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HIS SACRED MAJESTY,

A

PANEGYRIC ON HIS CORONATION.

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The ceremony of Charles the Second's coronation was deferred until the year succeeding his Restoration, when it was solemnized with extreme magnificence, on the 22d April, 1661, being St George's day. Charles moved from the Tower to Whitehall, through a series of triumphal arches, stages, and pageants, all of which presented, at once, the joy and wealth of his people before the

eyes of the monarch. The poets, it may readily be believed, joined in the general gratulation; but, from the rudeness of their style, and puerility of their conceits, Charles, whose taste was undoubted, must have soon distinguished our author's superior energy of diction, and harmony of language. In most respects we may consider this piece as written in the style of the preceding, yet with less affectation of witty and far-fetched allusion. The description of the spring, beginning, “ Now our sad ruins are removed from sight,” is elegantly fancied, and so smoothly expressed, that even the flow of the language seems to mark the mild and delightful influence of the season it describes. Much quaintness remains to be weeded out. The name of the king is sent on high, wrapped soft and warm in music, like flames on the wings of incense; and, anon, music has found a tomb in Charles, and lies drowned in her own sweetness ; while the fragrant scent, begun from the royal person, and confined within the hallowed dome, fies round and descends on him in richer dew. Above all, we are startled to hear of

A queen, near whose chaste womb, ordained by fate,

The souls of kings unborn for bodies wait. Neither, if we read (with the first edition) from instead of near, is the intelligibility, or decorum of the passage much improved. If any of the souls of these unborn monarchs waited for bodies from Queen Catharine, they waited long in vain. But with all these defects, there is in this little piece that animation of language and idea, which always affords the most secure promise of genius.

The first edition is printed for Henry Herringman, 1661.

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In that wild deluge where the world was drowned,
When life and sin one common tomb had found,
The first small prospect of a rising hill
With various notes of joy the ark did fill :
Yet when that flood in its own depths was drowned,
It left behind it false and slippery ground;
And the more solemn pomp was still deferred,
"Till new-born nature in fresh looks appeared.
Thus, Royal Sir, to see you landed here,
Was cause enough of triumph for a year :
Nor would your care those glorious joys repeat,
'Till they at once might be secure and great;
'Till

your kind beams, by their continued stay,
Had warmed the ground, and called the damps away.

while

your powerful influence dries, Then soonest vanish when they highest rise. Had greater haste these sacred rites prepared,

Such vapours,

Some guilty months had in your triumphs shared; *
But this untainted

year
is all

your own,
Your glories may without our crimes be shown.
We had not yet exhausted all our store,
When you refreshed our joys by adding more :
As heaven, of old, dispensed celestial dew,
You gave us manna, and still gave us new.

Now our sad ruins are removed from sight,
The season too comes fraught with new delight:
Time seems not now beneath his years to stoop,
Nor do his wings with sickly feathers droop:
Soft western winds waft o'er the gaudy spring,
And opened scenes of flowers and blossoms bring,
To grace this happy day, while you appear,
Not king of us alone, but of the year.
All eyes you draw, and with the eyes the heart;
Of

your own pomp yourself the greatest part: Loud shouts the nation's happiness proclaim, And heaven this day is feasted with your name. Your cavalcade the fair spectators view, From their high standings, yet look up to you. From your brave train each singles out a prey, And longs to date a conquest from your day. Now charged with blessings while you seek repose, Officious slumbers haste your eyes to close ; And glorious dreams stand ready to restore The pleasing shapes of all you saw before. Next to the sacred temple you are led, Where waits a crown for your more sacred head, How justly from the church that crown is due, Preserved from ruin, and restored by you! The grateful choir their harmony employ, Not to make greater, but more solemn joy. Wrapt soft and warm your name is sent on high, As flames do on the wings of incense fly.

Note I.

Music herself is lost; in vain she brings
Her choicest notes to praise the best of kings :
Her melting strains in you a tomb have found,
And lie like bees in their own sweetness drowned.
He, that brought peace, all* discord could atone,
His name is music of itself alone.
Now while the sacred oil anoints your head,
And fragrant scents, begun from you, are spread
Through the large dome, the people's joyful sound,
Sent back, is still preserved in hallowed ground;
Which in one blessing mixed descends on you,
As heightened spirits fall in richer dew.
Not that our wishes do increase your store;
Full of yourself you can admit no more.
We add not to your glory, but employ
Our time, like angels, in expressing joy.
Nor is it duty, or our hopes alone,
Create that joy, but full fruition:
We know those blessings, which we must possess,
And judge of future by past happiness.
No promise can oblige a prince so much
Still to be good, as long to have been such.
A noble emulation heats your breast,
And your own fame now robs

you

of

your rest. Good actions still must be maintained with good, As bodies nourished with resembling food. You have already quenched sedition's brand; And zeal, which burnt it, only warms the land. The jealous sects, that dare not trust their cause So far from their own will as to the laws, You for their umpire and their synod take, And their appeal alone to Cæsar make.

* The first edition reads and for all.

† Note II.

Kind heaven so rare a temper did provide,
That guilt repenting might in it confide.
Among our crimes oblivion may be set;
But 'tis our king's perfection to forget.
Virtues unknown to these rough northern climes,
From milderheavens you bring, without their crimes.
Your calmness does no after-storms provide,
Nor seeming patience mortal anger hide.
When empire first from families did spring,
Then every father governed as a king;
But you, that are a sovereign prince, allay
Imperial power with your paternal sway.
From those great cares when ease your soul unbends,
Your pleasures are designed to noble ends;
Born to command the mistress of the seas,
Your thoughts themselves in that blue empire please.
Hither in summer evenings you repair,
To taste the fraischeur of the purer air :
Undaunted here you ride, when winter raves,
With Cæsar's heart that rose above the waves.
More I could sing, but fear my numbers stays;
No loyal subject dares that courage praise.
In stately frigates most delight you find, *
Where well-drawn battles fire your martial mind.
What to your cares we owe, is learnt from hence,
When even your pleasures serve for our defence.
Beyond your court flows in the admitted tide,t
Where in new depths the wondering fishes glide :
Here in a royal bed the waters sleep;
When tired at sea, within this bay they creep.
Here the mistrustful fowl no harm suspects,
So safe are all things which our king protects.
From your loved Thames a blessing yet is due,
Second alone to that it brought in you;
A queen, near whose chaste womb, ordained by fate,

* Note III.

+ Note IV.

I Note V.

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