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List'ning to what unshorn Apollo sings
To th' touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly fire:
Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
And misty regions of wide air next under, 41
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 45
When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
And last of kings and queens and heroes old,
Such as the wife Demodocus once told
In solemn songs at king Alcinous feast,
While fad Ulysses foul and all the rest 50
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 55.
To keep in compass of thy predicament:
Then quick about thy purpos'd business come,
That to the next I may resign my room.
Then Ens is represented as father of the Predicaments his
ten sons, zuhereof the eldest stood for Substance with his
canons, which Ens, thus speaking, explains:
GOOD luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth
The faery ladies danc'd upon the hearth; 60
Thy drousy nurse hath sworn she did them spy
Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie,
And sweetly singing round about thy bed
Strow all their bleflings on thy fleeping head.
She heard them give thee this, that thou fliouldst
From eyes of mortals walk invisible: (still
Yet there is something that doth force my sear, 67
For once it was my dismal hap to hear
A Sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age,
That far events full wisely could presage, 70
And in time's long and dark prospective glass
Foresaw what future days should bring to pass;
Your son, said she, (nor can you it prevent)
Shall subject be to many an Accident.
O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king, 75
Yet every one shall make him underling,
And those that cannot live from him asunder
Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under,
In worth and excellence he shall out-go them,
Yet being above them, he shall be below them; 80
From others he shall stand in need of nothing,
Yet on his brothers (hall depend for clothing.
To find a foe it shall not be his hap,
And peace shall lull him in her flow'ry lap;
Yet shall he live in strife, and at his door 85
Devouring war shall never cease to roar:
Yea it shall be his natural property
To harbour those that are at enmity.
Y 2 What
What pow'r, what force, what mighty spell, if not
Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot?
The next Quantity and Quality spake in prose, then
Relation was caWd by his name.
RIVERS arise; whether thou be the son
Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulphy Dun,
Or Trent, who like some earth-born giant spreads
His thirty arms along th' indented meads,
Or sullen Mole that runneth underneath, 95
Or Severn swift, guilty of maidens' death,
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee,
Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythian's name,
Or Medway smooth, or royal towred Thame. 100
(The rest was prose.)
On the Morning of CHRIST'S XATIVITT.
TH IS is the month, and this the happy morn,
Wherein the Son of Heav'n's eternal King,
Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing, 5
That he our deadly forfeit should release, And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.
That glorious form, that light unfusferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heav'n's high council-table
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity, 11
He laid aside; and here with us to be,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day, And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
III. Say heav'nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein 15 Afford a present to the Infant God? Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain, To welcome him to this his new abode, Now while the Heav'n by the fun's team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approaching light, 20 And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons
See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wifards haste with odors sweet:
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet; 25
Have thou the honor first, thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the Angel quire, From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.
T was the winter wild,
While the Heav'n-born child 30
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in awe to him
Had dofft her gaudy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her 35
To wanton with the sun her lusty paramour.
II. Only with speeches fair She woo's the gentle air
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow, And on her naked shame, 40
Pollute with sinful blame,
The saintly veil of maiden white to throw,
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
But he her fears to cease, 45
Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace;
She crown'd with olive green, came softly fliding Down through the turning sphere His ready harbinger,
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing, 50 And waving wide her myrtle wand, She strikes an universal peace through sea and land.
IV. No war, or battle's found Was heard the world around: The idle spear and shield were high up hung; 55