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النشر الإلكتروني

My offerings take, let this for me suffice,
My heart a living pyramid I raise :

And whilst kings' tombs with laurels flourish green,
Thine shall with myrtles and these flowers be seen.

SPIRITUAL POEMS.

I.

Look, how the flower which ling’ringly doth fade, The morning's darling late, the summer's queen, Spoil'd of that juice which kept it fresh and

green,
As high as it did raise, bows low the head :
Right so the pleasures of my life being dead,
Or in their contraries but only seen,
With swifter speed declines than erst it spread,
And, blasted, scarce now shows what it hath been.
As doth the pilgrim, therefore, whom the night
By darkness would imprison on his way, ,
Think on thy home, my soul, and think aright,
Of what 's yet left thee of life's wasting day;

Thy sun posts westward, passed is thy morn,
And twice it is not given thee to be born.

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II.

The weary mariner so fast not flies
A howling tempest, harbour to attain;
Nor shepherd hastes, when frays of wolves arise,
So fast to fold, to save his bleating train,
As I, wing'd with contempt and just disdain,
Now fly the world, and what it most doth prize,
And sanctuary seek, free to remain
From wounds of abject times, and Envy's eyes.
To me this world did once seem sweet and fair,
While senses' light mind's prospective kept blind,

Now, like imagined landscape in the air,
And weeping rainbows, her best joys I find :

Or if aught here is had that praise should have,
It is a life obscure, and silent grave.

III.

The last and greatest herald of heaven's King, Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild, Among that savage brood the woods forth bring, Which he more harmless found than man, and

mild;
His food was locusts, and what there doth spring,
With honey that from virgin hives distilld;
Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled;
There burst he forth ; ‘All ye whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn;
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn!'
Who listen'd to his voice, obey'd his cry?

Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their flinty caves, ' Repent, repent!'

IV.

Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours
Of winters past or coming, void of care,
Well-pleased with delights which present are,
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling

flowers:
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers,
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare,
A stain to human sense in sin that lowers.
What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs,
Attired in sweetness, sweetly is not driven

Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverend eye and thought to heaven?

Sweet artless songster, thou my mind dost raise
To airs of spheres, yes, and to angels' lays.

V.

As when it happ’neth that some lovely town
Unto a barbarous besieger falls,
Who both by sword and flame himself installs,
And, shameless, it in tears and blood doth drown
Her beauty spoild, her citizens made thralls,
His spite yet cannot so her all throw down,
But that some statue, pillar of renown,
Yet lurks unmaim'd within her weeping walls :
So, after all the spoil, disgrace, and wreck,
That time, the world, and death, could bring com-
Amidst that mass of ruins they did make, [bined,
Safe and all scarless yet remains my mind:

From this so high transcending rapture springs,
That I, all else defaced, not envy kings.

PHINEAS FLETCHER.

We have already spoken of Giles Fletcher, the brother of Phineas. . Of Phineas we know nothing except that he was born in 1584, educated at Eton and Cambridge, became Rector at Hilgay, in Norfolk, where he remained for twenty-nine years, surviving his brother; that he wrote an account of the founders and learned men of his university; that in 1633, he published "The Purple Island ;' and that in 1650 he died.

His “Purple Island' (with which we first became acquainted in the writings of James Hervey, author of the 'Meditations,' who was its fervent admirer) is a curious, complex, and highly ingenious allegory, forming an elaborate picture of Man, in his

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body and soul; and for subtlety and infinite flexibility, both of fancy and verse, deserves great praise, although it cannot, for a moment, be compared with his brother's Christ's Victory and Triumph, either in interest of subject or in splendour of genius.

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DESCRIPTION OF PARTHENIA.

With her, her sister went, a warlike maid,

Parthenia, all in steel and gilded arms;
In needle's stead, a mighty spear she sway'd,
With which in bloody fields and fierce alarms,

The boldest champion she down would bear,

And like a thunderbolt wide passage tear, Flinging all to the earth with her enchanted spear.

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Her goodly armour seem'd a garden green,

Where thousand spotless lilies freshly blew ; And on her shield the lone bird might be seen, The Arabian bird, shining in colours new;

Itself unto itself was only mate;

Ever the same, but new in newer date :
And underneath was writ, 'Such is chaste single state.'
Thus hid in arms she seem'd a goodly knight,

And fit for any warlike exercise :
But when she list lay down her armour bright,
And back resume her peaceful maiden's guise ;

The fairest maid she was, that ever yet

Prison'd her locks within a golden net, Or let them waving hang, with roses fair beset.

Choice nymph! the crown of chaste Diana's train,

Thou beauty's lily, set in heavenly earth; Thy fairs, unpattern'd, all perfection stain :

Sure heaven with curious pencil at thy birth

In thy rare face her own full picture drew :

It is a strong verse here to write, but true,
Hyperboles in others are but half thy due.
Upon her forehead Love his trophies fits,

A thousand spoils in silver arch displaying :
And in the midst himself full proudly sits,
Himself in awful majesty arraying :

Upon her brows lies his bent ebon bow,

And ready shafts ; deadly those weapons show; Yet sweet the death appear’d, lovely that deadly blow.

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A bed of lilies flower upon her cheek,

And in the midst was set a circling rose ; Whose sweet aspéct would force Narcissus seek New liveries, and fresher colours choose

To deck his beauteous head in snowy 'tire;

But all in vain : for who can hope ť aspire To such a fair, which none attain, but all admire?

Her ruby lips lock up from gazing sight

A troop of pearls, which march in goodly row: But when she deigns those precious bones undight, Soon heavenly notes from those divisions flow,

And with rare music charm the ravish'd ears,

Daunting bold thoughts, but cheering modest fears: The spheres so only sing, so only charm the spheres. Yet all these stars which deck this beauteous sky

By force of th' inward sun both shine and move; Throned in her heart sits love's high majesty; In highest majesty the highest love.

As when a taper shines in glassy frame,

The sparkling crystal burns in glittering flame, So does that brightest love brighten this lovely dame.

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