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Or any other of that heavenly brood
Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some
Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who, having clad thyself in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post
And after short abode fly back with speed,
As if to show what creatures heaven doth breed;
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sordid world, and unto heaven aspire?
But oh! why didst thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy heaven-loved innocence,
To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black Perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering Pestilence,
To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart? But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.
Then thou, the Mother of so sweet a Child,
Her false-imagined loss cease to lament,
And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild:
Think what a present thou to God hast sent,
And render him with patience what he lent.
This if thou do, he will an offspring give,
That, till the world's last end, shall make thy name
FLY, envious Time! till thou run out thy race; Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; And glut thyself with what thy womb devours, Which is no more than what is false and vain, And merely mortal dross :
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain!
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd, And last of all thy greedy self consumed,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of Him, to whose happy-making sight alone When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb; Then, all this earthly grossness quit,
Attired with stars, we shall for ever sit, Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time!
In Milton's manuscript, written with his own hand, the title is, On Time. TO BE SET ON A CLOCK-CASE.'
BLESS'D pair of Syrens! pledges of Heaven's joy!
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse!
Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd power employ
Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce;
And to our high-raised phantasy present
That undisturbed song of pure concent,
Aye sung before the sapphire-color'd throne
To Him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee ;
Where the bright Seraphim, in burning row,
Their loud up-lifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the cherubic host, in thousand quires,
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
That we on earth, with undiscording voice,
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportion'd sin
Jarr'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair music that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O, may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light!
MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER.
THIS rich marble doth inter
The honor'd wife of Winchester,
A viscount's daughter, an earl's heir,
Besides what her virtues fair
Added to her noble birth,
More than she could own from earth.
Summers three times eight save one
She had told; alas! too soon,
After so short time of breath,
To house with darkness, and with death..
Yet had the number of her days
Been as complete as was her praise,
Nature and Fate had had no strife
In giving limit to her life.
Her high birth, and her graces sweet,
Quickly found a lover meet;
The virgin quire for her request
The God that sits at marriage feast;
He at their invoking came,
But with a scarce well-lighted flame
And in his garland, as he stood,
Ye might discern a cypress bud.
Once had the early matrons run
To greet her of a lovely son,
And now with second hope she goes,
And calls Lucina to her throes;
But, whether by mischance or blame,
Atropos for Lucina came;
And with remorseless cruelty
Spoil'd at once both fruit and tree :
The hapless babe, before his birth,
Had burial, yet not laid in earth;
And the languish'd mother's womb
Was not long a living tomb.
So have I seen some tender slip
Saved with care from winter's nip,
The pride of her carnation train,
Pluck'd up by some unheedy swain,
Who only thought to crop the flower
New shot up from vernal shower:
But the fair blossom hangs the head
Side-ways, as on a dying bed;
And those pearls of dew, she wears,
Prove to be presaging tears,
Which the sad morn had let fall
On her hastening funeral.
Gentle Lady! may thy grave
Peace and quiet ever have.
After this thy travel sore
Sweet rest seize thee evermore ;
That, to give the world increase,
Shorten'd hast thy own life's lease.
Here, besides the sorrowing
That thy noble house doth bring,
Here be tears of perfect moan
Wept for thee in Helicon ;
And some flowers, and some bays,
For thy hearse, to strew the ways,
Sent thee from the banks of Came,
Devoted to thy virtuous name;