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“Then,” said the propbet,“ since by all approv’d, | This signe so full of terrour thus procur’d, I must with you, before that God contend, A generall feare each minde with griefe did sting, Who from Caldea, Israel's syre remov'd,
Till all cry'd out that they had beene obdur'd, And highly honour'd as his speciall friend ; And highly sion'd in seeking of a king; Who sav'd milde Isaac, holy lacob lov'd,
The Lord, they said (bis light from Heaven obscurd) And in all countries did him still attend :
Might for their ore-throw armies justly bring ; (A covenant contriv'd, with all his race)
Toen Samuel urg'd to mediate their peace, Who multiply'd them much, in little space. Avoyding vengeance, and entreating grace. “From rigorousÆgypt's more then burthenous yoke, The holy man who view'd them thus to smart, When taught by wonders to admire his might, Did aggravate how farre they first did faile, He led them forth, free from each stumbling block; Yet theon assurd, when flowing from the heart, In deserts wilde, him to contemplate right; That true repentance would with God prevaile ; And did give laws, as of that state the stock,
From whom be wish'd, that they wouid not depart, A rare republike, at perfection's height;
To trust in trifles which could not availe: The Lord (great generall of those chosen bands) Since be, when pleas'd, in mercies did abound, Took townes, gain' battels, and did conquer lands! And with a frowne might all the world confound. “ But when he once had stablish'd well their state, The Lord (he said) who did them first affect (All those great works remembred then no more) Them (from bis law if they did not remove) Your fathers, false, apostates, and ingrate,
By hoasts of Heaven, and wonders would protect, (Abhomination) idols did adore,
By promise bound, and by his boundlesse love, So that (incens'd with indignation great)
Lest strangers spoyling whom he did elect, Their jealous God would them protect no more ;
Weake, or inconstant, he might seeme to prore: Who, that they so might humbled be againe, Then he to God for them did earnest call, To bondage base abandon'd did remaine.
And with their king, when blest, dismist them all. “ With hearts brought low, and souls rais'd up aloft, Saul thus, when seiz'd of Israel's regall seat, When godly griefe dissolv'd it selfe in groans,
Whom God chose, Samuel did anoint, all serve,
OF THE TRAGEDY OF CROESUS.
Disdarne not, mighty prince, those humble lines, “ From dangers oft though wonderfully sav'd,
Though too meane musicke for so dainty eares, Whilst Israel's sceptre God did onely sway,
Since with thy greatnesse, learning's glory shines,
So that thy brow a two-fold lawrell beares :
To thee the Muses, Phæbus now resignes,
And vertues hight eternall trophees reares: As th' abject Gentiles, basely to obey ;
As Orpheus' harpe, Heavens may enstall thy pen, With trust in princes, and in mortall strength,
A liberall light to guide the mindes of men. Which lodg'd in nostrils, must dislodge at length.
Although my wit be weake, my vowes are strong, “ Yet if your king and you do serve him right,
Which consecrate devoutly to thy name The Lord, of both will highly blesse the state ;
My Muse's labours, which, ere it be long, And, if prophanely walking in his sight,
May graft some feathers in the wings of Fame, Will visit both in wrath, with vengeance great,
And with the subject to conforme my song, And that you may behold your sinne, his might,
May in more loftly lines thy worth proclaime, Too haughty minds by terrour to abate :
With gorgeous colours courting glorie's light, You shall (thongh of such change no signe there be) | Till circling seas doe bound her ventrous Hight. Straight clad with clonds, Heaven's indignation see."
Ere thou wast born, and since, Heaven thee endeeres, Heavens, must'ring horrour in a dreadfull forme, Held backe, as best to grace these last worst times; His beams drawn back, pale Phoebus did retyre; The world long'd for thy birth three hundred yeeres, As the world's funerals threatning to performe, Since first fore-told wrapt in propheticke rimes; Some flames Aash'd forth, not lights, but sparks of yre, His love to thee, the Lord's deliveries cleeres, And in ambushment layd behinde a storme, From sea, from sword, from fire, from chance, from Colds interchoaking, did grosse engines fire
crimes, To batter th’ Earth, which planted there by wrath, And that to him thou onely might be bound, From clouds' vast concaves thund'red bolts of death. Thy selfe was still the meanes foes to confound.
