Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
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To the Queen, occasioned upon sight of Her Majesties Picture.
WEll fare the hand, which to our humble sight
Presents that Beauty, which the dazling Light
Of Royal spendor hides from weaker eyes;
And all access (save by this Art) denies.
Here only we have Courage to behold
This Beam of Glory; here we dare unfold
In numbers thus the wonders we conceive:
The gracious Image seeming to give leave,
Page 16 Propitious stands, vouchsasing to be seen;
And by our Muse saluted,
In whom th'extreams of Power and Beauty move;
The Queen of Britain, and the Queen of Love.
As the bright Sun (to which we owe no sight
Of equal Glory to your Beauties light)
Is wisely plac'd in so sublime a seat,
T'extend his light, and moderate his heat:
So happy 'tis you move in such a sphear;
As your high Majesty with awful fear,
In humane Breasts might qualify that Fire,
Which kindled by those Eyes had flamed higher,
Than when the scorched World like hazard run,
By the approach of the ill guided Sun.
No other Nymphs have Title to men's Hearts,
But as their Meaness larger hope imparts:
Page 17 Your Beauty more the fondest Lover moves
With Admiration, than his private loves;
With Admiration; for a pitch so high
(save sacred Charles his) never Love durst fly.
Heaven that preferr'd a Scepter to your hand,
Favour'd our freedom, more than your command:
Beauty had crown'd you, and you must have been
The whole Worlds Mistriss, other than a Queen.
All had been Rival's; and you might have spar'd'
Or kill'd and tyranniz'd without a Guard.
No power atchiev'd, either by Arms or Birth,
Equals love's Empire, both in Heaven and Earth.
Such eyes as yours, on Iove himself have thrown
As bright and fierce a lightning as his own:
Witness our Iove, prevented by their flame
In his swift passage to th'Hesperian Dame;
When, like a Lion, finding in his way
To some intended spoil, a fairer prey;
Page 18 The Royal youth pursuing the report
Of Beauty, found it in the Gallique Court.
There publique care with private passion fought
A doubtful combate in his noble thought:
Should he confess his greatness, and his love,
And the free Faith of your great Brother prove,
With his Achates breaking through the cloud
Of that disguise which did their Graces shroud,
And mixing with those gallants at the Ball,
Dance with the Ladies and out-shine them all;
Or on his journey o're the Mountains ride?
So when the fair Leucothoe he espy'd,
To check his steeds, impatient Phaebus earn'd;
Though all the world was in his course concern'd.
What may hereafter her Meridian do,
Whose dawning beauty warm'd his bosome so?
Not so divine a flame, since deathless gods
Forbore to visit the defil'd abodes
Page 19 Of men, in any mortal breast did burn;
Nor shall; till Piety and they return.