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When I resolved t exalt thy anointed name,
Among the spiritual lords of peaceful fame;
Thou, changeling! thou, bewitch'd with noise and
Wouldst into courts and cities from me go; (show,
Wouldst see the world abroad, and have a share
In all the follies and the tumults there :
Thou wouldst, forsooth, be something in a state,
And business thou wouldst find and wouldst create ;

Business! the frivolous pretence
Of human lusts to shake off innocence;

Business! the grave impertinence;
Business! the thing which I of all things hate ;
Business! the contradiction of thy fate.
“Go, renegado! cast up thy account,

And see to what amount

Thy foolish gains by quitting me:
The sale of knowledge, fame, and liberty,
The fruits of thy unlearn'd apostasy.
Thou thought'st, if once the public storm were past,
All thy remaining life should sunshine be;
Behold! the public storm is spent at last,
The sovereign's toss'd at sea no more,
And thou, with all the noble company,

Art got at last to shore.
But, whilst thy fellow-voyagers I see
All march'd up to possess the promised land,
Thou, still alone, alas! dost gaping stand
Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand !
“As a fair morning of the blessed spring,

After a tedious, stormy night,
Such was the glorious entry of our king ;
Enriching moisture dropp'd on everything :
Plenty he sow'd below, and cast about him light!

But then, alas! to thee alone,
One of old Gideon's miracles was shown;
For every tree and every herb around

With pearly dew was crown'd,
And upon all the quicken'd ground

The fruitful seed of heaven did brooding lie,
And nothing but the Muse's fleece was dry.

It did all other threats surpass, When God to his own people said ('The men whom through long wanderings he had led)

That he would give them ev'n a heaven of brass : They look'd up to that heaven in vain, That bounteous heaven, which God did not restrain Upon the most unjust to shine and rain. “ The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more

Thou didst with faith and labour serve,
And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve,

Though she contracted was to thee,
Given to another thou didst see;

Given to another, who had store
Of fairer and of richer wives before,
And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be!
Go on; twice seven years more thy fortune try;
Twice seven years more God in his bounty may

Give thee to fling away
Into the court's deceitful lottery :

But think how likely 'tis that thou,
With the dull work of thy unwieldly plough,
Shouldst in a hard and barren season thrive,

Shouldst even able be to live;
Thou, to whose share so little bread did fall,
In that miraculous year, when manna rain'd on all."
Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile,
That seem'd at once to pity and revile.
And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head,

The melancholy Cowley said :

Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid

The ills which thou thyself hast made ?
When in the cradle innocent I lay,
Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away,

And my abused soul didst bear
Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,
Thy golden Indies in the air;

And ever since I strive in vain

My ravish'd freedom to regain;
Still I rebel, still thou dost reign;
Lo! still in verse against thee I complain.

There is a sort of stubborn weeds,
Which, if the earth but once, it ever breeds ;

No wholesome herb can near them thrive,

No useful plant can keep alive; The foolish sports I did on thee bestow, Make all my art and labour fruitless now; Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever

grow. 6 When my new mind had no infusion known, Thou gavest so deep a tincture of thine own,

That ever since I vainly try

To wash away th' inherent dye; Long work, perhaps, may spoil thy colours quite, But never will reduce the native white :

To all the ports of honour and of gain,

I often steer my course in vain;
Thy gale comes cross, and drives me back again.
Thou slack’nest all my nerves of industry,

By making them so oft to be,
The tinkling strings of thy loose minstrelsy.
Whoever this world's happiness would see,

Must as entirely cast off thee,
As they who only heaven desire

Do from the world retire.
This was my error, this my gross mistake,
Myself a demi-votary to make.
Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate
(A fault which I, like them, am taught too late),
For all that I gave up I nothing gain,
And perish for the part which I retain.
“ Teach me not then, oh thou fallacious muse!

The court and better king t’ accuse:
The heaven under which I live is fair,
The fertile soil will a full harvest bear :

Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou
Makest me sit still and sing when I should plough,
When I but think how many a tedious year

Our patient sovereign did attend

His long misfortunes' fatal end; How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend; I ought to be accursed if I refuse To wait on his, oh thou fallacious Muse! Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I be So distant, they may reach at length to me.

However, of all the princes, thou [slow; Shouldst not reproach rewards for being small or Thou! who rewardest but with popular breath,

And that, too, after death."


Well, then; I now do plainly see
This busy world and I shall ne'er agree;
The very honey of all earthly joy

Does of all meats the soonest cloy ;

And they, methinks, deserve my pity,
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,

Of this great hive, the city.

Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave,
May I a small house and large garden have!
And a few friends, and many books, both true,

Both wise, and both delightful too!

And, since love ne'er will from me flee,
A mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian-angels are,

Only beloved, and loving me!

Oh, fountains ! when in you shall I Myself, eased of unpeaceful thoughts, espy;

Oh fields, oh woods! when, when shall I be made

The happy tenant of your shade ?

Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood; Where all the riches lie, that she

Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.

Pride and ambịtion here Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear; Here naught but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter,

And naught but Echo flatter.

The gods, when they descended, hither From heaven did always choose their way; And therefore we may boldly say,

That 'tis the way to thither,

How happy here should I,
And one dear she, live and, embracing, die!
She, who is all the world, and can exclude

In deserts solitude.

I should have then this only fear, Lest men, when they my pleasures see, Should hither throng to live like me,

And so make a city here,


'Tis not a pyramid of marble stone,
Though high as our ambition;
'Tis not a tomb cut out in brass, which can
Give life to th' ashes of a man,
But verses only; they shall fresh appear
Whilst there are men to read or hear;
When time shall make the lasting brass decay,
And eat the pyramid away;
Turning that monument wherein men trust
Their names to what it keeps, poor dust;
Then shall the epitaph remain, and be
New graven in eternity

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