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But power your grace can above Nature give,
It can give power to make abortives live;
In which, if our bold wishes should be crost,
"Tis but the life of one poor week 't has lost :
Though it should fall beneath your mortal scorn,
Scarce could it die more quickly than 't was born.



It was a dismal and a fearful night,

Scarce could the Morn drive on th' unwilling

When Sleep, Death's image, left my troubled

By something liker death possest.
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow,

And on my soul hung the dull weight
Of some intolerable fate.

What bell was that? ah me! too much I know.

My sweet companion, and my gentle peer,
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here,
Thy end for ever, and my life, to moan?

O, thou hast left me all alone!
Thy soul and body, when death's agony
Besieg'd around thy noble heart,

Did not with more reluctance part,
Than I, my dearest friend! do part from thee.
My dearest friend, would I had dy'd for thee!
Life and this world henceforth will tedious be.
Nor shall I know hereafter what to do,

If once my griefs prove tedious too.
Silent and sad I walk about all day,

As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by
Where their hid treasures lie;
Alas! my treasure's gone! why do I stay?
He was my friend, the truest friend on Earth;
A strong and mighty influence join'd our birth;
Nor did we envy the most sounding name

By friendship given of old to Fame.
None but his brethren he, and sisters, knew,

Whom the kind youth preferr'd to me;
And ev'n in that we did agree,
For much above myself I lov'd them too.
Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights,
How oft unweary'd have we spent the nights,
Till the Ledæan stars, so fam'd for love,
Wonder'd at us from above!

We spent them not in toys, in lusts, or wine;
But search of deep philosophy,

Wit, eloquence, and poetry,

Arts which I lov'd, for they, my friend, were

Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say
Have ye not seen us walking every day?
Was there a tree about which did not know

The love betwixt us two?
Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade;
Or your sad branches thicker join,
And into darksome shades combine,
Dark as the grave wherein my friend is laid!
Henceforth, no learned youths beneath you sing,
Till all the tuneful birds t' your boughs they

No tuneful birds play with their wouted cheer,
And call the learned youths to hear;
No whistling winds through the glad branches fly:
But all, with sad solemnity,

Mute and unmoved be,

Mute as the grave wherein my friend does lie.
To him my Muse made haste with every strain,
Whilst it was new and warm yet from the brain:
He lov'd my worthless rhymes, and, like a friend,
Would find out something to commend.
Hence now, my Muse! thou canst not me delight:
Be this my latest verse,

With which I now adorn his hearse;
And this my grief, without thy help, shall write.
Had I a wreath of bays about my brow,

I should contemn that flourishing honour now;
Condemn it to the fire, and joy to hear

It rage and crackle there.

Instead of bays, crown with sad cypress me ;
Cypress, which tombs does beautify:
Not Phoebus griev'd, so much as I,

For him who first was made that mournful tree.
Large was his soul; as large a soul as e'er
Submitted to inform a body here;

High as the place 'twas shortly in Heaven te

But low and humble as his grave:

So high, that all the Virtues there did come.
As to their chiefest seat
Conspicuous and great;

So low, that for me too it made a room.
He scorn'd this busy world below, and all
That we, mistaken mortals! pleasure call;
Was fill'd with innocent gallantry and truth.
Triumphant o'er the sins of youth.
He, like the stars, to which he now is gone,
That shine with beams like flame,
Yet burn not with the same,

Had all the light of youth, of the fire none.

Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught,
As if for him Knowledge had rather sought:
Nor did more learning ever crowded lie

In such a short mortality.

Whene'er the skilful youth discours'd or writ,
Still did the notions throng

About his eloquent tongue,

Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit.

So strong a wit did Nature to him frame,
As all things but his judgment overcame;
His judgment like the heavenly moon did show,
Tempering that mighty sea below.
Oh! had he liv'd in Learning's world, what bound
Would have been able to control

His over-powering soul;

We 'ave lost in him arts that not yet are found.
His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit,
Yet never did his God or friends forget;
And, when deep talk and wisdom came in view,
Retir'd, and gave to them their due:
For the rich help of books he always took,
Though his own searching mind before
Was so with notions written o'er
As if wise Nature had made that her book.
So many virtues join'd in him, as we
Can scarce pick here and there in history;
More than old writers' practice e'er could reach,
As much as they could ever teach.

These did Religion, queen of virtues! sway;
And all their sacred motions steer,
Just like the first and highest sphere,
Which wheels about, and turns all Heaven one way.

With as much zeal, devotion, piety,

He always liv'd, as other saints do die.
Still with his soul severe account he kept,

Weeping all debts out ere he slept;
Then down in peace and innocence he lay,
Like the Sun's laborious light,
Which still in water sets at night,
Unsullied with his journey of the day.

Wondrous young man! why wert thou made so good,
To be snatch'd hence ere better understood?
Snatch'd before half of thee enough was seen!

Thou ripe, and yet thy life but green'
Nor could thy friends take their last sad farewell;
But danger and infectious death
Maliciously seiz'd on that breath

Where life, spirit, pleasure, always us'd to dwell.
But happy thou, ta'en from this frantic age,
Where ignorance and hypocrisy does rage!
A fitter time for Heaven no soul ere chose,

The place now only free from those.
There 'mong the blest thou dost for ever shine,
And, wheresoe'er thou casts thy view,
Upon that white and radiant crew,
See'st not a soul cloth'd with more light than thine.
And, if the glorious saints cease not to know
Their wretched friends who fight with life below,
Thy flame to me does still the same abide,

Only more pure and rarefy'd.

There, whilst immortal hymns thou dost rehearse,
Thou dost with holy pity see
Our dull and earthy poesy,

Where grief and misery can be join'd with verse.


IN IMITATION OF HORACE'S ODE, Quis multâ gracilis te puer in rosâ Perfusus, &c.

Lib. I. Od. v.

To whom now, Pyrrha, art thou kind?

To what heart-ravish'd lover

Dost thou thy golden locks unbind,

Thy hidden sweets discover, And with large bounty open set All the bright stores of thy rich cabinet? Ah, simple youth! how oft will he

Of thy chang'd faith complain?

And his own fortunes find to be

So airy and so vain,

Of so cameleon-like an hue,

That still their colour changes with it too! How oft, alas! will he admire

The blackness of the skies! Trembling to hear the wind sound higher, And see the billows rise! Poor unexperienc'd he,

Who ne'er alas! before had been at sea!
He enjoys thy calmy sunshine now,
And no breath stirring hears;

In the clear heaven of thy brow
No smallest cloud appears

He sees thee gentle, fair, and gay, And trusts the faithless April of thy May. Unhappy, thrice unhappy, he,

T'whom thou untry'd dost shine!But there's no danger now for me, Since o'er Loretto's shrine, In witness of the shipwreck past, My consecrated vessel hangs at last.



Si tecum mihi, chare Martialis, &c. L. v. Ep. xx.

Ir, dearest friend, it my good fate might be
T enjoy at once a quiet life and thee;
If we for happiness could leisure find,
And wandering Time into a method bind;
We should not sure the great-men's favour need,
Nor on long hopes, the court's thin diet, feed;
We should not patience find daily to hear
The calumnies and flatteries spoken there;
We should not the lords' tables humbly use,
Or talk in ladies' chambers love and news;
But books, and wise discourse, gardens and fields,
And all the joys that unmixt Nature yields;
Thick summer shades, where winter still does lic,
Bright winter fires, that summer's part supply:
Sleep, not control'd by cares, confin'd to night,
Or bound in any rule but appetite:
Free, but not savage or ungracious mirth,
Rich wines, to give it quick and easy birth;
A few companions, which ourselves should chase,
A gentle mistress, and a gentler Muse.

Such dearest friend! such, without doubt, should be

Our place, our business, and our company.
Now to himself, alas! does neither live.
But sees good suns, of which we are to give
A strict account, set and march thick away:
Knows a man how to live, and does he stay?



MARGARITA first possest,

If I remember well, my breast,
Margarita first of all;

But when awhile the wanton maid
With my restless heart had play'd,
Martha took the flying ball.

