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Let them be first to flatter in success;
Duty can stay, but guilt has need to press.
Once, when true zeal the sons of God did call,
To make their solemn shew at heaven's Whitehall,
The fawning devil appear'd ainong the rest,
And made as good a courtier as the best.
The friends of Job, who rail'd at him before,
Came cap in hand when he had three times more,
Yet late repentance may, perhaps, be true ;
Kings can forgive, if rebels can but sue:
A tyrant's power in rigor is exprest;
The father yearns in the true prince's breast.
We grant, an o’ergrown Whig no grace can mend;
But most are babes, that know not they offend.
The croud, to restless motion still inclin'd,
Are clouds, that tack according to the wind.
Driven by their chiefs they storms of hailstones
Then mourn, and soften to a silent shower.
O welcome to this much-offending land,
The prince that brings forgiveness in his hand !
Thus angels on glad messages appear:
Their first salute commands us not to fear :
Thus heaven, that could constrain us to obey,
(With rev'rence if we might presume to fay)
Seems to relax the rights of lov’reign sway:
Permits to man the choice of good and ill,
And makes us happy by our own free-will.
PROLOGUE to the Earl of Essex,
Spoken to the King and the Queen at their
coming to the House.
HEN first the ark was landed on the shore,
And heaven had vow'd to curse the ground
no more i
When tops of hills the longing patriarch faw,
And the new scene of earth began to draw;
The dove was sent to view the waves decrease,
And first brought back to man the pledge of peace.
'Tis needless to apply, when those appear,
Who bring the olive, and who plant it here.
We have before our eyes the royal dove,
Still innocent as harbinger of love :
The ark is open'd to dismiss the train,
And people with a better race the plain,
Tell me, ye powers, why shouldvain man pursue,
With endless toil, each object that is new,
And for the seeming substance leave the true ?
Why should he quit for hopes his certain good,
And loath the manna of his daily food ?
Must England still the scene of changes be,
Tost and tempestuous, like our ambient sea ?
Muft ftill our weather and our wills agree?
Without our blood our liberties we have :
Who that is free would fight to be a Nave?
Or, what can wars to after-times assure,
Of which our present age is not secure ?
All that our monarch would for us ordain,
Is but t’enjoy the blessings of his reign.
Our land's an Eden, and the main's our fence,
While we preserve our state of innocence:
That lost, then beasts their brutal force emplay,
And first their lord, and then themselves destroy.
What civil broils have cost, we know too well;
Oh! let it be enough that once we fell !
And ev'ry heart conspire, and ev'ry tongue,
Still to have such a king, and this king long.
EPILOGUE for the King's House.
E act by fits and starts, like drowning men,
But just peep up, and then popdown again. Let those who call us wicked change their sense ; For never men liv'd more on Providence. Not lottery cavaliers are half so poor, Nor broken cits, nor a vacation whore. Not courts, nor courtiers living on the rents Of the three last ungiving parliaments : So wretched, that, if Pharaoh could divine, Hemight have spar’d his dream of seven lean kine, And chang'd his vision for the muses nine. The comet, that, they say, portends a dearth, Was but a vapor
drawn from play-house earth: Pent there since our last fire, and, Lilly says, Foreshews our change of state, and thin third-days. 'Tis not our want of wit that keeps us poor ; For then the printer's press would suffer more. Their pamphleteers each day their venom spit; They thrive by treason, and we starve by wit. Confess the truth, which of you has not laid Four farthings out to buy the Hatfield maid ?
Or, which is duller yet, and more would spite us,
Democritus his wars with Heraclitus?
Such are the authors, who have run us down,
And exercis'd you critics of the town. .
Yet these are pearls to your lampooning rhimes,
Y'abuse yourselves more dully than the times.
Scandal, the glory of the English nation,
Is worn to rags, and scribbled out of fashion.
Such harmless thrusts, as if, like fencers wise,
They had agreed their play before their prize.
Faith, they may hang their harps upon
the willows; 'Tis just like children when they box with pillows. Then put an end to civil wars for shame; Let each knight-errant, who has wrong'd a dame, Throw down his pen, and give her, as
, he can, The fatisfaction of a gentleman.