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Amidst that silent shower, the royal mind
And left its sacred earth behind;
Nor murmuring groan expressed, nor labouring sound,
Nor any least tumultuous breath;
Calm was his life, and quiet was his death.
In which the Almighty did appear;
By the still voice the prophet knew him there. That at peace which made thy prosperous reign to shine,
That peace thou leav'st to thy imperial line,
For all those joys thy restoration brought,
For all the healing balm thy mercy poured
For numerous blessings yearly showered,
For these, and more, accept our pious praise; "Tis all the subsidy
The present age can raise,
The rest is charged on late posterity.
* King Charles' first parliament, from passing the Act of Indemnity, and taking other measures to drown all angry recollection of the civil wars, was called the Healing Parliament.
Posterity is charged the more,
To them, and to their heirs, is still entailed by thee. Succession of a long descent,
Which chastely in the channels ran,-
Equal almost to time in its extent,
Thou hast derived this mighty blessing down, And fixed the fairest gem that decks the imperial
Not faction, when it shook thy regal seat,
Be true, O Clio, to thy hero's name;
That all who view the piece may know, He needs no trappings of fictitious fame.
The load's too weighty; thou may`st chuse Some parts of praise, and some refuse; Write, that his annals may be thought more lavish than the muse.
In scanty truth thou hast confined
The virtues of a royal mind,
Forgiving, bounteous, humble, just, and kind :
His knowledge in the noblest useful arts,
Who, lighting him, did greater lights receive:
He drained from all, and all they knew;
Amidst the peaceful triumphs of his reign,
If science raised her head,
And soft humanity, that from rebellion fled. Our isle, indeed, too fruitful was before;
But all uncultivated lay
Out of the solar walk, and heaven's high way; With rank Geneva weeds run o'er,
And cockle, at the best, amidst the corn it bore : The royal husbandman appeared,
And ploughed, and sowed, and tilled;
The thorns he rooted out, the rubbish cleared,
And blest the obedient field.
When strait a double harvest rose,
Such as the swarthy Indian mows,
Or paradise manured, and drest by hands divine.
As when the new-born phoenix takes his way,
Of airy choristers a numerous train
So glorious did our Charles return;
* A similar line occurs in the Annus Mirabilis, St. 160: Beyond the year, and out of heaven's high-way.
The expression is originally Virgil's :
Extra anni, solisque vias.
The officious muses came along,
A gay harmonious quire, like angels ever young; The muse, that mourns him now, his happy triumph sung. t
Even they could thrive in his auspicious reign; And such a plenteous crop they bore
Of purest and well-winnowed grain, As Britain never knew before.
Though little was their hire, and light their gain, Yet somewhat to their share he threw; Fed from his hand, they sung and flew, Like birds of paradise, that lived on morning dew. Oh never let their lays his name forget! The pension of a prince's praise is great. Live then, thou great encourager of arts, Live ever in our thankful hearts;
Live blest above, almost invoked below;
Our patron once, our guardian angel now!
Who didst by wise delays divert our fate,
Then art to rage thou didst oppose,
Not quitting thy supreme command,
Oh frail estate of human things,
And slippery hopes below!
Now to our cost your emptiness we know ;
+ See the Astræa Redux.
For 'tis a lesson dearly bought,
So saints, by supernatural power set free,
That questioned thy supreme decree!
His fellow-citizens of immortality: For twelve long years of exile born, Twice twelve we numbered since his blest return:
So strictly wer't thou just to pay,
The quails and manna should no longer rain:
The chosen flock has now the promised land in view.
A warlike prince ascends the regal state, A prince long exercised by fate:
Long may he keep, though he obtains it late!
Reckoning from the death of his father, Charles had reigned thirty-six years and eight days; and, counting from his restoration, twenty-four years, eight months, and nine days.