Martha soon did it resign

To the beauteous Catharine. Beauteous Catharine gave place (Though loth and angry she to part With the possession of my heart)

To Eliza's conquering face. Eliza till this hour might reign,

Had she not evil counsels ta'en Fundamental laws she broke, And still new favourites she chose, Till up in arms my passions rose, And cast away her yoke. Mary then, and gentle Anne,

Both to reign at once began

Alternately they sway'd,

And sometimes Mary was the fair,

And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,
And sometimes both I obey'd.

Another Mary then arose,

And did rigorous laws impose;
A mighty tyrant she!
Long, alas! should I have been
Under that iron-scepter'd queen,

Had not Rebecca set me free.

When fair Rebecca set me free,

'Twas then a golden time with me:
But soon those pleasures fled;

For the gracious princess dy'd,
In her youth and beauty's pride,

And Judith reigned in her stead.

One month, three days, and half an hour,
Judith held the sovereign power:
Wondrous beautiful her face!

But so weak and small her wit,
That she to govern was unfit,

And so Susanna took her place.

But when Isabella came,

Arm'd with a resistless flame, And th' artillery of her eye; Whilst she proudly march'd about, Greater conquests to find out,

She beat out Susan by the by.

But in her place I then obey'd

Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy maid; To whom ensued a vacancy: Thousand worse passions then possest The interregnum of my breast;

Bless me from such an anarchy !

Gentle Henrietta then,

And a third Mary, next began ;
Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria;
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Katharine,

And then a long et cætera.

But should I now to you relate

The strength and riches of their state, The powder, patches, and the pins, The ribbons, jewels, and the rings, The lace, the paint, and warlike things, That make up all their magazines;

If I should tell the politic arts

To take and keep men's hearts; The letters, embassies, and spies, The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries, The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,

(Numberless, nameless, mysteries!) And all the little lime-twigs laid,

By Machiavel the waiting maid;
I more voluminous should grow
(Chiefly if I like them should tell
All change of weathers that befell)
Than Holinshed or Stow.

But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me.
An higher and a nobler strain

My present emperess does claim,
Heleonora, first o' th' name;

Whom God grant long to reign!



METHINKS heroic poesy till now,

Like some fantastic fairy-land did show;
Gods, devils, nymphs, witches, and giants' race,
And all but man, in man's chief work had place.
Thou, like some worthy knight with sacred arms,
Dost drive the monsters thence, and end the charms,
Instead of those dost men and manners plant,
The things which that rich soil did chiefly want.
Yet ev'n thy mortals do their gods excel,
Taught by thy Muse to fight and love so well.

By fatal hands whilst present empires fall,
Thine from the grave past monarchies recall;
So much more thanks from human-kind does

The poet's fury than the zealot's spirit:

And from the grave thou mak'st this empire rise,
Not like some dreadful ghost, t' affright our eyes,
But with more lustre and triumphant state,
Than when it crown'd at proud Verona sate.
So will our God rebuild man's perish'd frame,
And raise him up much better, yet the same:
So god-like poets do past things rehearse,
Not change, but heighten, Nature by their verse.
With shame, methinks, great Italy must see
Her conquerors rais'd to life again by thee:
Rais'd by such powerful verse, that ancient Rome
May blush no less to see her wit o'ercome.
Some men their fancies, like their faith, derive,
And think all ill but that which Rome does give ;
The marks of old and Catholic would find;
To the same chair would truth and fiction bind.
Thou in those beaten paths disdain'st to tread,
And scorn'st to live by robbing of the dead.
Since Time does all things change, thou think'st
not fit

This latter age should see all new but wit;
Thy fancy, like a flame, its way does make,
And leave bright tracts for following pens to take.
Sure 'twas this noble boldness of the Muse
Did thy desire to seek new worlds infuse;
And ne'er did Heaven so much a voyage bless,
If thou canst plant but there with like success.

