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Courted by Fame for bounties, which the Heaven
Gave thee in great; which, if in parcels given,
Too many such we happy sure might call;
How happy then wast thou, who enjoy'dst them all?
A whiter soul ne'er body did invest,
And now, sequester'd, cannot be but blest;
Enrob'd in glory, midst those hierarchies
Of that immortal people of the skies,
Bright saints and angels, there from cares made free,
Nought doth becloud thy sovereign good from thee.
Thou smil'st at Earth's confusions and jars,
And how for Centaurs' children we wage wars:
Like honey flies, whose rage whole swarms consumes,
Till dust thrown on them makes them veil their
Thy friends to thee a monument would raise,
And limn thy virtues; but dull grief thy praise
Breaks in the entrance, and our task proves vain;
What duty writes, that woe blots out again:
Yet love a pyramid of sighs thee rears,
And doth embalm thee with farewels and tears.
THOUGH marble porphyry, and mourning touch,
May praise these spoils, yet can they not too much;
For beauty last, and this stone doth close,
Once Earth's delight, Heaven's care, a purest rose.
And, reader, shouldst thou but let fall a tear
Upon it, other flow'rs shall here appear,
Sad violets and hyacinths, which grow
With marks of grief, a public loss to show.
Relenting eye, which deignest to this stone
To lend a look, behold here laid in one,
The living and the dead interr'd; for dead
The turtle in its mate is; and she fled
From earth, her
choos'd this place of grief thoughts, a mall and sad relief. His is this monument, for hers no art Could frame; a pyramid rais'd of his heart.
Instead of epitaphs and airy praise,
This monument a lady chaste did raise
To her lord's living fame; and after death
Her body doth unto this place bequeath,
To rest with his, till God's shrill trumpet sound,
Though time her life, no time her love could bound.
TO SIR WILLIAM ALEXANDER.
WITH THE AUthor's epitaph.
THOUGH I have twice been at the doors of Death,
And twice found shut those gates which ever mourn,
This but a lightning is, truce ta'en to breathe,
For late-born sorrows augur fleet return.
Amidst thy sacred cares, and courtly toils,
Alexis, when thou shalt hear wand'ring fame
Tell, Death hath triumph'd o'er my mortal spoils,
And that on Earth I am but a sad name;
If thou e'er held me dear, by all our love,
By all that bliss, those joys Heaven here us gave,
I conjure thee, and by the maids of Jove,
To grave this short remembrance on my grave:
"Here Damon lies, whose songs did sometime grace
The murmuring Esk:-may roses shade the place."
AH, silly soul! what wilt thou say
When he, whom Earth and Heaven obey,
Comes man to judge in the last day?
When he a reason asks, why grace.
And goodness thou wouldst not embrace,
But steps of vanity didst trace!
That day of terrour, vengeance, ire,
Now to prevent thou shouldst desire,
And to thy God in haste retire.
With wat❜ry eyes, and sigh-swoll'n heart,
O beg, beg in his love a part,
Whilst conscience with remorse doth smart.
That dreaded day of wrath and shame
In flames shall turn this world's huge frame,
As sacred prophets do proclaim.
O! with what grief shall earthlings groan
When that great judge, set on his throne,
Examines strictly every one!
Shrill-sounding trumpets through the air
Shall from dark sepulchres each where
Force wretched mortals to appear.
Nature and Death amaz'd remain
To find their dead arise again,
And process with their judge maintain.
Display'd then open books shall lie,
Which all those secret crimes descry
For which the guilty world must die.
The Judge enthron'd, whom bribes not gain,
The closest crimes appear shall plain,
And none unpunished remain.
O! who then pity shall poor me?
Or who mine advocate shall be?
When scarce the justest pass shall free.
All wholly holy, dreadful King,
Who freely life to thine dost bring,
Of mercy save me, mercy's spring!
Then, sweet Jesu, call to mind
How of thy pains I was the end,
And favour let me that day find.
In search of me thou, full of pain,
Didst sweat blood, death on cross sustain:
Let not these suff'rings be in vain.
Thou supreme Judge, most just and wise,
Purge me from guilt, which on me lies,
Before that day of thine assize.
