Herbert E. Cory: "The first canto of Woodford's poems sounds in harsh, sturdy echoes the thought of Spenser's Hymne. In the second canto he juggles fluently with Spenserian allegory. Lust, or the devil Legion, came to possess a lest soul. Before he arrived Idleness had swept the empty rooms and darkened the lights and windows. Fancy let in loose Desire. After him the Fiend rode in triumph at the head of a pageant like that which issued from Spenser's House of Pride.... Then came Genius or Comus.... More grisly figures followed like consequences: Sin with a thousand beads, wretched Poverty, and Death, described with a line plundered from Milton, 'But Death the third, the same shape always kept, | If Shape it might be call'd, that shape had none.' Wherever he went he was attended by unquiet Care Suspicion, Impudence, Riotice, and Irreligion. Without the door waited Distrust, Jealousy, Fear. Such was the company that entered the soul of wretched man who sought only earthly Love" "Spenser, the Fletchers, and Milton" UCPMP 2 (1912) 342-43.
I oft am thinking whether Love was known
To the World Heathen, and what was their sense
Of Man's, and His Origination;
Or if of this first state of Innocence
They any certain knowledg had, and whence
The Notice was deriv'd, and to them came,
Dark as it was; and turn o're Books, but thence
Am little satisfi'd, find there the Name,
'Tis true, but Pillars of black Smoak instead of Flame.
Fiction I there find has so Truth disguis'd,
That hard it is for one to know what's true;
And, amongst all the Vanities they priz'd,
How much, or little 'twas they truly knew,
And ancient Faith obscur'd with Fancies new;
Which diversly, as diffe'rent was their Art,
They dressed out, and 'mongst the People threw,
Part plain, with lame or monstrous Figures part,
As in a scarce, or not discover'd Countrys Chart.
For there as We' Hippogryphs, and Satyrs place,
Or Seas, or Carra'vans, when there's nothing found
Of certainty, to fill the empty space,
That each Man in his own sense may abound:
Just so did they, but more the Truth confound,
With Fable, as themselves it suited best,
Who, so they did but keep the markt out bound,
Convey'd them by Tradition, for the rest,
Left it to others, as 'twas left them to be ghest.
A Godlike therefore 'twas, and Golden Age,
Tho little known to them, who call'd it so,
And of it counted, fill'd with ancient rage,
Not as it was, but did at distance show;
Tho something, 'tis confest, they seem'd to know;
And what they of it said, by chance was true,
As to the main, if somewhat we allow,
For the false Light, and those, who 'its Figure drew,
In Plane, or Prospective, and were but Copiers too.
By Negatives the Plane was most design'd,
And prov'd the Fairest, and the luckiest Draught;
The Prospective was stiff, and more enclin'd
To an hard confus'd roughness, scarcely brought
To decence, done by Images they sought
In their own Breasts, or Age, by Heav'nly Light
Unlumin'd, and by false Priests blindly taught:
Love only made o're all to take his Flight,
Came nearest to the Truth, if understood aright.
For by a Child they Love did represent,
As his best Emblem, under which disguise,
(For such it was) they hid with high intent,
Or rather plainly shew'd those Mysteries,
Which were conceal'd from base and vulgar Eyes;
Native Simplicity, pure Innocence,
Absolute freedom from all touch of Vice,
An easie mildness Favours to dispense,
And all those Graces, that its Actions influence.
Not that they would that Ages Faults approve,
In Lovers, but its Vertues thence propound;
For tho a Child they made, and painted Love,
Scarce such another Child ith' World was found,
By whose soft Hands were fiercest Lions bound,
Traind to his Yoke; the Course of Thunder staid;
And all the Gods above, and underground,
Which Gentilisms great Religion made,
(As sottish as it was) in heavy Fetters laid.
Naked, 'tis true, they feign'd him; but just so,
As we, who yet esteem our selves more Wise,
In Oratories naked Angels show,
Nor count it blame our selves thus to advise,
How open all we do, or think to Heaven lies;
That from it nought we can, or would conceal,
That from us banisht is all Artifice;
All which by 'his Nakedness Love does reveal,
And, from his Step-dames Temples, to the Church appeal.
