Du Bartas his deuine weekes and workes translated: and dedicated to the Kings most excellent Maiestie by Iosuah Syluester
Du Bartas, Guillaume de Salluste, seigneur, 1544-1590., Sylvester, Josuah, 1563-1618., Pibrac, Guy du Faur, seigneur de, 1529-1584. Quatrains. English., La Noue, Odet de, seigneur de Téligny, d. 1618. Paradoxe que les adversitez sont plus necessaires que les prosperités. English., Hudson, Thomas, 16th/17th cent., Hole, William, d. 1624, engraver.
Page  254


The World's tranform'd from that it was at first:
For Adams Sin, all Creatures else accurst:
Their Harmony dis-tuned by His iar:
Yet all again concent, to make Him war;
As, th' Elements, and aboue all, the Earth:
Three ghastly FVRIES; Sicknes, War, and Dearth,
A generall Muster of the Bodies Griefs:
The Soules Diseases, vnder sundry Chiefs:
Both, full of Horror, but the later most;
Where vgly Vice in Vertues Mask doth boast.
THis's not the World. O! whither am I brought?*
This Earth I tread, this hollow-hanging Vault,
Which Dayes reducing, and renuing Nights,
Renues the grief of mine afflicted sprights;
This Sea I sail, this troubled Ayr I sip,
Are not The First-Weeks glorious workmanship:
This wretched Round is not the goodly Globe
Th' Eternall trimmed in so various Robe:
'Tis but a Dungeon and a dreadfull Caue,
Of that First World the miserable graue.
All-quickning Spirit, great God, that iustly-strange*
Iudge-turned-Father, wrought'st his wondrous change,
Change and new-mould me; Lord, my hand assist,
That in my Muse appear no earthly mist:
Page  255Make me thine organ, giue my voice dexterity
Sadly to sing this sad Change to Posterity.
And, bountious Giuer of each perfect gift,
So tune my voice to his sweet-sacred Clift,
That in each strain my rude vnready tong
Be liuely Eccho of his learned Song.
And, hence-forth, let our holy Musik rauish
All well-born Soules, from fancies lewdly-lauish
(Of charming Sin the deep-inchaunting Syrens,
The snares of vertue, valour-softning Hyrens)
That toucht with terrour of thine indignation,
Presented in this wofull Alteration,
We all may seek, by Prayer and true Repentance,
To shun the rigour of thy wrathfull Sentence.
* But, yer we farther pass, our slender Bark
Must heer strike top-sils to a Princely Ark
Which keeps these Straights: Hee hails vs threatfully,
Star-boord our helm; Com vnderneath his Lee.
Ho, Whence your Bark? of Zeal-land: Whether bound?
For Vertues Cape: What lading? Hope. This Sound
You should not pass; sau that your voyage tends
To benefit our Neighbours and our Frends.
Thanks, Kingly Captain; daign vs then (we pray)
Som skilfull Pylot through this FVRIOVS Bay;
Or, in this Chanell, sith we are to learn,
Vouch safe to togh vs at your Royall Stern.
YER THAT our Sire (O too too proudly-base)
Turn'd tail to God, and to the Fiend his face,
This mighty World did seem an Instrument
True-strung, well-tun'd, and handled excellent,*
Whose symphony resounded sweetly-shrill
Th' Almighties prayse, who play'd vpon it still.
While man serv'd God, the World serv'd him, the lyue
And liue-less creatures seemed all to striue
To nurse this league; and, louing zealously
These two deer Heads, embraced mutually:
In sweet accord, the base with high reioyc't,
The hot with cold, the solid with the moist;
Page  256And innocent Astraea did combine
All with the mastick of a Loue diuine.
For, th' hidden loue that now a-dayes doth holde*
The Steel and Load-stone, Hydrargire and Golde,
Th' Amber and straw; that lodgeth in one shell
Pearl-fish and Sharpling: and vnites so well
Sargons and Goats, the Sperage and the Rush,
Th' Elm and the Vine, th' Oliue and Myrtle-bush,
Is but a spark or shadow of that Loue
Which at the first in every thing did moue,
When as th' Earth's Muses with Harmonious sound
To Heav'ns sweet Musick humbly did resound.
But Adam, being chief of all the strings
Of this large Lute, o're-retched, quickly brings
All out of tune: and now, for melody
Of warbling Charms, it yels so hideously,
That it affrights fell Enyon, who turmoils
To raise again th' old Chaos antik broils:
Heav'n, that still smiling on his Paramour,*
Still in her lap did Mel and Manna pour,
Now with his hail, his rain, his frost and heat,
Doth parch, and pinch, and over-whelm, and beat,
And hoars her head with Snowes, and (ielous) dashes
Against her brows his fiery lightning flashes,
On th' other side, the sullen, enuious Earth*
From blackest Cels of her foul brest sends forth
A thousand foggy fumes, which every where
With cloudy mists Heav'ns crystall front besmear.
