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ON THE DEATH OF MY LOVING FRIEND AND COUSIN
MR. RICHARD CLARKE, GENT.
LATE OF LINCOLN'S-INN.
It was decreed by stedfast Destiny
(The world from chaos turn'd) that all should die.
He who durst fearless pass black Acheron,
And dangers of th' infernal region,
Leading Hell's triple porter captivate,
Was overcome himself by conquering Fate.
The Roman Tully's pleasing eloquence,
Which in the ears did lock up every sense
Of the rapt hearer; his mellifluous breath
Could not at all charm unremorseless Death;
Nor Solon, so by Greece admir'd, could save
Himself, with all his wisdom, from the grave.
Stern Fate brought Maro to his funeral flame,
And would have ended in that fire his fame;
Burning those lofty lines, which now shall be
Time's conquerors, and out-last eternity.
Even so lov'd Clarke from death no 'scape could find,
Though arm'd with great Alcides' valiant mind.
He was adorn'd, in years though far more young,
With learn'd Cicero's, or a sweeter tongue.
And, could dead Virgil hear his lofty strain,
He would condemn his own to fire again,
His youth a Solon's wisdom did presage,
Had envious Time but giv'n him Solon's age.
Who would not therefore now, if Learning's friend,
Bewail his fatal and untimely end?
Who hath such hard, such unrelenting eyes,
As not to weep when so much virtue dies?
The god of poets doth in darkness shrowd
His glorious face, and weeps behind a cloud.
The doleful Muses thinking now to write
Sad elegies, their tears confound their sight:
But him t' Elysium's lasting joys they bring,
Where winged angels his sad requiems sing.
A DREAM OF ELYSIUM. PREBUS, expell'd by the approaching night, Blush'd, and for shame clos'd in his bashful light, While I, with leaden Morpheus overcome, The Muse whom I adore enter'd the room: Her hair with looser curiosity
Did on her comely back dishevell❜d lie:
Her eyes with such attractive beauty shone,
As might have wak'd sleeping Endymion.
She bade me rise, and promis'd I should see
Those fields, those mansions of felicity,
We mortals so admire at: speaking thus,
She lifts me up upon wing'd Pegasus,
On whom I rid; knowing, wherever she
Did go, that place must needs a temple be.
No sooner was my flying courser come
To the blest dwellings of Elysium,
When strait a thousand unknown joys resort,
And hemm'd me round; chaste Love's innocuous
A thousand sweets, bought with no following gall,
Joys, not like ours, short, but perpetual.
How many objects charm my wandering eye,
And bid my soul gaze there eternally!
Here in full streams, Bacchus, thy liquor flows,
Nor knows to ebb; here Jove's broad tree bestows
Distilling honey; here doth nectar pass,
With copious current, through the verdant grass:
Here Hyacinth, his fate writ in his looks,
And thou, Narcissus, loving still the brooks,
Once lovely boys! and Acis, now a flower,
Are nourish'd with that rarer herb, whose power
Created thee, War's potent god! here grows
The spotless lily and the blushing rose;
And all those divers ornaments abound,
That variously may paint the gaudy ground.
No willow, Sorrow's garland, there hath room,
Nor cypress, sad attendant of a tomb.
None but Apollo's tree, and th' ivy twine
Embracing the stout oak, the fruitful vine,
And trees with golden apples loaded down,
On whose fair tops sweet Philomel alone,
Unmindful of her former misery,
Tunes with her voice a ravishing harmony;
Whilst all the murmuring brooks that glide along,
Make up a burthen to her pleasing song.
No screech-owi, sad companion of the night;
No hideous raven with prodigious flight,
Presaging future ill; nor, Progne, thee,
Yet spotted with young Itis' tragedy,
Those sacred bowers receive. There's nothing there
That is not pure; all innocent and rare.
Turning my greedy sight another way,
Under a row of storm contemning bay,
I saw the Thracian singer with his lyre
Teach the deaf stones to hear him and admire.
Him the whole poets' chorus compass'd round,
All whom the oak, all whom the laurel crown'd.
