DEVT. 16.20.

That which is iust and right shalt thou follow, that thou maist liue and enioy the Land which the Lord thy God giueth thee.

LONDON, Printed for Iohn Teage, and are to be sold at his shoppe in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Ball. 1622.

To the Right Honourable ROBERT, EARLE of WAR­VVICKE, and to his most ver­tuous and Noble Countesse, the Lady Frances:

THou who art in thy Country iustly hight,
Another Daniel for iudging right:
And thou his Dame, a Susan of this age;
Let Both be graced with your Patronage.

The Argument, or Morall, of the whole Historie.

I Chaste Susanna, here interpret Right,
Or Iustice; cleare, as pure celestiall Light;
Whom couetous false Elders, most vniust,
Seeke to corrupt, to satisfie their Lust.
Astrea, of immortall Seede,
Abhominates such foule and wicked deede:
Wherefore they to the people her disgrace,
And set vp wrong and bribing in her place.
The people, alwaies prone to imitate
Their vice, not vertues, that do sway the state,
Ioine with the Iudges al to beat down right,
And take in guifts and doing-wrong delight.
Till Ioue, awaked with the piteous cry
Of those that grone vnder Iniquity,
The gods his Peares to Parlament doth call,
And to Ol [...] pus court them summons all:
W [...]re they decree a Daniel to send,
To iudge the wo [...]st, that al the rest may mēd:
Thence doth Astrea [...]l [...]are, like Susan shine,
And iudges measure by her equall Line.


Gods goodnesse in Iudahs captiuitie;
Ioachims worth: what Elders ought to be;
A good wife by Susanna is descride,
The greatest Blisse that can a man betide.
The Elders each to other doe discouer
Their Lusts, and plot their wishes to recouer.
I Sing the honour of that noble Dame,
Who for true vertues sake despised shame;
And rather chose to die with infamy,
Then violate her sacred Chastitie:
For she him made her confidence and stay,
That made her righteousnesse as cleare as day.
Lucrece be mute; if chaste, why should thou die?
If not, why should we praise thy chastitie?
I sing of Iudges base, not more vniust
In iudgement, than obscene in filthy lust;
I sing of Iustice, Iudgement, Equitie,
And knowledge of discerning Veritie.
Oh blessed Spirit, who didst the spirit dispose
Of youth, the Elders malice to disclose,
Direct my Muse; Iniustice to discou [...]r,
That hating vice, I may be vertues louer:
[Page 2]And teach me sing Susannas sacred story,
To all chaste eares delight, and to thy glory.
Whilst Canaans Land lay seauenty yeeres vntilde,
2 Chr. 36.21
And Sabbaths all prophan'd had nigh fulfilld:
The Abramites that vnder bondage groane,
Sate weeping by the streames of Babylon:
Their Harpes vpon the willow trees then hung,
On which they lately Sions songs had sung;
And though their voices had forgot to sing,
And fingers touch of sweetest warbling string;
Iehouah could not, for his Abrams sake,
Forget the promise he to him did make:
But gaue them fauour in the heathens sight,
And dwellings both for profite and delight:
And, lest they should these benefits despise,
They had, within themselues, t [...]e exercise
Of their owne Lawes; and Elders euery yeare,
The people chose the gouernment to beare,
Who might by vprightnesse, and skill in law,
Protect the Good, and keepe the bad in awe.
Amongst the [...]est, that in that region
Had large possessions; In Babylon
Ioachim had a house most rich and faire,
Most pleasant, fruitfull, healthfull eke for ayre:
But was renowm'd and famous, most of all,
For one faire, large and open goodly Hall,
Whither all Iewish suitours wont resort,
For Iustice; there the Elders kept their Court.
Elders whi [...]h ought, by Iethros counsell wise,
Exo. 18.21.
Be men of courage, hating couetise;
Fearing the Lord; in dealing iust, vpright;
And able to discerne the wrong from right:
But these were Ancients in iniquity,
Malice, Iniustice and Adultery.
[Page 3]Both like in Ignorance, and base condition:
Both rais'd by bribing, fauour and ambition:
Not vsing Law hard causes to decide,
For they all matters by one ballance tride;
Whose guift weighs heauiest, victory obtaines,
This mickle profit brings with little paines:
Deferring strifes finall determination,
Not thereby to take better information,
But for to groape whose purse did heauiest way,
And vnto him they alwayes giue the day.
These iudged then the congregation
Of captiue Iewes that were in Babylon:
And for Ioachim was a noble man,
To him the people with the Elders came;
Where they till noone the causes ouer call,
As now our Iudges in Westminster hall.
This noble man was not so honorable
For ancestry, or ought that's heritable,
As for his vertues, Iustice, Pietie,
Humblenesse, Meekenesse and Integritie.
These did his minde and actions more adorne,
Than wealth, ambition, fauour, armes with scorne:
These made him of the highest reputation,
And sought vnto of all the Iewish nation;
Who though he Patron was and Aduocate,
And wondrous knowledge had, to rule the State,
By his great skill in Lawes iudiciall,
The Morall and the Ceremoniall;
Yet seeing the corruptions of the Time,
And Folly into Seate of Iustice clime:
And that the most vniust and ignorant,
By bribing, friends, or boldnesse, got the Grant
Of highest Offices; Hee free from charge,
Of publique Office, chose to liue at large:
[Page 4]But for because, man borne he vnderstood,
Not for himselfe, but for his countreys good,
He tooke more paines, than any Magistrate,
For wronged friends, and good of publike state.
So that his was the House of Iustice hight,
His mouth an Oracle of Law and Right;
The widows, poores, and orphans sure defendour,
Th' Innocents aid, and terrour of th' offendour.
He ware a Lawyers Gowne to keepe him warme,
But sould no Breath, to doe a poore man harme.
He that describe all heauenly Graces can,
May tell the vertues of this noble man;
Which he not only learnd, by contemplation,
But acted to the good of all his nation.
A good wife described. Prou. 31.10.11. &c.
But aboue wealth and all this man possest,
He with a faithful, honest wife was blest,
In whom her husbands heart might safely trust,
In wealth or want contented, true and iust,
Who did him good, not euill all her daies,
Industrious with her mind and hands alwaies:
Like merchants ship that foode from far doth bring,
Early and late her houshould ordering:
Her working hand still open for to feede,
The hungry, and to giue to them that neede:
And in the Sommer for the Winter tide,
She cloathing for her houshould doth prouide.
This made her husband so much set by, and
To sit amongst the Rulers of the Land:
Her mouth was shut, and couered her face,
In one sate modesty, in th' other grace,
In one did angelique sweet beautie shine,
From th' other wisdome flowes, and grace diuine.
To many daughters, Graces rare befall,
But chaste Susannna went beyond them all.
[Page 5]Amongst the fruits of her Industriousnesse,
Who neuer eate her Bread in idlenesse,
Shee plants an orchard fruitfull, rich and faire,
Whither she with her Lord doth oft repaire,
Themselues awhile from worldly cares to free,
And on their handy workes Gods blessing see:
There might they please, smell, touch, eate, taste and sight,
With flowers, fruits, and musiques sweete delight;
For through the same a pure streame murmured,
To which the Birds sweete trebles warbeled,
The winds amongst the trees a Base did sound,
And flowers all enamelled the ground.
But lo the winds, birds, streames and all were mute,
At nimble touch of Susans trembling Lute,
Brooke staid, Birds ceast, and Aire calme became,
To heare the heau'nly musique of this Dame;
But most it doth her husbands heart reioyce,
To heare her Lute outwarbled by her voice:
Which seem'd a quire of Angels, which did praise
The King of heau'n in Dauids holy laies.
So haue I often heard, in forrest faire,
When Spring begins with calme and gentle aire,
Groaues citizens, which thither doe resort,
Oft sing by turnes, oft [...]oyne in one consort;
Till Philomele to welcome Phoebes light,
Hauing their musique heard with due delight:
Sends from her brest such lute-like warbeling,
The other Birds are all asham'd to sing;
And listening, in one straine most sweete and cleare.