Since that, the Woolf the trembling Sheep pursues;
The crowing Cock, the Lion stout eschews;
The Pullein hide them from the Puttock's flight,
The Mastie's mute at the Hyaenas sight:
Yea (who would think it?) these fell enmities
Rage in the sense-less trunks of Plants and Trees:
The Vine, the Cole, the Cole-wort Swines-bread dreads,
The Fearn abhors the hollow waving Reeds,
The Olyue and the Oak participate,
Even to their earth, signes of their auncient hate,
Page  257Which suffers not (O date-less discord!) th' one
Live in that ground where th' other first hath growen.
O strange instinct! O deep immortall rage,
Whose fiery fewd no Laethé floud can swage!
So, at the sound of Wolf-Drums rattling thunder
Th' affrighted Sheep-skin-Drum doth rent in sunder:
So, that fell Monsters twisted entrails cuts
(By secret powr) the poor Lambs twined guts,
Which (after death) in steed of bleating mute,
Are taught to speak vpon an Yvory Lute:
And so the Princely Eagles ravening plumes
The feathers of all other Fowls consumes.
The First-mov'd Heav'n (in 'tself it self still stirring)*
Rapts with his course (quicker then windes swift whirring)
All th' other Sphears, and to Alcides Spyres
From Alexanders Altars driues their Fires:
But mortall Adam, Monarch heer beneath,
Erring draws all into the paths of death;
And on rough Seas, as a blinde Pylot rash,
Against the rock of Heav'ns iust wrath doth dash
The Worlds great Vessell, sayling yerst at ease,
With gentle gales, good guide, on quiet Seas.
For (yer his fall) which way so e'r he rowl'd*
His wondering eys God every-where behold;
In Heav'n, in Earth, in Ocean, and in Ayr,
He sees, and feels, and findes him every-where.
The World was like a large and sumptuous Shop
Where God his goodly treasures did vnwrap:
Or Crystall glass most liuely representing
His sacred Goodnes, every-where frequenting.
But, since his sin, the wofull wretch findes none
Herb, garden, groue, field, fountain, stream or stone,
Beast, mountain, valley, sea-gate, shoar, or haven,
But bears his Deaths▪ doom openly ingraven:
In brief, the whole scope this round Centre hath,
Is a true store-house of Heav'ns righteous wrath.*
Rebellious Adam, from his God revolting,
Findes his yerst-subiects 'gainst himself insulting:
Page  258The tumbling Sea, the Ayr with tempests driven,
Thorn-bristled Earth, the sad and lowring Heav'n
(As from the oath of their allegeance free)
Revenge on him th' Almighties iniury.
The Starrs coniur'd, through enuious Influence,*
By secret Hang-men punish his offence:
The Sun with heat, the Moon with cold doth vex-him,
Th' Air with vnlookt-for suddain changes checks-him,
With fogs and frosts, hails, snowes, and sulph'ry thunders;
Blasting, and storms, and more prodigious wonders.
Fire, fall'n from Heav'n, or else by Art incited,*
Or by mischance in som rich building lighted,
Or from som Mountains burning bowels throw'n,
Repleat with Sulphur, Pitch, and Pumie stone,
With sparkling fury spreads, and in fewe hours
The labour of a thousand years devours.
The greedy Ocean, breaking wonted bounds,*
Vsurps his heards, his wealthy Iles and Towns.
The grieved Earth, to ease her (as it seems)*
Of such profane accursed weight, somtimes
Swallows whole Countries, and the airie tops.
Of Prince-proud towrs in her black womb she wraps.
And in despight of him, abhord and hatefull,*
She many wayes proues barren and ingratefull:
Mocking our hopes, turning our seed-Wheat-kernel
To burn-grain Thistle, and to vapourie Darnel,
Cockle, wilde Oats, rough Burs, Corn-cumbring Tares,
Short recompence for all our costly cares.
Yet this were little, if she more malicious,*
Fell stepdame, brought vs not Plants more pernicious:
As, sable Henbane; Morell, making mad:
Cold poysoning Poppy, itching, drowsie, sad:
The stifning Carpes, th' eyes-foe Hemlock stinking,
Limb-numming belching: and the sinew-shrinking
Dead-laughing Apum, weeping Aconite
(Which in our vulgar deadly Wolfs-bane hight)▪
The dropsie▪ breeding, sorrow-bringing Psylly
(Heer called Flea-Wurt) Colchis▪ banefull Lilly,
Page  259(With vs Wild-Saffron) blistring byting fell:
Not Napell, making lips and tongue to swell:
Blood-boyling Yew, and costiue Msseltoe:
With yce-cold Mandrake, and a many mo
Such fatall plants; whose fruit, seed, sap, or root,
T'vntimely Graue doe bring our heed-less foot.
Besides, she knowes, we brutish value more*
Then Liues or Honours, her rich glittering Ore:
That Auarice our bound-less thought still vexes:
Therfore among her wreakfull baits she mixes
Quick-siluer, Lithargie and Orpiment,
Wherwith our entrails are oft gawn and rent:
So that somtimes; for Body, and for Minde,
Torture and torment, in one Mine we finde.
What resteth more? the Masters skilfull most,*
With gentle gales driv'n to their wished Coast,
Not with less labour guide their winged wayn
On th' azure fore-head of the liquid plains:
Nor crafty Iugglers, can more easily make
Their self-liv'd Puppets (for their lucres sake)
To skip and scud, and play, and prate, and praunce,
And fight, and fall, and trip, and turn, and daunce:
Then happy we did rule the sealy Legions
That dumbly dwell in stormy water-Regions;
Then fethered singers, and the stubborn droues
That haunt the Desarts and the shady Groues:
At every word they trembled then for aw,
And every wink then serv'd them as a law,
And always bent all duty to obserue-vs,
Without command, stood ready still to serue-vs.
But now (alas!) through our fond Parents fall,*
They (of our slaues) are growen our tyrants all.
Wend we by Sea? the dread Leuiathan
Turns vpside-down the boyling Ocean,
And on the suddain sadly doth in toomb
Our floting Castle in deep Thetis womb;
Yerst in the wel kin like an Eagle towring,
And on the water like a Dolphin scowring.
Page  260Walk we by Land? how many loathsom swarms
Of speckled poysons, with pestiferous arms,
In every corner in close Ambush lurk
With secret bands our sodain banes to work?
Besides, the Lion and the Leopard,
Boar, Bear, and Wolf to death pursue vs hard;
And, ielous vengers of the wrongs divine,
In peeces pull their Soverains sinfull line.
The huge thick Forrests haue nor bush nor brake
But hides som Hang-man our loath'd life to take:
In every hedge and ditch both day and night
We fear our death, of every leaf affright.
Rest we at home? the Masty fierce in force,
Th' vntamed Bull, the hot courageous Horse,
With teeth, with horns, and hooues besiege vs round,
As griev'd to see such tyrants tread the ground:
And ther's no Fly so small but now dares bring
Her little wrath against her quondam King.
What hideous sights? what horror-boading showes?*
Alas, what yels? what howls? what thund'ring throws?
O! am I not neer roaring Phlegoton?
Alecto, sad Moger' and Thesiphon?
What spels haue charm'd ye from your dreadfull den
Of darkest Hell? Monsters abhord of men,
O Nights black daughters, grim-faç't Furies sad,
Stern Plutos Posts, what make ye heer so mad?
O! feels not man a world of wofull terrors,
Besides your goaring wounds and ghastly horrors?
So soon as God from Eden Adam draue,
To liue in this Earth (rather in this Graue,
Where raign a thousand deaths) he summon'd-vp
With thundering call the damned Crew, that sup
Of Sulphury Styx, and fiery Phlegeton,
Bloody Cocytus, muddy Acheron.
Com snake-trest Sisters, com ye dismall Elves,
Cease now to curse and cruciate your selues:
Com, leaue the horror of your houses pale,
Com, parbreak heer your foul, black, banefull gall:
Page  261Let lack of work no more from hence forth fear-you,
Man by his sin a hundred hells doth rear-you.
This eccho made whole hell to tremble troubled,
The drowsie Night her deep dark horrors doubled,
And suddainly Auernus Gulf did swim
With Rozin, Pitch, and Brimstone to the brim,
And th' vgly Gorgons, and the Sphinxes fel,
Hydraes and Harpies gan to yawn and yel.
As the heat, hidden in a vapoury Cloud,
Striuing for issue with strange murmurs loud,
Like Guns a stuns, with round-round-rumbling thunder
Filling the Ayr with noyse, the Earth with wonder:
So the three Sisters, the three hideous Rages,
Rayse thousand storms, leaving th' infernal stages.*
Al-ready all rowle on their steely Cars
On th' ever-shaking nine-fold steely bars
Of Stygian Bridge, and in that fearfull Caue
They iumble, tumble, rumble, rage and raue.
Then dreadfull Hydra, and dire Cerberus
Which on one body, beareth (monsterous)
The heads of Dragon, Dog Ounse, Bear, and Bull,
Wolf, Lion, Horse (of strength and stomack full)
Listing his lungs, he hisses, barks, and brays,
He howls, heyels, he bellows, roars, and neighs,
Such a black Sant, such a confused sound
From many-headed bodies doth rebound.
Hauing attain'd to our calm Hav'n of light,
With swifter course then Breas nimble flight,
All fly at Man, all at intestine strife,
Who most may torture his detested life.
Heer first coms DEARTH▪ the liuely form of Death,*
Still vawning wide, with loathsom stinking breath,
With hollow eys, with meager cheeks and chin,
With sharp lean bones pearcing her sable skin:
Her empty bowels may be plainly spi'd
Clean through the wrinkles of her withered hide:
She hath no belly, but the bellies seat,
Her knees and knuckles swelling hugely great:
Page  262Insatiate Orque, that even at one repast,
Almost all creatures in the World would waste;
Whose greedy gorge dish after dish doth draw,
Seeks meat in meat. For, still her monstrous maw
Voyds in deuouring, and somtimes she eats
Her own deer Babes for lack of other meats:
Nay more, somtimes (O strangest gluttony!)
She eats her self, her self to satisfie;
Lessening her self, her self so to in large:
And cruell thus she doth our Grand-sire charge;
And brings besides from Limbo, to assist-her,
Rage, Feeblenes, and Thirst her ruthe-less sister.
Next marcheth WARR, the mistriss of enormity,*
Mother of mischief, monster of Deformity;
Laws, Manners, Arts, shee breaks, shee mars, she chaces:
Blood, tears, bowrs, towrs; she spils, swils, burns, and razes:
Her brazen feet shake all the Earth a-sunder,
Her mouth's a fire-brand, and her voice a thunder,
Her looks are lightnings, every glaunce a flash:
Her fingers guns that all to powder pash.
Fear and Despair, Flight and Disorder, coast
With hasty march, before her murderous hoast:
As, Burning, Waste, Rape, Wrong, Impiety,
Rage, Ruine, Discord, Horror, Cruelty,
Sack, Sacriledge, Impunity, and Pride,
Are still stern consorts by her babarous side:
And Pouerty, Sorrow, and Desolation,
Follow her Armies bloody transmigration.
Heer's th' other FVRIE (or my iudgement fails)*
Which furiously mans wofull life assails
With thousand Cannons, sooner felt then seen,
Where weakest strongest; fraught with deadly teen:
Blinde, crooked, cripple, maymed, deaf, and mad,
Cold-burning, blistered, melancholik, sad,
Many-nam'd poyson, minister of Death,
Which from vs creeps, but to vs gallopeth:
Foul, trouble-rest, fantastik, greedy-gut,
Blood-sweating, harts-theef, wretched, filthy Slut,
Page  263The Childe of surfait, and Ayrs-temper vicious,
Perillous knowen, but vnknowen most pernitious.*
Th' inammeld meads, in Sommer cannot showe
More Grashoppers aboue, nor Frogs belowe,
Then hellish murmurs heer about doe ring:
Nor neuer did the prety little King
Of Hony-people, in a Sun-shine day
Lead to the field in orderly array
More busie buzzers, when he casteth (witty)
The first foundations of his waxen City;
Then this fierce Monster musters in her train
Fel Souldiers, charging poor mankinde amain.
Lo, first a rough and furious Regiment*
T'assault the Fort of Adams head is sent,
Reasons best Bulwark and the holy Cell
Wherein the soules most sacred powers dwell.
A King, that ayms his neighbours Crown to win,
Before the bruite of open warrs begin,
Corrupts his Counsail with rich recompences;
For, in good Counsail stands the strength of Princes:
So this fell Fury, for fore-runners, sends
Manie, and Phrenzie to suborn her friends:
Whereof, th' one drying, th' other over-warming
The feeble brain (the edge of iudgement harming)
Within the Soule fantastikly they fain
A confus'd hoast of strange Chimeraes vain,
The Karos, th' Apoplexie, and Lethargy
As forlorn hope, assault the enemy
On the same side; but yet with weapons others:
For, they freez-vp the brain and all his brothers;
Making a liue man like a liue-less carcass,
Saue that again he scapeth from the Parcas.
And now the Palsie, and the Cramp dispose
Their angry darts; this bindes, and that doth lose
Mans feeble sinewes, shutting vp the way
Whereby before the vitall spirits did play.
Then as a man, that fronts in single Fight*
His suddain foe, his ground doth trauerse light,
Page  264Thrusts, wards, auoids and best aduantage spies,
At last (to daze his Ruals sparkling eyes)
He casts his Cloak, and then with coward knife,
In crimsin streams he makes him strain his life:
So SICKNES, Adam to sub due the better
(Whom thousand Gyues al-ready fastly fetter)
Brings to the field the faith-less Ophthalmy
With scalding blood to blinde her enemy,
Darting a thousand thrusts; then she •• backt
By th' Amafrose and clowdy Cataract:
That, gathering-vp gross humors inwardly
In th' Op••ke sinnew, clean puts out the ey:
This other, caseth in an enuious caul
The Crystall humour shining in the ball.
This past: in-steps that insosent insuter;
The cruell Quincy, leaping like a Vulture
At Adams throat, his hollow weasand swelling
Among the muscles, through thick bloods congealing;
Leauing him onely this Essay, for signe
Of's might and malice to his future-line:
Like Hercules that in his infant-browes
Bore glorious marks of his vndaunted prowes,
When with his hands (like steely tongs) he strangled
His spightfull stepdams Dragons spotty-spangled:
A proof, praesaging the tryumphant spoyls
That he atchiv'd by his Twelue famous Toyls.
