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Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Talent does what it can, Genius does what it must.

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So I Can Be What I Must Be

i never got what i want
never had what i love

i'll put it on record
in caution of the cord

the days are coming fast
meet me in the face and go away

a few days more and soon
this will be over

it is good
for i hope for somewhere else

for someone not like myself
and for someone not like yourself

who knows? life and death will always find a way
so i can be what i must be.

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What I Must Do

I used to plan and plot
And try to live correct
Lately I do a lot
Of things that dont make sense
Now I must do what I must
Now why do you think that a man
Jumps out of the frying pan
Into the fire when he can
Find a way not to get burned?
I must do what I must do
And I do though I know better
I must do what I must do
(even though hes gonna get it!)
Below the sky above
Beyond whats good and true
Some thing as loud as love
Calls out I cant refuse
I must do what I must do
And I do though I know better
I must do what I must do
(even though he might regret it)

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What I Must Insist I Keep

Futile is the attempt to create my reality,
For me.
Or what takes place in it,
To benefit another's version of life.
I will never accept,
Since for me the feeling is not right.

And I don't go out of my way to disrespect anyone,
By rejecting a point of view that doesn't to me come.
It is not my way to have my comfort redefined.
And the peace and comfort that is my own...
Is what I must insist I keep!
Without needless discussion.

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Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Talent does what it can genius does what it must.

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Talent does what it can genius does what it must.

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Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.

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Genius does what it must, and talent does what it can.

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Eugene Delacroix

Talent does whatever it wants to do. Genius does only what it can.

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Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Talk not of genius baffled, Genius is master of man. Genius does what it must, and talent does what it can.

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In Mozart and Salieri we see the contrast between the genius which does what it must and the talent which does what it can.

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If It Isn't What It Should Be

When a tree begins to grow...
Is it nurtured to seek approval?
Does it do it to get that from other trees?
Or does it just grow to be what it is?
To grow to be what it is freely,
With only God to please.

And if it isn't what it should be...
What and who is there to correct it?
What recommends or suggests to it what it must do...
To become what it is and comfort it too?

And if it isn't growing in faith...
Does God choose to get moody,
And brood?
Observing this with attitude?
Insisting Mother Nature refuse it,
Any assistence on a 'menu'...
Kept constantly reviewed.

When a tree begins to grow...
And decides not to produce branches.
Or allow a leaf or pine needles to bloom...
What affect would that have on other trees observing?
Will they begin to feel,
Maybe that tree is not deserving?
Will they make attempts to move away from it?
Or will they just let it sit...
Doing nothing to fulfill its purpose?
As the sky beckons,
To give it space and room.

Will the other trees observing this...
Watch another tree rot,
To not exist?
How long will a forest of trees,
Put up with it?

And what about the purpose that tree has here on Earth?
Who and what becomes affected...
When that tree does not fulfill its worth from birth?

A connection becomes neglected.
And the affects from that can be expected to reflect.
Somewhere in time to be ultimately discovered.
Uncovering what has been revealed,
To stir up some kind of backlash in protest.

However...
Shouldn't something about this process...
Make 'something' upset,
And furious about the lack of respect shown?
Or,
Does it condone it like us humans do?
By just looking away...
Only to complain about the shame of it all.
Or...
Does it one day become furious?
Like Mother Nature is showing now...
By unleashing Her attention grabbing disgust,
Unexpectedly disrupting as She fusses...
With all of us!

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Patrick White

I Did The Kind Of Good A Storm Does

I did the kind of good a storm does.
I may have broken some tree limbs
and downed some powerlines along the way
but I cleared the air of its festering
and from top to bottom
we got down to the roots of things
like lightning and rain
like real radicals
free-basing the ideological ions
addicted to their brains
like razorblades.
O ya
I remember now
we were going to save the world from itself.
I gave up trying
when I realized
that if we did that
there would be no one left
to save the world from us.
Trying to justify yourself in retrospect
is like trying to exonerate a big hairdo
you wore back in the early seventies.
It can't be done
except as a kind of dangerous chess
you play with yourself
and cheat.
It's fun to play
with the lethal intensities
and swaggering immensities of yesterday
as if all those great sublimities that moved us
like fixed stars
had come down to earth
like the ashs of fireflies
in a snakepit of thought
poured out of tiny urns
the size of a human heart.
When I've got nothing else to do
and the moon bores me late at night with its looking
I run my tongue along the edge of your words
like old knives
I've kept like a collection of my favourite smiles
to see if they still know how to draw blood
and what that might still mean to my heart.
Maybe I should have fallen on them like swords
as you wanted me to
instead of reading them
like a delinquent boy
in front of a no trespassing sign.
Back in those days
my heart was a rock
and my mind
was a broken windowpane.
But I'm not one of those people
who long for the past
as if you could step into the same river twice.
Everyone forgets
memory
Mnemosyne
is the mother of the muses.
Everyday the past
comes up with a new song
that surpasses the last like the future.
The ghost of tomorrow returns to its grave at dawn.
The past is just as spontaneously inspired
as the present
and makes it up as it goes along
thinking this is what it must be like
to live on and on and on
with your cosmic elbows
leaning on earthly windowsills
wondering what it might be like to die
and come back
reincarnated as a horizon
or a threshold.
But I don't go back to the past
for the view
like a tourist passing through
his old neighbourhood
to see where he was born and died.
I don't want a brass plague
for a birth certificate
and a postcard
from the edge of nowhere
for a passport
that lies about my record
for telling
what I mistake for the truth
to anyone who'll listen.
I don't want to fake my way into reality
the way they do in Zen.
I don't want to begin again
like tomorrow's has-been.
I'm not trying to convert the faithless
to my disbelief
like a tree preaching to a leaf
like a cross to a crucifixion.
I'm not trying to pump my latest work of fiction
up into a universally inflatable religion
you can take on camping trips to the holy land.
I'm not sure
I'm even really trying to understand
the way things were way back then
when we didn't need to.
Just something to do
when I'm watching the moon
float downstream
like the prophetic skull of Orpheus
all the way from Thrace to Mytilene in Lesbos.
If I look at it long enough
even through a dirty window
I can see a footloose waterlily
preening its feathers
like the swan of a loveletter
late in the autumn
to someone
who will pick it up out of the water
and wonder who it's from
for the rest of their life
like I do
remembering you
as you are to me
now that all these lunar calendars
have shed their blossoms and leaves
and stand naked as the tree of knowledge
adding zeros to everything
like tree-rings in the heartwood
of my personal history.
I've never made a cliche
out of any muse of mine
whether she took me to bed or not.
If she infused me with inspiration
I didn't abuse her
with a parting shot
like the afterthought
of an ignoble mind
or a paper phoenix
that couldn't take the heat
when things got sweet and hot.
I come back
like an old wind to a funeral pyre
that blazed its way up to the stars
to see if anything
was left unburnt or unanswered
in the ashes of the scorched earth.
I rock the cradle awhile
like a manger in hell
that once gave birth
to a childless messiah.
I transcend my own innocence
and fall toward paradise
without asking to be forgiven.
Love hangs stars above us all
that take the fall
for the way our scars
demonize our open wounds for living.
I drink from my skull
to your memory
and then I drink to you
whoever you are now.
In a desert on the moon
in a sea of shadows
I drink in the darkness alone
like an open window
to let the birds out
as if they were the only words
I had left to say
about the passing years
to hide my crazy tears
like an atheist on a grailquest
who knows that life
is a mirage
of burning muse water
that tastes like broken mirrors.

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Samuel Butler

Hudibras: Part 3 - Canto I

THE ARGUMENT

The Knight and Squire resolve, at once,
The one the other to renounce.
They both approach the Lady's Bower;
The Squire t'inform, the Knight to woo her.
She treats them with a Masquerade,
By Furies and Hobgoblins made;
From which the Squire conveys the Knight,
And steals him from himself, by Night.

'Tis true, no lover has that pow'r
T' enforce a desperate amour,
As he that has two strings t' his bow,
And burns for love and money too;
For then he's brave and resolute,
Disdains to render in his suit,
Has all his flames and raptures double,
And hangs or drowns with half the trouble,
While those who sillily pursue,
The simple, downright way, and true,
Make as unlucky applications,
And steer against the stream their passions.
Some forge their mistresses of stars,
And when the ladies prove averse,
And more untoward to be won
Than by CALIGULA the Moon,
Cry out upon the stars, for doing
Ill offices to cross their wooing;
When only by themselves they're hindred,
For trusting those they made her kindred;
And still, the harsher and hide-bounder
The damsels prove, become the fonder.
For what mad lover ever dy'd
To gain a soft and gentle bride?
Or for a lady tender-hearted,
In purling streams or hemp departed?
Leap'd headlong int' Elysium,
Through th' windows of a dazzling room?
But for some cross, ill-natur'd dame,
The am'rous fly burnt in his flame.
This to the Knight could be no news,
With all mankind so much in use;
Who therefore took the wiser course,
To make the most of his amours,
Resolv'd to try all sorts of ways,
As follows in due time and place

No sooner was the bloody fight,
Between the Wizard, and the Knight,
With all th' appurtenances, over,
But he relaps'd again t' a lover;
As he was always wont to do,
When h' had discomfited a foe
And us'd the only antique philters,
Deriv'd from old heroic tilters.
But now triumphant, and victorious,
He held th' atchievement was too glorious
For such a conqueror to meddle
With petty constable or beadle,
Or fly for refuge to the Hostess
Of th' Inns of Court and Chancery, Justice,
Who might, perhaps reduce his cause
To th' cordeal trial of the laws,
Where none escape, but such as branded
With red-hot irons have past bare-handed;
And, if they cannot read one verse
I' th' Psalms, must sing it, and that's worse.
He therefore judging it below him,
To tempt a shame the Devil might owe him,
Resolv'd to leave the Squire for bail
And mainprize for him to the gaol,
To answer, with his vessel, all,
That might disastrously befall;
And thought it now the fittest juncture
To give the Lady a rencounter,
T' acquaint her 'with his expedition,
And conquest o'er the fierce Magician;
Describe the manner of the fray,
And show the spoils he brought away,
His bloody scourging aggravate,
The number of his blows, and weight,
All which might probably succeed,
And gain belief h' had done the deed,
Which he resolv'd t' enforce, and spare
No pawning of his soul to swear,
But, rather than produce his back,
To set his conscience on the rack,
And in pursuance of his urging
Of articles perform'd and scourging,
And all things else, his part,
Demand deliv'ry of her heart,
Her goods, and chattels, and good graces,
And person up to his embraces.
Thought he, the ancient errant knights
Won all their ladies hearts in fights;
And cut whole giants into fritters,
To put them into amorous twitters
Whose stubborn bowels scorn'd to yield
Until their gallants were half kill'd
But when their bones were drub'd so sore
They durst not woo one combat more,
The ladies hearts began to melt,
Subdu'd by blows their lovers felt.
So Spanish heroes, with their lances,
At once wound bulls and ladies' fancies;
And he acquires the noblest spouse
That widows greatest herds of cows:
Then what may I expect to do,
Wh' have quell'd so vast a buffalo?

Mean while, the Squire was on his way
The Knight's late orders to obey;
Who sent him for a strong detachment
Of beadles, constables, and watchmen,
T' attack the cunning-man fur plunder,
Committed falsely on his lumber;
When he, who had so lately sack'd
The enemy, had done the fact;
Had rifled all his pokes and fobs
Of gimcracks, whims, and jiggumbobs,
When he, by hook or crook, had gather'd,
And for his own inventions father'd
And when they should, at gaol delivery,
Unriddle one another's thievery,
Both might have evidence enough,
To render neither halter proof.
He thought it desperate to tarry,
And venture to be accessary
But rather wisely slip his fetters,
And leave them for the Knight, his betters.
He call'd to mind th' unjust, foul play
He wou'd have offer'd him that day,
To make him curry his own hide,
Which no beast ever did beside,
Without all possible evasion,
But of the riding dispensation;
And therefore much about the hour
The Knight (for reasons told before)
Resolv'd to leave them to the fury
Of Justice, and an unpack'd Jury,
The Squire concurr'd t' abandon him,
And serve him in the self-same trim;
T' acquaint the Lady what h' had done,
And what he meant to carry on;
What project 'twas he went about,
When SIDROPHEL and he fell out;
His firm and stedfast Resolution,
To swear her to an execution;
To pawn his inward ears to marry her,
And bribe the Devil himself to carry her;
In which both dealt, as if they meant
Their Party-Saints to represent,
Who never fail'd upon their sharing
In any prosperous arms-bearing
To lay themselves out to supplant
Each other Cousin-German Saint.
But, ere the Knight could do his part,
The Squire had got so much the start,
H' had to the Lady done his errand,
And told her all his tricks afore-hand.
Just as he finish'd his report,
The Knight alighted in the court;
And having ty'd his beast t' a pale,
And taking time for both to stale,
He put his band and beard in order,
The sprucer to accost and board her;
And now began t' approach the door,
When she, wh' had spy'd him out before
Convey'd th' informer out of sight,
And went to entertain the Knight
With whom encount'ring, after longees
Of humble and submissive congees,
And all due ceremonies paid,
He strok'd his beard, and thus he said:

Madam, I do, as is my duty,
Honour the shadow of your shoe-tye;
And now am come to bring your ear
A present you'll be glad to hear:
At least I hope so: the thing's done,
Or may I never see the sun;
For which I humbly now demand
Performance at your gentle hand
And that you'd please to do your part,
As I have done mine, to my smart.

With that he shrugg'd his sturdy back
As if he felt his shoulders ake.

But she, who well enough knew what
(Before he spoke) he would be at,
Pretended not to apprehend
The mystery of what he mean'd;.
And therefore wish'd him to expound
His dark expressions, less profound.

Madam, quoth he, I come to prove
How much I've suffer'd for your love,
Which (like your votary) to win,
I have not spar'd my tatter'd skin
And for those meritorious lashes,
To claim your favour and good graces.

Quoth she, I do remember once
I freed you from th' inchanted sconce;
And that you promis'd, for that favour,
To bind your back to good behaviour,
And, for my sake and service, vow'd
To lay upon't a heavy load,
And what 'twould bear t' a scruple prove,
As other Knights do oft make love
Which, whether you have done or no,
Concerns yourself, not me, to know.
But if you have, I shall confess,
Y' are honester than I could guess.

Quoth he, if you suspect my troth,
I cannot prove it but by oath;
And if you make a question on't,
I'll pawn my soul that I have done't;
And he that makes his soul his surety,
I think, does give the best security.

Quoth she, Some say, the soul's secure
Against distress and forfeiture
Is free from action, and exempt
From execution and contempt;
And to be summon'd to appear
In th' other world's illegal here;
And therefore few make any account
Int' what incumbrances they run't
For most men carry things so even
Between this World, and Hell, and Heaven,
Without the least offence to either,
They freely deal in all together;
And equally abhor to quit
This world for both or both for it;
And when they pawn and damn their souls,
They are but pris'ners on paroles.

For that (quoth he) 'tis rational,
Th' may be accountable in all:
For when there is that intercourse
Between divine and human pow'rs,
That all that we determine here
Commands obedience every where,
When penalties may be commuted
For fines or ears, and executed
It follows, nothing binds so fast
As souls in pawn and mortgage past
For oaths are th' only tests and seals
Of right and wrong, and true and false,
And there's no other way to try
The doubts of law and justice by.

(Quoth she) What is it you would swear
There's no believing till I hear
For, till they're understood all tales
(Like nonsense) are not true nor false.

(Quoth he) When I resolv'd t' obey
What you commanded th' other day,
And to perform my exercise,
(As schools are wont) for your fair eyes,
T' avoid all scruples in the case,
I went to do't upon the place.
But as the Castle is inchanted
By SIDROPHEL the Witch and haunted
By evil spirits, as you know,
Who took my Squire and me for two,
Before I'd hardly time to lay
My weapons by, and disarray
I heard a formidable noise,
Loud as the Stentrophonick voice,
That roar'd far off, Dispatch and strip,
I'm ready with th' infernal whip,
That shall divest thy ribs from skin,
To expiate thy ling'ring sin.
Th' hast broken perfidiously thy oath,
And not perform'd thy plighted troth;
But spar'd thy renegado back,
Where th' hadst so great a prize at stake;
Which now the fates have order'd me
For penance and revenge to flea,
Unless thou presently make haste:
Time is, time was: And there it ceas'd.
With which, though startled, I confess,
Yet th' horror of the thing was less
Than th' other dismal apprehension
Of interruption or prevention;
And therefore, snatching up the rod,
I laid upon my back a load;
Resolv'd to spare no flesh and blood,
To make my word and honour good;
Till tir'd, and making truce at length,
For new recruits of breath and strength,
I felt the blows still ply'd as fast
As th' had been by lovers plac'd,
In raptures of platonick lashing,
And chaste contemplative bardashing;
When facing hastily about,
To stand upon my guard and scout,
I found th' infernal Cunning-man,
And th' under-witch, his CALIBAN,
With scourges (like the Furies) arm'd,
That on my outward quarters storm'd.
In haste I snatch'd my weapon up,
And gave their hellish rage a stop;
Call'd thrice upon your name, and fell
Courageously on SIDROPHEL;
Who, now transform'd himself a bear,
Began to roar aloud, and tear;
When I as furiously press'd on,
My weapon down his throat to run;
Laid hold on him; but he broke loose,
And turn'd himself into a goose;
Div'd under water, in a pond,
To hide himself from being found.
In vain I sought him; but, as soon
As I perceiv'd him fled and gone,
Prepar'd with equal haste and rage,
His Under-sorcerer t' engage.
But bravely scorning to defile
My sword with feeble blood and vile,
I judg'd it better from a quick-
Set hedge to cut a knotted stick,
With which I furiously laid on
Till, in a harsh and doleful tone,
It roar'd, O hold for pity, Sir
I am too great a sufferer,
Abus'd, as you have been, b' a witch,
But conjur'd into a worse caprich;
Who sends me out on many a jaunt,
Old houses in the night to haunt,
For opportunities t' improve
Designs of thievery or love;
With drugs convey'd in drink or meat,
All teats of witches counterfeit;
Kill pigs and geese with powder'd glass,
And make it for enchantment pass;
With cow-itch meazle like a leper,
And choak with fumes of guiney pepper;
Make leachers and their punks with dewtry,
Commit fantastical advowtry;
Bewitch Hermetick-men to run
Stark staring mad with manicon;
Believe mechanick Virtuosi
Can raise 'em mountains in POTOSI;
And, sillier than the antick fools,
Take treasure for a heap of coals:
Seek out for plants with signatures,
To quack of universal cures:
With figures ground on panes of glass
Make people on their heads to pass;
And mighty heaps of coin increase,
Reflected from a single piece,
To draw in fools, whose nat'ral itches
Incline perpetually to witches;
And keep me in continual fears,
And danger of my neck and ears;
When less delinquents have been scourg'd,
And hemp on wooden anvil forg'd,
Which others for cravats have worn
About their necks, and took a turn.

I pity'd the sad punishment
The wretched caitiff underwent,
And left my drubbing of his bones,
Too great an honour for pultrones;
For Knights are bound to feel no blows
From paultry and unequal foes,
Who, when they slash, and cut to pieces,
Do all with civilest addresses:
Their horses never give a blow,
But when they make a leg, and bow.
I therefore spar'd his flesh, and prest him
About the witch with many a. question.

Quoth he, For many years he drove
A kind of broking-trade in love;
Employ'd in all th' intrigues, and trust
Of feeble, speculative lust:
Procurer to th' extravagancy,
And crazy ribaldry of fancy,
By those the Devil had forsook,
As things below him to provoke.
But b'ing a virtuoso, able
To smatter, quack, and cant, and dabble,
He held his talent most adroit
For any mystical exploit;
As others of his tribe had done,
And rais'd their prices three to one:
For one predicting pimp has th' odds
Of chauldrons of plain downright bawds.
But as an elf (the Devil's valet)
Is not so slight a thing to get;
For those that do his bus'ness best,
In hell are us'd the ruggedest;
Before so meriting a person
Cou'd get a grant, but in reversion,
He serv'd two prenticeships, and longer,
I' th' myst'ry of a lady-monger.
For (as some write) a witch's ghost,
As soon as from the body loos'd,
Becomes a puney-imp itself
And is another witch's elf.
He, after searching far and near,
At length found one in LANCASHIRE
With whom he bargain'd before-hand,
And, after hanging, entertained;
Since which h' has play'd a thousand feats,
And practis'd all mechanick cheats,
Transform'd himself to th' ugly shapes
Of wolves and bears, baboons and apes,
Which he has vary'd more than witches,
Or Pharaoh's wizards cou'd their switches;
And all with whom h' has had to do,
Turn'd to as monstrous figures too.
Witness myself, whom h' has abus'd,
And to this beastly shape reduc'd,
By feeding me on beans and pease,
He crams in nasty crevices,
And turns to comfits by his arts,
To make me relish for disserts,
And one by one, with shame and fear,
Lick up the candy'd provender.
Beside - But as h' was running on,
To tell what other feats h' had done,
The Lady stopt his full career,
And told him now 'twas time to hear
If half those things (said she) be true -
They're all, (quoth he,) I swear by you.
Why then (said she,) That SIDROPHEL
Has damn'd himself to th' pit of Hell;
Who, mounted on a broom, the nag
And hackney of a Lapland hag,
In quest of you came hither post,
Within an hour (I'm sure) at most;
Who told me all you swear and say,
Quite contrary another way;
Vow'd that you came to him to know
If you should carry me or no;
And would have hir'd him, and his imps,
To be your match-makers and pimps,
T' engage the Devil on. your side,
And steal (like PROSERPINE) your bride.
But he, disdaining to embrace.
So filthy a design and base,
You fell to vapouring and huffing
And drew upon him like a ruffin;
Surpriz'd him meanly, unprepar'd,
Before h' had time to mount his guard;
And left him dead upon the ground,
With many a bruise and desperate wound:
Swore you had broke and robb'd his house,
And stole his talismanique louse,
And all his new-found old inventions;.
With flat felonious intentions;
Which he could bring out where he had,
And what he bought them for, and paid.
His flea, his morpion, and punese,
H' had gotten for his proper ease,
And all perfect minutes made,
By th' ablest artist of the trade;
Which (he could prove it) since he lost,
He has been eaten up almost;
And all together might amount
To many hundreds on account;
For which h' had got sufficient warrant
To seize the malefactors errant,
Without capacity of bail,
But of a cart's or horse's tail;
And did not doubt to bring the wretches
To serve for pendulums to watches;
Which, modern virtuosos say,
Incline to hanging every way.
Beside, he swore, and swore 'twas true,
That, e're he went in quest of you,
He set a figure to discover
If you were fled to RYE or DOVER;
And found it clear, that, to betray
Yourselves and me, you fled this way;
And that he was upon pursuit,
To take you somewhere hereabout.
He vow'd he had intelligence
Of all that past before and since;
And found that, e'er you came to him,.
Y' had been engaging life and limb
About a case of tender conscience,
Where both abounded in your own sense:
Till RALPHO, by his light and grace,
Had clear'd all scruples in the case;
And prov'd that you might swear and own
Whatever's by the wicked done,
For which, most basely to requite
The service of his gifts and light,
You strove to oblige him, by main force,
To scourge his ribs instead of yours;
But that he stood upon his guard,
And all your vapouring out-dar'd;
For which, between you both, the feat
Has never been perform'd as yet.

While thus the Lady talk'd, the Knight
Turn'd th' outside of his eyes to white;
(As men of inward light are wont
To turn their opticks in upon 't)
He wonder'd how she came to know
What he had done, and meant to do;
Held up his affidavit-hand,
As if h' had been to be arraign'd;
Cast t'wards the door a look,
In dread of SIDROPHEL, and spoke:

Madam, if but one word be true
Of all the Wizard has told you,
Or but one single circumstance
In all th' apocryphal romance,
May dreadful earthquakes swallow down
This vessel, that is all your own;
Or may the heavens fall, and cover
These reliques of your constant lover.

You have provided well, quoth she,
(I thank you) for yourself and me,
And shown your presbyterian wits
Jump punctual with the Jesuits;
A most compendious way, and civil,
At once to cheat the world, the Devil,
And Heaven and Hell, yourselves, and those
On whom you vainly think t' impose.
Why then (quoth he) may Hell surprize -
That trick (said she) will not pass twice:
I've learn'd how far I'm to believe
Your pinning oaths upon your sleeve.
But there's a better way of clearing
What you would prove than downright swearing:
For if you have perform'd the feat,
The blows are visible as yet,
Enough to serve for satisfaction
Of nicest scruples in the action:
And if you can produce those knobs,
Although they're but the witch's drubs,
I'll pass them all upon account,
As if your natural self had done't
Provided that they pass th' opinion
Of able juries of old women
Who, us'd to judge all matter of facts
For bellies, may do so for backs,

Madam, (quoth he,) your love's a million;
To do is less than to be willing,
As I am, were it in my power,
T' obey, what you command, and more:
But for performing what you bid,
I thank you as much as if I did.
You know I ought to have a care
To keep my wounds from taking air:
For wounds in those that are all heart,
Are dangerous in any part.

