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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Alexander Brome A Congratulatory Poem
4 June

   Titlepage: A / Congratulatory / POEM, / ON / The Miraculous, and Glorious Return / of that unparallel'd KING / CHARLS the II. / May 29. 1660. / [rule] / By ALEX. BROME. / [rule] / Pers. -- -- Ipse Semipaganus / Ad Sacra Regum carmen affero nostrum. / [rule] / LONDON, / Printed for Henry Brome at the Gun / in Ivy-Lane 1660.

    Thomason dated his copy on Monday 4 June, and the copy in the Wood collection is also dated June. A ms note on the t/p of the copy in the Huntington gives the price as "1d".

    Brome did not reprint this poem in the 1661 edition of his Songs and Other Poems, which does, however, contain the first appearance of the lyric "On the King's returne," and an early version of his ballad, England's Joy. It does appear in the 1664 and 1668 editions of Songs, however.

    Some interesting spleen directed at the low-born; various verbal coinages and usages.

[cut: arms supported by two cherubim]

To the Kings most Sacred Majesty.

1: NOw our Spring-royal's come, this ravish'd Land,
(That for twelve years did bring forth Tyrants, and
Traytors, in such aboundance, that the King,
And Subjects were forgot, both name and thing)
5: Bears Kings again, a memorable Spring!
May first brought forth, May now brings home our King;
Auspitious twenty nineth! this day of Mirth
Now gives Redemption, that before gave Birth.
Hark, how th'admiring people cry, and shout,
10: See how they flock and leap for joy; the Rout,
Whose Zeal and ignorance, for many years
Devis'd those Goblins Jealousies and Fears,
And fighting blindfold in those puzling Mists,
Rais'd by the conjuring of our Exorcists,
15: They Beat, and Wound, and Kill each other, while
Their Setters-on did share the prey, and smile.
Now they're unhood-wink'd, they do plainly see
What once they were, what now they ought to be.
The warlike Trumpet, whose unhallow'd breath
20: Inspir'd Rebellion, throws aside the wreath
Of ill-got Laurel, scandaliz'd to be
Made instrumental to such Victorie
As shames and beats the Conqueror, and layes
A Crown o'th'conquer'd, baffling th'others Bayes;
25: Tun'd by your Fame with loud and loyal voice,
Contributes sounds and helps us to Rejoyce.
Th'enlarged Bells, that, in these latter dayes,
Have been all silenc'd, and forbid to raise
Their Voice, but cross or backward from the steeple,
30: To proclaim Fire, or to amaze the people,
Or if they chim'd, 'twas out of tune, and so
Did other grating tuneless Sounds forego:
Now, with their gracefull discords, all proclaim
Your safe return, and celebrate your Name.
35: And the contiguous Bon-fires made the Nation
To apprehend a final Conflagration;
And made the ground, at midnight to appear
Like Heaven at noon, and in the heat o'th'year,
'Bout which rejoycing Neighbours friendly came,
40: And with fresh wood fed the devouring Flame.
Mean while, th'old Subjects, who so long have slept
In Caves, and been miraculously kept
From Rage and Famine; while the only thing
That fed and cloath'd them, was the name of King,
45: Do all New-plume themselves, to entertain
Your long'd-for Majesty, and splendid Train.
And (as in Jobs time 'twas) those Spurious things,
Who look like Subjects, but did ne'r love Kings,
Appear among your Subjects in array
50: That's undiscernable, unless more gay.
All with loud hallows pierce the smiling skies,
While brandish'd Swords please and amaze our eyes.
Why then should only I stand still? and bear
No part of triumph in this Theatre?
55: Though I'm not wise enough to speak t'a King
What's worth his ear, nor rich enough to bring
Gifts worthy his acceptance; though I do
Not ride in Buff and Feathers, which might show
Vain Ostentation, or a needless Pride,
60: Which some applaud, while others do deride.
That Pomp I did industriously eschue,
The Cost being more to me, than th'shew to you.
Nor do I love a Souldiers garb to own,
When my own Conscience tells me I am none.
65: Yet I'll doe duty too, for I've a minde
Will not be Idle, but will something finde
To bid my SOVERAIGN Welcom to his own
Long-widow'd Realm, his Scepter, Crown & Throne,
And though too mean and empty it appear,
70: If he afford a well-pleas'd Eye and Ear,
His pow'r can't by my Weakness be withstood,
Bee't what it will, he'll finde, or make it good.
Hail long-desired Soveraign! you that are
Now our sole joy and hope, as once our fear!
75: The Princely Son of a most pious Sire,
Whose Precepts and Example did inspire
Your tender years with virtues, that become
A King that's fit to rule all Christendom.
Which your great Soul hath so improved since,
80: Europe can't shew such an accomplish'd Prince.
Whose whole life's so exemplary, that you
Convinc'd those foes, which we could not subdue,
And those that did t'your Court t'abuse you come,
Converted Proselytes returned home.
85: Such strong and sympathetick virtues lye
In your great name, it cures when you're not nigh,
Like Weapon-salve; If fame can reach up to
