Heaven Poems - Poems For Heaven
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The Second Booke Of Epigrammes. - Poem by Thomas Bancroft
To William Davenport, Esquire.
Your native sweetnesse, which you often have
Diffus'd to others, boldens me to crave
Your favour to this weakling worke of mine:
Whereon if your cleare Iudgment daigne to shine,
All clouds of envy menacing my Verse
I shall despise, and with one puffe disperse.
On Theologicall Vertue.
Vertue's a Bridge (neare to the Crosse, whereby
We passe to happinesse beyond the Spheares)
Whose Arches are Faith, Hope, and Charity,
And what's the water but repentant teares?
Sinne, like a Serpent.
Sinnes falshood glistereth like the Serpents kind,
(From whence it crept) and beares a sting behind.
The youngest of all vices (that I know)
Is Drunkennesse, which in the age of Noe
First reel'd into the World, and thus appeares
Like the Red Dragon, after thousand yeares:
Yet sure to Hell this sucking Vice hath spew'd
More soules, than all that ancient multitude.
Devotion's like an Eagle, making way
Through cloudy Meteors, when she meanes to pray.
No mortall hath seene God, few heard him speake;
(Hence is their love so cold, their faith so weake
Yet all his goodnesse taste, which (like the shower
On Gideons Fleece) he on all flesh doth powre.
On Lazarus in Abrahams Bosome.
From sorrowes straights, wherein we launch our lives,
In his hopes Haven Lazarus arrives,
And wonders in how short a flight of time,
He to that Crowne of happinesse could climbe;
From Ragges and company of Dogges, to sort
Himselfe with Princes of that glorious Court,
There with those armes, that on the Altar plac'd,
Our dying Saviours lively type embrac'd.
O blissefull change! to be incircled so,
What King would not his Diadem forgoe?
Ieere they that list, whose follies are profest:
With sinnes or swords it is not safe to jest.
The body and the soule.
God at one instant did not make the whole
Of man, but first the Body, then the soule:
And hence the fleshly Rebell (for the right
Of eldership) doth with the Spirit fight.
Percolation of Waters.
Sea--waters finding passage through the clay,
Lose saltnesse, (as experienc'd Writers say)
And with a sweeter relish please the sence:
So, than the mournfull teares of penitence,
Which sinners through their earthen Organs straine)
No water is more sweete, more soveraigne.
Faith and Love.
The aire doth first affect us, though the fire
Be more Celestiall, and more high aspire.
So the first tendrell of straight vertues tree
Is Faith, but the toppe branch is Charity.
In Heavenly things meere Nature's blind and base,
And like a meale of fragments without Grace.
David and Goliah. Christ and Sathan.
Five stones tooke David, winning at one throw
Goliah's head: and our meeke Saviour so
Five wounds receiv'd, that weapon--like did slay
Th'Infernall Gyant, and his Host dismay.
The fall of Angells.
Some say, the downe--cast Angells here and there
Alighted, as they bodied Creatures were
But whether some of them in Aire reside,
Others in Water, or in Earth abide,
It matters not: for (howsoere they fell)
Who loseth God, findes every place his Hell.
He acts as brave a part as David in
Killing Goliah did, who conquers sinne
At the first onset: for that is to wound
A Gyants front, and force him to the ground.
Sith Paradise is lost, looke not to see
God in soft pleasures walkes: for surely he,
That did to Moses in a Bush appeare,
Loves sharpe compunction, and a life austere.
To penitent Magdalen.
Mary, but late the cage of Hell,
Thy heavenly change what Muse can tell?
Those twinkling eyes that did allure
To sordid lust, now droppe the pure
Pearle of Contrition; and that haire
That wandering Cupids did ensnare,
And wav'd its pride in every streete,
Now humbly licks her Saviours feete,
And from those blessed roots derives
Vertue, more worth than thousand lives.
To cleanse thy stain'd affections then,
Still weepe and wipe, kind Magdalen.
A beame of comfort.
God that his splendour did to Moses show,
From Ægypt fled, will sure with comfort so
Shine upon those, that gladly bid farewell
To lust, whose lightnesse keeps us darke as Hell.
On the two theeves crucified with our Saviour.
As Jew and Gentile did his life oppose,
So here two Theeves our dying Lord enclose:
These, true to falshood, gasping here for breath,
Doe yet invade the King of life and death:
The one with worst of weapons playes his part,
The other robbes him of his dearest heart:
Both on the bloody Characters doe looke,
Of life, yet one but saved by the Booke:
That (as in Moses bush) with Raies divine
Sees in the thorny Crowne some glory shine,
And hangs not faster on the fatall wood,
Than his soule cleaves to her eternall good.
Strange Thiefe! that thus by vertue of his vice
Broke loose from Hell, and stole to Paradise.
An unfruitfull Reader.
Who reads Gods Word, not following it in deed,
Is like a sounding, but an empty Reed.
Sects in Religion.
While Sects are wrangling, Sathan doth contend
To make them all their vertues treasure spend:
Iust, as while Clients strive, the Lawyer takes
Their Metall, but no chaine of Concord makes.
To London in time of Pestilence.
London, when I behold thy Ladyes goe
So Bedlam--like with Naked armes, and show
Shoulders and breasts, like Maremaids, all behung
With golden toyes, and precious stones among;
And when againe the roaring boyes I see
Put women downe with manlesse luxury,
Still to be fashion--sicke, and drinke, and sweare.
And rage, as if they Stygian Monsters were:
I wonder not to see thee blacke with woe,
Sith high--built Cities lye in dust below,
For crimes lesse bold: and having drunke thereby
Deepe cuppes of vengeance, then wilt pledge, or dye.
The Arke and Dagon.
Afford not sinne one corner in thy heart,
Sith all's too little for so great a Lord,
That will not for the whole accept the part:
Nor will his Arke and Dagon are accord,
Whose head and hands at th'entry of desire
Cut wisely off, nor suffer sinne entire.
My sighes out--pace my tongue, when I would tell
How this fam'd Region, which did all excell
In pleasant fruits, and typ'd the happyest place,
Is now a Den of Barbarisme, so base,
So stript and ruin'd, that with grapes and graine,
It scarce a flight of Locusts can maintaine.
Ah cursednesse of sinne, that thus to Gall
Turnes milke and honey, and empoysons all.
The motion of sinne.
Sinnes motion's various; and her Zenith well
We terme presumption, but her Nadir Hell.
Marke the end.
Iacob held Esau by the Heele, and so
Should every man that feares his Maker doe:
Not stroke the head of sinne, but apprehend
His rugged foote, and marke his fatall end.
Nebuchadnezzars Image moraliz'd.
Like this Kings Image with the head of gold,
Th'ambitious seemes, and makes a lofty show
Of wisedome; but his latter end behold,
And you shall see the proud aspirer goe
On earthen feet, whose frailty will not beare
Their master out, from danger or from feare.
An old sute.
God not with silken robes old Adam clad,
But skinnes of Beasts, (the most contemned weare)
To shew, that he who Princely Empire had,
Having defac'd Gods Image, did appeare
More like to beasts, and (through his teares) might see
His blinded soule, and bodies misery.
Our Saviours first Miracle applyed.
Iesus, that Water turnd to Wine,
Will turne our penitentiall brine
To Nectar, and our bitter moanes
To sweetest joyes, Celestiall tones,
When our white Soules unto this Lambe
Shall married be, and Heavens frame
(While fiery Angels clearely sing)
An endlesse wedding peale shall ring.
Pride, not unpunished.
King Ezechias, in a boasting sort,
Shew'd all his Treasures, and was punish'd for't.
For Pride falls with a vengeance on our backs;
And high Clouds scatter when the Welkin cracks.
The stones whereof Gods Altars framed were,
Must be unwrought: so pious deeds should be,
Not mixt with ostentation, but sincere,
For wisedome shines in such simplicity.
Heaven and Earth.
As from one Maker Heaven and Earth proceed,
So some resemblance doe they hold indeed:
For as the Boreall parts of Heaven include
Most Starres, and of the greatest magnitude,
So doth our Northerne Hemispheare below,
More of the continent and Ilands show
Than doth the South. Thus Heaven and Earth accord,
And so were men in goodnesse like their Lord,
Or like his quire of Angels there would be
Through the whole World a compleat Harmony.
The soules twylight.
As Sea and Earth I view, but with mine eye,
Nor Element all fire nor aire discry:
So know I men and beasts, but cannot so
High God, and holy Angels reach unto:
For (ah) by Adams fall my knowing part
Seemes dasht and duld'd against a stony heart.
Ye Royall guides, that 'fore your people goe,
Thinke on that Meteor in the Wildernesse,
Which Israel led: for airy honour so
Still floates and flits but sooner vanishes.
The obvious actions of the great, that strike
Our sences to the quicke, are not unlike
Those varied Reds, which Jacob once did leave
Before his Ewes, what time they should conceive:
For after such impressive objects goe
The sheepish vulgar, which few precepts know.
Jerusalems great Chiefes are forc'd away
By Babels Monarch, when meane persons stay:
And as a prey to the hellish Tyrant are
Rich Worldlings, when poore starvelings better fare.
A Boaster's but a glorious Monster, and
Extends a tongue farre larger than his hand.
If silver from superfluous moysture growes,
(Like that which drops from every Driuells nose)
If gold be but the dregs of earth, and stones,
(Though ne're so pretious) but her barren bones;
If flaunting silkes, rich scarlets, daintiest furres
Be but Beasts excrements, (which man abhorres)
Then Pride thou'rt odious, and thy Students be
Scarce able to commence to mans degree.
On Iosephs Cloake.
The Snake his slough, the Dove her plume doth cast,
(Whose innocence and prudence held we fast)
As Ioseph left his garment, yet retained
A jewell, which once left is ne're regained.
Thus stone--cold chastity farre off doth flye,
And Lust assumes the Cloake of modesty.
On Nebuchadnezzar, Deposed.
What Object's this, of pitty or of feare?
Great Babels Monarch, picking Sallets here
With Hawke--like Tallons, and a Horse--like maine,
That lately did a gemmed Crowne sustaine:
'Twas farre from loftiest Royalty to slide
To such subjection: but illusive pride
Ioyes in such Gambolls, jeering, when she brings
Scepters to Bables, and does foole the greatest things.
Death of Tyrants.
In the Red Sea sterne Pharaoh dy'd, and in
Christs blood was drown'd that cursed Tyrant, Sinne.
Likenesse breedes love; and therefore God did make
Man as his Image, that he thence might take
A deare occasion in deepe love to fall
With his high Lord, whose grace surmounts to all.
Of Divine Precepts.
How good is God! whose every sweete command
Doth with the soules and bodies safety stand,
Whose true and happy preservation lies
Jn antidotes of vertuous exercise:
But vice is like a worme, that Canker sets
Into the Bone, and harder Conscience frets.
Put not Repentance off till thou beest old,
For such Devotion heartlesse growes and cold:
Nor ere shall that man for a wise one passe,
That layes much treasure on a tyred Asse.
Like Gideons troopes, which off the Captaine cast
For bending Beast--like to the ground, to tast
The Crystall River, is the wretched crew
Of Worldlings, which with downe--cast mindes pursue
Their wretched treasure, that like water slowes
By course, and from them with a murmure goes.
On the same.
Rich Worldlings are poore Snakes, sustain'd alone
With shining dust, and downe to basenesse throwne.
King Saul, his sonnes, and other Chieftaines more,
Fell under wounds upon Mount Gilboa;
And when in high prosperity we soare,
Well may we feare a downfall and decay:
For honours Bubble, swelling ne're so high,
Breakes with a pricke, and out the winde must flye.
A fishes Gall blind Tobit cur'd: and so
Bitter affliction lends us light to know
The World, and all its fashood, that in lieu
Of promis'd Roses sticks our breasts with Rue.
On the same.
The higher that the Deluge rose,
More upward did the Arke ascend:
So in the deepest waves of woe
More Heaven--ward our affections tend,
And sad affliction oft doth prove
A beaten path to joyes above.
Paine before pleasure.
Vigills and Fasts to joyfull feasts make way,
And Earths short paines to Heav'ns long Holiday.
Like Sparrowes Dung, that seel'd up Tobits sight,
Is wealth, whose love our soules becloudeth quite,
And with pollution so belimes her wings,
That heavily she mounts to heavenly things.
Ioseph in Prison, to Pharaoh's Butler at liberty.
Whilst we in Prison fettered lay
Our loves were fast, and thou didst say,
Thou surely wouldst (if ever grac't
Againe) relieve me: but thou hast
Let slip thy promise, and my paine,
Though Pharoah's Cuppe thou holdst againe.
Thus Royall favours Sunne--shine makes
(In Dunghill mindes) ungratefull snakes
Of Libertines, in office set,
And cuppes make men their friends forget.
On Tobias his Fish
The Entrailes of this Fish, once laid on fire,
Caus'd all infernall Spirits to retire:
So a zeale--burning heart the friends doth quell,
And a good liver feares no bugges of Hell.
The Devills child, the Devills lucke.
Iudas, that did the Knapsacke beare
Like a false--hearted Souldier,
The bloody colours did forgoe
Of his deare Lord, to serve his foe
For helish pay, yet in the close
Had not one crosse to helpe his woes;
But (with his empty bagge by's side)
Was hang'd, and broke, and poorely dy'd.
Greedy Gehazies snow--white Leprosie,
Fairely resembleth foulest Covetize,
That makes men lame to workes of Charity,
And hoares our hairs ere age their colour dyes
A false World.
This crooked World is serpentine,
And poysons doth with pleasures deale,
Just as the Snake doth brightly shine,
Yet banefull venome doth concaele
So one faire fruit deform'd us all,
Whence all our lives like leaves doe fall.
Religion is a golden chaine, to binde
With tenne strong linkes all Adams stubborne kinde.
On Saint Stephen stoned.
Some men are beaten to this world, but here's
One that was battered to the heavenly spheares,
Whose prayers (faster than the stones did fly)
Vollyed for entrance to the opening sky.
Nor did poore halfe--dead Isaac more rejoyce
To see the Ramme, and heare the Angels voyce,
Than Stephen did to see the Lambe (once slaine
For our sins guilt) with his triumphant traine:
Well might he joy, that was within a small
Stones cast of Heaven; whence treasured blessings fall.
Pride and Humility.
Mountaines their tallnesse loose, but vallies grow
Higher, by ruines on their bosome cast;
And climbing pride comes tumbling downe below,
But humble goodnesse will reach Heaven at last.
Moses his reall Serpent had the power,
Those other made by Magicke to devoure;
And Gods transcendent wisedome doth containe,
All others knowledge, as a boundlesse maine;
Which never Creature strove to passe, but fell
Short in his Voyage, lost in darkest Hell.
