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Even as the soil (which April's gentle showers
Have filled with sweetness and enriched with flowers)
Rears up her sucking plants, still shooting forth
The tender blossoms of her timely birth ;
But if denied the beams of cheerly May,
They hang their withered heads, and fade away :
So man, assisted by the Almighty's hand,
His faith doth flourish and securely stand ;
But left awhile, forsook, as in a shade,
It languishes, and nipped with sin, doth fade.
No gold is pure from dross, though oft refined;
The strongest cedar's shaken with the wind ;
The fairest rose hath no prerogative
Against the fretting canker-worm; the bive
No honey yields unblended with the wax;
The finest linen hath both soil and bracks;
The best of men have sins, none live secure.
In nature nothing's perfect, nothing pure.
Wounded and wasted by th' eternal hand
Of heaven, I grovel on the ground ; my land
Is turned a Golgotha ; before mine eye
Unsepulchred my murdered people lie;
My dead lie rudely scattered on the stones,
My causeways all are paved with dead men's bones ;
The fierce destroyer doth alike forbear
The maiden's trembling, and the matron's tear;
The imperial sword spares neither fool nor wise,
The old man's pleading, nor the infant's cries.
Vengeance is deaf and blind, and she respects
Not young, nor old, nor wise, nor fool, nor sex.
Had not the milder hand of Mercy broke
The furious violence of that fatal stroke
Offended Justice struck, we had been quite
Lost in the shadows of eternal night.
Thy mercy, Lord, is like the morning sun,
Whose beams undo what sable night hath done;
Or like a stream, the current of whose course,
Restrained awhile, runs with a swifter force.
Oh! let me glow beneath those sacred beams,
And after bathe me in those silver streams;
To Thee alone my sorrows shall appeal :
Hath earth a wound too hard for heaven to heal ?
In thee, dear Lord, my pensive soul respires,
Thou art the fulness of
choice desires; Thou art that sacred spring, whose waters burst In streams to him that seeks with holy thirst. Thrice happy man, thrice happy thirst, to bring Thy fainting soul to so, so sweet a spring; Thrice happy he, whose well-resolved breast Expects no other aid, no other rest ; Thrice happy he, whose downy age has been Reclaimed by scourges from the pride of sin, And early seasoned with taste of truth, Remembers his Creator in his youth.
The day grows old, the low-pitched lamp hath made
No less than treble shade,
And the descending damp doth now prepare
Tuncurl bright Titan's hair ;
Whose western wardrobe now begins to unfold
Her purples fringed with gold,
To clothe his evening glory, when th’alarms
Of rest shall call to rest in Thetis' arms.
Nature now calls to supper, to refresh
The spirits of all flesh.
The toiling ploughman drives his thirsty teams
To taste the slippery streams;
The droyling swincherd knocks away, and feasts
His hungry whining guests;
The box-bill ouzel, and the dappled thrush,
Like hungry rivals meet at their beloved bush.
And now the cold autumnal dews are seen
To cobweb every green;
And by the low-shorn rowans doth appear
The fast-declining year;
The sapless branches doff their summer-suits,
And wain their winter-fruits ;
And stormy blasts have forced the quaking trees
wrap their trembling limbs in suits of mossy frieze.
Our wasted taper now hath brought her light
To the next door to night;
Her sprightless flame, grown great with snuff, doth turn
Sad as her neighboring urn;
Her slender inch, that yet unspent remains,
Lights but to further pains ;
And in a silent language bids her guest
Prepare his weary
limbs to take eternal rest.
Now careful age hath pitched her painful plough
Upon the furrowed brow; And snowy blasts of discontented care
Have blanched the falling hair ; Suspicious envy, mixed with jealous spite,
Disturbs his weary night;
He threatens youth with age; and now, alas !
He owns not what he is, but yaunts the man he was.
Gray hairs, peruse thy days, and let thy past
Read lectures to thy last :
Those hasty wings that hurried them away,
Will give these days no day;
The constant wheels of nature scorn to tire,
Until her works expire :
That blast that nipped thy youth will ruin thee,
That hand that shook the branch will quickly strike the
Read in the progress of this blessed story
Rome's cursed cruelty and Ridley's glory:
Rome's sirens' song; but Ridley's careless ear
Was deaf: they charmed, but Ridley would not hear.
Rome sung preferment, but brave Ridley's tongue
Condemned that false preferment which Rome sung.
Rome whispered wealth ; but Ridley (whose great gain
Was godliness) he waved it with disdain.
Rome threatened durance; but great Ridley's mind
Was too, too strong for threats or chains to bind.
Rome thundered death ; but Ridley's dauntless eye
Stared in Death’s face, and scorned Death standing by :
In spite of Rome, for England's faith he stood,
And in the flames he sealed it with his blood.
THOMAS HEYwood was one of the most prolific and one of the most poetical of the English dramatists. He was the author also of “ The Hierarchies of the Blessed Angels ;" a work i ude in metre, yet abounding with powerful and even sublime passages, published in 1635. Hn died in 1649.
I sought Thee round about, Thou,
In thine abode.
I said unto the Earth, “Speak, art thou He ?”.
She answered me,
“I am not.”—I inquired of creatures all
Contained therein ;—they with one voice proclaim
That none amongst them challenged such a name.
I asked the seas, and all the deeps below,
My God to know :
I asked the reptiles, and whatever is
In the abyss-
Even from the shrimp to the leviathan,
But in those deserts, which no line can sound,
The God I sought for was not to be found.
I asked the air if that were He ? but
It told me “ No."
1, from the towering eagle to the wren,
If any feathered fowł ʼmongst them were such ?
But they all, much
Offended with my question, in full quire
Answered—“To find thy God thou must look higher."