1642
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Psychodia Platonica. Canto II.

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




Here's great Psyche in my former song,
Soul's from their centrall sourse
Go forth. Here Beirons ingeny
Old Mnemon doth discourse.

I sang great Psyche in my former song,
Old Atoves daughter, sister unto On,
Mother of all that nimble Atom-throng
Of winged Lives. and Generation.
When Psyche wedded to Autocalon,
They both to Ahad forthwith straight were wed:
For as you heard, all these became but one,
And so conjoyn'd they lie all in one bed,
And with that four-fold vest they be all overspred.

Here lies the inmost Centre of Creation,
From whence all inward forms and life proceed:
Here's that aereall stole, that to each fashion
Of Sensibles is matter for their weed.
This is the ground where God doth sow his seed
And whilest he sows with whispering charms doth bid
This flourish long, and that to make more speed,
And all in order by his Word doth rid:
So in their fatall round they 'pear and then are hid.

Beginning, End, Form and Continuance
Th' impression of his Word to them doth deal,
Occurrences he sees, and mindeth chance:
But chance hath bounds. The Sea cannot o're swell
His just precincts. Or rocky shores repell
His foming force: or else his inward life
And Centrall rains do fairly him compell
Within himself, and gentry 'pease the strife,
Or makes him gnaw the bit with rore and rage full rife.

So fluid chance is set its certain bound,
Although with circling winds it be y tost;
And so the pilots skill doth quite confound
With unexpected storms, and men have lost
Their time, their labour, and their precious cost.
Yet ther's a Neptune Soveraign of this Sea,
Which those that in themselves put not their trust
To rude mischance did never yet betray:
It's He, whom both the winds and stormy Seas obey.

Now sith my wandring Bark so far is gone,
And flitten forth upon the Ocean main,
I thee beseech that just dominion
Hast of the Sea, and art true Soveraign
Of working phancie when it floats amain
With full impregned billows and strong rage
Enforceth way upon the boyling plain,
That thou wouldst steer my ship with wisdome sage,
That I with happy course may run my watery stage.

My mind is mov'd dark Parables to sing
Of Psyches progeny that from her came,
When she was married to that great King,
Great Aeon, who just title well may claim
To every soul, and brand them with his name.
Its He that made us, and not our own might:
But who, alas! this work can well proclaim?
We silly sheep cannot bleat out aright
The manner how: but that that giveth light is light.

Then let us borrow from the glorious Sun
A little light to illustrate this act,
Such as he is in his solstitial Noon,
When in the Welkin there's no cloudy tract
For to make grosse his beams, and light refract.
Then sweep by all those Globes that by reflexion
His long small shafts do rudely beaten back,
And let his rayes have undenied projection,
And so we will pursue this mysteries resection.

Now think upon that gay discoloured Bow:
That part that is remotest from the light
Doth duskish hew to the beholder show;
The nearer parts have colour farre more bright,
And next the brightest is the subtle light;
Then colours seem but a distinct degree
Of light now failing; such let be the sight
Of his farre spreader beams that shines on high:
Let vast discoloured Orbs close his extremitie,

The last Extreme, the farthest off from light,
That's Natures deadly shadow, Hyle's cell.
O horrid cave, and womb of dreaded night?
Mother of witchcraft, and the cursed spell,
Which nothing can avail 'gainst Israel.
No Magick can him hurt; his portion
Is not divided Nature; he doth dwell
In light, in holy love, in union;
Not fast to this or that, but free communion.

Dependence of this All hence doth appear,
And several degrees subordinate.
But phancie's so unfit such things to clear,
That oft it makes them seem more intricate:
And now Gods work it doth disterminate
Too farre from his own reach: But he withall
More inward is, and farre more intimate
Then things are with themselves. His Ideall,
And Centrall presence is in every Atom-ball.

Therefore those different hews through all extend
So farre as light: Let light be every where:
And every where with light distinctly blend
Those different colours which I nam'd whilere
The Extremities of that farre shining sphear.
And that far shining sphear, which Centre was
Of all those different colours, and bright chear,
You must unfasten; so o'respred it has,
Or rather deeply fill'd with Centrall sand each place.

Now sith that this withouten penetrance
Of bodies may be done: we clearly see
(As well as that pendent subordinance)
The nearly couching of each Realtie,
And the Creatours close propinquitie
To ev'ry creature. This be understood
Of differentiall profunditie.
But for the overspreading Latitude;
Why may's not equally be stretch'd with th' Ocean floud?

There Proteus wonnes and fleet Idothea,
Where the lowest step of that profunditie
Is pight; Next that is Psyche's out-array:
It Tasis hight: Physis is next degree:
There Psyche's feet impart a smaller fee
Of gentle warmth. Physis is the great womb
From whence all things in th' University
Yclad in divers forms do gaily bloom,
And after fade away, as Psyche gives the doom.

Next Physis is the tender Arachnee.
There in her subtile loom doth Haphe sit:
But the last vest is changing Semele:
And next is Psyches self. These garments fit
Her sacred limbs full well, and are so knit
One part to other, that the strongest sway
Of sharpest axe, them no'te asunder smite.
The seaventh is Aeon with Eternall ray:
The eighth Atove, steady Cube, all propping Adonai.

Upon this universall Ogdoas
Is founded every particularment:
From this same universall Diapase
Each harmony is fram'd and sweet concent.
But that I swerve not far from my intent,
This Ogdoas let 'be an Unitie
One mighty quickned Orb of vast extent,
Throughly possest of lifes community,
And so those vests be seats of Gods vitality.

Now deem this universall Round alone,
And rayes no rayes but a first all-spred light,
And centrick all like one pellucid Sun;
A Sun that's free, not bound by Natures might,
That where he lists exerts his rayes outright,
Both when he lists, and what, and eke how long,
And then retracts so as he thinketh meet.
These rayes be that particular creature-throng:
Their number none can tell, but that all-making tongue.

Now blundring Naturalist behold the spring
Of thy deep-searching soul, that fain would know
Whether a mortall or immortall thing
It be, and whence at first it 'gan to flow;
And that which chiefest is where it must go.
Some fixt necessity thou fain wouldst find:
But no necessity, where there's no law,
But the good pleasure of an unty'd mind:
Therefore thy God seek out, and leave Nature behind.

He kills, He makes alive; the keys of Hell
And Death he hath. He can keep souls to wo
When cruell hands of Fate them hence expell:
Or He in Lethe's lake can drench them so,
That they no act of life or sense can show.
They march out at His word, and they retreat;
March out with joy, retreat with footing slow
In gloomy shade, benumm'd with pallid sweat,
And with their feeble wings their fainting breasts they beat.

