Main Text

pg 329

Title page for Gotham. Book III (type-facsimile). The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. G. Pamph. 123 (7) or (OC) 280 I. 180 (6)

Title page for Gotham. Book III (type-facsimile). The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. G. Pamph. 123 (7) or (OC) 280 I. 180 (6)

pg 330

pg 331GOTHAMBOOK III.

  • Editor’s Note1Can the fond Mother from herself depart,
  • 2Can she forget the darling of her heart,
  • 3The little darling whom she bore and bred,
  • 4Nurs'd on her knees, and at her bosom fed?
  • 5To whom, she seem'd her ev'ry thought to give,
  • 6And in whose life alone, she seem'd to live?
  • 7Yes, from herself, the mother may depart,
  • 8She may forget the darling of her heart,
  • 9The little darling, whom she bore and bred,
  • 10Nurs'd on her knees, and at her bosom fed,
  • 11To whom she seem'd her ev'ry thought to give,
  • 12And in whose life alone, she seem'd to live;
  • 13But I cannot forget, whilst life remains,
  • 14And pours her current thro' these swelling veins,
  • 15Whilst Mem'ry offers up at Reason's shrine,
  • 16But I cannot forget, that Gotham's mine.
  • Editor’s Note17  Can the stern Mother, than the brutes more wild,
  • 18From her disnatur'd breast, tear her young child,
  • 19Flesh of her flesh, and of her bone the bone,
  • 20And dash the smiling babe against a stone?
  • 21Yes, the stern Mother, than the brutes more wild,
  • 22From her disnatur'd breast, may tear her child;
  • 23Flesh of her flesh, and of her bone the bone,
  • 24And dash the smiling babe against a stone;
  • 25But I, forbid it Heav'n, but I can ne'er
  • 26The love of Gotham, from this bosom tear,
  • 27Can ne'er so far true Royalty pervert
  • 28From its fair course, to do my people hurt.
  • 29  With how much ease, with how much confidence,
  • 30As if, superior to each grosser sense,
  • 31Reason had only, in full pow'r array'd,
  • 32To manifest her Will, and be obey'd,
  • pg 33233Men make resolves, and pass into decrees
  • 34The motions of the Mind! with how much ease
  • 35In such resolves, doth passion make a flaw,
  • Critical Apparatus36And bring to nothing, what was rais'd to law.
  • 37  In empire young, scarce warm on Gotham's throne,
  • 38The dangers, and the sweets of pow'r, unknown,
  • 39Pleas'd, tho' I scarce know why, like some young child,
  • 40Whose little senses each new toy turns wild,
  • 41How do I hold sweet dalliance with my crown,
  • 42And wanton with dominion, how lay down,
  • 43Without the sanction of a precedent,
  • 44Rules of most large and absolute extent;
  • 45Rules, which from sense of public virtue spring,
  • 46And, all at once, commence a Patriot King.
  • 47  But, for the day of tryal is at hand,
  • 48And the whole fortunes of a mighty land
  • 49Are stak'd on me, and all their Weal or Woe
  • 50Must from my Good, or Evil Conduct flow,
  • 51Will I, or can I, on a fair review,
  • 52As I assume that name, deserve it too?
  • 53Have I well weigh'd the great, the noble part
  • 54I'm now to play? Have I explor'd my Heart,
  • 55That labyrinth of fraud, that deep, dark cell,
  • 56Where, unsuspected e'en by me, may dwell
  • 57Ten thousand follies? Have I found out there
  • 58What I am fit to do, and what to bear?
  • 59Have I trac'd ev'ry passion to its rise,
  • 60Nor spar'd one lurking seed of treach'rous vice?
  • Critical Apparatus61Have I, familiar with my nature grown,
  • 62And am I fairly to myself made known?
  • 63  A Patriot King—Why 'tis a name which bears
  • 64The more immediate stamp of Heav'n, which wears
  • 65The nearest, best resemblance we can shew
  • 66Of God above, thro' all his works below.
  • 67  To still the voice of discord in the land,
  • 68To make weak faction's discontented band,
  • pg 33369Detected, weak, and crumbling to decay,
  • 70With hunger pinch'd, on their own vitals prey;
  • 71Like brethren, in the self-same int'rests warm'd,
  • 72Like diff'rent bodies, with one soul inform'd,
  • 73To make a nation, nobly rais'd above
  • 74All meaner thoughts, grow up in common love;
  • 75To give the laws due vigour, and to hold
  • 76That sacred ballance, temperate, yet bold,
  • 77With such an equal hand, that those who fear
  • 78May yet approve, and own my justice clear;
  • 79To be a Common Father, to secure
  • 80The weak from violence, from pride the poor;
  • 81Vice, and her sons, to banish in disgrace,
  • 82To make Corruption dread to shew her face,
  • 83To bid afflicted Virtue take new state,
  • 84And be, at last, acquainted with the great;
  • 85Of all Religions to elect the best,
  • 86Nor let her priests be made a standing jest;
  • 87Rewards for Worth, with lib'ral hand to carve,
  • 88To love the Arts, nor let the Artists starve;
  • 89To make fair Plenty through the realm increase,
  • 90Give Fame in War, and happiness in Peace,
  • 91To see my people virtuous, great and free,
  • 92And know that all those blessings flow from me,
  • 93O 'tis a joy too exquisite, a thought
  • 94Which flatters Nature more than flatt'ry ought.
  • 95'Tis a great, glorious task, for Man too hard,
  • 96But not less great, less glorious the reward,
  • 97The best reward which here to Man is giv'n,
  • 98'Tis more than Earth, and little short of Heav'n;
  • 99A task (if such comparison may be)
  • 100The same in nature, diff'ring in degree,
  • 101Like that which God, on whom for aid I call,
  • 102Performs with ease, and yet performs to all.
  • 103  How much do they mistake, how little know
  • 104Of kings, of kingdoms, and the pains which flow
  • 105From royalty, who fancy that a crown
  • 106Because it glistens, must be lin'd with down.
  • pg 334107With outside show, and vain appearance caught
  • 108They look no farther, and, by Folly taught,
  • 109Prize high the toys of thrones, but never find
  • 110One of the many cares which lurk behind.
  • 111The gem they worship, which a crown adorns,
  • 112Nor once suspect that crown is lin'd with thorns.
  • 113O might Reflection Folly's place supply,
  • 114Would we one moment use her piercing eye,
  • 115Then should we learn what woe from grandeur springs,
  • 116And learn to pity, not to envy kings.
  • 117  The villager, born humbly and bred hard,
  • 118Content his wealth, and Poverty his guard,
  • 119In action simply just, in conscience clear,
  • 120By guilt untainted, undisturb'd by fear,
  • 121His means but scanty, and his wants but few,
  • 122Labour his business and his pleasure too,
  • 123Enjoys more comforts in a single hour,
  • 124Than ages give the Wretch condemn'd to Pow'r.
  • 125  Call'd up by health, he rises with the day,
  • 126And goes to work, as if he went to play,
  • 127Whistling off toils, one half of which might make
  • 128The stoutest Atlas of a palace quake;
  • 129'Gainst heat and cold, which make us cowards faint,
  • 130Harden'd by constant use, without complaint
  • 131He bears, what we should think it death to bear;
  • 132Short are his meals, and homely is his fare;
  • 133His thirst he slakes at some pure neighb'ring brook,
  • 134Nor asks for sauce where appetite stands cook.
  • 135When the dews fall and when the Sun retires
  • 136Behind the Mountains, when the village fires,
  • 137Which, waken'd all at once, speak supper nigh,
  • 138At distance catch, and fix his longing eye,
  • 139Homeward he hies, and with his manly brood
  • 140Of raw-bon'd cubs, enjoys that clean, coarse food,
  • 141Which, season'd with Good Humour, his fond Bride
  • 142'Gainst his return is happy to provide.
  • 143Then, free from care, and free from thought, he creeps
  • 144Into his straw, and till the morning sleeps.
  • pg 335145Not so the King—with anxious cares oppress'd,
  • 146His bosom labours, and admits not rest.
  • 147A glorious Wretch, he sweats beneath the Weight
  • 148Of Majesty, and gives up ease for state.
  • 149E'en when his smiles, which, by the fools of pride,
  • 150Are treasur'd and preserv'd, from side to side
  • 151Fly round the court, e'en when, compell'd by form,
  • 152He seems most calm, his soul is in a storm!
  • 153Care, like a spectre, seen by him alone,
  • 154With all her nest of vipers, round his throne
  • 155By day crawls full in view; when Night bids sleep,
  • 156Sweet nurse of Nature, o'er the senses creep,
  • 157When Misery herself, no more complains,
  • 158And slaves, if possible, forget their chains,
  • 159Tho' his sense weakens, tho' his eye grows dim,
  • 160That rest which comes to all, comes not to him.
  • 161E'en at that hour, Care, tyrant Care, forbids
  • 162The dew of sleep to fall upon his lids;
  • 163From night to night she watches at his bed;
  • 164Now, as one mop'd, sits brooding o'er his head,
  • 165Anon she starts, and, borne on raven's wings,
  • 166Croaks forth aloud—Sleep was not made for kings.
