Cannons and fireworks are mentioned to appear in the sky as well as on earth, referring to thunders and lightnings (verse 14). On the last verses we find a reference to the biblical episode of God opening the waters for the Israelites to escape from the Egyptians: “So Israel passed through the divided flood...” (verse 15). It is associated with how he has “divided the flood”, stopped and renovated the storm before and after the solemn moment of the Coronation. The poem is written in prosody, the special language used in poetry. It contains rhyming couplets, having every verse a counterpart, for example verses 3 and 4 (“... Dim / ... him”) or verses 7 and 8 (“... Fear’d / ... Appear’d”). This organisation expresses balance, proportion; it is a symbol of the perfection of Charles II’s reign, that brought harmony
after a turbulent period. This perfect language matches the event just like the weather mentioned in it does. This way, the poem reflects the expectations of the English people
with the Restoration.
However, Charles II’s reign was not so balanced. He was known as the “merry
Restoration period, probably as a reaction to the restrictions of the Puritan regime of
Oliver Cromwell. The king had an easy temper and was fond of sports, horses,
gambling, dogs, music, theatre... Everything that had been forbidden by Cromwell.
Sexual and moral attitudes changed completely. The King’s excesses included the
keeping of several mistresses, even though he was married to the Portuguese Princess
Catherine of Braganza. Some of them were related to the court and some were actresses.
It was in the Restoration period, as a part of its liberality and open-mindness, when
female artists emerged. An example of it is the author of this poem, Katherine Philips.
Charles II was secretly a Catholic. In 1673, he issued a Declaration of Indulgence,
which expressed toleration for Non-Anglican believers and centres and stopped their
persecution. This, again, angered Parliament, which passed the Test Act in response,
making Anglican faith a necessary condition for occupying a good position in society.
This put the king in a very delicate place, since he himself was not respecting that Act.
As a part of the Parliament’s campaign of discredit against Catholics, two catastrophic
events were blamed on them during the following years: the plague spread in 1665 and
the Great Fire of London in 1666.