The Turk’s vast empire does united stand;
Christians, divided under the command
Of jarring princes, would be soon undone,
Did not this hero make their int’rest one; 50
Peace to embrace, ruin the common foe,
Exalt the Cross, and lay the Crescent low.
Thus may the Gospel to the rising sun
Be spread, and flourish where it first began;
And this great day, (so justly honour’d here!)
Known to the East, and celebrated there.
Haec ego longaevus cecini
tibi, maxime regum!
Ausus et ipse manu juvenum tentare laborem.—VIRG.
TO THE KING, ON HIS NAVY.
Where’er thy navy spreads her canvas wings,
Homage to thee, and peace to all she brings;
The French and Spaniard, when thy flags appear,
Forget their hatred, and consent to fear.
So Jove from Ida did both hosts survey,
And when he pleased to thunder, part the fray.
Ships heretofore in seas like fishes sped,
The mightiest still upon the smallest fed;
Thou on the deep imposest nobler laws,
And by that justice hast removed the cause 10
Of those rude tempests, which for rapine sent,
Too oft, alas! involved the innocent.
Now shall the ocean, as thy Thames, be free
From both those fates, of storms and piracy.
But we most happy, who can fear no force
But winged troops, or Pegasean horse.
’Tis not so hard for greedy foes to spoil
Another nation, as to touch our soil.
Should Nature’s self invade the world again,
And o’er the centre spread the liquid main, 20
Thy power were safe, and her destructive hand
Would but enlarge the bounds of thy command;
Thy dreadful fleet would style thee lord of all,
And ride in triumph o’er the drowned ball;
Those towers of oak o’er fertile plains might go,
And visit mountains where they once did grow.
The world’s Restorer once could not endure
That finish’d Babel should those men secure,
Whose pride design’d that fabric to have stood
Above the reach of any second flood; 30
To thee, his chosen, more indulgent, he
Dares trust such power with so much piety.
TO MR HENRY LAWES, WHO HAD THEN NEWLY SET A SONG OF MINE IN THE YEAR 1635.
Verse makes heroic virtue live;
But you can life to verses give.
As when in open air we blow,
The breath, though strain’d, sounds flat and low;
But if a trumpet take the blast,
It lifts it high, and makes it last:
So in your airs our numbers dress’d,
Make a shrill sally from the breast
Of nymphs, who, singing what we penn’d,
Our passions to themselves commend; 10
While love, victorious with thy art,
Governs at once their voice and heart.