The second Regiment with deadly darts
Assaulteth fiercely Adams vitall parts:*
Al-ready th' Asthma panting, breathing tough,
With humours gross the lifting Lungs doth stuff:
The pining Phthisick fills them all with pushes,
Whence a slowe spowt of cor'sie matter gushes:
A wasting flame the Peripneumony
Within those spunges kindles cruelly:
The spawling Emptem, ruth-less as the rest,
With oul impostumes fils his hollow chest:
The Plurisi stabs him with desperate foyl
Beneath the ribs, where scalding blood doth boyl:
Page  265Then th' Inubus (by som suppos'd a spright)
With a thick phlegm doth stop his breath by night.
Deer Muse; my guide; cleer truth, that nought dissēbles,*
Name me that Champion that with fury trembles,
Who arm'd with blazing fire brands, fiercely flings
At th' Armies heart not at our feeble wings:
Hauing for Aids▪ Cough, Head-ache, Horror, Heat,
Pulse-beating, Burning, cold-distilling-Sweat,
Thirst, Yawning, Yolking, 〈…〉, Shiuering, Shaking,
Fantastik Ruing, and continuall Akeing,
With many more: O! is not this the Fury
We call the Feuer? whose in constant fury
Transforms her ofter then Vertumnus can,
To Tertian, Quartan, and Quotidian,
And Second too; now posting, somtimes pawsing,
Euen as the matter, all these changes causing,
Is rommidged with motions slowe or quick
In feeble bodies of the Ague-sick.
Ah treacherous beast! needs must I knowe thee best:*
For foure whole years thou wert my poor harts guest,
And to this day in body and in minde
I bear the marks of thy despight vnkinde:
For yet (besides my veins and bones bereft
Of blood and marrow) through thy secret theft
I feel the vertue of my spirit decayd,
Th' Enthousiasmos of my Muse allaid;
My memory (which hath been meetly good)
Is now (ls) much like the fleeting flood;
Wheron no sooner haue we drawn a line
But it is canceld, leauing there no signe:
For, the deer fruit of all my care and cost,
My former study (almost all) is lost,
And oft in secret haue I blushed at
Mine ignorance: like Crune, who forgat
His proper name; or like George Trapezunce
(Learned in youth, and in his age a Dunce)
And thence it growes, that maugre my endeuour
My numbers still by habite haue the Feuer;
Page  266One-while with heat of heav'nly fire-ensoul'd,
Shivering anon, through faint vn-learned cold.
Now, the third Regiment with stormy stours*
Sets-on the Squadron of our Naturall Powers,
Which happily maintain vs (duly) both
With needfull food and with sufficient growth.
One-while the Boulime, then the Anorexie,
Then the Dog-hunger, or the Bradypepsie,
And childe-great Pica (of prodigious diet)
In straightest stomacks rage with monstrous ryot:
Then on the Lyver doth the Iaundize fall,
Stopping the passage of the cholerick Gall;
Which then, for good blood, scatters all about
Her fiery poyson, yellowing all without:
But the sad Dropsie freezeth it extream,
Till all the blood be turned into fleam.
But see (alas!) by far more cruell foes
The slippery bowels thrill'd with thousand throes:
With prisoned windes the wringing Colick pains-them,
The Iliak passion with more rigour strains-them,
Streightens their Conduits, and (detested) makes
Mans mouth (alas!) euen like a loathsom Iakes.
Then the Dysentery with fretting pains
Extorteth pure blood from the flayed veins.
On th' other side, the Stone and Strangury,
Torturing the Reins with deadly tyranny,
With heat-concreted sand-heaps strangely stop
The burning vrine, strained drop by drop:
As opposite, the Diabete, by melting
Our bodies substance in our Vrine swelting,
Distills vs still, as long as any matter
Vnto the spout can send supply of water.
Vnto those parts, wherby we leaue behind-vs
Types of ourselues in after-times to mind-vs,
Ther fiercely flies defectiue Venery,
And the foul, feeble, fruit-less Gonorrhe
(An impotence for Generations-deed,
And lust-less Issue of th' vncocted seed)
Page  267Remorse-less tyrants, that to spoyl aspire
Babes vnconceiv'd, in hatred of their Sire.
The fell fourth Regiment, is outward Tumours*
Begot of vicious indigested humours:
As Phlegmons, Oedems, Syrrhes, Erysipiles,
Kings-euils, Cankers, cruell Gouts, and Byles,
Wens, Ring-worms, Tetters: these from euery part
With thousand pangs braue the besieged hart:
And their blind fury, wanting force and courage
To hurt the Fort, the champain Country forrage.
O tyrants! sheath your feeble swords again:*
For, Death al-ready thousand-times hath slain
Your Enemy; and yet your enuious rigour
Doth mar his feature and his limbs disfigure,
And with a dull and ragged instrument
His ioints and skin are saw'd, and torn, and ren
Me thinks most rightly to a coward Crew
Of Wolues and Foxes I resemble you,
Who in a Forrest (finding on the sand
The Lyon dead, that did aliue command
The Land about, whose aw-full Countenance
Melted (far off) their yce-like arrogance)
Mangle the members of their liue-less Prince,
With feeble signes of dastard insolence.
But, with the Griefs that charge our outward places,*
Shall I account the loathsom Phthiriasis?
O shamefull Plague! O foul infirmity!
Which makes proud Kings, fouler then Beggars be
(That wrapt in rags, and wrung with verminsore,
Their itching backs sit shrugging euermore)
To swarm with Lice, that rubbing cannot rid,
Nor often shift of shirts, and sheets, and bed:
For, as in springs, stream stream pursueth fresh,
Swarm follows swarm, and their too fruitfull flesh
Breeds her own eaters, and (till Deaths arrest)
Makes of it self an execrable feast.
Nor may we think, that Chance, confusedly*
Conducts the Camp of our Third Enemy:
Page  268For, of her Souldiers, som (as led by reason)
Can make their choice of Country, Age, and Season.
So Portugal hath Phthisiks most of all,
Eber Kings-euils; Arné the Suddain-Fall;
Sauoy the Mumps; West-India, Pox; and Nyle
The Leprosie; Plague, the Sardinian-Ile:
After the influence of the Heav'ns all-ruling,*
Or Countries manners. So, soft Childhood puling
Is wrung with Worms, begot of crudity,
Are apt to Lasks through much humidity:
Through their salt phlegms, their heads are hid with skalls,
Their Limbs with Red-gums and with bloody balls
Of Menstruall humour which (like Must) within
Their bodies boyling, buttoneth all their skin.
To bloody-Flixes, Youth is apt inclining,
Continuall-Feuers, Phrenzies, Phthisik-pyning.
And feeble Age is seldom-times without
Her tedious guests, the Palsie and the Gout,
Coughes, and Catarrhs. And so the Pestilence,
The quartan-Ague with her accidents,
The Flix, the Hip-gout, and the Watrie-Tumour,*
Are bred with vs of an Autumnal humour:
The Itch, the Murrein, and Alcides-grief,
In Vers hot-moysture doe molest vs chief:
The Diarrhoea and the Burning-Feuer,
In Sommer-season do their fell endevour:
And Pleurisies, the rotten-Coughes, and Rheums,
Wear curled flakes of white celestiall plumes:
Like sluggish Souldiers, keeping Garrison
In th' yee Bulwarks of the Years gelt Son.
Som, seeming most in multitudes delighting,*
Bane one by other, not the first acquiting:
As Measels, Mange, and filthy Leprosie,
The Plague, the Pox, and Phthisik-maladie.
And som (alas!) we leaue as in succession,
Vnto our Children, for a sad possession:*
Such are Kings-euils, Dropsie, Gout, and Stone,
Blood-boyling Leprie, and Consumption,
Page  269The swelling Throat-ache, th' Epilepsie sad,
And cruell Rupture, payning too-too bad:
For their hid poysons after-comming harm
Is fast combin'd vnto the Parents sperm.
But O! what arms, what shield shall wee oppose,*
What stratagems against those trecherous foes,
Those teacherous griefs, that our frail Art detects
Not by their cause, but by their sole effects?
Such are the fruitfull Matrix-suffocation,
The Falling-sicknes, and pale Swouning-passion;
The which, I wote not what strange windes long pause,
I wot not where, I wote not how doth cause.
Or who (alas!) can scape the cruell wile*
Of those fell Pangs that Physicks pains beguile?
Which being banisht from a body, yet
(Vnder new names) return again to it:
Or rather, taught the strange Metempsychosis
Of the wise Samian, one it self transposes
Into som worse Grief: either through the kindred
Of th' humour vicious, or the member hindred:
Or through their ignorance or auarice
That doe profess Apollos exercise.
So, Melancholy turned into Madnes;
Into the Palsie, deep-affrighted Sadnes;
Th' Il-habitude into the Dropsie chill:
And Megrim growes to the Comitial-Ill.
In brief, poor Adam in this pitious case*
Is like a Stag, that long pursu'd in chase,
Flying for succour to som neighbour wood,
Sinks on the suddain in the yeelding mud;
And sticking fast amid the rotten grounds,
Is over-taken by the eger Hounds:
One bites his back, his neck another nips,
One puls his brest, at's throat another skips,
One tugs his flank, his haunch another tears,
Another lugs him by the bleeding ears;
And last of all, the Wood-man with his knife
Cuts off his head, and so concludes his life.
Page  270Or like a lusty Bull, whose horned Crest*
Awakes fell Hornets from their drowsie nest,
Who buzzing forth, assail him on each side,
And pitch their valiant bands about his hide;
With fisking train, with forked head, and foot,
Himself, th' ayr, th' earth, he beateth (to no boot)
Flying (through woods, hills, dales, and roaring rivers)
His place of grief, but not his painfull grievers:
And in the end, stitcht full of stings he dies,
Or on the ground as dead (at least) he lies.
For, man is loaden with ten thousand languors:*
All other Creatures, onely feel the angors
Of few Diseases: as, the gleaning Quail
Onely the Falling-sicknes doth assail:
The Turn-about and Murram trouble Cattel,
Madnes and Quincie bid the Masty battel.
Yet each of them can naturally finde
What Simples cure the sickness of their kinde;
Feeling no sooner their disease begin,
But they as soon haue ready medicine,
The Ram for Physik takes strong-senting Rue:
The Tortois slowe, cold Hemlok doth renue:
The Partridge, Black-bird, and rich painted Iay
Haue th' oyly liquor of the sacred Bay.
The sickly Bear, the Mandrak cures again;
And Mountain-Siler helpeth Goats to yean:
But, we knowe nothing, till by poaring still
On Books, we get vs a Sophistik skil;
A doubtfull Art, a Knowledge still vnknowen:
Which enters but the hoary heads (alone)
Of those, that (broken with vnthankfull toyl)
Seeks others Health, and lose their own the-while:
Or rather those (such are the greatest part)
That waxing rich at others cost and smart,
Growe famous Doctors, purchasing promotions,
While the Church-yards swel with their hurtfull potions;
Who (hang-man like) fear-less, and shame-less too,
Are prayd and payd for murders that they doo.
Page  271
I speak not of the good, the wise, and learned,
Within whose hearts Gods fear is wel discerned:
Who to our bodies can again vnite
Our parting soules, ready to take their flight.
For, these I honour as Heav'ns gifts excelling,
Pillars of Health, Death, and Disease repelling:
Th' Almighties Agents, Natures Counsellers,
And flowring Youths wise faithfull Governours.
Yet if their Art can ease som kinde of dolors,
They learn'd it first of Natures silent Schollers:
For, from the Sea-Horse came Phlehotomies,
From the wilde Goat the healing of the eys;
From Stork, and Hearn, our Glysters laxatiue,
From Bears and Lions, Diets we deriue.
'Gainst th' onely Body all these Champions stout
Striuesom, within: and other som, without.
Or, if that any th' all-fair Soule haue striken,
'Tis not directly; but, in that they weaken
Her Officers, and spoyl the Instruments
Wherwith she works such wonderous presidents.
But, lo! foure Captains far more fierce and eger,*
That on all sides the Spirit it self beleaguer,
Whose Constancy they shake, and soon by treason
Draw the blind Iudgement from the rule of Reason:
Opinions issue; which (though self vnseen)
Make through the Body their fell motions seen.
Sorrow's first Leader of this furious Crowd,
Muffled all-over in a sable clowd,*
Old before Age, afflicted night and day,
Her face with wrinkles warped every-way,
Creeping in corners, where she sits and vies
Sighes from her hart, tears from her blubbered eys;
Accompani'd with self-consuming Care,
With weeping Pitty, Thought, and mad Despair
That bears, about her, burning Coles and Cords,
Asps, Poysons, Pistols, Halters, Kniues, and Swords:
Fouls quinting Enuy, that self-eating Elf,
Through others leanness fatting vp herself,
Page  272Ioying in mischief, feeding but with languor
And bitter tears her Toad-like-swelling anger
And Ielousie that never sleeps, for fear
(Suspitions Flea still nibbling in her ear)
That leaues repast and rest, neer pin'd and blinde
With seeking what she would be loath to finde.
The second Captain is excessiue Ioy,*
VVho leaps and tickles, finding th' Apian-way
Too-streight for her: whose senses all possess
All wished pleasures in all plentiousnes.
She hath in conduct false vain-glorious Vaunting,
Bold, soothing, shame-less, lowd, iniurious, taunting:
The winged Giant lofty-staring Pride,
That in the clouds her braving Crest doth hide:
And many other, like the empty bubbles
That rise when rain the liquid Crystall troubles.
The Third, is blood-less, hart-less, wit-less Fear,*
That like an Asp-tree trembles every where:
She leads bleak Terror, and base clownish Shame,
And drowsie Sloath, that counter faiteth lame,
With Snail-like motion measuring the ground,
Having her arms in willing fetters bound,
Foul, sluggish Drone, barren (but, sin to breed)
Diseased, begger, starv'd with wilfull need.
And thou Desire, whom nor the firmament,*
Nor ayr, nor earth, nor Ocean can content:
Whose-looks are hooks, whose belly's bottom-less,
Whose hands are Gripes to scrape with greediness,
Thou art the Fourth: and vnder thy Command,
Thou bringst to field a rough vnruly Band:
First, secret-burning, mighty-swoln Ambition
Pent in no limits, pleas'd with no Condition,
Whom Epicurus many Worlds suffice not,
Whose furious thrist of proud aspiring dies not,
Whose hands (transported with fantastike passion)
Bear painted Scepters in imagination:
Then Auarice all-arm'd in hooking Tenters
And clad in Bird-lime; without bridge she venters
Page  273Through fell Charybdis, and false Syrtes Nesse;
The more her welth, the more her wretchedness:
Cruell, respect-less, friend-less, faith-less Elf,
That hurts her neighbour, but much more her self:
Whose foule base fingers in each dunghill poar
(Like Tantalus) starv'd in the midst of store:
Not what she hath, but what she wants she counts:
A wel-wingd Bird that neuer lofty mounts.
