by Robert Herrick

NOR art thou less esteem'd that I have plac'd
Amongst mine hour'd, thee almost the last :
In great processions many lead the way
To him who is the triumph of the day,
As these have done to thee who art the one,
One only glory of a million :
In whom the spirit of the gods does dwell,
Firing thy soul, by which thou dost foretell
When this or that vast dynasty must fall
Down to a fillet more imperial ;
When this or that horn shall be broke, and when
Others shall spring up in their place again ;
When times and seasons and all years must lie
Drowned in the sea of wild eternity ;
When the black books, as yet unseal'd,
Shall by the mighty angel be reveal'd ;
And when the trumpet which thou late hast found
Shall call to judgment.  Tell us when the sound
Of this or that great April day shall be,
And next the Gospel we will credit thee.
Meantime like earth-worms we will crawl below,
And wonder at those things that thou dost know.

    For an account of Alabaster see Notes :  the allusions
here are to his apocalyptic writings.
    Horn, used as a symbol of prosperity.
    The trumpet which thou late hast found, i.e., Alabas-
ter's  “ Spiraculum  Tubarum  seu  Fons  Spiritualium Ex-
positionum,” published 1633.
    April  day,  day  of  weeping,   or  perhaps  rather  of
“ opening ” or revelation.

[ Notes, p.282-283:

      765.   To  Doctor  Alabaster.  William  Alabaster,  or
  Alablaster, born at Hadleigh, Suffolk (1567);  educated
  at  Westminster   and  Trinity  College,  Cambridge ;  a
  friend of  Spenser ;  was converted to  Roman Catholi-
  cism while chaplain to the Earl of  Essex in Spain, 1596.
  In 1607  he began  his  series  of  apocalyptic  writings
  by  an   Apparatus in Revelationem Jesu Christi.   On
  visiting  Rome  he was imprisoned  by  the Inquisition,
  escaped,  and returned to Protestantism.   Besides  his
  theological  works,  he published  (in 1637)  a  Lexicon
  Pentaglotton.   Died April, 1640.  ]

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 70; 282-283.

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