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The arrival of King Charles, who rules the British nations in peace and justice, earth's beloved, high heaven’s care, who, at last leaving the land of his southern kingdom at the behest of so many prayers of the people and nobility, has turned his blessed footsteps and his longed-for face to Scotland, to his native soil. Revisiting his people, his ancestral seats, and his first cradle, taking up the ancient crown of his old kingdom, his arrival now makes every place and folk of every age rejoice, while from all fields and houses young people have poured forth, mothers and men, boys and unwedded maidens, congregating everywhere in their eagerness to behold and greet their king, striving with outspread arms to embrace him, and raising glad voices to the skies. While with happy countenance heaven and earth welcome his arrival, a brighter sun arises from eastern waters, a brighter sun sinks in the waters of the west, and Diana, that rival of her brother’s fires, drives brighter in her night-ranging car, traversing a shining sky. The winter banished, the air gleams once more with summer splendor, and fair June paints the fields with a covering of green, and decorates all places far and wide with fragrant flowers. While with glad singing the sacred nymphs run to meet him, the Parnassian fountain pours forth its waters in full flood; with which let it moisten the hearts and lips of bards, so that they may recount our great king’s praise, and let the Muses’ halls throw open wide their gates, while the whole troop of the Pierian sisters strives to greet him as he arrives, and to celebrate him with joyful choral songs.
And we, whom Glasgow our alma mater nourished as sons of the Clydeside Muses, consecrated adepts of sacred song, who were wont to proclaim the praises of our prince’s father, famed throughout the world, and of his royal forebears, is it right we should be mute, lazily taking our soft-spirited ease, or be self-critically fearful of ill fame? Shall we give a proof of our gladness amid the general rejoicing? Will our Thalia not rise up, singing the arrival of our king and his praises? This is not how we were taught from our earliest years by the sacred Muses. Therefore, even if the subject be a large one, a burden far too great for our weak necks, (for who could encompass in verse the praises of great Charles, and state in feeble verse his virtues and the famous glory of his spirit and mind?), nevertheless, relying on your goodness and favourable countenance, by these rude verses, unworthy of the regard of so great a prince, yet witnesses of our utter obedience to you and uttered with grateful intent, we do you our due service, o best of kings. We congratulate you, your sweet head now encircled with the Caledonian crown, and with prayers and vows, we ask that this coronation bring blessings on you and all this people.
Indeed, it becomes you to wear this crown, and prefer it to all the others wherewith heaven's generosity has garlanded your royal head. For this crown is handed down to you, unconquered, from Fergus the First through two thousand years and one hundred and seven ancestors, and has endured for all those centuries. Although in other kingdoms, crowns have often changed, and royal pedigrees have succumbed to foreign lords, this crown has always endured in its original liberty, unchanged, under princes from the original line. Neither the savage Briton, aided by the strength of Rome, nor the Saxon, the Britons repulsed, nor the Dane, once the Saxon was beaten, nor Gothic courage, nor King Edward of England, most savage in warfare, repulsed by the mighty strength of great-hearted Wallace (who suffered many wars and blows in war, and even death, to maintain the Scottish sceptre for Scottish kings) were able to claim this crown by attacking with all their strength. Whatever other races Roman power subdued, ripping crowns from kings throughout the world, this sceptre Rome failed to steal or subdue to herself, but found herself constrained to defend her borders against the invading Scots with walls and ditches, so that the poet-herald of our triumph over Rome sang “Rome stretches out walls against the axe-wielding Scots."
Therefore, Charles, illustrious progeny of great-hearted ancestors, though you yourself be greater than your great-hearted forebears, enlarged by new crowns and kingdoms, titles and honours, receive with a royal frame of mind this crown, by a happy omen sent to you from so many ancestors, down so many centuries: guard it, increase it, and glorify it with all your strength. Do you see with what gladness the people and the nobles welcome you, with what applause their joy is made manifest? Beholding your sacred brow encircled with the Caledonian crown, o, do you see what great rejoicing is poured out amongst all the folk? What lustre has been added to all orders of society? How the whole aspect of the kingdom is renewed? Just as when the sun has constrained the ghastly winter beneath the earth, making the climate lovely with summer light, such is your lights to us, o sweetest prince. Thanks to this, we are able to see your glorious features close at hand, your fiery eyes, the nobility of your tranquil brow, shining with great-hearted majesty. Fresh life and health arise, new joys increase; and whithersoever you bring the gracious light of your face, the rays glittering from your whole body, whereby your light is turned more closely on our world, the nearness of your presence to the onlookers oices their spirits more. Hence the eyes and mouths of all are opened in your praise, and devoted to prayers and vows made for you at the heavenly altars.
And I too sing your praise, and will sing it always, you who confer longed-for leisure and rewards upon the Muses, you who ensure that this age teems with the virtues and flourishes, and that fields lie open for talents, that an assured favor awaits the deserving and industry is graced with its due rewards, so that that the arts and the well-tended gifts of Minerva may thrive. You ensure that venerable religion flourishes with tranquil worship, and that good faith rejoices with peace in all the bounds of your kingdom, and bad faith, its weapons broken, has cause to grieve, and mild clemency blunts the savage sword, lest the cruel strength of the mighty be feared by the poor, or strife and fraud afflict the innocent common folk by their deceitful arts, or betray them for reward. You ensure that every son of the soil sleeps under the roof of his own cottage, safe from all fear. You ensure that that the distant folk under the farthest sun, and the savage Irish, who inhabit the mountainous wastes, accustomed to living by theft, now submit to bridles, and accustom themselves to submit to the sway of law. You who guard your kingdoms, not with many legionary maniples, nor with a throng of guards and bloodstained swords, nor with warhorses, but by the majesty of the law, the duties of virtues, and the love of true piety, ever a protection to the defenseless.
You yourself, by your example crushing the growth of vice, and devising bridles of law for the wellbeing of your people — a destiny of good qualities of every sort is gathered together in you, such as is granted to scarce any person, since Man’s original sin brought harm to mortals, but which individually ennoble men: this one becoming beauty, another grace of habits, this one vigour of mind, this one strength of body, this one piety, this one justice, this one skillful prudence, this one rigour, this one gravity, that one mild clemency, this one beauty of face, this one the generosity of a liberal hand, this one restrained love of wine, and a chaste bed. These things, scattered throughout humanity, flow together in you. You possess all these qualities combined, which separately make men blessed, a man uniquely marked by all the virtues which are worthy of an illustrious prince. The fame whereof, published throughout the coasts of the world, from where, rising early, Phoebus thrusts his shining head from the waves to where, seeking his setting, he hides his flames, has summoned legates from all parts of the globe, seeking peace and friendly leagues; and they, beholding with amazement so many gifts of wit and character gathered together in one breast, so many gifts of nature and grace in a single prince — his striking form, resplendent with magnificence, and the majesty in his face, the gravity on his serene brow, the immense splendour of his kingdom, the glory of his court, the illustrious assemblies of his nobles and troops of knights, the livery of his servants resplendent in purple and gold — see him as once a tranquil Rome, enjoying peace beheld Augustus, or Jerusalem saw mighty Solomon. They spread your commendation abroad amongst their various nations.
So let your name be celebrated in all the world, and let no day cause you to be forgotten in this age. Enhanced with many years of life, may you pass on into eternal life, and may your son thereafter take up all his father’s sceptres, and the example of his virtues,
and hand them on to your grandson, and may your descendants never fail to sit upon their ancestral throne, as long as Phoebus separates the light from the shades of darkness.