Sir William Alexander

A Parænesis To Prince Henry

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Loe here (brave youth) as zeale and duty move,
I labour (though in vaine) to finde some gift,
Both worthy of thy place, and of my loue,
But whil'st my selfe above my selfe I lift,
And would the best of my inventions prove,
I stand to study what should be my drift;
Yet this the greatest approbation brings,
Still to a Prince to speake of Princely things.
When those of the first age that earst did live
In shadowie woods, or in a humid Cave,
And taking that which th'earth not forc'd did give,
Would onely pay what Natures need did crave;
Then beasts of breath such numbers did deprive,
That (following Amphion) they did desarts leave:
Who with sweet sounds did leade them by the eares,
Where mutuall force might banish common feares.
Then building walles, they barbarous rites disdain'd,
The sweetnesse of society to finde;
And to attayne what unity maintain'd,
As peace, religion, and a vertuous minde;
That so they might have restlesse humours rayn'd,
They straight with lawes their liberty confin'd:
And of the better sort the best preferr'd,
To chastise them against the lawes that err'd.
I wot not if proud mindes who first aspir'd
O're many Realmes to make themselves a right;
Or if the worlds disorders so requir'd,
That then had put Astræa to the flight;
Or else if some whose vertues were admir'd,
And eminent in all the peoples sight,
Did move Peace-lovers first to reare a Throne,
And give the keyes of life and death to one.
That dignity when first it did begin,
Did grace each Province and each little Towne;
Forth when she first doth from Benlowmond rinne,
Is poore of waters, naked of renowne,
But Carron, Allon, Teath, and Doven in,
Doth grow the greater still, the further downe:
Till that abounding both in power and fame,
She long doth strive to give the Sea her name.
Even so those Soveraignties which once were small,
Still swallowing up the nearest neighbouring State,
With a deluge of men did Realmes appall,
And thus th'Egyptian Pharoes first grew great;
Thus did th'Assyrians make so many thrall,
Thus rear'd the Romans their imperiall seat:
And thus all those great states to worke have gone,
Whose limits and the worlds were all but one.

But I'le not plunge in such a stormy deepe,
Which hath no bottome, nor can have no shore,
But in the dust will let those ashes sleepe,
Which (cloath'd with purple) once th'earth did adore;
Of them scarce now a monument wee keepe,
Who (thund'ring terrour) curb'd the world before;
Their States which by a numbers ruine stood,
Were founded, and confounded, both with bloud.
If I would call antiquity to minde,
I, for an endlesse taske might then prepare,
But what? ambition that was ever blinde,
Did get with toyle that which was kept with care,
And those great States 'gainst which the world repin'd,
Had falls, as famous, as their risings rare:
And in all ages it was ever seene,
What vertue rais'd, by vice hath ruin'd been.
Yet registers of memorable things
Would helpe (great Prince) to make thy judgement sound,
Which to the eye a perfect mirrour brings,
Where all should glasse themselves who would be crown'd,
Reade these rare parts that acted were by Kings,
The straines heroicke, and the end renown'd:
Which (whilst thou in thy Cabinet do'st sit)
Are worthy to bewitch thy growing wit.
And doe not, doe not (thou) the meanes omit,
Times match'd with times, what they beget to spy,
Since history may leade thee unto it,
A pillar whereupon good sprites rely,
Of time the table, and the Nurse of wit,
The square of reason, and the mindes cleare eye:
Which leads the curious reader through huge harms,
Who stands secure whil'st looking on alarmes.
Nor is it good o'er brave mens lives to wander,
As one who at each corner stands amaz'd,
No, study like some one thy selfe to render,
Who to the height of glory hath been rais'd;
So Scipio, Cyrus, Cæsar, Alexander,
And that great Prince chos'd him whom Homer prais'd,
Or make (as which is recent, and best knowne)
Thy fathers life a patterne for thine owne.
Yet marking great mens lives, this much impaires
The profit which that benefit imparts,
While as transported with preposterous cares,
To imitate but superficiall parts,
Some for themselves frame of their fancies snares,
And shew what folly doth o're-sway their hearts:
“For counterfeited things doe staines embrace,
“And all that is affected, hath no grace.
Of outward things who (shallow wits) take hold,
Doe shew by that they can no higher winne,
So, to resemble Hercules of old,
Mark Antony would beare the Lyons skinne;
A brave Athenians sonne (as some have told)
Would such a course (though to his scorne) begin:
And bent to seem look like his father dead,
Would make himselfe to lispe, and bow his head.

