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That, since leagues we 'gan to swear, Vice did ne'er so black appear ; Oppression, bloodshed, ne'er more rife, Foul jars between the man and wife; Religion so contemn'd was never, Whilst all are raging in a fever,
FROM Such a face, whose excellence
May captivate my sovereign's sense,
And make him (Phœbus like) his throne,
Resign to some young Phaëton,
Whose skilless and unstayed hand
May prove the ruin of the land,
Unless great Jove, down from the sky,
Beholding Earth's calamity,
Strike with his hand that cannot err
The proud usurping charioter;
And cure, though Phœbus grieve, our woe
From such a face as can work so,
Wheresoever thou 'st a being,
Bless my sovereign and his seeing.
WHERE myrrh and frankincense are thrown, The altar's built to gods unknown, O let my sovereign never dwell; Such damn'd perfumes are fit for Hell. Let no such scent his nostrils stain; From smells that poison can the brain Heav'ns still preserve him. Next I crave, Thou wilt be pleas'd, great God! to save My sov'reign from a Ganymede, Whose whorish breath hath pow'r to lead His excellence which way it list— O let such lips be never kiss'd! From a breath so far excelling, Bless my sovereign and his smelling.
AND now, just God, I humbly pray, That thou wilt take the slime away
That keeps my sovereign's eyes from seeing
The things that will be our undoing.
THEN let him hear, good God, the sounds
As well of men as of his hounds.
GIVE him a taste, and truly too,
Of what his subjects undergo.
FEELING AND SMELLING.
GIVE him a feeling of their woes,
And then no doubt his royal nose
Will quickly smell the rascals forth,
Whose black deeds have eclips'd his worth:
They found, and scourged for their offences,
Heavens bless my sovereign and his senses.
ON ONE NAMED MARGARET.
In shells and gold pearls are not kept alone,
A Margaret here lies beneath a stone;
A Margaret that did excel in worth
All those rich gems the Indies both send forth;
Who, had she liv'd when good was lov'd of men,
Had made the Graces four, the Muses ten;
And forc'd those happy times her days that claim'd,
From her, to be the Age of Pearl still nam'd;
She was the richest jewel of her kind,
Grac'd with more lustre than she left behind,
All goodness, virtue, bounty; and could cheer
The saddest minds; now Nature knowing here
How things but shown, then hidden, are lov'd best,
This Margaret 'shrin'd in this marble chest.
HERE Aretine lies, most bitter gall,
Who whilst he liv'd spoke evil of all;
Only of God the arrant Scot
Nought said, but that he knew him not.
ON A YOUNG LADY.
THIS beauty fair, which death in dust did turn,
And clos'd so soon within a coffin sad,
Did pass like lightning, like the thunder burn,
So little life, so much of worth it bad.
Heav'ns, but to show their might, here made it shine;
And, when admir'd, then in the world's disdain,
O tears! O grief! did call it back again,
Lest Earth should vaunt she kept what was divine.
What can we hope for more, what more enjoy,
Sith fairest things thus soonest have their end;
And, as on bodies shadows do attend,
Sith all our bliss is follow'd with annoy?
She is not dead, she lives where she did love,
Her memory on Earth, her soul above.
VERSES ON THE LATE WILLIAM EARL OF
ON A DRUNKARD.
Non amaranths nor roses do bequeath
Unto this hearse, but tamarists and wine;
For that same thirst, though dead, yet doth him pine, If there I slip, what former joy or bliss
Alas! ye look but up the hill on me,
Which shows to you a fair and smooth ascent;
The precipice behind ye cannot see,
On which high fortunes are too pronely bent:
Which made him so carouse while he drew breath.
Can heal the bruise of such a fall as this?
THE doubtful fears of change so fright my mind,
Though raised to the highest joy in love,
As in this slippery state more grief I find
Than they who never such a bliss did prove;
But fed with ling'ring hopes of future gain,
Dream not what 'tis to doubt a loser's pain.
Desire a safer harbour is than fear,
And not to rise less danger than to fall;
The want of jewels we far better bear,
Than, so possest, at once to lose them all:
Unsatisfied hopes time may repair,
When ruin'd faith must finish in despair.
But finding all eccentric in our times,
Religion into superstition turn'd,
Justice silenc'd, exiled, or in-urn'd;
Truth, faith, and charity reputed crimes;
The young men destinate by sword to fall,
And trophies of their country's spoils to rear;
Strange laws the ag'd and prudent to appal,
And forc'd sad yokes of tyranny to bear;
And for no great nor virtuous minds a room-
Disdaining life, thou shroud'st into thy tomb.
When misdevotion every where shall take place,
And lofty orators, in thund'ring terms,
Shall move you, people, to arise in arms,
And churches hallow'd policy deface;
When you shall but one general sepulchre
(As Averroes did one general soul)
On high, on low, on good, on bad confer,
And your dull predecessors rites controul-
Ah! spare this monument, great guests! it keeps
Three great justiciars, whom true worth did raise;
The Muses' darlings, whose loss Phoebus weeps;
Best men's delight, the glory of their days.
More we would say, but fear, and stand in awe
To turn idolaters, and break your law.
Do not repine, bless'd soul, that humble wits
Do make thy worth the matter of their verse:
No high-strain'd Muse our times and sorrows fits;
And we do sigh, not sing, to crown thy hearse.
The wisest prince e'er manag'd Britain's state
Did not disdain, in numbers clear and brave,
The virtues of thy sire to celebrate,
And fix a rich memorial on his grave.
Thou didst deserve no less; and here in jet,
Gold, touch, brass, porphyry, or Parian stone,
That by a prince's hand no lines are set
For thee the cause is, now this land hath none.
Such giant moods our parity forth brings,
We all will nothing be, or all be kings.
ON THE DEATH OF A NOBLEMAN IN SCOTLAND,
AITHEN, thy pearly coronet let fall; Clad in sad robes, upon thy temples set The weeping cypress, or the sable jet.
Mourn this thy nurseling's loss, a loss which all Apollo's choir bemoans, which many years Cannot repair, nor influence of spheres.
Ah! when shalt thou find shepherd like to him, Who made thy banks more famous by his worth, Than all those gems thy rocks and streams send forth?
His splendour others glow-worm light did din:
Sprung of an ancient and a virtuous race,
He virtue more than many did embrace.
He fram'd to mildness thy half-barbarous swains; The good man's refuge, of the bad the fright, Unparallell'd in friendship, world's delight!
For hospitality along thy plains
Far-fam'd a patron; and a pattern fair
Of piety; the Muses' chief repair;
Most debonnaire, in courtesy supreme;
Lov'd of the mean, and honour'd by the great; Ne'er dash'd by fortune, nor cast down by fate; To present and to after times a theme.
Aithen, thy tears pour on this silent grave,
And drop them in thy alabaster cave,
And Niobe's imagery here become;
And when thou hast distilled here a tomb,
Enchase in it thy pearls, and let it bear,
"Aithen's best gem and honour shrin'd lies here."
FAME, register of time,
Write in thy scroll, that I,
Of wisdom lover, and sweet poesy,
Was cropped in my prime;
And ripe in worth, though green in years, did die.
JUSTICE, Truth, Peace and Hospitality,
Friendship, and Love being resolved to die,
In these lewd times, have chosen here to have
With just, true, pious
Them cherished he so much, so much did grace,
That they on Earth would chuse none other place.
WHEN Death, to deck his trophies, stopt thy breath,
Rare ornament and glory of these parts!
All with moist eyes might say, and ruthful hearts,
That things immortal vassal'd were to Death.
What good in parts on many shar'd we see,
From Nature, gracious Heaven, or Fortune flow;
To make a master-piece of worth below,
Heaven, Nature, Fortune gave in gross to thee.
In honour, bounty, rich-in valour, wit,
In courtesy; born of an ancient race;
With bays in war, with olives crown'd in peace;
Match'd great with offspring for great actions fit.
No rust of times, nor change, thy virtue wan
With times to change; when truth, faith, love, decay'd,
In this new age, like fate thou fixed staid,
Of the first world an all-substantial man.
As erst this kingdom given was to thy sire,
The prince his daughter trusted to thy care,
And well the credit of a gem so rare
Thy loyalty and merit did require.
Years cannot wrong thy worth, that now appears
By others set as diamonds among pearls:
A queen's dear foster, father to three earls,
Enough on Earth to triumph are o'er years.
Life a sea voyage is, death is the haven,
And freight with honour there thou hast arriv'd;
Which thousands seeking, have on rocks been driven:
That good adorns thy grave which with thee liv'd.
For a frail life, which here thou didst enjoy,
Thou now a lasting hast, freed of annoy.
OBSEQUIES OF THE BLESSED PRINCE JAMES.
KING OF GREAT BRITAIN.
LET holy David, Solomon the wise,
That king whose breast Egeria did inflame,
Augustus, Helen's son, great in all eyes,
Do homage low to thy mausolean frame;
Virtue is but a name abstractly trimm'd,
Interpreting what she was in effect;
A shadow from her frame which did reflect,
A portrait by her excellences limm'd.
Thou whom free-will or chance hath hither brought, And read'st, here lies a branch of Maitland's stem, And Seyton's offspring; know that either name Designs all worth yet reach'd by human thought.
Tombs elsewhere use life to their guests to give, These ashes can frail monuments make live.
ANOTHER ON THE SAME SUBJECT. LIKE to the garden's eye, the flow'r of flow'rs, With purple pomp that dazzle doth the sight; Or, as among the lesser gems of night, The usher of the planet of the hours; Sweet maid, thou shinedst on this world of ours, Of all perfections having trac'd the height; Thine outward frame was fair, fair inward pow'rs, A sapphire lanthorn, and an incense light. Hence the enamour'd Heaven, as too, too good On Earth's all-thorny soil long to abide, Transplanted to their fields so rare a bud, Where from thy Sun no cloud thee now can hide. Earth moan'd her loss, and wish'd she had the grace Not to have known, or known thee longer space.
VERSES frail records are to keep a name,
Or raise from dust men to a life of fame;
The sport and spoil of ignorance; but far
More frail the frames of touch and marble are,
Which envy, avarice, time, ere long confound,
Or misdevotion equals with the ground.
Virtue alone doth last, frees man from death;
And, though despis'd, and scorned here beneath,
Stands grav'n in angels' diamantine rolls,
And blazed in the courts above the poles.
Thou wast fair virtue's temple, they did dwell,
And live ador'd in thee; nought did excel,
But what thou either didst possess or love,
The Graces' darling, and the maids of Jove;
Courted by Fame for bounties, which the Heaven
Gave thee in great; which, if in parcels given,
Too many such we happy sure might call;
How happy then wast thou, who enjoy'dst them all?
A whiter soul ne'er body did invest,
And now, sequester'd, cannot be but blest;
Enrob'd in glory, midst those hierarchies
Of that immortal people of the skies,
Bright saints and angels, there from cares made free,
Nought doth becloud thy sovereign good from thee.
Thou smil'st at Earth's confusions and jars,
And how for Centaurs' children we wage wars:
Like honey flies, whose rage whole swarms consumes,
Till dust thrown on them makes them veil their
Thy friends to thee a monument would raise,
And limn thy virtues; but dull grief thy praise
Breaks in the entrance, and our task proves vain;
What duty writes, that woe blots out again:
Yet love a pyramid of sighs thee rears,
And doth embalm thee with farewels and tears.
THOUGH marble porphyry, and mourning touch,
May praise these spoils, yet can they not too much;
For beauty last, and this stone doth close,
Once Earth's delight, Heaven's care, a purest rose.
And, reader, shouldst thou but let fall a tear
Upon it, other flow'rs shall here appear,
Sad violets and hyacinths, which grow
With marks of grief, a public loss to show.
Relenting eye, which deignest to this stone
To lend a look, behold here laid in one,
The living and the dead interr'd; for dead
The turtle in its mate is; and she fled
From earth, her choos'd this place of grief
To bound thoughts, a small and sad relief.
His is this monument, for hers no art
Could frame; a pyramid rais'd of his heart.
Instead of epitaphs and airy praise, This monument a lady chaste did raise
To her lord's living fame; and after death
Her body doth unto this place bequeath,
To rest with his, till God's shrill trumpet sound,
Though time her life, no time her love could bound.
TO SIR WILLIAM Alexander. WITH THE AUTHOR'S EPITAPH.
THOUGH I have twice been at the doors of Death,
And twice found shut those gates which ever mourn,
This but a lightning is, truce ta'en to breathe,
For late-born sorrows augur fleet return.
Amidst thy sacred cares, and courtly toils,
Alexis, when thou shalt hear wand'ring fame
Tell, Death hath triumph'd o'er my mortal spoils,
And that on Earth I am but a sad name;
If thou e'er held me dear, by all our love,
By all that bliss, those joys Heaven here us gave,
I conjure thee, and by the maids of Jove,
To grave this short remembrance on my grave:
"Here Damon lies, whose songs did sometime grace
The murmuring Esk :-may roses shade the place."
Ан, silly soul! what wilt thou say
When he, whom Earth and Heaven obey,
Comes man to judge in the last day?
When he a reason asks, why grace
And goodness thou wouldst not embrace,
But steps of vanity didst trace!
That day of terrour, vengeance, ire, Now to prevent thou shouldst desire, And to thy God in haste retire.
With wat❜ry eyes, and sigh-swoll'n heart, O beg, beg in his love a part,
Whilst conscience with remorse doth smart.
That dreaded day of wrath and shame
In flames shall turn this world's huge frame,
As sacred prophets do proclaim.
O! with what grief shall earthlings groan When that great judge, set on his throne, Examines strictly every one!
Shrill-sounding trumpets through the air Shall from dark sepulchres each where Force wretched mortals to appear.
Nature and Death amaz'd remain
To find their dead arise again,
And process with their judge maintain.
Display'd then open books shall lie,
Which all those secret crimes descry
For which the guilty world must die.
The Judge enthron'd, whom bribes not gain,
The closest crimes appear shall plain,
And none unpunished remain.
O! who then pity shall poor me?
Or who mine advocate shall be?
When scarce the justest pass shall free.
All wholly holy, dreadful King, Who freely life to thine dost bring, Of mercy save me, mercy's spring!
Then, sweet Jesu, call to mind How of thy pains I was the end, And favour let me that day find.
In search of me thou, full of pain,
Didst sweat blood, death on cross sustain:
Let not these suff'rings be in vain.
Thou supreme Judge, most just and wise, Purge me from guilt, which on me lies, Before that day of thine assize.
Charg'd with remorse, lo! here I groan,
Sin makes my face a blush take on;
Ah! spare me, prostrate at thy throne.
Who Mary Magdalen didst spare,
And lend'st the thief on cross thine ear,
Show me fair hopes I should not fear.
My prayers imperfect are and weak, But worthy of thy grace them make, And save me from Hell's burning lake.