[Transcriber's Note: Typographical errors are listed separately at the end of the Editor's Introduction and each poem.]
THREE VERSE REPLIES TO
Absalom and Achitophel by JOHN DRYDEN
Absalom Senior by Elkanah Settle Poetical Reflections by Anonymous Azaria and Hushai by Samuel Pordage
Edited with an Introduction by HAROLD WHITMORE JONES
Gainesville, Florida Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints 1961
SCHOLARS' FACSIMILES & REPRINTS 118 N.W. 26th Street Gainesville, Florida Harry R. Warfel, General Editor
Reproduced from Copies in BRITISH MUSEUM UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARY
L. C. Catalog Card Number: 60-6430
Manufactured in the U.S.A. Letterpress by J. N. Anzel, Inc. Photolithography by Edwards Brothers Binding by Universal-Dixie Bindery
* * * * *
English verse allegory, humorous or serious, political or moral, has deep roots; a reprint such as the present is clearly no place for a discussion of the subject at large: it need only be recalled here that to the age that produced The Pilgrim's Progress the art form was not new. Throughout his life Dryden had his enemies, Prior and Montague in their satire of The Hind and the Panther, for example. The general circumstances under which Dryden wrote Absalom and Achitophel, familiar enough and easily accessible, are therefore recalled only briefly below. Information is likewise readily available on his use of Biblical allegory.
[Footnote 1: Cf. E. D. Leyburn, Satiric Allegory, Mirror of Man (New Haven, 1956).]
[Footnote 2: e.g., Absalom's Conspiracy, a tract tracing how the Bible story came to be used for allegorical purposes. See The Harleian Miscellany (1811), VIII, 478-479; and R. F. Jones, "The Originality of 'Absalom and Achitophel,'" Modern Language Notes, XLVI (April, 1931) 211-218.]
We are here concerned with three representative replies to Absalom and Achitophel: their form, their authors, and details of their publication. Settle's poem was reprinted with one slight alteration a year after its first appearance; the Reflections has since been reprinted in part, Pordage's poem not at all. Absalom Senior has been chosen because, of the many verse pieces directed against Dryden's poem, it is of the greatest intrinsic merit and shows the reverse side of the medal, as it were, to that piece; the second is given, not for any literary merit it may possess—indeed, from its first appearance it has been dismissed as of small worth—but rather as a poem representative of much of the versifying that followed hard on the Popish Plot and as one that has inspired great speculation as to its author; the third, in addition to throwing light on the others, is a typical specimen of the lesser work produced in the Absalom dispute.
The author and precise publication date of the Reflections remain unidentified. Ascription of the poem to Buckingham rests ultimately on the authority of Wood's Athenae Oxonienses and on Wood alone, and we do not know on what evidence he thought it to be Buckingham's; we do know, however, that Wood was often mistaken over such matters. Sir Walter Scott in his collected edition of Dryden (1808; IX, 272-5) also accepted Buckingham as the author, but cited no authority; he printed extracts, yet the shortcomings of his edition, whatever its convenience, are well known. The poem has not appeared in any subsequent edition of Dryden's poems, the latest being the four volume set (Oxford, 1958); the volume of the California Dryden[A] relevant to Absalom is still awaited. Internal evidence is even more scanty. Only one passage of the Reflections (sig. D2) may bear on the matter. Perhaps the "Three-fold Might" (p. 7, line 11) refers, not to the poet's "tripartite design" (p. 7, line 10) or to the Triple Alliance of England, Holland, and Sweden against France (1677/8, as in Absalom and Achitophel, line 175) but either to a treatise which had occasioned some stir in the scientific world some twenty years previously: "the Delphic problem" proposed by Hobbes to the Royal Society on the duplication of the cube, which might have come to the ears of Buckingham as well as to those of the court, or perhaps to the triple confederacy of Essex, Halifax, and Sunderland. But to the Restoration reader the phrase "Three-fold Might" would rather have suggested the Triple Alliance, to which Dryden reverts in The Medal (lines 65-68) when he claims that Shaftesbury, "thus fram'd for ill, ... loos'd our Triple Hold" on Europe.
[Transcriber's Footnote (A): This Introduction was written in 1959. Volume II of the California Edition (The Works of John Dryden) was published in 1972.]
[Footnote 3: Hobbes, English Works (1845), ed. by Molesworth, VII, 59-68.]
[Footnote 4: H. C. Foxcroft, A Character of the Trimmer (Cambridge, England, 1946), p. 70. This book is an abridged version of the same author's Life and Works of Halifax (1897).]
[Footnote 5: Cf. the phrase "Twofold might" in Absalom and Achitophel, I, 175.]
Evidence against Buckingham's authorship, on the other hand, is comparatively strong. The piece does not appear in his collected Works (1704-5). It surely would have been included even though he had at first wished to claim any credit from its publication and later have wished to disown it. Little connection, furthermore, will be found between the Reflections and the rest of his published verse or with the plays, including The Rehearsal, if the latter be his alone, which is doubtful.
Poetical Reflections has been ascribed to Edward Howard. W. Thomas Lowndes in his Bibliographer's Manual (1864; II, 126) assigned to this minor writer, on the authority of an auction note, the little collection Poems and Essays, with a Paraphrase on Cicero's Laelius, or, Of Friendship ... By a Gentleman (1674), and G. Thorn-Drury, on the equally debatable evidence of an anonymous manuscript ascription on the title page of his own copy, ascribed the Poetical Reflections to Howard. An examination of the Poems and Essays, however, reveals no point of resemblance with our poem. How, then, does Howard fit into the picture? He was in the rival camp to Dryden and was a friend of Martin Clifford and of Thomas Sprat, then Buckingham's chaplain: these three have been thought to be jointly responsible for The Rehearsal. Sprat had published a poem of congratulation to Howard on Howard's The British Princes (1669), the latter a long pseudo-epic of the Blackmore style in dreary couplets which, again, provides no parallel with the Reflections. And what of Howard's plays? Many of these were written in the 1660's during his poetic apprenticeship; none seems akin to our poem. Whereas, as shown in the Table of Allusions below, two independent readers often agreed over the identities of many characters in Settle's poem, Restoration readers at large were reticent over the authorship of the Reflections. Hugh Macdonald, in his useful John Dryden: a Bibliography (1939), was wise to follow their example, and it seems rash, therefore, to propose any new candidate in the face of such negative evidence. The poem exists in two states, apparently differing only in the title page.
[Footnote 6: Review of English Studies, I (1925) 82-83.]
[Footnote 7: In his Notes upon Mr. Dryden's Poems in Four Letters (1687) Clifford, in 16 pages, accuses Dryden of plagiarism, especially in Almanzor.]
Evidence of Settle's authorship of Absalom Senior, on the other hand, is neither wanting nor disputed. We have had to wait until our own century for the pioneer work on this writer, since he cannot have been considered a sufficiently major poet by Samuel Johnson's sponsors, and Langbaine's account is sketchy. In a periodical paper Macdonald summarized supplementary evidence on the dates of composition of Settle's poem; he was working on it in January 1681/2, and it was published on the following April 6. Lockyer, Dean of Peterborough, asserted to Joseph Spence, who includes the rumor in Anecdotes, that Settle was assisted by Clifford and Sprat and by "several best hands of those times"; but Spence is notoriously unreliable. In the lack of other evidence, then, it seems best to take the poem as wholly Settle's. It needs only to add a few words on its textual states. The First Edition, here reproduced, seems to exist in a single impression, and likewise the Second Edition of the Settle (1682, in quarto) seems to have been struck off in a single textual state. Of its individual variants from the First Edition only the following seem of any significance and, since there is no reason to suppose that it was printed from any copy other than the First, they may be merely the result of carelessness.
FIRST EDITION SECOND EDITION
p. 3, line 4, enthron'd, with inthron'd with 3 8, Arts ... steps Art's ... step's 11 10, Rods; Rods? 13 26, to Descend do Descend 14 17, couch, couch 29 9, Cedar Cedars 31 21, Temples Temple
[Footnote 8: "The Attacks on John Dryden," Essays and Studies by Members of the English Association, XXI, 41-74.]
[Footnote 9: Joseph Spence, Anecdotes ... of Books and Men (1858), p. 51.]
For "No Link ... night" (p. 35, lines 19-24), the Second Edition substitutes, for an undetermined reason, the following:
No less the Lordly Zelecks Glory sound For courage and for Constancy renoun'd: Though once in naught but borrow'd plumes adorn'd, So much all servile Flattery he scorn'd; That though he held his Being and Support, By that weak Thread the Favour of a Court, In Sanhedrims unbrib'd, he firmly bold Durst Truth and Israels Right unmov'd uphold; In spight of Fortune, still to Honour wed, By Justice steer'd, though by Dependence fed.
Very little can be said of Pordage's poem, beyond its date of publication (January 17, 1681/2) and the fact that no parallel has been found with his earlier work. As no detailed study on him, published or unpublished, has been traced, we can only have recourse to the standard works on the period; data thus easily accessible are not therefore reproduced here. A so-called second edition (MacDonald 205b) is identical with the first.
[Footnote 10: Modern Philology, XXV (1928) 409-416.]
In conclusion a few comments may be made on the general situation into which the poems fit. It will be remembered that Absalom and Achitophel appeared after the Exclusion Bill, the purpose of which was to debar James Duke of York from the Protestant succession, had been rejected by the House of Lords, mainly through the efforts of Halifax. Dryden's poem was advertised on November 17, 1681, and we may safely assume that it was published only a short time before Settle and our other authors were hired by the Whigs to answer it. Full details have not survived; one suspects Shaftesbury's Green Ribbon Club. That such replies were considered necessary testifies both to the popularity of Absalom and Achitophel with the layman in politics and to the Whigs' fear of its harming their cause. Settle's was of course a mercenary pen, and it is amusing to note that after ridiculing Halifax here he was quite prepared to publish, fourteen years later, Sacellum Apollinare: a Funeral Poem to the Memory of that Great Statesman, George Late Marquiss of Halifax, and on this count his place among Pope's Dunces seems merited. In tracing his quarrel with Dryden up to the publication of Absalom Senior, critics have tended to overlook the fact that by 1680 there was already hostility between the two; less has been said about the effect on Dryden of the poets themselves. The spleen of his contributions to the Second Part of Absalom and Achitophel is essentially a manufactured one and for the public entertainment; personally he was comparatively unmoved—the Og portrait, for example, is less representative than his words in "The Epistle to the Whigs" prefixed to The Medal. Here, as in Mac Flecknoe, he appears to have been able to write vituperation to order. "I have only one favor to desire of you at parting," he says, and it is "that when you think of answering this poem, you would employ the same pens against it, who have combated with so much success against Absalom and Achitophel; for then you may assure yourselves of a clear victory, without the least reply." Is it for the best that this forecast proved the right one?
