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Instead of bays, crown with sad cypress me; •
cypress, which tombs does beautify:
not Phæbus griev'd so much as I for him, who first was made that mournful tree. Large was his soul; as large a soul, as e'er submitted to inform a body here. High as the place 't was shortly in heav'n to have,
but low, and humble as his grave; so high, that all the virtues there did come
as to their chiefest seat
conspicuous, and great; so low, that for me too it made a room. He scorn'd this busy world below, and all that we, mistaken mortals, pleasure call; was fill'd with innocent gallantry and truth,
triumphant o'er the sins of youth. He, like the stars, to which he now is gone,
that shine with beams like flame,
yet burn not with the same, had all the light of youth, of the fire none. Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught, as if for him knowledge had rather sought: nor did more learning ever crowded lie
in such a short inortality. Whene'er the skilful youth discours'd or writ,
still did the notions throng
about his el’quent tongue, nor could his ink flow faster than his wit. So strong a wit did nature to him frame, as all things, but his judgment, overcame; his judgment like the heav'nly moon did shew,
temp’ring that mighty sea below. Oh, had he liv'd in learning's world, what bound
17 would have been able to controul
his over-powering soul? we've lost in him arts, that not yet are found. His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit, yet never did his God or friends forget, and, when deep talk and wisdoın came in view,
retir'd, and gave to them their due: For the rich help of books he always took,
tho' his own searching mind before
was so with notions written o'er, as if wise nature had made that her book. So many virtues join’d in him, as we can scarce pick here and there in history: more than old writers' practice e'er could reach
as much as they could ever teach. These did religion, queen of virtues, sway,
and all their sacred motions steer,
just like the first and highest sphere, which wheels about, and turns all heav'n one way. With as much zeal, devotion, piety, he always liv'd, as other saints do die. Still with his soul severe account he kept,
weeping all debts out, ere he slept. Then down in peace and innocence he lay,
like the sun's laborious light,
which still in water sets at night, unsullied with his journey of the day. Wondrous young man! why wert thou made so good, to be snatch'd hence, ere better understood ? snatch'd before half of thee enough was seen!
thou, ripe; and yet thy life, but green! Nor could thy friends take their last sad farewell ;
but danger and infectious death
maliciously seiz'd on that breath, where life, spirit, pleasure, always us'd to dwell... But happy thou, ta'en from this frantic age, where ignorance and hypocrisy does rage! a fitter time for heav'n no soul e'er chose,
the place now only free from those. There 'mong the bless'd thou dost for ever shine,
and wheresoe'er thou casts thy view
upon that white and radiant crew, see'st not a soul cloath'd with more light than thine. And, if the glorious saint cease not to know their wretched friends, who fight with life below; thy flame to me does still the same abide,
only more pure and rarified. There, whilst immortal hymns thou dost rehearse,
thou dost with holy pity see
our dull and earthly poesy, where grief and misery can be join'd with verse.
THE DESPAIR. Beneath this gloomy shade, by Nature only for my sorrows made, I'll spend this voice in cries, in tears I'll waste these eyes, by love so vainly fed ; so Lust of old the deluge punished. ah! wretched youth! said I ; ah! wretched youth ! twice did I sadly cry; ah! wretched youth ! the fields and floods reply When thoughts of love I entertain, I meet no words but Never, and, In vain : never , alas ! that dreadful name which fuels the infernal flame : never ! my time to come must waste;
in vain! torments the present and the past: in vain ! in vain ! said I, in vain ! in vain ! twice did I sadly cry ; in vain ! in vain ! the fields and floods reply. No more shall fields or floods do so, for I to shades more dark and silent go : all this world's noise appears to me A dull ill-acted comedy: no comfort to my wounded sight, in the sun's busy and impert'nent light. Then down I laid my head, down on cold earth, and for awhile was dead, and my freed soul to a strange somewhere fled. Ah! sottish soul ! said I, when back to its cage again I saw it fly : fool! to resume her broken chain, and row her galley here again! fool! to that body to return where it condemn’d and destin'd is to burn ! once dead, how can it be death should a thing so pleasant seem to thee, that thou shouldst come to live it o'er again in me?
THE WISH. Well, then, I now do plainly see, this busy world and I shall ne'er agree ; the very honey of all earthly joy does of all meats the soonest cloy : and they (inethinks) deserve my pity who for it can endure the stings, the crowd, and buz, and murmurings, of this great hive, the City. Ah! yet, e'er I descend to th' grave, may I a small house and large garden have !
and a few friends, and many books, both true, both wise, and both delightful too ! and since Love ne'er will from me flee, a mistress moderately fair, and good as guardian angels are, only belov'd, and loving me! Oh! Fountains ! when in you shall I myself, eas'd of unpeaceful thoughts, espy? Oh Fields ! oh Woods! when, when shall I be made the happy tenant of your shade? Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood, where all the riches lie that she has coin'd and stamp'd for good. Pride and ambition here, only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear; here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter, and nought but Echo flatter. The gods, when they descended hither from heav'n, did always choose their way; and therefore we may boldly say, that 't is the way, too, thither. How happy here should I and one dear she, live, and embracing die ? she who is all the world, and can exclude in deserts solitude ! I should have then this only fear, lest men, when they my pleasures see, should hither throng to live like me, and so make a city here.
RESOLVED TO BE BELOVED.