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HEROIC STANZAS,

CONSECRATED TO THE MEMORY OF HIS HIGHNESS

OLIVER,

LATE LORD PROTECTOR OF THIS COMMONWEALTH, &c.

WRITTEN AFTER THE CELEBRATING OF HIS FUNERAL

AND now 'tis time; for their officious haste

Who would before have borne him to the sky, Like eager Romans, ere all rites were past,

Did let too soon the sacred eagle fly.

Though our best notes are treason to his fame

Joined with the loud applause of public voice, Since Heaven what praise we offer to his name Hath rendered too authentic by its choice;

3
Though in his praise no arts can liberal be,

Since they, whose Muses have the highest flown,
Add not to his immortal memory,
But do an act of friendship to their own;

4
Yet 'tis our duty and our interest too

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.

How shall I then begin or where conclude

To draw a fame so truly circular ?
For in a round what order can be shewed,
Where all the parts so equal-perfect are i

His grandeur he derived from Heaven alone,

For he was great, ere Fortune made him so; And wars, like mists that rise against the sun, Made him but greater seem, not greater grow.

7 No borrowed bays his temples did adorn,

But to our crown he did fresh jewels bring; Nor was his virtue poisoned, soon as born,

With the too early thoughts of being king.

8

Fortune, that easy mistress of the young,

But to her ancient servants coy and hard, Him at that age her favourites ranked among

When she her best-loved Pompey did discard.

He, private, marked the faults of others' sway

And set as sea-marks for himself to shun; Not like rash monarchs, who their youth betray By acts their age too late would wish undone.

10 And yet dominion was not his design;

We owe that blessing not to him but Heaven, Which to fair acts unsought rewards did join,

Rewards that less to him than us were given.

II

Our former chiefs, like sticklers of the war,

First sought to inflame the parties, then to poise, The quarrel loved, but did the cause abhor,

And did not strike to hurt, but make a noise.

I 2

War, our consumption, was their gainful trade;

We inward bled, whilst they prolonged our pain ; He fought to end our fighting, and assayed

To stanch the blood by breathing of the vein.

13

Swift and resistless through the land he passed,

Like that bold Greek who did the East subdue,
And made to battles such heroic haste
As if on wings of victory he flew.

14
He fought, secure of fortune as of fame,

Till by new maps the Island might be shown Of conquests, which he strewed where'er he came, Thick as the galaxy with stars is sown.

15 His palms, though under weights they did not stand,

Still thrived; no winter could his laurels fade : Heaven in his portrait showed a workman's hand And drew it perfect, yet without a shade.

16 Peace was the prize of all his toil and care,

Which war had banished and did now restore: Bologna's walls thus mounted in the air

To seat themselves more surely than before.

17

Her safety rescued Ireland to him owes;

And treacherous Scotland, to no interest true, Yet blessed that fate which did his arms dispose Her land to civilize as to subdue.

18

Nor was he like those stars which only shine

When to pale mariners they storms portend;
He had his calmer influence, and his mien
Did love and majesty together blend.

19
'Tis true his countenance did imprint an awe

And naturally all souls to his did bow, As wands of divination downward draw

And point to beds where sovereign gold doth grow.

20

When, past all offerings to Feretrian Jove,

He Mars deposed and arms to gowns made yield,
Successful counsels did him soon approve
As fit for close intrigues as open field.

. 21
To suppliant Holland he vouchsafed a peace,

Our once bold rival in the British main, Now tamely glad her unjust claim to cease And buy our friendship with her idol, gain.

22 Fame of the asserted sea, through Europe blown,

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.

23 No sooner was the Frenchman's cause embraced

Than the light Monsieur the grave Don outweighed: His fortune turned the scale where'er 'twas cast,

Though Indian mines were in the other laid.

- 24

When absent, yet we conquered in his right:

For, though some meaner artist's skill were shown In mingling colours or in placing light,

Yet still the fair designment was his own.

25

For from all tempers he could service draw;

The worth of each with its alloy he knew;
And, as the confident of Nature, saw
How she complexions did divide and brew:

26
Or he their single virtues did survey

By intuition in his own large breast, Where all the rich ideas of them lay

That were the rule and measure to the rest.

27 When such heroic virtue Heaven sets out,

The stars, like Commons, sullenly obey, Because it drains them, when it comes about, And therefore is a tax they seldom pay.

28 From this high spring our foreign conquests flow

Which yet more glorious triumphs do portend, Since their commencement to his arms they owe,

If springs as high as fountains may ascend.

29

He made us freemen of the Continent

Whom nature did like captives treat before,
To nobler preys the English Lion sent,
And taught him first in Belgian walks to roar.

30
That old unquestioned pirate of the land,

Proud Rome, with dread the fate of Dunkirk heard, And trembling wished behind more Alps to stand, Although an Alexander were her guard.

31 By his command we boldly crossed the Line,

And bravely fought where southern stars arise ; We traced the far-fetched gold unto the mine, And that which bribed our fathers made our prize.

32 Such was our Prince, yet owned a soul above

The highest acts it could produce to show : Thus poor mechanic arts in public move, Whilst the deep secrets beyond practice go.

33 Nor died he when his ebbing fame went less,

But when fresh laurels courted him to live; He seemed but to prevent some new success,

As if above what triumphs earth could give.

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