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All living creatures he doth feed,
And with full hand supplies their need.
For his, &c.
Let us therefore warble forth
His mighty majesty and worth;
For his, &c.
That his mansion hath on high
Above the reach of mortal eye.
For his mercies aye endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.
ANNO ÆTATIS XVII. (1626.)
ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT
DYING OF A COUGH,
O FAIREST flow'r no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst outlasted
Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For he being amorous on that lovely dye
That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss
But kill'd alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.
For since grim Aquilo his charioteer
By boistrous rape th' Athenian damsel got,
He thought it toucht his deity full near,
If likewise he some fair one wedded not;
Thereby to wipe away th' infamous blot
Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld, Which ’mongst the wanton gods a foul reproach was held. So mounting up in icy-pearled car, Through middle empire of the freezing air He wander'd long, till thee he spi'd from far, There ended was his quest, there ceast his care. Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,
But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair biding place.
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
For so Apollo; with unweeting hand
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,
Young Hyacinth born on Eurotas' strand,
25 Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land;
But then transform’d him to a purple flower:
Alack that so to change thee Winter had no power.
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb,
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,
Hid from the world in a low-delved tomb;
Could Heav'n for pity thee so strictly doom?
Oh no! for something in thy face did shine
Above mortality, that shew'd thou wast divine. 35
Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely blest,
(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear)
Tell me, bright Spirit, where'er thou hoverest,
Whether above that high first-moving sphere,
Or in the Elysian fields (if such there were),
o say me true if thou wert mortal wight, And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight. Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof Of shak’t Olympus by mischance didst fall; Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof
45 Took up, and in fit place did reinstall ? Or did of late Earth's sons besiege the wall
Of sheeny Heav'n, and thou some goddess fled Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head? Or wert thou that just maid who once before
50 Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth, And cam'st again to visit us once more ? Or wert thou (Mercy] that sweet-smiling youth? Or that crown'd matron, sage white-robed Truth? Or any other of that heav'nly brood
55 Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good ?
Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who having clad thyself in human weed;
To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,
And after short abode fly back with speed;
60 As if to show what creatures Heav'n doth breed ;
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heav'n aspire ?
But oh why didst thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy Heav'n-lov'd innocence,
To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence,
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart ?
But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.
Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,
71 Her false imagin'd loss cease to lament, And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild ; Think what a present thou to God hast sent, And render him with patience what he lent;
75 This if thou do he will an offspring give, That till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.
At a VACATION EXERCISE in the COLLEGE, part Latin, part English.
The Latin Speeches ended, the English thus began :
Hail native language, that by sinews weak
Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak ;
And mad'st imperfect words with childish trips,
Half unpronounc't, slide through my infant lips;
Driving dumb Silence from the portal door,
Where he had mutely sat two years before:
Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask,
That now I use thee in my latter task:
Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee,
I know my tongue but little grace can do thee:
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me I have thither packt the worst :
And if it happen as I did forecast,
The daintest dishes shall be serv'd up last.
pray thee then deny me not thy aid
For this same smail neglect that I have made :
But haste thee straight to do me once a pleasure,
And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest treasure ;
Not those new-fangled toys, and trimming slight
Which takes our late fantastics with delight;
But cull those richest robes, and gay'st attire,
Which deepest spirits and choicest wits desire:
I have some naked thoughts that rove about,
And loudly knock to have their passage out ;
And weary of their place do only stay
Till thou hast deckt them in thy best array;
That so they may without suspect or fears
Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears;
Yet I had rather, if I were to chuse,
Thy service in some graver subject use;
Such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound:
Such where the deep transported mind may soar
Above the wheeling poles; and at Heav'ns door
Look in, and see each blissful deity
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings
To th' touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly sire;
Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
And misty regions of wide air next under,
And hills of snow and lofts of piled thunder,
May tell at length how green-ey'd Neptune raves,
In Heav'ns defiance mustering all his waves;
Then sing of secret things that came to pass
When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
And last, of kings and queens and heroes old ;
Such as the wise Demodocus once told
In solemn songs at king Alcinous' feast,
While sad Ulysses' soul, and all the rest
Are held with his melodious harmony
In willing chains and sweet captivity.
But fie my wandring Muse, how thou dost stray!
Expectance calls thee now another way,
Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent
55 To keep in compass of thy predicament: Then quick about thy purpos’d business come, That to the next I may resign my room. Then Ens is represented as father of the Predicaments his ten.
sons, whereof the eldest stood for Substance with his canons,
which Ens thus speaking, explains. Good luck befriend thee, son; for at thy birth The faery ladies danc't upon the hearth;
60 Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spy Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie, And sweetly singing round about thy bed, Strew all their blessings on thy sleeping head. She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst still From eyes of mortals walk invisible.
66 Yet there is something that doth force my fear; For once it was my dismal hap to hear A Sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age, That far events full wisely could presage,
70 And in time's long and dark prospective glass Foresaw what future days should bring to pass ;
* Your son,' said she, ‘(nor can you it prevent) Shall subject be to many an accident. O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king, Yet every one shall make him underling, And those that cannot live from him asunder Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under; In worth and excellence he shall out-go them, Yet, being above them, he shall be below them; 80