- The Paſsion of Chriſt.
- Eves Apologie in defence of Women.
- The Teares of the Daughters of Jeruſalem.
- The Salutation and Sorrow of the Virgine
With divers other things not unfit to be read.
Written by Captaine
Alfonſo Lanyer Servant to the
Printed by Valentine Simmes for Richard Bonian, and are
to be ſold at his Shop in Paules Churchyard, at the
Signe of the Floure de Luce and
To the Queenes moſt Excellent Majeſtie.
Renowned Empreſſe, and great Britaines Queene,
Moſt gratious Mother of ſucceeding Kings;
Vouchſafe to view that which is ſeldome ſeene,
A Womans writing of divinest things:
Reade it faire Queene, though it defective be,
Your Excellence can grace both It and Mee.
For youu have rifled Nature of her ſtore,
And all the Goddeſſes have diſpoſſeſt
Of thoſe rich gifts which they enjoy’d before,
But now great Queene, in you they all doe reſt.
If now they ſtrived for the golden Ball,
Paris would giuuve it you before them all.
From Juno you have State and Dignities,
From warlike Pallas, Wiſdome, Fortitude;
And from faire Venus all her Excellencies,
With their beſt parts your Highneſſe is indu’d:
How much are we to honor thoſe that ſprings
From ſuch rare beauty, in the blood of Kings?
The Muſes doe attend upon your Throne,
With all the Artiſts at your becke and call;
The Sylvane Gods, and Satyres every one,
Before your faire triumphant Chariot fall:
And ſhining Cynthia with her nymphs attend
To honour you, whoſe Honour hath no end.
From your bright ſpheare of greatnes where you ſit,
Reflecting light to all thoſe glorious ſtars
That wait upon your Throane; To virtue yet
Vouchſafe that ſplendor which my meanneſſe bars:
Be like faire Phœbe, who doth love to grace
The darkeſt night with her moſt beauteous face.
Apollo’s beames doe comfort every creature,
And ſhines upon the meaneſt things that be;
Since in Eſtate and Virtue none is greater,
I humbly wiſh that yours may light on me:
That ſo theſe rude unpolliſht lines of mine,
Graced by you, may ſeeme the more divine.
Looke in this Mirrour of a worthy Mind,
Where ſome of your faire Virtues will appeare;
Though all it is impoſſible to find,
Unleſſe my Glaſſe were chryſtall, or more cleare:
Which is dym ſteele, yet full of ſpotleſſe truth,
And for one looke from your faire eyes it ſu’th.
Here may your ſacred Majeſtie behold
That mightie Monarch both of heav’n and earth,
He that all Nations of the world controld,
Yet tooke our fleſh in baſe and meaneſt berth:
Whoſe daies were ſpent in poverty and ſorrow,
And yet all Kings their wealth of him do borrow.
For he is Crowne and Crowner of all Kings,
The hopefull haven of the meaner ſort,
Its he that all our joyfull tidings brings
Of happie raigne within his royall Court:
Its he that in extremity can give
Comfort to them that have no time to live.
And ſince my wealth within his Region ſtands,
And that his Croſſe my chiefeſt comfort is,
Yea in his kingdome onely reſts my lands,
Of honour there I hope I ſhall not miſſe:
Though I on earth doe live unfortunate,
Yet there I may attaine a better ſtate.
In the meane time, accept moſt gratious Queene
This holy worke, Virtuue preſents to you,
In poore apparell, ſhaming to be ſeene,
Or once t’appeare in your judiciall view:
But that faire Virtue, though in meane attire,
All Princes of the world doe moſt deſire.
And ſith all royall virtues are in youu,
The Naturall, the Morall, and Divine,
I hope how plaine ſoever, beeing true,
You will accept even of the meaneſt line
Faire Virtue yeelds; by whoſe rare gifts you are
So highly grac’d, t’exceed the faireſt faire.
Behold, great Queene, faire Eves Apologie,
Which I have writ in honour of your ſexe,
And doe referre unto your Majeſtie,
To judge if it agree not with the Text:
And if it doe, why are poore Women blam’d,
Or by more faultie Men ſo much defam’d?
And this great Lady I have here attired,
In all her richeſt ornaments of Honour,
That you faire Queene, of all the world admired,
May take the more delight to looke upon her:
For ſhe muſt entertaine you to this Feaſt,
To which your Highneſſe is the welcom’ſt gueſt.
For here I have prepar’d my Paſchal Lambe,
The figure of that living Sacrifice;
Who dying, all th’Infernall powres orecame,
That we with him t’Eternitie might riſe:
This pretious Paſſeover feed upon, O Queene,
Let your faire Virtues in my Glaſſe be ſeene.
The Lady Elizabeths Grace And ſhe that is the patterne of all Beautie,
The very modell of your Majeſtie,
Whoſe rareſt parts enforceth Love and Duty,
The perfect patterne of all Pietie:
O let my Booke by her faire eies be bleſt,
In whoſe pure thoughts all Innocency reſts.
Then ſhall I thinke my Glaſſe a glorious Skie,
When two ſuch glittring Suns at once appeare;
The one repleat with Sov’raigne Majeſtie,
Both ſhining brighter than the cleareſt cleare:
And both reflecting comfort to my ſpirits,
To find their grace ſo much above my merits.
Whoſe untun’d voyce the dolefull notes doth ſing
Of ſad Affliction in an humble ſtraine;
Much like unto a Bird that wants a wing,
And cannot flie, but warbles forth her paine:
Or he that barred from the Suns bright light,
Wanting daies comfort, doth comend the night.
So I that live cloſ’d up in Sorrowes Cell,
Since great Elizaes favour bleſt my youth;
And in the confines of all cares doe dwell,
Whoſe grieved eyes no pleaſure ever view’th:
But in Chriſts ſuffrings, ſuch ſweet taſte they have,
As makes me praiſe pale Sorrow and the Grave.
And this great Ladie whom I love and honour,
And from my very tender yeeres have knowne,
This holy habite ſtill to take upon her,
Still to remaine the ſame, and ſtill her owne:
And what our fortunes doe enforce us to,
She of Devotion and meere Zeale doth do.
Which makes me thinke our heavy burden light,
When ſuch a one as ſhe will help to beare it:
Treading the paths that make our way go right,
What garment is ſo faire but ſhe may weare it;
Eſpecially for her that entertaines
A Glorious Queene, in whome all woorth remains.
Whoſe powre may raiſe my ſad dejected Muſe,
From this lowe Manſion of a troubled mind;
Whoſe princely favour may ſuch grace infuſe,
That I may ſpread Her Virtues in like kind:
But in this triall of my ſlender skill,
I wanted knowledge to performe my will.
For even as they that doe behold the Starres,
Not with the eie of Learning, but of Sight,
To find their motions, want of knowledge barres
Although they ſee them in their brighteſt light:
So, though I ſee the glory of her State,
Its ſhe that must instruct and elevate.
My weake distempred braine and feeble ſpirits,
Which all unlearned have adventur’d, this
To write of Christ, and of his ſacred merits,
Deſiring that this Booke Her hands may kiſſe:
And though I be unworthy of that grace,
Yet let her bleſſed thoghts this book imbrace.
And pardon me (faire Queene) though I preſume,
To doe that which ſo many better can;
Not that I Learning to my ſelfe aſſume,
Or that I would compare with any man:
But as they are Scholers, and by Art do write,
So Nature yeelds my Soule a ſad delight.
And ſince all Arts at first from Nature came,
That goodly Creature, Mother of Perfection,
Whom Joves almighty hand at first did frame,
Taking both her and hers in his protection:
Why ſhould not She now grace my barren Muſe,
And in a Woman all defects excuſe.
So peereleſſe Princeſſe humbly I deſire,
That your great wiſedome would vouchſafe t’omit
All faults; and pardon if my ſpirits retire,
Leaving to ayme at what they cannot hit:
To write your worth, which no pen can expreſſe,
Were but t’ecclipſe your Fame, and make it leſſe.
To the Lady Elizabeths Grace.
Moſt gratious Ladie, faire Elizabeth,
Whoſe Name and Virtues puts us ſtill in mind,
Of her, of whom we are depriv’d by death;
The Phœnix of her age, whoſe worth did bind
All worthy minds ſo long as they have breath,
In linkes of Admiration, love and zeale,
To that deare Mother of our Common-weale.
Even you faire Princeſſe next our famous Queene,
I doe invite unto this wholeſome feaſt,
Whoſe goodly wiſedome, though your yeares be greene,
By ſuch good workes may daily be increaſt,
Though your faire eyes farre better Bookes have ſeene;
Yet being the firſt fruits of a womans wit,
Vouchſafe you favour in accepting it.
To all vertuous Ladies in generall.
Each bleſſed Lady that in Virtue ſpends
Your pretious time to beautifie your ſoules;
Come wait on hir whom winged Fame attends
And in hir hand the Booke where ſhe inroules
Thoſe high deſerts that Majestie commends:
Let this faire Queene not unattended bee,
When in my Glaſſe ſhe daines her ſelfe to ſee.
Put on your wedding garments every one,
The Bridegroome ſtayes to entertaine you all;
Let Virtue be your guide, for ſhe alone
Can leade you right that you can never fall;
And make no ſtay for feare he ſhould be gone:
But fill your Lamps with oyle of burning zeale,
That to your Faith he may his Truth reveale.
The roabes that Chriſt wore before his death. Let all your roabes be purple ſcarlet white,
Thoſe perfit colours purest Virtue wore,
Come deckt with Lillies that did ſo delight
To be preferr’d in Beauty, farre before
Wiſe Salomon in all his glory dight:
Whoſe royall roabes did no ſuch pleaſure yield,
As did the beauteous Lilly of the field.
In token of Conſtancie. Adorne your temples with faire Daphnes crowne,
The never changing Laurel, alwaies gereene;
Let conſtant hope all worldly pleaſures drowne,
In wiſe Minervaes paths be alwaies ſeene;
Or with bright Cynthia, thogh faire Venus frown:
With Eſop croſſe the poſts of every doore,
Where Sinne would riot, making Virtue poore.
And let the Muſes your companions be,
Thoſe ſacred ſiſters that on Pallas wait;
Whoſe Virtues with the pureſt minds agree,
Whoſe godly labours doe avoyd the baite
Of worldly pleaſures, living alwaies free
From ſword, from violence, and from ill report,
To theſe nine Worthies all faire mindes reſort.
Annoynt your haire with Aarons pretious oyle,
And bring your palmes of vict’ry in your hands,
To overcome all thoughts that would defile
The earthly circuit of your ſoules faire lands;
Let no dimme ſhadowes your cleare eyes beguile:
Sweet odours, mirrhe, gum, aloes, frankincenſe,
Preſent that King who di’d for your offence.
Behold, bright Titans ſhining chariot ſtaies,
All deckt with flowers of the freſheſt hew,
Attended on by Age, Houres, Nights, and Daies,
Which alters not your beauty, but gives you
Much more, and crownes you with eternall praiſe:
This golden chariot wherein you muſt ride,
Let ſimple Doves, and ſubtill ſerpents guide.
Come ſwifter than the motion of the Sunne,
To be transfigur’d with our loving Lord,
Leſt Glory end what Grace in you begun,
Of heav’nly riches make your greateſt hoord,
In Chriſt all honour, wealth, and beautie’s wonne:
By whoſe perfections you appeare more faire
Than Phœbus, if he seav’n times brighter were.
Gods holy Angels will direct your Doves,
And bring your Serpents to the fields of reſt,
Where he doth ſtay that purchaſt all your loves
In bloody torments, when he di’d oppreſt,
There ſhall you find him in thoſe pleaſant groves
Of ſweet Elizium, by the Well of Life,
Whoſe criſtal ſprings do purge from worldly ſtrife
Thus may you flie from dull and ſenſuall earth,
Whereof at firſt your bodies formed were,
That new regen’rate in a ſecond berth,
Your bleſſed ſoules may live without all feare,
Beeing immortall, ſubject to no death:
But in the eie of heaven ſo highly placed,
That others by your virtues may be graced.
Where worthy Ladies I will leave you all,
Deſiring you to grace this little Booke;
Yet ſome of you me thinkes I heare to call
Me by my name, and bid me better looke,
Leſt unawares I in an error fall:
In generall tearmes, to place you with the reſt,
Whom Fame commends to be the very beſt.
Tis true, I must confeſſe (O noble Fame)
There are a number honoured by thee,
Of which, ſome few thou didst recite by name,
And willd my Muſe they ſhould remembred bee;
Wiſhing ſome would their glorious Trophies frame:
Which if I ſhould preſume to undertake,
My tired Hand for very feare would quake.
Onely by name I will bid ſome of thoſe,
That in true Honors ſeate have long bin placed,
Yea even ſuch as thou hast chiefly choſe,
By whom my Muſe may be the better graced;
Therefore, unwilling longer time to loſe,
I will invite ſome Ladies that I know,
But chiefly thoſe as thou hast graced ſo.
To the Ladie Arabella.
Great learned Ladie, whom I long have knowne,
And yet not knowne ſo much as I deſired:
Rare Phœnix, whoſe faire feathers are your owne,
With which you flie, and are ſo much admired:
True honour whom true Fame hath ſo attired,
In glittering raiment ſhining much more bright,
Than silver Starres in the moſt froſtie night.
Come like the morning Sunne new out of bed,
And caſt your eyes upon this little Booke,
Although you be ſo well accompan’ed
With Pallas, and the Muſes, ſpare one looke
Upon this humbled King, who all forſooke,
That in his dying armes he might imbrace
Your beauteous Soule, and fill it with his grace.
To the Ladie Suſan, Counteſſe Dowager of Kent, and daughter to the Ducheſſe of Suffolke.
Come you that were the Mistris of my youth,
The noble guide of my ungovern’d dayes;
Come you that have delighted in Gods truth,
Help now your handmaid to ſound foorth his praiſe:
You that are pleas’d in his pure excellencie,
Vouchſafe to grace this holy feast, and me.
And as your rare Perfections ſhew’d the Glaſſe
Wherein I ſaw each wrinckle of a fault;
You the Sunnes virtue, I that faire greene graſſe,
That flouriſht freſh by your cleere virtues taught:
For you poſſest thoſe gifts that grace the mind,
Restraining youth whom Errour oft doth blind.
In you theſe noble Virtues did I note,
First, love and feare of God, of Prince, of Lawes,
Rare Patience with a mind ſo farre remote
From worldly pleaſures, free from giving cauſe
Of least ſuspect to the most envious eie,
That in faire Virtues Storehouſe ſought to prie.
Whoſe Faith did undertake in Infancie,
All dang’rous travells by devouring Seas
To flie to Christ from vaine Idolatry,
Not ſeeking there this worthleſſe world to pleaſe,
By your most famous Mother ſo directed,
That noble Dutcheſſe, who liv’d unſubjected.
From Romes ridiculous prier and tyranny,
That mighty Monarchs kept in awfull feare;
Leaving here her lands, her ſtate, dignitie;
Nay more, vouchſaft diſguiſed weedes to weare:
When with Chriſt Jeſus ſhe did meane to goe,
From ſweet delights to taste part of his woe.
Come you that ever ſince hath followed her,
In theſe ſweet paths of faire Hummilitie;
Contemning Pride pure Virtue to preferre,
Not yeelding to baſe Imbecillitie,
Nor to thoſe weake inticements of the world,
That have ſo many thouſand Soules inſnarld.
Recceive your Love whom you have ſought ſo farre,
Which heere preſents himſelfe within your view;
Behold this bright and all directing Starre,
Light of your Soule that doth all grace renew:
And in his humble paths ſince you do tread,
Take this faire Bridegroome in your ſoules pure bed.
And ſince no former gaine hath made me write,
Nor my deſertleſſe ſervice could have wonne,
Onely your noble Virtues do incite
My Pen, they are the ground I write upon;
Nor any future profit is expected,
Then how can theſe poore lines goe unrespected?
The Authors Dreame to the Ladie Marie, the Counteſſe Dowager of Pembrooke.
Me thought I paſs’d through th’Edalyan Groves,
And askt the Graces, if they could direct
Me to a Lady whom Minerva choſe,
To live with her in height of all reſpect.
Yet looking backe into my thoughts againe,
The eie of Reaſon did behold her there
Faſt ti’d unto them in a golden Chaine,
They ſtood, but ſhe was ſet in Honors chaire.
And nine faire Virgins ſate upon the ground,
With Harps and Vialls in their lilly hands;
Whoſe harmony had all my ſences drown’d,
But that before mine eyes an object ſtands,
Whoſe Beauty ſhin’d like Titons cleereſt raies,
She blew a braſen Trumpet, which did ſound
Throgh al the world that worthy Ladies praiſe,
And by Eternall Fame I ſaw her crown’d.
The God of Dreames. Yet ſtudying, if I were awake, or no,
God Morphy came and tooke me by the hand,
And wil’d me not from Slumbers bowre to go,
Till I the summe of all did underſtand.
When preſently the Welkin that before
Look’d bright and cleere, me thought, was overcaſt,
And duskie clouds, with boyſt’rous winds great ſtore,
Foretold of violent stormes which could not laſt.
And gazing up into the troubled skie,
Me thought a Chariot did from thence deſcend,
Where one did sit repleat with Majeſtie,
Drawne by foure fierie Dragons, which did bend
Their courſe where this moſt noble Lady sate,
Whom all theſe virgins with due reverence
Did entertaine, according to that ſtate
Which did belong unto her Excellence.
Goddeſſe of Warre and Wiſdome. When bright Bellona, so they did her call,
Whom theſe faire Nymphs ſo humbly did receive,
A manly mayd which was both faire and tall,
Her borrowed Charret by a ſpring did leave.
With ſpeare, and ſhield, and currat on her breaſt,
And on her head a helmet wondrous bright,
With myrtle, bayes, and olive branches dreſt,
Wherein me thought I tooke no ſmall delight.
To ſee how all the Graces ſought grace here,
And in what meeke, yet princely ſort ſhee came;
How this moſt noble Lady did imbrace her,
And all humors unto hers did frame.
The Moone. Now faire Dictina by the breake of Day,
With all her Damſels round about her came,
Ranging the woods to hunt, yet made a ſtay,
When harkning to the pleaſing ſound of Fame;
Her Ivory bowe and ſilver ſhaftes ſhee gave
Unto the faireſt nymphe of all her traine;
And wondring who it was that in ſo grave,
Yet gallant fashion did her beauty ſtaine:
Shee deckt her ſelfe with all the borrowed light
That Phœbus would afford from his faire face,
And made her Virgins to appeare ſo bright,
That all the hils and vales received grace.
Then preſſing where this beauteous troupe did ſtand,
They all received her moſt willingly,
And unto her the Lady gave her hand,
That ſhee ſhould keepe with them continually.
The Morning. Aurora riſing from her roſie bedde,
Firſt bluſht, then wept, to ſee faire Phœbe grac’d,
And unto Lady Maie theſe wordes ſhee ſed,
Come, let us goe, we will not be out-fac’d.
I will unto Apolloes Waggoner,
A bidde him bring his Maſter preſently,
That his bright beames may all her Beauty marre,
Gracing us with the luſter of his eie.
Come, come, ſweet Maie, and fill their laps with floures,
And I will give a greater light than ſhe:
So all theſe Ladied favours ſhall be ours,
None ſhall be more eſteem’d than we ſhall be.
Thus did Aurora dimme faire Phœbus light,
And was receiv’d in bright Cynthiaes place,
While Flora all with fragrant floures dight,
Preſſed to ſhew the beauty of her face.
Though theſe, me thought, were verie pleaſing ſights,
Yet now theſe Worthies did agree to go,
Unto a place full of all rare delights,
A place that yet Minerva did not know.
That ſacred Spring where Art and Nature ſtriv’d
Which ſhould remaine as Sov’raigne of the place;
Whoſe antient quarrell being new reviv’d,
Added freſh Beauty, gave farre greater Grace.
To which as umpiers now theſe Ladies go,
Judging with pleaſure their delightfull caſe;
Whoſe raviſht ſences made them quickely know,
T’would be offenſive either to diſplace.
And therefore will’d they ſhould for ever dwell,
In perfit unity by this matchleſſe Spring:
Since ’twas impoſſible either ſhould excell,
Or her faire fellow in ſubjection bring.
But here in equall ſov’raigntie to live,
Equall in ſtate, equall in dignitie,
That unto others they might comfort give,
Rejoycing all with their ſweet unitie.
And now me thought I long to heare her name,
Whom wiſe Minerva honoured ſo much,
Shee whom I ſaw was crownd by noble Fame,
Whom Envy ſought to ſting, yet could not tuch.
Me thought the meager elfe did ſeeke bie waies
To come unto her, but it would not be;
Her venime purifi’d by virtues raies,
Shee pin’d and ſtarv’d like an Anotomie:
While beauteous Pallas with this Lady faire,
Attended by theſe Nymphs of noble fame,
Beheld thoſe woods, thoſe groves, thoſe bowers rare,
By which Perguſa, for ſo hight the name
Of that faire ſpring, his dwelling place & ground;
And throgh thoſe fields with ſundry flowers clad,
Of sev’rall colours, to adorne the ground,
And pleaſe the ſences ev’n of the moſt ſad:
He trayld along the woods in wanton wiſe,
With ſweet delight to entertaine them all;
Inviting them to ſit and to deviſe
On holy hymnes; at laſt to mind they call
The Pſalms written newly by the Counteſſe Dowager of Penbrooke. Thoſe rare ſweet ſongs which Iſraels King did frame
Unto the Father of Eternitie;
Before his holy wiſedom tooke the name
Of great Meſſias, Lord of unitie.
Thoſe holy Sonnets they did all agree,
With this moſt lovely Lady here to ſing;
That by her noble breaſts ſweet harmony,
Their muſicke might in eares of Angels ring.
While ſaints like Swans about this silver brook
Should Hallalu-iah ſing continually,
Writing her praiſes in th’eternall booke
Of endleſſe honour, true fames memorie.
Thus I in ſleep the heavenli’ſt muſicke hard,
That ever earthly eares did entertaine;
And durſt not wake, for feare to be debard
Of what my ſences ſought ſtill to retaine.
Yet ſleeping, praid dull Slumber to unfold
Her noble name, who was of all admired;
When preſently in drowſie tearmes he told
Not onely that, but more than I deſired.
This nymph, quoth he, great Penbrooke hight by name,
Siſter to valiant Sidney, whoſe cleere light
Gives light to all that tread true paths of Fame,
Who in the globe of heav’n doth ſhine ſo bright;
That both in Heanuv’n and Earth it may remaine,
Crownd with her Makers glory and his love;
And this did Father Slumber tell with paine,
Whoſe dulneſſe ſcarce could ſuffer him to move.
When I awaking left him and his bowre,
Much grieved that I could no longer ſtay;
Senceleſſe was ſleepe, not to admit me powre,
As I had ſpent the night to ſpend the day:
Then had God Morphie ſhew’d the end of all,
And what my heart deſir’d, mine eies had ſeene;
For as I wak’d me thought I heard one call
For that bright Charet lent by Joves faire Queene.
To Sleepe. But thou, baſe cunning thiefe, that robs our ſprits
Of halfe that ſpan of life which yeares doth give;
And yet no praiſe unto thy ſelfe it merits,
To make a ſeeming death in thoſe that live.
Yea wickedly thou doeſt conſent to death,
Within thy reſtfull bed to rob our ſoules;
In Slumbers bowre thou ſteal’ſt away our breath,
Yet none there is that thy baſe ſtealths controules.
If poore and ſickly creatures would imbrace thee,
Or they to whom thou giv’ſt a taſte of pleaſure,
Thou fli’ſt as if Acteons hounds did chaſe thee,
Or that to ſtay with them thou hadſt no leaſure.
But though thou haſt depriv’d me of delight,
By ſtealing from me ere I was aware;
I know I ſhall enjoy the ſelfe ſame ſight,
Thou haſt no powre my waking ſprites to barre.
For to this Lady now I will repaire,
Preſenting her the fruits of idle houres;
Thogh many Books ſhe writes that are more rare,
Yet there is hony in the meaneſt flowres:
Which is both wholeſome, and delights the taſte:
Though ſugar be more finer, higher priz’d,
Yet is the painefull Bee no whit diſgrac’d,
Nor her faire wax, or hony more deſpiz’d.
And though that learned damſell and the reſt,
Have in a higher ſtyle her Trophie fram’d;
Yet theſe unlearned lines beeing my beſt,
Of her great wiſedom can no whit be blam’d.
And therefore, firſt I here preſent my Dreame,
And next, invite her Honour to my feaſt;
For my cleare reaſon ſees her by that ſtreame,
Where her rare virtues daily are increaſt.
So craving pardon for this bold attempt,
I here preſent my mirrour to her view,
Whoſe noble virtues cannot be exempt,
My Glaſſe beeing ſteele, declares them to be true.
And Madame, if you will vouchſafe that grace,
To grace thoſe flowres that ſprings from virtues ground;
Though your faire mind on worthier workes is plac’d,
On workes that are more deepe, and more profound;
Yet is it no diſparagement to you,
To ſee your Saviour in a Shepheards weed,
Unworthily preſented in your viewe,
Whoſe worthineſſe will grace each line you reade.
Receive him here by my unworthy hand,
And reade his paths of faire humility;
Who though our ſinnes in number paſſe the ſand,
They all are purg’d by his Divinity.
To the Ladie Lucie, Counteſſe of Bedford.
Me thinkes I ſee faire Virtue readie ſtand,
T’unlocke the cloſet of your lovely breast,
Holding the key of Knowledge in her hand,
Key of that Cabbine where your ſelfe doth rest,
To let him in, by whom her youth was bleſt
The true-love of your ſoule, your hearts delight,
Fairer than all the world in your cleare ſight.
He that deſcended from celeſtiall glory,
To taſte of our infirmities and ſorrowes,
Whoſe heavenly wiſdom read the earthly ſtorie
Of fraile Humanity, which his godhead borrows;;
Loe here he coms all ſtucke with pale deaths arrows:
In whoſe most pretious wounds your ſoule may reade
Salvation, while he (dying Lord) doth bleed.
You whoſe cleare Judgement farre exceeds my skil,
Vouuchſafe to entertaine this dying lover,
The Ocean of true grace, whoſe ſtreames doe fill
All thoſe with Joy, that can his love recover;
About this bleſſed Arke bright Angels hover:
Where your faire ſoule may ſure and ſafely reſt,
When he is ſweetly ſeated in your breſt.
There may your thoughts as ſervants to your heart,
Give true attendance on this lovely guest,
While he doth to that bleſſed bowre impart
Flowres of freſh comforts, decke that bed of rest,
With ſuch rich beauties as may make it bleſt:
And you in whom all raritie is found,
May be with his eternall glory crownd.
To the Ladie Margaret Counteſſe Dowager of Cumberland.
Right Honourable and Excellent Lady, I may ſay with Saint Peter, Silver nor gold have I none, but ſuch as I have, that give I you: for having neither rich pearles of India, nor fine gold of Arabia, nor diamonds of ineſtimable value; neither thoſe rich treaſures, Arramaticall Gums, incenſe, and ſweet odours, which were preſented by thoſe Kingly Philoſophers to the babe Jeſus, I preſent unto you even our Lord Jeſus himſelfe, whoſe infinit value is not to be comprehended within the weake imagination or wit of man: and as Saint Peter gave health to the body, ſo I deliver you the health of the ſoule; which is this moſt pretious pearle of all perfection, this rich diamond of devotion, this perfect gold growing in the veines of that excellent earth of the moſt bleſſed Paradice, wherein our ſecond Adam had his reſtleſſe habitation. The ſweet incenſe, balſums, odours, and gummes that flowes from that beautifull tree of Life, ſprung from the roote of Jeſſie, which is ſo ſuper-excellent, that it giveth grace to the meaneſt & moſt unworthy hand that will undertake to write thereof; neither can it receive any blemiſh thereby: for as a right diamond can looſe no whit of his beautie by the blacke ſoyle underneath it, neither by beeing placed in the darke, but retaines his naturall beauty and brightneſſe ſhining in greater perfection than before; ſo this moſt pretious diamond, for beauty and riches exceeding all the moſt pretious diamonds and rich jewels of the world can receive no blemiſh, nor impeachment, by e my 32 e1v my unworthy hand writing; but wil with the Sunne retaine his owne brightneſſe and moſt glorious luſtre, though never ſo many blind eyes looke upon him. Therefore good Madame, to the moſt perfect eyes of your underſtanding, I deliver the ineſtinmable treaſure of all elected ſoules, to bee peruſed at convenient times; as alſo, the mirrour of your moſt worthy minde, which may remaine in the world many yeares longer than your Honour, or my ſelfe can live, to be a light unto thoſe that come after, deſiring to tread in the narrow path of virtue, that leads the way to heaven. In which way, I pray God ſend your Honour long to continue, that your light may ſo ſhine before men, that they may glorifie your father which is in Heaven: and that I and many others may follow you in the ſame tracke. So wiſhing you in this world all increaſe of health and honour, and in the world to come life everlaſting, I reſt.
To the Ladie Katherine Counteſſe of Suffolke.
Although great Lady, it may ſeeme right ſtrange,
That I a ſtranger ſhould preſume thus farre,
To write to you; yet as the times doe change,
So are we ſubject to that fatall ſtarre,
Under the which we were produc’d to breath,
That ſtarre that guides us even untill our death.
And guided me to frame this worke of grace,
Not of it ſelfe, but by celeſtiall powres,
To which, both that and wee muſt needs give place,
Since what we have, we cannot count it ours:
For health, wealth, honour, ſickeneſſe, death & all,
Is in Gods powre, which makes us riſe and fall.
And ſince his powre hath given me powre to write,
A ſubject fit for you to looke upon,
Wherein your ſoule may take no ſmall delight,
When her bright eyes beholds that holy one:
By whoſe great wiſedome, love, and ſpeciall grace,
Shee was created to behold his face.
Vouchſafe ſweet Lady, to accept theſe lines,
Writ by a hand that doth deſire to doe
All ſervices to you whoſe worth combines
The worthi’ſt minds to love and honour you:
Whoſe beautie, wiſedome, children, high eſtate,
Doe all concurre to make you fortunate.
But chiefly your moſt honorable Lord,
Whoſe noble virtues Fame can ne’r forget:
His hand being alwayes ready to afford
Help to the weake, to the unfortunate:
All which begets more honour and respect,
Than Crœſſus wealth, or Cæſars ſterne aspect.
And rightly ſheweth that hee is deſcended
Of honourable Howards antient houſe,
Whoſe noble deedes by former times commended,
Do now remaine in your moſt loyall Spouſe,
On whom God powres all bleſſings from above,
Wealth, honour, children and a worthy Love;
Which is more deare to him than all the reſt,
You being the loving Hinde and pleaſant Roe,
Wife of his youth, in whom his ſoule is bleſt,
Fountaine from whence his chiefe delights do flow.
Faire tree from which the fruit of Honor ſprings,
Heere I preſent to you the King of kings:
Deſiring you to take a perfit view,
Of thoſe great torments Patience did indure;
And reape thoſe Comforts that belongs to you,
Which his most painfull death did then aſſure:
Writing the Covenant with his pretious blood,
That your faire ſoule might bathe her in that flood.
And let your noble daughters likewiſe reade
This little Booke that I preſent to you;
On heavenly food let them vouchſafe to feede;
Heere they may ſee a Lover much more true
Than ever was ſince first the world began,
This poore rich King that di’d both God and man.
Yea, let thoſe Ladies which do repreſent
All beauty, wiſedome, zeale, and love,
Receive this jewell from Jehova ſent,
This ſpotleſſe Lambe, this perfit patient Dove:
Of whom faire Gabriel, Gods bright Mercury,
Brought downe a meſſage from the Deitie.
Here may they ſee him in a flood of teares,
Crowned with thornes, and bathing in his blood;
Here may they ſee his feares exceed all feares,
When Heaven in Juſtice flat againſt him ſtood:
And loathſome death with grim and gaſtly look,
Preſented him that blacke infernall booke,
Wherein the ſinnes of all the world were writ,
In deepe Characters of due puniſhment;
And naught but dying breath could cancel it:
Shame, death, and hell muſt make the attonement:
Shewing their evidence, ſeizing wrongful Right,
Placing heav’ns Beauty in deaths darkeſt night.
Yet through the ſable Clowdes of Shame & Death,
His beauty ſhewes more clearer than before;
Death loſt his ſtrength when he did looſe his breath:
As fire ſuppreſt doth ſhine and flame the more,
So in Deaths aſhie pale diſcoloured face,
Freſh beauty ſhin’d, yeelding farre greater grace.
No Dove, no Swan, nor Iv’rie could compare
With this faire corps, when ’twas by death imbrac’d;
No roſe, nor no vermillion halfe ſo faire
As was that pretious blood that innterlac’d
His body, which bright Angels did attend,
Waiting on him that muſt to Heaven aſcend.
In whom is all that Ladies can deſire;
If Beauty, who hath bin more faire than he?
If Wiſedome, doth not all the world admire
The depth of his, that cannot ſearched be?
If wealth, if honour, fame, or Kingdoms ſtore,
Who ever liv’d that was poſſeſt of more?
If zeale, if grace, if love, if picetie,
If conſtancie, if faith, if faire obedience,
If valour, patience, or ſobrietie;
If chaſt behaviour, meekeneſſe, continence,
If juſtice, mercie, bountie, charitie,
Who can compare with his Divinitie?
Whoſe vertues more than thoughts can apprehend,
I leave to their more cleere imagination,
That will vouchſafe their borrowed time to ſpend
In meditating, and in contemplation
Of his rare parts, true honours faire proſpect,
The perfect line that goodneſſe doth direct.
And unto you I wiſh thoſe ſweet deſires,
That from your perfect thoughts doe daily ſpring,
Increaſing ſtill pure, bright, and holy fires,
Which ſparkes of pretious grace, by faith doe ſpring:
Mounting your ſoule unto eternall reſt,
There to live happily among the beſt.
To the Ladie Anne, Counteſse of Dorcet.
To you I dedicate this worke of Grace,
This frame of Glory which I have erected,
For your faire mind I hold the fitteſt place,
Where virtue ſhould be ſetled & protected;
If higheſt thoughts true honor do imbrace,
And holy Wiſdom is of them reſpected:
Then in this Mirrour let your faire eyes looke,
To view your virtues in this bleſſed Booke.
Bleſt by our Saviours merits, not my skil,
Which I acknowledge to be very ſmall;
Yet if the leaſt part of his bleſſed Will
I have perform’d, I count I have done all:
One ſparke of grace ſufficient is to fill
Our Lampes with oyle, ready when he doth call
To enter with the Bridegroome to the feaſt,
Where he that is the greateſt may be leaſt.
Greatneſſe is no ſure frame to build upon,
No wordly treaſure can aſſure that place;
God makes both even, the Cottage with the Throne,
All worldly honours there are counted baſe;
Thoſe he holds deare, and reckneth as his owne,
Whoſe virtuous deeds by his eſpecially grace
Have gain’d his love, his kingdome, and his crowne,
Whom in the booke of Life he hath ſet downe.
Titles of honour which the world beſtowes,
To none but to the virtuous doth belong;
As beauteous bowres where true worth ſhould repoſe,
And where his dwellings ſhould be built moſt ſtrong:
But when they are beſtow’d upon her foes,
Poore virtues friends indure the greateſt wrong:
For they muſt ſuffer all indignity,
Untill in heav’n they better graced be.
What difference was there when the world began,
Was it not Virtue that diſtinguiſht all?
All ſprang but from one woman and one man,
Then how doth Gentry come to riſe and fall?
Or who is he that very rightly can
Diſtinguiſh of his birth, or tell at all,
In what meane ſtate his Anceſtors have bin,
Before ſome one of worth did honour win?
Whoſe ſucceſſors, although they beare his name,
Poſſeſſing not the riches of his minde,
How doe we know they ſpring out of the ſame
True ſtocke of honour, beeing not of that kind?
It is faire virtue gets immortall fame,
Tis that doth all love and duty bind:
If he that much enjoyes, doth little good,
We may ſuppoſe he comes not of that blood.
Nor is he fit for honour, or command,
If baſe affections over-rules his mind;
Or that ſelfe-will doth carry ſuch a hand,
As worldly pleaſures have the powre to blind
So as he cannot ſee, nor underſtand
How to diſcharge that place to him aſſign’d:
Gods Stewards muſt for all the poore provide,
If in Gods houſe they purpoſe to abide.
To you, as to Gods Steward I doe write,
In whom the ſeeds of virtue have bin ſowne,
By your moſt worthy mother, in whoſe right,
All her faire parts you challenge as your owne;
If you, ſweet Lady, will appeare as bright
As ever creature did that time hath knowne,
Then weare this Diadem I preſent to thee,
Which I have fram’d for her Eternitie.
You are the Heire apparant of this Crowne
Of goodneſſe, bountie, grace, love, pietie,
By birth its yours, then keepe it as your owne,
Defend it from all baſe indignitie;
The right your Mother hath to it, is knowne
Beſt unto you, who reapt ſuch fruit thereby:
This Monument of her faire worth retaine
In your pure mind, and keepe it from al ſtaine.
And as your Anceſtors at firſt poſſeſt
Their honours, for their honourable deeds,
Let their faire virtues never be tranſgreſt,
Bind up the broken, ſtop the wounds that bleeds,
Succour the poore, comfort the comfortleſſe,
Cheriſh faire plants, ſuppreſſe unwholſom weeds;
Althogh baſe pelfe do chance to come in place,
Yet let true worth receive your greateſt grace.
So ſhal you ſhew from whence you are deſcended,
And leave to all poſterities your fame,
So will your virtues alwaies be commended,
And every one will reverence your name;
So this poore worke of mine ſhalbe defended
From any ſcandall that the world can frame:
And you a glorious Actor will appeare
Lovely to all, but unto God moſt deare.
I know right well theſe are but needleſſe lines,
To you, that are ſo perfect in your part,
Whoſe birth and education both combines;
Nay more than both, a pure and godly heart,
So well inſtructed to ſuch faire deſignes,
By your deere Mother, that there needs no art:
Your ripe diſcretion in your tender yeares,
By all your actions to the world appeares.
I doe but ſet a candle in the ſunne,
And adde one drop of water to the ſea,
Virtue and Beautie both together run,
When you were borne, within your breaſt to ſtay;
Their quarrell ceaſt, which long before begun,
They live in peace, and all doe them obey:
In you faire Madame, are they richly plac’d,
Where all their worth by Eternity is grac’d.
You goddeſſe-like unto the world appeare,
Inricht with more than fortune can beſtowe,
Goodneſſe and Grace, which you doe hold more deere
Than worldly wealth, which melts away like ſnowe;
Your pleaſure is the word of God to heare,
That his moſt holy precepts you may know:
Your greateſt honour, faire and virtuous deeds,
Which from the love and feare of God proceeds.
Therefore to you (good Madame) I preſent
His lovely love, more worth than pureſt gold,
Who for your ſake his pretious blood hath ſpent,
His death and paſſion here you may behold,
And view this Lambe, that to the world was ſent,
Whom your faire ſoule may in her armes infold:
Loving his love, that did endure ſuch paine,
That you in heaven a worthy place might gaine.
For well you knowe, this world is but a Stage
Where all doe play their parts, and muſt be gone;
Here’s no reſpect of perſons, youth, nor age,
Death ſeizeth all, he never ſpareth one,
None can prevent or ſtay that tyrants rage,
But Jeſus Chriſt the Juſt: By him alone
He was orecome, He open ſet the dore
To Eternall life, ne’re ſeene, nor knowne before.
He is the ſtone the builders did refuſe,
Which you, ſweet Lady, are to build upon;
He is the rocke that holy Church did chuſe,
Among which number, you muſt needs be one;
Faire Shepheardeſſe, tis you that he will uſe
To feed his flocke, that truſt in him alone:
All wordly bleſſings he vouchſafes to you,
That to the poore you may returne his due.
And if deſerts a Ladies love may gaine,
Then tell me, who hath more deſerv’d than he?
Therefore in recompence of all his paine,
Beſtowe your paines to reade, and pardon me,
If out of wants, or weakeneſſe of my braine,
I have not done this worke ſufficiently;
Yet lodge him in the cloſet of your heart,
Whoſe worth is more than can be ſhew’d by Art.
To the Vertuous Reader.
Often have I heard, that it is the property of ſome women, not only to emulate the virtues and perfections of the reſt, but alſo by all their powers of ill ſpeaking, to ecclipſe the brightnes of their deſerved fame: now contrary to this cuſtome, which men I hope unjuſtly lay to their charge, I have written this ſmall volume, or little booke, for the generall uſe of all virtuous Ladies and Gentlewomen of this kingdome; and in commendation of ſome particular perſons of our owne ſexe, ſuch as for the moſt part, are ſo well knowne to my ſelfe, and others, that I dare undertake Fame dares not to call any better. And this have I done, to make knowne to the world, that all women deſerve not to be blamed though ſome forgetting they are women themſelves, and in danger to be condemned by the words of their owne mouthes, fall into ſo great an errour, as to ſpeake unadviſedly againſt the reſt of their ſexe; which if it be true, I am perſwaded they can ſhew their owne imperfection in nothing more: and therefore could wiſh (for their owne eaſe, modeſties, and credit) they would referre ſuch points of folly, to be practiſed by evill diſpoſed men, who forgetting they were borne of women, nouriſhed of women, and that if it were not by the means of women, they would be quite extinguiſhed out of the world, and a finall ende of them all, doe like Vipers deface the wombes wherein they were bred, onely to give way and utterance to their want of diſcretion and goodneſſe. Such as theſe, were they that diſhonoured Chriſt his Apoſtles and Prophets, putting them to ſhamefull deaths. Therefore we are not to regard any imputations, that they undeſervedly lay upon us, no otherwiſe than to make uſe of them to our owne benefits, as ſpurres to vertue, making us flie all occaſions that may colour their unjuſt f3 ſpeeches 44 f3v ſpeeches to paſſe currant. Eſpecially conſidering that they have tempted even the patience of God himſelfe, who gave power to wiſe and virtuous women, to bring downe their pride and arrogancie. As was cruell Ceſarus by the diſcreet counſell of noble Deborah, Judge and Propheteſſe of Iſrael: and reſolution of Jael wife of Heber the Kenite: wicked Haman, by the divine prayers and prudent proceedings of beautifull Heſter: blaſphemous Holofernes, by the invincible courage, rare wiſdome, and confident carriage of Judeth: & the unjuſt Juudges, by the innocency of chaſt Suſanna: with infinite others, which for brevitie ſake I will omit. As alſo in reſpect it pleaſed our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, without the aſſiſtance of man, beeing free from originall and all other ſinnes, from the time of his conception, till the houre of his death, to be begotten of a woman, borne of a woman, nouriſhed of a woman, obedient to a woman; and that he healed woman, pardoned women, comforted women: yea, even when he was in his greateſt agonie and bloodie ſweat, going to be crucified, and alſo in the laſt houre of his death, tooke care to diſpoſe of a woman: after his reſurrection, appeared firſt to a woman, ſent a woman to declare his moſt glorious reſurrection to the reſt of his Diſciples. Many other examples I could alleadge of divers faithfull and virtuous women, who have in all ages, not onely beene Confeſſors, but alſo indured moſt cruel martyrdome for their faith in Jeſus Chriſt. All which is ſufficient to inforce all good Chriſtians and honourable minded men to ſpeake reverently of our ſexe, and eſpecially of all virtuous and good women. To the modeſt ſenſures of both which, I refer theſe my imperfect indeavours, knowing that according to their owne excellent diſpoſitions, they will rather, cheriſh, nouriſh, and increaſe the leaſt ſparke of virtue where they find it, by their favourable and beſt interpretations, than quench it by wrong conſtructions. To whom I wiſh all increaſe of virtue, and deſire their beſt opinions.
Salve Deus Rex Judæorum.
Sith Cynthia is aſcended to that reſt
Of endleſſe joy and true Eternitie,
That glorious place that cannot be expreſt
By any wight clad in mortalitie,
In her almightie love ſo highly bleſt,
And crown’d with everlaſting Sov’raigntie;
Where Saints and Angells do attend her Throne,
And ſhe gives glorie unto God alone.
The Ladie Margaret Counteſſe Dowager of Cumberland To thee great Counteſſe now I will applie
My Pen, to write thy never dying fame;
That when to Heav’n thy bleſſed Soule ſhall flie,
Theſe lines on earth record thy reverend name:
And to this taske I meane my Muſe to tie,
Though wanting skill I ſhall but purchaſe blame:
Pardon (deere Ladie) want of womans wit
To pen thy praiſe, when few can equall it.
And pardon (Madame) though I do not write
Thoſe praiſefull lines of that delightfull place,
As you commaunded me in that faire night,
When ſhining Phœbe gave ſo great a grace,
Preſenting Paradice to your ſweet ſight,
Unfolding all the beauty of her face
With pleaſant groves, hills, walks and ſtately trees,
Which pleaſures with retired minds agrees.
Whoſe Eagles eyes behold the glorious Sunne
Of th’all-creating Providence, reflecting
His bleſſed beames on all by him, begunne;
Increaſing, ſtrengthning, guiding and directing
All wordly creatures their due courſe to runne,
Unto His powrefull pleaſure all ſubjecting:
And thou (deere Ladie) by his ſpeciall grace,
In theſe his creatures doſt behold his face.
Whoſe all-reviving beautie, yeelds ſuch joyes
To thy ſad Soule, plunged in waves of woe,
That worldly pleaſures ſeemes to thee as toyes,
Onely thou ſeek’ſt Eternitie to know,
Reſpecting not the infinite annoyes
That Satan to thy well-ſtaid mind can ſhow;
Ne can he quench in thee, the Spirit of Grace,
Nor draw thee from beholding Heavens bright face.
Thy Mind ſo perfect by thy Maker fram’d,
No vaine delights can harbour in thy heart,
With his ſweet love, thou art ſo much inflam’d,
As of the world thou ſeem’ſt to have no part;
So, love him ſtill, thou need’ſt not be aſham’d,
Tis He that made thee, what thou wert, and art:
Tis He that dries all teares from Orphans eies,
And heares from heav’n the wofull widdows cries.
Tis He that doth behold thy inward cares,
And will regard the ſorrowes of thy Soule;
Tis He that guides thy feet from Sathans ſnares,
And in his Wiſedome, doth thy waies controule:
He through afflictions, ſtill thy Minde prepares,
And all thy glorious Trialls will enroule:
That when darke daies of terror ſhall appeare,
Thou as the Sunne ſhalt ſhine; or much more cleare.
The Heav’ns ſhall periſh as a garment olde,
Or as a veſture by the maker chang’d,
And ſhall depart, as when a skrowle is rolde;
Yet thou from him ſhalt never be eſtrang’d,
When He ſhall come in glory, that was ſolde
For all our ſinnes; we happily are chang’d,
Who for our faults put on his righteouſneſſe,
Although full oft his Lawes we doe tranſgreſſe.
Long mai’ſt thou joy in this almightie love,
Long may thy Soule be pleaſing in his ſight,
Long mai’ſt thou have true comforts from above,
Long mai’ſt thou ſet on him thy whole delight,
And patiently endure when he doth prove,
Knowing that He will ſurely do thee right:
Thy patience, faith, long ſuffring, and thy love,
He will reward with comforts from above.
With Majeſtie and Honour is He clad,
And deck’d with light, as with a garment faire;
He joyes the Meeke, and makes the Mightie ſad,
Pulls downe the Prowd, and doth the Humble reare:
Who ſees this Bridegroome, never can be ſad;
None lives that can his wondrous workes declare:
Yea, looke how farre the Eſt is from the Weſt,
So farre he ſets our ſinnes that have tranſgreſt.
He rides upon the wings of all the windes,
And ſpreads the heav’ns with his all powrefull hand;
Oh! who can looſe when the Almightie bindes?
Or in his angry preſence dares to ſtand?
He ſearcheth out the ſecrets of all mindes;
All thoſe that feare him, ſhall poſſeſſe the Land:
He is exceeding glorious to behold,
Antient of Times; ſo faire, and yet ſo old.
He of the watry Cloudes his Chariot frames,
And makes his bleſſed Angels powrefull Spirits,
His Miniſters are fearefull fiery flames,
Rewarding all according to their merits;
The Righteous for an heritage he claimes,
And regiſters the wrongs of humble ſpirits:
Hills melt like wax, in preſence of the Lord,
So do all ſinners, in his ſight abhorr’d.
He in the waters laies his chamber beames,
And cloudes of darkeneſſe compaſſe him about,
Conſuming fire ſhall goe before in ſtreames,
And burne up all his en’mies round about:
Yet on theſe Judgementsw worldlings never dreames,
Nor of theſe daungers never ſtand in doubt:
While he ſhall reſt within his holy Hill,
That lives and dies according to his Will.
But woe to them that double-hearted bee,
Who with their tongues the righteous Soules doe ſlay;
Bending their bowes to ſhoot at all they ſee,
With upright hearts their Maker to obay;
And ſecretly doe let their arrowes flee,
To wound true hearted people any way:
The Lord wil roote them out that ſpeake prowd things,
Deceitfull tongues are but falſe Slanders wings.
Froward are the ungodly from their berth,
No ſooner borne, but they doe goe aſtray;
The Lord will roote them out from off the earth,
And give them to their en’mies for a pray,
As venemous as Serpents is their breath,
With poyſned lies to hurt in what they may
The Innocent: who as a Dove ſhall flie
Unto the Lord, that he his cauſe may trie.
The righteous Lord doth righteouſneſſe allow,
His countenance will behold the thing that’s juſt;
Unto the Meane he makes the Mightie bow,
And raiſeth up the Poore out of the duſt:
Yet makes no count to us, nor when, nor how,
But powres his grace on all, that puts their truſt
In him: that never will their hopes betray,
Nor lets them periſh that for mercie pray.
He ſhall within his Tabernacle dwell,
Whoſe life is uncorrupt before the Lord,
Who no untrueths of Innocents doth tell,
Nor wrongs his neighbour, nor in deed, nor word,
Nor in his pride with malice ſeems to ſwell,
Nor whets his tongue more ſharper than a ſword,
To wound the reputation of the IJustuſt;
Nor ſeekes to lay their glorie in the Duſt.
That great Jehova King of heav’n and earth,
Will raine downe fire and brimſtone from above,
Upon the wicked monſters in their berth
That ſtorme and rage at thoſe whom he doth love:
Snares, ſtormes, and tempeſts he will raine, and dearth,
Becauſe he will himſelfe almightie prove:
And this ſhall be their portion they ſhall drinke,
That thinkes the Lord is blind when he doth winke.
To the Counteſſe of Cumberland. Pardon (good Madame) though I have digreſt
From what I doe intend to write of thee,
To ſet his glorie forth whom thou lov’ſt beſt,
Whoſe wondrous works no mortall eie can ſee;
His ſpeciall care on thoſe whom he hath bleſt
From wicked worldlings, how he ſets them free:
And how ſuch people he doth overthrow
In all their waies, that they his powre may know.
The meditation of this Monarchs love,
Drawes thee from caring what this world can yield;
Of joyes and griefes both equall thou doſt prove,
They have no force, to force thee from the field:
Thy conſtant faith like to the Turtle Dove
Continues combat, and will never yield
To baſe affliction; or prowd pomps deſire,
That ſets the weakeſt mindes ſo much on fire.
Thou from the Court to the Countrie art retir’d,
Leaving the world, before the world leaves thee:
That great Enchantreſſe of weake mindes admir’d,
Whoſe all-bewitching charmes ſo pleaſing be
To worldly wantons; and too much deſir’d
Of thoſe that care not for Eternitie:
But yeeld themſelves as preys to Luſt and Sinne,
Looſing their hopes of Heav’n Hell paines to winne.
But thou, the wonder of our wanton age
Leav’ſt all delights to ſerve a heav’nly King:
Who is more wiſe? or who can be more ſage,
Than ſhe that doth Affection ſubject bring;
Not forcing for the world, or Satans rage,
But ſhrowding under the Almighties wing;
Spending her yeares, moneths, daies, minutes, howres,
In doing ſervice to the heav’nly powres.
Thou faire example, live without compare,
With Honours triumphs ſeated in thy breaſt;
Pale Envy never can thy name empaire,
When in thy heart thou harbour’ſt ſuch a gueſt:
Malice muſt live for ever in diſpaire;
There’s no revenge where Virtue ſtill doth reſt:
All hearts muſt needs do homage unto thee,
In whom all eies ſuch rare perfection ſee.
An Invective against outward beauty unaccompanied with virtue. That outward Beautie which the world commends,
Is not the ſubject I will write upon,
Whoſe date expir’d, that tyrant Time ſoone ends,
Thoſe gawdie colours ſoone are ſpent and gone:
But thoſe faire Virtues which on thee attends
Are alwaies freſh, they never are but one:
They make thy Beautie fairer to behold,
Than was that Queenes for whom prowd Troy was ſold.
As for thoſe matchleſſe colours Red and White,
Or perfit features in a fading face,
Or due proportion pleaſing to the ſight;
All theſe doe draw but dangers and diſgrace:
A mind enrich’d with Virtue, ſhines more bright,
Addes everlaſting Beauty, gives true grace,
Frames an immortall Goddeſſe on the earth,
Who though ſhe dies, yet Fame gives her new berth.
That pride of Nature which adornes the faire,
Like blaſing Comets to allure all eies,
Is but the thred, that weaves their web of Care,
Who glories moſt, where moſt their danger lies;
For greateſt perills do attend the faire,
When men do ſeeke, attempt, plot and deviſe,
How they may overthrow the chaſteſt Dame,
Whoſe Beautie is the White whereat they aime.
Twas Beautie bred in Troy the ten yeares ſtrife,
And carried Hellen from her lawfull Lord;
Twas Beautie made chaſte Lucrece looſe her life,
For which prowd Tarquins fact was ſo abhorr’d:
Beautie the cauſe Antonius wrong’d his wife,
Which could not be decided but by ſword:
Great Cleopatraes Beautie and defects
Did worke Octaviaes wrongs, and his neglects.
What fruit did yeeld that faire forbidden tree,
But blood, diſhonour, infamie, and ſhame?
Poore blinded Queene, could’ſt thou no better ſee,
But entertaine diſgrace, in ſtead of fame?
Doe theſe deſignes with Majeſtie agree?
To ſtaine thy blood, and blot thy royall name.
That heart that gave conſent unto this ill,
Did give conſent that thou thy ſelfe ſhould’ſt kill.
Of Roſamund. Faire Roſamund, the wonder of her time,
Had bin much fairer, had ſhee not bin faire;
Beautie betraid her thoughts, aloft to clime,
To build ſtrong caſtles in uncertaine aire,
Where th’infection of a wanton crime
Did worke her fall; firſt poyſon, then deſpaire,
With double death did kill her perjur’d ſoule,
When heavenly Juſtice did her ſinne controule.
Of Matilda. Holy Matilda in a hapleſſe houre
Was borne to ſorow and to diſcontent,
Beauty the cauſe that turn’d her Sweet to Sowre,
While Chaſtity ſought Folly to prevent.
Luſtfull King John refus’d, did uſe his powre,
By Fire and Sword, to compaſſe his content:
But Friends diſgrace, nor Fathers baniſhment,
Nor Death it ſelfe, could purchaſe her conſent.
Here Beauty in the height of all perfection,
Crown’d this faire Creatures everlaſting fame,
Whoſe noble minde did ſcorne the baſe ſubjection
Of Feares, or Favours, to impaire her Name:
By heavenly grace, ſhe had ſuch true direction,
To die with Honour, not to live in Shame;
And drinke that poyſon with a cheerefull heart,
That could all Heavenly grace to her impart.
To the Ladie of Cumberland the Introduction to the paſſion of Christ. This Grace great Lady, doth poſſeſſe thy Soule,
And makes thee pleaſing in thy Makers ſight;
This Grace doth all imperfect Thoughts controule,
Directing thee to ſerve thy God aright;
Still reckoning him, the Husband of thy Soule,
Which is moſt pretious in his glorious ſight:
Becauſe the Worlds delights ſhee doth denie
For him, who for her ſake vouchſaf’d to die.
And dying made her Dowager of all;
Nay more, Co-heire of that eternall bliſſe
That Angels loſt, and We by Adams fall;
Meere Caſt-awaies, rais’d by a Judas kiſſe,
Chriſts bloody ſweat, the Vineger, and Gall,
The Speare, Sponge, Nailes, his buffeting with Fiſts,
His bitter Paſſion, Agony, and Death,
Did gaine us Heaven when He did looſe his breath.
A preamble of the Author before the Paſſion. Theſe high deſerts invites my lowely Muſe
To write of Him, and pardon crave of thee,
For Time ſo ſpent, I need make no excuſe,
Knowing it doth with thy faire Minde agree
So well, as thou no Labour wilt refuſe,
That to thy holy Love may pleaſing be:
His Death and Paſſion I deſire to write,
And thee to reade, the bleſſed Soules delight.
But my deare Muſe, now whither wouldſt thou flie,
Above the pitch of thy appointed ſtraine?
With Icarus thou ſeekeſt now to trie,
Not waxen wings, but thy poore barren Braine,
Which farre too weake, these ſiely lines deſcrie;
Yet cannot this thy forward Mind reſtraine,
But thy poore Infant Verſe muſt ſoare aloft,
Not fearing threat’ning dangers, happening oft.
Thinke when the eye of Wiſdom ſhall diſcover
Thy weakling Muſe to flie, that ſcarce could creepe,
And in the Ayre above the Clowdes to hover,
When better ’twere mued up, and faſt aſleepe;
They’l thinke with Phaeton, thou canſt neare recover,
But helpleſſe with that poore yong Lad to weepe:
The little World of thy weake Wit on fire,
Where thou wilt periſh in thine owne deſire.
But yet the Weaker thou doeſt ſeeme to be
In Sexe, or Sence, the more his Glory ſhines,
That doth infuze ſuch powerfull Grace in thee,
To ſhew thy Love in theſe few humble Lines;
The Widowes Myte, with this may well agree,
Her little All more worth than golden mynes,
Beeing more deerer to our loving Lord,
Than all the wealth that Kingdoms could affoard.
Therefore I humbly for his Grace will pray,
That he will give me Power and Strength to Write,
That what I have begun, ſo end I may,
As his great Glory may appeare more bright;
Yea in theſe Lines I may no further ſtray,
Than his moſt holy Spirit ſhall give me Light:
That blindeſt Weakeneſſe be not over-bold,
The manner of his Paſſion to unfold.
In other Phraſes than may well agree
With his pure Doctrine, and moſt holy Writ,
That Heavens cleare eye, and all the World may ſee,
I ſeeke his Glory, rather than to get
The Vulgars breath, the ſeed of Vanitie,
Nor Fames lowd Trumpet care I to admit;
But rather ſtrive in plaineſt Words to ſhowe,
The Matter which I ſeeke to undergoe.
A Matter farre beyond my barren skill,
To ſhew with any Life this map of Death,
This Storie; that whole Worlds with Bookes would fill,
In theſe few Lines, will put me out of breath,
To run ſo ſwiftly up this mightie Hill,
I may behold it with the eye of Faith;
But to preſent this pure unſpotted Lambe,
I muſt confeſſe, I farre unworthy am.
Yet if he pleaſe t’illuminate my Spirit,
And give me Wiſdom from his holy Hill,
That I may Write part of his glorious Merit,
If he vouchſafe to guide my Hand and Quill,
To ſhew his Death, by which we doe inherit
Thoſe endleſſe Joyes that all our hearts doe fill;
Then will I tell of that ſad blacke fac’d Night,
Whoſe mourning Mantle covered Heavenly Light.
Here begins the Paſſion of Christ. That very Night our Saviour was betrayed,
Oh night! exceeding all the nights of ſorow,
When our moſt bleſſed Lord, although diſmayed,
Yet would not he one Minutes reſpite borrow,
But to Mount Olives went, though ſore afraid,
To welcome Night, and entertaine the Morrow;
And as he oft unto that place did goe,
So did he now, to meete his long nurſt woe.
He told his deere Diſciples that they all
Should be offended by him, that ſelfe night,
His Griefe was great, and theirs could not be ſmall,
To part from him who was their ſole Delight;
Saint Peter thought his Faith could never fall,
No mote could happen in ſo cleare a ſight:
Which made him ſay, though all men were offended,
Yet would he never, though his life were ended.
But his deare Lord made anſwere, That before
The Cocke did crowe, he ſhould deny him thrice;
This could not chooſe but grieve him very ſore,
That his hot Love ſhould proove more cold than Ice,
Denying him he did ſo much adore;
No imperfection in himſelfe he ſpies,
But faith againe, with him hee’l ſurely die,
Rather than his deare Maſter once denie.
And all the reſt (did likewiſe ſay the ſame)
Of his Diſciples, at that inſtant time;
But yet poore Peter, he was moſt too blame,
That thought above them all, by Faith to clime;
His forward ſpeech inflicted ſinne and ſhame,
When Wiſdoms eyes did looke and checke his crime:
Who did foreſee, and told it him before,
Yet would he needs averre it more and more.
Now went our Lord unto that holy place,
Sweet Gethſemaine hallowed by his preſence,
That bleſſed Garden, which did now embrace
His holy corps, yet could make no defence
Againſt thoſe Vipers, objects of diſgrace,
Which ſought that pure eternall Love to quench:
Here his Diſciples willed he to ſtay,
Whilſt he went further, where he meant to pray.
None were admitted with their Lord to goe,
But Peter, and the ſonnes of Zebed’us,
To them good Jeſus opened all his woe,
He gave them leave his sorows to diſcuſſe,
His deepeſt griefes, he did not ſcorne to ſhowe
Theſe three deere friends, ſo much he did intruſt:
Beeing ſorowfull, and overcharg’d with griefe,
He told it them, yet look’d for no reliefe.
Sweet Lord, how couldſt thou thus to fleſh and blood
Communicate thy griefe? tell of thy woes?
Thou knew’ſt they had no powre to doe thee good,
But were the cauſe thou muſt endure theſe blowes,
Beeing the Scorpions bred in Adams mud,
Whoſe poys’ned ſinnes did worke among thy foes,
To re-ore-charge thy over-burd’ned ſoule,
Although the ſorowes now they doe condole.
Yet didſt thou tell them of thy troubled ſtate,
Of thy Soules heavineſſe unto the death,
So full of Love, ſo free wert thou from hate,
To bid them ſtay, whoſe ſinnes did ſtop thy breath,
When thou wert entring at ſo ſtraite a gate,
Yea entring even into the doore of Death,
Thou bidſt them tarry there, and watch with thee,
Who from thy pretious blood-ſhed were not free.
Bidding them tarry, thou didſt further goe,
To meet affliction in ſuch gracefull ſort,
As might moove pitie both in friend and foe,
Thy ſorowes ſuch, as none could them comport,
Such great Indurements who did ever know,
When to th’ Almighty thou didſt make reſort?
And falling on thy face didſt humbly pray,
If ’twere his Will that Cup might paſſe away.
Saying, Not my will, but thy will Lord be done.
When as thou prayedſt an Angel did appeare
From Heaven, to comfort thee Gods onely Sonne,
That thou thy Suffrings might’ſt the better beare,
Beeing in an agony, thy glaſſe neere run,
Thou prayedſt more earneſtly, in ſo great feare,
That pretious ſweat came trickling to the ground,
Like drops of blood thy ſences to confound.
Loe here his Will, not thy Will, Lord was done,
And thou content to undergoe all paines,
Sweet Lambe of God, his deare beloved Sonne,
By this great purchaſe, what to thee remaines?
Of Heaven and Earth thou haſt a Kingdom wonne,
Thy Glory beeing equall with thy Gaines,
In ratifying Gods promiſe on the Earth,
Made many hundred yeares before thy birth.
But now returning to thy ſleeping Friends,
That could not watch one houre for love of thee,
Even thoſe three Friends, which on thy Grace depends,
Yet ſhut thoſe Eies that ſhould their Maker ſee;
What colour, what excuſe, or what amends,
From thy Diſpleaſure now can ſet them free?
Yet thy pure Pietie bids them Watch and Pray,
Leſt in Temptation they be led away.
Although the Spirit was willing to obay,
Yet what great weakeneſſe in the Fleſh was found!
They ſlept in Eaſe, whilſt thou in Paine didſt pray;
Loe, they in Sleepe, and thou in Sorow drown’d:
Yet Gods right Hand was unto thee a ſtay,
When horror, griefe, and ſorow did abound:
His Angel did appeare from Heaven to thee,
To yeeld thee comfort in Extremitie.
But what could comfort then thy troubled Minde,
When Heaven and Earth were both againſt thee bent?
And thou no hope, no eaſe, no reſt could’ſt finde,
But muſt restore that Life, which was but lent;
Was ever Creature in the World ſo kinde,
But he that from Eternitie was ſent?
To ſatisfie for many Worlds of Sinne,
Whoſe matchleſſe Torments did but then begin.
If one Mans ſinne doth challendge Death and Hell,
With all the Torments that belong thereto:
If for one ſinne ſuch Plagues on David fell,
As grieved him, and did his Seed undoe:
If Salomon, for that he did not well,
Falling from Grace, did looſe his Kingdome too:
Ten Tribes beeing taken from his wilfull Sonne
And Sinne the Cauſe that they were all undone.
What could thy Innocency now expect,
When all the Sinnes that ever were committed,
Were laid to thee, whom no man could detect?
Yet farre thou wert of Man from beeing pittied,
The Judge ſo juſt could yeeld thee no reſpect,
Nor would one jot of penance be remitted;
But greater horror to thy Soule muſt riſe,
Than Heart can thinke, or any Wit deviſe.
Now drawes the houre of thy affliction neere,
And ugly Death preſents himſelfe before thee;
Thou now muſt leave thoſe Friends thou held’ſt ſo deere,
Yea thoſe Diſciples, who did moſt adore thee;
Yet in thy countenance doth no Wrath appeare,
Although betrayd to thoſe that did abhorre thee:
Thou did’ſt vouchſafe to viſit them againe,
Who had no apprehenſion of thy paine.
Their eyes were heavie, and their hearts aſleepe,
Nor knew they well what anſwere then to make thee;
Yet thou as Watchman, had’ſt a care to keepe
Thoſe few from ſinne, that ſhortly would forſake thee;
But now thou bidſt them henceforth Reſt and Sleepe,
Thy houre is come, and they at hand to take thee:
The Sonne of God to Sinners made a pray,
Oh hatefull houre! oh bleſt! oh curſed day!
Loe here thy great Humility was found,
Beeing King of Heaven, and Monarch of the Earth,
Yet well content to have thy Glory drownd,
By beeing counted of ſo meane a berth;
Grace, Love, and Mercy did ſo much abound,
Thou entertaindſt the Croſſe, even to the death:
And nam’dſt thy ſelfe, the ſonne of Man to be,
To purge our pride by thy Humilitie.
But now thy friends whom thou didſt call to goe,
Heavy Spectators of thy hapleſſe caſe,
See thy Betrayer, whom too well they knowe,
One of the twelve, now object of diſgrace,
A trothleſſe traytor, and a mortall foe,
With fained kindneſſe ſeekes thee to imbrace;
And gives a kiſſe, whereby he may deceive thee,
That in the hands of Sinners he might leave thee.
Now muſter forth with Swords, with Staves, with Bils,
High Prieſts and Scribes, and Elders of the Land,
Seeking by force to have their wicked Wils,
Which thou didſt never purpoſe to withſtand;
Now thou mak’ſt haſte unto the worſt of Ils,
And who they ſeeke, thou gently doeſt demand;
This didſt thou Lord, t’amaze theſe Fooles the more,
T’inquire of that, thou knew’ſt ſo well before.
When loe theſe Monſters did not ſhame to tell,
His name they ſought, and found, yet could not know
Jeſus of Nazareth, at whoſe feet they fell,
When Heavenly Wiſdome did deſcend ſo lowe
To ſpeake to them: they knew they did not well,
Their great amazement made them backeward goe:
Nay, though he ſaid unto them, I am he,
They could not know him, whom their eyes did ſee.
How blinde were they could not diſcerne the Light!
How dull! if not to underſtand the truth,
How weake! if meekeneſſe overcame their might;
How ſtony hearted, if not mov’d to ruth:
How void of Pitie, and how full of Spight,
Gainſt him that was the Lord of Light and Truth:
Here inſolent Boldneſſe checkt by Love and Grace,
Retires, and falls before our Makers face.
For when he ſpake to this accurſed crew,
And mildely made them know that it was he:
Preſents himſelfe, that they might take a view;
And what they doubted they might cleerely ſee;
Nay more, to re-aſſure that it was true,
He ſaid: I ſay unto you, I am hee.
If him they ſought, he’s willing to obay,
Onely deſires the reſt might goe their way.
Thus with a heart prepared to endure
The greateſt wrongs Impietie could deviſe,
He was content to ſtoope unto their Lure,
Although his Greatneſſe might doe otherwiſe:
Here Grace was ſeiſed on with hands impure,
And Virtue now muſt be ſuppreſt by Vice,
Pure Innocencie made a prey to Sinne,
Thus did his Torments and our Joyes beginne.
Here faire Obedience ſhined in his breaſt,
And did ſuppreſſe all feare of future paine;
Love was his Leader unto this unreſt,
Whil’ſt Righteouſneſſe doth carry up his Traine;
Mercy made way to make us highly bleſt,
When Patience beat downe Sorrow, Feare and Paine:
Juſtice ſate looking with an angry brow,
On bleſſed miſery appeering now.
More glorious than all the Conquerors
Than ever liv’d within this Earthly round,
More powrefull than all Kings, or Governours
That ever yet within this World were found;
More valiant than the greateſt Souldiers
That ever fought, to have their glory crown’d:
For which of them, that ever yet tooke breath,
Sought t’indure the doome of Heaven and Earth?
But our ſweet Saviour whom theſe Jewes did name;
Yet could their learned Ignorance apprehend
No light of grace, to free themſelves from blame:
Zeale, Lawes, Religion, now they doe pretend
Againſt the truth, untruths they ſeeke to frame:
Now al their powres, their wits, their ſtrengths, they bend
Againſt one ſiely, weake, unarmed man,
Who no reſiſtance makes, though much he can,
To free himſelfe from theſe unlearned men,
Who call’d him Saviour in his bleſſed name;
Yet farre from knowing him their Saviour then,
That came to save both them and theirs from blame;
Though they retire and fall, they come agen
To make a ſurer purchaſe of their ſhame:
With lights and torches now they find the way,
To take the Shepheard whilſt the ſheep doe ſtray.
Why ſhould unlawfull actions uſe the Light?
Inniquitie in Darkeneſſe ſeekes to dwell;
Sinne rides his circuit in the dead of Night,
Teaching all ſoules the ready waies to hell;
Sathan coms arm’d with all the powres of Spight,
Heartens his Champions, makes them rude and fell;
Like rav’ning wolves, to ſhed his guiltleſſe blood,
Who thought no harme, but di’d to doe them good.
Here Falſhood beares the ſhew of formall Right,
Baſe Treacherie hath gote a guard of men;
Tyranny attends, with all his ſtrength and might,
To leade this ſiely Lamb to Lyons denne;
Yet he unmoov’d in this moſt wretched plight,
Goes on to meete them, knowes the houre, and when:
The powre of darkeneſſe muſt expreſſe Gods ire,
Therefore to ſave theſe few was his deſire.
Theſe few that wait on Poverty and Shame,
And offer to be ſharers in his Ils;
Theſe few that will be ſpreaders of his Fame,
He will not leave to Tyrants wicked wils;
But ſtlill deſires to free them from all blame,
Yet Feare goes forward, Anger Patience kils:
A Saint is mooved to revenge a wrong,
And Mildneſſe doth what doth to Wrath belong.
For Peter griev’d at what might then befall,
Yet knew not what to doe, nor what to thinke,
Thought ſomething muſt be done; now, if at all,
To free his Maſter, that he might not drinke
This poys’ned draught, farre bitterer than gall,
For now he ſees him at the very brinke
Of grieſly Death, who gins to ſhew his face,
Clad in all colours of a deepe diſgrace.
And now thoſe hands, that never us’d to fight,
Or drawe a weapon in his owne defence,
Too forward is, to doe his Maſter right,
Since of his wrongs, hee feeles ſo true a ſence:
But ah poore Peter! now thou wanteſt might,
And hee’s reſolv’d, with them he will goe hence:
To draw thy ſword in ſuch a helpeleſſe cauſe,
Offends thy Lord, and is againſt the Lawes.
So much he hates Revenge, ſo farre from Hate,
That he vouchſafes to heale, whom thou doſt wound;
His paths are Peace, with none he holdes Debate,
His Patience ſtands upon ſo ſure a ground,
To counſell thee, although it comes too late:
Nay, to his foes, his mercies ſo abound,
That he in pitty doth thy will reſtraine,
And heales the hurt, and takes away the paine.
For willingly he will endure this wrong,
Although his pray’rs might have obtain’d ſuch grace,
As to diſſolve their plots though ne’r ſo ſtrong,
And bring theſe wicked Actors in worſe caſe
Than Ægypts King on whom Gods plagues did throng,
But that foregoing Scriptures muſt take place:
If God by prayers had an army ſent
Of powrefull Angels, who could them prevent?
Yet mightie Jesus meekely ask’d, Why they
With Swords and Staves doe come as to a Thiefe?
Hee teaching in the Temple day by day
None did offend, or give him cauſe of griefe.
Now all are forward, glad is he that may
Give moſt offence, and yeeld him leaſt reliefe:
His hatefull foes are ready now to take him,
And all his deere Diſciples do forſake him.
Thoſe deare Diſciples that he moſt did love,
And were attendant at his becke and call,
When triall of affliction came to prove,
They firſt left him, who now muſt leave them all:
For they were earth, and he came from above,
Which made them apt to flie, and fit to fall:
Though they proteſt they never will forſake him,
They do like men, when dangers overtake them.
And he alone is bound to looſe us all,
Whom with unhallowed hands they led along,
To wicked Caiphas in the Judgement Hall,
Who ſtudies onely how to doe him wrong;
High Prieſts and Elders, People great and ſmall,
With all reprochfull words about him throng:
Falſe Witneſſes are now call’d in apace,
Whoſe trothleſſe tongues muſt make pale death imbrace
The beauty of the World, Heavens chiefeſt Glory;
The mirrour of Martyrs, Crowne of holy Saints;
Love of th’Almighty, bleſſed Angels ſtory;
Water of Life, which none that drinks it, faints;
Guide of the Juſt, where all our Light we borrow;
Mercy of Mercies; Hearer of Complaints;
Triumpher over Death; Ranſomer of Sinne;
Falſly accuſed: now his paines begin.
Their tongues doe ſerve him as a Paſſing bell,
For what they ſay is certainly beleeved;
So ſound a tale unto the Judge they tell,
That he of Life muſt ſhortly be bereaved;
Their ſhare of Heaven, they doe not care to ſell,
So his afflicted Heart be throughly grieved:
They tell his Words, though farre from his intent,
And what his Speeches were, not what he meant.
That he Gods holy Temple could deſtroy,
And in three daies could build it up againe;
This ſeem’d to them a vaine and idle toy,
It would not ſinke into their ſinful braine:
Chriſts bleſſed body, al true Chriſtians joy,
Should die, and in three dayes revive againe:
This did the Lord of Heaven and earth endure,
Unjuſtly to be charg’d by tongues impure.
And now they all doe give attentive eare,
To heare the anſwere, which he will not make;
The people wonder how he can forbeare,
And theſe great wrongs ſo patiently can take;
But yet he anſwers not, nor doth he care,
Much more he will endure for our ſake:
Nor can their wiſdoms any way diſcover,
Who he ſhould be that proov’d ſo true a Lover.
To entertaine the ſharpeſt pangs of death,
And fight a combate in the depth of hell,
For wretched Worldlings made of duſt and earth,
Whoſe hard’ned hearts, with pride and mallice ſwell;
In midſt of bloody ſweat, and dying breath,
He had compaſſion on theſe tyrants fell:
And purchaſt them a place in Heav’n for ever,
When they his Soule and Body ſought to ſever.
Sinnes ugly miſts, ſo blinded had their eyes,
That at Noone dayes they could diſcerne no Light;
Theſe were thoſe fooles, that thought themſelves ſo wiſe,
The Jewiſh wolves, that did our Saviour bite;
For now they uſe all meanes they can deviſe,
To beate downe truth, and goe againſt all right:
Yea now they take Gods holy name in vaine,
To know the truth, which truth they doe prophane.
The chiefeſt Hel-hounds of this hatefull crew,
Roſe up to aske what anſwere he could make,
Againſt thoſe falſe accuſers in his view;
That by his ſpeech, they might advantage take:
He held his peace, yet knew they ſaid not true,
No anſwere would his holy wiſdome make,
Till he was charged in his glorious name,
Whoſe pleaſure ’twas he ſhould endure this ſhame.
Then with ſo mild a Majeſtie he ſpake,
As they might eaſly know from whence he came,
His harmeleſſe tongue doth no exceptions take,
Nor Prieſts, nor People, meanes he now to blame;
But anſwers Folly, for true Wiſdomes ſake,
Beeing charged deeply by his powrefull name,
To tell if Chriſt the Sonne of God he be,
Who for our ſinnes muſt die, to ſet us free.
To thee O Caiphas doth he anſwere give,
That thou haſt ſaid, what thou deſir’ſt to know,
And yet thy malice will not let him live,
So much thou art unto thy ſelfe a foe;
He ſpeaketh truth, but thou wilt not beleeve,
Nor canſt thou apprehend it to be ſo:
Though he expreſſe his Glory unto thee,
Thy Owly eies are blind, and cannot ſee.
Thou rend’ſt thy cloathes, in ſtead of thy falſe heart,
And on the guiltleſſe lai’ſt thy guilty crime;
For thou blaſphem’ſt, and he muſt feele the ſmart:
To ſentence death, thou think’ſt it now high time;
No witneſſe now thou need’ſt, for this fowle part,
Thou to the height of wickedneſſe canſt clime:
And give occaſion to the ruder ſort,
To make afflictions, ſorrows, follies ſport.
Now when the dawne of day gins to appeare,
And all your wicked counſels have an end,
To end his Life, that holds you all ſo deere,
For to that purpoſe did your ſtudies bend;
Proud Pontius Pilate muſt the matter heare,
To your untroths his eares he now muſt lend:
Sweet Jeſus bound, to him you led away,
Of his moſt pretious blood to make youtr pray.
Which, when that wicked Caytife did perceive,
By whoſe lewd meanes he came to this diſtreſſe;
He brought the price of blood he did receive,
Thinking thereby to make his fault ſeeme leſſe,
And with theſe Prieſts and Elders did it leave,
Confeſt his fault, wherein he did tranſgreſſe:
But when he ſaw Repentance unreſpected,
He hang’d himſelfe; of God and Man rejected.
By this Example, what can be expected
From wicked Man, which on the Earth doth live?
But faithleſſe dealing, feare of God neglected;
Who for their private gaine cares not to ſell
The Innocent Blood of Gods moſt deere elected,
As did that caytife wretch, now damn’d in Hell:
If in Chriſts Schoole, he tooke ſo great a fall,
What will they doe, that come not there at all.
Now Pontius Pilate is to judge the Cauſe
Of faultleſſe Jeſus, who before him ſtands;
Who neither hath offended Prince, nor Lawes,
Although he now be brought in woefull bands:
O noble Governour, make thou yet a pauſe,
Doe not in innocent blood imbrue thy hands;
But heare the words of thy moſt worthy wife,
Who ſends to thee, to beg her Saviours life.
Let barb’rous crueltie farre depart from thee,
And in true Juſtice take afflictions part;
Open thine eies, that thou the truth mai’ſt ſee,
Doe not the thing that goes againſt thy heart,
Condemne not him that muſt thy Saviour be;
But view his holy Life, his good deſert.
Let not us Women glory in Mens fall,
Who had power given to over-rule us all.
Eves Apologie. Till now your indiſcretion ſets us free,
And makes our former fault much leſſe appeare;
Our Mother Eve, who taſted of the Tree,
Giving to Adam what ſhee held moſt deare,
Was ſimply good, and had no powre to ſee,
The after-comming harme did not appeare:
The ſubtile Serpent that our Sex betraide,
Before our fall ſo ſure a plot had laide.
That undiſcerning Ignorance perceav’d
No guile, or craft that was by him intended;
For had ſhe knowne, of what we were bereav’d,
To his requeſt ſhe had not condiſcended.
But ſhe (poore ſoule) by cunning was deceav’d,
No hurt therein her harmeleſſe Heart intended:
For ſhe alleadg’d Gods word, which he denies,
That they ſhould die, but even as Gods, be wiſe.
But ſurely Adam can not be excuſde,
Her fault though great, yet hee was moſt too blame;
What Weakneſſe offerd, Strength might have refuſde,
Being Lord of all, the greater was his ſhame:
Although the Serpents craft had her abuſde,
Gods holy word oughrt all his actions frame,
For he was Lord and King of all the earth,
Before poore Eve had either life or breath.
Who being fram’d by Gods eternall hand,
The perfect’ſt man that ever breath’d on earth;
And from Gods mouth receiv’d that ſtrait command,
The breach whereof he knew was preſent death:
Yea having powre to rule both Sea and Land,
Yet with one Apple wonne to looſe that breath
Which God had breathed in his beauteous face,
Bringing us all in danger and diſgrace.
And then to lay the fault on Patience backe,
That we (poore women) muſt endure it all;
We know right well he did diſcretion lacke,
Beeing not perſwaded thereunto at all;
If Eve did erre, it was for knowledge ſake,
The fruit beeing faire perſwaded him to fall:
No ſubtill Serpents falſhood did betray him,
If he would eate it, who had powre to ſtay him?
Not Eve, whoſe fault was onely too much love,
Which made her give this preſent to her Deare,
That what ſhee taſted, he likewiſe might prove,
Whereby his knowledge might become more cleare;
He never ſought her weakeneſſe to reprove,
With thoſe ſharpe words, which he of God did heare:
Yet Men will boaſt of Knowledge, which he tooke
From Eves faire hand, as from a learned Booke.
If any Evill did in her remaine,
Beeing made of him, he was the ground of all;
If one of many Worlds could lay a ſtaine
Upon our Sexe, and worke ſo great a fall
To wretched Man, by Satans ſubtill traine;
What will ſo fowle a fault amongſt you all?
Her weakeneſſe did the Serpents words obay;
But you in malice Gods deare Sonne betray.
Whom, if unjuſtly you condemne to die,
Her ſinne was ſmall, to what you doe commit;
All mortall ſinnes that doe for vengeance crie,
Are not to be compared unto it:
If many worlds would altogether trie,
By all their ſinnes the wrath of God to get;
This ſinne of yours, ſurmounts them all as farre
As doth the Sunne, another little ſtarre.
Then let us have our Libertie againe,
And challendge to your ſelves no Sov’raigntie;
You came not in the world without our paine,
Make that a barre againſt your crueltie;
Your fault beeing greater, why ſhould you diſdaine
Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?
If one weake woman ſimply did offend,
This ſinne of yours, hath no excuſe, nor end.
To which (poore ſoules) we never gave conſent,
Witneſſe thy wife (O Pilate) ſpeakes for all;
Who did but dreame, and yet a meſſage ſent,
That thou ſhould’ſt have nothing to doe at all
With that juſt man; which, if thy heart relent,
Why wilt thou be a reprobate with Saul?
To ſeeke the death of him that is ſo good,
For thy ſoules health to ſhed his deareſt blood.
Yea, ſo thou mai’ſt theſe ſinful people pleaſe,
Thou art content againſt all truth and right,
To ſeale this act, that may procure thine eaſe
With blood, and wrong, with tyrannie, and might;
The multitude thou ſeekeſt to appeaſe,
By baſe dejection of this heavenly Light:
Demanding which of theſe that thou ſhould’ſt looſe,
Whether the Thiefe, or Chriſt King of the Jewes.
Baſe Barrabas the Thiefe, they all deſire,
And thou more baſe than he, perform’ſt their will;
Yet when thy thoughts backe to themſelves retire,
Thou art unwilling to commit this ill:
Oh that thou couldſt unto ſuch grace aſpire,
That thy polluted lips might never kill
That Honour, which right Judgement ever graceth,
To purchaſe ſhame, which all true worth defaceth.
Art thou a Judge, and asketh what to do
With one, in whom no fault there can be found?
The death of Chriſt wilt thou conſent unto,
Finding no cauſe, no reaſon, nor no ground?
Shall he be ſcourg’d, and crucified too?
And muſt his miſeries by thy meanes abound?
Yet not aſham’d to aske what he hath done,
When thine owne conſcience ſeeks this ſinne to ſhunne.
Three times thou ask’ſt, What evill hath he done?
And ſaiſt, thou find’ſt in him no cauſe of death,
Yet wilt thou chaſten Gods beloved Sonne,
Although to thee no word of ill he ſaith:
For Wrath muſt end, what Malice hath begunne,
And thou muſt yield to ſtop his guiltleſſe breath.
This rude tumultuous rowt doth preſſe ſo ſore,
That thou condemneſt him thou ſhouldſt adore.
Yet Pilate, this can yeeld thee no content,
To exerciſe thine owne authoritie,
But unto Herod he muſt needes be ſent,
To reconcile thy ſelfe by tyrannie:
Was this the greateſt good in Juſtice meant,
When thou perceiv’ſt no fault in him to be?
If thou muſt make thy peace by Virtues fall,
Much better ’twere not to be friends at all.
Yet neither thy ſterne browe, nor his great place,
Can draw an anſwer from the Holy One:
His falſe accuſers, nor his great diſgrace,
Nor Herods ſcoffes; to him they are all one:
He neither cares, nor feares his owne ill caſe,
Though being deſpis’d and mockt of every one:
King Herods gladneſſe gives him little eaſe,
Neither his anger ſeekes he to appeaſe.
Yet this is ſtrange, that baſe Impietie
Should yeeld thoſe robes of honour, which were due;
Pure white, to ſhew his great Integritie,
His innocency, that all the world might view;
Perfections height in loweſt penury,
Such glorious poverty as they never knew:
Purple and Scarlet well might him beſeeme,
Whoſe pretious blood muſt all the world redeeme.
And that Imperiall Crowne of Thornes he wore,
Was much more pretious than the Diadem
Of any King that ever liv’d before,
Or ſince his time, their honour’s but a dreame
To his eternall glory, beeing ſo poore,
To make a purchaſſe of that heavenly Realme;
Where God with all his Angels lives in peace,
No griefes, nor ſorrowes, but all joyes increaſe.
Thoſe royall robes, which they in ſcorne did give,
To make him odious to the common ſort,
Yeeld light of Grace to thoſe whoſe ſoules ſhall live
Within the harbour of this heavenly port;
Much doe they joy, and much more doe they grieve,
His death, their life, ſhould make his foes ſuch ſport:
With ſharpeſt thornes to pricke his bleſſed face,
Our joyfull ſorrow, and his greater grace.
Three feares at once poſſeſſed Pilates heart;
The firſt, Chriſts innocencie, which ſo plaine appeares;
The next, That he which now muſt feele this ſmart,
Is Gods deare Sonne, for any thing he heares:
But that which proov’d the deepeſt wounding dart,
Is Peoples threat’nings, which he ſo much feares,
That he to Cæſar could not be a friend,
Unleſſe he ſent ſweet Jesus to his end.
Now Pilate thou art proov’d a painted wall,
A golden Sepulcher with rotten bones;
From right to wrong, from equitie to fall:
If none upbraid thee, yet the very ſtones
Will riſe againſt thee, and in queſtion call
His blood, his teares, his ſighes, his bitter groanes:
All theſe will witneſſe at the latter day,
When water cannot waſh thy ſinne away.
Canſt thou be innocent, that gainſt all right,
Wilt yeeld to what thy conſcience doth withſtand?
Beeing a man of knowledge, powre, and might,
To let the wicked carrie ſuch a hand,
Before thy face to blindfold Heav’ns bright light,
And thou to yeeld to what they did demand?
Waſhing thy hands, thy conſcience cannot cleare,
But to all worlds this ſtaine muſt needs appeare.
For loe, the Guiltie doth accuſe the Juſt,
And faultie Judge condemnes the Innocent;
And wilfull Jewes to exerciſe their luſt,
With whips and taunts againſt their Lord are bent;
He baſely us’d, blaſphemed, ſcorn’d, and curſt,
Our heavenly King to death for us they ſent:
Reproches, ſlanders, ſpittings in his face,
Spight doing all her worſt in his diſgrace.
Christ going to death. And now this long expected houre drawes neere,
When bleſſed Saints with Angels doe condole;
His holy march, ſoft pace, and heavy cheere,
In humble ſort to yeeld his glorious ſoule,
By his deſerts the fowleſt ſinnes to cleare;
And in th’eternall booke of heaven to enroule
A ſatisfaction till the generall doome,
Of all ſinnes paſt, and all that are to come.
They that had ſeene this pitifull Proceſſion,
From Pilates Palace to Mount Calvarie,
Might thinke he anſwer’d for ſome great tranſgreſſion,
Beeing in ſuch odious ſort condemn’d to die;
He plainely ſhewed that his own profeſſion
Was virtue, patience, grace, love, piety;
And how by ſuffering he could conquer more
Than all the Kings that ever liv’d before.
Firſt went the Crier with open mouth proclayming
The heavy ſentence of Iniquitie,
The Hangman next, by his baſe office clayming
His right in Hell, where ſinners never die,
Carrying the nayles, the people ſtill blaſpheming
Their maker, uſing all impiety;
The Thieves attending him on either ſide,
The teares of the daughters of Jeruſalem. The Serjeants watching, while the women cri’d.
Thrice happy women that obtaind ſuch grace
From him whoſe worth the world could not containe;
Immediately to turne about his face,
As not remembring his great griefe and paine,
To comfort you, whoſe teares powr’d forth apace
On Flora’s bankes, like ſhewers of Aprils raine:
Your cries inforced mercie, grace, and love
From him, whom greateſt Princes could not moove:
To ſpeake on word, nor once to lift his eyes
Unto proud Pilate, no nor Herod, king;
By all the Queſtions that they could deviſe,
Could make him anſwere to no manner of thing;
Yet theſe poore women, by their pitious cries
Did moove their Lord, their Lover, and their King,
To take compaſſion, turne about, and ſpeake
To them whoſe hearts were ready now to breake.
Moſt bleſſed daughters of Jeruſalem,
Who found ſuch favour in your Saviors ſight,
To turne his face when you did pitie him;
Your tearefull eyes, beheld his eies more bright;
Your Faith and Love unto ſuch grace did clime,
To have reflection from this Heav’nly Light:
Your Eagles eyes did gaze againſt this Sunne,
Your hearts did thinke, he dead, the world were done.
When ſpightfull men with torments did oppreſſe
Th’afflicted body of this innocent Dove,
Poore women ſeeing how much they did tranſgreſſe,
By teares, by ſighes, by cries intreat, nay prove,
What may be done among the thickeſt preſſe,
They labour ſtill theſe tyrants hearts to move;
In pitie and compaſſion to forbeare
Their whipping, ſpurning, tearing of his haire.
But all in vaine, their malice hath no end,
Their hearts more hard than flint, or marble ſtone;
Now to his griefe, his greatneſſe they attend,
When he (God knowes) had rather be alone;
They are his guard, yet ſeeke all meanes to offend:
Well may he grieve, well may he ſigh and groane,
Under the burthen of a heavy croſſe,
He faintly goes to make their gaine his loſſe.
The ſorrow of the virgin Marie. His woefull Mother wayting on her Sonne,
All comfortleſſe in depth of ſorow drowned;
Her griefes extreame, although but new begun,
To ſee his bleeding body oft ſhee ſwouned;
How could ſhee chooſe but thinke her ſelfe undone,
He dying, with whoſe glory ſhee was crowned?
None ever loſt ſo great a loſſe as ſhee,
Beeing Sonne, and Father of Eternitie.
Her teares did waſh away his pretious blood,
That ſinners might not tread it under feet
To worſhip him, and that it did her good
Upon her knees, although in open ſtreet,
Knowing he was the Jeſſie floure and bud,
That muſt be gath’red when it ſmell’d moſt ſweet:
Her Sonne, her Husband, Father, Saviour, King,
Whoſe death killd Death, and tooke away his ſting.
Moſt bleſſed Virgin, in whoſe faultleſſe fruit,
All Nations of the earth muſt needes rejoyce,
No Creature having ſence though ne’r ſo brute,
But joyes and trembles when they heare his voyce;
His wiſedome ſtrikes the wiſeſt perſons mute,
Faire choſen veſſell, happy in his choyce:
Deere Mother of our Lord, whoſe reverend name,
All people Bleſſed call, and ſpread thy fame.
For the Almightie magnified thee,
And looked downe upon thy meane eſtate;
Thy lowly mind, and unſtain’d Chaſtitie,
Did pleade for Love at great Jehovaes gate,
Who ſending ſwift-wing’d Gabriel unto thee,
His holy will and pleaſure to relate;
To thee moſt beauteous Queene of Woman-kind,
The Angell did unfold his Makers mind.
The ſalutation of the virgin Marie. He thus beganne, Haile Mary full of grace,
Thou freely art beloved of the Lord,
He is with thee, behold thy happy caſe;
What endleſſe comfort did theſe words afford
To thee that ſaw’ſt an Angell in the place
Proclaime thy Virtues worth, and to record
Thee bleſſed among women: that thy praiſe
Should laſt ſo many worlds beyond thy daies.
Loe, this high meſſage to thy troubled ſpirit,
He doth deliver in the plaineſt ſence;
Sayes, Thou ſhouldſt beare a Sonne that ſhal inherit
His Father Davids throne, free from offence,
Call’s him that Holy thing, by whoſe pure merit
We muſt be ſav’d, tels what he is, of whence;
His worth, his greatneſſe, what his name muſt be,
Who ſhould be call’d the Sonne of the moſt High.
He cheeres thy troubled ſoule, bids thee not feare;
When thy pure thoughts could hardly apprehend
This ſalutation, when he did appeare;
Nor couldſt thou judge, whereto thoſe words did tend;
His pure aſpect did moove thy modeſt cheere
To muſe, yet joy that God vouchſaf’d to ſend
His glorious Angel; who did thee aſſure
To beare a child, although a Virgin pure.
Nay more, thy Sonne ſhould Rule and Raigne for ever;
Yea, of his Kingdom there ſhould be no end;
Over the houſe of J acob, Heavens great Giver
Would give him powre, and to that end did ſend
His faithfull ſervant Gabriel to deliver
To thy chaſt eares no word that might offend:
But that this bleſſed Infant borne of thee,
Thy Sonne, The onely Sonne of God ſhould be.
When on the knees of thy ſubmiſſive heart
Thou humbly didſt demand, How that ſhould be?
Thy virgin thoughts did thinke, none could impart
This great good hap, and bleſſing unto thee;
Farre from deſire of any man thou art,
Knowing not one, thou art from all men free:
When he, to anſwere this thy chaſte deſire,
Gives thee more cauſe to wonder and admire.
That thou a bleſſed Virgin ſhoulſt remaine,
Yea that the holy Ghoſt ſhould come on thee
A maiden Mother, ſubject to no paine,
For higheſt powre ſhould overſhadow thee:
Could thy faire eyes from teares of joy refraine,
When God look’d downe upon thy poore degree?
Making thee Servant, Mother, Wife, and Nurſe
To Heavens bright King, that freed us from the curſe.
Thus beeing crown’d with glory from above,
Grace and Perfection reſting in thy breaſt,
Thy humble anſwer doth approove thy Love,
And all theſe ſayings in thy heart doe reſt:
Thy Child a Lambe, and thou a Turtle dove,
Above all other women highly bleſt;
To find ſuch favour in his glorious ſight,
In whom thy heart and ſoule doe moſt delight.
What wonder in the world more ſtrange could ſeeme,
Than that a Virgin could conceive and beare
Within her wombe a Sonne, That ſhould redeeme
All Nations on the earth, and ſhould repaire
Our old decaies: who in ſuch high eſteeme,
Should prize all mortals, living in his feare;
As not to ſhun Death, Povertie, and Shame,
To ſave their ſoules, and ſpread his glorious Name.
And partly to fulfil his Fathers pleaſure,
Whoſe powrefull hand allowes it not for ſtrange,
If he vouchſafe the riches of his treaſure,
Pure Righteouſneſſe to take ſuch il exchange;
On all Iniquitie to make a ſeiſure,
Giving his ſnow-white Weed for ours in change;
Our mortall garment in a skarlet Die,
Too baſe a roabe for Immortalitie.
Moſt happy news, that ever yet was brought,
When Poverty and Riches met together,
The wealth of Heaven, in our fraile clothing wrought
Salvation by his happy comming hither:
Mighty Meſſias, who ſo deerely bought
Us Slaves to ſinne, farre lighter than a feather:
Toſs’d to and fro with every wicked wind,
The world, the fleſh, or Devill gives to blind.
Who on his ſhoulders our blacke ſinnes doth beare
To that moſt bleſſed, yet accurſed Croſſe;
Where faſtning them, he rids us of our feare,
Yea for our gaine he is content with loſſe,
Our ragged clothing ſcornes he not to weare,
Though foule, rent, torne, diſgracefull, rough and groſſe,
Spunne by that monſter Sinne, and weav’d by Shame,
Which grace it ſelfe, diſgrac’d with impure blame.
How canſt thou chooſe (faire Virgin) then but mourne,
When this ſweet of-ſpring of thy body dies,
When thy faire eies beholds his bodie torne,
The peoples fury, heares the womens cries;
His holy name prophan’d, He made a ſcorne,
Abuſde with all their hatefull ſlaunderous lies:
Bleeding and fainting in ſuch wondrous ſort,
As ſcarce his feeble limbes can him ſupport.
Now Simon of Cyrene paſſeth them by,
Whom they compell ſweet Jesus Croſſe to beare
To Golgatha, there doe they meane to trie
All cruell meanes to worke in him diſpaire:
That odious place, where dead mens skulls did lie,
There muſt our Lord for preſent death prepare:
His ſacred blood muſt grace that loathſome field,
To purge more filth, than that foule place could yield.
Christs death. For now arriv’d unto this hatefull place,
In which his Croſſe erected needes muſt bee,
Falſe hearts, and willing hands come on apace,
All preſt to ill, and all deſire to ſee:
Graceleſſe themſelves, ſtill ſeeking to diſgrace;
Bidding him, If the Sonne of God he bee,
To ſave himſelfe, if he could others ſave,
With all th’opprobrious words that might deprave.
His harmeleſſe hands unto the Croſſe they nailde,
And feet that never trode in ſinners trace,
Betweene two theeves, unpitied, unbewailde,
Save of ſome few poſſeſſors of his grace,
With ſharpeſt pangs and terrors thus appailde,
Sterne Death makes way, that Life might give him place:
His eyes with teares, his body full of wounds,
Death laſt of paines his ſorrows all confounds.
His joynts diſ-joynted, and his legges hang downe,
His alablaſter breaſt, his bloody ſide,
His members torne, and on his head a Crowne
Of ſharpeſt Thorns, to ſatisfie for pride:
Anguiſh and Paine doe all his Sences drowne,
While they his holy garments do divide:
His bowells drie, his heart full fraught with griefe,
Crying to him that yeelds him no reliefe.
To my Ladie of Cumberland. This with the eie of Faith thou maiſt behold,
Deere Spouſe of Chriſt, and more than I can write;
And here both Griefe and Joy thou maiſt unfold,
To view thy Love in this moſt heavy plight,
Bowing his head, his bloodleſſe body cold;
Thoſe eies waxe dimme that gave us all our light,
His count’nance pale, yet ſtill continues ſweet,
His bleſſed blood watring his pierced feet.
O glorious miracle without compare!
Laſt, but not leaſt which was by him effected;
Uniting death, life, miſery, joy and care,
By his ſharpe paſſion in his deere elected:
Who doth the Badges of like Liveries weare,
Shall find how deere they are of him reſpected.
No joy, griefe, paine, life, death, was like to his,
Whoſe infinitie dolours wrought eternall bliſſe.
The terror of all creatures at that inſtant when Chriſt died. What creature on the earth did then remaine,
On whom the horror of this ſhamefull deed
Did not inflict ſome violent touch, or ſtraine,
To ſee the Lord of all the world to bleed?
His dying breath did rend huge rockes in twaine,
The heavens betooke them to their mourning weed:
The Sunne grew darke, and ſcorn’d to give them light,
Who durſt ecclipſe a glory farre more bright.
The Moone and Starres did hide themſelves for ſhame,
The earth did rtremble in her loyall feare,
The Temple vaile did rent to ſpread his fame,
The Monuments did open every where;
Dead Saints did riſe forth of their graves, and came
To divers people that remained there
Within that holy City; whoſe offence,
Did put their Maker to this large expence.
Things reaſonable, and reaſonleſſe poſſeſt
The terrible impreſſion of this fact;
For his oppreſſion made them all oppreſt,
When with his blood he ſeal’d ſo faire an act,
In reſtleſſe miſerie to procure our reſt;
His glorious deedes that dreadfull priſon ſackt:
When Death, Hell, Divells, uſing all their powre,
Were overcome in that moſt bleſſed houre.
Being dead, he killed Death, and did ſurvive
That prowd inſulting Tyrant: in whoſe place
He ſends bright Immortalitie to revive
Thoſe whom his yron armes did long embrace;
Who from their loathſome graves brings them alive
In glory to behold their Saviours face:
Who tooke the keys of all Deaths powre away,
Opening to thoſe that would his name obay.
O wonder, more than man can comprehend,
Our Joy and Griefe both at one inſtant fram’d,
Compounded: Contrarieties contend
Each to exceed, yet neither to be blam’d.
Our Griefe to ſee our Saviours wretched end,
Our Joy to know both Death and Hell he tam’d:
That we may ſay, O Death, where is thy ſting?
Hell, yeeld thy victory to thy conq’ring King.
Can ſtony hearts refraine from ſhedding teares,
To view the life and death of this ſweet Saint?
His auſtere courſe in yong and tender yeares,
When great indurements could not make him faint:
His wants, his paines, his torments, and his feares,
All which he undertooke without conſtraint,
To ſhew that infinite Goodneſſe muſt reſtore,
What infinite Juſtice looked for, and more.
Yet, had he beene but of a meane degree,
His ſuffrings had beene ſmall to what they were;
Meane minds will ſhew of what meane mouldes they bee;
Small griefes ſeeme great, yet Uſe doth make them beare:
Buut ah! tis hard to ſtirre a ſturdy tree;
Great dangers hardly puts great minds in feare:
They will conceale their griefes which mightie grow
In their ſtout hearts untill they overflow.
If then an earthly Prince may ill endure
The leaſt of thoſe afflictions which he bare,
How could this all-commaunding King procure
Such grievous torments with his mind to ſquare,
Legions of Angells being at his Lure?
He might have liv’d in pleaſure without care:
None can conceive the bitter paines he felt,
When God and man muſt ſuffer without guilt.
Take all the Suffrings Thoughts can thinke upon,
In ev’ry man that this huge world hath bred;
Let all thoſe Paines and Suffrings meet in one,
Yet are they not a Mite to that he did
Endure for us: Oh let us thinke thereon,
That God ſhould have his pretious blood ſo ſhed:
His Greatneſſe clothed in our fraile attire,
And pay ſo deare a ranſome for the hire.
Loe, here was glorie, miſerie, life and death,
An union of contraries did accord;
Gladneſſe and ſadneſſe here had one berth,
This wonder wrought the Paſſion of our Lord,
He ſuffring for all the ſinnes of all th’earth,
No ſatisfaction could the world afford:
But this rich Jewell, which from God was ſent,
To call all thoſe that would in time repent.
Which I preſent (deare Lady) to your view,
Upon the Croſſe depriv’d of life or breath,
To judge if ever Lover were ſo true,
To yeeld himſelfe unto ſuch ſhamefull death:
Now bleſſed Joſeph doth both beg and ſue,
To have his body who poſſeſt his faith,
And thinkes, if he this ſmall requeſt obtaines,
He wins more wealth than in the world remaines.
Thus honourable Joſeph is poſſeſt,
Of what his heart and ſoule ſo much deſired,
And now he goes to give that body reſt,
That all his life, with griefes and paines was tired;
He finds a Tombe, a Tombe moſt rarely bleſt,
In which was never creature yet interred;
There this moſt pretious body he incloſes,
Imbalmd and deckt with Lillies and with Roſes.
Loe here the Beautie of Heav’n and Earth is laid,
The pureſt coulers underneath the Sunne,
But in this place he cannot long be ſtaid,
Glory muſt end what horror hath begun;
For he the furie of the Heavens obay’d,
And now he muſt poſſeſſe what he hath wonne:
The Maries doe with pretious balmes attend,
But beeing come, they find it to no end.
Christs reſurrection. For he is rize from Death t’Eternall Life,
And now thoſe pretious oyntments he deſires
Are brought unto him, by his faithfull Wife
The holy Church; who in thoſe rich attires,
Of Patience, Love, Long ſuffring, Voide of ſtrife,
Humbly preſents thoſe oyntments he requires:
The oyles of Mercie, Charitie, and Faith,
Shee onely gives that which no other hath.
A briefe deſcription of his beautie upon the Canticles. Theſe pretious balmes doe heale his grievous wounds,
And water of Compunction waſheth cleane
The ſoares of ſinnes, which in our Soules abounds;
So faire it heales, no skarre is ever ſeene;
Yet all the glory unto Chriſt redounds,
His pretious blood is that which muſt redeeme;
Thoſe well may make us lovely in his ſight,
But cannot ſave without his powrefull might.