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Brave Jersey Muse! and he's for this high style Call'd to this day the Homer of the isle. Alas! to men here no words less hard be To rhyme with, than 4 Mount Orgueil is to me; Mount Orgueil! which, in scorn o' th' Muses law, With no yoke-fellow word will deign to draw. Stubborn Mount Orgueil !' tis a work to make it Come into rhyme, more hard than 'twere to take it. Alas! to bring your tropes and figures here, Strange as to bring camels and elephants were; And metaphor is so unknown a thing,

'Twould need the preface of God save the king.
Yet this I'll say, for th' honour of the place,
That, by God's extraordinary grace
(Which shows the people have judgment, if not wit)
The land is undefil'd with clinches yet;
Which, in my poor opinion, I confess,
Is a most singular blessing, and no less

Than Ireland's wanting spiders. And, so far
From th' actual sin of bombast too they are,
(That other crying sin o' th' English Muse)
That even Satan himself can accuse

None here (no not so much as the divines)
For th' motus primò primi to strong lines.
Well, since the soil then does not naturally bear
Verse, who (a devil) should import it here?
For that to me would seem as strange a thing
As who did first wild beasts int' islands bring;
Unless you think that it might taken be,
As Green did Gondibert, in a prize at sea:
But that's a fortune falls not every day;
'Tis true Green was made by it; for they say
The parl'ament did a noble bounty do,
And gave him the whole prize, their tenths and
fifteenths too.



Against the Dogmatists.

THE sacred tree midst the fair orchard grew;
The Phoenix Truth did on it rest,
And built his perfum'd nest:

That right Porphyrian tree which did true logic shew.

Each leaf did learned notions give,
And th' apples were demonstrative:

So clear their colour and divine,

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SOME blind themselves, 'cause possibly they may Be led by others a right way;

They build on sands, which if unmov'd they find, 'Tis but because there was no wind.

Less hard 'tis, not to err ourselves, than know
If our forefathers err'd or no.

When we trust men concerning God, we then
Trust not God concerning men.

Visions and inspirations some expect

Their course here to direct;

Like senseless chymists their own wealth destroy, Imaginary gold t' enjoy :

So stars appear to drop to us from sky,

And gild the passage as they fly;

But when they fall, and meet th' opposing ground, What but a sordid slime is found?

Sometimes their fancies they 'bove reason set,

And fast, that they may dream of meat; Sometimes ill spirits their sickly souls delude, And bastard forms obtrude;

So Endor's wretched sorceress, although

She Saul through his disguise did know, Yet, when the devil comes up disguis'd, she cries, "Behold! the Gods arise."

In vain alas! these outward hopes are try'd ;
Reason within's our only guide;

Reason, which (God be prais'd!) still walks, for all
Its old original fall;

And, since itself the boundless Godhead join'd
With a reasonable mind,

The very shade they cast did other lights out-shine. It plainly shows that mysteries divine

"Taste not," said God, "tis mine and angels'


A certain death doth sit,

Like an ill worm, i' th' core of it.

Ye cannot know and live, nor live or know, and eat." Thus spoke God, yet man did go

Ignorantly on to know;

Grew so more blind, and she

Who tempted him to this grew yet more blind than he.

The only science man by this did get,

Was but to know he nothing knew:
He straight his nakedness did view,

His ignorant poor estate, and was asham'd of it.
Yet searches probabilities,
And rhetoric, and fallacies,

The name of one of the castles in Jersey.

May with our reason join.

The holy book, like the eighth sphere, does shine
With thousand lights of truth divine:

So numberless the stars, that to the eye
It makes but all one galaxy.
Yet Reason must assist too; for, in seas
So vast and dangerous as these,
Our course by stars above we cannot know,
Without the compass too below.

Though Reason cannot through Faith's mysteries


It sees that there and such they be ; Leads to Heaven's door, and there does humbly keep, And there through chinks and key-holes peep; Though it, like Moses, by a sad command, Must not come into th' Holy Land, Yet thither it infallibly does guide, And from afar 'tis all descry'd.

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Ah wretched we, poets of Earth! but thou
Wert living the same poet which thou'rt now;
Whilst angels sing to thee their airs divine,
And joy in an applause so great as thine,
Equal society with them to hold,

Thou need'st not make new songs, but say the old;
And they (kind spirits!) shall all rejoice, to see
How little less than they exalted man may be.
Still the old Heathen gods in numbers dwell;
The heavenliest thing on Earth still keeps up Hell;
Nor have we quite purg'd the Christian land;
Still idols here, like calves at Bethel, stand.

