1642
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Psychodia Platonica. Psychozoia.

Psychodia Platonica: or a Platonicall Song of the Soul, consisting of foure severall Poems; viz. Psychozoia. Psychathanasia. Antipsychopannychia. Antimonopsychia. Hereto is added a paraphrasticall Interpretation of the Answer of Apollo consulted by Amelius, about Plotinus Soul departed this Life. By H. M. Master of Arts, and Fellow of Christs Colledge in Cambridge.

Rev. Henry More


In 280 Spenserians: the first installment of a vast theological allegory that would eventually run to 1,099 stanzas. While far fewer poems were written in Spenserian stanzas in the seventeenth century than the eighteenth, the vast bulk of Robert Aylett's, Joseph Beaumont's, and Henry More's poems, added to the two continuations of the Faerie Queen by Knevet and Sheppard, probably comprises a greater number of stanzas.

Sir John Hawkins: "Dr. Henry More, of Cambridge, Johnson did not much affect; he was a Platonist, and, in Johnson's opinion, a visionary. He would frequently cite from him, and laugh at, a passage to this effect: — 'At the consummation of all things, it shall come to pass that eternity shall shake hands with opacity'" quoted in Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791); ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 2:48.

Henry John Todd: "Neither Mr. Spence nor Mr. Warton have made the least mention of Henry More's PLATONICK SONG OF THE SOUL; a poem written avowedly in imitation of Spenser, and often presenting as just an allegory and as sweet a stanza as the original which it professes to follow. This poem, in three Books, was first printed in 1642, and again in 1647. Milton, I think, appears to have read it with attention. More indeed was his fellow-collegian, and friend. The critics have also neglected the PSYCHE, OR LOVE'S MYSTERIE, by Jos. Beaumont, fol. 1651" Works of Spenser (1805) 2: cxxvn.

Robert Southey: "How can Mr. Todd praise Henry More's platonicall Song of the Soul as 'often presenting as just an allegory and as sweet a stanza as the original which it professes to follow?' The stanza, if our memory does not deceive us, is the same in structure — but as for any other resemblance, they who seek it will seek it in vain: nothing can be more obscure, inharmonious, unpoetical, and unreadable" Review of Todd's Spenser, Annual Review 4 (1806) 551.

Wm. Preston: "The poem itself is written in a stanza of nine and ten syllable lines. It is full of hard words, and in the highest strain of mystic Platonism, such as Mr. Taylor himself would read with delight, but, perhaps, neither he nor any one would understand" Censura Literaria 3 (1807) 3:40.

Thomas Campbell: "His versification, though he tells us that he was won to the Muses in his childhood by the melody of Spenser, is but a faint echo of the Spenserian tune. In fancy he is dark and lethargic. Yet his Psychozoia is not a common-place production: a certain solemnity and earnestness in his tone leaves the impression that he 'believed the magic wonders which he sung'" Specimens of the British Poets (1819; 1845) 297.

W. Davenport Adams: "A poem by Henry More (1614-1687), published in 1642, with another poem of considerable length, entitled Pschyathanasia.... To these, four other poems on kindred subjects, together with several minor poems, were added, and the complete collection of Philosophical Poems appeared in 1647. 'They are now,' says Principal Tulloch, 'hardly known, and are not found in any collection. In some respects, they form the most singular attempt in literature, to turn metaphysics into poetry. Apart from the 'notes,' and 'interpretation,' which he has himself happily furnished, they are barely intelligible. Even with such assistance, they are a most intricate and perplexing study. Yet there are here and there not a few genuine gleams both of poetic and spiritual insight; and the mental picture which the poems present is altogether so curious as to reward the patience of a congenial student'" Dictionary of English Literature (1878) 503.

J. Bass Mullinger: "When compared with the Psyche of Joseph Beaumont, which appeared in the following year, it must be pronounced altogether superior; and, in fact, the difference between the two compositions is such that a comparison is almost impossible" Cambridge History of English Literature (1912) 8:323.

Harko Gerrit De Maar: "More's diction is a curious mixture of Greek neologisms and Spenserian archaisms" History of Modern English Romanticism (1924) 61.

There is an imitation of Spenser's description of Despair, Bk.i.c.iii, Frederic Ives Carpenter, "Spenser's Cave of Despair" MLN (1897) 266. See Coleridge, Miscellanies (Bohn) 332.

See the scorn heaped on More by Thomas Vaughan in The Man Mouse Taken in a Trap (1650): "a Poet in the Loll & Trot of Spencer." Henry John Todd also mentions several other seventeenth-century allegories that may have been influenced by Spenser: Richard Bernard, The Isle of Man: or The Legall Proceeding in Man-shire against Sinne (1628); Benjamin Keach, Travels of True Godliness, and Progress of Sin; Anon., Roome for a Messe of Knaves (1610); John Daye, Peregrinatio Scholastica, or, Learninges Pilgrimage (manuscript); 1805 2:cxxv. None of these is mentioned in Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972), which does note the appearance of Florimell as a character in John Day's Humour out of Breath (1608).



This Song great Psyches parentage
With her fourefold array,
And that mysterious marriage,
To th' Reader doth display.

Nor Ladies loves, nor Knights brave martiall deeds,
Ywrapt in rolls of hid Antiquitie;
But th' inward Fountain, and the unseen Seeds,
From whence are these and what so under eye
Doth fall, or is record in memorie,
Psyche, I'll sing. Psyche! from thee they sprong.
O life of Time, and all Alterity!
The life of lives instill his nectar strong,
My soul t' inebriate, while I sing Psyches song.

But thou, whoe're thou art that hear'st this strain,
Or read'st these rythmes which from Platonick rage
Do powerfully flow forth, dare not to blame
My forward pen of foul miscarriage;
If all that's spoke, with thoughts more sadly sage
Doth not agree. My task is not to try
What's simply true. I onely do engage
My self to make a fit discovery,
Give some fair glimpse of Plato's hid Philosophy.

What man alive that hath but common wit
(When skilfull limmer 'suing his intent
Shall fairly well pourtray and wisely hit
The true proportion of each lineament,
And in right colours to the life depaint
The fulvid Eagle with her sun-bright eye)
Would wexen wroth with inward choler brent
Cause 'tis no Buzard or discolour'd Pie?
Why men? I meant it not: Cease thy fond obloquie.

So if what's consonant to Plato's school
(Which well agrees with learned Pythagore,
Egyptian Trismegist, and th' antique roll
Of Chaldee wisdome, all which time hath tore
But Plato and deep Plotin do restore)
Which is my scope, I sing out lustily:
If any twitter me for such strange lore,
And me all blamelesse brand with infamy,
God purge that man from fault of foul malignity.

Th' Ancient of dayes, Sire of Eternitie,
Sprung of himself, or rather no wise sprong:
Father of lights and everlasting glee,
Who puts to silence every daring tongue
And flies man's sight, shrowding himself among
His glorious rayes, good Atove, from whom
All good that Pedia spies in thickest throng
Of most desireables, all's from that same,
That same, that Atove hight, and sweet Abinoam.

Now can I not with flowring phantasie
To drowsie sensuall souls such words impart,
Which in their sprights, may cause sweet ago
And thrill their bodies through with pleasing
And spread in flowing fire their close-twist heart,
All cheering fire, that nothing wont to burn
That Atove lists to save; and his good Art
Is all to save that will to him return,
That all to him return, nought of him is forlorn

For what can be forlorn, when his good hand
Hold all in life, that of life do partake?
O surest confidence of Loves strong bands!
Love loveth all that's made; Love all did make:
And when false life doth fail, it's for the sake
Of better being. Riving tortures spight,
That life disjoynts, and makes the heart to quake,
To good the soul doth nearer reunite:
So ancient Atove hence all-joyning Ahad hight.

This Ahad of himself the Aeon fair
Begot, the brightnesse of his father's grace:
No living wight in heav'n to him compare,
Ne work his goodly honour such disgrace,
Nor lose thy time in telling of his race.
His beauty and his race no man can tell:
His glory darkeneth the Sunnes bright face;
Or if ought else the Sunnes bright face excell,
His splendour would it dim, and all that glory quell.

