« EdellinenJatka »
As when the Captain of the heavenly host,
We see them in the deep, we see them move,
We know they fixed are in Heaven above : So did the Son of righteousness come down Clouded in flesh, and seemed in the deep: So do the many waters seem to drown The stars his saints, and they on Earth to keep,
And yet this Sun from Heaven never fell,
And yet these earthly stars in Heaven dwell. What if their souls be into prison cast In earthly bodies? yet they long for Heaven.
What if this worldly sea they have not past!
They are not here, and yet we here them sec,
For every man is there, where he would be. Long may you wish, and yet long wish in vain; Hence to depart, and yet that wish obtain. Long may you here in Heaven on Earth remain, And yet a Heaven in Heaven hereafter gain.
Go you to Heaven, but yet, О make no haste!
Go slowly, slowly, but yet go at last. But when the nightingale so near doth sit, Silence the titmouse better may belit.
TO THE READER.
There are but few of many that can rightly judge of poetry, and yet there are many of those few that carry so left-handed an opinion of it, as some of them think it half sacrilege for profane poetry to deal with divine and heavenly matters; as though David were to be sentenced by them, for uttering his grave matter upon the harp; others, something more violent in their censure, but sure less reasonable (as though poetry corrupted all good wits, when indeed bad wits corrupt poetry), banish it, with Plato, out of all well-ordered commonwealths. Both these I will strive rather to satisfy, then refute.
And of the first I would gladly know, whether they suppose it fitter, that the sacred songs in the scripture of those heroical saints, Moses, Deborah, Jeremiah, Mary, Simeon, David, Solomon, (the wisest schoolman, and wittiest poet) should be ejected from the canon for want of gravity, or rather this errour erased out of their minds, for want of truth. But, it may be, they will give the Spirit of God leave to breathe through what pipe it please, and will confess, because they must needs, that all the songs dittied by him, must needs be, as their fountain is, most holy; but their common clamour is, “Who may compare with God?” True; and yet as none may compare without presumption, so all may imitate, and not without commendation; which made Nazianzen, one of the stars of the Greek church, that now shines as bright in Heaven, as he did then on Earth, write so many: divine poems of the Genealogy, Miracles, Passion of Christ, called by bim his Xgesòs réxwe. Which, when Basil, the prince of the fathers, and his chamberfellow, had seen, his opinion of them was, that he could have devised nothing either more fruitful to others, because it kindly wooed them to religion; or more honourable to himself, 'Oudày gàę paxapiútsgáv iso Toũ Theggiam gopslar is rin yang popsitas because, by imitating the singing angels in Heaven, himself became, though before bis time, an earthly angel. What should I speak of Juvencus, Prosper, and the wise Prudentius? the last of which living in Hierome's time, twelve hundred years ago, brought forth in his declining age, 80 many, and so religious poems, straitly charging his soul, not to let pass so much as one either night or day without some divine song: Hymnis continuet dies, nec noz ulla cacet, quin Dominum canatı And as sedulous Prudentius, so prudent Sedulius was famous in this poetical divinity, the coetan of Bernard, who sung the history of Christ with as much devotion in himself, as admiration to others; all which were followed by the choicest wits of Christendom: Nonnius translating all Sts John's gospel into Greek verse, Sanazar, the late living image, and happy imitator of Virgil, bestowing ten years upon a song, only to celebrate that one day when Christ was born unto us on Earth, and we (a happy change) unto God in Heaven: tbrice honoured Bartas, and our (I know no other name more glorious than his own) Mr. Edmund Spencer (two blessed souls) not thinking ten years enough, laying ont their whole lives upon this one study. Nay, I may ju tly say that the princely father of our country (though in my conscience God hath made himn of all the learned princes that ever were, the most religious, and of all the religious princes, the most learned ; that so, by the one he might oppose him against the pope, the pest of all religion; and by the other, against Bellarmine, the abuser of all good learning) is yet so far enamoured with this celestial muse, that it shall never repent me--calamo trivisse lubellum, whensoever I shall remeinber Hac eade ut sciret quid non faciebat Amyntas? To name no more in such plenty, where I may und how to begin, sooner then to end, St. Paul by the example of Christ, that went singing to mount Olivet, with his disciples, after his last supper, exciteth the Christians, to solace themselves with hymns, and psalms, and spiritual songs; and therefore, by their leaves, be it an errour for poets to be divines, I had
rather err with the scripture, than be rectified by them: I had rather adore the steps of Nazianzen, Prudentius, Sedulius, then follow their steps to be misguided : I had rather be the devout admirer of Nonnius, Bartas, my sacred sovereign, and others, the miracles of our latter age, than the false sectary of these, that have nothing at all to follow, but their own naked opinions. To conclude, I had rather with my Lord, and his most divine apostle, sing (though I sing sorrily) the love of Heaven and Earth, than praise God (as they do) with the worthy gift of silence, and sitting still, or think I disprais'd him with this poetical discourse. It seems they have either not read, or clean forgot, that it is the duty of the Muses (if we may believe Pindar and Hesiod) to set always under the throne of Jupiter, ejus et laudes, et beneficia éjououous, which made a very worthy German writer conclade it, Certò statuimus, proprium atque peculiare poetarum munus esse, Christi gloriam illustrare, being good reason that the heavenly infusion of such poetry should end in his glory, that had beginning from his goodness, fit orator, nascitur poeta.
For the second sort therefore, that eliminate poets out oi their city gates, as though they were now grown so bad, as they could neither grow worse, nor better, though it be somewhat hard for those to be the only men should want cities, that were the only causers of the building of them; and soinewhat inhumane to thrust them into the woods, to live among the beasts, who were the first that called men out of the woods, from their beastly, and wild life; yet since they will needs shoulder them out for the only firebrands to inflame lust (the fault of earthly men, not heavenly poetry) I would gladly learn, what kind of professions these men would be entreated to entertain, that so deride and disaffect poesy: would they admit of philosophers, that after they have burnt out the whole candle of their life in the circular study of sciences, cry out at length, “ Se nihil prorsus scire?" or should musicians be welcome to them, that Dant sine mente sonum-bring delight with them indeed, could they as well express with their instruments a voice, as they can a sound? or would they most approve of soldiers that defend the life of their countryinen, either by the death of themselves, or their enemies? If philosophers please them, who is it that knows not, that all the lights of example, to clear their precepts, are horrowed by philosophers from poets ? that without Homer's examples, Aristotle would be as blind as Homer? If they retain musicians, who ever doubted, but that poets infused the very soul into the inarticulate sounds of music? that without Pindar and Horace, the lyrics had been silenced for ever? If they must needs entertain soldiers, who can bnt confess, that poets restore again that life to soldiers, which they before lost for the safety of their country? that without Virgil, Æneas had never been so much as heard of? How then can they for shaine deny commonwealths to them, who were the first authors of them ? how can they deny the blind philosopher that teaches them, his light? the empty. musician that delights them, his soul? the dying soldier that defends their life, immortality, after his own death? Let philosophy, let ethics, let all the arts bestow upon us this gift, that we be not thought dead men, whilst we remain among the living, it is only poetry that can make us be thought living men, when we lie among the dead; and therefore I think it unequal, to thrust them out of our cities, that call us. out of our graves; to think so hardly of them, that make us to be so well thought of; to deny them to live a while among us, that make us live for ever among our posterity.
So being now weary in persuading those that hate, I commend myself to those that love such poets, as Plato speaks of, that sing divine and heroical matters. 'Ou yog outo sirv és rallt« dégorris, daa'o @sos, ivrés igo o asywv, recommending these my idle hours, not idly spent, to good scholars, and good Christians, that have overcome their ignorance with reason, and their reason with religion.
Quæ vitæ dederisque inire vitam;
Et Luci dederis videre lucem ;
Dum clausus penetralibus latebat
Quem se posse negant tenere cæli:
Quæ non virgineas premi papillas Turturesque, jocósque, passeresque
Passa, virgineas tamen dedisti Lascivi capitis greges, poetæ ?
Lactandas puero tuo papillas. Et jam languidutos amantum ocellos,
Etu, dic age, dic, beata virgo, Et mox turgidulas sinu pupillas
Cur piam abstineas manum timesque Jam fletus teneros cachinnulosque,
Sancta tangere, sanctariumque Mox suspiria, morsiunculásque,
Insolens fugias. An inquinari Mille basia: mille, mille nugas?
Contactu metuis tuo sacrata? Et vultus pueri, puellulæve
Contactu metuis suo sacrata (Heu fusci pueri puellulæque!)
Pollui pia: cernis (en!) ferentem. Pingitis nivibus, rosunculisque,
Lenimenta Dei furentis, illa (Mentitis nivibus, rosunculisque)
Fædatas sibi ferre que jubebat. Quæ vel primo hyemis rigore torpents
Sis felix nova virgo-mater opto, Vel Phoebi intuitu statim relanguent.
Quæ inollire Deuin paras amicum, Heu stulti nimiùm greges poetæ !
Quin hic dona licet licet relinquas, Ut quas sic nimis, (ah!) nimis stupetis,
Agnellumque repone Turturemque, Nives candidulæ, et rosæ pudentes:
Audax ingrediare inanis ædes Sic vobis pereunt statim labores ;
Dei, tange Deo sacrata, tange. Et solem fugiunt severiorem,
Quæ non concubitu coinquinata Vel saltem gelida rigent senectâ.