But souls that of his own good life partake
He loves as his own self; dear as His eye
They are to him: He'll never them forsake:
When they shall dye, then God himself shall die
They live, they live in blest Eternity.
The wicked are not so; but like the dirt,
Trampled by man and beast, in grave they lye.
Filth and corruption is their rufull sort:
Themselves with death and wormes in darknesse they disport.

Their rotten relicks lurk close under ground:
With living wight no sense or sympathy
They have at all; nor hollow thundring sound
Of roring winds, that cold mortality
Can wake, ywrapt in sad Fatality.
To horses hoof that beats his grassie dore
He answers not: The Moon in silency,
Doth passe by night, and all bedew him or'e
With her cold humid rayes; but he feels not Heavens power.

O dolefull lot of disobedience!
If God should souls thus drench in Lethe lake
But O unspeakable torture of sense,
When sinfull souls do life and sense partake,
That those damn'd Spirits may them anvils make
Of their fell cruelty, that lay such blows
That very ruth doth make my heart to quake
When I consider of the drery woes,
And tearing torment that each soul then undergoes.

Hence the souls nature we may plainly see:
A beam it is of th' Intellectuall Sun.
A ray indeed of that Aeternity;
But such a ray as when it first out shone,
From a free light its shining date begun.
And that same light when's list can call it in;
Yet that free light hath given a free wonne
To this dependent ray: Hence cometh sin;
From sin dred Death and Hell these wages doth it win.

Each life a severall ray is from that Sphear
That Sphear doth every life in it contain.
Arachnee, Semel, and the rest do bear
Their proper virtue, and with one joynt strain
And powerfull sway they make impression plain,
And all their rayes be joyned into one
By Ahad: so this womb withouten pain
Doth flocks of souls send out that have their won
Where they list most to graze; as I shall tell anon.

The countrey where they live Psychania hight,
Great Psychany, that hath so mighty bounds,
If bounds it have at all. So infinite
It is of bignesse, that it me confounds
To think to what a vastnesse it amounds.
The Sun Saturnus, Saturn the Earth exceeds
The Earth the Moon; but all those fixed Rounds;
But Psychany, those fixed Rounds exceeds,
As farre as those fix'd Rounds excell small mustard-seeds.

Two mighty Kingdomes hath this Psychany,
The one self-feeling Autaesthesia;
The other hight god-like Theoprepy,
Autaesthesy's divided into tway:
One province cleped is great Adamah
Which also hight Beirah of brutish fashion;
The other Providence is Dizoia;
There you may see much mungrill transformation,
Such monstrous shapes proceed from Niles foul inundation.

Great Michael ruleth Theoprepia,
A mighty Prince. King of Autaesthesy
Is that great Giant who bears mighty sway,
Father of Discord, Falshood, Tyranny,
His name is Daemon, not from Sciency,
Although he boasteth much of skilful pride;
But he's the fount of foul duality,
That wicked witch Duessa is his bride:
From his dividing force this name to him betide.

Or for that he himself is quite divided
Down to the belly; there's some unity:
But head, and tongue, and heart be quite discided;
Two heads, two tongues, and eke two hearts there be.
This head doth mischief plot, that head doth see
Wrong fairly to o'reguild. One tongue doth pray,
The other curse. The hearts do ne're agree
But felly one another do upbray
An ugly cloven foot this monster doth upstay.

Two sons great Daemon and Duessa hath:
Autophilus the one ycleeped is;
In Dizoie he worketh wondrous scath
He is the cause what so there goes amisse,
In Psyches stronger plumed progenies.
But Philosomatus rules Beirah.
This proud puft Giant whilom did arise,
Born of the slime of Autaesthesia,
And bred up these two sons yborn of Duessa.

Duessa first invented magick lore,
And great skill hath to joyn and disunite;
This herb makes love, that hearb makes hatred sore
And much she can against an Edomite;
But nought she can against an Israelite,
Whose heart's upright and doth himself forsake.
For he that's one with God no magick might
Can draw or here or there through blind mistake.
Magick can onely quell natures Daemoniake.

But that I may in time my self betake
To straighter course, few things I will relate,
Of which old Mnemon mention once did make.
A jolly swain he was in youthfull state,
When he mens natures gan to contemplate,
And kingdomes view: But he was aged then
When I him saw; his years bore a great date;
He numbred had full ten times ten times ten:
There's no Pythagorist but knows well what I mean.

Old Mnemons head and beard was hoary white,
But yet a chearfull countenance he had:
His vigorous eyes did shine like starres bright,
And in good decent freez he was yclad,
As blith and buxom as was any lad
Of one and twenty cloth'd in forrest green;
Both blith he was, and eke of counsell sad:
Like winter-morn bedight with snow and rine
And sunny rayes, so did his goodly Eldship shine.

Of many famous towns in Beirah,
And many famous Laws and uncouth Rites
He spake: but vain it is for to assay
To reckon up such numbers infinite.
And much he spake where I had no insight,
But well I wot that some there present had;
For words to speak to uncapable wight
Of foolishnesse proceeds or phrensie mad.
So, alwayes some, I wis, could trace his speeches pad.

But that which I do now remember best,
Is that which he of Psittacusa fond
Did speak. This Psittacuse is not the least,
Or the most obscure, Countrey, that is found
In wastefull Beiron: it is renown'd
For famous Clerks yclad in greenest cloke,
Like Turkish Priests, if Amoritish ground
We call's, no cause, that title to revoke.
But of this Land to this effect old Mnemon spoke.

I travelled in Psittacusa Lond:
Th' Inhabitants the lesser Adamah
Do call it; but then Adam I have found
It ancienter, if so I safely may
Unfold th' antiquity. They by one day
Are elder then old Adam, and by one
At least are younger then Arcadia,
O' th' sixth day Adam had's creation;
Those on the fifth, the Arcades before the Moon.

In this same Land as I was on the rode,
A nimble traveller me overtook:
Fairly together on the way we yode.
Tho I gan closely on his person look,
And eye his garb: He straight occasion took
To entertain discourse, though none I raught,
But unprovok'd he first me undertook:
So soon as he gan talk, then straight I laught:
The Sage himself repress, but thought me nigh distraught.

His concave nose, great head, and grave aspect,
Affected tone, words without inward sense,
My inly tickled spright made me detect
By outward laughter; but by best presence
I purg'd my self, and gave due reverence.
Then he gan gravely treat of codicils,
And of Book-readings passing excellence,
And tri'd his wit in praysing gooses quills:
O happy age! quoth he, the world Minerva fills.

I gave the talk to him, which pleas'd him well:
For then he seem'd a learned clerk to been,
When none contrary'd his uncontrolled spell,
But I, alas! though unto him unseen,
Did flow with tears, as if that onyons keen
Had pierc'd mine eyen. Strange vertue of fond joy:
They ought to weep that be in heavie teen.
But nought my lightsome heart did then annoy:
So light it lay, it mov'd at every windie toy.

