Imágenes de páginas


AN EPITAPH ON SHAKSPEARE. Renowned Chaucer, lie a thought more nigh To rare Beaumond; and learned Beaumond lie A little nearer Spencer, to make room For Shakspeare in your threefold fourfold tomb. To lie all four in one bed make a shift, For until doomsday hardly will a fift Betwixt this day and that be slain, For whom your curtains need be drawn again ; But, if precedency of death doth bar A fourth place in your sacred sepulchre, Under this curled marble of thine own Sleep rare tragedian Shakspeare, sleep alone, That unto us and others it may be Honour, hereafter to be laid by thee.

[blocks in formation]

FATHER of heaven, and him, by whom

It, and us for it, and all else, for us Thou madest, and governest ever, come And recreate me, now grown ruinous

My heart is by dejection, clay,

And by self-murder, red.
From this red earth, O Father purge away
All vicious tinctures, that new fashioned
I may rise up from death, before I'am dead.

2. The Son.

O Son of God, who seeing two things,

Sin, and death crept in, which were never made, By bearing one, try'dst with what stings The other could thine heritage invade;

O be thou nailed unto my heart,

And crucified again, Part not from it, though it from thee would part, But let it be, by applying so thy pain, Drowned in thy blood, and in thy passion slain.


O Holy Ghost, whose temple I

Am, but of mud walls, and condensed dust, And being sacrilegiously Half-wasted with youth's fires, of pride and lust,

Must with new storms be weatherbeat;

Double in my heart thy flame, Which let devout sad tears intend; and let (Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim) Fire sacrifice, priest, altar be the same.


O Blessed glorious Trinity,

Bones to philosophy, but milk to faith,
Which, as wise serpents, diversely
Most slipperiness, yet most entanglings hath,

As you distinguished undistinct

By power, love, knowledge be, Give me a such self-different instinct, Of these let all me elemented be, Of power, to love, to know, you unnumb'red Three.


For that fair blessed mother-maid,

Whose flesh redeemed us; that she-cherubin,
Which unlocked paradise, and made
One claim for innocence, and disseised sin,

Whose womb was a strange heaven, for there

God clothed himself, and grew,
Our zealous thanks we pour. As her deeds were
Our helps, so are her prayers ; nor can she sue
In vain, who hath such titles unto you.

6. THE ANGELS. And since this life our nonage is,

And we in wardship to thine angels be,
Native in heaven's fair palaces
Where we shall be but denizened by thee,

As the earth conceiving by the sun,

Yields fair diversity, Yet never knows which course that light doth run, So let me study, that mine actions be Worthy their sight, though blind in how they see.


And let thy patriarchs' desire

(Those great-grandfathers of thy church, which saw More in the cloud, than we in fire, Whom nature cleared more, than us grace and law,

And now in heaven still pray, that we

May use our new helps right) Be sanctified, and fructify in me;

Let not my mind be blinder by more light,
Nor faith, by reason added, lose her sight.

Thy eagle-sighted prophets too,

Which were thy church's organs, and did sound
That harmony, which made of two
One law, and did unite, but not confound;

Those heavenly poets which did see

Thy will, and it express
In rhythmic feet, in common pray for me,
That I by them excuse not my excess
In seeking secrets, or poeticness.


And thy illustrious zodiak

Of twelve apostles, which ingirt this all,
From whom whoso'ever do not take
Their light, to dark deep pits throw down, and fall *,

As through their prayers, thou hast let me know

That their books are divine;
May they pray still, and be heard, that I go
The old broad way in applying; O decline
Me, when my comment would make thy word mine.


And since thou so desirously

Did'st long to die, that long before thou could'st,
And long since thou no more couldest die,
Thou in thy scattered mystic body would'st

In Abel die, and ever since

In thine, let their blood come
To beg for us, a discreet patience
Of death, or of worse life: for O! to some
Not to be martyrs, is a martyrdom.

Therefore with thee triumpheth there

A virgin squadron of white confessors,
Whose bloods betrothed, not married were ;

Tendered, not taken by those ravishers:

“ Thrown down do fall;"-Anderson's Poets; but the word throw is hero used in a neuter sense. -- ED.

They know, and pray, that we may know

In every Christian
Hourly tempestuous persecutions grow;
Temptations martyr us alive ; a man
Is to himself a Diocletian.

[blocks in formation]

The cold white snowy nunnery,

Which, as thy mother, their high abbess, sent
Their bodies back again to thee,
As thou hadst lent them, clean and innocent,

Though they have not obtained of thee,

That, or thy church, or I,
Should keep, as they, our first integrity,
Divorce thou sin in us, or bid it die,
And call chaste widowhead virginity.


Thy sacred academe above

Of doctors, whose pains have unclasped, and taught Both books of life to us (for love To know thy Scriptures, tells us, we are wrote

In thy other book) pray for us there

That what they have misdone
Or missaid, we to that may not adhere;
Their zeal may be our sin : Lord, let us run
Mean ways, and call them stars, but not the sun.


And whilst this universal quire,

That church in triumph, this in warfare here,
Warmed with one all-partaking fire
Of love, that none be lost, which cost thee dear,

Prays ceaselessly, and thou hearken too

(Since to be gracious Our task is treble, to pray, bear, and do) Hear this prayer, Lord, O Lord deliver us From trusting in those prayers, though pour'd out thus.

« AnteriorContinuar »