A Whig epic by the court physician, Sir Richard Blackmore, champion of William of Orange. Seldom heard of since its publication, Eliza extends to over 8,000 lines in 300 folio pages. Blackmore's modern epic is often indebted to Milton, not least in its angelic machinery as the Spanish forces occupying Belgium are urged on by Satan and the British forces by Gabriel. Spenser makes a cameo appearance in Book VII, following the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The celebratory poem he offers to Elizabeth owes much to Paradise Lost and nothing to the Faerie Queen. Eliza: an Epic poem was quickly forgotten; it has little to recommend itself save the abundant spleen directed against Catholicism. Elizabeth herself appears but intermittently in a martial epic whose real subject is the Anglo-Dutch alliance. Curiously, the death of Sir Philip Sidney is not recounted, while the death and funeral of Vere's son Alban is dilated upon for many hundreds of lines. The second edition (1721) was a reissue.
Tom Brown: "'Tis strange that an author should have a gamester's fate, and not know when to give over. Had the city-bard stopped his hand at Prince Arthur, he had missed his knighthood, 'tis true, but he had gone off with some applause" in Allibone, Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1857-78; 1882) 1:197.
Samuel Johnson: "His head still teemed with heroick poetry, and (1705) he published Eliza in ten books. I am afraid that the world was now weary of contending about Blackmore's heroes, for I do not remember that by any author, serious or comical, I have found Eliza either praised or blamed. She 'dropped,' as it seems, 'dead-born from the press.' It is never mentioned, and was never seen by me till I borrowed it for the present occasion. Jacob says 'it is corrected and revised for another impression'; but the labour of revision was thrown away" "Richard Blackmore" in Lives of the English Poets (1779-81); ed. Hill (1905) 2:242.
Henry Neele: "The epics of Blackmore, of Wilkie, and of Glover, once enjoyed considerable popularity. They have now passed into comparative oblivion; and, with the exception of the Leonidas of the last, they have achieved only the destiny which they merited" Russell Institution Lectures on English Poetry, 1827; in Remains (1829) 36.
The first book opens with a monologue by Satan in which the arch-field reviews Counter-Reformation history: "What Pagan Princes did attempt in vain, | I, by my Christian Pontiffs, did obtain. | Thy Miter'd Sons, O Rome! I did inspire | With my own Pride, my own Ambition's Fire" p. 6. Glorying in Papal power, he resolves to uphold the Spanish empire in the Netherlands against Elizabeth's attempt to aid the Protestants there. Satan calls a council in Hell, and various proposals are considered to foil Elizabeth: bribing the Scotch, attacking England, fostering rebellion in Ireland. The fury Bigotry proposes a journey to Spain to converse with King Philip: "I shall with ease that gen'rous Prince perswade, | With Hostile Force, Britannia to invade. | This done, Eliza must her Arms recal; | What Pow'r can then prevent Batavia's Fall?" p. 21. The proposal wins general assent. Bigotry appears to Philip in the guise of St. Ignatius Loyola, promising divine assistance and sure success if he attacks Elizabeth. The Spanish king resolves to attack England for the greater glory of Rome.
Blackmore's style is parodied in The Flight of the Pretender (1708). A copy of Blackmore's Eliza appears in the 1863 catalogue of Macaulay's books, along with both Arthuriads; A. N. L. Munby, in Sale Catalogues of Libraries of Eminent Persons (1971-75) 1:279.
Let, Heav'nly Muse, Enthusiastick Fire,
With Heat Divine, my lab'ring Breast inspire;
That I may sing of Military Toil,
And of the Queen, that rul'd the British Isle;
Who zealous pure Religion to defend,
Did to the Belgick Shore her Cohorts send,
To save reform'd Batavia, and restrain
The persecuting Rage of superstitious Spain.
Stretching from Slusa to Ostenda's Strand,
Whose Tow'rs the Soil and Seas around command,
Ridges of high contiguous Hills arise,
Divide the Clouds, and penetrate the Skies.
Beneath, a Vale its Bosom does display,
Oppress'd with Riches, and profusely gay;
Where Nature throws her Gifts with lavish Hand,
And crowns, with flow'ry Luxury, the Land.
Fruits, Rivers, Meadows, Groves, and aeiry Plains
Still ecchoing with the Lays of happy Swains,
Lovely Confusion make, and charm the Eye
With beautiful Irregularity.
The Land does far and wide her Coasts extend,
And with a Kindness that becomes a Friend;
With winding Shores, and sandy Arms restrain,
Embrace and lull to Sleep the rough Germanic Main.
The Prince of Darkness, Monarch of the Air,
Hither did oft from Hell's low Caves repair;
Sometimes to give his raging Passion Vent,
And ease the Troubles that his Soul torment:
Or in the mild Retirement, to divert
The Anguish and unsufferable Smart
Of aking Sores, and Wounds incurable,
Inflicted by Victorious Michael's Steel,
Which he e'er since has felt, and must for ever feel.
Sometimes beneath the Shade of spreading Trees,
With a refreshing Zephir's gentle Breeze,
Panting with Heat, he fans Infernal Flames,
And with the Balmy Dews, and Crystal Streams,
He cools his fester'd Limbs, and Ease acquires
To Burns of dry, or Scalds of liquid Fires.
