صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Or an hand to wear and tire
On the thankful lute and lyre.
Sing aloud ! his praise rehearse,
Who hath made the universe.

FALSE

AND

TRUE

RELIGION.

Can wars, and jars, and fierce contention,
Swoln hatred, and consuming envy spring
From piety?-No, 'tis opinion
That makes the riven heaven with trumpets ring,
And thundering engine murderous balls outsling,
And send men's groaning ghosts to lower shade
Of horrid hell. This the wide world doth bring

To devastation, makes mankind to fade;
Such direful things doth false religion persuade.

But true religion, sprung from God above,
Is like her fountain—full of charity ;
Embracing all things with a tender love,
Full of good will and meek expectancy;
Full of true justice and sure verity,
In heart and voice : free, large, even infinite;
Not wedged in strait particularity,

But grasping all in her vast active sprite-
Bright lamp of God, that men would joy in thy pure light!

ABRAHAM COWLEY

Was born in London in 1618. He was early sent to Cambridge, but being a zealous loyalist, was ejected thence, and retired first to Oxford, and afterwards to France. He was made secretary to Lord Jermyn, and after the Restoration, through his interest, obtained an advantageous lease, which set him at ease in fortune. He died at Chertsey, in 1667, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, near Chaucer and Spenser. The writings of Cowley have great and various merit. They display a vivid imagination, clear intellect, and a rich command of language ; but his style is too artificial. “ In Cowley," says Mr. Montgomery, "it has been the fate of one of the most brilliant intellects that ever arose in this country never to be estimated by its real excellence.”

[blocks in formation]

METHINKS I see great Diocletian walk

In the Salonian garden's noble shade,
Which by his own imperial hands was made:

I see him smile (methinks) as he does talk
With the ambassadors who came in vain
To entice him to a throne again.
“If I, my friends,” said he, "should to you show
All the delights which in these gardens grow,
'Tis likelier much that you should with me stay,
Than 'tis that

you
should

carry me away :
And trust me not, my friends, if every day
I walk not here with more delight
Than even after the most happy fight

In triumph to the Capitol I rode,
To thank the gods, and to be thought myself almost a god!”

16*

[blocks in formation]

I LEAVE mortality, and things below;
I have no time in compliments to waste,
Farewell to ye all in haste,

For I am called to go.
A whirlwind bears up my dull feet,
The officious clouds beneath them meet,

And lo! I mount, and lo!
How small the biggest parts of earth's proud title show.

Where shall I find the noble British land ?
Lo! I at last a northern speck espy,
Which in the sea does lie,

And seems a grain o' the sand ;
For this will any sin or bleed ?
Of civil wars is this the meed ?

And is it this, alas! which we,
Oh ! irony of words ! do call Great Britannie ?

I passed by th' arched magazines which hold
Th’ eternal stores of frost, and rain and snow;
Dry and secure I go,

Nor shake with fear or cold;
Without affright or wonder,
I meet clouds charged with thunder,

And lightnings in my way,
Like harmless lambent fires about my temples play.

Now into a gentle sea of rolling flame
I'm plunged, and still mount higher there,
As flames mount up through air,

So perfect, yet so tame,
So great, so pure, so bright a fire
Was that unfortunate desire,

My faithful breast did cover,
When, when I was of late a wretched mortal lover.

Throng several orbs wbich one fair planet hear,
Where I behold distinctly as I pass,
The hints of Galileo's glass,

I touch at last the spangled sphere.
Here all the extended sky
Is but one galaxy,

'Tis all so bright and gay,
And the joint eyes of night make up a perfect day.

Where am I now ? angels and God is here;
An unexhausted ocean of delight
Swallows my senses quite,

And drowns all what, or how, or where;
Not Paul, who first did thither

pass,
And this great world's Columbus was,

The tyrannous pleasure could express;
Oh, 'tis too much for man! but let it ne'er be less.

The mighty Elijah mounted so on high,
That second man, who leaped the ditch where all
The rest of mankind fall,

And went not downwards to the sky.
With much of pomp and show,
As conquering kings in triumph go,

Did he to heaven approach,
And wondrous was his way, and wondrous was his coach.

'Twas gaudy all, and rich in every part,
Of essences of gems, and spirit of gold,
Was its substantial mould ;

Drawn forth by chemic angel's art,
Here with moonbeams 'twas silvered bright,
There double-gilt with the sun's light,

And mystic shapes cut round in it,
Figures that did transcend a vulgar angel's wit.

The horses were of tempered lightning made,
Of all that in heaven's beauteous pastures feed
The noblest, sprightfullest breed;

And flaming manes their necks arrayed :

They all were shod with diamond
Not such as here are found,

But such light solid ones as shine
On the transparent rocks o'th' heavenly crystalline.

Thus mounted the great prophet to the skies;
Astonished men, who oft had seen stars fall,
Or that which so they call,

Wondered from hence to see one rise.
The soft clouds melted him a way ;
The snow and frosts which in it lay

Awhile the sacred footsteps bore,
The wheels and horses' hoofs hissed as they passed them o'er.

He passed by the moon and planets, and did fright
All the worlds there, which at this meteor gazed,
And their astrologers amazed

With th' unexampled sight.
But where he stopped will ne'er be known,
Till phenix Nature aged grown,

To a better being do aspire,
And mount herself like him to eternity in fire.

« السابقةمتابعة »