[Page] CHRISTS VICTORIE, AND TRI­umph in Heauen, and Earth, over, and after death.

A te principium, tibi desinet, accipe iussis
Carmina caepta tuis, atque hanc sine tempora circum
Inter victrices hederam tibi serpere lauros.

CONFI­DO IN DOM­INO

CAMBRIDGE Printed by C. LEGGE. 1610.

To the Reader.

THear are but fewe of many that can rightly iudge of Poetry, and yet thear at many of those few, that carry so left­handed an opinion of it, as some of them thinke it halfe sacrilege for pro­phane Poetrie to deale with divine and heauenly matters, as though David wear to be sentenced by them, for vtte­ [...]ng his graue matter vpon the harpe: others something more [...]olent in their censure, but sure lesse reasonable (as though [...]oetrie corrupted all good witts, when, indeed, bad witts cor­ [...]pt Poetrie) banish it with Plato out of all well-ordered Commonwealths. Both theas I will strive rather to satisfie, [...]en refute.

And of the first I would gladlie knowe, whither they sup­ [...]ose it fitter, that the sacred songs in the Scripture of those he­ [...]oicall Saincts, Moses, Deborah, Ieremie, Mary, Simeon, Da­ [...]id, Salomon, (the wisest Scholeman, and wittiest Poet) should [...]ee eiected from the canon, for wante of grauitie, or rather this [...]rroure eraced out of their mindes, for wante of truth. But, it maye bee, they will giue the Spirit of God leaue to breath [...]hrough what pipe it please, & will confesse, because they must [...]eeds, that all the songs dittied by him, must needs bee, as their Fountaine is, most holy: but their common clamour is, who may compare with [...], & yet as none may compare without presum [...] all may imitat, and not without com­mendation: [Page] which made Nazianzen, on of the Starrs of [...] Greeke Church, that nowe shines as bright in heauen, as [...] did then on earth, write so manie diuine Poems of the Ge [...] alogie, Miracles, Parables, Passion of Christ, called by him h [...] [...], which when Basil, the Prince of the Fathen [...] and his Chamberfellowe, had seene, his opinion of them was, that he could haue deuised nothing either more fruitfull to o­thers: because it kindely woed them to Religion, or more ho­nourable to himselfe, [...], because by imitating the singing Angels in heau'n, himselfe became, though before his time, an earth­ly Angel. What should I speake of Iuvencus, Prosper, & the wise Prudentius? the last of which liuing in Hieroms time twelue hundred yeares agoe, brought foorth in his declining age, so many, & so religious poems, straitly charging his soule, not to let passe so much as one either night or daye without some diuine song, Hymnis continuet dies, Nec nox vlla vacet, quin Dominum canat. And as sedulous Prudentius, so pru­dent Sedulius was famous in this poeticall diuinity, the coetan of Bernard, who sung the historie of Christ with as much de­uotion in himself, as admitation to others; all which wear followed by the choicest witts of Christendome: Nonnius tran­slating all Sainct Iohns Ghosipel into Greek verse, Sanazar, the late-liuing Image, and happy imitator of Uirgil, bestowing ten-yeares vpon a song, onely to celebrat that one day when Christ was borne vnto vs on earth, & we (a happie change) vnto God in heau'n: thrice-honour'd Bartas, & our (I know no other name more glorious then his own) Mr. Edmund Spen­cer (two blessed Soules) not thinking ten years inough, layeing out their whole liues vpon this one studie: Nay I may iustly say, that the Princely Father of our Countrey (though in my con­science, God hath made him of all the learned Princes that e­uer wear the most religious, and of all the religious Princes, the most learned, that so, by the one, hee might oppose him a­gainst [Page] the Pope, the peste of all Religion, and by the other, a­gainst Bellarmine the abuser of all good Learning) is yet so far enamour'd with this celestiall Muse, that it shall neuer repent mee—calamo triuisse labellum, whensoeuer I shall remember Hac eadem vt sciret quid non faciebat Amyntas? To name no more in such plenty, whear I may finde how to beginne, sooner then to end, Saincte Paule, by the Exāple of Christ, that wente singing to mounte Oliuet, with his Disciples, after his last supper, exciteth the Christians to solace themselues with [...]ymnes, and Psalmes, and spirituall songs; and thearefore, by their leav's, be it an error for Poets to be Divines, I had rather [...]rr with the Scripture, then be rectifi'd by them: I had rather [...]dore the stepps of Nazianzen, Prudentius, Sedulius, then fol­ [...]owe their steps, to bee misguided: I had rather be the deuoute Admirer of Nonnius, Bartas, my sacred Soueraign, and others, the miracles of our latter age, then the false sectatie of these, that haue nothing at all to follow, but their own naked opini­ons: To conclude, I had rather with my Lord, and his most di­vine Apostle sing (though I sing sorilie) the loue of heauen and earthe, then praise God (as they doe) with the woorthie guift of silence, and sitting still, or think I dispraisd him with this poe­tical discourse. It seems they haue either not read, or clean [...]orgot, that it is the dutie of the Muses (if wee maye beeleeue [...]indare, and Hesiod) to set allwaies vnder the throne of Iupiter, [...]ius & laudes, & beneficia [...], which made a very worthy German writer conclude it Certò statuimus, proprium at (que) pe­ [...]uliare poetarum munus esse, Christi gloriam illustrare, beeing good reason that the heavenly infusion of such Poetry, should [...]nde in his glorie, that had beginning from his goodnes, fit o­ [...]ator, nascitur Poeta.

For the secound sorte thearfore, that eliminat Poets out of [...]heir citie gates; as though they wear nowe grown so bad, as [...]hey could neither growe woorse, nor better, though it be [...]omewhat hard for those to bee the onely men should want ci­ties, [Page] that wear the onely causers of the building of them, and somewhat inhumane to thrust them into the woods, to liue a­mong the beasts, who wear the first that call'd men out of the woods, from their beastly, and wilde life, yet since they will needes shoulder them out for the onely firebrands to inflame lust (the fault of earthly men, not heauenly Poetrie) I would gladly learne, what kind of professions theas men would bee intreated to entertaine, that so deride and disaffect Poesie: would they admit of Philosophers, that after they haue burnt out the whole candle of their life in the circular studie of Sci­ences, crie out at length, Se nihil prorsus seire? or should Musi­tians be welcome to them, that Dant sine mente sonum—bring delight with them indeede, could they aswell expresse with their instruments a voice, as they can a sound? or would they most approve of Soldiers that defend the life of their coun­trymen either by the death of themselues, or their enemies? If Philosophers please them, who is it, that knowes not, that all the lights of Example, to cleare their precepts, are borowed by Philosophers from Poets; that without Homers examples, A­ristotle would be as blind as Homer: If they retaine Musitians, who euer doubted, but that Poets infused the verie soule into the inarticulate sounds of musique; that without Pindar, & Horace the Lyriques had beene silenced for euer: If they must needes entertaine Soldiers, who can but confesse, that Poets restore againe that life to soldiers, which they before lost for the safetie of their country; that without Uirgil, Aeneas had neuer beene so much as heard of. How then can they for shame deny commonwealths to them, who wear the first Au­thors of them; how can they denie the blinde Philosopher, that teaches them, his light; the emptie Musitian that delights them, his soule; the dying Soldier, that defends their life, im­mortalitie, after his owne death; let Philosophie, let Ethiques▪ let all the Arts bestowe vpon vs this guift, that we be no [...] thought deadmen, whilest we remaine among the liuing: it is [Page] onely Poetrie that can make vs be thought liuing men, when we lie among the dead, and therefore I thinke it vnequall to thrust them out of our cities, that call vs out of our graues, to thinke so hardly of them, that make vs to be so well thought of, to deny them to liue a while among vs, that make vs liue for euer among our Posteritie.

So beeing nowe weary in perswading those that hate, I commend my selfe to those that love such Poets, as Plato speakes of, that sing divine and heroical matters. [...], recommen­ding theas my idle howers, not idly spent, to good schollers, and good Christians, that haue ouercome their ignorance with [...]eason, and their reason, with religion.

FOnd ladds, that spend so fast your poasting time,
(Too poasting time, that spends your time as fast)
To chaunt light toyes, or frame some wanton time,
Where idle boyes may glut their lustfull tast,
Or else with praise to cloath some fleshly shine
With virgins roses, and faire lillies chast:
While itching bloods, and youthfull eares adore it,
But wiser men, and once your selues will most abhorre it.
But thou (most neere, most deare) in this of thine
Ha'st proov'd the Muses not to Venus bound,
Such as thy matter, such thy muse, divine.
Or thou such grace with Merci's selfe hast found,
That she her selfe deign's in thy leaues to shine:
Or stol'n from heav'n, thou broughts this verse to ground,
Which frights the nummed soule with fearefull thunder,
And soone with honied dewes melts it twixt ioy, and wonder.
Then doe not thou malitious tongues esteeme,
The glasse, through which an envious eye doth gaze,
Can easily make a molehill mountaines seeme;
His praise dispraises, his dispraises, praise.
Enough if best men best thy labours deem,
And to the highest pitch thy merit raise,
While all the Muses to thy song decree
Victorious Triumph, Triumphant Victorie.
Phin. Fletcher Regal.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPVLL, AND REVEREND Mr. Doctour NEVILE, Deane of CANTERBVRIE, and the Master of TRINITIE Colledge in CAMBRIDGE.

RIght worthie, and reverend Syr: As I have alwaies thought the place wherein I liue, after heauen, principally to be desired, both because I most want, and it most abounds with wisdome, which is fled by some with as much de­light, as it is obtained by others, and ought to be followed by all: so I cannot but next vnto God, for euer acknow­ledge myselfe most bound vnto the hand of God, (I meane your­selfe) that reacht downe, as it were out of heauen, vnto me, a be­ [...]fit of that nature, and price, then which, I could wish none, (one­ [...] heauen itselfe excepted) either more fruitfull, and contenting [...]r the time that is now present, or more comfortable, and en­couraging for the time that is alreadie past, or more hopefull, and [...]omising for the time that is yet to come.

For as in all mens iudgements (that haue any iudgement) Eu­ [...]pe is worthily deem'd the Queene of the world, that Garland [Page] both of Learning, and pure Religion beeing now become her crowne, and blossoming vpon her head, that hath long since laine withered in Greece and Palestine; so my opinion of this Island hath alwaies beene, that it is the very face, and beautie of all Europe, in which both true Religion is faithfully professed with­out superstition, and (if on earth) true Learning sweetly flourishes without ostentation: and what are the two eyes of this Land, but the two Universities; which cannot but prosper in the time of such a Prince, that is a Prince of Learning, aswell as of People: and truly I should forget myselfe, if I should not call Cambridge the right eye: and I thinke (King Henrie the 8. beeing the vni­ter, Edward the 3. the Founder, and your selfe the Repairer of this Colledge, wherein I liue) none will blame me, if I e­steeme the same, since your polishing of it, the fairest sight in Cambridge: in which beeing placed by your onely fauour, most freely, without either any meanes from other, or any desert in my selfe, beeing not able to doe more, I could doe no lesse, then ac­knowledge that debt, which I shall neuer be able to pay, and with old Silenus, in the Poet (vpon whome the boyes—injiciunt ipsis ex vincula sertis, making his garland, his fetters) finding my selfe bound vnto you by so many benefits, that were giuen by your selfe for ornaments, but are to me as so many golden cheines, to hold me fast in a kind of desired bondage, seeke (as he doth) my freedome with a song, the matter whereof is as worthie the swee­test Singer, as my selfe, the miserable Singer, vnworthie so divine a subiect: but the same fauour, that before rewarded no desert knowes now as well how to pardon all faults, then which indul­gence, when I regard my selfe, I can wish no more; when I re­member you, I can hope no lesse.

So commending these few broken lines vnto yours, and your selfe into the hands of the best Physitian, IESVS CHRIST with whome, the most ill affected man, in the midst of his sicknes, is in good health, and without whoms, the most lustie bodie, in his greatest iollitie, is but a languishing karcase, I humbly take my [Page] [...]eaue, ending with the same wish, that your deuoted Observer, [...]nd my approoued Friend doth, in his verses presently sequent, that your passage to heauen may be slow to vs, that shall want [...]ou here, but to your selfe, that cannot want vs there, most secure [...]nd certeyne.

Your Worships, in all dutie, and seruice G. FLETCHER.

THOMAS NEVYLE. MOST HEAVENLY.

AS when the Captaine of the heauenly host,
Or else that glorious armie doth appeare
In waters drown'd, with surging billowes tost,
We know they are not, where we see they are;
We see them in the deepe, we see them mooue,
We know they fixed are in heauen aboue:
So did the Sunne of righteousnesse come downe
Clowded in flesh, and seem'd be in the deepe:
So doe the many waters seeme to drowne
The starres his Saints, and they on earth to keepe,
And yet this Sunne from heauen neuer fell,
And yet these earthly starres in heauen dwell.
What if their soules be into prison cast
In earthly bodies? yet they long for heauen:
What if this worldly Sea they haue not past?
Yet faine they would be brought into their hauen.
They are not here, and yet we here them see,
For euery man is there, where he would be.
Long may you wish, and yet long wish in vaine,
Hence to depart, and yet that wish obtaine.
Long may you here in heauen on earth remaine,
And yet a heauen in heauen hereafter gaine.
Go you to heauen, but yet O make no hast,
Go slowly slowly, but yet go at last.
But when the Nightingale so neere doth sit,
Silence the Titmouse better may befit.
F. Nethersole.
QVid ô, quid Veneres, Cupidines (que),
Turtures (que), iocos (que), passeres (que)
Lascivi canitis greges, poëtae?
Ettam languidulos amantum ocellos,
Et mox turgidulas sinu papillas,
Iam risus teneros, lachrymulas (que),
Mox suspiria, morsiunculas (que),
Mille basia; mille, mille nugas?
Et vultus pueri, puellululaeve
(Heu fusci pueri, puellulae (que))
Pingitis nivibus, rosunculis (que),
(Mentitis nivibus, rosunculis (que))
Quae vel primo hyemis rigore torpent,
Vel Phaebi intuitu statim relanguent.
Heu stulti nimiùm greges poëtae!
Vt, quas sic nimis, ah nimis stupetis,
(Nives candidulae, & rosae pudentes)
Sic vobis pereunt statim labores:
Et solem fugiunt severiorem,
Vel solem gelidà rigent senectâ:
At tu qui clypeo, haud inane nomen
(Minervae clypeo Iovis (que)) sumens
Victrices resonas dei Triumphos,
Triumphos lachrymis, metu (que) plenos,
Plenos laetitiae, & spei triumphos,
Dum rem carmine, Piero (que) dignam
Aggrederis, tibi res decora rebus
Praebet carmina, Piero (que) digna.
Quin ille ipse tuos legens triumphos,
Pleno [...] militia, labore plenos,
Tuo propitius parat labori
Plenos laetitiae, & spec triumphos.
Phin. Fletcher Regal.

[...].

