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O Poet! thou hadst been discreeter,
Hanging the Monarch's hat so high; If thou hadst dubb’d thy star a meteor,
That did but blaze, and rove, and die.
To animate the doubtful fight,
Namur in vain expects that ray:
Should shine near William's fuller day:
Nor cares for any foreign sphere: Where you see Boileau's constellation,
Be sure no danger can be near.
The French had gather'd all their force ;
And William met them in their way: Yet off they brush'd, both foot and horse.
What has friend Boileau left to say ? When his high Muse is bent upon't,
To sing her king—that great commander, Or on the shores of Hellespont,
Or in the valleys near Scamander ; Would it not spoil his noble task,
If any foolish Phrygian there is, Impertinent enough to ask,
How far Namur may be from Paris.
Two stanzas more before we end,
Of death, pikes, rocks, arms, bricks, and fire:
Son gouverneur qui se trouble
Leave them behind you, honest friend;
And with your countrymen retire. Your ode is spoilt; Namur is freed;
For Dixmuyd something yet is due : So good Count Guiscard may proceed ;
But Boufflers, Sir, one word with you
'Tis done. In sight of these commanders,
Who neither fight, nor raise the siege, The foes of France march safe through Flanders ;
Divide to Bruxelles, or to Liege. Send, Fame, this news to Trianon,
That Boufflers may new honours gain : He the same play by land has shown,
As Tourville did upon the main,t Yet is the marshal made a peer!
O William, may thy arms advance ; That he may lose Dinant next year,
And so be constable of France.
• Count Guiscard was commander of the town of Namur. Marshal Bouffiers of the castle there.
+ M. de Tourville was commander of the French squadron which engaged Admiral Russell in 1692, off La Hogue.
PRESENTED TO THE KING,
AT HIS ARRIVAL IN HOLLAND, AFTER THE DISCO
VERY OF THE CONSPIRACY,* MDCXCVI.
Serus in cælum redeas; diuque
HOR. ad Augustum.
E careful angels, whom eternal Fate
less ball, And bid predestin'd empires rise and fall: Your sacred aid religious monarchs own, When first they merit, then ascend the throne: But tyrants dread ye, lest your just decree Transfer the power, and set the people free. See rescu'd Britain at your altars bow; And hear her hymns your happy care avow : That still her axes and her rods support The judge's frown, and grace the awful court; That Law with all her pompous terror stands,
* This conspiracy is generally called the Assassination Plot. Sir John Fenwick was executed for being concerned in it.
To wrest the dagger from the traitor's hands ;
Britain her safety to your guidance owns,
And thou, great minister, above the rest Of guardian spirits, be thou for ever blest; Thou, who of old wert sent to Israel's court, With secret aid great David's strong support ; To mock the frantic rage of cruel Saul, And strike the useless javelin to the wall. Thy later care o'er William's temples held, On Boyne’s propitious banks, the heav'nly shield; When power divine did sovereign right declare, And cannons mark'd whom they were bid to spare,
Still, blessed angel, be thy care the same !
We angels' forms in pious monarchs view;
commission'd to chastise and bless, He must avenge the world, and give it peace.
Indulgent Fate our potent prayer receives ;
So, though with sudden rage the tempest comes ; Though the winds roar, and though the water foams,