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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[undated: after 29 May]
Titlepage: Iter Australe / Attempting something upon the happy / Return of our most Gracious So-/ veraign Lord, / CHARLS II. / FROM / BANISHMENT / TO HIS / THRONE. / [rule] / By a Loyal Pen. / [rule] / -- -Virum non arma Cano. / [rule] / LONON 1, / Printed by Tho. Leach, in the Year, 1660.
The title reverses the direction of travel in Robert Wild's celebrated Iter Boreale, or journey from the North, in order to trope on Charles's arrival from the south in the final stanas. Although the poem is printed to look like Wild's -- they share similar typeface, page layout, use of a nom-de-plume -- there is no reason to think Wild wrote these lines. The poet here doesn't have a great deal to say about Monck. The text was obviously printed in a hurry; inking is poor in all copies. The copy at O=Firth would seem to be an early state, subsequetly corrected in the O=Tanner ad BL copies.
The poem provides a general history of the period from the civil wars up to and including the king's journey home; thin on explanation, wide on narrative.
WEe'l no Cronostick numbers here
Compose, to figure out the year
Wherein our Second Charls did make
His Blest return; lest we mistake.
5: For Iustice breaking from her Iron Cage
Ha's back again reduc'd the Golden Age;
That Time no longer will the old style bear
O'th' Sixteen Hundredth and the Sixtieth Year.
Nor will we yet presume to joyn
A Nominal Letter to each Line,
And with our slender Art to frame
Acrosticks on his Sacred Name,
For 'twill be Forgerie to Interline
Those Letters Patents Providence Divine
15: Hath Copyed forth for us in CAPITAL
Out of their Heaven-Inrold Original.
Nor yet to make an Anagram
Disjoyn the Letters of the same:
(So Antient Adam had the Honor
Without all doubt to be the donor)
Lest (as those Lawlesse Traytors did Translate
His Royal Kingdoms to a Rebel State
So) we, whilst we endeavour to inforce
A Better Sense upon't, should make a Worse.
But yet my Muse would something, she
Might demonstrate her Loyalty;
Plain humble verse she thinks will best
Her Kneeling Reverence Attest.
His Beams are such, were not the Poets Bayes
30: Charms against Lightning, she durst not rayse
Her self above the Pitch of Prose -- Lest she
Should burn her Plumes, and fall a Scorched fly.
O might she gain Acceptance, this
Would prove her chief, her Master-piece:
35: So whilst the Sun withdraws his Light
'Twill seem at least an Eagle flight:
But if his splendor be so great that he
Cannot pluck in his daz'ling Raies, and she
Shal stand Convicted of Pr'sumption,
40: She sues the General Act -- -Oblivion.
sic in both O copies; and BL
Iter Australe, Attempting somthing upon the happy return
of our most gracious Sove-
From Banishment to his
SHoot up thy head my Muse, thy Foes are flown,
Made the retreat to mournful Helicon:
Come dive no longer, now thou need'st not fear
Upon the forked Mountain to appear;
5: Put thy neglected Buskins on, and shake
Thy watry Pineons, and leave the Lake;
Fly to Pernassus Airy top, and see
What from the high Ascent thou can'st descry;
And when thou shalt discern on Thetis floor,
10: The royal Navy, wafting Charles to shore,
Go Crown thy gladded brows with flowers whereon
The names of Kings have their Inscription,
To entertain his blest arrival, and
Carol his welcom to the happy Strand.
15: In the mean time rehearse those mournful Lays,
Thou erst did dedicate unto the praise
Of Charles the first: Go gather up again,
Those Quills of Porcupines thy high disdain
In a Satyrical disguise did cast
20: At Traytors Heads, (whose Feathers as they past,
Sung their Prophetick Elogies) and now
Shoot, shoot in triumph, for their overthrow.
But stop your ears with black, with mourning wool,
Or send your twice-repeated griefs to School
25: Amongst the tortur'd Ghosts, they may from thence
Bring back the Lesson of forc'd Patience,
To hear my now relapsed Muse relate
The Tyranny of our late Monarchs Fate.
NOw that Prophetick Simile proves true,
30: England's an Axe in shape, and nature too:
Whilst startled Conscience winks, One fatal stroak
Prostrates Great Britains Tutelary Oak;
And reason good; Why cumbers it the Ground?
The Traytors cry, our Providence hath found
35: A better way to Husband it, no more
We Beggars-bushes will, as heretofore,
Stand in the barren paths and ways, since we
To plant our seves on his fat soil agree.
Down with th'imperious Cedars too (they cry)
That by their power enfenc'd his Majesty,
40: From our encroachments; And upon their Land
The brave aspiring Poplars shall stand.
The Briery Souldiery shall have a share
With us and a Commission to tear
Their Golden Fleeces from the backs of those,
45: Whose zeal to King, of Conscience, shall expose
Themselves unto our mallice; -- -- -They'l dispence
With penance in their Robes of Innocence.
Thus fell our Gracious Soveraign, and they
That own'd their Princes cause his Fates obey;
50: So the Barbarians have a Law that when
The Master yields to Destinie, the Men
That were his most obsequious Servants must
Descend his Grace, to wait upon his Dust.
Which of his vertues did foment their rage
55: So high, nought by his blood could it asswage?
Was it his Justice? Yes, for they did fear,
Before that high Tribunal to appear.
Was it his mercy? Yes, 'cause he refus'd
To murther whom they wrongfuly accus'd.
60: Besides (they say) Religion bade them make
An holy Warre (forsooth for Conscience sake:
But stay a little, step aside and see
How God himself was wrong'd as well as he.
IF Christian Reformation that will prove
65: Wherein the Serpent overcomes the Dove,
Farewell ye silenc'd Oracles; our Sun
Sets in a Cloud, our happy days are done.
But search and try (my Muse) before you speak,
Turn not a she Phanatick and mistake:
70: For when their warlike Swords and Muskets drove
Out our holy Church, of the peaceful Dove,
Amphibious Batts did spring up in the night
Of blinded zeal, and play'd the Hypocrite;
And damned Spirits walk't therein, which make
75: Our Quakers their possessed joynts to shake,
And Thou and Thee us all, 'cause they foretel,
They shall find no distinctions in Hell.
The Ingis Fatuus of whose lights do bend
Their paths unto perditions, pit and lend
80: False beams a while unto the fatal Brink,
Then (like the Devil) vanish in a stink.
The harmless pictures of th'Apostles must
Out of the Temple windows all be thrust;
(They hate such good examples) that before
85: Ungodly men their light might shine no more:
And why all this? because the Scriptures speak
How Eutichus fell thence and broke his neck.
Each one ordains himself; Mechanick men
Set in the Temples up their shops agen
90: Which Christ himselfe drave out; these silly Elves
(Gifted from none that I know but themselves)
Pretend to Prophecie, and why not then
Coblars of Souls, as Fishers er'st of Men?
Dissembling Souldiers this, and worse have wrought,
95: And Crucified their Christ, but kept his Coat:
And the Rump-Senate set the Tail where we
In vain endeavour'd, that the Head should be.
HEre give my pious Muse leave to lament
Great Charles his Crucifixion, which hath rent
100: Our Church into so many Breaches, that
Good are thrust out, bad men thrust in thereat.
And as the Jews astonish't at the knell
When th'holy Temple rang her Passing-Bell;
So when our Faith's Defender Fell, had we
105: No cause to write a mournfull Elegie?
He was both King and Prophet, that he might
Yield both to subjects, and to God their Right.
And these two Functions did so meet, his Laws
Were on the Decade but a Paraphrase.
110: How did he brandish the Two-edged Sword
Of God's Soul-piercing, Heart-dividing word?
Nor sefish ends, nor false opinion
Could make him burnish a false Gloss thereon;
Who wrot his name upon't, and his devise
115: With the Strong Aqua Fortis of his Eyes.
Then see his Life, not like Cylennius, whose
Statue did point the ready way to those
Were Pilgrims, 'mongst the Mountains, & stood still
Whil'st they asceded the brow-bending Hill;
120: But dy'd a Martyr in a Good old Cause,
Defending both Divine and Humane Laws.
Then come, O Loyal Subject, let us raise
A Monumental Trophee to his Praise.
And in succeding ages let it stand
125: Untouch't; and may that Sacrilegious hand
That shall by force attempt to raze it, ne're
Enjoy the blessing of a Sepulcher.
BUt what though he be murthered, his Son
The Prince of Wales ascends his Royal Throne:
130: Come, we may mitigate Our Griefs, though we
Can ne're enough bewail His Destiny.
No 'tis not so, his Fathers Vertues are
Descended unto him, as lawfull Heir;
And it is fit, the Fates do say that He
135: Should likewise taste of his Extremitie
To countermand such Blessings; and be hurl'd
In wandring mazes up and down the world:
Like to that pious Heroe, who did hast
From flaming Troy, when as the fire did wast
140: That Cities stately Structures,4 before he
Attain the place of his Regallitie.
But after many dreadfull 5 hazards run
'Twixt Hope and Fear, at length the Scottish Crown
Is set upon his Brows by those that took
145: Pole-money for his Fathers head, and struck
That luckless bargain, sad experience told
Prov'd loss to them that Bought and them that Sold.
