A Pastoral Poem UPON THE DISCOVERY Of a Late Horrid Conspiracy Against the SACRED PERSON OF WILLIAM III. KING of ENGLAND.

By the Honourable E. HOWARD, of Suffolk.

Quam sese ore ferens! quam forti pectore & Armis!
Credo equidem (nec vana fides) genus esse Deorum.
Virg. Aen. Lib. 4.

LONDON: Printed for R. Baldwin near the Oxford-Arms in War­wick-Lane. 1696.

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A Repulse to Virtuous Modesty is as unpleasant, as too much Violence to the Blushes of a Tender Virgin. To blast a Poet in the Blossom, had there not been some extraordinary Life and Heat in the Root, were enough to destroy all the latter Fruits of his Muse. And verily, when I saw lying neglected upon the cold Stall, my Essay upon Pastoral, as also an Elegy on the Death of the late Blessed Queen; I was not a little concern'd at the hard Ʋsage I met with from the World; and that I, who had endeavour'd in some measure to gratifie Mankind, should find no more favour from them. But when I perceiv'd all this while I was taken for another Person, it obliged me to take the first Opportunity of ap­pearing again in Print, and to distinguish my self from my Name-sake after the manner I have done in the Title-Page. So that since in this matter the World has laboured under a mistake, I hope I shall not suffer in my Reputation, upon the account of another man. For indeed (in a word) when I write like my Name-sake, I am willing (but not before) to undergo the same Condemnation.

THE Song of Menalcas, A PASTORAL.

Daphnis perceiving Menalcas to be very Melancholy, solicites the Swain to let him know the cause. After some little Discourse, Menalcas tells him there was a horrid Design laid against their Flocks, and that the Chief of the Shepherds was to have been Slain.
Daphnis and Menalcas.
MEnalcas, say, what is it thee invites,
Thus to prolong with care, the tedious Nights?
What mean these doubts and fears within thy breast?
Why so disturb'd? and why so void of rest?
Thou who at Comus Feast, 'mongst all the throng,
Appear'd so gay, so beautiful and young,
Charming each Nymph with thy mellifluous tongue.
Say now, whence comes the cause of all this grief?
Unfold your mind, and you may meet relief;
Thy throbs and sighs declare it to be great,
Therefore in words, to me, your thoughts repeat.
Indulgent Swain, shou'd I to thee impart,
The torrent of my Wo, and why my Heart
Thus troubled is, (altho thou doest excel
In all that's good, like whom few Pipe so well)
A sinking terror, wou'd thy Limbs o're-spread,
And thou, to me, would'st seem, like one that's Dead.
Ah me! some sad mischance, hath sure befel
Thee, or thy Flocks, but which I cannot tell.
Fond Swain! look how the pretty Kids do play,
How merrily they dance the time away,
To whom the Night's as pleasant as the Day.
Lo! Bulls and Heifers, wanton midst the Boughs,
Where Swains, with Nymphs, perform their Mar­riage Vows.
Th' alluring Ewes, with sportive Rams do rove,
Passing from shade to shade, and Grove to Grove,
Where they promiscuously do joyn in Love.
Behold how all the Vales and Fields do smile,
Pleas'd with the Joy and Glory of the Isle.
Yet ah! a Race of Men more cruel far,
Than the fierce Scythians, who delight in War,
Against our Flocks a dire Design have laid,
And we by them had like t'have been betray'd:
For now the Gods our Shepherdess have ta'ne,
These barb'rous Men wou'd have destroy'd our Swain.
A secret Horror doth my body seize,
And my cold blood within my Veins does freeze:
Black was the Deed! Inhumane the Design!
When 'gainst our Flocks Men did with Hell combine;
Nay, did they think to kill the righteous Pan,
Lord of these Woods, and Glory of the Plain?
Infernal Wretches, what cou'd ever move,
Your Tyger-Souls thus inclement to prove?
What, kill that Swain whom Gods and Nymphs so love?
[Page 6]
Th' Illustrious Race of Pan is known to all,
And him the Great Arcadian Prince they call:
His Deeds alone proclaim his Noble Blood,
Divine in Meen, and in his Face a God.
Where e're he moves, he kindly does dispence
Life to the Soul, and Virtue to the Sense.
Easie his Rule, when all our Kine do feed,
Without disturbance, in the golden Mead.
Still as the Sun withdraws his beams of Light,
And Day resigns his Empire to the Night:
Unto the Fold his Sheep Comatas drives,
And Merry Bees go loaded to their Hives,
With Honey dropping from their tender thighs.
Product of Bliss! the Dam preserves her Fawn,
And Love exerts his Pow'r in ev'ry Lawn.
Here, under Pan, we rest secure from Noise,
And Swains with Nymphs prolong their lives in joys.
What in these happy times cou'd Men displease,
Did they Rebel, as bless'd with too much Ease?
To think to murder Pan, it was so base,
That time it self can ne're the Fact erase.
[Page 7] Wild Horror all the Plain does spread around,
And Kids with Grief, lie trembling on the ground:
Look, Daphnis, on that Lamb, its Legs how small!
And yonder Goat, as vex'd, kicks down the Pail.
Menalcas, now thy charming tongue surcease,
And Juno, to my lab'ring breast give ease.
On that curs'd Day, sure Phaebus will not rise,
To drive his Chariot thro' the Eastern Skies;
But all the Heav'ns will Dark and gloomy be,
E're yet dim Chaos did begin to see.
Then, tender Swain, let's walk to yonder shade,
Where Battus Pip'd unto the Spartan Maid:
Or let us now remove to yonder Grove,
Where Venus us'd to toy and sport with Love:
Tuning my Layes, under an Oak I'le sing,
The Noblest of the Swains, a Godlike King.
Nature in ev'ry Dress appears serene,
Sweet are the Flow'rs, and charming is the Green.
Than in this Grove, not things more peaceful were,
When first the World became the Tillers Care:
Here in this shade, the Birds and Springs conspire,
To warm thy thought, and raise the Muses fire.
[Page 8] Tune then thy charming Layes, begin thy Song,
My liftning Ear depends upon thy Tongue.
O Pow'r Divine! assist me whilst I sing,
A Royal Hero, and a Godlike King.
Here, in the bless'd Arcadian Land, doth flow,
What Heav'n in Canaan did on Man bestow.
Honey and Milk we in abundance have,
Lavish of Natures gifts, yet none can save.
Of every thing an affluence here is,
That either charms the Eye, or raises Bliss.
The Goddess Ceres, here, doth shew her Face,
And with her Presence, all our Fields does grace.
Woman, Mankind's Delight, and Heaven's chief care,
Than in Arcadia, there are none more fair,
Divine their Necks, and lovely is their Hair.
Streams of fresh Pleasures, w' in Arcadia had,
Nor cou'd we ought distinguish here was bad,
Nature did all her Beauteous Charmes display,
Still was the Night, serene the blisful Day,
While we on Mossy Bank supinely lay.
Yet, ah! too soon this happy scene withdrew,
And Priests did all our former woes renew;
For then upon the Throne a King did sit,
Not one to Rule, much less three Kingdoms fit.
[Page 9] A Prince fond in belief, of little fire,
Perverse in Will, impetuous in desire:
He vainly thought the Scriptures to traduce,
And hop'd by
Romish Priests.
Fools, the Learned to seduce.
This zealous King, so ill the Scepter sway'd,
That with good will, he was by few obey'd:
The people all uneasie with his Yoke,
To their Assistance, Venus did invoke,
And pray'd she wou'd the great Aeneas send,
That so by him their miseries might end.
Aeneas was a Prince of Heav'nly Birth,
Like other Men, not form'd of Vulgar Earth,
Sprung from the Gods; the seed this Hero made,
Was such as that, when Jove with Leda laid.
To either Pole is known Aeneas Fame,
And all his mighty Deeds, his looks proclaim.
Survey the Hero, as he passes there,
Squadrons, Battalions in his face appear,
Serene his Brow, and Godlike is his Are.
At our troubles much the pious Prince did grieve,
He saw our Dangers, and he brought Relief.
When the good Prince now sacrifice had done,
And Venus gave her blessing to her Son;
The Weather fair, and prosperous the Gale,
Pious Aeneas with his Fleet set sail.
Scarce had he got three leagues from off the shore,
E're stormy billows did begin to roar.
[Page 10] By vaulted Waves, so high the ships were tost,
That they, amidst the Clouds, all seem'd as lost;
Then from an high, with force they plung'd again,
Breaking the Surges, as they crost the Main.
The Sea-sick Prince, on land by tempests cast,
Whose Mind's as Noble as his Soul is vast!
The Priests seem'd doubtful of the great Event,
And judg'd these signs, as evil Omens sent.
Aeneas more knowing yet, in Heav'ns Will,
Gently rebuk'd them, for their weaker skill.
In Just Disdain he put again to Sea,
With full-spread sails, through storms he urg'd his way.
When to th' Arcadian Coast the Prince arriv'd,
He was by all with Love and Joy receiv'd.
Not by Aeneas sought, a Crown they gave,
For with his presence, he their lives did save,
And stopt th' impending terrors of the Grave.
Nobly to assert our liberties he came,
Whilst envious Monarchs trembled at his Name.
Form'd in an Heavenly Mould this Hero was,
His wondrous Deeds! the Poets Heads surpass.
If on his side the largest Troops are slain,
His single Person can a Victory gain.
[Page 11] This Genius of the World, to all gives light,
And with amazing lustre strikes the sight.
Pompey and Caesar were mean Men to thee,
For from the Gods thou claim'st thy Pedigree.
In Battle none so brave, in Council wise,
Thunder i'ths Arms, and Lightning in his Eyes.
From his blest lips a word ne're slipt away,
But what chaste Nuns might at the Altar say.
Mild is his Voice, his Gestures all Divine,
In him the Hero, and the God do joyn.
Good to excess! to all of Mercy free,
As Aiax bold, but full of lenity.
Against a Prince so brave, so good as this!
Who cou'd e're think, or act, or speak amiss?
Yet, ah! when Swains and Nymphs ne're dreamt of harm'
But with a mutual heat their breasts did warm,
When in each others Arms they kindled fire,
Fanning the Embers that increas'd desire,
Till eager Love did in soft Flame expire!
When Lambs unto their Evening-Watrings went,
Still as the
Messenger of Night was sent:
When all our Herds from danger free, they fed,
As we securely slept on Verdant Bed,
And Peace thro' every Vale and Grove was spread,
Men in Tartarian Works, o'th' deepest skill,
Treacherously meant our Royal Pan to kill,
And sacred Blood on cursed Ground to spill.
Ah me! how fatal wou'd the stroke have been,
If Swains their Shepherd shou'd no more have seen!
The Birds with Grief would then forbear to sing,
Flowers wou'd fade, and Lambs neglect the spring.
Confusion then in e'ry part would Reign,
Dismal the Groves, and Desart all the Plain;
The widest Rivers would to Riv'lets turn,
And ev'ry Nymph like Niobe wou'd mourn.
Blest Pow'r! in whom we now survive this Plot,
By us may ne're thy goodness be forgot:
Teach us how we thy Godhead shou'd invoke,
As with pure Incense all our Altars smoke.
More glorious times than these were never known,
For none but Heroes can adorn a Throne.
Then the bright Steeds of Day approach'd the West,
And both these Swains compos'd their thoughts to rest.


AN Essay upon Pastoral, as also an Elegy Dedicated to the ever Blessed Memory of Her most Serene Majesty, MARY II. late Queen of England, by the same Author, is to be Sold by Ralph Simpson at the sign of the Harp in St. Paul's Church-yard.

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