« PreviousContinue »
Then even the most of misery to make,
Since for his word the world disdaynes to bow, The soules of some which (alwaies ill) grow worse, Dumbe creatures doe denounce God's judgments (All sense quite lost) in sinne such pleasure take, That frozen mindes can melt in no remorse; No threatned terrours can their conscience wake, I thinke the Earth by such strange throwes would Sinne hath so much, the sprite so little force.
tell, “ No physicke for the sicke, which live as sound, How much she doth her present state despise ; A sore past sense doth show a deadly wound.” Or else all those who in her bowels dwell,
Doe rouze themselves, as ready now to ryse: As such a burden it did burst to beare, [shake, Her belly thus growne big doth seeme to swell
, (Through borreur of our sinnes) the Earth doth
As one whose travell soone should her surprise; And shall it selfe ofttimes asunder teare,
And yet her broode she viper-like must free, Ere Christ his judgement manifest doth make; Whose course must end when theirs beginnes to be. Or else I know not, if it quake for feare Of that great fyre which should it shortly take; As God that day of doome strives to make knowne, The living Earth to move, dead Earth doth move, By monstrous signes which may amaze the mynde, Yet earthly men then th’ Earth more earthly prove. That judgment great by judgements is foreshowne, In forraine parts whose rụines fame renownes,
Whil'st all the weapons of his wrath have shin'd,
That others may(wbil'st some rest thus o'rethrowne) In indignation of her sinfull seed, (As men should doe their eyes) the Earth God Stand in the furnace of affliction fin'd;
“For still the wretched most religious prove, drownes,
[freede) Which (that some captiv'd aire may straight be
And oft examples more then doctrine more." Doth vomit mountaines, and doth swallow townes ; | The sword of God shall once be drunke with bloode, The world's foundation brandish'd, like a reed, Whil'st with pale hearts the panting people thinke, Of those who (following evill) doe die from good,
And surfet on the flesh of thousands slaine That Hell will ryse, or that the Heaven will sinke.
And (scorning Christ) professe to be prophane, Oņe earth-quake toss'd the Turke's imperiall head, Prom God's wine-presse of wrath shall
flowe a floode, Payes sensible, but violent some howers,
Which shall with blood their horses' bridles staine ; Till in that towne a monstrous breach was made,
None may abide, nor yet can flje his sight, (As charg'd at once by all the damned powers)
When arm'd with vengeance God doth thundring i kuow not whether buried first, or dead,
fight, Troupes seem'd to striue in falling with their towers, Whilst those who stoode long trembling did attend, When, father-like, God chastising his childe, That all the world (at least themselves) should end! Plagu'd all the subjects for their soveraigne's crime,
What thousands then were from the world exil'd? Twixt Rome and Naples once (in Envie's eye) Even in three dayes (so soon turnes flesh to slime) What stately townes did the world's conquerours The Earth made waste, men had no more defil'd, found,
Had but one angell warr'd a little time: Which now wee not (noe, not their ruines) spie, Since by God's word the world did made remaine, Since layde more low then levell with the ground? Lesse then his look may ruine it againe. They with all theirs en-earth'd by earth-quakes lye, Whose stones (drawne down where darkenes doth Thę pestilence of wrath chiefe weapon thought, Like Sisiphus perchance a number roules, [abound) Which of all plagues, the plague is onely callid, Else Dis builds dungeons for the damned soules. As if all else (respecting it) were nought,
It hath so much the mindes of men appall’d; Late neare those parts whose ruines men admire,
That wound by God'sown hand seemsonelywrought, Where wealth superfiuous idle wonders wrought, Whose mediate meanes scarce rest to reason thrallid: An earth-quake strange amazement did acquire,
That which we not conceive, admire we must, A plaine conceav'd, and forth a mountaine brought, And in God's power above our knowledge trust Which diuers dayes disgorged flames of fyre, And stones whose substance was consum'dio nought; That poyson'd dart, whose strength none can gaineHell's fore it seem'd which (as God's wrath) did rise,
stand, Growne great, flam'd forth, upbraiding sinners' eyes. God us'd but rarely (when enflam'd with wrath) Last in this land our eyes saw one of late,
And had it once been brandish'd in his band, Whose terrour from some mynds rests not remoov'd, All trembling stood (as 'twixt the jawes of death) Then any else as strange, though not soe great,
Then now it selfe, the fame more mov'd this land, Not violent, but universall prov'd,
Of that great frenzy which infects the breath: As if of Nature's course the threatned date,
Athing thought strange, by habite homely proyes. All at one houre this kingdome trembling moovid; What first all griefe, at last all sense removes." The old state lothing, longing for a new, Th' Earth leapes for joy, as straight to have her due.