Sometimes, to sooth his Torments, and asswage
With some fresh Mischief, his insatiate Rage,
He forms the Model of a new Design,
Some Christian State or Realm to undermine:
Faction in peaceful Kingdoms to create;
Friendship destroy, and blow up mutual Hate.
To ruin Nations by destructive Vice,
Now by Ambition, now by Avarice.
Sometimes he thinks what new Reserves of Pain
He'll next break up, what Stores of Torment drain.
If Plague or Famine he shall next employ,
Earth-quakes or Storms, ripe Nations to destroy.
Blood, Desolation, Ruin, Ruptures, Wars,
Hostile Invasions, or Intestine Jars,
The Fall of Empires, persecuting Rage,
And State-Convulsions his deep Thoughts engage.
Such were the Subjects which did entertain
His anxious Mind, and press his lab'ring Brain;
When from the Hill, where then he did reside,
He in the Vale Britannia's Youth descry'd.
Soon as th' Apostate, with Seraphick Ken,
Discover'd on their March, the Valiant Men,
He with prodigious Malice, Envy, Hate,
Vastly dilated, on the Mountain sate.
Hell's rankest Vipers did their Rage exert,
And sting th' Infernal Monarch to the Heart.
The Flames of all the sulph'rous Caves beneath
Did scorch his Breast, and interrupt his Breath.
Flashes of Light'ning from his Eye-balls broke,
And from his dreadful Nostrils Clouds of Smoke.
Thus fir'd and swoln with Rage, did Satan glow,
Like a hot Furnace on a Mountain's Brow.
Such Aetna seems, so does Vesuvius look,
When terribly adorn'd with Flames and Smoke.
Then to himself thus the fall'n Angel spoke:
From Heav'n this mild Terrestrial Orb I won
With God-like Art, and Toil before unknown.
The Monarchs of the Earth did me obey,
In low Prostrations at my Altars lay.
I was rever'd as Nature's Soveraign Lord,
And as their God, by all Mankind ador'd.
Only the Tribes that in Judea dwelt,
Oppos'd my Throne, and my Resentment felt.
Long I my Shrines, with Hymns and Incense cloy'd,
In undisturb'd Tranquility enjoy'd;
'Till the Eternal's Co-eternal Son,
From me, in part, my fair Dominions won:
With Miracles of Pow'r he shook my Throne,
And on my Empire's Ruins, rais'd his own.
He did his new mysterious Creed enjoin,
Reer'd his proud Temples, and demolish'd mine.
Revolting Realms this stranger Lord obey'd,
And by Contagion, Proselytes were made.
His Evangelick Tribe, with formal Face,
Affected Looks, and sanctify'd Grimace,
Their up-start Superstition introduc'd,
And from my Shrines my Votaries seduc'd.
With swift Success they did their Churches plant,
And the vile World began to Preach and Cant.
Tho' the pure Ages of Antiquity
Condemn the Christian, and decide for me;
Tho' all Mankind to me did then adhere,
And cry'd, Can universal Judgment err?
Yet they, with promis'd Heav'nly Bliss, allur'd,
My old Religion Catholick abjur'd.
They left my ancient Temples, to adore
A God unheard of, and unknown before.
The Schism still more obtain'd; I took th' Alarm,
And to suppress the Sect, made haste to arm.
Enrag'd, with Fire and Sword I did invade
The Hereticks, who thus their Faith betray'd,
And this curs'd Separation from my Altars made.
Now mighty Rome enjoy'd Imperial Sway,
The World did her, and she did me, obey:
Those, who her Throne possess'd, by me employ'd,
The contumacious Schismaticks destroy'd.
Breathing forth Rage and Death, at my Command,
They drove the Canting Saints thro' ev'ry Land.
Fir'd with a noble Zeal, they did proscribe
Massacre, Ruin, Burn the Godly Tribe.
I lop'd the Gangreen'd Limbs, to save the Sound;
Great was my Aim, but ineffectual found.
Vast Numbers soon succeeded in the place
Of ev'ry Head cut from this Hydra Race.
The more by Force I did the Sect oppose,
The more they flourish'd, and still higher rose.
I did my Cause by these false Measures wrong,
From one destroy'd, a thousand Christians sprung.
I finding now my doubtful Empire shake,
Seeing my Honour, and my All at Stake,
My Batt'ries chang'd, and dress'd a new Attack.
Resolv'd to make them their own Fate procure,
Sink them with Wealth, and ruin them with Pow'r.
What Pagan Princes did attempt in vain,
I, by my Christian Pontiffs, did obtain.
Thy Miter'd Sons, O Rome! I did inspire
With my own Pride, my own Ambition's Fire.
With Lust of Empire, Riches, and Renown,
A double Sword, and more than double Crown.
How soon did Rome receive my pow'rful Flame?
How soon at Greatness and Dominion aim?
She by a thousand Arts deriv'd from me,
By her own Pains, and matchless Industry,
And neighbour Monarchs ignominious Sloth,
Did soon acquire a formidable Growth.
My Creature, with a glorious Arrogance
To the whole World, did her high Claim advance:
She gain'd her Cause, the Nations Homage paid,
Receiv'd her Yoke, and her Commands obey'd.
