The Gluttons Feaver

Written by Thomas Bancroft.
Printed by John Norton, for Wil-
liam Cooke, and are to be sold at his
shop, at Furnivals-Inne gate, in
Holborne. 1633.


1. THE

IT was in heate of summer height of noone,
When at the Sunne the Dog-starre seeme to bay,
(Like Wolves of Syria at the shining Moone,)
And with hot breath t'enflame the planets ray;
That, flatter'd forth to pleasures of the day,
Where once usurping Richard could not stand
I chanc'd to walke, in center of this Land.
The place did please, so farre was Ambeame hill,
That seem'd to swell, as proud of royall blood,
Which on his border sharpest swords did spill,
Where lives, ar cheape as leaves, were in the Wood.
When downe the Valley ranne a sanguine Flood,
As frighted with the horrour of the fight,
And Earth did blush at such a savage sight.
Here pitcht my phansie on the Tyrants fate,
That, for the poison'd dainties of a King,
Like a rowl'd serpent flew upon the State,
As direly bent to ruine all to bring;
But here, disarmed of ambitions sting,
Shot out his soule. Who thus to reach a Crowne
Through blood doth swim, in blood doth justly drowne.
Richard, thought I, thy purchase was too deare,
With thy soules quiet for a Crowne to part,
That lasht with scourges of a conscious feare,
Whose every stroke sent horrour to thy heart,
Didst at the glance of every shadow start,
As thinking still the hasty fiends did strive
To deepest Hell to hurry thee alive.
But if these lightnings of infernall fire
Thus blast the soule, and strike all comforts dead:
Great Thunderer, how heavy lights thine ire,
That, when all proppes are shrunke, all hopes are fled
All painted cloudes of pleasure vanished,
Falls on the wretched soule, and sinkes it low
With stormes of horrour, to eternall woe!
With these impressions in my cloudy thought,
I travel'd on in birth of sad conceits,
As every object on my phansie wrought,
Till neare dissolved in the melting heats
Whose strong reflex on every creature beats,
I made mine eyes my harbengers, to take
Some shady roome up, till the day did slake.
A neighbouring wood a noble Sylvane owes,
(Fresh in remembrance of this fatall field,)
Which to adorne victorious Henries browes,
That Princely armes so royally did wield,
(For Palme, and Lawrell,) did tall poplar yeild,
Whose trembling leaves still cause of terror find
As still there were some danger in the wind.
'Twas then the shelter to a panting heard
Of falser hearts; whose faces to the rere
Had lost their Colours when the foe appear'd,
But here reliev'd with many a native speare
Put courage on, and 'mongst the thickest were.
In safety here the dainty Pheasant flies,
And timorous Hare may sleeping close her eyes,
Hither my waight of weary limbes inclin'd,
Where a quaint arbour, by some lover made
Of sharpe-set Holly with faint Ivie twin'd,
The embleme of his love with love repaid,
Sraight entertain'd me with a pleasing shade;
While the mov'd leaves seeme in the sunny ray,
Like guilded Laurell, ore my head to play.
In such a Pallace might free pleasure raigne,
Which the plumd courtiers of the ayre did haunt,
That proud of sunne-shine, in a lofty straine
Did their owne praises to their echoes chaunt,
Of highest worth did to their shadowes vaunt;
And those that seeme their symphony to hate
Are Owles and Buzzards, birds of wretched fate.
Here, like a Corse, bestucke with Cypresse boughes,
I hid my sorrowes, while dull dreaming sleepe,
In a darke vapour stealing on my browes,
Did softly thence to every member creepe,
In juyce of Mandrake did my senses steepe,
That, like dejected cowards, now had left
Their Fort besieg'd, of succour quite bereft.
Deepe was my sleepe, and deepe, me thought, I went
Into the bowels of a darke abysse,
That woe and horrour did as much present,
As highest Heaven doth happinesse and blisse
To glorious saints, that worldly snares did misse.
It was the cave, where blacke Destruction lies,
Not fear'd, because not seene with mortall eyes.
Here shall they languish in eternall night,
Whom prisoners he takes, who nere tooke rest,
Nor flying Comfort, nor estrang'd Delight;
But balefull Sorrow with his wounded brest,
Harsh Horrour, Rage, and Famine most distrest,
Pale wither'd Sicknesse, Paine, and wrinkled Care,
With thousand Woes, his sad attendants are.
Here Gluttony, enrag'd for want of food,
Eates Envies vipers, while the monster tires
On her owne heart; here in a freshing flood
Lust doth his penance for his hot desires;
His owne life-blood here vengefull Wrath requires,
Here Murther burnes on piles of dead mens bones,
And under mounts of Gold oppression grones.
Here lies Ambition, that no bound did know,
Rowl'd in the dust, still sinking in disgrace;
Here rugged treason, full of wounds, doth flow,
In his blood; here Sloth, to finde his pace,
Is sharply scourg'd, and in this dreadfull place
I, like a plummet to the center flung,
Did seeme a while in ayrie ballance hung.
But what I heard, what mortall tongue can tell,
Or eare containe, and not in sunder rive?
It was the moane the Glutton made in Hell,
That, from his owne, unto Heaven gates did drive
Poore Lazarus, the wretchedst soule alive;
But now of friends, wealth, pleasures all forsooke,
With hideous cries this empty Kingdome shooke.
Now, memory, be faithfull to my muse;
Tell how he begg'd, that erst so swel'd in pride,
And what high language Abraham did use,
T'upraid his life, that misery defi'd,
Tell to his speeches what the wretch repli'd,
Who, like an Oxe of fatall garlands proud,
Thus in his fall began to roare aloud.
Infernall sergeants, whether will yee hale
A wretched creature? to what depth of woe
Must I descend in this Cimmerian vale?
Into this yawning furnace must I goe,
Whose roaring entrailes pitchy horrours throw,
To whose fierce flames a thousand Aetna's are
As smallest sparkes, extinguisht with compare?
How far, how far from all supernall Light
Am I thrust downe by rude imperious hands?
How deepe ingulfed in this cave of night?
How wrackt, and swallow'd, as in Seas, and Sands?
How fast chain'd up in everlasting bands,
Here to abide th' Almighties fiercest ire,
Whose frowne a flash, whose wrath's eternall fire?
Faire Prince of light, that with thy roabe of Gold
Doth decke the world, that in cold darknesse lay,
Let me (O) still thy joyfull beames behold,
To these sad shades remoove thy court of day,
Vouchsafe the splendour of one smiling ray;
At least once more unto my comfort shine,
And all the beauties of the Heavens be thine.
What hideous storme of all confused woes
My sense with paine, my soule with horrour smites?
What dreadfull ambush of unnumbred foes
Hath me begirt, whose ruthlesse rage delights
To force these yells, whose gastly forme affrights
'Bove all the whippes of vengeance, or the darts
Of grimmest death, oppos'd to guilty hearts?
Hath Nilus left no issue on his strand,
But all his monsters in this dungeon pent?
Are there no Serpents on the Libian sand,
But hither all transported to torment
With scorching stings, and poisons deadly sent?
Which how it doth, (all comfort quite to kill,)
With banefull steames this odious prison fill?
The sulp'hrous fumes, that from the flaming skies
Blast the poore infant in the burdned wombe,
Th'abhorred caves, where Plague, and Famine lies,
Where never beame, nor breath of Heaven hath come,
When the long buried vapours breake their tombe,
Vent not so sicke a dampe, so foule a breath,
As here enwrappes me in a Cloud of death,
Ah dolefull eccho of this dreadfull cave!
At once to heare the wailing Dragons moane,
The hungry Lion roare, the franticke rave,
The weeping Hart bray, and the Mandrake grone,
The cries of captives in confused tone,
Would with lesse horrour grate my tender sense,
Than these harsh woes, that crie all comfort hence.
Such is the musicke made of dying mones
In this rude chantry, that no meane doth know,
But treble shriekes the base of deepest grones,
With heavy texour of lamenting woe,
Taught by tormentours, that no pittie show.