Charg'd with remorse, lo! here I groan,
Sin makes my face a blush take on;
Ah! spare me, prostrate at thy throne.
Who Mary Magdalen didst spare,
And lend'st the thief on cross thine ear,
Show me fair hopes I should not fear.
My prayers imperfect are and weak,
But worthy of thy grace them make,
And save me from Hell's burning lake.
On that great day, at thy right hand,
Grant I amongst thy sheep may stand,
Sequester'd from the goatish band.
When that the reprobates are all
To everlasting flames made thrall,
O to thy chosen, Lord, me call!
That I one of thy company,
With those whom thou dost justify,
May live blest in eternity.
Too long I follow'd have my fond desire,
And too long painted on the ocean streams;
Too long refreshment sought amidst the fire,
Pursu'd those joys which to my soul are blames.
Ah! when I had what most I did admire,
And seen of life's delights the last extremes,
I found all but a rose hedg'd with a brier,
A nought, a thought, a masquerade of dreams.
Henceforth on thee, my only good, I'll think;
For only thou canst grant what I do crave;
Thy nail my pen shall be; thy blood, mine ink;
Thy winding-sheet, my paper; study, grave:
And, till my soul forth of this body flee,
No hope I'll have but only, only thee.
To spread the azure canopy of Heaven,
And spangle it all with sparks of burning gold;
To place this pond'rous globe of Earth so even,
That it should all, and nought should it uphold;
With motions strange t' endue the planets seven,
And Jove to make so mild, and Mars so bold;
To temper what is moist, dry, hot, and cold,
Of all their jars that sweet accords are given;
Lord, to thy wisdom's nought, nought to thy might:
But that thou shouldst, thy glory laid aside,
Come basely in mortality to 'bide,
And die for those deserv'd an endless night;
A wonder is, so far above our wit,
That angels stand amaz'd to think on it.
WHAT hapless hap had I for to be born
In these unhappy times, and dying days,
Of this now doting world, when good decays,
Love's quite extinct, and virtue's held a scorn!
When such are only priz'd by wretched ways,
Who with a golden fleece them can adorn;
When avarice and lust are counted praise,
And bravest minds live, orphan like, forlorn!
Why was not I born in that golden age,
When gold was not yet known, and those black arts
By which base worldlings vilely play their parts,
With horrid acts staining Earth's stately stage?
To have been then, O Heaven! 't had been my bliss;
But bless me now, and take me soon from this.
"BRIGHT portals of the sky,
Emboss'd with sparkling stars;
Doors of eternity,
With diamantine bars,
Your arras rich uphold;
Loose all your bolts and springs,
Ope wide your leaves of gold;
That in your roofs may come the King of kings. "Scarf'd in a rosy cloud,
He doth ascend the air;
Straight doth the Moon him shroud
With her resplendent hair:
The next encrystall'd light
Submits to him its beams;
And he doth trace the height
Of that fair lamp which flames of beauty streams.
"He towers those golden bounds
He did to Sun bequeath;
The higher wand'ring rounds
Are found his feet beneath:
The milky-way comes near,
Heaven's axle seems to bend,
Above each turning sphere
That, rob'd in glory, Heaven's King may ascend.
"O Well-spring of this all!
Thy Father's image vive;
Word, that from nought did call
What is, doth reason, live!
The soul's eternal food,
Earth's joy, delight of Heaven,
All truth, love, beauty, good,
To thee, to thee, be praises ever given.
"What was dismarshall'd late
In this thy noble frame,
And lost the prime estate,
Hath re-obtain'd the same,
Is now most perfect seen;
Streams, which diverted were
(And, troubled, stray'd unclean)
From their first source, by thee home turned are.
"By thee, that blemish old
Of Eden's leprous prince,
Which on his race took hold,
And him exil'd from thence,
Now put away is far;
With sword, in ireful guise,
No cherub more shall bar
Poor man the entrance into Paradise.
"By thee, those spirits pure,
First children of the light,
Now fixed stand, and sure,
In their eternal right;
Now human companies
Renew their ruin'd wall;
Fall'n man, as thou mak'st rise,
Thou giv'st to angels, that they shall not fall.
