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Thy age, like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheek, Hated not learning worse than toad or asp, When thou taught'st Cambridge and King Edward Greek.
ON THE SAME.
I DID but prompt the age to quit their clogs
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Which after held the sun and moon in fee. But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood, And still revolt when truth would set them free. Licence they mean when they cry liberty;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good; But from that mark how far they rove we see, For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.
LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
Thy care is fix'd, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light, And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid-hour of night, Hast gain'd thy entrance, virgin wise and pure.
TO MR. H. LAWES, ON THE PUBLISHING HIS AIRS.
HARRY, whose tuneful and well-measured song
ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHERINE THOMSON,
WHEN faith and love, which parted from thee never,
Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth sever.
Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour, Stay'd not behind, nor in the grave were trod; But, as faith pointed with her golden rod, Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Love led them on, and Faith, who knew them best
Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple beams
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest, And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.
TO THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX.
FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Filling each mouth with envy or with praise, And all her jealous monarchs with amaze, And rumours loud that daunt remotest kings; Thy firm unshaken virtue ever brings
Victory home, though new rebellions raise Their Hydra heads, and the false North displays Her broken league to imp their serpent wings. O yet a nobler task awaits thy hand
(For what can war, but endless war still breed ?) Till truth and right from violence be freed,
And public faith clear'd from the shameful brand Of public fraud. In vain doth valour bleed, While avarice and rapine share the land.
TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL.
CROMWELL, Our chief of men, who, through a cloud
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough'd,
Hast rear'd God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream, with blood of Scots imbrued,
And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureate wreath. Yet much remains
To conquer still; peace hath her victories No less renown'd than war; new foes arise, Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains: Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.
TO SIR HENRY VANE, THE YOUNGER.
VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,
The fierce Epirot and the African bold;
The drift of hollow states hard to be spell'd;
In all her equipage: besides, to know
Both spiritual power and civil, what each means, What severs each, thou hast learn'd, which few have done:
The bounds of either sword to thee we owe; Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bones Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold; Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones, Forget not in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Slain by the bloody Piedmontese, that roll'd Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they To heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple tyrant; that from these may grow A hundred fold, who, having learn'd thy way, Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
ON HIS BLINDNESS.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide,