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My offerings take, let this for me suffice,
And whilst kings' tombs with laurels flourish green,
Look, how the flower which ling'ringly doth fade,
Thy sun posts westward, passed is thy morn,
The weary mariner so fast not flies
Now, like imagined landscape in the air,
Or if aught here is had that praise should have,
The last and greatest herald of heaven's King, Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild, Among that savage brood the woods forth bring, Which he more harmless found than man, and
Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours
Quite to forget earth’s turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
Sweet artless songster, thou my mind dost raise
As when it happ'neth that some lovely town
From this so high transcending rapture springs,
We have already spoken of Giles Fletcher, the brother of Phineas. . Of Phineas we know nothing except that he was born in 1584, educated at Eton and Cambridge, became Rector at Hilgay, in Norfolk, where he remained for twenty-nine years, surviving his brother; that he wrote an account of the founders and learned men of his university ; that in 1633, he published "The Purple Island ;' and that in 1650 he died.
His: 'Purple Island' (with which we first became acquainted in the writings of James Hervey, author of the Meditations, who was its fervent admirer) is a curious, complex, and highly ingenious allegory, forming an elaborate picture of Man, in his body and soul; and for subtlety and infinite flexibility, both of fancy and verse, deserves great praise, although it cannot, for a moment, be compared with his brother’s ‘Christ's Victory and Triumph, either in interest of subject or in splendour of genius.
DESCRIPTION OF PARTHENIA.
With her, her sister went, a warlike maid,
Parthenia, all in steel and gilded arms;
The boldest champion she down would bear,
And like a thunderbolt wide passage tear, Flinging all to the earth with her enchanted spear.
Her goodly armour seem'd a garden green,
Where thousand spotless lilies freshly blew ; And on her shield the lone bird might be seen, The Arabian bird, shining in colours new;
Itself unto itself was only mate;
Ever the same, but new in newer date : And underneath was writ, 'Such is chaste single state.'
Thus hid in arms she seem'd a goodly knight,
And fit for any warlike exercise :
The fairest maid she was, that ever yet
Prison'd her locks within a golden net,
Thou beauty's lily, set in heavenly earth;
Sure heaven with curious pencil at thy birth
In thy rare face her own full picture drew :
It is a strong verse here to write, but true,
A thousand spoils in silver arch displaying :
Upon her brows lies his bent ebon bow,
And ready shafts ; deadly those weapons show; Yet sweet the death appear’d, lovely that deadly blow.
A bed of lilies flower upon her cheek,
And in the midst was set a circling rose; Whose sweet aspéct would force Narcissus seek New liveries, and fresher colours choose
To deck his beauteous head in snowy ’tire;
But all in vain : for who can hope ť aspire To such a fair, which none attain, but all admire ?
Her ruby lips lock up from gazing sight
A troop of pearls, which march in goodly row : But when she deigns those precious bones undight, Soon heavenly notes from those divisions flow,
And with rare music charm the ravish'd ears,
Daunting bold thoughts, but cheering modest fears: The spheres so only sing, so only charm the spheres. Yet all these stars which deck this beauteous sky
By force of th' inward sun both shine and move; Throned in her heart sits love's high majesty; In highest majesty the highest love.
As when a taper shines in glassy frame,
The sparkling crystal burns in glittering flame, So does that brightest love brighten this lovely dame.