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These mighty monarchs whom rash fame call'd
Who once (world's idols) thousands made to bow,
Whil'st gorgeous courts with a prodigious state,
Too superstitiously did pompe allow;
O how farre chang'd! from what they were of late,
Them who brav'd hosts, a look makes tremble now;
Quench'd are these fires which once their breasts did
And majesty to misery doth turne.
There he whom first a diademe did fraught,
That famous hunter founding Ashur's throne,
Whose sport was glory, when he kingdomes caught,
The hounds halfe-men whose liberty was gone:
World's first example, who by practise taught,
That many thousands might be rul'd by one.
With terrour numbers Nimrod's name did strike,
When thundring down all where he went alike.
With prais'd Sesostris whom vaine pride did snare,
Despis'd Pelusium yeelds a bloudy band,
What Pharoes, Ptolomies, and sultanes there,
(Though once thought terrible) do trembling stand?
And well it seemes that valour then was rare,
When easie conquest grac'd so soft a land.
What seem'd their glory then, doth prove their
Who quench'd with bloud what kindled was for
Two who agreed to enterchange their raigne,
With griev'd Adrastus mutually do mone,
Next comes his heire, who first by right did claime Who forty nine alone (one fled) had slaine,
That which another's violence did take,
Yet then the father, worthy of more blame,
Who bondage would hereditary make;
And to great Niniveh did give the name,
Which turn'd God's threatning by repentance back.
Lord where no right was, where just lord a slave,
Who suffred ruine by the power he gave.
He dare not now behold the face of one;
Where is that valour vaunted of in vaine,
By that great bragger at the Argive throne?
The cruell Creon last comes to their band.
Whil'st quite confounded these do quivering stand,
O! what sterne troups I with Vexores see,
Whose courage was not (like their climate) cold,
But bent themselves extreamely to be free,
Oft by their strength encroaching states control'd;
Of barbarous squadrons monstrous numbers be,
Who did great acts which fame doth not unfold,
O! had they had as happy pennes as swords,
How many might have match'd with Rome's chief
To daunt the Medes that prince who first aspir'd,
Where wading long, at last was drown'd in bloud;
One fondly charg'd, and with disgrace retir'd,
Where losse did harme, to gaine had done no good;
And he who Attick figges to have acquir'd,
Would tosse a bill, force winde, drink up a flood;
With those stand stayn'd with bloud all Persia's
Save some to follow lust who left all things.
Learn'd Athen's founder, fabulously great,
(Both sexes slaughtered) gain'd a glorious name,
And by much mischiefe mounting up a state,
Did drinke of death, whil'st thirsting but for fame;
The Devill scarce scap'd from his adulterous ayme,
Some virgins gain'd by force, some by deceit,
Who by vile murther, rapes, and fraud made
Broke first his father's necke, and then his owne.
What quaking squadrons do together throng,
Whom (art's great nursery) pregnant Greece
Whose fame their funerals doth survive so long,
First sounded south, still echo'd in the north,
Whom flattering pennes did praise for doing wrong,
Whil'st mindes abus'd did dote on shows of worth:
Who thought grave pride a modest minde disclos'd,
And valour vertue, though to ill dispos'd.
These of their times who were esteem'd the best,
And with strict laws did what they pleas'd allow,
Licurgus, Minos, Solon, and the rest,
Then all their mates, more paine attends them now,
Who heavenly wits to worldly wayes did wrest,
And but to Nature, not to God did bow;
They (save politick) all religion scorn'd,
And what they fain'd (as com'd from God) adorn'd.
What then avails (though prais'd so much of late)
When neere swolne Ilion Death threw famous darts;
Old Priam's pompe, proud Agamemnon's state,
Achilles' swift foot; Hector's hand and heart,
Old Nestor's speech, or Ajax his mad part:
Vlysses' shifts, the valour of his mate,
All vagabonds, or violently dy'd,
Then yeelds that towne which laws whil'st kept did
And what did manhood seeme, is murther try'd.
One captaine greedy, two that were too brave,
The crafty Ephor, and the halting king; [save,
Whom famous ruines both to death did bring;
Last him who place to none in courage gave,
From whom when dead a serpent forth did spring:
Who to strict laws love out of time had showne,
And offered freedome where it was not knownę.
From Pallas towne there flows a famous brood,
Who first foil'd Persians, with his gallant sonne;
And he whose gravenesse great regard had wonne;
He who by stratagems victorious stood,
He who both eminent in ill, and good,
All fortune's wayes had resolutely runne :
With numbers more whom former glory grieves,
And then from shame, nor paine, them not relieves.
