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THE GOOD LIFE, LONG LIFE.
It is not growing like a tree
In bulk doth make man better be;
Or standing long an oak three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere;
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night;
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be.
HYMN TO GOD THE FATHER.
HEAR me, O God!
A broken heart
Is my best part:
Use still thy rod,
That I may prove
Therein thy love.
If thou hadst not
Been stern to me,
But left me free,
I had forgot
Myself and thee.
For, sin's so sweet,
As minds ill bent
Until they meet
GREAT GOD! how manifold, how infinite
Are all thy works! with what a clear foresight
Didst thou create and multiply their birth!
Thy riches fill the far extended earth;
The ample sea, in whose unfathom'd deep
Innumerable sorts of creatures creep;
Bright-scaled fishes in her entrails glide,
And high-built ships upon her bosom ride;
About whose sides the crooked dolphin plays,
And monstrous whales huge spouts of water raise.
All on the land, or in the ocean bred,
On thee depend, in their due season fed;
They gather what thy bounteous hands bestow,
And in the summer of thy favour grow.
When thou contract'st thy clouded brows, they mourn,
And dying, to their former dust return;
Again created by thy quick’ning breath,
To re-supply the massacres of death.
No track of time his glory shall destroy ;
He in th' obedience of his works shall joy;
But when their wild revolts his wrath provoke,
Earth trembles, and the airy mountains smoke.
I all my life will my Creator praise,
And to his service dedicate my days.
May he accept the music of my voice,
While I with sacred harmony rejoice!
Hence, ye profane, who in your sins delight;
God shall extirp, and cast ye from his sight.
My soul, bless thou this all-commanding King-
You saints and angels, Hallelujah sing !
Born, 1585; DIED, 1619.
THRICE happy he who, by some shady grove,
Far from the clam'rous world, doth live his own;
Though solitary, who is not alone,
But doth converse with that eternal love :
O how more sweet is birds' harmonious moan,
Or the hoarse sobbings of the widow'd dove,
Than those smooth whisp'rings near a prince's throne,
Which good make doubtful, do the ill approve!
O how more sweet is zephyr's wholesome breath,
And sighs embalm’d, which new-born flow'rs unfold,
Than that applause vain honour doth bequeath :
How sweet are streams to poison drunk in gold :
The world is full of horrors, troubles, slights,
Wood's harmless shades have only true delights.
NO TRUST IN TIME.
Look how the flow'r, which ling’ringly doth fade,
The morning's darling, late the summer's queen,
Spoild of that juice which kept it fresh and green,
As high as it did raise, bows low the head :
Just so the pleasures of my life being dead,
Or in their contraries but only seen,
With swifter speed declines than erst it spread.
And, blasted, scarce now shows what it hath been;
Therefore, as doth the pilgrim, whom the night
Hastes darkly to imprison on his way,
Think on thy home, my soul, and think aright
Of what's yet left thee of life's wasting day:
Thy sun posts westward, passed is thy morn,
And twice it is not given thee to be born.
Born, 1586; DIED, 1615.
GOD'S PROVIDENCE THE HONEST MAN'S FORTUNE.
O MAN, thou image of thy Maker's good,
What canst thou fear when breath'd into thy blood
His spirit is that built thee? what dull sense
Makes thee suspect, in need, that Providence,
Who made the morning, and who plac'd the light
Guide to thy labours ? Who call’d up the night,
And bid her fall upon thee like sweet show'rs
In hollow murmurs, to lock up thy pow'rs?
Who gave thee knowledge? who so trusteth thee
To let thee grow so near himself, the tree?
Must he then be distrusted ? shall his frame
Discourse with him, why thus and thus I am ?
He made the angels thine, thy fellows all;
Nay, even thy servants when devotions call :
O canst thou be so stupid, then, so dim,
To seek a saving influence, and lose him?
Can stars protect thee? or can poverty,
Which is the light to heaven, put out his eye ?
He is my star, in him all truth I find,
All influence, all fate; and when my mind
Is furnished with his fulness, my poor story
Should outlive all their age and all their glory.
Born, 1588; DIED, 1667.
COME, oh! come, with sacred lays,
Let us sound th' Almighty's praise;
Hither bring in true consent,
Heart, and voice, and instrument.
Let the orpharion sweet,
With the harp and viol meet:
voices tune the lute:
Let not tongue nor string be mute :
Not a creature dumb be found,
That hath either voice or sound.
Let such things as do not live,
In still music praises give;
Lowly pipe, ye worms that creep
On the earth or in the deep;
Loud aloft your voices strain,
Beasts and monsters of the main;
Birds, your warbling treble sing;
Clouds, your peals of thunder ring;
Sun and moon exalted higher,
And you stars, augment the choir.
Come, ye sons of human race,
In this chorus take your place,
And amid this mortal throng,
Be you masters of the song.
Angels and celestial pow'rs,
Be the noblest tenor yours.
Let, in praise of God, the sound
Run a never-ending round,
That our holy hymn may be
Everlasting as is He.
From the earth's vast hollow womb,
Music's deepest bass shall come.
Sea and floods from shore to shore
Shall the counter-tenor roar.
To this concert, when we sing,
Whistling winds, your descant bring:
Which may bear the sound above,
Where the orb of fire doth move,
And so climb from sphere to sphere,
Till our song th' Almighty hear.