But by his Fillet they such Lessons taught,
As the Worlds present Learning far out-goes;
Nor did the Master, who design'd the Draught,
And for a Dia'dem put it on Loves brows,
E're think it would his Sacred Head expose;
Tho be 'it a Fillet, what can it intend?
What teach, but that, which every Lover knows,
Eve'ry true Lover, that to chuse a Friend,
Barely by sight, 's beginning where scarce Fools would end.
His Eyes were therefore hid (if hid they were)
From all commerce in Love to' exclude the Eyes;
Which judging, as the Object does appear,
Too oft impose, impos'd by Flatteries,
False mirrors of an Heart, which deeper lies:
The Heart, where Love that's true does first begin,
By Reason guided, its own worth to 'apprize;
Then by Discretion, seld in Lovers seen,
Who still the more's the outward glare, see least within.
Eyes Intellectual he' had, wherewith agree
Those Wings, which they no less unto him gave;
I'll Furniture for Love, if Blind he be,
Who rather then would want a Guide to have,
Himself from dangers unforeseen to save:
But love himself alone was his own Guide,
Nor needed any others Conduct crave,
And with his Wings spread, and extended wide,
A flight to Heav'n attempted, none durst dare beside.
For why no Love it is, whose vile desires,
Incline it downwards to the Miry Ground;
This Earth of ours, which Sottices inspires,
Preying on Carnage there, or made, or found,
And with ignoble thoughts does most abound:
But that's true Love, and does deserve the Name,
Whose noble Acquists, nothing mean can bound;
And mindful of the Region, whence it came,
Thither aspiring terminates with Heav'n its Fame.
Like Wings, like Quiver: With bright Arrows fill'd,
Of different sorts, but with like Mystery,
As is well known to them, who 'in Love are skill'd,
Well taught, what Motions in the Mind there be,
And how both Love, and Hatred there agree;
Hatred of all that bears th' impress of ill,
With love of all that's good, in its degree;
The Choques and just fixt byass of the Will,
Which make up Love, and all its various parts fulfil.
The Golden pyl'd its Inclination prov'd,
Leaden Aversion, ne're to be deny'd;
Or if thereof there should be Question mov'd,
The Torch Love bore, his other Arms beside,
Too bright did shine the Mystic Truth to hide,
That Soul of th' World, that all things keeps intire,
In Life, and Motion, nobly Typifi'd;
Noblest of Elements, but yet rais'd hi'gher
Than place'd at first, when made Loves noblest Symbol, Fire.
Thus by the Ancients Love was first express'd,
And, tho a Child, their God most ancient own'd;
Older than Saturn, whom Jove dispossess'd
Of Right usurpt, and in his stead was Crown'd:
Son of Urania, (as in Books is found)
Venus Urania, whom we Heaven call
With them, who their Mythologie expound,
Distinct from that Pandeme, who was Thrall
To Vulgar Souls, and had from th' Earth Original.
Two unlike Mothers of two Sons unlike,
Eros and Anteros, whose oppos'd Name,
(Which different Sentiments in them did strike)
From their own first great Opposition came,
That from their Nature; and tho judg'd the same,
In one, and t' other Sex, where they preside,
The Male, and Female Hymeneal Flame,
Are two so, that once kindled they divide,
Just like those Fatal Brethrens, who Dead, each defi'd.
Eros was Elder, and the stronger too;
Of Constitution likely to endure
Eternal Ages, if the Spi'rit he drew,
Were not empoyson'd by an Air impure;
Of which consulting how to be secure,
'Twas plainly told him from th' Oraculous Throne,
Than that of Themis far more Old, and sure,
A Tripode, which ne're fail'd, When two are One,
Then Love in danger is by Love to be undone.
Of two made one, Love well enough conceiv'd,
For that himself had seen, himself had done;
But it by Love could hardly be believ'd,
That he to' himself so contrary should run,
As to provoke, what most he sought to shun:
Against himself that he should so prevail,
As thence in hazard be, to be undone;
This ev'en to Love, obscur'd in Mortal Vail,
Abstruse did seem, and by another sai'd might fail.
But Time, a little time the Mysterie clear'd,
When by another Love, this Anteros,
He was betray'd; who that which first appear'd,
(And 't was the Sun) when from the Earth he rose,
Ador'd as his chief God, with sacred Vows;
And many Altars to it after made,
By 'his Votaries, on whom he did impose
The Task Idolatrous, and First-fruits pai'd,
Himself the first Idolater, there prophanely laid.
From Earth first rose this feign'd, and Idol Love,
By DIS begot; tho not till after known
Who was his Sire, or what himself would prove;
Of a curst Father the as cursed Son,
Born Arm'd for others Ruine, and his own;
With all the Ensigns Love was wont to bear,
By th' Heathen read, that if together shown,
All but themselves to' impose on they'd go near,
And here's the true Love one would say, and one he's there.
Like Youth in both, like Face, and Looks were seen
Like naked Limbs, with covered Impudence
In this, but gesture tending to obscene,
In a free gayety 'hid, to' elude the Sense;
Like Chaplet, for their Brows, and Eyes defence;
Like Wings, like Quiver hung their Backs adown;
Like different Arrows to be drawn out thence;
Like burning Torch, which Flames so like did crown,
Either would seem the true, if single, and alone.
Ah! that they had like Grace those Arms to use!
But this was loudly by the False decry'd,
Who only took them, that he might abuse,
The World, by whom he should be Deifi'd,
And acts inglorious in that Visor hide:
Never to use them was his full intent,
Or if he did, not as before well try'd;
But to a Love, and Learning different,
Where Sense alone should be supreme in Government.
Love saw all this (for what to Love is hid?)
The true Love saw it, and withdrew in haste;
No place was left him on the Earth to' abide,
Wherefore he to the Empyrean past,
And only Conscience his Vicegerent plac'd:
With Promise yet, that if in time to come,
Man wiser grew (the Counterfeit uncas'd)
Himself his now left Charge would reassume,
And once again to Man return, as his last Home.
For Man, 'tis known, scarce the wild Phanto'sm saw,
This Pageant Counterfeit of Love Divine,
But his Allegeance back he straight did draw,
And to the Enemies part from Love decline,
By Sense led, which had quickly sunk a Mine,
Reason, or to surprize, or to o'rethrow;
And the vain Stratagem had drest so fine,
With umbrage, that it Good, and Ill should know,
The Fort surrendred was, scarce known for what, or how.
But up 'twas given, and therewith given was all,
(For Nothing, or what's worse than nothing, lies)
What ever Man his own, by right might call,
Or by Commission, but sure ne're did prize
Deserv'dly, since he' it could so soon despise;
His Life, his Soul, what most was of behoof,
To' a Being so dispos'd, and fram'd, as His;
Of his Obedience the first easie proof,
And what, as Heav'n it self was valuable, his Love.
All were give'n up, and now adieu, blest Love!
Adieu all Happiness, and Innocence!
Honour, and Vertue, which the same Course move,
And Mortals very rarely visit since!
Adieu unto you all, for Love's gone hence,
And only left your empty Names behind,
Upon the Stage to please, or give offence,
As variously Spectators are inclin'd,
But wherewith most are pleas'd, as most 'gainst Love combind.
Honour and Love adieu! And now my Song,
Since thou hast trace'd them to their first aboad,
Rest they a while; and tell, as does belong
To the Mock-Love, the World's, and Peoples God!
But make of every Rime an Iron Rod,
Wherewith thou mayst the Profligate chastise!
And tho thou goest a way, as yet untrod,
Despair not but thy Work shall beauteous rise,
And with the Sober find acceptance, and the Wise!
With these acceptance, but with others scorn,
Who to this Anti-Love blind Vassals made,
By our First-Fathers Act, have Fealty sworn
To a fell Tyran, who must be obey'd,
And will, nor in his furious heats gain-said:
Unhappy Men, if their unhappiness
They could but know, and how they are betray'd;
Enough unhappy, would they but confess
The little that they know, which words can scarce express!
Slaves of Vile Passions, which drive furiously,
And all that's Sacred, with high Hand bear down;
Themselves, their Ancestors, the Deity,
Reason, and Reasons Guide, Religion,
The Worlds consent attested by their own;
Till to the Winds, and Seas their Faith they gave,
And sought, what else they could not flee, to drown
In bottomless Abyss, nor Shipwrackt have
The least security, they shall their Fraightage save.
