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Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne
To Him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee,
Where the bright seraphim, in burning row,
Their loud up-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
That we on earth, with undiscording voice,
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportion’d 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 Heaven, till God, ere long
To his celestial concert us unite,
To live with him and sing in endless morn of light.
MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER."
This rich marble doth inter
The honour'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
Jane, daughter of Thomas, Viscount Savage, and wife a John, Marquis of Winchester:
The god that sits at marriage feast;
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,
Spoild 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,
Saved 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 flower,
New shot up from vernal shower ;
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 hastening funeral.
Gentle lady, may thy grave
Peace and quiet ever have;
After this, thy travail sore
Sweet rest seize thee evermore,
That, to give the world increase,
Shorten'd 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 hearse, to strew the ways,
Sent thee from the banks of Came,
Devoted to thy virtuous name;
Whilst thou, bright saint, high sit’st 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 served 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.
Now the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap, throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail bounteous May, that dost 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 early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
At a VACATION Exercise in the COLLEGE, part
Latin, part English. The Latin speeches ended, the English thus began.
Written in 1627.
Hail native language, that, by sinews weak, Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak, And madest imperfect words, with childish trips, Half unpronounced, 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 pack'd the worst : And, if it happen, as I did forecast, The daintiest dishes shall be serv'd
last; I pray thee then deny me not thy aid, For this same small 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 call 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 deck'd 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 Heaven's door
Look in, and see each blissful deity,
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings,
To the 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-eyed Neptune raves,
In Heaven's 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 wandering Muse, how thou dost stray!
Expectance calls thee now another
Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent
To keep in compass of thy predicament :
Then quick about thy purposed business come,
That, to the next, I may resign my room.
Then Ens is represented as father of the Predica
ments, his two sons, whereof the eldest stood for Substance, with his canons, which Ens, thus speak
ing, explains. Good luck befriend thee, son; for at thy birth, The faery ladies danced upon the hearth; 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 : 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,