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into the principles both of natural and supernasacred style, the style of oracles and laws. The vows and thanks of the people were recommended tural motives: hereby the soul is made intelligiboundless tracks of sea and land, and the vaster to their gods in songs and hymns. Why may they ble, which comprehends all things besides; the not retain this privilege? for if prose should contend with verse, it would be upon unequal terms, spaces of Heaven; that vital principle of action, and, as it were, on foot against the wings of Pega-which has always been busied in inquiries abroad, With what delight are we touched in hearing is now made known to itself; insomuch that we we came, and whither we must go; we may perthe stories of Hercules, Achilles, Cyrus, and Æneas? may find out what we ourselves are, from whence Because in their characters we have wisdom, honour, fortitude, and justice, set before our eyes.ceive what noble guests those are, which we lodge It was Plato's opinion, that if a man could see vir- in our bosoms, which are nearer to us than all tue, he would be strangely enamoured on her per- other things, and yet nothing further from our acWhich is the reason why Horace and Virgil quaintance. have continued so long in reputation, because they have drawn her in all the charms of poetry. No man is so senseless of rational impressions, as not to be wonderfully affected with the pastorals of the ancients, when under the stories of wolves and sheep, they describe the misery of people under hard masters, and their happiness under good. So the bitter but wholesome iambic was wont to make villany blush; the satire incited men to laugh at folly; the comedian chastised the common errours of life; and the tragedian made kings afraid to be tyrants, and tyrants to be their own tormentors.


Wherefore, as sir Philip Sidney said of Chaucer, that he knew not which he should most wonder at, either that he in his dark time should see so distinctly, or that we in this clear age should go so stumblingly after him; so may we marvel at and bewail the low condition of poetry now, when in our plays scarce any one rule of decorum is observed, but in the space of two hours and an half we pass through all the fits of Bedlam; in one scene we are all in mirth, in the next we are sunk into sadness; whilst even the most laboured parts are commonly starved for want of thought; a confused heap of words, and empty sound of rhyme.

But here all the labyrinths and windings of the human frame are laid open: it is seen by what as if a window were opened into our breast: for it pullies and wheels the work is carried on, as plainly next to this is to show how its operations are peris the work of God alone to create a mind.-The formed.






To that clear majesty which in the north
Doth, like another Sun, in glory rise,
Which standeth fix'd, yet spreads her heav'nly
worth ;

Loadstone to hearts, and loadstar to all eyes.

Like Heav'n in all, like Earth to this alone,
That through great states by her support do
But by the finger of th' Almighty's hand,
Yet she herself supported is of none,

To the divinest and the richest mind,

This very consideration should advance the esteem of the following poem, wherein are represented the various movements of the mind; at which we are as much transported as with the most excellent scenes of passion in Shakspeare, or Fletcher: for in this, as in a mirrour (that will not flatter) we see how the soul arbitrates in the understanding upon the various reports of sense, and all the changes of imagination: how compliant the will is to her dictates, and obeys her as a queen does her king. At the same time acknowledging a subjection, and yet retaining a majesty. How the passions move at her command, like a well disciplined army; from which regular composure of To that great spring, which doth great kingdoms the faculties, all operating in their proper time and place, there arises a complacency upon the whole soul, that infinitely transcends all other pleasures.

What deep philosophy is this! to discover the
process of God's art in fashioning the soul of man
after his own image; by remarking how one part
moves another, and how those motions are varied
by several positions of each part, from the first
springs and plummets, to the very hand that points
What eloquence
out the visible and last effects.
and force of wit to convey these profound specu-
lations in the easiest language, expressed in words
so vulgarly received, that they are understood by
the meanest capacities!

For the poet takes care in every line to satisfy
the understandings of mankind: he follows step by
step the workings of the mind from the first strokes
of sense, then of fancy, afterwards of judgment,

Both by Art's purchase, and by Nature's dow'r,
That ever was from Heaven to Earth confin'd,
To show the utmost of a creature's pow'r :


The sacred spring, whence right and honour
Distilling virtue, shedding peace and love,
In every place, as Cynthia sheds her beams:


Whereby we reason, live, and move and be,
offer up some sparkles of that fire,
These sparks by nature evermore aspire,
Which makes them now to such a highness flee,

Fair soul, since to the fairest body join'd,
You give such lively life, such quick'ning pow'r ;
And influence of such celestial kind,

As keeps it still in youth's immortal flower:

As where the Sun is present all the year, And never doth retire his golden ray, Needs must the spring be everlasting there, And every season like the month of May.

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WHY did my parents send me to the schools,
That I with knowledge might enrich my mind?
Since the desire to know first made men fools,
And did corrupt the root of all mankind;

For when God's hand had written in the hearts
Of the first parents, all the rules of good,
So that their skill infus'd, did pass all arts
That ever were, before, or since the flood;

And when their reason's eye was sharp and clear,
And (as an eagle can behold the Sun)
Could have approach'd th' eternal light as near
As th' intellectual angels could have done.

Een then to them the spirit of lies suggests,
That they were blind, because they saw not ill,
And breath'd into their incorrupted breasts

A curious wish, which did corrupt their will.

For that same ill they straight desir'd to know ;
Which ill, being naught but a defect of good,
In all God's works the Devil could not show,
While man their lord in his perfection stood.

So that themselves were first to do the ill,
Ere they thereof the knowledge could attain,
Like him that knew not poison's power to kill,
Until (by tasting it) himself was slain.

E'en so by tasting of that fruit forbid,

Where they sought knowledge, they did errour Ill they desir'd to know, and ill they did; [find; And to give passion eyes, made reason blind.

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But then grew reason dark, that she no more
Could the fair forms of good and truth discern;
Bats they became, that eagles were before;
And this they got by their desire to learn.

But we, their wretched offspring, what do we?
Do not we still taste of the fruit forbid ?
Whilst with fond fruitless curiosity,

In books profane we seek for knowledge hid.
What is this knowledge? but the sky-stol'n fire,
For which the thief' still chain'd in ice doth sit?
And which the poor rude satyr3 did admire,
And needs would kiss, but burnt his lips with it.
What is it? but the cloud of empty rain,
Which when Jove's guest embrac'd, he monsters
Or the false pails, which oft being fill'd with pain,
Receiv'd the water, but retain'd it not?

In fine, what is it, but the fiery coach

Which the youth sought, and sought his death withall?

Or the boy's' wings, which, when he did approach The Sun's hot beams, did melt and let him fall?

And yet, alas! when all our lamps are burn'd,
Our bodies wasted, and our spirits spent ;
When we have all the learned volumes turn'd
Which yield men's wits both help and ornament:

What can we know? or what can we discern? When errour chokes the windows of the mind; The divers forms of things how can we learn,

That have been ever from our birth-day blind? When reason's lamp, which (like the Sun in sky) Throughout man's little world her beams did Is now become a sparkle, which doth lie [spread, Under the ashes, half extinct, and dead:

How can we hope, that through the eye and ear,
This dying sparkle, in this cloudy place,
Can recollect these beams of knowledge clear,
Which were infus'd in the first minds by grace?

So might the heir, whose father bath in play
Wasted a thousand pounds of ancient rent,
By painful earning of one groat a day,

Hope to restore the patrimony spent.

The wits that div'd most deep, and soar'd most high, Seeking man's pow'rs, have found his weakness "Skill comes so slow, and life so fast doth fly, [such: We learn so little and forget so much."

For this the wisest of all moral men

Said, he knew nought, but that he nought did know, And the great mocking-master mock'd not then, When he said, truth was buried deep below.

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We seek to know the moving of each sphere,
And the strange cause of th' ebbs and floods of

But of that clock within our breasts we bear,

The subtle motions we forget the while.

We that acquaint ourselves with every zone,
And pass both tropics, and behold each pole,
When we come home, are to ourselves unknown,
And unacquainted still with our own soul.

We study speech but others we persuade,

We leach-craft learn, but others cure with it, We interpret laws, which other men have made, But read not those which in our hearts are writ.

It is because the mind is like the eye,

Through which it gathers knowledge by degrees, Whose rays reflect not, but spread outwardly;

Not seeing itself, when other things it sees?

No, doubtless; for the mind can backward cast
Upon herself, her understanding's light,

But she is so corrupt, and so defac'd,
As her own image doth herself affright.

As is the fable of the lady fair,

Which for her lust was turn'd into a cow, When thirsty to a stream she did repair, And saw herself transform'd she wist not how :

At first she startles, then she stands amaz'd;
At last with terrour she from thence doth fly,
And loaths the wat'ry glass wherein she gaz'd,
And shuns it still, though she for thirst doth die:

E'en so man's soul which did God's image bear, And was at first fair, good, and spotless pure, Since with her sins her beauties blotted were,

Doth of all sights her own sight least endure:

For e'en at first reflection she espies,

Such strange chimeras, and such monsters there, Such toys, such antics, and such vanities,

As she retires, and shrinks for shame and fear.

And as the man loves least at home to be,

That hath a sluttish house haunted with sprites; So she, impatient her own faults to see,

Turns from herself, and in strange things delights.

For this few know themselves: for merchants broke
View their estate with discontent and pain,
And seas are troubled, when they do revoke

Their flowing waves into themselves again.

And while the face of outward things we find,
Pleasing and fair, agreeable and sweet,
These things transport, and carry out the mind,
That with herself, the mind can never meet.

Yet if Affliction once her wars begin,

And threat the feebler sense with sword and fire, The mind contracts herself, and shrinketh in, And to herself she gladly doth retire:

As spiders touch'd, seek their web's inmost part; As bees in storms back to their hives return; As blood in danger gathers to the heart;

As men seek towns, when foes the country burn.

If aught can teach us aught, Affliction's looks,
(Making us pry into ourselves so near)
Teach us to know ourselves beyond all books,
Or all the learned schools that ever were.

This mistress lately pluck'd me by the ear,

And many a golden lesson hath me taught; Hath made my senses quick, and reason clear; Reform'd my will, and rectify'd my thought.

So do the winds and thunders cleanse the air:
So working seas settle and purge the wine:
So lopp'd and pruned trees do flourish fair:
So doth the fire the drossy gold refine.

Neither Minerva, nor the learned Muse,

Nor rules of art, nor precepts of the wise, Could in my brain those beams of skill infuse,

As but the glance of this dame's angry eyes.

She within lists my ranging mind hath brought,
That now beyond myself I will not go;
Myself am centre of my circling thought,
Only myself I study, learn, and know.

I know my body 's of so frail a kind,
As force without, fevers within can kill:
I know the heavenly nature of my mind,
But 't is corrupted both in wit and will.

I know my soul hath power to know all things,
Yet is she blind and ignorant in all :

I know I'm one of Nature's little kings,
Yet to the least and vilest things am thrall,

I know my life's a pain, and but a span,
I know my sense is mock'd in ev'ry thing,
And to conclude, I know myself a man,
Which is a proud and yet a wretched thing.





THE lights of Heav'n (which are the world's fair eyes)
Look down into the world, the world to see;
And as they turn, or wander in the skies,
Survey all things, that on this centre be.

And yet the lights which in my tow'r do shine, Mine eyes which view all objects, nigh and far, Look not into this little world of mine,

Nor see my face, wherein they fixed are.

Since Nature fails us in no needful thing,

Why want I means my inward self to see? Which sight the knowledge of myself might bring, Which to true wisdom is the first degree.

That pow'r, which gave me eyes the world to view,
To view myself, infus'd an inward light,
Whereby my soul, as by a mirror true,
Of her own form may take a perfect sight.

But as the sharpest eye discerneth nought, Except the sun-beams in the air do shine: So the best soul, with her reflecting thought,

Sees not herself without some light divine.

O Light, which makʼst the light, which mak'st the day!

Which set'st the eye without, and mind within; 'Lighten my spirit with one clear heavenly ray, Which now to view itself doth first begin.

For her true form how can my spark discern,
Which, dim by nature, art did never clear?
When the great wits, of whom all skill we learn,
Are ignorant both what she is, and where.

One thinks the soul is air; another, fire;
Another blood, diffus'd about the heart;
Another saith, the elements conspire,

And to her essence each doth give a part.

Musicians think our souls are harmonies, Physicians hold that they complexions be; Epicures make them swarms of atomies,

Which do by chance into our bodies flee.

Some think one gen'ral soul fills ev'ry brain, As the bright Sun sheds light in every star; And others think the name of soul is vain, And that we only well-mix'd bodies are.

In judgment of her substance thus they vary, And thus they vary in judgment of her seat; For some her chair up to the brain do carry, Some thrust it down into the stomach's heat.

Some place it in the root of life, the heart;

Some in the river, fountain of the veins, Some say, she's all in all, and all in every part: Some say, she's not contain'd, but all contains.

Thus these great clerks their little wisdom show, While with their doctrines they at hazard play; Tossing their light opinions to and fro,

To mock the lewd, as learn'd in this as they.

For no craz'd brain could ever yet propound,

Touching the soul, so vain and fond a thought; But some among these masters have been found, Which in their schools the self-same thing have [taught.

God only wise, to punish pride of wit,
Among men's wits have this confusion wrought,
As the proud tow'r whose points the clouds did hit,
By tongues' confusion was to ruia brought.

But (thou) which didst man's soul of nothing make, And when to nothing it was fallen again, "To make it new, the form of man didst take;

And God with God, becam❜st a man with men."

Thou that hast fashion'd twice this soul of ours,
So that she is by double title thine,
Thou only know'st her nature and her pow'rs;
Her subtle form thou only canst define.

To judge herself, she must herself transcend,
As greater circles comprehend the less:
But she wants pow'r, her own pow'rs to extend,
As fetter'd men cannot their strength express.

But thou, bright morning Star, thou rising Sun, Which in these later times hast brought to light Those mysteries, that, since the world begun,

Lay hid in darkness, and eternal night.

Thou (like the Sun) do'st with an equal ray
Into the palace and the cottage shine,
And show'st the soul, both to the clerk and lay,
By the clear lamp of oracle divine.

This lamp, through all the regions of my brain, Where my soul sits, doth spread such beams of As now, methinks, I do distinguish plain, [grace, Each subtle line of her immortal face.

The soul a substance and a spirit is,

Which God himself doth in the body make, Which makes the man, for every man from this The nature of a man and name doth take. And though this spirit be to th' body knit, As an apt means her pow'rs to exercise, Which are life, motion, sense, and will, and wit, Yet she survives, although the body dies.



SHz is a substance, and a real thing,

Which hath itself an actual working might, Shich neither from the senses' power doth spring, Nor from the body's humours temper'd right.

She is a vine, which doth no propping need
To make her spread herself, or spring upright;
She is a star, whose beams do not proceed

From any sun, but from a native light.

For when she sorts things present with things past, And thereby things to come doth oft foresce; When she doth doubt at first, and choose at last, These acts her own', without her body be.

When of the dew, which th' eye and ear do take

From flow'rs abroad, and bring into the brain, She doth within both wax and honey make :

This work is her's, this is her proper pain.

When she from sundry acts one skill doth draw; Gathering from divers fights one art of war; From many cases, like one rule of law;

These her collections, not the senses are.

1 That the soul hath a proper operation without the body.

When in th' effects she doth the causes know, And, seeing the stream, thinks where the spring doth rise;

And, seeing the branch, conceives the root below; These things she views without the body's eyes.

