After a digression on the sad history of the Crusades, Psyche persuades Phylax to allow her to remain in Jerusalem, where Authades, one of Satan's minions, appears to her as a "Nazarene," or Jewish Christian.
Leaving his Psyche, careful Phylax arms
With wholesome sage Advice her tender breast;
Yet by the Venom of Heretick Charms
Demurely baited, down She sits a guest
At Error's board; and by the treacherous Cheer
It quite devoured, which She swallow'd there.
Thus snatched from her Paradise, where She
No interdicted Fruit as yet had tasted;
Poor Psyche groans, and counts her self to be
Exil'd to woful Thorns and Bryars: blasted
Were her late florid Joys, which knew not how
On any ground but Palestine to grow.
And sits the Holy Land so high and dear
In pious Souls' esteem? What Tongue can then
Thunder sufficient Vengeance out, to tear
Th' ignoble Sloth of those unmanly Men
With equal indignation, who have let
Vile Pagan Powers from Christians ravish it.
O who can patient be to see the grand
Memorials of th' adored Incarnation
Basely inslav'd to barbarous Rudeness, and
Faith's Soil become an Infidel Plantation:
Whilst Palestine is now no longer known
By our Redeemer's Footsteps, or our own!
Could this prodigious Shame digested be
By Roman Hearts, when on their Empire's throne
No other Prince was culminant but He
Whom all the best of Bayes attended on;
Who like a Bank against the Torrent stood
And tumid the Gyant into Saws's flood:
Whose mighty Hand sent bold Razates down
To his eternal Night: who from the brow
Of stern Cosrhoes shaked off his Crown;
Before Syrhoes cancell'd nature's Law,
Improving Vengeance, that the Tyrant by
A Parricide dispatch'd, might double die:
Who wip'd the Roman Ignominy out,
When he three hundred Eagles, which had long
Been mew'd in Persian cages, nobly brought
In triumph back, and bad them fly among
Their fellow Ensigns, and as freely gaze
As any of the brood, on Phebus's face:
Who not these Banners only did redeem,
But ev'n Redemption's royal Standard too;
Which he could then so preciously esteem
That he himself its Porter turn'd, and so
Made all his Empire stoop to that which He
Upon His shoulders bore to Calvary.
Alas Heraclitus, how has Heresy
Atchieved what all Persia could not do!
How has it made thine Eagles' pinions be
Only of use to flie before thy Fo!
Whilst one of Christ's great Wills thou tak'st away,
In vain thine own thou hopest to injoy.
Lo how the Monster Mahomet's black Fry
Like numerous Locusts from the pit of Night
Crawle into Palestine, and there defy
The blasted Powers of this Monothelite:
Lo, they are to the holy City come,
And Haumar robs him of his Savior's Tomb.
This rais'd in reverend Sophronius's breast
A mighty Storm of Agonies, to see
His venerable Salem's walls possest
By Saracenical Impiety;
And James his sacred Seat become the throne
For curs'd Apostasy to reign upon.
He sigh'd and weep'd, and finding no Relief
From Heav'n or Earth to slake his Lamentation,
Resign'd himself to his victorious Grief,
And drown'd in his own Tears, fulfill'd his Passion:
For why should I live longer here, said he,
Still to be slain by what mine eyes must see!
And now the Land of Milk and Honey lay
For more than four long Ages overflown
With Mahumetick Poison: till a Ray
Of vigorous Christian Gallantry shot down
From heav'n, and by the Ermite Peter's breath
Blown to a Bonfire, flam'd with holy Wrath.
With holy Wrath it flam'd in many a Breast,
But most in brave Bolonian Godfrey's, who
In steel, and stronger Resolution, drest,
Burnt with desire to meet his Pagan Fo:
His Lorain can no longer hold him, He
Has vow'd another kind of Duke to be.
His consecrated Legions he leads;
And in their eyes their Quarrel to display,
Fair in his goodly streaming Standard spreads
The bloody Cross: whose dreadful beauty
They Beheld with reverend Joy, and cryed,
We Though in thy tincture, ne'r will shrink from Thee.
The Turkish Moon grew paler than before,
And in a cowardly eclipse drew back,
When this bright Banner Terrors 'gan to pour
Upon her dazel'd face, and passage make
To Victory, who always waited there,
And never fail'd to bring up Godfrey's Rear.
To Christ's soft yoke from Turkish galling Lore
Thus lesser Asia was reduc'd; and now
The only Cries of Salem's Woes implore
Great Godfry's Sword Fame's final crop to mow:
Nor must those other Jebuseans hope
This David's conquest by their Fort to stop.
Brave Indignation Him forbad to see
That Theatre in barbarous bondage, where
The World's Redemption acted was: for He
Soon rescu'd it, and taught the Pagans there
What Occidental Arms could do, whose eyes
Beheld their own East set, his West arise.
Right Christian Hero, O how due to Thee
Was sacred Salem's Crown, and more than this?
How justly wears thy pious Victory
Both Martial and Poetick Laurels' dress;
Whilst thy illustrious Name and Glory reigns
Both in the World's Applause, and Tasso's Streins!
Those Streins in which thy heightned Valour takes
Not Salem only, but Eternity;
In which with louder life thy Trumpet speaks,
Because blown by a Muse whose Blast can fly
Beyond Judea's bounds, and nobly dares
Alarm the Admiration of all ears.
But when by Death Heav'n sent for Godfrey home;
Baldwin, his brother both in Piety,
And Blood, and Might, supply'd his royal Room.
Sidon and Ptolemais felt what He
Could in Religion's heav'nly Quarrel do,
And so did Egypt's sturdy Caliph too.
He to his cousin Baldwin left his Crown,
And his entailed Gallantry with it:
Witness the routed Turks, and Antioch thrown
In flat submission at his conquering feet.
What though to Persia some renown he lost;
His gains upon Damascus bare that cost.
Then Turine Fulco to this Scepter rose,
But by's unhappy Fall drop'd it upon
His unripe Son, his Baldwin; over whose
Surprised Powers stern Noradine began
Proudly to triumph, but was soon compel'd
His stollen Laurel back again to yield.
Brother, and heir both of his Throne and Praise
Was Almerick, a Prince of active Might;
Whose sword grew fertile in triumphant Bays,
And glittered with Glorie's awful light.
All Ascalon beheld its noble flame
When he from conquer'd Alexandria came.
Baldwin, his worthy Son, succeeded, and
A long tough war with Saladine maintain'd;
Till Leprosy subdu'd his martial Hand,
And what force vainly tugg'd for, Weakness gain'd.
Then chose he for his trusty Deputy
Since Fate would have him choose, Joppean Guy.
Next him, his nephew Baldwin climb'd the throne,
But quickly tumbled from his royal sphere;
For undermining Guy's ambition
Had vowed no Superior to bear:
Which stung the Earl of Tripoly so deep,
That he in desperate Plots his Wrath did steep.
With Saladine he deals, and wins so far
On his proud hopes, that he persuades him to
Conjure against the Christians in a War
Which soon atchiev'd their total Overthrow.
Just Heav'n this 'Taliation did decree,
That Treason Treason's deadly Scourge should be.
In Piety's Metropolis anew
Thus Barbarism came to domineer:
Which rous'd the Western Emperor, and drew
Devoted Legions to attend his War.
Surprised Syria at his presence quak'd;
'Twixt fears and hopes the startled Turks were rack'd.
But as this generous Frederick in his Might
Rode fairly on, his Courser's fatal Fall
Flung down his Lord into the sudden night
Of Death. When lo his noble Son, by all
The Army chosen General, persued
His Father's steps, and where he went, subdued.
But what can Virtue do, when Fates oppose!
Against this hopeful Son of Valour, who
Had taught the stoutest of his Pagan Foes
How hopelesly they Him assailed, lo
The Plague took arms, and in his warlike heart
Fixt her unseen and most untimely dart.
French Philip then, and English Richard came,
And with new Western Bravery made good
That mighty Loss: the Lightning of their fame
Flashed before their Swords; for like a Flood
Incourag'd by two Torrents meeting, They
Swallow'd up their Resisters, and their Way.
But Discord, that avow'd eternal Fo
Of high Designs, turn'd Philip back again;
Yet Richard still for Salem means; where though
He had with Cyprus bought his right to reign;
Home was he summon'd from his foreign Wars
Timely to still his Albion's loud Jars.
To Salem then new Western Heros sped,
By Saladine's decease invited thither.
Fair smiling Hopes their Landing flattered,
But Strait their Sunshine turn'd to lowry weather:
For lo, the Austrian Duke, and Saxon, by
Their own deaths caus'd their Partie's hopes to die.
And yet undaunted Montfort with his brave
Selected French, disdained back to start;
Till he good reason to the Panims gave
To grow so tame and kind as to impart
Peace to the Christians, granting their desire
Of freely holding Ptolemais and Tyre.
Mean while a glorious Conspiracy
Of new-fir'd Princes to their Standards stream:
Henry, Count of Saint Paul: of Company
Theobald; of Flanders Baldwin; and of Breme,
Gualter: of Lovane, Henry; Boniface
Of Monferrat: all cloth'd in steel and brass.
And these their march strait toward Salem bent,
Till, by the Grecian Quarrels turn'd aside
On Ducas they their holy Zeal mix-spent;
And finding then fit fuel for their Pride,
Forgot the Butt of their devout Design,
And took no longer aim at Palestine.
The mighty Plunder of the Eastern Throne
Takes up their care to try who most could snatch:
Of Islands some, some the Dominion
Of Cities, Provinces, or Countries catch:
Yet Fortune's and the Armie's love bestow
The vanquish'd Empire's crown on Baldwin's brow.
But Montfort's Truce expir'd: Germany
Conjur'd again into the Holy War,
Of which stout Brennus had the conduct: He,
Whose Coming through the Pagans shot such fear,
That they to buy it off agreed to yield
Up whatsoe'r in Palestine they held.
But vain Ambition lost this offer'd Prize
Whilst sudden Hope of conquering Egypt throws
So thick a mist before the Christians' eyes,
That unto Cair the blinded Army goes
Where they with Nilus's Floods besieged round
Their sacred Enterprize untimely drown'd.
Yet Frederick his German Eagles spread
With which again he into Syria flew.
The royal Birds no sooner fluttered
About the Sultan, but his Trust they slew:
He hast's to yield, and totally resign
Unto the Christians their dear Palestine.
Thus when to his Imperial Diadem
This conquering Prince had wedded Salem's Crown;
He Raynold honors with his Vice-roy's Name,
And brings his Triumph home. But soon the frown
Of Fortune, or of Fate, blasted what he
Had nobly brought to such maturity.
For when the heav'ns had roll'd five years about,
Lo Raynold dies, and Salem's Bliss with Him;
The Templer's Insolence such Falsehood wrought
As Christian's' Faith doth worst of all beseem:
Their Breach of truce their punish'd selves deceives,
And Salem unto Egypt's Sultan gives.
Yet holy Lewis with his Frenchmen strook
New fright into the Panims' souls; for they
At his illustrious Oriflambe's look
Unto his Victories gave ample way;
Offring him Salem, Palestine, and more
Than Christians own'd in Syria long before.
But fatal Counsel (and which ill became
Th' ecclesiastick Oracle to give)
Inveigled him against the glorious stream
Of his own willing Happiness to strive:
And thus refusing what he came to gain,
Himself he lost, and only found a Chain.
For overbore by Egypt's armed Tide
He to the Sultan prov'd a captive Prey.
Yea when set free again in vain he try'd
His new Adventure's strength; for by the way
Both on his Army, and Himself, a dire
Contagion empty'd out its deadly ire.
His Quarrel Edward, England's sprightful Prince
Took up and lost none of the English fame:
What Palms had this stout Hero pluck'd from thence,
Had his confederate Princes timely came!
But whilst unworthily they lingred, He
Return'd, and left behind ripe victory.
To gather which, imperial Rodolf sent
The forward Prince of Megalopolis:
A noble General He, and bravely bent;
But yet against the bold impetuousness
Of stern-fac'd Mamalukes too weak to stand,
He yields his neck to wear a Captive's band.
These unsuccessful Expeditions' shame
Awak'd the Christians utmost indignations;
Who in religious Throngs to Syria came
With hopes as high as were their Preparations;
Yet both by baneful Pride invenom'd were,
Which soon atchiev'd more than the Turks could dare.
For as fond Huntsmen, riding to the chase,
Wrangle and quarrel for the Lyon's skin
As yet uncaught, until their Strife increase
To such Intemperance, that their whole Design
It undermines, and makes them readier to
Chase one another, than that common fo.
So here the Christians, who all hunting went
For Salem's Crown; before the Prize they gain,
Into disputing factions are rent
About their right and title there to reign.
Not one but thought his Plea the best, and each
Eagerly caught that which was still to catch.
The Kings of England, Cyprus, Sicily,
And France; the Pisans, Florentines, and Pope:
The Prince of Antioch, Count of Tripoly,
The Genovese, and the Venetian's hope,
So did the Hospitals, and Templers too;
That Justice could not, durst not, say them No.
Thus while this cursed War of Contestation
Protracts the Holy one; the Soldiers, who
Grow, like their Weapons, rusty by Cessation,
No other business finding now to do
But to be Wicked, through each neighbour town
Run havocking and plundering up and down.
At these unmanly Wrongs the Pagans grew
Both in their Rage and in their Courage high;
And Vengeance joining with their Legions, flew
Upon their quarreling foes' Impiety,
Till by a quick and general Defeat
All Christians out of Syria they beat.
They beat them out of Syria, and out
Of all that fertile Bravery, whereby
Their frequent Armies they to Salem brought
With fresh Recruits of zealous Piety:
Their Courage now lies dead and cold at home,
Which us'd to live about their Savior's Tomb.
Yet not so dead, but it revives again
Into a Life much worse than Death; since They
With most unchristian Rage have learn'd to stain
Their Swords in one another's blood, and play
The Turks among themselves, whom they were wont
More nobly from their Syrian Dens to hunt.
The Cross must now against the Cross be spred,
(Blush Heav'n and Earth at this!) and they who are
To Peace's King in strict allegiance bred
Be barbarized by a mutual War;
Tearing that gentle Legacy which He
Dearly bequeathed to their custody.
They who are in one sacred Body knit
By mystick Union, no foes will seek
But their fraternal Members; and forget
That whilst on them their salvage spight they wreak,
The tender Head feels every Wound and will
Score up each drop, which of his Blood they spill.
Weep all good eyes which see this horrid shame
Of Christians digging christian bowels up.
With what presence can we the Pagans blame!
Our Wars, our own dire Wars, our mouths will stop.
We tutor them, and shew their Rage the way:
If we suck Christian blood, why may not they!
Had but the thousand part of those dear veins
Adventur'd to be broach'd in Palestine,
'T had wash'd out both our Cowardize's stains,
And black Mahometism: yea Greece had been
Redeemed also, and no longer lain
A groaning slave under a pagan chain.
Or had that Power of Policy, of Wrath,
Of Arms, of Horse, of Men, and stronger Gold,
Which in our self-destroying Britain hath
Of late been lavish'd out, when England sold
Her Bliss to Misery, with provident
And pious Ardor been in Syria spent:
Had that blind Madness of our costly Zeal
Which joined in a Covenant to destroy
The Churche's and the Kingdom's glorious weal,
But chose its venturous fervor to imploy
Against true Tyrants, and been christened
Into a just and holy League indeed;
Our guilty Swords had now not blushed in
Fraternal blood: nor had our wretched Bays
Deflour'd with English Sighs and Curses bin;
But Salem's face had shin'd in freedom's rays,
And from her long-press'd neck th' unworthy Yoke
Of Ottomanick Barbarism been broke.
As loth was Psyche Salem to forsake
As are our Banners thither to advance:
She oft look'd back her long Adieu to take
With weeping eyes and blubber'd countenance;
But when the Hills she could no longer spy
Let Blindness now, say'd She, lock up mine eye.
And with such potent passion did she breath
That sigh-clogg'd Word, as made her Phylax start;
For lo, the pallid characters of Death
Star'd in her daunted face, and every Part
Ghastly proclaim'd her soul was thither fled
From whence her Body now was hurried.
In application of his cordial Powers
Had not her dextrous Guardian nimble been,
His Psyche's eyes in these their amorous showers
Had their own final deluge found, and seen
No more for ever: with such boundless rage
Acts Love, when female bosoms are his stage.
(And ask me not, What makes this Passion prove
So bravely stubborn in the softest hearts?
Thy self the Answer feel'st, if genuine Love
On thee e'r tryed his mysterious darts.
If not; 'tis vain to tell thee Riddles which
Pose all but deep Experience's reach.)
But quick as is the influence of Light,
New vigorous Spirits be breaths into her breast;
Which thrilling through her veins, chas'd out the night
Of languid Cold from its congealed Nest;
And wak'd her blood, bidding it rise, and thaw
Her cheeks, and lips, and forehead's frozen snow.
Psyche look'd up; but toward Salem bent
Her fruitless eye, and then she groan'd anew.
Courage my Dear, said Phylax, be content,
Thou all hast seen in Salem worth thy view.
'Tis time that to thine Albion thou thy great
And holy Pilgrimages now relate.
'Tis time to check those Distances which make
Britain a stranger unto Salem; time
That thy narration others teach to break
Though still at home, through all this foreign Clime;
Whilst they, attending what thy tongue declares,
Travel not by their feet, but by their ears.
As when a friend unwelcome things propounds,
His other self (who has no power to be
Right-down displeas'd at whatsoever sounds
From those beloved lips, which faithful He
Holds dearer than his own,) displays the smart
In his Eye's mirror, of his wounded heart:
The dainty anguish of her loving Look
Thus Psyche open lays to Phylax view;
That he might read in that pathetick book
How this Return's Alarm her Comforts slew.
But when he seem'd that language not to ken,
Her lips thus to interpret it began:
Between two Deaths, which shall poor Psyche choose!
'Tis death my Guardian's motions to resist;
And death, religious Salem's sweets to loose:
And but of one poor Life am I possest.
Yet had I more, my straits were still the same;
For all were due to Thee, and all to Them.
O dear Protector of my Joys, and Me,
Divide not now thy Charge: Had I not been
Conducted hither by thy Piety,
Mine eyes had ne'r adored Palestine,
Nor been enchanted by the precious Graces
Which have indear'd these consecrated Places.
I had not now forgot, or scorned all
The World beside; which is but Dirt indeed
To this pure Soil; whose Riches justly call
Tagus and Ganges poor; as being bred
By his prolifick Heav'nly rays alone
Whom Righteousness owns for her Sovereign Sun.
And of these Jewels must I robbed be
By none but dearest Thee! Had open foes
Thus absolutely wrack'd and ruin'd me,
I might have grapled with my single Woes;
But springing now from unsuspected Thee
Much more than double all my losses be.
Ah what has Albion that can entertain
A soul from Salem snatch'd, from Salem, which
Queen in the World's heart chosen was to reign;
Whilst Albion's Clime doth us her Vileness teach:
Whom nature threw into the West and sought
How from the Universe to kick her out.
Arimathean Joseph's Tomb indeed
Is there, that something that poor Isle might have:
But O, the sight of that, will only feed
The fire which burns me for his other Grave,
His other Grave in which my Spouse did lie
Far far from Britain whither thou wouldst fly.
When in the loftiest Air the Whale can live
When in the bottom of the Sea the Lark,
When Cancer can to Winter welcome give,
When Highnoon can inhabit in the Dark,
When Britain can to Salem shipped be,
Then may it prove a fitting Home for me.
But until then, I only thither go
Bearing my woful Carcase to my tomb,
Since thou sweet-hitter friend wilt have it so,
And not vouchsafe in Palestine a Home
For now most-banish'd Psyche. Here a stream
Of tears flow'd down from her, and softned Him.
Nay I am not so hard says he, but I
Can melt by fewer drops of thine than those:
Come, wipe thine eyes, for thou shalt instantly
Live in those Joys thou hold'st it death to loose.
With that, he slop'd the Rein, and wheel'd about
And smiling Psyche back to Salem brought.
She smil'd; but sober He confess'd no signs
Of jollity at this Returning; for
By his profounder judgment he divines
That Land, however holy, would to her
Scarce prove a trusty Sanctuary, since
His and her Master's summons call'd her thence.
Yet He, still true to his own guardian Care,
A fitting Mansion for the Virgin sought;
A mean and private House, retired far
Both from Temptation's and from Tumult's rout:
Which he replenished with plain, but pure
And Piety-becoming furniture.
But when the sweetness of his Court'sy here
Had settled her; his brows he sadly knit,
And cry'd, with earnest awful Looks, my Dear,
Thou seest what order I have took to fit
Thy longing and thy Lodging too; but now
A gift more useful I'l on Thee bestow.
'Tis my Advice; of which th' hast greater need
Than here to sojourn; for thy fixing here
Doth all that mystick mighty danger breed
Which by thy life I thee conjure to fear.
Thy life at Salem is in peril, which
Had been in Albion out of Danger's reach.
Where Waters fairlyest smile, and smoothest flow,
The deepest Gulfs beneath in ambush lie
Where in their briskest beauties Roses grow,
Of Thorns springs up a thick Conspiracy;
All Poisons then most active are and bold
When they are lodg'd in pompous Pearl and Gold.
Sweet Paradise was not so safe, but there
The worst of Serpents in its Sweets could dwell:
And though to Thee Heav'n seems descended here,
Yet even in Salem thou may'st meet with Hell.
I grant the Serpent here was slain, but yet
Their fragments Snakes know how again to knit.
Trust not their glittering skins, which wooe the eye
With gorgeous baits; for thick Enchantments are
Enammel'd in their out-side Bravery,
And holy Traps and Treacheries they wear
With wiley art they wind about, and glide,
And into unsuspecting holes they slide.
Trust not their Tongue (which is indeed a Sting,)
Though fairly tipp'd with golden Courtesy
All Heav'n roll'd up in Promises it bring,
And Wisdom's winning Sweetness.
Was not, ye Shall be as Gods, discerning good and evil,
A gallant word? yet minted by the Devil.
Let it thy Wisdom be to take due heed
Of being wiser than thy faith; beware
That no capricious Longing make thee feed
On outside Learning's baits; but wiselyer fear
The lurking holes of Heresy, least thou
Besotted prov'st by Coveting to know.
Remember, here thy Spouse was once betray'd;
Remember, here three times he was deny'd;
Remember, well thy self a feeble Maid;
Remember, thy Agenor, and thy Pride;
Remember, what Rebellion fir'd thy Passions;
Remember, Aphrodisius's Protestations.
Remember, what from Charis, and from Me,
Thy Soul receiv'd, and let no Siren's song
Bewitch those ears with killing harmony
In which the blessed Tunes of Heav'n have rung.
Watch well this Humor of thy Zeal which may
Its overweening self and Thee betray.
Lock up these Counsels in thine heart, and there
Safe let them lie for me till I come back.
Thy Trust and Love shall hence to me appear
If of these Pawns thou faithful care shalt take;
These Pawns, which will my guardian Wings supply
Though from thy presence far away I fly.
Away I must; for this Heav'n's pleasure is,
And therefore must be mine, and should be thine.
I business have abroad; but by this Kiss,
(And here he took his leave,) the truth of mine
Affection, Psyche, on thy lip I seal:
Keep this Impression safe, and so farewel.
Away this Word, and He, together flew:
For now the King of Souls thought fit to teach
Psyche how little of her heart she knew,
Who thought it raised past Delusion's reach,
To her own strength she now was left, that she
How short it fell of that stout Name might see.
But when her Guardian thus outflew her view,
On her most sudden Desolation she
Star'd round about, and 'gan her cheeks to dew.
But strait revolving that her heart was free
With her obtain'd Abode to satisfy
Its curious fervency, she ceas'd to sigh.
Then in a modest Veil her face she hid,
Leaving her eyes but room her way to see;
Zeal furnished her feet with wings of Speed,
And on she made amain to Calvary,
Afresh her Savior's Tortures to lament;
Not thinking that to her own Cross she went.
Thus Peter with too venturous Piety
Crouded into the Highpriest's dangerous hall,
To view and to bewail the Tragedy
Of Jesus's injur'd Innocence: but all
The fruit his Boldness reap'd him, was, that he
Deny'd Him whom he took such pains to see:
Mean while, all pious Hearts' eternal Fo,
Who to intrap them keeps perpetual watch,
Observing her without her Guardian go
Judg'd this his only time his prey to catch:
He posted to a special Fury's den,
Whose Snakes all started up as He rush'd in.
But whilst rouz'd She in thousand hisses spoke
Her Sovereign's welcom: Peace my Child, say'd He
Part of my Errand's Haste, and cannot brook
These Complements' delay: I have for thee
A piece of service, which will better prove
How much thy Father Satan thou dost love.
Psyche, a thing to Jesus's wonderous dear
(And therefore full as odious to Me,
Who by his Love am always pointed where
I ought to shoot my Spight,) is that coy She
Whom though my Craft hath often baited, yet
Back in my face the poison still she spit.
I Aphrodisius and Agenor sent,
And genuine Feinds they prov'd themselves to he
About their hellish work they wisely went,
And faithfully they ply'd their Treachery:
But yet, good Devils, their fair-driven Plot,
So cunning was that Wench, they finish'd not.
And yet this Art in her poor silly brain
Was never bred; O no, abus'd we are;
And Heav'n, though We to it give fair and plain
Defiance, underhand maintain's this War.
There thou long since had Psyche drowned seen
In sulphure, had it not for Phylax been.
He, base unworthy Spirit as he is,
Not only stoops to Christ (which gallant We
Of old disdain'd, and still that Scorn profess)
But with intolerable flattery
Turns Page to Dust, and blusheth not to bow
From heav'n to wait on this vile Worm below.
Had he not better nobly Fall'n with Us,
And kept the Credit of his highborn Mind;
Than crouch, and sneak, and curry favor thus
Of that proud Tyrant? Can an Angel find
Christ's love and smile, worth being hackny'd down
Far more below himself than we are thrown!
