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What shall a man desire in this world,

Since there is nought in this world that's worth desiring? Let not a man cast his eyes to the earth, But to the heavens, with his thoughts high aspiring.

Think that living thou must die,

Be assured thy days are told :
Though on earth thou seem to be,
Assure thyself thou art but mould.

All our health

Brings no wealth,
But returns from whence it came;

So shall we

All agree,

As we be the very same.


(ABOUT 1575–ABOUT 1658.) THOMAS HEYWOOD was an actor; and of so great fecundity as a writer of plays that, for prolific production, his name must be placed soon after that of Lope de Vega on the roll of dramatic authors. He claims to have had “an entire hand, or at least a main finger," in no fewer than two hundred and twenty plays, of which only twentythree have survived to our time. Of these perhaps the best known is “A Woman Killed with Kindness," which was produced in the year 1617. He had begun to write for the stage as early as 1596; and his last work, published in 1658, was an Actor's Vindication." Little is known of the events of his life. The time of his birth is not ascertained; but it appears that he was a native of Lincolnshire, and a some time fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge. The approximate year of his death is given as above by inference from the date of his last work coupled with a remark made by him in the preface to his “Hierarchie” (1635), that Time “will never suffer our brains to leave working till our pulses cease beating.” It is with this work, from which the following powerful poem is taken, that we are concerned; and, as it is little known, a short description of it may not be out of place. It was written when the author was already in his old age; when time, to use his own words, had “cast snow upon his head.” It is entitled “The Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells: their Names, Orders, and Offices. The Fall of Lucifer, with his Angells.” The dedication is melancholy for its unrealized expression of confidence in the good fortune of the king: “To the Most Excellent and Incomparable Lady, as famous for her illustrious vertues, as fortunat in her regall issue; Henretta Maria, Queene: The Royall Consort and Spouse of the puissant and invincible Monarch, our dread Soveraigne, King Charles." The nine books into which it is divided treat of (1) Seraphim, (2) Cherubim, (3) The Thrones, (4) The Dominations, (5) The Vertues, (6) the Powers, (7) The Principats, (8) The Arch-Angell, (9) The Angell; and the orders of this hierarchy are represented severally by (1) Uriel, (2) Jophiel, (3) Zaphkiel, (4) Zadkiel, (5) Haniel, (6) Raphael, (7), Chamael, (8) Michael, (9) Gabriel. Each book is followed by “Theological, philosophical, moral, poetical, historical, apothegmatical, hieroglyphical, and emblematical observations to the further illustration of the Former (foregoing) Tractate.” The “Search after God” is a poetical “meditation " upon the first book, and is called in the metrical argument of the author

“ A Quære made the world throughout,

To find the GOD of whom some doubt." The meditations generally are thoroughly religious, ex

perimental, and often profound. Heywood's verse is deficient in harmony; but his directness, earnestness, and solemnity, frequently carry him far in the direction of the sublime.


I sought Thee round about, 0 Thou my God!

To find thy abode.
I said unto the Earth, " Speak, art thou He?”

She answered me,
“I am not.” I inquired of creatures all,

In general,
Contained therein;—they with one voice proclaim,
That none amongst them challenged such a name.
I asked the seas, and all the deeps below,

My God to know.
I asked the reptiles, and whatever is

In the abyss;
Even from the shrimp to the Leviathan

Inquiry ran :
But in those deserts which no line can sound
The God I sought for was not to be found.
I asked the air, If that were He? but know

It told me, No.
I, from the towering eagle to the wren,

Demanded then,
If any feathered fowl ʼmongst them were such;

But they all, much
Offended with my question, in full quire
Answered, “To find my God I must look higher.”
I asked the heavens, sun, moon, and stars; but they

Said, “We obey
The God thou seek'st." I asked what eye or ear

Could see or hear;
What in the world I might descry or know,

Above, below:
With an unanimous voice all these things said,
“We e are not God, but we by Him were made."

I asked the world's great universal mass,

If that God was?
Which with a mighty and strong voice replied,

(As stupified),
“I am not He, Ő man! for know that I

By Him on high
Was fashioned first of nothing, thus instated
And swayed by Him, by whom I was created.”
I did inquire for Him in flourishing peace,

But soon 'gan cease:
For when I saw what vices, what impurity,

Bred by security
(As pride, self-love, lust, surfeit, and excess),

I could no less
Than stay my search; knowing where these abound,
God may be sought, but is not to be found.
I thought then I might find Him out in war;

But was as far
As at the first; for in revenge and rage,

In spoil and strage,
Where unjust quarrels are commenced, and might

Takes place 'bove right;
Where zeal and conscience yield way to sedition,
There can be made of God no inquisition.

I sought the court; but smooth-tongued Flattery thero

Deceived each ear :
In the thronged city there was selling, buying,

Swearing, and lying;
In the country, craft in simpleness arrayed:

And then I said,
“ Vain is my search, although my pains be great;
Where my God is, there can be no deceit.”

All these demands are the true consideration,

Answer, and attestation,
Of creatures, touching God: all which, accited,

With voice united,
Either in air or sea, the earth or sky,

Make this reply: “To rob Him of his worship none persuade us; Since it was He, and not our own hands made us."


A scrutiny within myself I then

Ěven thus began :
“O Man, what art thou?”—What more (could I san)

Than dust and clay?
Frail, mortal, fading, a mere puff, a blast,

That cannot last;
In a throne to-day, to-morrow in the urn;
Formed from that earth to which I must return.
I asked myself what this great God might be

That fashioned me?
I answered, The All-Potent, solely immense,

Surpassing sense;
Unspeakable, Inscrutable, Eternal,

Lord over all;
The only Terrible, Strong, Just, and Truc,
Who hath no end, and no beginning knew.
He is the Well of Life, for He doth give

To all that live
Both breath and being : He is the Creator

Both of the water,
Earth, air, and fire: Of all things that subsist,

He hath the list;
Of all the heavenly host, or what earth claims,
He keeps the scroll, and calls them by their names.
And now, my God, by thy illumining grace,

Thy glorious face
(So far forth as it may discovered be)

Methinks I see;
And though invisible and infinite

To human sight-
Thou in thy mercy, justice, truth, appearest,
In which to our frail senses thou com'st nearest.

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O make us apt to seek, and quick to find,

Thou God, most kind!
Give us love, hope, and faith in Thee to trust,

Thou God, most just !
Remit all our offences, we entreat;

Most good, most great!
Grant that our willing though unwortlıy quest
May, through thy grace, admit us 'mongst the blest.

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