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And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light :
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voiced quire below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness through mine ear
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all Heaven before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit, and rightly spell
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.
DIRECTED TO MY DEAR FATHER, AND MOST WORTHY FRIEND,
MR. ISAAC WALTON.
Heaven, what an age is this! what race
Of giants are sprung up, that dare
Thus fly in the Almighty's face,
And with his Providence make war!
I can go nowhere but I meet
With malcontents and mutineers,
As if in life was nothing sweet,
And we must blessings reap in tears.
O senseless man! that murmurs still
For happiness, and does not know,
Even though he might enjoy his will,
What he would have to make him so.
Is it true happiness to be
By undiscerning Fortune placed
In the most eminent degree,
Where few arrive, and none stand fast?
Titles and wealth are Fortune's toils,
Wherewith the vain themselves ensnare:
The great are proud of borrowed spoils,
The miser's plenty breeds his care.
The one supinely yawns at rest,
The other eternally doth toil ;
Each of them equally a beast,
A pampered horse, or labouring moil:
The titulados oft disgraced
By public hate or private frown,
And he whose hand the creature raised,
Has yet a foot to kick him down.
The drudge who would all get, all save,
Like a brute beast both feeds and lies;
Prone to the earth, he digs his grave,
And in the very labour dies.
Excess of ill-got, ill-kept, pelf
Does only death and danger breed;
Whilst one rich worldling starves himself
With what would thousand others feed.
By which we see that wealth and power,
Although they make men rich and great,
The sweets of life do often sour,
And gull ambition with a cheat.
Nor is he happier than these,
Who in moderate estate,
Where he might safely live at ease,
Has lusts that are immoderate.
For he, by those desires misled,
Quits his own vine's securing shade,
To’expose his naked, empty head
To all the storms man's peace invade.
Nor is he happy who is trim,
Tricked up in favours of the fair,
Mirrors, with every breath made dim,
Birds, caught in every wanton snare.
Woman, man's greatest woe or bliss,
Does ofter far, than serve, enslave,
And with the magic of a kiss
Destroys whom she was made to save.
Oh! fruitful grief, the world's disease!
And vainer man, to make it so,
Who gives his miseries increase
By cultivating his own woe.
There are no ills but what we make
By giving shapes and names to things;
Which is the dangerous mistake
That causes all our sufferings.
We call that sickness, which is health ;
That persecution, which is grace ;
That poverty, which is true wealth ;
And that dishonour, which is praise.
Alas! our time is here so short,
That in what state soe'er 'tis spent,
Of joy or woe, does not import,
Provided it be innocent.
But we may make it pleasant too,
If we will take our measures right,
And not what Heaven has done, undo
By an unruly appetite.
The world is full of beaten roads,
But yet so slippery withal,
That where one walks secure, 'tis odds
A hundred and a hundred fall.
Untrodden paths are then the best,
Where the frequented are unsure ;
And he comes soonest to his rest,
Whose journey has been most secure.
It is content alone that makes
Our pilgrimage a pleasure here;
And who buys sorrow cheapest, takes
An ill conimodity too dear.
IN PRAISE OF HOPE. Hope, of all ills that men endure The only cheap and universal cure ! Thou captive's freedom, and thou sick man's health! Thou loser's victory, and thou beggar's wealth ! Thou manna, which from heaven we eat, To every taste a several meat ! Thou strong retreat, thou sure entailed estate, Which nought has power to alienate ! Thou pleasant, honest flatterer, for none Flatter unhappy men, but thou alone! Hope, thou first-fruits of happiness! Thou gentle dawning of a bright success ! Thou good preparative, without which our joy Does work too strong, and whilst it cures, destroy;
Who out of fortune's reach dost stand,
15 And art a blessing still in hand! Whilst thee, her earnest-money, we retain, We certain are to gain, Whether she her bargain break, or else fulfil ; Thou only good, not worse for ending ill ! Brother of Faith, 'twixt whom and thee The joys of Heaven and earth divided be ! Though Faith be heir, and have the fixed estate, Thy portion yet in moveables is great. Happiness itself's all one In thce, or in possession ! Only the future 's thine, the present his ! Thine's the more hard and noble bliss ; Best apprehender of our joys, which hast So long a reach, and yet canst hold so fast !
30 Hope, thou sad lover's only friend ! Thou way, that may’st dispute it with the end ! For love, I fear, 's a fruit that does delight The taste itself less than the smell and sight. Fruition more deceitful is
35 Than thou canst be, when thou dost miss; Men leave thee by obtaining, and straight flee Some other way again to thee: And that's a pleasant country, without doubt, To which all soon return that travel out.
40 Abrahain Cowley.
TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. SPOKEN BY MR. HART, AT THE ACTING OF
6 THE SILENT WOMAN.'
What Greece, when learning flourished, only knew,
Athenian judges, you this day renew.
Here too are annual rites to Pallas done,
And here poetic prizes lost or won.