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Yet thou 'rt not yet so good; till us death lay
To ripe and mellow there, we 're stubborn clay,
Parents make us earth, and souls dignify
Us to be glass; here to grow gold we lie;
Whilst in our souls sin bred and pamper'd is,
Our souls become worm-eaten carcasses.



DEATH, be not proud; thy hand gave not this blow,
Sin was her captive, whence thy power doth flow;
The executioner of wrath thou art,

But to destroy the just is not thy part.
Thy coming terrour, anguish, grief denounces;
Her happy state courage, ease, joy pronounces.
From out the crystal palace of her breast,
The clearer soul was call'd to endless rest,
(Not by the thund'ring voice, wherewith God threats,
But as with crowned saints in Heav'n he treats)
'And, waited on by angels, home was brought,
To joy that it through many dangers sought;
The key of mercy gently did unlock
"The door 'twixt Heav'n and it, when life did knock.
Nor boast, the fairest frame was made thy prey,
Because to mortal eyes it did decay;
A better witness than thou art assures,
That though dissolv'd, it yet a space endures;
No dram thereof shall want or loss sustain,
When her best soul inhabits it again.
Go then to people curs'd before they were,
Their souls in triumph to thy conquest bear.
Glory not thou thyself in these hot tears,
Which our face, not for her, but our harm wears:
The mourning livery giv'n by Grace, not thee,
Which wills our souls in these streams wash'd should
And on our hearts, her memory's best tomb, [be;
In this her epitaph doth write thy doom.
Blind were those eyes, saw not how bright did shine
Through flesh's misty veil those beams divine;
Deaf were the ears, not charm'd with that sweet


Which did i' the spirit's instructed voice abound;
Of flint the conscience, did not yield and melt,
At what in her last act it saw and felt.

Weep not, nor grudge then, to have lost her sight,
Taught thus, our after-stay 's but a short night:
But by all souls, not by corruption choked,
Let in high rais'd notes that pow'r be invoked;
Calm the rough seas, by which she sails to rest,
From sorrows here t' a kingdom ever bless'd.
And teach this hymn of her with joy, and sing,
grave no conquest gets, Death hath no sting.

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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 Heav'n's discovery,
With whom more venturers more boldly dare
Venture their 'states, with him in joy to share.
We lose, what all friends lov'd, him; he gains now
But life by death, which worst foes would allow;
If he could have foes, in whose practice grew
What ease can hope, that we shall see him, beget,
All virtues, whose name subtle school-men knew.
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.



To what height will love of greatness drive
Thy learned spirit, sesqui-superlative?
Venice' vast lake thou hast seen, and would'st seek
Some vaster thing, and found'st a courtezan.
That inland sea having discover'd well,
A cellar gulf, where one might sail to Hell
From Heydelberg, thou long'st to see: and thou
This book, greater than all, producest now.
Infinite work! which doth so far extend,"
That none can study it to any end.
Nor poorly limited with head or foot.
'T is no one thing, it is not fruit, nor root,
If man be therefore man, because he can

Reason and laugh, thy book doth half make man.
One half being made, thy modesty was such,
That thou on th' other half would'st never touch.
When wilt thou be at full, great lunatic?
Not till thou exceed the world? Canst thou be like
A prosperous nose-born wen, which sometimes grows
To be far greater than the mother nose?
Munster did towns, and Gesner authors show;
Go then, and as to thee, when thou didst go,
Mount now to Gallo-belgicus; appear
As deep a statesman as a garretteer.
Homely and familiarly, when thou com'st back,
Talk of Will Conqueror, and Prester Jack.
Go, bashful man, lest here thou blush to look
Upon the progress of thy glorious book,
To which both Indies sacrifices send;

The West sent gold, which thou did'st freely spend,
Meaning to see 't no more upon the press:
The East sends hither her deliciousness;
And thy leaves must embrace what comes from
The myrrh, the pepper, and the frankincense.
This magnifies thy leaves; but if they stoop
To neighbour wares, when merchants do unhoop
Convey these wares in parcels unto men;
Voluminous barrels; if thy leaves do then
If for vast tuns of currants, and of figs,
Thy leaves a better method do provide,
Of med'cinal and aromatic twigs,
Divide to pounds, and ounces subdivide.
If they stoop lower yet, and vent our wares,
Home-manufactures to thick popular fairs,

If omni-pregnant there, upon warm stalls
They hatch all wares, for which the buyer calls;
Then thus thy leaves we justly may commend,
That they all kind of matter comprehend.
Thus thou, by means, which th' ancients never took,
A pandect mak'st, and universal book.

