Sir William Alexander

Doomes-Day: The Fourth Houre

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The Argument


A hideous Trumpet horriblie doth sound;
Who sleep in Graves a mighty voyce doth wake;
By Angels (Messengers) charg'd from each ground,
All flesh comes forth that ever soule did take;
Seas give account of all whom they have drown'd;
The Earth her guests long hid in haste gives backe:
Those who then live are at an instant chang'd,
Though not from life, yet still from death estrang'd.
So great a power my sacred guide imparts,
That still my Muse doth raise her vent'rous flight,
Though with confusion compass'd on all parts,
My troubled thoughts dare on no object light;
The world by flames (a charmer) justly smarts,
Whose ashes now seeme to upbraid my sight;
Though feares would quench those fires my breast that burne,
Yet I must sing, that thousands else may mourne.

To plague proud man who look'd of late aloft,
The earth still pure, till made by him uncleane,
By whome, as fierce for blood, or by lust soft,
She (forc'd to beare) in both abus'd had beene,
Straight (as a strumpet prostituted oft)
Now by her lovers naked shall be seene;
An odious masse (even in her owners eyes)
(As bruis'd by Thunder) whil'st she with'red lyes.
Now of all States the fatall period comes,
Which showes how Time was short, worlds greatnesse small;
Fierce Vulcans fury Neptunes so orecomes,
That not one drop remaines to weepe his fall;
Loe, all the world one Continent becomes,
Whereas save man no Creature lives at all;
The Sea to earth, the earth all turnes to fire,
A monstrous Comet threatning coming ire.
O! what a vault I see of Angels wings,
Whose greater brightnesse makes the fires decline!
A glorious guard fit for the King of Kings,
Whil'st they (like rayes) about that Sunne doe shine.
But, O! his presence (past expressing) brings,
A reall glory all in all divine;
All as from darkenesse looke upon this light,
Whil'st flames (as mysts) doe flie before his sight.
Those blessed Bands in state of grace which stood,
(As Ministers admitted unto God,)
To mortalls sometime which tould tidings good,
And oft did strike with indignations rod;
They, who till com'd, this time not understood,
With Christ arise all ready at his nod;
And free from envy which did marre their mates,
Doe seeke with joy the partners of their states.
The dregs of Adams race shall soone disclose,
What Gods decree involv'd in Clouds doth keepe,
That time, that time, which must confound all those,
Whose thoughts are plung'd in pleasures groundlesse deepe,
Even then perchance (that nature may repose)
When all the Senses buried are in sleepe;
Ah! how those eyes unclos'd amaz'd remaine,
Which from that time should never close againe.
O ten times curst! whom Christ that time shall finde,
Still hatching evill, defrauding Natures due,
Whil'st darkenesse makes the eyes (though open) blinde,
And makes the minde what it affects to view,
Which (wing'd with thoughts) fare swifter then the winde,
Though (still confin'd) doth all, over all, pursue;
What doubtfull projects flote within his brest,
Who dreames yet sleepes not, lyes, but doth not rest.
When that Crown'd bird which Peters braggs did scorne
(As still a friend to light) seemes to cite light,
Some more conceive then ever could be borne,
Whil'st big with monsters of imagin'd might,
And aiery names with shadowes to adorne,
Doe build high hopes which fall, ere at the height;
Such bosomes serpents nurse whose stings they try,
Pride, Æmulation, Envy, Ielousie.
As prick'd with Thorne some in their beds doe roule,
Whil'st charg'd with thoughts, which but their cares abuse,
And make that mettall Idols of their soule;
Which in a Calfe the Iewes great Iudge did bruise;
Their greedy course whil'st nothing can controule,
Though having more then they themselves can use;
Like them who drinke more then they can digest,
Who keepe the appetite, but not the taste.
The devill in darkenesse held most powerfull still,
Some when retir'd imagine mischiefe strange,
And to shed blood doe dedicate their will,
Whil'st tortur'd with a fury of revenge;
More guilty he who in his heart doth kill,
Although his course (if disappointed) change;
Then he who doth by chance ones death procure,
“No member guilty, if the minde be pure.
Though beds should be as private graves for rest,
While as deaths image doth seize living dust,
Yet some (runne mad) as raging in a pest,
Voluptuouslie their fancies surfet must,
A filthie fury poysoning the brest,
With strange delights of a prodigious lust;
The which whil'st walking so corrupts their will,
That when they sleepe, it doth delude them still.
Not onely shall this sudden charge surprise,
Such in their sinnes as do from God rebell,
But even all those who evils by night devise,
As loving darknesse, shall in darknesse dwell:
Who with a conscience calme all feares despise,
Not having hope of heaven, nor feare of hell:
Such to an Owle make God inferiour be,
As if by night, nights maker nought could see.

Wing'd messengers may then even some arrest,
Who rioting till quite exhausted all,
(Whil'st in their vomits wallowing they rest)
From men to beasts, from beasts to nought do fall:
Those dead (though living) who can but detaste,
As Natures monsters mankinde to appall?
In them who have their reason drown'd in wine,
No sparke of Gods, nor Natures light doth shine.
Some rating pleasure at too high a price,
Who with the light do lay all shame aside,
Do prostitute their souls to every vice;
If not then free (by beastlinesse) from pride;
Then their whole states oft venture on the dice,
As who in nought but fortune do confide;
By many odious oath such mock Gods might,
True works of darknesse worthy of the night.
Fond worldlings there involv'd in vaine delight,
Who to the senses fraile indulgent are,
And (as soft sounds the courage do invite)
With measur'd madnesse march upon the aire;
Whil'st from themselves by pleasure ravish'd quite,
What it provokes no kinde of sport they spare;
Their eares attending Musicks soule to have,
Of this dread blast the first assault receive.
By stratagems a Captaine boldly wise,
His enemies campe (not look'd for) oft confounds,
But when he first doth Sentinels surprise,
That all about the neighbouring bounds rebounds,
In breasts unarm'd what terror strange doth rise,
Whil'st Drummes yeeld deadly, Trumpets lively sounds?

Whil'st shouts make deafe, amazement dumbe, dust blinde,
Ere swords the bodie, feare doth kill the minde.
So shall it be with all those broken bands
(As for the godly they watch still prepar'd)
Then when lifes Lord doth come to judge all lands;
Like fishes angled, or like beasts ensnar'd,
Those whom hels badge for endlesse darknesse brands,
Not having power to wish, are straight despair'd;
And soone do see what now they not attend,
Ere thought by them begun, all at an end.
What hideous charge all to compeer compels,
Whose sound may show what breath the blast doth feed?
No cannons, thunders, tempests, trumpets, bels,
Nor yet all joyn'd, so huge a noise could breed;
Since heard in heaven, on earth, and in the hels,
Till dreadfull silence doth over all succeed:
The hearkening world seemes all become one eare,
The grave gives place, the dead his voice do heare.
All you who on, or in the dust, do lodge,
A great great Court I cite you to attend,
Even at Christs instance where himselfe is Iudge,
To heare that sentence which none can suspend,
Of boundlesse joyes, or else of anguish huge,
Which he doth give (as you deserv'd) in th'end.
What from his servants mouth none would conceive,
Heare from himselfe, even what doth damne, or save.
Passe, passe, swift Angels ov'r each region range,
Force all to rise who ever downe did lye;
What in their essence th'elements did change,
Bid them restore, that Christ all flesh may spie;
You are the gathrers, this that vintage strange,
Which in all souls what stuffe hath beene, must try;
Twixt heaven and hell this is a judgement great,
To judge each one their owne, contentions date.
The word them gives by which they thus are sought,
Power to obey, else were the charge but vaine,
That word which first did make them all of nought,
May now of something make them soone againe;
Past numbring, numbers are together brought,
That some may thinke what bounds can them containe:
Who makes the dead to rise at his decree,
May make a roome where they may marshall'd be.
The heavenly soules which with fraile bodies bound,
Did act together on this earthly stage,
Though subtile they oft divers deeps did sound,
In which grosse organs could not then engage:
Yet in all actions equall partners found,
By reason led, or head-long borne by rage.
Though once divorc'd, they marry must againe,
To joyne in joy, or in eternall paine.
Those heavenly sparks which are flowne up above,
To shine in glory, and in zeale to burne;
And shall of pleasure the perfection prove,
With mortall vails which mask'd of late did mourne:
They from their place a moment must remove,
With Christ in triumph glorious to returne.
Their twice-borne bodies when put on they have,
First from the belly, last now from the grave.
Those gather up their garments from the dust,
Which prison'd are in Pluto's ugly cels,
Though loath to part thence, where returne they must,
As then their conscience inwardly them tels,
They know their Iudge as terrible, as just,
Will but confirme their holding of the hels,
Yet all their processe must deduced be,
That Saints Gods justice, and their faults may see.
Foure Elements with foure complexions make,
This mortall masse soone rais'd, and soone o're-throwne,
And when that it turns to corruption backe,
With what accrest each doth crave back the owne,
The waters all the liquid substance take,
Th'ayre breath, fire active heat, th'earth earth well known.
Which all though thus in their first fountains drown'd,
Not take nor leave, but are the same still found.
The Lord doth not (which some would fondly doubt)
As once in Eden a creation use,
As if the first consum'd were all worne out,
That he not knows their substance where to chuse,
No these same bodies which we beare about,
The Lord will raise, and cleare, or else accuse:
When done by God, then wonders are not strange,
The quality, and nothing else doth change.
Of our fraile spoils each part (where made a prey)
He who doth watch our dust will straight require;
That which the waters washed have away,
What was in flames exhausted by the fire,
That which (windes scorn) toss'd through the aire did stray,
And what to earth all rotten did retire:
All at an instant shall together go,
To recontinue, not beginning so.

The husbands hopes which Ceres first renown'd,
Must buried rot, made lesse, to be made more;
Yet wrestle up (though in the earth still bound)
In forme more pleasant, multipli'd in store:
So shall our dust (though swallow'd in the ground)
Spring from corruption brighter then before
In bodies new, whose state none can surmise,
Laid mortall downe, but must immortall rise.
Those creeping creatures which with silks conceive,
Bred first of seed their food with toils acquite,
Then what they gaine must all to others leave,
And lye (stretch't out) wrapt up in funerall white:
Yet straight reviv'd, where buried, burst the grave,
And mount aloft with wings all altered quite.
In wormes (mens types) those who do mark this change,
How can they thinke the resurrection strange?
As man like milk was at the first pour'd out,
Then straight like cheese turn'd all to cruds at once,
Till clad with skinne (his sex made free from doubt)
With sinews joyn'd, and fortifi'd with bones.
When as the Moone hath chang'd thrice, thrice about,
He doth burst forth, neglecting Mothers grones,
And (though from him at first as weake teares flow)
Doth straight of God a talking image grow.
So sowne by death where rests fraile mortals seed,
The earth conceiv'd, shall straight (big-bellyed) shake,
And though at first a moving masse doth breed,
Not travell shall till time her birth ripe make,
Whil'st vitall moysture ashes dry doth feed,
That marrow bones, bones flesh, flesh skinne doth take.
Till all at last unto perfection worne,
Graves are delivered, mankinde is new borne.
The sprituall powers shall soone have repossess'd
Their ancient roomes restor'd to them by grace,
Which were (they thence by Natures rigour press'd)
To death by sinne morgag'd but for a space;
But now (they free who had beene thus distress'd)
All members move, power pour'd in every place.
What could corrupt all worne unto an end,
They sprituall bodies, bodied sprits ascend.
Then shall not weaknesse (passing each degree)
A progresse have perfection to attaine,
But from infirmity made freely free,
They shape, proportion, strength and knowledge gaine;
All qualities at once accomplish'd be,
That to augment there nothing doth remaine:
The first and second birth do differ farre,
First men were made, now rais'd, then grew, now are.
Some Gentiles fond who from the truth did stray,
(When by th'Apostles told) did scorne this once,
Yet trusted grounds which vaine inventions lay,
By fabulous doctrine learn'd, and fools at once,
That by Prometheus men were made of clay,
And by Deucalion quickned out of stones.
Thus had their souls to see the truth no eyes,
“Who loath the light, God gives them over to lyes.

Great armies oft as if one body move,
Whose souls it seemes the Trumpets sound doth sway,
So when this charge is thundred from above,
One moment makes who were, or are, obey.
O strange alarme! what must this meeting prove,
Where ruine onely hath prepar'd the way?
All knowne when mustred (though not numbred) there,
A dreadfull censor no mans spot will spare.
Those which the deeps disgested did containe,
As bent to drink those who them oft did drink,
To heaven exhal'd, though still'd through fruits by raine,
That dainty tastes more delicate them think:
Their trunks drawn down when once throwne up againe,
Though dead, and buried, move, not swimme, nor sink:
A death which drunkards do deserve to have,
To lye with liquor in a liquid grave.
Of them whom Thetis kiss'd till kil'd of late,
Whil'st their three mates they in her bosome leave,
Some winds, and waves, against each rock do beat,
Till them for food the scalie troups receave;
That fishes men, men may those fishes eat,
Chang'd quality, and forme, whose flesh may have.
Mans substance it may transubstantiate oft,
But shall the same that first, mount last aloft.
Muse do not strive above thy strength to mount,
As mortals braines those hosts could comprehend,
Which not seas sands, nor yet heavens starres can count,
Whil'st swarming forth their judgement to attend,
They Arithmeticks rules do farre surmount;
When, rais'd from dust, more thick then dust, in th'end,
But yet a part most knowne by fame design'd,
May leave a more impression in the minde.
The first great troupe inunding from the deep,
Which long have wandred with the watrie brood,
Which glutted Neptune in his caves did keep,
When all his guests were surfeited of food,
Are those amid'st the roaring waves who sleep,
Since first they fell drown'd by the generall flood.
Those who of God the threatnings still did scorne,
Till death at once one fleece ov'r all had shorne.
What deluge strange doth from that deluge flow,
Of monstrous people terrible to see?
Whose stature shows what time they had to grow:
The Dwarfes with them, with us would Giants be,
Ere bended was the many colour'd Bow,
All that had falne rise from corruption free.
Where raging deeps had justly lodg'd their dust,
Still drown'd when dead, who burn'd alive with lust.
Thence comes the Tyrant who did sway the state,
Where fertile Nilus mollifies the minde;
Whom (to confirme his owne with wonders great)
God did obdure, and made by brightnesse blinde,
With guilded slaves which flattering his conceit,
The Lord to him would needs inferiour finde.
Those all like him by his example made,
As oft to sinne he shall to judgement leade.

