Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, UPON THE GUNPOWDER TREASON (1), by RICHARD CRASHAW



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UPON THE GUNPOWDER TREASON (1), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Grow plumpe, leane death; his holiness a feast
Last Line: And rugged touch of pluto's multitude.
Subject(s): Gunpowder Plot; Guy Fawkes


Grow plumpe, leane Death; his Holinesse a feast
Hath now praepar'd, and you must be his guest.
Come grimme destruction, and in purple gore
Dye sev'n times deeper than they were before
Thy scarlet robes. for heere you must not share
A common banquett. noe, heere's princely fare.
And least thy bloodshott eyes should lead aside
This masse of cruelty, to be thy guide
Three coleblack sisters, (whose long sutty haire,
And greisly visages doe fright the aire;
When Night beheld them, shame did almost turne
Her sable cheekes into a blushing morne,
Too see some fowler than herselfe) these stand,
Each holding forth to light the aery brand,
Whose purer flames tremble to be soe nigh,
And in fell hatred burning, angry dy.
Sly, lurking treason is his bosome friend,
Whom faint, and palefac't feare doth still attend.
These need noe invitation. onely thou,
Black dismall horror, come; make perfect now
Th' Epitome of hell: oh lett thy pinions
Be' a gloomy Canopy to Pluto's minions.
In this infernall Majesty close shrowd
Your selves, you Stygian states; a pitchy clowd
Shall hang the roome, and for your tapers bright,
Sulphureous flames, snatch'd from aeternall night.
But rest, affrighted Muse; thy silver wings
May not row neerer to these dusky Kings.
Cast back some amorous glances on the cates,
That heere are dressing by the hasty fates.
Nay. stopp thy clowdy eyes. it is not good,
To droune thy selfe in this pure pearly flood.
But since they are for fire workes, rather prove
A Phaenix, and in chastest flames of love
Offer thy selfe a Virgin sacrifice
To quench the rage of hellish deities.
But dares destruction eate these candid breasts,
The Muses, and the Graces sugred neasts?
Dares hungry death snatch of one cherry lipp?
Or thirsty treason offer once to sippe
One dropp of this pure Nectar, which doth flow
In azure channells warme through mounts of snow?
The roses fresh, conserved from the rage,
And cruell ravishing of frosty age,
Feare is afraid to tast of: only this,
He humbly crav'd to banquett on a kisse.
Poore meagre horror streightwaies was amaz'd,
And in the stead of feeding, stood, and gaz'd.
Their appetites were gone at th' very sight;
But yet their eyes surfett with sweet delight.
Only the Pope a stomack still could find;
But yett they were not powder'd to his mind.
Forthwith each God stept from his starry throne,
And snatch'd away the banquett. every one
convey'd his sweet delicious treasury
To the close closet of aeternity:
Where they will safely keepe it, from the rude,
And rugged touch of Pluto's multitude.





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