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Thus those celestial fires,
Though seeming mute, The fallacy of our desires,
And all the pride of life, confute.
For they have watched since first
The world had birth,
And nothing permanent on earth.
NON NOBIS DOMINE.--David.
No marble statue, nor high
Aspiring pyramid be raised To lose its head within the sky! What claim have I to memory?
God, be thou only praised !
Thou in a moment canst defeat
The mighty conquests of the proud,
I'th' sudden in a cloud.
How can the feeble works of art
Hold out against th' assault of storms ? Or how can brass to him impart Sense of surviving fame, whose heart
Is now resolved to worms ?
Blind folly of triumphing pride!
Eternity, why build’st thou here?
And ne'er the same appear ?
That tide which did its banks o'erflow,
As sent abroad by th' angry sea
To level vastest buildings low,
And thou who, to preserve thy name,
Leav'st statues in some conquered land, How will posterity scorn fame, When th' idol shall receive a maim,
And lose a foot or hand!
How wilt thou hate thy wars, when he
Who only for his hire did raise Thy counterfeit in stone, with thee Shall stand competitor, and be
Perhaps thought worthier praise !
No laurel wreath about my
brow! To thee, my God, all praise, whose law The conquered doth, and conqueror bow! For both dissolve to air, if Thou
Thy influence but withdraw.
QUID GLORIARIS IN MALICIA ?-DAVID.
Swell no more, proud man, so high !
sit, Raised by fortune, sin, and wit, In a vault thou dust must lie.
He who is lifted up by vice,
Hath a neighboring precipice, Dazzling his distorted eye.
Shallow is that unsafe sea
Over which you spread your sail,
And the bark you trust to, frail As the winds it must obey.
Mischief, while it prospers, brings
Favor from the smile of kingsUseless, soon is thrown away
Profit though sin it extort,
Princes even accounted good
Courting greatness ne'er withstood, Since its empire doth support.
But when death makes them repent,
They condemn the instrument, And are thought religious fort. Pitched down from that height you bear, How distracted will
lie, When your flattering clients fly, As your
fate infectious were !
That moved by your heart and tongue
(Which submits to the more great,
And disdains the weaker state, As misfortunes were offence,)
Shall at court be judged a crime,
Though in practice and the time, Purchase wit at your expense.
Each small tempest shakes the proud,
Whose large branches vainly sprout
Above the measure of the root; But let storms speak ne'er so loud,
And th' astonished day be night,
Yet the just shines in a light Fair as noon without a cloud.
VIA TUAS DOMINE DEMONSTRA MIHI.
WHERE have I wandered ? In what way,
Horrid as night
Increased by storm, did I delight ? Thou, my sad soul, didst often say, 'Twas death and madness so to stray.
On that false ground I joyed to tread,
Which seemed most fair,
Though every path had a new snare, And every turning still did lead To the dark region of the dead.
But with the surfeit of delight
I am so tired,
That now I loathe what I admired,
For should we naked sin descry,
By the aid of wantonness and pride, Like some misshapen birth 'twould lie, A torment to the affrighted eye. But clothed in beauty and respect,
Even o'er the wise
How powerful doth it tyrannize ! Whose monstrous form should they detect, They famine sooner would affect.' And since those shadows which oppress
My sight, begin
To clear and show the shape of sin,
By sin again,
Be thrown off as a scorn to men ;
Labor to find
What justice have I to complain,
My God, if thou shalt not exclude
Thy comfort thence,
What place can seem to troubled sense
Cast me upon some naked shore,
VERSA EST IN LUCTUM CYTHARA MEA.-JOB
Love! I no orgies sing,
Whereby thy mercies to invoke,
To cloud thy altars with the precious smoke.
Nor while I did frequent
Those fancs by lovers raised to thee,
To force a blush from injured chastity.
I used affection to entice,
Yet chaste as winter was the sacrifice.
But now I thee bequeath
To the soft silken youths at court,
To raise their mistress' smile, or make her sport.
Such as shall catch the wanton ear;
To make them a high sail of honor bear.