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ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHARINE
WHEN Faith and Love, which parted from thee never,
Of death, called life, which us from life doth sever. Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour, Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod; But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod, Followed 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 rest, And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.
ON THE LORD GENERAL FAIRFAX, AT THE SIEGE
FAIRFAX, whose name in arms through Europe rings,
Victory home, though new rebellions raise
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 cleared from the shameful brand Of public fraud. In vain doth Valour bleed, While Avarice and Rapine share the land.
TO THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL, MAY 1652, ON THE
PROPOSALS OF CERTAIN MINISTERS AT THE COMMITTEE
CROMWELL, our chief of men, who through a cloud
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast ploughed, And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
Hast reared 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 renowned 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 helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms, repelled
Whether to settle peace, or to unfold
The drift of hollow states hard to be spelled;
Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold,
In all her equipage; besides, to know
Both spiritual power and civil, what each means,
The bounds of either sword to thee we owe:
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;
Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones, Forget not: in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Slain by the bloody Piemontese, that rolled Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow O'er the Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple Tyrant; that from these may grow A hundredfold, who, having learnt 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,
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide, "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?" I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent 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 state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
[TO MR. LAWRENCE]
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining? Time will run
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun.
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
[TO CYRIACK SKINNER]
CYRIACK, whose grandsire on the royal bench
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intend, and what the French. 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]
CYRIACK, this three years' day these eyes, though clear,
Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
Of which all Europe rings from side to side.
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
Content, though 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 washed 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, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind.
Her face was veiled; 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.