  • 167  Thrice hath the Moon, who governs this vast ball,
  • 168Who rules most absolute o'er me, and all,
  • 169To whom, by full conviction taught to bow,
  • 170At new, at full I pay the duteous vow,
  • 171Thrice hath the Moon her wonted course pursu'd,
  • 172Thrice hath she lost her form, and thrice renew'd
  • 173Since (blessed be that season, for before
  • 174I was a mere, mere mortal, and no more,
  • 175One of the herd, a lump of common clay,
  • 176Inform'd with life, to die and pass away)
  • 177Since I became a king, and Gotham's throne,
  • 178With full and ample pow'r, became my own;
  • 179Thrice hath the Moon her wonted course pursu'd,
  • 180Thrice hath she lost her form, and thrice renew'd,
  • 181Since Sleep, kind Sleep, who like a friend supplies
  • 182New vigour for new toil, hath clos'd these eyes.
  • pg 336183Nor, if my toils are answer'd with success,
  • 184And I am made an instrument to bless
  • 185The people whom I love, shall I repine;
  • 186Theirs be the benefit, the labour mine.
  • 187  Mindful of that high rank in which I stand,
  • 188Of millions Lord, sole ruler in the land,
  • 189Let me, and Reason shall her aid afford,
  • 190Rule my own spirit, of myself be lord.
  • 191With an ill grace that monarch wears his crown,
  • 192Who, stern and hard of nature, wears a frown
  • 193'Gainst faults in other men, yet all the while,
  • 194Meets his own vices with a partial smile.
  • 195How can a king (yet on record we find
  • 196Such kings have been, such curses of mankind)
  • 197Enforce that law, 'gainst some poor subject elf,
  • 198Which Conscience tells him he hath broke himself?
  • 199Can he some petty rogue to Justice call
  • 200For robbing one, when he himself robs all?
  • 201Must not, unless extinguish'd, Conscience fly
  • 202Into his cheek, and blast his fading eye,
  • 203To scourge th' oppressor, when the State, distress'd
  • 204And sunk to ruin, is by him oppress'd?
  • 205Against himself doth he not sentence give?
  • 206If one must die, t'other's not fit to live.
  • 207  Weak is that throne, and in itself unsound
  • 208Which takes not solid virtue for its ground.
  • 209All envy pow'r in others, and complain
  • 210Of that which they would perish to obtain.
  • 211Nor can those spirits, turbulent and bold,
  • 212Not to be aw'd by threats, nor bought with gold,
  • 213Be hush'd to peace, but when fair, legal sway,
  • 214Makes it their real int'rest to obey,
  • 215When kings, and none but fools can then rebel,
  • 216Not less in Virtue, than in Pow'r excell.
  • 217  Be that my object, that my constant care,
  • 218And may my Soul's best Wishes centre there.
  • 219Be it my task to seek, nor seek in vain,
  • 220Not only how to live, but how to reign,
  • pg 337221And, to those Virtues which from Reason spring,
  • 222And grace the Man, join those which grace the King.
  • 223  First (for strict duty bids my care extend,
  • 224And reach to all, who on that care depend,
  • 225Bids me with servants keep a steady hand,
  • 226And watch o'er all my proxies in the land)
  • 227First (and that method Reason shall support)
  • 228Before I look into, and purge my Court,
  • 229Before I cleanse the stable of the state,
  • 230Let me fix things which to myself relate.
  • 231That done, and all accounts well settled here,
  • 232In Resolution firm, in Honour clear,
  • 233Tremble ye Slaves, who dare abuse your trust,
  • 234Who dare be Villains, when your King is Just.
  • 235  Are there, amongst those officers of State,
  • 236To whom our sacred pow'r we delegate,
  • 237Who hold our Place and Office in the Realm,
  • 238Who, in our name commission'd, guide the Helm,
  • 239Are there, who, trusting to our love of ease,
  • Critical Apparatus240Oppress our subjects, wrest out just decrees,
  • 241And make the laws, warp'd from their fair intent,
  • 242To speak a language which they never meant,
  • 243Are there such Men, and can the fools depend
  • 244On holding out in safety to their end?
  • 245Can they so much, from thoughts of danger free,
  • 246Deceive themselves, so much misdeem of me,
  • 247To think that I will prove a Statesman's tool,
  • 248And live a stranger where I ought to rule?
  • 249What, to myself and to my State unjust,
  • 250Shall I from ministers take things on trust,
  • 251And, sinking low the credit of my throne,
  • 252Depend upon dependants of my own?
  • 253Shall I, most certain source of future cares,
  • 254Not use my Judgment, but depend on their's,
  • 255Shall I, true puppet-like, be mock'd with State,
  • 256Have nothing but the Name of being great,
  • pg 338257Attend at councils, which I must not weigh,
  • 258Do, what they bid, and what they dictate, say,
  • 259Enrob'd, and hoisted up into my chair,
  • 260Only to be a royal Cypher there?
  • 261Perish the thought—'tis Treason to my throne—
  • 262And who but thinks it, could his thoughts be known,
  • 263Insults me more, than He, who, leagu'd with hell,
  • 264Shall rise in arms, and 'gainst my crown rebell.
