A Celebration of Women Writers

An Ode, Occasion'd by the Death of Her Sacred Majesty.
By a
London: Printed for Richard Cumberland, at the Angel in S. Paul's Church Yard, 1695.

Occasion'd by the
Her Sacred Majesty.

By a Young LADY.

Licensed, January 9th, 1694. D. Poplar.

L O N D O N:
Printed for Richard Cumberland, at the Angel in S. Paul's Church-Yard. MDCXCV.

An O D E, &c.


PEnsive I stood on rais'd commodious Sands,
    Where the pleas'd Eye blue Neptune best Commands.
    The Question ask'd, I to my self resolv'd,
And in wild Fancy, mighty Acts revovl'd:
'Twas through this Path (said I) first Julius Sail'd,
    Whose Glory British Conquests swell'd.
  'Twas there—that way the Spaniard was undone,
    And there the Great Dutch Fight was won.
  There 'twas our more Victorious Cæsar Rode,
          Circl'd in Honours, like a God;
When last the Royal Warrier through the briny Flood
              Battle pursu'd and Fate,
    In search of Conquests of a fresher Date;
Quitting fresh Streams, to break a threatning Cloud.
  To shew that Vict'ry only with himself must last.


The Conqueror in the Present Tense, as Conqueror in the Past,
Left a cool Shade (said I) for the hot Martial Field,
Where fiery Mouths demand, and the proud Vanquish'd yield
            In Shrieks and dying Groans;
While Vict'ry through the shril-voic'd Trumpet sounds,
            Bounding on hoarser Drums;
Those Strains so grateful to a Soldier's Ear,
            The Royal Victor Sigh'd to hear,

            Until the Gale grew strong,
        And push'd the loytring Vessel on.
            The din of Generous War
                Prefer'd by him
        To the soft Musick of a shaken String,
  And all th' Effeminate little tender things
Beneath a Mind so Great, fitting the Luxury of softer Kings.


  Most blest of Isles (said I) what shouldst thou fear,
Whom the best Sword protects, and sweetest Smiles do chear?
  Maria I would have said; but offering on,
  The smooth word stumbl'd on my fault'ring Tongue.
  The ominous Sign I strait began to fear,
  And Sigh'd, kind Heav'ns where may we be Secure!
  If that be most Unsafe, we hold most Dear?
      Then 'twas beneath a Common Ill she lay,
  And those bright Eyes Eclips'd that made our day.
  At the dread News, fix'd and amaz'd we stood,
Faint Tremblings seiz'd our Limbs, cold Horror chill'd our Blood.
      Now Hop'd, then Pray'd, yet hardly durst:
  For Ah! so fain we'd not have thought the worst.
  Thus the sad hour drew on—but Oh! the rest
  Were better told by those that love the least.
  Those might speak fine that my Affection want;
      I, could not here be Eloquent.
  My Muse, (said I) now thou'rt a trifling thing,
  Is this a time—Oh! 'tis no time to Sing.
            I held even Verse it self Prophane,
  But found no words to suit the sacred Theam:
  No word so soft as is Maria's Name.
  Learning I thought a handsom formal thing,
  But he worst Mourner still that best could Sing:
  An untaught Groan, (said I) best Language is,
        For such a Tragick Scene as this.

    A Heart-dividing Sigh, a Natural Tear;
    And Love, not Arts the better Poet here.
Assist me LOVE, I'll own no Muse but thee,
        Tho' Love ne'er writ neat Elegy.
    Those that lov'd not, may be exactly Wise,
    But when I write, let only Lovers Criticise.
    Those that are wounded, cannot strive for Bays,
Own my Griefs just and great, be that my highest Praise.


But why—(thus to my self I Groan'd) but still
        Why Pant I thus to vent an Ill,
Whose dire Conception was enough to Kill?
Strangle th'unhappy Off-spring in the Birth,
        That must come forth with Death;
            Oh direful Fate!
    Too big to smother, cruel to Relate!
I cannot—Oh, I cannot bear, (I cry'd)
And sunk a while beneath the Load, and Dy'd.


              When lo, methought anon
    A Nymph appear'd as lovely as Undone;
              Fix'd on the utmost Shoar.
  Her Breasts she beat, her untrust Garments tore,
  Which by rude whistling Winds aloft were bore:
              Aloud she cry'd, in vain—
            —In vain it is for thee
  Frail Earth, thus to contend with Destiny,
  That lays the Monarch level with the Swain.
Ah where—
  Where now do all those luckless sweets remain,
  Once—once thou loveliest Charmer of the Plain?