Ignorance, the Divels foole.
The Divell in darke ignorance delights,
And as sterne Nahash once the Gileadites,
Right eyes required; so endeavours he
Knowledge to quench, and arts dexterity.
Of Mahomets Religion.
Like to that thousand--slaying Asses jaw,
Which Sampson brandisht, is the sencelesse Law
Of Mahomet; which more weake soules hath slaine,
Than th'Alcaron doth witlesse words containe.
On Jacobs wrestling.
Iacob, that Esau had supplanted first,
(With confidence well fortify'd) now durst
Encounter with an Angell, and doth beare
The blessed prize away; though lam'd he were:
Yet no discomfort could him hence dismay,
Sith such maim'd souldiers shall have heavenly pay.
On the same.
Iacob went halting, that he might not fly
Farre from his Lord, that loves such company.
Mans life in the lapse.
On Tigris banke when once Tobias sate,
Of slippery life he well might meditate,
Which faster than that swiftest river flowes
With downe--right course to death, nor Eddy knowes.
Of the Pillar of Salt, the remainder of Lots Wife.
What object's this that doth assault my sense
With feare? the monument of her offence,
Who with good Lot did from lewd Sodome goe,
Yet for apostacy was pillory'd so;
Warning us all to season with this Salt
Our ranke affections, and avoyde her fault.
Of a Carnalist.
How like is he, a wanton life that leades,
To hoary Iordan! that the flowery meads
Clippes in his progresse, yet doth swiftly tend
To the dead sea, and makes a bitter end.
Seths famous Pillars, that inscribed stood
With Learning and Religion, scap'd the floud:
For (though both Gold and Silver feele decay)
Faire knowledge may be clipt, nere washt away.
Drunkards are like to leaking shippes, and in
Great danger to be sunke in seas of sinne.
As Ioab Amaziah did embrace,
And stabbe together: so with flattering face
False pleasure courts us, but with paine the whiles
Wounds whom she wooes, & slaughters when she smiles.
Not too fast.
Swift as a sylvan Roe was Asahel,
Yet (overtooke by Fate) he wounded fell
In following Abner. For in veyle of night
Close by the ground flyes death, and puts to flight
The bold'st pursuers: and from life of grace
Too frequently they fall, that honour chase.
To an Epicure.
Thy belly is thy God, thine appetite
All thy Religion; which with tooth and nayle
Thou followest, and with an eager zeale
Dost sacrifice to Riot day and night;
Nor wilt surcease, till death his speare hath tost
In thy vast paunch, or way and weapon lost.
Ill enough at the best.
The Skinnes of beasts, that sacrificed were,
Were plucked off; but when we best appeare,
The services which we to God advance,
Are skinned ore with veyles of ignorance,
Pride, and hypocrisie; so much we prove
Strangers to simple truth and naked love.
Solace in solitude.
The Coale--blacke Raven in the desart fed
Elias; but that glory--glittering Dove
Those soules doth cherish, that are sequestred
From worldly toyes, and fixt on joyes above.
No truth in the World.
False--hearted Laban, in faire Rachels stead,
Put bleare--ey'd Leah on his patient friend:
So though the World much blisse hath promised,
With blind conceite it gulls us in the end.
Comfort in selfe conquest.
On troubled waters could not Noahs Dove
Take rest, but in the Arke, that did containe
A wildernesse of Creatures leagu'd in love;
Nor will that Dove--like comforter remaine,
Save that in brest, whose wild affections be
Bound to tame peace, yet strike sweet harmony.
An Ocean of Wine.
Wine is a Drunkard, is an in--land maine,
With pleasure tost, but wracking him with paine.
Christs rising and setting.
When Christ did rise, at midnight day did spring
With strange light; when he crosly set againe,
Day gloom'd to night, under whose threatning wing
The sad earth quak'd, as conscious of his paine.
Right Sun of Heaven! from whose blest course proceed
Both light and shade. Right Sun of Heav'n indeed.
To the Heavenly Host, exulting at our Saviours Birth.
Cease your loud joyes, Celestials, cease,
Your noyse disturbes the Prince of peace;
Whose teares (which who can singing view?)
His cheekes sweet rosaryes bedew,
And at whose plaints th'empassion'd stones
Are chaf'd to droppes, and melt with mones.
Yet haile deare cause of pretious joyes!
For those thy vollying sighes and cryes,
Doe force the ports of Heaven to fly
Open, and make us way thereby
To blisse; and that thy pearly raine
Doth our robb'd soules enrich againe.
Then doe not yet, Celestials, cease;
Your mirth proclaimes the Prince of peace.
Of the beatificall Vision.
Peace Epicures, cease Stoicks, with the rest
Of Ancients, to make knowne what makes you blest:
Your chiefe goods are but empty dreames, but mine
A reall vision, glorious, and Divine.
To Herod, Murtherer of the Innocents.
Fie brutish Tyrant, sheath thy blade,
So drunke with former slaughters made,
That now it doth at rand on fall
On the most harmelesse things of all.
The Son of Heaven's without thy spheare,
And thou but idlely beat'st the aire
With threats: but mothers groanes and cryes,
That vapour to the vengefull skies,
From swollen Clouds, shall head--long downe
With Lightning burst, and blast thy Crowne.
Patient and prudent.
A suffering man is like the Beare--starre, slow
To move, yet such as may discrection show.
To the blessed Virgin at her purification.
Why, favourite of Heaven most faire,
Dost thou bring fowles for Sacrifice?
Will not the armefull thou dost beare,
That lovely Lambe of thine, suffice?
On Mary Magdalen, weeping &c.
How fast doth Mary let her flood--gates goe,
As if the bottome of her love to shew!
Catching with golden nets (O rich device!)
That pretious prey, true bird of Paradise.
To Iordan, wherein Christ was baptized.
Iordan, that in the Type of Heaven dost spring,
And of all rivers mayst be stiled King,
Crown'd with thine owne delightfull plants, that lave
And deckt their tresses in thy glassy wave,
How happy wast thou, that the King of Kings
(More sweet, more faire, than all thy meads & springs)
Was dipt in thee! Thenceforth thy current should
Have stood for Iasper, set in bankes of gold.
Flesh to dust.
Death (a strange Miller) flesh to dust doth grind.
How? not with water, but defolt of wind.
Comfort in calamity.
In frosty times most starry fires are seene;
And when afflictive sorrowes are most keene,
God comfort deignes, and so to us doth show
His lightfull face, that we his favour know.
When I admire some starres, whose magnitude
Doth the earths vastnesse many times include;
And those least Lights more radiant to behold
Than Diamonds, or Diadems of gold:
Me thinkes I feele my lightned heart (inflame
Of rapture) mount to that illustrious frame,
Yet fall backe like a dying sparke, that must
Be turn'd to ashes, and confus'd with dust.
But (O the wonder!) when the pavements are
So rich; how glorious, how transcending faire
Is the great Chamber! and how bright that face,
Where pretious beames of beauty, glory, grace,
Are sweetly all (as flowers for sacrifice)
Commixt, and offered to joy--ravisht eyes.
To a serpentine Sychophant.
Thou liv'st by doing others deadly wrong
At great mens Tables, with thy banefull tongue:
And yet dependest (as thou dar'st averre)
On Heavens full hand, to be thy Caterer;
That threats to shake thee for detested trickes,
As Paul the Viper into burning Styx.
A generall benefit. Moses prescrib'd, that holy fumes should be
Temper'd and mixt in equall quantity:
Whereby in a sweet sence is understood,
That equally we share the Soveraigne blood
Of Christ, that doth the beggers soule refine
Pure as the Kings, whose gold--girt temples shine.
The power of prayer.
Our prayers are as fired shafts, that shall
Make that old Serpent (like to Python) fall.
An invitation to happinesse.
Me thinkes I see a glittering troope of Saints,
Beckning to me from Heavens gilt battlements,
To hasten to them. Here (they seeme to say)
Is the springs flourish, Summers lightsome ray;
The Autumnes plenty, with the Winters ease,
And all that may the high--wrought phansie please:
Who then pure treasures dost preferre to toyes,
Mend thy dull pace, and minde this place of joyes.
Evill Objects, infectious.
As those that gaze on bloody galled eyes,
Become obnoxious to their maladies:
So on lewd precedents who oft will looke
Shall lewdnesse catch, and learne it without booke.
Peter, at the transfiguration.
What fulgour's this! what harmelesse lightning's here!
Hath Phaebus vaulted from his radiant spheare
To gaze here on my Lord? or onely spread
His rich flame--coloured mantle on the head
Of happy Tabor? Hence dull shadowy toyes
Of mirth; give me these pure illustrious joyes,
To shine with Moses and Elias still,
And keepe a high--day on this Heavenly hill.
The Covetous, to sublime contemplators.
As to his eye who yellow glasse applies,
Sees all things of that golden colour: so
When thoughts of profit taint our phantasies,
We onely are well seene in things below;
But in Celestiall matters blind as Moles,
That hunt for Wormes, and haunt obscurest holes.
Of the Wedding Ring.
This precious Embleme well doth represent
That evennesse, that Crownes us with content:
Which when it wanting is, the sacred yoake
Becomes uneasie, yet with ease is broake.
Pharaohs Daughter, finding yong Moses in the Water.
What pretty pledge of love swimmes here
Deepely engag'd? How every teare
Shines in the casket, as a Iemme
Doth in my Fathers Diadem!
How (like hope in Pandoraes boxe)
Lovely it lookes! More hard than rockes
Were they, whose hearts would not relent
At sight of such an Innocent.
Come, little Angell, thou with me
Shalt shine in Heaven of Royalty;
And with great Pharaohs Crowne shalt play,
That mayst beare rule another day,
And (as I thee from waters rage)
My name preserve from wracke of age.
To ambitious favourites.
Looke favourites (that ever climbing are)
On Absolon, hung by the lockes on high:
For so your actions goe against the haire,
And danger hangs upon your dignity.
On the skales that fell from Pauls eyes.
These skales th'old Serpents were, who when they fell,
Did cast his slough on earth, and slipt to Hell.
On Iezabell, to Ladies.
How far'd proud Iezabell, whole dayes that spent
In pruning, painting, courting of her glasse?
Was not her flesh t'an odious excrement
Concocted, and, ejected on the grasse?
Ladies, such faults wipe off, as did attend
This Queene of Pride, and dogg'd her to her end.
Iphtah, meeting his Daughter after Victory.
Ah ruthfull object, that doth dart
A thousand horrours to my heart!
Poore harmelesse haplesse child! must thou
Make good thy Fathers ill--made vow?
And shall I such rash breathful full?
Deare Heaven avert it. Yet J will,
And must, although with trembling hands
I shake in sunder natures bands.
But to thy memory each day
Full summes of sorrows must I pay,
And when salt teares have drain'd mine eyes,
Make Fountaines poore with fresh supplyes.
The worlds entertainement.
The World resembles Iael in her tent,
And entertaines us with like complement;
Feeds us, and covers us, while close we lye,
Strecht on the dull couch of obscurity:
But when we sleepe fast, faster to the ground
Our heads and hearts doe fixe, and both confound.
Iohn Baptists Head.
This was a Cryers head, and still doth cry,
For vengeance on the crowne of tyranny.
How quaintly Heaven his fairest jewels sets
To the Worlds view betwixt two counterfets!
With two pale Pendants hangs this radiant stone,
Yet makes his foyle, takes glory but of one.
Strange Rocke! that in our wildernesse of sinne
Strucke with the rod of Justice, from within
His precious Caves poures liquid life to ground,
Whose Cataracts to highest Heaven resound,
Out--buying with fine golden rivers price
All floods, all fruits, all states of Paradise.
Deare Mates, that through these worldly billows steere,
Bend to this Rocke, or else ye shipwracke here:
Let my kind Muse the singing Syren prove,
To draw you on with charming lines of love.
Haile true Celestiall Comet! which of old
Such flights of ravisht spirits have foretold,
That, by thy bloody streaming in the aire,
Dost make the blacke Prince of his Realme despaire
In lifes sad Night; he cannot wander farre
From joy, that sailes by this transfixed starre.
An upstroke to his soule.
Up, Dove--like soule, and make thy Saviours side
Thy restfull Arke, his sprinkled blood thy guide;
Bath in this balme th'enflamed eyes of Lust,
Thy Plumes of pride, thy feete of lame distrust:
Harke how the bubling Current chides thy stay
Jn thine owne sound, and murmurs at delay;
See how his armes are for thy welcome spread,
And how he beckons with enclining head,
Vrge then thy flight, thy paines will not be lost,
Nor love want comfort, though thy Lord be lost,
On our Saviours Crosse.
Our Saviours Crosse, beguilt with guiltlesse blood,
Was fram'd (as some write) of foure kinds of wood,
Palme, Cedar, Cypresse, Olive; which might show
That blessings thence to the foure parts should flow
Of the vast world, and from the foure windes should
Christs flocke be fetcht to his thrice--blessed Fold.
Of the terrours at the Death of our Saviour.
What tempest's this, that from the Tree of Death
Would shake this fruit of Life? what angry breath
Of Heav'n teares up my tender--rooted heart?
Doth the rude world into confusion start?
Or Nature, bending to her finall wracke,
Heare the maine Engine of her motion cracke?
The Temple rends its cloaths, the Rocks (that were
Angry at harder hearts) their Centers teare,
Heav'ns blood--shot eye winkes close for griefe and dread,
The Earth grows sicke, and vomits up her dead,
The Sea howles out, while the loud winds in rage
Hisse at those Actors on their Tragicke Stage,
That, having lost both shape and reasons sparke
In that blacke day, seeme Dragons in the darke.
O poisonous sinne! whose force the solid ground
Thus breakes, and threats whole Nature to confound.
On the Spunge filled with Vinegar.
Mans life is like this Spunge, and steepes
It selfe in woes; when crusht, he weepes.
The anguish of Conscience.
Who with a guilty soule to bed doth goe,
Fares like a Nightingale with tender brest
Vpon a thorne, and takes as little rest,
But with lesse straines of Musicke, more of woe.
Man unnaturally revengefull.
Nature some creatures terrible doth make
With hornes, and hoofes, & tusks, wherewith they take
Bloody revenge, and worke each others woe:
But no such native terrours man doth show,
Yet to harsh mischiefe is most bent of all,
And (with a vengeance) most unnaturall.
Our Saviours Parentage.
This flower of Iesse had his blessed birth
From Heaven deriv'd, though planted here on Earth;
Resembling those whereof fam'd Maro sings,
Whose beauties beare th'enscribed names of Kings.