  • 265  The wicked Statesman, whose false heart pursues
  • 266A train of Guilt, who acts with double views,
  • 267And wears a double face, whose base designs
  • 268Strike at his Monarch's throne, who undermines
  • 269E'en whilst he seems his wishes to support,
  • 270Who seizes all departments, packs a court,
  • 271Maintains an agent on the Judgment Seat
  • 272To screen his crimes, and make his frauds complete,
  • 273New models armies, and around the throne
  • 274Will suffer none but creatures of his own,
  • 275Conscious of such his baseness, well may try
  • 276Against the light to shut his master's eye,
  • 277To keep him coop'd, and far remov'd from those,
  • 278Who, brave and honest, dare his crimes disclose,
  • 279Nor ever let him in one place appear,
  • 280Where Truth, unwelcome Truth, may wound his Ear.
  • 281  Attempts like these, well weigh'd, themselves proclaim,
  • 282And, whilst they publish, baulk their Author's aim.
  • 283Kings must be blind, into such snares to run,
  • 284Or worse, with open eyes must be undone.
  • 285The minister of Honesty and Worth,
  • 286Demands the Day to bring his actions forth,
  • 287Calls on the Sun to shine with fiercer rays
  • 288And braves that trial which must end in praise.
  • 289None fly the Day, and seek the shades of Night,
  • 290But those whose actions cannot bear the Light;
  • 291None wish their King in Ignorance to hold,
  • 292But those who feel that knowledge must unfold
  • 293Their hidden Guilt, and, that dark mist dispell'd
  • 294By which their places and their lives are held,
  • pg 339295Confusion wait them, and, by Justice led,
  • 296In vengeance fall on ev'ry traitor's head.
  • 297  Aware of this, and caution'd 'gainst the pit
  • 298Where Kings have oft been lost, shall I submit
  • 299And rust in chains like these? Shall I give way,
  • 300And whilst my helpless subjects fall a prey
  • 301To pow'r abus'd, in Ignorance sit down,
  • 302Nor dare assert the honour of my crown?
  • 303When stern Rebellion, (if that odious name
  • 304Justly belongs to those, whose only aim
  • 305Is to preserve their Country, who oppose
  • 306In honour leagu'd, none but their Country's foes,
  • 307Who only seek their own, and found their Cause
  • 308In due regard for violated laws,)
  • 309When stern Rebellion, who no longer feels,
  • 310Nor fears Rebuke, a nation at her heels,
  • 311A nation up in arms, tho' strong not proud,
  • 312Knocks at the Palace gate, and, calling loud
  • 313For due redress, presents, from Truth's fair pen,
  • 314A list of wrongs, not to be borne by men,
  • 315How must that King be humbled, how disgrace
  • 316All that is royal, in his name and place,
  • 317Who, thus call'd forth to answer, can advance
  • 318No other plea but that of Ignorance.
  • 319A vile defence, which, was his All at stake,
  • 320The meanest subject well might blush to make;
  • 321A filthy source, from whence Shame ever springs;
  • 322A Stain to all, but most a Stain to Kings.
  • 323The Soul, with great and manly feelings warm'd,
  • 324Panting for Knowledge, rests not till inform'd,
  • 325And shall not I, fir'd with the glorious zeal,
  • 326Feel those brave passions, which my subjects feel,
  • 327Or can a just excuse from Ign'rance flow
  • 328To Me, whose first, great duty is—To Know.
  • 329  Hence Ignorance—thy settled, dull, blank eye
  • 330Wou'd hurt me, tho' I knew no reason why—
  • 331Hence Ignorance—thy slavish shackles bind
  • 332The free-born Soul, and lethargy the mind—
  • pg 340333Of thee, begot by PRIDE, who look'd with scorn
  • 334On ev'ry meaner match, of thee was born
  • 335That grave Inflexibility of Soul,
  • 336Which Reason can't convince, nor Fear controul,
  • 337Which neither arguments, nor pray'rs can reach,
  • 338And nothing less than utter Ruin teach—
  • 339Hence Ignorance—hence to that depth of Night,
  • 340Where thou wast born, where not one gleam of light
  • 341May wound thine eye—hence to some dreary cell
  • 342Where Monks with Superstition love to dwell,
  • 343Or in some college soothe thy lazy pride,
  • 344And with the Heads of colleges reside,
  • 345Fit mate for Royalty thou can'st not be,
  • 346And if no mate for kings, no mate for me.
