In these lines "By a Gentleman of Twenty" Faerie Queene 7:7 is done into rather handsome couplets. The poem is included in Henry John Todd's list of Spenser imitations, Works of Spenser (1805) 1:clxxxv.
I attribute the poem to James Ralph based on a notice appearing in The British Journal for 24 June 1727, intended to drum up subscriptions for a volume that was to include Ralph's Night (1728) and several smaller pieces: "I shall proceed to mention the Author's Design of publishing in one Volume (together with That) some other Poems by Subscription, particularly NIGHT, two Canto's of SPENCER'S FAIRY QUEEN, FREEDOM, The VISION, &c." Since the date of Ralph's birth is not known, it seems possible that this poem was begun in Philadelphia before Ralph's journey to London with Benjamin Franklin in 1724.
Preface: "In SPENCER's preceding Canto, we have an Account of the Birth of Change, as a metaphorical Being, her reducing the Earth to her Subjection, and her Attempt on the Skies; where, being daunted at the Majesty of JOVE, she refers he Claim to the Determination of Nature, which is the Subject of the following Lines, where the Poet has occasionally introduced a View of the Seasons, Months, Life, Death, &c. in the most agreeable and picturesque Manner that can be imagin'd" pp. 1-2.
Edward Payson Morton: "In 1687 appeared Spenser Redivivus.... In 1729 James Ralph published a poem in heroics called An Imitation of Spenser's Fairy Queen, by a Young Gentleman of Twenty. In 1774 appeared Canto I, 'attempted in blank verse' to the length of eighteen pages; and in 1783, Cantos I-Iv, also 'attempted in blank verse.' These four attempts to modernize Spenser's versification are, however, the only ones I have been able to find. Over against them we must put the many admiring references to him, as well as to the really surprising number of poems both in his stanza and in variations of it" "The Spenserian Stanza before 1700" (1907) 11-12.
Herbert E. Cory: "We must deal lightly with this upstart. Dryden had given weighty precedent in the modernization of old authors. Nor was the spirit of the Young Gentleman more blasphemous than that of Pope when he rendered Homer into smart couplets. The mental attitudes are precisely the same. But Pope was the more brilliant man. As in the case of the parodies, if we are to use such material as evidence of Spenser's unpopularity we must conclude that the revered Ancients fared no better" "Spenser, Thomson, and Romanticism" PMLA 26 (1911) 66.
Earl R. Wasserman: The author "inflates, prunes, and pads out one of the mutability cantos to produce what was considered uniform epic propriety and grandeur" Elizabethan Poetry in the Eighteenth Century (1947) 101.
A copy of Ralph's Miscellaneous Poems appears in the 1769 sale catalogue of the libraries of Joseph Spence and William Duncombe; see A. N. L. Munby, Sale Catalogues of Libraries of Eminent Persons (1971-75) 2:228.
From humble Themes, and unaspiring Strains
Of verd'rous Shades, and stream-delighted Plains,
O whither would the daring Muse ascend!
Or where will this unusual Transport end!
Again she fires my Soul with Thirst of Praise,
And tunes my Numbers to sublimer Lays,
Of Sovereign JOVE her awful Sire's Success,
At last obtain'd against the Titaness,
Who, high aspiring, e'rst rebellious strove
To hurl him headlong from the Realms above:
Then deign, O sacred Source of deathless Fame!
To aid my Labours, and exalt my Name;
Since only thou, from JOVE'S great Lineage sprung,
Canst rightly trace the wond'rous Deeds along,
That now employ my Verse, and dignify my Song.
Since thou alone canst endless Glory give,
And make that Song to future Ages live.
Now, at th' appointed Time, th' assembling Gods,
For Arlo-Hill, forsook their bright Abodes;
Both those descended of celestial Birth,
And the long Offspring of the fruitful Earth:
With these, obedient to th' Almighty's Call,
Met all the Nations of the wond'ring Ball,
That Arlo-Hill could scarce contain the Croud,
And almost sunk beneath th' unwonted Load;
Nor could the narrow Space such Numbers hold,
If thund'ring JOVE, by whom the World's controul'd,
Had not, with wond'rous Art, dispos'd the Throng,
In seemly Ranks, the scanty Ground along.
Last came great Nature, whose Almighty Pow'r
The Gods themselves with Reverence adore;
When, rising instant from his golden Throne,
The Heav'n's dread Ruler bow'd submissive down,
And all th' Immortals due Obedience paid,
And at her Feet their boasted Honours laid;
Ev'n haughty Change controul'd her stubborn Mind,
And low her daring Crest with Awe reclin'd:
For she, the Goddess, towr'd supreamly tall,
And high exalted overlook'd them all,
A brighter Glory flam'd around her Head,
Her fiercer Eyes a keener Influence shed,
In awful Majesty, more dread than JOVE,
In Beauty fairer than the Queen of Love.
—Beside, e'er Time his circling Course began,
Or restless round the changing Seasons ran;
While CHAOS yet his loud Uproar maintain'd,
In the mad Whirl the Goddess calmly reign'd,
And at her Word the Tumult rag'd no more,
And Peace, and Concord waited on her Lore:
Then, blaz'd the Sun, and all the Worlds on high
Roll'd round their Orbs, and brighten'd o'er the Sky,
By her they rose, and when she gives Command,
In Heav'n's Mid-way the Lamp of Light shall stand;
Down from the vaulted Blue the Planets fall,
And one dread Ruin swift devolve on all;
So vast is her Controul, so wide her Sway,
Which Gods above, and Men below obey;
But none her Sex could ever throughly learn,
Or unarray'd her heavenly Form discern;
For, wrapp'd in Darkness, and involv'd with Night,
She skreen'd her Face from Day, and shunn'd the Light,
Some dreadless Souls, who dar'd the Cloud remove,
And fond of Knowledge with the Goddess strove,
Have taught the World that Horror lurks beneath,
The Source of Sorrow, and the Seeds of Death;
And some that Beauty, in its brightest Blaze,
From thence emits such strong, and piercing Rays,
As, far transcending the Meridian Sun,
Can be but by Reflection view'd alone.
Where, sunk into a Plain, the Mountain spread,
The Pow'r supream her gay Pavillion made;
Not such as mortal Kings sublimely raise
All bright with Gold, and with the Diamonds blaze,
But, from the teeming Earth, immediate sprung
Spontaneous Trees with purple Blossoms hung,
Whose bending Branches bow'd obedient down,
And seem'd, in all their Bloom, a woody Throne;
The Pride of Spring, and Glory of the Fields,
The Pomp of Flow'rs which annual FLORA yields,
With sudden Growth in all their Charms were seen
To deck the Earth, and paint th' enamel'd Green,
And, wafting sweet, enliv'ning Gales from far,
With heav'nly Fragrance fum'd the circling Air:
Beside, the River Nymphs ten thousand more
Glean'd from the Borders of the wat'ry Shore,
And at her Feet the gay Profusion threw,
Sweet to the Smell, and pleasant to the View:
Less gay the splendid, costly Carpets show,
Whose Tyrian Grounds with golden Labours glow,
And, spread Illustrious where the Great reside,
On the rich Walls reflect their Lustre wide:
Ev'n ancient Arlo, on whose hoary Brow
Hung thawless Ice, and never-melting Snow,
For lovely Green his russet Gray resign'd,
And round his Head an oaken Garland twin'd,
As if, to Youth restor'd, some fresh Desire
Had warm'd his Heart, and alter'd his Attire:
It's Sovereign Queen the whole Creation sung,
And all the vast Immense with loud Applauses rung.
Such Gladness ne'er in future Times was known,
Save that distinguish'd Day when PELEUS won
His heav'nly Bride, a Daughter of the Sky!
When all the Gods descended from on High
To grace the nuptial Feast, and give the Bridegroom Joy.
When thus the Goddess, whose creating Hand
Spread out the Seas, and fix'd the stedfast Land,
Had fill'd her Sylvan Throne; before her came,
Audacious Change to urge her daring Claim;
Who bending low her plaintive Plea began,
And thus her Tale in bold Invectives ran:
To thee, great Goddess! injur'd I appeal,
And at thy Throne, in hope of Justice kneel;
The whole Creation's bless'd beneath thy sway,
And at thy Word Oppression soars away;
From thee the wretched find relief alone,
Thy Hand upholds the Weak, and hurls the tyrant down:
Dread Source of Right! of JOVE I now complain,
And all the Gods that form his servile Train,
Who jointly boast that to their Rule is giv'n
The vaunted Empires both of Earth, and Heav'n;
Tho' here below I hold unbounded Sway,
And Brutes, and Men my great Commands obey:
Tho' mine's the Right to rule th' empyreal Plains,
And like a Tyrant this dread Thund'rer reigns:
—Now Heaven, and Earth are both thy equal Care,
And Gods, and Men alike thy Favour share;
For Gods to thee oppos'd, like mortal Men
Compar'd to Gods, would boast their Strength in vain:
Then deign, O righteous Judge! to hear my Cause,
And give my Claim the Sanction of thy Laws:
Yet weigh our diff'rent Rights in even Scale,
And let the Just as Justice will's prevail;
Tho' all must know th' etherial Plains are mine,
As eldest Offspring of great TITAN'S Line;
And JOVE, usurping, holds the regal Throne,
Depriving me of what is mine alone:
Yet, spight of all the Thunders in his Hand,
And the joint Pow'r of his united Band,
In this low Orb I've fix'd my awful Reign,
And Gods, and Men would tempt my Pow'r in vain.
For Proof the whole created Frame survey,
And bring its Changes forth to open Day:
See! the huge Globe, on its own Axis hung,
Varies its Seat, and smoothly rolls along;
No Pause of Rest, no stedfast Point it knows,
But round the Sun its annual Journy goes,
While Heat, and Cold renew their Sway by turns,
While Winter freezes, and while Summer burns.
What num'rous Changes have receiv'd their Birth,
And damp'd the Glories of the blooming Earth,
Since the first Age, when Peace, and Plenty crown'd
Its happy Realms, and bless'd the teeming Ground?
The Rage of Arms, the Tyrant's rig'rous Sway
Have wasted Towns, and swept whole Tribes away;
The stormy Wild, where angry Neptune roars,
Has burst its Bounds, and scorn'd its narrow Shores;
Ev'n the huge Mountains of this pond'rous Ball,
By Earthquakes shook, in mighty Ruins fall;
Then new Convulsions heave the trembling Plain,
And rear the Mountain to its Height again.
Observe how Brutes, thro' various Changes run,
How short their Joys! how soon their Labour's done!
To Day secure thro' flow'ry Fields they stray,
To Morrow bleed their slighted Souls away
At Man's severe Command; yet more supply
The murth'rous Waste, and more unpitied dye.
Like turns of Fate unhappy Mortals know,
By Wealth exalted, and by Want made low;
Bent, with the Weight of heavy-rolling Time,
They change for feeble Age their vig'rous Prime;
For Evil Good, for Just Unjust become,
Decay in Life, and Moulder in the Tomb.
Nor fewer Changes can the Water boast,
In Rains descending, and in Vapours lost:
Ten thousand Rivers swell the boist'rous Main,
Which backward rolls the wond'ring Waves again;
When gentle Gales with adverse Wing arise,
In whit'ning Foam, the smoothest Current fries;
By Tempests rag'd old Ocean loudly roars,
And bursts enormous on the frighted Shores.
Nor free from Change the wat'ry Tribes we find,
Toss'd on the Waves, and driven by the Wind:
First, the deserted Spawn at random rides
On rapid Torrents, and retreating Tides,
And when, with vig'rous Life, it glides away,
New to the Light, and wond'ring at the Day,
Strait from beneath the scaly Monsters rise,
And in some rav'nous Jaw, the Wand'rer dies:
For ev'ry Species of the wat'ry Train,
Which haunt the Brooks, or gambol in the Main,
Dreads the dire Hunger of some vengful Foe,
And tries for Safety ev'ry Depth below;
But tries in vain, for when I give Command
No Art's successful, and no Strength can stand.
Now let's enquire if fluid Air disdain
To own my Laws, or vary to my Reign,
Tho' all Mankind their Length of Days receive
From its soft Breath, and by its Influence live.
O fickle State! which trusts a Thing so frail,
And hourly alters with the veering Gale;
Which Sickness plagues, or sadd'ning Vapours cloud,
When Fogs ascend, or Auster roars aloud;
For this still changing, turns with ev'ry Breeze,
That skims the yielding Wave, or bends the nodding Trees;
Nor can resolv'd a constant Temper hold,
But glows with sult'ry Heat, or chills with shiv'ring Cold:
Now Sunshine fair adorns the gladsom Day,
And sweetly shows the whole Creation gay;
Then wastful Storms, and raging Whirlwinds rise,
And dusky Clouds involve the darken'd Skies:
Here rattling Hail, or swift descending Rain,
Show'rs on the Hill, and smoaks along the Plain;
There baleful Light'nings fly from Pole to Pole,
And in redoubled Peals tremend'ous Thunders roll.
