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TO CYRIAC SKINNER.*
CYRIAC, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Of Attic taste, with wine whence we may rise 10 To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice, Warble immortal notes, and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
This persecution of the Protestants in Piedmont broke out in 1655. In May, that year, Cromwell wrote several letters to the Duke of Savoy, and other potentates and states, complaining of that persecution. Echard tells us, that he proclaimed a fast, and caused large contributions to be gathered for them in England; that he sent his agents to the Duke of Savoy, a prince with whom he had no correspondence or commerce, and, the next year, so engaged Cardinal Mazarine, and even terrified the Pope himself, without so much as doing any favour to the English Roman Catholics, that the Duke thought it necessary to restore all that he had taken from them, and renewed all those privileges they had formerly enjoyed. "So great (adds Echard) was the terror of his name; nothing being more usual than his saying, that his ships in the Mediterranean should visit Civita Vecchia, and the sound of his cannon should be heard in Rome."
This Mr. Lawrence was the son of the President of Cromwell's council.
ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.t
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, Rescued from death by force, though pale and
Mine, as whom wash'd from spot of child-bed taint Purification in th' old Law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
Her face was veil'd; yet, to my fancied sight, Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd So clear, as in no face with more delight: 11 But O! as to embrace me she inclin'd,
I wak'd; she fled; and day brought back my night.
* Cyriac Skinner was the son of William Skinner, Esq. and grandson of Sir Vincent Skinner, and his mother was daughter of the famous Lord Chief Justice Coke. Mr. Wood relates that he was one of Harrington's political club, and sometimes held the chair; and further adds, that he was a merchant's son of London, an ingenious young gentleman, and scholar to John Milton.
This was his second wife, Catharine, the daughter of Captain Woodcock of Hackney, who lived with him not above a year after their marriage, and died in child-bed of a daughter.
[Done into verse, 1653.]
BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray
[Done August 8, 1653.]
[August 10, 1653.]
ANSWER me when I call,
Now pity me, and hear my earnest prayer.
How long be thus forborn
Still to love vanity?
To love, to seek, to prize
Things false and vain, and nothing else but lies? Yet know the Lord hath chose, Chose to himself apart,
The good and meek of heart;
(For whom to choose he knows)
Jehovah from on high
And fierce ire trouble them; but I, saith he, Anointed have my King (though ye rebel)
Will hear my voice, what time to him I cry. Be awed, and do not sin;
On Sion my holy' hill. A firm decree
I will declare: the Lord to me hath said, Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee This day; ask of me, and the grant is made; As thy possession I on thee bestow The Heathen; and as thy conquest to be sway'd, Earth's utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full
Who yet will show us good?
Lift up the favour of thy count'nance bright. 30 Into my heart more joy
And gladness thou hast put,
Than when a year of glut
Their stores doth over-cloy,
And from their plenteous grounds
With vast increase their corn and wine abounds.
In peace at once will I
Both lay me down and sleep;
Me safe where'er I lie ;
For thou alone dost keep
As in a rocky cell
Thou, Lord! alone, in safety mak'st me dwell.
[August 12, 1653.]
JEHOVAH! to my words give ear,
My meditation weigh;
The voice of my complaining hear, My King and God; for unto thee I pray.
Lead me, because of those
That do observe if I transgress;
Set thy ways right before, where my step goes.
No word is firm or sooth:
Their inside, troubles miserable;
An open grave their throat, their tongue they smoothe.
God! find them guilty, let them fall
By their own counsels quell'd;
Push them in their rebellions all
Still on; for against thee they have rebell'd.
Their joy; while thou from blame
And shall triumph in thee, who love thy name :
To bless the just man still;
As with a shield, thou wilt surround Him with thy lasting favour and good will.
So th' assemblies of each nation
30 According to my righteousness,
[August 13, 1653.]
My defence, and in him lies:
In him who, both just and wise,
Saves the upright of heart at last.
Who in the grave can celebrate thy praise? 10
Through grief consumes, is waxen old and dark
Depart, all ye that work iniquity,
My supplication with acceptance fair
With much confusion; then, grown red with
(His arrows purposely made he
For them that persecute:) Behold,
Be in my hands; if I have wrought
14 Return now, God of Hosts! look down
15 Visit this vine, which thy right hand
16 But now it is consum'd with fire,
17 Upon the man of thy right hand
18 So shall we not go back from thee
19 Return us, and thy grace divine,'
4 Lord God of Hosts! how long wilt thou,
Thy + smoking wrath, and angry brow'
5 Thou feed'st them with the bread of tears; Their bread with tears they eat;
And mak'st them ‡ largely drink the tears 'Wherewith their cheeks are wet.'
6 A strife thou mak'st us and a prey' To every neighbour foe;
Among themselves they || laugh, they play,
7 Return us, and thy grace divine,'
8 A vine from Egypt thou hast brought,
And drov'st out nations proud and haught,' 35 To plant this' lovely' vine.
9 Thou didst prepare for it a place,
That it began to grow apace,'
10 With her 'green' shade that cover'd'all,'
The hills were overspread;'
Her boughs as high as' cedars tall 'Advanc'd their lofty head.'
1 GOD in the great assembly stands 'Of kings and lordly states;' Among the gods, t on both his hands He judges and debates.
2 How long will ye ‡ pervert the right
3 Regard the weak and fatherless,
4 Defend the poor and desolate,
10 At Endor quite cut off, and roll'a As dung upon the plain.
Giddy and restless' let them reel' Like stubble from the wind.
14 As when' an aged' wood takes fire
Which on a sudden strays,'
The greedy' flame runs higher and higher 55 Till all the mountains blaze;
15 So with thy whirlwind them pursue, And with thy tempest chase;
16 And, till they ‡ yield thee honour due, Lord! fill with shame their face.
17 Ashamed, and troubled let them be, Troubled, and sham'd for ever;
Ever confounded, and so die
With shame, and scape it never.'
2 For lo, thy furious' foes 'now' †† swell
3 Against thy people they ‡‡ contrive Their plots and counsels deep; Them to insnare they chiefly strive, Whom thou dost hide and keep.
Bekerev. Tishphetu gnavel. Hatzdiku. Jimmotu. tt Jehemajun. Sod. Jirthjagnatsu gnal. 11 Tsephuneca.