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John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
 
To His Sacred Majesty.
A Panegyrick on His Coronation
 
1661

IN 1 that wild Deluge where the world was drownd,
When life and sin one common Tombe had found,
The first small prospect of a rising hill
With various notes of Joy the Ark did fill:
Yet when that flood in its own depths was drown’d,        5
It left behind it false and slipp’ry ground,
And the more solemn pomp was still deferr’d
Till new-born Nature in fresh looks appear’d;
Thus (Royall Sir,) to see you landed here
Was cause enough of triumph for a year:        10
Nor would your care those glorious joyes repeat
Till they at once might be secure and great:
Till your kind beams by their continu’d stay
Had warm’d the ground and call’d the Damps away.
Such vapours, while your pow’rful Influence dries,        15
Then soonest vanish when they highest rise.
Had greater hast these sacred rights prepar’d,
Some guilty Moneths had in your Triumphs shar’d:
But this untainted year is all your own,
Your glory’s may without our crimes be shown.        20
We had not yet exhausted all our store,
When you refresh’d our joyes by adding more:
As Heav’n, of old, dispenc’d Cœlestial dew,
You gave us Manna and still give us new.
  Now our sad ruines are remov’d from sight,        25
The Season too comes fraught with new delight;
Time seems not now beneath his years to stoop,
Nor doe his wings with sickly feathers droop:
Soft western winds waft o’re the gaudy spring,
And open’d Scenes of flow’rs and blossoms bring        30
To grace this happy day, while you appear
Not King of us alone but of the year.
All eyes you draw, and with the eyes the heart,
Of your own pomp your self the greatest part:
Loud shouts the Nations happiness proclaim,        35
And Heav’n this day is feasted with your Name.
Your Cavalcade the fair Spectators view,
From their high standings, yet look up to you.
From your brave train each singles out a Prey
And longs to date a Conquest from your day.        40
Now charg’d with blessings while you seek repose,
Officious slumbers haste your eyes to close;
And glorious dreams stand ready to restore
The pleasing shapes of all you saw before.
Next to the sacred Temple you are led,        45
Where waits a Crown for your more sacred Head:
How justly from the Church that Crown is due,
Preserv’d from ruine and restor’d by you!
The gratefull quire their harmony employ
Not to make greater, but more solemn joy.        50
Wrapt soft and warm your Name is sent on high,
As flames do on the wings of Incense fly:
Musique herself is lost, in vain she brings
Her choisest notes to praise the best of Kings:
Her melting strains in you a tombe have found        55
And lye like Bees in their own sweetnesse drowned.
He that brought peace and discord could attone,
His Name is Musick of itself alone.
Now while the sacred oyl anoints your head,
And fragrant scents, begun from you, are spread        60
Through the large Dome, the peoples joyful Sound
Sent back, is still preserv’d in hallow’d ground:
Which in one blessing mixt descends on you,
As heightned spirits fall in richer dew.
Not that our wishes do increase your store,        65
Full of your self, you can admit no more:
We add not to your glory, but employ
Our time like Angels in expressing Joy
Nor is it duty or our hopes alone
Create that joy, but full fruition:        70
We know those blessings which we must possesse
And judge of future by past happinesse,
No promise can oblige a Prince so much
Still to be good, as long to have been such.
A noble Emulation heats your breast,        75
And your own fame now robbs you of your rest:
Good actions still must be maintain’d with good,
As bodies nourish’d with resembling food.
You have already quench’d sedition’s brand;
And zeal (which burnt it) only warms the Land.        80
The jealous Sects, that dare not trust their cause
So farre from their own will as to the Laws,
You for their Umpire and their Synod take,
And their appeal alone to Cæsar make.
Kind Heav’n so rare a temper did provide        85
That guilt repenting might in it confide
Among our crimes oblivion may be set,
But ’tis our Kings perfection to forget.
Virtues unknown to these rough Northern climes
From milder heav’ns you bring, without their crimes.        90
Your calmnesse does no after Storms provide
Nor seeming patience mortal anger hide.
When Empire first from families did spring,
Then every Father govern’d as a King;
But you that are a Soveraign Prince, allay        95
Imperial pow’r with your paternal sway.
From those great cares when ease your soul unbends,
Your Pleasures are design’d to noble ends:
Born to command the Mistress of the Seas,
Your Thoughts themselves in that blue Empire please.        100
Hither in Summer ev’nings you repair
To take the fraischeur of the purer air:
Undaunted here you ride when Winter raves,
With Cæsars heart that rose above the waves.
More I could sing, but fear my Numbers stays;        105
No Loyal Subject dares that courage praise.
In stately Frigats most delight you find,
Where well-drawn Battels fire your martial mind.
What to your cares we owe is learnt from hence,
When ev’n your pleasures serve for our defence.        110
Beyond your Court flows in the admitted tide,
Where in new depths the wond’ring fishes glide:
Here in a Royal bed the waters sleep,
When tir’d at Sea within this bay they creep.
Here the mistrustfull foul no harm suspects,        115
So safe are all things which our King protects.
From your lov’d Thames a blessing yet is due,
Second alone to that it brought in you;
A Queen, from 2 whose chast womb, ordain’d by Fate,
The souls of Kings unborn for bodies wait.        120
It was your Love before made discord cease;
Your 3 love is destined to your Countries peace.
Both Indies (Rivalls in your bed) provide
With Gold or Jewels to adorn your bride.
This to a mighty King presents rich ore        125
While that with Incense does a God implore.
Two Kingdoms wait your Doom; and, as you choose,
This must receive a Crown or that must loose.
Thus from your Royal Oke, like Jove’s of old,
Are Answers sought, and Destinies fore-told:        130
Propitious Oracles are beg’d with Vows
And Crowns that grow upon the sacred boughs.
Your Subjects, while you weigh the Nations 4 fate,
Suspend to both their doubtfull love or hate:
Choose only, (Sir,) that so they may possesse        135
With their own peace their Childrens happinesse.
 
Note 1. Text from the original edition, 1661. [back]
Note 2. from] Some editors give near. It is clear that ed. 1 is right, since doubtless Dryden had in mind Virgil, Æneid vi. 713 sqq. [back]
Note 3. Your] Your your 1661, a misprint. [back]
Note 4. Nations] Most editors give Nation’s, but Christie gives Nations’. The word is probably genitive plural. [back]
 
 
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