MacLean, Gerald, editor. The Return of the King : An Anthology of English Poems Commemorating the Restoration
of Charles II / edited by Gerald MacLean
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
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[not by William Lithgow]
[undated: late summer?]
Titlepage: SCOTLANDS / PAR'NESIS / To Her Dread Soveraign, / KING / CHARLES / THE SECOND. / [rule] / Mens Scoti'. / All Presbyterians, pure, sincere and true, / Afflicted by that Independent crue, / Are here untouch'd, and are declar'd to be / Joyn'd in the League and Covenant with me. / [rule] / [design] / [rule ] / Printed in the Year, 1660.
The authorship of this poem has excited scholarly attention over the last century and a half. In his 1823 edition of the poem, Laing wrote shrewdly of the Restoration in general:
Such a general feeling of satisfaction was manifested at the return of the exiled Monarch, as being an event which promised to bing back peace and tranquility to the Country, that it was unfortunate the King, and his Ministers should have proved unmindful of their past experience, and have used no endeavours either to conciliate the affections, or to promote the interests of the People at large.
The writer of this congratualtory Poem, which is sufficiently expressive of loyalty and attachment, has not been ascertained. (p. xv)
During the next fifty years, word got about that the poem was by William Lithgow, an Aberdonian adventurer who would have been in his eighties in 1660. In 1863, Maidment took the attribution seriously enough to argue against it, a tactic subsequently adopted by the DNB in their entry for Lithgow. Maidment makes no case from Lithgow's age, but points out that because Scotland's Paranesis contains a marginal reference to the author having written a poem in 1633 entitled "Scotlands welcome to King Charles," "thence it was conjectured that as Lithgow had written an address to the unhappy Charles in 1633, he reasonably was the author" (p. xxxii). In the National Library in Edinburgh, a copy of Lithgow's verses from 1633 are bound in just ahead of the 1660 poem at shelfmark EN 1.88. Maidment continues with the attribution to Lithgow:
This idea was to a certain degree countenanced by the fact that the volume [EN 1.88] had belonged to Robert Mylne, a well-known book-collector and enthusiastic antiquary, who having survived for above one hundred years, must have been a young man of more than twenty years of age when the "Paraenesis" appeared in 1660; and, as he had arranged the contents of the volume in the order in which it at present remains [still true 1986] it might be taken for granted that he did so in the belief that it was a supplement to the poem that preceded it. (pp. xxxii-xxxiii) So, here then we have a reader and collector of verses who was alive in 1660 and what do we learn? That he seems to have read no further than the marginalia of the poems he collected, for as Maidment points out, the two poems differ so greatly as to be hardly from the same poet. But then again, perhaps Mylne knew Lithgow still to be alive, with a finer poetic control than he showed in his middle years.
Maidment fails to notice Lithgow's age, but does notice other poems from the 1630s with titles just like the one mentioned in the margin. 1 And he has his own candiate, one William Douglas, author of "Grampius Gratulation to his High and Mightie Monarch, King Charles" which appeared in a 1630 volume entitled Addresses by the Muses of Edinburgh to his Majesty (printed in small Qto by "the heirs of Andro Hart, 1630"). After quoting a section of this poem, to suggest stylistic similarities, Maidment cites a biographical entry for Douglas from a volume he calls the "Catalgues of Scotish Writers" as published by Stevenson in Edinburgh, 1833. Unable to find this volume in any of the major libraries in Scotland, I can only quote Maidment again:
William Douglasse, Professor of Theology at old Aberdeen. He wrote a Treatise on Pslam edia, 4to; Item Acad'miarum Vindicas, 4to; item, orationem Panegyricam de Carolo Secundo, 4to; item, stable Truth, 4to, 1660. He dyed toward the year 1670. item, Vindicacias Veritatis, 4to, 1655" (cited, ibid, p. lii)
The case for Douglas seems as weak to me as the likelihood of the poem being by Lithgow. Douglas's poem on the Restoration, referred to here, is presumably the Latin Oratio Panegyrica ad eisodia (Wing STC item D 2043) to be found in several places.
On the Covenant, see also The Covenant.
