A Poëme.

Printed in the Yeare M.DC.XLIII.

Coopers Hill.

SUre we have Poëts, that did never dreame
Upon Pernassus, nor did taste the streame
Of Helicon, and therefore I suppose
Those made not Poëts, but the Poëts those.
And as Courts make not Kings, but Kings the Court;
So where the Muses, and their Troopes resort,
Pernassus stands; if I can be to thee
A Poët, thou Pernassus art to mee.
Nor wonder, if (advantag'd in my flight,
By taking wing from thy auspicious height)
Through untrac't waies, and airie paths I flie,
More boundlesse in my fancie, then my eie.
Exalted to this height, I first looke downe
On Pauls, as men from thence upon the towne.
Pauls, the late Theme of such a Muse, whose flight
Mr Waller.
Hath bravely reacht and soar'd above thy height:
Now shalt thou stand, though Time, or Sword, or Fire,
Or Zeale (more fierce then they) thy fall conspire,
Secure, while thee the best of Poets sings,
Preserv'd from ruine by the best of Kings.
As those who rais'd in body, or in thought
Above the Earth, or the Aires middle Vault,
Behold how winds, and stormes, and Meteors grow.
How clouds condense to raine, congeale to snow,
And see the Thunder form'd, before it teare
The aire, secure from danger and from feare;
So rais'd above the tumult and the crowd
I see the City in a thicker cloud
[Page 2] Of businesse, then of smoake; where men like Ants
Toyle to prevent imaginarie wants;
Yet all in vaine, increasing with their store,
Their vast desires, but make their wants the more.
As food to unsound bodies, though it please
The Appetite, feeds onely the disease;
Where with like haste, though severall waies they runne:
Some to undoe, and some to be undone:
While Luxurie, and wealth, like Warre and Peace,
Are each the others ruine, and increase,
As Rivers lost in Seas some secret veine
Thence reconveies, there to be lost againe.
Some study plots, and some those plots t'undoe,
Others to make 'em, and undoe 'em too,
False to their hopes, affraid to be secure,
Those mischiefes onely which they make, endure,
Blinded with light, and sicke of being well,
In tumults seeke their peace, their heaven in hell.
Oh happinesse of sweet retir'd content!
To be at once secure, and innocent.
Windsor the next (where Mars with Venus dwels,
Beauty with strength) above the valley swels
Into my eie, as the late married Dame,
(Who proud, yet seemes to make that pride her shame)
When Nature quickens in her pregnant wombe
Her wishes past, and now her hopes to come:
With such an easie, and unforc'd Ascent,
Windsor her gentle bosome doth present:
Where no stupendious Cliffe, no threatning heights
Accesse deny, no horrid steepe aftrights,
But such a Rise, as doth at once invite
A pleasure, and a reverence from the sight.
Thy Masters Embleme, in whose face I saw
A friend-like sweetnesse, and a King-like aw;
Where Majestie and love so mixt appeare,
Both gently kind, both royally severe.
So Windsor, humble in it selfe, seemes proud
To be the Base of that Majesticke load.
[Page 3] Than which no hill a nobler burthen beares,
But Atlas onely, that supports the spheres.
Nature this mount so fitly did advance,
We might conclude, that nothing is by chance,
So plac't, as if she did on purpose raise
The Hill, to rob the builder of his praise;
For none commends his judgement, that doth chuse
That which a blind man onely could refuse;
Such are the Towers which th'hoary Temples grac'd
Of Cibele, when all her heavenly race
The Mother of the gods.
Doe homage to her, yet she cannot boast
Amongst that Numerous, and Celestiall hoast
More Heroës, then can Windsore, nor doth Fames
Immortall booke record more noble Names.
Not to looke backe so farre, to whom this Ile
Must owe the glory of so brave a Pile;
Whether to Caesar, Albanact, or Brute,
The Brittish Arthur, or the Danish Knute,
(Though this of old no lesse contest did move,
Then when for Homers birth seaven Cities strove)
(Like him in birth, thou shouldst be like in Fame,
As thine his fate, if mine had beene his Flame.)
But whoso'ere it was, Nature design'd
First a brave place, and then as brave a minde;
Nor to recount those severall Kings, to whom
It gave a Cradle, or to whom a Tombe;
But thee (great Edward) and thy greater sonne,
He that the Lillies wore, and he that wonne,
Edward the third, and the black Prince.
And thy Bellona, who deserves her share
In all thy glories; Of that royall paire
Which waited on thy triumph, she brought one,
Queene Phi­lip.
Thy sonne the other brought, and she that sonne;
Nor of lesse hopes could her great off spring prove,
The Kings of France & Scotland.
A Royall Eagle cannot breed a Dove.
Then didst thou found that Order: whether love
Or victory thy Royall thoughts did move,
The Garter.
Each was a Noble cause, nor was it lesse
I'th institution, then the great successe,
[Page 4] Whilst every part conspires to give it grace,
The King, the Cause, the Patron, and the place,
Which forraigne Kings, and Emperors esteeme
The second honour to their Diademe.
Had thy great destiny but given thee skill
To know as well, as power to act her will,
That from those Kings, who then thy captives were,
In after-times should spring a Royall paire,
Who should possesse all that thy mighty power,
Or thy desires more mighty did devoure;
To whom their better fate reserves what ere
The Victor hopes for, or the vanquisht feare;
That bloud, which thou, and thy great Grandsire shed,
And all that since these sister Nations bled,
Had beene unspilt, had happy Edward knowne
That all the bloud he spilt, had beene his owne;
Thou hadst extended through the conquer'd East,
Thine and the Christian name, and made them blest
To serve thee, while that losse this gaine would bring,
Christ for their God, and Edward for their King;
When thou that Saint thy Patron didst designe,
St George.
In whom the Martyr, and the Souldier ioyne;
And when thou didst within the Azure round
(Who evill thinks may evill him confound)
The English Armes encircle, thou didst seeme
But to foretell, and Prophecie of him,
Who has within that Azure round confin'd
These Realmes, which Nature for their bound design'd.
That bound which to the worlds extreamest ends,
Endlesse her selfe, her liquid armes extends;
In whose Heroicke face I see the Saint
Better exprest, then in the liveliest paint;
That fortitude which made him famous here,
That heavenly piety, which Saint's him there,
Who when this Order he forsakes, may he
Companion of that sacred Order be.
Here could I fix my wonder, but our eies,
Nice as our tastes, affect varieties;
[Page 5] And though one please him most, the hungry guest
Tasts every dish, and runs through all the feast;
So having tasted Windsor, casting round
My wandring eye, an emulous Hill doth bound
St Annes Hill
My more contracted sight, whose top of late
A Chappell crown'd, till in the common fate
Chertsey Abbey.
The neighbouring Abbey fell, (may no such storme
Fall on our times, where ruine must reforme.)
Tell me (my Muse) what monstrous dire offence,
What crime could any Christian King incense
To such a rage? was't Luxurie, or Lust?
Was he so temperate, so chast, so just?
Were these their crimes? they were his own, much more.
But they (alas) were rich, and he was poore;
And having spent the treasures of his Crowne,
Condemnes their Luxurie, to feed his owne;
And yet this act, to varnish o're the shame
Of sacriledge, must beare devotions name;
And he might thinke it just, the cause, and time
Considered well; for none commits a crime,
Appearing such, but as 'tis understood,
A reall, or at least a seeming good.
While for the Church his learned Pen disputes,
His much more learned sword his Pen confutes;
Thus to the Ages past he makes amends,
Their charity destroyes, their faith defends.
Then did Religion in a lazy Cell,
In emptie, ayrie contemplations dwell;
And like the blocke unmoved lay, but ours
As much too active like the Storke devours.
Is there no temperate Region can be knowne,
Betwixt their frigid, and our Torrid Zone?
Could we not wake from that Lethargicke dreame,
But to be restlesse in a worse extreame?