This hight of Cures, what would your person do?
Your Subjects high'st Ambition, and their Cure,
90: Bold Rebells terror, you that did endure
What e're the Wit or Malice of your foes
Could lay on you or yours, yet stoutly chose
To suffer on, rather than to Retort
Their injuries, and grew Victorious for't;
95: And by your patient suffering did subdue
The Traytors fury, and the Traytors too.
The great King-makers favourite, a Prince
Born to a Crown, and kept for't ever since.
From Open force, from all the Close designs
100: Of all your Foes, and all our Catalines,
From all th'insatiate malice of that bold
Bloud-thirsty Tyrant, from his sword, and gold
Which hurt you more; and from your own false Friends,
Who sacrific'd to his Ambitious ends
105: Your Crown and people, and were kept in pay,
Your Cause, and Sacred Person to betray,
In which he ev'ry year expended more
Than your Revenues have been heretofore;
Yet you're deliverd out of all these things,
110: By your Protector, who's the King of Kings.
No more that proud Usurper now shall boast,
His partial Conquests, which more Money cost, 1
And Blood than they were worth, no more remember,
His thrice auspicious third day of September,
115: Which he design'd to be redeem'd from black,
And in Red letters writ ith' Almanack.
Since he fought not for victories, but paid,
Nor were you conquer'd by him, but betray'd.
And now your May, by love, has gotten more,
120: Than his Septembers did, by blood, before.
Thanks to that Glory of the West, that Star,
By whose conductive influence you are
Brought to enjoy your own, whose eminent worth
These Islands are too small to Eccho forth.
125: Whose courage bafled fear, whose purer soul
No bribes could e'r seduce, no threats controul,
But strangely cross'd the proverb, and brought forth
The best of Goods from th'once-pernicious North,
To whose Integrity, your Kingdomes owe
130: Their restauration, and what thence does flow,
Your blest arrival; with such prudence still
He manag'd these affairs, such truth, such skill,
Such valor too, he led these Nations through
Red Seas of Blood, and yet ne'r wet their shoe.
135: Blest be the Heavenly pow'rs, that hither sent
This Noble Hero, to be th'instrument
To'enthrone your Royal Person, and to bring
To's longing subjects our long absent King.
Welcom from forein Kingdoms, where you've been,
140: Driven by hard-hearted Fate, and where you've seen,
Strange men and manners; yet too truly known,
Those far more Hospitable than your own;
From those that would not, those that durst not do
Right to themselves, by being kinde to you;
145: From profess'd foes, and from pretended friends,
Whose feigned love promotes their sordid Ends.
"Kings treating Kings springs not from love, but state,
"Their love's to policy subordinate.
From banishment, from dangers, and from want,
150: From all those mischiefs that depend upon't,
You'r truly welcome; welcome to your throne,
Your Crowns and Scepters, and what ere's your own,
Nay to what's ours too, for we finde it true,
Our wealth is gotten and preserv'd by you;
155: Welcome t'your Subjects hearts, who long did burn
With strong desires to see your bless'd return.
Welcome t'your friends, welcome to your wisest foes,
Whose bought Experience tells them now, that those
Riches they've got by plunder, fraud, and force,
160: Doe not increase, but make their fortunes worse,
Like Robbers spoyls, just as they come, they goe,
And leave the Robbers poor and wicked too.
They see their error now, and do begin,
(Could they but hope, youl'd pardon their Huge sin)
165: To think you th'only means, and th'only man,
That will restore our liberties, and can.
Since you're come out o'th fire, twelve years refin'd,
With hard'ned body, and Experienc'd minde.
Only that crew of Caitiffs, who have been,
170: So long, so deeply plung'd in so great sin,
That they despair of pardon, and believe,
You can't have so much mercy to forgive,
As they had villanie t'offend, and sin,
And therefore to get out, get further in.
175:      These never were, and never will be true,
Unto your loyal Subjects, or to you;
The scum and scorn of every sort of men;
That for abilities, Could scarce tell ten,
And of estates proportion'd to their parts;
180: Of mean enjoyments, and of worse deserts,
Whom want made bold, and impudence supply'd
Those gifts, which art and nature had deny'd,
And in their practice perfect Atheists too,
(For half-wit, and half-learning makes men so)
185:      These first contriv'd and then promoted all
Those troubles, which upon your Realm did fall;
Inflam'd three populous Nations, that they might
Get better opportunity and light
To steal and plunder, and our goods might have,
190: By robbing those, whom they pretend to save,
Our new commotions new employments made,
And what was our affliction grew their trade.
And when they saw the plots, th'had laid, did take,
Then they turn'd Gamsters, and put in their stake,
195: Ventured their All; their credit which was small,
And next their Conscience which was none at all,
Put on all formes, and all Religions own,
And all alike, for they were all of none.
A thousand of them han't one Christian soul,
200: No oathes oblige them, and no Laws controul
Their strong desires but p'nal ones; and those
Make them not innocent, but cautelous . 2
Crimes that are scandalous, and yield no gain,
Revenge or pleasure, they perhaps refrain;
205: But where a crime was gainfull to commit,
Or pleas'd their lust or malice, how they bit!
This did invade the Pulpit, and the Throne,
And made them both, and all that's ours, their own.
Depos'd the Ministers and Magistrates,
210: And in a godly way, seiz'd their estates;
Then did the Gentry follow, and the Rich,
Those neutral sinners, by omission, which
Had good estates, for 'twas a lesser sin
To plunder, than t' have ought worth Plundring.
215: And by religious forms, and shews, and paints,
They're call'd the Godly party, and the Saints.
And as those men, that live ill lives, desire
To die good deaths, so these vile men aspire
To be reputed honest, and did stile
220: Themselves so, but they were meer Cheats the while.
Yet, by their artless Oratory, they
Vent'ring to make Orations, preach, and pray,
Drew in too many silly souls, that were
Caught with vain shewes, drawn on by hope and fear,
225: Poor undiscerning, all believing Elves,
Fit but to be the ruin of themselves;
Born to be cozen'd, trod on, and abus'd,
Lov'd to be fool'd, and easily seduc'd.
These beasts they make with courage fight and dy,
230: Like Andabates, 3 not knowing how, nor why,
Till they destroy'd King, Kingdome, Church & Laws,
And sacrific'd all to that word, The Cause.
While those possesse the fruit of all the toiles
Of these blind slaves, and flourish with their spoils,
235: Plum'd with gay feathers stoln, (like 'sops crow)
They seem gay birds, but it was only show.
Now publique lands and private too, they share
Among themselves, whose mawes did never spare
Ought they could grasp; to get the Royal lands,
240: They in Blood-royal bath'd their rav'nous hands.
With which they shortly pamper'd grew, and rich,
Then was their blood infected with the itch
Of Pomp, and Power, and now they must be Squires,
And Knights and Lords, to please their wives desires
245: And Madam them. A broken tradesman now,
Peic'd with Church-lands, makes all the vulgar bow
Unto his honour, and their Bonets vail
To's worship, that sold Peticoates, or Ale.
In pomp, attire, and everything they did
250: Look like true Gentry, but the Soul, and Head,
By which they were discern'd, for they were rude,
With harsh and ill-bred natures still endu'd;
Proud, and penurious. What Nobility
Sprung in an instant, from all trades had wee!
255: Such t'other things, crept into t'other House,
Whose Sires heel'd stockings, and whose Dams sold sowse.4
There's Lord Protectors, but of such a Crew,
As people Newgate, not good men, and true.
There were Lord Keepers, but of Cowes and Swine,
260: Lord Coblers, and Lord Drawers, not of wine.
Fine Cockney-pageant Lords, and Lords Gee-hoo,5
Lords Butchers, and Lords Butlers, Dray-Lords too.
And to transact with these was hatch'd a brood,
Of Justices and Squires, nor great, nor good;
265: Rays'd out of plunder, and of sequestration,
Like Frogs of Nilus, from an inundation;
A foundred Warrier, when the wars did cease,
As nat'rally turn'd Justice of the Peace,
And did with boldness th'office undertake,
270: As a blinde Coach-horse does a Stalion make.
These fill'd all Countries, and in every Town
Dwelt one or more to tread your Subjects down.
And to compleat this Strategem of theirs,
They use Auxiliary Lecturers;
275: Illiterate Dolts, pickt out of every Trade,
Of the same metal, as Jeroboams, 6 made,
That ne'r took Orders, nor e're any keep,
But boldly into others Pulpits creep,
And vent their Heresies, and there inspire
280: The vulgar with Sedition, who desire
Still to be cheated, and do love to be
Mis-led by th'ears, by couzning Sophistrie,
These sold Divinity, as Witches doe,
In Lapland, Windes, to drive where e're you go.
285: The Sword no action did, so dire and fell,
But that some Pulpiteers pronounc'd it, Well.
With these ingredients, were the Countries all
Poyson'd, and fool'd, and aw'd, while they did call
Themselves the Cities, or the Counties, and
290: Did in their names, what they ne'r understand
Or hear of. These did that old Drie-bone call
Up to the Throne, (if he were call'd at all)
And vow'd to live and dye with him; and then
Address'd to Dick, and vow'd the same agen.
295: And so to Rump; but these vowes were no more
Than what they vow'd to Essex long before,
And so perform'd; they dyed a like with all,
Yet liv'd on unconcerned in their fall:
So as these Corks might swim at top, they n'ere
300: Care what the liquor is that them did bear.
These taught the easie people, prone to sin,
And ready to imbibe ill customs in,
To betray trusts, to break an Oath, and Word,
Things that th'old English Protestant abhor'd.
And lest these Kingdoms should hereafter be
Took for inchanted Islands (where men see
Nothing but Devills did inhabit, and
All virtuous people had forsook the land
