Fifteen stanzas and an epitaph by "F. H. Philomusus," who laments the execution of Charles I in a prophetic mode that might recall Spenser's Visions. John W. Draper describes the poem as "in the stanza and allegory of Spenser" The Funeral Elegy (1929) 56. The "Elogie and Epitaph" is in fifteen 10-line stanzas, the rhyme-pattern Matthew Prior would later use (making the last line an alexandrine) in his reinvention of the Spenserian stanza.
Thomas Babington Macaulay: "The advocates of Charles, like the advocates of other malefactors against whom overwhelming evidence is produced generally decline all controversy about the facts, and content themselves with calling testimony to character. He had so many private virtues! And had James II. no private virtues? Was even Oliver Cromwell, his bitterest enemies themselves being judges, destitute of private virtues? And what, after all, are the virtues ascribed to Charles? A religious zeal, not more sincere than that of his son, and fully as weak and narrow-minded, and a few of the ordinary household decencies which half the tomb-stones in England claim for those who lie beneath them. A good father! A good husband! — Ample apologies indeed for fifteen years of persecution, tyranny, and falsehood!" "Milton" Edinburgh Review 42 (August 1825) 329-30.
Howle, howle, distracted Kingdome, let thy cryes
Like Dragons roarings, terrifie the earth,
Amaze the Heavens, fright Hell, and darke the skyes;
For now thy throwes have issued a cursed birth:
Let the Sun blush, and all the trembling starres
Restrain bespangling of their moving Spheares,
Untill they see the termine of our jarres;
Let this, of all, be deleated from yeares,
Lest in't the guilt of King-shed sacred bloud
Increase t' a torrent, a period in a flood.
O could we see the depth of our distresse
With Linxceys eyes! it would torment our soules:
All Rhetorique's dumbe, our anguish to expresse,
Horror our mourning, feare our teares controules;
Th' imminent judgements and impetuous stormes
Hov'ring in vengeance ore our hardned Nation,
Makes zeale for woe, rave in preposterous formes,
And strech our heart-strings on the Racke of passion,
Whil'st bleeding soules, instead of dropping eyes
Bedewes the foot-steps to our miseries.
Rent, rent your hearts, your garments are defil'd
Ye trayterous Nation, with your deare Kings bloud;
Whil'st th' hopefull branches of his root exil'd,
Adds a full sea to our afflictions floud:
Ye have betray'd a gratious King to death
Ye mutherous varlets, by your base revolt
From th' Diadem to th' dunghill, could the breath,
That nine yeares since his glory did exalt
Unto the Heavens, with cursed yealps now cry,
Give us these Barrabbesses? let our Soveraigne die.
Busiris like, ye murderers did ye dreame,
Heaven would raine peace for this strange Sacrifice?
Ye should have let your owne curs'd bloods to streame,
And quench'd the flame of all our miseries:
But he in Lamb-like suffering hath wrought
More then Herculian conquest o'er your rage,
Though with the deare price of his blood y' have brought
England th' Aceldama; your dreadfull stage,
Whereon y' have acted such a Tragedy,
Nero had wept, had he but liv'd to see:
Had he by Schythians, or a ruder hand,
Been ravish'd from us to his Crowne of glory,
Reason might o're our passions claime command,
Because their natures yielde their acts a story:
But for a Tribe of Hypocrites to lurke
Under the wings of Zeale and Reformation,
Till they had finish'd Satans master-worke,
And ruin'd all the Bulwarks of our Nation:
Thus making God, whose Soule abhorres all evills,
Seeme to command those acts proclaime them Divells.
Trembled yee not, yee Furies, for to see
When yee conven'd, such reverence in his face?
Such high deportment, sacred Majesty,
Such radiant Luster, and such awefull Grace?
No, no, thriving Rebellion's mov'd no more
With such transfixions, then a flint with teares;
But their desire to wallow in his goare
Have proved them such, not God nor Devill feares;
But in contempt of both, have challeng'd all
The powers of VENGEANCE on their heads to fall.
Yee viperous broode, who with your subtill teeth,
Unseene, have gnawne through th' bowels of our State;
Thinke yee REVENGE with REGICIDE agreeth?
Or Kingdome raines can shake hands with hate?
Thinke yee the extirpation of a Race
Divinely Royall, can establish Peace?
Or seat rude Traytors in our Princes place?
Or blood can fill our garners with increase?
No, no, VENGEANCE but writes in these red letters
How much to Hell, and torment ye are debters.
But Reader, lest our sorrows and exclaims
Should seeme for one whose graces are forgot,
Because Rebellion tooke such tedious pains
His spotlesse soule, with hellish guilt to blot:
Though language faulter, and our Contemplation
Reach but the Idea of his blest perfection;
Yet let our groans disburthen 's of some passion;
Communicating Mourners (Sans exception)
May clap a plaudit, to th' eternall Fame
Of him, whose exit seal'd our lasting shame.
Would yee have Heaven in a choice Cabinet
Treasure her richest graces up in store:
For a selected people to be set
In th' Arke of their affections? he was more,
For the continued fire of Divine ZEALE,
For his Redeemers glory did inflame
The darkest angles of our Common-weale;
He was a burning Light, whose shining Fame
Made ENGLAND seeme, once, as she had conspir'd
With radiant truth, the world t' have wholly fir'd.
RELIGION was enhaunc'd to such a price
In his esteeme, t' seem'd as Devotion had
Been onely moulded by his exercise.
(To make the ZEALOUS-HEARTED truly glad:)
Nor onely in a Cell his piety,
Gave life to th' houres of his well-spent dayes;
But in the Temple of the Deity,
He oft proclaimed his Creatour's praise:
So fervent in, of prayer, so rich a prizer,
As earth had no other Sacrificer.
Have ye observ'd the curling Maine to treasure
Each Rivers Off-spring in her spacious wombe,
Rendering to every Fountaine her just measure,
Making her selfe againe their tributes tombe;
So did this Sea of wisedome still receive
Th' issuing Rivolets of ingenious store,
Nor did he by retention thus bereave
Them of their wealth, but rendred foure fold more,
To each small Spring that stream'd pure waters forth,
Yet still reserv'd 's own inexhaustine worth.
The Arts in him conspired to erect
A lasting fabrick to eternity,
Whose concave did containe the true effect
Of the most absolute ACADEMIE:
Had ye observ'd, this Mirour did present
The Sciences in an EPITOMIE;
Or rather 't seem'd they had beene onely sent
From him to borrow light and dignity;
Each Science serving but t' attend and doe
Those Acts that his perfection prompt them to.
So highly Gods pure worship did he tender,
That in his latest exigent of breath
He prov'd himselfe our saving faiths Defender,
By signing with his blood 'ts reprieve from death;
Still David-like in valour he appear'd,
And in his troubles Job and David too,
For Patient Magnaminity, y' have heard,
Were perfect patterns of his tedious woe,
Who SAMPSON like, drowned in his last spilt goare
Thousands of soules, that laugh'd at's greefe before.
Now snarle accursed ENVIE, let thy gall
Burst with thy Venome, for this object will
Rebound thy blunt aspertions, like a wall
Of Adamant, (thy meager soule to kill:)
And when the Armies of our Nation shall
Disclaime to treasure, with his glory, our shame,
His glories tryumph in our fatall fall,
T' eternity shall still preseve his Fame:
For death hath murder'd in this cruel stroke
Three Kingdomes Honours, and their Basis broke.
Rest, sacred Martyr, whose blest Temples are
Crown'd with the glory of thy SAVIOUR'S merit,
And let these Traytors for thy Scepter jarre,
Whilst thou a heavenly Kingdome do'st inherit;
And though we languish in a dying life,
Yet may thy Royal Off-spring be preserv'd
From being butcher'd on our stage of strife,
(More swift to urge our vengeance, just deserv'd,)
And whilst the woes of REGICIDES increase,
May thy blood be our Sacrifice of peace.
Reader, here lies three Kingdomes Peace,
Their Honours, plenty, and increase,
Religion, Learning, Faith, Law, Grace,
Are all inshrin'd in this small place;
One accurs'd Instrument of wrath and woe,
Made three brave Kingdomes headless with a blow.