There banish'd Ovid had a lasting home,
Better than thou could'st give, ungrateful Rome!
And Lucan (spite of Nero) in each vein
Had every drop of his spilt blood again:
Homer, Sol's first-born, was not poor or blind,
But saw as well in body as in mind.
Tully, grave Cato, Solon, and the rest
Of Greece's admir'd wise-men, here possest
A large reward for their past deeds, and gain
A life as everlasting as their fame.
By these the valiant heroes take their place;
All who stern Death and perils did embrace
For Virtue's cause. Great Alexander there
Laughs at the Earth's small empire, and did wear
A nobler crown than the whole world could give:
There did Horatius, Cocles, Sceva, live,
And valiant Decius; who now freely cease
From war, and purchase an eternal peace.
Next them, beneath a myrtle bower, where doves
And gall-less pigeons build their nests, all Love's
True faithful servants, with an amorous kiss
And soft embrace, enjoy their greediest wish,
Leander with his beauteous Hero plays,
Nor are they parted with dividing seas:
Porcia enjoys her Brutus; Death no more
Can now divorce their wedding, as before:
Thisbe her Pyramus kiss'd, his Thisbe he
Embrac'd, each bless'd with t' other's company:
And every couple, always dancing, sing
Eternal pleasures to Elysium's king.
But see how soon these pleasures fade away
How near to evening is Delight's short day!
The watching bird, true nuncius of the light,
Strait crowd; and all these vanish'd' from iny sight:
My very Muse herself forsook me too.
Me grief and wonder wak'd: what should I do?
Oh! let me follow thee (said I) and go
From life, that I may dream for ever so.
With that my flying Muse I thought to clasp
Within my arms, but did a shadow grasp.
Thus chiefest joys glide with the swiftest stream,
And all our greatest pleasure's but a dream.
ON HIS MAJESTY'S
RETURN OUT OF SCOTLAND.
Yet he returns, and with his light
Expels what he hath caus'd-the night,
What though the Spring vanish away,
And with it the Earth's form decay?
Yet his new-birth will soon restore
What its departure took before.
What though we miss'd our absent king
Awhile? great Charles is come again;
GREAT Charles!-there stop, ye trumpeters of And with his presence makes us know
For he who speaks his titles, his great name,
Must have a breathing time our king:-stay there;
Speak by degrees; let the inquisitive ear
Be held in doubt, and, ere you say "is come,"
Let every heart prepare a spacious room
For ample joys: then lo sing, as loud
As thunder shot from the divided cloud!
Let Cygnus pluck from the Arabian waves
The ruby of the rock, the pearl that paves
Great Neptune's court: let every sparrow bear
From the three Sisters' weeping bark a tear:
Let spotted lynxes their sharp talons fill
With crystal, fetch'd from the Promethean hill:
Let Cytherea's birds fresh wreaths compose,
Knitting the pale-fac'd lily with the rose:
Let the self-gotten phenix rob his nest,
Spoil his own funeral pile, and all his best
Of myrrh, of frankincense, of cassia, bring,
To strew the way for our returned king!
Let every post a panegyric wear,
Each wall, each pillar, gratulations bear:
And yet, let no man invocate a Muse;
The very matter will itself infuse
A sacred fury: let the merry bells
(For unknown joys work unknown miracles)
Ring without help of sexton, and presage
A new-made holy-day for future age!
And, if the ancients us'd to dedicate
A golden temple to propitious Fate,
At the return of any noble men,
Of heroes, or of emperors, we must then
Raise up a double trophy; for their fame
Was but the shadow of our Charles's name.
Who is there where all virtues mingled flow,
Where no defects or imperfections grow?
Whose head is always crown'd with victory,
Snatch'd from Bellona's hand; him Luxury
In peace debilitates: whose tongue can win
Tully's own garland, Pride to him creeps in.
On whom (like Atlas' shoulders) the propt state
(As he were primum mobile of Fate)
Solely relies; him blind Ambition moves ;
His tyranny the bridled subject proves.
But all those virtues which they all possest
Divided, are collected in thy breast,
Great Charles! Let Cæsar boast Pharsalia's fight,
Honorius praise the Parthian's unfeign'd flight:
Let Alexander call himself Jove's peer,
And place his image near the thunderer;
Yet while our Charles with equal balance reigns
'Twixt Mercy and Astrea, and maintains
A noble peace, 'tis he, 'tis only he,
Who is most near, most like, the Deity.
HENCE, clouded looks; hence, briny tears,
Hence eye that Sorrow's livery wears!
What though awhile Apollo please
To visit the Antipodes ?
The gratitude to Heaven we owe.
So doth a cruel storm impart
And teach us Palinurus' art:
So from salt floods, wept by our eyes,
A joyful Venus doth arise.
LEST the misjudging world should chance to say
I durst not but in secret murmurs pray;
To whisper in Jove's ear
How much I wish that funeral,
Or gape at such a great one's fall;
This let all ages hear,
And future times in my soul's picture see
What I abhor, what I desire to be.
I would not be a puritan, though he
Can preach two hours, and yet his sermon be
But half a quarter long ;
Though, from his old mechanic trade,
By vision he's a pastor made,
His faith was grown so strong;
Nay, though he think to gain salvation
By calling th' pope the Whore of Babylon.
I would not be a school-master, though he
His rods no less than fasces deems to be;
Though he in many a place
Turns Lilly oftener than his gowns,
Till at the last he make the nouns
Fight with the verbs apace;
Nay, though he can, in a poetic heat,
Figures, born since, out of poor Virgil beat.
I would not be justice of peace, though he
Can with equality divide the fee,
And stakes with his clerk draw;
Nay, though he sits upon the place
Of judgment, with a learned face
Intricate as the law;
And, whilst he mulcts enormities demurely,
Breaks Priscian's head with sentences securely.
I would not be a courtier, though he
Makes his whole life the truest comedy,
In whom the taylor's forming art,
Although he be a man
And nimble barber, claim more part
Than Nature herself can ;
Though, as he uses men, 'tis his intent
To put off Death too with a compliment.
From lawyer's tongues, though they can spin with
The shortest cause into a paraphrase;
From usurers' conscience
(For swallowing up young heirs so fast,
Without all doubt, they'll choak at last)
Make me all innocence,
Good Heaven! and from thy eyes, O Justice! keep;
For though they be not blind, they're oft asleep.
From singing-mens' religion, who are
Always at church, just like the crows, 'cause there
They build themselves a nest: From too much poetry, which shines With gold in nothing but its lines,
Free, O you powers! my breast. And from astronomy, which in the skies Finds fish and bulls, yet doth but tantalize.
From your court-madams' beauty, which doth
At morning May, at night a January:
From the grave city brow
(For though it want an R, it has
The letter of Pythagoras)
Keep me, O Fortune, now!
And chines of beef innumerable send me,
Or from the stomach of the guard defend me.
This only grant me, that my means may lie
Too low for envy, for contempt too high.
Some honour I would have,
Not from great deeds, but good alone;
Th' unknown are better than ill-known;
Rumour can ope the grave!
Acquaintance I would have; but when 't depends
Not from the number, but the choice, of friends.
Books should, not business, entertain the light;
And sleep, as undisturb'd as death, the night.
My house a cottage more
Than palace; and should fitting be
For all my use, no luxury.
My garden painted o'er
With Nature's hand, not Art's; that pleasures yield Spleen, and another Ignoramus make.”
Horace might envy in his Sabine field.
Thus would I double my life's fading space ;
For he that runs it well, twice runs his race.
And in this true delight,
These unbought sports, and happy state,
I would not fear, nor wish, my fate;
But boldly say, each night,
To morrow let my Sun his beams display,
Or in clouds hide them; I have liv'd to day 2.
A POETICAL REVENGE.
