A Celebration of Women Writers

Several poems compiled with great variety of wit and learning, full of delight; wherein especially is contained a compleat discourse, and description of the four elements, constitutions, ages of man, seasons of the year. Together with an exact epitome of the three first monarchyes, viz, the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian. And beginning of the Romane common-wealth to the end of their last king: with diverse other pleasant & serious poems, by a gentlewoman in New-England. The second edition, corrected by the author and enlarged by an addition of several other poems found amongst her papers after her death. By Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612-1672). Boston, Printed by John Foster, 1678.

Stained glass window, St. Botolph's Church, Boston, Lincolnshire, England.


TABLE OF CONTENTS.
[Created for the convenience of the modern reader.]

Untitled [by Reverend John Woodbridge, Anne Bradstreet's brother-in-law]  
    Kind Reader: iii
Untitled by N. W. [Nathaniel Ward.]  
    Mercury shew'd Apollo, Bartas Book, v
To my dear Sister, the Author of these Poems by I. W. [John Woodbridge]  
    Though most that know me, dare (I think) affirm vi
Upon the Author; by a known Friend. by B. W. [Benjamin Woodbridge]  
    Now I believe Tradition, which doth call ix
Untitled by C. B.  
    I cannot wonder at Apollo now ix
In praise of the Author, Mistris Anne Bradstreet by N. H.  
    What golden splendent star is this so bright, x
Upon the Author by C. B.  
    'Twere extream folly should I dare attempt, xi
Another To Mrs. Anne Bradstreet by H. S.  
    I've read your Poem (Lady) and admire, xi
An Anagram  
     Deer neat An Bartas. xi
Another  
    Artes bred neat An. xi
Upon Mrs. Anne Bradstreet Her Poems, &c. by J. Rogers [John Rogers]  
    Madam, twice through the Muses grove I walkt xii
   
Poems by Anne Bradstreet  
   
To her most Honoured Father Thomas Dudley Esq;  
    Dear Sir of late delighted with the sight 1
The Prologue  
    To sing of Wars, of Captains, and of Kings, 3
The Four Elements  
    The Fire, Air, Earth and Water did contest 5
Of the four Humours in Mans Constitution.  
    The former four now ending their discourse, 22
Of the four Ages of Man.  
    Lo now four other act upon the stage, 43
The four Seasons of the Year.  
    Another four I've left yet to bring on, 59
Untitled  
    My Subjects bare, my Brain is bad, 68
The four Monarchyes, the Assyrian being the first  
    When time was young, & World in Infancy, 69
The Second Monarchy, being the Persian,  
    Cyrus Cambyses Son of Persia King 91
The Third Monarchy, being the Grecian,  
     Great Alexander was wise Philips son, 125
The Romane Monarchy, being the fourth and last  
    Stout Romulus, Romes founder, and first King, 186
An Apology  
    To finish what's begun, was my intent, 191
A Dialogue Between Old England and New  
    Alas dear Mother fairest Queen and best, 192
An Elegie upon that Honourable and renowned Knight Sir Philip Sidney  
    When England did enjoy her Halsion dayes, 203
In honour of Du Bartas  
    Among the happy wits this age hath shown 206
In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth  
    Although great Queen thou now in silence lye, 210
Davids Lamentation for Saul and Jonathan.  
    Alas slain is the Head of Israel, 215
To the Memory of my dear and ever honoured Father, Thomas Dudley, Esq.  
    By duty bound, and not by custome led 217
An Epitaph On my dear and ever honoured Mother Mrs. Dorothy Dudley  
    A worthy Matron of unspotted life, 220
Contemplations  
    Sometime now past in the Autumnal Tide, 221
The Flesh and the Spirit  
    In secret place where once I stood 229
The Vanity of all worldly things  
    As he said vanity, so vain say I 233
The Author to her Book  
    Thou ill-form'd offspring of my feeble brain, 236
Upon a Fit of Sickness, Anno 1632.  
    Twice ten years old, not fully told 237
Upon some distemper of body  
    In anguish of my heart repleat with woes, 238
Before the Birth of one of her Children  
    All things within this fading world hath end, 239
To my Dear and loving Husband  
    If ever two were one, then surely we. 240
A Letter to her Husband, absent upon Publick employment  
    My head, my heart, mine Eyes, my life, nay more, 240
Another  
    Phœbus make haste, the day's too long, be gone, 241
Another  
    As loving Hind that (Hartless) wants her Deer, 243
To her Father with some verses  
    Most truly honoured, and as truly dear, 244
In reference to her Children, 23. June, 1659  
    I had eight birds hatcht in one nest, 245
In memory of my dear grand-child Elizabeth Bradstreet  
    Farewel dear babe, my hearts too much content, 248
In memory of my dear grand child Anne Bradstreet.  
    With troubled heart & trembling hand I write. 249
On my dear Grand-child Simon Bradstreet  
    No sooner come, but gone, and fal'n asleep, 250
To the memory of my dear Daughter-in-Law, Mrs. Mercy Bradstreet  
    And live I still to see Relations gone, 250
   
A Funeral Elogy [by John Norton]  
    Ask not why hearts turn magazines of passions, 252


Attributions of authorship for materials not by Anne Bradstreet are based on The Works of Anne Bradstreet Edited by Jeannine Hensley, Foreword by Adrienne Rich, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, c.1967. The exception is identification of B. W. as Benjamin Woodbridge, found in Anne Bradstreet and Her Time by Helen Campbell (1839-1918). Boston: D. Lothrop Company, c1891.

A note on typefaces: I have taken the liberty of replacing the "VV" used in old typefaces with the modern Latin letter W. Similarly long s has been transcribed as a modern s. Otherwise, I have attempted to retain the spelling and punctuation of the original 1678 printing.


A Celebration of Women Writers


[Title Page]



[Full Image]

SEVERAL

POEMS

Compiled with great variety of Wit and
Learning, full of Delight;
Wherein especially is contained a compleat
Discourse, and Description of

The Four { ELEMENTS
CONSTITUTIONS,
AGES of Man,
SEASONS of the Year.

Together with an exact Epitome of
the three first Monarchyes

Viz, The { ASSYRIAN,
PERSIAN,
GRECIAN.

And beginning of the Romane Common-wealth
to the end of their last King:

With diverse other pleasant & serious Poems,


By a Gentlewoman in New-England.


The second Edition, Corrected by the Author,
and enlarged by an Addition of several other
Poems found amongst her Papers
after her Death.


Boston, Printed by John Foster, 1678.


[Page]
[Page]

Kind Reader:

HAd I opportunity but to borrow some of the Authors wit, 'tis possible I might so trim this curious work with such quaint expressions, as that the Preface might bespeak thy further Perusal; but I fear 'twill be a shame for a Man that can speak so little, To be seen in the title-page of this Womans Book, lest by comparing the one with the other, the Reader should pass his sentence that it is the gift of women not only to speak most, but to speak best; I shall leave therefore to commend that, which with any ingenious Reader will too much commend the Author, unless men turn more peevish than women, to envy the excellency of the inferiour Sex. I doubt not but the Reader will quickly find more than I can say, and the worst effect of his reading will be unbelief, which will make him question whether it be a womans work and aske, Is it possible? If any do, take this as an answer from him that dares avow it; It is the Work of a Woman, honoured, and esteemed where she lives, for her gracious demeanour, her eminent parts, her pious conversation, her courteous disposition, her exact diligence in her place, and discreet managing of her Family [Page] occasions, and more then so, these Poems are the fruit but of some few houres, curtailed from her sleep and other refreshments. I dare adde little lest I keep thee too long; if thou wilt not believe the worth of these things (in their kind) when a man sayes it, yet believe it from a woman when thou seest it. This only I shall annex, I fear the displeasure of no person in the publishing of these Poems but the Author, without whose knowledg, and contrary to her expectation, I have presumed to bring to publick view, what she resolved in such a manner should never see the Sun; but I found that diverse had gotten some scattered Papers, affected them well, were likely to have sent forth broken pieces, to the Authors prejudice, which I thought to prevent, as well as to pleasure those that earnestly desired the view of the whole.


[Page]
MErcury shew'd Apollo, Bartas Book,
Minerva this, and wisht him well to look,
And tell uprightly, which did which excell,
He view'd and view'd, and vow'd he could not tel.
They bid him Hemisphear his mouldy nose,
With's crackt leering glasses, for it would pose
The best brains he had in's old pudding-pan,
Sex weigh'd, which best the Woman, or the Man?
He peer'd, and por'd, & glar'd, & said for wore,
I'me even as wise now, as I was before:
They both 'gan laugh, and said, it was no mar'l
The Auth'ress was a right Du Bartas Girle.
Good sooth quoth the old Don, tell ye me so,
I muse whither at length these Girls will go;
It half revives my chil frost-bitten blood,
To see a Woman once, do ought that's good;
And chode by Chaucers Boots, and Homers Furrs,
Let Men look to't, least Women wear the Spurrs.
N. Ward.

[Page]

To my dear Sister, the Author of
these Poems.

THough most that know me, dare (I think) affirm
I ne're was borne to do a Poet harm,
Yet when I read your pleasant witty strains,
It wrought so strongly on my addle brains,
That though my verse be not so finely spun,
And so (like yours) cannot so neatly run,
Yet am I willing, with upright intent,
To shew my love without a complement.
There needs no painting to that comely face,
That in its native beauty hath such grace;
What I (poore silly I) prefix therefore,
Can but do this, make yours admir'd the more;
And if but only this, I do attain
Content, that my disgrace may be your gain.
   If women, I with women, may compare,
Your works are solid, others weak as Air;
Some Books of Women I have heard of late,
Perused some, so witless, intricate,
So void of sense, and truth, as if to erre
Were only wisht (acting above their sphear)
And all to get, what (silly Souls) they lack,
Esteem to be the wisest of the pack;
[Page]
Though (for your sake) to some this be permitted,
To print yet wish I many better witted;
Their vanity make this to be enquired,
If Women are with wit and sence inspired:
Yet when your Works shall come to publick view,
'Twill be affirm'd, 'twill be confirm'd by you:
And I, when seriously I had revolved
What you had done, I presently resolved,
Theirs was the Persons, not the Sexes failing,
And therefore did be-speak a modest vailing.
You have acutely in Eliza's ditty,
Acquitted Women, else I might with pitty,
Have wisht them all to womens Works to look,
And never more to medele with their book.
What you have done, the Sun shall witness bear,
That for a womans Work 'tis very rare;
And if the Nine, vouchsafe the Tenth a place,
I think they rightly may yield you that grace.
   But least I should exceed, and too much love,
Should too too much endear'd affection move,
To super-adde in praises, I shall cease,
Least while I please my self I should displease
The longing Reader, who may chance complain,
And so requite my love with deep disdain;
That I your silly Servant, stand i' th' Porch,
Lighting your Sun-light, with my blinking Torch;
Hindring his minds content, his sweet repose,
Which your delightful Poems do disclose
When once the Caskets op'ned; yet to you
Let this be added, then I'le bid adieu,
[Page]
If you shall think, it will be to your shame
To be in print, then I must bear the blame:
If't be a fault, 'tis mine, 'tis shame that might
Deny so fair an infant of its right,
To look abroad; I know your modest mind,
How you will blush complain, 'tis too unkind,
To force a womans birth, provoke her pain,
Expose her labours to the Worlds disdain:
I know you'l say, you do defie that mint,
That stampt you thus, to be a fool in print.
'Tis true, it doth not now so neatly stand,
As if 'twere pollisht with your own sweet hand;
'Tis not so richly deckt, so trimly tir'd,
Yet it is such as justly is admir'd.
If it be folly, 'tis of both, or neither,
Both you and I, we'l both be fools together;
And he that sayes,'tis foolish (if my word
May sway) by my consent shall make the third.
I dare out-face the worlds disdain for both,
If you alone profess you are not wroth;
Yet if you are, a Womans wrath is little,
When thousands else admire you in each Tittle.
I. W.
[Page]

Upon the Author; by
a known Friend.

NOW I believe Tradition, which doth call
The Muses, Virtues, Graces, Females all;
Only they are not nine, eleven nor three;
Our Auth'ress proves them but one unity.
Mankind take up some blushes on the score;
Monopolize perfection no more;
In your own Arts confess yourself out-done,
The Moon hath totally eclips'd the Sun
Not with her sable Mantle muffling him;
But her bright silver makes his gold look dim;
Just as his beams force our pale lamps to wink,
And earthly Fires, within their ashes shrink.
B. W.

I cannot wonder at Apollo now,
That he with Female Laurel crown'd his brow,
That made him witty: had I leave to chuse,
My Verse should be a page unto your Muse.
C. B.
[Page]

In praise of the Author, Mistris Anne Bradstreet,
Virtues true and lively Pattern, Wife of the
Worshipfull Simon Bradstreet Esq;

At present residing in the Occidental parts of the
world in
America, Alias
NOV-ANGLIA.

WHat golden splendent STAR is this so bright,
One thousand Miles twice told, both day and night,
(From th' Orient first sprung) now from the West
That shines; swift-winged Phœbus, and the rest
Of all Jove's fiery flames surmounting far
As doth each Planet, every falling Star;
By whose divine and lucid light most clear
Natures dark secret mysteryes appear;
Heavens, Earths, admired wonders, noble acts
Of Kings and Princes most heroick facts,
And what e're else in darkness seem'd to dye,
Revives all things so obvious now to th' eye,
That he who these its glittering rayes views o're,
Shall see what's done in all the world before.
N. H.
[Page]

Upon the Author.

'TWere extream folly should I dare attempt,
To praise this Authors worth with complement;
None but her self must dare commend her parts,
Whose sublime brain's the Synopsis of Arts.
Nature and skill, here both in one agree,
To frame this Master-piece of Poetry:
False Fame, belye their Sex no more, it can
Surpass, or parrallel, the best of Man.
C. B.

Another To Mrs. Anne Bradstreet,
Author of this Poem.

I'Ve read your Poem (Lady) and admire,
Your Sex to such a pitch should e're aspire;
Go on to write, continue to relate,
New Historyes, of Monarchy and State:
And what the Romans to their Poets gave,
Be sure such honour, and esteem you'l have.
H. S.

An Anagram.

Anna Bradstreet. Deer neat An Bartas.
So Bartas like thy fine spun Poems been,
That Bartas name will prove an Epicene.

Another.

Anne Bradstreet. Artes bred neat An.
[Page]

UPON
Mrs. Anne Bradstreet
Her Poems, &c.

MADAM, twice through the Muses grove I walkt,
Under your blissful bowres, I shrowding there.
It seem'd with Nymphs of Helicon I talkt;
For there those sweet-lip'd Sisters sporting were;
Apollo with his sacred Lute sate by,
On high they made their heavenly Sonnets flye,
Posies around they strow'd, of sweetest Poesie.
2.
Twice have I drunk the Nectar of your lines,
Which high sublim'd my mean born fantasie.
Flusht with these streams of your Maronean wines
Above my self rapt to an extasie,
Methought I was upon mount Hiblas top,
There where I might those fragrant flowers lop,
Whence did sweet odors flow, and honey spangles drop.
3.
To Venus shrine no Altars raised are,
Nor venom'd shafts from painted quiver fly,
Nor wanton Doves of Aphrodites Carr,
Or fluttering there, or here forlornly lie,
Lorne Paramours, not chatting birds tell news
How sage Apollo, Daphne hot pursues,
Or stately Jove himself is wont to haunt the stews.
[Page]
4.
Nor barking Satyrs breath, nor driery clouds
Exhal'd from Styx, their dismal drops distil
Within these fFairy, flowry fields, nor shrouds
The screeching night Raven, with his shady quill;
But Lyrick strings here Orpheus nimbly hitts,
Orion on his sadled Dolphin sits,
Chanting as every humour, age & season fits.
5.
Here silver swans, with Nightingales set spells,
Which sweetly charm the Traveller, and raise
Earths earthed Monarchs, from their hidden Cells,
And to appearance summons lapsed dayes.
There heav'nly air, becalms the swelling frayes,
And fury fell of Elements allayes,
By paying every one due tribute of his praise.
6.
This seem'd the Scite of all those verdant vales,
And purled springs, whereat the Nymphs do play,
With lofty hills, where Poets rear their tales,
To heavenly vaults, which heav'nly sound repay
By ecchoes sweet rebound, here Ladyes kiss,
Circling nor songs, nor dances circle miss;
But whilst those Syrens sung, I sunk in sea of bliss.
7.
Thus weltring in delight, my virgin mind
Admits a rape; truth still lyes undescri'd,
Its singular, that plural seem'd, I find,
'Twas Fancies glass alone that multipli'd;
Nature with Art so closely did combine,
I thought I saw the Muses trebble trine,
Which prov'd your lonely Muse, superiour to the nine.
[Page]
8.
Your only hand those Poesies did compose,
Your head the source, whence all those springs did flow,
Your voice, whence changes sweetest notes arose,
Your feet that kept the dance alone, I trow:
Then vail your bonnets, Poetasters all,
Strike, lower amain and at these humbly fall,
And deem your selves advance'd to be her Pedestal.
9.
Should all with lowly Congies Laurels bring,
Waste Floras Magazine to find a wreathe,
Or Pineus Banks 'twere too mean offering,
Your Muse a fairer Garland loth bequeath
To guard your fairer front; here 'tis your name
Shall stand immarbled; this your little frame
Shall great Colossus be, to your eternal fame.
 
I'le please my self, tho' I my self disgrace,
What errors here be found, are in Errataes place.
J. Rogers.
[Page]

To her most Honoured Father
Thomas Dudley Esq;

these humbly presented.

DEar Sir of late delighted with the sight   T.D. On the four
Of your four Sisters cloth'd in black and white, { parts of
Of fairer Dames the Sun ne'r saw the face;   the World.
Though made a pedestal for Adams Race;
Their worth so shines in those rich lines you show
Their paralels to finde I scarely know
To climbe their Climes, I have nor strength nor skill
To mount so high requires an Eagle's quill;
Yet view thereof did cause my thoughts to soar,
My lowly pen might wait upon those four
I bring my four times four, now meanly clad
To do their homage, unto yours, full glad:
Who for their Age, their worth and quality
Might seem of yours to claim precedency:
But by my humble hand, thus rudely pen'd
They are your bounden handmaids to attend
[Page 2]
These same are they, from whom we being have
These are of all, the Life, the Nurse, the Grave;
These are the hot, the cold, the moist, the dry,
That sink, that swim, that fill, that upwards fly,
Of these consists our bodies, Cloathes and Food,
The World, the useful, hurtful, and the good,
Sweet harmony they keep, yet jar oft times
Their discord doth appear, by these harsh rimes
Yours did contest for wealth, for Arts, for Age,
My first do shew their good, and then their rage.
My other foures do intermixed tell
Each others faults, and where themselves excell,
How hot and dry contend with moist and cold,
How Air and Earth no correspondence hold,
And yet in equal tempers, how they 'gree
How divers natures make one Unity
Something of all (though mean) I did intend
But fear'd you'ld judge Du Bartas was my friend.
I honour him, but dare not wear his wealth
My goods are true (though poor) I love no stealth
But if I did I durst not send them you
Who must reward a Thief, but with his due.
I shall not need, mine innocence to clear
These ragged lines, will do 't when they appear:
On what they are, your mild aspect I crave
Accept my best, my worst vouchsafe a Grave.
 
From her that to your self, more duty owes
Then water in the boundess Ocean flows.
 
March 20, 1642.
ANNE BRADSTREET.
[Page 3]

THE
PROLOGUE.

1.
TO sing of Wars, of Captains, and of Kings,
Of Cities founded, Common-wealths begun,
For my mean pen are too superior things:
Or how they all, or each their dates have run
Let Poets and Historians set these forth,
My obscure Lines shall not so dim their worth.
2.
But when my wondring eyes and envious heart
Great Bartas sugar'd lines, do but read o're
Fool I do grudge the Muses did not part
'Twixt him and me that overfluent store,
A Bartas can, do what a Bartas will
But simple I according to my skill.
3.
From school-boyes tongue no rhet'rick we expect
Nor yet a sweet Consort from broken strings,
Nor perfect beauty, where's a main defect:
My foolish, broken blemish'd Muse so sings
And this to mend, alas, no Art is able,
'Cause nature, made it so irreparable.
4.
Nor can I, like that fluent sweet-tongu'd Greek,
Who lisp'd at first, in future times speak plain
By Art he gladly found what he did seek
A full requital of his, striving pain
[Page 4]
Art can do much, but this maxime's most sure
A weak or wounded brain admits no cure.
5.
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fits.
A Poets pen all scorn I should thus wrong.
For such despite they cast on Female wits:
If what I do prove well, it won't advance,
They'l say it's stoln, or else it was by chance.
6.
But sure the Antique Greeks were far more mild,
Else of our Sexe why feigned they those Nine
And poesy made, Calliope's own child;
So 'mongst the rest they placed the Arts Divine:
But this weak knot, they will full soon untie,
The Greeks did nought, but play the fools & lye.
7.
Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are.
Men have precedency, and still excell.
It is but vain unjustly to wage warre,
Men can do best, and women know it well
Preheminence in all and each is yours;
Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours.
8.
And oh ye high flown quills that soar the Skies,
And ever with your prey still catch your praise,
If e're you daigne these lowly lines your eyes
Give Thyme or Parsley wreath; I ask no bayes,
This mean and unrefined ore of mine
Will make you glistring gold, but more to shine:
[Page 5]

The
Four Elements

THe Fire, Air, Earth and Water did contest
Which was the strongest, noblest and the best,
Who was of greatest use and might'est force;
In placide Terms they thought now to discourse,
That in due order each her turn should speak;
But enmity this amity did break
All would be chief, and all scorn'd to be under
Whence issu'd winds & rains, lightning & thunder.
The quaking earth did groan, the Sky lookt black
The Fire, the forced Air, in sunder crack;
The sea did threat the heav'ns, the heavn's the earth,
All looked like a Chaos or new birth:
Fire broyled Earth, & scorched Earth it choaked
Both by their darings, water so provoked
That roaring in it came, and with its source
Soon made the Combatants abate their force
The rumbling hissing: puffing was so great
The worlds confusion, it did seem to threat
Till gentle Air, Contention so abated
That betwixt hot and cold, she arbritrated
The others difference, being less did cease
All storms now laid, and they in perfect peace
[Page 6]
That Fire should first begin, the rest consent,
The noblest and most active Element.
Fire.
What is my worth (both ye) and all men know,
In little time I can but little show,
But what I am, let learned Grecians say,
What I can do well skil'd Mechanicks may:
The benefit all living by me finde,
All sorts of Artists here declare your mind.
What tool was ever fram'd, but by my might?
Ye Martilists, what weapons for your fight,
To try your valour by, but it must feel
My force? Your Sword, & Gun, your Lance of steel,
Your Cannon's bootless and your powder too
Without mine aid, (alas) what can they do;
The adverse walls not shak'd, the Mines not blown
And in despight the City keeps her own;
But I with one Granado or Petard,
Set ope those gates, that 'fore so strong were bar'd.
Ye Husband-men, your Coulters made by me
Your Hooes your Mattocks, & what e're you see
Subdue the Earth, and fit it for your Grain
That so it might in time requite your pain:
Though strong limb'd Vulcan forg'd it by his skill
I made it flexible unto his will;
Ye Cooks, your Kitchen implements I frame
Your Spits, Pots, Jacks, what else I need not name.
[Page 7]
Your dayly food I wholsome make, I warm
Your shrinking Limbs, which winter's cold doth harm.
Ye Paracelsians too in vain's your skill
In Chymistry, unless I help you Still.
And you Philosophers, if e're you made
A transmutation it was through mine aid,
Ye silver Smiths, your Ure I do refine
What mingled lay with Earth I cause to shine;
But let me leave these things, my fame aspires
To match on high with the Celestial fires:
The Sun an Orb of fire was held of old,
Our Sages new another tale have told:
But be he what they will yet his aspect
A burning fiery heat we find reflect,
And of the self same nature is with mine
Cold sister Earth, no witness needs but thine;
How doth his warmth, refresh thy frozen back
And trim thee brave, in green, after thy black:
Both man and beast rejoyce at his approach,
And birds do sing, to see his glittering Coach
And though nought, but Salamanders live in fire
And fly Pyrausta call'd, all else expire,
Yet men and beast Astronomers will tell
Fixed in heavenly Constellations dwell,
My Planets of both Sexes whose degree
Poor Heathen judg'd worthy a Diety;
There's Orion arm'd attended by his dog;
The Theban stout Alcides with his Club;
The valiant Perseus, who Medusa slew,
The horse that kil'd Belerophon, then flew.
[Page 8]
My Crab, my Scorpion, fishes you may see
The Maid with ballance, wain with horses three,
The Ram, the Bull, the Lion, and the Beagle,
The Bear, the Goat, the Raven, and the Eagle,
The Crown, the Whale, the Archer, Bernice Hare,
The Hidra, Dolphin, Boys that water bear,
Nay more, then these, Rivers 'mongst stars are found
Eridanus, where Phæton was drown'd.
Their magnitude, and height, should I recount
My story to a volume would amount;
Out of a multitude these few I touch,
Your wisdome out of little gather much.
I'le here let pass, my choler, cause of wars
and influence of divers of those stars
When in Conjunction with the Sun do more
Augment his heat, which was too hot before.
The Summer ripening season I do claim
And man from thirty unto fifty frame.
Of old when Sacrifices were Divine,
I of acceptance was the holy signe,
'Mong all thy wonders which I might recount,
There's none more strange then Ætna's Sulphry mount
The choaking flames, that from Vesuvius flew
The over curious second Pliny flew,
And with the Ashes that it sometimes shed
Apulia's 'jacent parts were covered.
And though I be a servant to each man
Yet by my force, master, my masters can.
What famous Towns, to Cinders have I turn'd?
What lasting forts my kindled wrath hath burn'd?
[Page 9]
The stately Seats of mighty Kings by me
In confused heaps, of ashes may you see.
Wher's Ninus great wall'd Town, & Troy of old
Carthage, and hundred more in stories told
Which when they could not be o'recome by foes
The Army, through my help victorious rose
And stately London, (our great Britain's glory)
My raging flame did make a mournful story,
But maugre all, that I, or foes could do
That Phœnix from her Bed, is risen New.
Old sacred Zion, I demolish'd thee.
So great Diana's Temple was by me,
And more than bruitish Sodom, for her lust
With neighbouring Towns, I did consume to dust
What shall I say of Lightning and of Thunder
Which Kings & mighty ones amaze with wonder,
Which made a Cæsar, (Romes) the worlds proud head,
Foolish Caligula creep under 's bed.
Of Meteors, ignis fatuus and the rest,
But to leave those to th' wise, I judge it best.
The rich I oft make poor, the strong I maime,
Not sparing Life when I can take the same;
And in a word, the world I shall consume
And all therein, at that great day of Doom;
Not before then, shall cease, my raging ire,
And then because, no matter more for fire.
Now Sisters pray proceed, each in your Course
As I, impart your usefulness and force.
[Page 10]
Earth.
The next in place Earth judg'd to be her due,
Sister (quoth shee) I come not short of you,
In wealth and use I do surpass you all,
And mother earth of old men did me call:
Such is my fruitfulness, an Epithite,
Which none ere gave, or you could claim of right
Among my praises this I count not least,
I am th' original of man and beast.
To tell what sundry fruits my fat soil yields,
In Vineyards, Gardens, Orchards & Corn-fields,
Their kinds, their tasts, their colors & their smells
Would so pass time I could say nothing else:
The rich the poor, wise, fool, and every sort
Of these so common things can make report.
To tell you of my countryes and my Regions,
Soon would they pass not hundreds but legions;
My cities famous, rich and populous,
Whose numbers now are grown innumerous.
I have not time to think of every part,
Yet let me name my Grecia, 'tis my heart.
For learning arms and arts I love it well,
But chiefly 'cause the Muses there did dwell.
Ile here skip ore my mountains reaching skyes,
Whether Pyrenean, or the Alpes, both lyes
On either side the country of the Gaules
Strong forts, from Spanish and Italian brawles,
[Page 11]
And huge great Taurus longer then the rest,
Dividing great Armenia from the least;
And Hemus, whose steep sides none foot upon,
But farewell all for dear mount Helicon,
And wondrous high Olimpus, of such fame,
That heav'n itself was oft call'd by that name.
Parnassus sweet, I dote too much on thee,
Unless thou prove a better friend to me:
But Ile leap ore these hills, not touch a dale,
Nor will I stay, no not in Tempi Vale,
Ile here let go my Lions of Numidia,
My Panthers and my Leopards of Libia,
The Behemoth and rare found Unicorn,
Poysons sure antidote lyes in his horn,
And my Hiæna (imitates mans voice)
Out of great numbers I might pick my choice,
Thousands in woods & plains, both wild & tame,
But here or there, I list now none to name;
No, though the fawning Dog did urge me sore,
In his behalf to speak a word the more,
Whose trust and valour I might here commend;
But time's too short and precious so to spend.
But hark you wealthy merchants, who for prize
Send forth your well man'd ships where sun doth rise,
After three years when men and meat is spent,
My rich Commodityes pay double rent.
Ye Galenists, my Drugs that come from thence,
Do cure your Patients, fill your purse with pence;
Besides the use of roots, of hearbs, and plants,
That with less cost near home supply your wants.
[Page 12]
But Mariners, where got you ships and Sails,
And Oars to row, when both my Sisters fails?
Your Tackling, Anchor, compass too is mine,
Which guides when sun nor moon nor stars do shine.
Ye mighty Kings, who for your lasting fames
Built Cities, Monuments, call'd by your names,
Were those compiled heaps of massy stones
That your ambition laid, ought but my bones?
Ye greedy misers, who do dig for gold
For gemms, for silver, Treasures which I hold,
Will not my goodly face your rage suffice
But you will see what in my bowels lyes?
And ye Artificers, all Trades and forts
My bounty calls you forth to make reports,
If ought you have, to use, to wear, to eat,
But what I freely yield, upon your sweat?
And Cholerick Sister, thou for all thine ire
Well knowst my fuel must maintain thy fire.
As I ingenuously with thanks confess,
My cold thy fruitfull heat doth crave no less:
But how my cold dry temper works upon
The melancholy Constitution;
How the autumnal season I do sway,
And how I force the grey-head to obey,
I should here make a short, yet true Narration,
But that thy method is mine imitation.
Now must I shew mine adverse quality,
And how I oft work mans mortality:
He sometimes finds, maugre his toiling pain
Thistles and thorns where he expected grain.
[Page 13]
My sap to plants and trees I must not grant,
The vine, the olive, and the figtree want:
The Corn and Hay do fall before the're mown,
And buds from fruitfull trees as soon as blown;
Then dearth prevails, that nature to suffice
The Mother on her tender infant flyes;
The husband knows no wife, nor father sons,
But to all outrages their hunger runs:
Dreadfull examples soon I might produce,
But to such Auditors 'twere of no use,
Again when Delvers dare in hope of gold
To ope those veins of Mine, audacious bold;
While they thus in mine entrails love to dive,
Before they know, they are inter'd alive.
Y'affrighted wights appal'd, how do ye shake,
When once you feel me your foundation quake?
Because in the Abbysse of my dark womb
Your cities and yourselves I oft intomb:
O dreadful Sepulcher! that this is true
Dathan and all his company well knew,
So did that Roman, far more stout then wise,
Bur'ing himself alive for honour's prize.
And since fair Italy full sadly knowes
What she hath lost by these remed'less woes.
Again what veins of poyson in me lye,
Some kill outright, and some do stupifye:
Nay into herbs and plants it sometimes creeps,
In heats & colds & gripes & drowzy sleeps;
Thus I occasion death to man and beast
When food they seek, & harm mistrust the least.
[Page 14]
Much might I say of the hot Libian sand
Which rise like tumbling Billows on the Land
Wherein Cambyses Armie was o'rethrown
(but windy Sister, 'twas when you have blown)
I'le say no more, but this thing add I must
Remember Sons, your mould is of my dust
And after death whether interr'd or burn'd
As Earth at first so into Earth return'd.
Water.
Scarce Earth had done, but th' angry water mov'd
Sister (quoth she) it had full well behov'd
Among your boastings to have praised me
Cause of your fruitfulness as you shall see:
This your neglect shews your ingratitude
And how your subtilty, would men delude
Not one of us (all knows) that's like to thee
Ever in craving, from the other three;
But thou art bound to me, above the rest,
Who am thy drink, thy blood, thy sap and best:
If I withhold what art thou? dead dry lump
Thou bearst nor grass or plant nor tree, nor stump,
Thy extream thirst is moistned by my love
With springs below, and showres from above
Or else thy Sun burnt face and gaping chops
Complain to th' heavens if I withhold my drops
Thy Bear, thy Tiger and thy Lion stout,
When I am gone, their fierceness none needs doubt
[Page 15]
Thy Camel hath no strength, thy Bull no force
Nor mettal's found, in the courageous Horse
Hinds leave their calves, the Elephant, the Fens
The wolves and savage beasts, forsake their Dens
The lofty Eagle, and the Stork fly low,
The Peacock and the Ostrich, share in woe,
The Pine, the Cedar, yea, and Daphne's Tree
Do cease to nourish in this misery.
Man wants his bread and wine, & pleasant fruits
He knows, such sweets, lies not in Earths dry roots
Then seeks me out, in river and in well
His deadly malady I might expell:
If I supply, his heart and veins rejoyce,
If not, soon ends his life, as did his voyce;
That this is true, Earth thou can'st not deny
I call thine Egypt, this to verifie,
Which by my fatting Nile, doth yield such store
That she can spare, when nations round are poor
When I run low, and not o'reflow her brinks
To meet with want, each woful man he thinks:
And such I am in Rivers, showrs and springs
But what's the wealth, that my rich Ocean brings
Fishes so numberless, I there do hold
If thou shouldst buy, it would exhaust thy gold:
There lives the oyly Whale, whom all men know
Such wealth but not such like, Earth thou maist show.
The Dolphin loving musick, Arians friend
The witty Barbel, whose craft doth her commend
With thousands more, which now I list not name
Thy silence of thy Beasts doth cause the same
[Page 16]
My pearles that dangle at thy Darlings ears,
Not thou, but shel-fish yield, as Pliny clears,
Was ever gem so rich found in thy trunk,
As Egypts wanton, Cleopatra drunk?
Or hast thou any colour can come nigh
The Roman purple double Tirian dye?
Which Cæsar's Consuls, Tribunes all adorn,
For it to search my waves they thought no scorn.
Thy gallant rich perfuming Amber-greece
I lightly cast ashore as frothy fleece:
With rowling grains of purest massie gold,
Which Spains Americans do gladly hold.
Earth thou hast not moe countrys vales & mounds
Then I have fountains, rivers lakes and ponds.
My sundry seas, black, white and Adriatique,
Ionian, Baltique, and the vast Atlantique,
Ægean, Caspian, golden Rivers five,
Asphaltis lake where nought remains alive:
But I should go beyond thee in my boasts,
If I should name more seas than thou hast Coasts,
And be thy mountains n'er so high and steep,
I soon can match them with my seas as deep.
To speak of kinds of waters I neglect,
My diverse fountains and their strange effect:
My wholsome bathes, together with their cures;
My water Syrens with their guilefull lures,
Th'uncertain cause of certain ebbs and flows,
Which wondring Aristotles wit n'er knows,
Nor will I speak of waters made by art,
Which can to life restore a fainting heart.
[Page 17]
Nor fruitfull dews, nor drops distil'd from eyes,
Which pitty move, and oft deceive the wise:
Nor yet of salt and sugar, sweet and smart,
Both when we lift to water we convert.
Alas thy ships and oars could do no good
Did they but want my Ocean and my flood.
The wary merchant on his weary beast
Transfers his goods from south to north and east,
Unless I ease his toil, and do transport
The wealthy fraight unto his wished port:
These be my benefits, which may suffice:
I now must shew what ill there in me lies.
The flegmy Constitution I uphold,
All humors, tumors which are bred of cold:
O'er childhood and ore winter I bear sway,
And Luna for my Regent I obey.
As I with showers oft times refresh the earth,
So oft in my excess I cause a dearth,
And with abundant wet so cool the ground,
By adding cold to cold no fruit proves found.
The Farmer and the Grasier do complain
Of rotten sheep, lean kine, and mildew'd grain.
And with my wasting floods and roaring torrent,
Their cattel hay and corn I sweep down current.
Nay many times my Ocean breaks his bounds,
And with astonishment the world confounds,
And swallows Countryes up, n'er seen again,
And that an island makes which once was Main:
Thus Britain fair (tis thought) was cut from France
Scicily from Italy by the like chance,
[Page 18]
And but one land was Africa and Spain
Untill proud Gibraltar did make them twain.
Some say I swallow'd up (sure tis a notion)
A mighty country in th' Atlantique Ocean.
I need not say much of my hail and snow,
My ice and extream cold, which all men know,
Whereof the first so ominous I rain'd,
That Israels enemies therewith were brain'd;
And of my chilling snows such plenty be,
That Caucasus high mounts are seldome free,
Mine ice doth glaze Europes great rivers o're,
Till sun release, their ships can sail no more,
All know that inundations I have made,
Wherein not men, but mountains seem'd to wade;
As when Achaia all under water stood,
That for two hundred years it n'er prov'd good.
Deucalions great Deluge with many moe,
But these are trifles to the flood of Noe,
Then wholly perish'd Earths ignoble race,
And to this day impairs her beauteous face,
That after times shall never feel like woe,
Her confirm'd sons behold my colour'd bow.
Much might I say of wracks, but that Ile spare,
And now give place unto our Sister Air.
[Page 19]
Air.
Content (quoth Air) to speak the last of you,
Yet am not ignorant first was my due:
I do suppose you'l yield without controul
I am the breath of every living soul.
Mortals, what one of you that loves not me
Abundantly more then my Sisters three?
And though you love Fire, Earth and Water well
Yet Air beyond all these you know t' excell.
I ask the man condemn'd that's neer his death,
How gladly should his gold purchase his breath,
And all the wealth that ever earth did give,
How freely should it go so he might live:
No earth, thy witching trash were all but vain,
If my pure air thy sons did not sustain,
The famish'd thirsty man that craves supply,
His moving reason is, give least I dye,
So loth he is to go though nature's spent
To bid adieu to his dear Element.
Nay what are words which do reveal the mind,
Speak who or what they will they are but wind.
Your drums your trumpets & your organs found,
What is't but forced air which doth rebound,
And such are ecchoes and report of th' gun
That tells afar th' exploit which it hath done.
Your Songs and pleasant tunes they are the same,
And so's the notes which Nightingales do frame.
[Page 20]
Ye forging Smiths, if bellows once were gone
Your red hot work more coldly would go on.
Ye Mariners, tis I that fill your sails
And speed you to your port with wished gales.
When burning heat doth cause you faint, I cool,
And when I smile, your ocean's like a pool.
I help to ripe the corn, I turn the mill,
And with my self I every Vacuum fill.
The ruddy sweet sanguine is like to air,
And youth and spring, Sages to me compare,
My moist hot nature is so purely thin,
No place so subtily made, but I get in.
I grow more pure and pure as I mount higher,
And when I'm throughly rarifi'd turn fire:
So when I am condens'd, I turn to water,
Which may be done by holding down my vapour.
Thus I another body can assume,
And in a trice my own nature resume.
Some for this cause of late have been so bold
Me for no Element longer to hold,
Let such suspend their thoughts, and silent be,
For all Philosophers make one of me:
And what those Sages either spake or writ
Is more authentick then our modern wit.
Next of my fowles such multitudes there are,
Earths beasts and waters fish scarce can compare.
Th' Ostrich with her plumes, th' Eagle with her eyn
The Phœnix too (if any be) are mine,
The stork, the crane, the partridge, and the phesant
The Thrush, the wren, the lark a prey to th' peasant,
[Page 21]
With thousands more which now I may omit
Without impeachment to my tale or wit.
As my fresh air preserves all things in life,
So when corrupt, mortality is rife;
Then Fevers, Purples, Pox and Pestilence,
With divers moe, work deadly consequence:
Whereof such multitudes have di'd and fled,
The living scarce had power to bury dead;
Yea so contagious countryes have we known
That birds have not 'scapt death as they have flown
Of murrain, cattle numberless did fall,
Men feared destruction epidemical.
Then of my tempests felt at sea and land,
Which neither ships nor houses could withstand,
What wofull wracks I've made may well appear,
If nought were known but that before Algere,
Where famous Charles the fifth more loss sustained
Then in his long hot war which Millain gain'd.
Again what furious storms and Hurricanoes
Know western Isles, as Christophers, Barbadoes,
Where neither houses, trees nor plants I spare,
But some fall down, and some fly up with air.
Earthquakes so hurtfull, and so fear'd of all,
Imprison'd I, am the original.
Then what prodigious sights I sometimes show,
As battles pitcht in th' air, as countryes know,
Their joyning fighting, forcing and retreat,
That earth appears in heaven, O wonder great!
Sometimes red flaming swords and blazing stars,
Portentous signs of famines, plagues and wars,
[Page 22]
Which make the Monarchs fear their fates
By death or great mutation of their States.
I have said less than did my Sisters three,
But what's their wrath or force, the fame's in me.
To adde to all I've said was my intent,
But dare not go beyond my Element.

Of the four Humours in Mans
Constitution.

THe former four now ending their discourse,
Ceasing to vaunt their good, or threat their force,
Lo other four step up, crave leave to show
The native qualityes that from them flow:
But first they wisely shew'd their high descent,
Each eldest daughter to each Element.
Choler was own'd by fire, and Blood by air,
Earth knew her black swarth child, water her fair:
All having made obeysance to each Mother,
Had leave to speak, succeeding one the other:
But 'mongst themselves they were at variance,
Which of the four should have predominance.
Choler first hotly claim'd right by her mother,
Who had precedency of all the other:
But Sanguine did disdain what she requir'd,
Pleading her self was most of all desir'd.
Proud Melancholy more envious then the rest,
The second, third or last could not digest.
[Page 23]
She was the silentest of all the four,
Her wisdom spake not much, but thought the more
Mild Flegme did not contest for chiefest place,
Only she crav'd to have a vacant space.
Well, thus they parle and chide; but to be brief,
Or will they, nill they, Choler will be chief.
They seing her impetuosity
At present yielded to necessity.
Choler.
To shew my high descent and pedegree,
Your selves would judge but vain prolixity;
It is acknowledged from whence I came,
It shall suffice to shew you what I am,
My self and mother one, as you shall see,
But shee in greater, I in less degree.
We both once Masculines, the world doth know,
Now Feminines awhile, for love we owe
Unto your Sisterhood, which makes us render
Our noble selves in a less noble gender.
Though under Fire we comprehend all heat,
Yet man for Choler is the proper seat:
I in his heart erect my regal throne,
Where Monarch like I play and sway alone.
Yet many times unto my great disgrace
One of your selves are my Compeers in place,
Where if your rule prove once predominant,
The man proves boyish, sottish, ignorant:
[Page 24]
But if you yield subservience unto me,
I make a man, a man in th'high'st degree:
Be he a souldier, I more fence his heart
Then iron Corslet 'gainst a sword or dart.
What makes him face his foe without appal,
To storm a breach, or scale a city wall,
In dangers to account himself more sure
Then timerous Hares whom Castles do immure?
Have you not heard of worthyes, Demi-Gods?
Twixt them and others what is't makes the odds
But valour? whence comes that? from none of you,
Nay milksops at such brunts you look but blew.
Here's sister ruddy, worth the other two,
Who much will talk, but little dares she do,
Unless to Court and claw, to dice and drink,
And there she will out-bid us all, I think,
She loves a fiddle better then a drum,
A Chamber well, in field she dares not come,
She'l ride a horse as bravely as the best,
And break a staff, provided 'be in jest;
But shuns to look on wounds, & blood that's spilt,
She loves her sword only because its gilt.
Then here's our sad black Sister, worse then you.
She'l neither say she will, nor will she doe;
But peevish Malecontent, musing sits,
And by misprissions like to loose her witts:
If great perswasions cause her meet her foe,
In her dull resolution she's so slow,
To march her pace to some is greater pain
Then by a quick encounter to be slain.
[Page 25]
But be she beaten, she'l not run away,
She'l first advise if't be not best to stay.
Now let's give cold white sister flegme her right,
So loving unto all she scorns to fight:
If any threaten her, she'l in a trice
Convert from water to congealed ice:
Her teeth will chatter, dead and wan's her face,
And 'fore she be assaulted, quits the place.
She dares not challeng, if I speak amiss,
Nor hath she wit or heat to blush at this.
Here's three of you all see now what you are,
Then yield to me preheminence in war.
Again who fits for learning, science, arts?
Who rarifies the intellectual parts:
From whence fine spirits flow and witty notions:
But tis not from our dull, slow sisters motions:
Nor sister sanguine, from thy moderate heat,
Poor spirits the Liver breeds, which is thy seat.
What comes from thence, my heat refines the same
And through the arteries sends it o're the frame:
The vital spirits they're call'd, and well they may
For when they fail, man turns unto his clay.
The animal I claim as well as these,
The nerves, should I not warm, soon would they freeze
But flegme her self is now provok'd at this
She thinks I never shot so far amiss.
The brain she challengeth, the head's her seat;
But know'ts a foolish brain that wanteth heat.
My absence proves it plain, her wit then flyes
Out at her nose, or melteth at her eyes.
[Page 26]
Oh who would miss this influence of thine
To be distill'd, a drop on every Line?
Alas, thou hast no Spirits; thy Company
Will feed a dropsy, or a Tympany,
The Palsy, Gout, or Cramp, or some such dolour:
Thou wast not made, for Souldier or for Scholar;
Of greazy paunch, and bloated cheeks go vaunt,
But a good head from these are dissonant.
But Melancholy, wouldst have this glory thine,
Thou sayst thy wits are staid, subtil and fine;
'Tis true, when I am Midwife to thy birth
Thy self's as dull, as is thy mother Earth:
Thou canst not claim the liver, head nor heart
Yet hast the Seat assign'd, a goodly part
The sinke of all us three, the hateful Spleen
Of that black Region, nature made thee Queen;
Where pain and sore obstruction thou dost work,
Where envy, malice, thy Companions lurk.
If once thou'rt great, what follows thereupon
But bodies wasting, and destruction?
So base thou art, that baser cannot be,
Th' excrement adustion of me.
But I am weary to dilate your shame,
Nor is't my pleasure thus to blur your name,
Only to raise my honour to the Skies,
As objects best appear by contraries.
But Arms, and Arts I claim, and higher things,
The princely qualities befitting Kings,
Whose profound heads I line with policies,
They'r held for Oracles, they are so wise,
[Page 27]
Their wrathful looks are death their words are laws
Their Courage it foe, friend, and Subject awes;
But one of you, would make a worthy King
Like our sixth Henry (that same virtuous thing)
That when a Varlet struck him o're the side,
Forsooth you are to blame, he grave reply'd.
Take Choler from a Prince, what is he more
Then a dead Lion, by Beasts triumph'd o're.
Again you know, how I act every part
By th' influence, I still send from the heart:
It's nor your Muscles, nerves, nor this nor that
Do's ought without my lively heat, that's flat:
Nay th' stomack magazine to all the rest
Without my boyling heat cannot digest:
And yet to make my greatness, still more great
What differences, the Sex? but only heat.
And one thing more, to close up my narration
Of all that lives, I cause the propagation.
I have been sparings what I might have said
I love no boasting, that's but Childrens trade.
To what you now shall say I will attend,
And to your weakness gently condescend.
Blood.
Good Sisters, give me leave, as is my place
To vent my grief, and wipe off my disgrace:
Your selves may plead your wrongs are no whit less
Your patience more then mine, I must confess
[Page 28]
Did ever sober tongue such language speak,
Or honesty such tyes unfriendly break?
Dost know thy self so well us so amiss?
Is't arrogance or folly causeth this?
Ile only shew the wrong thou'st done to me,
Then let my sisters right their injury.
To pay with railings is not mine intent,
But to evince the truth by Argument:
I will analyse this thy proud relation
So full of boasting and prevarication,
Thy foolish incongruityes Ile show,
So walk thee till thou'rt cold, then let thee go.
There is no Souldier but thy self (thou sayest,)
No valour upon Earth, but what thou hast
Thy silly provocations I despise,
And leave't to all to judge, where valour lies
No pattern, nor no pattron will I bring
But David, Judah's most heroick King,
Whose glorious deeds in Arms the world can tell,
A rosie cheek Musitian thou know'st well;
He knew well how to handle Sword and Harp,
And how to strike full sweet, as well as sharp,
Thou laugh'st at me for loving merriment,
And scorn'st all Knightly sports at Turnament.
Thou sayst I love my Sword, because it's gilt,
But know, I love the Blade, more then the Hilt,
Yet do abhor such temerarious deeds,
As thy unbridled, barbarous Choler breeds:
Thy rudeness counts good manners vanity,
And real Complements base flattery.
[Page 29]
For drink, which of us twain like it the best,
Ile go no further then thy nose for test:
Thy other scoffs, not worthy of reply
Shall vanish as of no validity:
Of thy black Calumnies this is but part,
But now Ile shew what souldier thou art.
And though thou'st us'd me with opprobrious spight
My ingenuity must give thee right.
Thy choler is but rage when tis most pure,
But usefull when a mixture can endure;
As with thy mother fire, so tis with thee,
The best of all the four when they agree:
But let her leave the rest, then I presume
Both them and all things else she would consume.
Whilst us for thine associates thou tak'st,
A Souldier most compleat in all points mak'st:
But when thou scorn'st to take the help we lend,
Thou art a Fury or infernal Fiend.
Witness the execrable deeds thou'st done,
Nor sparing Sex nor Age, nor Sire nor Son;
To satisfie thy pride and cruelty,
Thou oft hast broke bounds of Humanity,
Nay should I tell, thou would'st count me no blab,
How often for the lye, thou'st given the stab.
To take the wall's a sin of so high rate,
That nought but death the same may expiate,
To cross thy will, a challenge doth deserve
So shed'st that blood, thou'rt bounden to preserve
Wilt thou this valour, Courage, Manhood call:
No, know 'tis pride most diabolical.
[Page 30]
If murthers be thy glory, tis no less,
Ile not envy thy feats, nor happiness:
But if in fitting time and place 'gainst foes
For countreys good thy life thou dar'st expose,
Be dangers n'er so high, and courage great,
Ile praise that prowess, fury, Choler, heat:
But such thou never art when all alone,
Yet such when we all four are joyn'd in one.
And when such thou art, even such are we,
The friendly Coadjutors still of thee.
Nextly the Spirits thou dost wholly claim,
Which nat'ral, vital, animal we name:
To play Philosopher I have no list,
Nor yet Physitian, nor Anatomist,
For acting these, l have no will nor Art,
Yet shall with Equity, give thee thy part
For natural, thou dost not much contest;
For there is none (thou sayst) if some not best;
That there are some, and best, I dare averre
Of greatest use, if reason do not erre:
What is there living, which do'nt first derive
His Life now Animal, from vegetive:
If thou giv'st life, I give the nourishment,
Thine without mine, is not, 'tis evident:
But I without thy help, can give a growth
As plants trees, and small Embryon know'th
And if vital Spirits, do flow from thee
I am as sure, the natural, from me:
Be thine the nobler, which I grant, yet mine
Shall justly claim priority of thine.
[Page 31]
I am the fountain which thy Cistern fills
Through warm blew Conduits of my venial rills:
What hath the heart but what's sent from the liver
If thou'rt the taker, I must be the giver.
Then never boast of what thou dost receive:
For of such glory I shall thee bereave.
But why the heart should be usurp'd by thee,
I must confess seems something strange to me:
The spirits through thy heat made perfect are,
But the Materials none of thine, that's clear:
Their wondrous mixture is of blood and air,
The first my self, second my mother fair.
But Ile not force retorts, nor do thee wrong,
Thy fi'ry yellow froth is mixt among,
Challeng not all, 'cause part we do allow;
Thou know'st I've there to do as well as thou:
But thou wilt say I deal unequally,
Their lives the irascible faculty,
Which without all dispute, is Cholers own;
Besides the vehement heat, only there known
Can be imputed, unto none but Fire
Which is thy self, thy Mother and thy Sire
That this is true, I easily can assent
If still you take along my Aliment;
And let me be your partner which is due,
So shall I give the dignity to you:
Again, Stomacks Concoction thou dost claim,
But by what right, nor do'st, nor canst thou name
Unless as heat, it be thy faculty,
And so thou challengest her property.
[Page 32]
The help she needs, the loving liver lends,
Who th' benefit o'th' whole ever intends
To meddle further I shall be but shent,
Th'rest to our Sisters is more pertinent;
Your slanders thus refuted takes no place,
Nor what you've said, doth argue my disgrace,
Now through your leaves, some little time I'l spend
My worth in humble manner to commend
This, hot, moist nutritive humour of mine
When 'tis untaint, pure, and most genuine
Shall chiefly take the place, as is my due
Without the least indignity to you.
Of all your qualities I do partake,
And what you single are, the whole I make
Your hot, moist, cold, dry natures are but four,
I moderately am all, what need I more;
As thus, if hot then dry, if moist then cold,
If this you cana't disprove, then all I hold
My virtues hid, I've let you dimly see
My sweet Complection proves the verity.
This Scarlet die's a badge of what's within
One touch thereof, so beautifies the skin:
Nay, could I be, from all your tangs but pure
Mans life to boundless Time might still endure.
But here one thrusts her heat, wher'ts not requir'd
So suddenly, the body all is fired,
And of the calme sweet temper quite bereft,
Which makes the Mansion, by the Soul soon left.
So Melancholy seizes on a man,
With her unchearful visage, swarth and wan,
[Page 33]
The body dryes, the mind sublime doth smother,
And turns him to the womb of's earthy mother:
And flegm likewise can shew her cruel art,
With cold distempers to pain every part:
The lungs she rots, the body wears away,
As if she'd leave no flesh to turn to clay,
Her languishing diseases, though not quick
At length demolishes the Faberick,
All to prevent, this curious care I take,
In th' last concoction segregation make
Of all the perverse humours from mine own,
The bitter choler most malignant known
I turn into his Cell close by my side
The Melancholy to the Spleen t'abide:
Likewise the whey, some use I in the veins,
The overplus I send unto the reins:
But yet for all my toil, my care and skill,
Its doom'd by an irrevocable will
That my intents should meet with interruption,
That mortal man might turn to his corruption.
I might here shew the nobleness of mind
Of such as to the sanguine are inclin'd,
They're liberal, pleasant, kind and courteous,
And like the Liver all benignious.
For arts and sciences they are the fittest;
And maugre Choler still they are the wittiest:
With an ingenious working Phantasie,
A most voluminous large Memory,
And nothing wanting but Solidity.
[Page 34]
But why alas, thus tedious should I be,
Thousand examples you may daily see.
If time I have transgrest, and been too long,
Yet could not be more brief without much wrong;
I've scarce wip'd off the spots proud choler cast,
Such venome lies in words, though but a blast:
No braggs i've us'd, to you I dare appeal,
If modesty my worth do not conceal.
I've us'd no bittererss nor taxt your name,
As I to you, to me do ye the same.
Melancholy.
He that with two Assailants hath to do,
Had need be armed well and active too.
Especially when friendship is pretended,
That blow's most deadly where it is intended.
Though choler rage and rail, I'le not do so,
The tongue's no weapon to assault a foe:
But sith we fight with words, we might be kind
To spare our selves and beat the whistling wind,
Fair rosie sister, so might'st thou scape free;
I'le flatter for a time as thou didst me:
But when the first offender I have laid,
Thy soothing girds shall fully be repaid.
But Choler be thou cool'd or chaf'd, I'le venter,
And in contentions lists now justly enter.
What mov'd thee thus to vilifie my name,
Not past all reason, but in truth all shame:
[Page 35]
Thy fiery spirit shall bear away this prize,
To play such furious pranks I am too wise:
If in a Souldier rashness be so precious,
Know in a General tis most pernicious.
Nature doth teach to shield the head from harm,
The blow that's aim'd thereat is latcht by th'arm.
When in Batalia my foes I face
I then command proud Choler stand thy place,
To use thy sword, thy courage and thy art
There to defend my self, thy better part.
This wariness count not for cowardize,
He is not truly valiant that's not wise.
It's no less glory to defend a town,
Then by assault to gain one not our own;
And if Marcellus bold be call'd Romes sword,
Wise Fabius is her buckler all accord:
And if thy hast my slowness should not temper,
'Twere but a mad irregular distemper;
Enough of that by our sisters heretofore,
Ile come to that which wounds me somewhat more
Of learning, policy thou wouldst bereave me,
But 's not thine ignorance shall thus deceive me:
What greater Clark or Politician lives,
Then he whose brain a touch my humour gives?
What is too hot my coldness doth abate,
What's diffluent I do consolidate.
If I be partial judg'd or thought to erre,
The melancholy snake shall it aver,
Whose cold dry head more subtilty doth yield,
Then all the huge beasts of the fertile field.
[Page 36]
Again thou dost confine me to the spleen,
As of that only part I were the Queen,
Let me as well make thy precincts the Gall,
So prison thee within that bladder small:
Reduce the man to's principles, then see
If I have not more part then all you three:
What is within, without, of theirs or thine,
Yet time and age shall soon declare it mine.
When death doth seize the man your stock is lost,
When you poor bankrupts prove then have I most.
You'l say here none shall e're disturb my right
You high born from that lump then take your flight
Then who's mans friend, when life & all forsakes?
His Mother mine, him to her womb retakes:
Thus he is ours, his portion is the grave,
But while he lives, I'le shew what part I have:
And first the firm dry bones I justly claim,
The strong foundation of the stately frame:
Likewise the usefull Slpeen, though not the best,
Yet is a bowel call'd well as the rest:
The Liver, Stomack, owe their thanks of right,
The first it drains, of th'last quicks appetite.
Laughter (thô thou say malice) flows from hence,
These two in one cannot have residence.
But thou most grosly dost mistake to think
The Spleen for all you three was made a sink,
Of all the rest thou'st nothing there to do,
But if thou hast, that malice is from you.
Again you often touch my swarthy hue,
That black is black, and I am black tis true;
[Page 37]
But yet more comely far I dare avow,
Then is thy torrid nose or brazen brow.
But that which shews how high your spight is bent
Is charging me to be thy excrement:
Thy loathsome imputation I defie,
So plain a slander needeth no reply.
When by thy heat thou'st bak'd thy self to crust,
And so art call'd black Choler or adust,
Thou witless think'st that I am thy excretion,
So mean thou art in Art as in discretion.
But by your leave I'le let your greatness see
What Officer thou art to us all three.
The Kitchin Drudge, the cleanser of the sinks
That casts out all that man e're eats or drinks:
If any doubt the truth whence this should come,
Shew them thy passage to th'Duodenum;
Thy biting quality still irritates,
Till filth and thee nature exonerates:
If there thou'rt stopt, to th'Liver thou turn'st in,
And thence with jaundies saffrons all the skin.
No further time Ile spend in confutation,
I trust I've clear'd your slanderous imputation.
I now speak unto all, no more to one,
Pray hear, admire and learn instruction.
My virtues yours surpass without compare,
The first my constancy that jewel rare:
Choler's too rash this golden gift to hold,
And Sanguine is more fickle manifold,
Here, there her restless thoughts do ever fly,
Constant in nothing but unconstancy.
[Page 38]
And what Flegme is, we know, like to her mother,
Unstable is the one, and so the other;
With me is noble patience also found,
Impatient Choler loveth not the sound,
What Sanguine is, she doth not heed nor care,
Now up, now down, transported like the Air:
Flegme's patient because her nature's tame,
But I, by virtue do acquire the same.
My Temperance, Chastity is eminent,
But these with you, are seldome resident;
Now could I stain my ruddy Sisters face
With deeper red, to shew you her disgrace,
But rather I with silence vaile her shame
Then cause her blush, while I relate the same.
Nor are ye free from this inormity,
Although she bear the greatest obloquie,
My prudence, judgement, I might now reveal
But wisdom 'tis my wisdome to conceal.
Unto diseases not inclin'd as you,
Nor cold, nor hot, Ague nor Plurisie,
Nor Cough, nor Quinsey, nor the burning Feaver,
I rarely feel to act his fierce endeavour;
My sickness in conceit chiefly doth lye,
What I imagine that's my malady.
Chymeraes strange are in my phantasy,
And things that never were, nor shall I see
I love not talk, Reason lies not in length,
Nor multitude of words argues our strength;
I've done pray sister Flegme proceed in Course,
We shall expect much sound, but little force.
[Page 39]
Flegme.
Patient I am, patient i'd need to be,
To bear with the injurious taunts of three,
Though wit I want, and anger I have less,
Enough of both, my wrongs now to express
I've not forgot, how bitter Choler spake
Nor how her gaul on me she causeless brake;
Nor wonder 'twas for hatred there's not small,
Where opposition is Diametrical.
To what is Truth I freely will assent,
Although my Name do suffer detriment,
What's slanderous repell, doubtful dispute,
And when I've nothing left to say be mute.
Valour I want, no Souldier am 'tis true,
I'le leave that manly Property to you;
I love no thundring guns nor bloody wars,
My polish'd Skin was not ordain'd for Skarrs:
But though the pitched field I've ever fled,
At home the Conquerours have conquered.
Nay, I could tell you what's more true then meet,
That Kings have laid their Scepters at my feet;
When Sister sanguine paints my Ivory face:
The Monarchs bend and sue, but for my grace
My lilly white when joyned with her red,
Princes hath slav'd, and Captains captived,
Country with Country, Greece with Asia fights
Sixty nine Princes, all stout Hero Knights.
[Page 40]
Under Troys walls ten years will wear away,
Rather then loose one beauteous Helena.
But 'twere as vain, to prove this truth of mine
As at noon day, to tell the Sun doth shine.
Next difference that 'twixt us twain doth lye
Who doth possess the brain, or thou or I?
Shame forc'd the say, the matter that was mine,
But the Spirits by which it acts are thine:
Thou speakest Truth, and I can say no less,
Thy heat doth much, I candidly confess;
Yet without ostentation I may say,
I do as much for thee another way:
And though I grant, thou art my helper here,
No debtor I because it's paid else where.
With all your flourishes, now Sisters three
Who is't that dare, or can, compare with me,
My excellencies are so great, so many,
I am confounded, fore I speak of any.
The brain's the noblest member all allow,
Its form and Scituation will avow,
Its Ventricles, Membranes and wondrous net,
Galen, Hippocrates drive to a set;
That Divine Offspring the immortal Soul
Though it in all, and every part be whole,
Within this stately place of eminence,
Doth doubtless keep its mighty residence.
And surely, the Soul sensitive here lives,
Which life and motion to each creature gives,
The Conjugation of the parts, to th' braine
Doth shew, hence flow the pow'rs which they retain
[Page 41]
Within this high Built Cittadel, doth lye
The Reason, fancy, and the memory;
The faculty of speech doth here abide,
The Spirits animal, from hence do slide:
The five most noble Senses here do dwell;
Of three it's hard to say, which doth excell.
This point now to discuss, 'longs not to me,
I'le touch the sight, great'st wonder of the three;
The optick Nerve, Coats, humours all are mine,
The watry, glassie, and the Chrystaline;
O mixture strange! O colour colourless,
Thy perfect temperament who can express:
He was no fool who thought the soul lay there,
Whence her affections passions speak so clear.
O good, O bad, O true, O traiterous eyes
What wonderments within your Balls there lyes,
Of all the Senses sight shall be the Queen;
Yet some may wish, O had mine eyes ne're seen.
Mine, likewise is the marrow, of the back,
Which runs through all the Spondles of the rack,
It is the substitute o'th royal brain,
All Nerves, except seven pair, to it retain.
And the strong Ligaments from hence arise,
Which joynt to joynt, the intire body tyes.
Some other parts there issue from the Brain,
Whose worth and use to tell, I must refrain:
Some curious learned Crooke, may these reveal
But modesty, hath charg'd me to conceal
Here's my Epitome of excellence:
For what's the Brains is mine by Consequence.
[Page 42]
A foolish brain (quoth Choler) wanting heat
But a mad one say I, where 'tis too great,
Phrensie's worse then folly, one would more glad
With a tame fool converse then with a mad;
For learning then my brain is not the fittest,
Nor will I yield that Choler is the wittiest.
Thy judgement is unsafe, thy fancy little,
For memory the sand is not more brittle;
Again, none's fit for Kingly state but thou,
If Tyrants be the best, I'le it allow:
But if love be as requisite as fear,
Then thou and I must make a mixture here.
Well to be brief, I hope now Cholers laid,
And I'le pass by what Sister sanguine said.
To Melancholy I'le make no reply,
The worst she said was instability,
And too much talk, both which I here confess
A warning good, hereafter I'le say less.
Let's now be friends; its time our spight were spent,
Lest we too late this rashness do repent,
Such premises will force a sad conclusion,
Unless we agree, all falls into confusion.
Let Sangine with her hot hand Choler hold,
To take her moist my moisture will be bold:
My cold, cold melancholy hand shall clasp;
Her dry, dry Cholers other hand shall grasp.
Two hot, two moist, two cold, two dry here be,
A golden Ring, the Posey UNITY.
Nor jarrs nor scoffs, let none hereafter see,
But all admire our perfect Amity
[Page 43]
Nor be discern'd, here's water, earth, air, fire,
But here a compact body, whole intire.
This loving counsel pleas'd them all so well
That flegm was judg'd for kindness to excell.

Of the four Ages
of Man.

LO now four other act upon the stage,
Childhood and Youth the Manly & Old age;
The first son unto flegm, Grand-child to water,
Unstable, supple, cold and moist's his nature.
The second frolick, claims his pedegree
From blood and air, for hot and moist is he.
The third of fire and Choler is compos'd,
Vindicative and quarrelsome dispos'd.
The last of earth, and heavy melancholy,
Solid, hating all lightness and all folly.
Childhood was cloth'd in white & green to show
His spring was intermixed with some snow:
Upon his head nature a Garland set
Of Primrose, Daizy & the Violet.
[Page 44]
Such cold mean flowrs the spring puts forth betime
Before the sun hath throughly heat the clime.
His hobby striding did not ride but run,
And in his hand an hour-glass new begun,
In danger every moment of a fall,
And when tis broke then ends his life and all:
But if he hold till it have run its last,
Then may he live out threescore years or past.
Next Youth came up in gorgeous attire,
(As that fond age doth most of all desire)
His Suit of Crimson and his scarfe of green,
His pride in's countenance was quickly seen;
Garland of roses, pinks and gilli-flowers
Seemed on's head to grow bedew'd with showers:
His face as fresh as is Aurora fair,
When blushing she first 'gins to light the air.
No wooden horse, but one of mettal try'd,
He seems to fly or swim, and not to ride.
Then prancing on the stage, about he wheels,
But as he went death waited at his heels.
The next came up in a much graver sort,
As one that cared for a good report,
His sword by's side, and choler in his eyes,
But neither us'd as yet, for he was wise:
Of Autumns fruits a basket on his arm,
His golden God in's purse, which was his charm.
And last of all to act upon this stage
Leaning upon his staff came up Old Age,
Under his arm a sheaf of wheat he bore,
An harvest of the best, what needs he more?
[Page 45]
In's other hand a glass ev'n almost run,
Thus writ about This out then am I done.
His hoary hairs, and grave aspect made way;
And all gave ear to what he had to say.
These being met each in his equipage
Intend to speak, according to their age:
But wise Old age did with all gravity
To childish Childhood give precedency;
And to the rest his reason mildly told,
That he was young before he grew so old.
To do as he each one full soon assents,
Their method was that of the Elements,
That each should tell what of himself he knew,
Both good and bad, but yet no more then's true.
With heed now stood three ages of frail man,
To hear the child, who crying thus began:
Childhood.
Ah me! conceiv'd in sin, and born with sorrow,
A nothing, here to day, but gone to morrow,
Whose mean beginning blushing can't reveal,
But night and darkeness must with shame conceal.
My mothers breeding sickness, I will spare;
Her nine months weary burthen not declare.
To shew her bearing pains, I should do wrong,
To tell those pangs which can't be told by tongue:
With tears into the world I did arrive,
My mother still did waste as I did thrive,
[Page 46]
Who yet with love and all alacrity,
Spending, was willing to be spent for me.
With wayward cryes I did disturb her rest,
Who sought still to appease me with the breast:
With weary arms she danc'd and By By sung,
When wretched I ingrate had done the wrong.
When infancy was past, my childishnesse
Did act all folly that it could express,
My silliness did only take delight
In that which riper age did scorn and slight.
In Rattles, Baubles and such toyish stuff,
My then ambitious thoughts were low enough:
My high-born soul so straightly was confin'd,
That its own worth it did not know nor mind:
This little house of flesh did spacious count,
Through ignorance all troubles did surmount;
Yet this advantage had mine ignorance
Freedom from envy and from arrogance,
How to be rich or great I did not cark,
A Baron or a Duke ne'r made my mark,
Nor studious was Kings favours how to buy,
With costly presence or base flattery:
No office coveted wherein I might
Make strong my self and turn aside weak right:
No malice bare to this or that great Peer,
Nor unto buzzing whisperers gave ear:
I gave no hand nor vote for death or life,
I'd nought to do 'twixt King and peoples strife.
No Statist I, nor Martilist in'th field,
Where ere I went mine innocence was shield.
[Page 47]
My quarrels not for Diadems did rise,
But for an apple, plumb, or some such prize;
My strokes did cause no blood no wounds or skars,
My little wrath did end soon as my Warrs:
My Duel was no challeng, nor did seek.
My foe should weltring in his bowels reek.
I had no suits at law neighbours to vex,
Nor evidence for lands did me perplex.
I fear'd no storms, nor all the wind that blowes,
I had no ships at sea, nor fraights to loose.
I fear'd no drought nor wet, I had no crop,
Nor yet on future things did set my hope.
This was mine innocence, but ah! the seeds,
Lay raked up of all the cursed weeds
Which sprouted forth in mine ensuing age,
As he can tel that next comes on the stage:
But yet let me relate, before I go
The sins and dangers I am subject to,
Stained from birth with Adams sinfull fact,
Thence I began to sin as soon as act:
A perverse will, a love to what's forbid,
A serpents sting in pleasing face lay hid:
A lying tougue as soon as it could speak,
And fifth Commandment do daily break.
Oft stubborn, peevish, sullen, pout and cry,
Then nought can please, and yet I know not why.
As many are my sins, so dangers too;
For sin brings sorrow, sickness death and woe:
And though I miss the tossings of the mind,
Yet griefs in my frail flesh I stilt do find.
[Page 48]
What gripes of wind mine infancy did pain,
What tortures I in breeding teeth sustain?
What crudityes my stomack cold hath bred,
Whence vomits, flux and worms have issued?
What breaches, knocks and falls I daily have,
And some perhaps I carry to my grave.
Sometimes in fire, sometimes in water fall:
Strangely presev'd, yet mind it not at all:
At home, abroad my dangers manifold,
That wonder tis, my glass till now doth hold.
I've done; unto my elders I give way,
For tis but little that a child can say.
Youth.
My goodly cloathing, and my beauteous skin
Declare some greater riches are within:
But what is best I'le first present to view,
And then the worst in a more ugly hue:
For thus to doe we on this stage assemble,
Then let not him that hath most craft dissemble.
My education and my learning such,
As might my self and others profit much;
With nurture trained up in virtues schools
Of science, arts and tongues I know the rules,
The manners of the court I also know,
And so likewise what they in'th Country doe;
The brave attempts of valiant knights I prize,
That dare scale walls and forts rear'd to the skies.
[Page 49]
The snorting Horse, the trumpet, Drum I like,
The glitt'ring Sword, the Pistol and the Pike:
I cannot lye intrench'd before a town,
Nor wait till good success our hopes doth crown:
I scorn the heavy Corslet, musket-proof:
I fly to catch the bullet that's aloof.
Though thus in field, at home to all most kind,
So affable, that I can suit each mind.
I can insinuate into the breast,
And by my mirth can raise the heart deprest:
Sweet musick raps my brave harmonious soul,
My high thoughts elevate beyond the pole:
My wit, my bounty, and my courtesie,
Make all to place their future hopes on me.
This is my best, but Youth is known, Alas!
To be as wild as is the snuffing Ass:
As vain as froth, as vanity can be,
That who would see vain man, may look on me.
My gifts abus'd, my education lost,
My wofull Parents longing hopes are crost,
My wit evaporates in merriment,
My valour in some beastly quarrell's spent:
My lust doth hurry me to all that's ill:
I know no law nor reason but my will.
Sometimes lay wait to take a wealthy purse,
Or stab the man in's own defence (that's worse)
Sometimes I cheat (unkind) a female heir,
Of all at once, who not so wise as fair
Trusteth my loving looks and glozing tongue,
Until her friends, treasure and honour's gone.
[Page 50]
Sometimes I sit carousing others health,
Until mine own be gone, my wit and wealth
From pipe to pot, from pot to words, and blows,
For he that loveth wine, wanteth no woes;
Whole nights with Ruffins, Roarers Fidlers spend,
To all obscenity mine ears I lend.
All Counsell hate, which tends to make me wise,
And dearest friends count for mine enemies.
If any care I take tis to be fine,
For sure my suit, more then my vertues shine
If time from leud Companions I can spare,
'Tis spent to curle, and pounce my new-bought hair.
Some new Adonis I do strive to be;
Sardanapalus now survives in me.
Cards, Dice, and Oathes, concomitant I love;
To playes, to masques, to taverns still I move.
And in a word, if what I am you'd hear,
Seek out a Brittish bruitish Cavaleer:
Such wretch, such Monster am I but yet more,
I have no heart at all this to deplore,
Remembring not the dreadfull day of doom,
Nor yet that heavy reckoning soon to come.
Though dangers do attend me every hour,
And gastly Death oft threats me with his power,
Sometimes by wounds in idle Combates taken,
Sometimes with Agues all my body shaken;
Sometimes by fevers, all my moisture drinking,
My heart lies frying, & mine eyes are sinking;
Sometimes the Quinsey, painfull Pleurisie,
With sad affrights of death doth menace me;
[Page 51]
Sometimes the two fold Pox me fore be-marrs
With outward marks, & inward loathsome scarrs;
Sometimes the Phrenzy strangly mads my brain,
That oft for it in Bedlam I remain.
Too many my diseases to recite,
That wonder tis, I yet behold the light,
That yet my bed in darkness is not made,
And I in black oblivions Den now laid.
Of aches full my bones, of woe my heart,
Clapt in that prison, never thence to start.
Thus I have said, and what I've been, you see
Childhood and Youth are vain ye vanity.
Middle Age.
Childhood and Youth (forgot) I've sometimes seen
And now am grown more staid who have been green
What they have done, the same was done by me,
As was their praise or shame, so mine must be.
Now age is more; more good you may expect,
But more mine age, the more is my defect.
But what's of worth, your eyes shall first behold,
And then a world of drosse among my gold.
When my wilde oates were sown & ripe and mown
I then receiv'd an harvest of mine own.
My reason then bad judge how little hope
My empty seed should yield a better crop:
Then with both hands I graspt the world together,
Thus out of one extream into another:
But yet laid hold on virtue seemingly,
Who climbs without hold climbs dangerously:
[Page 52]
Be my condition mean, I then take pains
My Family to keep, but not for gains.
A Father I, for children must provide;
But if none, then for kindred near ally'd.
If rich, I'm urged then to gather more,
To bear a part i'th' world, and feed the poor.
If noble, then mine honour to maintain,
If not, riches nobility can gain.
For time, for place, likewise for each Relation,
I wanted not, my ready allegation.
Yet all my powers for self ends are not spent,
For hundreds bless me for my bounty lent.
Whose backs I've cloth'd, and bellyes I have fed;
With mine own fleece, & with my houshold bread.
Yea, justice have I done, was I in place,
To chear the good, and wicked to deface.
The proud I crush't, th' oppressed I set free,
The lyars curb'd but nourisht verity.
Was I a Pastor, I my Flock did feed,
And gently lead the Lambs as they had need.
A Captain I, with Skill I train'd my Band,
And shew'd them how in face of Foes to stand.
A Souldier I, with speed I did obey
As readily, as could my leader say.
Was I a labourer, I wrought all day
As cheerfully as e're I took my pay.
Thus hath mine Age in all sometimes done well,
Sometimes again, mine Age been worse then Hell.
In meanness, greatness, riches, poverty.
Did toyle, did broyle; oppress'd, did steal and lye.
[Page 53]
Was I as poor as poverty could be,
Then baseness was Companion unto me.
Such scum as hedges and high-ways do yield,
As neither sow, nor reap, nor plant nor build,
If to Agricolture I was ordain'd,
Great labours, sorrows, Crosses I sustain'd.
The early Cock did summon but in vain
My wakeful thoughts up to my painful gain:
My weary Beast rest from his toyle can find,
But if I rest the more distrest my mind.
If happiness my sordidness hath found,
'Twas in the Crop of my manured ground.
My thriving Cattle and my new-milch-Cow,
My fleeced Sheep, and fruitful farrowing Sow:
To greater things I never did aspire,
My dunghil thoughts or hopes could reach no higher.
If to be rich or great it was my fate,
How was I broyl'd with envy and with hate?
Greater then was the great'st was my desire,
And thirst for honour, set my heart on fire.
And by Ambition's sails I was so carried,
That over Flats and sands, and Rocks I hurried,
Opprest and sunk, and stav'd all in my way
That did oppose me, to my longed Bay.
My thirst was higher then nobility,
I oft long'd sore to tast on Royalty:
Then Kings must be depos'd or put to flight,
I might possess that Throne which was their right.
There set, I rid my self straight out of hand
Of such Competitors, as might in time withstand.
[Page 54]
Then thought my state firm founded sure to last,
But in a trice 'tis ruin'd by a blast,
Though cemented with more then noble bloud,
The bottom nought, and so no longer stood.
Sometimes vain glory is the only baite
Whereby my empty Soul is lur'd and caught.
Be I of wit, of learning, and of parts,
I judge I should have room in all mens hearts,
And envy gnawes if any do surmount,
I hate, not to be held in high'st account.
If Bias like I'm stript unto my skin,
I glory in my wealth I have within.
Thus good and bad, and what I am you see,
Now in a word, what my diseases be.
The vexing stone in bladder and in reins,
The Strangury torments me with sore pains.
The windy Cholick oft my bowels rend,
To break the darksome prison where it's pen'd.
The Cramp and Gout doth sadly torture me,
And the restraining, lame Sciatica;
The Astma, Megrim, Palsy, Lethargie,
The quartan Ague, dropsy, Lunacy;
Subject to all distempers (that's the truth)
Though some more incident, to Age or Youth.
And to conclude, I may not tedious be,
Man at his best estate is vanity.
Old Age.
What you have been, ev'n such have I before
And all you say, say I, and somewhat more.
[Page 55]
Babes innocence, youths wildness I have seen,
And in perplexed middle Age have been:
Sickness, dangers, and anxieties have past,
And on this stage am come to act my last.
I have been young, and strong and wise as you:
But now Bis pueri senes, is too true.
In every Age I've found much vanity,
An end of all perfection now I see.
It's not my valour, honour, nor my gold,
My ruin'd house now falling can uphold.
It's not my learning Rhetorick wit so large,
Hath now the power, death's warfare to discharge.
It's not my goodly state, nor bed of downe
That can refresh, or ease if Conscience frown.
Nor from Alliance can I now have hope,
But what I have done well, that is my prop;
He that in youth is godly, wise, and sage,
Provides a staff then to support his Age.
Mutations great, some joyful and some sad,
In this short pilgrimage I oft have had.
Sometimes the Heavens with plenty smil'd on me,
Sometime again rain'd all Adversity.
Sometimes in honour, sometimes in disgrace,
Sometime an Abject, then again in place.
Such private changes oft mine eyes have seen,
In various times of state I've also been.
I've seen a Kingdome flourish like a tree,
When it was rul'd by that Celestial she;
And like a Cedar, others so surmount:
That but for shrubs they did themselves account;
[Page 56]
Then saw I France and Holland, sav'd Cales won,
And Philip and Albertus half undone.
I saw all peace at home, terror to foes,
But ah, I saw at last those eyes to close,
And then methought the day at noon grew dark,
When it had lost that radiant Sun-like Spark,
In midst of griefs I saw our hopes revive,
(For 'twas our hopes then kept our hearts alive)
We chang'd our queen for king under whose rayes
We joy'd in many blest and prosperous dayes.
I've seen a Prince, the glory of our land,
In prime of youth seiz'd by heavens angry hand,
Which fil'd our hearts with fears, with tears our eyes,
Wailing his fate & our own destinies.
I've seen from Rome, an execrable thing,
A Plot to blow up Nobles and their King,
But saw their horrid fact soon disappointed,
And Land and Nobles sav'd with their anointed.
I've Princes seen to live on others lands,
A royal one by gifts from strangers hands,
Admired for their magnanimity.
Who lost a Prince-dome and a Monarchy.
I've seen designs for Ree and Rochel crost.
And poor Palatinate forever lost.
I've seen unworthy men advanced high,
(And better ones, suffer extremity)
But neither favour, riches, title, State,
Could length their days or once reverse their fate.
I've seen one slash'd, and some to lose their heads
And others fly, struck both with gilt and dread.
[Page 57]
I've seen and so have you, for tis but late,
The desolation of a goodly State,
Plotted and acted so that none can tell,
Who gave the counsel, but the Prince of hell,
Three hundred thousand slaughtered innocents,
By bloudy Popish, hellish miscreants:
Oh may you live, and, so you will I trust
To see them swill in bloud untill they burst.
I've seen a King by force thrust from his throne,
And an Usurper subt'ly mount thereon.
I've seen a state unmoulded, rent in twain,
But ye may live to see't made up again.
I've seen it plunder'd, taxt and soak'd in bloud,
But out of evill you may see much good.
What are my thoughts, this is no time to say.
Men may more freely speak another day.
These are no old-wives tales, but this is truth.
We old men love to tell what's done in youth.
But I return from whence I stept awry,
My memory is bad, my brain is dry:
Mine Almond tree, grey hairs, doe flourish now,
And back once straight, apace begins to bow:
My grinders now are few, my sight doth fail,
My skin is wrinkled, and my cheeks are pale,
No more rejoyce at musicks pleasing noise,
But waking glad to hear the cocks shrill voice:
I cannot scent savours of pleasant meat,
Nor sapors find in what I drink or eat:
My arms and hands once strong have lost their might
I cannot labour, much less can I fight.
[Page 58]
My comely legs as nimble as the Roe
Now stiff and numb, can hardly creep or goe,
My heart sometimes as fierce as Lion bold,
Now trembling is, all fearful sad and cold;
My golden Bowl and silver Cord e're long
Shall both be broke, by racking death so strong;
Then shall I go whence I shall come no more,
Sons, Nephews, leave my farewel to deplore.
In pleasures and in labours I have found.
That Earth can give no consolation sound;
To great to rich to poor, to young to old,
To mean to noble, fearful or to bold:
From King to begger all degrees shall find
But vanity vexation of the mind.
Yea, knowing much the pleasants life of all,
Hath yet among those sweets some bitter gall;
Though reading others works doth much refresh,
Yet studying much brings weariness to th' flesh:
My studies, labours readings all are done,
And my last period now ev'n almost run.
Corruption my Father I do call,
Mother and Sisters both, the worms that crawle
In my dark house, such kindred I have store,
Where I shall rest till heavens shall be no more,
And when this flesh shall rot and be consum'd,
This body by this Soul shall be assum'd:
And I shall see with these same very eyes,
My strong Redeemer comming in the Skies.
Triumph I shall o're sin, o're death, o're Hell,
And in that hope I bid you all farewel.
[Page 59]

