« AnteriorContinuar »
Or wert thou that just maid, who once before
Forsook the hated earth, 0, tell me sooth,
And camest again to visit us once more?
Or wert thou that sweet-smiling youth ?
Or that crown'd matron sage, white-robed Truth ?
Or any other of that heavenly brood
Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good ?
Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who, having clad thyself in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,
And after short abode fly back with speed
As if to show what creatures heaven doth breed;
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire,
To scorn the sordid world, and unto heaven aspire ?
But, oh! why didst thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy heaven-loved innocence,
To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence,
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.
Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,
Her false-imagin'd loss cease to lament,
And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild ;
Think what a present thou to God hast sent,
And render him with patience what he lent :
This if thou do, he will an offspring give,
That till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.
BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of heaven's joy,
Sphere born, harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd 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-colour'd throne
To Him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee;
Where the bright seraphim, in burning row,
There loud up-lifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the cherubic host, in thousand choirs,
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'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.
0, 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 WINCHESTER
This rich marble doth inter
The honour'd wife of Winchester,
A viscount's daughter, an earl's heir,
Besides what other virtues fair
Added to her noble birth,
More than she could own from earth.
Summers three times eight save one
She has 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-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,
Saved with care from Winter's nip,
The pride of her carnation train,
Pluck'd up by some unheedy swain,
Who only thought to pluck 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,
Shortened has 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 thon, 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 served for ber before, And at her next birth, much like thce, 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 throwe
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 :
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 hence 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 served up 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 these new-fangled toys, and trimming slight
Which takes our late fantastics with delight;
But cull those richest robes, and gayest attire,
Which deepest spirits and choicest wits desire ;
I have some naked thoughts which 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 choose,
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