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BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy,
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd power employ
Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce;
And to our high-rais'd phantasy present
That undisturbed song of pure consent,
Aye sung before the saphire-colour'd throne
To him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee ;
Where the bright Seraphim, in burning row, 10
Their loud up-lifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the cherubic host, in thousand quires,
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
That we on Earth, with undiscording voice,
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportion'd Sin
Jarı'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair music that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood [sway'd
In first obedience, and their state of good."
O, may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light!
' ON THE
MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER '.
THIS rich marble doth inter
The honour'd wife of Winchester,
A viscount's daughter, an earl's heir,
Besides what her virtues fair
'She was the wife of John marquis of Winchester, a conspicuous loyalist in the reign of king Charles the first, whose magnificent house or castle of Basing in Hampshire withstood an obstinate siege of two years against the rebels, and when taken was levelled to the ground, because in every window was flourished. Aymez Loya ute.
Added to her noble birth,
More than she could own from earth.
Summers three times eight save one
She had told; alas! too soon,
After so short time of breath,
To house with darkness, and with death.
Yet had the number of her days
Been as complete as was her praise,
Nature and Fate had had no strife
In giving limit to her life.
Her high birth, and her graces sweet,
Quickly found a lover meet;
The virgin quire for her request
The god that sits at marriage feast;
He at their invoking came,
But with a scarce well-lighted flame;
And in his garland, as he stood,
Ye might discern a cypress bud.
Once had the early matrons run
To greet her of a lovely son,
And now with second hope she goes,
And calls Lucina to her throes;
But, whether by mischance or blame,
Atropos for Lucina came ;
And with remorseless cruelty
Spoil'd at one both fruit and tree :
The hapless babe, before his birth,
Had burial, yet not laid in earth;
And the languish'd mother's womb
Was not long a living tomb.
So have I seen some tender slip,
Sav'd with care from Winter's nip,
The pride of her carnation train,
Pluck'd up by some unheedy swain,
Who only thought to crop the flower
New shot up from vernal shower;
But the fair blossom hangs the head.
Side-ways, as on a dying bed,
And those pearls of dew, she wears,
Prove to be presaging tears,
Which the sad Morn had let fall
On her hastening funeral.
Gentle lady, may thy grave
Peace and quiet ever have ;
After this thy travel sore
Sweet rest seize thee evermore,
That, to give the world increase,
Shorten'd hast thy own life's lease.
Here, beside the sorrowing
That thy noble house doth bring,
Here be tears of perfect moan
Wept for thee in Helicon;
And some flowers, and some bays,
For thy herse, to strew the ways,
Sent thee from the banks of Came,
Devoted to thy virtuous name;
Whilst thou, bright saint, high sitst in glory,
Next her, much like to thee in story,
That fair Syrian shepherdess,
Who, after years of barrenness,
The highly favour'd Joseph bore
To him that serv'd for her before,
And at her next birth, much like thee,
Through pangs fled to felicity,
Far within the bosom bright
Of blazing Majesty and Light:
There with thee, new welcome saint,
Like fortunes may her soul acquaiut,
With thee there clad in radiant sheen,
No marchioness, but now a queen.
HAIL, native Language, that by sinews weak Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak,
And mad'st imperfect words with childish trips,
Half unpronounc'd, slide through my infant-
Driving dumb Silence from the portal door,
Where he had mutely sat two years before:
Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask,
That now I use thee in my latter task :
Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee,
I know my tongue but little grace can do thee:
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me I have thither pack'd the worst:
And, if it happen as I did forecast,
The daintiest dishes shall be serv'd up last.
I pray thee then deny me not thy aid
For this same small neglect that I have made :
But haste thee straight to do me once a pleasure,
And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest trea-
Not those new-fangled toys, and trimming slight
Which takes our late fantastics with delight;
But cull those richest robes, and gay'st attire,
Which deepest spirits and choicest wits desire:
I have some naked thoughts that rove about,
And loudly knock to have their passage out;
And, weary of their place, do only stay,
Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best array;
That so they may, without suspect or fears,
Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears;
Yet I had rather, if I were to chuse,
Thy service in some graver subject use,
Such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound:
Such, where the deep transported mind may
Above the wheeling poles, and at Heaven's door
Look in, and see each blissful deity
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings
To the touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly sire:
Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
1 Written 1627. It is hard to say why they did not first appear in edition 1645. They were first added, but misplaced in edit. 1673. WARTON.
And misty regions of wide air next under,
And hills of snow, and lofts of piled thunder,
May tell at length how green-ey'd Neptune
In Heaven's defiance mustering all his waves;
Then sing of secret things that came to pass
When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
And last of kings, and queens, and heroes old,
Such as the wise Demodocus once told
In solemn songs at king Alcinous' feast,
While sad Ulysses' soul, and all the rest,
Are held, with his melodious harmony,
In willing chains and sweet captivity.
But fie, my wandering Muse, how thou dost stray!
Expectance calls thee now another way;
Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent
To keep in compass of thy predicament:
Then quick about thy purpos'd business come,
That to the next I may resign my room,
Then Ens is represented as father of the Predica
ments his two sons, whereof the eldest stood for Substance with his canons, which Ens, thus speaking, explains.
