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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Thomas Flatman
A Panegyrick
30 June

   Compare Flatman's verses in Duncombe's Scutum Regale;

   Check authorship; who ascribed this to Flatman?? Wing accepts it as Flatman BUT: In no edition of his Poems and Songs (1674, 1676, 1682, 1686) does it appear; why not? why would he leave it out? The 1686 Poems includes "On the much Lamented Death of our late Sovereign Lord King Charles II of blessed Memory, Pindarique Ode" (pp. 239-45) so why, if this were his, would they be omitted? Saintsbury does not include this with F.s other poems in Caroline Poets; -- see F. A. Child, The life and uncollected poems of Flatman Phila 1921 [O=Eng Fac Lib J74.60CH1]

    Both Hazlitt, Handbook p. 208 and NCBEL p. 473 suggests this is perhaps by Thomas Forde.

   What do we know of Flatman? Woods calls him "an eminent Poet of his time" who came from "Aldersgate street in the Suburb of London." An anonymous notice of Flatman tipped in to a Bodleian copy of Poems (1674) dates his birth c. 1635. He was elected to a fellowship at New College in 1654, but left Oxford without a degree to enter the Inner Temple. While at the Inns of Court, Flatman never practised law, preferring poetry and painting. Oldys wrote of him:

Should Flatman for his client strain the laws,
The Painter gives some colour to the cause:
Should critics censure what the Poet writ
The Pleader quits him at the bar of with.
In 1681, the Duke of Ormond was so pleased with a poem on the death of his son, Lord Ossory, that he presented Flatman with a mourning ring and diamond worth oe100 (Wood, AO 2: 626). 1 Pope imitated F.'s "A Thought on Death" in his "The Dying Christian to his Soul."

    Despite an early contempt for marriage, Wood reports that F. was "afterwards smitten with a fair Virgin, and more with her fortune, did espouse her 26 nov. 1672; whereupon his ingenious COmrades did serenade him that night, while in the embraces of his Mistress" with a song F. had written in contempt of marriage (AO 2: 626-27). F. died 8 December 1688 at his house in Fleet street and was buried at St Brides.

    At the time of the Restoration, F. was chamber mate with Sam Woodford at the Inner Temple. Flatman included verses on Woodford's trans of the Psalms in his Poems (1674, 1676, 1682, 1686). SW's Epinicia also published by a Chancery Lane publisher.

    -- check Don Juan Lamberto or a Comical history of the late times. By Montelion LT E 1048 (6), November 1660 [ascribed to John Phillips and to Flatman}

    Flatman's Poems and Songs (1674; UL copy Syn. 766.68.2) does not include these verses, though it does include an elegy to Monck. There are commendatory verses by: Walter Pope, Charles Cotton, Ric. Newcourt, Francis Knollys, Octavian Pullen, Franc. Bernard. The volume also includes an elegy to Orinda, and verses to Sam. Woodford "on his excellent version of the Psalms."

    Flatman rumoured to be in a "Poetical war" with Robert Wild, poet of Iter Boreale, in 1672 "but how it was teminted" Wood cannot tell (AO 2: 706).

    F. and Cowley were among the dedicatees of Katherine Philips' Poems: see Woods AO 2:284 for a life of KP.

   Emphasizes Charles's power and promise of authority over other nations, especially France, Spain and the German republic. Flatman is not alone in ascribing many of Charles's former troubles to Catholic conspiracy.

To His Renowned 2 MAJESTIE,
Charles the Second,
King of Great Britaine, &c.

REturn, return, strange Prodigie of Fate!
Gird on thy Beams, and re-assume thy State.
Miraculous Prince, beyond the reach of Verse,
The Fame and Wonder of the Universe!
5: Preserv'd by an Almighty hand, when Rome,
And raging Oliver had read thy doom!
Deliver'd from a bloudy Junto (men,
That gladly would be Murtherers agen!)
Thy valiant Arms have strugled with the Tide,
10: Encountred all the Winds, and scorn'd their Pride:
Guarded with Angels; yet preserv'd to be
Distracted, heart-sick England's Remedie!
Come, Royal Exile! We submit, we fall,
We bend before thy Throne, and give thee all:
15: Accept Eternal Honour, and that Crown,
Which Vertue, and rare Actions make thine own.
Thou shalt Eclipse the petty Courts, where Thou,
Too long a Noble Sojourner, didst bow.
The Monsieur's bravery shall vail to Thee,
20: And the grave Don adore thy Majestie,
While thine encreasing Glories shall out-shine
The Plumes o'th'One, and t'others Golden Mine.
The German Eagle, when thy Lions roare,
Shall flag her wing, and towre above no more;
25: Shall gaze upon Thy Lustre, crouch down lower,
And bask within the Sun-shine of thy Power:
As for those Potentates that lesser be,
They shall be Greater if they stoop to Thee:
Subjects to such a King, are better far,
30: And happier, than other Monarchs are.
Heav'n, and brave Monck, conspire to make thy Raign
Transcend the Diadems of Charlemain.

T. F.           LONDON,
Printed for HENRY MARSH at the Princes Arms in
Chancery Lane near Fleetstreet, MDCLX.

[1] see Walpole's Dictionary of Painters.

[2] Renowned] Renowed ä