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ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT.
73 Oh no! for something in thy face did shine Above mortality, that show'd thou wast divine. 35
Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely blest,
(If so it be that thou these plaints doft hear)
Tell me bright Spirit where'er thou hovereft,
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 didft take thy flight.
VII. Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof Of thak'd Olympus by mischance didft fall; Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof 45 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 ?
Or wert thou that juft Maid who once before
Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,
And cam'ft 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 heav'nly brood
55 Let down in cloudy throne to do the world fome good ?
Or wert thou of the golden-winged hoft,
Who having clad thyself in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed feat didft poft
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 fordid world, and unto Heav'n aspire ?
X. But oh why didst thou not stay here below To bless us with thy heav'n-lov'd innocence, 65 To flake 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 arts
XI. 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. Think what a present thou to God haft sent, And render him with patience what he lent ! 75
This if thou do, he will an offspring give, That till the world's last end thall make thy name
IL Anno Ætatis 19. At a Vacation Exercise in the col.
lege, part Latin, part English. The Latin speeches ended, the Englith thus began
AIL native Language, that by finews weak
And mad'it imperfect words with childish trips,
Half unpronounc'd, flide through my infant-lips,
Driving damb filence from the portal door,
Where he had mutely sat two years before :
Here I falute thee, and thy pardon ask,
That now I use thee in my latter task :
Small lofs it is that thence can come unto thee,
I know my tongue but little grace can do thee :
Thou need'ft not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me I have thither packt the worst :
And, if it happen as I did forecast,
The daintieft difhes shall be serv'd up last.
I pray thee then deny me not thy aid
15 For this fame fmall neglect that I have made: But haste thee ftrait 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, 20
* These verses were made in 1627, that being the 19th year of the author's age; and they were not in the edition of 1645, but were first added in the edition of 1673.
But cull those richest robes, and gay'st attire
Which deepest spirits and choicest wits defire:
I have some naked thoughts that rove about,
And loudly knock to have their passage out ;
And weary of their place do only stay
25 Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best
That so they may without suspect or fears
Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears ;
Yet I had rather, if I were to chuse,
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 foar
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,
Listening to what unfhorn Apollo fings
To th' touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly fire:
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 45
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 Alcinoüs' feast,
While sad Ulysses' soul and all the rest
Are held with his melodious harmony
In willing chains and sweet captivity.
But fie, my wandering Muse, how thou doft 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, whereof 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 droufy nurse hath sworn she did them spie
Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie,
And sweetly singing round about thy bed
Strow all their blessings on thy deeping head.
She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldīt stilt
of mortals walk invisible :
Yet there is something that doth force my fear,
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
prevent) Shall subject be to many an Accident.