These houres, and that which hovers o’re my End,
Into thy hands, and hart, lord, I commend.
Take Both to Thine Account, that I and mine
In that Hour, and in these, may be all thine.
That as I dedicate my devoutest Breath
To make a kind of Life for my lord’s Death,
So from his living, and life-giving Death,
My dying Life may draw a new, and never fleeting Breath.
An Epitaph Upon Husband And Wife
TO these whom death again did wed
This grave 's the second marriage-bed.
For though the hand of Fate could force
'Twixt soul and body a divorce,
It could not sever man and wife,
Because they both lived but one life.
Peace, good reader, do not weep;
Peace, the lovers are asleep.
They, sweet turtles, folded lie
In the last knot that love could tie.
Let them sleep, let them sleep on,
Till the stormy night be gone,
And the eternal morrow dawn;
Then the curtains will be drawn,
And they wake into a light
Whose day shall never die in night.
Lord, when the sense of thy sweet grace
Sends up my soul to seek thy face.
Thy blessed eyes breed such desire,
I dy in love’s delicious Fire.
O love, I am thy Sacrifice.
Be still triumphant, blessed eyes.
Still shine on me, fair suns! that I
Still may behold, though still I dy.
Though still I dy, I live again;
Still longing so to be still slain,
So gainfull is such losse of breath.
I dy even in desire of death.
Still live in me this loving strife
Of living Death and dying Life.
For while thou sweetly slayest me
Dead to my selfe, I live in Thee.
Now westward Sol had spent the richest beams
Of noon's high glory, when, hard by the streams
Of Tiber, on the scene of a green plat,
Under protection of an oak, there sat
A sweet lute's master : in whose gentle airs
He lost the day's heat, and his own hot cares.
Close in the covert of the leaves there stood
A nightingale, come from the neighbouring wood :—
The sweet inhabitant of each glad tree,
Their muse, their Syren, harmless Syren she,—
There stood she list'ning, and did entertain
The music's soft report, and mould the same
In her own murmurs, that what ever mood
His curious fingers lent, her voice made good.
The man preceived his rival, and her art ;
Disposed to give the light-foot lady sport,
Awakes his lute, and 'gainst the fight to come
Informs it, in a sweet
Of closer strains ; and ere the war begin
He slightly skirmishes on every string,
Charged with a flying touch ; and staightway she
Carves out her dainty voice as readily
Into a thousand sweet distinguish'd tones :
And reckons up in soft divisions
Quick volumes of wild notes, to let him know
By that shrill taste she could do something too.
His nimble hand's instinct then taught each string
A cap'ring cheerfulness ; and made them sing
To their own dance ; now negligently rash
He throws his arm, and with a long-drawn dash
Blends all together, then distinctly trips
From this to that, then, quick returning, skips
And snatches this again, and pauses there.
She measures every measure, everywhere
Meets art with art ; sometimes, as if in doubt—
Not perfect yet, and fearing to be out—
Trails her plain ditty in one long-spun note
Through the sleek passage of her open throat :
A clear unwrinkled song ; then doth she point it
With tender accents, and severely joint it
By short diminutives, that, being rear'd
In controverting warbles evenly shared,
With her sweet self she wrangles ; he, amazed
That from so small a channel should be raised
The torrent of a voice, whose melody
Could melt into such sweet variety,
Strains higher yet, that tickled with rare art
The tattling strings—each breathing in his part—
Most kindly do fall out ; the grumbling base
In surly groans disdains the treble's grace ;
The high-perch'd treble chirps at this, and chides
Until his finger—moderator—hides
And closes the sweet quarrel, rousing all,
Hoarse, shrill, at once : as when the trumpets call
Hot Mars to th' harvest of death's field, and woo
Men's hearts into their hands ; this lesson, too,
She gives him back, her supple breast thrills out
Sharp airs, and staggers in a warbling doubt
Of dallying sweetness, hovers o'er her skill,
And folds in waved notes, with a trembling bill,
The pliant series of her slippery song ;
Then starts she suddenly into a throng
Of short thick sobs, whose thundring volleys float
And roll themselves over her lubric throat
In panting murmurs, 'still'd out of her breast,
That ever-bubbling spring, the sugar'd nest
Of her delicious soul, that there does lie
Bathing in streams of liquid melody,—
Music's best seed-plot ; when in ripen'd airs
A golden-headed harvest fairly rears
His honey-dropping tops, plough'd by her breath,
Which there reciprocally laboureth.
In that sweet soil it seems a holy quire
Founded to th' name of great Apollo's lyre ;
Whose silver roof rings with the sprightly notes
Of sweet-lipp'd angel-imps, that swill their throats
In cream of morning Helicon ; and then
Prefer soft anthems to the ears of men,
To woo them from their beds, still murmuring
That men can sleep while they their matins sing ;—
Most divine service ! whose so early lay
Prevents the eyelids of the blushing day.
There might you hear her kindle her soft voice
In the close murmur of a sparkling noise,
And lay the ground-work of her hopeful song ;
Still keeping in the forward stream so long,
Till a sweet whirlwind, striving to get out,
Heaves her soft bosom, wanders round about,
And makes a pretty earthquake in her breast ;
Till the fledged notes at length forsake their nest,
Fluttering in wanton shoals, and to the sky,
Wing'd with their own wild echos, pratt'ling fly.
She opes the floodgate, and lets loose a tide
Of streaming sweetness, which in state doth ride
On the waved back of every swelling strain,
Rising and falling in a pompous train ;
And while she thus discharges a shrill peal
Of flashing airs, she qualifies their zeal
With the cool epode of a graver note ;
Thus high, thus low, as if her silver throat
Would reach the brazen voice of war's hoarse bird ;
Her little soul is ravish'd : and so pour'd
Into loose ecstasies, that she is placed
Above herself—music's enthusiast !
Shame now and anger mixed a double stain
In the musician's face ; yet once again,
Mistress, I come. Now reach a strain, my lute,
Above her mock, or be for ever mute ;
Or tune a song of victory to me,
Or to thyself sing thine own obsequy !
So said, his hands sprightly as fire he flings,
And with a quivering coyness tastes the strings :
The sweet-lipp'd sisters, musically frighted,
Singing their fears, are fearfully delighted :
Trembling as when Apollo's golden hairs
Are fann'd and frizzled in the wanton airs
Of his own breath, which, married to his lyre,
Doth tune the spheres, and make heaven's self look higher ;
From this to that, from that to this, he flies,
Feels music's pulse in all her arteries ;
Caught in a net which there Apollo spreads,
His fingers struggle with the vocal threads,
Following those little rills, he sinks into
A sea of Helicon : his hand does go
Those parts of sweetness which with nectar drop,
Softer than that which pants in Hebe's cup :
The humourous strings expound his learnèd touch
By various glosses ; now they seem to grutch,
And murmur in a buzzing din, then gingle
In shrill-tongued accents, striving to be single ;
Every smooth turn, every delicious stroke,
Gives life to some new grace : thus doth he invoke
Sweetness by all her names ; thus, bravely thus—
Fraught with a fury so harmonious—
The lute's light Genius now does proudly rise,
Heaved on the surges of swoll'n rhapsodies,
Whose flourish, meteor-like, doth curl the air
With flash of high-born fancies ; here and there
Dancing in lofty measures, and anon
Creeps on the soft touch of a tender tone,
Whose trembling murmurs, melting in wild airs
Runs to and fro, complaining his sweet cares ;
Because those precious mysteries that dwell
In music's ravish'd soul he dare not tell,
But whisper to the world : thus do they vary
Each string his note, as if they meant to carry
Their master's blest soul, snatch'd out at his ears
By a strong ecstacy, through all the spheres
Of music's heaven ; and seat it there on high
of pure harmony.
At length—after so long, so loud a strife
Of all the strings, still breathing the best life
Of blest variety, attending on
His fingers' fairest revolution,
In many a sweet rise, many as sweet a fall—
A full-mouth'd diapason swallows all.
This done, he lists what she would say to this ;
And she, although her breath's late exercise
Had dealt too roughly with her tender throat,
Yet summons all her sweet powers for a note.
Alas, in vain ! for while, sweet soul, she tries
To measure all those wild diversities
Of chatt'ring strings, by the small size of one
Poor simple voice, raised in a natural tone,
She fails ; and failing, grieves ; and grieving, dies ;—
She dies, and leaves her life the victor's prize,
Falling upon his lute. O, fit to have—
That lived so sweetly—dead, so sweet a grave !
