A New-Years-Gift to Brian Lord Bishop of Sarum
Now that the Village-Reverence doth lye hid,
As Ægypt 's Wisdom did,
In Birds, and Beasts, and that the Tenants Soul,
Goes with his New-year's fowl:
So that the Cock, and Hen, speak more
Now, than in Fables heretofore;
And that the feather'd Things,
Truly make Love have Wings;
Though we no flying Present have to pay,
A Quill yet snatch'd from thence may sign the Day.
But being the Canon bars me Wit and Wine,
Enjoyning the true Vine,
Being the Bayes must yeeld unto the Cross,
And all be now one Loss,
So that my Raptures are to steal
And knit themselves in one pure Zeal,
And that my each days breath
Must be a dayly Death;
Without all Strain or Fury, I must than
Tell you this New-year brings you a new man.
New, not as th' year, to run the same Course o'r
Which it hath run before,
Lest in the Man himself there be a Round,
As in his Humor's found,
And that return seem to make good
Circling of Actions, as of Bloud;
Motion as in a Mill
Is busie standing still;
And by such wheeling we but thus prevaile,
To make the Serpent swallow his own Taile.
Nor new by solemnizing looser Toyes,
And erring with less Noyse,
Taking the Flag and Trumpet from the Sin,
So to offend within:
As some Men silence loud Perfumes,
And draw them into shorter Rooms,
This will be understood
More wary, not more Good.
Sins too may be severe, and so no doubt
The Vice but only sowr'd, not rooted out.
But new, by th' Using of each part aright,
Changing both Step and Sight,
That false Direction come not from the Eye,
Nor the foot tread awry,
That neither that the way aver,
Which doth tow'rd Fame, or Profit err,
Nor this tread that Path, which
Is not the right, but Rich;
That thus the Foot being fixt, thus lead the Eye,
I pitch my Walk low, but my Prospect high.
New too, to teach my Opinions not t' submit
To Favour, or to Wit;
Nor yet to Walk on Edges, where they may.
Run safe in Broader way;
Nor to search out for New Paths, where
Nor Tracks nor Footsteps doth appear,
Knowing that Deeps are waies,
Where no Impression staies,
Nor servile thus, nor curious, may I then
Approve my Faith to Heaven, my Life to Men.
But I who thus present my self as New,
Am thus made New by You:
Had not your Rayes dwelt on me, One long Night
Had shut me up from Sight;
Your Beams exhale me from among
Things tumbling in the Common Throng,
Who thus with your fire burns
Now gives not, but Returns;
To Others then be this a day of Thrift
They do receive, but you Sir make the Gift.
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