This is that ancient Eidos omniform,
Fount of all beauty, root of flowring glee,
Hyle old hag, foul, filthy, and deform,
Cannot come near. Joyfull Eternity
Admits no change or mutability,
No shade of change, no imminution,
No nor increase, for what increase can be
To that that's all? and where Hyl' hath no throne
Can ought decay? such is the state of great Aeon.

Farre otherwise it fares in this same Lond
Of Truth and Beauty, then in mortall brood
Of earthly lovers, who impassion'd
With outward forms (not rightly understood
From whence proceeds this amorous sweet flood,
And choice delight which in their spright they feel:
Can outward Idole yield so heavenly mood?)
This inward beauty unto that they deal
That little beauteous is: Thus into th' dirt they reel.

Like to Narcissus, on the grassie shore,
Viewing his outward face in watery glasse;
Still as he looks, his looks adde evermore
New fire, new light, new love, new comely grace
To's inward form; and it displayes apace
It's hidden rayes, and so new lustre sends
To that vain shadow: but the boy, alas!
Unhappy boy! the inward nought attends,
But in foul filthy mire, love, life, and form he blends.

And this I wot is the Souls excellence,
That from the hint of every painted glance
Of shadows sensible, she doth from hence
Her radiant life, and lovely hue advance
To higher pitch, and by good governance
May wained be from love of fading light
In outward forms, having true Cognizance,
That those vain shows are not the beauty bright
That takes men so, but what they cause in humane spright.

Farre otherwise it fares in Aeons Realm,
O happy close of sight and that there's seen!
That there is seen is good Abinoam,
Who Atove hight: And Atuvus I ween,
Cannot be lesse then he that sets his eyen
On that abysse of good eternally,
The youthfull Aeon, whose fair face doth shine
While he his Fathers glory doth espy,
Which waters his fine flowring forms with light from high.

Not that his forms increase, or that they die:
For Aeon-land, which men Idea call,
Is nought but life in full serenity,
Vigour of life is root, stock, branch, and all
Nought here increaseth, nought here hath it's fall:
For Aeons Kingdomes alwayes perfect stand,
Birds, Beasts, Fields, Springs, Plants, Men andMinerall,
To perfectnesse nought added be there can:
This Aeon also hight Autocalon and On.

This is the eldest sonne of Hattove hore:
But th' eldest daughter of this aged Sire,
That virgin wife of Aeon, Uranure.
She Vranora hight, because the fire
Of Aethers essence she with bright attire,
And inward unseen golden hew doth dight,
And life of sense and phansie doth inspire.
Aether's the vehicle of touch, smell, sight,
Of taste, and hearing too, and of the plastick might.

Whilome me chanced (O my happy chance!)
To spie this spotlesse pure fair Uranore:
I spi'd her, but, alas! with slighter glance
Beheld her on the Atuvaean shore:
She stood the last; for her did stand before
The lovely Autocal. But first of all
Was mighty Atove, deeply covered o're
With unseen light. No might imaginall
May reach that vast profunditie, [or raise its pall.]

Whiles thus they stood by that good lucid spring
Of living blisse, her fourefold ornament
I there observ'd; and that's the onely thing
That I dare write with due advisement.
Fool-hardy man that purposeth intent
Far 'bove his reach, like the proud Phaeton,
Who clomb the fiery car and was ybrent
Through his fond juvenile ambition;
Th' unruly flundring steeds wrought his confusion.

Now rise, my Muse, and straight thy self addresse
To write the pourtraiture of th' outward vest,
And to display its perfect comlinesse:
Begin and leave where it shall please thee best.
Nor do assay to tell all, let the rest
Be understood. For no man can unfold
The many plicatures so closely prest
At lowest verge. Things 'fore our feet yrold,
If they be hard, how shall the highest things be told?

Its unseen figure I must here omit:
For thing so mighty vast no mortall eye
Can compasse; and if eye not compasse it,
The extreme parts, at least some, hidden lie:
And if that they lie hid, who can descry
The truth of figure? Bodies figured
Receive their shape from each extremity.
But if conjecture may stand in truths stead
The garment round or circular I do aread.

As for it's colour and materiall,
It silken seems, and of an azure hiew,
If hiew it have or colour naturall:
For much it may amaze mans erring view.
Those parts the eye is near give not the shew
Of any colour; but the rurall Swains,
O easie ignorance! would swear 'tis blew,
Such as their Phyllis would, when as she plains
Their Sunday-cloths, and the washt white with azure stains.

But this fair azure colour's fouly stain'd
By base comparison with that blew dust.
But you of Uranore are not disdain'd,
O silly Shepherds, if you hit not just
In your conceits, so that you'r put in trust
You duly do attend. If simple deed
Accord with simple life, then needs you must
From the great Uranore of favour speed,
Though you cannot unfold the nature of her weed.

For who can it unfold, and reade aright
The divers colours, and the tinctures fair,
Which in this various vesture changes write
Of light, of duskishnesse, of thick, of rare
Consistences: ever new changes marre
Former impressions. The dubious shine
Of changeable silk stuffs, this passeth farre.
Farre more variety, and farre more fine,
Then interwoven silk with gold or silver twine.

Lo what delightfull immutations
On her soft flowing vest we contemplate!
The glory of the Court, their fashions,
And brave agguize with all their Princely state,
Which Poets or Historians relate
This farre excels, farther than pompous
Court Excels the homeliest garb of Countrey rate:
Unspeakable it is how great a sort
Of glorious glistring showes, in it themselves disport.

There you may see the eyelids of the Morn
With lofty silver arch displaid ith' East,
And in the midst the burnisht gold doth burn;
A lucid purple mantle in the West
Doth close the day, and hap the Sun at rest.
Nor doth these ramping shewes the azur quell,
Or other colours: where't beseemeth best
There they themselves dispose; so seemly well
Doth light and changing tinctures deck this goodly veil.

But 'mongst these glaring glittering rows of light,
And flaming Circles, and the grisell gray,
And crudled clouds, with silver tippings dight,
And many other deckings wondrous gay,
As Iris and the Halo; there doth play
Still-pac'd Euphrona in her Conique tire;
By stealth her steeple-cap she doth assay
To whelm on th' earth: So School-boyes do aspire
With coppell'd hat to quelme the Bee all arm'd with ire.

I saw pourtrai'd on this sky-coloured silk
Two lovely Lads, with wings fully dispread
Of silver plumes, their skins more white then milk,
Their filly limbs I greatly admired,
Their cheery looks and lusty livelyhed:
Athwart their snowy brest, a scarf they wore
Of azur hew; fairly bespangeled
Was the gold fringe. Like Doves so forth they fore:
Some message they, I ween, to Monocardia bore.

O gentle Sprights, whose carefull oversight
Tends humane actions, sons of Solyma.
O heavenly Salems sons! you fend the right,
You violence resist, and fraud bewray;
The ill with ill, the good with good you pay.
And if you list to mortall eye appear,
You thick that veil, and so your selves array
With visibility: O myst'ry rare!
That thickned veile should maken things appear more bare!

But well I wot that nothing's bare to sense,
For sense cannot arrive to th' inwardnesse
Of things, nor penetrate the crusty fence
Of constipated matter close compresse:
Or that were laid aside, yet nathelesse
Things thus unbar'd to sense be more obscure.
Therefore those sonnes of Love when they them dresse
For sight, they thick the vest of Uranure,
And from their centre overflow't with beauty pure.

Thus many goodly things have been unfold
Of Uranures fair changing ornament:
Yet farre more hidden lye as yet untold;
For all to tell was never my intent,
Neither all could I tell if I so meant.
For her large robe all the wide world doth fill;
It's various largenesse no man can depaint:
My pen's from thence, my Book my Ink; but skill
From Uranures own selfe down gently doth distill.

But yet one thing I saw that I'll not passe:
At the low hem of this large garment gay
Number of goodly balls there pendant was,
Some like the Sun, some like the Moones white ray,
Some like discoloured Tellus, when the day
Discries her painted coat: In wondrous wise
These coloured ones do circle, float and play,
As those farre shining Rounds in open skies:
Their course the best Astronomer might well aggrize.

These danc't about: but some I did espie
That steady stood, 'mongst which there shined one,
More fairly shineth not the worlds great eye,
Which from his plenteous store unto the Moon
Kindly imparteth light, that when he's gone,
She might supply his place, and well abate
The irksome uglinesse of that foul drone,
Sad heavie Night; yet quick to work the fate
Of murd'red travellers, when they themselves berate.

O gladsome life of sense that doth adore
The outward shape of the worlds curious frame!
The proudest Prince that ever Sceptre bore
(Though he perhaps observeth not the same)
The lowest hem doth kisse of that we name,
The stole of Uranure, these parts that won
To drag in dirty earth (nor do him blame)
These doth he kisse: why should he be fordone?
How sweet it is to live! what joy to see the Sunne I

But O what joy it is to see the Sun
Of Aeons kingdomes, and th' eternall Day
That never night o'retakes! the radiant throne
Of the great Queen, the Queen Uranura!
Then she gan first the Scepter for to sway,
And rule with wisdome, when Atuvus old;
—Hence Ahad we him call, — did tie them tway
With nuptiall charm and wedding-ring of gold
Then sagely he the case gan to them thus unfold:

My first born Sonne, and thou my Daughter dear,
Look on your aged Sire, the deep abysse,
In which and out of which you first appear;
I Ahad hight, and Ahad onenesse is:
Therefore be one (his words do never misse)
They one became. I Hattove also hight,
Said he; and Hattove goodnesse is and blisse:
Therefore in goodnesse be ye fast unite:
Let Unity, Love, Good, be measures of your might.

They straight accord: then he put on the ring,
The ring of lasting gold on Uranure;
Then gan the youthfull lads aloud to sing,
Hymen! O Hymen! O the Virgin pure!
O holy Bride! long may this joy indure.
After the song Atove his speech again Renews.
My Son, I unto thee assure
All judgement and authority sovereign;
He spake as unto one: for one became those twain.

To thee each knee in Heaven and Earth shall bow,
And whatsoever wons in darker cell
Under the Earth: If thou thy awfull brow
Contract, those of the Aethiopian hell
Shall lout, and do thee homage; they that dwell
In Tharsis, Tritons fry, the Ocean-god,
Iim and Ziim, all the Satyres fell
That in empse Ilands maken their abode:
All those and all things else shall tremble at thy rod.

Thy rod thou shalt extend from sea to sea,
And thy Dominion to the worlds end;
All Kings shall vow thee faithfull fealty,
Then peace and truth on all the earth I'll send:
Nor moody Mars my metalls may mispend,
Of Warlike instruments they plow-shares shall
And pruning hooks efform. All things shall wend
For th' best, and thou the head shalt be o're all:
Have I not sworn thee King? true King Catholicall!

Thus farre he spake, and then again respired;
And all this time he held their hand in one;
Then they with chearfull look one thing desired,
That he nould break this happy union:
I happy union breake? quoth he anon:
I Ahad? Father of Community? Then they:
That you nould let your hand be gone
Off from our hands: He grants with smiling glee:
So each stroke struck on earth is struck from these same three.

These three are Ahad, Aeon, Uranore:
Ahad these three in one doth counite.
What so is done on earth, the self-same power
(Which is exert upon each mortall wight)
Is joyntly from all these. But she that hight
Fair Uranore, men also Psyche call.
Great Psyche men and Angels dear delight,
Invested in her stole aethereall,
Which though so high it be, down to the earth doth fall.

The externall form of this large flowing stole,
My Muse so as she might, above displaid:
But th' inward triple golden film to unroll,
Ah! he me teach that triple film hath made,
And brought out light out of the deadly shade
Of darkest Chaos, and things that are seen
Made to appear out of the gloomy glade
Of unseen beings: Them we call unseen,
Not that they're so indeed, but so to mortall eyen.

