Thraenodium Britannicum.


By the Author of The Carmen Natalitium.

Tantaene animis coelestibus irae.

LONDON: Printed in the Year, 1700.

A FUNERAL POEM ON THE Duke of Glocester.

YE Heav'n-Crown'd Brows, what diff'rent Hinges move
Our Interests Below, and Yours Above;
Whilst Your best Joys our Bitt'rest Tears must cost:
You've found an ANGEL, we a GLOC'STER lost?
When Reverend Royal HEADS in Dust are laid;
The Tears we owe like common Debts are paid.
Our Griefs are there an easier pangless Woe:
With half a Pain does the Cold Tribute flow.
We those Great Dead to Rest and Peace resign:
When the Grave claims her Due, we less repine.
But when our whole Young HOPES are in their Bloom
Of GLORY, snatcht to a Devouring Tomb:
A warmer Grief waits those Ʋntimelier Ʋrns.
The Bloodshot Eye to that sad Object turns:
And as the scalding Torrent falls, it burns.
The Minion of our Joys, in all his charms,
Torne from our Hearts, our Souls, our Eyes, our Arms;
Here the affrighting King of Terrors stands,
With his Tyrannick Arbitrary Hands.
O! GLOC'STER, at this Shaft, this killing Scene,
Thine is the Wound, but Albion's all the Pain.
Thou Sleep'st in Peace, lull'd to Eternal Joys:
But Oh, the Blast our sickning Bliss destroys!
That Ʋniversal Shock thy Fate must give;
In more Convulsions then thou dyest, we live.
In GLOC'STER's growing Spring, our Happy Isle
Cheer'd with kind Providences warmest Smile,
Of that Young Atlas of her Throne possest,
How was the fair Britannia more then Blest?
So much her Darling GLOC'STER's Charms she felt,
Till to those heights her soaring Transports rod,
She Gaz'd with Wonder, with Devotion knelt;
No Thanks could bend too low, to Bless the giving GOD.
But whilst her Eyes on this Bright Object staid,
The Lovely FORME and fairer SOUL survey'd;
She saw those Sweets, those Early Beauties shine,
Proud Natures Masterstroke in every Line.
Perfections all Divine, so heap'd, so mass't,
Oh the Immortal Pencil drew too Fast!
Snatcht from our Sight, all our fond Hopes must cease;
The World's Ʋnworthy of the FINISHT PIECE.
Such BLESSINGS were but too profuse a Shour;
W' had been too Rich, and Heav'n would give no more.
But thou Young HERO, such thy Morning Beam,
Oh GLOC'STER, when on that Illustrious Theme,
Recording Time, all Rapture, all Delight,
Shall the Memoirs even of thy CRADLE Write;
How shall he guide his shaking Pen, to tell
The frighted World how the keen Thunder fell;
At whose dread Bolt, e'er half his Soaring Pride,
Drop'd from his Cedar Perch, the Royal EAGLET Dy'd!
Oh ne'er forgotten GLOC'STER, touch'd so near,
What has the Mourning Albion World lost here!
When Great MARIA's Call to her Dear Heaven,
Pride of both Worlds, by Men and Angels Lov'd,
To Bleeding Albion that deep Wound had given;
Such VIRTUE to her Brighter Throne remov'd:
Who would beleive there was in Fate that Blow,
Far far beyond Her Loss, that narrower Woe:
A Blow, which Albion's deeper Tears must melt,
More Universally Deplor'd and Felt.
Yes, GLOC'STER, our summ'd Hopes in THEE, weigh'd down
The Lighter Jems in Fair MARIA's Crown.
Stinted by Fate, her bounded Glory less,
MARY the present Age could only bless.
Convey'd thro' Thy Rich VEINS, what Smiles of Heaven,
To Endless Worlds, thy Lengthned life had given!
But since our Undeserts have GLOC'STER lost,
Thy Death POSTERITIE's long Sighs must cost.
Yet Ʋnborn Ages shall thy Mourners be:
Even the Entail of Blessings lost in Thee.
Of all the shining Roofs, the Royal Piles,
Blest with that sacred NURSERY's kind Smiles,
That now in Rueful Blacks their Glories hide;
Unhappy Windsor, what's thy falling Pride!
Beneath this fatal Shock thy Genius bows,
Down to the Earth he bends his Towry Brows.
Sable and Shade hang thy proud Domes all o'er:
Varro, thy Pencil-Glory shines no more.
Nay the Great Albion's Guardian Saint, that calls
His Constellated WORTHIES to thy Walls,
Invested there with HONOUR's Noblest JEM,
The Azure Circle, and the Orient Beam:
He and his Radiant Troop their GLOC'STER wail;
Low in the Dust their Dragging Streamers trail.
Even in that Choir, where once all GLORY Sung,
Where Blazon'd Crests, and Glittering Trophies hung;
Now broken Sighs, and discord Murmurs jar:
Their Heads all droop at GLOC'STER's setting STAR.
And thou Romantick Chief, so far renown'd
With thy Poetick Laurels round thy Head;
For that bold Stroke the British Champion Crown'd,
A Conquer'd Dragon and a Rescued Maid:
Oh could thy great Reviving Genius wake,
More darling Miracles to undertake!
Englands True Tutelar Saint, true Heaven-crown'd Head,
Whither would thy Immortal Glory spread;
The Founder of thy Albion's Deathless Joy,
Coud'st thou have wrestled Heav'n, and sav'd the BOY.
But are his Funeral Rites confin'd alone,
T' a wailing Pallace, and a Mourning Throne!
His Dirge must to remoter Regions sound.
With GLOC'STER's Sable hang thy Temples round:
Yes, Albion, when this Blow so dear must cost,
The promis'd Champion of thy ALTAR's lost;
The happier smiling World around thee see,
All boast their great revolving Jubilee.
Whilst this sad Face thy louring Aera bears,
Commence Thy Century in Sighs and Tears.
When for th' Irreparable Loss we grieve,
If Infinite Additions can receive:
In GLOC'STER's Fate Death owed our World that Spight,
As even to make Affliction Exquisite.
Death sometimes does a kind of Pity take,
To the Sick Bed his slow Approaches make.
The Sorrow there does with Gradation flow;
Prepar'd we mourn, and hear th' Expected Blow.
In GLOC'STER's Wound he struck with that Surprise,
Our Ears he startled, e'er he swell'd our Eyes.
Oh 'twas but Yesterday, the Lovely BOY,
Hemm'd round with Triumph, hail'd with Songs of Joy;
The Great Lucina, with a Train so gay,
Her Annual Rites we saw the Goddess pay;
Joy, that ev'n warm'd the Spring, and cheer'd the Day.
All the whole Grove with warbling Ecchoes rung:
On every Bough the Feather'd Musick Sung.
[Page 8] All with one Rival Harmony contend;
Loaded with Choirs the pendant Branches bend.
But whilst the Philomel thus Charm'd our Ear;
Was the sad boding Raven's Croak so near?
Stood the dire Sisters with their Fatal Twine,
The Grinning Three so nigh the Smiling Nine?
Too rapid Fate, whilst with that Torrent speed,
The Funeral Griefs the Birth-Day Joys succeed.
We heard the Great Inverted FIAT call;
From Light and Joy, swift Woe and Darkness fall,
And one Involving Chaos swallows all.
Alas, had some kind Interval, between
The Smile and Tear, remov'd the fatal Scene;
Perhaps it had a little eas'd the Pain.
But Providence here made a Studied Blow;
When Griefs keen Point stabs truly through and through,
'Tis fresh Remembred Joy makes the deep Sense of Woe.
Yes Woes, like Shades are but Privation all:
And 'tis the standing Height that makes the Fall.
Distress lies light at a Borne Beggars Door:
Who have been Rich, are only truly Poor.
Thus like the Merchant on a Flattering Sea,
Whilst in one Bark our Albion TREASURE lay,
All safe Below, and all serene above;
With what full Gale our swelling Glories drove,
On that all Smiling Day, before so black
A rising Tempest, and so vast a Wrack.
And thou, Ʋrania, once invok'd by me,
To the Great Nine the meanest Votary;
Thou in whose Name, with bold Ambition Fir'd,
By Thee, but more by my Great THEME, inspir'd,
On that Great Day, even I presum'd to bring,
From thy Castalian Field, my Floury Offering.
Low at His Feet the Prostrate Numbers lay;
Till GLOC'STER's Generous Hand, and Smiling Ray,
Uprais'd the kneeling Muse. Thus Rais'd, thus Grac'd;
In that High Orb the envyed Favourite plac'd;
In vain the distant Crow'd, in vain the Rest,
My Numerous Poetick Rivals prest:
Of the whole Choir my Muse alone was Blest.
This Honour (Oh the Pleasure!—Oh the Pain!)
Was it no more then one Days shortliv'd Reign?
Yes, my Ʋrania, (so our Fates decree!)
That Bright Great DAY did our proud Albion see,
When Smiling GLOC'STER blest the World, and Thee.
