Posts tagged ‘1656’

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Excerpt from “Deaths Progress: or Death with His Commission” by Elizabeth Major

In that catalogue of times descry,
A time for birth, also a time to die;
But finde no time to live, which may us teach,
Uncertainty no certain time can reach:
Death’s suddain presence, and his sabled brow,
Doth summon all even to be ready now;
For do but listen, some passing bell doth toll,
And sadly too, for some departed soul.
Perhaps some wife’s a widow, children orphans be,
And this sad sound proclaims the same to thee:
Perchance another’s posting in that way,
And hasty death denys it here to stay
His dearest friends to see: his doom he’l give,
Behold, I am come, thou must no longer live:
Perhaps he takes one midst abused wealth,
Whole covetous heart he hath depriv’d of health,
And them will part: But stay grim death, let’s see
If a large bribe won’t gain some time of thee;
See, here is store, come lade thee with thick clay,
Take what thou wilt, so longer I may stay:
We sooner part from all then life, I know
No other Heaven then what I have below:
This golden element my heart hath won,
If hence thou tak’t me, alas I am undone.

Death Was death ere brib’d, did ever mortal see
Death sent to fell, and yet did spare the tree?
When once commision from the most High is come,
How do I post till his command is done?
No glistering bribe upon me ever wrought,
Nor is my black bark with such light wares fraught:
O no, to wound and kill, believ’t, I am come,
And I’le not leave thee till within thy tomb;
Therefore prepare, I shoot, my black darts flie,
They’l surely wound, the wounded surely die.

From: Major, Elizabeth, Honey on the Rod: Or A Comfortable Contemplation for One in Affliction; with Sundry Poems on Several Subjects, 1656, Thomas Maxey: London, pp. 202-203.

Dated: 1656

By: Elizabeth Major (fl. 1656)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Antiplatonic by John Cleveland

For shame, thou everlasting wooer,
Still saying grace and never falling to her!
Love that’s in contemplation placed
Is Venus drawn but to the waist.
Unless your flame confess its gender
And your parley cause surrender,
You are salamanders of a cold desire
That live untouched amidst the hottest fire.

What though she be a dame of stone,
The widow of Pygmalion,
As hard and unrelenting she
As the new crusted Niobe,
Or, (what doth more of statue carry,)
A nun of the Platonic quarry?
Love melts the rigor which the rocks have bred–
A flint will break upon a feather-bed.

For shame, you pretty female elves,
Cease thus to candy up your selves;
No more, you sectaries of the game,
No more of your calcining flame!
Women commence by Cupid’s dart
As a king hunting dubs a hart.
Love’s votaries enthrall each other’s soul
Till both of them live but upon parole.

Virtue’s no more in womankind
But the green-sickness of the mind;
Philosophy (their new delight)
A kind of charcoal appetite.
There is no sophistry prevails
Where all-convincing love assails,
But the disputing petticoat will warp,
As skillful gamesters are to seek at sharp.

The soldier, that man of iron,
Whom ribs of horror all environ,
That’s strung with wire instead of veins
In whose embraces you’re in chains,
Let a magnetic girl appear,
Straight he turns Cupid’s cuirassier.
Love storms his lips, and takes the fortress in,
For all the bristled turnpikes of his chin.

Since love’s artillery then checks
The breastworks of the firmest sex,
Come let us in affections riot.
They are sickly pleasures keep a diet.
Give me a lover bold and free,
Not eunuched with formality,
Like an embassador that beds a queen
With the nice caution of a sword between.

From: Cleveland, John and Berdan, John M. (ed.), The Poems of John Cleveland: Annotated and correctly printed for the first time with Biographical and Historical Introductions by John M. Berdan, Ph.D., 1903, The Grafton Press: New York, pp. 78-79.

Date: 1656

By: John Cleveland (1613-1658)