« AnteriorContinuar »
Now mourn; and, if sad share with us to bear
Your fiery essence can distil no tear,
Burn in your sighs, and borrow
Seas wept from our deep sorrow.
He, who with all Heaven's heraldry whilere
Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease;
Alas, how soon our sin
Sore doth begin
His infancy to seize !
O more exceeding love, or law more just !
Just law indeed, but more exceeding love !
For we, by rightful doom remediless,
Were lost in death, till he, that dwelt above
High thron'd in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied his glory, ev'n to nakedness;
And that great covenant which we still transgress
Entirely satisfied ;
And the full wrath beside
Of vengeful justice bore for our excess;
And seals obedience first, with wounding smart,
This day; but O, ere long,
Huge pangs and strong
Will pierce more near his heart.
Bless'd pair of Syrens, pledges of Heaven's joy,
Sphere-born, harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
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
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-liften angel-trumpets blow,
And the cherubic host, in thousand choir,
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear yictorious 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'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 !
AN EPITAPH ON THE MARCHIONESS OF
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,
so house with darkness, and with death.
Yet had the number of her days
* This Lady was Jane, daughter of Thomas Lord Visc. Savage of Rock-Savage, Cheshire, who by marriage became the heir of Lord Darcy, Earl of Rivers; and was the wife of John Marquis of Winchester, and the mother of Charles first duke of Bolton, She died in childbed of a second son in the 230 year of her age; and Milton made these verses at Cambridge, as appears by the requel.
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 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 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 hast'ning 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 haste 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 froin 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 favour'd Joseph bore
To him that serv'd for her before,
And at her 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, thou 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.
What needs my Shakspeare, 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's thọų such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast 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,
Thase Delphic lines with deep inpression 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 lain 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,
* We have the following account of this extraordinary man in the Spectator, No. 509. "Mr. Tobias Hobson was a carrier, and the first man in this island who let out hackney-horses. He lived in Cambridge; and observing that the scholars rid hard, bis man. net was, to keep a large stable of horses, with boots, bridles, and