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THE LIFE

OF

MR. GEORGE HERBERT.

TO HIS VERY WORTHY AND MUCH HONOURED FRIEND

MR. IZAAK WALTON,

Upon his Excellent LIFE of

MR. GEORGE HERBERT.

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I.
HEAV'NS

EAV’NS youngest son, its Benjamin, ,
Divinity's next brother, sacred Poesie,
No longer shall a virgin reckoned be
(What ere with others 'tis) by me,

A female muse, as were the nine;

But (full of vigour mafculine)
An essence male, with angels his companions shine.
With angels first the heavenly youth was bred,
And, when a child, instructed them to fing
The praises of th' Immortal King

Who Lucifer in triumph led :
For, as in chains the monster sank to hell,
And tumbling headlong down the precipice fell,
By him first taught, “ How art thou fallen thou morning

star?” they said,
Too fondly then, we have fancy'd him a maid:
We, the vain brethren of the rhyming trade ;
A female angel less would Urbin's * skill upbraid.

II.

Thus 'twas in heaven: this, Poesy's sex and age;
And, when he thence t'our lower world came down,

He chose a form more like his own,

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* Raphael Urbin, the famous painter.

And Jeffe's youngest son inspir'd with holy rage,
The spriglıtly shepherd felt unusual fire,
And

up

he took his tuneful lyre; He took it

up, and struck't, and his own soft touches did admire. Thou, Poesy, on him didst bestow Thy choicest gift, a honour shew'd before to none; And, to prepare his way to th' Hebrew throne, Gav'st him thy empire and dominion;

The happy land of verse, where flow Rivers of milk, and woods of laurel grow;

Wherewith thou didst adorn his brow,
And mad'st his first, more flourishing, and triumphant crown.
Alift me thy great prophet's praise to sing,
David, the poet's, and bless'd Israel's king;
And with the dancing echo, let the mountains ring!
Then on the wings of some auspicious wind,
Let his great name from earth be rais'd on high,
And in the starry volume of the sky,

A lasting record find :
Be with his mighty psaltery join'd;
Which, taken long since up into the air,
And call'd the harp, makes a bright constellation there.

III.
Worthy it was to be translated hence,
And there, in view of all, exalted hang:
To which so oft the princely prophet sang,

And mystic oracles did dispense.
Though had it still remain'd below,

More wonders of it we had seen,
How great the mighty Herbert's skill had been;
Herbert, who could so much without it do;
Herbert, who did its chords distinctly know;
More perfeâly than any child of verse below.

Oh!

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