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: June ??]
Date: Full of evidence of rushed printing, but Charles is clearly back in the country.
Plenty of medical metaphors; the interegnum is represented as an illness infecting both the king and the nation. Saintsbury tells us Chamberlayne was a doctor, and calls this the best of the Restoration poems after Dryden's -- perhaps a rather exaggerated claim.
Anticipates the king's marriage
Or, A Poem on the happy return of his
Sacred Majesty, Charls the II.
To the Kings most Sacred Majesty,
PArdon great Prince for all our offering here,
But weak discoveries of our wants appear.
No language is Commensurate with thee,
Our loftiest flights but plaine Humilitie.
Yet since we may, our frailty to conceale,
Be guilty of a Crime in smoothering zeale,
That bids thy blest returns more welcome then
Plenty to th'starv'd, or land to shipwrackt men.
For such were we, or if there's ought can more
10: Demonstrate ill, that wo was ours before.
Heaven, to restore our lost light sent us him,
Without whose raise our sphear had still been dim:
Dim as in that dark intervall, when we
Saw nothing but the Clouds of Anarchie,
15: Raised by the Witch-craft of Rebellion, to
So vast a height, none durst pretend to view,
Whilest they lay Curtain'd in that black disguise,
Majestick beams, but twas with blood-shot eyes.
Then if such of necessity must pine,
Who're rob'd of food, both humane and divine;
How could we thrive when those that did pretend
To feed, did all on their Ambition spend.
Who with the Sword, not Reason did Convince,
And rackt the Subject to unthron the Prince.
25: The dolefull years of thy exile have been
At once our Nations punishment and sin:
Tost in a storm of dark Afflictions, we
Floated at randome, yet still look'd on thee
As our safe Harbour, but had none to guide
30: Us too't; False Pilates with the windes complide.
We saw what Crime drench'd the amazed rout;
Yet wanted strength to cast that curst thing out.
Though oft twas vainlie strugl'd for, yet we
Who were exil'd from nought but Libertie:
35: Who durst live here 1 Spectators of those times,
Do now in tears repent our passive Crimes,
And with one Universall voice allow
We all deserve death, since we live till now.
But this is Englands Jubilee, nor must
Thy Friends doubt mercy, where thy foes dare trust.
Thou art our great Panpharmacon, which by
Its vertue cures each various malladie,
Giving their pride, a coole alay of fears,
Whilest to restore our Hectick, 2 hope appears:
45: And these began the Cure, which to compleat,
Expansive mercy makes thy thron her seat:
So that there now (except the guilt within)
No signe remains, there hath a difference been.
The giddy rout, who in their first Addresse,
Cryed Liberty, but meant licentiousness,
Whose deprav'd judgements, not content to see
A heaven of Stars, their primum mobile
Did Change the systeme; and ith'spight oth'love
Or feare of heaven, taught earths base dregs to move,
55: In the bright Orb of honour, where to all
That's great, or good they were excentricall:
Having long found their direfull influence
In nought but plagues descended; did from thence
Learn sad repentant Lectures, and dare now
60: Present the Sword, where late the knee did bow.
Dare tell their damd'd 3 impostors they but made
False zeale the light, whilest treason cast the shade.
Dare Curse their new discoveries, which plac't in
Hels Geographie, Amerricaes of sin.
But these, like dust rais'd 'twixt two Armies, doe
Hurt, or assist, as they are hurried to
Either by levity; And therefore must
By none be held an Object of their Trust;
For though they are Usurpers hands, they've found
70: They rent at night, what they ith'morning crown'd;
But you (great Sir) whose fate hath been so mixt,
As to behold these vollatile, and fixt.
May (since the off-spring of their sufferings) be
More certain of their future Loyaltie.
75: And though your title, and heaven setled state
Needs not (Usurper like) measure your Fate
By such vain love, yet may you still be sure
They'le neer again, a Rebbels scourge endure.
These past years of infatuation, which
Hath drayn'd their Coffers, did their hearts enrich,
With so much eager loyalty, that when
With wonder, like those new recover'd men,
Who by our Saviours miracles escaped
From darknesse thought men had like trees been shaped
85: They onely through mist rarrified, gazed at
Those glimmering beams, whilest they knew not what
Th'event would be, how (wing'd with hope) did they
Each feeble glance praise as approaching day.
But when, with such advantage as the light
Gains by succeeding the black dresse of night.
Through all the fogs of their preceeding fear,
They fro the North saw loyall Monk appear:
How in Petitions did their Prayers exhale,
To waft him on, untill the gentle gale
95: (Although by wayes so wisely intricate;) 4
They rais'd our fear, whilest they did calm our fate,
Brought him at length through all our doubts to be,
The great Assertor of our Libertie.