As we yode softly on, a Yongster gent
With bever cock't, and arm set on one side
(His youthfull fire quickly our pace out-went)
Full fiercely pricked on in madcap pride,
The mettle of his horses heels he tri'd,
He hasted to his countrey Pithecuse.
Most haste, worst speed: still on our way we ride,
And him o'retake halting through haplesse bruize;
We help him up again, our help he nould refuse.

Then gan the learn'd and ag'd Don Psittaco,
When he another auditour had got,
To spruse his plumes, and wisdome sage to show,
And with his sacred lore to wash the spot
Of youthfull blemishes; but frequent jot
Of his hard setting jade did so confound
The words that he by paper-stealth had got,
That their lost sense the yongster could not sound,
Though he with mimicall attention did abound.

Yet some of those faint winged words came near,
Of God, of Adam, and the shape divine,
Which Adams children have; (these pierc'd his eare)
And how that man is lord of every kind
Of beasts, of birds, and of each hidden mine
Of natures treasures. He to Adams sonne
The wide world for his kingdome doth designe:
And ever naming God, he lookd aboven:
Pithecus straight plac'd God a thought above the Moon.

Pithecus, so they call this gentle wight,
The docible young man eas'ly could trace
His masters steps, most quick and expedite.
When Psittaco look'd up to holy place,
Pithecus straight with sanctimonious grace
Cast up his eyes; and when the shape divine,
Which Adam had from God, he gan to praise,
Pithecus draws himself straight from that line,
And phansies his sweet face with heavenly hiew to shine.

He pincht his hat, and from his horses side
Stretcht forth his russet legs, himself inclin'd
Now here, now there, and most exactly eyed
His comely lineaments, that he might find
What ever beauty else he had not mind
As yet in his fair corse. But that full right
And vast prerogative did so unbind
His straighted sprights, that with tyrannick might
He forc'd his feeble beast, and straight fled out of sight.

Then I and Psittaco were left alone;
And which was strange, he deeply silent was:
Whether some inward grief he from that son,
Conceiv'd, and deemed it no small disgrace
That that bold youngster should so little passe
His learned speech; or whether nought to sain
He had then left; or whether a wild chase
Of flitting inconsistent thoughts he than
Pursu'd, which turn'd and toy'd in his confused brain.

Or whether he was woxen so discreet,
As not to speak till fit occasion.
(To judge the best, that Charity counts meet)
Therefore that Senior sad I gan anon
Thus to bespeak: Good Sir, I crave pardon
If so I chance to break that golden twist
You spin, by rude interpellation,
That twist of choicest thoughts. No whit I miss'd
The mark I aimed at; to speak he had great list.

So then his spirits gan to come again,
And to enact his corps and impart might
Unto his languide tongue, and every vein
Received heat, when due conceived right
I did to him; and weend he plainly see't
That I was toucht with admiration
Of his deep learning, and quick-shifting sight,
Then I gan quire of the wide Behiron.
Behiron, quoth that Sage, that hight Anthropion.

Anthropion we call't; but th' holy tongue
(His learning lay in words) that Behiron
Which we Anthropion, calls, as I among
The Rabbins read: but sooth to say, no tone,
Nor tongue, or speech, so sweet as is our own,
Or so significant. For mark the sense:
From [Greek characters] is Anthropion;
And we are all of an upright presence;
Nor I'll be drawn from this conceit by no presence.

I prais'd his steady faith and confidence,
That stood as fast as trunk or rock of stone;
Yet nathelesse, said I, the excellence
Of stedfastnesse is not to yield to none,
But stiff to stand till mov'd by right reason;
And then by yielding, part of victory
To gain. What fitnesse in Anthropion?
Baboons, and Apes, as well as th' Anthropi
Do go upright, and beasts grown mad do view the sky.

Then marken well, what great affinitie
There is twixt Ape, mad Beast, and Satyrs wild
And the Inhabitants of Anthropie,
When they are destitute of manners mild,
And th' inward man with brutishnesse defil'd
Hath life and love and lust and cogitation
Fixt in foul sense, or moving in false guile
That holy tongue the better nomination,
So farre, I know, may give: 'Tis ghesse, not full perswasion.

Therefore, O learned Sir, aread aright
What may this word Behiron signifie?
He wondrous glad to shew his Grammar-might,
This same word Behiron doth signifie
The brutish nature, or brutallitie,
Said he: and with his voice lift up his front.
Then I his skill did gaily magnifie,
And blest me, I an idiot should light on't
So happily, that never was a scholar count;

And said, Then holy tongue is on my side;
And holy tongue is better then profane.
He angry at his courtesie, reply'd,
That learned men ought for to entertain
Discourse of learned tongues, and countrey swain
Of countrey 'fairs. But for to answer thee,
This I dare warrant surely to maintain,
If to contrair the holy tongue should be
Absurd, I find enough such contrariety.

Then I in simple sort him answered thus,
I ken not the strange guize of learned Schools,
But if Gods thoughts be contrair unto us,
Let not deep wonderment possesse our souls,
If he call fools wisemen, and wisemen fools.
If rich he poore men term, if poore men rich,
If crafty States-men, silly countrey gulls,
Beasts men, men beasts, with many other such:
God seeth not as man seeth, God speaks not in mans speech.

Straight he to higher pearch, like bird in cage,
Did skip, and sang of etern Destiny,
Of sight and foresight he with count'nance sage
Did speak, and did unfold Gods secresie,
And left untoucht no hidden mystery.
I lowly louting held my cap in hond:
He askt what meant that so sudden coursie.
I pardon crave, said I, for manners fond;
You are Heavens Privy-Counsellour I understond,

Which I wist not before: so deep insight
Into the hidden things of God who can
Attain unto, without that quickning spright
Of the true God? Who knows the mind of man
But that same spright that in his breast doth won?
Therefore the key of Gods hid secresie
Is his own spright, that's proper to the Son,
And those of that second nativity,
Which holy Temples are of the Divinity.

Therefore as th' sacred Seat o' th' Deity,
I unto you seemly behaviour make,
If you be such as you may seem to be.
It is mans nature easily to mistake.
My words his mind did quite asunder break:
For he full forward was all to assume
That might him gild with glory, and pertake
With God; and joyed greatly in vain fume,
And prided much himself in his purloined plume.

So that full loth he was for to undo
My fairly winded up conclusion;
Yet inwardly did not assent unto
My premises: for foul presumption
He thought, if that a private idiot man
By his new birth should either equallize,
Or else outstrip the bookish nation.
Perhaps some foul deformities disguise
Their life: tush! that to knowledge is no prejudice.