      Now to what blest Retreat shall I retire,
To gaze on those bright Rays I once did so admire?
      I come, she cry'd, waving aloft her Hand;
      One Foot the Water kiss'd as on she went
        T'imbrace the flowing Element;
      The other trembling on the latest Sand.
                Madness (said I)
      (Methought, and snatch'd her from her Destiny)
      Pursue not so your helpless Mariner;
          But she, with a disdainful Air,
                And a Majestick Frown,
                Half Anger, half Despair,
Reply'd, Bold ignorant wretch, no Mariner I mourn.
      No,—these sad Arms of mine have lost
          What Earth no more can boast.
Ah! where—where now are all those skipping Joys,
              The Vigor of those lively Eyes;
              Those radiant Beams that seem'd to be
        At such defiance with Mortality?
        But now—now can no more controll
  The dusky chagrin of Britannia's Soul.
                Where's now become
          That Mind, that was the Royal Seat
          Of all that's Generous, Gay, or Sweet?
                Enough, (said I) Undone!
        This was the British Genius then I found,
        And saw her Turret on the Ground.
        But she big with the Grief, went on;
              When e'er a Vertue or a Frait,
        (Continu'd she) would publick be in State.
              'Twas in that Face they met;
              'Twas in that form Divine;
        MARIA, the Queen of every Grace,
              All that were Great, Good, Soft or Fine,
              That Stately and Endearing was.
        My awful Pleasures, pleasing Fears,
And now the worthiest Subject of my Tears.


        Cruel Disease, insolent common Thing,
        Could nothing satiate but a QUEEN?
        The Queen of Beauty too and Love!
Oh! these are things methinks should Sacred prove!
        Was't not sufficient to deface and tear?
        Could not thy Impiety stop here?
        Or, wast thou not enough Prophane,
Til thou hadst quite destroy'd the goodly Frame?
  One would have thought only with Vulgar Dust,
  Thou migh'st have rag'd and done thy worst.
              But here—
  Hadst thou no awful, no restraining fear?
  Could not Languages of that charming Tongue perswade,
  That ne'er Commanded, but was still Obey'd?
                Beauty, Wit and Majesty,
      Malicious thing, thou stol'st from me;
      Things of small account with thee;
      Therefore thoun more wicked still,
      That dost it only to do ill.
      To that degree thou wast Prophane,
      Thou would'st ee'ne her Mind have slain;
      But that in a just Triumph sate,
      Above the reach of thee and Fate,
      And shall eternally remain.


Rich Philosophick Soul! thou wast so good,
        As Greatness ne'er yet understod.
Sweet was her Form, Majestick was her Meen,
                    Yet Just and Free;
        Sh' had all befitting her Degree,
Only a Mind—too brave to be a QUEEN.

        Labour that meaner Spirits shun,
She sought, that knew the Labour of a Crown.
    Our Nursing Mother fed, not eat her Land,
    The Ease she was, not burden of the State,
    And still as if her own sh' had vow'd to hate,
              Imployment chose before Command:
        Not like those Princes that profess
        A Life of Royal Idleness.
Leisure, rich Knowledge on her Mind bestow'd,
    And the World reap'd what there she sow'd.
    Goodness she ever held her noblest Art,
        And Lemuel's Lesson had so well by Heart,
    She was what Lemuel's Mother wish'd her Son;
    But no such Match was found for Solomon.
        Could he with such a Queen have met,
(By his own Rule) he had been more renown'd for Wisdom yet.


                Worthy she was alone,
To couch the Victor's Lawrel on the Monarch's Crown:
                      To entertain
        Her thrice Heroick and that Princely Train,
Whom oft the Fate and business of the World convenes;
        But many Foreign Solomons might here
                      One Queen admire,
And bless their happier Eyes for what they'd view'd,
More charming lovely, more surprizing good!
          She that now Chants eternal Lays,
          Above our Wonder and our Praise.
          Pardon blest Soul continu'd she,
          If it should here be thought
        I cast neglect on that you so did Prize,
Whom always worthy Deeds such griefs now signalize.

      And were he yet less dear to me,
      Those glorious wonders could not be forgot,
      Such as from far the Queen of Sheba brought.
      Tho' now indeed much more familiar grown
          In Britains than in Judah's Solomon,
      Expos'd so oft, the wonder's almost none.


'Tis true, I stand possest of Royal Mary's better part,
              That has her mind, and had her heart;
That wears her Crown below, while she sits Crown'd above
              With endless Glory, endless Love.
    And did those dear remains but stand
        Above sinister Fate,
    I could my passions yet command,
        And be again Sedate;
    With thoughts like these becalm my Breast,
        And even the sullen grief digest.
But lo! when thus my better Genius lies
        Beneath the Load and dies,
    What can I do but sympathize?
But must she perish whom he came to save,
Britannia find in her Nassaw a Grave?
        Rise, Royal Mourner, rise,
        Ah foolish Maid, said she,
    That still doat'st on Mortality!
Is grief the deadly thing thou fearst alone,
That hast so many ways to be undone?
        So many ways to lose
    Thy highest wish, thy best remaining joys?
        So Brave and Mortal what I prize!
'Tis that brings all the watry deluge from off my Eyes.


'Tis that—were he immortal, or not worth my care,
    All my Anxities were finish'd here.
          But as he's great, expos'd, and good,
Shall I stand here defended by that sacred Blood,
And for the Royal Stream drop a few beggarly Tears,
          Or sigh my poorer fears?
      No I'd his hazards, and his glory share:
Tell him, I'le for his sake no ill decline
      That all his dangers must be mine.
(At that methought I rais'd my head and bow'd.)
Britannia was of old renown'd in War,
        Yet at Bellona's Altar bows,
        Pays old, and vainly makes new Vows
To be, alas, the Warlike Maid no more.
            Ah happier Belgian shore!
A Cypher I, fix'd on my native Sands
Idly complain and strike my useless hands.


        But that no more I'le do,
No, I'le my stubborn martial man pursue.
    And tell each sculking Nereid,
    In thicken'd foam securely hid,
    Whom 'tis so oft frequents that Road;
    Stile him some stranger River God,
    Lest those bold Rayes too much surprize
            Their female Deities;
    Strangers to such fierce Gallantries,
    That take the solid world, and stole
            Willing Britannia's Soul.
    Nymphs of the watry plain draw near,
    He never fights with such as you,

    Nor ever cost a Maid a tear,
But such as like Britannia hold him dear.
I charge you Nymphs, when he shall please,
On naked Shoulders rock him o're these Seas,
            Secure with Pomp and Ease;
                    Ah then Beware,
    For then my single All's your care.
Bear him from each proud wave, each ruining shelf,
Through Paths by none more trac'd than by my self;
Neptune's my Friend, nor need I tell you so,
    Oft through his liquid Plains I go,
And all the traces of the Ocean know.


    From Griefs, from Sickness, and from Seas,
    What boots it to be safe from these?
            Seldom such Natural things,
    Become the Tragedy of Kings.
And shall I still my Royal Lord expose
    To Battle and dangerous Foes?
A thousand Treacheries to one Life to lose!
And may—(ah cruel thought) without me die.
No tho' my safer arms he fly,
      And seeks a foreign Clime,
    I will ev'n there his Buckler prove!
        With him my latest Breath resign,
    That shuns the tenderer Dictates of my love.
    Tell him, sad Nymph (said she) and let him know,
          Thou heardst Britannia speak it too;
    For him my different Fortunes numerous lives
            Successively I'le sacrifice:
Not darted flame I'd fear, nor ponrous flying Globe,
    The weighty ill should in these bowels throb:
        I dare to dy—and more could do;
        I've some small skill in Battle too,

    But oh! he'l do as he has ever done,
        And will be doing all alone.


    Alone with his bold Arm stretch'd out,
    Like Mars himself the Hero stood,
            Knee deep in Blood,
        While Battle sate in doubt,
            That fatal day
    When gallant Scomberg breathless lay,
And Mars look'd wondring on the blushing flood.
His single Arm first stem'd the eager Tide,
Then turn'd the Vict'ry on our feebler side.
        Three times beware brave Prince I cry'd,
        And sigh'd a thousand cautions more,
            Until the Tragick Scene was o're.
    Methinks I see him yet careless and brave,
    Pursuing Vict'ry or a glorious Grave;
    As through rank'd Foes undauntedly he flung,
    A purple Torrent from his Shoulder sprung;
        The King, the King! undone we cry'd.
(I die to tell) and all our Courage dy'd,—
      But what for him's yet to be fear'd
      That has Omnipotence for his Guard?
      Yet beg him for my sake beware,
      That was Maria's dying care.
      Heaven's he is, as he is mine
      Further doubting were a Crime.
      Here the Genius of the Isle
      Clapt her fallen Turret on,
      No more in tears, no more undone,
      Odly vanish'd in a smile
And left me to my griefs alone.

F I N I S.