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Amores Britannici

Epistles Historical and Gallant, In English Heroic Verse: From several of The Most Illustrious Personages of their Times. In Imitation of the Heroidum Epistolae of Ovid. With Notes explaining the Most Material Passages in every History [by John Oldmixon]

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King Henry the Second kept Rosamund the Daughter of the Lord Clifford as his Mistriss. His Sons having rebell'd and invaded Normandy, the King was obliged to go against 'em; and fearing the Jealousie of his Queen Elinor might be fatal to the beauteous Rosamund in his absence, he built a Labyrinth for her in Woodstock-Park, where she cou'd be safe, tho' at a little distance from the Palace. His Mistris's Letter and the King's Answer are the Argument of the two following Epistles.

Rosamund to King Henry the Second.

If (Mighty Henry!) Thou canst deign to see
This, the last trouble thou'lt receive from me,
In ev'ry word my Sorrow will appear,
In ev'ry Line my Shame and my Despair.


Yet by my Love, but I the Name shall stain,
By our past Joys, and by my future Pain,
Think, I conjure thee, of my helpless State,
And if for Love you cannot, read for Hate.
Here thou may'st triumph or'e a vanquisht Maid,
And glory in the Ruins thou hast made;
Here feast thy Eyes, and in this hateful Scroul
Behold the sad Resemblance of my Soul.
My Virgin Soul, which er'e 'twas stain'd by thee
Was white, like this, er'e sully'd thus by me.
My Thought, My Wish, of all Offence were clear
And the whole Volume of my Life was fair,
Till thy rude Hands the beauteous Page defil'd,
And left me, like this blotted Paper, soil'd.
What by this Conquest cou'dst thou hope to win?
The Spoil, alas! is yours, and yours the Sin.
Why on my Name this Scandal did'st thou bring?
Why with thy Deeds must my Dishonour ring?
Fame never meddles with the mean and poor,
The more our Greatness is, our Fault's the more.


A Light wou'd little on the Ground appear,
Which mounted in the Air wou'd seem a Star.
Why on my Sexes Weakness did'st thou play,
And make my Honour to thy Lust a Prey?
How dearly have you bought the lawless Bliss?
Your Infamy and Mine are both the Price.
Yet my Soul ne'r consented to this Ill,
Nor was I once transported by my Will;
For tho' by Force my Body has been thine,
Heav'n knows I never would my Heart resign.
Had I an Object worthy of me seen,
My Lover youthful like my Love had been.
True Love is simple like his Mother Truth,
Love only kindly when 'tis Youth with Youth:
Nothing more odious to our blooming Years
Than the white Frost of winter-blasted Hairs.
The Reins of Time no Sov'reign Pow'r can hold,
Swift is his Course, and Monarchs must be Old
Tho' Honour our ambitious Sex may please,
Age ev'n in Honour is a foul Disease.


This Nature deals and Death alike to all,
And Kings and Men are equal in their Fall.
This to the World will aggravate my Shame,
They'll say, she sold her yet untainted Fame;
Gold was the Fuel to her wanton Fire,
What Charm has Age to kindle young Desire?
No; the curst Woman whom thy Presents won
Was the vile Cause that I was thus undone.
The Circe she by whose Enchantment charm'd
A Monster I became, by Guilt transform'd:
A Wretch, the base Betrayer of her Kind,
Plague of my Peace and Poyson of my Mind.
May Want and Sickness be on Earth her Doom,
And Torment endless in the Life to come.
Say, Henry, how can I be dear to thee,
When thou so odious art become to me?
My hapless Name with thine I lately found
Cut deeply in the Glass, a guilty Wound!
Fain from its place I would the Glass remove,
But fear the Air will then betray my Love.


Again I fain wou'd wash it out with Tears,
And still more eminent thy Name appears:
To cover it, in vain, my Hand I laid,
The Diamond witnesses to what it made.
Thus Conscience with repeated Terrors stings;
But Conscience is a Womans Dream to Kings.
Time wears out other Griefs and dries our Tears,
And Shame alone increases with our Years.
Oft for Diversion in our Towr's I ly
To see, in private, such as travel by;
Those spy me thro' the Walls and curse my Sin,
The Walls, methinks, confess the Wretch within:
The Matrons rail at my abandon'd Life,
To wrong the fairest Queen and chastest Wife;
The Maids already wish me in my Tomb,
And scarce have Patience till my Hour is come;
As from Infection they my Dwelling sly,
And think the Fields polluted which are nigh.
Well did you know a Monster I shou'd be,
When first this Labyrinth was built for me;


Whose dark Mæanders, as they various wind,
Are the true Image of my wandring Mind.
The Clew that leads me out, conducts me in,
And in a Circle thus I walk in Sin.
My Woman in your Gallery I met,
Around with Beauties and with Heroes set;
Of the fair Pictures that were hanging by
Lucretia dying seiz'd her wondring Eye.
Ah! who (she curious askt) so Young and Fair
Commits this latest Action of Despair?
A Roman Lady (I reply'd in hast)
Her Name, which scarce I cou'd pronounce, was Chast;
So like her Story and unlike my own,
I blush'd to tell it out, and wish'd it done.
Of my own Weakness, and her Wit afraid,
I soon dismiss'd the too-enquiring Maid.
In this it only differs from Lucrece,
My Wrong's as famous, but my Courage less.


My Vertue forc'd that had been often try'd,
Like her I suffer'd and shou'd thus have dy'd,
By Fear provok'd, or by the Virgins Rage,
The Lily in her Cheeks and Rose engage:
By turns they both the beauteous Field possess,
And now the Red is more, and now 'tis less.
Thus in my Bosom diff'rent Passions move,
Love yields to Guilt, and often Guilt to Love.
Again Remorse usurps her Tyrant-Reign,
And tho I dream of Ease, I wake in Pain.
When the Sun hastning to the Western Main
Lengthens the Shadows and imbrowns the Plain,
Oft by a neighb'ring Rivulet I stand
Which wanders thro' our Meads on Golden Sand:
There in the Crystal Stream I throw my Bait,
The Fish are jealous of the fair Deceit;
At Distance on the proffer'd Feast they look,
Play near the Line, yet still avoid the Hook;
Senseless themselves, by Nature they are taught,
They catch if they but touch, and dye if caught.


By Nature much, by Reason more secur'd,
I soon was tempted, and thy Bait devour'd.
My Name that once was honest to the Ear,
None but the Wicked and Unchast will bear.
The Glories of our House no more will shine,
No more the Ancient Honours of our Line;
Clifford no more a spotless Fame can boast,
In me their Vertue and their Pride are lost:
My Kindred Blood they will disown with Scorn,
And urge I was a spurious Issue born:
Pure from their Spring the purple Current came,
Till I polluted first the generous Stream.
Amid my Garden wrought by artful Hands
Diana naked in a Fountain stands;
The quiver'd Goddess troops of Nymphs surround,
Defend the sight, and guard the hallow'd Ground.
As where Acteon once in Ambush laid,
With impious Eyes survey'd th' Immortal Maid,
For this he dy'd, for this his Hounds pursue
The Hunter, Stag, and him that fed 'em slew.


From my own Thoughts I thus attempt to fly
By them I'm still pursu'd, and of their Wounds shall die.
When in our Lawns the Dew I gently sweep,
The Flow'rs, the tender Herb, I fancy, weep:
Each Sigh of Wind I hear, each Drop I see,
Thus Guilt deceives me, is, I think, for me.
I find no Help, no Hope, where'r I go,
But Scenes of new Despair and constant Woe,
In the fair Cabinet of wondrous Cost
Thy treach'rous Gift e'r I my Honour lost.
Amymone was wrought, a harmless Maid,
By Neptune, an adult'rous God, betray'd,
Who prostrate at his Feet implores in vain,
With lifted Hands, the Tyrant of the Main.
The God was blind, like Henry, to her Tears,
Deaf to her Sighs, and heedless of her Pray'rs:
My Fate in hers was eminently shown,
I see the Meaning now, but am undone.


Here too (alas! too late I see it now)
The Love of Jove chang'd Io to a Cow;
With Argus hundred Eyes the Fair was kept,
Who always wak'd with some, and scarce with others slept:
Thus watch'd by sovereign Juno's high Decree;
And Elinor's as wise, as fierce as she.
In this, my future Ills I might have seen,
And still been guiltless to thy injur'd Queen.
In this thou well hast imitated Jove,
Since to a Beast thou hast transform'd thy Love,
Worse far than any of the forked Kind;
A Monster both in Body and in Mind.
My sickly Tapers give a doubtful Light,
Burn dim in Clouds of Mist, and mock my Sight,
As if my Breath was poys'nous to the Flame,
And Light fled from me as it flies from Shame:
The dreadful Minute then I call to Mind,
When with blue Rays the dying Tapers shin'd,


As at the presence of a rising Ghost,
When the dear Treasure of my Youth I lost.
If thro' the Glass the Stars by chance appear,
I dread their Silver Beams, and shrink with Fear,
Since all this Horror then to thee belongs,
Take, Take my Life, and rid me of my Wrongs:
A Plot contrive that I by Law may bleed,
Lay Treason to my Charge, I'll own the Deed,
My Life's a Blemish to thy Glorious Name,
My Death again will make thee dear to Fame.
In mercy, Henry, hear my latest Pray'r,
View my Distress, and pity my Despair.
This truest Act of Friendship let me prove,
As I've been always faithful in my Love.


King Henry II. to Rosamund.

What Message wou'd most welcome be to thee,
Such was thy Letter, such thy Friend to me.
Such Pleasure, when I heard thy Name, I found,
And eccho'd thro' the Camp the joyful Sound,
How is it with my Rosamund, I cry'd?
Again I askt, the Man again reply'd.
Yet still to ask him I had something new,
Still fond of knowing more, the more I knew.
How fares it with my Mistress, quickly tell,
Say, is she living, is she safe and well?
The Seal, impatient of Delay, I tore,
And read with Tears the doubtful Pages or'e:
Nor cou'd I there thy Meaning oft perceive,
Or, if I ought to joy, or if to grieve.
So much thy Love was mingled with Despair,
It less increas'd my Quiet than my Care.


What Reason has my Rosamund to mourn,
Or what to wish for, but her Lords return?
Tho' neither Me, nor my Return she wants,
Why else this Anger, these unkind Complaints?
Why is my Passion and my Service blam'd,
And why am I with Sighs and Sorrow nam'd?
Is this the Comfort I must hope to find,
Is Love become the Burthen of her Mind?
How can she wrong what all esteem so Fair,
Or what we see so Bright to Blots compare?
Whose Beauties in such full Perfections shine,
The Morn might veil her Orient Face at thin
Enough of other Troubles I have known,
As well to win as to defend the Throne:
Enough been punish'd by domestick Strife;
In Sons rebellious and a jealous Wife:
Ev'n now against their Father they declare,
And urge my People to dishonest War:
While forein Laurels crown my ancient Brows,
They raze my Palaces and waste my House.


Against me Rome seditious Libels spreads,
And thunders Curses on my Subjects Heads.
A Son ingrate revolted from his Sire
Invades the Norman Lands with Sword and Fire.
Expos'd to Dangers thus where-e'r I come,
Attack'd by Foes abroad, betray'd at home,
Old Age and Jealousie, the Vice of Years,
This sinks my Mind, and that my Body wears.
Despairing of Relief in my Distress,
Since those increase it who shou'd make it less;
No Beam of Joy but in my Love I see,
No Pleasure in my mighty Griefs but thee.
In thee I taste the soft Delights of Peace,
And, rack'd with Pain and Sorrow, dream of Ease:
This only Blessing why should they refuse,
Or I the Privilege of Subjects lose?
The meanest Wretch is in his Lass allow'd,
Nor Love forbidden to the servile Crowd.


The Peasant, when his daily Task is done,
Hugs his brown Nymph, and thinks the World his own.
Hard Fate! If Kings Prerogative destroys
Their Right to Love which every Slave enjoys:
Hard, if they must their Peoples Burthens bear,
And not their Portion of their Pleasures share.
Let my Son war, and let the Realms rebel,
Let Rome condemn me to the Depths of Hell;
Let me be curs'd, abandon'd, and exil'd,
By such, as once ador'd me, be revil'd;
Let Elinor rage, yet while my Love is safe,
I'll scorn their Pow'r, and at their Fury laugh.
I fear no Ill while Rosamund is mine,
Nor at the worst of Fortune will repine.
Fortune is hers and on her Eyes she waits,
And what she pleases to decree is Fate's.
Were I grown feeble, were my Wishes cold,
Did my Heart fail me, thou might'st think me Old;


With ease I manage still the prancing Steed,
And the fierce Squadrons to the Combat lead;
By Night I sleep contented on the Ground,
I start at no Fatigue and fear no Wound;
Nor Heats nor Colds my supple Joints can wrong,
And I'm, in all things, but Remembrance, Young.
Yet had my Age confin'd me to my Bed,
Had Care and Sickness sunk my drooping Head,
So pow'rful are thy Charms, so sweet thy Strains,
'Twould fill with active Blood my wither'd Veins:
Nor need'st thou like Medea search the Meads,
The Mountains and the Woods for Magick Weeds:
Her poys'nous Simples mixt with human Gore
And Serpents Seed did Æson's Youth restore:
A Word from thee to animate excels
Her Drugs, her Philters, and Infernal Spells;
A Glance of thine wou'd in an Hour restore
What numerous Winters had destroy'd before.
My pondrous Arms with Pleasure still I bear
And wave the dreadful Sword and massy Spear;


So much thy looks our vital Spirits chear
As the Earth smiles at the returning Year.
When with new force the Sun his Beams displays.
And Nature pregnates with the Genial rays;
On the green Boughs, the Birds their Spousals sing,
And Winter flies before the rising Spring
Again, the Flow'rs the painted Field adorn
The Loves, the Graces, and the Smiles return.
Thus from thy Eyes, new Vigour we receive
Grow, Young and Gay, and other Ages live.
Who thinks of thee, can know no other Care,
No Grief disturb his Breast, if thou art there;
No Toil, no Danger can his Courage daunt,
He flourishes in War and thrives in Want.
No more the Guiltless for the Guilty blame,
Mine was the Sin, and mine must be the Shame.
Yet who so rashly wou'd the Fault reprove,
Who think, 'tis shameful for a King to love?


It's Virgin-Purity thy Soul retains.
It loses nothing, tho thy Lover gains.
We judge his Actions by thy Mans intent.
None can offend without their own Consent.
And when a Prince commands you to comply,
'Tis less a Sin to grant than to deny.
Is my Name odious, I'll my Name forget,
And hate the King, if thou the King dost hate.
Tho Henry once was no ungrateful sound,
Nor did it when 'twas oft repeated, wound.
But since 't has lost its Musick and its Grace,
Let your Pen blot it, and your Fingers rase.
When from thy Tow'rs the Passengers afar
Behold my Mistress shining like a Star.
Why shou'dst thou fancy, they look up in Spite,
Or call that Malice which is their Delight.
They gaze with Rapture and with Wonder see
Another Sun, another Heaven in thee.
The Crystal stream which thro' the Meadow glides
With pleasure finds thee by his Flowry sides;


He swells his little Waves in wanton play,
And fain to view thee in his course wou'd stay.
Fain wou'd he kiss thy lovely Feet and tries,
In vain to touch thee, and departing sighs.
He murmurs at the Channsel which contains
His wandring Current, and in Tears complains.
The Fish by nature of the Bait beware,
Yet leap at thine, and think no danger there.
They see thy Image in the silver Brook,
And dazled with thy Beauty catch the Hook.
As on the Bank thou sitst, the trembling Deer
Dance sportive round thee and forget to fear.
Thee, the bright Nymph by whom the tuneful throng
Shall paint their Goddesses, and grace their Song.
Thee, the kind Theme which future Bards shall choose,
To be at once their Subject and their Muse.
Thy Name shall be the Musick of their Groves,
Their Virgins in thy Name shall tell their Loves.


Thee shall the Chanters of the Forrest sing,
By Eccho taught to welcome in the Spring.
The Infant hanging on his Mothers Breast,
Shall at thy Name be husht and lull'd to rest,
For such as in thy kind excell thy Name,
Shall hence be Glorious, and to wear it fame
Where e're you tread, the springing Flo'wrs appear.
And with their od'rous Breath perfume the Air;
'Tis their own loss, and not your fault they moan
That you no sooner touch 'em, but are gone,
The Weeds most noxious, if they kiss your Feet
Lose their Infection, and from thence are sweet.
Did Jove or Neptune, whom they lov'd deceive,
And whom enjoy'd, to ruin others leave?
Were I O, or Amimone like thee,
Shou'dst thou compare the Perjur'd Gods to me?
Were whom they ruin'd, like my Mistress Fair,
Or like her Lover, were the Gods sincere?


Fear not the Queen. Be in thy Bour secure.
For only Vaughan knows the secret Door.
If Elnors Argus has an hundred Eyes,
Mine has a thousand to defend his Prize.
Had she the Malice of the Wife of Jove
Had she her Pow'r, yet I wou'd save my Love.
Who, in my absence will to hurt thee dare,
Whom the King loves, and who's a Monarchs care.
Why art unwilling that the Stars shou'd shine,
Why hate the brightness, which resembles thine?
Oh when I meditate on past Delights
And the high Raptures of our blissful Nights,
When the whole Beauty I at once Survey'd
And saw the Blushes of the yeilding Maid.
I bless their paler Glories, and can pay,
No future Worship to the Hateful day.
And now the Trumpet sounding from afar,
Proclaims the Signal of approaching War.
The Squadrons shouting thro' the Camp I hear
And Rosamund repeated, Rends the Air.


Amid the hotest of the Fight I feel
Thy Grief more peircing than the pointed Steel.
My care of thee, my other cares destroys
And Vict'ry yeids to more delicious Joyes.
For Conquest is not to my Heart so dear
Nor to my Eyes in all her Pomp so fair.
Woodstock, the Garden of the fruitful West,
Be blest in her, in whom the King is blest.
Nor Roman Villa, nor Companian Field
Cou'd more delight, nor richer Prospects yield.
For thee, I Pardon her ungrateful Race,
The shame of Oxford, and the Realms disgrace.
Poor in their Fortunes, in their Morals loose,
And false and hated, as the scattred Jews.
Had these been tempted, as the Jews were try'd
Their God had been betray'd, and here had dy'd.
Dull, Proud, Deceitful, Ignorant and Base,
A wicked People in a lovely Place.
Oft in her silent unfrequented Groves,
My Rosamund, and I have told our Loves.


Oft on her little Hills have chac'd the Faun.
And walkt in Evening shade the flowry Lawn.
Beneath a spreading Oak we oft wou'd lie,
And see the little River wander by.
Thou my fair Nymph, and I thy amorous Swain,
Thus happy then we liv'd, and thus may live again.
Tho' by hard Fate, my Body still is here,
My Soul with thee, my better part is there.



King John having for a long time Courted the Fair Matilda, Daughter to the Lord Fitzwater, and she still refusing to listen to his unlawful Love; he banishes her Father and Friends, persecutes her Family, and she flies for Safety to a Nunnery in Essex, at Dunmow; where she takes the Veil: And the King writes to her, and invites her to Court. What Success his Letter met with, may be seen in her Answer.

King John to Matilda.

Start not, my fair, when you my Letters view,
There's nothing in 'em feignd, and nothing new.
What different ways to win thee I have try'd?
How often woo'd, and been as oft deny'd?


To thee as to a Goddess I have pray'd,
And constant Worship at thy Altars paid.
But thou wert deaf, and ne're wouldst Deign to hear
A Monarch's Vows, nor listen to his Pray'r.
My Arts have been in vain, in vain my Sighs,
These cou'd not move thee, nor cou'd those surprize.
Oft have my Eyes confest my Am'rous Pain,
And meeting thine, they ever met Disdain.
Yet, fond of Ruin, still I gaze on thine,
Nor dread the pointed Rays they dart at mine.
We blush'd, and sigh'd, but different Passions prove,
You sigh'd and blush'd for Hate, as I for Love.
When my Tongue fail'd, my Tears their Want supply'd,
And when I cou'd nor weep, nor speak, I Sigh'd.
This, tho' you always shun it, you must see,
And sure wou'd pity any Wretch but Me.
To love condemn'd, to wish and to despair,
'Tis a King's Fate, and well is worth your Care.


A Thousand Beauties, in thy Face I see,
A Thousand Graces, only found in thee.
My Fancy to distinguish 'em perplext,
This minute this prefers, and that the next.
Both in another Excellence I loose,
And where 'tis all Perfection cannot Choose.
Thy Eyes, while I behold their awful Rays,
Command superior to the rest my Praise.
With Force unequal they dispute the Sway,
Whom, as we yield to Tyrants, we obey.
Thy Cheeks to tempt my Wandring Glance expose
The Smiles, the Lily, and the blushing Rose.
Thy Lips, that rising to my Kisses, swell,
Wou'd every Grace, if I might kiss, excell.
My Judgment's by their balmy Sweets betray'd,
And as thy Eyes commanded, they persuade.
Greedy of gazing, I Increase desire,
As often as I look, I fan the raging Fire:


As often as I view thy shining Hair,
The Brown, methinks, is better than the Fair.
So Beautiful, in Thee, the Black appears,
Thy rowling Eyes seem brighter than the Stars.
Nor Snow, nor Ivory, nor Cygnets Down
Can with thy Teeth compare, no Whiteness with thy own.
Where e're on thee our ravish'd Eyes we move,
'Tis Charming all, Astonishment and Love.
In Nature there is nothing can dispence
So many Sweets to Pleasure ev'ry Sense,
On Thee, these Wonders are but ill bestow'd,
Which only humble Us, and make thee Proud.
In vain was Nature at this mighty Cost,
Her Treasure's are on thee, Ungrateful, lost.
Such Beauty was not for a Cell design'd
Nor wer't thou made so fair to be confin'd.
When Old and Ugly, Heav'n your Sex allows
To cover our Contempt with solemn Vows


The Young, the Fair, We better can employ
To bless the World, and give her Masters Joy.
Curst be The Priests, who wou'd our Nymphs immure,
To have 'em to themselves the more secure!
Unhappy Those, who on their Zeal depend;
Devotion's their Pretence, but Lust their End.
Happy the Ages, when the Saints were kind,
And Godly Men, with Godly Women joyn'd.
No Superstition did their Joys molest;
They saw, they lik'd, and, if they cou'd, possest.
'Twas thus they did their sacred Hours improve,
And all their boasted Charity was Love.
The Priests were then contented with their share,
And late pretended to engross the Fair.
Meek then and poor, they to their Faith were just,
None dreaded then their Pow'r, nor fear'd their Lust:
Now, they our Daughters, and our Lands possess,
And, as their Wealth, their Vices too increase.


Where're they aim to conquer, they prevail,
And every sordid Monk has his Serrail.
For this what Monarch wou'd not quit his Crown,
And lay the weighty Load of Empire down,
In Plenty, Luxury, and Ease to live,
And riot on the Alms which Sinners give.
Hence—with these Signs of Royalty and Pow'r,
The Globe, the Scepter shall be mine no more;
Matilda to the Cloyster I'll pursue,
Prevent her Vows, or be a Vot'ry too.
To her I'll still address my earnest Pray'r,
Nor kneel to any other Saint, but her.
Wait on her Mattin and her Evening Song,
The most officious of the pious Throng.
My fervent Zeal may melt her frozen Breast,
And she may loath the King, yet like the Priest.
Your Holy Meaning I perhaps mistake,
To think you leave us, for your Lovers sake,
To know how for to serve you I wou'd go,
Or what my Passion wou'd, to gain you, do.


Yet this I fondly fancy you have done,
And but to try me, wou'd profess a Nun.
That Thou, my Beauteous Sister, may'st confine
Thy Brother to thy self, for ever thine:
That thus, unenvy'd Pleasures we may tast
And thou, by being only mine, be chast:
Such are Lovers, if they constant prove,
And Women never sin, unless they Rove.
The rest is pardon'd, as the Sex is Frail,
Or else Ye Powers! Have mercy on the Vail.
For oft the jolly Monk with Holy Leer,
Disturbs the Virgin, and confounds her Pray'r.
Declares his wish in his Lascivious look
And Ogles more the Sisters than his Book.
If for their Sins they absolution gain,
'Tis on Condition, they shall Sin again.
All creatures were Created with desire,
And but to charm the Fair, we to be great aspire.
Of these, who most to Innocence pretend,
We fear, what e're they promise, most Offend.


Such houses by our Fathers were design'd,
Not for the best, and Fairest of their kind.
But as their Hospitals, at first were made
To nurse the Poor, the Sickly and Decay'd.
So here the Old, the Crooked, and the Lame,
To these shou'd be remov'd, to hide their shame.
If the wise Author of the Realms of light
Had meant to keep his Wonders from our sight.
The golden Sun had ne're adorn'd the Spheres,
Nor Night been Painted with the shineing Stars.
A horrid Darkness, then had been our Doom,
And Man still wander'd in a frightful Gloom.
Feinds are Imprison'd in the burning Deep,
In Holes and Caves, the noxious Vermin creep.
While purest things Illustrious appear
And what's most eminent, is still most fair.
Our Mother earth, a mournful Widow lives
Impatient of her absent Lord, she grieves
And life from the returning Sun receives.


Her bridal Robes, in Triumph then she wears,
Fogets her winter Sighs and fruitless Tears.
With open Arms, the lusty Bridegroom meets
The Woods, the Winds, diffuse their Vernal Sweets.
And Philomel, again her Notes repeats.
The Forrest Oak erects, his lofty Head
The Nymphs, the Shepherds, on the flowry Mead
With Songs and Dances, bless the Genial Bed.
This, cruel Hypocrite! you oft have seen,
And well you know the Mystick sense, and what their Frolicks mean.
Faithful and Chast, you see the cooing Dove,
Bill by her Mate, and Tempt him on to Love.
The Phænix, said by fame to be but one,
May boast her Chastity, because alone.
A different Sex had Nature made 'em Two
You'd hear they Love, as much as others do.
The flames, in which 'tis Fabled, she expires,
Are her vain Wishes, and her hot Desires.


Thus may all suffer, who affect to Hate,
The Joys of loving, and be this their Fate
To covet to possess 'em, when too late.
Was there but one, of all thy Sex so young,
So fair as thou, who cou'd resist so long.
'Twou'd then convince me, I have been to blame,
And Womans Virtue's something more than Name.
The glories of a Court, if thou hadst seen,
What 'tis to be, or to be like a Queen.
What more cou'd charm Thee, than to hear the Great,
Adore thy Beauty and admire thy Wit!
The Pomp, the Splendour of a Princes Train,
All that can please the Youthful and the Vain.
States-men and Heroes, kneeling at thy Shrine,
And thy least Title, then wou'd be divine.
Is not this better than a loathsom Cell,
Than Penance, Vespers, or the Morning Bell?


To this Insensible thou must Confess,
'Tis want of Knowledge, makes thee think it less.
As such who have been coursly Bred, prefer,
To the Court delicates, their homely Fare.
No more, Matilda! by thy Pride abus'd,
Let the King Woo, to be again refus'd.
Pitty thy Self, thy Kindred, and thy Friends,
For all their Happiness, on thine depends.
The Ills, thy Cruelty have caus'd Deplore.
Thy Friends, thy Father to his House Restore,
None can my anger, like thy Pride condemn,
'Twas love to Thee, and not my Hate to them.
On thee with Justice, they'll their Curses shou'r,
Their Honours and their Lives, are in thy Pow'r
For a Court leave the Cloyster and the Grate,
A Prince attends thee, and a better Fate.
At the blest change, thou wilt not long Repine,
For all that I can give Thee, shall be thine.


Matilda to King John.

As Criminals condemn'd, the Warrant dread
Which brings their Fate, so I your Letter read.
Nor askt from whom the hated Message came
But guest the Business, e're I saw your Name.
With Horror, I beheld the guilty Page,
And every Line I read, I blush'd with Rage.
You work your rich Invention to contrive,
New ways, new Plagues, to make me hate to Live?
Absence, the best defence against Desire,
E're this I hop'd wou'd quench your lawless Fire.
For rarely such a Passion, long endures,
Or Vertue daunts it, or Oblivion cures.
But what we covet most, we seldom get.
And what endeavour to avoid, we meet.


Your Paper blotted by your sin appear'd,
Which had I not dispis'd, I shou'd have fear'd.
A just Resentment, urg'd me to proceed,
Nor then resolv'd to Answer what I Read.
Tho' Writing, may your Future hopes prevent,
And Silence be mis-taken for Consent;
Besides, 'tis Natural for this Desease,
If suffer'd or neglected to Encrease.
Our Sex, no Flattery in this shou'd use,
But what is askt with Shame, with Pride refuse.
This to inform you, I attempt to Write,
What Fear, Resentment, and disdain Indite.
By Passion conquer'd, if the Stile is course,
Your Letter merits, cou'd I write it worse.
What shall I say, that may my Wrongs contain,
I can to none, but you and Heav'n, complain?
My Words I find will never reach my Sense,
And my Cause suffer by my weak Defence.
To whom shall I Address for help below,
My Sov'reign is my Judge, my Judge, my Foe.


Ev'n now while pleading at his Bar I stand,
Confusion seizes both my Heart and Hand.
I dread his Smiles, I tremble at his Frown,
And Kind or Cruel, am alike undone.
I Raze, I Write, and fear the dubious Page,
Is fram'd too softly to express my Rage?
I mourn, I rave, and in this changeful State,
Have nothing certain in my Soul, but Hate.
Distracted by my Sorrow, if you find,
A tender Word, 'tis what I ne're design'd.
'Tis the meer weakness of your sick Conceit,
Which makes my little Beauty seem so great?
Things are thus alter'd in a troubled Stream,
If Crooked strait, if strait they Crooked seem;
Thus fancy the dissembled Object showes,
And Judgment is deceiv'd in what it knowes.
As in a Mirrour, if the Glass is true,
Such as your real likeness, such are you;
But if you change your Form, it changes there,
And shewes you as you are, not as you were.


Like you the Shade reflected seems to move,
If frowns or smiles, like you, and such is Love.
What Man's so vain to fancy he may find,
A Body perfect, or a perfect Mind?
Observe the Beauty, nicely or the Saint,
And both will something of Perfection want.
'Tis a known truth, that Beauty like the Will,
In all is various and Imperfect Still.
A little diff'rence will the likeness change,
And make the most familiar Features strange.
Compare two Faces, and you'll find with ease,
In this what pleases, do's in that displease?
What Maid of such disputed Charms wou'd boast
So late Discover'd and so quickly Lost,
Who wou'd be proud of an uncertain Grace,
Which makes one fair, and spoils another Face.
How can this Madness o're your Sex prevail,
To doat on what's as doubtful as tis Frail.
When Glory calls for all your Youthful fire,
To wast it in Fruihon or Desire;


To languish at our Feet, Lament and Sigh,
To Pine, to Sicken, and perhaps to Die.
Those who the Damsells cruelty survive,
To look like Sots, and scarce be said to live?
Was Man created Lord of all for this,
To work, and in our Ruin place his Bliss.
You Tempt, and Truth eternal Falcely swear,
You promise mighty things, but pay in Air.
If with your wicked Will, I cou'd comply
Your Self wou'd soon repent as well as I?
Grown weary by Possession, you'd begin,
To loath my weakness, and abhor the Sin.
Then nor your Riches, nor your Sovereign Pow'r
My Virgin Peace, nor Honour cou'd restore.
By you, my Father and my Friends are sent,
To Prison, and unworthy Panishment.
Whom to my Heart are dearest, you remove,
My Friends, My Father, yet pretend to love.
A Virgin Widow, I by you am made,
A helpless Orphan e're my Father's dead.


Your Lust unbridled has these Ills produc'd,
And now you pitty those you have abus'd.
A Feign'd concern for what is past, you shew
And yet, we all to your injustice owe.
Thus the sly Monsters of the Wood beguile,
Their headless Prey, and while they kill 'em smile.
The Basilisk, with Poyson'd glances kills,
The Crocodile her fraudful Tears distills.
Unwary Passengers, they thus decoy,
And fawn on those, they purpose to destroy?
Thus cover'd with the Rose, the Serpent stings,
And from the Rock, the tempting Mermaid sings.
But by misfortune, and Experience wise,
I know your Cunning, and your Arts despise.
How cou'd Sicilian Tyrants Torture more,
Again to wound me, whom you Rack'd before.
I better cou'd my Fathers Wrongs endure,
And my Friends trouble, were my Peace secure?


If you to Persecute me, wou'd forbear,
Or I had nothing, from your Lust to fear.
If Love's your Passion, your Address is strange,
Love works with Tenderness, and not Revenge.
All mild and gentle, 't has been still describ'd.
Nor shou'd our Sex be threaten'd, but be Brib'd
If Pray'rs, Rewards, and constant Service fail,
Severity and Threats, will ne're prevail?
Oh! With what glory do's that Monarch Reign,
Whose Fame, no Vices, nor Jnjustice stain
How happy are his Subjects in his sway.
With Zeal they love him, and with Pride obey.
Here to be safe, from your Assaults I flew,
But cannot fly, as fast as you persue.
Where shall a Maid, to be secure, Retreat,
Since thus reclus'd, my Danger is as great?
If from you Suit, I must be never free,
The Court and Cloyster, are alike to Me.
Nor Bolts, nor Grates, a Monarch can exclude,
When Tyranny and Lust, enflame his Blood.


Poets with utmost Eloquence have strove,
To hide the Guilt, and shew the charms of Love.
The Lewd, the Wanton, are enroll'd by Fame,
She paints their Beauties, and she hides their Shame.
The Muses sung, the Fountains wept for these,
And Thracian Orphus, drew the dancing Trees.
The finest Colours on their Sins they plac'd,
Which they ne'er nam'd, or if they nam'd 'em Grac'd?
So kind the Muses, to their Sex have been,
That hardly Incest was allow'd a Sin:
The worst were punish'd in their Fables least
They change their Forms, but ever for the best.
Myrrha, tho' teeming with Incestuous love,
To Myrrh is chang'd, and now Perfumes the Grove.
Byblis at once, a Son and Brother bears,
Yet all her Pennance are her Chrystal Tears.
Sylla, who Flies about with painted Wings
For the same Treason in the Forrest sings.


Another and a better Form she wears.
Some now are Goddesses, and some are Stars.
The Vertuous are among the worthless plac'd,
As if 'twere then, a scandal to be Chast.
The Virgin ever was the Poets fool,
An Awkard thing, insensible and dull.
The Lash of Satyr, she has always born,
Or never nam'd, or never, but with Scorn.
The Face which you pretend so much to Praise,
Wou'd more your Pitty, than your wonder raise.
My Beauty little at the best is past,
By Grief 'tis Wrinkled, or by time defac'd.
It suits with the Condition, I have sworn,
And what you valu'd once, you now wou'd scorn.
The World Renounc'd, shall be my care no more,
I loath its Pleasures, and its Pride abhor.
My Vail to all its Splendours, I prefer,
Heav'n is my aim, and all my hopes are there.
If thus, unhappy Rosamund had done,
Kept to her Vow, and liv'd like me a Nun.


With glory she had dy'd, as she had liv'd,
And Age had ended, what Revenge contriv'd.
From Guilt and Fear, she had alike been free,
And loath'd the Sin, as you are loath'd by Me.
Her Fame had been as spotless as her Face,
Her Life in Innocence, her Death in Peace.
To hide the shame is in the Pow'r of Kings,
But who can give us ease, when Conscience Stings?
That Judge severely do's our Faults reprove,
And Witnesses of all to Him above.
If my old Father, bending to the Grave,
By shameful Exile, wou'd my Honour save.
While, and Content, he sees his Towns destroy'd
His Foes possessing what he late enjoy'd?
Shall I despise his Lessons, and disgrace,
His own great Actions, and his noble Race?
Shall the rich Treausure, which so much has cost,
Be so soon Lavish'd, and so lighty lost.


No—His last Words too deep Impression made,
Too much his Tears, too much his Sighs persuade;
Think—And he then Embrac'd me—Think he Cri'd.
For thee, how much I wou'd, and have deny'd.
Never! Oh never with the King Comply,
But rather than forget thy Honour, die.
Yes! Cruel Tyrant, Death is my Defence,
No Pow'r shall force, nor Promise draw me hence
My Friends, my Father to their Rights restore,
'Tis all I ever askt, who ne're will ask thee more.



The Earl of Salisbury being absent in France, the Scots attack his Castle in the North, where his Lady was Beseig'd: The Black Prince marches to relieve her, sees her from the Battlements of the Castle, falls in love with her; and the Earl dying sometime after, Marries her. His Passion for this Lady, and her Answer; are the Subject of the following Epistles

Edward the Black Prince, to the Countess Salisbury.

Tho' this Address is in a hateful Strain,
I suffer, and 'tis just I shou'd Complain.
Pitty the Pain my honest Heart endures,
Nor use it ill, because so soon 'twas yours.
With Smiles the profer of my Love receive,
The richest Present that a Prince can give.


No Frown thus distant, and unseen I fear,
And best this Paper will your Fury bear.
On this insensible, you'll wast your scorn,
'Twill nothing, use it as you please, return?
Shou'd you Condemn the writer to Despair,
This still entreats you, still it speaks you fair.
If you've a Soul to judge of good and ill,
And Justice, as it ought, directs your Will.
Consult this Guide, and in your Mind survey,
Or what shou'd further, or oppose my way?
Obey her Precepts, ev'ry Doubt remove,
Or tell me why you will or shoud'n Love.
Since things inanimate, so well agree,
They teach you how you ought to look on me?
As Eccho listens to the Shepherds sighs,
The sound she catches, and as fast Replies.
Two strings in Harmony, if tun'd alike
You move the Second, when the First you strike.
In those no Discord, as in you we find,
Whose Reason better, shou'd Inform your Mind.


Nature that made you so Divinely Fair,
Has giv'n you Sense to judge of what you are?
Too just to your Perfections, since you see,
No want in them or you, nor worth in me?
When your fair Hands, their wondrous softness feel,
That nothing, they believe, their touch excell.
When in your Glass, your Eyes, their Lustre view
The day they fancy 's not so bright as you.
And ev'ry grace, believes its self Divine
Not more, because 'tis good, than that 'tis thine.
Your Beauties like Narcissus are destroy'd,
By being by themselves too much enjoy'd:
Why shou'd you Languish with your own Desire,
'Tis needless, Beauty shou'd itself admire.
The Sun whose Beams diffusive or'e Mandkind,
Gives Light to all, yet to himself is blind.
Once I believ'd I cou'd thy Charms endure,
I gaz'd with Joy, yet hop'd I was secure?


But when their Graces to my Ruin joyn'd,
My Eyes convey'd the Poison to my Mind.
With safety I beheld their pow'r apart,
Whose force united triumph'd o'er my Heart.
In every glance some new delight I found,
And every future look encreas'd my Wound.
Till every Charm with equal rapture pleas'd,
And I no more distingusht which was best.
Till perfect to my Soul thy Beauties came,
And perfect as thy Beauty was my flame.
If, and 'tis strange, you hate to be belov'd,
Your Care is quickly with the Cause remov'd.
Say to your Eyes, thus far you shall extend
Your awful sway, and here desire shall end;
Or blunt the Darts that give the fatal Wounds,
Let Love prescrib'd, no more transgress his bounds.
This done—But oh! thou sooner mayst command
The restless Waves to sleep upon the Strand.


Despair may sooner think complaint in vain,
Pleasure be sooner reconcil'd to Pain.
Pride may grow humble, Envy gen'rous prove,
Than all that see thee wou'd forbear to love.
Our warlike Ancestors such Forts devis'd,
That by your Foes you might not be surpriz'd.
That your weak Sex might there securely rest,
Since Fear soon settles in a Womans Breast.
Tho' thine is of another temper far,
And fitter than thy Castle for the War.
This kindly dos thy Friends at least inclose,
But that resists alike both Friends and Foes.
Thy cruel Heart's invincible to all,
And more obdurate than the Marble Wall.
When Jove to wanton on a Virgins Breast,
Has chang'd the God, and in his wish been blest.
Of all the various shapes which he has try'd,
To cheat his Mistress, and his Godhead hide.
That suits me best, when in a golden show'r,
He rain'd on Danae in her brazen Tow'r.


I ne'er did envy his supream command,
Nor that he bears the Thunder in his hand;
But in so bright a storm I feign wou'd be,
As he to her that I might come to thee.
With Foes no longer you're begirt about,
But less besieg'd within than they without.
The Captive safer in your Bonds remains,
Than under brazen Bolts or iron Chains.
Such Thraldom I ere Liberty would choose,
And for such Chains Imperial Crowns refuse.
Were India's Treasures in thy Fort secur'd,
And with her Wealth thy lovely self immur'd.
Soon as your Foes this richer Treasure see,
They'll leave the worthless heap to follow thee.
What Arms your Towr's impregnible can win,
If to defend 'em you remain within?
Shou'd you your Eyes resistless force employ,
With every glance they wound, with every wound destroy.


Deeper their Arrows will transfix their hearts,
Than theirs can pierce you with a thousand Darts.
For there entrencht the Wariour Cupid lies,
And thence he proudly all the World defies.
No Want, no Famine have you need to fear,
There never can be Want where you are there.
Thy sight alone renews the vital Flood,
And comforts Life without the help of Food.
As at their post thy Soldiers keep their Ward,
So thy chaste wishes all thy actions guard.
Thy pulse with never ceasing motion beats,
Prepar'd to give th' alarm when danger threats.
Thy virtuous thoughts when all thy senses rest,
Like careful Scouts flie up and down thy Breast,
With honest Watch around their charge they keep,
From wrong defend thee, and protect thy sleep.
But tell me, may we not with reason fear,
You will not guiltless to the World appear?


So many by your Thefts have been undone,
Say, may they not at last demand their own?
Safe with your prize you in your Fort remain,
And hear the helpless Crowd without complain.
Nor Heaven, nor Earth, nor Nature have you spar'd,
But rob'd 'em all and well may want a Guard.
Your Eyes that wage with mine continual Wars,
Their sparkling brightness borrow from the Stars.
Your fragrant Lips which all your words adorn,
Stole their fresh beauties from the Orient Morn.
Your Cheeks to whom the water'd Lilly yields,
Have rob'd their graces from the flowry fields.
Your Breath has ravisht from Arabian Gums,
Their richest odours and their best perfumes.
Oh mighty Love exert thy utmost pow'r,
To force this fair Enchantress from her Tow'r.


Thus fenc'd if ere her Beauty wants supplies,
She'll pillage Nature and exhaust the Skies.
O'er thee she will in time usurp command,
And wrest the Scepter from thy Infant hand.
When to relieve you with my warlike pow'rs
I first arriv'd, and saw you from your Towr's,
You seem'd to my transported Soul so fair,
The Place I thought was Heaven, and you an Angel there.
But when by reason I those thoughts o'ercame,
And view'd this wonder as a mortal frame.
I cou'd no more the Scots attempt accuse,
For who to gain thee wou'd the War refuse?
In such a Treasure had his Realm been blest.
The barren Region had excell'd the East.
I march'd from his insult to set thee free,
I vanquish'd him, but am enslav'd by thee.
Thy danger's past, yet mine alas! remains,
And I amid my triumphs drag thy Chains.


Love in extreams unlawful methods tries,
And what his Fortune wants, his Wit supplies.
Jove by a mortal Nimph to be carest,
Has oft assum'd the Man, and oft the Beast.
By mighty Styx the Heav'nly Monarchs swears,
And false himself with Lovers falshoods bears.
Love matters not his Oaths to gain his Cause,
His pleasure is his Rule, his will his Laws.
When he's most true he most himself belies,
And in his want of Wisdom's only wise.
By lawless means he lawful bliss obtains,
And then is most sincere when most he feigns.
Forgive my fault to chastity and thee,
Since who can see thee and from fault be free?
'Tis then it ere the Gods themselves excell,
When they forgive their Creatures who rebel.
When all thy Tryals are enroll'd by Fame,
And all thy Sex made glorious by thy Name.
I shall be offer'd at thy virtue's shrine,
Mine the dishonour, and the glory thine.


I'll burn no longer with a guilty flame,
But change the Lovers for a Husbands name.
Thy House by thy descent is made divine,
Else I might boast my blood as good as thine.
'Tis England's Heir who woos thee to his Arms,
And sure a Crown, if not my Love has Charms.
Yet what I am I call my own no more,
Take what thou wilt, and what thou wilt restore.
For my past wishes let my future plead,
Forgive the bad, and let the good succeed.
May Heav'n the surest Guardian of the fair,
From wrong defend what best deserves his care.
Against thy Virtue all designs destroy,
And equal with thy wishes be thy joy.


The Countess of Salisbury to Edward the Black Prince.

As one that fain wou'd grant, and fain denie,
I doubtful what I ought to do, reply,
My Sexes weakness I in this declare,
And yielding to a Treaty, yield too far.
For Love may turn the favour to offence,
And wrest my meaning to a guilty sense.
Of utmost caution have we Women need,
To Write what Lovers with design will Read.
Not always silence can preserve our Fame,
And every look's perverted to our shame.
While in our breasts our hidden thoughts remain,
The Tongue of flander shews its sting in vain.
But once declar'd, she seizes 'em as prize,
And wounds our Virtue with invenom'd lyes.
Resolv'd to Write, and fearing what to send,
I wish, before I will begin, to end.


Respect, when I wou'd finish, bids me stay,
And my Heart tells me I have more to say.
Some secret which I tremble to confess,
And Words too little or too much express.
What I wou'd say, I feign as said to thee,
Then fancy what thou wouldst reply to me.
The fairest prospect of thy cause I view,
And then consider what's to honour due.
A thousand things in your excuse I frame,
Your cause is weak, and my defence the same.
A Prince, a Hero courts me I confess,
Your worth in this is more, and mine the less.
Your Bed's for me a too exalted place,
My Subject fortune will the Throne disgrace.
For this alone I should your vows reprove,
In me 'tis Treason to accept your love.
Each Sex in love their priviledge may use,
'Tis Man's to tempt, and Woman's to refuse


We ne'er without our own consent are won,
And ne'er can be but by ourselves undone.
You of your love and your success may boast,
Who blames the Lover when the Maid is lost.
'Tis brave in you our Innocence to try
In us, when Woo'd 'tis glorious to deny.
The Crime in you, is by the Crime excus'd,
We censur'd most, when we are most abus'd.
'Tis Beauties high Prerogative to grant;
It shou'd not beg, for it can nothing want.
We shou'd no Hearts by wanton Arts surprize,
Nor shoot pernicious Glances with our Eyes;
For, if with Modesty a Woman parts
She gains Contempt, when she wou'd conquer Hearts.
In Henry, and John's misfortune, you
May learn to shun the Evil you persue.
To you their Story shou'd a Lesson be,
And the fair Virgins, whom they wrong'd, to me.


The Father, when he had his Mistris won,
His Mistris blames, Matilda blames the Son.
Your Lordly Sex is Accessary still,
And our's condemn'd as Principals in Ill:
What praise can we but by our Vertue claim?
We lose our Merit, when we lose our Fame.
This Fortress we our selves can best defend,
Which ne'er is lost but by the Force we lend:
Shou'd Malice strive our Innocence to wrong,
True to our selves, she cou'd not hurt us long.
To your Invasions, when we basely yield,
The shame is ours, and yours the glory of the Field.
The hope of Nations, Edward now is stil'd;
But your Renown, will by your Love be soil'd.
Where (will the Realms in vile derison say)
Is the young Hero we must once obey?
Where he, that conquer'd in the Gallick Plains,
Subdu'd their Chiefs, and led their Kings in Chains:


Has he forsook the noble Chace of Arms,
To wast his Fortune on a Womans Charms?
Can Victory no more his Soul inspire,
And melts he softly in a wanton Fire?
Is he, who dealt in France a thousand Wounds,
And bound her Monarchs, led himself in Bonds?
Twice to the Bridal Altar I've been led:
Two Lords successively injoy'd my Bed.
The waster time my Charms must have destroy'd:
The Beauty wear that has been twice injoy'd.
For a young Prince, is this a worthy Store
Of which two Subjects were possest before.
Let France or Spain their Princesses prefer,
To make you happy, and your Empire share
With you, They come from an Imperial Line,
And nothing can you see to tempt in mine;
For me the Royal Station's to sublime,
And e'en to please you were in me a Crime.
Though for my life I must your Suit deny,
Yet rather than not love you I cou'd dye.


My noble Lord, to tell me, wou'd delight,
The wonders he has seen you do in Fight.
No Mothers Voice, when with her Babe she plays,
Like his, cou'd Flatter, in his Princes praise.
I catcht the Musick from his charming Tongue:
My ravisht Soul on every Accent hung.
I curst the minutes that they roul'd so fast,
And wisht the darling Theam wou'd ever last.
No harmony so moving to the Ear,
And he as fond to speak as I to hear:
To ev'ry word with pleasure I attend,
And heard him, with regret, his Story end.
On you, whene're he talkt the Subject, fell,
And I prais'd him for praising you so well.
Must I now loath what I have lov'd so long.
And fear from such a Prince the greatest wrong?
Yes! I must hate you, and cou'd almost swear
You'l hate your self, when you your fault shall hear.


Consider Time will cool your hot desire,
Or Reason quench at last the raging Fire.
By you, and Justice, let my Cause be try'd,
And if I am not injur'd then decide.
In vain my Father, Reverend by his years,
Beg'd me to yield, and deign'd to beg with Tears.
In vain persuasion sooth'd me to comply,
Twas Sin to grant, and Merit to deny.
My Mother boldly both your Pray'rs withstood,
And with her Frowns restrain'd your boiling Blood;
Aw'd by her Vertue, of her Frowns afraid
To try my weakness, you a while delay'd.
How faithfully I love you, I have shown,
Your Honour, in preserving, with my own.
Had your base wishes in your Suit prevail'd;
Or had I, foolish, in my Duty fail'd:
You wou'd not guiltless to the World have prov'd;
But been as much abhor'd as you're belov'd.


Against you, thus the Nations would have said,
Her Parents sin must to his charge be laid.
To save her Life she sacrific'd her Fame,
And gain'd her dear bought Liberty with shame.
Did our strong Castle vail her lofty Fanes,
To your bright Ensigns on the Northern Plains?
When your shril Trumpets eccoh'd from a far,
Did I, with joy return the sound of War?
Did I receive you as my Soveraign Lord,
To perish by your Lust, who triumph'd by your Sword?
The Foe, that for the Treasure came, is fled,
And left a Foe more dangerous in his stead,
The vanquisht Enemy for Plunder came:
The Victor Edward to attack my Fame.
Ready to fly the Scot begirt me round;
Bent on my ruin you maintain your ground.
How cou'd I here reproach you, but respect
Restrains my anger. that cou'd much reflect.


A Princess name I neither court nor slight,
Nor am ambitious of your Consort's Right;
Nor wou'd I study by deceitful Lures
To get that Title, or to make me yours.
Too humble in my own esteem, I ne'r
To such a height could one so low prefer.
Happy if I obtain'd a second place
To wait on her, that shou'd deserve your grace;
Yet, if my Prince shall nothing ill require,
And safely I may yield to his desire.
If he no more will of my Bounty want
Than he may well demand, and I may grant?
If in due bounds he will his Youth confine,
Let all his wishes be as Chast as mine.
I'll plight the Faith which I from him receive,
And what he freely asks, will freely give.



Queen Isabel, Daughter of Philip the Fair King of France, and Wife to Edward II. King of England, being very much enrag'd to see her self despis'd by her Husband and his Minions, engag'd the Valiant young Lord Roger Mortimer, in her Interest, who with several Potent Barons took Arms to rescue the King out of his Favourites Hands, and restore the Queen to the dignity of her Rank; but both Mortimer, and the Barons were defeated, himself imprison'd in the Tower, whence by the help of a sleepy Portion the Queen sent him he deceiv'd his Guards, and escap'd to France. She writes to him, and Congratulates his safety, and Mortimer replys as became a Person she had very much oblig'd.

Queen Isabel to the Lord Mortimer.

Till late, my Mortimer was wont to see
Mirth, Pleasure, Gaiety, and Joy in me.


My Letter now can bring him no relief,
So much my Mind's distracted by my Grief.
Yet by my Pity I my Friendship prove,
And what my Temper wants, supply with Love.
Why do I mourn? and how can I forbear?
Does Wigmore's

The Mortimers, Lords of Wigmore and Earls March.

absence not deserve a Tear?

When I reflect, how we were forc'd to part,
My weeping Eyes, betray my akeing Heat.
But thinking 'twas to save and set thee free,
My Troubles cease, and I rejoyce in Thee.
This to my Soul some little Comfort gives,
My Sorrow soothes, and my Care relieves.
And thus amid the Torments I endure,
I flatter the Desease, I cannot Cure.
Blest be the Stars, anspicious to your flight,
To Love, and Lovers ever blest the Night.
The Air was gentle, and the Sky serene,
And all things slept, but Wigmore and the Queen.
The luckiest Minute of our Lives we chose,
Releas'd the Hero, and deceiv'd his Foes.


I dreaded much when I prepar'd the Juice,

Mortimer invited Sir Stephen Segrave Constable of the Tower, with his Officers, to Feast with him on his Birth-day the Potion the Queen sent him, he put into their Wine, which set them asleep, and thus he escap'd, swimming over the River to the Kentish shore.

Or I might err, or that its Vertue lose.
Or Fortune, seldom to the Gallant kind,
Ruin the Project we so well design'd.
Our Arts by other secret Arts oppos'd,
Be thus made useless, or our Plot disclos'd.
Fond of thy Safety, then I call to mind,
The Drugs which we in ancient Fable find.
And often wish'd for those the Poets dream,
To grow by Latmos, or by Lethe's Stream.
The Herbs that clos'd the watchful Dragon's Eyes,
And gave the Grecian Youth the Golden Prize.
Or those which Africk's sooty Lands produce,
Or Indian Weeds and their malignant Juice.
Soon as the Sun display'd his Orient Beams,
I Walkt, where none observ'd me, by the Thames.
My Thoughts on Mortimer were all employ'd,
This Stream, I cry'd, has sav'd him, or destroy'd.
Oft of the Chrystal Current I demand,
Or, is he Lost? or, has he reach'd the Land?


Say, for to thee, and to the faithless Wind,
The Lord of all my Wishes I resign'd.
Hast thou convey'd him on a gentle Wave,
To the wish'd Shoar? or, is thy Deep his Grave?
Tell me, Oh tell! for I impatient wait,
To Joy in his Escape, or share his Fate.
But sure, if thus my Mortimer had dy'd,
A rougher Gale wou'd swell the guilty Tide.
The Tempest in the furious Billows roar,
And the Winds drive him breathless to the Shoar.
The Winds so silent, and the quiet Stream,
Reproach my Weakness, and my Fears condemn.
The River Nymphs at my Confusion laugh,
And all things tell me, Mortimer is safe.
Where are the boasted Wonders of my Eyes?
That Edward thus can leave me or despise.
When Europe's Monarchs at our Nuptials met,

Prince Edward married the Princess Isabel at Bulloigne where the Kings of the Romans, Navarr and Sicily, with the Flowers of the English and French Nobility were present, and the Pomp of the Tilts very magnificent. This Princess was the eldest and only Daughter of Philip the Fair, and Sister to Charles IV. King of France, on whose Death, the Kingdom fell to Edward II. in right of his Wife; and the Kings of England have ever since born the Arms of France, and asserted their Right to that Crown with different Success.

With Envy they beheld him at my Feet.
For this did I prefer him to the rest,
To be soon abandon'd for a Beast?


Can I endure to see a wanton Boy,

King Edward gave to Gaveston his Favourite, the Jewels and Treasures his Father left him, marrying him to his Niece by his Sister Ican and Gilbert Clare Earl of Glocester; he liv'd with this Youth (suppos'd to be of a spurious Birth, and a Gascoign by Nation) in all manner of Riot and Wantonness.

Possess his Favour, and my Place enjoy?
If Old, Deseas'd, or Ugly I were grown,
'Twere vain to think to be belov'd alone.
But since I'm Young, and as they tell me, Fair,
A Rival Minion, I no more will bear:
No more the Daughter of a Mighty King,
Stoop to the Fortune of a nameless Thing.
To me his Gifts, to me his Love belongs,
And ev'ry Monarch shou'd resent my Wrongs.
In me the Royal Dignity's profan'd,
And Beauty with the basest Scandal stain'd.
A Princess Young and Fair to be bereft,
Of right and Favour for a Minion left.
Edward by Gav'ston, and his Imps bewitch'd,
With Towns and Treasures has the Wretch enrich'd.
His spurious Blood with Noble Glo'ster's mix'd,
A Shame eternal on his House has fix'd.


Did the First Edward lead his Warlike Bands,

This weak Prince offer'd his right in France to the French King, and his right in Scotland to Robert Bruce, if they would aid him in the War against the Barons, on the account of Gaveston.

To Conquer for the second Forein Lands:
That what with Glory, and with Toil he won,
Might wantonly be lavish'd by his Son.
Supported by the King, the Boy pretends,
To crush his Kindred, and insult his Friends:
One, whom his Father with his latest Breath,
Forbad his Presence, and condemn'd to Death.
This to the Nobles was his last Command,
Gav'ston shall die, if seen on English Land.
True to his Will, the faithful Barons stood,
Confirm'd by Oaths, and seal'd it with their Blood.
The Lords to force him from their Master, rise,
And Lancaster is slain, and Warwick dies.

Thomas Earl of Lancaster, and Guy Earl of Warwick, swore to the late King Edward, they would withstand his Son, if he did not throw off Gaveston, and were slain in attempting it.

No sooner are we yet from Gav'ston freed,
Than Slaves as wretched in his place succeed.
The Spencers

The Spencers, Father and Son, when Gaveston was gone, fill'd his Place, the Son was made Lord Chancellor, and the Father, Earl of Winton, as great Villains both, as the other. They fell afterwards, and had the same Fate with Gaveston.

now enjoy what he possest,

The People beggar'd, and the Lords deprest.


Edward has only chang'd the Fav'rites Name,
The same their Pow'r, their Tyranny the same.
Honours and Riches, like the first they get,
And will, the Ruin he began, Compleat.
He wasts his Father's Conquests and his Store,
To leave his Son contemptible and poor.
Of this, I often have with with Tears complain'd,
And highly Injur'd, no relief obtain'd.
For Tyrants who delight in doing Ill,
Grow worse, if any dare oppose their Will.
The Senate only can our Wrongs redress,
And right the Queen, and give the Nation Peace.
To Punishment deserv'd, the Traytors bring,
Expose their Guilt, and undeceive the King.
Not long my Brother these Affronts will bear,
Not long will his Allies refuse the War.
Justice alike, to him and me deny'd,
Enough his Patience, oft provok'd, is try'd.
The ancient Homage which to France you owe,

Edward I. did homage for these Provinces to the King of France.

For Aquitain, for Guienne and Poitou.


A Sister's Suffering, and a Brother's Right,
For this, who wou'd not, will for nothing Fight.
Revenge for past, and fear of future Harms,
Will rouse the animated Gauls to Arms.
Troops will from ev'ry distant Province come,
In hopes to drive the bold Invaders home.
The Sturdy Flamand, and the Stout Almain,
Breton and Norman to the hostile Plain:
All to the Royal Ensign will repair,
And joyn with Fury in the righteous War.
When Mortimer the fierce Battalion heads,
They're sure of Conquest, whom the Hero leads.
Think of the Honours of thy Martial Race,
Thy bleeding Nation, and thy Queen's Disgrace.
But if the boasted Valour of thy Name,
Thy Father's Laurels, and thy proper Fame:
If nor thy Country, nor thy injur'd House,
Thy drooping Spirits in distress can rouse;


Let my last Service thy Compassion move,
And what you owe to Glory, give to Love:
Engage my Brother in his Sister's Cause,
To punish Traytors, and protect the Laws.
How vain? For me a Woman to desire,
To add new Heat to thy Immortal Fire.
Too forward of thy self, to rush on Fate,
Nor need'st to be provok'd by Love or Hate.
To us Misfortune's so familiar grown,
I rather shou'd prevent, than push thee on;
Since by opposing, we encrease our Pains,
Death seems the only Comfort which remains.
Well, I remember, and shall ne'r forget,

The Barons Forces receiv'd a great overthrow at Burrough-Bridge in York-shire, by the Earl of Carlisle, Commander for the King.

How much we suffer'd by our last Defeat.
When the best Blood that flow'd in English Veins,
A fatal Deluge! dy'd the Northern Plains.
So weak we then appear'd, so low we fell,
The Slaves are too much frighten'd to rebel.


The Reverend Peer, by whose Advice we go,

Torlton, Bishop of Hereford, a Favourite of the Queen's and Morrimer's Faction.

Of late's become suspected by the Foe.
So difficult in such Important Things,
To hide, what many watch, the Fate of Kings.
My Thoughts, My Words, if often I repeat,
'Tis Grief which makes me, what I write forget.
My Sorrows, fast, as they are told, renew,
Beginning still, when I wou'd bid adieu.
This, the best Token of my Love, receive,
'Tis little, but 'tis all I have to give.


Lord Mortimer to Queen Isabella.

Cou'd I such Comfort, as you sent, return,
The Queen, like Mortimer, wou'd cease to mourn:
What Pleasure in my Letters will you find?
Where every Word's the Picture of my Mind.
The dread of dying like a Slave remains,
And I think still, as if I wrote in Chains.
My Words, my Thoughts, are like my Fortune, low,
With too much Care deprest, and too much Woe.
Twice from my Queen I have my Life receiv'd,

The two Mortimers, Roger Lord of Wigmore, and his Uncle the elder Lord Mortimer, were apprehended first in the West, and the Queen, by means of Torlton Bishop of Hereford, and Beak Bishop of Durham and Patriarch of Jerusalem, then in great Favour, prevail'd so much with the King, that he was pacifi'd, and consented to forgive the Mortimers on their Submission.

Once sav'd from Murder, and from Death Repriev'd:
My Life, and all that I by her enjoy,
To Right her, or Revenge her I'll employ.
I ne'r had ventur'd from the dangerous Height,
Amid the Foe, and Terrors of the Night.


With waxen Wings I never had presum'd,
To fly the Death to which my Friends were doom'd:

The Lord Mortimer was condemn'd for his insurrection with Thomas Earl of Lancaster, and Bobun Earl of Hereford, he lay under the Sentence of Death three Months, and by the sleepy Potion he receiv'd from the Queen, deceiv'd his Guard and escap'd a few days before the time appointed for his Execution; he got down by Ladders made of Cords, and the Spectators were much surpris'd to see afterwards from what height he ventur'd, having then the River of Thames to swim.

The dreadful Deep had turn'd my giddy Head,
And falling, I had met, the Fate I fled.
The Foe, with Horror, view'd the wondrous Height,
And scarce believ'd, when they were told my Flight.
So many Perils I had never run,
But a Queen's Love and Beauty urg'd me on.
I launch'd undaunted in the airy Sea,
By your Eyes, lighted thro' the dubious Way.
The wat'ry Element, I then explore,
And the Waves left me on the friendly Shore.
My Goddess, you, to whom I only pray'd,
And to your Beauty all my Vows were made,
My Pray'r you answer'd, and my Vows repaid.
The sleepy Potion which your Art prepar'd,
Work'd as you wish'd it, and secur'd the Guard.


With ghastly Steps I reach'd the Depths profound,
Descended Safe, and trod the solid Ground.
The liquid Paths, I like Leander try'd,
Your Eyes, as Hero's were the Youth's, my Guide.
A fairer Image, to my mind, I set,
A better Fate deserv'd, a better met.
At your Command, the Winds their Fury cease,
And curl the Waters with a wanton Breeze.
Thus Dancing on the sportive Waves I ride,
Born by the Billows to the safer Side.
Proud my of Freedom, I my Course persue,
For nothing wish'd, for nothing griev'd, but You.
My fear, the Foe by my scape enrag'd,
The Ills which you have since endur'd, presag'd.
To leave you thus expos'd, my Joy allay'd,
More of your Safety, than my own afraid.
Not long shall Spencer Laugh at my Disgrace,

The Spencers then great with the King, knew they could not be safe while such a turbulent Spirit as the Lord Mortimer was in England, and their Enemy.

Nor long the Nation and my Queen oppress.
If England shou'd 'n her Assistance grant,
She more will me, than I shall England want.


This odious Exile, may our Cause advance,
And what it lost in England, get in France.
Fame the great Actions of my Fathers spreads,
Their Bounty, Vertue, and Heroic Deeds.
The British Order in our House renew'd,

Roger, called the Great Lord Mortimer, Grand-father to this young Lord who was afterwards Earl of March, erected a round Table at Kenelworth in Warwick-shire, where was one of the most magnificent Castles in England, for a hundred Knights and a hundred Ladies, and the Entertainment of all Adventurers from any Part of Christendom, in imitation of Arthur's.

Confirms the ancient Honours of our Blood.
To Kenelworth, the Warrior Knights repair,
And prove their Might, and justifie the Fair.
None went from Mortimer, or poor, or griev'd,
The Wrong were righted, and the Poor reliev'd.
The Scots, while Wigmore led our Armies forth,
Ne'r ventur'd to disturb the peaceful North.
They ne'er for Plunder wander'd from their Bounds,
Nor sent the English back with shameful Wounds.
To Edward's Valour, and to ours they yield,
For Dead, as Living, Edward won the Feild.

Edward I. order'd at his Death, that his Bones should be carry'd into Scotland by his Successors, in their Wars, being perswaded by a Prophecy, that the English wou'd be fortunate while he or his Bones were with them.

But the Son's Actions stain the Father's Fame,
And Edward now is an inglorious Name.
Ne'er will his Flight at Strivcling be forgot,

Edward II. made a very great Expedition against Scotland, where he lost near the River Bamocksburn by Striveling upwards of 60000 Men, the only considerable overthrow the Scots ever gave the English. Edward carry'd his Minions, and they theirs with them to this War, for which they prepar'd with excess of Riot and Disorder.

An Honour to our Foes, to us, a Blot.


In wanton Revels he consum'd the Night,
And reeling from his Tent, began the Fight:
Happy, that Mortimer was then afar,
Nor shar'd the Scandal of the Minions War.
His Infamy I hear where e'er I come,
Despis'd abroad, as he's abhor'd at home.
Aid of a Thousand Nations I'll implore,
Of People, and and of States unknown before,
Far as our Navy spreads her Canvas Wings,
I'll seek for Succour from the distant Kings.
From Asia Troops, and from the Banks of Nile,
Shall joyn with Wigmore, and invade our Isle.
Or Traytors shall no more the King abuse,
Our Rights to Me, nor to my Queen refuse.
Their Lands we'll ravage, and their Cities burn,
And justly their Injustice will return.
We'll seek them with our Armies and our Fleet,
And, in the dusty Field, the Tyrant meet.
Nor tamely wait till he persues us here,
But brave his Fury and insult his Fear.


The Minions and their Master's Pow'r we'll try,
Nor Fight like Pyrats, nor in ambush lie.
With our shrill Trumpets and repeated Cries,
We'll fright the Air and rend the vaulted Skies.
The shining Corslet and the golden Shield,
With all the graceful Terror of the Field:
The Crest, the Lance, the prancing Sreed prepar'd,
They'll fear us in their turn, whom late we fear'd.
Our Fleet attending the propitious Gales,
To plow the watry way, and fill the Sails:
A Guest unwelcom to the Thames shall come,
And raise with forein Oars his silver Foam:
Along his flow'ry Banks shall proudly Coast,
And Mortimer triumphant, land his Host.
A num'rous Band, from diff'rent Regions chose
Our Friends to Succour, and Chastise our Foes.
Rome, to our Arms, her Thunders too will joyn,

Pope Clement V. sent Guastelline and Lucas, two Cardinals, into England, to compose the Differences between King Edward and the Barons, to whose desire the King seem'd to comply, and while they were in England, appear'd willing to keep the Peace, but as soon as they left him he broke his Promise, began the War with Thomas Earl of Lancaster, and was accurst at Rome.

Our Cause, by her Resentment, made Divine.
Whatever Prince to Tyranny pretends,
Must make Religion, and the Priests his Friends.


But Edward, wisely, first offended Rome,
And Persecutes his Subjects then at Home.
Curst by the Church, and whom the Church has curst,
Or soon, or late, are sure to have the worst:
Who fears not Mortimer, the Church may dread
The best Pretence, and what will still succeed.
Since every Fool, at least, has so much Zeal,
However, he obeys to wish her well.

There are two many at this day who pretending Zeal for a Church, whose Doctrines they neither practise nor understand, hide by this their Interest and Ambition, make themselves heads of Parties, and deceive the unthinking Crowd with their plausible Pretences, as there are many inferior Wretches, who Quarrel, Drink and Swear for the Faith and Ceremonies of which they have no manner of Notion.

Guyenne and Aquitain, the French invade,

Charles IV. then King of France, invaded those Provinces which were at that time subject to the Crown of England, stirr'd to it by the perswasion of the exile Mortimer, in hopes to favour the Queen his Sister's Cause by it. They had been long in possession of the English, whom the French often attempted to dispossess.

For Homage, or deny'd or long delay'd.
Their King enrag'd will meet a weak Defence,
And quickly will his Army drive us thence.
The Towns which so much Blood and Treasure cost,
An easie Conquest, will to Charles be lost.
The Gauls to England will no more submit,
Their past Subjection, and their Fears forget.
Nor from our Bows, nor from our Lances fly,

The English Bow-men, as famous in those days, as their Infantry are now; that by the confession of the French our Enemies, were the last disorder'd in the late War, and the first in any dangerous Attack. Busside Rabutin's Life of Lewis XIV.

But scorn our Weakness and our Pow'r defie.


Shake off their Chains, their Libety maintain,
Nor soon will yield to be our Slaves again.
The Valiant Bruce shall in your Brother's Aid,

Bruce King of Scotland, and an ally to Charles.

The Northern Counties with his Scots invade.
Death, Fire and Ruin will the Realm surround,
And War on every side our Foes confound.
The Tyrant frighted shall resign his Crown,
And a Third Edward fill the vacant Throne.
Whose future Laurels will restore the Name,
To its first Glory, and increase its Fame.
Her'ford and Warwick in our Quarrel dead,

The Earls of Lancaster and Warwick, who fell at Pomfret were thought to be Saints by the People when dead, as they were their Favourites when living. Great Miracles were reported to be done by their Relicts. They canoniz'd also Bobun Earl of Hereford, slain at Burrough Bridge, and if there are any worthy of such Divine Honour, they are certainly those who die in Defence of their Religion, their Country, and their Liberties: none being more profligate and wicked, nor more worthy of Hate when living, and Scorn when dead, than those who for Revenge or Advancement, contrive the Ruin of their Country by encouraging Factions and Discontents, and that Person must make an abominable Patriot, who never was against betraying his Country till he could not have the Profit of it, and has since been the most forward when it was most in his Power, and he could do it with most Advantage.

Are Saints and Martyrs by the People made:
Their sacred Relicts by the sick are worn,
And Cripples to their Graves for Cure are born.
Their Love to us, we may by them perceive,
For them they wou'd'n, or for us wou'd grieve.
So Fav'rite mighty, as he is, and Great,
Shall e'er possess our Wigmore's ancient Seat.

Wigmore, a Seat in Hereford shire, belonging to the Mortimers, who were Earls of the Marches of Wales, or Lords of the Borders.

With his new Trophies he shall ne'er debase,
The long descended Houours of our Race.


Nor Son, nor Father lead our Vassals forth,
To fight the Traytor's Battles in the North.
Ne'er be the Guardians of the British Pales,
Defending England, or preserving Wales.
Our Wrongs had been at first redress'd with ease,
They grow with time, and while delay'd encrease.
Such Spies about us, and so oft betray'd,
Our Plots must secret and secure be laid.
Let our past Errors future Faults correct,
And Care dissemble, what our Foes suspect.
No anxious Thoughts shou'd in your Looks be seen
And still you shou'd remember, you're a Queen.
This only can your Dignity maintain,
Till Fortune in our Favour turns again.



King Richard II. having resign'd the Crown to Henry of Bullingbroke Duke of Lancaster, Hereford, &c. afterwards King Henry IV. he was shut up in Pontefract Castle. And Isabel his Queen flies to her Father Charles VI. the French King. She sends him this Epistle from France; and the King her Husband, sends her the next from Pontefract.

Queen Isabel to King Richard II.

As Philomel, Companion of the Spring,
Bewails her Fate, so I my Sorrow sing.
My Words are interrupted by my Sighs,
While Floods of Tears are flowing from my Eyes.
How much I grieve, I want the Pow'r to tell,
The Pains for you, and for my self, I feel.


Think, by your own, the Burthen of my Care,
And guess my misery, by your Despair.
'Tis Just my Sorrow shou'd to them return,
By whom I suffer, and by whom I mourn.
France is a Stranger to the Guilt and Shame,
To England let 'em go, as thence they came.
At Pomfret, ever be the Place accurst,
My Griefs were born, and let 'em there be nurst.
Still was the North, unhappy to your Race,
Yet most Unhappy in this last Disgrace.
What they can't help the neighb'ring Kings deplore,
And future Ages will your Chains abhor.
Yet since our Ills are now beyond a Cure,
'Tis best to yield to what we must endure.
I hate my Eyes, that they cou'd deign to see

His publick Entry.

The proud Usurper, that were us'd to thee.
Impatient of my Lord, a while I stood,
The Tyrant and his pompous Entry view'd.


But, Oh! how daunted and surpris'd I look,
When seeking thee, I met with Bullingbrok?
The Crowd with Shouts repeated, rend the Air,
I askt 'em for the King, they pointed, there.
Again, I sought thee, but I sought in vain,
For, curse the Sight, 'twas Bullingbrook again.
Thy Robes he wore, and on thy courser Rode,
Yet lookt a Monster, where you lookt a God.
As Mars, my Hero was as rough in War,
In Love, as soft as Cupid, and as fair.
An awful Aspect, and a gentle Soul,
Our Sex to Conquer, and his own Controul.
Curst be the Day, when Her'ford shou'd have try'd

Bullingbrook then Duke of Hereford, was challeng'd by Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, for words spoke against him to the King, the Combat was to have been try'd at Coventry, but they were both banish'd before it came so far.

His might on Mowbray, or by him have dy'd.
In saving him, you have yourself undone,
Whose Death, demanded, had secur'd the Throne.
I saw at Coventry the furious Lord,
The sturdy Lance prepare, and girt the Sword.


The Heralds came, the Judges were decreed,
Each Warrior mounted on a foaming Steed.
They sternly frown'd, and blush'd with mutual Rage,
The Signal only wanting to engage.
Their Coursers champt the Bit and tore the Ground,
Alike, impatient of the Noble Sound.
Curse on the Minute which your Mercy lost,
The Price of Freedom, and a Kingdom's Cost.
For ever let it inauspicious be,
To all the World, as 'tis to you and me.
Norfolk, the Combat wou'd have justly won,
And Her'ford vanquish'd, you had sav'd the Crown.
Ador'd no longer than he kept his Pride,
The Peoples Love had with his Glory dy'd.
My Father kindly did the Wretch receive,

The Duke of Hereford fled to France.

Pity his Fortune, and his Wrongs believe.
Such Royal Honours to the Traytor shown,
As Heir to Gaunt, and Kindred to the Throne.


The vile Dissembler, thus his Subjects draws,
To think him injur'd, and defend his Cause.
Your March against the Rebel Kerns I view'd,

King Richard went against the Rebels in Ireland, where he was when Henry landed.

And heard the Shoutings of the changing Crowd:
When Millions on their Knees submissive fell,
And weeping, blest the King, and curst O Neal.
To lose you then a day, they scarce afford,
And all their Hopes were their returning Lord.
Their Lord returning, they disdain to see,
So fond of Bullingbrook, so false to thee.
Kings like the Sun, are ever in our sight,
And Clouds are quickly seen that shade the Light.
Monarchs Illustrious, like the Day appear,
But Spots discover'd, if we look too near:
They fansie when among their Slaves they shine,
Who call 'em so, believe they are Divine.
But Judges that approach too near the Throne,
See the King's Faults, who cannot see his own.
And while to Prosper him, on Heav'n they call,
His Ruin they contrive, and wish his Fall.


What new Pretence has Her'ford to the Crown,

William of Wickham so enrag'd with John of Gaunt, for his opposing the Clergy, and favouring the Followers of Wickliff, that he pretended the Queen confest to him on her Death-Bed, that the Child she was deliver'd of, was Female, and that John of Gaunt was the Son of a Fleming, so much was the Royal Line oblig'd to that ambitious Prelate.

Or from his Father's Right, or from his own.
His Father, such as shou'd not err, have said,
Was the base Issue of a Peasant's Bed.
Law, Reason, and Descent his claim confute,
While none your Title, or your Birth dispute.
Descended from the Victor Edward's Son,
A greater Hero, his Imperial Crown,
More rightfully is yours, than those he won.

Giving him to understand the ill Title his Father had to her Father's Kingdom.

Ne'er had the Rebel ventur'd on the Coast,
Nor landed on our Shoar his impious Host.
With these he ne'er had dar'd you to the Fight,
Too weak to hurt us, and too few to fright.
But that your Counsels to the Foe betray'd,
Incourag'd Her'ford, and your Friends dismaid.
The Peircys first the promis'd Succours bring,
Against their sworn Allegiance to the King:
Against their Duty to the rightful Heir,

Edmund Mortimer Earl of March, (whose Aunt Elnor, the Lord Percy marry'd) was descended from Philippa, Daughter of Leonel Duke of Clarence, which Mortimer in right of his Mother, as Heiress to the third Son of Edward III. King Richard when he went to Ireland, proclaim'd Heir apparent to the Crown.

And their own Nephew, Valiant Mortimer.


When first I came to England and the Throne,
Like a new Star amid your Court I shone.
I drew, and ravish'd the beholders Eyes,
And then they worshipt whom they now despise.
Or thus they would not our Misfortune see,
Nor Live contented till the King is free.
Why, by the Tyrant were we forc'd to part,
Least thy Queen's Love should ease thy aking Heart.
A wretched Comfort, for my Lord to see,
The Chains which wound his Royal Limbs, on me.
'Twas worse to lose thy Kingdom than thy Life,
Yet still 'tis worse to be deny'd thy Wife.
His Hate, his Malice, cou'd no farther go,
Nor load us with a Weight of greater Woe.
Oh? wou'd Aumarl had perish'd ere betray'd,

The Abbot of Westminster had plotted to kill King Henry at a Tilt at Oxford. The Hollands, Dukes of Exeter and Surrey, the Duke of Aumarl, the Earl of Salisbury, Spencer Earl of Gloucester, the Bishop of Carlisle, Sir Thomas Blunt and others had bound themselves by an Oath, to assassinate their Sovereign, which the Duke of Aumarl discover'd.

The Plot, the Nobles, had to save thee, laid.
Nor liv'd to break the solemn Oath he took,
To free the King, and punish Bullingbrook.


Wou'd he had been the Ransom of our Friends,
Brought by his Treason to inglorious Ends.
They fell untimely, as we mourn their Fate,
They gone too soon, and we remain too late.
Oh! that my Pow'r was equal to my Will,
To curse the Tyrant, as I wish him ill.
All the dire Torments and the Plagues of Life,
A Son rebellious, and a wanton Wife.
Chains, Poverty, and Shame shou'd be his Lot,
And his vile Offspring e're they ripen, rot.
Green, Scroop and Bushy, Witness to his Guilt,

Favourites of King Richard hang'd at Bristol in Henry's Progress to Flint Castle.

With Seas of Blood, which he unjustly spilt.
For Vengeance, Thousands he has murder'd call,
And Vengeance dreadful on his Head will fall.
He swore he did not at the Kingdom aim,

The lose part of the Clergy and others who think their Power cannot be supported but under an Arbitrary Monarchy, have always blacken'd this Story and the Character of Henry IV. whose Right to the Crown, by the abdication of Richard II. was undisputable. The Historians of this Party, pretend King Henry swore at Doncaster, he desir'd nothing but his Father's Inheritance, and nothing intended against King Richard or his Crown.

That Gaunt's Possessions only were his Claim.
Ye Pow'rs! who saw him at your Altars bow,
Bless him, or Curse him, as he kept his Vow.
May his own Bullingbrook our Cause revenge
On Percy, and his Wife repent the Change.


So basely Cruel to insult my Woe,
May he that has advanc'd her, bring her low:
As I for thee, may she for Percy mourn,
And his foul Treason on himself return.
In her Son's loss, in Hotspurs let her see,

Her Curse fell on Hotspur, who rebelling against King Henry, was slain at the Battle of Shrewsbury.

What Gallant Mortimer's has been to me.
Let her of Honour and Estate be spoyl'd,
And poor and helpless, be at last exil'd.
How shall I comfort you in such Distress?
Or rouse your Courage, which your Chains depress?
A King's unworthy of the Royal Name,
Who's fond of Living, tho' he lives with Shame.
Of Crown, of Liberty and Friends bereft,
Death is the only Refuge we have left.
And rather than in odious Bondage lie,
What King, but you, would be afraid to die.
Slaves may their Fate with fruitless Tears deplore,
A King shou'd be himself, or be no more.


Not long the Tyrant will a Rival bear,
Prevent his Cruelty and end your fear,
May the Just Pow'rs who best your Suff'rings know,
Above Reward you for your Wrongs below.


King Richard II. to Queen Isabel.

What can you hope from your unhappy Lord,
Whose Pen's as useless to him as his Sword?
Both fail alike in my unskilful Hand,
And I write now, as I did once Command.
What can I say, who cou'd a Kingdom lose,
Will a young Queen the mighty Loss excuse?
What Ease will this to your Affliction bring,
From one who was, and is no more a King?
My vile Condition will my Letters stain,
And ev'ry Page be printed with my Chain.
Like a gay Dream my former Glories pass,
And scarce I can remember what I was.
So low it sinks me, by my Stile you'll find,
My Body's less in bondage than my Mind.
In vain our Infamy I wou'd suppress,
These Chains, this Misery my Shame confess.


My Tongue which basely has renounc'd the Crown,

King Richard deliver'd the Deed of Resignation to King Henry with his own Hand in the Tower, confest his inability to govern, and renounc'd the Kingly Power.

If these were wanting, wou'd my Weakness own.
My Hand that witness'd to the Deed wou'd shew,
That all this Ruin to my Fears we owe.
Cou'd you for me the Mighty Bourbon slight,
For me, your Father and your Country quit?
Young, as you were, to tempt a dangerous Sea,
And trust your Beauty to the Winds for me.
By the first Princes of your Realm ador'd,
Cou'd you leave these, to seek a Forein Lord.

Lewis Duke of Bourbon courted her before King Richard marry'd her, and would have taken her after she return'd to France, but her Father marry'd her to Charles Son to the Duke of Orleans.

Were Europe's Treasures and her Monarchs scorn'd,
That thus by me your Love shou'd be return'd.
Did you for this ungrateful England chuse,
That thus she might your Virgin Choice abuse.
For me, your Friends and better Hopes forsake,
To be thus rob'd and sent affronted back.
When sleep, which only gives the wretched rest,
Relieves the Sorrow of my lab'ring Breast.


Oft to my sick Imagination kind,
She brings my past Dominion to my mind.
A King in all my former Pride I seem,
And fancy then this Bondage but a Dream.
I view with Joy, thy visionary Charms,
And strive to clasp thee in my empty Arms.
I think 'em real, as I I'd have 'em be,
And Ixion like, embrace a Cloud for thee.
I call my Love, and waking in the Fright,
The Vision flies, and I am lost in Night.
Oft, but in vain, I hope my Queen's retir'd,
More welcom to return, and more desir'd.
The Hours to me are tardy in their course,
The past I wish for, and the present curse.
When the Sun travels on his golden way,
I wish for Night, and when 'tis Night, for Day.
Old time, methinks, is in his Race too slow,
And ev'ry minute, is an Age of Woe.
No Change for me the various Seasons bring,
And Winter is to me the same with Spring.


Happy the People of the Southern sphere,
Where Spring and Summer crown the fruitful Year.
On me the Winter Winds with fury blow,
Our Mountains cover'd with perpetual Snow.
Pomfret, a proper Mansion for Despair,
Confines me here, while you are happy there.
How did the Rout their banish'd Her'ford mourn,

When the King banish'd the Duke of Hereford, the People lamented very much, and were not content, till the King to please them, took off four of the ten Years exile for his Difference with Mowbray, who was sentenc'd to banishment for Life.

And pray'd tumultuous for their Friends return.
Not their own Griefs cou'd touch the Rabble more.
Than Her'ford's, when he left the crowded Shore.
When they no longer cou'd their Darling see,
From blessing him, they turn'd to cursing me.
The Sentence lessen'd, still their Rage encrease,
They want him here, and will have nothing less.
My Friends fore saw the Mischiefs they design'd,
And I alone was to my Ruin blind.
He raises Trophies on my Father's Fame,

Richard II. was Son to the famous Prince Edward, call'd the Black Prince, eldest Son and Heir to Edward III. who had six other Sons, William of Hatfield, Lionel Duke of Clarence, John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, Edmund of Langly Duke of York, Thomas of Woodstock Duke of Glocester, William of Windsor.

And with his Conquests wou'd adorn his Name


Scarce common Praise to Edward's Deeds he'll grant,
As England's Empire were deriv'd from Gaunt.
The Brother Princes to his Genius bow'd,
O're them advanc'd, as they above the Crowd.
The Mighty Father jealous of his Son,
Fear'd that his Glory wou'd eclipse his own.
So early forward in persuit of Fame,
He left the Rival King, and won the Dame.
The Brothers follow'd with unequal Pace,
The next but lagging in the noble Chase.
The first in Valour he, by Birth the first,
But Gaunt, tho' not the latest, yet the worst.
Vile as I am, the Conqu'ring Edward's Son.
Still more than Lancaster's, deserves the Throne.
Were England grateful, I had kept my Crown,
Or for my Father's merit, or my own.
His Name the Terror of the Gallick Field.
Made Armies fly, and hostile Cities yield.


Princes and Kings he led in triumph home,

Edward the Black Prince took John King of France, and brought him Prisoner to London, where he dy'd in the Savoy; he was not call'd the Black Prince for his Complexion, but the Terror of his Arms.

Like the first Cæsars to Imperial Rome,
But soon for England, and for me too soon,
The Glory vanish'd that so brightly shone.
Him, future Ages, like another Mars,
Shall write a God, and place among the Stars.
While none will think that I from Edward came,
Or not his Son, or if his Son, his Shame.
So late exalted, we are sunk sunk so low,
What wretch will deign to look upon us now.
Their Envy once, their Pity we are grown,
Tho' few will pity one that lost a Crown.
Betray'd, despis'd, imprison'd and forsook,
All fly from us, and run to Bullingbrook.
Such as we lov'd are from their Posts displac'd,
And such as lov'd us, in his Court disgrac'd.
He rules the Realm with Arbitrary Sway,
The People chose him, and they must obey.
He tramples on our Laws, our Acts repeals,

In the first Parliament which Henry IV. held after Richard's abdication, all the Laws were repeal'd, which Richard's Pensioners had made in the Session of the 20th. of Richard II. which was call'd the Wicked Parliament. Happy for all Lovers of English Liberty, if Men out of Place and Favour could not creep into that Honourable House, to promote Faction and Discontent, under the specious Pretence of serving their Country, a Party more Infamous even than those who for private Interest only, promote Publick Good.

And ev'ry thing's a Statute that he wills.


His own Illegal Title to maintain.
He leaves no Records of the former Reign.
Thus wretchedly deprest, I bear the weight,
Of publick Infamy, and common Hate.
Whatever he inflicts, I must endure,
And never was so Rich, as now I'm Poor.
In Want abandon'd, and in Chains I lie,
But have not Courage, tho' I wish to die.
I'll take the Counsel I from you receive,
Who know too much to bid me Hope or Live.
For when our Troubles are beyond Relief,
Comfort can't lessen, but increases Grief.
To find a better Fortune, I despair,
And what is past my Hope, is past my Care,
The Pow'rs above unmindful of our Woes,
Scarce humble us so much, as raise our Foes.
Never, Oh! never be my Wrongs forgot,
But curse their Children while the Traytors rot.
Curst be the Crown the Tyrant Her'ford wears.
Wet with his Sons and with his Mother's Tears.


The Rebel Peircys will with horror see,
The Treasons punish'd they have dealt to me.
Their Pride, the same pernicious ways persue,
For, who have once been false, will ne'er be true.
No more, my Queen! No more my Griefs bewail,
The Wound's too great for Pity now to heal.
Sickness, Old Age, a Prison and Despair,
Will take the Life which I preserve by fear.
For you a better Fate remains in store,
On that look forward, and on mine no more.



Queen Katharine Dowager of the Victorious King Henry V. seeing Owen Tudor, a Welsh Gentleman, and one of her Wardrobe, at a Ball at Windsor, she was so charm'd with his Person and Dancing, that ever after, her Love for him increas'd, till she contriv'd to marry him, and this Letter is the Discovery of her Passion, which she believ'd he never wou'd have perceiv'd without it, nor dar'd to think of, unless she incourag'd him; a very welcome Message to one of his Fortune, who, to be sure, was not long in doubt how to reply to such a favourable Epistle.

Queen Katharine to Owen Tudor.

If for my Tudor, I my Birth forget,
The Pride of Majesty and quit my State.
He can't, but with Ingratitude, reprove,
My forward Passion, and triumphant Love.


