For Hope

Dear hope! earth's dowry, and heavn's debt!
The entity of those that are not yet.
Subtlest, but surest beeing! Thou by whom
Our nothing has a definition!
Substantiall shade! whose sweet allay
Blends both the noones of night and day.
Fates cannot find out a capacity
Of hurting thee.
From Thee their lean dilemma, with blunt horn,
Shrinkes, as the sick moon from the wholesome morn.
Rich hope! love's legacy, under lock
Of faith! still spending, and still growing stock!
Our crown-land lyes above yet each meal brings
A seemly portion for the sonnes of kings.
Nor will the virgin joyes we wed
Come lesse unbroken to our bed,
Because that from the bridall cheek of blisse
Thou steal'st us down a distant kisse.
Hope's chast stealth harmes no more joye's maidenhead
Than spousall rites prejudge the marriage bed.
Fair hope! our earlyer heav'n by thee
Young time is taster to eternity
Thy generous wine with age growes strong, not sowre.
Thy golden, growing, head never hangs down
Till in the lappe of loves full noone
It falls; and dyes! O no, it melts away
As does the dawn into the day.
As lumpes of sugar loose themselves; and twine
Their supple essence with the soul of wine.
Fortune? alas, above the world's low warres
Hope walks; and kickes the curl'd heads of conspiring starres.
Her keel cuts not the waves where these winds stir
Fortune's whole lottery is one blank to her.
Her shafts, and she fly farre above,
And forage in the fields of light and love.
Sweet hope! kind cheat! fair fallacy by thee
We are not Where nor What we be,
But W HAT and Where we would be. Thus art thou
Our absent P RESENCE , and our future Now.
Faith's sister! nurse of fair desire!
Fear's antidote! a wise and well-stay'd fire!
Temper twixt chill despair, and torrid joy!
Queen Regent in young love's minority!
Though the vext chymick vainly chases
His fugitive gold though all her faces;
Though love's more fierce, more fruitlesse, fires assay
One face more fugitive than all they;
True hope 's a glorious hunter and her chase,
The G OD of nature in the fields of grace.
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