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النشر الإلكتروني

ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT,

DYING OF A COUGH.

I.

O FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted
Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For he, being amorous on that lovely dye

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,
But kill’d, alas ! and then bewail'd bis fatal bliss.

II.

For since grim Aquilo,2 his charioteer,
By boisterous rape the Athenian damsel got,
He thought it touch'd his deity full near,
If likewise he some fair one wedded not,
Thereby to wipe away the infámous blot

Of long-uncoupled bed and childless eld,
Which, 'mongst the wanton gods, a foul reproach was held.

III.

So, mounting up in icy-pearled car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he spied from far;
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care :
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,

But, all unawares, with his cold-kind embrace
Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair biding place.

IV.
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate ;
For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,

1. On the Death of a Fair Infant :' this was written when the author was seventeen. The child was a daughter of his sister Phillipps.—2 • Aquilo,' or Boreas, the north wind, ravished Orithyra; sec Ovid, Met. vi.

Young Hyacinth, born on Eurotas' strand,
Young Hyacinth, the pride of Spartan land;

But then transform’d him to a purple flower : Alack, that so to change thee Winter had no power !

V.

Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb,
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed,
Hid from the world in a low-delved tomb;
Could Heaven for pity thee so strictly doom?

Oh no! for something in thy face did shine
Above mortality, that show'd thou wast divine.

VI.
Resolve me then, 0 Soul most surely blest,
(If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear ;)
Tell me, bright Spirit, where'er thou hoverest,
Whether above that high first-moving sphere,
Or in the Elysian fields, (if such there were ;)

Oh say me true, if thou art mortal wight,
And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight !

VII.
Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof
Of shak'd Olympus by mischance didst fall;
Which careful Jove in Nature's true behoof
Took up, and in fit place did reinstall ?
Or did of late Earth's sons 1 besiege the wall

Of sheeny Heaven, and thou, some goddess, fled,
Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head?

VIII.
Or wert thou that just Maid, who once before
Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,
And cam’st again to visit us once more ?

1. Earth's sons :' the Giants.--Maid: 'Justice.

Or wert thou that sweet-smiling youth ?1
Or that crown'd matron sage white-robed Truth?
Or

any other of that heavenly brood Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good ?

IX.

Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Who, having clad thyself in human weed,
To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post
And after short abode ily back with speed,
As if to show what creatures heaven doth breed ;

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sordid world, and unto heaven aspire ?

X.

But oh! why didst thou not stay here below * To bless us with thy heaven-lov'd innocence,

To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black Perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering Pestilence,

To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.

XI.

Then thou, the Mother of so sweet a Child,
Her false-imagin'd loss cease to lament,
And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild ;
Think what a present thou to God hast sent,
And render Him with patience what He lent;

This if thou do, He will an offspring give,
That, till the world's last end, shall make thy name to live.

! • Youth :' Mercy.

!

ON TIME.

1

Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race;
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace ;
And glut thyself with what thy womb devours.
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And merely mortal dross ;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain!
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb’d,
And last of all thy greedy self consum’d,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual 2 kiss ;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of Him, to whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heavenly-guided soul shall clime;
Then, all this earthly grossness quit,
Attir'd with stars, we shall for ever sit,

Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time!

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1. On Time:' this was meant to be set on a clock-case.—2 Individual :' inseparable.

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AT A SOLEMN MUSICK.

Blest pair of Syrens, pledges of Heaven's joy, Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse, Wed your divine sounds, and mix'd power employ, Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce ; And to our high-rais'd phantasy present That undisturbed song of pure concent, Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne To Him that sits thereon, With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee ; Where the bright Seraphim, in burning row, Their loud up-lifted angel-trumpets blow; And the Cherubick host, in thousand quires, Touch their immortal harps of golden wires, With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms, Hymns devout and holy psalms Singing everlastingly : That we on earth, with undiscording voice, May rightly answer that melodious noise ; As once we did, till disproportion'd sin Jarr'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din Broke the fair musick that all creatures made To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd In perfect diapason, whilst they stood In first obedience, and their state of good. O, may we soon again renew that song, And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long To his celestial consort us unite, To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light!

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