At last my Grandeur yields to my Desires,
Which force me to reveal the latent Fires.
Confession shou'd 'n his Contempt create,
'Tis less my weakness, Tudor! than my Fate.
Immortal Phœbus, and Imperial Jove,
Like me descended from their Seats above.
A Satyr this, and that a Clown appear'd,
Lov'd in those Shapes, as in their other fear'd.
To turn the Wheel Alcides did submit,
And never was before so truly Great.
Thy Sov'reign crown'd with Laurels was to me,
A Suppliant once, as I am now to thee.
With equal Passion I return'd his Love,
And as I prov'd to him, to thee will prove.
Our Vows were constant, and our Hearts sincere,
I dear to him, as he to me was dear.
Tho' Fierce, yet Lovely, he at first appear'd,
And I grew fond of him, whom most I fear'd:
I met him kindled with the Heat of War,
As Mars, as dreadful, and as Cupid, fair.


To force my Heart the King by Conquest strove,
Mine are the softer Arguments of Love.
Thee, I beheld amid our rural Sport,
The gayest Youth that ever grac'd a Court.
Victorious both, by different Charms you please,
He rough in War, as thou art mild in Peace.
To thee the Monarch must for Courtship yeild,
To him, my Tudor, in the dusty Field.
Still his bright Image in his Arms I see,
And miss it only when I think on thee.
I shar'd the Glory that my Hero won,
The Fame of Conquest, and a double Crown.

Henry V. and his Queen Katharine, were own'd as King and Queen of France, during the Life of the French King Charles VI. Henry was by agreement, to be stil'd Peer of France, and after Charles's Death to have the Crown entirely.

A weight too heavy for his Son to bear,
In nothing but the Name, his Father's Heir.
In the rude Noise of Battles and Alarms,
At Troye the King possest my youthful Charms.

At Troye in Champaigne, King Henry V. marri'd his Queen Katharine.

The Foes, in these, the price of Peace agree,
As now they're made, the price of Love in thee.
I seek not Wealth, three Kingdoms in my Pow'r,
'Twere Avarice indeed to covet more.


Whoe're will Gold to honest Love prefer,
But Cheats herself, and Buys a Wedding dear.
If I were fond of Titles, there are none
More like to please Ambition than my own.
And Kings who most cou'd flatter, this desire
In vain, to what I offer thee, aspire.
Ambition once did all my Soul employ,
A Tyrant Passion, and unfit for Joy;
Love, gentle Love possesses now my Breast,
A kinder Mistress and a milder Guest.
My Passion I with pain have long conceal'd,
If not too plainly yet too late reveal'd.
Dishonest Wishes shou'd remain obscure,
Mine the severest Censure will endure.
I love, and will not with my Pride debate,
But tell the Youth that he may bless his Fate.
I boast not that my Father wore a Crown,

She was Daughter to Charles VI. Sister to Charles VII. French Kings, Wife to Henry V. Mother to Henry VI. Kings of England.

A King my Husband, and a King my Son.


My Brother too a King might make me vain,
But having thee they shall unenvy'd reign.
And how will this the Line of Gaunt abuse?
Our House has sure as much as theirs to lose.

Henry V. Son of Henry IV. Son of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster.

Both Bourbon and Lorrain are Names as great,
As fam'd in Story as Plantagenet.
From whence do these pretend such mighty Odds?
Are those deriv'd from Men? and these from Gods?
Are these the Offspring of the Sun and Moon?
And if they wed below the Stars, undone?
All Gods and Demi Gods, a heav'nly Race!
And less than Goddesses their Bed disgrace.
So Jealous of their Honour they appear,
As only theirs deserv'd a Princess care:
So much they think I've got by Henry's Crown,
I've little worth the keeping of my own.
Of Charles's Name I might alike be proud,
And talk as high of his Illustrious Blood.


Yet Charles and Henry are the same to me,
Of nothing fond, of nothing proud, but thee.
The British Princes found the way to please,
John's beauteous Daughter, and brave Edward's Niece.

Llewellin ap Jotwith, marri'd Joan, Daughter to King John, a very beautiful Princess. Llewellin ap Griffith, marri'd Elnor. Daughter to Simon Monfort Earl of Leicester, and Cousin to Edward I. they were both Princes of Wales.

They boast their Camilet and Arthur's Race,
And Challenge at the Lists the foremost place.

Camilet, the ancient Palace of King Arthur, whose Knights were most of this Country, according to the Fable.

Tho' England's Monarchs have usurp'd their Pow'r,
Who conquer'd them, they conquer'd oft before,
And dy'd the British Plains with Saxon Gore.
Rufus, a vain and bloody War begun,

William Rufus, Son to William the Bastard, call'd the Conqueror, made two Expeditions against the Welsh, in which he lost many of the chiefest Nobility, and the best part of his Armies. The Welsh incourag'd by his ill Success, made several prosperous Incursions into England in the Reigns of this Rufus, King Henry II. King John and Edward I.

To lose the Glorious Name his Father won.
Profusely lavish of his Nobles Blood,
Sabrina's Stream a crimson current Flood.
Twice he attack'd, and beaten twice return'd,
Now dreading those whom he so lately scorn'd.
No more of Rufus or his Arms afraid,
His weak Invasion teach 'em to invade.


My Beauty Peace to bleeding France restor'd,

Isabel Queen of France, and the Duke of Burgundy, brought the young Princess Katharine to King Henry, then at Melans on the River Seyne, where a Peace and his Marriage were concluded.

And stopt the Fury of the Conqu'ror's Sword.
In Love as mighty as he was in Arms,
His Courage less subdu'd me than his Charms.
Nor did I Henry to my Bed prefer,
Thro' want of Choice, Necessity or Fear.
A Crowd of youthful Hero's I refuse,
And him because he best deserv'd me chuse.
Like vulgar Things the rival Princes seem,
Who look like Gods, near any one but him.
The Wise, to Glouster must in Counsel yield,
The Brave, to Bedford in the doubtful Field.
Clarence for Piety and Valour fam'd,
And York's high Worth is thro' the World proclaim'd.
The greatest Princess might on Warwick Smile,
On Pool or Vere, and not her Honour soil.
Above 'em Henry eminently shin'd,
His Mien exalted like his God-like Mind.


By Nature form'd to conquer and to move,
To win by Victory, or charm by Love.
My Heart to him without reserve I gave,
And Tudor, what his Sov'reign had, shall have.
No alien Wishes shall our Peace molest,
Nor Jealousie disturb thy quiet Breast.
So sweet an Air is in my Lover's Face,
It graces ev'ry thing he does or says.
Thy Language which to some wou'd barb'rous be,
Is musical, and elegant to me.
The Words that once disgusted me, delight,
And what seem'd savage then, is now polite.
Those which in other Lips I might condemn,
Looks Eloquent in thee, tho' Rude in them.
As smoothly flowing from thy melting Tongue,
As Attick Numbers or the Græcian Song.
No artful Notes so moving, so Divine,
No Speech so pleasing, as no Voice like thine.
The boasted Wonders of the Thracian Lyre,
Ne'er breath'd into the Soul such soft Desire.


Let not the Presence of a Queen destroy
A Lover's Courage, nor distract thy Joy.
Such yielding Majesty thou need'st not fear,
Nor ever wilt by too much daring err.
A Princess loses with her Heart, her Pow'r,
And Queens in Love are Women, and no more.
Like these, are subject to the common Flame,
The same our Wishes, and our Joys the same.
The Man is little fit to serve the Fair,
Who durst not when a Queen invites him, dare.
I'll quit my Majesty like awful Jove,
And in a gentle Form, receive my Love.
The Rage, the Malice of the Crowd despise,
Their Threats are impotent, and base their Lyes.
To please my self, like other Women free,
In nothing I delight, but pleasing thee.
In this, my Tudor! I'll my Life employ,
While Kings shall envy thy transporting Joy:
Advanc'd above their Fury or their Hate,
We'll Live and Love, and leave the rest to Fate.


Owen Tudor to Queen Katharine.

Your Letter I receiv'd with such Surprize,
I thought my transport might delude my Eyes.
In Extasie the tender Page I view,
Too tender I suspected to be true.
Why shou'd my Queen my honest Heart beguile?
Why write, I reason'd, in so soft a Stile?
The more I read, I thought it more sincere,
And glorious Hope succeeded to my fear.
'Tis Love, ye Pow'rs, 'tis mighty Love I cry'd,
Who tames Ambition, and who humbles Pride.
My Lips with Rapture to the Seal I fixt,
And as I read, a thousand Kisses mixt.
My Soul cou'd scarce the boundless Joy contain,
Forgot its Fears, and felt no other Pain.
Thus the fond Mother meets her absent Son,
Transported thus, she doubts if 'tis her own.


She bathes his Bosom with her joyous Tears,
She feels, and yet, to trust her Pleasure fears.
'Till waking from a Dream, she thought so sweet,
She finds her Fortune is as sure as Great.
From distant Wales, to Court, I never came,
By Henry's Conquests tempted, or his Fame.
I, ne'er pretended in the State to rise,
The Courtier's Arts, and their Intrigues, despise.
I ventur'd early in a Christian War,

Tudor and other young Gentlemen, engag'd in a Voyage, Volunteers, in the defence of Rhodes.

And shew'd for Vertue what a Youth cou'd dare.
Tho' Vain and Young, a better Cause I chose,
And prov'd my Valour on the Church's Foes.
Nor Love, nor wild Ambition then possest
My peaceful Soul, nor yet had broke my rest.
I left not Cambria thro' the blind Event
Of Fortune, but eternal Fate's consent.
In British Merlin's sacred Books we read,

Ambrose Merlin, who, as 'tis thought, gave his Name to the Town and Country of Caermarthen, his Prophecies are still extant.

That Monarchs shou'd in Tudor's Line succeed.
Tho' late, we see, the Prophet's words are true,
And perfectly, at last, fulfil'd in you.


The Fates, he said, our Helmet wou'd advance,

The Arms of Tudor were three Helmets.

To England's Scutcheon, and the Arms of France.
The Leek, the Lily, and the Rose shou'd joyn,
The Rose, the Lily, yours; the Leek is mine.
As England's Queen, the blushing Rose you bear,
Of France, as Daughter, you the Lily wear.
Of both, the Queen, the Dowager of both,
Of this by Conquest, and of that by Oath.
My Hopes are tow'ring to so vast a height,
By you encourag'd, and decreed by Fate.
Whom shou'd our Nuptials injure or displease,
We cannot err in what our Fate decrees?
Who strive to daunt us by their Threats or Pow'rs,
Oppose Heav'ns Pleasure, in opposing ours.
You need no Pallas, nor no Juno dread,
No Rival to dispute your Lover's Bed.
A brighter Hellen I in you enjoy,
Yet arm no Foes to fire another Troy.
The fair beginnings of our Loves declare,
The End will be as kind, as these are fair.


With graceful measure, I like Paris danc'd,

Owen Tudor Dancing before the Queen at Windsor, in a turn, not being able to recover himself, fell into her Lap, as she sat on a Stole with her Ladies about her.

And haply falling by my Queen, advanc'd.
So active at the Sports you might have seen,
My gayety was meant, to charm the Queen.
Fate works not always by the common Ways,
For that which ruins some, may others raise.
Whatever means he uses late or soon,
The Bus'ness He designs to do, is done.
Not much infected with my Nation's Vice,
Where ev'ry Slave's descended from the Skies:
Each vulgar Wretch his high Descent will prove,
From Phœbus, Hercules, and some from Jove.
My Fathers were, alas! of mortal kind,
And not one God in all our Race we find.
Princes and Hero's, I perhaps, may bring,
And Knights whose Deeds our ancient Poets sing.
To grace my Birth, from Arthur I might prove,
Your Tudor came, but what is Birth in Love?
Oft in their Songs our British Bards repeat,
Cadwallader, and Leoline the Great.

Cadwallader, the last King of the Britains, descended, says Jeoffrey of Monmouth, from a Race of Trojans, to whom an Angel, if you'll believe the Historian, appear'd, commanding him to go to Rome to Pope Sergius, where he died.


Eucon and Theodore are often sung,

Encon was slain by the Rebels of Gwenland, he was a famous Person in his days, was Father to Theodore, of whom descended the Princes of South-Wales.

And fair Gwinellian from whom I sprung.

Guenellian, Daughter of Rees ap Griffith ap Theodore, Prince of South-Wales, marry'd Edmund Vaughan, Ancestor to Owen Tudor, at least this Geneolagy was found out after his Posterity came to the Crown.

Lewellin, call'd Leolinus Magnus, Prince of North-Wales.

In long Succession they have reign'd in Wales,
Nor is it Fable, nor Romantick Tales.
Yet this I do not to deserve you plead,
But only by your Goodness must succeed.
Tho' who will search into our ancient Line,
And proud Plantagenet's compare with mine:
Will see that Fortune in our Cause appears,
Much more to ours indebted than to theirs.
This, as a Prince, with Modesty I boast,

He stiles himself, a Prince descended from Prince Theodore.

A Prince, whose Name, as well as Pow'r is lost.
On what we were, I will no more look back,
But what my Queen shall make me now reflect.
In me my Country's Honour shall revive,
And in our future Sons her Glory live.
Her Fame shall spread, and be by all confest,
To French nor English now no more a Jest.

The Welsh defeated the English at Scroggen-Castle near Offa's Dyke in Henry II. time, yet the English by a strange dexterity, turn'd the name of Scroggen, to a word of reproach for the Welchmen, which they purchas'd with honour.

Ungrateful to us, they forget how well,
The Dane, the Swede and Saxon we repel:


They both were Conquer'd by a forein Host,
We kept our Liberty, when theirs was lost.
No alien Phrases in our Speech intrude,
Which since 'tis uncorrupt, they fancy rude.
If theirs so elegant, so rich are grown,
'Tis more with borrow'd Beauties than their own,
Those marks of Slavery we scorn to bear,

I need not observe that the Welsh are the remains of the Britains, which the Picts, Saxons and Danes drove into that corner of the Isle where they now inhabit, and have preserv'd their Language.

Nor wou'd to be polite, their Fetters wear.
The treacherous Saxon ne'er prevail'd in Wales,
Nor once unpunish'd past the British Pales.
The swelling Severn and our holy Dee,
We fix'd our Bounds, and were within 'em free.
From Brute, or whom the Fable Brutus names,
Her Rise our Nation, and Precedence claims.
The Rage of all Invaders we have stood,
The sacred Remnant of the Trojan Blood.
With this Content we never wou'd advance,
Our Fame by vexing, or subduing France.
Like Henry we as easily had won,
Another Kingdom, as have kept our own.


Our Valour equal, tho' our Numbers less,
Our Courage suffers not from our Success.
This tedious Story I too long persue,
Since nothing but my Love can merit you.
Fly swift, ye Minutes! like my Wishes fly,
To my Queen bring me, and begin my Joy.
Forgive my Youth, my Lover's Hopes forgive,
For Hopes so daring, must be fed to live.
Oh! when, as often I reflect how mean,
How low I am my self, how high my Queen:
A King, how little worthy to succeed,
And rival Monarchs for your Royal Bed:
What Pains unutterable then I feel,
'Tis worse to my tormented Soul than Hell.
So poor you keep me till you grant the rest,
Possest of nothing till of all possest:
So many ways to lose you there appear,
So few to keep you, you'll excuse my Fear:
My Jealousie encreast by what I read,
The Thefts of Gods, and their Deceit I dread.


Suspicious of Apollo's Beams I grow,
And the cool Winds which on your Beauties blow:
Of fair Leucothoe and Orithea dream,
And Neptune toying in a gentle Stream.
Of young Erigone's unhappy Feast,
When Bacchus in a Grape the Nymph carest;
Tho' idle Fables, they my hopes abuse.
So much I have to gain, so much to lose:
Tho' less than Henry in Renown and Arms,
In Tudor, you may find as pleasing Charms.
Kings do not always what they promise, prove,
Nor Hero's triumph in the Fields of Love:
Young, kind and faithful is a Lover's worth,
And more than answers what he wants in Birth:
Yet like the Son of Phœbus I may strive,
To guide the Chariot, which I cannot drive.
My Soul, that to your Favour dares aspire,
Shews, 'tis enflam'd with an immortal Fire.
Forgive me, lovely Queen, if I express,
My Wishes in a plain, but honest Dress:


To some prevailing Passion all incline,
Some darling attribute, and Love is mine.
By Beauty you are famous as by Birth,
By Heav'n design'd to cheer the drooping Earth.
'Tis only Love in your exalted State,
Can make you still more Happy and more Great.
A King might Court you with a better Grace,
Might flatter better, but wou'd love you less.
For who in Politicks or War excel,
Are worn too much to please the Ladies well.



Elnor Cobham Dutchess of Gloucester, Wife of Humphrey, Sirnam'd the Good, Duke of Gloucester, and Protector of the Kingdom during the Minority of his Nephew King Henry VI. having been accus'd of Sorcery, and contriving the Death of the King, was condemn'd to three publick Pennances in London, and to be afterwards confin'd to the Isle of Man; which Sentence was accordingly executed. From Man she writes to Duke Humphrey this Letter; and the next is his Answer.

Elnor Cobham to Duke Humphrey.

You wonder who to send you this presumes,
And turn, methinks, to know from whom it comes:
I fear, so wretched, when my Name you see,
You'll scorn the Letter in Contempt of me.


What shall I do that you my plaint may hear?
My Name, my very Being I'll forswear:
Since 'tis so infamous, so odious grown,
I will no more, by what you hate, be known:
And yet, for what shou'd you confounded stand?
What can you see to fright you in my Hand?
You are no stranger to my Shame and Woe,
Too long, too much have known, to Wonder now!
From you the worst of my Misfortunes came,
The Subject still, and my Complaint the same.
My Letter, you believe, will blast your Sight,
And read with trembling what in Tears I write.
Yet these to hurt you have no secret harm,
No dreadful Spell and no infernal Charm:
From these, my Lord has nothing ill to fear,
Whose Health and Joy I to my own prefer.
A loyal Wife petitions you to read,
Who brought you for her Dow'r a Virgin's Bed.
Tho' Beaufort's Malice to defame my Life,

Cardinal Beauford, an Enemy to this Lady, pretended she gave the Duke Philters to engage his Love.

Thy Mistress makes me first, and then thy Wife.