Remark the Worlds of Fire that roll on high
To gild the Night, and brighten o'er the Sky;
Shine they for Years with undiminish'd Blaze,
And o'er the Earth emit unchanging Rays?
'Tis plain that Fire by dread Destruction reigns,
And soon consumes what e'er its Rage sustains;
Nor ever breeds what may the Waste supply,
So unrepair'd must consequently dye:
If then long Burnings melt those Orbs away,
And no Recruit prolongs the vast Decay,
In future Times their Beams must shine no more,
Their Heat exhausted, and their Motion o'er:
But if these flaming Worlds such Aids require
To light new Splendours, as the Old expire,
My Empire shines confess'd thro' all the Realms of Fire.
Yet more, 'tis prov'd each shooting Star that flies
Aloft in Air, each Blaze that gilds the Skies
Attests my Pow'r, and, faithful to my Sway,
Creates fresh Changes thro' th' ethereal Way:
Ev'n dreadful Comets move at my Command,
And shed hot Vengeance o'er a guilty Land;
Provoke Mankind to Arms, whole Hosts o'erturn,
And fraught with Change, and dire Commotions burn.
—Now these Materials all this frame compose,
And from their Mixture ev'ry Being rose,
Yet ever changing my Dominion own,
Chang'd into each, as in themselves alone:
The fluid Water, moist'ning ev'ry Birth,
Dries by Degrees, and thickens into Earth;
The pond'rous Earth its annual Vigour drains
In laden Orchards, and in teeming Plains:
From low and marshy Grounds damp Vapours rise,
And veil with wat'ry Clouds the azure Skies;
The wat'ry Clouds dissolve in Air away,
Or gayly gilded brighten all the Day;
The Air, refin'd, to Fire ascending turns,
And in a Blaze of transient Glory burns:
Thus all revolving, take new Forms again,
And ev'ry Change confirms my rightful Reign;
Howe'er these vaunting Gods by Force pretend
To seize my Rule, and bid my Empire end:
For VESTA claims th' ethereal Fire on high,
And VULCAN that which flames beneath the Sky;
OPS would the Earth, and JUNO sway the Air,
NEPTUNE the Seas and all residing there;
And various Nymphs would various Rivers roll,
And what the Rest usurp, 'tis I alone controul:
For Proof, O Goddess! here before thy Throne
Thy Works survey, and give me all mine own,
Least JOVE again should boast his thund'ring Hand,
And seize the Remnant of my wide Command.
She said, and Nature pond'ring the Event,
Favour'd her Pray'r, and gave a full Consent.
The annual Seasons first her Call obey'd,
And lusty Spring the various Circle led:
The Bloom of Youth upon his Cheek is seen,
And where he treads fresh Flowrets deck the Green;
His fragrant Breath perfumes the Evening Skies,
And tun'd to him the Sylvan Strains arise;
A pointed Jav'lin in his Hand he bears,
And on his Head a golden Helmet wears;
For then begins the stern BELONA'S Rage,
And hostile Realms in bloody Wars engage:
His calm Approach revives the peaceful Plain,
But leads on Death where Discord holds its Reign.
In silken Garb array'd of chearful Green,
Was sportive Summer next advancing seen;
A gilded Quiver at his Shoulder hung,
And in his Hand he trail'd a Bow unbent along;
His tawny Brow with faded Flow'rs was crown'd,
And studded thick with Drops of Sweat around,
As if fatigu'd with the laborious Chace,
Or faint with Heat in sultry TITAN'S Rays:
He, moving slow, invok'd the friendly Air,
And sought the cooling Streams to quench his Burnings there.
Autumn succeeds, in flaming Yellow clad,
With Fullness smiling, and with Plenty glad;
Laden with sunny Fruits of ev'ry Kind,
He dar'd the Cold that waited close behind;
A Wreath of ripen'd Corn, his Temples bound,
Enrich'd with Leaves, and clust'ring Grapes around:
An harvest Crook employ'd his better Hand,
To reap the Grain, and ease the burthen'd Land.
