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But when weake passions urg'd the us'd releefe, Rage in their fountaines dry'd the streames of griefe.
The foaming tyrant, swolne with high disdaine,
(What had cool'd some him further did enflame)
To bound at once, state, fortune, life, and raigne;
Not victory, no, vengeance was his ayme;
A glorious life not hoping more to gane,
He thought by death to frustrate threatened shame,
But, of foes kill'd, would first a mount have made,
Where (as in triumph) he might lye, when dead.
I know not if more bent to give, or take,
That which (well weigh'd) is an indifferent thing,
The raging Pagan, thus his people spake,
"What poore life can not, liberall death doth bring,
And you (though subjects) may my equals make,
Loe, without treason you may match your king:
Crowne, throne, or scepter, fates no more allow,
And by the sword all may be soveraignes now."
As two great torrents striving for one way, Raise mounts of sands, raze heights, spoile tree, and town,
And (that th' one's name the other swallow may) What ever doth resist, beare thence, or drowne; So, of their fury what the course did stay, [downe, Saul's matchlesse sonne, and Ammon's lord beat
Th' eyes earnest gave, whilst they at distance stay'd, That, by their hands, the rest should straight be pay'd.
When Israel's gallant had beheld a space,
The fierce Barbarian opening up the throng,
He cry'd to ali aloud, "Give place, give place,
Let none usurpe what doth to me belong;
This man my life, and I his death must grace,
Who marre the match would but to both do wrong:
A vulgar band must not his end procure,
He stands too glorious to fall downe obscure."
Some drawn by feare, and some by reverence mov'd,
The distance twixt them vanish'd soone away;
Like rivali bulls which had one heifer lov'd,
And through the flocks with brandish'd hornes did
Whilst th' one resolv'd, and th’other desp'rate prov'd,
Both with great fury did enforce their way,
Whose troups, enflam'd by hearing their high words,
Did in their action emulate their lords.
Those two transported did together rinne,
As if both hoasts did onely in them fight,
They, with short processe, ground did lose and wine,
Vrg'd, shunn'd, forc'd, fayn'd, bow'd, rais'd, hand,
leg, left, right.
Advanc'd, retir'd, rebated, and gave in,
With reason fury, courage joyn'd with slight:
So earnest mindes and bended bodies press'd,
That then the blowes, the ayming more distress'd.
To sell his life the Ethnicke onely sought,
But valu'd it so much, though but in vaine,
That clouds of darts, and swords too few were thought
To force the fortresse where it did remaine,
So that, (by one to last extreames thus brought)
His fury was converted to disdaine;
Shame joyning with despaire, death did impose,
Ere more, then crowne or life, be liv'd to lose.
By blowes redoubled charging every way,
Whilst he but wish'd who did him kill, to kill,
Bloud leaving him, his danger did betray,
Which rage in vaine, would have dissembled still,
And th' other storm'd so long with one to stay,
Who might elsewhere fields with dead bod.es fill;
Just indignation all his strength did bend,
The heart conjuring hands to make an end.
The Hebrew us'd at once both strength and art;
Th one hand did ward, a blow the other gave,
Which hit his head (the marke o! many a dart)
Whose batt red temples fearefull sense did leave;
The treacherous helmet tooke the strongest part,
And bruis'd those braines which it was set to save;
Yet dying striking, last he th' earth did wound,
Whose fall (as some great oakes) made it rebound.
His eyes againe began to gather light,
And lonathan (when victor) to relent,
But straight just hate presented, as in sight,
His barbarous actions, and abhorr'd intent;
How (vainely vaunting of a victor's right)
That all his thoughts to cruelty were bent:
Whose raging minde, on captives strangely strict,
Then bondage, spoyle, or death would more inflict.
"Thou tyrant, thou," said he, "who didst devise, Else farre from fame, for ill to be renown'd, Those halfe-blinde Hebrews whom thou did'st despise, They vengeance urge, they, they, give thee this wound;"
With that, by his right eye (who striv'd to rise) The flaming sword amidst his braynes he drown'd: Whose guilty ghost, where shadowes never end, With indignation, grudging did descend.
As if Hell's furies had thy sprite inspir'd,
Prodigious creature, monster inhumane,
Loe, what have all thy cruelties acquir'd,
Which thus with interest time returnes againe,
But Hell, when hence, and here, whence now retir'd,
Yet with this comfort thou abandon'st breath,
That thy remembrance odious may remaine :
The hand of Ionathan adorn'd thy death.
As some fierce lyon, raging through the fields,
Doth hunt another, when another yeelds,
(Which of beasts kill'd contemnes the tasted bloud)
Yet, wanton, riots, as for sport not food;
So Iacob's gallant (breaching many shields)
Bent for more prey, with him no longer stood,
And till their chiefe his followers follow'd too,
Nought did seeme done, whil'st ought remain'd to do.
All Israel's squadrons, circling Ammon in,
Straight at his center threatn ng were to meet,
Which poynt (the last man kill'd) all march'd to
Where halfe dead bodies made a breathing street,
All striv'd to end, as lately to begin,
Whilst dust did dry what bloud and sweat made weet;
Mars courting courage, first shin'd bright about,
But then with horrour turn'd his inside out.
Saul as ov'r bodies then did raigne in hearts,
O how farre chang'd from what he first had been!
And by piaine valour, scorning usuall arts,
The emulous Abner eminent was seene;
These three, at first which charg'd from divers parts,
Seem'd foes oppos'd, their foes, as chanc'd, between
Whom (from encountring, that them nought might | No, no, their breasts such fancies fond not bred,
They but beat downe, to make a patent way. [stay) As if themselves had their delivery wrought;
By piety not by ambition led,
Farre from vaine praise, they Israel's safety sought, ~
Charg'd by God's hand, they knew that Aminon fled,
And from his favour derogating nought,
Where tumid Gentiles would have bragg'd abroad,
Their glory was to glorifie their God.
When hopes on doubts no longer did depend,
Whilst Israel's colours victory did beare,
Some seem'd to grieve that warre so soone would end,
And striv'd in time what trophees they might reare;
Whilst flattring Glory, lofty thoughts to bend,
In gorgeous robes did whisper in each eare,
"What brave man now my beauties will embrace,
To breed (Fame's minions) an immortali race?"
Sweet freedome's treasure did enrich their eyes;
Whilst joyfull Iabesh opened up her ports,
Men, women, children, people of all sorts,
With voyces as distracted pierc'd the skyes;
O how each one of them the rest exhorts,
To sound his praise who pittied had their cryes!
And (as wrong founded) any joy was griefe,
Save for God's glory, more then their reliefe.
Wives forth with haste did to their husbands rinne,
Who told to them (describing dangers past)
"Hence Saule first charg'd, there Abner entred in,
Here we about them did a compasse cast;
And kill'd him here, where, loe, he lyes at last:"
There Ionathan with Nahas did beginne,
But forward kindenesse this discourse doth stay,
Troups call'd alow'd (mov'd by this battell much)
Th' one's lips must point that which another's say.
"Where are they now who ask'd if Saul should
Let swords (yet smoking) purge the land of such,
Who from base envy bursted out disdaine;"
Yet them milde Saul would suffer none to touch,
But said, no cloud so cleare a day should staine:
And since the Lord all Israel had releev'd,
None should be kill'd for him, no, nor yet griev❜d.
Ere flames, yet hot, extinguish'd were againe,
To Gilgall straight, there to confirme his raigne,
The Lord's great prophet will'd them all to go
In that new state grown fearfull to each foe;
Where sacred offrings liberally were slaine,
The late delivery to acknowledge so:
As bloud from beasts, praise flow'd from gratefull
Each one himselfe for further service binds.
By sacrifice the kingdome's right renu'd,
This speech to Israel, matchlesse Samuel made,
Loe, granted is all that for which you su'd, [leade: There stands the king, who should your squadrons My sonnes are here, time hath my strength subdu'd; Age crown'd with white triumphs upon my head; Eyes dimme, legges weake, (infirmities growne rife) Death hath beseig'd the lodging of my life.
Though all my dayes in charge, I challenge you, Let each man speake (as he hath reason) free, Before the lord, and his anointed now;
No crimes conceale, I come accus'd to be, [bow?
What bragge, or bribe, hath made my judgment
Whose oxe, or asse, hath taken beene by me?
Whome have I harm'd, or wrong'd, in goods or fame?
I stand to satisfie who ever claime."
The people straight (applauding) did reply, [best;"
"With heart, and hands still pure, thou didst the
For witnesses, then, both, who loud did cry,
With his lievtenant, did great God attest:
O happy judge, who well did live and dye,
Still prais'd on th'Earth! in Heaven with glory rest;
At that great day, whom all with Christ shall see,
To judge those judges who not follow'd thee.
“Then," said the prophet, "since by all approv'd,
I must with you, before that God contend,
Who from Caldea, Israel's syre remov'd,
And highly honour'd as his speciall friend;
Who sav'd milde Isaac, holy Iacob lov'd,
And in all countries did him still attend:
(A covenant contriv'd, with all his race)
Who multiply'd them much, in little space.
"From rigorousÆgypt's more then burthenous yoke,
When taught by wonders to admire his might,
He led them forth, free from each stumbling block;
In deserts wilde, him to contemplate right;
And did give laws, as of that state the stock,
A rare republike, at perfection's height;
The Lord (great generall of those chosen bands)
Took townes, gain'd battels, and did conquer lands!
"But when he once had stablish'd well their state, (All those great works remembred then no more) Your fathers, false, apostates, and ingrate, (Abhomination) idols did adore, So that (incens'd with indignation great) Their jealous God would them protect no more; Who, that they so might humbled be againe, To bondage base abandon'd did remaine.
"With hearts brought low, and souls rais'd up aloft,
When godly griefe dissolv'd it selfe in groans,
The Lord,first mov'd with sighs, with teares made soft,
Charm'd with the musicke of their pretious moans,
For their delivery sent great captaines oft,
Who did their state restore, bruis'd strangers' thrones:
Till successe did to all the world make knowne,
That, save by sinne, they could not be ore-throwne.
"Ganst Aram, Moab, and Canaan, foes,
Proud Midians, Ammons, and Philistines' lands,
Brave Othniel, Ebud, and Debora rose,
Then Ighte, Gideon, Sampson, strong of hands,
Whil'st God the generall, his lievtenants those,
Oft (few in number) thundred downe great bands;
And by weake meanes oft thousands fled from one,
A cake, an oxen goad, an asse's bone.
"From dangers oft though wonderfully sav'd,
Whil'st Israel's sceptre God did onely sway,
Yet (as stray'd fancies fondly had conceiv'd)
When Ammon's ensignes Nahas did display,
Straight, as without a lord, a king, you crav'd,
As th' abject Gentiles, basely to obey;
With trust in princes, and in mortall strength,
Which lodg'd in nostrils, must dislodge at length.
"Yet if your king and you do serve him right,
The Lord, of both will highly blesse the state;
And, if prophanely walking in his sight,
Will visit both in wrath, with vengeance great,
And that you may behold your sinne, his might,
Too haughty minds by terrour to abate:
You shall (though of such change no signe there be)
Straight clad with clouds, Heaven's indignation see.'
Heavens, must'ring horrour in a dreadfull forme,
His beams drawn back, pale Phobus did retyre;
As the world's funerals threatning to performe,
Some flames flash'd forth, not lights, but sparks of yre,
And in ambushment layd behinde a storme,
Colds interchoaking, did grosse engines fire
To batter th' Earth, which planted there by wrath,
From clouds' vast concaves thund'red bolts of death.
This signe so full of terrour thus procur'd,
A generall feare each minde with griefe did sting,
Till all cry'd out that they had beene obdur'd,
And highly sinn'd in seeking of a king;
The Lord, they said (his light from leaven obscur'd)
Might for their ore-throw armies justly bring;
Then Samuel urg'd to mediate their peace,
Avoyding vengeance, and entreating grace.
The holy man who view'd them thus to smart,
Did aggravate how farre they first did faile,
Yet them assurd, when flowing from the heart,
That true repentance would with God prevaile;
From whom he wish'd, that they would not depart,
To trust in trifles which could not availe:
Since he, when pleas'd, in mercies did abound,
And with a frowne might all the world confound.
The Lord (he said) who did them first affect
Them (from his law if they did not remove)
By hoasts of Heaven, and wonders would protect,
By promise bound, and by his boundlesse love,
Lest strangers spoyling whom he did elect,
Weake, or inconstant, he might seeme to prove :
Then he to God for them did earnest call,
And with their king, when blest, dismist them all.
Saul thus, when seiz'd of Israel's regall seat,
Whom God chose, Samuel did anoint, all serve,
From private thoughts estrang'd, in all growne great,
Though first elected, studied to deserve;
His owne no more, since sacred to the state,
He sought how it to free, to rule, preserve:
For whice, retyr'd, what course was fit, he dream'd,
Save when in action, as of sight asham'd.
OF THE TRAGEDY OF CROESUS.
TO HIS SACRED MAJESTY.
DISDAINE not, mighty prince, those humble lines,
Though too meane musicke for so dainty eares,
Since with thy greatnesse, learning's glory shines,
So that thy brow a two-fold lawrell beares :
To thee the Muses, Phoebus now resignes,
And vertues hight eternall tropbees reares:
As Orpheus' harpe, Heavens may cnstall thy pen,
A liberall light to guide the mindes of men.
Although my wit be weake, my vowes are strong,
Which consecrate devoutly to thy name
My Muse's labours, which, ere it be long,
May graft some feathers in the wings of Fame,
And with the subject to conforme my song,
May in more loftly lines thy worth proclaime,
With gorgeous colours courting glorie's light,
Till circling seas doe bound her ventrous flight.
