught the Dutch colours from its top to wave, — 620

Of former glories the reproachful thought.

With present shame compared, his mind distraught.

Such from Euphrates’ bank, a tigress fell

After her robbers for her whelps does yell,

But sees enrag’d the river flow between, 625

Frustrate revenge, and love by loss more keen;

At her own breast her useless claws does arm.

She tears herself, since him she cannot harm.

The guards, plac’d for the Chain’s and Fleet’s defence.

Long since were fled on many a feign’d pretence. 630

Daniel had there adventur’d, man of might;

Sweet Painter, draw his picture while I write.

Paint him of person tall, and big of bone,

Large limbs like ox, not to be killed but shown.

Scarce can burnt iv’ry feign a hair so black, 635

Or face so red, thine oker and thy lack; ochre

Mix a vain terror in his martial look,

And all those lines by which men are mistook.

But when by shame constrain’d to go on board.

He heard how the wild cannon nearer roar’d, 640

And saw himself confin’d like sheep in pen,

Daniel then thought he was in lions’ den.

But when the frightful fire-ships he saw.

Pregnant with sulphur, nearer to him draw.

Captain, Lieutenant, Ensign, all make haste, 645

E’er in the fiery furnace they be cast;

Three children tail, unsing’d, away they row,

Like Shadrack, Mesheck, and Abednego.

Not so brave Douglas, on whose lovely chin

The early down but newly did begin,

And modest beauty yet his sex did veil,

While envious virgins hope he is a male.

His yellow locks curl back themselves to seek,

Nor other courtship knew but to his cheek.

Oft, as he in chill Esk or Seine by night

Hardened and cooled his limbs, so soft, so white,

Among the reeds, to be espied by him,

The nymphs would rustle; he would forward swim.

They sighed and said, “Fond boy, why so untame

That fliest love’s fires, reserved for other flame?”

Fixed on his ship, he faced that horrid day

And wondered much at those that ran away.

Nor other fear himself could comprehend

Then, lest heaven fall ere thither he ascend,

But entertains the while his time too short

With birding at the Dutch, as if in sport,

Or waves his sword, and could he them conjúre

Within its circle, knows himself secure.

The fatal bark him boards with grappling fire,

And safely through its port the Dutch retire.

That precious life he yet disdains to save

Or with known art to try the gentle wave.

Much him the honours of his ancient race

Inspire, nor would he his own deeds deface,

And secret joy in his calm soul does rise

That Monck looks on to see how Douglas dies.

Like a glad lover, the fierce flames he meets,

And tries his first embraces in their sheets.

His shape exact, which the bright flames enfold,

Like the sun’s statue stands of burnished gold.

Round the transparent fire about him flows,

As the clear amber on the bee does close,

And, as on angels’ heads their glories shine,

His burning locks adorn his face divine.

But when in this immortal mind he felt

His altering form and soldered limbs to melt,

Down on the deck he laid himself and died,

With his dear sword reposing by his side,

And on the flaming plank, so rests his head

As one that’s warmed himself and gone to bed.

His ship burns down, and with his relics sinks,

And the sad stream beneath his ashes drinks.

Fortunate boy, if either pencil’s fame,

Or if my verse can propagate thy name,

When Oeta and Alcides are forgot,

Our English youth shall sing the valiant Scot.

r^’^ Each doleful day still with fresh loss returns,

V The Loyal London now a third time burns; 650

And the true Royal Oak, and Royal James,

Ally’d in fate, increase witli theirs her flames.

Of all our navy none should now survive,

But that the ships themselv’s were taught to dive,

And the kind river in its creek them hides, 655

Fraughting their pierced keels with oozy sides;

Up to the hridg contagious terror struck.

The Tow’r itself with the near danger shook;

And were not Euyter’s maw with ravage cloy’d.

Even London’s ashes had been then destroy’d. 660

Officious fear, however, to prevent

Our loss, does so much more our loss augment.

The Dutch had robb’d those jewels of the crown;

Our merchant-men, lest they should bum, we drown:

So. when the fire did not enough devour, 665

The houses were demolished near the Tow’r.

Those ships that yearly from their teeming hole hold

Unloaded here the birth of either pole.

Fir fiom the North, and silver from the West,

From the South perfumes, spices from the Ecist, 670

From Gambo gold, and from the Ganges jems,

Take a short voyage underneath the Thames,

Once a deep river, now with timber floor’d,

And shrunk, less navigable, to a ford.

ITow nothing more at Chatham’s left to bum, 675

The Holland squadron leisurely return;

And spight of Kupert’s and of Albemarle’s,

To Ruyter’s triumph led the captive Charles.

The pleasing sight he often does prolong,

Her mast erect, tough cordage, timber strong, 680

Her moving shape, all these he doth survey,

And all admires, hut most^is easy prey.

The seamen search her all within, without;

Viewing her strength, they yet their conquest doubt;

Then with rude shouts, secure, the air they vex, 685

With gamsome joy insulting on her decks.

Such the fear’d Hebrew captive, blinded, shorn.

Was led about in sport, the public scorn. Sampson

Black day accurst! on thee let no man haile

Out of the port, or dare to hoyst a sail, 690

Or row a boat in thy unlucky hour!

Thee, the yearns monster, let thy dam devour,

And constant Time, to keep his course yet right,

Fill up thy space with a redoubled night.

When agM Thames was bound with fetters base, 695

And Medway chaste ravisht before his face,

And their dear offspring murder’d in their sight,

Thou and thy fellows saw the odious light.

Sad Chance, since first that happy pair was wed,

With all the rivers grac’d their nuptial bed; 700

And father Neptune promised to resign

His empire old to their immortal line;

Now with vain grief their vainer hopes they rue,

Themselves dishonour’d, and the gods untrue;

And to each other, helpless couple, moan, 705

As the sad tortoise for the sea does groan;

But most they for their darling Charles complain,

And were it burnt, yet less would be their pain.

To see that fatal pledge of sea-command,

^o^w in the ravisher De Euyter’s hand, 710

The Thames roar’d, swooning Medway tum’d her tyde,

And were they mortal, both for grief had dy’d.

The Court in farthering yet itself does please

(And female Steward .there rules the four seas);

But Pate does still accumulate our woes, 715

And Bichmond her commands, as Buyter those. ’

After this loss, to relish discontent,

Some one must be accus’d by parliament.

All our miscarriages on Pett must fall.

His name alone seems fit to answer all. 720

Whose counsel first did this mad war beget?

Who all commands sold thro the navy? Pett.

Who would not follow when the Dutch were beat?

Who treated out the time at Bergen? Pett.

Who the Dutch fleet with storms disabled met? 725

And, rifling prizes, them neglected ) Pett.

Who with false news prevented the Gazette? anticipated

The Fleet divided? writ for Rupert? Pett.

Who all our seamen cheated of their debt.

And all our prizes who did swallow? Pett 730

Who did advise no Navy out to set?

And who the forts left unprepared? Pett.

Who to supply with powder did forget .

Languard, Sheemess, Gravesend, and XJpnor? Pett.

Who all our ships exposed in Chatham net? 735

Who should it be but the fanatick Pett?

Pett, the sea-architect in making ships,

Was the first cause of all these naval sHps;

Had he not built, none of these faults had been;

If no creation, there had been no sin; 740

But his great crime, one boat away he sent.

That lost our Fleet and did our flight prevent.

Then, that reward might in its turn take place,

And march with punishment in equal pace,

Southampton dead, much of the Treasure’s care, 745

And place in council, fell to Buncombe’s share.

All men admir’d he to that pitch could fly:

Powder ne’er blew man up so soon, so high;

But sure his late good husbandry in peeter, saltpetre

Shew’d him to manage the Exchequer meeter; 750

And who the forts would not vouchsafe a com

To lavish the king^s money more would scorn;

Who hath no chimneys, to give all, is best,

And ablest Speaker, who of law hath least;

Who less estate, for Treasurer most fit, 755

And for a Chancellor he that has least wit;

But the true cause was, that in ’s brother May,

Th’ Exchequer might the Privy-purse obey.