The four Seasons of
the Year.

Spring.
ANother four I've left yet to bring on,
Of four times four the last Quarternion
The Winter, Summer, Autumn & the Spring,
In season all these Seasons I shall bring:
Sweet Spring like man in his Minority,
At present claim'd, and had priority.
With smiling face and garments somewhat green,
She trim'd her locks, which late had frosted been,
Nor hot nor cold, she spake, but with a breath,
Fit to revive, the nummed earth from death.
Three months (quoth she) are 'lotted to my share
March, April, May of all the rest most fair.
Tenth of the first, Sol into Aries enters,
And bids defiance to all tedious winters,
Crosseth the Line, and equals night and day,
(Stil adds to th' last til after pleasant May)
And now makes glad the darkned nothern wights
Who for some months have seen but starry lights.
Now goes the Plow-man to his merry toyle,
He might unloose his winter locked soyl;
The Seeds-man too, doth lavish out his grain,
In hope the more he casts, the more to gain:
[Page 60]
The Gardner now superfluous branches lops,
And poles erects for his young clambring hops.
Now digs then sowes his herbs, his flowers & roots
And carefully manures his trees of fruits.
The Pleiades their influence now give,
And all that seemed as dead afresh doth live.
The croaking frogs, whom nipping winter kil'd
Like birds now chirp, and hop about the field,
The Nightingale, the black-bird and the Thrush
Now tune their layes, on sprayes of every bush.
The wanton frisking Kid, and soft-fleec'd Lambs
Do jump and play before their feeding Dams,
The tender tops of budding grass they crop,
They joy in what they have, but more in hope:
For though the frost hath lost his binding power,
Yet many a fleece of snow and stormy shower
Doth darken Sol's bright eye, makes us remember
The pinching North-west wind of cold December.
My second moneth is April, green and fair,
Of longer dayes, and a more temperate Air:
The Sun in Taurus keeps his residence,
And with his warmer beams glanceth from thence
This is the month whose fruitful showers produces
All set and sown for all delights and uses:
The Pear, the Plum, and Apple-tree now flourish
The grass grows long, the hungry beast to nourish.
The Primrose pale, and azure violet
Among the virduous grass hath nature set,
That when the Sun on's Love (the earth) doth shine
These might as lace set out her garments fine.
[Page 61]
The fearfull bird his little house now builds
In trees and walls, in Cities and in fields.
The outside strong, the inside warm and neat;
A natural Artificer compleat.
The clocking hen her chirping chickins leads
With wings & beak defends them from the gleads
My next and last is fruitfull pleasant May,
Wherein the earth is clad in rich array,
The Sun now enters loving Gemini,
And heats us with the glances of his eye,
Our thicker rayment makes us lay aside
Lest by his fervor we be torrifi'd.
All flowers the Sun now with his beams discloses,
Except the double pinks and matchless Roses.
Now swarms the busy, witty, honey-Bee,
Whose praise deserves a page from more then me
The cleanly Huswife's Dary's now in th' prime,
Her shelves and firkins fill'd for winter time.
The meads with Cowslips, Honey-suckles dight,
One hangs his head, the other stands upright:
But both rejoyce at th' heaven's clear smiling face,
More at her showers, which water them a space.
For fruits my Season yields the early Cherry,
The hasty Peas, and wholsome cool Strawberry.
More solid fruits require a longer time,
Each Season hath his fruit, so hath each Clime:
Each man his own peculiar excellence,
But none in all that hath preheminence.
Sweet fragrant Spring, with thy short pittance fly
Let some describe thee better then can I.
[Page 62]
Yet above all this priviledg is thine,
Thy dayes still lengthen without least decline.
Summer.
When Spring had done, the Summer did begin,
With melted tauny face, and garments thin,
Resembling Fire, Choler, and Middle age,
As Spring did Air, Blood, Youth in's equipage.
Wiping the sweat from of her face that ran,
With hair all wet she puffing thus began;
Bright June, July and August hot are mine,
In th' first Sol doth in crabbed Cancer shine.
His progress to the North now's fully done,
Then retrograde must be my burning Sun,
Who to his Southward Tropick still is bent,
Yet doth his parching heat but more augment
Though he decline, because his flames so fair,
Have throughly dry'd the earth, and heat the air.
Like as an Oven that long time hath been heat,
Whose vehemency at length doth grow so great,
That if you do withdraw her burning store,
Tis for a time as fervent as before.
Now go those frolick Swains, the Shepherd Lads
To wash the thick cloth'd flocks with pipes full glad
In the cool streams they labour with delight
Rubbing their dirty coats till they look white:
Whose fleece when finely spun and deeply dy'd
With Robes thereof Kings have been dignified.
[Page 63]
Blest rustick Swains, your pleasant quiet life,
Hath envy bred in Kings that were at strife,
Careless of worldly wealth you sing and pipe,
Whilst they'r imbroyl'd in wars & troubles rife:
Which made great Bajazet cry out in's woes,
Oh happy shepherd which hath not to lose.
Orthobulus, nor yet Sebastia great,
But whist'leth to thy flock in cold and heat.
Viewing the Sun by day, the Moon by night
Endimions, Dianaes dear delight,
Upon the grass resting your healthy limbs,
By purling Brooks looking how fishes swims,
If pride within your lowly Cells ere haunt,
Of him that was Shepherd then King go vaunt.
This moneth the Roses are distil'd in glasses,
Whose fragrant smel all made perfumes surpasses
The Cherry, Gooseberry are now In th' prime,
And for all sorts of Pease, this is the time.
July my next, the hott'st in all the year,
The sun through Leo now takes his Career,
Whose flaming breath doth melt us from afar,
Increased by the star Canicular.
This month from Julius Cæsar took its name,
By Romans celebrated to his fame.
Now go the Mowers to their flashing toyle,
The Meadowes of their riches to dispoyle,
With weary strokes, they take all in their way,
Bearing the burning heat of the long day.
The forks and Rakes do follow them amain,
Which makes the aged fields look young again.
[Page 64]
The groaning Carts do bear away this prize,
To Stacks and Barns where it for Fodder lyes.
My next and last is August fiery hot
(For'much, the Southward Sun abateth not)
This Moneth he keeps with Virgo for a space,
The dryed Earth is parched with his face.
August of great Augustus took its name,
Romes second Emperour of lasting fame,
With sickles now the bending Reapers goe
The rustling tress of terra down to mowe;
And bundles up in sheaves, the weighty wheat,
Which after Manchet makes for Kings to eat:
The Barly, Rye and Pease should first had place,
Although their bread have not so white a face.
The Carter leads all home with whistling voyce.
He plow'd with pain, but reaping doth rejoyce.
His sweat, his toyle, his careful wakeful nights,
His fruitful Crop abundantly requites.
Now's ripe the Pear, Pear-plumb and Apricock,
The prince of plumbs, whose stone's as hard as Rock
The Summer seems but short, the Autumn hasts
To shake his fruits, of most delicious tasts
Like good old Age, whose younger juicy Roots
Hath still ascended, to bear goodly fruits.
Until his head be gray, and strength be gone.
Yet then appears the worthy deeds he'th done:
To feed his boughs exhausted hath his sap,
Then drops his fruits into the eaters lap.
[Page 65]
Autumn.
Of Autumn moneths September is the prime,
Now day and night are equal in each Clime,
The twelfth of this Sol riseth in the Line,
And doth in poizing Libra this month shine.
The vintage now is ripe, the grapes are prest,
Whose lively liquor oft is curs'd and blest:
For nought so good, but it may be abused,
But its a precious juice when well its used.
The raisins now in clusters dryed be,
The Orange, Lemon dangle on the tree:
The Pomegranate, the Fig are ripe also,
And Apples now their yellow sides do show.
Of Almonds, Quinces, Wardens, and of Peach,
The season's now at hand of all and each,
Sure at this time, time first of all began,
And in this moneth was made apostate Man:
For then in Eden was not only seen,
Boughs full of leaves, or fruits unripe or green:
Or withered stocks, which were all dry and dead,
But trees with goodly fruits replenished;
Which shows nor Summer Winter nor the Spring
Our Grand-Sire was of Paradice made King:
Nor could that temp'rate Clime such difference make,
If scited as the most Judicious take.
October is my next, we hear in this
The Northern winter-blasts begin to hiss,
[Page 66]
In Scorpio resideth now the Sun,
And his declining heat is almost done.
The fruitless Trees all withered now do stand,
Whose sapless yellow leavs by winds are fan'd,
Which notes when youth and strength have past their prime
Decrepit age must also have its time.
The Sap doth slily creep towards the Earth
There rests, until the Sun give it a birth.
So doth old Age still tend unto his grave,
Where also he his winter time must have;
But when the Sun of righteousness draws nigh,
His dead old stock, shall mount again on high.
November is my last, for Time doth haste,
We now of winters sharpness 'gins to tast.
This moneth the Sun's in Sagitarius,
So farre remote, his glances warm not us.
Almost at shortest is the shorten'd day,
The Northern pole beholdeth not one ray,
Nor Greenland, Groanland, Finland, Lapland, see
No Sun, to lighten their obscurity;
Poor wretches that in total darkness lye,
With minds more dark then is the dark'ned Sky.
Beaf, Brawn, and Pork are now in great request,
And solid meats our stomacks can digest.
This time warm cloaths, full diet and good fires,
Our pinched flesh, and hungry mawes requires;
Old, cold, dry Age, and Earth Autumn resembles,
And Melancholy which most of all dissembles.
I must be short, and shorts, the short'ned day,
What winter hath to tell, now let him say.
[Page 67]
Winter.
Cold, moist, young flegmy winter now doth lye
In swadling Clouts, like new born Infancy
Bound up with frosts, and furr'd with hail & snows,
And like an Infant, still it taller grows;
December is my first, and now the Sun
To th' Southward Tropick his swift race doth run:
This moneth he's hous'd in horned Capricorn,
From thence he 'gins to length the shortned morn,
Through Christendome with great Feastivity,
Now's held, (but ghest) for blest Nativity,
Cold frozen January next comes in,
Chilling the blood and shrinking up the skin;
In Aquarius now keeps the long wisht Sun,
And Northward his unwearied Course doth run:
The day much longer then it was before,
The cold not lessened, but augmented more.
Now Toes and Ears, and Fingers often freeze,
And Travellers their noses sometimes leese.
Moist snowie February is my last,
I care not how the winter time doth haste,
In Pisces now the golden Sun doth shine,
And Northward still approaches to the Line,
The Rivers 'gin to ope, the snows to melt,
And some warm glances from his face are felt;
Which is increased by the lengthen'd day,
Until by's heat, he drive all cold away,
[Page 68]
And thus the year in Circle runneth round:
Where first it did begin, in th' end its found.
 
My Subjects bare, my Brain is bad,
Or better Lines you should have had;
The first fell in so nat'rally,
I knew not how to pass it by;
The last, though bad, I could not mend,
Accept therefore of what is pen'd,
And all the faults that you shall spy
Shall at your feet for pardon cry.
[Page 69]

The four Monarchyes,
the Assyrian being the first,
beginning under Nimrod, 131. Years
after the Flood,

WHen time was young, & World in Infancy,
Man did not proudly strive for Soveraignty:
But each one thought his petty Rule was high,
If of his house he held the Monarchy.
This was the golden Age, but after came
The boisterous son of Chus, Grand-Child to Ham,
That mighty Hunter, who in his strong toyles
Both Beasts and Men subjected to his spoyles:
The strong foundation of proud Babel laid,
Erech, Accad, and Culneh also made.
These were his first, all stood in Shinar land,
From thence he went Assyria to command,
And mighty Niniveh, he there begun,
Not finished till he his race had run.
Resen, Caleh, and Rehoboth likewise
By him to Cities eminent did rise.
[Page 70]
Of Saturn, he was the Original,
Whom the succeeding times a God did call,
When thus with rule, he had been dignify'd,
One hundred fourteen years he after dy'd.
Belus.
Great Nimrod dead, Belus the next his Son
Confirms the rule, his Father had begun;
Whose acts and power is not for certainty
Left to the world, by any History.
But yet this blot for ever on him lies,
He taught the people first to Idolize:
Titles Divine he to himself did take,
Alive and dead, a God they did him make.
This is that Bel the Chaldees worshiped,
Whose Priests in Stories oft are mentioned;
This is that Baal to whom the Israelites
So oft profanely offered sacred Rites:
This is Beelzebub God of Ekronites,
Likewise Baalpeor of the Mohabites,
His reign was short, for as I calculate,
At twenty five ended his Regal date.
Ninus.
His Father dead, Ninus begins his reign,
Transfers his seat to the Assyrian plain;
And mighty Niniveh more mighty made,
Whose Foundation was by his Grand-sire laid:
Four hundred forty Furlongs wall'd about,
On which stood fifteen hundred Towers stout.
[Page 71]
The walls one hundred sixty foot upright,
So broad three Chariots run abrest there might.
Upon the pleasant banks of Tygris floud
This stately Seat of warlike Ninus stood:
This Ninus for a God his Father canonized,
To whom the sottish people sacrificed.
This Tyrant did his Neighbours all oppress,
Where e're he warr'd he had too good success.
Barzanes the great Armenian King
By force and fraud did under Tribute bring.
The Median Country he did also gain,
Thermus their King he caused to be slain;
An Army of three millions he led out
Against the Bactrians (but that I doubt)
Zoroaster their King he likewise slew,
And all the greater Asia did subdue.
Semiramis from Menon did he take
Then drown'd himself, did Menon for her sake.
Fifty two years he reign'd, (as we are told)
The world then was two thousand nineteen old.
Semiramis.
This great oppressing Ninus, dead and gone,
His wife Semiramis usurp'd the Throne;
She like a brave Virago played the Rex
And was both shame and glory of her Sex:
Her birth place was Philistines Ascolan,
Her mother Dorceta a Curtizan.
Others report she was a vestal Nun,
Adjudged to be drown'd for th' crime she'd done.
[Page 72]
Transform'd into a Fish by Venus will,
Her beauteous face, (they feign) reteining still.
Sure from this Fiction Dagon first began,
Changing the womans face into a man:
But all agree that from no lawfull bed,
This great renowned Empress issued:
For which she was obscurely nourished,
Whence rose that Fable, she by birds was fed.
This gallant Dame unto the Bactrian warre,
Accompanying her husband Menon farr,
Taking a town, such valour she did show,
That Ninus amorous of her soon did grow,
And thought her fit to make a Monarchs wife,
Which was the cause poor Menon lost his life:
She flourishing with Ninus long did reign,
Till her Ambition caus'd him to be slain.
That having no Compeer, she might rule all,
Or else she sought revenge for Menon's fall.
Some think the Greeks this slander on her cast,
As on her life Licentious, and unchast,
That undeserv'd, they blur'd her name and fame
By their aspersions, cast upon the same:
But were her virtues more or less, or none,
She for her potency must go alone.
Her wealth she shew'd in building Babylon,
Admir'd of all, but equaliz'd of none;
The Walls so strong, and curiously was wrought,
That after Ages, Skill by them was taught:
With Towers and Bulwarks made of costly stone,
Quadrangle was the form it stood upon,
[Page 73]
Each Square was fifteen thousand paces long,
An hundred gates it had of mettal strong:
Three hundred sixty foot the walls in height,
Almost incredible, they were in breadth
Some writers say, six Chariots might affront
With great facility, march safe upon't:
About the Wall a ditch so deep and wide,
That like a River long it did abide.
Three hundred thousand men here day by day
Bestow'd their labour, and receiv'd their pay.
And that which did all cost and Art excell,
The wondrous Temple was, she rear'd to Bell:
Which in the midst of this brave Town was plac'd,
Continuing till Xerxes it defac'd:
Whose stately top above the Clouds did rise,
From whence Astrologers oft view'd the Skies.
This to describe in each particular,
A structure rare I should but rudely marre.
Her Gardens, Bridges, Arches, mounts and spires
All eyes that saw, or Ears that hear admires,
In Shinar plain on the Euphratian flood
This wonder of the world, this Babel stood.
An expedition to the East she made
Staurobates, his Country to invade:
Her Army of four millions did consist,
Each may believe it as his fancy list.
Her Camels, Chariots, Gallyes in such number,
As puzzles best Historians to remember;
But this is wonderful, of all those men,
They say, but twenty e're came back agen.
[Page 74]
The River Indus swept them half away,
The rest Staurobates in fight did slay;
This was last progress of this mighty Queen,
Who in her Country never more was seen.
The Poets feign'd her turn'd into a Dove,
Leaving the world to Venus soar'd above:
Which made the Assyrians many a day,
A Dove within their Ensigns to display:
Forty two years she reign'd, and then she di'd
But by what means we are not certifi'd.
Ninias or Zamies.
His Mother dead, Ninias obtains his right,
A Prince wedded to ease and to delight,
Or else was his obedience very great,
To sit thus long (obscure) rob'd of his Seat.
Some write his Mother put his habit on,
Which made the people think they serv'd her Son:
But much it is, in more then forty years
This fraud in war nor peace at all appears:
More like it is his lust with pleasures fed,
He sought no rule till she was gone and dead.
What then he did of worth can no man tell,
But is suppos'd to be that Amraphel
Who warr'd with Sodoms and Gomorrahs King,
'Gainst whom his trained bands Abram did bring,
But this is farre unlike, he being Son
Unto a Father that all Countryes won
So suddenly should loose so great a state,
With petty Kings to joyne Confederate.
[Page 75]
Nor can those Reasons which wise Raileih finds,
Well satisfie the most considerate minds:
We may with learned Usher better say,
He many Ages liv'd after that day.
And that Semiramis then flourished
When famous Troy was so beleaguered:
What e're he was, or did, or how it fell,
We may suggest our thoughts but cannot tell.
For Ninias and all his race are left
In deep oblivion, of acts bereft:
And many hundred years in silence sit,
Save a few Names a new Berosus writ.
And such as care not what befalls their fames,
May feign as many acts as he did Names;
It may suffice, if all be true that's past.
T' Sardanapalas next, we will make haste.
Sardanapalas.
Sardanapalas, Son to Ocrazapes,
Who wallowed in all voluptuousness,
That palliardizing sot that out of dores,
Ne're shew'd his face but revell'd with his whores
Did wear their garbs, their gestures imitate,
And in their kind, t' excel did emulate.
His baseness knowing, and the peoples hate
Kept close, fearing his well deserved fate;
It chanc'd Arbaces brave unwarily,
His Master like a Strumpet clad did spye.
His manly heart disdained (in the least)
Longer to serve this Metamorphos'd Beast;
[Page 76]
Unto Belosus then he brake his mind,
Who sick of his disease, he soon did find
These two, rul'd Media and Babilon
Both for their King, held their Dominion;
Belosus promised Arbaces aid,
Arbaces him fully to be repayd.
The last: The Medes and Persians do invite
Against their monstrous King to use their might.
Belosus, the Chaldeans doth require
And the Arabians, to further his desire:
These all agree, and forty thousand make
The Rule, from their unworthy Prince to take:
These Forces mustered and in array
Sardanapalas leaves his Apish play.
And though of wars, he did abhor the sight;
Fear of his diadem did force him fight:
And either by his valour, or his fate,
Arbaces Courage he did so abate;
That in dispair, he left the Field and fled,
But with fresh hopes Belosus succoured,
From Bactria, an Army was at hand
Prest for this Service by the Kings Command:
These with celerity Arbaces meet,
And with all Terms of amity them greet.
With promises their necks now to unyoke,
And their Taxations sore all to revoke;
T'infranchise them, to grant what they could crave,
No priviledge to want, Subjects should have,
Only intreats them, to joyn their Force with his,
And win the Crown, which was the way to bliss.
[Page 77]
Won by his loving looks, more by his speech,
T' accept of what they could, they all beseech:
Both sides their hearts their hands, & bands unite,
And set upon their Princes Camp that night;
Who revelling in Cups, sung care away,
For victory obtain'd the other day:
And now surpris'd, by this unlookt for fright,
Bereft of wits, were slaughtered down right.
The King his brother leavs, all to sustain,
And speeds himself to Niniveh amain.
But Salmeneus slain, the Army falls;
The King's pursu'd unto the City Walls,
But he once in, pursuers came to late,
The Walls and Gates their hast did terminate,
There with all store he was so well provided:
That what Arbaces did, was but derided:
Who there incamp'd, two years for little end,
But in the third, the River prov'd his friend,
For by the rain, was Tygris so o'reflown,
Part of that stately Wall was overthrown.
Arbaces marches in, the Town he takes,
For few or none (it seems) resistance makes:
And now they saw fulfil'd a Prophesy,
That when the River prov'd their Enemy,
Their strong wal'd Town should suddenly be taken
By this accomplishment, their hearts were shaken.
Sardanapalas did not seek to fly,
This his inevitable destiny;
But all his wealth and friends together gets,
Then on himself, and them a fire he sets.
[Page 78]
This was last Monarch of great Ninus race
That for twelve hundred years had held the place;
Twenty he reign'd same time, as Stories tell,
That Amaziah was King of Israel.
His Father was then King (as we suppose)
When Jonah for their sins denounc'd those woes.
He did repent, the threatning was not done,
But now accomplish'd in his wicked Son.
Arbaces thus of all becoming Lord,
Ingeniously with all did keep his word.
Of Babylon Belosus he made King,
With overplus of all the wealth therein.
To Bactrians he gave their liberty,
Of Ninivites he caused none to dye.
But suffer'd with their goods, to go else where,
Not granting them now to inhabit there:
For he demolished that City great,
And unto Media transfer'd his Seat.
Such was his promise which he firmly made,
To Medes and Persians when he crav'd their aid:
A while he and his race aside must stand,
Not pertinent to what we have in hand;
And Belochus in's progeny pursue,
Who did this Monarchy begin anew.
Belosus or Belochus.
Belosus setled in his new old Seat,
Not so content but aiming to be great,
Incroaching still upon the bordering lands,
Till Mesopotamia he got in's hands.
[Page 79]
And either by compound or else by strength,
Assyria he gain'd also at length;
Then did rebuild, destroyed Nineveh,
A costly work which none could do but he,
Who own'd the Treasures of proud Babylon,
And those that seem'd with Sardanapalas gone;
For though his Palace did in ashes lye,
The fire those Mettals could not damnifie;
From these with diligence he rakes,
Arbaces suffers all, and all he takes,
He thus inricht by this new tryed gold.
Raises a Phænix new, from grave o'th' old;
And from this heap did after Ages see
As fair a Town, as the first Niniveh.
When this was built, and matters all in peace
Molests poor Israel, his wealth t' increase.
A thousand Talents of Menahem had,
(Who to be rid of such a guest was glad;)
In sacrid writ he's known by name of Pul,
Which makes the world of difference so full.
That he and Belochus could not one be,
But Circumstance doth prove the verity;
And times of both computed so fall out,
That these two made but one, we need not doubt:
What else he did, his Empire to advance,
To rest content we must, in ignorance.
Forty eight years he reign'd, his race then run,
He left his new got Kingdome to his Son.
[Page 80]
Tiglath Pulassar.
Belosus dead, Tiglath his warlike Son,
Next treads those steps, by which his Father won;
Damascus ancient Seat, of famous Kings
Under subjection, by his Sword he brings.
Resin their valiant King he also slew,
And Syria t' obedience did subdue.
Judas bad King occasioned this war,
When Resins force his Borders sore did marre,
And divers Cities by strong hand did seaze:
To Tiglath then, doth Ahaz send for ease,
The Temple robs, so to fulfil his ends,
And to Assyria's King a present sends.
I am thy Servant and thy Son, (quoth he)
From Resin, and from Pekah set me free,
Gladly doth Tiglath this advantage take,
And succours Ahaz, yet for Tiglath's sake.
Then Resin slain, his Army overthrown,
He Syria makes a Province of his own.
Unto Damascus then comes Judah's King,
His humble thankfulness (in haste) to bring,
Acknowledging th' Assyrians high desert,
To whom he ought all loyalty of heart.
But Tiglath having gain'd his wished end,
Proves unto Ahaz but a feigned friend;
All Israels lands beyond Jordan he takes,
In Galilee he woful havock makes.
Through Syria now he march'd none stopt his way,
And Ahaz open at his mercy lay;
[Page 81]
Who still implor'd his love, but was distrest;
This was that Ahaz, who so high transgrest:
Thus Tiglath reign'd, & warr'd twenty seven years
Then by his death releas'd was Israels fears.
Salmanassar or Nabanassar.
Tiglath deceas'd, Salmanassar was next,
He Israelites, more then his Father vext;
Hoshea their last King he did invade,
And him six years his Tributary made;
But weary of his servitude, he sought
To Egypt King, which did avail him nought;
For Salmanassar with a mighty Host,
Besieg'd his Regal Town, and spoyl'd his Coast,
And did the people, nobles, and their King,
Into perpetual thraldome that time bring;
Those that from Joshuah's time had been a state,     [10 years.
Did Justice now by him eradicate:
This was that strange, degenerated brood,
On whom, nor threats, nor mercies could do good;
Laden with honour, prisoners, and with spoyle,
Returns triumphant Victor to his soyle;
He placed Israel there, where he thought best,
Then sent his Colonies, theirs to invest;
Thus Jacobs Sons in Exile must remain,
And pleasant Canaan never saw again:
Where now those ten Tribes are, can no man tell,
Or how they fare, rich, poor, or ill or well;
Whether the Indians of the East, or West,
Or wild Tartarians, as yet ne're blest.
[Page 82]
Or else those Chinoes rare, whose wealth & arts
Hath bred more wonder then belief in hearts:
But what, or where they are; yet know we this,
They shall return, and Zion see with bliss.
Senacherib.
Senacherib Salmanasser succeeds,
Whose haughty heart is showne in words & deeds
His wars, none better then himself can boast,
On Henah, Arpad, and on Juahs coast;
On Hevahs and on Shepharvaims gods,
'Twixt them and Israels he knew no odds,
Untill the thundring hand of heaven he felt,
Which made his Army into nothing melt:
With shame then turn'd to Ninive again,
And by his sons in's Idols house was slain.
Essarhadon.
His Son, weak Essarhaddon reign'd in's place,
The fifth, and last of great Bellosus race.
Brave Merodach, the Son of Baladan,
In Babylon Lieftenant to this man
Of opportunity advantage takes,
And on his Masters ruines his house makes,
As Belosus his Soveraign did onthrone,
So he's now stil'd the King of Babilon.
After twelve years did Essarhaddon dye,
And Merodach assume the Monarchy.
[Page 83]
Merodach Balladan.
All yield to him, but Niniveh kept free,
Untill his Grand-child made her bow the knee.
Ambassadors to Hezekiah sent,
His health congratulates with complement.
Ben Merodach.
Ben Merodach Successor to this King,
Of whom is little said in any thing,
But by conjecture this, and none but he
Led King Manasseh to Captivity.
Nebulassar.
Brave Nebulassar to this King was son,
The famous Niniveh by him was won,
For fifty years, or more, it had been free,
Now yields her neck unto captivity:
A Vice-Roy from her foe she's glad to accept,
By whom in firm obedience she is kept.
This King's less fam'd for all the acts he's done,
Then being Father to so great a Son.
Nebuchadnezzar, or Nebopolassar.
The famous acts of this heroick King
Did neither Homer, Hesiod, Virgil sing:
Nor of his Wars have we the certainty
From some Thucidides grave history;
Nor's Metamorphosis from Ovids book,
Nor his restoriag from old Legends took:
[Page 84]
But by the Prophets, Pen-men most divine,
This prince in's magnitude doth ever shine:
This was of Monarchyes that head of gold,
The richest and the dreadfullest to behold:
This was that tree whose branches fill'd the earth,
Under whose shadow birds and beasts had birth:
This was that king of kings did what he pleas'd,
Kill'd, sav'd pul'd down, set up, or pain'd or eas'd;
And this was he, who when he fear'd the least
Was changed from a King into a beast.
This Prince the last year of his fathers reign
Against Jehojakim marcht with his train,
Judahs poor King besieg'd and succourless
Yields to his mercy, and the present 'stress;
His Vassal is, gives pledges for his truth,
Children of royal blood, unblemish'd youth:
Wise Daniel and his fellowes, mongst the rest,
By the victorious king to Babel's prest:
The Temple of rich ornaments defac'd,
And in his Idols house the vessels plac'd.
The next year he with unresisted hand
Quite vanguish'd Pharaoh Necho with his band:
By great Euphrates did his army fall,
Which was the loss of Syria withall.
Then into Egypt Necho did retire,
Which in few years proves the Assirians hire.
A mighty army next he doth prepare,
And unto wealthy Tyre in hast repair.
Such was the scituation of this place,
As might not him, but all the world out-face,
[Page 85]
That in her pride she knew not which to boast
Whether her wealth, or yet her strength was most
How in all merchandize she did excel,
None but the true Ezekiel need to tell.
And for her strength, how hard she was to gain,
Can Babels tired souldiers tell with pain.
Within an Island had this city seat,
Divided from the Main by channel great:
Of costly ships and Gallyes she had store,
And Mariners to handle sail and oar:
But the Chaldeans had nor ships nor skill,
Their shoulders must their Masters mind fulfill,
Fetcht rubbish from the opposite old town,
And in the channel threw each burden down;
Where after many essayes, they made at last
The sea firm land, whereon the Army past,
And took the wealthy town; but all the gain,
Requited not the loss, the toyle and pain.
Full thirteen years in this strange work he spent
Before he could accomplish his intent:
And though a Victor home his Army leads,
With peeled shoulders, and with balded heads.
When in the Tyrian war this King was hot,
Jehojakim his oath had clean forgot,
Thinks this the fittest time to break his bands
Whilest Babels King thus deep engaged stands:
But he whose fortunes all were in the ebbe,
Had all his hopes like to a spiders web;
For this great King withdraws part of his force,
To Judah marches with a speedy course,
[Page 86]
And unexpected finds the feeble Prince
Whom he chastis'd thus for his proud offence,
Fast bound, intends to Babel him to send,
But chang'd his mind, & caus'd his life there end,
Then cast him out like to a naked Ass,
For this is he for whom none said alas.
His son he suffered three months to reign,
Then from his throne he pluck'd him down again,
Whom with his mother he to Babel led,
And seven and thirty years in prison fed:
His Uncle he establish'd in his place
(Who was last King of holy Davids race)
But he as perjur'd as Jehojakim,
They lost more now then e're they lost by him.
Seven years he kept his faith, and safe he dwells;
But in the eighth against his Prince rebels:
The ninth came Nebuchadnezzar with power,
Besieg'd his city, temple, Zions tower,
And after eighteen months he took them all:
The Walls so strong, that stood so long, now fall.
The cursed King by flight could no wise fly
His well deserv'd and foretold misery:
But being caught to Babels wrathfull King
With children, wives and Nobles all they bring,
Where to the sword all but himself were put,
And with that wofull sight his eyes close shut.
Ah! hapless man, whose darksome contemplation
Was nothing but such gastly meditation.
In midst of Babel now till death he lyes;
Yet as was told ne're saw it with his eyes.
[Page 87]
The Temple's burnt the vessels had away.
The towres and palaces brought to decay:
Where late of harp and Lute were heard the noise
Now Zim & Jim lift up their scrieching voice.
All now of worth are Captive led with tears,
And sit bewailing Zion seventy years.
With all these conquests, Babels King rests not,
No not when Moab, Edom he had got,
Kedar and Hazar, the Arabians too,
All Vassals at his hands for Grace must sue.
A total conquest of rich Egypt makes,
All rule he from the ancient Phraohes takes,
Who had for sixteen hundred years born sway,
To Babilons proud King now yields the day.
Then Put and Lud do at his mercy stand.
Where e're he goes, he conquers every land.
His sumptuous buildings passes all conceit,
Which wealth and strong ambition made so great.
His Image Judahs Captives worship not,
Although the Furnace be seven times more hot.
His dreams wise Daniel doth expound full well,
And his unhappy chang with grief foretell.
Strange melancholy humours on him lay,
Which for seven years his reason took away,
Which from no natural causes did proceed,
But for his pride, so had the heavens decreed.
The time expir'd, bruitish remains no more,
But Government resumes as heretofore:
In splendor, and in Majesty he sits,
Contemplating those times he lost his witts.
[Page 88]
And if by words we may ghess at the heart,
This king among the righteous had a part:
Fourty four years he reign'd, which being run,
He left his wealth and conquests to his son.
Evilmerodach.
Babel's great Monarch now laid in the dust,
His son possesses wealth and rule as just:
And in the first year of his Royalty
Easeth Jehojakims Captivity:
Poor forlorn Prince, who had all state forgot
In seven and thirty years had seen no jot.
Among the conquer'd Kings that there did ly
Is Judah's King now lifted up on high:
But yet in Babel he must still remain,
And native Canaan never see again:
Unlike his Father Evilmerodach,
Prudence and magnanimity did lack;
Fair Egypt is by his remisness lost,
Arabia, and all the bordering coast.
Warrs with the Medes unhappily he wag'd
(Within which broyles rich Croesus was ingag'd)
His Army routed, and himself there slain:
His Kingdome to Belshazzar did remain.
Belshazzar.
Unworthy Belshazzar next wears the crown,
Whose acts profane a sacred Pen sets down,
His lust and crueltyes in storyes find,
A royal State rul'd by a bruitish mind.
[Page 89]
His life so base, and dissolute invites
The noble Persian to invade his rights.
Who with his own, and Uncles power anon,
Layes siedge to's Regal Seat, proud Babylon,
The coward King, whose strength lay in his walls,
To banquetting and revelling now falls,
To shew his little dread, but greater store,
To chear his friends, and scorn his foes the more.
The holy vessels thither brought long since,
They carrows'd in, and sacrilegious prince
Did praise his Gods of mettal, wood, and stone,
Protectors of his Crown, and Babylon,
But he above, his doings did deride,
And with a hand soon dashed all this pride.
The King upon the wall casting his eye,
The fingers of a hand writing did spy,
Which horrid sight, he fears must needs portend
Destruction to his Crown, to's Person end.
With quaking knees, and heart appall'd he cries,
For the Soothsayers, and Magicians wise;
This language strange to read, and to unfold;
With gifts of Scarlet robe, and Chain of gold,
And highest dignity, next to the King,
To him that could interpret, clear this thing:
But dumb the gazing Astrologers stand,
Amazed at the writing, and the hand.
None answers the affrighted Kings intent,
Who still expects some fearful sad event;
As dead, alive he sits, as one undone:
In comes the Queen, to chear her heartless Son.
[Page 90]
Of Daniel tells, who in his grand-sires dayes
Was held in more account then now he was.
Daniel in haste is brought before the King,
Who doth not flatter, nor once cloak the thing;
Reminds him of his Grand-Sires height and fall,
And of his own notorious sins withall:
His Drunkenness, and his profaness high,
His pride and sottish gross Idolatry.
The guilty King with colour pale and dead
Then hears his Mene and his Tekel read.
And one thing did worthy a King (though late)
Perform'd his word to him that told his fate.
That night victorious Cyrus took the town,
Who soon did terminate his life and crown;
With him did end the race of Baladan:
And now the Persian Monarchy began.

