Ode to My Worthy Kinsman, Mr. George Sandys


O BREATHE again! that holy lay
Did convey
Unto my soul so sweet a fire,
I desire
That all my senses charm'd to ear,
Should fix there.
O might this sacred anthem last
Till time's past;
Until we warble forth a higher,
In the quire
Of angels, till the spheres keep time
To your rhyme.
Amphion did a city raise
By his lays;
The stones did dance into a wall
At his call.
But your divinely-tunéd air
Doth repair
Ev'n man himself, whose stony heart,
By this art,
Rebuildeth of its own accord,
To the Lord,
A temple breathing holy songs,
In strange tongues
You fit both David's lyre and notes
To our throats.
See, the green willow now not wears,
Of their tears.
The sadly silent trophies, we
From the tree
Take down the Hebrew harps, and reach,
In our speech,
Whatever we do hate, what fear,
What love dear.
Now in faint accents praising God
For his rod;
Since that His punishing a child
Must be styl'd
A blessing. But our thankful lays
Do His praise
Sound in the loudest key whene'er
He draws near
In mercy, not affrighting pow'r;
In that hour
New life approacheth; then our joy
Doth employ
Each faculty, and tune each air
To a pray'r.
But by and bye our sins do cause
A sad pause.
Our hands lift-up, and cast-down eyes,
Our faint cries,
Do in their sadly pleasing tones
Speak our moans.
Instead of harps we strike our breasts:
All the rests
Attend his music, are a tear
Which sighs bear
In their soft language up on high
To the sky,
Whence God, delighted with our grief.
Sends relief.
Thus unto you we owe the joys,
The sweet noise
Of our ravish'd souls; we borrow
Hence our sorrow,
Repentant sorrow, which doth glad,
Not make sad.
We weep in your lines, we rejoice
In your voice;
Whose pleasing language fans the fire
Of desire,
Which flames in zeal and calmly fashions
All our passions;
Which you so sweetly have express'd,
Some have guess'd
We hallelujahs shall rehearse
In your verse.

Then be secure, your well-tun'd breath
Shall now out-live the date of death;
And when fate pleases you shall have
Still music in the silent grave.
You from above shall hear each day
One dirge despatch'd unto your clay;
These your own anthems shall become
Your lasting epicedium.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.