A paraphrase upon the divine poems. By George Sandys
Sandys, George, 1578-1644., Lawes, Henry, 1596-1662., Sandys, George, 1578-1644. aut
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A PARAPHRASE VPON IOB.
[Chap. 1] IN Hus, a Land which neare the Suns uprise,
And Northern confines of Sabaea lies,
A great Example of Perfection reign'd:
His Name was Iob; his Soul with guilt unstaind,
None with more zeale the Deitie ador'd;
Affected Vertue more, Vice more abhorr'd.
Three beauteous Daughters, and seven hope∣full Boyes,
Renew'd his youth, and crown'd his Nuptiall Ioyes.
Lord of much Riches, which the use renownes:
Seven thousand broad-taild Sheepe gras'd on his Downes;
Three thousand Camels his ranke Pastures fed;
Arabia's wandring Ships, for traffick bred:
His gratefull Fields a thousand Oxen till'd;
They with their rich increase the hungry fill'd:
Five hundred Asses yearely tooke the Horse;
Producing Mules of greater speed and force;
The Master of a mighty Family;
Well ord'red, and directed by his Eye.
None was more opulent in all the East,
Of greater Power; yet such as still increast.
By daily turnes the Brothers entertaine
Each other: with the weeke begin againe.
This constant custome held: Not to excite
And pamper the voluptuous Appetite;
But to preserve the Vnion of their Blood
With sober Banquets, and unpurchas'd Food.
Th'invited Sisters with their graces blest
Their festivals; and were themselves a Feast.
Page 2 Their turnes accomplisht, Iobs religious care
His Sonnes assembles; whose united praier
Like sweet perfumes from golden Censors rise:
Then with divine Lustrations sanctifies.
And when the Rosy-finger'd Morne arose;
From bleating Flocks unblemisht fatlings chose;
Proportion'd to their number: these he slew,
And bleeding on the flaming Altar threw
Perhaps, said he, my Children in the heat
Of wine and mirth, their Maker may forget;
And give accesse to Sinne. Thus they the Round
Of Concord Keepe; by his Devotions crownd.
Iehova from the summit of the skie,
Environ'd with his winged Hierarchie,
The world survaid. When lo, the Prince of Hell,
Who whilome from that envy'd Glory fell,
Like an infectious Exhalation
Shot through the Spheares; and stood before his Throne.
False Spirit said, th' Almighty, that all shapes
Do'st counterfeit to perpetrate thy Rapes;
Whence com'st thou? He reply'd; I with the Sun
Have circl'd the round World: much People won
From thy strict Rule, to my indulgent Raigne:
Taught that no pleasure can result from paine.
Hast thou, said God, observ'd my servant Iob?
Is their a Mortall treading on the Globe
Of Earth so perfect? can thy wicked Arts
Corrupt his goodnesse? all thy fiery Darts
The Armour of his fortitude repels;
In Iustice he, as thou in fraud, excels:
Our power adores, with sacrifices feasts;
Loves what thou hat'st; and all thy works detests.
Hath Iob serv'd God for nothing? Satan said:
Or unrewarded at thy Altar paid
His frequent vowes? Hast thou not him, and all
Which he cals his, inclosed with a wall
Of strength impregnable? his labours blest?
And almost with prosperitie opprest?
Left nothing to desire? yet should'st thou lay
Thy hand upon him; or but take away
What thy Indulgence gave; in foule disgrace
He would blaspheme, and curse thee to thy face.
Iehova said; his Children, all he hath,
Are subject to the venome of thy wrath:
Alone his Person spare. The tempter then
Shrunke from his presence to th'aboads of Men.
Page 3 As at their elder Brother's all the rest
Of that faire off-spring celebrate is feast
With liberall joy; and coole th'inflaming blood
Of generous grapes, with christall of the flood:
A Messenger arriv'd, halfe out of breath,
Yet pale with horror of escaped Death,
And cry'd; Oh Iob, as thy strong Oxen till'd
The stubborne fallowes; while thy Asses fill'd
Themselves with Herbage; all became a prey
To arm'd Sabaeans, who in ambush lay:
Thy Servants by their cursed fury slaine;
And I the only Messenger remaine.
Another entred, ere his tale was told,
With singed haire; and said; I must unfold
A dreadfull Accident: At Noone, a Night
Of clouds arose, that Day depriv'd of Light:
Whose roaring conflicts from their breaches threw
Darts of inevitable flames, which slew
Thy Sheepe and Shepheards: I, of all alone
Escap'd, to make the sad Disaster knowne.
This hardly said; a third, with blood imbrew'd,
Brake through the Presse, and thus his griefe pursu'd:
The fierce Chaldaeans in three Troopes assaild
Our Guards; till they their Soules through wounds exhal'd:
Then drave away thy Camels, only I
Thus wounded, live to tell thy losse, and Die.
As thronging Billowes one another drive
To murmuring shores; so thicke and fast arrive
These Messengers of Death: The fourth and last,
With staring haire, wild lookes, and breathlesse haste,
Rusht in and said: Oh Iob! prepare to heare
The saddest newes that ever pierc'd an eare.
Loe, as thy Children on soft Couches lay,
And with discourses entertain'd the Day,
A sodain Tempest from the Desert flew
With horrid wings, and thundered as it blew.
Then whirling round, the Quoines together strooke;
And to the ground that lofty fabrick shooke:
Thy Sonnes and Daughters buryed in the fall;
Who, ah! deserv'd a nobler Funerall.
And I alone am living to relate
Their Tragedies, that was deni'd their Fate.
He, who the assaults of Fortune, like a rock
So long withstood; could not sustaine this shock;
But rising, forthwith from his shoulders tare
His purple robe, and, and shav'd his dangling haire
Page 4 Then on the Earth his Body prostrate laid;
And thus with humble adoration, said:
Naked I was, at my first houre of Birth;
And naked must returne unto the Earth.
God gives; God takes away: Oh be his Name
For ever blest! thus free from touch of blame
Iob firmely stood: and with a patient mind
His Crosses bare; nor at his God repin'd.
[Chap. 2] Againe when all the radiant Sonnes of Light
Before his Throne appear'd, whose only sight
Beatitude infus'd: Th'inveterate foe,
In fogs ascending from the depth below,
Profain'd their blest Assembly: what pretence,
Said God, hath brought thee hither? and from whence?
I come, said he, from compassing the Earth:
Their Travels seene who spring from humane birth.
Then God: hast thou my Servant Iob beheld?
Can his rare pietie be paralel'd;
His Iustice equal'd? can alluring vice,
With all her Sorceries, his Soule intice?
His daily Orisons attract our Eares;
Who punishment, lesse then the trespasse, feares:
And still his old Integritie retaines
Through all his woes, inflicted by thy traines.
When he, whose labouring thoughts admit no rest,
This answer threw out of his Stygian brest:
Iob to himselfe is next, who will not give
All that he hath, so his owne Soule may live?
Stretch out thy hand; with aches pierce his bones,
His flesh with lashes; multiply his grones:
Then if he curse thee not, let thy dire Curse
Increase my torments, if they can be worse.
To whom the Lord: Thou Instrument of strife,
Enjoy thy cruell wish: but spare his Life.
The Soule of Envy, from his presence went;
And through the burning Aire, made his descent.
To execution falles: The blood within
His veines inflames, and poysons his smooth skin.
Now all was but one sore: from foot to head
With burning Carbuncles, and Vlcers spread;
He on the Ashes sits, his fate deplores:
And with a pot-sheard, scrapes the swelling Sores.
His frantick wife, whose patience could not beare
Such waight of Miseries, thus wounds his eare:
Is this the purchase of thy Innocence?
O Foole, thy Piety is thy offence.
Page 5 He whom thou serv'st, hath us of all berest:
Our Children slaine, and thee to torments left.
Goe on; his Iustice praise: O rather flye
To thy assur'd reliefe; Curse God, and dye.
Thou wretch thy Sexes folly; he reply'd:
Shall we who have so long his Bounty try'd,
And flourish'd in his favour, now not beare
Our harmes with patience; but renounce his Feare?
Thus his great Minde his Miseries transcends:
Nor the least accent of his lips offends.
Now was his ruine by the breath of Fame
Divulg'd through all the East: when Zophar came
From pleasant Naamath: wise Eliphas
From Theman, rich in Palmes, but poore in grasse:
And Bildad from Suïtah's fruitfull Soile;
Prais'd for the plentie of her Corne and Oyle.
These meete from severall Quarters to condole
With their old Friend, and comfort his sad Soule.
Yet at the first, unknowne: his Miseries
Had so transform'd him, knowne, they joyn'd their cryes,
Wept bitterly, their sable Mantles tare,
Rais'd Clouds of Dust, that fell upon their haire.
Seven Dayes they sate besides him on the ground;
As many Nights, in silent Sorrow drown'd.
For yet they knew the Torrent of his woe
Would by resistance more outragious grow.
He, when excesse of Sorrow, had given way
To the reliefe of words, thus curs'd his Day:
O perish may the Day, which first gave light
To me, most wretched! and the fatall Night
Of my Conception! let that Day be bound
In Clouds of Pitch, nor walke the Etheriall Round.
Let God not write it in his Roll of Dayes:
Nor let the Sunne restore it with his Raies.
Let Deaths darke Shades involve, no light appeare
But dreadfull Lightnings: its owne horrors feare.
Be it the first of Miseries to all,
Or last of Life; defam'd with Funerall.
O be that dismall Night, for ever blind!
Lost in it selfe; nor to the Day rejoyn'd!
Nor numbred in the swift Circumference
Of Monthes and Yeares; but vanish in offence.
O let it sad and solitary prove:
No sprightly Musicke heare, nor Songs of Love.
Let wandring Apparitions then affright
The trembling Bride, and quench the Nuptiall light.
Page 6 O Let those hate it, who the Day-light hate:
Who mourne and grone beneath their sorrowes waight.
Let the eclipsed Moone, her Throne resigne,
In steed of Starres, let Blazing Meteors shine.
Let it not see the Dawning flecke the skies;
Nor the gray Morning from the Ocean rise:
Because the Doore of Life it left unclos'd;
And me, a wretch, to cruell fates expos'd.
Oh why was I not strangled in the wombe!
Nor in that secret prison found a Tombe!
Or since untimely borne; why did not I
(The next of blessings) in that instant die?
Why kneel'd the Midwife at my Mothers throes!
With paine produc'd! and nurse for future woes!
Else had I an eternall Requiem kept;
And in the armes of Peace for ever slept:
With Kings and Princes ranckt; who lofty frames
In Deserts rais'd, t'immortalize their Names:
Who made the wealth, of Prouinces their prey:
In death as mighty, and as rich, as they.
Then I, as an Abortive, had not beene;
Nor with the hated Light, such Sorrowes seene:
Slept, where none ere by violence opprest;
And where the weary from their Labors rest:
No Prisoners there, inforc'd by torments, cry;
But fearelesse by their old Tormentors Lye:
The Meane, and Great, on equall Bases stand;
No Servants there obey, nor Lords command.
Why should afflicted Soules in anguish live!
And only have immunitie to grieve?
Oh how they wish for Death, to close their eyes!
But oh, in vaine? since he the wretched flyes.
For whom they dig, as Pioners for Gold;
Which the darke entrales of the Earth unfold:
And having found him, as their Libertie,
With Ioy encounter; and contented die.
Why should he live, from whom God hath the path
Of safetie hid, incompast with his wrath?
In Stormes of sigh's I taste my bitter food:
My grones breake from me, like a roaring flood.
The Ruine which I fear'd, and in my thought
So oft revolv'd, one fatall Houre hath brought.
Nor durst I on Prosperitie presume;
Or time in sleepe; and barren Ease consume;
But watcht my weary steps: and yet for all
My Providence, these Plagues upon me fall.
Page 7 [Chap. 4] Temanian Eliphas made this reply:
O Friend, be it no breach of Love, that I
With silence dare not justifie a wrong:
For who in such a Cause can curb his Tongue?
Wilt thou, that wert to pietie a guide,
That others hast with patience fortifide:
Confirm'd the Strong, given sinewes to the Weake:
Now in the change of Fortune faint, and breake
Into offences? aggravate thy harmes,
Forsake thy strength, and cast away thy armes?
Is this thy Piety, thy Confidence,
Thy hope, and Life untainted with offence?
Consult with former Ages: Have they knowne
The guiltlesse perish, or the Iust ore 'throwne?
But those who plow with vice, and mischiefe throw
Into the furrowes; reape the Seed they sow.
God shall destroy them with his Nostrils breath:
And send them weeping to the caves of Death.
For he the raging Lyonesse confounds;
The roaring Lyon with his javelin wounds:
Scatters their Whelps; their grinders breakes: so they,
With the old Hunter, starve for want of Prey.
Now when the Night her sable wings had spred;
And sleepe his Deaw on pensive Mortals shed:
When Visions in their aiery shapes appeare;
A Voice, not humane, whispered in mine eare.
My knees each other struck; the frighted blood
Fled to my heart; my haire like bristles stood.
An Angel then appear'd before my sight:
Yet could no shape discerne; so great a light
He threw about him: forthwith, silence brake;
And thus to me, intranc'd with wonder, spake:
Shall mortall Man, that is but borne to die;
Compare in Iustice, and Integritie,
With him who made him? he who must descend
Againe to Earth, and in Corruption end?
His Angels were imperfect in his sight,
Although indu'd with Intellectuall Light;
Whom he accus'd of folly: much more they,
Who dwell in houses, built of brittle clay;
Which have their weake foundations in the dust:
The food of wormes, and Times devouring Rust.
They to the Evening from the Sunnes uprise,
Are exercis'd with change of Miseries:
Then, unregarded, set in endlesse Night;
Nor ever shall review the Morning light.
Page 8 Thus all their Glories vanish with their breath:
They, and their Wisedomes, vanquished by Death.
[Chap. 5] Now try what Patron, can thy cause defend:
What Saint wilt thou solicite, or what Friend?
The Storme of his owne rage the foole confounds:
And Envies rankling sting th' imprudent wounds.
Oft have I seene him, like a Cedar, spread
His ample Roote; and his ambitious Head
With Clouds invest: then, to th' amaze of all,
Plow up the Earth with his prodigious fall.
His wandring Orphans finde no safe retreat;
But friendlesse suffer at the Iudgement-Seat:
The greedy eate the harvest of their toile,
Snatcht from the scratching thornes; to theives a spoile.
Though Sorrow spring not from the wombe of Earth;
Nor troubles from the Dust derive their Birth:
Yet man is borne to numerous Miseries,
As dying Sparks from trembling flames arise.
Should I the burthen of thy face sustaine?
I would not justifie myselfe in vaine:
But at his feet my humble Soule deject
With prayers and teares; who wonders can effect:
As infinite, as great; and farre above
That Spheare wherein our low Conceptions move.
He waters from celestiall Casements powers,
Which fall upon the furrowed Earth in showers:
To comfort those who mourne in want; and give
The famisht food, that they may eate and Live.
The Counsels of the Subtill he prevents;
And by his wisedome frustrates their Intents:
Intangles in the Snares themselves contrive;
Who desperately to their owne Ruine drive.
They meete with Darknesse in the clearest Light:
And grope at Noone, as if involv'd with Night.
Licentious Swords, Oppression arm'd with power,
Nor Envies jawes, the Righteous shall devoure.
They ever hope, though exercis'd with care:
The wicked silen'st by their owne despaire.
Happy is he whom Gods owne hands chastise.
Since so, let none his Chastisements despise.
For he both hurts and heales: binds up againe
The wounds he made, and mittigates their paine.
In sixe afflictions will thy refuge be;
And from the seventh, and last, shall set thee free.
From meager Famines bloodlesse Massacrees;
And from the cruell thirst of horrid Warres:
Page 9 Preserved from the scourge of poysonous tongues;
The sting of Malice, and insulting Wrongs.
Thou shalt in safetie smile; when all the Earth
Shall suffer by the rage of Warre and Death.
The Midian Tyger, The Arabian Beare,
Nor Idumaean Lion shalt thou feare.
They all their native fiercenesse shall decline;
And senselesse Stones shall in thy aide combine.
Thy Tents shall flourish in the Joyes of Peace;
The wealth and Honour of thy House increase:
Thy Children, and their off-spring, shall abound;
Like blades of grasse, that cloath the pregnant ground.
Thou, full of Dayes, like waighty shocks of Corne
In season reapt, shall to thy grave be borne.
This truth, by long experience learnt, apply
[Chap. 6] To thy Disease; and on the cure relye.
Then Iob, Oh were my sufferings duly waigh'd;
Were they together in one Balance laid:
The Sands whereon the rowling Billowes roare,
Were lesse in waight, and not in number more.
My words are swallowed in these Deaths of woes;
While Stormes of sighes my silent griefe disclose.
Gods Arrowes on my breast descend in showers:
There stick, and poyson all my vitall powers.
'Tis he, who armes against a Mortall beares;
Subdues my strength, and chils my heart with feares.
Doe hungry Asses in fresh pastures bray?
Or Oxen low before full cribs of hay?
Oh can unseas'ned cates the guest invite?
What taste is in an Eggs unsavory white?
My lothing soule abhors your bitter food;
Which sorrow feeds, and turnes my teares to blood.
Oh that the Lord would favour my request;
And send my Soule to her eternall rest!
Deliver from this Dungeon, which restraines
Her liberty, and breake Afflictions chaines!
Then should my Torments finde a sure reliefe:
And I become insensible of griefe.
Oh, by not sparing, cure his wounds; who hath
Divulg'd thy truth, and still preserv'd his faith!
What strength have I to hope? or to what end
Should I on such a wasted Life depend?
Was I by rocks ingendred? ribd with steele?
Such tortures to resist, or not to feele?
No hope, no comfort, but in Death is left;
Thus torne with wounds, of all my Joyes bereft.
Page 10 True Friends, who feare their Maker, should impart
Soft pittie to a sad and broken Heart:
But Oh, the great in vowes, and neare in Blood,
Forsake me like the torrent of a Flood:
Which in the winding vallies glides away;
And scarce maintaines the Current of a Day:
Or stands in solid Ice, conceal'd with Snow;
But when the lowdly-storming South winds blow,
And mounted Sun invades it with his beames,
Dissolves; and scatters his exhausted Streames.
Who from the parched fields of Thema came,
From Shaeba scorched with etheriall Flame.
In expectation to asswage their thirst:
Deluded, blusht; and his dry channels curst.
So you now cease to be what once you were:
And view my downfall with the eyes of Feare,
Have I requir'd your bounty to repaire
My ruin'd fortunes? was it in my praier
That you for me the Mighty would oppose?
And in a just revenge pursue my foes?
If I have err'd instruct me; tell wherein:
My tongue shall never justifie a Sin.
Although a due reproofe informe the Sense:
Detraction is the Gall of Impudence.
Why adde you sorrow to a troubled mind?
Passion must speake: her words are but as wind.
Against an Orphan you your forces bend:
And banquet with the afflictions of a friend.
Accuse not now, but judge: you from my youth
Have knowne and try'de me, speake I more then truth?
Vnveile your Eyes, and then I shall appeare
The same I am; from all aspersions cleare.
Have I my heart disguised with my tongue?
Could not my tast distinguish right from wrong?
The life of Man is a perpetuall warre:
[Chap. 7] In Miserie and Sorrow Circular.
He a poore mercenary serves for bread:
For all his travell, only cloth'd and fed.
The Hireling longs to see the Shades ascend;
That with the tedious Day his toyle might end,
And he his pay receive: but, ah! in vaine
I Monthes consume; yet never rest obtaine.
The Night charmes not my Cares with sleeplesse eyes
My Tornients cry: When will the Morning rise!
Why runs the Charriot of the Night so slow?
The Day-Star finds me tossing to and fro.
Page 11 VVormes gnaw my flesh; with filth my ulcers run:
My skin like clods of Earth, chapt with the Sunne.
Like shuttles through the loome, so swiftly glide
My feathered Howers; and all my hopes deride!
Remember, Lord, my life is but a wind;
VVhich passeth by, and leaves no print behind.
Then never shall my Eyes their lids unfold;
Nor mortall sight my vanisht face behold,
Not thou, to whom our thoughts apparant bee,
Should'st thou desire, could'st him, that is not, see.
As clouds resolve to aire, so never more.
Shall gloomy Graves their Dead to Light restore:
Nor shall they to their sumptuous Roofes returne;
But lye forgotten, as if never borne.
Then, O my Soule, while thou hast freedome, breake
Into Complaints: give Sorrow leave to speake.
Am I a raging Sea, or furious VVhale?
That thou should'st thus confine me with a wall?
How often when the rising Stars had spread
Their golden Flames, said I! now shall my Bed
Refresh my weary limbs; and peacefull Sleepe.
My care and anguish in his Lethe steepe.
But lo! sad Dreames my troubled Braines surprise:
And gastly Visions wound my staring Eyes.
So that my yeilding Soule, subdude with greife,
And tortur'd Body, to their last reliefe
VVould gladly flye: and by a violence.
Lesse painefull, take from greater paine the Sense.
For life is but my curse: resume the breath
I must restore, and fold me up in Death.
O what is man, to whom thou should'st impart
So great an Honour as to search his Hart!
To watch his Steps, observe him with thine eye;
And daily with renew'd afflictions try!
Still must I suffer? wilt thou never leave?
Nor give a little time for griefe to breath?
My Soule hath sinn'd: how can I expiate
Her guilt great Guardian, or prevent thy hate?
VVhy aim'st thou all thy darts at me alone?
VVho to my selfe am know a Burthen growne.
VVilt thou not to a broken Heart dispense
Thy Balme of mercy, and expunge th'offence,
E're dust returne to dust? Then thou no more
Shalt see my Face; nor I thy Name adore.
[Chap. 8] Thus Iob. Then Bildad of Suita said:
Vaine Man, how long wilt thou thy God up-braid!
Page 12 And like the roaring of a furious wind
Thus vent the wild distemper of thy mind!
Can he pervert his Iudgements? shall he swerve
From his owne Justice, and thy Passions serve?
If he thy Sonnes for their rebellion slew;
Death was the wages to their merit dew.
Oh would'st thou seeke unto the Lord betimes,
With fervent prayer, and abstinence from crimes;
Nor with new follies spot thy Innocence:
Then would he alwayes watch in thy defence;
The House, that harbor'd so much vertue, blesse
With fruitfull Peace; and crowne thee with successe.
Then would he centuple thy former store;
And make thee farre more happy then before.
Search thou the Records of Antiquitie;
And on our Ancestors reflect thine Eye:
For we, alas! are but of Yesterday;
Know nothing, and like shadowes fleet away.
Thou in those Mirrors shalt the truth behold;
VVhose tongues un-erring Oracles unfold.
Can Bulrushes but by the River grow?
Can Flags there flourish where no waters flow?
Yet they, when greene, when yet untoucht, of all
That cloth the Spring, first hang their heads, and fall.
So double-hearted Hypocrites, so they
VVho God forget, shall in their prime decay.
Their ayery hopes as brittle as the thin
And subtill webs, which toyling Spiders spin.
Their Houses full of wealth, and Ryot, shall
Deceive their trust; and crush them in their fall.
Though like a Cedar, by the River fed,
He to the Sunne his ample Branches spread,
His Top surrounds with Clouds; deepe in the flood
Bathes his firme Rootes; even of himselfe a VVood:
And from his heigth a night-like shaddow throw
Vpon the Marble Palaces below:
Yet shall the Axe of Justice hew him downe;
And levell with the Roote, his lofty Crowne.
No Eye shall his out-raz'd impression view:
Nor mortall know where such a Glory grew.
Those seeming goods, whereof the wicked vaunt
Thus fade, while others on their ruines plant.
God never will the Innocent forsake:
Nor sinfull Soules to his protection take.
Cleanse thou thy Heart: then in thy ample breast
Joy shall triumph, and smiles thy cheekes invest.
Page 13 He will thy Foes with silent shame confound:
And their proud structures levell with the ground.
[Chap. 9] This is a truth acknowledg'd; Iob replies:
But Oh what Man is righteous in his Eyes!
VVho can not-guilty plead before his Throne?
Or of a thousand Actions answer one?
God is in wisedome, as in power, immense:
VVho ever could contend without offence,
Offend unpunish't? you who Glory most
In your owne Strength, can you of conquest boast?
Cloud-touching Mountaines to new seates are borne
From their Foundations, by his fury torne.
Th' affrighted Earth in her distemper quakes;
VVhen his Almighty Hand her Pillars shakes.
At whose command the Suns swift Horses stay;
VVhile Mortalls wonder at so long a Day.
The Moone into her darkned Orbe retires:
Nor seal'd up Starres extend their golden fires.
He, only He, Heavens blew Pavillion spreads:
And on the Oceans dancing Billowes treads.
Immane Arcturus, weeping Pleiades,
Orion, who with Stormes plowes up the Seas,
For severall Seasons fram'd: and all that rowle
Their radiant Flame about the Antartick Pole.
VVhat wonders are effected, by his might!
Oh how inscrutable, how Infinite!
Though he observe me, and be ever by;
Yet, ah! Invisible to mortall Eye.
Can hands of Flesh compell him to restore
VVhat he shall take? or who dare aske wherefore?
The great in Pride, and Power, like Meteors shall
(If he relent not) by his Vengeance fall.
And Oh shall I, a worme, my cause defend;
Or in vaine Argument with God contend?
I would not were I innocent dispute;
But humbly to my Judge present my Suite.
Yet never could my hopes be confident;
Though God himselfe should to my wish consent:
VVho with incessant stormes my peace confounds;
And multiplies my undeserved wounds:
Nor gives me time to breathe; my Stomack fills
With food of bitter tast, and Lothsome pills.
Speake I of strength, his strength the strong obay:
If I of Judgement speake, who shall a Day
Appoint for tryall? should I Justifie
A Vice, my heart would give my tongue the lye.
Page 14 If of perfection boast; I should herein
My guilt disclose: thought I, I had no Sin;
My selfe I should not know. Oh bitter strife!
VVhose only Issue is the hate of life!
Yet judge not by events: in generall.
The good and bad without distinction fall.
For he th'Appeale of innocence derides;
And with his Sword the controverse decides:
He gives the Earth to those that tyrannize:
And spreads a vaile before the Judges Eyes.
Or else what were his power? Oh you who see
My miseries, this truth behold in mee!
My dayes runne like a Post, and leave behinde
No tract of joy: as ships before the winde,
They through this humaine Ocean sayle away:
And fly like Eagles which pursue their prey.
If I determine to remove my care;
Forget my griefe, and comfort my Despaire:
The feare that he would never purge mee, mocks
M'imbarqued Hopes, and drives them on the Rocks.
For if he hold me guilty; if I soile
My selfe with Sin, I then but vainely toyle.
Though I should wash my selfe in melting Snow,
Vntill my hands were whiter; he would throw
Me downe to Earth: and, ah! so plunge in mire,
That I should loath to touch my owne attire:
For he, is not as I: a man, with whom
I might contend, and to a Tryall come.
I, in my cause shall find no Aduocate;
Nor Vmpire, to compose our sad debate.
Oh should he from my shoulders take his Rod;
Free from the awe and terror of a God:
Then would I argue in my owne defence;
And boldly justifie my Innocence.
[Chap. 10] Oh I am sick of life! nor will controule
My Passion, but in bitternesse of Soule,
Thus teare the Aire: what should thy wrath incense
To punish him who knowes not his offence?
Ah! do'st thou in oppression take delight?
Wilt thou thy Servant fold in shades of Night,
And smile on wicked Counsels? do'st thou see
With Eyes of Flesh? is Truth conceal'd from thee?
VVhat are thy Dayes as fraile as ours? or can
Thy yeares determine like the age of Man?
That thou should'st my Delinquencies exquire;
And with Variety of tortures tire?
Page 15 Cannot my knowne Integritie remove
Thy cruell Plagues? wilt thou remorselesse prove?
Ah! wilt thou thy owne workemanship confound?
Shall the same hand that did create, now wound?
Remember I am built of clay; and must
Resolve to my originary Dust.
Thou powr'dst me out like milke into the wombe;
Like curds conden'st; and in that secret roome
My Limbs proportion'd; cloth'd with flesh and skin;
With bones, and sinewes, fortifi'd within:
The Life thou gav'st, thou hast with plentie fed;
Long cherisht, and through Dangers safely led.
All this is buryed in thy breast: and yet
I know thou can'st not thy old Love forget.
Thou, if I erre observ'st me with sterne eyes:
Nor will the plea of Ignorance suffice.
Woe unto me should sinne my Soule infect▪
Who dare not now, though innocent, erect
My downe-cast lookes: which clouds of shame infold.
Great God, my growing Miseries behold!
Thou like a Lion huntest me: wounds on wounds
Thy hands inflict; thy fury knowes no bounds.
Against me all thy Plagues embattaild are:
Subdu'd with changes of internall warre.
Why didst thou draw me from my Mothers wombe?
Would I from thence had slipt into my Tombe,
Before the Eye of man my face had seene;
And mixt with dust, as I had never beene!
Oh since I have so short a time to live,
A little ease to these my torments give:
Before I goe where all in silence mourne;
From whose darke shores no travellers returne:
A Land where Death, confusion, endlesse Night,
And Horror reigne: where Darkenesse is their Light.
[Chap. 11] Thus Zophar with acerbity reply'd:
Think'st thon by talking to be justifi'd?
Or shall these wild distempers of thy mind,
This tempest of thy tongue, thus rave, and find
No opposition? shall we guilty be
Of thy untruths, in not reproving thee?
Nor die thy cheekes in Blushes for the scorne
Thou throw'st on us; till now with patience borne?
Hast thou not said to God? my heart's upright,
My Doctrine pure, I blamelesse in thy sight.
O that he would be pleased to reply:
And take the vaile from thy Hypocrisie!
Page 16 Should he reveale his wisedome to thine eyes:
How would'st thou thy integritie despise?
Acknowledging these punnishments farre lesse
Then thy offences? and his grace professe?
Canst thou into thy Makers Councels dive?
Or to the knowledge of his thoughts arrive?
Higher then highest Heavens; more deepe then Hell;
Longer then Earth; more broad then Seas that swell
Above their shores, can man his foot-steps trace?
Would he the course of Nature change? the face
Of things invert? and all dissolve againe
To their old Chaos? who could God restraine?
He knowes that man is vaine: his eyes detect
Their secret crimes? and shall not he correct?
Thus Fooles grow wise; subdue their stubborne soules:
Though in their pride more rude then Asses foles.
If thou affect thy cure: reforme thy wayes:
Let penitence resolve to teares, and raise
Thy hands to heaven; what Rapine got, restore:
Nor let insidious Vice approach thy Doore.
Then thou thy lookes shalt raise from blemish cleare:
Walke in full strength, and no disaster feare.
As winter Torrents, tumbling from on high,
Waste with their speed, and leave their channels dry:
So shall the sense of former sorrowes runne
From thy Remembrance. As the mounted Sunne
Breakes through the Clouds, and throwes his golden Raies
About the world; shall thy increasing Dayes
Succeed in Glory. Thou thy selfe shalt rise
Like that bright Starre, which last forsakes the skies:
For ever by thy stedfast hopes secur'd;
Intrenched, and with walles of Brasse immur'd:
Confirm'd against all Stormes. Soft sleepe shall close
Thy guarded eyes with undisturb'd repose.
The Great shall honour; the distressed shall
Thy grace implore: belov'd, or fear'd of all.
The sight of thee, shall strike the envious blind:
The wicked, with anxietie of Mind
Shall pine away; in sighes consume their breath:
Prevented in their hopes by sudden Death.
[Chap. 12] To whom thus Iob: You are the only wise;
And when you die the fame of wisedome dies.
Though Passion be a foole, though you professe
Your selves such Sages: yet know I no lesse,
Nor am to you inferior. What blind Soule
Could this not see? 'Tis easie to controule.
Page 17 My sad example shewes, how those whose cries
Even God regards, their scoffing Friends despise.
He that is wretched, though in life a Saint,
Becomes a scorne: This is an old Complaint.
Those who grow old in fluency and ease,
VVhen they from shore behold him tost on Seas,
And neere his ruine; his condition slight:
Pric'd as a Lamp consum'd with his owne light.
The Tents of Robbers flourish. Earths increase
Foments their ryot who disturb her peace.
VVho God contemne, in sinne securely raigne:
And prosperous Crimes the meed of Vertue gaine.
Aske thou the Citizens of pathlesse woods;
VVhat cut the ayre with wings, what swim in floods;
Brute beasts, and fostering Earth: in generall
They will confesse the power of God in all.
Who knowes not that his hands both good and ill
Dispense? that Fate depends upon his will?
All that have Life are subject to his sway:
And at his pleasure prosper, or decay.
Is not the Eare the Judge of Eloquence?
Gives not the Pallate to the Tast his sense?
Sure, knowledge is deriv'd from length of yeares:
And Wisedomes browes are cloth'd with Silver haires.
Gods power is as his prudence; equall great:
In Counsell, and Intelligence, compleat.
VVho can what he shall ruine, build againe?
Loose whom he binds? or his strong Arme restraine?
At his rebuke, the Living waters flye
To their old Springs, and leave their Channels dry:
When he commands, in Cataracts they roare:
And the wild Ocean leaves it selfe no shoare.
His Wisedome and his Power our thoughts transcend:
Both the Deceiver and deceiv'd depend
Vpon his beck: He those who others rule
Infatuates, and makes the Judge a foole:
Dissolves the Nerves of Empire, Kings deprives
Of Soveraignty; their Crownes exchang'd for gyves.
Impoverisht Nobles into exile leades:
And on the Carcases of Princes treads.
Takes from the Orator his eloquence;
From ancient Sages their discerning sense.
Subjects the worthy to contempt and wrong:
The valiant terrifies, disarmes the strong.
Vnvailes the secrets of the silent Night:
Brings, what the shades of death obscures, to light.
Page 18 A Nation makes more numerous then the Stars:
Againe devours with Famine, Plagues, and VVars.
Now, like a Deluge, they the Earth surround:
Forthwith, reduc'd into a narrow bound.
He Fortitude and Counsell takes away
From their Commanders: who in Deserts stray,
Grope in the Darke, and to no Seat confine
Their wandring feet; but reele as drunke with wine.
This by mine Eyes and eares have I convay'd
[Chap. 13] Downe to my heart: and in that Closet laid.
Need I in depth of knowledge yeild to you?
Is not as much to my discretion due?
Oh that th' All-seeing Judge, who cannot erre,
VVould heare me plead; and with a wretch conferre!
You Corrasives into my wounds distill:
And ignorant' Artists, with your physick kill.
Ah! shame you not to vent such forgeries?
Seale up your lips and be in silence wise.
And since you are by farre more fit to heare,
Then to instruct; afford my tongue an eare.
Oh will you wickedly for God dispute?
And by deceitfull wayes strive to confute?
Are you, in favour of his person, bent
Thus to prejudicate the Innocent?
Need's he an Advocate to plead his Cause?
To justifie untruth's against his Lawes?
Can you on him such falsities obtrude?
And as a Mortall the most wise delude?
VVill it availe you, when he shall remove.
Your painted vizors? will not he reprove,
And sharply punish; if in secret you,
For favour, or reward, Injustice doe?
Shall not his Excellence your Soules affright?
His Horrors on your heads like Thunder light?
Your memories to ashes must decay:
And your fraile bodies are but built of clay.
Forbeare to speake, till my Conceptions shall
Discharge their Birth; then let what will befall.
VVhy should I teare my flesh? cast of the care
Of future life? and languish in despaire?
Though God should kill me, I my confidence
On him would fixe; nor quit my owne defence.
He shall restore me by his saving might:
Nor shall the Hypocrite approach his sight.
Give me your eares, Oh you who were my Friends;
VVhile injur'd Innocence it selfe defends,
Page 19 I am prepar'd, and wish my Cause were try'd:
In full assurance to be justifi'd.
Begin; who will accuse? should I not speake
In such a truth, my heart with griefe would breake.
Just Judge, two lets remove: that free from dread,
I may before thy high Tribunall plead.
Oh let these torments from my flesh depart;
Nor with thy terrors daunt my trembling heart:
Then charge: so I my life may justifie:
And to my just complaint doe thou reply.
What Sinnes are those that so pollute my brest:
Oh shew how oft I have thy Lawes transgrest?
Wilt thou thy Servant of thy sight deprive,
And as an Enemy to Ruine drive?
Wilt thou a withered leafe to powder grind?
Tost in the aire by every breath of wind:
Or with thy Lightning into Ashes turne
Such worthlesse Stubble? only dry'd to burne.
Thou hast indited me of bitter Crimes:
Now punisht, for the faults of former times.
Lo! my restrained feet thy fetters wound;
Watcht with a Guard, and rooted in the ground.
Like rotten fruit I fall: worne like a cloth
Gnawne into rags by the devouring Moth.
[Chap. 14] Ah! few, and full of Sorrow, are the Dayes
Of Man from Woman sprung: His Life decayes,
Like that fraile flower which with the Sunnes uprise
Her bud unfolds; and with the Evening Dies.
He like an emptie Shadow glides away:
And all his Life is but a Winters Day.
Wilt thou thine Eye upon a vapour bend?
Or with so weake an opposite contend?
Who can a pure and Christall Current bring,
From such a muddy, and polluted Spring?
Oh, since his Dayes are numbred; since thou hast
Prescrib'd him bounds that are not to be past:
A little with his punishment dispence:
Till he have serv'd his time, and part from hence.
A tree, though hewne with axes to the ground,
Renew's his growth, and springs from his greene wound:
Although his root waxe old, his fivers dry;
Although the saplesse bole begin to dye;
Yet will at sent of Water freshly sprout:
And like a plant thrust his young Branches out.
But Man, when once cut downe; when his pale ghost
Fleets into aire; he is for ever lost.
Page 20 As Meteors vanish, which the Seas exhale;
As Torrents in the drouth of Summer faile:
So perisht Man from Death shall never rise;
But sleepe in silent Shades with seal'd-up Eyes:
While the Caelestiall Orbes in order roule,
And turne their flames about the stedfast Pole.
Oh that thou would'st conceale me in the Grave;
Immure with marble in that secret Cave,
Vntill the Tempest of thy wrath were past!
A time prefix, and thinke of me at last!
Can man recover his departed Breath?
I will expect untill my change in Death;
And answer at thy call: Thou wilt renew
VVhat thou hast ruin'd, and my feares subdue.
But now thou tell'st my Steps, mark'st when I erre:
Nor wilt the vengeance due to Sinne deferre.
Thou in a Bag hast my Transgressions seal'd:
And only by their Punishments reveal'd.
As Mountaines, tost by Earth-quakes, downe are throwne;
Rocks torne up by the roots: as hardest Stone
The softly-falling drops of water weare;
As Inundations all before them beare;
And leave the Earth abandoned: so shall
The aspiring hopes of Man to nothing fall.
Thy wrath prevailes against him every Day;
Whom with a changed Face thou send'st away:
Then knowes not if his Sonnes to honour rise;
Or struggle with their strong necessities.
But here his wasting Flesh with anguish burnes:
And his perturbed Soule within him mournes.
[Chap. 15] Iob paus'd: to whom the Themanite replies:
Can man such follies utter and be wise?
VVhich bluster from the Tempest of thy mind,
As if thy breast inclos'd the Easterne wind.
Wilt thou thy idle rage by Reason prove?
Or speake those Thoughts which have no power to move?
Thou from thy rebell Heart hast God exil'd;
Kept backe thy Prayers his sacred Truth revil'd.
Thy Lips declare thy owne impiety;
Accuse of fraud, condemne thee; and not I.
Art thou the first of Mortals? wert thou made
Before the Hils their lofty Browes display'd?
Hath God to thee his Oracles resign'd?
Is wisedome only to thy Breast confin'd?
What know'st thou that we know not? as compleat
In Natures graces; in acquir'd, as great.
Page 21 There are gray heads among us: Counsellers,
To whom thy Father was a Boy in Yeares.
Slight thou the Comforts we from God impart?
VVhat greater Secret lurkes in thy proud heart,
That hurries thee into these extasies?
VVhat fury flames in thy disdainfull Eyes?
VVilt thou a warre against thy Maker wage?
And wound him with thy tongues blasphemous rage?
VVas ever humane flesh from blemish cleare?
Can they be guiltlesse whom fraile women beare?
He trusteth not his Ministers of Light:
The radiant Stars shine dimnly in his Sight.
How perfect then is man? from head to foot
Defil'd with filth, and rotten at the root.
VVho poys'ning sinne with burning thirst devours:
As parched Earth sucks in the falling showers.
VVhat I have heard and seene (would'st thou intend
Thy cure) I would unto thy care commend;
VVhich oft the wise have in my thoughts reviv'd:
To them from knowing Ancestors deriv'd;
VVho God-like over happy Nations reign'd,
And Vertue by suppressing Vice sustein'd.
Th'Unjust his Dayes in painefull travell spends:
The Cruell sodainly to Death descends.
He starts at every sound that strikes his Eare:
And punishment anticipates by feare.
VVho from the heigth of all his Glory shall,
Like newly-kindled Exhalations, fall:
Despaires cold breath his springing hopes confounds:
VVho feeles th'expected sword before it wounds.
He begs his bread from doore to doore, and knowes
The Night drawes on that must his Day inclose.
Horror and anguish shall his soule affright;
Daunt like a King that drawes his Troops to fight.
Since he against the Almighty stretcht his hand,
And like a rebell spurn'd at his Command;
God shall upon his seven-fold target rush,
And his stiffe necke beneath his shoulders crush.
Though Luxury swell in his shining eyes,
And his fat belly load his yeilding thighes:
Though he dismantled Cities fortifie,
From their deserted ruines rais'd on high:
Yet his congested wealth shall melt like snow;
VVhose growth shall never to perfection grow.
Destruction shall surround him: nor shall he
His Soule from that darke night of Horror free:
Page 22 God with his breath shall all his Branches blast:
And scorch with lightning by his vengeance cast.
Will the deluded trust to vanitie?
And by the stroake of his owne folly die?
For he shall be cut downe before his time:
His spreading Branches wither in their prime.
Lo, as a storme which with the Sunne ascends,
From creeping vines their unripe clusters rends;
And the fat olive, ever greene with Leaves,
Together of her hopes and flowers bereaves:
So shall the great Revenger ruinate
Him and his Issue, by a dreadfull fate.
Those fooles who fraud with pietie disguise,
And by corrupting Bribes to Greatnesse rise;
Their Glories shall in desolation mourne:
While hungry flames their lofty structures burne.
With Mischiefe they conceive; their bellies great
With swelling Vanitie, bring forth Deceit.
[Chap. 16] Then Iob: How long wilt thou thus vexe mine eares!
You all are miserable Comforters.
Shall this vaine wind of words, ah! never end?
VVhy Eliphas should'st thou afflict thy Friend?
VVere you so lost in griefe, would I thus speake?
Such bruised hearts with harshinvectives breake?
VVould I accumulate your Miseries
VVith Scorne? and draw new Rivers from your Eyes?
Oh no, my language should your passions calme:
My words should drop into your wounds like balme.
But oh my frantick Sorrow finds no ease?
Complaints nor silence can their pangs appease!
Thou Lord hast my perplexed Soule deprest;
Bereft of all the comforts shee possest:
My Face thus furrowed with untimely age;
My pale and meagre lookes professe thy rage.
VVhose Ministers, like cunning foes, surprise;
Teare with theirteeth, transfix me with their eyes;
Against my peace combine: at once assaile.
VVith open mouthes, and impudently raile.
God hath deliver'd me into their Jawes
VVho hunt for spoile, and make their swords their Lawes.
Long saild I on smooth Seas, by fore-winds borne:
Now bulg'd on rocks, and by his Tempests torne.
He by the Neck hath hal'd, in pieces cut;
And set me as a marke on every Butt.
His Archers circle me; my reines they wound,
And, ruthlesse, shed my gall upon the ground.
Page 23 Behold! he ruines upon ruines heaps:
And on me like a furious Giant leaps.
For thus with sackcloth I invest my Woe:
And dust upon my clouded forehead throw.
My cheeks are guttered with my fretting teares:
And on my falling Eye-lids Death appeares.
Yet is my heart upright, my prayers sincere;
My guiltlesse Life from your aspersions cleare.
Reveale, oh Earth, the Blood that I have spilt:
Nor heare me, Heaven, if I be soil'd with guilt.
My conscience knowes her owne Integritie:
And that all-seeing Power inthron'd on high.
Yet you traduce me in my Miseries:
But I to God erect my weeping Eyes.
Would I before him might my cause defend;
And argue as a mortall with his friend:
Since I ere long that precipice must tread,
VVhence none returne, that leads unto the Dead.
[Chap. 17] My spirits are infected, and my Tombe
Yawnes to devoure mee; my last Dayes are come.
Yet you with bitter scorne my pangs increase:
Nor, ah! will suffer me to die in peace.
VVhat Advocate will take your cause in hand;
And for you at the high Tribunall stand?
Since God your erring soules deprives of sense;
Nor will exalt you in your owne defence.
His Children shall their dayes in sorrow end,
VVhose tongue with flattery deludes his Friend.
I to the vulgar am become a Jest:
Esteemed as a Minstrell at a Feast.
My sleeplesse eyes their splendor quench in teares:
My tortur'd body to a shadow weares.
This, in the Righteous wonder shall excite:
The Innocent shall hate the Hypocrite.
He in the path prescrib'd shall boldly goe:
And his untainted strength shall stronger grow.
Revoke your wandring Censures, nor despise
The wretched: you who seeme, but are not wise.
My flying houres arrive at their last date:
My thoughts and fortunes buryed in my fate.
How soone my shortned Day is chang'd to Night!
Abortive Darknesse veiles my setting Light.
Oh can your counsell his despaire deferre,
VVho now is housed in his Sepulchre?
I, in the shades of death my Bed have made.
Corruption thou my Father art, I said,
Page 24 And thou, O Worme, my Mother: by thy Birth
My Sister; borne, and nourished by Earth.
Where now are all my hopes? oh never more
Shall they revive! nor Death her rapes restore!
But to the graves infernall prison must
With me descend, and rot in shrouds of Dust.
[Chap. 18] To whom thus Bildad: when wilt thou forbeare
To clamor, and afford a patient eare?
Do'st thou as beasts thy ancient friends despise?
Are we so vile and triviall in thine Eyes?
Oh miserable Man, by thy owne rage
In pieces torne: can fury griefe asswage?
Will God for thee the govern'd Earth forsake?
His purpose change, and Rocks asunder shake?
He shall their light extinguish who decline
From Vertues pathes: their sparkes shall cease to shine.
The Wicked shall be compassed about
With Darknesse: and his oylelesse Lamp flye-out.
His wasted strength unthought-of mischiefes shall
Intrap; and he by his owne counsels fall.
His desperate feet their Lord to Ruine lead:
And on prepared Engines rashly tread.
The Hunter shall intangle in his Toyle;
And rav'nous theeves of all his Substance spoile:
Snares, spread with tempting baits, for him shall lay;
And dig concealed Pit-fals in his way.
A thousand horrors shall his Soule affright,
Encounter; and pursue his guilty flight.
Destruction shall upon his Steps attend;
And famines rage into his guts descend:
Shee shall the Sinewes of his strength devoure,
And Death's First borne shall crop him in his flower:
Cut of his confidence; and to the King
Of Terrors, his accused Conscience, bring.
Driven from the House, unjustly cal'd his owne;
By rapine got: which flaming sulphure, throwne
From Heaven, shall burne: his roote within the ground
Shall wither, and the axe his branches wound.
He and his dying memory shall rot;
His name even by the present Age forgot.
From light into perpetuall Darknesse hurl'd;
And; as a Mischiefe, chast out of the World.
No Sonne, or Nephew shall supply his place:
Himselfe the last of his accursed Race.
Posteritie, as those then living shall
With wonder tremble at his fearefull fall.
Page 25 So tragicall and merited a fate
Shall swallow those, who God and Justice hate.
How long, said Iob, will you with bitter words
[Chap. 19] Thus wound my Soule? your tongues more sharpe then swords,
Ten times have you aspersions on me throwne:
Your selves, as Strangers, without blushing showne.
If I have sinn'd, my Sinnes with me remaine:
And I alone the punishment sustaine.
It is inhumane crueltie in you
Thus to insult; and his reproach pursue
Whom Gods owne hand hath cast unto the ground:
And in a Labyrinth of Sorrow wound.
Vnheard are my Complaints: my cries the wind
Drives through the aire: my wrongs no Judgement find.
God, with besieging Troopes, prevents my flight:
And folds my paths in shades more darke then night.
Hath stript me of my Glory; my Renowne
Eclips'd: and from my Temples torne my Crowne.
On every side destroy'd; trod under foot:
I, as a plant, am puld up by the Root.
His indignation like a furnace glowes
Who, as a foe at me his lightning throwes.
All his assembled Plagues at once devoure:
And round about my tents incampe their Power.
My Mothers Sonnes desert me: left alone
By my Familiars; by my Friends unknowne.
My Kindred faile me: these alone depend
On fortunes smiles; the wretched finds no friend.
Those of my Family their Master slight:
Growne despicable in my hand-maids sight.
I of my churlish servants am unheard:
My sufferings, nor Intreaties, they regard.
My Wife neglects me; though desir'd to take
Some pitie on me, for our Childrens sake.
By idle Boyes, and Idiots vilifi'd:
VVho me, and my Calamities deride.
My Intimates farre from my sight remove:
Those, whom I favor'd most, ungratefull prove.
My skin cleaves to my Bones: of this remaines
No part entire, but what my teeth containes.
Oh my hard-hearted friends! take some remorse
Of him, whom God hath made a Living Corse.
VVill you with God in my afflictions joyne?
VVil't not suffice that I in Torments pine?
Oh that the words I speake were registred
VVrit in a Booke, for ever to be read!
Page 26 Or that the tenor of my just complaint
Were sculpt with steele on Rocks of Adamant!
For my Redeemer lives: I know he shall
Descend to Earth, and man to Judgement call.
Though wormes devoure me, though I turne to mold;
Yet in my flesh I shall his face behold.
I from my marble Monument shall rise
Againe entire, and see him with these Eyes:
Though sterne diseases now consume my Reines;
And drinke the blood out of my shrivel'd veines.
T'were better said: why should we persecute
Our friend; whose cause is solid at the Roote?
Oh feare the sword; for punishments succeed
Our Trespasses; and crueltie must bleed.
[Chap. 20] Thus answer'd the incenst Nahamathite:
I had beene silent, but thy words excite
My strugling thoughts to vindicate the wrong
Cast on our zeale by thy reproachfull tongue.
This is a truth which with the world began;
Since earth was first inhabited by man:
Sinn's triumph in swift misery concludes;
And flattering joy the Hypocrite deludes.
Although his excellence to Heaven aspire;
Though radiant Beames his shining Browes attire;
He, as his dung, shall perish on the ground:
Nor shall the impression of his Steps be found;
But like a troubled Dreame shall take his flight:
And vanish as a Vision of the Night.
No mortall Eye shall see his face againe:
Nor sumptuous roofes their builder entertaine.
If he have Children, they shall serve the poore:
And goods by rapine got, enforc't, restore.
The punishments of Luxury and Lust
Shall eate his Bones; nor leave him in the Dust.
Though vice, like sweet confections, please his tast;
Although betweene his tongue and pallate plac'd:
Though he preserve, and chew it with delight;
Nor bridle his licentious appetite:
Yet shall it in his boyling Stomack turne
To bitter poyson; and like wild-fire burne.
He shall cast up the wealth by him devour'd,
Like vomit from his yawning Entrailes powr'd:
The gall of Aspes with thirsty lips suck in;
The Vipers deadly teeth shall pierce his skin:
Nor ever shall those happy Rivers know,
Which with pure oyle and fragrant honey flow.
Page 27 The Riches purchas'd by his Care and sweat,
He shall resigne; nor of his Labors eate:
But restitution to the value make;
Nor joy in his extorted treasure take.
Since he the poore forsooke; the weake opprest;
The Mansion, by another built, possest:
His Belly never shall be satisfi'd;
Nor he with his adored wealth supply'd.
Of all his Sustenance at once bereft:
No Heire shall strive to inherit what is left.
He, in the pride of his full Glory, shall
To Earth descend; and by the wicked fall.
About to feed; Jehova's flaming Ire
Shall blast his hopes, and mixe his food with fire.
While from the raging sword he vainely flyes,
A Bow of Steele shall fixe his trembling thighes.
Darts through his flowing gall shall force their way:
Eternall terrors shall his Soule dismay.
Thick darknesse shall infold; a fire unblowne
Devoure his Race, by their misfortunes knowne.
Heaven shall reveale his close impieties:
And Earth, by him defil'd, against him rise.
His Substance in that Day of wrath shall waste;
Like sodaine Torrents from steepe Mountaines cast.
This is the Portion of the Hypocrite:
Such Horrors shall on the Blasphemer light.
[Chap. 21] The Huzite sigh'd, and said: my words attend
Afford this only comfort to your friend.
Suffer my tongue to speake my thoughts: and then
Renew your scoffes: doe I complaine to Men?
Since God such dreadfull Armes against me beares:
Oh why should I suppresse my sighes and teares!
My sufferings with astonishment survay:
And on your silent lips your fingers lay.
For should my Enemy endure the like;
The Story would my Soule with horror strike.
Why live the wicked? they by vices thrive;
Saile on smooth Seas, and at their port arrive:
Confirme a long succession; and behold
Their numerous off-spring: in excesse grow old.
Their Houses on secure foundations stand:
Nor are they humbled by the Almighties hand.
Their lusty Bulls serve not their Kine in vaine:
Their Calves the Breeders their full time retaine.
Abroad like flocks their little ones they send:
Their Children dance, in active Sports contend;
Page 28 Strike the melodious Harpe, shrill Timbrels ring:
And to the warbling Lute soft Ditties sing.
Life is to them a long-continued Feast:
And sleepe is not more calme then Deaths arrest.
To God they say; Enjoy thy Heaven alone:
Be thou to us, as we to thee, unknowne.
For what is he, that we should him obey?
Or fruitlesse vowes before his Altar pay?
Yet their Felicitie from him proceeds:
Nor am I culpable of their misdeeds.
When are their tapers quencht? doe they expire,
Struck by the Thunderer, with Darts of fire?
How oft are they like chaffe by whirl-winds tost?
Or early Blossomes bitten by the Frost?
When are their Vices punish't in their seed?
When for their owne offences doe they bleed?
How often tread destructions horrid Path?
And drinke the dregs of the Revengers wrath?
Care they for their deserted Families;
When Deaths all-curing hand shall close their eyes?
Shall Man his Maker teach, who sits on high;
And swayes the worlds inferior Monarchy?
Two Men at once behold: the one possest
Of his desires, with peace and plenty blest:
From whose swolne breast a streame of milke distils;
Whose bones high feeding with hot marrow fils:
The other, miserable from his birth:
A burthen to himselfe, and to the Earth.
Who never could his Hungers rage suffice.
That in perfection; This in Sorrow dies.
Yet Death, more equall; these extreames conformes;
And covers their corrupting flesh with wormes.
I know your Councels; can your thoughts detect:
The forged Crimes you purpose to object.
Where are, say you, those Palaces that blas'd
With burnisht Gold, on carved Columns rais'd?
Built on the Ruines of the poore; the soile
By extortion purchas'd; and adorn'd with spoile?
Be judg'd by travellers: they will confute
What falsely you suggest, and strike you mute.
For these, and those, who high in Vice command,
Against the Thunders rage securely stand:
And flourish in the Day of wrath, when all
About them by the stroake of Slaughter fall.
Who dare against the great in Mischiefe plead?
Or turne his Injuries upon his head?
Page 29 They shall his Corps with funerall Pompe interre:
And lodge him in a sumptuous Sepulchre.
The Flowers which in the cirkling valley grow,
Shall on his Monument their odors throw.
All that survive shall follow him; and tread
That common path, b'innumerable led.
Why vainely then pretend you my reliefe?
And with false comforts aggravate my griefe?
[Chap. 22] Can Man his Maker benefit (replide
The THEMANITE) as he by wisedomes guide.
May his owne joyes advance? can he delight
From him receive, because his heart's upright?
Availes it him that thou from vice art cleare?
Makes he thee guilty? or condemnes for feare?
No Iob, thy Sinnes these punishments beget:
Thy Sinnes which are as infinite as great.
Thou of their garments oft hast stript the poore;
Thy Brothers pledge refusing to restore:
No water would'st unto the thirsty give;
Nor with thy bread the Hungry Soule relieve:
While mighty men, and those who more possest
Then serv'd for Ryot, surfeit at thy feast.
Sad widowes, by thee rifled, weepe in vaine:
And ruin'd Orphants of thy Rapes complaine.
For this unthought of snares begirt thee round;
And sodaine feares thy troubled Soule confound:
Darke clouds before thine Eyes their Vapors spread;
And thronging Billowes roule above thy head.
Perhaps these fumes from thy distemper rise:
Sits not Jehova on the arched Skies?
Behold the Stars, which underneath display
Their sparkling fires; how farre remov'd are they?
What can he at so great a distance know?
Can he from thence behold our deeds below?
Thicke interposing Mists his eye-sight bound:
Who free from trouble treads th'Etheriall Round.
Hast thou observ'd those crooked paths, wherein
They blindly wander who are slaves to Sin?
Snatcht from their hopes by an untimely end:
Cast downe like Torrents, never to ascend.
Who said to God; us to our fortunes leave:
From thee what benefit doe we receive?
Yet he their Houses with aboundance stor'd.
With Showers of Gold: the God their soules ador'd.
Oh how my Soule, their wicked Counsell hates!
The Righteous shall behold their tragick fates;
Page 30 Joy at their early-Ruine: then deride
Their flattered Glory, and now-humbled Pride.
But we, and ours, shall flourish in his Grace;
When searching Flames devoure their cursed Race.
Consult with God; thy troubled mind compose:
So he shall give a period to thy woes.
Receive the Lawes his sacred Lips impart:
And lodge them in the closet of thy heart.
If thou returne; he will thy fall erect:
Nor shall contagious Sinne thy Roofe infect.
Then shalt thou gather shining heaps of Gold,
As pebles which the purling Streames infold:
Trod under foot like dust. Thy God shall be
A Silver shield, a Tower of Gold to thee.
For thou on him shalt thy affections place:
And humbly to his Throne exalt thy face.
Thou at his Altar shalt devoutly pray:
He shall consent; and thou thy vowes shalt pay.
He shall thy wishes to fruition raise:
And shed celestiall Beames upon thy Wayes.
When Men are from their Noone of Glory throwne;
And under Sinne and Sorrowes burthen grone:
Then shalt thou say; Th'Almighty from the grave
Hath me redeem'd: He will the humble save.
Those guilty Soules who languish in Dispaire,
God shall restore; and strengthen at thy Prayer.
[Chap. 23] Then Iob: though my complaints observe no bounds;
Yet Oh, how farre lesse bitter then my wounds!
Would his divine Recesse to me were knowne;
That I at length might plead before his Throne.
I would such waighty arguments inforce,
As should convert his Fury to Remorse.
Then should my longing Soule his answer heare:
Would be object his power? or daunt with feare?
Oh no, his Goodnesse rather would impart
New vigor, and repaire my broken Heart.
He would the Plea of Innocence admit:
And me for ever by his Sentence quit.
But is not to be found: though I should runne
To those disclosing Portals of the Sunne;
And walke his way, untill his Horses steepe
Their fiery fetlocks in the Iberian Deepe:
Or should I to the opposed Poles repaire;
Where equall cold congeales the fixed aire:
And yet his searching Eyes my paths behold
When he hath try'd me I shall shine like gold:
Page 31 For in his tract my wary feet have stept;
His undeclined wayes precisely kept:
Nor ever, have revolted from his Lawes:
To me more sweet then food to hungry Jawes.
But he is still the same: (oh who can shun,
Or change his Fate!) what he decrees is done.
This truth behold in me: His Misteries
Are Sacred, and conceal'd from mortall Eyes.
I therefore tremble at his dreadfull sight:
Distracted thoughts my troubled Soule affright.
For oh, his terror melts my heart to teares;
Dissolves my braine, and harrowes me with feares.
Who neither would by Death prevent my woes;
Nor ease my Soule in these her bitter Throes.
[Chap. 24] Why are the punishments by God decreed
To wicked men, and their rebellious Seed,
Since times to come are present in his sight,
Conceal'd from those who in his Lawes delight?
Some slily markes remove from bordering Lands;
Feed on the Flocks they purchase, with strange hands:
The Orphants only Asse they drive away;
And make the Widowes morgag'd Oxe their prey:
Who force the frighted poore to turne aside;
Whom milder Rocks in their darke Cavernes hide.
Like Asses in the Desert, they their Toile
With Day renew; and rise betimes for Spoile.
The barren Wildernesse presents them food
To feed themselves, and their adulterate brood.
Their Sicklers reape the Corne another sowes:
They drinke the Blood which from stolne clusters flowes.
The poore, by them disrobed, naked Lie:
Veild with no other covering but the skie.
Expos'd to stiffning frosts, and drenching showers,
Which thickned Aire from her blacke bosome powres:
To Torrents which from cloudy Mountaines spring;
And to the hanging Cliffs for shelter cling.
They from their mothers Breasts poore Orphants rend;
Nor without gages to the needy lend.
For want of clothes they force them starve with cold:
From hungry Reapers they their sheaves withhold.
Those faint for thirst who in their vintage toyle;
And from the juicie Olive presse pure oyle.
Oppressed Cities grone; the wounded cry
To Heaven for Vengeance: yet in peace they die.
Others, that truth oppose; despise the way
Of her prescriptions, and in Darknesse stray:
Page 32 Sterne Murtherers, that rise before the light
To kill the Innocent; and rob at night:
Vncleane Adulterers, whose longing Eyes
VVaite for the twy-light; enter in disguise,
And say, who sees us? Theeves who daily marke
Those Houses which they plunder in the Darke:
These Strangers are to light; the Morning Rayes
By them are hated as their last of Dayes:
The Agonies of Death are on them, when
They are but knowne, or spoken of by Men:
And yet they perish by Jehova's Curse;
And faile like roaring floods that have no Sourse.
Vnlike the generous Vine, which cut, abounds
With budding Jems; and prospers in her wounds.
As scorching heat the mountaine snow devours;
As thirsty Earth drinks up the falling Showres:
Even so the Graves insatiable Jawes
Those Rebels swallow, who infringe his Lawes.
The Wombs that bare, their Burthens shall forget:
And greedy wormes their flesh with pleasure eate.
No tongue or Pen shall mention their Renowne:
But lye like trees by sodaine Stormes cast downe.
The barren they more miserable make:
And from the Widow all her Comfort take.
The Mighty fall in their seditious strife:
When once they rise, who can secure his life?
Though they be resolute and confident:
Yet are Jehova's eyes upon them bent.
But oh, how short their glory! rais'd to fall:
Lost in the Ashes of their funerall.
For they as others die: like Eares of Corne
By lightning blasted; or with sickles shorne.
Who doubts these contraries? who will dispute
Against me? and my Instances confute?
[Chap. 25] SHVETIAN BILDAD made this short reply:
Dominion, and awefull Majestie,
To him belong, who crown'd with sacred Rayes,
The Host of Heaven in perfect concord swayes.
VVho can his Armies number? infinite,
And full of Fate! on whom shines not his light?
Can Mortals righteous in his Eyes appeare?
Can they be spotlesse whom fraile women beare?
To him the radiant Sunne is but obscure;
The Moone still in Eclipse; the Stars impure.
VVhat then is Man? polluted in his Birth;
An uncleane Worme that crawles upon the Earth?
Page 33 [Chap. 26] All tongues, said Iob, of thy perfections speake;
Thou he that renders vigor to the weake:
Thy strength the feeble Arme with Nerves supplies;
Thou by thy Counsell makes the foolish wise:
No secret from thy Knowledge is conceal'd;
Caelestiall Oracles by thee reveal'd.
To whom art thou so prodigall of breath?
Or by what vertue do'st thou raise from Death?
Gods Workes, Oh Bildad, we admire no lesse:
His prudence in their Government confesse.
Dead things within the Deepe were form'd by him;
And all that in the curled Ocean swim.
The silent vaults of Death, unknowne to Light;
And Hell it selfe, lye naked to his sight.
He fashion'd those Harmonious Orbs, that roule
In restlesse Gyres about the Artick Pole.
The massie Earth, supported by his Care,
On nothing hangs in soft and fluent Aire.
He in thicke Clouds the pendant water binds;
Not thaw'd with heat, nor torne with strugling winds:
Before his radiant Throne like Curtaines spred;
Yet at his becke in showres their substance shed.
With constant bounds the raging floods confines;
Till Day his Throne to endlesse Night resignes.
Heavens Columns, when his Stormes and Thunder rake
The troubled Aire, with sodaine Horror shake.
Lo, at his Breath the swelling waves divide:
His awefull Scepter calmes their vanquish't pride.
Whose hand the adorned Firmament displai'd;
Those Serpentine yet constant Motions, made.
These but in part his power and wisedome show:
For Oh how little doe we Mortals know!
Although his Fame resound through all the world;
Like Thunder from aëriall vapors hurl'd.
[Chap. 27] They silenc't, Iob proceeds in his Defence:
As the Lord Lives, who knowes my Innocence;
Yet will not judge: but hath my Soule depriv'd
Of all her Joyes; to Misery long-liv'd:
VVhile these my vitall Spirits shall receive
The food of Aire, and through my Nostrils breath:
No falsehood shall defile my Lips with Lies:
Or with a vaile the face of Truth disguise.
Nor will I wound my cleare Integritie,
By yeilding to your wrongs, but rather die.
Shall I my selfe betray, my Strength refuse,
Desert my Justice, and my truth accuse?
Page 34 First may I sinke by Torments yet unknowne:
That those which now I suffer may seeme none.
Let such as hate me in their Sinnes rejoyce;
And surfeit with the pleasant Baites of Vice:
What hope hath the prevailing Hypocrite,
When God shall chase his Soule to endlesse Night?
Will God relieve him in his Agonies?
Or from the Depth of Sorrow heare his Cries?
Will he in God delight, his aide implore
Incessantly, and his great Name adore?
Oh be instructed by these Characters
Of his impression, which my Body beares!
I his more secret Judgements will disclose:
Which you have seene, yet desperately oppose.
This is the Portion which the wicked hath;
He shall inherit the Almighties wrath:
The lawlesse Sword his Childrens blood shall shed;
Increast for slaughter; borne to begge their bread.
Death shall the Remnant in his Dungeon keepe:
No Widow at his funerall shall weepe.
Although he gather Gold like heaps of Dust,
The fuell of his Luxury and Lust:
His Cabinets with change of Garments fraught
By silke-wormes spun, and Phrygian Needles wrought:
Yet for the Just reserv'd; who shall divide
His Treasure, and divest him of his pride.
Though he his House of polisht Marble build;
VVith Jasper floor'd, and carved Cedar seil'd:
Yet shall it ruine like the Moth's fraile cell;
Or sheds of Reedes, which Summers heat repell.
He shall lye downe, neglected, as unknowne:
And when he wakes, see nothing of his owne.
Terrors, like swallowing Deluges, shall fright:
Swept from his Bed by Tempests in the Night:
Like scatter'd Downe by howling Eurus blowne;
By rapid Hurl-winds from his Mansion throwne.
God shall transfix him with his winged Dart:
Though he avoyd him like the flying Hart:
Men shall pursue with merited disgrace;
Hiss, clap their hands, and from his Country chase.
[Chap. 28] There are rich Veines of Gold, and silver Mines;
VVhose Ore the fire in crucibles refines.
So dig'd up Ir'on is in the furnace blowne:
And Brasse extracted from the melting Stone.
Men through the wounded Earth inforce their way;
And shew the under Shades an unknowne Day:
Page 35 While from her bowels they her Treasure teare;
And to their avarice subject their feare.
