1642
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Psychodia Platonica. Canto III.

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




Strange state of Dizoie Mnemons skill
Here wisely doth explain,
Ida's strong charms, and Elohim-hill
With the drad dale of Ain.

But now new Stories I 'gin to relate,
Which aged Mnemon unto us did tell,
Whiles we on grassie bed did lie prostrate
Under a shady Beach, which did repell
Th fiery scorching shafts which Uriel
From Southern quarter darted with strong hand.
No other help we had; for Gabriel
His wholesome cooling blasts then quite restrain'd:
The Lions flaming breath with heat parch'd all the Land.

Here seemly sitting down, thus gan that Sage,
Last time we were together here ymet,
Beirah wall, that was the utmost stage
Of our discourse, if I do not forget.
When we departed thence the Sun was set,
Yet nathelesse we past that lofty wall
That very Evening. The Nights nimble net
That doth encompasse every opake ball,
That swim's in liquid aire, did Simon nought apall.

When we that stately wall had undercrept,
We straightway found our selves in Dizoie:
The melting clouds chill drizzeling teares then wept;
The mistie aire swet for deep agony,
Swet a cold sweat, and loose frigiditie
Fill'd all with a white smoke; pale Cynthia
Did foul her silver limbs with filthy die,
Whiles wading on she measured out her way,
And cut the muddy heavens defil'd with whitish clay.

No light to guide but the Moons pallid ray,
And that even lost in mistie troubled aire:
No tract to take, there was no beaten way;
No cheering strength, but that which might appear
From Dians face; her face then stain'd not clear,
And when it shineth clearest, little might
She yieldeth, yet the goddesse is severe.
Hence wrathfull dogs do bark at her dead light:
Christ help the man thus clos'd and prison'd in drad Night.

O'rewhelm'd with irksome toyl of strange annoyes
In stony stound like senselesse stake I stood,
Till the vast thumps of massie hammers noise,
That on the groping steel laid on such lode,
Empierc'd mine ears in that sad stupid mood.
I weeping then some harbour to be nigh,
In very pace thitherward slowly yode,
By eare directed more then by mine eye,
But here, alas! I found small hospitality.

Foure grisly Black-smiths stoutly did their task
Upon an anvile form'd in Conick wise.
They neither minded who, nor what I ask,
But with stern grimy look do still avise
Upon their works but I my first emprise
Would not forsake, and therefore venture in.
Or none hath list to speak, or none espies,
Or hears; the heavy hammers never blin;
And but a blue faint light in this black shop did shine.

There I into a darksome corner creep,
And lay my weary limbs on dusty flore,
Expecting still when soft down-sliding sleep
Should seize mine eyes, and strength to me restore
But when with hovering wings she 'proch'd, e'remore
The mighty souses those foul knaves laid on,
And those huge bellows that aloud did rore,
Chac'd her away that she was ever gone
Before she came, on pitchy plumes, for fear yflone.

The first of those rude rascals Lypon hight,
A foul great stooping slouch with heavie eyes,
And hanging lip: the second ugly sight
Pale Photon, with his hedghog-hairs disguise.
Aelpon is the third, he the false skies
No longer trusts; The fourth of furious fashion
Phrenition hight, fraught with impatiencies,
The bellows be ycleep'd deep Suspiration:
Each knave these bellows blow in mutual circulation.

There is a number of these lonesome forges
In Bacha vale (this was in Bacha vale)
There be no Innes but these, and these but scourges
In stead of ease they work much deadly bale
To those that in this lowly trench do bale
Their feeble loins. Ah me! who here would fare?
Sad ghosts oft crosse the way with visage pale,
Sharp thorns and thistles wound their feeten bare:
Yet happy is the man that here doth bear a share.

When I in this sad vale no little time
I lad measured, and oft had taken Inne,
And by long penance paid for mine ill crime;
Methought the Sunne it self began to shine,
And that I'd past Diana's discipline.
But day was not yet come, 'twas perfect night:
I Phoebus head from Ida hill had seen;
For Ida hill doth give to men the sight,
Of Phoebus form, before Aurora's silver light.

