A Panegyrick to the Most Noble Lucy Countesse of Carlisle

Madam,
since Jewels by your self are worn,
Which can but darken, what they should adorn;
And that aspiring Incense still presumes
To cloud those Heavens towards which it fumes;
Permit the Injury of these Rites, I pray,
Whose Darkness is increas'd by your full Day;
A day would make you Goddess did you wear,
As they of Old, a Quiver, or a Spear:
For you but want their Trifles, and dissent
Nothing in shape, but meerly Ornament;
Your Limbs leave tracks of Light, still as you go;
Your Gate's Illumination, and for you
Only to move a step is to dispence
Brightness, and force, Splendor, and Influence;
Masses of Ivory blushing here and there
With Purple shedding, if compared, were
Blots only cast on Blots, resembling you
No more than Monograms rich Temples do,
For being your Organs would inform and be
Not Instruments but Acts in Others, We
What elsewhere is call'd Beauty, in You hold,
But so much Lustre, cast into a Mould;
Such a serene, soft, rigorous, pleasing, fierce,
Lovely, self-arm'd, naked, Majestickness,
Compos'd of friendly Contraries, do young
Poetique Princes shape, when they do long
To strik out Heroes from a Mortall Wombe,
And mint fair Conquerours for the Age to come.
But Beauty is not all that makes you so
Ador'd, by those who either see or know;
'Tis your proportion'd Soul, for who ere set
A common useless weed in Christall yet?
Or who with Pitch doth Amber Boxes fill?
Balsom and Odors there inhabite still;
As Jewels then have Inward Vertues, so
Proportion'd to that Outward Light they shew,
That, by their Lustre which appears, they bid
Us turn our sense to that which does lye hid;
So 'tis in you: For that Light which we find
Streams in your Eye, is Knowledge in your Mind;
That mixture of bright Colours in your Face,
Is equall Temperance in another place;
That vigour of your Limbs, appears within
True perfect Valour, if we look but in;
And that Proportion which doth each part fill,
Is but dispencing Justice in your Will.
Thus you redeem us from our Errour, who
Thought it a Ladies fame, neither to know
Nor be her self known much; and would not grant
Them Reputation, unless Ignorant;
An Heroina heretofore did pass
With the same faith as Centaures , and it was
A Tenet, that as Women only were
Nature's digressions, who did thence appear
At best but fair Mistakes, if they did do
Heroic Acts, th'were faults of Custome too:
But you who've gain'd the Apex of your Kind,
Shew that there are no Sexes in the Mind,
Being so Candid, that we must confess
That Goodness is your Fashion, or your Dress
That you, more truly Valorous, do support
Virtue by daring to be good at Court;
Who, beyond all Pretenders, are alone
So much a friend to't, that with it y'are One,
And when We Men, the weaker Vessels, do
Offend, we think we did it against you.
And can the thought be less, when that we see
Grace powrs forth Grace, Good Good, in one Pure, free,
And following Stream, that we no more can tell,
What 'tis you shew, than what true Tinctures dwel
Upon the Doves bright Neck, which are so One,
And Divers, that we think them All, and None.
And this is your quick Prudence, which Conveys
One Grace into another, that who sales,
You now are Courteous, when you change the light,
Will say you're Just, and think it a new sight;
And this is your peculiar Art, we know
Others may do like Actions, but not so:
The Agents alter things, and what does come,
Powerfull from these, flows weaker far from some;
Thus the Suns light makes Day, if it appear,
And casts true Lustre round the Hemisphere;
When if projected from the Moon, that light
Makes not a Day, but only Colours Night;
But you we may still full, still perfect call,
As what's still great, is equall still in all.
And from this Largeness of your Mind, you come
To some just wonder, Worship unto some,
Whiles you appear a Court, and are no less
Than a whole Presence, or throng'd glorious Press;
No one can ere mistake you. 'Tis alone
Your Lot, where e'r you come to be still known.
Your Power's its own Witness: you appeare
By some new Conquest, still that you are There.
But sure the Shafts your Vertues shoot, are tipt
With consecrated Gold, which too was dipt
In purer Nectar, for where e'r they do
Print Love, they print Joy, and Religion too;
Hence in your great Endowments Church and Court
Find what t'admire; All wishes thus resort
To you as to their Center, and are then
Sent back, as Centers send back lines agen.
Nor can we say you learnt this hence, or thence,
That this you gain'd by Knowledge, this by Sence;
All is your own, and Native: for as pure
Fire lends it self to all, and will endure
Nothing from others; So what you impart
Comes not from Others Principles, or Art,
But is Ingenite all, and still your Owne,
Your self sufficing to your self alone.
Thus your Extraction is desert, to whom
Vertue, and Life by the same Gift did come.
Your Cradle's thus a Trophe, and with us
'Tis thought a Praise confess'd to be born thus.
And through your Father's glorious Name will be
Full and Majestique in great History
For high designs; yet after Times will boast
You are his chiefest Act, and fame him most.
Being then you're th' Elixar , whose least Grain
Cast into any Other, would maintain
All for true Worth, and make the piece Commence
Saint, Nymph, or Goddess, or what not from thence;
If when your Valorous Brother rules the Maine,
And makes the Flouds confess his powerfull Raign,
You should but take the Aire by in your Shell,
You would be thought Sea-born, and we might well
Conclude you such, but that your Deitie
Would have no winged Issue to set bye;
O had you Of-spring to resemble you,
As you have Vertues, then — But oh I do
Complain of our misfortunes, not your Own,
For are bless'd Spirits, for less happy known
Because they have not receiv'd such a Fate
Of Imperfection, as to Procreate?
Eternall things supply themselves; so we
Think this your Mark of Immortalitie.
I now, as those of old, who once had met
A Deity in a shape, did nothing set
By lower, and less formes, securely do
Neglect all else, and having once seen you,
Count others only Natures Pesantry,
And out of Reverence seeing will not see.
Hail your own Riches then, and your own store,
Who thus rule others, but your self far more;
Hail your own Glass and Object, who alone
Deserve to see your Own Reflection;
Persist you still the Faction of all Vowes,
A shape that makes oft Perjuries, and allows
Even broken faith's a Pardon, whiles men do
Swear, and reclaim what they have sworn seeing you.
May you live long the Painters fault, and strife,
Who, for their oft not drawing you to life,
Must when their Glass is almost run out, long
To purchase Absolution for the Wrong;
But Poets, who dare still as much, and take
An equal Licence, the same Errours make,
I then put in with them, who as I do
Sue for Release, so I may claime it too.
For since your Worth, and Modesty is such,
None will think this Enough, but You too Much.
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