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My stock lies dead, and no increase
Doth my dull husbandry improve;
O, let Thy graces, without cease,
Drop from above!
If still the sun should hide his face,
Thy house would but a dungeon prove,
Thy works night's captives; 0, let
Drop from above!
The dew doth every morning fall,
And shall the dew outstrip Thy dove ?
The dew for which grass cannot call
Drop from above!
O come, for Thou dost know the way,
Or, if to me Thou will not move,
Remove me where I need not say,
Drop from above!
This poet was the adopted son of Jonson. At an early age his genius and acquirements gave promises of literary eminence, which were unhappily frustrated by a premature death. In his remains we find traces of true poetic taste, and a fine fancy. He was born in 1605, and died in 1634.
(OCCASIONED BY TWO DOCTORS DISPUTING UPON PREDESTINATION.)
Ho! jolly Thyrsis, whither in such haste ?
Is’t for a wager that you run so fast ?
Or, past your hour, below yon hawthorn-tree
Does longing Galatea look for thee?
No, Corydon, I heard young Daphnis say,
Alexis challenged Tityrus to-day,
Who best shall sing of shepherd's art and praise :
But hark! I hear them ; listen to their lays.
Alexis, read ; what means this mystic thing ?
An ewe I had two lambs at once did bring ;
The one black as jet, the other white as snow;
Say, in just Providence how it could be so ?
Will you Pan's goodness therefore partial call,
That might as well have given thee none at all?
Were they not both yeaned by the self-same ewe?
How could they merit then so different hue?
Poor lamb, alas ! and couldst thou, yet unborn,
Sin to deserve the guilt of such a scorn!
Thou hadst not yet fouled a religious spring,
Nor fed on plots of hallowed grass, to bring
Stains to thy fleece ; nor browsed upon a tree
Sacred to Pan or Pales' deity.
The gods are ignorant if they not foreknow,
And, knowing, 'tis unjust to use thee so.
Tityrus, with me contend, or Corydon ;
But let the gods and their high wills alone :
For in our flocks that freedom challenge we ;
This kid is sacrificed, and that goes
Feed where you will, my lambs ; what boots it us
To watch and water, fold, and drive you
thus : This on the barren mountains flesh can glean, That fed in flowery pastures will be lean.
Plough, sow, and compass, nothing boots at all,
Unless the dew upon the tilths do fall.
So labor, silly shepherds, what we can :
All's vain, unless a blessing drop from Pan.
Ill thrive thy ewes, if thou these lies maintain.
And may thy goats miscarry, saucy swain.
Fie, shepherds, fie! while you these strifes begin,
creeps the wolf, and there the fox gets in ;
To your vain piping on so deep a reed
The lambkins listen, but forget to feed.
It gentle swains befits of love to sing,
How Love left heaven, and heaven's immortal King,
His co-eternal Father : oh! admire,
Love is a son as ancient as his sire ;
His mother was a virgin : how could come
A birth so great, and from so chaste a womb ?
His cradle was a manger : shepherds, see,
True faith delights in poor simplicity.
He pressed no grapes, nor pruned the fruitful vine,
But could of water make a brisker wine ;
Nor did He plough the earth, and to his barn
The harvest bring ; nor thresh and grind the corn.
Without all these Love could supply our need,
And with five loaves five thousand hungry feed.
More wonders did He ; for all which suppose
How He was crowned with lily or with rose,
The winding ivy, or the glorious bay,
Or myrtle, with the which Venus, they say,
Girts her proud temples ! Shepherds, none of them;
But wore, poor head! a thorny diadem.
Feet to the lame He gave ; with which they ran
To work their surgeon's last destruction :
The blind from Him had eyes ; but used that light
Like basilisks, to kill Him with their sight.
Lastly, he was betrayed (oh! sing of this) -
How Love could be betrayed ! 'twas with a kiss.
And then, his innocent hands and guiltless feet
Were nailed unto the cross, striving to meet
In his spread arms his spouse :
mild in show,
He seemed to court the embraces of his foe.
Through his pierced side, through which a spear was sent,
A torrent of all-flowing balsam went.
Run, Amaryllis, run: one drop from thence
Cures thy sad soul, and drives all anguish hence.
Go, sun-burnt Thessylis, go and repair
Thy beauty lost, and be again made fair.
Love-sick Amyntas, get a philtrum here,
To make thee lovely to thy truly dear;
But, coy Licoris, take the pearl from thine,
And take the blood-shot from Alexis' eyne.
Wear this an amulet 'gainst all syrens’ smiles,
The stings of snakes, and tears of crocodiles.
Now Love is dead ;-Oh! no, He never dies;
Three days He sleeps, and then again doth rise,
(Like fair Aurora from the eastern bay,)
And with his beams drives all our clouds away.
This pipe unto our flocks; this sonnet get,
But, lo! I see the sun ready to set :
Good-night to all : for the great night is come:
Flocks, to your folds; and shepherds, hie you home;
To-morrow morning, when we all have slept,
Pan's cornet's flown, and the great sheepshear's kept.
This eminent author was born in 1615. He was a Presbyterian, and one of the ablest and most voluminous of the religious writers of England. In 1685 he was tried before the notorious Judge Jeffries, by whom he was grossly insulted, and sentenced to fine and imprisonment; but the punishment was shortly after remitted by the king. He died in 1691. The “ Saints' Everlasting Rest" is the best known of Baxter's works. His poems, originally published in 1681, under the title of “ Poetical Fragments,” were last printed by William Pickering, London, 1821.
He that by faith sees not the world of spirits,
Which Christ with his blessed family inherits ;
The sense of Providence can never know,
Nor judge aright of any thing below.
Things seem confused and neglected here,
Because in broken parcels they appear;
Who knows a work in arras by one piece ?
Small parcels show not workmen's artifice.
The beauty of a picture is not known,
When one small part, or limb alone is shown
They that on some few letters only look,
Can never know the meaning of God's book.
Who knows a stately building by one post ?
It's but short scraps that one age sees at most.
Heaven seeth all, and therefore knows the sense
Of the whole beauteous frame of Providence.
His judgment of God's kingdom needs must fail,
Who knows no more of it than this dark jail :
If heaven and hell were open to men's sight,
Most men of pleasant things would judge aright.
Who would be grieved at prosperous sinners' reign,
Who did foresee their everlasting pain ?