I find (quoth she) my goods and chattels
Are like to prove but mere drawn battels;
For still the longer we contend,
We are but farther off the end.
But granting now we should agree,
What is it you expect from me?
Your plighted faith (quoth he) and word
You past in heaven on record,
Where all contracts, to have and t' hold,
Are everlastingly enroll'd:
And if 'tis counted treason here
To raze records, 'tis much more there.
Quoth she, There are no bargains driv'n,
Or marriages clapp'd up, in Heav'n,
And that's the reason, as some guess,
There is no heav'n in marriages;
Two things that naturally press
Too narrowly to be at ease.
Their bus'ness there is only love,
Which marriage is not like t' improve:
Love, that's too generous to abide
To be against its nature ty'd;
Or where 'tis of itself inclin'd,
It breaks loose when it is confin'd;
And like the soul, it's harbourer.
Debarr'd the freedom of the air,
Disdains against its will to stay,
But struggles out, and flies away;
And therefore never can comply
To endure the matrimonial tie,
That binds the female and the male,
Where th' one is but the other's bail;
Like Roman gaolers, when they slept,
Chain'd to the prisoners they kept
Of which the true and faithfull'st lover
Gives best security to suffer.
Marriage is but a beast, some say,
That carries double in foul way;
And therefore 'tis not to b' admir'd,
It should so suddenly be tir'd;
A bargain at a venture made,
Between two partners in a trade;
(For what's inferr'd by t' have and t' hold,
But something past away, and sold?)
That as it makes but one of two,
Reduces all things else as low;
And, at the best, is but a mart
Between the one and th' other part,
That on the marriage-day is paid,
Or hour of death, the bet is laid;
And all the rest of better or worse,
Both are but losers out of purse.
For when upon their ungot heirs
Th' entail themselves, and all that's theirs,
What blinder bargain e'er was driv'n,
Or wager laid at six and seven?
To pass themselves away, and turn
Their childrens' tenants e're they're born?
Beg one another idiot
To guardians, e'er they are begot;
Or ever shall, perhaps, by th' one,
Who's bound to vouch 'em for his own,
Though got b' implicit generation,
And gen'ral club of all the nation;
For which she's fortify'd no less
Than all the island, with four seas;
Exacts the tribute of her dower,
in ready insolence and power;
And makes him pass away to have
And hold, to her, himself, her slave,
More wretched than an ancient villain,
Condemn'd to drudgery and tilling;
While all he does upon the by,
She is not bound to justify,
Nor at her proper cost and charge
Maintain the feats he does at large.
Such hideous sots were those obedient
Old vassals to their ladies regent;
To give the cheats the eldest hand
In foul play by the laws o' th' land;
For which so many a legal cuckold
Has been run down in courts and truckeld:
A law that most unjustly yokes
All Johns of Stiles to Joans of Nokes,
Without distinction of degree,
Condition, age, or quality:
Admits no power of revocation,
Nor valuable consideration,
Nor writ of error, nor reverse
Of Judgment past, for better or worse:
Will not allow the priviledges
That beggars challenge under hedges,
Who, when they're griev'd, can make dead horses
Their spiritual judges of divorces;
While nothing else but Rem in Re
Can set the proudest wretches free;
A slavery beyond enduring,
But that 'tis of their own procuring.
As spiders never seek the fly,
But leave him, of himself, t' apply
So men are by themselves employ'd,
To quit the freedom they enjoy'd,
And run their necks into a noose,
They'd break 'em after, to break loose;
As some whom Death would not depart,
Have done the feat themselves by art;
Like Indian widows, gone to bed
In flaming curtains to the dead;
And men as often dangled for't,
And yet will never leave the sport.
Nor do the ladies want excuse
For all the stratagems they use
To gain the advantage of the set,
And lurch the amorous rook and cheat
For as the Pythagorean soul
Runs through all beasts, and fish and fowl,
And has a smack of ev'ry one,
So love does, and has ever done;
And therefore, though 'tis ne'er so fond,
Takes strangely to the vagabond.
'Tis but an ague that's reverst,
Whose hot fit takes the patient first,
That after burns with cold as much
As ir'n in GREENLAND does the touch;
Melts in the furnace of desire
Like glass, that's but the ice of fire;
And when his heat of fancy's over,
Becomes as hard and frail a lover.
For when he's with love-powder laden,
And prim'd and cock'd by Miss or Madam,
The smallest sparkle of an eye
Gives fire to his artillery;
And off the loud oaths go; but while
They're in the very act, recoil.
Hence 'tis so few dare take their chance
Without a sep'rate maintenance;
And widows, who have try'd one lover,
Trust none again, 'till th' have made over;
Or if they do, before they marry,
The foxes weigh the geese they carry;
And e're they venture o'er a stream,
Know how to size themselves and them;
Whence wittiest ladies always choose
To undertake the heaviest goose
For now the world is grown so wary,
That few of either sex dare marry,
But rather trust on tick t' amours,
The cross and pile for better or worse;
A mode that is held honourable,
As well as French, and fashionable:
For when it falls out for the best,
Where both are incommoded least,
In soul and body two unite,
To make up one hermaphrodite,
Still amorous, and fond, and billing,
Like PHILIP and MARY on a shilling,
Th' have more punctilios and capriches
Between the petticoat and breeches,
More petulant extravagances,
Than poets make 'em in romances.
Though when their heroes 'spouse the dames,
We hear no more charms and flames:
For then their late attracts decline,
And turn as eager as prick'd wine;
And all their catterwauling tricks,
In earnest to as jealous piques;
Which the ancients wisely signify'd,
By th' yellow mantos of the bride:
For jealousy is but a kind
Of clap and grincam of the mind,
The natural effects of love,
As other flames and aches prove;
But all the mischief is, the doubt
On whose account they first broke out.
For though Chineses go to bed,
And lie in, in their ladies stead,
And for the pains they took before,
Are nurs'd and pamper'd to do more
Our green men do it worse, when th' hap
To fail in labour of a clap
Both lay the child to one another:
But who's the father, who the mother,
'Tis hard to say in multitudes,
Or who imported the French goods.
But health and sickness b'ing all one,
Which both engag'd before to own,
And are not with their bodies bound
To worship, only when they're sound,
Both give and take their equal shares
Of all they suffer by false wares:
A fate no lover can divert
With all his caution, wit, and art.
For 'tis in vain to think to guess
At women by appearances,
That paint and patch their imperfections
Of intellectual complexions,
And daub their tempers o'er with washes
As artificial as their faces;
Wear under vizard-masks their talents
And mother-wits before their gallants,
Until they're hamper'd in the noose,
Too fast to dream of breaking loose;
When all the flaws they strove to hide
Are made unready with the bride,
That with her wedding-clothes undresses
Her complaisance and gentilesses,
Tries all her arts to take upon her
The government from th' easy owner;
Until the wretch is glad to wave
His lawful right, and turn her slave;
Find all his having, and his holding,
Reduc'd t' eternal noise and scolding;
The conjugal petard, that tears
Down all portcullises of ears,
And make the volley of one tongue
For all their leathern shields too strong
When only arm'd with noise and nails,
The female silk-worms ride the males,
Transform 'em into rams and goats,
Like Sirens, with their charming notes;
Sweet as a screech-owl's serenade,
Or those enchanting murmurs made
By th' husband mandrake and the wife,
Both bury'd (like themselves) alive.

Quoth he, These reasons are but strains
Of wanton, over-heated brains
Which ralliers, in their wit, or drink,
Do rather wheedle with than think
Man was not man in paradise,
Until he was created twice,
And had his better half, his bride,
Carv'd from the original, his side,
T' amend his natural defects,
And perfect his recruited sex;
Inlarge his breed at once, and lessen
The pains and labour of increasing,
By changing them for other cares,
As by his dry'd-up paps appears.
His body, that stupendous frame,
Of all the world the anagram
Is of two equal parts compact,
In shape and symmetry exact,
Of which the left and female side
Is to the manly right a bride;
Both join'd together with such art,
That nothing else but death can part.
Those heav'nly attracts of yours, your eyes,
And face, that all the world surprize,
That dazzle all that look upon ye,
And scorch all other ladies tawny,
Those ravishing and charming graces
Are all made up of two half faces,
That in a mathematick line,
Like those in other heavens, join,
Of which if either grew alone,
T' would fright as much to look upon:
And so would that sweet bud your lip,
Without the other's fellowship.
Our noblest senses act by pairs;
Two eyes to see; to hear, two ears;
Th' intelligencers of the mind,
To wait upon the soul design'd,
But those that serve the body alone,
Are single, and confin'd to one.
The world is but two parts, that meet
And close at th' equinoctial fit;
And so are all the works of nature,
Stamp'd with her signature on matter,
Which all her creatures, to a leaf,
Or smallest blade of grass receive;
All which sufficiently declare,
How entirely marriage is her care,
The only method that she uses
In all the wonders she produces:
And those that take their rules from her,
Can never be deceiv'd, nor err.
For what secures the civil life,
But pawns of children, and a wife?
That lie like hostages at stake,
To pay for all men undertake;
To whom it is as necessary
As to be born and breathe, to marry;
So universal all mankind,
In nothing else, is of one mind.
For in what stupid age, or nation,
Was marriage ever out of fashion?
Unless among the Amazons,
Or cloister'd friars, and vestal nuns;
Or Stoicks, who to bar the freaks
And loose excesses of the sex,
Prepost'rously wou'd have all women
Turn'd up to all the world in common.
Though men would find such mortal feuds,
In sharing of their publick goods,
'Twould put them to more charge of lives,
Than they're supply'd with now by wives;
Until they graze, and wear their clothes,
As beasts do, of their native growths:
For simple wearing of their horns
Will not suffice to serve their turns.
For what can we pretend t' inherit,
Unless the marriage-deed will bear it?
Could claim no right, to lands or rents,
But for our parents' settlements;
Had been but younger sons o' th' earth,
Debarr'd it all, but for our birth.
What honours or estates of peers,
Cou'd be preserv'd but by their heirs
And what security maintains
Their right and title, but the banes?
What crowns could be hereditary,
If greatest monarchs did not marry.
And with their consorts consummate
Their weightiest interests of state?
For all the amours of princes are
But guarantees of peace or war,
Or what but marriage has a charm
The rage of empires to disarm,
Make blood and desolation cease,
And fire and sword unite in peace,
When all their fierce contest for forage
Conclude in articles of marriage?
Nor does the genial bed provide
Less for the int'rests of the bride;
Who else had not the least pretence
T' as much as due benevolence;
Could no more title take upon her
To virtue, quality, and honour.
Than ladies-errant, unconfin'd,
And feme-coverts t' all mankind
All women would be of one piece,
The virtuous matron and the miss;
The nymphs of chaste Diana's train,
The same with those in LEWKNER's Lane;
But for the difference marriage makes
'Twixt wives and ladies of the lakes;
Besides the joys of place and birth,
The sex's paradise on earth;
A privilege so sacred held,
That none will to their mothers yield;
But rather than not go before,
Abandon Heaven at the door.
And if th' indulgent law allows
A greater freedom to the spouse,
The reason is, because the wife
Runs greater hazards of her life;
Is trusted with the form and matter
Of all mankind by careful nature;
Where man brings nothing but the stuff
She frames the wond'rous fabric of;
Who therefore, in a streight, may freely
Demand the clergy of her belly,
And make it save her the same way
It seldom misses to betray;
Unless both parties wisely enter
Into the liturgy indenture,
And though some fits of small contest
Sometimes fall out among the best,
That is no more than ev'ry lover
Does from his hackney-lady suffer;
That makes no breach of faith and love,
But rather (sometimes) serves t' improve.
For as in running, ev'ry pace
Is but between two legs a race,
In which both do their uttermost
To get before, and win the post,
Yet when they're at their race's ends,
They're still as kind and constant friends,
And, to relieve their weariness,
By turns give one another ease;
So all those false alarms of strife
Between the husband and the wife,
And little quarrels, often prove
To be but new recruits of love;
When those wh' are always kind or coy,
In time must either tire or cloy.
Nor are their loudest clamours more,
Than as they're relish'd, sweet or sour;
Like musick, that proves bad or good;
According as 'tis understood.
In all amours, a lover burns
With frowns as well as smiles by turns;
And hearts have been as aft with sullen
As charming looks surpriz'd and stolen.
Then why should more bewitching clamour
Some lovers not as much enamour?
For discords make the sweetest airs
And curses are a kind of pray'rs;
Too slight alloys for all those grand
Felicities by marriage gain'd.
For nothing else has pow'r to settle
Th' interests of love perpetual;
An act and deed, that that makes one heart
Becomes another's counter-part,
And passes fines on faith and love,
Inroll'd and register'd above,
To seal the slippery knots of vows,
Which nothing else but death can loose.
And what security's too strong,
To guard that gentle heart from wrong,
That to its friend is glad to pass
Itself away, and all it has;
And, like an anchorite, gives over
This world for th' heaven of lover?
I grant (quoth she) there are some few
Who take that course, and find it true
But millions whom the same does sentence
To heav'n b' another way - repentance.
Love's arrows are but shot at rovers;
Though all they hit, they turn to lovers;
And all the weighty consequents
Depend upon more blind events,
Than gamesters, when they play a set
With greatest cunning at piquet,
Put out with caution, but take in
They know not what, unsight, unseen,
For what do lovers, when they're fast
In one another's arms embrac't,
But strive to plunder, and convey
Each other, like a prize, away?
To change the property of selves,
As sucking children are by elves?
And if they use their persons so,
What will they to their fortunes do?
Their fortunes! the perpetual aims
Of all their extasies and flames.
For when the money's on the book,
And, All my worldly goods - but spoke,
(The formal livery and seisin
That puts a lover in possession,)
To that alone the bridegroom's wedded;
The bride a flam, that's superseded.
To that their faith is still made good,
And all the oaths to us they vow'd:
For when we once resign our pow'rs,
W' have nothing left we can call ours:
Our money's now become the Miss
Of all your lives and services;
And we forsaken, and postpon'd;
But bawds to what before we own'd;
Which, as it made y' at first gallant us,
So now hires others to supplant us,
Until 'tis all turn'd out of doors,
(As we had been) for new amours;
For what did ever heiress yet
By being born to lordships get?
When the more lady sh' is of manours,
She's but expos'd to more trepanners,
Pays for their projects and designs,
And for her own destruction fines;
And does but tempt them with her riches,
To use her as the Dev'l does witches;
Who takes it for a special grace
To be their cully for a space,
That when the time's expir'd, the drazels
For ever may become his vassals:
So she, bewitch'd by rooks and spirits,
Betrays herself, and all sh' inherits;
Is bought and sold, like stolen goods,
By pimps, and match-makers, and bawds,
Until they force her to convey,
And steal the thief himself away.
These are the everlasting fruits
Of all your passionate love-suits,
Th' effects of all your amorous fancies
To portions and inheritances;
Your love-sick rapture for fruition
Of dowry, jointure, and tuition;
To which you make address and courtship;
Ad with your bodies strive to worship,
That th' infants' fortunes may partake
Of love too, for the mother's sake.
For these you play at purposes,
And love your love's with A's and B's:
For these at Beste and L'Ombre woo,
And play for love and money too;
Strive who shall be the ablest man
At right gallanting of a fan;
And who the most genteelly bred
At sucking of a vizard-head;
How best t' accost us in all quarters;
T' our question - and - command new Garters
And solidly discourse upon
All sorts of dresses, Pro and Con.
For there's no mystery nor trade,
But in the art of love is made:
And when you have more debts to pay
Than Michaelmas and Lady-Day,
And no way possible to do't,
But love and oaths, and restless suit,
To us y' apply to pay the scores
Of all your cully'd, past amours;
Act o'er your flames and darts again,
And charge us with your wounds and pain;
Which others influences long since
Have charm'd your noses with and shins;
For which the surgeon is unpaid,
And like to be, without our aid.
Lord! what an am'rous thing is want!
How debts and mortgages inchant!
What graces must that lady have
That can from executions save!
What charms that can reverse extent,
And null decree and exigent!
What magical attracts and graces,
That can redeem from Scire facias!
From bonds and statutes can discharge,
And from contempts of courts enlarge!
These are the highest excellencies
Of all your true or false pretences:
And you would damn yourselves, and swear
As much t' an hostess dowager,
Grown fat and pursy by retail
Of pots of beer and bottled ale;
And find her fitter for your turn;
For fat is wondrous apt to burn;
Who at your flames would soon take fire,
Relent, and melt to your desire,
And like a candle in the socket,
Dissolve her graces int' your pocket.

