Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
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On St. James's Park, as lately improved by His Majesty.
Of the first Paradice there's nothing found,
Plants set by Heav'n are vanisht, & the ground▪
Yet the description lasts; who knows the •ate
Of lines that shall this P•radice relate?
Page 159 Instead of Rivers rowling by the side
Of Eden's Garden, here flows in the Tyde;
The Sea which always serv'd his Empire, now
Pays Tribute to our Prince's pleasure too:
Of famous Cities we the Founders know;
But Rivers old, as Seas, to which they go,
Are Nature's bounty; 'tis of more Renown
To make a River than to build a Town.
For future shade young Trees upon the banks
Of the new stream appear in even ranks:
The voice of Orpheus or Amphion's hand
In better order could not make them stand;
May they increase as fast, and spread their boughs,
As the high Fame of their great Owner grows!
May he live long enough to see them all
Dark shadows cast, and as his Place tall.
Methinks I see the love that shall be made,
The Lovers walking in that amorous shade,
Page 160 The Gallants dancing by the Rivers side,
They bathe in Summer, and in Winter slide.
Methinks I hear the Musick in the Boats,
And the loud Eccho which returns the Notes,
Whilst over head a flock of new sprung Fowl
Hangs in the Air, and does the Sun controul:
Darkning the Sky they hover o're, and shrowd
The wanton Sailors with a feather'd cloud:
Beneath a shole of silver Fishes glides,
And plays about the gilded Barges sides;
The Ladies angling in the Chrystal Lake,
Feast on the waters with the pray they take;
At once victorious with their Lines and Eyes
They make the Fishes and the Men their prize;
A thousand Cupids on the Billows ride,
And Sea-Nymphs enter with the swelling Tide,
From Thetis sent as Spies to make report,
And tell the wonders of her Sovetaign's Court,
Page 161 All that can living feed the greedy Eye•
Or dead the Palat, here you may desory▪
The choicest things that furnisht Na•h's Ark,
Or Peter's sheet, inhabiting this Park••
All with a border of rieh Fruit-trees or own'd,
Whose loaded-branches hide the lo•ty mound.
Such various ways the spacious Allies lead,
My doubtful Muse knows not what path to tread▪
•onder the harvest of cold months laid up,
•ives a fresh boolness to the Royal Cup,
There Ice, like Chrystal, firm, and never lost,
Tempers hot Iusy with Decembers Frost,
Winters dark Prison, whence he cannot flie,
Though the warm Spring his enemy draws nigh:
•trange! that extremes should thus preserve the snow
High on the Alps, or in deep Caves below.
Page 162 Here a well-polisht Mall gives us the joy
To see our Prince his matchless force imploy;
His manly posture and his graceful meen
Vigor and Yo•th in all his motion seen,
His shape •o lovely, and his limbs so strong,
Confirm our hopes we shall obey him long:
No sooner has he toucht the flying Ball,
But 〈…〉 more than hals the Mall▪
And such a fury from his arm has got
As from a smo•king Culverin 'twere shot.
Nere this my Muse, what most delights her, sees,
A living Gallery of aged Trees;
Bold Sons of earth that thrust their arms so high,
As if once more they would invade the Sky;
In such green Palaces the first Kings reign'd,
Slept in their shades, and Angels entertain'd:
With such old Counsellors they did advise,
And by frequenting sacred Groves grew wise;
Page 163 Free from th impediments of light and noise
Man thus retir'd his nobler thoughts imploys:
Here Charles contrives the ordering of his States,
Here he resolves his neighb'ring Princes fates:
What Nation shall have Peace, where War be made
Determin'd is in this oraculous shade;
The World from India to the frozen North,
Concern'd in what this Solitude brings forth.
His Fancy objects from his view receives,
The prospect thought and contemplation gives:
That seat of Empire here salutes his eye,
To which three Kingdoms do themselves apply,
The structure by a Prelate rais'd, Whitehall,
Built with the fortune of Rome's Capitol;
Both disproportion'd to the present State
Of their proud Founders, were approv'd by Fate;
From hence he does that antique Pile behold,
Where Royal heads receive the sacred gold;
Page 164 It gives them Crowns, and does their ashes keep;
There made like gods, like mortals there they sleep
Making the circle of their Reign complete,
Those Suns of Empire, where they rise they set:
When others fell, this standing did presage
The Crown should triumph over popular rage,
Hard by that House where all our Ills were shap'd,
Th' auspicious Temple stood, and yet escap'd.
So Snow on Aetna does unmelted lie,
Whence rowling flames and scatter'd cinders flie;
The distant Countrey in the ruine shares,
What falls from Heav'n the burning Mountain spares.
Next, that capacious Hall he sees the room,
Where the whole Nation does for Justice come.
Under whose large roof flourishes the Gown,
And Judges grave on high Tribunals frown.
Here like the peoples Pastor he does go,
His flock subjected to his view below;
Page 165 On which reflecting in his mighty mind,
No private pa••ion does Indulgence find;
The pleasures of his Youth suspended are,
And made a Sacrifice to publick care;
Here free from Court compliances he walks,
And with himself, his best adviser, talks,
How peace•ul Olive may his Temples shade,
For mending Laws, and for res•oring Trade;
Or how his Brows may be with Laurel charg'd,
For Nations conquer'd, and our Bounds inlarg'd:
Of ancient Prudence here he ruminates.
O• rising Kingdoms, and of falling States:
What ruling Arts gave Great Augustus Fame,
And how Alcides purchas'd such a name:
His eyes upon his native Palace bent
Close by, suggest a greater argument,
〈◊〉 thoughts rise higher when the does restect•
On what the world may from that Star expect
Page 166 Which at his Birth appear'd to let us see
Day for his sake could with the Night agree;
A Prince on whom 〈◊〉 different lights did smile•
Born, the divided world to reconcile:
Whatever Heaven or high extracted blood
Could promise or foretell, he will make good;
Refors•• these. Nations and improve them more▪
Than this fair Park from what it was before.