And yet who more secure? But this their Love,
Their New Love, in whose Service they 're retain'd,
Gives as his own, and their most urging Proof,
That they, true Conquerors, have the Victory gain'd,
And broke those Iro'ns, wherewith all else are chain'd:
Ill Education, brutal Thunders dread,
A fear of what's above, to which they 'are train'd,
And what's to come, dreams of the long since dead,
That first made Gods, and what their Fears made, worshipped.
Horrors th' Anti-diluvian World ne're knew,
Or if it did, durst not bare-face'd profess;
Tho from one Seed their Love, and Atheism grew,
Both Ills, but which the greater, which the less,
Is hard to say, almost as hard to ghess:
For either both, in both was either had,
In both, and either lost Man's Righteousness;
I' th' cause, or in th' effect, both equal bad,
And both, that sensually, and this prophanely mad.
But for Prophaneness, Sense was th' Harbinger,
And busily by Love prepar'd its way;
(For so I'll call awhile the Worlds Troubler)
Who all its Stages did before-hand lay,
And longer here, and longer there would stay:
Till having th' whole Earth compass'd, and laid waste,
A Deluge came, and swept their Spoils away,
The Spoilers 'scaping with the few, who past,
By Ship to a new world, where Cham their Standard plac'd.
Cham pitcht it there; Curst Cham who for the shame
Done to his Father, just Reproach did bear,
In that Addition to his cursed Name,
Servant of Servants, which his Race still wear:
But never did he Slave so much appear,
Of Slaves the verie'st Drudg, as when he Love
Permitted uncontroll'd to domineer,
And lustful War 'gainst Heav'n, and God to move,
And all below seduce, and defy all above.
With him Love went (while yet the World was one,
One People, and one Language) unperceiv'd;
And so great Victories by his Conduct won,
That He was openly at last receiv'd,
The first, that no more Worlds there were, who griev'd:
And yet more Worlds he for his Triumphs found,
Or what's as good, new Coasts to be deceiv'd;
When the divided Earth was Peopled round,
With distinct Nations sown, which stockt the new-broke Ground.
Each Nation was a several World, or as
A World distinct; the Islands most of all,
Which, late discover'd, for new Worlds did pass
With those, who by that Name did Countries call,
Surrounded by the wide Seas rolling Wall:
And Love in every Land, and every Isle,
Did reign with Majesty Imperial,
And sway unbounded by the farthest Thyle,
Tho that, as the World's farthest bound, did stand erewhile.
A mighty Prince, and curious Traveller,
Of sense most exquisite, from each to take,
Each Country, lay it farther off, or near,
What for the gust of Loving most could make,
And the o're-labour'd Appetite awake,
Satiate with loose disport, and rockt asleep,
Of not yet tasted Pleasures to partake;
Which in his dark Serraig'ls he close did keep,
And laid, till time should serve, as the Earths Center deep.
At length it serv'd; Ah! that it serv'd not now!
And Love by 'his Conquests had such Subjects gain'd,
(For to his Yoak the Universe did bow,
And Arts, and Arms were to the Service train'd)
That out of fear to lose what he' had obtain'd,
He only Trophies gave himself to rear,
And the Disguise put off he had sustain'd;
As the Supreme God would Himself appear,
And above all, that's else call'd God, his Head did bear.
Above the Sun, whom Himself worshipped,
But whom disgraded he to th' Persian sent,
Next to himself to be propitiated,
In their Horn'd Mithra, which to Idols bent,
With thousand others, of obscure descent,
By this time Gentilism Gods had made,
New Deities industr'ious to invent;
Whom or in Hills, or thick Groves hallow'd shade,
With Beasts, or Humane Blood they aton'd, and to them pray'd.
Their Sons, or Daughters Blood for these suffic'd,
But what to him they offer'd was their own;
Freedom, above their Life, to be appriz'd,
Which how they could disvalue well was shown
By this, if only this had been alone,
That when th' Usurper did their Homage claim,
And in 'his true Colours made himself be known,
In throngs they to his Feet, and Altars came,
And kept, with Fires from their own Brests, perpetual Flame.
Fires, which consum'd, e're felt, the noblest Part,
And all that's good in Man, or great, laid waste,
By th' Eyes convey'd most treacherously to th' Heart,
Whence to the Liver soon the Burning past,
And Vertues Images in both defac'd;
Thence to the Bones, nor did the Flesh 'scape long;
Till Soul and Body in a Flame at last,
The present God, to be deny'd too strong,
Plung'd all into a Sea of Sulphur'ous Flame headlong.
Like God, like Victim; To a God unclean,
Of Beasts th' Uncleanest offer'd, Man turn'd Beast;
Himself the Sacrifice, and Priest obscene,
In which to minister he did divest,
All that above the Brute he once possest,
And lower than the Brute unforce'd sank down;
With such Unmanly' Indignities opprest,
He' had scorn'd them, as he might, by 'another done,
Her rude disgusts, whom he solicited, and his own.
For why a SHE's the Quarry, and the Game,
At which this Mock-Love, and his Haggards flie;
The Sex in either Sex, both worthy blame,
And tho distinguisht first for ends more high,
Both equally debaucht by 'his Effrontry,
And acts so mad, and foolish (yet call'd Love,
Thereby engrossing th' whole Monopoly)
That one would think't should Indignation move,
Such Follies to commit, such Madness to reprove.
A Medly, with part Folly, Madness part,
And is the All of Love, Person, or Thing,
Or Act, or Powe'r, or by the Poets Art
However call'd, as he can Matter bring,
Of Love in Numbers and in Verse to sing;
And tending all, as Love's in all the same,
By Images of divers fashioning,
(If all are yet enough to' expose the shame)
One Spoiler to denote, and LEGION is his Name.
The hardest Devil to be dispossest;
For e're he came the empty Rooms were swept,
By Idleness the Housekeeper, and new drest;
Idleness, only for that service kept,
And who, or so employ'd, or ever slept:
A brawny Carle, that ne're did work beside,
But here commanded forward briskly stept;
And rather than be found unoccupi'd,
The Windows stopt, and all the several Lights did hide.
But Fancy well enough did that supply,
Or little mist, Loves next fore-runner light;
Who having once uprear'd his tender Eye,
And of the Object ta'ne the distant height,
Made up the view all by Internal Sight:
And with new Beauties unperceiv'd before,
But there display'd, himself did first delight;
Then open'd, which he'had to him shut, the Door,
To let in loose Desire, and again tell them o're.
So in Desire came, vainest of the Three,
And after him in Triumph rode the Fiend;
Whom seven Spirits, full as bad as he,
Did close behind in Mascarade attend,
And Io sang to Love, that Heav'n did rend:
So sang they all, but with unequal grace,
As were their looks; for some their Brows did bend,
And grin'd most horrid, with distorted Face;
Others were blith, and smil'd as they along did pass.
These Folly were, and Mirth, and Dalliance,
Who hardly could their Way for laughing hold,
By Genius clos'd; the Three, who lookt askaunce,
And midst their shouts could hardly cease to scold,
Were Lust, that scorn'd by th' best to be controll'd;
And Proteus Sin, who diverse Shapes put on,
As diverse kind, and Names he' had manifold;
And Death, the seventh from Love, mere Skeleton
One half, t'other Fantastick clad as shall be shown.
Folly the First, by' her Habit seem'd a Maid,
And by her Face, which was excelling fair;
Tho whether such, was difficult to be said,
Nor safe it may be, since few Men there were,
But in her claim'd with Women equal share,
And ill had took't, had she pure Woman been:
A pretty thing to gaze on, but whose Air,
And Gate, and Gesture, made it quickly seen,
She none of th' Wisest was, and somewhat lackt within.
Light Gesture, Gate ungraceful, compos'd Air,
Save when she spake, or laught; but then betray'd
A thousand Follies, with prodigious glare;
For by a Glass she with a Shadow plaid,
(Her self, to whom she frequent Honours made)
And every glance, which she design'd to cast,
And every look, by that in order laid;
And to such troublesome Impertinence past,
That every little Word she thereby form'd at last.
