A Poem on the Present Assembling of the Parliament, March the 6th, 1678

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A Poem on the Present Assembling of the Parliament, March the 6th, 1678  (1679) 
by Edmund Waller




Present Assembling



March the 6th. 1678.

BREAK, Sacred Morn, on our expecting Isle,
And make our Albion's sullen Genius smile;
His Brightest Glories let the Sun Display,
He Rose not with a more important Day
Since CHARLES Return'd on his Triumphant way:
Gay as a Bridegroom then our Eyes he drew,
And now seems Wedded to his Realms anew.
Great Senate, hast, to joyn your Royal Head,
Best Councell by the best of Monarchs swai'd:
Methinks our Fears already are o're-blown,
And on our Enemies Coast their Terrour thrown.

Darlings of Fame, you British Bards that wrote
Of Old, as warmly as our Heroes fought,
Aid me a bold Advent'rer for the Fame
O'th' British State, and Touch me with your Flame;

Steep my rude Quill in your diviner Stream,
And raise my Daring Fancy to my Theam.
Give me th' Heroick Wings to Soar as High
As Icarus did, I wou'd like Icarus Die!

Now I behold the bright Assembly Met,
And 'bove the Rest our Sacred Monarch Set,
Charm'd with the dazling Scene, without a Crime,
My Thoughts reflect on th' Infancy of Time,
And wrap me in Idea's most Sublime.
I think how at the new Creation, Sate
Th' Eternal Monarch in his Heaven's fresh State;
The Stars yet wondring at each others Fires,
And all the Sons of Glory Rankt in Quires.

Hail, awfull Patriots, Peers by Birth, and you
The Commons, for high Vertues, Noble too!
The First by Heav'n, in this Assembly plac't,
And by Heav'ns Voice, the People's Votes the Last.

As Various Streams from distant Regions fall,
And in the Deep their general Council call;
Conveying thence Supplies to their first Source,
And fail not to maintain their rowling Course:
Our Senate thus, from every Quarter Call'd,
And in Compleat Assembly Here Install'd,
Shall deal their Influence to each Province round,
And in our Isle no Barren Spot be found.

Justice as plenteous as our Thames shall Flow
In Peace the Sailer Steer, and Peasant Plow.
From Foreign wrongs safe shall our Publick be,
And Private Rights from Home Oppressours free:
Degrees observ'd, Customs and Laws obey'd,
Dues, less through Force, than Fear of Scandal, paid.

Proceed, brave Worthies then, to your Debates;
Nor to Decree alone our Private Fates,
But to Judge Kingdoms and Dispose of States.
From You, their Rise, or Downfall, they assume,
Expecting from our Capitol their Doom:
You Form their Peace and War, as You approve
They close in Leagues, or to fierce Battele move.

And though the Pride of France has swell'd so high
A Warlike Empire's Forces to Defie,
To crush th' United Lands Confed'rate Pow'r,
And silence the loud Belgian Lion's Roar;
Yet let their Troops in Silent Triumph come
From Vanquisht Fields, and steal their Trophies Home,
Take care their Cannon at Just Distance Roar,
Nor with too near a Volley rouze our Shore;
Lest our disdaining Islanders Advance
With Courage taught long since to Conquer France,
Seizing at Once their Spoils of many a Year,
And Cheaply Win what they oft bought too Dear:
Their late Success but juster Fear affords,
For they are now grown Worthy of our Swords.

Howe're 'tmust be confest, the Gallick Pow'rs
Can ne're Engage on Equal Terms with Ours.
In Nature we have th' Odds, they Dread, we Scorn,
The English o're the French are Conq'rors Born.

The Terrour still of our Third Edward's Name
Rebukes their Pride, and Damps their tow'ring Fame;
Nor can the Tide of many rouling Years
Wash the stain'd Fields of Cressey and Poictiers.
A pointed Horrour strikes their Bosomes still,
When they survey that famous, fatall Hill,
Where Edward with his Host Spectator stood,
And left the Prince to make the Conquest good.
The Eagle thus from her fledg'd Young withdraws,
Trusts 'em t'engage whole Troops of Kites and Daws
Nor has the black Remembrance left their Brest
How our Fifth Harry to their Paris prest,
Whilst France wept Blood for their hot Dauphin's Jest.
We forc't their Cavalry their Foot t'ore-run,
As Tides withstood, bear their own Billows down:
Such was the Virtue of our Ancestours,
And such, on just Resentment, shall be Ours;
Our Temper'd Valour just Pretence requires,
As Flints are Struck, before they shew their Fires.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.