But he nould say so: for why? he was bent
To keep the credit which he then had got,
As he conceiv'd: for it had been yblent;
It might have hazarded half of his lot,
To wit his god-like hue withouten spot,
If so be such deep knowledge could consist
With wicked life: but he nould lose one jot
Of his so high esteem, nor me resist.
So I escap'd the souse of his contracted fist.

And here I think we both as dumb had been
As were the slow-foot beasts on which we rode
Had not Don Psittaco by fortune seen
A place which well he knew though disallow'd:
Which he to me with earnest countenance show'd
Histing me nearer; nearer both we go
And closely under the thick hedges crowd,
Which were not yet so thick but they did show
Through their false sprays all the whole place and persons too.

It was to weet, a trimly decked Close
Whose grassie pavement wrought with even line
Ran from the Morn upon the Evening-close.
The Eastern end by certain steps they climbe
To do their holy things, (O sight divine!)
There on the middle of the highest flore
A large green turf squar'd out, all fresh and fine
Not much unlike to Altars us'd of yore
Right fairly was adorn'd with every glittering flower.

At either end of this well raised sod
A stately stalk shot up of Torchwort high
Whose yellow flames small light did cast abroad
But yet a pleasant shew they yield the eye.
A pretty space from this we did descry
An hollow Oak, whose navell the rough saw
Long since had clove: so standing wet and dry
Around the stumped top soft mosse did grow
Whose velvet hue and verdure cushion-like did show.

Within the higher hedge of thickn'd trees
A lower rank on either side we saw
Of lesser shrubs even-set with artifice.
There the wood-queristers sat on a row
And sweetly sung while Boreas did blow
Above their heads, with various whistling,
As his blasts hap to break (now high, now low)
Against the branches of the waving Pines
And other neighbour plants, still rocking with the winds.

But above these birds of more sightly plume
With gold and purple feathers gayly dight
Are rank'd aloft. But th' Eagle doth assume
The highest sprig. For his it is by right.
Therefore in seemly sort he there is pight
Sitting aloft in his green Cabinet
From whence he all beholds with awfull sight,
Who ever in that solemne place were met,
At the West end for better view, right stately set.

After a song loud chanted by that Quire
Tun'd to the whistling of the hollow wince
Comes out a gay Pye in his rich attire
The snowie white with the black sattin stain'd,
On's head a silken cap he wore unlin'd.
When be had hopped to the middle flore
His bowing head right lowly he inclin'd
As if some Deity he did adore,
And seemly gestures make courting the Heavenly powr.

Thus cring'd he toward th' East with shivering wings
With eyes on the square sod devoutly bent.
Then with short flight up to the Oak he springs
Where he thrice congied after his ascent
With posture chang'd from th' East to th' Occident,
Thrice bowed he down and easily thrice he rose;
Bow'd down so low as if't had been's intent
On the green mosse to wipe his swarthy nose.
Anon he chatters loud, but why himself best knows.

There we him leave, impatient of stay
My self amaz'd such actions to see
And pretty gestures 'mongst those creatures gay:
So unexpected Uniformitie,
And such a semblance of due piety:
For every Crow as when he cries for rain
Did Eastward nod; and every Daw we see
When they first entered this grassie Plain
With shaking wings and bended bills ador'd the same.

O that the spirit of Pythagoras
Would now invade my breast, dear Psittaco
Said I. In nature he so cunning was
As both the mind of birds and beasts to know,
What meant their voyces and their gestures too.
So might we riddle out some mystery
Which lieth hid in this strange uncouth show;
But thy grave self may be as wise as he
I wote. Aread then Psittaco what sights these be.

Certes, said he, thine eyes be waxen dim
These be the people of wide Adamah
These be no birds, 'tis true, they're sons of sin
And vessels of Heavens ire, for sooth to say
They have no faith, I fear nor ever may,
But be shap'd out for everlasting shame,
Though they deride us of Psittacusa:
Yet well I wot, we have the onely name
Above, and though all foul yet there devoyd of blame.

And that green spot which thou maist deem a Close
It is to them no Close but holy place
Ycleep'd a Church, whose sight doth well dispose
Approaching souls. The rest thy self maist trace
By true analogy, But I'll not passe
One thing remarkable, said he to me:
It was Don Pico took the preaching place
A man of mighty power in his own See;
A man, no bird, as he did fondly seem to thee.

Mn. Tell then Don Psittaco, what Pico ment
By his three bowings to the setting Sun
And single obesance toward th' Orient.
What! were they postures of Religion?
If so why had those yellow flames but one?
The Eagle three? That th' Eagle was his God
It is, said he, a strong presumption,
Whom he first slightly in that holy sod
After ador'd more fully with a triple nod.

Certes, quoth I, such Majesty divine
And seemly graces in the Eagle be
That they the gentle heart may well incline
To all respect and due civility.
But if that worship civill be, said he,
Certes, Don Pico can not well excuse
Himself from fault of impious flattery
His holy gestures streightway thus to use
To mortall man, redoubling thrice the bold abuse.

But well observe, said I, the motion.
While he draws lowly back his demure bill
Making it touch the mossie cushion,
His moving Karkas shrinketh nearer still
Toward the sacred sod.
What then, quoth he, was it in Pico's mind
That solemn service with four ducks to fill
But one before, the other three behind.
My duller wit, said I, the mystery cannot find.

Ps. But I can find it. Superstition
And flattery, have made Don Pico blind.
These interfere in fond confusion.
But both conspire to hold up his sworn mind
In supercilious pride and wayes unkind.
For he doth dominere o're Psittacuse.
Dear Psittacuse! when shalt thou once outwind
Thy self from this sad yoke? who brings the news
Of Sions full release from scorn and foul abuse?

O had we once the power in our hands
How carefully the youth wee'd catechise,
But bind Gods enemies in iron bands
(Such honour have his Saints) and would devise
Set forms of Truth, on Discipline advise
That unto both all men must needs conform.
Mn. But what if any tender heart denies?
Ps. If he will his own fortunes overturn
It cannot well be holp, we must be uniform.

Mn. Good reason too, said I. Don Pico grave
The self same doctrine preacheth as I hear.
But Reverend Psittaco, let me freedome crave
To ask one question, Is't because 't's so clear
That who so shall dissent shall pay so dear.
Or will you in those things you do not know
But be uncertain, certain mischief bear
To them that due assent cannot bestow?
It is in such, said he, that we for certain know.

But how know you those things for certainty?
By Reason, Scripture, or the Spirit divine,
Or lastly by Churches Authority?
With that Don Psittaco cast up his eyen
Brim ful of thoughts to solve this knot of mine.
But in the fall of his high-gazing sight
He spide two on the rode he did divine
To be of his acquaintance, them we meet,
Forthwith Don Psittaco the strangers kindly greet.

