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For every sentence, clause, and word,
That's not inlaid with thee, my Lord,
Forgive me, God, and blot each line
Out of my booke that is not thine.
But if, 'mongst all, thou find’st here one
Worthy Thy benediction,
That one of all the rest shall be
The glory of my work and me.

(Noble Numbers.)


[.Born 1593. Took his degree of M.A., and became Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1615. Appointed orator for the University, 1619. Obtained the prebend of Layton Ecclesia, 1626, and the living of Bemerton, 1630. Published The Temple : Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations, 1631. Died 1633.]


Thou whose sweet youth and early hopes enhance
Thy rate and price, and mark thee for a treasure,
Hearken unto a Verser, who may chance
Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure :


A verse may find him who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice.

(The Church Porch.)


Oh, Book ! infinite sweetnesse ! let my heart

Suck ev'ry letter, and a hony gain

Precious for any grief in any part,
To cleare the breast, to mollifie the pain.

Thou art all health, health thriving till it make

A full eternitie; thou art a masse

Of strange delights, where we may wish and take. Ladies, look here; this is the thankfull glasse

That mends the looker's eyes; this is the well

That washes what it shows. Who can indeare Thy praise too much ? Thou art heaven's Lieger

here, Working against the States of death and hell.

Thou art Joy's handsell, heav'n lies flat in thee,
Subject to ev'ry mounter's bended knee.


Oh that I knew how all thy lights combine,

And the configurations of their glorie !

Seeing not onely how each verse doth shine, But all the constellations of the storie. This verse marks that, and both do make a motion

Unto a third, that ten leaves off doth lie:

Then as dispersed herbs do watch a potion, These three make up some Christian's destinie. Such are thy secrets, which my life makes good,

And comments on thee: for in ev'ry thing

Thy words do finde me out, and parallels bring, And in another make me understood. Starres are poore books, and oftentimes do misse; This book of starres lights to eternall blisse.

(The Temple, 27).


[Born 1605. Educated at Oxford Grammar School, and at Lincoln College. Wrote a number of plays, and in 1635 published his “ Madagascar” and other poems. For his service at the seige of Gloucester was Knighted, 1643. Imprisoned in Cowes Castle, Isle of Wight, 1650. Published part of “Gondibert” 1651. Opened a theatre in Rutland-house, Charter-house-yard, for the perforinance of operas, 1656. Died, 1668.]


Which some the monuments of bodies, name;
The arke, which saves from graves all dying

kindes ;
This to a structure led, long known to fame


Where, when they thought they saw in well-sought

books, Th'assembled souls of all that men held wise, It bred such awfull rev'rence in their looks,

As if they saw the bury'd writers rise.

Such heaps of written thought (gold of the dead,

Which Time does still disperse, but not devour) Made them presume all was from deluge free'd,

Which long-liv'd authors writ ere Noah's show'r.

They saw Egyptian roles which vastly great,

Did like fain pillars lie, and did display The tale of Natures life, from her first heat,

Till by the flood o'er-cool'd she felt decay.

And large as these (for pens were pencils then)

Others that Egypt's chiefest science show'd ; Whose river forced geometry on men,

Which did distinguish what the Nyle o’re-flow’d.

Near them, in piles, Chaldean cous'ners lie,

Who the hid business of the stars relate; Who make a trade of worship'd prophesie;

And seem to pick the cabinet of Fate.

There Persian Magi stand; for wisdom prais'd; Long since wise statesmen, now magicians

thought : Altars and arts are soon to fiction rais'd,

And both would have, that miracles are wrought.

In a dark text, these states-men left their mindes

For well they knew, that monarch's mistery (Like that of priests) but little rev'rence findes,

When they the curtain ope to ev'ry eye.

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