  • 347  Come Study, like a torrent swell'd with rains,
  • 348Which, rushing down the mountains, o'er the plains
  • 349Spreads horror wide, and yet, in horror kind,
  • 350Leaves seeds of future fruitfulness behind,
  • 351Come Study—painful tho' thy course and slow,
  • 352Thy real worth by thy effects we know—
  • 353Parent of Knowledge, come—not Thee I call,
  • 354Who, grave and dull, in college or in hall,
  • 355Dost sit, all solemn sad, and moping weigh
  • 356Things, which when found, thy labours can't repay—
  • 357Nor, in one hand, fit emblem of thy trade,
  • 358A Rod, in t'other, gaudily array'd
  • 359A Hornbook, gilt and letter'd, call I Thee,
  • 360Who dost in form preside o'er A, B, C—
  • 361Nor, Siren tho' thou art, and thy strange charms,
  • 362As 'twere by magic, lure men to thy arms,
  • 363Do I call Thee, who thro' a winding maze,
  • 364A labyrinth of puzzling, pleasing ways,
  • 365Dost lead us at the last to those rich plains,
  • 366Where, in full glory, real Science reigns.
  • 367  Fair tho' thou art, and lovely to mine eye,
  • 368Tho' full rewards in thy possession lie
  • 369To crown Man's wish, and do thy fav'rites grace,
  • 370Tho' (was I station'd in an humbler place,)
  • pg 341371I could be ever happy in thy sight,
  • 372Toil with thee all the day, and thro' the night
  • 373Toil on from watch to watch, bidding my eye,
  • 374Fast riveted on Science, sleep defy,
  • 375Yet, (such the hardships which from empire flow)
  • 376Must I thy sweet society forego,
  • 377And to some happy rival's arms resign
  • 378Those charms, which can alas! no more be mine.
  • 379  No more, from hour to hour, from day to day,
  • 380Shall I pursue thy steps, and urge my way
  • 381Where eager love of SCIENCE calls, no more
  • 382Attempt those paths which Man ne'er trod before.
  • 383No more, the mountain scal'd, the desart crost,
  • 384Losing myself, nor knowing I was lost,
  • 385Travel thro' woods, thro' wilds, from Morn to Night,
  • 386From Night to Morn, yet travel with delight,
  • 387And having found thee, lay me down content,
  • 388Own all my toil well paid, my time well spent.
  • 389  Farewell ye Muses too—for such mean things
  • 390Must not presume to dwell with mighty Kings—
  • 391Farewell ye Muses—tho' it cuts my heart
  • 392E'en to the quick, we must for ever part.
  • 393  When the fresh Morn bade lusty Nature wake;
  • 394When the Birds, sweetly twitt'ring thro' the brake,
  • 395Tun'd their soft pipes; when from the neighb'ring bloom,
  • 396Sipping the dew, each Zephyr stole perfume;
  • 397When all things with new vigour were inspir'd,
  • 398And seem'd to say they never could be tir'd;
  • 399How often have we stray'd, whilst sportive Rhime
  • 400Deceiv'd the way, and clipp'd the wings of Time,
  • 401O'er hill, o'er dale! how often laugh'd to see,
  • 402Yourselves made visible to none but me,
  • 403The clown, his Work suspended, gape and stare,
  • 404And seem to think that I convers'd with Air!
  • 405  When the Sun, beating on the parched soil,
  • 406Seem'd to proclaim an interval of toil,
  • pg 342407When a faint languour crept thro' ev'ry breast,
  • 408And things most us'd to labour, wish'd for rest,
  • 409How often, underneath a rev'rend oak,
  • 410Where safe, and fearless of the impious stroke
  • 411Some sacred Dryad liv'd, or in some grove,
  • 412Where with capricious fingers Fancy wove
  • 413Her fairy bow'r, whilst Nature all the while
  • 414Look'd on, and view'd her mock'ries with a smile,
  • Critical Apparatus415How we held converse sweet! how often laid,
  • Editor’s Note416Fast by the Thames, in Ham's inspiring shade,
  • 417Amongst those Poets, which make up your train,
  • 418And, after death, pour forth the sacred Strain,
  • Editor’s Note419Have I, at your command, in verse grown grey,
  • 420But not impair'd, heard Dryden tune that lay,
  • 421Which might have drawn an Angel from his sphere,
  • Editor’s Note422And kept him from his office list'ning here.
  • 423  When dreary Night, with Morpheus in her train,
  • 424Led on by Silence to resume her reign,
  • 425With Darkness covering, as with a robe,
  • 426This scene of Levity, blank'd half the globe,
  • 427How oft', enchanted with your heav'nly strains,
  • 428Which stole me from myself, which in soft chains
  • 429Of Musick bound my soul, how oft' have I,
  • 430Sounds more than human floating thro' the Sky,
  • 431Attentive sat, whilst Night, against her Will,
  • 432Transported with the harmony, stood still!
  • 433How oft' in raptures, which Man scarce could bear,
  • 434Have I, when gone, still thought the Muses there,
  • 435Still heard their Music, and, as mute as death,
  • 436Sat all attention, drew in ev'ry Breath,
  • 437Lest, breathing all too rudely, I should wound,
  • 438And marr that magic excellence of sound:
  • 439Then, Sense returning with return of Day,
  • 440Have chid the Night, which fled so fast away.
  • 441  Such my Pursuits, and such my Joys of yore,
  • 442Such were my Mates, but now my Mates no more.
  • pg 343443Plac'd out of Envy's walk, (for Envy sure
  • 444Would never haunt the cottage of the Poor,
  • 445Would never stoop to wound my homespun lays)
  • Critical Apparatus446With some few Friends, and some small share of Praise,
  • 447Beneath Oppression, undisturb'd by Strife,
  • 448In Peace I trod the humble vale of Life.
  • 449Farewell these scenes of ease, this tranquil state;
  • 450Welcome the troubles which on Empire wait.
  • 451Light toys from this day forth I disavow,
  • 452They pleas'd me once, but cannot suit me now;
  • 453To common Men all common things are free,
  • 454What honours them might fix disgrace on me.
  • 455Call'd to a throne, and o'er a mighty land
  • 456Ordain'd to rule, my head, my heart, my hand
  • 457Are all engross'd, each private view withstood,
  • 458And task'd to labour for the Public Good;
  • 459Be this my study, to this one great end
  • 460May ev'ry thought, may ev'ry action tend.
  • 461  Let me the page of History turn o'er,
  • 462Th' instructive page, and heedfully explore
  • 463What faithful pens of former times have wrote
  • 464Of former kings; what they did worthy note,
  • 465What worthy blame, and from the sacred tomb
  • 466Where righteous Monarchs sleep, where laurels bloom
  • 467Unhurt by Time, let me a garland twine,
  • 468Which, robbing not their Fame, may add to mine.
  • 469  Nor let me with a vain and idle eye
  • 470Glance o'er those scenes, and in a hurry fly
  • 471Quick as a Post which travels day and night,
  • 472Nor let me dwell there, lur'd by false delight,
  • 473And, into barren theory betray'd,
  • 474Forget that Monarchs are for action made.
  • 475When am'rous SPRING, repairing all his charms,
  • 476Calls Nature forth from hoary Winter's arms,
  • 477Where, like a Virgin to some letcher sold,
  • 478Three wretched months, she lay benumb'd, and cold;
  • 479When the weak Flow'r, which, shrinking from the breath
  • 480Of the rude North, and, timorous of Death,
  • pg 344481To its kind Mother Earth for shelter fled,
  • 482And on her bosom hid its tender head,
  • 483Peeps forth afresh, and, chear'd by milder skies,
  • 484Bids in full splendour all her beauties rise;
  • 485The Hive is up in arms—expert to teach,
  • 486Nor, proudly, to be taught unwilling, each
  • 487Seems from her fellow a new zeal to catch;
  • 488Strength in her limbs, and on her wings dispatch,
  • 489The BEE goes forth; from herb to herb she flies,
  • 490From Flow'r to Flow'r, and loads her lab'ring thighs
  • 491With treasur'd sweets, robbing those Flow'rs, which left,
  • 492Find not themselves made poorer by the theft,
  • 493Their scents as lively, and their looks as fair,
  • 494As if the pillager had not been there.
  • 495Ne'er doth she flit on Pleasure's silken Wing,
  • 496Ne'er doth she, loit'ring, let the bloom of Spring
  • 497Unrifled pass, and on the downy breast
  • 498Of some fair Flow'r indulge untimely rest.
  • 499Ne'er doth she, drinking deep of those rich dews
  • 500Which Chymist Night prepar'd, that faith abuse
  • 501Due to the hive, and, selfish in her toils,
  • 502To her own private use convert the spoils.
  • 503Love of the Stock first call'd her forth to roam,
  • 504And to the Stock she brings her booty Home.
  • 505  Be this my Pattern—As becomes a King,
  • 506Let me fly all abroad on Reason's wing,
  • 507Let mine eye, like the Light'ning, thro' the Earth
  • 508Run to and fro, nor let one deed of Worth,
  • 509In any Place and Time, nor let one Man
  • 510Whose actions may enrich Dominion's plan,
  • 511Escape my Note; be all, from the first day
  • 512Of Nature to this hour, be all my prey.
  • 513From those, whom Time at the desire of Fame
  • 514Hath spar'd, let Virtue catch an equal flame;
  • 515From those, who not in mercy, but in rage,
  • 516Time hath repriev'd to damn from age to age,
  • 517Let me take warning, lesson'd to distill,
  • 518And, imitating Heav'n, draw Good from Ill.
  • pg 345519Nor let these great researches in my breast
  • 520A monument of useless labour rest,
  • 521No—let them spread—th' effects let GOTHAM share
  • 522And reap the harvest of their Monarch's care,
  • 523Be other Times, and other Countries known,
  • 524Only to give fresh Blessings to my own.
