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-Ode to King William


To purchase kingdoms and to buy renown,
  Are arts peculiar to dissembling France;
You, mighty monarch, nobler actions crown,
  And solid virtue does your name advance.

Your matchless courage with your prudence joins, The glorious structure of your fame to raise; With its own light your dazzling glory shines, And into adoration turns our praise.

Had you by dull succession gain'd your crown, (Cowards are monarchs by that title made,) Part of your merit Chance would call her own, And half your virtues had been lost in shade.

But now your worth its just reward shall have: What trophies and what triumphs are your due! Who could so well a dying nation save, At once deserve a crown, and gain it too.

You saw how near we were to ruin brought, You saw th'impetuous torrent rolling on; And timely on the coming danger thought, Which we could neither obviate nor shun.

Britannia stripp'd of her sole guard, the laws, Ready to fall Rome's bloody sacrifice; You straight stepp'd in, and from the monster's jaws Did bravely snatch the lovely, helpless prize.

Nor this is all; as glorious is the care To preserve conquests, as at first to gain: In this your virtue claims a double share, Which, what it bravely won, does well maintain.

Your arm has now your rightful title show'd, An arm on which all Europe's hopes depend, To which they look as to some guardian God, That must their doubtful liberty defend.

Amazed, thy action at the Boyne we see! When Schomberg started at the vast design: The boundless glory all redounds to thee, The impulse, the fight, th'event, were wholly thine.

The brave attempt does all our foes disarm; You need but now give orders and command, Your name shall the remaining work perform, And spare the labour of your conquering hand.

France does in vain her feeble arts apply, To interrupt the fortune of your course: Your influence does the vain attacks defy Of secret malice, or of open force.

Boldly we hence the brave commencement date Of glorious deeds, that must all tongues employ; William's the pledge and earnest given by fate, Of England's glory, and her lasting joy.

Jonathan Swift

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