But Phoebus form from that high hill's not clear
Nor figure perfect. It's inveloped
In purple cloudy veil; and if't appear
In rounder shape with skouling dreryhed,
A glowing face it shows, ne rayes doth shed
Of lights serenity, yet duller eyes
With gazing on this irefull sight be fed
Best to their pleasing; small things they will prise
That never better saw, nor better can devise.

On Ida hill there stands a Castle strong,
They that it built call it Pantheothen.
(Hither resort a rascall rabble throng
Of miscreant wights;) but if that wiser men
May name that Fort, Pandaemoniothen
They would it cleep. It is the strong'st delusion
That ever Daemon wrought; the safest pen
That e're held silly sheep for their confusion:
Ill life and want of love, hence springs each false conclusion.

That rabble rout that in this Castle won
Is irefull-ignorance, Unseemly zeal
Strong-self-conceit, Rotten-religion,
Contentious-reproch-'gainst-Michael-
If-he-of-Moses-body-ought-reveal-
Which-their-dull-skonses cannot-eas'ly-reach,
Love-of-the-carkas, An Inept Appeal-
T' uncertain papyrs, a-False-formall-fetch-
Of feigned-sighs, Contempt of-poore-and-sinfull-wretch.

A deep self-love, Want of true sympathy-
With all mankind, Th' admiring their own heard,
Fond pride, a sanctimonious cruelty
'Gainst those by whom their wrathfull minds be stird
By strangling reason, and are so afeard
To lose their credit with the vulgar sort;
Opinion and long speech 'fore life preferr'd,
Lesse reverence of God then of the Court,
Fear, and despair, Evill surmises, False report.

Oppression-of-the-poore, Fell-rigourousnesse
Contempt-of-Government, Fiercenesse, Fleshly lust,
The-measuring-of-all-true righteousnesse
By-their own-modell, Cleaving unto-dust
Rash-censure, and despising-of the just-
That-are-not-of-their-sect, False-reasoning-
Concerning-God, Vain-hope, needlesse mistrust,
Strutting-in knowledge, Egre slavering-
After hid-skill, with every inward uncouth thing.

These and such like be that rude Regiment
That from the glittering sword of Michael fly:
They fly his outstrech'd arm, else were they sheet
If they unto this Castle did not hie
Strongly within its walls to fortifie
Themselves: Great Daemon hath no stronger hold
Then this high Tower. When the good Majesty
Shines forth in love and light, a vapour cold
And a black hellish smoke from hence doth all infold.

And all that love and light and offer'd might
Is thus chok'd up in that foul Stygian steem:
If Hells dark jawes should open in despight,
And breath its inmost breath, which foul'st I deem;
Yet this more deadly foul I do esteem,
And more contagious, which this charmed tower
Ever spues forth, like that fell Dragons steem
Which he from poyson'd mouth in rage did poure
At her, whose first-born child his chaps might not devour.

But lest the rasher wit my Muse should blame,
As if she did those faults appropriate
(Which I even now in that black list did name)
Unto Pantheothen; The self same state
I dare avouch you'll find, where ever
Hate Back'd with rough zeal, and bold for want of skill,
All sects besides its own doth execrate.
This peevish spright with wo the world doth fill,
While each man all would bind to his fierce furious will.

O Hate! the fulsome daughter of fell Pride,
Sister to surly Superstition,
That clear out-shining Truth cannot abide,
That loves it self and large Dominion,
And in false show of a fair Union
Would all encroch to 't self, would purchase all
At a cheap rate, for slight Opinion.
Thus cram they their wide-gaping Crumenall:
But now to Ida hill me lists my feet recall.

No such enchantment in all Dizoie
As on this hill; nor sadder sight was seen
Then you may in this rufull place espy.
'Twixt two huge walls on solitary Green,
Of funerall Cypresse many groves there been,
And eke of Ewe, Eben, and Poppy trees:
And in their gloomy shade foul grisly fiend
Use to resort, and busily to seize
The darker phansied souls that live in ill disease.

Hence you may see, if that you dare to mind,
Upon the side of this accursed hil,
Many a dreadfull corse ytost in wind,
Which with hard halter their loathd life did spill.
There lives another which himself did kill
With rusty knife, all roll'd in his own blood,
And ever and anon a dolefull knill
Comes from the fatall Owl, that in sad mood
With drery sound doth pierce through the death-shadowed wood.

Who can expresse with pen the irksome state
Of those that be in this strong Castle thrall?
Yet hard it is this Fort to ruinate,
It is so strongly fenc'd with double wall.
The fiercest but of Ram no'te make them fall:
The first Inevitable Destiny
Of Gods Decree; the other they do call
Invincible fleshie Infirmitie:
But Keeper of the Tower's unfelt Hypocrisie.

What Poets phancies fain'd to be in Hell
Are truly here, A Vulture Tytius heart
Still gnaws, yet death doth never Tityus quell:
Sad Sisyphus a stone with toylsome smart
Doth roul up hill, but it transcends his art,
To get it to the top, where it may lye,
On steady Plain, and never backward start:
His course is stops by strong Infirmity,
His roul comes to this wall, but then back it doth fly.

Here fifty Sisters in a sieve do draw
Thorough-siping water: Tantalus is here,
Who though the glory of the Lord ore-flow
The earth, and doth incompasse him so near,
Yet waters, he in waters doth requere.
Stoop Tantalus and take those waters in!
What strength of witchcraft thus blinds all yfere
Twixt these two massie walls, this hold of sinne?
Aye me! who shall this Fort so strongly fenced win!

I hear the clattering of an armed troup.
My ears do ring with the strong prancers heels.
(My soul get up out of thy drowsie droop,
And look unto the everlasting Hills)
The hollow ground, ah! how my sense it fills
With sound of solid horses hoofs. A wonder
It is, to think how cold my spirit thrills,
With strange amaze. Who can this strength dissunder?
Hark how the warlike Steeds do neigh, their necks do thunder.

All Milkwhite Steeds in trappings goodly gay,
On which in golden letters be ywrit
These words (even he that runs it readen may)
True righteousnesse unto the Lord of might.
O comely spectacle! O glorious sight!
'Twould easily ravish the beholders eye
To see such beasts, so fair so full of spright,
All in due ranks to prance so gallantly,
Bearing their riders arm'd with perfect panoply.

In perfect silver glistring panoply
They ride, the army of the highest God.
Ten thousands of his Saints approchen nie,
To judge the world, and rule it with his rod.
They leave all plain whereever they have trod.
Each rider on his shield doth bear the Sun
With golden shining beams dispread abroad,
The Sun of righteousnesse at high-day noon,
By this same strength, I ween, this Fort is easily wonne.

They that but hear thereof shall straight obey;
But the strange children shall false semblance make,
But all hypocrisie shall soon decay,
All wickednesse into that deadly lake,
All darknesse thither shall it self betake.
That false brood shall in their close places fade.
The glory of the Lord shall ne're forsake
The earth again, nor shall deaths dreadfull shade
Return againe. Him praise that this great day hath made.

This is the mighty warlick Michaels host,
That easily shall wade through that foul spue
Which the false Dragon casts in every coast,
That the moon-trampling woman much doth rue
His deadly spaul; but no hurt doth accrew
To this strong army from this filthy steam.
Nor horse nor man doth fear its lurid hew.
They safely both can swim in this foul stream;
This stream the earth sups up cleft ope by Michaels beam,

But whiles it beareth sway, this poysons might
Is to make sterill or prolong the birth,
To cause cold palsies, and to dull the sight
By sleepy sloth; the melancholic earth
It doth increase, that hinders all good mirth.
Yet this dead liquor dull Pantheothen
Before the nectar of the Gods preferr'th.
But it so weakens and disables men,
That they of manhood give no goodly specimen.