Doe all their changes in one Dittic heare.
And so haue I often seene the shepheard swaines,
Wooing the shepheardesses on the plaines,
Challenge their mates by single pipe and voice,
And ioyne in consort with harmonious noise:
[Page 6]That all the shepheards dance to heare them sing,
And forrests all with ioy aloud doe ring,
Till Phillis with one stroake of warb [...]ing Lute,
The shepheards pipes, and voices all makes mute;
Yea Collin Clout doth breake his pipe for shame,
To heare the heauenly ditties of his Dame.
Thus oft she solaced for recreation,
But most alone, for holy meditation,
She in her orchyard walketh euery day,
To reade the Scriptures meditate and pray,
Where by sublime pure heauenly contemplation,
With God and Angels she hath conue [...]sation,
And by true Faith, and her spirituall eye,
As present doth the day of Christ descry.
This Di'mond of invaluable prize,
Was soone discern'd by Elders lustfull eyes,
Lust th [...]t fierce Fire, which first in eyes conceiues,
And raging enters in, and neuer leaues,
Till all the body it hath set on fire,
And [...]eard the soule with wicked strange desire;
L [...]ke lightning, sent from Heau'n for cursed sinne,
Which first on tops of Towers doth begin,
Then fires the roofe, thence falls downe to the hall,
And is not quench't ti [...]l it consumeth all.
Sweet kindly heate, when youth kept in loues bounds
A wife not womankind for scope propounds;
But eu'n a sparke of hell, when it doth rage
Amongst the Ancient, politique and Sage.
"G [...]y heads incontinent when they were young,
"As they grow weake in limbs, in lust grow strong.
This fire so fierce doth in the Elders burne,
It all their mirth to heauinesse doth turne,
Their cast downe eyes dare not behold the sight
Of Heau'n ▪ nor thinke on God that iudgeth right.
[Page 7]Deepe was indeede Selfe-guilty conscience wound,
But they more violent Lusts fury found;
Each his owne fire but not his fellowes knew,
Not durst one it vnto another shew;
Asham'd their filthy lust to her to tell,
Yet both, to quench their flames, would burne in hel;
Both wickedly doe pro [...]ect day and night,
That at the least they may enioy her sight:
To haue their will on her both were full faine,
But saw no meanes their longings to obtaine.
As Satan, when he would vs worke despite,
Transformes him to an Angell of the Light,
Lest if we should behold his proper Shape,
Forearmd, forewarnd, we might his malice scape:
So these two Carles in Susans presence sate,
As if they all on Iustice meditate,
And when they chanc'd with Ioachim to dine,
Their table-talke was of all things diuine:
Of a sound conscience, and equity,
Wiues Loyalty, and virgins chastity;
Thus hoping, by their queint Hypocrisie,
To make a way to foule Adultery.
One day from Iudgement seate when both did rise,
And either turned home as was their guise,
Both streight returned, and together mette,
With hope the sight of her alone to gett:
Where either of the other doth enquire,
The cause of their so suddaine backe retire.
Brother, said then, the Senior in degree,
What is the cause I thee so heauy see?
Doth any Ahab hold from thee some ground,
That doth vpon thy house, or vi [...]eyard bound?
Which thou desir'st for profite or delight,
Tell me, and he shall know a iudges might.
[Page 8]Or doth there any Mardochee deny
To doe obeisance to thy Seignury?
Hast thou receiued wrong of any wight,
And wouldst againe with sweete reuenge requite?
Or tell mee, some faire Dame doest thou not loue?
Whose Chastity thou art afraid to prooue:
What euer be thy griefe, now tell it me,
And vse my power, as I haue vsed thee.
What doe we both like Kings o're Iudah raigne?
And shall ought crosse our pleasure or our gaine?
No no, wee'le breake or make them all obay;
We rule not if our subiects vs gainesay:
My Lord, replide the puny Iudge againe,
Tis not Reuenge, Ambition, Pleasure, Gaine,
That so afflict my body and my mind,
Tis Loue of Faire: but shame there stopt his wind,
The word Susanna raine he would haue said,
But was of man, though not of God afraid.
As two old theeues, that haue companions bin
Oft times in Murther, Theft and fowler Sinne;
H [...]uing a Booty in one place espide,
But neither others mind thereto descride,
At diuers windowes slipping in by night,
Into one Hall, which doth both much aff [...]ight,
(One for the owner first the other taking,
And each a true man, for a Theefe mistaking,)
Till by some secret markes each doth espy
His fellow-theefe, there met vnwillingly,
Wherewith both glad, hope easelier to obtaine,
Their purpose, and be Sharers in the gaine:
E [...]'n so these Elders; who by might and fraud,
Had often ioind in iudgement to defraud
The fatherlesse, and widowes of their right,
And to oppresse the weaker by their might;
[Page 9]First feard one by the other to be spide,
But after they had both their lusts descride,
Ioy in their hap, and easelier hope to get,
And share the Booty, for which there they met.
Thrice noble Mate, the elder Iudge replide,
I see one fire in both our hearts doth bide,
Which smothered, smoaking inwardly will bu [...]ne,
But blowne and stird, to purest flames will turne:
I, by thy meeting here, doe surely ghesse,
It is one Dame doth both our hearts possesse:
For I haue oft beheld thee sixe thine eye,
Vpon her beauty as she passed by,
And therewith heard thee [...]nly sigh and groane,
As thou didst wish to be with her alone.
But, since sweete Cupid smites both with one Dart,
Let vs not herein one another thwart,
If discord our desires shall divide,
Our powre and empire can not long abide:
Let name of Rivall which breedes mortall hate,
In youth, in age, our loues conglutinate.
Her beauty that than Sunne doth clearer shine,
Hath heate ynough to warme mine heart and thine,
And both our longings fully satisfie,
Let's share in loues, as in commodity.
As strongest castle which doth fortifie
It selfe t'endure the Siege of enemy,
By force vnited's [...]ooner ouercome,
Than if they should assault it one by one:
So shall we finde the Fortresse of this Dame,
By both, than one, more easy to be t [...]ne:
Yea if through waiwardnesse it shall stand out,
By force or policy wee'le bring't about,
Either with peace our pleasures to enioy,
Or ruine it and vtterly destroy.
[Page 10]Deare Brother, I mine heart must tell thee plaine,
My stomacke can not brooke, so fowle a Swaine
As Ioachim, whom the base Multitude
Honour as King, should thus vnto be sude
Of all, to be their Patrone, Aduocate,
And sway our powre in ruling o [...] the State:
Alleadging Law and Custome to maintaine
Things, that so crosse our pleasure and our gaine;
That he, I say, should be the onely wigh [...],
That feeles the Beames of this cleare Suns sweet light;
That in his armes he should enioy alone,
Susanna, a fit Bride for Salomon.
Let vs bethink's of some conuenient tide,
Our selues in some close shady place to hide,
And take her in he [...] Orchard all alone,
For there she walketh eu [...]ry afternoone:
The [...]e, when we see our opo [...]tunitie,
Keepe thou the doo [...]e, Ile keepe Her company,
And when I satisfide haue my desire,
As I did mine, thou mayst asswage thy fire:
Thus wickedly one with another reason,
Deferring all to more conuenient season.
The end of the first Booke.

The second Booke of Susanna.

Susans devotions, workes and Husewifery,
Ioachims iustice, hospitality.
Elders her washing tempt; but she denyes:
They offer force, then out for ayde she cryes▪
On her transferre they▪ fals [...]ly, all the blame,
Vnto her owne, and all her seruants shame.
Now scarce his steedes had Phebus watered,
And for long iourney ready harnessed,
And faire Aurora vsher of the day
Made haste; because Sol went his longest way,
When chaste Susanna from sweete side arose
Of Ioachim, and putting on her cloathes,
She meditates on [...]oabe of righteousnesse.
Wherewith the bridegroome his belou'd doth dresse:
His merits made her owne by imputation,
In spirituall birth, nor fleshly generation.
Long costly dressings did the Dame decline,
As nurse of pride and mis-expence of time,
Wherefore her nightgowe quicke at out her cast,
With band and hat in seemely order plac't,
She suddainely vp all her maidens calls,
And kneeling with them to this prayer falls.
Oh King of rest! that doest appoint the night
For rest; the day that man should in thy sight,
[Page 12]To all the duties of his calling tend,
Hauing thy glory euer for his end;
We first acknowledge our vnworthinesse,
Relying whole, on Lambs vnspottednesse,
Which from worlds first foundation was slaine.
That he might free vs from eternall pai [...]e.
We, for this wondrous grace, thee euer praise,
Thy care and prouidence for vs alwayes,
Grant we of this may euer meditate,
Our tongues thy praise & noble acts relate,
And make vs truely doe all thy commands,
So thou the workes maist prosper of our hands.
As nimble larke which with the morne doth rise,
Mou [...]ts from her couch, first to salute the skies,
And all the way to Heauen and earth she rings,
Prayse to the Lord of Lords and King of Kings:
But, hauing finished her due devotion,
Falls silent downe with swift and nimble motion,
And diligent takes paines for daily foode,
That may sustaine and keepe her selfe and broode:
Eu'n so this Dame as soone as any light,
Affoorded her the least vse of her sight,
Vp from the bed doth her faire body raise,
Her soule mounts vp to heau'n the Lord to praise.
But after her devotions finished,
And all her seruants duely ordered,
Due portions to her maidens she divides
And for her houshold daily food provides,
Still caring for her husbands table most,
To furnish't bounteously with smallest cost:
Here she directs her steward, and her cooke,
One to provide, the other well to looke,
That with her faire allowance they be able,
To furnish plenteously her husbands table.
[Page 13]This time she soueraigne waters did distill,
(For she in Physicke art had mickle skill;
Yet was her charity, than cunning, more,
Stooping to heale the meanest Lazars sore:
Her Lyons heart, fine hand, and eagles eye
Made her admir'd of all for surgery.)
That done, she backe returneth to her maides,
Where either she to them the Scripture reades,
Or learnes them some choise precepts she collected,
Or hystories which most her soule affected,
With piety their minds to exercise
Whilst each her taske with nimble ioints applies:
Their chiefest workes were roabes; to keepe frō cold,
The orphans poore, and widowes that were old;
Of cloath which she had spun of her owne fleece;
Yet oft to shew her skill in curious peece,
She for her husband workes a cap or band,
To make him be more honour'd in the land,
Where thou might see, with cunning needle told,
The subtile serpent simple Eue infold.
Here stands a tree, all couered with leaues,
whose fairest fruit most lookers on deceiues;
By this was shadow'd that Forbidden tree,
That Adam ban'de and his posteritee.
Many faire trees she planted there around,
But none so goodly to the eye was found,
Like sinne of pleasing shew, but deadly tast;
Better, than eate such poison, euer fast.
But not farre off, her cunning hand contriues
An Antidote which out this poison driues:
For here the child's depainted to the life,
That trembleth vnder faithfull Abrams knife,
Where lo! aboue his hand an Angell stayes,
And doth his faith and firme obedience praise:
[Page 14]Here in the bush a spotlesse lambe doth lye,
Willing, to saue young Isaacks life, to dye;
A figure of that lambe that offered
His life to saue vs all in Isaacks seede.
Oft with her maids, about her round, she sings
Dauids sweete layes vnto the King of Kings,
Who ioyning all with angelique sweete noise,
Doe praise the Highest of all as with one voice,
Thus was her house of maidens arts the schoole,
And Academy to instruct their soule:
Her hands with vse so cunning were become,
That though her eyes lookd off, her worke was done,
The whilst with them her maidens she directs,
And her owne businesse no whit neglects:
Oft reads she them some holy Hymne of praise,
Yet neuer from their worke her fingers stayes.
Thus she her time in working spends till noone,
Whilst Ioachim which rose from bed as soone,
Doth his whole family together call,
And ioynes in humble prayer with them all.
Then walkes he forth to see his oxen plow,
Or mowers pearly lockes of medowes mow,
Or widows weeding of his earing graine,
Or maidens milke from bagges of kine to straine:
Here he appoints a iolly Swaine to tend
His flocke, and from the wolfe and flye defend:
Oft would he teach a courser for to pace
More easy, and to raine with pleasing grace.
But euer he returneth home by eight,
Where many longing Clyents for him waite,
And him for pitty and compassion praid,
To be the widowes and the orphans aide.
Brethren, saith he, with all my skill and might
I'le stand for you, if that your cause be right,
[Page 15]But surely know, I cannot mooue my tongue
To doe you good, and doe another wrong:
Law is a constant will, a ballance true
That giues to eu'ry man what is his due,
And therefore must not vnder false pretence,
Be made a cloake for wrong or violence:
Or be for enuy, to the great a snare,
Whilst faults for pitty in the Poore we spare:
Right setteth each thing in the proper place,
Without respect of persons, feare, or grace.
Then would he lend to all a patient eare,
Till each his cause in order doth declare:
The right with all his might he would defend,
And what was wrong would counsell soone to end:
Nor for displeasure, feare of losse or might,
Would be deterr'd from pleading for the right.
Therefore was call'd the iust mans Advocate
Truth's Champion ▪ and maintainer of the State.
For paire thus each their life in labour spends
One feedes and cloths them th'other them defends:
The wisemans rule is vnto both a guide,
Prepare abroade, then things at home prouide:
A blessed paire, for Truth which alwayes stood,
Their end Gods glory, and their neighbours good.
Now had the glorious Titans panting horse
Attaind the midway of their longest course,
And Sol to checke vaine glorious humane pride,
When as he highest sate was least descride;
When Chimes inform'd old stomacks it was noone,
So Iudges rose, and all departed soone:
And Nature crauing after toile repast,
Makes Ioachim vnto his dinner hast.
Here should my Muse in order, next propound,
How he in order all things ready found;
[Page 16] Susan him greeting, like the wise Kings Bride,
With many faire chaste Damsels by her side,
Who all with cheerefull comely modest face,
Bow to the ground with curteous comely grace▪
His seruants round about the table stand,
Attending all their Lords eye, and command:
Who can describe the order of the King,
Whose wisedomes glorious fame so far did ring,
That it from Seba brought that prudent Dame,
Which found his glory farre exceede his fame:
He to describe the order's onely able,
This noble man obserued at his table;
His seruants, ministers, his drinke and meate
Happy were they that at his table eate;
Blissed are they that waiting by doe stand,
His gracious words and deeds to vnderstand,
Their thirst and hunger being satisfide,
And God before and after glorifide,
After some sweete discourses, all arose,
And to their businesse themselues dispose,
[...] turnes his bookes the law to find,
Which might resolue some doubts then in his mind.
With two maydes Susan, as it was her guise,
To bathe her sel [...]e into the orchard hyes;
And sending forth her maides for soape and oile
Her daintiest body doth vndresse the while:
Oh, Susan stay, oh, stay not here alone,
The wiseman saith, two better are than one;
The [...] close in wait for thee do ly,
So [...] that Susan can them not descry.
I [...] that faire Dame which Iesses son from high,
[...] her selfe in garden did espy,
[...] dazled with her splendour bright,
Thinkes he doth see a new Sunne rise at night:
[Page 17]So shines the beauty of Susannas face,
Her eyes like starres which frosty night do grace,
Her teeth like ivory piles stand row by row,
Or'e which her lips like scarlet ribbands show,
Her chin, her checkes, her forehead and her nose,
Like lillies mixt with red and damaske rose.
Her Iu'ry necke, faire shoulders which excell,
Her paps that like two haruey apples swell:
The which for sport her babes were wont to cull,
When they from them haue suckd their bellies [...]ull.
Her snowy armes each grac'd with milk-white palme,
Like two eu'n branches of the fairest Palme,
Whose ends were with small fingers ioynted neate,
And at their ends smooth stones of Berill set,
The rest who knowes? them to omit I chuse,
As not once thought of by my graver Muse.
But she into the water leaping light,
To coole her heate, inflameth their delight,
Where purest waters her faire limbs embrace,
As Iuory Sculpture in a cristall case.
Like chastest Cinthia when with dreaded dart,
She chast the Tigre, Leopard and Hart,
Her body ouertoiled with the heate,
And fairest skin or'e shadowed with sweate,
In purest fountaine in the shade doth wash,
Whilst all her darlings round about her pash:
Till hunter, to his cost her beauty spyes
Which heauenly did amaze his humane eyes:
The sight whereof so rauisheth his brest,
A reasonable man turnes senselesse beast,
With snaggy hornes, cloue hoofes, & frighted looks,
That he who vpward erst, now downeward lookes;
And all his Curs, that lately he so fed,
Him chasing as their game fast followed:
[Page 18]Whom pulling downe, like Iesabel they teare,
Such beastly ends, all beastly Letchers feare;
Such beastly ends these Elders eke befall,
Whilst clouds of stones sing their curst funerall.
As subtile Serpent close himselfe did hide
In Eden, till a fit time he espide,
When Adam to some other corner gone,
He there might take Eue naked all alone:
So these two Elders of the Serpents breede,
Who beare like enmity to all her seede,
This naked Dame alone, watch to assaile,
And first with promises seeke to preuaile:
Madame, saith one, the ardour which we prooue
Burning our hearts with flames of feruent loue,
Compell vs life and honour to aduenture,
And closely now into your garden enter:
If you will vs in true affection meete,
Siluer to you shall be like stones in streete,
And we with gold will fill your fairest hands
Like Danaes lap, or Tagus golden sands:
Thy beauty like the Day starres shall be seene,
And thou shalt raigne in Iudah like a Queene.
But if thou shalt refuse with vs to lye,
Behold, we then against thee testify,
VVe saw thee with a youth thy bed defile,
And thou hadst sent thy maides away the while.
VVho can expresse Daphnes perplexitie,
VVhen gods for pitty turn'd her to a tree,
As she doth naked from Apollo flye,
And than her honour lose, would rather dye?
Or who can tell that pittifull sore-taking
Of Absolons faire sister, when she baking
Cakes for her brother Amnon for to eate,
2. Sam. 13.11.
Perceiu'd her honour was his longd-for meate?
[Page 19]And cride, forbeare, oh brother, to discouer
Thy sisters nakednesse; nay rather couer
My shame than force me: oh! let no man tell
Such wickednesse was done in Israel;
And I eu'n whither shall I goe for shame?
And for a foole all Israel shall thee blame:
May tell how Helchi's daughter was ashamd;
But most the Elders for their lust she blam'd,
That they which ought to iudge adultery,
Should authours be of such iniquity;
That those her Lord and she so honoured,
Should plot with shame now to defile his bed.
Her nakednesse with cloathes she faine would hide,
But they all couering to her denide:
Her couering was sorrow, griefe and shame,
And floods of teares for to expresse the same.
As when fierce thunder threats to rend the skies,
Great floods by stormes most violent arise,
That riuers all their channells ouerflow,
And drowne the seede which husbandmen do sow,
So fill her teares the lauer to the brim,
That drown'd in sorrow, she in teares may swim:
Her drops of sweate like pearles do trickle downe,
And she is all benumbd as in a swoune:
Sol, erst that shin'd, asham'd, now in a cloud
Himselfe, from seeing this foule sinne, doth shrowd:
Showres fall from heau'n, as if the stars did mourne,
And all the birds their songs to murmurs turne:
The trees small drops like teares about do das [...],
And all the vnder shrubs with weeping wash;
The shrubs, the hearbs, and all make lamentation,
To see this Dame so neere her desolation:
And eu'n my Muse, as I this story write,
Laments and mournes to see her piteous plight.
[Page 20]At last [...]ore grieu'd that humane eye beholds
Her naked body, she her mind vnfolds.
My Lords for loue of God, this sinne forbeare,
If not for loue nor honour, yet for feare,
When you condemne another for this crime,
You iudge your selues! Tis now a fitter time,
To fast and pray in our captiuity,
Than thus to double our iniquity.
If I like Eue consent vnto your mind,
I sure with her a like reward shall find▪
And if I doe your wickednes withstand,
Yet know I not how to escape your hand:
But I all mortall deaths will rather dy,
Than in Gods sight commit adultery:
Who doth with lust her laser lims enroule,
Defiles her body, and doth damme her soule:
Haue I not promis'd before God and you,
To be vnto my husband iust and true?
And must not all by lawes iudiciall dye?
Without exception for adultery?
Oh Iudges graue: but bridle yet your lust,
And once a womans Secrecy entrust,
That neuer will bewray this offerd shame,
For honour of our nation and your name.
But howsoeuer you my flesh torment,
My heart to wickednesse shall not consent,
A guilty conscience is a soarer wound,
Than tortures all that Tyrants out haue found.
Dame; said the Iudge; art thou yet so vnwise,
Thou knowst not Polititians did deuise
Religion, onely to represse the base,
And hold the Noble in the peoples grace?
Dost feare God should vs in this action see?
This Lawyers gowne shall couer thee and me;
[Page 21]Vnder which oft to Heau'n hath past vnseene,
Farre greater Trespasses then this, I weene▪
Lust is a Sport, if closely carried,
And from all fleshly eyes close couered;
The Troth which to your husband you did plight,
Was but for ceremony in our Sight.
And as for our iudiciall Laws offence,
Iudges haue power therewith to dispence:
Your selfe and honour vnto vs entrust,
And you shall find vs faithfull, true, and iust▪
Great is the honour of an Elders name,
Then who shall dare or thee or vs defame?
And for your conscience now so foolish tender,
Custome like ours, will strong and valiant render:
Weele not torment your flesh, but it delight,
Come, Madame, you must try an Elders might.
Then, like fowle Beare, that greedy of his pray,
His filthy Paw on milke-white Lamb doth lay,
So he by force would bring her to his Lust.
But she that in th' Almightie put her trust,
Needes no Stilletto, now for to defend
Her honour, but loud cries to heau'n doth send;
"Surest defence that women haue to cry,
"To saue them from Lusts raging villany.
You females-masculine, that doe pretend,
You weapons weare your honours to defend,
If in the Court or City, villany,
Should be attempted 'gainst your chastity:
See here this naked woman all alone,
Defends her honour hauing two to one.
Her modest Lookes were late her sure defence,
'Gainst base attempts, now cries 'gainst violence.
Oh modell of a chaste and constant Dame,
The world all chaste ones, hence Susannas name.
Eue tempted was, and by temptation fell,
Faire Thamar forced was against her will,
[Page 22] Sarah was tane away, but neuer tride;
Shames Feare made Lucrece yeild, whereof she dide.
But Iuda's daughter naked all alone,
Here ouercomes her Tempters, two to one.
But one of them, ah! [...]uddainely doth run
To the fore-gate, which he hath sone vndone,
And comming backe, both 'gainst the woman cry,
Stop, stop the adulterour, they both must dye.
The Seruants much affrighted with the noise,
And knowing well the [...] heard their Ladies voice,
Rushing in at the back-dore, found their Dame,
Accused by the Elders to their shame.
Vile woman! cride the one of them, fie, fie,
Is this thy modest holy Puritie?
Thy Prayer, Fasting, Almes, and Meditation,
Sabboths, and New-moones, holy obseruation,
With which thou seekst thy wickednesse to couer?
God now will thy Hypocrisie discouer.
Thy piteous lookes, and faind strict Conscience
Shall be no Subterfuge for foule offence;
Was this the cause thou forth thy maids didst send?
More closely with a young man to offend;
We as true witnesses, doe testifie,
That thou art taken in Adulterie,
Thy Minion we doe hope to catch ere long,
Who brake from vs because he was too strong:
For testimony, open see the doore,
Through which he scap't, that was close spard before▪
And see her naked, as with him she lay,
Lo here for heate her garments laid away.
The Seruants all were grieu'd and much asham'd▪
To heare their Dame thus by the Elders blam'd,
For enuious Fame durst neuer till that day,
Least Spot or Blemish on Susanna lay.
