Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[blocks in formation]

On either side dwells Safety and Delight;
Wealth on the left, and Power upon the right.
T'assure yet my defence on either hand,
Like mighty forts, in equal distance stand
Two of the best and stateliest piles which e'er
Man's liberal piety of old did rear;
Where the two princes of th' apostles' band,
My neighbours and my guards, watch and com-


It does not fill her bounty to restore
Me as I was (nor was I sinall before):
She imitates the kindness to her shown;
She does, like Heaven, (which the dejected throne
At once restores, fixes, and higher rears)
Strengthen, enlarge, exalt, what she repairs.
And now I dare, (though proud I must not be,
Whilst my great mistress I so humble see
In all her various glories) now I dare
Ev'n with the proudest palaces compare.
My beauty and convenience will, I'm sure,
So just a boast with modesty endure;
And all must to me yield, when I shall tell
How I am plac'd, and who does in me dwell.

My warlike guard of ships, which farther lie,
Might be my object too, were not the eye
Stopt by the houses of that wondrous street,
Which rides o'er the broad river like a fleet.
The stream's eternal siege they fixt abide,
And the swoln stream's auxiliary tide,
Though both their ruin with joint power conspire,
Both to out-brave, they nothing dread but fire.
And here my Thames, though it more gentle


Than any flood so strengthen'd by the sea,
Finding by art his natural forces broke,
And bearing, captive-like, the arched yoke,
Does roar, and foam, and rage, at the disgrace,
But re-composes straight, and calms his face;
Is into reverence and submission strook,
As soon as from afar he does but look
Tow'rds the white palace where that king does

Before my gate a street's broad channel goes,
Which still with waves of crowding people flows;
And every day there passes by my side,
Up to its western reach, the London tide,
The spring-tides of the term: my front looks


On all the pride and business of the town;
My other front (for, as in kings we see
The liveliest image of the Deity,
We in their houses should Heaven's likeness find,
Where nothing can be said to be behind)
My other fair and more majestic face
(Who can the fair to more advantage place?)
For ever gazes on itself below,

In the best mirror that the world can show.
And here behold, in a long bending row,
How two joint-cities make one glorious bow!
The midst, the noblest place, possess'd by me,
Best to be seen by all, and all o'er-see!
Which way soe'er I turn my joyful eye,
Here the great court, there the rich town I spy;

Who lays his laws and bridges o'er the main.
Amidst these louder honours of my seat;
And two vast cities, troublesomely great,
In a large various plain the country too
Opens her gentler blessings to my view:
In me the active and the quiet mind,
By different ways, equal content may find.
If any prouder virtuoso's sense
At that part of my prospect take offence,
By which the meaner cabbins are descry'd,
Of my imperial river's humbler side-
If they call that a blemish-let them know,
God, and my godlike mistress, think not so;
For the distress'd and the afflicted lie
Most in their care, and always in their eye. ́

And thou, fair River! who still pay'st to me
Just homage, in thy passage to the sea,
Take here this one instruction as thou go'st-
When thy mix't waves shall visit every coast;
When round the world their voyage they shall

And back to thee some secret channels take;
Ask them what nobler sight they e'er did meet,
Except thy mighty master's sovereign fleet,
Which now triumphant o'er the main does ride,
The terrour of all lands, the ccean's pride.

[ocr errors]

From hence his kingdoms, happy now at last,
(Happy, if wise by their misfortunes past!)
From hence may omens take of that success
Which both their future wars and peace shall


The peaceful mother on mild Thames does build;
With her son's fabrics the rough sea is fill'd.


In a deep vision's intellectual scene,
Beneath a bower for sorrow made,
Th' uncomfortable shade
Of the black yew's unlucky green,

[blocks in formation]

A crown was on her head, and wings were on her


The shaken strings melodiously resound.

"Art thou return'd at last," said she,
"To this forsaken place and me?
Thou prodigal! who didst so loosely waste
Of all thy youthful years the good estate;
Art thou return'd here, to repent too late,
And gather husks of learning up at last,
Now the rich harvest time of life is past,
And Winter marches on so fast?
But, when I meant t'adopt thee for my son,
And did as learn'd a portion assign,
As ever any of the mighty Nine

Had to their dearest children done;
When I resolv'd t'exalt thy anointed name,
Among the spiritual lords of peaceful fame;
Thou, changeling! thou, bewitch'd with noise and

Would'st into courts and cities from me go;
Would'st see the world abroad, and have a share
In all the follies and the tumults there:
Thou would'st, forsooth, be something in a state,
And business thou would'st find, and would'st
create ;

Business! the frivolous pretence
Of human lusts, to shake off innocence;
Business! the grave impertinence;
Business! the thing which I of all things hate;
Business! the contradiction of thy fate.

"Go, renegado! cast up thy account, And see to what amount

Upon the most unjust to shine and rain.

She touch'd him with her harp, and rais'd him "The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more

from the ground;

Thou didst with faith and labour serve,
And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve,
Though she contracted was to thee,
Given to another thou didst see;
Given to another, who had store
Of fairer and of richer wives before,
And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be!
Go on; twice seven years more thy fortune try;
Twice seven years more God in his bounty may
Give thee, to fling away
Into the court's deceitful lottery:

But think how likely 'tis that thou,
With the dull work of thy unwieldy plough,
Should'st in a hard and barren season thrive,
Should'st even able be to live;

Thou, to whose share so little bread did fall,
In that miraculous year, when manna rain'd on

[blocks in formation]

But ther, alas! to thee alone,
One of old Gideon's miracles was shown;
For every tree and every herb around
With pearly dew was crown'd,
And upon all the quicken'd ground
The fruitful seed of Heaven did brooding lie,
And nothing but the Muse's fleece was dry.
It did all other threats surpass,
When God to his own people said

(The men whom through long wanderings he had


But, whilst thy fellow voyagers I see
All march'd up to possess the promis'd land,
Thou, still alone, alas! dost gaping stand
Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand!

That he would give them ev'n a heaven of brass:

They look'd up to that Heaven in vain,

That bounteous Heaven, which God did not re


"As a fair morning of the blessed spring,
After a tedious stormy night,

Such was the glorious entry of our king;
Enriching moisture drop'd on every thing:
Plenty he sow'd below, and cast about him light!


[ocr errors]

Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile,
That seem'd at once to pity and revile.
And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head,
The melancholy Cowley said-

"Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid
The ills which thou thyself hast made?
When in the cradle innocent I lay,
Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away,
And my abused soul didst bear
Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,

Thy golden Indies in the air;
And ever since I strive in vain
My ravish'd freedom to regain;
Still I rebel, still thou dost reign;
Lo! still in verse against thee I complain,
There is a sort of stubborn weeds,
Which, if the earth but
once, it ever, breeds;
No wholesome herb can near them thrive,
No useful plant can keep alive:
The foolish sports I did on thee bestow,
Make all my art and labour fruitless now;
Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever

[blocks in formation]

Thou slack'nest all my nerves of industry,
By making them so oft to be
The tinkling strings of thy lose minstrelsy.
Whoever this world's happiness would see,
Must as entirely cast off thee,
As they who only Heaven desire
Do from the world retire.

This was my errour, this my gross mistake,
Myself a demi-votary to make.

Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate,
(A fault which I, like them, am taught too late)
For all that I gave up I nothing gain,
And perish for the part which I retain.

"Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse!
The court, and better king, t' accuse:
'The heaven under which I live is fair,
'The fertile soil will a full harvest bear :
Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou
Mak'st me sit still and sing, when I should

When I but think how many a tedious year
Our patient sovereign did attend
His long misfortunes' fatal end;
How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear,
On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend;
I ought to be accurst, if I refuse
To wait on his, thou fallacious Muse!
Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I As high as Heaven the top, as Earth the basis

An everlasting pyramid,



[blocks in formation]


As wher. our kings (lords of the spacious main)
Take in just wars a rich plate-fleet of Spain,
The rude unshapen ingots they reduce
Into a form of beauty and of use;


CRUEL Disease! ah, could not it suffice
Thy old and constant spite to exercise
Against the gentlest and the fairest sex,
Which still thy depredations most do vex?
Where still thy malice most of all
(Thy malice or thy lust) does on the fairest fall?
And in them most assault the fairest place,
The throne of empress Beauty, ev'n the face?
There was enough of that here to assuage,
(One would have thought) either thy lust o

On which the conqueror's image now does shine,
Not his whom it belong'd to in the mine:
So, in the mild contentions of the Muse,
(The war which Peace itself loves and pursues)
So have you home to us in triumph brought
This cargazon of Spain with treasures fraught.
You have not basely gotten it by stealth,
Nor by translation borrow'd all its wealth;
But by a powerful spirit made it your own;
Metal before, money by you 'tis grown.
'Tis current now, by your adorning it
With the fair stamp of your victorious wit,
But, though we praise this voyage of your

And though ourselves enrich'd by it we find ;
We're not contented yet, because we know
What greater stores at home within it grow,
We've seen how well you foreign ores refine ;
Produce the gold of your own nobler mine: .
The world shall then our native plenty view,
And fetch materials for their wit from you;
They all shall watch the travails of your pen,
And Spain on you shall make reprisals then,

Was 't not enough, when thou, prophane Disease!
Didst on this glorious temple seize ?
Was 't not enough, like a wild zealot, there,
All the rich outward ornaments to tear,
Deface the innocent pride of beauteous images?
Was 't not enough thus rudely to defile,
But thou must quite destroy, the goodly pile?
And thy unbounded sacrilege commit
On th' inward holiest holy of her wit?
Cruel Disease! there thou mistook'st thy power,
No mine of Death can that devour;
On her embalmed name it will abide

All ages past record, all countries now,
In various kinds such equal beauties show,
That ev'n judge Paris would not know
On whom the golden apple to bestow;
Though goddesses t' his sentence did submit,
Women and lovers would appeal from it:
Nor durst he say, of all the female race,
This is the sovereign face.

And some (though these be of a kind that's rare,
That's much, ah, much less frequent than the


So equally renown'd for virtue are,
That it the mother of the gods might pose,
When the best woman for her guide she chose.
But if Apollo should design
A woman laureat to make,

Without dispute he would Orinda take,

Though Sappho and the famous Nine
Stood by, and did repine.

To be a princess, or a queen,

Is great; but 'tis a greatness always seen:
The world did never but two women know,
Who, one by fraud, th' other by wit, did rise
To the two tops of spiritual dignities;
One female pope of old, one female poet now.
Of female poets, who had names of old,
Nothing is shown, but only told,
And all we hear of them perhaps may be,
Male-flattery only, and male-poetry.
Few minutes did their beauty's lightning waste
The thunder of their voice did longer last,
But that too soon was past.
The certain proofs of our Orinda's wit
In her own lasting characters are writ,
And they will long my praise of them survive,
Though long perhaps, too, that may live,
The trade of glory, manag'd by the pen,
Though great it be, and every where is found,
Does bring in but small profit to us men;
'Tis, by the number of the shacers, drown'd,

Orinda, on the female coasts of Fame,
Engrosses all the goods of a poetic name;
She does no partner with her see;
Does all the business there alone, which we
Are forc'd to carry on by a whole company.

But wit's like a luxuriant vine;

Unless to virtue's prop it join,

Firm and erect towards Heaven bound; Though it with beauteous leaves and pleasant fruit be crown'd,


It lies, deform'd and rotting, on the ground.
Now shame and blushes on us all,
Who our own sex superior call!
Orinda does our boasting sex out-do,
Not in wit only, but in virtue too:
She does above our best examples rise,
In hate of vice and scorn of vanities.
Never did spirit of the manly make,
And dip'd all o'er in Learning's sacred lake,
A temper more invulnerable take.

No violent passion could an entrance find
Into the tender goodness of her mind :
Through walls of stone those furious bullets may
Force their impetuous way;

When her soft breast they hit, powerless and

dead they lay!

The Fame of Friendship, which so long had told
Of three or four illustrious names of old,
Till hoarse and weary with the tale she grew,
Rejoices now t' have got a new,
A new and more surprizing story,
Of fair Lucasia's and Orinda's glory.
As when a prudent man does once perceive
That in some foreign country he must live,
The language and the manners he does strive
To understand and practise here,

That he may come no stranger there: So well Orinda did herself prepare, In this much different clime, for her remove To the glad world of Poetry and Love.

Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know, But ever ebb and ever flow!

And skill in painting, dost bestow, Upon thy ancient arms, the gandy heavenly bow.


FIRST-born of Chaos, who so fair didst come
From the old Negro's darksome womb!
Which, when it saw the lovely child,
The melancholy mass put on kind looks and


Swift as light thoughts their empty career run,
Thy race is finish'd when begun;
Let a post-angel start with thee,

And thou the goal of Earth shalt reach as soon as he.

Thou in the Moon's bright chariot, proud and gay,
Dost thy bright wood of stars survey;
And all the year dost with thee bring

Of thousand flowery lights thine own nocturnal spring.

Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above
The Sun's gilt tents for ever move,
And still, as thou in pomp dost go,
The shining pageants of the world attend thy


"Tis, I believe, this archery to show,

That so much cost in colours thou,

[blocks in formation]

Hail, active Nature's watchful life and health!
Her joy, her ornament, and wealth!
Hail to thy husband, Heat, and thee!
Thou the world's beauteous bride, the lusty
bridegroom he!

Say from what golden quivers of the sky
Do all thy winged arrows fly?

Swiftness and Power by birth are thine:
From thy great sire they came, thy sire, the
Word Divine,

At thy appearance, Grief itself is said

To shake his wings, and rouse his head:
And cloudy Care has often took

A gentle beamy smile, reflected from thy look.

Thou golden shower of a true Jove!

Who does in thee descend, and Heaven to Earth When, goddess! thou lift'st up thy waken'd make love!

At thy appearance, Fear itself grows bold;
Thy sun-shine melts away his cold.
Encourag'd at the sight of thee,

To the check colour comes, and firmness to the knee.

Ev'n Lust, the master of a harden'd face,
Blushes, if thou be'st in the place,
To Darkness' curtains he retires;
In sympathizing night he rolls his smoky fires


Out of the morning's purple bed, Thy quire of birds about thee play And all the joyful world salutes the rising day. The ghosts, and monster-spirits, that did presume A body's privilege to assume, Vanish again invisibly,

And bodies gain again their visibility.

All the world's bravery, that deligh's our eyes, Is but thy several liveries;

Thou the rich dye on them bestow'st,

Thy nimble pencil paints this landscape as thou



A crimson garment in the rose thou wear'st;
A crown of studded gold thou bear'st;
The virgin-lilies, in their white,
Are clad but with the lawn of almost naked light.
The violet, Spring's little infant, stands

Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands
On the fair tulip thou dost doat;
Thou cloth`st it in a gay and party-colour'd coat.
W th flame condens'd thou do'st thy jewels fix,
And solid colours in it mix:
Flora herself envies to see

Flowers fairer than her own, and durable as she.
Ah, goddess! would thou could'st thy hand with-

And be less liberal to gold!

Didst thou less value to it give,

Of how much care, alas! might'st thou poor man relieve!

To me the Sun is more delightful far,

And all fair days much fairer are,

But few, ah! wondrous few, there be,
Who do not gold prefer, O goddess! ev'n to thee.
Through the soft ways of Heaven, and air, and sea,
Which open all their pores to thee,
Like a clear river thou dost glide,

And with thy living stream through the close
channels slide.

[ocr errors]

But, where firm bodies thy free course oppose,
Gently thy source the land o'erflows;
Takes there possession, and does make,
Of colours mingled light, a thick and standing

But the vast ocean of unbounded day,

In th' empyræan Heaven does stay.
Thy rivers, lakes, and springs, below,
From thence took first their rise, thither at last
must flow.

Instead of carrying him to see
The riches which do hoarded for him lie
In Nature's endless treasury,
They chose his eye to entertain
(His curious but not covetous eye)

With painted scenes and pageants of the brain.
Some few exalted spirits this latter age has

That labour'd to assert the liberty
(From guardians who were now usurpers grown)
Of this old minor still, captiv'd Philosophy;
But 'twas rebellion call'd, to fight
For such a long-oppressed right.
Bacon at last, a mighty man, arose,

(Whom a wise king, and Nature, chose,
Lord chancellor of both their laws)
And boldly undertook the injur'd pupil's cause.
Authority-which did a body boast,

To ripeness and perfection might have brought
A science so well bred and nurst,
And of such hopeful parts too at the first:
But, oh! the guardians and the tutors, then
(Some negligent and some ambitious men)
Would ne er consent to set him free,
Or his own natural powers to let him see,
Lest that should put an end to their authority,
That his own business he might quite forget,
They' amus'd him with the sports of wanton wit;
With the deserts of poetry they fed him,

Instead of solid meats t' increase his force;

Instead of vigorous exercise, the y led him

Into the pleasant labyrinths of ever-fresh dis


Though 'twas but air condens'd, and stalk'd about,

Like some old giant's more gigantic ghost,
To terrify the learned rout

With the plain magic of true Reason's light-
He chas'd out of our sight;

Nor suffer'd living men to be misled

By the vain shadows of the dead:

To graves, from whence it rose, the conquer'd phantom fled.

He broke that monstrous god which stood
In midst of th' orchard, and the whole did claim;
Which with a useless scythe of wood,
And something else not worth a name,
(Both vast for show, yet neither fit
Or to defend, or to beget;

Ridiculous and senseless terrours!) made
Children and superstitious men afraid.
The orchard's open now, and free,
Bacon has broke the scare-crow deity :
Come, enter, all that will,

Behold the ripen'd fruit, come gather now your


Yet still, methinks, we fain would be

Catching at the forbidden tree-
We, would be like the Deity-

When truth and falsehood, good and evil, we,

Without the senses' aid, within ourselves would

PRILOSOPHY, the great and only heir
Of all that human knowledge which has been
Unforfeited by nan's rebellious sin,

Though full of years he do appear,
(Philosophy, I say, and call it he,
For, whatsoe'er the painter's fancy be,
It a male-virtue seems to me)
Has still been kept in nonage till of late,
Nor manag'd or enjoy'd his vast estate.

From words, which are but pictures of the


Three or four thousand years, one would have (Though we our thoughts from them perversely




For 'tis God only who can find

All Nature in his mind.

To things, the mind's right object, he it brought:
Like foolish birds, to painted grapes we flew;
He sought and gather'd for our use the true;
And, when on heaps the chosen bunches lay,
He prest them wisely the mechanic way,
Till all their juice did in one vessel join,
Ferment into a nourishment divine,

The thirsty soul's refreshing wine.
Who to the life an exact piece would make,
Must not from others' work a copy take;

No, not from Rubens or Vandyke;
Much less content himself to make it like
Th' ideas and the images which lie
In his own fancy or his memory.

No, he before his sight must place
The natural and living face;

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »