Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 choir, for her, request 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 decern a cyprus-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 Sideways, 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 sitt'st in glory,
Next her, much like to thee in story,
That fair Syrian shepherdess,
Who after years of barrenness,
The highly favoured 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.

SONG ON MAY MORNING.
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.

AN EPITAPH ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATIC POET,

W. SHAKESPEARE. What needs my Shakespeare, for his honour'd bones, The labour of an age in piled stones? Or that his hallow'd relics 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, Hast built thyself a livelong monument. For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring 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 sepulchred in such pomp dost lie, That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

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,
Dodged 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,
And that he had ta'en up his latest inn,
In the kind office of a chamberlain
Show'd him his room where he must lodge that night,
Pull'd off his boots, and took away the light :
If any ask for him, it shall be said,
Hobson has supp'd, and's newly gone to bed.

ANOTHER ON THE SAME.
Here lieth one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die while he could move;
So hung his destiny, never to rot
While he might still jog on and keep his trot,
Made of sphere-metal, never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time:
And, like an engine moved with wheel and weight,
His principles being ceased, he ended straight.
Rest, that gives all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm,
Too long vacation hasten'd on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken'd;
Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed outstretch'd,
If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd,
But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers,
For one carrier put down to make six bearers.
Ease was his chief disease, and, to judge right,
He died for heaviness, that his cart went light :
His leisure told him that his time was come,
And lack of load made his life burdensome,
That even to his last breath (there be that say't)
As he were press'd to death, he cried, More weight;

But, had his doings lasted as they were,
He had been an immortal carrier.
Obedient to the moon he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his fate
Link'd to the mutual flowing of the seas,
Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase:
His letters are deliver'd all, and gone,
Only remains this superscription.

EPIGRAM ON SALMASIUS'S HUNDREDA.
Who taught Salmasius, that French chattering pye
To aim at English, and Hundreda cry?
The starving rascal, flush'd with just a hundred
English Jacobusses, Hundreda blunder'd :
An outlaw'd king's last stock. A hundred more
Would make him pimp for the antichristian whore;
And in Rome's praise employ his poison’d breath,
Who threaten’d once to stink the pope to death.

ON THE NEW FORCERS OF CONSCIENCE UNDER THE

LONG PARLIAMENT.
BECAUSE you have thrown off your prelate lord,

And with stiff vows renounced his liturgy,
To seize the widow'd whore Plurality,

From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorr’d,
Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword

To force our consciences that Christ set free,
And ride us with a classic hierarchy,
Taught ye by mere A. S. and Rotherford ?
Men whose life, learning, faith, and pure intent,

Would have been held in high esteem with Paul
Must now be named and printed heretics,

By shallow Edwards, and Scotch what d'ye call;
But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
Your plots and packing, worse than those of Trent,

That so the Parliament
May, with their wholesome and preventive shears,
Clip your phylacteries, though baulk your ears,

And succour our just fears
When they shall read this clearly in your charge,
New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ large.

[graphic][merged small]

I TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
O NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy spray

Warblest at eve when all the woods are still ;
Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill,

While the jolly hours lead on propitious May.
Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day,

First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill,
Portend success in love ; oh, if Jove's will

Have linked that amorous power to thy soft lay,
Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate

Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh;

As thou from year to year has sung too late
For my relief, yet hadst no reason why :

Whether the Muse, or Love, call thee his mate,
Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

II.

ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE AGE OF TWENTY

THREE.
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year !
My hasting days fly on with full career,

But my late spring no bud or blossom showeth.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arrived so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,

That some more timely-happy spirits endueth.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

It shall be still in strictest measure even

To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven;

All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-master's eye.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »