To A Friend Upon Overbury's Wife Given To Her

I know no fitter subject for your view
Then this, a meditation ripe for you,
As you for it. Which when you read you'l see
What kind of wife your self will one day bee:
Which happy day be neer you, and may this
Remain with you as earnest of my wish;
When you so far love any, that you dare
Venture your whole affection on his care,
May he for whom you change your Virgin-life
Prove good to you, and perfect as this Wife.

Fond Lunatick forbear, why do'st thou sue
For thy affections pay e're it is due?
Loves fruits are legal use; and therefore may
Be onely taken on the marriage day.
Who for this interest too early call,
By that exaction lose the Principall.
Then gather not those immature delights,
Untill their riper Autumn thee invites.
He that abortive Corn cuts off his ground,
No Husband but a Ravisher is found:
So those that reap their love before they wed,
Do in effect but Cuckold their own Bed.

Tell Me No More How Fair She Is

TELL me no more how fair she is,
I have no minde to hear
The story of that distant bliss
I never shall come near:
By sad experience I have found
That her perfection is my wound.

And tell me not how fond I am
To tempt a daring Fate,
From whence no triumph ever came,
But to repent too late:
There is some hope ere long I may
In silence dote my self away.

I ask no pity (Love) from thee,
Nor will thy justice blame,
So that thou wilt not envy me
The glory of my flame:
Which crowns my heart when ere it dyes,
In that it falls her sacrifice.

Splendidis longum valedico nugis.

Farewell fond Love, under whose childish whip,
I have serv'd out a weary Prentiship;
Thou that hast made me thy scorn'd property,
To dote on Rocks, but yielding Loves to fly:
Go bane of my dear quiet and content,
Now practise on some other Patient.
Farewell false Hope that fann'd my warm desire
Till it had rais'd a wild unruly fire,
Which nor sighs cool, nor tears extinguish can,
Although my eyes out-flow'd the Ocean:
Forth of my thoughts for ever, Thing of Air,
Begun in errour, finish't in despair.
Farewell vain World, upon whose restless stage
Twixt Love and Hope I have foold out my age;
Henceforth ere sue to thee for my redress,
Ile wooe the wind, or court the wilderness;
And buried from the dayes discovery,
Study a slow yet certain way to dy.
My woful Monument shall be a Cell,
The murmur of the purling brook my knell;
My lasting Epitaph the Rock shall grone:
Thus when sad Lovers ask the weeping stone,
What wretched thing does in that Center lie?
The hollow Eccho will reply, 'twas I.

The Short Wooing

Like an Oblation set before a Shrine,
Fair One! I offer up this heart of mine.
Whether the Saint accept my Gift or no,
Ile neither fear nor doubt before I know.
For he whose faint distrust prevents reply,
Doth his own suits denial prophecy.
Your will the sentence is; Who free as Fate
Can bid my love proceed, or else retreat.
And from short views that verdict is decreed
Which seldom doth one audience exceed.
Love asks no dull probation, but like light
Conveyes his nimble influence at first sight.
I need not therefore importune or press;
This were t'extort unwilling happiness:
And much against affection might I sin:
To tire and weary what I seek to win.
Towns which by lingring siege enforced be
Oft make both sides repent the victorie.
Be Mistriss of your self: and let me thrive
Or suffer by your own prerogative.
Yet stay, since you are Judge, who in one breath
Bear uncontrolled power of Life and Death,
Remember (Sweet) pity doth best become
Those lips which must pronounce a Suitors doome.
If I find that, my spark of chast desire
Shall kindle into Hymens holy sire:
Else like sad flowers will these verses prove,
To stick the Coffin of rejected Love.

Il sabio mude conseio: Il loco persevera.

We lov'd as friends now twenty years and more:
Is't time or reason think you to give o're?
When though two prentiships set Jacob free,
I have not held my Rachel dear at three.
Yet will I not your levitie accuse;
Continuance sometimes is the worse abuse.
In judgment I might rather hold it strange,
If like the fleeting world, you did not change:
Be it your wisdom therefore to retract,
When perseverance oft is follies act.
In pity I can think, that what you do
Hath Justice in't, and some Religion too;
For of all vertues Morall or Divine,
We know but Love none must in Heaven shine:
Well did you the presumption then foresee
Of counterfeiting immortalitie:
Since had you kept our loves too long alive,
We might invade Heavens prerogative;
Or in our progress, like the Jews, comprise
The Legend of an earthly Paradise.
Live happy and more prosperous in the next,
You have discharg'd your old friend by the Text.
Farewel fair Shadow of a female faith,
And let this be our friendships Epitaph:
Affection shares the frailty of our fate,
When (like our selves) 'tis old and out of date:
'Tis just all humane Loves their period have,
When friends are frail and dropping to the grave:

WE, that did nothing study but the way
To love each other, with which thoughts the day
Rose with delight to us and with them set,
Must learn the hateful art, how to forget.
We, that did nothing wish that Heaven could give
Beyond ourselves, nor did desire to live
Beyond that wish, all these now cancel must,
As if not writ in faith, but words and dust.
Yet witness those clear vows which lovers make,
Witness the chaste desires that never brake
Into unruly heats; witness that breast
Which in thy bosom anchor'd his whole rest--
'Tis no default in us: I dare acquite
Thy maiden faith, thy purpose fair and white
As thy pure self. Cross planets did envy
Us to each other, and Heaven did untie
Faster than vows could bind. Oh, that the stars,
When lovers meet, should stand opposed in wars!

Since then some higher Destinies command,
Let us not strive, nor labour to withstand
What is past help. The longest date of grief
Can never yield a hope of our relief:
Fold back our arms; take home our fruitless loves,
That must new fortunes try, like turtle-doves
Dislodged from their haunts. We must in tears
Unwind a love knit up in many years.
In this last kiss I here surrender thee
Back to thyself.--So, thou again art free:
Thou in another, sad as that, resend
The truest heart that lover e'er did lend.
Now turn from each: so fare our sever'd hearts
As the divorced soul from her body parts.

MY once dear love, hapless that I no more
Must call thee so, the rich affection's store
That fed our hope lies now exhaust and spent,
Like sums of treasure unto bankrupts lent.

We, that did nothing study but the way
To love each other, with which thoughts the day
Rose with delight to us and with them set,
Must learn the hateful art, how to forget.

We that did nothing wish that Heaven would give
Beyond ourselves, nor did desire to live
Beyond that wish, all these now cancel must
As if not writ in faith, but words and dust.

Yet witness those clear vows which lovers make,
Witness the chaste desires that never brake
Into unruly heats; witness that breast
Which in thy bosom anchor'd his whole rest;
'Tis no default in us: I dare acquite
Thy maiden faith, thy purpose fair and white
As thy pure self. Cross planets did envý
Us to each other, and Heaven did untie
Faster than vows could bind. Oh, that the stars,
When lovers meet, should stand opposed in wars!

Since, then, some higher destinies command,
Let us not strive, nor labor to withstand
What is past help. The longest date of grief
Can never yield a hope of our relief;
And though we waste ourselves in moist laments,
Tears may drown us, but not our discontents.

Fold back our arms, take home our fruitless loves,
That must new fortunes try, like turtle doves
Dislodgëd from their haunts. We must in tears
Unwind a love knit up in many years.
In this last kiss I here surrender thee
Back to thy self, so thou again art free;
Thou in another, sad as that, resend
The truest heart that lover e'er did lend.

Now turn from each. So fare our severed hearts
As the divorced soul from her body parts.

An Elegy Occasioned By The Losse Of The Most Incomparable Lady Stanhope, Daughter To The Earl Of Northumberland

Lightned by that dimme Torch our sorrow bears
We sadly trace thy Coffin with our tears;
And though the Ceremonious Rites are past
Since thy fair body into earth was cast;
Though all thy Hatchments into ragges are torne,
Thy Funerall Robes and Ornaments outworn;
We still thy mourners without Shew or Art,
With solemn Blacks hung round about our heart,
Thus constantly the Obsequies renew
Which to thy precious memory are due.
Yet think not that we rudely would invade
The dark recess of thine untroubled shade,
Or give disturbance to that happy peace
Which thou enjoy'st at full since thy release;
Much less in sullen murmurs do complain
Of His decree who took thee back again,
And did e're Fame had spread thy vertues light,
Eclipse and fold thee up in endless night.
This like an act of envy not of grief
Might doubt thy bliss, and shake our own belief,
Whose studi'd wishes no proportion bear
With joyes which crown thee now in glories sphere.
Know then blest Soul! we for our selves not thee
Seal our woes dictate by this Elegie:
Wherein our tears united in one streame
Shall to succeeding times convey this theme,
Worth all mens pity who discern how rare
Such early growths of fame and goodness are.
Of these part must thy sexes loss bewail
Maim'd in her noblest Patterns through thy fail;
For 'twould require a double term of life
To match thee as a daughter or a wife:
Both which Northumberlands dear loss improve
And make his sorrow equal to his love.
The rest fall for our selves, who cast behind
Cannot yet reach the Peace which thou dost find;
But slowly follow thee in that dull stage
Which most untimely poasted hence thy age.
Thus like religious Pilgrims who designe
A short salute to their beloved Shrine,
Most sad and humble Votaries we come
To offer up our sighs upon thy Tomb,
And wet thy Marble with our dropping eyes
Which till the spring which feeds their current dries
Resolve each falling night and rising day
This mournfull homage at thy Grave to pay.

My dearest Love! when thou and I must part,
And th' icy hand of death shall seize that heart
Which is all thine; within some spacious will
Ile leave no blanks for Legacies to fill:
Tis my ambition to die one of those
Who but himself hath nothing to dispose.
And since that is already thine, what need
I to re-give it by some newer deed?
Yet take it once again. Free circumstance
Does oft the value of mean things advance:
Who thus repeats what he bequeath'd before,
Proclaims his bounty richer then his store.
But let me not upon my love bestow
What is not worth the giving. I do ow
Somwhat to dust: my bodies pamper'd care
Hungry corruption and the worm will share.
That mouldring relick which in earth must lie
Would prove a gift of horrour to thine eie.
With this cast ragge of my mortalitie
Let all my faults and errours buried be.
And as my sear-cloth rots, so may kind fate
Those worst acts of my life incinerate.
He shall in story fill a glorious room
Whose ashes and whose sins sleep in one Tomb.
If now to my cold hearse thou deign to bring
Some melting sighs as thy last offering,
My peacefull exequies are crown'd. Nor shall
I ask more honour at my Funerall.
Thou wilt more richly balm me with thy tears
Then all the Nard fragrant Arabia bears.
And as the Paphian Queen by her griefs show'r
Brought up her dead Loves Spirit in a flow'r:
So by those precious drops rain'd from thine eies,
Out of my dust, O may some vertue rise!
And like thy better Genius thee attend,
Till thou in my dark Period shalt end.
Lastly, my constant truth let me commend
To him thou choosest next to be thy friend.
For (witness all things good) I would not have
Thy Youth and Beauty married to my grave,
'Twould shew thou didst repent the style of wife
Should'st thou relapse into a single life.
They with preposterous grief the world delude
Who mourn for their lost Mates in solitude;
Since Widdowhood more strongly doth enforce
The much lamented lot of their divorce.
Themselves then of their losses guilty are
Who may, yet will not suffer a repaire.
Those were Barbarian wives that did invent
Weeping to death at th' Husbands Monument,
But in more civil Rites She doth approve
Her first, who ventures on a second Love;
For else it may be thought, if She refrain,
She sped so ill Shee durst not trie again.
Up then my Love, and choose some worthier one
Who may supply my room when I am gone;
So will the stock of our affection thrive
No less in death, then were I still alive.
And in my urne I shall rejoyce, that I
Am both Testatour thus and Legacie.

To His Unconstant Friend

But say thou very woman, why to me
This fit of weakness and inconstancie?
What forfeit have I made of word or vow,
That I am rack't on thy displeasure now?
If I have done a fault I do not shame
To cite it from thy lips, give it a name:
I ask the banes, stand forth, and tell me why
We should not in our wonted loves comply?
Did thy cloy'd appetite urge thee to trie
If any other man could love as I?
I see friends are like clothes, lad up whil'st new,
But after wearing cast, though nere so true.
Or did thy fierce ambition long to make
Some Lover turn a martyr for thy sake?
Thinking thy beauty had deserv'd no name
Unless some one do perish in that flame:
Upon whose loving dust this sentence lies,
Here's one was murther'd by his Mistriss eyes.
Or was't because my love to thee was such,
I could not choose but blab it? swear how much
I was thy slave, and doting let thee know,
I better could my self then thee forgo.
Hearken ye men that ere shall love like me,
Ile give you counsel gratis: if you be
Possest of what you like, let your fair friend
Lodge in your bosom, but no secrets send
To seek their lodging in a female brest;
For so much is abated of your rest.
The Steed that comes to understand his strength
Growes wild, and casts his manager at length:
And that tame Lover who unlocks his heart
Unto his Mistriss, teaches her an art
To plague himself; shews her the secret way
How She may tyrannize another day.
And now my fair unkindness, thus to thee;
Mark how wise Passion and I agree:
Hear and be sorry for't. I will not die
To expiate thy crime of levitie:
I walk (not cross-arm'd neither) eat, and live,
Yea live to pity thy neglect, not grieve
That thou art from thy faith and promise gone,
Nor envy him who by my loss hath won.
Thou shalt perceive thy changing Moon-like fits
Have not infected me, or turn'd my wits
To Lunacie. I do not mean to weep
When I should eat, or sigh when I should sleep;
I will not fall upon my pointed quill,
Bleed ink and Poems, or invention spill
To contrive Ballads, or weave Elegies
For Nurses wearing when the infant cries.
Nor like th' enamour'd Tristrams of the time,
Despair in prose, and hang my self in rhime.
Nor thither run upon my verses feet,
Where I shall none but fools or mad-men meet,
Who mid'st the silent shades, and Myrtle walks,
Pule and do penance for their Mistress faults.
I'm none of those poetick male-contents
Born to make paper dear with my laments:
Or wild Orlando that will rail and vex,
And for thy sake fall out with all the sex.
No, I will love again, and seek a prize
That shall redeem me from thy poor despise.
Ile court my fortune now in such a shape
That will no faint die, nor starv'd colour take.
Thus launch I off with triumph from thy shore,
To which my last farewell; for never more
Will I touch there. I put to Sea again
Blown with the churlish wind of thy disdain.
Nor will I stop this course till I have found
A Coast that yields safe harbour, and firm ground.
Smile ye Love-Starres; wing'd with desire I fly,
To make my wishes full discovery:
Nor doubt I but for one that proves like you,
I shall find ten as fair, and yet more true.

Paradox. That It Is Best For A Young Maid To Marry An Old Man

Fair one, why cannot you an old man love?
He may as useful, and more constant prove.
Experience shews you that maturer years
Are a security against those fears
Youth will expose you to; whose wild desire
As it is hot, so 'tis as rash as fire.
Mark how the blaze extinct in ashes lies,
Leaving no brand nor embers when it dies
Which might the flame renew: thus soon consumes
Youths wandring heat, and vanishes in fumes.
When ages riper love unapt to stray
Through loose and giddy change of objects, may
In your warm bosom like a cynder lie,
Quickned and kindled by your sparkling eie.
Tis not deni'd, there are extremes in both
Which may the fancie move to like or loath:
Yet of the two you better shall endure
To marry with the Cramp then Calenture.
Who would in wisdom choose the Torrid Zone
Therein to settle a Plantation?
Merchants can tell you, those hot Climes were made
But at the longest for a three years trade:
And though the Indies cast the sweeter smell,
Yet health and plenty do more Northward dwell;
For where the raging Sun-beams burn the earth,
Her scorched mantle withers into dearth;
Yet when that drought becomes the Harvests curse,
Snow doth the tender Corn most kindly nurse:
Why now then wooe you not some snowy head
To take you in meer pitty to his bed?
I doubt the harder task were to perswade
Him to love you: for if what I have said
In Virgins as in Vegetals holds true,
Hee'l prove the better Nurse to cherish you.
Some men we know renown'd for wisdom grown
By old records and antique Medalls shown;
Why ought not women then be held most wise
Who can produce living antiquities?
Besides if care of that main happiness
Your sex triumphs in, doth your thoughts possess,
I mean your beauty from decay to keep;
No wash nor mask is like an old mans sleep.
Young wives need never to be Sun-burnt fear,
Who their old husbands for Umbrellaes wear:
How russet looks an Orchard on the hill
To one that's water'd by some neighb'ring Drill?
Are not the floated Medowes ever seen
To flourish soonest, and hold longest green?
You may be sure no moist'ning lacks that Bride,
Who lies with Winter thawing by her side.
She should be fruitful too as fields that joyne
Unto the melting waste of Appenine.
Whil'st the cold morning-drops bedew the Rose,
It doth nor leaf, nor smell, nor colour lose;
Then doubt not Sweet! Age hath supplies of wet
To keep You like that flowr in water set.
Dripping Catarrhs and Fontinells are things
Will make You think You grew betwixt two Springs.
And should You not think so, You scarce allow
The force or Merit of Your Marriage-Vow;
Where Maids a new Creed learn, & must from thence
Believe against their own or others sence.
Else Love will nothing differ from neglect,
Which turns not to a vertue each defect.
Ile say no more but this; you women make
Your Childrens reck'ning by the Almanake.
I like it well, so you contented are,
To choose their Fathers by that Kalendar.
Turn then old Erra Pater, and there see
According to lifes posture and degree,
What age or what complexion is most fit
To make an English Maid happy by it;
And You shall find, if You will choose a man,
Set justly for Your own Meridian,
Though You perhaps let One and Twenty woo,
Your elevation is for Fifty Two.

Paradox. That Fruition Destroyes Love

Love is our Reasons Paradox, which still
Against the judgment doth maintain the Will:
And governs by such arbitrary laws,
It onely makes the Act our Likings cause:
We have no brave revenge, but to forgo
Our full desires, and starve the Tyrant so.
They whom the rising blood tempts not to taste,
Preserve a stock of Love can never waste;
When easie people who their wish enjoy,
Like Prodigalls at once their wealth destroy.
Adam till now had stayd in Paradise
Had his desires been bounded by his eyes.
When he did more then look, that made th' offence,
And forfeited his state of innocence.
Fruition therefore is the bane t'undoe
Both our affection and the subject too.
'Tis Love into worse language to translate,
And make it into Lust degenerate:
'Tis to De-throne, and thrust it from the heart,
To seat it grossely in the sensual part.
Seek for the Starre that's shot upon the ground,
And nought but a dimme gelly there is found.
Thus foul and dark our female starres appear,
If fall'n or loosned once from Vertues Sphear.
Glow-worms shine onely look't on, and let ly,
But handled crawl into deformity:
So beauty is no longer fair and bright,
Then whil'st unstained by the appetite:
And then it withers like a blasted flowre
Some poys'nous worm or spider hath crept ore.
Pigmaleon's dotage on the carved stone,
Shews Amorists their strong illusion.
Whil'st he to gaze and court it was content,
He serv'd as Priest at beauties Monument:
But when by looser fires t'embraces led,
It prov'd a cold hard Statue in his bed.
Irregular affects, like mad mens dreams
Presented by false lights and broken beams,
So long content us, as no neer address
Shews the weak sense our painted happiness.
But when those pleasing shaddowes us forsake,
Or of the substance we a trial make,
Like him, deluded by the fancies mock,
We ship-wrack 'gainst an Alabaster rock.
What though thy Mistress far from Marble be?
Her softness will transform and harden thee.
Lust is a Snake, and Guilt the Gorgons head,
Which Conscience turns to Stone, & Joyes to Lead.
Turtles themselves will blush, if put to name
The Act, whereby they quench their am'rous flame.
Who then that's wise or vertuous, would not feare
To catch at pleasures which forbidden were,
When those which we count lawful, cannot be
Requir'd without some loss of modestie?
Ev'n in the Marriage-Bed, where soft delights
Are customary and authoriz'd Rites;
What are those tributes to the wanton fense,
But toleration of Incontinence?
For properly you cannot call that Love
Which does not from the Soul, but Humour move.
Thus they who worship't Pan or Isis Shrine,
By the fair Front judg'd all within Divine:
Though entring, found 'twas but a Goat or Cow
To which before their ignorance did bow.
Such Temples and such Goddesses are these
Which foolish Lovers and admirers please:
Who if they chance within the Shrine to prie,
Find that a beast they thought a Deity.
Nor makes it onely our opinion less
Of what we lik't before, and now possess;
But robbs the Fuel, and corrupts the Spice
Which sweetens and inflames Loves sacrifice.
After Fruition once, what is Desire
But ashes kept warm by a dying fire?
This is (if any) the Philosophers Stone,
Which still miscarries at Projection.
For when the Heat ad Octo intermits,
It poorly takes us like Third Ague fits;
Or must on Embers as dull Druggs infuse,
Which we for Med'cine not for Pleasure use.
Since Lovers joyes then leave so sick a taste,
And soon as relish'd by the Sense are past;
They are but Riddles sure, lost if possest,
And therefore onely in Reversion best.
For bate them Expectation and Delay,
You take the most delightful Scenes away.
These two such rule within the fancie keep,
As banquets apprehended in our sleep;
After which pleasing trance next morn we wake
Empty and angry at the nights mistake.
Give me long Dreams and Visions of content,
Rather then pleasures in a minute spent.
And since I know before, the shedding Rose
In that same instant doth her sweetness lose,
Upon the Virgin-stock still let her dwell
For me, to feast my longings with her smell.
Those are but counterfeits of joy at best,
Which languish soon as brought unto the test.
Nor can I hold it worth his pains who tries
To Inne that Harvest which by reaping dies.
Resolve me now what spirit hath delight,
If by full feed you kill the appetite?
That stomack healthy'st is, that nere was cloy'd,
Why not that Love the best then, nere enjoy'd?
Since nat'rally the blood, when tam'd or sated,
Will cool so fast it leaves the object hated.
Pleasures like wonders quickly lose their price
When Reason or Experience makes us wise.
To close my argument then. I dare say
(And without Paradox) as well we may
Enjoy our Love and yet preserve Desire,
As warm our hands by putting out the fire.

An Elegy Upon The Most Incomparable K. Charles The First

Call for amazed thoughts, a wounded sense
And bleeding Hearts at our Intelligence.
Call for that Trump of Death the Mandrakes Groan
Which kills the Hearers: This befits alone
Our Story which through times vast Kalendar
Must stand without Example or Repair.
What spowts of melting Clowds what endless springs
Powr'd in the Oceans lapp for offerings
Shall feed the hungry torrent of our grief
Too mighty for expression or belief?
Though all those moistures which the brain attracts
Ran from our eyes like gushing Cataracts,
Or our sad accents could out-tongue the Cryes
Which did from mournful Hadadrimmon rise
Since that remembrance of Josiah slain
In our King's murther is reviv'd again.
O pardon me that but from Holy Writ
Our losse allowes no Parallel to it:
Nor call it bold presumption that I dare
Charles with the best of Judah's Kings compare:
The vertues of whose life did I prefer
The Text acquits me for no Flatterer.
For He like David perfect in his trust,
Was never stayn'd like Him, with Blood or Lust.
One who with Solomon in Judgement try'd,
Was quick to comprehend, Wise to decide,
(That even his Judges stood amaz'd to hear
A more transcendent Moover in their Sphear)
Though more Religious: for when doting Love
A while made Solomon Apostate proove
Charles nev'r endur'd the Truth which he profest
To be unfixt by Bosome interest.
Bold as Jehosaphat, yet forc'd to Fight,
And for his own, no unconcerned Right.
Should I recount His constant time of Pray'r
Each rising Morn and Ev'ning Regular
You'ld say his practice preach'd They ought not Eat
Who by devotion first not earn'd their Meat.
Thus Hezekiah He exceeds in Zeal,
Though not (like him) So facile to reveal
The Treasures of Gods House, or His own Heart
To be supplanted by some forcin art.
And that he might in fame with Joash share
When he the ruin'd Temple did repair,
His cost on Paules late ragged Fabrick spent
Must (if no other) be His Monument.
From this Survey the Kingdom may conclude
His Merits, and her Losses Magnitude.
Nor think he flatters or blasphemes, who tells
That Charls exceeds Judea's Parallels,
In whom all Vertues we concentred see
Which 'mongst the best of them divided be.
O weak built Glories! which those Tempests feel
To force you from your firmest bases reel,
What from the stroaks of Chance shall you secure,
When Rocks of Innocence are so unsure?
When the World's only mirror slaughter'd lies,
Envies and Treasons bleeding sacrifize?
As if His stock of Goodnesse could become
No Kalendar, but that of Martyrdom.
See now ye cursed Mountebanks of State,
Who have Eight years for Reformation sate;
You who dire Alva's Counsels did transfer
To Act his Scenes on England's Theater;
You who did pawn your Selves in Publick Faith
To slave the Kingdome by your Pride and Wrath;
Call the whole World to witnesse now, how just,
How well you are responsive to your trust,
How to your King the promise you perform,
With Fasts, and Sermons, and long Prayers sworn,
That you intended Peace and Truth to bring
To make your Charls Europes most Glorious King.
Did you for this Lift up your Hands on high,
To Kill the King, and pluck down Monarchy?
These are the Fruits by your vvild Faction sown,
Which not Imputed are, but Born your own.
For though you wisely seem to wash your Hands,
The Guilt on every Vote and Order stands.
So that convinc'd from all you did before,
Justice must lay the Murther at your Door.
Mark if the Body does not Bleed anew,
In any Circumstance approach'd by You,
From whose each motion we might plain descry
The black Ostents of this late Tragedy.
For when the King through Storms in Scotland bred
To his Great Councel for his shelter fled,
When in that meeting every Error gain'd
Redresses sooner granted, than Complain'd:
Not all those frank Concessions or Amends
Did suit the then too Powerfull Faction's ends,
No Acts of Grace at present would Content,
Nor Promise of Triennial Parl'ament,
Till by a formal Law the King had past
This Session should at Your pleasure last.
So having got the Bitt, and that 'twas known
No power could dissolve You but Your own,
Your gracelesse Junto make such use of this,
As once was practis'd by Semiramis;
Who striving by a subtile Sute to prove
The largenesse of her Husbands Trust and Love,
Did from the much abused King obtain
That for three dayes She might sole Empresse reign:
Before which time expir'd, the bloody Wife
Depriv'd her Lord both of his Crown and Life.
There needs no Comment when your deeds apply
The Demonstration of her Treachery.
Which to effect by Absolon's foul wile
You of the Peoples Heart your Prince beguile;
Urging what Eases they might reap by it
Did you their Legislative Judges sit.
How did you fawn upon, and Court the Rout,
Whose Clamour carry'd your whole Plot about?
How did you thank Seditious men that came
To bring Petitions which your selves did frame?
And lest they wanted Hands to set them on,
You lead the way by throwing the first stone.
For in that Libel after Midnight born,
Wherewith your Faction labour'd till the Morn,
That famous Lye, you a Remonstrance name;
Were not Reproaches your malitious aim?
Was not the King's dishonour your intent
By Slanders to traduce his Government?
All which your spightful Cunning did contrive
Men must receive through your false Perspective,
In which the smallest Spots improved were,
And every Mote a Mountain did appear.
Thus Cæsar by th'ungrateful Senate found
His Life assaulted through his Honor's Wound.
And now to make Him hopelesse to resist,
You guide His Sword by Vote, which as you list
Must Strike or Spare (for so you did enforce
His Hand against His Reason to divorce
Brave Strafford's Life) then wring it quite away
By your usurping Each Militia:
Then seize His Magazines, of which possest
You turn the Weapons 'gainst their Master's Breast.
This done, th'unkennell'd crew of Lawless men
Led down by Watkins, Pennington, and Ven,
Did with confused noise the Court invade;
Then all Dissenters in Both Houses Bay'd.
At which the King amaz'd is forc'd to flye,
The whilst your Mouth's laid on maintain the Cry.
The Royal Game dislodg'd and under Chase,
Your hot Pursute dogs Him from place to place:
Not Saul with greater fury or disdain
Did flying David from Jeshimon's plain
Unto the barren Wildernesse pursue,
Than Cours'd and Hunted is the King by you.
The Mountain Partridge or the Chased Roe
Might now for Emblemes of His Fortune go.
And since all other May-games of the Town
(Save those your selves should make) were Voted down,
The Clam'rous Pu'pit Hollaes in resort,
Inviting men to your King-catching Sport.
Where as the Foyl grows cold you mend the Sent
By crying Privilege of Parliament,
Whose fair Pretensions the first sparkles are,
Which by your breath blown up enflame the War,
And Ireland (bleeding by design) the Stale
Wherewith for Men and Mony you prevail.
Yet doubting that Imposture could not last,
When all the Kingdoms Mines of Treasure waste,
You now tear down Religion's sacred Hedge
To carry on the Work by Sacriledge;
Reputing it Rebellions fittest Pay
To take both God's and Cesar's dues away.
The tenor of which execrable Vote
Your over-active Zelots so promote,
That neither Tomb nor Temple could escape,
Nor Dead nor Living your Licentious Rape.
Statues and Grave-stones o're men buried
Rob'd of their Brass, the Coffins of their Led;
Not the Seventh Henry's gilt and curious Skreen,
Nor those which 'mongst our Rarities were seen,
The Chests wherein the Saxon Monarchs lay,
But must be basely sold or thrown away.
May in succeeding times forgotten be
Those bold Examples of Impiety,
Which were the Ages wonder and discourse,
You have Their greatest ills improv'd by worse.
No more be mention'd Dionysius Theft,
Who of their Gold the Heathen Shrines bereft;
For who with Yours His Robberies confer,
Must him repute a petty Pilferer.
Nor Julian's Scoff, who when he view'd the State
Of Antioch's Church, the Ornaments and Plate,
Cry'd, Meaner Vessels would serve turn, or None
Might well become the birth of Mary's Sonn
Nor how that spightfull Atheist did in scorn
Pisse on God's Table, which so oft had born
The hallow'd Elements his death present:
Nor he that fould it with his Excrement,
Then turn'd the Cloth unto that act of shame,
Which without trembling Christians should not name.
Nor John of Leyden, who the pillag'd Quires
Employ'd in Munster for his own attires;
His pranks by Hazlerig exceeded be,
A wretch more wicked and as mad as he,
Who once in triumph led his Sumpter Moil
Proudly bedecked with the Altar's spoil.
Nor at Bizantium's sack how Mahomet
In St. Sophia's Church his Horses set.
Nor how Belshazzar at his drunken Feasts
Carows'd in holy Vessels to his Guests:
Nor he that did the Books and Anthems tear,
Which in the daily Stations used were.
These were poor Essayes of imperfect Crimes,
Fit for beginners in unlearned times,
Siz'd onely for that dull Meridian
Which knew no Jesuit nor Puritan,
(Before whose fatal Birth were no such things
As Doctrines to Depose and Murther Kings.)
But since Your prudent care Enacted well,
That there should be no King in Israel,
England must write such Annals of Your Reign
Which all Records of elder mischiefs stain.
Churches unbuilt by order, others burn'd;
Whilst Pauls and Lincoln are to Stables turn'd;
And at God's Table you might Horses see
By (those more Beasts) their Riders manger'd be.
Some Kitchins and some Slaughter-houses made,
Communion-boards and Cloths for Dressers laid:
Some turn'd to loathsome Gaols, so by you brought
Unto the Curse of Baal's House, a Draught.
The Common-Prayers with the Bibles torn,
The Coaps in Antick Moorish-Dances worn,
And sometimes for the wearers greater mock,
The Surplice is converted to a Frock.
Some bringing Dogs the Sacrament revile,
Some with Copronimus the Font defile.
O God! canst Thou these prophanations like?
If not, why is thy Thunder slow to strike
The cursed Authors? who dare think that Thou
Dost, when not punish them, their acts allow.
All which outragious Crimes, though your pretence
Would fasten on the Soldiers insolence,
We must believe that what by them was done
Came licens'd forth by your probation.
For, as your selves with Athaliah's Brood
In strong contention for precedence stood,
You robb'd Two Royall Chapels of their Plate,
Which Kings and Queens to God did dedicate;
Then by a Vote more sordid than the Stealth,
Melt down and Coin it for the Common-wealth;
That is, give't up to the devouring jaws
Of your great Idol Bell, new styl'd The Cause.
And though this Monster you did well devise
To feed by Plunder, Taxes, Loans, Excise;
(All which Provisions You the People tell
Scarce serve to diet Your Pantagruel.)
We no strew'd Ashes need to trace the Cheat,
Who plainly see what Mouthes the Messes eat.
Brave Reformation! and a through one too,
Which to enrich Your selves must All undo.
Pray tell us (those that can) What fruits have grown
From all Your Seeds in Blood and Treasure sown?
What would you mend? when Your Projected State
Doth from the Best in Form degenerate?
Or why should You (of All) attempt the Cure,
Whose Facts nor Gospels Test nor Laws endure?
But like unwholsome Exhalations met
From Your Conjunction onely Plagues beget,