[Footnote 11: e.g., over The Empress of Morocco; see Scott's Dryden, XV, 397-413.]
For permission to reproduce their copies of texts comprising the present reprint thanks are expressed to the University of Florida Library (Absalom Senior) and to the Trustees of the British Museum (the other two poems). The University of Leeds and the City of Manchester Public Library are also thanked for leave to use contemporary marginalia in each's copy of Settle's poem. The provenance of the latter two copies of this piece is unknown; the first, now in the Brotherton Collection, bears the name William Crisp on its last blank leaf and, in abbreviated form, identifies some characters; the second, of unidentified ownership, is fuller.
HAROLD WHITMORE JONES
TABLE OF ALLUSIONS
The persons and places referred to in the allegories are identified in the following lists of names. M indicates the ascription in the Manchester copy; B, that in the Leeds University copy. Within the list for each poem, names similarly used in Absalom and Achitophel are omitted; those used with a different meaning are marked with an asterisk.
*Absalom, Duke of York *Achitophel, Halifax *Adriel, Earl of Huntington Amasai, Earl of Macclesfield (M, B) Amnon, Godfrey *Amiel, Buckingham (B) Amram, Sir William Jones Arabia, Portugal Ashur, Fourth Lord Herbert of Cherbury (M) Babylon, Rome Barak, Drake *Barzillai, Shaftesbury (B) *Caleb, Laurence Hyde, son of Clarendon (B) Camries, Third Lord Howard of Escrick (M) *Corah, Sir Edward Seymour (B) Deborah, Queen Elizabeth Endor, Oxford (B) Geshur, Ireland Hanaan, Lord Nottingham Hazor, Spain *Helon, First Duke of Bedford *Hothriel, Slingsby Bethell *Hushai, Earl of Argyll Ithream, Monmouth Jabin, Philip II *Jonas, ?Sir William Gregory (M glosses as Seymour; see Corah) *Jotham, Earl of Essex Laura, Anne Reeve Levitick chiefs, English bishops (B) Micah, Sir William Williams, Speaker of the Commons *Nadab, Lauderdale *Shimei, Jeffreys (B) Sidon, Denmark Sisera, Medina Sidonia Zeleck, unidentified
*Amiel, ?Finch, Lord Chancellor *Bathsheba, ?Queen Catherine Nimrod, Cromwell Tory Roger, L'Estrange
AZARIA AND HUSHAI
Abidon, unidentified Amalack, ?Henry Hyde, son of Clarendon Amazia, Charles II Aminadab, Ashur, unidentified; see Ashur above. Athalia, Mary Queen of Scots Azaria, Monmouth Azyad, Sir Edmundbury Godfrey Bibbai, L'Estrange Canaanites, Chemarim, Papists Doeg, Danby Edomites, Irish Elam, Lawrence Hyde, Earl of Rochester Eliab, Lord Russell Eliakim, Duke of York Elishama, ?Macclesfield Elizur, Enan, unidentified Essens, nonconformists Gamaliel, unidentified Gedaliah, Edward Coleman Gibbar, ?Lord Clifford Harim, ?Lord Wharton Helon, Bedford *Hushai, Shaftesbury Jehosaphat, Henry VII Jeptha, see Settle, p. 21 Jerusha, Anne, Countess of Buccleuch Joash, Charles I Jocoliah, Lucy Walters *Jotham, ?Halifax Libni, Oates Muppim, ?Lauderdale Nashai, Essex Pagiel, unidentified Pharisee, high churchman Rehoboam, unidentified *Shimei, Dryden Zabed, Cromwell Zattue, unidentified
Biblical parallels and parallels with Absalom and Achitophel are omitted. The Dedications of the poems can be compared with Dryden's in Absalom and Achitophel.
3: Barak. The only borrowing in the poem from a popular seventeenth century jest book, Wits Recreations (1640), "Epigrams," no. 46, "On Sir Fr. Drake": "The sun itself cannot forget/His fellow traveller."
11: a Jewish Renegade. Cardinal Philip Thomas Howard (B).
13: a Breaden God. Either a reference to transubstantiation (see also II Kings 2-3 and II Chron. 34) or an allusion to the Meal Tub Plot (1679).
16: a Cake of Shew-bread. In addition to the Biblical allusion, perhaps a reference to the poisoning of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII by the communion wafer.
17: in Possession. As this legal term is opposed to "reversion" emendation is unnecessary.
19: to bear. There was a belief that Jeffreys was connected with the Duchess of Portsmouth (B). The "Golden Prize" was perhaps protestantism, to be suppressed under a secret provision of the Treaty of Dover (1670).
19: Court-Drugster. Sir George Wakeman.
25: beautifyed. OED notices this catachrestic form of "beatified"
32: All-be-devill'd Paper. Presumably that accusing Shaftsbury of high treason.
34: A Cell. Eton.
37: Midnight Bawd. Mrs. Cellier.
4: Ignoramus. the jury's verdict at Shaftesbury's trial.
5: the Joyner. Stephen Colledge.
9: motly Sight, read "Spight"?
AZARIA AND HUSHAI
10: Power on Amazia. Read "of Amazia"?
19: allay'd. Read "ally'd"?
28: to board. Read "hoard"?
38: swifty back. So in all copies seen.
4: Ignoramus. The jury's verdict at Shaftesbury's trial. text reads "the jury's"]
* * * * *
Absalom Senior: or, ACHITOPHEL TRANSPROS'D.
Si Populus vult decipi, &c.
Printed for S. E. and Sold by Langley Curtis, at the Sign of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, near Fleetbridge. 1682.
To the TORIES.
Gentlemen, for so you all write your selves; and indeed you are your own Heralds, and Blazon all your Coats with Honour and Loyalty for your Supporters; nay, and you are so unconscionable too in that point, that you will allow neither of them in any other Scutcheons but your own. But who has 'em, or has 'em not, is not my present business; onely as you profess your selves Gentlemen, to conjure you to give an Adversary fair play; and that if any person whatsoever shall pretend to be aggrieved by this POEM, or any part of it, that he would bear it patiently; since the Licentiousness of the first Absolom and Achitophel has been the sole occasion of the Liberty of This, I having only taken the Measure of My Weapon, from the Length of his; which by the Rules of Honour ought not to offend you; especially, since the boldness of that Ingenious Piece, was wholly taken from the Encouragement you gave the Author; and 'tis from that Boldness only that this POEM takes its Birth: for had not his daring Pen brought that Piece into the World, I had been so far from troubling my self in any Subject on this kind, that I may justly say in one sence, the Writer of that Absolom, is the Author of this. This favour, as in Justice due, obtain'd from you, I shall not trouble you with a long Preface, like a tedious Compliment at the Door, but desire you to look in for your Entertainment. Onely I cannot forbear telling you, that one thing I am a little concern'd for you, Tories, that your Absoloms and Achitophels, and the rest of your Grinning Satyres against the Whiggs, have this one unpardonable Fault, That the Lash is more against a David, than an Achitophel; whilst the running down of the PLOT at so extravagant a rate, savours of very little less (pardon the Expression) than ridiculing of Majesty it self, and turning all those several Royal Speeches to the Parliament on that Subject, onely into those double-tongu'd Oracles that sounded one thing, and meant another. Besides, after this unmannerly Boldness, of not onely branding the publick Justice of the Nation, but affronting even the Throne it self, to push the humour a little farther, you run into ten times a greater Vice, (and in the same strain too) than what you so severely inveigh against: and whilst a POPISH PLOT through want of sufficient Circumstances, and credible Witnesses, miscarries with you, a PROTESTANT PLOT without either Witness or Circumstance at all, goes currant. Nay you are so far now from your former niceties and scruples, and disparing about raising of Armies, and not one Commission found, that you can swallow the raising of a whole Protestant ARMY, without either Commission, or Commission-Officer; Nay, the very When, Where, and How, are no part of your Consideration. 'Tis true, the great Cry amongst you, is, The Nations Eyes are open'd; but I am afraid, in most of you, 'tis onely to look where you like best: and to help your lewd Eye-sight, you have got a damnable trick of turning the Perspective upon occasion, and magnifying or diminishing at pleasure. But alas, all talking to you is but impertinent, and fending and proving signifie just nothing; for after all Arguments, both Parties are so irreconcileable, that as the Author of Absolom wisely observed, they'll be Fools or Knaves to each other to the end of the Chapter. And therefore I am so reasonable in this point, that should be very glad to divide 'em between 'em, and give the Fool to the Tory, and the Knave to the Whigg. For the Tories that will believe no POPISH PLOT, may as justly come under that denomination, as They, that David tells us, said in their Hearts there was no God. And then let the Whiggs that do believe a Popish Plot be the Knaves, for daring to endeavour to hinder the Effects of a Popish Plot, when the Tories are resolved to the contrary. But to draw near a conclusion, I have one favour more to beg of you, that you'll give me the freedom of clapping but about a score of years extraordinary on the back of my Absolom. Neither is it altogether so unpardonable a Poetical License, since we find as great slips from the Author of your own Absolom, where we see him bring in a Zimri into the Court of David, who in the Scripture-story dyed by the Hand of Phineas in the days of Moses. Nay, in the other extream, we find him in another place talking of the Martyrdome of Stephen, so many Ages after. And if so famous an Author can forget his own Rules of Unity, Time, and Place, I hope you'll give a Minor Poet some grains of Allowance, and he shall ever acknowledge himself
Your Humble Servant.
In Gloomy Times, when Priestcraft bore the sway, And made Heav'ns Gate a Lock to their own Key: When ignorant Devotes did blindly bow, And groaping to be sav'd they knew not now: Whilst this Egyptian darkness did orewhelm, The Priest sate Pilot even at Empires Helm. Then Royal Necks were yok'd, and Monarchs still Hold but their Crowns at his Almighty Will. And to defend this high Prerogative, Falsely from Heaven he did that powr derive: By a Commission forg'd i'th' hand of God, Turn'd Aarons blooming wand, to Moses snaky Rod. Whilst Princes little Scepters overpowr'd, Made but that prey his wider Gorge devour'd. Now to find Wealth might his vast pomp supply, (For costly Roofs befit a Lord so high) No Arts were spar'd his Luster to support, But all Mines searcht t'enrich his shining Court. Then Heav'n was bought, Religion but a Trade; And Temples Murder's Sanctuary made. By Phineas Spear no bleeding Cozbies groan'd, If Cozbies Gold for Cozbies Crimes aton'd. With these wise Arts, (for Humane Policy As well as Heav'nly Truth, mounts Priests so high) 'Twixt gentle Penance, lazy Penitence, A Faith that gratifies both Soul and Sense; With easie steps to everlasting Bliss, He paves the rugged way to Paradice. Thus almost all the Proselyte-World he drives, Whilst th'universal Drones buz to his Hives. Implicite Faith Religion thus convey'd Through little pipes to his great Channel laid, Till Piety through such dark Conduits led, Was poyson'd by the Spring on which it fed. Here blind Obedience to a blinder Guide, Nurst that Blind Zeal that rais'd the Priestly pride; Whilst to make Kings the Sovereign Prelate own, Their Reason he enslav'd, and then their Throne. The Mitre thus above the Diadem soar'd, Gods humble servant He, but Mans proud Lord. It was in such Church-light blind-zeal was bred, By Faiths infatuating Meteor led; Blind Zeal, that can even Contradictions joyn; A Saint in Faith, in Life a Libertine; Makes Greatness though in Luxury worn down, Bigotted even to th' Hazard of a Crown; Ty'd to the Girdle of a Priest so fast, And yet Religious only to the wast. But Constancy atoning Constancy, Where that once raigns, Devotion may lye by. T'espouse the Churches Cause lyes in Heav'ns road, More than obeying of the Churches God. And he dares fight, for Faith is more renown'd A Zealot Militant, than Martyr crown'd. Here the Arch-Priest to that Ambition blown, Pull'd down Gods Altars, to erect his own: For not content to publish Heav'ns command, The Sacred Law penn'd by th'Almighty Hand, And Moses-like 'twixt God and Israel go, Thought Sinai's Mount a Pinacle too low. So charming sweet were Incense fragrant Fumes, } So pleas'd his Nostrils, till th'Aspirer comes } From offering, to receiving Hecatombs; } And ceasing to adore, to be ador'd. So fell Faiths guide: so loftily he towr'd, Till like th'Ambitious Lucifer accurst, Swell'd to a God, into a Fiend he burst.
But as great Lucifer by falling gain'd Dominion, and ever in Damnation reign'd; And though from Lights blest Orb for ever driven, } Yet Prince o'th'Air, h'had that vast Scepter giv'n, } T'have Subjects far more numerous than Heav'n. } And thus enthron'd, with an infernal spight, The genuine Malice of the Realms of night, The Paradise he lost blasphemes, abhors, And against Heav'n proclaims Eternal Wars; No Arts untry'd, no hostile steps untrod, Both against Truths Adorers, and Truths God.
So Faiths faln Guide, now Baals great Champion raign'd; Wide was his Sway, and Mighty his Command: Whilst with implacable revenge he burn'd, And all his Rage against Gods Israel turn'd. Here his invenom'd Souls black gall he flings, Spots all his Snakes, and points his Scorpions stings: Omits no Force, or Treacherous Designe, Blest Israel to assault, or undermine. But the first Sword did his keen Malice draw, Was aim'd against the God-like Deborah. Deborah, the matchless pride of Judah's Crown, Whose Female hand Baal's impious Groves cut down, His banisht Wizards from her Israel thrust, And pounded all their Idols into dust. Her Life with indefatigable pain, By Daggers long, and poysons fought in vain: At length they angry Jabins Rage enflam'd, Hazors proud King, for Iron Chariots fam'd; A Warriour powerful, whose most dreadful Hoast Proclaim'd Invincible, (were humane Boast Infallible) by haughty Sisera led, 'Gainst Deborah their bloody Banners spread. Here Deborah her Barak calls to War; Barak, the Suns fam'd fellow-traveller, Who wandring o're the Earths surrounded Frame, Had travelled far as his great Mistress Fame. Here Barak did with Deborah's vengeance fly, And to that swift prodigious Victory, So much by Humane Praises undefin'd, That Fame wants Breath, and Wonder lags behind. To Heav'ns high Arch her sounding Glories rung, Whilst thus great Deborah and Barak sung.
Hear, oh ye Princes, oh ye Kings give Ear, And Israels great Avengers honour hear. When God of Hosts, thou Israels Spear and Shield, Wentst out of Seir, and marched'st from Edoms field, Earth trembled, the Heaven's drop'd, the Clouds all pour'd; The Mountains melted from before the Lord; Even thy own Sinai melted into streams, At Israels dazling Gods refulgent Beams. In Shamgar and in Jael's former days, The wandring Traveller walked through by-ways. They chose new Gods. No Spear nor Sword was found, To have Idolatry depos'd, Truth Crown'd, Till I alone, against Jehovahs Foes; I Deborah, I Israels Mother rose. Wake Deborah, wake, raise thy exalted Head; Rise Barak, and Captivity Captive lead. For to blest Deborah, belov'd of Heav'n, Over the Mighty is Dominion given. Great Barak leads, and Israels Courage warms; Ephraim and Benjamin march down in Arms: Zebulon and Nepthali my Thunder bore, Dan from her Ship, and Asher on the Shore. Behold Megiddoes waves, and from afar, See the fierce Jabins threatning storm of War. But Heav'n 'gainst Sisera fought, and the kind Stars Kindl'd their embattel'd Fires for Deborah's Wars, Shot down their Vengeance that miraculous day, When Kishons Torrants swept their Hosts away. But curse ye Meroz, curse 'em from on high. Did the denouncing voice of Angels cry; Accurst be they that went not out t'oppose The Mighty Deborah's, God's, and Israel's Foes. Victorious Judah! Oh my Soul, th'hast trod, Trod down their strengths. So fall the Foes of God. But they who in his Sacred Laws delight, Be as the Sun when he sets out in might.
Thus sung, they conquer'd Deborah; thus fell Hers, and Heav'ns Foes. But no Defeat tames Hell. By Conquest overthrown, but not dismay'd, 'Gainst Israel still their private Engines play'd. And their dire Machinations to fulfil, Their stings torn out, they kept their poyson still. And now too weak in open force to joyn, In close Cabals they hatcht a damn'd Design, To light that Mine as should the world amaze, And set the ruin'd Israel in a blaze.
When Judahs Monarch with his Princes round, Amidst his glorious Sanedrim sate Crown'd, Beneath his Throne a Cavern low, and dark As their black Souls, for the great Work they mark. In this lone Cell their Midnight-Hands bestow'd A Stygian Compound, a combustive load Of Mixture wondrous, Execution dire, Ready the Touch of their Infernal Fire. Have you not seen in yon aethereal Road, How at the Rage of th'angry driving God, Beneath the pressure of his furious wheels The Heav'ns all rattle, and the Globe all reels? So does this Thunder's Ape its lightning play, Keen as Heav'ns Fires, and scarce less swift than they. A short-liv'd glaring Murderer it flies, } In Times least pulse, a Moments wing'd surprize; } 'Tis born, looks big, talks lowd, breaths death, and dies. } This Mixture was th'Invention of a Priest; The Sulphurous Ingredients all the best Of Hells own growth: for to dire Compounds still Hell finds the Minerals, and the Priest the Skill.
From this curst Mine they had that blow decreed, A Moments dismal blast, as should exceed All the Storms, Battles, Murders, Massacres, And all the strokes of Daggers, Swords, or Spears, Since first Cain's hand at Abels Head was lift: A Blow more swift than Pestilence, more swift Than ever a destroying Angel rod, To pour the Vial of an angry God.
The Train was laid, the very Signal giv'n; But here th'all-seeing, Israels Guardian, Heav'n Could hold no longer; and to stop their way, With a kind Beam from th'Empyraean Day, Disclos'd their hammering Thunder at the Forge; And made their Cyclops Cave their Bolts disgorge.
Discover'd thus, thus lost, betray'd, undone, Yet still untir'd, the Restless Cause goes on; And to retrieve a yet auspicious day, A glowing spark even in their Ashes lay, Which thus burst out in flames. In Geshur Land, The utmost Bound of Israels Command, Where Judah's planted Faith but slowly grew, A Brutal Race that Israels God n'er knew: A Nation by the Conquerors Mercy grac'd, Their Gods preserv'd, and Temples undefac'd; Yet not content with all the Sweets of Peace, Free their Estates, and free their Consciences; 'Gainst Israel those confederate Swords they drew, Which with that vast Assassination flew Two hundred thousand Butcher'd Victims shar'd One common doom: No Sex nor Age was spar'd: Not kneeling Beauties Tears, not Virgins Cries, Nor Infants Smiles: No prey so small but dies. Alas, the hard-mouth'd Blood-hound, Zeal, bites through; Religion hunts, and hungry Jaws pursue. To what strange Rage is Superstition driven, That Man can outdo Hell to fight for Heav'n! So Rebel Geshur fought: so drown'd in gore, Even Mother Earth blusht at the Sons she bore; And still asham'd of her old staining Brand, Her Head shrinks down and Quagmires half their Land. Yet not this blow Baals Empire could enlarge For Israel still was Heav'ns peculiar charge: Unshaken still in all this Scene of Blood, Truths Temple firm on Golden Columns stood. Whilst Sauls Revenging Arm proud Geshur scourg'd, From their rank soyl their Hydra's poyson purg'd.
Yet does not here their vanquish'd spleen give o're, But as untir'd, and restless as before, Still through whole waiting Ages they outdo At once the Chimists pains and patience too. Who though he sees his bursting Limbecks crack, And at one blast, one fatal Minutes wrack, The forward Hopes of sweating years expire; With sad, yet painful hand new lights his Fire: Pale, lean, and wan, does Health, Wealth, all consume; Yet for the great Elixir still to come, Toyls and hopes on. No less their Plottings cease; So hope, so toyl, the foes of Israels peace.
