Edmund Waller

Here you will find the Long Poem Upon His Majesty's Happy Return of poet Edmund Waller

Upon His Majesty's Happy Return

The rising sun complies with our weak sight, 
First gilds the clouds, then shows his globe of light 
At such a distance from our eyes, as though 
He knew what harm his hasty beams would do. 

But your full majesty at once breaks forth 
In the meridian of your reign. Your worth, 
Your youth, and all the splendour of your state, 
(Wrapped up, till now, in clouds of adverse fate!) 
With such a flood of light invade our eyes, 
And our spread hearts with so great joy surprise, 
That if your grace incline that we should live, 
You must not, sir! too hastily forgive. 
Our guilt preserves us from the excess of joy, 
Which scatters spirits, and would life destroy. 
All are obnoxious! and this faulty land, 
Like fainting Esther, does before you stand, 
Watching your sceptre. The revolted sea 
Trembles to think she did your foes obey. 

Great Britain, like blind Polypheme, of late, 
In a wild rage, became the scorn and hate 
Of her proud neighbours, who began to think 
She, with the weight of her own force, would sink. 
But you are come, and all their hopes are vain; 
This giant isle has got her eye again. 
Now she might spare the ocean, and oppose 
Your conduct to the fiercest of her foes. 
Naked, the Graces guarded you from all 
Dangers abroad; and now your thunder shall. 
Princes that saw you, different passions prove, 
For now they dread the object of their love; 
Nor without envy can behold his height, 
Whose conversation was their late delight. 
So Semele, contented with the rape 
Of Jove disguised in a mortal shape, 
When she beheld his hands with lightning filled, 
And his bright rays, was with amazement killed. 

And though it be our sorrow, and our crime, 
To have accepted life so long a time 
Without you here, yet does this absence gain 
No small advantage to your present reign; 
For, having viewed the persons and the things, 
The councils, state, and strength of Europe's kings, 
You know your work; ambition to restrain, 
And set them bounds, as Heaven does to the main. 
We have you now with ruling wisdom fraught, 
Not such as books, but such as practice, taught. 
So the lost sun, while least by us enjoyed, 
Is the whole night for our concern employed; 
He ripens spices, fruits, and precious gums, 
Which from remotest regions hither comes. 

This seat of yours (from the other world removed) 
Had Archimedes known, he might have proved 
His engine's force fixed here. Your power and skill 
Make the world's motion wait upon your will. 

Much suffering monarch! the first English born 
That has the crown of these three nations worn! 
How has your patience, with the barbarous rage 
Of your own soil, contended half an age? 
Till (your tried virtue, and your sacred word, 
At last preventing your unwilling sword) 
Armies and fleets which kept you out so long, 
Owned their great sovereign, and redressed his wrong. 
When straight the people, by no force compelled, 
Nor longer from their inclination held, 
Break forth at once, like powder set on fire, 
And, with a noble rage, their King required; 
So the injured sea, which from her wonted course, 
To gain some acres, avarice did force, 
If the new banks, neglected once, decay, 
No longer will from her old channel stay; 
Raging, the late got land she overflows, 
And all that's built upon't, to ruin goes. 

Offenders now, the chiefest, do begin 
To strive for grace, and expiate their sin. 
All winds blow fair, that did the world embroil; 
Your vipers treacle yield, and scorpions oil. 

If then such praise the Macedonian got, 
For having rudely cut the Gordian knot, 
What glory's due to him that could divide 
Such ravelled interests; has the knot untied, 
And without stroke so smooth a passage made, 
Where craft and malice such impeachments laid? 

But while we praise you, you ascribe it all 
To His high hand, which threw the untouched wall 
Of self-demolished Jericho so low; 
His angel 'twas that did before you go, 
Tamed savage hearts, and made affections yield, 
Like ears of corn when wind salutes the field. 

Thus patience crowned, like Jobs's, your trouble ends, 
Having your foes to pardon, and your friends; 
For, though your courage were so firm a rock, 
What private virtue could endure the shock? 
Like your Great Master, you the storm withstood, 
And pitied those who love with frailty showed. 

Rude Indians, torturing all the royal race, 
Him with the throne and dear-bought sceptre grace 
That suffers best. What region could be found, 
Where your heroic head had not been crowned? 

The next experience of your mighty mind 
Is how you combat fortune, now she's kind. 
And this way, too, you are victorious found; 
She flatters with the sam