A Translation of Hugo Grotius's Elegy on Arminius

Arminius Searcher of Truths deepest part,
High Soaring Mind, Pattern of quick-ey'd Art;
Soul big with Learning, Taken from this Blind
And Dusky Age, where Ignorant Mankind
Doth tremble hoodwink'd with uncertain Night;
Thou now enjoy'st clear Fields of blessed Light,
And whether that the Truth ows much to thee,
Or as by Nature's Lot Man cannot see
All things, in some part thou didst slip (judge they
Who have that knowing Pow'r, that holy Key)
Surely a frequent Reader of that high
Mysterious book, engaged by no tye
To Man's Decrees, Heav'n knows thou gain'st from thence
A wary and a Quiet Conscience.
Full both of Rest and Joy in that blest Seat
Thou find'st what here thou sought'st, and seest how great
A Cloud doth muffle Mortals, what a small,
A vain and empty nothing is that All
We here call Knowledge, puff'd with which we Men
Stalk high, oppress, and are oppress'd agen.
Hence do these greater Wars of Mars arise,
Hence lower Hatreds, mean while Truth far flies,
And that good friend of Holy Peace disdains
To shew her self where strife and tumult raigns:
Whence is this Fury, whence this eager Lust
And itch of fighting setled in us? must
Our God become the Subject of our War?
Why sides, so new, so many? hath the Tare
Of the mischievous Enemy by Night
Been scatter'd in Christ's fields? or doth the spight
Of our depraved Nature, prone to rage,
Suck in all kind of Fuell, and engage
Man as a Party in Gods Cause? or ought
The Curious World whiles that it suffers nought
To lye obscure, and ransakes every Room
Block'd up from Knowledge justly feel this doom?
As that proud Number when they thought to raise
Insolent Buildings, and to reach new waies
Spread into thousand Languages, and flung
Off the old Concord of their single Tongue.
Alas what's our Intent poor little Flock
Cull'd out of all the world? we bear the Stock
Of new distractions dayly, daily new,
Scoft by the Turk, not pittied by the Jew:
Happy sincere Religion, set apart
As far from Common Faction, as from Art;
Which being sure all Staines are wash'd away
By Christ's large Passsion, boldly here doth lay
All Hope and Faith believing that Just One
Bestoweth life, but payes Confusion;
Whose practice being Love, cares not to pry
Into the secrets of a Mystery;
Not by an over-anxious Search to know
If future things do come to pass or no,
By a defined Law; how God wills too,
Void of't himself, how not, how far our will
Is sweyed by its Mover, what strict Laws
Exercis'd on it by the highest Cause:
And happy he, who free from all By-ends,
Gapes not for filthy Lucre, nor intends
The noise of Empty Armour, but rais'd high
To better Cares, minds Heaven; and doth try
To see and know the Deity only there
Where he himself discloseth; and with fear
Takes wary steps in narrow waies, led by
The Clew of that good Book that cannot ly;
Who in the midst of Jars walks equall by
An even freedom mix'd with Charity:
Whose pure refined Moderation
Condemn'd of all, it self condemneth none;
Who keeping Modest Limits now doth please
To speak for truth, now holds his Tongue for Peace;
These things in Publike, these in private too,
These neer thine end, thou Counsail'dst still to do,
Arminius when ev'n suffering decay
Under long Cares, weary of further stay
In an unthankfull froward Age, when found
Broke in that slighter part, i'th' better sound;
Thou wert enflam'd, and wholly bent to see
Those Kingdoms unto Thousands shewn by thee;
And thou a Star now added to the Seat
Of that thy Fathers Temple, dost entreat
God that he give us as much Light as is fit
Unto his Flock, and grant Content with it;
That he give Teachers, such as do not vent
Their private Fancies; give a full Consent
Of Hearts, if not of Tongues, and do away
By powerfull fire all dim and base Alay
Of mixt dissentions, that Christs's City be
Link'd and united in one amity;
Breath all alike, and being free from strife,
To Heav'n make good their faith, to Earth their life.
Author of original: 
Hugo Grotius
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