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TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.
LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely hast shunn’d the broad way and the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,
That labour up the hill of heavenly truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,
No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fix’d, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure
Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.
TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY.
DAUGHTER to that good Earl, once President
Of England's Council, and her Treasury,
Who liv'd in both, unstain'd with gold or fee,
And left them both, more in himself content,
Till sad the breaking of that Parliament
Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,
Killd with report that old man eloquent:
Though later born than to have known the days
father flourish'd, yet by you,
Madam, methinks I see him living yet;
So well your words his noble virtues praise,
That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honour'd Margaret.
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON MY WRITING
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs :
As when those hinds that were transform’d to frogs
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny,
Which after held the sun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs;
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
And still revolt when truth would set them free.
License they mean when they cry Liberty ;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good;
But from that mark how far they rovę we see,
For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.
TO MR. H. LAWES ON THE PUBLISHING HIS AIRS.
HARRY, whose tuneful and well measur'd song
First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to scan
With Midas' ears, committing short and long ;
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
With praise enough for envy to look wan;
To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
That with smooth air couldst humour best our tongue.
Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing
To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' quire,
That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn, or story.
Dante shall give fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory,
ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHARINE THOMSON,
MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND, DECEASED 16TH dec. 1646.
When Faith and Love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load
Of death, call'd life; which us from life doth sever.
Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour,
Stay'd not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod,
Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Love led them on, and Faith, who knew them best
Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple beams
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes
Before the Judge; who thenceforth bid thee rest,
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.