I: Why I Write Not To Love

Some act of
bound to reherse,
I thought to bind him, in my verse:
Which when he felt, Away (quoth he)
Can Poets hope to fetter me?
It is enough, they once did get
Mars, and my
, in their net:
I weare not these my wings in vaine.
With which he fled me: and againe,
Into my rimes could ne're be got
By any art. Then wonder not,
That since, my numbers are so cold,
is fled, and I grow old.

The decorously informative church
Guide to Sex suggested that any urge
could well be controlled by playing tennis:
and the game provided also 'many
harmless opportunities for healthy
social intercourse between the sexes.'

For weeks the drawings in the Guide misled
me as to what went where, but nonetheless
I booked the public courts and learnt the game
with other curious youths of my age:
and later joined a club, to lose six one,
six love, in the first round of the Open.

But the only girl I ever met had
her 'energies channelled' far too bloody
'healthily', and very quickly let me
know that love was merely another means
of saying nil. It was not as though I
became any good at tennis; either.

A Celebration Of Charis: I. His Excuse For Loving

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have, my peers;
Poets, though divine, are men,
Some have lov'd as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune, gives the grace;
Or the feature, or the youth.
But the language and the truth,
With the ardour and the passion,
Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then will read the story,
First prepare you to be sorry
That you never knew till now
Either whom to love or how;
But be glad, as soon with me,
When you know that this is she
Of whose beauty it was sung;
She shall make the old man young,
Keep the middle age at stay,
And let nothing high decay,
Till she be the reason why
All the world for love may die.

His Excuse For Loving

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have, my peers.
Poets, though divine, are men;
Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune gives the grace,
Or the feature, or the youth;
But the language and the truth,
With the ardor and the passion,
Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then would hear the story,
First, prepare you to be sorry
That you never knew till now
Either whom to love or how;
But be glad as soon with me
When you hear that this is she
Of whose beauty it was sung,
She shall make the old man young,
Keep the middle age at stay,
And let nothing hide decay,
Till she be the reason why
All the world for love may die.

Viii: Song: To Sicknesse

Why, Disease, dost thou molest
Ladies? and of them the best?
Do not men, ynow of rites
To thy altars, by their nights
Spent in surfets: and their dayes,
And nights too, in worser wayes?
Take heed, Sicknesse, what you do,
I shall feare, you'll surfet too.
Live not we, as, all thy stals,
Spittles, pest-house, hospitals,
Scarce will take our present store?
And this age will build no more:
'Pray thee, feed contented, then,
Sicknesse; only on us men.
Or if needs thy lust will taste
Woman-kind; devoure the waste
Livers, round about the town.
But forgive me, with thy crown
They maintaine the truest trade,
And have more diseases made.
What should, yet, thy pallat please?
Daintinesse, and softer ease,
Sleeked lims, and finest blood?
If thy leannesse love such food,
There are those, that, for thy sake,
Do enough; and who would take
Any paines; yea, think it price,
To become thy sacrifice.
That distill their husbands land
In decoctions; and are mann'd
With ten Emp'ricks, in their chamber,
Lying for the spirit of amber.
That for the oyle of Talck, dare spend
More than citizens dare lend
Them, and all their officers.
That to make all pleasure theirs,
Will by coach, and water go,
Every stew in towne to know;
Date entayle their loves on any,
Bald, or blind, or nere so many:
And, for thee at common game,
Play away, health, wealth, and fame.
These, disease, will thee deserve:
And will, long ere thou should'st starve,
On their bed most prostitute,
Move it, as their humblest sute,
In thy justice to molest
None but them, and leave the rest.

Nine Stages Towards Knowing

Why do we lie

’Why do we lie,’ she questioned, her warm eyes
on the grey Autumn wind and its coursing,
’all afternoon wasted in bed like this?’
’Because we cannot lie all night together.’
’Yes,’ she said, satisfied at my reasoning,
but going on to search her cruel mind
for better excuses to leave my narrow bed.

Too many flesh suppers

Abstracted in art,
in architecture,
in scholars’ detail;

absorbed by music,
by minutiae,
by sad trivia;

all to efface her,
whom I can forget
no more than breathing.


Somewhere some nights she sees
curtains rise on those rites
we also knew and felt

I sit here desolate
in spite of company

Love is between people

And should she die?

And should she die tonight,
with this three years’ difference
as well between us now?

Or no, be maimed perhaps
and bearing pain, to live
on damages for life?

In any case, I wish
her no good, whom I loved
as Brunel loved iron.

All this Sunday long

All this Sunday long it has snowed,
and I weighted with the old grief
struggling to unseat her from my mind.

Yet winnowing our past I cannot find
a snow-gilded scene however brief:
thus do I wilfully increase my load.

Spatial Definition

Razed the room in which
we made so much love:

I try to re-place
it in space against
the windracked planetrees:

my eyes quarter air.

Able at last

’Able at last,’ she writes,
’to see things as they were,
I wonder we were so blind
to think our trust could bind
instead of just defer.’

I shudder at her fall,
for that was, from the heights,
not how it was at all.

Arrived at the place

Arrived at the place
to which I always
said I was going:

comfortless for lack
of her who chose not
to travel with me:

too aware of my way
to wherever next
is also alone.


Knowledge of her was
earned like miners’ pay:

afterwards I sought
friends’ knowledge of her:

now I need to know
nothing of this girl:

she whom once I knew
as my tongue my mouth.

To The Memory Of My Beloved Author, Mr. William Shakespeare

To draw no envy, Shakespeare, on thy name,
Am I thus ample to thy book and fame;
While I confess thy writings to be such
As neither man nor muse can praise too much;
'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these ways
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise;
For seeliest ignorance on these may light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right;
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance;
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,
And think to ruin, where it seem'd to raise.
These are, as some infamous bawd or whore
Should praise a matron; what could hurt her more?
But thou art proof against them, and indeed,
Above th' ill fortune of them, or the need.
I therefore will begin. Soul of the age!
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage!
My Shakespeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room:
Thou art a monument without a tomb,
And art alive still while thy book doth live
And we have wits to read and praise to give.
That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses,
I mean with great, but disproportion'd Muses,
For if I thought my judgment were of years,
I should commit thee surely with thy peers,
And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine,
Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line.
And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek,
From thence to honour thee, I would not seek
For names; but call forth thund'ring {AE}schylus,
Euripides and Sophocles to us;
Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To life again, to hear thy buskin tread,
And shake a stage; or, when thy socks were on,
Leave thee alone for the comparison
Of all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Tri{'u}mph, my Britain, thou hast one to show
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age but for all time!
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm!
Nature herself was proud of his designs
And joy'd to wear the dressing of his lines,
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please,
But antiquated and deserted lie,
As they were not of Nature's family.
Yet must I not give Nature all: thy art,
My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part.
For though the poet's matter nature be,
His art doth give the fashion; and, that he
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat,
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the Muses' anvil; turn the same
(And himself with it) that he thinks to frame,
Or, for the laurel, he may gain a scorn;
For a good poet's made, as well as born;
And such wert thou. Look how the father's face
Lives in his issue, even so the race
Of Shakespeare's mind and manners brightly shines
In his well-turned, and true-filed lines;
In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
As brandish'd at the eyes of ignorance.
Sweet Swan of Avon! what a sight it were
To see thee in our waters yet appear,
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames,
That so did take Eliza and our James!
But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere
Advanc'd, and made a constellation there!
Shine forth, thou star of poets, and with rage
Or influence, chide or cheer the drooping stage;
Which, since thy flight from hence, hath mourn'd like night,
And despairs day, but for thy volume's light.

