Joseph Hall (1574 - 1656 / England)
The Kings Prophecie
What Stoick could his steely brest containe
(If Zeno self, or who were made beside
Of tougher mold) from being torne in twaine
With the crosse Passions of this wondrous tide?
Grief at ELIZAES toomb, orecomne anone
With greater ioy at her succeeded throne?
Me seems the world at once doth weep & smile,
Washing his smiling cheeks with weeping dew,
Yet chearing still his watered cheeks the while
With merry wrinckles that do laughter shew;
Amongst the rest, I can but smile and weepe,
Nor can my passions in close prison keepe.
Yet now, when Griefe and Ioy at once conspire
To vexe my feeble minde with aduerse might,
Reason suggests not words to my desire,
Nor daines no Muse to helpe me to endite;
So doth this ciuil strife of Passions strong,
Both moue and marre the measures of my song.
For long agone, when as my weaker thought
Was but assaylde with change of Ioy & paine:
I wont to finde the willing Muse vnsought,
And vent my numbers in a plenteous vaine,
Whether I wisht to write some loftie verse,
Or with sad lines would straw some sable hearse.
So, when but single Passions in the field
Meet Reason sage; soone as she list aduance
Her awful head; they needs must stoop, & yeeld
Their rebell armes to her wise gouernance:
Whence, as their mutin'd rage did rashly rise
Ylike by Reasons power it cowardly dies.
But when that Passions ranke arayes beset
Reason alone, without or friend, or Fere,
Who wonders if they can the conquest get
And reaue the crown her royal head did weare?
Goe yet tumultuous lines, and tydings bring
What Passion can in Reasons silence sing.
Oft did I wish the closure of my light,
Before the dawning of that fearfull day
Which should succeed Elizaes latest night,
Sending her glorious soule from this sad clay,
Vp to a better crowne then erst she bore
Vpon her weary browes, and Temples hoare:
For then I fear'd to finde the frowning skie
Cloathed in dismall black, and dreadfull red,
Then did I feare this earth should drenched lie
With purple streames in ciuil tumults shed:
Like when of yore in th' old Pharsalian downes,
The two crosse Eagles grapled for the crowne.
Or when the riper English Roses grew
On sundrie stalks, from one selfe roote ysprung,
And stroue so log for praise of fairer hew,
That millios of our Sires to death were stung
With those sharp thornes that grew their sweets beside
Or such, or worse I ween'd should now betide.
Nor were leud hopes ought lesser the my dread,
Nor lesse their Triumphs then my plained woe,
Triumphs, and Plaints for great Eliza dead;
My dread, their hope for Englands ouerthrow:
I fear'd their hopes, & waild their pleasat cheare,
They triumpht in my griefes, & hop't my feare.
Waiting for flames of cruell Martyrdome,
Alreadie might I see the stakes addrest,
And that stale strumpet of imperious Rome,
Hie mounted on her seuen-headed beast,
Quaffing the bloud of Saints in boules of gold,
Whiles all the surplus staines the guiltles mold.
Now might I see those swarmes of Locusts sent,
Hell's cursed off-spring, hyred slaues of Spaine,
Till the world sawe, and scorned their intent,
Of a sworne foe to make a Soueraigne;
How could but terrour with his colde affright
Strike my weake brest vpon so sad foresight?
Tho on that day before the world began
Eliza dyde, and with the closing yeare
Her dayes vpclosde; when I the light did ban,
And chide the Heauens, that they left not there:
And thought it wrog (yet God that thought forfended)
That the worlds course with her course was not ended.
Now, not moe worlds could hire my closed light
Ere but the setting of that Euen-sun,
Which late her breathing sawe with beames so bright,
And early rising found her life for done;
Ah most vnhappie wights that went beforne,
That dyde ere this, or that are yet vnborne!
Oh turned times beyond all mortall feare,
Beyond all mortall hopes! Not till this day
Began the fulnesse of our blisse appeare;
Which dangers dimmed erst with fresh dismay:
Still euer checking ioy with seruile care,
Still charging vs for Tragick times prepare.
False starres, and falser wisards that foresaine
By their aspects the state of earthly things:
How bene your bold predictions proued vaine,
That here brake off the race of Brittish Kings?
Which now alone began; when first we see
Faire Britaine formed to a Monarchie.
How did I better long agone presage,
(That ioyes me still I did presage so right)
When in the wardship of my weaker age
My puis-nè Muse presumed to recite
The vatick lines of that Cumean Dame,
(Which Maro falsely sung to Pollios name)
To the deare Natals of thy princely sonne,
O dreadest Soueraigne; in whose timely birth
Mee seem'd I sawe this golden age begonne,
I sawe this wearie loade of Heauen and Earth
Freshly reuiu'd, rouze vp his fainting head,
To see the sweete hopes this day promised.
And now I liue (I wisht to liue so long
Till I might see these golden dayes succeed,
And solemne vow'd that mine eternall song
Should sound thy name vnto the future seed)
I liue to see my hopes; ô let me liue
Till but my vowed verse might me suruiue.
So may thy worth my lowly Muse vpraise,
So may mine hie-vp-raised thoughts aspire
That not thy Bartas selfe, whose sacred layes
The yeelding world doth with thy selfe admire,
Shal passe my sog, which nought ca reare so hye,
Saue the sweete influence of thy gracious eye.
Meane while, amongst those throngs of Poesies
Which now each triuial Muse dares harshly sing
This vulgar verse shall feed plebeian eies,
Nor prease into the presence of my King;
So may it safely praise his absent name;
That neuer present tongue did voyd of blame.
Well did the wise Creator, when he laid
Earth's deepe foundations, charge the watery maine,
This Northerne world should by his waues be made
Cut fro the rest, and yet not cut in twaine
Diuided, that it might be blest alone,
Not sundred, for this fore-set vnion.
For here he ment in late succeeding time,
To seat a second Paradise below;
Or for composed temper of the Clyme,
Or those sound blasts the clensing North doth blow.
Or, for he sawe the sinfill continent
Should with contagious vice be ouerwent.
For great Euphrates and the swelling Nile,
With Tigris swift; he bad the Ocean hoare
Serue for the great moate of the greatest Ile,
And wash the snowy rocks of her steepe shore;
As for that tree of life faire Edens pride,
Hee set it in our mids, and euery side.
From oft attempted, oft repulsed spight
More then one Angell gards our safer gate;
Nought wats of highest blisse, & sweet'st delight
That euer was attaind by mortall state.
But that giues life to all, and all exceeds
He sets his princely Image in his steed.
His liuely Image, in whose awfull face
Appeare deepe stamps of dreadfull maiestie,
Whose glorious beames from his diuiner grace
Dazle the weake, and dim the bolder eye.
Mercie sits on his brow; and in his brest
Vnder his Lions paw, doth courage rest.
Deepe wisedome doth adorne his princely head,
Iustice his hand, his lips graue Eloquence,
And that which seld in Princes brest is bred,
(Tho Princes greatest praise, and best defence)
Purest religion hath his heart possest.
O Iland more then fortunate and blest.
Heauens chiefest care, Earth's second Paradise,
Wonder of Times, chiefe boast of Natures stile,
Enuy of Nations, president of blisse,
Mistresse of Kingdomes, Monarch of all Iles;
World of this world, & heauen of earth; no lesse
Can serue to shadow out thine happinesse.
Thou art the worlds sole glory, he is thine;
Fro him thy praise is fetcht, the worlds fro thee,
His from aboue; So the more famous bene
His rarest graces, more thy fame shall bee.
The more thy fame growes on, the fairer shew
His heauenly worth shal make to forraign view.
Like when by night, amids the clensed skie,
The Suns faire sister by her louely rayes
Gathers a circled Halo vp on hie,
Of kindly vapours that her spouse did raise:
Shee thus inclos'd in her cleare ouall round,
Doubles her light vnto the gazing ground.
But for the onely bane of blessed state
Is ignorance of blisse; let mee deare Dread
For thy diuiner Oracles relate
The sum of those sweet hopes that long haue fed
Thy liegest Nation; Pardon thou the while
Mine high attempt, harsh verse, and ruder stile.
And yet thrise happy mates, who that great king
Endowes with equall peace: so more his raigne
Aboue your hopes, eternall comfort bring
To your late Nephewes race; as ye may daigne
Credulous eares to my Prophetick lines,
Truer the those were fetcht fro Delphick shrines.