The end of the second Booke.


True Louers greeting, willinger to dye,
Than suspect mutuall integritie;
An old-man into talke of Susan fals,
And her describes from birth to nuptials:
She is brought forth; arraign'd, condemn'd to dye,
God her deliuers, soone as she doth cry.
NOw clouds black curtaines vnder Heau'n were spread,
And Morne was all in Scarlet manteled,
(For chaste Aurora put on this array,
To shew the horrour of this bloudy day:)
When Elders from their Beds of Downe arise,
Who nought but mischiefe all the night deuise;
And send their Serieants out to summon all
The people to assemble at the Hall.
Their Loue was turned now to Indignation,
Their Lust to mischieuous Imagination,
And Hostile-like since they may not enioy
Her Fort by parley, seeke it to destroy.
But here chaste Susan doth my Muse inuite
To tell, how with her Lord she spent that night:
Who hearing in his study at his Booke,
A wondrous noise, doth from his window looke;
[Page 24]But when he thence but little could discerne,
For shade of trees, comes downe the Truth to learne.
As wh [...]n great Ebers Sonne, (to saue his life,
Gen. [...]
sister call'd, who was indeede his wife,
Which made the King of Gerar for her send
And for his owne wife Sarah apprehend:)
Was vext with Feare, Doubts, Loue and Iealousie,
For losse of Honour, and the Chastitie
Of mother of the faithfull, who for clea [...]e,
Both minde, and body, neuer yet had peere:
But when the King conuai'd her home againe,
And shee affirm'd her selfe without all staine:
Doth vnto Heau'n both Heart and hands aduance,
And praisd the Lord for her deliuerance;
And though foule Fame, her for this shame reproue,
He her more sure and constantly doth loue.
Eu'n so Ioachim was at first afraid,
His wife was vsed as the Elders said,
But waying well her Faith and Constancie,
Soone blames his foolish Feare and Iealousie:
And turneth all his doubts and bitter passion
To tender Loue, teares, pitty and compassion:
And her embracing thus began: My Deare!
Forbeare to weepe; And let mee from thee heare,
The depth of this profound iniquitie,
That Both vs plungeth in this misery.
The desert sooner shall be fruitfull plaine,
Mount Sinas top be drown'd in Ocean maine:
And Iordans fruitfull valleys turne to waste,
Than I suspect my loyall Wife vnchaste.
As when fierce Stormes doe all the mountaines wash,
And threat to drowne the valleys with a dash,
If Titan please to cast a golden Gleame,
The coasts are cleare, and all the Heau'n serene;
[Page 25]So, at these gracious speeches of her Knight,
Susanna turnes her clowdinesse to Light;
Her eyes are dride, which fountaines were of teares▪
Sighs turn'd to speech; And thus her selfe she cleares,
O wretched I! yet wretched who can bee,
That hath so kinde, a noble Lord, as thee?
Who doe'st mee now in louing armes embrace,
When enemies doe plot my most disgrace:
My Lord! shouldst thou suspect my Loyalty,
My heart should burst for Griefe, and I should die.
But Iordanes streames shall sooner backward slide,
And Force my Body from my Soule diuide;
Celestiall Fire vnto Earths center tend,
And Center Titans fiery coach ascend,
Than I consent for feare of Death or Shame,
My conscience with eternall spots to blame.
Perswaded be that I haue loyall stood,
I ioyfully will seale it with my blood;
I feare no accusations vniust,
For I doe know in whom I put my trust.
These wicked Lords for mee in wait haue laid,
But shame and Sorow here her Speeches staid:
And suddenly another Cloud appeares,
Which dims her Light, and drowneth all in teares:
So deepe shee sighs, [...]o fast her teares doe flow,
That Ioachim doth weepe with her for woe,
And both with Sighs and Groanes their loues record▪
But neither able is to speake a word.
As when two Cloud in Sommers day arise,
In East and West, which doe obscure the Skies,
The lesser Cloud which Zephirus doth blow,
Comes swift, but Lo [...] the greater comes but slow,
Till they both meeting in the Welkin wide,
Raise raging [...]louds, like to an Easterne tide,
[Page 26]Whose violence the eares of Oorne downe beates;
And all the Plough-mans Labour ill intreates:
So doe the teares of this grieu'd Couple fall,
That they in Sorow drowne Words, Eyes, and All.
And eu'n my pen with Sorow drown'd is faint,
To leaue them weeping, and you next acquaint,
With that which passed in the Iudgement Hall,
For there the people doe assemble all.
Amongst the rest, one called Ieremy,
(That was a childe of the Captiuity,
Who was old Helchi's ancient friend and peare,
And from their cradles most familiar were,
And often had the Elders office borne,
Till Pride and base Ambition with scorne,
Had throwne from Seate of Iustice, Equitie,
And foisted in her roome base Briberie)
Being now summond to appeare that day,
Enquir'd of Tobith then vpon the way,
What cause was of this Summons generall,
Who told him what to Susan had befall.
Susan, said he, what Helchi's daughter faire,
Which is her parents onely childe and heire,
Could she be brought her fathers house to blame,
And bring her husbands honour vnto shame?
Togither with her parents I was one
Led Captiue by the King to Babilon:
There was no man more noble in the Land,
Than he, nor more for Countreys Good did stand,
[...] Kin. 25.57
We saw our Kings Sonnes slaine before his face,
And then his eyes thrust out, for more disgrace;
Yet vertue grac'd to Helchi in this Land,
He in high grace soone with the King did stand,
And was the first dwelt here in his owne house,
Most Valiant, Noble, Wise, Religious,
[Page 27]Most happy in one chaste and godly wife,
By whom he had this child, their ioy and Life▪
I tell thee Neighbour, I this Girle did know
Eu'n from a childe, as pure as any Snow,
VVho from her mother suckd milke, as sincere,
As euer any nurse to childe did beare:
For she so much this infant tendered,
As with her owne Brests she it suckeled,
"For with the milke, it is an old tradition,
"The child may sucke a good or bad condition.
So soone as Parents could her tongue prepare
To speake, they neither Cost nor Labour spare,
To teach her all demeanour mannerly,
But aboue all, the dread of the most High:
In Scripture they her daily taught to reade,
So that in time they sow'd in her such seede,
As might produce in Haruest certaine gaine,
For all their tillage, labour, cost, and paine.
Scarse had the Sunne twelue times through Virgo past,
When faire Susannas manners sweete, were cast,
By care of Parents, in so faire a mould,
That all with wonder did the maide behold:
In publique Dancing she doth not delight,
Faires, banquets, plays, or sittings vp at night,
Nor yet in wandring Dinas conuersation,
But keepes at home her fathers habitation:
Imploying all her paines and carefull thought,
To please and tend on them that vp her brought.
Like, Storke who when her parents old haue neede,
Sustaines in Eld, who her in youth did feede;
Accounting it a wondrous happinesse,
For gifts receiu'd to render thankfulnesse.
At vacant houres it was her chiefe delight,
To reade the stories of Gods glorious might,
[Page 28]Where all the choisest precepts she could find,
She stor'd as heau'nly Manna for her mind:
The Liues of choisest Dames of Iewish nation,
To her as patternes are for imitation,
Which oft with needle, lest she should forget,
She in most curious Colours neately set.
Here in a table she doth tell the story,
Of Egypts ouerthrowe, and Iudas glory,
Where Miriam leades her Daughters in a dance,
To sing Heau'ns Prayses for Deliuerance:
The Red Sea here his waters doth diuide,
Whilst Israel passeth to the other side;
And here the waues begin to meete againe,
To drowne the proud Egyptians in the maine:
One breakes, but knowes not how, his Charet wheele,
Anothers horse doth of the staggers reele;
Here one yet without hope of Life, doth swim,
Another si [...]ing catcheth hold on him,
And neuer lets him goe, till he him straine,
[...]nto [...]he late- [...]ry bottome of the Maine.
Here stands a Palme, whose height and breadth excell,
Whe [...]e Debora sits iudging Israel.
Close by whose side sate valiant Barac, who
Vnto the warre without Her, would not goe.