Not to know vice at all, and keep true state,
Is virtue and not fate:
Next to that virtue, is to know vice well,
And her black spite expel.
Which to effect (since no breast is so sure,
Or safe, but she'll procure
Some way of entrance) we must plant a guard
Of thoughts to watch and ward
At th' eye and ear, the ports unto the mind,
That no strange, or unkind
Object arrive there, but the heart, our spy,
Give knowledge instantly
To wakeful reason, our affections' king:
Who, in th' examining,
Will quickly taste the treason, and commit
Close, the close cause of it.
'Tis the securest policy we have,
To make our sense our slave.
But this true course is not embraced by many:
By many! scarce by any.
For either our affections do rebel,
Or else the sentinel,
That should ring 'larum to the heart, doth sleep:
Or some great thought doth keep
Back the intelligence, and falsely swears
They're base and idle fears
Whereof the loyal conscience so complains.
Thus, by these subtle trains,
Do several passions invade the mind,
And strike our reason blind:
Of which usurping rank, some have thought love
The first: as prone to move
Most frequent tumults, horrors, and unrests,
In our inflamed breasts:
But this doth from the cloud of error grow,
Which thus we over-blow.
The thing they here call love is blind desire,
Armed with bow, shafts, and fire;
Inconstant, like the sea, of whence 'tis born,
Rough, swelling, like a storm;
With whom who sails, rides on the surge of fear,
And boils as if he were
In a continual tempest. Now, true love
No such effects doth prove;
That is an essence far more gentle, fine,
Pure, perfect, nay, divine;
It is a golden chain let down from heaven,
Whose links are bright and even;
That falls like sleep on lovers, and combines
The soft and sweetest minds
In equal knots: this bears no brands, nor darts,
To murder different hearts,
But, in a calm and god-like unity,
Preserves community.
O, who is he that, in this peace, enjoys
Th' elixir of all joys?
A form more fresh than are the Eden bowers,
And lasting as her flowers;
Richer than Time and, as Times's virtue, rare;
Sober as saddest care;
A fixed thought, an eye untaught to glance;
Who, blest with such high chance,
Would, at suggestion of a steep desire,
Cast himself from the spire
Of all his happiness? But soft: I hear
Some vicious fool draw near,
That cries, we dream, and swears there's no such thing,
As this chaste love we sing.
Peace, Luxury! thou art like one of those
Who, being at sea, suppose,
Because they move, the continent doth so:
No, Vice, we let thee know
Though thy wild thoughts with sparrows' wings do fly,
Turtles can chastely die;
And yet (in this t' express ourselves more clear)
We do not number here
Such spirits as are only continent,
Because lust's means are spent;
Or those who doubt the common mouth of fame,
And for their place and name,
Cannot so safely sin: their chastity
Is mere necessity;
Nor mean we those whom vows and conscience
Have filled with abstinence:
Though we acknowledge who can so abstain,
Makes a most blessed gain;
He that for love of goodness hateth ill,
Is more crown-worthy still
Than he, which for sin's penalty forbears:
His heart sins, though he fears.
But we propose a person like our Dove,
Graced with a Phoenix' love;
A beauty of that clear and sparkling light,
Would make a day of night,
And turn the blackest sorrows to bright joys:
Whose odorous breath destroys
All taste of bitterness, and makes the air
As sweet as she is fair.
A body so harmoniously composed,
As if nature disclosed
All her best symmetry in that one feature!
O, so divine a creature
Who could be false to? chiefly, when he knows
How only she bestows
The wealthy treasure of her love on him;
Making his fortunes swim
In the full flood of her admired perfection?
What savage, brute affection,
Would not be fearful to offend a dame
Of this excelling frame?
Much more a noble, and right generous mind,
To virtuous moods inclined,
That knows the weight of guilt: he will refrain
From thoughts of such a strain,
And to his sense object this sentence ever,
'Man may securely sin, but safely never.'

