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The country open lay without defence ;
For poets frequent inroads there had made,
And perfectly could represent
The shape, the face, with every lineament,
And all the large demains * which the dumb Sister swayed ;
All bowed beneath her government,
Received in triumph wheresoe'er she went.
(Her pencil drew whate'er her soul designed,
And oft the happy draught surpassed the image in her mind.
The sylvan scenes of herds and flocks
And fruitful plains and barren rocks;
Of shallow brooks that flowed so clear,
The bottom did the top appear ;
Of deeper too and ampler floods
Which, as in mirrors, showed the woods ;
Of lofty trees, with sacred shades
And perspectives of pleasant glades,
Where nymphs of brightest form appear,
And shaggy satyrs standing near,
Which them at once admire and fear,
The ruins too of some majestic piece,
Boasting the power of ancient Rome or Greece,
Whose statues, friezes, columns, broken lie,
And, though defaced, the wonder of the eye ;
What nature, art, bold fiction, e'er durst frame,
Her forming hand gave feature to the name. +
So strange a concourse ne'er was seen before,
But when the peopled ark the whole creation bore.
The scene then changed ; with bold erected look
Our martial King the sight with reverence strook :
For, not content to express his outward part,
Her hand called out the image of his heart :
His warlike mind, his soul devoid of fear,
His high-designing thoughts were figured there,
As when by magic ghosts are made appear.
Our phonix queen was portrayed too so bright,
Beauty alone could beauty take so right :
Her dress, her shape, her matchless grace,
Were all observed, as well as heavenly face.
With such a peerless majesty she stands,
As in that day she took the crown from sacred hands;
* Dryden's spelling, demains, is here preserved. + In the original edition this line stood :
“Her forming hand gave shape unto the name.” It was altered in the republication of 1694 to what is printed above.
Mrs. Killigrew painted James II. ; rye stood in the first edition instead of sight, substituted in 1694.
Before a train of heroines was seen,
In beauty foremost, as in rank the queen. *
Thus nothing to her genius was denied,
But like a ball of fire, the farther thrown,
Still with a greater blaze she shone,
And her bright soul broke out on every side.
| What next she had designed, Heaven only knows :
To such immoderate growth her conquest rose
That Fate alone its progress could oppose.
Now all those charms, that blooming grace,
The well-proportioned shape and beautious face,
Shall never more be seen by mortal eyes ;
In earth the much-lamented virgin lies.
Not wit nor piety could Fate prevent ;
Nor was the cruel Destiny content
To finish all the murder at a blow,
To sweep at once her life and beauty too;
But, like a hardened felon, took a pride
To work more mischievously slow,
And plundered first, and then destroyed.
O double sacrilege on things divine,
To rob the relic, and deface the shrine !
But thus Orinda t died :
Heaven by the same disease did both translate ;
As equal were their souls, so equal was their fate.
Mean time, her warlike brother on the seas
His waving streamers to the winds displays,
And vows for his return with vain devotion pays.
Ah, generous youth ! that wish forbear,
The winds too soon will waft thee here!
Slack all thy sails, and fear to come ;
Alas ! thou knowst not, thou art wrecked at home.
No more shalt thou behold thy sister's face,
Thou hast already had her last embrace.
But look alost, and if thou kenst from far,
Among the Pleiads, a new-kindled star,
If any sparkles than the rest more bright,
'Tis she that shines in that propitious light.
* This passage was considerably altered in 1694 from the first edition, where it stood :
“As in that day she took from sacred hands
The crown, 'mong numerous heroines was seen
More yet in beauty than in rank the queen." + Orinda ; the name given to Katharine Philips, a poetess, who died of small-pox in 1664, in her thirty-third year. Her poems were published in 1667, with the title, “Poems by the most deservedly admired Mrs. Katharine Philips, the matchless Orinda ;" and Anne Killigrew wrote some verses in her honour.
When in mid-air the golden trump shall sound,
To raise the nations under ground;
When in the Valley of Jehosophat
The judging God shall close the book of Fate,
And there the last assizes keep
For those who wake and those who sleep ;
When rattling bones together fly
From the four corners of the sky;
When sinews o'er the skeletons are spread,
Those clothed with flesh, and life inspires the dead ;
The sacred poets first shall hear the sound,
And foremost from the tomb shall bound,
For they are covered with the lightest ground;
And straight, with inborn vigour, on the wing,
Like mounting larks, to the new morning sing.
There thou, sweet saint, before the quire shalt go,
As harbinger of Heaven, the way to show,
The way which thou so well hast learned below.
UPON THE DEATH OF THE VISCOUNT OF DUNDEE*
Oh last and best of Scots ! who didst maintain
Thy country's freedom from a foreign reign ;
New people fill the land, now thou art gone,
New gods the temples, and new kings the throne.
Scotland and thou did each in other live,
Nor wouldst thou her, nor could she thee survive.
Farewell! who dying didst support the State,
And couldst not fall but with thy country's fate.
* This is a free translation by Dryden of a Latin epitaph on the famous Claverhouse by Dr. Pitcairn. John Graham of Claverhouse, made Viscount Dundee in 1688, was killed in 1689, fighting for James II. at Killicrankie, and in the moment of achieving victory over General Mackay's force. The death of Dundee was the ruin of James's cause in Scotland. The following is the original Latin epitaph :- .
“Ultime Scotorum ! Potuit, quo sospite solo,
Libertas patriæ salva fuisse tuæ :
Te moriente novos accepit Scotia cives,
Accepitque novos, te moriente, Deos.
Illa tibi superesse negat, tu non potes illi,
Ergo Caledoniæ nomen inane, vale !
Tuque vale, gentis priscæ fortissime ductor,
Ultime Scotorum, atque ultime Grahme, vale !"
EPITAPH ON THE LADY WHITMORE.*
FAIR, kind, and true, a treasure each alone,
A wife, a mistress, and a friend ir: 09:2,
Rest in this tomb, raised at thy husband's cost,
Here sadly summing what he had, and lost.
Come, virgins, ere in equal bands ye join,
Come first and offer at her sacred shrine ;
Pray but for half the virtues of this wife,
Compound for all the rest with longer life;
And wish your vows, like hers, may be returned,
So loved when living, and when dead so mourned.
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE COUNTESS OF
" Superas evadere ad auras,
Hoc opus, hic labor est. Pauci quos æquus amavit
Jupiter, aut ardens evexit ad æthera virtus,
Diis geniti potuere."
Virg. Æn, vi. 128.