Funeral Elegies




The First Anniversary.

To the Praise of the Dead, and the Anatomy.

Well died the world, that we might live to see

This world of wit, in his anatomy;

No evil wants his good; so wilder heirs

Bedew their father's tombs with forced tears,

Whose state requites their loss: whiles thus we gain,

Well may we walk in blacks, but not complain.

Yet how can I consent the world is dead

While this muse lives? which in his spirit's stead

Seems to inform a world; and bids it be,

In spite of loss or frail mortality;

And thou the subject of this well-born thought,

Thrice noble maid, could'st not have found nor sought

A fitter time to yield to thy sad fate,

Than whiles this spirit lives, that can relate

Thy worth so well to our last nephews'* eye,

That they shall wonder both at his and thine:

Admired match! where strives in mutual grace

The cunning pencil, and the comely face:

A task which thy fair goodness made too much

For the bold pride of vulgar pens to touch;

• t. e., Descendants.—Ed.

Enough is us* to praise them that praise thee,
And say, That but enough those praises be,
Which had'st thou lived, had hid their fearful head
From the angry checkings of thy modest red:
Death bars reward and shame; when envy's gone,
And gain, 'tis safe to give the dead their own.
As then the wise Egyptians wont to lay
More on their tombs, than houses: these of clay,
But those of brass, or marble were: so we
Give more unto thy ghost, than unto thee.
Yet what we give to thee, thou gav'st to us,
And may'st but thank thyself, for being thus:
Yet what thou gav'st, and wert, O happy maid,
Thy grace professed all due, where 'tis repaid.
So these high songs that to thee suited bin
Serve but to sound thy Maker's praise and thine,
Which thy dear soul as sweetly sings to him
Amid the choir of saints, and seraphim,
As any angel's tongue can sing of thee;
The subjects differ, though the skill agree:
For as by infant years men judge of age,
Thy early love, thy virtues did presage,
What high part thou bear'st in those best of songs,
Whereto no burden, nor no end belongs.
Sing on, thou virgin soul, whose lossful gain
Thy lovesick parents have bewailed in vain;
Ne'er may thy name be in our songs forgot,
Till we shall sing thy ditty, and thy note.


The First Anniversary.

When that rich soul which to her heaven is gone,
Who all do celebrate, who know they have one,
(For who is sure he hath a soul, unless
It see, and judge, and follow worthiness,
And by deeds praise it? he who doth not this,
May lodge an inmate soul, but 'tis not his.)

* " Enough it is:" (Anderson.) But the phrase is similar to "Woe is me," "Well is thee."—Ed.

When that queen ended here her progress time,

And as to her standing-house, to heaven did climb,

Where, loth to make the saints attend her long,

She's now a part both of the choir, and song;

This world in that great earthquake languished;

For in a common bath of tears it bled,

Which drew the strongest vital spirits out:

But succoured then with a perplexed doubt,

Whether the world did lose, or gain in this,

(Because since now no other way there is,

But goodness, to see her, whom all would see,

All must endeavour to be good as she.)

This great consumption to a fever turned,

And so the world had fits; it joyed, it mourned;

And, as men think, that agues physic arc,

And the ague being spent, give over care;

So thou sick world, mistake'st thyself to be

Well, when alas! thou'rt in a lethargy.

Her death did wound and tame thee then, and than

Thou might'st have better spared the sun, or man.

That wound was deep, but 'tis more misery,

That thou hast lost thy sense and memory.

'Twas heavy then to hear thy voice of moan,

But this is worse, that thou art speechless grown.

Thou hast forgot thy name thou hadst; thou wast

Nothing but she, and her thou hast o'erpast.

For as a child kept from the fount, until

A prince, expected long, come to fulfil

The ceremonies, thou unnamed had'st laid,

Had not her coming, thee her palace made:

Her name defined thee, gave thee form, and frame,

And thou forget'st to celebrate thy name.

Some months she hath been dead (but being dead,

Measures of times are all determined)

But long ehe'ath been away, long, long, yet none

Offers to tell us who it is that's gone.

But as in states doubtful of future heirsi,

When sickness without remedy impairs

The present prince, they're loth it should be said,

The prince doth languish, or the prince is dead:

So mankind feeling now a general thaw,

A strong example gone, equal to law;

The cemeut which did faithfully compact,

And glue all virtues, now resolved, and slacked,

Thought it some blasphemy to say she was dead,

Or that our weakness was discovered

In that confession; therefore spoke no more

Than tongues, the soul being gone, the loss deplore.

But though it be too late to succour thee,

Sick world, yea, dead, yea putrefied, since she

Thy intrinsic balm, and thy preservative,

Can never be renewed, thou never live:

I (since no man can make thee live) will try,

What we may gain by thy anatomy.

Her death hath taught us dearly, that thou art

Corrupt and mortal in thy purest part.

Let no man say, the world itself being dead,

'Tis labour lost to have discovered

The world's infirmities, since there is none

Alive to study this dissection;

For there's a kind of world remaining still,

Though she which did inanimate and fill

The world, be gone, yet in this last long night,

Her ghost doth walk, that is, a glimmering light,

A faint weak love of virtue, and of good,

Reflect from her, on them which understood

Her worth; and though she have shut in all day,

The twilight of her memory doth stay;

Which, from the carcase of the old world free,

Creates a new world, and new creatures be

Produced: the matter and the stuff of this,

Her virtue, and the form our practice is:

And, thought to be thus elemented, arm

These creatures, from home-born intrinsic harm,

(For all assumed unto this dignity,

So many weedless paradises be,

Which of themselves produce no venomous sin,

Except some foreign serpent bring it in)

Yet because outward storms the strongest break,

And strength itself by confidence grows weak,

This new world may be safer, being told

The dangers and diseases of the old;

For with due temper men do then forego,

Or covet things, when they their true worth know.

There is no health; physicians say that we,

At best enjoy but a neutrality.

And can there be worse sickness, than to know

That we are never well, nor can be so?

We are born ruinous: poor mothers cry,

That children come not right, nor orderly;

Except they headlong come and fall upon

An ominous precipitation.

How witty's ruin, how importunate

Upon mankind it laboured to frustrate

Even God's purpose; and made woman, sent

For man's relief, cause of his languishment.

They were to good ends, and they are so still,

But accessory, and principal in ill;

For that first marriage was our funeral:

One woman at one blow, then killed us all,

And singly, one by one, they kill us now.

We do delightfully ourselves allow

To that consumption; and profusely blind,

We kill ourselves to propagate our kind.

And yet we do not that; we are not men:

There is not now that mankind, which was then,

When as the sun and man did seem to strive,

(Joint tenants of the world) who should survive;

When stag, and raven, and the long-lived tree,

Compared with man, died in minority;

When, if a slow-paced star had stolen away

From the observer's marking, he might stay

Two or three hundred years to see it again,

And then make up his observation plain;

When, as the age was long, the size was great;

Man's growth confessed, and recompensed the meat;

So spacious and large, that every soul

Did a fair kingdom, and large realm control:

And when the very stature, thus erect,

Did that soul a good way towards heaven direct.

Where is this mankind now? who lives to age,

Fit to be made Methusalem his page?

Alas, we scarce live long enough to try

Whether a true made clock run right, or lie.

Old grandsires talk of yesterday with sorrow,

And for our children we reserve to-morrow.

So short is life that every peasant strives,

In a torn house, or field, to have three lives.

And as in lasting, so in length is man,

Contracted to an inch, who was a span;

For had a man at first in forests strayed,

Or shipwrecked in the sea, one would have laid

A wager, that an elephant, or whale,

That met him, would not hastily assail

A thing so equal to him: now alas,

The fairies, and the pigmies well may pass

As credible: mankind decays so soon,

We are scarce our fathers' shadows cast at noon.

Only death adds to our length: nor are we grown

In stature to be men, till we are none.

But this were light, did our less volume hold

All the old text; or had we changed to gold

Their silver, or disposed into less glass

Spirits of virtue, which then scattered was.

But 'tis not so: we're not retired, but dampt;

And as our bodies, so our minds, are crampt;

'Tis shrinking, not close weaving, that hath thus,

In mind and body both bedwarfed us.

We seem ambitious, God's whole work to undo;

Of nothing he made us, and we strive too,

To bring ourselves to nothing back; and we

Do what we can, to do it soon as he.

With new diseases on ourselves we war,

And with new physic, a worse engine far.

Thus man, this world's vice-emperor, in whom

All faculties, all graces are at home;

And if in other creatures they appear,

They are but man's ministers, and legats there,

To work on their rebellions, and reduce

Them to civility, and to man's use;

This man, whom God did woo, and loth to attend

Till man came up, did down to man descend,

This man so great, that all that is, is his,

O what a trifle, and poor thing he is!

If man were anything, he's nothing now:

Help, or at least some time to waste, allow

To his other wants, yet when he did depart

With her whom we lament, ho lost his heart.

She, of whom th' ancients seem'd to prophesy,

When they call'd virtues by the name of she;

She in whom virtue was so much refin'd,

That for alloy unto so pure a mind

She took the weaker sex: she that could drive

The poisonous tincture, and the stain of Eve,

Out of her thought, and deeds; and purify

All, by a true religious alchymy;

She, she is dead: she's dead: when thou know'st this,

Thou know'st how poor a trifling thing man is.

And learn'st thus much by our anatomy,

The heart being perish'd, no part can be free.

And that except thou feed (not banquet) on

The supernatural food, religion:

Thy better growth grows withered, and scant;

Be more than man, or thou'rt less than an ant.

Then as mankind, so is the world's whole frame

Quite out of joint, almost created lame:

For, before God had made up all tho rest,

Corruption entered, and deprav'd the best:

It seiz'd the angels, and then first of all

The world did in her cradle take a fall,

And turn'd her brains, and took a general maim,

Wronging each joint of the universal frame.

The noblest part, man, felt it first; and than

Both beasts and plants, curst in the curse of man,

So did the world from the first hour decay,

That evening was beginning of the day,

And now the springs and summers which we see,

Like sons of women after fifty be.

And new philosophy calls all in doubt,

The element of fire is quite put out;

The sun is lost, and the earth, and no man's wit

Can well direct him where to look for it.

And freely men confess that this world's spent,

When in the planets, and the firmament

They seek so many new; they see that this

Is crumbled out again to his atomies.

'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone;

All just supply, and all relation:

Prince, subject, father, son, are things forgot,

For every man alone, thinks he hath got

To be a phoenix, and that there can be

None of that kind, of which he is, but he.

This is the world's condition now, and now

She that should all parts to reunion bow,

She that had all magnetic force alone,

To draw, and fasten hundred parts in one;

She whom wise nature had invented then

When she observ'd that every sort of men

Did in their voyage in this world's sea stray,

And needed a new compass for their way;

She that was best, and first original

Of all fair copies, and the general

Steward to fate; she whose rich eyes, and breast,

Gilt the West Indies, and perfum'd the East,

Whose having breath'd in this world, did bestow

Spice on those isles, and bade them still smell so,

And that rich India which doth gold inter,

Is but a single money coin'd from her:

She to whom this world must itself refer,

As suburbs, or the microcosm of her,

She, she is dead! she's dead: when thou know'st this

Thou know'st how lame a cripple this world is:

And learn'st thus much by our anatomy,

That this world's general sickness doth not lie

In any humour, or one certain part;

But as thou sawest it rotten at the heart,

Thou seest a hectic fever hath got hold

Of the whole substance, not to be controlled,

And that thou hast but one way, not t'admit

The world's infection, to be none of it.

For the world's subtlest immaterial parts

Feel this consuming wound, and age's darts.

For the world's beauty is decay'd, or gone,

Beauty, that's colour, and proportion.

We think the heavens enjoy their spherical,

Their round proportion, embracing all,

But yet their various and perplexed course,

Observ'd in divers ages, doth enforce

Men to find out so many eccentric parts,

Such divers down right lines, such overthwarts,

As disproportion that pure form: it tears

The finnanent in eight-and-forty shires,

And in these constellations then arise New stars, and old do vanish from our eyes: As though heav'n suffered earthquakes, peace or war, When new towers rise, and old demolish'd arc. They have impal'd with a zodiac The free-born sun, and keep twelve signs awake To watch his steps; the goat and crab control, And fright him back, who else to either pole (Did not these tropics fetter him) might run For his course is not round; nor can the sun Perfit a circle, or mantain his way One inch direct: but where he rose to-day He comes no more, but with a cozening line, Steals by that point, and so is serpentine: And seeing weary with his reeling thus, He means to sleep, being now fallen near us. So, of the stars which boast that they do run In circle still, none ends where he begun. All their proportion's lame, it sinks, it swells. For of meridians, and parallels, Man hath weaved out a net, and this net thrown Upon the heavens, and now they are his own. Loth to go up the hill, or labour thus , To go to heaven, we make heaven come to us. We spur, we rein the stars, and in their race They're diversely content to obey our peace. But keeps the earth he round proportion still? Doth not a Tenarus or higher hill Rise so high like a rock, that one might think The floating moon would shipwreck there and sink? Seas are so deep, that whales being struck to day, Perchance to-morrow scarce at middle way Of their wish'd journey's end, the bottom, die. And men, to sound depths, so much line untie, As one might justly think, that there would rise At end thereof, one of the antipodes: If under all, a vault infernal be, (Which sure is spacious, except that we Invent another torment, that there must Millions into a straight hot room be thrust) Then solidness, and roundness have no place. Are these but warts, and pockholes in the face

Of the earth? think so: but yet confess, in this

The world's proportion disfigured is;

That those two legs whereon it doth rely,

Reward and punishment, are bent awry.

And, O, it can no more be questioned,

That beauty's best proportion, is dead,

Since even grief itself, which now alone

Is left us, is without proportion.

She by whose lines proportion should be

Examined, measure of all symmetry,

Whom had that ancient seen, who thought souls made

Of harmony, he would at next have said

That harmony was she, and thence infer,

That souls were but resultances from her,

And did from her into our bodies go,

As to our eyes, the forms from objects flow:

She, who if those great doctors truly said

That the ark to man's proportion was made,

Had been a type for that, as that might be

A type of her in this, that contrary

Both elements and passions lived at peace

In her, who caused all civil war to cease.

She, after whom, what form soever we see,

Is discord, and rude incongruity;

She, she is dead! she's dead; when thou know'st this,

Thou know'st how ugly a monster this world is:

And learn'st thus much by our anatomy,

That here is nothing to enamour thee:

And that, not only faults in inward parts,

Corruptions in our brains, or in our hearts,

Poisoning the fountains, whence our actions spring,

Endanger us: but that if every thing

Be not done fitly and in proportion,

To satisfy wise, and good lookers on,

(Since most men be such as most think they be)

They are loathsome too, by this deformity.

For good, and well, must in our actions meet;

Wicked is not much worse than indiscreet.

But beauty's other second element,

Colour, and lustre now, is as near spent.

And had the world his just proportion,

Were it a ring still, yet the stone is gone,

As a compassionate turquoise which doth tell

By looking pale, the wearer is not well,

As gold falls sick being stung with mercury,

All the world's parts of such complexion be.

When nature was most busy, the first week,

Swadling the new born earth, God seem'd to like

That she should sport herself sometimes, and play,

To mingle, and vary colours every day:

And then, as though she could not make enough,

Himself his various rainbow did allow,

Sight is the noblest sense of any one,

Yet sight hath only colour to feed on,

And colour is decay'd; summer's robe grows

Dusky, and like an oft-dyed garment shows.

Our blushing red, which used in cheeks to spread,

Is inward sunk, and only our souls are red.

Perchance the world might have recovered,

If she whom we lament had not been dead:

But she, in whom all white, and red, and blue

(Beauty's ingredients) voluntary grew,

As in an unvext paradise; from whom

Did all things verdure, and their lustre come,

Whose composition was miraculous,

Being all colour, all diaphanous,

(For air, and fire but thick gross bodies were,

And liveliest stones but drowsy, and pale to her,)

She, she is dead! she's dead; when thou know'st this,

Thou know'st how wan a ghost this our world is:

And learn'st thus much by our anatomy,

That it should more affright, then pleasure thee.

And that, since all fair colour then did sink,

It is now but wicked vanity, to think

To colour vicious deeds with good pretence,

Or with bought colours to illude men's sense.

Nor in ought more this world's decay appears,

Than that her influence the heaven forbears,

Or that the elements do not feel this,

The father, or the mother barren is.

The clouds conceive not rain, or do not pour,

In the due birth-time, down the balmy shore;

The air doth not motherly sit on the earth,

To hatch her seasons, and give all things birth;

Spring-times were common cradles, but are tombs;

And false conceptions fill the general wombs;

The air shows such meteors, as none can see,

Not only what they mean, but what they be;

Earth such new worms, as would have troubled much

The Egyptian magi to have made more such.

What artist now dares boast that he can bring

Heaven hither, or constellate any thing,

So as the influence of those stars may be

Imprison'd iu an herb, or charm, or tree.

And do by touch, all which those stars could do?

The art is lost, and correspondence too.

For heaven gives little, and the earth takes less,

And man least knows their trade and purposes.

If this commerce 'twixt heaven and earth were not

Embarr'd, and all this traffic quite forgot,

She, for whose loss we have lamented thus,

Would work more fully, and powerfully on us:

Since herbs, and roots, by dying lose not all,

But they, yea ashes too, are medicinal,

Death could not quench her virtue so, but that

It would be (if not follow'd) wondered at:

And all the world would be oue dying swan,

To sing her funeral praise, and vanish then.

But as some serpents' poison hurteth not,

Except it be from the live serpent shot,

So doth her virtue need her here, to fit

That unto us; she working more than it.

But she, in whom to such maturity

Virtue was grown, past growth, that it must die;

She, from whose influence all impression came,

But by receivers' impotencies, lame,

Who, though she could not transubstantiate

All states to gold, yet gilded every state,

So that some princes have some temperance,

Some councillors some purpose to advance

The common profit; and some people have,

Some stay, no more than kings should give, to crave;

Some women have some taciturnity,

Some nunneries some grains of chastity.

She that did thus much, and much more could do,

But that our age was iron, and rusty too,

She, she is dead! she's dead; when thou know'st this, Thou know'st how dry a cinder this world is. And learn'st thus much by our anatomy, That it is vain to dew, or mollify It with thy tears, or sweat, or blood: nothing Is worth our travail, grief, or perishing, But those rich joys, which did possess her heart, Of which she's now partaker, and a part. But as in cutting up a man that's dead, The body will not last out, to have read On every part, and therefore men direct Their speech to parts, that are of most effect; So the world's carcase would not last, if I Were punctual in this anatomy; Nor smells it well to hearers, if one tell Them their disease, who fain would think they're well. Here therefore be the end: and, blessed maid, Of whom is meant what ever hath been said, Or shall be spoken well by any tongue, Whose name refines course lines, and makes prose song, Accept this tribute, and his first year's rent, Who till his dark short taper's end be spent, As oft as thy feast seest this widowed earth, Will yearly celebrate thy second birth, That is, thy death; for though the soul of man Be got when man is made, 'tis born but than When man doth die; our body's as the womb, And, as a midwife, death directs it home. And you her creatures, whom she works upon, And have your last, and best concoction From her example, and her virtue, if you In reverence to her, do think it due, That no one should her praises thus rehearse, As matter fit for chronicle, not verse; Vouchsafe to call to mind that Grod did make A last, and lasting'st peace, a song. He spake To Moses, to deliver unto all, That song, because he knew they would let fall The law, the prophets, and the history, But keep the song still in their memory: Such an opinion, in due measure, made Me this great office boldly to invade: VOL. vi. 2 K

Nor could incomprehensibleness deter
Me, from thus trying to imprison her,
Which when I saw that a strict grave could do,
I saw not why verse might not do so too.
Verse hath a middle nature, heaven keeps souls,
The grave keeps bodies, verse the fame enrolls.

A Funeral Elegy.

'tis lost to trust a tomb with such a guest,

Or to confine her in a marble chest,

Alas, what's marble, jet, or porphyry,

Priz'd with the chysolite of either eye,

Or with those pearls, and rubies, which she was?

Join the two Indies in one tomb, 'tis glass;

And so is all to her materials,

Though every inch were ten escurials;

Yet she's demolish'd: can we keep her then

In works of hands, or of the wits of men?

Can these memorials, rags of paper, give

Life to that name, by which name they must live I

Sickly, alas, short-liv'd, aborted be

Those carcass verses, whose soul is not she.

And can she, who no longer would be she,

Being such a tabernacle, stoop to be

In paper wrapt; or when she would not lie

In such a house, dwell in an elegy?

But 'tis no matter: we may well allow

Verse to live so long as the world will now,

For her death wounded it. The world contains

Princes for arms, and counsellors for brains,

Lawyers for tongues, diviues for hearts, and more,

The rich for stomachs, and for backs the poor;

The officers for hands, merchants for feet,

By which, remote and distant countries meet.

But those fine spirits which do tune, and set

This organ, are those pieces, which beget

Wonder and love; and these were she; and she

Being spent, the world must needs decrepit be;

For since death will proceed to triumph still,

He can find nothing, after her, to kill,

Except the world itself, so great was she.

Thus brave and confident may nature be,

Death cannot give her such anothor blow,

Because she cannot such another show.

But must we say she's dead I may't not be said

That as a sund'red clock is piecemeal laid,

Not to be lost, but by the makers hand

Repolish'd, without error then to stand,

Or as the Afric Niger stream inwombs

Itself into the earth, and after comes

(Having first made a natural bridge, to pass

For many leagues) far greater than it was,

May't not be said, that her grave shall restore

Her, greater^ purer, firmer, than before I

Heaven may say this; and joy in't; but can we

Who live, and lack her, here, this 'vantage see I

What is't to us, alas, if there have been

An angel made, a throne, or cherubin 2

We lose by't: and as aged men are glad

Being tasteless grown, to joy in joys they had,

So now the sick starv'd world must feed upon

This joy, that we had her, who now is gone.

Rejoice then nature, and this world, that you,

Fearing the last fires hastening to subdue

Your force and vigour, ere it were near gone,

Wisely bestow'd and laid it all on one;

One, whose clear body was so pure and thin,

Because it need disguise no thought within.

'Twas but a through-light scarf, her mind t'enroll;

Or exhalation breath'd out from her soul.

One, whom all men who durst no more, admir'd:

And whom, whoe'er had work enough, desir'd;

As when a temple's built, saints emulate

To which of them it shall be consecrate.

But, as when heaven looks on us with new eyes,

Those new stars every artist exercise,

What place they should assign to them they doubt,

Argue, and agree not, till those stars go out:

So the world studied whose this piece should be,

Till she can be nobody's else, nor she:

But as a lamp of Balsamum, desir'd

Rather to adorn, than last, she soon expir'd,

Cloth'd in her virgin white integrity,

For marriage, though it doth not stain, doth dye.

To escape the infirmities which wait upon

Woman, she went away, before she was one;

And the world's busy noise to overcome,

Took so much death, as serv'd for opium;

For though she could not, nor could choose to die,

She hath yielded to too long an ecstasy:

He which not knowing her said history,

Should come to read the book of destiny,

How fair, and chaste, humble, and high she'd been,

Much promis'd, much perform'd, at not fifteen,

And measuring future things, by things before,

Should turn the leaf to read, and read no more,

Would think that either destiny mistook,

Or that some leaves were torn out of the book.

But 'tis not so; fate did but usher her

To years of reason's use, and then infer

Her destiny to herself, which liberty

She took, but for thus much, thus much to die.

Her modesty not suffering her to be

Fellow-commissioner with destiny,

She did no more but die: if after her

Any shall live, which dare true good prefer;

Every such person is her delegate,

T' accomplish that which should have been her fate.

They shall make up that book and shall have thanks

Of fate, and her, for filling up their blanks.

For future virtuous deeds are legacies,

Which from the gift of her example rise;

And 'tis in heav'n part of spiritual mirth,

To see how well the good play her, on earth.



The Harbinger to the Progress.

Two souls move here, and mine (a third) must move

Paces of admiration, and of love;

Thy soul (dear virgin) whose this tribute is,

Moved from this mortal sphere to lively bliss;

And yet moves still, and still aspires to see

The world's last day, thy glory's full degree:

Like as those stars which thou o'er-lookest far,

Are in their place, and yet still moved are:

No soul (whilst with the luggage of this clay

It clogged is) can follow thee half-way;

Or see thy flight, which doth our thoughts outgo

So fast, that now the lightning moves but slow:

But now thou art as high in heaven flown

As heaven's from us. What soul besides thine own

Can tell thy joys, or say he can relate

Thy glorious journals in that blessed state?

I envy thee (rich soul) I envy thee,

Although I cannot yet thy glory see:

And thou (great spirit) which hers followed hast

So fast, as none can follow thine so fast;

So far, as none can follow thine so far,

(And if this flesh did not the passage bar

Hadst caught her) let me wonder at thy flight

Which long agone hadst lost the vulgar sight,

And now mak'st proud the better eyes, that they

Can see thee lessened in thine airy way;

So while thou mak'st her soul by progress known

Thou mak'st a noble progress of thine own.

From this world's carcase having mounted high

To that pure life of immortality;

Since thine aspiring thoughts themselves so raise

That more may not beseem a creature's praise,

Yet still thou vow'st her more; and every year

Mak'st a new progress, while thou wanderest here;

Still upward mount; and let thy Makers praise

Honour thy Laura, and adorn thy lays.

And since thy Muse her head in heaven shrouds,

Oh let her never stoop below the clouds:

And if those glorious sainted souls may know

Or what we do, or what we sing below,

Those acts, those songs shall still content them best

Which praise those awful powers that make them blest.

Thb Second Anniversary.

Nothing could make me sooner to confess

That this world had an everlastingness,

Than to consider, that a year is run,

Since both this lower world's, and the sun's sun,

The lustre, and the vigour of this all,

Did set: 'twere blasphemy to say, did fall.

But as a ship which hath struck sail, doth run

By force of that force which before it won:

Or as sometimes in a beheaded man,

Though at those two red seas, which freely ran,

One from the trunk, another from the head,

His soul be sailed to her eternal bed,

His eyes will twinkle, and his tongue will roll,

As though he beckoned, and called back his soul.

He grasps his hands, and he pulls up his feet,

And seems to reach, and to step forth to meet

His soul; when all these motions which we saw,

Are but as ice, which crackles at a thaw:

Or as a lute, which in moist weather, rings

Her knell alone, by cracking of her strings.

So struggles this dead world, now she is gone;

For there is motion in corruption.

As some days are at the creation named,

Before the sun, the which framed days, was framed:

So after this sun's set, some show appears,

And orderly vicissitude of years.

Yet a new deluge, and of Lethe flood,

Hath drowned us all; all have forgot all good,

Forgetting her, the main reserve of all:

Yet in this deluge, gross and general,

Thou seest me strive for life; my life shall be,

To be hereafter praised, for praising thee;

Immortal maid, who though thou would'st refuse

The name of mother, be unto my muse

A father, since her chaste ambition is

Yearly to bring forth such a child as this.

These hymns may work on future wits, and so

May great-grand-children of thy praises grow.

And so, though not revive, embalm and spice

The world, which else would putrefy with vice.

For thus, man may extend thy progeny,

Until man do but vanish, and not die.

These hymns, thy issue, may increase so long,

As till God's great Venite change the song.

Thirst for that time, O my insatiate soul,

And serve thy thirst, with God's safe sealing bowl.

Be thirsty still, and drink still till thou go

To the only'health, to be hydroptic so.

Forget this rotten world; and unto thee

Let thine own times as an old story be:

Be not concerned: study not why nor when;

Do not so much as not believe a man.

For though to err, be worst; to try truths forth,

Is far more business, than this world is worth.

Tho world is but a carcase; thou art fed

By it, but as a worm, that carcase bred;

And why should'st thou, poor worm, consider more

When this world will grow better than before,

Than those thy fellow-worms do think upon

That carcase's last resurrection.

