Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
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Vpon His Majesties repairing of Pauls.
THat shipwrackt vessel which th'Apostle bore,
Scarce suffer'd more upon Melitas shore,
Than did his Temple in the Sea of Time;
(Our Nations Glory, and our Nations crime)
When the first Monarch of this happy Isle,
Mov'd with the ruine of so brave a pile,
This work of cost and piety begun,
To be accomplish'd by his glorious Son;
VVho all that came within the ample thought
Of his wise Sire, has to perfection brought.
He like Amphion makes those Quarries leap
Into fair figures from a confus'd heap:
Page 20 For in his Art of Regiment is found
A power, like that of Harmony in sound.
Those antique Minstrels sure were Charles-like Kings
Cities their Lutes, and Subjects Hearts their Strings,
On which with so divine a hand they strook,
Consent of motion from their breath they took.
So all our minds with his conspire to grace
The Gentiles great Apostle, and deface
Those State-obscuring sheds, that like a Chain
Seem'd to confine and fetter him again;
VVhich the glad Saint shakes off at his command,
As once the Viper from his sacred hand:
So joys the aged Oak, when we divide
The creeping Ivy from his injur'd side.
Ambition rather would affect the fame
Of some new structure, to have born her name:
Two distant Virtues in one act we find,
The Modesty and Greatness of his mind;
Page 21 Which not content to be above the rage
And injury of all-impairing age,
In its own worth secure, doth higher climb,
And things half swallow'd from the jaws of Time
Reduce; an earnest of his grand design
To frame no new Church, but the Old refine:
Which Spouse-like may Wth comely grace command
More than by force of argument or hand.
For doubtful reason few can apprehend;
And War brings ruin where it should amend:
But Beauty with a bloodless conquest, finds
A welcome Soveraignty in rudest minds.
Not ought which Sheba's wondring Queen beheld
Amongst the works of Solomon, excell'd
His ships and building; emblems of a Heart
Large both in Magnanimity and Art.
While the propitious Heavens this work attend,
Long wanted showers they forget to send;
Page 22 As if they ment to make it understood,
Of more importance than our vital food.
The Sun which riseth to salute the Quire
Already finish'd, setting shall admire
How private bounty could so far extend;
The King built all, but Charles the Western end:
So proud a Fabrick to Devotion given,
At once it threatens and obliges Heaven.
Laomedon that had the Gods in pay,
Neptune, with him that rules the sacred day,
Could no such structure raise; Troy wall'd so high,
Th'Atrides might as well have forc'd the sky.
Glad, though amazed, are our neighbour Kings,
To see such pow'r employ'd in peaceful things.
They lift not urge it to the dreadful field;
The task is easier to destroy, than build.
—Sie gratia Regum
Pieriis tentata modis.