Mad men to whom by wond'rous blows abroad,
The arme of God had justly terror brought;
Foole that had seene the proofe of Arons rod,
What danger was thou might'st in time have thought,
Whil'st vaine Magicians emulating God,
The same in show, but not in substance wrought:
Vaine Sophists (to be mock'd) but mock the eyes,
Truth, (naked) truth, lyes are (though painted) lyes.
What made thee doubt, that he whom thou didst spie
Turne streames to bloud, might mixe them with thy bloud,
That he who made thy lands first borne to dye,
Would save the lives of (his friend) Abrahams brood,
Where his might march he who the deeps did dry,
That he would make them drowne who him with-stood?
“But those whom God will lose he makes them blinde,
“Those head-long runne who are for wrack design'd.
They who with haste the Hebrew host pursu'd,
Whose glancing armes each eye, shouts fill'd each eare,
Who lack'd no stately show, which might, when view'd,
In them breed courage, and in others feare,
Their foes contemn'd (as if they were subdu'd)
Who did themselves as if in triumph beare:
And (spuing blasphemy from prides low height)
Even challenge durst the Lord of hoasts to fight.
Loe, from the mudde they now creepe poorely out,
As from a prison which upbraids their blame,
And spoil'd of all which compass'd them about,
Rise naked up, yet kept by feare from shame;
The Trumpet makes them tremble (though earst stout)
As thinking it their sentence will proclaime;
And even great Pharo, vile amidst his owne,
Can by no signe more then the rest be knowne.
What fools then rise who never could be pleas'd,
Though setled owners of a fertile ground?
Where under them even thousands were well eas'd,
And, then their masters, more contentment found,
Whose trait'rous hopes still on new conquests seas'd,
Till death did show how little might them bound:
That as all Lands could but strict limits give,
Last for the Seas (vaste like their mindes) did strive.
Ah, for mans madnesse who enough can mourne,
From whom still pure that there may rest no place,
Who makes his rage even in the deeps to burne,
And (standing) runnes in walking woods his race;
Makes Neptunes azure all to crimson turne,
And fills with bloud the wrinckles of his face?
What thirst of mischiefe thus torments man still,
That it no Sea can quench, nor Land can fill?
The Grecian Seas shall give those bodies back,
(When floting Athens camp'd in wooden walls)
Which mountains plains, and floods dry fields would make,
Scourg'd all the windes, rank'd nature with their thralls,
Which all conspir'd seem'd to procure their wrack,
Both Sea and Land made famous by their falls,
As if that King who could not count his host,
Had sought all means by which they might be lost.

All Salamina's straits disgorge againe,
Those whom they swallow'd, and digested had;
But broken squadrons are restor'd in vaine,
Since with no armes, no, with no garment clad,
Whil'st both the parts then joyn'd in one remaine,
Great is the number, but the cause is bad:
Who striv'd for state, both as most abject bow:
Greeks and Barbarians no way differ now.
By this last blast those do assemble all,
At divers times who in the deeps fell dead,
By him almost preventing Persias fall,
Who the Greeke Empire had abortive made,
Who charg'd with chains lay for his father thrall,
An act more great then all his hosts to leade:
“From vertues height this generous course did come,
“A man most vitious armies might o're-come.
The last great act which Athens did intend,
Defrauded thousands of their funerall right,
Which did presage their greatnesse neere an end,
Whose state then chang'd, as having past the height:
Those to pursue that then did armies send,
From that time forth, did for their confines fight:
“A mighty Towne whose growing nought could stay,
“When com'd to faile, doth vanish soone away.
Their greatest Captaine fondly then remov'd,
The other cold, procur'd what he divin'd,
Who happy first, last, most unhappy prov'd,
Whil'st superstition vilifi'd his minde;
But Siracusa yet to stand behov'd,
Whose conquest was for greater foes design'd;
And those by Sea to get more land who striv'd,
Drown'd in the Sea, were of all land depriv'd.
Faire Sicile long still by great states was sought,
As fertile fields, weake owners, did entise,
The fatall lists where Rome and Carthage fought,
When all the world was made the victors prise,
Thy bounds (oft bath'd with blood) was dearely bought,
Which strangers still, else Tyrants did surprise;
Thy Sea the stage where death oft act'd with wounds,
Must muster many when the Trumpet sounds.
Earst Athens, Pyrrhus, Carthage, Rome in ire,
(Their hungry hopes whil'st Ceres fill'd with dreames)
To daunt that people proudly did aspire,
Not fearing Scilla, nor Charibdis streames,
Nor thund'ring Ætna vomiting forth fire,
Nor Vulcans forge, nor monstrous Giants names;
No, Plutoes selfe who wedded in those fields,
His conquer'd hells to greedy men he yeelds.
Those whose great valour did so honour wrong,
That each eternall pen it yet renownes,
Who rivals liv'd in love of glory long,
And though but Cities did dispose of Crownes,
Those two by Sea did strive who was most strong,
As all the Earth could not containe two Townes;
“Each state the world lesse then it selfe contrives,
“A just proportion ruine onely gives.
That haughty race which kings in triumph led,
(All not well pleas'd with parting of the spoiles)
That fishes might as well as beasts be fed,
(The land else glutted by their guilty broiles)
Did on the Sea a sea of blood once shed,
Which (wash'd by waves away) might foile their foiles,
That them to plague no furie place could finde;
All objects raz'd which might upbraid the minde.
A spatious field the waters did afford,
Where floting armies might their forces try,
When free men fighting who should be their lord,
With too much valour did their bondage buy,
Whil'st Eolus did rage, and Neptune roar'd,
More cruell Creatures then themselves to spy;
“Men of all else which this large Circuite fill,
“Most subtile are, and violent in ill.
From liquid fields where Carcasses are rife,
Now with his troupe Volteius passage finds,
Who were more bold, then fortunate in strife,
And dying did triumph ov'r foes, waves, winds,
Of fame too greedie, prodigall of life,
As those whose soules were strangers to their minds;
“Who lose their owne to gaine from others breath,
“Life by opinion seeke, for certaine death.
When as two brothers that were bound in law,
Did pledge their lives who onely should be free,
Pale Neptune once at Actium wondring saw,
His Crystall walkes all as congeal'd in Tree,
Which from their kingdomes diverse kings did draw,
To know whose Slaves they were ordayn'd to be;
As both (till clear'd) from what they crav'd would stand;
Two on the Sea did fight for all the land.

To save themselves, or others to confound,
When loftie Legions did a purpose take,
Of winds, waves, armes, oares, shouts, blows, groanes, the sound,
Gave bold men courage, made the Cowards quake,
Whil'st floting forests mutually did wound,
Which Neptune, Mars, and Eolus made shake;
The bellies (big with men) abortive burst,
By thundring engines violated first.
When this encounter had made many smart,
A stately meeting, terrible to thinke,
Ships without kindnesse kiss'd, yet loth to part,
Stood strugling long which should the other sinke,
Till some oft pierc'd, and past all hope of Art,
For poyson last (as desp'rat) flouds did drinke;
And that none might their conquer'd ensignes claime,
Slipt under Seas, as if to hide their shame.
But haughtie Romans storm'd to be with-stood,
And us'd to conquer, marvel'd to be match'd;
From flouds in vaine some drinking back their blood,
Halfe kill'd, halfe drown'd, death by two darts dispatch'd;
There where they fought whil'st bodies pav'd the flood,
Till emptie first, no wooden cave was catch'd:
“O how that life seemes foule which blots fames books,
“In glories glasse whil'st generous courage looks!
Whil'st Mars as yet a doubtfull Iudge did prove,
The barbarous Queene fled with Pelusian slaves,
And who lov'd her, did straight with her remove,
Not fearing, no, as who in feavers raves:
He fled not foes, but follow'd on his love,
For whom the hope of all the world he leaves:
Who vanquish'd armies oft, a woman foil'd,
Who all of all, him of himselfe she spoil'd.
The seas surrender at that dreadfull blast,
Troups of all Lands which in their deeps did fall,
In discord then, but rise in league at last,
The cause growne common which doth joyne them all;
Not onely Ancients famous in times past,
But Turks and Christians thence a voice doth call:
Whom even when raging, raging floods supprest,
That waves might tosse them still who would not rest.
What Turband band abandons Thetis Bowres,
By their misfortune fortunate to fame,
Who by a royall pens eternall powers,
Reft back from death, life, whil'st men breath do claime?
How those (still Turks) were baptiz'd in few houres,
Where Azure fields foam'd forth a hoarie streame:
This my great Phœbus tun'd to Trumpets sounds,
Whose stately accents each strange tongue rebounds.
Not onely thus by barbarous bands o're-throwne,
Some whom Christ bought a floting Tombe confines,
But by themselves (like Pagans spoil'd) though knowne,
In liquid plains a number breath resignes,
Whil'st those who toile to make the world their owne,
Do with devotion paint most damn'd designes:
That they when all things else have fail'd for baits,
May superstition use to angle states.
When haughtie Philip with this Isle in love,
Whose rage to raigne no reason could appease;
As oft by fraud, it last by force would prove,
To barren Spaine whose fertile fields did please;
He sent huge Hulks which did like Mountains move,
As Townes for traffique, palaces for ease;
And of all sorts did furnish forth a Band,
As if to people, not to winne a Land.
To brave the heavens whil'st Giants would assay,
The Lord their power would wonderfully bound;
One little Barke their Navy did dismay,
A woman did the mighty man confound;
All Elements did arme their course to stay,
That wicked men might not pollute our ground:
For pride disdain'd, for cruelty abhorr'd,
Spaine beg'd (a slave) where looking to be Lord.
O happie those for whom the heavens will fight,
Of Angels armies campe about them still,
Whil'st haile and thunder from heavens store-house light,
Arm'd winters are pour'd out, sterne Tempests kill;
The stormy winds conjur'd in time charge right,
As train'd in warre to spend their power with skill.
“Still to the Author mischiefe doth return,
“And in the fires they make the wicked burn.
The Tumid region numbers doth afford,
Who onely there could quench ambitions fire;
And avarice hath it with many stor'd,
Who onely there could bound their vaste desire;
Though each of them had of much wealth beene Lord,
Who by no meanes contentment could acquire,
Till (like themselves) still taking, fill'd with nought,
The sea and hell them to abundance brought.
What heavy thoughts their quaking hearts do move,
When with each wave a wound death seemes to give?
Which rais'd up high like battering engines prove,
That so to charge do for advantage strive,
(Save sudden lightnings flash out from above)
Clouds masking heaven, over all do darknesse drive,
That whil'st they nothing see, and too much heare,
Falne on the deeps hels shaddow doth appeare.
Some scap'd such stormes, whil'st they secure remaine,
Surpris'd by Pirats suddenly despaire,
Whose cruell avarice to render vaine,
They yeeld (as faint) till they to them repaire,
Then powder kindled by a lingring traine,
Straight all at once are thundred through the ayre:
In water burn'd, weake thralls kill victors strong,
And suffring, act, revenge preventing wrong.
Thus by the Sea a number is bewray'd,
Whose dying eyes, a friend did never close,
Not in their fathers, no, in no tombe layd,
Which had when dead no part where to repose,
But are by waves to every rocke betray'd,
Till this last day doe of all flesh dispose,
Which as would seeme most ready those may finde,
Whom th'earth not burdens, winding-sheets not binde.
The face of th'earth like those a number yeelds,
Who for last lodgings could not get a grave,
Yet where they fell, as having wonne the fields,
Them (dead a time) from all who liv'd did reave,
Throwne in the dust, drawne from their bloudy shields,
Whil'st naked there, they what they clad did save:
Till beasts with some did runne, with some fowles flye:
As bodies first, bones bare at last did lye.
The bloud of some did staine that golden age,
To strike with iron ere malice did invent,
On ruines Altar offring up to rage,
“Wrath wants not weapons when for mischiefe bent;
Then indignation mortals did asswage,
With stones, sharpe stings, and what by force was rent,
From gored bellies, bowels did gush out,
And heads with braines were compassed about.
But when man spy'd, whil'st venging wrong by chance,
That life was lodg'd in such a fortresse fraile,
To court vaine-glory which to fooles did glance,
Some (as for sport) their neighbours did assaile;
Then last, their state of purpose to advance,
Strayd valour would by violence prevaile:
All armies first were by ambition led,
Till avarice a greater fury bred.
Who first from death by deeds redeem'd their names,
And eminent magnanimously grew,
(Their fancies frying in ambitions flames)
They onely praise, not profit did pursue;
And as for glory, who contend at games,
Sought others to excell, not to subdue:
Such Scythia one, another Egypt gave,
From conquer'd lands who did but honour crave.
Those weapons first were found, which pierc'd, or bruis'd,
Ere dreadfull Cyclops made their hammers reele;
Of Mars chiefe minions, sword and launce were us'd,
Ere men did march (as Statues) all of steele;
What fury in proud mindes this rage infus'd,
That they would suffer to make others feele,
And strive to further, ere to hinder ill,
Then save themselves, more bent their mates to kill?
What mountaines were of murd'red bodies made,
Which till falne dust, the dust did not receive,
Of Ashur, Persia, Greekes and Romans dead,
Who whil'st that they more earth, them earth would have,
Whil'st of the world each striving to be head,
Those members maim'd which it to rule did crave?
Then though all lands one onely did adore,
As pent in too strict bounds, yet one sought more.
Of bones unburied, what huge heaps were rear'd,
By Teutons, Cimbers, Gaules, great by doing harmes,
By Vandals, Allans, Hunnes, and Gothes long fear'd,
Danes, Longobards, and Sarazens in swarmes?
For which long time those fields could not be ear'd,
Where they to death had offred up their armes:
Whil'st where to live, to winne more lands then set,
Where they might dye, who onely land could get.

Then Nature strong, as in her perfect age,
As Bees their swarmes, lands Colonies sent forth,
Which forc'd by wants, or mov'd by generous rage,
In tempests huge inunded from the North;
Else that high hopes dream'd riches might asswage,
They sought the South as held of greatest worth:
To what it pleas'd, whil'st power a right did claime,
Oft with their dwellers, countries chang'd the name.
That heathnish host by Iuda so abhorr'd,
Whose Captaines railings vengeance to contrive
A godly King did spread before the Lord,
Whose wrong his soule did most of peace deprive,
Till that an Angell with just fury stor'd,
Did kill of thousands thrice threescore and five:
Those who blaspheming God by him were slaine,
Must rise with feare to looke on God againe.
Thence thousands rise with strangers, or their owne,
Where still to broyles, the Grecians were inclin'd,
Where all the world at fortunes dice was throwne,
'Twixt sire and sonne in law, not love combin'd;
By vertues clients fall, which fields were knowne,
Of all, who onely the States good design'd:
“None vertue should adore, all reverence must,
“Men should delight in it, not in it trust.
Thence (never buried) many bodie springs,
Where of all lands oft armies did contend,
Kill'd by the Senate, Emperours, or Kings,
But most by him who did to Carthage send,
(Reft from Romes Nobles) bushels full of Rings,
And by barbarians Lords of all in th'end:
Thus Italy all nations did obey,
And to all Nations was expos'd a prey.
That field yeelds thousands, where wrong squaring right,
(For famous Captaines twise a fatall stage)
Great Pompey did with Mithridates fight,
And Tamberlaine the terrour of that age,
On lightning Baiazet did thund'ring light,
Tam'd for a foot-stoole in an iron Cage:
Thus that great Monarch was made worse then thrall,
“Pride hated stands, and doth unpittied fall.
All then must march at this last Trumpets sound,
Who fields entomb'd, damn'd flouds, and ditches fill'd,
Whil'st Ottoman to make his Crescent round,
Bloud (as but water) prodigally spill'd;
His Bassaes now rise groning from the ground,
Which oft by him, or else for him were kil'd:
And as for bondage borne (free but from graves)
Did live to him, and dyed to Satan slaves.
By violence, death divers did surprise,
Still since the world first peopled did remaine,
But men in mischiefe fondly growne more wise,
By bolts unseene, some now of late are slaine,
Since some new Sulmans, no, divels did devise,
Those sulphurous engines bragging God againe:
Which men, yea towres, and townes, in pieces teare,
Then thunder now, men more the Canon feare.

Those soone start up which fell, whil'st as lesse strong,
By Vulcan forc'd succumbing Thetis ror'd,
And thundring forth the horrour of her wrong,
The burden urg'd, straight in disdaine restor'd,
The ayery region raging all along,
Which death to them did suddenly afford:
And by a blow most strange, no scarre then found,
The bones all broken, and the flesh still sound.
Those whom of th'earth the superfice as forc'd,
Did beare, not bury, suffer, not receive,
By men even dead (as oft alive) extorc'd,
To avarice, else cruelty, still slave,
Those shall from dust no sooner be divorc'd,
Then they who sought the centre for a grave:
Whose bodies with their soules did seeme to strive,
Which first at hell should with most haste arrive.
The mutinous Hebrewes, who gainst him repinde,
Whose face (as glories rayes reflecting still)
Com'd from the Thunderer like cleare lightning shin'd,
Gods Secretary who first penn'd his will,
As soone as they whose dust no weight confin'd,
They rise whom th'earth did bury first, then kill:
To offer bent (pride burning in their breasts)
As like himselfe, whom Pluto tooke for Priests.
That scorn'd diviner is with them expos'd,
(Fooles who fore-know, not for their fate provide)
Who by his wife, when lurking was disclos'd,
And whom at last th'earth did as strangely hide,
And that the Cave which burn'd might so be clos'd,
He as Romes best who under ground did ride:
There greedy to doe good, or fame to give,
That where his body dyed, his name might live.
Some feaver strange, when surfets seeme to move,
Those of the earth, who in the entrails dwell,
Whil'st it (though trembling) raging, seemes to prove,
If it may drinke the world, and spue forth hell,
They from the dust as quickly shall remove,
As those by powder, who in powder fell:
By tyrants fierce whil'st pin'd, no, freed from paine,
Who falne on th'earth, or toss'd through th'ayre remain.
Now Orpheus shall not need (as Poets faine)
To charme the furies with harmonious sounds,
Nor Hercules by violence, in vaine,
To force the dungeons of the shadowy bounds,
The guests below shall once turne backe againe,
To see (what they have lost) superiour rounds:
The Prince of darknesse will be pleas'd with this,
Since sure to have them judg'd for ever his.
The earth her entrails quickly shall discharge,
That God at once all who had soules may see,
All prisoners at last, death must enlarge,
At that great Iubily, as once set free,
Who were so long in passing Charons barge,
Soone from oblivions floud, brought backe shall be:
Ere Cerberus can barke, all shall be gone,
And ere they can be miss'd, turn'd every one.
Those whom soft Egypt, alwaies slave to lust,
By spices, oyntments, balmes and odours rare,
To scorne corruption, and to mocke the dust,
Did keep (when lost) with a ridiculous care,
And us'd as pledges oft to purchase trust,
Their bones worth nought when clad, worth lesse when bare,
Their vailes renu'd, no sooner they resume,
Then whom at first corruption did consume.
Those Piramides whose points seem'd (threatning heaven,)
Not solitary tombes, but courted Thrones;
The huge Mausoleum, one of wonders seaven;
That Obeliske, which grac'd Augustus bones;
Late monuments those æmulous to eaven,
Of Marble, Porphyr, Iaspe, and pretious stones:
None hides his guest from this great Iudges sight,
Nor yet him sends more gorgeous to the light.
Of place the distance, distant time not breeds,
Some who a field impurple by their fall,
Whose entrails straight another mansion needs,
Lest else corruption might encroach on all,
Their bodies, friends (as oft for pompe succeeds)
Not seeme (farre borne) to burie, but enstall:
But though each part a severall kingdome takes,
A sudden union now one moment makes.
That dreame-diviner by two Tribes call'd Syre,
(Though by them lost,) who did his brothers save,
His dust from Goshen quickly shall retire,
And with the rest, a second Hymen have,
Where though long dead, as faith did first inspire,
His bones for his, possession did receive:
Or since by him so benefited once,
That land ingrate to frustrate of his bones.

The third time then some live, from Tombes rais'd twice,
(Their resurrection represented else)
Whom death (it seem'd) did but a while disguise,
For acting wonders which amazement tels;
When wak'd by force, as who did drousie rise,
They drawne from Lethe, or oblivions cels:
Straight with the place all priviledge did leave,
Made as who dream'd, or in high feavers rave.
Till soar'd from hence, where they so long have striv'd,
Still charg'd with flesh, all soules infirme remaine;
And with their burdens those who were reviv'd,
Their former frailties did resume againe;
So that unknowing where a space they liv'd,
Maym'd memory was bounded by the braine:
Through earthly organs spectacles impure,
Soules reach but objects, such as they procure.
Some fondly curious, would have then enquir'd,
What lodgings last those both-world-guests did leave,
Which (if remembred) reverenc'd, and admir'd,
They would not wrong by words what none conceive;
Great Paul (whose selfe could not tell how) retir'd,
Whom the third heaven (when ravish'd) did receive:
He what he saw return'd, could not relate,
Past mortals senses, to immortals great.
Such soules when last to their first tents turn'd backe,
Their toiles thereby, and others glory grew,
Whil'st to the world that way, God cleare would make,
That faith (when firme) might death it selfe subdue;

