Joseph Hall

Here you will find the Long Poem The Kings Prophecie of poet Joseph Hall

The Kings Prophecie

What Stoick could his steely brest containe 
(If Zeno self, or who were made beside 
Of tougher mold) from being torne in twaine 
With the crosse Passions of this wondrous tide? 
Grief at ELIZAES toomb, orecomne anone 
With greater ioy at her succeeded throne? 

Me seems the world at once doth weep & smile, 
Washing his smiling cheeks with weeping dew, 
Yet chearing still his watered cheeks the while 
With merry wrinckles that do laughter shew; 
Amongst the rest, I can but smile and weepe, 
Nor can my passions in close prison keepe. 

Yet now, when Griefe and Ioy at once conspire 
To vexe my feeble minde with aduerse might, 
Reason suggests not words to my desire, 
Nor daines no Muse to helpe me to endite; 
So doth this ciuil strife of Passions strong, 
Both moue and marre the measures of my song. 

For long agone, when as my weaker thought 
Was but assaylde with change of Ioy & paine: 
I wont to finde the willing Muse vnsought, 
And vent my numbers in a plenteous vaine, 
Whether I wisht to write some loftie verse, 
Or with sad lines would straw some sable hearse. 

So, when but single Passions in the field 
Meet Reason sage; soone as she list aduance 
Her awful head; they needs must stoop, & yeeld 
Their rebell armes to her wise gouernance: 
Whence, as their mutin'd rage did rashly rise 
Ylike by Reasons power it cowardly dies. 

But when that Passions ranke arayes beset 
Reason alone, without or friend, or Fere, 
Who wonders if they can the conquest get 
And reaue the crown her royal head did weare? 
Goe yet tumultuous lines, and tydings bring 
What Passion can in Reasons silence sing. 

Oft did I wish the closure of my light, 
Before the dawning of that fearfull day 
Which should succeed Elizaes latest night, 
Sending her glorious soule from this sad clay, 
Vp to a better crowne then erst she bore 
Vpon her weary browes, and Temples hoare: 

For then I fear'd to finde the frowning skie 
Cloathed in dismall black, and dreadfull red, 
Then did I feare this earth should drenched lie 
With purple streames in ciuil tumults shed: 
[1]Like when of yore in th' old Pharsalian downes, 
The two crosse Eagles grapled for the crowne. 

Or when the riper English Roses grew 
On sundrie stalks, from one selfe roote ysprung,[2] 
And stroue so log for praise of fairer hew, 
That millios of our Sires to death were stung 
With those sharp thornes that grew their sweets beside 
Or such, or worse I ween'd should now betide. 

Nor were leud hopes ought lesser the my dread, 
Nor lesse their Triumphs then my plained woe, 
Triumphs, and Plaints for great Eliza dead; 
My dread, their hope for Englands ouerthrow: 
I fear'd their hopes, & waild their pleasat cheare, 
They triumpht in my griefes, & hop't my feare. 

Waiting for flames of cruell Martyrdome, 
Alreadie might I see the stakes addrest, 
And that stale strumpet of imperious Rome, 
Hie mounted on her seuen-headed beast, 
Quaffing the bloud of Saints in boules of gold, 
Whiles all the surplus staines the guiltles mold. 

Now might I see those swarmes of Locusts sent, 
[3]Hell's cursed off-spring, hyred slaues of Spaine, 
Till the world sawe, and scorned their intent, 
Of a sworne foe to make a Soueraigne; 
How could but terrour with his colde affright 
Strike my weake brest vpon so sad foresight? 

Tho on that day before the world began 
Eliza dyde, and with the closing yeare[4] 
Her dayes vpclosde; when I the light did ban, 
And chide the Heauens, that they left not there: 
And thought it wrog (yet God that thought forfended) 
That the worlds course with her course was not ended. 

Now, not moe worlds could hire my closed light 
Ere but the setting of that Euen-sun, 
Which late her breathing sawe with beames so bright, 
And early rising found her life for done; 
Ah most vnhappie wights that went beforne, 
That dyde ere this, or that are yet vnborne! 

Oh turned times beyond all mortall feare, 
Beyond all mortall hopes! Not till this day 
Began the fulnesse of our blisse appeare; 
Which dangers dimmed erst with fresh dismay: 
Still euer checking ioy with seruile care, 
Still charging vs for Tragick times prepare. 

False starres, and falser wisards that foresaine 
By their aspects the state of earthly things: 
How bene your bold predictions proued vaine, 
That here brake off the race of Brittish Kings? 
Which now alone began; when first we see 
Faire Britaine formed to a Monarchie. 

How did I better long agone presage, 
(That ioyes me still I did presage so right) 
When in the wardship of my weaker age[5] 
My puis-nè Muse presumed to recite 
The vatick lines of that Cu