The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive

John Crouch, "Loyall Reflections, not Forgetting the Royal Oak" (1661)*

TO HIS SACRED
MAJESTIE:
Loyall Reflections,
UPON
His Glorious Restauration, Procession, and Coronation;
Not forgetting the ROYALL OAKE.

[an illegible small-font Gk. motto]

Ascend thou Wiser Phaeton, mount yet higher,
The World adores thy Light, dreads not thy Fire;
The golden Howers have nail'd thy Chariot wheels,
Thy Orbe is fixt, the Earth below thee reels.
Copernicus (all Metaphor) did presage
The sublunarie Motions of our Age.
     Ascend Great Britains Emperour, not to own
An Usurpation, but your Birth-right Throne;
And yet a Throne not of an easie Rise,
Whose Foot was Earth, whose Top was Paradise.      10
What Right, what Armes, what Prayers, long reacht in vain,
Is let down by a Providentiall Chain:
The Heavens (Great Sir,) weav'd your Imperial Robe,
Your Scepter fell from the Cúlestial Globe,
What the proud Romans of their Ancyle feign
Is form'd a truth in your miraculous Reign.
That Scarlet Fabrick Romulus rear'd in blood,
Is shrunk; the first Foundation was not good.
Thus, Strafford, they that sowed their Politick seeds
In thy rich Blood, receive no Crop but weeds!      20
     Romes Cæsars chaind Kings mockt in publick showes
Whose fate (an easie Victory) crownd their browes:
Our Cæsar, vanquisht by unequal Wars,
Conquerd the Conquest, and subdued his Stars.
All grant, Heaven wrought this wondrous Change; And now
To assert the truth religious Rebels bow.
     Worsters miraculous escape spoke loud,
Had not Rebellion ears deaf, and hearts proud:
A sacred Brand snatcht from a field of fire,
Not to be unking'd, but to be humbled higher;      30
When this strange Rescue made the Tyrant sweat
Who vowed, without the King, 'twas no defeat.
Had onely put heaven to some new expence,
To sanctifie long prophaned Providence.
Thou foundst proud Monster, one good Angel then
Was a Life-guard above an Hoast of men
     Blest Oake! thou Monarch of the British Grove,
Sacred to CHARLES (thy guest,) as once, to Jove;
Thou Bulwark of our little world! dost stand,
Or move, impregnable by Sea and Land;      40
Thou vegetive Soul! whose glory 'tis and pride
To suffer wounds or sink, not to divide:
O were our Rationals hearted like thee,
We should not such Schisms and Divisions see:
Whose branches Ogleby['s] rich fancy made
Bear Crownes for Nuts; but thy best Fruit was shade:
When CHARLES lodg'd in thy Boughs, thou couldst not want
Many degrees to be a sensible Plant.
O mayst thou never be transplanted more,
Never touch Earth, except thy Native Shore!      50
When we are dead, mayst thou survive behind,
To tell the world how Stones and Oakes were kind,
When Men and Saints were Devils! O be thou
The King of woods, and let the Cedar bow;
Live, and henceforth the Tree of Life present,
Or if thou dyest, stand thy own Monument.
     Hence prophane Ravens, never dare to Croak
Upon the streamers of our Sacred Oake;
Or when you dare, O let your ominous breath
Presage not Mans or Beasts, but your own death!      60
Whose Branches sav'd three Kingdoms and a King,
Frequent this Tree ye sweetest Birds that sing.
Coy Daphne die to use; the Oake shall now
Crown both the Poets and the Conquerours brow.
Blest Tree! When Age has hoar'd thy sides, grown thin
Has nothing left thee, but bare ribs and skin,
Within thy Concave may those spirits dwell,
And there fix an unerring Oracle.
Since (part o' th' world) thou too must mortall be,
Stand both alive and dead a Vocall Tree:      70
And let the Nations tremble at our Stroakes,
Who have (what they all want) such Hearts and Oakes.
     London! the worlds Metropolis, the Burse
Of all our Citties, and three Kingdomes Purse!
Those high Triumphals on thy bosome built,
Reacht Heaven, and brought down Pardons for thy Guilt.
When did thy long dark Eye such sights behold?
When was thy Streets so pav'd with Silk and Gold?
Phoebus breaks forth from his Imperial Tower,
Makes the whole Cittie Sun-shine for an Hower.      80
Heaven smiles through the moyst Region of the Aire,
And spite of Lilly, two dayes must be Fair.
Lions and Rebels left (those Beasts of prey)
The Pomp proceeds serenely with the day.
What Majestie with it brings, the same it meets,
Glory and Trimph though the Impaled Streets:
A laden Cammel powres into his hand
The wealth of India both by Sea and Land.
A Gallant First-Rate Ship, Rig'd up in view,
Threatens to make all that was painted, true.      90
Wonder not why our Navy saild alone,
The Dutch had struck sail, and were newly gone.
King, Peers, Knights, Gentry, Souldiery, all advance,
Cloath'd with the wealth of Turkie, Spain and France.
Pearls, Rubies, Diamonds (or if richer Stone
There be) then, numerous as the Pebbles, shone.
Th' Amazed People on their Scaffolds sit,
See Bright Stars at Noon-day without a Pit.
The Globe was now inverted, and the Spheare
Adorn'd with Stars, was not above, but here.      100
But Nobler Lights (pierce not the Eye but Mind)
Like Constellations from the windows shind!
While busie scruples gazing Forreigners vex,
Which were those Conquerors, Male or Female Sex.
The brave Horse marching in their Plumes so gay,
Flowr'd all the Streets, and Tulipt up the way.
     Did ever Nation laden with such spoils
Return triumphing from their Civil Broils?
Thus Headless England fights it self at length
Into a Kingdom, weakned into strength!      110
Sick bodies bleed; and so recover health,
And Thrones rise high bas'd on a Common-wealth.
Our Ruine is Restor'd with gain not Loss,
Cheap-side all Gold to recompence the Cross.
Fair Concord here, the Churches Embleme stands,
Then Plentie flowes from Kings and Bishops Lands;
But our poor Mother-Church lies still heart sick
Rent in the Middle, and turns Schismaticke;
Fallen with a fright, when that usurping Gog
Threatned to sell it for a Synagogue;      120
Thanks Anabaptists; who then powerful, stickle
Preserve it for a Free-will Conventicle:
Had not the old Saints stood (propt up by Them)
London had been a new Jerusalem.
Better twice dipt, then not at all, to'admit
Some change, rather then quite Unchristian it.
But what Paul lost, was all to Peter paid,
For one whole day The chief Apostle made:
Whose Net was chang'd to Copes and Sattin Gowns,
Fit to present the Second CHARLES fowre Crowns;      130
Who more concern'd for Piety then State,
Upon his Throne like a good Patriarch sate:
As if he had this painted world forsook,
Had not a Scepter, but a Crosier took.
The holy Oyntment, bath'd his Limbs and Head,
Shall sent his sacred Ashes, when he is dead:
Twas not its Native vertue I presume,
But His Divinity heightened the perfume.
May that rich Harmony Ecchoed from two Sphears,
Till Heaven exchange it, still possess his Ears!      140
Bishops and Presbyters, Cement for shame:
Differenc'd, like mankind onely by a name:
I fear in Heaven they hardly will agree,
Who divide in this high Solemnitie.
Munday we grant was proudly rich and gay,
But Tuesday was the Sacred Holyday;
Such Glorious Sights was never seen before;
And, without Treason, must be wisht no more.
Were not Rome kind, we should live long, to see
Two Ages, and a double Jubilee!      150
     We wish great Spain prosperity and health,
Though first he Catholickt our Common-wealth;
May Flanders flourish, be for ever blest,
Which lodg'd, what France expos'd, an Angel-Guest.
Tremble proud France, (th' hast lost thy Politick Twins)
Least England scourge thee for thy Cardinal sins.
Let Holland link with Spain to desperate Ends,
Once their poor Rebels, now their proudest Friends:
If weak Rebellion, if a Rump-designe
Could cool the furie of their Brandee-wine;      160
What will the whole United Provinces doe,
When their three Neighbours are United too?
If Cromwell (Mazarines Ape) could act so much,
CHARLES and his Whales will swallow up the Dutch.
Had they not once a kind Protectrice found,
The Begging States had been surpriz'd or drownd:
But since their fore-heads weare the Protestant name,
I wish them neither Victory nor shame.
     O ye Phanaticks! whose hot Brimstone zeal
Produc'd Confusion for a Common-weal;      170
Convinc'd, if not by Reason, Sight, nor Sence,
Yet by your great Diana Providence;
Sit down, and change the Scene of your Affairs
To right Ends; Model not your Armes, but Prayers;
Embrace your King, His Royal mercy prize,
And then be rich Phanaticks, though not wise.
     Now Gracious Soveraign, the worlds Just Love and Fear,
The Jubilee and Triumph of this Year!
Ride on; Let both Your Friends, and Enemies know
Your Glories were but Shadowed the last Show:      180
You shall act Wonders still, in War or Peace,
But from Your Coronation Miracles cease:
If yet more Miracles in Times womb remain,
They will be maim'd if not born in your Reign.
     Heaven has unveild one; That Meridian Star,
Shin'd at your Birth, needs no Interpreter!

                               FINIS.                               J. Crowch

* From the Cambridge Univ. Library copy, Wing C7305, ESTC 24106 (published s.p. s.d., but referring to details of Charles II's coronation in 1661, as in 45 ff. [Ogilby 37]); this text normalized in the same way as Cowley's "Hymn to Light." On our John Crouch (fl. 1660-1881) see the DNB entry and his earlier poem on Charles II's return. The Crouch writing and publishing clan was as numerous as it was egregious, and though that other poem utilizes a figure of speech casually mentioning the "Man i'th' Moon," there appears to be no secure basis for equating the ceremonial poet with the scurrilous journalist John Crouch, editor of a scandalous tract by that name 1649-50 (on which see David Underdown, A Freeborn People: Politics and the Nation in Seventeenth-Century England [Oxford, 1996], 90-111) and again, very briefly, in both 1660 and 1663. On the different John Crouches see also Hyder E. Rollins in Cavalier and Puritan: Ballads and Broadsides ... 1640-1660 (New York, 1923), 58.
Related Links:  The Royal Oak // Sprouting Trunk: "I have overcome fate by enduring" // Restoration and Phoenix // The Return of the King: Poems on Charles II's Restoration // Cowley's "Ode upon his Majesty's Restoration" // A Translation of the Sixth Book of Mr. Cowley's Plantarum, Being A Poem upon the late Rebellion, the Happy Restoration of his Sacred Majesty, and the Dutch War Ensuing (London, 1680)  //  Back to Fugitive Pieces