By this time 'twas grown dark and late,
When they heard a knocking at the gate,
Laid on in haste with such a powder,
The blows grew louder still and louder;
Which HUDIBRAS, as if th' had been
Bestow'd as freely on his skin,
Expounding, by his inward light,
Or rather more prophetick fright,
To be the Wizard, come to search,
And take him napping in the lurch
Turn'd pale as ashes or a clout;
But why or wherefore is a doubt
For men will tremble, and turn paler,
With too much or too little valour.
His heart laid on, as if it try'd
To force a passage through his side,
Impatient (as he vow'd) to wait 'em,
But in a fury to fly at 'em;
And therefore beat, and laid about,
To find a cranny to creep out.
But she, who saw in what a taking
The Knight was by his furious quaking,
Undaunted cry'd, Courage, Sir Knight;
Know, I'm resolv'd to break no rite
Of hospitality t' a stranger;
But, to secure you out of danger,
Will here myself stand sentinel,
To guard this pass 'gainst SIDROPHEL.
Women, you know, do seldom fail
To make the stoutest men turn tail;
And bravely scorn to turn their backs
Upon the desp'ratest attacks.
At this the Knight grew resolute
As IRONSIDE and HARDIKNUTE
His fortitude began to rally,
And out he cry'd aloud to sally.
But she besought him to convey
His courage rather out o' th' way,
And lodge in ambush on the floor,
Or fortify'd behind a door;
That if the enemy shou'd enter,
He might relieve her in th' adventure.

Mean while they knock'd against the door
As fierce as at the gate before,
Which made the Renegado Knight
Relapse again t' his former fright.
He thought it desperate to stay
Till th' enemy had forc'd his way,
But rather post himself, to serve
The lady, for a fresh reserve
His duty was not to dispute,
But what sh' had order'd execute;
Which he resolv'd in haste t' obey,
And therefore stoutly march'd away;
And all h' encounter'd fell upon,
Though in the dark, and all alone;
Till fear, that braver feats performs
Than ever courage dar'd in arms,
Had drawn him up before a pass
To stand upon his guard, and face:
This he courageously invaded,
And having enter'd, barricado'd,
Insconc'd himself as formidable
As could be underneath a table,
Where he lay down in ambush close,
T' expect th' arrival of his foes.
Few minutes he had lain perdue,
To guard his desp'rate avenue,
Before he heard a dreadful shout,
As loud as putting to the rout,
With which impatiently alarm'd,
He fancy'd th' enemy had storm'd,
And, after ent'ring, SIDROPHEL
Was fall'n upon the guards pell-mell
He therefore sent out all his senses,
To bring him in intelligences,
Which vulgars, out of ignorance,
Mistake for falling in a trance;
But those that trade in geomancy,
Affirm to be the strength of fancy;
In which the Lapland Magi deal,
And things incredible reveal.
Mean while the foe beat up his quarters,
And storm'd the out-works of his fortress:
And as another, of the same
Degree and party, in arms and fame,
That in the same cause had engag'd,
At war with equal conduct wag'd,
By vent'ring only but to thrust
His head a span beyond his post,
B' a gen'ral of the cavaliers
Was dragg'd thro' a window by th' ears;
So he was serv'd in his redoubt,
And by the other end pull'd out.

Soon as they had him at their mercy,
They put him to the cudgel fiercely,
As if they'd scorn'd to trade or barter,
By giving or by taking quarter:
They stoutly on his quarters laid,
Until his scouts came in t' his aid.
For when a man is past his sense,
There's no way to reduce him thence,
But twinging him by th' ears or nose,
Or laying on of heavy blows;
And if that will not do the deed,
To burning with hot irons proceed.
No sooner was he come t' himself,
But on his neck a sturdy elf
Clapp'd, in a trice, his cloven hoof,
And thus attack'd him with reproof;
Mortal, thou art betray'd to us
B' our friend, thy Evil Genius,
Who, for thy horrid perjuries,
Thy breach of faith, and turning lies,
The Brethren's privilege (against
The wicked) on themselves, the Saints,
Has here thy wretched carcase sent
For just revenge and punishment;
Which thou hast now no way to lessen,
But by an open, free confession;
For if we catch thee failing once,
'Twill fall the heavier on thy bones.

What made thee venture to betray,
And filch the lady's heart away?
To Spirit her to matrimony? -
That which contracts all matches - money.
It was th' inchantment oft her riches
That made m' apply t' your croney witches,
That, in return, wou'd pay th' expence,
The wear and tear of conscience;
Which I cou'd have patch'd up, and turn'd,
For the hundredth part of what I earn'd.

Didst thou not love her then? Speak true.
No more (quoth he) than I love you. -
How would'st th' have us'd her, and her money? -
First turn'd her up to alimony;
And laid her dowry out in law,
To null her jointure with a flaw,
Which I before-hand had agreed
T' have put, on purpose in the deed;
And bar her widow's making over
T' a friend in trust, or private lover.

What made thee pick and chuse her out,
T' employ their sorceries about? -
That which makes gamesters play with those
Who have least wit, and most to lose.

But didst thou scourge thy vessel thus,
As thou hast damn'd thyself to us?

I see you take me for an ass:
'Tis true, I thought the trick wou'd pass
Upon a woman well enough,
As 't has been often found by proof,
Whose humours are not to be won,
But when they are impos'd upon.
For love approves of all they do
That stand for candidates, and woo.

Why didst thou forge those shameful lies
Of bears and witches in disguise?

That is no more than authors give
The rabble credit to believe:
A trick of following their leaders,
To entertain their gentle readers;
And we have now no other way
Of passing all we do or say
Which, when 'tis natural and true,
Will be believ'd b' a very few,
Beside the danger of offence,
The fatal enemy of sense.

Why did thou chuse that cursed sin,
Hypocrisy, to set up in?

Because it is in the thriving'st calling,
The only Saints-bell that rings all in;
In which all churches are concern'd,
And is the easiest to be learn'd:
For no degrees, unless th' employ't,
Can ever gain much, or enjoy't:
A gift that is not only able
To domineer among the rabble,
But by the laws impower'd to rout,
And awe the greatest that stand out;
Which few hold forth against, for fear
Their hands should slip, and come too near;
For no sin else among the Saints
Is taught so tenderly against.

What made thee break thy plighted vows? -
That which makes others break a house,
And hang, and scorn ye all, before
Endure the plague of being poor.

Quoth he, I see you have more tricks
Than all your doating politicks,
That are grown old, and out of fashion,
Compar'd with your New Reformation;
That we must come to school to you,
To learn your more refin'd, and new.

Quoth he, If you will give me leave
To tell you what I now perceive,
You'll find yourself an arrant chouse,
If y' were but at a Meeting-House. -
'Tis true, quoth he, we ne'er come there,
Because, w' have let 'em out by th' year.

Truly, quoth he, you can't imagine
What wond'rous things they will engage in
That as your fellow-fiends in Hell
Were angels all before they fell,
So are you like to be agen,
Compar'd with th' angels of us men.

Quoth he, I am resolv'd to be
Thy scholar in this mystery;
And therefore first desire to know
Some principles on which you go.

What makes a knave a child of God,
And one of us? - A livelihood.
What renders beating out of brains,
And murder, godliness? - Great gains.

What's tender conscience? - 'Tis a botch,
That will not bear the gentlest touch;
But breaking out, dispatches more
Than th' epidemical'st plague-sore.

What makes y' encroach upon our trade,
And damn all others? - To be paid.

What's orthodox, and true, believing
Against a conscience? - A good living.

What makes rebelling against Kings
A Good Old Cause? - Administrings.

What makes all doctrines plain and clear? -
About two hundred pounds a year.

And that which was prov'd true before,
Prove false again? - Two hundred more.

What makes the breaking of all oaths
A holy duty? - Food and cloaths.

What laws and freedom, persecution? -
B'ing out of pow'r, and contribution.

What makes a church a den of thieves? -
A dean and chapter, and white sleeves.

Ad what would serve, if those were gone,
To make it orthodox? - Our own.

What makes morality a crime,
The most notorious of the time;
Morality, which both the Saints,
And wicked too, cry out against? -
Cause grace and virtue are within
Prohibited degrees of kin
And therefore no true Saint allows,
They shall be suffer'd to espouse;
For Saints can need no conscience,
That with morality dispense;
As virtue's impious, when 'tis rooted
In nature only, and not imputed
But why the wicked should do so,
We neither know, or care to do.

What's liberty of conscience,
I' th' natural and genuine sense?
'Tis to restore, with more security,
Rebellion to its ancient purity;
And christian liberty reduce
To th' elder practice of the Jews.
For a large conscience is all one,
And signifies the same with none.

It is enough (quoth he) for once,
And has repriev'd thy forfeit bones:
NICK MACHIAVEL had ne'er a trick,
(Though he gave his name to our Old Nick,)
But was below the least of these,
That pass i' th' world for holiness.

This said, the furies and the light
In th' instant vanish'd out of sight,
And left him in the dark alone,
With stinks of brimstone and his own.

The Queen of Night, whose large command
Rules all the sea, and half the land,
And over moist and crazy brains,
In high spring-tides, at midnight reigns,
Was now declining to the west,
To go to bed, and take her rest;
When HUDIBRAS, whose stubborn blows
Deny'd his bones that soft repose,
Lay still expecting worse and more,
Stretch'd out at length upon the floor;
And though he shut his eyes as fast
As if h' had been to sleep his last,
Saw all the shapes that fear or wizards
Do make the Devil wear for vizards,
And pricking up his ears, to hark
If he cou'd hear too in the dark,
Was first invaded with a groan
And after in a feeble tone,
These trembling words: Unhappy wretch!
What hast thou gotten by this fetch;
For all thy tricks, in this new trade,
Thy holy brotherhood o' th' blade?
By sauntring still on some adventure,
And growing to thy horse a a Centaure?
To stuff thy skin with swelling knobs
Of cruel and hard-wooded drubs?
For still th' hast had the worst on't yet,
As well in conquest as defeat.
Night is the sabbath of mankind,
To rest the body and the mind,
Which now thou art deny'd to keep,
And cure thy labour'd corpse with sleep.
The Knight, who heard the words, explain'd,
As meant to him, this reprimand,
Because the character did hit
Point-blank upon his case so fit;
Believ'd it was some drolling spright,
That staid upon the guard that night,
And one of those h' had seen, and felt
The drubs he had so freely dealt;
When, after a short pause and groan,
The doleful Spirit thus went on:

This 'tis t' engage with dogs and bears
Pell-mell together by the ears,
And, after painful bangs and knocks,
To lie in limbo in the stocks,
And from the pinnacle of glory
Fall headlong into purgatory.

(Thought he, this devil's full of malice,
That in my late disasters rallies):
Condemn'd to whipping, but declin'd it,
By being more heroic-minded:
And at a riding handled worse,
With treats more slovenly and coarse:
Engag'd with fiends in stubborn wars,
And hot disputes with conjurers;
And when th' hadst bravely won the day,
Wast fain to steal thyself away.

(I see, thought he, this shameless elf
Wou'd fain steal me too from myself,
That impudently dares to own
What I have suffer'd for and done,)
And now but vent'ring to betray,
Hast met with vengeance the same way.

Thought he, how does the Devil know
What 'twas that I design'd to do?
His office of intelligence,
His oracles, are ceas'd long since;
And he knows nothing of the Saints,
But what some treacherous spy acquaints.
This is some pettifogging fiend,
Some under door-keeper's friend's friend,
That undertakes to understand,
And juggles at the second-hand;
And now would pass for Spirit Po,
And all mens' dark concerns foreknow.
I think I need not fear him for't;
These rallying devils do no hurt.
With that he rouz'd his drooping heart,
And hastily cry'd out, What art?
A wretch (quoth he) whom want of grace
Has brought to this unhappy place.

I do believe thee, quoth the Knight;
Thus far I'm sure th' art in the right;
And know what 'tis that troubles thee,
Better than thou hast guess'd of me.
Thou art some paultry, black-guard spright,
Condemn'd to drudg'ry in the night
Thou hast no work to do in th' house
Nor half-penny to drop in shoes;
Without the raising of which sum,
You dare not be so troublesome,
To pinch the slatterns black and blue,
For leaving you their work to do.
This is your bus'ness good Pug-Robin;
And your diversion dull dry-bobbing,
T' entice fanaticks in the dirt,
And wash them clean in ditches for't;
Of which conceit you are so proud,
At ev'ry jest you laugh aloud,
As now you wou'd have done by me,
But that I barr'd your raillery.

Sir (quoth the voice) y'are no such Sophi
As you would have the world judge of ye.
If you design to weigh our talents
I' the standard of your own false balance,
Or think it possible to know
Us ghosts as well as we do you;
We, who have been the everlasting
Companions of your drubs and basting,
And never left you in contest,
With male or female, man or beast,
But prov'd as true t' ye, and entire,
In all adventures, as your Squire.

Quoth he, That may be said as true
By the idlest pug of all your crew:
For none cou'd have betray'd us worse
Than those allies of ours and yours.
But I have sent him for a token
To your Low-Country HOGEN-MOGEN,
To whose infernal shores I hope
He'll swing like skippers in a rope.
And, if y' have been more just to me
(As I am apt to think) than he,
I am afraid it is as true,
What th' ill-affected say of you:
Y' have spous'd the Covenant and Cause,
By holding up your cloven paws.

Sir, quoth the voice, 'tis true, I grant,
We made and took the Covenant;
But that no more concerns the Cause
Than other perj'ries do the laws,
Which when they're prov'd in open court,
Wear wooden peccadillo's for't:
And that's the reason Cov'nanters
Hold up their hands like rogues at bars.

I see, quoth HUDIBRAS, from whence
These scandals of the Saints commence,
That are but natural effects
Of Satan's malice, and his sects,
Those Spider-Saints, that hang by threads,
Spun out o' th' intrails of their heads.

Sir, quoth the voice, that may as true
And properly be said of you,
Whose talents may compare with either,
Or both the other put together.
For all the Independents do,
Is only what you forc'd 'em to;
You, who are not content alone
With tricks to put the Devil down,
But must have armies rais'd to back
The gospel-work you undertake;
As if artillery, and edge-tools,
Were the only engines to save souls;
While he, poor devil, has no pow'r
By force to run down and devour;
Has ne'er a Classis; cannot sentence
To stools or poundage of repentance;
Is ty'd up only to design,
T' entice, and tempt, and undermine,
In which you all his arts out-do,
And prove yourselves his betters too.
Hence 'tis possessions do less evil
Than mere temptations of the Devil,
Which, all the horrid'st actions done,
Are charg'd in courts of law upon;
Because unless they help the elf,
He can do little of himself;
And therefore where he's best possess'd
Acts most against his interest;
Surprizes none, but those wh' have priests
To turn him out, and exorcists,
Supply'd with spiritual provision,
And magazines of ammunition
With crosses, relicks, crucifixes,
Beads, pictures, rosaries, and pixes;
The tools of working our salvation
By mere mechanick operation;
With holy water, like a sluice,
To overflow all avenues.
But those wh' are utterly unarm'd
T' oppose his entrance, if he storm'd,
He never offers to surprize,
Although his falsest enemies;
But is content to be their drudge,
And on their errands glad to trudge
For where are all your forfeitures
Entrusted in safe hands but ours?
Who are but jailors of the holes,
And dungeons where you clap up souls;
Like under-keepers, turn the keys,
T' your mittimus anathemas;
And never boggle to restore
The members you deliver o're
Upon demand, with fairer justice
Than all your covenanting Trustees;
Unless to punish them the worse,
You put them in the secular pow'rs,
And pass their souls, as some demise
The same estate in mortgage twice;
When to a legal Utlegation
You turn your excommunication,
And for a groat unpaid, that's due,
Distrain on soul and body too.

Thought he, 'tis no mean part of civil
State prudence to cajole the Devil
And not to handle him too rough,
When h' has us in his cloven hoof.

T' is true, quoth he, that intercourse
Has pass'd between your friends and ours;
That as you trust us, in our way,
To raise your members, and to lay,
We send you others of our own,
Denounc'd to hang themselves or drown;
Or, frighted with our oratory,
To leap down headlong many a story
Have us'd all means to propagate
Your mighty interests of state;
Laid out our spiritual gifts to further
Your great designs of rage and murther.
For if the Saints are nam'd from blood,
We only have made that title good;
And if it were but in our power,
We should not scruple to do more,
And not be half a soul behind
Of all dissenters of mankind.

Right, quoth the voice, and as I scorn
To be ungrateful, in return
Of all those kind good offices,
I'll free you out of this distress,
And set you down in safety, where
It is no time to tell you here.
The cock crows, and the morn grows on,
When 'tis decreed I must be gone;
And if I leave you here till day,
You'll find it hard to get away.

With that the Spirit grop'd about,
To find th' inchanted hero out,
And try'd with haste to lift him up;
But found his forlorn hope, his crup,
Unserviceable with kicks and blows,
Receiv'd from harden'd-hearted foes.
He thought to drag him by the heels,
Like Gresham carts, with legs for wheels;
But fear, that soonest cures those sores
In danger of relapse to worse,
Came in t' assist him with it's aid
And up his sinking vessel weigh'd.
No sooner was he fit to trudge,
But both made ready to dislodge.
The Spirit hors'd him like a sack
Upon the vehicle his back;
And bore him headlong into th' hall,
With some few rubs against the wall
Where finding out the postern lock'd,
And th' avenues as strongly block'd,
H' attack'd the window, storm'd the glass,
And in a moment gain'd the pass;
Thro' which he dragg'd the worsted souldier's
Fore-quarters out by the head and shoulders;
And cautiously began to scout,
To find their fellow-cattle out.
Nor was it half a minute's quest,
E're he retriev'd the champion's beast,
Ty'd to a pale, instead of rack;
But ne'er a saddle on his back,
Nor pistols at the saddle-bow,
Convey'd away the Lord knows how,
He thought it was no time to stay,
And let the night too steal away;
But in a trice advanc'd the Knight
Upon the bare ridge, bolt upright:
And groping out for RALPHO's jade,
He found the saddle too was stray'd,
And in the place a lump of soap.
On which he speedily leap'd up;
And turning to the gate the rein,
He kick'd and cudgell'd on amain.
While HUDIBRAS, with equal haste,
On both sides laid about as fast,
And spurr'd as jockies use to break,
Or padders to secure, a neck
Where let us leave 'em for a time,
And to their Churches turn our rhyme;
To hold forth their declining state,
Which now come near an even rate.

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What Seems To Be

what seems to be
need not necessarily what it must be
sometimes in too much
anticipation
what happens is an erosion of
the mind
it soon forgets
what it is,

what a thing is
in it-self
unfolds before you like the petals of a rose
so slowly
as though time does not exist
and so
in the middle of your sorrow
you fail to understand
its chili essence

beauty in full bloom
lies wasted unnoticed by the eyes
until death wait not
such is the salt of goodbyes

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What are we? what can we become?

We can be just snails if we want to,
But we can be sparrows too,
We must choose, we cannot just be silent
& undecided
Forever,
If we choose to be snails
Then we will know what we want
We want a river and some palms
To plan our slow travels,
If we choose to be sparrows then
We at least know what to do next,
We shall grow beaks, and wings, and
Soon we need the sharp claws too
To defend ourselves

At least we also know what we need,
Just nests to lay our small eggs,
Twigs of trees to rest upon
Our weary bodies,

We choose what we are
To become what we can be,
We start on that decision, and then
We will see what suits us
To be the best from the rest,
Who still ask

What are we? what can we become?

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There is no one

The world and whole globe belongs to all
There is no restriction or stumbling wall
The world is one and we may find no barrier
All opportunities open to all for carrier

Such nice imagination is presented to us from many quarters
We are moved easily as some of the things are moving faster
Education and other avenues are made open and brought closer
Such assertion for global closeness is no more a question or poser

This moves in the direction of making world a distant possibility
The talent of any country can prove highly commendable with quality
This is exactly happening in developed countries with outside talent
The pressure is mounting on other countries to bow and relent

What does happen when this has been totally turned into commerce?
Large amount of money is extracted even before the course commence
There is enough movement of precious exchange into one’s exchequer
Now the world scenario is changed and there is no need to invade and conquer

The student community is suffering at the hands of dictatorial position
Every country is adopting different posture and allows diverse composition
The students are made to suffer and sometimes put to local populations’ wrath
Occasional clashes which mars study and resulting in ugly arsons and death

We are still guided by the primitive stage thinking
Little progress achieved by others throws us into sinking
We can’t tolerate the fast growth and rapid achievement
Wanton killings coupled with hatred halts such nice movement

Some of the students are given identity belts
The immediate danger was experienced and felt
How can such a vast and developed country can exhibit intolerance?
When whole world derives liberty thoughts from the Florence

If some one asks me to comment on idealism and liberalism
I shall refuse to surrender to the thoughts of mere idealism
It is nothing but show of strength, distrust and vandalism
There can be no other shame worth condemnation than such nationalism

I refuse to take air intake from that direction
If such atrocity is committed with retaliatory action
What can you profess to world when you are totally intolerant?
You are still suffering from the old views of tyrant

'Where do I go when there's no one to look at
where else to turn and talk when there is no aim to set
that do we take as saviors of world peace?
I wish them all success but allow us to live at ease

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You Can Choose Your Friends

We have brothers and sisters our parents as well,
Our families are precious; well that's what they tell,
There'll be times we love them, on occasions we'll hate,
But they'll always be family, now that does frustrate.

