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So the false spider, when her nets are spread, O famous leader of the Belgian fleet,
Deep ambush'd in her silent den does lie: Thy monument inscrib'd such praise shall wear, And feels far off the trembling of her thread, As Varro timely flying once did meet,
Whose filmy cord should bind the struggling fly. Because he did not of his Rome despair.
Then if at last she find him fast beset,
She issues forth, and runs along her loom : She joys to touch the captive in her net,
And drags the little wretch in triumph home.
Behold that navy, which a while before
Provok'd the tardy English close to fight;
As larks lie dar'd to shun the hobby's flight.
The Belgian's hoped that, with disorder'd haste, Whoe'er would English monuments survey
Our deep-cut keels upon the sands might run: In other records may our courage know:
But let them hide the story of this day,
But with a fore-wind pushing them above, Or if too busily they will inquire
And swelling tide that heav'd them from below, Into a victory, which we disdain;
And with spread sails to welcome bauile go. Before the patron saint of injur'd Spain.
Now van to van the foremost squadrons meet, In Fortune's empire blindly thus we go,
The midmost battles hastening up behind, And wander after pathless Destiny ; Who view far off the storm of falling sleet, Whose dark resorts since Prudence cannot know,
And hear their thunder rattling in the wind. In vain it would provide for what shall be. At length the adverse admirals appear;
But whate'er English to the blessed shall go. The two bold champions of each country's right: And the fourth Harry or first Orange meet; Their eyes describe the lists as they come near, Find him disowning of a Bourbon foe,
And draw the lines of death before they fight. And him detesting a Batavian fleet.
The distance judg'd for shot of every size, Now on their coasts our conquering navy rides,
The linstocks touch, the ponderous ball expires : Waylays their merchants, and their land besets ; The vigorous seaman every port-hole plies, Each day new wealth without their care provides; And adds his heart to every gun he fires !
They lie asleep with prizes in their nets.
Nor long the Belgians could that fleet sustain, Those various squadrons variously design’d,
Which did two generals' fates, and Cæsar's, bear : Each vessel freighted with a several load, Each several ship a victory did gain,
Each squadron waiting for a several wind, As Rupert or as Albemarle were there.
All find but one, to burn them in the road.
Their batter'd admiral too soon withdrew, Some bound for Guinea, golden sand to find,
Unthank'd by ours for his unfinish'd fight: Bore all the gauds the simple natives wear : But he the minds of his Dutch masters knew, Some for the pride of Turkish courts design'd,
Who call'd that providence which we call’d flight. For folded turbans finest Holland bear.
Never did men more joyfully obey,
Or sooner understood the sign to fly : With such alacrity they bore away,
As if, to praise them, all the States stood by.
Some English wool vex'd in a Belgian loom,
And into cloth of spungy softness made,
To ruin with worse ware our staple trade.
Our greedy seamen rummage every hold,
And now no longer letted of his prey,
Take what they like, and sacrifice the rest. And nods at every house his threatening fire.
But ah! how insincere are all our joys! [stay : The ghosts of traitors from the bridge descend,
Which, sent from Heaven, like lightning make no With bold fanatic spectres to rejoice:
Or grief sent post o'ertakes them on the way. And sing their sabbath notes with feeble voice.
Swelld with our late successes on the foe, Our guardian angel saw them where they sate
Which France and Holland wanted power to cross, Above the palace of our slumbering king:
He sigh'd, abandoning his charge to Fate,
Each element his dread command obeys,
At length the crackling noise and dreadful blaze Who makes or ruins with a smile or frown; Call'd up some waking lover to the sight; Who, as by one he did our nation raise,
And long it was ere he the rest could raise, So now he with another pulls us down.
Whose heavy eyelids yet were full of night. Yet, London, empress of the northern clime, The next to danger, hot pursued by Fate,
By an high fate thou greatly didst expire; Half-cloth'd, half-naked, hastily retire :
Must fall, and rise a nobler frame by Fire. For helpless infants left amidst the fire.
As when some dire usurper Heaven provides,
To scourge his country with a lawless sway; His birth, perhaps, some petty village hides,
And sets his cradle out of Fortune's way :
Their cries soon waken all the dwellers near;
Now murmuring noises rise in every street: The more remote run stumbling with their fear,
And in the dark men justle as they meet.