And for that Lethargy was there no cure,
But to be cast into a Calenture?
Can knowledge have no bound, but must advance
So farre, to make us wish for ignorance?
[Page 6] And rather in the darke to grope our way,
Then led by a false guide to erre by day?
Parting from thence 'twixt anger, shame, and feare
Those for what's past, and this for what's too neare:
My eye descending from the Hill survaies
Where Thames amongst the wanton valleyes strayes;
Thames the most lov'd of all the Oceans sonnes,
By his old sire to his imbraces runnes,
Hasting to pay his tribute to the Sea,
Like mortall life to meet Eternity:
And though his clearer sand no golden veynes,
Like Tagus and Pactolus streames containes,
His genuine, and lesse guilty wealth t'explore,
Search not his bottome, but behold his shore;
O're which he kindly spreads his spacious wing,
And hatches plenty for th'ensuing Spring,
Nor with a furious, and unruly wave,
Like profuse Kings, resumes the wealth he gave:
No unexpected Inundations spoile
The Mowers hopes, nor mocke the Plough-mans toyle:
Then like a Lover he forsakes his shores,
Whose stay with jealous eies his spouse implores,
Till with a parting kisse he saves her teares,
And promising returne, secures her feares;
As a wise King first settles fruitfull peace
In his owne Realmes, and with their rich increase
Seekes warre abroad, and then in triumph brings
The spoyles of Kingdomes, and the Crownes of Kings:
So Thames to London doth at sirst present
Those tributes, which the neighbouring countriss sent;
But at his second visit from the East,
Spices he brings, and treasures from the West;
Findes wealth where 'tis, and gives it where it wants,
Cities in Desarts, woods in Cities plants,
Rounds the whole Globe, and with his flying towers
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours:
So that to us no thing, no place is strange
Whilst thy faire bosome is the worlds Exchange:
[Page 7] O could my verse freely and smoothly slow,
As thy pure slood, heav'n should no longer know
Her old Eridanus, thy purer streame
Should bathe the gods, and be the Poëts Theame.
Here Nature, whether more intent to please
The Forrest.
Us or her selfe with strange varieties,
(For things of wonder more, no lesse delight
To the wise makers, then beholders sight.
Though these delights from severall causes move,
For so our Children, thus our freinds we love.)
Wisely she knew the harmony of things,
Aswell as that of sounds, srom discords springs;
Such was the discord, which did first disperse
Forme, order, beauty through the universe;
While drynesse moisture, coldnesse heat resists,
All that we have, and that we are subsists:
While the steepe horrid roughnesse of the wood
Strives with the gentle calmnesse of the slood.
Such huge extremes when Nature doth unite,
Wonder from thence results, from thence delight;
The streame is so transparent, pure, and cleare,
That had the selfe-enamour'd youth gaz'd here,
So fatally deceiv'd he had not beene,
While he the bottome, not his face had seene.
And such the roughnesse of the Hill, on which
Dyana' her royles, and Mars his tents might pitch.
And as our surly supercilious Lords,
Bigge in their frownes, and haughty in their words,
Looke downe on those, whose humble fruitfull paine
Their proud, and barren greatnesse must susteine:
So lookes the Hillupon the streame, betweene
There lies a spatious, and a fertile Greene;
Egham Meade.
Where from the woods, the Dryades oft meet
The Nayades, and with their nimble feet
Soft dances lead, although their airie shap
All but a quicke Poëticke sight escape;
There Faunus and Sylvanus keepe their Courts,
And thither all the horrid hoast resorts,
[Page 8] (When like the Elixar, with his evening beames,
The Sunne has turn'd to gold the silver streames)
To graze the ranker Meade, that noble Herd,
On whose sublime, and shady fronts is rear'd
Natures great Master-peice, to shew how soone
Great things are made, but sooner much undone.
Here have I seene our Charles, when great affaires.
Give leave to slacken, and unbend his cares,
Chasing the royall Stagge; the gallant beast,
Rowz'd with the noyse, 'twixt hope and feare distrest,
Resolv's 'tis better to avoyd, then meet
His danger, trusting to his winged feet:
But when he sees the dogs, now by the view
Now by the scent his speed with speed pursue,
He tries his freinds, amongst the lesser Herd,
Where he bur lately was obey'd, and feard,
Safety he seekes; the herd unkindly wise,
Or chases him from thence, or from him flies;
Like a declining Statesman, left forlorne
To his freinds pitty, and pursuers scorne;
Wearied, fora ken, and pursued, at last
All safety in despaire of safery plac't;
Courage he thence assumes, resolv'd to beare
All their assaultes since 'tis in vaine to feare;
But when he sees the eager chase renu'd,
Himselfe by dogs, the dogs by men pursu'd;
When neither speed, nor art, nor freinds, nor force
Could helpe him, towards the streame he bends his course;
Hoping those lester beasts would not assay
An Element more mercilesse then they:
But fearlesse they pursue, nor can the sloud
Quench their dire thirst, (alas) they thirst for bloud.
As some brave Hero, whom his baser foes
In troops surround, now these assaile, now those,
Though prodigall of life, disdaines to die
By vulgar hands, but if he can descry
Some Nobler foe's approach, to him he cals
And begs his fate, and then contented fals:
[Page 9] So the tall Stagge, amids the lesser hounds
Repels their force, and wounds returnes for wounds,
Till Charles from his unerring hand lets flie
A mortall shaft, then glad and proud to dye
By such a wound, he fals, the Christall floud
Dying he dies, and purples with his bloud:
This a more Innocent, and happy chase
Then when of old, but in the selfe-same place,
Faire Liberty pursude, and meant a Prey
Runny Meade where the great Char­ter was first sealed.
To tyranny, here turn'd, and stood at bay.
When in that remedy all hope was plac't,
Which was, or should have beene at least, the last.
For armed subjects can have no pretence
Against their Princes, but their just defence;
And whether then, or no, I leave to them
To justifie, who else themselves condemne.
Yet might the fact be just, if we may guesse
The justnesse of an action from successe,
Magna Charta.
Here was that Charter seal'd, wherein the Crowne
All markes of Arbitrary power layes downe:
Tyrant and Slave, those names of hate and feare,
The happier stile of King and Subject beare:
Happy when both to the same Center move;
When Kings give liberty, and Subjects love.
Therefore not long in force this Charter stood
Wanting that seale, it must be seal'd in blood.
The Subjects arm'd, the more their Princes gave,
But this advantage tooke, the more to crave:
Till Kings by giving, give themselves away,
And even that power, that should deny, betray,
"Who gives constrain'd, but his owne feare reviles,
"Not thank't, but scorn'd, nor are they gifts, but spoyles,
And they, whom no denyall can withstand,
Seeme but to aske, while they indeed command.
Thus all to limit Royalty conspire,
While each forgets to limit his desire.
Till Kings like old Antaeus by their fall,
Being forc't, their courage from despaire recall,
[Page 10] When a calme River rais'd with sudden raines,
Or Snowes dissolv'd o'reslowes th'adjoyning Plaines,
The Husbandmen with high rais'd bankes secure
Their greedy hopes, and this he can endure.
But if with Bogs, and Dammes they strive to force,
His channell to a new, or narrow course,
No longer then within his bankes he dwels,
First to a Torrent, then a Deluge swels;
Stronger, and fiercer by restraint, he roares,
And knowes no bound, but makes his powers his shores.
Thus Kings by grasping more then they can hold,
First made their Subjects by oppressions bold,
And popular sway by forcing Kings to give
More, then was fit for Subjects to receive,
Ranne to the same extreame; and one excesse
Made both, by stirring to be greater, lesse;
Nor any way, but seeking to have more,
Makes either loose, what each possest before.
Therefore their boundlesse power let Princes draw
Within the Channell, and the shores of Law,
And may that Law, which teaches Kings to sway
Their Scepters, teach their Subjects to obey.

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