And now draws near the parliament’s return;

Hyde and the Court again begin to mourn; 760

Frequent in council, earnest in debate,

All arts they try how to prolong its date.

Grave Primate Sheldon (mucli in preaching there)

Blames the last Session, and this more does fear:

With Boynton or with Mazarine ’twere sweet, 765

But with a parhament ahhorrs to meet;

And thinks ’twill ne’er he well within this nation,

Till it be governed by a Convocation.

But in the Thames’ mouth still De Euyter laid;

The peace not sure, new army must he paid. 770

Hide saith he hourly waits for a dispatch;

Harry came post just as he shew’d his watch.

All do agree the articles were clear,

The Holland fleet and Parliament so near.

Yet Harry must johh hack and all mature, 775

Binding, e’er th’ Houses meet, the Treaty sure;

And ’twixt necessity and spight, till then

Let them come up, so to go down again.

Up ambles country justice on his pad,

And’ vest bespeaks, to be more seemly clad. 780

Plain gentlemen are in stage-coach o’erthrown,

And deputy-lieutenants in their own;

The portly burgess, thro the weather hot,

Does for his Corporation sweat and trot;

And all with sun and choller come adust, 785

And threaten Hyde to raise a greater dust.

But freak, as £rom the mint, the courtiers fine

Salute them, smiling at their vain design;

And Turner gay up to his perch doth march,

With face new bleacht, smoothed, and stiff with starch;

Tells them he at Whitehall had took a turn, 791

And for three days thence moves them to adjourn.

Kot so, quoth Tomkins, and straight drew his tongae.

Trusty as steel that always ready hung;

And so proceeding in his motion warm, 795

Th’ army soon rais’d, he doth as soon disann.

True Trojan! whilst this town can girls afford.

And long as cyder lasts in Hereford,

The girls shall always kiss thee, tho grown old.

And in eternal healths thy name be trould. 800

Meanwhile the certain news of peace arrives

At Court, and so reprieves their guilty lives.

Hyde orders Turner that he should come late.

Lest some new Tomkins spring a fresh debate;

The king, that early rais’d was firom his rest, 805

Expects, as at a play, till Turner’s drest;

At last, together Eaton came and he,

No dial more could with the sun agree;

The Speaker, summoned to the Lords, repairs.

Nor gave the Commons leave to say their pray’rs, 810

But like his prisoners to the bar them led.

Where mute they stand to hear their sentence read:

Trembling with joy and fear, Hyde them prologues^

And had almost mistook, and call’d them rogues.

Dear Painter, draw this Speaker to the foot: 815

Where pencil cannot, there my pen shall do ’t;

That may his body, this his mind explain;

Paint him in golden gown with mace’s tndn;

Briglit hair, fair face, obsciire and dnll of bead,

Like knife with iv’ry hafb, and edge of lead: 820

At prayers his eyes turn up the pious white,

But all the while his private bill ’s in sight:

In chair he smoking sits like master cook.

And a poll-bill does like his apron look

W^ell was he skill’d to season any question, 825

And make a sawce fit for Whitehairs digestion,

"Whence every day, the palat more to tickle.

Court-mushrooms ready are sent in to pickle.

W^hen grievances urg’d, he swells like squatted toad,

Frisks like a frog to croak a taxe’s load: 830

His patient piss he could hold longer than

Ati urinal, and sit like any hen;

At table jolly as a country host.

And soaks bis sack with ^N’orfolk like a toast;

At night than chanticleer more brisk and hot, 835

And Serjeant’s wife serves him for Partelot.

Paint last the King, and a dead shade of night,

Only disperst by a weak taper’s light,

And those bright gleams that dart along and glare

From his clear eyes (yet these too dart with care); 840

There, as in the calm hoiror all alone.

He wakes and muses of th’ uneasy throne;

Baise up a sudden shape with virgin’s face,

Tho ill agree her posture, hour or place;

Naked as born, and her round arms behind,845

With her own tresses interwove and twiner

Her mouth, lockt up, a blind before her eyes,

Yet fipom beneath her veil her blushes rise,

And silent tears her secret anguish speak,

Her heart throbs, and with very shame would break.850

The object strange in him no terror mov’d,

He wondred first, then pitied, then he lov’d:

And with kind hand does the coy vision press,

Whose beauty greater seem’d by her distress:

But soon shrunk back, chill’d with a touch so cold.855

And the airy picture vanisht £rom his hold.

In his deep thoughts the wonder did increase.

And he divined ’twas England, or the Peace.

Express him startling next, with listening ear.

As one that some unusual noise doth hear; 860

"With cannons, trumpets, drums, his door surround.

But let some other Painter draw the sound.

Thrice he did rise, thrice the vain tumult fled,

But again thunders when he lies in bed.

His mind secure does the vain stroke repeat, 865

And finds the drums Lewis’s march did beat.

Shake then the room, and all his curtains tear.

And with blue streaks infect the taper clear,

While the pale ghost, his eyes doth fixed admire.

Of grandsire Harry, and of Charles his sire. 870

Harry sits down, and in his open side

The grisly wound reveals of which he dy’d;

And ghastly Charles, turning his coller low,

The purple thred about his neck does show;

Then whisp’ring to his son in words unheard,875

Througli the lockt door both of them disappeared.

The -wondrous night the pensive King revolves,

And rising streight, on Hyde’s disgrace resolves.

At his first step he Castlemain does find,

Bennet and Coventry as ’twere designed; 880

And they not knowing, the same thing propose

Which his hid mind did in its depths inclose.

Thro their feign’d speech their secret hearts he knew,

To her own husband Castlemain untrue;

False to his master Bristol, Arlington; 885

And Coventry falser than any one,

Who to the brother, brother would betray;

Nor therefore trusts himself to such as they.

His father’s ghost too whisper’d him one note.

That who does cut his purse will cut his throat; 890

But he in wise anger does their crimes forbear,

As thieves repriev’d from executioner;

While Hyde, provok’d, his foaming tusk does whet,

To prove them traytors, and himself the pett.

Painter, adieu: How well our arts agree! 895

Poetic picture, painted poetry!

But this great work is for our monarch fit,

And henceforth Charles only to Charles shall sit;

His master-hand the ancients shall outdo,

Himself the Painter, and the Poet too. 900

To the King.

So his bold tube man to the sun apply’d,

And spots unknown in the bright star descry’d,

Shewed they obscure him, while too near they please.

And seem his oouitieis, are but his disease;

Through optic trunk the planet seem’d to hear, 5

And hurls them off e’er since in his career.

And you (great Sir), that with him empire share.

Sun of our world, as he the Charles is there;

Blame not the Muse that brought those spots to sight,

Which, in your splendour hid, corrode your light; 10

(Kings in the country oft have gone astray,

Nor of a peasant scorn’d to learn the way.)

Would she the unattended throne reduce,

Banishing love, trust, ornament, and use;

Better it were to live in cloister’s lock, 15

Or in fair fields to rule the easy flock:

She blames them only who the Court restrain.

And where all England serves, themselves would reign.

Bold and accnrst aie they who all this while

Have strove to isle the monarch from this Isle, 20

And to improve themselves by false pretence,

Abont the common prince have rais’d a fence;

The kingdom from the crown distinct would see,

And peel the hark to bnm at last the tree.

As Ceres corn, and Flora is the spring, 25

Bacchus is wine, the Country is the King.

Not so does rust insinuating wear,

Nor powder so the vaulted bastion tear,

Nor earthquakes so an hollow isle o’erwhehu.

As scratching courtiers undermine a realm, 30

And thro the palace’s foundations bore.

Burrowing themselves to hoard their guilty store.

The smallest vermin make the greatest waste.

And a poor warren once a city ras’d.

But they whom bom to virtue and to wealth, 35

Nor guilt to flatt’ry binds, nor want to stealth;

Whose gen’rous conscience, and whose courage high,

Does with clear counsels their large souls supply;

Who serve the king with their estates and care.

And as in love on parliaments can stare; 40

Where few the number, choice is there less hard;

Give us this Court, and rule without a guard.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58