The States around did to her Laws submit,
And humble Monarchs bow'd, and kiss'd her Feet.
From East to West she made her Thunder roll,
And gather'd Tribute under either Pole.
This Mistress of the World adorn'd with Gold,
And Tyrian Purple glorious to behold;
With Orient Pearl, and wanton Persia's Pride,
The Keys of Heav'n suspended by her Side;
In State ascended her Imperial Throne,
And in her Splendor, as a Goddess shone.
To be ador'd by all, the Empress sate,
And mock'd the Captive Kings, who on her Throne did wait:
She, as she pleas'd, advanc'd, or pull'd them down,
Rais'd with a Smile, or sunk them with a Frown.
I taught elated Pontiffs to forget
The Shepherd's Cottage, and the Fisher's Net.
Peter, poor Man! would stand amaz'd to see
His Successors adorn'd with Majesty,
Warriors of mighty Fame in Triumph lead,
And on the Necks of Captive Princes tread.
That Wealth and Plenty might support her Pow'r,
She, by a thousand Arts, did Gold procure:
By Holy Rapine, her Religious Lust
Did of their Blood the Nations round exhaust.
Towns pillag'd, Kingdoms ruin'd, States undone
By her brave Troops, enrich'd the Triple Crown.
The Purgatorian Indies were her own,
Richer than thine, O Spain! and still unknown,
Still undiscover'd, but to her alone.
Here Mines of unexhausted Treasures ly,
This Ophir's Golden Shores my Rome supply.
Hither each Year their num'rous Flotas come,
And loaden, bring prodigious Riches home:
They meet no Rocks or Tempests in their way,
No Corsairs e'er infest this peaceful Sea.
She cut, with indefatigable Toil,
Channels and Drains in ev'ry neighb'ring Soil,
Whose Streams their Treasure might from Home convey,
And roll their Golden Sands into the Roman Sea.
Her Fund of Merits yielded Sums immense,
Where Malefactors purchas'd Innocence:
She future Bliss for present Money sold,
Pardons retail'd, and barter'd Heav'n for Gold.
Proud Rome now Opulent and Potent grown,
I thought it time to make her all my own:
By me instructed, she from Errors freed
Her ancient Model, and reform'd her Creed:
She cast Religion in a nobler Mould,
New Doctrines added, and expung'd the Old:
Doctrines invented, Empire to support,
Not to a Church adapted, but a Court.
By me, inlighten'd Rome did now complain,
That Christ's Religion was too course and plain:
That now 'twas time that homely Dress to quit,
Rather for Fisher-men, than Monarchs fit.
So oft she chang'd her first Religion's Frame,
'Till Rome again Old Pagan Rome became,
Nothing remain'd of Christian, but the Name.
To Carv'd and Molten Images they bow,
My Pagan Pomp, and Ceremonial Show;
My ancient Modes of Worship were restor'd,
Which the vile Sect in former Times abhor'd.
To keep them stedfast to my Int'rest, I
First taught them to entrench themselves, and ly
In never to be forc'd Infallibility.
Rome's Christian Pagans serv'd my Purpose more
Than all her Lay Imperial Heads before:
As fav'rite Friends, I did her Sons regard,
Nor fail'd their faithful Service to reward:
I slak'd with Wealth immense their mighty Thirst,
And with Dominion, their ambitious Lust.
Ecclesiastick Kings, a three-fold Crown,
And crosier'd Monarchs were before unknown.
Their constant Service did from me procure
These mighty Names, this high Imperial Pow'r.
Have I advanc'd my Sons to such a height,
Founded this Potent, Anti-Christian State,
And shall I not uphold my Empire's Weight?
Shall proud Eliza's impious Arms sustain
Fanatick States, and break the Pow'r of Spain?
And shall these Schismaticks from Rome and Hell,
Against me with Impunity rebel?
Shall these Calvinian Hereticks succeed
In this unjust, rebellious, impious Deed?
No, Hell shall all its Pow'r and Skill exhaust,
Before it sees Iberia's Empire lost.
Then from the Mountain's Brow, without delay,
With his brown Wings out-stretch'd, he made his way
To the low Realms unknown to Peace and Day.
As when, a Town beseig'd, a flaming Bomb
Discharg'd from some capacious Mortar's Womb,
On its destructive Message swiftly flies,
Inflames the Air, and terrifies the Skies:
So swiftly Satan flew, and in his Flight,
Left Clouds of Smoke behind, and Tracks of dismal Light.
He plung'd himself amidst Tartarean Shade,
And to his dusky Court in Wrath his Passage made.
Demons and Furies at his Summons come,
And fill the dire Infernal Council-Room.
A Noise confus'd rose from the mingled Crowd,
Like unform'd Thunder, murm'ring in a Cloud:
Their Prince ascends his Throne sublime, and sate,
Beneath a Sable Canopy of State.
Publick Concern dwelt on his anxious Brow,
And deadly Rage did in his Eye-balls glow;
Th' Assembly hush'd stood at their Monarch's Sight,
Still, as the peaceful Walks of ancient Night.
Thoughtful a while he sate, and unresolv'd,
And in his Mind the great Affair revolv'd:
While deep Resentment, fierce Defiance, Care,
Gave to his Looks a vengeful, troubled Air.
Like a black Storm, th' Infernal Monarch frown'd,
And low'ring, cast his haughty Eyes around:
Then from his Chair of State he Silence broke,
And thus th' assembled Senators bespoke:
You I convene, ye great Seraphick States,
To take my Measures from your Wise Debates,
For future Conduct in an high Affair,
That asks your deepest Thought, and utmost Care.
When our great Foe by Art was overcome,
By turning Christian into Pagan Rome,
O'er Europe's Realms my Empire I regain'd,
And long in unmollested Triumph reign'd;
Till a proud Monk did in Germania's Land,
My Soveraign Will, and Sacred Pow'r withstand,
And Northern Europe rent from my Command.
I, to extinguish this Phanatick Fire,
That blazing high, fresh Vigor did acquire;
Call'd all my zealous Servants to my Aid,
And on the raging Flame my Roman Engines play'd.
Batavia's Provinces th' Infection took,
Espous'd the Rebels, and my Cause forsook.
From the Morasses of Zelandia's Isle,
And from the Flags and Fens of Belgia's Soil,
Of croaking Hereticks a monst'rous Brood,
Like Egypt's Vermin, sprung from reeking Mud;
Arm'd on Pretence to set their Country free,
Rebell'd at once against their King and me.
Spain, which did impious Heresie detest,
And Faith to me inviolate profest;
Highly enrag'd by her own Wrongs and mine,
With Rome and me, to crush them, did combine;
And now her Arms are ready to subdue
These up-start States, this high and mighty Crew:
But know, Eliza's Troops have cross'd the Main,
They march distress'd Batavia to sustain.
And must this Queen, whom from my Soul I hate,
From my Revenge, protect a Rebel State?
O Hell! O all ye Potentates below!
Shall we be vanquish'd by a Woman Foe?
To Female Force shall our brave Spaniards yeild?
Driv'n by the Distaff, shall they quit the Field?
Say, O Angelick Warriors, did not we
Bear all the Fire of Heav'n's Artillery,
When we th' Almighty's Empire did invade;
When from their Lines Immortal Cannon play'd,
And thund'ring on our Host, podigious Ruin made?
Did we once tremble? did we once decline
To Face their Batt'ries rais'd by Pow'r Divine?
And when by Arms Almighty beaten back,
Did we not rally, and renew th' Attack?
Fatigu'd with Toil, and gall'd with hostile Fire,
We did in Order from th' Assault retire:
But left proud Michael's scarce Victorious Host,
For their dear Conquest no great Cause to boast.
And did our Youth with Courage so abound,
To charge such mighty Foes, tho' fenc'd around
With Crystal Works insuperably steep,
And with a dreadful Gulph, immensely deep,
And shall we tamely see Eliza's Arms
Disturb our Vot'ries? Shall her proud Alarms
Shake our high Domes, and Hereticks sustain
Against th' united Pow'rs of Rome and Spain?
Can Spirits, true to our Infernal State,
Who love Dominion, who Obedience hate;
Can Spirits of Divine and God-like Race,
Bear such a foul, indelible Disgrace?
How will insulting Michael scoff to see
Our Pow'r controul'd by such an Enemy?
All will hereafter our high Altars quit,
And to Triumphant Heresie submit:
All will our Ignominious Conduct blame,
All, with Contempt, will Hell's Commanders name.
You cannot such Reproach and Shame endure;
Speak then your Thoughts, how best we may secure
Our Priests and Vot'ries from Eliza's Pow'r.
Let us, if we from Belgia must retire,
First lay it all in Blood, or set it all on Fire.
Chemosh arose, a Prince of great Renown,
No bolder Chief assail'd th' Almighty's Throne;
Scarce greater Deeds by Satan's Arms were done.
Deform'd with Seams and Ignominious Scars,
From ghastly Wounds receiv'd in Heav'nly Wars;
Above the Demons that compos'd the Crowd,
The Potentate, Majestick Ruin, stood;
Elated in Destruction, proud in Hell,
He felt his Veins with Indignation swell;
He look'd around him with a haughty Air,
Th' Attention of th' Assembly to prepare.
And thus began. High Seraphs, this Debate
Concerns the Being of th' Infernal State:
'Tis of the last Importance to restrain
Eliza's Pow'r, and guard our Friends of Spain.
We must exert the utmost Skill of Hell,
This to support, the other to repel.
I would, great Satan, to promote this End,
To Caledonia pow'rful Mammon send.
He, by his Arts, the Scotians may excite
To take just Arms to vindicate their Right.
Scotia well-manag'd Anglia may embroil,
And with Intestine Wars distract the Isle.
Our Friends in either Kingdom potent are,
Disturb'd, uneasy, and dispos'd for War.
Our Scotian Lords may lead their Army forth,
And join our Loyal English in the North.
Eliza, this joint Force to overcome,
Will be compell'd to call her Army home.
This will the Belgian of her Aid bereave,
And to th' Iberian easy Conquest leave.
'Tis hard on Scotia's Promise to rely,
But Mammon may her Sons with Treasure buy.
All things in Scotia are for Money sold,
There the most potent Deity is Gold.
