Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need

Either man's work or His own gifts. Who best

Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state Is kingly : thousands at His bidding speed,

And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

XV.

TO MR. LAWRENCE.
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,

Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire

Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining ? Time will run

On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire

The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,

Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise

To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?

He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

XVI.

TO CYRIAC SKINNER.

CYRIAC, whose grandsire on the royal bench

Of British Themis, with no mean applause,
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,

Which others at their bar so often wrench,
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench

In mirth that after no repenting draws; Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,

And what the Swede intends, and what the French. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know

Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,

And disapproves that care, though wise in show,

That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

XVII.

TO THE SAME.

Cyriac, this three years' day these eyes, though clear.

To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot ;

Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,

Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot

Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?

The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied

In liberty's defence, my noble task,
Of which all Europe rings from side to side.

This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
Content, though blind, had I no better guide.

XVIII.

ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint

Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,

Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint.
Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint

Purification in the old law did save,
And such as yet once more I trust to have

Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind.

Her face was veiled; yet to my fancied sight

Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
So clear, as in no face with more delight.

But, oh! as to embrace me she inclined,
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.

PSALMS.

PSALM I.

Done into verse 1653.
Blessed is the man who hath not walked astray
In counsel of the wicked, i' the way
Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat
Of scorners hath not sat; but in the great
Jehovah's law is ever his delight,
And in His law he studies day and night.
He shall be as a tree which planted grows
By silvery streams, and in his season knows
To yield his fruit; and his leaf shall not fall ;
And what he takes in hand shall prosper all.
Not so the wicked; but, as chaff which fanned
The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand
In judgment, or abide their trial then,
Nor sinners in the assembly of just men.
For the Lord knows the upright way of the just.
And the way of bad men to ruin must.

[ocr errors]

PSALM II.

Done August 8, 1653.-Tersetti. Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the nations

Muse a vain thing, the kings of the earth upstand

With power, and princes in their congregations Lay deep their plots together through each land

Against the Lord and His Messiah dear?

“Let us break off,” say they, “by strength of hand, Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear, Their twisted cords.” He who in Heaven doth dwell

1ο

Shall laugh; the Lord shall scoff them, then severe
Speak to them in His wrath, and in His fell
And fierce ire trouble them. “But I," saith He,

Anointed have My King (though ye rebel)
On Sion, My holy hill.” A firm decree

I will declare : the Lord to Me hath said,

“Thou art My Son; I have begotten Thee This day; ask of Me, and the grant is made :

As Thy possession I on Thee bestow

The heathen, and, as Thy conquest to be swayed, Earth's utmost bounds: them shalt Thou bring full low

With iron sceptre bruised, and them disperse

Like to a potter's vessel shivered so.”
And now be wise at length, ye kings averse ;

Be taught, ye judges of the earth ; with fear

Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse With trembling; kiss the Son, lest He appear

In anger, and ye perish in the way,

If once His wrath take fire, like fuel sere. Happy all those who have in Him their stay.

20

PSALM III.

August 9, 1653.

When he fled from Absalom.
LORD, how many are my foes !

How many those
That in arms against me rise :

Many are they

That of my life distrustfully thus say,
No help for him in God there lies.”
But Thou, Lord, art my shield, my glory ;

Thee, through my story,
The exalter of my head I count:

Aloud I cried

Unto Jehovah ; He full soon replied, And heard me from His holy mount.

10

I lay and slept; I waked again :

For my sustain
Was the Lord. Of many millions

The populous rout

I fear not, though, encamping round about,
They pitch against me their pavilions.
Rise, Lord; save me, my God! for Thou

Hast smote ere now
On the cheek-bone all my foes,

Of men abhorred
Hast broke the teeth. This help was from the Lord ;

Thy blessing on Thy people flows.

20

PSALM IV.

IO

August 10, 1653
ANSWER me when I call,
God of my righteousness;
In straits and in distress
Thou didst me disenthrall

And set at large : now spare,
Now pity me, and hear my earnest prayer.

Great ones, how long will ye
My glory have in scorn ?
How long be thus forborne
Still to love vanity ?

To love, to seek, to prize
Things false and vain, and nothing else but lies ?

Yet know the Lord hath chose,
Chose to Himself apart,
The good and meek of heart
(For whom to choose He knows);

Jehovah from on high
Will hear my voice what time to Him I cry.

Be awed, and do not sin;
Speak to your hearts alone
Upon your beds, each one,

20

« ZurückWeiter »