THe English Rebels hearing this, there comes
Their General with an Army, thundring Drums
150: Roar 6 nought but Canon-language, Trumpets sound
A Brazen Perseverance, they are bound
That have engag'd against their Prince, to be
No more Retreaters to their Loyaltie.
Charles hunted out of Scotland by the Crew
155: Of these pursuing Blood-hell-hounds, he threw
Himself to Worsters Borough to obtain
A shelter more secure, but all in vain:
For they dislodg'd our Dear, and made him flie
For safer covert 7 to a Hollow Tree:
160: And now the Ranging Doggs the sent have lost;
But would not yet desist, till having crost
The Champian ground twice or'e, they could not finde
Their Pray, which thus their Fury had declin'd.
Thus did his Majesty escape, whose Rayes
165: Heav'ns Providence design'd for better daies;
And to a Forraign soil is fled from hence,
Till that Reducing Power recalls him thence.
ANd now Aspiring Oliver by Force
With the Black Rod whips the Rump out of doors,
170: And makes himself Protector; Thus we see
Treason 'mongst Traytors sometimes there may be:
One Interregnum thus encludes its Brother;
Here's one Parenthesis within another:
Time-servers tongues, Lick'd (out of Hope or Fear,)8
175: Into a Formal Lamb this Savage Bear.
One would have him a David, (cause he went
To Lamberts wife, when he was in his Tent.)9
A second, Moses styled him, (for why
His shining Nose made the Synecdoche:)
180: And Most were so besotted that they found
No grief at all; For hard Oppression ground
Their Faces with such cruelty, that there
Did no impressions of dislike appear.
But Providence at last to purge our Ayr
185: From this most noysome Vapour, did prepare
A wind to drive him hence, and sent him gone
To his deserved place; and straight his Son
Richard assumes the Load, and all adore
The Ass, (but for the Burthern which he bore.)
190: Some thought he would again our King recall,
But yet the Goose sav'd not our Capitoll.
Lambert Degrades him presently, and then
The Rump let loose, ran to their stools agen.
BUt they must turn out too, and not repine
195: But to the Wallingfordians resign
Their late acquired power, the Rump again
Is thrust besides the Cushion, may not Raign;
And now great Monk advances over Tweed,
The Priviledge of Parliaments to plead,
200: But his White-powder 10 gave no crack; for he
Wrought not so much by Power as Policie.
All are restor'd again, nay more then that,
For each Secluded Member takes his seat
Among the rest; I hope we may not fear
205: To style the King, Monks Privy Counceller.
The Royal Party make it their Resolve.
With all the speed that may be to dissolve
The now Divided House, with an intent
To make room for another Parliament;
210: Which might the Great Work do, and so agree
To pass a Fine without Recoverie.
Fly then ye restless Furies, fly, begon;
No more the Mazes of Confusion
In Brittains Soyle; trace out, hence off, make room
215: For gentle Fayries, their glad feet may come
And Dance the Rings of Everlasting Peace
About our Blessed Isle, so that the Seas
Of Violence and Rapine may no more,
Cast their unheard of Monsters on our Shore.
220: THe Senate is Assembled, which receives
The Style 'oth 11 Peoples Representatives
Now in a down-right sense; they are the Glass
Wherein his Subjects may see their Kings Face;
And eas'ly apprehend there doth abide,
225: A Silver'd plenty on the other side:
Their Rumpships Breeches now no more shall be
The Impress of our Lawfull Coyn; But we,
For his Reward who did bring home our King,
Shall have Great George on Horseback ride the Ring.
230: As when the Earth bewailes in Mourning Weeds
The absence of the long set Sun, and dreads
A Non-repeated Course, the Gray-ey'd Morn
Giving a signal of his blest Return,
She then puts off her Cypress vayl, that He,
235: Might wipe her dewy Tears away; so we,
For Charle's, 12 his Wains Declension had vowd
Our Souls all Proselites to grief, and bowd
Our necks unto her Altars; Till from far
Unto our Watry eyes there did appear,
240: Monck in a Scottish Mist, who straight did pour
On English Rebels heads, a drowning shower:
Which having done, the Coast began to clear,
And straight upon our English Hemisphere
We did expect that Star should rise and be
245: Exalted to its Regal Dignitie.
And whilest our King makes ready to Return,
With Zeal inflamed Joys our Hearts do burn.
THe Brittish Seas Fly to a Forrein shore,
With an unwonted speed, to waft Him o're,
250: And make their Inroads on the Continent
That still detain's their Lord, and when they've spent
Their strength in vain, they backward bend their course
They may assayl it with a greater Force:
And having won 13 the Field, and got their Prize,
255: Ev'n Rarifi'd with joy, they Scale 14 the Skyes
To fetch the Clouds from thence, whose waters may
Send their Assistace to the happy Bay.
Both Heaven and Earth (for nought else yet we see)
Fight for, or yield to CHARLES his Potencie.
260: Neptune his Trident brings, and will not own
A Scepter suiting to a Triple Crown:
Iris, that stout Virago, thinks it fit
To paint her Bow with Purple, Green, & White
To shew whose cause she owns; Heaven would have made
265: Her stragling Meteors Torch-bearers i'th'shade
Of wandring Night, the Royal ship might stear
Aright amidst the Waves, but that there were
So many Bonefires on the shore that forc't
A day when Tytans Chariot was unhorst.
270: Now! now he sails in view! but yet no land
Appears unto his sight, the people stand
So thick (like King-Fishers) upon the Coast,
Th'Inhabitants he found, the Isle he lost.
Some wish themselves Arions Dolphin, they
275: Might shoot into the Waves and bear away
Their wished King to Land; and some would be
Int'Eagles Metamorphos'd, that from Sea
They might bring Charles the Great, as it is told
That feather'd Prince did bear the child of old.
280: All would be Christophers that they might bring
Unto the happy shore their welcome KING.
How did the people croud to see him set
His foot on English ground? He scarce could get
Room to Ascend; and thus their very Love
285: And Loyaltie did Petit Treason prove.
The Guns report his Landing, posting Fame
Rode all the staged Cannons as she came
Quite out of breath, and fainting, short had flown,
But Fleeter Eccho lent her Wings to Town.
290: The Bells rack'd on their turning wheels Confesse
The happy news to all the Parishes,
Whilst to their tuning Cords the Steeples dance
For joy at this their great Deliverance.
The Citizens began to curse the Day
295: Gave Birth unto our Civil Wars, that they
Could not rebuild great Pauls his Spire, (that fell
As an Ill-boading Omen to foretell,
The Ruine of the Church) so that they might
Have now ascended his prodigious Height
300: To view Charls in his Progresse, guarded by
The Quintessence of England Cavalry;
Whilst Loyal-hearted Subjects made a Lane
Fenc'd with a double Quick-set hedge, and strain
Their Throats, like merry Birds therein, so sing
305: The blessed Restauration of their King,
That now at Black-Heath makes a stand, to greet
Them Graciously, that at his Royal Feet
Cast themselves down for Pardon, and arise
In his Defence against his Enemies.
310: Thence They conduct him to his Throne, and He
Assumes his double-staft Supremacy.15
REturn'd! O happy News! Is Charles his Wain
On our Horizon wheel'd up once again,
(And drawn with Doves, which tacitely express
315: This Emblem'd Motto, Conquerer by Peace.)
Go scotch the Orb 16, ye God's, this Chariot may
Run the Olympick Chace no more, but stay
Till pale-fac't Death sets up the White, which done
May Ariadne's Star be-studded Crown
320: Enshrine his noble Brows, may he appear
In Cassiopeias High Imperial Chair,
A Star of the first Magnitude, and be
As in his proper Seat and Dignity.
Go scotch the Orb till then, we may no more
325: His Peregrined Aspects here deplore.
Then let our Joyes, O Loyal Subjects, Dance
The Flourishes of our Deliverance
Upon our Ravish'd Heart-strings, and our Tongues
Sing Confort to them with Bliss-brimmed Songs,
330: Since Providence our Monarch doth Recall
From Miseries Black-Heath, to Joyes White-Hall.
Vive le Roy. FINIS.
; in L and O=Tanner: weak inking in O Firth and WF gives ,
Of] O but weak ink in all copies except O=Tanner
S rtuctures in O Firth
dreadfull] dereadfull in all copies
Roar] Rore in O Firth only
For safer covert] missing in O Firth only
closing parenthesis missing in all copies
On the affair between Cromwell and Mrs Lambert, see Newes from the New Exchange; or the Commonwealth of Ladies, Drawn to the Life in their severall Characters and Conceivements (Printed in the year of women without grace, 1650).
not OED; though "white gunpowder" appears in the 19th century as a specific development in gunpowder; so presumably a poeticism.
Style 'oth] Styl e'oth O=Firth only
Charle's,] Charle, O=Firth only
won] wun O=Firth only
Scale] Skale O=Firth only
Supremacy.] Suprem cy. O=Firth only
In line with the title of the poem; "scotch the Orb" means to make a permanent incision upon the face of the earth; "scotch" thus OED v.1. "to make an incision or incisions in, to cut, score, gash."