GREAT Janus! (who dost, sure, my mistress view
With all thine eyes, yet think'st them all too few)

If thy fore-face do see
No better things prepared for me,

Than did thy face behind;
If still her breast must shut against me be
(For 'tis not Peace that temple's gate does bind);
Oh, let my life, if thou so many deaths a-coming find,

With thine old year its voyage take,
Borne down that stream of Time which no return.

can make !
Alas! what need I thus to pray?
The' old avaricious Year,
Whether I would or no, will bear

At least a part of me away : [hours, His well-horsed troops, the months, and days, and

Though never any-where they stay,

Make in their passage all their prey; [find The months, days, hours, that march i'the’rear, can

Nought of value left behind. Allthe good wine of life our drunken youth devours ; Sourness and lees, which to the bottom sink,

Remain for latter years to drink; Until, some one offended with the taste, The vessel breaks, and out the wretched relics

run at last. If then, young Year! thou needst must come

(For in Time’s fruitful womb The birth beyond its time can never tarry,

Nor ever can miscarry);

Choose thy attendants well; for 'tis not thee

We fear, but 'tis thy company : Let neither loss of Friends, or Fame, or Liberty, Nor pining Sickness, nor tormenting Pain, Nor Sadness, nor uncleanly Poverty,

Be seen among thy train :

Nor let thy livery be
Either black Sin, or gaudy Vanity :

Nay, if thou lovest me, gentle Year!

Let not so much as Love be there;
Vain fruitless Love, I mean; for, gentle Year!

Although I fear,
There's of this caution little need,

Yet, gentle Year! take heed
How thou dost make

Such a mistake:

Such Love I mean, alone, As by thy cruel predecessors has been shown ;

For, though I have too much cause to doubt it, I fain would try for once if Life can live without it.


Into the future times why do we pry,
And seek to antedate our misery?
Like jealous men, why are we longing still
To see the thing which only seeing makes an ill ?
"Tis well the face is veil?d; for 'twere a sight

That would even happiest men affright;
And something still they'd spy that would destroy

The past and present joy.
In whatsoever character

The book of Fate is writ,
'Tis well we understand not it;

grow mad with little learning there: Upon the brink of every ill we did foresee,

Undecently and foolishly


We should stand shivering, and but slowly venture

The fatal flood to enter. Since, willing or unwilling, we must do it; They feel least cold and pain who plunge at once

into it.

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WE'RE ill by these grammarians used;
We are abused by words, grossly abused:

From the maternal tomb,

To the grave's fruitful womb,
We call here Life; but Life's a name

That nothing here can truly claim :
This wretched inn, where we scarce stay to bait,

We call our dwelling-place ;

We call one step a race: But angels, in their full enlighten'd state, Angels, who Live, and know what 'tis to Be; Who all the nonsense of our language see; Who speak Things, and our words, their ill-drawn

pictures, scorn; When we, by’ a foolish figure, say,

“ Behold an old man dead !" then they [born!” Speak properly, and cry, “ Behold a man-child

My eyes are open’d, and I see
Through the transparent fallacy:

Because we seem wisely to talk
Like men of business; and for business walk

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From place to place, And mighty voyages we take,

And mighty journeys seem to make, O'er sea and land, the little point that has no space:

Because we fight, and battles gain ;
Some captives call, and say, " the rest are slain :"
Because we heap up yellow earth, and so
Rich, valiant, wise, and virtuous, seem to grow :
Because we draw a long nobility
From hieroglyphic proofs of heraldry,
And impudently talk of a posterity,

And, like Egyptian chroniclers,
Who write of twenty thousand years,

With maravedies make the account,
That single time might to a sum amount:
We grow at last by custom to believe,

That really we Live: Whilst all these Shadows, that for Things we take, Are but the empty dreams which in Death's sleep

we make.

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But these fantastic errors of our dream

Lead us to solid wrong ;
God our

friends' torments to prolong,
And wish uncharitably for them
To be as long a-dying as Methusalem.
The ripen'd soul longs from his prison to come;
But we would seal, and sow up, if we could, the
We seek to close and plaister up by art (womb:
The cracks and breaches of the extended shell,

And in that narrow cell

Would rudely force to dwell The noble vigorous bird already wing’d to part.

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AWAKE, and with attention hear,
Thou drowsy World ! for it concerns thee near ;
Awake, I say, and listen well,

To what from God, I, his loud prophet, tell.
Bid both the poles suppress their stormy noise,
And bid the roaring sea contain its voice.
Be still, thou sea; be still, thou air and earth,
Still as old Chaos, before Motion's birth :
A dreadful host of judgments is gone out,

In strength and number more Than e'er was raised by God before, [about. To

scourge the rebel world, and march it round I see the sword of God brandish'd above, And from it streams a dismal

ray ; I see the scabbard cast away ; How red anon with slaughter will it prove!

How will it sweat and reek in blood ! How will the scarlet-glutton be o'ergorged with his

And devour all the mighty feast! [food,

Nothing soon but bones will rest.
God does a solemn sacrifice

prepare ;
But not of oxen, nor of rams,
Not of kids, nor of their dams,
Not of heifers, nor of lambs :

sare. The altar all the land, and all men in 't the victims Since, wicked men's more guilty blood to spare,


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