Faith a fast friend.
Of Moses body God tooke care,
Nor would allow the Fiend a share
In it; much lesse will he forgoe
A soule (deare--bought with deadly woe)
If but her hand of faith be laid
On his strong Arme, that all doth ayde.
Sinne hath three Bond--maids, Feare, & Guilt, and Shame,
That dayly follow, duely haunt the same:
But be I rather joylesse left alone,
Than on the left hand goe, so waited on.
Iohns Birth made glad long--silent Zachary,
And grace attends on Taciturnity.
Belly, cease thy grumbling.
God, that for every Beast provided meate
Before (their Master) Man had ought to eate,
Shew'd us how small a care is requisite
For things that please the rambling appetite:
For man that beares a Queene--like Soule, should have
Small stomacke to become his bodies slave.
The Temples Windows, on their inner side
Farre larger than without, thereby imply'd
That in Gods Church appeares the vitall light
Of Truth, without it shades of Death and night.
The Soules Center.
Our bodies in the flitting ayre can take
No rest, nor in the flowing water make
Abode, but on the solid Earth remaine,
Whose ground--worke doth the unweildy world sustaine:
No more can Soules (for lasting joyes design'd)
In watry wealth or airy honour find
Sure comfort, but in him that all things moves
Must rest, and there concenter all their loves.
Against prophane jesting.
Let others scoffe, whose joyes are here at best;
I'm not for Hell in earnest, nor in jest.
On Iudges. To Sir Tho. Milward.
In faire Ierusalem the Judges sate
On Thrones erected in the Cities gate,
With faces to the East; that learne they might
Of Sol (the heart o'th' Planets) rising bright,
To raise pure hearts to Heaven, and rightly trace
Through Vertues Zodiacke, Signes of heavenly grace.
Now, or never.
Vpon their Sabbaths Eve, old Israels Host,
(Preparing for the time they honour'd most)
Stor'd them with Manna for the future day:
So should old Fathers (hoar'd with frosty gray)
Against their finall now--approaching rest
Hoard up good workes, as Treasures in the Chest,
And (Archer--like) with most impulsion send
Devotions shafts, when drawing to their end.
Winke not at great faults.
When Paul was preaching, Eutychus asleepe
Came toppling from aloft, and dead was found:
So those that in the Church no watch will keepe,
Fall lame from goodnesse, though their sleepe be sound.
Gold like straw.
Straw ripens Fruits with kindly heate (we know)
Yet serves in hot Spaine to conserve the Snow,
That cooles their Wines: so warmes deceitfull gold
The heart with joy, yet makes Devotion cold.
On the healing of a crooked woeman.
Christ, that did cure this weakling, doth delight
That wrongs be rectifi'd, and all upright.
Against our Fashion--mongers.
In various formes the Tempter doth appeare,
But onely humane shape good Angels weare:
We then that still new--fangled fashions use,
VVhom follow wee? the Fiend, that us pursues.
A sight of our Saviour.
Zacheus, whose low stature could not see
Our Saviour passing by him, climb'd a Tree
To take a full view of him: so may we
With Contemplations nimble pace ascend
The Tree whereon our Ransome did depend,
And there behold our all--surpassing friend.
A Cure for the Kings evill.
Greatest of Mortalls, that with sparkling Gold
In spheare your browes, and potent Scepters hold,
VVhen vain pompe swells you, let the Crowne that tore
Our deare Redeemers head, be sadly wore
In your remembrance, so those Thornes will pricke
Ambitious tumours, whilst in minde they sticke.
Temptation of the flesh.
This grand Enchantresse deales as Dalilah,
And so importunes us, that we give way
To her desires, to th'losse of Iudgments eyes:
But then th'infernall Philistines devise
Such grinding worke for us, that for their toule
They take what dearest is, the precious Soule.
Davids Harpe out of Tune, after its Masters decease.
How am I sleighted now, whose strings
Lately enchain'd the eares of Kings,
And seem'd by vertue of their charme
Th'infernall Dragon to disarme!
Now being of no note at all,
My mirth hangs with me on the wall,
Though still as good as ere did twang:
So may lost favourites goe hang.
A consort of Starres.
Each Shepheard knows that of those lights above
Some with a swift course, others slowly move;
And that the fixt Starres in a plaine song--way
Goe on, but Planets (that below them stray)
Seeme to runne descant still and modulate,
Yet are their motions all proportionate,
And regular: How could this wonder be,
But that the God of peace loves Harmony.
A guilty Conscience.
A guilty Conscience is a Iayle, wherein,
The Soule is chain'd with sorrow, charg'd with sinne.
On the same.
Like Tobies Dogge's a guilty Conscience,
That still is grumbling wheresoere we come,
And though still beaten backe, and bidden hence,
Yet restlesly pursues and dogges us home.
To a busie headed, idle--handed Zelot.
Thou wholly dost neglect thy Family,
And marr'st good acts with such impiety,
Whil'st, like the nayle that stucke in Sisera
His Temples, in the Church thou still wouldst stay.
Such fervent folly doth expose to mocks
Devotion, and such nayles the Devill knocks.
The necessity of Respiration.
As humane bodies are conserv'd by breath,
So must our Soules too in a sort respire,
Send sighes and prayers out from hearts entire,
And draw in quickning grace, else looke for Death.
An offer of love to our new--borne Saviour.
Sith in the Inne no roome they will afford,
Take up thy lodging in my breast, deare Lord,
Where for a Cradle let my panting heart
Rocke thee asleepe, that dost true rest impart;
And for thy swadling bands, my Muse shall bring
Strong Lines, that binde the passions of a King.
O this poore offer wouldst thou take deare Lord,
A heartier welcome should no flesh afford.
On a seared Conscience: to a damnable Swearer.
It is affirm'd, that where the Devill layes
His claw, and markes damn'd witches for his owne,
That part growes stupid, and no sense bewrayes,
Nor bleeds, though pierc'd with Needles to the bone:
Thy Conscience so, which hottest Hell did feare,
Is senselesse growne, nor wounds nor blood doth feare.
A flocke of Fooles.
What numbers are there like the sonnes of Gad,
That more than Cana'n lik'd Mount Gilead!
Their folly's infinite that so admire
Hillocks of wealth, though few to Heav'n aspire.
A flight of cares.
Like noisome Flies that Ægypt did infest,
Are worldly cares, (whose buzzing doth molest
Our fixt devotions) yet with shorter wings
Than to fly off, though longer be their stings.
Light enough in the Scriptures.
Who taxe the Scriptures with obscurity,
Are like old Eli, that could scarce descry
The hallowed Lamps: for in those leaves doth shine
A Sunne, that did our cloudy flesh refine.
Our Kingdomes happinesse.
Mild showers make sweet flowers spring amaine,
So blessings grow apace where good Kings reigne.
Hard hearts, to be broken.
Mens hearts are like those Tables made of stone
Which God inscrib'd, and by contrition
Must so be broke: such breaking makes us sound
In the best part, and heales us with a wound.
David dancing, Michol mocking.
When zealous David danc'd, as if he would
Shake all his sinnes off, Michol could not hold,
But at his holy mirtle her mocks she throwes,
And nimbly as his feete, her loose tongue goes.
Yet here's the difference; his quick motions were
Of the right stampe, in hers rude wrongs appeare.
David to Michol.
Dost thou frowne, and looke awry
At him, whose zeale mounts uprightly?
Dost thou count loves force a toy,
And jeere because I dance for joy?
Flout and spare not; I (to meete
My Lord) will leape with agile feete,
And 'fore his sacred Arke will move
In measures of unmeasur'd love.
For 'twas an Arke that once to save's
Was glad, and danc'd upon the waves.
A devillish uproare.
When Israel would depart, sterne Pharaoh more
Rag'd not, than doth th'infernall Lion roare,
When his revolting Subjects bid good--night
To his darke kingdome, and embrace the light.
Lust and Pride.
Abra'm saw Sodome wrap't in smoke and fire;
And who the world beholds, shall it descry
Involv'd in hotter flames of lewd desire,
And smoke of pride, that towreth to the sky
Like to a Meteor; yet descends againe
In teares of sorrow, as a Cloud in raine.
Fond delights to be relinquisht.
Abra'm when Isaac left the dugge, did make
A Feast, (though none we heare of at his birth)
And when soft manlesse pleasure we forsake
For wisedomes truth, more cause we have of mirth,
Than if we should false Mammons summes collect,
That make the Chest sound, but the brest infect.
Death as a Clocke the Destinies have set,
That still points at us with a fleshlesse hand,
And more than hourely strikes; too sencelesse yet,
His warning blowes we list not understand.
Diffusion of goodnesse.
For Iacobs and for Moses sake,
Laban and Pharaoh both were blest:
For our peace--loving Lord doth take
Delight in gentle soules to rest,
Whose goodnesse doth (like th'Altars fume)
Spread sacred sweets, but nere consume.
Of the same.
Sweet vertue, like the humid morne, doth give
Her due to all, that in her compasse live.
Meditation of mortality.
The Mariner that best his Barke doth guide,
Sits at the Sterne; and he that would provide
For his soules safety, to the end must fly
Of life, in thoughts of fraile mortality;
So shall he bring his vessell to the Cape
Of his best hope, and wrackfull vengeance scape.
No peace without piety.
Ionas once gone from God, on sea or ground
Nor calme of peace, nor shine of comfort found;
But vainely aiming at contentment, is
Like a faint Souldier, that his rest doth misse.
Workes of Charity.
The meale and oyle that did Elias feed,
Nere fayl'd; nor will a charitable deed,
Though oft repeated, make the giver poore,
Whilst Heaven keepes Angels to supply his store.
To Lavolt, a fauourite.
Moses into the aire light ashes threw,
And forthwith did a heavy plague ensue:
So if (dust that thou art) thou soare too high,
Sad vengeance will deject thy vanity,
Iust as that golden Calfes fine ashes were
In water cast, and worthlesse did appeare.
Birds of prey, hardly reclaimed.
Achan was stoned for a wedge of gold,
That stucke too fast in his ill--bent desire:
But stony hearts their barren brests doe hold,
That wealth by stealth and lawlesse shifts acquire.
As Daniel did by strewing ashes find,
The juggling Priests deceite; so in thy mind
And memory the wholsome ashes cast,
Whereto the fates will sift thy flesh at last;
And the false foot--steps of the world thereby
Thou shalt race out, and guilefull trickes descry.
Of the same.
Let not fraile red and white delude thine eye,
For the Ash--colour is the surest dye.
Of the externall sences.
Who shuts not up his sences with a guard,
Lyes open to the fate of Ishbosheth,
Who having left his pallace gates unbarr'd,
Sly treason entred, and lets out his breath:
So shut these portals then, that Sathans skill
Picke not the Locke, nor sins intrusion kill.
The duty of meditation.
Those beasts that serv'd for legall sacrifice,
Were such as chew'd the cud: but men (more wise)
Should thankefully record and meditate
Of his high power, that did all create:
Else, lesse perhaps than things with hoofe and horne
They God adore, and th'universe adorne.
A troublesome world.
This World resembles Labans house, wherein
Good Iacob nought save trouble found and sin:
But having left it, by the Angels scale
Takes heavenly heights, and slights this earthly vale.
God many of each sort of creatures made,
As of birds, beasts, and plants; but of mankind
His wisedomes depth the first foundation laid
Onely in two, and those as one combind;
That all, remembring how from one they came,
Might with the bent of love at union aime.
As Moses put his shooes off, so must we
Our foule desires, that hope our Lord to see:
For like our loose affects, and would
Be so kept under, lest they grow too bold.
Of Divine contemplation.
Christ shin'd in glory upon those that went
To Tabors toppe with him; and so when we
By contemplation make our high ascent
'Bove worldly cares, through which we dimly see;
God lights us with his splendour, and displayes
His pretious beauties with propitious rayes.
Israels Shepheard upon the mountaines.
Our Saviour oft in mountaines did abide,
To preach or pray, but knew no height of pride.
The most men (though no Kings) I may compare
To Saul, who did the lustiest cattle spare
Of Amalek: for so the lives we save
Of brutish passions, though command we have
To slaughter them; so crosse we are to Gods
Just Lawes, and even with our selves at oddes.
Blest Region, where my sacred Saviour walkt,
And God with man in flowery Eden talkt,
I reverence thy soyle, preferring thee,
The worlds fourth part, before the other three,
Though vast America against my straine
Swell with proud hills of gold, and high disdaine.
Daniel by abstinence disperst abroad
Those fleshly vapours which becloud the mind,
And saw thereby the misteries of God
More cleerely than the rest of humane kind:
For fasting (that lusts fervour doth allay)
Makes us as Eagles sharpe, and apt to pray.
Jacob, that rugged Esau's heele did hold,
Taught us thereby some rigid course to take
With hatefull sins, and plucke them (if we could)
From us by th'heeles, that head against us make.
Those Beasts were to be ston'd, that came but neare
That Mount, where God in terrour did appeare:
And men that in Gods Temple dare present
Their beastly lusts, may feare like punishment.
Of the Starre, and the stable, upon our Saviours Birth--day.
Me thinkes, the Stable and the Starre I see,
The one above, the other here below:
Which two my Saviours severall natures show,
His Man--hood namely, and his Deity.
As Daniel first destroy'd the Idoll Bel,
And then the Dragon: so if first we quell
The Idoll of our flesh, we quickely shall
Make Sathan fly, and downe like lightning fall.
Of humane life.
If life be but a thread, then why may not
Sharpe misery be th'needle, death the knot?
Our Heavenly Saviour (passing all degree
Of humane sanctity) went oft apart
To pray, and found such solitude to be
A fit companion for a single heart.
Like odious Toades are trait'rous Male contents,
That from faire day--light hide their foule intents,
And in the Denns of mischiefe dormant sit
Till night; but then their blacker venime spit,
While with their harsh ill--boading sounds they breake
The aire, and peace of Kingdomes, where they speake.
Like the Caldean troopes, that downe did breake
Ierusalems high Walls, are those that speake
Much to small sence, and violate thereby
The bounds of reason, mounds of modesty.
The Objects of reproofe.
The stone that Daniel Writes of, did not smite
The Idolls golden head, nor silver brest,
But earthen feet: so heavy blame doth light,
Not on mens rich deserts (with honour blest,)
But at poore errours reprehension flyes,
And stones to death the slight'st infirmities.
The fall of fortitude.
Rich golden Vessels pale and sickly grow,
If not well furbusht with a painefull hand:
So men of noblest metall fall below
Their worth by sloth, or as meere cyphers stand,
And (by their dulnesse) making others mount
To Honour, are themselves of no account.
