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" When to the balmy east,
Sun doth his light impart,
And ravisheth the day,
With spotless hand and heart,
As ever in his sight,
Not to seem other thing
Than what ye are aright; Never to do what may repentance bring. “Not to be blown with pride,
Nor moved at glory's breath, Which shadow-like, on wings of time doth glide;
So malice to disarm,
And conquer hasty wrath, As to do good to those that work your harm. “To hatch no base desires,
Or gold or land to gain,
To have the wit and will
With cockatrice's eye
Nor be to beauty thrall;
All fruitless love to fly,
The soul with fairest beams,
And makes such beauty prove
Ye happy even may call,
And after then, when given,
Move happy by his fall,
“Swift is your mortal race,
And glassy is the field;
Life a weak taper is :
Then, while it light doth yield,
This when the nymph had said,
She dived within the flood,
Then sighs did zephyrs press,
The following verses offer a by no means unhappy example of that disposition to discern and separate the various parts, functions, or forces of nature, or of human nature, and to pit them argumentatively against each other, which in our own time has culminated in Tennyson's “Two Voices."
The work of conviction and of triumph on the part of the soul is not long in doubt; but of course the body is justly represented as impulsive rather than polemical. We are indebted for these lines to a work entitled, “Select Poetry, chiefly sacred, of the reign of King James I.,"collected and edited in 1847, by Mr. Edward Farr, who thus speaks of the volume from which the piece called “The Convert Soul" is taken: "The pages derived from this author are from MSS. in the possession of the editor. The volume, which consists of about eighty pages, appears to have been written about 1620. It consists of songs and spiritual lays, the whole of which have poetical merit; but carnal thoughts and heavenly desires occasionally strangely agglomerate."
The “ Stanzas” which succeed the•dialogue are to be found amongst the “Excerpta Poetica” of the times of Elizabeth and James I. in the “Restituta” of Sir Egerton Brydges, who printed them from a manuscript placed at his disposal by the Rev. H. J. Todd, cditor of the works of Milton.
THE CONVERT SOUL.
Peace, caitiff body, earth possest,
Cease to pretend to things too high; 'Tis not thy place of peace and rest,
For thou art mortal, and must die.
Poor soul, one Spirit made us both,
Both from the womb of nothing came;
Yet I the elder brother am.
I, as at home, can hear and see,
And feel a taste of every good;
My ease and pleasure, health and food.
Of tinselled cobwebs; get thy head
And for thy food eat fairy bread.
Stay, if thou canst, thy mad career;
Repress the storm of fruitless words;
Must hear what reason truth affords.
'Tis true thou elder brother art;
So worms and beasts thy elders are;
The chaos was before a star.
The bread of angels, robes of glory:
Is of a vain life the sad story. Senses I have, but so refined,
As well become their mother soul, Which suit the pleasures of the mind,
And scale the heavens without controul, I little care for such a feast,
Which beasts can taste as well as I; Nor am content to set my rest
On goods in show, in deed a lie. Such cates and joys do I bequeath
To thee, fond body, which must die; For I pretend unto a wreath
Wherein is writ eternity. Thou to thy earth must straight return;
Whilst I, whose birth is from above, Shall upward move, and ever burn
In gentle flames of heavenly love.
But I one person am with thee,
And at the first was formed by God;
To boast all body; learn to fly
At length thou blest shall be as I.
Then farewell, pleasures; I nor care
What you pretend, or what you I'll henceforth feed on angels' fare,
For I an angel will be too.
And for the way I am prepared
To answer every ill with this:
That leads to everlasting bliss.”
Then we're agreed ; and for thy fare,
It will be every day a feast;
Nobly to entertain her guest.
Which, dark or strait, cannot be long,
So we'll to heaven go in a song.
STANZAS. What if a day, or a month, or a year,
Crown thy delights with a thousand wisht contentings, May not the chance of a night, or an hour, Cross those delights with as many sad tormentings ?
Fortune, honour, beauty, youth,
Are but blossoms dying;
All our joys
Are but toys,
None hath power
Half an hour
Of his life’s bereaving.
Is but a point of the earth's compared center:
All's in hazard that we have,
There is nothing biding;
Weal or woe
Time doth go,
Guide our states,