For my part, were I freely now to choose,
I would accept the bottom of my Hell
And hug Damnation; rather than with those
Ignoble Sons of Earth a Servant dwell.
Those guardian Angels think We cursed be:
Fools, who perceive not their own Slavery!
They boast, Heav'n's King's their Sovereign; and I
Take these confessing Vassals at their word:
But, I'l maintain't, 'tis greater Dignity
To have him for my Fo, than for my Lord.
They brag that Heav'n's their own, and Blisses Hill;
Why I have more than so, I have my Will.
And so have they, if you'l the Fools believe,
Who say Their Master's Pleasure is their own.
But may not any Slaves say so, and give
Their Angel-ships the Lie? By my dread Crown
I swear, it is my bitterest agony
To think such Dastards are of kin to Me.
But now, my Daughter, Phylax is away;
His servile Deligence thou need'st not fear;
Left to her Self his Pupil is to day,
And therefore left to us, if with due care
Thou play'st thy part; for on thine Industry
Alone I build thy hopes of Victory.
She now is crawling up to Calvary,
The hill which more than Heav'n it self I hate;
And therefore scorn in person to come nigh
That cursed Place. It stands not with the state
Of royal and immortal Lucifer
To smell the stink of Jesus's Sepulchre.
But for thy Father's sake and service Thou
This once shalt stop thy nose and venture thither:
Where thou a subtile chain of Snakes shalt throw
About that peevish Wench, and hale her hither.
So at her cheated Spouse, and Her, both I
And Thou will laugh out our Eternity.
His foaming lips he closed here, which beat
The flood of flaming sulphure back into
His monstrous throat. Strait at his burning feet
His damned Daughter took her leave; and so
With headlong fury rushed through the Earth,
And mingled with the Air in breaking forth.
In this she flew above suspition's eye,
And shot her unseen self into the breasts
Of divers Mortals, where she formerly
Had entertainment found: but now her Nests
She feathered anew with greater store
Of treacherous Powers than there she left before.
Her Policy was so profound, that She
For Psyche laid her Nets in others' hearts;
Which she imbellish'd by the bravery
Of most refined sublimated Arts.
To cheat poor Birds, by craftiest Fowler's wit
Such dangerous Decoys were never set.
For though She were the nasty Center, where
All Lines of ugliness and Horror met;
The looks of Beauty she knew how to wear,
Making dissembled Faith appear so sweet
That she the wisest and most piercing Eyes
Had often blinded by quaint Fallacies.
Oft has she forc'd such Graces to unite
In her Attire, that Truth's inamoring face
Hath shin'd with less Command; oft has the sight
Of her bewitching Mirror, from the Glass
Of Heav'n the credit won, and made her be
Or God, or more at least Believ'd than He.
But now the Virgin at the doleful Mount
Arrived was resolving at her dear
Redeemer's Crosse's foot to ease the fount
Of her impatient gravid Eyes: but there
A strange Devoto prepossest her room,
Who yet of her own Errand seem'd to come.
His Looks, though guilty of few years, were yet
Grown pale and old with pious Gravity
His sober garb was sutable, and fit
For one who would not brave, but clothed be:
His body thin, but thick his hair, which grown
To uncontroll'd length, on his back flow'd down.
Upon the ground he lay, and beat his breast,
Which echoed back the Blows with groans and sighs
At length by thick importunate Knocking prest
It yielded forth these correspondent Cries:
O Griefs and Pairs, had you no other Heart
But His, to make the sink of all your Smart!
That Heart! the fountain of all sweetest Grace
That Heart! to which the best of Joyes were due
That Heart! where not the least Demerit was
To waken Justice, and to call for you;
The Heart of Jesus! here a boistrous Groan
Would needs break off his Lamentation.
But then recovering his sad tongue again,
Alas, said he, and why are you unjust?
Why from this breast of mine do you refrain,
Which all your utmost Stings deserveth? Must
Dear He, who more than Heav'n's delights did merit
Alone the dregs of Passion inherit?
Are there no Whips, no Thorns, no Nails for Me?
For this young fitter back of mine no Cross?
No shame; no remnant of Calamity
Left for my due reward? Did he engross
What sinful I had better title to?
Surely this Want of Woes shall he my Wo.
As when the hollow Winds have drove together
Black lagging clouds, the gravid Vapor breaks
With its own weight, and pours the sousing weather
Down through the gloomy air: so on his cheeks
His labouring eyes let loose their flood, and leave
To Sorrow's most tempestuous deluge gave.
And now his Lips no more had power to speak
In zealous Kisses he their strength employ'd
He kiss'd the Soil, where once that Blood did reek
Which all the Earth's redemption fully pay'd.
And every Kiss did new desire beget
Of more affectionate embracing it.
Psyche observing his strong Passion swell
With such Devotion, soon forgot her own;
And with the Stranger in such love she fell
That at his honored feet she bowed down:
She bowed down, and little thought that then
She stoop'd to enter her forbidden Gin.
But as the warey Seaman, when he spies
The amiable Mermaid floating nigh,
Turns from the dangerous Bait his jealous eyes,
Hoiseth his Sail, makes haste his oars to ply:
So this Devoto seeing Psyche there
Confess'd and fortify'd his holy Fear.
For starting at the unexpected sight.
Shield me, my blessed Guardian, said he:
Satan, whose Craft with everlasting spight
Disturbs the course of zealous Piety,
Hath, to facilitate my Molestation
In this fair Damsel sent me my Temptation.
Ill hast thou chose thy scene, mistaken Maid
For this is Purity's own Theatre.
In vain hath all inamoring Grace array'd
Thy cheeks and eyes to court Desire; for here
No Love can live, but unto Him who hath
Quickned it by His dear and potent Death.
Hence therefore, hence, and seek thy putid Prey
Where rampant Lust in furious bonfires reigns:
Thy Beauty's Lustre must not thaw its way
Thorough my tame and now long-cooled veins.
How know I but thou art some fair-dress'd Feind
To make me foul? and here himself he sign'd.
Ravish'd with this religious Jealousy
Thy Handmaid, Sir, said Psyche, hither came
Upon that Errand which thy Piety
Hath here dispatched; in that very room
I purpos'd my devoted Sighs to blow
And make mine Eyes their liquid duty know.
My bounteous Lord took my Intent, I see,
For actual Deed; and hath rewarded it:
He knew no Blessing could more welcome be
Unto my heart, than this which here I meet:
For this art Thou, in whom I plainly read
The love of Him who of my soul is head.
I heard thy holy Sighs and hearty Groans
As up to heav'n from thy sweet breast they flew
I heard thy generous Lamentations;
And by those genuine characters I knew
That Jesus had by his soul-conquering Dart
Engrav'd Heav'n's best Impression on thy heart.
I thank thee that thou wert of me afraid;
Such pious fear I reverently admire:
Yet be assured Thou hast met a Maid
In whom there glows no embers of black fire.
No, no: my heart abhors such guests as those
Since she tricks of Aphrodisius knows.
I might indeed have been, what you suspected,
Foul Satan's Agent, and a Feind of hell;
Had our dear Lord His worthless Worm neglected,
And not seal'd sure on Mine His blessed Will.
And so might'st Thou, had He not spread above
Thy helpless head the banner of His Love.
That Love, which wheresoe'r I find it shine
Must humblest reverence from my heart command.
Wonder not at my Case, but make it thine,
And think how thou could'st possibly withstand
Thy charming Self: if I immodest be,
Like Love will pardon Love's immodesty.
Yet 'tis no Boldness with th' attractive Sun
To fall in love; or with, what lovelyer is,
Pure Virtue's face: what ravish'd I have done,
To Thee, great Jesus gave me leave to His
Own self to do; O then no more admire
That I grow warm, now I come near thy fire.
My Warmth is pure, as is its Spring in Thee,
And doth as much adulterous Heats detest:
For only on thy zealous Piety
The hunger of my chaste Desires I feast.
I am a Stranger here, and hither come
Religion's Merchant from my British home.
But in this Land of Holiness I meet
Such rare, such price-transcending Wares, that I
Desire my native Albion to forget,
And where my Savior did, both live and die.
Me thinks I here am nearest Him, who is
Whither I live or die, mine only Bliss.
Yet not so near, but mighty Distance still
Doth interpose, and Him divide from Me:
Witness the sacred Marks on yonder Hill
Engrav'd to His Ascension's memory,
And how shall Psyche meet Him now, but in
Some Saint in whom His Image here doth shine?
Wherefore some heav'n-inflam'd Companion I
Would gladly gain, with whom my Soul might live
In holy Friendship's sweet society,
And mutual Heats of Zeal from him receive.
And since Heav'n puts you in my way, O be
True to your self, and you'l be kind to me.
This said: sometimes to Him her pleading Eye,
Sometimes to Heav'n she turn'd; and by that mute
But most mysterious Importunity
Solicited her earnest-bashful Sute;
By yielding Silence wisely urging more
Strong arguments than she had spoke before.
Mov'd with her soft Expressions and her Tears
(For these flow'd out as thick and fast as they,)
The Man gives credit unto both, and cheers
His clouded looks, and cries, O happy day
Which to my admiration shew'st a Breast
Of heav'n's pure Dove the chaste and comely Nest.
Pardon dear Stranger, pardon my Mistake,
And be no longer in that Name to me.
The best amends I can, I vow to make
To my misprised slander'd Piety,
I at thy bounteous Offer catch, and will
Both thy Desires and mine own Joyes fulfil.
Rare are those Friends as Birds of Paradise
But seldom seen in this unworthy Earth,
Whose hearts in one no other Cement ties
But heav'nly Zeal and Love. O were my Worth
As great's my Vileness, that thy Servant might
With equal Court'sy this of thine requite!
If by the royal Law of Love's great Lord
Precious in our esteem our Foes must be;
What what Embraces must we then afford
To them who us outvy in Charity!
Come gentle Soul, and this chaste token take
That to thy wish my heart I pliant make.
Here by an holy Kiss (for that of old
The Symbole was of Christian Consent,)
He seal'd his words: then taking reverent hold
Of her right hand, he down the Mountain went,
Leading her to his Dwelling; whither she
Trip'd cheerly on, and fear'd no Treachery.
(Into the Vulture's Nest thus flies the Dove;
Thus to the smiling Shelfs the Ship doth run;
The Stranger thus into th' enchanted Grove
Hastes for delight; Thus to the fatal den
Of fairest-tongu'd Hyenas skips the Lamb;
The Child thus leaps into the playing Flame.)
Arrived there; Authades (such his Name,
And such his Nature was,) prays her that since
She in a busy season thither came
She would attend with friendly patience
What might not be deferred: but, said he,
The Work though great, will soon dispatched be.
In his eighth journey now fair Phebus ran
Since his Firstborn shades did enjoy;
Who by the Rule of his Religion
Was bound to Circumcise the Child that day:
Which with a consecrated knife of stone
He did, and gave his own Name to his Son.
The Infant's wound the softer heart did lance
Of Psyche, who strait wept, and knock'd her breast,
And testify'd her sad Impatience.
But watchful He perceiving how his Guest
Disrelished her Welcome, to her steps,
And, weeping first, demanded why she wept?
So when the bleating Sheep in Samuel's ear
Proclaim'd the Sin of his rapacious Prince:
At which the pious Prophet, vext to hear
What heav'n and He did hate, took just offence;
Remorsless Saul pretended still that he
Admired why the Saint displeas'd should be.
She made in sullen silence her Reply
Compos'd of Frowns and of complete Disdain;
Till forc'd by his mild Importunity
She gave her angry Tongue a liberal rein:
Shame on my credulous Love, which thus, said she,
Bewitch'd me to the Den of Heresy.
Are you the Man who crouched to the Place
Of Jesus's Cross with such profound regret?
How come you now to wear a Jewish face,
And with your Circumcision Whittle cut
Your Christian mask in pieces? Blind were I,
As was your Zeal, this Fraud could I not spy.
Had you believ'd that Jesus's blood was shed
To wash the stains of all the World away,
Your cruel Heresy had not made red
Your Infant in his needless blood to day
Who had been purer, in the gentler stream
Of holy Baptism had you drenched him.
Upon the Christian's God you faun in vain
Whilst thus you mock His Merits, and prevent
Those high Prerogatives of Power which reign
In His all-clean all-cleansing Sacrament:
For how can you be to His service true,
Yet dare to consecrate your Son a Jew?
I see what reason my wise Guardian had
To be so jealous of my Staying here;
Why he so solemnly appeared sad
When I was merry and refus'd to fear.
He knew black Satan would himself array
In Light, my too soft Softness to betray.
Here she was flinging out. But flattering He
By Christ's great Cross, and by His greater Name
Pray'd and conjur'd her pious Charity
His unexamin'd Action not to blame;
But to defer her Censure, and to hear
With patience, how he could his Cause declare.
Such power breath'd from that high Contestation
On Psyche's tender heart, that she relented:
When expert He, with crafty commendation
Of her mild Candor, told her he repented
That by a Declaration's Preface He
Had not made way to that Solemnity.
