University of Virginia Library


[I walk'd and did a little Mole-hill view]

I walk'd and did a little Mole-hill view,
Full peopled with a most industrious crew
Of busie Ants, where each one labour'd more,
Then if he were to bring home Indian Ore;
Here wrought the Pioneers, there march'd the Bands,
Here Colonies went forth to plant new Lands:
These hasted out, and those supplies brought in,
As if they had some sudden Siege foreseen:
Until there came an angry Spade, and cast
Countrey and People to a Pit at last.
Again, I view'd a Kingdom in a Hive,
Where every one did work, and so all thrive;
Some go, some come, some war, some watch & ward,
Some make the works, & some the works do guard.
These frame their curious Waxen-cells, and those
Do into them their Nectar drops dispose:
Until the greedy Gardner brought his smoke,
And, for the work, did all the workmen choke.
Lo here, frail Mortals may fit Emblems see
Of their great toil, and greater vanity.
They weary out their brain, their strength, their time,
While some to Arts, and some to Honours climb:
They search Earth's bowels, cross the roaring Seas,
Mortgage their Souls, and forfeit all their Ease,
Grudge Night her sleep, and lengthen out the day,
To fat these Bigs, & cram those Chests with clay,


They rack and charm each Creature to explore
Some latent Quintessence, not known before:
Torture and squeez out all its juice and bloud,
To try if they can now find out that GOOD
Which Solomon despair'd of, but at last
On the same shore of Vanity are cast;
The Spade stops their career of Pride and Lust,
And calls them from their Clay unto their Dust,
Leave off your Circles, Archimede, away,
The King of Terror calls, and will not stay:
Miser, kiss all your Bags, and then lie down;
Scholar, your Books; Monarch, yield up your Crown;
Give way Wealth, Honour, Arts, Thrones; back make room,
That these pale Souls may come unto their doom
Nor shew vain men the fruit of all that pain,
Which in the end nothing but Loss did gain:
Compute your Lives, and all your Hours up cast,
Lo here's the total sum of All at last.
I rose up early, sat up late, to know
As much as Men, as Tongues, as Books could shew
I toil'd to search all Science and all Art,
But died ignorant of mine own Heart.
I got great Honour, and my Fame did stream
As far as doth the Mornings shining Beam;
My Name into a page of Titles swell'd,
My head a Crown, my hand a Scepter hold:
Ador'd without, but shameful lusts within;
Adorn'd with Titles, but defil'd with sin.
With anxious thoughts, with saddest cares [illeg.]
I gain'd these Lordships and this Soul I list:


My greedy Heir now hovers o'r my pelf,
I purchas'd Land for him, Hell for my self,
Go on you nobler Brains, and fill your sight
As full of Learning as the Sun's of light;
Expand your Souls to Truth as wide as Day,
Know all that Men, know all that Angels say:
Write shops of Volumes, and let every Book
Be fill'd with lustre as was Moses look,
Yet know, all this is but a better kind
Of sublime vanity, and more refin'd:
Except a saving knowledge crown the rest,
Devils know more, and yet shall ne'r be blest.
Go on, ambitious Worms, yet, yet aspire,
Lay a sure Scene how you may yet rise higher:
March forward, Macedonian Horn, add on
Gaza to Tyre, Indies to Babylon;
Make stirrups of the peoples backs and bones,
Climb up by them to Diadems and Thrones:
Thy Crowns are all but Grass; thine was the toil,
Thy Captains come and they divide the spoil.
Except one heav'nly Crown crown all the rest,
Devils are Potentates, and yet not blest.
Go on, base dunghil-souls, heap gold as mire,
Sweep silver as the dust, emulate Tyre,
Fill every Ware house, purchase every Field,
Add house to house, Pelion on Ossa build;
Get Mida's vote to transubstantiate
Whate'r you please all into golden plate;
Build wider Barns, sing requiem to your heart,
Feel your wealths pleasures only, not their smart:


Except his Riches who for us was poor,
Do sweeten those which Mortals so adore;
Except sublimer wealth crown all the rest,
Devils have nobler Treasures, yet not blest.
Cease then from vain delights, & set your mind
That solid and enduring GOOD to find,
Which sweetens life and death, which will encrease
On an immortal Soul immortal peace;
Which will replenish and advance you higher
Then ere your own Ambition could aspire.
Fear your great Maker with a child-like aw,
Believe his Grace, love and obey his Law.
This is the total work of man, and this
Will crown you here with Peace, and there with Bliss
Be kind unto your selves, believe and try:
If not, go on, fill up your lusts and die.
Sing peace unto your selves; 'twill once be known
Whose word shall stand, your Judg's, or your own
Crown thee with Rose-buds, satiate thine eyes,
Glut every serse with her own vanities:
Melt into pleasures, until that which Lust
Did not before consume, rot into dust:
The Thrones are set, the Books wil strait be read
Hell will her Souls, & graves give up their dead
Then there will be (and the time is not far)
Fire on the Bench, and Stubble at the Bar.
O sinners ruminate these thoughts agen,
You have been Beast enough, at last be Men.
Christ yet intreats, but if you will not turn,
Where Grace will not convert, there Fire wil burn