And, though Pan's death long since all oracles broke,

Yet still in rhyme the fiend Apollo spoke :
Nay, with the worst of heathen dotage, we
(Vain men!) the monster Woman deify;
Find stars, and tie our fates there in a face,
And Paradise in them, by whom we lost it, place.
What different faults corrupt our Muses thus ?
Wanton as girls, as old wives fabulous!

Thy spotless Muse, like Mary, did contain
The boundless Godhead; she did well disdain
That her eternal verse employ'd should be
On a less subject than eternity;

And for a sacred mistress scorn'd to take,

Hail, bard triumphant! and some care bestow
On us the poets militant below!
Oppos'd by our old enemy, adverse Chance,
Attack'd by Envy and by Ignorance;
Enchain'd by Beauty, tortur'd by desires,
Expos'd by tyrant Love to savage beasts and fires.
Thou from low Earth in nobler flames didst rise,
And, like Elijah, mount alive the skies.
Elisha-like, (but with a wish much less,
More fit thy greatness and my littleness)
Lo! here I beg (I, whom thou once didst prove
Not that thy spirit might on me doubled be,
So humble to esteem, so good to love)

I ask but half thy mighty spirit for me:

And, when my Muse soars with so strong a wing, 'Twill learn of things divine, and first of thee, to sing.



MEETING accidentally with this poem in manuscript, and being informed, that it was a piece of the incomparable Mr. A. C.'s, I thought it unjust to hide such a treasure from the world. I remembered that our author, in his preface to his works,7 makes mention of some poems written by him on the late civil war, of which the following copy is unquestionably a part. In his most imperfect and unfinished pieces, you will discover the hand of so great a master. And (whatever his own modesty might have advised to the contrary) there is not one careless stroke of his but what should be kept sacred to posterity. He could write nothing that was not worth the preserving, being habitually a poet, and always inspired. In this

But her whom God himself scorn'd not his spouse to piece the judicious reader will find the turn of the


t (in a kind) her miracle did do;

A fruitful mother was, and virgin too.

verse to be his; the same copious and lively imagery of fancy, the same warmth of passion and

How well (blest swan!) did Fate contrive thy delicacy of wit, that sparkles in all his writings.


And made thee render up thy tuneful breath
In thy great mistress' arms, thou most divine
And richest offering of Loretto's shrine!
Where, like some holy sacrifice t' expire,
A fever burns thee, and Love lights the fire.
Angels (they say) brought the fam'd chapel there,
And bore the sacred load in triumph through the

'Tis surer much they brought thee there; and they, And thou, their charge, went singing all the way.

Pardon, my Mother Church! if I consent
That angels led him when from thee he went;
For ev'nin errour sure no danger is,
When join'd with so much piety as his.

Ah, mighty God! with shame I speak't, and grief,
Ah, that our greatest faults were in belief!

And our weak reason were ev'n weaker yet,
Rather than thus our wills too strong for it!

His faith, perhaps, in some nice tenets might
Be wrong; his life, I'm sure, was in the right;
And I myself a Catholic will be,

So far at least, great saint! to pray to thee.

• Mr. Crashaw died of a fever at Loretto, being newly chosen canon of that church.

And certainly no labours of a genius so rich in itself, and so cultivated with learning and manners, can prove an unwelcome present to the world. WHAT rage does England from itself divide,

More than the seas from all the world beside?
From every part the roaring cannons play,
From every part blood roars as loud as they.
What English ground but still some moisture bears,
Of young men's blood, and more of mothers' tears?
What air's unthicken'd with the sighs of wives,
Though more of maids for their dear lovers' lives?
Alas! what triumphs can this victory shew,
That dyes us red in blood and blushes too!
How can we wish that conquest, which bestows
Cypress, not bays, upon the conquering brows?
It was not so when Henry's dreadful name,
Not sword, nor cause, whole nations overcame.
To farthest West did his swift conquests run,
Nor did his glory set but with the Sun.

6 This and the two following poems are not given with certainty as Cowley's. They have been ascribed to him; are possibly genuine; and therefore are preserved in this collection.

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