I'm glad I made a piece of art that can be interpreted so widely. Art is always interpreted subjectively.
Not a single piece of material culture - not a single object - has been found at Giza that can be interpreted to come from a lost civilization.
The price of a commodity will never go to zero. When you invest in commodities futures, you're not buying a piece of paper that says you own an intangible piece of company that can go bankrupt.
Have you seen
Gnaws at you
In a wooden
That can be
With a body
You let the
Chew into you.
On second thoughts
Even if you had -
A body refreshed
And new, wouldn't
Still find you?
As long as
Lives with you.
It's only those
But they soon
Bid you adieu.
It whips you
Scaring it away.
Like a termites'
Colony and keeps
Eating into you…
Jumping to Conclusions
I did not say,
You were clearly out of your mind.
You are jumping to conclusions!
This is what I said...
And I quote my exact statement.
'You have used your political clout,
To ruin my reputation.
You've destroyed my ability,
To seek meaningful employment.
You and your associates,
Have campaigned to slander...
And smear any attempts I've made,
To make progress among my own people.
In this community.
There are more living in poverty in this area,
Since your last election.
One in which has the highest crime rate.
Least amount of representation,
For the tax dollars that are spent.
You have been in office for three terms,
Doing absolutely nothing...
For the betterment of your constituents here!
Plus your use of racial tactics,
Speaks for itself.
And you seek my endorsement?
Where is the advantage? '
THAT is what I said!
How you take that,
Can be interpreted any way you wish!
But those are my comments,
About how I feel regarding you....
Your political clout and influence.
Anything else you'd like to add...
Would come out of 'your' mouth,
And not mine.
Strong On Hype
Having a conversation,
With someone not listening.
Isn't a conversation.
It is work.
And not 'of' art!
Tedious it is to keep repeating,
Something said to someone...
With a selective process going on,
In their head.
And quick to change direction of conversation.
Don't say 'anything',
That can be interpreted as intelligent.
Someone will perceive...
The simpliest of word usage for them,
Is other than what anyone perceives to be basic.
Keep it simple,
Keep it simple,
To dumbdown these days,
In the getting of anything across...
Is no longer a matter of choice.
To get others to effectively listen,
One is practically enforced...
To use techniques at a preschool level.
Think this to be a joke?
An assumption done by one sarcastic?
Or a cynic being overly dramatic?
Many college professors,
Are 'literally' face to teach those...
Who can neither read at levels of high school.
Nor can write sentences without words spelled,
There are those defending the right to fight in conflicts...
To protect an 'interest'.
And that interest is not invested in the minds of the young.
'Keep it simple,
Keep it simple,
And those comments made today,
Are not by the intructors heard...
Conducting their lessons.
Those comments are made by the students,
To those who intruct in classrooms...
By those who can not follow direction.
Nor can they keep,
On any grade level with others waiting impatiently...
Watching other stundents,
Making 'some' attempt with a trying to keep up!
To say an entire system is in dire need,
Of an innovative revamping...
Is an understatement that has offended,
Much too long in the protecting of a pretentiousness...
Stong on hype.
But not in an insight invited,
That has been in need of thorough self examination.
It's Not Funny!
IT'S NOT FUNNY!
Times are changing and the world is flaming,
from disappointment, it's so sad that we can't even see it.
Blinded by the outsiders that bring fear to us, but it
Is we that fear us. It's not funny when you have to sit back and
destroy yourself just to fit into this typical place.
It's not funny when you sit back and let people judge you because
you're not what they expect you to be.
It's not funny when teachers with the same skin as you
break you down like you're a piece of trash that can be thrown away.
It's not funny when we fight our own because we don't rep something that means nothing.
It's not funny when we're facing a war at home that
Has No Point!
It's not funny when you can't tell the difference from what yes
and no feels like.
It's not funny when you look in the mirror and don't notice you.
It's not funny when you don't break the stereotype that marks where your future goes.
It's not funny when you can't be yourself with another race of friends.
It's not funny when the word N***er can't be said by a race that has been driven through hell, but is okay for the next person.
It's not funny that hip- hop is just about sex and not the struggle that is in our neighborhoods.
It's not funny when your community is plagued by death, drugs, and lies.
It's not funny when people fall into the gap that has been left as a trap.
It's not funny when we thrive for money, cars, and clothes.
It's not funny when success isn't success anymore.
It's not funny when we live to die and die to live.
It's not funny when we deal our own cards and then it's not what it's cracked up to be.
It's not funny when females settle for less.
It's not funny when females settle for a job as a video vixen or an exotic dancer.
It's not funny when guys settle for a future at the morgue.
It's not funny when Hollywood is set as paradise and anywhere else is imitation.
It's not funny when you have a future of guns, gangs, and death.
It's not funny when we plan our own funeral.
It's not funny when we change our hair, breast, teeth, butts, and clothes just because it looks better.
It's not funny when we don't look to God anymore for answers.
It's not funny when the world isn't a world anymore it's just a mark of death.
It's just not funny!
(inspiration for this poem is the death of Derrion Albert and all those lost in a battle they weren't meant to fight wrong plagues this earth and we have to realize how to live free and not in fear.)
- quotes about women
- quotes about rap
- quotes about music
- quotes about death
- quotes about time
- quotes about future
- quotes about dance
- quotes about fire
- quotes about Hollywood
The random poem I jus made up
This poem I just made up
is a happy poem,
filled with excitement and interest.
It is a true piece of art
that should be cherished throughout life.
This poem I just made up
is a sad poem,
filled with depressing verbs and adjectives.
It is played like a minor chord
that compliments the sound of my guitar.
This poem I just made up
is a major shoutout to my best friend.
LINDSAY KETTERMAN! !
It is a happy poem
Just like a happy face.
That should be cherished throughout life.
P.S. I didn't write this poem.
A Piece Of Paper
A diploma hanging on the wall
is really not you at all.
It's just a piece of paper.
A marriage certificate in your file
of when you two walked down the aisle
is just a piece of paper.
A birth certificate, signed and sealed
made you legal but concealed
that it's just a piece of paper.
A death certificate proves you're gone.
The truth is you've just moved on.
It was just a piece of paper.
All these papers that yellow with time
were really not worth one thin dime.
They were just pieces of paper.
Your life was never all those things.
Your life was when you took on wings
and soared with love for all.
Lady & The Doctor
The lady keeps the doctor in a place inside her pocket
The circle made her circle like a wheel
The doctor gives a strange love, but the lady she dont knock it
Shes glad to get a piece of anything
Because the lady needs the medicine ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Doctor needs the lady to see
The doctor keeps the lady in a page in a book
On the history of communicable diseases
The ladys been to school, she lets the doctor play it cool.
He writes the script, she follows his lead.
cause the doctor writes love story so fine
The ladys learned to read between the lines
The doctor, he takes housecalls where he visits the animals
In their stalls, shoots them full of juice and then goes home.
The lady hits the supermarket where she rides the aisles in a shopping cart
till she feels shes played enough of the part to set by ooh,
The lady feels its enough to just be good.
But the doctor has his need to be understood.
The doctor feels hes so abused and the lady feels shes so unused
And demands the doctor tends her daily parts.
Ooh, but the doctor just cant do it because so long ago the lady
Blew it, theyre too old now to make another start.
The lady feels the doctors made of stone.
The doctor heart, it just aint fond of ? home?
- quotes about doctors
- quotes about shopping
- quotes about animals
- quotes about love stories
- quotes about home
- quotes about books
- quotes about literature
- quotes about beginning
I watched awed as the ocean rises and curls itself,
Wondering what force was pushing it.
I watched with amusement as the waves displayed,
As if competing with each other,
Each one trying to outdo the others,
They crashed at my feet and filled me with the scent of the ocean.
I looked far out into the ocean,
The blue sky blending perfectly with the bluish-green ocean
As if they were made for each other
The orange glow of the setting sun illuminating their beauty.
I sat, hypnotized, not moving an inch lest I miss something
The serenity of the beach filled me with peace and
Only the crashing sound of the waves could be heard.
Some feet away, crabs lined the shore
As if saluting the ocean
And I realized we both appreciated this piece of wonder
That was when I realized the water was exceptionally clean
As if it had cleansed itself
I smiled, as the reason dawned on me
It's a new year and
The ocean has reborn itself
To start afresh
A new life.
I took that as my cue to also start afresh and
I got up ready to leave.
I had taken a few steps when I looked back,
The crabs were going too,
It was as if they had waited to keep me company.
I bent down wishing I could say goodbye
But they scurried into their holes.
I smiled and left
Glad I had spent my first evening of the year with nature.
How Much Notice Do You Need?
Uh-uh Uh-uh Uh-uh Uh-uh...
Uh-uh Uh-uh uh!
I don't think so!
You're not going to get up in my face.
To leave any bitterness,
With me to leave you believe will be unnoticed.
Or think with me is perfectly okay!
I'm not having that as a piece of your cake,
To enjoy with a taste from you I will take.
And there will be no misunderstanding between us.
Today or ever...
Not in this place.
For as long as you stay in my home.
Without a payment of a bill you make!
Or anything in it you can say you own.
And anytime you believe you are grown...
There will be no argument.
Since my acceptance of that,
You have made known!
Now go to your room...
Before I deliver to you some real heartache.
And you can expect soon!
'But you have to allow these kids today,
'Some' breathing space! '
That child of mine is fortunate to be breathing, period.
The only thing that is going to walk over me,
Is a bird taking off from the roof!
What I say inside these walls and doors I pay for,
There is no democracy in here.
And calling the social services department...
Police, priests or Jesus.
Is not going to make one bit of a difference.
No disrespect shown in my home will be exposed.
If you want that kind of nonsense in your home,
I'll be glad to pack his bags!
And once that is done,
You can adopt him as your son!
How much notice do you need?
'And what about your other children? '
What have two left!
Which one do you want?
Take all three of them...
No questions asked!
'And your wife? '
She's sedated in the bedroom.
But I'm sure she will request...
A total absence of consciousness!
If she is part of the package!
For whom the Bell Tolls
PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he
knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so
much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my
state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The
church is Catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she
does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action
concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that body which
is my head too, and ingrafted into that body whereof I am a member.
And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is
of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is
not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language;
and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several
translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness,
some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every
translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves
again for that library where every book shall lie open to one
another. As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon calls not
upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this
bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the
door by this sickness. There was a contention as far as a suit (in
which both piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were
mingled), which of the religious orders should ring to prayers
first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring
first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignity of
this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to
make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be
ours as well as his, whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him
that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that
minute that this occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God.
Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? but who takes
off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his
ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove
it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this
world? No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece
of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by
the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's
death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and
therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for
thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing
of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but
must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the
misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness
if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath
enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and
ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man
carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none
coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he
travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not
current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our
home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to
death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a
mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his
affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this
consideration of another's danger I take mine own into
contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my
God, who is our only security.
6 Foot 3'......[LONG; Scary; Gross; Murder]
I'll tell you a crime story that you've never heard,
But first you'll have to promise to not spread the word.
It started many years ago on the Massachusetts coast.
Most of those who know of it are now themselves ghosts.
It is a murder story frightful and most ghastly.
If you mention it to the police they'll laugh, and YOU may be the victim, lastly.
After high school in the 60's I attended Boston College.
I went there for the social life, and to gain some more knowledge.
While there I joined a fraternity made up mostly of jocks.
Initiation week they made us attend classes with no shoes or sox.
I'm getting off the track a bit as does happen often.
I think too many drugs in the 60's caused my brain to soften.
A member of my fraternity was a B.C. basketball star;
He was scouted by the pros and it was felt he'd go far.
He was 6 foot 7 and his meals were supersized.
He was my closest friend and I enjoyed looking up at his eyes.
One night in the off season he went drinking at a bar.
He left the joint at 2 A.M. but he didn't get far.
He was found by a sanitation worker early the next morn.
His skull had been bashed in; his massive throat was well-torn.
It was a campus and Boston sensation, a sad one it was true.
I was crushed by his passing and from college I withdrew.
I had lots of money from my grandma; I did not need a job.
I moved to Miami and became a beach bum, not a slob.
Within three years two more murders were added to this story.
The descriptions of the bodies found were EXTREMELY gory.
One, a 6-4 white male prostitute, had been eviscerated.
The police photos of a black female socialite,6-3, were XXX-rated.
My parents lived in Santa Monica and insisted I move home.
I settled in their guest house but at times I still did roam.
I met and dated a wealthy,6-5, fashion model………
The largest piece of her flesh found would fit inside a large bottle.
I started, then to see a shrink; I worried I'd go crazy.
I'm telling you my story's true, though at times details are hazy.
I spent ten years in analysis, which cost a lot of money,
But I believe it helped restore my faith and my outlook was more-sunny.
Then one summer I did Rio Mardi Gras; it was my BEST vacation yet.
But back home I learned my doctor had been found in his red Corvette.
What was left of him, I should say. I hesitate to here linger.
He'd been shot twelve times and was missing his left ring finger.
His skull and most of his ribs had been busted.
The once-shiny car had been burned, and his body was all-crusted.
By the way my doctor was 6 foot 4; could that be a clue?
I then checked into an upscale nuthouse for a month or two.
I was there on my own accord. My parents thought I was 'shopping'.
The docs did not believe my stories; my anxiety was not stopping.
So I moved back to the guest house. 'Mom and Dad, did you miss me? '
Fat chance! They were busy with their lives, though once my mom did kiss me.
I found another psychiatrist, this one of short stature.
I met a pretty clerk at Starbucks and at the altar I did catch her.
The marriage lasted all of six months. No pregnancy, thank God.
I had it annulled, gave her twenty grand, but I still miss her bod.
My weekly doctor's visits went as well as I'd expected.
I tried a run for Santa Monica mayor but did not get elected.
Two more murders in my story just happened this year.
They were the murders of my parents for which I shed no tear.
It was an inconvenience, though, cleaning up the mess.
The police photographer threw up; ……hardened detectives cried no less.
I had to hire TWO murder cleanup crews. Their bills were a sin.
But still, afterward, I found pieces in the bushes, which made me grin.
There were other bodies I now realize I've forgotten to mention.
I can see from the look in your eyes I've gotten your attention.
All the victims were at least 6-3 (my mom WAS 6 foot 4, my dad was 6-7) .
Maybe all are gazing down now at us from a tall-people's heaven.
My doctor says I'm the murderer; she told me for a fee.
I'm really glad I met you; you're pretty as can be.
I'll bet you're as tall as me; I am 6 foot 3 inches tall.
It's getting dark and I love you. Let's drive to the mall.
A Servant To Servants
I didn't make you know how glad I was
To have you come and camp here on our land.
I promised myself to get down some day
And see the way you lived, but I don't know!
With a houseful of hungry men to feed
I guess you'd find.... It seems to me
I can't express my feelings any more
Than I can raise my voice or want to lift
My hand (oh, I can lift it when I have to).
Did ever you feel so? I hope you never.
It's got so I don't even know for sure
Whether I am glad, sorry, or anything.
There's nothing but a voice-like left inside
That seems to tell me how I ought to feel,
And would feel if I wasn't all gone wrong.
You take the lake. I look and look at it.
I see it's a fair, pretty sheet of water.
I stand and make myself repeat out loud
The advantages it has, so long and narrow,
Like a deep piece of some old running river
Cut short off at both ends. It lies five miles
Straight away through the mountain notch
From the sink window where I wash the plates,
And all our storms come up toward the house,
Drawing the slow waves whiter and whiter and whiter.
It took my mind off doughnuts and soda biscuit
To step outdoors and take the water dazzle
A sunny morning, or take the rising wind
About my face and body and through my wrapper,
When a storm threatened from the Dragon's Den,
And a cold chill shivered across the lake.
I see it's a fair, pretty sheet of water,
Our Willoughby! How did you hear of it?
I expect, though, everyone's heard of it.
In a book about ferns? Listen to that!
You let things more like feathers regulate
Your going and coming. And you like it here?
I can see how you might. But I don't know!
It would be different if more people came,
For then there would be business. As it is,
The cottages Len built, sometimes we rent them,
Sometimes we don't. We've a good piece of shore
That ought to be worth something, and may yet.
But I don't count on it as much as Len.
He looks on the bright side of everything,
Including me. He thinks I'll be all right
With doctoring. But it's not medicine--
Lowe is the only doctor's dared to say so--
It's rest I want--there, I have said it out--
From cooking meals for hungry hired men
And washing dishes after them--from doing
Things over and over that just won't stay done.
By good rights I ought not to have so much
Put on me, but there seems no other way.
Len says one steady pull more ought to do it.
He says the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through--
Leastways for me--and then they'll be convinced.
It's not that Len don't want the best for me.
It was his plan our moving over in
Beside the lake from where that day I showed you
We used to live--ten miles from anywhere.
We didn't change without some sacrifice,
But Len went at it to make up the loss.
His work's a man's, of course, from sun to sun,
But he works when he works as hard as I do--
Though there's small profit in comparisons.
(Women and men will make them all the same.)
But work ain't all. Len undertakes too much.
He's into everything in town. This year
It's highways, and he's got too many men
Around him to look after that make waste.
They take advantage of him shamefully,
And proud, too, of themselves for doing so.
We have four here to board, great good-for-nothings,
Sprawling about the kitchen with their talk
While I fry their bacon. Much they care!
No more put out in what they do or say
Than if I wasn't in the room at all.
Coming and going all the time, they are:
I don't learn what their names are, let alone
Their characters, or whether they are safe
To have inside the house with doors unlocked.
I'm not afraid of them, though, if they're not
Afraid of me. There's two can play at that.
I have my fancies: it runs in the family.
My father's brother wasn't right. They kept him
Locked up for years back there at the old farm.
I've been away once--yes, I've been away.
The State Asylum. I was prejudiced;
I wouldn't have sent anyone of mine there;
You know the old idea--the only asylum
Was the poorhouse, and those who could afford,
Rather than send their folks to such a place,
Kept them at home; and it does seem more human.
But it's not so: the place is the asylum.
There they have every means proper to do with,
And you aren't darkening other people's lives--
Worse than no good to them, and they no good
To you in your condition; you can't know
Affection or the want of it in that state.
I've heard too much of the old-fashioned way.
My father's brother, he went mad quite young.
Some thought he had been bitten by a dog,
Because his violence took on the form
Of carrying his pillow in his teeth;
But it's more likely he was crossed in love,
Or so the story goes. It was some girl.
Anyway all he talked about was love.
They soon saw he would do someone a mischief
If he wa'n't kept strict watch of, and it ended
In father's building him a sort of cage,
Or room within a room, of hickory poles,
Like stanchions in the barn, from floor to ceiling,--
A narrow passage all the way around.
Anything they put in for furniture
He'd tear to pieces, even a bed to lie on.
So they made the place comfortable with straw,
Like a beast's stall, to ease their consciences.
Of course they had to feed him without dishes.
They tried to keep him clothed, but he paraded
With his clothes on his arm--all of his clothes.
Cruel--it sounds. I 'spose they did the best
They knew. And just when he was at the height,
Father and mother married, and mother came,
A bride, to help take care of such a creature,
And accommodate her young life to his.
That was what marrying father meant to her.
She had to lie and hear love things made dreadful
By his shouts in the night. He'd shout and shout
Until the strength was shouted out of him,
And his voice died down slowly from exhaustion.
He'd pull his bars apart like bow and bow-string,
And let them go and make them twang until
His hands had worn them smooth as any ox-bow.
And then he'd crow as if he thought that child's play--
The only fun he had. I've heard them say, though,
They found a way to put a stop to it.
He was before my time--I never saw him;
But the pen stayed exactly as it was
There in the upper chamber in the ell,
A sort of catch-all full of attic clutter.
I often think of the smooth hickory bars.
It got so I would say--you know, half fooling--
"It's time I took my turn upstairs in jail"--
Just as you will till it becomes a habit.
No wonder I was glad to get away.
Mind you, I waited till Len said the word.
I didn't want the blame if things went wrong.
I was glad though, no end, when we moved out,
And I looked to be happy, and I was,
As I said, for a while--but I don't know!
Somehow the change wore out like a prescription.
And there's more to it than just window-views
And living by a lake. I'm past such help--
Unless Len took the notion, which he won't,
And I won't ask him--it's not sure enough.
I 'spose I've got to go the road I'm going:
Other folks have to, and why shouldn't I?
I almost think if I could do like you,
Drop everything and live out on the ground--
But it might be, come night, I shouldn't like it,
Or a long rain. I should soon get enough,
And be glad of a good roof overhead.
I've lain awake thinking of you, I'll warrant,
More than you have yourself, some of these nights.
The wonder was the tents weren't snatched away
From over you as you lay in your beds.
I haven't courage for a risk like that.
Bless you, of course, you're keeping me from work,
But the thing of it is, I need to be kept.
There's work enough to do--there's always that;
But behind's behind. The worst that you can do
Is set me back a little more behind.
I sha'n't catch up in this world, anyway.
I'd rather you'd not go unless you must.
Peter Anderson And Co.
He had offices in Sydney, not so many years ago,
And his shingle bore the legend `Peter Anderson and Co.',
But his real name was Careless, as the fellows understood --
And his relatives decided that he wasn't any good.
'Twas their gentle tongues that blasted any `character' he had --
He was fond of beer and leisure -- and the Co. was just as bad.
It was limited in number to a unit, was the Co. --
'Twas a bosom chum of Peter and his Christian name was Joe.
'Tis a class of men belonging to these soul-forsaken years:
Third-rate canvassers, collectors, journalists and auctioneers.
They are never very shabby, they are never very spruce --
Going cheerfully and carelessly and smoothly to the deuce.
Some are wanderers by profession, `turning up' and gone as soon,
Travelling second-class, or steerage (when it's cheap they go saloon);
Free from `ists' and `isms', troubled little by belief or doubt --
Lazy, purposeless, and useless -- knocking round and hanging out.
They will take what they can get, and they will give what they can give,
God alone knows how they manage -- God alone knows how they live!
They are nearly always hard-up, but are cheerful all the while --
Men whose energy and trousers wear out sooner than their smile!
They, no doubt, like us, are haunted by the boresome `if' or `might',
But their ghosts are ghosts of daylight -- they are men who live at night!
Peter met you with the comic smile of one who knows you well,
And is mighty glad to see you, and has got a joke to tell;
He could laugh when all was gloomy, he could grin when all was blue,
Sing a comic song and act it, and appreciate it, too.
Only cynical in cases where his own self was the jest,
And the humour of his good yarns made atonement for the rest.
Seldom serious -- doing business just as 'twere a friendly game --
Cards or billiards -- nothing graver. And the Co. was much the same.
They tried everything and nothing 'twixt the shovel and the press,
And were more or less successful in their ventures -- mostly less.
Once they ran a country paper till the plant was seized for debt,
And the local sinners chuckle over dingy copies yet.
They'd been through it all and knew it in the land of Bills and Jims --
Using Peter's own expression, they had been in `various swims'.
Now and then they'd take an office, as they called it, -- make a dash
Into business life as `agents' -- something not requiring cash.
(You can always furnish cheaply, when your cash or credit fails,
With a packing-case, a hammer, and a pound of two-inch nails --
And, maybe, a drop of varnish and sienna, too, for tints,
And a scrap or two of oilcloth, and a yard or two of chintz).
They would pull themselves together, pay a week's rent in advance,
But it never lasted longer than a month by any chance.
The office was their haven, for they lived there when hard-up --
A `daily' for a table cloth -- a jam tin for a cup;
And if the landlord's bailiff happened round in times like these
And seized the office-fittings -- well, there wasn't much to seize --
They would leave him in possession. But at other times they shot
The moon, and took an office where the landlord knew them not.
And when morning brought the bailiff there'd be nothing to be seen
Save a piece of bevelled cedar where the tenant's plate had been;
There would be no sign of Peter -- there would be no sign of Joe
Till another portal boasted `Peter Anderson and Co.'
And when times were locomotive, billiard-rooms and private bars --
Spicy parties at the cafe -- long cab-drives beneath the stars;
Private picnics down the Harbour -- shady campings-out, you know --
No one would have dreamed 'twas Peter --
no one would have thought 'twas Joe!
Free-and-easies in their `diggings', when the funds began to fail,
Bosom chums, cigars, tobacco, and a case of English ale --
Gloriously drunk and happy, till they heard the roosters crow --
And the landlady and neighbours made complaints about the Co.
But that life! it might be likened to a reckless drinking-song,
For it can't go on for ever, and it never lasted long.
. . . . .
Debt-collecting ruined Peter -- people talked him round too oft,
For his heart was soft as butter (and the Co.'s was just as soft);
He would cheer the haggard missus, and he'd tell her not to fret,
And he'd ask the worried debtor round with him to have a wet;
He would ask him round the corner, and it seemed to him and her,
After each of Peter's visits, things were brighter than they were.
But, of course, it wasn't business -- only Peter's careless way;
And perhaps it pays in heaven, but on earth it doesn't pay.
They got harder up than ever, and, to make it worse, the Co.
Went more often round the corner than was good for him to go.
`I might live,' he said to Peter, `but I haven't got the nerve --
I am going, Peter, going -- going, going -- no reserve.
Eat and drink and love they tell us, for to-morrow we may die,
Buy experience -- and we bought it -- we're experienced, you and I.'
Then, with a weary movement of his hand across his brow:
`The death of such philosophy's the death I'm dying now.
Pull yourself together, Peter; 'tis the dying wish of Joe
That the business world shall honour Peter Anderson and Co.
`When you feel your life is sinking in a dull and useless course,
And begin to find in drinking keener pleasure and remorse --
When you feel the love of leisure on your careless heart take holt,
Break away from friends and pleasure, though it give your heart a jolt.
Shun the poison breath of cities -- billiard-rooms and private bars,
Go where you can breathe God's air and see the grandeur of the stars!
Find again and follow up the old ambitions that you had --
See if you can raise a drink, old man, I'm feelin' mighty bad --
Hot and sweetened, nip o' butter -- squeeze o' lemon, Pete,' he sighed.
And, while Peter went to fetch it, Joseph went to sleep -- and died
With a smile -- anticipation, maybe, of the peace to come,
Or a joke to try on Peter -- or, perhaps, it was the rum.
. . . . .
Peter staggered, gripped the table, swerved as some old drunkard swerves --
At a gulp he drank the toddy, just to brace his shattered nerves.
It was awful, if you like. But then he hadn't time to think --
All is nothing! Nothing matters! Fill your glasses -- dead man's drink.
. . . . .
Yet, to show his heart was not of human decency bereft,
Peter paid the undertaker. He got drunk on what was left;
Then he shed some tears, half-maudlin, on the grave where lay the Co.,
And he drifted to a township where the city failures go.
Where, though haunted by the man he was, the wreck he yet might be,
Or the man he might have been, or by each spectre of the three,
And the dying words of Joseph, ringing through his own despair,
Peter `pulled himself together' and he started business there.
But his life was very lonely, and his heart was very sad,
And no help to reformation was the company he had --
Men who might have been, who had been, but who were not in the swim --
'Twas a town of wrecks and failures -- they appreciated him.
They would ask him who the Co. was -- that queer company he kept --
And he'd always answer vaguely -- he would say his partner slept;
That he had a `sleeping partner' -- jesting while his spirit broke --
And they grinned above their glasses, for they took it as a joke.
He would shout while he had money, he would joke while he had breath --
No one seemed to care or notice how he drank himself to death;
Till at last there came a morning when his smile was seen no more --
He was gone from out the office, and his shingle from the door,
And a boundary-rider jogging out across the neighb'ring run
Was attracted by a something that was blazing in the sun;
And he found that it was Peter, lying peacefully at rest,
With a bottle close beside him and the shingle on his breast.
Well, they analysed the liquor, and it would appear that he
Qualified his drink with something good for setting spirits free.
Though 'twas plainly self-destruction -- `'twas his own affair,' they said;
And the jury viewed him sadly, and they found -- that he was dead.
[Mr. Alfred Domett, C.M.G., author of "Ranolf and Amohia," full of descriptions of New Zealand scenery.]
What's become of Waring
Since he gave us all the slip,
Chose land-travel or seafaring,
Boots and chest or staff and scrip,
Rather than pace up and down
Any longer London town?
Who'd have guessed it from his lip
Or his brow's accustomed bearing,
On the night he thus took ship
Or started landward?--little caring
For us, it seems, who supped together
(Friends of his too, I remember)
And walked home thro' the merry weather,
The snowiest in all December.
I left his arm that night myself
For what's-his-name's, the new prose-poet
Who wrote the book there, on the shelf--
How, forsooth, was I to know it
If Waring meant to glide away
Like a ghost at break of day?
Never looked he half so gay!
He was prouder than the devil:
How he must have cursed our revel!
Ay and many other meetings,
Indoor visits, outdoor greetings,
As up and down he paced this London,
With no work done, but great works undone,
Where scarce twenty knew his name.
Why not, then, have earlier spoken,
Written, bustled? Who's to blame
If your silence kept unbroken?
"True, but there were sundry jottings,
Stray-leaves, fragments, blurrs and blottings,
Certain first steps were achieved
Already which (is that your meaning?)
Had well borne out whoe'er believed
In more to come!" But who goes gleaning
Hedgeside chance-glades, while full-sheaved
Stand cornfields by him? Pride, o'erweening
Pride alone, puts forth such claims
O'er the day's distinguished names.
Meantime, how much I loved him,
I find out now I've lost him.
I who cared not if I moved him,
Who could so carelessly accost him,
Henceforth never shall get free
Of his ghostly company,
His eyes that just a little wink
As deep I go into the merit
Of this and that distinguished spirit--
His cheeks' raised colour, soon to sink,
As long I dwell on some stupendous
And tremendous (Heaven defend us!)
Penman's latest piece of graphic.
Nay, my very wrist grows warm
With his dragging weight of arm.
E'en so, swimmingly appears,
Through one's after-supper musings,
Some lost lady of old years
With her beauteous vain endeavour
And goodness unrepaid as ever;
The face, accustomed to refusings,
We, puppies that we were . . . Oh never
Surely, nice of conscience, scrupled
Being aught like false, forsooth, to?
Telling aught but honest truth to?
What a sin, had we centupled
Its possessor's grace and sweetness!
No! she heard in its completeness
Truth, for truth's a weighty matter,
And truth, at issue, we can't flatter!
Well, 'tis done with; she's exempt
>From damning us thro' such a sally;
And so she glides, as down a valley,
Taking up with her contempt,
Past our reach; and in, the flowers
Shut her unregarded hours.
Oh, could I have him back once more,
This Waring, but one half-day more!
Back, with the quiet face of yore,
So hungry for acknowledgment
Like mine! I'd fool him to his bent.
Feed, should not he, to heart's content?
I'd say, "to only have conceived,
Planned your great works, apart from progress,
Surpasses little works achieved!"
I'd lie so, I should be believed.
I'd make such havoc of the claims
Of the day's distinguished names
To feast him with, as feasts an ogress
Her feverish sharp-toothed gold-crowned child!
Or as one feasts a creature rarely
Captured here, unreconciled
To capture; and completely gives
Its pettish humours license, barely
Requiring that it lives.
The glory is departed!
Travels Waring East away?
Who, of knowledge, by hearsay,
Reports a man upstarted
Somewhere as a god,
Hordes grown European-hearted,
Millions of the wild made tame
On a sudden at his fame?
In Vishnu-land what Avatar?
Or who in Moscow, toward the Czar,
With the demurest of footfalls
Over the Kremlin's pavement bright
With serpentine and syenite,
Steps, with five other Generals
That simultaneously take snuff,
For each to have pretext enough
And kerchiefwise unfold his sash
Which, softness' self, is yet the stuff
To hold fast where a steel chain snaps,
And leave the grand white neck no gash?
Waring in Moscow, to those rough
Cold northern natures born perhaps,
Like the lambwhite maiden dear
>From the circle of mute kings
Unable to repress the tear,
Each as his sceptre down he flings,
To Dian's fane at Taurica,
Where now a captive priestess, she alway
Mingles her tender grave Hellenic speech
With theirs, tuned to the hailstone-beaten beach
As pours some pigeon, from the myrrhy lands
Rapt by the whirlblast to fierce Scythian strands
Where breed the swallows, her melodious cry
Amid their barbarous twitter!
In Russia? Never! Spain were fitter!
Ay, most likely 'tis in Spain
That we and Waring meet again
Now, while he turns down that cool narrow lane
Into the blackness, out of grave Madrid
All fire and shine, abrupt as when there's slid
Its stiff gold blazing pall
>From some black coffin-lid.
Or, best of all,
I love to think
The leaving us was just a feint;
Back here to London did he slink,
And now works on without a wink
Of sleep, and we are on the brink
Of something great in fresco-paint:
Some garret's ceiling, walls and floor,
Up and down and o'er and o'er
He splashes, as none splashed before
Since great Caldara Polidore.
Or Music means this land of ours
Some favour yet, to pity won
By Purcell from his Rosy Bowers--
"Give me my so-long promised son,
Let Waring end what I begun!"
Then down he creeps and out he steals
Only when the night conceals
His face; in Kent 'tis cherry-time,
Or hops are picking: or at prime
Of March he wanders as, too happy,
Years ago when he was young,
Some mild eve when woods grew sappy
And the early moths had sprung
To life from many a trembling sheath
Woven the warm boughs beneath;
While small birds said to themselves
What should soon be actual song,
And young gnats, by tens and twelves,
Made as if they were the throng
That crowd around and carry aloft
The sound they have nursed, so sweet and pure,
Out of a myriad noises soft,
Into a tone that can endure
Amid the noise of a July noon
When all God's creatures crave their boon,
All at once and all in tune,
And get it, happy as Waring then,
Having first within his ken
What a man might do with men:
And far too glad, in the even-glow,
To mix with the world he meant to take
Into his hand, he told you, so--
And out of it his world to make,
To contract and to expand
As he shut or oped his hand.
Oh Waring, what's to really be?
A clear stage and a crowd to see!
Some Garrick, say, out shall not he
The heart of Hamlet's mystery pluck?
Or, where most unclean beasts are rife,
Some Junius--am I right?--shall tuck
His sleeve, and forth with flaying-knife!
Some Chatterton shall have the luck
Of calling Rowley into life!
Some one shall somehow run a muck
With this old world for want of strife
Sound asleep. Contrive, contrive
To rouse us, Waring! Who's alive?
Our men scarce seem in earnest now.
Distinguished names!--but 'tis, somehow,
As if they played at being names
Still more distinguished, like the games
Of children. Turn our sport to earnest
With a visage of the sternest!
Bring the real times back, confessed
Still better than our very best!
"When I last saw Waring . . ."
(How all turned to him who spoke!
You saw Waring? Truth or joke?
In land-travel or sea-faring?)
"We were sailing by Triest
Where a day or two we harboured:
A sunset was in the West,
When, looking over the vessel's side,
One of our company espied
A sudden speck to larboard.
And as a sea-duck flies and swims
At once, so came the light craft up,
With its sole lateen sail that trims
And turns (the water round its rims
Dancing, as round a sinking cup)
And by us like a fish it curled,
And drew itself up close beside,
Its great sail on the instant furled,
And o'er its thwarts a shrill voice cried,
(A neck as bronzed as a Lascar's)
'Buy wine of us, you English Brig?
Or fruit, tobacco and cigars?
A pilot for you to Triest?
Without one, look you ne'er so big,
They'll never let you up the bay!
We natives should know best.'
I turned, and 'just those fellows' way,'
Our captain said, 'The 'long-shore thieves
Are laughing at us in their sleeves.'
"In truth, the boy leaned laughing back;
And one, half-hidden by his side
Under the furled sail, soon I spied,
With great grass hat and kerchief black,
Who looked up with his kingly throat,
Said somewhat, while the other shook
His hair back from his eyes to look
Their longest at us; then the boat,
I know not how, turned sharply round,
Laying her whole side on the sea
As a leaping fish does; from the lee
Into the weather, cut somehow
Her sparkling path beneath our bow
And so went off, as with a bound,
Into the rosy and golden half
O' the sky, to overtake the sun
And reach the shore, like the sea-calf
Its singing cave; yet I caught one
Glance ere away the boat quite passed,
And neither time nor toil could mar
Those features: so I saw the last
Of Waring!"--You? Oh, never star
Was lost here but it rose afar!
Look East, where whole new thousands are!
In Vishnu-land what Avatar?
The Masque of Queen Bersabe: A Miracle-Play
Knights mine, all that be in hall,
I have a counsel to you all,
Because of this thing God lets fall
Among us for a sign.
For some days hence as I did eat
From kingly dishes my good meat,
There flew a bird between my feet
As red as any wine.
This bird had a long bill of red
And a gold ring above his head;
Long time he sat and nothing said,
Put softly down his neck and fed
From the gilt patens fine:
And as I marvelled, at the last
He shut his two keen eyën fast
And suddenly woxe big and brast
Ere one should tell to nine.
Sir, note this that I will say;
That Lord who maketh corn with hay
And morrows each of yesterday,
He hath you in his hand.
SECUNDUS MILES (Paganus quidam).
By Satan I hold no such thing;
For if wine swell within a king
Whose ears for drink are hot and ring,
The same shall dream of wine-bibbing
Whilst he can lie or stand.
Peace now, lords, for Godis head,
Ye chirk as starlings that be fed
And gape as fishes newly dead;
The devil put your bones to bed,
Lo, this is all to say.
By Mahound, lords, I have good will
This devil’s bird to wring and spill;
For now meseems our game goes ill,
Ye have scant hearts to play.
Lo, sirs, this word is there said,
That Urias the knight is dead
Through some ill craft; by Poulis head,
I doubt his blood hath made so red
This bird that flew from the queen’s bed
Whereof ye have such fear.
Yea, my good knave, and is it said
That I can raise men from the dead?
By God I think to have his head
Who saith words of my lady’s bed
For any thief to hear.
Et percutiat eum in capite.
I wis men shall spit at me,
And say, it were but right for thee
That one should hang thee on a tree;
Ho! it were a fair thing to see
The big stones bruise her false body;
Fie! who shall see her dead?
I rede you have no fear of this,
For, as ye wot, the first good kiss
I had must be the last of his;
Now are ye queen of mine, I wis,
And lady of a house that is
Full rich of meat and bread.
I bid you make good cheer to be
So fair a queen as all men see,
And hold us for your lieges free;
By Peter’s soul that hath the key,
Ye have good hap of it.
I would that he were hanged and dead
Who hath no joy to see your head
With gold about it, barred on red;
I hold him as a sow of lead
That is so scant of wit.
Tunc dicat NATHAN propheta
O king, I have a word to thee;
The child that is in Bersabe
Shall wither without light to see;
This word is come of God by me
For sin that ye have done.
Because herein ye did not right,
To take the fair one lamb to smite
That was of Urias the knight;
Ye wist he had but one.
Full many sheep I wot ye had,
And many women, when ye bade,
To do your will and keep you glad;
And a good crown about your head
With gold to show thereon.
This Urias had one poor house
With low-barred latoun shot-windows
And scant of corn to fill a mouse;
And rusty basnets for his brows,
To wear them to the bone.
Yea the roofs also, as men sain,
Were thin to hold against the rain;
Therefore what rushes were there lain
Grew wet withouten foot of men;
The stancheons were all gone in twain
As sick man’s flesh is gone.
Nathless he had great joy to see
The long hair of this Bersabe
Fall round her lap and round her knee
Even to her small soft feet, that be
Shod now with crimson royally
And covered with clean gold.
Likewise great joy he had to kiss
Her throat, where now the scarlet is
Against her little chin, I wis,
That then was but cold.
No scarlet then her kirtle had
And little gold about it sprad;
But her red mouth was alway glad
To kiss, albeit the eyes were sad
With love they had to hold.
How! old thief, thy wits are lame;
To clip such it is no shame;
I rede you in the devil’s name,
Ye come not here to make men game;
By Termagaunt that maketh grame,
I shall to-bete thine head.
Hic Diabolus capiat eum.
This knave hath sharp fingers, perfay;
Mahound you thank and keep alway,
And give you good knees to pray;
What man hath no lust to play,
The devil wring his ears, I say;
There is no more but wellaway,
For now am I dead.
Certes his mouth is wried and black,
Full little pence be in his sack;
This devil hath him by the back,
It is no boot to lie.
Sitteth now still and learn of me;
A little while and ye shall see
The face of God’s strength presently.
All queens made as this Bersabe,
All that were fair and foul ye be,
Come hither; it am I.
Et hìc omnes cantabunt.
I am the queen Herodias.
This headband of my temples was
King Herod’s gold band woven me.
This broken dry staff in my hand
Was the queen’s staff of a great land
Betwixen Perse and Samarie.
For that one dancing of my feet,
The fire is come in my green wheat,
From one sea to the other sea.
I am the queen Aholibah.
My lips kissed dumb the word of Ah
Sighed on strange lips grown sick thereby.
God wrought to me my royal bed;
The inner work thereof was red,
The outer work was ivory.
My mouth’s heat was the heat of flame
For lust towards the kings that came
With horsemen riding royally.
I am the queen of Ethiope.
Love bade my kissing eyelids ope
That men beholding might praise love.
My hair was wonderful and curled;
My lips held fast the mouth o’ the world
To spoil the strength and speech thereof.
The latter triumph in my breath
Bowed down the beaten brows of death,
Ashamed they had not wrath enough.
I am the queen of Tyrians.
My hair was glorious for twelve spans,
That dried to loose dust afterward.
My stature was a strong man’s length;
My neck was like a place of strength
Built with white walls, even and hard.
Like the first noise of rain leaves catch
One from another, snatch by snatch,
Is my praise, hissed against and marred.
I am the queen of Amorites.
My face was like a place of lights
With multitudes at festival.
The glory of my gracious brows
Was like God’s house made glorious
With colours upon either wall.
Between my brows and hair there was
A white space like a space of glass
With golden candles over all.
I am the queen of Amalek.
There was no tender touch or fleck
To spoil my body or bared feet.
My words were soft like dulcimers,
And the first sweet of grape-flowers
Made each side of my bosom sweet.
My raiment was as tender fruit
Whose rind smells sweet of spice-tree root,
Bruised balm-blossom and budded wheat.
I am the queen Ahinoam.
Like the throat of a soft slain lamb
Was my throat, softer veined than his:
My lips were as two grapes the sun
Lays his whole weight of heat upon
Like a mouth heavy with a kiss:
My hair’s pure purple a wrought fleece,
My temples therein as a piece
Of a pomegranate’s cleaving is.
I am the queen Sidonian.
My face made faint the face of man,
And strength was bound between my brows.
Spikenard was hidden in my ships,
Honey and wheat and myrrh in strips,
White wools that shine as colour does,
Soft linen dyed upon the fold,
Split spice and cores of scented gold,
Cedar and broken calamus.
I am the queen Semiramis.
The whole world and the sea that is
In fashion like a chrysopras,
The noise of all men labouring,
The priest’s mouth tired through thanksgiving,
The sound of love in the blood’s pause,
The strength of love in the blood’s beat,
All these were cast beneath my feet
And all found lesser than I was.
I am the queen Hesione.
The seasons that increased in me
Made my face fairer than all men’s.
I had the summer in my hair;
And all the pale gold autumn air
Was as the habit of my sense.
My body was as fire that shone;
God’s beauty that makes all things one
Was one among my handmaidens.
I am the queen of Samothrace.
God, making roses, made my face
As a rose filled up full with red.
My prows made sharp the straitened seas
From Pontus to that Chersonese
Whereon the ebbed Asian stream is shed.
My hair was as sweet scent that drips;
Love’s breath begun about my lips
Kindled the lips of people dead.
I am the queen of Scythians.
My strength was like no strength of man’s,
My face like day, my breast like spring.
My fame was felt in the extreme land
That hath sunshine on the one hand
And on the other star-shining.
Yea, and the wind there fails of breath;
Yea, and there life is waste like death;
Yea, and there death is a glad thing.
I am the queen of Anakim.
In the spent years whose speech is dim,
Whose raiment is the dust and death,
My stately body without stain
Shone as the shining race of rain
Whose hair a great wind scattereth.
Now hath God turned my lips to sighs,
Plucked off mine eyelids from mine eyes,
And sealed with seals my way of breath.
I am the queen Arabian.
The tears wherewith mine eyelids ran
Smelt like my perfumed eyelids’ smell.
A harsh thirst made my soft mouth hard,
That ached with kisses afterward;
My brain rang like a beaten bell.
As tears on eyes, as fire on wood,
Sin fed upon my breath and blood,
Sin made my breasts subside and swell.
I am the queen Pasiphae.
Not all the pure clean-coloured sea
Could cleanse or cool my yearning veins;
Nor any root nor herb that grew,
Flag-leaves that let green water through,
Nor washing of the dews and rains.
From shame’s pressed core I wrung the sweet
Fruit’s savour that was death to eat,
Whereof no seed but death remains.
I am the queen of Lesbians.
My love, that had no part in man’s,
Was sweeter than all shape of sweet.
The intolerable infinite desire
Made my face pale like faded fire
When the ashen pyre falls through with heat.
My blood was hot wan wine of love,
And my song’s sound the sound thereof,
The sound of the delight of it.
I am the queen of Italy.
These were the signs God set on me;
A barren beauty subtle and sleek,
Curled carven hair, and cheeks worn wan
With fierce false lips of many a man,
Large temples where the blood ran weak,
A mouth athirst and amorous
And hungering as the grave’s mouth does
That, being an-hungred, cannot speak.
I am the queen of Persians.
My breasts were lordlier than bright swans,
My body as amber fair and thin.
Strange flesh was given my lips for bread,
With poisonous hours my days were fed,
And my feet shod with adder-skin.
In Shushan toward Ecbatane
I wrought my joys with tears and pain,
My loves with blood and bitter sin.
I am the queen of Rephaim.
God, that some while refraineth him,
Made in the end a spoil of me.
My rumour was upon the world
As strong sound of swoln water hurled
Through porches of the straining sea.
My hair was like the flag-flower,
And my breasts carven goodlier
Than beryl with chalcedony.
I am the queen of Cypriotes.
Mine oarsmen, labouring with brown throats,
Sang of me many a tender thing.
My maidens, girdled loose and braced
With gold from bosom to white waist,
Praised me between their wool-combing.
All that praise Venus all night long
With lips like speech and lids like song
Praised me till song lost heart to sing.
I am the queen Alaciel.
My mouth was like that moist gold cell
Whereout the thickest honey drips.
Mine eyes were as a grey-green sea;
The amorous blood that smote on me
Smote to my feet and finger-tips.
My throat was whiter than the dove,
Mine eyelids as the seals of love,
And as the doors of love my lips.
I am the queen Erigone.
The wild wine shed as blood on me
Made my face brighter than a bride’s.
My large lips had the old thirst of earth,
Mine arms the might of the old sea’s girth
Bound round the whole world’s iron sides.
Within mine eyes and in mine ears
Were music and the wine of tears,
And light, and thunder of the tides.
Et hìc exeant, et dicat Bersabe regina;
Alas, God, for thy great pity
And for the might that is in thee,
Behold, I woful Bersabe
Cry out with stoopings of my knee
And thy wrath laid and bound on me
Till I may see thy love.
Behold, Lord, this child is grown
Within me between bone and bone
To make me mother of a son,
Made of my body with strong moan;
There shall not be another one
That shall be made hereof.
Lord God, alas, what shall I sain?
Lo, thou art as an hundred men
Both to break and build again:
The wild ways thou makest plain,
Thine hands hold the hail and rain,
And thy fingers both grape and grain;
Of their largess we be all well fain,
And of their great pity:
The sun thou madest of good gold,
Of clean silver the moon cold,
All the great stars thou hast told
As thy cattle in thy fold
Every one by his name of old;
Wind and water thou hast in hold,
Both the land and the long sea;
Both the green sea and the land,
Lord God, thou hast in hand,
Both white water and grey sand;
Upon thy right or thy left hand
There is no man that may stand;
Lord, thou rue on me.
O wise Lord, if thou be keen
To note things amiss that been,
I am not worth a shell of bean
More than an old mare meagre and lean;
For all my wrong-doing with my queen,
It grew not of our heartès clean,
But it began of her body.
For it fell in the hot May
I stood within a paven way
Built of fair bright stone, perfay,
That is as fire of night and day
And lighteth all my house.
Therein be neither stones nor sticks,
Neither red nor white bricks,
But for cubits five or six
There is most goodly sardonyx
And amber laid in rows.
It goes round about my roofs,
(If ye list ye shall have proofs)
There is good space for horse and hoofs,
Plain and nothing perilous.
For the fair green weather’s heat,
And for the smell of leavès sweet,
It is no marvel, well ye weet,
A man to waxen amorous.
This I say now by my case
That spied forth of that royal place;
There I saw in no great space
Mine own sweet, both body and face,
Under the fresh boughs.
In a water that was there
She wesshe her goodly body bare
And dried it with her owen hair:
Both her arms and her knees fair,
Both bosom and brows;
Both shoulders and eke thighs
Tho she wesshe upon this wise;
Ever she sighed with little sighs,
And ever she gave God thank.
Yea, God wot I can well see yet
Both her breast and her sides all wet
And her long hair withouten let
Spread sideways like a drawing net;
Full dear bought and full far fet
Was that sweet thing there y-set;
It were a hard thing to forget
How both lips and eyen met,
Breast and breath sank.
So goodly a sight as there she was,
Lying looking on her glass
By wan water in green grass,
Yet saw never man.
So soft and great she was and bright
With all her body waxen white,
I woxe nigh blind to see the light
Shed out of it to left and right;
This bitter sin from that sweet sight
Between us twain began.
Now, sir, be merry anon,
For ye shall have a full wise son,
Goodly and great of flesh and bone;
There shall no king be such an one,
I swear by Godis rood.
Therefore, lord, be merry here,
And go to meat withouten fear,
And hear a mass with goodly cheer;
For to all folk ye shall be dear,
And all folk of your blood.
Et tunc dicant Laudamus.
Epistles to Several Persons: Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot
Neque sermonibus vulgi dederis te, nec in præmiis spem posueris rerum tuarum; suiste oportet illecebris ipsa virtus trahat ad verum decus. Quid de te alii loquantur, ipsi videant,sed loquentur tamen.
(Cicero, De Re Publica VI.23)["... you will not any longer attend to the vulgar mob's gossip nor put your trust in human rewards for your deeds; virtue, through her own charms, should lead you to true glory. Let what others say about you be their concern; whatever it is, they will say it anyway."
Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd, I said,
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.
The dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide?
They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide;
By land, by water, they renew the charge;
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge.
No place is sacred, not the church is free;
Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:
Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme,
Happy! to catch me just at dinner-time.
Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer,
A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer,
A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
Who pens a stanza, when he should engross?
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls
With desp'rate charcoal round his darken'd walls?
All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause:
Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong,
The world had wanted many an idle song)
What drop or nostrum can this plague remove?
Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love?
A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped,
If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
Seiz'd and tied down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can't be silent, and who will not lie;
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace,
And to be grave, exceeds all pow'r of face.
I sit with sad civility, I read
With honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This saving counsel, "Keep your piece nine years."
"Nine years!" cries he, who high in Drury-lane
Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane,
Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends,
Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends:
"The piece, you think, is incorrect: why, take it,
I'm all submission, what you'd have it, make it."
Three things another's modest wishes bound,
My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.
Pitholeon sends to me: "You know his Grace,
I want a patron; ask him for a place."
Pitholeon libell'd me--"but here's a letter
Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better.
Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine,
He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine."
Bless me! a packet--"'Tis a stranger sues,
A virgin tragedy, an orphan muse."
If I dislike it, "Furies, death and rage!"
If I approve, "Commend it to the stage."
There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends,
The play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends.
Fir'd that the house reject him, "'Sdeath I'll print it,
And shame the fools--your int'rest, sir, with Lintot!"
"Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much."
"Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch."
All my demurs but double his attacks;
At last he whispers, "Do; and we go snacks."
Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door,
"Sir, let me see your works and you no more."
'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring,
(Midas, a sacred person and a king)
His very minister who spied them first,
(Some say his queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst.
And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case,
When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face?
"Good friend, forbear! you deal in dang'rous things.
I'd never name queens, ministers, or kings;
Keep close to ears, and those let asses prick;
'Tis nothing"--Nothing? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass,
That secret to each fool, that he's an ass:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The queen of Midas slept, and so may I.
You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
No creature smarts so little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break,
Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulsions hurl'd,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who shames a scribbler? break one cobweb through,
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew;
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again;
Thron'd in the centre of his thin designs;
Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines!
Whom have I hurt? has poet yet, or peer,
Lost the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnassian sneer?
And has not Colley still his lord, and whore?
His butchers Henley, his Free-masons Moore?
Does not one table Bavius still admit?
Still to one bishop Philips seem a wit?
Still Sappho-- "Hold! for God-sake--you'll offend:
No names!--be calm!--learn prudence of a friend!
I too could write, and I am twice as tall;
But foes like these!" One flatt'rer's worse than all.
Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right,
It is the slaver kills, and not the bite.
A fool quite angry is quite innocent;
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent.
One dedicates in high heroic prose,
And ridicules beyond a hundred foes;
One from all Grub Street will my fame defend,
And, more abusive, calls himself my friend.
This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud, "Subscribe, subscribe."
There are, who to my person pay their court:
I cough like Horace, and, though lean, am short,
Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high,
Such Ovid's nose, and "Sir! you have an eye"--
Go on, obliging creatures, make me see
All that disgrac'd my betters, met in me:
Say for my comfort, languishing in bed,
"Just so immortal Maro held his head:"
And when I die, be sure you let me know
Great Homer died three thousand years ago.
Why did I write? what sin to me unknown
Dipp'd me in ink, my parents', or my own?
As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.
I left no calling for this idle trade,
No duty broke, no father disobey'd.
The Muse but serv'd to ease some friend, not wife,
To help me through this long disease, my life,
To second, Arbuthnot! thy art and care,
And teach the being you preserv'd, to bear.
But why then publish? Granville the polite,
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write;
Well-natur'd Garth inflamed with early praise,
And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays;
The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read,
Ev'n mitred Rochester would nod the head,
And St. John's self (great Dryden's friends before)
With open arms receiv'd one poet more.
Happy my studies, when by these approv'd!
Happier their author, when by these belov'd!
From these the world will judge of men and books,
Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cookes.
Soft were my numbers; who could take offence,
While pure description held the place of sense?
Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme,
A painted mistress, or a purling stream.
Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill;
I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still.
Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret;
I never answer'd, I was not in debt.
If want provok'd, or madness made them print,
I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint.
Did some more sober critic come abroad?
If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence,
And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense.
Commas and points they set exactly right,
And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite.
Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds,
From slashing Bentley down to pidling Tibbalds.
Each wight who reads not, and but scans and spells,
Each word-catcher that lives on syllables,
Ev'n such small critics some regard may claim,
Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakespeare's name.
Pretty! in amber to observe the forms
Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms;
The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they got there?
Were others angry? I excus'd them too;
Well might they rage; I gave them but their due.
A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find,
But each man's secret standard in his mind,
That casting weight pride adds to emptiness,
This, who can gratify? for who can guess?
The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown,
Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown,
Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
And strains, from hard-bound brains, eight lines a year:
He, who still wanting, though he lives on theft,
Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left:
And he, who now to sense, now nonsense leaning,
Means not, but blunders round about a meaning:
And he, whose fustian's so sublimely bad,
It is not poetry, but prose run mad:
All these, my modest satire bade translate,
And own'd, that nine such poets made a Tate.
How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe?
And swear, not Addison himself was safe.
Peace to all such! but were there one whose fires
True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires,
Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to write, converse, and live with ease:
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise;
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend,
A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend;
Dreading ev'n fools, by flatterers besieg'd,
And so obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd;
Like Cato, give his little senate laws,
And sit attentive to his own applause;
While wits and templars ev'ry sentence raise,
And wonder with a foolish face of praise.
Who but must laugh, if such a man there be?
Who would not weep, if Atticus were he?
What though my name stood rubric on the walls,
Or plaister'd posts, with claps, in capitals?
Or smoking forth, a hundred hawkers' load,
On wings of winds came flying all abroad?
I sought no homage from the race that write;
I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight:
Poems I heeded (now berhym'd so long)
No more than thou, great George! a birthday song.
I ne'er with wits or witlings pass'd my days,
To spread about the itch of verse and praise;
Nor like a puppy, daggled through the town,
To fetch and carry sing-song up and down;
Nor at rehearsals sweat, and mouth'd, and cried,
With handkerchief and orange at my side;
But sick of fops, and poetry, and prate,
To Bufo left the whole Castalian state.
Proud as Apollo on his forked hill,
Sat full-blown Bufo, puff'd by every quill;
Fed with soft dedication all day long,
Horace and he went hand in hand in song.
His library (where busts of poets dead
And a true Pindar stood without a head,)
Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race,
Who first his judgment ask'd, and then a place:
Much they extoll'd his pictures, much his seat,
And flatter'd ev'ry day, and some days eat:
Till grown more frugal in his riper days,
He paid some bards with port, and some with praise,
To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd,
And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Dryden alone (what wonder?) came not nigh,
Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye:
But still the great have kindness in reserve,
He help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve.
May some choice patron bless each grey goose quill!
May ev'ry Bavius have his Bufo still!
So, when a statesman wants a day's defence,
Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense,
Or simple pride for flatt'ry makes demands,
May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands!
Blest be the great! for those they take away,
And those they left me--for they left me Gay;
Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Neglected die! and tell it on his tomb;
Of all thy blameless life the sole return
My verse, and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urn!
Oh let me live my own! and die so too!
("To live and die is all I have to do:")
Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
And see what friends, and read what books I please.
Above a patron, though I condescend
Sometimes to call a minister my friend:
I was not born for courts or great affairs;
I pay my debts, believe, and say my pray'rs;
Can sleep without a poem in my head,
Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.
Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light?
Heav'ns! was I born for nothing but to write?
Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)
Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save?
"I found him close with Swift"--"Indeed? no doubt",
(Cries prating Balbus) "something will come out".
'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will.
"No, such a genius never can lie still,"
And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The first lampoon Sir Will. or Bubo makes.
Poor guiltless I! and can I choose but smile,
When ev'ry coxcomb knows me by my style?
Curs'd be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear!
But he, who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace,
Insults fall'n worth, or beauty in distress,
Who loves a lie, lame slander helps about,
Who writes a libel, or who copies out:
That fop, whose pride affects a patron's name,
Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame;
Who can your merit selfishly approve,
And show the sense of it without the love;
Who has the vanity to call you friend,
Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend;
Who tells what'er you think, whate'er you say,
And, if he lie not, must at least betray:
Who to the Dean, and silver bell can swear,
And sees at Cannons what was never there;
Who reads, but with a lust to misapply,
Make satire a lampoon, and fiction, lie.
A lash like mine no honest man shall dread,
But all such babbling blockheads in his stead.
Let Sporus tremble--"What? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?"
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'r enjoys,
So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,
As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks;
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad,
In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,
Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies.
His wit all see-saw, between that and this ,
Now high, now low, now Master up, now Miss,
And he himself one vile antithesis.
Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
The trifling head, or the corrupted heart,
Fop at the toilet, flatt'rer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have express'd,
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest;
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool,
Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor servile, be one poet's praise,
That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways;
That flatt'ry, even to kings, he held a shame,
And thought a lie in verse or prose the same:
That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long,
But stoop'd to truth, and moraliz'd his song:
That not for fame, but virtue's better end,
He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
The damning critic, half-approving wit,
The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad;
The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;
The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown;
Th' imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape;
The libell'd person, and the pictur'd shape;
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father, dead;
The whisper, that to greatness still too near,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear:--
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last!
"But why insult the poor? affront the great?"
A knave's a knave, to me, in ev'ry state:
Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail,
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail,
A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire;
If on a pillory, or near a throne,
He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
Sappho can tell you how this man was bit:
This dreaded sat'rist Dennis will confess
Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress:
So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door,
Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhym'd for Moore.
Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply?
Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie.
To please a mistress one aspers'd his life;
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife.
Let Budgell charge low Grub Street on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and muse.
Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
It was a sin to call our neighbour fool:
That harmless mother thought no wife a whore,--
Hear this! and spare his family, James Moore!
Unspotted names! and memorable long,
If there be force in virtue, or in song.
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,
While yet in Britain honour had applause)
Each parent sprung--"What fortune, pray?"--Their own,
And better got, than Bestia's from the throne.
Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age.
No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie:
Un-learn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,
No language, but the language of the heart.
By nature honest, by experience wise,
Healthy by temp'rance and by exercise;
His life, though long, to sickness past unknown;
His death was instant, and without a groan.
O grant me, thus to live, and thus to die!
Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine!
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Me, let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make langour smile, and smooth the bed of death,
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep a while one parent from the sky!
On cares like these if length of days attend,
May Heav'n, to bless those days, preserve my friend,
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as when he serv'd a queen.
Whether that blessing be denied or giv'n,
Thus far was right, the rest belongs to Heav'n.
The Battle Of The Lake Regillus
A Lay Sung at the Feast of Castor and Pollux on the Ides of Quintilis in the year of the City CCCCLI.
Ho, trumpets, sound a war-note!
Ho, lictors, clear the way!
The Knights will ride, in all their pride,
Along the streets to-day.
To-day the doors and windows
Are hung with garlands all,
From Castor in the Forum,
To Mars without the wall.
Each Knight is robed in purple,
With olive each is crowned;
A gallant war-horse under each
Paws haughtily the ground.
While flows the Yellow River,
While stands the Sacred Hill,
The proud Ides of Quintilis
Shall have such honor still.
Gay are the Martian Kalends,
December's Nones are gay,
But the proud Ides, when the squadron rides,
Shall be Rome's whitest day.
Unto the Great Twin Brethren
We keep this solemn feast.
Swift, swift, the Great Twin Brethren
Came spurring from the east.
They came o'er wild Parthenius
Tossing in waves of pine,
O'er Cirrha's dome, o'er Adria's foam,
O'er purple Apennine,
From where with flutes and dances
Their ancient mansion rings,
In lordly Lacedaemon,
The City of two kings,
To where, by Lake Regillus,
Under the Porcian height,
All in the lands of Tusculum,
Was fought the glorious fight.
Now on the place of slaughter
Are cots and sheepfolds seen,
And rows of vines, and fields of wheat,
And apple-orchards green;
The swine crush the big acorns
That fall from Corne's oaks.
Upon the turf by the Fair Fount
The reaper's pottage smokes.
The fisher baits his angle;
The hunter twangs his bow;
Little they think on those strong limbs
That moulder deep below.
Little they think how sternly
That day the trumpets pealed;
How in the slippery swamp of blood
Warrior and war-horse reeled;
How wolves came with fierce gallops,
And crows on eager wings,
To tear the flesh of captains,
And peck the eyes of kings;
How thick the dead lay scattered
Under the Porcian height;
How through the gates of Tusculum
Raved the wild stream of flight;
And how the Lake Regillus
Bubbled with crimson foam,
What time the Thirty Cities
Came forth to war with Rome.
But Roman, when thou standest
Upon that holy ground,
Look thou with heed on the dark rock
That girds the dark lake round.
So shalt thou see a hoof-mark
Stamped deep into the flint:
It was not hoof of mortal steed
That made so strange a dint:
There to the Great Twin Brethren
Vow thou thy vows, and pray
That they, in tempest and in flight,
Will keep thy head alway.
Since last the Great Twin Brethren
Of mortal eyes were seen,
Have years gone by an hundred
And fourscore and thirteen.
That summer a Virginius
Was Consul first in place;
The second was stout Aulus,
Of the Posthumian race.
The Herald of the Latines
From Gabii came in state:
The Herald of the Latines
Passed through Rome's Eastern Gate:
The Herald of the Latines
Did in our Forum stand;
And there he did his office,
A sceptre in his hand.
'Hear, Senators and people
Of the good town of Rome,
The Thirty Cities charge you
To bring the Tarquins home:
And if ye still be stubborn
To work the Tarquins wrong,
The Thirty Cities warn you,
Look your walls be strong.'
Then spake the Consul Aulus,
He spake a bitter jest:
'Once the jays sent a message
Unto the eagle's nest:-
Now yield thou up thine eyrie
Unto the carrion-kite,
Or come forth valiantly, and face
The jays in deadly fight.-
Forth looked in wrath the eagle;
And carrion-kite and jay,
Soon as they saw his beak and claw,
Fled screaming far away.'
The Herald of the Latines
Hath hied him back in state:
The Fathers of the City
Are met in high debate.
Then spake the elder Consul,
And ancient man and wise:
'Now harken, Conscript Fathers,
To that which I advise.
In seasons of great peril
'Tis good that one bear sway;
Then choose we a Dictator,
Whom all men shall obey.
Camerium knows how deeply
The sword of Aulus bites,
And all our city calls him
The man of seventy fights.
Then let him be Dictator
For six months and no more,
And have a Master of the Knights,
And axes twenty-four.'
So Aulus was Dictator,
The man of seventy fights;
He made Aebutius Elva
His Master of the Knights.
On the third morn thereafter,
At downing of the day,
Did Aulus and Aebutius
Set forth with their array.
Was left in charge at home
With boys, and with gray-headed men,
To keep the walls of Rome.
Hard by the Lake Regillus
Our camp was pitched at night:
Eastward a mile the Latines lay,
Under the Porcian height.
Far over hill and valley
Their mighty host was spread;
And with their thousand watch-fires
The midnight sky was red.
Up rose the golden morning
Over the Porcian height,
The proud Ides of Quintilis
Marked evermore in white.
Not without secret trouble
Our bravest saw the foe;
For girt by threescore thousand spears,
The thirty standards rose.
From every warlike city
That boasts the Latian name,
Fordoomed to dogs and vultures,
That gallant army came;
From Setia's purple vineyards,
From Norba's ancient wall,
From the white streets of Tusculum,
The proudust town of all;
From where the Witch's Fortress
O'er hangs the dark-blue seas;
From the still glassy lake that sleeps
Beneath Aricia's trees-
Those trees in whose dim shadow
The ghastly priest doth reign,
The priest who slew the slayer,
And shall himself be slain;
From the drear banks of Ufens,
Where flights of marsh-fowl play,
And buffaloes lie wallowing
Through the hot summer's day;
From the gigantic watch-towers,
No work of earthly men,
Whence Cora's sentinels o'erlook
The never-ending fen;
From the Laurentian jungle,
The wild hog's reedy home;
From the green steeps whence Anio leaps
In floods of snow-white foam.
Aricia, Cora, Norba,
Velitr欠with the might
Of Setia and of Tusculum,
Were marshalled on the right:
The leader was Mamilius,
Prince of the Latian name;
Upon his head a helmet
Of red gold shone like flame:
High on a gallant charger
Of dark-gray hue he rode;
Over his gilded armor
A vest of purple flowed,
Woven in the land of sunrise
By Syria's dark-browed daughters,
And by the sails of Carthage brought
Far o'er the southern waters.
Lavinium and Laurentum
Had on the left their post,
With all the banners of the marsh,
And banners of the coast.
Their leader was false Sextus,
That wrought the deed of shame:
With restless pace and haggard face
To his last field he came.
Men said he saw strange visions
Which none beside might see;
And that strange sounds were in his ears
Which none might hear but he.
A woman fair and stately,
But pale as are the dead,
Oft through the watches of the night
Sat spinning by his bed.
And as she plied the distaff,
In a sweet voice and low,
She sang of great old houses,
And fights fought long ago.
So spun she, and so sang she,
Until the east was gray.
Then pointed to her bleeding breast,
And shrieked, and fled away.
But in the centre thickest
Were ranged the shields of foes,
And from the centre loudest
The cry of batle rose.
There Tibur marched and Pedum
Beneath proud Tarquin's rule,
And Ferentinum of the rock,
And Gabii of the pool.
There rode the Volscian succors:
There, in the dark stern ring,
The Roman exiles gathered close
Around the ancient king.
Though white as Mount Soracte,
When winter nights are long,
His beard flowed down o'er mail and belt,
His heart and hand were strong:
Under his hoary eyebrows
Still flashed forth quenchless rage:
And, if the lance shook in his gripe,
'Twas more with hate than age.
Close at his side was Titus
On an Apulian steed,
Titus, the youngest Tarquin,
Too good for such a breed.
Now on each side the leaders
Gave signal for the charge;
And on each side the footmen
Strode on with lance and targe;
And on each side the horsemen
Struck their spurs deep in gore,
And front to front the armies
Met with a mighty roar:
And under that great battle
The earth with blood was red;
And, like the Pomptine fog at morn,
The dust hung overhead;
And louder still and louder
Rose from the darkened field
The braying of the war-horns,
The clang of sword and shield,
The rush of squadrons sweeping
Like whirlwinds o'er the plain,
The shouting of the slayers,
And screeching of the slain.
False Sextus rode out foremost,
His look was high and bold;
His corslet was of bison's hide,
Plated with steel and gold.
As glares the famished eagle
From the Digentian rock
On a choice lamb that bounds alone
Before Bandusia's flock,
Herminius glared on Sextus,
And came with eagle speed,
Herminius on black Auster,
Brave champion on brave steed;
In his right hand the broadsword
That kept the bridge so well,
And on his helm the crown he won
When proud Fidenae fell.
Woe to the maid whose lover
Shall cross his path to-day!
False Sextus saw, and trembled,
And turned, and fled away.
As turns, as flies, the woodman
In the Calabrian brake,
When through the reeds gleams the round eye
Of that fell speckled snake;
So turned, so fled, false Sextus,
And hid him in the rear,
Behind the dark Lavinian ranks,
Bristling with crest and spear.
But far to the north Aebutius,
The Master of the Knights,
Gave Tubero of Norba
To feed the Porcian kites.
Next under those red horse-hoofs
Flaccus of Setia lay;
Better had he been pruning
Among his elms that day.
Mamilus saw the slaughter,
And tossed his golden crest,
And towards the Master of the Knights
Through the thick battle pressed.
Aebutius smote Mamilius
So fiercely on the shield
That the great lord of Tusculum
Well-nigh rolled on the field.
Mamilius smote Aebutius,
With a good aim and true,
Just where the next and shoulder join,
And pierced him through and through;
And brave Aebutius Elva
Fell swooning to the ground:
But a thick wall of bucklers
Encompassed him around.
His clients from the battle
Bare him some little space,
And filled a helm from the dark lake,
And bathed his brow and face;
And when at last he opened
His swimming eyes to light,
Men say, the earliest words he spake
Was, 'Friends, how goes the fight?'.
But meanwhile in the centre
Great deeds of arms were wrought;
There Aulus the Dictator
And there Valerius fought.
Aulus with his good broadsword
A bloody passage cleared
To where, amidst the thickest foes,
He saw the long white beard.
Flat lighted that good broadsword
Upon proud Tarquin's head.
He dropped the lance: he dropped the reins:
He fell as fall the dead.
Down Aulus springs to slay him,
With eyes like coals of fire;
But faster Titus hath sprung down,
And hath bestrode his sire.
Latian captains, Roman knights,
Fast down to earth they spring,
And hand to hand they fight on foot
Around the ancient king.
First Titus gave tall Caeso
A death wound in the face;
Tall Caeso was the bravest man
Of the brave Fabian race:
Aulus slew Rex of Gabii,
The priest of Juno's shrine;
Valerius smote down Julius,
Of Rome's great Julian line;
Julius, who left his mansion,
High on the Velian hill,
And through all turns of weal and woe
Followed proud Tarquin still.
Now right across proud Tarquin
A corpse was Julius laid;
And Titus groaned with rage and grief,
And at Valerius made.
Valerius struck at Titus,
And lopped off half his crest;
But Titus stabbed Valerius
A span deep in the breast.
Like a mast snapped by the tempest,
Valerius reeled and fell.
Ah! woe is me for the good house
That loves the people well!
Then shouted loud the Latines;
And with one rush they bore
The struggling Romans backward
Three lances' length and more:
And up they took proud Tarquin,
And laid him on a shield,
And four strong yeomen bare him,
Still senseless, from the field.
But fiercer grew the fighting
Around Valerius dead;
For Titus dragged him by the foot
And Aulus by the head.
'On, Latines, on!' quoth Titus,
'See how the rebels fly!'
'Romans, stand firm!' quoth Aulus,
'And win this fight or die!
They must not give Valerius
To raven and to kite;
For aye Valerius loathed the wrong,
And aye upheld the right:
And for your wives and babies
In the front rank he fell.
Now play the men for the good house
That loves the people well!.'
Then tenfold round the body
The roar of battle rose,
Like the roar of a burning forest,
When a strong north wind blows,
Now backward, and now forward,
Rocked furiously the fray,
Till none could see Valerius,
And none wist where he lay.
For shivered arms and ensigns
Were heaped there in a mound,
And corpses stiff, and dying men
That writhed and gnawed the ground;
And wounded horses kicking,
And snorting purple foam:
Right well did such a couch befit
A Consular of Rome.
But north looked the Dictator;
North looked he long and hard,
And spake to Caius Cossus,
The Captain of his Guard;
'Caius, of all the Romans
Thou hast the keenest sight,
Say, what through yonder storm of dust
Comes from the Latian right;'
Then answered Caius Cossus:
'I see an evil sight;
The banner of proud Tusculum
Comes from the Latian right;
I see the plum餠horsemen;
And far before the rest
I see the dark-gray charger,
I see the purple vest;
I see the golden helmet
That shines far off like flame;
So ever rides Mamilius,
Prince of the Latian name.'
'Now hearken, Caius Cossus:
Spring on thy horse's back;
Ride as the wolves of Apennine
Were all upon thy track;
Haste to our southward battle:
And never draw thy rein
Until thou find Herminius,
And bid hime come amain.'
So Aulus spake, and turned him
Again to that fierce strife;
And Caius Cossus mounted,
And rode for death and life.
Loud clanged beneath his horse-hoofs
The helmets of the dead,
And many a curdling pool of blood
Splashed him heel to head.
So came he far to southward,
Where fought the Roman host,
Against the banners of the marsh
And banners of the coast.
Like corn before the sickle
The stout Laninians fell,
Beneath the edge of the true sword
That kept the bridge so well.
'Herminius! Aulus greets thee;
He bids thee come with speed,
To help our central bettle,
For sore is there our need;
There wars the youngest Tarquin,
And there the Crest of Flame,
The Tusculan Mamilius,
Prince of the Latian name.
Valerius hath fallen fighting
In front of our array;
And Aulus of the seventy fields
Alone upholds the day.'
Herminius beat his bosom:
But never a word he spake.
He clapped his hand on Auster's mane,
He gave the reins a shake.
Away, away, went Auster,
Like an arrow from the bow:
Black Auster was the fleetest steed
From Aufidus to Po.
Right glad were all the Romans
Who, in that hour of dread,
Against great odds bare up the war
Around Valerius dead,
When from the south the cheering
Rose with a mighty swell;
'Herminius comes, Herminius,
Who kept the bridge so well!'
Mamilius spied Herminius,
And dashed across the way.
'Herminius! I have sought thee
Through many a bloody day.
One of us two, Herminius,
Shall never more go home.
I will lay on for Tusculum,
And lay thou on for Rome!
All round them paused the battle,
While met in mortal fray
The Roman and the Tusculan,
The horses black and gray.
Herminius smote Mamilius
Through breast-plate and through breast,
And fast flowed out the purple blood
Over the purple vest.
Mamilius smote Herminius
Through head-piece and through head,
And side by side those chiefs of pride,
Together fell down dead.
Down fell they dead together
In a great lake of gore;
And still stood all who saw them fall
While men might count a score.
Fast, fast, with heels wild spurning,
The dark-gray charger fled:
He burst through ranks of fighting men,
He sprang o'er heaps of dead.
His bridle far out-streming,
His flanks all blood and foam,
He sought the southern mountains,
The mountains of his home.
The pass was steep and rugged,
The wolves they howled and whined;
But he ran like a whirlwind up the pass,
And he left the wolves behind.
Through many a startled hamlet
Thundered his flying feet;
He rushed through the gate of Tusculum,
He rushed up the long white street;
He rushed by tower and temple,
And paused not from his race
Till he stood before his master's door
In the stately market-place.
And straightway round him gathered
A pale and trembling crowd,
And when they knew him, cries of rage
Brake forth, and wailing loud:
And women rent their tresses
For their great prince's fall;
And old men girt on their old swords,
And went to man the wall.
But, like a graven image,
Black Auster kept his place,
And ever wistfully he looked
Into his master's face.
The raven-mane that daily,
With pats and fond caresses,
The young Herminia washed and combed,
And twined in even tresses,
And decked with colored ribbons
From her own gay attire,
Hung sadly o'er her father's corpse
In carnage and in mire.
Forth with a shout sprang Titus,
And seized black Auster's rein.
Then Aulus sware a fearful oath,
And ran at him amain.
'The furies of thy brother
With me and mine abide,
If one of your accursed house
Upon black Auster ride!'
As on a Alpine watch-tower
From heaven comes down the flame,
Full on the neck of Titus
The blade of Aulus came:
And out the red blood spouted,
In a wide arch and tall,
As spouts a fountain in the court
Of some rich Capuan's hall.
The knees of all the Latines
Were loosened with dismay,
When dead, on dead Herminius,
The bravest Tarquin lay.
And Aulus the Dictator
Stroked Auster's raven mane,
With heed he looked unto the girths,
With heed unto the rein.
'Now bear me well, black Auster,
Into yon thick array;
And thou and I will have revenge
For thy good lord this day.'
So spake he; and was buckling
Tighter black Auster's band,
When he was aware of a princely pair
That rode at his right hand.
So like they were, no mortal
Might one from other know:
White as snow their armor was:
Their steeds were white as snow.
Never on earthly anvil
Did such rare armor gleam;
And never did such gallant steeds
Drink of an earthly stream.
And all who saw them trembled,
And pale grew every cheek;
And Aulus the Dictator
Scarce gathered voice to speak.
'Say by what name men call you?
What city is your home?
And wherefore ride ye in such guise
Before the ranks of Rome?'
'By many names men call us;
In many lands we dwell:
Well Samothracia knows us;
Cyrene knows us well.
Our house in gay Tarentum
Is hung each morn with flowers:
High o'er the masts of Syracuse
Our marble portal towers;
But by the proud Eurotas
Is our dear native home;
And for the right we come to fight
Before the ranks of Rome.'
So answered those strange horsemen,
And each couched low his spear;
And forthwith all the ranks of Rome
Were bold, and of good cheer:
And on the thirty armies
Came wonder and affright,
And Ardea wavered on the left,
And Cora on the right.
'Rome to the charge!' cried Aulus;
'The foe begins to yield!
Charge for the hearth of Vesta!
Charge for the Golden Shield!
Let no man stop to plunder,
But slay, and slay, and slay;
The gods who live forever
Are on our side to-day.'
Then the fierce trumpet-flourish
From earth to heaven arose,
The kites know well the long stern swell
That bids the Romans close.
Then the good sword of Aulus
Was lifted up to slay;
Then, like a crag down Apennine,
Rushed Auster through the fray.
But under those strange horsemen
Still thicker lay the slain;
And after those strange horses
Black Auster toiled in vain.
Behind them Rome's long battle
Came rolling on the foe,
Ensigns dancing wild above,
Blades all in line below.
So comes the Po in flood-time
Upon the Celtic plain;
So comes the squall, blacker than night,
Upon the Adrian main.
Now, by our Sire Quirinus,
It was a goodly sight
To see the thirty standards
Swept down the tide of flight.
So flies the spray of Adria
When the black squall doth blow
So corn-sheaves in the flood-time
Spin down the whirling Po.
False Sextus to the mountains
Turned first his horse's head;
And fast fled Ferentinum,
And fast Lanuvium fled.
The horsemen of Nomentus
Spurred hard out of the fray;
The footmen of Velitrae
Threw shield and spear away.
And underfoot was trampled,
Amidst the mud and gore,
The banner of proud Tusculum,
That never stooped before:
And down went Flavius Faustus,
Who led his stately ranks
From where the apple blossoms wave
On Anio's echoing banks,
And Tullus of Arpinum,
Chief of the Volscian aids,
And Metius with the long fair curls,
The love of Anxur's maids,
And the white head of Vulso,
The great Arician seer,
And Nepos of Laurentum
The hunter of the deer;
And in the back false Sextus
Felt the good Roman steel,
And wriggling in the dust he died,
Like a worm beneath the wheel:
And fliers and pursuers
Were mingled in a mass;
And far away the battle
Went roaring through the pass.
Sat in the Eastern Gate,
Beside him were three Fathers,
Each in his chair of state;
Fabius, whose nine stout grandsons
That day were in the field,
And Manlius, eldest of the Twelve
Who keep the Golden Shield;
And Sergius, the High Pontiff,
For wisdom far renowned;
In all Etruria's colleges
Was no such Pontiff found.
And all around the portal,
And high above the wall,
Stood a great throng of people,
But sad and silent all;
Young lads and stooping elders
That might not bear the mail,
Matrons with lips that quivered,
And maids with faces pale.
Since the first gleam of daylight,
Sempronius had not ceased
To listen for the rushing
Of horse-hoofs from the east.
The mist of eve was rising,
The sun was hastening down,
When he was aware of a princely pair
Fast pricking towards the town.
So like they were, man never
Saw twins so like before;
Red with gore their armor was,
Their steeds were red with gore.
'Hail to the great Asylum!
Hail to the hill-tops seven!
Hail to the fire that burns for aye,
And the shield that fell from heaven!
This day, by Lake Regillus,
Under the Porcian height,
All in the lands of Tusculum
Was fought a glorious fight.
Tomorrow your Dictator
Shall bring in triumph home
he spoils of thirty cities
To deck the shrines of Rome!'
Then burst from that great concourse
A shout that shook the towers,
And some ran north, and some ran south,
Crying, 'The day is ours!'
But on rode these strange horsemen,
With slow and lordly pace;
And none who saw their bearing
Durst ask their name or race.
On rode they to the Forum,
While laurel-boughs and flowers,
From house-tops and from windows,
Fell on their crests in showers.
When they drew nigh to Vesta,
They vaulted down amain,
And washed their horses in the well
That springs by Vesta's fane.