And in Your Circle, as Imposthumes fill
Which by their venome the whole Body kill;
For never had You Pow'r but to Destroy,
Nor Will, but where You Conquer'd to Enjoy.
This was Your Master-prize, who did intend
To make both Churhch and Kingdom's prey Your End.
'Gainst which the King (plac'd in the Gap) did strive
By His (till then unquestion'd) Negative,
Which finding You lack'd Reason to perswade,
Your Arguments are into Weapons made;
So to compell him by main force to yield,
You had a Formed Army in the Field
Before his Reared Standard could invite
Ten men upon his Righteous Cause to fight.
Yet ere those raised Forces did advance,
Your malice struck him dead by Ordinance,
When your Commissions the whole Kingdom swept
With Blood and Slaughter, Not the King Except.
Now hardned in Revolt, You next proceed
By Pacts to strengthen each Rebellious Deed,
New Oaths, and Vows, and Covenants advance,
All contradicting your Allegiance,
Whose Sacred knot you plainly did unty,
When you with Essex swore to Live and Die.
These were your Calves in Bethel and in Dan,
Which Jeroboam's Treason stablish can,
Who by strange Pacts and Altars did seduce
The People to their Laws and and King's abuse;
All which but serve like Soibboleth to try
Those who pronounc'd not your Conspiracy;
That when your other Trains defective are,
Forc'd Oaths might bring Refusers to the Snare.
And lest those men your Counsels did pervert,
Might when your Fraud was seen the Cause desert,
A fierce Decree is through the Kingdom sent,
Which made it Death for any to Repent.
What strange Dilemmaes doth Rebellion make?
'Tis mortal to Deny, or to Partake:
Some Hang who would not aid your Traiterous Act,
Others engag'd are Hang'd if they Retract.
So Witches who their Contracts have unsworn,
By their own Devils are in pieces torn.
Thus still the rageing Tempest higher grows,
Which in Extreams the Kings Resolving throws.
The face of Ruine every where appears,
And Acts of Outrage multiply our fears;
Whilst blind Ambition by Successes fed
Hath You beyond the bound of Subjects led,
Who tasting once the sweet of Regal Sway,
Resolved now no longer to obey.
For Presbyterian pride contests as high
As doth the Popedom for Supremacy.
Needs must you with unskilful Phaeton
Aspire to guide the Chariot of the Sun,
Though your ill-govern'd height with lightning be
Thrown headlong from his burning Axle-tree.
You will no more Petition or Debate,
But your desire in Propositions state,
Which by such Rules and Ties the King confine,
They in effect are Summons to Resign.
Therefore your War is manag'd with such sleight,
'Twas seen you more prevail'd by Purse than Might;
And those you could not purchase to your will,
You brib'd with sums of mony to sit still.
The King by this time hopelesse here of Peace,
Or to procure His wasted Peoples ease,
Which He in frequent Messages had try'd,
By you as oft as shamelesly deny'd;
Wearied by faithlesse Friends and restlesse Foes,
To certain hazard doth His Life Expose:
When through your Quarters in a mean disguise
He to His Country-men for succour flies,
Who met a brave occasion then to save
Their Native King from His untimely Grave:
Had he from them such fair reception gain'd,
Wherewith ev'n Achish David entertain'd.
But Faith to Him or hospitable Laws
In your Confederate Union were no Clause,
Which back to you their Rendred Master sends
To tell how He was us'd among his friends.
Far be it from my thoughts by this black Line
To measure all within that Warlick Clime;
The still admir'd Montross some Numbers lead
In his brave steps of Loyalty to tread.
I onely tax a furious Party There,
Who with our Native Pests Enleagued were.
Then 'twas you follow'd Him with Hue and Cry,
Made Midnight Searches in Each Liberty,
Voting it death to all without Reprieve,
Who should their Master Harbor or Relieve.
Ev'n in pure pitty of both Nations Fame,
I wish that Act in Story had no name.
When all your Mutual Stipulations are
Converted at Newcastle to a Fair,
Where (like His Lord) the King the Mart is made,
Bought with Your Mony, and by Them Betraid;
For both are guilty, They that did Contract,
And You that did the fatal Bargain Act.
Which who by equal Reason shall peruse,
Must yet conclude, They had the best Excuse:
For doubtlesse They (Good men) had never sold,
But that you tempted Them with English Gold;
And 'tis no wonder if with such a Sum
Our Brethrens frailty might be overcome.
What though hereafter it may prove Their Lot
To be compared with Iscariot?
Yet will the World perceive which was most wise,
And who the Nobler Traitor by the Price;
For though 'tis true Both did Themselves undo,
They made the better Bargain of the Two,
Which all may reckon who can difference
Two hundred thousand Pounds from Thirty Pence.
However something is in Justice due,
Which may be spoken in defence of You;
For in your Masters Purchase you gave more,
Than all your Jewish kindred paid before.
And had you wisely us'd what then you bought,
Your Act might be a Loyal Ransom thought,
To free from Bonds your Captive Soverain,
Restoring Him to his lost Crown again.
But You had other plots, you busie hate
Ply'd all advantage on His fallen State,
And shew'd You did not come to bring Him Bayl,
But to remove Him to a stricter Gaol,
To Holmby first, whence taken from His Bed,
He by an Army was in triumph led;
Till on pretence of safety Cromwel's wile
Had juggel'd Him into the Fatal Isle,
Where Hammond for his Jaylor is decreed,
And Murderous Rolf as Lieger-Hangman fee'd,
Who in one fatal Knot Two Counsels tye,
He must by Poison or by Pistol Die.
Here now deny'd all Comforts due to Life,
