Katherine Philips, On the 3rd of September 1651
As when the glorious Magazine of Light
Approaches to his Canopy of Night
He with the new splendor clothes his dying Rays,
And double brightness to his Beams conveys;
And (as to brave and check his ending fate)
Puts on his highest look in’s lowest state
Dreft in such terrour as to make us all
Be Anti-Persians, and adore his Fall
Then quits the world depriving it of Day
While Every Herb and Plant does droop away;
So when our gasping English Royalty
Perciev’d her Period was now drawing nigh,
She summons her whole strength to give one blow,
To raise her self, or pull down others too.
Big with revenge and hope she now spake more
Of terror than in many months before;
And musters her Attendants or to fave
Her from, or else attend her to, the Grave:
Yet but enjoy’d the miserable fate
Of setting Majesty, to die in State.
Unhappy Kings, who cannot keep a Throne,
Nor be so fortunate to fall alone!
Thier weight sinks others: Pompey could not fly,
But half the World must bear him company;
And captiv’d Sampson could not life conclude,
Unless attended with a multitude.
Who’d trust to greatness now, whose food is air,
Whose ruine sudden, and whose end despair?
Who would presume upon his Glorious Birth,
Or quarrel for a spacious share of Earth
That sees such Diadems become so cheap,
And Heros tumble in a common heap?
Oh give me Vertue then, which sums up all,
And firmly stands when Crowns and Scepters fall.
Edited by Nicholas Dugan