This is that Bridegroome that appeares ſo faire,
So ſweet, ſo lovely in his Spouſes ſight,
That unto Snowe we may his face compare,
His cheekes like skarlet, and his eyes ſo bright
As pureſt Doves that in the rivers are,
Waſhed with milke, to give the more delight;
His head is likened to the fineſt gold,
His curled lockes ſo beauteous to behold;
Blacke as a Raven in her blackeſt hew;
His lips like skarlet threeds, yet much more ſweet
Than is the ſweeteſt hony dropping dew,
Or hony combes, where all the Bees doe meet;
Yea, he is conſtant, and his words are true,
His cheekes are beds of ſpices, flowers ſweet;
His lips like Lillies, dropping downe pure mirrhe,
Whoſe love, before all worlds we doe preferre.
To my Lady of Cumberland. Ah! give me leave (good Lady) now to leave
This taske of Beauty which I tooke in hand,
I cannot wade ſo deepe, I may deceave
My ſelfe, before I can attaine the land;
Therefore (good Madame) in your heart I leave
His perfect picture, where it ſtill ſhall ſtand,
Deepely engraved in that holy ſhrine,
Environed with Love and Thoughts divine.
There may you ſee him as a God in glory,
And as a man in miſerable caſe;
There may you reade his true and perfect ſtorie,
His bleeding body there you may embrace,
And kiſſe his dying cheekes with teares of ſorrow,
With joyfull griefe, you may intreat for grace;
And all your prayers, and your almes-deeds
May bring to ſtop his cruell wounds that bleeds.
Oft times hath he made triall of your love,
And in your Faith hath tooke no ſmall delight,
By Croſſes and Afflictions he doth prove,
Yet ſtill your heart remaineth firme and right;
Your love ſo ſtrong, as nothing can remove,
Your thoughts beeing placed on him both day and night,
Your conſtant ſoule doth lodge betweene her breſts,
This Sweet of ſweets, in which all glory reſts.
Sometime h’appeares to thee in Shepheards weed,
And ſo preſents himſelfe before thine eyes,
A good old man; that goes his flocke to feed;
Thy colour changes, and thy heart doth riſe;
Thou call’ſt, he comes, thou find’ſt tis he indeed,
Thy Soule conceaves that he is truely wiſe:
Nay more, deſires that he may be the Booke,
Whereon thine eyes continually may looke.
Sometime impriſon’d, naked, poore, and bare,
Full of diſeaſes, impotent, and lame,
Blind, deafe, and dumbe, he comes unto his faire,
To ſee if yet ſhee will remaine the ſame;
Nay ſicke and wounded, now thou do’ſt prepare
To cheriſh him in thy dear Lovers name:
Yea thou beſtow’ſt all paines, all coſt, all care,
That may relieve him, and his health repaire.
Theſe workes of mercy are ſo ſweete, ſo deare
To him that is the Lord of Life and Love,
That all thy prayers he vouchſafes to heare,
And ſends his holy Spirit from above;
Thy eyes are op’ned, and thou ſeeſt ſo cleare,
No worldly thing can thy faire mind remove;
Thy faith, thy prayers, and his ſpeciall grace
Doth open Heav’n, where thou behold’ſt his face.
Theſe are thoſe Keyes Saint Peter did poſſeſſe,
Which with a Spirituall powre are giv’n to thee,
To heale the ſoules of thoſe that doe tranſgreſſe,
By thy faire virtues; which, if once they ſee,
Unto the like they doe their minds addreſſe,
Such as thou art, ſuch they deſire to be:
If they be blind, thou giv’ſt to them their ſight;
If deafe or lame, they heare, and goe upright.
Yea, if poſſeſt with any evill ſpirits,
Such powre thy faire examples have obtain’d
To caſt them out, applying Chriſts pure merits,
By which they are bound, and of all hurt reſtrain’d:
If ſtrangely taken, wanting ſence or wits,
Thy faith appli’d unto their ſoules ſo pain’d,
Healeth all griefes, and makes them grow ſo ſtrong,
As no defects can hang upon them long.
Thou beeing thus rich, no riches do’ſt reſpect,
Nor do’ſt thou care for any outward ſhowe;
The proud that doe faire Virtues rules neglect,
Deſiring place, thou ſitteſt them belowe:
All wealth and honour thou do’ſt quite reject,
If thou perceiv’ſt that once it prooves a foe
To virtue, learning, and the powres divine,
Thou mai’ſt convert, but never wilt incline
To fowle diſorder, or licentiouſneſſe
But in thy modeſt vaile do’ſt ſweetly cover
The ſtaines of other ſinnes, to make themſelves,
That by this meanes thou mai’ſt in time recover
Thoſe weake loſt ſheepe that did ſo long tranſgreſſe,
Preſenting them unto thy deereſt Lover;
That when he brings them backe unto his fold,
In their converſion then he may behold
Thy beauty ſhining brighter than the Sunne,
Thine honour more than ever Monarke gaind,
Thy wealth exceeding his that Kingdomes wonne,
Thy Love unto his Spouſe, thy Faith unfaind,
Thy Conſtancy in what thou haſt begun,
Till thou his heavenly Kingdom have obtaind;
Reſpecting worldly wealth to be but droſſe,
Which, if abuz’d, doth proove the owners loſſe.
Great Cleopatra’s love to Anthony,
Can no way be compared unto thine;
Shee left her Love in his extremitie,
When greateſt need ſhould cauſe her to combine
Her force with his, to get the Victory:
Her Love was earthly, and thy Love Divine;
Her Love was onely to ſupport her pride,
Humilitie thy Love and Thee doth guide.
That glorious part of Death, which laſt ſhee plai’d,
T’appeaſe the ghoſt of her deceaſed Love,
Had never needed, if ſhee could have ſtai’d
When his extreames made triall, and did prove
Her leaden love unconſtant, and afraid:
Their wicked warres the wrath of God might move
To take revenge for chaſt Octavia’s wrongs,
Becauſe ſhee enjoyes what unto her belongs.
No Cleopatra, though thou wert as faire
As any Creature in Antonius eyes;
Yea though thou wert as rich, as wiſe, as rare,
As any Pen could write, or Wit deviſe;
Yet with this Lady canſt thou not compare,
Whoſe inward virtues all thy worth denies:
Yet thou a blacke Egyptian do’ſt appeare;
Thou falſe, ſhee true; and to her Love more deere.
Shee ſacrificeth to her deereſt Love,
With flowres of Faith, and garlands of Good deeds;
Shee flies not from him when afflictions prove,
Shee beares his croſſe, and ſtops his wounds that bleeds;
Shee loves and lives chaſte as the Turtle dove,
Shee attends upon him, and his flocke ſhee feeds;
Yea for one touch of death which thou did’ſt trie,
A thouſand deaths ſhee every day doth die.
Her virtuouus life exceeds thy worthy death,
Yea, ſhe hath richer ornaments of ſtate,
Shining more glorious than in dying breath
Thou didſt; when either pride, or cruell fate,
Did worke thee to prevent a double death;
To ſtay the malice, ſcorne, and cruell hate
Of Rome; that joy’d to ſee thy pride pull’d downe,
Whoſe Beauty wrought the hazard of her Crowne.
Good Madame, though your modeſtie be ſuch,
Not to acknowledge what we know and find;
And that you thinke theſe prayſes overmuch,
Which doe expreſſe the beautie of your mind;
Yet pardon me although I give a touch
Unto their eyes, that elſe would be ſo blind,
As not to ſee thy ſtore, and their owne wants,
From whoſe faire ſeeds of Virtue ſpring theſe plants.
And knowe, when firſt into this world I came,
This charge was giv’n me by th’Eternall powres,
Th’everlaſting Trophie of thy fame,
To build and decke it with the ſweeteſt flowres
That virtue yeelds; Then Madame, doe not blame
Me, when I ſhew the World but what is yours,
And decke you with that crowne which is your due,
That of Heav’ns beauty Earth may take a view.
Though famous women elder times have knowne,
Whoſe glorious actions did appeare ſo bright,
That powrefull men by them were overthrowne,
And all their armies overcome in fight;
The Scythian women by their powre alone,
Put king Darius unto ſhamefull flight:
All Aſia yeelded to their conq’ring hand,
Great Alexander could not their powre withſtand.
Whoſe worth, though writ in lines of blood and fire,
Is not to be compared unto thine;
Their powre was ſmall to overcome Deſire,
Or to direct their wayes by Virtues line:
Were they alive, they would thy Life admire,
And unto thee their honours would reſigne:
For thou a greater conqueſt do’ſt obtaine,
Than they who have ſo many thouſands ſlaine.
Wiſe Deborah that judged Iſrael,
Nor valiant Judeth cannot equall thee,
Unto the firſt, God did his will reveale,
And gave her powre to ſet his people free;
Yea Judeth had the powre likewiſe to queale
Proud Holifernes, that the juſt might ſee
What ſmall defence vaine pride, and greatneſſe hath
Againſt the weapons of Gods word and faith.
But thou farre greater warre do’ſt ſtill maintaine,
Againſt that many headed monſter Sinne,
Whoſe mortall ſting hath many thouſand ſlaine,
And every day freſh combates doe begin;
Yet cannot all his venome lay one ſtaine
Upon thy Soule, thou do’ſt the conqueſt winne,
Though all the world he daily doth devoure,
Yet over thee he never could get powre.
For that one worthy deed by Deb’rah done,
Thou haſt performed many in thy time;
For that one Conqueſt that faire Judeth wonne,
By which ſhee did the ſteps of honour clime;
Thou haſt the Conqueſt of all Conqueſts wonne,
When to thy Conſcience Hell can lay no crime:
For that one head that Judeth bare away,
Thou tak’ſt from Sinne a hundred heads a day.
Though virtuous Hester faſted three dayes ſpace,
And ſpent her time in prayers all that while,
That by Gods powre ſhee might obtaine ſuch grace,
That ſhee and hers might not become a ſpoyle
To wicked Hamon, in whoſe crabbed face
Was ſeene the map of malice, envie, guile;
Her glorious garments though ſhee put apart,
So to preſent a pure and ſingle heart
To God, in ſack-cloth, aſhes, and with teares;
Yet muſt faire Heſter needs give place to thee,
Who hath continu’d dayes, weekes, months, and yeares,
In Gods true ſervice, yet thy heart beeing ftree
From doubt of death, or any other feares:
Faſting from ſinne, thou pray’ſt thine eyes may ſee
Him that hath full poſſeſſion of thine heart,
From whoſe ſweet love thy Soule can never part.
His Love, not Feare, makes thee to faſt and pray,
No kinſmans counſell needs thee to adviſe;
The ſack-cloth thou do’ſt weare both night and day,
Is worldly troubles, which thy reſt denies;
The aſhes are the Vanities that play
Over thy head, and ſteale before thine eyes;
Which thou ſhak’ſt off when mourning time is paſt,
That royall roabes thou may’ſt put on at laſt.
Joachims wife; that faire and conſtant Dame,
Who rather choſe a cruel death to die,
Than yeeld to thoſe two Elders voide of ſhame,
When both at once her chaſtitie did trie,
Whoſe Innocencie bare away the blame,
Untill th’Almighty Lord had heard her crie;
And rais’d the ſpirit of a Child to ſpeake,
Making the powrefull judged of the weake.
Although her virtue doe deſerve to be
Writ by that hand that never purchas’d blame;
In holy Writ, where all the world may ſee
Her perfit life, and ever honoured name:
Yet was ſhe not to be compar’d to thee,
Whoſe many virtues doe increaſe thy fame:
For ſhee oppoſ’d againſt old doting Luſt,
Who with lifes danger ſhe did feare to truſt.
But your chaſte breaſt, guarded with ſtrength of mind,
Hates the imbracements of unchaſte deſires;
You loving God, live in your ſelfe confind
From unpure Love, your pureſt thoughts retires,
Your perfit ſight could never be ſo blind,
To entertaine the old or yong deſires
Of idle Lovers; which the world preſents,
Whoſe baſe abuſes worthy minds prevents.
Even as the conſtant Lawrell, alwayes greene,
No parching heate of Summer can deface,
Nor pinching Winter ever yet was ſeene,
Whoſe nipping froſts could wither, or diſgrace:
So you (deere Ladie) ſtill remaine as Queene,
Subduing all affections that are baſe,
Unalterable by the change of times,
Not following, but lamenting others crimes.
No feare of Death, or dread of open ſhame,
Hinders your perfect heart to give conſent;
Nor loathſome age, whom Time could never tame
From ill deſignes, whereto their youth was bent;
But love of God, care to preſerve your fame,
And ſpend that pretious time that God hath ſent,
In all good exerciſes of the minde,
Whereto your noble nature is inclin’d.
That Ethyopian Queene did gaine great fame,
Who from the Southerne world, did come to ſee
Great Salomon; the glory of whoſe name
Had ſpread it ſelfe ore all the earth, to be
So great, that all the Princes thither came,
To be ſpectators of his royaltie:
And this faire Queene of Sheba came from farre,
To reverence this new appearing ſtarre.
From th’utmoſt part of all the Earth ſhee came,
To heare the Wiſdom of this worthy King;
To trie if Wonder did agree with Fame,
And many faire rich preſents did ſhe bring:
Yea many ſtrange hard queſtions did ſhee frame,
All which were anſwer’d by this famous King:
Nothing was hid that in her heart did reſt,
And all to proove this King ſo highly bleſt.
Here Majeſtie with Majeſtie did meete,
Wiſdome to Wiſdome yeelded true content,
One Beauty did another Beauty greet,
Bounty to Bountie never could repent;
Here all diſtaſte is troden under feet,
No loſſe of time, where time was ſo well ſpent
In virtuous exerciſes of the minde,
In which this Queene did much contentment finde.
Spirits affect where they doe ſympathize,
Wiſdom deſires Wiſdome to embrace,
Virtue covets her like, and doth devize
How ſhe her friends may entertaine with grace;
Beauty ſometime is pleas’d to feed her eyes,
With viewing Beautie in anothers face:
Both good and bad in this point doe agree,
That each deſireth with his like to be.
And this Deſire did worke a ſtrange effect,
To drawe a Queene forth of her native Land,
Not yeelding to the niceneſſe and reſpect
Of woman-kind; ſhee paſt both ſea and land,
All feare of dangers ſhee did quite neglect,
Onely to ſee, to heare, and underſtand
That beauty, wiſedome, majeſtie, and glorie,
That in her heart impreſt his perfect ſtorie.
Yet this faire map of majeſtie and might,
Was but a figure of thy deereſt Love,
Borne t’expreſſe that true and heavenly light,
That doth all other joyes imperfect prove;
If this faire Earthly ſtarre did ſhine ſo bright,
What doth that glorious Sonne that is above?
Who weares th’imperiall crowne of heaven and earth,
And made all Chriſtians bleſſed in his berth.
If that ſmall ſparke could yeeld ſo great a fire,
As to inflame the hearts of many Kings
To come to ſee, to heare, and to admire
His wiſdome, tending but to worldly things;
Then much more reaſon have we to deſire
That heav’nly wiſedome, which ſalvation brings;
The Sonne of righteouſneſſe, that gives true joyes,
When all they fought for, were but Earthly toyes.
No travels ought th’affected ſoule to ſhunne,
That this faire heavenly Light deſires to ſee:
This King of kings to whom we all ſhould runne,
To view his Glory and his Majeſtie;
He without whom we all had beene undone,
He that from Sinne and Death hath ſet us free,
And overcome Satan, the world, and ſinne,
That by his merits we thoſe joyes might winne.
Prepar’d by him, whoſe everlaſting throne
Is plac’d in heaven, above the ſtarrie skies,
Where he that ſate, was like the Jaſper ſtone,
Who rightly knowes him ſhall be truely wiſe,
A Rainebow round about his glorious throne;
Nay more, thoſe winged beaſts ſo full of eies,
That never ceaſe to glorifie his Name,
Who was, and will be, and is now the ſame.
This is that great almightie Lord that made
Both heaven and earth, and lives for evermore;
By him the worlds foundation firſt was laid:
He fram’d the things that never were before:
The Sea within his bounds by him is ſtaid,
He judgeth all alike, both rich and poore:
All might, all majeſtie, all love, all lawe
Remaines in him that keepes all worlds in awe.
From his eternall throne the lightning came,
Thundrings and Voyces did from thence proceede;
And all the creatures glorifi’d his name,
In heaven, in earth, and ſeas, they all agreed,
When loe that ſpotleſſe Lambe ſo voyd of blame,
That for us di’d, whoſe ſinnes did make him bleed:
That true Phyſition that ſo many heales,
Opened the Booke, and did undoe the Seales.
He onely worthy to undoe the Booke
Of our charg’d ſoules, full of iniquitie,
Where with the eyes of mercy he doth looke
Upon our weakeneſſe and infirmitie;
This is that corner ſtone that was forſooke,
Who leaves it, truſts but to uncertaintie:
This is Gods Sonne, in whom he is well pleaſed,
His deere beloved, that his wrath appeaſed.
He that had powre to open all the Seales,
And ſummon up our ſinnes of blood and wrong,
He unto whom the righteous ſoules appeales,
That have bin martyrd, and doe thinke it long,
To whom in mercie he his will reveales,
That they ſhould reſt a little in their wrong,
Untill their fellow ſervants ſhould be killed,
Even as they were, and that they were fulfilled.
To the Lady dowager of Cumberland. Pure thoughted Lady, bleſſed be thy choyce
Of this Almightie, everlaſting King;
In thee his Saints and Angels doe rejoyce,
And to their Heav’nly Lord doe daily ſing
Thy perfect praiſes in their lowdeſt voyce;
And all their harpes and golden vials bring
Full of ſweet odours, even thy holy prayers
Unto that ſpotleſſe Lambe, that all repaires.