On the issue of relations, it's made crystal clear,
They're our kith and kin which we should hold dear,
They epitomise all of our hopes and fears,
While bringing us joy there's also the tears.

We must love them all, forever, it's said,
Though there are some you would love to behead,
Whoever said that must be totally insane,
Or one who refuses to engage with their brain?

The problem with relations,
Is where it all ends?
You can't pick your family but,
'' You Can Choose Your Friends '

If you have a companion whom you no longer like,
You can just say to them, well go take a hike,
But if you fight with your family you're told to forgive,
Which will adversely affect you as long as you live.

Grudges are held when bad words are spoken,
Insincere apologies used as a token,
Until the next time is the golden rule,
That is a fact not the words of a fool.

Because there's a kinship we must show restraint,
Relatives are united is the picture they paint,
At family gatherings do we show some respite,
Do we hell, we get into a fight.

Kinship is different,
Life's rules it amends,
You can't pick your family but,
'You Can Choose Your Friends'

Weddings and christenings have the same effect,
Every one of the family think they are correct,
While sane and sober mistakes they'll excuse,
When they get drunk the battle ensues.

The very next day they'll think, what have I done?
My very own family second to none,
Their love and devotion does make me cry,
As do the stitches and bloody black eye.

Never again, are their fine words of choice,
They just love the sound of their own bloody voice,
Some of their mouths could do with a rinse,
The way some behave can and does make you wince.

They're supposed to be precious,
But when none of them bends,
You can't pick your family but,
'You Can Choose Your Friends'

The problem with life is we all have a choice,
But we're scared to admit it; if we could we'd rejoice,
No families to fight for, no in house disputes,
No relations to battle with, no more blood roots.

Coming and going whenever we so please,
A life without arguing, where everyone agrees.
Yes it's dream but dreams can come true,
But so can nightmares, on that you must chew.

The family portraits conceal many facts,
Including deceitful heinous acts,
Because they are kin their misdeeds we must hide,
All Retribution must be put to the side.

So become an acquaintance,
Follow new trends,
You can't pick your family but,

'You Can Choose Your Friends'

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Patrick White

You Were The Intimacy

You were the intimacy
of the things I loved
that were so impossibly far away
I could never reach out and touch them
except by touching you.
In the long silence of these past thirty-seven years
I have never been able to look at people again
the way I used to see them before I met you.
There's a fear in the way I love them
that I learned
from living your absence.
A deep black wounded space within
that has sadly outgrown the stars
like October outlives its fireflies.
And every threshold I've crossed ever since
has turned into a long road
with a precipice at the end of my spinal cord
swaying like the first night I met you
on the Capilano Suspension Bridge
and you said
the only way
to overcome your fear of falling
is to have the courage to jump.
And I laughed and said
staring into the gorge
and the thin silver water down below
what's to fear
if you know how to fall toward paradise?
And you knew right away
I was your kind of challenge.
And I knew you wanted
to sword-dance with razorblades
you laid out like the Tarot
later back at your place
as if you wanted to convince yourself
you were still silly enough to believe in tomorrow.
The candle beside the cards on the floor
didn't turn out to be
enough of a lighthouse
to warn us of the approaching storm.
We were sincere in the darkness
for a little while
astounded by the expert innocence
of our mindless flesh.
You shone like the sun at midnight
and I came undone like Icarus
to prove I was falling
without regrets
like a spent star
into the singularity
of a whole new universe
where everything that didn't happen in this one
came uncannily true in the next
for both of us
as if we were at last worthy
in each others' arms
of our own happiness.
When happiness is brave
it's bliss.
And when it's afraid
there's nothing sadder
than a gift that was never opened.
Joy is a warrior that risked hoping
there was nothing left dying for.
Sorrow comes up with a million reasons.
The only way of life
is not making a way of life.
Nor making
not making a way of life
a way.
One day you just get off the road
and start taking the long way home through the starfields.
You stop looking in the mirror
to see if you still have eyes.
For years after your death
no matter what I looked at
I always saw the same thing.
The black clarity
of your existential absence
staring me in the face
without turning me into stone
because that would have been mercy.
Try how I might
I could never quite
shut the lid on your coffin
or accept
that you were buried in me for good
or that my blood burned
like the infernal red
of an emergency exit
to show me the way out
of heaven and hell
by falling on them both
like a two-edged sword
that killed me deeper into life
than your death ever did.
Either life's unfair
or I'm not man enough
to live up to your suicide
but I remember how I used to love
feeling the weight
of the nightstream of your hair
as it poured through my hand
like a landscape that could feel
for the first time in a long time
water running in the dry creekbeds of its lifelines.
Things woke up.
And I saw the flowers
among the thorns
that had been guarding them
like the secret names of God
you had to know
to get past the burning angels
through the gates
of your sad return to Eden alone.
The eloquence of your flesh
when you walked on the earth
as if your heart danced to your blood
like an old song we both knew
now a broken harp of bone,
a wounded guitar,
someone laid down for good.
A prophetic skull
without a future
anyone can foretell.
The full moon going down
like a spare penny
into a dry wishing well.
Me looking at the dark hills
like the contours of your corpse laid out
under a collapsed tent
as they wheeled you into the ambulance
to spend your first vast impossibly long night in the morgue
among the dead
who don't catch their breath
or break their bodies like bread
alone in the stillness
that can't distinguish one death from another.
However I wept for you
all the hard bitter baffled tears
all the sweet radiant wellsprings
that washed the dust like stars
off the wings of the birds
that had laboured to carry the souls of the dead
far to the west
when I remembered
how blessed I really was
that things had been
so beautifully dangerous for awhile.
And all the dark fathomless watersheds of lucidity
I drowned in like a eye in a grail
looking for butterflies in a suicide note.
All the black pearls
the diamond skulls
the eclipsed chalices
all the precious jewels of my grieving
that death hoarded underground
nothing in the end
but nameless water
frozen between the cracks
of a gravestone as old as the moon.
I remember how I loved your ice-blue eyes
and how they burned with an Arctic clarity
you had to dress warmly for
if you didn't want to suffer from frost-bite
but there's more nightshade in them now
than chicory
when I look into them like tundral flowers
and the light turns hurtful and eerie
when I recall how the melting snow
washed itself clean of itself
all those years ago
when we didn't know
what all this meant.
It's of little relevance
that we once loved each other
the way we did
and once you've exhausted
the meaning of signs
like galaxies expanding
ever more deeply into space
less significance.
What does it look like from Mars?
Your death was a koan
not a fortune-cookie
and the koan broke me
like a man it couldn't understand
rationally.
There is no scar for you.
You will always be
this open wound inside of me.
When I look at the stars
I can't dissociate beauty from absurdity.
I cherish their clarity
as something that can't be
contaminated by my eyes
when they're nothing
but two black holes in space
a snake-bite of the light
in the middle of my face
like a colon without the following:
the kind of faith
that makes what little is left
so incommensurably greater than what's been lost.
I can see the blue morning glory in the garden
as if moonlight had turned to skin
just to feel what it's like to flower
but I can't forget the frost
that fell like your death over all of it
when I went so numb
space turned into glass
and time pulled the blind down on the window.
I closed my eyes like a mirror
content to let the stars make sense
of their own reflections.
I gave up on directions
and burned my starmaps
and followed who I was
without caring what I became.
Absolutes of ice
spread like cataracts
over the relativities of the river
that went on flowing
as if nothing had changed
and my life was still a dream without eyelids.
A ghost would be easier to deal with
than the fact
that you don't exist anymore
except as bare bones
denuded of the world
like yarrow sticks
thrown before the Book of Changes.
But then I expect
you'd exorcise yourself
at a suggestion of the night
that the stars would be so much brighter
if you only blew out the candleflame.
You'd do it just to see
if things got better.
You'd leave me in the dark again
staring at the stars
like white ink
on a black loveletter
you left unsigned
as you disappeared into death
like your last breath on a cold windowpane.
I've long since forgiven you my solitude.
I've long since forgiven you
the severity of the wisdom
that hardened my eyes
like diamonds in the darkness
that could cut through anything
except my attachment to you.
I have forgiven you
for the way I have grown through suffering
to realize
how much I owe your death
and the terrible eyeless abyss that followed it
like an enlightened insight
into the impersonal nature of compassion.
I have forgiven you
the way I am spontaneously compelled
to love a world that is so estranged from me
I feel like water on the moon
trying to imagine what it must be like
to fall like rain on the intimate earth
with a reasonable expectation
of coming up flowers
that weren't destined
to be laid on your grave.
I've gone grey gathering them up
and bringing them to you
like bouquets of paints and brushes
that are ready at hand
should you ever wish
to pick them up again
and show me what the world looks like
without a body for a picture-frame
as you play the part of the upstart genius
who lived the black farce of creative pain
like the agony of the wick
burning at the stake like a heretic
between the flesh of the wax
and the spiritual aspirations of the candleflame
thrusting spears into space at the stars
as if the only way you could ever know God
if you ever met up
was by the scars.

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La Fontaine

Belphegor Addressed To Miss De Chammelay

YOUR name with ev'ry pleasure here I place,
The last effusions of my muse to grace.
O charming Phillis! may the same extend
Through time's dark night: our praise together blend;
To this we surely may pretend to aim
Your acting and my rhymes attention claim.
Long, long in mem'ry's page your fame shall live;
You, who such ecstacy so often give;
O'er minds, o'er hearts triumphantly you reign:
In Berenice, in Phaedra, and Chimene,
Your tears and plaintive accents all engage:
Beyond compare in proud Camilla's rage;
Your voice and manner auditors delight;
Who strong emotions can so well excite?
No fine eulogium from my pen expect:
With you each air and grace appear correct
My first of Phillis's you ought to be;
My sole affection had been placed on thee;
Long since, had I presumed the truth to tell;
But he who loves would fain be loved as well.

NO hope of gaining such a charming fair,
Too soon, perhaps, I ceded to despair;
Your friend, was all I ventured to be thought,
Though in your net I more than half was caught.
Most willingly your lover I'd have been;
But time it is our story should be seen.

ONE, day, old Satan, sov'reign dread of hell;
Reviewed his subjects, as our hist'ries tell;
The diff'rent ranks, confounded as they stood,
Kings, nobles, females, and plebeian blood,
Such grief expressed, and made such horrid cries,
As almost stunned, and filled him with surprise.
The monarch, as he passed, desired to know
The cause that sent each shade to realms below.
Some said--my HUSBAND; others WIFE replied;
The same was echoed loud from ev'ry side.

His majesty on this was heard to say:
If truth these shadows to my ears convey,
With ease our glory we may now augment:
I'm fully bent to try th' experiment.
With this design we must some demon send,
Who wily art with prudence well can blend;
And, not content with watching Hymen's flock,
Must add his own experience to the stock.

THE sable senate instantly approved
The proposition that the monarch moved;
Belphegor was to execute the work;
The proper talent in him seemed to lurk:
All ears and eyes, a prying knave in grain
In short, the very thing they wished to gain.

THAT he might all expense and cost defray,
They gave him num'rous bills without delay,
And credit too, in ev'ry place of note,
With various things that might their plan promote.
He was, besides, the human lot to fill,
Of pleasure and of pain:--of good and ill;
In fact, whate'er for mortals was designed,
With his legation was to be combined.
He might by industry and wily art,
His own afflictions dissipate in part;
But die he could not, nor his country see,
Till he ten years complete on earth should be.

BEHOLD him trav'lling o'er th' extensive space;
Between the realms of darkness and our race.
To pass it, scarcely he a moment took;
On Florence instantly he cast a look;--
Delighted with the beauty of the spot,
He there resolved to fix his earthly lot,
Regarding it as proper for his wiles,
A city famed for wanton freaks and guiles.
Belphegor soon a noble mansion hired,
And furnished it with ev'ry thing desired;
As signor Roderick he designed to pass;
His equipage was large of ev'ry class;
Expense anticipating day by day,
What, in ten years, he had to throw away.

