My lake is Sense, whose still streams never run But when my sun her shining twins there bends; Then from his depth with force in her begun, Long drowned hopes to watery eyes it lends; But when that fails my dead hopes up to take, Their master is fair warned his will to make.
O take fast hold! let that light be thy guide, In this small course which birth draws out to death, And think how evil becometh him to slide, Who seeketh heaven, and comes from heavenly breath. Then farewell, world, thy uttermost I see, Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me.
The earth her ears; the stake is my request; Of which, how much may pierce to that sweet seat, To honour turned, doth dwell in honours nest, Keeping that form, though void of wonted heat; But all the rest, which fear durst not apply, Failing themselves, with withered conscience die.
Mine eyes the strait, the roomy cave, my mind; Whose cloudy thoughts let fall an inward rain Of sorrows drops, till colder reason bind Their running fall into a constant vein Of truth, far more than alabaster pure, Which, though despised, yet still doth truth endure.
A stranger fish myself, not yet expired, Tho, rapt with Beautys hook, I did impart Myself unto th anatomy desired, Instead of gall, leaving to her my heart: Yet live with thoughts closed up, till that she will, By conquests right, instead of searching, kill.
Peak hath a cave, whose narrow entries find Large rooms within where drops distil amain: Till knit with cold, though there unknown remain, Deck that poor place with alabaster lined.
My ship, Desire, with wind of Lust long tost, Brake on fair cliffs of constant Chastity; Where plagued for rash attempt, gives up his ghost; So deep in seas of virtue, beauties lie: But of this death flies up the purest love, Which seeming less, yet nobler life doth move.
Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be, Which breaks the clouds, and opens forth the light That doth both shine, and give us sight to see.
We have a fish, by strangers much admired, Which caught, to cruel search yields his chief part: With gall cut out, closed up again by art, Yet lives until his life be new required.
POEM: FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN
The Bruertons have a lake, which, when the sun Approaching warms, not else, dead logs up sends From hideous depth; which tribute, when it ends, Sore sign it is the lords last thread is spun.
* * * Thou blind mans mark; thou fools self-chosen snare, Fond fancys scum, and dregs of scattered thought: Band of all evils; cradle of causeless care; Thou web of will, whose end is never wrought:
To stranger weights my minds waste soil is bound, Of passion-hills, reaching to Reasons sky, From Fancys earth, passing all numbers bound, Passing all guess, whence into me should fly So mazed a mass; or, if in me it grows, A simple soul should breed so mixed woes.
Of ships by shipwreck cast on Albions coast, Which rotting on the rocks, their death to die: From wooden bones and blood of pitch doth fly A bird, which gets more life than ship had lost.
A field there is, where, if a stake oe prest Deep in the earth, what hath in earth receipt, Is changed to stone in hardness, cold, and weight, The wood above doth soon consuming rest.
A humble pride, a scorn that favour stains; A womans mould, but like an angel graced; An angels mind, but in a woman cased; A heaven on earth, or earth that heaven contains: Now thus this wonder to myself I frame; She is the cause that all the rest I am.
Near Wilton sweet, huge heaps of stones are found, But so confused, that neither any eye Can count them just, nor Reason reason try, What force brought them to so unlikely ground.
Leave me, O love! which reachest but to dust; And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things: Grow rich in that which never taketh rust; Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.
Desire! Desire! I have too dearly bought, With price of mangled mind, thy worthless ware; Too long, too long, asleep thou hast me brought Who shouldst my mind to higher things prepare; But yet in vain thou hast my ruin sought; In vain thou madst me to vain things aspire; In vain thou kindlest all thy smoky fire: For Virtue hath this better lesson taught, Within myself to seek my only hire, Desiring nought but how to kill Desire.
These wonders England breeds; the last remains - A lady, in despite of Nature, chaste, On whom all love, in whom no love is placed, Where Fairness yields to Wisdoms shortest reins.