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He, sovran Priest, stooping his regal head,
His starry front low-roofed beneath the skies:
Yet more the stroke of death he must abide;
These latest scenes confine my roving verse;
His godlike acts, and his temptations fierce,
Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful things.
Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief!
And work my flattered fancy to belief
That heaven and earth are coloured with my woe;
My sorrows are too dark for day to know :
The leaves should all be black whereon I write,
And letters, where my tears have washed, a wannish white.
See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.
Mine eye hath found that sad sepulchral rock
And here, though grief my feeble hands up-lock,
My plaining verse as lively as before;
For sure so well instructed are my tears
That they would fitly fall in ordered characters.
Or, should I thence, hurried on viewless wing,
Might think the infection of my sorrows loud
Had got a race of mourners on some pregnant cloud.
This Subject the Author finding to be above the years he had when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was begun, left it unfinished.
FLY, envious Time, till thou run out thy race:
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain!
For, whenas each thing bad thou hast entombed,
And, last of all, thy greedy self consumed,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss,
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood;
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of Him, to whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb,
Then, all this earthy grossness quit,
Attired with stars we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time!
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC.
BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy,
With saintly shout and solemn jubilee ;
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
Singing everlastingly :
That we on Earth, with undiscording voice,
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportioned sin
Jarred against nature's chime, and with harsh din
To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayed
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O, may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with Him, and sing in endless morn of light!
SONG ON MAY MORNING.
Now the bright morning-star, Day's harbinger,
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
ON SHAKESPEARE. 1630.
WHAT needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones
Or that his hallowed reliques should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Hast built thyself a livelong monument.
For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving,
ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER,
Who sickened in the time of his Vacancy, being forbid to go to London by reason of the Plague.
HERE lies old Hobson. Death hath broke his girt,
Dodged with him betwixt Cambridge and The Bull.
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
In the kind office of a chamberlin
Showed him his room where he must lodge that night, Pulled off his boots, and took away the light.
If any ask for him, it shall be said,
"Hobson has supped, and's newly gone to bed.”
ANOTHER ON THE SAME.
HERE lieth one who did most truly prove
While he might still jog on and keep his trot;
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
Too long vacation hastened on his term.
He had been an immortal carrier.
Obedient to the moon he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his fate
Linked to the mutual flowing of the seas;
Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase.
Only remains this superscription.
AN EPITAPH ON THE MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER.
THIS rich marble doth inter
The honoured wife of Winchester,
A Viscount's daughter, an Earl's heir,
Added to her noble birth,
More than she could own from Earth.