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To that clear majesty which in the north
Which standeth fix’d, yet spreads her heav'nly
Like Heav’n in all, like Earth to this alone,
Yet she herself supported is of none, [stand;
To the divinest and the richest mind,
That ever was from Heaven to Earth confin'd,
To that great spring, which doth great kingdoms
I offer up some sparkles of that fire,
These sparks by nature evermore aspire,
Fair soul, since to the fairest body join'd,
And influence of such celestial kind,
As where the sun is present all the year,
Needs must the spring be everlasting there,
O! many, many years may you remain
Long, long may you on earth our empress reign,
Stay long (sweet spirit) ere thou to Heaven depart, Who mak’st each place a Heaven wherein thou art.
Her majesty’s devoted subject
July 11, 1592.
Why did my parents send me to the schools,
Since the desire to know first made men fools,
For when God’s hand had written in the hearts
So that their skill infus'd, did pass all arts
And when their reason’s eye was sharp and clear,
Could have approach'd th’ eternal light as near
E’en then to them the spirit of lies suggests,
And breath’d into their incorrupted breasts
For that same ill they straight desir'd to know;
In all God’s works the Devil could not show,
* This poem was published by Mr. Tate, with the universal applause of the nation; and was, without dispute, except Spenser's Fairy Queen, the best that was written in Queen Elizabeth's, or even King James the first’s time. W. T.
So that themselves were first to do the ill,
Like him that knew not poison's power to kill,
E’en so by tasting of that fruit forbid,
Ill they desir'd to know, and ill they did; [find;
For then their minds did first in passion see
Of nakedness, of shame, of poverty, [know.
But then grew reason dark, that she no more
Bats they became, that eagles were before;
But we, their wretched offspring, what do wer
Whilst with fond fruitless curiosity,
What is this knowledge? but the sky-stol’n fire,
And which the poor rude satyrs did admire,
What is it? but the cloud of empty rain, [got 2 Which when Jove's guest; embrac'd, he monsters
* Prometheus, * See AEsop's Fables, + Ixion.
In fine, what is it, but the fiery coach [withall? Which the youthf sought, and sought his death
Or the boysł wings, which, when he did approach The Sun's hot beams, did melt and let him fall:
And yet, alas! when all our lamps are burn’d,
When we have all the learned volumes turn’d
What can we know 2 or what can we discern ? When error chokes the windows of the mind;
The divers forms of things how can we learn, That have been ever from our birth-day blind?
When reason’s lamp, which (like the Sun in sky) Throughout man's little world her beams did
Is now become a sparkle, which doth lie [spread, Under the ashes, half extinct and dead:
How can we hope, that through the eye and ear, This dying sparkle, in this cloudy place,
Can recollect these beams of knowledge clear, Which were infus’d in the first minds by grace :
so might the heir, whose father hath, in play,
By painful earning of one groat a day,
* Danaides. + Phaeton. # Icarus.