Good luck befriend thee, son; for, at thy birth, Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spie The faery ladies danc'd upon the hearth; Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie, And, sweetly singing round about thy bed, Strew all their blessings on thy sleeping head. She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst
From eyes of mortals walk invisible:
Yet there is something that doth force my fear; For once it was my dismal hap to hear A Sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age, That far events full wisely could presage, And in Time's long and dark prospective glass, Foresaw what future days should bring to pass; "Your son," said she,(" nor can you it prevent) Shall subject be to many an Accident. O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king, And those, that cannot live from him asunder, Yet every one shall make him underling; Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under; In worth and excellence he shall out-go them, Yet, being above them, he shall be below them; From others he shall stand in need of nothing, Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing. To find a foe it shall not be his hap, And Peace shall lull him in her flowery lap; Yet shall he live in strife, and at his door Devouring War shall never cease to roar; To harbour those that are at enmity. Yea, it shall be his natural property [not Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian What power, what force, what mighty spell, if
The next Quantity and Quality spake in prose; then Relation was called by his name.
RIVERS, arise; whether thou be the son
Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulphy Den,
Or Trent, who like some Earth-born giant,
His thirty arms along the indented meads;
Or sullen Mole, that runneth underneath;
Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death;
Orrocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee;
Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scythian's name;
Or Medway smooth, or royal-tower'd Thame.
[The rest was prose. ]
ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATIC POET W.SHAKSPeare,'
WHAT needs my Shakspeare, for his honour'd
The labour of an age in piled stones? [bones,
Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid ?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou, in our wonder and astonishment,
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Thy easy numbers flow; and that each heart
Hath, from the leaves of thy unvalued book,
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took;
Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
And, so sepulcher'd, in such pomp dost lie,
That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die.
Who sickened in the time of his vacancy, being
forbid to go to London, by reason of the plague.
HERE lies old Hobson; Death hath broke his girt,
And here, alas! hath laid him in the dirt;
Or else the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
'Twas such a shifter, that, if truth were known,
Death was half glad when he had got him down;
For he had, any time this ten years full,
Dodg'd with him betwixt Cambridge and The
And surely Death could never have prevail'd,
Had not his weekly course of carriage fail'd;
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
And that he had ta'en up his latest inn,
In the kind office of a chamberlin
Show'd him his room where he must lodge that
Pull'd off his boots, and took away the light:
If any ask for him, it shall be sed,
"Hobson has supt, and's newly gone to bed."
ANOTHER ON THE SAME,
HERE lieth one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die while he could move;
So hung his destiny, never to rot
While he might still jog on and keep his trot,
Made of sphere-metal, never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time:
And, like an engine, mov'd with wheel and weight
His principles being ceas'd, he ended straight.
Rest, that gives all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm,
Too long vacation hasten'd on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quick-
"Nay," quoth he, on his swooning bed out-
"If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd,
But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hear-
Must now be nam'd and printed heretics
By shallow Edwards and Scotch what d'ye call:
But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
Your plots and packing worse than those of
That so the Parliament
Birch, and from him doctor Newton, asserts,
that this copy of verses was written in the twenty-shops-gate-street, where his figure in fresco, with second year of Milton's age, and printed with the an inscription, was lately to be seen. Peck, at Poems of Shakspeare at London in 1640. It first the end of his Memoirs of Cromwell, has printed Hobson's will, which is dated at the close of the appeared among other recommendatory verses, He died Jan. 1, 1630, while the prefixed to the folio edition of Shakspeare's year 1630. plays in 1632. But without Milton's name plague was in London. This piece was written initials. This therefore is the first of Milton's that year. The proverb, to which Hobson's caprice, pieces that was published. founded perhaps on good sense, gave rise, needs not to be repeated.
2 Hobson's inn at London was the Bull in BiVOL, VII,
May, with their wholesome and preventive shears,
Clip your phylacteries, though bauk your ears,
And succour our just fears,
When they shall read this clearly in your charge,
New presbyter is but old priest writ large.
To whom thou untried seem'st fair! Me, in my
Picture, the sacred wall declares to have hung
My dank and dropping weeds
To the stern god of sea.
And kings be born of thee, whose dreadful might
Shall awe the world, and conquer nations bold.'
Ah Constantine, of how much ill was cause,
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
That the first wealthy pope receiv'd of thee1.
Founded in chaste and humble poverty,
'Gainst them that rais'd thee dost thou lift thy
Impudent whore, where hast thou plac'd thy hope?
Another Constantine comes not in haste3.
In thy adulterers, or thy ill-got wealth?
· From ARIOSTO.
Then pass'd he to a flowery mountain green,
Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously:
This was the gift, if you the truth will have,
That Constantine to good Sylvester gave4.
Whom do we count a good man? Whom but he
Who keeps the laws and statutes of the senate,
Who judges in great suits and controversies,
Whose witness and opinion wins the cause?
But his own house, and the whole neighhour-
Sees his foul inside through his whited skin".
This is true liberty, when freeborn men,
Having to advise the public, may speak free;
Which he who can, and will, deserves high
Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace;
What can be a juster in a state than this "?
Laughing, to teach the truth?
What hinders? As some teachers give to boys
Junkets and knacks, that they may learn apace.