Once in one age, few dayes, and in few parts,
The pest some people to repentance urg'd, But ah! who walkes, when rock'd is all this round, and did with terrour strike the strongest hearts, Or stryves to stand though even the
Earth thus starts? Whilst his vineyard the Heaven's great husband Though God doth tosse this ball till it rebound,
purg'd, Who, lest it part, from his corruption parts? The quiver of whose wrath did raine downe darts, Ah! that the world soe sencelesse should be found, By which of late what kingdome
was not scourg'd? Both Heaven and Earth doe shake, but not men's So that men now not feare that whip of God, hearts;
Like boyes oft beaten, that contemne the red
Loe, in this stately ile, admir'd so much,
Since that the world doth loath celestiall food, What province, no, what towne hath not been pyn's That sprituall manna which soule's nectar proves, By that abhorr'd disease, which strikes who touch, By grace drawne forth from the Redeemer's bloud, Whil'st byles the body, madnesse swels the minde? A gift (and no reward) given where he loves, Ah, of some townes, the anguish hath been such, Those who terrestriall things thinke onely good, That all, all hope of safety had resign'd:
Them want shall try, whom no abundance moves : Whil'st friends no comfort gave, no, no reliefe, “ Por, ah, of some so fat the bodies be, The sicknesse onely (not the death) bred griefe. That of their soules they not the leannesse see.
God's creatures (oft condemn'd) shall once accuse This raging ague bursts so ugly out,
Those who in wantonnesse them vainely spent, Till men of those whom they love best, are dread; Whilst danger all in every thing doe doubt, (Ale, and justly, what unjustly they abuse, Men by the plague (made plagues) as plagues are
Shall unto them more sparingly be lent,
That which they now superfluously use,
Shall (made a curse) not nature's need content. The ayre which first our breath (abus’d) doth staine, oft temporall plenty breeds a spirituall dearth.”
“ A barren soule should have a barren earth, It poison’d so, but poisons us againe.
Those in the dust who still propbanely roule, What thing more wretched can imagin'd be, Whose thorny thoughts doe choake that heavenly Then is a towne where once the pest abounds?
seed, There not one sense rests from some trouble free; Which by the word was sown in every soule, Three doe infect, and two (though pure) beare Shall likewise want what should their bodies feed : wounds;
What most they trust, shall once their hopes conOft in one bole heapes throwne at once we see,
troule, As where to bury fear'd for want of bounds : By earthly hunger, heavenly thirst to breed. Yea, whilst in plaints they spend their plaguy Thus those (like babes) whose judgement is not breath,
deepe, Of all things that are fear'd, the least is death. Who scorn'da treasure, shall for trifles weepe. Death (whilst no drugge this feavers force ore
What sauces strange (a fault which custome cloakes) Oft, ere the patient the physitian clames, (throwes? Which nature's selfe sufficiently provokes?
To urge the bodie's appetite are made, The ayre they draw their heate more high still
But of the soule, whep carnall cares it leade, blowes, Till even what should refresh, then most enflames; What art is us’d to quicken it when dead?
The appetite which (ab) even nature choakes, Of damned soules the state their torment showes, Who gnash their teeth as cold, whil'st fry'd with But when the others fast, are fit to feast.
Whil'st bodies doe too much, soules nought disgest, flames : And 'twist their paines this difference but comes in, Base belly-gods, whose food is Sathan's bate, Death ends the one, the other doth beginne. Whose judgements to your taste rest onely thrall,
The lord in wrath shall cut away your meate, To plagne those parts where Christ's owne troops And for your boney, furnish you with gall, do dwell,
Like loathsome beasts since you the acornes eate, Tbe angell that destroyes bath most been bent, Yet looke not up to see from whence they fall; That whom words could not move, wounds might Sonnes prodigall, who from your father swerve, Ere ruine come, in time now to repent, (compell
, You keeping worse then swine, shall justly sterve. By paine on Earth, made thinke of paine in Hell, As this they flye, that that they may prevent.
To waken some which sleepe in sinne as dead, “What can discourage those whom Christ doth love, The Lord ere Christ doe come all states to try, To whom evill good, griefe joy, death life doth Since but abus'd, shall breake the staffe of bread,
And as we him, make th' earth us fruits deny;
The corne shall wither, and the grasse shall fade, Where we should alwaies strive the Heaven to gaine, Then men to narse, since rather bent to dye ; By prayers, plaints, and charitable deeds, As dutifull to him by whom they breed, To raise up earth on earth, our strength we straine, God's creatures pure, his rebels scorne to feed. So base a courage, worldly honour breeds;
Now in this time, which is the last esteem'd, This doth provoke the darts of God's disdaine, By which of some the wounded conscience bleeds: And worke that God by men may be blasphem'd,
The sprites impure doe all in one conspire, « All head-long runne to Hell, whose way is even; To purchase partners of eternall fire, But by a narrow path are drawn to Heaven.”
That who should them condemne, hath us redeem'd,
Makes envy blow the bellowes of their ire, Of vengeance now the store-house opened stands, Till wicked angels irritated thus, O what a weight of wrath the world (ah) beares ! Not seeke their safety, but to ruine us. Through terrous straight, why tremble not all lands, When God in rage a throne of justice reares ? More neare doth draw salvation to the just, And poores downe plagues whil'st brandishing his The more the dragon's minde doth envy wound, brands,
That men (the slaves of death, the sonnes of dust) The pest now past, straight famine breeds new feares. As heires of Heaven, with glory should be crown'd, “ Still thinke that mischiefe never comes alone, And that perpetuall paines they suffer must, Who worse presage the present lesse bemone." Though (all immortall) to no bodies bouud:
“ Hearts gall'd with envy storme at every thing, All what each age devis d'observing still, Whom still their harme, or some one's good must “ The Divell knowes much, but bends it all to ill."
sting.” Man's foe who first confusion did devise,
O Heavens, be hid, and lose thy light, O Sunne ! (By, long experience growne profound in skill).
Since in the world (O what a fearefull thing!) Through strength oft try'd our weaknesse doth'de The Divell of some so great a power hath wonne, spise,
That what was theirs, he dotlı in bondage bring, And knowes what best may serve each soule to kill: Then from their body speakes (as from a tunne) He unawares our passions doth surprise,
As sounds from bels, or flouds through rockes do And to betray our wit, corrupts our will. [win,
Deare Saviour rise, and in a just disdaine, (ring. “ Whom God not guards, those Sathan soon may This serpent bruise, this leviathan reyne. Whil'st force doth charge without, and fraud within,” That heire of Hell, whom justly God rejects,
The Sunne and Moone now oftentimes look pale, (Who sought by subtilty all soules to blinde)
(As if asham'd the shame of men to see) Not onely shafts in secret now directs,
Or else grown old, their force beginnes to faile, By inspirations poysoning the minde,
That thus so oft ecclips'd their beauties be, But even a banner boldly he erects,
And ore their glory, darknesse doth prevaile, As this world's prince by publike power design'd:
Whilst faint for griefe, their ruine they fore-see: From shape to shape, this Proteus thus removes,
For (ás superfluous) they must shortly fall, Who first a foxe, and last a lyon proves.