The bravest heroes, for their country's good,
Scatter'd in divers lands their limbs and blood;
Worst malefactors, to whom men are prize,
Do public good, cut in anatomies;
So will thy book in pieces, for a lord,
Which casts at Portescue's, and all the board
Provide whole books; each leaf enough will be
For friends to pass-time, and keep company.
Can all carouse up thee? no, thou must fit
Measures; and fill out for the half-pint wit.
Some shall wrap pills, and save a friend's life so;
Some shall stop muskets, and so kill a foe.
Thou shalt not ease the critics of next age
So much, as once their hunger to assuage:
Nor shall wit-pirates hope to find thee lie
All in one bottom, in one library.



I. D.

SEND me some tokens, that my hope may live,
Or that my easeless thoughts may sleep and rest;
Send me some honey, to make sweet my hive,

That in my passions I may hope the best.
I beg nor ribband wrought with thy own hands,



Some leaves may paste strings there in other books, against myself, as not to do it, since I love it; nor so
And so one may, which on another looks,
Pilfer, alas! a little wit from you;

But hardly much; and yet I think this true.
As Sibil's was, your book is mystical,

For every piece is as much worth as all.
Therefore mine impotency I confess,
The healths, which my brain bears, must be far less:
Thy giant-wit o'erthrows me, I am gone;
And, rather than read all, I would read none.

unjust to others, to do it sine talione. As long as I
give them as good hold upon me, they must pardon
me my bitings. I forbid no reprehender, but him
that, like the Trent council, forbids not books, but
authors, damning whatever such a name hath or
shall write. Noue write so ill, that he gives not
something exemplary to follow, or fly. Now when
I begin this book, I have no purpose to come into
any man's debt; how my stock will hold out, I
know not; perchance waste, perchance increase in
use. If I do borrow any thing of antiquity, be-
sides that I make account that I pay it to posterity,
with as much, and as good, you shall still find me
to acknowledge it, and to thank not him only, that
hath digged out treasure for me, but that hath
lighted me a candle to the place. All, which I
will bid you remember, (for I will have no such
readers as I can teach) is, that the Pythagorean
doctrine doth not only carry one soul from man to
man, nor man to beast, but indifferently to plants
also: and therefore you must not grudge to find
the same soul in an emperor, in a post-horse, and
in a maceron; since no unreadiness in the soul,
but an indisposition in the organs, works this. And
therefore, though this soul could not move when it
was a melon, yet it may remember, and can now
tell me, at what lascivious banquet it was served:
and though it could not speak, when it was a spider,
yet it can remember, and now tell me, who used it
for poison to attain dignity. However the bodies
have dulled her other faculties, her memory hath
ever been her own; which makes me so seriously
deliver you by her relation all her passages from
her first making, when she was that apple which
Eve eat, to this time when she is she, whose life
you shall find in the end of this book.


To knit our loves in the fantastic strain
Of new-touch'd youth; nor ring, to show the stands
Of our affection, that, as that 's round and plain,
So should our loves meet in simplicity;

No, nor the corals, which thy wrist enfold,
Lac'd up together in congruity,

To show our thoughts should rest in the same hold; No, nor thy picture, though most gracious,

And most desir'd, 'cause 't is like the best; Nor witty lines, which are most copious,

Within the writings, which thou hast address'd. Send me nor this, nor that, t' increase my score; But swear thou think'st I love thee, and no more.

16 augusti, 1601.



OTHERS at the porches and entries of their buildings set their arms; I, my picture; if any colours can deliver a mind so plain, and flat, and throughlight as mine. Naturally at a new author I doubt, and stick, and do not say quickly, Good. I censure much, and tax; and this liberty costs me more than others. Yet I would not be so rebellious


I SING the progress of a deathless soul,

Whom Fate, which God made, but doth not control,
Plac'd in most shapes; all times, before the law
Yok'd us, and when, and since, in this I sing;
And the great world t' his aged evening,
From infant morn, though manly noon I draw;
What the gold Chaldee, or silver Persian saw,

Greek brass, or Roman iron, 'is in this one;
A work t' out-wear Seth's pillars, brick and stone,
And (holy writ excepted) made to yield to none.

Thee, eye of Heav'n, this great soul envies not;
By thy male force is all, we have begot.
In the first east thou now begin'st to shine,
Suck'st early balm, and island spices there;
And wilt anon in thy loose-rein'd career
At Tagus, Po, Seine, Thames, and Danow dine,
And see at night thy western land of mine;
Yet hast thou not more nations seen than she,
That before thee one day began to be;


And, thy frail light being quench'd, shall long, long | This soul, made by the Maker's will from pulling outlive thee.

Nor, holy Janus, in whose sovereign boat
The church, and all the monarchies did float;
That swimming college, and free hospital
Of all mankind, that cage and vivary

Of fowls and beasts, in whose womb Destiny
Us and our latest nepnews did install;
(From thence are all deriv'd, that fill this all)
Didst thou in that great stewardship embark
So divers shapes into that floating park, [spark.
As have been mov'd, and inform'd by this heav'nly

Great Destiny, the commissary of God,
That hast mark'd out a path and period
For every thing; who, where we offspring took,
Our ways and ends seest at one instant. Thou
Knot of all causes, thou, whose changeless brow
Ne'er smiles nor frowns, O vouchsafe thou to look,
And show my story, in thy eternal book.
That (if my prayer be fit) I may understand
So much myself, as to know with what hand,
How scant or liberal, this my life's race is spann'd.

To my six lustres, almost now out-wore,
Except thy book owe me so many more;
Except my legend be free from the lets
Of steep ambition, sleepy poverty,
Spirit-quenching sickness, dull captivity, .
Distracting business, and from beauty's nets,
And all that calls from this and t' others whets;
O! let me not lanch out, but let me save
Th' expense of brain and spirit; that my grave
His right and due, a whole unwasted man, may have.

But if my days be long, and good enough,
In vain this sea shall enlarge or enrough
Itself; for I will through the wave and foam,
And hold in sad lone ways a lively sprite,
Make my dark heavy poem light, and light.
For, though through many straits and lands I roam,
I lanch at Paradise, and sail towards home:
The course, I there began, shall here be stay'd;
Sails hoisted there, struck here; and anchors laid
In Thames, which were at Tigris and Euphrates

And mend the wrecks of th' empire, and late Rome,
And liv'd when every great change did come,
Had first in Paradise a low but fatal room.

For the great soul, which here amongst us now
Doth dwell, and moves that hand, and tongue, and

Which, as the Moon the sea, moves us; to hear
Whose story with long patience you will long;
(For 't is the crown, and last strain of my song)
This soul, to whom Luther and Mahomet were
Prisons of flesh; this soul, which oft did tear,

Yet no low room, nor then the greatest, less,
If (as devout and sharp men fitly guess)
That cross, our joy and grief, (where nails did tie
That all, which always was all, every where;
Which could not sin, and yet a!! sins did bear;
Which could not die, yet could not choose but die ;)
Stood in the self-same room in Calvary,
Where first grew the forbidden learned tree;
For on that tree hung in securitie

Prince of the orchard, fair as dawning morn,
Fenc'd with the law, and ripe as soon as born,
That apple grew, which this soul did enlive;
Till the then climbing serpent, that now creeps
For that offence, for which all mankind weeps,
Took it, and t' her, whom the first man did wive
(Whom, and her race, only forbiddings drive)
He gave it, she t' her husband; both did eat:
So perished the eaters and the meat; [sweat.
And we (for treason taints the blood) thence die and

Man all at once was there by woman slain;
And one by one we 're here slain o'er again
By them. The mother poison'd the well-head,
The daughters here corrupt us, rivulets;
No smallness 'scapes, no greatness breaks their nets:
She thrust us out, and by them we are led
Astray, from turning to whence we are fled.
Were prisoners judges, 't would seem rigorous;
She sinn'd, we bear; part of our pain is thus [us.
To love them, whose fault to this painful love yok'd
So fast in us doth this corruption grow,

That now we dare ask why we should be so;
Would God (disputes the curious rebel) make
A law, and would not have it kept? Or can
His creature's will cross his? Of every man,
For one, will God (and be just) vengeance take?
Who sinn'd? 't was not forbidden to the snake,
Nor her, who was not then made; nor is 't writ,
That Adam cropt, or knew the apple; yet
The worm, and she, and he, and we endure for it.
But snatch me, heav'nly spirit, from this vain
Reck'ning their vanity; less is their gain
Than bazard still to meditate on ill,
Though with good mind; their reason's like those
Of glassy bubbles, which the gamesome boys
Stretch to so nice a thinness through a quill,
That they themselves break, and do themselves spill.
Arguing is heretic's game, and exercise,

As wrestlers, perfects them: not liberties [resies.
Of speech, but silence; hands, not tongues, end he-
Just in that instant, when the serpent's gripe
Broke the slight veins, and tender conduit pipe,
Through which this soul from the tree's root did draw
Life and growth to this apple, fled away
This loose soul, old, one and another day.
As lightning, which one scarce dare say he saw,
'T is so soon gone, (and better proof the law
Of sense, than faith requires) swiftly she flew
T'a dark and foggy plot; her, her fates threw
There through th' Earth's pores, and in a plant
hous'd her anew.

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His right arm he thrust out towards the east,
Westward his left; th' ends did themselves digest
Into ten lesser strings; these fingers were:
And as a slumb'rer stretching on his bed,
This way he this, and that way scattered
His other leg, which feet with toes up bear;
Grew on his middle part, the first day, hair,
To show, that in love's bus'ness he should still
A dealer be, and be us'd, well or ill:
His apples kindle; his leaves force of conception kill.

A mouth, but dumb, he hath; blind eyes, deaf ears;
And to his shoulders dangle subtle hairs;
A young Colossus there he stands upright:
And, as that ground by him were conquered,
A leafy garland wears he on his head
Enehas'd with little fruits, so red and bright,
That for them you would call your love's lips white;
So of a lone unhaunted place possess'd,
Did this soul's second inn, built by the guest
This living buried man, this quiet mandrake, rest.

No lustful woman came this plant to grieve,
But 't was, because there was none yet but Eve:
And she (with other purpose) kill'd it quite ;
Her sin had now brought in infirmities,
And so her cradled child the moist-red eyes
Had never shut, nor slept, since it saw light;
Poppy she knew, she knew the mandrake's might,
And tore up both, and so cool'd her child's blood:
Envirtuous weeds might long unvex'd have stood;
But he 's short liv'd, that with his death can do
most good.

To an unfetter'd soul's quick nimble haste
Are falling stars, and heart's thoughts, but slow pac'd:
Thinner than burnt air flies this soul, and she,
Whom four new coming, and four parting Suns
Had found, and left the mandrake's tenant, runs
Thoughtless of change, when her firm destiny
Confin'd, and engoal'd her, that seem'd so free,
Into a small blue shell; the which a poor
Warm bird o'erspread, and sat still evermore,
Till her enclos'd child kick'd, and pick'd itself a door.

Already this hot cock in bush and tree,
In field and tent o'erflutters his next hen;
He asks her not who did so taste, nor when;
Nor if his sister or his niece she be,
Nor doth she pule for his inconstancy,

If in her sight he change; nor doth refuse
The next, that calls; both liberty do use;
Where store is of both kinds, both kinds may freely

Men, till they took laws, which made freedom less,
Their daughters and their sisters did ingress;
Till now unlawful, therefore ill, 't was not;
So jolly, that it can move this soul: is
The body so free of his kindnesses,
That self-preserving it hath now forgot,
And slack'neth not the soul's and body's knot,
Which temp'rance straitens? freely on his she-friends
He blood, and spirit, pith, and marrow spends,
Ill steward of himself, himself in three years ends.

In this world's youth wise Nature did make haste,
Things ripen'd sooner, and did longer last;

Else might he long have liv'd; man did not know
Of gummy blood, which doth in holly grow,
How to make bird-lime, nor how to deceive
With feign'd calls, his nets, or enwrapping snare
The free inhabitants of th' pliant air.
Man to beget, and woman to conceive,
Ask'd not of roots, nor of cock-sparrows, leave:
Yet chooseth he, though none of these he fears,
Pleasantly three; then straitned twenty years,
To live, and to increase his race, himself outwears.

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Out crept a sparrow, this soul's moving inn,
On whose raw arms stiff feathers now begin,
As children's teeth through gums, to break with pain;
His flesh is jelly yet, and his bones threads;
All a new downy mantle overspreads.

Now swam a prison in a prison put,
And now this soul in double walls was shut;
Till, melted with the swan's digestive fire,
She left her house the fish, and vapour'd forth:
Fate, not affording bodies of more worth
For her as yet, bids her again retire
T' another fish, to any new desire

A mouth he opes, which would as much contain
As his late house, and the first hour speaks plain,
And chirps aloud for meat. Meat fit for men
His father steals for him; and so feeds then

Made a new prey: for he, that can to none.
Resistance make, nor complaint, is sure gone;

One, that within a month will beat him from his Weakness invites, but silence feasts oppression.


