Ben: Jonson Page

A Panegyre.

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P A N E G Y R E,

O N   T H E

H A P P Y   E N T R A N C E

O  F

J A M E S,  our  Sovereign,


First High Session of P A R L I A M E N T in this His
Kingdom, the 19th. of March, 1603.

The Author   B. J.

Licet toto nunc Helicone frui.  Mart.


Eav'n now not strives, alone, our Breasts to fill
 With joys; but urgeth his sull'full' compositor mistakenly used long 's' Favours still.
 Again, the glory of our Western World
 Unfolds himself: and from his Eyes are hurl'd
(To day) a thousand radiant Lights, that stream
To every Nook and Angle of his Realm.
His former Rayes did only clear the Sky;
But these his searching Beams are cast, to pry
Into those dark and deep concealed Vaults,
Where Men commit black Incest with their Faults,
And snore supinely in the stall of Sin:
Where Murther, Rapine, Lust, do sit within,
Carowsing humane Blood in Iron Bowls,
And make their Den the Slaughter-house of Souls:
From whose foul reeking Caverns first arise
Those Damps, that so offend all good Mens Eyes,
And would (if not dispers'd) infect the Crown,
And in their Vapor her bright Metal drown.
   To this so clear and sanctified an end,
I saw, when reverend Themis did descend
Upon his State; let down in that rich Chain,
That fastneth heavenly Power to earthly Reign
                                                                      :colon misplaced, belongs after 'Reign'
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Beside her, stoop't on either hand, a Maid,
Fair Dice, and Eunomia; who were said
To be her Daughters: and but faintly known
On Earth, till now, they come to grace his Throne.
Her third, Irene, help'd to bear his Train;
And in her Office vow'd she would remain,
Till foreign Malice, or unnatural Spight
(Which Fates avert) should force her from her right.
With these he pass'd, and with his Peoples Hearts
Breath'd in his way; and Souls (their better Parts)
Hasting to follow forth in Shouts, and Crys.
Upon his Face all threw their covetous Eyes,
As on a wonder: some amazed stood,
As if they felt, but had not known their good.
Others would fain have shewn it in their Words:
But, when their Speech so poor a help affords
Unto their Zeals Expression; they are mute:
And only with red Silence him salute.
Some cry from tops of Houses; thinking noise
The fittest Herauld to proclaim true Joys:
Others on ground run gazing by his side,
All, as unwearied, as unsatisfied:

              A Panegyre. 313

And every Window griev'd it could not move
Along with him, and the same trouble prove.
They that had seen, but four short Days before,
His gladding Look, now long'd to see it more.
And as of late, when he through London went,
The amorous City spar'd no Ornament,
That might her Beauties heighten; but so drest,
As our ambitious Dames, when they make Feasts,
And would be courted: so this Town put on
Her brightest Tyre; and, in it, equal shone
To her great Sister: save that modesty,
Her Place, and Years, gave her precedency.
   The joy of either was alike, and full;
No Age, nor Sex, so weak, or strongly dull,
That did not bear a part in this consent
Of Hearts, and Voices. All the Air was rent,
As with the murmur of a moving Wood;
The Ground beneath did seem a moving Flood:
Walls, Windows, Roofs, Towers, Steeples, all were set
With several Eyes, that in this Object met.
Old Men were glad, their Fates till now did last;
And Infants, that the Hours had made such haste
To bring them forth: Whilst riper age'd, and apt
To understand the more, the more were rapt.
This was the Peoples Love, with which did strive
The Nobles Zeal, yet either kept alive
The others Flame, as doth the Wike and Wax,
That friendly temper'd, one pure Taper makes.
Mean while, the reverend Themis draws aside
The King's obeying Will, from taking Pride
In these vain Stirs, and to his Mind suggests
How he may triumph in his Subjects Breasts,
With better pomp. She tells him first, "That Kings
"Are here on Earth the most conspicuous Things:
"That they, by Heaven, are plac'd upon his Throne,
"To rule like Heaven; and have no more their own,
"As they are Men, than Men. That all they do
"Though hid at home, abroad is search'd into:
"And being once found out, discover'd lyes
"Unto as many Envies, there, as Eyes.
"That Princes, since they know it is their Fate,
"Oft-times, to have the Secrets of their State
"Betray'd to Fame, should take more care, and fear
"In publick Acts what Face and Form they bear.
"She then rememb'red to his Thought the Place
"Where he was going; and the upward Race
"Of Kings, preceding him in that high Court;
"Their Laws, their Ends; the Men she did report:
"And all so justly, as his Ear was joy'd
"To hear the Truth, from spight of Flattery void.
"She shew'd him, who made wise, who honest Acts;
"Who both, who neither: all the cunning Tracts,
"And thriving Statutes she could promptly note;
"The Bloody, Base, and Barbarous she did quote;
"Where Laws were made to serve the Tyran' will;
"Where Sleeping they could save, and Waking kill;
"Where Acts gave Licence to impetuous Lust
"To bury Churches in forgotten Dust,
"And with their Ruins raise the Pander's Bowers:
"When, publick Justice borrow'd all her Powers

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"From private Chambers; that could then create
"Laws, Judges, Counsellors, yea Prince, and State.
"All this she told, and more, with bleeding Eyes;
"For Right is as Compassionate as Wise.
Nor did he seem their Vices so to love,
As once defend, what Themis did reprove.
For though by right, and benefit of Times,
He own'd their Crowns, he would not so their Crimes.
He knew that Princes, who had sold their Fame
To their voluptuous Lusts, had lost their Name;
And that no Wretch was more unblest than he,
Whose necessary good 'twas now to be
An evil King: And so must such be still,
Who once hath got the habit 'to' omitted do Ill.
One Wickedness another must defend;
For Vice is safe, while she hath Vice to friend.
He knew, that those, who would, with love, command,
Must with a tender (yet a stedfast) Hand
Sustain the Reins, and in the Check forbear
To offer cause of Injury, or Fear.
That Kings, by their Example, more do sway
Than by their Power; and Men do more obey
When they are led, than when they are compell'd.
   In all these knowing Arts our Prince excell'd.
And now the Dame had dried her dropping Eyne,
When, like an April Iris, flew her shine
About the Streets, as it would force a Spring
From out the Stones, to gratulate the King.
She blest the People, that in Shoales did swim
To hear her Speech; which still began in him,
And ceas'd in them. She told them, what a Fate
Was gently fall'n from Heaven upon this State;
How dear a Father they did now enjoy
That came to save, what Discord would destroy:
And ent'ring with the Power of a King,
The Temp'rance of a private Man did bring,
That wan Affections, ere his Steps wan Ground;
And was not hot, or covetous to be crown'd
Before Mens hearts had crown'd him. Who (unlike
Those greater Bodies of the Sky, that strike
The lesser Fires dim) in his access
Brighter than all, hath yet made no one less;
Though many greater: and the most, the best.
Wherein, his choice was happy with the rest
Of his great Actions, first to see, and do
What all Mens Wishes did aspire unto.
   Hereat, the People could no longer hold
Their busting Joys; but through the Air was roll'd
The length'ned Shout, as when th'Artillery
Of Heaven is discharg'd along the Sky.
And this Confession flew from every Voice,
Never had Land more reason to rejoyce,
Nor to her bliss, could ought now added be,
Save, that she might the same perpetual see.

Which when Time, Nature, and the Fates deny'd,
With a twice louder Shout again they cry'd,
Yet, let blest Britain ask (without your wrong)
Still to have such a King, and this King long.

Solus Rex, & Poeta non quotannis nascitur.

S s                       A  P A R-

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