Of whom that Heathen Queene ohbtain’d ſuch grace,
By honouring but the ſhadow of his Love,
That great Judiciall day to have a place,
Condemning thoſe that doe unfaithfull prove;
Among the hapleſſe, happie is her caſe,
That her deere Saviour ſpake for her behove;
And that her memorable Act ſhould be
Writ by the hand of true Eternitie.
Yet this rare Phœnix of that worne-out age,
This great majeſticke Queene comes ſhort of thee
Who to an earthly Prince did then ingage
Her hearts deſires, her love, her libertie,
Acting her glorious part upon a Stage
Of weakneſſe, frailtie, and infirmity:
Giving all honour to a Creature, due
To her Creator, whom ſhee never knew.
But loe, a greater thou haſt ſought and found
Than Salomon in all his royaltie;
And unto him thy faith moſt firmely bound
To ſerve and honour him continually;
That glorious God, whoſe terror doth confound
All ſinfull workers of iniquitie:
Him haſt thou truely ſerved all thy life,
And for his love, liv’d with the world at ſtrife.
To this great Lord, thou onely art affected,
Yet came he not in pompe or royaltie,
But in an humble habit, baſe, dejected;
A King, a God, clad in mortalitie,
He hath thy love, thou art by him directed,
His perfect path was faire humilitie:
Who being Monarke of heav’n, earth, and ſeas,
Indur’d all wrongs, yet no man did diſpleaſe.
Then how much more art thou to be commended,
That ſeek’ſt thy love in lowly ſhepheards weed?
A ſeeming Trades-mans ſonne, of none attended,
Save of a few in povertie and need;
Poore Fiſhermen that on his love attended,
His love that makes ſo many thouſands bleed:
Thus did he come, to trie our faiths the more,
Poſſeſſing worlds, yet ſeeming extreame poore.
The Pilgrimes travels, and the Shepheards cares,
He tooke upon him to enlarge our ſoules,
What pride hath loſt, humilitie repaires,
For by his glorious death he us inroules
In deepe Characters, writ with blood and teares,
Upon thoſe bleſſed Everlaſting ſcroules;
His hands, his feete, his body, and his face,
Whence freely flow’d the rivers of his grace.
Sweet holy rivers, pure celeſtiall ſprings,
Proceeding from the fountaine of our life;
Swift ſugred currents that ſalvation brings,
Cleare chriſtall ſtreames, purging all ſinne and ſtrife,
Faire floods, where ſouls do bathe their ſnow-white wings,
Before they flie to true etern all life:
Sweet Nectar and Ambroſia, food of Saints,
Which, whoſo taſteth, never after faints.
This hony dropping dew of holy love,
Sweet milke, wherewith we weaklings are reſtored,
Who drinkes thereof, a world can never move,
All earthly pleaſures are of them abhorred;
This love made Martyrs many deaths to prove,
To taſte his ſweetneſſe, whom they ſo adored:
Sweetneſſe that makes our fleſh a burthen to us,
Knowing it ſerves but onely to undoe us.
His ſweetneſſe ſweet’ned all the ſowre of death,
To faithfull Stephen his appointed Saint;
Who by the river ſtones did looſe his breath,
When paines nor terrors could not make him faint:
So was this bleſſed Martyr turn’d to earth,
To glorifie his ſoule by deaths attaint:
This holy Saint was humbled and caſt downe,
To winne in heaven an everlaſting crowne.
Whoſe face repleat with Majeſtie and Sweetneſſe,
Did as an Angel unto them appeare,
That ſate in Counſell hearing his diſcreetneſſe,
Seeing no change, or any ſigne of a feare;
But with a conſtant browe did there confeſſe
Chriſts high deſerts, which were to him ſo deare:
Yea when theſe Tyrants ſtormes did moſt oppreſſe,
Chriſt did appeare to make his griefe the leſſe.
For beeing filled with the holy Ghoſt,
Up unto Heav’n he look’d with ſtedfaſt eies,
Where God appeared with his heavenly hoſte
In glory to this Saint before he dies;
Although he could no Earthly pleaſures boaſt,
At Gods right hand ſweet Jesus he eſpies;
Bids them behold Heavens open, he doth ſee
The Sonne of Man at Gods right hand to be.
Whoſe ſweetneſſe ſweet’ned that ſhort ſowre of Life,
Making all bitterneſſe delight his taſte,
Yeelding ſweet quietneſſe in bitter ſtrife,
And moſt contentment when he di’d diſgrac’d;
Heaping up joyes where ſorrows were moſt rife;
Such ſweetneſſe could not chooſe but be imbrac’d:
The food of Soules, the Spirits onely treaſure,
The Paradiſe of our celeſtiall pleaſure.
This Lambe of God, who di’d, and was alive,
Preſenting us the bread of life Eternall,
His bruiſed body powrefull to revive
Our ſinking ſoules, out of the pit infernall;
For by this bleſſed food he did contrive
A worke of grace, by this his gift externall,
With heav’nly Manna, food of his elected,
To feed their ſoules, of whom he is reſpected.
This wheate of Heaven the bleſſed Angells bread,
Wherewith he feedes his deere adopted Heires;
Sweet foode of life that doth revive the dead,
And from the living takes away all cares;
To taſte this ſweet Saint Laurence did not dread,
The broyling gridyorne cool’d with holy teares:
Yeelding his naked body to the fire,
To taſte this ſweetneſſe, ſuch was his deſire.
Nay, what great ſweetneſſe did th’Apoſtles taſte,
Condemn’d by Counſell, when they did returne;
Rejoycing that for him they di’d diſgrac’d,
Whoſe ſweetnes made their hearts and ſoules ſo burne
With holy zeale and love moſt pure and chaſte;
For him they ſought from whome they might not turne:
Whoſe love made Andrew goe moſt joyfully,
Unto the Croſſe, on which he meant to die.
The Princes of th’Apoſtles were ſo filled
With the delicious ſweetnes of his grace,
That willingly they yeelded to be killed,
Receiving deaths that were moſt vile and baſe,
For his name ſake, that all might be fulfilled.
They with great joy all torments did imbrace:
The ugli’ſt face that Death could ever yeeld,
Could never feare theſe Champions from the field.
They ſtill continued in their glorious fight,
Againſt the enemies of fleſh and blood;
And in Gods law did ſet their whole delight,
Suppreſſing evill, and erecting good:
Not ſparing Kings in what they did not right;
Their noble Actes they ſeal’d with deereſt blood:
One choſe the Gallowes, that unſeemely death,
The other by the Sword did looſe his breath.
His Head did pay the deareſt rate of ſin,
Yeelding it joyfully unto the Sword,
To be cut off as he had never bin,
For ſpeaking truth according to Gods word,
Telling king Herod of inceſtuous ſin,
That hatefull crime of God and man abhorr’d:
His brothers wife, that prowd licentious Dame,
Cut off his Head to take away his ſhame.
Colours of Confeſſors & Martirs. Loe Madame, heere you take a view of thoſe,
Whoſe worthy ſteps you doe deſire to tread,
Deckt in thoſe colours which our Saviour choſe;
The pureſt colours both of White and Red,
Their freſheſt beauties would I faine diſcloſe,
By which our Saviour moſt was honoured:
But my weake Muſe deſireth now to reſt,
Folding up all their Beauties in your breaſt.
Whoſe excellence hath rais’d my ſprites to write,
Of what my thoughts could hardly apprehend;
Your rareſt Virtues did my ſoule delight,
Great Ladie of my heart: I muſt commend
You that appeare ſo faire in all mens ſight:
On your Deſerts my Muſes doe attend:
You are the Articke Starre that guides my hand,
All what I am, I reſt at your command.
The Deſcription of Cooke-ham.
Farewell (ſweet Cooke-ham) where I firſt obtain’d
Grace from that Grace where perfit Grace remain’d:
And where the Muſes gave their full conſent,
I ſhould have powre the virtuous to content:
Where princely Palace will’d me to indite,
The ſacred Storie of the Soules delight.
Farewell (ſweet Place) where Virtue then did reſt,
And all delights did harbour in her breaſt:
Never ſhall my ſad eies againe behold
Thoſe pleaſures which my thoughts did then unfold:
Yet you (great Lady) Miſtris of that Place,
From whoſe deſires did ſpring this worke of Grace;
Vouchſafe to thinke upon thoſe pleaſures paſt,
As fleeting worldly Joyes that could not laſt:
Or, as dimme ſhadowes of celeſtiall pleaſures,
Which are deſir’d above all earthly treaſures.
Oh how (me thought) againſt you thither came,
Each part did ſeeme ſome new delight to frame!
The Houſe receiv’d all ornaments to grace it,
And would indure no fouleneſſe to deface it.
The Walkes put on their ſummer Liveries,
And all things elſe did hold like ſimilies:
The Trees with leaves, with fruits, with flowers clad,
Embrac’d each other, ſeeming to be glad,
Turning themſelves to beauteous Canopies,
To ſhade the bright Sunne from your brighter eies:
The criſtall Streames with ſilver ſpangles graced,H2 While 106 H2v
While by the glorious Sunne they were embraced:
The little Birds in chirping notes did ſing,
To entertaine both You and that ſweet Spring.
And Philomela with her ſundry leyes,
Both You and that delightfull Place did praiſe.
Oh how me thought each plant, each floure, each tree
Set forth their beauties then to welcome thee:
The very Hills right humbly did deſcend,
When you to tread upon them did intend.
And as you ſet your feete, they ſtill did riſe,
Glad that they could receive ſo rich a priſe.
The gentle Windes did take delight to bee
Among thoſe woods that were ſo grac’d by thee.
And in ſad murmure utterd pleaſing ſound,
That Pleaſure in that place might more abound:
The ſwelling Bankes deliver’d all their pride,
When ſuch a Phœnix once they had eſpide.
Each Arbor, Banke, each Seate, each ſtately Tree,
Thought themſelves honor’d in ſupporting thee.
The pretty Birds would oft come to attend thee,
Yet flie away for feare they ſhould offend thee:
The little creatures in the Burrough by
Would come abroad to ſport them in your eye;
Yet fearefull of the Bowe in your faire Hand,
Would runne away when you did make a ſtand.
Now let me come unto that ſtately Tree,
Wherein ſuch goodly Proſpects you did ſee;
That Oake that did in height his fellowes paſſe,
As much as lofty trees, low growing graſſe:
Much like a comely Cedar ſtreight and tall,
Whoſe beauteous ſtature farre exceeded all:
How often did you viſite this faire tree,
Which ſeeming joyfull in receiving thee,
Would like a Palme tree ſpread his armes abroad,Deſirous 107 H3r
Deſirous that you there ſhould make abode:
Whoſe faire greene leaves much like a comely vaile,
Defended Phebus when he would aſſaile:
Whoſe pleaſing boughes did yeeld a coole freſh ayre,
Joying his happineſſe when you were there.
Where beeing ſeated, you might plainely ſee,
Hills, vales, and woods, as if on bended knee
They had appeard, your honour to ſalute,
Or to preferre ſome ſtrange unlook’d for ſute:
All interlac’d with brookes and chriſtall ſprings,
A Proſpect fit to pleaſe the eyes of Kings:
And thirteene ſhires appear’d all in your ſight,
Europe could not affoard much more delight.
What was there then but gave you all content,
While you the time in meditation ſpent,
Of their Creators powre, which there you ſaw,
In all his Creatures held a perfit Law;
And in their beauties did you plaine deſcrie,
His beauty, wiſdome, grace, love, majeſtie.
In theſe ſweet woods how often did you walke,
With Chriſt and his Apoſtles there to talke;
Placing his holy Writ in ſome faire tree,
To meditate what you therein did ſee:
With Moyſes you did mount his holy Hill,
To know his pleaſure, and performe his Will.
With lovely David you did often ſing,
His holy Hymnes to Heavens Eternall King.
And in ſweet muſicke did your ſoule delight,
To ſound his prayſes, morning, noone, and night.
With bleſſed Joſeph you did often feed
Your pined brethren, when they ſtood in need.
And that ſweet Lady ſprung from Cliffords race,
Of noble Bedfords blood, faire ſteame of Grace;
To honourable Dorſet now eſpowſ’d,H3 In 108 H3v
In whose faire breaſt true virtue then was houſ’d:
Oh what delight did my weake ſpirits find
In thoſe pure parts of her well framed mind:
And yet it grieves me that I cannot be
Neere unto her, whoſe virtues did agree
With thoſe faire ornaments of outward beauty,
Which did enforce from all both love and dutie.
Unconſtant Fortune, thou art moſt too blame,
Who caſts us downe into ſo lowe a frame:
Where our great friends we cannot dayly ſee,
So great a diffrence is there in degree.
Many are placed in thoſe Orbes of ſtate,
Parters in honour, ſo ordain’d by Fate;
Neerer in ſhow, yet farther off in love,
In which, the loweſt alwayes are above.
But whither am I carried in conceit?
My Wit too weake to conſter of the great.
Why not? although we are but borne of earth,
We may behold the Heavens, deſpiſing death;
And loving heaven that is ſo farre above,
May in the end vouchſafe us entire love.
Therefore ſweet Memorie doe thou retaine
Thoſe pleaſures paſt, which will not turne againe:
Remember beauteous Dorſets former ſports,
So farre from beeing toucht by ill reports;
Wherein my ſelfe did alwaies beare a part,
While reverend Love preſented my true heart:
Thoſe recreations let me beare in mind,
Which her ſweet youth and noble thoughts did finde:
Whereof depriv’d, I evermore muſt grieve,
Hating blind Fortune, careleſſe to relieve.
And you ſweet Cooke-ham, whom theſe Ladies leave,
I now muſt tell the griefe you did conceave
At their departure; when they went away,How 109 H4r
How every thing retaind a ſad diſmay:
Nay long before, when once an inkeling came,
Me thought each thing did unto ſorrow frame:
The trees that were ſo glorious in our view,
Forſooke both flowres and fruit, when once they knew
Of your depart, their very leaves did wither,
Changing their colours as they grewe together.
But when they ſaw this had no powre to ſtay you,
They often wept, though ſpeechleſſe, could not pray you;
Letting their teares in your faire boſoms fall,
As if they ſaid, Why will ye leave us all?
This being vaine, they caſt their leaves away,
Hoping that pitie would have made you ſtay:
Their frozen tops, like Ages hoarie haires,
Showes their diſaſters, languiſhing in feares:
A ſwarthy riveld ryne all over ſpread,
Their dying bodies halfe alive, halfe dead.
But your occaſions call’d you ſo away,
That nothing there had power to make you ſtay:
Yet did I ſee a noble gratefull minde,
Requiting each according to their kind,
Forgetting not to turne and take your leave
Of theſe ſad creatures, powreleſſe to receive
Your favour when with griefe you did depart,
Placing their former pleaſures in your heart;
Giving great charge to noble Memory,
There to preſerve their love continually:
But ſpecially the love of that faire tree,
That firſt and laſt you did vouchſafe to ſee:
In which it pleas’d you oft to take the ayre,
With noble Dorſet, then a virgin faire:
Where many a learned Booke was read and skand
To this faire tree, taking me by the hand,
You did repeat the pleaſures which had paſt,Seeming 110 H4v
Seeming to grieve they could no longer laſt.
And with a chaſte, yet loving kiſſe tooke leave,
Of which ſweet kiſſe I did it soone bereave:
Scorning a ſenceleſſe creature ſhould poſſeſſe
So rare a favour, ſo great happineſſe.
No other kiſſe it could receive from me,
For feare to give backe what it tooke of thee:
So I ingratefull Creature did deceive it,
Of that which you vouchſaft in love to leave it.
And though it oft had giv’n me much content,
Yet this great wrong I never could repent:
But of the happieſt made it moſt forlorne,
To ſhew that nothing’s free from Fortunes ſcorne,
While all the reſt with this moſt beauteous tree,
Made their ſad conſort Sorrowes harmony.
The Floures that on the banks and walkes did grow,
Crept in the ground, the Graſſe did weepe for woe.
The Windes and Waters ſeem’d to chide together,
Becauſe you went away they know not whither:
And thoſe ſweet Brookes that ranne ſo faire and cleare,
With griefe and trouble wrinckled did appeare.
Thoſe pretty Birds that wonted were to ſing,
Now neither ſing, nor chirp, nor uſe their wing;
But with their tender feet on ſome bare ſpray,
Warble forth ſorrow, and their owne diſmay.
Faire Philomela leaves her mournefull Ditty,
Drownd in dead ſleepe, yet can procure no pittie:
Each arbour, banke, each ſeate, each ſtately tree,
Lookes bare and deſolate now for want of thee;
Turning greene treſſes into froſtie gray,
While in cold griefe they wither all away.
The Sunne grew weake, his beames no comfort gave,
While all greene things did make the earth their grave:
Each brier, each bramble, when you went away,Caught 111 I1r
Caught faſt your clothes, thinking to make you ſtay:
Delightfull Eccho wonted to reply
To our laſt words, did now for ſorrow die:
The houſe caſt off each garment that might grace it,
Putting on Duſt and Cobwebs to deface it.
All deſolation then there did appeare,
When you were going whom they held ſo deare.
This laſt farewell to Cooke-ham here I give,
When I am dead thy name in this may live,
Wherein I have perform’d her noble heſt,
Whoſe virtues lodge in my unworthy breaſt,
And ever ſhall, ſo long as life remaines,
Tying my heart to her by thoſe rich chaines.
To the doubtfull Reader.
Gentle Reader, if thou deſire to be reſolved, why I give this Title, Salve Deus Rex Judæorum, know for certaine; that it was delivered unto me in ſleepe many yeares before I had any intent to write in this maner, and was quite out of my memory, untill I had written the Paſſion of Christ, when immediately it came into my remembrance, what I had dreamed long before; and thinking it a ſignificant token, that I was appointed to performe this Worke, I gave the very ſame words I received in ſleepe as the fittest Title I could deviſe for this Booke.