He'll all our Papal Friends in Scotia find,
Of an unquiet, discontented Mind;
Ill pleas'd with Anglia's Queen, and much to Arms inclin'd.
He ceas'd: Then Baal did with Choler swell,
A fiercer Spirit was not found in Hell:
Against his God in Arms he did engage,
And near to Satan charg'd scarce with inferior Rage:
With desp'rate Speech, his Maker he blasphem'd,
Revil'd his Conduct, and his Wrath contemn'd.
To the great Ministers, to all the Bless'd
In Heav'n's high Court, his Malice he express'd:
He hated all the Chiefs, but Michael most,
The glorious Gen'ral of the Heav'nly Host;
For his Victorious Arms their Force repell'd,
Broke their Designs, and the proud Faction quell'd:
Since that, he all the Foes of Heav'n caress'd,
And with his utmost Pow'r its Friends oppress'd;
And thus th' Infernal Dyet he address'd:
'Tis well to you, Immortal Seraphs, known,
What Zeal to serve your Int'rest I have shown,
What Wounds I've felt, what Labours undergone:
Still the same Fire does all my Veins dilate,
Still the same Toil and Hazards I'll repeat;
Tho' disappointed oft, I still declare
For bold Attempts in Arms, and glorious War.
In Scotia's mighty States can we confide?
On her how oft have we in vain rely'd?
If Mammon gains them by his Golden Store,
May not Eliza too, by proff'ring more?
Who can that State in Friendship long secure?
Why should you Schemes on weak Surmises build?
How do you know Spain must to Albion yield?
Have they yet try'd their Courage in the Field?
Brave and Victorious is th' Iberian Host,
And have no Battel yet to Britain lost.
It will be time to think of Scotia's Aid,
When Spain by Albion vanquish'd, is dismay'd:
Mean time let our Angelick Cohorts Arm;
Let the loud Noise of War all Hell alarm:
Let us once more Seraphick Warriors weild
Immortal Arms, and bravely take the Field:
Let us for Spain against our Foes engage,
And on the Britons pour out deadly Rage.
Michael, you'll say, his Squadrons will oppose;
Let him; we'll once more Face our Godly Foes:
Let us assail them once more with the Sword;
To Fight the Saints, some Solace will afford;
Revenge, Immortal Warriors, is the Word.
Of Mischief, you the greatest Sweetness know,
And from Revenge, what wond'rous Pleasures flow:
The only Pleasures which to Hell remain,
To sooth our Sores, and mitigate our Pain.
Draw out your valiant Legions in Array,
To Mischeif and Revenge, I'll lead the way.
He ceas'd, and Dagon rose, a Prince serene,
Of Aspect mild, and of a winning Mein.
Tho' scorch'd by Fire, and scarr'd by Hostile Arms,
Yet he retain'd in part his Heav'nly Charms:
He still preserv'd a wond'rous pleasing Air,
Graceful in Torment, in Perdition, fair.
Beneath, a Face, so gentle, so sedate,
No Breast conceal'd, a more malignant Hate.
None did his Heav'nly Soveraign more detest;
None more his impious Enemies carest:
Fluent of Words, and eloquent of Tongue,
He always mov'd, and pleas'd th' applauding Throng.
Thus he began, Seraphs, I speak my Mind
With Deference due to Spirits more refin'd;
Of clearer Judgment, and of greater Weight,
More able in the Business of the State,
And fitter to decide in this your high Debate.
If I can but suggest, or hint to these,
What they'll improve, I my Ambition please:
I ask his leave from Baal to dissent;
In vain, in Combate, we our Passion vent.
Our Heav'nly Foes, that guard Eliaza's Host,
Unvanquish'd Arms, and Aid Almighty boast:
Did to our Spears their Armor ever yeild?
Did we e'er give a Wound, or pierce a Shield?
Why should we fruitless War and Strife repeat?
Can all our Force Omnipotence defeat?
I would no more seek such unequal Fight,
Provoke more Vengeance, and more Wrath invite:
Nor can my Sense, with Chemosh Choice comply,
His is the last Expedient I would try.
The Arguments which Baal urg'd, perswade,
That 'tis in vain to trust to Scotia's Aid.
Send rather Faction to Hibernia's Isle,
Let her that Kingdom, by her Art, embroil.
Our Friends are num'rous in that faithful State,
And to Eliza bear the deepest Hate.
If they in Arms appear, the Crown of Spain
May with fresh Succours still the Fire maintain,
As Albion's Aids the Belgian War sustain.
Then his great Ends King Phillip may pursue,
And Albion's crafty Queen at her own Game out-do.
Then from a Sulphur Cave, a Fury crawl'd,
And on the Floor in loathsome Volumes sprawl'd;
So fierce, she did th' Infernal Lords affright,
And so deform'd, she prejudic'd their Sight.
Hell, at the dire Appearance, blacker grew,
And vulgar Fiends, for Fear and Shame, with-drew.
Horror it self the raging Fury fear'd,
And Terror started, when she first apppear'd.
Scylla, and all the Monsters of the Main,
Were the Descriptions true which Poets feign,
Would inoffensive, comely Figures be,
Compar'd with this compleat Deformity:
Her fiery Eyes, a red maligant Glare,
Shot from their Bloody Orbits thro' the Air:
Black Vipers crown'd her Head with horrid Grace,
The rankest Brood of all th' Infernal Race.
In odious Curls they on her Shoulders hung,
Hissing, and thrusting out their three-fork'd Tongue.
The fiery Breath that from her Nostrils came,
With Plagues and Fevers, did the Air inflame.
Whene'er the Fury yawn'd, she set to show
A dreadful Armory of Death and Woe.
She seem'd all Teeth and Jaws, prepar'd for Spoil,
Like the arm'd Tyrant that infests the Nile:
Like the full Bosom of the widest Sail
In Ships of War, swoln with a vig'rous Gale,
Far out her vast Hydropick Belly stood,
Turgid with purple Seas of Christian Blood;
Of which she drank such Draughts to slake her Thirst,
The Senate fear'd she would in sunder burst:
Her Caves with Crosses, Racks, and Fetters stor'd,
Did various Pain, and Choice of Death afford:
Her hateful Parents, Pontificial Pride,
And Lust of Gold, stood by the Fury's Side.
Fierce Inquisition, Rage, Ambition, Hate,
Revenge, and Envy, to compose her State,
A dire Retinue, on the Fiend did wait.
Then Bigottry, with Hellish Fury stung,
Did with a Voice that thro' the Palace rung,
Hell's Potentates in Council thus bespeak:
Spain to support, and Albion's Force to break,
Illustrious Princes, is your high Design;
I ask that glorious Province may be mine.
No Minister did e'er with greater Zeal,
Or more Success, promote the Cause of Hell.
Since in your Service, I was first employ'd,
I have your Foes without Remorse destroy'd.
My Mistress, Rome, will own I serv'd her more
Than all her Skill, and all her Pow'r before:
My self alone found out th' effectual Art,
Apostates to extirpate, or convert.
The rankest Weeds of baneful Heresy,
Have from the Church been rooted out by me.
My Racks have set Mens Understandings right;
My Dungeons bless'd them with convincing Light.
Rebels have been reduc'd at my Expence,
Inform'd by Whips, and tortur'd into Sense:
My Reasons always due Impressions made,
Proofs that are felt, are fittest to perswade:
I to the Mind explor'd the ready way,
And by the Senses, Knowledge did convey.
My Arguments with ease are understood,
Adapted to the Man, and clear to Flesh and Blood;
And Reason to our Senses clear and plain,
Will quickly to the Mind, Admission gain:
O what convincing Force have Prisons, Want, and Pain!
My Eloquence must still successful prove;
Those most prevail, who most the Passions move.
No Orator did e'er his Skill display,
In such a moving and Pathetick way.
I use no subtil Reas'ning of the Schools;
I mock the vain Disputes of Learned Fools:
Your Disputants ne'er made Apostates yield;
With ignominious Rout you left the Field.
You by Scholastick Weapons were out-done;
You took no Captives, and no Trophies won.
Victorious Hereticks insulted Rome,
And crown'd with Laurels, march'd in Triumph Home:
But when your Doctors did their Error see,
Laid Reason by, and threw themselves on me;
My Arguments did soon the Foe confute,
And to an Issue brought the long Dispute.
'Twas I the Art discover'd to perswade,
And for their One, Ten Thousand Converts made.
Obdurate Wretches, who would ne'er repent,
Ne'er by my melting Discipline relent;
Who to Fanatick Errors did adhere
Inflexibly resolv'd to persevere;
I contumacious Rebels did declare
Such as the World might with Advantage spare;
Such whose contagious Breath might taint th' ambient Air.
I, Traytors and Apostates to detect,
My Holy Inquisition did erect:
I my Tribunal did in State ascend,
Those to destroy, whom Tortures could not mend.
The Rebels I proscrib'd, enrol'd their Names,
And doom'd the Wretches to devouring Flames.
These Holy Methods ruin'd or reduc'd
Those who the Church's Clemency abus'd:
Thus did I settle Peace, and made by Fire
The odious Monster Heresy expire.
The Zeal too indiscreet, th' imprudent Rage
That in Crusados did our Friends engage;
Assassinations, well meant Violence,
Pious Massacres gave the World Offence:
Did universal Odium on us draw;
But I attack'd the Hereticks with Law;
In Courts of Justice did their Process make,
Accusers hear, and Depositions take:
Then by Advice of Grave and Holy Men,
Did to the Flames, the Criminals condemn.
This Zeal I'll still express; with Fire and Sword
I'll still pursue the Sect by Hell abhor'd;
'Till I exterminate the Impious Race,
Thy Plague, O Rome, and Europe, thy Disgrace.
Now, to extinguish in your anxious Breast
The deep Concern that interrupts your Rest;
Grant your Commission, I'll with speedy Flight,
Mount the dark Void, 'till I emerge in Light.
To mighty Phillip's Court I'll wing my Way,
Who does, Iberia, thy poud Scepter sway:
Who does in Pow'r and Piety excel
All the crown'd Heads, and Royal Friends of Hell:
I shall with ease that gen'rous Prince perswade,
With Hostile Force, Britannia to invade.