Winter was last in woolly Robes array'd,
And bent with feeble Age his hoary Head:
Shrunk in himself he wrapp'd his Garments close,
And inly trembled as the Tempest rose;
His length of Beard, and deep-indented Brow,
Were whiten'd o'er with an eternal Snow;
Prone to the Earth his bending Back declin'd,
And, almost froze, he shiver'd in the Wind;
Propp'd on a Staff he slowly mov'd along,
And round him loud insulting Boreas rung.
When these were pass'd the Months in turn ensu'd,
And by the Goddess, like the Rest were view'd.
First, March tempestuous, mounted on a Ram,
With bended Brows, and low'ring Aspect, came;
He shudd'ring gaz'd at Winter's cold Remains,
The icy Torrents, and the harden'd Plains;
For chilling Gales still rush'd impetuous forth,
From the bleak Chambers of the freezing North:
Yet in his Hand he held the useful Spade,
The timely Seed along the Furrows laid,
And the delightful Hopes of future Harvests made.
Next wanton April (frolick as a Lamb,
That frisks in sunny Pastures round his Dam)
With Blossoms deck'd, and ev'ry early Bud,
Rais'd on a lordly Bull exulting rode;
The fairest Flow'rs, that waft their Sweets on high,
When Spring returns, and wantons in the Sky,
His haughty Brow in circling Wreaths adorn,
And purple Streamers grace his gilded Horn.
Then May approach'd, Queen of the rowling Year!
And fairest Nymph among ten thousand fair!
A flow'ry Garland round her Temples twin'd,
And fum'd with od'rous Scents the balmy Wind;
Bright LEDA'S Twins sustain'd the heav'nly Maid,
And on her snowy Breast was wanton CUPID laid:
The whole Creation joy'd her Sweets among,
And hymn'd her Praises as she mov'd along.
Next sprightly June advanc'd in chearful Green,
And crown'd with Leaves, and Roses ty'd between:
Sportive he seem'd, and fond of gladsom Play,
Yet held a Sythe to cut the Grass away,
As grown mature; and in his Footstep trod
A Crab, with Look reverse, the backward Road:
He panting glow'd with Summer's Heat begun,
And sought for Shades to cool the scorching Sun.
Then July, hot with burning Fury, came,
His Bosom scorch'd, his Visage all aflame;
Unable to endure the sult'ry Day,
His swelt'ring Raiment he had hurl'd away;
Yet o'er his Back a Reaper's Crook he hung,
And from the Harvest near reluctant stalk'd along:
A furious Lion waited his Command,
And couch'd obedient to his pow'rful Hand.
August succeeds in golden Robes attir'd,
And with the Sweets of Peace, and Plenty fir'd;
Elate with sparkling Joy, a lovely Maid,
Along the yellow Fields, he smiling led,
Whose lilly Hand a Cornucopia held,
With ripen'd Grain, and sunny Fruitage fill'd.
September, bent beneath the Reaper's Toil,
And the rich Product of the fertile Soil,
The next advanc'd, and in his equal Hand,
A fraudless Pair of even Scales sustain'd;
Joyous he view'd his Length of Labour done,
And hail'd, with gladsom Heart, the low-retreating Sun.
October now came reeling from the Press,
With drunken Splendour shining in his Face;
For he had newly eas'd the pregnant Vine,
And quaff'd the luscious Must of purple Wine;
The nodding Clusters twin'd around his Head,
And dy'd his Garments with a crimson Red:
A lurking Scorpion at his Side was seen,
And turn'd to russet Brown the faded Green.
Then march'd November all defil'd with Blood
Of num'rous Beasts destroy'd for Winter's Food,
Which close behind his blust'ring Rage began,
With all the Rigours of his stormy Reign;
He joy'd to give succeeding Forests Birth,
And sow with timely Seed the fruitful Earth;
A two-form'd Centaur, from old SATURN sprung,
Unwearied bore his tardy Bulk along.
Next chill December pass'd, in Furs array'd,
By frequent Bowls both warm, and sprightly made,
Tho' feeble Age his vig'rous Prime impair'd,
And hoary Frosts had silver'd o'er his Beard:
On a rough Mountain Goat he blithly rode,
Which nurtur'd JOVE while yet an Infant God,
And held a Goblet in his lifted Hand,
From whence repeated Draughts of sparkling Wine he drain'd.
Then came the Month from JANUS nam'd of old,
Numb'd with the Rigours of the wint'ry CoId,
And ceaseless Shudd'ring at the stormy Sweep
Of raging Boreas o'er the boist'rous Deep,
Yet in his Hand he wav'd an Ax on high,
And bar'd the Woodland to th' invading Sky:
Down from its huge, capaceous Urn he pour'd
The Roman Flood, and loud the Waters roar'd.
Lastly afloat, and down the raging Tides,
The Month which fills the Year's great Circle rides,
Thro' the cold Waves by Fishes drawn away,
Yet, by his Side, the sharpen'd Plough-share lay
To break the clotted Glebe when Heav'n allows,
And pruning Tools to fell the useless Boughs;
Wither'd with Age he scarcely seem'd to breath,
And look'd as hov'ring on the Verge of Death.
When these were gone, ensu'd the Night and Day,
Still on the Wing, and never at a Stay;
The first was mounted on a jetty Steed,
And with a sable Veil involv'd her dusky Head;
Uplifted high she held her awful Rod,
(And Sleep diffus'd, and Darkness all abroad)
Round which the Moon, and Stars in order roll,
And stream their silver Rays from Pole to Pole:
But gladsom Day, a snow-white Courser press'd,
With endless Beams of dazling Glory grac'd;
And on his Sceptre bore the golden Sun,
Such as he brightly blazing shines at Noon.
Then flew the posting Hours with rapid Flight,
Daughters of thund'ring JOVE, and timely Night!
Who bless'd their Offspring with eternal Bloom
Thro' all the Length of Ages still to come;
Yet from the Rage of Love's dread Empire freed,
Least fond Delays should slack their destin'd Speed;
So from the Gates of Heav'n's eternal Height,
By turns reliev'd, they take their circling Flight,
Nor ever pause, but on the Watch are found
To guard the Portal, and compleat their Round.
Next blooming Life, in Strength, and Youth array'd,
With rosy Cheek, advanc'd, and wings display'd,
As ancient Bards describe the God of Love
In Paphos Isle, or in the Cyprian Grove,
And swiftly soaring fled in haste away,
With Health delighted, and with Pleasure gay.
And lastly, Death gigantick stalk'd along
With twice ten thousand Horrors round him hung;
Yet was this boasted Dread an empty Shade.
And to relieve unhappy Mortals made;
Appearing dreadful when far off alone,
And sweetly smiling when familiar grown:
Light as the Air, her silent Course he took,
And in his lifted Hand a fatal Jav'lin shook.
When thus the awful Cavalcade was done,
Again bold TITAN'S Offspring thus begun:
—Now mighty Parent thro' the World make known,
That Gods, and Men should my Dominion own,
For circling Time, who varies all below,
To me submits, and acts what I allow;
Thus nought the same unchanging Form can hold,
To me subservient, and by me controul'd.
Then Sovereign JOVE return'd this brief Reply:
All Things, 'tis true, are chang'd beneath the Sky,
Are chang'd by Time; but who impells his Course,
Or gives his Pow'r such unresisted Force?
Are we not those by whom this Pow'r is given,
Resistless Pow'r deriv'd alone from Heav'n?
Are we not those from whom all Changes rise,
And at whose Nod thy boasted Empire lies?
To whom she thus return'd: The unknown Cause
Why Beings vary, and why Changes rose,
You may ascribe to your unbounded Sway,
And foolish Men shall at the Boast obey;
Yet who shall me convince, the Doctrine's true,
Or make my Pow'r at last submit to you?
But grant the World, as you would fain persuade,
Mov'd by your Might, and order'd by your Aid;
From your own changeful Orbs I'll make my Claim,
And add the rightful Honours to thy Name.
First CYNTHIA, most admir'd by thund'ring JOVE,
And fairest Star among the Stars above,
For ever varies; now to crescent Horns
Her darken'd Globe, and shaded Glory turns;
Then bright'ning, throws augmented Streams of Light,
And, blazing full, she gilds the gloomy Night;
Strait, all eclips'd, she mourns her Beams again,
And, faintly lighten'd, wanders in the Wane.
Next HERMES, less remark'd, with Radiance less,
Must my eternal Sovereign Pow'r confess;
For equal Changes in his Orb are found,
And equal Motion whirls his Circlet round;
Nay sometimes lost, amid th' ethereal Way,
In vain the Eye explores his absent Ray.