And he them both seemly salutes again.
The one on a lean fiery jade did sit
And seem'd a wight of a right subtile brain.
Both cloth'd as black as jet. But he was fit
With a dry wall-nut shell to fence his wit.
Which like a quilted cap on's head he wore
Lin'd with white taffity, wherein were writ
More trimly than the Iliads of yore
The laws of Mood and Figure and many precepts more.

All the nice questions of the School-men old
And subtilties as thin as cobwebs bet,
Which he wore thinner in his thoughts yrold.
And his warm brains, they say, were closer set
With sharp distinctions than a cushionet
With pins and needles; which he can shoot out
Like angry Porcupine, where e're they hit.
Certes a doughty Clerk and Champion stout
He seem'd and well appointed against every doubt.

The other rod on a fat resty jade
That neighed loud. His rider was not lean.
His black plump belly fairly outward swai'd
And pressed somewhat hard on th' horses mane.
Most like methought to a Cathedrall Dean.
A man of prudence and great courtesie
And wisely in the the world he knew to glean.
His sweaty neck did shine right greasily
Top heavy was his head with earthily policy.

This wight Corvino, Psittacus me told
Was named, and the other Graculo.
They both of his acquaintance were of old
Though so near freindship now they did not owe.
But yet in generalls agreed, I trow,
For they all dearly hug dominion,
And love to hold mens consciences in awe
Each standing stiff for his opinion
In holy things, against all contradiction.

But most of all Corvin and Psittaco
Prudentiall men and of a mighty reach
Who through their wisdome sage th' events foreknow
Of future things; and confidently preach
Unlesse there be a form which men must teach
Of sound opinions (each meaning his own)
But t' be left free to doubt and counter-speech
Authority is lost, our trade is gone
Our Tyrian wares forsaken, we, alas! shall mone.

Or at the best our life will bitter be:
For we must toyle to make our doctrine good.
Which will empair the flesh and weak the knee.
Our mind cannot attend our trencher-food
Nor be let loose to sue the worldly good.
All's our dear wives, poore wenches! they alone
Must ly long part of night when we withstood
By scrupulous wits must watch to nights high Noon
Till all our members grow as cold as any stone.

Heaps of such inconveniences arise
From Conscience-freedome, Christian liberty.
Beside our office all men will despise
Unlesse our lives gain us Autority.
Which in good sooth a harder task will be.
Dear brethren I sacred souls of Behiron!
Help, help as you desire to liven free
To ease, to wealth, to honour, and renown
And sway th' affrighted world with your disguized frown.

This is the Genius of Corvino sage
And Psittaco falls little short in wit,
Though short he fall of old Corvino's age,
His steppings with the other footsteps fit.
And heavens bright eye it will aware of it,
But now me lists few passages to show
Amongst us foure when we together met
Occasion'd first by hardy Psittaco
Who Corvin did accost and nutshell Graculo.

Brethren I said he, (and held by holy belt
Corvino grave, ne did his hands abhor't
When he the black silk rope soft fimbling felt
And with his fingers milked evermore
The hanging frienge) one thing perplexeth sore
My reason weak and puzled thoughts, said he.
Tell then, ye learned Clerks, which of these foure
To weet, from Scripture, Church authority,
Gods Spirit, or mans Reason is Faiths Certainty.

For, well I wot, our selves must fully assent
To points of Faith we rigidly obtrude
On others, eIse there is no punishment
Due to gainsayers. Corvin here indewd
With singular gravity this point pursu'd,
Saying that all belief is solv'd at last
Into the Church, ne may the people rude
Nor learned wit her honour dare to blast
Nor scrupulous thoughts, nor doubtfull queres out to cast.

Strait Graculo with eyes as fierce as Ferrit
Reply'd: If all mens faith resolved be
Into each Church, all nations shall inherit
For ever their Ancestours Idolatry.
An Indian ever shall an Indian be
A Turk a Turk. To this Corvin anon;
I give not this infallibility
To every Church, but onely to our own
Full witnesse to her self of all the truths she'll own.

Gr. That then is truth what she will say is true.
But not unlesse her the true Church thou hold.
How knowst thou then her such, good Corvin shew.
Friend Graculo in talk we be too bold.
Let's go, I fear my self and horse take cold.
But t' answer to that question, 'fore we go
The Church is true as she her self me told.
A goodly answer said Don Graculo.
You dispute in a Circle as all Logicians know.

Here Psittaco could not but inly smile
To see how Graculo Corvin did orecrow,
And fair replying with demeanance mild,
The truth, said he, the Scriptures onely show.
Streight nimble Graculus; But who can know
The sense of Scripture without reason found?
The Scripture is both key and treasure too
It opes it self (so said that Clerk profound)
This place with that compar'd. This is the strongest ground.

Gr. But what with judgement doth them both compare?
Is't reason or unreasonablenesse, I pray.
To which grave Psittacus, you so subtill are,
I list not with such cunning wits to play.
Here I stept in and thus began to say
Right worthy Clerks, for so you be I ween,
Your queint discourse your breedings doth bewray,
Long time you have at learned Athens been
And all the dainty tricks of Art and Science seen.

If me a stranger wight it may beseem
But homely bred, as yet unripe in years,
Who conscious of his weaknesses doth deem
Himself unfit to speak among his peers,
Much more unfit for your judicious ears
Whom Age and Arts do equally adorn
And solemne habit no small semblance bears
Of highest knowledge, might I be but born
A word or two to speak, now would I take my turn.

Say on said Psittaco. There's a third, said I,
Nor reason nor unreasonablenesse hight.
Here Graccus. The disjunction you deny.
Then I, there is a third ycleep'd Gods spright
Nor reason nor unreasonablenesse hight.
Corvino straight foam'd like his champing jade
And said I was a very silly wight,
And how through melancholy I was mad
And unto private spirits all holy truth betray'd.

But I nould with like fury him invade
But mildly as I mought made this reply.
Gods Spirit is no private empty shade
But that great Ghost that fills both earth and sky,
And through the boundlesse Universe doth ly,
Shining through purged hearts and simple minds
When doubling clouds of thick hypocrisie
Be blown away with strongly brushing winds
Who first this tempest feels the Sun he after finds.

Thus wise and godly men I hear to teach,
And know no hurt this doctrine to believe.
Certes it much occasion doth reach
To leave the world and holily to live.
All due observance to Gods laws to give.
With care and diligence to maken pure
Those vessels that this heavenly dew receive.
But most in point of faith sleep too secure
And want this bait their souls to goodnesse to allure.

For they believen as the Church believes
Never expecting any other light,
And hence it is, each one so loosely lives,
Hopelesse of help from that internall spright.
Enough! said Graculo, Corvino's right.
Let's hear, dispute in figure and in mood.
And stifly with smart syllogismes fight
That what thou wouldst may wel be understood,
But now thou rovest out, and rav'st as thou wert wood.