  • 525  Let me (and may that God to whom I fly,
  • 526On whom for needful succour I rely
  • 527In this great Hour, that glorious God of Truth,
  • 528Thro' whom I reign, in mercy to my youth,
  • 529Assist my weakness, and direct me right,
  • 530From ev'ry speck which hangs upon the Sight,
  • 531Purge my mind's eye, nor let one cloud remain
  • 532To spread the shades of error o'er my Brain)
  • 533Let me, Impartial, with unweary'd thought,
  • 534Try Men and Things; let me, as Monarchs ought,
  • 535Examine well on what my Pow'r depends,
  • 536What are the gen'ral Principles, and Ends
  • 537Of Government, how Empire first began,
  • 538And wherefore Man was rais'd to reign o'er Man.
  • 539  Let me consider, as from one great Source
  • 540We see a thousand rivers take their course,
  • 541Dispers'd, and into diff'rent channels led,
  • 542Yet by their Parent still supply'd and fed,
  • 543That Government, (tho' branch'd out far and wide,
  • 544In various Modes to various lands applied)
  • 545Howe'er it differs in its outward frame,
  • 546In the main Ground-work 's ev'ry where the same;
  • 547The same her view, tho' different her plan,
  • 548Her grand and gen'ral view, the Good of Man.
  • 549  Let me find out, by Reason's sacred beams,
  • 550What System in itself most perfect seems,
  • 551Most worthy Man, most likely to conduce
  • 552To all the purposes of gen'ral use;
  • 553Let me find too, where, by fair Reason try'd,
  • 554It fails, when to Particulars appli'd,
  • 555Why in that mode all Nations do not join,
  • 556And, chiefly, why it cannot suit with mine.
  • pg 346557  Let me the gradual Rise of empires trace
  • 558'Till they seem'd founded on Perfection's base,
  • 559Then (for when human things have made their way
  • 560To Excellence, they hasten to decay)
  • 561Let me, whilst Observation lends her clue,
  • 562Step by Step, to their quick Decline pursue,
  • 563Enabled by a chain of Facts to tell
  • 564Not only how they rose, but how they fell.
  • 565  Let me not only the distempers know
  • 566Which in all States from common causes grow,
  • 567But likewise those, which by the will of Fate,
  • 568On each peculiar mode of Empire wait,
  • 569Which in its very Constitution lurk,
  • 570Too sure at last, to do its destin'd work;
  • 571Let me, forewarn'd, each Sign, each System learn,
  • 572That I my people's danger may discern,
  • 573E'er 'tis too late wish'd Health to re-assure,
  • 574And, if it can be found, find out a cure.
  • 575  Let me (tho' great, grave Brethren of the gown,
  • 576Preach all Faith up, and preach all Reason down,
  • 577Making those jar, whom Reason meant to join,
  • 578And vesting in themselves a right divine)
  • 579Let me, thro' Reason's glass, with searching eye,
  • 580Into the depth of that Religion pry,
  • 581Which Law hath sanction'd; let me find out there
  • 582What's Form, what's Essence; what, like vagrant Air,
  • 583We well may change; and what, without a crime,
  • 584Cannot be chang'd to the last Hour of Time.
  • 585Nor let me suffer that outrageous zeal,
  • 586Which, without knowledge, furious Bigots feel,
  • 587Fair in pretence, tho' at the heart unsound,
  • 588These sep'rate points at random to confound.
  • 589  The Times have been, when priests have dar'd to tread,
  • 590Proud and insulting, on their Monarch's head,
  • 591When, whilst they made Religion a pretence,
  • 592Out of the World they banish'd common sense,
  • 593When some soft King, too open to deceit,
  • 594Easy and unsuspecting, join'd the cheat,
  • pg 347595Dup'd by mock Piety, and gave his name
  • 596To serve the vilest purposes of shame.
  • 597Fear not, my People, where no cause of fear
  • 598Can justly rise—Your King secures you here,
  • 599Your King, who scorns the haughty prelate's nod,
  • 600Nor deems the voice of priests, the voice of God.
  • 601  Let me (tho' Lawyers may perhaps forbid
  • 602Their Monarch to behold what they wish hid,
  • 603And, for the purposes of knavish gain,
  • 604Would have their trade a mystery remain)
  • 605Let me, disdaining all such slavish awe,
  • 606Dive to the very bottom of the Law;
  • 607Let me (the weak, dead letter left behind)
  • 608Search out the Principles, the Spirit find,
  • 609Till, from the parts, made master of the whole,
  • 610I see the Constitution's very Soul.
