Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

For, though a firmly settled-peace May shortly make your public labour cease, The grateful nation will with joy consent,

That in this sense you should be said,

(Though yet the name sounds with some dread)

To be the long, the endless, parliament.


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-

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.

WHEN God (the cause to me and men unknown) The stream's eternal siege they fixt abide,

Forsook the royal houses, and his own,
And both abandon'd to the common foe,
How near to ruin id my glories go!

Nothing remain'd t' adorn this princely place Which covetous hands could take, or rude deface.

In all my rooms and galleries I found
The richest figures torn, and all around
Dismember'd statues of great heroes lay;
Such Naseby's field seem'd on the fatal day!
And me, when nought for robbery was left,
They starv'd to death: the gasping walls were

The pillars sunk, the roofs above me wept,
No sign of spring, or joy, my garden kept ;
Nothing was seen which could content the eye,
Till dead the impious tyrant here did lie.

See how my face is chang'd, and what I am Since my true mistress, and now foundress,

came !

It does not fill her bounty to restore
Me as I was (nor was I small 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.

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;

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

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


[blocks in formation]

Mixt with the mourning willow's careful grey,
Where reverend Cham cuts out his famous way,
The melancholy Cowley lay:
And lo! a Muse appear'd to 's closed sight,
(The Muses oft in lands of vision play)
Body'd, array'd, and seen, by an internal light.
A golden harp with silver strings she bore;
A wondrous hieroglyphic robe she wore,
In which all colours and all figures were,
That Nature or that Fancy can create,
That Art can never imitate;

And with loose pride it wanton'd in the air.
In such a dress, in such a well-cloth'd dream,
She us'd, of old, near fair Ismenus' stream,
Pindar, her Theban favourite, to meet;

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

She touch'd him with her harp, and rais'd him from the ground;

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

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

Thy foolish gains by quitting me:

The sale of knowledge, fame, and liberty,
The fruits of thy unlearn'd apostacy.

Thou thought'st, if once the public storm were


All thy remaining life should sunshine be:
Behold! the public storm is spent at last,
The sovereign's tost at sea no more,
And thou, with all the noble company,

Art got at last to shore.
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!

"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!

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 led)

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 restrain

Upon the most unjust to shine and rain.

"The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more
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

[ocr errors]

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 thon,
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


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

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 plough.

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!


MRS. KATHARINE PHILIPS. 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 of


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

An everlasting pyramid,

Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I As high as Heaven the top, as Earth the basis


So distant, they may reach at length to me.
However, of all the princes, thou
Should'st not reproach rewards for being small
or slow;

Thou! who rewardest but with popular breath,
And that too after death."



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;

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,


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 sharers, 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.


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 smil'd;

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

Thou golden shower of a true Jove!

And skill in painting, dost bestow,

Upon thy ancient arms, the gandy heavenly bow.

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

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

Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn
The humble glow-worms to adorn,
And with those living spangles gild
(O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the


Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright,

And Sleep, the lazy owl of night; Asham'd, and fearful to appear, They screen their horrid shapes with the black hemisphere.

With them there hastes, and wildly takes th' alarm,

Of painted dreams a busy swarm:
At the first opening of thine eye

The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly.
The guilty serpents, and obscener beasts,

Creep, conscious, to their secret rests:
Nature to thee does reverence pay,
Ill omens and ill sights removes out of thy way.
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.
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


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

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

make love!

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,

"Tis, I believe, this archery to show,

That so much cost in colours thou,


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


[ocr errors]


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 withhold,

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.

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.

PRILOSOPHY, the great and only heir
Of all that human knowledge which has been
Unforfeited by man'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.
Three or four thousand years, one would have


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, they led him

Into the pleasant labyrinths of ever-fresh dis


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 shown,

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,

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


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

[blocks in formation]


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 »