Forget this world, and scarce think of it so,

As of old clothes, cast off a year ago.

To be thus stupid is alacrity;

Men thus lethargic have best memory.

Look upward; that's towards her, whose happy state

We now lament not, but congratulate.

She, to whom all this world was but a stage,

AVhere all sat hearkening how her youthful age

Should be employed, because in all she did,

Some figure of the golden times was'hid.

Who could not lack whate'er this world could give,

Because she was the form, that made it live;

Nor could complain, that this world was unfit

To be stayed in, then when she was in it;

She that first tried indifferent desires

By virtue, and virtue by religious fires,

She to whose person paradise adhered,

As courts to princes, she whose eyes ensphered

Star-light enough, to have made the south control,

(Had she been there) the starful Northern Pole.

She, she is gone! she is gone; when thou know'st this,

What fragmentary rubbish this world is,

Thou know'st, and that it is not worth a thought;

He honours it too much that thinks it nought.

Think then, my soul, that death is but a groom,

Which brings a taper to the outward room,

Whence thou spiest first a little glimmering light,

And after brings it nearer to thy sight:

For such approaches doth heaven make in death.

Think thyself labouring now with broken breath,

And think those broken and soft notes to be

Division, and thy happiest harmony.

Think thee laid on thy death-bed, loose and slack;

And think that, but unbinding of a pack,

To take one precious thing, thy soul, from thence.

Think thyself patch' d with fever's violence,

Anger thine ague more, by calling it

Thy physic; chide the slackness of the fit.

Think that thou hear'st thy knell and think no more,

But that, as bells call'd thee to church before,

So this to the triumphant church calls thee.

Think Satan's Serjeants round about thee be,

And think that but for legacies they thrust;

Give one thy pride, to another give thy lust:

Give them those sins which they gave thee before,

And trust the immaculate blood to wash thy sore.

Think thy friends weeping round, and think that they

Weep but because they go not yet thy way.

Think that they close thine eyes, and think in this,

That they confess much in the world, amiss,

Who dare not trust a dead man's eye with that,

Which they from God, and angels cover not.

Think that they shroud thee up, and think from thence

They reinvest thee in white innocence.

Think that thy body rots, and (if so low,

Thy soul exalted so, thy thoughts can go,)

Think thee a prince, who of themselves create

Worms which insensibly devour their state.

Think that they bury thee, and think that right

Lays thee to sleep but a Saint Lucie's night.

Think these things cheerfully; and if thou be

Drowsy or slack, remember then that she,

She whose complexion was so even made,

That which of her ingredients should invado

The other three, no fear, no art could guess:

So far were all removed from more or less.

But as in mithridate, or just perfumes,

Where all good things being met, no one presumes

To govern, or to triumph on the rest,

Only because all were, no part was best,

And as, though all do know, that quantities

Are made of lines, and lines from points arise,

None can these lines or quantities unjoint,

And say this is a line, or this a point:

So though the elements and humours were

In her, one could not say, this governs there,

Whose even constitution might have won

Any disease to venture on the sun,

Rather than her: and make a spirit fear,

That he too disuniting subject were.

To whose proportions if we would compare

Cubes, they are unstable; circles, angular;

She who was such a chain as Fate employs

To bring mankind all fortunes it enjoys;

So fast, so even wrought, as one would think,

No accident could threaten any link;

She, she embraced a sickness, gave it meat,

The purest blood, and breath, that e'er it eat;

And hath taught us, that though a good man hath

Title to heaven, and plead it by his faith,

And though he may pretend a conquest, since

Heaven was content to suffer violence,

Yea though he plead a long possession too,

(For they're in heaven on earth, who heaven's works do) Though he had right and power and place, before,

Yet death must usher, and unlock the door.

Think further on thyself, my soul, and think

How thou at first wast made but in a sink;

Think that it argued some infirmity,

That those two souls, which then thou found'st in me,

Thou fed'st upon, and drew'st into thee both,

My second soul of sense, the first of growth.

Think but how poor thou wast, how obnoxious;

Whom a small lump of flesh could poison thus.

This curded milk, this poor unlittered whelp

My body, could, beyond escape or help,

Infect thee with original sin, and thou

Could'st neither then refuse, nor leave it now.

Think that no stubborn sullen anchor it,

Which fixt to a pillar, or a grave, doth sit

Bedded, and bathed in all his ordures, dwells

So foully as our souls in their first-built cells.

Think in how poor a prison thou didst lie

After, enabled but to suck, and cry.

Think, when 'twas grown to most, 'twas a poor inn,

A province packed up in two yards of skin,

And that usurped or threatened with a rage

Of sicknesses, or their true mother, age.

But think that death hath now enfranchised thee,

Thou hast thy expansion now, and liberty;

Think that a rusty piece, discharged is flown

In pieces, and the bullet is his own,

And freely flies: this to thy soul allow,

Think thy shell broke, think thy soul hatched but now.

And think this slow-paced soul which late did cleave

To a body, and went but by the body's leave,

Twenty perchance or thirty miles a-day,

Dispatches in a minute all the way

Betwixt heaven, and earth; she stays not in the air,

To look what meteors there themselves prepare;

She carries no desire to know, nor sense,

Whether tho air's middle region be intense;

For the element of fire, she doth not know,

Whether she past by such a place or no;

She baits not at the moon, nor cares to try

Whether in that new world, men live, and die.

Venus retards her not, to inquire, how she

Can, (being one star) Hesper, and Vesper be;

He that charmed Argus' eyes, sweet Mercury,

Works not on her, who now is grown all eye;

Who if she meet the body of the sun,

Goes through, not staying till his course be run;

Who finds in Mars's camp no corps of guard;

Nor is by Jove, nor by his father barr'd;

But ere she can consider how she went,

At once is at, and through the firmament.

And as these stars were but so many beads'

Strung on one string, speed undistinguished leads

Her through those spheres, as through the beads, a string,

Whose quick succession makes it still one thing:

As doth the pith, which, lest our bodies slack,

Strings fast the little bones of neck, and back;

So by the soul doth death string heaven and earth;

For when our soul enjoys this her third birth,

(Creation gave her one, a second, grace,)

Heaven is as near, and present to her faco,

As colours are, and objects, in a room

Where darkness was before, when tapers come.

This must, my soul, thy long-short progress be,

To advance these thoughts: remember then that she,

She, whose fair body no such prison was,

But that a soul might well be pleased to pass

An age in her; she whose rich beauty lent

Mintage to other beauties, for they went

But for so much as they were like to her;

She, in whose body (if we dare prefer

This low world, to so high a mark as she,)

The western treasure, eastern spicery,

Europe, and Africa, and the unknown rest

Were easily found, or what in them was best;

And when we have made this large discovery

Of all, in her some one part then will be

Twenty such parts, whose plenty and riches is

Enough to make twenty such worlds as this;

She, whom had they known who did first betroth

The tutelar angels, and assigned one, both

To nations, cities, and to companies,

To functions, offices, and dignities,

And to each several man, to him, and him,

They would have given her one for every limb;

She, of whose soul, if we may say, 'twas gold,

Her body was the electrum, and did hold

Many degrees of that; we understood

Her by her sight; her pure, and eloquent blood

Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought,

That one might almost say, her body thought;

She, she, thus richly and largely hous'd, is gone:

And chides us slow-paced snails who crawl upon

Our prison's prison, earth, nor think us well,

Longer, than whilst we bare our brittle shell.

But 'twere but little to have changed our room,

If, as we were in this our living tomb

Oppressed with ignorance, we still were so.

Poor soul, in this thy flesh what dost thou know;

Thou know'st thyself so little, as thou know'st not,

How thou didst die, not how thou wast begot.

Thou neither know'st, how thou at first cam'st in,

Nor how thou took'st the poison of man's sin.

Nor dost thou, (though thou know'st, that thou art so)

By what way thou art made immortal, know.

Thou art too narrow, wretch, to comprehend

Even thyself: yea though thou would'st but bend

To know thy body. Have not all souls thought

For many ages, that our body is wrought .

Of air, and fire, and other elements I

And now they think of new ingredients;

And one soul thinks one, and another way

Another thinks, and 'tis an even lay.

Know'st thou but how the stone doth enter in

The bladder's cave, and never break the skin?

Know'st thou how blood, which to the heart doth flow,

Doth from one ventricle to the other go?

And for the putrid stuff, which thou dost spit,

Know'st thou how thy lungs have attracted it?

There are no passages, so that there is

(For ought thou know'st) piercing of substances.

And of those many opinions which men raise

Of nails and hairs, dost thou know which to praise 2

What hope have we to know ourselves, when we

Know not the least things, which for our use be?

We see in authors, too stiff to recant,

A hundred controversies of an ant;

And yet one watches, starves, freezes, and sweats,

To know but catechisms and alphabets

Of unconcerning things, matters of fact;

How others on our stage their parts did act;

What Caesar did, yea, and what Cicero said,

Why grass is green, or why our blood is red,

Are mysteries which none have reached unto.

In this low form, poor soul, what wilt thou do?

When wilt thou shake off this pedantry,

Of being taught by sense, and fantasy?

Thou look'st through spectacles; small things seem

Below; but up unto the watch-tower get,

And see all things despoiled of fallacies:

Thou shalt not peep through lattices of eyes,

Nor hear through labyrinths of ears, nor learn

By circuit, or collections to discern.

In heaven thou straight know'st all, concerning it,

And what concerns it not, shalt straight forget.

There thou (but in no other school) may'st be

Perchance, as learned, and as full, as she,

She who all libraries had throughly read

At home in her own thoughts, and practised

So much good as would make as many more:

She whose example they must all implore,

Who would or do, or think well, and confess

That all the virtuous actions they express,

Are but a new, and worse edition

Of her some one thought, or one action:

She who in the art of knowing heaven, was grown

Here upon earth, to such perfection,

That she hath, ever since to heaven she came,

(In a far fairer point,) but read the same:

She, she not satisfied with all this weight,

(For so much knowledge, as would over-freight

Another, did but ballast her) is gone

As well to enjoy, as get perfection.

And calls us after her, in that she took,

(Taking herself) our best, and worthiest book.

Return not, my soul, from this ecstasy,

And meditation of what thou shalt be,

To earthly thoughts, till it to thee appear,

With whom thy conversation must be there,

With whom wilt thou converse? what station

Canst thou choose out, free from infection,

That will not give thee theirs, nor drink in thine?

Shalt thou not find a spungy slack divine,

Drink and suck in the instructions of great men,

And for the word of God, vent them again?

Are there not some courts (and then, no things be

So like as courts) which in this let us see,

That wits, and tongues of libellers are weak,

Because they do more ill, than these can speak?

The poison's gone through all, poisons affect

Chiefly the chiefest parts, but some effect

In nails, and hairs, yea excrements, will show;

So lies the poison of sin in the most low.

Up, up, my drowsy soul, where thy new ear

Shall in the angels' songs no discord hear;

Where thou shalt see the blessed mother-maid

Joy in not being that, which men have said;

Where she's exalted more for being good,

Than for her interest of motherhood.

Up to those patriarchs, which did longer sit

Expecting Christ, than they've enjoyed him yet.

Up to those prophets, which now gladly see

Their prophecies grown to be history.

Up to the apostles, who did bravely run

All the sun's course, with more light than the sun.

Up to those martyrs, who did calmly bleed

Oil to the apostles' lamps, dew to their seed.

Up to those virgins, who thought, that almost

They made joint-tenants with the Holy Ghost,

If they to any should his temple give.

Up, up, for in that squadron there doth live

She, who hath carried thither new degrees

(As to their number) to their dignities.

She, who being to herself a state, enjoy'd

All royalties which any state employ'd;

For she made wars, and triumph'd; reason still

Did not o'erthrow, but rectify her will:

And she made peace, for no peace is like this,

That beauty and chastity together kiss:

She did high justice, for she crucified
Every first motion of rebellious pride;
And she gave pardons, and was liberal,
For only herself except, she pardon'd all:
She coined, in this, that her impression gave
To all our actions all the worth they have:
She gave protections; the thoughts of her breast
Satan's rude officers could ne'er arrest.
As these prerogatives being met in one,
Made her a sovereign state; religion
Made her a church; and these two made her all.
She who was all this all, and could not fall
To worse by company, (for she was still
More antidote, than all the world was ill.)
She, she doth leave it, and by death, survive
All this, in heaven; whether who doth not strive
The more, because she's there, he doth not know
That accidental joys in heaven do grow.
But pause, my soul; and study ere thou fall
On accidental joys, th' essential.
Still before accessories do abide
A trial, must the principal be tried.
And what essential joy can'st thou expect
Here upon earth I What permanent effect
Of transitory causes 2 Dost thou love
Beauty? (And beauty worthiest is to move)
Poor cozened cozener, that she, and that thou,
Which did begin to love, are neither now;
You are both fluid, changed since yesterday;
Next day repairs, (but ill) last day's decay.
Nor are, (although the river keep the name)
Yesterday's waters, and to-day's the same.
So flows her face, and thine eyes; neither now
That saint nor pilgrim, which your loving vow
Concerned, remains; but whilst you think you be
Constant, you are hourly in inconstancy.
Honour may have pretence unto our love,
Because that God did live so long above
Without this honour, and then loved it so,
That he at last made creatures to bestow
Honour on him; not that he needed it,
But that, to his hands, man might grow more fit.

But since all honours from inferiors flow,

(For they do give it; princes do but show

Whom they would have so honoured) and that this

On such opinions, and capacities

Is built, as rise and fall, to more and less:

Alas, His but a casual happiness.

Hath ever any man to himself assign'd

This or that happiness to arrest his mind,

But that another man which takes a worse,

Thinks him a fool for having ta'en that course?

They who did labour Babel's tower to erect,

Might have considered, that for that effect,

All this whole solid earth could not allow

Nor furnish forth materials enough;

And that his centre to raise such a place

Was far too little, to have been the base;

No more affords this world foundation

To erect true joy, were all the means in one.

But as the heathen made them several gods,

Of all God's benefits, and all his rods,

(For as the wine, and corn, and onions are

Gods unto them, so agues be, and war)

And as by changing that whole precious gold

To such small copper coins, they lost the old,

And lost their only God, who ever must

Be sought alone, and not in such a thrust:

So much mankind true happiness mistakes;

No joy enjoys that man, that many makes.

Then, soul, to thy first pitch work up again;

Know that all lines which circles do contain,

For once that they the centre touch, do touch

Twice the circumference; and be thou such;

Double on heaven thy thoughts on earth employed;

All will not serve; only who have enjoyed

The sight of God, in fulness, can think it;

For it is both the object, and the wit.

This is essentialijoy, where neither he

Can suffer diminution, nor we;

'Tis such a full, and such a filling good;

Had th' angels once looked on him, they had stood.

To fill the place of one of them, or more,

She whom we celebrate, is gone before.

She, who had here so much essential joy,

As no chance could distract, much less destroy;

Who with God's presence was acquainted so,

(Hearing, and speaking to him) as to know

His face in any natural stone, or tree,

Better than when in images they be:

Who kept by diligent devotion,

God's image, in such reparation,

Within her heart, that what decay was grown,

Was her first parents' fault, and not her own:

Who being solicited to any act,

Still heard God pleading his safe precontract;

Who by a faithful confidence, was here

Betrothed to God, and now is married there;

Whose twilights were more clear, than our mid-day;

Who dreamt devoutlier, than most use to pray;

Who being here filled with grace, yet strove to be,

Both where more grace, and more capacity

At once is given: she to heaven is gone,

Who made this world in some proportion

A heaven, and here, became unto us all,

Joy, (as our joys admit) essential.

But could this low world joys essential touch,

Heaven's accidental joys would pass them much.

How poor and lame must then our casual be I

If thy prince will his subjects to call thee

My Lord, and this do swell thee, thou art than,

By being greater, grown to be less man.

When no physician of redress can speak,

A joyful casual violence may break

A dangerous apostem* in thy breast;

And whilst thou joyest in this, the dangerous rest,

The bag may rise up, and so strangle thee.

Whate'er was casual, may ever be.

What should the nature change ? or make the same

Certain, which was but casual, when it came?

All casual joy doth loud and plainly say,

Only by coming, that it can away.

Only in heaven joy's strength is never spent;

And accidental things are permanent.

Joy of a soul's arrival ne'er decays;

For that soul ever joys and ever stays.

* An abscess, imoarrina, corrupted into impostume.—Johnson.

Joy that their last great consummation

Approaches in the resurrection;

When earthly bodies more celestial

Shall be, than angels were, for they could fall;

This kind of joy doth every day admit

Degrees of growth, but none of losing it.

In this fresh joy, 'tis no small part, that she,

She, in whose goodness, he that names degree,

Doth injure her; ('tis loss to be called best,

There where the stuff is not such as the rest)

She, who left such a body, as even she

Only in heaven could learn, how it can be

Made better; for she rather was two souls,

Or like to full on-both-sides-written rolls,

Where eyes might read upon the outward skin,

As strong records for God, as minds within,

She, who by making full perfection grow,

Pieces a circle, and still keeps it so,

Longed for, and longing for it, to heaven is gone,

Where she receives, and gives addition.

Here in a place, where misdevotion frames

A thousand prayers to saints, whose very names

The ancient church knew not, heaven knows not yet

And where, what laws of poetry admit,

Laws of religion have at least the same,

Immortal maid, I might invoke thy name;

Could any saint provoke that appetite,

Thou here should'st make me a French convertite.

But thou would'st not; nor would'st thou be content,

To take this, for my second year's true rent.

Did this coin bear any other stamp, than his,

That gave thee power to do, me, to say this,

Since his will is, that to posterity,

Thou should'st for life, and death, a pattern be,

And that the world should notice have of this,

The purpose, and the authority is his;

Thou art the proclamation; and I am

The trumpet, at whose voice the people came.



Language thou art too narrow, and too weak

To ease us now; great sorrow cannot speak;

If we could sigh out accents, and weep words,

Grief wears, and lessens, that tears breath affords.

Sad hearts, the less they seem, the more they are,

(So guiltiest men stand mutest at the bar)

Not that they know not, feel not their estate,

But extreme sense hath made them desperate;

Sorrow, to whom we owe all that we be,

Tyrant in the fifth and greatest monarchy,

Was't, that she did possess all hearts before,

Thou hast killed her, to make thy empire more I

Knew'st thou some would, that knew her not, lament,

A sin a deluge perish th' innocent?

Was't not enough to have that palace won,

But thou must raze it too, that was undone?

Hadst thou stayed there, and look'd out at her eyes,

All had adored thee that now from thee flies,

For they let out more light, than they took in,

They told not when, but did the day begin;

She was too sapphirine, and clear to thee;

Clay, flint, and jet now thy fit dwellings be;

Alas, she was too pure, but not too weak;

Whoe'er saw crystal ordnance but would break 2

And if we be thy conquest, by her fall

Thou hast lost thy end, for in her perish all;

Or, if we live, we live but to rebel,

They know her better now, that knew her well -T

If we should vapour out, and pine, and die;

Since she first went, that were not misery;

She changed our world with hers; now she is gone,

Mirth and prosperity is oppression;

For of all moral virtues she was all

The ethics speak of virtues cardinal;

Her soul was paradise; the cherubin

Set to keep it was grace, that kept out sin;

She had no more than let in death, for we

All reap consumption from one fruitful tree;

God took her hence, lest some of us should love

Her, like that plant, him and his laws above,

And when we tears, he mercy shed in this,

To raise our minds to heaven where now she is;

Who if her virtues would have let her stay

We had had a saint, have now a holiday;

Her heart was that strange bush, where sacred fire,

Religion, did not consume, but inspire

Such piety, so chaste use of God's day,

That what we turn to feast, she turned to pray,

And did prefigure here, in devout taste,

The rest of her high Sabbath, which shall last;

Angels did hand her up, who next God dwell,

(For she was of that order whence most fell)

Her body left with us, lest some had said,

She could not die, except they saw her dead;

For from less virtue, and less beautcousness,

The Gentiles framed them gods and goddesses.

The ravenous earth, that now wooes her to be

Earth too, will be a lemnia*; and the tree

That wraps that crystal in a wooden tomb,

Shall be took up spruce, filled with diamond;

And we her sad glad friends all bear a part

Of grief, for all would waste a Stoic's heart.

Elegy To The Lady Bedford.

You that are she, and you that's double she,
In her dead face, half of yourself shall see;
She was the other part, for so they do
Which build them friendships, become one of two;
So two, that but themselves no third can fit,
Which were to be so, when they were not yet
Twins, though their birth Cusco, and Musco take,
As divers stars one constellation make,
Paired like two eyes, have equal motion, so
Both but one means to see, one way to go;

• Lemnian earth was supposed to possess a virtue in closing the lips of wounds; but neither this nor any other application of the word, seems sufficiently to explain this obscure passage.—Ed.

Had you died first, a carcase she had been;

And we your rich tomb in her face had seen;

She like the soul is gone, and you here stay

Not a live friend; but the other half of clay;

And since you act that part, as men say, here

Lies such a prince, when but one part is there;

And do all honour : and devotion due;

Unto the whole, so we all reverence you;

For such a friendship who would not adore

In you, who are all what both was before,

Not all, as if some perished by this,

But so, as all in you contracted is;

As of this all, though many parts decay,

The pure which elemented them shall stay;

And though diffused, and spread in infinite,

Shall recollect, and in one all unite:

So madam, as her soul to heaven is fled,

Her flesh rests in the earth, as in the bed;

Her virtues do, as to their proper sphere,

Return to dwell with you, of whom they were;

As perfect motions are all circular,

So they to you, their sea, whence less streams are;

She was all spices, you all metals; so

In you two we did both rich Indies know;

And as no fire nor rust can spend or waste

One drachm of gold, but what was first shall last,

Though it be forced in water, earth, salt, air,

Expansed in infinite, none will impair;

So to yourself you may additions take,

But nothing can you less, or changed make.

Seek not in seeking new, to seem to doubt,

That you can match her, or not be without;

But let some faithful book in her room be,

Yet but of Judith no such book as she.


Elegy On The Lord C.

Sorrow, who to this house scarce knew the way:
Is, Oh, heir of it, our all is his prey.
This strange chance claims strange wonder, and to us
Nothing can be so strange, as to weep thus;

'Tis well his life's loud speaking works deserve,

And give praise too: our cold tongues could not serve;

'Tis well, he kept tears from our eyes before,

That, to fit this deep ill, we might have store.

Oh, if a sweet-briar climb up by a tree,

If to a paradise that transplanted be,

Or fell'd, and burnt for holy sacrifice,

Yet that must wither, which by it did rise,

As we for him dead: though no family

E'er rigg'd a soul for heaven's discovery

With whom more venturers more boldly dare

Venture their states, with him in joy to share.

We lose what all friends loved, him, he gains now

But life by death, which worst foes would allow,

If he could have foes, in whose practice grew

All virtues, whose name subtle schoolmen knew;

What ease, can hope that we shall see him, beget,

When we must die first, and cannot die yet?

His children are his pictures: Oh, they be

Pictures of him dead, senseless, cold as he.

Here needs no marble tomb, since he is gone,

He, and about him, his, are turn'd to stone.


Elegy On The Lady Marokham.

Man is the world, and death the ocean,

To which God gives the lower parts of man.

This sea environs all, and though as yet

God hath set marks and bounds 'twixt us and it,

Yet doth it roar, and gnaw, and still pretend,

And breaks our bank, whene'er it takes a friend.

Then our land waters (tears of passion) vent;

Our waters, then, above our firmament.

(Tears which our soul doth for her sins let fall)

Take all a brackish taste, and funeral.

And even those tears which should wash sin, are sin.

We, after God's Noah, drown the world again.

Nothing but man of all envenom'd things

Doth work upon itself, with inborn stings.

Tears are false spectacles, we cannot see

Through passion's mist, what we are, or what she.

In her this sea of death hath made no breach,

But as the tide doth wash the slimy beach,

And leaves embroider,d works upon the sand:

So is her flesh refined by death's cold hand.

As men of China, after an age's stay

Do take up porcelain, where they buried clay:

So at his grave, her limbeck, which refines

The diamonds, rubies, sapphires, pearls, and mines

Of which this flesh was, her soul shall inspire

Flesh of such stuff, as God, when his last fire

Annuls this world, to recompense it, shall

Make and name then th' elixir of this all.

They say the sea, when it gains, loseth too;

If carnal death (the younger brother) do

Usurp the body, our soul (which subject is

To th' elder death, by sin) is freed by this;

They perish both, when they attempt the just:

For graves our trophies are, and both, death's dust.

So, unobnoxious now, she hath buried both;

For none to death sins, that to sin is loth.

Nor do they die, which are not loth to die;

So hath she this, and that virginity.

Grace was in her extremely diligent,

That kept her from sin, yet made her repent.

Of what small spots pure white complains! Alas,

How little poison cracks a crystal glass!

She sinn'd, but just enough to let us see

That extreme truth lack'd little of a lie,

Making omissions, acts; laying the touch

Of sin, on things that sometimes may be such.

As Moses' cherubins, whose natures do

Surpass all speed, by him are winged too:

So would her soul (already in heav'n) seem then,

To climb by tears, the common stairs of men.

How fit she was for God, I am content

To speak, that death his vain haste may repent.

How fit for us, how even and how sweet,

How good in all her titles, and how meet,

To have reformed this forward heresy,

That women can no parts of friendship be;

How moral, how divine, shall not be told,
Lest they that hear her virtues, think her old;
And lest we take death's part, and make him glad
Of such a prey, and to his triumph add.


Elegy On Mrs. Boclstked.

Death I recant, and say unsaid by me

What ere hath slipp'd, that might diminish thee.

Spiritual treason, atheism 'tis to say,

That any can thy summons disobey.

The earth's face is but thy table; there are set

Plants, cattle, men; dishes for death to eat.

In a rude hunger now ho millions draws

Into his bloody, or plaguy, or starved jaws.

Now he will seem to spare, and doth more wast,

Eating the best first, well preserv'd to last.

Now wantonly he spoils, and cats us not,

But breaks off friends, and lets us piecemeal rot.

Nor will this earth servo him; he sinks the deep

Where harmless fish monastic silence keep.

Who (were death dead) by rees of living sand,

Might spunge that element, and make it land.

He rounds the air, and breaks the hymnic notes

In birds, heaven's choristers, organic throats,

Which (if they did not die) might seem to be

A tenth rank in the heavenly hierarchy.

O strong and long-liv'd death, how earnest thou in?

And how without creation did'st begin?

Thou hast, and shalt see dead, before thou diest,

All the four monarchies, and antichrist.

How could I think thee nothing, that see now

In all this all, nothing else is, but thou.

Our births and life, vices, and virtues, be

Wasteful consumptions, and degrees of thee.

For we, to live, our bellows wear, and breath,

Nor are we mortal, dying, dead, but death.

And though thou beest, O mighty bird of prey,

So much reclaimed by God, that thou must lav

All that thou kilFst at his feet, yet doth he

Reserve but few, and leaves the most to thee.

And of those few, now thou hast overthrown

One whom thy blow, makes, not ours, nor thine own.

She was more stories high: hopeless to come

To her soul, thou hast offered at her lower room.

Her soul and body was a king and court:

But thou hast both of captain mist and fort.

As houses fall not, though the king remove,

Bodies of saints rest for their t-ouh above.

Death gets 'twixt souls and bodies such a place

As siu insinuates 'twixt just men and grace;

Both work a separation, no divorce.

Her soul is gouo to usher up her corse,

Which shall be almost another soul, for there

Bodies are purer, than best souls are here.

Because in her, her virtues did outgo

Her years, woukl'st thou, O emulous death, do so'

And kill her young to thy loss I must the cost

Of beauty, and wit, apt to do harm, be lost I

VVhat though thou found'st her proof 'gainst sins of youth I

Oh, every age a diverse sin pursueth.

Thou should'st have stay'd, and taken better hold;

Shortly ambitious, covetous, when old,

She might have proved: and such devotion

Might once have stray\1 to superstition.

If all her virtues must have grown, yet might

Abundant virtue have bred a proud delight.

Had she persever'd just, there would have been

Some that would sin, misthinking she did sin.

Such as would call her friendship, love, and feign

To sociableness, a name profane:

Or sin, by tempting, or, not daring that,

By wishing, though they never told her what.

Thus might'st thou have slain more souls, had'st thou not crost

Thyself, and to triumph, thiue army lost.

Yet though these ways be lost, thou hast left one,

Which is, immoderate grief that she is gone.

But we may 'scape that sin, yet weep as much:

Our tears are due, because we are not such.

Some tears that knot of friends her death must cost,

Because the chain is broke, but no link lost


To the Countess of Bedford.


I Have learned by those laws wherein I am a little conversant, that he which bestows any cost upon the dead, obliges him which is dead, but not the heir; I do not therefore send this paper to your ladyship, that you should thank me for it, or think that I thank you in it; your favours and benefits to me are so much above my merits, that they are even above my gratitude, if that were to be judged by words which must express it: But, madam, since your noble brother's fortune being yours, the evidences also concerning it are yours, so his virtue being yours, the evidences concerning it, belong also to you, of which by your acceptance this may be one piece, in which quality I humbly present it, and as a testimony how entirely your family possesseth

Your ladyship's most humble and thankful servant,

John Don Se.

Obsequies To Lord Harrington's Brother.

Fair soul, which wast, not only, as all souls be.
Then when thou wast infused, harmony,
But diil'st continue so; and now dost bear
Apart in God's great organ, this whole sphere:
If looking up to God, or down to us,
Thou find that any way is pervious,
'Twixt heaven and earth, and that man's actions do
Come to your knowledge, and affections too,
See, and with joy, me to that good degree
Of goodness grown, that I can study thee,
And, by these meditations refin'd,
Can unapparel and enlarge my mind,
And so can make by this soft extasy,
This place a map of heaven, myself of thee.
Thou seest me here at midnight, now all rest;
Time's dead low water; when all minds divest
To-morrow's business, when the labourers have
Such rest in bed, that their last church-yard grave,
Subject to change, will scarce be a type of this,
Now when the client, whose last hearing is
To-morrow, sleeps, when the condemned man,
(Who when he opes his eyes, must shut them than
Again by death,) although sad watch he keep,
Doth practise dying by a little sleep,

Thou at this midnight see'st me, and as soon

As that sun rises to me, midnight's noon,

All the world grows transparent, and I see

Through all, both church and state, in seeing thee;

And I discern by favour of this light,

Myself, the hardest object of the sight.

God is the glass; as thou when thou dost see

Him who sees all, see'st all concerning thee,

So, yet unglorified, I comprehend

All, in these mirrors of thy ways, and end;

Though God be our true glass, through which we see

All, since the being of all things is he,

Yet are the trunks which do to us derive

Things, in proportion fit by perspective,

Deeds of good men, for by their living here,

Virtues, indeed remote, seem to be near;

But where can I affirm, or where arrest

My thoughts on his deeds? which shall I call best I

For fluid virtue cannot be look'd on,

Nor can endure a contemplation;

As bodies change, and as I do not wear

Those spirits, humours, blood I did last year;

And, as if on a stream I fix mine eye,

That drop, which I looked on, is presently

Pushed with more waters from my sight, and gone,

So in this sea of virtues, can no one

Be insisted on; virtues, as rivers, pass,

Yet still remains that virtuous man there was;

And as if man feeds on man's flesh, and so

Part of bis body to another owe,

Yet at the last two perfect bodies rise,

Because God knows where every atom lies;

So, if one knowledge were made of all those,

Who knew his minutes well, he might dispose

His virtues into names, and ranks; but I

Should injure nature, virtue, and destiny,

Should I divide and discontinue so,

Virtue, which did in one entireness grow.

For as he that would say, spirits are fram'd

Of all the purest parts that can be nam'd,

Honours not spirits half so much, as he

Which says, they have no parts, but simple be;

So is it of virtue; for a point and one

Are much entirer than a million.

And had fate meant to have his virtues told,

It would have let him live to have been old,

So then, that virtue iu season, and then this,

We might have seen, and said, that now he is

Witty, now wise, now temperate, now just:

In good short lives, virtues are fain to thrust,

And to be sure betimes to get a place,

When, they would exercise, lack time, and space.

So was it in this person, forced to be

For lack of time, his own epitome.

So to exhibit in few years as much,

As all the long breath'd chronicles can touch;

As when an angel down from heaven doth fly,

Our quick thought cannot keep him company,

We cannot think, now he is at the sun,

Now through the moon, now he through the air doth

Yet when he's come, we know he did repair

To all twixt heaven and earth, sun, moon and air.

And as this angel in an instant, knows,

And yet we know, this sudden knowledge grows

By quick amassing several forms of things,

Which he successively to order brings;

When they, whose slow-paced lame thoughts cannot i

So fast as he, think that he doth not so;

Just as a perfect reader doth not dwell,

On every syllable, nor stay to spell,

Yet without doubt he doth distinctly see

And lay together every A, and B;

So, in short lived good men, is not understood

Each several virtue, but the compound good.

For, they all virtue's paths in that pace tread,

As angels go, and know, and as men read.

O why should then these men, these lumps of balm

Sent thither, the world's tempest to becalm,

Before by deeds they are diffused and spread,

And so make us alive, themselves be dead I

O soul, O circle, why so quickly be

Thy ends, thy birth and death, closed up in thee?

Since one foot of thy compass still was placed

Tn heaven, the other might securely have paced

In the most large extent, through every path,

Which the whole world, or man, the abridgment hath.

Thou know'st, that though the tropic circles have

(Yea and those small ones whieh the poles engrave,)

All the same roundness, evenness, and all

The endlessness of the equinoctial;

Yet, when we come to measure distances,

How here, how there, the sun affected is,

When he doth faintly work, and when prevail,

Only great circles then can be our scale:

So, though thy circle to thyself express

All, tending to thy endless happiness,

And we by our good use of it may try,

Both how to live well young, and how to die,

Yet since we must be old, and age endures

His torrid zone at court, and calentures

Of hot ambitions, irreligious ice,

Zeal's agues; and hydroptic avarice,

Infirmities which need the scale of truth,

As well, as lust and ignorance of youth;

Why did'st thou not for these give medicines too,

And by thy doing tell us what to do?

Though as small pocket-clocks, whose every wheel

Doth each mismotion and distemper feel,

Whose hands get shaking palsies, and whose string

(His sinews) slackens, and whose soul, the spring,

Expires, or languishes, whose pulse, the fly,

Either beats not, or beats unevenly,

Whose voice, the bell, doth rattle, or grow dumb,

Or idle, as men, which to their last hours come,

If these clocks be not wound, or be wound still,

Or be not set, or set at every will;

So, youth is easiest to destruction,

If then we follow all, or follow none;

Yet, as in great clocks, which in steeples chime,

Placed to inform whole towns, to employ their time,

An error doth more harm, being general,

When small clocks' faults, only on the wearer fall.

So work the faults of age, on which the eye

Of children, servants, or the state rely.

Why would'st not thou then, which had'st such a soul,

A clock so true, as might the sun controul,

And daily hadst from him, who gave it thee,

Instructions, such as it could never be

Disordered, stay here, as a general

And great sun-dial, to have set us all i

O why would'st thou be any instrument

To this unnatural course, or why consent

To this, not miracle, but prodigy,

That when the ebbs longer than flowings be,

Virtue, whose flood did with his youth begin,

Should so much faster ebb out, than flow in?

Though her flood was blown in, by thy first breath,

All is at once sunk in the whirlpool death.

Which word I would not name, but that I see

Death, else a desert, grown a court by thee.

Now I grow sure, that if a man would have

Good company, his entry is a grave.

Methinks all cities, now, but ant-hills be,

Where when the several labourers I see,

For children, house, provision, taking pain,

They are all but ants, carrying eggs, straw, and grain*;

And church-yards are our cities, unto which

The most repair, that are in goodness rich.

There is the best concourse, and confluence,

There are the holy suburbs, and from thence

Begins God's city, New Jerusalem,

Which doth extend her utmost gates to them;

At that gate then, triumphant soul, dost thou

Begin thy triumph; but since laws allow

That at the triumph day, the people may,

All that they will, 'gainst the triumpher say,

Let me here use that freedom, and express

My grief, though not to make thy triumph less.

By law, to triumphs none admitted be,

Till they as magistrates get victory,

Though then to thy force, all youth's foes did yield,

Yet till fit time had brought thee to that field

To which thy rank in this state destined thee,

That there thy counsels might get victory,

* Speaking of the consternation at Queen Elizabeth's death, he says, "When every one of you in the city were running up and down like ants with their eggs bigger than themselves, every man with his bags, Almighty God sent down his spirit of unity."—Serm. cliv.

And so in that capacity remove

All jealousies 'twixt prince and subjects' love,

Thou could'st no title to this triumph have,

Thou didst intrude on death, usurp'st a grave.

That (though victoriously) thou hadst fought as yet

But with thine own affections, with the heat

Of youth's desires, and colds of ignorance,

But till thou should'st successfully advance

Thine arms 'gainst foreign enemies, which are

Both envy, and acclamation popular,

(For both these engines equally defeat,

Though by a divers mine, those which are great,)

Till then thy war was but a civil war,

For which to triumph, none admitted are;

No more are they, who though with good success,

In a defensive war, their power express.

