Prince Arthur an heroick poem in ten books
Blackmore, Richard, Sir, d. 1729.
Page  1

Prince Arthur.


I Sing the Briton, and his Righteous Arms,
Who bred to Suff'rings, and the rude Alarms
Of bloody War, forsook his Native Soil,
And long sustain'd a vast Heroick Toil,
Till kinder Fate invited his Return,
To bless the Isle, that did his Absence mourn:
To re-enthrone fair Liberty, and break
The Saxon Yoke, that gall'd Britannia's Neck.
Tell, Sacred Muse, what made th' Infernal King
Use all his Arts, and all his Forces bring
The Generous Briton's Triumphs to oppose,
Afflict his Friends, and aid his cruel Foes.
Tell, why the angry Pow'rs below, combine
T' oppress a Valiant Prince, and thwart his brave Design.
Ambitious Lucifer, depos'd of late
From Bliss Divine, and high Angelick State,
Sinks to the dark, unbottom'd Deep of Hell,
Where Sin, and Death, and endless Sorrow dwell:
Here plung'd in Flame, and tortur'd with Despair
He plots Revenge, and meditates new War.
His Thoughts on deep Designs th' Apostate spent,
When this Conjuncture favour'd his Intent.
A spacious, dusky Plain lay wast and void,
Where yet Creating Power was ne'er employ'd
Page  2To fashion Elements, or strike out Light;
The silent, lonesome Walks of ancient Night.
In th' Archives kept in Heav'n's bright Towers, was found,
A sacred old Decree, wherein the Ground
Was set distinctly out, from Ages past,
For a new World, on this unbounded Wast.
Here did th' Artificer Divine of late,
The World so long before markt out, create.
And gave it to the Man he newly made,
Where all things him, as he did Heav'n, obey'd.
In Eden's Walks he made his blest Abode,
All full of Joy, of Glory, full of God.
Nature with vast Profusion on him pours,
Unmeasur'd Bliss, from unexhausted Stores.
Th' Apostate raging at his own Defeat
And envying this new Prince his happy Seat;
Labours to win him to his Side, to bear
Arms against Heav'n, and wage Confed'rate War.
Nor did his Arts in vain weak Man assail,
His false Seraphick Tongue, and Charms prevail.
Deluded Man from his high Station fell
Deserting Heav'n, to serve the Cause of Hell.
This Fatal Conquest o'er fall'n Adam gain'd,
A mighty Empire Lucifer maintain'd;
Till the blest Prince of Peace, Heav'n's Lord and Heir,
By Pity's Tears, and charming Mercy's Prayer
Drawn down from Heav'n, freed lost Mankind, and broke
The Pow'r of Hell, and Sin's Tyrannick Yoke.
He makes Proud Lucifer his Host disband,
And wrests the Scepter from th' Usurper's Hand.
The Prince of Darkness owns the Conquerour,
And yields his Empire to a mightier Pow'r.
Page  3From Idols and their Priests the Nations freed,
Celestial Light, and Truth Divine succeed.
Religion large Dominions soon obtain'd,
And daily Conquests, and fresh Laurels gain'd.
To Albion's Shore she early pass'd the Main,
And brought along her bright Etherial Train.
From thence she chas'd Infernal Shades away,
And o'er the Isle, diffus'd a Heav'nly Day.
The Prince of Hell at her Appearance flies,
Spoil'd of his Altars, and his Votaries.
Confin'd to Barb'rous Northern Lands he staid,
Till the fierce Saxon, Albion did invade.
Victorious Octa who his Shrines ador'd,
Rebuilt his Altars, and his Groves restor'd.
Long abdicated Gods make Albion mourn,
At theirs, and their devouring Priests Return.
Th' Arch-Traytor's Rage hence against Arthur rose,
And all th' Infernal Pow'rs his Arms oppose;
Conscious should he his glorious End acquire,
And force th' intruding Pagan to retire,
Theirs, with the Saxon Empire must expire.
They must again forsake fair Albion's Land,
And leave Divine Religion to Command.
Scarce had they left the happy Neustrian Coast,
Born with a Prosperous Gale, scarce had they lost
The Tops of Spires, and rising Points of Land,
When Lucifer, that did observing stand
On the high Southern Promontory's Head,
Of Vecta's Isle, the Seas beneath him spread
With sharp Angelick Ken, views far and wide,
And soon Prince Arthur's hateful Fleet descry'd.
The Heav'ns serenely smil'd, and every Sail
Fill'd its wide Bosom, with th' indulgent Gale.
Page  4Mercy, Deliverance, Pity, Hope displaid
Their Silver Wings, and glad Attendance paid,
Sung on the Shrowds, or with the Streamers plaid.
Rage flash'd, like Lightning, from th' Apostate's Eyes,
And Envy swell'd him to the vastest Size
Then thus he to himself.
Was not to me in the fam'd Wars of Heav'n,
The chief Command of all the Forces giv'n,
Sent by Confederate Potentates to wage
Unheard of War, and all Heav'n's Pow'r engage?
When I, to end with Honour the Campaign,
Drew my bright Troops out, on th' Etherial Plain;
And push'd on that great, last decisive Day,
With God-like Vigour, for th' Imperial Sway.
In Lustre chief, in Danger and Command,
Did I Proud Michael's Veteran Troops withstand.
Michael, than whom a Braver Combatant,
For Skill and Strength, the Foe could never vaunt.
'Gainst fresh Battalions still pour'd on I stood,
Smeer'd with Celestial Dust, and Seraphs Blood.
Had not our Mould been Aether, Pure and Fine,
Labour'd with Care, anneel'd with Skill Divine;
The Blows of mighty Cherubs Death had cloy'd,
Unpeopled Heav'n, and the Bright Race destroy'd.
With Michael pain'd with ghastly Wounds, at length
I clos'd, and grasp'd him with Immortal Strength;
And down Heav'n's Precipice, had headlong hurl'd
The great Arch-Angel, to th' Infernal World,
Had not swift Uriel trembling at the Sight,
That fill'd all Heav'n, with Horrour and dire Fright,
Rush'd in, to save him from unequal Fight.
Their stagg'ring Army shrunk, and we had won
The Throne we fought for, but th' Almighty's Son
Page  5Brought strong Recruits, to reinforce their Host,
And win back what their General Michael lost.
'Tho' overmatcht, did I not firmly stand,
The chiefest Mark of his Revenging Hand?
Did I from Posts of greatest Danger run,
Or once his bright Triumphal Chariot shun?
Did I once shrink, when Showers of poyson'd Darts
Dipt in Eternal Wrath, shot thro' our Hearts?
When massy Rocks of Heav'nly Chrystal flew,
Which the strong Arms of mighty Seraphs threw?
Did I not run and timely Help afford,
Where Storms of Fire, and loudest Thunder roar'd?
Tis true, o'er-born with Force, at last I fell,
But got Immortal Fame, tho' with it Hell.
Scarce was I vanquish'd and o'erthrown but late
By Power Almighty, and Eternal Fate.
Since that chief Lord, and Prince of Hell I've reign'd,
And from the Foe, his new-made World have gain'd.
And long maintain'd the Conquests I had won;
Now much lost back to his Almighty Son.
But faithful Octa has once more restor'd
This happy Isle to me its ancient Lord.
Have I been thus for great Atchievements fam'd,
My Deeds throughout all Heav'n and Hell proclaim'd;
And shall this British, despicable Wight,
Me and my Priests, force to a second Flight?
Rifle my Temples, and in Triumph bear,
Thro' shouting Throngs, the Spoils high in the Air?
Who then to me will Hymns of Praise return,
Who on my Altars Odorous Incense burn?
If I chastise not this vain Briton's Pride,
That does insulting on the Ocean ride.
If I secure not my new conquer'd Seat,
And all his wild, ambitious Arms defeat.
Page  6This having said, to Heav'n he mounts upright,
And to the Northern Pole directs his Flight.
All fir'd with Rage, and full of anxious Care,
With his swift Wings, he cuts the yielding Air.
As when the Sun pours from his Orb of Light,
A glorious Deluge, on the Face of Night.
His Golden Rays shot from the Rosy East,
Reach in a Moment, the remotest West,
And smiling on the Mountains Heads are seen,
Th' immense Expansion past, that lies between.
The Prince of Darkness now, once Prince of Light,
With equal Swiftness takes his Airy Flight,
And the vast Interval of Seas, and Isles,
Wild Desarts, spacious Forrests, snowy Hills,
Past in a Moment, does on Fioel Light;
Of Lapland Alpes, chief for amazing Height.
Where Thor resides, who heretofore by Lot
The Sovereign Rule o'er Winds, and Tempests got.
Here in strong Prisons bound with heavy Chains,
His howling, savage Subjects he restrains,
And in Eternal Din, and Uproar reigns.
In close Apartments, round his desart Court,
Fierce Pris'ners are confin'd of different Sort.
Here Boundless Stores, and Treasures Infinite
Of Vapours, Steams, and Exhalations, fit
T' engender Winds, or Snow, or Hail, or Rain,
In Subterranean Magazins remain.
Here new fledg'd Winds, young yelping Monsters try
Their Wings, and sporting round their Prisons fly.
Here whistling East-winds prove their shriller Notes:
Here the hoarse South-winds, strain their hollow Throats.
Boreas the fiercest and most turbulent,
Of the mad Race, raves in his Dungeon pent.
Page  7At th' Adamantine Door vast Hills are thrown,
And abrupt Rocks of Ice, pil'd sevenfold on.
Capricious Whirlwinds, of more Force than Sound,
In everlasting Eddys turning round,
Grow Giddy, Furious and Extravagant,
And strive to break from their close Den's restraint.
When Thor unlocks their Prisons, out they fly,
A lawless Rout, and with their Hellish Cry
Out-howl the hideous Monsters of the Seas,
Or savage Roarings of the Wilderness.
Some range the Flats, and Scour the Champain Land,
Or roll in tott'ring heaps the Desart Sand.
Some to the lofty Woods direct their Course,
And with an uncontroul'd, impetuous Force
O'erturn opposing Structures in their hast,
Tear up tall Pines, and lay the Forrest wast.
Some to the Ocean with like Speed resort,
And in loud Tempests on the Billows sport.
Embroil the Coasts, and in wild Outrages
Turn up to Heav'n, the Bottom of the Seas.
But husht at Thor's Command they all obey,
And to their ancient Prisons haste away.
To him, thus Lucifer, great Prince on thee
Fate has bestow'd the Empire of the Sea,
All there concern'd, invoke thy Deity.
The Merchants pray to thee to fill their Sails,
Enrich thy Priests, and purchase Prosperous Gales.
I too thy Suppliant, ask thy Powerful Aid,
A Haughty Prince, designing to invade
My Faithful Subject Octa, and beguile
Me of my Hopes of fair Britannia's Isle;
Sails with a Numerous Fleet, with Men and Arms,
And Octa trembles at his Proud Alarms.
Page  8Let him in Furious Hurricanes be tost,
Be sunk, or wreckt, or on the Ocean lost,
Beat him at least, from his intended Coast.
Make him thy Vengeance feel, thy Power regard,
And be what e're thou askest, thy Reward.
Great Prince, then Thor reply'd,
Who rul'st the Realms of Hell with Soveraign Sway,
Whom all th' Infernal Thrones, and Pow'rs obey,
I own Obedience to thy high Command,
Who putt'st this Scepter first into my Hand.
Thou led'st in Heav'n our bright Battalions on,
And bravely did'st attempt th' Almighty's Throne;
I saw thy mighty Deeds, and kept my Post
Close by thee, till that Glorious Day was lost.
Thy faded Splendor, and illustrious Scars,
From Ghasty Wounds, receiv'd in those just Wars,
I view with Reverence, 'tis true subdu'd
Headlong we fell from Heav'n's high Tow'r's, pursu'd
With Whirlwinds, and loud Thunder, down to Hell,
And Storms of Fire beat on us as we fell.
Yet after that, thou led'st us to invade
This Globous World, which we our Conquest made.
And my Election Patroniz'd by thee,
This great Command and Province fell to me.
That said, by him their heavy Gates unbar'd,
That loud on mighty Iron Hinges jarr'd,
Out ratling Eurus, and loud Boreas fly,
And with Outrageous Tempests fill the Sky.
They bend their Course strait to the British Coast,
And on those Seas lay out their Anger most.
Their Furious Wings the swelling Surges beat,
And rouse Old Ocean from his Peaceful Seat.
Page  9The raging Seas in high ridg'd Mountains rise,
And cast their angry Foam against the Skies.
Then gape so deep, that Day Light Hell invades,
And shoots grey Dawning thro' th' affrighted Shades.
Low bellying Clouds soon intercept the Light,
And o'er the Britons spread a Noon Day Night.
Exploded Thunder tears th' Embowel'd Sky,
And Sulphurous Flames a dismal Day supply.
The Dire Convulsions, for a certain Space
Distorted Nature, wresting from its Place
This Globe, set to the Sun's more oblique View,
And wrench'd the Poles some Leagues yet more askew.
Horrour, Confusion, Uproar, Strife and Fear
In all their wild amazing Shapes appear.
Mean time old Chaos joyful at the Sight,
Look'd and smil'd horrible on older Night,
Hoping that Nature, their grand Foe would crack
With universal Ruin, and her Wreck
Would give them all their lost Dominions back.
The Sailor's Clamour, and enormous Cries,
The Crack of Masts, mix'd with the outrageous Noise
Of Storms and Thunder, rending all the Air,
Form the last Scene of Horror and Despair.
When the Just Arthur fill'd with Grief and Dread,
And Pale Confusion, deeply sigh'd, and said,
O righteous Heaven, why hast thou rang'd this Day
Against me all thy Terrors in Array!
Arm'd in thy Cause, thy Temples to restore,
And give that Aid thy sacred Priests implore.
If thou such fierce Destruction dost dispence,
To punish some unpardon'd old Offence,
On me let all thy Fiery Darts be spent,
Let not my Crime involve the innocent.
Page  10Whelm o'er my guilty Head these raging Seas,
And let this Sacrifice thy Wrath appease,
But let the British Youth return in Peace.
That said, his Ship unmasted, without Guide,
Driv'n by the Winds and Seas impetuous Tyde,
The Sight of all the scatter'd Navy lost,
Strikes on the Quicksand of an unknown Coast.
Mean time bright Uriel, Heav'n's high Favourite,
Left the Celestial Palaces of Light,
Sent by supream Command, and down he flies,
Let by a Golden Sun-beam thro' the Skies.
Meekness divine, serene and Heav'nly Grace,
And fresh immortal Youth shone on his Face.
Godlike his Form, his Looks so charming mild
That where he came all ravish'd Nature smil'd.
He strait alights on lofty Gobeum's Head,
That wonder'd at the Heav'n about it shed,
From the bright Cherubim, who touch'd his Lyre,
Fam'd for his Sweetness in the Heav'nly Quire:
Th' enchanted Winds straightway their Fury laid,
Grew wondrous still, and strict Attention paid.
Aerial Demons that by Twilight stray,
Sport in loud Thunder, and in Tempest play,
Spread their brown Wings, and fly in Clouds away.
The Day returns, the Heav'ns no longer scowl,
And fierce Sea-Monsters charm'd forget to howl.
The Winds retreat, and leave the peaceful Waves,
To rest their Wings, and sleep in Lapland Caves.
Soft Zephirs only stay to fan the Woods,
And play in gentle Gales along the Floods.
The Ocean smiles to see the Tempest fled,
New lays his Waves, and smooths his ruffl'd Bed.
Page  11All things thus husht, great Arthur gave Command
To quit their Ship, stuck in the barren Sand,
And in their Boats to make the Neighb'ring Land.
They spy a Creek not far a Peaceful Seat
Where flying Waves by furious Tempest beat,
Find from the fierce Pursuit a safe Retreat.
Free from th' outrageous Clamours of the Deep,
They rest secure, and unmolested sleep.
Stretcht smooth beneath the shady Trees and Rocks,
That guard them from the VVinds impetuous Shocks.
Here smaller Vessels may securely ride
And all th' Assaults of angry Sorms deride.
Here they arriv'd, and Heav'n they first ador'd,
That gave the Aid, their earnest Cries implor'd.
That sav'd them from the Winds, VVaves, Rocks and Storms,
Deaths of so many, and such hideous Forms.
Then for their parted Friends, with humble Prayer,
They ask Heav'n's Pity, and indulgent Care.
Now Arthur from the Rock, views far and wide
The Seas beneath, if thence might be descry'd
The Friends he lately lost, but views in vain,
No Friend appears on all the Desart Main.
Return'd he thus began:
Too dark th' Eternal's ways are, too profound,
For the most sharp created Wit to sound.
Clouds black, as those that rise the sacred Fence
Of his high Throne, surround his Providence.
Whose walks are trackless, and on every hand
About her paths, shades and thick Darkness stand.
Her ways are so perplext, so wide her steps,
Such turns and windings, and such frightful leaps;
Page  12Such Gulphs, and interposing Rocks appear,
There such Ascents, such dreadful Downfalls here,
That Reason strait affrighted stops her pace,
Is soon thrown off, and quits th' unequal Chase.
Th' Almighty's Councils are so high and steep,
Immense, unbounded, without bottom deep;
Angels amaz'd from their high Thrones of Bliss,
Trembling look down on this profound Abyss.
Sometimes he seems to thwart his own intent,
Stop and defeat his long design'd event;
Yet which way e're he steers, his end's attain'd,
By uncouth means, with greater wonder gain'd.
Sometimes his high permission, leaves opprest
The Men most like him, and that serve him best:
But still their Sufferings and severer Fate
Prepare them for some glorious future state.
Invited by sad Britain's Prayers, and Tears,
To save her State; and ease her deadly Fears,
VVe arm'd, depos'd Religion to enthrone,
T' enlarge the Christian Empire, not our own.
VVe arm'd thus, to restore in Hell's despight,
To Heav'n its VVorship, and to Men their Right.
Resume your Courage then, it can't be true,
That Heav'ns Revenge should Heav'n's own Cause pursue.
These Evils are not in displeasure meant,
Heav'n is too Just, and you too Innocent.
Success and Triumph will our Arms attend,
And these rough ways lead to a glorious End.
VVith Pleasure we hereafter shall relate
These suff'rings, that will greater Joys create.
He said, and all his anxious Cares supprest,
And kept conceal'd his trouble in his Breast.
Page  13VVith looks compos'd, 'twixt pleasure and despair,
Grave but serene, he bids them all repair
Their strength, exhausted with much toil and care.
Of Meats and Fruits part of their Naval Store,
That with them from their Ship they brought ashore:
Their weary Limbs repos'd, beneath the shade
Of well spread Trees, a grateful Meal they made.
Rich VVine of Burgundy, and choice Champaigne,
Relieve the toil they suffer'd on the Main.
But what more chear'd them than their Meats and VVine,
VVas wise Instruction, and Discourse Divine,
From God-like Arthur's Mouth, by Heav'n inspir'd;
That all their Breasts with sacred Passions fir'd.
Great were his Thoughts, strong and sublime his Sense
Of Heav'n's Decrees, Foreknowledge, Providence.
He reason'd deep of Heav'n's mysterious Ends,
And made stern Justice, and fair Mercy Friends.
How high he soar'd, how Noble was his flight,
Speaking of Truth divine, and VVisdom infinite!
He opens all the Magazins above,
Of boundless Goodness and Eternal Love.
From these rich Stores of Heav'n, these sacred Springs
Of everlasting Joy and Peace, he brings
Ambrosial Food, and rich Nectarean VVine,
That chear pure Souls, and nourish Life Divine.
He then compar'd this transient mortal state,
To the fierce Tempest they escap'd so late,
That here is every great and good Mans Fate.
If God-like Men for Heav'n embark, and stand
Their Course direct, to make the blissful Land;
Strait Hell the bloody signal gives to Arm,
Cain's cruel offspring takes the dire alarm;
Page  14And potent Fiends by Sea their Forces joyn,
T' obstruct their way, and break their brave design.
All with consummate Malice, furious Rage,
Against th' adventurous Voyagers engage.
Through all the Sky they raise outrageous Storms,
And Death stands threat'ning in a thousand Forms.
Clouds charg'd with loud Destruction drown the day,
And airy Daemons in wild VVhirlwinds play.
Thick Thunderclaps, and Lightning's livid glare
Disturb the Sky, and trouble all the Air.
Outrage, Distraction, Clamour, Tumult Reign,
Through the Dominions of the unquiet Main.
The labouring Bark with Heav'nly Treasure fraught,
Now almost sunk, now up in Tempests caught.
Near Sands and Rocks, rides on the dark Abyss,
Long beaten off from the bright Coasts of Bliss.
At last calm Day succeeds this stormy Night,
And the glad Voyagers find in their sight,
The Realms of Peace, and the blest Shores of Light.
Here they arrive, and find a safe Retreat,
And all their pain and labours past forget.
There was a Cave hard by, that Nature made
In the hard Rock, and cover'd with the shade,
Of spreading Trees, that Day could not invade.
Hither the Pious British Prince retires,
To offer Praises up and pure desires.
Here rapt'rous Converse he with Heav'n maintains,
And aided by Devotion's purest strains,
Combates Almighty Power, and Conquest gains.
Devotion, that oft binds th' Almighty's Arms,
And with her Prayers and Tears, her powerful charms,
Of all its Thunder, his right hand disarms.
Page  15She passes quick Heav'n's lofty Crystal Walls,
And the high Gates fly open when she calls.
The charming Goddess of Divine Address,
Has to th' Almighty's Presence free Access.
Her Power can sentenc'd Criminals Reprieve,
Judgment Arrest, and bid the Rebel live.
Her Charms did once the Sun's swift Chariot stay,
And on the Verge of Heav'n, held back the falling Day.
She makes contentious Winds forget their Strife,
And calls back to the Dead, departed Life.
Charm'd by her Voice, Rivers have stop'd their Course,
And the chill'd Fire laid down its burning Force.
Such is Devotion's Power, which Arthur knew,
And when distress'd still to this Refuge flew.
Much to his Conduct he, much to his Arms,
But more he trusted to Devotion's Charms.
Of Triumph and Success he rarely fail'd,
For those on Earth, and these in Heav'n prevail'd.
Now in the silent, shady Cave retir'd,
He with her sacred Fury lay inspir'd.
The Prince being thus entranc'd, a Heav'nly Light
Shoots smiling through the Wood with silent flight:
The Trees admire the Glory on them shed,
And seem'd to start, and humbly bow their Head;
When fresh arriv'd on Earth, with Heav'n's Commands,
Great Raphael's glorious Form by Arthur stands.
Celestial Sweetness, Mild and God-like Grace
Ineffable, sat on his blooming Face.
His Cheeks such Beauty shew'd, such Light and Joy his Eyes,
As from full Bliss, fresh Youth, and Strength immortal rise.
The purest piece of Heav'n's Etherial Blue,
In a rich Mantle, from his Shoulders flew.
Page  16Celestial Linnen, finely Spun and Wove
On Looms Divine, by all the Skill above,
Bleach'd on th' Empyreal Plains till White as Snow,
Made the long Robe that to his Feet did flow.
Immortal Gold, Illustrious as the Morn,
And dazling Gemms by high Arch Angels worn,
With pond'rous Pearl, from Heav'n's bright Eastern Shore,
Adorn the shining Garments that he wore.
A Purple Girdle, from the Morning Sky
New rent, does round his Starry Vesture tye.
Thus he appear'd, and with the Light he gave,
And unknown Fragrancy, fill'd all the Cave.
Then thus he spake, Hail mine and Heav'n's kind Care,
Hither I come, drawn by thy powerful Prayer.
Know Righteous Prince, th' Almighty does approve,
Your firm Adhesion, and unshaken Love.
Ends Great and Wise lodg'd in his secret Breast,
Obstruct your Wishes, and your Course molest.
Yet still pursue your great and just Intent,
No Force or Arts shall your Design prevent,
Propitious Heav'n Decrees your wish'd Event.
You on these Coasts for happy Ends are thrown,
And after this, expect the British Crown.
Your Friends and Navy on the Ocean lost,
Are all arriv'd safe on th' Armorie Coast:
By the impetuous Tempest beaten back,
But Men and Ships sav'd from the threaten'd Wreck.
You're cast on Hoel's Lands, amidst your Foes,
That hate your Cause, and your just Arms Oppose.
But fear not Hoel's Power, though now your Foe,
By Hell incens'd, he will not long be so.
Go then directly to his Court, for there,
A Glorious Work demands your Pious Care.
Page  17That said, with outstretcht Wings he soars upright,
And through the Winds vast Empire takes his flight▪
He cuts the Clouds, and by the Planets flies
Up the steep Crystal Mountains of the Skies.
And swiftly passing through the Starry Sphears,
Before the Throne he in his place appears,
The Cherub's gone, and with him Arthur's fears.
Who to his Lords returns, and to their Heart
Courage and Joy, his Words and Looks impart.
His God-like Language does their Fears abate,
And with fresh hopes their troubl'd Breasts dilate.
Mean time th' Infernal Thrones and Powers resort,
At their great Monarch's Summons to his Court.
Where they in Council meet, and there debate
Important matters, high Designs of State.
Their Prince with Pride extended, mounts his Throne,
Of polish'd Gold, whence horrid splendor shone:
And mingl'd with the Shades tremendous Light,
More dreadful thus, as Fires, that Flame by Night.
In sad Magnificence, and dismal State,
He sits, and round th' Infernal Orders sate:
Then Lucifer began:
Immortal Potentates, Illustrious Lords,
The British Youth's ambitious aim affords,
A weighty subject for your high debate;
Who seeks the ruin of your Pow'r and State.
You all have heard, how with a mighty Force
Embark'd, he strait for Albion steer'd his Course,
King Octa to attack, our Votary,
And make our Priests from our new Altars fly.
I watch'd, and aided by the Power of Thor,
I shew'd the Miscreant another Shore.
Page  18His Fleet beat back, and haughty purpose croft,
He wanders, Shipwreckt on th' Armoric Coast.
Where faithful Hoel does the Scepter hold,
Mighty in Arms, and in our Service bold.
Spirits Divine, high Peers of Hell, suggest,
By what sure Plagues he may be more distrest,
His Ruin finish'd, and his Sect opprest.
That said, a Fury crawls from out her Cell,
The bloodiest Minister of Death and Hell.
A monstrous Shape, a foul and hideous sight,
That did all Hell with her dire looks affright.
Huge, full gorg'd Snakes on her lean Shoulders hung,
And Death's dark Courts with their loud hissing rung.
Her Teeth and Claws were Iron, and her Breath,
Like Subterranean Damps, gave present Death.
Flames worse then Hells, shot from her bloody Eyes,
And Fire and Sword Eternally she Cries.
No certain Shape, no Feature regular,
No Limbs distinct in th' odious Fiend appear.
Her squallid, bloated Belly did arise,
Swoln with black Gore, to a prodigious Size.
Distended vastly, by a mighty Flood
Of slaughter'd Saints, and constant Martyrs Blood.
Part stood out prominent, but part fell down,
And in a swagging heap, lay wallowing on the ground.
A Monster so deform'd, so fierce as this,
It self a Hell, ne're saw the dark Abyss.
Horrour till now the ugliest Shape esteem'd,
So much out-done, a harmless Figure seem'd.
Envy and Hate, and Malice blush'd to see
Themselves Eclips'd by such Deformity.
Her Feaverish Thirst drinks down a Sea of Blood,
Not of the Impious, but the Just and Good.
Page  19'Gainst whom she burns with unextinguish'd Rage,
Nor can th' exhausted World her Wrath asswage.
Then thus the Fury Persecution spake:
I mighty Prince of Hell, will undertake
This glorious Work, I quickly will inspire
Hoel, with my ungovernable Fire.
Without remorse he shall my Will Obey,
And crush this Briton, now his easie Prey.
Nero by me rais'd his Illustrious Name,
And Dioclesian got Immortal Fame.
I their rude, inbred Cruelty refin'd,
And stampt my perfect Image on their Mind.
My flames all Love's course mixture did destroy,
And purg'd off soft Compassion's base alloy;
I form'd and disciplin'd their untaught Hate,
And rais'd their fierceness to a perfect State.
Where shame, and all reflecting Sense is lost,
And Hell can't purer strains of Malice boast.
Inexorable they all Cries withstood,
Ravish'd with Slaughter, and regal'd with Blood.
Hard marble Rocks might with more ease relent,
And Fire and Plague, learn sooner to repent.
Then Christian Kings my Fury entertain'd,
And taught by me, in Blood and Slaughter reign'd.
With pious Rage and fierce destructive Zeal,
I first inspir'd their Minds, and did reveal
The mystery, how deep Revenge to take,
And slay the Servants for the Master's sake.
How bloody Wrath might with Devotion joyn,
And sacred Zeal with Cruelty combine.
By me the unknown way they understood,
T' attone the Christians God, with Christian Blood.
Page  20By me they shook off Fear's and Love's Restraints;
And on God's Altars burnt his slaughter'd Saints.
I made them call, that all remorse might cease,
Murder Compassion, Desolation Peace.
Whilst my Infernal Heats their Breasts inspir'd,
To the vile Sect their own mad Zeal acquir'd,
Wider Destruction, and more fatal Harms,
Then all your Scythian, or your Gothick Arms.
And Rome, proud Rome her self, must owe to me
Her present State, and future Dignity.
The greatest Genius this, I e're could find,
And to receive my Image best inclin'd.
I will her Mind inspire, and to her Heart
Immortal hate, to Abel's Race impart.
These Breasts she empties with her Infant Jaws,
I File her Teeth, and Shape her tender Claws.
I Nurse her on the horrid Alps high Tops,
And feed her hunger with Cerberean Sops
Dipt in Tartarean Gall, and Hemlock Juice,
That in her Veins will noble Blood produce.
Fierce Tygers, Dragons, Wolves about her stay,
They grin, and snap, and bite, and snarling play.
I to her Jaws, throw Infants newly Born;
She sucks their Blood, and by her Teeth are torn
Their tender Limbs, while I rejoyce to see
Such noble proofs of growing Cruelty.
To her wide Breast, and vast capacious Soul,
I often Torrents of black Poyson rowl:
She drinks the livid Flood, and through her Veins
Mad Fury runs, and wild Distraction reigns.
I'll lead her from the Rocks, her strength full grown,
Fix her high Seat in the Imperial Town,
And give her Scarlet, and a threefold Crown.
Page  21No Blood will then her mighty Thirst asswage,
No Ravage cloy her Antichristian Rage.
Her Mitred Sons that never can relent,
From the great Cain, shall prove their high Descent.
Their Deeds of strange Infernal Cruelty,
Shall shew their Race worthy of Him and me.
Lay-Bigots, I with time and labour wrought,
Some inward Grudgings still against me fought:
'Twas hard to raise their hate to a degree,
From struggling Nature, and all Pity free.
But these Church-Zealots, of a truer breed,
Are form'd with Ease, and scarce my Labour need.
Their forward Genius without teaching grows,
And all my hopes, and ev'n my wish out-does.
How often shall thy glorious Sons, O Rome,
With Martyrs Flames inlighten Christendom?
How often shall they, to deride their God,
Lift up in Prayer, their Hands all full of Blood?
The wasted World shall feel their loud Alarms,
Their blest Massacres, and their hallow'd Arms.
As if their high intent were to Efface,
All Footsteps left of Abel's hateful Race.
Bloody Tribunals, Rapine, Fire and Sword,
And Desolation, dayly Sport afford.
Mankind they shall with such dire Plagues attack,
As will their Church a holy Desart make.
Such is my Zeal to serve th' infernal State,
And shall this British Prince escape my Hate?
Forbid it Hell, and here she made a pause;
The Lords in Council gave a loud applause.
The Prince of Darkness leaping from his place,
Did in his Arms, his darling Fiend Embrace.
Her Anger then rose higher, and all Hell
Uneasie seem'd, she grew so terrible.
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Page  22
She strait contracts her vast dilated Size,
And through Hell's dusky Void, she upward flies.
As when rich Towns great Cost and Art employ
In Fire-works, to express their publick Joy,
For some great Vict'ry won by Land, or Sea,
Or on some Prince's Coronation Day.
The flaming Rockets hizzing fly by Night,
And fill the Sky with unknown Noise and Light.
The Sphears amaz'd stand, or move slowly on,
And wonder how the Day returns so soon,
And what new Stars rise brighter than their own.
So does the Fiend, her Snakes all hissing rise,
Through the thick haggair'd Air, and as she flies
Leaves tracks of Light, cast from her fiery Eyes.
And now arriv'd on the grey Coasts of Day,
Direct to Hoel's Court she takes her way.
Where she alighted, when the Sun had hurl'd
His glorious Orb hence, to the other World.
'Twas then when all things look'd, as if old Night
Had Nature crush'd, and seiz'd her ancient Right,
Whilst Silence, Shades, and Lights around create,
Sad, solemn Pomp, t'express her Death-like state.
Winds, and wild Beasts lye in their Dens at rest,
Nor these the Woods, nor those the Seas molest.
The sleeping Vultures drop their prey, the Dove
Ceases her Cooing, and forgets to love.
The Jocond Fairies Dance their silent round,
And with dark Circles mark the trampled ground.
Tartarean Forms Skim o're the Mountains Heads,
Or lightly sweep along the dewy Meads.
Ghosts leave their Tombs hid Murders to reveal,
Or Treasures which themselves did once conceal.
Page  23Visions through th' Air, and careless Phantoms stray,
Or round Mens troubled Heads while sleeping play.
The Fury Alman's Reverend Shape assumes,
Odin's High Priest, and so to Hoel comes.
For the Priest's Form, is fittest to engage
Princes in Blood, and move destructive Rage.
Thus chang'd the Fiend, such is her Craft, appears,
And thus began, just Hoel, all those years
I liv'd, I did with studious Care employ,
How best I might the Christian Crew destroy.
I thy great Soul in this blest Cause engag'd,
Inspir'd with Heats Divine, not yet asswag'd.
I quit Elysian Pleasures to impart,
What does with greater Joy extend my Heart;
And will do thine, Arthur, Curst be that Name,
Designing Empire, and Illustrious Fame
Embark'd with Arms, fair Albion to invade,
But by just Heav'n, is thy cheap Captive made.
Pursu'd with Thunder, and in Tempests tost,
At last he's Shipwreckt on this happy Coast.
With his sad Friends he wanders up and down,
Naked, perplext, deserted, and undone.
But yet just Heav'n Decrees him greater Harm,
But saves that Glory for your Zealous Arm.
To take his Life must be your Pious Care,
And with the Gods divided Honour share.
Thus you their En'my, and your own remove,
Secure your Peace, and please the Pow'rs above.
To Christians this can be no Injury,
That call for Torments, and are pleas'd to Dye.
They all seem fond to wear the Martyr's Crown,
And meet the Flames, with greater of their own.
Page  24No Rights, no Rules of Justice you invade,
For Ruin's their Profession, Death their Trade.
Go then, and grace the Briton, that comes on
To meet you, and receive the Martyr's Crown.
Remove this Pillar of their Church, and all
The unsupported Roof, will crack and fall.
Take this Defender of their Faith away,
The passive Rabble, tamely will Obey.
Their Lives in Sport you may at leisure take,
They quickly fall, that no Resistance make.
The Gods into your Hands have cast your Foe,
To take his Life will please Heav'n, him, and you.
That said, she breath'd her Soul into his Breast,
And her wild Fury all his Veins possest.
Infernal Flames Rage in his poison'd Blood,
And his swoln Heart Boils with th' impetuous Flood,
The Fiend her Shape of thicken'd Air dissolves,
And disappears, Hoel surpriz'd revolves
The welcome message in his Mind, and strait
Commands his Lords and Guards should on him wait,
On the first Shooting of the tender Day,
So eager did he seem to seise the Prey.
Now was the Eastern Sky-dy'd Purple spread,
For fair Aurora's Radiant Feet to tread.
She mounts serene, and with mild dawning Light,
Smiles on the lowring, dusky Face of Night;
That to Victorious Day yields up her Seat,
Whilst her black Forces silently Retreat.
As when a Lyon at the dawn of Day,
Rous'd with fierce Hunger up to Hunt his Prey,
Stretches his Limbs out, Yawns, and tries his Paws,
And for sure Death prepares his cruel Jaws.
Page  25He stands, and rolls about his Angry Eyes,
Lashing his Sides to make his Fury rise.
Then Scowrs the Hills, Ranges the Forrests o're,
And Thunders thro the Desart with his hideous Roar.
The Winds all husht sit trembling on the Trees,
And scarcely Whisper out a gentle Breeze.
Wolves dare not Howl, but grinning softly creep,
And Leopards stretcht out, feign themselves asleep.
Th' affrighted Herds close in their Covert lye,
And to escape his Rage, with Terrour dye.
Thus Hoel, with infernal Rage possest,
With fierce desire speeds to the bloody Feast.
A deadly Storm does on his Forehead lowr,
Himself his Rage, Arthur his Hopes devour.
Breathing out Death he march'd, but at mid-day,
He stands by Heav'n arrested in his way.
The Air serene a black thick Cloud appear'd,
And as it hover'd o're their Heads, were heard
Celestial Flutes, and Harps divinely Strung,
With Hymns and Hallelujahs Set and Sung
By the best Masters of the Quire above,
With Bliss transported, and inspir'd with Love.
Whilst Hoel and his Friends pleas'd, and amaz'd,
Listen'd, and on the Scene descending gaz'd;
The broken Cloud, pours out pure Floods of Light,
Show'rs of Celestial Rays transcendent bright,
And Storms of Splendor, dazling Mortal Sight.
Th' illustrious Tempest does on Hoel beat,
Who falls astonish'd, headlong from his Seat.
Confounded with unsufferable Day,
Groveling in Glory on the shining Way,
And with bright Ruin overwhelm'd, he lay.
Page  26'Twas then, a soft, still Heav'nly Voice, that broke
From out the Cloud, to trembling Hoel spoke.
'Gainst me, what Fury did thy Arms Engage?
What mov'd thee with inexorable Rage
Vain Man; to persecute my Saints and Me?
In vain thou seek'st to baffle Heav'n's Decree.
Vain is thy Force, and impotent thy Hate,
Too weak thy Arms, to stem the Tyde of Fate.
The Torrent bears thy saint Resistance down,
Retire, or in Eternal Ruin Drown.
Then Hoel thus, O tell me, who thou art,
Great Spirit, and thy Will to me impart.
Tell me if Errour has my Feet misled,
What safer Paths I may hereafter tread.
The Voice reply'd:
I am the Christians God, whom you pursue.
Go meet my Servant Arthur, he shall shew
At large, what thou hast to believe, what do.
The Scene here disappear'd, his Lords come round,
And rais'd reviving Hoel from the Ground.
Who marches on, the British Prince to find,
And Act not what himself, but Heav'n design'd.
With anxious Thoughts the Vision he revolves,
And to Obey Heav'n's high Command resolves.
Whilst to his Lords the Vision he relates,
They find themselves advanc'd to Conda's Gates.
Arthur mean time, to whom great Raphael's word,
Unshaken Hopes, and Courage did afford;
Proceeded on his Way, but sent before
Embassadors to Hoel, to explore
Page  27His temper, and the Genius of his Court,
That he just steps might take by their Report.
He chose out to discharge this weighty Trust,
Valiant Pollador, Roderick the Just;
And Faithful Galbut, Friends that in distress,
(A thing unknown to Courts) their Love express.
Soon after Hoel had his Entrance made,
At the same City they arriv'd, and staid
But little, for th' admission which they pray'd.
Then Hoel first the Britons thus addrest,
Let no sad Thought your pious Prince molest.
A Message sent from Heav'n preventing yours,
To me great Joy, Safety to him procures.
Friendship and Love, fill my enlighten'd Mind,
From Hatred purg'd, from Treachery refin'd.
Return, and let your Valiant Leader know,
His God has to a Friend, transform'd his Foe.
Tell him he's safe from all intended Harms,
And that I hast, t' Embrace him in my Arms.
With Regal Bounty, he to all presents
Rich Swords, and various splendid Ornaments.
To Arthur sends a Chariot, dazling bright,
That to the Sun return'd redoubled Light.
And Horses of th' Iberian Noble Race,
That right Descent from the swift Eurus trace.
Bold, Gen'rous, Sprightly, as th' Illustrious Breed,
That in th' Etherial, blue Enclosures Feed.
That thro Heav'n's Wast, with the Sun's Chariot play,
And govern Time, by carrying round the Day.
Their Furniture of Gold, their Bridles Gold,
And golden Bits, their champing Mouths did hold.
They hast and all their Diligence employ,
To fill Just Arthur's Mind, with Peace and Joy.
Page  28To him returning they impart at large,
The kind, endearing Things they had in Charge.
As when his Sons to Iacob did relate,
That Ioseph liv'd, and liv'd in Regal State;
Telling of all his Riches, Power, Renown,
Egypt's Support, and Prop to Pharoah's Crown.
Resistless Floods of sudden Pleasure Roll
Along his Veins, and break in on his Soul.
He sinks beneath the pressure of his Joy,
And Ioseph's Life, does almost his destroy.
Then Doubts and Fears, his Joys, high Tyde oppose,
From which Contention fiercer Tempests rose.
While his cross Passions fight with equal Power,
Each Triumphs in his turn, as Conquerour.
The Patriarch in this Distraction lost,
Is in each Storm with equal Danger tost.
But when the Chariots and rich Train he saw,
He did from thence fresh Life and Vigour draw.
His Breast from all contending Passions freed,
Calm Joy, and unmolested Peace succeed.
Enough the Patriarch was heard to Cry,
I'll hast to Ioseph's Arms, and in them Dye.
So when Just Arthur heard the Message first,
His wavering Mind with Fears and wise Distrust,
And rising Tydes of suddain Joy was tost,
Uncertain which strong Passion press'd him most.
But when he saw the Presents Hoel sent,
His Doubts suppress'd, he grew more Confident.
And his calm Mind eas'd of his anxious Cares,
T' embrace his new, and generous Friend prepares.
And now advancing Night the Sky invades,
While close pursu'd by the Victorious Shades.
Page  29The Rayes that faintly from the Ground recoil,
On the green Fields, let fall their pearly spoil.
When Arthur to his secret Joys retires,
Where his exhaling Soul to Heav'n aspires,
In sacred Anhelations, and inflam'd Desires.
Fixt Contemplation feeds his Hope and Love,
With rapt'rous Preludes to the Joys above.
His ravish'd Eyes view the unmeasur'd Bliss,
In the next Life enjoy'd, believ'd in this.
So David often pass'd the silent Night,
And in his Transports felt sublime Delight,
Surpassing all that mighty Monarchs have,
That his own Crown, and all his Triumphs gave.
While baser Birds the humble Vally love,
And sing contented with their little Grove;
The Eagle's generous Pride does nobly rise
To Heav'n, and thence does this low World despise.
Scorning a Vulgar Bough, he thinks he sees
Woods in the Clouds, and hanging Groves of Trees.
Thither he hasts, and leaves th' ignoble Brood,
That aim no higher, to their Shrubs and Wood.
If to his Prey he stoops, ashamed he flies
Back to his airy Dwelling in the Skies.
Where in the Clouds he hides his Royal Head,
Safe from the Snares, that watchful Fowlers spread▪
So Men of courser Mould, and baser Birth,
Pleas'd with the Dust lye grov'ling on the Earth.
For Food their Souls all foul and bloated, seek
The Damps and Steams, that from its Bowels reek.
While Men divinely Born, still upwards move,
And scorn this World, that courts in vain their Love.
In Flames of Zeal, and Pangs of pure Desire,
These to the Seats of Light and Peace aspire.
Page  30Where they converse with the blest Minds above,
And wonder what on Earth invites Mens Love.
This Molehill Earth has lost its former Charms,
Molehill for Bulk, and Stings wherewith it swarms.
With Wonder they observe how Mortals Pride,
Can into Kingdoms this small Heap divide.
How one t' enlarge the Empire he has got,
Invades the Borders of his Neighbour's spot.
How this proud Monarch of a Turf, is vext
With restless cares, to dispossess the next.
As Heav'n's vast Globes that fill the World with Light,
Seem little Balls to distant Mortals sight,
That in the most capacious Planets, we
No room for States, and large Dominions see.
So these more noble Minds advanc'd so high,
Believe the same of us, that from the Sky,
The low-hung Earth's contracted Body Spy.
They keep above free from the fatal Nets,
That for unwary Feet the Tempter sets.
Free from the Earth's dark smoke, and endless Noise,
They dwell in Peace, and feed on Heav'nly Joys.
Such Pleasures Arthur while retir'd, enjoy'd,
And wish'd he ever might be thus employ'd.
And now th' radiant Gates of th' Eastern Sky,
Unbar'd by bright Aurora, open fly.
Strait issues out the Sun with mighty Force,
As Gyants do, prepar'd to run his Course.
The joyful Britons all things ready make,
And their new Friend to meet, their Journy take.
Scarce had the Sun his glitt'ring Chariot driv'n,
Up the steep Brow, and sharp Ascent of Heav'n.
When the glad Princes did each other meet,
And Hoel thus did first the Stranger greet.
Page  31
As a faint Traveller in Arabian Sands,
Scorcht with the burning Sun-beams, panting stands,
Views the dry Desart with despairing Eyes,
And for the Springs, and distant Rivers Sighs.
As Sailers long for Land, Heav'n's Aid implore,
And with their greedy wishes grasp the Shore;
When beaten from the hospitable Coast,
And in loud Storms upon the Ocean tost;
Where Ruin in so many Shapes appears,
They scarcely can attend to all their Fears.
I've wish'd to see you with the like desire,
The Oracle of whom I must enquire,
The way to Peace, and Everlasting Bliss,
Which lost in Night, and unknown Paths, I miss.
When first I set out with an hostile Mind,
And Evils which I dread to name, design'd;
The Powers that guard your sacred Life alarm'd,
Soon interpos'd, and my wild Hand disarm'd.
Kind Heav'n that both our Safeties did design,
Turn'd from your Head the Blow, the Guilt from mine.
For on the way a Glory dreadful Bright
Around me shone, and with excessive Light.
As they do Stars, the weaker Sun-beams drown'd:
I as transfixt, fell headlong to the Ground.
'Twas then a wondrous Heav'nly Voice I heard,
The words were these, but no blest Face appear'd.
'Gainst me what Fury does thy Arms engage?
What moves thee with inexorable Rage
Vain Man, to persecute my Saints and me?
In vain thou striv'st to baffle Heav'n's Decree.
Vain is thy Force, and Impotent thy Hate,
Too weak thy Arms to stem the Tide of Fate.
Page  32The Torrent bears thy faint Resistance down,
Retire, or in Eternal Ruin drown.
I strait cry'd out, O tell me who thou art
Great Spirit, and thy Will to me impart.
Tell me if Error has my Feet misled,
What safer Paths I may hereafter tread.
The Voice reply'd:
I am the Christians God, whom you pursue,
Go find my Servant Arthur, he shall shew
At large, what thou hast to believe, what do.
Prince Arthur paus'd a while, then Silence broke,
And friendly thus th' Armoric King bespoke.
Th' Eternal's Providence I must adore,
That has compell'd me to th' Armoric Shore.
That I might here, serve such a glorious End,
And to the Christian Cause gain such a Friend.
Goodness Divine, King Hoel does invite
By Miracles, t' enjoy Celestial Light.
Cast on your Coasts, with Pleasure I will stay,
To aid and guide you in your Heav'nly way.
To whom th' Armoric Monarch thus Reply'd;
VVhile we to Nannetum together ride,
Instruct, O Pious Prince, my willing Mind:
It is a task your God has you design'd.
Unfold his Heav'nly Will, and let me know,
What Worship to him, what Belief, I owe.
To whom the Prince, this favour must I ask,
Before I undertake the pious Task:
That you'll dispatch your Servants to the Coast,
To seek my Friends out, in the Tempest lost.
And if by chance cast on th' Armoric Shore,
They wander up and down, distress'd and poor,
Page  33Your angry Subjects, may not them annoy,
Nor with devouring Flames, their Ships destroy.
This Friendship shewn, I'll with a cheerful Mind,
Attempt the Task by you, and Heav'n enjoyn'd.
When the past Night did with her dusky Train
Advance, o'er shadowing all th' Aierial Plain;
A sudden Transport did my Soul engage,
And all my Limbs shook with the sacred Rage.
Straight caught up from the Body, through the Skies
To the third Heav'n, my ravish'd Soul did rise.
Where Things ineffable I saw, and heard
Divine Instruction, which my Mind prepar'd
To aid you in your Heav'nly Way, and shew
What Worship, to th' Eternal Mind is due.
Straight Hoel to the Shores his Servants sent,
Who might the Harms, that Arthur fear'd, prevent.
Who might the hapless Britons kindly treat,
And safe conduct them to his Royal Seat.
Such Love the King to Arthur's Friends exprest,
Who now prepar'd t' obey the King's Request.