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And look at last up to that Sovereign Light,
From whose pure beams all perfect beauty springs, That kindleth love in every godly sprite,
Even the love of God, which loathing brings
Of this vile world and these gay-seeming things ;
THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS.
And is there care in heaven, and is there love
In heavenly spirits to these creatures base, That may compassion of their evils move ?
There is,-else much more wretched were the case
Of men than beasts. But, oh! th' exceeding grace Of highest God that loves his creatures so,
And all his works with mercy doth embrace,
How oft do they their silver bowers leave
To come to succor us, that succor want ! How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
The flitting skies, like flying pursuivant,
Against foul fiends to aid us militant ! They for us fight, they watch, and duly ward,
And their bright squadrons round about us plant, And all for love, and nothing for reward : Oh! why should heavenly God to man have such regard !
WISDOM, TRUE RICHES.
-In vain do men
For they to each such fortune do diffuse
For not that which men covet most is best,
Nor that thing worst which men do most refuse ;
It is the mind that maketh good or ill,
That maketh wretch' or happy, rich or poor ;
Hath not enough, but wants in greater store;
And other, that hath little, asks no more,
For wisdom is most riches : fools therefore
This poet was born at Harshull, in the county of Warwick, about the year 1563. We can only discover these facts concerning his life :—that in boyhood he was placed as page with some honorable person,—that he studied at Oxford,--that Sir Henry Gooden, of Polesworth, was his patron,—that in his latter days, Sir Walter Aston, of Tixal, Staffordshire, loved his company, and was his friend ;—and that he was made Laureate, to which office, at that time, there was no emolument attached. His principal works are the “ Poly-Olbion,” “ The Barons' Wars,” “ England's Heroic Epistles,” “ Legends," and “ Minor Poems,” among which is “ The Birth and Miracles of Moses," all of which bear abundant proofs of erudition and genius. He died in 1631.
MOSES MEETING THE DAUGHTERS OF JETHRO.
To Midian now his pilgrimage he took,
Midian, earth's only paradise for pleasures ;
Where as the curled groves and flowery fields
To his free soul so peaceable and quiet,
Than Egypt's braveries and luxurious diet :
And wandering long he happened on a well,
Which he by paths frequented might espy, Bordered with trees where pleasure seemed to dwell,
Where, to repose him easily, down doth lie:
Where the soft winds did mutually embrace
In the cool arbors nature there had made,
Through the calm cincture of the amorous shade :
Till now it nighed the noon-stead of the day,
When scorching heat the gadding herds do grieve, When shepherds now, and herdsmen every way,
Their thirsting cattle to the fountain drive :
Amongst the rest seven shepherdesses went
Along the way for watering of their sheep,
him seemed such reflections sent As made the flocks more white that they did keep :
Girls that so goodly and delightful were,
The fields were fresh and fragrant in their view, Winter was as the spring-time of the year,
The grass so proud that in their footsteps grew:
Daughters they were unto a holy man,
(And worthy, too, of such a sire to be,) Jethro, the priest of fertile Midian,
Few found so just, so righteous man as he.
But see the rude swain, the untutored slave,
Without respect or reverence to their kind,
The maids, perceiving where a stranger sat,
Of whom those clowns so basely did esteem, Were in his presence discontent thereat,
Whom he perhaps improvident might deem ;
Which he perceiving, kindly doth entreat,
Reproves the rustics for that offered wrong, Averring it an injury too great ;
To such, of right, all kindness did belong.
But finding well his oratory fail,
His fists about him frankly he bestows; That where persuasion could not late prevail,
He yet compelleth quickly by his blows.
Entreats the damsels their abodes to make,
With courtly semblance and a manly grace, At their fair pleasures quietly to take
What might be had by freedom of the place.
Whose beauty, shape, and courage they admire,
Exceeding these the honor of his mind; For what in mortal could their hearts desire
That in this man they did not richly find ?
Returning sooner than their usual hour,
All that had happened to their father told : That such a man relieved them by his power,
As one all civil courtesy that could :
Who full of bounty, hospitably meek,
Of his behavior greatly pleased to hear ; Forthwith commands his servants him to seek,
To honor him by whom his honored were :
Gently receives him to his goodly seat,
Feasts him, his friends and families among, And with him all those offices entreat,
That to his place and virtues might belong :
Whilst in the beauty of those goodly dames,
Wherein wise nature her own skill admires,
Nursed in fresh youth and gotten in desires :
Won with this man, this princely priest to dwell,
For greater hire than bounty could devise ;
Fairer than fairness, and as wisdom wise :
In her, her sisters severally were seen,
Of every one she was the rarest part,
Her angel eye transpierced, not her heart.
For Zipporah, a shepherd's life he leads,
And in her sight deceives the subtil hours ;
With those sweet spoils to enrich her rural bowers.
Up to Mount Horeb with his flock he took,
The flock wise Jethro willed him to keep;
Goodly the shepherd, goodly were the sheep:
To feed and fold full warily he knew,
From fox and wolf his wandering flocks to free. The goodliest flowers that in the meadows grew,
Were not more fresh and beautiful than he.
Gently his fair flocks lessowed he along,
Through the trim pastures freely at his leisure, Now on the hills, the valleys then among,
Which seem themselves to offer to his pleasure ;
Whilst feathered sylvans from each blooming spray,
With murmuring waters whistling as they creep, Make him such music to abridge the way,
As fits a shepherd company to keep.