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Sunk by degrees from glories past,
And in the school-men's hands it perish'd quite at

Then nought but words it grew,
And those all barbarous too:


It perish'd, and it vanish'd there; [ty air! The life and soul, breath'd out, became but empThe fields, which answer'd well the ancients' plough,

Spent and out-worn, return no harvest now;
In barren age wild and unglorious lie,
And boast of past fertility,
The poor relief of present poverty.
Food and fruit we now must want,
Unless new lands we plant.

We break-up tombs with sacrilegious hands;
Old rubbish we remove ;

To walk in ruins, like vain ghosts, we love,

And with fond divining wands

We search among the dead
For treasures buried;

Whilst still the liberal Earth does hold So many virgin-mines of undiscover'd gold.

The Baltic, Euxine, and the Caspian,
And slender-limb'd Mediterranean,
Seem narrow creeks to thee, and only fit
For the poor wretched fisher-boats of wit:
Thy nobler vessel the vast ocean tries,

And nothing sees but seas and skies,
Till unknown regions it descries.

Thou great Columbus of the golden lands of new


Thy task was harder much than his;
For thy learn'd America is
Not only found-out first by thee,
And rudely left to future industry;
But thy eloquence and thy wit,
Has planted, peopled, built, and civiliz'd it.

I little thought before,

(Nor, being my own self so poor, Could comprehend so vast a store)

That all the wardrobe of rich Eloquence
Could have afforded half enough,
Of bright, of new, and lasting stuff,

To cloathe the mighty limbs of thy gigantic Sense.
Thy solid reason, like the shield from Heaven
To the Trojan hero given,

Too strong to take a mark from any mortal dart,
Yet shines with gold and gems in every part,
And wonders on it grav'd by the learn'd hand of
A shield that gives delight
Ev'n to the enemies' sight,

Then, when they 're sure to lose the combat by't.

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"Whate'er these seem, whate'er philosophy
And sense or reason tell," said I,
"These things have life, election, liberty;

'Tis their own wisdom moulds their state,
Their faults and virtues make their fate.
They do, they do," said I; but straight,
Lo from my enlighten'd eyes the mists and
shadows tell,
That hinder spirits from being visible;
And, lo! I saw two angels play'd the Mate
With man, alas! no otherwise it proves;

An unseen hand makes all their moves;

And some are great, and some are small, Some climb to good, some from good-fortune falls

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Me from the womb the midwife Muse did take: She cut my navel, wash'd me, and mine head With her own hands she fashioned; She did a covenant with me make, [spake: And circumcis'd my tender soul, and thus she "Thou of my church shalt be; Hate and renounce," said she, [me. "Wealth, honour, pleasures, all the world, for Thou neither great at court, nor in the war, Nor at th' exchange, shalt be, nor at the wrang

ling bar:

Content thyself with the small barren praise,
That neglected verse docs raise."
She spake, and all my years to come

Took their unlucky doom.

Their several ways of life let others chuse,
Their several pleasures let them use,
But I was born for love, and for a Muse.

With Fate what boots it to contend?
Such I began, such am, and so must end.
The star that did my being frame,
Was but a lambent flame,

And some small light it did dispense,
But neither heat nor influence.

No matter, Cowley! let proud Fortune see,
That thou canst her despise no less than she does

Let all her gifts the portion be
Of Folly, Lust, and Flattery,
Fraud, Extortion, Calumny,
Murder, Infidelity,

Rebellion and Hypocrisy ;

Do thou not grieve, nor blush to be,

As all th' inspired tuneful



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In standing pools we seek the sky, That stars, so high above,should seem to us below. Can we stand by and see

Our mother robb'd, and bound, and ravish'd be,
Yet not to her assistance stir,

Pleas'd with the strength and beauty of the ra-
Or shall we fear to kill him, if before [visher?
The cancell'd name of friend he bore?
Ingrateful Brutus do they call?
Ingrateful Cæsar, who could Rome enthrall!
An act more barbarous and unnatural
(In th' exact balance of true virtue try'd)
Than his successor Nero's parricide!

There's none but Brutus could deserve
That all men else should wish to serve,
And Cæsar's usurp'd place to him should proffer;
None can deserve 't but he who would refuse the

Ill Fate assum'd a body thee t'affright, And wrap'd itself i' th' terrours of the night: "I'll meet thee at Philippi," said the sprite; "I'll meet thee there," saidst thou, With such a voice, and such a brow, As put the trembling ghost to sudden flight; It vanish'd, as a taper's light

Goes out when spirits appear in sight. One would have thought 't had heard the morning crow,

Or seen her well-appointed star

Come marching up the eastern hill afar.
Nor durst it in Philippi's field appear,

But, unseen, attack'd thee there:

And all thy great forefathers, were, from Homer Had it presum'd in any shape thee to oppose,

down to Ben.


EXCELLENT Brutus! of all human race

The best, till Nature was improv'd by Grace;
Till men above themselves Faith raised more
Than Reason above beasts before.
Virtue was thy life's centre, and from thence
Did silently and constantly dispense
The gentle, vigorous influence
To all the wide and fair circumference;
And all the parts upon it lean'd so easily,
Obey'd the mighty force so willingly,
That none could discord or disorder see

In all their contrariety:

Thou would'st have forc'd it back upon thy foes:
Or slain 't, like Cæsar, though it be
A conqueror and a monarch mightier far than he.
What joy can human things to us afford,
When we see perish thus, by odd events,
Ill men, and wretched accidents,
The best cause and best man that ever drew a
When we see

The false Octavius and wild Antony,

God-like Brutus! conquer thee?


What can we say, but thine own tragic word-
That Virtue, which had worship'd been by thee
As the most solid good, and greatest deity,
By this fatal proof became

An idol only, and a name.
Hold, noble Brutus! and restrain

Each had his motion natural and free,
And the whole no more mov'd, than the whole The bold voice of thy generous disdain :

world, could be.

These mighty gulphs are yet Too deep for all thy judgment and thy wit.

From thy strict rule some think that thou didst The time's set forth already which shall quell


(Mistaken, honest men!) in Cæsar's blood;
What mercy could the tyrant's life deserve
From him, who kill'd himself rather than serve?
Th' heroic exaltations of good

Are so far from understood,

We count them vice: alas! our sight's so ill,
That things which swiftest move scem to stand
We not upon Virtue in her height,

On her supreme idea, brave and bright,
In the original light;

Stiff Reason, when it offers to rebel;

Which these great secrets shall unseal,
And new philosophies reveal:

A few years more, so soon hadst thou not dy'd,
Would have confounded human Virtue's pride,
And show'd thee a God crucify'd.



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The subtle Ague, that for sureness' sake
Takes its own times th' assault to make,
And at each battery the whole fort does shake,
When thy strong guards, and works, it spies,
Trembles for itself, and flies.
The cruel Stone, that restless pain,

That's sometimes roll'd away in vain,
But still, like Sysiphus's stone, returns again,
Thou break'st and meltest by learn'd juices' force,
(A greater work, though short the way appear,
Than Hannibal's by vinegar!)
Oppressed Nature's necessary course
It stops in vain; like Moses, thou
Strik'st but the rock, and straight the waters
freely flow.

The Indian son of Lust (that foul disease
Which did on this his new-found world but lately
Yet since a tyranny has planted here, [seize,
As wide and cruel as the Spaniard there)
Is so quite rooted out by thee,
That thy patients seem to be
Restor'd, not to health only, but virginity.
The Plague itself, that proud imperial ill,
Which destroys towns, and does whole armies


If thou but succour the besieged heart,
Calls all its poisons forth and does depart,
As if it fear'd no less thy art,

Than Aaron's incense, or than Phineas' dart.
What need there here repeated be by me

The vast and barbarous lexicon
Of man's infirmity?

At thy strong charms it must be gone Though a disease, as well as devil, were called


From creeping moss to soaring cedar thou
Dost all the powers and several portions know,
Which father-Sun, and mother-Earth below,
On their green infants here bestow :
Canst all those magic virtues from them draw,
That keep Disease and Death in awe;

Who, whilst thy wondrous skill in plants they see, Fear lest the tree of life should be found out by thee.