"By thee, that prince of sin,
That doth with mischief swell,
Hath lost what he did win,
And shall endungeon'd dwell;
His spoils are made the prey,
His fanes are sack'd and torn,
His altars raz'd away,
And what ador'd was late, now lies a scorn.
"These mansions pure and clear,
Which are not made by hands,
Which once by him 'joy'd were,
And his, the in not stain'd, bands,
Now forfet'd, dispossest,
And headlong from them thrown,
Shall Adam's heirs make blest,
By thee, their great Redeemer, made their own.
"O! Well-spring of this all!
Thy Father's image vive;
Word, that from nought did call
What is, doth reason, live!
Whose work is but to will;
God's co-eternal son,
Great banisher of ill,
Not without blood addrest,
MORE oft than once Death whisper'd in mine ear,
"Grave what thou hear'st in diamond and gold;
I am that monarch whom all monarchs fear,
Who have in dust their far-stretch'd pride uproll'd.
All, all is mine beneath Moon's silver sphere;
And nought, save virtue, can my power withhold:
This, not believ'd, experience true thee told,
By danger late when I to thee came near.
As bugbear then my visage I did show,
That of my horrours thou right use might'st make,
And a more sacred path of living take:
Now still walk armed for my ruthless blow;
Trust flattering life no more, redeem time past,
And live each day, as if it were thy last."
THE SHADOW OF THE JUDGMENT.
ABOVE those boundless bounds, where stars do move,
The ceiling of the crystal round above,
And rainbow-sparkling arch of diamond clear,
Which crowns the azure of each undersphere,
In a rich mansion, radiant with light,
To which the Sun is scarce a taper bright,
Which, though a body, yet so pure is fram'd,
That almost spiritual it may be nam'd,
Where bliss aboundeth, and a lasting May,
All pleasures heightening, flourisheth for aye,
The King of Ages dwells. About his throne,
Like to those beams day's golden lamp hath on,
Angelic splendours glance, more swift than aught
Reveal'd to sense, nay, than the winged thought,
His will to practise: here do seraphim
Burn with immortal love; there cherubim,
With other noble people of the light,
As eaglets in the Sun, delight their sight;
Heaven's ancient denizens, pure active powers,
Which, freed of death, that cloister high embowers,
Ethereal princes, ever-conquering bands,
Blest subjects, acting what their king commands;
Sweet choristers, by whose melodious strains
With glory Heaven, the Earth to crown with grace. Skies dance, and Earth untir'd their brawl sustains.
"Stars, which all eyes were late,
And did with wonder burn,
His name to celebrate,
In flaming tongues them turn;
Their orby crystals move
More active than before,
And entheate from above,
Their sovereign prince laud, glorify, adore.
"The choirs of happy souls,
Wak'd with that music sweet,
Whose descant care controuls,
Their Lord in triumph meet;
The spotless sp'rits of light
His trophies do extol,
And, arch'd in squadrons bright,
Greet their great Victor in his capitol.
"O glory of the Heaven!
O sole delight of Earth!
To thee all power be given,
God's uncreated birth;
Of mankind lover true,
Endurer of his wrong,
Who dost the world renew,
Still be thou our salvation, and our song." From top of Olivet such notes did rise,
When man's Redeemer did transcend the skies.
Mixed among whose sacred legions dear,
The spotless souls of humanes do appear,
Divesting bodies which did cares divest,
And there live happy in eternal rest.
Hither, surcharg'd with grief, fraught with annoy,
(Sad spectacle into that place of joy !)
Her hair disorder'd, dangling o'er her face,
Which had of pallid violets the grace;
The crimson mantle, wont her to adorn,
Cast loose about, and in large pieces torn;
Sighs breathing forth, and from her heavy eyne,
Along her cheeks distilling crystal brine,
Which downward to her ivory breast was driven,
And had bedew'd the milky-way of Heaven,
Came Piety: at her left hand near by,
A wailing woman bare her company,
Whose tender babes her snowy neck did clip,
And now hang on her pap, now by her lip:
Flames glanc'd her head above, which once did glow,
But late look pale, a poor and ruthful show!