Here one of us began to interpeal
Old Mnemon. Tharrhon that young ladkin bight,
He prayed this aged Sire for to reveal
What way this Dragons poysonous despight,
And strong Pantheothens inwalling might,
We may escape. Then Mnemon thus gan say;
Some strange devise, I know, each youthfull wight
Would here expect, or lofty brave assay:
But I'll the simple truth, in simple wise convey.

Good Conscience, kept with all the strength and might
That God already unto us hath given,
A presse pursuit of that foregoing light
That egs us on 'cording to what we have liven,
And helps us on 'cording to what we have striven,
To shaken off the bonds of prejudice,
Nor dote too much of that we have first conceiven;
By hearty prayer to beg the sweet delice
Of Gods all-loving spright: such things I you advise.

Can pity move the hearts of parents dear,
When that their haplesse child in heavie plight
Doth grieve and moan! whiles pinching tortures tear
His fainting life, and doth not that sad sight
Of Gods own Sonne empassion his good spright
With deeper sorrow? The tender babe lies torn
In us by cruell wounds from hostile might:
Is Gods own life of God himself forlorn?
Or was he to continuall pain of God yborn?

Or will you say if this be Gods own Sonne,
Let him descend the Crosse: for well we ween
That he's not suffer him to be fordonne
By wicked hand, if Gods own Sonne he been.
But you have not those sacred mysteries seen,
True-crucifying Jews! The weaker thing
Is held in great contempt in worldly eyen:
But time may come when deep impierced sting
Shall prick your heart, and it shall melt with sorrowing.

Then you shall view him whom with cruell spear
You had transfix'd, true crucified Sonne
Of the true God, unto his Father dear,
And dear to you, nought dearer under Sun:
Through this strong love and deep compassion,
How vastly God his Kingdome would enlarge
You'll easily see, and how with strong iron
He'll quite subdue the utmost earthly verge.
O foolish men! the heavens why do you fondly charge?

Subtimidus, when Tharrhon sped so well,
Took courage to himself, and thus gan say
To Mnemon: Pray you Sir vouchsafe to tell
What Autaparnes and Hypomone
And Simon do this while in Dizoie.
With that his face shone like the rosie Morn
With maiden blush from inward modesty,
Which wicked wights do holden in such scorn:
Sweet harmlesse Modesty a rose withouten thorn!

Old Mnemon lov'd the Lad even from his face,
Which blamelesse blush with sanguin light had dyed;
His harmlesse lucid spright with flouring grace
His outward form so seemly beautified.
So the old man him highly magnified
For his so fit inquiry of those three;
And to his question thus anon replyed,
There's small recourse (till that Fort passed be)
To Simon Autaparnes or Hypomone.

For all that space from Behirons high wall
Unto Pantheothen, none dares arise
From his base dunghill warmth; such Magicall
Attraction his flagging soul down ties
To his foul flesh: 'mongst which, alas! there lyes
A little spark of Gods vitality,
But smoreing filth so close it doth comprize
That it cannot flame out nor get on high:
This Province hence is hight earth-groveling Aptery.

But yet fair semblances these Apterites
Do make of good, and sighen very sore,
That God no stronger is: False hypocrites!
You make no use of that great plenteous store
Of Gods good strength which he doth on you pour.
But you fast friends of foul carnality,
And false to God, his tender sonne do gore,
And plaud your selves, if't be not mortally
Nor let you him live in ease, nor let you him fairly dy.

Like faithlesse wife that by her frampared guize,
Peevish demeanour, sullen sad disdain,
Doth inly deep the spright melancholize
Of her aggrieved husband, and long pain
At last to some sharp sicknesse doth constrain
His weakned nature to yield victory:
His scorching torture then counts death a gain.
But when Death comes, in womanish phrensie
That froward femall wretch doth shreek and loudly cry.

So through her moody importunity
From downright death she rescues the poore man:
Self favouring sense; not that due loyaltie
Doth wring from her this false compassion,
Compassion that no cruelty can
Well equalize. Her husband lies agast;
Death on his horrid lace so pale and wan
Doth creep with ashy wings. He thus embrac'd
Perforce too many dayes in deadly wo doth west.

This is the love that's found in Aptery
To Gods dear life. If they his Son present
Half live, half dead, handled despightfully,
Or sunk in sicknesse, or with deep wound rent,
So be he's not quite dead they'r well content,
And hope sure favour of his Sire to have.
They have the signes how can they then be shent?
The God of love for his dear life us save
From such conceits, which men to sin do us inslave.

But when from Aptery we were ygone,
And past Pantheothens inthralling power;
Then from the East chearfull Eous shone,
And crave away the Nights dead lumpish stour:
He took by th' hand Aurora's vernall hour;
These freshly tripp'd it on the silver hills,
And thorow all the fields sweet life did shower:
Then gan the joyfull birds to try their skills;
They skips, they chirps amain, they pip'd, they danc'd their fills.

This other Province of Dizoia
Hight Pteroessa. On the flowry side
Of a green bank, as I went on my way
Strong youthfull Gabriel I there espide,
Courting a Nymph all in her maiden pride,
Not for himself: His strife was her to win
To Michael, in wedlock to be tide:
He promised she should be Michaels Queen,
And greater things then eare hath heard, or eye hath seen:

This lovely Maid to Gabriel thus replide,
Thanks, Sir, for your good news; but may I know
Who Michael is, that would have me his Bride?
Its Michael, said he, that works such woe
To all that fry of Hell; and on his foe
Those fiends of darknesse such great triumphs hath:
The powers of sin and death he down doth mow.
In this strong Arm of God have thou but faith,
That in great Daemons troupe doth work so wondrous scath.

The simple Girl believed every word,
Nor did by subtile querks elude the might
And proferr'd strength of the soul-loving Lord;
But answered thus. Good Sir, but reade aright
When shall I then appear in Michaels sight?
When Gabriel had won her full assent,
And well observ'd how he had flam'd her spright,
He answered, After the complishment
Of his behests, and so her told what hests he meet.

She willingly took the condition,
And pliable she promised to be;
And Gabriel sware he would wait upon
Her Virginship, whiles in simplicity
His masters will with all good industry
She would fullfill. So here the simple Maid
Strove for her self in all fidelity,
Nor took her self for nothing; but she plaid
Her part, she thought, as if Indentures had been made.

For she did not with her own self gin think
So curiously, that it is God alone
That gives both strengths when ever we do swink:
Graces and Natures might be both from one,
Who is our lifes strong sustentation.
Impossible it is therefore to merit,
When we poore men have nothing of our own:
Certes by him alone she stands upright;
And surely falls without his help in per'lous fight:

But we went on in Pteroessa fond:
The fresh bright Morning was no small repast
After the toil in Aptery we found,
So that with merry chear we went full fast:
But I observed well that in this haste
Simon wax'd faint, and feeble, and decay'd
In strength and life before we far had past:
And by how much his youthfull flower did fade,
So much more vigour to his parents was repai'd.

For that old crumpled wight gan go upstraight,
And Autaparnes face recovered blood!
But Simon looked pale withouten might,
Withouten chear, or joy, or livelyhood:
Cause of all this at last I understood.
For Autaparn that knife had from him cast,
And almost clos'd the passage of that flood.
That flood, that blood, was that which Simons taste
Alone could fit; if that were gone the lad did waste.

And his old mother, call'd Hypomone,
Did ease her back from that down-swaying weight,
That leaden Quadrate, which did miserably
Annoy her crasie corse; but that more light
She might fare on, she in her husbands sight
Threw down her load, where he threw down his blade,
And from that time began the pitious plight
Of sickly Simon: so we them perswade
Back to retreat, and do their dying son some aid.

Though loth, yet at the length they do assent:
So we return unto the place where lay
The heavy Quadrate, and that instrument
Of bleeding smart. It would a man dismay
To think how that square lead her back did sway;
And how the half-clos'd wound was open tore
With that sharp-pointed knife: and sooth to say
Simon himself was inly grieved sore,
Seeing the deadly smart that his dear parents bore.

So we remeasure the way we had gone,
Still fareing on towards Theoprepy.
Great strength and comfort 'twas to think upon
Our good escape from listlesse Aptery,
And from the thraldome of Infirmity.
Now nought perplex'd our stronger plumed spright,
But what may be the blamelesse verity:
Oft we conceiv'd things were transacted right:
And oft we found our selves guld with strong passions might.

But now more feeble farre we find their force
Then erst it was, when as in Aptery
To strong Pantheothen they had recourse:
For then a plain impossibility
It was to overcome their cruelty.
But here encouraged by Gabriel
We strongly trust to have the victory.
And if by chance they do our forces quell;
It's not by strength of armes, but by some misty spell.

So bravely we went on withouten dread,
Till at the last we came whereas a hill
With steep ascent highly lift up his head:
To th' aged hoof it worken would much ill
To climb this cliff; with weary ach 't would fill
His drier bones. But yet it's smooth and plain
Upon the top. It passeth farre my skill
The springs, the bowers, the walks, the goodly train
Of faire chaste Nymphs that haunt that place, for to explain.

I saw three sisters there in seemly wise
Together walking on the flowry Green,
Yclad in snowy stoles of fair agguize
The glistring streams of silver waving shine,
Skilfully interwove with silken line,
So variously did play in that fair vest,
That much it did delight my wondring eyne:
Their face with Love and Vigour was ydrest,
With Modesty and Joy; their tongue with just behest:

Their locks hung loose, A triple coronet
Of flaming gold and star-like twinkling stone
Of highest price, was on their temples set:
The Amethist, the radiant Diamond,
The Jasper, enemy to spirits won,
With many other glorious for to see.
These three enameld rimmes of that fair Crown
Be these: the first hight Dicaeosyne,
Philosophy the next, the last stiff Apathy.

I gaz'd and mus'd and was well nigh distraught
With admiration of those three maids,
And could no further get, ne further saught;
Down on the hill my weary limbs I laid,
And fed my feeble eyes, which me betray'd
Unto Loves bondage. Simon lik'd it not
To see me so bewitch'd, and thus assay'd
By wisest speech to loose this Magick knot:
Great pity things so fair should have so foul a spot:

What spot, said I, can in these fair be found?
Both spot in those white vests, and eke a flaw
In those bright gems wherewith these Maids be crown'd,
If you'll but list to see, I'll eas'ly show.
Then I, both Love of man and holy law
Exactly's kept upon this sacred hill;
True fortitude that truest foes doth awe,
Justice and Abstinence from sweetest ill,
And Wisedome like the Sun doth all with light o're spill.

Thanks be to God we are so well arriv'd
To the long-sought for land, Theoprepy.
Nay soft good Sir, said Simon, you'r deceiv'd,
You are not yet past through Autaesthesy:
With that the spot and flaw he bad me see
Which he descry'd in that goodly array.
The spot and flaw self-sens'd Autopathy
Was hight, the eldest Nymph Pythagorissa,
Next Platonissa hight; the last hight Stoicissa.

But this high Mount where these three sisters wonne,
Said Simon, cleeped is, Har-Eloim.
To these it's said, Do worship to my Sonne:
It's right, that all the Gods do worship him,
There's none exempt: those that the highest climbe
Are but his Ministers, their turns they take
To serve as well as those of lower slime.
What so is not of Christ but doth partake
Of th' Autaesthesian soil, is life Daemoniake.

His words did strangely work upon my spright,
And wean'd my mind from that I dearly lov'd;
So I nould dwell on this so pleasing sight,
But down descended, as it me behov'd,
And as my trusty guide me friendly mov'd.
So when we down had come, and thence did passe
On the low plain, Simon more clearly prov'd,
That though much beauty there and goodnesse was,
Yet that in Theoprepia did farre surpasse.

So forward on we fare, and leave that hill,
And presse still further, the further we go,
Simon more strength, more life and godly will,
More vigour he and livelyhood did show;
But Autaparnes wox more wan and wo:
He faints, he sinks, ready to give up ghost,
And ag'd Hypom'ne trod with footing slow,
And stagger'd with her load; so ill dispos'd
Their fading spirits were, that life was well nigh lost.

By this, in sight of that black wall we came,
A wall by stone-artificer not made:
For it is nought but smoke from duskish flame,
Which in that low deep valleys pitchy shade
Doth fiercely th' Autopathian life invade,
With glowing heat, and eateth out that spot.
This dreadfull triall many hath dismaid;
When Autaparnes saw this was his lot,
Fear did his sense benum, he wox like earthly clot.

In solem silency this vapour rose
From this drad Dale, and hid the Eastern sky
With its deep darknesse, and the Evening-close
Forestall'd with Stygian obscurity;
Yet was's not thick, nor thin, nor moist, nor dry;
Nor stank it ill, nor yet gave fragrant smell,
Nor did's take in through pellucidity
The penetrating light, nor did's repell
Through grosse opacity the beams of Michael.

Yet terrible it is to Psyche's brood,
That still retain the life Daemoniake;
Constraining fear calls in their vitall flood,
When the drad Magus once doth mention make
Of the deep dark Abysse; for fear they quake
At that strong-awing word: But they that die
Unto self-feeling life, naught shall them shake;
Base fear proceeds from weak Autopathy.
This dale hight Ain, the fumes hight Anautaesthesy.

Into this dismall Dale we all descend,
Here Autaparnes and Hypomone
Their languid life with that dark vapour blend.
Thus perished fading vitality,
But nought did fade of Lifes reality,
When these two old ones their last gasp had fet,
In this drad valley their dead corps did lie;
But what could well be sav'd to Simon flet.
Here Simon first became spotlesse Anautaesthet.

When we had waded quite through this deep shade,
We then appear'd in bright Theoprepy:
Here Phoebus ray in straightest line was laid,
That erst lay broke in grosse consistency
Of cloudy substance. For strong sympathy
Of the divided natures Magick band
Was burnt to dust in Anautaesthesie:
Now there's no fear of Death's dart-holding hand:
Fast love, fix'd life, firm peace in Theoprepia land.

When Mnemon hither came, he leaned back:
Upon his seat, and a long time respired.
When I perceiv'd this holy Sage so slack
To speak (well as I might) I him desired
Still to hold on, if so he were not tired;
And tell what fell in blest Theoprepy;
But he nould do the thing that I required:
Too hard it is, said he, that kingdomes glee
To show; who list to know himself must come and see.

This story under the cool shadowing Beach
Old Mnemon told of famous Dizoie:
To set down all he said passeth my reach,
That all would reach even to infinity.
Strange things he spake of the biformity
Of the Dizoians: What mongrill sort
Of living wights; how monstrous shap'd they be,
And how that man and beast in one consort;
Goats britch, mans tongue, goose head, with monki's mouth distort.

Of Centaures, Cynocephals, walking trees,
Tritons, and Mermayds, and such uncouth things;
Of weeping Serpents with fair womans eyes,
Mad-making waters, sex-transforming springs;
Of foul Circean swine with golden rings,
With many such like falshoods; but the streight
Will easily judge all crooked wanderings.
Suffice it then we have taught that ruling Right,
The Good is uniform, the Evil infinite.

[Philosophical Poems (1647); ed. Grosart (1878) 33-39]