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by Anne Killigrew |

The Miseries of Man

 IN that so temperate Soil Arcadia nam'd,
For fertile Pasturage by Poets fam'd;
Stands a steep Hill, whose lofty jetting Crown,
Casts o'er the neighbouring Plains, a seeming Frown;
Close at its mossie Foot an aged Wood,
Compos'd of various Trees, there long has stood,
Whose thick united Tops scorn the Sun's Ray,
And hardly will admit the Eye of Day. 
By oblique windings through this gloomy Shade,
Has a clear purling Stream its Passage made,
The Nimph, as discontented seem'd t'ave chose
This sad Recess to murmur forth her Woes. 
 To this Retreat, urg'd by tormenting Care, 
The melancholly Cloris did repair, 

As a fit Place to take the sad Relief
Of Sighs and Tears, to ease oppressing Grief. 
Near to the Mourning Nimph she chose a Seat,
And these Complaints did to the Shades repeat. 

 Ah wretched, truly wretched Humane Race! 
Your Woes from what Beginning shall I trace, 
Where End, from your first feeble New-born Cryes,
To the last Tears that wet your dying Eyes? 
Man, Common Foe, assail'd on ev'ry hand,
Finds that no Ill does Neuter by him stand, 
Inexorable Death, Lean Poverty, 
Pale Sickness, ever sad Captivity. 
Can I, alas, the sev'ral Parties name,
Which, muster'd up, the Dreadful Army frame? 
And sometimes in One Body all Unite, 
Sometimes again do separately fight: 
While sure Success on either Way does waite,
Either a Swift, or else a Ling'ring Fate. 

 But why 'gainst thee, O Death! should I inveigh,
That to our Quiet art the only way? 

And yet I would (could I thy Dart command)
Crie, Here O strike! and there O hold thy Hand! 
The Lov'd, the Happy, and the Youthful spare, 
And end the Sad, the Sick, the Poor Mans Care. 
But whether thou or Blind, or Cruel art, 
Whether 'tis Chance, or Malice, guides thy Dart, 
Thou from the Parents Arms dost pull away
The hopeful Child, their Ages only stay:
The Two, whom Friendship in dear Bands has ty'd,
Thou dost with a remorseless hand devide;
Friendship, the Cement, that does faster twine
Two Souls, than that which Soul and Body joyn:
Thousands have been, who their own Blood did spill, 
But never any yet his Friend did kill. 
Then 'gainst thy Dart what Armour can be found, 
Who, where thou do'st not strike, do'st deepest wound? 
Thy Pitty, than thy Wrath's more bitter far,
Most cruel, where 'twould seem the most to spare:
Yet thou of many Evils art but One,
Though thou by much too many art alone. 

What shall I say of Poverty, whence flows? 
To miserable Man so many Woes? 
Rediculous Evil which too oft we prove, 
Does Laughter cause, where it should Pitty move; 
Solitary Ill, into which no Eye, 
Though ne're so Curious, ever cares to pry, 
And were there, 'mongst such plenty, onely One
Poor Man, he certainly would live alone. 

 Yet Poverty does leave the Man entire,
But Sickness nearer Mischiefs does conspire; 
Invades the Body with a loath'd Embrace, 
Prides both its Strength, and Beauty to deface; 
Nor does its Malice in these bounds restrain, 
But shakes the Throne of Sacred Wit, the Brain,
And with a ne're enough detested Force
Reason disturbs, and turns out of its Course. 
Again, when Nature some Rare Piece has made, 
On which her Utmost Skill she seems t'ave laid, 
Polish't, adorn'd the Work with moving Grace, 
And in the Beauteous Frame a Soul doth place, 

So perfectly compos'd, it makes Divine
Each Motion, Word, and Look from thence does shine; 
This Goodly Composition, the Delight
Of ev'ry Heart, and Joy of ev'ry sight, 
Its peevish Malice has the Power to spoyle,
And with a Sully'd Hand its Lusture soyle. 
The Grief were Endless, that should all bewaile, 
Against whose sweet Repose thou dost prevail: 
Some freeze with Agues, some with Feavers burn, 
Whose Lives thou half out of their Holds dost turn;
And of whose Sufferings it may be said,
They living feel the very State o'th' Dead. 
Thou in a thousand sev'ral Forms are drest, 
And in them all dost Wretched man infest. 

 And yet as if these Evils were too few, 
Men their own Kind with hostile Arms pursue;
Not Heavens fierce Wrath, nor yet the Hate of Hell, 
Not any Plague that e're the World befel, 
Not Inundations, Famines, Fires blind rage, 
Did ever Mortals equally engage, 

As Man does Man, more skilful to annoy,
Both Mischievous and Witty to destroy. 
The bloody Wolf, the Wolf does not pursue; 
The Boar, though fierce, his Tusk will not embrue
In his own Kind, Bares, not on Bares do prey:
Then art thou, Man, more savage far than they. 

 And now, methinks, I present do behold
The Bloudy Fields that are in Fame enroll'd, 
I see, I see thousands in Battle slain, 
The Dead and Dying cover all the Plain, 
Confused Noises hear, each way sent out, 
The Vanquisht Cries joyn'd with the Victors shout;
Their Sighs and Groans who draw a painful Breath,
And feel the Pangs of slow approaching Death:
Yet happier these, far happier are the Dead,
Than who into Captivity are led: 
What by their Chains, and by the Victors Pride, 
We pity these, and envy those that dy'd. 
And who can say, when Thousands are betray'd,
To Widdowhood, Orphants or Childless made. 

Whither the Day does draw more Tears or Blood,
A greater Chrystal, or a Crimson Floud. 
The faithful Wife, who late her Lord did Arm, 
And hop'd to shield, by holy Vows, from Harm, 
Follow'd his parting-steps with Love and Care,
Sent after weeping Eyes, while he afar
Rod heated on, born by a brave Disdain, 
May now go seek him, lying 'mong the Slain: 
Low on the Earth she'l find his lofty Crest, 
And those refulgent Arms which late his Breast
Did guard, by rough Encounters broke and tore, 
His Face and Hair, with Brains all clotted ore. 
And Warlike Weeds besmeer'd with Dust and Gore. 

 And will the Suffering World never bestow
Upon th'Accursed Causers of such Woe, 
A vengeance that may parallel their Loss, 
Fix Publick Thieves and Robbers on the Cross? 
Such as call Ruine, Conquest, in their Pride, 
And having plagu'd Mankind, in Triumph ride. 
Like that renowned Murderer who staines
In these our days Alsatias fertile Plains, 

Only to fill the future Tromp of Fame, 
Though greater Crimes, than Glory it proclame. 
Alcides, Scourge of Thieves, return to Earth, 
Which uncontrolled gives such Monsters birth; 
On Scepter'd-Cacus let thy Power be shown, 
Pull him not from his Den, but from his Throne. 

 Clouds of black Thoughts her further Speech here broke, 
Her swelling Grief too great was to be spoke, 
Which strugl'd long in her tormented Mind, 
Till it some Vent by Sighs and Tears did find. 
And when her Sorrow something was subdu'd, 
She thus again her sad Complaint renewed. 

 Most Wretched Man, were th'Ills I nam'd before
All which I could in thy sad State deplore, 
Did Things without alone 'gainst thee prevail, 
My Tongue I'de chide, that them I did bewaile: 
But, Shame to Reason, thou art seen to be
Unto thy self the fatall'st Enemy, 
Within thy Breast the Greatest Plagues to bear, 
First them to breed, and then to cherish there; 

Unmanag'd Passions which the Reins have broke
Of Reason, and refuse to bear its Yoke. 
But hurry thee, uncurb'd, from place to place, 
A wild, unruly, and an Uncouth Chace. 
Now cursed Gold does lead the Man astray, 
False flatt'ring Honours do anon betray, 
Then Beauty does as dang'rously delude, 
Beauty, that vanishes, while 'tis pursu'd, 
That, while we do behold it, fades away, 
And even a Long Encomium will not stay. 

 Each one of these can the Whole Man employ, 
Nor knows he anger, sorrow, fear, or joy, 
But what to these relate; no Thought does start
Aside, but tends to its appointed Part, 
No Respite to himself from Cares he gives, 
But on the Rack of Expectation lives. 
If crost, the Torment cannot be exprest, 
Which boyles within his agitated Breast. 
Musick is harsh, all Mirth is an offence, 
The Choicest Meats cannot delight his Sense, 

Hard as the Earth he feels his Downy Bed,
His Pillow stufft with Thornes, that bears his Head, 
He rolls from side to side, in vain seeks Rest;
For if sleep comes at last to the Distrest, 
His Troubles then cease not to vex him too, 
But Dreams present, what he does waking do. 
On th'other side, if he obtains the Prey, 
And Fate to his impetuous Sute gives way, 
Be he or Rich, or Amorous, or Great, 
He'll find this Riddle still of a Defeat, 
That only Care, for Bliss, he home has brought, 
Or else Contempt of what he so much fought. 
So that on each Event if we reflect, 
The Joys and Sufferings of both sides collect, 
We cannot say where lies the greatest Pain, 
In the fond Pursuit, Loss, or Empty Gain. 

 And can it be, Lord of the Sea and Earth, 
Off-spring of Heaven, that to thy State and Birth
Things so incompatible should be joyn'd, 
Passions should thee confound, to Heaven assign'd? 

Passions that do the Soul unguarded lay, 
And to the strokes of Fortune ope' a way. 
Were't not that these thy Force did from thee take, 
How bold, how brave Resistance would'st thou make ?
Defie the Strength and Malice of thy Foes, 
Unmoved stand the Worlds United Blows ?
For what is't, Man, unto thy Better Part, 
That thou or Sick, or Poor, or Captive art ?
Since no Material Stroke the Soul can feel, 
The smart of Fire, or yet the Edge of Steel. 
As little can it Worldly Joys partake, 
Though it the Body does its Agent make, 
And joyntly with it Servile Labour bear, 
For Things, alas, in which it cannot share. 
Surveigh the Land and Sea by Heavens embrac't, 
Thou'lt find no sweet th'Immortal Soul can tast: 
Why dost thou then, O Man! thy self torment
Good here to gain, or Evils to prevent? 
Who only Miserable or Happy art, 
As thou neglects, or wisely act'st thy Part. 

 For shame then rouse thy self as from a Sleep, 
The long neglected Reins let Reason keep, 

The Charret mount, and use both Lash and Bit, 
Nobly resolve, and thou wilt firmly fit:
Fierce Anger, boggling Fear, Pride prauncing still, 
Bounds-hating Hope, Desire which nought can fill, 
Are stubborn all, but thou may'st give them Law; 
Th'are hard-Mouth'd Horses, bu they well can draw. 
Lash on, and the well-govern'd Charret drive, 
Till thou a Victor at the Goal arrive, 
Where the free Soul does all her burden leave, 
And Joys commensurate to her self receive.


by Anne Killigrew |

The Second EPIGRAM. (On BILLINDA)

 WAnton Bellinda loudly does complain, 
I've chang'd my Love of late into disdain: 

Calls me unconstant, cause I now adore
The chast Marcella, that lov'd her before. 
 Sin or Dishonour, me as well may blame, 
 That I repent, or do avoid a shame.


by Anne Killigrew |

The Third Epigram. (On an ATHEIST)

 POsthumus boasts he does not Thunder fear, 
And for this cause would Innocent appear; 
That in his Soul no Terrour he does feel, 
At threatn'd Vultures, or Ixion's Wheel, 
Which fright the Guilty: But when Fabius told
What Acts 'gainst Murder lately were enrol'd, 
'Gainst Incest, Rapine, ---- straight upon the Tale
His Colour chang'd, and Posthumus grew pale. 
 His Impious Courage had no other Root, 
 But that the Villaine, Atheist was to boot.


by Anne Killigrew |

Alexandreis.