If once to lawless Studies I apply'd,
I us'd no lawless means to be thy Bride:
I won thee not by Trick nor Magic Charms,
Nor practis'd Arts to tempt thee to my Arms:
I try'd no Philters nor bewitching Draught,
To force thy Love as some have weakly thought:
I can no worth as Holland's Princess boast,

Duke Humphrey marry'd Jacornin, Daughter to the Duke of Holland, and Wife of the Duke of Brabant, with whom Burgundy joyn'd, and made War on Duke Humphrey, who by the Sentence of the Pope, was oblig'd to return her to her first Husband.

But on our Island brought no forein Host:
No clam'rous Husband chac'd the flying Dame,
Nor forc'd thee basely to suppress the Shame,
To send her back polluted as she came:
Nor Burgundy, nor Brabant claim'd thy Wife,
Nor did our Spousals fill the World with Strife:
No sacred Court was mov'd to make us part,
For none thy Right disputed to my Heart:
No fierce Commotions from our Nuptials rose,
Nor Provinces attackt by neighb'ring Foes.
Your Brother's Princely Consort may resign,

The Duke of Bedford's Wife, was Daughter to the Duke of Burgundy, he regent of France, and Gloucester of England.

Her Title to precedence here to mine.


The great Protector's Wife destroys her Claim,
If else I might not to that Honour aim:
If by the Lustre of our ancient Race,
I have no Title to so high a Place;
Greenwich, once Witness of our Royal State,
Sinks in our Fortunes as she rose of late.
To the next Towns when I was wont to ride,
The joyful Province put on all her Pride.
The Silver Thames to meet my golden Barge,
Swell'd his white Waves, and proudly bore the Charge.
The Ships where'er the wanton Galley row'd,
Hung out their chequer'd Tops, and spread their Flags abroad.
Where'er I went, I like a Goddess mov'd,
Ador'd by all, if not by all belov'd.
How cou'd the Crowd my Ignominy see?
My slavish Punishment for Love of thee.
When doom'd to vulgar Penance in the Street,
Vile in my Dress, and wounded in my Feet.


I march'd and suffer'd, Conscious of my Wrongs,
The rude Insultings of Plebeian Tongues.
Where then wast thou and thy supream Command?
Where then the great Protector of the Land?
Of all thy Brother Princes, stil'd the Good,
More famous for thy Vertue than thy Blood.
For, who of all Heroic Edward's Line,

Descended from Edward III. by John of Gaunt.

Has kept his Fame so uncorrupt as thine?
Who else next Henry shou'd the Realms advance,
To Guide this Empire and to Bridle France?
Rayner's proud Daughter must be fetch'd in hast,
To our Dishonour on the Throne be plac'd,
And Main and Anjou on the Beggar cast.
In vain thou labour'st with incessant Toil,
With a fair Heiress to enrich our Isle.
There's nothing worthy in Arminiack seen,

The Princess of Arminiac, whom the Duke of Gloucester wou'd have marry'd to his Nephew, but Pooll Duke of Suffolk mannag'd him so well, as to get him to take his Friend Margaret, Daughter to the Poor King of Sicily.

Since Pool will have his Darling made a Queen.
By this the Minion is become so great,
To rival Princes in their Pow'r and State.


To rule these Realms with arbitrary Sway,
And govern those he shou'd himself obey.
Why, when the Ocean bore him, were his Sails
Swoln gently out with mild Etesian Gales?
Why, when he brought her, did the Winds restrain
Their Rage, and curl with sportive Waves the Main?
Why did not Lightnings blast, and Thunder roar,
And angry Tempest dash 'em on the shoar?
E're she arriv'd to wast with lavish hand,
On worthless Slaves, the Riches of the Land.
What Henry conquer'd, and what Bedford kept,
By Rayner's griping Poverty is swept.
The Queens whom we have fetch'd from distant shores,
With forein Treasures have encreas'd our Stores,
Which to our Coffers vast Revenues brings,
The Life of Subjects, and the Strength of Kings.


Which animates the Soldier best to fight,
And best supports us to maintain our Right.
She brought us Ruin for a Royal Dow'r,
And sinking in our Fortunes, sunk us low'r.
Yet from her always I receive most Wrong,
And suffer most from her malicious Tongue.
Witch, Beldam, Sorc'ress are her common Words,
The civil'st Names which she on me affords.
Oh, for her sake that I a Sorc'ress were,
By Day to plague her, and by Night to scare!
Her Face with cank'ring Scratches I wou'd tear,
Or with mysterious Knots bewitch her Hair:
By Night unseen, lie heavy on her Breast,
Break her soft Slumbers and distract her Rest:
Or pinch her tender Skin, with fairy Pains,
Which holds her wanton Blood in azure Veins:
Or take some other more familiar Shape,
That my just Vengeance she might ne'er escape:
Were I her Robe that I her Flesh might hurt,
With fiercer Poyson than Alcides Shirt:


The Venom thro' her Veins I wou'd distil,
And her whole Frame with wild Destruction fill:
Were I a Flow'r that wou'd her Smell invite,
Soft to the Touch, and tempting to the Sight;
I'd strike with pestilential Fumes her Brain,
Till she grew mad like me, and rav'd with Pain.
'Tis said, the Druids once possess'd this Isle,
Mona, the place of my unjust exile;
Whose pow'rful Charms prodigious Wonders wrought,
As Doctrine worshipt, and as Science taught.
Oh, that to me they had their Spells resign'd!
Which rais'd and husht whene'er they pleas'd the Wind:
The Moon affrighted trembled in her Sphere,
With Horror heard their Voice and shrunk with fear:
Cou'd I like these destroy the Plowman's Seed,
Or bane the Flocks as on the Down they feed.


Infernal Spirits nurse with Infant Blood,
Waft thro' the Air, or o're the briny Flood,
Had I this Knowledge that by time is lost,
I wou'd still haunt her like an injur'd Ghost.
O pardon, pardon, my ungovern'd Tongue!
What Woman can endure such mighty Wrong?
The Heav'ns, as nearer she approach'd our Land,
Seem'd to forbid her to defile the Strand.
Blue Lightning flasht amain, and Thunder roar'd,
And England's Genius her Descent abhor'd:
Earth quak'd, and twice the Thames kept back his Tide,
Reluctant to behold her on his side;
Pauls shook with Tempests, and her mounting Spire,
Blaz'd out with ghastly Flames and aireal Fire;
Our stately Buildings from their Base were torn,
Flung down, or were aloft by Whirl-winds born;
The Storm, the Image of her mind, these Ills,
Prophetick to the Woe our Kingdom feells.


Oh! blame me not, for when I durst not speak,
My Heart is ready with the Load to break;
I, whose Degree was lately near the Throne,
Am now a Vagabond, an out-cast grown;
No shining Robes my wretched Limbs adorn,
Wrapt in a Mantle, and expos'd to scorn:
My Presence once cou'd strike the Crowd with aw,
Whose Suff'rings scarce can their Compassion draw:
Abroad I seldom venture, but by Night,
Grown noxious, like an Owl, to human Sight;
In Clifts of Rocks, or in a dampy Cell,
In Caves, the Confines of the Grave, I dwell;
My Eyes in which my Lord such pleasure took,
Each youthful Grace, and ev'ry cheerful Look;
Are early banisht thence by Care and Pain,
And haggar'd Wrinkles in their place remain:
Like Rings of Gold my Locks but lately shin'd,
Their Curl the Frolick of the gamesom Wind;
Now like a Gorgon's, my dishevel'd Hair
Hangs o'er my Back, and whom it charm'd, wou'd scare;


My Breasts no more like snowy Hills appear,
The Loves are seen no more, nor Graces there;
My Skin with loathsom Jaundice is o'er grown,
To thee, nor to my self, I cou'd no more be known;
So much of all that's lovely, I'm bereft,
The Ruins of a Beauty scarce are left;
To think how Happy I was once, and Fair,
How wretched now, and how I thence despair:
When I reflect on what I once cou'd boast,
And what of Pow'r and of Command I've lost:
I rave with Madness like Tartarian Priests,
Or Nymphs of Bacchus at their frantick Feasts:
On Beauford may Egyptian Plagues descend,
That Prelate, rather I shou'd call him Fiend;
There's something in his Name methinks so foul,
Forgive me Heav'n, 'tis Poyson to my Soul;
The Traytor, he, who when my Cause was heard,
Of all my Judges, most my Foe appear'd;
Not suffer'd in my own Defence to plead,
Invented Mischiefs to my Charge he laid;


That I to Bullinbrook's Designs agreed,

Bullingbrook and Southwell, convicted with the Duchess of Sorcery.

And by my Presence justify'd the Deed;
That I assisted at their Magick Rites,
Convers'd with Goblins and familiar Sprights;
That Southwell was by my procurement won,
And all by Beauford's watchful Cunning known.
Why shou'd the Bastard be allow'd to vaunt
Himself descended of the famous Gaunt?
Who gave him out of Charity his Name,
To hide the Foundling and his Parents shame:
For if Report of ancient Times be true,
He ne'er his Father nor his Mother knew:
For this he practis'd Murder on his Son,
By Henry's Death, to seize on Henry's Throne.
By him a bold Assassin was convey'd,
And near the Royal Bed in ambush laid:
The Victor Prince had perish'd by his Sword,
Had not a Dog more faithful sav'd his Lord:

The Cardinal was accus'd of endeavouring to get Henry V. assassinated, and 'tis said, a Dog in the King's Chamber discover'd the Murderer.

The Queen, the Prelate and her Minion Pooll,
The King and Kingdom at their pleasure Rule:


Among their Fav'rites they our Wealth divide,
And all too little to maintain their Pride:
The King does nothing but the Name enjoy,
His States these govern, and will soon destroy.
Late may the Hour of our Destruction come,
But 'tis too plain to doubt if we consume:
May my Lord live from their Attempts secure,
Tho' who is under such Protection sure?
Oh, that thou wou'dst thy Glouster's Stile refuse!
Some other Title and Distinction chuse:
The Name, I fear, is fatal to thy House,
To them as it has prov'd, 'twill prove to us:
When I fore-see thy future Danger near,
I often wish thee banish'd with me here:
Farewel, my Lord, my last adieu receive,
'Tis all, alas! that I have left to give.


Duke Humphrey to Elnor Cobham.

Can I forget thee, or behold thy Fall
By me unpity'd, tho' 'twas wish'd by all?
Swifter than Shades our fleeting Pleasure flies,
But Grief is sooner born, and later dyes.
Such cruel Thoughts of me thou wou'dst suppress,
If thou cou'dst judge Impartial in Distress.
In all thy Trouble I have had my share,
Thy Wrongs are mine, thy Shame and thy Despair.
How was I struck when Fame and Envy spread
That Elnor, guilty, was from Justice fled.
Of black Designs and hellish Arts accus'd,
By Onlye and the Witch of Eye abus'd.
That for the King's Destruction she conbin'd,
With invocated Fiends in Counsel joyn'd.
Were Henry wasted by a Magick Fire,
And melting by degrees shou'd thus expire.


As in his Picture he consum'd away,
His Person shou'd insensibly decay.
This pierc'd my Soul, and I for thee began
By fear, to find I was no more than Man.
Were the Wounds heal'd which for thy Wrongs I feel,
Thine might continue to afflict me still.
But how can I, from all Infection free,
Forget thy Sorrow while I think on thee?
When thou art hurt, can I be free from Pain?
Or shoud'st thou by thy self the mighty Load sustain?
My Soul for light Afflictions has no room,
Compleatly wretched I'm by thine become.
Tho' absent, thy Misfortunes rack my Mind,
Thy Shame, tho' thou art gone, remains behind.
Tho' from thy Husband thou art forc'd to part,
Thy mournful Image never leaves his Heart.
No Eyes bewail, none pity our Distress,
Our Grief the more, howe'er, our Debt the less.


The Crowds good Wishes are from us estrang'd,
Their changing Love is with our Fortune chang'd.
A Fate which ne'er shou'd disappoint the Wise,
They court the Happy, but the rest despise.
What cou'd so far thy wild resentment move?
Again to charge me with a forein Love?
To former Ills 'tis time to bid adieu,
We find enough to plague us in the New.
Have not I tenderly thy Usage mourn'd?
And thy Complaints with mutual plaints return'd?
Did I unkindly in this hour forbear,
For Sigh to answer Sigh, and Tear for Tear?
Or seeming unconcern'd did I neglect,
Those Signs of Love, your Sex so much affect?
Cou'd any guess or by my Dress or Mien,
My Thoughts were undisturb'd, my Heart serene?
Did none discover when, or how I griev'd?
Nor in my Looks, my Discontent perceiv'd?
Is this your Quarrel with me you shou'd know,
No troubles are so strong as silent Wo.


If in my Breast unutter'd they remain,
They are still there, and still I live in pain:
Affliction by Concealment is increas'd,
It lessens when exprest, when known, 'tis eas'd.
What of her Wealth to me has England lent?
Examine what she has receiv'd or spent.
Like her true Son, I have obedient prov'd,
Yet am I, tell me, like a Son belov'd?
A spurious Offspring must my Rival be,
Set up to stand between the Throne and me.
Must I with him my Priviledge dispute,
The Realms shall judge it, and his Plea confute.
Is Wisdom mighty oft, when Force is weak,
Let France, how much she owes my Counsels speak?
Cravant, Vernoyl and Egincourt can tell,

Three famous Battles fought in France, Duke Humphrey, a great Counsellor in this Expedition.

How by my Conduct there, her Armies fell.
If Faith deserves, my Title must succeed,
Who kept the Crown on Harry's Infant Head.

Henry Beauford Cardinal of Winchester receiv'd the Hat at Calais, against the Command of his Nephew King Henry V.


If I can merit by a Patriot's Cares,
My Youth cou'd early shew her Silver Hairs.
Am I made Glorious by the Peoples Fame,
With the best Honours they adorn my Name?
If Plots discover'd and incessant Toil,
Declare that I have lov'd or serv'd our Isle.
If happy Embassies my worth enlarge,
None better did the Trust, or cou'd discharge.
For me, if England, wou'd all Europe hear,
She wou'd not Beaufort's purple Robe prefer.
Rome's Pardons shou'd no more our Gold devour,
Nor o'er the Kings the Priest advance his Pow'r.
He shou'd no Taxes on the People lay,
Nor they Contribute what the Church shou'd pay.
Whate'er he says, his ghostly Councils aim,
To ruin ours, and set up Langly's claim.

The House of Cambridge descended from Edmund Langly Duke of York, a younger Brother to John of Gaunt; they claim'd the Crown by another Title, from Lionel of Clarence, an elder Brother of the Duke of Lancaster.

He leads young Henry in unwholsome ways,
To raise the House of York, his own betrays:
We from the Blood of Lancaster descend,
From Cambridge, they, tho' Clarence they pretend.


Strange, that himself from mighty Gaunt deriv'd,
Shou'd wish his Children of their Right depriv'd.
From Henry, Cambridge wou'd the Crown have torn,
And snatcht the Laurels by my Father worn.
With Grey and Scrope he secret Treasons laid,
To murder Her'ford, and his Rights invade.
From March and Mortimer he boasts his Line,
Whom Glendour aided in their bold Design.
With him and Percy for the Crown declar'd,
And the divided Realm in equal Portions shar'd.
This Beauford knows, and to embroil the State,
Wou'd fain revive our Houses ancient Hate.
Stern Mowbray by the Priest will be restor'd,

An ancient Grudge between the Houses of Lancaster and Norfolk, since Mowbray Duke of Norfolk was banish'd for the Accusation of Henry Duke of Her'ford afterwards King Henry IV.

To raise new Tumults, and insult his Lord.
No Time nor Distance can his humour change,
But still on Her'ford's Race he vows Revenge.
'Twas Beauford freed our Pris'ner from his Bands,

James Stuart King of Scotland, being Pris'ner in England, marry'd the Cardinal's Niece, Daughter to John Duke of Somerset, he broke his Oath and became a great Enemy to England.

And put our Princess into faithless Hands.


Whose Husband for her dow'r attacks our Coast,
And gains by Treaty what by Arms he lost.
The Queen and Suffolk, Henry's Empire guide,
By Beauford's Head their Policy supply'd.
He sooths the Queen in her advancing Pooll,
Proud, under them, that he's allow'd to rule.
Why shou'd I talk to thee of her or him?
Thy self my Care, thy Sorrows are my Theam.
England and thou, divide my Loyal Heart,
And scarce I know which holds the greater part.
Or thou, or England, which shall I prefer,
You both are to my anxious Soul so dear:
In thee and England, I this Difference find,
England's ungrateful, and my Elnor kind.
Yet justly, tho' my Country I reprove,
For England I too oft neglect my Love.
Still art thou Elnor to my Heart as dear,
As when I saw thee first, and still thou seem'st fair.


When with the Pride of Youth thou wert array'd,
And in thy Eyes the Loves and Graces play'd.
When thy fresh Beauties most amaz'd my Sight,
And I possest thee with supream Delight.
Tho' Time and Anguish have decreas'd their Store,
Enough remains, and I desire no more.
The worst of Malice, like thy self, endure,
Thou ne'er canst be but in dejection Poor.
A while for better Days preserve thy Life,
A Princess thou art still, and still my Wife.
Let not thy Eyes by looking high renew
Thy Grief, but such as are below thee view.
The Great, whom Fortune flatters with Command,
Shall soon with us upon the level stand.
We have the dismal, they the gladsom Hours,
And when it pleases Heav'n, they shall be ours.
We weep, and they may have a time to mourn,
Whom now despise us, we in time may scorn.
Woes in extreams are too severe to last,
And worse we need not fear than what is past.


These Hopes, the wretched in Disgrace, attend,
That when Despair is at the worst, 'twill mend.
Cou'd I by bearing all, thy Pains relieve,
I only, cou'dst thou be content, wou'd grieve.
Cou'dst thou to me the pond'rous Weight resign,
The Burthen of thy Sorrow shou'd be mine,
Till the thick Clouds that o'er our Fortunes low'r,
Blow off, and we again resume our Pow'r.
And now, methinks, a beam of Hope is seen,
Our Sea grows gentle, and our Sky serene.
Thro' the black Tempest I perceive a Ray
Of Light, the happy Pledge of future Day.
Hence gloomy Thoughts for ever! Hence Despair!
And let our Love be mutual as our Care.
In Solitude and Peace let Elnor rest,
Till Heav'n again shall smile, and we again be blest.



