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Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his
Is kingly thousands at his bidding speed, And post o'er land and ocean without rest; They also serve who only stand and wait."
TO MR. LAWRENCE.
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire, Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won From the hard season gaining? Time will run On smoother, till Favonius reinspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun. What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice, Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air? He who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
TO CYRIAC SKINNER.
CYRIAC, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
And what the Swede intends, and what the
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know Towards solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show, That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
TO THE SAME.
CYRIAC, this three years' day, these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot, Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot; Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year, Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied In liberty's defence, my noble task,
Of which all Europe rings from side to side. This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask,
Content, thought blind, had I no better guide.
ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.
METHOUGHT I Saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint. Mine, as whom, wash'd from spot of child-bed taint, Purification in the old law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in heaven without restraint, Come vested all in white, pure as her mind: Her face was veil'd, yet, to my fancied sight, Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But, oh! as to embrace me she inclined, I waked-she fled and day brought back my night.