Here weanes She Iephtes daughter in a Lome,
From Conquest welcomming her father home,
When lo, he rends his haire, and teares his beard,
That one would thinke the picture had been scard:
Who for the Vow he made to the most High,
Deuotes her to perpetuall Chastity.
Then would She wish her Father such a crosse,
So both thereby might haue no greater losse:
Oft sings she to her Lute diuinest Layes,
And oft to make sweet Hymns her selfe assaies,
[Page 29]So that indeede to win her for his Bride,
Young Princes sought, but she them all deuide.
Thus woo'd of all, but yet Loues fiery dart,
Could neuer thaw the chaste y [...]e of her heart,
But like a Diamond, which nothing but
A Diamond is able for to cut,
So nothing could this peerelesse Lady moue,
But pairelesse Ioachims most constant Loue:
The yron easelier from beloued Side,
Of Loade-stone than their Loues you might diuide:
"For as words cut in Diamonds, ay last,
"So Loue on vertue grounded standeth fast,
"When that which onely doth on Lust depend,
"Doth like to Ammons with the Fury end.
This man was vertuous, of noble race,
Rich, beautifull in Body, and in Face;
To him her parents gladly gaue consent,
And with her happy choise were well content.
Then see how Loue thus lawfully begun
Betwixt this paire, a holy course doth run;
A wise discreete man; chaste and modest wife,
Liu'd as their Bodies both had but one Life
One will, one mouth to wish and to direct,
What one delights, the other doth affect,
And he offends both, that displeaseth one,
Thus are they truely both one flesh and bone.
The old man farther would his Tale haue told,
But now they at the Hall arriu'd, Behold!
The officers, and sergeants cry out, Roome,
Make way, for heere my Lords the Elders come.
As Iudges (which the wicked Iesabel,
To get the field which Naboath would not sell)
1. King. 21, 8.
Corrupted by her Li [...]es proclaime a fast,
And guiltlesse Naboath with the chiefest plac't;
[Page 30]Till that two wicked persons sweare this thing,
We heard this man blaspheme God and the King.
Wherea [...] the godly Iurours out doe cry,
We finde him guiltie, guiltie let him die;
So came th [...]se wicked Elders to the Hall,
Resolu'd to wreake their Spite and Malice all:
But that they might themselues vpright pretend,
They cause the people for the Dame to send,
Who with her parents, children, and her kin,
Appear'd as faire without, as cleare within.
As when the course of some much honour'd peere,
Vnto her tombe is brought vpon a Beere,
Couer'd with veluet blacke downe to the ground,
Her friends and kins-folkes all about her round,
Their late delights now all to Sorrow turne;
But most her parents and her children mourne,
For losse of their deare childe, and carefull mother,
Who neuer had, nor shall haue such another:
That all the lookers on and standers by,
Bewaile the last act of this Tragedie:
So was this Dame brought out in blacke array,
Vnto the funerall of this sad day,
Her faire blacke stole low-reaching to the ground,
Vnder which heau'nly Beauties all abound,
Follow'd by noble Dames of I [...]wish nation,
Who made for her exceeding Lamentation:
Y [...]a, so her parents and her children mourne,
It doth all Iudas hearts to pittie turne;
Yet would the Elders Bowels not relent,
Th [...]ugh eu'n the rockes and stones seeme to lament.
And sure none can the ashes in an vrne,
Bewaile more than they all for her doe mourne:
Herein the difference doth only lye,
A Co [...]rse is dead, and Susan is to dye.
[Page 31] One's Soule is whole in heauenly habitation,
Hers there as yet only by contemplation.
The Elders burning in old lustfull fire,
To satisfie their beastly Lusts desire,
Command the Serieants streight her face vncouer,
And at the Barre the prisoner plaine discouer.
As when the Coffin which the Coarse containes,
With blacke all couer'd, on the Herse remaines,
The mourners seeme their loud Laments to hould,
But when the Sexton doth the Same vnfould,
Preparing it for earths last habitation;
All send out loudest groanes and Lamentation;
So all her friends this liuing Coarse bewaile.
When from her tender eyes they pull the vaile,
Her Face then vnder Sorowes clouds doth shine,
As neere as mortals may, like to diuine;
Her haire like wires of burnisht gold appeares,
Whereon like pearles do hang her cristall teares.
Malicious Curres! looke off, your Sight is ill,
You, like the Basiliske, by eying kill:
For her but yesterday your Liues you venterd,
And into her Lords orchyard closely enterd,
But now I see the flame which you then burn'd,
Is all to Malice, Hate, and Fury turn'd.
In briefe the Clerke doth her Inditement reade,
To which she truely doth non-guiltie pleade,
Yet so the Law is, that vpon Deniall,
Her Life must stand vpon the peoples triall.
Poore wretch (saith then the eldest Iudge) confesse,
And aske God pardon for thy wickednesse:
The Euidence, alasse! too plaine will be,
The witnesses thee in the act did see.
"But who feares not to act Adulterie,
"In Gods sight, feares not before men to lie.
[Page 32]Thou thought'st this thing in secret to haue done,
But God shall make it clearer then the Sunne.
Then on her guiltlesse head both lay their hands,
Whil'st shee like Iepthes virgine-daughter stands,
Looking to Heau'n, expecting when priests knife,
Should for burnt-offering dispatch her life.
And thus they sweare; A [...] last daies afternoone,
We two in shady arbour sate alone,
In at the foregate to the orchard came,
With maidens two attending her, this Dame,
Whom at the back-gate soone away shee sends,
Whil'st some Deuotions priuate she pretends;
But in close shade we suddainly espie,
A yong man waiting with this Dame to lye;
And much asham'd of such most wicked fact,
Arise and take them in the very act.
The man escapes, because he was too strong,
For we alas are old, and he was yong:
Out of the gate he breakes from vs away,
But what hee was this Dame will not bewray:
This truth 'fore God and man we testifie,
Now heare the Law against adultery.
The Clerke then reades: The man that's lying found,
With any woman-kinde in wedlocke bound,
Deut. 22.22.
They both shall die, as both together lay,
So sinne from Israel is done away.
Then as the chimes the clocke doe follow soone,
As it hath told her longest tale at noone,
Not caring whether it goe false or true,
So doe the idle-giddy headed crew,
At hearing of the Iudges witnesse, cry,
We finde her guiltie, guiltie let her die.
Oh Heau'ns! chaste Susan die? Thou maist cōplaine,
That thou thine heart hast clensed then in vaine,
[Page 33]In vaine hast wash'd thine hands in innocence,
And day and night endured chastisements:
But vnderstanding well the fearefull end
Of those that so malitiously intend,
How they consume and perish suddainly,
Shee onely thus aloud to God doth cry.
Searcher of Secrets: who from euer was,
And all things knowst before they come to passe,
Thou knowst they falsely these things testifie,
Against mee: therefore, Lo I guiltlesse die.
Thou knowst I neuer to such things consented,
As these men haue maliciously inuented.
As Bullet then which force of Powder sends,
Swiftly attaines the marke which it intends:
Eu'n so these words sent from a wounded Sprite,
Fly to the Lord that iudgeth all things right.
Who vnderstanding well by this appeale,
Guiltlesse Susann's wrong, forthwith doth seale,
Without delay, or fee, an Inhibition,
And to a yong man grants a new commission.
For God (as was seene often in those daies)
The Spirit of yong Daniel doth raise,
Who as shee's led to execution, cries,
I free am from this bloody Sacrifice.
The people which all noueltie desire,
Returne of him his meaning to enquire,
Who in the Spirit of Truth now waxing bold,
Before them all their errour doth vnfold.
O! Fooles of Israel! who to discerne
The Truth not able are, nor seeke to learne:
You one of Israels daughters heere to die,
Condemned haue, but know no reason why.
Before what Iudges did you her arraigne?
Who her accusers are? and who againe,
[Page 34]Are witnesses? What, two false Elders shall,
Be Iudge, accusers, witnesses, and all?
"He that his throne on Iustice will erect,
"Mens causes, no [...] their persons must respect.
