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1When that fierce
monster2had usurped the place
2Which once (ah me!) our
royal king3did grace,
3One of her
heads4, on top of Fortune’s wheel
4Which ever turns, grown giddy,
Bellerophon7mounting to the sky,
6And, looking down, like him did brainsick die;
7Or like that
boy8, who through his fond desire
8Had almost set heaven’s
9Or like the
Cretan youth10who flew too high,
plumes11began to singe and fry:
11So this bold earl blown up with pop’lar breath,
12Unenvied and unpitied fell to Earth.
13This was the man, or rather the half beast–
Alcides’s tutor12who expressed
15Both natures, and from both the best did cull–
16This, like Lybian
Hammon13, had a hornéd skull.
This was the first who had the bold commission14
18From cannon’s mouth to thunder out petition;
copy15came from Hell, thence such thoughts spring
20With sulf’rous breath to
parley with their king16.
Yet he that ne’er gained honor here on Earth,17
they18made triumph after death,
23And in derision of our ancient kings,
24His hornéd image they to the temple bring.
25Because he was a member of the
26They set him up just like the idol
27By Israel’s sacred ark. O bold assumption!
28And certainly unparalleled presumption!
29But down he fell, losing his hands and head;
His father served so21, living; he so, dead.
31Such end, such honor, let all traitors have;
Augustus22, Heav’n protect and save.