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Poem by Edmund Waller


Upon the Late Storm


And Death of His Highness Ensuing the Same

We must resign! Heaven his great soul does claim
In storms, as loud as his immortal fame;
His dying groans, his last breath, shakes our isle,
And trees uncut fall for his funeral pile.
About his palace their broad roots are tossed
Into the air: So Romulus was lost.
New Rome in such a tempest missed her king,
And from obeying fell to worshipping.
On Oeta's top thus Hercules lay dead,
With ruined oaks and pines about him spread;
The poplar, too, whose bough he wont to wear
On his victorious head, lay prostrate there.
Those his last fury from the mountain rent;
Our dying hero from the continent
Ravished whole towns, and forts from Spaniards reft,
As his last legacy to Britain left.
The ocean, which so long our hopes confined,
Could give no limits to his vaster mind;
Our bounds' enlargement was his latest toil,
Nor hath he left us prisoners to our isle.
Under the tropic is our language spoke,
And part of Flanders hath received our yoke.
From civil broils he did us disengage,
Found nobler objects for our martial rage:
And, with wise conduct, to his country showed
Their ancient way of conquering abroad.
Ungrateful then, if we no tears allow
To him that gave us peace and empire too.
Princes, that feared him, grieve, concerned to see
No pitch of glory from the grave is free.
Nature herself took notice of his death,
And, sighing, swelled the sea with such a breath
That to remotest shores her billows rolled,
The approaching fate of her great ruler told. 



                      Edmund Waller


Edmund Waller's other poems:
  1. On the Friendship Betwixt Two Ladies
  2. Of My Lady Isabella Playing on the Lute
  3. To One Married to an Old Man
  4. At Penshurst
  5. To the King


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