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In die Ascensionis Dominicæ.
Sq etiam nostros Te (Christe) tenemus amores? Heu coeli quantam hinc invidiam patimur! Invidiam patiamur: habent sua sydera cœli;
Quæ comunt tremulas crispa tot ora faces; Phoebenque & Phœbum, & tot pictæ vellera nubis ; Vellera, quæ roseâ Sol variavit acu.
Quantum erat, ut sinerent hâc unâ nos face ferri? Una sit hic: sunt (& sint) ibi mille faces.
Nil agimus: nam tu quia non ascendis ad illum, Ether descendit (Christe) vel ipse tibi.
* Act. I. Nubes susceptum eum abstulit.
The Delights of the Muses.
By RICHARD CRASHAW, sometimes of Pembroke Hall, and
late fellow of S. Peters Coll.
The second Edition wherein are added divers pieces not before extant.
Printed for Humphrey Moseley, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Princes Armes in St. Pauls Church yard.
The Preface to the Reader.
He Authors friend will not usurpe much upon thy eye: This is onely for those whom the name of our Divine Poet bath not yet seized into admiration. I dare undertake that what Jamblicus (in vita Pythagoræ) affirmeth of his Master, at his Contemplations, these Poems can, viz. They shall lift thee, Reader, some yards above the ground: and, as in Pythagoras Schoole, every temper was first tuned into a height by severall proportions of Musick, and spiritualiz'd for one of his weighty Lectures; So maist thou take a Poem bence, and tune thy soule by it, into a heavenly pitch; and thus refined and borne up upon the wings of meditation, In these Poems thou maist talke freely of God, and of that other
Here's Herbert's second, but equali, who hath retriv'd Poetry of late, and return'd it up to its Primitive use; Let it bound back to heaven gates, whence it came. Thinke yee, St. Augustine would have steyned his graver Learning with a booke of Poetry, had he fancied its dearest end to be the vanity of Love-Sonnets, and Epithalamiums? No, no, be thought with this our Poet, that every foot in a high-borne verse, might helpe to measure the soule into that better world. Divine Poetry, I dare bold it, in position against Suarez. on the subject, to be the Language of the Angels; it is the Quintessence of Phantasie and discourse center'd in Heaven; 'tis the very Out-goings of the soule; 'tis what alone our* Author is able to tell you, and that in his owne verse.
It were prophane but to mention here in the Preface those under-headed Poets, Retainers to seven shares and a
halfe; Madrigall fellowes, whose onely businesse in verse, is to rime a poore six-penny soule a Suburb sinner into hell;May such arrogant pretenders to Poetry vanish, with their prodigious issue of tumorous heats, and flashes of their adul terate braines, and for ever after, may this our Poet fill up the better roome of man. Oh! when the generall arraignment of Poets shall be, to give an accompt of their higher soules, with what a triumphant brow shall our divine Poet sit above, and looke downe upon poore Homer, Virgil, Horace, Claudian? &c. who had amongst them the ill lucke to talke out a great part of their gallant Genius, upon Bees, Dung, froggs, and Gnats, &c. and not as himself here, upon Scriptures, divine Graces, Martyrs and Angels.
Reader, we stile his Sacred Poems, Steps to the Temple, and aptly, for in the Temple of God, under his wing, he led his life, in St. Maries Church neere St. Peters Colledge: There he lodged under Tertullian's roofe of Angels; There he made his nest more gladly than David's Swallow neere the house of God, where like a primitive Saint, he offered more prayers in the night, than others usually offer in the day; There he penned these Poems, Steps for happy soules to climbe heaven by.
And those other of his pieces, intituled The Delights of the Muses, (though of a more humane mixture) are as sweet as they are innocent.
The praises that follow are but few of many that might be conferr'd on him: he was excellent in five Languages (besides his Mother tongue) vid. Hebrew, Greek, Latine, Italian, Spanish, the two last whereof he had little helpe in, they were of his own acquisition.
Amongst his other accomplishments in Accademick (as well pious as harmlesse arts) he made his skill in Poetry, Musick, Drawing, Limming, Graving, (exercises of his curious invention and sudden fancy) to be but his subservient