Before men triumph, the dominion

Must be enlarged, and not preserved alone;

Why should'st thou then, whose battles were to win

Thyself, from those straits nature put thee in,

And to deliver up to God that state,

Of which he gave thee the vicariate,

(Which is thy soul and body) as entire

As he, who take endeavours, doth require,

But didst not stay, to enlarge his kingdom too,

By making others, what thou didst, to do:

Why should'st thou triumph now, when heaven no r

Hath got, by getting thee, than it had before?

For heaven and thou, even when thou lived'st here,

Of one another in possession were;

But this from triumph most disables thee,

That that place which is conquered, must be

Left safe from present war, and likely doubt

Of imminent commotions to break out.

And hath he left us so? or can it bo

His territory was no more than he?

No, we were all his charge; the Diocis

Of ev'ry exemplar man, the whole world is,

And he was joined in commission

With tutelar angels, sent to every one.

But though this freedom to upbraid, and chide

Him who triumphed, were lawful, it was tied

With this, that it might never reference have

Unto the senate, who this triumph gave;

Meu might at Pompey jest, but they might not

At that authority, by which he got

Leave to triumph, before, by age, he might:

So, though, triumphant soul, I dare to write,

Moved with a reverential anger, thus,

That thou so early would'st abandon;

Yet I am far from daring to dispute

With that great sovereignty, whose absolute

Prerogative hath thus dispensed with thee,

'Gainst nature's laws, which just impugners be

Of early triumphs; and I (though with pain)

Lessen our loss, to magnify thy gain

Of triumph, when 1 say, it was more fit,

That all men should lack thee, than thou lack it.

Though then in our time, be not suffered

That testimony of love, unto the dead,

To die with thorn, and in their graves be hid,

As Saxon wives, and French soldurii* did;

And though in no degree I can express,

Grief in great Alexander's great excess,

Who at his friend's death, made whole towns divest

Their walls and bulwarks which became them best:

Do not, fair soul, this sacrifice refuse,

That in thy grave I do inter my Muse,

Who, by my grief, great as thy worth, being cast

Behindhand, yet hath spoke, and spoke her last.

* Soldurii.—On these Cuesar says, De Bell. Gall. iii. 22; "Adcantuanus, qui summam imperii tenebat, cum sexcentis devotis, quos soldurios appellant; quorum hsec est conditio, ut omnibus in vita commodis una cum bis fmantur, quorum se amicitise dediderint; siquid iis per vim accidat, aut eundem casum una ferant, aut sibi mortem consciscant Nequc adhuc hominum memoria repertus est quisquam, qui eo interfecto, cujus se amicitim devovisset, mori recusaret." This seems to be the true original of our word " soldier," and not solidarius, as Johnson says.—Ed.


Elegy On Prince Henry.

Look to me faith, and look to my faith, God;

For both my centres feel this period.

Of weight one centre, one of greatness is;

And reason is that centre, faith is this;

For into our reason flow, and there do end

All, that this natural world doth comprehend:

Quotidian things, and equidistant hence,

Shut in, for man, in one circumference.

But for th' enormous greatnesses, which are

So disproportioned, and so angular,

As is God's essence, place and providence,

Where, how, when, what souls do, departed hence,

These things (eccentric else) on faith do strike;

Yet neither all, nor upon all, alike.

For reason, put to her best extension,

Almost meets faith, and makes both centres one.

And nothing ever came so near to this,

As contemplation of that prince we miss.

For all that faith might credit mankind could,

Reason still seconded, that this prince would.

If then least moving of the centre, make

More, than if whole hell belched, the world to shake,

What must this do, centres distracted so,

That we see not what to believe or know?

Was it not well believed till now, that he,

Whose reputation was an ecstasy,

On neighbour states, which knew not why to wake,

Till he discovered what ways he would take;

For whom what princes angled, when they tried,

Met a torpedo, and were stupified;

And others' studies, how he would be bent,

Was his great father's greatest instrument,

And activ'st spirit, to convey and tie

This soul of peace, through Christianity;

Was it not well believed, that he would make

This general peace, th' Eternal overtake,

And that his times might have stretched out so far,

As to touch those, of which they emblems are?

For to confirm this just belief, that now

The last days came, we saw heaven did allow,

That, but from his aspect and exercise,

In peaceful times, rumours of war did rise.

But now this faith is heresy: we must

Still stay, and vex our great-grandmother, dust.

Oh, is God prodigal? Hath he spent his store

Of plagues, on us, and only now, when more

Would ease us much, doth he grudge misery;

And will not let's enjoy our curse, to die t

As for the earth, thrown lowest down of all,

T'were an ambition to desire to fall,

So God, in our desire to die, doth know

Our plot for ease, in being wretched so.

Therefore we live; though such a life we have,

As but so many mandrakes on his grave.

What had his growth, and generation done,

When, what we are, his putrefaction

Sustains in us; earth, which griefs animate;

Nor hath our world now, other soul than that.

And could grief get so high as heaven, that quire,

Forgetting this their new joy, would desire

(With grief to see him) he had stayed below,

To rectify our errors they foreknow.

Is th' other centre, reason, faster then?

Where should we look for that, now we are not men

For if our reason be our connexion

Of causes, now to us there can be none.

For, as if all the substances were spent,

'Twere madness, to inquire of accident,

So is't to look for reason, he being gone,

The only Bubject reason wrought upon.

If fate have such a chain, whoso divers links

Industrious man discerneth, as he thinks,

When miracle doth come, and so steal in

A new link, man knows not, where to begin:

At a much deader fault must reason be,

Death having broke off such a link as he.

But now, for us, with busy proof to come,

That we have no reason, would prove we had some.

So would just lamentations: therefore we

May safelier say, that we are dead, than he.

So, if our griefs we do not well declare,

We have double excuse; he is not dead; and we are.

Yet I would not die yet; for though I bo

Too narrow, to think him as he is he,

(Our soul's best baiting, and mid-period,

In her long journey, of considering God)

Yet, (no dishonour) I can reach him thus,

As he embraced the fires of love, with us.

Oh may I, (since I live) but see, or hear,

That she-intelligence which moved this sphere,

I pardon fate my life: whoe'er thou be

Which hast the noble conscience thou art she,

I conjure thee by all the charms he spoke,

By the oaths, which only you two never broke,

By all the souls ye sighed, that if you sec

These lines, you wish, I knew your history,

So much, as you two mutual heavens were here,

I were an angel, singing what you were.


To Sir Robert Carr.


I presume you rather try what you can do in me, than what I can do in verse, you know my uttermost when it was best, and even then I did best when I had least truth for my subjects, in this present case there is so much truth as it defeats all poetry. Call therefore this paper by what name you will, and, if it be not worthy of you nor of him, we will smother it, and be it your sacrifice. If you had commanded me to have waited on his body to Scotland and preached there, I would have embraced your obligation with much alacrity; but I thank you that you would command me that which I was loather to do, for even that hath given a tincture of merit to the obedience of

Your poor friend and servant in Christ Jesus,

J. Donne.

An Hymn To The Saints, And To Marquess Hamilton.

Whether that soul which now comes up to you
Fill any former rank or make a new,
Whether it take a name named there before,
Or be a name itself, and order more
Than was in heaven till now; (for may not he
Be so, if every several angel be

A kind alone ?) whatever order grow

Greater by him in heaven, we do not so;

One of your orders grows by his access;

But by his loss grow all our orders less;

The name of father, master, friend, the name

Of subject and of prince, in one are lame;

Fair mirth is damped, and conversation black,

The household widowed, and the garter slack;

The chapel wants an ear, council a tongue;

Story, a theme; and music lacks a song;

Blest order that hath him, the loss of him

Gangred * all orders here; all lost a limb.

Never made body such haste to confess

What a soul was; all former comeliness

Fled, in a minute, when the soul was gone,

And, having lost that beauty, would have none,

So fell our monasteries, in one instant grown

Not to less houses, but, to heaps of stone;

So sent this body that fair form it wore,

Unto the sphere of forms, and doth (before

His soul shall fill up his sepulchral stone,)

Anticipate a resurrection;

For, as in his fame, now, his soul is here,

So, in the form thereof his body's there;

And if, fair soul, not with first innocents

Thy station be, but with the penitents,

(And who shall dare to ask, then, when I am

Dyed scarlet in the blood of that pure Lamb,

Whether that colour, which is scarlet then,

Were black or white before in eyes of men?)

When thou rememb,rest what sins thou didst find

Amongst those many friends now left behind,

And seest such sinners as they are, with thee

Got thither by repentance, let it be

Thy wish to wish all there, to wish them clean;

Wish him a David, her a Magdalen.

* Tims in the edition of 1633. Anderson has "gangrened." Johnson does not notice this form.—Ei).


An Epitaph On Shakspeabe.

Renowned Chaucer, lie a thought more nigh

To rare Beaumond; and learned Beauinond lie

A little nearer Spencer, to make room

For Shakspeare in your threefold fourfold tomb.

To lie all four in one bed make a shift,

For until doomsday hardly will a fift

Betwixt this day and that be slain,

For whom your curtains need be drawn again;

But, if precedency of death doth bar

A fourth place in your sacred sepulchre,

Under this curled marble of thine own

Sleep rare tragedian Shakspeare, sleep alone,

That unto us and others it may be

Honour, hereafter to be laid by thee.

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