« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Poor Soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
[Foil'd by] those rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend ?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge ? is this thy body's end ?
Then, Soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store ;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more :-
So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And death once dead, there's no more dying then.
The man of life upright,
Whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds,
Or thought of vanity;
The man whose silent days
In harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude
Nor sorrow discontent:
That man needs neither towers
Nor armour for defence,
Nor secret vaults to fly
From thunder's violence :
He only can behold
With unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep
And terrors of the skies.
Thus scorning all the cares
That fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book,
His wisdom heavenly things ;
Good thoughts his only friends,
His wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn
And quiet pilgrimage.
Of this fair volume which we World do name
If we the sheets and leaves could turn with care,
Of Him who it corrects, and did it frame,
We clear might read the art and wisdom rare :
Find out His power which wildest powers doth tame,
His providence extending everywhere,
His justice which proud rebels doth not spare,
In every page, no period of the same.
But silly we, like foolish children, rest
Well pleased with colour'd vellum, leaves of gold,
Fair dangling ribbands, leaving what is best,
On the great Writer's sense ne'er taking hold ;
Or if by chance we stay our minds on aught,
It is some picture on the margin wrought.
Doth then the world go thus, doth all thus move?
Is this the justice which on Earth we find ?
Is this that firm decree which all doth bind?
Are these your influences, Powers above?
Those souls which vice's moody mists most blind,
Blind Fortune, blindly, most their friend doth prove ;
And they who thee, poor idol Virtue ! love,
Ply like a feather toss'd by storm and wind.
Ah! if a Providence doth sway this all
Why should best minds groan under most distress?
Or why should pride humility make thrall,
And injuries the innocent oppress?
Heavens ! hinder, stop this fate; or grant a time
When good may have, as well as bad, their prime !
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry-
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive Good attending captain Ill :-
-Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my Love alone.
Happy were he could finish forth his fate
In some unhaunted desert, where, obscure
From all society, from love and hate
Of worldly folk, there should he sleep secure ;
Then wake again, and yield God ever praise ;
hip, with haws, and brambleberry ;
In contemplation passing still his days,
And change of holy thoughts to make him merry :
Who, when he dies, his tomb might be the bush
Where harmless robin resteth with the thrush :
---Happy were he !
R. Devereux, Earl of Essex
SAINT JOHN BAPTIST
The last and greatest Herald of Heaven's King
Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he more harmless found than man, and mild.
His food was locusts, and what there doth spring,
With honey that from virgin hives distillid;
Parch'd 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 listend to his voice, obey'd his cry?
Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their fiinty caves, Repent ! Repent !
ODE ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S
| This is the month, and this the happy morn
Wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal King
Of wedded maid and virgin mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing
That He our deadly forfeit should release,
And with His Father work us a perpetual peace.
That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty
Wherewith He wont at Heaven's high council-table
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid aside ; and, here with us to be,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain
To welcome Him to this His new abode,
Now while the heaven, by the sun's team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons