Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
THis Iron Age, so fraudulent and bold,
Toucht with this Love, would be an Age of Gold;
Not as they feign'd, that Oaks should Honey drop,
Or Land neglected bear an unsown Crop:
Love would make all things easy, safe, and cheap,
None for himself, would either sow, or reap:
Our ready Help, and mutual Love would yield
A nobler Harvest, than the richest Field.
Page 280 Famine and Dearth, confin'd to certain parts,
Extended are, by barrenness of Hearts;
Some pine for want, where others surfeit now,
But then we should the use of Plenty know:
Love would betwixt the Rich and Needy stand,
And spread Heav'ns bounty with an equal hand;
At once the Givers, and Receivers bless,
Encrease their Joy, and make their Sufferings less.
Who for himself no Miracle would make,
Dispens'd with Nature for the Peoples sake;
He that long Fasting would no wonder show,
Made Loaves and Fishes, as they eat them, grow.
Of all his Power, which boundless was above,
Here he us'd none, but to express his Love;
And such a Love would make our Joy exceed,
Not when our own, but other mouths we feed.
Laws would be useless which rude Nature awe,
Love changing Nature, would prevent the Law;
Page 281 Tygers, and Lyons, into Dens we thrust,
But milder Creatures with their freedom trust.
Devils are chain'd, and tremble; but the Spouse
No force but Love, nor Bond, but Bounty, knows:
Men, whom we now, so 〈◊〉 and dang'rous see,
Would Guardian Angels to each other be:
Such wonders can this mighty Love perform,
Vultures to Doves, Wolves into Lambs transform.
Love, what Isaiah prophecy'd, can do,
Exalt the Vallies, lay the Mountains low:
Humblethe Lofty, the Dejected raise,
Smooth, and make strait, our rough and crooked ways.
Love, strong as Death, and like it, levels all;
With that possest, the great in Title fall,
Themselves esteem, but equal to the least,
Whom Heav'n with that high Character has blest.
This Love, the Centre of our Union, can
Alone bestow complete Repose on Man;
Page 282 Tame his wild Appetite, make inward Peace,
And Foreign strife among the Nations cease:
No Martial Trumpet should disturb our rest,
Nor Princes Arm, thô to subdue the East;
Where for the Tomb ••o many Hero's, taught
By those that guided their Devotion, faught.
Thrice Happy we, could we like Ardor have
To gain his Love, as they to win his Grave!
Love as he Lov'd, a Love so unconfin'd
With Arms extended would embrace Mankind.
Self-Love would cease, or be dilated, when
We should behold, as many Selfs, as Men;
All of one Family, in Blood ally'd,
His precious Blood, that for our Ransom dy'd.