WESTMINSTER-hall a friend and I agreed
To meet in; he (some business 'twas did breed
His absence) came not there; I up did go
To the next court; for though I could not know
Much what they meant, yet I might see and hear
(As most spectators do at theatre)
Things very strange: Fortune did seem to grace
My coming there, and helpt me to a place,
But, being newly settled at the sport,
A semi-gentleman of the inns of court,
In a satin suit, redeem'd but yesterday,
One who is ravish'd with a cock-pit play,
Who prays God to deliver him from no evil
Besides a taylor's bill, and fears no devil
Besides a serjeant, thrust me from my seat:
At which I 'gan to quarrel, till a neat
Man in a ruff (whom therefore I did take
For barrister) open'd his mouth and spake ;
Boy, get you gone, this is no school." "Oh no;
For, if it were, all you gown'd men would go
Up for false Latin." They grew straight to be
Incens'd; I fear'd they would have brought on me
An action of trespass: till the young man
Aforesaid, in the satin suit, began
The three concluding stanzas of this poem are introduced by Mr. Cowley in his Essays in Verse and Prose. N.
To strike me: doubtless there had been a fray,
Had not I providently skipp'd away
Without replying; for to scold is ill,
Where every tongue's the clapper of a mill,
And can out-sound Homer's Gradivus; so
Away got I: but ere I far did go,
I flung (the darts of wounding poetry)
These two or three sharp curses back: "May he
Be by his father in his study took
At Shakespeare's plays, instead of my lord Coke!
May he (though all his writings grow as soon
As Butter's out of estimation)
Get him a poet's name, and so ne'er come
Into a serjeant's or dead judge's room!
May he become some poor physician's prey,
Who keeps men with that conscience in delay
As he his client doth, till his health be
As far-fetcht as a Greek noun's pedigree!
Nay, for all that, may the disease be gone
Never but in the long vocation!
May neighbours use all quarrels to decide;
But if for law any to London ride,
Of all those clients let not one be his,
Unless he come in forma pauperis!
Grant this, ye gods that favour poetry!
That all these never-ceasing tongues may be
Brought into reformation, and not dare
To quarrel with a thread-bare black: but spare
Them who bear scholars' names, lest some one take
TO THE DUTCHESS OF
If I should say, that in your face were seen
Nature's best picture of the Cyprian queen;
If I should swear, under Minerva's name,
Poets (who prophets are) foretold your fame;
The future age would think it flattery;
But to the present, which can witness be,
"Twould seem beneath your high deserts, as far
As you above the rest of women are.
When Manners' name with Villiers' join'd I see,
How do I reverence your nobility!
But when the virtues of your stock I view,
(Envy'd in your dead lord, admir'd in you)
I half adore them; for what woman can,
Besides yourself (nay, I might say what man)
But sex, and birth, and fate, and years excel
In mind, in fame, in worth, in living well?
Oh, how had this begot idolatry,
If you had liv'd in the world's infancy,
When man's too much religion made the best
Or deities, or semi-gods at least!
But we, forbidden this by piety,
Or, if we were not, by your modesty,
Will make our hearts an altar, and there pray
Not to, but for, you; nor that England may
Enjoy your equal, when you once are gone,
But, what's more possible, t'enjoy you long.
I'm glad that city, t'whom I ow'd before
(But, ah me! Fate hath crost that willing score)
A father, gave me a godfather too;
And I'm more glad, because it gave me you ;
Whom I may rightly think, and term, to be
Of the whole city an epitome.
I thank my careful Fate, which found out one
(When Nature had not licensed my tongue
Farther than cries) who should my office do ;
I thank her more, because she found out you:
In whose each look I may a sentence see;
In whose each deed, a teaching homily.
How shall I pay this debt to you? My fate
Denies me Indian pearl or Persian plate;
Which though it did not, to requite you thus,
Were to send apples to Alcinous,
And sell the cunning'st way.-No! when I can,
In every leaf, in every verse, write Man;
When my quill relisheth a school no more;
When my pen-feather'd Muse hath learnt to soar,
And gotten wings as well as feet; look then
For equal thanks from my unwearied pen:
Till future ages say, 'twas you did give
A name to me, and I made yours to live.
ON THE DEATH OF JOHN LITTLETON, ESQUIRE, SON AND HEIR TO SIR THOMAS LITTLETON, WHO WAS DROWNED LEAPING INTO THE WATER TO SAVE HIS YOUNGER BROTHER.
AND must these waters smile again, and play
About the shore, as they did yesterday?
Will the Sun court them still? and shall they show
No conscious wrinkle furrow'd on their brow,
That to the thirsty traveller may say,
"I am accurst; go turn some other way?"
It is unjust: black Flood! thy guilt is more,
Sprung from his loss, than all thy watery store
Can give thee tears to mourn for birds shall be,
And beasts, henceforth afraid to drink of thee.
What have I said? my pious rage hath been
Too hot, and acts, whilst it accuseth, sin.
Thou'rt innocent, I know, still clear and bright,
Fit whence so pure a soul should take its flight.
How is angry zeal confin'd! for he
Must quarrel with his love and piety,
That would revenge his death, Oh, I shall sin,
And wish anon he had less virtuous been.
For when his brother (tears for him I'd spill,
But they 're all challeng'd by the greater ill)
Struggled for life with the rude waves, he too
Leapt in, and when hope no faint beam could show,
His charity shone most: "Thou shalt," said he,
"Live with me, brother, or I'll die with thee;"
And so he did! Had he been thine, O Rome!
Thou would'st have call'd this death a martyrdom,
And sainted him. My conscience give me leave,
I'll do so too: if Fate will us bereave
Of him we honour'd living, there must be
A kind of reverence to his memory,
After his death; and where more just than here,
Where life and end were both so singular?
He that had only talk'd with him, might find
A little academy in his mind;
Where Wisdom master was, and fellows all
Which we can good, which we can virtuous, call:
Reason, and Holy Fear, the proctors were,
To apprehend those words, those thoughts, that err,
His learning had out-run the rest of heirs,
Stol'n beard from Time, and leapt to twenty years.
And, as the Sun, though in full glory bright,
Shines upon all men with impartial light,
And a good-morrow to the beggar brings
With as full rays as to the mightiest kings:
So he, although his worth just state might claim,
And give to pride an honourable name,
With courtesy to all, cloath'd virtue so,
That 'twas not higher than his thoughts were low.
In 's body too no critique eye could find
The smallest blemish, to belye his mind;
He was all pureness, and his outward part
But represents the picture of his heart.
When waters swallow'd mankind, and did cheat
The hungry worm of its expected meat;
When gems, pluckt from the shore by ruder hands,
Return'd again unto their native sands;
'Mongst all those spoils, there was not any prey
Could equal what this brook hath stol'n away.
Weep then, sad Flood; and, though thou'rt innocent,
Weep because Fate made thee her instrument:
And, when long grief hath drunk up all thy store,
Come to our eyes, and we will lend thee more.
A TRANSLATION OF
VERSES UPON THE BLESSED VIRGIN, WRITTEN IN LATIN BY THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL DR. A
ONCE thou rejoiced'st, and rejoice for ever,
Whose time of joy shall be expired never :
Let her drink comfort's honey with her ears.
Who in her womb the hive of comfort bears,
You brought the word of joy, in which was born
An hail to all! let us an hail return!
From you "God save" into the world there came;
Our echo hail is but an empty name.
How loaded hives are with their honey fill'd, From divers flowers by chymic bees distill'd! How full the collet with his jewel is, Which, that it cannot take by love, doth kiss: How full the Moon is with her brother's ray, When she drinks-up with thirsty orb the day! How full of grace the Graces' dances are! So full doth Mary of God's light appear. It is no wonder if with Graces she Be full, who was full of the Deity.
THE fall of mankind under Death's extent The quire of blessed angels did lament, And wish'd a reparation to see
By him, who manhood join'd with deity.
How grateful should man's safety then appear
T' himself, whose safety can the angels cheer!
BENEDICTA TU IN MULIERibus.
DEATH Came, and troops of sad Diseases led
To th' Earth, by woman's hand solicited:
Life came so too, and troops of Graces led
To th' Earth, by woman's faith solicited.