The End of the Assyrian Monarchy.

[Page 91]

The Second Monarchy,
being the Persian, began under
Cyrus, Darius being his Uncle and
Father in-law reigned with him
about two years.

CYrus Cambyses Son of Persia King,
Whom Lady Mandana did to him bring,
She daughter unto great Astiages,
He in descent the seventh from Arbaces.
Cambyses was of Achemenes race,
Who had in Persia the Lieftenants place
When Sardanapalus was overthrown,
And from that time had held it as his own.
Cyrus, Darius Daughter took to wife,
And so unites two Kingdomes without strife.
Darius unto Mandana was brother,
Adopts her son for his, having no other.
This is of Cyrus the true pedegree,
Whose Ancestors were royal in degree:
His Mothers dream, and Grand-Sires cruelty,
His preservation, in his misery,
His nourishment afforded by a Bitch,
Are fit for such, whose ears for Fables itch.
[Page 92]
He in his younger dayes an Army led,
Against great Cressus then of Lidia head;
Who over-curious of wars event,
For information to Apollo went:
And the ambiguous Oracle did trust,
So overthrown by Cyrus, as was just;
Who him prasues to Sardis, takes the Town,
Where all that dare resist are slaughter'd down;
Disguised Cressus hop'd to scape i'th' throng,
Who had no might to save himself from wrong;
But as he past, his Son who was born dumb,
With pressing grief and sorrow overcome:
Among the tumult, bloud-shed, and the strife,
Brake his long silence, cry'd, spare Cressus life:
Cressus thus known, it was great Cyrus doom,
(A hard decree) to ashes he consume;
Then on a wood pile set, where all might eye,
He Solon, Solon, Solon, thrice did cry.
The Reason of those words Cyrus demands,
Who Solon was? to whom he lifts his hands;
Then to the King he makes this true report,
That Solon sometimes at his stately Court,
His Treasures, pleasures, pomp and power did see,
And viewing all, at all nought mov'd was he:
That Cressus angry, urg'd him to express,
If ever King equal'd his happiness.
(Quoth he) that man for happy we commend,
Whose happy life attains an happy end.
Cyrus with pitty mov'd, knowing Kings stand,
Now up and down, as fortune turns her hand,
[Page 93]
Weighing the Age, and greatness of the Prince,
(His Mothers Uncle) stories do evince:
Gave him his life, and took him for a friend,
Did to him still his chief designs commend.
Next war the restless Cyrus thought upon,
Was conquest of the stately Babilon,
Now treble wall'd, and moated so about,
That all the world they need not fear nor doubt;
To drain this ditch, he many Sluces cut,
But till convenient time their heads kept shut;
That night Belshazzar feasted all his rout,
He cut those banks, and let the River out,
And to the walls securely marches on,
Not finding a defendant thereupon;
Enters the Town, the sottish King he slayes,
Upon Earths richest spoyles his Souldiers preys;
Here twenty years provision good he found,
Forty five miles this City scarce could round;
This head of Kingdomes Chaldees excellence,
For Owles and Satyres made a residence;
Yet wondrous monuments this stately Queen,
A thousand years had after to be seen.
Cyrus doth now the Jewish Captives free,
An Edict made, the Temple builded be,
He with his Uncle Daniel sets on high,
And caus'd his foes in Lions Den to dye.
Long after this he 'gainst the Scythians goes,
And Tomris Son and Army overthrows;
Which to revenge she hires a mighty power,
And sets on Cyrus, in a fatal hour;
[Page 94]
There routs his Host, himself she prisoner takes,
And at one blow (worlds head) she headless makes
The which she bath'd, within a But of bloud,
Using such taunting words, as she thought good.
But Xenophon reports he di'd in's bed,
In honour, peace, and wealth, with a grey head;
And in his Town of Passagardes lyes,
Where some long after sought in vain for prize,
But in his Tombe, was only to be found
Two Scythian boys, a Sword and Target round:
And Alexander coming to the same,
With honours great, did celebrate his fame.
Three daughters and two Sons he left behind,
Innobled more by birth, then by their mind;
Thirty two years in all this Prince did reign,
But eight whilst Babylon, he did retain:
And though his conquests made the earth to groan,
Now quiet lyes under one marble stone.
And with an Epitaph, himself did make,
To shew how little Land he then should take.
Cambyses.
Cambyses no wayes like his noble Sire,
Yet to inlarge his State had some desire,
His reign with bloud and Incest first begins,
Then sends to find a Law, for these his sins;
That Kings with Sisters match, no Law they find,
But that the Persian King may act his mind:
He wages war the fifth year of his reign,
'Gainst Egypts King, who there by him was slain.
[Page 95]
And all of Royal Blood, that came to hand,
He seized first of Life, and then of Land,
(But little Narus scap'd that cruel fate,
Who grown a man, resum'd again his State.)
He next to Cyprus sends his bloudy Host,
Who landing soon upon that fruitful Coast,
Made Evelthon their King with bended knee,
To hold his own, of his free Courtesie.
Their Temple he destroys, not for his Zeal,
For he would be profest, God of their weal;
Yea, in his pride, he ventured so farre,
To spoyle the Temple of great Jupiter:
But as they marched o're those desert sands,
The stormed dust o'rewhelm'd his daring bands;
But scorning thus, by Jove to be outbrav'd,
A second Army he had almost grav'd,
But vain he found to fight with Elements,
So left his sacrilegious bold intents.
The Egyptian Apis then he likewise slew,
Laughing to scorn, that sottish Calvish Crew:
If all this heat had been for pious end,
Cambyses to the Clouds we might commend.
But he that 'fore the Gods himself prefers,
Is more profane then gross Idolaters;
He after this, upon suspition vain,
Unjustly caus'd his brother to be slain.
Praxaspes into Persia then is sent,
To act in secret, this his lewd intent:
His Sister (whom Incestuously he wed,)
Hearing her harmless brother thus was dead.
[Page 96]
His wofull death with tears did so bemoan,
That by her husbands charge, she caught her own,
She with her fruit at once were both undone
Who would have born a Nephew and a son.
Oh hellesh husband, brother, uncle, Sire,
Thy cruelty all ages will admire.
This strange severity he sometimes us'd
Upon a Judge, for taking bribes accus'd,
Flay'd him alive, hung up his stuffed skin
Over his seat, then plac'd his son therein,
To whom he gave this in remembrance,
Like fault must look for the like recompence.
His cruelty was come unto that height,
He spar'd nor foe, nor friend, nor favourite.
'Twould be no pleasure, but a tedious thing
To tell the facts of this most bloody King,
Feared of all, but lov'd of few or none,
All wisht his short reign past before 'twas done.
At last two of his Officers he hears
Had set one Smerdis up, of the same years,
And like in feature to his brother dead,
Ruling, as they thought best under this head.
The people ignorant of what was done,
Obedience yielded as to Cyrus son.
Toucht with this news to Persia he makes,
But in the way his sword just vengeance takes,
Unsheathes, as he his horse mounted on high,
And with a mortal thrust wounds him ith' thigh,
Which ends before begun his home-bred warr:
So yields to death, that dreadfull Conquerour.
[Page 97]
Grief for his brothers death he did express,
And more, because he died Issueless.
The male line of great Cyrus now had end,
The Female to many Ages did extend.
A Babylon in Egypt did he make,
And Meroe built for his fair Sisters sake.
Eight years he reign'd, a short, yet too long time
Cut off in's wickedness in's strength and prime.
The inter regnum between Cambyses
And Darius Histaspes.
Childless Cambyses on the sudden dead,
(The Princes meet, to chuse one in his stead,
Of which the chief was seven, call'd Satrapes,
Who like to Kings, rul'd Kingdomes as they please,
Descended all of Achemenes bloud,
And Kinsmen in account to th'King they stood.
And first these noble Magi 'gree upon,
To thrust th' imposter Smerdis out of Throne:
Then Forces instantly they raise, and rout
This King with his Conspirators so stout,
But yet 'fore this was done much bloud was shed,
And two of these great Peers in Field lay dead.
Some write that sorely hurt they scap'd away,
But so, or no, sure 'tis they won the day.
All things in peace, and Rebels throughly quell'd,
A Consultation by those States was held,
What form of government now to erect
The old, or new, which best, in what respect
[Page 98]
The greater part declin'd a Monarchy
So late crusht by their Princes tyranny,
And thought the people would more happy be
If govern'd by an Aristocracy:
But others thought (none of the dullest brain)
That better one then many tyrants reign.
What Arguments they us'd, I know not well,
Too politick, its like, for me to tell,
But in conclusion they all agree,
Out of the seven a Monarch chosen be.
All envy to avoid, this was thought on
Upon a green to meet by rising sun,
And he whose horse before the rest should neigh,
Of all the Peers should have precedency.
They all attend on the appointed hour,
Praying to fortune for a kingly power.
Then mounting on their snorting coursers proud,
Darius lusty Stallion neigh'd full loud.
The Nobles all alight, bow to their King,
And joyfull acclamations shrill they ring.
A thousand times, long live the King they cry,
Let Tyranny with dead Cambyses dye:
Then all attend him to his royall room:
Thanks for all this to's crafty stable-groom.
Darius Hystaspes.
Darius by election made a King,
His title to make strong, omits no thing:
He two of Cyrus daughters then doth wed,
Two of his Neeces takes to Nuptial bed,
[Page 99]
By which he cuts their hopes for future time,
That by such steps to Kingdomes often clime.
And now a King by mariage choice and blood:
Three strings to's bow, the least of which is good;
Yet firmly more, the peoples hearts to bind.
Made wholsome, gentle laws which pleas'd each mind.
His courtesie and affability.
Much gain'd the hearts of his nobility.
Yet notwithstanding all he did so well,
The Babylonians 'gainst their prince rebell.
An host he rais'd the city to reduce;
But men against those walls were of no use.
Then brave Zopirus for his masters good,
His manly face disfigures, spares no blood:
With his own hands cutts off his ears and nose,
And with a faithfull fraud to th' town he goes,
Tells them how harshly the proud king had dealt,
That for their sakes his cruelty he felt,
Desiring of the Prince to raise the siege,
This violence was done him by his Liege.
This told, for entrance he stood not long;
For they believ'd his nose more then his tongue.
With all the city's strength they him betrust,
If he command, obey the greatest must.
When opportunity he saw was fit
Delivers up the town, and all in it.
To loose a nose, to win a town's no shame,
But who dares venture such a stake for th' game.
Then thy disgrace, thine honour's manifold,
Who doth deserve a statue made of gold.
[Page 100]
Nor can Darius in his Monarchy,
Scarce find enough to thank thy loyalty:
Yet o're thy glory we must cast this vail,
Thy craft more then thy valour did prevail.
Darius in the second of his reign
An Edict for the Jews publish'd again:
The Temple to rebuild, for that did rest
Since Cyrus time, Cambises did molest.
He like a King now grants a Charter large,
Out of his own revennues bears the charge,
Gives Sacrifices, wheat, wine, oyle and salt,
Threats punishment to him that through default
Shall let the work or keep back any thing
Of what is freely granted by the King:
And on all Kings he poures out Execrations
That shall once dare to rase those firm foundations
They thus backt by the King, in spight of foes
Built on and prosper'd till their house they close,
And in the sixth year of his friendly reign,
Set up a Temple (though a less) again:
Darius on the Scythians made a war,
Entring that larg and barren Country far:
A Bridge he made, which serv'd for boat & barge
O're Ister fair, with labour and with charge.
But in that desert 'mongst his barbarous foes
Sharp wants, not swords, his valour did oppose,
His Army fought with hunger and with cold,
Which to assail his royal Camp was bold.
By these alone his host was pincht so sore,
He warr'd defensive, not offensive more.
[Page 101]
The Salvages did laugh at his distress,
Their minds by Hiroglyphicks they express,
A Frog a Mouse, a bird, an arrow sent,
The King will needs interpret their intent,
Possession of water, earth and air,
But wise Gobrias reads not half so fair:
(Quoth he) like frogs in water we must dive,
Or like to mice under the earth must live,
Or fly like birds in unknown wayes full quick,
Or Scythian arrows in our sides must stick.
The King seeing his men and victuals spent,
This fruitless war began late to repent,
Return'd with little honour, and less gain.
His enemies scarce seen, then much less slain.
He after this intends Greece to invade,
But troubles in Less Asia him staid,
Which husht, he straight so orders his affairs,
For Attaca an army he prepares;
But as before, so now with ill success
Return'd with wondrous loss, and honourless.
Athens perceiving now their desperate state
Arm'd all they could, which eleven thousand made
By brave Miltiades their chief being led:
Darius multitudes before them fled.
At Marathon this bloudy field was fought,
Where Grecians prov'd themselves right souldiers stout
The Persians to their gallies post with speed
Where an Athenian shew'd a valiant deed,
Pursues his flying foes then on the sand,
He stayes a lauching gally with his hand,
[Page 102]
Which soon cut off, inrag'd, he with his left,
Renews his hold, and when of that bereft,
His whetted teeth he claps in the firm wood,
Off flyes his head, down showres his frolick bloud,
Go Persians, carry home that angry piece,
As the best Trophe which ye won in Greece,
Darius light, yet heavy home returns,
And for revenge, his heart still restless burnes,
His Queen Atossa Author of this stirr,
For Grecian maids ('tis said) to wait on her.
She lost her aim, her Husband he lost more,
His men his coyne, his honour, and his store;
And the ensuing year ended his Life,
(Tis thought) through grief of this successless strife
Thirty six years this noble Prince did reign,
Then to his second Son did all remain.
Xerxes.
Xerxes. Darius, and Atossa's Son,
Grand child to Cyrus, now sits on the Throne:
(His eldest brother put beside the place,
Because this was, first born of Cyrus race.)
His Father not so full of lenity,
As was his Son of pride and cruelty;
He with his Crown receives a double war,
The Egyptians to reduce, and Greece to marr,
The first begun, and finish'd in such haste,
None write by whom, nor how, 'twas over past.
But for the last, he made such preparation,
As if to dust, he meant, to grinde that nation;
[Page 103]
Yet all his men, and Instruments of slaughter,
Produced but derision and laughter,
Sage Artabanus Counsel had he taken,
And's Couzen young Mardonius forsaken,
His Souldiers credit, wealth at home had staid,
And Greece such wondrous triumphs ne'r had made.
The first dehorts and layes before his eyes
His Fathers ill success, in's enterprize,
Against the Scythians and Grecians too,
What Infamy to's honour did accrew.
Flatt'ring Mardonius on the other side,
With conquest of all Europe, feeds his pride:
Vain Xerxes thinks his counsel hath most wit,
That his ambitious humour best can fit;
And by this choice unwarily posts on,
To present loss, future subversion.
Although he hasted, yet four years was spent
In great provisions, for this great intent:
His Army of all Nations was compounded,
That the vast Persian government surrounded.
His Foot was seventeen hundred thousand strong,
Eight hundred thousand horse to these belong
His Camels, beasts for carriage numberless,
For Truths asham'd, how many to express;
The charge of all, he severally commended
To Princes, of the Persian bloud descended:
But the command of these commanders all,
Unto Mardonius made their General;
(He was the Son of the fore nam'd Gobrius,
Who married the Sister of Darius.)
[Page 104]
Such his land Forces were, then next a fleet,
Of two and twenty thousand Gallies meet
Man'd with Phenicians and Pamphylians
Cipriots, Dorians and Cilicians,
Lycians, Carians and Ionians,
Eolians and the Helespontines.
Besides the vessels for his transportation,
Which to three thousand came (by best relation)
Brave Artemisia, Hallicarnassus Queen
In person present for his aid was seen,
Whose Gallyes all the rest in neatness pass,
Save the Zidonians, where Xerxes was:
But hers she kept still seperate from the rest,
For to command alone, she judg'd was best.
O noble Queen, thy valour I commend;
But pitty 'twas thine aid thou here didst lend.
At Sardis in Lydia, all these do meet,
Whether rich Pythias comes Xerxes to greet,
Feasts all this multitude of his own charge,
Then gives the King a king-like gift full large,
Three thousand talents of the purest gold,
Which mighty sum all wondred to behold:
Then humbly to the king he makes request,
One of his five sons there might be releas'd,
To be to's age a comfort and a stay,
The other four he freely gave away.
The king calls for the youth, who being brought,
Cuts him in twain for whom his Sire besought,
Then laid his parts on both sides of the way,
'Twixt which his souldiers marcht in good array.
[Page 105]
For his great love is this thy recompence?
Is this to do like Xerxes or a Prince?
Thou shame of kings, of men the detestation,
I Rhetorick want to pour out execration.
First thing he did that's worthy of recount,
A Sea passage cut behind Athos mount.
Next o're the Helespont a bridge he made
Of Boats together coupled, and there laid:
But winds and waves those iron bands did break;
To cross the sea such strength he found too weak,
Then whips the sea, and with a mind most vain
He fetters casts therein the same to chain.
The work-men put to death the bridge that made,
Because they wanted skill the same to've staid.
Seven thousand Gallyes chain'd by Tyrians skill,
Firmly at last accomplished his will.
Seven dayes and nights, his host without least stay
Was marching o're this new devised way.
Then in Abidus plains mustring his forces,
He gloryes in his squadrons and his horses.
Long viewing them, thought it great happiness,
One king so many subjects should possess:
But yet this sight from him produced tears,
That none of those could live an hundred years.
What after did ensue had he foreseen,
Of so long time his thoughts had never been.
Of Artubanus he again demands
How of this enterprise his thoughts now stands,
His answer was, both sea and land he fear'd,
Which was not vain as after soon appear'd.
[Page 106]
But Xerxes resolute to Thrace goes first,
His Host all Lissus drinks, to quench their thirst;
And for his Cattel, all Pissyrus Lake
Was scarce enough, for each a draught to take:
Then marching on to th' streight Thermopyle,
The Spartan meets him brave Leonade;
This 'twixt the mountains lyes (half Acre wide)
That pleasant Thessaly from Greece divide
Two dayes and nights, a fight they there maintain,
Till twenty thousand Persians fell down slain;
And all that Army then dismaid, had fled,
But that a Fugitive discovered.
How some might o're the mountains go about,
And wound the backs of those brave warriors stout
They thus behem'd with multitude of Foes,
Laid on more fiercely their deep mortal blows.
None cries for quarter nor yet seeks to run;
But on their ground they die each Mothers Son.
O noble Greeks, how now degenerate,
Where is the valour of your ancient State?
When as one thousand could a million daunt,
Alas! it is Leonades you want.
This shameful victory cost Xerxes dear,
Among the rest, two brothers he lost there;
And as at Land, so he at Sea was crost,
Four hundred stately Ships by storms was lost;
Of Vessels small almost innumerable,
The Harbour to contain them was not able,
Yet thinking to out match his Foes at Sea,
Enclos'd their Fleet i'th' streight of Eubea:
[Page 107]
But they as fortunate at Sea as Land,
In this streight as the other firmly stand.
And Xerxes mighty Gallyes battered so,
That their split sides witness'd his overthrow;
Then in the streight of Salamis he try'd,
If that small number his great force could 'bide:
But he in daring of his forward Foe,
Received there a shameful overthrow.
Twice beaten thus at Sea he warr'd no more,
But then the Phocians Country wasted sore;
They no way able to withstand his force,
That brave Themistocles takes this wise course,
In secret manner word to Xerxes sends,
That Greeks to break his Bridg shortly intends:
And as a friend warns him what e're he do
For his Retreat, to have an eye thereto,
He hearing this, his thoughts & course home bended
Much fearing that which never was intended.
Yet 'fore he went to help out his expence,
Part of his Host to Delphos sent from thence,
To rob the wealthy Temple of Apollo,
But mischief sacriledge doth ever follow.
Two mighty Rocks brake from Parnassus hill,
And many thousands of those men did kill;
Which accident the rest affrighted so,
With empty hands they to their Master go:
He finding all, to tend to his decay,
Fearing his Bridge, no longer there would stay.
Three hundred thousand yet he left behind,
With his Mardonius Index of his mind;
[Page 108]
Who for his sake he knew would venture farre,
(Chief instigator of this hapless warr.)
He instantly to Athens sends for peace,
That all Hostility from thence forth cease;
And that with Xerxes they would be at one,
So should all favour to their State be shown.
The Spartans fearing Athens would agree,
As had Macedon, Thebes, and Thessaly,
And leave them out, this Shock now to sustain,
By their Ambassador they thus complain,
That Xerxes quarrel was 'gainst Athens State,
And they had helpt them as Confederate;
If in their need they should forsake their friends,
Their infamy would last till all things ends:
But the Athenians this peace detest,
And thus reply'd unto Mardon's request.
That whil'st the Sun did run his endless Course
Against the Persians, they would bend their force;
Nor could the brave Ambassador he sent,
With Rhetorick gain better Complement:
A Macedonian born, and great Commander,
No less then grand-Sire to great Alexander
Mardonius proud hearing this Answer stout,
To add more to his numbers layes about;
And of those Greeks which by his Skill he'd won,
He fifty thousand joyns unto his own:
The other Greeks which were Confederate
In all one hundred and ten thousand made.
The Athenians could but forty thousand Arme,
The rest had weapons would do little harm;
[Page 109]
But that which helpt defects, and made them bold,
Was victory by Oracle foretold.
Then for one battel shortly all provide,
Where both their Controversies they'l decide;
Ten dayes these Armyes did each other face,
Mardonius finding victuals wast apace,
No longer dar'd, but bravely on-set gave,
The other not a hand nor Sword would wave,
Till in the Intrails of their Sacrifice
The signal of their victory did rise,
Which found like Greeks they fight, the Persians fly,
And troublesome Mardonius now must dye.
All's lost, and of three hundred thousand men,
Three thousand only can run home agen.
For pitty let those few to Xerxes go,
To certifie his final overthrow:
Same day the small remainder of his Fleet,
The Grecians at Mycale in Asia meet.
And there so utterly they wrackt the same,
Scarce one was left to carry home the Fame;
Thus did the Greeks consume, destroy, disperse
That Army, which did fright the Universe.
Scorn'd Xerxes hated for his cruelty,
Yet ceases not to act his villany.
His brothers wife solicites to his will,
The chast and beautious Dame refused still;
Some years by him in this vain suit was spent,
Nor prayers, nor gifts could win him least content;
Nor matching of her daughter to his Son,
But she was still as when he first begun:
[Page 110]
When jealous Queen Amestris of this knew,
She Harpy like upon the Lady flew,
Cut off her breasts, her lips her nose and ears,
And leavs her thus besmear'd in blood and tears.
Straight comes her Lord, and finds his wife thus ly,
The sorrow of his heart did close his Eye:
He dying to behold that wounding sight,
Where he had sometime gaz'd with great delight,
To see that face where rose, and Lillyes stood,
O'reflown with Torrents of her guiltless bloud,
To see those breasts where Chastity did dwell,
Thus cut and mangled by a Hag of Hell:
With loaden heart unto the King he goes,
Tells as he could his unexpressed woes;
But for his deep complaints and showres of tears,
His brothers recompence was nought but jears:
The grieved prince finding nor right, nor love,
To Bactria his houshold did remove.
His brother sent soon after him a crew,
With him and his most barbarously there slew:
Unto such height did grow his cruelty,
Of life no man had least security.
At last his Uncle did his death conspire,
And for that end his Eunuch he did hire;
Who privately him smother'd in his bed,
But yet by search he was found murthered;
Then Artabanus hirer of this deed,
That from suspition he might be fre'd:
Accus'd Darius Xerxes eldest Son,
To be the Author of the crime was done.
[Page 111]
And by his craft order'd the matter so,
That the Prince innocent to death did goe:
But in short time this wickedness was known,
For which he died, and not he alone,
But all his Family was likewise slain:
Such Justice in the Persian Court did reign.
The eldest son thus immaturely dead,
The second was inthron'd in's fathers stead.
Artaxerxes Longimanus.
Amongst the Monarchs, next this prince had place
The best that ever sprung of Cyrus race.
He first war with revolted Egypt made,
To whom the perjur'd Grecians lent their aid:
Although to Xerxes they not long before
A league of amity had firmly swore,
Which had they kept, Greece had more nobly done
Then when the world they after overrun.
Greeks and Egyptians both he overthrows,
And payes them both according as he owes,
Which done, a sumptuous feast makes like a king
Where ninescore dayes are spent in banquetting.
His Princes, Nobles, and his Captains calls,
To be partakers of these Festivals:
His hangings white and green, and purple dye,
With gold and silver beds, most gorgeously.
The royal wine in golden cups did pass,
To drink more then he list, none bidden was:
Queen Vasthi also feasts, but 'fore tis ended,
She's from her Royalty (alas) suspended,
[Page 112]
And one more worthy placed in her room,
By Memucans advice so was the doom.
What Esther was and did, the story read,
And how her Country-men from spoyle she freed,
Of Hamans fall, and Mordicaes great Rise,
The might of th' prince, the tribute of the Isles.
Good Ezra in the seventh year of his reign,
Did for the Jews commission large obtain,
With gold and silver, and what ere they need:
His bounty did Darius far exceed.
And Nehemiah in his twentieth year,
Went to Jerusalem his city dear,
Rebuilt those walls which long in rubbish lay,
And o're his opposites still got the day,
Unto this King Themistocles did fly,
When under Ostracisme he did lye:
For such ingratitude did Athens show,
(This valiant Knight whom they so much did owe)
Such royal bounty from his prince he found,
That in his loyalty his heart was bound.
The king not little joyfull of this chance,
Thinking his Gresian warrs now to advance,
And for that end great preparation made
Fair Attica a third time to invade.
His grand-Sires old disgrace did vex him sore,
His Father Xerxes loss and shame much more.
For punishment their breach of oath did call
This noble Greek, now fit for General.
Provisions then and season being fit,
To Themistocles this warr he doth commit,
[Page 113]
Who for his wrong he could not chuse but deem
His Country nor his Friends would much esteem:
But he all injury had soon forgit;
And to his native land could bear no hate,
Nor yet disloyal to his Prince would prove,
By whom oblig'd by bounty, and by love;
Either to wrong, did wound his heart so sore,
To wrong himself by death he chose before:
In this sad conflict marching on his wayes,
Strong poyson took, so put an end to's dayes.
The King this noble Captain having lost,
Disperst again his newly levied host:
Rest of his time in peace he did remain,
And di'd the two and forti'th of his reign.
Darius Nothus.
Three sons great Artaxerxes left behind;
The eldest to succeed, that was his mind:
His second Brother with him fell at strife,
Stil making war, till first had lost his life:
Then the Surviver is by Nothus slain,
Who now sole Monarch doth of all remain.
The two first sons (are by Historians thought)
By fair Queen Esther to her husband brought:
If so they were the greater was her moan,
That for such graceless wretches she did groan.
Revolting Egypt 'gainst this King rebels,
His Garisons drives out that 'mongst them dwells;
Joyns with the Greeks, and so maintain their right
For sixty years, maugre the Persians might.
[Page 114]
A second trouble after this succeeds,
Which from remissness in Less Asia breeds.
Amorges, whom for Vice-Roy he ordain'd,
Revolts, treasure and people having gain'd,
Plunders the Country, & much mischief wrought
Before things could to quietness be brought.
The King was glad with Sparta to make peace,
That so he might those troubles soon appease:
But they in Asia must first restore
All towns held by his Ancestors before.
The King much profit reaped by this league,
Regains his own, then doth the Rebel break,
Whose strength by Grecians help was overthrown,
And so each man again possest his own.
This King Cambises-like his sister wed,
To which his pride, more then his lust him led:
For Persian Kings then deem'd themselves so good
No match was high enough but their own blood.
Two sons she bore, the youngest Cyrus nam'd,
A Prince whose worth by Xenophon is fam'd:
His Father would no notice of that take
Prefers his brother for his birthrights sake.
But Cyrus scorns his brothers feeble wit,
And takes more on him then was judged fit.
The King provoked sends for him to th' Court,
Meaning to chastise him in sharpest sort,
But in his slow approach, e're he came there
His Father di'd, so put an end to's fear.
'Bout nineteen years this Nothus reigned, which run,
His large Dominions left to's eldest Son.
[Page 115]
Artaxerxes Mnemon.
Mnemon now set upon his Fathers Throne,
Yet fears all he enjoys, is not his own:
Still on his Brother casts a jealous eye,
Judging his actions tends to's injury.
Cyrus on th' other side weighs in his mind,
What help in's enterprize he's like to find;
His Interest in th' Kingdome now next heir,
More dear to's Mother then his brother farr:
His brothers little love like to be gone,
Held by his Mothers Intercession.
These and like motives hurry him amain,
To win by force, what right could not obtain;
And thought it best now in his Mothers time,
By lower steps towards the top to climbe:
If in his enterprize he should fall short,
She to the King would make a fair report,
He hop'd if fraud nor force the Crown would gain
Her prevalence, a pardon might obtain.
From the Lieutenant first he takes away
Some Towns, commodious in less Asia,
Pretending still the profit of the King,
Whose Rents and Customes duly he sent in;
The King finding Revenues now amended,
For what was done seemed no whit offended.
Then next he takes the Spartans into pay,
One Greek could make ten Persians run away.
Great care was his pretence those Souldiers stout,
The Rovers in Pisidia should drive out;
[Page 116]
But lest some blacker news should fly to Court,
Prepares himself to carry the report:
And for that end five hundred Horse he chose;
With posting speed on t'wards the king he goes:
But fame more quick, arrives ere he comes there,
And fills the Court with tumult, and with fear.
The old Queen and the young at bitter jarrs,
The last accus'd the first for these sad warrs,
The wife against the mother still doth cry
To be the Author of conspiracy.
The King dismaid, a mighty host doth raise,
Which Cyrus hears, and so foreslows his pace:
But as he goes his forces still augments,
Seven hundred Greeks repair for his intents,
And others to be warm'd by this new sun
In numbers from his brother dayly run.
The fearfull King at last musters his forces,
And counts nine hundred thousand Foot & horses.
Three hundred thousand he to Syria sent
To keep those streights his brother to prevent.
Their Captain hearing but of Cyrus name,
Forsook his charge to his eternal shame.
This place so made by nature and by art,
Few might have kept it, had they had a heart.
Cyrus dispair'd a passage there to gain,
So hir'd a fleet to waft him o're the Main:
The 'mazed King was then about to fly
To Bactria and for a time there lye,
Had not his Captains sore against his will
By reason and by force detain'd him still,
[Page 117]
Up then with speed a mighty trench he throws
For his security against his foes.
Six yards the depth and forty miles in length,
Some fifty or else sixty foot in breadth;
Yet for his brothers coming durst not stay,
He safest was when farthest out of th' way.
Cyrus finding his camp, and no man there,
Was not a little jocund at his fear.
On this he and his souldiers careless grow,
And here and there in carts their arms they throw
When suddenly their scouts come in and cry,
Arm, Arm, the King with all his host is nigh.
In this confusion each man as he might
Gets on his arms, arrayes himself for fight,
And ranged stood by great Euphrates side
The brunt of that huge multitude to 'bide,
Of whose great numbers their intelligence
Was gather'd by the dust that rose from thence,
Which like a mighty cloud darkned the sky,
And black and blacker grew, as they drew nigh:
But when their order and their silence saw,
That, more then multitudes their hearts did awe;
For tumult and confusion they expected,
And all good discipline to be neglected.
But long under their fears they did not stay,
For at first charge the Persians ran away,
Which did such courage to the Grecians bring,
They all adored Cyrus for their King:
So had he been, and got the victory,
Had not his too much valour put him by.
[Page 118]
He with six hundred on a Squadron set,
Of thousands six wherein the King was yet,
And brought his Souldiers on so gallantly,
They ready were to leave their King and fly;
Whom Cyrus spies cryes loud, I see the man,
And with a full carreer at him he ran:
And in his speed a dart him hit i'th' eye,
Down Cyrus falls, and yields to destiny:
His Host in chase knows not of this disaster,
But treads down all, so to advance their master;
But when his head they spy upon a Lance,
Who knows the sudden change made by this chance
Senseless & mute they stand, yet breath out groans,
Nor Gorgons head like this transform'd to stones.
After this trance, revenge new Spirits blew,
And now more eagerly their Foes pursue;
And heaps on heaps such multitudes they laid,
Their Arms grew weary by their slaughters made.
The King unto a Country Village flyes,
And for a while unkingly there he lyes.
At last displays his Ensigne on a Hill,
Hoping by that to make the Greeks stand still;
But was deceiv'd. to him they run amain,
The King upon the spur runs back again:
But they too faint still to pursue their game,
Being Victors oft, now to their Camp they came.
nor lackt they any of their number small,
Nor wound receiv'd, but one among them all:
The King with his disperst, also incamp'd,
With Infamy upon each Forehead stamp'd.
[Page 119]
His hurri'd thoughts he after recollects,
Of this dayes Cowardize he fears th' effects.
If Greeks in their own Country should declare,
What dastards in the Field the Persians are,
They in short time might place one in his Throne;
And rob him both of Scepter and of Crown;
To hinder their return by craft or force,
He judg'd his wisest and his safest Course.
Then sends, that to his Tent, they streight address,
And there all wait, his mercy weaponless;
The Greeks with scorn reject his proud Commands
Asking no favour, where they fear'd no bands:
The troubled King his Herrld sends again,
And sues for peace, that they his friends remain,
The smiling Greeks reply, they first must bait,
They were too hungry to Capitulate;
The King great store of all provision sends,
And Courtesie to th' utmost he pretends,
Such terrour on the Persians then did fall,
They quak'd to hear them, to each other call.
The King perplext, there dares not let them stay;
And fears as much, to let them march away,
But Kings ne're want such as can serve their will,
Fit Instruments t' accomplish what is ill.
As Tyssaphernes knowing his masters mind,
Their chief Commanders feasts and yet more kind,
With all the Oaths and deepest Flattery,
Gets them to treat with him in privacy,
But violates his honour and his word,
And Villain like there puts them all to th' Sword.
[Page 120]
The Greeks seeing their valiant Captains slain,
Chose Xenophon to lead them home again:
But Tissaphernes what he could devise,
Did stop the way in this their enterprize.
But when through difficulties all they brake,
The Country burnt, they no relief might take.
But on they march through hunger & through cold
O're mountains, rocks and hills as lions bold,
Nor Rivers course, nor Persians force could stay,
But on to Trabesond they kept their way:
There was of Greeks setled a Colony,
Who after all receiv'd them joyfully.
Thus finishing their travail, danger, pain,
In peace they saw their native soyle again.
The Greeks now (as the Persian king suspects)
The Asiaticks cowardize detects,
The many victoryes themselves did gain,
The many thousand Persians they had slain,
And how their nation with facillity,
Might gain the universal Monarchy.
They then Dercilladus send with an host,
Who with the Spartans on the Asian coast,
Town after town with small resistance take,
Which rumour makes great Artaxerxes quake.
The Greeks by this success encourag'd so,
Their King Agesilaus doth over goe,
By Tissaphernes is encountered,
Lieftenant to the King, but soon he fled.
Which overthrow incens'd the King so sore,
That Tissaphern must be Viceroy no more.
[Page 121]
Tythraustes then is placed in his stead,
Commission hath to take the others head:
Of that perjurious wretch this was the fate,
Whom the old Queen did bear a mortal hate.
Tythraustes trusts more to his wit then Arms,
And hopes by craft to quit his Masters harms;
He knows that many Towns in Greece envyes
The Spartan State, which now so fast did rise;
To them he thirty thousand Tallents sent
With suit, their Arms against their Foes be bent;
They to their discontent receiving hire,
With broyles and quarrels sets all Greece on fire:
Agesilaus is call'd home with speed,
To defend, more then offend, there was need,
Their winnings lost, and peace their glad to take
On such conditions as the King will make.
Dissention in Greece continued so long,
Till many a Captain fell, both wise and strong,
Whose courage nought but death could ever tame
'Mongst these Epiminandes wants no fame,
Who had (as noble Raileigh doth evince)
All the peculiar virtues of a Prince;
But let us leave these Greeks to discord bent,
And turn to Persia, as is pertinent.
The King from forreign parts now well at ease,
His home-bred troubles sought how to appease;
The two Queens by his means seem to abate,
Their former envy and inveterate hate:
But the old Queen implacable in strife,
By poyson caus'd, the young one lose her life.
[Page 122]
The King highly inrag'd doth hereupon
From Court exile her unto Babilon:
But shortly calls her home, her counsells prize,
(A Lady very wicked, but yet wise)
Then in voluptuousness he leads his life,
And weds his daughter for a second wife.
But long in ease and pleasure did not lye,
His sons sore vext him by disloyalty.
Such as would know at large his warrs and reign,
What troubles in his house he did sustain,
His match incestuous, cruelties of th' Queen,
His life may read in Plutarch to be seen.
Forty three years he rul'd, then turn'd to dust,
A King nor good, nor valiant, wise nor just.
Dorius Ochus.
Ochus a wicked and Rebellious son
Succeeds in th' throne, his father being gone.
Two of his brothers in his Fathers dayes
(To his great grief) most subtilly he slayes:
And being King, commands those that remain,
Of brethren and of kindred to be slain.
Then raises forces, conquers Egypt land,
Which in rebellion sixty years did stand:
And in the twenty third of's cruel raign
Was by his Eunuch the proud Bagoas slain.
[Page 123]
Arsames or Arses.
Arsames plac'd now in his fathers stead,
By him that late his father murthered.
Some write that Arsames was Ochus brother,
Inthron'd by Bagoas in the room of th' other:
But why his brother 'fore his son succeeds
I can no reason give, 'cause none I read.
His brother, as tis said, long since was slain,
And scarce a Nephew left that now might reign:
What acts he did time hath not now left pen'd,
But most suppose in him did Cyrus end,
Whose race long time had worne the diadem,
But now's divolved to another stem.
Three years he reign'd, then drank of 's fathers cup
By the same Eunuch who first set him up.
Darius Codomanus.
Darius by this Bagoas set in throne,
(Complotter with him in the murther done)
And was no sooner setled in his reign,
But Bagoas falls to's practices again,
And the same sauce had served him no doubt,
But that his treason timely was found out,
And so this wretch (a punishment too small)
Lost but his life for horrid treasons all.
This Codomanus now upon the stage
Was to his Predecessors Chamber page.
Some write great Cyrus line was not yet run,
But from some daughter this new king was sprung
[Page 124]
If so, or not, we cannot tell, but find
That several men will have their several mind;
Yet in such differences we may be bold,
With learned and judicious still to hold;
And this 'mongst all's no Controverred thing,
That this Darius, was last Persian King,
Whose Wars, and losses we may better tell,
In Alexander's reign who did him quell,
How from the top of worlds felicity,
He fell to depth of greatest misery.
Whose honours, treasures, pleasures had short stay,
One deluge came and swept them all away.
And in the sixth year of his hapless reign,
Of all did scarce his winding Sheet retain:
And last, a sad Catastrophe to end,
Him to the grave did Traitor Bessus send.
 