Her to a private chamber then he brought,
That no Disturbance might his Ends prevent;
And by all ceremonious Service sought
To calm her angry thoughts with kind content;
For, on a silken couch when she was set,
With softer language thus he 'gan the feat:
Sure now dear Stranger, thou art quit with me,
And hast repaid me in my proper Coin:
For Hell's foul Agent I suspected Thee,
Thou for an Heretick dost me define,
But I recanted; and if Thou do so,
Quit on the other side we may be too.
If headlong Jealousy for Proof should pass,
What thing so perilous were as Innocence?
How deplorable was our Saviour's Case
When God, a Devil deemed was? and whence
Shall we acquit His wise Apostles, who
In this fond World's esteem for Fools did go?
Thou prov'dst not what my sudden fear did speak,
Nor am I such as thine did me present,
Truth can, if heard, her self transparent make,
And never fail'd to yield compleat content
To those whom Prejudice's poison had
Not first envenomed and partial made.
Know then, that I am one of those whose breasts
Are consecrated to that Lord whom
Thou Alone adorest; and permit no guests
To thrust in thither, who will not allow
That gentle Sovereign His throne to rear
And reign without all contradiction there.
The poor contemptuous Place whence glorious He
Vouchsaf'd His Surname to assume, is that
Whence, imitating His humility,
We draw our common Title: wonder not
That Christian, we forbear; too high it is;
Plain Nazareen, our Ambition doth suffice.
Before the Dictates of His royal Law
With universal Meekness we submit;
Whilst others but by halfes will deign to bow,
As Umpiers, not as Subjects unto it,
All hard and costly Precepts they refuse,
And leave that burden for the slavish Jews.
They tell the World, that they a Patent have
Writ in the stile of Christian Liberty,
By which heav'n's King to them Commission gave
To break the bonds of Legal Slavery.
A wise King sure the while they make Him, who
Allows them what His Law forbids to do.
And is not this a choise Religion, where
No more is left for any Charge or Pains?
Cunning and thrifty its Professors are,
Who in their own hands moderate the Reins
Which on their necks should lie; who, as they please
Dispose their Discipline to their own ease.
And yet 'twere well, would they their Charter show
Which constituted them Free States; or but
Declare what in the new-delivered Law
Doth check and disannul the Old one that
The World might satisfaction gain and We
Be made Partakers of their Liberty.
For we know no such thing: but this we know
That Jesus, who is Author of the New,
Was Institutor of the Ancient Law;
And upon Sinai's head His trumpet blew
To wake the drowsy World's obedient ear
Unto the Precepts which He thundred there.
And did He then Retract the Rite He had
Before ordain'd? was Circumcision there
Repeal'd, and Abraham's Badge decre'd too sad
A load for Abraham's faithful Sons to bear?
O no! such Changings inconsistent be
With wisest God's Immutability.
Like His pure Self, His Laws eternal are,
And need no Reformation or Corrections:
Our inconsiderate Lawgivers here
Infect their Laws with their own Imperfections,
And both may mended he: Which surely 'tis
Blasphemous pride to say of Him, or His.
But of His Laws the surest Explication
Is His Example: What did righteous He
When fitted by His blessed Incarnation
He could, like Us, to them a Subject be?
Did He not set the seal of His own Blood
Fo Circumcision that this Law was good?
His Presentation in the Temple shews
His clear Submission to that Statute there;
No less exactly than the strictest Jews
He solemniz'd the Festivals which were
Legally sacred; and though Death drew near,
Still spar'd He time to keep the Passover.
Let Error cast the blustering scare-crow Name
Of Heresy on this our genuine Zeal;
We trust we never shall repute it shame
His steps to tread who is our King: nor shall
The proud World beat our Resolution down,
Since Christ will His own Followers surely own.
The Gospel Laws we equally embrace:
And though my Son I circumcised, yet
Him off I cut not from Baptismal Grace:
We in that Laver too our Children wet,
That in this double Sacramental stream
Of blood and water they to God may swim.
We grant, that where the Circumcision Blood
Blusheth not to oppose and useless make
That venerable World-redeeming Flood
Which from the precious Veins of Jesus brake,
The Sacrament's heretical: but we
Teach it more meek and mannerly to be.
We bring it home, and tutor it to do
Its homage nearer than it did of old:
We use it as th' officious Usher to the
Mystery which it at first foretold:
We teach it to fore-run, but not prevent
The nobler Stream of Baptism's Sacrament.
If of too much Obedience now We seem
Guilty to Thee, convince us of our sin:
'Tis plain thou hast an hopeful pleasant Theme,
And easily upon our hearts may'st win
If Truth fight with thee; for what Mortal's He
Who by just Licence would not conquer'd be
He ceased here. But as the loathing Vine
Though in the Coleworts she can plainly read
No hostile humor; cannot but decline
Their touch, and any pois'nous Shrub or Weed
Will rather hug with all her Arms, than by
The least Embrace accept that Company:
So Psyche, though she could not easily show
The venome of Authades' Sophistry;
Yet her reluctant heart could not allow
What she could not confute: Much rather she
Can with fell Adders' hisses fall in love
Than his Discourse's dire design approve.
For Discontent still gather'd up her brow,
Still nauseous Neglect stream'd from her eye,
Still on her Guardian's Word she chew'd; and now
The Serpent had his pois'nous Suavity
Display'd, with scornful silence She reply'd,
And wav'd her hand, and turn'd her head aside.
But Logos (as with Thelema he lay
Close in her breast,) pricks up his jolly ear,
And drunk in all Authades had to say
With such delight, that he could not forbear
Now Psyche seem'd unsatisfy'd, to break
His itching mind; and thus he freely spake:
Madam, although the Jewish Law to you
Expired seems, yet that of Courtesy
You needs must still to be in date allow:
And why will then your Looks transgressors be?
Why with such glances of Disdain must they
Your gentle Entertainment here repay?
It was his Goodness mildly to digest
The Scorn which you at first upon him threw
And this new Kindness might deserve at least
Civil acceptance. Whether false, or true
You find his Arguments, you must confess
His Love unfain'd, his Carriage Christian is.
And yet if Logos ever understood
What firm perspicuous Probations meant,
What Reasons solid were, what Topicks good,
What Demonstrations sound; I must consent
That he hath none but such Materials chose
His strong Discourse's fabrick to compose.
And, let me tell you, Reason is a Law
By God's own hand ingrav'd in every breast,
Which must no Change nor Antiquation know;
A Law, which whosoever dares resist,
Rebels against himself, whom stamping under
His obstinate feet, he Nature tears in sunder.