Then did we think that modest blush but just,
100: Whose present die, display'd our late mistrust.
And to requite those injuries wee'd done
To myrids rais'd, what single praise begun:
Through all the devious paths which he did tread,
From the base Rump, unto the glorious Head:
105: We scand his Actions, which did nought comprise
That might offend, but that he was too wise
For Vulgar judgments, whose weak fancies guest
By present Actions, what would be the rest.
But when their eyes unvail'd, discover'd who
Had to destroy the monster, found the Clew.
How did they praise his Wisdome, Valour, all
That could within the name of Subject fall:
And to compleat, what ere his due might be,
Knit up those Lawrels with his Loyalty;
115: That noble Vertue, without which the rest
Had onely burthend, not adorn'd his Crest.
Then, since we now by this heaven guided hand,
Once more behold the glory of our land;
Whom midnight plots long studied to exclude
120: Again fixt in's Meridian Altitude:
Lets cease to mourn, and whilest those fogs attend
Such miscreant wretches, as dare still offend,
By flying mercy, raise our souls, deprest
Ere since this Star set in the gloomy West.
125: For then begun that dreadfull night, which we
Have since with terrour seen, brave loyalty
Being so opprest by a prevailing fate;
Twas onely known by being unfortunate:
Yet, though Rebellion in unnaturall Wars,
So far did thrive, to prove us falling Stars.
The wiser world saw those that did aspire,
Not as Heaven's lamps, but Hels impetuous fire.
As monsters of Ambition, such whose wilde
Chymera's since Rebellion first defiled
135: Our English Annals, onely were advanc'd:
But fortunes light Ephemera's, to be glanc'd
A while with secret envy on; and then
Hurld from th'ill mannaged helm, to be by men
Persude with such a just deserved hate,
140: As makes each curse, ad weights unto their fate:
Horrid as are their names, which neer shall be
Mention'd without adjuncts of Infamy:
So full of guilt, all Ages to insue
Shall weep to hear, what this neere blusht to doe.
Whilest we were in these uncouth 5 shades o'recast
To tell what wilde Meanders hath been past
By thee, our Royall Soveraign, is a Task
That would the tongues of inspired Angels ask.
Yet since domestick miseries hath taught
150: Us part of the sad stories ruder draught
We may, by weak reflection come to see,
With what dire waight these dark storms fell on thee;
Who, whilest thou didst (from hence excluded) stand
The pittied wonder of each Forraign Land:
155: Learnd'st by commanding Passions how to sway
A Nation more rebellious far than they;
So that the Schoole which thou wert tutor'd in,
Though thy disease, our Antidote hath been
We suffering not our Crimes desert, because
160: From hence you learn'd to pitty, and the Laws
Just harnesse with such Candor mitigate,
As once you bore the rigour of your Fate.
(What earthquakes breeds it in our breasts, when we
But think o're thy progressive miserie:
165: How thou (our restlesse Dove) seeing no mark
Of land, wert hurried from our floating Arke:
(And whilest those Villaines, that exposed thee lay
Forc't every winde of Faction to obey)
Wert long with billows of Affliction beat,
170: Ere thou didst with they Olive branch retreat.
How by poore Friends, and powerfull Enemies,
By Flattering strangers, and by false Alies,
Were thy Afflictions varied, for all these
Shared in the complicating thy disease.
Like dolefull Mourners that surround the bed
Of a departing Friend, those few that fled
Hence of the wings of Loyalty, to be
Partakers of what e're attended thee;
Whilest they did mourn, but could not lend relief:
180: Did by their sorrow but increase thy grief.
Such was the power of thy prevailing foes;
No place afforded safety, some of those
Whom poverty sent to attend thy Train
To cure that mallady, did entertain
185: Infectious Councels, which did festering lye
Till Rebells Gold outweighed their Loyalty.
And from the black pernicious Embrio bred,
Monsters whose hands strove to destroy their Head.
Nor, whilst these secret sorrows sunk a mine,
Which if not hinderd by a power Divine
Had blown up all thy patience, wert thou free
From publick injuries, that amities
Which former leagues, or the more sacred ties
Of blood could claim, vail'd in the base disguise
195: Of pollicy starts back, and doth give way
For treason to expell, or else betray.
Great birth, and vertues which did that excell
As the meridian doth each paralell,
Are but weak props, a Rebels threats convince:
200: And all avoid a persecuted Prince.
When after these big storms of ill abroad,
Some loyall Subjects had prepar'd the road
Unto thy throne, and thou didst once more hear
Arm'd for redemption of thy Crown appear,
205: Whilest all our hearts, whose distant hands could not
Come to assist, thy righteous cause waxt hot
With loyall hopes: how were we plannet strook,
When fortune, with pretended friends forsook
Thy side, at fatall Worcester, and to raise
210: A Rebells Trophies, rob'd thee of thy bayes.
How dismal sad, how gloomy was each thought
Of thy obedient Subjects whilest they sought
Their flying Soveraign, curtain'd from their eys,
In the dark dresse of an unsafe disguise.
All wisht to know, what all desire should be
A secret kept, such strange varietie
Of contradictions did our passions twist:
We would behold the Sun, yet prais'd the mist.
But whilest desire thus shot at rovers, that
More powerfull Sacrifice our prayers, being at
Heavens penetrated eare directed, found
Our hopes by thy diserting us nere Crown,
For though to want thee was our great'st distresse;
Yet now thy Absence was our happinesse.
Then; though we neer enough can celebrate
The praise of this, yet thy misterious fate
(Great favourite of Heaven) so often hath
Advanc'd our wonder, that the long trod path
Directs us now without more guides to see,
230: Those miracles, wrought in preserving thee
Were Gods imediate Act, to whose intents
Were often fitted weakest instruments,
From whose successe faith this impression bore,
He that preserv'd thee, would at length restore,
235: Which now through such a laborinth is done,
We see the end, ere know how 'twas begun:
That big bulkt cloude of poysonous vapors, in
Whose dismall shades, our Liberty had been
Long in a maze 6 of errours lost, was by
240: A wholesome Northern gale inforc'd to flye
Easie as morning mists, so that the fate
Seem'd not more strange, which did at first create,
Then what did now destroy in it, did appear
As far from hope, as was the first from fear:
When a Rebellious tyranny had been
So strengthen'd by a prosperous groweth in sin,
That the contagious leprosie had left
None sound, but what were honest by their theft.
Then to behold that Hydra, which had bred
250: So many, in an instant, her last head
Submit to justice, is a blessing we
Must praise ith'raptures of an extasie,
Till from the pleasing trance, being welcom'd by
Loud acclamations, raised from Loyalty:
255: We come, we come, with all the reverence due
To heavens bests gifts (great Prince) to welcome you:
You who by suffering in a righteous Cause
Safely restored, that Liberty, those Laws,
Which after long Convulsive Fits were now
260: Expiring, so, that future times told how
This great work was perform'd, shall wonder most
To see the Feaver Cur'd, yet no blood lost.
But these are Mercies fit to Usher in
Him to a Thron, whose vertuous life hath been
265: Beyond detraction good; therefore attend
Those joyes which Heaven to us, by you, did send:
Whose sacred essence waighted on by all,
The most transcendent blessings that can fall
Within the Sphear of humane vertue, still
270: Surround your Throne; may all imagin'd ill
Die in the Embrio; may no dark disguise
Of seeming Friends, or Foes that temporise
E're prejudice your peace, may your Foes prove
All blushing Converts; may all those that love
275: You do't for zeal, not gain; and though that we
(What was of late your mark) our povertie
Are still inforc'd to wear, oh may there thence
Ne're spring a thought to take or give offence:
May all toward you be fraughted with desires,
That may in flaming zeal out blaze the fires,
That you are welcom'd in with: May delight
Within your Royall breast no opposite
E're finde, but so let gentle pleasure grow,
That it may kiss the banks, but neer overflow.
When Hymen leads you to the Temple, let
It be to take that Jem, which heaven hath set
The worlds adorning ornament, that we
May by that blest Conjunctions influence see
Such hopefull fruit spring from our Royall stem
290: As may deserve the whole worlds Diadem.
May Peace adorn your Thron; yet if the Sword
Must needs be drawn, may it no sound afford
But Victory, untill extended Power
Adds waight unto your Scepter: May no houre
295: Ere set a seal to the Records of time,
But what still makes your pleasure more sublime,
Till they being grown to pure for earth, shall be
Call'd to the Triumphs of Eternitie.
By Will. Chamberlaine.
London, Printed for Robert Clavell at the Stags-head in
St. Pauls Church yard, 1660.
here] ed; hear ä
OED: a person suffering from a wasting fever, a consumptive
damd'd] ed; damb'd O, L -- remove this note;
closing parenthesis added, ed
uncouth] ed; uncoutch O, L
a maze] ed; amaze O, L