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.
 
Paradise
XXVIII. Thomas Peyton
 
Lines from “The Glasse of Time in the First Age”

O PARADISE, 1 that first our parents stai’d,
Vntill such time God’s will they disobay’d,
How far my pen doth of thy worth come vnder,
Mirrour of earth, of all the world the wonder!
Where sacred Thetis from her louely lap        5
Hath power’d her treasures, much inrich’t thy hap,
With Euphrates and Tigris hath combin’d,
Their source diuided in foure parts, to winde
About thy borders, as heauen’s dearest worke,
Within thy bowels glide along and lurke;        10
Venting such jewels as were neuer found—
A welcome tribute to thy holy ground.
 
Nature her selfe hath much impal’d thy head,
And wreath’d thy browes as fortune hath her led,
With such a ridge of rocky mountaines small,        15
To hemme thee in as with a sacred wall;
Vpon the top towards the east still stands
A smoky hill, which sends forth fiery brands
Of burning oyle from hel’s infernall deepe,
Much like the sword the tree of life did keepe.        20
 
Deuinest land the sunne hath euer seene,
How fortunate, thrice happy hast thou beene,
To haue that God, which fram’d the world and all,
Frequent thy walkes before thy fearefull fall;
Yet as thou art and as thou dost remaine,        25
The totall earth on euery side dost staine:
Where can a man in all this world below
Find bdelium, that pleasant tree, to grow,
Whose fragrant branches, sweet delightfull fruite,
And lofty height, hath made my sences mute;        30
The onix stone and other things to bide,
In all the earth scarce in one place beside.
 
How is thy ground exceeding rich and faire,
A region seasoned with a temperate aire,
Thy channels crawling full of golden ore,        35
The fruitful’st soile that e’er the earth yet bore:
Neptune himselfe with foure great riuers greeing
To deck the bosome which gaue Adam being;
Vpon thy temples all their treasures pow’rd,
And all their wealth at once vpon thee show’rd.        40
After the floud, when all the world was kild
In Noah’s time, there man began to build,
When hauing rambled in the sacred keele
About the world, on euery side did feele
Thy fragrant scent so pleasing, rich, and neate,        45
Of all the earth to make thy throne their seate.
 
Here was religion planted in her prime,
The golden age and infancy of time,
When man’s worst actions like the turtle-doue
In all the world was little else but loue:        50
Deere Paradise, how famous was thy name,
When God himselfe erected first thy frame,
Endude thy land with such things it is set,
As time for euer neuer can forget!
 
The fabling prayses of Elizium fields,        55
The Turkes, Eutopia, nothing to it yeelds;
The paradise of Rome’s fantastike braine
Is but a iest a little wealth to gaine;
And Aladenles, with his place of pleasure,
Comes far behind, and still is short of measure,        60
Worth honor, grace, when brought into compare,
With this so rich and glorious garden rare.
The Persian fancies of their heauenly land
In sight of this not able is to stand;
The world itselfe, and all that is therein,        65
I could forsake that very place to win:
And all the greatest kingdomes euer found
But dung and trash to that most holy ground.
 
The lofty walls were all of iasper built,
Lin’d thick with gould, and couered rich with guilt,        70
Like a quadrangle seated on a hill,
With twelue braue gates the curious eye to fill,
The sacred luster as the glistring zoane,
And euery gate fram’d of a seuerall stone:
On stately columes reared by that hand        75
Which graud the world and all that in it stand;
The chalsedony and the iacinth pure,
The emrald greene, which euer will endure,
The sardonix, and purple amethist,
The azurd burnish’t saphire is not mist,        80
The chrisolite, most glorious to behold,
And tophaze stone, which shines as beaten gold,
The chrisophrasus of admired worth,
The sardius, berill seldome found on earth.
The dores thereof, of siluer’d pearle most white,        85
Do shew that none by wrong oppression might
Be crost, by cunning, wringing, wrestling guile,
By wicked plodding in all actions vile,
By foule offences like base enuy faste,
Can passe the dores but those are pure and chaste.        90
 
That sweete disciple which the gospell wrate,
And lent at supper (when Christ Iesus sate)
Vpon the bosome of his Lord and King,
He from the heauens this Paradise did bring,
Perus’d the walls, and view’d, and view’d the same within,        95
Describ’d it largely, all our loues to win.
The christall river, with the tree of life,
God’s deerest Lamb, and sacred spouse, his wife,
The various fruits that in the garden growes,
And all things else which in aboundance flowes:        100
Hath rapt my sence to thinke how God at first
Fram’d all for Adam, and his ofspring curst.
 
Note 1. XXVIII. Thomas Peyton.—This author, who was a gentleman of Lincoln’s Inn, wrote “The Glasse of Time,” which appeared in 1620. The poem is divided into two parts; “The Glasse of Time in the first Age,” and “The Glasse of Time in the Second Age.” The work is illustrated with wood-cuts, which remind the reader of the quaint engravings accompanying Quarles’s Emblems. The poem is dedicated “To the Right Honourable Francis Lord Verulam, Lord Chancellor of England.” It exhibits deep acquaintance with Scripture history, with much learning and piety. [back]
 
 
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