And thy well-travell'd knowledge, too, does give
No less account of th' empire sensitive;
Chiefly of man, whose body is
That active soul's metropolis.

As the great artist in his sphere of glass
Saw the whole scene of heavenly motions pass;
So thou know'st all so well that 's done within,
As if some living crystal man thou 'dst seen.
Nor does this science make thy crown alone,

But whole Apollo is thine own;
His gentler arts, belov'd in vain by me,
Are wedded and enjoy'd by thee.
Thou 'rt by this noble mixture free
From the physician's frequent malady,
Fantastic incivility:

There are who all their patients' chagrin have,
As if they took each morn worse potions than they

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Ah, learned friend! it grieves me, when I think
That thou with all thy art must die,
As certainly as I ;

And all thy noble reparations sink [tality.
Into the sure-wrought mine of treacherous mor-
Like Archimedes, honourably in vain,
Thou hold'st out towns that must at last be ta'en,
And thou thyself, their great defender, slain.
Let's e'en compound, and for the present live,
'Tis all the ready-money Fate can give;
Unbend sometimes thy restless care,
And let thy friends so happy be

T' enjoy at once their health and thee: Some hours, at least, to thine own pleasures spare: Since the whole stock may soon exhausted be, Bestow 't not all in charity.

Let Nature and let Art do what they please,
When all's done, life is an incurable disease.


OH, Life! thou Nothing's younger brother! So like, that one might take one for the other!

What's somebody, or nobody?

In all the cobwebs of the schoolmen's trade,
We no such nice distinction woven see,
As 'tis "to be," or " not to be."
Dream of a shadow! a reflection made
From the false glories of the gay reflected bow,
Is a more solid thing than thou.
Vain weak-built isthmus, which dost proudly rise

Up betwixt two eternities !

Yet canst nor wave nor wind sustain,

But, broken and o'erwhelm'd, the endless oceans meet again.

And with what rare inventions do we strive
Ourselves then to survive?
Wise, subtle arts, and such as well befit
That Nothing, man's no wit!-

Some with vast costly tombs would purchase it, And by the proofs of death pretend to live.

"Here lies the great"-false Marble ! where? Nothing but small and sordid dust lies there.— Some build enormous mountain-palaces,

The fools and architects to please;

A lasting life in well-hewn stone they rear:
So he, who on th' Egyptain shore
Was slain so many hundred years before,
Lives still, (oh ! life most happy and most dear!
Oh! life that epicures envy to hear!)

Lives in the dropping ruins of his amphitheatre.

His father-in-law an higher place does claim
In the seraphic entity of Fame;


He, since that toy his death, Does fill all mouths, and breathes in all men's "Tis true, the two immortal syllables remain; But, oh, ye learned men! explain What essence, what existence, this, What substance, whatsubsistence, what hypostasis, In six poor letters is!

In those alone does the great Cæsar live,

'Tis all the conquer'd world could give.
We poets, madder yet than all,

With a refin'd fantastic vanity,

Think we not only have, but give, eternity.
Fain would I see that prodigal,

Who his to morrow would bestow,

Through several orbs which one fair planet bear, Where I behold distinctly, as I pass,

The hints of Galileo's glass,

I touch at last the spangled sphere:
Here all th' extended sky
Is but one galaxy,

"Tis all so bright and gay,

And the joint eyes of night make up a perfect day.

Where am I now? Angels, and God is here;
An unexhausted ocean of delight

Swallows my senses quite,

And drowns all what, or how, or where !
Not Paul, who first did thither pass,
And this great world's Columbus was,

The tyrannous pleasure could express.

Oh, 'tis too much for man! but let it ne'er be


The mighty Elijah mounted so on high,
That second man who leap'd the ditch where all
The rest of mankind fall,

And went not downwards to the sky!
With much of pomp and show

(As conquering kings in triumph go)
Did he to Heaven approach,

And wondrous was his way, and wondrous was his


For all old Homer's life, e'er since he dy'd till 'Twas gaudy all; and rich in every part


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Where shall I find the noble British land?

Lo! I at last a northern speck espy,

Which in the sea does lie,

And seems a grain o' th' sand!
For this will any sin, or bleed?
Of civil wars is this the meed?

