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In what hauc my mistaking wishes err'd ?
See for this worke how things are newly styl'd, Why profit more than honesty preferr'd ?
Man is declar'd, almighty! God, a child ! Could my sharpe words another man incense? The Worde made flesh, is speechlesse, and tho Or were my bookes compos'd to breed offence?
Light How comes it, that corrupted nature drawes Begins from clouds, and sets in depth of night; My will froin discipline's ameniling lawes ?” Bebold the Sunne eclips'd for many yeeres, Thus going slowly through his words and deeds, And eu'ry day more dusky robes he weares, He froin one eu’ning to the next proceeds:
Till after totall darknesse shining faire,
In two processions: let the first descend
In creeping violets, white lillies shine CLAUDIAV'S EPIGRAM OF THE OLD Their humble thoughts, and eu'ry pure designe ; MAN OF VEROVA.
The other troope shall climbe witli sacred heate,
The rich degrees of Salomon's bright scate, Turice happy he, whose age is spent vpon his owne,
In glowing roses feruent zeale they beare,
And in the azure nowre-de-lis appeare
Celestiall contemplations, which aspire
Aboue the skie, vp to th’iminortal quire.
[kept ; His mein'ry long descents of one poore cote hath He through the various strise of fortune neuer past, Nor as a wand'ring guest would forraine waters taste;
OF THE EPIPHANY. He neuer fear'd the seas in trade, nor sound of Nor, in boarse courts of law, hath felt litigious Faire easterne starre, that art ordain’d to runne iarres;
Before the sages, to the rising Sunne, Vnskilfull in affaires, be knowes no city neare,
Here cease thy course, and wonder that the cloud So freely he enioyes the sight of Heau’n more cleare; of this poore stable can thy Maker shroud: The yceres by seu'rall corne, uot consuls, he com
Ye, heauenly bodies, glory to be bright, putes,
(the fruits ; And are esteem'd, as ye are rich in light: He notes the Spring by dowres, and Autumne by But here on Earth is taught a diff'rent way, One space put downe the Sunne, and brings againe Since vnder this low roofe the Highest lay;
lerusalem erects her stately towrés, Thus by a certaine orbe he measures out the dayes, Displayes her windowes, and adornes her bowres : Remembring some great oke from small beginning Yet there thou must not cast a trembling sparke. spred,
(was bred. Let Herod's palace still continue darke, He sees the woud grow old, which with himselfe
Each schoole and synagogue thy force repels, Verona, next of townes, as farre as India seemes, There Pride, enthron’d in misty errours, dwels. And for the ruldy sea, Benacus he esteemes : The temple, where the priests maintaine their Yet still his armes are firme, his strength vntam'd quire, and greene;
(seene. Shall taste no beame of thy celestiall fire. The full third age hath him a Justy grandsire While this weake cottage all thy splendour takes, Let others trauaile farre, and hidden coasts dis
A joyfull gate of eu'ry chinke it makes. play,
Here shines no golden roofe, no ju'ry staire, This man hath more of life, and those haue more No king exalted in a stately chaire,
Girt with attendants, or by heralds styrd,
The cribbe becomes an altar; therefore dies
The Prince of Peace, who, thankfull for his bed, FALLING ON THE SAME DAY, MARCH 25, 1627.
Destroyes those rites, in which their blood was shed: Tarice happy day, which sweetly do'st combine The quintessence of earth he takes and fees, Two hemispheres iu th’equinoctiall line:
And precious gummes distill’d from weeping trees, The one debasing God to earthly paine,
Rich metals, and sweet odours, now declare The other raising man to endlesse raigne.
The glorious blessings, which his lawes prepare Christ's humble steps declining to the wombe,
To cleare vs from the base and lothsome flood Touch heau'niy scales erected on his tombe : Of sense, and make vs fit for angels' food, We first with Gabriel must this Prince conuay
Who lift to God for vs the holy smoke Into his chamber on the marriage day,
Of feruent pray’rs, with which we him inuoke, Then with the other angels, cloth'd in wbite,
And trie our actions in that searching fire, We will adore him in this conqu’ring night :
By which the seraphims our lips inspire : The Sonne of God a:suming humane breath, No muddy drosse pure min'ralls shall infect, Becomes a subiect to his rass:Jl Death,
We shall exhale our vapours vp direct: That graues and Hell laid open by his strife,
No storines shall crosse, nor glitt'ring lights ceface shay give vs passage to a better like
Perpetuall sighes, which seeke a happy place.
V PON THE TWO GREAT FEASTS OF THE
AV ODE OF THE BLESSED TRINITIE.
Mrse, that art dull and weake, TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD.
Opprest with worldly paine, Ye that in lowly valleyes weeping sate,
If strength in thee remaine, And taught your huinble soules to mourne of late
of things diuine to speake : For sinnes, and suff'rings breeding griefes and Thy thoughts awhile froin vrgent cares restraine, feares,
Anu with a chearefull voice they wonted silence And made the riuers bigger with your teares ;
breake. Now cease your sad complaints, tili fitter tinie,
No cold shall thee benumme, And with those three belou'd apostles clime
Nor darknesse taint thy sight; To lofty Thabor, where your happy eye's
To thee new heate, new light, Shall see the Sunne of Glory brightly rise.
Shall from this obiect come, Draw Beere, and euer blesse that sacrid hill,
Whose praises if thou now wilt sound aright, That there no heate may parch, no frost may kill, My pen shall giue thee leaue hereafter to be Juinbe. The tender plants, nor any thunder blast That top, by which all mountaines are surpast.
Whence shall we then begin By steepe and briery paths ye must ascend :
To sing, or write of this, But if ye know to what high scope ye teod,
Where no beginning is? No let nor danger can your steps restra ne,
Or if we enter in, The crags will easie seeme, the thickets plaine. Where shall we end ? The end is endlesse blisse; Our Lord there stands, not with his painefull crosse Thrice happy we, if well so rich a thread we spinne. Laid on his shoulders, mouing you to losse
For Thee our strings we touch, Of precious things, nor calling you to beare
Thou that art Three, and One, That burden, which so inuch base worldlings feare.
Whose essence, though vnknowne, Here are no promist hopes obscurd with clouds,
Beleeu'd is to be such; No sorrow with dim vajles true pleasure shrowds,
To whom what ere we giue, we giue tbine owne, But perfect ioy, which here discover'd shines,
And yet no mortall tongue can giue to thee so much. To taste of beauenly light your thoughts inclines, And able is to weane deluded inindes
See, how in vayne we trie From fond delight, which wretched mortals blinds : To find some tipe, t'agree Yet let not sense so much your reason sway,
With this great One in Three, As to desire for euer here to stay,
Yet can none such descrie, Refusing that sweet change which God prouides, If any like, or second were to thee, To those whom with his rod and staffe he guides : Thy hidden nature then were not so deepe and high. Your happinesse consists not now alone
Here faile inferiour things, In those high comforts, which are often throwne
The Sunne, whose heate and light In plenteous manner from our Sauiour's hand,
Make creatures warme and bright, To raise the fall'n, and cauve the weake to stand :
A feeble shadow brings : But ye are blest, when, being trodden Jowne,
The Sunne she wes to the world his father's might, Ye taste his cup, and wearc his thorny crowne.
With glorious raies, from both our fire (the spirit)
'Yet still within the spheare
Of our connat'ral skill, Ye that to 'leau'n direct your curious eyes, We may behold how in our soules we beare And send your minds to walk the spacious skies, An vnderstanding pow'r, ioyn'd with effectual will. See how the Maker 10 your selucs you brings,
We can no bigher goe Who sets his nob!c markes on meanest things :
To search this point diuine ; And having man aboue the angels plac'd,
Here it doth chiefly shine, The lowly Earth more than the Heau'n liath grac'd.
This image must it show : Poore clay! each creature thy degrees admires ;
These steppes as helpes our humble minds incline, First, God in thee a living soule inspires,
T'embrace those certaine grounds, which from true. Whose glorious beames hath made thee farre more
faith must flow. bright Than is the Sunne, the spring of corp'rall light: To him these notes direct, He rests not here, but to himselfe thee takes,
Who not with outward hands, And thee diuine by wondrous vnion makes.
Nor by his strong commands, What region can afford a worthy place
Whence creatures take effect: For his exalted flesh? Heau'n is too base,
While perfectly himselfe be vnderstands, He scarce would touch it in his swift ascent, Begets another selfe, with equall glory deckte The orbes ned backe (like Iordan) as he went :
From these, the spring of loue, And yet he daign'd to dwell a while on Earth,
The holy Ghost proceeds, As paying thankefull tribute for his birth :
Who our affection feeds But now this hody all God's works excels,
With those cleare flames, which moue And hath no place, but God, in whom it dwels.
From that eternall Essence which them breeds, And strike into our soules, as lightning from aboue
Stay, stay, Parnassian girle,
Wouldst thou, poore weary man, thy limbs repose : Ilere thy descriptions faint,
Bebold my house, where true contentment growes: Thou humane shapes canst paint,
Not like the baites, which this seducer giues,
Whose blisse a day, whose torment euer liues.
Regard not these vaine speeches, let them goe,
This is a poore worme, my contemned foe, But now thou mayst perceiue
Bold thredbare Vertue ; who dare promise more The weaknesse of thy wings ;
From empty bags, than I from all my store : And that thy noblest strings
Whose counsels make men draw vnquiet breath, To middy objects cleaue:
Expecting to be happy after death. Then praise with humble silence heau'nly things
VERTUE. And what is more than this, to still deuotion leaue.
Canst thou now make, or hast thou euer made, Thy seruants happy in those things that fade ?
Hcare this my challenge, one example bring
Of all the world, fearing no outward check,
And guiding others by his voice or beck:
More gall than hony in his restlesse mind. What darknes clouds my senses! Hath the day Now, monster, since my words baue struck thee Forgot bis season, and the Suune his way?
dub, Do:h God withdraw his all-sustaining might, Behold this garland, wheuce such vertues come, Anu works no more with his faire creature light, Such glories shine, such piercing beames are While Heau'n and Farih för sich a losse complaine, tbrowne, And true to rude voformed heapes againe?
As make thee blind, and turne thee to a stane. Mly paces with intanyling briers are bound,
And thou, whose wand'ring feet were running Mind all this fi rrest in deepe silence drownd,
downe Popininist my labour and my journey cease, Th'infernall steepenesse, looke vpon this crowne : Bisnici in vaine I sought for rest and peace ; Within these folds lie hidden no deceits, But now perceine that man's vnquiet wind, No golden lures, on which perdition waites : In all bis wajes can onely darknesse find.
But when thine eyes the prickly thornes baue past, Here must I stariie and die, vnlesse some light See in the circle boundlesse ioyes at last. Point out the passage from this dismall night.
These things are now most cleare, thee I imbrace a
AN ACT OF CONTRITION.
When first my reason, dawning like the day, O thou whose speeches sound, whose beauties
Disperst the clouds of childish sense away : shine!
God's image fram'd in that superior tow'r, Not like a creature, but some pow's diuine,
Diuinely drew mine inderstanding pow'r Teach me thy stile, thy worth and state declare,
To thinke vpon his greatnesse, and to feare
His darts of thunder, which the mountaines teare,
Tacknowledge him a higher thing than man, I am thine end, Felicity my name;
My next discourse, erected by his grace, The best of wishes, Pleasures, Riches, Fame,
Conceiues him free from bounds of time or place, Are humble vassals, which my throne attend, And sees the furthest that of him is knowne, And make you mortals happy when I send : All spriug from bird, and he depends of none. In my left hand delicious fruits ( hold,
The steps which iu his various workes are seal'd, To feede them who with mirth and ease grow old :
The doctrines in his sacred church reueald, Afraid to lose the fleeting dayes and nights,
Were all receiu'd as truths into my mind, They seaze on times, and spend it in delights.
Yet durst I breake bis lawes, O strangely blind ! My right hand with triumphant crownes is stord,
My festring wounds are past the launcing cure, Which all the kings of former times ador'd:
Which terrour giues to thoughts at first impure >
Vnlesse I scorch them with the flames of loue.
To gracious beames of those indulgent eyes,
Which in thy Sonne's blood washt my parents' If solid vertues dwell not but in paine,
I will not wish that golden age againe,
But more thro' boldnesse when the daies are faire
IN SPIRITUALL COMFORT.
Esough delight, O mine eternall good!
I feare'to perish in this fiery flood :
Should rather blind me, than extend my sight : Thy chearefull face from me no longer hide,
For how dare mortals here their thoughts erect Withdraw these clouds, the scourges of my pride; To taste those ioyes, which they in Heau’n expect? I sioke to Hell, if I be lower throwne:
But God inuites them in his boundlesse lode, I see what man is, being left alone.
And lifts their heauy minds to things aboue. My substance, wbich froin nothing did begin,
Who would not follow such a pow'rful guide Is worse then nothing by the waight of sin :
Immid'st of flames, or through the raging tide ? I see my selfe in such a wretched state,
What carelesse soule will not adınire the grace As neither thoughts conceiue, or words relate.
Of such a Lord, who knowes the dang'rous place How great a distance parts vs ! for in thee
In which his seruants liue; their natiue woes, Is endlesse good, and boundlesse ill in mee.
Their weake defence, and fury of their foes : All creatures proue me abiect, but how low,
And casting downe to Earth these golden chaines, Thou opely know'st, and teachest me to know.
From Hel's steepe brinke their sliding steps reTo paint this basenesse, nature is too base;
straines ? This darknesse yeelds not but to beames of grace.
His deare affection fies with wings of haste; Where shall I then this piercing splendour find ?
He will not stay till this short life be past : Or found, how shall it guide me, being blind?
But in this vale, where teares of griefe abound, Grace is a taste of blisse, a glorious gift,
He oft with teares of ioy his friends hath drown'd. Which can the soule to heau'nly comforts lift.
Mạn, what desir’st thou? Wouldst thou purchase It will not shine to me, whose mind is drown'd
health, In sorrowes, and with worldly troubles bound.
Great honour, perfect pleasure, peace, and wealth? It will not daigne within that house to dwell,
All these are here, and in their glory raigne: Where drinesse raignes, and proud distractions
In other things these names are false and vaine. swell.
True wisdome bids vs to this banqnet haste, Perhaps it sought me in those lightsome dayes
That precious nectar may renew the taste Of my first feruour, when few winds did raise Of Eden's dainties, by our parents lost The waves, and ere they could full strength obtaine, For one poore apple, which so deare would cost, Some whisp'ring gale straight charmed thein downe That eu'ry man a double death should pay, again :
But Mercy comes the latter stroke to stay, When all seem'd calm, and yet the Virgin's child,
And (leauing mortall bodies to the knife On my deuotions in bis manger smild ;
Of lustice) strives to saue the better life. While then I simply walkt, nor heed could take No sou’raigne med cine can be halfe so good Of complacence, that slye deceitfull snake; Against destruction, as this angel's food, When yet I had not dang'rously refus'd
This inward illustration, when it finds So many calls to vertue, nor abus'd
A seate in humble and indiff'rent minds. The spring of life, which I so oft enioy'd,
If wretched men contemne a Sunne so bright, Nor made so many good intentions voyd,
Dispos'd to stray and stumble in the night, Deseruing thus that grace should quite depart,
And seeke contentment where they oft haue And dreadfull hardnesse should posscsse my heart:
knowne Yet in that state this onely good I found,
By deare experience, that there can be none, That fewer spots did then my conscience wound,
They would much more neglect their God, there Though who can censure, whether in those times,
end, The want of feeling seem'd the want of crimes?
