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Which the fair witch in golden chains did keep,

And them in willing bondage fettered ;

Once men they lived, but now the men were dead, And turned to beasts—so fabled Homer old, That Circe, with her portion charmed in gold, Used manly souls in beastly bodies to immould. Through this false Eden, to his leman's bower,

(Whom thousand souls devoutly idolize,) Our first destroyer led our Saviour:

There in the lower room, in solemn wise,

They danced around, and poured their sacrifice
To plump Lyæus; and, among the rest,
The jolly priest, in ivy garlands drest,
Chanted wild orgeals, in honour of the feast.
Fly, fly, thou holy Child, that wanton room;

And thou, my chaster muse, those harlots shun,
And with Him to a brighter story come,

Where mounts of gold, and floods of silver run;

The while the owners, with their wealth undone, Starve in their store, and in their plenty pine ; Tumbling themselves upon their heaps of mine, Glutting their famished souls with the deceitful shine. Ah! who was he such precious perils found?

How strongly nature did her treasures hide, And threw upon him mountains of thick ground,

To dark their ory lustre! but quaint Pride

Hath taught her sons to wound their mother's side, And gauge the depth, to search for flaming shells, In whose bright bosom spumy Bacchus swells, That neither heaven nor earth henceforth in safety dwells. Oh! sacred 19 hunger of the greedy eye,

Whose need hath end, but no end covetize ;
Empty in fulness, rich in poverty,

That having all things, nothing can suffice;
How thou befanciest the man most wise !

19 Sacer, beside its ordinary meaning, sacred, holy, signifies, detestable, abhorred: it is in this latter sense that the word sacred is here used.

The poor man would be rich; the rich man, great ;
The great man, king; the king, in God's own seat
Enthroned, with mortal arm, dares flames and thunders threat.

Therefore above the rest Ambition sate;

His court with glittering pearl was all inwalled;
And round about the wall, in chairs of state,

And most majestic splendour, were installed

A hundred kings, whose temples were impalled
In golden diadems, set here and there
With diamonds, and gemmed every where;
And of their golden verges none desceptred were.

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High over all Vain Glory's blazing throne,

In her bright turret, all of crystal wrought,
Like Phæbus' lamp, in midst of heaven shone;

Whose starry top, with pride infernal fraught,

Self-arching columns to uphold were taught ;
In which her image still reflected was
By the smooth crystal, that, most like her glass,
In beauty and in frailty did all others pass.

A silver wand the sorceress did sway,

And for a crown of gold, her hair she wore,
Only a garland of rose-buds did play

About her locks, and in her hand she bore

A hollow globe of glass, that long before
The fall of emptiness had bladdered,
And all the world therein depictured,
Whose colours, like the rainbow, ever vanished.

Such watery orbicles young boys do blow

Out from their soapy shells, and much admire
The swimming world, which tenderly they row,

With easy breath, till it be waved higher;

But if they chance but roughly once aspire,
The painted bubble instantly doth fall.
Here, when he came, for music he did call,
And sung this wooing song, to welcome Him withal:

“Love is the blossom where there blows

Every thing that lives or grows :
Love doth make the heavens to move,
And the sun doth burn in love:
Love the strong and weak doth yoke,
And makes the ivy climb the oak;
Under whose shadows lions wild,
Softened by love, grow tame and mild.
Love no medicine can appease,
He burns the fishes in the seas;
Not all the skill his wounds can stench 20,
Not all the sea his fire can quench:
Love did make the bloody spear
Once a leafy coat to wear;
While in his leaves there shrouded lay
Sweet birds, for love, that sing and play:
And of all Love's joyful flame
I the bud and blossom am;
Only bend the knee to me,
Thy wooing shall thy winning be.
See, see the flowers, that below,
Now as fresh as morning blow;
And, of all, the virgin rose,
That as bright Aurora shows:
How they all unleaved die,
Losing their virginity,
Like unto a summer shade
But new born, and now they fade.
Every thing doth pass away,
There is danger in delay:
Come, come, gather then the rose;
Gather it, or it you lose.
All the sands of Tagus' shore
Into my bosom casts his ore:
All the valleys' swimming corn
To my house is yearly borne;

20 Staunch.

Every grape of every vine
Is gladly bruised to make me wine;
While ten thousand kings as proud,
To carry up my train have bowed;
And a world of ladies send me,
In my chambers to attend me:
All the stars in heaven that shine,
And ten thousand more are mine.
Only bend thy knee to me,
Thy wooing shall thy winning be.”

Thus sought the dire enchantress in his mind

Her guileful bait to have embosomed;
But He her charms dispersed into wind,

And her of insolence admonished,

And all her optic glasses shattered; So with her sire to hell she took her flight: (The starting air flew from th' unholy sprite,) When, deeply both aggrieved, plunged themselves in night.

But to their Lord, now musing in his thought,

A heavenly volley of light angels flew,
And from his Father Him a banquet brought,

Through the fine element; for well they knew,

After his Lenten fast, He hungry grew; And, as He fed, the holy quires combine To sing a hymn of the celestial Trine; All thought to pass, and each was past all thought divine.

The birds' sweet notes, to sonnet out their joys,

Attempered to the lays angelical ;
And to the birds the winds attune their noise;

And to the winds the waters hoarsely call,

And echo back again revoiced all ; That the whole valley rung with victory. But now our Lord to rest doth homeward fly: See how the night comes stealing from the mountains high!


When I remember Christ our burden bears,

I look for glory, but find misery;
I look for joy, but find a sea of tears ;

I look that we should live, and find Him die;

I look for angels' songs, and hear Him cry: Thus what I look, I cannot find so well; Or, rather, what I find I cannot tell; These banks so narrow are, these streams so highly swell.

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Christ suffers, and in this his tears begin ;

Suffers for us and our joys spring in this;
Suffers to death-here is his manhood seen;

Suffers to rise and here his Godhead is;

For man, that could not by himself have ris',
Out of the grave doth by the Godhead rise ;
And lived, that could not die, in manhood dies,
That we in both might live by that sweet sacrifice.

A tree was first the instrument of strife,

Where Eve to sin her soul did prostitute;
A tree is now the instrument of life,

Though ill that trunk and this fair body suit:

Ah! fatal tree, and yet O blessed fruit! That death to Him, this life to us doth give; Strange is the cure, when things past cure revive, And the Physician dies to make his patient live.

Sweet Eden was the arbour of delight,

Yet in his honey flowers our poison blew;
Sad Gethsemane, the bower of baleful night,

Where Christ a health of poison for us drew,

Yet all our honey in that poison grew :
So we from sweetest flowers could suck our bane,
And Christ from bitter venom could again
Extract life out of death, and pleasure out of pain.

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