When as the light of light doth lighten all. He, since his kingdome now should end so soone,
The heavenly bodies (as growne now lesse strong) Doth many Circes and Medeas make,
Doe seeme more slacke (as weary of their race) Thatcan obscure the Sunne, and charme the Moone,
So that time rests reform’d (as quite runne wrong) Raise up the dead, and make the living quake,
All clymats still new temperatures embrace, Whilst they by pictures, persons have undone,
What strange effects must follow then ere long? Doe give to some, from others' substance take:
Some starres seem new, and others change their Three elements their tyranny doth thrall,
So altred is the starry court's estate, (place; But oft the fourth takes vengeance of them all.
Astrologues want intelligence of late. Whilst in his hand the bolts of death he beares, Still watching soules the crafty hunter Iyes Each element by divers signes bath showne, With inward fancies, and with outward feares, That shortly evill must be discern'd from good; Whom he may tempt, continually he tryes; The Earth (ag'd mother) loe, is barren growne, Whil'st(rumbling horrour) sounds assault the eares, Whose wombe oft worne, now. tome, doth faile in And monstrous formes paint terrour in the eyes :
brood, He who with God even in the Heaven durst strive, And may (since staggering else) be soone orethrown : Thinks soon on Earth men's ruine to contrive. What wouder? weake through age, and drunk with
bloud, As many did possess'd by sprits remaine,
With bloud, which still to God for vengeance cryes, When first Christ came, salvation to beginne, So likewise now before he come againe,
And (as ore-burden'd) groning, groveling lyes. Some bodies daily which they enter in, By desp’rate meanes would be dispatch'd of paine, The liquid legions by tumultuous bands Else (bound in body) loose their soules to sinne,
(Whose bellowing billowes to transcend contend) And if that God not interpos'd his power,
Do oft usurpe, and sometiine leave the lands, Hell's tyrant straight would every soule devoure.
Still stor’d with monsters, which a storme portend,
Whil'st, crown'd with clouds, each murmuring In some whom God permits him to abuse,
mountaine stands, The prince of darknesse doth at divers houres, Which acted first, but suffer must in end : f His subtile substance fraudfully infuse
A mighty change, Heaven's Monarch now concludes, Till they his sprite, his sprite their soules devours: Flouds first quench'd flames, fames straight shall D. He as his owne doth all their members use,
kindle flouds. And they (as babes with knives) worke with his O monstrous union, miracle of evils, [powers. The ayre whose power impetuous nought can bound, Which thus with men incorporates the divels! Doth cite all soules to God's great parliament, When erst in Delphos, after ugly cryes,
Wbil'st thundring tempests roare a rumbling sound,
And the last trumpet's terrour represent; The priestresse Pythia, seeming to be sage,
Those blasts denounce the ruine of this round, Big by the Divell, delivered was of lyes,
Which Heaven in showres seemes weeping to lament: She to the terrour of that senselesse age,
Thus waters wash, winds wipe, and both conspire, Still panting, swolne, Hell flaming through her eyes, That th’Earth (so purg'd) may be prepar'd for fire. Roard forth responses by propheticke rage; And to her lord whilst prostituted thus, An image was of whom he fils with us.
The water th' earth, the ayre would it o'rethrow,
Whose rage by ruine onely is represt, Of those who are possess'd in such a sort,
The high things still insulting ore the low, Some to themselves whom Sathan doth accuse, Till once the highest have consum'd the rest; They mad (or he in them) doe bragge, or sport, The fourth must end what the first three fore-show, And wbil'st they would the lookers on abuse; Whose proofe is last reserv'd, as thought the best : Doe secrets (to themselves not known) report, A fyery tryall strictly tryes each thing, And of all tongues the eloquence can use : And all at last doth to perfection bring.
Then Nature's selfe, not strong as of before, But ere the deepes of wrath I enter in,
My thoughts may bath amidst the springs of grace, Since all things change from what they first have to cleare soine soules which Sathan seekes to blinde, been,
Lord purge my sprit, illuminate my minde. All (in another forme) shall soone be seen.
Few signes, or none, remaine men's mindes to move,
THE GREAT NAY OF THE LORD'S IVDGMENT.
THE THIRD HOURE,
Yet this vileage(what rage?) some mockers breeds, That big with score, disdainfully dare say, “What change mad mindes with such fond fancies Whilst angels him convoy, and saints attend, feeds,
(The Heavens as smoke all fled before his face) Prom formes first known, since nought below doth Christ through the clouds with glory doth descend, The summer harvest, winter spring succeeds, With majestie and terrour, power and grace; The Moon doth shine by night, the Sunne by day; What fye, walke, grow, swimme, all what may Males procreate, and females doe conceive,
end, doe end. Some daily life doe lose, some it receive."
Earth, aire, and sea, all purg'd in little space :
Strange preparations that great court preceede,
That I with brazen breath may roare forth sounds;
Lord, make my swelling voice (a mighty winde)
Houle, houle for griefe you who vaine ioyes most O multitude, O multitude as sand!
Now shall be built, and on eternall grounds, A day of horrour strange shall straight appeare, The height of horrour, pleasure passing bounds. Come down, and in the threshing valley stand, The threshing valley, loe, the lord drawes neare,
Now (noe more firme) the firmament doth fie, And else doth take (take heed) bis fanne in hand;
As leapes the deere fled from the hurter's face; Light soules, as chaffe with winde, doe vanish here? Loe, like a drunkard reeles the cristall skie; The harvest ripe, and the wine-presse is full,
As garments old degraded froin their grace,
All folded up Heaven's blew pavilion spie,
The lanterne burnt, light utters utter worth, Seale, viall, trumpet, seaventh, opens, powres, Drawne are the hangings, majestie comes forth.
sounds, What doth not intimate God's great decree, Who can abide the glory of that sight, Which Nature's course, man's faith, God's inercy Which kills the living, and the dead doth rayse, bounds,
With squadrons compass'de, angels faming brigbt, Even in a time, when time noe more shall be ; Whom thousands serve, ten thousand thousands The fyre is kindling else which all confounds;
praise? God's hand (loe) writes, his ballance rais’d we see: My soule entranc'd is ravish'd with that light, When soules are weigh’d.(God's wondrous workes Which in a moment shall the world amaze; to crowne)
That of our sprite which doth the powers condense, The weighty must mount up, the light fall downe. Of muddy mortalls farre transcends the sense,
A fyre before him no resistence findes,
All then made infinite, no bounds attend, Fierce sounds of horrour thunder in each eare, Times and half times quite past, time takes an end. The noyee of armies, tempests, and whirlewindes, A weight of wrath, more than ten worlds can beare; As slimy vapours whilst like starres they fall, Thinke what a terrour stings distracted mindes,
Shot from their place, do hurle alongst the skie, When mountaines melt, and valleys burst for feare; Then Pleiades, Arcturus, Orion, all What? what must this in guilty mortalis breede,
The glistering troupes (lights languisbing) doe dye; While all this all doth tremble like a reede?
Like other creatures to confusion thrall,
They from the flames (as sparkes from fire) doe flye; The God of battels battell doth intend,
The Heavens at last, griev'd for their falling spheares, To daunt the nations, and to fetter kings;
(All else dry'd up) weep down their stars for teares. He with all flesh in judgment to contend, At mid-night comes as on the morning wings.
As leaves from trees, the stars from Heaven doesbake, 0! tyme's last period expectations end, Which due rewards for what hath past then brings; Darke clouds of smoke, exhausting those of raine,
The Moone all turnes to bloud, the Sunue grows The Lord's great day, a day of wrath, and paine,
blacke, Whose night of darkenesse never cleares againe.
Which (whilst prodigious formes they doe retaine)
Of vengeance badges, signs of ruine make, That element still cleare in spight of nights,
And not ecclips'd by usual meants remaine: Which (as most subtle) mounted up above,
Those common lights obscur'd, the just shine bright, To kindle there perchance those glorious lights,
The wicked enter in eternall night. Which dy'd by it, as deck'd by beauty, move ; Or else of curious thoughts too ventrous flights, (As which may not be touch'd) a bounds to prove, Whilst staggering reels this universall frame, That they presume not higher things to see,
The Lord doth tread on clouds, enstalld in state, Than are the elements of which they be.
His scepter iron, his throne a fiery flame,
To bruise the mighty, and to fine the great; Marke how th’Evlian bands loos’d from the bounds, Who of his glory can the greatnesse dreame,
That once was valued at a little rate? Where them in fetters their commander keeps,
He by his word did first make all of nought, (As if the angry sprite of all the rounds) Like tyrants rage, till Heaven to quench them weeps.
And by his word shall judge all of each thought. Whose rumbling fury, whil'st it all confounds, Doth cleave the clouds, and part the deepest deeps, When God bis people did together draw, By noyse above, and violence below,
On Sion's mount to register his will, Th’ earthquakes and thunder both at once to show. He (that they might attend with reverent aw)
Came clad with clouds (sterne trumpets sounding Even so fire which was made (nought to annoy)
And threatened death (whil'st thundering forth his To liquid limits clos'd with clouds retire, Lest what it fosters, it might else destroy,
To all that durst approach the trembling hill: O! when enlarg'd! and kindled by God's ire,
What compassed with death, he thus did give, It him at mid-night doth as torch convoy,
Ah, who can keep, or violate, and live?
Since this confounding forme did, mindes to tame, Now but a mote, at last a little flame?
(That of their yoke all might the burden know)
Those dreadfull statutes terribly proclaime; The axel-trees on which Heaven's round doth move, All flesh for feare shall fade away below, Shrunke from their burden, both fall broken down; How they were kept when God a count doth claime, Those which to pilots point out from above,
A time of terrour more than words can show, Their wayes through waves to riches or renowne, He gave in mercy, shall exact with ire, And so (though fix'd) the strayers helpers prove, The mountaine smok'd, the world shall burn on fire. Night's stately lampes borne in an azure crowne: Those guiding starres, may (as not needfull) fall, When worldlings' wandrings are accomplish'd all.
In spite of nature's powers, which then expire,
Through liquid limits breaking from above, The vagabonds above, lascivious lights, [mire, Loe, downwards tends the tempest of this fire; Which from food mindes that did their course ad- The airie region doth a fornace prove, By strange effects observ'd from severall heights,
To boile her guests (as vessell of God's ire) (As deities) idol's altars did acquire, [sights,
Which tortur'd there can no where else remove: Thrown from their spheres, expos’d to mortals Flames which sbould still for their confusion rage, (As abject ashes, excrements of fire:)
Thus kindled first perchance nought can asswage. They (whilst thus ruin'd) farre from what before, Shall damne the nations which did them adore, The growing creatures which do mount so high,
And as their earthly bounds they did disdaine, With lodgings twelve design'd by severall signs, Would (whil'st their tops encroach upon the skie) Now falls that building more than cristall cleare, Base men upbraid, who not their strength do'straipe Which daye's brighteye(though circling all)confines, / With heavenly helps still higher up to die, Still tempring times, and seasoning the yeare ; And spurne at th' Earth where rooted they remaine; All temporall light (no more to rise) declines, Those leavie bands while as they fanne the ayre, That glory may eternally appeare:
As fittest baits for lire first kindle there.