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CHORUS SECOND.

CHORUSES

IN THE TRAGEDY OF CROESUS.

CHORUS FIRST.

Or all the creatures bred below,
We must call man most miserable ;
Who all his time is never able
To purchase any true repose;
His very birth may well disclose
What miseries his blisse ore-throw:
For, first (wheu born) he cannot know
Who to his state is friend or foe,
Nor how at first he may stand stable,
But even with cryes, and teares, doth show
What dangers do bis life enclose;
Whose griefes are sure, whose joyes a fable;
Thus still his dayes in dolour so
He to huge perils must expose;
And with vexation lives, and dyes with woe,
Not knowing whence he came, vor where to go.

Then whilst he holds this lowest place,
O! how uncertaine is his state?
The subject of a constant fate,
To figure forth inconstancy,
Which ever changing as we see,
Is still a stranger unto peace:
For if man prosper but a space,
With each good successe fondly bold,
And puft up in his owne conceit.
He but abuses fortune's grace;
And when that with adversity
His pleasure's treasures end their date,
And with disasters are controllid,
Stra.ght he begins for griefe to dye:
And still the top of some extreame doth hold,
Not suffring summer's heat, nor winter's cold.

What can man's wandring thoughts confine,
Or satisfie his fancies all?
For whil'st he wonders doth designe,
Even great things then doe seeme but small;
What terrour can his sprite appall,
Whilst taking more then it can hold,
He to himselfe contentment doth assigne;
His minde, which monsters breeds,
Imagination feeds,
And with bigh thoughts quite headlongs rold,
Whil'st seeking here a perfect ease to finde,
Would but melt mountains, and embrace the winde.
What wonder though the soule of man
(A sparke of Heaven that shines below)
Doth labour by all meanes it can,
Like to it selfe, it selfe to show?
The heavenly essence, Heaven would know,

But from this masse, (where bound) till free,
With paine both spend life's little span;

The better part would be above:
And th' earth from th' earth cannot remove;
How can two contraries agree?
“ Thus as the best part or the worth doth move,
Man of much worth, or of no worth doth prove."
O! from what fountaine doe proceed
These humours of so many kindes ?
Each braide doth divers fancies breed,
“ As many men, as many mindes:"
And in the world a man scarce findes
Another of his humour right,
Nor are there two so like indeed,
If we remarke their severall graces,
And lineaments of both their faces,
That can abide the proofe of sight.
“ If th' outward formes then differ as they doe;
Of force th' affections must be different too."
Ab! passions'spoile our better part,
The soule is vext with their dissentions ;
We make a God of our owne heart,
And worship all our vaine inventions ;
This braine-bred mist of apprehensions
The minde doth with confusion fill;
Whil'st reason in exile doth smart,
And few are free from this infection,
For all are slaves to some affection,
Which doth oppresse the judgement still:
“ Those partiall tyrants, not directed right,
Even of the clearest mindes eclipse the light."
A thousand times, 0 happy he!
Wło doth his passions so subdue,
That he may with cleare reason's eye
Their imperfection's fountaines view,
That so he may himselfe renew,
Who to his thoughts prescribing lawes,
Might set his soule from bondage free,
And never from bright reason swerve,
But making passions it to serve,
Wouid weigh each thing as there were cause :
O greater were that monarch of the minde!
Theu if he might command from Thule to Inde.

His state doth in most danger stand,
Who must abounds in worldly things,
And soares too high with fortrine's wings,
Which carry up aspiring mindes,
To be the object of all windes;
The course of such when rightly scan'd,
(Whilst they cannot themselves command)
Transported with an empty name,
Oft unexpected ruine brings;
There were examples in this land,
How worldiy blisse the senses blindes,
Froup which at last oft trouble springs;
He who presumes upon the same,
Ridde povson in his pleasure findes;
And sayling rashly with the windes of fame,
Doth oft times sinke downe in a sea of shame,

It may be fear'd our king at last,
Whilst he for nothing is afraid,
Be by prosperity betray'd :
For, growing thus in greatnesse still,
And having worldly things at will,
He thinks though time should all things waste,
Yet his estate shall ever last
The wonder of this peopled round;
And in his own conceit hath said:
No course of Heaven his state can cast,
Nor make his fortune to be ill;
But if the gods a way have lay'd
That he must come to be uncrown'd,
What sudden feares his minde may fill,
And in an instant utterly 'confound
The state which stands upon so slippery ground?

When such a monarch's minde is bent

Till others of their race To follow most the most unwise,

Fill up the cup of wrath, Who can their folly well disguise

Whom ruiae and disgrace With sugred speeches, poisnous baits,

Long time attended hath ; The secret canker of great states,

And Gyges fault we feare, From which at first few disassent,

To (rosus charge be lay'd, The which at last all do repent,

Which love will not forbeare, Then whil'st they must to ruine go;

Though it be long delay'd : When kings begin thus to despise

“ Por, O! sometimes the gods Of honest men the good intent,

Must plague sinne with sharpe rods.” Who to assure their soveraignes' seats Would faine in time some help devise,

And loe, how Cræsus still, And would cut off all cause of woe,

Tormented in his minde, Yet cannot second their conceits :

Like to reeds on a hill, These dreadfull comets commonly fore-go

Doth quake at every winde !
A king's destruction, when miscarried so.

Each step a terrour brings;
Dreames do by night afllict him,
And by day many things ;

All his thoughts doe convict him;
CHORUS THIRD.

He bis starre would controule,

This makes ill not the worst, Tuose who command above,

Whilst he wounds his own soule, High presidents of Heaven,

With apprehensions first : By whom all things doe move,

“Man may bis fate foresee, As they have order given,

But not shunne leaven's decree."
What worldling can arise,
Against them to repine ?
Whilst castell'd in the skies,
With providence divine ;

CHORUS FOURTH.
They force this peopled round,
Their judgements to confesse,

Loe all our time even from our birth,
And in their wrath confound

In misery almost exceeds: Proud mortalls whoʻtransgresse

For where we finde a moment's mirth, The bounds to them assign'd

A month of mourning still succeeds; By Nature in their mind.

Besides the evils that nature breeds,

Whose paines doe us each day appall, Base brood of th’ Earth, vaine man,

Infirmities which frailty sends, Why brag'st thou of thy might?

The losse of that which fortune lends; The Heavens thy courses scan,

And such disasters as oft fall, Thou walk'st still in their sight;

Yet to farre worse our states are thrall, Ere thou wast born, thy deedes

Whilst wretched man with man contends, Their registers dilate,

And every one bis whole force bends, And thinke that none exceedes

How to procure another's losses, The bounds ordain'd by fate;

But this torments us most of all: What Heavens would have thee to,

The minde of man, which many a fancy tosses, Though they thy wayes abhorre,

Doth forge unto it selfe a thousand crosses.
That thou of force must doe,
And thou canst doe no more :
This reason would fulfill,

O how the soule with all her might

Doth her celestiall forces straine, Their worke should serve their will.

That so she may attaine the light Are we not heires of death,

Of Nature's wonders, which remaine In whom there is no trust?

Hid from our eyes! we strive in vaine Who, toss'd with restlesse breath,

To seeke out things that are unsure:

In sciences to seeme profound,
Are but a dramme of dust;
Yet fooles when as we erre,

We dive so deepe, we finde uo ground;
And Heavens doe wrath contract,

And the more knowledge we procure,

The more it doth our mindes allure,
If they a space deferre,
Just vengeance to exact,

Of mysteries the depth to sound;
Pride in our bosome creepes,

Thus our desires we never bound; And misinformes us thus,

Which by degrees thus drawn on still, That love in pleasure sleepes,

The memory may not endure;

But like the tubs which Danaus' daughters fill, Or takes no care of us : “ The eye of Heaven beholds,

Doth drinke no oftner then constrain’d to spill. What every heart enfoldes.”

Yet how comes this? and O how can The gods digest no crime,

Cleare'knowledge thus (the soule's chiefe treasure) 'Though they (delaying long)

Be cause of such a crosse to inan, In the offender's time,

Which should afford him greatest pleasure ? Secme to neglect a wrong,

This is, because we cannot measure

The limits that to it belong,

We ponder oft, but not apply But (bent to tempt forbidden things)

That pretious oyle, which we might buy, Doe soare too high with nature's wings,

Best with the price of others' paines,
Still weakest whil'st we thinke us strong;

Which (as what not to us pertaines)
The Heavens, which hold we do them wrong To use we will not condescend,
To try their grounds, and what thence springs, As if we might the fates defie,
This crosse upon us justly brings :

Still whilst untouch'd our state remaines; With knowledge, knowledge is confus'd,

But soon the Heavens a change may send : And growes a griefe ere it be long;

No perfect blisse before the end. “ That which a blessing is when rightly us'd, Doth grow the greatest crosse when once abus'd.