Their they with Subterranean Waters meet;
And Currents, never touch't by humane feet:
These, by their bold endeavors, are made dry;
And from the Industry of Mortals flye.
The Earth with yellow eares her browes attires;
Although her Jawes exhale imbosom'd fires.
Torne Rocks the sparkling Diamond unfold;
The blushing Ruby, and pure graines of Gold.
Those gloomy vaults no wandring foule descries:
Nor are they pierced by the Vultures eyes.
Swift Tygres, which in pathlesse Deserts stray,
Nor solitary Lyons tread that way.
Their restlesse Labors cleave the living Stone:
Cloud-touching Mountaines by their Roots ore'throwne.
New streames through wondering Rocks their tract pursue;
VVhile they the Magazines of Nature view:
VVho swelling Floods with narrow bounds inclose;
And what in Darknesse lurkt, to Light expose.
But where above the Earth, or under ground,
Can VVisedome by the search of Man be found?
Her worth his estimation farre excels:
Conceal'd from sence, nor with the living dwels.
The Seas reply; shee lies not in our Deeps:
Nor in our floods her radiant tresses steeps.
Nor are her rare endowments to be sold
For silver Hils; or Rivers pav'd with gold.
Nor for the glittering sand by Ophir showne;
The blew-ey'd Saphir, or rich Onix stone:
For Rocks of Christall from the Ocean brought:
Nor Jewels by the rarest workeman wrought.
Can blazing Carbuncles with her compare?
Or groves of Corrall hardned by the Aire?
The Tophas sent from scorched Meroë?
Or Pearles presented by the Indian Sea?
VVhence comes shee? from what undiscover'd Land?
Or where doth her concealed palace stand?
Since O, invisible to mortall Eye:
Or winged Travellers that trace the skie.
Death and Destruction say; her fame alone
Hath reach'd our Eares; but to our Eyes unknowne.
God onely understands her sacred wayes:
The Temple knowes where shee her Light displayes.
For he at once the Orbe of Earth beholds;
And all that Heav'ns blew Canopie infolds:
Page 36 To measure out the strugling Winds by weight;
That else the world would teare in their debate:
And bridle the wilds Floods; least they their bound
Againe should passe, and all the Earth surrown'd.
When he in Clouds the dropping waters hung,
And through their roaring jawes his Lightning flung;
Then he beheld her face, her light displaid,
Prepar'd her paths, and thus to Mortals said:
The feare of God is wisedome; and to flye
From Evill, is of vertues the most high.
[Chap. 29] Iob paus'd; forthwith these words his sigh's pursue:
O that those happy Dayes would now renew;
When God beneath his shield my safety plac'd!
When his cleare lamp a sacred Splendor cast
About my Browes? by whose directing light
I trod securely through the Shades of Night?
That now I had what I in youth possest,
VVhen he my Mansion with his presence blest!
VVhen those who from my veines deriv'd their blood,
Like springing Lawrels round about me stood!
VVhen Butter washt my Steps, when Streames of oyle
Gusht from the Rocks, and Plenty free from toyle!
VVhen through the gazing Streets I past in State
To my Tribunall, in the Cities Gate!
The blushing Youth their vertuous awe disclose,
And from their Seats the reverend Elders rose.
Attentive Princes such a silence kept,
As if their Soules had in their Bodies slept.
Th'astonish't Nobles stood like men that were
Depriv'd of all their Sences but the eare.
All eares that heard, my equall Justice prais'd:
All eyes that saw, their Lids with wonder rais'd.
I from Oppressors did the Poore defend;
The Fatherlesse, and such as had no friend.
Those sav'd, whom wicked Power sought to destroy:
And made the widowes heart to spring with joy.
I put on Truth: shee cloth'd me with renowne:
My Justice was to me a precious Crowne.
Eyes lent I to the blind; feet to the Lame:
A Father to the Comfortlesse became.
I search't what from my knowledge was conceal'd:
And clouded Truth by her owne light reveal'd.
Oft with my Scepter brake the Lyons jawes
And snatcht the prey out of his armed pawes.
Then said; my Dayes shall as the Sand increase:
And I in my owne nest shall dye in peace.
Page 37 My Root was by the living water spred:
And Night her dew upon my Branches shed.
My Glories Crescent to a Circle grew:
And I my Bow with doubled vigor drew.
When I but spake, they hung upon my looke:
And as an Oracle my Counsell tooke.
None spake but I; each his owne Judgement feares:
My words like honey dropt into their eares;
Which readily with joy they entertaine,
As Yawning Earth devoures the latter Raine.
Although I smil'd, none would my thoughts suspect:
Nor on my Mirth a frowning looke reflect:
But trod the path which I their Chiefe propos'd.
I King-like sate, with armed troopes inclos'd:
Gave timely Comforts to the Soule that mourn'd;
Rais'd from the Dust, and teares to Laughter turn'd.
[Chap. 30] O bitter change! now Boyes my grones deride;
The wretched object of their scorne and pride:
Whose Fathers I unworthy held to keepe,
With lesse contemned Dogs, my Flocks of sheepe.
How could their youth to my advantage turne?
Or elder age, with weakning vices worne?
Who, pale with famine, to the Desert fled;
On roots of Juniper and Mallowes fed:
Whom Men from their Societie exclude;
Detested, and like Theeves with cryes pursu'd:
Conceal'd in hollow Rocks, in gloomy Caves,
And Cliffes deepe vaulted by the fretting waves:
Among the Bushes they like Asses braide:
And in the Brakes their Conventicles made.
The Sonnes of Idiots, of ignoble Birth:
Contaminate, and viler then the Earth.
Yet now am I obnoxious to their wrongs:
A By-word, and the Subject of their song's.
Who exercise their tongues in my disgrace;
Abhorre my paths, and spit upon my face.
They, ever since the inrag'd omnipotent
Dissolv'd my Sinewes, and my Bowunbent;
Like head-strong Horses, twixt their teeth have tane
The masterd Bridle, and contemn'd the reyne.
Lo, Boyes against me rise, and strow my way
With Snares; then watch the cruell traps they lay:
Who now my path's pervert; their hate extend
To multiply his woes, that hath no friend.
As Seas against the Shores strong Rampires stretch
Their battering waves, and force a dreadfull breach:
Page 38 With equall fury they upon me roule;
Even to the desolation of my soule.
Besieging Terrors storme-like roare aloud;
Pursue, and chase me like an emptie Cloud.
O how my soule is powr'd upon the ground!
Full growne Affliction hath a subject found.
Torments by Night my wasted marrow boyle:
My Pulses labour with unequall toyle.
My soares pollute my garments: Plagues infest
My poysoned skin, and like a Coat invest.
O I am Dust and Ashes! Lord, thou hast
Downe in the durt the broken-hearted cast.
Thy eares the incense of my prayers reject:
No teares nor vowes can alter thy neglect.
Ah! hast thou lost thy mercy! Wilt thou fight
Against a worme, and in his groanes delight!
Thou setst me on the winds; with every blast
Tost too and fro, while I to nothing wast.
I see my Death approach: I to the wombe
Of earth am cal'd, of all the generall Tomb.
Thou never wilt the Dead to Life restore:
Though heere in Sorrow they thy grace implore.
How oft have I for those that suffer'd, wept!
Afflicted for the poore, when others slept:
Yet when I lookt for joy, for cheerefull light;
Then griefe fell on, and shades more blacke than night.
My tortur'd Bowels found no hower of rest:
By troopes of sodaine miseries opprest.
Unknowne to Day, I mourn'd: my clamors tare
The eares soft Labyrinth, and cleft the Aire.
The hissing Dragon, and the screeching Owle,
Became Companions to my pensive Soule.
My flesh is cover'd with a vaile of jet:
And all my Bones consume with burning heat.
My Harp her mournfull Straines in Sorrow steep's.
My Organ sighes sad aires, as one that weepes.
[Chap. 31] I with my Eyes a Covenant made, that they
Should not my Soule, nor she their lights betray
To the deceit of sin: why then should I
Behold a Virgin with a burning eye?
What Judgements are reserv'd, what Vengeance due
To those, who their intemperate Lusts pursue!
Destruction and eternall Ruine shall
From Heaven, like lightning, on the wicked fall.
Do not his searching Eyes my wayes behold?
Are not my steps by him observ'd and told?
Page 39 If tempting Sinne could ever yet entice
My feet to wander in the Quest of Vice:
Let that great Arbiter of Wrong and Right:
Waigh in his Scales; and cast me if to light.
If I from vertues path have stept awry;
Or let my heart be govern'd by mine eye:
If I, oh Justice, have thy Rites profan'd;
If bribes or guiltlesse blood my hands have stain'd:
Then let another reape what I have sowne;
Nor let my Race be to the Living knowne.
If ever woman could to sinne allure;
If I have waited at my Neighbours doore:
Let my laicivious wife with others grin'd;
And by her lust repay my guilt in kind.
This were a hainous crime; so foule a fact,
As would due vengeance from the Judge exact:
A wasting fire, which violently burnes;
And all to povertie and ruine turnes.
If I by Power my Servants should oppresse;
Nor would their crying Grievances redresse:
What should I doe, or say, when God shall come
To judge the world, that might divert his Doome?
Both made he in the wombe, of equall worth:
Though to unequall Destiny brought forth.
If from the poore I did their hopes detaine;
Or made the widowes Eyes expect in vaine:
If I alone have at my Table fed;
Or from the fatherlesse withheld my bread:
Nor fosterd from my youth, their wants supplide;
To him a father, and to her a guide:
If I have seene the naked starve for cold;
While Avarice my Charitie controld:
If their cloth'd Loines have not my bounty blest;
Warme with the fleeces which my flocks divest:
If I my armes have rais'd to crush the weake;
The Judge prepar'd, the witnesse taught to speake:
Be all their ligaments at once unbound;
And their disjoynted bones to powder grownd.
Divine Revenge my Soule from sinne deterr'd:
For I the anger of th'Almighty fear'd.
I never Idolized Gold embrac'd:
Nor said; In thee my Confidence is plac'd.
Nor on decitfull Riches fixt my heart;
Together scrap'd by no omitted Art.
If when I saw the early Sunne ascend,
Or the new Moone her silver hornes extend;
Page 40 I bowing kist my hand, those Lights ador'd
As Deities, and their releife implor'd.
The Sinne had beene flagitious; and had cry'd
To him for vengeance whom my Deed's defi'd.
Have I with joy beheld my ruin'd foe?
Have I exulted in his overthrow?
Or in the tempest of my passion burst
Into offences, and his Issue curst?
Though my Domesticks said; oh let us teare
His hated flesh, nor after death forbeare.
Who made the Stones their bed, or sigh'd for food,
If knowne? my house to strangers open stood.
Suppose I were corrupt, and foule within:
Yet to what end should I disguise my Sinne?
Need I so much contempt or censure dread;
As not to speake my thoughts, or hide my head?
Where shall I meet with an indifferent Eare?
Oh that the Soveraigne Judge my Cause would heare,
Peruse the Adversaries evidence;
Try, and determine, my suppos'd offence!
I on my shoulders their complaints would beare:
And as a Diadem their Slanders weare.
More like a Prince then a Delinquent, would
Approach his presence; and my life unfold.
If the usurped Fields against me cry;
Their ravisht Furrowes weepe: if ever I
Have forced from them their unpaid for Graine;
Their Husbandmen, and ancient Owners slaine:
For wheat, let thistles from their clods ascend;
For barley, cockle. Iobs complaints here end.
[Chap. 32] Nor would his Friends proceed in their replyes;
Since he appear'd so pure in his owne Eyes.
When Elihu Barachels sonne, who drew
His Birth from Aram, much incensed grew:
Not only against Iob, that durst defend
His Innocency, and with God contend:
But with his three austere Companions; since
They would condemne before they could convince.
When he perceiv'd the rest no answer made,
But like dumb Statues sate; the Buzite said:
Till now I durst not venture to unfold
My labouring thoughts, to you that are so old.
For gray Experience is with wisedome fraught;
And sacred knowledge by the aged taught.
Yet oh, how darke is mans presuming sence,
Not lightned with caelestiall Influence!
Page 41 The great in Honor are not alwayes wise:
Nor Judgement under silver Tresses lies.
Since so; at length vouchsafe to heare a youth,
And his opinion, in the search of Truth.
For I your words have weigh'd, your reasons heard;
The Instances by each of you inferr'd:
And yet in all the heate of your dispute,
Not one could answer Iob; much lesse confute.
Know therefore, least too rashly you conclude,
It is not Man, but God that hath subdu'd.
Against me Iob did not his speech direct:
No more will I your Arguments object.
You all were at his Confidence amaz'd;
And silently upon each other gaz'd:
VVhen I your answers had expected long,
Nor could discerne the motion of a tongue;
I said; behold I now will act my part,
And utter the Conceptions of my heart.
My Soule is rapt with fury; and my brest
Containes a flame, that will not be supprest.
My Bowels boyle like wine that hath no vent;
Ready to breake the swelling Continent.
Words therefore must my toiling thoughts relieve;
And to restrained Truth inlargement give.
No personall Respects my thoughts shall move;
Nor will I Man with flattering titles smooth.
Should I so prostitute my servile Breath;
My Maker soone would cut me of by Death.
[Chap. 33] And now, O Iob, what I shall utter heare:
As I my lips, so open thou thine eare.
I sacred knowledge clearely will impart;
Drawne from the fountaine of a single heart.
God made us both, with breath of Life inspir'd;
In shrouds of fraile Mortalitie attyr'd:
Then since we shall with equall Armes contend;
Arise, and if thou canst, thy cause defend.
Behold, according to thy wish I stand
In steed of God; though made of slime and Sand.
I will not with sterne Menaces affright:
Nor shall my hand on thee like Thunder-light.
For I with griefe, O Iob, have heard thee vaunt;
And breake into this passionate Complaint:
My Heart is uncorrupt, my Innocence
Without a Staine, my life free from offence:
Yet he occasion seekes to overthrow,
And trample on me as his mortall foe:
Page 42 Who, least I should escape, in fetters binds;
Observes my steps, and makes the faults he finds.
How rash is thy bold charge? God is compleat
In his owne Essence; much than man more great:
And yet dar'st thou contend? his patience grieve?
Will He a reason for his Actions give?
Oft he to Mortals speaks: yet will not they
The Counsell of his Oracles obey.
Sometimes by Dreames in silence of the Night;
Sometimes by Visions he informes their sight:
When sleepe his Poppy on their Temples sheds;
Or they lye musing on their restlesse beds.
The cause of their afflictions then reveales;
And on their Hearts his reprehension seales:
That he may man prevent, his pride repell;
Save from the sword, and greedy jawes of Hell.
For this, diseased on his bed he groanes;
While unrelenting Torments gnaw his bones:
The sight of Food his emptie stomack fils;
And Dainties to his taste are lothsome Pils:
By wasting Hecticks of his flesh bereft;
Bones late unseene, alone apparant left:
His Soule sits mourning at the gates of Death;
While anguish strives to suffocate his breath.
But if a Prophet, or Interpreter,
One of a thousand, with the sicke conferre:
Before his eyes, his ugly sinnes detect;
And to a better life his Steps direct:
Then Mercy thus will cry; Release the bound
From Sinne and Hell: I have a Ransome found.
Then shall his bones the flesh of Babes indue:
His youth and beauty like the spring renew.
He shall his God implore; his glorious Face
VVith joy behold, and flourish in his grace.
For God will his Integritie regard:
His vertue with a Bounteous hand reward.
His Eyes the secrets of all hearts survay.
VVhen the contrite and bleeding Soule shall say;
How have I Justice forc'd! the poore undone!
Sinne heapt on Sinne! to my owne Ruine run!
Then God shall raise him from the shades of Night:
And he shall live to see th'etheriall Light.
Thus oft to man that Power which wounds and heales,
The way to Joy by Misery Reveales:
That he may longer with the living dwell;
Snatcht from th'extended jawes of Death and Hell.
Page 43 O thou of men most wretched! heare me speake:
Nor in thy frantick passion silence breake.
If thou thy selfe canst cleare, at large reply:
For I thy life would gladly justifie.
If not; my words with wisedome shall informe
Thy erring Soule, and mitigate this Storme.
[Chap. 34] Then Elihu his speech directs to those
Who in a Ring the Disputants inclose.
You that are wise, said he, my Doctrine heare:
You who have knowing Soules, afford an Eare.
For sence is by that Organ understood;
Even as the taste distinguisheth of Food.
By Equitie let us our Judgements guide:
And this long controverted Cause decide.
Iob cries; I guiltlesse fall, to God appeale:
Yet will not he the clouded truth reveale.
Shall I with lyes betray my Innocence?
My wound is mortall: ô, for what offence!
VVho of himselfe but he so vainely thinks?
Who contumacy like cold water drinks.
He is in shackles by the wicked led;
And walkes the way which his Associates tread.
VVhat bootes it man (sayes he) to take delight
In God! and live as alwayes in his sight!
O heare me, you who high in knowledge sit:
Is it with God that he should Sinne commit?
No, each according to his Merit shall
Receive his hire: to Justice stand, or fall.
O can Compassion in Destruction joy?
Or will the righteous Judge the just destroy?
Shall he the world by mans direction sway;
VVhom Heaven and Powers Angelicall obey?
In his disposure is the Orbe of Earth;
The Throne of Kings, and all of humane Birth.
O, if he should the heart of man survay;
Reduce, and take the breath he gave, away:
All Living in a moment would expire;
And swiftly to there former dust retire.
Then Iob, if thou hast reason; if a mind
Not partiall; let my words acceptance find.
Shall he who Justice hates, rule by his lust?
Or will't thou him condemne who is most just?
Shall Subjects taxe their Kings? their Princes blame?
And with detractions poys'nous breath defame?
Much lesse upbraid his just Dominion,
To whom both Lords and vassals are all one.
Page 44 Who Rich and Poore alike regards; since they
By him were form'd from the same lump of clay.
Pale Death shall in an instant quench their light;
Whole Nations ravish, in the dead of Night,
Sweep from the Earth: the mightie in Command
Shall from their Thrones be snatcht without a hand.
He all beholds with eyes that never close:
Observes their Steps, and their Intentions knowes,
No mufling Clouds, nor Shades infernall, can
From his inquiry hide offending Man.
Nor shall the Punishment, which guilt pursues,
Exceed the Crime; lest he should God accuse.
He shall for sinnes unknowne the mighty breake;
And to their empty thrones advance the weake:
The Misteries of Night reveale to Day;
And in their falls their secret faults display.
Nor his exemplary revenge deferre;
Presented on the Worlds great Theatre:
Since they revolt from God, with open jawes
Blaspheme his Justice, and despise his Lawes.
So that the cries of their oppressions rend
The suffering Aire, and to his eares ascend.
Who can disturbe the peace which he bestowes?
VVhat tumult waken their secure repose?
VVhat Nation, or what one of Mortall Race,
Shall God behold, if he withdraw his Face?
That Hypocrites no more may tyrannize:
Nor in their snares the credulous surprize.
Say thou; I will not with my God contend;
But beare his Chastisements, nor more offend.
My Ignorance informe, if I have lent
An Eare to vice, lest I my sinnes augment.
VVill he with thy Arbitrement comply?
VVhither thou should'st consent, or shouldst deny,
His censure is the same. Shall I transgresse
In not reproving? what thou know'st, professe.
And you my Auditors, by God indu'd
VVith sacred wisedome, will I hope conclude,
That Job on Justice hath aspersions flung;
And spoken indiscreetly with his tongue.
O Father, give his Miseries no end;
VVhile he shall his impietie defend.
They to their sinnes rebellion adde, who jest
At their Instructors, and with God contest.
[Chap. 35] These Arguments thus urg'd; the zealous youth
Proceeds, and aid: Art thou inform'd by truth,
Page 45 That dar'st preferre thine owne integritie;
As if more just then he who sits on high?
And say; ô I am innocent in vaine:
Have to no end preserv'd my life from staine.
Now give me leave to answer thee, and those,
Who Gods all-guiding Providence oppose.
O Iob from Heaven to Earth erect thine eyes;
Behold the vaste extension of the skies:
The sayling Clouds by Exhalations fed;
How farre are these advanc'd above thy head?
Can thy accumulated vices reach
Yet higher? and his Happinesse impeach?
What can thy Righteousnesse to him bequeath?
Can God a Benefit from Man receive?
Although thy Sinne a Mortall may destroy;
Thy Justice succour, and confirme his joy.
Those whom too-powerfull Insolence oppresse;
Weepe-out their eyes, and howle in their distresse:
None cry; where is my God! who all our wrongs
Will vindicate, and turne our sighes to Songs:
Enobles with an Intellectuall Soule;
More rationall then beast, more wise then fowle,
None shall the others sufferings regard:
The eares of Pittie by their vices barr'd.
For God will not relieve th'unpenitent:
Nor to the prayer's of wicked Soules consent:
Much lesse to his, who sayes; I never more
Shall see his face, nor he my Joyes restore.
Let no such desperate thoughts thy soule infect;
But calmely suffer, and his grace expect.
In both to blame: Though thou his wrath incense;
Thy punishment is lesse then thy offence.
Judge you how undiscreetly Iob complaines:
And by extolling his owne Justice staines.
[Chap. 36] A little longer suffer me, while I
Proceed in this Divine Apology:
And from a far-remov'd Originall
His Judgements vindicate, who made us all.
No Fucus, nor vaine supplement of Art,
Shall falsifie the Language of my Heart.
He who is perfect, and abhors untruth,
With heavenly Influence inspires my youth.
For the Omnipotent is onely wise:
Nor will the great in Power the weake despise.
His Hands the poore from violence defend;
While Sin-defiled Soules to Hell descend:
Page 46 Beholds the just, with Eyes that ever wake:
With Princes ranck't, whose thrones no Tempests shake.
Or if their vices cast them to the ground,
If in the fetters of affliction bound:
He to their trembling Consciences displayes
Their former lives, and errours of their wayes.
Then opens wide the porches of their eares;
And their long vailed eyes from darknesse cleares:
That they themselves may see, instructions heare,
Returne from Sin, and their Creator feare.
They shall their happy Dayes in pleasure spend:
And full of yeares in peace their progresse end.
But if they disobey; the Sword shall shed
Their guilty blood, and mix them with the Dead.
For the Deluder hastens his owne fall:
Nor will in trouble on the Almightie call;
Who on the Beds of sinne supinely lye;
They in the Summer of their age shall die.
God will the penitent to Grace restore:
Taught by affliction to offend no more.
So from these fearefull straights would thee have led,
Inlarg'd thy passage, and with marrow fed:
But thou, through wicked Counsels, hast rebell'd;
And therefore justly by his Judgements held.
O feare his wrath! should'st thou be swept away;
Not Mines of Treasure could thy Ransome pay.
Cares he for wealth? Though Gold on Earth command;
No Gold, or force, can free thee from his hand.
Let not thy desperat soule desire that Night,
Which from the living takes the last of Light:
Nor by the guide of sorrow blindly erre;
And Death before due Chastisements preferre.
Lo! he his truth exalts: who so compleat.
As he in Power! whose Knowledge is so great!
Who can to him prescribe a Path? or say,
Thy Judgements from the tract of Justice stray?
O rather praise the workes his hands have wrought;
By all beheld: with Admiration fraught.
His Glory but in part to man appeares:
Who knowes him, or the number of his yeares?
He the congealed vapors melts againe;
Extenuated into drops of Raine:
VVhich on the thirstie Earth in showers distill;
And all that life possesse with plenty fill.
VVho can the extension of his Clouds explore?
Or tell how they in their collisions roare?
Page 47 Guilt with the flashes of their horrid light:
Yet darken all below with their owne Night.
Judgement and bountie each from hence proceeds;
With these his Creatures punisheth and feeds:
With these the Beautie of the Day immures;
And all the Ornaments of Heaven obscures:
Forthwith aeriall Tumults wound the Eare;
Whose heat and cold the Clouds asunder teare.
[Chap. 37] O how they terrifie my panting heart!
Ready to breake my fivers, and depart.
Hearke, how his thunder from their entrailes breakes!
The voyce of God when he in fury speakes:
Which roles in globes of pitch below the skies.
To Earths extent his winged lightning flies,
Pursu'de by hideous fragors: though before
The flames descend, they in their breaches roare.
His farre-resounding voyce reports his ire:
His Indignation flowes in streames of fire.
O who can apprehend his excellence;
Whose wonders passe the reach of humane sense!
He gives the winters Snow her aërie birth:
And bids her virgin fleeces cloth the Earth.
Now he her face renew's with fruitfull showres:
Now Cataracts upon her bosome powres;
VVhose falling spouts the Hands of Labour tie.
VVhen Swaines for shelter to their houses flye;
Yet on their former toyle reflect their care:
Then salvage Beasts to their darke dennes repaire.
Loud Tempests from the Cloudie South breake forth;
And cold out of the Cloud-repelling North.
The fields with rigid frost grow stiffe and gray:
The rivers solid, and forget their way.
Sad clouds with frequent teares themselves impaire;
And those that shone with lightning, fleet to ayre:
At his obey'd decree returne againe;
T'afflict the Earth, or comfort it with raine.
Thus Judgement and sweet Mercy, which depend
Upon his beck, to men in Clouds descend.
This heare, ô Job; with silence fixed, stand:
Review the wonders of his mighty Hand.
Know'st thou how God collects the must'red Clouds?
How in their darknesse he his lightning shrouds?
How by him ballanc'd in the weightlesse Aire?
Canst thou the wisedome of his workes declare?
Or know'st thou how thy Garments warmer grow,
VVhen dropping Southerne gales begin to blow?
Page 48 Wer't thou then present, when his hands displaid
The firmament; of liquid Chrystall made?
If so; instruct what we to God should say;
Who in so darke a night have lost our way.
What can we urge that is to him unknowne?
Or who contend and not be overthrowne?
Who on the Sunne can gaze with constant eyes,
When purging winds from vapors cleare the skies,
And Northerne gales his shining face unfold?
Much lesse the Majestie of God behold.
O how inscrutable! his equitie
Twins with his Power. Will he the Just destroy?
For this to be ador'd: yet cannot find
Among the Sonnes of men a prudent mind.
[Chap. 38] Then from a Globe of curling Clouds, which brake
Into a radiant flame, Jehova spake:
What Mortall thus through ignorance profanes
My darkned counsels? of his God complaines?
Come, buckle on thy Armor: let us end
This controverse; since thou wilt needs contend.
Tell, if thou canst; where wert thou when I made
The food-full Earth, and her foundation laid?
Who those exact dimensions did designe?
Who on her superficies stretch'd his Line?
Or fixt as Centre to the world? upon
What Basis built? who laid the Corner Stone?
Where wert thou when the Stars my prayses sung?
When Heaven with shouts of joyfull Angels rung?
Or who shut up the seas with Dores; when they,
As from the tortur'd womb, inforc'd their way?
By me invested with a veile of Clouds:
And swadled, as new-borne, in sable shrouds.
For these a receptacle I design'd:
And with inviolable Barres confind.
Then said: thus farre your Empire shall extend;
Nor shall your prouder waves these bounds transcend.
Hast thou appointed where the Moone should rise,
And with her purple light adorne the skies?
Scor'd out the bounded Suns obliquer wayes;
That he on all might spread his equall rayes?
And by the cleare extension of his Light,
Chase from the Earth the impious Sonnes of Night?
Whose Beames the various formes of things display;
Like multitudes of Figures wrought in Clay:
By which the Beautie of the Earth appeares;
The divers-colour'd Mantle which she weares:
Page 49 Conceal'd offendors by their lustre found;
Attached, and in Deaths darke prison bound.
Say, hast thou div'd into the Deep's below?
And trod those bottome sands where fountaines flow?
Or boldly broken-up the Seales of Hell,
And seene the Shadowes which in Darknesse dwell?
Tell if thou canst, how farre the Earth extends?
Hast thou discover'd her remotest ends?
Beheld the Chambers of the springing Light?
Or travel'd through the Regions of the Night?
To their abodes canst thou reveale the way?
And their alternate rule to men display?
Wer't thou then borne? hast thou these secrets knowne
Through length of time? art thou so aged growne?
Hast thou survay'd the Magazines of Snow?
Seene where the melting drops to haile-stones grow?
With these I punish: these the weapons are,
By me prepar'd against the Day of warre.
Why breakes the Lightning from the troubled skies,
While Easterne winds in horrid Tempests rise?
Who Deluges from Heaven in Torrents powres?
Or gives a passage to the roaring Showres?
That they on Deserts un-inhabited
By Mortals, may their fruitfull moysture shed?
Hence vegetives receive their fragrant birth:
And cloth the naked Bosome of the Earth.
What, hath the Raine a Father? tell me who
Begot the shining Drops of Morning Dew?
Whose wombe produc'd the glassie Ice? who bred
The hoary frosts that fall on winters head?
The waters then in Christall are conceal'd:
And the smooth visage of the Sea congeal'd.
Canst thou the pleasant influence restraine,
Of Pleiades, which bathes the Spring with raine?
Or boisterous Orions chaines unbind,
VVho drawes along the bitter Easterne wind?
In Summer, scorching Mazaroth display?
Or teach Arcturus, and his Sonnes, their way?
Canst thou the Motions of the Heavens direct?
Or make their vertue on the Earth reflect?
Will the condensed Clouds, at thy command,
Descend in Shoures upon the thirsty Land?
Or in their roaring strife asunder part,
And at thy Foes their fearefull Lightning dart?
VVith wisedome who renownes the Nobler parts?
VVho understanding gives to humane Hearts?
Page 50 Whose wisedome cleares the Saphirs of the skies?
Or who the swelling Clouds in Bladders ties?
To mollifie the stubborne clods with raine;
And scattered Dust incorporate againe.
[Chap. 39] Wilt thou for the old Lyon hunt? or fill
His hungry whelps? and for the killer kill?
When couch'd in dreadfull Dens; when closely they
Lurke in the Covert to surprise their prey?
VVho feeds the Ravens when their young-ones cry.
To God for food and through the Deserts flye?
Know'st thou when Salvage goates doe teeme among
The craggy rocks? when Hinds produce their young?
Can'st thou their Recknings keepe? the time compute
VVhen their swolne Bellies shall inlarge their fruit?
VVithout a Midwife these their Throwes sustaine;
And bowing, bring their Issue forth with paine.
They at full udders sucke, grow strong with corne:
Depart, and never to their Dams returne.
VVho sent forth the wild Asse to live at large?
VVhom neither Haltar binds nor Burthens charge:
Inhabiting the barren VVildernesse,
And rocky Caves, remov'd from mans accesse.
He from the many-peopl'd Citie flyes;
Contemnes their labors, and the Drivers cryes:
The Mountaines are his walkes; who wandring feeds
On slowly-springing hearbs, and ranker weeds.
VVill the fierce Vnicorne thy voyce obey,
Stand at the Crib, and feed upon the hay?
Or to the servile yoake his freedome yeild;
Plough-up the Glebe, and harrow the rough field?
Wilt thou upon his ready strength relye?
VVill he sustaine thee with his Industry?
Bring home thy Harvest? to thy will submit?
Put of his fiercenesse, and receive the Bit?
The Peacock, not at thy Command, assumes
His glorious traine: Nor Estrige her rare plumes.
She drops her Egges upon the naked Land;
And wraps them in a bed of hatching Sand:
Exposed to the wandering Traveller;
And Feet of Beasts, which those wild Deserts reare.
Shee as a Step-mother betrayes her owne;
Left without care, and presently unknowne:
By God depriv'd of that Intelligence
VVhich Nature gives: of all most voide of Sense.
Her feet the nimble Rider leave behind;
And when shee spreads her sayles, out-strip the wind.
Page 51 Hast thou with Strength indu'd the generous Horse?
His necke with Thunder arm'd, his breast with Force?
Him canst thou as a Grashopper affright?
Who from his Nostrils throwes a dreadfull light;
Exults in his owne courage; proudly bounds;
With trampling hoofes the sounding Centre wounds:
Breakes through the ordred Rancks with eyes that burne;
Nor from the Battle-Axe, or Sword, will turne.
The ratling Quiver, nor the glittering Speare,
Or dazling Shield, can daunt his heart with feare.
Through rage and fiercenesse he devoures the ground:
Nor in his fury heares the Trumpet sound.
Farre of the Battaile smels; like Thunder neighes:
Loud shouts and dying groanes his courage raise.
Do's the wild Haggard towre into the skie,
And to the South by thy direction flye?
Or Eagle in her gyres the Clouds imbrace,
And on the highest cliffe her Aëry place?
Shee dwels among the Rocks; on every side
With broken Mountaines strongly fortifi'd:
From thence what ever can be seene survayes;
And stooping, on the slanghtred Quarry preys:
From wounds her Eglets suck the reaking blood;
And all-devasting Warre provides her food.
Since such my power, wilt thou with me contend?
Instruct thy Maker? and thy fault defend?
Now answer thou that darst thy God up-braid.
Then humbled Iob, transfixt with sorrow, said:
Can one so vile to such a truth reply?
Too long my griefe hath rav'd: no more will I
Pursue a folly, and my Sinne extend:
But curbe my tongue, so ready to offend.
Once more Jehova from that radiant Throne
[Chap. 40] Of Clouds thus spake: O Iob, thy armes put on:
If thou hast will or courage left, prepare
T'encounter me in this Gigantick warre.
Wilt thou my Judgements disanull? defame
My equall Rule, to cleare thy selfe of blame?
Is thy weake Arme as strong as Gods? can'st thou
In thunder speake? the Sea with Tempests plow?
Come deck thy selfe with Beauties Excellence;
VVith Majestie; and Sun-like Rayes dispense:
The fury of thy wrath like lightning fling
On bold offenders: Pride to ruine bring.
Those with the surfeits of excesse destroy,
Who in their uncontrouled vices joy:
Page 52 Hide them together in the Caves of Night;
There bind them, never to behold the Light:
Then will I say that thou thy selfe can'st save
From wasting Age, Destruction, and the Grave.
With thee, I made the mighty Elephant;
VVho Oxe-like feeds on every herbe and plant.
His mighty strength lyes in his able Loynes:
And where the flexure of his Navell joynes.
His stretcht-out tayle presents a Mountaine Pine;
The Sinewes of his Stones like Cords combine.
His Bones the hammer'd Steele in strength surpasse:
His sides are fortifi'd with Ribs of Brasse.
Of Gods great workes the chiefe: lo, he who made
This knowing Beast, hath arm'd him with a blade.
He feed's on lofty Hils, nor lives by prey:
About their gentle Prince his Subjects play.
His limbs he coucheth in the cooler shades:
Oft, when Heavens burning Eye the fields invades,
To Marishes resorts; obscur'd with Reedes,
And hoary Willowes, which the moysture feeds.
The chiding Currents at his entry rise;
VVho quivering Jordan swallowes with his Eyes.
Can the bold Hunter take him in a Toyle?
Or by the Trunck produce him as his Spoyle?
[Chap. 41] Can'st thou with a weake Angle strike the Whale?
Catch with a hooke, or with a noose inthrall?
Drag by a slender Line unto the Shore?
His huge Jaw with a twig or Bulrush bore?
VVill he his pittifull complaints renew?
For freedome with afflicted Language sue?
Become thy willing Vassall? canst thou still
Subject him to the Service of thy Will?
And like a Sparrow, fetter'd in a String,
The plaid-with Monster to the Virgins bring?
Shall thy Companions feast upon his spoile?
Or wilt thou to the Merchant sell his Oyle?
Can'st thou with Fisgigs pierce him to the quicke?
Or in his skull thy barbed Trident sticke?
Then hasten to the charge. Yet Souldier feare:
Thinke of the Battaile, and in time forbeare.
Vaine are their hopes who seeke by force or slight
To vanquish him, who conquers with his sight.
VVhat Mortall dare with such a foe contend?
Much lesse his hand against his Maker bend?
Can gifts my grace ingage? when all below
The lofty Sunne is mine, what can I owe?
Page 53 This wonder of the Deepe, his mightie force,
And goodly forme, shall furnish our discourse.
Who can devest him of his waves? bestride
His monstrous Backe? and with a Bridle ride?
His Heads huge Dores unlocke? whose jawes with great
And dreadfull teeth in treble rankes are set.
Arm'd with refulgent Shields, together join'd,
And seal'd-up to resist the ruffling wind;
The neather by the upper fortifi'd:
No force their Combination can divide.
His sneezings set on fire the foaming Brine:
His round Eyes like the Mornings Eye-lids shine.
Infernall Lightning sallies from his Throat:
Ejected Sparkes upon the Billowes float.
A cloud of Smoake from his wide Nostrils flyes;
As Vapors from a boyling Furnace rise.
He burning Coles exhales, and vomits flames:
His strength the Empire of the Ocean claimes.
Loud Tempests, roaring flouds, and what affright
The trembling Sailer, turne to his delight.
The flakes of his tough flesh so firmely bound.
As not to be divorced by a wound.
His Heart a solid Rocke, to feare unknowne:
And harder than the Grinders nether Stone.
The sword his armed sides in vaine assailes:
No Dart nor Lance can penetrate his Scales.
Who Brasse as rotten wood; and Steele, no more
Regards then Reeds, that bristle on the Shore.
Dreads he the twanging of the Archers String?
Or singing Stones from the Phaenician sling?
Darts he esteemes as Straw, asunder torne:
The shaking of the Javelin laughes to scorne.
He ragged Stones beneath his Belly spreads;
To his repose as soft as downye Beds.
The Seas before him like a Caldron boyle:
And in the fervour of their Motion foyle.
A Light, stroke from the floods, detects his way;
Who covers their aspiring heads with gray.
Of all whom ample Earths round shoulders beare,
None equall this: created without feare.
What ever is exalted, he disdaines:
And as a King among the Mightie raignes.
[Chap. 42] O Father, I acknowledge (Job repli'd)
Thy all effecting Power. O who can hide
His thoughts from thee! who can reverse, or shun
Thy just Decree! what thou would'st doe, is done,
Page 54 I heard thee say; Dare brutish Man profane
My darkned Counsels? and of God complaine?
Great Judge, I in thy Mirror see my shame:
Those Lips that justifi'd, my guilt proclaime.
Our knowledge is but ignorance, and wee
The Sonnes of Folly, if compar'd with thee.
Thy wayes, and sacred Mysteries, transcend
Their Apprehensions, who in Death must end.
O to my Prayers afford a gracious Eare!
Instruct thy Servant, and his Darknesse cleare!
I, of thy Excellence, have oft beene told:
But now my ravish't eyes thy Face behold.
Who therefore in this weeping Palinod
Abhorre my selfe, that have displeas'd my God:
In Dust and Ashes mourne. Nor will my feares
Forsake me, till I cleanse my Soule with teares.
VVhen contrite Job had this submission made;
The Lord to Eliphas of Theman said:
Against thee, and thy two Associates,
My Anger burnes, and hastens to your fates:
Since you, unlike my Servant Iob, have err'd;
And Victory before the Truth preferr'd.
Seven spotlesse Rams, seven Bulls that never bare
The yoake, select; with these to Iob repaire:
Their bleeding Limbs upon my Altar lay,
His ready Charitie for you shall pray,
And reconcile my wrath: Else merited
Revenge should forthwith send you to the Dead;
VVho have my Rule and providence profan'd:
Nor, like my Servant Iob, the truth maintain'd.
Then Bildad, Eliphas, and Zophar, came
To their old Friend: The feasted Altars flame.
For whom that injur'd Saint devoutly pray'd:
And with the Incensed their attonement made.
Even in that pious Duty, the most High
Beheld his Patience with a tender Eye:
From envious Satans tyranny releast;
Dry'd-up his teares, and with aboundance blest.
His Brothers and his Sisters, all the traine
That follow'd his Prosperitie, againe
Present their visits; at his table feed:
Bemone, and Comfort. Joyes his griefe succeed.
With Gold and Silver they increase his Store:
And gave the precious Earerings which they wore.
So that Jehova blest his latter Dayes
More then the first: His Losse with Interest payes.
Page 55 His Droves of Asses, Camels, heards of Neat,
And flocks of Sheepe, grew shortly twice as great.
Blest with Seven sonnes: three Daughters; who for faire
Might with the Beauties of the Earth compare.
One call'd Jemima, of the rising Light:
A second, for her sweetnesse, Cassia hight:
The youngest Kerenhappa; of the powre
And rayes of beauty. Rich in Natures Dowre;
As in their Fathers Love: who gave them shares
Among his Sonnes, and joyn'd them with his heires.
Iob seven-score yeares his Miseries surviv'd:
His Childrens Children saw; those who deriv'd
From them their birth, even to the fourth descent:
And in Tranquilitie his old-Age spent.
Then full of Dayes, and deathlesse Honour, gave
His Soule to God: his Body to the Grave.