BEatissima virginum Maria,
Sed mater (que) simul beata, per quam
Qui semper fuit ille coepit esse:
Quae Vitae dederis (que) inire vitam:
Et Luci dederis videre lucem:
Quae fastidia, morsiunculas (que)
Passa es quas grauidae solent, nec vnquam
Audebas propier viro venire,)
Dum clusus penetralibus latebat
Matricis tunicâ vndi (que) involutus,
Quem se posse negant tenere coeli.
Quae non virgineas premi papillas
Passa, virgineas tamen dedisti
Lactandas puero tuo papillas.
Eia, dic age, dic beata virgo,
Cur piam abstineas manum, times (que)
Sancta tangere, Sanctuarium (que)
Insolens fugias? an inquinari
Contactu metuis tuo sacrata?
Contactu metuit suo sacrata
Pollui pia, cernis en ferentem,
Lenimenta Dei furentis, illa
Foedatas sibi ferre quae iubebat.
Sis felix noua virgo-mater opto,
[Page] Quae mollire Deum paras amicum.
Quin hic dona licet licet relinquas,
Agnellum (que) repone, turturem (que),
Audax ingrediare inanis aedes
Dei, tange Deo sacrata, tange.
Quae non concubitu coinquinata
Agnellum peperit (que), Turturem (que)
Exclusit, facili Deo litabit
Agno cum Deus insit, & columbae.
NOr can I so much say as much I ought,
Nor yet so little can I say as nought,
[...]raise of this thy worke, so heauenly pend,
[...]at sure the sacred Dove a quill did lend
[...]m her high-soaring wing: certes I know
[...] other plumes, that makes man seeme so low
[...]his owne eyes, who to all others sight
[...] mounted to the highest pitch of height:
[...]here if thou seeme to any of small price,
[...]e fault is not in thee, but in his eyes:
[...]t what doe I thy flood of wit restreine
[...]ithin the narrow bankes of my poore veyne?
[...]re I could say, and would, but that to praise
[...]y verses, is to keepe them from their praise.
[...] them who reades, and doth them not aduance,
[...] envie doth it, or of ignorance.
F. Nethersole.

CHRISTS VICTORIE in Heaven.

1
THe birth of him that no beginning knewe,
The Argu­ment pro­pounded in generall: Our redem­ption by Christ.
Yet giues beginning to all that are borne,
And how the Infinite farre greater grewe,
By growing lesse, and how the rising Morne,
[...]hat shot from heau'n, did backe to heauen retourne,
The obsequies of him that could not die,
And death of life, ende of eternitie,
[...]ow worthily he died, that died vnworthily;
2
[...]ow God, and Man did both embrace each other,
[...]et in one person, heau'n, and earth did kiss,
[...]nd how a Virgin did become a Mother,
[...]nd bare that Sonne, who the worlds Father is,
[...]nd Maker of his mother, and how Bliss
Descended from the bosome of the High,
To cloath himselfe in naked miserie,
[...]yling at length to heau'n, in earth, triumphantly,
3
[...] the first flame, wherewith my whiter Muse
[...]oth burne in heauenly loue, such loue to tell.
The Authors Inuocation, for the bet­ter handling of it.
[...] thou that didst this holy fire infuse,
[...]nd taught'st this brest, but late the graue of hell,
[Page 2] Wherein a blind, and dead heart liu'd, to swell
With better thoughts, send downe those lights that len [...]
Knowledge, how to begin, and how to end
The loue, that neuer was, nor euer can be pend.
4
Ye sacred writings in whose antique leaues
The memories of heau'n entreasur'd lie,
Say, what might be the cause that Mercie heaues
The dust of sinne aboue th'industrious skie;
And lets it not to dust, and ashes flie?
Could Iustice be of sinne so ouer-wooed,
Or so great ill be cause of so great good,
That bloody man to saue, mans Sauiour shed his blood?
5
Or did the lips of Mercie droppe soft speech
The Argu­ment, Mans redemption, expounded from the cause. Mercie
For traytrous man, when at th'Eternalls throne
Incensed Nemesis did heau'n beseech
With thundring voice, that iustice might be showne
Against the Rebells, that from God were flowne;
O say, say how could Mercie plead for those
That scarcely made, against their Maker rose?
Will any slay his friend, that he may spare his foes?
6
There is a place beyond that flaming hill
From whence the starres their thin apparance shed,
Dwelling in heauen
A place, beyond all place, where neuer ill,
Nor impure thought was euer harboured,
But Sainctly Heroes are for euer s'ed
To keepe an euerlasting Sabbaoths rest,
Still wishing that, of what th'ar still possest,
Enioying but one ioy, but one of all ioyes best.
7
[...]ere, when the ruine of that beauteous frame,
And plea­ding for mā now guilde.
Whose golden building shin'd with euerie starre
[...]f excellence, deform'd with age became,
MERCY, remembring peace in midst of warre,
[...]ft vp the musique of her voice, to barre
Eternall fate, least it should quite erace
That from the world, which was the first worlds grace,
[...]d all againe into their, nothing, Chaos chase.
8
[...] what had all this All, which Man in one
[...]d not vnite; the earth, aire, water, fire,
[...]e, sense, and spirit, nay the powrefull throne
[...] the diuinest Essence, did retire,
[...]d his owne Image into clay inspire:
So that this Creature well might called be
Of the great world, the small epitomie,
[...] the dead world, the liue, and quicke anatomie.
9
[...]t Iustice had no sooner Mercy seene
with Iustice, described
[...]oothing the wrinkles of her Fathers browe,
[...] vp she starts, and [...]rowes her selfe betweene.
[...] when a vapour, from a moory slough,
[...]eting with fresh Eous, that but now
Open'd the world, which all in darkenesse lay,
Doth heau'ns bright face of his rayes disaray,
[...]d sads the smiling orient of the springing day.
10
[...] was a Virgin of austere regard,
by her qua­lities.
[...]t as the world esteemes her, deafe, and blind,
[...]t as the Eagle, that hath oft compar'd
[...] eye with heau'ns, so, and more brightly shin'd
[Page 4] Her lamping sight: for she the same could winde
Into the solid heart, and with her eares,
The silence of the thought loude speaking heares,
And in one hand a paire of euen scoals she weares.
11
No riot of affection reuell kept
Within her brest, but a still apathy
Possessed all her soule, which softly slept,
Securely, without tempest, no sad crie
Awakes her pittie, but wrong'd pouertie,
Sending his eyes to heau'n swimming in teares,
With hideous clamours euer struck her eares,
Whetting the blazing sword, that in her hand she beares.
12
The winged Lightning is her Mercury,
And round about her mightie thunders sound:
Her Reti­nue.
Impatient of himselfe lies pining by
Pale Sicknes, with his kercher'd head vpwound,
And thousand noysome plagues attend her round,
But if her clowdie browe but once growe foule,
The flints doe melt, and rocks to water rowle,
And ayrie mountaines shake, and frighted shadowes how [...]
13
Famine, and bloodles Care, and bloodie Warre,
Want, and the Want of knowledge how to vse
Abundance, Age, and Feare, that runnes afarre
Before his fellowe Greefe, that aye pursues
His winged steps; for who would not refuse
Greefes companie, a dull, and rawebon'd spright,
That lankes the cheekes, and pales the freshest sight,
Vnbosoming the cheerefull brest of all delight;
14
Before this cursed throng, goes Ignorance,
That needes will leade the way he cannot see:
And after all, Death doeth his flag aduaunce,
And in the mid'st, Strife still would roaguing be,
Whose ragged flesh, and cloaths did well agree:
And round about, amazed Horror flies,
And ouer all, Shame veiles his guiltie eyes,
And vnderneth, Hells hungrie throat still yawning lies.
15
Vpon two stonie tables, spread before her,
She lean'd her bosome, more then stonie hard,
There slept th'vnpartiall iudge, and strict restorer
Her Subiect.
Of wrong, or right, with paine, or with reward,
There hung the skore of all our debts, the card
Whear good, and bad, and life, and death were painted:
Was neuer heart of mortall so vntainted,
But when that scroule was read, with thousand terrors fainted.
16
Witnes the thunder that mount Sinai heard,
When [...] hill with firie clouds did flame,
And [...] Israel, with the sight afeard,
Blinded [...] seeing, durst not touch the same,
But like a wood of shaking leaues became.
On this dead Iustice, she, the Liuing Lawe,
Bowing herselfe with a maiestique awe,
All heau'n, to heare her speech, did into silence drawe.
17
Dread Lord of Spirits, well thou did'st deuise
To fling the worlds rude dunghill, and the drosse
Her accusa­tion of Mans sinne.
Of the ould Chaos, farthest from the skies,
And thine owne seate, that heare the child of losse,
[Page 6] Of all the lower heau'n the curse, and crosse,
That wretch, beast, caytiue, monster Man, might spend,
(Proude of the mire, in which his soule is pend)
Clodded in lumps of clay, his wearie life to end.
18
His bodie dust: whear grewe such cause of pride?
His soule thy Image: what could he enuie?
And 1. of A­dams first sinne.
Himselfe most happie: if he so would bide:
Now grow'n most wretched, who can remedie?
He slewe himselfe, himselfe the enemie.
That his owne soule would her owne murder wreake,
If I were silent, heau'n and earth would speake,
And if all fayl'd, these stones would into clamours breake.
19
How many darts made furrowes in his side,
When she, that out of his owne side was made,
Gaue feathers to their flight? whear was the pride
Of their newe knowledge; whither did it fade,
When, running from thy voice into the shade,
He fled thy sight, himselfe of sight bereau'd;
And for his shield a leauie armour weau'd,
With which, vain mā, he thought Gods eies to [...]
20
And well he might delude those eyes, that see,
And iudge by colours: for who euer sawe
A man of leaues, a reasonable tree?
But those that from this stocke their life did drawe,
Then of his posterities, in all kinde of Idolatrie.
Soone made their Father godly, and by lawe
Proclaimed Trees almightie: Gods of wood,
Of stocks, and stones with crownes of laurell stood
Templed, and fed by fathers with their childrens blood.
21
The sparkling fanes, that burne in beaten gould,
And, like the starres of heau'n in mid'st of night,
[...]lacke Egypt, as her mirrhours, doth behould,
[...]re but the denns whear idoll-snakes delight
[...]gaine to couer Satan from their sight:
Yet these are all their gods, to whome they vie
The Crocodile, the Cock, the Rat, the Flie.
[...] gods, indeede, for such men to be serued by.
22
[...]e Fire, the winde, the sea, the sunne, and moone,
[...]e flitting Aire, and the swift-winged How'rs,
[...]d all the watchmen, that so nimbly runne,
[...]d centinel about the walled towers
[...] the worlds citie, in their heau'nly bowr's.
And, least their pleasant gods should want delight,
Neptune spues out the Lady Aphrodite,
[...]d but in heauen proude Iunos peacocks skorne to lite.
23
[...]e senselesse Earth, the Serpent, dog, and catte,
[...]d woorse then all these, Man, and woorst of men
[...]rping Ioue, and swilling Bacchus fat,
[...]d drunke with the vines purple blood, and then
[...]e Fiend himselfe they coniure from his denne,
Because he onely yet remain'd to be
Woorse then the worst of men, they flie from thee,
[...]d weare his altar-stones out with their pliant knee.
24
[...] that he speakes (and all he speakes are lies)
[...]e oracles, 'tis he (that wounded all)
[...]res all their wounds, he (that put out their eyes)
[...]at giues them light, he (that death first did call
[Page 8] Into the world) that with his orizall,
Inspirits earth: he heau'ns al-seeing eye,
He earths great Prophet, he, whom rest doth flie,
That on salt billowes doth, as pillowes, sleeping lie.
25
But let him in his cabin restles rest,
The dungeon of darke flames, and freezing fire,
How hope­lesse any pa­tronage of [...].
Iustice in heau'n against man makes request
To God, and of his Angels doth require
Sinnes punishment: if what I did desire,
Or who, or against whome, or why, or whear,
Of, or before whom ignorant I wear,
Then should my speech their sands of sins to mountaines [...]ea [...]
26
Wear not the heau'ns pure, in whose courts I sue,
The Iudge, to whom I sue, iust to requite him,
The cause for sinne, the punishment most due,
Iustice her selfe the plaintiffe to endite him,
The Angells holy, before whom I cite him,
He against whom, wicked, vniust, impure;
Then might he sinnefull liue, and die secure,
Or triall might escape, of triall might endure,
27
The Iudge might partiall be, and ouer-pray'd,
The place appeald from, in whose courts he sues,
The fault excus'd, or punishment delayd,
The parties selfe accus'd, that did accuse,
Angels for pardon might their praiers vse:
But now no starre can shine, no hope be got.
Most wretched creature, if he knewe his lot,
And yet more wretched farre, because he knowes it not.
28
What should I tell how barren earth is growne,
All the Creatures hauing dis­leagued themselues with him
[...]ll for to sterue her children, didst not thou
[...]ater with heau'nly showers her wombe vnsowne,
[...]nd drop downe cloudes of flow'rs, didst not thou bowe
[...]ine easie eare vnto the plowmans vowe,
Long might he looke, and looke, and long in vaine
Might load his haruest in an emptie wayne,
[...]d beat the woods, to finde the poore okes hungrie graine.
29
[...]he swelling sea seethes in his angrie waues,
[...]d smites the earth, that dares the traytors nourish,
[...]t oft his thunder their light corke outbraues,
[...]owing the mountaines, on whose temples flourish
[...]hole woods of garlands, and, their pride to cherish,
Plowe through the seaes greene fields, and nets display
To catch the flying winds, and steale away,
[...]oozning the greedie sea, prisning their nimble prey.
30
[...]w often haue I seene the wauing pine,
[...]st on a watrie mountaine, knocke his head
[...] heau'ns too patient gates, and with salt brine
[...]ench the Moones burning hornes, and safely fled
[...]m heau'ns reuenge, her passengers, all dead
With stiffe astonishment, tumble to hell?
How oft the sea all earth would ouerswell,
[...]d not thy sandie girdle binde the mightie well?
31
[...]ould not the aire be fill'd with steames of death,
[...] poyson the quicke riuers of their blood,
[...]d not thy windes fan, with their panting breath,
[...]e flitting region? would not the hastie flood
[Page 10] Emptie it selfe into the seas wide wood,
Did'st not thou leade it wandring from his way,
To giue men drinke, and make his waters strey,
To fresh the flowrie medowes, through whose fields they play [...]
32
Who makes the sources of the siluer fountaines
From the flints mouth, and rocky valleis slide,
Thickning the ayrie bowells of the mountaines?
Who hath the wilde heards of the forrest tide
In their cold denns, making them hungrie bide
Till man to rest be laid? can beastly he,
That should haue most sense, onely senseles be,
And all things else, beside himselfe, so awefull see?
33
Wear he not wilder then the saluage beast,
Prowder then haughty hills, harder then rocks,
Colder then fountaines, from their springs releast,
Lighter then aire, blinder then senseles stocks,
More changing then the riuers curling locks,
If reason would not, sense would soone reprooue him,
And vnto shame, if not to sorrow, mooue him,
For his ex­treame vn­gratefulnes.
To see cold floods, wild beasts, dul stocks, hard stones out-l [...]
34
Vnder the weight of sinne the earth did fall,
And swallowed Dathan; and the raging winde,
And stormie sea, and gaping Whale, did call
For Ionas; and the aire did bullets finde,
And shot from heau'n a stony showre, to grinde
The fiue proud Kings, that for their idols fought,
The Sunne it selfe stood still to fight it out,
And fire frō heau'n slew downe, when sin to heau'n did [...]
35
[...]hould any to himselfe for safety flie?
So that bee­ing destitute of all hope, or any re­medie.
The way to saue himselfe, if any were,
[...]ear to flie from himselfe: should he relie
Vpon the promise of his wife? but there,
[...]hat can he see, but that he most may feare,
A Syren, sweete to death: vpon his friends?
Who that he needs, or that he hath not lends?
[...]r wanting aide himselfe, ayde to another sends?
36
[...]is strength? but duft: his pleasure? cause of paine:
[...]s hope? false courtier: youth, or beawtie? brittle:
[...]treatie? fond: repentance? late, and vaine:
[...]st recompence? the world wear all too little:
[...]y loue? he hath no title to a tittle:
Hells force? in vaine her furies hell shall gather:
His Seruants, Kinsmen, or his children rather?
[...]is child, if good, shall iudge, if bad, shall curse his father.
37
[...]is life? that brings him to his end, and leaues him:
[...]is ende? that leaues him to beginne his woe:
[...]s goods? what good in that, that so deceaues him?
[...]s gods of wood? their feete, alas, are slowe
[...] goe to helpe, that must be help't to goe:
Honour, great woorth? ah, little woorth they be
Vnto their owners: wit? that makes him see
[...] wanted wit, that thought he had it, wanting thee.
38
[...]e sea to drinke him quicke? that casts his dead:
[...]ngells to spare? they punish: night to hide?
[...]e world shall burne in light: the heau'ns to spread
[...]heir wings to saue him? heau'n it selfe shall slide,
[Page 12] And rowle away like melting starres, that glide
Along their oylie threads: his minde pursues him:
His house to shrowde, or hills to fall, and bruse him?
As Seargeants both attache, and witnesses accuse him:
39
What need I vrge, what they must needs confesse?
Sentence on them, condemn'd by their owne lust;
I craue no more, and thou canst giue no lesse,
He can look for nothing, but a fearful sentence.
Then death to dead men, iustice to vniust;
Shame to most shamefull, and most shameles dust:
But if thy Mercie needs will spare her friends,
Let Mercie there begin, where Iustice endes.
Tis cruell Mercie, that the wrong from right defends.
40
She ended, and the heau'nly Hierarchies,
The effect of Iustice her speech: the inflammati­on of the heauenly Powers,
Burning in zeale, thickly imbranded weare:
Like to an armie, that allarum cries,
And euery one shakes his ydraded speare,
And the Almighties selfe, as he would teare
The earth, and her firme basis quite in sunder,
Flam'd all in iust reuenge, and mightie thunder,
Heau'n stole it selfe from earth by clouds that moisterd vnd [...]
41
As when the cheerfull Sunne, elamping wide,
Appeased by Mercie, who is described by her cher­fulnes to de­fend Man.
Glads all the world with his vprising raye,
And wooes the widow'd earth afresh to pride,
And paint her bosome with the flowrie Maye,
His silent sister steales him quite away,
Wrap't in a sable clowde, from mortall eyes,
The hastie starres at noone begin to rise,
And headlong to his early roost the sparrowe flies.
42
But soone as he againe dishadowed [...]is,
Restoring the blind world his blemish't sight,
As though another day wear newely ris,
The cooz'ned birds busily take their flight,
And wonder at the shortnesse of the night:
So Mercie once againe her selfe displayes,
Out from her sisters cloud, and open layes
Those sunshine lookes, whose beames would dim a thousand dayes.
43
How may a worme, that crawles along the dust,
Clamber the azure mountaines, thrown so high,
Our inabili­tie to de­scribe her.
And fetch from thence they faire Idea iust,
That in those sunny courts doth hidden lie,
Cloath'd with such light, as blinds the Angels eye;
How may weake mortall euer hope to file
His vnsmooth tongue, and his deprostrate stile?
[...] raise thou from his corse, thy now entomb'd exile.
44
One touch would rouze me from my sluggish hearse,
One word would call me to my wished home,
One looke would polish my afflicted verse,
One thought would steale my soule from her thicke lome,
And force it wandring vp to heau'n to come,
Thear to importune, and to beg apace
One happy fauour of thy sacred grace,
To see, (what though it loose her eyes?) to see thy face.
Her beautie, resembled by the crea­tures, which are all fraile shadows of her essenti­all perfecti­on.
45
If any aske why roses please the sight,
Because their leaues vpon thy cheel [...]es doe bowre;
If any aske why lillies are so white,
Because their blossoms in thy hand doe flowre:
[Page 14] Or why sweet plants so gratefull odours shoure;
It is because thy breath so like they be:
Or why the Orient Sunne so bright we see;
What reason can we giue, but from thine eies, and thee?
46
Ros'd all in liuely crimsin ar thy cheeks,
Whear beawties indeflourishing abide,
And, as to passe his fellowe either seekes,
Seemes both doe blush at one anothers pride:
And on thine eyelids, waiting thee beside,
Ten thousand Graces sit, and when they mooue
To earth their amourous belgards from aboue,
Her Atten­dants.
They flie from heau'n, and on their wings conuey thy loue.
47
All of discolour'd plumes their wings a [...] made,
And with so wondrous art the quills a [...] wrought,
That whensoere they cut the ayrie glade,
The winde into their hollowe pipes is caught:
As seemes the spheres with them they down haue brought:
Like to the seauen-fold reede of Arcadie,
Which Pan of Syriux made, when she did flie
To Ladon sands, and at his sighs sung m [...]ly.
48
As melting hony, dropping from the combe,
So still the words, that spring between thy lipps,
Her per­swasiue power.
Thy lippes, whear smiling sweetnesse keepes her home,
And heau'nly Eloquence pure manna sipps,
He that his pen but in that fountaine dipps,
How nimbly will the golden phrases flie,
And shed forth streames of choycest rhetorie,
Welling celestiall torrents out of poësie?
49
Like as the thirstie land, in summers heat,
Calls to the cloudes, and gapes at euerie showre,
As though her hungry clifts all heau'n would eat,
Which if high God into her bosome powre,
Though much refresht, yet more she could deuoure:
So hang the greedie ears of Angels sweete,
And euery breath a thousand cupids meete,
Some flying in, some out, and all about her fleet.
50
Vpon her breast, Delight doth softly sleepe,
And of eternall ioy is brought abed,
Those snowie mountelets, through which doe creepe
The milkie riuers, that ar inly bred
In siluer cesternes, and themselues doe shed
To wearie Trauailers, in heat of day,
To quench their fierie thrist, and to allay
With dropping nectar floods, the furie of their way.
51
If any wander, thou doest call him backe,
Her kind of­fices to Man.
If any be not forward thou incit'st him,
Thou doest expect, if any should growe slacke,
If any seeme but willing, thou inuit'st him,
Or if he doe offend thee, thou acquit'st him,
Thou find'st the lost, and follow'st him that flies,
Healing the sicke, and quickning him that dies,
Thou art the lame mans friendly staffe, the blind mans eyes.
52
So faire thou art that all would thee behold,
But none can thee behold, thou art so faire,
Pardon, O pardon then thy Vassall bold,
That with poore shadowes striues thee to compare,
[Page 16] And match the things, which he knowes matchlesse are;
O thou vive mirrhour of celestiall grace,
How can fraile colours pourtraict out thy face,
Or paint in flesh thy beawtie, in such semblance base?
53
Her vpper garment was a silken lawne,
With needle-woorke richly embroidered,
Her Gar­ments, wrought by her owne hands, wher­with shee cloaths her selfe, com­posd of all the Crea­tures,
Which she her selfe with her owne hand had drawne,
And all the world therein had pourtrayed,
With threads, so fresh, and liuely coloured,
That seem'd the world she newe created thear,
And the mistaken eye would rashly swear
The silken trees did growe, and the beasts liuing wear.
54
Low at her feet the Earth was cast alone,
The Earth,
(As though to kisse her foot it did aspire,
And gaue it selfe for her to tread vpon)
With so vnlike, and different attire,
That euery one that sawe it, did admire
What it might be, was of so various hewe;
For to it selfe it oft so diuerse grewe,
That still it seem'd the same, and still it seem'd a newe.
55
And here, and there few men she scattered,
(That in their thought the world esteeme but small,
And themselues great) but she with one fine thread
So short, and small, and slender woue them all,
That like a sort of busie ants, that crawle
About some molehill, so they wandered:
And round about the wauing Sea was shed,
Sea,
But, for the siluer sands, small pearls were sprinkled.
56
So curiously the vnderworke did creepe,
And curling circlets so well shadowed lay,
That afar off the waters seem'd to sleepe,
But those that neere the margin pearle did play,
Hoarcely enwaued wear with hastie sway,
As though they meant to rocke the gentle eare,
And hush the former that enslumbred wear,
And here a dangerous rocke the flying ships did fear.
57
High in the ayrie element there hung
Ayre,
Another clowdy sea, that did disdaine
(As though his purer waues from heauen sprung)
To crawle on earth, as doth the sluggish maine:
But it the earth would water with his raine,
That eb'd, and flow'd, as winde, and season would,
And oft the Sun would cleaue the limber mould
To alabaster rockes, that in the liquid rowl'd.
58
Beneath those sunny banks, a darker cloud,
Dropping with thicker deaw, did melt apace,
And bent it selfe into a hollowe shroude,
On which, if Mercy did but cast her face,
A thousand colours did the bowe-enchace,
That wonder was to see the silke distain'd
With the resplendance from her beawtie gain'd,
And Iris paint her locks with beames, so liuely feign'd.
59
About her head a cyprus heau'n she wore,
The celesti­all bodies,
Spread like a veile, vpheld with siluer wire,
In which the starres so burn't in golden ore,
As seem'd, the azure web was all on fire,
[Page 18] But hastily, to quench their sparkling ire,
A flood of milke came rowling vp the shore,
That on his curded [...]aue swift Argus bore,
And the immortall swan, that did her life deplore.
60
Yet strange it was, so many starres to see
Without a Sunne, to giue their tapers light:
Yet strange it was not, that it so should be:
For, where the Sunne centers himselfe by right,
Her face, and locks did flame, that at the sight,
The heauenly veile, that else should nimbly mooue,
Forgot his flight, and all incens'd with loue,
With wonder, and amazement, did her beautie prooue.
61
Ouer her hung a canopie of state,
The third heauen.
Not of rich tissew, nor of spangled gold,
But of a substance, though not animate,
Yet of a heau'nly, and spirituall mould,
That onely eyes of Spirits might behold:
Such light as from maine rocks of diamound,
Shooting their sparks at Phebus, would rebound,
And little Angels, holding hands, daunc't all around.
62
Seemed those little sprights, through nimbless bold,
The stately canopy bore on their wings,
But them it selfe, as pendants, did vphold,
Besides the crownes of many famous kings,
Among the rest, thear Dauid euer sings,
And now, with yeares growne young, renewes his laye [...]
Vnto his golden harpe, and ditties playes,
Psalming aloud in well tun'd songs his Makers prayse.
63
Thou self-Idea of all ioyes to come,
Whose loue is such, would make the rudest speake,
Whose loue is such, would make the wisest dumbe,
O when wilt thou thy too long silence breake,
And ouercome the strong to saue the weake!
If thou no weapons hast, thine eyes will wound
Th' Almighties selfe, that now sticke on the ground,
As though some blessed obiect thear did them empound.
Her Obiects.
64
Ah miserable Abiect of disgrace,
Repentance.
What happines is in thy miserie?
I both must pittie, and enuie thy case.
For she, that is the glorie of the skie,
Leaues heauen blind, to fix on thee her eye.
Yet her (though Mercies selfe esteems not small)
The world despisd', they her Repentance call,
And she her selfe despises, and the world, and all.
65
Deepely, alas empassioned she stood,
To see a flaming brand, tost vp from hell,
Boyling her heart in her owne lustfull blood,
That oft for torment she would loudely yell,
Now she would sighing sit, and nowe she fell
Crouching vpon the ground, in sackcloath trust,
Early, and late she prayed, and fast she must,
And all her haire hung full of ashes, and of dust.
66
Of all most hated, yet hated most of all
Of her owne selfe she was; disconsolat
(As though her flesh did but infunerall
Her buried ghost) she in an arbour sat
[Page 20] Of thornie brier, weeping her cursed state,
And her before a hastie riuer fled,
Which her blind eyes with faithfull penance fed,
And all about, the grasse with tears hung downe his head.
67
Her eyes, though blind abroad, at home kept fast,
Inwards they turn'd, and look't into her head,
At which shee often started, as aghast,
To see so fearfull spectacles of dread,
And with one hand, her breast shee martyred,
Wounding her heart, the same to mortifie,
The other a faire damsell held her by,
Faith.
Which if but once let goe, shee sunke immediatly.
68
But Faith was quicke, and nimble as the heau'n,
As if of loue, and life shee all had been,
And though of present sight her sense were reauen,
Yet shee could see the things could not be seen:
Beyond the starres, as nothing wear between,
She fixt her sight, disdeigning things belowe,
Into the sea she could a mountaine throwe,
And make the Sun to stande, and waters backewards flowe.
69
Such when as Mercie her beheld from high,
In a darke valley, drownd with her owne tears,
One of her graces she sent hastily,
Smiling Eirene, that a garland wears
Of guilded oliue, on her fairer hears,
To crowne the fainting soules true sacrifice,
Whom when as sad Repentance comming spies,
The holy Desperado wip't her swollen eyes.
70
But Mercie felt a kinde remorse to runne
Her depre­cative spech for Man, in which
Through her soft vaines, and therefore, hying fast
To giue an end to silence, thus begunne.
Aye-honour'd Father, if no ioy thou hast
But to reward desert, reward at last
The Deuils voice, spoke with a serpents tongue,
Fit to hisse out the words so deadly stung,
And let him die, deaths bitter charmes so sweetely sung.
71
He was the father of that hopeles season,
She trāslates the principal fault vnto the Deuill.
That to serue other Gods, forgot their owne,
The reason was, thou wast aboue their reason:
They would haue any Gods, rather then none,
A [...]beasily serpent, or a senselesse stone:
And these, as Iustice bates, so I deplore:
But the vp-plowed heart, all rent, and tore,
Though wounded by it selfe, I gladly would restore.
72
He was but dust; Why fear'd he not to fall?
And repea­ting Iustice her aggrava­tion of mans sinne.
And beeing fall'n, how can he hope to liue?
Cannot the hand destroy him, that made all?
Could be not take away, aswell as giue?
Should man depraue, and should not God depriue?
Was it not all the worlds deceiuing spirit,
(That, bladder'd vp with pride of his owne merit,
Fell in his rise) that him of heau'n did disinherit?
73
He was but dust: how could he stand before him?
Mittigates it [...]. by a cō ­trarie i [...]fe­rence.
And beeing fall'n, why should he feare to die?
Cannot the hand that made him first, restore him?
Deprau'd of sinne, should he depriued lie
[Page 22] Of grace? can he not hide infirmitie
That gaue him strength? vnworthy the forsaking,
He is, who euer weighs, without mistaking,
Or Maker of the man, or manner of his making.
74
Who shall thy temple incense any more;
Or to thy altar crowne the sacrifice;
Or strewe with idle flow'rs the hallow'd flore;
Or what should Prayer deck with hearbs, and spice,
Her vialls, breathing orisons of price?
If all must paie that which all cannot paie?
O first begin with mee, and Mercie slaie,
2 By inter­essing her selfe in the cause, and Christ.
And thy thrice-honour'd Sonne, that now beneath doth strey.
75
But if or he, or I may liue, and speake,
And heau'n can ioye to see a sinner weepe,
Oh let not Iustice yron scepter breake
A heart alreadie broke, that lowe doth creep,
And with prone humblesse her feets dust doth sweep.
Must all goe by desert? is nothing free?
Ah, if but those that onely woorthy be,
None should thee euer see, none should thee euer see.
76
What hath man done, that man shall not vndoe,
Since God to him is growne so neere a kin?
That is as sufficient to satisfie, as Man was im­potent.
Did his foe slay him? he shall slay his foe:
Hath he lost all? he all againe shall win;
Is Sinne his Master? he shall master sinne:
Too hardy soule, with sinne the field to trie:
The onely way to conquer, was to flie,
But thus long death hath liu'd, and now deaths selfe shall die.
77
He is a path, if any be misled,
He is a robe, if any naked bee,
If any chaunce to hunger, he is bread,
If any be a bondman, he is free,
If any be but weake, howe strong is hee?
To dead men life he is, to sicke men health,
To blinde men sight, and to the needie wealth,
A pleasure without losse, a treasure without stealth.
78
Who can forget, neuer to be forgot,
The time, that all the world in slumber lies,
Whom shee celebrates from the time of his natiuitie.
When, like the starres, the singing Angels shot
To earth, and heau'n awaked all his eyes,
To see another Sunne, at midnight rise,
On earth? was neuer sight of pareil fame,
For God before Man like himselfe did frame,
But God himselfe now like a mortall man became.
79
[...] Child he was, and had not learn't to speake,
From the ef­fects of it in hims [...]lfe.
That with his word the world before did make,
His Mothers armes him bore, he was so weake,
That with one hand the vaults of heau'n could shake,
[...]ee how small roome my infant Lord doth take,
Whom all the world is not enough to hold.
Who of his yeares, or of his age hath told?
[...]euer such age so young, neuer a child so old.
80
[...]nd yet but newely he was insanted,
[...]nd yet alreadie he was sought to die,
[...]et scarcely borne, alreadie banished,
[...]ot able yet to goe, and forc't to flie,
[Page 24] But scarcely fled away, when by and by,
The Tyrans sword with blood is all defil'd,
And Rachel, for her sonnes with furie wild,
Cries, O thou cruell King, and O my sweetest child.
81
Egypt his Nource became, whear Nilus springs,
Who streit, to entertaine the rising sunne,
Egypt.
The hasty haruest in his bosome brings;
But now for drieth the fields wear all vndone,
And now with waters all is ouerrunne,
So fast the Cynthian mountaines powr'd their snowe,
When once they felt the sunne so neere them glowe,
That Nilus Egypt lost, and to a sea did growe.
82
The Angells caroll'd lowd their song of peace,
The Angels,
The cursed Oracles wear strucken dumb,
To see their Sheapheard, the poore Sheapheards press,
Men,
To see their King, the Kingly Sophies come,
And them to guide vnto his Masters home,
A Starre comes dauncing vp the orient,
That springs for ioye ouer the strawy tent,
Whear gold, to make their Prince a crowne, they all present.
83
Young Iohn, glad child, before he could be borne,
Leapt in the woombe, his ioy to prophecie,
Old Anna though with age all spent, and worne,
Proclaimes her Sauiour to posteritie,
And Simeon fast his dying notes doeth plie.
Oh how the blessed soules about him trace.
It is the fire of heau'n thou doest embrace,
Sing, Simeon, sing, sing Simeon, sing apace.
84
With that the mightie thunder dropt away
The effect of Mercies speech.
From Gods vnwarie arme, now milder growne,
And melted into teares, as if to pray
For pardon, and for pittie, it had knowne,
That should haue been for sacred vengeance throwne:
Thereto the Armies Angelique devo'wd
Their former rage, and all to Mercie bo'wd,
Their broken weapons at her feet they gladly strow'd.
85
Bring, bring ye Graces all your silver flaskets,
A Transition to Christs second vi­ctorie.
Painted with euery choicest flowre that growes,
That I may soone vnflow'r your fragrant baskets,
To strowe the fields with odours whear he goes,
Let what so e're he treads on be a rose.
So downe shee let her eyelids fall, to shine
Vpon the rivers of bright Palestine,
Whose woods drop honie, and her rivers skip with wine.

CHRISTS VICTORIE on Earth.

1
THear all alone she spi'd, alas the while;
Christ brought in­to the place of combat, the wilder­nes, among the wilde beasts. Mark. 1. 13.
In shadie darknes a poore Desolate,
That now had measur'd many a wearie mile,
Through a wast desert, whither heau'nly fate,
And his owne will him brought; he praying fate,
And him to prey, as he to pray began,
The Citizens of the wilde forrest ran,
And all with open throat would swallowe whole the man.
2
Soone did the Ladie to her Graces crie,
Described by his pro­per Attri­bute. The Mercie of God.
And on their wings her selfe did nimbly strowe,
After her coach a thousand Loues did flie,
So downe into the wildernesse they throwe,
Whear she, and all her trayne that with her flowe
Thorough the ayrie waue, with sayles so gay,
Sinking into his brest that wearie lay,
Made shipwracke of themselues, and vanish't quite away.
3
Seemed that Man had them deuoured all,
Whome to deuoure the beasts did make pretence,
But him their saluage thirst did nought appall,
Though weapons none he had for his defence:
[Page 27] What armes for Innocence, but Innocence?
For when they saw their Lords bright cognizance
Shine in his face, soone did they disadvaunce,
And some vnto him kneele, and some about him daunce.
4
Downe fell the Lordly Lions angrie mood,
Whom the creatures cannot but adore.
And he himselfe fell downe, in congies lowe;
Bidding him welcome to his wast full wood,
Sometime he kist the grasse whear he did goe,
And, as to wash his feete he well did knowe,
With fauning tongue he lickt away the dust,
And euery one would neerest to him thrust,
And euery one, with new, forgot his former lust.
5
Vnmindfull of himselfe, to minde his Lord,
The Lamb stood gazing by the Tygers side,
As though betweene them they had made accord,
And on the Lions back the goate did ride,
Forgetfull of the roughnes of the hide,
If he stood still, their eyes vpon him bayted,
If walk't, they all in order on him wayted,
And when he slep't, they as his watch themselues conceited.
6
Wonder doeth call me vp to see, O no,
By his vnitie with the Godhead.
I cannot see, and therefore sinke in woonder,
The man, that shines as bright as God, not so,
For God he is himselfe, that close lies vnder
That man, so close, that no time can dissunder
That band, yet not so close, but from him breake
Such beames, as mortall eyes are all too weake
Such sight to see, or it, if they should see, to speake.
7
Vpon a grassie hillock he was laid,
His proper place.
With woodie primroses befreckeled,
Ouer his head the wanton shadowes plaid
Of a wilde oliue, that her bowgh's so spread,
As with her leau's she seem'd to crowne his head,
And her greene armes to'embrace the Prince of peace,
The Sunne so neere, needs must the winter cease,
The Sunne so neere, another Spring seem'd to increase.
8
His haire was blacke, and in small curls did twine,
The beutie of his bodie. Cant. 5. 11. Psalm. 45. 2.
As though it wear the shadowe of some light,
And vnderneath his face, as day, did shine,
But sure the day shined not halfe so bright,
Nor the Sunnes shadowe made so darke a night.
Vnder his louely locks, her head to shroude,
Did make Humilitie her selfe growe proude,
Hither, to light their lamps, did all the Graces croude.
9
One of ten thousand soules I am, and more,
That of his eyes, and their sweete wounds complaine,
Sweete are the wounds of loue, neuer so sore,
Ah might he often slaie mee so againe.
He neuer liues, that thus is neuer slaine.
What boots it watch? those eyes, for all my art,
Mine owne eyes looking on, haue stole my heart,
In them Loue bends his bowe, and dips his burning dart.
10
As when the Sunne, caught in an aduerse clowde,
Flies crosse the world, and thear a new begets,
The watry picture of his beautie proude,
Throwes all abroad his sparkling spangelets,
[Page 29] And the whole world in dire amazement sets,
To see two dayes abroad at once, and all
Doubt whither nowe he rise, or nowe will fall:
So flam'd the Godly flesh, proude of his heau'nly thrall.
11
His cheekes as snowie apples, sop't in wine,
Gen. 49. 12. Cant. 5. 10.
Had their red roses quencht with lillies white,
And like to garden strawberries did shine,
Wash't in a bowle of milke, or rose-buds bright
Vnbosoming their brests against the light:
Here loue-sicke soules did eat, thear dranke, and made
Sweete-smelling posies, that could neuer fade,
But worldly eyes him thought more like some liuing shade.
Isa. 53. 2.
12
For laughter neuer look't vpon his browe,
Though in his face all smiling ioyes did bide,
No filken banners did about him flowe,
Fooles make their fetters ensignes of their pride:
He was best cloath'd when naked was his side,
A Lambe he was, and wollen fleece he bore,
Woue with one thread, his feete lowe sandalls wore,
But bared were his legges, so went the times of yore.
13
As two white marble pillars that vphold
Gods holy place whear he in glorie sets,
And rise with goodly grace and courage bold,
To beare his Temple on their ample ietts,
Vein'd euery whear with azure rivulets,
Whom all the people on some holy morne,
With boughs and flowrie garlands doe adorne,
Of such, though fairer farre, this Temple was vpborne.
14
Twice had Diana bent her golden bowe,
By prepa­ring himself to the com­bate
And shot from heau'n her siluer shafts, to rouse
The sluggish saluages, that den belowe,
And all the day in lazie couert drouze,
Since him the silent wildernesse did house,
The heau'n his roofe, and arbour harbour was,
The ground his bed, and his moist pillowe grasse.
But fruit thear none did growe, nor riuers none did passe.
15
At length an aged Syre farre off he sawe
With his Adversarie, that seemd what he was not,
Come slowely footing, euerie step he guest
One of his feete he from the graue did drawe,
Three legges he had, the woodden was the best,
And all the waie he went, he euer blest
With benedicities, and prayers store,
But the bad ground was blessed ne'r the more,
And all his head with snowe of Age was waxen hore.
16
A good old Hermit he might seeme to be,
Some de­uout Essene.
That for deuotion had the world forsaken,
And now was trauailing some Saint to see,
Since to his beads he had himselfe betaken,
Whear all his former sinnes he might awaken,
And them might wash away with dropping brine,
And almes, and fasts, and churches discipline,
And dead, might rest his bones vnder the holy shrine.
17
But when he neerer came, he lowted lowe
With prone obeysance, and with curt'sie kinde,
That at his feete his head he seemd to throwe;
What needs him now another Saint to finde?
[Page 31] Affections are the sailes, and faith the wind,
That to this Saint a thousand soules conueigh
Each hour': O happy Pilgrims thither strey!
What caren they for beasts, or for the wearie way?
18
Soone the old Palmer his deuotions sung,
Like pleasing anthems, moduled in time,
For well that aged Syre could tip his tongue
With golden foyle of eloquence, and lime,
And licke his rugged speech with phrases prime.
Ay me, quoth he, how many yeares haue beene,
Since these old eyes the Sunne of heau'n haue seene!
Certes the Sonne of heau'n they now behold I weene.
19
Ah, mote my humble cell so blessed be
As heau'n to welcome in his lowely roose,
And be the Temple for thy deitie!
Loe how my cottage worships thee aloofe,
That vnder ground hath hid his head, in proofe
It doth adore thee with the seeling lowe,
Here honie, milke, and chesnuts wild doe growe,
The boughs a bed of leaues vpon thee shall bestowe.
20
But oh, he said, and therewith sigh't full deepe,
(Closely tempting him to de­spaire of Gods proui­dence, and prouide for himselfe.)
The heau'ns, alas, too enuious are growne,
Because our fields thy presence from them keepe;
[...]or stones doe growe, where corne was lately sowne:
So stooping downe, he gather'd vp a stone)
But thou with corne canst make this stone to eare.
What needen we the angrie heau'ns to feare?
Let them enuie vs still, so we enioy thee here.
21
Thus on they wandred, but those holy weeds
But was what he see­med not, Sa­tan, & would faine haue lead him
A monstrous Serpent, and no man did couer.
So vnder greenest hearbs the Addes feeds:
And round about that stinking corps did houer
The dismall Prince of gloomie night, and ouer
His euer-damned head the Shadowes err'd
Of thousand peccant ghosts, vnseene, vnheard,
And all the Tyrant feares, and all the Tyrant fear'd.
22
He was the Sonne of blackest Acheron,
Whear many frozen soules doe chattring lie,
And rul'd the burning waues of Phlegethon,
Whear many more in flaming sulphur frie,
At once compel'd to liue and forc't to die.
Whear nothing can be heard for the loud crie
Of oh, and ah, and out alas that I
Or once againe might liue, or once at length might die.
23
Ere long they came neere to a balefull bowre,
1. To De­speration, characterd by his place,
Much like the mouth of that infernall caue,
That gaping stood all Commers to deuoure,
Darke, dolefull, dreary, like a greedy graue,
That still for carrion carkasses doth craue.
The ground no hearbs, but venomous did beare,
Nor ragged trees did leaue, but euery whear
Dead bones, and skulls wear cast, and bodies hanged wear.
24
Vpon the roofe the bird of sorrowe sat
Elonging ioyfull day with her sad note,
And through the shady aire, the fluttring bat
Did wa [...]e her leather sayles, and blindely flote,
[Page 33] While with her wings the fatall Shreechowle smote
Th' vnblessed house, thear, on a craggy stone,
Celeno hung, and made his direfull mone,
And all about the murdered ghosts did shreek, and grone,
25
Like clowdie moonshine, in some shadowie groue,
Such was the light in which DESPAIRE did dwell,
Counte­nance, Ap­parell, hor­rible appari­tions, &c.
But he himselfe with night for darkenesse stroue.
His blacke vncombed locks dishevell'd fell
About his face, through which, as brands of hell,
Sunk in his skull, his staring eyes did glowe,
That made him deadly looke, their glimpse did showe
Like Cockatrices eyes, that sparks of poyson throwe.
26
His cloaths wear ragged clouts, with thornes pind fast,
And as he musing lay, to stonie fright
A thousand wilde Chimera's would him cast:
As when a fearefull dreame, in mid'st of night,
Skips to the braine, and phansies to the sight
Some winged furie, strait the hasty foot,
Eger to flie, cannot plucke vp his root,
The voyce dies in the tongue, and mouth gapes without boot.
27
Now he would dreame that he from heauen fell,
And then would snatch the ayre, afraid to fall;
And now he thought he sinking was to hell,
And then would grasp the earth, and now his stall
Him seemed hell, and then he out would crawle,
And euer, as he crept, would squint aside,
Lest him, perhaps, some Furie had espide,
And then, alas, he should in chaines for euer bide.
28
Therefore he softly shrunke, and stole away,
Ne euer durst to drawe his breath for feare,
Till to the doore he came, and thear he lay
Panting for breath, as though he dying were,
And still he thought, he felt their craples teare
Him by the heels backe to his ougly denne,
Out faine he would haue leapt abroad, but then
The heau'n, as hell, he fear'd, that punish guilty men.
29
Within the gloomie hole of this pale wight
The Serpent woo'd him with his charmes to inne,
Thear he might baite the day, and rest the night,
But vnder that same baite a fearefull grin
Was readie to intangle him in sinne.
But he vpon ambrosia daily fed,
That grew in Eden, thus he answered,
So both away wear caught, and to the Temple fled.
30
Well knewe our Sauiour this the Serpent was,
And the old Serpent knewe our Sauiour well,
Neuer did any this in falshood passe,
Neuer did any him in truth excell:
With him we fly to heau'n, from heau'n we fell
With him: but nowe they both together met
Vpon the sacred pinnacles, that threat
With their aspiring tops, Astraeas starrie seat.
31
Here did PRESVMPTION her paullion spread,
2. To Pre­sumption, characterd by her place,
Ouer the Temple, the bright startes among,
(Ah that her foot should trample on the head
Of that most reuerend place!) and a lewd throng
[Page 35] Of wamon boyes sung her a pleasant song
Attendants, &c.
Of loue, long life, of mercie, and of grace,
And euery one her deerely did embrace,
And she herselfe enamour'd was of her owne face.
32
A painted face, belied with vermeyl store,
Which light Eüëlpis euery day did trimme,
That in one hand a guilded anchor wore,
Not fixed on the rocke, but on the brimme
Of the wide aire she let it loosely swimme:
Her other hand a sprinkle carried,
And euer, when her Ladie wauered,
Court-holy water all vpon her sprinkeled.
33
Poore foole, she thought herselfe in wondrous price
With God, as if in Paradise she wear,
But, wear shee not in a fooles paradise,
She might haue seene more reason to despere:
But him she, like some ghastly fiend, did feare,
And therefore as that wretch hew'd out his cell
Vnder the bowels, in the heart of hell,
So she aboue the Moone, amid the starres would dwell.
34
Her Tent with sunny cloudes was seel'd aloft,
And so exceeding shone with a false light,
That heau'n it selfe to her it seemed oft,
Heau'n without cloudes to her deluded sight,
But cloudes withouten heau'n it was aright,
And as her house was built, so did her braine
Build castles in the aire, with idle paine,
But heart she neuer had in all her body vaine.
35
Like as a ship, in which no ballance lies,
Without a Pilot, on the sleeping waues,
Fairely along with winde, and water flies,
And painted masts with silken sayles embraues,
That Neptune selfe the bragging vessell saues,
To laugh a while at her so proud aray;
Her wauing streamers loosely shee lets play,
And flagging colours shine as bright as smiling day:
36
But all so soone as heau'n his browes doth bend,
Shee veils her banners, and pulls in her beames,
The emptie barke the raging billows send
Vp to th' Olympique waues, and Argus seemes
Againe to ride vpon our lower streames:
Right so PRESVMPTION did her selfe behaue,
Tossed about with euery stormie waue,
And in white lawne shee went, most like an Angel braue.
37
Gently our Sauiour shee began to shrive,
And by her Temptation.
Whither he wear the Sonne of God, or no;
For any other shee disdeign'd to wive:
And if he wear, shee bid him fearles throw
Himselfe to ground, and thearwithall did show
A flight of little Angels, that did wait
Vpon their glittering wings, to latch him strait,
And longed on their backs to feele his glorious weight.
38
But when she saw her speech preuailed nought,
Her selfe she tombled headlong to the flore:
But him the Angels on their feathers caught,
And to an ayrie mountaine nimbly bore,
[Page 37] Whose snowie shoulders, like some chaulkie shore,
Restles Olympus seem'd to rest vpon
With all his swimming globes: so both are gone,
The Dragon with the Lamb. Ah, vnmeet Paragon.
3. To Vaine-Glorie.
39
All suddenly the hill his snowe deuours,
Poetically described from the place where her court stood. A garden.
In liew whereof a goodly garden grew,
As if the snow had melted into flow'rs,
Which their sweet breath in subtill vapours threw,
That all about perfumed spirits flew.
For what so euer might aggrate the sense,
In all the world, or please the appetence,
Heer it was powred out in lavish affluence.
40
Not louely Ida might with this compare,
Though many streames his banks besiluered,
Though Xanthus with his golden sands he bare,
Nor Hibla, though his thyme depastured,
As fast againe with honie blossomed.
Ne Rhodope, ne Tempes flowrie playne,
Adonis garden was to this but vayne,
Though Plato on his beds a flood of praise did rayne.
41
For in all these, some one thing most did grow,
But in this one, grew all things els beside,
For sweet varietie herselfe did throw
To euery banke, here all the ground she dide
In lillie white, there pinks eblazed wide;
And damask't all the earth, and here shee shed
Blew violets, and there came roses red,
And euery sight the yeelding sense, as captiue led.
[...]
[...]
42
The garden like a Ladie faire was cut,
That lay as if shee slumber'd in delight,
And to the open skies her eyes did shut;
The azure fields of heau'n wear sembled right
In a large round, set with the flowr's of light,
The flowr's-de-luce, and the round sparks of deaw,
That hung vpon their azure leaues, did shew
Like twinkling starrs, that sparkle in th'eau'ning blew.
43
Vpon a hillie banke her head shee cast,
On which the bowre of Vaine-Delight was built,
White, and red roses for her face wear plac't,
And for her tresses Marigolds wear spilt:
Them broadly shee displaid, like flaming guilt,
Till in the ocean the glad day wear drown'd,
Then vp againe her yellow locks she wound,
And with greene fillets in their prettie calls them bound.
44
What should I here depei [...]t her lillie hand,
Her veines of violets, her ermine brest,
Which thear in orient colours liuing stand,
Or how her gowne with silken leaues is drest;
Or how her watchmen, arm'd with boughie crest,
A wall of prim hid in his bushes bea [...]s,
Shaking at euery winde their leauie spears,
While she supinely sleeps, ne to be waked fears?
45
Ouer the hedge depends the graping Elme,
Whose greener head, empurpuled in wine,
Seemed to wonder at his bloodie helme,
And halfe suspect the bunches of the vine,
[Page 39] Least they, perhaps, his wit should vndermine.
For well he knewe such fruit he neuer bore:
But her weake armes embraced him the more,
And with her ruby grapes laught at her paramour.
46
Vnder the shadowe of these drunken el [...]es
A Fountaine rose, where Pangloretta vses,
(When her some flood of fancie ouerwhelms,
And one of all her fauourites she chuses)
To bath herselfe, whom she in lust abuses,
And from his wanton body sucks his soule,
Which drown'd in pleasure, in that shaly bowle,
And swimming in delight, doth amarously rowle.
47
The font of siluer was, and so his showrs
[...]n siluer fell, onely the guilded bowles
(Like to a fornace, that the min'rall powres)
Seem'd to haue moul't it in their shining holes:
And on the water, like to burning coles,
On liquid siluer, leaues of roses lay:
But when PANGLORIE here did list to play,
[...]ose water then it ranne, and milke it rain'd they say.
48
The roofe thicke cloudes did paint, from which three boyes
[...]hree gaping mermaides with their ea [...]s did feede,
Whose brests let fall the streame, with sleepie noise,
[...]o Lions mouths, from whence it leapt with speede,
And in the rosie lauer seem'd to bleed.
The naked boyes vnto the waters fall,
Their stonie nightingales had taught to call,
When Zephyr breath'd into their watry interall.
49
And all about, embayed in soft sleepe,
A heard of charmed beasts a ground wear spread,
Which the faire Witch in goulden chaines did keepe,
And them in willing bondage fettered,
Once men they liu'd, but now the men were dead,
And turn'd to beasts, so fabled Homer old,
That Circe, with her potion, charm'd in gold,
Vs'd manly soules in beastly bodies to immould.
50
Through this false Eden, to his Lemans bowre,
From her Court, and Courtiers. 1. Pleasure in drinking.
(Whome thousand soules deuoutly idolize)
Our first destroyer led our Sauiour.
Thear in the lower roome, in solemne wise,
They daunc't a round, and powr'd their sacrifice
To plumpe Lyaeus, and among the rest,
The iolly Priest, in yuie garlands drest,
Chaunted wild Orgialls, in honour of the feast.
51
Others within their arbours swilling sat,
(For all the roome about was arboured)
With laughing Bacchus, that was growne so fat,
That stand he could not, but was carried,
And euery euening freshly watered,
To quench his fierie cheeks, and all about
Small cocks broke through the wall, and sallied out
Flaggons of wine, to set on fire that spueing tour.
52
This their inhumed soules esteem'd their wealths,
To crowne the bouzing kan from day to night,
And sicke to drinke themselues with drinking healths,
Some vomiting, all drunken with delight.
[Page 41] Hence to a loft, carv'd all in yvorie white,
in Luxurie.
They came, wheat whiter Ladies naked went,
Melted in pleasure, and soft languishment,
And sunke in beds of roses, amourous glaunces sent.
53
Flie, flie thou holy child that wanton roome,
And thou my chaster Muse those harlots shun,
And with him to a higher storie come,
2. Avarice.
Whear mounts of gold, and flouds of siluer run,
The while the owners, with their wealth vndone,
Starve in their store, and in their plentie pine,
Tumbling themselues vpon their heaps of mine.
Glutting their famish't soules with the deceitfull shine.
54
Ah, who was he such pretious perills found?
How strongly Nature did her treasures hide;
And threw vpon them mountains of thicke ground,
To darke their orie lustre; but queint Pride
Hath taught her Sonnes to wound their mothers side,
And gage the depth, to search for flaring shells,
In whose bright bosome spumie Bacchus swells,
That neither heau'n, nor earth henceforth in safetie dwells.
55
[...] sacred hunger of the greedie eye,
Whose neede hath end, but no end covetise,
Emptie in fulnes, rich in pouertie,
That hauing all things, nothing can suffice,
How thou befanciest the men most wise?
The poore man would be rich, the rich man great,
The great man King, the King, in Gods owne seat
Enthron'd, with mortal arme dares flames, and thunder threat.
56
Therefore aboue the rest Ambition sat:
3. Ambitious honour.
His Court with glitterant pearle was all enwall'd,
And round about the wall in chaires of State,
And most maiestique splendor, wear enstall'd
A hundred Kings, whose temples wear impal'd
In goulden diadems, set here, and thear
With diamounds, and gemmed euery whear,
And of their golden virges none disceptred wear.
57
High ouer all, Panglories blazing throne,
From her throne.
In her bright turret, all of christall wrought,
Like Phaebus lampe in midst of heauen, shone:
Whose starry top, with pride infernall fraught,
Selfe-arching columns to vphold wear taught:
In which, her Image still reflected was
By the smooth christall, that most like her glasse,
In beauty, and in frailtie, did all others passe.
58
A Siluer wande the sorceresse did sway,
And, for a crowne of gold, her haire she wore,
Onely a garland of rosebuds did play
About her locks, and in her hand, she bore
A hollowe globe of glasse, that long before,
She full of emptinesse had bladdered,
And all the world therein depictured,
Whose colours, like the rainebowe, euer vanished.
59
Such watry orbicles young boyes doe blowe
Out from their sopy snells, and much admire
The swimming world, which tenderly they rowe
With easie breath, till it be waued higher,
[Page 43] But if they chaunce but roughly once aspire,
The painted bubble instantly doth fall.
Here when she came, she gan for musique call,
And sung this wooing song, to welcome him withall.
Loue is the blossome whear thear blowes
From her temptation.
Euery thing, that liues, or growes,
Loue doth make the heau'ns to moue,
And the Sun doth burne in loue;
Loue the strong, and weake doth yoke,
And makes the y [...]ie climbe the oke,
Vnder whose shadowes Lions wilde,
Soft'ned by Loue, growe tame, and mild;
Loue no med'cine can appease,
He burnes the fishes in the seas,
Not all the skill his wounds can stench,
Not all the sea his fire can quench;
Loue did make the bloody spear
Once a leuie coat to wear,
While in his leaues thear shrouded lay
Sweete birds, for loue, that sing, and play;
And of all loues ioyfull flame,
I the bud, and blossome am.
Onely bend thy knee to me,
Thy wooeing, shall thy winning be.
See, see the flowers that belowe,
Now as fresh as morning blowe,
And of all, the virgin rose,
That as bright Aurora showes,
How they all vnleaued die,
Loosing their virgintie:
Like vnto a summer-shade,
But now borne, and now they fade.
[Page 44] Euery thing doth passe away,
Thear is danger in delay,
Come, come gather then the rose,
Gather it, or it you lose.
All the sande of Tagus shore
Into my bosome casts his ore;
All the valleys swimming corne
To my house is yeerely borne;
Euery grape, of euery vine
Is gladly bruis'd to make me wine,
While ten thousand kings, as proud,
To carry vp my traine, haue bow'd,
And a world of Ladies send me
In my chambers to attend me:
All the starres in heau'n that shine,
And ten thousand more, are mine:
Onely bend thy knee to mee,
Thy wooing shall thy winning bee.
60
Thus sought the dire Enchauntress in his minde
Her guilefull bay [...] to haue embosomed,
But he her charmes dispersed into winde,
And her of insolence admonished,
And all her optique glasses shattered.
The ef [...]ect of this victo­rie in Satan.
So with her Syre to hell shee tooke her flight,
(The starting ayre flew from the damned spright,)
Whear deeply both aggriev'd, plunged themselues in night.
61
But to their Lord, now musing in his thought,
The Angels.
A heauenly volie of light Angels flew,
And from his Father him a banquet brought,
Through the fine element, for well they knew,
[Page 45] After his lenten fast, he hungrie grew,
And, as he fed, the holy quires combine
To sing a hymne of the celestiall Trine;
All thought to passe, and each was past all thought divine.
62
The birds sweet notes, to sonnet out their ioyes,
The Crea­tures.
Attemper'd to the layes Angelicall,
And to the birds, the winds attune their noyse,
And to the winds, the waters hoarcely call,
And Eccho back againe revoyced all,
That the whole valley rung with victorie.
But now our Lord to rest doth homewards flie:
See how the Night comes stealing from the mountains high.

[Page] CHRISTS TRIVMPH O­uer and after death.

Vincenti dabitur.

CONFI­DO IN DOM­INO

Printed by C. LEGGE. 1610.

CHRISTS TRIVMPH over Death.

1
SO downe the siluer streames of Eridan,
Christs Try­umph ouer death, on the crosse, exprest. 1. in generall by his ioy to vndergoe it: singing before he went to the garden, Mat. 26. 30.
On either side bank't with a lilly wall,
Whiter then both, rides the triumphant Swan,
And sings his dirge, and prophesies his fall,
Diuing into his watrie funerall:
But Eridan to Cedron must submit
His flowry shore, nor can he enuie it,
If when Apollo sings, his swa [...]s doe silent sit.
2
That heau'nly voice I more delight to heare,
Then gentle ayres to breath, or swelling waues
Against the sounding rocks their bosomes teare,
Or whistling reeds, that rutty Iordan laues,
And with their verdure his white head embraues,
To chide the windes, or hiuing bees, that flie
About the laughing bloosms of sallowie,
Rocking asleepe the idle groomes that lazie lie.
3
And yet, how can I heare thee singing goe,
When men incens'd with hate, thy death foreset?
Or els, why doe I heare thee sighing so,
When thou, inflam'd with loue, their life doest get?
That Loue, and hate, and sighs, and songs are met;
But thus, and onely thus thy loue did craue,
To sende thee singing for vs to thy graue,
While we sought thee to kill, and thou sought'st vs to saue.
4
When I remember Christ our burden beares,
By his griefe in the vnder­going it.
I looke for glorie, but finde miserie;
I looke for ioy, but finde a sea of teares;
I looke that we should liue, and finde him die;
I looke for Angels songs, and heare him crie:
Thus what I looke, I cannot finde so well,
Or rather, what I finde, I cannot tell,
These bankes so narrowe are, those streames so highly s [...]
5
Christ suffers, and in this, his teares begin,
Suffers for vs, and our ioy springs in this,
Suffers to death, here is his Manhood seen,
Suffers to rise, and here his Godhead is.
For Man, that could not by himselfe haue ris,
Out of the graue doth by the Godhead rise,
And God, that could not die, in Manhood dies,
That we in both might liue, by that sweete sacrifice.
6
Goe giddy braines, whose witts are thought so fresh,
Plucke all the flowr's that Nature forth doth throwe,
Goe sticke them on the cheekes of wanton flesh;
Poore idol, (forc't atonce to fall and growe)
[Page 49] Of fading roses, and of melting snowe:
Your songs exceede your matter, this of mine,
The matter, which it sings, shall make diuine,
As starres dull puddles guild, in which their beauties shine.
7
Who doth not see drown'd in Deucalions name,
By the ob­scure fables of the Gen­tiles, typing it.
(When earth his men, and sea had lost his shore)
Old Noah; and in Nisus lock, the fame
Of Sampson yet aliue; and long before
In Phaethons, mine owne fall I deplore:
But he that conquer'd hell, to fetch againe
His virgin widowe, by a serpent slaine,
Another Orpheus was then dreaming poets feigne.
8
That taught the stones to melt for passion,
And dormant sea, to heare him, silent lie,
And at his voice, the watrie nation
To flocke, as if they deem'd it cheape, to buy
With their owne deaths his sacred harmonie:
The while the waues stood still to heare his song,
And steadie shore wau'd with the reeling throng
Of thirstie soules, that hung vpon his fluent tongue.
9
What better friendship, then to couer shame?
By the cause of it in him, his Loue.
What greater loue, then for a friend to die?
Yet this is better to asself the blame,
And this is greater, for an enemie:
But more then this, to die, not suddenly,
Not with some common death, or easie paine,
But slowely, and with torments to be slaine,
O depth, without a depth, farre better seene, then saine!
10
And yet the Sonne is humbled for the Slaue,
By the effect it should haue in vs.
And yet the Slaue is proude before the Sonne:
Yet the Creator for his creature gaue
Himselfe, and yet the creature hasts to runne
From his Creator, and self-good doth shunne:
And yet the Prince, and God himselfe doth crie
To Man, his Traitour, pardon not to flie,
Yet Man his God, and Traytour doth his Prince defie.
11
Who is it sees not that he nothing is,
But he that nothing sees; what weaker brest,
Since Adams Armour fail'd, dares warrant his?
That made by God of all his creatures best,
Strait made himselfe the woorst of all the rest:
" If any strength we haue, it is to ill,
" But all the good is Gods, both pow'r, and will:
The dead man cannot rise, though he himselfe may kill.
12
But let the thorny schools these punctualls
Of wills, all good, or bad, or neuter diss;
Such ioy we gained by our parentalls,
That good, or bad, whither I cannot wiss,
To call it a mishap, or happy miss
That fell from Eden, and to heau'n did rise:
Albee the mitred Card'nall more did prize
His part in Paris, then his part in Paradise.
13
A Tree was first the instrument of strife,
Whear Eue to sinne her soule did prostitute,
By the in­strument, the cursed Tree,
A Tree is now the instrument of life,
Though ill that trunke, and this faire body suit:
[Page 51] Ah, cursed tree, and yet O blessed fruit!
That death to him, this life to vs doth giue:
Strange is the cure, when things past cure reviue,
And the Physitian dies, to make his patient liue.
14
Sweete Eden was the arbour of delight,
2. exprest in particular, [...] by his fore-passion in the Gar­den.
Yet in his hony flowr's our poyson blew;
Sad Gethseman the bowre of balefull night,
Whear Christ a health of poison for vs drewe,
Yet all our hony in that poyson grewe:
So we from sweetest flowr's, could sucke our bane,
And Christ from bitter venome, could againe
Extract life out of death, and pleasure out of paine.
15
A Man was first the author of our fall,
A Man is now the author of our rise,
A Garden was the place we perisht all,
A Garden is the place he payes our price,
And the old Serpent with a newe deuise,
Hath found a way himselfe for to beguile,
So he, that all men tangled in his wile,
[...]s now by one man caught, beguil'd with his owne guile.
16
The dewie night had with her frostie shade
Immant'led all the world, and the stiffe ground
Sparkled in yce, onely the Lord, that made
All for himselfe, himselfe dissolved found,
Sweat without heat, and bled without a wound:
Of heau'n, and earth, and God, and Man forlore,
Thrice begging helpe of those, whose sinnes he bore,
And thrice denied of those, not to denie had swore.
17
Yet had he beene alone of God forsaken,
Or had his bodie beene imbroyl'd alone
In fierce assault, he might, perhaps, haue taken
Some ioy in soule, when all ioy els was gone,
But that with God, and God to heau'n is flow'n;
And Hell it selfe out from her graue doth rise,
Black as the starles night, and with them flies,
Yet blacker then they both, the Sonne of blasphemies.
18
As when the Planets, with vnkind aspect,
Call from her caues the meager pestilence,
The sacred vapour, eager to infect,
Obeyes the voyce of the sad influence,
And vomits vp a thousand noysome sents,
The well of life, flaming his golden flood
With the sicke ayre, fevers the boyling blood,
And poisons all the bodie with contagious food.
19
The bold Physitian, too incautelous,
By those he cures, himselfe is murdered,
Kindnes infects, pitie is dangerous,
And the poore infant, yet not fully bred,
Thear where he should be borne, lies buried,
So the darke Prince, from his infernall cell,
Casts vp his griesly Torturers of hell,
And whets them to revenge, with this insulting spell.
20
See how the world smiles in eternall peace;
While we, the harmles brats, and rustie throng
Of Night, our snakes in curles doe pranke, and dresse:
Why sleepe our drouzie scorpions so long?
[Page 53] Whear is our wonted vertue to doe wrong?
Are we our selues; or are we Graces growen?
The Sonnes of hell, or heau'n? was neuer knowne
Our whips so ouer-moss't, and brands so deadly blowne.
21
O long desired, neuer hop't for howre,
When our Tormentour shall our torments feele!
Arme, arme your selues, sad Dires of my pow'r,
And make our Iudge for pardon to vs kneele,
Slise, launch, dig, teare him with your whips of steele:
My selfe in honour of so noble prize,
Will powre you reaking blood, shed with the cries
Of hastie heyres, who their owne fathers sacrifice.
22
With that a flood of poyson, blacke as hell,
Out from his filthy gorge, the beast did spue,
That all about his blessed bodie fell,
And thousand flaming serpents hissing flew
About his soule, from hellish sulphur threw,
And euery one brandisht his fierie tongue,
And woorming all about his soule they clung,
But he their stings tore out, and to the ground them flung.
23
So haue I seene a rocks heroique brest,
Against proud Neptune, that his ruin threats,
When all his waues he hath to battle prest,
And with a thousand swelling billows beats
The stubborne stone, and foams, and chafes, and frets
To heaue him from his root, vnmooued stand;
And more in heapes the barking surges band,
The more in pieces beat, flie weeping to the strand.
24
So may wee oft a vent'rous father see,
To please his wanton sonne, his onely ioy,
Coast all about, to catch the roving bee,
And stung himselfe, his busie hands employ
To saue the honie, for the gamesome boy:
Or from the snake her rank'rous teeth erace,
Making his child the toothles Serpent chace,
Or, with his little hands, her [...]um'rous gorge embrace.
25
Thus Christ himselfe to watch, and sorrow giues,
While, deaw'd in easie sleepe, dead Peter lies:
Thus Man in his owne graue securely liues,
While Christ aliue, with thousand horrours dies,
Yet more for theirs, then his owne pardon cries:
No sinnes he had, yet all our sinnes he bare,
So much doth God for others euills care,
And yet so careles men for their owne euills are.
26
See drouzie Peter, see whear Iudas wakes,
By his pas­sion it selfe, amplified, 1. from the ge­neral causes.
Whear Iudas kisses him whom Peter flies:
O kisse more deadly then the sting of snakes!
False loue more hurtfull then true injuries!
Aye me! how deerly God his Seruant buies?
For God his man, at his owne blood doth hold,
And Man his God, for thirtie pence hath sold.
So tinne for siluer goes, and dunghill drosse for gold.
27
Yet was it not enough for Sinne to chuse
A Seruant, to betray his Lord to them;
But that a Subiect must his King accuse,
But that a Pagan must his God condemne,
[Page 55] But that a Father must his Sonne contemne,
But that the Sonne must his owne death desire,
That Prince, and People, Seruant, and the Sire,
Gentil, and Iewe, and he against himselfe conspire?
28
Was this the oyle, to make thy Saints adore thee,
Parts, and
The froathy spittle of the rascall throng?
At these the virges, that at borne before thee,
Base whipps of corde, and knotted all along?
[...]s this thy golden seepter, against wrong,
A reedie cane? is that the crowne adornes
Thy shining locks, a crowne of spiny thornes?
[...] theas the Angels himns, the Priests blasphemous scornes?
29
Who euer sawe Honour before asham'd;
Effects of it.
Afflicted Maiestie, debased height;
[...]nocence guiltie, Honestie defam'd;
Libertie bound, Health sick, the Sunne in night?
But since such wrong was offred vnto right,
Our night is day, our sicknes health is growne,
Our shame is veild, this now remaines alone
For vs, since he was ours, that wee bee not our owne.
30
Night was ordeyn'd for rest, and not for paine,
1. From the particular causes.
But they, to paine their Lord, their rest contemne,
Good lawes to saue, what bad men would haue slaine,
And not bad Iudges, with one breath, by them
The innocent to pardon, and condemne:
Death for reuenge of murderers, not decaie
Of guiltles blood, but now, all headlong sway
Mans Murderer to saue, mans Sauiour to slaie.
31
Fraile Multitude, whose giddy lawe is list,
And best applause is windy flattering,
Most like the breath of which it doth consist,
No sooner blowne, but as soone vanishing,
As much desir'd, as little profiting,
That makes the men that haue it oft as light,
As those that giue it, which the proud inuite,
And feare: the bad mans friend, the good mans hypocrite.
32
It was but now their sounding clamours sung,
Parts, and
Blessed is he, that comes from the most high,
And all the mountaines with Hosanna rung,
And nowe, away with him, away they crie,
And nothing can be heard but crucifie:
It was but now, the Crowne it selfe they saue,
And golden name of King vnto him gaue,
And nowe, no King, but onely Caesar, they will haue:
33
It was but now they gathered blooming May,
And of his armes disrob'd the branching tree,
To strowe with boughs, and blossomes all thy way,
And now, the branchlesse truncke a crosse for thee,
And May, dismai'd, thy coronet must be:
It was but now they wear so kind, to throwe
Their owne best garments, whear thy feet should goe,
And now, thy selfe they strip, and bleeding wounds they show
34
See whear the author of all life is dying:
O fearefull day! he dead, what hope of liuing?
See whear the hopes of all our liues are buying:
O chearfull day! they bought, what feare of grieuing?
[Page 57] Loue loue for hate, and death for life is giuing:
Loc how his armes are stretch't abroad to grace thee,
And, as they open stand, call to embrace thee,
Why stai'st thou then my soule; ô flie, flie thither hast thee.
35
His radious head, with shamefull thornes they teare,
His tender backe, with bloody whipps they rent,
His side, and heart they furrowe with a spear,
His hands, and feete, with riuing nayles they tent,
And, as to disentrayle his soule they meant,
They iolly at his griefe, and make their game,
His naked body to expose to shame,
That all might come to see, and all might see, that came.
36
Whereat the heau'n put out his guiltie eye,
Effects of it in heauen.
That durst behold so execrable sight,
And sabled all in blacke the shadie skie,
And the pale starres, strucke with vnwonted fright,
Quenched their euerlasting lamps in night:
And at his birth as all the starres heau'n had,
Wear not enough, but a newe star was made,
[...]o now both newe, and old, and all away did fade.
37
The mazed Angels shooke their fierie wings,
in the hea­uenly Spi­rits.
Readie to lighten vengeance from Gods throne,
One downe his eyes vpon the Manhood flings,
Another gazes on the Godhead, none
But surely thought his wits wear not his owne:
Some flew, to looke if it wear very hee,
But, when Gods arme vnarmed they did see,
[...]lbee they sawe it was, they vow'd it could not bee.
[...]
[...]
38
The sadded aire hung all in cheerelesse blacke,
in the Crea­tures sub coe­lestiall.
Through which, the gentle windes soft sighing flewe,
And Iordan into such huge sorrowe brake,
(As if his holy streame no measure knewe,)
That all his narrowe bankes he ouerthrewe,
The trembling earth with horrour inly shooke,
And stubborne stones, such griefe vnus'd to brooke,
Did burst, and ghosts awaking from their graues gan looke.
39
The wise Philosopher cried, all agast,
The God of nature surely lanquished,
The sad Centurion cried out as fast,
The Sonne of God, the Sonne of God was dead,
The headlong Iew hung downe his pensiue head,
In the wic­ked Iewes.
And homewards far'd, and euer, as he went,
He smote his brest, halfe desperately bent,
The verie woods, and beasts did seeme his death lament.
40
The gracelesse Traytour round about did looke,
In Iudas.
(He lok't not long, the Deuill quickely met him)
To finde a halter, which he found, and tooke,
Onely a gibbet nowe he needes must get him,
So on a wither'd tree he fairly set him,
And helpt him fit the rope, and in his thought
A thousand furies, with their whippes, he brought,
So thear he stands, readie to hell to make his vault.
41
For him a waking bloodhound, yelling loude,
That in his bosome long had sleeping layde,
A guiltie Conscience, barking after blood,
Pursued eagerly, ne euer stai'd,
[Page 59] Till the betrayers selfe it had betray'd.
Oft chang'd he place, in hope away to winde,
But change of place could neuer change his minde,
Himselfe he flies to loose, and followes for to finde.
42
Thear is but two wayes for this soule to haue,
When parting from the body, forth it purges,
To flie to heau'n, or fall into the graue,
Where whippes of scorpions, with the stinging scourges,
Feed on the howling ghosts, and firie Surges
Of brimstone rowle about the caue of night,
Where flames doe burne, and yet no sparke of light,
And fire both fries, and freezes the blaspheming spright.
43
Thear lies the captiue soule, aye-sighing sore,
Reck'ning a thousand yeares since her first bands,
Yet staies not thear, but addes a thousand more,
And at another thousand neuer stands,
But tells to them the starres, and heapes the sands,
And now the startes are told, and sands are runne,
And all those thousand thousand myriads done,
And yet but now, alas! but now all is begunne.
44
With that a flaming brand a Furie catch't,
And shooke, and tost it round in his wilde thought,
So from his heart all ioy, all comfort snatch't,
With euery starre of hope, and as he sought,
(With present feare, and future griefe dist [...]aught)
To flie from his owne heart, and aide in plore
Of him, the more he giues, that hath the more,
Whose storehouse is the heauens, too little for his store.
45
Stay wretch on earth, [...]d Satan, re [...]le [...] rest,
Know'st thou not Iustice liues in heau'n [...] or ean
The worst of creatures liue among the best;
Among the blessed Angels cursed man?
Will Iudas now become a Christian?
Whither will hopes long wings transport thy minde;
Or canst thou not thy selfe a sinner finde;
Or cruell to thy selfe, wouldst thou haue Mercie kinde?
46
He gaue thee life: why shouldst thou seeke to slay him?
He lent thee wealth: to feed thy avarice?
He cal'd thee friend: what, that thou shouldst betray him?
He kist thee, though he knew his life the price:
He washt thy feet: should'st thou his sacrifice?
He gaue thee bread, and wine, his bodie, blood,
And at thy heart to enter in he stood,
But then I entred in, and all my snakie brood.
47
As when wild Pentheus, growne madde with fear,
Whole troups of hellish haggs about him spies,
Two bloodie Sunnes stalking the duskie sphear,
And twofold Thebes runs rowling in his eyes:
Or through the scene staring Orestes flies,
With eyes flung back vpon his Mothers ghost,
That, with infernall serpents all embost,
And torches quencht in blood, doth her stern sonne accost.
48
Such horrid gorgons, and misformed formes
Of damned fiends, flew dauncing in his heart,
That new, vnable to endure their stormes,
Flie, flie, he cries, thy selfe, what ere thou art,
[Page 61] Hell, hell alreadie burnes in euery part.
So downe into his Torturers armes he fell,
That readie stood his funeralls to yell,
And in a clowd of night to wa [...] him quick to hell.
49
Yet oft he snacht, and started as he hung:
So when the senses halfe enslumb'red lie,
The headlong bodie, readie to be flung,
By the deluding phan [...]e, from some high,
And craggie rock, recovers greedily,
And clasps the yeelding pillow, halfe asleepe,
And, as from heav'n it tombled to the deepe,
Feeles a cold sweat through euery trembling member creepe.
50
Thear let him hang, embowelled in blood,
Whear neuer any gentle Sheapheard feed
His blessed flocks, nor euer heav'nly flood
Fall on the cursed ground, nor holesome seed,
That may the least delight, or pleasure breed:
Let neuer Spring visit his habitation,
But nettles, kixe, and all the weedie nation,
With emptie elders grow, sad signes of desolation.
51
Thea [...] let the Dragon keepe his habitance,
And stinking karcases be throwne avaunt,
Faunes, Sylvans, and deformed Sa [...]yrs daunce,
Wild-cats, wolues, [...]oad [...], and shreechowles direly chaunt,
Thear euer let some restles spirit haunt,
With hollow sound, and clashing cheynes, to scarr
The passenger, and eyes like to the starr,
That sparkles in the crest of ang [...]i [...] Mars afa [...].
52
But let the blessed deawes for euer showr
Vpon that ground, in whose faire fields I spie
The bloodie ensigne of our Sauiour:
Strange conquest, whear the Conquerour must die,
And he is slaine, that winns the victorie:
But he, that liuing, had no house to owe it,
In the bles­sed Saint, Ioseph, &c.
Now had no graue, but Ioseph must bestowe it,
O runne ye Saints apace, and with sweete flowr's bestowe it.
53
And ye glad Spirits, that now sainted sit
On your coelestiall thrones, in beawtie drest,
Though I your teares recoumpt, O let not it
With after-sorrowe wound your tender brest,
Or with new griefe vnquiet your soft rest:
Inough is me your plaints to sound againe,
That neuer could inough my selfe complaine,
Sing then, O sing aloude thou Arimathean Swaine.
54
But long he stood, in his faint armes vphoulding
The fairest spoile heau'n euer forfeited,
With such a silent passion griefe vnfoulding,
That, had the sheete but on himselfe beene spread,
He for the corse might haue beene buried:
And with him stood the happie theefe, that stole
By night his owne saluation, and a shole
Of Maries drowned, round about him, sat in dole.
55
At length (kissing his lipps before he spake,
As if from thence he fetcht againe his ghost)
To Mary thus, with teares, his silence brake.
Ah woefull soule! what ioy in all our cost,
[Page 63] When him we hould, we haue alreadie lost?
Once did'st thou loose thy Sonne, but found'st againe,
Now find'st thy Sonne, but find'st him lost, and slaine.
Ay mee! though he could death, how canst thou life sustaine?
56
Whear ere, deere Lord, thy Shadowe houereth,
Blessing the place, wherein it deigns abide,
Looke how the earth darke horrour couereth,
Cloathing in mournfull black her naked side,
Willing her shadowe vp to heau'n to glide,
To see and if it meet thee wandring thear,
That so, and if her selfe must misse thee hear,
At least her shadow may her dutie to thee bear.
57
See how the Sunne in daytime cloudes his face,
And lagging Vesper, loosing his late teame,
Forgets in heau'n to runne his nightly race,
But, sleeping on bright Oetas top, doeth dreame
The world a Chaos is, no ioyfull beame
Looks from his starrie bowre, the heau'ns doe moue,
And Trees drop teares, least we should greeue alone,
The windes haue learnt to sigh, and waters hoarcely grone.
58
And you sweete flow'rs, that in this garden growe,
Whose happie states a thousand soules enuie,
Did you your owne felicities but knowe,
Your selues vnpluckt would to his funerals hi [...],
You neuer could in better season die:
O that I might into your places slide,
The gate of heau'n stands gaping in his side,
Thear in my soule should steale, and all her faults should hide.
[...]
[...]
59
Are theas the eyes, that made all others blind;
Ah why ar they themselues now blemished?
Is this the face, in which all beawtie shin'd;
What blast hath thus his flowers debellished?
At these the feete, that on the watry head
Of the vnfaithfull Ocean passage found;
Why goe they now so lowely vnder ground,
Wash't with our woorthles teares, and their owne precious wound?
60
One hem but of the garments that he wore,
Could medicine whole countries of their paine,
One touch of this pale hand could life restore,
One word of these cold lips reuiue the slaine:
Well the blinde man thy Godhead might maintaine,
What though the sullen Pharises repin'd?
He that should both compare, at length would finde
The blinde man onely sawe, the Seers all wear blinde.
61
Why should they thinke thee worthy to be slaine?
Was it because thou gau'st their blinde men eyes;
Or that thou mad'st their lame to walke againe;
Or for thou heal'dst their sick mens maladies;
Or mad'st their dumbe to speake; and dead to rise?
O could all these but any grace haue woon,
What would they not to saue thy life haue done?
The dumb man would haue spoke, and lame man would haue runne.
62
Let mee, O let me neere some fountaine lie,
That through the rocke heaues vp his sandie head,
Or let me dwell vpon some mountaine high,
Whose hollowe root, and baser parts ar spread
[Page 65] On fleeting waters, in his bowells bred,
That I their streames, and they my teares may feed,
Or, cloathed in some Hermits ragged weed,
Spend all my daies, in weeping for this cursed deed.
63
The life, the which I onte did loue, I leaue,
The loue, in which I once did liue, I loath,
I hate the light, that did my light bereaue,
Both loue, and life, I doe despise you both,
O that one graue might both our ashes cloath!
A Loue, a Life, a Light I now obteine,
Able to make my Age growe young againe,
Able to saue the sick, and to reuiue the slaine.
64
Thus spend we teares, that neuer can be spent,
On him, that sorrow now no more shall see:
Thus send we sighs, that neuer can be sent,
To him, that died to liue, and would not be,
To be thear whear he would; here burie we
This heau'nly earth, here let it softly sleepe,
The fairest Sheapheard of the fairest sheepe.
So all the bodie kist, and homewards went to weepe.
65
So home their bodies went, to seeke repose,
But at the graue they left their soules behinde;
O who the force of loue coelestiall knowes!
That can the cheynes of natures selfe vnbinde,
Sending the Bodie home, without the minde.
Ah blessed Virgin, what high Angels art
Can euer coumpt thy teares, or sing thy smart,
When euery naile, that pierst his hand, did pierce thy heart?
66
So Philomel, perch't on an aspin sprig,
Weeps all the night her lost virginitie,
And sings her sad tale to the merrie twig,
That daunces at such ioyfull miserie,
Ne euer lets sweet rest inuade her eye:
But leaning on a thorne her daintie chest,
For feare soft sleepe should steale into her brest,
Expresses in her song greefe not to be exprest.
67
So when the Larke, poore birde, afarre espi'th
Her yet vnfeather'd children (whom to saue
She striues in vaine) slaine by the fatall sithe,
Which from the medowe her greene locks doeth shaue,
That their warme nest is now become their graue;
The woefull mother vp to heauen springs,
And all about her plaintiue notes she flings,
And their vntimely fate most pittifully sings.

CHRISTS TRIVMPH after Death.

1
BVt now the second Morning, from her bowre,
Christs Tri­umph after death. 1. in his Resurre­ction, mani­fested by the effects of it in the Crea­tures.
Began to glister in her beames, and nowe
The roses of the day began to flowre
In th' easterne garden; for heau'ns smiling browe
Halfe insolent for ioy begunne to showe:
The early Sunne came liuely dauncing out,
And the bragge lambes ranne wantoning about,
That heau'n, and earth might seeme in tryumph both to shour.
2
Th' engladded Spring, forgetfull now to weepe,
Began t' eblazon from her leauie bed,
The waking swallowe broke her halfe-yeares sleepe,
And euerie bush lay deepely purpured
With violets, the woods late-wintry head
Wide flaming primroses set all on fire,
And his bald trees put on their greene attire,
Among whose insant leaues the ioyeous birds conspire.
3
And now the taller Sonnes (whom Titan warmes)
Of vnshorne mountaines, blowne with easie windes,
Dandled the mornings childhood in their armes,
And, if they chaunc't to slip the prouder pines,
The vnder Corylets did catch the shines,
To guild their leaues, sawe neuer happie yeare
Such ioyfull triumph, and triumphant cheare,
As though the aged world anew created wear.
4
Say Earth, why hast thou got thee new attire,
And stick'st thy habit full of dazies red?
Seems that thou doest to some high thought aspire,
And some newe-found-out Bridegroome mean'st to wed:
Tell me ye Trees, so fresh apparelled,
So neuer let the spitefull Canker wast you,
So neuer let the heau'ns with lightening blast you,
Why goe you now so trimly drest, or whither hast you?
5
Answer me Iordan, why thy crooked tide
So often wanders from his neerest way,
As though some other way thy streame would slide,
And faine salute the place where something lay?
And you sweete birds, that shaded from the ray,
Sit carolling, and piping griefe away,
The while the lambs to heare you daunce, and play,
Tell me sweete birds, what is it you so faine would say?
6
And, thou faire Spouse of Earth, that euerie yeare,
Gett'st such a numerous issue of thy bride,
How chance thou hotter shin'st, and draw'st more neere?
Sure thou somewhear some worthie sight hast spide,
[Page 69] That in one place for ioy thou canst not bide:
And you dead Swallowes, that so liuely now
Through the flit aire your winged passage rowe,
How could new life into your frozen ashes flowe?
7
Ye Primroses, and purple violets,
Tell me, why blaze ye from your leauie bed,
And wooe mens hands to rent you from your sets,
As though you would somewhear be carried,
With fresh perfumes, and velvets garnished?
But ah, I neede not aske, t'is surely so,
You all would to your Sauiours triumphs goe,
Thear would ye all awaite, and humble homage doe.
8
Thear should the Earth herselfe with garlands newe
In himselfe.
And louely flowr's embellished adore,
Such roses neuer in her garland grewe,
Such lillies neuer in her brest she wore,
Like beautie neuer yet did shine before:
Thear should the Sunne another Sunne behold,
From whence himselfe borrowes his locks of gold,
That kindle heau'n, and earth with beauties manifold.
9
Thear might the violet, and primrose sweet
Beames of more liuely, and more louely grace,
Arising from their beds of incense meet;
Thear should the Swallowe see newe life embrace
Dead ashes, and the graue vnheale his face,
To let the liuing from his bowels creepe,
Vnable longer his owne dead to keepe:
Thear heau'n, and earth should see their Lord awake from sleepe.
10
Their Lord, before by other iudg'd to die,
Nowe Iudge of all himselfe, before forsaken
Of all the world, that from his aide did flie,
Now by the Saints into their armies taken,
Before for an vnworthie man mistaken,
Nowe worthy to be God confest, before
With blasphemies by all the basest tore,
Now worshipped by Angels, that him lowe adore.
11
Whose garment was before indipt in blood,
But now, imbright'ned into heau'nly flame,
The Sun it selfe outglitters, though he should
Climbe to the toppe of the celestiall frame,
And force the starres go hide themselues for shame:
Before that vnder earth was buried,
But nowe about the heau'ns is carried,
And thear for euer by the Angels heried.
12
So fairest Phosphor the bright Morning starre,
But neewely washt in the greene element,
Before the drouzie Night is halfe aware,
Shooting his flaming locks with deaw besprent,
Springs liuely vp into the orient,
And the bright droue, fleec't all in gold, he chaces
To drinke, that on the Olympique mountaine grazes,
The while the minor Planets forfeit all their faces.
13
So long he wandred in our lower spheare,
2. In his A­scention to heauen, whose ioves are descri­bed,
That heau'n began his cloudy starres despise,
Halfe enuious, to see on earth appeare
A greater light, then flam'd in his owne skies:
[Page 71] At length it burst for spight, and out thear flies
A globe of winged Angels, swift as thought,
That, on their spotted feathers, liuely caught
The sparkling Earth, and to their azure fields it brought.
14
The rest, that yet amazed stood belowe,
With eyes cast vp, as greedie to be sed,
And hands vpheld, themselues to ground did throwe,
So when the Troian boy was rauished,
As through th'Idalian woods they saie he fled,
His aged Gardians stood all dismai'd,
Some least he should haue fallen back afraid,
And some their hasty vowes, and timely prayers said.
15
Tosse vp your heads ye euerlasting gates,
And let the Prince of glorie enter in:
At whose braue voly of sideriall States,
The Sunne to blush, and starres growe pale wear seene,
When, leaping first from earth, he did begin
To climbe his Angells wings; then open hang
Your christall doores, so all the chorus sang
Of heau'nly birds, as to the starres they nimbly sprang.
16
Hearke how the floods clap their applauding hands,
The pleasant valleyes singing for delight,
And wanton Mountaines daunce about the Lands,
The while the fieldes, struck with the heau'nly light,
Set all their flowr's a smiling at the sight,
The trees laugh with their blossoms, and the sound
Of the triumphant shout of praise, that crown'd
The flaming Lambe, breaking through heau'n, hath passage found.
17
Out leap the antique Patriarchs, all in hast,
1. By the ac­cesse of all good, the blessed So­cietie of the Saints,
To see the powr's of Hell in triumph lead,
And with small starres a garland intercha'st
Of oliue leaues they bore, to crowne his head,
That was before with thornes degloried,
After them flewe the Prophets, brightly stol'd
In shining lawne, and wimpled manifold,
Striking their yuorie harpes, strung all in chords of gold.
18
To which the Saints victorious carolls sung,
Ten thousand Saints atonce, that with the sound,
The hollow vaults of heau'n for triumph rung:
The Cherubins their clamours did confound
Angels, &c.
With all the rest, and clapt their wings around:
Downe from their thrones the Dominations flowe,
And at his feet their crownes, and scepters throwe,
And all the princely Soules fell on their faces lowe.
19
Nor can the Martyrs wounds them stay behind,
But out they rush among the heau'nly crowd,
Seeking their hean'n out of their heau'n to find,
Sounding their siluer trumpets out so loude,
That the shrill noise broke through the starrie cloude,
And all the virgin Soules, in pure araie,
Came dauncing forth, and making ioyeous plaie;
So him they lead along into the courts of day.
20
So him they lead into the courts of day,
The sweete quiet and peace, inioy­ed vnder God.
Whear neuer warre, nor wounds abide him more,
But in that house, eternall peace doth plaie,
Acquieting the soules, that newe before
[Page 73] Their way to heav'n through their owne blood did skore,
But now, estranged from all miserie,
As farre as heau'n, and earth discoasted lie,
Swelter in quiet waues of immortalitie.
20
And if great things by smaller may be ghuest,
Shadowed by the peace we enioy vn­der our So­ueraigne.
So, in the mid'st of Neptunes angrie tide,
Our Britan Island, like the weedie nest
Of true Haleyon, on the waues doth ride,
And softly sayling, skornes the waters pride:
While all the rest, drown'd on the continent,
And tost in bloodie waues, their wounds lament,
And stand, to see our peace, as struck with woonderment.
21
The Ship of France religious waues doe tosse,
And Greec it selfe is now growne barbarous,
Spains Children hardly dare the Ocean crosse,
And Belges field lies wast, and ruinous,
That vnto those, the heau'ns ar invious,
And vnto them, themselues ar strangers growne,
And vnto these, the Seas ar faithles knowne,
And vnto her, alas, her owne is not her owne.
22
Here onely shut we Ianus yron gates,
And call the welcome Muses to our springs,
And ar but Pilgrims from our heav'nly states,
The while the trusty Earth sure plentie brings,
And Ships through Neptune safely spread their wings.
Goe blessed Island, wander whear thou please,
Vnto thy God, or men, heau'n, lands, or seas,
Thou canst not loose thy way, thy King with all hath peace.
23
Deere Prince, thy Subiects ioy, hope of their heirs,
Picture of peace, or breathing Image rather,
The certaine argument of all our pray'rs.
Thy Harries, and thy Countries louely Father,
Let Peace, in endles ioyes, for euer bath her
Within thy sacred brest, that at thy birth
Brought'st her with thee from heau'n, to dwell on earth,
Making our earth a heav'n, and paradise of mirth.
24
Let not my Liege misdeem these humble laies,
As lick't with soft, and supple blandishment,
Or spoken to disparagon his praise;
For though pale Cynthia, neere her brothers tent,
Soone disappeares in the white firmament,
And giues him back the beames, before wear his,
Yet when he verges, or is hardly ris,
She the viue image of her absent brother is.
25
Nor let the Prince of peace his beadsman blame,
That with his Stewart dares his Lord compare,
And heau'nly peace with earthly quiet shame:
So Pines to lowely plants compared ar,
And lightning Phoebus to a little starre:
And well I wot, my rime, albee vnsmooth,
Ne, saies but what it meanes, ne meanes but sooth,
Ne harmes the good, ne good to harmefull person doth.
26
Gaze but vpon the house, whear Man embowr's:
With flowr's, and rushes paued is his way,
The beauty of the place.
Whear all the Creatures at his Seruitours,
The windes doe sweepe his chambers euery day,
[Page 75] And cloudes doe wash his rooms, the seeling gay,
Starred aloft the guilded knob [...] embraue:
If such a house God to another gaue,
How shine those glittering courts, he for himselfe will haue?
27
And if a sullen cloud, as sad as night,
The Cari­tie (as the schoole cal [...] it) of the Saints bo­dies.
In which the Sunne may seeme embodied,
Depur'd of all his drosse, we see so white,
Burning in melted gold his warrie head,
Or round with yuorie edges siluered,
What lustre superexcellent will he
Lighten on those, that shall his sunneshine see,
In that all-glorious court, in which all glories be?
28
If but one Sunne, whith his diffusiue fires,
Can paint the starres, and the whole world with light,
And ioy, and life into each heart inspires,
And euery Saint shall shine in heau'n, as bright
As doth the Sunne in his transcendent might,
(As faith may well beleeue, what Truth once sayes)
What shall so many Sunnes vnited rayes
But dazle all the eyes, that nowe in heau'n we praise?
29
Here let my Lord hang vp his conquering launce,
And bloody armour with late slaughter warme,
And looking downe on his weake Militants,
Behold his Saints, mid'st of their hot alarme,
Hang all their golden hopes vpon his arme.
And in this lower field dispacing wide,
Through windie thoughts, that would their sayles mis­guide,
Anchor their fleshly ships fast in his wounded side.
30
Here may the Band, that now in Tryumph shines,
And that (before they wear inuested thus)
In earthly bodies carried heauenly mindes,
Pitcht round about in order glorious,
Their sunny Tents, and houses luminous,
All their eternall day in songs employing,
Ioying their ende, without ende of their ioying,
While their almightie Prince Destruction is destroying.
31
Full, yet without satietie, of that
The impleti­on of the Appetite.
Which whetts, and quiets greedy Appetite,
Whear neuer Sunne did rise, nor euer sat,
But one eternall day, and endles light
Giues time to those, whose time is infinite,
Speaking with thought, obtaining without see,
Beholding him, whom neuer eye could see,
And magnifying him, that cannot greater be.
32
How can such ioy as this want words to speake?
And yet what words can speake such ioy as this?
Far from the world, that might their quiet breake,
Here the glad Soules the face of beauty kisse,
Powr'd out in pleasure, on their beds of blisse.
And drunke with nectar torrents, euer hold
Their eyes on him, whose graces manifold,
The more they doe behold, the more they would behold.
33
Their sight drinkes louely fires in at their eyes,
The ioy of the senses, &c.
Their braine sweete incense with fine breath accloyes,
That on Gods sweating altar burning lies,
Their hungrie eares feede on their heau'nly noyse,
[Page 77] That Angels sing, to tell their vntould ioyes;
Their vnderstanding naked Truth, their wills
The all, and selfe-sufficient Goodnesse fills,
That nothing here is wanting, but the want of ills.
34
No Sorrowe nowe hangs clowding on their browe,
2. By the a­motion of all euill.
No bloodles Maladie empales their face,
No Age drops on their hayrs his siluer snowe,
No Nakednesse their bodies doeth embase,
No Pouertie themselues, and theirs disgrace,
No feare of death the ioy of life deuours,
No vnchast sleepe their precious time deflowrs,
No losse, no griefe, no change waite on their winged hour's.
35
But now their naked bodies skorne the cold,
And from their eyes ioy lookes, and laughs at paine,
The Infant wonders how he came so old,
And old man how he came so young againe;
Still resting, though from sleepe they stiil refraine,
Whear all are rich, and yet no gold they owe,
And all are Kings, and yet no Subiects knowe,
All full, and yet no time on foode they doe bestowe.
36
For things that passe are past, and in this field,
The indeficient Spring no Winter feares,
The Trees together fruit, and blossome yeild,
Th'vnfading Lilly leaues of siluer beares,
And crimson rose a skarlet garment weares:
And all of these on the Saints bodies growe,
Not, as they woont, on baser earth belowe;
By the ac­cesse of all good againe
Three riuers heer of milke, and wine, and honie flowe.
37
About the holy Cittie rowles a flood
in the glorie of the Holy Cittie.
Of moulten chrystall, like a sea of glasse,
On which weake streame a strong foundation [...]ood,
Of liuing Diamounds the building [...],
That all things else, besides it selfe, did passe.
Her streetes, in stead of stones, the starres did paue,
And little pearles, for dust, it seem'd to haue,
On which soft-streaming Manna, like pure snowe, did [...]
38
In mid'st of this Citie coelestiall,
in the bea­tificall visi­on of God.
Wheat the eternall Temple should haue rose,
Light'ned th' Idea Beatificall:
End, and beginning of each thing that growes,
Whose selfe no end, nor yet beginning knowes,
That hath no eyes to see, nor ears to heare,
Yet sees, and heares, and is all-eye, all-eare,
That no wheat is contain'd, and yet is euery whear.
39
Changer of all things, yet immutable,
Before, and after all, the first, and last,
That moouing all, is yet immoueable,
Great without quantitie, in whose forecast,
Things past are present, things to come are past,
Swift without motion, to whose open eye
The hearts of wicked men vnbrested lie,
At once absent, and present to them, farre, and nigh.
40
It is no flaming lustre, made of light,
No sweet concent, or well-tim'd harmonie,
Ambrosia, for to feast the Appetite,
Or flowrie odour, mixt with spicerie.
[Page 81] [...]o soft embrace, or pleasure bodily,
And yet it is a kinde of inward feast,
A harmony, that sounds within the brest,
[...]n odour, light, embrace, in which the soule doth rest,
41
A heav'nly feast, no hunger can consume,
A light vnseene, yet shines in euery place,
[...] sound, no time can steale, a sweet perfume,
No windes can scatter, an intire embrace,
That no satietie can ere vnlace,
Ingrac't into so [...]igh a fauour, thear
The Saints, with their Beaw-peers, whole worlds out­wear,
And things vnseene doe see, and things vnheard doe hear.
42
Ye blessed soules, growne richer by your spoile,
And of Christ.
Whose losse, though great, is cause of greater gaines,
Here may your weary Spirits rest from toyle,
Spending your endlesse eav'ning, that remaines,
Among those white flocks, and celestiall traines,
That feed vpon their Sheapheards eyes, and frame
That heau'nly musique of so woondrous fame,
Psalming aloude the holy honours of his name.
43
Had I a voice of steel to tune my song,
Wear euery verse as smoothly fil'd as glasse,
And euery member turned to a tongue,
And euery tongue wear made of sounding brasse,
Yet all that skill, and all this strength, alas,
Should it presume to guild, wear misadvis'd,
The place, wheat Dauid hath new songs devis'd,
As in his burning throne he sits emparadis'd.
44
Most happie Prince, whose eyes those starres behould,
Treading ours vnder feet, now maist thou powre
That ouerflowing skill, whear with of ould
Thou woont'st to combe rough speech, now maist thou sho [...]
Fresh streames of praise vpon that holy bowre,
Which well we heaven call, not that it rowles,
But that it is the hauen of our soules.
Most happie Prince, whose [...]ight so heav'nly [...]ight be [...]
45
Ah foolish Sheapheards, that wear woont esteem,
Your God all rough, and shaggy-hair'd to bee;
And yet farre wiser Sheapheards then ye deeme,
For who so poore (though who so rich) as hee,
When, with vs hermiting in lowe degree,
He wash't his flocks in Iordans spotles tide,
And, that his deere remembrance aie might bide,
Did to vs come, and with vs liu'd, and for vs di'd?
46
But now so liuely colours did embeame
His sparkling forehead, and so shiny rayes
Kindled his flaming locks; that downe did streame
In curies, along his necke, whear sweetly playes
(Singing his wounds of loue in sacred layes)
His deerest Spouse, Spouse of the deerest Lover,
Knitting a thousand knots ouer, and ouer,
And dying still for loue, but they her still recover.
47
Faire Egliset, that at his eyes doth dresse
Her glorious face, those eyes, from whence a [...] shed
Infinite belamours, wheat to expresse
His loue, high God all heav'n as captive leads,
[Page 83] And all the banners of his grace dispreads,
And in those windowes, doth his armes englaze,
And on those eyes, the Angels all doe gaze,
And from those eies, the lights of heau'n do gleane their blaze.
48
But let the Kentish lad, that lately taught
His oaten reed the trumpets siluer sound,
Young Thy [...]silis, and for his musique brought
The willing sphears from heav'n, to lead a round
Of dauncing Nymphs, and Heards, that sung, and crown'd
Eclectas hymen with ten thousand flowrs
Of choycest prayse, and hung her heav'nly bow'rs
With saffron garlands, drest for Nuptiall Paramours,
49
Let his shrill trumpet, with her siluer blast,
Of faire Eclecta, and her Spousall bed,
Be the sweet pipe, and smooth Encomiast:
But my greene Muse, hiding her younger head
Vnder old Chamus flaggy banks, that spread
Their willough locks abroad, and all the day
With their owne wa [...]ry shadowes wanton play,
Dares not those high amours, and loue-sick songs assay.
50
Impotent words, weake sides, that striue in vaine,
In vaine, alas, to tell so heau'nly sight,
So heav'nly sight, as none can greater [...]eigne,
Feigne what he can, that seemes of greatest might,
Might any yet compare with Infinite?
Infinite sure those ioyes, my words but light,
Light is the pallace whear she dwells. O blessed wight!
RUina Coeli pulchra; iam t [...]rris decus,
Deus (que) ▪ proles matris i [...]nuptae, & pater:
Sine matre natus, sine patre excrescens caro:
Quem nec mare, aether, terra, non coelum capit,
Vtero puellae totus angusto latens;
Aequaev [...]s idem patri, matre antiquior:
Heu domite victor, & triumphator; tui
Opus, opifex (que), qui minor quàm sis, eò
Maior resurgis: vita, quae mori velis,
At (que) ergo possis: passa [...]inem Aeternitas.
Quid tibi rependam, quid ti [...]i rependam miser?
Vt quando ocellos mollis inuadit quies,
Et nocte membra plurimus Morpheus pr [...]mit,
Auidè vid [...]mur velle de te [...]go sequens
Effugere monstrum, & plumbeos frustra pedes
Celerare; media succidim [...]s aegri fugâ;
Solitum pigrescit robur, os quaerit viam,
Sed proditurus moritur in lingua sonus:
Sic stupeo totus, totus haeresco, intu [...]ns
Et saepe repeto, forte si rependerem:
Solus rependit ille, qui repetit be [...]e.
G. Fletcher.

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