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ASTREA REDUX.

ON THE HAPPY RESTORATION AND RETURN OF
HIS SACRED MAJESTY CHARLES II.

1660.

Jam redit et virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna.

VIRG.

The last great age, foretold by sacred rhymes,
Renews its finish'd course; Saturnian times
Roll round again.

137

Now with a general peace the world was bless'd,
While ours, a world divided from the rest,

A dreadful quiet felt, and (worser far
Than arms) a sullen interval of war: [skies,
Thus when black clouds draw down the labouring
Ere yet abroad the winged thunder flies,
An horrid stillness first invades the ear,
And in that silence we the tempest fear.
The ambitious Swede, like restless billows toss'd,
On this hand gaining what in that he lost,
Though in his life he blood and ruin breathed,
To his now guideless kingdom peace bequeath'd:
And Heaven, that seem'd regardless of our fate,
For France and Spain did miracles create;
Such mortal quarrels to compose in peace,
As Nature bred, and Interest did increase.
We sigh'd to hear the fair Iberian bride
Must grow a lily to the lily's side,

While our cross stars denied us Charles's bed,
Whom our first flames and virgin love did wed.
For his long absence Church and State did groan;
Madness the pulpit, faction seized the throne;
Experienced age in deep despair was lost,
To see the rebel thrive, the loyal cross'd;
Youth, that with joys had unacquainted been,
Envied gray hairs that once good days had seen:
We thought our sires, not with their own content,
Had, ere we came to age, our portion spent.
Nor could our nobles hope their bold attempt
Who ruin'd crowns, would coronets exempt:
For when, by their designing leaders taught
To strike at power, which for themselves they
The vulgar, gull'd into rebellion, arm'd; [sought,
Their blood to action by their prize was warm'd.
The sacred purple then, and scarlet gown,
Like sanguine dye, to elephants was shown.
Thus when the bold Typhoeus scaled the sky,
And forced great Jove from his own heaven to fly,
(What king, what crown, from Treason's reach is
If Jove and heaven can violated be!) [free,
The lesser gods, that shared his prosperous state,
All suffer'd in the exiled Thunderer's fate.
The rabble now such freedom did enjoy,
As winds at sea, that use it to destroy:
Blind as the Cyclop, and as wild as he,
They own'd a lawless savage liberty,
Like that our painted ancestors so prized,
Ere Empire's arts their breasts had civilized.
How great were then our Charles's woes, who thus
Was forced to suffer for himself and us!
He, toss'd by Fate, and hurried up and down,
Heir to his father's sorrows with his crown,

Could taste no sweets of youth's desired age,
But found his life too true a pilgrimage.
Unconquer'd yet in that forlorn estate,
His manly courage overcame his fate.

His wounds he took, like Romans, on his breast,
Which by his virtue were with laurels dress'd.
As souls reach Heaven while yet in bodies pent,
So did he live above his banishment.

That sun, which we beheld with cozen'd eyes
Within the water, moved along the skies.
How easy 'tis, when destiny proves kind,
With full-spread sails to run before the wind!
But those that 'gainst stiff gales laveering go,
Must be at once resolved and skilful too.
He would not, like soft Otho, hope prevent,
But stay'd and suffer'd Fortune to repent.
These virtues Galba in a stranger sought,
And Piso to adopted empire brought.
How shall I then my doubtful thoughts express,
That must his sufferings both regret and bless!
For when his early valour Heaven had cross'd,
And all at Worcester but the honour lost,
Forced into exile from his rightful throne,
He made all countries, where he came, his own;
And viewing monarchs' secret arts of sway,
A royal factor for his kingdoms lay.

Thus banish'd David spent abroad his time,
When to be God's anointed was his crime;
And when restored made his proud neighbours rue
Those choice remarks he from his travels drew.
Nor is he only by afflictions shown

To conquer others' realms, but rule his own :
Recovering hardly what he lost before,

His right endears it much, his purchase more.

Inured to suffer ere he came to reign,
No rash procedure will his actions stain:
To business ripen'd by digestive thought,
His future rule is into method brought:
As they, who first proportion understand,
With easy practice reach a master's hand.
Well might the ancient poets then confer
On Night the honour'd name of Counsellor,
Since, struck with rays of prosperous fortune blind,
We light alone in dark afflictions find.
In such adversities to sceptres train'd,

The name of Great his famous grandsire gain'd:
Who yet a king alone in name and right,
With hunger, cold, and angry Jove did fight;
Shock'd by a covenanting league's vast powers,
As holy and as catholic as ours:

Till Fortune's fruitless spite had made it known,
Her blows not shook, but riveted his throne.
Some lazy ages, lost in sleep and ease,
No action leave to busy chronicles:
Such, whose supine felicity but makes
In story chasms, in epochas mistakes;
O'er whom Time gently shakes his wings of down,
Till with his silent sickle they are mown.
Such is not Charles's too, too active age,
Which, govern'd by the wild distemper'd rage
Of some black star infecting all the skies,
Made him at his own cost, like Adam, wise.
Tremble, ye nations, who, secure before, [bore;
Laugh'd at those arms that 'gainst ourselves we
Roused by the lash of his own stubborn tail,
Our lion now will foreign foes assail.

With Alga who the sacred altar strows;
To all the sea-gods Charles an offering owes ;

A bull to thee, Portunus, shall be slain,

A lamb to you, ye Tempests of the main :
For those loud storms, that did against him roar,
Have cast his shipwreck'd vessel on the shore.
Yet as wise artists mix their colours so,
That by degrees they from each other go;
Black steals unheeded from the neighbouring white,
Without offending the well-cozen'd sight;
So on us stole our blessed change, while we
The' effect did feel, but scarce the manner see.
Frosts that constrain the ground, and birth deny
To flowers that in its womb expecting lie,
Do seldom their usurping power withdraw,
But raging floods pursue their hasty thaw.
Our thaw was mild, the cold not chased away,
But lost in kindly heat of lengthen'd day.
Heaven would no bargain for its blessings drive,
But, what we could not pay for, freely give.
The Prince of peace would, like himself, confer
A gift unhoped without the price of war:
Yet, as he knew his blessing's worth, took care
That we should know it by repeated prayer;
Which storm'd the skies, and ravish'd Charles from
As Heaven itself is took by violence. [thence,
Booth's forward valour only served to show
He durst that duty pay we all did owe:

The' attempt was fair; but Heaven's prefixed hour
Not come; so, like the watchful traveller,
That by the moon's mistaken light did rise,
Lay down again, and closed his weary eyes.
'Twas Monk, whom Providence design'd to loose
Those real bonds false freedom did impose.
The blessed saints, that watch'd this turning scene,
Did from their stars with joyful wonder lean,

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