Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
Eupheme’s Mind
XXIV. Benjamin Jonson
 
PAINTER, you’re come, but may be gone,
Now I have a better thought thereon,
This work I can performe alone,
And give you reasons more then one.
 
Not that your art I doe refuse,        5
But here I may no colours use;
Beside, your hand will never hit,
To draw a thing that cannot sit.
 
You could make shift to paint an eye,
An eagle towring in the skye,        10
The sunne, a sea, or soundlesse pit;
But these are like a mind, not it.
 
No, to expresse a mind to sense,
Would aske a Heaven’s intelligence;
Since nothing can report that flame        15
But what’s of kinne to whence it came.
 
A mind so pure, so perfect, fine,
As ’tis not radiant, but divine;
And so disdaining any tryer,
’Tis got where it can try the fire.        20
 
There high exalted in the spheare,
As it another nature were
It moveth all, and makes a flight
As circular as infinite.
 
Whose notions when it will expresse        25
In speech, it is with that excesse
Of grace and musique to the eare,
As what it spoke it planted there.
 
The voyce so sweet, the words so faire,
As some soft chime had stroak’d the ayre;        30
And though the sound were parted thence,
Still left an eccho in the sense.
 
But, that a mind so rapt, so high,
So swift, so pure, should yet apply
It selfe to us, and come so nigh        35
Earth’s grossnesse; there’s the how, and why.
 
Is it because it sees us dull,
And stuck in clay here, it would pull
Us forth by some celestiall flight
Up to her owne sublimed hight?        40
 
Or hath she here, upon the ground,
Some paradise or palace found
In all the bounds of beautie fit
For here to inhabit? There is it.
 
Thrice happy house, that hast receipt        45
For this so loftie forme, so streight,
So polisht, perfect, round, and even,
As it slid moulded off from heaven.
 
Not swelling like the ocean proud,
But stooping gently, as a cloud,        50
As smooth as oyle pour’d forth, and calme
As showers, and sweet as drops of balme.
 
Smooth, soft, and sweet, in all a floud
Where it may run to any good;
And where it staves, it there becomes        55
A nest of odorous spice and gummes.
 
In action, winged as the wind,
In rest, like spirits left behind
Upon a banke or field of flowers,
Begotten by that wind and showers.        60
 
In thee, faire mansion, let it rest,
Yet know with what thou art possest;
Thou entertaining in thy brest
But such a mind, mak’st God thy guest.
 
 
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