Reason I say all Scripture sense must judge
Do thou one reason 'gainst this truth produce:
Reason, said I, in humane things may drudge
But in divine thy soul it may seduce.
Gr. Prove that, Mn. I prove it thus. For reasons use
Back'd with advantage of all sciences,
Of Arts, of tongues, cannot such light transfuse
But that most learned men do think amisse
In highest points divided as well you know, I wisse.

Here Graculo learing up with one eye
View'd the broad Heavens long resting in a pause
And all the while he held his neck awry
Like listning daw, turning his nimble nose,
At last these words his silent tongue did loose.
What is this spirit, say what's this spirit, man!
Who has it, answer'd I, he onely knows.
'Tis the hid Manna and the graven stone.
He canteth, said Corvino, come Grac, let's be gone.

But Grac stayd still this question to move.
Doth not, said he, reason to us descry
What things soever reasonable prove?
Not so. For the whole world that ope doth lie
Unto our sight, not reason but our eye
Discovers first, but upon that fair view
Our reason takes occasion to trie
Her proper skill and curiously pursue
The Art and sweet contrivance Heaven and Earth do shew.

There's no man colour smels, or sees a sound,
Nor sucks the labour of the hony-bee
With's hungry lugs, nor binds a gaping wound
With's slippery ey-balls. Every faculty
And object have their due Analogy,
Nor can reach further than it's proper sphear.
Who divine sense by reason would descry
Unto the Sun-shine listens with his ear.
So plain this truth to me, Don Graco, doth appear.

How then, said Graco, is the spirit known
If not by reason: To this I replyde,
Onely the spirit can the spirit own.
But this, said he, is back again to slide
And in an idle Circle round to ride.
Why so, said I, Is not light seen by light?
Streight Graculo did skilfully divide
All knowledge into sense and reason right.
Be't so, said I, Don Graco, what's this reasons might.

If then, said he, the spirit may not be
Right reason, surely we must deem it sense.
Yes, sense it is, this was my short reply.
Sense upon which holy Intelligence
And heavenly Reason and comely Prudence
(O beauteous branches of that root divine!)
Do springen up, through inly experience
Of Gods hid wayes, as he doth ope the ey'n
Of our dark souls and in our hearts his light enshrine.

Here Graculus did seem exceeding glad
On any terms to hear but reason nam'd,
And with great joy and jollity he bad
Adew to me as if that he had gain'd
The victory. Besides Corvino blam'd
His too long stay. Wherefore he forward goes
Now more confirm'd his Nutshell-cap contain'd
What ever any living mortall knows.
Ne longer would he stay this sweet conceit to loose.

Thus Psittaco and I alone were left
In sober silence holding on our way.
His musing skull, poor man! was well nigh cleft
By strong distracting thoughts drove either way;
Whom pittying I thus began to say.
Dear Psittaco what anxious thoughts oppresse
Thy carefull heart and musing mind dismay?
I am perplexed much I must confesse
Said he, and thou art authour of my heavinesse.

My self Corvino's Church-Autority
No certain ground of holy truth do deem.
And Scripture the next ground alledg'd by me
By Graco was confuted well, I ween.
But thou as in these points farre deeper seen
Than either Cervin or Don Graculo
Yea than my self, assent doth almost win
That Church nor Scripture, cast in reason too
Can to our searching minds truth's hidden treasures show.

Wherefore a fourth, sole ground of certainty
Thou didst produce, to weet, the Spirit divine.
But now, alas! here is the misery,
That left to doubt we cannot well enjoyn
Nor this nor that, nor Faith-forms freely coyn
And make the trembling conscience swear thereto,
For we our selves do but ghesse and divine
What we force other men to swear is true,
Untill the day-star rise our eyes with light t' embew.

Which gift though it be given to me and you,
Mn. (Not unto me, courteous Don Psittaco!)
Ps. Yet certainly there be but very few
That so sublime a pitch ascend unto.
Mn. My self, alas! a silly Swain I know
So far from solving these hard knots, said I,
That more and harder my ranck brain o'regrow.
And wonder that thy quick sagacity
Doth not wince out a further inconveniency.

If light divine we know by divine light
Nor can by any other means it see
This ties their hands from force that have the spirit.
How can, said Psittaco, these things agree?
For without force vain is Church-Polity;
Mn. But to use force 'gainst men that thing to do
In which they've not the least ability
May seem unjust and violent; I trow,
'Gainst reason, 'gainst Religion, 'gainst all sence and law.

For 'tis as if the King of Arragon
Who was well skilled in Astronomy,
Should by decree deprive each Countrey Clown
Of life, of lands, or of sweet liberty
That would not fully avow each star in sky
Were bigger then the Earth. Here Psittaco
Though what I said did not well satisfie
His grave judicious self, yet he did know
Of whom this talk much 'plause would gain and kindnesse too:

And straight gan say, Dear Glaucis! hadst thou been
At this discourse, how would thy joyous spright
Have danc'd along. For thou art or well seen
In these queint points, or dost at least delight
Exceeding much to hear them open'd right.
And, well I wot, on earth scarce can be found
So witty girl, so wily female wight
As this my Glaucis, over all renown'd;
I mean for quicker parts, if not for judgment sound.

How fit an Auditour would she then prov'd
To thee, young Mnemon? how had she admired
Thy sifting wit, thy speech and person lov'd,
Clove to that mouth with melting zeal all fired,
And hung upon those lips so highly inspired?
Mn. Certes she'd been a bold immodest wight
To come so near when not at all desired.
Ps. Alas! good Mnemon you mistake me quite
I meant no fond salutes, but what is just and right;

Her due attention on thy wise discourse,
Though what thou deemst, and more then thou didst deem
May fit you too. For why? by Natures course
Like joyn with like: wherefore, right well I ween,
Mought I but make the match's would well beseem.
For your conspiring minds exactly agree
In points, which the wide world through wrath and teen
Rudely divide, I mean free Liberty,
Be't so, said I, yet may our grounds farre different be.

For might I but repeat without offence
What I have heard, ill symtomes men descry
In this thy Glaucis, though the nimble wench
So dexterously can pray and prophecy,
And lectures read of drad mortality,
Clasping her palms with fatall noise and shreeks,
Inculcating approching misery
To sad afflicted houses, when she strikes
With brushing strokes the glassie doors and entrance seeks.

Nor doth her solemne looks much like her Sire
Or native zeal which she did once derive
From thee grave Psittaco! exalt her higher
Then Earth and Nature: For men do conceive
Black sanguine fumes my spouse do thus deceive
Translating her into fools Paradise
And so of sense and reason her bereave,
And that that melting love which doth so please
Her gulfed soul, the thawing is of her own grease.

