That ’tis unsafe to be a stander-by.
Poets, approaching to describe the fight,
Are by their wounds instructed how to write.
They with less hazard might look on, and draw
The ruder combats in Alsatia; 40
And, with that foil of violence and rage,
Set off the splendour of our golden age;
Where Love gives law, Beauty the sceptre sways,
And, uncompell’d, the happy world obeys.
 ‘Triple combat’: the Duchess
of Mazarin was a divorced demirep, who
came to England with some designs on Charles II., in which she was
counteracted by the Duchess of Portsmouth.
The failing blossoms which a young plant bears,
Engage our hope for the succeeding years;
And hope is all which art or nature brings,
At the first trial, to accomplish things.
Mankind was first created an essay;
That ruder draught the Deluge wash’d away.
How many ages pass’d, what blood and toil,
Before we made one kingdom of this isle!
How long in vain had nature striven to frame
A perfect princess, ere her Highness came!
For joys so great we must with patience wait;
’Tis the set price of happiness complete.
As a first fruit, Heaven claim’d that lovely boy;
The next shall live, and be the nation’s joy.
 ‘Duke of Cambridge’: The Duke
of York’s second son by Mary d’Este.
He died when he was only a month old, November 1677.
1 As once the lion honey gave,
Out of the strong such sweetness came;
A royal hero, no less brave,
Produced this sweet, this lovely dame.
2 To her the prince, that did oppose
Such mighty armies in the field,
And Holland from prevailing foes
Could so well free, himself does yield.
3 Not Belgia’s fleet (his high command)
Which triumphs where the sun does rise,
Nor all the force he leads by land,
Could guard him from her conqu’ring eyes.
4 Orange, with youth, experience has;
In action young, in council old;
Orange is, what Augustus was,
Brave, wary, provident, and bold.
5 On that fair tree which bears his name,
Blossoms and fruit at once are found;
In him we all admire the same,
His flow’ry youth with wisdom crown’d!
6 Empire and freedom reconciled
In Holland are by great Nassau;
Like those he sprung from, just and mild,
To willing people he gives law.
7 Thrice happy pair! so near allied
In royal blood, and virtue too!
Now love has you together tied,
May none this triple knot undo!
8 The church shall be the happy place
Where streams, which from the same source run,
Though divers lands a while they grace,
Unite again, and are made one.