The End of the Persian Monarchy.
[Page 125]

The Third Monarchy,
Being the Grecian, beginning
under Alexander the Great in the
112. Olympiad.

GReat Alexander was wise Philips son,
He to Amyntas, Kings of Macedon;
The cruel proud Olympias was his Mother,
She to Epirus warlike King was daughter.
This Prince (his father by Pausanias slain)
The twenty first of 's age began to reign.
Great were the Gifts of nature which he had,
His education much to those did adde:
By art and nature both he was made fit,
To 'complish that which long before was writ.
The very day of his Nativity
To ground was burnt Dianaes Temple high:
An Omen to their near approaching woe,
Whose glory to the earth this king did throw.
His Rule to Greece he scorn'd should be confin'd,
The Universe scarce bound his proud vast mind.
This is the He-Goat which from Grecia came,
That ran in Choler on the Persian Ram,
[Page 126]
That brake his horns, that threw him on the ground
To save him from his might no man was found:
Philip on this great Conquest had an eye,
But death did terminate those thoughts so high.
The Greeks had chose him Captain General,
Which honour to his Son did now befall.
(For as Worlds Monarch now we speak not on,
But as the King of little Macedon)
Restless both day and night his heart then was,
His high resolves which way to bring to pass;
Yet for a while in Greece is forc'd to stay,
Which makes each moment seem more then a day.
Thebes and stiff Athens both 'gainst him rebel,
Their mutinies by valour doth he quell.
This done against both right and natures Laws,
His kinsmen put to death, who gave no cause;
That no rebellion in in his absence be,
Nor making Title unto Sovereignty.
And all whom he suspects or fears will climbe,
Now taste of death least they deserv'd in time,
Nor wonder is't if he in blood begin,
For Cruelty was his parental sin,
Thus eased now of troubles and of fears,
Next spring his course to Asia he steers;
Leavs Sage Antipater, at home to sway,
And through the Hellespont his Ships made way.
Coming to Land, his dart on shore he throws,
Then with alacrity he after goes;
And with a bount'ous heart and courage brave,
His little wealth among his Souldiers gave.
[Page 127]
And being ask'd what for himself was left,
Reply'd, enough, sith only hope he kept.
Thirty two thousand made up his Foot force,
To which were joyn'd five thousand goodly horse.
Then on he marcht, in's way he view'd old Troy,
And on Achilles tomb with wondrous joy
He offer'd, and for good success did pray
To him, his Mothers Ancestors, (men say)
When news of Alexander came to Court,
To scorn at him Darius had good sport;
Sends him a frothy and contemptuous Letter,
Stiles him disloyal servant, and no better;
Reproves him for his proud audacity
To lift his hand 'gainst such a Monarchy.
Then to's Lieftenant he in Asia sends
That he be ta'ne alive, for he intends
To whip him well with rods, and so to bring
That boy so mallipert before the King.
Ah! fond vain man, whose pen ere while
In lower terms was taught a higher stile.
To River Granick Alexander hyes
Which in Phrygia near Propontike lyes.
The Persians ready for encounter stand,
And strive to keep his men from off the land;
Those banks so steep the Greeks yet scramble up,
And beat the coward Persians from the top,
And twenty thousand of their lives bereave,
Who in their backs did all their wounds receive.
This victory did Alexander gain,
With loss of thirty four of his there slain;
[Page 128]
Then Sardis he, and Ephesus did gain,
Where stood of late, Diana's wondrous Phane,
And by Parmenio (of renowned Fame,)
Miletus and Pamphilia overcame.
Hallicarnassus and Pisidia
He for his Master takes with Lycia.
Next Alexander marcht towards the black Sea,
And easily takes old Gordium in his way;
Of Ass ear'd Midas, once the Regal Seat,
Whose touch turn'd all to gold, yea even his meat
Where the Prophetick knot he cuts in twain,
Which who so doth, must Lord of all remain.
Now news of Memnon's death (the Kings Viceroy)
To Alexanders heart's no little joy,
For in that Peer, more valour did abide,
Then in Darius multitude beside:
In's stead, was Arses plac'd, but durst not stay,
Yet set one in his room, and ran away;
His substitute as fearfull as his master,
Runs after two, and leaves all to Disaster.
Then Alexander all Cilicia takes,
No stroke for it he struck, their hearts so quakes.
To Greece he thirty thousand talents sends,
To raise more Force to further his intends:
Then o're he goes Darius now to meet,
Who came with thousand thousands at his feet.
Though some there be (perhaps) more likely write
He but four hundred thousand had to fight,
The rest Attendants, which made up no less,
Both Sexes there was almost numberless.
[Page 129]
For this wise King had brought to see the sport,
With him the greatest Ladyes of the Court,
His mother, his beauteous Queen and daughters,
It seems to see the Macedonian slaughters.
Its much beyond my time and little art,
To shew how great Darius plaid his part;
The splendor and the pomp he marched in,
For since the world was no such Pageant seen.
Sure 'twas a goodly sight there to behold,
The Persians clad in silk, and glistering gold,
The stately horses trapt, the lances gilt,
As if addrest now all to run a tilt.
The holy fire was borne before the host,
(For Sun and Fire the Persians worship most)
The Priests in their strange habit follow after,
An object, not so much of fear as laughter.
The King sate in a chariot made of gold,
With crown and Robes most glorious to behold,
And o're his head his golden Gods on high,
Support a party coloured Canopy.
A number of spare horses next were led,
Lest he should need them in his Chariots stead;
But those that saw him in this state to lye,
Suppos'd he neither meant to fight nor flye.
He fifteen hundred had like women drest;
For thus to fright the Greeks he judg'd was best.
Their golden ornaments how to set forth,
Would ask more time than was their bodies worth
Great Sysigambis she brought up the Reer,
Then such a world of waggons did appear,
[Page 130]
Like several houses moving upon wheels,
As if she'd drawn whole Shushan at her heels:
This brave Virago to the King was mother,
And as much good she did as any other.
Now lest this gold, and all this goodly stuff
Had not been spoyle and booty rich enough
A thousand mules and Camels ready wait
Loaden with gold, with jewels and with plate:
For sure Darius thought at the first sight,
The Greeks would all adore, but none would fight
But when both Armies met, he might behold
That valour was more worth then pearls or gold,
And that his wealth serv'd but for baits to 'lure
To make his overthrow more fierce and sure.
The Greeks came on and with a gallant grace
Let fly their arrows in the Persians face.
The cowards feeling this sharp stinging charge
Most basely ran, and left their king at large:
Who from his golden coach is glad to 'light,
And cast away his crown for swifter flight:
Of late like some immoveable he lay,
Now finds both legs and horse to run away.
Two hundred thousand men that day were slain,
And forty thousand prisoners also tane,
Besides the Queens and Ladies of the court,
If Curtius be true in his report.
The Regal Ornaments were lost, the treasure
Divided at the Macedonians pleasure;
Yet all this grief, this loss, this overthrow,
Was but beginning of his future woe.
[Page 131]
The royal Captives brought to Alexander
T'ward them demean'd himself like a Commander
For though their beauties were unparaled,
Conquer'd himself now he had conquered,
Preserv'd their honour, us'd them bounteously,
Commands no man should do them injury:
And this to Alexander is more fame
Then that the Persian King he overcame.
Two hundred eighty Greeks he lost in fight,
By too much heat, not wounds (as authors write)
No sooner had this Victor won the field,
But all Phenicia to his pleasure yield,
Of which the Goverment he doth commit
Unto Parmenio of all most fit.
Darius now less lofty then before,
To Alexander writes he would restore
Those mournfull Ladies from Captivity,
For whom he offers him a ransome high:
But down his haughty stomach could not bring,
To give this Conquerour the Stile of King.
This Letter Alexander doth disdain,
And in short terms sends this reply again,
A King he was, and that not only so,
But of Darius King, as he should know.
Next Alexander unto Tyre doth goe,
His valour and his victoryes they know:
To gain his love the Tyrians intend,
Therefore a crown and great Provision send,
Their present he receives with thankfullness,
Desires to offer unto Hercules,
[Page 132]
Protector of their town, by whom defended,
And from whom he lineally descended.
But they accept not this in any wise,
Lest he intend more fraud then sacrifice,
Sent word that Hercules his temple stood
In the old town, (which then lay like a wood)
With this reply he was so deep enrag'd,
To win the town, his honour he ingag'd:
And now as Babels King did once before,
He leaves not till he made the sea firm shore,
But far less time and cost he did expend,
The former Ruines forwarded his end:
Moreover had a Navy at command,
The other by his men fetcht all by land.
In seven months time he took that wealthy town,
Whose glory now a second time's brought down.
Two thousand of the chief he crucifi'd,
Eight thousand by the sword then also di'd,
And thirteen thousand Gally slaves he made,
And thus the Tyrians for mistrust were paid.
The rule of this he to Philotas gave
Who was the son of that Parmenio brave.
Cilicia to Socrates doth give,
For now's the time Captains like Kings may live.
Zidon he on Ephestion bestowes;
(For that which freely comes, as freely goes)
He scorns to have one worse then had the other,
So gives his little Lordship to another.
Ephestion having chief command of th' Fleet,
At Gaza now must Alexander meet.
[Page 133]
Darius finding troubles still increase,
By his Ambassadors now sues for peace,
And layes before great Alexanders eyes
The dangers difficultyes like to rise,
First at Euphrates what he's like to 'bide,
And then at Tygris and Araxis side,
These he may scape, and if he so desire,
A league of friendship make firm and entire.
His eldest daughter he in mariage profers,
And a most princely dowry with her offers.
All those rich Kingdomes large that do abide
Betwixt the Hellespont and Halys side.
But he with scorn his courtesie rejects,
And the distressed King no whit respects,
Tells him, these proffers great, in truth were none
For all he offers now was but his own.
But quoth Parmenio that brave Commander,
Was I as great, as is great Alexander,
Darius offers I would not reject,
But th' kingdomes and the Lady soon accept.
To which proud Alexander made reply,
And so if I Parmenio was, would I.
He now to Gaza goes, and there doth meet,
His Favorite Ephestion with his Fleet,
Where valiant Betis stoutly keeps the town,
(A loyal Subject to Darius Crown)
For more repulse the Grecians here abide
Then in the Persian Monarchy beside;
And by these walls so many men were slain,
That Greece was forc'd to yield supply again.
[Page 134]
But yet this well defended Town was taken,
For 'twas decree'd, that Empire should be shaken;
Thus Betis ta'en had holes bor'd through his feet,
And by command was drawn through every street
To imitate Achilles in his shame,
Who did the like to Hector (of more fame)
What hast thou lost thy magnimity,
Can Alexander deal thus cruelly?
Sith valour with Heroicks is renown'd,
Though in an Enemy it should be found;
If of thy future fame thou hadst regard,
Why didst not heap up honours and reward?
From Gaza to Jerusalem he goes,
But in no hostile way, (as I suppose)
Him in his Priestly Robes high Jaddus meets,
Whom with great reverence Alexander greets;
The Priest shews him good Daniel's Prophesy,
How he should overthrow this Monarchy,
By which he was so much encouraged,
No future dangers he did ever dread.
From thence to fruitful Egypt marcht with speed,
Where happily in's wars he did succeed;
To see how fast he gain'd was no small wonder,
For in few dayes he brought that Kingdome under.
Then to the Phane of Jupiter he went,
To be install'd a God, was his intent.
The Pagan Priest through hire, or else mistake,
The Son of Jupiter did streight him make:
He Diobolical must needs remain,
That his humanity will not retain.
[Page 135]
Thence back to Egypt goes, and in few dayes;
Fair Alexandria from the ground doth raise;
Then setling all things in less Asia;
In Syria, Egypt, and Phenicia,
Unto Euphrates marcht and overgoes,
For no man's there his Army to oppose;
Had Betis now been there but with his band,
Great Alexander had been kept from Land.
But as the King, so is the multitude,
And now of valour both are destitute.
Yet he (poor prince) another Host doth muster,
Of Persians, Scythians, Indians in a cluster;
Men but in shape and name, of valour none
Most fit, to blunt the Swords of Macedon.
Two hundred fifty thousand by account,
Of Horse and Foot his Army did amount;
For in his multitudes his trust still lay,
But on their fortitude he had small stay;
Yet had some hope that on the spacious plain,
His numbers might the victory obtain.
About this time Darius beautious Queen,
Who had sore travail and much sorrow seen,
Now bids the world adue, with pain being spent,
Whose death her Lord full sadly did lament.
Great Alexander mourns as well as he,
The more because not set at liberty;
When this sad news (at first Darius hears,
Some injury was offered he fears:
But when inform'd how royally the King,
Had used her, and hers, in every thing,
[Page 136]
He prays the immortal Gods they would reward
Great Alexander for this good regard;
And if they down his Monarchy will throw,
Let them on him this dignity bestow.
And now for peace he sues as once before,
And offers all he did and Kingdomes more;
His eldest daughter for his princely bride,
(Nor was such match in all the world beside)
And all those Countryes which (betwixt) did lye
Phanisian Sea, and great Euphrates high:
With fertile Egypt and rich Syria,
And all those Kingdomes in less Asia.
With thirty thousand Talents to be paid,
For the Queen Mother, and the royal maid;
And till all this be well perform'd, and sure,
Ochus his Son for Hostage should endure.
To this stout Alexander gives no ear,
No though Parmenio plead, yet will not hear;
Which had he done. (perhaps) his fame he'd kept,
Nor Infamy had wak'd, when he had slept,
For his unlimited prosperity
Him boundless made in vice and Cruelty.
Thus to Darius he writes back again,
The Firmament, two Suns cannot contain.
Two Monarchyes on Earth cannot abide,
Nor yet two Monarchs in one world reside;
The afflicted King finding him set to jar,
Prepares against to morrow, for the war,
Parmenio, Alexander, wisht that night,
To force his Camp, so vanquish them by flight.
[Page 137]
For tumult in the night doth cause most dread,
And weakness of a Foe is covered,
But he disdain'd to steal a victory:
The Sun should witness of his valour be,
And careless in his bed, next morne he lyes,
By Captains twice is call'd before hee'l rise,
The Armyes joyn'd a while, the Persians fight,
And spilt the Greeks some bloud before their flight
But long they stood not e're they're forc'd to run,
So made an end, As soon as well begun.
Forty five thousand Alexander had,
But is not known what slaughter here was made,
Some write th' other had a million, some more,
But Quintus Curtius as before.
At Arbela this victory was gain'd,
Together with the Town also obtain'd;
Darius stript of all, to Media came,
Accompan'ed with sorrow, fear, and shame,
At Arbela left his Ornaments and Treasure,
Which Alexander deals as suits his pleasure.
This conqueror to Babylon then goes,
Is entertain'd with joy and pompous showes,
With showrs of flours the streets along are strown,
And incense burnt the silver Altars on.
The glory of the Castle he admires,
The strong Foundation and the lofty Spires,
In this, a world of gold and Treasure lay,
Which in few hours was carried all away.
With greedy eyes he views this City round,
Whose fame throughout the world was so renownd
[Page 138]
And to possess he counts no little bliss
The towres and bowres of proud Semiramis,
Though worne by time, and rac'd by foes full sore,
Yet old foundations shew'd and somewhat more.
With all the pleasures that on earth are found,
This city did abundantly abound,
Where four and thirty dayes he now did stay,
And gave himself to banqueting and play:
He and his souldiers wax effeminate,
And former discipline begin to hate.
Whilst revelling at Babylon he lyes,
Antipater from Greece sends fresh supplyes.
He then to Shushan goes with his new bands,
But needs no force, tis rendred to his hands.
He likewise here a world of treasure found;
For 'twas the seat of Persian Kings renownd.
Here stood the royal Houses of delight,
Where Kings have shown their glory wealth and might
The sumptuous palace of Queen Esther here,
And of good Mordicai, her kinsman dear,
Those purple hangings, mixt with green and white
Those beds of gold, and couches of delight.
And furniture the richest in all lands,
Now fall into the Macedonians hands.
From Shushan to Persipolis he goes,
Which news doth still augment Darius woes.
In his approach the governour sends word,
For his receipt with joy they all accord,
With open gates the wealthy town did stand,
And all in it was at his high command.
[Page 139]
Of all the Cities that on earth was found,
None like to this in riches did abound:
Though Babylon was rich and Shushan too
Yet to compare with this they might not do:
Here lay the bulk of all those precious things
That did pertain unto the Persian Kings:
For when the souldiers rifled had their pleasure,
And taken money plate and golden treasure,
Statues some gold, and silver numberless,
Yet after all, as storyes do express
The share of Alexander did amount
To an hundred thousand talents by account.
Here of his own he sets a Garison,
(As first at Shushan and at Babylon)
On their old Governours titles he laid,
But on their faithfulness he never staid,
Their place gave to his Captains (as was just)
For such revolters false, what King can trust?
The riches and the pleasures of this town
Now makes this King his virtues all to drown,
That wallowing in all licentiousness,
In pride and cruelty to high excess.
Being inflam'd with wine upon a season,
Filled with madness, and quite void of reason,
He at a bold proud strumpets leud desire,
Commands to set this goodly town on fire.
Parmenio wise intreats him to desist
And layes before his eyes if he persist
His fames dishonour, loss unto his state,
And just procuring of the Persians hate:
[Page 140]
But deaf to reason, bent to have his will,
Those stately streets with raging flame did fill.
Then to Darius he directs his way,
Who was retir'd as far as Media,
And there with sorrows, fears & cares surrounded
Had now his army fourth and last compounded.
Which forty thousand made, but his intent
Was these in Bactria soon to augment:
But hearing Alexander was so near,
Thought now this once to try his fortunes here,
And rather chose an honourable death,
Then still with infamy to draw his breath:
But Bessus false, who was his chief Commander
Perswades him not to fight with Alexander.
With sage advice he sets before his eyes
The little hope of profit like to rise:
If when he'd multitudes the day he lost,
Then with so few, how likely to be crost.
This counsel for his safety he pretended,
But to deliver him to's foe intended.
Next day this treason to Darius known
Transported sore with grief and passion,
Grinding his teeth, and plucking off his hair,
Sate overwhelm'd with sorrow and dispair:
Then bids his servant Artabasus true,
Look to himself, and leave him to that crew,
Who was of hopes and comforts quite bereft,
And by his guard and Servitors all left.
Straight Bessus comes, & with his trait'rous hands
Layes hold on's Lord, and binding him with bands
[Page 141]
Throws him into a Cart, covered with hides,
Who wanting means t' resist these wrongs abides,
Then draws the cart along with chains of gold,
In more despight the thraled prince to hold,
And thus t'ward Alexander on he goes,
Great recompence for this, he did propose:
But some detesting this his wicked fact,
To Alexander flyes and tells this act,
Who doubling of his march, posts on amain,
Darius from that traitors hands to gain.
Bessus gets knowledg his disloyalty
Had Alexanders wrath incensed high,
Whose army now was almost within sight,
His hopes being dasht prepares himself for flight:
Unto Darius first he brings a horse,
And bids him save himself by speedy course:
The wofull King his courtesie refuses,
Whom thus the execrable wretch abuses,
By throwing darts gave him his mortal wound,
Then slew his Servants that were faithfull found,
Yea wounds the beasts that drew him unto death,
And leaves him thus to gasp out his last breath.
Bessus his partner in this tragedy,
Was the false Governour of Media.
This done, they with their host soon speed away,
To hide themselves remote in Bactria.
Darius bath'd in blood, sends out his groans,
Invokes the heav'ns and earth to hear his moans:
His lost felicity did grieve him sore,
But this unheard of treachery much more:
[Page 142]
But above all, that neither Ear nor Eye
Should hear nor see his dying misery;
As thus he lay, Polistrates a Greek,
Wearied with his long march, did water seek,
So chanc'd these bloody Horses to espy,
Whose wounds had made their skins of purple dye
To them repairs then looking in the Cart,
Finds poor Darius pierced to the heart,
Who not a little chear'd to have some eye,
The witness of this horrid Tragedy;
Prays him to Alexander to commend
The just revenge of this his woful end:
And not to pardon such disloyalty,
Of Treason, Murther, and base Cruelty.
If not, because Darius thus did pray,
Yet that succeeding Kings in safety may
Their lives enjoy, their Crowns and dignity,
And not by Traitors hands untimely dye.
He also sends his humble thankfulness,
For all the Kingly grace he did express;
To's Mother, Children dear, and wife now gone.
Which made their long restraint seem to be none:
Praying the immortal Gods, that Sea and Land
Might be subjected to his royal hand,
And that his Rule as far extended be,
As men the rising, setting Sun shall see,
This said, the Greek for water doth intreat,
To quench his thirst, and to allay his heat:
Of all good things (quoth he) once in my power,
I've nothing left, at this my dying hour;
[Page 143]
Thy service and compassion to reward,
But Alexander will, for this regard.
This said, his fainting breath did fleet away,
And though a Monarch late, now lyes like clay;
And thus must every Son of Adam lye,
Though Gods on Earth like Sons of men they dye.
Now to the East, great Alexander goes,
To see if any dare his might oppose,
For scarce the world or any bounds thereon,
Could bound his boundless fond Ambition;
Such as submits again he doth restore
Their riches, and their honours he makes more,
On Artabaces more then all bestow'd,
For his fidelity to's Master show'd.
Thalestris Queen of th' Amazons now brought
Her Train to Alexander, (as 'tis thought.)
Though most of reading best and soundest mind,
Such Country there, nor yet such people find.
Then tell her errand, we had better spare
To th' ignorant, her title will declare:
As Alexander in his greatness grows,
So dayly of his virtues doth he lose.
He baseness counts, his former Clemency,
And not beseeming such a dignity;
His past sobriety doth also bate,
As most incompatible to his State;
His temperance is but a sordid thing,
No wayes becoming such a mighty King;
His greatness now he takes to represent
His fancy'd Gods above the Firmament.
[Page 144]
And such as shew'd but reverence before,
Now are commanded strictly to adore;
With Persian Robes himself doth dignifie,
Charging the same on his nobility,
His manners habit, gestures, all did fashion
After that conquer'd and luxurious Nation.
His Captains that were virtuously inclin'd,
Griev'd at this change of manners and of mind.
The ruder sort did openly deride,
His feigned Diety and foolish pride;
The certainty of both comes to his Ears,
But yet no notice takes of what he hears:
With those of worth he still desires esteem,
So heaps up gifts his credit to redeem
And for the rest new wars and travails finds,
That other matters might take up their minds,
And hearing Bessus, makes himself a King,
Intends that Traitor to his end to bring.
Now that his Host from luggage might be free,
And with his burthen no man burthened be;
Commands forthwith each man his fardle bring,
Into the market place before the King;
Which done, sets fire upon those goodly spoyles,
The recompence of travails wars and toyles.
And thus unwisely in a mading fume,
The wealth of many Kingdomes did consume,
But marvell 'tis that without mutiny,
The Souldiers should let pass this injury;
Nor wonder less to Readers may it bring,
Here to observe the rashness of the King.
[Page 145]
Now with his Army doth he post away
False Bessus to find out in Bactria:
But much distrest for water in their march,
The drought and heat their bodies sore did parch.
At length they came to th' river Oxus brink,
Where so immoderately these thirsty drink,
Which more mortality to them did bring,
Then all their warrs against the Persian King.
Here Alexander's almost at a stand,
To pass the River to the other land.
For boats here's none, nor near it any wood,
To make them Rafts to waft them o're the flood:
But he that was resolved in his mind,
Would without means some transportation find.
Then from the Carriages the hides he takes,
And stuffing them with straw, he bundles makes.
On these together ti'd, in six dayes space,
They all pass over to the other place.
Had Bessus had but valour to his will,
With little pain there might have kept them still:
But Coward durst not fight, nor could he fly,
Hated of all for's former treachery,
Is by his own now bound in iron chains,
A Coller of the same, his neck contains.
And in this sort they rather drag then bring
This Malefactor vile before the King,
Who to Darius brother gives the wretch,
With racks and tortures every limb to stretch.
Here was of Greeks a town in Bactria,
Whom Xerxes from their Country led away,
[Page 146]
These not a little joy'd, this day to see,
Wherein their own had got the sov'raignty
And now reviv'd, with hopes held up their head
From bondage long to be Enfranchised.
But Alexander puts them to the sword
Without least cause from them in deed or word;
Nor Sex, nor age, nor one, nor other spar'd,
But in his cruelty alike they shar'd:
Nor reason could he give for this great wrong,
But that they had forgot their mother tongue.
While thus some time he spent in Bactria,
And in his camp strong and securely lay,
Down from the mountains twenty thousand came
And there most fiercely set upon the same:
Repelling these, two marks of honour got
Imprinted in his leg, by arrows shot.
The Bactrians against him now rebel;
But he their stubborness in time doth quell.
From hence he to Jaxartis River goes,
Where Scythians rude his army doth oppose,
And with their outcryes in an hideous sort
Beset his camp or military court,
Of darts and arrows, made so little spare,
They flew so thick, they seem'd to dark the air:
But soon his souldiers forc'd them to a flight,
Their nakedness could not endure their might.
Upon this rivers bank in seventeen dayes
A goodly City doth compleatly raise,
Which Alexandria he doth likewise name,
And sixty furlongs could but round the same.
[Page 147]
A third Supply Antipater now sent,
Which did his former forces much augment;
And being one hundred twenty thousand strong;
He enters then the Indian Kings among:
Those that submit, he gives them rule again,
Such as do not, both them and theirs are slain.
His warrs with sundry nations I'le omit,
And also of the Mallians what is writ.
His Fights, his dangers, and the hurts he had,
How to submit their necks at last they're glad.
To Nisa goes by Bacchus built long since,
Whose feasts are celebrated by this prince;
Nor had that drunken god one who would take
His Liquors more devoutly for his sake.
When thus ten days his brain with wine he'd soakt,
And with delicious meats his palate choakt:
To th' River Indus next his course he bends,
Boats to prepare, Ephestion first he sends,
Who coming thither long before his Lord,
Had to his mind made all things to accord,
The vessels ready were at his command,
And Omphis King of that part of the land,
Through his perswasion Alexander meets,
And as his Sov'raign Lord him humbly greets
Fifty six Elephants he brings to's hand,
And tenders him the strength of all his land;
Presents himself first with a golden crown,
Then eighty talents to his captains down:
But Alexander made him to behold
He glory sought, no silver nor no gold;
[Page 148]
His presents all with thanks he did restore,
And of his own a thousand talents more.
Thus all the Indian Kings to him submit,
But Porus stout, who will not yeild as yet:
To him doth Alexander thus declare,
His pleasure is that forthwith he repair
Unto his Kingdomes borders, and as due,
His homage to himself as Soveraign do:
But kingly Porus this brave answer sent,
That to attend him there was his intent,
And come as well provided as he could,
But for the rest, his sword advise him should.
Great Alexander vext at this reply,
Did more his valour then his crown envy,
Is now resolv'd to pass Hydaspes flood,
And there by force his soveraignty make good.
Stout Porus on the banks doth ready stand
To give him welcome when he comes to land.
A potent army with him like a King,
And ninety Elephants for warr did bring:
Had Alexander such resistance seen
On Tygris side, here now he had not been.
Within this spacious River deep and wide
Did here and there Isles full of trees abide.
His army Alexander doth divide
With Ptolemy sends part to th' other side;
Porus encounters them and thinks all's there,
When covertly the rest get o're else where,
And whilst the first he valiantly assail'd,
The last set on his back, and so prevail'd.
[Page 149]
Yet work enough here Alexander found,
For to the last stout Porus kept his ground:
Nor was't dishonour at the length to yield,
When Alexander strives to win the field.
The kingly Captive 'fore the Victor's brought,
In looks or gesture not abased ought,
But him a Prince of an undaunted mind
Did Alexander by his answers find:
His fortitude his royal foe commends,
Restores him and his bounds farther extends.
Now eastward Alexander would goe still,
But so to doe his souldiers had no will,
Long with excessive travails wearied,
Could by no means be farther drawn or led,
Yet that his fame might to posterity
Be had in everlasting memory,
Doth for his Camp a greater circuit take,
And for his souldiers larger Cabbins make.
His mangers he erected up so high
As never horse his Provender could eye.
Huge bridles made, which here and there he left,
Which might be found, and for great wonders kept
Twelve altars then for monuments he rears,
Whereon his acts and travels long appears.
But doubting wearing time might these decay,
And so his memory would fade away,
He on the fair Hydaspes pleasant side,
Two Cities built, his name might there abide,
First Nicea, the next Bucephalon,
Where he entomb'd his stately Stalion.
[Page 150]
His fourth and last supply was hither sent,
Then down Hydaspes with his Fleet he went;
Some time he after spent upon that shore,
Whether Ambassadors, ninety or more,
Came with submission from the Indian Kings,
Bringing their presents rare and precious things,
These all he feasts in state on beds of gold,
His Furniture most sumptuous to behold;
His meat & drink, attendants, every thing,
To th' utmost shew'd the glory of a King.
With rich rewards he sent them home again,
Acknowledged their Masters sovereign;
Then sailing South, and coming to that shore,
Those obscure Nations yielded as before:
A City here he built, call'd by his Name,
Which could not sound too oft with too much fame
Then sailing by the mouth of Indus floud,
His Gallyes stuck upon the flats and mud;
Which the stout Macedonians amazed sore,
Depriv'd at once the use of Sail and Oar:
Observing well the nature of the Tide,
In those their fears they did not long abide.
Passing fair Indus mouth his course he steer'd
To th' coast which by Euphrates mouth appear'd;
Whose inlets near unto, he winter spent,
Unto his starved Souldiers small content,
By hunger and by cold so many slain,
That of them all the fourth did scarce remain.
Thus winter, Souldiers, and provisions spent,
From hence he then unto Gedrosia went.
[Page 151]
And thence he marcht into Carmania,
And so at length drew near to Persia,
Now through these goodly Countryes as he past,
Much time in feasts and ryoting did waste;
Then visits Cyrus Sepulchre in's way,
Who now obscure at Passagardis lay:
Upon his Monument his Robe he spread,
And set his crown on his supposed head.
From hence to Babylon, some time there spent,
He at the last to royal Shushan went;
A wedding Feast to's Nobles then he makes,
And Statyra, Darius daughter takes,
Her Sister gives to his Ephestian dear,
That by this match he might be yet more near;
He fourscore Persian Ladies also gave,
At this same time unto his Captains brave:
Six thousand guests unto this Feast invites,
Whose Sences all were glutted with delights.
It far exceeds my mean abilities
To shadow forth these short felicities,
Spectators here could scarce relate the story,
They were so rapt with this external glory:
If an Ideal Paradise a man would frame,
He might this Feast imagine by the same;
To every guess a cup of gold he sends,
So after many dayes the Banquet ends.
Now Alexanders conquests all are done,
And his long Travails past and over gone;
His virtues dead, buried, and quite forgot,
But vice remains to his Eternal blot.
[Page 152]
'Mongst those that of his cruelty did tast,
Philotas was not least, nor yet the last,
Accus'd because he did not certifie
The King of treason and conspiracy:
Upon suspition being apprehended,
Nothing was prov'd wherein he had offended
But silence, which was of such consequence,
He was judg'd guilty of the same offence,
But for his fathers great deserts the King
His royal pardon gave for this foul thing.
Yet is Phylotas unto judgment brought,
Must suffer, not for what is prov'd, but thought.
His master is accuser, judge and King,
Who to the height doth aggravate each thing,
Inveighs against his father now absent,
And's brethren who for him their lives had spent.
But Philotas his unpardonable crime,
No merit could obliterate, or time:
He did the Oracle of Jove deride,
By which his Majesty was diefi'd.
Philotas thus o'recharg'd with wrong and grief
Sunk in despair without hope of Relief,
Fain would have spoke and made his own defence,
The King would give no ear, but went from thence
To his malicious Foes delivers him,
To wreak their spight and hate on every limb.
Philotas after him sends out this cry,
O Alexander, thy free clemency
My foes exceeds in malice, and their hate
Thy kingly word can easily terminate.
[Page 153]
Such torments great as wit could worst invent,
Or flesh and life could bear, till both were spent
Were now inflicted on Parmenio's son
He might accuse himself, as they had done,
At last he did, so they were justifi'd,
And told the world, that for his guilt he di'd.
But how these Captains should, or yet their master
Look on Parmenio, after this disaster
They knew not, wherefore best now to be done,
Was to dispatch the father as the son.
This sound advice at heart pleas'd Alexander,
Who was so much ingag'd to this Commander,
As he would ne're confess, nor yet reward,
Nor could his Captains bear so great regard:
Wherefore at once, all these to satisfie,
It was decreed Parmenio should dye:
Polidamus, who seem'd Parmenio's friend
To do this deed they into Media send:
He walking in his garden to and fro,
Fearing no harm, because he none did doe,
Most wickedly was slain without least crime,
(The most renowned captain of his time)
This is Parmenio who so much had done
For Philip dead, and his surviving son,
Who from a petty King of Macedon
By him was set upon the Persian throne,
This that Parmenio who still overcame,
Yet gave his Master the immortal fame,
Who for his prudence, valour, care and trust
Had this reward, most cruel and unjust.
[Page 154]
The next, who in untimely death had part,
Was one of more esteem, but less desert;
Clitus belov'd next to Ephestian,
And in his cups his chief companion;
When both were drunk, Clitus was wont to jeer,
Alexander to rage, to kill, and swear;
Nothing more pleasing to mad Clitus tongue,
Then's Masters Godhead to defie and wrong;
Nothing toucht Alexander to the quick,
Like this against his Diety to kick:
Both at a Feast when they had tippled well,
Upon this dangerous Theam fond Clitus fell;
From jest to earnest, and at last so bold,
That of Parmenio's death him plainly told.
Which Alexanders wrath incens'd so high,
Nought but his life for this could satisfie;
From one stood by he snatcht a partizan,
And in a rage him through the body ran,
Next day he tore his face for what he'd done,
And would have slain himself for Clitus gone:
This pot Companion he did more bemoan,
Then all the wrongs to brave Parmenio done.
The next of worth that suffered after these,
Was learned, virtuous, wise Calisthenes,
Who lov'd his Master more then did the rest,
As did appear, in flattering him the least;
In his esteem a God he could not be,
Nor would adore him for a Diety:
For this alone and for no other cause,
Against his Sovereign, or against his Laws,
[Page 155]
He on the Rack his Limbs in pieces rent,
Thus was he tortur'd till his life was spent.
Of this unkingly act doth Seneca
This censure pass, and not unwisely say,
Of Alexander this th' eternal crime,
Which shall not be obliterate by time.
Which virtues fame can ne're redeem by far,
Nor all felicity of his in war.
When e're 'tis said he thousand thousands slew,
Yea, and Calisthenes to death he drew.
The mighty Persian King he overcame,
Yea, and he kill'd Calisthenes of fame.
All Countryes, Kingdomes, Provinces, he won
From Hellispont, to th' farthest Ocean.
All this he did, who knows, not to be true?
But yet withal, Calisthenes he slew.
From Macedon, his Empire did extend
Unto the utmost bounds o' th' orient:
All this he did, yea, and much more, 'tis true,
But yet withal, Calisthenes he slew.
Now Alexander goes to Media,
Finds there the want of wise Parmenio;
Here his chief favourite Ephestian dies,
He celebrates his mournful obsequies:
Hangs his Physitian, the Reason why
He suffered, his friend Ephestian dye.
This act (me-thinks) his Godhead should a shame,
To punish where himself deserved blame;
Or of necessity he must imply,
The other was the greatest Diety.
[Page 156]
The Mules and Horses are for sorrow shorne,
The battlements from off the walls are torne.
Of stately Ecbatane who now must shew,
A rueful face in this so general woe;
Twelve thousand Talents also did intend,
Upon a sumptuous monument to spend:
What e're he did, or thought not so content,
His messenger to Jupiter he sent,
That by his leave his friend Ephestion,
Among the Demy Gods they might inthrone.
From Media to Babylon he went,
To meet him there t' Antipater he'd sent,
That he might act also upon the Stage,
And in a Tragedy there end his age.
The Queen Olimpias bears him deadly hate,
Not suffering her to meddle with the State,
And by her Letters did her Son incite,
This great indignity he should requite;
His doing so, no whit displeas'd the King,
Though to his Mother he disprov'd the thing.
But now Antipater had liv'd so long,
He might well dye though he had done no wrong;
His service great is suddenly forgot,
Or if remembred, yet regarded not:
The King doth intimate 'twas his intent,
His honours and his riches to augment;
Of larger Provinces the rule to give,
And for his Counsel near the King to live.
So to be caught, Antipater's too wise,
Parmenio's death's too fresh before his eyes;
[Page 157]
He was too subtil for his crafty foe.
Nor by his baits could be insnared so:
But his excuse with humble thanks he sends,
His Age and journy long he then pretends;
And pardon craves for his unwilling stay,
He shews his grief, he's forc'd to disobey.
Before his Answer came to Babylon,
The thread of Alexanders life was spun;
Poyson had put an end to's dayes ('twas thought)
By Philip and Cassander to him brought,
Sons to Antipater, and bearers of his Cup,
Lest of such like their Father chance to sup;
By others thought, and that more generally,
That through excessive drinking he did dye:
The thirty third of's Age do all agree,
This Conquerour did yield to destiny.
When this sad news came to Darius Mother,
She laid it more to heart, then any other,
Nor meat, nor drink, nor comfort would she take,
But pin'd in grief till life did her forsake;
All friends she shuns, yea, banished the light,
Till death inwrapt her in perpetual night.
This Monarchs fame must last whilst world doth stand,
And Conquests be talkt of whilest there is land;
His Princely qualities had he retain'd,
Unparalled for ever had remain'd.
But with the world his virtues overcame,
And so with black beclouded, all his fame;
Wise Aristotle Tutor to his youth.
Had so instructed him in moral Truth:
[Page 158]
The principles of what he then had learn'd
Might to the last (when sober) be discern'd.
Learning and learned men he much regarded,
And curious Artist evermore rewarded:
The Illiads of Homer he still kept.
And under's pillow laid them when he slept.
Achilles happiness he did envy,
'Cause Homer kept his acts to memory.
Profusely bountifull without desert,
For such as pleas'd him had both wealth and heart
Cruel by nature and by custome too,
As oft his acts throughout his reign doth shew:
Ambitious so, that nought could satisfie,
Vain, thirsting after immortality,
Still fearing that his name might hap to dye,
And fame not last unto eternity.
This Conqueror did oft lament (tis said)
There were no more worlds to be conquered.
This folly great Augustus did deride,
For had he had but wisdome to his pride,
He would had found enough there to be done,
To govern that he had already won.
His thoughts are perisht, he aspires no more,
Nor can he kill or save as heretofore.
A God alive, him all must Idolize,
Now like a mortal helpless man he lyes.
Of all those Kingdomes large which he had got,
To his Posterity remain'd no jot;
For by that hand which still revengeth bloud,
None of his kindred, nor his race long stood:
[Page 159]
But as he took delight much blood to spill,
So the same cup to his, did others fill.
Four of his Captains now do all divide,
As Daniel before had prophysi'd.
The Leopard down the four wings 'gan to rise,
The great horn broke, the less did tyranize.
What troubles and contentions did ensue
We may hereafter shew in season due.
Aridæus.
Great Alexander dead, his Armyes left,
Like to that Giant of his Eye bereft;
When of his monstrous bulk it was the guide,
His matchless force no creature could abide.
But by Ulisses having lost his sight,
All men began streight to contemn his might;
For aiming still amiss, his dreadful blows
Did harm himself, but never reacht his Foes.
Now Court and Camp all in confusion be,
A King they'l have, but who, none can agree;
Each Captain wisht this prize to bear away,
But none so hardy found as so durst say:
Great Alexander did leave Issue none,
Except by Artabasus daughter one;
And Roxane fair whom late he married,
Was near her time to be delivered.
By natures right these had enough to claim,
But meaness of their mothers bar'd the same,
Alledg'd by those who by their subtile Plea
Had hope themselves to bear the Crown away.
[Page 160]
A Sister Alexander had, but she
Claim'd not, perhaps, her Sex might hindrance be.
After much tumult they at last proclaim'd
His base born brother Aridæus nam'd,
That so under his feeble wit and reign,
Their ends they might the better still attain.
This choice Perdiccas vehemently disclaim'd,
And Babe unborn of Roxane he proclaim'd;
Some wished him to take the style of King,
Because his Master gave to him his Ring,
And had to him still since Ephestion di'd
More then to th' rest his favour testifi'd.
But he refus'd, with feigned modesty,
Hoping to be elect more generally.
He hold on this occasion should have laid,
For second offer there was never made.
'Mongst these contentions, tumults, jealousies,
Seven dayes the corps of their great master lies
Untoucht, uncovered slighted and neglected,
So much these princes their own ends respected:
A Contemplation to astonish Kings,
That he who late possest all earthly things,
And yet not so content unless that he
Might be esteemed for a Diety;
Now lay a Spectacle to testifie,
The wretchedness of mans mortality.
After some time, when stirs began to calm,
His body did the Egyptians embalme;
His countenance so lively did appear,
That for a while they durst not come so near:
[Page 161]
No sign of poyson in his intrails found,
But all his bowels coloured, well and sound.
Perdiccas seeing Arid&ae;lig;us must be King,
Under his name began to rule each thing.
His chief Opponent who Control'd his sway,
Was Meleager whom he would take away,
And by a wile he got him in his power,
So took his life unworthily that hour.
Using the name, and the command of th' King
To authorize his acts in every thing.
The princes seeing Perdiccas power and pride,
For their security did now provide.
Antigonus for his share Asia takes,
And Ptolemy next sure of Egypt makes:
Seleucus afterward held Babylon,
Antipater had long rul'd Macedon.
These now to govern for the king pretends,
But nothing less each one himself intends.
Perdiccas took no province like the rest,
But held command of th' Army (which was best)
And had a higher project in his head,
His Masters sister secretly to wed:
So to the Lady, covertly he sent,
(That none might know, to frustrate his intent)
But Cleopatra this Suitor did deny,
For Leonatus more lovely in her eye,
To whom she sent a message of her mind,
That if he came good welcome he should find.
In these tumultuous dayes the thralled Greeks,
Their Ancient Liberty afresh now seeks.
[Page 162]
And gladly would the yoke shake off, laid on
Sometimes by Philip and his conquering son.
The Athenians force Antipater to fly
To Lamia where he shut up doth lye.
To brave Craterus then he sends with speed
For succours to relieve him in his need.
The like of Leonatus he requires,
(Which at this time well suited his desires)
For to Antipater he now might goe,
His Lady take in th' way, and no man know.
Antiphilus the Athenian General
With speed his Army doth together call;
And Leonatus seeks to stop, that so
He joyne not with Antipater their foe.
The Athenian Army was the greater far,
(Which did his Match with Cleopatra mar)
For fighting still, while there did hope remain
The valiant Chief amidst his foes was slain.
'Mongst all the princes of great Alexander
For personage, none like to this Commander.
Now to Antipater Craterus goes,
Blockt up in Lamia still by his foes,
Long marches through Cilicia he makes,
And the remains of Leonatus takes:
With them and his he into Grecia went,
Antipater releas'd from prisonment:
After which time the Greeks did never more
Act any thing of worth, as heretofore:
But under servitude their necks remain'd,
Nor former liberty or glory gain'd.
[Page 163]
Now di'd about the end of th' Lamian war
Demosthenes, that sweet-tongue'd Orator,
Who fear'd Antipater would take his life
For animating the Athenian strife:
To end his dayes by poison rather chose
Then fall into the hands of mortal foes.
Craterus and Antipater now joyne,
In love and in affinity combine,
Craterus doth his daughter Phila wed
Their friendship might the more be strengthened.
Whilst they in Macedon do thus agree,
In Asia they all asunder be.
Perdiccas griev'd to see the princes bold
So many Kingdomes in their power to hold,
Yet to regain them, how he did not know,
His souldiers 'gainst those captains would not goe
To suffer them go on as they begun,
Was to give way himself might be undone.
With Antipater to joyne he sometimes thought,
That by his help, the rest might low be brought,
But this again dislikes; he would remain,
If not in stile, in deed a soveraign;
(For all the princes of great Alexander
Acknowledged for Chief that old Commander)
Desires the King to goe to Macedon,
Which once was of his Ancestors the throne,
And by his presence there to nullifie
The acts of his Vice-Roy now grown so high.
Antigonus of treason first attaints,
And summons him to answer his complaints.
[Page 164]
This he avoids, and ships himself and son,
Goes to Antipater and tells what's done.
He and Craterus, both with him do joyne,
And 'gainst Perdiccas all their strength combine.
Brave Ptolemy, to make a fourth then sent
To save himself from danger imminent.
In midst of these garboyles with wondrous state
His masters Funeral doth celebrate:
In Alexandria his tomb he plac'd,
Which eating time hath scarcely yet defac'd.
Two years and more, since natures debt he paid,
And yet till now at quiet was not laid.
Great love did Ptolemy by this act gain,
And made the souldiers on his side remain.
Perdiccas hears his foes are all combin'd,
'Gainst which to goe, is not resolv'd in mind.
But first 'gainst Ptolemy he judg'd was best,
Neer'st unto him, and farthest from the rest,
Leaves Eumenes the Asian Coast to free
From the invasions of the other three,
And with his army unto Egypt goes
Brave Ptolemy to th' utmost to oppose.
Perdiccas surly cariage, and his pride
Did alinate the souldiers from his side.
But Ptolemy by affability
His sweet demeanour and his courtesie,
Did make his own, firm to his cause remain,
And from the other side did dayly gain.
Perdiccas in his pride did ill intreat
Python of haughty mind, and courage great.
[Page 165]
Who could not brook so great indignity,
But of his wrongs his friends doth certifie;
The souldiers 'gainst Perdiccas they incense,
Who vow to make this captain recompence,
And in a rage they rush into his tent,
Knock out his brains: to Ptolemy then went
And offer him his honours, and his place,
With stile of the Protector him to grace.
Next day into the camp came Ptolemy,
And is receiv'd of all most joyfully.
Their proffers he refus'd with modesty,
Yields them to Python for his courtesie.
With what he held he was now more content,
Then by more trouble to grow eminent.
Now comes there news of a great victory
That Eumenes got of the other three.
Had it but in Perdiccas life ariv'd,
With greater joy it would have been receiv'd.
Thus Ptolemy rich Egypt did retain,
And Python turn'd to Asia again.
Whilst Perdiccas encamp'd in Affrica,
Antigonus did enter Asia,
And fain would Eumenes draw to their side,
But he alone most faithfull did abide:
The other all had Kingdomes in their eye,
But he was true to 's masters family,
Nor could Craterus, whom he much did love.
From his fidelity once make him move:
Two Battles fought, and had of both the best,
And brave Craterus slew among the rest:
[Page 166]
For this sad strife he poures out his complaints,
And his beloved foe full sore laments.
I should but snip a story into bits
And his great Acts and glory much eclipse,
To shew the dangers Eumenes befel,
His stratagems wherein he did excel:
His Policies, how he did extricate
Himself from out of Lab'rinths intricate:
He that at large would satisfie his mind,
In Plutarchs Lives his history may find.
For all that should be said, let this suffice,
He was both valiant, faithfull, patient, wise.
Python now chose Protector of the state,
His rule Queen Euridice begins to hate,
Sees Arrideus must not King it long,
If once young Alexander grow more strong,
But that her husband serve for supplement,
To warm his seat, was never her intent.
She knew her birth-right gave her Macedon,
Grand-child to him who once sat on that throne
Who was Perdiccas, Philips eldest brother,
She daughter to his son, who had no other.
Pythons commands, as oft she countermands;
What he appoints, she purposely withstands.
He wearied out at last would needs be gone,
Resign'd his place, and so let all alone:
In's room the souldiers chose Antipater,
Who vext the Queen more then the other far.
From Macedon to Asia he came,
That he might settle matters in the same.
[Page 167]
He plac'd, displac'd, control'd rul'd as he list,
And this no man durst question or resist;
For all the nobles of King Alexander
Their bonnets vail'd to him as chief Commander.
When to his pleasure all things they had done,
The King and Queen he takes to Macedon,
Two sons of Alexander, and the rest,
All to be order'd there as he thought best.
The Army to Antigonus doth leave,
And Government of Asia to him gave.
And thus Antipater the ground-work layes,
On which Antigonus his height doth raise,
Who in few years, the rest so overtops,
For universal Monarchy he hopes.
With Eumenes he diverse Battels fought,
And by his slights to circumvent him sought:
But vain it was to use his policy,
'Gainst him that all deceits could scan and try.
In this Epitome too long to tell
How finely Eumenes did here excell,
And by the self same Traps the other laid,
He to his cost was righteously repaid.
But while these Chieftains do in Asia fight,
To Greece and Macedon lets turn our sight.
When great Antipater the world must leave,
His place to Polisperchon did bequeath,
Fearing his son Cassander was unstaid,
Too rash to bear that charge, if on him laid.
Antigonus hearing of his decease
On most part of Assyria doth seize.
[Page 168]
And Ptolemy next to incroach begins,
All Syria and Phenicia he wins,
Then Polisperchon 'gins to act in's place,
Recalls Olimpias the Court to grace.
Antipater had banish'd her from thence
Into Epire for her great turbulence;
This new Protector's of another mind,
Thinks by her Majesty much help to find.
Cassander like his Father could not see,
This Polisperchons great ability,
Slights his Commands, his actions he disclaims,
And to be chief himself now bends his aims;
Such as his Father had advanc'd to place,
Or by his favours any way had grac'd
Are now at the devotion of the Son,
Prest to accomplish what he would have done;
Besides he was the young Queens favourite,
On whom (t'was thought) she set her chief delight:
Unto these helps at home he seeks out more,
Goes to Antigonus and doth implore,
By all the Bonds 'twixt him and's Father past,
And for that great gift which he gave him last.
By these and all to grant him some supply,
To take down Polisperchon grown so high;
For this Antigonus did need no spurrs,
Hoping to gain yet more by these new stirs,
Streight furnish'd him with a sufficient aid,
And so he quick returns thus well appaid,
With Ships at Sea, an Army for the Land,
His proud opponent hopes soon to withstand.
[Page 169]
But in his absence Polisperchon takes
Such friends away as for his Interest makes
By death, by prison, or by banishment,
That no supply by these here might be lent,
Cassander with his Host to Grecia goes,
Whom Polisperchon labours to oppose;
But beaten was at Sea, and foil'd at Land,
Cassanders forces had the upper hand,
Athens with many Towns in Greece beside,
Firm (for his Fathers sake) to him abide.
Whil'st hot in wars these two in Greece remain,
Antigonus doth all in Asia gain;
Still labours Eumenes, would with him side,
But all in vain, he faithful did abide:
Nor Mother could, nor Sons of Alexander,
Put trust in any but in this Commander.
The great ones now began to shew their mind,
And act as opportunity they find.
Aridæus the scorn'd and simple King,
More then he bidden was could act no thing.
Polisperchon for office hoping long,
Thinks to inthrone the Prince when riper grown;
Euridice this injury disdains,
And to Cassandar of this wrong complains.
Hateful the name and house of Alexander,
Was to this proud vindicative Cassander;
He still kept lockt within his memory,
His Fathers danger, with his Family;
Nor thought he that indignity was small,
When Alexander knockt his head to th' wall.
[Page 170]
These with his love unto the amorous Queen,
Did make him vow, her servant to be seen.
Olimpias, Aridæus deadly hates,
As all her Husbands, Children by his mates,
She gave him poyson formerly ('tis thought)
Which damage both to mind and body brought;
She now with Polisperchon doth combine,
To make the King by force his Seat resigne:
And her young grand-child in his State inthrone,
That under him, she might rule, all alone.
For aid she goes t' Epire among her friends,
The better to accomplish these her ends;
Euridice hearing what she intends,
In haste unto her friend Cassander sends,
To leave his siege at Tegea, and with speed,
To save the King and her in this their need:
Then by intreaties, promises and Coyne,
Some forces did procure with her to joyn.
Olimpias soon enters Macedon,
The Queen to meet her bravely marches on,
But when her Souldiers saw their ancient Queen,
Calling to mind what sometime she had been;
The wife and Mother of their famous Kings,
Nor darts, nor arrows, now none shoots or flings.
The King and Queen seeing their destiny,
To save their lives t' Amphipolis do fly;
But the old Queen pursues them with her hate,
And needs will have their lives as well as State:
The King by extream torments had his end,
And to the Queen these presents she did send;
[Page 171]
A Halter, cup of poyson, and a Sword,
Bids chuse her death, such kindness she'l afford.
The Queen with many a curse, and bitter check,
At length yields to the Halter her fair neck;
Praying that fatal day might quickly haste,
On which Olimpias of the like might taste.
This done the cruel Queen rests not content,
'Gainst all that lov'd Cassander she was bent;
His Brethren, Kinsfolk and his chiefest friends,
That fell within her reach came to their ends:
Dig'd up his brother dead, 'gainst natures right,
And threw his bones about to shew her spight:
The Courtiers wondring at her furious mind,
Wisht in Epire she had been still confin'd.
In Peloponesus then Cassander lay,
Where hearing of this news he speeds away,
With rage, and with revenge he's hurried on,
To find this cruel Queen in Macedon;
But being stopt, at streight Thermopoly,
Sea passage gets, and lands in Thessaly:
His Army he divides, sends post away,
Polisperchon to hold a while in play;
And with the rest Olimpias pursues,
For all her cruelty, to give her dues.
She with the chief o' th' Court to Pydna flyes,
Well fortifi'd, (and on the Sea it lyes)
There by Cassander she's blockt up so long,
Untill the Famine grows exceeding strong,
Her Couzen of Epire did what he might,
To raise the Siege, and put her Foes to flight.
[Page 172]
Cassander is resolved there to remain,
So succours and endeavours proves but vain;
Fain would this wretched Queen capitulate,
Her foe would give no Ear, (such is his hate)
The Souldiers pinched with this scarcity,
By stealth unto Cassander dayly fly;
Olimpias means to hold out to the last,
Expecting nothing but of death to tast:
But his occasions calling him away,
Gives promise for her life, so wins the day.
No sooner had he got her in his hand,
But made in judgement her accusers stand;
And plead the blood of friends and kindreds spilt,
Desiring justice might be done for guilt;
And so was he acquitted of his word,
For justice sake she being put to th' Sword:
This was the end of this most cruel Queen,
Whose fury scarcely parallel'd hath been.
The daughter sister, Mother, Wife to Kings,
But Royalty no good conditions brings;
To Husbands death ('tis thought) she gave consent,
The murtherer she did so much lament:
With Garlands crown'd his head, bemoan'd his fates,
His Sword unto Apollo consecrates.
Her Outrages too tedious to relate,
How for no cause but her inveterate hate;
Her Husbands wives and Children after's death,
Some slew, some fry'd, of others stopt the breath:
Now in her Age she's forc'd to tast that Cup,
Which she had others often made to sup.
[Page 173]
Now many Towns in Macedon supprest,
And Pellas fain to yield among the rest;
The Funerals Cassander celebrates,
Of Aridæus and his Queen with State:
Among their Ancestors by him they're laid,
And shews of lamentation for them made.
Old Thebes he then rebuilt so much of fame,
And Cassandria rais'd after his name.
But leave him building, others in their Urne,
Let's for a while, now into Asia turn.
True Eumenes endeavours by all Skill,
To keep Antigonus from Shushan still;
Having command o'th' Treasure he can hire,
Such as no threats, nor favour could acquire.
In divers Battels he had good success,
Antigonus came off still honourless;
When Victor oft he'd been, and so might still,
Peucestes did betray him by a wile.
T' Antigonus, who took his Life unjust,
Because he never would forgoe his trust;
Thus lost he all for his fidelity,
Striving t'uphold his Masters Family.
But to a period as that did haste,
So Eumenes (the prop) of death must tast;
All Persia now Antigonus doth gain,
And Master of the Treasure sole remain:
Then with Seleucus streight at odds doth fall,
And he for aid to Ptolemy doth call,
The Princes all begin now to envy
Antigonus, his growing up so high;
[Page 174]
Fearing his force, and what might hap e're long,
Enters into a Combination strong,
Seleucus, Ptolemy Cassander joynes,
Lysimachus to make a fourth combines:
Antigonus desirous of the Greeks,
To make Cassander odious to them seeks,
Sends forth his declarations near and far,
And clears what cause he had to make this war,
Cassanders outrages at large doth tell,
Shews his ambitious practises as well.
The mother of their King to death he'd put,
His wife and son in prison close had shut:
And aiming now to make himself a king,
And that some title he might seem to bring,
Thessalonica he had newly wed,
Daughter to Philip their renowned head:
Had built and call'd a City by his name,
Which none e're did, but those of royal fame:
And in despight of their two famous Kings
Hatefull Olinthians to Greece rebrings.
Rebellious Thebes he had reedified,
Which their late King in dust had damnified,
Requires them therefore to take up their arms
And to requite this traitor for these harms.
Then Ptolemy would gain the Greeks likewise,
And he declares the others injuryes:
First how he held the Empire in his hands,
Seleucus driven from Goverment and lands,
The valiant Eumenes unjustly slain,
And Lord of royal Shushan did remain;
[Page 175]
Therefore requests their help to take him down
Before he wear the universal Crown.
These princes at the sea soon had a fight,
Where great Antigonus was put to flight:
His son at Gaza likewise lost the field,
So Syria to Ptolemy did yield:
And Seleucus recovers Babylon,
Still gaining Countryes eastward he goes on.
Demetrius with Ptolemy did fight,
And coming unawares, put him to flight;
But bravely sends the prisoners back again,
With all the spoyle and booty he had tane.
Courteous as noble Ptolemy, or more,
Who at Gaza did the like to him before.
Antigonus did much rejoyce, his son
With victory, his lost repute had won.
At last these princes tired out with warrs,
Sought for a peace, and laid aside their jarrs:
The terms of their agreement, thus express
That each should hold what now he did possess,
Till Alexander unto age was grown,
Who then should be enstalled in the throne.
This toucht Cassander sore for what he'd done,
Imprisoning both the mother and the son:
He sees the Greeks now favour their young Prince
Whom he in durance held, now, and long since,
That in few years he must be forc'd or glad,
To render up such Kingdomes as he had;
Resolves to quit his fears by one deed done,
So puts to death the Mother and her Son.
[Page 176]
This Roxane for her beauty all commend,
But for one act she did, just was her end.
No sooner was great Alexander dead,
But she Darius daughters murthered.
Both thrown into a well to hide her blot,
Perdiccas was her Partner in this plot.
The heavens seem'd slow in paying her the same;
But at the last the hand of vengeance came.
And for that double fact which she had done,
The life of her must goe, and of her son
Perdiccas had before for his amiss,
But by their hands who thought not once of this.
Cassanders deed the princes do detest,
But 'twas in shew; in heart it pleas'd them best.
That he is odious to the world, they'r glad:
And now they were free Lords of what they had.
When this foul tragedy was past and done,
Polysperchon brings the other son
Call'd Hercules, and elder then his brother,
(But Olimpias would prefer the other)
The Greeks toucht with the murther done of late,
This Orphan prince 'gan to compassionate,
Begin to mutter much 'gainst proud Cassander,
And place their hopes on th' heir of Alexander.
Cassander fear'd what might of this ensue,
So Polisperchon to his counsel drew,
And gives Peloponesus for his hire,
Who slew the prince according to desire.
Thus was the race and house of Alexander
Extinct by this inhumane wretch Cassander.
[Page 177]
Antigonus, for all this doth not mourn,
He knows to's profit, this at last will turn,
But that some Title now he might pretend,
To Cleopatra doth for marriage send;
Lysimachus and Ptolemy the same,
And lewd Cassander too, sticks not for shame:
She then in Lydia at Sardis lay,
Where by Embassage all these Princes pray.
Choice above all, of Ptolemy she makes,
With his Embassador her journy takes;
Antigonus Lieutenant stayes her still,
Untill he further know his Masters will:
Antigonus now had a Wolf by th' Ears,
To hold her still, or let her go he fears.
Resolves at last the Princess should be slain,
So hinders him of her, he could not gain;
Her women are appointed for this deed,
They for their great reward no better speed:
For by command, they streight were put to death,
As vile Conspirators that stopt her breath.
And now he hopes, he's order'd all so well,
The world must needs believe what he doth tell;
Thus Philips house was quite extinguished,
Except Cassanders wife who yet not dead.
And by their means who thought of nothing less,
Then vengeance just, against them to express;
Now blood was paid with blood for what was done
By cruel Father, Mother cruel Son:
Thus may we hear, and fear, and ever say,
That hand is righteous still which doth repay.
[Page 178]
These Captains now the stile of Kings do take,
For to their Crowns their's none can Title make;
Demetrius first the royal stile assum'd,
By his Example all the rest presum'd.
Antigonus himself to ingratiate,
Doth promise liberty to Athens State;
With Arms and with provision stores them well,
The better 'gainst Cassander to rebel.
Demetrius thether goes, is entertain'd
Not like a King, but like some God they feign'd;
Most grosly base was their great Adulation,
Who Incense burnt, and offered oblation:
These Kings afresh fall to their wars again,
Demetrius of Ptolemy doth gain.
'Twould be an endless Story to relate
Their several Battels and their several fate,
Their fights by Sea, their victories by Land,
How some when down, straight got the upper hand
Antigonus and Seleucus then fight
Near Ephesus, each bringing all his might,
And he that Conquerour shall now remain,
The Lordship of all Asia shall retain;
This day 'twixt these two Kings ends all the strife,
For here Antigonus lost rule and life:
Nor to his Son, did e're one foot remain
Of those vast Kingdomes, he did sometimes gain.
Demetrius with his Troops to Athens flyes,
Hopes to find succours in his miseries;
But they adoring in prosperity,
Now shut their gates in his adversity:
[Page 179]
He sorely griev'd at this his desperate State
Tryes Foes, sith friends will not compassionate.
His peace he then with old Seleucus makes,
Who his fair daughter Stratonica takes,
Antiochus, Seleucus, dear lov'd Son,
Is for this fresh young Lady quite undone;
Falls so extreamly sick, all fear'd his life,
Yet durst not say, he lov'd his Fathers wife,
When his disease the skill'd Physitian found,
His Fathers mind he wittily did sound,
Who did no sooner understand the same,
But willingly resign'd the beautious Dame:
Cassander now must dye his race is run,
And leaves the ill got Kingdomes he had won.
Two Sons he left, born of King Philips daughter,
Who had an end put to their dayes by slaughter;
Which should succeed at variance they fell,
The Mother would, the youngest might excell:
The eld'st inrag'd did play the Vipers part,
And with his Sword did run her through the heart:
Rather then Philips race should longer live,
He whom she gave his life her death shall give.
This by Lysimacus was after slain,
Whose daughter he not long before had ta'ne;
Demetrius is call'd in by th' youngest Son,
Against Lysimachus who from him won.
But he a Kingdome more then's friend did eye,
Seaz'd upon that, and slew him traitrously.
Thus Philips and Cassander's race both gone,
And so falls out to be extinct in one;
[Page 180]
And though Cassander died in his bed,
His Seed to be extirpt, was destined;
For blood, which was decre'd that he should spill,
Yet must his Children pay for Fathers ill;
Jehu in killing Ahab's house did well,
Yet be aveng'd must blood of Jezerel.
Demetrius thus Cassander's Kingdoms gains,
And now in Macedon as King he reigns;
Though men and mony both he hath at will,
In neither finds content if he sits still:
That Seleucus holds Asia grievs him sore,
Those Countryes large his Father got before.
These to recover, musters all his might,
And with his Son in Law will needs go fight;
A mighty Navy rig'd, an Army stout,
With these he hopes to turn the world about:
Leaving Antigonus his eldest Son,
In his long absence to rule Macedon.
Demetrius with so many troubles met,
As Heaven and Earth against him had been set;
Disaster on disaster him pursue,
His story seems a Fable more then true.
At last he's taken and imprisoned
Within an Isle that was with pleasures fed,
Injoy'd what ere beseem'd his Royalty,
Only restrained of his liberty:
After three years he died, left what he'd won,
In Greece unto Antigonus his Son.
For his Posterity unto this day,
Did ne're regain one foot in Asia;
[Page 181]
His Body Seleucus sends to his Son,
Whose obsequies with wondrous pomp was done.
Next di'd the brave and noble Ptolemy,
Renown'd for bounty, valour, clemency,
Rich Egypt left, and what else he had won,
To Philadelphus his more worthy Son.
Of the old Heroes, now but two remain,
Seleucus and Lysimachus these twain,
Must needs go try their fortune and their might,
And so Lysimachus was slain in fight;
'Twas no small joy unto Seleucus breast,
That now he had out-lived all the rest:
Possession of Europe thinks to take,
And so himself the only Monarch make;
Whilst with these hopes in Greece he did remain,
He was by Ptolemy Ceraunus slain.
The second Son of the first Ptolemy,
Who for Rebellion unto him did fly;
Seleucus was a Father and a friend,
Yet by him had this most unworthy end.
Thus with these Kingly Captains have we done,
A little now how the Succession run,
Antigonus, Seleucus and Cassander,
With Ptolemy, reign'd after Alexander;
Cassander's Sons soon after's death were slain,
So three Successors only did remain:
Antigonus his Kingdomes lost and life,
Unto Seleucus, Author of that strife.
His Son Demetrius, all Cassanders gains,
And his posterity, the same retains;
[Page 182]
Demetrius Son was call'd Antigonus,
And his again was nam'd Demetrius.
I must let pass those many Battels fought,
Betwixt those Kings, and noble Pyrrhus stout,
And his Son Alexander of Epire,
Whereby immortal honour they acquire;
Demetrius had Philip to his Son,
(Part of whose Kingdomes Titus Quintius won)
Philip had Perseus, who was made a Thrale
T' Emilius the Roman General;
Him with his Sons in Triumph lead did he,
Such riches too as Rome did never see:
This of Antigonus, his Seed's the Fate,
Whose Empire was subdu'd to th' Roman State.
Longer Seleucus held the royalty,
In Syria by his Posterity;
Antiochus Soter his Son was nam'd,
To whom the old Berosus (so much fam'd,)
His Book of Assurs Monarchs dedicates,
Tells of their names, their wars, their riches, fates;
But this is perished with many more,
Which oft we wish was extant as before.
Antiochus Theos was Soter's Son,
Who a long war with Egypts King begun;
The Affinityes and Wars Daniel sets forth,
And calls them there the Kings of South & North,
This Theos murther'd was by his lewd wife,
Seleucus reign'd, when he had lost his life.
A third Seleucus next sits on the Seat,
And then Antiochus sirnam'd the great,
[Page 183]
Whose large Dominions after was made small,
By Scipio the Roman General;
Fourth Seleucus Antiochus succeeds,
And next Epiphanes whose wicked deeds,
Horrid Massacres, Murthers, cruelties,
Amongst the Jews we read in Machabees.
Antiochus Eupater was the next,
By Rebels and Impostors dayly vext;
So many Princes still were murthered,
The Royal Blood was nigh extinguished;
Then Tygranes the great Armenian King,
To take the Government was called in,
Lucullus, Him, (the Roman General)
Vanquish'd in fight, and took those Kingdomes all;
Of Greece and Syria thus the rule did end,
In Egypt next, a little time wee'l spend.
First Ptolemy being dead, his famous Son
Call'd Philadelphus, did possess the Throne.
At Alexandria a Library did build,
And with seven hundred thousand Volumes fill'd;
The seventy two Interpreters did seek,
They might translate the Bible into Greek.
His Son was Evergetes the last Prince,
That valour shew'd, virtue, or excellence,
Philopater was Evergetes Son,
After Epiphanes sate on the Throne;
Philometor, Evergetes again,
And after him, did false Lathurus reign:
Then Alexander in Lathurus stead,
Next Auletes, who cut off Pompeys head.
[Page 184]
To all these names, we Ptolemy must add,
For since the first, they still that Title had.
Fair Cleopatra next, last of that race,
Whom Julius Cæsar set in Royal place,
She with her Paramour, Mark Anthony
Held for a time, the Egyptian Monarchy,
Till great Augustus had with him a fight
At Actium, where his Navy's put to flight;
He seeing his honour lost, his Kingdome end,
Did by his Sword his life soon after send.
His brave Virago Aspes sets to her Arms,
To take her life, and quit her from all harms;
For 'twas not death nor danger she did dread,
But some disgrace in triumph to be led.
Here ends at last the Grecian Monarchy,
Which by the Romans had its destiny;
Thus King & Kingdomes have their times & dates,
Their standings, overturnings, bounds and fates:
Now up, now down now chief, & then broght under,
The heavn's thus rule, to fil the world with wonder
The Assyrian Monarchy long time did stand,
But yet the Persian got the upper hand;
The Grecian them did utterly subdue,
And millions were subjected unto few:
The Grecian longer then the Persian stood,
Then came the Roman like a raging flood;
And with the torrent of his rapid course,
Their Crowns, their Titles, riches bears by force.
The first was likened to a head of gold.
Next Arms and breast of silver to behold,
[Page 185]
The third, Belly and Thighs of brass in sight,
And last was Iron, which breaketh all with might;
The stone out of the mountain then did rise,
and smote those feet those legs, those arms & thighs
Then gold silver, brass, Iron and all the store,
Became like Chaff upon the threshing Floor.
The first a Lion, second was a Bear,
The third a Leopard, which four wings did rear;
The last more strong and dreadful then the rest,
Whose Iron teeth devoured every Beast,
And when he had no appetite to eat,
The residue he stamped under feet;
Yet shall this Lion, Bear, this Leopard, Ram,
All trembling stand before the powerful Lamb.
With these three Monarchyes now have I done,
But how the fourth, their Kingdomes from them won,
And how from small beginnings it did grow,
To fill the world with terrour and with woe;
My tyred brain leavs to some better pen,
This task befits not women like to men:
For what is past, I blush, excuse to make,
But humbly stand, some grave reproof to take;
Pardon to crave for errours, is but vain,
The Subject was too high, beyond my strain,
To frame Apology for some offence,
Converts our boldness into impudence:
This my presumption some now to requite,
Ne sutor ultra crepidum may write.
 
The End of the Grecian Monarchy.
[Page 186]
After some dayes of rest, my restless heart
To finish what's begun, new thoughts impart,
And maugre all resolves, my fancy wrought
This fourth to th' other three, now might be brought:
Shortness of time and inability,
Will force me to a confus'd brevity.
Yet in this Chaos, one shall easily spy
The vast Limbs of a mighty Monarchy,
What e're is found amiss take in good part,
As faults proceeding from my head, not heart.

The Romane Monarchy,
being the fourth and last,
beginning Anno Mundi,
3213.

STout Romulus, Romes founder, and first King,
Whom vestal Rhea to the world did bring;
His Father was not Mars as some devis'd,
But Æmulus in Armour all disguiz'd:
Thus he deceiv'd his Neece, she might not know
The double injury he then did do.
[Page 187]
Where sheperds once had Coats & sheep their folds
Where Swains & rustick Peasants kept their holds,
A City fair did Romulus erect,
The Mistress of the World, in each respect,
His brother Rhemus there by him was slain,
For leaping o're the wall with some disdain.
The stones at first was cemented with blood,
And bloody hath it prov'd, since first it stood.
This City built and Sacrifices done,
A Form of Government, he next begun;
A hundred Senators he likewise chose,
And with the style of Patres, honoured those,
His City to replenish, men he wants,
Great priviledges then to all he grants;
That will within those strong built walls reside,
And this new gentle Government abide.
Of wives there was so great a scarcity,
They to their neighbours sue for a supply;
But all disdain Alliance, then to make,
So Romulus was forc'd this course to take:
Great shews he makes at Tilt and Turnament,
To see these sports, the Sabins all are bent.
Their daughters by the Romans then were caught,
Then to recover them a Field was fought;
But in the end, to final peace they come,
And Sabins as one people dwelt in Rome.
The Romans now more potent 'gin to grow,
And Fedinates they wholly overthrow.
But Romulus then comes unto his end.
Some feigning to the Gods he did ascend:
[Page 188]
Others the seven and thirtyeth of his reign,
Affirm, that by the Senate he was slain.
Numa Pompilius.
Numa Pompilius next chose they King,
Held for his piety some sacred thing,
To Janus he that famous Temple built:
Kept shut in peace, set ope when blood was spilt;
Religious Rites and Customes instituted,
And Priests and Flamines likewise he deputed,
Their Augurs strange, their gestures and attire,
And vestal maids to keep the holy fire.
The Nymph Ægeria this to him told,
So to delude the people he was bold:
Forty three years he rul'd with general praise,
Accounted for a God in after dayes.
Tullius Hostilius.
Tullius Hostilius was third Roman King,
Who Martial discipline in use did bring;
War with the antient Albans he did wage,
This strife to end six brothers did ingage.
Three call'd Horatii on the Romans side,
And Curiatii three Albans provide:
The Romans conquer, th' other yield the day,
Yet in their Compact, after false they play.
The Romans sore incens'd, their General slay,
And from old Alba fetch the wealth away;
Of Latin Kings this was long since the Seat,
But now demolished, to make Rome great.
[Page 189]
Thirty two years did Tullus reign, then dye,
Left Rome in wealth, and power still growing high.
Ancus Martius.
Next Ancus Martius sits upon the Throne,
Nephew unto Pompilius dead and gone;
Rome he inlarg'd, new built again the wall,
Much stronger, and more beautiful withal;
A stately Bridge he over Tyber made,
Of Boats and Oars no more they need the aid.
Fair Ostia he built this Town, it stood
Close by the mouth of famous Tyber floud,
Twenty four years time of his Royal race,
Then unto death unwillingly gives place.
Tarquinius Priscus.
Tarquin a Greek at Corinth born and bred,
Who from his Country for Sedition fled.
Is entertain'd at Rome, and in short time,
By wealth and favour doth to honour climbe;
He after Martius death the Kingdome had,
A hundred Senators he more did add.
Wars with the Latins he again renews,
And Nations twelve of Tuscany subdues,
To such rude triumphs as young Rome then had,
Some State and splendor did this Priscus add:
Thirty eight years (this stronger born) did reign,
And after all, by Ancus Sons was slain.
[Page 190]
Servius Tullius.
Next Servius Tullius gets into the Throne,
Ascends not up By merits of his own,
But by the favour and the special grace
Of Tanquil late Queen, obtains the place.
He ranks the people into each degree,
As wealth had made them of ability;
A general Muster takes, which by account,
To eighty thousand Souls then did amount.
Forty four years did Servius Tullius reign,
And then by Tarquin Priscus son was slain.
Tarquinius Superbus the last King of the Romans.
Tarquin the proud, from manners called so,
Sat on the Throne, when he had slain his Foe.
Sextus his Son did most unworthily,
Lucretia force, mirrour of Chastity:
She loathed so the fact, she loath'd her life,
And shed her guiltless blood with guilty knife
Her Husband sore incens'd to quit this wrong,
With Junius Brutus rose, and being strong,
The Tarquins they from Rome by force expel,
In banishment perpetual to dwell;
The Government they change, a new one bring,
And people swear ne'r to accept of King.
[Page 191]

An Apology

To finish what's begun, was my intent,
My thoughts and my endeavours thereto bent;
Essays I many made but still gave out,
The more I mus'd, the more I was in doubt:
The subject large my mind and body weak,
With many moe discouragements did speak.
All thoughts of further progress laid aside,
Though oft perswaded, I as oft deny'd,
At length resolv'd, when many years had past,
To prosecute my story to the last;
And for the same, I hours not few did spend,
And weary lines (though lanke) I many pen'd:
But 'fore I could accomplish my desire,
My papers fell a prey to th' raging fire.
And thus my pains (with better things) I lost,
Which none had cause to wail, nor I to boast.
No more I'le do sith I have suffer'd wrack,
Although my Monarchies their legs do lack:
Nor matter is't this last, the world now sees,
Hath many Ages been upon his knees.
[Page 192]

A Dialogue Between Old En-
gland and New, concerning their
present Troubles, Anno, 1642.

New-England.
ALas dear Mother fairest Queen and best,
With honour, wealth, and peace, happy and blest,
What ails thee hang thy head, & cross thine arms?
And sit i' th' dust, to sigh these sad alarms?
What deluge of new woes thus over-whelme
The glories of thy ever famous Realme?
What means this wailing tone, this mournful guise?
Ah, tell thy daughter; she may sympathize.
Old-England.
Art ignorant indeed of these my woes?
Or must my forced tongue these griefs disclose?
And must my self dissect my tatter'd state,
Which 'mazed Christendome stands wondring at?
And thou a Child, a Limb, and dost not feel
My fainting weakned body now to reel?
[Page 193]
This Physick purging potion, I have taken,
Will bring consumption, or an Ague quaking,
Unless some Cordial, thou fetch from high,
Which present help may ease my malady.
If I decease, dost think thou shalt survive?
Or by my wasting state dost think to thrive?
Then weigh our case, if 't be not justly sad.
Let me lament alone, while thou art glad.
New-England.
And thus (alas) your state you much deplore
In general terms, but will not say wherefore:
What medicine shall I seek to cure this woe,
If th' wound so dangerous I may not know.
But you perhaps, would have me guess it out.
What hath some Hengist like that Saxon stout
By fraud or force usurp'd thy flowring crown,
Or by tempestuous warrs thy fields trod down?
Or hath Canutus, that brave valiant Dane
The Regal peacefull Scepter from thee tane?
Or is 't a Norman whose victorious hand
With English blood bedews thy conquered land?
Or is 't Intestine warrs that thus offend?
Do Maud and Stephen for the Crown contend?
Do Barons rise and side against their King,
And call in foreign aid to help the thing?
Must Edward be depos'd? Or is 't the hour
That second Richard must be clapt i'th' tower?
Or is't the fatal jarre, again begun,
That from the red white pricking roses sprung?
[Page 194]
Must Richmonds aid, the Nobles now implore?
To come and break the Tushes of the Boar,
If none of these dear Mother, what's your woe?
Pray do you fear Spains bragging Armado?
Doth your Allye, fair France, conspire your wrack,
Or doth the Scots play false, behind your back?
Doth Holland quit you ill for all your love?
Whence is the storm from Earth or Heaven above?
Is't drought, is't famine, or is't pestilence?
Dost feel the smart, or fear the Consequence?
Your humble Child intreats you, shew your grief,
Though Arms, nor Purse she hath for your relief,
Such is her poverty, yet shall be found
A Suppliant for your help, as she is bound.
Old England.
I must confess some of those sores you name,
My beauteous body at this present maime,
But forreign foe, nor feigned friend I fear,
For they have work enough (thou knowst) elsewhere.
Nor is it Alcies Son, nor Henryes daughter;
Whose proud contention cause this slaughter,
Nor Nobles siding to make John no King,
French Jews unjustly to the Crown to bring;
No Edward, Richard, to lose rule and life,
Nor no Lancastrians to renew old strife;
No Duke of York, nor Earl of March to soyle
Their hands in kindreds blood whom they did foil
No crafty Tyrant now usurps the Seat,
Who Nephews slew that so he might be great;
[Page 195]
No need of Tudor, Roses to unite,
None knows which is the red, or which the white;
Spains braving Fleet a second time is sunk,
France knows how oft my fury she hath drunk:
By Edward third and Henry fifth of fame;
Her Lillies in mine Arms avouch the same.
My Sister Scotland hurts me now no more.
Though she hath been injurious heretofore;
What Holland is I am in some suspence?
But trust not much unto his excellence.
For wants, sure some I feel, but more I fear,
And for the Pestilence, who knows how near;
Famine and Plague, two Sisters of the Sword,
Destruction to a Land, doth soon afford,
They're for my punishment ordain'd on high,
Unless our tears prevent it speedily.
But yet I Answer not what you demand,
To shew the grievance of my troubled Land?
Before I tell th' Effect, I'le shew the Cause
Which are my sins the breach of sacred Laws;
Idolatry supplanter of a Nation,
With foolish Superstitious Adoration,
Are lik'd and countenanc'd by men of might,
The Gospel troden down and hath no right:
Church Offices were sold and bought for gain;
That Pope had hope to find Rome here again,
For Oaths and Blasphemies did ever Ear,
From Belzebub himself such language hear;
What scorning of the Saints of the most high?
What injuries did daily on them lie?
[Page 196]
What false reports, what nick-names did they take
Not for their own, but for their Master's sake?
And thou poor soul, wert jeer'd among the rest,
Thy flying for the truth was made a jest.
For Sabbath-breaking, and for drunkenness,
Did ever land profaneness more express?
From crying bloods yet cleansed am not I,
Martyres and others, dying causelesly.
How many princely heads on blocks laid down
For nought but title to a fading crown?
'Mongst all the crueltyes by great ones done
Of Edwards youths, and Clarence hapless son,
O Jane why didst thou dye in flowring prime
Because of royal stem, that was thy crime.
For bribery Adultery and lyes,
Where is the nation, I can't parallize.
With usury, extortion and oppression,
These be the Hydraes of my stout transgression.
These be the bitter fountains, heads and roots,
Whence flow'd the source, the sprigs, the boughs, & fruits
Of more then thou canst hear or I relate,
That with high hand I still did perpetrate,
For these were threatned the wofull day,
I mockt the Preachers, put it far away;
The Sermons yet upon Record do stand
That cri'd destruction to my wicked land:
I then believ'd not, now I feel and see,
The plague of stubborn incredulity.
Some lost their livings, some in prison pent,
Some fin'd, from house & friends to exile went:
[Page 197]
Their silent tongues to heaven did vengeance cry,
Who saw their wrongs & hath judg'd righteously,
And will repay it seven-fold in my lap:
This is fore-runner of my Afterclap.
Nor took I warning by my neighbors falls,
I saw sad Germanyes dismantled walls,
I saw her people famish'd, Nobles slain,
Her fruitfull land, a barren Heath remain.
I saw unmov'd, her Armyes foil'd and fled,
Wives forc'd, babes toss'd, her houses calcined.
I saw strong Rochel yielded to her Foe,
Thousands of starved Christians there also.
I saw poor Ireland bleeding out her last,
Such crueltyes as all reports have past;
Mine heart obdurate stood not yet agast.
Now sip I of that cup, and just't may be
The bottome dreggs reserved are for me.
New-England:
To all you've said, sad Mother I assent.
Your fearfull sins great cause there 's to lament.
My guilty hands in part, hold up with you,
A Sharer in your punishment's my due.
But all you say amounts to this effect,
Not what you feel, but what you do expect,
Pray in plain terms, what is your present grief?
Then let's joyn heads & hearts for your relief.
[Page 198]
Old England.
Well to the matter then, there's grown of late
'Twixt King and Peers a Question of State,
Which is the chief, the Law, or else the King.
One said, it's he, the other no such thing.
'Tis said, my Beter part in Parliament
To ease my groaning Land, shew'd their intent,
To crush the proud, and right to each man deal,
To help the Church, and stay the Common-Weal.
So many Obstacles came in their way,
As puts me to a stand what I should say;
Old customes, new Prerogatives stood on,
Had they not held Law fast all had been gone:
Which by their prudence stood them in such stead
They took high Strafford lower by the head.
And to their Laud be't spoke, they held i'th tower
All Englands Metropolitane that hour;
This done, an act they would have passed fain,
No Prelate should his Bishoprick retain;
Here tugg'd they hard (indeed,) for all men saw
This must be done by Gospel, not by Law.
Next the Militia they urged sore,
This was deny'd, (I need not say wherefore)
The King displeas'd at York, himself absents.
They humbly beg return, shew their intents;
The writing, printing, posting too and fro,
Shews all was done; I'le therefore let it go.
But now I come to speak of my disaster,
Contention grown, 'twixt Subjects & their Master;
[Page 199]
They worded it so long, they fell to blows,
That thousands lay on heaps, here bleeds my woes,
I that no wars so many years have known,
Am now destroy'd and slaught'red by mine own;
But could the Field alone this strife decide,
One Battel two or three I might abide:
But these may be beginnings of more woe
Who knows, but this may be my overthrow.
Oh pity me in this sad perturbation,
My plundred Towns, my houses devastation,
My weeping Virgins and my young men slain;
My wealthy trading fall'n, my dearth of grain.
The seed-time's come, but ploughman hath no hope
Because he knows not, who shall inn his Crop.
The poor they want their pay, their children bread,
Their woful Mothers tears unpittied,
If any pity in thy heart remain,
Or any child-like love thou dost retain,
For my relief, do what there lyes in thee,
And recompence that good I've done to thee.
New-England.
Dear Mother cease complaints & wipe your eyes.
Shake off your dust, chear up, and now arise,
You are my Mother Nurse, and I your flesh,
Your sunken bowels gladly would refresh.
Your griefs I pity, but soon hope to see,
Out of your troubles much good fruit to be;
To see those latter dayes of hop'd for good,
Though now beclouded all with tears and blood:
[Page 200]
After dark Popery the day did clear,
But now the Sun in's brightness shall appear.
Blest be the Nobles of thy Noble Land,
With ventur'd lives for Truths defence that stand.
Blest be thy Commons, who for common good
And thy infringed Laws have boldly stood
Blest be thy Counties, who did aid thee still,
With hearts and States to testifie their will.
Blest be thy Preachers, who do chear thee on,
O cry the Sword of God and Gideon;
And shall I not on them wish Mero's curse,
That help thee not with prayers, Arms and purse?
And for my self let miseries abound,
If mindless of thy State I e're be found.
These are the dayes the Churches foes to crush,
To root out Popelings head, tail, branch, and rush;
Let's bring Baals vestments forth to make a fire,
Their Mytires, Surplices, and all their Tire,
Copes, Rotchets, Crossiers, and such empty trash,
And let their Names consume, but let the flash
Light Christendome, and all the world to see
We hate Romes whore, with all her trumpery.
Go on brave Essex with a Loyal heart,
Not false to King, nor to the better part,
But those that hurt his people and his Crown,
As duty binds, expel and tread them down.
And ye brave Nobles chase away all fear,
And to this hopeful Cause closely adhere;
O Mother can you weep, and have such Peers,
When they are gone, then drown your self in tears
[Page 201]
If now you weep so much, that then no-more
The briny Ocean will o'reflow your shore.
These, these are they I trust, with Charles our King,
Out of all mists such glorious dayes shall bring,
That dazled eyes beholding much shall wonder
At that thy settled peace, thy wealth and splendor.
Thy Church and weal establish'd in such manner
That all shall joy, that thou display'dst thy Banner;
And discipline erected so I trust,
That nursing Kings shall come and lick thy dust:
Then Justice shall in all thy Courts take place,
Without respect of person, or of case;
Then Bribes shall cease, & Suits shall not stick long
Patience and purse of Clients oft to wrong:
Then high Commissions shall fall to decay,
And Pursivants, and Catchpoles want their pay.
So shall thy happy Nation ever flourish,
When truth & righteousness they thus shall nourish.
When thus in peace, thine Armies brave send out,
To sack proud Rome, and all her Vassals rout;
There let thy Name, thy fame, and glory shine,
As did thine Ancestors in Palestine:
And let her spoyls full pay, with interest be,
Of what unjustly once she poll'd from thee.
Of all the woes thou canst, let her be sped,
And on her pour the vengeance threatned.
Bring forth the Beast that rul'd the World with's beck,
And tear his flesh, & set your feet on's neck;
And make his filthy Den so desolate,
To th' stonishment of all that knew his state:
[Page 202]
This done with brandish'd Swords to Turky goe,
For then what is't, but English blades dare do,
And lay her waste for so's the sacred Doom,
And do to Gog as thou hast done to Rome.
Oh Abraham's seed lift up your heads on high,
For sure the day of your Redemption's nigh;
The Scales shall fall from your long blinded eyes,
And him you shall adore who now despise,
Then fulness of the Nations in shall flow,
And Jew and Gentile to one worship go.
Then follows dayes of happiness and rest,
Whose lot doth fall to live therein is blest:
No Canaanite shall then be found i'th' Land,
And holiness on horses bells shall stand.
If this make way thereto, then sigh no more,
But if at all, thou didst not see 't before;
Farewel dear Mother; rightest cause prevail,
And in a while, you'le tell another tale.
[Page 203]

An Elegie upon that Honou-
rable and renowned Knight Sir Philip Sidney,
who was untimely slain at the Siege
of Zutphen, Anno, 1586.

WHen England did enjoy her Halsion dayes,
Her noble Sidney wore the Crown of Bayes;
As well an honour to our British Land,
As she that sway'd the Scepter with her hand;
Mars and Minerva did in one agree,
Of Arms and Arts he should a pattern be,
Calliope with Terpsichore did sing,
Of Poesie, and of musick, he was King;
His Rhetorick struck Polimina dead,
His Eloquence made Mercury wax red;
His Logick from Euterpe won the Crown,
More worth was his then Clio could set down.
Thalia and Melpomene say truth,
(Witness Arcadia penned in his youth.)
Are not his tragick Comedies so acted,
As if your ninefold wit had been compacted.
To shew the world, they never saw before
That this one Volume should exhaust your store;
His wiser dayes condemned his witty works,
Who knows the spels that in his Rhetorick lurks,
[Page 204]
But some infatuate fools soon caught therein,
Fond Cupids Dame had never such a gin,
Which makes severer eyes but slight that story,
And men of morose minds envy his glory:
But he's a Beetle-head that can't descry
A world of wealth within that rubbish lye,
And doth his name, his work, his honour wrong,
The brave refiner of our British tongue,
That sees not learning, valour and morality,
Justice, friendship, and kind hospitality,
Yea and Divinity within his book,
Such were prejudicate, and did not look.
In all Records his name I ever see
Put with an Epithite of dignity,
Which shews his worth was great, his honour such,
The love his Country ought him, was as much.
Then let none disallow of these my straines
Whilst English blood yet runs within my veins,
O brave Achilles, I wish some Homer would
Engrave in Marble, with Characters of gold
The valiant feats thou didst on Flanders coast,
Which at this day fair Belgia may boast.
The more I say, the more thy worth I stain,
Thy fame and praise is far beyond my strain.
O Zutphen, Zutphen that most fatal City
Made famous by thy death, much more the pity:
Ah! in his blooming prime death pluckt this rose
E're he was ripe, his thread cut Atropos.
Thus man is born to dye, and dead is he,
Brave Hector, by the walls of Troy we see.
[Page 205]
O who was near thee but did sore repine
He rescued not with life that life of thine;
But yet impartial Fates this boon did give,
Though Sidney di'd his valiant name should live:
And live it doth in spight of death through fame,
Thus being overcome, he overcame.
Where is that envious tongue, but can afford
Of this our noble Scipio some good word.
Great Bartas this unto thy praise adds more,
In sad sweet verse, thou didst his death deplore.
And Phœnix Spencer doth unto his life,
His death present in sable to his wife.
Stella the fair, whose streams from Conduits fell
For the sad loss of her dear Astrophel.
Fain would I shew how he fame's paths did tread,
But now into such Lab'rinths I am lead,
With endless turnes, the way I find not out,
How to persist my Muse is more in doubt;
Which makes me now with Silvester confess,
But Sidney's Muse can sing his worthiness.
The Muses aid I crav'd, they had no will
To give to their Detractor any quill,
With high disdain, they said they gave no more,
Since Sidney had exhausted all their store.
They took from me the scribling pen I had,
(I to be eas'd of such a task was glad)
Then to reveng this wrong, themselves engage,
And drove me from Parnassus in a rage.
Then wonder not if I no better sped,
Since I the Muses thus have injured.
[Page 206]
I pensive for my fault sate down, and then
Errata through their leave, threw me my pen,
My Poem to conclude, two lines they deign
Which writ, she bad return't to them again;
So Sidneys fame I leave to Englands Rolls,
His bones do lie interr'd in stately Pauls.
 
His Epitaph.
 
Here lies in fame under this stone,
Philip and Alexander both in one;
Heir to the Muses, the Son of Mars in Truth,
Learning, Valour, Wisdome, all in virtuous youth,
His praise is much, this shall suffice my pen,
That Sidney dy'd 'mong most renown'd of men.

In honour of Du Bartas, 1641.

Among the happy wits this age hath shown
Great, dear, sweet Bartas thou art matchless known;
My ravished Eyes and heart with faltering tongue,
In humble wise have vow'd their service long,
But knowing th' task so great, & strength but small,
Gave o're the work before begun withal,
My dazled sight of late review'd thy lines,
Where Art, and more than Art, in nature shines,
Reflection from their beaming Altitude,
Did thaw my frozen hearts ingratitude;
[Page 207]
Which Rayes darting upon some richer ground
Had caused flours and fruits soon to abound;
But barren I, my Dasey here do bring,
A homely flour in this my latter Spring,
If Summer, or my Autumm age do yield,
Flours, fruits in Garden, Orchard, or in Field,
They shall be consecrated in my Verse,
And prostrate offered at great Bartas Herse;
My muse unto a child I may compare
Who sees the riches of some famous Fair,
He feeds his Eyes, but understanding lacks
To comprehend the worth of all those knacks:
The glittering plate and Jewels he admires,
The Hats and Fans, the Plumes and Ladies tires,
And thousand times his mazed mind doth wish
Some part (at least) of that brave wealth was his,
But seeing empty wishes nought obtain,
At night turns to his Mothers cot again,
And tells her tales, (his full heart over-glad)
Of all the glorious sights his Eyes have had;
But finds too soon his want of Eloquence,
The silly prattler speaks no word of sense;
But seeing utterance fail his great desires,
Sits down in silence, deeply he admires:
Thus weak brain'd I, reading thy lofty stile,
Thy profound learning, viewing other while;
Thy Art in natural Philosophy,
Thy Saint like mind in grave Divinity;
Thy piercing skill in high Astronomy,
And curious insight in Anatomy;
[Page 208]
Thy Physick, musick and state policy,
Valour in warr, in peace good husbandry,
Sure lib'ral Nature did with Art not small,
In all the arts make thee most liberal,
A thousand thousand times my senseless sences
Moveless stand charm'd by thy sweet influences;
More senseless then the stones to Amphious Lute,
Mine eyes are sightless, and my tongue is mute,
My full astonish'd heart doth pant to break,
Through grief it wants a faculty to speak;
Volleyes of praises could I eccho then,
Had I an Angels voice, or Bartas pen;
But wishes can't accomplish my desire,
Pardon if I adore, when I admire.
O France thou did'st in him more glory gain
Then in thy Martel, Pipin, Charlemain,
Then in St. Lewes, or thy last Henry Great,
Who tam'd his foes in warrs, in bloud and sweat,
Thy fame is spread as far, I dare be bold,
In all the Zones, the temp'rate, hot and cold,
Their Trophies were but heaps of wounded slain,
Thine, the quintessence of an heroick brain.
The oaken Garland ought to deck their brows,
Immortal Bayes to thee all men allows,
Who in thy tryumphs never won by wrongs,
Lead'st millions chained by eyes, by ears, by tongues
Oft have I wondred at the hand of heaven,
In giving one what would have served seven.
If e're this golden gift was showr'd on any,
Thy double portion would have served many.
[Page 209]
Unto each man his riches is assign'd
Of Name, of State, of Body and of Mind:
Thou hadst thy part of all, but of the last,
O pregnant brain, O comprehension vast;
Thy haughty Stile and rapted wit sublime
All ages wondring at, shall never climb,
Thy sacred works are not for imitation,
But Monuments to future Admiration,
Thus Bartas fame shall last while starrs do stand,
And whilst there's Air or Fire, or Sea or Land.
But least mine ignorance shall do thee wrong,
To celebrate thy merits in my Song.
I'le leave thy praise to those shall do thee right,
Good will, not skill, did cause me bring my Mite.
 
His Epitaph.
 
Here lyes the Pearle of France, Parnassus glory;
The World rejoyc'd at's birth, at's death was sorry,
Art and Nature joyn'd, by heavens high decree
Now shew'd what once they ought, Humanity:
And Natures Law, had it been revocable
To rescue him from death, Art had been able,
But Nature vanquish'd Art, so Bartas dy'd;
But Fame out-living both, he is reviv'd.
[Page 210]

In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess
Queen Elizabeth
OF HAPPY MEMORY.

The Proeme.
 
ALthough great Queen thou now in silence lye,
Yet thy loud Herald Fame doth to the sky
Thy wondrous worth proclaim in every Clime,
And so hath vow'd while there is world or time.
So great's thy glory and thine excellence,
The sound thereof rapts every humane sence,
That men account it no impiety,
To say thou wert a fleshly Diety.
Thousands bring offerings (though out of date)
Thy world of honours to accumulate,
'Mongst hundred Hecatombs of roaring verse,
Mine bleating stands before thy royal Herse.
Thou never didst nor canst thou now disdain
T' accept the tribute of a loyal brain.
Thy clemency did yerst esteem as much
The acclamations of the poor as rich,
Which makes me deem my rudeness is no wrong,
Though I resound thy praises 'mongst the throng.
[Page 211]
The Poem.
 
No Phœnix Pen, nor Spensers Poetry,
No Speeds, nor Cambdens learned History;
Eliza's works, warrs praise, can e're compact,
The World's the Theatre where she did act.
No memoryes, nor volumes can contain
The 'leven Olympiads of her happy reign:
Who was so good, so just, so learn'd so wise,
From all the Kings on earth she won the prize
Nor say I more then duly is her due,
Millions will testifie that this is true.
She hath wip'd off th' aspersion of her Sex,
That women wisdome lack to play the Rex:
Spain. Monarch sayes not so, nor yet his host:
She taught them better manners, to their cost
The Salique law, in force now had not been,
If France had ever hop'd for such a Queen.
But can you Doctors now this point dispute,
She's Argument enough to make you mute.
Since first the sun did run his nere run race,
And earth had once a year, a new old face,
Since time was time, and man unmanly man,
Come shew me such a Phœnix if you can?
Was ever people better rul'd then hers?
Was ever land more happy freed from stirrs?
Did ever wealth in England so abound?
Her victoryes in foreign Coasts resound,
Ships more invincible then Spain's her foe
She wrackt, she sackt, she sunk his Armado:
[Page 212]
Her stately troops advanc'd to Lisbons wall
Don Anthony in's right there to install.
She frankly helpt, Franks brave distressed King,
The States united now her fame do sing.
She their Protectrix was, they well do know,
Unto our dread Virago what they owe.
Her Nobles sacrific'd their noble blood,
Nor men nor Coyn she spar'd to do them good.
The rude untamed Irish, she did quel,
Before her picture the proud Tyrone fell.
Had ever prince such Counsellors as she?
Her self Minerva caus'd them so to be.
Such Captains and such souldiers never seen,
As were the Subjects of our Pallas Queen:
Her Sea-men through all straights the world did round,
Terra incognita might know the sound.
Her Drake came laden home with Spanish gold:
Her Essex took Cades, their Herculean Hold:
But time would fail me, so my wit would to,
To tell of half she did, or she could doe.
Semiramis to her, is but obscure,
More infamy then fame she did procure.
She built her glory but on Babels walls,
World's wonder for a while, but yet it falls.
Fierce Tomris (Cyrus heads-man) Scythians queen,
Had put her harness off, had she but seen
Our Amazon in th' Camp of Tilbury,
Judging all valour and all Majesty
Within that Princess to have residence,
And prostrate yielded to her excellence.
[Page 213]
Dido first Foundress of proud Carthage walls,
(Who living consummates her Funeralls),
A great Eliza, but compar'd with ours,
How vanisheth her glory, wealth, and powers.
Profuse proud Cleopatra, whose wrong name,
Instead of glory, prov'd her Countryes shame:
Of her what worth in Storyes to be seen,
But that she was a rich Egyptian Queen.
Zenobya potent Empress of the East,
And of all these, without compare the best,
Whom none but great Aurelius could quel;
Yet for our Queen is no fit Parallel.
She was a Phœnix Queen, so shall she be,
Her ashes not reviv'd, more Phœnix she.
Her personal perfections, who would tell,
Must dip his pen i' th' Heliconian well,
Which I may not, my pride doth but aspire
To read what others write, and so admire.
Now say, have women worth? or have they none?
Or had they some, but with our Queen is't gone?
Nay Masculines, you have thus taxt us long,
But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong.
Let such as say our Sex is void of Reason,
Know tis a Slander now, but once was Treason.
But happy England which had such a Queen;
Yea happy, happy, had those dayes still been;
But happiness lyes in a higher sphere,
Then wonder not Eliza moves not here:
Full fraught with honour, riches, and with dayes,
She set, she set, like Titan in his rayes.
[Page 214]
No more shall rise or set so glorious sun,
Untill the heavens great revolution.
If then new things their old forms shall retain,
Eliza shall rule Albion once again.
 
HER EPITAPH.
 
Here sleeps THE Queen, this is the royal Bed
Of th' Damask Rose, sprung from the white and red,
Whose sweet perfume fills the all-filling Air:
This Rose is wither'd, once so lovely fair.
On neither tree did grow such Rose before,
The greater was our gain, our loss the more.
 

Another.

 
Here lyes the pride of Queens, Pattern of Kings,
So blaze it Fame, here's feathers for thy wings.
Here lyes the envy'd, yet unparalled Prince,
Whose living virtues speak, (though dead long since).
If many worlds, as that Fantastic fram'd,
In every one be her great glory fam'd.
[Page 215]

Davids Lamentation for
Saul and Jonathan.

2. Sam. I. 19.
ALas slain is the Head of Israel,
Illustrious Saul whose beauty did excell,
Upon thy places mountainous and high,
How did the Mighty fall, and falling dye?
In Gath let not this things be spoken on,
Nor published in streets of Askalon,
Lest daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
Lest the uncircumcis'd lift up their voice.
O Gilbo Mounts, let never pearled dew,
Nor fruitful showres your barren tops bestrew,
Nor fields of offrings ever on you grow,
Nor any pleasant thing e're may you show;
For there the Mighty Ones did soon decay,
The shield of Saul was vilely cast away.
There had his dignity so sore a foyle,
As if his head ne're felt the sacred oyl.
Sometimes from crimson blood of gastly slain,
The bow of Jonathan ne're turn'd in vain:
Nor from the fat, and spoils of Mighty men
With bloodless sword did Saul turn back agen.
[Page 216]
Pleasant and lovely, were they both in life,
And in their death were founnd no parting strife.
Swifter then swiftest Eagles so were they,
Stronger then Lions ramping for their prey.
O Israels Dames, o'reflow your beauteous eyes
For valiant Saul, who on mount Gilbo lyes,
Who cloathed you in Cloath of richest Dye,
And choice delights, full of variety,
On your array put ornaments of gold,
Which made you yet more beauteous to behold.
O! how in Battle did the mighty fall
In midst of strength not succoured at all.
O lovely Jonathan! how wast thou slain?
In places high, full low thou didst remain.
Distress'd for thee I am, dear Jonathan,
Thy love was wonderfull, surpassing man,
Exceeding all the love that's Feminine,
So pleasant hast thou been, dear brother mine.
How are the mighty fall'n into decay?
And warlike weapons perished away?
[Page 217]

To the Memory of my dear and ever honoured Father,
Thomas Dudley; Esq.
Who deceased, July 31. 1653. and of his Age, 77.

BY duty bound, and not by custome led
To celebrate the praises of the dead,
My mournfull mind, sore prest, in trembling verse
Presents my Lamentations at his Herse,
Who was my Father, Guide, Instructor too,
To whom I ought whatever I could doe:
Nor is't Relation near my hand shall tye;
For who more cause to boast his worth then I?
Who heard or saw, observ'd or knew him better?
Or who alive then I, a greater debtor?
Let malice bite, and envy knaw its fill,
He was my Father, and Ile praise him still.
Nor was his name, or life lead so obscure
That pitty might some Trumpeters procure.
Who after death might make him falsly seem
Such as in life, no man could justly deem.
Well known and lov'd, where ere he liv'd, by most
Both in his native, and in foreign coast,
These to the world his merits could make known,
So needs no Testimonial from his own;
But now or never I must pay my Sum;
While others tell his worth, I'le not be dumb:
[Page 218]
One of thy Founders, him New-England know,
Who staid thy feeble sides when thou wast low.
Who spent his state, his strength, & years with care
That After-comers in them might have share,
True Patriot of this little Commonweal,
Who is't can tax thee ought, but for thy zeal?
Truths friend thou wert, to errors still a foe,
Which caus'd Apostates to maligne so.
Thy love to true Religion e're shall shine,
My Fathers God, be God of me and mine,
Upon the earth he did not build his nest,
But as a Pilgrim what he had, possest,
High thoughts he gave no harbour in his heart,
Nor honours pufft him up, when he had part:
Those titles loath'd, which some too much do love
For truly his ambition lay above.
His humble mind so lov'd humility,
He left it to his race for Legacy:
And oft and oft, with speeches mild and wise,
Gave his in charge, that Jewel rich to prize.
No ostentation seen in all his wayes,
As in the mean ones, of our foolish dayes,
Which all they have, and more still set to view,
Their greatness may be judg'd by what they shew.
His thoughts were more sublime, his actions wise,
Such vanityes he justly did despise.
Nor wonder 'twas, low things ne'r much did move
For he a Mansion had, prepar'd above,
For which he sigh'd and pray'd & long'd full sore
He might be cloath'd upon, for evermore.
[Page 219]
Oft spake of death, and with a smiling chear,
He did exult his end was drawing near,
Now fully ripe, as shock of wheat that's grown,
Death as a Sickle hath him timely mown,
And in celestial Barn hath hous'd him high,
Where storms, nor showrs, nor ought can damnifie.
His Generation serv'd his labours cease;
And to his Fathers gathered is in peace.
Ah happy Soul, 'mongst Saints and Angels blest,
Who after all his toyle, is now at rest:
His hoary head in righteousness was found;
As joy in heaven on earth let praise resound.
Forgotten never be his memory,
His blessing rest on his posterity:
His pious Footsteps followed by his race,
At last will bring us to that happy place
Where we with joy each other's face shall see,
And parted more by death shall never be.
 
