Cowley, Abraham . The Third Part of the Works of Mr. Abraham Cowley Being his Six Books of Plants
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SAge! who by many Virtues gain'st renown, 22
Sage! whose Deserts all happy Mortals own.       220
Since thou, dear Sage! preserv'st the Memory,
I cannot sure forgetful prove of Thee.
Thee, who Mnemosyne dost recreate 23
Her Daughter Muses ought to celebrate,
Nor shalt thou e'er complain, that they're ingrate.
High on a Mount the Souls firm Mansion stands,
And with a view the Limbs below commands.
Sure some great Architect this Pile design'd,
Where all the World is to a Span confin'd.       [Latin: 220]
A mighty throng of Spirits here reside,
Which to the Soul are very near alli'd.
Here the grand Council's held; hence to and fro
The Spirits scout to see what News below.
Busie as Bees, through every part they run,
Thick as the Rays stream from the glitt'ring Sun.
Their subtle Limbs Silk, thin as Air, arrays,
And therefore nought their rapid Journey stays.
But with much toil they weary grow, at length
Perpetual Labor tires the greatest Strength.
Off too, as they in pains bestow their hours,       240
The airy vagrants hostile Heat devours.
Oft in Venereal Raptures they expire,
Or burnt by Wine, and drown'd in liquid Fire.
Then Leaden Sleep does on the Senses seize,
And with dull drowziness the Vitals freeze.
Cold Floods of dire Distempers swiftly rowl,
For want of Dams and Fences, o'er the Soul.
Then are the Nerves dissolv'd, each member quakes,
And the whole ruinated Fabrick shakes.       [Latin: 240]
You'd think the Hands fear'd Poyson in the Cup,
They tremble so, and cannot lift it up.
Hence, Sage! 'tis manifest what thou canst do,
And glorious dangers beg relief from you.
The Foe, by cold and humors so inclos'd,
From his chill Throne by thy strong heat's depos'd.
And to the Spirits thou bring'st fresh Recruits,
When they are wearied in such long Disputes.
To Life, whose Body was almost its Urn,
New Life, (if I may say it) does return.
The members by their Nerves are steady ty'd,       260
A Pilot, not the Waves, the Vessel guide.
You all things fix: Who this for truth wou'd take,
That thy weak Fibres such strong Bonds shou'd make?
Loose Teeth thou fasten'st; which, at thy command,
Well riveted in their firm Sockets stand.
May that fair, useful Bulwark, ne'er decay,
Nor the Mouth's Ivory Fences e'er give way!
Conceptions, Women by thy help retain, 24
Nor does th'injected Seed flow back again.       [Latin: 260]
Ah! Death, don't Life it self anticipate,
Let a Man live, before he meets his Fate.
Thou'rt too severe, if, in the very Dock,
Our Ship, before 'tis built, strikes on a Rock.
Of thy Perfections this is but a tast,
You bring to view things absent, and what's past
Recal; such tracts i' th'mind of things you make,
None can the well form'd Characters mistake.
And lest the Colours there shou'd fade away,
Your Oil embalms, and keeps 'em from decay. [image]


[22] The Virtues of Sage are highly celebrated by all Authors; particularly the Writers of Schola Salernitana, who may be consulted. It is hot in the first, and dry in the second degree; it is easily astringent, and stays Bleedings. It strengthens the Stomack and Brain; and rowzes a dull Appetite, but its peculiar Faculty is to corroborate the Nerves, and to oppose all Diseases incident unto them. Hence it hath the hightest reputation among Medicaments for the Memory.


[23] The Memory


[24] Agrippa calls it the holy Herb, and says the Lionesses eat it when they are big. See Heurnius concerning its virtues this way.