They who would rightly follow such as those,
Must of the better parts apply the pow'rs,
As the industrious Bee advis'dly goes,
To seize upon the best, shunne baser flowres;
So, where thou do'st the greatest worth disclose,
To compasse that, be prodigall of houres:
Seeke not to seeme, but be; who be, seeme too,
Doe carelesly, and yet have care to doe.
Thou to resemble thy renowned Syre,
Must not (though some there were) mark triviall things,
But matchlesse vertues which all mindes admire,
Whose treasure to his Realmes great comfort brings;
That to attaine (thou race of Kings) aspire,
Which for thy fame may furnish ayery wings:
And like to Eaglets thus thou prov'st thy kinde,
When both like him, in body, and in minde.
Ah, be not those most miserable soules,
Their judgements to refine who never strive!
Nor will not looke upon the learned scroules,
Which without practice doe experience give;
But (whil'st base sloth each better care controules)
Are dead in ignorance, entomb'd alive?
'Twixt beasts and such the difference is but small,
They use not reason, beasts have none at all.
O! heavenly treasure which the best sort loves,
Life of the soule, reformer of the will,
Cleare light, which from the mind each cloud removes,
Pure spring of vertue, Physicke for each ill,
Which in prosperity a bridle proves,
And in adversity a Pillar still;
Of thee the more men get, the more they crave,
And thinke, the more they get, the lesse they have.
But if that knowledge be requir'd of all,
What should they doe this treasure to obtaine,
Whom in a Throne, Time travels to enstall,
Where they by it of all things must ordaine?
If it make them who by their birth were thrall,
As little Kings, whil'st o're themselves they raigne,
Then it must make, when it hath throughly grac'd them,
Kings more then Kings, and like to him who plac'd them.
This is a griefe which all the world bemones,
When those lack judgement who are borne to judge,
And like to painted Tombes, or guilded stones,
To troubled soules cannot afford refuge;
Kings are their Kingdomes hearts, which tainted once,
The bodies straight corrupt in which they lodge:
And those, by whose example many fall,
Are guilty of the murther of them all.
The meanes which best make Majestie to stand,
Are laws observ'd, whil'st practise doth direct:
The Crowne, the head, the Scepter decks the hand,
But onely knowledge doth the thoughts erect;
Kings should excell all them whom they command,
In all the parts which do procure respect:
And this, a way to what they would, prepares,
Not onely as thought good, but as known theirs.

Seek not due reverence onely to procure,
With shows of Soveraignty, and guards oft lewd,
So Nero did, yet could not so assure
The hated Diademe with bloud imbru'd;
Nor as the Persian Kings, who liv'd obscure,
And of their Subjects rarely would be view'd;
So one of them was secretly o're-thrown,
And in his place the Murtherer raign'd unknown.
No, onely goodnesse doth beget regard,
And equity doth greatest glory winne,
To plague for vice, and Vertue to reward,
What they intend, that, bravely to begin;
This is to Soveraigntie a powerfull guard,
And makes a Princes praise o're all come in:
Whose life (his Subjects law) clear'd by his deeds,
More then Iustinians toyls, good order breeds.
All those who o're unbaptiz'd Nations raign'd,
By barbarous customes sought to foster feare,
And with a Thousand tyrannies constrain'd
All them whom they subdu'd their yoke to beare,
But those whom great Iehovah hath ordain'd,
Above the Christians, lawfull Thrones to reare:
Must seek by worth, to be obey'd for love,
So having raign'd below, to raigne above.
O happy Henrie, who art highly borne,
Yet beautifi'st thy birth with signes of worth,
And (though a Childe) all childish toyes do'st scorne,
To shew the world thy vertues budding forth,
Which may by Time this glorious Isle adorne,
And bring eternall Trophees to the North,
While as thou do'st thy Fathers forces leade,
And art the hand, whileas he is the head.
Thou, like that gallant Thunder-bolt of warre,
Third Edwards Sonne, who was so much renown'd,
Shalt shine in valour as the morning starre,
And plenish with thy praise the peopled round;
But like to his, let nought thy fortune marre,
Who, in his Fathers time, did dye uncrown'd:
Long live thy Syre, so all the world desires,
But longer thou, so Natures course requires.
And, though Time once thee, by thy birth-right owes,
Those sacred honours which men most esteeme,
Yet flatter not thy selfe with those faire showes,
Which often-times are not such as they seeme,
Whose burd'nous weight, the bearer but o're-throws,
That could before of no such danger deeme:
Then if not, arm'd in time, thou make thee strong,
Thou dost thy selfe, and many a thousand wrong.
Since thou must manage such a mighty State,
Which hath no borders, but the Seas, and Skies,
Then even as he who justly was call'd great,
Did (prodigall of paines where fame might rise)
With both the parts of worth in worth grow great,
As learn'd, as valiant, and as stout as wise:
So now let Aristotle lay the ground,
Whereon thou after may thy greatnesse found.

For if transported with a base repose,
Thou did'st (as thou dost not) mispend thy prime,
O! what a faire occasion would'st thou lose,
Which after would thee grieve, though out of Time!
To vertuous courses now thy thoughts dispose,
While fancies are not glu'd with pleasures lyme:
Those who their youth to such like paines engage,
Do gain great ease unto their perfect age.
Magnanimous, now, with heroicke parts,
Shew to the world what thou dost ayme to be,
The more to print in all the peoples hearts,
That which thou would'st they should expect of Thee,
That so (preoccupi'd with such desarts)
They after may applaud the heavens decree
When that day comes; which if it come too soone,
Then thou and all this Isle would be undone.
And otherwise what trouble should'st thou finde,
If first not seiz'd of all thy Subjects love;
To ply all humours till thy worth have shin'd,
That even most mal-contents must it approve?
For else a number would suspend their minde,
As doubting what thou afterwards might'st prove,
And when a States affections thus are cold,
Of that advantage Forreiners take hold.
I grant in this thy Fortune to be good,
That art t'inherit such a glorious Crowne,
As one descended from that sacred bloud,
Which oft hath fill'd the world with true renowne:
The which still on the top of glory stood,
And not so much as once seem'd to look downe:
For who thy branches to remembrance brings,
Count what he list, he cannot count but Kings.
And pardon me, for I must pause a while,
And at a thing of right to be admir'd,
Since those, from whom thou cam'st, reign'd in this Isle,
Loe, now of yeares even thousands are expir'd;
Yet none could there them thrall, nor thence exile,
Nor ever fail'd the lyne so much desir'd:
The hundred and seventh parent living free,
A never conquer'd Crowne may leave to thee.
Nor hath this onely happened as by chance,
Of alterations, then there had beene some,
But that brave race which still did worth enhaunce,
Would so presage the thing that was to come;
That this united Isle should once advance,
And, by the Lyon led, all Realmes o're-come:
For if it kep't a little, free before,
Now having much (no doubt) it must do more.
And though our Nations, long I must confesse,
Did roughly woo before that they could wed;
That but endeers the Union we possesse,
Whom Neptune both combines within one bed:
All ancient injuries this doth redresse,
And buries that which many a battell bred:
“Brave discords reconcil'd (if wrath expire)
“Do breed the greatest love, and most intire.

Of Englands Mary, had it beene the chance
To make King Philip Father of a Sonne,
The Spaniards high designes so to advance,
All Albions beauties had beene quite o're-runne:
Or yet if Scotlands Mary had heir'd France,
Our bondage then had by degrees begun:
Of which, if that a stranger hold a part,
To take the other that would meanes impart.
Thus from two dangers we were twise preserv'd,
When as we seem'd without recovery lost,
As from their freedome those who freely swerv'd,
And suffer'd strangers of our bounds to boast;
Yet were we for this happy time reserv'd,
And, but to hold it deare, a little crost:
That of the Stewarts the Illustrious race,
Might, like their mindes, a Monarchie embrace.
Of that blest Progeny, the well known worth
Hath, of the people, a conceit procur'd,
That from the race it never can go forth,
But long hereditary, is well assur'd,
Thus (Sonne of that great Monarch of the North)
They to obey, are happily inur'd:
O're whom thou art expected once to raigne,
To have good Ancestours one much doth gaine.
He who by tyranny his Throne doth reare,
And dispossesse another of his right,
Whose panting heart dare never trust his eare,
Since still made odious in the peoples sight,
Whil'st he both hath, and gives, great cause of feare,
Is (spoyling all) at last spoil'd of the light:
And those who are descended of his bloud,
Ere that they be beleev'd, must long be good.
Yet though we see it is an easie thing,
For such a one his State still to maintaine,
Who by his birth-right borne to be a King,
Doth with the Countreys love, the Crowne obtaine,
The same doth many to confusion bring,
Whil'st, for that cause, they care not how they raigne.
“O never Throne establish'd was so sure,
“Whose fall a vitious Prince might not procure!
Thus do a number to destruction runne,
And so did Tarquin once abuse his place,
Who for the filthy life he had begun,
Was barr'd from Rome, and ruin'd all his race;
So he whose Father of no King was Sonne,
Was Father to no King; but, in disgrace
From Sicile banish'd, by the peoples hate,
Did dye at Corinth in an abject state.
And as that Monarch merits endlesse praise,
Who by his vertue doth a state acquire,
So all the world with scornfull eyes may gaze
On their degener'd stemmes which might aspire,
As having greater pow'r, their power to raise,
Yet of their race the ruine do conspire:
And for their wrong-spent life with shame do end,
“Kings chastis'd once, are not allow'd t'amend.

Those who reposing on their Princely name,
Can never give themselves to care for ought,
But for their pleasures every thing would frame,
As all were made for them, and they for nought,
Once th'earth their bodies, men will spoyle their fame,
Though whil'st they live, all for their ease be wrought:
And those conceits on which they do depend,
Do but betray their fortunes in the end.
This selfe-conceit doth so the Iudgement choake,
That when with some ought well succeeds through it,
They on the same with great affection look,
And scorne th'advice of others to admit;
Thus did brave Charles the last Burgundian Duke
Deare buy a battell purchas'd by his wit:
By which in him such confidence was bred,
That blinde presumption to confusion led.
O! sacred Counsell, quint-essence of souls,
Strength of the Common-wealth, which chaines the fates,
And every danger (ere it come) controuls,
The anker of great Realmes, staffe of all States;
O! sure foundation which no Tempest fouls,
On which are builded the most glorious seats!
If ought with those succeed who scorne thy care,
It comes by chance, and draws them in a snare.
Thrice happy is that King, who hath the grace
To chuse a Councell whereon to relye,
Which loves his person, and respects his place,
And (like to Aristides) can cast by
All private grudge, and publike cares imbrace,
Whom no Ambition nor base thoughts do tye:
And that they be not, to betray their seats,
The partiall Pensioners of forreine States.
None should but those of that grave number boast,
Whose lives have long with many vertues shin'd;
As Rome respected the Patricians most,
Use Nobles first, if to true worth inclin'd:
Yet so, that unto others seeme not lost
All hope to rise, for else (high hopes resign'd)
Industrious Vertue in her course would tyre,
If not expecting Honour for her hyre.
But such as those a Prince should most eschue,
Who dignities do curiously affect;
A publike charge, those who too much pursue,
Seeme to have some particular respect,
All should be godly, prudent, secret, true,
Of whom a King his Councell should elect:
And he, whil'st they advise of zeale and love,
Should not the number, but the best approve.
A great discretion is requir'd to know
What way to weigh opinions in his minde;
But ah! this doth the judgement oft o're-throw,
When whil'st he comes within himselfe confin'd,
And of the Senate would but make a show,
So to confirme that which he hath design'd,
As one who onely hath whereon to rest,
For Councellours, his thoughts, their seat his brest.

But what avails a Senate in this sort,
Whose pow'r within the Capitoll is pent?
A blast of breath which doth for nought import,
But mocks the world with a not act'd intent;
Those are the counsels which great States support,
Which, never are made knowne but by th'event:
Not those where wise-men matters do propose,
And fooles thereafter as they please dispose.
Nor is this all which ought to be desir'd,
In this Assembly (since the kingdomes soule)
That with a knowledge more then rare inspir'd,
A Common-wealth, like Plato's, in a scroule
They can paint forth, but meanes are too acquir'd,
Disorders torrent freely to controule;
And arming with authority their lines,
To act with justice that which wit designes.
Great Empresse of this universall frame,
The Atlas on whose shoulders States are stay'd,
Who sway'st the raynes which all the world do tame,
And mak'st men good by force, with red array'd:
Disorders enemy, Virgin without blame,
Within whose ballance, good and bad are weigh'd.
O! Soveraigne of all vertues, without Thee
Nor peace, nor warre, can entertained be.
Thou from confusion all things hast redeem'd:
The meeting of Amphictyons had beene vaine,
And all those Senates which were most esteem'd,
Wer't not by thee, their Counsels crown'd remaine,
And all those laws had but dead letters seem'd,
Which Solon, or Lycurgus, did ordaine:
Wer't not thy sword made all alike to dye,
And not the weake, while as the strong scap'd by.
O! not without great cause all th'ancients did
Paint Magistrates plac'd to explane the laws,
Not having hands, so bribery to forbid,
Which them from doing right, too oft with-draws;
And with a veile the Iudges eyes were hid,
Who should not see the partie, but the cause:
Gods Deputies, which his Tribunall reare,
Should have a patent, not a partiall eare.
The lack of justice hath huge evils begun,
Which by no meanes could be repair'd againe;
The famous Syre of that more famous Sonne,
From whom (while as he sleeping did remaine)
One did appeale, till that his sleep was done,
And whom a widow did discharge to raigne
Because he had not time plaints to attend,
Did lose his life for such a fault in th'end.
This justice is the vertue most divine,
Which like the King of Kings shews Kings inclin'd,
Whose sure foundations nought can under-mine,
If once within a constant breast confin'd:
For otherwise she cannot clearly shine,
While as the Magistrate, oft changing minde,
Is oft too swift, and sometimes slow to strike,
As led by private ends, not still alike.

Use mercie freely, justice, as constrain'd,
This must be done, although that be more deare,
And oft the forme may make the deed disdain'd,
Whil'st justice tasts of tyranny too neare;
One may be justly, yet in rage arraign'd,
Whil'st Reason rul'd by passions doth appeare:
Once Socrates because o're-com'd with ire,
Did from correcting one (till calm'd) retyre.
Those who want meanes their anger to asswage,
Do oft themselves, or others rob of breath;
Fierce Valentinian, surfetting in rage,
By bursting of a Veyne did bleed to death;
And Theodosius, still but then, thought sage,
Caus'd murther Thousands, whil'st quite drunk with wrath
Who to prevent the like opprobrious crime,
Made still suspend his Edicts for a time.
Of vertuous Kings all th'actions do proceed
Forth from the spring of a paternall love;
To cherish, or correct (as Realmes have need)
For which he more than for himselfe doth move,
Who many a Millions ease that way to breed,
Makes sometime some his indignation prove,
And like to Codrus, would even death imbrace,
If for the Countreys good, and peoples peace.
This Lady that so long unarm'd hath stray'd,
Now holds the ballance, and doth draw the sword,
And never was more gloriously array'd,
Nor in short time did greater good afford;
The State which to confusion seem'd betray'd,
And could of nought but bloud, and wrongs, record,
Loe, freed from trouble, and intestine rage,
Doth boast yet to restore the golden age.
Thus doth thy Father (generous Prince) prepare,
A way for Thee to gaine Immortall fame,
And layes the grounds of greatnesse with such care,
That thou may'st build great works upon the same;
Then since thou art to have a Field so faire,
Whereas thou once may'st eternize thy name,
Begin (whileas a greater light thine smothers)
And learne to rule thy selfe, ere thou rul'st others.
For still true magnanimity we finde,
Doth harbour early in a generous brest;
To match Miltiades, whose glory shin'd,
Themistocles (a childe) was rob'd of rest;
Yet strive to be a Monarch of thy minde,
For as to dare great things, all else detest,
A generous emulation spurres the sprite,
Ambition doth abuse the courage quite.
Whil'st of illustrious lives thou look'st the story,
Abhorre those Tyrants which still swimm'd in bloud,
And follow those who (to their endlesse glory)
High in their Subjects love by vertue stood;
O! be like him who on a Time was sorie,
Because that whil'st he chanc'd to do no good,
There but one day had happened to expire:
He was the worlds delight, the heavens desire.