If Elders now accusers will become,
[...] 19. [...].
They must before the Priests and Iudges come:
And if they faile to prooue their accusation,
They must be subiect to like condemnation.
Returne, returne, make better inquisition,
Pu [...] the accusers both out of Commission;
Ap [...]o [...]nt new Iudges, who with diligence,
May tr [...]e the witnesses and her defence.
Returne, returne, in Iudgement sit againe,
For they against he [...] falsely doe complaine.
[...] 41.38.
As when lost Sonne of Iacob did vnfold,
The meaning of the Dreame which Pharaoh told,
And [...] that he should Officers command,
To store vp [...]oode [...]o [...] aliue his land:
None then in Pharoe [...] and his seruants eyes,
Appe [...]red then this Hebrew childe more wise;
For by his gracious words they plaine descry,
[...] in him most abund [...]ntly:
And therefore next vnto the King must stand,
And [...] by his word all Egypt land.
So when this youth doth his great Prudence show,
[...] like dew of Heau'n which from him flow,
[...] one minde conclude for certainetie,
[...] the Spirit rests of the most High:
And therefore as approouing of Gods choise,
[...] all elect him Elder with one voice:
[...] other from their offices suspend,
[...] their cause shall haue a finall end.
The end of the third Booke.


The fickle state of seeming men of might:
Their peace of conscience that iudge vpright.
The people plaine the Elders malice see,
In that their testimonies disagree.
Susan's absolu'd, and they condemn'd to die:
Of Men and Angels heau'nly melody.
YOu Iudges; that on earth Gods people wield,
As husbands trees and bushes in a field,
Crop which you list, and which you list let grow,
And are as Gods Vicegerents here below;
Loe heere an embleme of your fickle fate,
And vaine inconstancy of humane sta [...]e:
Who but this morning ruld both fa [...]re and neere,
Ere noone, as prisoners, at the Barre appeare;
And who eu'n now were Iudges ouer all,
Must by their Subiects iudgement stand or fall.
Ambition base, light puffe of worthlesse Pride,
How dost thou heere vaine mortals thoughts deride?
Them throwing like hand-bals against the ground,
That they againe the higher may rebound,
And when as thou hast finished thy Sport,
Them leau'st all in the Dust in equall sort:
Oh happy Elders! could your conscience
Now pleade,
1. Sa [...]. 12.3.
with Samuels, a iust defence:
[Page 36]That willing doth before King Saul appeare,
And people all, himselfe of fraud to cleare.
Whole Oxe, whose Asse haue I vniustly tane?
Whom haue I wrong'd, saith he, in Goods or Name?
Of whose hands haue I taken lesse or more,
To blind mine eyes, and I will all restore?
Before God and's Annointed (say they) wee
Acknowledge thee from all corruption free:
Thus all acquitted vpright Samuel,
Who many yeeres had iudg'd all Israel,
But these two Elders had not rul'd one yeare,
Ere they are both brought forth themselues to cleare,
Before the Iudge, and there to testifie
Against themselues, their owne iniquitie.
Oh peerelesse pearle of good sound conscience!
When we are call'd to plead our owne defence,
Especially before the Lord of might,
Before whom all our deeds must come to light,
When Angels shall aloud their trumpets blow,
And mortals all at once in flesh shall show,
For to receiue their iust and finall Dome,
When all in person must to Iudgement come.
How cheerefull shall good Consciences abide?
Whilst wicked wish the rockes may fall and hide,
Them, from the vengeance of that iustest one,
Who retributes to all as they haue done.
As wisest Salomon when he could finde,
1. King. 2. [...]3.
No certaine witnesse to resolue his minde,
When as two women did before him striue,
VVhose was the dead, and whose the childe aliue▪
VVell knowing one of them the truth did know,
Deuis'd how by themselues it plaine to show:
So this yong Iudge in heau'nly wisedome wise,
Doth with the Lords and people thus aduise:
Brethren, Lo heere a question betwixt two,
VVhich none on earth, but they, doe truly know.
[Page 37]The Dame deny's, what these accusers sweare,
Shee's one, they two; but both one party are,
And witnesses: therefore in lawes conception,
They both are lyable to iust exception.
Wherefore I will, that one be put aside
Whilst th'other is examined and tride:
"God that from heau'n the truth of all doth see,
"Will neuer let false witnesses agree.
When they are parted, first to Barre they call,
The elder Iudge, there to be seene of all:
Who as base Shemei (of the cursing kind,
After he was by Solomon confind)
For passing 's bounds,
1. Kin, 2.4 [...].
then brought before the King,
His guilty conscience 'gainst him witnessing,
The wickednesse he to King Dauid did,
When from his gracelesse Absolon he fled)
Stood mute, amaz'd before the iudgement seate,
And, out of hope, no pardon doth intreate:
So stood the Carle amazed, shaking, mute,
Expecting God should vengeance retribute:
Yet being old and full of subtilty,
Doth thus his owne proceedings iustify.
My heart is confident and bold within,
Since all I did was but to punish sinne:
If in some circumstances, faile I shall,
To be accuser, witnesse, Iudge and all,
My witnesse-bearing thus I iustify,
There was no more but we, could testify,
And better we to bring this accusation,
Than leaue vnpunisht such abhomination▪
As for condemning, let the people say,
Who were the onely Iudges here to day.
We neuer vrg'd the rigour of the law,
We onely testifide what we both saw:
Let not her teares or beauty thee so blind,
As she a patrone for her sinne may find:
[Page 38]Besides the proofe, which we by oaths haue showne;
Tis plaine, we found her naked all alone.
Alone [...] Daniel, [...]nc [...]ed [...]a [...]e that hast
Liu'd wi [...]kedly, so long and [...]o vnchast,
Th'ungracious deedes thou actedst in Gods sight,
Shall here before vs all be brought to light.
False iu [...]gements thou hast giu'n, and sore opprest
The innocent, the guilty hast releast.
Yet [...] the Lord, The innocent and righteous,
[...] nor iustify th'unrighteous:
We haue well mark'd the wicked accusation,
Thou bringst against this daughter of our nation,
If, as thou swear'st, thou saw'st th' adultery,
Tell now vnder what tree they then did lye.
A Mulbery tree, the Elder then replyde:
Well, then said Daniel, now thou hast lyde
Against thy selfe; the Angell of the Lord,
Stands ready to divide thee with a sword,
Against thine owne life thou hast testifide;
Bring forth the other, put this wretch aside.
As thee [...]e which feares, besides his guilty breast,
That's fellow hath before the theft confest,
Trembles and quakes at his examination,
And seekes to scape by nice equivocation,
At last resoluing still to hold his tale,
Do [...]h vtter words that tend to's finall bale:
Eu'n so this second feares, his will not hold
Agreement with the tale his fellow told;
Or that his brother might the truth confesse,
In hope of pardon for his wickednesse:
But in the end, tis his determination,
No whit to alter his first accusation,
And therefore with a feigned innocence,
He boldly speakes thus in his owne defence.
Brethren, since you to me this office gaue,
I know I did so well my selfe behaue,
[Page 39]As guiltlesse now I need not be afraid,
To begge vnto mine innocence your aid.
That you from me my dignity haue rent,
And brought me to the Barre, I am content:
My shoulde [...]s of a burthen is well lighted,
For neuer I in Soueraignty delighted▪
That which mine heart with griefe doth now aff [...]ct,
Is, that you me of Falsity suspect:
That you should thinke I durst sweare to a Lye,
And not expect [...]read lightning suddainely.
Young man, God send thee honour in thy place,
Thy greatnesse build not yet on our disgrace:
What vs befalls may come to thee as soone,
We iudged in the morning, thou at noone:
Therefore beware, oh man, thou iudgest right,
Thou knowst not who may iudge thy selfe ere [...]igh [...]
What profit is't to me in this to lye,
And to condemne my true friends wife to dye▪
Good Ioachims, who were she chaste as faire,
They were a holy, noble, pearelesse paire.
But that whereof we now accuse this Dame,
I sweare is true; who dares deny the same?