She, sobbing, shrunk the throne of God before,
And thus began her case to him deplore:
"Forlorn, wretch'd, desolate! to whom should I
My refuge have, below or in the sky,
But unto thee? See, all-beholding King,
That servant, no, that darling thou didst bring
On Earth, lost man to save from Hell's abime,
And raise unto those regions above time;
Who made thy name so truly be implor'd,
And by the reverend soul so long ador'd,
Her banish'd now see from these lower bounds;
Behold her garments' shreds, her body's wounds:
Look how her sister Charity there stands,
Proscrib'd on Earth, all maim'd by wicked hands:
Mischief there mounts to such an high degree,
That there now none is left that cares for me.
There dwells idolatry, there atheism reigns;
There man in dumb, yet roaring, sins him stains;
So foolish, that he puppets will adore
Of metal, stone, and birds, beasts, trees, before
He once will to thy holy service bow,
And yield thee homage. Ah, alas! yet now
To those black sp'rits which thou dost keep in chains
He vows obedience, and with shameful pains
Infernal borrours courts; case fond and strange!
To bane than bliss desiring more the change.
Thy Charity, of graces once the chief
Did long time find in hospitals relief;
Which now lie level'd with the lowest ground,
Where sad memorials scarce are of them found.
Then (vagabonding) temples her receiv'd,
Where my poor cells afforded what she crav'd;
But now thy temples raz'd are, human blood
Those places stains, late where thy altars stood:
Times are so horrid, to implore thy name
That it is held now on the Earth a blame.
Now doth the warrior, with his dart and sword,
Write laws in blood, and vent them for thy word:
Religion, faith pretending to make known,
All have, all faith, religion quite o'erthrown!
Men awless, lawless live; most woful case!
Men no more men, a God-contemning race."
Scarce had she said, when, from the nether world
(Like to a lightning through the welkin hurl'd,
That scores with flames the way, and every eye
With terrour dazzles as it swimmeth by)
Came Justice; to whom angels did make place,
And Truth her flying footsteps straight did trace.
Her sword was lost, the precious weights she bare
Their beam had torn, scales rudely bruised were:
From off her head was reft her golden crown;
In rags her veil was rent, and star-spangl'd gown;
Her tear-wet locks hang'd o'er her face, which made
Between her and the Mighty King a shade;
Just wrath had rais'd her colour, (like the morn
Portending clouds moist embryos to be born)
Of which, she taking leave, with heart swoll'n great,
Thus strove to 'plain before the throne of state.
"Is not the Earth thy workmanship, great King?
Didst thou not all this all from nought once bring
To this rich beauty, which doth on it shine;
Bestowing on each creature of thine
Some shadow of thy bounty? Is not man
Thy vassal, plac'd to spend his life's short span
To do thee homage? And then didst not thou
A queen install me there, to whom should bow
Thy Earth's indwellers, and to this effect
Put in my hand thy sword? O high neglect!
Now wretched earthlings, to thy great disgrace,
Perverted have my pow'r, and do deface
All reverent tracts of justice; now the Earth
Is but a frame of shame, a funeral hearth,
Where every virtue hath consumed been,
And nought (no, not their dust) rests to be seen:
Long hath it me abhorr'd, long chased me;
Expell'd at last, here I have fled to thee,
And forthwith rather would to Hell repair,
Than Earth, since justice execute is there.
All live on Earth by spoil, the host his guest
Betrays; the man of her lies in his breast
Is not assur'd; the son the father's death
Attempts; and kindred kindred reave of breath
By lurking means, of such age few makes sick,
Since Hell disgorg'd her baneful arsenic.
Whom murders, foul assassinates defile,
Most who the harmless innocents beguile,
Who most can ravage, rob, ransack, blaspheme,
Is held most virtuous, hath a worthy's name;
So on embolden'd malice they rely,
That, madding, thy great puissance they defy:
Erst man resembled thy portrait, soil'd by smoke
Now like thy creature hardly doth he look.
Old Nature here (she pointed where there stood
An aged lady in a heavy mood)
Doth break her staff, denying human race
To come of her, things born to her disgrace!
The dove the dove, the swan doth love the swan;
Nought so relentless unto man as man.
