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.
The British thunder does their houses rock,
And the Duke seems at every door to knock. 
His dreadful streamer (like a comet’s hair,
Threatening destruction) hastens their despair; 270
Makes them deplore their scatter’d fleet as lost,
And fear our present landing on their coast. 
The trembling Dutch th’approaching Prince behold,
As sheep a lion leaping tow’rds their fold;
Those piles, which serve them to repel the main,
They think too weak his fury to restrain.

’What wonders may not English valour work, 277
Led by th’example of victorious York? 
Or what defence against him can they make,
Who, at such distance, does their country shake? 
His fatal hand their bulwarks will o’erthrow,
And let in both the ocean, and the foe;’
Thus cry the people;—­and, their land to keep,
Allow our title to command the deep;
Blaming their States’ ill conduct, to provoke
Those arms, which freed them from the Spanish yoke.

Painter! excuse me, if I have a while
Forgot thy art, and used another style;
For, though you draw arm’d heroes as they sit,
The task in battle does the Muses fit; 290
They, in the dark confusion of a fight,
Discover all, instruct us how to write;
And light and honour to brave actions yield,
Hid in the smoke and tumult of the field,
Ages to come shall know that leader’s toil,
And his great name, on whom the Muses smile;
Their dictates here let thy famed pencil trace,
And this relation with thy colours grace.

Then draw the Parliament, the nobles met,
And our great Monarch high above them set; 300
Like young Augustus let his image be,
Triumphing for that victory at sea,
Where Egypt’s Queen,[3] and Eastern kings o’erthrown,
Made the possession of the world his own. 
Last draw the Commons at his royal feet,
Pouring out treasure to supply his fleet;
They vow with lives and fortunes to maintain
Their King’s eternal title to the main;
And with a present to the Duke, approve 309
His valour, conduct, and his country’s love.

[1] See History of England. [2] ‘Young prince’:  Prince of Orange. [3] ‘Egypt’s Queen’:  Cleopatra.


1 Poets may boast, as safely vain,
  Their works shall with the world remain: 
  Both, bound together, live or die,
  The verses and the prophecy.

2 But who can hope his line should long
  Last in a daily changing tongue? 
  While they are new, envy prevails;
  And as that dies, our language fails.

3 When architects have done their part,
  The matter may betray their art;
  Time, if we use ill-chosen stone,
  Soon brings a well-built palace down.

4 Poets that lasting marble seek,
  Must carve in Latin, or in Greek;
  We write in sand, our language grows,
  And like the tide, our work o’erflows.

Project Gutenberg
Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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