Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
Of the Epiphany
XXII. Sir John Beaumont
FAIRE 1 easterne starre, that art ordain’d to runne
Before the sages to the rising sunne,
Here cease thy course, and wonder that the cloud
Of this poore stable can thy Maker shroud:
Ye heauenly bodies glory to be bright,        5
And are esteem’d as ye are rich in light;
But here on earth is taught a different way,
Since vnder this low roofe the Highest lay;
Jerusalem erects her stately towres,
Displayes her windowes, and adornes her bowres:        10
Yet there thou must not cast a trembling sparke—
Let Herod’s palace still continue darke.
Each schoole and synagogue thy force repels,
There pride, enthron’d in misty errours, dwels;
The temple where the priests maintaine their quire        15
Shall taste no beame of thy celestiall fire.
While this weake cottage all thy splendor takes,
A joyfull gate of euery chinke it makes.
Here shines no golden roofe, no Iury staire,
No king exalted in a stately chaire,        20
Girt with attendants, or by heralds styl’d;
But straw and hay inwrap a speechlesse childe.
Yet Sabæ’s lords before this babe vnfold
Their treasures, off’ring incense, myrrh, and gold.
The cribbe becomes an altar; therefore dies,        25
Nor oxe nor sheepe, for in their fodder lies
The Prince of Peace, who, thankfull for his bed,
Destroyes those rites in which their blood was shed:
The quintessence of earth, he takes and fees,
And precious gummes distill’d from weeping trees;        30
Rich metals and sweet odours now declare
The glorious blessings which his lawes prepare:
To clear vs from the base and lothsome flood
Of sense, and make vs fit for angels’ food;
Who lift to God for vs the holy smoke        35
Of feruent prayers, with which we him inuoke,
And trie our actions in that searching fire
By which the seraphims our lips inspire.
No muddy drosse pure min’ralls shall infect,
We shall exhale our vapours vp direct:        40
No stormes shall crosse, nor glittering lights deface,
Perpetual sighes, which seek a happy place.
Note 1. XXII. Sir John Beaumont.—He was born in 1582, and died in 1623. He was the elder brother of Francis Beaumont, the celebrated colleague of Fletcher. His known poetical remains are comprised in a small volume of miscellaneous poems, of which the longest is on the battle of Bosworth Field. His contemporaries speak of his having written the “Crown of Thorns,” a poem in eight books, but this is apparently lost to posterity. Winstanley, in his “Honour of Parnassus,” speaks of Sir John Beaumont, as one of “the great souls of numbers,” and his poems certainly possess great merit. The chief recommendation of them is, however, that they are all dedicated to the service of virtue and piety: no mean praise for a writer of the times in which he lived. [back]

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