Not to know vice at all, and keepe true state,
Is vertue, and not Fate:
Next, to that vertue, is to know vice well,
And her black spight expell.
Which to effect (since no brest is so sure,
Or safe, but shee'll procure
Some way of entrance) we must plant a guard
Of thoughts to watch, and ward
At th'eye and eare (the ports unto the minde)
That no strange, or unkinde
Object arrive there, but the heart (our spie)
Give knowledge instantly,
To wakefull Reason, our affections king:
Who (in th'examining)
Will quickly taste the reason, and commit
Close, the close cause of it.
'Tis the securest policie we have,
To make our sense our slave.
But this true course is not embrac'd by many:
By many? scarce by any.
For either our affections doe rebell,
Or else the sentinell
(That should ring larum to the heart) doth sleepe,
Or some great thought doth keepe
Back the intelligence, and falsely sweares,
Th'are base, and idle feares
Whereof the loyall conscience so complaines.
Thus by these subtill traines,
Doe severall passions invade the minde,
And strike our reason blinde.
Of which usurping ranck, some have thought Love
The first; as prone to move
Most frequent tumults, horrors, and unrests,
In our enflamed brests:
But this doth from the cloud of error grow,
Which thus we over-blow.
The thing, they here call Love, is blinde Desire,
Arm'd with bow, shafts, and fire;
Inconstant, like the sea, of whence 'tis borne,
Rough, swelling, like a storme:
With whom who sailes, rides on the surge of feare,
And boyles, as if he were
In a continuall tempest. Now, true Love
No such effects doth prove;
That is an essence farre more gentle, fine,
Pure, perfect, nay divine;
It is a golden chaine let downe from heaven,
Whose linkes are bright, and even.
That falls like sleepe on Lovers, and combines
The soft, and sweetest mindes
In equall knots: This beares no brands, nor darts,
To murther different hearts,
But, in a calme, and god-like unitie,
Preserves communitie.
O, who is he, that (in this peace) enjoyes
Th Elixir of all joyes?
A forme more fresh, than are the Eden bowers,
And lasting, as her flowers:
Richer than Time, and as Time's vertue, rare:
Sober, as saddest care:
A fixed thought, an eye un-taught to glance;
Who (blest with such high chance)
Would, at suggestion of a steep desire,
Cast himselfe from the spire
Of all his happinesse? But soft: I heare
Some vicious foole draw neare,
That cryes, we dream, and swears there's no such thing,
As this chaste love we sing.
Peace luxury, thou art like one of those
Who, being at sea, suppose,
Because they move, the Continent doth so.
No, vice, we let thee know,
Though thy wild thoughts with sparrows wings do flye,
Turtles can chastly dye;
And yet (in this t'expresse our selves more cleare)
We do not number here,
Such Spirits as are only continent,
Because lust's meanes are spent:
Or those, who doubt the common mouth of fame,
And for their place and name,
Cannot so safely sinne. Their chastity
Is meere necessity.
Nor meane we those, whom Vowes and conscience
Have fill'd with abstinence:
Though we acknowledge, who can so abstayne,
Makes a most blessed gaine.
He that for love of goodnesse hateth ill,
Is more crowne-worthy still,
Than he, which for sins penalty forbeares;
His heart sins, though he feares.
But we propose a person like our Dove,
Grac'd with a Phoenix love;
A beauty of that cleare, and sparkling light,
Would make a day of night,
And turne the blackest sorrowes to bright joyes:
Whose od'rous breath destroyes
All taste of bitternesse, and makes the ayre
As sweet as she is faire.
A body so harmoniously compos'd,
As if Nature disclos'd
All her best symmetrie in that one feature!
O, so divine a creature,
Who could be false to? chiefly when he knowes
How only she bestowes
The wealthy treasure of her love on him;
Making his fortunes swim
In the full flood of her admir'd perfection?
What savage, brute affection,
Would not be fearefull to offend a dame
Of this excelling frame?
Much more a noble, and right generous mind
(To vertuous moods inclin'd)
That knowes the weight of guilt: He will refraine
From thoughts of such a straine.
And to his sense object this sentence ever,

Man may securely sinne, but safely never.

On the happy entrace of Iames, our Soveraigne, to His first high Session of Parliament in this his Kingdome, the 19 of March, 1603.
Licet toto nunc Helicone frui.


Heav'n now not strives, alone, our breasts to fill
With joyes: but urgeth his full favors still.
Againe, the glory of our Westerne World
Unfolds himselfe: and from his eyes are hoorl'd
(To day) a thousand radiant lights, that streame
To every nook and angle of his Realme.
His former rayes did only cleare the sky;
But these his searching beams are cast, to pry
Into those dark and deep concealed vaults,
Where men commit black incest with their faults;
And snore supinely in the stall of sin:
Where Murder, Rapine, Lust, do sit within,
Carowsing humane blood in yron bowles,
And make their den the slaughter-house of soules:
From whose foule reeking cavernes first arise
Those damps, that so offend all good mens eyes,
And would (if not dispers'd) infect the Crown,
And in their vapor her bright metall drown.

To this so cleare and sanctified an end,
I saw, when reverend Themis did descend
Upon his State; let down in that rich chaine,
That fastneth heavenly power to earthly raigne:
Beside her, stoup't on either hand, a maid,
Faire Dice, and Eunomia; who were said
To be her daughters: and but faintly known
On earth, till now, they came to grace his throne.
Her third, Irene, help'd to beare his traine;
And in her office vow'd she would remaine,
Till forraine malice, or unnaturall spight
(Which Fates avert) should force her from her right.
With these he pass'd, and with his peoples hearts
Breath'd in his way; and soules (their better parts)
Hasting to follow forth in shouts, and cryes.
Upon his face all threw their covetous eyes,
As on a wonder: some amazed stood,
As if they felt, but had not known their good
Others would faine have shew'n it in their words:
But, when their speech so poore, a help affords
Unto their zeals expression; they are mute:
And only with red silence him salute.
Some cry from tops of houses; thinking noyse
The fittest herald to proclaime true joyes:
Others on ground run gazing by his side,
All, as unwearied, as unsatisfied:
And every windore griev'd it could not move
Along with him, and the same trouble prove.
They that had seen, but foure short dayes before,
His gladding look, now long'd to see it more.
And as of late, when he through London went,
The amorous City spar'd no ornament,
That might her beauties heighten; but so drest,
As our ambitious Dames, when they make feast,
And would be courted: so this Town put on
Her brightest tyre; and, in it, equall shone
To her great sister: save that modesty,
Her place, and yeares, grave her precedency.

The joy of either was alike, and full;
No age, nor sexe, so weak, or strongly dull,
That did not beare a part in this consent
Of hearts, and voyces. All the aire was rent,
As with the murmure of a moving wood;
The ground beneath did seeme a moving flood:
Wals, windores, roofs, towers, steeples, all were set
With severall eyes, that in this object met.
Old men were glad, their fates till now did last;
And infants, that the houres had made such hast
To bring them forth: Whil'st riper age'd, and apt
To understand the more, the more were rapt.
This was the peoples love, with which did strive
The Nobles zeale, yet either kept alive
The others flame, as doth the wike and waxe,
That friendly temper'd, one pure taper makes.
Meane while, the reverend Themis draws aside
The Kings obeying will, from taking pride
In these vaine stirs, and to his mind suggests
How he may triumph in his Subjects brests,
'With better pomp. She tels him first, that Kings
'Are here on earth the most conspicuous things:
'That they, by Heaven, are plac'd upon his throne,
'To rule like Heaven; and have no more their own,
'As they are men, then men. That all they do
'Though hid at home, abroad is search'd into:
'And being once found out, discover'd lyes
'Unto as many envies, there, as eyes.
'That Princes, since they know it is their fate,
'Oft-times, to have the secrets of their State
'Betraid to fame, should take more care, and feare
'In publique acts what face and forme they beare.
'She then remembred to his thought the place
'Where he was going; and the upward race
'Of Kings, præceding him in that high Court;
'Their laws, their ends; the men she did report:
'And all so justly, as his eare was joy'd
'To heare the truth, from spight of flattery voyd.
'She shewd him, who made wise, who honest Acts;
'Who both, who neither: all the cunning tracts,
'And thrivings statutes she could promptly note;
'The bloody, base, and barbarous she did quote;
'Where laws were made to serve the tyran' will;
'Where sleeping they could save, and waking kill;
'Where acts gave licence to impetuous lust
'To bury Churches, in forgotten dust,
'And with their ruines raise the panders bowers:
'When, publique justice borrow'd all her powers
'From private chambers; that could then create
'Laws, Judges, Consellors, yea Prince, and State.
'All this she told, and more, with bleeding eyes;
'For Right is as compassionate as wise.
Nor did he seeme their vices so to love,
As once defend, what Themis did reprove.
For though by right, and benefit of Times,
He ownde their crowns, he would not so their crimes.
He knew that Princes, who had sold their fame
To their voluptuous lusts, had lost their name;
And that no wretch was more unblest than he,
Whose necessary good 'twas now to be
An evill King: And so must such be still,
Who once have got the habit to do ill.
One wickednesse another must defend;
For vice is safe, while she hath vice to friend.
He knew, that those, who would, with love, command,
Must with a tender (yet a stedfast) hand
Sustaine the reynes, and in the check forbeare
To offer cause of injury, or feare.
That Kings, by their example, more do sway
Than by their power; and men do more obay
When they are led, than when they are compell'd.

In all these knowing Arts our Prince excell'd.
And now the dame had dried her dropping eyne,
When, like an April Iris, flew her shine
About the streets, as it would force a spring
From out the stones, to gratulate the King.
She blest the people, that in shoales did swim
To heare her speech; which still began in him,
And ceas'd in them. She told them, what a fate
Was gently falne from Heaven upon this State;
How deare a father they did now enjoy
That came to save, what discord would destroy:
And entring with the power of a King,
The temp'rance of a private man did bring,
That wan affections, ere his steps wan ground;
And was not hot, or covetous to be crown'd
Before mens hearts had crown'd him. Who (unlike
Those greater bodies of the sky, that strike
The lesser fiers dim) in his accesse
Brighter than all, hath yet made no one lesse;
Though many greater: and the most, the best.
Wherein, his choice was happy with the rest
Of his great actions, first to see, and do
What all mens wishes did aspire unto.

Hereat, the people could no longer hold
Their bursting joyes; but through the ayre was rol'd
The length'ned showt, as when th'artillery
Of Heaven is discharg'd along the sky:
And this confession flew from every voyce,
Never had Land more reason to rejoyce,
Nor to her blisse, could ought now added bee,
Save, that she might the same perpetuall see.
Which when Time, Nature, and the Fates deny'd,
With a twice louder shoute again they cry'd,
Yet, let blest Brittaine aske (without your wrong)
Still to have such a King, and this King long.

Solus Rex, & Poeta non quotannis nascitur.

The Speeches Of Gratulations

Time, Fate, and Fortune have at length conspir'd,
To give our Age the day so much desir'd.
What all the minutes, houres, weekes, months, and yeares,
That hang in file upon these silver haires,
Could not produce, beneath the Britaine stroke,
The Roman, Saxon, Dane, and Norman yoke,
This point of Time hath done. Now London, reare
Thy forehead high, and on it strive to weare
Thy choisest gems; teach thy steepe Towres to rise
Higher with people: set with sparkling eyes
Thy spacious windowes; and in every street,
Let thronging joy, love, and amazement meet.
Cleave all the ayre with shouts, and let the cry
Strike through as long, and universally,
As thunder; for, thou now art blist to see
That sight, for which thou didst begin to bee.
When Brutus plough first gave thee infant bounds,
And I, thy Genius walkt auspicious rounds
In every furrow; then did I fore-looke,
And saw this day mark't white in Clotho's booke.
The severall circles, both of change and sway,
Within this Isle, there also figur'd lay:
Of which the greatest, perfectest, and last
Was this, whose present happinesse we tast.
Why keepe you silence daughters? What dull peace
Is this inhabits you? Shall office cease
Upon th'aspect of him, to whom you owe
More than you are, or can be? Shall Time know
That article, wherein your flame stood still,
And not aspir'd? Now heaven avert an ill
Of that black looke. Ere pause possesse your brests
I wish you more of plagues: 'Zeale when it rests,
Leaves to be zeale. Up thou tame River, wake;
And from thy liquid limbes this slumber shake:
Thou drown'st thy selfe in inofficious sleepe;
And these thy sluggish waters seeme to creepe,
Rather than flow. Up, rise, and swell with pride
Above thy bankes. 'Now is not every tide.

To what vaine end should I contend to show
My weaker powers, when seas of pompe o'reflow
The Cities face: and cover all the shore
With sands more rich than Tagus wealthy ore?
When in the floud of joy, that comes with him,
He drownes the world; yet makes it live and swimme,
And spring with gladnesse: not my fishes here,
Though they be dumbe, but doe expresse the cheere
Of these bright streames. No lesse may these, and I
Boast our delights, albe't we silent lie.


Indeed, true gladnesse doth not alwayes speake?
Joy bred, and borne but in the tongue, is weake.
Yet (lest the fervour of so pure a flame
As this my Citie beares, might lose the name,
Without the apt eventing of her heat)
Know greatest James (and no lesse good, than great,)
In the behalfe of all my vertuous sonnes,
Whereof my eldest there, thy pompe fore-runnes,
(A man without my flattering, or his Pride,
As worthy, as he's blest to be thy guide)
In his grave name, and all his brethrens right,
(Who thirst to drink the nectar of thy sight)
The Councell, Commoners, and multitude;
(Glad, that this day so long deny'd, is view'd)
I tender thee the heartiest welcome, yet
That ever King had to his Empires seat:
Never came man, more long'd for, more desir'd:
And being come, more reverenc'd, lov'd, admir'd:
Heare, and record it: 'In a Prince it is
'No little vertue, to know who are his.

With like devotions, doe I stoope t'embrace
This springing glory of thy god-like race;
His Countries wonder, hope, love, joy and pride:
How well doth hee become the royall side
Of this erected, and broad spreading Tree,
Under whose shade, may Britaine ever be.
And from this Branch, may thousand Branches more
Shoot o're the maine, and knit with every shore
In bonds of marriage, kinred, and increase;
And stile this land, the navill of their peace.
This is your servants wish, your Cities vow,
Which still shall propagate it selfe, with you;
And free from spurres of hope, that slow minds move:
'He seekes no hire, that owes his life to love.

And here shee comes that is no lesse a part
In this dayes greatnesse, than in my glad heart.
Glory of Queenes, and glory of your name,
Whose graces doe as farre out-speak your fame,
As Fame doth silence, when her trumpet rings
You daughter, sister, wife of severall Kings:
Besides alliance, and the stile of mother,
In which one title you drowne all your other.
Instance, be that faire shoot, is gone before,
Your eldest joy, and top of all your store,
With those, whose sight to us is yet deny'd,
But not our zeale to them, or ought beside
This Citie can to you: For whose estate
Shee hopes you will be still good advocate
To her best Lord. So, whilst you mortall are,
No taste of sowre mortalitie once dare
Approach your house; nor fortune greet your Grace,
But comming on, and with a forward face.


