Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LIFE, by JOSEPH BEAUMONT



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LIFE, by            
First Line: Alas poor life, no more will I
Last Line: From this intestine warre, & I shall live.
Subject(s): Beauty; Contrariness; Death; Life; Dead, The


ALAS poor Life, No more will I
Miscall that foule Hypocrisie,
By which Thou stealst ye dainty Face
Of Sweetnes, and
Dost men command
To court and idolize thy borrowed grace.

The Monstrous Mixtures temperd by
Foule Fiends & Wizzards Industrie
Lesse guilty are of Mischeife, then
Those Looks of thine,
Which undermine
With false inchantments Us beguiled Men.

Thy Treason plainely I descry'd
The other day by ye Beds side
Of a young Friend of mine, which lay,
Deep under thy
Fierce Treachery:
And much I envy'd Thee so sweet a Prey.

Her Virgin Soule soft as her yeares
A correspondent Body weares:
O No; It wore of late, till Thou
Didst it betray,
And foundst a way
To ravish those pure Sweets which there did grow.

She had beheld twelve flowry Springs,
And there a thousand blooming things
Smiling in genuine braverie;
But yet no feild
Profest to yeild
A Bud or Flower so soft, & sweet as Shee.

Yet fairer then her Looks She was
In that internall Comelinesse
Which drest her Soule, & made it rise
Much faster, then
Her yeares did run
Like to some forward Plant of Paradise.

The Odours that She breathed, were
Well-worthy to perfume ye Spheer
Where Angels sing: Upon Her Toung
Did nothing sit,
But what might fit
Their noble Quire, Some Psalme, or Sacred Song.

All David was Her owne, writ deep
In her soft Heart, which strove to keep
That rich Inscription faire, each day
For feare of rust
And worldly Dust,
She rubbd it o're, & swept all harme away.

Then on industrious Wings of Love
After ye Eagles flight She strove
And soone Shee reach'd no little part
Of that highway,
Nor ment to stay
Till all his Gospell eccho'd in her Heart.

But oh her gallant wings are now
Cut short, & she flags wondrous low.
Found I not Her at highnoone day
In Bed? whence Shee
Was wont to be
Risen before the Mornings earlyest Ray.

I found Her there: If yet 'twere Shee:
For sure Her barbarous Miserie
Had forraged & made such wast
Of all ye Grace
Which deckd her face
That from her owne sweet selfe Shee seemed lost.

Cold Palenes took its gastly seat
On Her Soft Cheeks, (O how unmeet
For such a Guest!) & leaden Night
Gan to surprize
Those fainting Eyes
Which lately sparkled with a Lovely light.

Her Mouth of late ye roseall doore
By which her purer Soule did powre
Its Sweet Effusions, now begun
To testifie
Lifes Vanitie,
And breath'd aforehand flat Corruption.

A fiery fever to beguile
The office of a Funerall Pile
Seiz'd on Her, & had quickly done
Such Mischeife that
Naught scaped, but
An heap of bones wrap'd in a Milkie skin.

Oh why may all sweet Flowrs, but Shee
Prevent this worst of Miserie?
The Lilly & ye Rose when they
Are stricken so,
Have leave to goe
And in their graves their yet whole beauties lay.

But this poore Flowre must live to see
The Death of all her Braverie
And have no breath left to perfume
Some Sacred Dittie:
What mighty Pittie,
That onely Sighs should such deare Blasts consume!

Sad Heavy Sighs, or what is more
Heavy then they, tumultuous store
Of words as light as was ye winde
That blew them out,
As being brought
Forth by an hoodwink'd & abused Minde.

For from ye Fevers raging Flame
Such fumes & troubled Vapours came,
As did obstruct ye way betweene
Her Heart & Braine,
Reason in vaine
Strove to assert her selfe as Fancies Queene.

Wild Fancle now ye Reines did guide,
And through ten thousand by-wayes ride,
Where shapeles shapes, & Fantomes strayd,
And all ye way
More light then they
She courted Shaddows, & with Nothings playd.

And all ye while her restlesse Toung
Like an importunate Clapper rung,
Ecchoing out ye Antik sound,
Which her weak Braine
Could not restraine.
Was e'r so sad a Transformation found!

Is this a Sceen of Life, where Shee
Canno wayes her owne Owner be?
But sees what ever could be said
Lively & quick
E'r She fell sick,
Both in her robbed Soule & Body dead.

Strange Life which makes her onely be
Witnesse to her owne Miserie:
Which doth not stop, but taint her breath:
Which worse then killing,
Is yet unwilling
To grant her but ye Courtesie of Death.

O Life, some other Title I
Must print upon thy Treacherie.
Life is a Name pure as ye Day
And sweet as Light,
But Thou like Night
To blackest horrors dost poore Man betray.

All Deaths, but Thou, are short, if wee
Compare their close Epitomie
To thy huge bulke: One Minute can
Their torments measure,
But thine take leisure
To make of Thee Death in expansion.

A Death, which lives to make us die
So oft before our Destinie;
A Death, which hath its yeouth & Age,
And weeks & dayes
And thousand wayes
To make advantage for its lasting Rage.

Out Spurious Thing. A place I know
Where pure & genuine Life doth grow:
A Life, which lives; A Life most true
To its great Name,
Whose noble Flame
Forever burnes, yet keeps forever new.

A life, which unacquainted is
With Paines, & Sighs, & Sicknesses;
A Life, which doth no fever feele
Unlesse it be
The Ardencie
Of Heavnly Love; a Sicknesse, wch doth heale.

A Life, which wth Eternitie
Doth in its Noble date agree:
A Life, whose foot tramples ye Head
Of all yt wee
Still changing see,
A Life, yt lives when every Death is dead.

A Life that streameth from those Eyes,
Whose beams embellish all ye skies;
The Eyes of Joy, ye Eyes of Love
Thine Eyes Dear Lord
Which doe afford
What ever maketh Heavn to be above.

No hopes have I to live, untill
My Soule in Thee doth take her fill,
And from these Shades of Death doth flie
To meet those Streames
Of Living Beames,
Whose everlasting East is in thine Eye.

DEARE JESU, when, when will it bee!
How long is this short Life to Mee,
Which mocks Me thus! O when shall I
(Peace fond Temptations
Of carnall Passions.)
Have leave to end this living Death, & die!

Faine would I die; but first be dead;
Dead to those Sins, which murdered
Thee on thy Crosse, & which would doe
The like to Me,
Unlesse they be
Well mortify'd before I hence doe goe.

O who can slay all them for Me,
But thy propitious Potencie,
Which hath no other foes, but those!
Tis Sin, & none
But Sin alone
Which warrs with Man, & which doth God oppose.

O then revenge thy Selfe, yt I
May conquer by Communitie
Of Cause with Thee: some Succour give
That I may bee
Set safe & free
From this intestine Warre, & I shall Live.





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