Opens with defense of the Covenant -- details
Sees loyalty to a divinely appointed monarch to be an absolute duty to God, taking Samuel Daniel's line that even tyrants in office are to be obeyed. The position of a presbyterian Stuart loyalist in 1660 requires a great deal of irony and ventriloquizing to negotiate, but a great deals hangs on the poet's argument that
Then doth God favour Ethnick Princes cace,
Though alians from the Covenenant of Grace,
Redress their wrongs, confound their enemies
Detect and punish lewd conspiracies...
The poet skillfully uses enjambment to finesse arguments, turning against the seeming closure of the rhythm and stress of the couplet by continuing the syntax to extend or change the argument. The poet takes the position of never having lost loyalty to Stuart kings, being among those to write pro-Stuart verses in the 1630s when Charles came to Scotland. Dynastic loyalty and racial difference were seldom found apart at this time, so the "Ethnick Prince"'s Scottish bloodlines are as important as the different kind of loyalty owed by the Irish. Snub -- chalres neveractually made it to scotland back then; CHECK
Poet ends with provsional endorsement of Charles; not questioning his right, but implictly suggesting that a king would behave a certain way towards Scotland.
 In fact, of course, there were dozens of Scottish poets who wrote verses to Charles back in 1633: see list in 1986/5 NB: 104-6.
[this is the title page]
To Her Dread Soveraign;
All Presbyterians, pure, sincere and true,
Afflicted by that Independent crue,
Are here untouch'd, and are declar'd to be
Joyn'd in the League and Covenant with me.
Printed in the Year, 1660.
To her dread Soveraign,
COme to thy Land, my long'd for Soveraign,
And here in safety and in honour raign:
Come to these bounds, where, of thy royal Stem,
Ten and One hundred wore the Diadem:
5: Disperse griefs cloudy frowns, to me restore
Those Halcion dayes which I enjoy'd before, 2
When by his presence, my late gracious King,
Transcending pleasure to my coasts did bring,
And all my Minions joyntly did expresse
10: Their boundlesse comfort, and my joyes excesse.
Raign with those joy'd enduments from above,
Th'Almighties blessing, and thy Subjects love.
Raign and live long, Thou period of my pleasure,
My joyes triumph, the sum of all my treasure,
15: Best of my thoughts, center of my delight
Raign, as a beam of beauty shining bright
From heavens aspect: Raign in all Royal parts
A King of men, a conquerour of hearts.
Raign, let Jehova's will model'd in heaven
20: In gold characters, on thy Throne be graven.
Of Piety and Justice; to enable
Thee to defend the one and other Table.
Raign, Scotland's Lyon to the worlds end out.
Who dare presume to call thy Power in doubt.
25: Raign, and triumph throughout great Britans soyle
In spight of all envenom'd breasts that boyle
Will hell-hatch'd malice, in that neighbour ground,
Wherein excesse of raigning sins abound,
Raign, and that Land from vipers venome clenge,
30: So shall that motto hold, Raign and Revenge.
A guard from heaven have hedg'd thee so about,
That thee to harme all furies stand in doubt:
For why? That All-sufficient hath prepard,
Emplumed squadrons for thy surest guard.
But that thy Throne unmoved still may stand,
Let true Religion flourish in thy Lnad,
Pure and sincere, in freedome and in truth,
Redrest, reform'd, from Gods own Heraulds mouth.
Let King Josias, and thy Grandsire be,
40: Examplare types and speaking maps to thee:
He with his Royal Robes his heart did rent,
For the neglect of Gods blest Covenant,
Then caus'd the same be read, and sworn to all,
Who in the limits of his Land did dwell:
45: So from the year our blessed Lord was born, 3
Our Covenant by good King James was sworn,
And was confirmed after some few years 4
To all his Houshold, and his noble Peers:
And now of late, Seign'd and redintegrate,
50: By all the loyall Subjects of our State:
Let Head and Body then in one accord,
To Seign, Swear, keep our Covenant with the Lord:
And as my Patriots dear, of each degree,
Are sworn to maintain Authoritie,
55: So shall they joyn, and strive even all as one
To re-install thee in thy Fathers Throne;
Of Vipers brood th'infected soyle to clenge,
And make that antheme sound, Raign and Revenge.
The great Avenger shall revenge my cause,
60: And make these Monsters feel the Lyons pause,
Who by one fact the worst of acts have done,
Unparallel'd as yet beneath the Moon,
Yet palliate with Justice cloak that so,
Those men by Justice, Justice should ov'rthrow.
With raigning sins all Israels Kings were stain'd,
Even from the time that Jeroboam raign'd,
With Rapine, Violence, Murther, Sorcery,
And all did act accurs'd Idolatry:
Yet none of them by Statue were depos'd,
70: Or to a publike censure once expos'd,
Arraign'd, condemn'd, or struke by Justice hands,
Within the Cities of these bordering Lands:
But when their vicious raigns and lives were ended,
Their sons or kins-men to their thrones ascended.
75: Raign and Revenge the breach of faith by those
My feigned friends, but most pernicious foes:
Base skurrill rogues, by Satans angels sent,
To swear and scorn the League and Covenant:
Camel'on Monsters, mingling truth with lies:
80: Stain'd with these colours of repugnancies,
Proud Babels tenents seeming first to hate,
But now like Babel ruling Kirk and State:
Bishops Hierachies sworn to suppresse,
Now like Erastus Anarchy professe; 5
85: My Presbyterial Church-government,
Through seeming to maintain, They disassent:
They seem'd t'extirpate Schisms and Sectaries,
But now they tolerate old coyn'd Heresies:
And worst of all, if any worse can be,
90: They strive to break the neck of Monarchie,
And trample on their Princes, whom before
They seem'd with Civil Worship to adore:
And Englands Peers they levell with the ground
Of locusts base born swarms, which there abound
95: A swarme of Brownists, fond Separatists,
Proud Antinomians, wilfull Erastists,
Old Levellers, monsters Inhabitants,
Last worst of all, that crue of Independants,
In whose infected souls these tares are sown,
100: And to a full perfection lately grown,
As Superstition, Schism, Heresie,
Tyrannie, Profainnesse, and Idolatrie,
Hypocrisie, a sin the last on earth,
Which shall revive in Judgement after death. 6
O then how many plagues have they deserv'd?
What grievous torments are to them reserv'd?
Who in a desperat way, have hatch'd such evils,
As are of new suggested by the devils,
Who first, damn'd Atheists, trampled have upon
110: The sacred Statutes of the holy One.
Next in a furious, but a fond conceate,
Englands time scorning Lawes have abrogate:
And strive if they had power as will, to wound
Even Natures frame, and all the world confound.
The King of Kings first Monarch's did install,
And daign'd them by the name of Gods to call,
To show that earthly Powers Soveraign,
Have all their power from him, by whom Kings raign;
Moses the meek, from Heaven, and not by chance,
120: Had rule in chief ov'r Gods Inheritance,
And was als absolute, in all degrees
As any that bear rule in Monarchies:
Witness rebellious Korah, with his mates,
And many murmurers their Confederates:
125: The first by a miraculous sort of death,
Were quick up-swallowed in the opening earth;
Then fourteen thousand, and seven hundreth mo,
To Pluto's boures did in a moment go,
And all for hatching treason in their breast
130: Against their Prince, and Gods anointed Priest.
Revenge, The Lord shall from his store-house bring
More grievous plagues on those that kill's a King.
Arise, O Lord, stretch forth thy powerfull hand,
Against the Justice-Juglers of that Land.
Joshua to Moses for his valourous deeds,
As Israels Monarch, by Gods will succeeds;
Who from his scared mouth that choise did breath,
Menacing rebels with assured death.
Next after Joshua, Judges were sole Princes,
140: Who did govern all Palestines Provinces,
Till that unconstant Israel then neglected
And crav'd a King, was not then Saul elected
By Gods appointment and expresse command?
And then anointed by the Prophets hand:
145: Young David next, Gods Minion, was install'd,
And from a sheep crook to a Scepter call'd;
That from his loynes, a Virgin and a Mother
Should bear her Son, her Father, and her Brother.
Now give me leave a little to digresse,
150: And of that Plant this Antithese expresse:
Though call'd the Father of Eternitie;
That we Gods sons the Son of man would be:
He daign'd 'mongst beasts, be born low in a cell,
That high in Heav'n men might with Angels dwell:
155: And though the word, yet child-like stammer would,
That to their Gods men might speak uncontroul'd:
The glorious Monarch of the World was poor,
That heavens rich store he might to man procure;
Hungry he was, this with his Man-hood stood,
160: That men might feed on heaven descending food:
The precious Spring of Life for ever blest,
That we should drink his streams would suffer thirst;
In end, the Life, th'eternall King, would die,
That we should live and raign eternally.