And straight again they mounted,
And rode to Vesta's door;
Then, like a blast, away they passed,
And no man saw them more.
And all the people trembled,
And pale grew every cheek;
And Sergius the High Pontiff
Alone found voice to speak:
'The gods who live forever
Have fought for Rome to-day!
These be the Great Twin Brethren
To whom the Dorians pray.
Back comes the chief in triumph,
Who, in the hour of fight,
Hath seen the Great Twin Brethren
In harness on his right.
Safe comes the ship to haven,
Through billows and through gales,
If once the Great Twin Brethren
Sit shining on the sails.
Wherefore they washed their horses
In Vesta's holy well,
Wherefore they rode to Vesta's door,
I know, but may not tell.
Here, hard by Vesta's temple,
Build we a stately dome
Unto the Great Twin Brethren
Who fought so well for Rome.
And when the months returning
Bring back this day of fight,
The proud Ides of Quintilis,
Marked evermore with white,
Unto the Great Twin Brethren
Let all the people throng,
With chaplets and with offerings,
With music and with song;
And let the doors and windows
Be hung with garlands all,
And let the knights be summoned
To Mars without the wall:
Thence let them ride in purple
With joyous trumpet-sound,
Each mounted on his war-horse,
And each with olive crowned;
And pass in solemn order
Before the sacred dome,
Where dwell the Great Twin Brethren
Who fought so well for Rome.'
The Believer's Jointure : Chapter II.
Containing the Marks and Characters of the Believer in Christ; together with some further privileges and grounds of comfort to the Saints.
Doubting Believers called to examine, by marks drawn from their love to Him and his presence, their view of his glory, and their being emptied of Self-Righteousness, &c.
Good news! but, says the drooping bride,
Ah! what's all this to me?
Thou doubt'st thy right, when shadows hide
Thy Husband's face from thee.
Though sin and guilt thy spirit faints,
And trembling fears thy fate;
But harbour not thy groundless plaints,
Thy Husband's advent wait.
Thou sobb'st, 'O were I sure he's mine,
This would give glad'ning ease;'
And say'st, Though wants and woes combine,
Thy Husband would thee please.
But up and down, and seldom clear,
Inclos'd with hellish routs;
Yet yield thou not, nor foster fear:
Thy Husband hates thy doubts.
Thy cries and tears may slighted seem,
And barr'd from present ease;
Yet blame thyself, but never dream
Thy Husband's ill to please.
Thy jealous unbelieving heart
Still droops, and knows not why;
Then prove thyself to ease thy smart,
Thy Husband bids the try.
The following questions put to the
As scripture-marks, may tell
And shew, what'er thy failings be,
Thy Husband loves thee well.
Art thou content when he's away?
Can earth allay thy pants?
If conscience witness, won't it say,
Thy Husband's all thou wants?
When he is near, (though in a cross)
And thee with comfort feeds;
Dost thou not count the earth as dross,
Thy Husband all thou needs?
In duties art thou pleas'd or pain'd,
When far he's out of view?
And finding him, think'st all regain'd,
Thy Husband's always new?
Though once thou thought'st, while Sinai mist
And darkness compass'd thee,
Thou wast undone: and glorious Christ
Thy Husband ne'er would be.
Yet know'st thou not a fairer place,
Of which it may be told,
That there the glory of his grace
Thy Husband did unfold?
Where heav'nly beams inflam'd thy soul,
And love's seraphic art,
With hallelujahs, did extol
Thy Husband in thy heart.
Could'st then have wish'd all Adam's race
Had join'd with thee to gaze;
That viewing fond his comely face,
Thy Husband might get praise?
Art thou disjoin'd from other lords?
Divorc'd from fed'ral laws?
While, with most loving gospel cords,
Thy Husband kindly draws?
A'n't thou enlighten'd now to see
Thy righteousness is naught
But rags, that cannot cover thee?
Thy Husband so has taught.
Dost see thy best performances
Deserve but hell indeed?
And hence art led, renouncing these,
Thy Husband's blood to plead?
When strengthen'd boldly to address
That gracious throne of his,
Dost find, thy strength and righteousness
Thy Husband only is?
Canst thou thy most exalted frame
Renounce, as with'ring grass,
And firmly hold thine only claim,
Thy Husband's worthiness?
Canst pray with utmost holy pith,
And yet renounce thy good?
And wash, not with thy tears, but with
Thy Husband's precious blood?
Believers described, from their Faith acting by divine aid, and fleeing quite out of themselves to Christ.
Can nothing less thy conscience ease,
And please thy heart; no less
Than that which justice satisfies,
Thy Husband's righteousness?
Dost see thy works so stain'd with sin,
That thou through grace art mov'd
To seek acceptance only in
Thy Husband, the Belov'd?
Dost thou remind, that once a-day
Free grace did strengthen thee,
To gift thy guilty soul away,
Thy Husband's bride to be?
Or dost thou mind the day of pow'r,
Wherein he broke thy pride,
And gain'd thy heart? O happy hour!
Thy Husband caught the bride!
He did thy enmity subdue,
Thy bondage sad recal,
Made thee to choose, and close pursue
Thy Husband as thy all.
What rest, and peace and joy ensu'd
Upon this noble choice?
Thy heart, with flow'rs of pleasure strew'd,
Thy Husband made rejoice.
Dost know thou ne'er couldst him embrace,
Till he embraced thee?
Nor ever see him, till his face
Thy Husband open'd free?
And findest to this very hour,
That this is still the charm;
Thou canst do nothing, till with pow'r
Thy Husband shew his arm?
Canst thou do nought by nature, art,
Or any strength of thine,
Until thy wicked froward heart
Thy Husband shall incline?
But art thou, though without a wing
Of pow'r aloft to flee,
Yet able to do ev'ry thing,
Thy Husband strength'ning thee?
Dost not alone at duties fork,
But foreign aid enjoy?
And still in ev'ry piece of work
Thy Husband's strength employ?
Thy motion heav'nly is indeed,
While thou by faith dost move.
And still in ev'ry time of need
Thy Husband's grace improve.
No common nat'ral faith can shew
Its divine brood, like this;
Whose object, author, feeder too,
Thy Husband only is.
Dost thou by faith on him rely?
On him, not on thy faith?
If faith shall with its object vie,
Thy Husband's set beneath
Their hands receiving faculty
Poor beggars never view;
But hold the royal gift in eye:
Thy Husband so wilt thou.
Faith, like a gazing eye, ne'er waits
To boast its seeing pow'rs;
Its object views, itself forgets,
Thy Husband it adores.
It humbly still itself denies,
Nor brags its acts at all;
Deep plung'd into its object lies,
Thy Husband is its all.
No strength but his it has, and vaunts,
No store but his can show:
Hence nothing has, yet nothing wants,
Thy Husband trains it so.
Faith, of its own, no might can shew,
Else would itself destroy;
But will for all it has to do,
Thy Husband still employ.
Self-saviours none could ever be
By faith, or grace of theirs;
Their fruitless toil, so high that flee,
Thy Husband's praise impairs.
The seemingly devoutest deed,
That would with shameless brow
His saving trade take o'er his head,
Thy Husband won't allow.
Dost therefore thou to him alone
Commit thy sinful soul?
Knowing of thy salvation
Thy Husband is the whole?
Believers characterised by the objects and purity of their desire, delight, joy, hatred, and love, discovering they have the Spirit of Christ.
Dost thou his Spirit's conduct wait?
And when compar'd to this,
All worldly wisdom under-rate?
Thy Husband waits to bless.
Tak'st thou his Spirit for thy guide
Through Baca's valley dry,
Whose streams of influence glide
Thy Husband's garden by?
In digging wells here by his pow'r
Dost find it not in vain,
While here a drop, and there a show'r
Thy Husband makes to rain?
Hence doth thou through each weary case
From strength to strength go on,
From faith to faith, while grace for grace
Thy Husband gives anon?
The good, the gracious work begun,
And further'd by his strength,
Shall prosp'rous, though with wrestling, win
Thy Husband's crown at length.
Sin's pow'r and presence, canst thou own,
Is thy most grievous smart,
That makes thee sob, and weep alone?
Thy Husband knows thy heart.
Does love to him make thee distaste
Thy lusts, with all their charms?
And most them loath'st, when most thou hast
Thy Husband, in thine arms?
Are cords of love the sweetest ties
To bind thee duty-ways?
And best thou serv'st when most thou spies
Thy Husband's beauteous rays?
Didst ever thou thy pardon read
In tears of untold joy?
When mercy made thy heart to bleed,
Thy Husband was not coy.
Do pardons sweetly melt thy heart,
And most imbitter sin?
And make thee long with dross to part,
Thy Husband's throne to win?
When he arises lusts to kill,
Corruptions to destroy,
Does gladness then thy spirit fill?
Thy Husband is thy joy.
Dost thou his person fair embrace
Beyond his blessings all?
Sure, then, thou boldly mayst, through grace,
Thy Husband, Jesus call.
What company dost thou prefer?
What friends, above the rest?
Of all relations every where,
Thy Husband is the best.
Whom in the earth or heav'n dost thou
Most ardently desire?
Is love's ascending spark unto
Thy Husband sets on fire?
Hast thou a hatred to his foes,
And dost their course decline?
Lov'st thou his saints, and dar'st suppose
Thy Husband's friends are thine?
Dost thou their talk and walk esteem,
When most divinely grave?
And favour'st best when most they seem
Thy Husband's Sp'rit to have?
Believers in Christ affect his counsel, word, ordinances, appearance, full enjoyment in heaven, and sweet presence here.
Where go'st thou first, when in a strait,
Or when with grief opprest?
Fleest thou to him? O happy gate!
Thy Husband is thy rest.
His counsel seek'st thou still prepar'd,
Nor canst without him live?
Wisdom to guide, and strength to guard,
Thy Husband hath to give.
Canst thou produce no pleasant pawn,
Or token of his love?
Won't signets, bracelets, from his hand,
Thy Husband's kindness prove?
Mind'st when he sent his healing word,
Which darting from on high,
Did light, and life, and joy afford?
Thy Husband then was nigh.
Canst thou the promise sweet forget,
He dropt into thy heart?
Such glad'ning pow'r, and love with it,
Thy Husband did impart.
Dost thou affect his dwelling-place,
And mak'st it thy repair;
Because thine eyes have seen, through grace,
Thy Husband's glory there?
Dost love his great appearing day,
And thereon muse with joy;
When dusky shades will fly away,
Thy Husband death destroys?
Dost long to see his glorious face
Within the higher orb,
Where humid sorrows losing place,
Thy Husband's rays absorb?
Long'st to be free of ev'ry fault,
To bid all sin adieu?
And mount the hill, where glad thou shalt
Thy Husband's glory view?
Life where it lives, love where it loves,
Will most desire to be:
Such love-sick longing plainly proves
Thy Husband's love to thee.
What is it best can ease thy plaint,
Spread morning o'er thine ev'n?
Is his approach thy heart's content,
Thy Husband's presence heav'n?
And when deny'd this sweet relief,
Canst thou assert full well,
His hiding is thy greatest grief,
Thy Husband's absence hell?
Let thy experience be disclos'd;
If conscience answer Yea
To all the queries here propos'd,
Thy Husband's thine for ay.
Pertain these characters to thee?
Then, soul, begin and praise
His glorious worthy name, for he
Thy Husband is always.
The true Believer's humility, dependence, zeal, growth, admiration of free grace, and knowledge of Christ's voice.
Perhaps a saint may sigh and say,
'I fear I'm yet to learn
These marks of marriage love.' Yet stay,
Thy Husband's bowels yearn.
Though darkness may thy light obscure,
And storms surmount thy calms,
Day yield to night, and thou be poor,
Thy Husband yet has alms.
Dost see thyself an empty brat,
A poor unworthy thing,
With heart upon the dust laid flat?
Thy Husband there does reign.
Art in thine own esteem a beast,
And dost thyself abhor?
The more thou hast of self-distaste,
Thy Husband loves the more.
Can hell breed no such wicked elf,
As thou, in thine own sight?
Thou'st got, to see thy filthy self,
Thy Husband's purest light.
Canst find no names so black, so vile,
With which thou wouldst compare,
But call'st thyself a lump of hell?
Thy Husband calls thee fair.
When his kind visits make thee see
He's precious, thou art vile;
Then mark the hand of God with thee,
Thy Husband gives a smile.
He knows what visits suit thy state,
And though most rare they be,
It sets thee well on him to wait,
Thy Husband waits on thee.
Dost see thou art both poor and weak,
And he both full and strong?
O don't his kind delays mistake,
Thy Husband comes ere long.
Though during Sinai's stormy day,
Thou dread'st the dismal blast,
And fear'st thou art a cast-away,
Thy Husband comes at last.
The glorious Sun will rise apace,
And spread his healing wings,
In sparkling pomp of sov'reign grace,
Thy Husband gladness brings.
Canst thou, whate'er should come of thee,
Yet wish his Zion well,
And joy in her prosperity?
Thy Husband loves thy zeal.
Dost thou admire his love to some,
Though thou shouldst never share?
will also come,
Thy Husband hath to spare.
Poor soul! dost grieve for want of grace
And weep for want of love,
And Jesus seek'st! O hopeful case!
Thy Husband lives above.
Regretting much thy falling short,
Dost after more aspire?
There's hope in Israel for thy sort,
Thy Husband's thy desire.
Art thou well pleas'd that sov'reign grace,
Through Christ, exalted be?
This fame denotes no hopeless case,
Thy Husband's pleas'd with thee.
Couldst love to be the footstool low,
On which his throne might rise,
Its pompous grace around to show?
Thy Husband does the prize.
If but a glance of his fair face
Can cheer thee more than wine;
Thou in his loving heart hast place,
Thy Husband place in thine.
Dost make his blood thy daily bath?
His word and oath thy stay?
His law of love thy lightsome path?
Thy Husband is thy way.
All things within earth's spacious womb
Dost count but loss and dung,
For one sweet word in season from
Thy Husband's learned tongue?
Skill to discern and know his voice,
From words of wit and art,
Will clearly prove thou art his choice,
Thy Husband's thine in heart.
The pompous words that fops admire,
May vagrant fancy feast;
But with seraphic harmless fire
Thy Husband's burn the breast.
True Believers are willing to be tried and examined. Comforts arising to them from Christ's ready supply, real sympathy, and relieving names, suiting their need.
Dost thou upon thy trait'rous heart
Still keep a jealous eye?
Most willing that thine inward part
Thy Husband strictly try?
The thieving crowd will hate the light,
Lest stol'n effects be shown;
But truth desires what's wrong or right
Thy Husband would make known.
Dost then his trying word await,
His searching doctrine love?
Fond, lest thou err through self-deceit,
Thy Husband would thee prove?
Does oft thy mind with inward smart
Bewail thy unbelief?
And conscious sue, from plagues of heart,
Thy Husband for relief?
Why doubt'st his love? and yet, behold,
With him thou wouldst not part
For thousand thousand earths of gold;
Thy Husband has thy heart.
Though darkness, deadness, unbelief,
May all thy soul attend;
Light, life, and faith's mature relief,
Thy Husband has to send.
Of wants annoying, why complain?
Supply arises hence;
What gifts he has receiv'd for men,
Thy Husband will dispense,
He got them in's exalted state
For rebels, such as thou;
All then that's needful, good, or great,
Thy Husband will allow.
Thy wants he sees, thy cries he hears;
And, marking all thy moans,
He in his bottle keeps thy tears,
Thy Husband notes thy groans.
All thine infirmities him touch,
They strike his feeling heart;
His kindly sympathy is such,
Thy Husband finds the smart.
Whatever touches thee, affects
The apple of his eye;
Whatever harms he therefore checks,
Thy Husband's aid is nigh.
If foes are spar'd, thy need is such,
He slays them but in part:
He can do all, and will do much,
Thy Husband acts by art.
He often for the saddest hour
Reserves the sweetest aid:
See how such banners heretofore
Thy Husband has display'd.
Mind where he vouched his good-will,
Sometimes at Hermon mount.
In Jordan land, at Mizar-hill;
Thy Husband keeps the court.
At sundry times, and divers ways,
To suit thy various frames,
Hast seen like rising golden rays,
Thy Husband's various names?
When guilty conscience ghastly star'd,
The Lord thy righteousness appear'd,
Thy Husband in thy view.
When in thy straits, or wants extreme,
Help fail'd on ev'ry side,
Jehovah-Jireh was his name,
Thy Husband did provide.
When thy long absent Lord didst moan,
And to his courts repair;
Then was Jehovah-Shammah known
Thy Husband present there.
When thy assaulting foes appear'd,
In robes of terror clad,
Jehovah-Nissi then was rear'd,
Thy Husband's banner spread.
When furies arm'd with fright'ning guilt,
Dunn'd war without surcease;
Jehovah-Shalom then was built,
Thy Husband sent thee peace.
When thy diseases death proclaim'd,
And creature-balsams fail'd,
Jehovah-Rophi then was built;
Thy Husband kindly heal'd.
Thus, as thy various needs require,
In various modes like these,
The help that suits thy heart's desire,
Thy Husband's name conveys.
To th' little flock, as cases vary,
The great Jehovah shews
Himself a little sanctuary,
Thy Husband gives thee views.
The Believer's experience of Christ's comfortable presence, or of former comforts to be improved for his encouragement and support under darkness and hidings.
Dost mind the place, the spot of land,
Where Jesus did thee meet?
And how he got thy head and hand?
Thy Husband then was sweet.
Dost mind the garden, chamber, bank,
A vale of vision seem'd?
Thy joy was full, thy heart was frank,
Thy Husband much esteem'd.
Let thy experience sweet declare,
If able to remind;
A Bochim he here, a Bethel there,
Thy Husband made thee find.
Was such a corner, such a place,
A paradise to thee,
A Peniel, where face to face
Thy Husband fair didst see?
There did he clear thy cloudy cause,
Thy doubts and fears destroy;
And on thy spirit seal'd he was,
Thy Husband, with great joy.
Could'st thou have said it boldly then,
And seal'd it with thy blood?
Yea, welcome death with pleasure, when
Thy Husband by thee stood?
That earth again should thee insnare,
O how thy heart was pain'd!
For all its faiding glory there
Thy Husband's beauty stain'd.
The thoughts of living more in sin
Were then like hell to thee;
The life of heav'n did thus begin,
Thy Husband set thee free.
Whate'er thou found'st him at thy best,
He's at thy worst the same,
And in his love will ever rest,
Thy Husband holds his claim.
Let faith these visits keep in store,
Though sence the pleasure miss;
The God of Bethel, as before,
Thy Husband always is.
In meas'ring his approaches kind,
And timing his descents;
In free and sov'reign ways thou'lt find
Thy Husband thee prevents.
Prescribe not to him in thy heart,
He's infinitely wise,
How oft he throws his loving dart,
Thy Husband does surprise.
Perhaps a sudden gale thee blest,
While walking in thy road;
Or on a journey, e'er thou wist,
Thy Husband look'd thee broad.
Thus was the Eunuch fam'd (his stage
A riding on the way,
As he revolv'd the sacred page)
Thy Husband's happy prey.
In hearing, reading, singing, pray'r,
When darkness compass'd thee,
Thou found'st or ere thou wast aware,
Thy Husband's light'ning free.
Of heav'ly gales don't meanly think:
For, though thy soul complains,
They're but a short and passing blink;
Thy Husband's love remains.
Think not, though breezes haste away,
Thou dost his favour lose;
But learn to know his sov'reign way,
Thy Husband comes and goes.
Don't say he's gone for ever, though
His visits he adjourn;
For yet a little while, and lo,
Thy Husband will return.
In worship social or retir'd,
Dost thou his absence wail?
Wait at his shore, and be not fear'd,
Thy Husband's ship's a sail.
Yea, through in duties sense may miss
Thy soul's beloved One;
Yet do not faint, for never is
Thy Husband wholly gone.
Though Satan, sin, earth, hell, at once
Would thee of joy bereave:
Mind what he said, he won't renounce,
Thy Husband will not leave.
Though foes assail, and friendship fail,
Thou hast a friend at court:
The gates of hell shall ne'er prevail,
Thy Husband is thy fort.
Comfort to Believers from the stability of the promise notwithstanding heavy chastisements for sin.
Take well howe'er kind Wisdom may
Dispose thy present lot;
Though heav'n and earth should pass away,
Thy Husband's love will not.
All needful help he will afford,
Thou hast his vow and oath;
And once to violate his word
Thy Husband will be loth.
To fire and floods with thee he'll down,
His promise this insures,
Whose credit cannot burn nor drown;
Thy Husband's truth endures.
Dost thou no more his word believe,
As mortal man's, forsooth?
O do not thus his Spirit grieve,
Thy Husband is the Truth.
Though thou both wicked art and weak,
His word he'll never rue;
Though heav'n and earth should bend and break,
Thy Husband will be true.
I'll never leave thee, is his vow;
If Truth has said the word,
While Truth is truth, this word is true,
Thy Husband is the Lord.
Thy covenant of duties may
Prove daily most unsure:
His covenant of grace for ay
Thy Husband does secure.
Dost thou to him thy promise break,
And fear he'll break to thee?
Nay, not thy thousand crimes can make
Thy Husband once to lie.
He visit will thy sins with strokes,
And lift his heavy hand;
But never once his word revokes,
Thy Husband's truth will stand.
Then dream not he is chang'd in love,
When thou art chang'd in frame;
Thou mayst by turns unnumber'd move,
Thy Husband's ay the same.
He for thy follies may thee bind
With cords of great distress;
To make thee moan thy sins, and mind
Thy Husband's holiness.
By wounds, he makes thee seek his cure;
By frowns, his favour prize;
By falls affrighting, stand more sure;
Thy Husband is so wise.
Proud Peter in the dirt of vice
Fell down exceeding low;
His tow'ring pride, by tumbling thrice,
Thy Husband cured so.
Before he suffer pride that swells,
He'll drag thee through the mire
Of sins, temptations, little hells;
Thy Husband saves by fire.
He in affliction's mortar may
Squeeze out old Adam's juice,
Till thou return to him, and say,
Thy Husband is thy choice.
Fierce billows may thy vessel toss,
And crosses curses seem;
But that the curse has fled the cross,
Thy Husband bids thee deem.
Conclude not he in wrath disowns,
When trouble thee surrounds;
These are his favourable frowns,
Thy Husband's healing wounds.
Yea, when he gives the deepest lash,
Love leads the wounding hand:
His stroke, when sin has got a dash,
Thy Husband will remand.
Comfort to Believers, in Christ's relations, in his dying love, his glory in heaven, to which he will lead them through death, and supply with all necessaries by the way.
Behold the patrimony broad
That falls to thee by line;
In him thou art an heir of God,
Thy Husband's Father's thine.
He is of relatives a store,
Thy Friend, will help in thrall:
Thy Brother much, thy Father more,
Thy Husband most of all.
All these he does amass and share,
In ways that most excel:
'Mong all the husbands ever were,
Thy Husband bears the bell.
Whence run the streams of all thy good,
But from his pierced side?
With liquid gold of precious blood
Thy Husband bought his bride.
His blood abundant value bore,
To make his purchase broad,
'Twas fair divinity in gore,
Thy Husband is thy God.
Who purchas'd at the highest price,
Be crown'd with highest praise;
For in the highest paradise
Thy Husband wears the bays.
He is of Heav'n the comely rose,
His beauty makes it fair;
Heav'n were but hell, couldst thou suppose
Thy Husband were not there.
He thither did in pomp ascend,
His spouse along to bring:
Thy Husband's bride may sing.
Ev'n there with him for ever fix'd,
His glory shalt thou see;
And nought but death is now betwixt
Thy Husband's throne and thee.
He'll order death, that porter rude,
To ope the gates of brass;
For, lo! with characters of blood
Thy Husband wrote thy pass.
At Jordan deep then be not scar'd,
Though dismal-like and broad;
Thy sun will guide, thy shield will guard,
Thy Husband pav'd the road.
He'll lead thee safe, and bring thee home,
And still let blessings fall
Of grace while here, till glory come:
Thy Husband's bound for all.
His store can answer ev'ry bill,
Thy food and raiment's bought;
Be at his will, thou'lt have thy fill,
Thy Husband wants for nought.
What can thy soul conceive it lacks?
His store, his pow'r is thine:
His lib'ral heart to lib'ral acts
Thy Husband does incline.
Though on thy hand, that has no might,
He should thy task enlarge;
Nor work nor warfare needs thee fright,
Thy Husband bears the charge.
Thou would (if left) thyself undo,
So apt to fall and stray;
But he uplifts and leads thee too;
Thy Husband knows the way.
Comfort to Believers from the text, Thy Maker is thy Husband, inverted thus, Thy Husband is thy Maker; and the conclusion of this subject.
Of light and life, of grace and glore,
In Christ thou art partaker.
Rejoice in him for evermore,
Thy Husband is thy Maker.
He made thee, yea, made thee his bride,
Nor heeds thine ugly patch;
To what he made he'll still abide,
Thy Husband made the match.
He made all; yea, he made all thine,
All to thee shall be giv'n.
Who can thy kingdom undermine?
Thy Husband made the heav'n.
What earthly thing can thee annoy?
He made the earth to be;
The waters cannot thee destroy,
Thy Husband made the sea.
Don't fear the flaming element
Thee hurt with burning ire;
Or that the scorching heart torment:
Thy Husband made the fire.
Infectious streams shall ne'er destroy,
While he is pleas'd to spare;
Thou shalt thy vital breath enjoy,
Thy Husband made the air.
The sun that guides the golden day,
The moon that rules the night,
The starry frame, the milky way,
Thy Husband made for light.
The bird that wings its airy path,
The fish that cuts the flood,
The creeping crowd that swarms beneath,
Thy Husband made for good.
The gazing herd, the beast of prey,
The creatures great and small
For thy behoof their tribute pay,
Thy husband made them all.
Thine's Paul, Apollos, life and death,
Things present, things to be;
And every thing that being hath,
Thy Husband made for thee.
In Tophet of the dam'd's resort
Thy soul shall never dwell,
Nor needs from thence imagine hurt,
Thy Husband formed hell.
Satan with instruments of his,
May rage, yet dread no evil:
So far as he a creature is,
Thy Husband made the devil.
His black temptations may afflict,
His fiery darts annoy;
But all his works, and hellish trick,
Thy Husband will destroy.
Let armies strong of earthly gods
Combine with hellish ghosts,
They live, or languish, at his nods;
Thy Husband's Lord of hosts.
What can thee hurt? whom dost thou fear?
All things are at his call.
Thy Maker is thy Husband dear,
Thy Husband all in all.
What dost thou seek? what dost thou want?
He'll thy desires fulfil;
He gave himself, what won't he grant?
Thy Husband's at thy will.
The more thou dost of him desire,
The more he loves to give:
High let thy mounting arms aspire,
Thy Husband gives thee leave.
The less thou seek'st, the less thou dost
His bounty set on high;
But highest seekers here do most
Thy Husband glorify.
Would'st thou have grace? Well; but 'tis meet
He should more glory gain.
Would'st thou have Father, Son, and Sp'rit?
Thy Husband says, \Amen.
He'll kindly act the lib'ral God,
Devising lib'ral things;
With royal gifts his subjects load;
Thy Husband's King of kings.
No earthly monarchs have such store
As thou hast ev'n in hand;
But, O how infinitely more
Thy Husband gives on band!
Thou hast indeed the better part,
The part will fail thee never:
Thy Husband's hand, thy Husband's heart,
Thy Husband's all for ever.