And left it to these Monsters) these took care,
To make us match and mix our bloud with their
Polluted issue; and so do, as when
Gods sons did take the daughters once of men.
To fright men into this, they did begin
To decimate them, for Original Sin.
315: Children that were unborn, in those mad times,
And unconcern'd in what they Voted crimes,
If guilty of Estates, were forc'd to pay
The tenth to those, who took nine parts away.
The Law was made a standing pool, and grew
320: Corrupt, for want of current; thence a crew
Of monstrous Animals out daily crawl'd,
Who little knew, but impudently ball'd;
And made the Law the Eccho of the Sword,
And with such Cattel were the Benches stor'd,
325: That made the Gown ridiculous, Now and then
The Malefactors were the wiser men,
Oft times the honester; these did dispence,
And rack the Laws, 'gainst equity and sence,
Which way the Buff would have them turn, by which
330: They long continued powerfull and Rich.
Now they'ld all wheel about, and be for you,
For (like Cam'lions) they still change their hue,
And look like that that's next them; they will vow,
Their hearts were alwayes for you, and are now.
335: Tis no new Wit, tis in a Play we know,
Who would not wish you King, now you are so?
But if to be of both sides be a Crime,
What is't to turn of all sides with the time?
Yet you can pardon all, for you have more
340: Mercy and love, than they have crimes in store.
And you can love, or pity them, which none
But you could doe; you can their persons own,
And with unconquer'd patience look on them,
Because your Nature knowes not to condemn.
345: You'll let them live, and by your grace convince
Their trech'rous hearts, that they have wrong'd a Prince
Whom God and Angels love & keep; whose minde
Solely to love and mercy is inclin'd;
Whom none but such as they could hurt, or grieve,
350: And none but such as you could e'r forgive
Such men and crimes. Those feathers ne'rtheless
Pluck'd from your Subjects backs, their own to dress,
Should be repluck'd, or else they should restore,
They'll still be left Crows, as they were before.
355: But if you trust them, you'll as surely be
Betray'd and ruin'd, as you now are free.
And now you are returned to your Realm,
May you sit long, and stedfastly at th'Helm,
And rule these head-strong people: may you be
360: The true Protector of our Libertie.
Your wisdom only answers th'expectation
Of this long injur'd, now reviving Nation.
May true Religion flourish and increase,
And we love virtue, as the ground of peace;
365: May all pretences, outward forms, and shewes
Whereby we have been gull'd, give way for those
True acts of pure religion, and may we
Not only seem religious, but be.
Of taking Oathes, may you and we be shy,
370: But being ta'ne think no necessity
Or power can make us break them! may we ne'r
Make wilfull breach of promises! nor e're
Basely betray our trusts! but strive to be
Men both of honour and of honestie!
375: And may those onely that are just, and true,
Be alwaies honor'd, and imploy'd by you.
Next let our sacred Lawes, in which do stand
The wealth, the peace, and safety of our Land,
Be kept inviolable, and never made
380: Nets to the small, while the great Flies evade!
May those that are intrusted with them be
Men of sound knowledge, and integrity,
And sober courage; such as dare, and will,
And can doe Justice! We have felt what ill
385: Comes by such Clarkes and Judges as have been,
For favor, faction, or design put in,
Without respect to Merit, who have made
The Law to Tyrants various lusts a Bawd,
Perverted Justice, and our Rights have sold,
390: And Rulers have been over-rul'd by Gold.
Then are the people happy, and Kings too,
When, they that are in power, are good, and doe.
On these two Bases let our peace be built
So firm and lasting, that no bloud be spilt,
395: No Country wasted, and no treasure spent
While you and yours do reign; no future rent
Disturb your happiness; but we may strive
Each in his sphere, to make our Nation thrive,
Grow plentifull, and pow'rfull, and become
400: The Ioy or Terror of all Christendom.
And those, who lately thought themselves above us,
May, spite of fate, or tremble at, or love us;
May no incroaching spirit break the hedge
Between Prerogative, and Priviledge.
405:       And may your sacred MAJESTY enjoy
Delights of Minde, and Body, that ne'r cloy!
Not only be obey'd, but lov'd at home,
Prais'd and admir'd by all that near you come!
And may your Royal Fame be spread as farr
410: As valiant, and as virtuous people are!
And when you'r Majesty shall be inclin'd
To blesse your Realms with heirs, oh may you find
A Spouse that may for Beauty, Virtue, Wit,
And royal birth, be for your person fit!
415: May you abound in hopefull babes, that may
Govern the Nations, and your Scepters sway,
Till time shall be no more, and pledges be
Both of our love, and our felicitie.
May you live long and happily, and finde
420: No pains of body, and no griefs of minde:
While we with loyal hearts rejoyce, and sing
God bless your Kingdoms, and

God save our KING.

[1]An accusation made elsewhere in Restoration propaganda; somewhere in Bodley, one of the collections contains a tract itemizing the "costs" incurred by the interregnum governments -- try G. pamp 1119 [not found here]

[2]OED: full of cuautels, i.e. deceitful, crafty

[3]Roman gladiators who fought on horseback in a helmet without eye-wholes; hence, a hood-winked warrior OED

[4]A variant of "souse," given by OED as pickled parts of pigs; "to sell souse" suggests cantankerousness and ill humour in women. OED quotes Cotgrave for "groin" "Faire le groin, to powt, lowre, frowne, be sullen, or surlie, to hang the lip or sell sowce"

[5]OED gives "gee-ho(e)" as a variant of "gee" or "gee up," the command to a horse. It would seem to be associated with unskilled drivers of cart horses as a command that makes up for their lack of skill: OED quotes 1659 D. Pell ... An Improvement upon the nine nauticall verses in the 107 Psalm (L=857.b.12; LT=E1732), p. 93 "Carmen that never leave jerking and Geoing of their horses till they hale the hearts of them out."

[6]In Kings , "a mighty man of valour" (11.28) "who made israel to sin (xiv.16); a large bowl or goblet, a large wine-bottle" OED cites nothing before 1816; so presumably here, large hollow vessels made of base material