The first of these fair films, we Physis name.
Nothing in Nature did you ever spy,
But there's pourtraid: all beasts both wild and tame,
Each bird is here, and every buzzing fly;
All forrest-work is in this tapestry:
The Oke, the Holm, the Ash, the Aspine tree,
The lonesome Buzzard, th' Eagle and the Py,
The Buck, the Bear, the Boar, the Hare, the Bee,
The Brize, the black-arm'd Clock, the Gnat, the butterflie.

Snakes, Adders, Hydraes, Dragons, Toads and Frogs,
Th' own-litter-loving Ape, the Worm, and Snail,
Th' undaunted Lion, Horses, Men, and Dogs
Their number's infinite, nought doth't avail
To reckon all, the time would surely fail:
And all besprinkled with centrall spots,
Dark little spots, is this hid inward veil:
But when the hot bright dart doth pierce these knots,
Each one dispreads it self according to their lots.

When they dispread themselves, then gins to swell
Dame Psyches outward vest, as th' inward wind
Softly gives forth, full softly doth it well
Forth from the centrall spot; yet as confin'd
To certain shape, according to the mind
Of the first centre, not perfect circ'lar-wise,
It shoots it self: for so the outward kind
Of things were lost, and Natures good device
Of different forms would hiddenlie in one agguize.

But it according to the impress Art
(That Arts impression's from Idea-Lond)
So drives it forth before it every part
According to true Symmetry: the bond
And just precinct (unlesse it be withstond)
It alwayes keeps. But that old Hag that hight
Foul Hyle mistresse of the miry strond,
Oft her withstands, and taketh great delight
To hinder Physis work, and work her all despight.

The self same envious witch with poyson'd dew,
From her foul eben-box, all tinctures stains,
Which fairly good be in hid Physis hew:
That film all tinctures fair in it contains;
But she their goodly glory much restrains.
She colours dims; clogs tastes; and damps the sounds
Of sweetest musick; touch to scorching pains
She turns, or baser tumults; smels confounds.
O horrid womb of hell, that with such ill abounds.

From this first film all bulk in quantity
Doth bougen out, and figure thence obtain.
Here eke begins the life of Sympathy,
And hidden virtue of magnetick vein,
Where unknown spirits beat, and Psyche's bane
Drag as they list, upon pursuit or flight;
One part into another they constrain
Through strong desire, and then again remit.
Each outward form's a shrine of its magnetick spright.

The ripen'd child breaks through his mothers womb,
The raving billows closely undermine
The ragged rocks, and then the seas intomb
Their heavy corse, and they their beads recline
On working sand: The Sunne and Moon combine,
Then they're at ods in site Diametrall:
The former age to th' present place resigne:
And what's all this but wafts of winds centrall
That ruffle, touze, and tosse Dame Psyche's wrimpled veil?

So Physis. Next is Arachnea thin,
The thinner of these two, but thinn'st of all
Is Semele, that's next to Psyches skin.
The second we thin Arachnea call,
Because the spider, that in Princes hall
Takes hold with her industrious hand, and weaves
Her dainty tender web; far short doth fall
Of this soft yeilding vest; this vest deceives
The spiders curious touch, and of her praise bereaves.

In midst of this fine web doth Haphe sit:
She is the centre from whence all the light
Dispreads, and goodly glorious Forms do flit
Hither and thither. Of this mirour bright
Haphe's the life and representing might,
Haphe's the mother of sense-sympathy;
Hence are both Hearing, Smelling, Taste, and Sight:
Haphe's the root of felt vitality;
But Haphe's mother hight all-spread Community.

In this clear shining mirour Psyche sees
All that falls under sense, what ere is done
Upon the Earth; the Deserts shaken trees,
The mournfull winds, the solitary wonne
Of dreaded beasts, the Lybian Lyons moan,
When their hot entrails scorch with hunger keen,
And they to God for meat do deeply groan;
He hears their cry, he sees of them unseen;
His eyelids compasse all that in the wide world been.

He sees the weary traveller sit down
In the waste field oft-times with carefull chear:
His chafed feet, and the long way to town,
His burning thirst, faintnesse, and Panick fear,
Because he sees not him that stands so near,
Fetch from his soul deep sighs with count'nance sad,
But he looks on to whom nought doth dispear:
O happy man that full persuasion had
Of this! if right at home, nought of him were ydrad.

A many sparrows for small price be sold,
Yet none of them his wings on earth doth close
Lighting full soft, but that eye doth behold,
Their jets, their jumps, that mirour doth disclose.
Thrice happy he that putteth his repose
In his all-present God. That Africk rock
But touch's with heedlesse hand, Auster arose
With blust'ring rage, that with his irefull shock
And moody might he made the worlds frame nigh to rock.

And shall not He, when his Anointed be
Ill handled, rise, and in his wrathfull stour
Disperse, and quell the haughty enemy,
Make their brisk sprights to lout and lowly lowr?
Or else confound them quite with mighty power?
Touch not my Kings, my Prophets let alone,
Harm not my Priests; or you shall ill endure
Your works sad payment and that deadly lone;
Keep off your hand from that high holy Rock of stone.

Do not I see? I slumber not nor sleep.
Do not I hear? each noise by shady night
My mirour represents: when mortals steep
Their languid limbs in Morpheus dull delight,
I hear such sounds as Adams brood would fright.
The dolefull echoes from the hollow hill
Mock howling wolves: the woods with black bedight
Answer rough Pan, his pipe and eke his skill,
And all the Satyr-routs rude whoops and shoutings shrill:

The night's no night to me: What? shall the Owl
And nimble Cat their courses truly steer,
And guide their feet and wings to every hole
So right, this on the ground, that in the air?
And shall not I by night see full as clear?
All sense doth in proportion consist,
Arachnea doth all proportions bear;
All sensible proportions that fine twist
Contains: all life of sense is in great Haphes list.

Sense and concent, and all abhorrency,
Be variously divided in each one
Partic'lar creature: But antipathy
Cannot be there where fit proportion
Strikes in with all things in harmonious tone.
Thus Haphe feels nought to her self contrair:
In her there's tun'd a just Diapason
For every outward stroke: withouten jarre
Thus each thing doth she feel, and each thing easly bear.

But Haphe and Arachne I'll dismisse,
And that fourth vest, rich Semele display:
The largest of all foure and loosest is
This floting flouring changeable array.
How fairly doth it shine, and nimbly play,
Whiles gentle winds of Paradise do blow,
And that bright Sun of the eternall day
Upon it glorious light and forms doth strong,
And Ahad it with love and joy doth overflow.

This all-spread Semele doth Bacchus bear,
Impregn'd of Jove or On. He is the wine
That sad down-drooping senses wont to rear,
And chearlesse hearts to comfort in ill tine.
He 'flames chast Poets brains with fire divine;
The stronger spright the weaker spright doth sway;
No wonder then each phansie doth incline
To their great mother Semel, and obey
The vigourous impresse of her enforcing ray.

She is the mother of each Semele:
The daughters be divided one from one;
But she grasps all. How can she then but see
Each Semels shadows by this union?
She sees and swayes imagination
As she thinks good; and if that she think good
She lets it play by't self, yet looketh on,
While she keeps in that large strong-beating floud
That makes the Poet write, and rave as he were wood.

Prophets and Poets have their life from hence,
Like fire into their marrow it searcheth deep,
This flaming fiery flake doth choak all sense,
And binds the lower man with brazen sleep:
Corruption through all his bones doth creep,
And raging raptures do his soul outsnatch:
Round-turning whirlwinds on Olympus steep
Do cast the soul that earst they out did catch:
Then stiller whispering winds dark visions unlatch.

But not too farre, thou bold Platonick Swain:
Strive not at once all myst'ries to discover
Of that strange School: More and more hard remain
As yet untold. But let us now recover
Strength to our selves by rest in duly houre.
Great Psyches Parentage, Marriage, and Weeds
We having song according to our power,
That we may rise more fresh for morning deeds,
Let's here take Inne and rest our weary sweating steeds.

[Philosophical Poems (1647); ed. Grosart (1878) 13-18]

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