ARmes, and the Men above the vulgar File,
Who from the Western Lusitanian shore
Past ev'n beyond the Trapobanian-Isle,
Through Seas which never Ship had sayld before;
Who (brave in action, patient in long Toyle,
Beyond what strength of humane nature bore.)
'Mongst Nations, under other stars, acquir'd
A modern Scepter which to Heaven aspir'd.
2BCease2The Luciad, or PortugalsCant. I.
Likewise those Kings of glorious memory,
Who sow'd and propagated where they past
The Faith with the new Empire (making dry
The Breasts of Asia, and laying waste
Black Affrick's vitious Glebe; And Those who by
Their deeds at home left not their names defac't,
My Song shall spread where ever there are Men,
If Wit and Art will so much guide my Pen.
Cease man of Troy, and cease thou Sage of Greece,
To boast the Navigations great ye made;
Let the high Fame of Alexander cease,
And Traian's Banners in the East display'd:
For to a Man recorded in this Peece
Neptune his Trident yielded, Mars his Blade.
Cease All, whose Actions ancient Bards exprest:
A brighter Valour rises in the West.
And you (my Tagus's Nymphs) since ye did raise
My Wit t'a more then ordinary flame;
If I in low, yet tuneful Verse, the praise
Of your sweet River always did proclame:
Inspire me now with high and thund'ring lays;
Give me them cleer and flowing like his stream:
That to your Waters Phebus may ordaine
They do not envy those of Hyppocrene.
Give me a mighty Fury, Nor rude Reeds
Or rustick Bag-Pipes sounds, But such as War's
Lowd Instrument (the noble Trumpet) breeds,
Which fires the Breast, and stirs the blood to jars.
Give me a Poem equal to the deeds
Or your brave Servitors (Rivals of Mars)
That I may sing them through the Universe,
If, whom That held not, can be held in Verse.
And you, a present Pawn to Portugale
Of the old Lusitanian-Libertie;
Nor the less certain Hope t'extend the Pale
One day, of narrow Christianitie:
New Terrour of the moorish Arsenale:
The foretold Wonder of our Centurie:
Giv'n to the World by God, the World to win,
To give to God much of the World agin.
You, fair and tender Blossom of that Tree
Belov'd by Him, who dy'd on One for Man,
More then whatever Western Maiestie
Is styl'd Most Christian, or Cæsarean.
Behold it in your Shield! where you may see
Orique's Battaile, which Alphonso wan,
In which Christ gave for Arms, for you t'emboss,
The same which He himself bore on the Cross.