William de la Pooll Duke of Suffolk, procures a Match between King Henry VI. and Margaret Daughter of Rayner King of Sicily and Jerusalem, to whom the Provinces of Man, Anjou and Maine, were deliver'd on a Treaty concluded by the Duke of Suffolk, for which Treason, the Duke was banish'd by the means of the Earl of Warwick, at a Parliament held at Leicester. From France this Epistle is suppos'd to be sent to Queen Margaret from William de la Pooll, and the next is her Answer.

William de la Pooll Duke of Suffolk to Queen Margaret.

Let not my Mistress my Misfortune share,
And I with Patience will my Exile bear.
Five rowling Years on nimble Wings wou'd fly,
Like Lover's minutes, if my Queen were by.


When thou art absent, 'tis Eternal Night,
And Banishment Eternal from thy Sight.
The Persians who adore the rising Day,
Cou'd they see thee, to thee wou'd Worship pay.
Thy Eyes excel the Sun's meridian Light,
Their Force as piercing, and their Rays as bright.
Their rival Beams with Wonder he surveys,
And in his rapid Course, to view thee, stays.
England a Prison wou'd without thee be,
And ev'ry Region curst alike to me.
Who cou'd to Bonds the Generous Pooll confine?
What Chains can I submit to wear, but thine.
We, like the Falcons, no restraint endure,
Nor stoop, like vulgar Birds, to ev'ry Lure.

The Duke of Suffolk gave a Faulcon for his Arms, his Family was but new, and originally Citizens of London, from whom many of our present Nobility are deriv'd, tho' they have taught the inferior Quality to look on the most useful, and consequently the noble part of the Commonwealth, as a worthless scoundrel sort of People, below their Acquaintance or Conversation; in this our Fops and Wits are much wiser that Machiavell, who was of a quite different Opinion, and thought none of value in a State, that was not serviceable to it.

With wanton Wings in open Air they play,
And ne'er descend, but when they seize their Prey.
Live where we will, our Dwelling is the same,
We view one Heav'n, and tread one earthly Frame.


No Exile to the Brave can be assign'd,
Nor with the Body is the Soul confin'd.
Man in himself a little World contains
A Soul not subject or to Bonds or Chains.
Wheree'er his Body by constraint may be,
His Soul superior to their Force is free.
Who such Injustice, and be Calm, can bear,
The worst of Fortune has no need to fear.
At Leicester, Warwick my Disgrace contriv'd,
The States by him, and perjur'd Slaves deceiv'd.
Me they accus'd for yielding up of Main,
To me they charge the Loss of Aquitain.
By this, he feign wou'd win the Peoples Fame,
And be the Heir of good Duke Humphrey's Name.
My spotless Honour he abus'd with Lies,
That o'er the Pooll, the Nevil Race may rise.
He joyn'd in Counsel with his haughty Sire,

Nevil Earl of Salibury.

In York's stern Breast to kindle latent Fire.
By Clarence Title, aiming to supplant,
The Claims of Henry from the Famous Gaunt.


The Rout with fair Pretences he beguil'd,
And I, to please the Rabble, am exil'd.
Revenge my Good old Lord! the Traytor cry'd,

Humphrey Duke of Gloucester suppos'd to be murther'd by the Queen, and Pool's procurement.

Revenge! the People and his Friends reply'd.
Tho' worn with Age the Fav'rite Duke deceas'd,
Yet I must suffer, and the Mob be pleas'd.
If they wou'd know who rob'd him of his Life,
From Man, they only need recal his Wife.

Meaning Elnor Cobham Duchess of Gloucester, banish'd to the Isle of Man for Sorcery.

She, who in high Procession march'd along,
With flaming Wax, and penitential Song.
Let her again perform her Magic Rites,
And summon to her Aid, infernal Sprights.
From Hell, her Ministers must rise again,
To tell how Humphrey dy'd, and who shall reign.
Full Twenty Years in Gallick Plains I fought,

The Duke of Suffolk on the Duke of Bedford's Death, was made Leiutenant-General in France, the Lords Talbot, Scales and Willoughby, being joyn'd with him.

And Charles and Orleans to the Combat brought.

Charles VII. King of France.

Amid the thickest of the War I prest,
And offer'd to the Foe my Loyal Breast.
I saw the Havock of Vernoylas Fields,
With the Slain cover'd, and abandon'd Shields,


I saw Great Bedford thro' the Host advance,
And England triumph o'er dejected France.
The Marks of honourable Wounds I wear,
Where most was Danger, I was always there.
With me Great Montacute and Talbot fought,
By my Example and Instruction taught.
Fierce Heats, and piercing Colds I have sustain'd.
In England's Service, early Laurels gain'd.
The French to Forts and Cities I persu'd,
I sackt their Towns, and dy'd their Streets with Blood.
For this, from England, I reproach receive,
And banisht, in the Lands I conquer'd, live.
For thee, thou know'st, the fairest I refus'd,
And, only thee, to be my Princess chus'd.
The Treaty for Arminiack was begun,
I put her off, and plac'd thee on the Throne.
To see thee oft, and that my Queen might reign,
I gave thy Father Anjou, Mans and Main.


His Daughter for her Dow'r her Beauties brought,
Whose Treasures were too Cheap by Empires bought.
Before Aumarl, I left my conqu'ring Arms,
To tell my Sovereign of thy wond'rous Charms.
At Tours Ambassadors of Peace I find,

A Peace negotiated there by the mediation of several Kings between England and France.

Who su'd in vain till Love and Suffolk join'd.
My Tongue to praise thee was by Love inspir'd,
Young Henry heard, and with the Tale was fir'd.
With pow'rful Eloquence thy Charms I drew,
And set thee Glorious to the Monarh's view.
The King transported and confounded stood,
While I with Extasie the Theam pursu'd.
I prais'd thy Modesty, thy ev'ry Grace,
The Beauties of thy Mind and of thy Face.
Soft from my Tongue the moving Accents fell,
I, pleas'd to speak, and he to hear as well.
To us, I said, thou wou'dst new Glory bring,
Heiress of Sicily and Naples King.

Titular King only.


Then of his Pow'r and of his Kingdoms sung,
As if his Daughter from a God were sprung.
With pompous Epithetes his Stile I grac'd,
And Rayner with the first of Monarchs plac'd.
Thus to advance thee in the King's Esteem,
And dear to me, to make thee dear to him.
How much I lov'd was in thy Nuptials seen,
In Henry's Name when I espous'd the Queen.
The Proxy shone in an Imperial Gown.
Of equal Value with thy Father's Crown.
The Realms were tax'd, and I with lavish hand,

A fifteenth granted by the Parliament to fetch over the Queen.

Consum'd the Wealth of our empoverish'd Land.
To honour thee I on my Prince bestow'd,
My dearest Blessing, and my greatest Good.
Belov'd and Loving, I with Joy cou'd quit,
The Darling of my Heart, to make thee Great.
Had Jason, who adventur'd for the Prize,
As Poets sing, beheld thy sparkling Eyes,
And seen thee, such as on the Gallick Shoar,
The ravish'd Youth had left the worthless Oar.


With open Arms the Royal Maid to seize,
A richer Treasure than the Golden Fleece.
The Coasts of Diep were throng'd with weeping Crowds,
Who mourn'd to leave thee on the briny Floods.
The wanton Tide around thy Vessel play'd,
Old Ocean smil'd to see the heav'nly Maid.
Her silken Pride thy Ship display'd abroad.
And gamesom o'er the silver Waves she rode.
Sportive the Sea, as when Imperial Jove,
Bore thro' the yielding Waves his trembling Love.
The watry Nymphs their Harps divinely strung,
While sweet Arion on his Dolphin sung.
His Head fierce Neptune from his Palace rear'd,
And grimly pleasant with his Troop appear'd.
Before their King the Gods marine advanc'd,
While o'er the Waves th' immortal Lover danc'd.
Thus the proud Element to thee was kind,
To thee, in whom, all Beauty is confin'd.


Thou Pride of Nature, whom the Winds obey'd,
Fond of thy Smiles, and of thy Frowns afraid.
To Banishment, 'tis said, thy Pooll is gone,
France is his Prison, where his Fame he won.
A glorious Exile, this, my Queen, for me,
Where daily I the Fields of Conquest see.
The happy Plains with Pleasure I survey,
Where Gallia lost, and England got the Day.
Forth, here, the Vanguard mighty Bedford led,
Here Talbot charg'd, and here the French-men fled.
Scales and his Archers, there methinks appear,
And famous Willoughby again is there.
Again the Squadrons combating I view,
And now the Gallick fly, and ours pursue.
For what we cannot help we mourn in vain,
In all our Griefs, 'tis useless to complain.
Nor Sighs, nor Sorrows can our Pains relieve,
For then we suffer most, when most we grieve.
As mortal Men we're fated to endure,
Incessant Cares, and only this is sure.


The Laws Eternal, and the Pow'r we serve,
From what he once decrees, can never swerve.
We fondly prize what soon will fly away,
And cannot promise to our selves a Day.
Too oft we idly boast what we intend,
Forgetting our Designs on Heav'n depend.
What Fate has destin'd, only shall be done,
Which nor our Wisdom, nor our Strength can shun.
To the King's Will I must my Life resign,
The Pow'r is his, my Honour still is mine.
Courage, fair Queen, and let thy Looks declare,
No shew of Fear, not token of Despair.
Such as I saw thee at the Gallick Court,

She embarkt at Diep, and landed near Southampton.

Such as thou look'st, when we approacht the Port,
Where Henry waited on the crowded Strand,
And took his Royal Bride from Suffolk's hand.
New Graces then the youthful Queen adorn,
Blushing and Smiling as the Orient Morn.


With Rapture Henry seiz'd the Glorious Prey,
And bore thee in triumphant Pomp away.
Thus Gay, thus Happy may'st thou always be,
Nor dream of Danger for thy self or me.


Queen Margaret to William de la Pool.

Sweet as the Nightingal's nocturnal Song,
To Pooll, my words came slowing from my Tongue.
Soft on his Ear the charming Accents fell,
Which now are dismal, like the Passing-Bell.
My Breast was once the Sovereign Seat of Joy.
No Fears cou'd then my perfect Bliss annoy.
To Grief a Stranger and unus'd to care,
'Twas hard to learn the Lesson of Despair.
A vast and desert Wilderness 'tis grown,
Like the cold Regions of the frigid Zone.
Where, in the Air, the Icie Mountains rise,
And seem to threaten their unfriendly Skies.
No beams of Light the horrid Natives cheer,
For all is Darkness and Confusion there.
Thus in my Soul no dawn of hope I see,
But Clouds impending o'er my Love and me.


Our Day no more is Smiling and Serene,
And glaring Meteors in our Sky are seen.
For past Delights we only now must mourn,
Lament the Summer which will ne'er return.
As on Autumnal Boughs we often hear,
The Birds bemoaning the departing Year.
Tho' they again will have a time to sing,
Salute the Morn, and welcom in the Spring.
Our time is past and we must Joy no more,
But curse the Season which we blest before.
Now to our Aid, who stirs the Neighb'ring Kings,
Or, who from France a pow'rful Army brings?
Who moves the Norman in our Cause to joyn,

Philip Duke of Burgundy, a great Friend to the House of Lancaster.

Or Burgundy to own the Royal Line?

The Lords in the North withstood the Duke of York at his first Rising, and twice overthrew him.

Who in the North our lawful Claim commends?
Supports our Credit there, and gains us Friends?
To whom shall I my secret Griefs impart?
To whom disclose the anguish of my Heart?


Since Pooll is gone, on whom I cou'd depend,
The bravest Hero, and the truest Friend.
Nature on thee was lavish of her Store,
She gave so much, she cou'd not give thee more.
Of so Divine, so Rich a Temper wrought,
In thee, scarce Envy cou'd perceive a Fault.
The King knew well thy Rhet'rick wou'd succeed,
Who can resist when such as Suffolk plead?
All Force against thy Eloquence is weak,
Thy Eyes, thy Air, and ev'ry Action speak.
Had'st thou been living when immortal Jove,
His Heav'n abandon'd, and on Earth made Love.
No Shape but thine, the God had deign'd to wear,
For none cou'd be so Happy, none so Fair.
To Henry, York unfeign'd Allegiance swore,

The Duke of York on the Death of King Henry V. and Henry VIth's. Coronation, took the Oath of Allegiance to him.

Unfeign'd he call'd it, but he feigns no more.
The Vail thrown off, the haughty Duke appears,
In perjur'd Arms, and raises impious Wars.


By this his Treasons and his Guilt compleat,
Who breaks his Oath, will any Crime commit.
His Title to the Crown of late's proclaim'd,
To which, tho' secretly, he long has aim'd.
His Consort to her Sons the Tale repeats,
As Heirs of England, she the Princes greets.
The one of Wales, the next of York is stil'd,
And Henry's Right by odious Names revil'd.
We need no breach in the Succession fear,
The latest of the Brood will make an Heir.
Richard, unshapen in his Limbs and Mind,

The Duke of York had four Sons. Richard Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III. was the youngest, born with Teeth, and very unshapen.

The Scandal of his Nation, and his Kind.
His Mother's Picture, and her lasting Shame,
Abortive to the World, the Monster came.
The Womb unwilling, he for Passage tears,
And shews the Nurse his tusks and bristled Hairs,
The cruel promise of his future Years.


Who now, when York shall Henry's Arms oppose,
Will scourge the Rebels, and chastise our Foes?
Who clear the Garden of its noxious Weeds,
And crush the Vermin which of late it breeds.
Who chain the Bear, or chase him from the Wood,

The Earl of Warwick's Arms was the white Bear rampant, with the Ragged-Staff.

Give the Lands Peace, and save the Peoples Blood.
Before his Foes the wretched King falls down,
And humbly stoops, that they may take his Crown:
While, like a tow'ring Cedar he shou'd rear,
His top aloft, and shoot it in the Air.
His sacred Head shou'd mingle with the Clouds,
While these vile Shrubs sit lowly in his Shrouds.
Oh! why shou'd he enjoy his Father's Right?
A stranger to his Courage and his Might.
Sure Nature lavisht all her genial Fire,
To form a perfect Hero in his Sire.
No spark remain'd to animate the Son,
And make him worthy of his Father's Throne.


The noble Beast begets a noble Breed,
And Fools in Man alone the Wise succeed.
The Coward to the Hero's Race a shame,
Springs from his Manly Loyns, and stains his Name.
For me the Daizy was by Princes worn,

The Courtiers in honour of the Queen us'd to wear a Daizy, which in French is call'd Margarite.

Which lies neglected or expos'd to scorn.
York's Garlands now on ev'ry Head is seen,
And all forsake their Monarch and their Queen.
The Rebel rises fast as we decline,
Our Sun begins to set, and his to shine.
A dreadful Comet in our Sky appears,
And Warwick's Staves are our malignant Stars.
The Knees which bended to my Glories low,
Grow Stiff, as if they had forgot to bow.
I hear the Shoutings of the Crowd no more,
Who curse me loudly, as they blest before.
When Fame shall to our Foes thy Doom report,
We both shall be their Laughter and their Sport.


But when it spreads along the Western Coast,
How in our Wrongs will Glouster's Widow boast.
She soon will strive to be recall'd from Man,
To plot and practice hellish Arts again.
To this proud Warwick will, I know, agree,
In spight of Marg'ret, and in hate of thee.
That in our Court she may my Birth disgrace,
Abuse my Father, and affront our Race.
She thinks this most will vex my haughty Mind,
And I no help in Suffolk's absence find.
From the old Stock, 'tis said, new Branches bloom,
And Kent presents you for a King, a Groom.

Jack Cade, a Kentish Rebel, pretended to be descended from Mortimer, by Philippa the Duke of Clarence his Daughter.

The Man, the Faction to the Crown prefer,
As Mortimer and Philip's rightful Heir.
Thus Cade, a vulgar Rebel is become,
A Prince, whom York wou'd put in Henry's room.


In this we know the Traytor's higher aim,
To see what Numbers will support his Claim.
While he abroad usurps supream Command,
His Imps raise Tumults to disturb the Land.
To Ireland he our bravest Soldiers draws,

The Duke of York then Deputy of Ireland.

That Henry naked, he may gain his Cause.
Still to encrease the burthen of my Woe,
Great Winchester is gone, where all must go.
Beauford, the Pillar of the Church and State,

Cardinal Beauford, a Favourite of the Queen's.

Submits, as thou and I must do to Fate.
Next the wild Fury of the People fall,

Edmund Duke of Somerset, hated for his ill Fortune in France.

On Edmund, whom the Rout a Coward call.
His Wisdom and his Valour they defame,
And him, who sav'd their batter'd Armies, blame.
Duke Humphrey's Friends, and his inveterate Spouse,
Revive the ancient Quarrel with our House.
Wheree'er they go, they breath aloud revenge,
Their Malice growing as their Fortunes change.


While ours deprest, your Sentence is their Sport,
And Buckingham alone remains at Court.

Humphrey Duke of Buckingham, of the Queen's Faction.

By Love, I here conjure thee, Pooll, beware
Of Seas and Tempests, for thy Fate is there.
A Witch foretold, the Deep shou'd be thy Grave,
May Heav'n avert it, and our Suffolk save.
Yet oft in Visions I my Love behold,
Lie breathless on the Beech, and stiff with Cold.
Oft view thee driving on the stormy Main,
I wake with fear, and dread to sleep again.
Oft see thee there in horrid Combat joyn'd,
With Pyrats, Billows, and the raging Wind.
O'er all Victorious thou dost oft appear,
Yet still be cautious, and accept my Care.
Think me not weak that I this Counsel send,
She loves not much, who fears not for her Friend.
Whene'er we grieve we must our Griefs express,
Cou'd we hope more, our Sorrow wou'd be less.


The Storm that threatens to involve us o'er,
Heav'n still may land us on a peaceful Shore.
Still hope in Triumph thou may'st yet return,
Again we may rejoyce, tho' now we mourn.
But hope for ever is from us withdrawn,
Through the thick Clouds our Day will never dawn.
While Pool is gone, my Portion is Despair,
I ne'er can hope till I have Suffolk here.
The End of the First Part.