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So Libyan huntsmen, on some sandy plain, From shady coverts rous'd, the lion chase: The kingly beast roars out with loud disdain, And slowly moves, unknowing to give place.

But if some one approach to dare his force,

He swings his tail, and swiftly turns him round: With one paw seizes on his trembling horse,

And with the other tears him to the ground.

Amidst these toils succeeds the balmy night;

Now hissing waters the quench'd guns restore; And weary waves, withdrawing from the fight,

Lie lull'd and panting on the silent shore.

The Moon shone clear on the becalmed flood, Where, while her beams like glittering silver play, Upon the deck our careful general stood,

And deeply mus'd on the succeeding day.

"That happy Sun," said he, "will rise again, Who twice victorious did our navy see: And I alone must view him rise in vain,

Without one ray of all his star for me.

"Yet, like an English general will I die,

And all the ocean make my spacious grave: Women and cowards on the land may lie;

The sea's a tomb that's proper for the brave."

Restless he pass'd the remnant of the night,

Till the fresh air proclaim'd the morning nigh: And burning ships, the martyrs of the fight, With paler fires beheld the eastern sky.

But now, his stores of ammunition spent,
His naked valor is his only guard :
Rare thunders are from his dumb cannon sent,
And solitary guns are scarcely heard.

Thus far had Fortune power, he forc'd to stay, Nor longer durst with Virtue be at strife: This is a ransom Albemarle did pay,

For all the glories of so great a life.

For now brave Rupert from afar appears,

Whose waving streamers the glad general knows: With full-spread sails his eager navy steers,

And every ship in swift proportion grows.

The anxious prince had heard the cannon long,

And from that length of time dire omens drew, Of English overmatch'd, and Dutch too strong, Who never fought three days, but to pursue.

Then, as an eagle, who with pious care

Was beating widely on the wing for prey, To her now silent eyry does repair,

And finds her callow infants forc'd away:

Stung with her love, she stoops upon the plain,
The broken air loud whistling as she flies:
She stops and listens, and shoots forth again,

And guides her pinions by her young ones' cries.

With such kind passion hastes the prince to fight, And spreads his flying canvas to the sound: Him, whom no danger, were he there, could fright, Now absent every little noise can wound.

As in a drought the thirsty creatures cry,

And gape upon the gather'd clouds for rain: And first the martlet meets it in the sky,

And with wet wings joys all the feather'd train:

With such glad hearts did our despairing men

Salute th' appearance of the prince's fleet; And each ambitiously would claim the ken,

That with first eyes did distant safety meet.

The Dutch, who came like greedy hinds before,

To reap the harvest their ripe ears did yield, Now look like those, when rolling thunders roar, And sheets of lightning blast the standing field.

Full in the prince's passage, hills of sand,

And dangerous flats, in secret ambush lay, Where the false tides skim o'er the cover'd land, And seamen with dissembled depths betray.

The wily Dutch, who like fall'n angels fear'd

This new Messiah's coming, there did wait, And round the verge their braving vessels steer'd, To tempt his courage with so fair a bait.

But he unmov'd contemns their idle threat,

Secure of fame whene'er he please to fight: His cold experience tempers all his heat,

And inbred worth doth boasting valor slight.

Heroic virtue did his actions guide,

And he the substance, not th' appearance, chose : To rescue one such friend, he took more pride, Than to destroy whole thousands of such foes.

But when approach'd, in strict embraces bound,
Rupert and Albemarle together grow:
He joys to have his friend in safety found,
Which he to none but to that friend would owe.

The cheerful soldiers, with new stores supplied,

Now long to execute their spleenful will: And, in revenge for those three days they tried,

Wish one, like Joshua's, when the Sun stood still.

Thus reinforc'd, against the adverse fleet,

Still doubling ours, brave Rupert leads the way. With the first blushes of the morn they meet,

And bring night back upon the new-born day.

His presence soon blows up the kindling fight,

And his loud guns speak thick like angry men: It seem'd as slaughter had been breath'd all night, And Death new-pointed his dull dart again.

The Dutch too well his mighty conduct knew,

And matchless courage, since the former fight; Whose navy like a stiff-stretch'd cord did show,

Till he bore in and bent them into flight.

The wind he shares, while half their fleet offends His open side, and high above him shows: Upon the rest at pleasure he descends,

And doubly harm'd he double harms bestows.

Behind the general mends his weary pace,

And sullenly to his revenge he sails: So glides some trodden serpent on the grass, And long behind his wounded volume trails.

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So the false spider, when her nets are spread,
Deep ambush'd in her silent den does lie:
And feels far off the trembling of her thread,
Whose filmy cord should bind the struggling fly.

Then if at last she find him fast beset,

She issues forth, and runs along her loom : She joys to touch the captive in her net,

And drags the little wretch in triumph home.

The Belgian's hoped that, with disorder'd haste, Our deep-cut keels upon the sands might run : Or if with caution leisurely were past,

Their numerous gross might charge us one by one.

But with a fore-wind pushing them above,

And swelling tide that heav'd them from below, O'er the blind flats our warlike squadrons move, And with spread sails to welcome battle go.

It seem'd as there the British Neptune stood,

With all his hosts of waters at command, Beneath them to submit th' officious flood;

And with his trident shov'd them off the sand.

To the pale foes they suddenly draw near,

And summon them to unexpected fight: They start like murderers when ghosts appear And draw their curtains in the dead of night.

Now van to van the foremost squadrons meet,

The midmost battles hastening up behind, Who view far off the storm of falling sleet, And hear their thunder rattling in the wind.

O famous leader of the Belgian fleet,

Thy monument inscrib'd such praise shall wear
As Varro timely flying once did meet,
Because he did not of his Rome despair.

Behold that navy, which a while before
Provok'd the tardy English close to fight;
Now draw their beaten vessels close to shore,
As larks lie dar'd to shun the hobby's flight.

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Whoe'er would English monuments survey
In other records may our courage know:
But let them hide the story of this day,
Whose fame was blemish'd by too base a foe.

The distance judg'd for shot of every size,

The linstocks touch, the ponderous ball expires: The vigorous seaman every port-hole plies,

And adds his heart to every gun he fires!

Or if too busily they will inquire

Into a victory, which we disdain ;
Then let them know the Belgians did retire
Before the patron saint of injur'd Spain.

Never did men more joyfully obey,

Or sooner understood the sign to fly: With such alacrity they bore away,

As if, to praise them, all the States stood by.

Repenting England this revengeful day

To Philip's manes did an offering bring: England, which first, by leading them astray, Hatch'd up rebellion to destroy her king.

Our fathers bent their baneful industry,

To check a monarchy that slowly grew; But did not France or Holland's fate foresee Whose rising power to swift dominion flew

In Fortune's empire blindly thus we go,
And wander after pathless Destiny;
Whose dark resorts since Prudence cannot know
In vain it would provide for what shall be.

But whate'er English to the blessed shall go,

And the fourth Harry or first Orange meet; Find him disowning of a Bourbon foe,

And him detesting a Batavian fleet.

Nor long the Belgians could that fleet sustain, Which did two generals' fates, and Cæsar's, bear: Each several ship a victory did gain,

As Rupert or as Albemarle were there.

Their batter'd admiral too soon withdrew,

Unthank'd by ours for his unfinish'd fight:
But he the minds of his Dutch masters knew,
Who call'd that providence which we call'd flight.

Now on their coasts our conquering navy rides,

Waylays their merchants, and their land besets; Each day new wealth without their care provides; They lie asleep with prizes in their nets.

So close behind some promontory lie

The huge leviathans t'attend their prey; And give no chase, but swallow in the fry,

Which through their gaping jaws mistake the way

Nor was this all: in ports and roads remote,

Destructive fires among whole fleets we send; Triumphant flames upon the water float,

And out-bound ships at home their voyage end

Those various squadrons variously design'd,

Each vessel freighted with a several load, Each squadron waiting for a several wind,

All find but one, to burn them in the road.

Some bound for Guinea, golden sand to find,

Bore all the gauds the simple natives wear: Some for the pride of Turkish courts design'd,

For folded turbans finest Holland bear.

Some English wool vex'd in a Belgian loom, And into cloth of spungy softness made, Did into France or colder Denmark doom,

To ruin with worse ware our staple trade

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