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for sure the milder planets did combine
that all the people of the sky
and then, if ever, mortal ears had heard the music of the spheres. And if no clustering swarm of bees on thy sweet mouth distill'd their golden dew,
't was that such vulgar miracles
heaven had not leisure to renew: for all thy blest fraternity of love
(above. solemniz'd there thy birth, and kept thy holy-day
O gracious God! how far have we prophan'd thy heavenly gift of poesy? made prostitute and profligate the Muse, debas'd to each obscene and impious use, whose harmony was first ordain'd above for tongues of angels, and for hymns of love? O wretched we! why were we hurry'd down
this lubrique and adulterate age, (nay added fat pollutions of our own) t' increase the streaming ordures of the stage? what can we say t excuse our second fall? let this thy vestal, heaven, atone for all; her Arethusian stream remains unsoild, unmix'd with foreign filth, and undefil'd ; her wit was more than man, her innocence a child.
Art she had none, yet wanted none;
such noble vigour did her verse adorn, . that it seem'd borrow'd, where 't was only born. Her morals too were in her bosom bred, by great examples daily fed, what in the best of books, her father's life she read. And to be read herself she need not fear; each test, and every light, her Muse will bear, tho’ Epictetus with bis lamp were there. Ev'n love (for love sometimes her Muse ex prest) was but a lambent flame which play'd about her light as the vapours of a morning dream, (breast: so cold herself, while she such warmth exprest, 't was Cupid bathing in Diana's stream. Born to the spacious empire of the Nine, one would have thought, she would have been conto manage well that mighty government; [tent but what can young ambitious souls confine?
To the next realm she stretch'd her sway,
for Painture near adjoining lay, a plenteous province, and alluring prey.
A Chamber of Dependencies was fram'd, (as conquerors will never want pretence,
when arm’d, to justify th' offence) and the whole fief, in right of Poetry, she claim'd. The country open lay without defence: for poets frequent inroads there had made,
and perfectly could represent
the shape, the face, with every lineament; and all the large domains which the Dumb Sister
All bow'd beneath her government, [sway'd.
received in triumph wheresoe'er she went. Her pencil drew, whate'er her soul design'd, and oft the happy draught surpass'd the image in her
The sylvan scenes of herds and flocks, (mind,
and fruitful plains and barren rocks, of shallow brooks that flow'd so clear, the bottom did the top appear; of deeper too and ampler floods, which, as in mirrors, shew'd the woods; of lofty trees, with sacred shades. And perspectives of pleasant glades, where nymphs of brightest form appear, and shaggy Satyrs standing near, which them at once admire and fear. The ruins too of some majestic piece, boasting the power of ancient Rome or Greece, whose statutes, freezes, columns, broken lie, and tho' defac'd, the wonder of the eye; what nature, art, bold fiction, e'er durst frame, her forming hand gave feature to the name.
So strange a concourse ne'er was seen before, but when the peopled ark the whole creation bore.
The scene then chang’d, with bold erected look our martial king the sight with reverence strook: for, not content t express his outward part, her hand call'd out the image of his heart: his warlike mind, his soul devoid of fear, his high-designing thoughts were figur'd there, as when, by magic, ghosts are made appear. Our phænix queen was pourtray'd too so bright, beauty alone could beauty take so right: her dress, her shape, her matchless grace, were all observ'd, as well as heavenly face, With such a peerless majesty she stands, as in that day she took the crown from sacred hands; before a train of heroines were seen, in beauty foremost, as in rank, the queen,
Thus nothing to her genius was deny'd but like a ball of fire the further thrown, still with a greater blaze she shone, and her bright soul broke out on every side. What next she had design’d, heaven only knows: to such immoderate growth her conquest rose, that Fate alone it's progress could oppose.
Now all those charms, that blooming grace, the well-proportion'd shape, and beauteous face, shall never more be seen by mortal eyes : in earth the much-lamented virgin lies.
Not wit, nor piety, could fate prevent;
to sweep at once her life and beauty too; but, like a harden'd felon, took a pride
to work more mischievously slow,
and plunder's first, and then destroy'd. O double sacrilege on things divine, to rob the relic, and deface the shrine !
but thus Orinda dy'd; heaven, by the same disease, did both translate; as equal were their souls, so equal was their fate.
Meantime her warlike brother on the seas
his waving streamers to the winds displays, and vows for his return, with vain devotion, pays.
Ah, generous youth, that wish forbear,
the winds too soon will waft thee here! slack all thy sails, and fear to come, alas, thou know'st not, thou art wreck'd at home! no more shalt thou behold thy sister's face, thou hast already had her last embrace. But look aloft, and if thou ken’st from far among the Pleiads a new-kindled star,
if any sparkles than the rest more bright; . 't is she that shines in that propitious light. When in mid-air the golden trump shall sound,
to raise the nations under ground;
when in the valley of Jehoshaphat,
and there the last assizes keep,
from the four corners of the sky; when sinews o'er the skeletons are spread, those cloth'd with Hesh, and life inspires the dead; the sacred poets first shall hear the sound,
and foremost from the tomb shall bound, for they are cover'd with the lightest ground; and straight, with in-born vigour, on the wing, like mounting larks, to the new morning sing. There thou, sweet Saint, before the quire shall go, and harbinger of heaven, the way to show, the way which thou so well hast learnt below.
ON THE DEATH OF A VERY YOUNG GENTLEMAN. He who could view the book of destiny, and read whatever there was writ of thee, O charming youth! in the first opening page, so many graces in so green an age, such wit, such modesty, such strength of mind, a soul at once so manly, and so kind, would wonder, when he turn'd the volume o'er, and after some new leaves should find no more, nought but a blank remain, a dead void space, a step of life that promis'd such a race. We must not, dare not think, that heaven began a child, and could not finish bim a man;