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AN ENGLISH BALLAD

ON THE TAKING OF NAMUR BY THE KING OF

GREAT BRITAIN, MDCXCV.

Dulce est desipere in loco.”

I. ØOMEfolksare drunk, yet do not know it. * So might not Bacchus give you law? Was it a Muse, 0 lofty Poet, Or virgin of St. Cyr, you saw? Why all this fury? What's the matter, That oaks must come from Thrace to dance 2 Must stupid stocks be taught to flatter? And is there no such wood in France? Why must the winds all hold their tongue? If they a little breath should raise, 1C Would that have spoil'd the Poet's song, Or puff'd away the monarch's praise?

II. Pindar, that eagle, mounts the skies: While Virtue leads the noble way: Too like a vulture Boileau flies, Where sordid Int’rest shows the prey. When once the Poet's honour ceases, From reason far his transports rove: And Boileau, for eight hundred pieces, Makes Louis take the wall of Jove. 20 * This ballad received great alterations after the first ediIII. Est-ce Apollon & Neptune, Qui sur ces rocs sourcilleux Ont, compagnons de fortune, Basti ces murs orgueilleux ? De leur enceinte fameuse La Sambre unie à la Meuse, Défend le fatal abord ; Et par cent bouches horribles L'airain sur ces monts terribles Vomit le fer, & la mort. 30

tion of it. The taking of Namur by the French in the year 1692, and the retaking it by the English in the year 1695, were considered by each nation as events which contributed to raise the honour and reputation of the respective kingdoms. Both sieges were carried on by the rival monarchs in person, and the success of each was celebrated by the best writers of the times. It may be doubted whether there ever was a burlesque more agreeably or happily executed than this by our excellent countryman.

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IV.
Dix mille vaillans Alcides
Les bordant de toutes parts,
D'éclairs au loin homicides
Font petiller, leurs remparts :
Et dans son sein infidèle
Par toute la terre y recèle
Un feu prest à s'élancer,
Qui soudain perçant son goufre
Ouvre un sépulchre de soufre,
A quiconque ose avancer. 4C

V.
Namur, devant tes murailles
Jadis la Grèce eust vingt ans
Sans fruit veu les funérailles
De ses plus fiers combattans.

III. Neptune and Sol came from above, Shap'd like Megrigny and Vauban : * They arm'd these rocks: then show'd old Jove Of Marli wood, the wondrous plan. Such walls, these three wise gods agreed, By human force could ne'er be shaken: But you and I in Homer read Of gods, as well as men, mistaken. Sambre and Maese their waves may join; But ne'er can William's force restrain: 30 He'll pass them both, who pass'd the Boyne:t Remember this and arm the Seine.

IV. Full fifteen thousand lusty fellows With fire and sword the fort maintain ; Each was a Hercules, you tell us, Yet out they march'd like common men. Cannons above, and mines below, Did death and tombs for foes contrive: Yet matters have been order'd so, That most of us are still alive. 4C

W.

If Namur be compar'd to Troy;
Then Britain's boys excell'd the Greeks:

Their siege did ten long years employ;
We've done our bus'ness in ten weeks.

* Two celebrated engineers.

ł In the year 1690, notwithstanding numberless difficulties, this famous passage of the river brought on a general engagement, which entirely destroyed the power of King James, and put an end to every hope of success, which he habefore entertained from his expedition to Ireland.

Quelle effroyable Puissance
Aujourd'huy pourtant s'avance,
Preste à foudroyer tes monts ?
Quel bruit, quel feu l'environne ?
C'est Jupiter en personne ;
Ou c'est le vainqueur de Mons.

VI.

N'en doute point : c'est luy-mesme.
Tout brille en luy; tout est roy.
Dans Bruxelles Nassau blême
Commence à trembler pour toy.
En vain il voit le Batâve,
Desormais docile Esclâve,
Rangé sous ses étendars :
En vain au Lion Belgique
Il voit l'Aigle Germanique
Uni sous les Léopards.

VII.

Plein de la frayeur nouvelle,
Dont ses sens sont agités,
A son secours il appelle
Les peuples les plus vantéz.
Ceux-là viennent du rivage,
Où s'enorgueillit le Tage

What godhead does so fast advance,
With dreadful power those hills to gain?
'Tis little Will, the scourge of France;
No Godhead, but the first of men.
His mortal arm exerts the power
To keep ev’n Mons's victor under:* 50
And that same Jupiter no more
Shall fright the world with impious thunder.

WI. Our king thus trembles at Namur, Whilst Willeroy, who ne'er afraid is,t To Bruxelles marches on secure, To bemb the monks and scare the ladies. After this glorious expedition, One battle makes the marshal great: He must perform the king's commission: Who knows, but Orange may retreat? 60 Kings are allow'd to feign the gout, Or be prevail'd with not to fight: And mighty Louis hop'd, no doubt, That William would preserve that right.

VII. From Seine and Loire, to Rhone and Po, See every mother's son appear: In such a case ne'er blame a foe, If he betrays some little fear. He comes, the mighty Willeroy conies; Finds a small river in his way; 70 * Mons surrendered to Louis XIV. 10th April, 1691. + While King William was carrying on the siege of Namur, Marshal Willeroy, in order to compel him to re

linquish that design, marched to Brussels and bombarded that town.

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