He that giues crownes (as crowns fro heau'n are sent)
Not since the day that Ishay's yongest son
Rose from the fold; hath euer yet besprent
With the sweet oyle of sacred vnction
An holyer head: then that this present day
The weight of Englands roial crown doth sway.
Nor can his subiects more him feare or loue,
(Loyall their loue, and lowly is their feare)
Then he shall loue and feare his King aboue,
Whose name, place, Image, Scepter he doth bear,
Religions spring, Autumne of Heresie,
Winter of Atheisme his raigne shall bee.
And thou great Rome, that to the Martian plaine
Long since didst lowly stoope; and leaue for lore
Thy loftie seate of Hils: shalt once againe
Creepe lower to the shade of Tybers shore:
Yet lower shall his Arme thy ruines fell,
Downe from thy Tyber into lowest Hell.
Not number shall, but weight his lawes comend;
Which wisely made, shall iustly be maintain'd,
His gentle brows shal first seuerely bend
And lowre at vice: whose course eftsoones restraind
They smooth shal wax again; mixing by mesure
Ounces of grace, with drams of iust displeasure.
So haue I seene a Morne of chearefull May
Orecast with clouds to threate stormfull stoures,
Which yet ere Noone, hath prou'd the clearest day:
Whiles brighter morns haue broght vs euening shoures;
His frownes shall fright the ill; his mercious eie
Shall raise the humble soule of Modestie.
The treble mischiefe that was wont infest
Our holy state (ah me what state can misse
Some slaine of natiue ill) shall be redrest
By timely care: and now shall fairely rise
The noble name of our diuiner trade,
From out the dust wherein it long hath laid.
Long lay it in the dust of wrong disdaine;
Expos'd to euery rascall Pesants spight:
O times! but now, were best my rage containe
Vntill I mought a second Satyre write.
But ah fond threat; as if these mended daies
Would once deserue the brand of my dispraise?
Nor shall the Lordly Peeres once ouerlooke
Their humble vassals dwelling all below:
Like as we see some large out-spreading Oke
Ore-drop the silly shrubs that vnder grow.
Nor noble bloud shall want true honors fee,
Whiles it shall light on Groomes of low degree.
Nor now the greedy Merchant that for gaine
Sailes to both Poles, & sounds both Indian seas
Whe his long beaten bark from forth the maine
Vnlades her weary fraight; shall as he please
Raise by excessiue rate his priuate store,
And to enrich himselfe make thousands poore.
Vnder the safer shadow of his wing
Shall exilde Aliens shroud their restlesse head;
And here alone shall forced exile bring
Better contentment to the banished
Then home-smelt smoke; O Iland kind & free
In fauouring those that once befrended thee.
And for the Princes eye doth life inspire
To loyall brests (like as the vernall sunne
Cheares the reuiued earth with friendly fires
That lustles lies when those hote rayes are gone)
Oft shall his presence blesse our hungry eyes,
To our Horizon oft this sunne shall rise.
For ere the worlds great lamp shal thrise decline
Into his Southern sphere, and thrise retyre
Vp to the turning of his Northren line,
Our second Sunne shall in his earthly gyre
Turn once to al the realms his light doth guide;
And yet obserue his yearly race beside.
Then shall my Suffolke (Englands Eden hight
As England is the worlds) be ouer blest
And surfet of the ioy of that deare sight
Whose pleasing hope their harts so long possest
Which his great Name did with such triumph greet
When erst it loudly ecchoed in our street.
And thou, renowmed Drury mongst the rest,
Aboue the rest; whether thee still detaine,
The snowy Alpes, or if thou thoughtest it best
To trust thy speed vnto the watery playne,
Shalt him receiue; he thee, with such sweet grace
As may beseeme thy worth and noble race.
The yron doores of Ianus by his hand
Shall fast be bard; vnlesse some hostile might
(If any hostile might dares him withstand)
Shall break those bars; and boldly shall excite
Our sleeping Lyon; who but once awoke
Woe to the wight that did his wrath prouoke.
Wise and not wrongfull Stratagems shall speed
His iustest warre, and straiter discipline
Shal guide the warlike troupes himself shal lead
To doubtfull field; O let the shield diuine
Protect my Lieges head; and from on hie
Let it be girt with crownes of victorie.
His frequent Court (yet feare I to fore-saine
Too much of Princes courts, which ages past
Haue long since noted with the secret staine
Of wanton daliance and luxurious wast)
His Court shall be a church of Saints: quite free
From silth, excesse and seruile flattery.
Hence ye false Parasites, whose only guise
Is feeding Princes eares with wrongful praises,
And euer who mought hope to honor rise,
By what large bribes their leuder brocage raises.
The Courtiers onely grace shal henceforth lie
In learning, wisedome, valour, honestie.
O Court fit for thy King; and like to none
But heauens Court, where nought impure may bide;
Like as thy King resembleth God alone,
For such on earth were vaine to seeke beside.
Well might I here his vertues rolle rehearse,
But them his life speakes better then my verse.
Yet let me not thy learned Muse omit,
The onely credit of our scorned skill,
Redoubted Liege; whose rarely polisht writ
Sauors of long sleep in that sacred hill;
Looke that the Muses all shall once agree,
As thou hast honor'd them, to honor thee.
Mine with the rest, though mine be poore and plaine,
Well fitted my rude roundelaies to sing,
Yet if thee list to raise their lowly straine,
May somewhat say well worthy of a King;
Meane while I will addresse my changed stile,
To tell the further blessings of thine Ile.
Doth neuer peace so much on bleeding lye,
As, in those Lands where Crownes by blood succeed,
When Princes loines al barren bin & dry,
Nor can their scepter leaue vnto their seed;
For hence full oft I weene were wont to rise,
Both ciuill warres, and secret trecheries.
Nor greater barre of Treason, nourse of Peace,
Nor bond of loue can be, then when the bed
Of Princes chast abounds with large increase
Or rightfull progeny; vpon whose head
May stand their fathers crown; whose hand may take
The still-warme Mace his dying hands forsake.
Herein alone can neuer be exprest
In any mortall scroll, by mortal quill,
How thou by God, how we by thee bin blest,
With constant hopes of peace; deriued still
From forth thy roote to branches of thy line,
Farre spreading like the stems of some faire vine.
Mongst whom, the top of all our hopes begun
Next to thy selfe (there, ô there let them rest)
Is on thine Henry set, thy Princely Sonne,
Heire of thy Crowne by Natures interest;
Heire of thy Honor, by desert like thine;
Heire of thy vertues, by the grace diuine.
Go on great Ymp of kings, the worlds next stay,
And follow none but him that thee begot;
Go follow on thy fathers chalked way,
So neuer blemish thy deare name shall blot;
So shall our sonnes no lesse thy worth adore,
Then we thy Fathers name haue done before.
But how could I so long (so ouerlong
Were not my words in his iust praise bestowne)
Forbeare recounting in my thankfull song
Than vnion late, which by thy means is growne
Twixt two neare sisters, euer seuered:
Tho both within one roofe, one wall were bred.
Two sister Nations nearely neighbouring,
The same for Earth, Language, Religion;
Parted by diuers lawes, a diuerse King
And Twedaes streames; are now conioyned in one,
And thus conioynd, double their former powre,
Double the glory of their Gouernour.
Like as when Tame & Ouse that while they flow
In sundrie channels seemen both but small,
But when their waters meet & Thamis doth grow,
It seemes some little sea, before thy wall,
Before thy towred wall, Luds auntient towne,
Pride of our England, chamber of the crowne.
That where before scarce could a shallow boat
Float on each streame: now may whole Nauies ride
Vpon his rolling waues; so shall this knot
Of Loue and Concord that is lately tide
Betwixt our Lands; double the wonted deale
Our fathers had of honour, strength, and weale.
Accord ye euer happy Nations twaine,
Nor be not twaine no more; but whiles you last
Submit your selues to one selfe Soueraigne,
And linke your selues in leagues of Loue so fast,
That while you haue one Heauen, and one mere;
All may one heart, all may one title bere.
So shall the proudest Nations vnder skie,
With secret enuy murmure at your might,
But neuer dare you to your face defie,
So shall my Muse applaud your happy plight
With some enduring song; Mean while this verse
Sawe too fewe dayes, to see too many yeares.
Comments about this poem (The Kings Prophecie by Joseph Hall )
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