Mirth was a Youth of beautiful regard,
With chearful Eyes, plump downy Cheeks, and Chin;
And nothing in his looks, or strange, or hard,
That, if one by the Face could ought divine,
All Beauties there amass't did seem to shine:
All that can Man become, or Love excite
In Loves great Criticks, the Sex Feminine;
All but i' th' Timorous, whom his Whip did fright,
And more deterr, than all his other Charms invite.
For in his Hand a Bloody Discipline,
With many a'pointed Rowel stuck, he bore;
And wherewith, when unmark't, he saw his time,
Backward reflecting, he his Shoulders tore,
And the smooth Channel fill'd with purple gore:
But when or Folly call'd, or Dalliance,
The fretting exercise he soon gave o're,
And, as recovered from a sullen Trance,
Met with quick Eyes, and amorous Look each smiling Glance.
Him Dalliance followed next, a Damsel gay,
Of light behaviour, as she well could feign;
And wantonly her Brest did open lay,
The Lover who came next, to entertain;
Tho who the He were of her mighty Train,
She was not much solicitous to know,
Nor much to fancy him her self did pain;
For she like Favours did on all bestow,
And bonnour was to all, how high so e're or low.
A Night-Gown was the Habit which she wore,
Loosely clapt round her, but so airy thin,
That through its light disguise appear'd the more,
What she ne're strove to hide, her beauteous Skin,
And just proportion of each curious Limb:
With Impudence too luscious to be told,
And speech Lascivious, when she did begin,
Which none, but like her self, unchast, and bold,
Or unreprov'd could hear, or unasham'd behold.
Next after her in order Genius came,
Of Body somewhat gross, but Humour free;
Whom part call'd Comus, as by his Sirname,
Tho both, or either with him well agree,
Without whom Love, nor merry Life can be:
A right good Fellow, as his Belly show'd,
Which in a Swath reacht almost to his Knee,
And made him passage through th' admiring Crowd,
Which shouting to him louted, as to them he bow'd.
No wrinkle in his Counte'nance did appear,
Nor careful thought seem'd to come near his Mind,
Of what should be; but things, which present were,
Variously turn'd him, as did sit the Wind,
And this way now, now that way he inclin'd:
Tho if 'twere still, (and sometime still it lay)
Diversions to himself he'd make, or find;
And sometimes only muse a live-long Day,
Tho askt on what, he or nought knew, or nought could say.
These were the fairest Shews Loves entrance had,
And of the Pomp the sightliest Officers,
Who therefore next the Carr Triumphal staid,
But Spirits Incarnate were, and all as fierce,
Provoke'd once, as those Fatal Ministers
Of his, and more than his, of th' Wrath Divine,
Which follow'd next, with look, and meen perverse;
A Grisly, Horrid, and Prodigious Trine,
Which hardly into shape, Love could by 'his Art refine.
Lust was the First, but whether Man, or Beast,
Or He, or She, one could by no means know,
For it both Sexes had, and did invest
Mankind above, and Beast mishape'd below,
And slote divided did for ostent show:
With shaggy Hair the whole Body cover'd o're,
And poysonous stench, which he around did throw,
Undampt by th' Perfumes, which the Satyre bore,
(For so they call'd him) and about him ever wore.
A very Satyr, whom he nearest came,
In Face, and Guise, but in Deformity
Excell'd, the first of the Family, and Name;
And shameless was his Look, and lew'd his Eye,
But sharp withal, Beauties which cloyster'd lie,
First to discover, then to circumvent,
By Clamour, wherein low'd he was and high,
Nor could forbear, as he in Triumph went;
Prime Visier of the Port, and Loves chief Confident.
Sin follow'd him, who was his Eldest Son,
And only Child, with place and dignity,
His Parents Titles suiting, and his own;
But on his own he mostly did relie,
And all, but what his own was, did decry;
Would, and did loudly against Lust declame,
As Impotent, couragious to defie,
But who to Handy-blows, or never came,
Or not with such effect, as he, to get a Name.
For tho but one, a thousand Heads he had,
And twice a thousand Hands boldly to fight;
An Army of himself, and which he made
Greater, or less, as the Cause did invite;
(Love, and Loves Good Old Cause was his delight)
Rebellion, whose design to carry on,
Himself he variously, as 'it hapt, would dight,
A Beasts, or Man's form take now, and anon
Angels, or Fiends, a multitude, one be, or none.