His Epitaph.
 
Within this Tomb a Patriot lyes
That was both pious, just and wise,
To Truth a shield, to right a Wall,
To Sectaryes a whip and Maul,
A Magazine of History,
A Prizer of good Company
In manners pleasant and severe
The Good him lov'd, the bad did fear,
And when his time with years was spent
If some rejoyc'd, more did lament.
[Page 220]

An EPITAPH
On my dear and ever honoured Mother
Mrs. Dorothy Dudley,
Who deceased Decemb. 27. 1643. and of her age, 61.

Here lyes,
A worthy Matron of unspotted life,
A loving Mother and obedient wife,
A friendly Neighbor, pitiful to poor,
Whom oft she fed, and clothed with her store;
To Servants wisely aweful, but yet kind,
And as they did, so they reward did find:
A true Instructer of her Family,
The which she ordered with dexterity.
The publick meetings ever did frequent,
And in her Closet constant hours she spent;
Religious in all her words and wayes,
Preparing still for death, till end of dayes:
Of all her Children, Children, liv'd to see,
Then dying, left a blessed memory.
[Page 221]

CONTEMPLATIONS.

Sometime now past in the Autumnal Tide,
When Phœbus wanted but one hour to bed,
The trees all richly clad, yet void of pride,
Were gilded o're by his rich golden head.
Their leaves & fruits seem'd painted, but was true
Of green, of red, of yellow, mixed hew,
Rapt were my sences at this delectable view.
2
I wist not what to wish, yet sure thought I,
If so much excellence abide below,
How excellent is he that dwells on high?
Whose power and beauty by his works we know.
Sure he is goodness, wisdome, glory, light,
That hath this under world so richly dight:
More Heaven then Earth was here, no winter & no night.
3
Then on a stately Oak I cast mine Eye,
Whose ruffling top the Clouds seem'd to aspire.
How long since thou wast in thine Infancy?
Thy strength, and stature, more thy years admire,
Hath hundred winters past since thou wast born,
Or thousand since thou brakest thy shell of horn,
If so, all these as nought, Eternity doth scorn.
[Page 222]
4
Then higher on the glistering Sun I gaz'd,
Whose beams was shaded by the leavie Tree.
The more I look'd, the more I grew amaz'd
And softly said, what glory's like to thee?
Soul of this world, this Universes Eye,
No wonder, some made thee a Deity:
Had I not better known, (alas) the same had I.
5
Thou as a Bridegroom from thy Chamber rushes
And as a strong man, joyes to run a race,
The morn doth usher thee, with smiles & blushes.
The Earth reflects her glances in thy face.
Birds, insects, Animals with Vegative,
Thy heart from death and dulness doth revive;
And in the darksome womb of fruitful nature dive.
6
Thy swift Annual, and diurnal Course,
Thy daily streight, and yearly oblique path,
Thy pleasing fervor, and thy scorching force,
All mortals here the feeling knowledg hath
Thy presence makes it day, thy absence night,
Quaternal Seasons caused by thy might:
Hail Creature, full of sweetness, beauty & delight.
7
Art thou so full of glory, that no Eye
Hath strength, thy shining Rayes once to behold?
And is thy splendid Throne erect so high?
As to approach it, can no earthly mould.
How full of glory then must thy Creator be?
Who gave this bright light luster unto thee:
Admir'd, ador'd for ever, be that Majesty.
[Page 223]
8
Silent alone, where none or saw, or heard,
In pathless paths I lead my wandring feet,
My humble Eyes to lofty Skyes I rear'd
To sing some Song, my mazed Muse thought meet.
My great Creator I would magnifie,
That nature had, thus decked liberally:
But Ah, and Ah, again, my imbecility!
9
I heard the merry grasshopper then sing,
The black clad Cricket, bear a second part,
They kept one tune, and played on the same string,
Seeming to glory in their little Art.
Shall Creatures abject, thus their voices raise?
And in their kind resound their makers praise:
Whilst I as mute, can warble forth no higher layes.
10
When present times look back to Ages past,
And men in being fancy those are dead,
It makes things gone perpetually to last
And calls back moneths and years that long since fled
It makes a man more aged in conceit,
Then was Methuselah or's grand-sire great:
While of their persons & their acts his mind doth treat.
11
Sometimes in Eden fair, he seems to be,
Sees glorious Adam there made Lord of all,
Fancies the Apple, dangle on the Tree,
That turn'd his Sovereign to a naked thral.
Who like a miscreant's driven from that place,
To get his bread with pain, and sweat of face:
A penalty impos'd on his backsliding Race.
[Page 224]
12
Here sits our Grandame in retired place,
And in her lap, her bloody Cain new born,
The weeping Imp oft looks her in the face,
Bewails his unknown hap, and fate forlorn;
His Mother sighs, to think of Paradise,
And how she lost her bliss, to be more wise,
Believing him that was, and is, Father of lyes.
13
Here Cain and Abel come to sacrifice,
Fruits of the Earth; and Fatlings each do bring,
On Abels gift the fire descends from Skies,
But no such sign on false Cain's offering;
With sullen hateful looks he goes his wayes,
Hath thousand thoughts to end his brothers dayes,
Upon whose blood his future good he hopes to raise.
14
There Abel keeps his sheep, no ill he thinks,
His brother comes, then acts his fratricide,
The Virgin Earth of blood her first draught drinks
But since that time she often hath been cloy'd;
The wretch with gastly face and dreadful mind,
Thinks each he sees will serve him in his kind,
Though none on Earth but kindred near then could he find.
15
Who fancyes not his looks now at the Barr,
His face like death, his heart with horror fraught,
Nor Male-factor ever felt like warr,
When deep dispair, with wish of life hath fought,
Branded with guilt, and crusht with treble woes,
A Vagabond to Land of Nod he goes,
A City builds, that walls might him secure from foes.
[Page 225]
16
Who thinks not oft upon the Father's ages.
Their long descent how nephews sons they saw,
The starry observations of those Sages,
And how their precepts to their sons were law,
How Adam sighed to see his Progeny,
Cloath'd all in his black, sinfull Livery,
Who neither guilt, not yet the punishment could fly.
17
Our Life compare we with their length of dayes
Who to the tenth of theirs doth now arrive?
And though thus short, we shorten many wayes,
Living so little while we are alive;
In eating, drinking, sleeping, vain delight
So unawares comes on perpetual night,
And puts all pleasures vain unto eternal flight.
18
When I behold the heavens as in their prime
And then the earth (though old) still clad in green,
The stones and trees, insensible of time,
Nor age nor wrinkle on their front are seen;
If winter come and greeness then do fade,
A Spring returns, and they more youthfull made,
But Man grows old, lies down, remains where once he's laid.
19
By birth more noble then those creatures all,
Yet seems by nature and by custome curs'd,
No sooner born, but grief and care makes fall
That state obliterate he had at first:
Nor youth, nor strength, nor wisdom spring again,
Nor habitations long their names retain,
But in oblivion to the final day remain.
[Page 226]
20
Shall I then praise the heavens the trees, the earth
Because their beauty and their strength last longer
Shall I wish there, or never to had birth,
Because they're bigger, & their bodyes stronger?
Nay, they shall darken, perish, fade and dye,
And when unmade, so ever shall they lye.
But man was made for endless immortality.
21
Under the cooling shadow of a stately Elm
Close sate I by a goodly Rivers side,
Where gliding streams the Rocks did overwhelm;
A lonely place, with pleasures dignifi'd.
I once that lov'd the shady woods so well,
Now thought the rivers did the trees excel,
And if the sun would ever shine, there would I dwell.
22
While on the stealing stream I fixt mine eye
Which to the long'd for Ocean held its course,
I markt, nor crooks, nor rubs that there did lye
Could hinder ought, but still augment its force.
O happy Flood, quoth I, that holds thy race
Till thou arrive at thy beloved place,
Nor is it rocks or shoals that can obstruct thy pace.
23
Nor is't enough, that thou alone may'st slide,
But hundred brooks in thy cleer waves do meet,
So hand in hand along with thee they glide
To Thetis house, where all imbrace and greet:
Thou Emblem true, of what I count the best,
O could I lead my Rivolets to rest,
So may we press to that vast mansion, ever blest.
[Page 227]
24
Ye Fish which in this liquid Region 'bide
That for each season, have your habitation,
Now salt, now fresh where you think best to glide
To unknown coasts to give a visitation,
In Lakes and ponds, you leave your numerous fry,
So nature taught and yet you know not why,
You watry folk that know not your felicity.
25
Look how the wantons frisk to tast the air,
Then to the colder bottome streight they dive,
Eftsoon to Neptun's glassie Hall repair
To see what trade they great ones there do drive,
Who forrage o're the spacious sea-green field
And take the trembling prey before it yield,
Whose armour is their scales, their spreading fins their shield.
26
While musing thus with contemplation fed,
And thousand fancies buzzing in my brain,
The sweet-tongu'd Philomel percht o're my head,
And chanted forth a most melodious strain
Which rapt me so with wonder and delight,
I judg's my hearing better then my sight,
And wisht me wings with her a while to take my flight.
27
O merry Bird (said I) that fears no snares,
That neither toyls nor hoards up in thy barn,
Feels no sad thoughts, nor cruciating cares
To gain more good, or shun what might thee harm
Thy cloaths ne're wear, thy meat is everywhere,
Thy bed a bough, thy drink the water cleer,
Reminds not what is past, nor whats to come dost fear.
[Page 228]
28
The dawning morn with songs thou dost prevent,
Sets hundred notes unto thy feathered crew,
So each one tunes his pretty instrument,
And warbling out the old, begin anew,
And thus they pass their youth in summer season,
Then follow thee into a better Region,
Where winter's never felt by that sweet airy legion.
29
Man at the best a creature frail and vain,
In knowledg ignorant, in strength but weak,
Subject to sorrows, losses, sickness, pain,
Each storm his state, his mind, his body break.
From some of these he never finds cessation,
But day or night, within, without, vexation,
Troubles from foes, from friends, from dearest, near'st Relation.
30
And yet this sinfull creature, frail and vain,
This lump of wretchedness, of sin and sorrow,
This weather-beaten vessel wrackt with pain,
Joyes not in hope of an eternal morrow.
Nor all his losses, crosses, and vexation,
In weight, in frequency and long duration
Can make him deeply groan for that divine Translation.
31
The Mariner that on smooth waves doth glide,
Sings merrily, and steers his Barque with ease,
As if he had command of wind and tide,
And now becomes great Master of the seas;
But suddenly a storm spoiles all the sport.
And makes him long for a more quiet port.
Which 'gainst all adverse winds may serve for fort.
[Page 229]
32
So he that faileth in this world of pleasure,
Feeding on sweets, that never bit of th' sowre,
That's full of friends, of honour and of treasure,
Fond fool, he takes this earth ev'n for heav'ns bower.
But sad affliction comes & makes him see
Here's neither honour, wealth, nor safety.
Only above is found all with security.
33
O Time the fatal wrack of mortal things,
That draws oblivions curtains over kings,
Their sumptuous monuments, men know them not;
Their names without a Record are forgot.
Their parts, their ports, their pomp's all laid in th' dust
Nor wit nor gold, nor buildings scape times rust,
But he whose name is grav'd in the white stone
Shall last and shine when all of these are gone.

The Flesh and the Spirit.

IN secret place where once I stood
Close by the Banks of Lacrim flood
I heard two sisters reason on
Things that are past, and things to come;
One flesh was call'd, who had her eye
On worldly wealth and vanity;
The other Spirit, who did rear
Her thoughts unto a higher sphere:
Sister, quoth Flesh, what liv'st thou on
Nothing but Meditation?
[Page 230]
Doth Contemplation feed thee so
Regardlessly to let earth goe?
Can Speculation satisfy
Notion without Reality?
Dost dream of things beyond the Moon
And dost thou hope to dwell there soon?
Hast treasures there laid up in store
That all in th' world thou count'st but poor?
Art fancy-sick or turn'd a Sot
To catch at shadows which are not?
Come, come, Ile show unto thy sence,
Industry hath its recompence.
What canst desire, but thou maist see
True substance in variety?
Dost honour like? acquire the same,
As some to their immortal fame:
And trophyes to thy name erect
Which wearing time shall ne're deject.
For riches dost thou long full sore?
Behold enough of precious store.
Earth hath more silver, pearls and gold
Then eyes can see, or hands can hold.
Affect's thou pleasure? take thy fill,
Earth hath enough of what you will.
Then let not goe what thou maist find,
For things unknown, only in mind.
Spir. Be still thou unregenerete part,
Disturb no more my setled heart,
For I have vow'd, (and so will doe)
Thee as a foe, still to pursue.
[Page 231]
And combate with thee will and must,
Untill I see thee laid in th' dust.
Sisters we are, ye twins we be
Yet deadly feud twixt thee and me;
For from one father are we not,
Thou by old Adam wast begot,
But my arise is from above
Whence my dear father I do love.
Thou speak'st me fair but hat'st me sore;
Thy flatt'ring shews Ile trust no more.
How oft thy slave, hast thou me made,
When I believ'd, what thou hast said,
And never had more cause of woe
Then when I did what thou bad'st doe.
Ile stop mine ears at these thy charms
And count them for my deadly harms.
Thy sinfull pleasures I doe hate,
Thy riches are to me no bait,
Thine honours doe, nor will I love;
For my ambition lies above.
My greatest honour it shall be
When I am victor over thee,
And triumph shall, with laurel head,
When thou my Captive shalt be led,
How I do live, thou need'st not scoff,
For I have meat thou know'st not of;
The hidden Manna I doe eat;
The word of life it is my meat.
My thoughts do yield me more content
Then can thy hours in pleasure spent.
[Page 232]
Nor are they shadows which I catch,
Nor fancies vain at which I snatch.
But reach at things that are so high,
Beyond thy dull Capacity;
Eternal substance I do see,
With which inriched I would be:
Mine Eye doth pierce the heavens, and see
What is Invisible to thee.
My garments are not silk nor gold,
Nor such like trash which Earth doth hold,
But Royal Robes I shall have on,
More glorious then the glistring Sun;
My Crown not Diamonds, Pearls, and gold,
But such as Angels heads infold.
The City where I hope to dwell,
There's none on Earth can parallel;
The stately Walls both high and strong,
Are made of precious Jasper stone,
The Gates of Pearl, both rich and clear,
And Angels are for Porters there;
The Streets thereof transparent gold,
Such as no Eye did e're behold,
A Chrystal River there doth run,
Which doth proceed from the Lambs Throne:
Of Life, there are the waters sure,
Which shall remain for ever pure,
Nor Sun, nor Moon, they have no need,
For glory doth from God proceed:
No Candle there, nor yet Torch light,
For there shall be no darksome night.
[Page 233]
From sickness and infirmity,
For evermore they shall be free,
Nor withering age shall e're come there,
But beauty shall be bright and clear.
This City pure is not for thee,
For things unclean there shall not be:
If I of Heaven may have my fill,
Take thou the world, and all that will.

The Vanity of all worldly things.

AS he said vanity, so vain say I,
Oh! vanity, O vain all under Sky;
Where is the man can say, lo, I have found
On brittle Earth a Consolation sound?
What is't in honour to be set on high?
No, they like Beasts and Sons of men shall dye,
And whil'st they live, how oft doth turn their fate;
He's now a captive that was King of late.
What is't in wealth, great Treasures to obtain?
No that's but labour, anxious care and pain.
He heaps up riches, and he heaps up sorrow,
It's his to day, but who's his heir to morrow?
What then? Content in pleasures canst thou find,
More vain then all, that's but to grasp the wind.
The sensual senses for a time they please.
Mean while the conscience rage, who shall appease?
[Page 234]
What is't in beauty? No that's but a snare,
They're foul enough to day, that once were fair.
What is't in flowring youth, or manly age?
The first is prone to vice, the last to rage.
Where is it then, in wisdom, learning, arts?
Sure if on earth, it must be in those parts:
Yet these the wisest man of men did find
But vanity, vexation of mind.
And he that knowes the most, doth still bemoan
He knows not all that here is to be known.
What is it then, to doe as Stoicks tell,
Nor laugh, nor weep, let things go ill or well.
Such Stoicks are but Stocks such teaching vain,
While man is man, he shall have ease or pain.
If not in honour beauty, age nor treasure,
Nor yet in learning wisdome youth nor pleasure,
Where shall I climb, sound, seek search or find
That Summum bonum which may stay my mind?
There is a path, no vultures eye hath seen,
Where Lion fierce, nor lions whelps have been,
Which leads unto that living Crystal Fount,
Who drinks thereof, the world doth naught account.
The depth & sea have said tis not in me,
With pearl and gold, it shall not valued be.
For Saphire, Onix, Topaz who would change:
Its hid from eyes of men, they count it strange.
Death and destruction the fame hath heard,
But where & what it is, from heaven's declar'd,
It brings to honour which shall ne're decay.
It stores with wealth which time can't wear away.
[Page 235]
It yieldeth pleasures far beyond conceit,
And truly beautifies without deceit.
Nor strength, nor wisdome nor fresh youth shall fade,
Nor death shall see, but are immortal made.
This pearl of price, this tree of life, this spring
Who is possessed of, shall reign a King.
Nor change of state, nor cares shall ever see,
But wear his crown unto eternity.
This satiates the Soul, this stays the mind,
And all the rest, but Vanity we find.
 

FINIS


[Page 236]

The Author to her Book.

THou ill-form'd offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did'st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise then true
Who thee abroad, expos'd to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th' press to trudg,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg)
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash'd thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run'st more hobling then is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i' th' house I find
In this array, 'mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam
In Criticks hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy Mother she alas is poor,
Which caus'd her thus to send thee out of door.
[Page 237]

Several other Poems made by the Author upon
Divers Occasions, were found among her Papers
after her Death, which she never meant should
come to publick view; amongst which, these
following (at the desire of some friends
that knew her well) are here inserted

 

Upon a Fit of Sickness, Anno 1632.
Ætatis Suæ, 19.

TWice ten years old, not fully told
   Since nature gave me breath,
My race is run, my thread spun,
   lo, here is fatal Death.
All men must dye, and so must I
   this cannot be revok'd
For Adams sake, this word God spake
   when he so high provok'd.
Yet live I shall, this life's but small,
   in place of highest bliss,
Where I shall have all I can crave,
   no life is like to this.
For what's this life, but care and strife?
   since first we came from womb.
Our strength doth waste, our time doth hast,
   and then we go to th' Tomb.
[Page 238]
O Bubble blast, how long can'st last?
   that always art a breaking,
No sooner blown, but dead and gone,
   ev'n as a word that's speaking.
O whil'st I live this grace me give,
   I doing good may be
Then death's arrest I shall count best,
   because it's thy decree;
Bestow much cost there's nothing lost,
   to make Salvation sure.
O great's the gain, though got with pain,
   comes by profession pure.
The race is run, the field is won,
   the victory's mine I see,
For ever know, thou envious foe,
   the foyle belongs to thee.

Upon some distemper of body

In anguish of my heart repleat with woes,
And wasting pains, which best my body knows,
In tossing slumbers on my wakeful bed,
Bedrencht with tears that flow'd from mournful head
Till nature had exhausted all her store,
Then eyes lay dry, disabled to weep more;
And looking up unto his Throne on high,
Who sendeth help to those in misery,
He chac'd away those clouds, and let me see
My Anchor cast i'th' vale with safety.
He eas'd my Soul of woe, my flesh of pain,
And brought me to the shore from troubled Main.
[Page 239]

Before the Birth of one of her Children.

All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joyes attend;
No tyes so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,
But with deaths parting blow is sure to meet.
The sentence past is most irrevocable,
A common thing, yet oh, inevitable.
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend.
How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend,
We both are ignorant, yet love bids me
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,
That when that knot's unty'd that made us one,
I may seem thine, who in effect am none.
And if I see not half my days that's due,
What nature would, God grant to yours and you;
The many faults that well you know I have
Let be interr'd in my oblivious grave,
If any worth or virtue were in me,
Let that live freshly in thy memory
And when thou feel'st no grief, as I no harms,
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms.
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains
Look to my little babes my dear remains.
And if thou love thyself, or loved'st me,
These O protect from step Dames injury.
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honour my absent Herse;
And kiss this paper for thy loves dear sake,
Who with salt tears this last Farewel did take.
A. B.
[Page 240]

To my Dear and loving Husband.

IF ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee,
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
I prize thy love more then whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold,
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold I pray.
Then while we live, in love lets so persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

A Letter to her Husband, absent upon
Publick employment.

My head, my heart, mine Eyes, my life, nay more,
My joy, my Magazine of earthly store,
If two be one, as surely thou and I,
How stayest thou there, whilst I at Ipswich lye?
So many steps, head from the heart to sever
If but a neck, soon should we be together:
I like the Earth this season, mourn in black,
My Sun is gone so far in's Zodiack,
Whom whilst I 'joy'd, nor storms, nor frost I felt,
His warmth such frigid colds did cause to melt.
My chilled limbs now nummed lye forlorn;
Return; return, sweet Sol from Capricorn,
[Page 241]
In this dead time, alas, what can I more
Then view those fruits which through thy heat I bore?
Which sweet contentment yield me for a space,
True living Pictures of their Fathers face.
O strange effect! now thou art Southward gone,
I weary grow, the tedious day so long;
But when thou Northward to me shalt return,
I wish my Sun may never set, but burn
Within the Cancer of my glowing breast,
The welcome house of him my dearest guest.
Where ever, ever stay, and go not thence,
Till natures sad decree shall call thee hence;
Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone,
I here, thou there, yet both but one.
A. B.

Another.

Phœbus make haste, the day's too long, be gone,
The silent night's the fittest time for moan;
But stay this once, unto my suit give ear,
And tell my griefs in either Hemisphere.
(And if the whirling of thy wheels don't drown'd)
The woful accents of my doleful sound,
If in thy swift Carrier thou canst make stay,
I crave this boon, this Errand by the way,
Commend me to the man more lov'd then life,
Show him the sorrows of his widdowed wife;
My dumpish thoughts, my groans, my brakish tears
My sobs, my longing hopes, my doubting fears,
And if he love, how can he there abide?
My Interest's more then all the world beside.
[Page 242]
He that can tell the starrs or Ocean sand,
Or all the grass that in the Meads do stand,
The leaves in th' woods, the hail or drops of rain,
Or in a corn-field number every grain.
Or every mote that in the sun-shine hops,
May count my sighs, and number all my drops:
Tell him, the countless steps that thou dost trace.
That once a day, thy Spouse thou mayst imbrace;
And when thou canst not treat by loving mouth,
Thy rayes afar, salute her from the south.
But for one moneth I see no day (poor soul)
Like those far scituate under the pole,
Which day by day long wait for thy arise,
O how they joy when thou dost light the skyes.
O Phœbus, hadst thou but thus long from thine
Restrain'd the beams of thy beloved shine,
At thy return, if so thou could'st or durst,
Behold a Chaos blacker than the first.
Tell him here's worse then a confused matter,
His little world's a fathom under water,
Nought but the fervor of his ardent beams
Hath power to dry the torrent of these streams.
Tell him I would say more, but cannot well,
Oppressed minds, abruptest tales do tell.
Now post with double speed, mark what I say,
By all our loves conjure him not to stay.
[Page 243]

Another.

As loving Hind that (Hartless) wants her Deer,
Scuds through the woods and Fern with harkning ear,
Perplext, in every bush & nook doth pry,
Her dearest Deer might answer ear or eye;
So doth my anxious soul, which now doth miss,
A dearer Dear (far dearer Heart) then this.
Still wait with doubts, & hopes, and failing eye,
His voice to hear, or person to discry.
Or as the pensive Dove doth all alone
(On withered bough) most uncouthly bemoan
The absence of her Love and loving Mate,
Whose loss hath made her so unfortunate:
Ev'n thus doe I, with many a deep sad groan
Bewail my turtle true, who now is gone,
His presence and his safe return still wooes,
With thousand dolefull sighs & mournful Cooes.
Or as the loving Mullet, that true Fish,
Her fellow lost, nor joy nor life do wish,
But lanches on that shore, there for to dye,
Where she her captive husband doth espy.
Mine being gone, I lead a joyless life,
I have a loving phere, yet seem no wife:
But worst of all, to him can't steer my course,
I here, he there, alas, both kept by force:
Return my Dear, my joy, my only Love,
Unto thy Hinde, thy Mullet and thy Dove,
Who neither joyes in pasture, house nor streams,
The substance gone, O me, these are but dreams.
[Page 244]
Together at one Tree, oh let us brouze,
And like two Turtles roost within one house,
And like the Mullets in one River glide,
Let's still remain but one, till death divide.
 
{ Thy loving Love and Dearest Dear,
At home, abroad, and everywhere.
 A. B.

To her Father with some verses.

MOst truly honoured, and as truly dear,
If worth in me, or ought I do appear,
Who can of right better demand the same?
Then may your worthy self from whom it came.
The principle might yield a greater sum,
Yet handled ill, amounts but to this crum,
My stock's so small, I know not how to pay,
My Bond remains in force unto this day;
Yet for part payment take this simple mite.
Where nothing's to be had Kings loose their right
Such is my debt, I may not say forgive,
But as I can, I'le pay it while I live:
Such is my bond, none can discharge but I,
Yet paying is not payd until I dye.
A. B.
[Page 245]

In reference to her Children, 23. June, 1659.

I Had eight birds hatcht in one nest,
Four Cocks there were, and Hens the rest.
I nurst them up with pain and care,
Nor cost, nor labour did I spare,
Till at the last they felt their wing
Mounted the Trees, and learn'd to sing;
Chief of the Brood then took his flight,
To Regions far and left me quite:
My mournful chirps I after send,
Till he return, or I do end.
Leave not thy nest, thy Dam and Sire,
Fly back and sing amidst this Quire.
My second bird did take her flight,
And with her mate flew out of sight;
Southward they both their course did bend,
And Seasons twain they there did spend:
Till after blown by Southern gales,
They Norward steer'd with filled sayles.
A prettier bird was no where seen,
Along the Beach among the treen.
I have a third of colour white,
On whom I plac'd no small delight;
Coupled with mate loving and true,
Hath also bid her Dam adieu;
And where Aurora first appears,
She now hath percht, to spend her years;
[Page 246]
One to the Academy flew
To chat among that learned crew;
Ambition moves still in his breast
That he might chant above the rest,
Striving for more then to do well,
That nightingales he might excell.
My fifth, whose down is yet scarce gone,
Is 'mongst the shrubs and bushes flown,
And as his wings increase in strength,
On higher boughs he'l perch at length.
My other three, still with me nest,
Untill they'r grown, then as the rest,
Or here or there, they'l take their flight,
As is ordain'd, so shall they light.
If birds could weep, then would my tears
Let others know what are my fears
Lest this my brood some harm should catch,
And be surpriz'd for want of watch,
Whilst pecking corn, and void of care,
They fall un'wares in Fowlers snare:
Or whilst on trees they sit and sing,
Some untoward boy at them do fling:
Or whilst allur'd with bell and glass,
The net be spread, and caught, alas,
Or least by Lime twigs they be foyl'd,
Or by some greedy hawks be spoyl'd.
O would my young, ye saw my breast,
And knew what thoughts there sadly rest,
Great was my pain when I you bred,
Great was my care, when I you fed,
[Page 247]
Long did I keep you soft and warm,
And with my wings kept off all harm,
My cares are more, and fears then ever,
My throbs such now, as 'fore were never:
Alas my birds, you wisdome want,
Of perils you are ignorant;
Oft times in grass, on trees, in flight,
Sore accidents on you may light.
O to your safety have an eye,
So happy may you live and die:
Mean while my dayes in tunes I'le spend,
Till my weak layes with me shall end.
In shady woods I'le sit and sing,
And things that past, to mind I'le bring.
Once young and pleasant, as are you,
But former toyes (no joyes) adieu.
My age I will not once lament,
But sing, my time so near is spent.
And from the top bough take my flight,
Into a country beyond sight,
Where old ones, instantly grow young,
And there with Seraphims set song;
No seasons cold, nor storms they see;
But spring lasts to eternity.
When each of you shall in your nest
Among your young ones take your rest,
In chirping language, oft them tell,
You had a Dam that lov'd you well,
That did what could be done for young,
And nurst you up till you were strong,
[Page 248]
And 'fore she once would let you fly,
She shew'd you joy and misery;
Taught what was good, and what was ill,
What would save life, and what would kill?
Thus gone, amongst you I may live,
And dead, yet speak, and counsel give:
Farewel my birds, farewel adieu,
I happy am, if well with you.
A. B.

In memory of my dear grand-child Elizabeth
Bradstreet, who deceased August, 1665,
being a year and half old.

FArewel dear babe, my hearts too much content,
Farewel sweet babe, the pleasure of mine eye,
Farewel fair flower that for a space was lent,
Then ta'en away unto Eternity.
Blest babe why should I once bewail thy fate,
Or sigh the dayes so soon were terminate;
Sith thou art setled in an Everlasting state.
2.
By nature Trees do rot when they are grown,
And Plumbs and Apples throughly ripe do fall,
And Corn and grass are in their season mown,
And time brings down what is both strong and tall.
But plants new set to be eradicate,
And buds new blown to have so short a date,
Is by his hand alone that guides nature and fate.
[Page 249]

In memory of my dear grand child
Anne Bradstreet.
Who deceased June 20, 1669, being three years and
seven Months old.

WIth troubled heart & trembling hand I write,
The Heavens have chang'd to sorrow my delight.
How oft with disappointment have I met,
When I on fading things my hopes have set?
Experience might 'fore this have made me wise,
To value things according to their price:
Was ever stable joy yet found below?
Or perfect bliss without mixture of woe.
I knew she was but as a withering flour,
That's here to day perhaps gone in an hour;
Like as a bubble, or the brittle glass,
Or like a shadow turning as it was.
More fool then I to look on that was lent,
As if mine own, when thus impermanent.
Farewel dear child, thou ne re shall come to me,
But yet a while and I shall go to thee.
Mean time my throbbing heart's chear'd up with this
Thou with thy Saviour art in endless bliss.
[Page 250]

On my dear Grand-child Simon Bradstreet,
Who dyed on 16. Novemb. 1669. being but
a moneth, and one day old.

No sooner come, but gone, and fal'n asleep,
Acquaintance short, yet parting caus'd us weep.
Three flours, two scarcely blown, the last i'th' bud,
Cropt by th' Almighties hand; yet is he good,
With dreadful awe before him let's be mute,
Such was his will, but why, let's not dispute,
With humble hearts and mouths put in the dust,
Let's say he's merciful as well as just.
He will return, and make up all our losses,
And smile again, after our bitter crosses.
Go pretty babe go rest with Sisters twain
Among the blest in endless joyes remain.

To  the  memory  of  my dear  Daughter-in-Law,
Mrs. Mercy Bradstreet, who deceased
Sept. 6,
1669, in the 28. year of her Age.

And live I still to see relations gone,
And yet survive to sound this wailing tone;
Ah, woe is me, to write thy Funeral Song,
Who might in reason yet have lived long,
I saw the branches lopt the Tree now fall,
I stood so nigh, it crusht me down withal;
My bruised heart lies sobbing at the Root,
That thou dear Son hath lost both Tree and fruit:
Thou then on Seas sailing to forreign Coast;
Was ignorant what riches thou hadst lost.
[Page 251]
But ah too soon those heavy tydings fly,
To strike thee with amazing misery;
Oh how I simpathize with thy sad heart,
And in thy griefs still bear a second part:
I lost a daughter dear, but thou a wife,
Who lov'd thee more (it seem'd) then her own life.
Thou being gone, she longer could not be,
Because her Soul she'd sent along with thee.
One week she only past in pain and woe,
And then her sorrows all at once did go;
A Babe she left before, she soar'd above,
The fifth and last pledge of her dying love,
E're nature would, it hither did arrive,
No wonder it no longer did survive.
So, with her Children four, she's now at rest,
All freed from grief (I trust) among the blest;
She one hath left, a joy to thee and me,
The Heavens vouchsafe she may so ever be.
Chear up, (dear Son) thy fainting bleeding heart,
In him alone, that caused all this smart;
What though thy strokes full sad & grievous be,
He knows it is the best for thee and me.
A. B.
[Page 252]

A Funeral Elogy.

Upon that Pattern and Patron of Virtue, the
truely pious, peerless & matchless Gentlewoman

Mrs. Anne Bradstreet,

right Panarets,
Mirror of Her Age, Glory of her Sex, whose
Heaven-born-Soul leaving its earthly Shrine,
chose its native home, and was taken to its
Rest, upon 16th. Sept. 1672.

ASk not why hearts turn Magazines of passions,
And why that grief is clad in sev'ral fashions;
Why She on progress goes, and doth not borrow
The smallest respite from th'extreams of sorrow,
Her misery is got to such an height,
As makes the earth groan to support its weight,
Such storms of woe, so strongly have beset her,
She hath no place for worse, nor hope for better;
Her comfort is, if any for her be,
That none can shew more cause of grief then she.
Ask not why some in mournfull black are clad;
The Sun is set, there needs must be a shade.
Ask not why every face a sadness shrowdes;
The setting Sun ore-cast us hath with Clouds.
[Page 253]
Ask not why the great glory of the Skye
That gilds the stars with heavenly Alchamy,
Which all the world doth lighten with his rayes,
The Persian God the Monarch of the dayes;
Ask not the reason of his extasie,
Paleness of late, in midnoon Majesty,
Why that the palefac'd Empress of the night
Disrob'd her brother of his glorious light.
Did not the language of the starrs foretel
A mournfull Scene when they with tears did swell?
Did not the glorious people of the Skye
Seem sensible of future misery?
Did not the lowring heavens seem to express
The worlds great lose, and their unhappiness?
Behold how tears flow from the learned hill,
How the bereaved Nine do daily fill
The bosom of the fleeting Air with groans,
And wofull Accents, which witness their moanes.
How doe the Goddesses of verse, the learned quire
Lament their rival Quill, which all admire?
Could Maro's Muse but hear her lively strain,
He would condemn his works to fire again,
Methinks I hear the Patron of the Spring,
The unshorn Deity abruptly sing.
Some doe for anguish weep, for anger I
That Ignorance should live, and Art should die.
Black, fatal, dismal, inauspicious day,
Unblest forever by Sol's precious Ray,
Be it the first of Miseries to all;
Or last of Life, defam'd for Funeral.
[Page 254]
When this day yearly comes, let every one,
Cast in their urne, the black and dismal stone,
Succeeding years as they their circuit goe,
Leap o're this day, as a sad time of woe.
Farewell my Muse, since thou hast left thy shrine,
I am unblest in one, but blest in nine.
Fair Thespian Ladyes, light your torches all,
Attend your glory to its Funeral,
To court her ashes with a learned tear,
A briny sacrifice, let not a smile appear.
Grave Matron, whoso seeks to blazon thee,
Needs not make use of witts false Heraldry;
Whoso should give thee all thy worth would swell
So high, as 'twould turn the world infidel.
Had he great Maro's Muse, or Tully's tongue,
Or raping numbers like the Thracian Song,
In crowning of her merits he would be
Sumptuously poor, low in Hyperbole.
To write is easie; but to write on thee,
Truth would be thought to forfeit modesty.
He'l seem a Poet that shall speak but true;
Hyperbole's in others, are thy due.
Like a most servile flatterer he will show
Though he write truth, and make the Subject, You.
Virtue ne're dies, time will a Poet raise
Born under better Starrs, shall sing thy praise.
Praise her who list, yet he shall be a debtor
For Art ne're feigned, nor Nature fram'd a better.
Her virtues were so great, that they do raise
A work to trouble fame, astonish praise.
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When as her Name doth but salute the ear,
Men think that they perfections abstract hear.
Her breast was a brave Pallace, a Broad-street,
Where all heroick ample thoughts did meet,
Where nature such a Tenement had tane,
That others souls, to hers, dwelt in a lane.
Beneath her feet, pale envy bites her chain,
And poison Malice whetts her sting in vain.
Let every Laurel, every Myrtel bough
Be stript for leaves t'adorn and load her brow.
Victorious wreathes, which 'cause they never fade
Wise elder times for Kings and Poets made
Let not her happy memory e're lack
Its worth in Fame's eternal Almanack,
Which none shall read, but straight their loss deplore,
And blame their Fates they were not born before.
Do not old men rejoyce their Fates did last,
And infants too, that theirs did make such hast,
In such a welcome time to bring them forth,
That they might be a witness to her worth.
Who undertakes this subject to commend
Shall nothing find so hard as how to end.
 
Finis & non,
John Norton.
 
Omnia Romanæ fileant Mirecula Gentis.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom