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Davids Heavie Punishment.


MOst true it is, when Penitents by grace

Acquitted are, the pardon of their sinnes,

And punishments release, do both imbrace,

Like to a paire of undivided twinns,

Parted they cannot be, they cleave so fast,

Yet when the tempest of Gods wrath is past,

Still his afflicting hony-fhower doth last.


But let the Schooles, these thorny points dispute,

Whose searching sight can naked truth discry,

Sculking in Errors arms, and are acute,

Fine-fingred with distinction to untye

Knotts more than Gordian, these men never mist

The slender marke, like those in whose left fist,66Judges 20. 16.

There did so much dexterity consist.



Meanetime, my Muse, come see how prettily

The patient Infant doth it selfe behave,

Infant, but newly borne, now neare to dye,77The death of King David’s Child.

That from the cradle, posted to the grave,

See with what silent signes, and sighes full faine,

Poore heart, it would expresse where lies the paine,

Complaining, that it knowes not to complaine.


Stay cruell Death thy hand for pitty hold,

Against some aged grand-fire bend thy bow,

That now hath full, twice forty winters told,

Whose head is silver’d or’e, with ages snow:

Dash out this Babe, out of thy dismall bill,

And in exchange, let him thy number fill,

So may he life, his friends enjoy him still.



Those hands to hurt another, never sought,

Which cannot helpe themselves, they are so weake;

His heart did never hatch a wanton thought,

His tongue did never lye, that cannot speake:

By wrong and violence, he ne’re did wrest

The goods, wherewith his Neighbour is possest,

Whose strength scarse servs to suck his nurse’s brest.


But ah, this Infant’s guilt from him proceeds,

That knew the least, when most he sought to know,

Who was most nak’t, when cloathed in his weeds,

Best cloathed then, when naked he did goe:

In vayne the wit of wisest men doth strive,

To cut off this intayle, that doth derive

Death unto all, when first they are alive.



As when a tender Rose begins to blow,

Yet scarse unswadled is, some wanton maide

Pleas’d with the smell, allured with the show,

Will not reprive it, till it hath display’d

The folded leaves, but to her brest applie’s

Th’ abortive budd, where coffined it lye’s

Losing the blushing Dye, before it die’s:


So this babes life, newly begun, did end

Which sure receiv’d the substance, though not sign’d

With graces seale; God freely doth attend

His ordinance, but will not be confin’d

Thereto, when’ts not neglected, nor despis’d,

They that want Water are by Fire baptiz’d,

Those sanctifi’d, that ne’er were circumcis’d.



Sweet Babe, one Sabboth thou on earth didst see,

But endles Sabboths, doest in heaven survive,

Grant, Death of joyfull howers deprived thee,

Thou hadst seene yeares of sorrowes, if alive:

True, thou wert borne a Prince, but now art crown’d

A King by Death, sleepe therefore in the ground

Sweetly, untill the Trumpet last shall sound.


By this childs death, King David did sustaine

One losse; but where this misery did end,

More miseries began: as in a chayne,

One linke, doth on another linke depend:

His lust, with lust, his slaying with a slaughter

Must punish’t be: proportion’d therafter

To Mother sinne, is punishment the Daughter.



AMon advis’d by Jonadab, a fit

Of sicknesse faines: Men wickedly inclin’d,

Worse counsellers, (that with great store of wit

Have dearth of grace) most easily may find;

And Thamar’s hands, his meate must onely make:88The deflowring of Thamar.

Ah happy age, when Ladies learn’t to bake,

And when Kings Daughters knew to knead a cake.


Rebecka was esteem’d of comely hew,

Yet not so nice her comelinesse to keepe,

But that shee water for the cammells drew;

Rachell was faire, yet fedd her fathers sheepe,

But now for to supply Rebecka’s place,

Or doe as Rachell did, is counted base,

Our dainty dames, would take it in disgrace.



But quickly did his beastly lust declare,

That he, to eate her daynties, had no neede,

He for the cooke, not for the cates did care,

Shee was the dish, on whom he meant to feed:

Oh how she pray’d, & strove with might & maine!

And then from striving, fell to prayers againe,

But prayers, and striving, both alike in vayne.


Thus a poore Larke imprison’d in the cage

Of a Kites claws, most sweetly sings at large

Her owne Dirge whilst shee seeks to calme his rage,

And from her jaylor, sue’s for a discharge;

Who passing for no musick that surpast,

To feede his eares, whilst that his gutts doe fast,

On her that pray’d so long, doth prey at last.



Then with dust-powdre’d haire she sore bewayles,

And punisht on herselfe, her brothers sinne,

Parting her maiden livery with nayles,

That parted was with colours, and wherein

White streaks, their owners innocence did show;

The bashfull Red, her modesty; the row

Of Sable, sorrowed for the wearers woe.


Comfort thy selfe more vertuous, than faire,

More faire, than happy virgin, mourne with measure,

Sinnes unconsented to, no soules impaire,

That must be done perchance with bodies pleasure,

Which with the griefe of soule may be constrain’d

The casket broke, the jewell still remain’d,

Untoucht, which in the casket was contain’d.



IN his brest Absolon records this wrong:99The murdering of Amnon.

Out of our minds, good turns doe quickly passe,

But injuries therein remaine too long,

Those scraul’d in dust, but these ingrav’d in brasse,

One Sun-set for our anger should suffice,

Which in his wrath set oft, oft did arise,

With yearly race, surrounding twice the skies.


Now when his fruitfull flocks, which long had worne

Their wollen coates, for to make others hot,

Were now to forfeit them, and to be shorne,

(Sure from the silly sheepe, his divelish plott,

Their owner never learnd) hee finds a way,

To worke revenge, and called on that day,

His brothers to a feast, which pro’vd a fray.



What Amnon drunke in wine, in blood he spilt,

Which did the dainties marre, and meate defile,

Cupps, carpetts, all with goary streakes were gilt,

Seeming to blush, that cruelty so vile,

So fowly savage, should the banquet staine:

Thus he that being well, did sicknesse faine,

Not being sicke, was on a suddaine slaine.


The rest refused on the meate to feede,

Whose bellies were so full with griefe, and feare

To feele, what they had seene; away they speed

To ride: but Fame did fly, fame that doth weare

An hundred listning eares, an hundred eyes,

An hundred prating tongues, she dayly plies,

Tongues, that both tell the truth, and tattle lyes.



She gets by going, and doth gather strength,

As balls of snow, by roling more doe gaine,

She whispr’d first, but lowdly blaz’d at length,

All the Kings Sonnes, all the Kings sonnes are slaine:

The pensive Court, in dolefull dumps did rue

This dismall case, till they the matter knew,

Would all bad news, like this, might prove untrue.


Goe silly soules, that doe so much admire,

Court-curious intertainment, and fine fare,

May you for mee obtaine what you desire,

I for your sowles of Phasis do not care,

If that such riots at your feasts be rife,

And all your meate, so sowrely sauc’d with strife,

That guests to pay the shot, must lose their life.



Happy those Swaines, that in some shady bower,

Making the grasse their cloath, the ground their board,

Doe feede on mellow fruite, or milks fine flower,

Using no wine, but what their wells afford:

At these did malice never bend her bow,

Their state is shot free, it is set so low,

They overlooke, that would them overthrow.


FAst unto Geshure, flies the fatricide,

To shelter there himselfe, the sentence sore

Of angry justice, fearing to abide,

Oh happy turne had he return’d no more,

Who wonted guise, kept in a country strange,

Those that abroad, to forraine parts do range,

Their climate, not conditions doe exchange:



Return’d: at entrance of the Court he stands,1010Absolons aspiring to the kingdome.

If any sutors there he chanc’t to finde,

Hee steales their hearts, by taking of their hands,

And sucked out their soule, with kisses kinde:

He of their name, cause, citty doth inquire,

Proud men prove base, to compasse their desire,

They lowest crouch, that highest do aspire.


Before such kisses come upon my face,

Oh, let the deadly Scorpion me sting,

Yea rather than such armes should me imbrace,

Let curling Snakes about my body cling:

Than such faire words, I’de rather heare the fowle

Untuned schreeching of the dolefull Owle,

Or heare the direfull mountaine Wolfe to howle.



Some men affirme, that Absolon doth sound

In the worlds oldest tongue [of peace a father]

But certs I know that such mistake their ground,

[Rebellious sonne] sure it importeth rather:

And yet why so? sith since I call to minde,

Than the Clementes none were more unkind,

Then Innocent, more nocent none I finde.


Then borrowing the plausible disguise

Of holinesse, he mas’kt his plot so evill,

Under the good pretence of sacrifice,

(A Saint dissembled is a double Devill.)

But sure were these the vowes, he went to pay,

His Sire, that harmelesse sheepe he vow’d to slay,

Who o’re mount Olives weeping fled away.



This makes mee call my Saviours griefe to minde,

Who on this mount,1111Luke 19. 42. because the Jewes were growne

So wicked, those that said they saw, so blind,

Mourn’d for their sins, that mourn’d not for their own:

Much did hee weepe for others that forbad,

Others to weepe for him, whose being sad

Hath made his Saints, for ever since, full glad.


Downe comes the King to Jordan: on the sand

If that the saylors chance to ground the boat,

A flood of teares they straitwayes did command,

Whose large accession, made the vessell floate:

And if a blast of winde, did chance to saile,

So greivously the people did bewayle,

Their very sighs might serve to stuffe the sayle.



Thus was the King, in his owne land exil’d,

His subjects were his hoast, and he their guest,

Whose place was ill supplied by his child,

(Unhappy Bird defiling his owne nest)

That tooke his fathers wives, in open sight,

Those that do want of grace the shun-shine bright,

Extinguish oft dim Natures candle light.


The blushing Sun, no sooner did behold

So beastly lust, but sought his face to shrowd,

And shrinking in his beames of burnish’t gold,

Was glad to sculke within a sullen cloud:

The shamefac’t birds, with one wing faine to fly,

Did hold their other fanne before their eye,

For feare they should such filthinesse espie.



What needed he, to keepe alive his name,

Erect a pillar? Sure this damned deed,

Makes us remember, and detest the same,

That in the worlds last doating age succeed:

Yea when that Brasse, that seemeth time to scorne,

Shall be by all-devouring time out-worne,

His name they’le beare in minde that are not borne.


But he that gave this counsell,1212Achitophel hanging himselfe. did not speed,

Who speeding home on witlesse asse amaine,

(Asse that for wit, his rider did exceed,)

’Cause he his will at Court could not obtaine,

Did make his Will at home: the peevish elfe

Amongst his houshold parts his cursed pelfe,

Carefull of that, but carelesse of himselfe.



Oh suddaine thought of thy mortality!

Thou art not yet so thorough worne with age,

None in thy face such Symptoms can espy,

Which should so neare approaching death praesage:

Thy state is not distempered with heate,

Thy working pulse doth moderatly beate,

All outward things seeme whole, seeme all compleate.


But ghostly is thy griefe: thou that by treason,

Against thy Leige, so lately wast combin’d,

Thy passions now rebell against thy Reason,

Reason, that is the Soveraigne of thy minde,

And seeke for to disturbe it from the throne:

Strive, strive to set these civill broyles at one,

Order thy selfe, and let thy house alone.



A chayne of hempe, he to his necke made fast,

By tying of which knot, hee did untye

The knot of Soule and Body, and at last

Stopping the passage of his breath, thereby

A passage for his Soule, wide opened hee:

Thus traytors, rather than they should goe free,

Themselves the hangmen of themselves will bee.


His friends, to balme his body spare no cost,

With spices seeking to perfume a sinke,

For certs I know, their labour was but lost,

His rotten memory, will ever stinke,

His soule thereby was nothing bettered,

Because his corps were bravely buried,

Tombes please the living, profit not the dead.



How many worthy Martyrs vilely slaine,

Made meate for fowles, or for the fire made fuell,

Though ground, they could not for a grave obtaine,

Were not lesse happy, but their foes more cruell,

Unburied bodies made not them unblest,

Their better halfe, did finde an heavenly rest,

And doth injoy, joyes not to be exprest.


Leave we the Traytor thus, upon whose hearsse,

My Muse shall not a precious teare mis-spend,

Proceeding to bemoane in dolefull verse,

How two great bands,1313The battell betwixt Absalon and Davids men. with cruell blowes contend,

Whole clouds of arrowes, made the skye to lowre,

Dissolv’d at length, into a bloody showre,

Till Steele kill’d many, wood did more devoure.



Oh, let it not be publish’t in the path,

That leads unto th’ incestuous seed of Lot,

Tell not these tidings in the towne of Gath,

In Ascalon, see ye proclaime it not,

Least these rejoyce at this calamity,

Who count your fame, their greatest infamy,

Your wofull jarrs, their wellcome melody.


Had Rachel now reviv’d, her sonnes to see,

Their bloody hands, would make her heart to bleed,

Each a Benoni unto her would be;

Had Leah liv’d to see herselfe agree’d

To fall out with herselfe, with teares most sure,

She would have made her tender eyes past cure,

Who ever wonn, she must the losse endure.



The conquest (which her verdict long suspended)

Hover’d aloft, not knowing where to light;

But at the last, the lesser side befreinded

With best successe; the other put to flight,

More trusted a swift foote, than a strong fist,

Most voices oft of Verity have mist,

Nor in most men, doth Victory consist.


The gracelesse sonne was plung’d in deepe distresse,

For earth his weight, no longer would endure,

The angry heavens denied all accesse,

Unto a wretch so wicked, so impure:

At last the heavens and earth with one consent,

A middle place, unto the monster lent,

Above the earth, beneath the firmament.



His skittish Mule, ran roving in the fields,

And up high hills, downe dales, o’re woods did prance,

Seeming with neighing noyse, and wanton heeles,

In token of great joy to sing and dance,

That now her maister, she should beare no more,

(An heavy bulke, whose sinnes did weigh so sore)

Now rid of him, that rid on her before.


Cry Absolon, cry Absolon amaine,

And let thy winged prayers, pierce the skye,

Oh to the spring of pitty, soone complaine,

That ne’re is dammed up, nor drained dry,

Thy fault confesse, his favour eke implore,

Much is thy misery, his mercy more,

Thy want is great, but greater is his store.



Comdemne thyselfe, and he shall thee acquitt,

Doe thou but pray, hee’le pitty thy estate,

Confesse thy debt, he will the same remit,

It never was too soone, its ne’re to late:

Alas; long sinners scarse at last relent,

Hee gives not all offenders to repent,

That granteth pardon to all penitent.


Whilst thus his life suspended was on high,

Bold-ventrous Joab opened his heart,

(Heart, where much treason lurked privily)

And peir’ct his body with a triple dart:

Then Crimson blades of grasse, whereon he bleeds,

Did straitwayes dye, and in their roome succeeds

A fruitfull wildernesse, of fruitlesse weeds.



When David heard the Victory was gain’d,

But his sonne lost (as Jordan waxing ranke,

Or’e flowes the land, and scornes to be restrain’d,

To have his Tide, ti’de in a narrow banke)

Surges of sorrow in his heart did rise,

And brake the watry sluces of his eyes,

Who lightned thus himselfe, with heavy cryes:


My sonne, whose body had of grace the fill,

My sonne, whose soule was so devoid of grace,

Without my knowledge, and against my will,

My sonne, in cause so bad, so strange a place:

My sonne, my sonne, for which I most complaine,

I feare in soule, as in the body slaine,

Would I might dye, that thou migh’st live againe.



Now when this griefe was swallow’d, not digested,

The subjects flock’t, King David to restore,

Who in an instant, love what they detested,

Detest in th’ instant, what they lov’d before:

People like weather-cocks wav’d with the wind,

We constant, in unconstancy may finde,

As time counts minutes, so they change their mind.


Amongst the rest, that came the King to meete,

Lame-legd Mephibosheth, but loyall hearted,

Was one, that never washt his cloaths, or feete

(Except with teares) since David first departed;

Feete, which by fall from nurses armes began

To halt, with him a child, so fast she ran,

That he could never goe, when growne a man.



Not much unlike, if it give no distaste,

That reall truths, I doe with trifles match,

Whilst that my posting Muse, with headlong haste

Doth strive her rurall Layes for to dispatch,

Halting Invention, for the want of heede,

And lame unjoynted lines from her proceede,

And seldome things done speedily, doe speed.


But here an unexpected jarre arose,

Whilst people, for most part in Prince contended,

Which grew from bitter words to bloody blowes,

The King, quoth Judah, of our Tribe descended,

Hee of our flesh is flesh, bone of our bone:

Nay, answer’d Israel, in the King wee owne

Ten parts, a single share is yours alone.



Whilst sparkes of discord thus began to smoake,

To finde the bellowes, Sheba did conspire,

(Sheba that proudly did disdaine the yoke)1414The sonne of Belial.

And blowing of a trumpet, blew the fire:

Then those that claimed ten, disdain’d all part

In David, taught by his seducing art,

They discontented to their tents depart.


This Rebell, Joab whilst to quell he strives,

A nameles woman (in the booke of life

Her name is kept, that kept so many lives)

Procur’d that he, who stirred up the strife,

The body of the Common-wealth to rend

From Prince the head, whereon it did depend,

With head, from body rent, his life did end.



By his death many Citizens surviv’d,

The losse of Traytors blood, did prove their gaine,

Soone cea’st the flood of Discord, thence deriv’d,

When they the factious fountaine did restraine.

This warre, a vile man with a word did rayse,1515What part have we in David, &c.

Unto his shame, which to her endlesse prayse,

A worthy Woman with a word allaies.1616His head shall be thrown, &c.


So in our land, a noble Queene arose,

As we have heard our fathers oft relate,

A Maide, yet Manly to confound her foes,

A Maide and yet a Mother to the State:

Which she weake, like to crumbling bricke did finde,

Which strong, as lasting marble she resign’d,

Gold and Gods worship, both by her refin’d.



She having florished in great renowne,

In spite of power, and policy of Spaine,

Did change her earthly, for an heavenly crowne,

And cea’st to rule o’re men, with God to raigne:

Fourty and foure Novembers fully past,

(Aie me that winged time should post so fast)

To Christ her love, she wedded was at last.


This Sunne thus set, there followed no Night

In our Horizon, strait another Sunne,

Most happily continued the light,

Which by the first was hopefully begunne:

And, what might most amaze all mortall eyes,

Never before out of the Northen skies,

Did men behold bright Phoebus to arise.



Arts did increase his fame, he did increase

The fame of Arts, and counting twice eleven

Twelve months upon his throne, this Prince of peace,

By falling to the Earth, did rise to Heaven:

Then downe our cheeks tears hot & cold did flow,

Those for the Sire decea’st, expre’st our woe,

Those joy, for his succeeding Sonne did show.


Live gracious Leige, whose Vertues doe surmount

All flattery, and Envy them admires,

Center of grace and greatnesse, live in Court,

Till that thy kingdome with the world expires:

Wee subjects wish thee worst, that love thee best,

Who here long to injoy thee, doe request,

That late thou mayst injoy an heavenly rest.



And thou young Prince, hope of the future age,

Succeed to Fathers Vertues, Name, and Crowne,

A new Starre did thy Saviours birth praesage,

His death, the Sun eclipsed did renowne:

But both of these conjoyned to adorne

Thy wellcome birth, the Sun with age so worne

Did seeme halfe dead, and a young starr was borne.


But what dost thou, my ventrous Muse, praesume

So far above thy dwarf-like strength to straine?

Such soaring soone will melt thy waxen plume,

Let those heroike sparks, whose learned braine,

Doth merit chapletts of victorious bayes,

Make Kings the subjects of their lofty layes,

Thy worthlesse praysing doth their worth dispraise.



Strike saile, and to thy matter draw more neare,

And draw thy matter nearer to an end,

Though nought prayse-worthy in thy verse appeare,

Yet strive that shortnesse may the same commend:

Returne to see, where Joab homeward goes,

To see his Friends, that had subdu’d his foes;

His souldiers, and himselfe there to repose.


Thus when two adverse winds, with strong command,

Summon the Sea, the waves that both do feele,

Dare follow neither, but in doubt do stand,

Whilst that the shipps with water drunke doe reele

With men, for griefe of drowning, drown’d in griefe,

Untill at length, a Calme brings them reliefe,

And stills the storme, that had so long beene briefe.



Oh that I might but live to see the day,

(Day, that I more desire, than hope to see)

When all these bloody discords done away,

Our Princes, in like manner might agree:

When all the world, might smile in perfect peace,

And these long-lasting broyls, at length might cease

Broyles, which (alas) doe dayly more increase.


The Neatherlands, with endlesse warrs are tost,

Like in successe, to their unconstant tide,

Losing their gettings, gaining what they lost.

Denmarke both sword, and Baltick seas divide:

More blood, than juice of grape nigh Rhine is shed;

And Brunswicke Land will not be comforted,

But cryes, My Duke, alas, my Duke is dead.



The warrs in France, now layd aside, not ended,

Are onely skinned over with a scarre,

Yea haughty Alps, that to the clouds ascended,

Are over-climbed with a bloody Warre:

And Maroes birth place Mantua, is more

Made famous now for Mars, and battell sore,

Than for his Muse, it famed was before.


Sweden to stopp th’ Imperiall flood provides,

(May his good cause, be crown’d with like successe,

And they, that now please none, to please both sides

May they themselves, his trusty friends expresse.)

But Turks the Cobweb of their Truce, each howre

Doe breake, they wayte a time, but want no powre,

Nor will, warr-wearied Christians to devoure.



But let the cunning Chymicke, whose exact

Skill, caused Light from darknesse to proceed,

Out of disorder order can extract,

Make in his due time all these jars agree’d,

Whose greivances may be bemoan’d by men,

By God alone redressed; and till then

They more befitt my Prayers than my Pen.



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