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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 wash'd 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 veil'd, 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.
PSALM I. DONE INTO VERSE, 1653.
BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray
In counsel of the wicked, and 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 watery 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 fann'd
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.
PSALM II. DONE AUG. 8, 1653. TERZETTI.
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,
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 sway'd,
Earth's utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full low
With iron sceptre bruised, and them disperse,
Like to a potter's vessel, shiver'd 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.
PSALM III. AUG. 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
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 abhorr'd
Hast broke the teeth. This help was from the Lord; Thy blessing on thy people flows.
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,
And be at peace within.
Offer the offerings just
Of righteousness, and in Jehovah trust.
Many there be that say,
Who yet will show us good?
Talking like this world's brood;
But, Lord, thus let me pray,
On us lift up the light,
Lift up the favour of thy countenance bright.
Into my heart more joy
And gladness thou hast put,
Than when a year of glut
Their stores doth overcloy,
And from their plenteous grounds,
With vast increase, their corn and wine abounds.
In peace at once will I
Both lay me down and sleep,
For thou alone dost keep
Me safe where'er I lie;
As in a rocky cell
Thou, Lord, alone in safety makest me dwell.
PSALM V. AUG. 12, 1653.
JEHOVAH, to my words give ear,
My meditation weigh,
The voice of my complaining hear,
My King and God; for unto thee I pray.
Jehovah, thou my early voice
Shalt in the morning hear,
I' the morning I to thee with choice
Will rank my prayers, and watch till thou appear.
For thou art not a God that takes
In wickedness delight;
Evil with thee no biding makes;
Fools or mad men stand not within thy sight.
All workers of iniquity
Thou hatest; and them unblest
Thou wilt destroy that speak a lie;
The bloody and guileful man God doth detest.
But I will, in thy mercies dear,
Thy numerous mercies, go
Into thy house; I in thy fear
Will towards thy holy temple worship low.
Lord, lead me in thy righteousness,
Lead me, because of those
That do observe, if I transgress;
Set thy ways right before, where my step goes.
For in his faltering mouth unstable
No word is firm or sooth;
Their inside, troubles miserable;
An open grave their throat, their tongue they smooth.
God, find them guilty, let them fall
By their own counsels quell'd;
Push them in their rebellions all
Still on; for against thee they have rebell'd.
Then all who trust in thee shall bring
Their joy, while thou from blame
Defend'st them, they shall ever sing
And shall triumph in thee, who love thy name.
For thou, Jehovah, wilt be found
To bless the just man still,
As with a shield, thou wilt surround
Him with thy lasting favour and good will.
PSALM VI. AUG. 13, 1653.
LORD, in thine anger do not reprehend me,
Nor in thy hot displeasure me correct;
Pity me, Lord, for I am much deject,
And very weak and faint heal and amend me:
For all my bones, that e'en with anguish ache,
Are troubled, yea, my soul is troubled sore,
And thou, O Lord, how long? Turn, Lord, restore
My soul, O save me for thy goodness' sake:
For in death no remembrance is of thee;
Who in the grave can celebrate thy praise?
Wearied I am with sighing out my days,
Nightly my couch I make a kind of sea;
My bed I water with my tears; mine eye
Through grief consumes, is waxen old and dark
I' the midst of all mine enemies that mark.
Depart, all ye that work iniquity,