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And oft the happy draught surpassed the image in her
The sylvan scenes of herds and flocks,
And fruitful plains and barren rocks;
Of shallow brooks that flowed so clear
The bottom did the top appear;
Of deeper too and ampler floods,
Which, as in mirrors, showed 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 pow'r of ancient Rome or Greece,
Whose statues, friezes, columns, broken lie,
And, though defaced, 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 changed: with bold erected look
Our martial King the sight with reverence strook,
For, not content t' express his outward part,
Her hand called out the image of his heart;
His warlike mind, his soul devoid of fear,
His high-designing thoughts, were figured there,
As when, by magic, ghosts are made appear.
Our phoenix Queen was portrayed, too, so bright
Beauty alone could beauty take so right:
Her dress, her shape, her matchless grace,
Were all observed, 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 was seen-
In beauty foremost, as in rank, the queen.
Thus nothing to her genius was denied,
But, like a ball of fire, the farther thrown
Still with a greater blaze she shone,
And her bright soul broke out on ev'ry side.
What next she had designed, Heaven only knows;
To such immod'rate growth her conquest rose
That Fate alone its progress could oppose.
Now all those charms, that blooming grace,
The well-proportioned 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;
Nor was the cruel Destiny content
To finish all the murder at a blow,
To sweep at once her life and beauty too,
But, like a hardened felon, took a pride
To work more mischievously slow,
And plundered first, and then destroyed.
Oh, double sacrilege on things divine,
To rob the relic and deface the shrine!
But thus Orinda died:
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 wrecked 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,
'Tis 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 Jehosophat
The judging God shall close the book of Fate,
And there the last assizes keep
For those who wake and those who sleep;
When rattling bones together fly
From the four corners of the sky;
When sinews o'er the skeletons are spread,
Those clothed with flesh, and life inspires the dead;
The sacred poets first shall hear the sound,
And foremost from the tomb shall bound,
For they are covered with the lightest ground,
And straight, with inborn vigour, on the wing,
Like mounting larks, to the new morning sing.
There thou, sweet saint, before the quire shalt go,
As harbinger of heaven, the way to show,
The way which thou so well hast learned below.
1685 or 1686.
A milk-white Hind, immortal and unchanged,
Fed on the lawns and in the forest ranged.
Without unspotted, innocent within,
She feared no danger, for she knew no sin:
Yet had she oft been chased with horns and hounds
And Scythian shafts; and many winged wounds
Aimed at her heart; was often forced to fly,
And doomed to death, though fated not to die.
Not so her young, for their unequal line
Was hero's make, half human, half divine:
Their earthly mould obnoxious was to fate,
Th' immortal part assumed immortal state.
Of these a slaughtered army lay in blood,
Extended o'er the Caledonian wood,
Their native walk; whose vocal blood arose,
And cried for pardon on their perjured foes.
Their fate was fruitful; and the sanguine seed,
Endued with souls, increased the sacred breed.
So captive Israel multiplied in chains,
A numerous exile, and enjoyed her pains.
With grief and gladness mixed, their mother viewed
Her martyred offspring and their race renewed;
Their corpse to perish, but their kind to last,
So much the deathless plant the dying fruit surpassed.
Panting and pensive now she ranged alone,
And wandered in the kingdoms once her own.
The common hunt, though from their rage restrained
By sov'reign pow'r, her company disdained,
Grinned as they passed, and with a glaring eye
Gave gloomy signs of secret enmity.
'Tis true she bounded by, and tripped so light
They had not time to take a steady sight;
For Truth has such a face and such a mien
As to be loved needs only to be seen.
The bloody Bear, an independent beast,
Unlicked to form, in groans her hate expressed.
Among the timorous kind the quaking Hare
Professed neutrality, but would not swear.
Next her the buffoon Ape, as atheists use,
Mimicked all sects, and had his own to choose;
Still when the Lion looked, his knees he bent,
And paid at church a courtier's compliment.
The bristled baptist Boar, impure as he,
But whit'ned with the foam of sanctity,
With fat pollutions filled the sacred place,
And mountains levelled in his furious race;
So first rebellion founded was in grace.
But since the mighty ravage which he made
In German forests had his guilt betrayed,
With broken tusks and with a borrowed name
He shunned the vengeance and concealed the shame,
So lurked in sects unseen. With greater guile
False Reynard fed on consecrated spoil:
The graceless beast by Athanasius first
Was chased from Nice, then by Socinus nursed;
His impious race their blasphemy renewed,
And Nature's King through Nature's optics viewed;
Reversed they viewed Him lessened to their eye,
Nor in an infant could a God descry.
New swarming sects to this obliquely tend;
Hence they began, and here they all will end.
What weight of ancient witness can prevail,
If private reason hold the public scale?
But, gracious God, how well dost Thou provide
For erring judgments an unerring guide!
Thy rone is darkness in th' abyss of light,
A blaze of glory that forbids the sight.
O teach me to believe Thee thus concealed,
And search no farther than Thyself revealed;
But her alone for my director take
Whom Thou hast promised never to forsake!
My thoughtless youth was winged with vain desires;
My manhood, long misled by wand'ring fires,
Followed false lights; and when their glimpse was gone,
My pride struck out new sparkles of her own.
Such was I, such by nature still I am;
Be Thine the glory, and be mine the shame.
Good life be now my task: my doubts are done;
What more could fright my faith than Three in One?
Can I believe Eternal God could lie
Disguised in mortal mould and infancy,
That the great Maker of the world could die,
And after that trust my imperfect sense
Which calls in question His omnipotence?
Can I my reason to my faith compel,
And shall my sight and touch and taste rebel?
Superior faculties are set aside;
Shall their subservient organs be my guide?
Then let the moon usurp the rule of day,
And winking tapers show the sun his way;
For what my senses can themselves perceive
I need no revelation to believe.
Can they who say the Host should be descried
By sense, define a body glorified,
Impassable, and penetrating parts?
Let them declare by what mysterious arts
He shot that body through th' opposing might
Of bolts and bars impervious to the light,
And stood before His train confessed in open sight;
For since thus wondrously He passed, 't is plain
One single place two bodies did contain,
And sure the same Omnipotence as well