When lo, a long expected day appears, Sought for above a hundred rowling years; A day i'th' register of Doom set down, Presents 'em with an Heir of Israels Crown. Here their vast hopes of the rich Israels spoils, Requites the pains of their long Ages Toyls. Baals Banners now i'th' face of day shall march, With Heav'ns bright Roof for his Triumphal Arch. His lurking Missioners shall now no more From Forreign Schools in borrow'd shapes come o're; Convert by Moon-light, and their Mystick Rites Preach to poor Female half-Soul'd Proselytes. An all-commanding Dragon now shall soar, Where the poor Serpents onely crawl'd before. Baals Restoration, that most blest Design, } Now the great work of Majesty, shall shine, } Made by his consecrating hand Divine. } He shall new plant their Groves with each blest Tree, A graft of an Imperial Nursery. In the kind Air of this new Eden blest, Percht on each bough, and Palaces their nest; No more by frighting Laws forc'd t'obscure flight, And gloomy walks, like obscene Birds of Night; Their warbling Notes like Philomel shall sing, And like the Bird of Paradise their wing. Thus Israels Heir their ravisht Souls all fired; For all things to their ardent hopes conspired.
His very youth a Bigot Mother bred, And tainted even the Milk on which he fed. Him onely of her Sons design'd for Baals Great Champion 'gainst Jerusalems proud Walls; Him dipt in Stygian Lake, by timely craft, Invulnerable made against Truths pointed shaft. But to confirm his early poyson'd Faith, 'Twas in the cursed Forreign Tents of Gath, 'Twas there that he was lost. There Absolon By Davids fatal Banishment undone, Saw their false Gods till in their Fires he burn'd, Truths Manna, for Egyptian Fleshpots, scorn'd. Not David so; for he Faiths Champion Lord, Their Altars loath'd, and prophane Rites abhorr'd: Whilst his firm Soul on wings of Cherubs rod, And tun'd his Lyre to nought but Abrahams God. Thus the gay Israel her long Tears quite dry'd, Her restor'd David met in all her Pride, Three Brothers saw by Miracle brought back, Like Noahs Sons sav'd from the worlds great wrack; An unbelieving Ham graced on each hand, 'Twixt God-like Shem, and pious Japhet stand.
'Tis true, when David, all his storms blown o're, Wafted by Prodigies to Jordans shore, (So swift a Revolution, yet so calm) Had cur'd an Ages wounds with one days Balm; Here the returning Absolon his vows With Israel joyns, and at their Altars bows. Perhaps surpriz'd at such strange blessings showr'd, Such wonders shewn both t'Israels Faith, and Lord, His Restoration-Miracle he thought Could by no less than Israels God be wrought. Whilst the enlightened Absolon thus kneels, Thus dancing to the sound of Aarons Bells, What dazling Rays did Israels Heir adorn, So bright his Sun in his unclouded Morn! 'Twas then his leading hand in Battle drew That Sword that Davids fam'd ten thousand slew: Davids the Cause, but Absolons the Arm. Then he could win all Hearts, all Tongues could charm: Whilst with his praise the ecchoing plains all rung, A thousand Timbrels play'd, a thousand Virgins sung; And in the zeal of every jocund Soul, Absolons Health with Davids crown'd one Bowl.
Had he fixt here, yes, Fate, had he fixt here, To Man so Sacred, and to Heav'n so dear, What could he want that Hands, Hearts, Lives could pay, Or Tributary Worlds beneath his feet could lay? What Knees, what Necks to mount him to his Throne; What Gems, what Stars to sparkle in his Crown? So pleas'd, so charm'd, had Israels Genius smil'd; But oh the Pow'rs, by treacherous snakes beguil'd, Into a more than Adams Curse he run, Tasting that Fruit has Israels World undone. Nay, wretched even below his falling state, Wants Adams Eyes to see his Adams Fate. In vain was Davids Harp and Israels Quire; For his Conversion all in vain conspire: For though their influence a while retires, His own false Planets were th'Ascendant Fires. Heav'n had no lasting Miracle design'd; It did a while his fatal Torrent bind. As Joshua's Wand did Jordan's streams divide, And rang'd the watry Mountains on each side. But when the marching Israel once got o're, } Down crack the Chrystal Walls the Billows pow'r, } And in their old impetuous Channel roar. }
At this last stroke thus totally o'rethrown, Apostasie now seal'd him all her own. Here ope'd that gaping Breach, that fatal door, Which now let in a thousand Ruines more. All the bright Virtues, and each dazling Grace, Which his rich Veins drew from a God-like Race; The Mercy, and the Clemency Divine, Those Sacred Beams which in mild David shine; Those Royal Sparks, his Native Seeds of Light, Were all put out, and left a Starless Night. A long farewel to all that's Great and Brave: Not Cataracts more headstrong; as the Grave Inexorable; Sullen and Untun'd As Pride depos'd; scarce Lucifer dethron'd More Unforgiving; his enchanted Soul Had drank so deep of the bewitching Bowl, Till he whose hand, with Judahs Standart, bore Her Martial Thunder to the Tyrian shore, Arm'd in her Wars, and in her Laurels crown'd; Now all forgotten at one stagg'ring wound, Falling from Israels Faith; from Israels Cause, Peace, Honour, Int'rest, all at once withdraws: Nor is he deaf t'a Kingdoms Groans alone, But could behold ev'n Davids shaking Throne; David, whose Bounty rais'd his glittering Pride, The Basis of his Glories Pyramide. But Duty, Gratitude, all ruin'd fall: Zeal blazes, and Oblivion swallows all. So Sodom did both burnt and drown'd expire; A poyson'd Lake succeeds a Pile of Fire.
On this Foundation Baals last Hope was built, The sure Retreat for all their Sallying Guilt: A Royal Harbour, where the rowling Pride Of Israels Foes might safe at Anchor ride; Defie all Dangers, and even Tempests scorn, Though Judahs God should Thunder in the Storm.
Here Israels Laws, the dull Levitick Rolls, At once a clog to Empire, and to Souls, Are the first Martyrs to the Fire they doom, To make great Baals Triumphant Legends room. But ere their hands this glorious work can Crown, Their long-known Foe the Sanedrin must down; Sanedrins the Free-born Israels Sacred Right, That God-like Ballance of Imperial Might; Where Subjects are from Tyrant-Lords set free, From that wild Thing unbounded man would be; Where Pow'r and Clemency are poys'd so even, A Constitution that resembles Heav'n. So in th'united great THREE-ONE we find A Saving with a Dooming Godhead joyn'd. (But why, oh why! if such restraining pow'r Can bind Omnipotence, should Kings wish more?) A Constitution, so Divinely mixt, Not Natures bounded Elements more fixt. Thus Earths vast Frame with firm and solid ground, } Stands in a foaming Ocean circled round; } Yet This not overflowing, That not drown'd. } But to rebuild their Altars, and enstal Their Moulten Gods, the Sanedrin must fall; That Constellation of the Jewish Pow'r, All blotted from its Orb must shine no more; Or stampt in Pharoahs darling Mould, must quit Their Native Beams, for a new-model'd Light; Like Egypts Sanedrins, their influence gone, Flash but like empty Meteors round the Throne: That that new Lord may Judahs Scepter weild, To whom th'old Brickill Taskmasters must yield; Who, to erect new Temples for his Gods, Shall th'enslav'd Israel drive with Iron Rods; If they want Bricks for his new Walls t'aspire, To their sad cost, he'll find 'em Straw and Fire.
All this t'effect, and their new Fabrick build, Both close Cabals and Forreign Leagues are held: To Babylon and Egypt they send o're, And both their Conduct and their Gold implore. By such Abettors the sly Game was plaid; One of their Chiefs a Jewish Renegade, High-born in Israel, one Michals Priest, But now in Babylons proud Scarlet drest. 'Tis to his Hands the Plotting Mandats come Subscrib'd by the Apostate Absolom. Nay, and to keep themselves all danger-proof, That none might track the Belial by his Hoof, Their Correspondence veil'd from prying Eyes, In Hieroglyphick Figures they disguise. Husht as the Night, in which their Plots combin'd, And silent as the Graves they had design'd, Their Ripening Mischiefs to perfection sprung. But oh! the much-loath'd David lives too long. Their Vultures cannot mount but from his Tomb; And with too hungry ravenous Gorges come, To be by airy Expectation fed. No Prey, no Spoil, before they see Him Dead. Yes, Dead; the Royal Sands too slowly pass, And therefore they're resolved to break the Glass: And to ensure Times tardy dubious Call, Decree their Daggers should his Sythe forestall. For th'execrable Deed a Hireling Crew Their Hell and They pick out; whom to make true, An Oath of Force so exquisite they frame, Sworn in the Blood of Israels Paschal Lamb. If false, the Vengeance of that Sword that slew Egypts First-born, their perjur'd Heads pursue. Strong was the Oath, the Imprecation dire; And for a Viand, lest their Guilt should tire, With promis'd Paradice they cheer their way; And bold's the Souldier who has Heav'n his pay.
But the ne'r-sleeping Providence that stands With jealous Eyes o're Truths up-lifted Hands; That still in its Lord Israel takes delight, Their Cloud by Day, and Guardian Fire by Night; A Ray from out its Fiery Pillar cast, That overlook'd their driving Jehu's hast. All's ruin'd and betray'd: their own false Slaves } Detect the Plot, and dig their Masters Graves: } Not Oaths nor Bribes shall bind, when great Jehovah saves. } The frighted Israelites take the Alarm, Resolve the Traitors Sorceries t'uncharm: Till cursing, raving, mad, and drunk with Rage, In Amnons Blood their frantick Hands engage.
Here let the Ghost of strangl'd Amnon come, A Specter that will strike Amazement dumb; Amnon the Proto-Martyr of the Plot, The Murder'd Amnon, their Eternal Blot; Whose too bold zeal stood like a Pharos Light, Israel to warn, and track their Deeds of Night. Till the sly Foe his unseen Game to play, Put out the Beacon to secure his way. Baals Cabinet-Intrigues he open spread, The Ravisht Tamar for whose sake he bled. T'unveil their Temple and expose their Gods, Deserv'd their vengeances severest Rods: Wrath he deserv'd, and had the Vial full, To lay those Devils had possest his Soul. His silenc'd Fiends from his wrung Neck they twist; Whilst his kind Murd'rer's but his Exorcist. Here draw, bold Painter, (if thy Pencil dare Unshaking write, what Israel quak'd to hear,) A Royal Altar pregnant with a Load Of Humane Bones beneath a Breaden God. Altars so rich not Molocks Temples show; 'Twas Heaven above, and Golgotha below. Yet are not all the Mystick Rites yet done: Their pious Fury does not stop so soon. But to pursue the loud-tongu'd Wounds they gave, Resolves to stab his Fame beyond the Grave, And in Eternal Infamy to brand With Amnons Murder, Amnons righteous Hand. Here with a Bloodless wound, by Hellish Art, With his own Sword they goar his Lifeless Heart. Thus in a Ditch the butcher'd Amnon lay, A Deed of Night enough to have kept back the Day. Had not the Sun in Sacred vengeance rose, Asham'd to see, but prouder to disclose, Warm'd with new Fires, with all his posting speed, Brought Heav'ns bright Lamp to shew th'Infernal Deed.
