Page images

Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd power employ,
Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce,
And to our high rais'd phantasy present
That undisturbed song of pure consent,
Ay sung before the sapphire-color'd throne

To him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee;
Where the bright Seraphim, in burning row, '
Their loud ap-lifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the cherubic host, in thousand quires,
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires, - |
With those just spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
Singing everlastingly;
That we on earth with undiscording voice
May rightly answer that melodious noise ;
As once we did, till disproportion's Sin
Jarr'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair music that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood,
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O, may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with Heav'n, till God ere long
To his celestial concert us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light.

VIII. An Empitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester

This rich marble doth inter
The honor'd wife of Winchester,

A Viscount's daughter, an Earl's heir, Besides what her virtues fair Added to her noble birth, More than she could own from earth. Summers three-times-eight, save one, She had told; alas too soon, After so short time of breath, To house with darkness, and with death, Yet had the number of her days Been as complete as was her praise, Nature and Fate had had no strife In giving limit to her life. Her high birth, and her graces sweet . Quickly found a lover meet; The virgin quire for her request The god that sits at marriage feasts He at their invoking came But with a scarce well-lighted flame ; And in his garland as he stood Ye might discern a cypress bud. Once had the early matrons run To greet her of a lovely son, And now with second hope she goes, And calls Lucina to her throes; But whether by mischance or blame Atropos for Lucina came; And with remorseless cruelty Spoil'd at once both fruit and tree: The hapless babe before his birth Had burial, yet not laid in earth,

And the languish'd mother's womb Was not long a living tomb. So have I seen some tender slip, Sav'd with care from Winter's nip, The pride of her carnation train, Pluck'd up by some unheedy swain, Who only thought to crop the flow's New shot up from vernal show'r; But the fair blossom hangs the head Side-ways as on a dying bed, And those pearls of dew she wears, Prove to be presaging tears, Which the sad Morn had let fall On her hast’ning funeral. Gentle Lady, may thy grave Peace and quiet. ever have ; After this thy travel sore Sweet rest seize thee evermore, That to give the world increase, Shortned hast thy own life's lease. Here, besides the sorrowing That thy noble house doth bring, Here be tears of perfect moan. Wept for thee in Helicon, And some flowers, and some bays, For thy herse, to strow the ways, Sent thee from the banks of Came, Devoted to thy virtuous name; Whilst thou, bright saint, high sitst in glory, Next her much like to thee in story,

That fair Syrian shepherdess,:
Who after years of barrenness,
The highly favour'd Joseph bore
To him that serv'd for her before,
And at her next birth much like thee,
Through pangs fled to felicity,
Far within the bosom bright
Of blazing Majesty and Light :
There with thee, new welcome saint,
Like fortunes may her soul acquaint,
With thee there clad in radiant sheen,
No Marchioness, but now a Queen.

IX. Song. On May morning.

Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flow'ry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth and youth and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,

Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our carly song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

X. On Shakspeare, 1630.

What needs my Shakspeare for his honor'd boncs The labor of an age in piled stones,

Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a star ypointing pyramid ?
Dear son of Memory, great heir of Fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Has built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst to th' shame of slow-endeavoring Art
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,
Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
And so sepulcher'd in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

XI. On the University Carrier; who sickened in the

time of his vacancy, being forbid to go to London, .by reason of the plague. · Here lies old Hobson; Death hath broke his girt, And here, alas, hath laid him in the dirt, Or else the ways being foul, twenty to one, He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown. 'Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known, Death was half glad when he had got him down; For he had any time this ten years full Dodg'd with him, betwixt Cambridge and the Bull. And surely Death could never have prevail'd, Had not his weekly course of carriage fail'd; But lately finding him so long at home, And thinking now his journey's, end was come,

« PreviousContinue »