 I Sing the Man that never Equal knew, 
Whose Mighty Arms all Asia did subdue, 
Whose Conquests through the spacious World do ring, 
That City-Raser, King-destroying King, 
Who o're the Warlike Macedons did Reign, 
And worthily the Name of Great did gain. 
This is the Prince (if Fame you will believe,
To ancient Story any credit give.) 
Who when the Globe of Earth he had subdu'd, 
With Tears the easie Victory pursu'd; 
Because that no more Worlds there were to win, 
No further Scene to act his Glorys in. 
 Ah that some pitying Muse would now inspire
My frozen style with a Poetique fire, 
And Raptures worthy of his Matchless Fame, 
Whose Deeds I sing, whose never fading Name 

Long as the world shall fresh and deathless last, 
No less to future Ages, then the past. 
Great my presumption is, I must confess, 
But if I thrive, my Glory's ne're the less; 
Nor will it from his Conquests derogate
A Female Pen his Acts did celebrate. 
If thou O Muse wilt thy assistance give, 
Such as made Naso and great Maro live, 
With him whom Melas fertile Banks did bear, 
Live, though their Bodies dust and ashes are; 
Whose Laurels were not fresher, than their Fame
Is now, and will for ever be the same. 
If the like favour thou wilt grant to me, 
O Queen of Verse, I'll not ungrateful be, 
My choicest hours to thee I'll Dedicate, 
'Tis thou shalt rule, 'tis thou shalt be my Fate. 
But if Coy Goddess thou shalt this deny, 
And from my humble suit disdaining fly, 
I'll stoop and beg no more, since I know this, 
Writing of him, I cannot write amiss: 
His lofty Deeds will raise each feeble line, 
And God-like Acts will make my Verse Divine. 

'Twas at the time the golden Sun doth rise, 
And with his Beams enlights the azure skies, 
When lo a Troop in Silver Arms drew near, 
The glorious Sun did nere so bright appear; 
Dire Scarlet Plumes adorn'd their haughty Crests, 
And crescent Shields did shade their shining Brests; 
Down from their shoulders hung a Panthers Hide, 
A Bow and Quiver ratled by their side; 
Their hands a knotty well try'd Speare did bear, 
Jocund they seem'd, and quite devoyd of fear. 
These warlike Virgins were, that do reside
Near Thermodons smooth Banks and verdant side, 
The Plains of Themiscyre their Birth do boast, 
Thalestris now did head the beauteous Host; 
She emulating that Illustrious Dame, 
Who to the aid of Troy and Priam came, 
And her who the Retulian Prince did aid, 
Though dearly both for their Assistance paid. 
But fear she scorn'd, nor the like fate did dread, 
Her Host she often to the field had lead, 
As oft in Triumph had return'd again, 
Glory she only sought for all her pain. 

This Martial Queen had heard how lowdly fame, 
Eccho'd our Conquerors redoubted Name, 
Her Soul his Conduct and his Courage fir'd, 
To see the Hero she so much admir'd; 
And to Hyrcania for this cause she went, 
Where Alexander (wholly then intent
On Triumphs and such Military sport)
At Truce with War held both his Camp and Court. 
And while before the Town she did attend
Her Messengers return, she saw ascend
A cloud of Dust, that cover'd all the skie, 
And still at every pause there stroke her eye. 
The interrupted Beams of Burnisht Gold,
As dust the Splendour hid, or did unfold; 
Loud Neighings of the Steeds, and Trumpets sound
Fill'd all the Air, and eccho'd from the ground: 
The gallant Greeks with a brisk March drew near, 
And their great Chief did at their Head appear. 
And now come up to th'Amazonian Band, 
They made a Hault and a respectful Stand: 
And both the Troops (with like amazement strook) 
Did each on other with deep silence look. 

Th'Heroick Queen (whose high pretence to War
Cancell'd the bashful Laws and nicer Bar
Of Modesty, which did her Sex restrain)
First boldly did advance before her Train, 
And thus she spake. All but a God in Name, 
And that a debt Time owes unto thy Fame. 

This was the first Essay of this young Lady in Poetry, but finding the Task she had undertaken hard, she laid it by till Practice and more time should make her equal to so great a Work.


by Anne Killigrew |

To the Queen.

 AS those who pass the Alps do say, 
The Rocks which first oppose their way, 
And so amazing-High do show, 
By fresh Accents appear but low, 
And when they come unto the last, 
They scorn the dwarfish Hills th'ave past. 
 So though my Muse at her first flight, 
Thought she had chose the greatest height, 
And (imp'd with Alexander's Name)
Believ'd there was no further Fame: 
Behold an Eye wholly Divine
Vouchsaf'd upon my Verse to Shine! 
And from that time I'gan to treat
With Pitty him the World call'd Great; 
To smile at his exalted Fate, 
Unequal (though Gigantick) State. 