What art thou, Church! when Faith to propagate, And crush all Bars that stop thy growing state, Thou break'st through Natures, Gods, and Humane Laws, Whilst Murder's Merit in a Churches Cause. How much thy Ladder Jacobs does excel: Whose Top's in Heaven like His, but Foot in Hell; Thy Causes bloody Champions to befriend, For Fiends to Mount, as Angels to Descend.
This was the stroke did th'alarm'd World surprize, And even to infidelity lent Eyes: Whilst sweating Absolon in Israel pent, For fresher Air was to bleak Hebron sent. Cold Hebron warm'd by his approaching sight, Flusht with his Gold, and glow'd with new delight. Till Sacred all-converting Interest To Loyalty, their almost unknown Guest, Oped a broad Gate, from whence forth-issuing come, Decrees, Tests, Oaths, for well-sooth'd Absolom. Spight of that Guilt that made even Angels fall, An unbarr'd Heir shall Reign: In spight of all Apostacy from Heav'n, or Natures tyes, Though for his Throne a Cain-built Palace rise. No wonder Hebron such Devotion bears T'Imperial Dignity, and Royal Heirs; For they, whom Chronicle so high renowns For selling Kings, should know the price of Crowns.
Here, Glorious Hushai, let me mourn thy Fate, Thou once great Pillar of the Hebron State: Yet now to Dungeons sent, and doom'd t'a Grave. But Chains are no new Sufferings to the Brave. Witness thy pains in six years Bonds endur'd, For Israels Faith, and Davids Cause immur'd. Death too thou oft for Judahs Crown hast stood, So bravely fac'd in several Fields of Blood. But from Fames Pinnacle now headlong cast, Life, Honour, all are ruin'd at a Blast. For Absolons great LAW thou durst explain; Where but to pry, bold Lord, was to prophane: A Law that did his Mystick God-head couch, Like th'Ark of God, and no less Death to touch. Forgot are now thy Honourable Scars, Thy Loyal Toyls, and Wounds in Judahs Wars. Had thy pil'd Trophies Babel-high, reacht Heav'n, Yet by one stroke from Absolons Thunder given, Thy towring Glorie's levell'd to the ground; } A stroke does all thy Tongues of Fame confound, } And, Traitor, now is all the Voice they sound. } True, thou hadst Law; that even thy Foes allow; But to thy Advocates, as damn'd as Thou, 'Twas Death to plead it. Artless Absolon The Bloody Banner to display so soon: Such killing Beams from thy young Day-break shot; What will the Noon be, if the Morn's so hot? Yes, dreadful Heir, the Coward Hebron awe. So the young Lion tries his tender Paw. At a poor Herd of feeble Heifers flies, Ere the rough Bear, tusk'd Boar, or spotted Leopard dies. Thus flusht, great Sir, thy strength in Israel try: When their Cow'd Sanedrims shall prostrate lye, And to thy feet their slavish Necks shall yield; Then raign the Princely Savage of the Field.
Yes, Israels Sanedrin, 'twas they alone That set too high a Value on a Throne; Thought they had a God was Worthy to be serv'd; A Faith maintain'd, and Liberty preserv'd. And therefore judg'd, for Safety and Renown Of Israels People, Altars, Laws and Crown, Th'Anointing Drops on Royal Temples shed Too precious Showrs for an Apostates Head. Then was that great Deliberate Councel giv'n, An Act of Justice both to Man and Heav'n, Israels conspiring Foes to overthrow, That Absolon should th'Hopes of Crowns forego. Debarr'd Succession! oh that dismal sound! A sound, at which Baal stagger'd, and Hell groan'd; A sound that with such dreadful Thunder falls, 'Twas heard even to Semiramis trembling Walls.
But hold! is this the Plots last Murd'ring Blow, The dire divorce of Soul and Body? No. The mangled Snake, yet warm, to Life they'll bring, And each disjoynted Limb together cling. Then thus Baals wise consulting Prophets cheer'd Their pensive Sons, and call'd the scatter'd Herd.
Are we quite ruin'd! No, mistaken Doom, Still the great Day, yes that great Day shall come, (Oh, rouse our fainting Sons, and droop no more.) A Day, whose Luster, our long Clouds blown o're, Not all the Rage of Israel shall annoy, No, nor denouncing Sanedrims destroy. See yon North-Pole, and mark Booetes Carr: Oh! we have those Influencing Aspects there, Those Friendly pow'rs that drive in that bright Wain, Shall redeem All, and our lost Ground regain. Whilst to our Glory their kind Aid stands fast, But one Plot more, our Greatest and our Last.
Now for a Product of that subtle kind, As far above their former Births refin'd, As Firmamental Fires t'a Tapers ray, Or Prodigies to Natures common Clay. Empires in Blood, or Cities in a Flame, Are work for vulgar Hands, scarce worth a Name. A Cake of Shew-bread from an Altar ta'ne, Mixt but with some Levitical King-bane, Has sent a Martyr'd Monarch to his Grave. Nay, a poor Mendicant Church-Rake-hell slave Has stab'd Crown'd Heads; slight Work to hands well-skill'd, Slight as the Pebble that Goliah kill'd. But to make Plots no Plots, to clear all Taints, Traitors transform to Innocents, Fiends to Saints, Reason to Nonsence, Truth to Perjury; Nay, make their own attesting Records lye, And even the gaping Wounds of Murder whole: If this last Masterpiece requires a Soul. Guilt to unmake, and Plots annihilate, Is much a greater work than to create. Nay both at once to be, and not to be, Is such a Task would pose a Deity. Let Baal do this, and be a God indeed: Yes, this Immortal Honour 'tis decreed, His Sanguine Robe though dipt in reeking Gore, With purity and Innocence all o're, Shall dry, and spotless from the purple hue, The Miracle of Gideons Fleece outdo. Yes, they're resolv'd, in all their foes despight, To wash their more than Ethiop Treason White.
But now for Heads to manage the Design, Fit Engineers to labour in this Mine. For their own hands 'twere fatal to employ: Should Baal appear, it would Baals Cause destroy. Alas, should onely their own Trumpets sound Their Innocence, the jealous Ears around All Infidels would the loath'd Charmer fly, And through the Angels voice the Fiend descry. No, this last game wants a new plotting Set, And Israel only now can Israel cheat. In this Machine their profest Foes must move, Whilst Baal absconding sits in Clouds above, From whence unseen he guides their bidden way: For he may prompt, although he must not play. This to effect a sort of Tools they find, Devotion-Rovers, an Amphibious Kind, Of no Religion, yet like Walls of Steel Strong for the Altars where their Princes kneel. Imperial not Celestial is their Test, The Uppermost, indisputably Best. They always in the golden Chariot rod, Honour their Heav'n, and Interest their God.
Of these then subtil Caleb none more Great, Caleb who shines where his lost Father set; Got by that sire, who not content alone, } To shade the brightest Jewel in a Crown, } Preaching Ingratitude t'a Court and Throne; } But made his Politicks the baneful Root From whence the springing Woes of Israel shoot, When his Great Masters fatal Gordian tyed, He lai'd the barren Michal by his side; That the ador'd Absolons immortal Line Might on Judeas Throne for ever shine. Caleb, who does that hardy Pilot make, } Steering in that Hereditary Track, } Blind to the Sea-Mark of a Fathers Wrack. }
Next Jonas stands bull-fac'd, but chicken-soul'd, Who once the silver Sanedrin Controul'd, Their Gold-tip'd Tongue; Gold his great Councels Bawd: Till by succeeding Sanedrins outlaw'd, He was prefer'd to guard the sacred Store: There Lordly rowling in whole Mines of Oar; To Diceing Lords, a Cully-Favourite, He prostitutes whole Cargoes in a Night. Here to the Top of his Ambition come, Fills all his Sayls for hopeful Absolom. For his Religion's as the Season calls, Gods in Possession, in Reversion Baals. He bears himself a Dove to Mortal Race, And though not Man, he can look Heav'n i'th' Face. Never was Compound of more different Stuff, A Heart in Lambskin, and a Conscience Buff.
Let not that Hideous Bulk of Honour scape, Nadab that sets the gazing Crowd agape: That old Kirk-founder, whose course Croak could sing The Saints, the Cause, no Bishop, and no King: When Greatness clear'd his Throat, and scowr'd his Maw, Roard out Succession, and the Penal Law. Not so of old: another sound went forth, When in the Region from Judea North, By the Triumphant Saul he was employ'd, A huge fang Tusk to goar poor Davids side. Like a Proboscis in the Tyrants Jaw, To rend and root through Government and Law. His hand that Hell-penn'd League of Belial drew, } That Swore down Kings, Religion overthrew, } Great David banisht, and Gods Prophets slew. } Nor does the Courts long Sun so powerful shine, T'exhale his Vapours, or his Dross refine; Nor is the Metal mended by the stamp. With his rank oyl he feeds the Royal Lamp. To Sanedrins an everlasting Foe, Resolv'd his Mighty Hunters overthrow. And true to Tyranny, as th'only Jem, That truly sparkles in a Diadem; To Absalons side does his old Covenant bring, With State raz'd out, and interlin'd with KING. But Nadabs Zeal has too severe a Doom; Whilst serving an ungrateful Absalom, His strength all spent his Greatness to create, He's now laid by a cast-out Drone of State. He rowz'd that Game by which he is undone, By fleeter Coursers now so far outrun, That fiercer Mightier Nimrod in the Chace, Till quite thrown out, and lost he quits the Race.
Of Low-born Tools we bawling Shimei saw, Jerusalems late loud-tongu'd MOUTH of Law. By Blessings from Almighty Bounty given, Shimei no common Favorite of Heaven. Whom, lest Posterity should loose the Breed, In five short Moons indulgent Heav'n rais'd Seed; Made happy in an Early teeming Bride, And laid a lovely Heiress by her side. Whilst the glad Father's so divinely blest, } That like the Stag proud of his Brow so drest, } He brandishes his lofty City-Crest. } 'Twas in Jerusalem was Shimei nurst, Jerusalem by Baals Prophets ever curst, The greatest Block that stops 'em in their way, For which she once in Dust and Ashes lay. Here to the Bar this whiffling Lurcher came, And barkt to rowze the nobler Hunters Game. But Shimei's Lungs might well be stretcht so far; For steering by a Court-Ascendant Star, For daily Oracles he does address, To the Egyptian Beauteous Sorceress. For Pharoah when he wisely did essay To bear the long-sought Golden Prize away, That fair Enchantress sent, whose Magick Skill Should keep great Israels sleeping Dragon still. Thus by her powerful inspirations fed, } To bite their Heels this City-Snake was bred, } Till Absalon got strength to bruise their Head. } Of all the Heroes since the world began, To Shimei Joshuah was the bravest Man. To Him his Tutelar Saint he prays, and oh, That great Jerusalem were like Jericoh! Then bellowing lowd for Joshuahs Spirit calls, Because his Rams-horn blew down City-Walls.
