FROM PHILIP MASSINGER'S The City Madam, 1632|
Luke. 'Twas no fantastic object, but a truth ;|
A real truth, no dream. I did not slumber ;
And could wake ever with a brooding eye
To gaze upon it ! it did endure the touch ;
I saw, and felt it. Yet what I beheld
And handled oft, did so transcend belief
(My wonder and astonishment pass'd o'er)
I faintly could give credit to my senses.
Thou dumb magician, that without a charm
Didst make my entrance easy, to possess
What wise men wish and toil for ! Hermes' moly ;
Sibylla's golden bough ; the great elixir,
Imagined only by the alchymist,
Compared with thee, are shadows ; thou the substance
And guardian of felicity. No marvel,
My brother made thy place of rest his bosom,
Thou being the keeper of his heart, a mistress
To be hugg'd ever. In by-corners of this
Sacred room, silver, in bags heap'd up,
Like billets saw'd and ready for the fire,
Unworthy to hold fellowship with bright gold,
That flow'd about the room, conceal'd itself.
There needs no artificial light ; the splendour
Makes a perpetual day there, night and darkness
By that still-burning lamp for ever banish'd.
But when, guided by that, my eyes had made
Discovery of the caskets, and they open'd,
Each sparkling diamond from itself shot forth
A pyramid of flames, and in the roof
Fix'd it a glorious star, and made the place
Heaven's abstract, or epitome : rubies, sapphires,
And ropes of orient pearl, these seen, I could not
But look on gold with contempt : and yet I found
What weak credulity could have no faith in,
A treasure far exceeding these. Here lay
A manor bound fast in a skin of parchment ;
The wax continuing hard, the acres melting :
Here a sure deed of gift for a market town,
If not redeem' d this day ; whish is not in
The unthrift's power ; there being scarce one shire
In Wales or England, where my moneys are not
Lent out at usury, the certain hook
To draw in more.
English Literature: An Illustrated Record. Vol II, part II.
Richard Garnett and Edmund Gosse, Eds.
New York: The MacMillan Company, 1904. 354.
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