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INSTABILITY OF HUMAN GREATNESS.
Fond man, that looks on earth for happiness,
And here long seeks what here is never found ! For all our good we hold from Heaven by lease, With many forfeits and conditions bound;
Nor can we pay the fine and rentage due:
Though now but writ and seal’d, and given anew, Yet daily we it break, then daily must renew.
Why shouldst thou here look for perpetual good,
At every loss against Heaven's face repining?
Where now the hart fearless of greyhound feeds,
And loving pelican in safety breeds; Where screeching satyrs fill the people's empty steads.
Where is the Assyrian lion's golden hide,
That all the East once grasp'd in lordly paw? Where that great Persian bear, whose swelling pride The lion's self tore out with ravenous jaw?
Or he which, 'twixt a lion and a pard,
Through all the world with nimble pinions fared, And to his greedy whelps his conquer'd kingdoms shared ?
Hardly the place of such antiquity,
Or note of these great monarchies we find:
But when this second life and glory fades,
And sinks at length in time's obscurer shades, A second fall succeeds, and double death invades.
That monstrous Beast, which nursed in Tiber's fen,
Did all the world with hideous shape affray;
His battering horns pull’d out by civil hands,
And iron teeth lie scatter'd on the sands; Backed, bridled by a monk, with seven heads yoked
And that black Vulture, which with deathful wing
O’ershadows half the earth, whose dismal sight
Who then shall look for happiness beneath?
HAPPINESS OF THE SHEPHERD'S LIFE. Thrice, oh, thrice happy, shepherd's life and state!
When courts are happiness, unhappy pawns ! His cottage low and safely humble gate Shuts out proud Fortune, with her scorns and fawns
No feared treason breaks his quiet sleep :
Singing all day, his flocks he learns to keep; Himself as innocent as are his simple sheep. No Serian worms he knows, that with their thread
Draw out their silken lives; nor silken pride: His lambs' warm fleece well fits his little need, Not in that proud Sidonian tincture dyed :
No empty hopes, no courtly fears him fright,
Nor begging wants his middle fortune bite; But sweet content exiles both misery and spite. 1 Black Vulture:' the Turk,
Instead of music, and base flattering tongues,
Which wait to first salute my lord's uprise, The cheerful lark wakes him with early songs, And birds' sweet whistling notes unlock his eyes :
In country plays is all the strife he uses,
Or sing, or dance unto the rural Muses, And but in music's sports all difference refuses.
His certain life, that never can deceive him,
Is full of thousand sweets, and rich content;
His life is neither toss'd in boisterous seas
Of troublous world, nor lost in slothful ease; Pleased, and full blest he lives, when he his God can
His bed of wool yields safe and quiet sleeps,
While by his side his faithful spouse hath place; His little son into his bosom creeps, The lively picture of his father's face :
Never his humble house nor state torment him;
Less he could like, if less his God had sent him; And when he dies, green turfs, with grassy tomb, content
MARRIAGE OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.
• Ah, dearest Lord! does my rapt soul behold thee?
Am I awake, and sure I do not dream? Do these thrice-blessed arms again enfold thee? Too much delight makes true things feigned seem.
Thee, thee I see; thou, thou thus folded art:
For deep thy stamp is printed on my heart, And thousand ne'er-felt joys stream in each melting part.'
Thus with glad sorrow did she sweetly ’plain her,
Upon his neck a welcome load depending ;
So all in triumph to his palace went;
Whose work in narrow words may not be pent: For boundless thought is less than is that glorious tent.
There sweet delights, which know nor end nor measure;
No chance is there, nor eating times succeeding : No wasteful spending can impair their treasure ; Pleasure full grown, yet ever freshly breeding :
Fulness of sweets excludes not more receiving ;
The soul still big of joy, yet still conceiving ; Beyond slow tongue's report, beyond quick thought's
perceiving There are they gone; there will they ever bide ;
Swimming in waves of joys and heavenly loves :
Their bridal bed is in that heavenly hall,
The boys and damsels their just praises chant; The boys the bridegroom sing, the maids the bride, While all the hills glad hymens loudly vaunt : Heaven's winged shoals, greeting this glorious
Attune their higher notes, and hymens sing : Each thought to pass, and each did pass thought's loftiest wing
Upon his lightning brow love proudly sitting
Flames out in power, shines out in majesty; There all his lofty spoils and trophies fitting, Displays the marks of highest Deity:
There full of strength in lordly arms he stands,
And every heart and every soul commands: No heart, no soul, his strength and lordly force with
Upon her forehead thousand cheerful graces,
Seated on thrones of spotless ivory;
There by his play a thousand souls beguiles,
Persuading more by simple, modest smiles, Than ever he could force by arms or crafty wiles.
Upon her cheek doth Beauty's self implant
The freshest garden of her choicest flowers;
Heaven never such a bridegroom yet descried;
Full of his Father shines his glorious face,
As far the sun surpassing in his light, As doth the sun the earth with flaming blaze : Sweet influence streams from his quickening sight :
His beams from nought did all this All display ;
And when to less than nought they fell away, He soon restored again by his new orient ray.