Pace with the native stream this fish doth keep,
And journies with her towards the glassy deep,

But oft retarded; once with a hidden net, [taught | Some inland sea; and ever, as he went,
Though with great windows, (for when need first He spouted rivers up, as if be meant
These tricks to catch food, then they were not To join our seas with seas above the firmament.
As now, with curions greediness, to let [wrought,
None 'scape, but few, and fit for use to get)
As in this trap a rav'nous pike was ta'en,
Who, though himself distress'd, would fain haveslain
This wretch so hardly are ill habits left again.

Here by her smallness she two deaths o'erpast,
Once innocence 'scap'd, and left th' oppressor fast;
The net through swam, she keeps the liquid path,
And whether she leap up sometimes to breath,
And suck in air, or find it underneath;
Or working parts like mills, or limbecs hath,
To make the water thin, and air like faith,
Cares not, but safe the place she 's come unto,
Where fresh with salt waves meet; and what to do
She knows not, but between both makes a board or


So far from hiding her guests water is,
That she shows them in bigger quantities,
Than they are. Thus her, doubtful of her way,
For game, and not for hunger, a sea-pie
Spy'd through his traitorous spectacle from high
The silly fish, where it disputing lay,
And, t' end her doubts and her, bears her away;
Exalted she 's but to th' exalter's good,
(As are by great ones men, which lowly stood)
It's rais'd to be the raiser's instrument and food.

Is any kind subject to rape like fish?
Ill unto man they neither do, nor wish;
Fishers they kill not, nor with noise awake;
They do not hunt, nor strive to make a prey
Of beasts, nor their young sons to bear away;
Fowls they pursue not, nor do undertake
To spoil the nests industrious birds do make;
Yet them all these unkind kinds feed upon:
To kill them is an occupation,
And laws make fasts and lents for their destruction.

A sudden stiff land-wind in that self hour
To sea-ward forc'd this bird, that did devour
The fish; he cares not, for with ease he flies,
Fat gluttony's best orator: at last

So long he hath flown, and hath flown so fast,
That leagues o'erpass'd at sea, now tir'd he lies,
And with his prey, that till then languish'd, dies:
The souls, no longer foes, two ways did err.
The fish I follow, and keep no calendar
Of th' other: he lives yet in some great officer.

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He hunts not fish, but as an officer
Stays in his court, at his own net, and there
All suitors of all sorts themselves enthrall;
So on his back lies this whale wantoning,
And in his gulf-like throat sucks every thing,
Flier and follower, in this whirlpool fall;
That passeth near. Fish chaseth fish, and all,
O might not states of more equality
Consist? and is it of necessity
[must die?
That thousand guiltless smalls, to make one great,

Now drinks he up seas, and he eats up flocks;
Now in a roomful house this soul doth float,
He justles islands, and he shakes firm rocks:
And, like a prince, she sends her faculties
To all her limbs, distant as provinces.
The Sun hath twenty times both Crab and Goat
Parched, since first lanch'd forth this living boat;
'T is greatest now, and to destruction
Nearest: there's no pause at perfection;
Greatness a period hath, but hath no station.

Two little fishes, whom he never harm'd,
Nor fed on their kind, two, not throughly arm'd
With hope that they could kill him, nor could do
Good to themselves by his death (they did not cat
His flesh, nor suck those oils, which thence outstreat)
Conspir'd against him; and it might undo
The plot of all, that the plotters were two,
But that they fishes were, and could not speak.
How shall a tyrant wise strong projects break,
If wretches can on them the common anger wreak ?

The flail'd-finn'd thresher, and steel-beak'd sword-
Only attempt to do, what all do wish : [fish
The thresher backs him, and to beat begins ;
The sluggard whale yields to oppression,
And, t' hide himself from shame and danger, down
Begins to sink; the sword-fish upward spins,
And gores him with his beak; his staff-like fins
So well the one, his sword the other plies,
That, now a scoff and prey, this tyrant dies,
And (his own dole) feeds with himself all companies.

Who will revenge his death? or who will call
Those to account, that thought and wrought his fall?
The heirs of slain kings we see are often so 1
Transported with the joy of what they get,
That they revenge and obsequies forget;
Nor will against such men the people go,
Because he's now dead, to whom they should show
Love in that act. Some kings by vice being grown
So needy of subject's love, that of their own
They think they lose, if love be to the dead prince


This soul, now free from prison and passion,
Hath yet a little indignation,

That so small hammers should so soon down beat
So great a castle: and having for her house
Got the strait cloister of a wretched mouse,
(As basest men, that have not what to eat,
Nor enjoy aught, do far more hate the great,
Than they, who good repos'd estates possess)
This soul, late taught that great things might by less
Be slain, to gallant mischief doth herself address.

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