But then they flesh as when first left did take,
Which now at last the Lord will all renue,
Their resurrection when no time confines,
Whil'st rais'd, ripe fruits, of what they first were signes.
Thus the great Tisbit strangely did restore,
(That none might trouble have who gave him rest)
Her sonne whose victuals did when waste, grow more
Like to the like, when in like state distrest,
That Prophet did, who crav'd his sprit in store,
Not to be press'd by such a second guest,
Whose grave wak'd one, that there he might not sleep,
Where he (when dead) a quickning power did keep.
The blest Bethanian, highly shall rejoyce,
When next he cals who shew'd such tender love,
As even to weep for him, as a chiefe choice,
Till he was brought (free from white bands) above,
The first who in the grave did heare that voice,
Which from all graves must make their guests remove:
And greater power when glorifi'd may show,
Then from fraile flesh, when but breath'd forth below.
Those soone start up, who quickly come to light,
As to applaud what was accomplish't knowne,
Christs acting suffrings (when most low) at height,
That the last part on this worlds stage was showne
Else to upbraid as a prodigious sight,
Them who did haste what bent to have o'rethrowne:
And others all thus rais'd, more glad doe rise,
Of soules birth once, then of their bodies thrice.
There come those two, from whence no flesh can know,
Yet not more soone then whom fraile eyes saw dead,
Of which as types one to each world did show,
That mortals might be straight immortall made,
Grosse bodies mount, and some death not o'rthrow,
A labyrinth whence Nature none can leade:
In most evill times most good, to be mark'd so,
Those did from hence mans common way not goe.
That godly man, by God judg'd just to be,
Translated was, that he might not see death,
Since it kill'd him, his Lord despis'd to see,
Whil'st poyson'd with vile mens blasphemous breath;
Or else at last from pangs and horrours free,
He priviledg'd from all the signes of wrath,
Did part, not dye, from sinne, not life estrang'd;
“Soules must remove, else have their lodging chang'd.
Whil'st him save God who ought disdain'd to feare,
Vile Baals scourge, of Kings who scorn'd the ire,
With flaming Steeds a burning Coach did beare,
The winde made Wagoner, an Angell Squire,
'Twixt this grosse globe, and the celestiall sphere,
Zeale triumph did, even as it fought, with fire:
That heaven and earth both might his glory know,
As earst his toiles, when but contemn'd below.
As where he lives or lyes, to turne, or stay,
To dispute easie is, hard to conclude;
The Lord perchance committed him to clay,
As one with whom he on Mount Tabor stood:
Else not dissolv'd, but chang'd when borne away,
And (some thinke) kept a part yet to doe good:
For without all, no Saints perfected be,
The Maid-borne body so heavens onely see.
A loud alarme, still doubling from above,
(The word eternall may make breath abound)
All this vast circuit doth a trumpet prove,
Whose concave wastes not, but maintaines the sound;
At the first blast, nought else save it did move,
As driry silence had prepar'd the ground;
But till all eares be fill'd, it higher swels,
A horrid Eccho roaring from the hels.
Those guilty soules what further comfort shields,
From sleepe whose conscience with the body starts,
Even when they see (as grasse) ov'r all the fields,
Men grow about them? O what frozen hearts!
Earth labour'd long, a monstrous harvest yeelds,
Which straight heavens husband, loe, grinds, sifts, and parts:
Who can but thinke how such endure this sight?
And yet what they attend, makes it seeme light.
He who them hates when God the just doth grace,
Both griefe and envy torture him at once,
Of two who rest companions in one place,
Th'one pleas'd, is glad, the other desp'rate, mones;
Th'one parts as pointed for eternall peace,
The other sign'd for paine, stayes, howls, and grones.
Thus of the godlies good the first degree,
Is, from the wicked that they parted be.

Those creatures who by death did never fall,
That fatall summons do no sooner heare,
Then those whom it forth from the dust doth call,
Where they had slept even many a hundred yeare,
Soules lodgings thus which had beene ruin'd all,
Straight builded then, first perfect do appeare.
The just they first, the reprobate last move,
Which sink below, whil'st th'others flie above.
Those Temples then which not dissolv'd still stay,
(A mystery difficult to conceive)
All debt of death (not dying) shall defray,
The other life straight com'd, ere this them leave,
The bodies then (all frailty burn'd away)
Well quintessenc'd, new qualities receive,
Which though still quicke, yet in their sinnes quite dead,
Ere mortall prov'd, shall be immortall made.
If oft to gaze a multitude remaines,
To hold his Court whil'st it some Prince attends;
When being met with many stately traines,
He makes a musters of imagin'd friends:
(As by small Brooks a floud swolne when it raines)
Till that on him it seemes the world depends.
That pompe to all a reverent awe imparts,
And strikes with terror malefactors hearts.
Thinke with what glory Christ his course doth runne,
Whil'st thundring terror, and yet lightning grace,
He might come clad with starres, crown'd with the Sunne,
But to his brightnesse such (as base) give place:
His Court at first of heavenly hosts begun,
From hence enlarg'd is in a little space.
O what strange noise doth all the world rebound,
Whil'st Angels sing, Saints shout, and Trumpets sound.
My ravish'd soule (transcending reasons reach)
So earnest is to surfet on this sight,
That it disdaines what may high thoughts impeach,
Whil'st mounting up to contemplations height;
Which flight so farre doth passe the power of speech,
That onely silence can pursue it right.
And that my sprit may be refresh'd that way,
It must a space amid'st dumbe pleasures stray.

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Sir William Alexander