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The Name of all our lives and loves :
Hearken and help, ye holy doves!
The high-born brood of day; you bright
Candidates of blissful light,
The heirs elect of love; whose names belong
Unto the everlasting life of song;
All ye wise souls, who in the wealthy breast
Of this unbounded Name build your warm nest.
Awake, my glory! soul (if such thou be,
And that fair word at all refer to thee),
Awake and sing,
And be all wing!
Bring hither thy whole self; and let me see
What of thy parent heaven yet speaks in thee.
0, thou art poor
Of noble powers I see,
And full of nothing else but empty me;
Narrow and low, and infinitely less
Than this great morning's mighty business.
One little world or two,
Alas! will never do ;
We must have store;
Go, soul, out of thyself, and seek for more ;
Go and request
Great Nature for the key of her huge chest
Of heav'ns, the sclf-involving set of spheres
Which dull mortality more feels than hears;
Then rouse the nest
Of nimble art, and traverse round
The airy shop of soul-appeasing sound :
And beat a summons in the same
To warn each several kind
And shape of sweetness—be they such
As sigh with supple wind
Or answer artful touchThat they convene and come away To wait at the love-crown'd doors of that illustrious day.
Come, lovely Name! life of our hope !
Lo, we hold our hearts wide ope!
Unlock thy cabinet of day,
Dearest sweet, and come away.
Lo, how the thirsty lands
Gasp for thy golden show’rs with long-stretch'd hands !
Lo, how the labouring earth,
That hopes to be
All heaven by thee,
Leaps at thy birth!
The attending world, to wait thy rise,
First turn’d to eyes ;
And then, not knowing what to do,
Turn'd them to tears, and spent them too.
Come, royal Name ! and pay
expense Of all this precious patience :
0, come away,
And kill the death of this delay.
0, see so many worlds of barren years
Melted and measur'd out in seas of tears !
0, see the weary lids of wakeful hope
(Love's eastern windows) all wide ope
With curtains drawn,
To catch the day break of thy dawn!
0, dawn at last, long-look'd for day!
Take thine own wings and come away.
Lo, where aloft it comes ! It comes, among
The conduct of adoring Spirits, that throng
Like diligent bees, and swarm about it.
0, they are wise,
And know what sweets are suck'd from out it.
It is the hive
By which they thrive,
Where all their hoard of honey lies.
Lo, where it comes, upon the snowy dove's
Soft back, and brings a bosom big with loves.
Welcome to our dark world, thou womb of day!
Unfold thy fair conceptions; and display
The birth of our bright joys.
O, thou compacted
Body of blessings ! spirit of souls extracted !
O, dissipate thy spicy powers,
Cloud of condensed sweets! and break upon us
In balmy showers !
O, fill our senses, and take from us
All force of so profane a fallacy,
To think aught sweet but that which smells of thee.
Fair flow'ry name! in none but thee,
And thy nectareal fragrancy,
Hourly there meets
An universal synod of all sweets;
By whom it is defined thus-
That no perfume
For ever shall presume
To pass for odoriferous,
But such alone whose sacred pedigree
Can prove itself some kin, sweet Name! to thee.
Sweet Name! in thy each syllable
A thousand blest Arabias dwell;
A thousand hills of frankincense;
Mountains of myrrh and beds of spices,
And ten thousand paradises,
The soul that tastes thee takes from thence.
How many unknown worlds there are
Of comforts, which thou hast in keeping!
How many thousand mercies there
In pity's soft lap lie a-sleeping !
Happy he who has the art
To awake them,
And to take them Home, and lodge them in his heart. 0, that it were as it was wont to be, When thy old friends, on fire all full of thee, Fought against frowns with smiles ; gave glorious chase To persecutions ! and against the face Of death and fiercest dangers, durst with brave And sober pace march on to meet a grave. On their böld breasts about the world they bore thee, And to the teeth of hell stood up to teach thee; In centre of their inmost souls they wore thee, Where racks and torments striv'd in vain to reach thee.
Little, alas ! thought they
Who tore the fair breasts of thy friends,
Their fury but made way
For thee, and serv'd them in thy glorious ends.
What did their weapons, but with wider pores
Enlarge thy flaming-breasted lovers,
More freely to transpire
That impatient fire
The heart that hides thee hardly covers ?
What did their weapons, but set wide the doors
For thee? fair purple doors, of love's devising;
The ruby windows which enrich'd the east
Of thy so oft-repeated rising.
Each wound of theirs was thy new morning,
And re-enthron’d thee in thy rosy nest,
With blush of thine own blood thy day adorning :
It was the wit of love o'erflow'd the bounds
Of wrath, and made the way through all these wounds.
Welcome, dear, all-adored Name !
For sure there is no knee
That knows not thee;
Or if there be such sons of shame,
Alas! what will they do,
When stubborn rocks shall bow,
And hills hang down their heav'n-saluting heads
To seek for humble beds
Of dust, where, in the bashful shades of night,
Next to their own low nothing they may lie,
And couch before the dazzling light of thy dread majesty.
They that by love's mild dictate now
Will not adore thee,
Shall then, with just confusion, bow
And break before thee.
HABINGTON. WILLIAM HABINGTON belonged to an ancient and honourable family, and was born at Hindlip, in Worcestershire, A.D. 1605. Like the poet, his family was Catholic; and his father narrowly escaped destruction on a false charge of having been connected with the Gunpowder Plot. He was saved through the influence of Lord Morley, his brother-in-law. The poet was educated in the Jesuits’ College at St. Omer, and afterwards in Paris. On his return to England, Habington married Lucy, daughter of William Herbert, first Lord Powis. He died A.D. 1654, and was interred at Hindlip, in the family vault.
Habington's “ Castara” was his wife; and no other woman has ever been so honourably celebrated in verse. The poems which are clustered round her name relate to many subjects; but the spirit of an elevated love is in them all, and constitutes their connecting link. The peculiar character of genius, uniting deep thought with an expansive imagination, which belonged to his age, is, in Habington's Castara, combined with a moral purity and true refinement not common in any age. Habington writes ever like a Christian and a gentleman, as well as like a poet: and few circumstances should teach us more to distrust the award of popular opinion than the obscurity in which his writings have so long remained.
INQUIRING WHY I LOVED HER.
Why doth the stubborne iron prove
So gentle to th' magnetique stone ?
How know you that the orbs doe move;
With musicke too? since heard of none ?
And I will answer why I love.
'Tis not thy vertues, each a starre
Which in thy soules bright spheare doe shine,
Shooting their beauties from a farre,
To make each gazer's heart like thine;
Our vertues often meteors are.
'Tis not thy face ; I cannot spie,
When poets weepe some virgin's death,
That Cupid wantons in her eye,
Or perfumes vapour from her breath;
And ’mongst the dead thou once must lie.
Nor is't thy birth. For I was ne're
So vaine as in that to delight:
Which, ballance it, no weight doth beare,
Nor yet is object to the sight,
But onely fils the vulgar eare.
Nor yet thy fortunes : since I know
They, in their motion like the sea,
Ebbe from the good, to the impious flow :
And so in flattery betray,
That raising they but overthrow.
And yet these attributes might prove
Fuell enough t'enflame desire;
But there was something from above,
Shot without reason's guide this fire :
I know, yet know not, why I love.
THE DESCRIPTION OF CASTARA.
Like the violet, which alone
Prospers in some happy shade,
My Castara lives unknowne,
To no looser eye betray'd ;
For shee's to her selfe untrue,
Who delights i' th' publicke view.
Such is her beauty, as no arts
Have enricht with borrowed grace.
Her high birth no pride imparts,
For she blushes in her place.
Folly boasts a glorious blood;-
She is noblest being good.