Stay, what art thou, that in this strange attire,
Dar'st kindle stranger, and un-hallowed fire
Upon this Altar?

Rather what art thou
That dar'st so rudely interrupt my vow?
My habit speakes my name.

A Flamen?

And Martialis call'd.

I so did ghesse
By my short view; but whence didst thou ascend
Hither? or how? or to what mystick end?

The noyse, and present tumult of this day,
Rowsd me from sleep, and silence, where I lay
Obscur'd from light; which when I wakt to see,
I wondring thought what this great pompe might bee.
When (looking in my Kalender) I found
The Ides of March were entred, and I bound
With these, to celebrate the geniall feast
Of Anna still'd Perenna, Mars his guest,
Who, in this month of his, is yearely call'd
To banquet at his altars; and instal'd
A goddesse with him, since she fils the yeare,
And knits the oblique scarfe that girts the spheare.
Whilest fourefac'd Janus turnes his vernall look
Upon their meeting houres, as if he took
High pride and pleasure.

Sure thou still dost dreame,
And both thy tongue, and thought rides on the streame
Of phantasie: Behold here he nor she,
Have any altar, fane, or deity.
Stoope: read but this inscription: and then view
To whom the place is consecrate. 'Tis true
That this is Janus temple, and that now
He turnes upon the yeare his freshest brow:
That this is Mars his month; and these the Ides,
Wherein his Anne was honor'd; both the tides,
Titles, and place, we know: but these dead rites
Are long since buryed, and new power excites
More high and hearty flames. Loe, there is he,
Who brings with him a greater Anne than she:
Whose strong and potent vertues have defac'd
Sterne Mars his statues, and upon them plac'd
His, and the Worlds blest blessings: This hath brought
Sweet peace to sit in that bright State she ought,
Unbloody, or untroubled; hath forc'd hence
All tumults, feares, or other dark portents
That might invade weak minds; hath made men see
Once more the face of welcome liberty:
And doth (in all his present acts) restore
That first pure World, made of the better ore.
Now innocence shall cease to be the spoyle
Of ravenous greatnesse, or to steep the soyle
Of raysed pesantry with teares, and blood;
No more shall rich men (for their little good)
Suspected to be made guilty; or vile spies
Enjoy the lust of their so murdring eyes:
Men shall put off their yron minds, and hearts;
The time forget his old malicious arts
With this new minute; and no print remaine
Of what was thought the former ages staine.
Back, Flamen, with thy superstitious fumes,
And cense not here; Thy ignorance presumes
Too much, in acting any Ethnick rite
In this translated temple: here no wight,
To sacrifice, save my devotion comes,
That brings in stead of those thy masculine gums.
My Cities heart; which shall for ever burne
Upon this Altar, and no time shall turne
The same to ashes: here I fixe it fast,
Flame bright, flame high, and may it ever last.
Whilst I, before the figure of thy peace,
Still tend the fire; and give it quick increase
With prayers, wishes, vows; whereof be these
The least, and weakest: that no age may leese
The memory of this so rich a day;
But rather, that it henceforth yearely may
Begin our spring, and with our spring the prime,
And first accompt of yeares, of months, of time:
And may these Ides as fortunate appeare
To thee, as they to Cæsar fatall were.
Be all thy thoughts borne perfect, and thy hopes
In their events still crown'd beyond their scopes.
Let not wide heav'n that secret blessing know
To give, which she on thee will not bestow.
Blind Fortune be thy slave; and may her store
(The lesse thou seek'st it) follow thee the more.
Much more I would: but see, these brazen gates
Make haste to close, as urged by thy fates;
Here ends my Cities office, here it breakes:
Yet with my tongue, and this pure heart, she speakes
A short farewell; and lower than thy feet,
With fervent thankes, thy Royall paines doth greet.
Pardon, if my abruptnesse breed disease;
'He merits not t'offend, that hastes to please.