Agnellum peperitque, Turturemque At tu, qui clypeo haud inane nomen
Exclusit, facili Deo litabit (Minerva clypeo Jovisque) sumens
Agno cum Deus insit, et columbæ.
Nor can I so much say as much I ought,
Nor yet so little can I say as nought, Tuo propitius parat labori
In praise of this thy work, so hearinly penn'd, Quin ille ipse tuos legens triumphos,
That sure the sacred dove a quill did lend Plenos militia, labore plenos,
From her bigh soaring wing: certes I know Tud propitius parat labori
No other plumes, that makes man seem so low Plenos lætitiæ, et spei triumphos.
In his own eyes, who to all others' sight
Where if thou seem to any of small price,
But what do I thy flood of wit restrain
Within the narrow banks of my poor vein ?
More I could say, and would, but that to praise.
Thy vcrses, is to keep them from their praise. Beatissima virginum Maria;
For them who reads, and doth them not advance, Sed matérque simul beata. Perquam,
Of envy doth it, or of ignorance. Qui seinper fuit, ille cæpit ess";
CHRIST'S VICTORY IN HEAVEN.
Egypt, ver. 81. The angels and men, rer. 82, 83. The effect of Mercy's speech, ver. 84. A transition to Christ's second victory, ver. 85.
THE birth of Him that no beginning knew, The argument propounded in general. Our re- Yet gives beginning to all that are born,
dernption by Christ, ver. 1, 2. The author's And how the Infinite far greater grew, invocation for the better handling of it, ver. 3, By growing less, and how the rising morn, 4. Man's redemption, from the cause. Mercy That shot from Heav'n, and back to Heav'n return, dwelling in Heaven, and pleading for men now The obsequies of him that could not die, guilty, with Justice described by her qualities,
And death of life, end of eternity, ver. 5--10. Her retinue, ver. 12. Her sub- How worthily he died, tbat died unworthily; ject, ver. 15. Her accusation of man's sin, ver. How God and man did both embrace each other, 17. And 1st, of Adam's first sin, ver. 18, 19. Met in one person, Heaven and Earth did kiss, Then of his posterity's, in all kind of idolatry, And how a virgin did become a mother, ver. 20—24. How hopeful any patronage of And bare that Son, who the world's Father is, it, ver. 25—27. All the creatures having dis- | And maker of his mother, and how bliss leagued themselves with him for his extreme Descended from the bosom of the High, unthankfulness, ver. 28–33. So that being To clothe himself in naked misery, [antly, destitute of all hope and remedy, he can look Sailing at length to Heav'n, in Earth, triumphfor nothing but a fearful sentence, ver. 35–40. Is the first fame, wherewith my whiter Muse
The effect of Justice her speech: the inflamma- Doth burn in heavenly lore, such love to tell. tion of the heavenly powers appeased by Mercy, thou that didst this holy fire infuse, who is described by her cheerfuluess to defend And taught'st this breast, but Jate the grave of
(Hell, man, ver 40–42. Our inability to describe her, Wherein a blind and dead heart liv'd, to swell ver. 43, 44. Her beauty, resembled by the creatures, which are all frail shadows of ber
With better thoughts, send down those lights
that lend essential perfection, ver. 45, 46. Her atten. dants, ver. 46, 47. Her persuasive power, ver. 48 The love, that never was, nor ever can be penn'd.
Knowledge, how to begin, and how to end --50. Her kind offices to man, ver. 51. 52. Her garments wrought by her own hands, where Ye sacred writings, in whose antique leaves with she clothes herself
, composed of all the The memories of Heaven entreasur'd lie, creatures, ver. 53. The earth, ver. 54. Sea, Say, what might be the cause that Mercy heaves ver. 55, 56. Air, ver. 57, 58. The celestial The dust of sip above th’industrious sky, bodies, ver. 59, 60. The third Ileaven, ver. 61, And lets it not to dust and ashes fly? 62. Her objects, ver. 63. Repentance, ver.
Could Justice be of sin so over-woo'd, 64-66. Faith, ver. 67–69. ller depreca
Or so great ill be cause of so great good, (blood? tive speech for man: in which she translates the That bloody man to save, man's Saviour shed his principal fault unto the devil; and repeating Or did the lips of Mercy drop soft speeeh Justice her aggravation of men's sin, mitigates For trait'rous man, when at th’ Eternal's throne it; Ist, By a contrary inference: 2d, By in-Incensed Nemesis did Heav'n beseech tercessing berself in the cause, and Christ, ver. With thund'ring voice, that justice might be shown 70_75. That is as sufficient to satisfy, as man Against the rebels that from God were flown? was impotent, ver. 76, 77. Whom she cele O say, say how could Mercy plead for those brates from the time of his nativity, ver. 78. That, scarcely made, against their Maker rose ? From the effects of it in himself, ver. 79, 80. Will any slay lis friend, that he may spare his foes?,