Three Poems upon the death of the late Usurper Oliver Cromwell (1682)/Chapter 1
On the Late
Written after his FUNERAL.
ANd now 'tis time for their Officious hast,
Who would before have born him to the Sky,
Like eager Romans, e're all Rites were past,
Did let too soon the sacred Eagle fly.
Joyn'd with the loud applause of publick voice;
Since Heav'n, what praise we offer to his name,
Hath render'd too authentick by its choice:
Since they whose Muses have the highest flown,
Add not to his Immmortal Memory,
But do an Act of friendship to their own.
Such Monuments as we can build to raise;
Lest all the World prevent what we should do,
And claim a Title in him by their Praise.
To draw a Fame so truly Circular?
For in a round what order can be shew'd,
Where all the parts so equal perfect are?
For he was Great e're Fortune made him so;
And Wars, like mists that rise against the Sun,
Made him but greater seem not greater grow.
But to our Crown he did fresh Jewels bring,
Nor was his Vertue poysoned soon as born
With the two early thoughts of being King.
But to her ancient servants coy and hard)
Him at that age her favourites rank'd among
When she her best-lov'd Pompey did discard.
And set as Sea marks for himself to shun;
Not like rash who betray
By Acts their Age too late would wish undone.
We owe that blessing not to him but Heaven,
Which to fair Acts unsought Rewards did joyn,
that less to him than us were given
First sought t'inflame the Parties, then to poise;
The lov'd, but did the cause abhor,
And did not strike to hurt but make a noise.
VVe inward bled whilst they prolong'd our pain:
He fought to end our fighting, and assaid
To stanch the Blood by breathing of the vein.
Like that bold Greek who did the East subdue;
And made to such Heroick hast
As if on wings of Victory he flew
Till by new Maps the Island might be shown,
Of Conquests which he strew'd where e're he came,
Thick as the Galaxy with Stars is sown.
Still thriv'd; no Winter could his Laurels fade;
Heav'n in his Portraict shew'd a VVorkman's hand
And drew it perfect yet without a shade.
VVhich VVar had banifh't, and did now restore;
Bolognia's VVall thus mounted in the Air,
To Seat themselves more surely than before.
And Treacherous Scotland to no int'rest true,
Yet blest that fate which did his Arms dispose,
Her Land to Civilize as to subdue.
When to pale Mariners they storms portend,
He had his calmer influence; and his Mine
Did Love and Majesty together blend.
And naturally all Souls to his did bow;
As Wands of Divination downward draw,
And point to Beds where Sov'raign Gold doth grow.
He Mars despos'd, and Arms to Gowns made yield,
Successful Councels did him soon approve
As fit for close Intrigues, as open field.
Our once bold Rival in the British Main,
Now tamely glad her unjust claim to cease,
And buy our Friendship with her Idol gain.
Made France and Spain ambitious of his Love;
Each knew that side must conquer he would own,
And for him fiercely as for Empire strove.
Than the light Mounsire the grave Don outweigh'd,
His fortune turn'd the Scale where it was cast,
Though Indian Mines were in the other laid.
For though some meaner Artist's Skill were shown,
In mingling colours, or in placing light,
Yet still the fair designment was his own.
The worth of each with its allay he knew;
And as the Confident of Nature, saw
How she Complexions did divide and brew.
By intuition in his own large Breast,
Where all the rich Ideas of them lay,
That were the Rule and measure to the rest.
The Stars like Commons sullenly obey;
Because it drains them when it comes about,
And therefore is a Tax they seldom pay.
Which yet more glorious triumphs do portend.
Since their Commencement to his Arms they owe,
If Springs as high as Fountains may ascend.
Whom Nature did like Captives treat before,
To nobler prey's the English Lyon sent,
And taught him first in Belgian walks to rore.
Proud Rome, with dread, the fate of Dunkirk har'd;
And trembling wish't behind more Alpes to stand,
Although an Alxander were her guard.
And bravely fought where Southern Stars arise,
We trac'd the far fetch'd Gold unto the Mine,
And that which brib'd our Fathers made our prize.
The highest Acts it could produce to show:
Thus poor Mechanique Arts in publick move
Whilst the deep Secrets beyond practice go.
But when fresh Lawrels courted him to live;
He seem'd but to prevent some new success;
As if above what triumphs Earth can give.
As, near the Center, Motion does increase;
Till he press'd down by his own weighty name,
Did, like the Vestal, under Spoils decease.
That Giant Prince of all her watery Heard,
And th' Isle when her Protecting Genius went
Upon his Obsequies loud sighs confer'd.
But Faction now by habit does obey:
And Wars have that respect for his repose,
As Winds for Halcyons when they breed at Sea.
His Name a great example stands to show
How strangely high endeavours may be blest,
Where Piety and Valour joyntly go.