Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
THe Grecian Muse has all their Gods surviv'd▪
Nor Iove at us, nor Phoebus is arriv'd;
Frail Deities, which first the Poets made,
And then invok'd, to give their Fancies aid!
Yet if they still divert us with their Rage,
What may be hop'd for in a better Age?
When not from Helicon's imagin'd Spring,
But sacred Writ, we borrow what we Sing:
This with the Fabrick of the World begun,
Elder than Light, and shall out-last the Sun.
Before this Oracle (like Dagon) all
The false Pretenders, Delphos, Hammon, fall;
Long since despis'd, and silent they afford
Honour and Triumph to th' Eternal Word.
Page 269 As late Philosophy our Globe has grac'd,
And rowling Earth among the Planets plac'd;
So has this Book intitl'd us to Heav'n,
And Rules to guide us to that Mansion giv•n:
Tells the conditions, how our Peace was made▪
And is our Pledge for the great Author's aid▪
His Power in Nature's ampler Book we find;
But the less Volume do's express his mind.
This Light unknown, bold Epicurus taught▪
That his blest Gods vouchsafe us not a thought;
But unconcern'd, let all below them slide,
As Fortune do's, or humane Wisdom, guide▪
Religion thus remov'd, the sacred Yoke,
And Band of all Society is broke:
What use of Oaths, of Promise, or of Test▪
Where Men regard no God but Interest?
What endless War would jealous Nations tear,
•f none above did witness what they swear?
Page 270 Sad Fate of Unbelievers, (and yet just)
Among themselves to find so little trust!
Were Scripture silent, Nature would proclaim,
Without a God, our falshood and our shame.
To know our Thoughts, the Object of his Eyes,
Is the first step towards being good, or wise;
For thô with Judgment we on things reflect,
Our Will determines, not our Intellect:
Slaves to their Passion, Reason men employ
Only to compass what they would enjoy;
His fear, to guard us from our selves, we need,
And sacred Writ our Reason do's exceed.
For the Heaven shows the Glory of the Lord,
Yet something shines more Glorious in his Word;
His mercy this (which all his work excels)
His tender kindness, and compassion tells:
While we inform'd by that Celestial Book,
Into the Bowels of our Maker look.
Page 271 Love there reveal'd, which never shall have end,
Nor had beginning, shall our Song commend;
Describe it self, and warm us 〈◊〉 that flame,
Which first from Heav'n, to make us Happy, came.