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Clad in splendour as befits
By sandy Ladon's lilied banks ;
Trip no more in twilight ranks ;
A better soil shall give ye thanks.
Such a rural Queen
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC. BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy, Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse, Wed your divine sounds, and mixed power employ, Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce ; And to our high-raised phantasy present That undisturbed song of pure concent, Aye sung before the sapphire-coloured throne To Him that sits thereon, With saintly shout and solemn jubilee; Where the bright Seraphim in burning row Their loud uplifted 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,
ON TIME. Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race: Call on the lazy leaden-stepping Hours, Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; And glut thyself with what thy womb devours, Which is no more than what is false and vain, And merely mortal dross; So little is our loss, So little is thy gain ! For, when as each thing bad thou hast entombed, And, last of all, thy greedy self consumed,
10 Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss With an individual kiss, And Joy shall overtake us as a flood; When every thing that is sincerely good, And perfectly divine, With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine About the supreme throne Of Him, to whose happy-making sight alone When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb,
Then, all this earthly grossness quit,
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
His infancy to seize !
O more exceeding love, or law more just ?
Will pierce more near his heart.
“A MASQUE PRESENTED AT LUDLOW CASTLE, 1634, &c.” (For the title-pages of the Editions of 1637 and 1645 see Introduction at
P. 44 and pp. 45, 46.)
DEDICATION OF THE ANONYMOUS EDITION OF 1637.
(Reprinted in the Edition of 1645, but omitted in that of 1673.)
“ To the Right Honourable Fohn, Lord Brackley, son and
heir-apparent to the Earl of Bridgewater, &c.".
“ This Poem, which received its first occasion of birth from yourself and others of your noble family, and much honour from your own person in the performance, now returns again to make a final dedication of itself to you. Although not openly acknowledged by the Author, yet it is a legitimate offspring, so lovely and so much desired that the often copying of it hath tired my pen to give my several friends satisfaction, and brought me to a necessity of producing it to the public view, and now to offer it up, in all rightful devotion, to those fair hopes and rare endowments of your much-promising youth, which give a full assurance to all that know you of a future excellence. Live, sweet Lord, to be the honour of your name ; and receive this as your own from the hands of him who hath by many favours been long obliged to your most honoured Parents, and, as in this representation your attendant Thyrsis, so now in all real expression “ Your faithful and most humble Servant,
« H. LAWES.”
“ The Copy of a Letter written by Sir Henry Wotton to the
Author upon the following Poem."
“From the College, this 13 of April, 1638. “Sir,
“It was a special favour when you lately bestowed upon me here the first taste of your acquaintance, though no longer than to make me know that I wanted more time to value it and to enjoy it rightly; and, in truth, if I could then have imagined your farther stay in these parts, which I understood afterwards by Mr. H., I would have been bold, in our vulgar phrase, to mend my draught (for you left me with an extreme thirst), and to have begged your conversation again, jointly with your said learned friend, over a poor meal or two, that we might have banded together some good Authors of the ancient time ; among which I observed you to have been familiar.
“Since your going, you have charged me with new obligations, both for a very kind letter from you dated the 6th of this month, and for a dainty piece of entertainment which came therewith. Wherein I should much commend the tragical part, if the lyrical did not ravish me with a certain Doric delicacy in your Songs and Odes, whereunto I must plainly confess to have seen yet nothing parallel in our language : Ipsa mollities. But I must not omit to tell you that I now only owe you thanks for intimating unto me (how modestly soever) the true artificer. For the work itself I had viewed some good while before with singular delight ; having received it from our common friend Mr. R., in the very close of the late R.'s Poems, printed at Oxford : whereunto it was added (as I now suppose) that the accessory might help out the principal, according to the art of Stationers, and to leave the reader con la bocca dolce.
“Now, Sir, concerning your travels; wherein I may challenge a little more privilege of discourse with you. I suppose you will not blanch Paris in your way : therefore I have been bold to trouble you with a few lines to Mr. M. B., whom you shall easily find attending the young Lord S. as his governor ; and you may surely receive from him good directions for the shaping of your farther journey into Italy,