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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To The King
Titlepage: TO THE / KING, / UPON HIS / MAJESTIES / Happy Return. / [rule] / By a Person of Honour. / [rule] / [design: royal arms] / LONDON, / Printed by J. M. for Henry Herringman, and are to be / Sold at his Shop at the Blue-Anchor in lower Walk / of the New-Exchange, 1660. / [within ruled box]
Possibly by Robert Boyle, but stylistically wrong for him.
1: AS The Great World at first in Chaos lay;
Then darkness yeiled to triumphant day;
And all that wilde and undigested Mass
Did into Form, and to Perfection pass:
5: So, in our lesser World, Confusions were
Many, and vast, as now our Blessings are.
Our past, and present State, fully express
All we could bear, and all we would possess.
Wonder not that Your Forces could not bring
10: You to Your Crowns, nor us unto our King:
Fate made therein this high Design appear,
Your Sword shall rule abroad, Your Virtues here.
The lesser Conquest was to You deny'd,
That by the greater it might be supply'd.
15: Nor think it strange that some so long have strove
With that which they did most admire and love;
Since all against their dissolution pray,
Although to Heav'n there is no other way.
Like to Bethesdas Pool, our Common-wealth
20: Till it was troubled, could not give us health:
You, as the Angel, did our Waters stir,
And from that motion we derive our Cure.
The highest Blessing God to You does yield,
He, His Anoynted, as His Church does build:
25: Nothing of noise did to perfection bring
The greatest Temple, and the greatest King.
Alike He builded both, that all might see,
Your Kingdom, like his Church, shall endless be.
As when Great Nature's Fabrick was begun,
30: Expanded Light made day, and not the Sun;
But Light diffus'd was to perfection grown,
When from one Planet, it contracted, shone:
So when our Government was form'd to last
But till the race of a few days was past,
35: With Ruling Gifts GOD many did endue,
But; now 'tis fix'd, all those are plac'd in You.
Your Banishment, which Your Foes did designe
To cloud Your Virtues, made them brighter shine.
Thus Persecution did but more dispence
40: Throughout the world the Gospels influence.
Princes, who saw Your Sufferings, did esteem
'Twas greater to subdue such griefs then them;
And in that Conquest found how they should fare,
If they provok'd Your Justice to a War.
45: By Your Return, and by Your Foes pursuit,
Europe Your Blossomes had, but we Your Fruit.
Our Senate does not for Conditions sue;
We know we have our All, in having You:
Your Mercy with our Crimes does nobly strive;
50: And, e're we ask forgiveness, You forgive.
Your Subjects thus doubly You now subdue,
Both in the Manner, and the Action too.
Your great Reception in our neighb'ring State,
Proves that on You depends their Countries fate:
55: Your dreadful Fleet does on their Coast appear,
Yet to their Joy, they yeild up all their Fear;
For knowing You, they know Heav'n has resign'd
A Pow'r unbounded to a bounded Mind.
Triumphant Navy! Formerly your Fraight
60: Consisted but of Laurel, or of Plate;
But to your happy Country now you bring
More then both Indies in our Matchless KING.
Twice has the World been trusted in a Barque;
The New, the Charles contain'd, the Old, the Ark;
65: This bore but those who did the World re-build,
But that bore You, to whom that World must yeild.
The spacious Sea, which does the Earth embrace,
Ne're held so many Princes in one Place;
Princes, whose Father still the Trident bore,
70: As shall their Sons, till Time shall be no more.
Now whilst the Sea, Your greatest Subject, moves
Slowly, as loth to part with what he loves;
And whilst Your Sails the calmed Air subdue;
(For which he chides the Winds, and thanks them too)
75: I might present You with a Prospect here,
Of that vast Empire to which now You Steere.
But on that Theam my Numbers cannot stay;
Copies to their Originals give way;
For now Your Fleet sees Land, which many a peal
80: Of thund'ring Cannon to the Shore does tell:
And now Your ravish'd Subjects see Your Fleet,
Which they with shouts, louder then Cannon, greet:
Two Suns at once our sights now entertain;
One shines from Heav'n, the other from the Main.