But oh the next Dark Morne began to rise,
The fatal Cloud that blacken'd all our Skies:
That Cloud (Oh Horror! Oh th' amazing Fright!)
To our lost Hopes, and ever setting Light,
Substantial Darkness; all Egyptian Night.
Oh, my Ʋrania, that Triumphant Day,
When nought but Garlands strow'd his Fragrant Way;
Had thy own Great Apollinary God,
With his whole Delphick Spirit, dar'd forebode,
[Page 10] The louring Storm, and falling Bolt so nigh;
That dreadful Wrath of their whole Angry Sky,
Their pouring Vials were prepared to shed;
The pendant Fate o'er that dear Royal HEAD:
Would'st thou have even believ'd an Oracle,
Whose Mandrake's Groan durst that dire Doom foretell.
Or when thy own Proud Notes, in that Great NAME,
All join'd with GLOC'STER's ecchoing Trumps of Fame,
Did th' Universal Io Paeans sound;
Whilst nought but Pleasure trod the Hallow'd Ground:
Oh could'st thou think thy Cheerful Airs so soon,
To Sighs, and Plaints should all their Joys untune.
Yes; Thus Untun'd, let your whole Virgin Train,
Now boast their long Inspiring Fount in vain:
Harmony's banish'd where Distractions reign.
Let vain Poetick Art her Toil give o'er;
Her own Minerva's Vulcan, Sweat no more
To beat out pondrous Thought to Chime and Sound,
Make Sweetned Accents Dance their airy Round:
This Stroke of Fate must WIT it self confound.
Ill wou'd this Theme with measur'd Notes dispense;
It breaks all Numbers, and dissolves all Sense.
Who ever join'd Despair and Eloquence?
Drag then your miserable Choir along,
With broken Lyres, and an Imperfect Song:
What your faint Voices want, your Eyes shall bring,
In GLOC'STER's Dirge weep, what you cannot Sing.
A Greif so just ne'er had a tend'rer Tye:
The MUSES mourn to see the GRACES Die.
Nor is their Narrower Circle, their Twin-Mount,
And the short Banks of the Pierian Fount,
The Muses World alone, the Mourners there:
No, for Thy vaster Region of Despair,
Far as Britannia's Sun can Set or Rise,
Far as her Tide can flow, or Glory flies,
Thou canton'st Provinces for watry Eyes.
But if, when that Dear PRIDE of Britain fell,
So high the distant Popular Tears must swell;
How must the Nearer Founts of Sorrow flow,
A PARENT's Greif, th' Ʋnutterable Woe!
The Royal NIOBE, see where She stands,
With Streaming Eyes, and with Uplifted Hands;
At this last Shaft of her dear ALL bereft:
Her Self alone, the Weeping Marble, left.
But Thou, Great Mourner, in Thy Sable Shrowd,
Thou whose Bright HEAD, wrap'd in Thy Watry Cloud,
In ever showring Sorrows melts away
The long long Sleepless Night, and Cheerless Day;
If there's a Balm for Wounds so deep as Thine,
Borrow a Courage from Thy Royal Line.
If possible, such Griefs can be allay'd,
Call those Immortal Genii to Thy Aid;
Copy at once the Living and the Dead.
Nay, yet more Animating Fires t' assume,
Even in an Infant Glass Thy Courage plume;
When Thy Wet Eyes to Thy dear GLOC'STER turn,
Inspir'd even by that Darling Dust they Mourn,
[Page 12] Support the fatal Blow, and Nobly Shine,
At the Young HEROE's Urn the Greater HEROINE.
But if nought else Thy Pious Tears can stop,
Thy drooping Cause let this last Comfort prop.
Think that this Blow to the dear BRANCH was giv'n.
Perhaps to make the ROOT more dear to Heav'n.
In all Thy Losses, all Thy Rachel Cries,
Oh draw this Glory from Thy Miseries;
Claim from this Transient Providential Frown
Eternal Smiles: The Cross must win the Crown.
Suff'rings and Tears sometimes the Darlings prove
Those Pearls below enrich the Wreaths above.
But though, nor Tears nor Prayers can GLOC'STER save,
No Plea to bar th' Inexorable Grave.
What though Britannia now must ne'er behold
That Dear Succession to her Circling GOLD;
Oh Thou Great HEIR to a Sublimer THRONE,
We want that Brow for Crowns; that Brow wants none.
Already waits Thy CORONATION Train,
All the bright Miriads on yon Shining Plain,
The Cavalcade to Thy Eternal Reign.

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