Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Insensate left, or to sense reprobate,

1685 And with blindness internal struck.

2 Semichor. But he, though blind of sight,
Despis’d and thought extinguish'd quite,
With inward eyes illuminated,
His fiery virtue rous'd

1690
From under ashes into sudden flame,
And as an evening dragon came,
Assailant on the perched roosts
And nests in order rang'd
Of tame villatic fowl; but as an eagle

1695 His cloudless thunder bolted on their heads. So virtue, giv'n for lost, Depress'd, and overthrown, as seemd, Like that self-begotten bird In the Arabian woods embost,

1700 That no second knows nor third, And lay ere while a holocaust, From out her ashy womb now teemid, Revives, reflourishes, then vigorous most When most unactive deemid;

1705 And, though her body die, her fame survives A secular bird ages of lives.

Man. Come, come; no time for lamentation now, Nor much more cause; Samson hath quit himself Like Samson, and heroicly hath finish'd

1710 A life heroic; on his enemies Fully reveng'd, hath left them years of mourning, And lamentation to the sons of Caphtor Through all Philistian bounds; to Israel Honour hath left, and freedom, let but them 1715 Find courage to lay hold on this occasion; To'himself and father's house eternal fame; And, which is best and happiest yet, all this With God not parted from him, as was fear'd, But favouring and assisting to the end.

1720 Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail Or knock the breast; no weakness, no contempt, Dispraise, or blame; nothing but well and fair, And wbat may quiet us in a death so noble.

Let us go find the body, where it lies
Soak'd in his enemies' blood; and from the stream
With lavers pure, and cleansing herbs, wash off
The clotted gore. I, with what speed the while,
(Gaza is not in plight to say us nay)
Will send for all my kindred, all my friends, 1730
To fetch him hence, and solemnly attend
With silent obsequy and funeral train,
Home to his father's house:, there will I build him
A monument, and plant it round with shade
Of laurel ever green, and branching palm, 1735
With all his trophies hung, and acts enrolled
In copious legend, or sweet lyrie song.
Thither shall all the valiant youth resort,
And from his memory inflame their breasts
To matchless valour, and adventures high: 1740
The virgins also shall, on feastfui days,
Visit his tomb with flow'rs; only bewailing
His lot unfortunate in nuptial choice,
From whence captivity and loss of eyes.

Chor. All is best, though we oft doubt, 1745
What th' unsearchable dispose
of highest Wisdom brings about,
And ever best found in the close.
Oft he seems to hide his face,
But unexpectedly returns,

1750 And to his faithful champion hath in place Bore witness gloriously; whence Gaza mourns, And all that band them to resist His uncontrollable intent: His servants he, with new acquist

1755 Of true experience, from this great event With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent.

COM US.

A MASK,

PRESENTED AT LUDLOW CASTLE,

1634,

BEFORE

JOHN, EARL OF BRIDGEWATER,

Then President of Wales.

[ocr errors]

THE Mask was presented in 1634, and consequently

in the 26th year of our author's age. In the title page of the first edition, printed in 1637, it is said that it was presented on Michaelmas night, and there was this motto, Eheu! quid volui misero mihi ! floribus austrum

Perdit usIn this edition, and in that of Milton's poems in 1645,

there was prefixed to the Mask the following dedica: tion. To the Right Honourable JOHN Lord Viscount Brackly, son and heir apparent to the EARL of BRIDGE: WATER, &c. My Lord,

THIS poem, which received its first occd. sion of birth from yourself and others of your noble family, and much honour from your own person in the performance, now returns again to make a final dedication of itself to you. Although not openly ac. knowledged by the author, yet it is a legitimate offspring, so lovely, and so much desired, that the often copying of it bath tired my pen to give my several friends satisfaction, and brought me to a necessity of producing it to the public view; and now to offer it up in all rightful devotion to those fair hopes, and rare endowments of your much promising youth, which give a full assurance, to all that know you, of a future excellence. Live, sweet Lord, to be the honour of your name, and receive this as your own from the hands of him, who hath by many favours been long obliged to your most bonoured parents, and as in this representation pour attendant Thyrsis, so now in all real expression Your faithful and most humble Servant,

H. LAWES

« VorigeDoorgaan »