His Friends, His Children, and His Peerlesse Wife;
From Carisbrook He oft but vainly sends,
And though first Wrong'd, seeks to make you Amends;
For this He sues, and by His restlesse Pen
Importunes Your deaf Ears to Treat agen.
Whilst the proud Faction scorning to go lesse,
Return those Trait'rous Votes of Non Address,
Which follow'd were by th'Armies thundring
To Act without and quite against the King.
Yet when that Clowd remov'd, and the clear Light,
Drawn from His weighty Reasons, gave You sight
Of Your own dangers, had not Their Intents
Retarded been by some crosse Accidents;
Which for a while with fortunate Suspense
Check'd or diverted Their swoln Insolence:
When the whole Kingdom for a Treaty cry'd,
Which gave such credit to Your falling side,
That you Recall'd those Votes, and God once more
Your Power to save the Kingdom did restore,
Remember how Your peevish Treators sate,
Not to make Peace, but to prolong Debate;
How You that precious time at first delay'd,
And what ill use of Your advantage made,
As if from Your foul hands God had decreed
Nothing but War and Mischief should succeed.
For when by easie Grants the Kings Assent
Did your desires in greater things prevent,
When He did yield faster than You intreat,
And more than Modesty dares well repeat;
Yet not content with this, without all sense,
Or of His Honor or His Conscience,
Still you prest on, till you too late descry'd,
'Twas now lesse safe to stay than be deny'd.
For like a Flood broke loose the Armed Rout,
Then Shut Him closer up, And Shut You out,
Who by just vengeance are since Worryed
By those Hand-wolves You for His Ruine bred.
Thus like Two Smoaking Firebrands, You and They
Have in this Smother choak'd the Kingdom's Day.
And as you rais'd Them first, must share the Guilt,
With all the Blood in those Distractions spilt.
For though with Sampson's Foxes backward turn'd,
(When he Philistia's fruitful Harvest burn'd)
The face of your opinions stands averse,
All your Conclusions but one fire disperse;
And every Line which carries your Designes,
In the same Centre of Confusion joyns.
Though then the Independents end the Work,
'Tis known they took their Platform from the Kirk;
Though Pilate Bradshaw with his pack of Jews
God's High Vice-gerent at the Bar accuse,
They but reviv'd the Evidence and Charge
Your poys'nous Declarations laid at large;
Though they condemn'd or made his Life their Spoil,
You were the Setters forc'd him to the Toil:
For you whose fatal hand the Warrant writ,
The Prisoner did for Execution fit.
And if their Ax invade the Regal Throat,
Remember you first murther'd Him by Vote.
Thus They receive Your Tennis at the bound,
Take off that Head which you had first Un-crown'd;
Which shews the Texture of our Mischiefs Clew,
If ravel'd to the Top, begins in You,
Who have forever stain'd the brave Intents
And Credit of our English Parliaments:
And in this One caus'd greater Ills, and more,
Than all of theirs did Good that went before.
Yet have you kept your word against Your will,
Your King is Great indeed and Glorious still,
And you have made Him so. We must impute
That Lustre which His Sufferings contribute
To your preposterous Wisdoms, who have done
All your good Deeds by Contradiction:
For as to work His Peace you rais'd this Strife,
And often Shot at Him to Save His Life;
As you took from Him to Encrease His wealth,
And kept Him Pris'ner to secure His Health:
So in revenge of your dissembled Spight,
In this last Wrong you did Him greatest Right,
And (cross to all you meant) by Plucking down
Lifted Him up to His Eternal Crown.
With This encircled in that radiant Sphear,
Where Thy black Murtherers must ne'r appear,
Thou from th'enthroned Martyrs Blood-stain'd Line,
Dost in thy Vertues bright Example shine.
And when Thy darted Beam from the moist Sky
Nightly salutes Thy grieving Peoples Eye,
Thou like some Warning Light rais'd by our fears,
Shalt both provoke and still supply our Tears:
Til the Great Prophet wak'd from his long sleep
Again bids Sion for Josiah weep:
That all Successions by a firm Decree
May teach Their Children to lament for Thee.
Beyond these mournful Rites there is no Art
Or Cost can Thee preserve. Thy better Part
Lives in despight of Death, and will endure
Kept safe in Thy unpattern'd Portraicture:
Which though in Paper drawn by thine own Hand,
Shall longer than Corinthian-Marble stand,
Or Iron Sculptures: There Thy matchlesse Pen
Speaks Thee the Best of Kings as Best of Men:
Be this Thy Epitaph: for This alone
Deserves to carry Thy Inscription.
And 'tis but modest Truth: so may I thrive)
As not to please the Best of Thine Alive,
Of flatter my dead Master, here would I
Pay my last Duty in a Gloriovs Ly)
In that Admired Piece the world may read
Thy Vertues and Misfortunes Storied;
Which bear such curious Mixture, men must doubt
Whether Thou Wiser wert or more Devout.
There live Blest Relick of a Saint-like mind,
With Honors endlesse, as Thy Peace Enshrin'd.
Whilst we, divided by that Bloody Clowd,
Whose purple Mists Thy Murther'd Body shrowd,
Here stay behind at gaze: Apt for Thy sake
Unruly murmurs now 'gainst Heav'n to make,
Which binds us to Live well, yet gives no Fense
To guard her dearest Sons from Violence.
But He whose Trump proclaims, Revenge is Mine,
Bids us our Sorrow by our Hope confine,
And reconcile our Reason to our Faith,
Which in Thy Ruine such Concussions hath,
It dares Conclude, God does not keep His Word
If Zimri die in Peace that slew his Lord.

From my sad Retirement March 11. 1648. CaroLVs stVart reX angLIæ seCVre CoesVs VIta CessIt trICessIMo IanVarII.

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