I saw that Pitch was not sublime, 
Compar'd with this which now I climb; 
His Glories sunk, and were unseen, 
When once appear'd the Heav'n-born Queen: 
Victories, Laurels, Conquer'd Kings, 
Took place among inferiour things. 

 Now surely I shall reach the Clouds, 
For none besides such Vertue shrouds: 
Having scal'd this with holy Strains, 
Nought higher but the Heaven remains! 
No more I'll Praise on them bestow, 
Who to ill Deeds their Glories owe; 
Who build their Babels of Renown, 
Upon the poor oppressed Crown, 
Whole Kingdoms do depopulate, 
To raise a Proud and short-Liv'd State: 
I prize no more such Frantick Might, 
Than his that did with Wind-Mills Fight: 
No, give me Prowess, that with Charms
Of Grace and Goodness, not with Harms, 

Erects a Throne i'th' inward Parts, 
And Rules mens Wills, but with their Hearts; 
Who with Piety and Vertue thus
Propitiates God, and Conquers us. 
O that now like Araunah here, 
Altars of Praises I could rear, 
Suiting her worth, which might be seen 
Like a Queens Present, to a Queen! 

 'Alone she stands for Vertues Cause, 
'When all decry, upholds her Laws: 
'When to Banish her is the Strife, 
'Keeps her unexil'd in her Life; 
'Guarding her matchless Innocence
'From Storms of boldest Impudence; 
'In spight of all the Scoffs and Rage, 
'And Persecutions of the Age, 
'Owns Vertues Altar, feeds the Flame, 
'Adores her much-derided Name; 
'While impiously her hands they tie, 
'Loves her in her Captivity; 

'Like Perseus saves her, when she stands
'Expos'd to the Leviathans. 
'So did bright Lamps once live in Urns, 
'So Camphire in the water burns, 
'So Ætna's Flames do ne'er go out, 
'Though Snows do freeze its head without. 

 How dares bold Vice unmasked walk, 
And like a Giant proudly stalk? 
When Vertue's so exalted seen, 
Arm'd and Triumphant in the Queen? 
How dares its Ulcerous Face appear, 
When Heavenly Beauty is so near? 
But so when God was close at hand, 
And the bright Cloud did threatning stand
(In sight of Israel ) on the Tent, 
They on in their Rebellion went. 

 O that I once so happy were, 
To find a nearer Shelter there! 
Till then poor Dove, I wandering fly
Between the Deluge and the Skie: 

Till then I Mourn, but do not sing, 
And oft shall plunge my wearied wing: 
If her bless'd hand vouchsafe the Grace, 
I'th' Ark with her to give a place, 
I safe from danger shall be found, 
When Vice and Folly others drown'd.


by Anne Killigrew |

A Pastoral Dialogue.

 Dorinda. SAbæan Perfumes fragrant Roses bring, 
With all the Flowers that Paint the gaudy Spring: 
Scatter them all in young Alexis's way, 
With all that's sweet and (like himself) that's Gay. 
 Alexis. Immortal Laurels and as lasting Praise, 
Crown the divine Dorinda's matchless Laies: 
May all Hearts stoop, where mine would gladly yield, 
Had not Lycoris prepossest the Field. 

 Dor. Would my Alexis meet my noble Flame, 
In all Ausonia neither Youth nor Dame, 
Should so renown'd in Deathless Numbers shine, 
As thy exalted Name should do in mine. 

Alex. He'll need no Trophie nor ambitious Hearse, 
Who shall be honour'd by Dorinda's Verse; 
But where it is inscrib'd, That here doth lie
Lycoris's Love. That Fame can never die. 

 Dor. On Tyber's Bank I Thyrsis did espie, 
And by his side did bright Lycoris lie; 
She Crown'd his Head, and Kist his amorous Brow, 
Ah Poor Alexis! Ah then where wer't thou? 

 Alex. When thou saw'st that, I ne'r had seen my Fair, 
And what pas'd then ought not to be my Care; 
I liv'd not then, but first began to be, 
When I Lycoris Lov'd, and she Lov'd me. 

 Dor. Ah choose a Faith, a Faith that's like thine own, 
A Virgin Love, a Love that's newly blown: 
'Tis not enough a Maidens Heart is chast, 
It must be Single, and not once mis-plac't. 

 Alex. Thus do our Priests of Heavenly Pastures tell, 
Eternal Groves, all Earthly, that excel: 

And think to wean us from our Loves below, 
By dazling Objects which we cannot know.


by Anne Killigrew |

On Death.

 TEll me thou safest End of all our Woe, 
Why wreched Mortals do avoid thee so: 
Thou gentle drier o'th' afflicteds Tears, 
Thou noble ender of the Cowards Fears; 
Thou sweet Repose to Lovers sad dispaire, 
Thou Calm t'Ambitions rough Tempestuous Care. 
If in regard of Bliss thou wert a Curse, 
And then the Joys of Paradise art worse; 
Yet after Man from his first Station fell, 
And God from Eden Adam did expel, 
Thou wert no more an Evil, but Relief; 
The Balm and Cure to ev'ry Humane Grief: 
Through thee (what Man had forfeited before) 
He now enjoys, and ne'r can loose it more. 

No subtile Serpents in the Grave betray, 
Worms on the Body there, not Soul do prey; 
No Vice there Tempts, no Terrors there afright, 
No Coz'ning Sin affords a false delight: 
No vain Contentions do that Peace annoy, 
No feirce Alarms break the lasting Joy. 

 Ah since from thee so many Blessings flow, 
Such real Good as Life can never know; 
Come when thou wilt, in thy afrighting'st Dress, 
Thy Shape shall never make thy Welcome less. 
Thou mayst to Joy, but ne'er to Fear give Birth, 
Thou Best, as well as Certain'st thing on Earth. 
Fly thee? May Travellers then fly their Rest, 
And hungry Infants fly the profer'd Brest. 
No, those that faint and tremble at thy Name, 
Fly from their Good on a mistaken Fame. 
Thus Childish fear did Israel of old
From Plenty and the Promis'd Land with-hold; 
They fancy'd Giants, and refus'd to go, 
When Canaan did with Milk and Honey flow.


by Anne Killigrew |

First EPIGRAM. (Upon being Contented with a Little)

 WE deem them moderate, but Enough implore, 
What barely will suffice, and ask no more: 
Who say, (O Jove) a competency give, 
Neither in Luxury, or Want we'd live. 
But what is that, which these Enough do call? 
If both the Indies unto some should fall, 
Such Wealth would yet Enough but onely be, 
And what they'd term not Want, or Luxury. 
 Among the Suits, O Jove, my humbler take; 
 A little give, I that Enough will make.


by Anne Killigrew |

The Fourth EPIGRAM. (On GALLA)

 NOw liquid Streams by the fierce Gold do grow
As solid as the Rocks from whence they flow; 
Now Tibers Banks with Ice united meet, 
And it's firm Stream may well be term'd its Street; 
Now Vot'ries 'fore the Shrines like Statues show, 
And scarce the Men from Images we know; 
Now Winters Palsey seizes ev'ry Age, 
And none's so warm, but feels the Seasons Rage; 
Even the bright Lillies and triumphant Red
Which o're Corinna's youthful cheeks are spred, 
Look pale and bleak, and shew a purple hew, 
And Violets staine, where Roses lately grew. 
 Galla alone, with wonder we behold, 
Maintain her Spring, and still out-brave the Cold; 
Her constant white does not to Frost give place, 
Nor fresh Vermillion fade upon her face: 
 Sure Divine beauty in this Dame does shine? 
 Not Humane, one reply'd, yet not Divine.


by Anne Killigrew |

A Farewel (To Worldly Joys.)

 FArewel ye Unsubstantial Joyes, 
Ye Gilded Nothings, Gaudy Toyes, 
Too long ye have my Soul misled, 
Too long with Aiery Diet fed: 
But now my Heart ye shall no more
Deceive, as you have heretofore: 
For when I hear such Sirens sing, 
Like Ithaca's fore-warned King, 
With prudent Resolution I
Will so my Will and Fancy tye, 
That stronger to the Mast not he,
Than I to Reason bound will be: 
And though your Witchcrafts strike my Ear, 
Unhurt, like him, your Charms I'll hear.