Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 294 pages of information about Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham.

[1] ‘Prophesied can do’:  Isaiah xl. 4.


Though the creation (so divinely taught!)
Prints such a lively image on our thought,
That the first spark of new-created light,
From Chaos struck, affects our present sight: 
Yet the first Christians did esteem more bless’d
The day of rising, than the day of rest, 260
That every week might new occasion give,
To make His triumph in their mem’ry live. 
Then let our Muse compose a sacred charm,
To keep His blood among us ever warm,
And singing as the blessed do above,
With our last breath dilate this flame of love. 
But on so vast a subject who can find
Words that may reach th’idea of his mind? 
Our language fails; or, if it could supply,
What mortal thought can raise itself so high? 270
Despairing here, we might abandon art,
And only hope to have it in our heart. 
But though we find this sacred task too hard,
Yet the design, th’endeavour, brings reward. 
The contemplation does suspend our woe,
And makes a truce with all the ills we know. 
As Saul’s afflicted spirit from the sound
Of David’s harp, a present solace found;[1]
So, on this theme while we our Muse engage,
No wounds are felt, of fortune or of age. 280
On divine love to meditate is peace,
And makes all care of meaner things to cease.

Amazed at once, and comforted, to find
A boundless power so infinitely kind,
The soul contending to that light to flee
From her dark cell, we practise how to die;
Employing thus the poet’s winged art,
To reach this love, and grave it in our heart. 
Joy so complete, so solid, and severe,
Would leave no place for meaner pleasures there; 290
Pale they would look, as stars that must be gone,
When from the East the rising sun comes on.

[1] ‘Solace found’:  1 Sam. xvi. 23.



The fear of God is freedom, joy, and peace,
And makes all ills that vex us here to cease. 
Though the word fear some men may ill endure,
’Tis such a fear as only makes secure. 
Ask of no angel to reveal thy fate;
Look in thy heart, the mirror of thy state. 
He that invites will not th’invited mock,
Opening to all that do in earnest knock. 
Our hopes are all well-grounded on this fear;
All our assurance rolls upon that sphere. 10
This fear, that drives all other fears away,
Shall be my song, the morning of our day;
Where that fear is, there’s nothing to be fear’d;
It brings from heaven an angel for a guard. 
Tranquillity and peace this fear does give;
Hell gapes for those that do without it live. 

Project Gutenberg
Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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