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O Fairest flower, no sooner blown but blaster,
That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,
For since grim Aquilo, his charioteer,
Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld,
But all un'wares with his cold, kind embrace
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
But then transform'd him to a purple flower: Alack, that so to change thee Winter had no power!
Resolve me then, O soul most surely blest,
Of sheeny heaven, and thou, some goddess, fled
Or wert thou that just maid, who once before
Forsook the hated earth, oh, tell me sooth,
And eamest 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
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire,
But oh, why didst thou not stay here below
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,
ANNO Jetatis 19.
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 madest imperfect words with childish trips.
Half unpronounced, 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:
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me, I have thither pack'd the worst;
And, if it happen as I did forecast
The daintiest dishes shall be served up last,
I pray 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 gayest 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 heaven's door
Look in, and see each blissful deity,
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings
To the touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly sire:
Then passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
And misty regions of wide air next under,
And hills of snow, and lofts of piled thunder,
May tell at length how green-eyed Neptune raves,
In heaven's defiance mustering all his waves
Then sing of secret things that came to pass
When beldame 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 wandering 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 purposed 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 fairy ladies danced upon the hearth;
Thy drowsy 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 blessings on thy sleeping head.
She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst still
From eyes 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,
And, in time's long and dark prospective glass,
Foresaw what futtire 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,
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 outgo them,
Yet, being above them, he shall De below them;
From others he shall stand in need of nothing,
Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.
To find a foe it shall not be his hap,
And peace shall lull him in her flowery lap;
Yet shall he live in strife, and at his door
Devouring war shall never cease to roar;
Yea, it shall be his natural property
To harbour those that are at enmity.
What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not
Your learnea hands, can loose this Gordian knot?
The next, Quantity and Quality, spake in prose; then Rela-
[The rest was prose.]
ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY.
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein