Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
A Dialogue betweene the World, a Pilgrim, and Vertue
XXII. Sir John Beaumont
 
Pilgrim.
WHAT darknes clouds my senses? hath the day
Forgot his season, and the sunne his way?
Doth God withdraw his all-sustaining might,
And works no more with his faire creature, light,
While heau’n and earth for such a losse complaine,        5
And turne to rude vnformed heapes againe?
My paces with intangling briers are bound,
And all this forrest in deepe silence drown’d;
Here must my labour and my iourney cease,
By which in vaine I sought for rest and peace;        10
But now perceiue that man’s vnquiet mind
In all his waies can onely darknesse finde.
Here must I starue and die, vnlesse some light
Point out the passage from this dismall night.
 
World.
Distressed pilgrim, let not causelesse feare
        15
Depresse thy hopes, for thou hast comfort neare,
Which thy dull heart with splendor shall inspire,
And guide thee to thy period of desire.
Clear vp thy browes, and raise thy fainting eyes;
See how my glitt’ring palace open lies        20
For weary passengers, whose desp’rate case
I pitie, and prouide a resting-place.
 
Pilgrim.
O thou whose speeches sound, whose beauties shine
Not like a creature, but some power diuine,
Teach me thy stile, thy worth and state declare,        25
Whose glories in this desart hidden are.
 
World.
I am thine end; Felicity my name;
The best of Wishes, Pleasures, Riches, Fame,
Are humble vassals which my throne attend,
And make you mortals happy when I send:        30
In my left hand delicious fruits I hold,
To feede them who with mirth and ease grow old,
Afraid to lose the fleeting dayes and nights;
That seaze on times, and spend it in delights.
My right hand with triumphant crownes is stor’d,        35
Which all the kings of former times ador’d:
These gifts are thine: then enter where no strife,
No griefe, no paine, shall interrupt thy life.
 
Vertue.
Stay, hasty wretch, here deadly serpents dwell,
And thy next step is on the brinke of hell:        40
Wouldst thou, poore weary man, thy limbs repose?
Behold my house, where true contentment growes;
Not like the baites which this seducer giues,
Whose blisse a day, whose torment euer liues.
 
World.
Regard not these vaine speeches, let them goe;
        45
This is a poore worme, my contemned foe,
Bold thredbare Vertue; who dare promise more
From empty bags, than I from all my store;
Whose counsels make men draw vnquiet breath,
Expecting to be happy after death.        50
 
Vertue.
Canst thou now make, or hast thou euer made
Thy seruants happy in those things that fade?
Heare this my challenge: one example bring
Of such perfection; let him be the king
Of all the world, fearing no outward check,        55
And guiding others by his voice or beck:
Yet shall this man at eu’ry moment find
More gall than hony in his restlesse mind.
Now, monster, since my words haue struck thee dumb,
Behold this garland, whence such vertues come;        60
Such glories shine, such piercing beames are throwne
As make thee blind, and turne thee to a stone.
And thou, whose wand’ring feet were running downe
Th’ infernall steepnesse, looke vpon this crowne:
Within these folds lie hidden no deceits,        65
No golden lures, on which perdition waites;
But when thine eyes the prickly thornes haue past,
See in the circle boundlesse ioyes at last.
 
Pilgrim.
These things are now most cleare; thee I imbrace:
Immortall wreath, let worldlings count thee base;        70
Choyce is thy matter, glorious is thy shape,
Fit crowne for them who tempting dangers scape.
 
 
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