Then, boyling Wrath, stern, cruell, swift, and rash,
That like a Boar her teeth doth grinde and gnash:
Whose hair doth stare like bristled Porcupine;
Who som-times rowles her ghastly-glowing eyn,
And som-time fixtly on the ground doth glaunce,
Now bleak then bloody in her Countenance;
Rauing and rayling with a hideous sound,
Clapping her hands, stamping against the ground;
Bearing Bcconi, fire and sword to slay,
And murder all that her for pitty pray;
Baning her self, to bane her Enemy;
Disdaining Death, prouided others dy:
Like falling Towrs o'r-turned by the winde,
That break themselues on that they vnder-grinde.
And then that Tyrant, all-controuling Loue:
(Whom heer to paint doth little me behooue,
After so many rare Apelleses
As in this Age our Albion nourishes)
And to be short, thou doest to battail bring
As many Souldiers 'gainst the Creatures King,
(Yet not his owne) as in this life, Mankinde
True very Goods, or seeming-Goods doth finde.
Now, if (but like the Lightning in the sky)
These sudden Passions past but swiftly by,*
The fear were less: but, O! too-oft they leaue
Keen stings behinde in Soules that they deceiue.
From this foul Fountain, all these poysons rise,
Rapes, Treasons, Murders, Incests, Sodomies,
Blaspheming, Bibbing, Theeuing, False-contracting
Church-chaffering, Cheating, Bribing, and Exacting.
Page  274
Alas! how these (far-worse then death) Diseases
Exceed each Sicknes that our body seises;
Which makes vs open war, and by his spight
Giues to the Patient many a holsom light,
Now by the colour, or the Pulles beating,
Or by som Fit, som sharper dolor threatning;
Whereby the Leach neer-ghessing at our grief,
Not seldom findes sure means for our relief.
But, for these Ills raign in our Intellect
(Which only, them both can and ought detect)
They rest vnknown, or rather self-conceal'd;
And soule-sick Patients care not to be heal'd.
Besides, we plainly call the Feuer, Feuer:
The Dropsie, Dropsie: ouer-gilding neuer,
With guile-full flourish of a fained phraze,
The cruell Languors that our bodies craze:
Whereas, our fond self-soothing Soule, thus sick,
Rubs her owne sore; with glozing Rhetorik
Cloaking her vice: and makes the blinded Blain
Not fear the touch of Reasons Cautere vain.
And sure, if euer filthy Vice did iet*
In sacred Vertues spot-less mantle neat,
'Tis in our days, more hatefull and vn-hallow'd,
Then when the World the Waters wholly swallow'd.
Ile spare to speak of foulest Sins, that spot
Th' infamous beds of men of mighty lot;
Least I the Saints chaste tender ears offend,
And seem them more to teach, then reprehend.
Who bear vpon their French-sick backs about,*
Farms, Castles, Fees, in golden shreads cut-out;
Whose lauish hand, at one Primero-rest,
One Mask, one Turney, or one pampering Feast,
Sends treasures, scrap't by th' Vsury and Care
Of miser Parents; Liberall counted are.
Who, with a maiden voice, and mincing pase,
Quaint looks, curl'd locks, perfumes, and painted face,*
Base coward-hart, and wanton soft array,
Their man-hood only by their Beard bewray,
Page  275Are Cleanly call'd. Who like Lust-greedy Goates,*
Brothel from bed to bed; whose Siren-notes
Inchaunt chaste Susans, and like hungry Kite
Fly at all game, they Louers are behight.
Who, by false bargains, and vnlawfull measures*
Robbing the World, haue he aped kingly treasures:
Who cheat the simple; lend for fifty fifty,
Hundred for hundred, are esteemed Thrifty.*
Who alwaies murder and reuenge affect,
Who feed on bloud, who neuer doe respect
State, Sex, or Age: but, in all humane lyues
In cold bloud, bathe their paricidiall kniues;
Are stiled Valiant. Grant, good Lord, our Land*
May want such valour whose self-cruell hand
Fights for our foes, our proper life-blood spils,
Our Cities sacks, and our owne Kindred kils.
Lord, let the Launce, the Gun, the Sword, & Shield,
Beturn'd to tools to furrow-vp the field,
And let vs see the Spyders busie task
Wov'n in the belly of the plumed Cask.
But if (braue Lands-men) your war-thirst be such,
If in your brests sad Enyon boyl so much,
What holds you heer? alas! what hope of crowns?
Our fields are flocks-less, treasure-less our Towns.
Goe then, nay run, renowned Martialists,
Re-found French-Greece, in now-Natolian lists;
Hy, hy to Flanders; free with conquering stroak
Your Belgian brethren from th' Iberians yoake:
To Portingal; people Galizian-Spain,
And graue your names on Lysbon's gates again.