TO HIS SACRED MAJESTY.
I doe not doubt but Albion's warlike coast, But, О thrice happy thou that of thy throne
Then unto whom more justly could I give
Those famous ruines of extended states Yet did in forraine fields their names engrave,
(Which did the world of libertie deprive Whilst whom one spoil'd the other would assist :
By force or fraud to reare tyrannick seats) Those now made one, whilst such a head they have, Then unto thee, who may and will not live What world of words were able to resist ? (now,
Like those proud monarchs borne to stormy fates ? Thus bath thy worth (great lames) conjoyn'd them But whil'st, frank-sprited prince, thou this wouldstilee, Whom battles oft did breake, but never bow.
Crowns come unsought, and scepters seek to thee.
Vnto the ocean of thy worth I send
Those runnels, rising from a rash attempt;
Not that I to augment that depth pretend,
Which Heavens from all necessitie exempt,
The Gods small gifts of zealous mindes commend,
This little incense, or this smoke of mine. Thou might'st soone build a monarchie with bloud.
O! this faire world without the world, no doubt,
TO THE AUTHOR OF
THE MONARCHICKE TRAGEDIES. She by herselfe (as most majesticke) stands,
Welc may the programme of thy tragicke stage Thence (the world's mistris) to give judgement out, Invite the curious pompe-expecting eyes With full authority for other lands, Which on the seas would gaze, attending still,
To gaze on present showes of passed age,
Which just desert Monarchicke dare baptize. (arise By wind-wing'd messengers, their soveraigne's will. Crownes, throwne from thrones to tombes, detomb'd
To match thy Muse with a monarchicke theame, The southerne regions did all realmes surpasse, That whilst her sacred soaring cuts the skyes, And were the first which sent great armies forth;
A vulgar subject may not wrong the same : Yet soveraignty that there first founded was,
And which gives most advantage to thy fame, Still by degrees hath drawne unto the north,
The worthiest monarch that the Sunne can see, To this great climate which it could not passe,
Doth grace thy labours with his glorious name, The fatall period bounding all true worth: For, it cannot from hence a passage finde,
And daignes protector of thy birth to be :
Thus all monarchicke, patron, subject, stile, By roring rampiers still with us confinde.
Make thee the monarch-tragicke of this ile.
S. ROBERT AYTON,
PRAISE OF THE AUTHOR,
HIS TRAGEDY OF DARIUS.
Give place all ye to dying Darius' wounds,
Who fell before seven-ported Thebes' wals, All the reedeemed souls) may be withstood,
Or under Ilion's old sky-threatening rounds. While as thy troups (great Albion's emperor) once
Your sowre-sweet voyce not halfe so sadly sounds, Do comfort Christ's afficted dock which moanes.
Though I confesse, most famous be your fals,
Slaine, sacrific'd, transported, and made thrals; Thy thundring troups might take the stately rounds Thrown headlong, burnt, and banish't from your Of Constantine's great towne renown'd in vaine, Whom Sophocles, Euripides have song, [bounds: And barre the barbarous Turks the baptiz'd bounds, | And Æschylus in stately tragicke tune : Reconquering Godfrey's conquests once againe; Yet none of all hath so divinely done O, well spent labours! O illustrious wounds! As matchlesse Menstrie in his native tongue. Whose trophees should eternall glory gaine, Thus Darius' ghost seemes glad now to be so, And make the lyon to be fear'd farre inore, Triumpht on twise by Alexanders two, Then ever was the eagle of before.
IN THE TRAGEDY OP CROESUS.
Of all the creatures bred below,
Then whilst he holds this lowest place,
Vhat can man's wandring thoughts confine,
satisfie his fancies all ? er whil'st he wonders doth designe, ven great things then doe seeme but small; hat terrour can his sprite appall, hilst taking more then it can hold, He to himselfe contentment doth assigne; Lis minde, which monsters breeds, magination feeds, nd with bigh thoughts quite headlongs rold, Vhil'st seeking here a perfect ease to finde, Vould but melt mountains, and embrace the winde. Vhat wonder though the soule of man A sparke of Heaven that shines below) Joth labour by all meanes it can, ike to it selfe, it selfe to show? "he heavenly essence, Heaven would know, int from this masse, (where bound) till free, Vith paine both spend life's little span; he better part would be above: ind th' earth from th' earth cannot remove ; low can two contraries agree?