But Death the third, the same shape alway kept,
If Shape it might be call'd, that shape had none,
Except in that half of him, which foremost stept
And to the view expos'd a side of Bone,
That seem'd with Skin to have been cloath'd upon,
And Musculage, not many Days before;
For scarcely cleansed was the Skeleton,
And here and there appear'd fresh stains of Gore,
And gobbets of green flesh, which from the joynts he tore.
To'ther half was the Universe, and all,
And every thing, that in the World is found,
Which hastens, or is ready at Death's call,
And are th' Ingredients, which he does compound,
Or single, or in Mass to give the Wound:
A dreadful Mixture, and of which to tell,
Almost to think, would th' greatest Wit confound;
For since the time that Man from Happi'ness fell,
They were collecting, and had at the bottom Hell.
Where e're he came, these were Loves Company,
With Train and Baggage, which did far extend;
And Meny suiting so great Prince as He,
For Prince and God they call'd him, tho Pure Fiend:
Unquiet Care, which all his time did spend
Himself to' undo, backt by Suspicion,
Then Impudence, which did to Lechery lend
His unchast Ear, and Fury bad come on,
By Riotice drawn up, and Irreligion.
Without door Danger, and Distrust did wait,
And Fear, that never was himself at rest,
Or others would permit their Watch to 'abate;
And Jealousie, which tho he were possest
Of what he lov'd, for rage tore his own Breast;
And Lust unnatural, and Villany,
And Revellings, in thousand Anticks drest;
And Poverty, in Rags clad piteously,
Calling aloud for Death, which did th' unhappy fly.
It fled him, as one, who from Love was fled,
Under the Disc'ipline, if he had the skill
To use it right, of Sorrow, seeming dead,
But which for a blest Life prepares Our will,
By that Repentance, which Shame does instil;
Repentance the first step to Innocence,
Whose various parts it makes, or does fulfil:
But whereof Lustful Minds have little sense,
Till Shame sum up the Total of the vast expence.
Death such a Bankrupt therefore flies,
Hasting to those, who call'd, or call'd him not,
By Loves own Hands crown'd for the Sacrifice,
And or pursue'd, or i' th' pursuit were hot,
E're well aware to th' end of all things got,
By Death inglorious, and with Infamy;
(Of most Luxurious Livers the hard lot)
Yet which Love colour'd with such Maistery,
That the most follow'd, what the most did seem to flie.
For Love had thousand Deaths at his command,
And every Lover, might his own Fate make,
Which some did, but by'a way so under-hand,
That from the praise of Love it much did take,
And many 'a Lover lost he for their sake;
Tho such he pleaded were by him giv'n o're,
(If all might be believ'd, which then Love spake)
Nor could to his account be reckoned more,
Than if thus, or a Natural Death they dy'd before.
Be the Point therefore, as it will for me,
Who list not further of it here to tell;
Enough are Lovers Deaths we daily see,
(And so 'twas then) a Songs scant bounds to swell,
Nor yet for Love, or them contriv'd so well,
But that one midst the Pomp might easily find
The Mighty, by whose cruel Hands they fell;
And Verdict give the Murther was design'd,
By th' Pains they felt before, Reproach they left behind.
Pains more than can of Mortal Tongue be told,
And sharper than e're Tyran did invent;
Which the whole Man did in strait Fetters hold,
Till tortur'd Nature, quite worn out, was spent,
Of Love the Guerdon and the Punishment:
Yet Tyrans Racks found out, the Pale, and Wheel,
And Fire, and all that can by Fire torment,
Or be prepar'd, th' Ax, and derr-doing Steel,
But make no wounds all, set with those which Lovers feel.
Thrice, and than thrice more wretched state of Love,
When Innocence and Truth to Heav'n were gone!
But seve'n times wretcheder it yet did prove,
When this Mock-love wholly usurpt the Throne,
(As he 'after did) and single reign'd alone,
With Name and Pow'r alike usurpt, yet was,
Ah! What not was he? — But 'tis time to' have done
With him, who can to Verse give little grace,
And in another Canto to the True Love pass.