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Read o'er these raptures with a curious eye,
You must conclude, this eagle soared high :
Montgomery Castle was the place where he
Had his first breathing and nativity.
Of that most noble house this hero came,
Who left the world this legacy of fame.
Great saint, unto thy memory and shrine
I owe all veneration, save divine,
For thy rare poems : piety and pen
Speak thee no less than miracle of men.
The graces all, both moral and divine,
In thee concentre, and with thee combine :
These sacred lessons, set to thy sweet lute,
Was music that would make Apollo mute:
Nay, all those warbling chanters of the spring
Would sit half tame to hear Arion sing.
What province hath produced a greater soul,
Between the arctic and antarctic pole,
Than Wales hath done? where Herbert's church shall be
A lasting pyramid for him and thee.
* In the Register of Fuggleston and Bemerton, the following entry occurs, “ Mr. George Herbert, Esq. Parson of Fuggleston and Bemerton, was buried 3 day of March, 1632."
What father of a church can you rehearse,
That gain’d more souls to God 'twixt prose and verse ?
What orator had more magnetic strains ?
What poet such a fancy, pen, or brains,
In our great hierarchy ? show me the man
That sang more sadly than this dying swan,
This bird of paradise, this glowworm bright,
This philomel, this glory of the night.
Seeing the deluge rage, the clouds still dark,
Restless below, return'd up to the ark,
This sacred dove, before he scaled the skies,
Rarely set forth, the world's great sacrifice;
A melting poem, all the rest so high,
That the dull world may learn to live and die.
Never did pen humane, or earing brain,
Express or vent such a seraphic strain.
You that are poets born, contend and strive,
In spite of death, dead Herbert to revive.
Bring wreaths of larix, an immortal tree,
To Salem's sacred hin, for obsequy.
Parnassus' mount was never so divine,
To turn the muse's water into wine.
The Delphian poet went from thence to Rome,
And there was entertain'd as major dome;
And though the bishop and his clerks do boast,
That old false prophet there doth rule the roast.
A lasting spring of blood springs near that hill,
There he did bathe ; there you your phials fill.
'Twill melt your hearts to view those desolations ;
Yet from that spring flows highest inspirations.
Therein your annals such encomiums bring
To his memorial, as the doves in spring.
Such moan as Egypt's viceroy once did make
At Abel-Mizraim for his father's sake,
your shrill trumpets : from that thorny bill
Benhinnon's valleys with amazement fill.
To the sepulchre go, there sacrifice
The distillations of your hearts and eyes.
When you depart, fall down, and kiss that land,
Where once his master's sacred feet did stand.
No art or engine can you safely trust
To polish him, but his own sacred dust.
Nor can you paint or pencil him too high,
That lived and died without an enemy;
That left behind him this admired tomb,
But no Elisha in Eliah's room.
AN EPITAPH UPON THE HONOURABLE
You weeping marbles, monuments, we trust,
As well with the injurious, as the just.
When your great trust at last shall be resign'd,
And when his noble dust shall be refined:
You shall more gold, myrrh, frankincense return,
Than shall be found in great Augustus’ urn.
He was the wonder of a better age,
The eclipse of this, of empty heads the rage.
Phænix of Wales, of his great name the glory,
A theme above all verse, beyond all story.
A plant of Paradise; which, in a word,
Worms ne'er shall wither, as they did the gourd.
Go, you unborn, bedew dear Herbert's tomb;
No more such babes are in Dame Nature's womb:
No more such blazing comets shall appear,
Nor leave so happy influences here.
Go, thaw your hearts at his celestial fire,
And what you cannot comprehend, admire.
Go, you dark poems, dark even as the skies,
Make the scales fall from our dark dazzling eyes.
Mirrors were made to mend, not mar our sight,
Glowworms to glitter in the most gloomy night.
About those glorious regions he is fled,
Where once Saint Paul was rapt and ravished.
Here a divine, prophet, and poet lies,
That laid up manna for posterities.
P. D. Esq.