Then Daniel said, Oh thou of Canaans seede,
And not of Iudas, Beauty hath indeede
Deceiued thee, and lust doth eu'n thy heart
And all the powers of thy soule peruert:
Thus you with Israels daughters dealt before,
And they for feare haue plaid with you the whore;
But Iudas daughter, Ioachims chaste b [...]ide,
Could neuer such foule wickednesse abide.
But they that will haue one condemn'd to dye,
Ought of the time and place to testifie:
Then tell me truely, vnderneath what tree
Them companing together thou didst see,
Vnder a Pomegranate, he then reply's,
Behold now all, how this vile villaine lyes,
[Page 40]Saith then the Iudge; the Angell with a sword,
Shall thee diuide, of God and man abhord.
Had she in orchyard to your lust consented,
This crime against her had not beene inuented.
Well knew I this before by reuelation,
But would make't plaine by their examination,
Before! vnto iudgement did proceede.
The sentence.
Wherefore [...], In Gods name, this sentence reade.
I Daniel, a iudge by your commission,
Hauing with diligence made inquisition,
In cause pretended of Adultery,
Betweene this Dame, and these two Elders by,
And witnesses in diffrent tales so found,
That thereby one the other doth confound,
First doe absolue from guilt this chastest Dame,
Restoring her to her good name and fame.
Deu. 19.16
Next I pronounce, that who so vp shall rise,
And gainst his brother falsely testifi's,
Ought iustly to receiue that punishment,
Which wickedly he to his brother ment;
Do to him as he would haue done, I say,
So ill from Israel is done away.
And so shall other heare of it and feare,
And henceforth no false testimony beare,
Let not your eyes of them take least compassion,
Respect not greatnesse, person, age or nation:
A hand for hand, for tooth tooth, eye for eye,
A foote for foote, for murther let them dye.
Neuer did any people say Amen,
More gladly to the preachers prayer, when
He for the safety of our King doth pray,
And their confusion, that would him betray,
Than all the multitude their shoutings raise,
To blisse his iustice and their maker praise.
God that from fraud deliuereth the iust,
And from the wicked, all that in him trust.
[Page 41]And as when Faux that arcenall full fraught
Gun-powder treason.
With treason, mischiefe, and rebellious thought,
(Plotting the death and vtter desolation,
Of King, Priests, Nobles, and of all our nation,
Because like Susan here we did deny,
To leaue our Lord, and to accompany,
With Iezabel in foule abhomination,
With whom earths Princes commit fornication,)
Condemned was by Iudges iustest dome,
Lo all the people doe together come,
With ioyfull hearts, vnto his execution,
Where he receiueth iustest retribution:
Eu'n so when Daniel for false-witnesse-bearing,
The Elders had convict in peoples hearing,
Vpon them the whole multitude doth run,
And did to them eu'n as they would haue done,
To chastest Dame; so sinne was done away,
And her blood innocent was sau'd that day.
My history is done, but not my song,
For they that all this while haue held their tongue,
Vp now their voices vnto heauen raise,
And for this Dames deliuerance sing praise:
First old Helchias spirit doth [...]euiue,
As Iacobs hearing Ioseph was aliu [...],
And like to vpright godly Simeon old
When he his Sauiour in his armes doth hold,
Sings nunc Dimittis, Oh now let me dye:
In Susan ▪s found not least dishonesty.
And next his wife like Miriam doth sing,
The noble praises of her heauenly King.
When as she saw her enemies confounded,
And all th' Egyptians in the red sea drowned.
Oh Ioachim, who can the ioy descry!
That thou conceiud'st for her deliuery?
He onely that hath skill to touch the st [...]ing,
Of Dauids Harpe, and Psalmes like his to sing,
[Page 42]Can here describe the heauenly melody,
Was made on earth by this whole company.
Father and mother for their daughter sung,
The children which about their mother hung,
Like f [...]ir [...]st clusters of the f [...]uitfull vine,
S [...]ng all with angelique, sweete voice divine.
[...]oe all her kindred, and her seruants sing,
And eu'n Dame Eccho seem'd from heauen to ring;
But t'was not Eccho, but sweete Angels voice,
That for this Dames deliu'rance did reioyce.
And now my Muse, the Reader onely stayes,
To sing one ditty of this stories praise.
Ha [...]e all chaste Ladies, all iust Iudges heare,
Both old and young vnto my words giue eare,
Let them like dew vpon your hearts distill,
And siluer drops which heau'ns on meadowes spill.
Ioachim, Susan, Hel [...]hi with me sing
The glorious bounty of the righteous king:
And babes who scarce haue learnd to tune your voice,
Yea: sucklings in his noble strength reioyce.
He, to whom earst you lifted vp your eyes,
Now heares your groanes, and listens to your cryes,
And you deliuers from Beares cruell pawes,
The Lyons throate, and Crocodiles foule iawes.
He in all ages past hath sau'd the iust,
And those that put in him their hope and trust;
But neuer plainer haue we heard or read,
Than here, his prouidence discouered.
Susanna chaste to iustice I compare,
The Elders two corrupted Iudges are,
Who seeke for pleasure, fauour, gaine, ambition,
Her to corrupt, but to their owne perdition.
Iudges corrupt, when you this story heare,
At Gods iust vengeance tremble, quake and feare;
And iudging others for the like offence,
Condemne your owne soule, guilty conscience.
[Page 43]And thinke not when you finde your selues vniust,
Such punishment is onely due for lust.
Who for ambition, fauour, feare or gaine,
Doe iudge vniustly, merit equall paine.
You that proiect to prooue by witnesses,
Things false, for gaine, or for malciousnesse;
Lo here your Fate in this example see,
Your testimonies neuer shall agree.
Old letchers that in beastly lust delight,
See here your deeds of darknesse brought to light;
Who doth from heauen your secret sins behold,
Will one day to your shame, them all vnfold.
Iudges and people diligently try
The truth, before you one condemne to dye;
For some for malice, some will sweare for gaine,
Of enuy and ambition some will straine.
When as you see th'accusers violent,
And offer oath to prooue their owne intent,
Though it may seeme them little to concerne,
Yet wa [...]ily, before you iudge, discerne.
Chaste Dames! who rather had endure the shame,
Th [...]n pr [...]u [...]y your consciences to blame,
Waite on the Lord, and in his lawes delight,
So he will bring all wickednesse to light.
Whilst Susan-like your innocence shall shine,
And be commended to succeeding time.
Henceforth let all the Ladies that liue chast,
Be with the title of Susannas grac't:
So far as Isaacks seede the Scepter swayes,
And Phoebus doth divide the nights from dayes,
So far shall honourd be chaste Susans name,
And all chaste Dames shall glory in the same.
And when as witnesses doe disagree,
Iudges shall praise her honourd chastity:
And Daniels prudent diligence admire,
And by this patterne, out the truth enquire▪
[Page 44]In this she suffers like that holy One,
Who though he neuer ill had thought or done▪
Mark. 14.58, 59.
Yet was accusd for cursed Blaspheme,
But neuer could the witnesses agree.
Lo wicked Pilate like these Elders stands,
Was [...]ing before iust iudge, his guilty hands,
Yet nothing but hells lake shall wash from thence,
That guiltlesse blood, the blood of innocence.
In thee two wicked Iudges I doe see,
The diuell and the world accusing me,
Whose malice surely had me ouercome,
Had not the Prophet to my rescue come.
I see in Daniel, sitting on the throne,
A true resemblance of that holy One,
Who though he all things past as present knows,
By Spirit which the truth to Daniel shows,
Yet by discussing will make all things cleare,
That men and Angels which his Dome do heare,
May second it with finall approbation,
The Iusts reward, the wickeds condemnation.
Go on, braue Daniel, in doing right,
And thou shalt fauour find in Princes sight,
Gen. 41.40.
Cyrus succeedes in Persian Monarchy,
Who thee shall raise to high Authority,
And like wise Ioseph place thee next his throne,
He Egypt, thou shalt Persia rule alone.
IN all thy Poems thou dost wondrous well,
But thy Susanna doth them all excell.
R. C.

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