HIS noble entertainments raised surprise;
Magnificence alone would not suffice;
Delightful pleasures he dispensed around,
And flattery abundantly was found,
An art in which a demon should excel:
No devil surely e'er was liked so well.
His heart was soon the object of the FAIR;
To please Belphegor was their constant care.

WHO lib'rally with presents smoothes the road,
Will meet no obstacles to LOVE'S abode.
In ev'ry situation they are sweet,
I've often said, and now the same repeat:
The primum mobile of human kind,
Are gold and silver, through the world we find.

OUR envoy kept two books, in which he wrote
The names of all the married pairs of note;
But that assigned to couples satisfied,
He scarcely for it could a name provide,
Which made the demon almost blush to see,
How few, alas! in wedlock's chains agree;
While presently the other, which contained
Th' unhappy--not a leaf in blank remained.

No other choice Belphegor now had got,
Than--try himself the hymeneal knot.
In Florence he beheld a certain fair,
With charming face and smart engaging air;
Of noble birth, but puffed with empty pride;
Some marks of virtue, though not much beside.
For Roderick was asked this lofty dame;
The father said Honesta (such her name)
Had many eligible offers found;
But, 'mong the num'rous band that hovered round,
Perhaps his daughter, Rod'rick's suit might take,
Though he should wish for time the choice to make.
This approbation met, and Rod'rick 'gan
To use his arts and execute his plan.

THE entertainments, balls, and serenades,
Plays, concerts, presents, feasts, and masquerades,
Much lessened what the demon with him brought;
He nothing grudged:--whate'er was wished he bought.
The dame believed high honour she bestowed,
When she attention to his offer showed;
And, after prayers, entreaties, and the rest,
To be his wife she full assent expressed.

BUT first a pettifogger to him came,
Of whom (aside) Belphegor made a game;
What! said the demon, is a lady gained
just like a house?--these scoundrels have obtained
Such pow'r and sway, without them nothing's done;
But hell will get them when their course is run.
He reasoned properly; when faith's no more,
True honesty is forced to leave the door;
When men with confidence no longer view
Their fellow-mortals,--happiness adieu!
The very means we use t' escape the snare,
Oft deeper plunge us in the gulph of care;
Avoid attorneys, if you comfort crave
Who knows a PETTIFOGGER, knows a KNAVE;
Their contracts, filled with IFS and FORS, appear
The gate through which STRIFE found admittance here.
In vain we hope again the earth 'twill leave
Still STRIFE remains, and we ourselves deceive:
In spite of solemn forms and laws we see,
That LOVE and HYMEN often disagree.
The heart alone can tranquilize the mind;
In mutual passion ev'ry bliss we find.

HOW diff'rent things in other states appear!
With friends--'tis who can be the most sincere;
With lovers--all is sweetness, balm of life;
While all is IRKSOMENESS with man and wife.
We daily see from DUTY springs disgust,
And PLEASURE likes true LIBERTY to trust.

ARE happy marriages for ever flown?
On full consideration I will own,
That when each other's follies couples bear;
They then deserve the name of HAPPY PAIR.

ENOUGH of this:--no sooner had our wight
The belle possessed, and passed the month's delight;
But he perceived what marriage must be here,
With such a demon in our nether sphere.
For ever jars and discords rang around;
Of follies, ev'ry class our couple found;
Honesta often times such noise would make,
Her screams and cries the neighbours kept awake,
Who, running thither, by the wife were told:--
Some paltry tradesman's daughter, coarse and bold,
He should have had:--not one of rank like me;
To treat me thus, what villain he must be!
A wife so virtuous, could he e'er deserve!
My scruples are too great, or I should swerve;
Indeed, without dispute, 'twould serve him right:--
We are not sure she nothing did in spite;
These prudes can make us credit what they please:
Few ponder long when they can dupe with ease.

THIS wife and husband, as our hist'ries say,
Each moment squabbled through the passing day;
Their disagreements often would arise
About a petticoat, cards, tables, pies,
Gowns, chairs, dice, summer-houses, in a word,
Things most ridiculous and quite absurd.

WELL might this spouse regret his Hell profound,
When he considered what he'd met on ground.
To make our demon's wretchedness complete,
Honesta's relatives, from ev'ry street,
He seemed to marry, since he daily fed
The father, mother, sister (fit to wed,)
And little brother, whom he sent to school;
While MISS he portioned to a wealthy fool.

His utter ruin, howsoe'er, arose
From his attorney-steward that he chose.
What's that? you ask--a wily sneaking knave,
Who, while his master spends, contrives to save;
Till, in the end, grown rich, the lands he buys,
Which his good lord is forced to sacrifice.

IF, in the course of time, the master take
The place of steward, and his fortune make,
'Twould only to their proper rank restore,
Those who become just what they were before.

POOR Rod'rick now no other hope had got,
Than what the chance of traffick might allot;
Illusion vain, or doubtful at the best:--
Though some grow rich, yet all are not so blessed.
'Twas said our husband never would succeed;
And truly, such it seemed to be decreed.
His agents (similar to those we see
In modern days) were with his treasure free;
His ships were wrecked; his commerce came to naught;
Deceived by knaves, of whom he well had thought;
Obliged to borrow money, which to pay,
He was unable at th' appointed day,
He fled, and with a farmer shelter took,
Where he might hope the bailiffs would not look.

HE told to Matthew, (such the farmer's name,)
His situation, character, and fame:
By duns assailed, and harassed by a wife,
Who proved the very torment of his life,
He knew no place of safety to obtain,
Like ent'ring other bodies, where 'twas plain,
He might escape the catchpole's prowling eye,
Honesta's wrath, and all her rage defy.
From these he promised he would thrice retire;
Whenever Matthew should the same desire:
Thrice, but no more, t'oblige this worthy man,
Who shelter gave when from the fiends he ran.

THE AMBASSADOR commenced his form to change:--
From human frame to frame he 'gan to range;
But what became his own fantastick state,
Our books are silent, nor the facts relate.

AN only daughter was the first he seized,
Whose charms corporeal much our demon pleased;
But Matthew, for a handsome sum of gold,
Obliged him, at a word, to quit his hold.
This passed at Naples--next to Rome he came,
Where, with another fair, he did the same;
But still the farmer banished him again,
So well he could the devil's will restrain;
Another weighty purse to him was paid
Thrice Matthew drove him out from belle and maid.

THE king of Naples had a daughter fair,
Admired, adored:--her parents' darling care;
In wedlock oft by many princes sought;
Within her form, the wily demon thought
He might be sheltered from Honesta's rage;
And none to drive him thence would dare engage.

NAUGHT else was talked of, in or out of town,
But devils driven by the cunning clown;
Large sums were offered, if, by any art,
He'd make the demon from the fair depart.

AFFLICTED much was Matthew, now to lose
The gold thus tendered, but he could not choose,
For since Belphegor had obliged him thrice,
He durst not hope the demon to entice;
Poor man was he, a sinner, who, by chance,
(He knew not how, it surely was romance,)
Had some few devils, truly, driven out:
Most worthy of contempt without a doubt.
But all in vain:--the man they took by force;
Proceed he must, or hanged he'd be of course.

THE demon was before our farmer placed;
The sight was by the prince in person graced;
The wond'rous contest numbers ran to see,
And all the world spectators fain would be.

IF vanquished by the devil:--he must swing;
If vanquisher:--'twould thousands to him bring:
The gallows was, no doubt, a horrid view;
Yet, at the purse, his glances often flew;
The evil spirit laughed within his sleeve,
To see the farmer tremble, fret, and grieve.
He pleaded that the wight he'd thrice obeyed;
The demon was by Matthew often prayed;
But all in vain,--the more he terror showed,
The more Belphegor ridicule bestowed.

AT length the clown was driven to declare,
The fiend he was unable to ensnare;
Away they Matthew to the gallows led;
But as he went, it entered in his head,
And, in a sort of whisper he averred
(As was in fact the case) a drum he heard.

THE demon, with surprise, to Matthew cried;
What noise is that? Honesta, he replied,
Who you demands, and every where pursues,
The spouse who treats her with such vile abuse.

THESE words were thunder to Belphegor's ears,
Who instantly took flight, so great his fears;
To hell's abyss he fled without delay,
To tell adventures through the realms of day.
Sire, said the demon, it is clearly true,
Damnation does the marriage knot pursue.
Your highness often hither sees arrive,
Not squads, but regiments, who, when alive,
By Hymen were indissolubly tied:--
In person I the fact have fully tried.
Th' institution, perhaps, most just could be:
Past ages far more happiness might see;
But ev'ry thing, with time, corruption shows;
No jewel in your crown more lustre throws.

BELPHEGOR'S tale by Satan was believed;
Reward he got: the term, which-sorely grieved,
Was now reduced; indeed, what had he done,
That should prevent it?--If away he'd run,
Who would not do the same who weds a shrew?
Sure worse below the devil never knew!
A brawling woman's tongue, what saint can bear?
E'en Job, Honesta would have taught despair.

WHAT is the inference? you ask:--I'll tell;--
Live single, if you know you are well;
But if old Hymen o'er your senses reign,
Beware Honestas, or you'll rue the chain.

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An Anthem Of Earth

Proemion.

Immeasurable Earth!
Through the loud vast and populacy of Heaven,
Tempested with gold schools of ponderous orbs,
That cleav'st with deep-revolting harmonies
Passage perpetual, and behind thee draw'st
A furrow sweet, a cometary wake
Of trailing music! What large effluence,
Not sole the cloudy sighing of thy seas,
Nor thy blue-coifing air, encases thee
From prying of the stars, and the broad shafts
Of thrusting sunlight tempers? For, dropped near
From my remov-ed tour in the serene
Of utmost contemplation, I scent lives.
This is the efflux of thy rocks and fields,
And wind-cuffed forestage, and the souls of men,
And aura of all treaders over thee;
A sentient exhalation, wherein close
The odorous lives of many-throated flowers,
And each thing's mettle effused; that so thou wear'st,
Even like a breather on a frosty morn,
Thy proper suspiration. For I know,
Albeit, with custom-dulled perceivingness,
Nestled against thy breast, my sense not take
The breathings of thy nostrils, there's no tree,
No grain of dust, nor no cold-seeming stone,
But wears a fume of its circumfluous self.
Thine own life and the lives of all that live,
The issue of thy loins,
Is this thy gaberdine,
Wherein thou walkest through thy large demesne
And sphery pleasances,--
Amazing the unstal-ed eyes of Heaven,
And us that still a precious seeing have
Behind this dim and mortal jelly.
Ah!
If not in all too late and frozen a day
I come in rearward of the throats of song,
Unto the deaf sense of the ag-ed year
Singing with doom upon me; yet give heed!
One poet with sick pinion, that still feels
Breath through the Orient gateways closing fast,
Fast closing t'ward the undelighted night!


Anthem.


In nescientness, in nescientness,
Mother, we put these fleshly lendings on
Thou yield'st to thy poor children; took thy gift
Of life, which must, in all the after-days,
Be craved again with tears,--
With fresh and still-petitionary tears.
Being once bound thine almsmen for that gift,
We are bound to beggary, nor our own can call
The journal dole of customary life,
But after suit obsequious for't to thee.
Indeed this flesh, O Mother,
A beggar's gown, a client's badging,
We find, which from thy hands we simply took,
Nought dreaming of the after penury,
In nescientness.

In a little joy, in a little joy,
We wear awhile thy sore insignia,
Nor know thy heel o' the neck. O Mother! Mother!
Then what use knew I of thy solemn robes,
But as a child, to play with them? I bade thee
Leave thy great husbandries, thy grave designs,
Thy tedious state which irked my ignorant years,
Thy winter-watches, suckling of the grain,
Severe premeditation taciturn
Upon the brooded Summer, thy chill cares,
And all thy ministries majestical,
To sport with me, thy darling. Thought I not
Thou set'st thy seasons forth processional
To pamper me with pageant,--thou thyself
My fellow-gamester, appanage of mine arms?
Then what wild Dionysia I, young Bacchanal,
Danced in thy lap! Ah for thy gravity!
Then, O Earth, thou rang'st beneath me,
Rocked to Eastward, rocked to Westward,
Even with the shifted
Poise and footing of my thought!
I brake through thy doors of sunset,
Ran before the hooves of sunrise,
Shook thy matron tresses down in fancies
Wild and wilful
As a poet's hand could twine them;
Caught in my fantasy's crystal chalice
The Bow, as its cataract of colours
Plashed to thee downward;
Then when thy circuit swung to nightward,
Night the abhorr-ed, night was a new dawning,
Celestial dawning
Over the ultimate marges of the soul;
Dusk grew turbulent with fire before me,
And like a windy arras waved with dreams.
Sleep I took not for my bedfellow,
Who could waken
To a revel, an inexhaustible
Wassail of orgiac imageries;
Then while I wore thy sore insignia
In a little joy, O Earth, in a little joy;
Loving thy beauty in all creatures born of thee,
Children, and the sweet-essenced body of woman;
Feeling not yet upon my neck thy foot,
But breathing warm of thee as infants breathe
New from their mother's morning bosom. So I,
Risen from thee, restless winnower of the heaven,
Most Hermes-like, did keep
My vital and resilient path, and felt
The play of wings about my fledg-ed heel--
Sure on the verges of precipitous dream,
Swift in its springing
From jut to jut of inaccessible fancies,
In a little joy.

