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Such were our counter-tides at land, and so
Presaging of the fatal blow,
In their prodigious ebb and flow.
The royal foul, that like the laboring moon,
By charms of art was hurried down,
Forc'd with regret to leave her native sphere,
Came but a while on liking here :
Soon weary of the painful strife,
And made but faint essays of life:
An evening light
Soon shut in night;
A strong distemper, and a weak relief,
Short intervals of joy, and long returns of grief.
The sons of art all medicines try'd,
noble remedy apply'd ;
With emulation each effay'd
His utmost skill, nay more they pray'd :
Never was losing game with better conduct play'd.
Death never won a stake with greater toil,
Nor e'er was fate so near a foil :
But like a fortress on a rock,
The impregnable disease their vain attempts did
They min’d it near, they batter'd from afar
With all the cannon of the medicinal war ;
No gentle means could be essay'd,
'Twas beyond parly when the fiege was laid :
Th'extremest ways they first ordain,
Prescribing such intolerable pain,
As none but Cæfar could sustain:
Undaunted Cæfar underwent
The malice of their art, nor bent
Beneath whate'er their pious rigor could invent:
In five such days he suffer'd more
any suffer'd in his reign before ;
More, infinitely more, than he,
Against the worst of rebels, could decree,
A traitor or twice pardon'd enemy.
Now art was tir’d without success,
No racks conld make the stubborn malady confess.
The vain insurancers of life,
And he who most perform'd and promis'd less,
Even Short himself forsook the unequal ftrife.
Death and despair was in their looks,
No longer they consult their memories or books;
Like helpless friends, who view from shore
The laboring ship, and hear the tempest roar ;
So stood they with their arms across ;
Not to assist, but to deplore
Death was denounc'd ; that frightful sound
Which ev’n the best can hardly bear,
He took the summons void of fear ;
And unconcern'dly cast his eyes around;
if to find and dare the griefly challenger.
What death could do he lately try'd,
When in four days he more than dy'd.
The same assurance all his words did
The same majestic mildness held its place:
Nor lost the monarch in his dying face.
Intrepid, pious, merciful, and brave,
He look'd as when he conquer'd and forgave.
As if some angel had been sent
To lengthen out his government,
And to foretel as many years again,
As he had number'd in his happy reign,
So chearfully he took the doom
Of his departing breath;
Nor shrunk nor stept aside for death :
But with unalter'd pace kept on;
Providing for events to come,
When he resign'd the throne.
Still he maintain’d his kingly state ;
familiar with his fate.
Kind, good, and gracious, to the laft,
On all he lov'd before his dying beams he cast:
Oh truly good, and truly great,
For glorious as he rose benignly so he set!
All that on earth he held most dear,
He recommended to his care,
To whom both heaven,
The right had given
And his own love bequeath'd supreme command:
He took and prest that ever loyal hand,
Which could in peace secure his reign,
Which could in wars his power maintain,
That hand on which no plighted vows were ever
Well, for so great a trust he chose
A prince who never disobey'd :
Not when the most severe commands were laid ;
Nor want, nor exile with his duty weigh’d:
A prince on whom, if heaven its
could close, The welfare of the world it safely might repose.
That king who liv'd to God's own heart,
Yet less serenely died than he:
Charles left behind no harsh decree
For schoolmen with laborious art
To falve from cruelty :
Those, for whom love could no excuses frame,
He graciously forgot to name.
Thus far my muse, tho rudely, has design'd
Some faint resemblance of his godlike mind :
But neither pen nor pencil can express
The parting brothers' tenderness:
Tho that's a term too mean and low;
The blest above a kinder word may know:
But what they did, and what they said,
The monarch who triumphant went,
The militant who staid,
Like painters, when their heightning arts are spent,
I cast into a shade.
That all-forgiving king,
of him above, That inexhausted spring Of clemency and love; Himself to his next self accus'd, And ask'd that pardon which he ne'er refus'd : For faults not his, for guilt and crimes Of godless men, and of rebellious times : For an hard exile, kindly meant, When his ungrateful country sent Their best Camillus into banishment : And forc'd their fovereign's act, they could not