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A curl'd knot of embracing snakes, that kiss
His correspondent cheeks: these loathsome strings
Hold the perverse prince in eternal ties
Fast bound, since first he forfeited the skies.

The judge of torments, and the king of tears:
He fills a burnisht throne of quenchless fire:
And, for his old fair robes of light, he wears
A gloomy mantle of dark flames, the tire
That crowns his hated head on high appears;
Where seav'n tall horns (his empire's pride) aspire.

And to make up hell's majesty, each horn

Sev'n crested hydras horribly adorn.

His eyes, the sullen dens of death and night,

Startle the dull air with a dismal red:

Such his fell glances as the fatal light

Of staring comets, that look kingdoms dead:

From his black nostrils, and blew lips, in spight

Of hell's own stink, a worser stench is spread.

His breath hell's lightning is: and each deep groan
Disdains to think that Heav'n thunders alone.

His flaming eyes dire exhalation,
Unto a dreadful pile gives fiery breath;
Whose unconsum'd consumption preys upon

The never-dying life of a long death.

* * » *

Three rigorous virgins waiting still behind,
Assist the throne of th' iron-sceptered king:
With whips of thorns and knotty vipers twin'd
They rouse him, when his rank thoughts need a sting:
Their locks are beds of uncomb'd snakes, that wind
About their shady brows in wanton rings.

Thus reigns the wrathful king, and while he reigns,

His scepter and himself both he disdains."

Much alarmed at "symptoms so deadly, unto death and him,"

"Fain would he have forgot what fatal strings
Eternally bind each rebellious limb.
He shook himself, and spread his spatious wings:
Which, like two bosom'd sails, embrace the dimme

Air, with a dismal shade, but all in vain,

Of sturdy adamant is his strong chain.

While thus Heav'n's highest counsails, by the low
Foot-steps of their effects, he trac'd too well,
He tost his troubled eyes, embers that glow
Now with new rage, and wax too hot for hell.
With his foul claws he fenc'd his furrowed brow,
And gave a gastly shreek, whose horrid yell

Ran trembling through the hollow vaults of night—

/ After " feeling the pulse of every prophecy," he, in some measure, foresees the nature of the " mighty babe" about to be born, but he cannot fully comprehend some of the mysterious circumstances of his birth—the incarnation, among other things, "poseth his proudest intellectual power."

"That he, whom the Sun serves, should faintly peep
Through clouds of infant flesh: that he, the old
Eternal word, should be a child, and weep:
That he, who made the fire, should fear the cold:
That Heav'n's high majesty his court should keep
In a clay-cottage, by each blast control'd:

That glorie's self should serve our griefs and fears,

And free eternity submit to years."

Feeling himself subdued and thwarted by the hand of the Almighty, and fearing farther punishment, he thus beautifully communes with himself, and asks, in the hearing of his subjects,

"Art thou not Lucifer 1 he to whom the droves
Of stars, that guild the morn, in charge were given?
The nimblest of the lightning-winged loves?
The fairest, and the first-born smile of Heav'n?
Look in what pomp the mistress planet moves
Rev'rently circled by the lesser seven;

Such, and so rich, the flames that from thine eyes

Opprest the common-people of the skies.

Thus spoke th' impatient prince, and made a pause,
His foul hags rais'd their heads, and clapt their hands;
And all the powers of hell in full applause
Flourisht their snakes, and tost their flaming brands.
We (said the horrid sisters) wait thy laws,
Th' obsequious handmaids of thy high commands,

Be it thy part, hell's mighty lord, to lay

On us thy dread commands, ours to obey."

He selects Cruelty as a suitable agent for the purpose which he has been revolving in his mind: this allegorical personage and her habitation are conceived with a ghastly power of imagination, and no less awfully described: part of which we will transcribe.

"Fourth of the cursed knot of hags is she,

Or rather all the other three in one;

Hell's shop of slaughter she do's oversee,

And still assist the execution!

But chiefly there does she delight to be,

Where hell's capacious cauldron is set on:

And while the black souls boil in their own gore,
To hold them down, and look that none seeth o'er.

Thrice howl'd the caves of night, and thrice the sound,
Thund'ring upon the banks of those black lakes,
Rung through the hollow vaults of hell profound:
At last her list'ning ears the noise o'ertakes,
She lifts her sooty lamps, and, looking round,
A gen'ral hiss, from the whole tire of snakes,

Rebounding, through hell's inmost caverns came,

In answer to her formidable name.

'Mongst all the palaces in hell's command,

No one so merciless as this of hers.

The adamantine doors for ever stand

Impenetrable, both to pray'rs and tears;

The walls inexorable steel, no hand

Of Time, or teeth of hungry Ruine, fears.
Their ugly ornaments are the bloody stains
Of ragged limbs, torn sculls, and dasht-out brains.

There, has the purple Vengeance a proud seat,
Whose ever-brandisht sword is sheath'd in blood:
About her, Hate, Wrath, Warre, and Slaughter, sweat,
Bathing their hot limbs in life's precious flood.
There, rude impetuous rage does storm, and fret:
And there, as master of this murd'ring brood,
Swinging a huge scythe, stands impartial Death,
With endless business, almost out of breath.

For hangings and for curtains, all along

The walls, abominable ornaments!

Are tools of wrath, anvils of torments hung;

Fell executioners of foul intents,

Nails, hammers, hatchets sharp, and halters strong,

Swords, spears, with all the fatal instruments
Of sin and death, twice dipt in the dire stains
Of brothers' mutual blood, and fathers' brains.

The house is hers'd about with a black wood,

Which nods with many a heavy headed tree;

Each flower's a pregnant poyson, tried and good:

Each herb a plague: the wind's sighs timed be

By a black fount, which weeps into a flood.

Through the thick shades obscurely might you see
Minotaures, Cyclopses, with a dark drove
Of dragons, hydras, sphinxes, fill the grove."

This horrific person is despatched to the upper regions, that she may appear to King Herod in a dream, and spur him on to the murder of the Innocents. The time of her arrival on earth is marked by these most melodious numbers.

"Now had the Night's companion from her den,
Where all the busie day she close doth lye,
With her soft wing, wiped from the brows of men
Day's sweat; and by a gentle tyranny,
And sweet oppression, kindly cheating them
Of all their cares, tam'd the rebellious eye

Of sorrow, with a soft and downy hand;

Sealing all breasts in a Lethaean band."

It is needless to add, that so accomplished a female completely effected her purpose. She appears to the sleeping king in the form of his deceased brother; and, after addressing him in a speech filled with the most taunting and stinging motives to action, she betakes herself back to her employer.

"So said, her richest snake, which to her wrist

For a beseeming bracelet she had tied,

(A special worm it was as ever kist

The foamy lips of Cerberus) she apply'd

To the king's heart; the snake no sooner hist,

But Vertue heard it, and away she hied,

Dire flames diffuse themselves through every vein:
This done, home to her hell she hied amain.

He wakes, and with him (ne'er to sleep) new fears:
His sweat-bedewed bed had now betray'd him,
To a vast field of thorns; ten thousand spears
All pointed in his heart seem'd to invade him;
So mighty were th' amazing characters
With which his feeling dream had thus dismay'd him;
He his own fancy-framed foes defies:
In rage, My arms, give me my arms, he cries."

After this, the first book closes with anticipating the measures which Herod will pursue in the morning, and with a sort of address to him from the poet, which, however, he is not supposed to hear, on the futility of his suspicions.

Our quotations from this neglected poet have been so copious, that we have no space left for observing upon any of the other pieces of translation, except one; and that is so eminently beautiful in itself, and is translated with such a wonderful power over the resources of our language, that we hope to find favour in the eyes of our readers, by extracting the whole poem. The original is the Latin of Strada; the subject, the well-known contest of the musician and nightingale. Crashaw entitles it, "Music's Duel."

"Now westward Sol had spent the richest beams
Of noon's high glory, when hard by the streams
Of Tiber, on the scene of a green plat,
Under protection of an oak, there sate
A sweet lute's-master; in whose gentle airs
He lost the day's heat, and his own hot cares.

Close in the covert of the leaves there stood
A nightingale, come from the neighbouring wood:
(The sweet inhabitant of each glad tree,
Their muse, their syren, harmless syren she)
There stood she list'ning, and did entertain
The musick's soft report: and mold the same
In her own murmures; that what ever mood
His curious fingers lent, her voice made good:
The man perceiv'd his rival, and her art,
Dispos'd to give the light-foot lady sport,
Awakes his lute, and 'gainst the fight to come
Informs it, in a sweet praeludium
Of closer strains, and e'er the war begin,
He lightly skirmishes on every string
Charg'd with a flying touch; and streightway she
Carves out her dainty voice as readily,
Into a thousand sweet distinguish'd tones,
And reckons up in soft divisions'
Quick volumes of wild notes; to let him know,
By that shrill taste, she could do something too.

His nimble hand's instinct then taught each string
A cap'ring chearfulness; and made them sing
To their own dance; now negligently rash
He throws his arm, and with a long-drawn dash
Blends all together; then distinctly trips
From this to that, then quick returning skips

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