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Clad in splendour as befits
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.
Nymphs and Shepherds, dance no more
Trip no more in twilight ranks;
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.
With saintly shout and solemn jubilee;
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC.
BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms, Hymns devout and holy psalms
Singing everlastingly :
That we on Earth, with undiscording voice,
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayed In perfect diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O, may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To live with Him, and sing in endless morn of light!
FLY, envious Time, till thou run out thy race:
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain!
For, when as each thing bad thou hast entombed,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss,
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood;
When every thing that is sincerely good,
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine About the supreme throne
Of Him, to whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb,
Then, all this earthly grossness quit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
YE flaming Powers, and wingèd Warriors bright,
Seas wept from our deep sorrow.
He who with all Heaven's heraldry whilere
Sore doth begin
His infancy to seize !
O more exceeding love, or law more just?
And that great covenant which we still transgress
And the full wrath beside
Of vengeful justice bore for our excess,
And seals obedience first with wounding smart
This day; but oh! ere long,
Huge pangs and strong
Will pierce more near his heart.
"A MASQUE PRESENTED AT LUDLOW CASTLE, 1634, &c." (For the title-pages of the Editions of 1637 and 1645 see Introduction at P. 44 and pp. 45, 46.)
DEDICATION OF THE ANONYMOUS EDITION OF 1637. (Reprinted in the Edition of 1645, but omitted in that of 1673.) "To the Right Honourable John, Lord Brackley, son and heir-apparent to the Earl of Bridgewater, &c.”
"My Lord, "This Poem, which received its first occasion of birth from yourself and others of your noble family, and much honour from your own person in the performance, now returns again to make a final dedication of itself to you. Although not openly acknowledged by the Author, yet it is a legitimate offspring, so lovely and so much desired that the often copying of it hath tired my pen to give my several friends satisfaction, and brought me to a necessity of producing it to the public view, and now to offer it up, in all rightful devotion, to those fair hopes and rare endowments of your much-promising youth, which give a full assurance to all that know you of a future excellence. Live, sweet Lord, to be the honour of your name; and receive this as your own from the hands of him who hath by many favours been long obliged to your most honoured Parents, and, as in this representation your attendant Thyrsis, so now in all real expression
"Your faithful and most humble Servant,
"The Copy of a Letter written by Sir Henry Wotton to the Author upon the following Poem."
(In the Edition of 1645: emitted in that of 1673.)
"From the College, this 13 of April, 1638.
"It was a special favour when you lately bestowed upon me here the first taste of your acquaintance, though no longer than to make me know that I wanted more time to value it and to enjoy it rightly; and, in truth, if I could then have imagined your farther stay in these parts, which I understood afterwards by Mr. H., I would have been bold, in our vulgar phrase, to mend my draught (for you left me with an extreme thirst), and to have begged your conversation again, jointly with your said learned friend, over a poor meal or two, that we might have banded together some good Authors of the ancient time; among which I observed you to have been familiar.
"Since your going, you have charged me with new obligations, both for a very kind letter from you dated the 6th of this month, and for a dainty piece of entertainment which came therewith. Wherein I should much commend the tragical part, if the lyrical did not ravish me with a certain Doric delicacy in your Songs and Odes, whereunto I must plainly confess to have seen yet nothing parallel in our language: Ipsa mollities. But I must not omit to tell you that I now only owe you thanks for intimating unto me (how modestly soever) the true artificer. For the work itself I had viewed some good while before with singular delight; having received it from our common friend Mr. R., in the very close of the late R.'s Poems, printed at Oxford : whereunto it was added (as I now suppose) that the accessory might help out the principal, according to the art of Stationers, and to leave the reader con la bocca dolce.
"Now, Sir, concerning your travels; wherein I may challenge a little more privilege of discourse with you. I suppose you will not blanch Paris in your way therefore I have been bold to trouble you with a few lines to Mr. M. B., whom you shall easily find attending the young Lord S. as his governor; and you may surely receive from him good directions for the shaping of your farther journey into Italy,