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Ah Constantine, of how much ill was cause,
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
That the first wealthy pope receiv'd of thee.
Founded in chaste and humble poverty,
'Gainst them that rais'd thee dost thou lift thy horn,
Impudent whore? where hast thou plac'd thy hope
In thy adulterers, or thy ill-got wealth?
Another Constantine comes not in haste.
Then pass'd he to a flowery mountain greqn,
Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously:
This was the gift, if, you the truth will have,
That Constantine to good Sylvester gave.
Whom do we count a good man? Whom but h<*
Who keeps the laws and statutes of the senate,
Who judges in great suits and controversies,
Whose witness and opinion wins the cause?
But his own house, and the whole neighbourhood,
Sees his foul inside through his whitcd skin.
This is true liberty, when freeborn men,
Having to advise the public, may speak free;
Which he who can, and will, deserves high praise:
Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace;
What can be a juster in a state than this?
Stronger and better oft than earnest can.
'Tis you that say it, not I. You do the deeds,
And your ungodly deeds find me the words.
*■—— There can be slain
No sacrifice to God more acceptable,
Than an unjust and wicked king.
Laughing, to teach the truth,
What hinders? As some teachers give to boys
Junkets and knacks, that they may learn apace.
Joking decides great things,
DONE INTO VERSE, 1653.
Blessed is the man who hath not walk'd astray
In counsel of the wicked, and i' the way
Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat
Of scorners hath not sat. But in the great
Jehovah's law is ever his delight,
And in his law he studies day and night.
He shall be as a tree which planted grows
By watery streams, and in his season knows
To yield his fruit, and his leaf shall not fall,
And what he takes in hand shall prosper all.
Not so the wicked, but as chaff which fann'd
The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand
In judgement, or abide their trial then,
Nor sinners in the assembly of just men.
For the Lord knows the upright way of the just,
And the way of bad men to ruin must.
Done Aug. 8, 1653. Terzetti.
Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the Nations
Muse a vain thing, the kings of the earth unstahd
With power, and princes in their congregations
Lay deep their plots together through each land
Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?
Let us break off, say they, by strength of hand
Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear,
Their twisted cords: He, who in heaven doth
dwell, Shall laugh; the Lord shall scoff them; then severe,
Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell
And fierce ire trouble them; but I, saith he,
Anointed have my King (though ye rebel)
On Sion my holy hill. A firm decree
I will declare: The Lord to me hath said,
Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee
This day; ask of me, and the grant is made;
As thy possession I on thee bestow
The Heathen; and, as thy conquest to be sway'd.
Earth's utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full
With iron scepter bruis'd, and them disperse
Like to a potter's vessel shiver'd so.
And now be wise at length, ye kings averse,
Be taught, ye Judges of the earth; with fear
Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse
With trembling; kiss the Son lest he appear
In anger, and ye perish in the way,
If once his wrath take fire, like fuel sere.
Happy all those who have in him their stay.