In the same Roll have we grave Corah seen, Corah, the late chief Scarlet Abbethdin. Corah, who luckily i'th' Bench was got, To loo the Bloodhounds off to save the Plot. Corah, who once against Baals Impious Cause, Stood strong for Israels Faith and Davids Laws. He poys'd his Scales, and shook his ponderous Sword, Lowd as his Fathers Basan-Bulls he roar'd; Till by a Dose of Forreign Ophir drencht, The Feavour of his Burning Zeal was Quencht. Ophir, that rescu'd the Court-Drugsters Fate, Sent in the Nick to gild his Pills of State. Whilst the kind Skill of our Law-Emperick, Sublim'd his Mercury to save his Neck. In Law, they say, he had but a slender Mite, And Sense he had less: for as Historians write, The Arabian Legate laid a Snare so gay, As Spirited his little Wits away. Of the Records of Law he fancied none Like the Commandment Tables graved in Stone. And wish'd the Talmude such, that Soveraign sway When once displeased might th'angry Moses play. Onely his Law was Brittle i'th' wrong place: For had our Corah been in Moses Case, The Fury of his Zeal had been employ'd To build that Calf which th'others Rage destroy'd. Thus Corah, Baals true Fayry Changeling made, He Bleated onely as the Pharisees pray'd, All to advance that future Tyrant pow'r, Should Widows Houses gorge, and Orphans Tears devour.
Nor are these all their Instruments; to prop Their Mighty Cause, and Israels Murmurs stop; They find a sort of Academick Tools; Who by the Politick Doctrine of their Schools, Betwixt Reward, Pride, Avarice, Hope and Fear, Prizing their Heav'n too cheap, the World too dear, Stand bold and strong for Absolons Defence: Interest the Thing, but Conscience the Pretence. These to ensure him for their Sions King, A Right Divine quite down from Adam bring, That old Levitick Engine of Renown, That makes no Taint of Souls a bar t'a Crown. 'Tis true, Religions constant Champion vow'd, Each open-mouth'd, with Pulpit-Thunder lowd, Against false Gods, and Idol Temples bawls; Yet lays the very Stones that raise their Walls. They preach up Hell to those that Baal adore, Yet make't Damnation to oppose his pow'r. So far this Paradox of Conscience run, Till Israels Faith pulls Israels Altars down. Grant Heav'n they don't to Baal so far make way, Those fatal Wands before their Sheepfolds lay. Such Motley Principles amongst them thrown, Shall nurse that Py-ball'd Flock that's half his own. Nor may they say, when Molocks Hands draw nigher, We built the Pile, whilst Baal but gives it fire.
If Monarchy in Adam first begun, When the Worlds Monarch dug, and his Queen spun, His Fig-leaves his first Coronation-Robe, His Spade his Scepter, and her Wheel his Globe; And Royal Birthright, as their Schools assert, Not Kings themselves with Conscience can divert; How came the World possest by Adams Sons, Such various Principalities, Powres, Thrones? When each went out and chose what Lands he pleas'd, Whilst a new Family new Kingdoms rais'd? His Sons assuming what he could not give, } Their Soveraign Sires right Heir they did deprive; } And from Rebellion all their pow'r derive: } For were there an original Majesty } Upheld by Right Divine, the World should be } Onely one Universal Monarchy. } O cruel Right Divine, more full of Fate, Then th' Angels flaming Sword at Edens Gate, Such early Treason through Mankind convey'd, And at the door of Infant-Nature layd. For Right Divine in Esau's just defence, Why don't they quarrel with Omnipotence, The first-born Esau's Right to Jacob giv'n, And Gods gift too, Injustice charge on Heav'n. Nay, let Heav'n answer this one Fact alone, Mounting a Bastard Jephtha on a Throne. If Kings and Sanedrims those Laws could make, Which from offending Heirs their Heads can take; And a First-born can forfeit Life and Throne, And all by Law: why not a Crown alone? Strange-bounded Law-makers! whose pow'r can throw The deadlier Bolt, can't give the weaker Blow. A Treasonous Act; nay, but a Treasonous Breath Against offended Majesty is Death. But, oh! the wondrous Church-distinction given Between the Majesty of Kings and Heav'n! The venial sinner here, he that intreagues With Egypt, Babylon; Cabals, Plots, Leagues With Israels Foes her Altars to destroy, A Hair untouch'd, shall Health, Peace, Crowns enjoy.
Truths Temple thus the Exhalations bred From her own Bowels, to obscure her Head. And Absolom already had subdu'd Whole Crowds of the unthinking Multitude. But through these Wiles too weak to catch the Wise, Thin as their Ephod-Lawn, a Cobweb Net for Flyes, The searching Sanedrim saw; and to dispel Th'ingendring Mists that threatned Israel, They still resolv'd their Plotting Foes defeat, By barring Absolon th'Imperial Seat.
But here's his greatest Tug; could he but make Th'encluding Sanedrims Resolves once shake; Nay, make the smallest Breach, or clashing Jar, In their great Councel, push but home so far, And the great Point's secur'd.——And, lo! among The Princely Heads of that Illustrious Throng, He saw rich Veins with Noble Blood new fill'd; Others who Honour from Dependance held. Some with exhausted Fortunes, to support Their Greatness, propt with Crutches from a Court. These for their Countries Right their Votes still pass, Mov'd like the Water in a Weather-glass, Higher or lower, as the powerful Charm O'th' Soveraign Hand is either cool or warm. Here must th'Attacque be made: for well we know, Reason and Titles from one Fountain flow: Whilst Favour Men no less than Fortunes builds, And Honour ever Moulds as well as Guilds. Honour that still does even new Souls inspire; Honour more powerful than the Heav'n-stoln Fire. These must be wrought to Absolons Defence. For though to baffle the whole Sanedrims Sence, T'attempt Impossibles would be in vain, Yet 'tis enough but to Divide and Raign.
Here though small Force such easie Converts draws, Yet 'tis thought fit in glory to their Cause, Some learned Champion of prodigious Sense, With Mighty and long studyed Eloquence, Should with a kind of Inspiration rise, And the unguarded Sanedrim surprize, And such resistless conquering Reasons press, } To charm their vanquisht Souls, that the Success } Might look like Conscience, though 'tis nothing less. }
For this Design no Head nor Tongue so well, As that of the profound Achitophel. How, great Achitophel! his Hand, his Tongue! Babylons Mortal Foe; he who so long With haughty Sullenness, and scornful Lowr, Had loath'd false Gods, and Arbitrary pow'r. 'Gainst Baal no Combatant more fierce than he; For Israels asserted Liberty, No Man more bold; with generous Rage enflam'd, Against the old ensnaring Test declaim'd. Beside, he bore a most peculiar Hate To sleeping Pilots, all Earth-clods of State. None more abhorr'd the Sycophant Buffoon, And Parasite, th'excrescence of a Throne; Creatures who their creating Sun disgrace, A Brood more abject than Niles Slime-born Race. Such was the Brave Achitophel; a Mind, (If but the Heart and Face were of a kind) So far from being by one base Thought deprav'd, That sure half ten such Souls had Sodom sav'd. Here Baals Cabal Achitophel survey'd, And dasht with wonder, half despairing said, Is this the Hand that Absolon must Crown, The Founder of his Temples, Palace, Throne? This, This the mighty Convert we must make? Gods, h'has a Soul not all our Arts can shake.
At this a nicer graver Head stept out, And with this Language chid their groundless Doubt: For shame, no more; what is't that frights you thus? Is it his Hatred of our God, and us, Makes him so formidable in your Eye? Or is't his Wit, Sense, Honour, Bravery? Give him a thousand Virtues more, and plant Them round him like a Wall of Adamant, Strong as the Gates of Heaven; we'll reach his Heart: Cheer, cheer, my Friends, I've found one Mortal part. For he has Pride, a vast insatiate Pride, Kind Stark, he's vulnerable on that side. Pride that made Angels fall, and pride that hurl'd Entayl'd Destruction through a ruin'd World. Adam from Pride to Disobedience ran: To be like Gods, made a lost wretched Man. There, there, my Sons, let our pour'd strength all fly: For some bold Tempter now to rap him high, From Pinnacles to Mountain Top, and show The gaudy Glories of the World below.
At which the Consult came to this Design, To work him by a kind of Touch Divine. To raise some holy Spright to do the Feat. Nothing like Dreams and Visions to the Great. Did not a little Witch of Endor bring A Visionary Seer t'a cheated King? And shall their greater Magick want Success, Their more Illustrious Sorceries do less!
This final Resolution made, at last Some Mystick words, and invocations past, They call'd the Spirit of a late Court-Scribe; Once a true Servant of the Plotting Tribe: When both with Forreign and Domestick Cost, He plaid the feasted Sanedrims kind Host. H'had scribbled much, and like a Patriot bold, Bid high for Israels Peace with Egypts Gold. But since a Martyr. (Why! as Writers think, His Masters Hand had over-gall'd his Ink.) And by protesting Absoloms wise care, Popt into Brimstone ere he was aware. Him from the Grave they rais'd, in ample kind, His sever'd Head to his seer Quarters joyn'd; Then cas'd his Chin in a false Beard so well, As made him pass for Father Samuel. Him thus equipt in a Religious Cloak, They thus his new-made Reverence bespoke.
Go, awful Spright, hast to Achitophel, Rouze his great Soul, use every Art, Charm, Spell: For Absolom thy utmost Rhetorick try, Preach him Succession, roar'd Succession cry, Succession drest in all her glorious pride, Succession Worshipt, Sainted, Deify'd. Conjure him by Divine and Humane Pow'rs, Convince, Convert, Confound, make him but ours, That Absolon may mount on Judahs Throne, Whilst all the World before us is our own.
The forward Spright but few Instructions lackt, Strait by the Moons pale light away he packt, And in a trice, his Curtains open'd wide, He sate him by Achitophels Bed-side. And in this style his artful Accents ran.
Hear Israels Hope, thou more than happy Man, Beloved on high, witness this Honour done By Father Samuel, and believe me, Son, 'Tis by no common Mandate of a God, A Soul beatifyed, the blest Abode Thus low deserting, quits Immortal Thrones, And from his Grave resumes his sleeping Bones. But Heavn's the Guide, and wondrous is the way, Divine the Embassie: hear, and obey. How long, Achitophel, and how profound A Mist of Hell has thy lost Reason drown'd? Can the Apostacy from Israels Faith, In Israels Heir, deserve a murmuring Breath? Or to preserve Religion, Liberty, Peace, Nations, Souls, is that a Cause so high, As the Right Heir from Empire to debar? Forbid it Heav'n, and guard him every Star. Alas, what if an Heir of Royal Race, Gods Glory and his Temples will deface, And make a prey of your Estates, Lives, Laws; Nay, give your Sons to Molocks burning paws; Shall you exclude him? hold that Impious Hand. As Abraham gave his Son at Gods Command, Think still he does by Divine Right succeed: God bids Him Reign, and you should bid Them Bleed. 'Tis true, as Heav'ns Elected Flock, you may For his Conversion, and your Safety pray But Pray'rs are all. To Disinherit him, The very Thought, nay, Word it self's a Crime. For that's the MEANS of Safety: but forbear, For Means are Impious in the Sons of Pray'r. To Miracles alone your Safety owe; And Abrahams Angel wait to stop the Blow. Yes, what if his polluted Throne be strowd With Sacriledge, Idolatry, and Blood; And 'tis you mount him there; you're innocent still: For he's a King, and Kings can do no ill. Oh Royal Birthright, 'tis a Sacred Name: Rowze then Achitophel, rowze up for shame: Let not this Lethargy thy Soul benum; But wake, and save the Godlike Absolom. And to reward thee for a Deed so great Glut thy Desires, thy full-crown'd wishes meet, Be with accumulated Honours blest, And grasp a STAR t'adorn thy shining Crest.
Achitophel before his Eyes could ope, Dreamt of an Ephod, Mitre, and a Cope. Those visionary Robes t'his Eyes appear'd: For Priestly all was the great Sense he heard. But Priest or Prophet, Right Divine, or all Together; 'twas not at their feebler call, 'Twas at the Star he wak'd; the Star but nam'd, Flasht in his Eyes, and his rowz'd Soul enflam'd. A Star, whose Influence had more powerful Light, Then that Miraculous Wanderer of the Night, Decreed to guide the Eastern Sages way: Their's to adore a God, his to betray.
Here the new Convert more than half inspir'd, Strait to his Closet and his Books retir'd. There for all needful Arts in this extreme, For knotty Sophistry t'a limber Theme, Long brooding ere the Mass to Shape was brought, And after many a tugging heaving Thought, Together a well-orderd Speech he draws, With ponderous Sounds for his much-labour'd Cause. Then the astonisht Sanedrim he storm'd, And with such doughty strength the Tug perform'd: Fate did the Work with so much Conquest bless, Wondrous the Champion, Glorious the Success. So powerful Eloquence, so strong was Wit; And with such Force the easie Wind-falls hit.
But the entirest Hearts his Cause could steal, Were the Levitick Chiefs of Israel. None with more Rage the Impious Thought run down Of barring Absolon, Pow'r, Wishes, Crown. With so much vehemence, such fiery Zeal! Oh, poor unhappy Church of Israel! Thou feelst the Fate of the Arch-angels Wars, The Dragons Tayl sweeps down thy Falling Stars. Nay, the black Vote 'gainst Absolon appear'd So monstrous, that they damn'd it ere 'twas heard. For Prelates ne'r in Sanedrims debate, They argue in the Church, but not i'th' State; And when their Thoughts aslant towards Heav'n they turn, They weigh each Grain of Incense that they burn, But t'Heavens Vice-gerents, Soul, Sense, Reason, all, Or right or wrong, like Hecatombs must fall. And when State-business calls their Thoughts below, Then like their own Church-Organ-Pipes they go. Not Davids Lyre could more his Touch obey: For as their Princes breathe and strike, they play. 'Gainst Royal Will they never can dispute, } But by a strange Tarantula strook mute, } Dance to no other Tune but Absolute. } All Acts of Supreme Power they still admire: 'Tis Sacred, though to set the World on Fire, Though Church-Infallibility they explode, As making Humane knowledge equal God; Infallible in a new name goes down, Not in the Mitre lodged, but in the Crown. 'Tis true, blest Deborahs Laws they could forget: (But want of Memory commends their Wit.) Where 'twas enacted Treason, not to own Hers and her Sanedrins right to place the Crown. But her weak Heads oth' Church, mistaken fools, Wanted the Light of their sublimer Schools: For Divine Right could no such Forces bring. } But Wisdom now expands her wider Wing, } And Streams are ever deeper than the Spring. } Besides, they've sense of Honour; and who knows How far the Gratitude of Priest-craft goes? And what if now like old Elisha fed, To praise the Sooty Bird that brought 'em Bread, In pure acknowledgment, though in despight Of their own sense, they paint the Raven White.
Achitophel charm'd with kind Fortunes Smiles, Flusht with Success, now glows for bolder Toyls. Great Wits perverted greatest Mischiefs hold, As poysonous Vapors spring from Mines of Gold. And proud to see himself with Triumph blest, Thus to great Absolom himself addrest.
Illustrious Terrour of the World, all hayle: For ever like your Conquering Self prevaile. In spight of Malice in full Luster shine; Be your each Action, Word, and Look Divine, Nay, though our Altars you've so long forborne; To your derided Foes Defeat, and Scorne, For your Renown we have those Trumpets found, Shall ev'n this Deed your highest Glory sound. That spight of the ill-judging Worlds mistake, Your Soul still owns those Temples you forsake: Onely by all-commanding Honour driven, This self-denial you have made with Heav'n: Quitting our Altars, cause the Insolence Of prophane Sanedrims has driven you thence. A Prince his Faith to such low Slaves reveal! 'Twas Treason though to God to bid You kneel. And what though senseless barking Murmurers scold, } And with a Rage too blasphemously bold, } Say Israels Crown's for Esau's Pottage sold. } Let 'em rayl on; and to strike Envy dumb; May the Slaves live till that great Day shall come, When their husht Rage shall your keen Vengeance fly, And silenc'd with your Royal Thunder dye. Nay, to outsoar your weak Fore-fathers Wings, And to be all that Nature first meant Kings; Damn'd be the Law that Majesty confines, But doubly damn'd accursed Sanedrins, Invented onely to eclipse a Crown. Oh throw that dull Mosaick Land-mark down. The making Sanedrims a part of Pow'r, Nurst but those Vipers which its Sire devour. Lodg'd in the Pallace tow'rds the Throne they press, For Pow'rs Enjoyment does its Lust increase. Allegiance onely is in Chains held fast; Make Men ne're thirst, is ne're to let 'em tast. Then, Royal Sir, be Sanedrims no more, Lop off that rank Luxurious Branch of pow'r: Those hungry Scions from the Cedar root, That its Imperial Head towards Heav'n may shoot. When Lordly Sanedrims with Kings give Law, And thus in yokes like Mules together draw; From Judahs Arms the Royal Lyon raze, And Issachars dull Ass supply the place. If Kings o're common Mankind have this odds, Are Gods Vicegerents; let 'em act like Gods. As Man is Heav'ns own clay, which it may mould For Honour or Dishonour, uncontrould, And Monarchy is mov'd by Heav'nly Springs; Why is not Humane Fate i'th' Breath of Kings? Then, Sir, from Heav'n your great Example take, And be th'unbounded Lord a King should make: Resume what bold Invading Slaves engrost, And onely Pow'rs Effeminacy lost.
To this kind Absolom but little spoke; Onely return'd a Nod, and gracious Look. For though recorded Fame with pride has told, Of his great Actings, Wonders manifold; And his great Thinkings most Diviners guess; Yet his great Speakings no Records express.
All things thus safe; and now for one last blow, To give his Foes a total Overthrow; A Blow not in Hells Legends match'd before, The remov'd Plot's laid at the Enemies door. The old Plot forg'd against the Saints of Baal, Cheat, Perjury, and Subornation all, Whilst with a more damn'd Treason of their own, Like working Moles they're digging round the Throne; Baal, Baal, the cry, and Absolom the Name, But Davids glory, Life and Crown the Aim. Nay, if but a Petition peep abroad, Though for the Glory both of Church and God, And to preserve even their yet unborn Heirs; There's Blood and Treason in their very Prayers. This unexampled Impudence upheld; The Governments best Friends, the Crowns best Sheild, The Great and Brave with equal Treason brands. Faith, Honour, and Allegiance strongest Bands All broken like the Cords of Sampson fall, Whilst th'universal Leprosie taints all. These poysonous shafts with greater spleen they draw, Than the Outragious Wife of Potypha. So the chast Joseph unseduc'd to her Adult'ries, was pronounc'd a Ravisher.
This hellish Ethnick Plot the Court alarms; The Traytors seventy thousand strong in Arms, Near Endor Town lay ready at a Call, And garrison'd in Airy Castles all. These Warriours on a sort of Coursers rid, Ne'r log'd in Stables, or by Man bestrid. What though the steele with which the Rebels fought, No Forge e're felt, or Anvile ever wrought? Yet this Magnetick Plot, for black Designs, Can raise cold Iron from the very Mines. To this were twenty Under-plots, contriv'd By Malice, and by Ignorance believ'd, Till Shamms met Shamms, and Plots with Plots so crost, That the True Plot amongst the False was lost.
Of all the much-wrong'd Worthies of the Land Whom this Contagious Infamy profan'd, In the first Rank the youthful Ithream stood, His Princely Veins fill'd with great Davids Blood. With so much Manly Beauty in his Face, Scarce his High Birth could lend a Nobler Grace. And for a Mind fit for this shrine of Gold Heaven cast his Soul in the same Beauteous Mould; With all the sweets of Prideless Greatness blest, As Affable as Abrahams Angel-Guest. But when in Wars his glittering Steel he drew, No Chief more Bold with fiercer Lightning flew: Witness his tryal of an Arm Divine, Passing the Ordeal of a Burning Mine: Such forward Courage did his Bosome fill, Starting from nothing, but from doing ill. Still with such Heat in Honours Race he run, } Such Wonders by his early Valour done, } Enough to charm a second Joshua's Sun. } But he has Foes; his fatal Enemies } To a strange Monster his Fair Truth disguise; } And shew the Gorgon even to Royal Eyes. } To their false perspectives his Fate he owes, The spots i'th' Glass, not in the Star it shows. Yet when by the Imperial Sentence doom'd, The Royal Hand the Princely Youth unplum'd, He his hard Fate without a Murmur took, And stood with that Calm, Duteous, Humble look. Of all his shining Honours unarray'd, Like Isaac's Head on Abrahams Altar lay'd. Yes, Absolom, thou hast him in the Toyl, Rifled, and lost; now Triumph in the Spoyl. His Zeal too high for Israels Temples soar'd, His God-like Youth by prostrate Hearts ador'd, Till thy Revenge from Spight and Fear began, And too near Heaven took Care to make him Man. Though Israels King, God, Laws, share all his Soul, Adorn'd with all that Heroes can enrol, Yet Vow'd Successions cruel Sacrifice, Great Judah's Son like Jeptha's Daughter dies. Yes, like a Monument of Wrath he stands; Such Ruine Absolons Revenge demands; His Curiosity his Doom assign'd: For 'twas a Crime of as destructive Kind, To pry how Babylons Burning Zeal aspires, As to look back on Sodoms blazing Fires. But spoyl'd, and rob'd, his drossier Glories gone, His Virtue and his Truth are still his own. No rifling Hands can that bright Treasure take, Nor all his Foes that Royal Charter shake.
The dreadful'st Foe their Engines must subdue, The strongest Rock through which their Arts must hew, Was great Barzillai: could they reach his Head, Their Fears all husht, they had strook Danger dead. That second Moses-Guide resolv'd to free Our Israel from her threatning Slavery, Idolatry and Chains; both from the Rods Of Pharoh-Masters, and Egyptian Gods: And from that Wilderness of Errour freed, Where Dogstars scorch, and killing Serpents breed: That Israels Liberty and Truth may grow, The Canaan whence our Milk and Honey flow. Such our Barzillai; but Barzillai too, With Moses Fate does Moses Zeal pursue: Leads to that Bliss which his own Silver Hairs Shall never reach, Rich onely to his Heirs. Kind Patriot, who to plant us Banks of Flow'rs, With purling Streams, cool Shades, and Summer Bow'rs, His Ages needful Rest away does fling, Exhausts his Autumn to adorn our Spring: Whilst his last hours in Toyls and Storms are hurl'd, And onely to enrich th'inheriting World. Thus prodigally throws his Lifes short span, To play his Countries generous Pelican. But oh, that all-be-devill'd Paper, fram'd No doubt, in Hell; that Mass of Treason damn'd; By Esau's Hands, and Jacobs Voice disclos'd; And timely to th' Abhorring World expos'd. Nay, what's more wondrous, this wast-paper Tool, A nameless, unsubscrib'd, and useless scrowl, Was, by a Politician great in Fame, (His Chains foreseen a Month before they came) Preserv'd on purpose, by his prudent care, To brand his Soul, and ev'n his Life ensnare. But then the Geshuritish Troop, well-Oath'd, And for the sprucer Face, well-fed, and Cloath'd. These to the Bar Obedient Swearers go, With all the Wind their manag'd Lungs can blow. So have I seen from Bellows brazen Snout, The Breath drawn in, and by th'same Hand squeez'd out. But helping Oaths may innocently fly, When in a Faith where dying Vows can lye. Were Treason and Democracie his Ends, Why was't not prov'd by his Revolting Friends? Why did not th'Oaths of his once-great Colleagues, Achitophel and the rest prove his Intreagues? Why at the Bar appear'd such sordid scum, And all those Nobler Tongues of Honour dumb? Could he his Plots t'his great Allies conceal, He durst to leaky Starving Wretches tell; Such Ignorant Princes, and such knowing Slaves; His Babel building Tools from such poor Knaves. Were he that Monster his new Foes would make Th'unreasoning World beleive, his Soul so black, That they in Conscience did his Side forego, Knowing him guilty they could prove him so. Then 'twas not Conscience made 'em change their side. Or if they knew, yet did his Treasons hide; In not exposing his detested Crime, They're greater Monsters than they dare think Him. Are these the Proselites renown'd so high, Converts to Duty, Honour, Loyalty? Poorly they change, who in their change stand mute: Converts to Truth ought Falsehood to confute. To conquering Truth, they but small glory give, Who turn to God, yet let the Dagon live.
But who can Amiels charming Wit withstand, The great State-pillar of the Muses Land. For lawless and ungovern'd, had the Age The Nine wild Sisters seen run mad with Rage, Debaucht to Savages, till his keen Pen Brought their long banisht Reason back again, Driven by his Satyres into Natures Fence, And lasht the idle Rovers into Sense. Nay, his sly Muse, in Style Prophetick, wrot The whole Intrigue of Israels Ethnick Plot; Form'd strange Battalions, in stupendious-wise, Whole Camps in Masquerade, and Armies in disguise. Amiel, whose generous Gallantry, whilst Fame Shall have a Tongue, shall never want a Name. Who, whilst his Pomp his lavish Gold consumes, Moulted his Wings to lend a Throne his Plumes, Whilst an Ungrateful Court he did attend, Too poor to pay, what it had pride to spend.
But, Amiel has, alas, the fate to hear, An angry Poet play his Chronicler; A Poet rais'd above Oblivions Shade, By his Recorded Verse Immortal made. But, Sir, his livelier Figure to engrave, With Branches added to the Bays you gave: No Muse could more Heroick Feats rehearse, Had with an equal all-applauding Verse, Great Davids Scepter, and Sauls Javelin prais'd: A Pyramide to his Saint, Interest, rais'd. For which Religiously no Change he mist, } From Common-wealths-man up to Royalist: } Nay, would have been his own loath'd thing call'd Priest. } Priest, whom with so much Gall he does describe, 'Cause once unworthy thought of Levies Tribe. Near those bright Tow'rs where Art has Wonders done, } Where Davids sight glads the blest Summers Sun; } And at his feet proud Jordans Waters run; } A Cell there stands by Pious Founders rais'd, Both for its Wealth and Learned Rabbins prais'd: To this did an Ambitious Bard aspire, To be no less than Lord of that blest Quire: Till Wisdom deem'd so Sacred a Command, A Prize too great for his unhallow'd Hand. Besides, lewd Fame had told his plighted Vow, To Laura's cooing Love percht on a dropping Bough Laura in faithful Constancy confin'd To Ethiops Envoy, and to all Mankind. Laura though Rotten, yet of Mold Divine; He had all her Cl—ps, and She had all his Coine. Her Wit so far his Purse and Sense could drain, Till every P—x was sweetn'd to a Strain. And if at last his Nature can reform, A weary grown of Loves tumultuous storm, 'Tis Ages Fault, not His; of pow'r bereft, He left not Whoring, but of that was left.
But wandring Muse bear up thy flagging Wing: To thy more glorious Theme return, and sing Brave Jothams Worth, Impartial, Great, and Just, Of unbrib'd Faith, and of unshaken Trust: Once Geshurs Lord, their Throne so nobly fill'd, As if to th'borrow'd Scepter that he held, Th'inspiring David yet more generous grew, And lent him his Imperial Genius too. Nor has he worn the Royal Image more In Israels Viceroy, than Embassador: Witness his Gallantry that resolute hour, When to uphold the Sacred Pride of Pow'r, His stubborn Flags from the Sydonian shore, The angry storms of Thundring Castles bore. But these are Virtues Fame must less admire, Because deriv'd from that Heroick Sire, Who on a Block a dauntless Martyr dy'd, With all the Sweetness of a Smiling Bride; Charm'd with the Thought of Honours Starry Pole, With Joy laid down a Head to mount a Soul.
Of all the Champions rich in Honours Scarrs, Whose Loyalty through Davids ancient Wars, (In spight of the triumphant Tyrants pride,) Was to his lowest Ebb of Fortune ty'd; No Link more strong in all that Chain of Gold, Then Amasai, the Constant, and the Bold. That Warlike General whose avenging Sword, Through all the Battles of his Royal Lord, Pour'd all the Fires that Loyal Zeal could light, No brighter Star in the lost Davids night.
No less with Laurels Ashurs Brows adorn, That mangled Brave who with Tyres Thunder torn, Brought a dismember'd Load of Honour home, And lives to make both th'Earth and Seas his Tomb.
With Reverence the Religious Helon treat, Refin'd from all the looseness of the Great. Helon who sees his Line of Virtues run } Beyond the Center of his Grave, his own } Unfinisht Luster sparkling in his Son. } A Son so high in Sanedrims renown'd, In Israels Intrest strong, in Sense profound. Under one Roof here Truth a Goddess dwells, } The Pious Father builds her Shrines and Cells, } And in the Son she speaks her Oracles. }
In the same list young Adriels praise record, Adriel the Academick Neighbour Lord; Adriel ennobled by a Grandfather, And Unkle, both those Glorious Sons of War: Both Generals, and both Exiles with their Lord; Till with the Royal Wanderer restored, They lived to see his Coronation Pride; Then surfeiting on too much Transport dy'd. O're Adriels Head these Heroes Spirits shine, His Soul with so much Loyal Blood fenc'd in; Such Native Virtues his great Mind adorn, Whilst under their congenial Influence born.
In this Record let Camries Name appear, The Great Barzillai's Fellow Sufferer; From unknown Hands, of unknown Crimes accus'd, Till th'hunted Shadow lost, his Chains unloos'd.
Now to the Sweet-tongu'd Amrams praise be just, Once the State-Advocate, that Wealthy Trust, Till Flattery the price of dear-bought Gold, His Innocence for Pallaces unfold, To Naked Truths more shining Beauties true, Th'Embroiderd Mantle from his Neck he threw.
Next Hothriel write, Baals watchful Foe, and late Jerusalems protecting Magistrate; Who, when false Jurors were to Frenzy Charm'd, And against Innocence even Tribunals arm'd, Saw deprav'd Justice ope her Ravenous Jaw, And timely broke her Canine Teeth of Law.
Amongst th'Asserters of his Countries Cause, Give the bold Micah his deserv'd Applause, The Grateful Sanedrims repeated Choice, Of Two Great Councels the Successive Voice. Of that old hardy Tribe of Israel borne, Fear their Disdain, and Flattery their Scorne, Too proud to truckle, and too Tough to bend.