If ought were found whereon they might depend,
Within the compasse of the gen'rall frame: Man sinning oft, though pardon'd oft, exceeds Or if some sparkes of this celestiall fta ne
The falling angels in malicious deeds : Had not ingrau'd this sentence in their brest : When we in words would tell the sinner's shame, “ In him that made them is their onely rest.” To call him Diuell is too faire a name,
Should we for euer in the chaos dwell,
We there no toule and darksome formes shall find
Sufficient to describe a guilty mind.
Search thro' the world, we shall not know a thing, Sweet Hope is soueraigne comfort of our life:
Which may to reason's eye more horrour bring, Our joy in sorrow, and our peace in strife:
Than disobedience to the Highest cause, The dame of beggers, and the queene of kin2s : An obstinate auersion from his lawes. Can these delight in height of prosp'rous things, The sinner will destroy God, if he can. Without expecting still to keepe them sure ? ( what hath God deseru'd of thee, poore man, Can those the weight of heany wants endure, That thou should'st holdly strive to pull him downc Vulesse perswasiun i stant paine allay,
From his bigh throne, and take away his crowne? Reserving spirit for a better day?
What blindnesse moues tbee to vnequall fight? Our God, who planted in his creatures' brest See how thy fellow creatures scorne thy might, This stop, on which the wheeles of passion rest, Yet thou prouok'st thy Lord, as much too great, Hath ravs'd, by beames of his abundant grace, As thou too weake for his imperiall seate ! This strong affection to a higher place.
Behold a silly wretch distrarted quite, It is the second vertue wbich attends
Extending towards God his feeble spite, That soule, whose motion to his sight ascends.
And by his poys'nous breath bis hopes are faire Rest here, my mind, thou shalt no longer stay To blast the skies, as it corrupts the aire. To gaze vpon these houses made of clay :
Vpon the other side thou inayst perceiue Thou shalt not stoope to honours, or to lands, A mild Commandler, to whose army cleaue Nor golden balles, where sliding fortune stands : The sparkling starres, and each of them desires If no false colours draw thy steps anisse,
To fall and drowne this rebell in their fires. Thou hast a palace of eternall blisse,
The cloudes are ready this proud foe to tame, A paradise from care, and feare exempt,
Pull fraught with thunderbolts, and lightnings' An obiect worthy of the best attempt.
flame. Who would not for so rich a country fight?
The Earth, his mother, greedy of his doome,
That this degen'rate sonne may liue no more,
bore. For lower I can find no place to stand.
The sauage beasts, whose names his father gaue,
Make sute to seaze him as their lawfull prey.
No friends are left: then whither shall he flie?
To that offended King, who sits on bigh, Berold what riuers feeble nature spends,
Who hath deferr'd the battell, and restrain'd And melts vs into seas at losse of friends!
His souldiers, like the winds in fetters chain'd: Their mortall state this fountaine neuer dries,
For let tbe sinner leaue bis hideous maske,
God will as soone forgiue, as he shall aske.
OF THE MISERABLE STATE OF MAN. Such streames require a bigh and noble end. I.
man, the best of creatures, growne the worst? As waters in a chrystall orbe contajn'd
He once most blessed was, now most accurst: Aboue the starry firmament are chain'd
His whole felicity is endlesse strife, To coole the fury of those raging names,
No peace, no satisfaction, crownes his life; Which eu'ry lower spheare by motion frames :
No such delight as other creatures take, So this continuall spring within thy head
Which their desires can free and happy make : Must quench the fires in other members bred.
Our appetites, which seeke for pleasing good, If to our Lord our parents had been true,
Haue oft their wane and full; their ebbe and floud; Our teares had been like drops of pleasing dew:
Their calme and stormes: the neuer - constant But sinne hath made them full of bitter paines,
Moone, Vntimely children of afflicted biaines:
'The seas, and nimble winds, not halfe so soone Yet they are chang’d, when we oar sinnes lament,
Incline to change ; while all our pleasure rests To richer pearles chan from the East are sent.
In things which vary, like our wau’ring brests.
To haue more pris'ners, which increase his care;
The more his goods, the more bis dangers are : What pensill shall I take, or where begin, This sayler sees his ship about to drowne, To paint the ugly face of odious Sinne?
And he takes in more wares to presse it downe.