Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NATALITIUM: MARTIJ 13, 1643, by JOSEPH BEAUMONT



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NATALITIUM: MARTIJ 13, 1643, by            
First Line: What rash & hasty things are yeares, wch run
Last Line: Can swell so high, as is thy heavn, & thee.
Subject(s): Aging; Mortality; Prayer; Time


WHAT rash & hasty Things are yeares, wch run
So fast upon their ruine! To arrive
At their owne Races end, is to be gone
Quite into Nothing, never to survive.
Poore I whose Life is much lesse then a Span,
And vainer then a Dream, am yet alive,
Whilst eight & twenty long & tedious yeares
Have lost themselves upon ye whirling Spheares.

I'v liv'd thus long said I? Let me unspeak
That Word, more hasty & more rash by far
Then all those posting yeares. If I must make
A true confession what my Fortunes are,
I must leave Life to such as Live, and take
With dull unworthy Things my proper Share.
A Thing within tells me theres no denying;
I have these eight & twenty yeares been Dying.

When to this lingring Death I first was borne
All tainted with a deep annealed staine,
Helplesse I lay, & utterly forlorne;
Untill my better Mother did Me deigne
Her tender Bosome, & to drowne ye Scorne
With which my loathsome Birth did strive in vaine,
Deep drenched me in a heavnly Fount, whence I
Rose faire as new borne Light from Easterne Skie.

My timely Grave oh could I then have found,
I might have filld with unspotted Dust.
But now I shall pollute whatever ground
Must hide these Corps, o're grown wth sinfull Rust.
Sure my black sea of Crimes long since hath drown'd
Whatever is in Mee, but my bare Trust
In Him, who as He bounds all seas beside,
Lo can He tame my Crimes high swelling Tide.

What Kind of Sceen My Childhood was, nor I
Can rightly judge, nor wiser Heads can say.
Our tender yeares are a young Mysterie,
The doubtfull Twi-light of a future Day:
The Soule seems then scarcely arriv'd so high
As ye Horizon: onely some weak Ray
Steps out before Her, which may serve to be
A Signe & Item of Humanitie.

But ye next Act Spectators well might see
How strange a part my Soule was like to play.
Young Crossnesse when it gets Maturitie
May prove Rebellion: Who grieves to obey
Small, petty Precepts, with lesse ease will be
Pliant to great Commands: Another Day
This Urchin which kicks at his Parents now,
Gods more restrayning Yoak away may throw.

The Rod at home drave Me to school, & that
At School to Study when I thither came.
There like a Slave I wrought, & when I gott
License to play, though at some toilesome game
As from some Gally-chaines, or Dungeons grott
Me thought I rescu'd was: And then ye same
Day, which six houres before was long & slow
Seem'd to get Wings, & much too fast to goe.

Th' importunate Drops at length some impresse made
Upon my stony Intellect, & I
Was put Apprentice to ye Bookish Trade
At full fifteene ith' Universitie.
Where captiv'd in a Gowne, under ye shade
Of thousand leaves I sate, and by
The losse of almost all ye Time since then
Have learned to be ye foolishest of Men.

My itching mind proudly desir'd to prie
Into whatever Learnings Title wore.
With unfledgd Wings I often towred high,
And snatch'd at things above my pitch, before
I had sure hold of what beneath did lie.
Yet on I ventur'd still, & caught at more;
I caught ye Wind of Words, wch by a Blast
Of following Notions soon away were past.

At length I learn'd, & sure my Tutor was
Th' ETERNALL WISDOME, well to rest content
With shallow knowledge of such Objects, as
Can never blesse their Knower: Complement
And Ceremonious Learning I let passe
To guild their Crest, who make Applause their bent
Ambitious onely not to be a foole
In that, wch Saints and Angells draws to Schoole.

Mee thought I felt some heats of Noble Love,
And saw such glances of my Spouses face,
As rap'd my heart, & set it far above
The Blandishments of any Mortall grace.
But soone grown chill, degenerous did I prove
And lost ye credit of that loftie place.
Thus ye vaine Meteor, though exhaled farr
In hopes of Heavn, proves but a falling Starr.

But yet ye Starrs fall downe but once; whilst my
Repeated falls in number far surpasse
The Starrs all muster'd in ye clearest skie,
And every Fall so bruiseth Me, alas,
That in my Heart you easily may descrie
Ten thousand all-black spots, whose hideous face
Outlooks those few weak sparks wch did remaine,
And wth a fatall Night my Soule did staine.

This makes my blinded Mind to waver still
In Matters of eternall Consequence;
Which well I find doe far exceed ye skill
Of Sinners to discerne, whose hoodwink'd sense
Gropes but in things, whose grosser bulk can fill
An hand of earth. None but thy influence
Can guide my feet from wandring thus astray,
Who art thy Selfe ye Candle, & ye Way.

O guide Me thou, Deare Lord, who in my Heart
Dost read a simple & unfain'd Desire
To follow Truth & Thee: I would not start
For all this World from either, nor aspire
To any Glory, but ye meanest part
In thy Sweet Love, which will exalt me higher
Then all these lying baits, that us invite
In Dreames & painted Nothings to delight.

Let not my folly make me seem more wise
Then thy Unerring Spouse, in whose Sweet Breast
Thine owne Deare Spirit, ye Spirit of Wisdome lies,
As Thou dost in thy Fathers Bosome rest.
I shall be learn'd enough, if I can prize
Humble obedient Knowledge as ye best.
If I can understand but how to be
A genuine Member of thy Church & Thee.

So shall I be content; though more sad yeares
Still keep Me Prisoner heere; though furious Warre
On every Minute heaps a thousand feares,
And does all Comfort, & all Hopes debarre,
But what in Thy all-sweetning Face appeares.
If Thy propitious Eye will be my Starre
No Tempest shall deterre me, for no Sea
Can swell so high, as is thy Heavn, & Thee.





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