In a little thought, in a little thought,
We stand and eye thee in a grave dismay,
With sad and doubtful questioning, when first
Thou speak'st to us as men: like sons who hear
Newly their mother's history, unthought
Before, and say--'She is not as we dreamed:
Ah me! we are beguiled!' What art thou, then,
That art not our conceiving? Art thou not
Too old for thy young children? Or perchance,
Keep'st thou a youth perpetual-burnishable
Beyond thy sons decrepit? It is long
Since Time was first a fledgling;
Yet thou may'st be but as a pendant bulla
Against his stripling bosom swung. Alack!
For that we seem indeed
To have slipped the world's great leaping-time, and come
Upon thy pinched and dozing days: these weeds,
These corporal leavings, thou not cast'st us new,
Fresh from thy craftship, like the lilies' coats,
But foist'st us off
With hasty tarnished piecings negligent,
Snippets and waste
From old ancestral wearings,
That have seen sorrier usage; remainder-flesh
After our father's surfeits; nay with chinks,
Some of us, that if speech may have free leave
Our souls go out at elbows. We are sad
With more than our sires' heaviness, and with
More than their weakness weak; we shall not be
Mighty with all their mightiness, nor shall not
Rejoice with all their joy. Ay, Mother! Mother!
What is this Man, thy darling kissed and cuffed,
Thou lustingly engender'st,
To sweat, and make his brag, and rot,
Crowned with all honour and all shamefulness?
From nightly towers
He dogs the secret footsteps of the heavens,
Sifts in his hands the stars, weighs them as gold-dust,
And yet is he successive unto nothing
But patrimony of a little mould,
And entail of four planks. Thou hast made his mouth
Avid of all dominion and all mightiness,
All sorrow, all delight, all topless grandeurs,
All beauty, and all starry majesties,
And dim transtellar things;--even that it may,
Filled in the ending with a puff of dust,
Confess--'It is enough.' The world left empty
What that poor mouthful crams. His heart is builded
For pride, for potency, infinity,
All heights, all deeps, and all immensities,
Arrased with purple like the house of kings,--
To stall the grey-rat, and the carrion-worm
Statelily lodge. Mother of mysteries!
Sayer of dark sayings in a thousand tongues,
Who bringest forth no saying yet so dark
As we ourselves, thy darkest! We the young,
In a little thought, in a little thought,
At last confront thee, and ourselves in thee,
And wake disgarmented of glory: as one
On a mount standing, and against him stands,
On the mount adverse, crowned with westering rays,
The golden sun, and they two brotherly
Gaze each on each;
He faring down
To the dull vale, his Godhead peels from him
Till he can scarcely spurn the pebble--
For nothingness of new-found mortality--
That mutinies against his gall-ed foot.
Littly he sets him to the daily way,
With all around the valleys growing grave,
And known things changed and strange; but he holds on,
Though all the land of light be widow-ed,
In a little thought.

In a little strength, in a little strength,
We affront thy unveiled face intolerable,
Which yet we do sustain.
Though I the Orient never more shall feel
Break like a clash of cymbals, and my heart
Clang through my shaken body like a gong;
Nor ever more with spurted feet shall tread
I' the winepresses of song; nought's truly lost
That moulds to sprout forth gain: now I have on me
The high Phoebean priesthood, and that craves
An unrash utterance; not with flaunted hem
May the Muse enter in behind the veil,
Nor, though we hold the sacred dances good,
Shall the holy Virgins maenadize: ruled lips
Befit a votaress Muse.
Thence with no mutable, nor no gelid love,
I keep, O Earth, thy worship,
Though life slow, and the sobering Genius change
To a lamp his gusty torch. What though no more
Athwart its roseal glow
Thy face look forth triumphal? Thou put'st on
Strange sanctities of pathos; like this knoll
Made derelict of day,
Couchant and shadow-ed
Under dim Vesper's overloosened hair:
This, where emboss-ed with the half-blown seed
The solemn purple thistle stands in grass
Grey as an exhalation, when the bank
Holds mist for water in the nights of Fall.
Not to the boy, although his eyes be pure
As the prime snowdrop is,
Ere the rash Phoebus break her cloister
Of sanctimonious snow;
Or Winter fasting sole on Himalay
Since those dove-nuncioed days
When Asia rose from bathing;
Not to such eyes,
Uneuphrasied with tears, the hierarchical
Vision lies unoccult, rank under rank
Through all create down-wheeling, from the Throne
Even to the bases of the pregnant ooze.
This is the enchantment, this the exaltation,
The all-compensating wonder,
Giving to common things wild kindred
With the gold-tesserate floors of Jove;
Linking such heights and such humilities
Hand in hand in ordinal dances,
That I do think my tread,
Stirring the blossoms in the meadow-grass,
Flickers the unwithering stars.
This to the shunless fardel of the world
Nerves my uncurb-ed back; that I endure,
The monstrous Temple's moveless caryatid,
With wide eyes calm upon the whole of things,
In a little strength.

In a little sight, in a little sight,
We learn from what in thee is credible
The incredible, with bloody clutch and feet
Clinging the painful juts of jagg-ed faith.
Science, old noser in its prideful straw,
That with anatomising scalpel tents
Its three-inch of thy skin, and brags--'All's bare,'
The eyeless worm, that boring works the soil,
Making it capable for the crops of God;
Against its own dull will
Ministers poppies to our troublous thought,
A Balaam come to prophecy,--parables,
Nor of its parable itself is ware,
Grossly unwotting; all things has expounded
Reflux and influx, counts the sepulchre
The seminary of being, and extinction
The Ceres of existence: it discovers
Life in putridity, vigour in decay;
Dissolution even, and disintegration,
Which in our dull thoughts symbolise disorder,
Finds in God's thoughts irrefragable order,
And admirable the manner of our corruption
As of our health. It grafts upon the cypress
The tree of Life--Death dies on his own dart
Promising to our ashes perpetuity,
And to our perishable elements
Their proper imperishability; extracting
Medicaments from out mortality
Against too mortal cogitation; till
Even of the caput mortuum we do thus
Make a memento vivere. To such uses
I put the blinding knowledge of the fool,
Who in no order seeth ordinance;
Nor thrust my arm in nature shoulder-high,
And cry--'There's nought beyond!' How should I so,
That cannot with these arms of mine engirdle
All which I am; that am a foreigner
In mine own region? Who the chart shall draw
Of the strange courts and vaulty labyrinths,
The spacious tenements and wide pleasances,
Innumerable corridors far-withdrawn,
Where I wander darkling, of myself?
Darkling I wander, nor I dare explore
The long arcane of those dim catacombs,
Where the rat memory does its burrows make,
Close-seal them as I may, and my stolen tread
Starts populace, a gens lucifuga;
That too strait seems my mind my mind to hold,
And I myself incontinent of me.
Then go I, my foul-venting ignorance
With scabby sapience plastered, aye forsooth!
Clap my wise foot-rule to the walls o' the world,
And vow--A goodly house, but something ancient,
And I can find no Master? Rather, nay,
By baffled seeing, something I divine
Which baffles, and a seeing set beyond;
And so with strenuous gazes sounding down,
Like to the day-long porer on a stream,
Whose last look is his deepest, I beside
This slow perpetual Time stand patiently,
In a little sight.

In a little dust, in a little dust,
Earth, thou reclaim'st us, who do all our lives
Find of thee but Egyptian villeinage.
Thou dost this body, this enhavocked realm,
Subject to ancient and ancestral shadows;
Descended passions sway it; it is distraught
With ghostly usurpation, dinned and fretted
With the still-tyrannous dead; a haunted tenement,
Peopled from barrows and outworn ossuaries.
Thou giv'st us life not half so willingly
As thou undost thy giving; thou that teem'st
The stealthy terror of the sinuous pard,
The lion maned with curl-ed puissance,
The serpent, and all fair strong beasts of ravin,
Thyself most fair and potent beast of ravin;
And thy great eaters thou, the greatest, eat'st.
Thou hast devoured mammoth and mastodon,
And many a floating bank of fangs,
The scaly scourges of thy primal brine,
And the tower-crested plesiosaure.
Thou fill'st thy mouth with nations, gorgest slow
On purple aeons of kings; man's hulking towers
Are carcase for thee, and to modern sun
Disglutt'st their splintered bones.
Rabble of Pharaohs and Arsacidae
Keep their cold house within thee; thou hast sucked down
How many Ninevehs and Hecatompyloi,
And perished cities whose great phantasmata
O'erbrow the silent citizens of Dis:-
Hast not thy fill?
Tarry awhile, lean Earth, for thou shalt drink,
Even till thy dull throat sicken,
The draught thou grow'st most fat on; hear'st thou not
The world's knives bickering in their sheaths? O patience!
Much offal of a foul world comes thy way,
And man's superfluous cloud shall soon be laid
In a little blood.

In a little peace, in a little peace,
Thou dost rebate thy rigid purposes
Of imposed being, and relenting, mend'st
Too much, with nought. The westering Phoebus' horse
Paws i' the lucent dust as when he shocked
The East with rising; O how may I trace
In this decline that morning when we did
Sport 'twixt the claws of newly-whelped existence,
Which had not yet learned rending? we did then
Divinely stand, not knowing yet against us
Sentence had passed of life, nor commutation
Petitioning into death. What's he that of
The Free State argues? Tellus! bid him stoop,
Even where the low hic jacet answers him;
Thus low, O Man! there's freedom's seignory,
Tellus' most reverend sole free commonweal,
And model deeply-policied: there none
Stands on precedence, nor ambitiously
Woos the impartial worm, whose favours kiss
With liberal largesse all; there each is free
To be e'en what he must, which here did strive
So much to be he could not; there all do
Their uses just, with no flown questioning.
To be took by the hand of equal earth
They doff her livery, slip to the worm,
Which lacqueys them, their suits of maintenance,
And that soiled workaday apparel cast,
Put on condition: Death's ungentle buffet
Alone makes ceremonial manumission;
So are the heavenly statutes set, and those
Uranian tables of the primal Law.
In a little peace, in a little peace,
Like fierce beasts that a common thirst makes brothers,
We draw together to one hid dark lake;
In a little peace, in a little peace,
We drain with all our burthens of dishonour
Into the cleansing sands o' the thirsty grave.
The fiery pomps, brave exhalations,
And all the glistering shows o' the seeming world,
Which the sight aches at, we unwinking see
Through the smoked glass of Death; Death, wherewith's fined
The muddy wine of life; that earth doth purge
Of her plethora of man; Death, that doth flush
The cumbered gutters of humanity;
Nothing, of nothing king, with front uncrowned,
Whose hand holds crownets; playmate swart o' the strong;
Tenebrous moon that flux and refluence draws
Of the high-tided man; skull-hous-ed asp
That stings the heel of kings; true Fount of Youth,
Where he that dips is deathless; being's drone-pipe;
Whose nostril turns to blight the shrivelled stars,
And thicks the lusty breathing of the sun;
Pontifical Death, that doth the crevasse bridge
To the steep and trifid God; one mortal birth
That broker is of immortality.
Under this dreadful brother uterine,
This kinsman feared, Tellus, behold me come,
Thy son stern-nursed; who mortal-motherlike,
To turn thy weanlings' mouth averse, embitter'st
Thine over-childed breast. Now, mortal-sonlike,
I thou hast suckled, Mother, I at last
Shall sustenant be to thee. Here I untrammel,
Here I pluck loose the body's cerementing,
And break the tomb of life; here I shake off
The bur o' the world, man's congregation shun,
And to the antique order of the dead
I take the tongueless vows: my cell is set
Here in thy bosom; my little trouble is ended
In a little peace.

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