MacLean, Gerald, editor. The Return of the King : An Anthology of English Poems Commemorating the Restoration of Charles II / edited by Gerald MacLean
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The King Advancing1

21 March

   Once the Rump had dissolved itself, royalist propagandists began recalling the living memory of the martyred king in order to inspire the call for bringing in his son (see An Exit). These verses from a quarto pamphlet, The King Advancing, Or Great Britains Royal Standard, With His Majesties Gracious Speech to His Loyal Subjects; And the Investing Him in His Royal Throne, Crown and Dignities, purport to be a speech made by the Ghost of Charles I commenting on events shortly after the Rump's dissolution. After demonizing Cromwell and his supporters, the voice of the Stuart martyr proclaims the imminent arrival of his son, a more than Herculean hero, who comes to put things right. The verses are given in both Latin and English, the printing arranged so that the two versions can be read side by side.

   Rather than adopting an entirely Anglo-centric position, these verses notice that because Charles I was king of Great Britain, his son inherits "three Crowns" (line 27). Thomason dated his copy on Wednesday, 21 March.

[1] Titlepage: THE / King Advancing, / OR GREAT BRITTAINS / Royal Standard, / WITH / His Majesties Gracious Speech to His Loyal Subjects; / And the Investing Him in His Royal Throne, / Crown and Dignities. / [cut: royal arms surmounted with C R] / [rule] / LONDON, / Printed for Charles Prince, in the year, 1660./ [enclosed within ruled box]. Wing: K547. Qto. Copies: O G. Pamphlet 1119(4), [A]-[A4v], page numbers [1]-7 mispaginated "2, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7" COPYTEXT; LT E.1017(28), ms dated "21 March"; OW Fairfax 417, the Huth copy; MH; Australia Victoria Public Library. Commentaries: Carew Hazlitt, p. 93.

[ornamental header] The Ghost of Charles the Great King and Martyr.

THe Sun was set, and Prosperpine had hurld
Lethean Poppy o're the silent World:
But night (whose calmness rocks the Earth asleep
Nurst up my cares, and did them waking keep,
5: When with a deep-fetcht grone I thought upon
The Churches fate, and Kings destruction,
The Moon straight through my window shining clear,
The Ghost of CHARLES did to my sight appear,
Not with that look and Majestie Divine
10: HE once on Earth, and now in Heaven doth shine;
But with an Aspect horrider then theirs
Who were his bloody Executioners:
So lookt (that Fiend of Hell) damn'd Noll, and all
Those Rebells that were guilty of his fall,
15: Whom Heaven now justly plagues. His face was thin,
His visage gast and pale, his eyes sanck in,
His wounded neck made his weak head hang down,
Unable to support the tottering Crown;
His un-comb'd hair, like one's affrighted stood,
20: His beard was covered o're with clotted blood,
He spoke to me in such a hollow sound,
One would have thought the voice was under ground:
Pitty (he said) my sorrowes, here you see
What fruit, patience and vertue brought to me.
25: My Senate, thus, made me a glorious Prince,
This was their promis'd Honour's Recompence.
That blessed rest three Crowns could never get
(Thicker with Thornes, then pearls or diamonds set.)
The dry Ax yeelded me; So from the slain
30: Carcase of Samsons Lyon hony came;
So Bryers roses, deadly poyson so
Produce good Medicines. From my death did flow
Peace to my Soul; I wish my enemies
May alike happie be, and my Blood's cryes
35: For ever silent; though I'm slain, Heavens bless
My Kingdoms! May they ne'r be Fatherless.
But! wishes fail! my blood from Earth doth rise
In reeking vapours, and ascends the skies,
Filling the whole Heav'n with its hollow cryes,
40: Straight (as a raging sea) the Devil reignes
I'th'giddie-headed-peoples pregnant braines,
Who with dissention some, like breaking waves
That force the sands out of their waterie graves
O're the high rocks, then rowl them back again
45: Into the deep; at length th'unruly maine
Throws down those banks that gave it lawes, and runs
O're the wide fields, till all one Sea becomes,
Till towns and forts are levell'd with the ground
And Princely Courts long built, the flood hath drown'd.
50: See how this antient Kingdom breathless lyes,
As if my soul with theirs did sympathize;
The Church too (sharing in my sufferings;)
Lyes by me, and her blood's mixed with her Kings!
But stay! Brittain take courage, from my rest!
55: All are not slain with me; vertue thrives best
When 'tis by cruell Tyrants most opprest.
As ætna in her stony brest doth cherish
A secret fire, which veines of Sulphur nourish
Till all inflam'd and weary of delay,
60: It forces through th'imprisoning Rock a way,
Shewing it's fierie face above the Ayre
The Tyrrhene seas with Brimstone boyl, the fair
Fields, are with burning coales scorch'd up, the shore
Trembles to hear the shaking mountaines roare;
65: In heards (like beasts) the fearfull neighbouring Clownes
Flee from their burning cottages and Townes;
A pitchy torrent following their swift feet;
My People so enraged by deceit
And heavie burdens under which they sweat,
70: On their oppressors spend their furious heat;
Then shall my Son (finding his foes despise
Their duties, and his Clemency) arise
With God-like strength; and to regain his right,
Herculean Spirits (all on fire to fight)
75: Will aid their injur'd Prince; whose bloody hand
Armed with lightening, shall disperse each band
Of brutish Gyants, and their mountains throw
(Together with their Carcases) below
Under their own ambitious dung-hill, thus
Fell Titan's son's and bold Enceladus2 80
In the Tinacrean Earth their bones are thrown
Whose hundred Anvils made all ætna groan.
O may my Chldrens Princely hearts nee'r fail
Amidst a thousand chances that assail
85: The fate of Warres! So unto God thereby
Glory may rise, next to my progeny.
And Kingdom, Peace, since strange effects Heavens King
Doth from contrary causes oft-times bring;
From Death came Life; light out of darkness shin'd,
90: Mans skill cannot his wayes and counsell find.
This having said, straight a Majestick face
And divine form, his humane shape did grace;
Paleness and horrour from his grim look flies,
His cheeks Roses adorn'd; his serene eyes
95: Darted out pleasing rayes. Then, like the bright
Sun, having put on a glorious light,
Hee fled to Heaven, and vanisht out of sight.


[2] Born to Titan out of Terra, Enceladus was the most powerul of the Titans to revolt against Jupiter, for which he was struck with thunder and imprisoned under Mount Aetna: compare William Fairebrother's verses addressed to the Houses of Parliament in his An Essay of a Loyal Brest, lines 1-12.