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IF crost with all mishaps be my poor life,
If one short day I never spent in mirth,
If my spright with myself holds lasting strife,
If sorrow's death is but new sorrow's birth;
If this vain world be but a sable stage
Where slave-born man plays to the scoffing stars;
If youth be tossed with love, with weakness age,
If knowledge serve to hold our thoughts in wars;
If time can close the hundred mouths of fame,
And make, what long since past, like that to be;
If virtue only be an idle name,
If.I, when I was born, was bor n to die;
Why seek I to prolong these loathsome days?
The fairest rose in shortest time decays.
Tears On The Death Of Mceliades'.
REST, blessed soul, rest satiate with the sight
Of him whose beams (though dazzling) do delight;
Life of all lives, cause of each other cause;
The sphere and centre where the mind doth pause;
Rest, happy soul, and wonder in that glass
Where seen is all that shall be, is, or was,
While shall be, is, or was, do pass away,
And nothing be but an eternal day.
1 Prince Henry, eldest son of James I. The name is an anagram of 'Miles a Deo.'
For ever rest; thy praise fame will enrol
In golden annals, while about the pole
The slow Bootes turns, or Sun doth rise
With scarlet scarf to cheer the mourning skies.
The virgins on thy tomb will garlands bear
Of flow'rs and with each flower let fall a tear.
Mceliades sweet courtly nymphs deplore,
From Thule to Hydaspes' pearly shore.
Or that white stone
Paros affords alone,
Or these, in azure dye,
Which seem to scorn the sky;
Here Memphis' wonders do not set,
Nor Artemisia's huge frame,
That keeps so long her lover's name,
Make no great marble Atlas stoop with gold,
To please the vulgar eye shall it behold.
The Muses, Phosbus, Love, have raised of their tears
A crystal tomb to him, through which his worth appears.
For The Baptist.
THE last and greatest herald of heaven's King,
Girt with rough skins, hies to the desert wild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he than man more harmless found and mild:
His food was locusts, and what young doth spring
With honey, that from virgin hives distilled;
Parched body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled,
There burst he forth: 'All ye, whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn;
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn.'
Who listened to his voice, obeyed his cry?
Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their marble caves, 'Repent! Repent!'
"I "HESE eyes, dear Lord, once brandons of desire,
*. Frail scouts betraying what they had to keep, Which their own heart, then others set on fire, Their traitorous black before Thee here out-weep; These locks, of blushing deeds the fair attire, Smooth frizzled waves, sad shelves which shadow deep, Soul-stinging serpents in gilt curls which creep, To touch Thy sacred feet do now aspire. In seas of Care behold a sinking bark, By winds of sharp remorse unto Thee driven, O let me not exposed be ruin's mark! My faults confest,—Lord, say they are forgiven.' Thus sighed to Jesus the Bethanian fair, His tear-wet feet still drying with her hair.
The Character Of A Happy Life.
T TOW happy is he bor n and taught,
.*. .*. That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Not tied unto the world with care
Of public fame, or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Or vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise,
Nor rules of state, but rules of good:
Who hath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make accusers great:
Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;
—This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.
From 'the Church Porch.'
LIE not; but let thy heart be true to God.
Thy mouth to it, thy actions to them both:
Cowards tell lies, and those that fear the rod;
The stormy working soul spits lies and froth.
Dare to be true; nothing can need a lie;
A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.
Fly idleness, which yet thou canst not fly
By dressing, mistressing and compliment.
If those take up thy day, the sun will cry
Against thee; for his light was only lent.
God gave thy soul brave wings; put not those feathers
Into a bed, to sleep out all ill weathers.
Restore to God his due in tithe and time:
A tithe purloined cankers the whole estate.
Sundays observe: think when the bells do chime
Tis angels' music; therefore come not late.
God then deals blessings: if a king did so,
Who would not haste, nay give, to see the show?
When once thy foot enters the church, be bare;
God is more there than thou; for thou art there
Only by His permission. Then beware
And make thyself all reverence and fear.
Kneeling ne'er spoiled silk stocking; quit thy state,
All equal are within the church's gate.
Resort to sermons, but to prayers most:
Praying's the end of preaching. O be drest;
Stay not for th' other pin: why, thou hast lost
A joy for it worth worlds. Thus hell doth jest
Away thy blessings, and extremely flout thee,
Thy clothes being fast, but thy soul loose about thee.
In time of service seal up both thine eyes,
And send them to thine heart, that spying sin
They may weep out the stains by them did rise:
Those doors being shut, all by the ear comes in.
Who marks at churchtime others' symmetry
Makes all their beauty his deformity.
Let vain or busy thoughts have there no part:
Bring not thy plough, thy plots, thy pleasures hither.
Christ purged his temple; so must thou thy heart.
All worldly thoughts are but thieves met together
To cozen thee: look to thine actions well;
For churches either are our heaven or hell.