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End and beginning of each thing that grows,
Whose self no end, nor yet beginning knows;

That hath no eyes to see, nor ears to bear,

Yet sees and hears, and is all eye, all ear; That no where is contain'd, and yet is every where.

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Changer of all things, yet immutable,
Before and after all, the first and last;
That moving all is yet immoveable ;
Great without quantity, in whose forecast
Things past are present, things to come are past;

Swift without motion, to whose open eye

The hearts of wicked men unbreasted lie,
At once absent and present to them, far and nigh.

It is no flaming lustre made of light,
No sweet concent, or well-tim'd harmony;
Ambrosia for to feast the appetite,
Or flow'ry odour mix’d with spicery,
No soft embrace or pleasure bodily.

And yet it is a kind of inward feast,

A harmony that sounds within the breast, An odour, light, embrace, in which the soul doth rest,

A heav'nly feast no bunger can consume,
A light unseen yet shines in every place;

A sound no time can steal, a sweet perfume
No winds can scatter, an entire embrace
That no satiety can e'er unlace.

Ingrac'd into so high a favour, there

The saints, with their compeers, whole worlds outwear, And things unseen do see, and things unheard do hear.

Christ's Triumph, by G. Fletcher,

Part II. stan. 39–42.



H' Egyptians, amidst their solemn feasts,
Used to welcome and present their guests
With the sad sight of man's anatomy,
Serv'd in with this loud motto, 'All must die.'
Fools often go about, when as they may
Take better 'vautage of a nearer way,
Look well'into your bosoms : do not flatter
Your known infirmities : behold, what matter
Your flesh was made of. Man, cast back thine eye
Upon the weakness of thine infancy;
See how thy lips hang on thy mother's breast
Bawling for help, more helpless than a beast.

Liv'st thou to childhood ? then behold what toys
Do mock the sense, how shallow are thy joys.
Com'st thou to downy years? See how deceits
Gull thee with golden fruit, and with false baits
Slily beguile the prime of thine affection.
Art thou attain'd at length to full perfection

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Of ripen'd years? Ambition bath now sent
Thee on her frothy errand; Discontent
Pays thee thy wages. Do thy grizly bairs
Begin to cast account of many cares
Upon thy head? The sacred lust of gold
Now fires thy spirit *, for fleshly lust too cold
Makes thee a slave to thine own base desire,
Which melts and hardens at the selfsame fire.
Art thou decrepit ? then thy very breath
Is grievous to thee, and each grief's a death.
Look where thou list, thy life is but a span,
Thou art but dust, and, to conclude,-a man.
Thy life's a warfare, thou a soldier art,
Satan's thy foeman, and a faithful heart
Thy two-edg’d weapon, patience is thy shield,
Heaven is thy chieftain, and the world thy field.

To be afraid to die, or wish for death,
Are words and passions of despairing breath ;
Who doth the first the day doth faintly yield,
And who the second basely flies the field.
Man's not a lawful steersman of his days,
His bootless wish nor hastens nor delays :
We are God's hired workmen; he discharges
Some late at night, and (when he list) enlarges
Others at noon, and in the morning some:
None may relieve himself till he bid come:
If we receive for one half day as much
As they that toil till evening, shall we grutch ?

Job Militant, by F. Quarles, Med. viii.


the sacred lust of gold Now fires thy spirit.] Sacred is here used in the sense of com cursed, like the auri sacra fames of Virgil. Æn. III. 57.




The soul, which in this earthly mould The Spirit of God doth secretly infuse, Because at first she doth the earth behold, And only this material world she views :

At first her mother-earth she holdeth dear,
And doth embrace the world and worldly things ;
She flies close by the ground, and hovers here,
And mounts not up with her celestial wings.

Yet under heav'n she cannot light on aught
That with her heavenly nature doth agree;
She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought,
She cannot in this world contented be.

For who did ever yet, in honour, wealth,
Or pleasure of the sense, contentment find ?
Who ever ceas'd to wish, when he had health?
Or having wisdom, was not vex'd in mind?


With this desire she hath a native might
To find out every truth if she had time;
Th’ innumerable effects to sort aright,
And by degree from cause to cause to climb.

But since our life so fast away doth slide*,
As doth a hungry eagle through the wind,
Or as a ship transported with the tide,
Which in their passage leave no print behind;

Of which swift little time so much we spend
While some few things we through the sense do strain,
That our short race of life is at an end,
Ere we the principles of skill attain.

Nosce Teipsum, by Sir John Davis, p. 68.



Fond man, that looks on earth for happiness,
And here long seeks what here is never found !
For all our good we hold from heav'n by lease,
With many forfeits and conditions bound;

Nor can we pay the fine and rentage due;

Though now but writ, and seal'd, and giv'n anew, Yet daily we it break, then daily must renew.

But since our life so fast away doth slide, &c.] So, Pope:

Life's stream for observation will not stay,
It hurries all too fast to mark their way:
In vain sedate reflections we would make,
When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take.
On human actions reason though you can,
It may be reason, but it is not man:
His principles of action once explore,
That instant 'tis his principle no more.

Epist. to Sir R. Temple.

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