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This when the nymph had said,
She dived within the flood, Whose face with smiling curls long after staid ; Then sighs did zephyrs press, Birds sang from every
wood, And echoes rang, This was true happiness.
Look how the flower, which lingeringly doth fade,
The morning's darling late, the summer's queen,
Spoiled of that juice which kept it fresh and green,
Or in their contraries but only seen,
And, blasted, scarce now shows what it hath been.
Hastes darkly to imprison on his way, Think on thy home, my soul, and think aright
Of what's yet left of life's wasting day: The sun posts westward, passed is thy morn, And twice it is not given thee to be born.
THRICE happy he, who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world, doth live his own,
Though solitary, who is not alone, But doth converse with that eternal love.
Oh! how more sweet is bird's harmonious moan, Or the hoarse sobbings of the widowed dove,
Than those smooth whisperings near a prince's throne, Which good make doubtful, do the evil approve ! Oh! how more sweet is zephyr's wholesome breath,
And sighs embalmed which new-born flowers unfold, Than that applause vain honor doth bequeath!
How sweet are streams, to poison drank in gold ! The world is full of horrors, troubles, slights ; Woods' harmless shades have only true delights.
Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours
Of winters past, or coming, void of care,
Well pleased with delights which present are; Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers, To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers,
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare.
(Attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverent eye and thought to heaven ?
As are those apples, pleasant to the eye,
But full of smoke within, which used to grow Near that strange lake, where God poured from the sky
Huge showers of flame, worse flame to overthrow: Such are their works, that with a glaring show
Of humble holiness, in virtue's dye Would color mischief, while within they glow
With coals of sin, though none the smoke descry. Bad is that angel that erst fell from heaven,
But not so bad as he, nor in worse case,
Who hides a traitorous mind with smiling face,
Each sin some color has it to adorn;
This life, which seems so far,
By sporting children's breath,
And strive who can most motion it bequeath. And though it sometimes seems of its own might,
Like to an eye of gold to be fixed there, And firm to hover in that empty height, That only is because it is so light.
But in that pomp it doth not long appear; For, when 'tis most admired in a thought, Because it erst was naught, it turns to naught.
If in the east, when you do there behold
Forth from his crystal bed the sun to rise, With
rosy robes, and crowns of flaming gold;
If, gazing on that empress of the skies, That takes so many forms, and those fair brands Which blaze in heaven's high vault, night's watchful
eyes; If, seeing how the sea's tumultuous bands
Of hellowing billows have their course confined, How unsustained the earth still steadfast stands; Poor mortal wights, you e'er formed in your mind
A thought that some great king did sit above, Who had such laws and rites to them assigned :
A king who fixed the poles, made spheres to move, All wisdom, pureness, excellency, might,
All goodness, greatness, justice, beauty, love; With fear and wonder hither turn your sight,
See, see, alas ! Him now, not in that state Thought could forecast Him into reason's light.
eyes with tears, now hearts with grief make great, Bemoar this cruel death and ruthful case,
If ever plaints just wo could aggravate : From sin and hell to save us human race,
See this great King nailed to an abject tree, An object of reproach and sad disgrace,
O unheard pity ! love in strange degree ! He his own life doth give, his blood doth shed,
For wormlings base, such worthiness to see.
His head bowed to his breast, locks sadly rent,
heaven, that all contains, And thou, my soul, let naught thy griefs relent! Those hands, those sacred hands, which held the reins
Of this great all, and kept from mutual wars The elements, bare rent for thee their veins :
Those feet which once must tread on golden stars, For thee with nails would be pierced through and torn;
For thee heaven's king from heaven's self debars : This great heart-quaking dolor wail and mourn,
Ye that long since Him saw by might of faith, Ye now that are, and ye yet to be born.
Not to behold his great Creator's death, The sun from sinful eyes hath veiled his light,
And faintly journeys up heaven's sapphire path; And cutting from her brows her tresses bright,
The moon doth keep her Lord's sad obsequies, Impearling with her tears her robe of night;
All staggering and lazy lour the skies ; The earth and elemental stages quake;
The long-since dead from bursted graves arise. And can things wanting sense yet sorrow take,
And bear a part with Him who all them wrought, And man (though born with cries) shall pity lack ?
Think what had been your state, had he not brought To these sharp pangs Himself, and prized so high
Your souls, that with his life them life He bought! What do you attend, if still ye lie
Plunged in your wonted follies, wretched brood! Shall for your sake again God ever die ?
Oh ! leave deluding shows, embrace true good; He on you calls, forego sin's shameful trade;
With prayers now seek ye heaven, and not with blood, Let not the lambs more from their dams be had,
Nor altars blush for sin ; live every thing! That long-time longed-for sacrifice is made.
All that is from you craved by this great King,
What gift, alas ! can we Him meaner bring ?
And God invites you to your only bliss :
But low deep bury faults, so ye repent ; His arms, lo! stretched are, you to embrace.
When days are done, and life's small spark is spent, So you accept what freely here is given,
Like brood of angels deathless, all content, Ye shall forever live with Him in heaven.
Bright portals of the sky,
Embossed with sparkling stars ; Doors of eternity,
With diamantine bars, Your arras rich uphold:
Loose all your bolts and springs, Ope wide your leaves of gold,
That in your roofs may come the King of kings. Scarfed in a rosy cloud,
He doth ascend the air, Straight doth the moon Him shroud
With her resplendent hair;