To The Name Above Every Name, The Name Of Jesus
I sing the Name which None can say
But touch’t with An interiour Ray:
The Name of our New Peace; our Good:
Our Blisse: and Supernaturall Blood:
The Name of All our Lives and Loves.
Hearken, And Help, ye holy Doves!
The high-born Brood of Day; you bright
Candidates of blissefull Light,
The Heirs Elect of Love; whose Names belong
Unto The everlasting life of Song;
All ye wise Soules, who in the wealthy Brest
Of This unbounded Name build your warm Nest.
Awake, My glory. Soul, (if such thou be,
And That fair Word at all referr to Thee)
Awake and sing
And be All Wing;
Bring hither thy whole Self; and let me see
What of thy Parent Heaven yet speakes in thee,
O thou art Poore
Of noble Powres, I see,
And full of nothing else but empty Me,
Narrow, and low, and infinitely lesse
Then this Great mornings mighty Busynes.
One little World or two
(Alas) will never doe.
We must have store.
Goe, Soul, out of thy Self, and seek for More.
Goe and request
Great Nature for the Key of her huge Chest
Of Heavns, the self involving Sett of Sphears
(Which dull mortality more Feeles then heares)
Then rouse the nest
Of nimble, Art, and traverse round
The Aiery Shop of soul-appeasing Sound:
And beat a summons in the Same
To warn each severall kind
And shape of sweetnes, Be they such
As sigh with supple wind
Or answer Artfull Touch,
That they convene and come away
To wait at the love-crowned Doores of
This Illustrious Day.
Shall we dare This, my Soul? we’l doe’t and bring
No Other note for’t, but the Name we sing.
Wake Lute and Harp
And every sweet-lipp’t Thing
That talkes with tunefull string;
Start into life, And leap with me
Into a hasty Fitt-tun’d Harmony.
Nor must you think it much
T’obey my bolder touch;
I have Authority in Love’s name to take you
And to the worke of Love this morning wake you;
Wake; In the Name
Of Him who never sleeps, All Things that Are,
Or, what’s the same,
Answer my Call
And come along;
Help me to meditate mine Immortall Song.
Come, ye soft ministers of sweet sad mirth,
Bring All your houshold stuffe of Heavn on earth;
O you, my Soul’s most certain Wings,
Complaining Pipes, and prattling Strings,
Bring All the store
Of Sweets you have; And murmur that you have no more.
Come, né to part,
Nature and Art!
Come; and come strong,
To the conspiracy of our Spatious song.
Bring All the Powres of Praise
Your Provinces of well-united Worlds can raise;
Bring All your Lutes and Harps of Heaven and Earth;
What ére cooperates to The common mirthe
Vessells of vocall Ioyes,
Or You, more noble Architects of Intellectuall Noise,
Cymballs of Heav’n, or Humane sphears,
Solliciters of Soules or Eares;
And when you’are come, with All
That you can bring or we can call;
O may you fix
For ever here, and mix
Your selves into the long
And everlasting series of a deathlesse Song;
Mix All your many Worlds, Above,
And loose them into One of Love.
Chear thee my Heart!
For Thou too hast thy Part
And Place in the Great Throng
Of This unbounded All-imbracing Song.
Powres of my Soul, be Proud!
And speake lowd
To All the dear-bought Nations This Redeeming Name,
And in the wealth of one Rich Word proclaim
New Similes to Nature.
May it be no wrong
Blest Heavns, to you, and your Superiour song,
That we, dark Sons of Dust and Sorrow,
A while Dare borrow
The Name of Your Dilights and our Desires,
And fitt it to so farr inferior Lyres.
Our Murmurs have their Musick too,
Ye mighty Orbes, as well as you,
Nor yeilds the noblest Nest
Of warbling Seraphim to the eares of Love,
A choicer Lesson then the joyfull Brest
Of a poor panting Turtle-Dove.
And we, low Wormes have leave to doe
The Same bright Busynes (ye Third Heavens) with you.
Gentle Spirits, doe not complain.
We will have care
To keep it fair,
And send it back to you again.
Come, lovely Name! Appeare from forth the Bright
Regions of peacefull Light,
Look from thine own Illustrious Home,
Fair King of Names, and come.
Leave All thy native Glories in their Georgeous Nest,
And give thy Self a while The gracious Guest
Of humble Soules, that seek to find
The hidden Sweets
Which man’s heart meets
When Thou art Master of the Mind.
Come, lovely Name; life of our hope!
Lo we hold our Hearts wide ope!
Unlock thy Cabinet of Day
Dearest Sweet, and come away.
Lo how the thirsty Lands
Gasp for thy Golden Showres! with longstretch’t Hands.
Lo how the laboring Earth
That hopes to be
All Heaven by Thee,
Leapes at thy Birth.
The’ attending World, to wait thy Rise,
First turn’d to eyes;
And then, not knowing what to doe;
Turn’d Them to Teares, and spent Them too.
Come Royall Name, and pay the expence
Of all this Pretious Patience.
O come away
And kill the Death of This Delay.
O see, so many Worlds of barren yeares
Melted and measur’d out is Seas of Teares.
O see, The Weary liddes of wakefull Hope
(Love’s Eastern windowes) All wide ope
With Curtains drawn,
To catch The Day-break of Thy Dawn.
O dawn, at last, long look’t for Day!
Take thine own wings, and come away.
Lo, where Aloft it comes! It comes, Among
The Conduct of Adoring Spirits, that throng
Like diligent Bees, And swarm about it.
O they are wise;
And know what Sweetes are suck’t from out it.
It is the Hive,
By which they thrive,
Where All their Hoard of Hony lyes.
Lo where it comes, upon The snowy Dove’s
Soft Back; And brings a Bosom big with Loves.
Welcome to our dark world, Thou
Womb of Day!
Unfold thy fair Conceptions; And display
The Birth of our Bright Ioyes.
O thou compacted
Body of Blessings: spirit of Soules extracted!
O dissipate thy spicy Powres
(Clowd of condensed sweets) and break upon us
In balmy showrs;
O fill our senses, And take from us
All force of so Prophane a Fallacy
To think ought sweet but that which smells of Thee.
Fair, flowry Name; In none but Thee
And Thy Nectareall Fragrancy,
Hourly there meetes
An universall Synod of All sweets;
By whom it is defined Thus
That no Perfume
For ever shall presume
To passe for Odoriferous,
But such alone whose sacred Pedigree
Can prove it Self some kin (sweet name) to Thee.
Sweet Name, in Thy each Syllable
A Thousand Blest Arabias dwell;
A Thousand Hills of Frankincense;
Mountains of myrrh, and Beds of species,
And ten Thousand Paradises,
The soul that tasts thee takes from thence.
How many unknown Worlds there are
Of Comforts, which Thou hast in keeping!
How many Thousand Mercyes there
In Pitty’s soft lap ly a sleeping!
Happy he who has the art
To awake them,
And to take them
Home, and lodge them in his Heart.
O that it were as it was wont to be!
When thy old Freinds of Fire, All full of Thee,
Fought against Frowns with smiles; gave Glorious chase
To Persecutions; And against the Face
Of Death and feircest Dangers, durst with Brave
And sober pace march on to meet A Grave.
On their Bold Brests about the world they bore thee
And to the Teeth of Hell stood up to teach thee,
In Center of their inmost Soules they wore thee,
Where Rackes and Torments striv’d, in vain, to reach thee.
Little, alas, thought They
Who tore the Fair Brests of thy Freinds,
Their Fury but made way
For Thee; And serv’d them in Thy glorious ends.
What did Their weapons but with wider pores
Inlarge thy flaming-brested Lovers
More freely to transpire
That impatient Fire
The Heart that hides Thee hardly covers.
What did their Weapons but sett wide the Doores
For Thee: Fair, purple Doores, of love’s devising;
The Ruby windowes which inrich’t the East
Of Thy so oft repeated Rising.
Each wound of Theirs was Thy new Morning;
And reinthron’d thee in thy Rosy Nest,
With blush of thine own Blood thy day adorning,
It was the witt of love óreflowd the Bounds
Of Wrath, and made thee way through All Those wounds.
Wellcome dear, All-Adored Name!
For sure there is no Knee
That knowes not Thee.
Or if there be such sonns of shame,
Alas what will they doe
When stubborn Rocks shall bow
And Hills hang down their Heavn-saluting Heads
To seek for humble Beds
Of Dust, where in the Bashfull shades of night
Next to their own low Nothing they may ly,
And couch before the dazeling light of thy dread majesty.
They that by Love’s mild Dictate now
Will not adore thee,
Shall Then with Just Confusion, bow
And break before thee.