By Occasion Of The Young Prince His Happy Birth - Poem by Henry King
At this glad Triumph, when most Poets use
Their quill, I did not bridle up my Muse
For sloth or less devotion. I am one
That can well keep my Holy-dayes at home;
That can the blessings of my King and State
Better in pray'r then poems gratulate;
And in their fortunes bear a loyal part,
Though I no bone-fires light but in my heart.
Truth is, when I receiv'd the first report
Of a new Starre risen and seen at Court;
Though I felt joy enough to give a tongue
Unto a mute, yet duty strook me dumb:
And thus surpriz'd by rumour, at first sight
I held it some allegiance not to write.
For howere Children, unto those that look
Their pedigree in God's, not the Church book,
Fair pledges are of that eternitie
Which Christians possess not till they die;
Yet they appear view'd in that perspective
Through which we look on men long since alive,
Like succours in a Camp, sent to make good
Their place that last upon the watches stood.
So that in age, or fate, each following birth
Doth set the Parent so much neerer earth:
And by this Grammar we our heirs may call
The smiling Preface to our funerall.
This sadded my soft sense, to think that he
Who now makes Lawes, should by a bold decree
Be summon'd hence to make another room,
And change his Royal Palace for a tomb.
For none ere truly lov'd the present light,
But griev'd to see it rivall'd by the night:
And if't be sin to wish that light extinct,
Sorrow may make it treason but to think't.
I know each male-content or giddy man,
In his religion with the Persian,
Adores the rising Sun; and his false view
Best likes not what is best, but what is new.
O that we could these gangrenes so prevent
(For our own blessing and their punishment)
That all such might, who for wild changes thirst,
Rack't on a hopeless expectation, burst,
To see us fetter time, and by his stay
To a consistence fix the flying day;
And in a Solstice by our prayers made,
Rescue our Sun from death or envies shade.
But here we dally with fate, and in this
Stern Destiny mocks and controules our wish;
Informing us, if fathers should remain
For ever here, children were born in vain;
And we in vain were Christians, should we
In this world dream of perpetuitie.
Decay is natures Kalendar; nor can
It hurt the King to think he is a man;
Nor grieve, but comfort him, to hear us say
That his own children must his Scepter sway.
Why slack I then to contribute a vote
Large as the Kingdoms joy, free as my thought?
Long live the Prince, and in that title bear
The world long witness that the King is here:
May he grow up till all that good he reach
Which we can wish, or his Great Father teach:
Let him shine long a mark to Land and Mayn,
Like that bright Spark plac't neerest to Charles Wayn,
And like him lead successions golden Teame,
Which may possess the Brittish Diademe.
But in the mean space, let his Royal Sire,
Who warmes our hopes with true Promethean fire,
So long his course in time and glory run,
Till he estate his vertue on his son.
So in his Fathers dayes this happy One
Shall crowned be, yet not usurp the Throne;
And Charles reign still, since thus himself will be
Heir to himself through all Posteritie.
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