  • 611  Let me (tho' Statesmen will no doubt resist,
  • 612And to my eyes present a fearful list
  • 613Of men, whose wills are opposite to mine,
  • 614Of men, great men, determin'd to resign)
  • 615Let me (with firmness, which becomes a King,
  • 616Conscious from what a source my actions spring,
  • 617Determin'd not by worlds to be withstood,
  • 618When my grand object is my Country's Good)
  • 619Unravel all low Ministerial scenes,
  • 620Destroy their jobs, lay bare their ways and means,
  • 621And track them step by step; let me well know
  • 622How Places, Pensions, and Preferments go,
  • 623Why Guilt's provided for, when Worth is not,
  • 624And why one Man of merit is forgot,
  • 625Let me in Peace, in War, Supreme preside,
  • 626And dare to know my way without a Guide.
  • 627  Let me (tho' Dignity, by nature proud,
  • 628Retires from view, and swells behind a cloud,
  • 629As if the Sun shone with less pow'rful ray,
  • 630Less Grace, less Glory, shining ev'ry day;
  • 631Tho' when she comes forth into public sight,
  • 632Unbending as a Ghost, she stalks upright,
  • pg 348633With such an air as we have often seen,
  • 634And often laugh'd at in a tragic queen,
  • 635Nor, at her presence, tho' base Myriads crook
  • 636The supple knee, vouchsafes a single look),
  • 637Let me (all vain parade, all empty pride,
  • 638All terrors of Dominion laid aside,
  • 639All ornament, and needless helps of art,
  • 640All those big looks, which speak a little Heart)
  • 641Know (which few Kings alas! have ever known)
  • 642How Affability becomes a Throne,
  • 643Destroys all fear, bids Love with Rev'rence five,
  • 644And gives those Graces Pride can never give.
  • 645Let the stern Tyrant keep a distant state,
  • 646And, hating all Men, fear return of Hate,
  • 647Conscious of Guilt, retreat behind his throne,
  • 648Secure from all upbraidings but his own,
  • 649Let all my Subjects have access to Me,
  • 650Be my ears open as my heart is free;
  • 651In full, fair tide, let Information flow,
  • 652That evil is half cur'd, whose cause we know.
  • 653  And thou, where e'er thou art, thou wretched Thing,
  • 654Who art afraid to look up to a King,
  • 655Lay by thy fears—make but thy grievance plain,
  • 656And, if I not redress thee, may my Reign
  • 657Close up that very Moment—to prevent
  • 658The course of Justice, from her fair intent,
  • 659In vain my nearest, dearest friend shall plead,
  • 660In vain my mother kneel—my soul may bleed,
  • 661But must not change—When Justice draws the dart,
  • 662Tho' it is doom'd to pierce a Fav'rite's Heart,
  • 663'Tis mine to give it force, to give it aim—
  • 664I know it Duty, and I feel it Fame.

the end of the third book.

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
1–16 'Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee' (Isaiah xlix. 15).
Editor’s Note
17–20
  • 'I have given suck, and know
  • How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
  • I would, while it was smiling in my face,
  • Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
  • And dash'd the brains out'
(Macbeth, i. vii. 54–58).
Critical Apparatus
36 law.] law? Poems, Vol. II, 1765.
Critical Apparatus
61 I,] I Poems, Vol. II, 1765.
Critical Apparatus
240 wrest out] wrest our Poems, Vol. II, 1765.
Critical Apparatus
415 How] Have Poems, Vol. II, 1765.
Editor’s Note
416 Ham House at Petersham on the Thames.
Editor’s Note
419–22
  • 'He rais'd a Mortal to the Skies;
  •  She drew an Angel down'
(Dryden, Alexander's Feast, ll. 169–70).
Editor’s Note
422 A slip of paper, on which the following couplet is written in Churchill's holograph, has been pasted into the copy of Churchill's Poems, Vol. II, 1765 (BM, C. 61. c. 3), which Wilkes annotated and corrected, and it is indicated that Churchill intended the couplet to be inserted after l. 422:
  • 'Whilst Pope, with envy stung, enflam'd with pride,
  • Pip'd to the vacant air on t' other side.'
Churchill's admiration for Dryden and hostility to Pope were well known: 'He was a great admirer of Dryden, in preference to Pope. … He held Pope so cheap, that one of his most intimate friends assured me, that he had some thoughts of attacking his poetry; and another gentleman informed me, that in a convivial hour he wished the bard of Twickenham was alive, that he might have an opportunity to make him bring forth all his art of poetry, for he would not only have a struggle with him for preeminence, but endeavour to break his heart' (Davies, Garrick, i. 325–6). Davies adds that the last boast 'must be considered as a wild effusion over a bottle' (ibid., p. 326n.). It was a wild but not a singular effusion: 'Several Poems I shall have out soon…. Mr. Pope ought surely to feel some instinctive terrors, for against him I have double pointed all my little Thunderbolts, in which, as to the design, I hope I shall have your approbation, When you consider his heart' (Churchill to Wilkes, 14 (?) Aug. 1763; BM, Add. MS. 30,878, f. 29).
Critical Apparatus
446 Praise,] Praise. Poems, Vol. II, 1765.
logo-footer Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.
Access is brought to you by Log out