The naturall spright it self doth sweetly hug
In false conceit and ill-deceiving guile,
Sucking fond solace from it's own dear dug,
Like the mistaken Cat that lick'd the file
And drawing bloud, uncessantly did toyl
To suck that sweet, as if there Moses rock
Had swet new milk. Thus Glaucis doth beguil
Her likorish taste, als' doth delude her flock,
Teaching them suck themselves, their empty souls to mock.

Thus they intoxicate with their own bloud
Mistaken Elves! deem it no worse a thing
Then pure Ambrosian Nectar fresh and good,
In golden streams that from great Jove did spring:
And count themselves His onely choice Ofspring
Upon no count but that their count is so.
O sweet conceit! full joy! Soul-ravishing Delight!
Pure faith! Self-love keep close thereto.
Allow but this to us, we'll any thing allow.

Besides the fixednesse of th' eternall Fates
And Adamantine laws of Gods decree
Whereby immutably he loves and hates
May prove new grounds of GIaucis liberty,
No danger then nor detriment can be
To his own people whom of old he chose
From the out-goings of Eternity.
No infecting poyson may them ill dispose.
What worthlesse wit of man this puzling knot may loose.

Did not I tell thee what a wily lasse,
Said Psittaco, my daughter Glaux would prove?
And well perceiving how averse I was
From her strange manners, left all suits of love,
And straight gan show me how she did improve
Her principles to lewdnesse and excesse:
Secure, no fault, no filth can ever move
Her Maker to dislike, no unrighteousnesse
Can hurt her soul, ne sorrow needs she to expresse.

Thus in the wicked wench rank fields do grow
Of Rapine, Riot' Lust, and Covetize,
Of Pride, of Sacriledge, and a thousand moe
Disorders, which no mortall can devise,
Said I, from ought, but that mistake t' arise
Of naked Faith disjoyn'd from Purity.
So with full bitter words he did chastise
His absent child; but whether zeal it be,
Or deep conceived hatred, I no'te well descry.

Nor stops he here, but told me all her guise
How law-lease quite and out of shape she's grown
Affecting still wilde contrarieties,
Averse from what for good all others own.
Preposterous Girl I how often hast thou thrown
Thy self into dark corners at Mid-day,
And then at dead of Night away art flown
To some old barn, thereon to preach and pray
Ending thy dark devotions just at Break of day.

When others sleep or weep, then dost thou sing
In frosty night on neighbours chimney set,
When others fast 'ginst thou thy revelling;
Thy lustfull sparrows greedily dost eat,
Which thou by bloud and violence dost get.
When others eyes plainly can nothing see,
Then thy prodigious lamps by night unwet
And unblown-out, can read right readily
Withouten spectacles, the smallest prints that be.

If chance or free election ever brings
Thee to our Churches, then with hooting wild,
Thou causest uproars, and our holy things
Font, Table, Pulpit, they be all defil'd
With thy broad musings and large squirtings vilde.
Mn. Phy; Psittaco! hide such infirmities
From stranger wight: Who would his own dear child
Thus shamefully disgrace? With mine own eyes
Have I thy Glaucis seen, and better things surmise.

Good sooth, methinks, she is not so defac'd
And all mishapen, and grown out of square,
But that my self most evidently trac'd
Thy comely feature in her visage bare.
Spare then thy self, if her thou wilt not spare.
Ill may it seem what thine own strength begot
With foul reproach and shame thus to besmear,
And through thy zeal thine owne great name to blot:
To two so worthy wights befall some better lot.

Thus in my youth, said Mnemon, did I use
With Reverend Ignorance to sport and toy
And slily would obnoxius Age abuse;
For I was a crank wit, a brisk young boy;
But naturally abhorr'd hypocrisie,
And craft the upshot of experienc'd Age;
And more then life I lov'd my liberty,
And much suspected all that would engage
My heart to their own sect, and free-born soul encage.

For I ev'n at those years was well aware
Of mans false friendship, and grown subtilty,
Which made me snuf the wind, drink the free aire
Like a young Colt upon the mountains high,
And turning tail my hunters all defie.
Ne took I any guide but th' innate light
Of my true Conscience, whose voice to deny,
Was the sole sting of my offended spright:
Thus God and Nature taught their rude Cosmopolite.

I mean not Natures harsh obdurate light
The shamelesse eye-brows of the Serpent old,
That arm'd with custome will not stick to fight
With God and him affront with courage bold:
But that sweet temper we may oft behold
In virgin Youth as yet immaculate,
And unto drudging Policy unfold,
Who do without designe, now love, now hate
And freely give and take withouten price or rate.

Dear lads! How do I love your harmelesse years
And melt in heart while I the Morning-shine
Do view of rising virtue which appears
In your sweet faces, and mild modest eyne.
Adore that God that doth himself enshrine
In your untainted breasts; and give no eare
To wicked voice that may your souls encline
Unto false peace, or unto fruitlesse fear,
Least loosened from your selves Harpyes away you bear.

Abstain from censure, seek and you shall find
Drink your own waters drawn from living well,
Mend in your selves what ill elsewhere you mind,
Deal so with men as you would have them deal,
Honour the Aged that it may go well
With you in Age: For I my self indeed
Have born much scorn for these pranks, I you tell,
By boyes oft bearded, which I deem the meed
Of my abusive youth. But now I will proceed.

By this we came into a way that did
Divide it self into three parts ; the one
To Leontopolis: that in the mid
Did lead straight forth out of wide Beiron,
That was the way that I mought take alone;
The third way led unto Onopolis,
And thitherward Don Psittaco put on.
With both these towns Alopecopolis
Is in firm league, and golden Myrmecopolis.

For nothing they attempt without the aid
Of these two Cities. They'll not wagen war,
Nor peace conclude nor permit any trade,
Nor make decrees, nor shake the civil jar,
Nor take up private wrongs, nor plead at bar,
Nor Temples consecrate, nor Mattins say;
They nought begin divine or secular,
But they advisen with those Cities sway.
O potent Citizens that bear so great a sway!

No truth of justice in Beirah fond:
No sincere faith void of slie subtility,
That alwayes seeks it self, is to be found;
But law delusion and false Polity,
False Polity that into Tyrannie
Would quickly wend, did not stern Fear restrain
And keep in awe. Th' Onites Democracy
Is nought but a large hungry tyrant-train:
Oppression from the poore is an all-sweeping rain.

A sweeping torrent that heats down the corn,
And wasts the oxens labour, head-long throws
The tallest trees up by the root ytorn,
Its ranging force in all the land it shows;
Woods rent from hence, its rowling rage bestows
In other places that were bare before,
With muddied arms of trees the earth it strows;
The list'ning shepherd is amazed sore,
While it with swift descent so hideously doth rore.

Such is the out-rage of Democracie,
When fearlesse it doth rule in Beirah:
And little better is false Monarchy,
When it in this same countrey bears the sway.
(Is's not a part of Autaesthesia?)
So to an inward sucking whirlpools close
They change this swelling torrents surquedry,
Much treasure it draws in, and doth inclose
In 'ts winding mouth, but whither then, there's no man knows.

O falsest Beironites, what gars you plain
One of another, and vainly accuse,
Of foul offence? when you all entertain
Tyrannick thoughts. You all alike do muse
Of your own private good, though with abuse
Of those you can tread down with safety,
No way to wealth or honour you refuse.
False Onople doth grudge, and grone, and cry,
Because she is denied a greater tyranny.

Two of that City whylom on the way,
With languid lugs, and count'nance gravely sad,
Did deeply sigh, and rudely rough did bray
'Gainst Leontopolis. The equall pad
Of justice now, alas! is seldome trad,
Said they; The Lions might is law and right
Where's love or mercy now? with that out strad
A little dog, his dames onely delight
And ran near to their tails, and bark'd with all his might.

The surly irefull Onopolitan
Without all mercy kicks with yron heel
The little bawling curre, that at him ran;
It made his feeble corse to th' earth to reel,
That was so pierc'd with the imprinted steel,
That it might grieve a heart of flinty stone.
No herbs, no salves the breach could ever heal;
The good old wife did then keep house alone,
False hearted carles, is this your great compassion?

There's no society in Behirah
But beastlike grazing in one pasture ground.
No love but of the animated clay
With beauties fading flowers trimly crown'd,
Or from strong sympathies heart-striking stound,
No order but what riches strength and wit
Prescribe, So bad the good eas'ly confound.
Is Honesty in such unruly fit
That it's held in no rank? they 'steem it not awhit.

But I am weary of this uncouth place;
If any man their bad condition
And brutish manners listeth for to trace;
We may them read in the creation
Of this wide Sensible; where every passion
Of birds and beasts distinctly do display
To but an ord'nary imagination,
The life and soul of them in Behirah:
This Behirah that hight the greater Adamah.

The swelling hatefull Toad, industrious Ant,
Lascivious Goat, Parrot, or prating Py,
The kingly Lion, docil Elephant,
All-imitating Ape, gay Butterfly,
The crafty Fox famous for subtilty,
Majestick Horse, the beast that twixt two trees
(A fit resemblance of foul gluttonny)
When he hath fil'd his gorge, himself doth squeeze
To feed afresh, Court Spaniels, and politick Bees;

With many more which I list not repeat;
Some foul, some fair: to th' fair the name they give
Of holy virtues; but 'tis but deceit,
None in Beiron virtuously do live;
None in that land so much as ever strive
For truth of virtue, though sometimes they wont,
As Swine do Swine, their own blood to relieve.
Beiron's all bruits, the true manhood they want,
If outward form you pierce with phansie fulminant.

So having got experience enough
Of this ill land, for nothing there was new,
My purpose I held on, and rode quite through
That middle way, and did th' extremes eschew.
When I came near the end there was in view
No passage: for the wall was very high,
But there no doore to me it self did shew:
Looking about at length I did espy
A lively youth, to whom I presently gan cry.

More willing he's to come then I to call:
Simon he hight, who also's cal'd a Rock:
Simon is that obedientiall
Nature, who boysterous seas and winds doth mock;
No tempest can him move with fiercest shock;
The house that's thereon built doth surely stand:
Nor blustring storm, nor rapid torrents stroke
Can make it fall; it easily doth withstand
The gates of Death and Hell, and all the Stygian band.

When I gan call, forthwith in seemly sort
He me approch'd in decent russet clad,
More fit for labour then the flaunting Court.
When he came near, in chearfull wise he bad
Tell what I would: then I unto the lad
Gan thus reply; alas! too long astray
Here have I trampled foul Behirons pad:
Out of this land I thought this the next way,
But I no gate can find, so vain is mine assay.

Then the wise youth, Good Sir, you look too high:
The wall aloft is rais'd; but that same doore
Where you must passe in deep descent doth lie:
But he bad follow, he would go before.
Hard by there was a place, all covered o're
With stinging nettles and such weedery,
The pricking thistles the hard'st legs would gore,
Under the wall a straight doore we descry;
The wall hight Self-conceit; the doore Humility.

When we came at the dove fast locks it was,
And Simon had the key, but he nould grant
That I into that other land should passe,
Without I made him my Concomitant.
It pleas'd me well, I mus'd not much upon't,
But straight accord: for why? a jolly Swain
Methought he was; meek, chearfull, and pleasant.
When he saw this, he thus to me again,
Sir, See you that sad couple? Then I; I see those twain.

A sorry couple certainly they be.
The man a bloudy knife holds at his heart
With chearlesse countenance, as sad is she.
Or eld, or else intolerable smart,
Which she can not decline by any Art,
Doth thus distort and writh her wrinkled face;
A leaden Quadrate swayes hard on that part
That's fit for burdens; foulnesse doth deface
Her aged looks; with a strait staff her steps she stayes.

Right well you say, then said that lusty Swain:
Yet this poore couple be my Parents dear;
Nor can I hence depart without these twain:
These twain give life to me, though void of chear
They be themselves. Then let's all go yfere.
The young mans speech caus'd sad perplexity
Within my brest, but yet I did forbear,
And fairly ask'd their names. He answered me:
He Autaparnes hight; but she Hypomone.

I Simon am the son of this sad pair,
Who though full harsh they seem to outward sight;
Yet when to Dizoie men forth do fare,
No company in all the land so meet
They find as these. Their pace full well I weet,
Is very slow, and so to youthfull haste
Displeasing, and their counsels nothing sweet
To any Beironite: but sweetest taste
Doth bitter choler breed, and haste doth maken waste.

Nor let that breast impierc'd with weeping wound,
An uncouth spectacle, disturb your mind.
His blood's my food: If he his life effund
To utmost death, the high God hath design'd
That we both live. He in my heart shall find
A seat for his transfused soul to dwell;
And when that's done, this death doth eke unbind
That heavie weight that doth Hypom'ne quell,
Then I Anautaesthetus hight, which seems me well.

So both their lives do vanish into mine,
And mine into Atuvus life doth melt,
Which fading flux of time doth not define,
Nor is by any Autaesthesian felt.
This life to On the good Atuvus deft;
In it's all Joy, Truth, Knowledge, Love and Force:
Such force no weight created can repel't.
All strength and livelyhood is from this sourse,
All Lives to this first spring have circular recourse.

A lecture strange he seem'd to read to me;
And though I did not rightly understand
His meaning, yet I deemed it to be
Some goodly thing, and weary of that land
Where then I stood, I did not him withstand
In his request, although full loth I were
Slow-footed eld the journey should command;
Yet we were guided by that sorry pair,
And so to Dizoie full softly we do fare.

[Philosophical Poems (1647); ed. Grosart (1878) 19-32]

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