Few Thebes gives that were renown'd in armes,
Two fain'd great gods, two found great friends I see;
Then, that Corinthian bent for tyrants' harmes,
Who kill'd his brother, Syracuse set free;
Who brav'd Rome's consul famous for alarmes;
Last Grecian great-man rank'd in this degree:
Who for some drudge when farre mistaken said,
He for deformity a pennance paid.
Neare those great Greeks their neighbour doth arise,
First forraine prince who them to bondage brought,
And laid the ground where the great builder
Who did great things, but did farre more devise,
Yet was much taxed by that age precise, [wrought;
For faults which moderne times not strange have
That mightie father farre more fame had wonne,
If not but vsher to so great a sonne.
He who in one alt kingdomes would combine,
And more perform'd then others dar'd to vaunt,
Who wish'd more worlds, whom this could not con-
Though once much prais'd, all now their folly tell,
Who hurl'd of purpose headlong unto Hell.
Whose fulnesse famine, wealth gave sense of want;
With fortune drunk (not as was thought with wine) Now Pompeie's triumphes more torment his minde,
Who all without him, nought within did daunt:
Who, from so many life and state did take,
O what large count must that great monarch make!
Then when Pharsalia crush'd him with despaires;
That æmulous old man (Parthia's prey) did finde,
With avarice ambition hardly shares;
By Persia's fall who did his empire found,
Is back'd by them whom he with fame did place,
One kill'd in Ægypt, and another crown'd,
Whose following heires were compass'd with dis-
And all the rest for mischiefe most renown'd,
In Greece or Syria who did raise their race. [kings,
Whose lord (made childlesse) prov'd a stocke of
Of whom when dead each feather turn'd to wings.
Next Macedon's, Epirus' prince doth come,
Whose state so oft as Fortune's dice was throwne,
Who but Levinius, did not Rome orecome,
And onely was by victory orethrowne;
How Alexander might have match'd with Rome,
By whom (a sparke falne from his power) was shown:
To whom he shew whose tongue such wonders
That ease with ease which with such toile he sought.
O what huge troupe of Tiber's brood I see,
Whose glory shame, whose conquest proves no gaine:
Who were thought happie, then most wretched be,
And wish for flight their eagle's wings in vaine;
A smoking dungeon Heavens for all decree,
At severall times whom th' Earth could not containe;
With shadows clad they in strict bounds do dwell,
Who spoil'd the world, scorn'd Heavens, and con-
There Rome's first king his deitie dearely buies,
Who bred with wolves did leave a ravenous broode;
And he for peace who coin'd religious lies,
His forg'd devotion now can doe no good;
This judgement straight those haughty princes tries,
Who famishing for fame, were drunk with blood,
Till bended pride long procreating hate,
Last, loos'd in lust, did alter all the state.
Of Rome (when free) whom fame from death redeemes,
The worldly worth what volume could record?
Huge Livie's worke imaginary seemes,
An epick poem with perfection stor'd,
Where numbers are whose parts time more esteemes,
Then all whom poets' pennes with dreames decor'd,
But though quick Nature quint-essenc'd the mind,
The soules, in senses wrapt, continued blind.
These two when barr'd from hope of life's delights
The sire, and sonne, whom no man else would even,
In fearefull formes, who with prodigious rites,
Men's horrour here (how monstrous then to Heaven?)
Where fatall offerings to th' infernall sprites,
With soule and bodie prodigally given
First, to fierce warre, last, to soft ease inclin'd,
Lucullus bere for both condemn'd repaires;
That triumvir stands with this troupe annoid,
Who first the state, and then himselfe destroid.
Unnaturall Nero, monster more then strange,
With-all to rage, who reason's reynes resign'd,
And through the world, as wolves for bloud did range,
As sakelesse soules by them, they now are pin'd,
That brave man scapes not, who did something
When Plinie's letters mollified his minde: [change,
Those ten whom nought can cleare, no, not excuse, That queene of nations, absolutely great, Of martyrs millions cheerfully accuse.
There throng great emperours, people's idols once, All bright with steele, whom armies did attend, Whil'st ancient kings fell downe before their thrones, That them as vassals they would but defend; Soules shak'd (brests earth quakes) do rebound with groans,
Whil'st griefe doth breake what pride so long did bend:
Who judging kings, gave lawes to every land,
Poore, naked, base, in judgement trembling stand.
Ere through twelve roomes the Sunne had run his
Three quickly rais'd, and ruin'd, did remaine,
(That to the grave he might not goe in peace)
A wretched old man forc'd by fates to raigne;
Who liv'd too soft, did stoutly death embrace,
That damnes him most, which greatest praise did
Then he who had no sense, save onely taste,
By chance an emperour, should have beene a beast.
When crush'd by those whom she so oft did wound,
Though she deserv'd what could be hatch'd by hate,
Yet these rude bands which did her pride confound,
Like tempests still encroaching on each state,
Till Europe's beauties all in bloud were drown'd:
As actors first shall suffer once in ire,
Like unregarded rods thrown in the fire.
Rome's emulous sister, Easterne Empires height, Who did by parting dissipate her power, (ThoughChristians call'd) barbarians brings to light, Whose lust to raigne did all things else devoure, Who others oft (all dayes to them turn'd night) When eyelesse made, entomb'd within a tower: Bloud, friendship, duty wrong'd, with shamefull wounds, [founds. Who plagu'd with darknesse, darknesse them con
That stately towne selected to command,
To scepters happy, great against her will,
Who (though the emperour fell) did empressestand,
Divorc'd, not widow'd, match'd with monarchs still,
She renders, joyn'd, a sometime differing band,
Of Ethnickes, Christians, Turkes, all damn'd for ill:
Huge is the troupe which doth from that part, part,
No turban hides the head, nor art the heart.
A savage troupe, the divels in order range,
Which lavish of men's lives their ends to gaine,
As Nature's bastards, quite from kinde to change,
Had (for first act of state) their brethren slaine,
That after it no murther might seeme strange;
An ominous entry to a bloudy raigne:
And well it may be said, he much commands,
Who, when he likes, men's lives, and still their lands.
That Turke who boldly past the bordering floud,
In Adrian's towne a barbarous throne to raise,
He brings a band of Ottoman's sterne brood,
Yet yeelds to one, who did the world amaze,
Whil'st in Bizantium he victorious stood,
And Roman power did absolutely raze:
For soules, and bodies, mischiefes worst to frame,
Curs'd Mahomet, damn'd be that fatall name.
Proud Selimus, who with a monstrous spleene,
Thy father's ruine labour'dst long to worke,
And gladly would'st a parricide have beene,
A tyrant, I, what can be worse? a Turke,
Though once ostentive, curious to be seene,
Thou in some corner now would'st wish to lurke:
The soldan slayne, and mamaluckes orethrown,
Who then sought'st all, thou now art not thine own.
Rhodes conquer'd quite, all Hungarie ore-runne,
He, who caus'd place upon Vienna's height,
His gaping moone, not fill'd with kingdomes wonne,
Though but a badge of change, portending night,
Lest Europe's empire had a hazard runne,
When two great armies were afraid to fight:
Great Soliman, sole-man by Turkes thought still,
Whom could he spare, who his owne sonne did kill?
'Twixt Turkes and Christians now no trumpets sound, (Their warres of late transferr'd to other lands;) The Persian doth the Turkish conquest bound, Of too much weight, and borne with borrow'd hands, Which their supporters threaten to confound: As mamaluckes, and the prætorian bands,
Did Egypt's prince, and Rome's, chuse in times past,
The janisaries may make Turkes at last.
Of cold Muscovians, and of scorched Mores,
From differing tropickes, now the troupes are great;
That stout Numidian (Scipio's friend) deplores
That long he liv'd, and yet had learn'd too late;
Fierce Saladine, whose fame each story stores,
Whose fatall badge upbraids each mortal's state,
That sultaine, loe, doth lead a tawny trayne,
Who Iuda spoil'd, bragg'd France, and conquer'd
With men whose fame was registred with bloud, Who from true worth to reach vaine dreames enclin'd,
Those two so neare (yet farre estrang’d) in bloud, Though Greeks, yet barbarous, quite from nature stray'd,
Some women come who had (made milde, grown
A female face, too masculine a minde,
Who though first fram'd to propagate men's brood,
(From nature stray'd) toyl'd to destroy their kinde:
By differing meanes both sexes grace their state,
I scorne men's coynesse, women's stoutnesse hate.
There Ashur's empresse, who disguis'd did raigne,
Till (as by her his syre) slaine by her sonne;
The Scythian queene who scoff'd with high disdaine,
At Cyrus' head, when toss'd within a tunne:
She who by emperours' spoiles did glory gaine,
Zenobia chast, who did no danger shunne:
That which they bragg'd of once, they now bemone,
The Amazons all tremble at this throne.
To make his brother swallow his owne brood,
(So farre that fury of revenge him sway'd)
Of which, the one did dresse (prodigious food)
A childe, his nephew, innocent, betray'd:
Now in one dungeon, they together dwell,
No jealousie nor envy stings in Hell.
Twixt Pandion's daughters, wretched Tereus stands,
Of which the one (by double wrong abus'd)
With tongue restor'd, the vengeance due demands,
For brutish lust, and barbarous rigour us'd,
As having stain'd his stomacke, and her hands,
By him the other is as much accus'd:
A sister kinde, or with all love at strife,
A monstrous mother, an outragious wife.
She grieves, whom long distract'd, strange thoughts
To venge her brother, or her sonne to slay,
A sister, mother, doubtfull which to prove,
Till tender kindenesse to strong rage gave way,
Proud of men's praise, and of a ladie's love,
Whil'st his, the boare, he, Atalanta's prey:
Thus even whil'st fortune fawn'd, fates did destroy,
"O what small bounds abide 'twixt griefe and joy!"
With aspects fierce, O what a cruell crew!
Milde nature's horrour, worse then can be deem'd,
Who barbarous, yea, abbominable grew, [deem'd,
And wrought their wreake whom they should have re-
Who with kinde bloud did unkinde hands imbrue,
For vile revenges, monsters mad esteem'd:
Whose rage did reach to such a height of evils,
That humane malice did exceed the Devil's.
Of queenes accurst, whose names may horrour breed,
There luda, Israel, each of them gives one,
The tigris who destroy'd the royall seed,
And even too dearely purchased a throne,
Yet one, preserv'd, did to the state succeed,
And, justly guerdon'd, was her rigour gone:
As from God's favour, from his temple driv'd,
That murtherer's ruine quickly was contriv'd.
There Media's monarch, ruine of the state,
Whose nephewe's saver when for death forth borne,
Had for reward from him, his sonne for meat,
And (that his soule might be in pieces torne)
The head was brought while he the rest did eate,
A high disdaine, dissolv'd in bitter scorne:
Who can but thinke what griefe he did conceive,
Sonne's murtherer, mourner, bearer, beere, and
Then he whose part oft Athen's stage did tell,
Who by his brother drest like food did finde,
Whil'st boyling rage (pent up) last high did swell,
And bursted out in a most barbarous kinde;
Though both (not jealous) may inhabite Hell,
Yet vengeance still doth so possesse his minde:
That, if of ease he any thought attaines,
It onely is to see his brother's paines.
That witch the honour hath with many such,
To live with him whom she did love so much.
As troupes who knew not God, this squadron fill,
There want not others who did know his will.
There Absolom so absolutely faire,
Yet fell himselfe, his father bent to snare,
Who would embosom'd be by proud base arts,
And lost his whole in stealing others' hearts;
He farre puff'd up, dy'd wavering in the ayre,
The shamefull forme upbraiding vaunted parts:
The winde was hang-man, and his haires the rope.
A growing gallowes, grasping tumide hope,
Ab! must I staine the purenesse of my rymes,
With such as we from mindes should quite seclude?
Damn'd be their memory, unknowne their crymes;
Of acts so ill examples are not good,
And yet have we not seene even in our times,
How th' Earth abus'd, beares a prodigious brood:
Who fayning godlinesse, from God rebell,
And will seeke Heaven even in the depths of Hell.
Up, hypocrite ingrate, who wast entic'd
To kill that king, who did your sect advance,
By strangers lov'd, at home by all despis'd, [France,
From whom when stolne from Pole, one neere stole
Had he not falne even there where they devis'd,
The monstrous massacre! great God what chance?
Else was he urg'd, all dignity put downe,
To quite his kingdome for a naked crowne.
That villaine vile whom all the world abhorr'd,
To kill that king who durst lend Death a dart,
Who oft had scap'd the cannon and the sword,
And banish'd had the authors of base art,
Since not his tooth, why was their state restor❜d?
Who tooke but it, in earnest of the heart:
Blinde zeale, soule's frenzy, now makes many rave;
Can mischiefe merit, or can murther save?
Yet those vile crimes (though with amazement nam'd)
Seeme common slaughters when I them compare,
Which bragg'd to blow all Britaine in the ayre;
With that strange treason through the world pro-
Of this damn'd plot, the Divell may be asham'd,
Which had no patterne, and can have no heire:
Both prince and peeres, it threatning straight ť
(Like Neroe's wish) had kill'd all at one blow.
When Stygian states in dungeons darke conspir'd,
All Albian's orethrow, Britaine's utter end,
Which mysticke bragge, when none could compre-
To be dispatch'd as paper spent when fir'd, [hend,
Our Salomon (no doubt by God inspir'd)
Did straight conjecture what be did intend:
With whom on Earth was God, if not with thee?
Great prince, great poet, all divine, what three?
Hell's emissaries with confusion stor'd,
Whose damn'd devices, none enough can hate,
Though they should be by all the world abhorr'd,
Yet are they prais'd of some, yea, and ador'd,
As Nature's scandall, vipers of a state,
Since by religion justifi'd of late:
Some miracles were fain'd, one true is wrought,
That monsters martyrs, murtherers saints are