Again, when Evening's awful Shades arise,
If fulgent VENUS gilds the darken'd Skies,
E'er Night has wasted half her gloomy Reign,
She rolls her Orb beneath the Western Main;
Or, when the Orient, o'er the Dawn of Light,
Beholds her Rising eminently bright,
Soon as the Morn, array'd in Gold, returns,
Her Light extinct in fiercer Glory mourns.
I grant APOLLO vaunts a constant Light,
Unveil'd with Darkness, unobscur'd with Night;
Yet, shorn in dread Eclipse of all his Rays,
He fills the frighted World with wild Amaze,
And while his Globe consumes, anew require,
Fresh Aids to brighten, and prolong his Fires.
Next furious MARS as much my Rule obeys,
And round his Circuit streams a changeful Blaze;
Alike his boasted Pow'r on me depends,
By me he rises, and by me descends:
—By me impell'd, ev'n tardy SATURN rolls,
And my Command his baleful Ray controuls;
At my Command his Ray is chang'd again,
And Death, and Slaughter take their turns to reign.
—Thus prone to change we find these vaunting Gods,
In the bright Circle of their own Abodes:
But you, immortal JOVE, superiour move
Round the vast Limits of your Orb above;
Permit me then, submissive to that Pow'r,
Which knows no Change, and all Mankind adore,
To ask by what peculiar Laws you hold
Eternal Rule, unchang'd, and uncontroul'd,
When form'd by Nature's Hand, of like consumptive Mold;
Or, why to you alone's th' Indulgence giv'n,
Why not enlarg'd to all the Sons of Heav'n?
But sure, since you your radiant Course began,
And round your Orb thro' circling Ages ran,
A thousand Changes, at my pow'rful Call,
Have shed their Influence on your varied Ball;
Nay, ev'ry Moment, as it swiftly flies,
Wastes the huge Frame, yet an the Waste supplies;
So ev'n dread JOVE the same no more remains,
But stoops to me, thro' my Indulgence Reigns.
Thus all the Pow'rs that hold the Realms on high,
And all the starry Glories of the Sky,
Must own the Influence of my wide Command,
And feel the Weight of my commanding Hand:
Then what remains to crown my juster Cause,
But that both Heav'n, and Earth, confess my Sovereign Laws?
To thee, great Goddess! I submit my Claim,
And trust the future Honours of my Name;
From thee I hope to rule the Realms above,
In all the Glory, all the Strength of JOVE,
And, rais'd supream to all th' adoring Gods,
Lead the long Triumph thro' the bless'd Abodes.
She said, and, inly wedded to her Reign,
A Murmur of Applause the Croud began;
But, pensive, silent, and in Thought profound,
The Goddess fix'd her Eyes upon the Ground;
At last, resolv'd, she rear'd her Sun-bright Head,
And thus aloud the dread Decision made:
Considering well the Strength of either Claim,
And what's the Homage due to either Name,
The starry Worlds, and Heav'n's eternal Throne,
Great JOVE must rule unbounded, and alone;
For he, the first of Gods, can best controul
The Sons of Light, and bid the Thunder roll,
And tho' 'tis urg'd that all Things fade below,
Or ev'n the upper Worlds their Changes know;
'Tis not by thee they change; 'tis my Command
Controuls the Air, the Ocean, and the Land;
And, when from wastful Deeps, I form'd the Skies,
And bid these Orbs in all their Glory rise,
Beneath the Pow'r of JOVE, and far from Heav'n,
For thee to rule this lower World was giv'n;
But not to dare the Thund'rer's Strength in Arms,
Or fright OLYMPUS with unjust Alarms:
Cease, Daughter, then to boast thy vain Descent,
Or hope to rule the azure Firmament.
For such dire Aims include thine own Decay,
And when I give thy restless Fury way,
This earthly Globe, and ev'ry starry World,
Shook from their Orbs, shall be in huge Destruction hurl'd.
Thus JOVE was fix'd in his imperial Throne,
And Change her Claim laid ignominious down;
From Arlo-Hill the parting Crouds return'd,
And, while, in pensive Guise, the Usurper mourn'd,
Th' exulting Gods with Songs of Triumph rise,
And in a Blaze of Glory reach'd the Skies.