But to our purpose, Monarch's here below,
Can neither Chartor, Seal, nor Seasing show
Of their demaines, the Scepter, Sword and Crown,
And sacred oyl which from the heaven came down
Are symbols of their holdings from above,
170: Joyn'd with Gods blessing, and their peoples love,
Together with a Line of long succession,
And benefit of many years possession,
They are, and were of all Endictments free,
And Judged by their Peers they cannot be,
175: As Gods Vice-gerents answering to none,
But to that King who rules and raigns alone.
But if it be their fate to be detain'd
In firmance long, and in a Court araign'd;
It is the will of God that so should be,
180: Who poureth down contempt on Majesty: 7
'Tis for our sins the Lord will have it so, 8
That strength curb Law, force Justice overthrow.
Try Times, Records, which to our knowledge brings,
The reverence and respect we owe to Kings;
185: David from dales to rockie deserts mounted,
By cruel Saul was like a Partridge hunted,
And hod no time to rest, nor scarce to breath,
Affrighted with the fear of present death:
And though he had him twice caught in a snare,
190: Was councell'd twise, his life no more to spare;
Yet said, who dares stretch forth his murthering hand,
Against the Lords Anointed of the Land
And guiltlesse be, though branded with the crimes
Of Tyrants, who have liv'd in worst of Times;
195: 'Tis better for a Tyrant known should raign.
In any soil, nor want a lawfull King.
Yea though an Infidel, we should obey, 9
And for his honour and his safety pray:
The Jews, both Priest and People, all as one,
200: Are bidden serve the King of Babylon;
Pray for that Cities peace, though there they be
Detain'd and kept in long captivitie.
So in our Lord and his Apostles time,
Four Tyrants rul'd in all the Syrian clime, 10
205: He bids give C'sar what is C'sars own,
And being tax'd, have by example shown
That due obedience should to Kings be given,
Who are though Tyrants, authoriz'd from heaven.
Saint Paul, what's due to higher Powers preacheth,
210: Obedience to Kings Saint Peter teacheth,
To Masters all, and froward though they prove,
They should be serv'd with due respect and love.
A prosperous, fortunate, and happy crime,
Was call'd a glorious vertue for the time;
215: O but suspend your judgement for a space,
And ye shall find a change in fortunes face,
Which shall ov'r cloud these flattering rayes of light,
And turn them to a sad tempestuous night;
Of treacherous Traitours such shall be the chance,
220: Who though at first they seem to have some glance
Of Halcion dayes from fortunes raying face:
But sift a while; ye shall not find the place
Of their abode, all but repentance shall
Here be confounded, and condemn'd in hell:
225: Revenge, good Lord, and such black sorrowes bring
On those vile Traitours who have kill'd a King.
Great C'sar did subvert the Roman State,
And to himself th'Empire did mancipate,
Who would but think that Brute and Cassius part
230: With all the rest that stob'd him to the heart
Was just, since that by fraud and policie,
He did ov'turn Romes ancient liberty;
O! but behold, that Senats tragick cace,
They all were slain, within a three years space,
235: And some themself, with that self blade did kill,
Wherewith they lately C'sars blood did spill.
A modern Divine, glossing on this act,
Confest that C'sars proud ambitious fact
Was first unjust, but when the Senate call'd him
240: Romes great Dictator, and had once install'd him
It was high Treason, to stretch forth their hand
Against that man who did in Chief command
Now as a Monarch, so that all the blood
Of those was justly shed, who him withstood.
Then doth God favour Ethnick Princes cace,
Though alians from the Covenant of Grace,
Redresse their wrongs, confound their enemies,
Detect and punish lewd conspiracies
Hatch'd and fomented in a Trait'rous brain,
250: And shall he not the fire of vengeance rain
On that damn'd race? Who in a tracherous 11 mood,
Hath dyed their hands in Gods Vice-gerents blood.
And then by show of Justice trampled down
Englands old Lawes; have taken Head and Crown
255: From my blest Charles, who now in Glory sings
Unceasing Po/eans to the King of Kings;
Whose life a mirrour was of these blest three,
Religion, Justice, and Sobrietie
To God, to Man, and to himself, three Graces
260: Which now are heard, seen, shining in all places,
And shall remain transcending and entire
Till this great Fabrick be consum'd with fire.
Now since that Monarch's are by God elected,
Let no man deem, that people dis-affected
265: Can loose the reins of their Government,
Or from their Line the Crown and Kingdom rent,
Excepting few, for Europes Monarchies
Are now subsisting of these four degrees,
Kings absolute, by Conquest, by Election,
270: Conditionall for favour and protection,
The first two branches meerly Soverain,
By wavering Subjects can no change sustain.
The latter two not being of my strain,
It suites not here, nor can I now explain
275: The first two Powers, as their prerogative,
The Father dead do in the Son survive.
For now what State being parallel'd with mine,
Hath so stand out against the waves of time.
For whiles that Grecian had subdu'd the East, 12
280: And Monarch like in Babylon was plac'd,
The raign of my first Valiant Fergus than,
From God, and not by chance of War begain,
Three hundreth years and fourty past and gone
Before our Lord took humane Nature on.
285: England from William's Stock of many Kings,
Us-ward in Line, to Charles the Second springs:
Ireland, in like sort, by a Conquest long
Deriv'd, doth to their Lord and King belong:
Though Commons acting on a tragick Stage,
290: A thing unheard in any former age,
Under prextext of Jugling-Justice hands,
Have put to death the Soveraign of those Lands,
And in that Burley Court, would change the frame
Of Englands Statutes, would root out the steme
295: Of former Kings, and have without consent
Of Kings or Peers, acted a Parliament.
A Parliament is model'd by the figure
Of a strong man, standing in force and vigoure
With sword in hand, menacing death to those
300: Who dare Gods will, or Subjects well oppose:
Where of the King is head: the Peers the heart:
The Commons Members, and th'inferiour part:
How comes it then, shall such a monster made
Of basest parts, rule without heart or head?
God wil stir up all Christians, Kings and States,
In my revenge to be confederates,
And with me joyn, this dismal case is theirs,
Which may befal to them or to their heirs.
Crowns are in play, a Monarch is become,
310: The pannel'd Subject of a base Commons doome.
Up, let your Navies, and your Royal Hoasts,
Strike sail, land, vapour on the English Coasts,
Display your Ensignes, Princely Standards rear:
First strike with terrour, and a panick fear
315: Those bloudy Gemsters, who have trampled down
The Head, and made a stage play of the Crown.
Then shall we find them out forth from their dens,
From mountains, plains, from dales, and moorish fens,
Or where that Crue of Traitours may be found;
320: We shall their rampiers level with the ground:
Their Strengths and Forts, since levelling they crave
From strong engines, let them such level have
As we impart: Let Justice then have place,
Till shee have quite cut off that cursed race.
But if incens'd with fury they defie us,
And rang'd in squadrons have resolv'd to try us,
The worlds great Judge, no doubt in whom we trust,
Shall be our safeguard as our cause is just:
Thus shall our courage taught by wit and skill,
330: Skill arm'd by courage, both by power and will,
Make English ground incrimson'd with the blood,
Of that Schismatick Independant brood:
So what once C'sar, we may say the same
Truely, we came, we saw, we overcame
335: And routed all, none shall escape our wrath,
But all shall die a just deserved death:
And Peace shall be proclaim'd in all those lands,
Which now are purg'd by our victorious hands:
Then shall I stile my King, young Charles Maigne,
340: And change that motto, thus Triumph and Raigne.
 First, In the Authors Poeme, intituled, Scotlands welcome to KING CHARLES in Anno, 1633.
 In Church Government.
 Matth. 7.22
 Psal. 107.40
 Job 12.21
 vide. The new Confession of Faith, c.23:
 Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero.
 tracherous] treacherous Laing
ANd thou great King of Kings who rules above,
By whom Kings raign by whom they live and move,
Moisten my soveraigns soul with showrs of grace,
That with him we may breath the aire of Peace
5: Raying 13 with Truth; that here he may secure,
Thy Dvine Worship true, sincere and pure:
So shall we praise Thee, who for ever raigns,
And whose transcending Power all Power sustains.
 Raying] Raging Laing