But as by mildnesse, some great States do gaine,
By lenity, some lose that which they have,
Englands sixth Henry could not live, and raigne,
But (being simple) did huge foils receive:
Brave Scipio's Army mutini'd in Spayne,
And (by his meeknesse bold) their charge did leave:
O! to the State it brings great profit oft,
To be sometimes severe, and never soft.
To guide his Coursers warely through the skie,
Earst Phœbus did his Phaeton require,
Since from the midle way if swarving by,
The heavens would burne, or th'earth would be on fire;
So doth 'twixt two extreames each vertue lye,
To which the purest sprits ought to aspire,
He lives most sure who no extreame doth touch,
Nought would too little be, nor yet too much.
Some Kings, whom all men did in hatred hold,
With avaritious thoughts whose breasts were torne,
Too basely given to feast their eyes with gold,
Us'd ill, and abject meanes, which brave minds scorne,
Such whil'st they onely seek (no vice controul'd)
How they may best their Treasuries adorne:
Are (though like Crœsus rich) whil'st wealth them blinds,
Yet still as poore as Irus in their mindes.
And some againe as foolish fancies move,
Who praise prepost'rous fondly do pursue,
Not liberall, no, but prodigall do prove;
Then whil'st their Treasures they exhausted view,
With Subsidies do lose their Subjects love;
And spoyle whole Realmes, though but t'enrich a few:
Whil'st with authority their pride they cloake,
Who ought to die by smoke for selling smoke.
But O! the Prince most loath'd in every Land,
Is one (all given to lust) who hardly can
Free from some great mishap a long time stand;
For all the world his deeds with hatred scan;
Should he who hath the honour to command
The noblest Creature (great Gods Image) man,
Be, to the vilest vice, the basest slave,
The bodies plague, souls death, and honours grave?
That beastly Monster who retyr'd a part,
Amongst his Concubines began to spinne,
Took with the habite too a womans heart,
And ended that which Ninus did begin;
Faint hearted Xerxes who did gifts impart,
To them who could devise new wayes to sinne;
Though back'd with worlds of men, straight took the flight,
And had not courage but to see them fight.
Thus doth soft pleasure but abase the minde,
And making one to servile thoughts descend,
Doth make the body weake, the judgement blinde,
An hatefull life, an ignominious end,
Where those who did this raging Tyrant binde,
With vertues Chains, their triumphs to attend:
Have by that meanes a greater glory gain'd,
Then all the Victories which they attain'd.

The valorous Persian who not once but gaz'd
On faire Pantheas face to ease his toyls,
His glory, by that continency, rais'd
More than by Babylons, and Lydia's spoyls;
The Macedonian Monarch was more prais'd,
Than for triumphing o're so many soils,
That of his greatest foe (though beauteous seene)
He chastly entertain'd the captiv'd Queene.
Thus have still-gaz'd-at Monarchs much adoe,
Who (all the worlds disorders to redresse)
Should shine like to the Sunne, the which still, loe,
The more it mounts aloft, doth seeme the lesse,
They should with confidence go freely to,
And (trusting to their worth) their will expresse:
Not like French Lewis th'eleventh who did maintaine,
That who could not dissemble, could not raigne.
But still to guard their State the strongest barre,
And surest refuge in each dangerous storme,
Is to be found a gallant man of warre,
With heart that dare attempt, hands to performe,
Not that they venter should their state too farre,
And to each Souldiers course their course conforme.
The skilfull Pylots at the Rudder sit:
Let others use their strength, and them their wit.
In Mars his mysteries to gaine renowne,
It gives Kings glory, and assures their place,
It breeds them a respect amongst their owne,
And makes their neighbours feare to lose their grace;
Still all those should, who love to keep their Crowne,
In peace prepare for warre, in warre for peace:
For as all feare a Prince who dare attempt,
The want of courage brings one in contempt.
And, royall off-spring, who may'st high aspire,
As one to whom thy birth high hopes assign'd,
This well becomes the courage of thy Syre,
Who traines Thee up according to thy kinde;
He, though the world his prosp'rous raigne admire,
In which his Subjects such a comfort finde:
Hath (if the bloudy Art mov'd to imbrace)
That wit then to make warre, which now keeps peace.
And O! how this (deare Prince) the people charmes,
Who flock about Thee oft in ravish'd bands,
To see thee yong, yet manage so thine Armes,
Have a Mercuriall minde, and Martiall hands,
This exercise thy tender courage warmes;
And still true Greatnesse but by Vertue stands:
Agesilaus said, no King could be
More great, unlesse more vertuous, than he.
And though that all of Thee great things expect,
Thou, as too little, mak'st their hopes asham'd;
As he who on Olympus did detect,
The famous Thebans foot, his body fram'd,
By thy beginnings so we may collect,
How great thy worth by Time may be proclaim'd:
For who thy actions doth remarke, may see
That there be many Cæsars within thee.

Though every State by long experience findes,
That greatest blessings prosp'ring Peace imparts,
As which all Subjects to good order bindes,
Yet breeds this Isle still populous in all parts,
Such vigorous bodies, and such restlesse mindes,
That they disdaine to use Mechanick Arts:
And, being haughty, cannot live in rest,
Yea, such, when idle, are a dangerous pest.
A prudent Roman told, in some few houres,
To Romes Estate what danger did redound,
Then, when they raz'd the Carthaginian Towres,
By which while as they stood, still meanes were found,
With others harmes to exercise their pow'rs,
The want whereof their greatnesse did confound;
For when no more with forraine foes imbroil'd,
Straight, by intestine warres, the State was spoyl'd.
No, since this soile, which with great sprits abounds,
Can hardly nurce her Nurcelings all in peace,
Then let us keep her bosome free from wounds,
And spend our fury in some forraine place:
There is no wall can limit now our bounds,
But all the world will need walls in short space;
To keep our troups from seizing on new Thrones;
The Marble Chayre must passe the Ocean once.
What fury o're my judgement doth prevaile?
Me thinkes I see all th'earth glance with our Armes,
And groning Neptune charg'd with many a sayle;
I heare the thundring Trumpet sound th'alarmes,
Whil'st all the neighbouring Nations doe looke pale,
Such sudden feare each panting heart disarmes,
To see those martiall mindes together gone,
The Lyon and the Leopard in one.
I (Henry) hope with this mine eyes to feed,
Whil'st ere thou wear'st a Crown, thou wear'st a shield;
And when thou (making thousands once to bleed,
That dare behold thy count'nance, and not yeeld)
Stirr'st through the bloudy dust a foaming steed,
An interested witnesse in the field
I may amongst those bands thy grace attend,
And be thy Homer when the warres do end.
But stay, where fly'st thou (Muse) so farre astray?
And whil'st affection doth thy course command,
Dar'st thus above thy reach attempt a way
To court the heire of Albions war-like land,
Who gotten hath his generous thoughts to sway,
A royall gift out of a royall hand;
And hath before his eyes that Type of worth,
That Starre of state, that Pole which guides the North.
Yet o're thy father, loe, (such is thy fate)
Thou hast this vantage which may profit thee,
An orphan'd infant, setled in his seat,
He greater then himselfe could never see,
Where thou may'st learne by him the Art of state,
And by another what thy selfe should'st be,
Whil'st that which he had onely but heard told,
In all his course thou practis'd may'st behold.
And this advantage long may'st thou retain,
By which to make thee blest, the heavens conspire;
And labour of his worth to make thy gaine,
To whose perfections thou may'st once aspire,
When as thou shew'st thy selfe, whil'st thou do'st raigne,
A Sonne held worthy of so great a Syre;
And with his Scepters, and the peoples hearts,
Do'st still inherit his heroicke parts.

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Sir William Alexander