O! if thou mad'st this world, govern'st it all,
Deserved vengeance on the Earth let fall:
The period of her standing perfect is ;
Her hour-glass not a minute short doth miss.
The end, O Lord, is come; then let no more
Mischief still triumph, bad the good devour;
But of thy word since constant, true thou art,
Give good their guerdon, wicked due desert."
She said: throughout the shining palace went
A murmur soft, such as afar is sent
By musked zephyrs' sighs along the main;
Or when they curl some flow'ry lee and plain :
One was their thought, one their intention, will;
Nor could they err, Truth there residing still:
All, mov'd with zeal, as one with cries did pray,
"Hasten, O Lord! O hasten the last day!"
Look how a generous prince, when he doth hear
Some loving city, and to him most dear,
Which wont with gifts and shows him entertain
(And, as a father's, did obey his reign,)
A rout of slaves and rascal foes to wrack,
Her buildings overthrow, her riches sack,
Feels vengeful flames within his bosom burn,
And a just rage all respects overturn:
So seeing Earth, of angels once the inn,
Mansions of saints, deflower'd all by sin,
And quite confus'd, by wretches here beneath,
The world's great Sovereign moved was to wrath.
Thrice did he rouse himself, thrice from his face
Flames sparkle did throughout the heavenly place.
The stars, though fixed, in their rounds did quake;
The Earth, and earth-embracing sea, did shake:
Carmel and Hamus felt it; Athos' tops
Affrighted shrunk; and near the Ethiops,
Atlas, the Pyrenees, the Apennine,
And lofty Grampius, which with snow doth shine.
Then to the synod of the sp'rits he swore,
Man's care should end, and time should be no more,
By his own self he swore of perfect worth,
Straight to perform his word sent angels forth.
There lies an island, where the radiant Sun, When he doth to the northern tropics run, Of six long moneths makes one tedious day; And when through southern signs he holds his way, Six moneths turneth in one loathsome night, (Night neither here is fair, nor day hot-bright, But half white, and half more) where, sadly clear, Still coldly glance the beams of either BearThe frosty Groen-land. On the lonely shore The ocean in mountains hoarse doth roar,
And over-tumbling, tumbling over rocks,
Cast various rainbows, which in froth he chokes:
Gulphs all about are shrunk most strangely steep,
Than Nilus' cataracts more vast and deep.
To the wild land beneath to make a shade,
A mountain lifteth up his crested head:
His locks are icicles, his brows are snow;
Yet from his burning bowels deep below,
Comets, far-flaming pyramids, are driven,
And pitchy meteors, to the cope of Heaven.
No summer here the lovely grass forth brings,
Nor trees, no, not the deadly cypress springs.
Cave-loving Echo, daughter of the air,
By human voice was never waken'd here:
Instead of night's black bird, and plaintful owl,
Infernal furies here do yell and howl.
A mouth yawns in this height so black, obscure
With vapours, that no eye it can endure:
Great Etna's caverns never yet did make
Such sable damps, though they be hideous black;
Stern horrours here eternally do dwell,
And this gulf destine for a gate to Hell:
Forth from this place of dread, Earth to appal,
Three furies rushed at the angel's call.
One with long tresses doth her visage mask,
Her temples clouding in a horrid cask;
Her right hand swings a brandon in the air,
Which flames and terrour hurleth every where;
Poud'rous with darts, her left doth bear a shield,
Where Gorgon's head looks grim in sable field:
Her eyes blaze fire and blood, each hair 'stills blood,
Blood thrills from either pap, and where she stood
Blood's liquid coral sprang her feet beneath;
Where she doth stretch her arm is blood and death.
Her Stygian head no sooner she uprears,
When Earth of swords,helms, lances,straight appears
To be deliver'd; and from out her womb,
In flame-wing'd thunders, artillery doth come;
Floods' silver streams do take a blushing dye;
The plains with breathless bodies buried lie;
Rage, wrong, rape, sacrilege, do her attend,
Fear, discord, wrack, and woes which have no end:
Town is by town, and prince by prince withstood;
Earth turns an hideous shamble, a lake of blood.
The next, with eyes sunk hollow in her brains,
Lean face, snarl'd hair, with black and empty veins,
Her dry'd-up bones scarce cover'd with her skin,
Bewraying that strange structure built within;
Thigh-bellyless, most ghastly to the sight,
A wasted skeleton resembleth right.
Where she doth roam in air faint do the birds,
Yawn do earth's ruthless brood and harmless herds,
The wood's wild forragers do howl and roar,
The humid swimmers die along the shore:
In towns, the living do the dead up eat,
Then die themselves, alas! and, wanting meat,
Mothers not spare the birth of their own wombs,
But turn those nests of life to fatal tombs.
Last did a saffron-colour'd hag come out, With uncomb'd hair, brows banded all about With dusky clouds, in ragged mantle clad, Her breath with stinking fumes the air bespread ; In either hand she held a whip, whose wires Still'd poison, blaz'd with Phlegethontal fires. Relentless, she each state, sex, age, defiles, Earth streams with gores, burns with envenom'd boils; Where she repairs, towns do in deserts turp, The living have no pause the dead to mourn; The friend, ah! dares not lock the dying eyes Of his belov'd; the wife the husband flies;
Men basilisks to men prove, and by breath,
Than lead or steel, bring worse and swifter death:
No cypress, obsequies, no tomb they have;
The sad Heaven mostly serves them for a grave.
These over Earth tumultuously do run,
South, north, from rising to the setting Sun;
They sometime part, yet, than the winds more fleet,
Forthwith together in one place they meet.
Great Quinzay, ye it know, Susania's pride,
And you where stately Tiber's streains do glide;
Memphis, Parthenope, ye too it know,
And where Euripus' seven-fold tide doth flow:
Ye know it, empresses, on Thames, Rhone, Seine;
And ye, fair queens, by Tagus, Danube, Rhine;
Though they do scour the Earth, roam far and large,
Not thus content, the angels leave their charge:
We of her wreck these slender signs may name,
By greater they the judgment do proclaim.
This centre's centre with a mighty blow
One bruiseth, whose crack'd concaves louder low,
And rumble, than if all th' artillery
On Earth discharg'd at once were in the sky;
Her surface shakes, her mountains in the main
Turn topsy-turvy, of heights making plain:
Towns them ingulf; and late where towers did stand
Now nought remaineth but a waste of sand:
With turning eddies seas sink under ground,
And in their floating depth are valleys found;
Late where with foamy crests waves tilted waves,
Now fishy bottoms shine, and mossy caves.
The mariner casts an amazed eye
On his wing'd firs, which bedded he finds lie,
Yet can he see no shore; but whilst he thinks,
What hideous crevice that huge current drinks,
The streams rush back again with storming tide,
And now his ships on crystal mountains glide,
Till they be hurl'd far beyond seas and hope,
And settle on some hill or palace top;
Or, by triumphant surges over-driven,
Show Earth their entrails, and their keels the Heaven,
Sky's cloudy tables some do paint, with fights Of armed squadrons, justling steeds and knights, With shining crosses, judge, and sapphire throne, Arraigned criminals to howl and groan, [shine
And plaints sent forth are heard: new worlds seen
With other suns and moons, false stars decline,
And dive in seas; red comets warm the air,
And blaze, as other worlds were judged there.
Others the heavenly bodies do displace,
Make Sun his sister's stranger steps to trace;
Beyond the course of spheres he drives his coach,
And near the cold Arcturus doth approach;
The Scythian amaz'd is at such beams,
The Mauritanian to see icy streams;
The shadow, which erewhile turn'd to the west,
Now wheels about, then reeleth to the east:
New stars above the eighth Heaven sparkle clear,
Mars chops with Saturn, Jove claims Mars's sphere;
Shrunk nearer Earth, all blacken'd now and brown,
In mask of weeping clouds appears the Moon.
There are no seasons, autumn, summer, spring,
All are stern winter, and no birth forth bring:
Red turns the sky's blue curtain o'er this globe,
As to propine the judge with purple robe.
At first, entranc'd, with sad and curious eyes,
Earth's pilgrims stare on those strange prodigies:
The star-gazer this round finds truly move
In parts and whole, yet by no skill can prove
The firmament's stay'd firmness. They which dream
An everlastingness in world's vast frame,