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What men abroad perform, or what at home;
Who shall be Emperor, or Pope of Rome;
What news from France, or Spain, or Turkey are,
Whether of merchandize, of peace or war;
Whether Mogul the Sophy, Prester-John,
The Duke of China, or the Isle Japan,
The mightier be. For things impertinent
To my particular or my content
I little heed; though much thereof I know,
Nor care I whether it be true or no;
Not for because I careless am become
Of the neglected state of Christendom;
But 'cause I am assur'd, whatever shall
Unto the church or common-wealth befall,
Through Satan's spite, or human treachery,
Or our relying on weak policy,
God's promise to his glory shall prevail;
Yea, when the fond attempts of men do fail,
And they lie smoaking in th'infernal pit,
Then truth and virtue shall in glory sit:
Those who in love to things that wicked are,
And those who thorough cowardice and fear
Became the damned instruments whereby
To set up vice and falsehood's tyranny,
Ev’n those shall perish by their own offence;
And they who loved truth and innocence,
Out of oppression shall advance their head,
And on the ruins of those tyrants tread.
Oh ! let that truth and innocence in me
For ever undefil'd preserved be;
And let me live no more, if then I care
How many miseries I live to bear.
For well I know, I should not weigh how great
The perils are that my destruction threat:
Not chains nor dungeons should my soul affright,
Nor grimmest apparitions of the night,
Though men from hell could of the Devil borrow
Those ugly prospects to augment my sorrow.
But prove me guilty, and my conscience then
Inflicts more smart than bloody tortures can;
And none, I think, of me could viler deem,
Than I myself unto myself should seem.
If good and honest my endeavours be, What day they were begun ne'er troubles me. I care not whether it be calm, or blow, Or rain, or shine, or freeze, or hail, or snow; Nor whether it be autumn, or the spring ; Or whether, first I hear the cuckoo sing, Or first the nightingale ; nor do I care Whether my dreams of flow'rs or weddings are. What beast doth cross me, care I not at all ; Nor how the goblet or the salt doth fall;
Nor what aspect the planets please to shew;
Nor how the dial or the clock doth go.
I do not care to be inquisitive
How many weeks or months I have to live;
For how is't like that I should better grow,
When I my time shall twelvemonth longer know,
If I dare act a villainy, and yet
Know I may die, whilst I am doing it ?
Let them whose brains are sick of that disease, Be slaves unto an Ephemerides, Search constellations, and themselves apply To find the fate of their nativity. I'll seek within me, and if there I find Those stars, that should give light unto my mind, Rise fair and timely in me, and affect Each other with a natural aspect; If in conjunction there perceive I may True virtue and religion every day, And walk according to that influence Which is derived unto me from thence, I fear no fortunes, whatsoe'er they be, Nor care I what my stars do threaten me. For he, who to that state can once attain, Above the power of all the stars doth reign; And he that gains a knowledge, wherewithal He is prepar'd for whatsoe'er may fall,
In my conceit is far a happier man,
Than such as but foretel misfortunes can.
I start not at a Friar's prophecy,
Or those with which we Merlin do belie;
Nor am I 'frighted with the sad relation
Of any near approaching alteration ;
For things have ever chang'd, and ever shall,
Until there be a change run over all;
And he that bears an honest heart about him,
Needs never fear what changes be without him.
The Eastern kingdoms had their times to flourish:
The Grecian empire, rising, saw them perish ;
That fell, and then the Roman pride began,
Now scourged by the race of Ottoman..
And if the course of things around must run,
Till they have ending where they first begun,
What is't to me, who peradventure must,
Ere that befall, lie moulder'd into dust?
What if America's large tract of ground,
And all those isles adjoining, lately found,
Which we more truly may a desert call,
Than any of the world's more civil pale;
What then, if there the wilderness do lie,
To which the woman and her son must fly,
To 'scape the dragon's fury, and there 'bide,
Till Europe's thankless nations, full of pride
And all abomination, scourged are
With barbarism, as their neighbours were ?
If thus God please to do, and make our sin
The cause of bringing other peoples in,
His church to be, (as once he pleased was
The Gentiles' calling should be brought to pass
The better by the Jewish unbelief,)
Why should his pleasure be my care or grief?
Oh ! let his name and church more glorious grow,
Although my ruin help to make it so ;
So I my duty in my place have done,
I care not greatly what succeed thereon;
For sure I am, if I can pleased be
With what God wills, all shall be well for me.
I hate to have a thought o'er-serious spent,
In things mere trivial or indifferent :
When I am hungry, so I get a dish,
I care not, whether it be flesh or fish,
Or any thing, so wholesome food it be;
Nor care I, whether
do carve to me The head, the tail, the wing, the leg, or none; For, all I like, and all can let alone. I care not at your table where I sit; Nor should I think, I were disgrac'd in it, So much as you, if I should thence, in scoff, To feed among your grooms be turned off; For I am sure that no affront can blot,