And is it this, alas! which we
(Oh irony of words!) do call Great Britanie?

I pass by th' arched magazines which hold
Th'eternal stores of frost, and rain, and snow;
Dry and secure I go,

Nor shake with fear or cold:
Without affright or wonder

I meet clouds charg'd with thunder,

And lightnings, in my way,

Like harmless lambent fires, about my temples play.

Now into a gentle sea of rolling flame
I'm plung'd, and still mount higher there,
As flames mount up through air:
So perfect, yet so tame,

So great, so pure, so bright a fire,

Was that unfortunate desire,

My faithful breast did cover,

Of essences, of gems; and spirit of gold

Was its substantial mould,

Drawn forth by chymic angels' art.
Here with moon-beams 'twas silver'd bright,
There double-gilt with the Sun's light;`
And mystic shapes cut round in it,
Figures that did transcend a vulgar angel's wit.
The horses were of temper'd lightning made,
Of all that in Heaven's beauteous pastures feed
The noblest, sprightful'st breed ;

And flaming manes their necks array'd:
They all were shod with diamond,
Not such as here are found,

But such light solid ones as shine

On the transparent rocks o' th' Heaven crystal


Thus mounted the great prophet to the skies;
Astonish'd men, who oft had seen stars fall,

Or that which so they call,

Wonder'd from hence to see one rise.
The soft clouds melted him away;
The snow and frosts which in it lay

Awhile the sacred footsteps bore;

The wheels and horses' hoofs hizz'd as they past

them o'er !

He past by th' Moon and planets, and did fright
All the worlds there which at this meteor gaz'd,
And their astrologers amaz'd
With th' unexampled sight.

But where he stopp'd will ne'er be known,
Till phenix Nature, aged grown,

To a better thing do aspire,

And mount herself, like him, to eternity in fire.


GREAT Janus! (who dost,sure, my mysteries view

hen, when I was of late a wretched mortal lover. | With all thine eyes, yet think'st them all too few


If thy fore-face do see

No better things prepar'd for me, Than did thy face behind;

If still her breast must shut against me be, (For 'tis not Peace that temple's gate does bind) Oh, let my life, if thou so many deaths a coming With thine old year its voyage take, Borne down that stream of Time which no return can make !


Alas! what need I thus to pray?
Th' old avaricious Year,
Whether I would or no, will bear
At least a part of me away:
His well-hors'd troops, the Months, and Days,and
Though never any where they stay, [Hours,
Make in their passage all their prey;
The Months, Days, Hours, that march i' th' rear
Nought of value left behind. [can find
All the good wine of life our drunken youth

Sourness and lees, which to the bottom sink,
Remain for latter years to drink;
Until, some one offended with the taste,
The vessel breaks, and out the wretched relics run
at last.

If then, young Year ! thou needst must come,
(For in Time's fruitful womb

The birth beyond its time can never tarry,
Nor ever can miscarry)

Chuse thy attendants well; for 'tis not thee
We fear, but 'tis thy company:
Let neither Loss of Friends, or Fame, or Liberty,
Nor pining Sickness, nor tormenting Pain,
Nor Sadness, nor uncleanly Poverty,
Be seen among thy train:
Nor let thy livery be

Either black Sin, or gaudy Vanity:

Nay, if thou lov st me, gentle Year!
Let not so much as Love be there;
Vain fruitless love, I mean; for, gentle Year!
Although I fear,

There's of this caution little need,
Yet, gentle Year! take heed

How thou dost make

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And mighty voyages we take,

And mighty journeys seem to make,

O'er sea and land, the little point that has no


Because we fight, and battles gain;

Some captives call, and say," the rest are slain:"
Because we heap up yellow earth, and so
Rich, valiant, wise, and virtuous, seem to grow:
Because we draw a long nobility
From hieroglyphic proofs of heraldry,
And impudently talk of a posterity,

And, like Egyptian chroniclers,
Who write of twenty thousand years,
With maravedies make th' account,
That single time might to a sum amount >
We grow at last by custom to believe,
That really we live :

Whilst all these shadows, that for things we


Are but the empty dreams which in Death's sleep we make.

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