Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

From "Primitive Holiness, Set Forth In The Life Of Blessed Paulinus"
by [?]


1654.

1. [AUSONIUS. EPIST. XXIV. 115-16.]

Let me not weep to see thy ravish’d house
All sad and silent, without lord or spouse,
And all those vast dominions once thine own
Torn ‘twixt a hundred slaves to me unknown.

2. [AUSONIUS. EPIST. XXIII. 30-1; XXV. 5-9, 14, 17.]

How could that paper sent,
That luckless paper, merit thy contempt?
Ev’n foe to foe–though furiously–replies,
And the defied his enemy defies.
Amidst the swords and wounds, there’s a salute,
Rocks answer man, and though hard are not mute.
Nature made nothing dumb, nothing unkind:
The trees and leaves speak trembling to the wind.
If thou dost fear discoveries, and the blot
Of my love, Tanaquil shall know it not.

3. [PAULINUS. CARM. XI. 1-5; X. 189-92.]

Obdurate still and tongue-tied, you accuse
–Though yours is ever vocal–my dull muse;
You blame my lazy, lurking life, and add
I scorn your love, a calumny most sad;
Then tell me, that I fear my wife, and dart
Harsh, cutting words against my dearest heart.
Leave, learned father, leave this bitter course,
My studies are not turn’d unto the worse;
I am not mad, nor idle, nor deny
Your great deserts, and my debt, nor have I
A wife like Tanaquil, as wildly you
Object, but a Lucretia, chaste and true.

4. [PAULINUS. CARM. XXXI. 581-2, 585-90, 601-2, 607-12.]

This pledge of your joint love, to heaven now fled,
With honey-combs and milk of life is fed.
Or with the Bethlem babes–whom Herod’s rage
Kill’d in their tender, happy, holy age–
Doth walk the groves of Paradise, and make
Garlands, which those young martyrs from him take.
With these his eyes on the mild Lamb are fix’d,
A virgin-child with virgin-infants mix’d.
Such is my Celsus too, who soon as given,
Was taken back–on the eighth day–to heaven
To whom at Alcala I sadly gave
Amongst the martyrs’ tombs a little grave.
He now with yours–gone both the blessed way–
Amongst the trees of life doth smile and play;
And this one drop of our mix’d blood may be
A light for my Therasia, and for me.

5. [AUSONIUS. EPIST. XXV. 50, 56-7, 60-2.]

Sweet Paulinus, and is thy nature turn’d?
Have I so long in vain thy absence mourn’d?
Wilt thou, my glory, and great Rome’s delight,
The Senate’s prop, their oracle, and light,
In Bilbilis and Calagurris dwell,
Changing thy ivory-chair for a dark cell?
Wilt bury there thy purple, and contemn
All the great honours of thy noble stem?

6. [PAULINUS. CARM. X. 110-331.]

Shall I believe you can make me return,
Who pour your fruitless prayers when you mourn,
Not to your Maker? Who can hear you cry,
But to the fabled nymphs of Castaly?
You never shall by such false gods bring me
Either to Rome, or to your company.
As for those former things you once did know,
And which you still call mine, I freely now
Confess, I am not he, whom you knew then;
I have died since, and have been born again.
Nor dare I think my sage instructor can
Believe it error, for redeemed man
To serve his great Redeemer. I grieve not
But glory so to err. Let the wise knot
Of worldlings call me fool; I slight their noise,
And hear my God approving of my choice.
Man is but glass, a building of no trust,
A moving shade, and, without Christ, mere dust.
His choice in life concerns the chooser much:
For when he dies, his good or ill–just such
As here it was–goes with him hence, and stays
Still by him, his strict judge in the last days.
These serious thoughts take up my soul, and I,
While yet ’tis daylight, fix my busy eye
Upon His sacred rules, life’s precious sum
Who in the twilight of the world shall come
To judge the lofty looks, and show mankind
The diff’rence ‘twixt the ill and well inclin’d.
This second coming of the world’s great King
Makes my heart tremble, and doth timely bring
A saving care into my watchful soul,
Lest in that day all vitiated and foul
I should be found–that day, Time’s utmost line,
When all shall perish but what is divine;
When the great trumpet’s mighty blast shall shake
The earth’s foundations, till the hard rocks quake
And melt like piles of snow; when lightnings move
Like hail, and the white thrones are set above:
That day, when sent in glory by the Father,
The Prince of Life His blest elect shall gather;
Millions of angels round about Him flying,
While all the kindreds of the Earth are crying;
And He enthron’d upon the clouds shall give
His last just sentence, who must die, who live.
This is the fear, this is the saving care
That makes me leave false honours, and that share
Which fell to me of this frail world, lest by
A frequent use of present pleasures I
Should quite forget the future, and let in
Foul atheism, or some presumptuous sin.
Now by their loss I have secur’d my life,
And bought my peace ev’n with the cause of strife.
I live to Him Who gave me life and breath,
And without fear expect the hour of death.
If you like this, bid joy to my rich state,
If not, leave me to Christ at any rate.