Tbus as the best part or the worth doth move, Aan of much worth, or of no worth doth prove." )! from what fountaibe doe proceed These humours of so many kindes ? lach braine doth divers fancies breed, * As many men, as many mindes:” Ind in the world a man scarce findes Another of his humour right, Vor are there two so like indeed, f we remarke their severall graces, Ind lineaments of both their faces, Chat can abide the proofe of sight.
If th' outward formes then differ as they doe; Of force th' affections must be different too." Ah! passions spoile our better part, The soule is vext with their dissentions ; We make a God of our owne heart, And worship all our vaine inventions ; This braine-bred mist of apprehensions The minde doth with confusion fill ; Whil'st reason in exile doth smart, And few are free from this infection, For all are slaves to some affection, Which doth oppresse the judgement still: ** Those partiail tyrants, not directed right, Even of the clearest mindes eclipse the light." A thousand times, 0 happy he! Who doth his passions so subdue, That he may with cleare reason's eye Their imperfection's fountaines view, That so he may himselfe renew, Who to his thoughts prescribing lawes, Might set bis soule from bondage free, And never from bright reason swerve, But making passions it to serve, Would weigh each thing as there were cause : O greater were that monarch of the minde! Then if he might command from Thule to Inde.
His state doth in most danger stand,
It may be feard our king at last,
When such a monarch's minde is bent
Till others of their race To follow most the most unwise,
Fill up the cup of wrath, Who can their folly well disguise
Whom ruine and disgrace With sugred speeches, poisnous baits,
Long time attended hath ; The secret canker of great states,
And Gyges fault we feare, From which at first few disassent,
To Creesus charge be lay'd, The which at last all do repent,
Which love will not forbeare, Then whil'st they must to ruine go;
Though it be long delay'd : When kings begin thus to despise
“ For, O! sometimes the gods Of honest men the good intent,
Must plague sinne with sharpe rods." Who to assure their soveraignes' seats Would faine in time some help devise,
And loe, how Croesus still, And would cut off all cause of woe,
Tormented in his miode, Yet cannot second their conceits :
Like to reeds on a hill, These dreadfull comets commonly fore-go
Doth quake at every winde !
Each step a terrour brings;
All his thoughts doe convict him;
He his starre would controule,
This makes ill not the worst, Tuoss who command above,
Whilst he wounds his own soule, High presidents of Heaven,
With apprehensions first : By whom all things doe move,
“ Man may his fate foresee, As they have order given,
But not shunne Heaven's decree."
Loe all our time even from our birth,
In misery almost exceeds: Proud mortalls who transgresse.
For where we finde a moment's mirth, The bounds to them assign'd
A month of mourning still succeeds ; By Nature in their mind.
Besides the evils that nature breeds,
Whose paines doe us each day appall, Base brood of th’ Earth, vaine man,
Infirmities which frailty sends,
The losse of that which fortune lends;
And such disasters as oft fall,
Yet to farre worse our states are thrall,
Whilst wretched man with man contends,
And every one bis whole force bends,
How to procure another's losses,
But this torments us most of all: -
The minde of man, which many a fancy tosses,
Doth forge unto it selfe a thousand crosses.
O how the soule with all her might
Doth her celestiall forces straine,
That so she may attaine,the light
Of Nature's wonders, which remaine
Hid from our eyes! we strive in vaine
To seeke out things that are unsure :
In sciences to seeme profound,
We dive so deepe, we finde no ground;
And the more knowledge we procure,
The more it doth our mindes allure,
Of mysteries the depth to sound;
Thus our desires we never bound;
Which by degrees thus drawn on still,
The memory may not endure;
, Or takes no care of us :
Doth drinke no oftner then constrain'd to spill
Yet how comes this? and O how can
Cleare'knowledge thus (the soule's
chiefe treasure) Though they (delaying long)
Be cause of such a crosse to man,
Which should afford him greatest pleasure ?
