In honour Of Du Bartas, 1641

By Anne Bradstreet

    Among the happy wits this age hath shown
    Great, dear, sweet Bartas thou art matchless known;
    My ravished Eyes and heart with faltering tongue,
    In humble wise have vow’d their service long,
    But knowing th’ task so great, & strength but small,
    Gave o’re the work before begun withal,
    My dazled sight of late review’d thy lines,
    Where Art, and more than Art, in nature shines,
    Reflection from their beaming Altitude,
    Did thaw my frozen hearts ingratitude;
    Which Rayes darting upon some richer ground
    Had caused flours and fruits soon to abound;
    But barren I, my Dasey here do bring,
    A homely flour in this my latter Spring,
    If Summer, or my Autumm age do yield,
    Flours, fruits in Garden, Orchard, or in Field,
    They shall be consecrated in my Verse,
    And prostrate offered at great Bartas Herse;
    My muse unto a child I may compare
    Who sees the riches of some famous Fair,
    He feeds his Eyes, but understanding lacks
    To comprehend the worth of all those knacks:
    The glittering plate and Jewels he admires,
    The Hats and Fans, the Plumes and Ladies tires,
    And thousand times his mazed mind doth wish
    Some part (at least) of that brave wealth was his,
    But seeing empty wishes nought obtain,
    At night turns to his Mothers cot again,
    And tells her tales, (his full heart over-glad)
    Of all the glorious sights his Eyes have had;
    But finds too soon his want of Eloquence,
    The silly prattler speaks no word of sense;
    But seeing utterance fail his great desires,
    Sits down in silence, deeply he admires:
    Thus weak brain’d I, reading thy lofty stile,
    Thy profound learning, viewing other while;
    Thy Art in natural Philosophy,
    Thy Saint like mind in grave Divinity;
    Thy piercing skill in high Astronomy,
    And curious insight in Anatomy;
    Thy Physick, musick and state policy,
    Valour in warr, in peace good husbandry,
    Sure lib’ral Nature did with Art not small,
    In all the arts make thee most liberal,
    A thousand thousand times my senseless sences
    Moveless stand charm’d by thy sweet influences;
    More senseless then the stones to Amphious Lute,
    Mine eyes are sightless, and my tongue is mute,
    My full astonish’d heart doth pant to break,
    Through grief it wants a faculty to speak;
    Volleyes of praises could I eccho then,
    Had I an Angels voice, or Bartas pen;
    But wishes can’t accomplish my desire,
    Pardon if I adore, when I admire.
    O France thou did’st in him more glory gain
    Then in thy Martel, Pipin, Charlemain,
    Then in St. Lewes, or thy last Henry Great,
    Who tam’d his foes in warrs, in bloud and sweat,
    Thy fame is spread as far, I dare be bold,
    In all the Zones, the temp’rate, hot and cold,
    Their Trophies were but heaps of wounded slain,
    Thine, the quintessence of an heroick brain.
    The oaken Garland ought to deck their brows,
    Immortal Bayes to thee all men allows,
    Who in thy tryumphs never won by wrongs,
    Lead’st millions chained by eyes, by ears, by tongues
    Oft have I wondred at the hand of heaven,
    In giving one what would have served seven.
    If e’re this golden gift was showr’d on any,
    Thy double portion would have served many.
    Unto each man his riches is assign’d
    Of Name, of State, of Body and of Mind:
    Thou hadst thy part of all, but of the last,
    O pregnant brain, O comprehension vast;
    Thy haughty Stile and rapted wit sublime
    All ages wondring at, shall never climb,
    Thy sacred works are not for imitation,
    But Monuments to future Admiration,
    Thus Bartas fame shall last while starrs do stand,
    And whilst there’s Air or Fire, or Sea or Land.
    But least mine ignorance shall do thee wrong,
    To celebrate thy merits in my Song.
    I’le leave thy praise to those shall do thee right,
    Good will, not skill, did cause me bring my Mite.

His Epitaph.

    Here lyes the Pearle of France, Parnassus glory;
    The World rejoyc’d at’s birth, at’s death was sorry,
    Art and Nature joyn’d, by heavens high decree
    Now shew’d what once they ought, Humanity:
    And Natures Law, had it been revocable
    To rescue him from death, Art had been able,
    But Nature vanquish’d Art, so Bartas dy’d;
    But Fame out-living both, he is reviv’d.

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