When first we fill with fruitfull seed Ah! what avaiels this unto us,

The apt conceiving wombe of th' Earth, Who in this vaile of woes abide,

And seeme to banish feare of dearth; With endlesse toyles to study thus

With that which it by time may breed, To learn the thing that Heaven would hide!

Still dangers do our hopes exceed : And trusting to too blinde a guide,

The frosts may first with cold confound To spy the planets how they move,

The tender greenes wbich decke the ground,

Whose wrath though April's smiles asswage, And too (transgressing common barres) The constellation of the starres,

It must abide th'Eolian rage, And all that is decreed above,

Which too ore-com'd, whilst we attend

All Ceres' wandring tresses bound,
Whereof (as oft the end doth prove)
A secret sight our wel-fare marres,

The reines let from their cloudy cage
And in our brests breeds endlesse warres,

May spoile what we expect to spend : Whilst what our horoscopes foretell,

No perfect blisse before the end. Our expectations doe disprove: Those apprehended plagues prove such a Hell, Loe, whil'st the vine-tree great with grapes, That then we would unknow them till they fell. With nectar'd liquor strives to kisse

Embracing elmes not lov'd amisse, This is the pest of great estates,

Those clusters lose their comely shapes, They by a thousand meanes devise

Whilst by the thunder burn'd, in heapes How to fore-know their doubtful fates;

All Bacchus hopes fall downe and perish: And like new gyants, scale the skies,

Thus many thing doe fairly flourish, Heavens secret store-house to surprise ;

Which no perfection can attaine, Which sacrilegious skill we see

And yet we worldlings are so vaine, With what great paine they apprehend it,

That our conceits too high we bend, And then how foolishly they spend it.

If fortune but our spring-time cherish, To learne the thing that once must be;

Though divers stormes we must sustaine, Why should we seeke our destiny?

To harvest ere our yeares ascend :
If it be good, we long attend it;

No perfect blisse before the end.
If it be ill none may amend it:
Such knowledge but torments the minde;
Let us attend the Heavens' decree:

By all who in this world have place,

There is a course which must be runne, For those whom this ambiguous art doth blinde,

And let none thinke that he hath wonne, May what they seeke to flye, the rather finde.

Till first he finish'd hath his race; And loe of late, what hath our king

The forrests through the which we trace, By his preposterous travels gain'd,

Breed ravenous beasts, which doe abhorré us, In searching out each threatned thing,

And lye in wait still to devoure us, Which Atis' horoscope contain'd?

Whil'st brambles doe our steppes beguile, Por what the Heavens had once ordain'd,

The feare of which though we exile, That by no meanès he could prevent;

And to our marke with gladnesse tend, And yet he labours to finde out

Then balles of gold are laid before us, Through all the oracles about,

To entertaine our thoughts a whilë, Of future things the hid event.

And our good meaning to suspend : This doth his raging minde torment:

No perfect blisse before the end. (Now in his age unwisely stout) To fight with Cyrus, but no doubt

Behold how Crosus long hath liv'd, The Heavens are griev'd thus to heare told

Throughout this spatious world admir'd, Long ere the time their darke intent.

And having all that be desir'd, Let such of Tantalus the state behold,

A thousand meanes of joy contriv'd;
Who date the secrets of great love unfold. Yet suddenly is now depriv'd

Of all that wealth; and strangely falles:
For every thing his sprite appalles,

His sonne's decease, his countrye's losse,
CHORUS FIFTH.

And his owne state, which stormes doe tosse : I'm not a wonder thus to see

Thus be who could not apprehend, How by experience each man reeds

Then whilst be slept in marble walles, la practis d volumes penn'd by deeds,

No, nor imagine any crosse, How things below inconstant be;

To beare all those his brest must lend : Yet whil'st our selves continue free,

No perfect blisse before the end.

And we the Lydians who design'd

They who themselves too much esteeme, To raigne over all who were about us,

And vainely vilipend their foe, Bebold how fortune too doth fout us,

Oft finde not fortune as they deeme, And utterly hath us resign'd;

And with their treasure would redeeme For, to our sel es we that assign'd

Their errour past; behold even so A monarchie, but kuew not ho*,

Our king of biame doth worthy seeme, Yet thought to make the world to bow,

His adversary who did scorne Which at our forces stood afraid,

And thought who in his name did goe, We, we by whoin these plots were laid,

The laurell should have worne, To thinke of bondage must descend,

His triumphs to adorne, And beare the y ke of others now,

But be with shame bath shorne O, it is true that Solon said !

The fruits of folly ever ripe with woe: While as he yet doth breath extend,

“ An enemy (if it be well advisd) No man is blest; behold the end.

“(Though seeming weake) should never be despis'd."

CHORUSES

TO THE TRAGEDY OF DARIUS.

But what? the minions of our kings
Who speake at large, and are beleev'd,
Dare brag of many mighty things,
As they could nye, though wanting wings,
And deeds by words might be atchiev'd;
But time at length their lies to light,
Their soveraigoe to confusiou brings :
Yet so they gaine, they are pot griev'd,

But charme their princes' sight,
And make what's wrong, seeme right,

Thus ruine they his might:
That when he would, he cannot be reliev'd,
“ Moe kings in chambers fall by flatteries charms,
Then in the field by th' adversaries armes.”

CHORUS FIRST.

O MORE then miserable minde,
Which of all things it selfe worst knowes !
And through presumption made quite blinde,
Is puffed up with every winde,
Which fortune in derision blowes.
The man no stable blisse can finde,
Whose heart is guided by his eye,
And trusts too much betraying showes,

Which make a cunning lye,
Oft short prosperity

Breeds long adversity:
For, who abuse the first, the last ore-throwes.
What thing so good which not some harme may
Even to be happy is a dangerous thing. [bring?

Loe, though the successo bath approv'd
What Charidemus had fore-showne,
Yet with his words no man was mov'd,
“ For good men first must be remor'd,
Before their worth can well be known;"
The king would heare but what he lor'd,
And what him pleasd not did despise,
So were the better sort orethrowne;

And sycophants unwise,
Who could the truth disguise,

Were suffered high to rise,
That him who rais'd them up, they might cast downe:
“ Thus princes will not heare, though some deceive

them, Things as they are, but as themselves conceive

them."

Who on himselfe too much depends,
And makes an idoll of his wit :
For every favour fortune sends,
Selfe-flatterer still himselfe commends,
And will no sound advice admit,
But at himselfe beginnes and ends,
And never takes a moment's leisure
To try what fault he may commit:

But, drunke with frothes of pleasure,
Thirsts for praise above measure,

Imagiwary treasure,
Which slowly comes, and fyes at every fit;
And what is most commended at this time,
Succeeding ages may account a crime.

CHORUS SECOND.

1

A mighty man who is respected,
And by his subjects thought a god,
Thinkes as his name on high erected,
Hath what he list at home effected,
It may like wonders worke abroad,
O how this folly is detected !
For, though he sit in royall seate,
And as he list his vassais lode,

Yet others who are great,
Live not by his couceit,

Nor weigb what he doth threat,
But plagne his pride oft ere he feare the rod;
There are rare qualities requir'd in kings,
“ A naked name can never worke great things,"

Of all the passions which possesse the soule,
None su disturbes vaine mortals' mindes,
As vaine ambition which so blindes
The light of them, that nothing can controll,
Nor curb their thoughts who will aspire;
This raving vehement desire
Of soveraignty no satisfaction findes,
But in the breasts of men doth ever roule
The restlesse stope of Sisyph to torment them,
And as bis heart who stole the heavenly fire,
The vulture gnaws, so doth that monster rent them,
Had they the world, the world would not content

them.

This race of Ixion to embrace the clouds,
Contemne the state wherein they stand,
And, save themselves, would all command;
“ As one desire is quench'd, another buds;"

When they have travellid all their time,

Such spend their prosp'rous dayes, as in a dreame Heapt bloud on bloud, and crime on crime, And as it were in Fortune's bosome sleeping, There is an higher power that guides their hand: Then in a dull security abide, More happie he whom a poore cottage shrouds And of their doubtfull state neglect the keeping, Against the tempest of the threatning Heaven; Whil'st fearfull ruine comes upon them creeping. He stands in feare of none, none envies him; His heart is upright, and his wayes are even,

Thus the vicissitude of worldly things Where others states are still twixt six and seven.

Doth oft to us itselfe detect,

When heavenly pow'rs exalt, deject, That damned wretch up with ambition blowne,'

Confirme, confound, eréct, and ruine kings.

10 Alexander, mighty now, Then whil'st he turnes the wheele avout, Throwne high, and low, within, without,

To whom the vanquish'd world doth bow,

With all submission, homage, and respect, In striving for the top is tumbling downe. “ Those who delight in climbing high,

Doth fie a borrow'd fight with Fortune's wings; Oft by a precipice do dye,”

Nor enters he his dangerous course to ponder;

Yet if once Fortune bend her cloudy brow, So do the starres skie-climbing worldlings font;

All those who at his sudden successe wonder, But this disease is fatall to a crowne: [bounds, Kings, who have most, would most augment their May gaze as much to see himselfe brought under. And if they be not all, they cannot be, Which to their damage commonly redounds, “ The weight of too great states themselves confounds."

CHORUS THIRD. The mighty toyling to enlarge their state,

Time, through love's judgement just, Themselves exceedingly deceive,

Huge alterations brings:

Those are but fooles who trust
In bazarding the thing they have
For a felicity which tiey conceive;

In transitory things,
Though their doininions they increase,

Whose tailes beare mortall stings, Yet, their desires grow never lesse,

Which in the end will wound; For though they conquer much, yet more they crare,

And let none thinke it strange, Which fatall fortune doth attend the great,

Though all things earthly change:

In this inferiour round
And all the outward pompe that they assume
Doth but with shows disgnise the minds distresse;

What is from ruine free?
And who to conquer all the Earth presume,

The elements which be A little earth shall them at last consume.

At variance (as we see)

Fach th' other doth confound: And if it fortune that they dye in peace,

The earth and ayre make warre,

The fire and water are (A wonder wondrous rarely seene)

Still wrestling at debate, Who conquer first, Heavens finde a meane

All those through cold and heat, To raze their empire, and oft-times their race,

Through drought and moisture jarre. Who comming to the crowne with rest,

What wonder though men change and fade, And having all in peace possest,

Who of those changing elements are made?
Do straight forget what bloudy broyles have beene,
Ere first their fathers could attaine that place;

How dare vaine worldlings vaunt “ As seas'do flow and ebbe, states rise and fall,

Of Fortune's goods not lasting, And princes when their actions prosper best,

Evils which our wits encbant ? For feare their greatnesse should oppresse the small,

Expos'd to losse and wasting! As of some hated, envied are of all."

Loe, we to death are hasting,

Whilst we those things discusse : We know what end the mighty Cyrus made,

All things from their beginning, Whom whil'st he striv'd to conquer still, *

Still to an end are running, A woman (justly griev'd) did kill,

Heaven hath ordain'd it thus; Aud in a bloudy vesseil roll'd his head,

We beare how it doth thunder, Then said, (whil'st many wondring stood)

We see th' earth burst asunder, “ Since thou didst famish for such food,

And yet we never ponder Now quench thy thirst of bloud with bloud at will;" What this imports to us : Some who succeeded him, since he was dead,

Those fearefull signes doe prove, Haveraign'da space with pompe, and yet with paine,

That th' angry pow'rs above Whose glory now can do to us no good;

· Aré mov'd to indignation And what so long they labour'd to obtaine,

Against this wretched nation, All in an instant must be lost againe.

Which they no longer love:

What are we but a puffe of breath
Loe, Darius once so magnified by fame,

Who live assurd of nothing but of death
By one whom he contemn'd ore-come,
For all his bravery now made dombe,

Who was so happy yet
With down-cast eyes must signifie his shame;,

As never bad some crosse? Who puft up with ostentive pride,

Though on a throne he sit, Thinke Fortune bound to serve their side,

And is not us'd with losse, Can never scape, to be the prey of some;

Yet Fortune once will tosse

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