« ПредишнаНапред »
Might ease his wings, and, seeing heaven appear
In its best work of mercy, think it there:
Where all the deeds of charity and love
Were in as constant method as above,
All carry'd on; all of a piece with theirs;
As free her alms, as diligent her cares;
As loud her praises, and as warm her prayers.
Yet was she not profuse; but fear'd to waste,
And wisely manag'd, that the stock might last
That all might be supply'd, and she not grieve,
When crowds appear'd, she had not to relieve :
Which to prevent, she still increas'd her store;
Laid up, and spar'd, that she might give the more.
So Pharaoh, or some greater king than he,
Provided for the seventh necessity :
Taught from above his magazines to frame;
*That famine was prevented ere it came.
Thus Heaven, though all-fufficient, shews a thrift
In his æconomy, and bounds his gift:
Creating, for our day, one fingle light;
And his reflection too fupplies the night;
Perhaps a thousand other worlds, that lie
Remote from us, and latent in the sky,
Are lighten’d by his beams, and kindly nurst;
Of which our earthly dunghill is the worst.
Now, as all virtues keep the middle line, Yet somewhat more to one extreme incline, Such was her soul; abhorring avarice, Bounteous, but almost bounteous to a vice:
Had the given more, it had profusion been,
And turn'd th' excess of goodness into fin.
These virtues rais'd her fabric to the sky;
For that, which is next heaven, is charity.
But, as high turrets, for their airy steep,
Require foundations, in proportion deep;
And lofty' cedars as far upward shoot,
As to the nether heavens they drive the root :
So low did her secure foundation lie,
She was not humble, but humility.
Scarcely she knew that she was great, or fair,
Or wise, beyond what other women are,
Or, which is better, knew, but never durft compare:
For to be conscious of what all admire,
And not be vain, advances virtue higher.
But still she found, or rather thought she found,
Her own worth wanting, others to abound;
Afcrib'd above their due to every one,
Unjuft and scanty to herself alone.
Such her devotion was, as might give rules Of speculation to disputing schools, And teach us equally the scales to hold Betwixt the two extremes of hot and cold; That pious heat may moderately prevail, And we be warm’d, but not be scorch'd with zeal. Business mignt shorten, not difturb, her prayer; Heaven had the best, if not the greater
share, An active life long oraisons forbids; Yet still she pray'd, for still she pray'd by deeds.
Her every day was fabbath; only free
From hours of prayer, for hours of charity.
Such as the Jews from servile toil releas'd;
Where works of mercy were a part of reft;
Such as bleft angels exercise above,
Vary'd with facred hymns and acts of love:
Such fabbaths as that one she now enjoys,
Ev’n that perpetual one, which she employs
(For such viciffitudes in heaven there are)
In praise alternate, and alternate prayer.
All this the practis'd here; that when she sprung
Amidst the choirs, at the first sight she sung:
Sung, and was sung herself in angels lays;
For, praising her, they did her Maker praise.
All offices of heaven so well she knew,
Before she came, that nothing there was new :
And she was so familiarly receiv'd,
As one returning, not as one arriv'd.
Muse, down again precipitate thy flight:
For how can mortal eyes sustain immortal light?
But as the sun in water we can bear,
Yet not the sun, but his reflexion there,
So let us view her, here, in what she was,
And take her image in this watery glass:
Yet look not every lineament to fee;
Some will be cast in shades, and some will be
So lamely drawn, you'll scarcely know, 'tis she.
For where such various virtues we recite,
'Tis like the milky-way, all over bright,
But sown so thick with stars, 'tis undistinguish'd light.
Her virtue, not her virtues let us call;
For one heroic comprehends them all :
One, as a constellation is but one,
Though ’tis a train of stars, that, rolling on,
Rise in their turn, and in the zodiac run:
Ever in motion; now 'tis faith ascends,
Now hope, now charity, that upward tends,
And downwards with diffusive good defcends.
As in perfumes compos'd with art and cost,
"Tis hard to say what scent is uppermoft;
Nor this part mulk or civet can we call,
Or amber, but a rich result of all;
So she was all a sweet, whose every part,
In due proportion mix’d, proclaim’d the Maker's art.
No single virtue we could most commend,
Whether the wife, the mother, or the friend;
For she was all, in that supreme degree,
That as no one prevaild, fo all was she.
The several parts lay hidden in the piece;
Th' occafion but exerted that, or this.
A wife as tender, and as true withal,
As the first woman was before her fall :
Made for the man, of whom she was a part;
Made, to attract his eyes, and keep his heart.
A second Eve, but by no crime accurft;
As beauteous, not as brittle as the first.
Had she been first, ftill Paradise had been,
And death had found no entrance by her fin.
So she not only had preserv'd from ill
Her sex and ours, but liv'd their pattern still.
Love and obedience to her lord she bore;
She much obey'd him, but she lov'd him more:
Not aw'd to duty by superior sway,
But taught by his indulgence to obey.
Thus we love God, as author of our good;
So subjects love juft kings, or so they should.
Nor was it with ingratitude return'd;
In equal fires the blissful couple burn'd;
One joy possess d them both, and in one grief they
His passion ftill improv'd; he lov'd so fast,
As if he fear'd each day would be her last.
Too true a prophet to foresee the fate
That should so soon divide their happy state:
When he to heaven entirely must restore
That love, that heart, where he went halves before.
Yet as the soul is all in every part,
So God and he might each have all her heart.
So had her children too; for charity
Was not more fruitful, or more kind than she:
Each under other by degrees they grew;
A goodly perspective of distant view.
Anchises look'd not with so pleas'd a face,
In numbering o'er his future Roman race,
And marshaling the heroes of his name,
As, in their order, next, to light they came.
Nor Cybele, with half so kind an eye,
Survey'd her sons and daughters of the sky;
Proud, shall I say, of her immortal fruit?
As far as pride with heavenly minds may