When she, without a Pegasus, doth fly,

Swifter than lightning's tire from east to west; About the centre, and above the sky,

She travels then, although the body rest.

When all her works she formeth first within, Proportions them, and sees their perfect end; Ere she in act doth any part begin,

What instruments doth then the body lend?

When without hands she doth thus castles build, Sees without eyes, and without feet doth run; When she digests the world, yet is not fill'd;

By her own pow'rs these miracles are done.

When she defines, argues, divides, compounds, Considers virtue, vice, and general things: And marrying divers principles and grounds, Out of their match a true conclusion brings.

These actions in her closet, all alone,

(Retir'd within herself) she doth fulfil; Use of her body's organs she hath none, When she doth use the pow'rs of wit and will.

Yet in the body's prison so she lies,

As through the body's windows she must look, Her divers powers of sense to exercise,

By gath'ring notes out of the world's great book.

Nor can herself discourse or judge of ought,

But what the sense collects, and home doth bring; And yet the pow'rs of her discoursing thought, From these collections is a diverse thing.

For though our eyes can nought but colours see,
Yet colours give them not their pow'r of sight:
So, though these fruits of sense her objects be,
Yet she discerns them by her proper light.

The workman on his stuff his skill doth show,
And yet the stuff gives not the man his skill:
Kings their affairs do by their servants know,
But order them by their own royal will.

So, though this cunning mistress, and this queen,.
Doth, as her instruments, the senses use,
To know all things that are felt, heard, or seen;
Yet she herself doth only judge and choose.

E'en as a prudent emperor, that reigns
By sovereign title over sundry lands,
Borrows, in mean affairs, his subjects' pains,
Sees by their eyes, and writeth by their hands:

But things of weight and consequence indeed,

Himself doth in his chamber them debate; Where all his counsellors he doth exceed,

'As far in judgment, as he doth in state.

Or as the man whom princes do advance,
Upon their gracious mercy-seat to sit,
Doth common things, of course and circumstance,
To the reports of common men commit:

But when the cause itself must be decreed,
Himself in person, in his proper court,
To grave and solemn hearing doth proceed,
Of ev'ry proof, and ev'ry by-report.

Then, like God's angel, he pronounceth right,
And milk and honey from his tongue doth flow
Happy are they that still are in his sight,

To reap the wisdom which his lips do sow.

Right so the soul, which is a lady free,

And doth the justice of her state maintain : Because the senses ready servants be,

Attending nigh about her court, the brain :

By them the forms of outward things she learns,
For they return into the fantasie,
Whatever each of them abroad discerns;
And there enroll it for the mind to see.

But when she sits to judge the good and ill,
And to discern betwixt the false and true,
She is not guided by the senses' skill,

But doth each thing in her own mirror view.

Then she the senses checks, which oft do err,

And e'en against their false reports decrees; And oft she doth condemn what they prefer;

For with a pow'r above the sense she sees.

Therefore no sense the precious joys conceives,
Which in her private contemplations be;
For then the ravish'd spirit th' senses leaves,
Hath her own pow'rs, and proper actions free.

Her harmonies are sweet, and full of skill, When on the body's instruments she plays; But the proportions of the wit and will,

Those sweet accords are even th' angels lays.

These tunes of reason are Amphion's lyre,

Wherewith he did the Theban city found: These are the notes wherewith the heavenly choir The praise of him which made the Heav'n doth sound.

Then her self being nature shines in this,

That she performs her noblest works alone: "The work, the touch-stone of the nature is; And by their operations things are known."



ARE they not senseless then, that think the soul
Nought but a fine perfection of the sense,
Or of the forms which fancy doth enroll;

A quick resulting, and a consequence?

What is it then that doth the sense accuse,

Both of false judgment, and fond appetites? What makes us do what sense doth most refuse, Which oft in torment of the sense delights?

Sense thinks the planets' spheres not much asunder:
What tells us then the distance is so far?
Sense thinks the lightning born before the thunder:
What tells us then they both together are?

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