This is, because we cannot measure
limits that to it belong,
We ponder oft, but not apply (bent to tempt forbidden things)
That pretious oyle, which we might buy, : soare too high with nature's wings,
Best with the price of others' paines, I weakest whilst we thinke us strong ;
Which (as what not to us pertaines) : Heavens, which hold we do them wrong To use we will not condescend, try their grounds, and what thence springs, As if we might the fates defie, s crosse upon us justly brings :
Still whilst untouch'd our state remaines; th knowledge, knowledge is confus'd,
But soon the Heavens a change may send : 1 growes a griefe ere it be long ;
No perfect blisse before the end. That which a blessing is when rightly us'd, th grow the greatest crosse when once abus’d.
When first we fill with fruitfull seed ! what avaiels this unto us,
The apt conceiving wombe of th' Earth, so in this vaile of woes abide,
And seeme to banish feare of dearth;
With that which it by time may breed, th endlesse toyles to study thus learn the thing that Heaven would hide ?
Still dangers do our hopes exceed :
The frosts may first with cold confound trusting to too blinde a guide, spy the planets how they move,
The tender greenes which decke the ground, d too (transgressing common barres)
Whose wrath though April's smiles asswage,
It must abide th'Eolian rage, e constellation of the starres, d all that is decreed above,
Which too ore-com'd, whilst we attend tereof (as oft the end doth prove)
All Ceres' wandring tresses bound, ecret sight our wel-fare marres,
The reines let from their cloudy cage i in our brests breeds endlesse warres,
May spoile what we expect to spend : il'st what our horoscopes foretell,
No perfect blisse before the end. ir expectations doe disprove: me apprehended plagues prove such a Hell, Loe, whilst the vine-tree great with grapes, it then we would unknow them till they fell. With nectar'd liquor strives to kisse
Embracing elmes not lov'd amisse, is is the pest of great estates,
Those clusters lose their comely shapes, ey by a thousand meanes devise
Whilst by the thunder burn'd, in heapes w to fore-know their doubtful fates;
All Bacchus hopes fall downe and perish: d like new gyants, scale the skies,
Thus many thing doe fairly flourish, avens secret store-house to surprise;
Which no perfection can attaine, sich sacrilegious skill we see
And yet we worldlings are so vaine, th what great paine they apprehend it,
That our conceits too high we bend, d then how foolishly they spend it.
If fortune but our spring-time cherish, leame the thing that once must be ;
Thougb divers stormes we must sustaine, by should we seeke our destiny?
To barvest ere our yeares ascend : it be good, we long attend it;
No perfect blisse before the end. t be ill none may amend it: sh knowledge but torments the minde; t us attend the Heavens' decree:
By all who in this world have place, r those whom this ambiguous art doth blinde,
There is a course which must be runne,
And let none thinke that he hath womne, ay what they seeke to flye, the rather finde.
Till first he finish'd hath his race; d loe of late, what hath our king
The forrests through the which we trace, 7 his preposterous travels gain'd,
Breed ravenous beasts, which doe abhorre us, searching out each threatned thing,
And lye in wait still to devoure us, hich Atis' horoscope contain’d ?
Whil'st brambles doe our steppes beguile, or what the Heavens had once ordain'd,
The feare of which though we exile, hat by no meanes he could prevent;
And to our marke with gladnesse tend, od yet he labours to finde out
Then balles of gold are laid before us, hrough all the oracles about,
To entertaine our thoughts a while, f future things the hid event.
And our good meaning to suspend : his doth his raging minde torment :
No perfect b!isse before the end. Now in his age unwisely stout) o fight with Cyrus, but no doubt
Behold how Cræsus long hath liv'd, he Heavens are griev'd thus to heare told Throughout this spatious world admir'd, ong ere the time their darke intent.
And having all that he desir'd, et such of Tantalus the state behold,
A thousand meanes of joy contriv'd;
Yet suddenly is now depriv'd
His sonne's decease, his countrye's losse,
And his owne state, which stormes doe tosse : s't not a wonder thus to see
Thus he who could not apprehend, low by experience each man reeds
Then whil'st be slept in marble walles, o practis & volumes penn’d by deeds,
No, nor imagine any crosse, Jow things below inconstant be ;
To beare all those bis brest must lend : let whilst our selves continue free,
No perfect blisse before the end.