Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 294 pages of information about Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham.

Laomedon, that had the gods in pay,
Neptune, with him that rules the sacred day,[4]
Could no such structure raise:  Troy wall’d so high,
Th’ Atrides might as well have forced the sky. 60

Glad, though amazed, are our neighbour kings,
To see such power employ’d in peaceful things;
They list not urge it to the dreadful field;
The task is easier to destroy than build.

 ...  Sic gratia regum
  Pieriis tentam modis...—­HORACE.

[1] ‘St. Paul’s’:  these repairs commenced in the spring of 1633. [2] ‘Monarch’:  King James I. [3] ‘Western end’:  the western end, built at Charles’ own expense,
    consisted of a splendid portico, built by Inigo Jones.
[4] ‘Sacred day’:  Apollo.


When from black clouds no part of sky is clear,
But just so much as lets the sun appear,
Heaven then would seem thy image, and reflect
Those sable vestments, and that bright aspect. 
A spark of virtue by the deepest shade
Of sad adversity is fairer made;
Nor less advantage doth thy beauty get,
A Venus rising from a sea of jet! 
Such was th’appearance of new-formed light,
While yet it struggled with eternal night. 10
Then mourn no more, lest thou admit increase
Of glory by thy noble lord’s decease. 
We find not that the laughter-loving dame[2]
Mourn’d for Anchises; ’twas enough she came
To grace the mortal with her deathless bed,
And that his living eyes such beauty fed;
Had she been there, untimely joy, through all
Men’s hearts diffused, had marr’d the funeral. 
Those eyes were made to banish grief:  as well
Bright Phoebus might affect in shades to dwell, 20
As they to put on sorrow:  nothing stands,
But power to grieve, exempt from thy commands. 
If thou lament, thou must do so alone;
Grief in thy presence can lay hold on none. 
Yet still persist the memory to love
Of that great Mercury of our mighty Jove,
Who, by the power of his enchanting tongue,
Swords from the hands of threat’ning monarchs wrung. 
War he prevented, or soon made it cease, 29
Instructing princes in the arts of peace;
Such as made Sheba’s curious queen resort
To the large-hearted Hebrew’s famous court. 
Had Homer sat amongst his wond’ring guests,
He might have learn’d at those stupendous feasts,
With greater bounty, and more sacred state,
The banquets of the gods to celebrate. 
But oh! what elocution might he use,
What potent charms, that could so soon infuse
His absent master’s love into the heart
Of Henrietta! forcing her to part 40
From her loved brother, country, and the sun,
And, like Camilla, o’er the waves to run
Into his arms! while the Parisian dames
Mourn for the ravish’d glory; at her flames
No less amazed than the amazed stars,
When the bold charmer of Thessalia wars
With Heaven itself, and numbers does repeat,
Which call descending Cynthia from her seat.

Project Gutenberg
Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook