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A Pastoral Essay on the Death of Queen Mary, Anno, 1694.

1 As gentle Strephon to his Fold convey'd
2 A wand'ring Lamb, which from the Flocks had stray'd,
3 Beneath a mournful Cypress Shade, he found
4 Cosmelia weeping on the dewy Ground.
5 Amaz'd, with eager Haste, he ran to know
6 The fatal Cause of her intemp'rate Woe;
7 And clasping her to his impatient Breast,
8 In these soft Words his tender Care exprest.
Strephon.
9 Why mourns my dear Cosmelia, why appears
10 My Life, my Soul, dissolv'd in briny Tears?
11 Has some fierce Tyger thy lov'd Heifer slain,
12 While I was wand'ring on the neighbouring Plain,
13 Or has some greedy Wolf devour'd thy Sheep;
14 What sad Misfortune makes Cosmelia weep?
15 Speak, that I may prevent thy Grief's Increase;
16 Partake thy Sorrows, or restore thy Peace.
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Cosmelia.
17 Do you not hear from far that mournful Bell?
18 'Tis for I cannot the sad Tydings tell,
19 O, whither are my fainting Spirits fled!
20 'Tis for Cælestia Strephon, O, she's dead!
21 The brightest Nymph, the Princess of the Plain,
22 By an untimely Dart, untimely slain.
Strephon.
23 Dead! 'tis impossible, she cannot die,
24 She's too Divine, too much a Deity:
25 'Tis a false Rumour some ill Swains have spread,
26 Who wish perhaps the good Cælestia dead.
Cosmelia.
27 Ah! No, the Truth in ev'ry Face appears,
28 For ev'ry Face you meet's o'erflow'd with Tears,
29 Trembling, and pale, I ran thro' all the Plain,
30 From Flock to Flock, and ask'd of ev'ry Swain,
31 But each, scarce lifting his dejected Head,
32 Cry'd, O, Cosmelia! O, Caelestia's dead!
Strephon.
33 Something was meant by that ill boading Croak
34 Of the prophetick Raven from the Oak,
35 Which strait by Light'ning was in Shivers broke.
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36 But we our Mischief feel, before we see,
37 Seiz'd and o'erwhelm'd at once with Misery.
Cosmelia.
38 Since then we have no Trophies to bestow,
39 No pompous Things to make a glorious Show,
40 (For all the Tribute a poor Swain can bring,
41 In Rural Numbers, is to mourn and sing;)
42 Let us beneath the gloomy Shade rehearse
43 Cælestia's sacred Praise in no less sacred Verse.
Strephon.
44 Caelestia dead! then 'tis in vain to live;
45 What's all the Comforts that these Plains can give?
46 Since she, by whose bright Influence alone
47 Our Flocks increas'd, and we rejoic'd, is gone.
48 Since she, who round such Beams of Goodness spread
49 As gave new Life to ev'ry Swain, is dead.
Cosmelia.
50 In vain we wish for the delightful Spring,
51 What Joys can flow'ry May, or April bring,
52 When she, for whom the spacious Plains were spread
53 With early Flowers, and chearful Greens, is dead?
54 In vain did courtly Damon warm the Earth,
55 To give to Summer Fruits, a Winter Birth.
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56 In vain we Autumn wait, which crowns the Fields
57 With wealthy Crops, and various Plenty yields:
58 Since that fair Nymph, for whom the boundless Store
59 Of nature was preserv'd, is now no more.
Strephon.
60 Farewel for ever then to all that's gay,
61 You will forget to sing, and I to play.
62 No more with chearful Songs in cooling Bow'rs,
63 Shall we consume the pleasurable Hours.
64 All Joys are banish'd, all Delights are fled,
65 Ne'er to return, now fair Caelestia's dead.
Cosmelia.
66 If e'er I sing, they shall be mournful Lays
67 Of great Caelestia's Name, Caelestia's Praise
68 How good she was, how generous, how wise!
69 How beautiful her Shape, how bright her Eyes!
70 How charming all, how much she was ador'd
71 Alive; when dead, how much her loss deplor'd!
72 A noble Theme, and able to inspire
73 The humblest Muse with the sublimest Fire.
74 And since we do of such a Princess sing,
75 Let ours ascend upon a stronger Wing;
76 And while we do the lofty Numbers join,
77 Her Name will make their Harmony Divine.
78 Raise then thy tuneful Voice, and be thy Song
79 Sweet as her Temper, as her Virtue strong.
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Strephon.
80 When her great Lord to foreign Wars was gone,
81 And left Caelestia here to rule alone,
82 With how serene a Brow, how void of Fear
83 When Storms arose, did she the Vessel steer?
84 And, when the raging of the Waves did cease,
85 How gentle was her Sway in times of Peace?
86 Justice and Mercy did their Beams unite,
87 And round her Temples spread a glorious Light.
88 So quick she eas'd the Wrongs of every Swain,
89 She hardly gave them Leisure to complain.
90 Impatient to reward, but slow to draw
91 Th'avenging Sword of necessary Law.
92 Like Heaven, she took no pleasure to destroy,
93 With Grief she punish'd, and she sav'd with Joy.
Cosmelia.
94 When God-like Belleger from War's Alarms
95 Return'd in Triumph to Caelestia's Arms,
96 She met her Hero with a full Desire,
97 But chast as Light, and vigorous as Fire
98 Such mutual Flames, so equally Divine,
99 Did in each Breast with such a Lustre shine,
100 His could not seem the greater, her's the less:
101 Both were immense, for both were in Excess.
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Strephon.
102 O, God-like Princess! O, thrice happy Swains!
103 While she presided o'er the fruitful Plains;
104 While she for ever ravish'd from our Eyes,
105 To mingle with her Kindred of the Skies,
106 Did for your Peace her constant Thoughts employ,
107 The Nymph's good Angel, and the Shepherd's Joy.
Cosmelia.
108 All that was Noble beautify'd her Mind;
109 There Wisdom sat, with solid Reason join'd;
110 There too did Piety, and Greatness wait,
111 Meekness on Grandeur, Modesty on State:
112 Humble amidst the Splendors of a Throne;
113 Plac'd above all, and yet despising none.
114 And when a Crown was forc'd on her by Fate,
115 She with some pain submitted to be Great,
Strephon.
116 Her pious Soul with Emulation strove
117 To gain the mighty Pan's important Love:
118 To whose mysterious Rites she always came,
119 With such an active, so intense a Flame,
120 The Duties of Religion seem'd to be
121 Not more her Care, than her Felicity.
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Cosmelia.
122 Virtue unmixt, without the least allay,
123 Pure as the Light of a Celestial Ray,
124 Commanded all the Motions of the Soul,
125 With such a soft, but absolute Controul,
126 That as she knew what best great Pan would please,
127 She still perform'd it with the greatest Ease.
128 Him for her high Exemplar she design'd,
129 Like him, benevolent to all Mankind.
130 Her Foes she pity'd, not desir'd their Blood,
131 And to revenge their Crimes, she did them good:
132 Nay, all Affronts, so unconcern'd she bore,
133 (Maugre that violent Temptation, Pow'r,)
134 As if she thought it vulgar to resent,
135 Or wish'd Forgiveness their worst Punishment.
Strephon.
136 Next mighty Pan, was her illustrious Lord,
137 His high Vicegerent, sacredly ador'd:
138 Him with such Piety and Zeal she lov'd,
139 The noble Passion ev'ry Hour improv'd.
140 Till it ascended to that glorious Height,
141 'Twas next, (if only next) to infinite.
142 This made her so entire a Duty pay,
143 She grew at last impatient to obey,
144 And met his Wishes with as prompt a Zeal,
145 As an Archangel his Creator's Will.
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Cosmelia.
146 Mature for Heaven, the fatal Mandate came,
147 With it, a Chariot of Etherial Flame,
148 In which, Elijah like, she pass'd the Spheres;
149 Brought Joy to Heaven, but left the World in Tears.
Strephon.
150 Methinks I see her on the Plains of Light,
151 All Glorious, all incomparably Bright!
152 While the immortal Minds around her gaze
153 On the excessive Splendour of her Rays,
154 And scarce believe a human Soul could be
155 Endow'd with such stupendous Majesty.
Cosmelia.
156 Who can lament too much? O, who can mourn
157 Enough o'er beautiful Caelestia's Urn?
158 So great a Loss as this deserves Excess
159 Of Sorrow, all's too little, that is less.
160 But to supply the Universal Woe,
161 Tears from all Eyes, without Cessation flow:
162 All that have pow'r to weep, or voice to groan,
163 With throbbing Breasts Caelestia's Fate bemoan:
164 While Marble Rocks the common Griefs partake,
165 And Eccho back those Cries they cannot make.
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Strephon.
166 Weep then (once fruitful) Vales, and spring with Yew;
167 Ye thirsty barren Mountains, weep with Dew.
168 Let ev'ry Flow'r on this extended Plain
169 Not droop, but shrink into its Womb again,
170 Ne'er to receive anew its yearly Birth;
171 Let ev'ry thing that's grateful leave the Earth.
172 Let mournful Cypress, with each noxious Weed,
173 And baneful Venoms in their place succeed.
174 Ye purling quer'lous Brooks, o'ercharg'd with Grief,
175 Haste swiftly to the Sea for more Relief;
176 Then tiding back, each to his sacred Head,
177 Tell your astonish'd Springs, Caelestia's dead.
Cosmelia.
178 Well have you sung, in an exalted Strain,
179 The fairest Nymph e'er grac'd the British Plain,
180 Who knows but some officious Angel may
181 Your grateful Numbers to her Ears convey:
182 That she may smile upon us, from above,
183 And bless our mournful Plains with Peace and Love.
Strephon.
184 But see, our Flocks do to their Folds repair,
185 For Night with sable Clouds obscures the Air,
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186 Cold Damps descend from the unwholsom Sky,
187 And Safety bids us to our Cottage fly.
188 Tho' with each Morn our Sorrows will return,
189 Each Ev'n, like Nightingales, we'll sing and mourn,
190 Till Death conveys Us to the peaceful Urn.

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Title (in Source Edition): A Pastoral Essay on the Death of Queen Mary, Anno, 1694.
Author: John Pomfret
Themes: nature
Genres: heroic couplet; essay; pastoral

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Source edition

Poems upon Several Occasions. By the Reverend Mr. John Pomfret. The Sixth Edition, Corrected. With some Account Of his Life and Writings. To which are added, His Remains. London: printed for D. Brown without Temple Bar, J. Walthoe in the Temple Cloysters, A. Bettesworth, and E. Taylor, in Pater-Noster-Row, and J. Hooke in Fleetstreet, 1724, pp. 48-57. [12], 132, vi, 17p. (ESTC N21233)

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