This done, Eliza must her Arms recal;
What Pow'r can then prevent Batavia's Fall?
Th' Infernal Senate hum'd a loud Applause,
And from his Chair of State their Monarch rose:
He with a Smile the bloody Fiend caress'd,
And full of Joy, he thus himself express'd:
Go and succeed in this thy bless'd Design;
Be Hell's the Benefit, the Honour thine.
This great Applause the Fiend did so engage,
She call'd up all her Terrors, all her Rage:
Demons surpriz'd, did their Disturbance shew,
All Hell was mov'd, so fierce the Monster grew:
Then in a milder Form the Fury dress'd,
Her Snakes call'd in, and her loose Shape compress'd;
Did her unfeather'd Dragon-Wings display,
And mount to reach the Silver Verge of Day.
As when a Faulcon, pinch'd with Hunger, 'spies
A long-neck'd Hern, that traverses the Skies;
Eager of Blood, and meditating Death,
With vig'rous Wings, he rises from beneath:
With wond'rous Swiftness cuts his aeiry Way,
And soon in Distance lost, pursues his tim'rous Prey.
So strong, so swift, so in a Line upright,
The Fury mounted to the Coasts of Light:
Then to Iberia's Realm she wing'd her Way,
And at the Court arriv'd at Dawn of Day:
When Light and Shade contend with doubtful War,
Which shall possess the Empire of the Air:
When like Success, and equal Forces lay
In even Scales, the Fortune of the Day.
Now Trav'llers from their Eyes soft Slumber shake,
And for new Labour, Swains their Beds forsake.
The roaming Lion, surfeited with Spoil,
Comes to his Den fatigu'd with bloody Toil.
Now wand'ring Ghosts and Spectres leaves the Air,
And to their low, unlightsome Seats repair.
Of thickest Shades, that bounding Beams repel
And pitchy Smoke, cast from the Mouth of Hell,
A long black Robe the Fury did prepare,
Such as th' Ignatian, cruel Order wear.
She then the ambient Air with Art compress'd,
And in a Moment Human Members dress'd:
She did the Figure, Face, and Mien assume,
Of Loyola, the Prop and Pride of Rome.
All Night th' Iberian Monarch wakeful lay,
Meeting with eager Eyes, returning Day:
To sooth reluctant Cares, and ease his Pain,
He turn'd from Side to Side, but turn'd in vain.
A thousand Terrors interrupt his Rest,
A thousand Troubles vex his anxious Breast:
The Thoughts of Belgia's long protracted War,
Corrode his Bosom, and his Heart-strings tear;
Whence daily Courriers bring him fresh Alarms
Or from Batavian or Britannick Arms.
Now to his Thoughts Eliza does appear,
Mauritius now, and now, the mighty Vere,
Who much provok'd his Hate, but more his Fear:
He thinks what wealthy Provinces were gone,
And what fair Towns were from his Empire won:
How white with Spanish Bones the Mountains grow,
Red with their Blood, how Belgick Rivers flow.
He hears their Shrieks, and lamentable Cry,
Who by his Order, did in Torment lye;
Or over whom accurss'd Assassins stood,
With Sword in Hand, prepar'd to shed their Blood:
The Ghosts of murder'd Men past by his Bed,
They show'd their Ghastly Wounds, and shook their Head.
Here Noble Horno's Form did threatning stand,
And there brave Egmont becken'd with his Hand:
Here Bergen groan'd, and there Don Carlos stood,
Shedding from every Vein Imperial Blood.
These were the Objects that enrag'd his Breast;
These Perturbations chas'd away his Rest:
If he compos'd himself with Hopes to find
Sleep to his Eyes, and Quiet to his Mind;
If Slumber softly crept, that by Surprize,
It might the Passes take, and shut his Eyes,
To calm his Thoughts, and lull his lab'ring Brain,
Some frightful Vision broke the downy Chain:
As when a Storm of Wind the Ocean moves,
And rolling Billows, this and that way shoves;
Uproar and Strife embroil the restless Deep,
Nor will the swelling Waves lye down to Sleep:
So on the King tempestuous Passions prest,
Tumultuous Thoughts did so distract his Breast,
So agitate his Soul, so drive away his Rest.
In these Inquietudes the Mornarch lay,
And with impatient Eyes demanded Day:
When the fierce Fiend did with a reverend Grace
Enter the Room, and halted in her Pace;
Then low she bow'd, and thus the King addrest;
Hail Phillip, mighty Monarch of the West;
The Realms of unmollested Peace and Joy,
Where pure Delights do never fade or cloy:
Where the bless'd Saints in fresh Coelestial Bow'rs,
And endless Pleasures, pass their happy Hours:
I leave those anxious Cares to dispossess,
Which with their Weight your gen'rous Soul oppress;
To tell the Means, how Belgia to regain,
Extend your Pow'r by Land, and o'er the Main,
And Universal Empire give to Spain:
With fruitless Toil, for Belgia you contend,
While Albion's Queen does still fresh Succours send;
That raging Fire, you hope in vain to tame,
While Forreign Fuel still renews the Flame.
Eliza's Troops protect the Rebel State,
And still new Labour for your Arms create.
These Forreign Mounds, the Belgick State secure,
And stop the advancing Tide of Spanish Pow'r.