As our life's springs came from thy blessed womb,
So from our mouths springs of thy praise shall
Who did life's blessing give, 'tis fit that she, Above all women, should thrice blessed be.
ET BENEDICTUS FRUCTUS VENTRIS TUI. WITH mouth divine the Father doth protest, He a good word sent from his stored breast; 'Twas Christ: which Mary, without carnal thought, From the a fathom'd depth of goodness brought: The word of blessing a just cause affords To be oft blessed with redoubled words!
SPIRITUS SANCTUS SUPERVEVÍET IN TE.
As when soft west-winds strook the garden-rose, A shower of sweeter air salutes the nose; The breath gives sparing kisses, nor with power Unlocks the virgin-bosom of the flower: So the Holy Spirit upon Mary blow'd, And from her sacred box whole rivers flowed: Yet loos'd not thine eternal chastity; Thy rose's folds do still entangled lie. Believe Christ born from an unbruised womb, So iron u, bruised bark the odours come.
ET VIRTUS ALTISSIMI OBUMBRABIT TIBI. GOD h's great Son begot ere time begun; Mery in time brought forth her little son, Of double substance One; life he began, God without mother, without father, man. Great is the birth; and 'tis a stranger deed That she no inan, than God no wife, should need ; A shade del ghted the child-bearing maid, And God himself became to her a shade. O strange descent! who is light's author, he Will to his creature thus a shadow be. As unseen light did from the Father flow, So did seen light from Virgin Mary grow. When Moses sought God in a share to see, The father's shade was Christ the Deity. Let's seek for day, we darkness, whilst our sight In light finds darkness, and in darkness light.
ON THE PRAISE OF POETRY.
'Tis not a pyramid of marble s one, Though high as our ambition;
'Tis not a tomb cut out in brass, which can
Give life to th' ashes of a man;
But verses only: they shall fresh appear,
Whilst there are men to read or hear.
When Time shall make the lasting brass decay,
And eat the pyram d away;
Turning that monument wherein men-trust
Their Lames, to what it keeps, poor dust; Then shall the epitaph remain, and be
New graven in eternity.
Poets by Death are conquer'd; but the wit
Of peets triumph over it.
What cannot verse? When Thracian Orpheus
His lyre, and gently on it strook,
The learned stones came dancing all along,
And kept time to the charming song.
With artificial pace the warlike pine,
The elin and his wife the ivy twine,
With all the better trees, which erst had stood
Unmov'd, forsook their native wood,
WHY, O! doth gaudy Tagus ravish thee,
Though Neptune's treasure-house it be? Why doth Pactolus thee bewitch, Infected yet with Midas' glorious itch? Their dull and sleepy streams are not at all, Like other floods, poetical;
They have no dance, no wanton sport,
No gentle murmur, the lov'd shore to court.
No fish inhabit the adulterate flood,
Nor can it feed the neighbouring wood;
No flower or herb is near it found,
But a perpetual winter starves the ground.
Give me a river which doth scorn to show
An added beauty; whose clear brow
May be my looking-glass to see
What my face is, and what my mind should be!
Here waves call waves, and glide along in rank,
And prattle to the smiling bank;
Here sad king-fishers tell their tales,
And fish enrich the brook with silver scales.
Daisies, the first-born of the teeming spring,
On each side their embroidery bring;
Here lilies wash, and grow more white,
And daffodils, to see themselves, delight.
Here a fresh arbour gives her amorous shade,
Which Nature, the best gardener, made,
Here I would sit and sing rude lays,
Such as the nymphs and me myself should please.
Thus I would waste, thus end, my careless days;.
And robin-red-breasts, whom men praise
For pious birds, should, when I die,
Make both my monument and elegy,
TO HIS MISTRESS,
TYRIAN dye why do you wear,
You whose cheeks best scarlet are? Why do you fondly pin
Pure linen or your skin, (Your skin that's whiter far) Casting a dusky cloud before a star.
Why bears your neck a golden chain? Did Nature make your hair in vain, Of gold most pure and fine? With gems why do you shine?