Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A NEW YEAR'S GIFT TO BRIAN LORD BISHOP OF SARUM UPON THE AUTHOR'S ENTYERING INTO HOLY ORDERS, 1638, by WILLIAM CARTWRIGHT



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A NEW YEAR'S GIFT TO BRIAN LORD BISHOP OF SARUM UPON THE AUTHOR'S ENTYERING INTO HOLY ORDERS, 1638, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now that the village reverence doth lie hid
Last Line: They do receive; but you, sir, make the gift.
Subject(s): Gifts & Giving; New Year


Now that the village reverence doth lie hid,
As Egypt's wisdom did,
In birds and beasts, and that the tenant's soul
Goes with his New-year's fowl;
So that the cock and hen speak more
Now, than in fables heretofore;
And that the feather'd things
Truly make love have wings:
Though we no flying present have to pay
A quill yet snatch'd from thence may sign the day.

But, being the Canon bars me wit and wine,
Enjoining the true Vine,
Being the bays must yield unto the Cross,
And all be now one loss;
So that my raptures are to steal
And knit themselves in one pure zeal,
And that my each day's breath
Must be a daily death:
Without all strain or fury I must than
Tell you this New-year brings you a new man.

New, not as th' year, to run the same course o'er
Which it hath run before,
Lest in the man himself there be a round,
As in his humour's found,
And that return seem to make good
Circling of actions, as of blood.
Motion, as in a mill
Is busy standing still,
And by such wheeling we but thus prevail
To make the serpent swallow his own tail.

Nor new by solemnising looser toys,
And erring with less noise,
Taking the flag and trumpet from the sin,
So to offend within
As some men silence loud perfumes
And draw them into shorter rooms:
This will be understood
More wary, not more good.
Sins too may be severe, and so, no doubt,
The vice but only sour'd, not rooted out.

But new, by th' using of each part aright,
Changing both step and sight;
That false direction come not from the eye,
Nor the foot tread awry;
That neither that the way aver
Which doth toward fame, nor profit, err,
Nor this tread that path which
Is not the right, but rich;
That thus the foot being fix'd, thus led the eye,
I pitch my walk low, but my prospect high.

New too, to teach my opinions not t' submit
To favour, or to wit;
Nor yet to walk on edges, where they may
Run safe in broader way;
Nor to search out for new paths, where
Nor tracks nor footsteps do appear,
Knowing that deeps are ways
Where no impression stays;
Nor servile thus, nor curious, may I then
Approve my faith to heaven, my life to men.

But I who thus present myself as new,
Am thus made new by you.
Had not your rays dwelt on me, one long night
Had shut me up from sight.
Your beams exhale me from among
Things tumbling in the common throng.
Who thus with your fire burns,
Now gives not, but returns.
To others then be this a day of thrift:
They do receive; but you, sir, make the gift.






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