Would you your Glory with Success pursue,
Britannia's Kingdom you must first subdue;
Advance your Arms, and with one noble Blow,
Cut off the Spring, whence all your Suff'rings flow.
Equip your potent Fleet, embark your Arms;
Shake impious Britain, with your loud Alarms:
Transport your matchless Troops with speedy Care,
And thunder on her Coasts with unexpected War:
You will surprize the unprovided Isle;
An easy Conquest, and prodigious Spoil,
Will recompence your Hazard, and your Toil.
Rome's Holy Father will his Aid afford,
Bless all your Troops, and Consecrate your Sword:
He will your glorious Undertaking own,
And from Eliza's Head transfer the Crown:
Her Subjects Oaths he'll piously absolve,
And all her Friends in mortal Guilt involve:
He'll send his Thunder from his Sacred Tow'r,
And on her Head destructive Curses pour;
For Impious Hereticks, and such, 'tis known,
Eliza is, have forfeited their Crown.
Kind Heav'n has rais'd you to Imperial Sway;
What num'rous Nations do your Laws obey?
By Land your Armies neighbour States controul;
By Sea your Navies run from Pole to Pole,
As far as Winds can fly, or Billows roll.
You some Returns of Gratitude should make,
And for kind Heav'n's, and for Religion's sake,
This pious Labour you should undertake.
This glorious Stroke will Heresy confound,
And give the odious Fiend a deadly Wound;
Will re-establish Rome's Imperial Pow'r,
Re-build her Altars, and her Priests restore,
Who with their Tears and Pray'rs your Aid implore.
Thousands of Holy Catholicks, that groan
Beneath th' Oppression of Eliza's Throne,
Will join their Arms to pull th' Oppressor down.
When you vouchsaf'd to ask her for your Bride,
Can you forget how she, (prodigious Pride!)
Long with collusive Arts, your Passion fed;
But still despis'd so great a Monarch's Bed?
Britannia's Queen, as to the World is known,
To your Protection, owes her Life and Throne:
Yet does she succour your Invet'rate Foes,
Rebels protect, and your just Arms oppose.
If Albion you invade, you must succeed;
Just Heav'n will prosper, and applaud the Deed.
Batavia then deserted, must submit,
And lay her humble Neck beneath your Feet.
Thus o'er Europa you'll in Triumph reign
Lord of the Land, and Master of the Main:
Will gain immortal Honour and Renown;
And when you lay your Earthly Scepter down,
Will wear above, a bright Coelestial Crown.
Then from beneath her Gown, the Fury drew
A Fire-brand partly Red, and partly Blew,
Kindled in Caves, in whose Recesses dwell
The most malignant Flames, and sharpest Fires of Hell;
Which secretly she with unerring Art,
Did at the Bosom of King Phillip dart:
That done, the Fury hast'ning to be gone,
Dissolv'd in Air, th' Appearance not her own;
No more the Object of the Monarch's Sight,
She to Britannia's Coast designs her Flight.
Th' insinuating Flame his Veins possest,
And with Infernal Heats inspir'd the Monarch's Breast:
His Blood boil'd high, and on th' impetuous Tide
Wild Fury seated, did in Triumph ride:
His Pulse beat swift, his lab'ring Heart in Pain,
Did the uneasy Task of Life sustain.
He greater Rage, and more Disorder show'd,
Than in Iberian Princes is allow'd;
From the fierce Fury's Flame, this strange Emotion flow'd.
In this Disturbance, from his Bed he rose,
To vent his Passion, and his Thoughts compose.
Sometimes he walk'd, and cast his Eyes around;
Sometimes he stood, and fixt them on the Ground.
Oft clinch'd his Hands, and with an angry Look,
He now the Wall, and now the Portal strook.
With sudden Starts, walk'd swiftly to the Door,
Then turn'd as quick, and stampt upon the Floor.
Some painful Hours the furious Monarch past
In this distracted manner, 'till at last
His Passion's high uncustomary Tide
Began to ebb, and by degrees subside.
The raging Tempest partly over-blown,
He to a Temper cool'd more like his own.
For tho' in Cruelty he did surpass
The fiercest Bigots of th' Iberian Race;
Yet was his Malice inward, cool, sedate,
And intellectual, more than passionate.
He with a Judgment more consistent, weigh'd
The Application by Ignatius made.
He saw, this high Design should he pursue,
What Acquisitions would from thence accrue,
And what the Dangers were, that might ensue.
What Profit to Religion, and to Rome;
What would to God, and what to Caesar come.
Britannia to subdue, were to ensure
The Western World's Submission to his Pow'r:
Then uncontroul'd Iberia would command
The Ocean by her Fleets, and by her Troops the Land.
Then Rome's Religion would exalt her Head,
On Nothern Heresy Triumphant tread,
And by the Sword supported, be by all obey'd.
But Heav'n's bright Glory, and immortal Crown,
That by his pious Arms might now be won:
Much with the superstitious Monarch weigh'd,
And more his Mind, than temporal Honour sway'd.
While all the Hazards which he had in view,
Against the Profit weigh'd, were light and few.
Thus having all things in his Mind revolv'd,
He Albion to invade, at last resolv'd.