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In lieu whereof graunt, O great Soveraine!
That she, whose conquering beauty doth captíve
My trembling hart in her eternall chaine,
One drop of grace at length will to me give,
That I her bounden thrall by her may live,
And this same life, which first fro me she reaved,
May owe to her, of whom I it receaved.
And you faire Venus dearling, my dear Dread!
Fresh flowre of grace, great Goddesse of my life,
When your faire eyes these fearfull lines shall read,
Deigne to let fall one drop of dew reliefe,
That may recure my harts long pyning griefe,
And shew what wondrous powre your beauty hath,
That can restore a damned wight from death.
AN HYMNE OF HEAVENLY LOVE.
OVE, lift me up upon thy golden wings
From this base world unto thy heavens hight,
Where I may see those admirable things
Which there thou workest by thy soveraine might,
Farre above feeble reach of earthly sight,
That I thereof an heavenly Hymne may sing
Unto the God of Love, high heavens King.
Many lewd layes (ah! woe is me the more!)
In praise of that mad fit which fooles call Love,
I have in th' heat of youth made heretofore,
That in light wits did loose affection move;
But all those follies now I do reprove,
And turned have the tenor of my string,
The heavenly prayses of true Love to sing.
And ye that wont with greedy vaine desire
To reade my fault, and, wondring at my flame,
To warme your selves at my wide sparckling fire,
Sith now that heat is quenched, quench my blame,
And in her ashes shrowd my dying shame;
For who my passed follies now pursewes,
Beginnes his owne, and iny old fault renewes.
Before this worlds great frame, in which al things Are now containd, found any being-place, Ere flitting Time could wag his eyas wings About that mightie bound which doth embrace The rolling Spheres, and parts their houres by space, That High Eternall Powre, which now doth move In all these things, mov'd in it selfe by love.
It lovd it selfe, because it selfe was faire;
(For fair is lov'd ;) and of it self begot
Like to it selfe his eldest Sonne and Heire,
Eternall, pure, and voide of sinfull blot,
The firstling of His joy, in whom no jot
Of loves dislike or pride was to be found,
Whom He therefore with equall honour crownd.
With Him he raignd, before all time prescribed,
In endlesse glorie and immortall might,
Together with that Third from them derived,
Most wise, most holy, most almightie Spright!
Whose kingdomes throne no thoughts of earthly wight
Can comprehend, much lesse my trembling verse
With equall words can hope it to rehearse.
Yet, O most blessed Spirit! pure lampe of light,
Eternall spring of grace and wisedom trew,
Vouchsafe to shed into my barren spright
Some little drop of thy celestiall dew,
That may my rymes with sweet infuse embrew,
And give me words equall unto my thought,
To tell the marveiles by thy mercie wrought.
Yet being pregnant still with powrefull grace,
And full of fuitfull Love, that loves to get
Things like himselfe, and to enlarge his race,
His second brood, though not of powre so great,
Yet full of beautie, next He did beget,
An infinite increase of Angels bright,
All glistring glorious in their Makers light.
To them the heavens illimitable hight
(Not this round heaven, which we from hence behold, Adornd with thousand lamps of burning light,
And with ten thousand gemmes of shyning gold,)
He gave as their inheritance to hold,
That they might serve Him in eternall blis,
And be partakers of those joyes of His.
There they in their trinall triplicities
About Him wait, and on His will depend,
Either with nimble wings to cut the skies,
When He them on His messages doth send,
Or on His owne dread presence to attend,
Where they behold the glorie of His light,
And caroll Hymnes of love both day and night.
Both day and night is unto them all one;
For He His beames doth unto them extend,
That darknesse there appeareth never none;
Ne hath their day, ne hath their blisse, an end,
But there their termelesse time in pleasure spend ;
Ne ever should their happinesse decay,
Had not they dar'd their Lord to disobay.
But pride, impatient of long resting peace,
Did puffe them up with greedy bold ambition,
That they gan cast their state how to increase
Above the fortune of their first condition,
And sit in Gods own seat without commission:
The brightest Angel, even the Child of Light,
Drew millions more against their God to fight.
Th' Almighty, seeing their so bold assay,
Kindled the flame of His consuming yre,
And with his onely breath them blew away
From heavens hight, to which they did aspyre,
To deepest hell, and lake of damned fyre
Where they in darknesse and dread horror dwell,
Hating the happie light from which they fell.
So that next off-spring of the Makers love,
Next to Himselfe in glorious degree,
Degendering to hate, fell from above
Through pride; (for pride and love may ill agree ;)
And now of sinne to all ensample bee:
How then can sinfull flesh it selfe assure,
Sith purest Angels fell to be impure?
But that Eternall Fount of love and grace,
Still flowing forth His goodnesse unto all,
Now seeing left a waste and emptie place
In His wyde Pallace, through those Angels fall,
Cast to supply the same, and to enstall
A new unknowen Colony therein,
Whose root from earths base groundworke should begin.
Therefore of clay, base, vile, and next to nought,
Yet form'd by wondrous skill, and by His might,
According to an heavenly patterne wrought,
Which he had fashiond in his wise foresight,
He man did make, and breathd a living spright
Into his face, most beautifull and fayre,
Endewd with wisedomes riches, heavenly, rare.
Such He him made, that he resemble might
Himselfe, as mortall thing immortall could;
Him to be Lord of every living wight
He made by love out of his owne like mould,
In whom he might his mightie selfe behould;
For Love doth love the thing belov❜d to see,
That like it selfe in lovely shape may bee.
But Man, forgetfull of his Makers grace
No lesse than Angels, whom he did ensew,
Fell from the hope of promist heavenly place,
Into the mouth of Death, to sinners dew,
And all his off-spring into thraldome threw,
Where they for ever should in bonds remaine
Of never-dead yet ever-dying paine;
Till that great Lord of Love, which him at first
Made of meere love, and after liked well,
Seeing him lie like creature long accurst
In that deep horor of despeyred hell,
Him, wretch, in doole would let no lenger dwell,
But cast out of that bondage to redeeme,
And pay the price, all were his debt extreeme.