Till, fully ripe, his swelling fate breaks out, So weary bees in little cells repose;
But if night-robbers lift the well-stord hive, His prince, surpris'd at first, no ill could doubt, An humming through their waxen city grows,
And wants the power to meet it when 'tis known. And out upon each other's wings they drive.
Such was the rise of this prodigious Fire,
Which in mean buildings first obscurely bred, From thence did soon to open streets aspire,
And straight to palaces and temples spread.
Now streets grow throng'd and busy as by day :
Some run for buckets to the hallow'd quire : Some cut the pipes, and some the engines play;
And some more bold mount ladders to the fire.
The diligence of trades and noiseful gain,
And luxury more late, asleep were laid : All was the Night's; and in her silent reign
No sound the rest of Nature did invade.
In vain: for from the east a Belgian wind
His hostile breath through the dry rafters sent; The flames impellid soon left their foes behind,
And forward with a wanton fury went.
In this deep quiet, from what source unknown, A key of fire ran all along the shore,
Those seeds of Fire their fatal birth disclose; And lighten'd all the river with a blaze :
And wondering fish in shining waters gaze.
Then in some close-pent room it crept along, Old father Thames rais'd up his reverend head,
And, smouldering as it went, in silence fed ; But fear'd the fate of Simois would return : Till th' infant monster, with devouring strong, Deep in his ooze he sought his sedgy bed,
Walk'd boldly upright with exalted head. And shrunk his waters back into his urn. Now like some rich or mighty murderer,
The Fire, meantime, walks in a broader gross ; Too great for prison, which he breaks with gold ; To either hand his wings he opens wide: Who fresher for new mischiefs does appear, Ile wades the streets, and straight he reaches cross,
And dares the world to tax him with the old : And plays his longing flames on th' other side.
So scapes th' insulting Fire his narrow jail,
And makes small outlets into open air : There the fierce winds his tender force assail,
And beat him downward to his first repair.
At first they warm, then scorch, and then they take;
Now with long necks from side to side they feed; At length grown strong, their mother Fire forsake,
And a new colony of Flames succeed.
The winds, like crafty courtesans, withheld To every nobler portion of the town
His flames from burning, but to blow them more: The curling billows roll their restless tide : And every fresh attempt, he is repellid
In parties now they straggle up and down, With faint denials weaker than before.
As armies unoppos'd for prey divide.
One mighty squadron with a side-wind sped, The rich grow suppliant, and the poor grow proud.
Through narrow lanes his cumber'd fire does haste, Those offer mighty gain, and these ask more : By powerful charms of gold and silver led, So void of pity is th' ignoble crowd, The Lombard bankers and the 'Change to waste. When others' ruin may increase their store.
Another backward to the Tower would go,
And slowly eats his way against the wind : But the main body of the marching foe
Against th' imperial palace is design'd.
As those who live by shores with joy behold
Some wealthy vessel split or stranded nigh,
And seek the tempests which the others fly:
Now day appears, and with the day the king, So these but wait the owners' last despair,
Whose early care had robb’d him of his rest: And what's permitted to the flames invade; Far off the cracks of falling houses ring,
Ev'n from their jaws they hungry morsels tear, And shrieks of subjects pierce his tender breast. And on their backs the spoils of Vulcan lade. Near as he draws, thick harbingers of smoke The days were all in this lost labor spent; With gloomy pillars cover all the place;
And when the weary king gave place to night, Whose little intervals of night are broke
His beams he to his royal brother lent,
And pious tears which down his cheeks did shower: A dismal picture of the general doom;
Where souls distracted when the trumpet blows, So much the pity of a king has power.
And half unready with their bodies come.
He wept the flames of what he lov'd so well,
And what so well had merited his love: For never prince in grace did more excel,
Or royal city more in duty strove.
Those who have homes, when home they do repair,
To a last lodging call their wandering friends : Their short uneasy sleeps are broke with care.
To look how near their own destruction tends
Nor with an idle care did he behold:
Those who have none, sit round where once it was, Subjects may grieve, but monarchs must redress; And with full eyes each wonted room require : He cheers the fearful, and commends the bold, Haunting the yet warm ashes of the place,
And makes despairers hope for good success. As murder'd men walk where they did expire.
Himself directs what first is to be done,
And orders all the succors which they bring : The helpful and the good about him run,
And form an army worthy such a king.
Some stir up coals and watch the vestal fire,
Others in vain from sight of ruin run;
With lothing eyes repeat what they would shur.
He sees the dire contagion spread so fast,
The most in fields like herded beasts lie down, That where it seizes all relief is vain :
To dews obnoxious on the grassy floor; And therefore must unwillingly lay waste And while their babes in sleep their sorrows drowie
That country, which would else the foe maintain. Sad parents watch the remnants of their store.
The powder blows up all before the Fire :
Th' amazed Flames stand gather'd on a heap; And from the precipice's brink retire,
Afraid to venture on so large a leap.
While by the motion of the flames they guess
What streets are burning now, and what are near, An infant waking to the paps would press,
And meets, instead of milk, a falling tear.
Thus fighting Fires awhile themselves consume, No thought can case them but their sovereign's care.
But straight, like Turks, forc'd on to win or die, Whose praise th' afflicted as their comfort sing: They first lay tender bridges of their fume, Ev’n those, whom want might drive to just despair,
And o'er the breach in unctuous vapors fly. Think life a blessing under such a king.
Part stay for passage, till a gust of wind
Ships o'er their forces in a shining sheet:
And climbing from below their fellows meet.
Meantime he sadly suffers in their grief,
Outweeps an hermit, and outprays a saint: All the long night he studies their relief,
How they may be supplied and he may want.
Thus to some desert plain, or old wood side, “O God," said he, “thou patron of my days,
Dire night-hags come from far todance their round; Guide of my youth in exile and distress! And o'er broad rivers on their fiends they ride, Who me unfriended brought'st, by wondrous wars.
Or sweep in clouds above the blasted ground. The kingdom of my fathers to possess :
No help avails : for, hydra-like, the Fire
Lifts up his hundred heads to aim his way: And scarce the wealthy can one-half retire,
Before he rushes in to share the prey.
“Be thou my judge, with what unwearied care
I since have labor'd for my people's good; To bind the bruises of a civil war,
And stop the issues of their wasting blood.
“Thon who hast taught me to forgive the ill,
And recompense as friends the good misled; If mercy be a precept of thy will,
Return that mercy on thy servant's head.
And now four days the Sun had seen our woes :
Four nights the Moon beheld th' incessant fire : It seem'd as if the stars more sickly rose,
And further from the feverish North retire.
"Or if my heedless youth has stepp'd astray, In th’empyrean Heaven, the bless'd abode, Too soon forgetful of thy gracious hand;
The thrones and the dominions prostrate lie, On me alone thy just displeasure lay,
Not daring to behold their angry God; But take thy judgments from this mourning land. And an hush'd silence damps the tuneful sky.
* We all have sinn'd, and thou hast laid us low, At length th' Almighty cast a pitying eye,
As humble earth from whence at first we came : And mercy softly touch'd his melting breast : Like flying shades before the clouds we show, He saw the town's one-half in rubbish lie,
And shrink like parchment in consuming flame. And eager flames drive on to storm the rest.
"O let it be enough what thou hast done; [street, An hollow crystal pyramid he takes,
When spotted Deaths ran arm'd through every In firmamental waters dipt above : With poison'd darts which not the good could shun, Of it a broad extinguisher he makes,
The speedy could outfly, or valiant meet. And hoods the flames that to their quarry drove. * The living few, and frequent funerals then, The vanquish'd Fires withdraw from every place,
Proclaim'd thy wrath on this forsaken place; Or full with feeding sink into a sleep:
Thy searching judgments to their dwellings trace. And from the hearths the little Lares creep.
"O pass not, Lord, an absolute decree,
Or bind thy sentence unconditional: But in thy sentence our remorse foresee,
And in that foresight this thy doom recall.
Our king this more than natural change beholds;
With sober joy his heart and eyes abound : To the All-good his lifted hands he folds,
And thanks him low on his redeemed ground.
* Thy threatenings, Lord, as thine thou may’st re- As when sharp frosts had long constraind the earth, voke :
A kindly thaw unlocks it with cold rain; But if immutable and fix'd they stand,
And first the tender blade peeps up to birth, (grain: Continue still thyself to give the stroke,
And straight the green fields laugh with promis'd And let not foreign foes oppress thy land."
By such degrees the spreading gladness grew Th' Eternal heard, and from the heavenly quire In every heart which fear had froze before :
Chose out the cherub with the flaming sword ; The standing streets with so much joy they view, And bade him swiftly drive th' approaching Fire That with less grief the perish'd they deplore. From where our naval magazines were stor'd.
The father of the people open’d wide The blessed minister his wings display'd,
His stores, and all the poor with plenty fed : And like a shooting star he cleft the night: Thus God's anointed God's own place supplied, He charg'd the flames, and those that disobey'd And fill'd the empty with his daily bread. He lash'd to duty with his sword of light.
This royal bounty brought its own reward,
On pious structures, by our fathers rear'd; That if their ruins sadly they regard,
But so may he live long, that town to sway,
Which by his auspice they will nobler make, Their founders' charity in dust laid low;
As he will hatch their ashes by his stay,
And not their humble ruins now forsake.
They have not lost their loyalty by fire ; Though thou wert sacred to thy Maker's praise : That from his wars they poorly would retire,
Nor is their courage or their wealth so low, Though made immortal by a poet's song ;
Or beg the pity of a vanquish'd foe.
Not with more constancy the Jews, of old
By Cyrus from rewarded exile sent, But, since it was profan'd by civil war,
Their royal city did in dust behold, Heav'n thought it fit to have it purg'd by fire.
Or with more vigor to rebuild it went. Now down the narrow streets it swiftly came, The utmost malice of the stars is past, [town,
And widely opening did on both sides prey : And two dire comets, which have scourg'd the This benefit we sadly owe the flame,
In their own plague and fire have breath'd the last, If only ruin must enlarge our way.
Or dimly in their sinking sockets frown.
Now frequent trines the happier lights among,
And high-raised Jove from his dark prison freed, Those weights took off that on his planet hung,
Will gloriously the new-laid work succeed.
OR, THE POWER OF MUSIC.
Methinks already from this chymic flame, "Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state With silver pav'd, and all divine with gold.
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne:
His valiant peers were plac'd around; Already laboring with a mighty fate,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound: She shakes the rubbish from her mounting brow,
(So should desert in arms be crown'd) And seems to have renew'd her charter's date,
The lovely Thais, by his side, Which Heaven will to the death of Time allow.
Sate, like a blooming eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.
None but the brave,
None but the brave, And opening into larger parts she flies.
None but the brave deserves the fair.
CHORUS. Before she like some shepherdess did show,
Ilappy, happy, happy pair! Who sat to bathe her by a river's side;
None but the brave,
None but the brave,
Timotheus, plac'd on high
Amid the tuneful quire, From her high turrets, hourly suitors come;
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre : The East with incense, and the West with gold, The trembling notes ascend the sky, Will stand like suppliants to receive her doom.
And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove, The silver Thames, her own domestic flood,
Who left his blissful seats above, Shall bear her vessels like a sweeping train ;
(Such is the power of mighty love.) And often wind, as of his mistress proud,
A dragon's fiery form belied the god, With longing eyes to meet her face again.
Sublime on radiant spires he rode,
When he to fair Olympia press'd,
And while he sought her snowy breast: The wealthy Tagus, and the wealthier Rhine,
Then, round her slender waist he curl'd, (world. The glory of their towns no more shall boast, And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the And Seyne, that would with Belgian rivers join, The listening crowd admire the lofty sound, Shall find her lustre stain'd, and traffic lost.
A present deity, they shout around :
With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears, The beauty of this town without a fleet,
Assumes the god, From all the world shall vindicate her trade.
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres. And while this fam'd emporium we prepare,
The British ocean shall such triumphs boast, The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sting That those, who now disdain our trade to share,
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young :
The jolly god in triumph comes ;
Flush'd with a purple grace,
He shows his honest face; And the less dangerous part is left behind :
Now give the haut boys breath: he comes, he comes Our trouble now is but to make them dare,
Bacchus, ever fair and young, And not so great to vanquish as to find.
Drinking joys did first ordain;
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure, Thus to the eastern wealth through storms we go, Drinking is the soldier's pleasure : But now, the Cape once doubled, fear no more ;
Rich the treasure, A constant trade-wind will securely blow,
Sweet the pleasure; And gently lay us on the spicy shore.
Sweet is pleasure after pain.