Imágenes de página

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 performance of operas, 1656. Died, 1668.]


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


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.

Behinde this throng, the talking Greeks had


Who Nature turn to art, and truth disguise, As skill does native beauty oft deface;

With termes they charm the weak, and pose the the wise.

Now they the Hebrew, Greek and Roman spie; Who for the peoples ease, yoaked them with


Whom else, ungovern'd lusts would drive awry;

And each his own way frowardly would draw.

In little tomes these grave first lawyers lie,
In volumes their interpreters below;
Who first made law an art, then misterie;

So cleerest springs, when troubled, clowdy grow.

But here, the soul's chief book did all precede; Our map tow'rds Heav'n; to common crowds deny'd ;

Who proudly aim to teach, ere they can read;

And all must stray, where each will be a guide.

About this sacred little book did stand

Unwieldly volumes, and in number great; And long it was since any reader's hand

Had reach'd them from their unfrequented seat.

For a deep dust (which Time does softly shed,

Where only Time does come) their covers bare; On which grave spyders, streets of webbs had spread;

Subtle, and slight, as the grave writers were.

In these, Heav'n's holy fire does vainly burn;
Nor warms, nor lights, but is in sparkles spent ;
Where froward authors, with disputes, have torn
The garment seamless as the firmament.

These are the old polemicks, long since read, And shut by Astragon; who thought it just, They, like the authors (truth's tormentors) dead, Should lie unvisited, and lost in dust.

Here the Arabian's gospel open lay,

(Men injure truth, who fiction nicely hide) Where they the monks audacious stealths survey, From the world's first, and greater second guide.

« AnteriorContinuar »