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Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than so, Which he for us did freely undergo:
Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight
Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight !
He, sovran Priest, stooping his regal head,
That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
His starry front low-roofed beneath the skies:
Oh, what a mask was there, what a disguise!
Yet more the stroke of death he must abide; 20 Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's side.
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,
My spirit some transporting cherub feels
To bear me where the towers of Salem stood,
In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.
Mine eye hath found that sad sepulchral rock
For sure so well instructed are my tears
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.
SONG ON MAY MORNING.
Now the bright morning-star, Day's harbinger,
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
146 ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
WHAT needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones The labour of an age in pilèd stones ?
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? Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a livelong monument.
For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art,
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 surely Death could never have prevailed,
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
So hung his destiny, never to rot
While he might still jog on and keep his trot;
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
Too long vacation hastened on his term.
148 MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER.
His leisure told him that his time was come,
And lack of load made his life burdensome,
As he were pressed to death, he cried, "More weight!"
He had been an immortal carrier.
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
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.
To house with darkness and with death!
Yet, had the number of her days
Been as complete as was her praise,
In giving limit to her life.
Her high birth and her graces sweet