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Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,
Hid from the world in a low delved tomb;
Could Heav'n for pity thee so strictly doom?
Oh no! for something in thy face did shine
Above mortality, that show'd thou wast divine.
Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely blest,
(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear,)
Tell me, bright Spirit, where'er thou hoverest,
Whether above that high first-moving sphere,
Or in th' Elysian fields, (if such there were,)
Oh say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,
And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy
Or wert thou that just Maid, who once before
Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,
31 wormy] Shakesp. Mid. N. Dr. act iii. sc. ult.
Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof
Of shak'd Olympus by mischance didst fall;
Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof
Took up, and in fit place did reinstall?
Or did of late earth's sons besiege the wall
Of sheeny Heav'n, and thou some Goddess fled Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head?
'Already to their wormy beds are gone.' Warton.
40 were] He should have said 'are,' if the rhyme had permitted. Hurd.
And cam'st again to visit us once more?
Or wert thou that sweet-smiling youth?
Or that crown'd matron sage white-robed Truth?
Or any other of that heavenly brood
Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good?
Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who having clad thyself in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post,
And after short abode fly back with speed,
As if to show what creatures heav'n doth breed,
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sordid world, and unto heav'n aspire ?
But oh, why didst thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy heav'n-lov'd innocence,
To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe, .
To turn swift-rushing black Perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering Pestilence,
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
But thou canst best perform that office where thou
Then thou, the Mother of so sweet a Child,
Her false imagin'd loss cease to lament,
And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild
53 Or wert] In this line a dissyllable word is wanting. Mr. J. Heskin conjectured 'Or wert thou Mercy,' &c.
Think what a present thou to God hast sent,
And render him with patience what he lent;
This if thou do, he will an offspring give
That till the world's last end shall make thy name
At a VACATION EXERCISE in the COLLEGE, part Latin, part English. The Latin speeches ended, the English thus began.
HAIL, native Language, that by sinews weak
Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak,
And mad'st imperfect words with childish trips,
Half unpronounc'd, slide through my infant lips,
Driving dumb silence from the portal door,
Where he had mutely sat two years before:
Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask,
That now I use thee in my latter task:
Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee,
I know my tongue but little grace can do thee: 10
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me I have thither pack'd the worst ;
5 dumb silence] Nonni Dionys. xv. 10. apr own. Chapman's Homer's Il. p. 98, ' Dumb silence seiz'd them all.' Daniel's Poems, ii. 236. Wishart's Immanuel, p. 66. Sylvester's Du Bartas, p. 5. England's Helicon, p. 259. C. Cotton's Poems, p. 239. Buchanan. Sylv. p. 310, 'tacitæ per muta silentia silvæ.'
And, if it happen as I did forecast,
The daintiest dishes shall be serv'd up
thee then deny me not thy aid
For this same small neglect that I have made :
But haste thee straight to do me once a pleasure,
And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest treasure,
Not those new fangled toys, and trimming slight
Which takes our late fantastics with delight,
But cull those richest robes, and gay'st attire
Which deepest spirits, and choicest wits desire :
I have some naked thoughts that rove about,
And loudly knock to have their passage out;
And weary of their place do only stay
Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best array;
That so they may without suspect or fears
Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears;
Yet I had rather, if I were to choose,
Thy service in some graver subject use,
Such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound:
Such where the deep transported mind may soar
Above the wheeling poles, and at Heav'n's door
Look in, and see each blissful Deity
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
30 graver] An anticipation of the subject of Par. Lost, if we substitute Christian for Pagan ideas. Warton.
36 thunderous] Jortin proposed 'thunderer's throne;' but see P. L. x. 702, thunderous clouds; and Sylvester's Du Bartas, p. 420, 'rushing with thundrous roar.' Warton and Todd.
List'ning to what unshorn Apollo sings
To th' touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings Immortal nectar to her kingly sire:
Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire, 40
And misty regions of wide air next under,
And hills of snow, and lofts of piled thunder,
May tell at length how green-ey'd Neptune raves,
In Heav'n's defiance mustering all his waves;
Then sing of secret things that came to pass
When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
And last of kings and queens and heroes old,
Such as the wise Demodocus once told,
In solemn songs at king Alcinous' feast,
While sad Ulysses' soul, and all the rest,
Are held with his melodious harmony,
In willing chains and sweet captivity.
But fie, my wand'ring Muse, how thou dost stray!
Expectance calls thee now another way,
Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent
To keep in compass of thy predicament:
Then quick about thy purpos'd business come,
That to the next I may resign my room.
37 unshorn] Hor. Od. i. xxi. 2. Intonsum, pueri, dicite Cynthium.' And Pind. Pyth. Od. iii. 26. Newton.
40 watchful] Vigiles flammas.' Ov. Art. Am. iii. 463. 'Vigil flamma.' Trist. iii. v. 4.
52 sweet] Tasso, Gier. Lib. c. vi. st. 84. 'Giogo di servitu dolce e leggiero.' Du Bartas, p. 997. The willing chains of my captivitie.' Warton and Todd.