Preparation for the Sacrament.
Mens hearts are like hard waxe, which fiery zeale
Should soften, ere they take the heavenly seale.
Keepe within compasse.
Wild Esau rang'd the fields, but Iacob still,
Kept home: so Gods indeared Servants will
Themselves in compasse of a Conscience hold,
But impious fooles are straglers from the Fold.
Earth to earth.
In Peru lives the Foxe--like Cincia, which
Kind nature doth with a strang bagge enrich,
Under her belly plac'd; to which (in feare)
Her stragling young ones hast to hide them there:
Th'all feeding Earth the like maternall part
Performes to us, which (when the fatall Dart
Of death affrights, and strikes us downe for sin)
Sets ope a grave, and takes her off--spring in.
The worme of Conscience.
Sinne like a Serpents egge, in dunghill laid,
Of foule corruption to each heart convay'd,
And hatcht with hot desires of greedy sence,
Becomes a Worme, and gnawes the Conscience.
Our tongues are not of bone, but flesh, to shew
Our words should not be harsh, but gently flow.
Good preachers, Gods favourites.
When Salomon the sacred Temple built,
God favour'd him, nor knew he then the guilt
Of what might vexe him, sinfull vanity:
So those that Gods deare Church doe edifie,
Keeping sin under, are in high regard
With him, that Crownes his workemen with reward.
Gods feare, with true fortitude.
Gods feare made Moses bold to goe
To that sterne Tyrant Pharaoh,
Not trembling at his harsh replyes:
For when the Lord of earth and skyes
Is lodg'd once in a faithfull brest,
What earth--quake dare his roome molest?
Of zealous alacrity.
That God, that did the Israelites command
To eate with eager hast the Paschall Lambe,
Now wills, when pious workes we take in hand,
That we with nimble zeale performe the same:
For he that Heaven incessantly doth move,
Admits no sluggish soules to rest above.
Poore and rich.
The Shepheards quickly with their Saviour were,
But the three Kingly Sophies came from farre;
To shew, than poore men are to God as neare
As fortunes Sonnes, that rich and potent are.
For pride (which made both men and Angels erre)
Oft waites on wealth, and leades to Lucifer.
Prayers are lively sparkes, that mounting slye
From fire of zeale, and penetrate the skie.
A Crowne for constancy.
In Aarons vesture, sumptuous to behold,
Betwixt small sounding bels of shining gold
Pomegranates stood, which native Crownes doe beare;
And in the utmost skirts these placed were:
To shew, that good workes (which pure bells expresse)
Shall in Heavens Court be Crown'd with happinesse,
When in a course of constancy they have
Reacht the Lands--end of life, the finall grave.
The Divels temptation.
Sathans temptation seemes the steele,
That striking on our hearts of stone,
Makes lust to sparkle; yet (we feele)
Oft cooles our hott'st devotion.
Good Abra'm drave the noughty fowles away,
That seaz'd upon his solemne sacrifice:
So the fould fiends temptations, when we pray,
Should we expell from th'Heavenly exercise,
And plucke up (for the Lords sake of the soile)
The thornes of care, that grounds of goodnesse spoile.
Of perseverance in piety.
Those yoaked Kine, that drew the Arke unto
Beth--shemesh; though their Calves did bleat apace,
Did to their journies end directly goe:
So when Christs yoake upon our neckes we place;
Though our fond lusts importune us to stay,
Yet hold we on, and keepe the heavenly way.
To Fewlove, a turbulent Church--man.
What Devils horne compells thee? canst not Preach
Of what thou nere wilt by example teach,
Good life and manners; but thou needs must be
Braying against the fruites of Sanctity:
As bounteous almes, set prayers, and the like,
Whereat thou dost with points of Doctrine strike?
This's not to build up, but edge tooles to throw
'Mongst ignorants, and wound their weaknesse so.
Hypocrisie, like Ieroboams wife,
Walkes in disguise, and rather acts a life
(Vpon this trifling stage of vanity)
Than leads one, that her manners may discry.
For though an outward forme they beare,
Plucke off her Maske, and (oh) the Devill's there.
The choice of a wife.
When Adam soundly slept, God Eve did make,
And when our fond desires are least awake,
The soundest course it is a wife to take:
For he that shootes love from a wanton eye,
Though on a faire match he may hit thereby,
Yet fouly erres from th'white of chastity.
Confession deales with sinnes, as Ioshuah
With the five Kings i'th Cave of Makeddah;
That from darke hollow hearts where vices raigne,
Brings them to judging light, and sees them slaine.
The blood of our Lord.
Thy vitall blood sweete Saviour doth asswage
Our feaverous sinnes, though hot as Hell they rage
Within our flesh. In sultry Ægypt so
Dire plagues decrease, when Nile doth over--flow.
Wisedome without measure.
As Moses Serpent did the rest devoure,
Gods wisedome fooles our knowledge, foyles our power.
On bad Patrons.
Some Patrons worse than those our Saviour scourg'd
Out of the House of Prayer, which he purg'd
From sinne: for those i'th' Temple onely sold,
But these will sell the Temples selfe for Gold.
Portions for Gods Children.
The doores that to Gods Oracle did lead,
Of Olive were, with Cherubs garnished,
Whose mysticke wood fat plenty did imply,
As the carv'd worke, Celestiall dignity:
Both which their portions are, whose hearts entire
Ope at Gods knocke, and shut out lewd desire.
Heaven hardly entred.
Of new Ierusalem truths Scribe doth write,
That her twelve pearly gates stand opposite,
In Walls, whose Bases are twelve jemmes entire:
To shew, that men from all parts shall aspire
To his faire City, (equalled by none)
Yet hardly make their way by Pearle and Stone.
To a vaine Babbler.
Thy prayers are so tedious, that they bee
Long ere they reach to Heav'n, too high for thee.
When Zedechiah must to Babel goe,
They blinded him, and heavy Chaines did throw
Vpon him: so when ignorance doth shut
Mens eyes, and indevotion fetters put
On their affects, how quickly are they gone
To th'horrours of infernall Babylon!
A happy Convert.
A yongster going to the Stewes did meet
By chance a dead mans Coffin in the street:
Which courage--quelling sight a mortall blow
Gave to his lust, and tooke impression so,
That he returnes a Penitent, and drawes
His loose affects up to strict vertues Lawes.
O wholesome spectacle! through which he sees
Folly in grosse, and sinnes deformities.
To an Apostate.
That thy loose tongue is so prophanely bold
To carpe at sacred truths, I wonder not,
That heare how much thy zeale hath taken cold,
And sanctity the falling--sicknesse got.
The fire that in few minutes should have turn'd
Three Children into ashes, onely burn'd
Their bonds asunder: but when once that flame
That shall dissolve the Worlds unweldy frame,
Sinnes chaines shall loosen, and dull flesh refine,
We shall as Eagles soare, as Angels shine.
On the ten Lepers in the Evangely.
Ten Lepers cleansed were, one onely blest
His Lord; this towards Heav'n out--heap'd the rest.
To Lake Warme.
The Ægyptian Copties, though they long remaine
In Churches, neither kneele, nor sit, but leane
On crutches still: why dost not thou the same,
Whose Sanctity is sicke, Devotion lame.
On old Simeon.
Those Pilgrims at Mocha once have beene,
And Mahomets magnifick Temple seene,
Doe usually deprive themselves of sight,
Lest on prophaner objects they should light:
Old Simeon so (if zeale compar'd may be
With madnesse) when he did young Iesus see,
(His hopes rich summe, and Sinne of glory bright)
Desir'd the quenching of his vitall light,
As loth (good man) t'infest his aged eyes
VVith spectacles of sinnes and miseries.
To a Communicant.
Thy body is now the pot of Gold,
That doth Celestiall Manna hold:
Then keepe no cankred malice there,
For Golds nere rusts, but shineth cleare.
To a Pharisaicall boaster.
VVhen Moses in his bosome thrust his hand,
It came forth leprous; but when thou into
Thine in--side divest, thou wilt understand
That much unsoundnesse in each part doth grow,
Till in the Iordan of Christs blood it be
VVasht soundly off, like Naaans Leprosie.
VVho first, for a winding--sheete.
With what a swiftnesse are we hurried on
By Times impulsion to our finall home!
That seeme to strive as Peter did and Iohn,
Who first unto the Sepulchre should come.
The proudest King's but carrion, served in
A Leaden dish to wormes, for heavier sinne.
Keepe off your Hatts.
The Foure and twenty Elders did deject
Their Crownes before the Lambe: but yongsters owe
To the Worlds Saviour now so sleight respect,
As in his presence their bold heads to show
Vnseemely veyl'd. O wrong to Sanctity!
Done in the publicke view, yet covertly.
Comfort in the Crosse.
VVhen Helena, most deare to Constantine,
(A Lady pregnant with affects divine)
Had happ'ly learned that Christs Crosse did lye
At the low confines of Mount Calvary,
Causing the rubbidge, under which it lay
By Jewes ill--buried, to be cast away,
The broke Earth trembled (as the Story showes)
And from her ruptures dainty odours throwes
Into the Aire: For though the Crosse imprint
Feare in our hearts, yet is there comfort in't,
And such a sweetnesse as was never found
In Tempe's Groves, nor Edens flowery ground.
We should the Robe of glory (as it were)
Spinne out of Christ by faith, embroyder't here
With workes of Piety, perfume it too
With Incense of our Prayers; else we doe
But feast on dainty dreames, and Heaven--ward reare
A scale of phansies, that no weight will beare.
An intricate Receptacle.
Mans body's of the Elements compos'd,
VVithin his body is his blood enclos'd,
His spirits in his blood, in these his Soule,
And in it God doth rest, that moves the whole.
Truth seekes no corners: How may this appeare?
It comes from Heaven, which is a perfect Spheare.
Adams honourable interrement.
In a cleft Rocke, neare which our Saviour dy'd,
Was Adams head found, who had prophesi'd
(As Fame averres) that his Redeemer shou'd
His bones there moisten with effused blood,
What time the Ocean of his love should make
The Nectar--drunken Earth to reele and shake.
O primely honour'd man! thus with the best
Of sweets embalm'd, and rockt to blissefull rest.
Treasures of Devotion.
The Starre--led Sages, that would Christ behold,
Did Presents bring, Myrrhe, Frankinsence, and Gold:
So if teares, prayers, pure affects we bring,
We shall with comfort see our heavenly King.
On St. Thomas the Apostle.
Thomas for unbeleefe did make amends
At last, and had his Faith at's fingers ends.
The place of Christs Nativity.
In a poore Grot on Bethlems Easterne side,
Which for a Stable sometimes was employ'd,
The Sunne of Righteousnesse did (as it were)
Breake from a tender cloud, that held him deare:
But in this lower world hard welcome found,
To whom a Manger hewne i'th' rocky ground
For Cradle serv'd; not to be rock't, unlesse
An Earth--quake came, and pittyed his distresse.
On the Star that watched over our Saviour.
Sith other Planets seeme to serve the Sunne,
For Mars, Iove, Saturne, as his Legats runne
About, and when he comes but neare, in show
Of honour to their Epicycles goe;
So Hermes doth as Secretary bide,
With him; and Venus, as his amorous Bride,
Still waites upon him when to bed he goes,
And no lesse duty at his rising shewes:
Then with good reason doth this starte expresse,
Such service to this Sunne of righteousnesse.
The Forge of devotion.
A beaten brest's the anvile, prayers be
The sparkes, and zeale the fire of sanctity.
On our Saviour, wounded in the side.
The Balsame--shrubbe, lanc'd in the rine,
Doth rich and fragrant teares distill:
But here's an upright--Palme Divine,
From whose pierc'd side doth Nectar trill,
Whose droppes would dampe the rosie Morne
With sweets, and Galaxie adorne.
To an Atheisticall scoffer.
The Tempter set our Saviour (as they say)
On the proud height of Quarantania,
And shew'd him sundry Kingdomes: but should he
Hurle thee to Earths low--bowell'd vastity
Downe Ætnaes fiery jawes, he haply might
So satisfie and terrifie thy sight,
That thou no more wouldst shocke at hideous things,
Nor play with such a flame as sing'd thy wings.
To the same.
Thou question'st me of Hell with hot desire
To know the seate of it, and seem'st indeed
Like Peter at the worst, who neare the fire
His Master did deny, as thou thy Creed.
On Cocke--fighting. To Master William Latkins.
Some, that dislike what ere their betters love,
This pastime as a cruell sport reprove.
But why should not man, of all creatures Lord,
So use them as they pleasure may afford?
Is it more cruelty for fowles to fight,
Than beasts by th'Butchers Knife to dye outright?
But I can raise good from the Pit, and call
To mind at every sound sad Peters fall;
And while they fight that are so neare of kinne,
Spurre up mine anger 'gainst (mine inmate) sinne,
That crowes against me. Thus who doth allay
His mirth, and lesse for coine than conquest play,
May (Cocke--sure) take his pleasure; and delight
(With peace of Conscience with) a sportive fight.
Of Whoores, and their Masters.
Who will not foule veneriall acts forbeare,
But ready are to mixe with all they meet,
Are like those creatures which to Peter were
Presented in a trance, beasts in a sheet.
Each vertuous brest Gods garden is, where growes
The Lilly of faire Chastity, the Rose
Of shamefastnesse, the Palme of charity,
The lowly Groundsell of humility;
The Camomile of patience, with the rest
Of pious plants, that make their owner blest.
But thornes and brambles (cares and crook'd desires)
Must be extirp'd; they're prickt for Stygian fires.
Grace is like Cedrons Channell, quickly dry,
Unlesse Heaven (still distilling) yeeld supply.
Mans dignity, and danger.
Each man an Adam; a good conscience is
His Paradise, and pledge of Heavenly blisse;
Lust the forbidden fruite; which when we tast,
God is displeas'd, from comfort man displac'd.
Of the blessed Trinity.
Should I (as sometimes hath beene seene) behold
The King of Planets, with his beames of gold
Forming upon a Cloud, his Image bright,
And from those two, a third resulting light;
Jn such cleare objects should I seeme to see,
A shadow of th'all glorious Trinity.
To William Davenport Esquire.
Some argue (as blind phantasie invents)
That active discords of the Elements,
Did worke the World up from its articke Masse:
But howsoere (to let that fiction passe)
Some verball jarres betwixt my selfe and you,
Have made a world of reall love ensue
In our affects. Which when I violate
By mixing friendship with one dramme of hate,
Let Phoebus give me for a Lawrell Crowne
A wreath of Snakes, to hisse my Poems downe.
Comments about The Second Booke Of Epigrammes. by Thomas Bancroft
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