Ere thou wast born, and since, Heaven thee endeeres,
Held backe, as best to grace these last worst times;
The world long'd for thy birth three hundred yeeres,
Since first fore-told wrapt in propheticke rimes;
His love to thee, the Lord's deliveries cleeres,
From sea, from sword, from fire, from chance, from
And that to him thou onely might be bound,
Thy selfe was still the meanes foes to confound.
I doe not doubt but Albion's warlike coast,
(Sill kept unconquer'd by the Heaven's decree)
The Picts expell'd, the Danes repl'd, did boast
(In spite of all Rome's power) a state still free,
As that which was ordain'd (though long time crost
In this Herculean birth) to bring forth thee,
Whom many a famous sceptred parent brings
From an undaunted race to doe great things.
Of this divided ile the nurslings brave,
Earst, from intestine warres could not desist,
Yet did in forraine fields their names engrave,
Whilst whom one spoil'd the other would assist:
Those now made one, whilst such a head they have,
What world of words were able to resist ?
Thus hath thy worth (great James) conjoyn'd them
Whom battles oft did breake, but never bow.
And so, most justly thy renowned deeds
Doe raise thy fame above the starry round,
Which in the world a glad amazement breeds,
To see the vertues (as they merit) crown'd,
Whilst thou (great monarch) who in power exceeds,
With vertuons goodnesse do'st vast greatnesse bound,
Where, if thou lik'dst to be more great then good,
Thou might'st soone build a monarchie with bloud.
O! this faire world without the world, no doubt,
Which Neptune strongly guards with liquid bands,
As aptest so to rule the realmes about,
She by herselfe (as most majesticke) stands,
Thence (the world's mistris) to give judgement out,
With full authority for other lands,
Which on the seas would gaze, attending still,
By wind-wing'd messengers, their soveraigne's will.
The southerne regions did all realmes surpasse,
And were the first which sent great armies forth;
Yet sovereignty that there first founded was,
Still by degrees hath drawne unto the north,
To this great climate which it could not passe,
The fatall period bounding all true worth:
For, it cannot from hence a passage finde,
By roring rampiers still with us confinde.
As waters which a masse of earth restraines,
(If they by swelling high begin to vent)
Doe rage disdainefu ly over all the plaines,,
As with strict borders scorning to be pent:
Even so this masse of earth, that thus remaynes,
Wall'd in with waves, if (to burst out when bent)
(The bounding flouds ore-flow'd) it rush forth, then
That deluge would ore-run the world with men.
Then since (great prince) the torrent of thy power
May drowne whole nations in a scarlet floud,
On infidels thy indignation powre,
And bathe not Christian bounds with Christ an bloud:
The tyrant Ottoman (who would devoure
All the reedeemed souls) may be withstood,
While as thy troups (great Albion's emperor) once
Do comfort Christ's afflicted flock which moanes.
Thy thundring troups might take the stately rounds
Of Constantine's great towne renown'd in vaine,
And barre the barbarous Turks the baptiz'd bounds,
Reconquering Godfrey's conquests once againe;
O, well spent labours! O illustrious wounds!
Whose trophees should eternall glory gaine,
And make the lyon to be fear'd farre more,
Then ever was the eagle of before.
TO THE AUTHOR OF
THE MONARCHICKE TRAGEDIES.
Invite the curious pompe-expecting eyes
WELL may the programme of thy tragicke stage
To gaze on present showes of passed age,
Crownes, throwne from thrones to tombes, detomb'd
Which just desert Monarchicke dare baptize. [arise
To match thy Muse with a monarchicke theame,
That whilst her sacred soaring cuts the skyes,
A vulgar subject may not wrong the same:
And which gives most advantage to thy fame,
The worthiest monarch that the Sunne can see,
Doth grace thy labours with his glorious name,
And daignes protector of thy birth to be:
Thus all monarchicke, patron, subject, stile,
Make thee the monarch-tragicke of this ile.
S. ROBERT AYTON.
While this great Greek him in his throne enstalls,
GIVE place all ye to dying Darius' wounds,
Who fell before seven-ported Thebes' wals,
Or under Ilion's old sky-threatening rounds.
Your sowre-sweet voyce not halfe so sadly sounds,
Though I confesse, most famous be your fals,
Thrown headlong, burnt, and banish't from your
Slaine, sacrific'd, transported, and made thrals;
And Eschylus in stately tragicke tune:
Whom Sophocles, Euripides have song, [bounds:
Yet none of all hath so divinely done
As matchlesse Menstrie in his native tongue.
Thus Darius' ghost seemes glad now to be so,
Triumpht on twise by Alexanders two.