O strive not then more wise to be, than what
Is Wisdom's only Rule: Authades now
By Reason's genuine lustre shews you that
He walks in highnoon Light; and why will you
Be groping still in Darkness, when you may
By his fair Pharus's conduct sail to Day?
Stung by this Check, Psyche began to groan
When lo, her Thelema took courage, and
With most resolved count'nance, fastned on
Logos his shoulder her imperious hand;
Which shak'd him from his boldness into fear,
And summon'd to her words his humbler ear.
Pert Sir, said she, do's it to you belong
The golden reins of Psyche's heart to guide,
That thus you stretch your magisterial tongue
To twit your Sovereign? To compleat your pride,
Y' had best e'n take her throne, and make both me
And Her, attend your upstart Majesty.
His soft smug words tickle your wanton ear;
But to such easy Charms we must not yield:
Both Psyche's stomach is too weak to bear,
And so is mine, his gilded Dose, though fill'd
With sugard blandishments. Yet ask not,
Why: It is enough for Us but to Deny.
This peremtory sentence, at her feet
Threw Logos down, and held him quaking there:
Much wrong'd he thought himself, yet durst not beat
With vain Complaints his angred Prince's ear.
Themselves thus Rebels always injur'd deem
Because their Kings refuse to how to them.
Authades marking how his dainty Bait
Disgusted was, to heav'n lift up his eye,
And cry'd, Alass that dangerous Deceit
Should be suspected in Truth's arms to lie!
Yet, Psyche, dare not I disprove thy fear:
The wisest Souls, most jealous always are.
And this thy pious Jealousy to me
So precious is, that it inflames my heart
With higher estimation of Thee
Who in Faith's bus'ness shie and tender art.
They who with headlong haste such Points receive;
In truth do only Fancy, not Believe.
I grant 'twas thy Unhappiness that Thou
Met'st with so faint a Disputant as I:
And sure our Cause were feeble, could it show
No better Pillars of its verity
Than my Abilities, which I confess
Are full as slender as That solid is.
Yet why should Truth for my unworthy sake
Fail of her welcome in thy precious breast?
Why should'st Thou pay so dearly for my Lack
Of Eloquence or Logick, as to rest
In that unfortunate Mistake content,
Which though I cannot help, I must lament.
That word broke ope the fountain of his eyes,
Which in deceitful pity flowed down:
But smiting then his crafty breast, he cries,
Yet should I think just Heav'n on Thee hath thrown
The Punishment of this my Weakness, and
Because I'm dull, not let Thee understand!
O no! would'st thou to yonder house with me
But condescend to step, Thou clearly there
The Looks of living Piety should'st see,
And from an Oracle Resolutions hear,
If thou repent thee (which can never be)
Heap all the blame, I am content, on me.
Blame me and rank me in the vilest list
Of toads and spiders: publish me to be
What most I hate, an Enemy to Christ,
To Truth, to Goodness, and to gracious Thee,
If Satisfaction stands not ready there
With heav'nly Light thy misty Doubts to clear.
The solemn guise of this press Kindness was
So potent that soft Psyche yields, and goes
With her fair-tongu'd Companion: Alas,
That facil Hearts should to themselves be foes
Whilst others they with facilness befriend;
That pliant Twigs should break, because they bend.
But in that House, they at his Prayers find
A Man whom Age had covered with snow:
Yet noble fervor in his zealous Mind
With more than youthful Vigor seem'd to glow,
So strong was his Devotion, and so high
In all expressions of Love's ecstasy.
Authades at his back strait kneeled down,
And so did Psyche, much amaz'd to see
How far that old Devoto had outflown
The flagging pitch of her young Piety.
Such flaming prayers she never heard before,
Nor such impetuous Knocks at th' heav'nly door.
Still still she looked when the spheres should ope
And to the longing Saint his Lord disclose.
She wonder'd that his Body flew not up
Whose towring Soul on such stout pinions rose.
It pos'd her thoughts to see his working Heart.
Stretching so high, did not in sunder start.
With secret checks her languid Soul she chid
Which with such violence never yet did flame;
Her Eyes hung down; her Cheeks were overspred
With blushing (but with O how guiltless) shame.
Nor ravish'd less was Thelema, although
The Nazareens she had abhorr'd till now.
But with confessing looks she here forgave
And praised Logos whom she chode before,
And jolly He grown insolently brave,
To see how Fortune her consent did pour
Upon his Verdict, hop'd that thenceforth He
In Thelema's own realm supreme should be.
O Looks, and outside Things, how mighty are
And how substantial your Impostures, on
Unwarey Mortals, who their judgment square
By ear and eye, and those vain Rules alone
They borrow from the Senses' school, wherein
How many Beasts more learned are than Men!
Pseudagius now three times bow'd down his face
In mystick Adoration, and arose.
Authades strait in Reverence's pace
Step'd forward his sly bus'ness to disclose:
But Psyche pluck'd him back, and told him, He
So bold on her account now need not be.
Pardon me Sir, said she; my vanquish'd Mind
Convinc'd by how much more than Reason is!
In Him I such commanding Goodness find
That, though I would not, yet I must profess
That Faith which nobly authoriz'd I see
By such irrefragable Piety.
The crest of my Desires, (if yet it be
Not pride to reach at such transcendent bliss,)
Is, that his Leave would dignify poor Me
With his religious Acquaintance: This
Perhaps may be inable to repay
The Debt your Love hath laid on me to day.
Authades glad and proud that he had thus
This conquest gained, bad her be secure.
Then meekly bowing to Pseudagius,
Regard most holy Sir, said he, the pure
And pious sute of this right virtuous Maid,
Which modest she upon my tongue hath laid.
Heav'n's love hath kindled in her pliant breast
Full Approbation of whatever she
Beholds amongst us Nazareens profess,
And she our Proselite resolves to be.
Only she begs that you would not disdain
Her, as your lowlyest friend to entertain.
His solemn eye to Heav'n Pseudagius cast,
And cry'd, forbid it blessed Jesu, I
Should not be kind to any whom Thou hast
In thine own Favour deignd to raise so high.
In Thee, a Condescent, but nothing less
In me a Worm who crawle below, is this.
Which said; in sober pleasantness he came,
And grave acquaintance took of Psyche's lip,
She, big with humble thanks, cry'd out,
Who am Unworthy I, such holy Sweets to sip!
Hadst Thou vouchsaf'd me but thy feet to kiss.
That favour I had hugged as my Bliss.
Thus cheated She her Misery admires,
As doth the silly Fly the beauteous flame;
Little surmising what outrageous fires
Reign'd in that Bait which look'd so mild and tame.
Ne'r did she stand on such a Brink as this,
And never feared less a Precipice.
[1702; Grosart (1880) 2:95-109]