Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.


No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name.
Little, alas, they know or heed,
How far these beauties her exceed!

Fair trees! where'er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.

What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head.
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine.
The nectarine, and curious peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach.
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Insnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness, -
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates transcending these,
Far other worlds and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,

My soul into the boughs does glide;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

Such was the happy garden state, While man there walked without mate:

After a place so pure and sweet, What other help could yet be meet! But 't was beyond a mortal's share To wander solitary there:

Two paradises are in one, To live in paradise alone.


Thus sang they in the English boat
A holy and a cheerful note;

How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new!
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run:
And, as it works, the industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome


Be reckoned, but with herbs and flow



WHERE the remote Bermudas ride
In the ocean's bosom unespied,
From a small boat that rowed along,
The listening winds received this song:
"What should we do but sing His praise
That led us through the watery maze
Where he the huge sea monsters racks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storins and prelates' rage.
He gave us this eternal spring
Which here enamels everything,
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows.
He makes the figs our mouths to meet,
And throws the melons at our feet,
With apples, plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars, chosen by his hand,
From Lebanon he stores the land;
And makes the hollow seas that roar,
Proclaim the ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The gospel's pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound his name.
O, let our voice his praise exalt,
Till it arrive at heaven's vault,
Which then perhaps rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexic bay."

And all the way, to guide their chime, With falling oars they kept the time.





IT was the winter wild, While the heaven-born child

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies; Nature, in awe of him,

Had doffed her gaudy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her'
To wanton with the sun, her lusty para-


Only with speeches fair

She wooes the gentle air,

And, though the shady gloom

To hide her guilty front with innocent Had given day her room,

Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deform-



And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinful blame,

The saintly veil of maiden-white to As his inferior flame

[blocks in formation]

And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovereign
lord was by.

For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer had often warned them thence;

But in their glimmering orbs did glow, Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.

But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of Light

His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kissed,

Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the
charméd wave.

The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze,

Bending one way their precious influ

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed, And hid his head for shame,


And will not take their flight,

The new-enlightened world no more should need;

No war or battle's sound
Was heard the world around:

The idle spear and shield were high up- Divinely warbled voice

The hooked chariot stood
Unstained with hostile blood;

The trumpet spake not to the arméd

He saw a greater sun appear

Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, could bear.

[blocks in formation]

When such music sweet

Their hearts and ears did greet,

As never was by mortal fingers strook,

Answering the stringéd noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture

took :

The air, such pleasure loath to lose, With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close.

Nature, that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round

Of Cynthia's seat, the airy region Now was almost won, thrilling,

To think her part was done,

And that her reign had here its last fulfilling; Could hold all heaven and earth in happier She knew such harmony alone union.

At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light,

That with long beams the shame-faced
night arrayed;

The helméd cherubim,

[blocks in formation]

A drear and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;

And the chill marble seems to sweat, While each peculiar power foregoes his wonted seat.

Peor and Baälim

Forsake their temples dim

With that twice-battered God of Pales-

And moonéd Ashtaroth,
Heaven's queen and mother both,
Now sits not girt with tapers' holy

The Libyac Hammon shrinks his horn;
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded
Thammuz mourn.

And sullen Moloch, fled,
Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue: In vain with cymbals' ring

lowings loud;

Nor can he be at rest

Within his sacred chest,

Naught but profoundest hell can be his shroud;

In vain with timbrelled anthems dark The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipped ark.

He feels from Judah's land
The dreaded infant's hand,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky

eyne; Nor all the gods beside Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine;

Our babe, to show his Godhead true, Can in his swaddling bands control the damnéd crew.

Troop to the infernal jail,

Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave;

So, when the sun in bed,
Curtained with cloudy red,

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale

And the yellow-skirted fays
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their
moon-loved maze.

They call the grisly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue: How soon hath Time, the subtle thief The brutish gods of Nile as fast, Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.

of youth,

Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!

Nor is Osiris seen

My lasting days fly on with full career, But my late spring no bud or blossom showeth.

In Memphian grove or green,

Trampling the unshowered grass with Perhaps my semblance might deceive the

[blocks in formation]


That I to manhood am arrived so near,
And inward ripeness doth much less

[blocks in formation]



My true account, lest he returning | Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than he went through before;
He that into God's kingdom comes
Must enter by his door.

Come, Lord, when grace has made me



"Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?"

I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need

Either man's work or his own gifts: who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Thy blessed face to see;

For if thy work on earth be sweet,
What will thy glory be?

Then shall I end my sad complaints,

And weary, sinful days;
And join with the triumphant saints
That sing Jehovah's praise.
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim;
But 't is enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with him.




BEAT on, proud billows; Boreas, blow;
Swell, curled waves, high as Jove's
Your incivility doth show
That innocence is tempest proof;
Though surly Nereus frown, my thoughts
are calm;

Then strike, Affliction, for thy wounds
are balm.

That which the world miscalls a jail
A private closet is to me;
Whilst a good conscience is my bail,

And innocence my liberty:
Locks, bars, and solitude together met,
Make me no prisoner, but an anchoret.

I, whilst I wisht to be retired,

Into this private room was turned; As if their wisdoms had conspired

The salamander should be burned; Or like those sophists, that would drown a fish,

I am constrained to suffer what I wish.

The cynic loves his poverty;

The pelican her wilderness;
And 't is the Indian's pride to be
Naked on frozen Caucasus:

« VorigeDoorgaan »