85: All Loyal Eyes are now fixt on the East,
For You, more welcome then that daily Guest;
While on the Shore Your longing Subjects stand,
Subjects, as numberless as is the Sand;
Subjects sufficient, if but led by You,
90: All Countries You have liv'd in, to subdue.
In Raptures now We our great Gen'ral see,
Move faster to meet You then Victorie:
He at Your Feet himself does prostrate now,
To whom vast Fleets and Armies us'd to bow;
95: And greater Satisfaction does express
In This Submission, then in That Success.
Your Royal Armes inwreath Him, which he more
Does prize, then all those Laurel Wreaths He wore.
Now all for His Victorious Troops make room,
100: Which never but by Joy were overcome:
Loud shouts to Heav'n for Your Return they send,
Whilst low as Earth their dreaded Ensigns bend;
He leads them still to what exalts their Name;
Now to their Duty, as before to Fame.
105: Their Misled Courage, in a fatal Time,
Had been too long their Glory, and their Crime.
Now they are truly Great, now truly live,
Since this You Praise, and that You do forgive.
Those, who so long could keep You from Your due,
110: What can resist, now they are led by You?
Your Great Example will their Model prove;
Persuading soon, and willingly, as love.
Such Fleets, and Armies, and our CHARLES their Head,
Are Things which all the Universe may dread.
115: And now You move; and now in all the Waies,
Thick Clouds of Subjects, Clouds of Dust do raise;
Through which the Worlds chief City now You see,
Great in Extent, greater in Loyalty;
Their Cannon speaks, their Streets the Souldiers line,
120: And brightest Beauties from their Windows shine:
Your Subjects Earthly Jove You now are grown;
Thunder and Light'ning guard You to Your Throne.
Thus You Tryumph, whilst at Your Palace Gates
The highest earthly Senate for You waits:
125: One Roof contains those which our Laws do make,
And Him from whom the World their Laws must take:
Their Knees do homage, whilst their Tongues confess,
They in their Duty find their Happiness;
And Fame aloud, through ev'ry Region, sings,
130: They are the best of Subject, You, of Kings.
The Royal Throne so fully You Adorn,
That now all praise, what some before did Scorn:
A Throne which now the envious do confess,
Our Safety urg'd Your Merit to Possess.
135: Where C'sar could no further Glory win,
There is the Scene, where Yours does but begin;
By which indulgent Fate would have it known,
Though his Success had end, Yours should have none:
Or else that nothing worthy was of You,
140: But what Great Julius wanted Pow'r to do.
Our fierce Divisions made our Courage known,
But more Your Wisdome shines, that makes us One;
Which has so fram'd Your Empire to endure,
We need but prudent Foes to be secure.
145: You might possess by Armies, and by Fleets,
All where the Sun doth rise, or where he sets;
But You a nobler Conquest have design'd,
The placing Limits to Your greater Minde:
And may those highest Titles never cease,
150: A King of Greatest Pow'r, and Greatest Peace.
Of Suff'rings past let us no more complain,
Since You by them with greater Glory Reign;
Till that we saw, Your Subjects could not guess,
Heav'n had for them a Blessing above Peace.
155: Nor can we tell which most in You to own,
Either Your Virtues, or Extraction.
Though never any was so Great, and Good;
It springs from Martyrs, as from Royal Blood:
But Your own Glories do so brightly shine,
160: You need not borrow Luster from Your Line.
Yet we must say, since justly but Your due,
Though You our Glories raise, they raise not You:
Like to the Royal Bird, which climbes the Skies,
You lesser seem, still as You higher rise.
165: Your self You limit to a Triple Throne,
And all mens Wonder are, except Your own.
Now Sacred Peace and Justice cease to mourn,
And both in You again to us return.
Religion now shall flourish with Your Crown,
170: And the fierce Sword yeild to the peaceful Gown.
The Muses too so highly You esteem,
That You are both their Influence and their Theam.