« AnteriorContinuar »
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
For so Apollo, with unweeting hand
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,
Young Hyacinth born on Eurotas' strand,
Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land;
But then transform'd him to a purple flower:
Alack that so to change thee Winter had no power.
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb, 30
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,
Hid from the world in a low-delved tomb;
Could Heav'n for pity thee so strictly doom?
Oh no! for something in thy face did shine
Above mortality, that shew'd thou wast divine. 35
Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely blest,
(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear)
Tell me, bright Spirit, where'er thou hoverest,
Whether above that high first-moving sphere,
Or in the Elysian fields (if such there were),
- 40 O say me true if thou wert mortal wight, And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight. Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof Of shak't Olympus by mischance didst fall; Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof 45 Took up, and in fit place did reinstall ? Or did of late earth's sons besiege the wall
Of sheeny Heav'n, and thou some goddess fled Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head ?
Or wert thou that just maid who once before
Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,
And cam'st again to visit us once more ?
Or wert thou [Mercy) that sweet-smiling youth?
Or that crown'd matron, sage white-robed Truth?
Or any other of that heav'nly brood
55 Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good?
Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who having clad thyself in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,
And after short abode fly back with speed; 1 60
As if to show what creatures Heav'n doth breed;
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heav'n aspire ?
But oh why didst thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy heav'n-lov'd innocence, - 65
To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence,
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart? But thou canst best perform that office where thou art. Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child, 71 Her false imagin'd loss cease to lament, And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild; Think what a present thou to God hast sent, And render him with patience what he lent;
This if thou do he will an offspring give, That till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.
ANNO ÆTATIS XIX. (1628.)
At a VACATION EXERCISE in the COLLEGE, part
Latin, part English. The Latin speeches ended, the
English thus began.
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't, slide through my infant-lips;
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: 10
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me I have thither packt the worst :
And if it happen as I did forecast,
The daintest 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 treasure ;
Not those new-fangled toys, and trimming slight
Which takes our late fantastics with delight;
20 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’t 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 soar Above the wheeling poles; and at Heav'ns door Look in, and see each blissful deity How he before the thunderous throne doth lie, Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings To th' touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings Immortal nectar to her kingly sire : Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire, 40 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 raves, In Heav'ns defiance mustering all his waves; Then sing of secret things that came to pass 45 When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
And last, of kings and queens and hero's 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 wandring 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 Predicaments his
ten sons, whereof the eldest stood for Substance with his
canons, which Ens thus speaking, explains. Good luck befriend thee, son; for at thy birth The faery ladies danc't upon the hearth;
60 Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spy 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 still 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,
Yet every one shall make him underling,
And those that cannot live from him asunder
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; 80
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 flowry lap;
Yet shall he live in strife, and at his door
Devouring war shall never cease to roar :
Yea, it shall be his natural property
To harbour those that are at enmity.'
What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not
Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot ?
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 gulfy Dun;
Or Trent, who like some earth-born giant spreads
His thirty arms along the indented meads;
Or sullen Mole that runneth underneath,
Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death,
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallowed Dee,
Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythian's name,
Or Medway smooth, or royal-towred Thame. 100
[The rest was prose.]
ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY.
This is the month, and this the happy morn
Wherein the Son of Heav'ns 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.