Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
Page  291

CANTO II.

HE that did first this way of Writing grace,
Converst with the Almighty face to face.
Wonders he did in Sacred Verse unfold,
When he had more than Eighty Winters told:
The Writer feels no dire effects of Age,
Nor Verse that flows from so Divine a Rage.
Eldest of Poets, he beheld the Light,
When first it triumph'd 'ore eternal Night;
Chaos he saw, and could distinctly tell
How that Confusion into Order fell:
As if consulted with, he has exprest
The Work of the Creator and his Rest.
How the floud drown'd the first offending Race;
Which might the Figure of our Globe deface:
Page  292 For new made Earth, so even and so fair,
Less equal now, uncertain makes the Air:
Surpriz'd with heat, and unexpected cold
Early distempers make our Youth look old:
Our Days so evil, and so few, may tell
That on the ruines of that World we dwell.
Strong as the Oaks that nourish't them, and high,
That long-liv'd Race did on their force rely,
Neglecting Heav'n: but we of shorter date,
Should be more mindful of impendent Fate.
To Worms that crawl upon this Rubbish here,
This Span of Life may yet too long appear:
Enough to humble, and to make us great,
If it prepare us for a Nobler Seat.
Which well observing, he in Numerous Lines,
Taught wretched Man, how fast his Life declines:
In whom he dwelt, before the World was made,
And may again retire, when that shall fade.
Page  293 The lasting Iliads have not liv'd so long,
As his and Deborah's triumphant Song.
Delphos unknown, no Muse could them inspie,
But that which governs the Coelestial Quire.
Heav'n to the Pious did this Art reveal;
And from their store succeeding Poets steal.
Homer's Scamander for the Trojans faught,
And swell'd so high, by her old Kishbon taught▪
His River scarce could fierce Achilles stay;
Hers more successful, swept her Foes away.
The Host of Heav'n, his Phebus and his Mars,
He Arms, instructed by her ighting Stars.
She led them all against the Common Foe:
But he misled by what he saw below,
The Powers above, like wretched Men, divides,
And breaks their Union into different ides,
The Noblest parts which in his Hero's shine,
May be but Copies of that Heroine.
Page  294Ho•• himself, and Agamemnon, she
The Writer could, and the Commander, be
Truth she relates, in a sublimer strain
Than all the Tales the boldest Greek could feign:
For what she sung, that Spirit did indite,
Which gave her courage, and success in fight.
A double Garland crowns the matchless Dame;
From Heav'n her Poem, and her Conquest came.
Thô of the Iews she merit most esteem:
Yet here the Christian has the greater Theme.
Her martial Song describes how Sisera fell,
This sings our Triumph over Death and Hell.
The rising Light employ'd the sacred breath
Of the blest Virgin and Elizabeth
In Songs of Joy; the Angels sung his Birth:
Here, how he treated was upon the Earth
Trembling we read; th' Affliction and the Scorn,
Which for our Guilt, so patiently was born.
Page  295〈…〉 and Suffering, all belong
Thô 〈…〉 to one Coelestial Song:
And 〈…〉 using so divine an Art,
Has in this Conort, sung the Tragick part.
As Hannh's Seed was vow'd to sacred use,
So here this Lady consecrates her Muse.
With like Reward may Heav'n her Bed adorn,
With Fruit as fair as by her Muse is born.