Imatges de pÓgina
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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.

XI.

Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,
Her false-imagined loss cease to lament,
And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild;
Think what a present thou to God has 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.

lish.

ANNO ÆTATIS 19.

At a VACATION EXERCISE in the COLLEGE, part Latin, part Eng-
The Latin speeches ended, the English thus began:
HAIL, native language, that by sinews weak
Didst move my first-endeavouring tongue to speak,
And madest imperfect words with childish trips,
Half unpronounced, 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:
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me, I have thither pack'd the worst;
And, if it happen as I did forecast

The daintiest dishes shall be served 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,
But cull those richest robes, and gayest 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'd 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 choose,
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 heaven's door
Look in, and see each blissful deity,

How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings

To the touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly sire:

Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
And misty regions of wide air next under,
And hills of snow, and lofts of piled thunder,
May tell at length how green-eyed Neptune raves,
In heaven's defiance mustering all his waves
Then sing of secret things that came to pass
When beldame Nature in her cradle was;
And last of kings and queens and heroes 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 wandering 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 purposed 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 fairy ladies danced upon the hearth;

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,
Strow 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 outgo them,

Yet, being above them, he shall be below them;
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 flowery 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 gulphy 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 hallow'd Dee,
Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythian's name,
Or Medway smooth, or royal-tower'd Thame.
[The rest was prose.]

ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY.

I.

THIS is the month, and this the happy morn,
Wherein the Son of Heaven's 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.

II.

That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-table
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,

He laid aside; and here with us to be,

Forsook the courts of everlasting day,

And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.

'III.

Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Afford a present to the Infant-God?

Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
To welcome him to this his new abode,

Now while the heaven, by the sun's team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons
bright?

IV.

See, how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wizards haste with odours sweet:
Oh, run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet;

Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the angel choir,

From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.

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While the heaven-born Child

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger

Nature in awe to him

Had doff'd her gaudy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathise :

It was no season then for her

To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour.

Only with speeches fair

She woos the gentle air

II.

To hide her guilty front with innocent snow, And on her naked shame,

Pollute with sinful blame,

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw, Confounded, that her Maker's eyes

Should look so near upon her foul deformities

III.

But he, her fears to cease,

Sent down the meek-eyed Peace;

She, crown'd with olives green, came softly sliding Down through the turning sphere,

His ready harbinger,

With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing;

And, waving wide her myrtle wand,

She strikes a universal peace through sea and land.

IV.

Nor war, or battle's sound
Was heard the world around:

The idle spear and shield were high up hung, The hooked chariot stood

Unstain'd with hostile blood,

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng, And kings sat still with awful eye,

As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by.

V.

But peaceful was the night,

Wherein the Prince of Light

His reign of peace upon the earth began: The winds, with wonder whist,

Smoothly the waters kiss'd,

Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,

Who now hath quite forgot to rave,

While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.

VI.

The stars, with deep amaze,

Stand fix'd in steadfast gaze,

Bending one way their precious influence,

And will not take their flight,

For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;

But in their glimmering orbs did glow,

Until their Lord himself bespake and bid them go.

VII.

And though the shady gloom

Had given day her room,

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed,

And hid his head for shame,

As his inferior flame

The new enlighten'd world no more should need ;

He saw a greater Sun appear

Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, could bear.

VIII.

The shepherds on the lawn,

Or e'er the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;

Full little thought they then,

That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below;

Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,

Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep,

When such music sweet

IX.

Their hearts and ears did greet,

As never was by mortal finger strook,

Divinely-warbled voice

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