Strange consort, which no harmony commends,
And yet keepes time, that never never ends!
That impious faction, Corahs rebell crew,
Whom greedy vengeance snatcht alive to Hell,
When the cleft Earth did grimmest horrour shew
And all on heaps to deepe-mouth'd ruine fell,
Sent not so sharpe a shrieke, so loud a yell,
As here from thousand throates with piercing sound
Strikes every eare, and leaves a gastly wound.
Where fiends and Furies all at once unchain'd,
With pois'ned scourges to afflict me here,
Where every part with sense of torture pain'd,
And every sense his part of woe doth beare,
Nor ever glimpse of comfort doth appeare?
Hath onely here dire Mischiefe chose to dwell,
And heaviest Sorrow sunke his cave to Hell?
For Tyrian purple, and Achaian bysse,
Here doe I lye close wrapt in sheets of fire;
For sumptuous fare (my more than Heavenly blisse,)
Here thirst, and hunger on mine entrailes tire;
For mirth, here mischiefes to my paine conspire;
For a bright pallace, heres blacke Ruines stage,
Where actors howle and hissing serpents rage.
What tyrant joyn'd these adamantine bands?
What Fury in my bowells built her Hell?
Is all my flesh a fire? My bones the brands?
My sinewes all divul'st with passion fell?
Doe all my veines with liquid sulphur swell?
Cracke all mine arteries with tortures tride,
Yet must more stormes, more wrackfull woes abide?
Great Heaven, that dost that Starry brow advance,
Thou, that the measures of quicke-turning time
About the world eternally dost dance,
Cannot so high these restlesse dolours climbe?
Cannot these cries, that drowne th'harmonious chime
Of all thy spheares, some tender pittie move?
Is there no beame of mercy shines above?
Why dost thou mocke with ever-blazing fires
These ceaslesse torments, to enrage my woe?
O could my fury arm'd with strong desires
Strike out those lights, that never comfort shew,
And on that proud roofe rusty darkenesse throw:
Into how blind, and rude a Chaos should
Those wheeles of time, thy giddy orbes be rowl'd?
What tempest fights thus sharply in my paines,
That, in the ardours of this quenchlesse fire,
Shivers a hundred winters through my vaines,
Nor suffers once my torments to respire?
Fond wretched soule to chase a wild desire
To this sad fall, and for fraile earthly toyes
Loose an eternall Jubile of joyes?
Abhorred Sinne, that on the world didst plucke
Vast ruine downe, too heavy to be borne!
Thou, that a scarre on natures brow hast stucke,
With thornes and thistles hast her beauties torne,
And stript her of her roabes divinely worne!
Thou, deadly plague, the poison'd spring of all
Mans fatall woes, maist triumph in my fall.
Damn'd hagge, that all in mischiefe hast out gone,
Whose very breath infects all vitall aire!
Seven-headed monster, that to senslesse stone
Dost turne the heart, and sinke it in despaire,
To th'ugliest shape transform'st the creature faire!
How have I troden all thy flowery, sweet,
But cursed paths, that in this dungeon meet!
O Pride, high traitour, eldest child of hell,
Apparant heire of misery, and shame!
Thou bane of blisse, that mad'st bright Angells swell
Till they burst Heaven, and downe in legions came!
Bold mischiefe at the highest throne to aime!
How have I follow'd all thy steepe desires,
And flashing riots, to these flaming fires!
And thou, foule Gluttony, deepe gulfe of sinne,
Full Sea of mischiefes, that with swelling tide
Dost bring lust, sloth, with traine of sorrowes in,
And rankely spring'st each vitious weed beside;
How (like a stalled beast) by thee, and pride
Have I beene fed, and drest for greedy hell,
That I thus deepe into his bowells fell!
O eyes, why were yea blind to heavenly light?
O eares, why deafe unto the prophets sound:
O hands, why were yea lame to render right?
O knees, why stiffe, and strange to hallowed ground?
O feet, why slow to have safe vertue found?
Curst be yea all, vile traitors, most unkind,
That with his foes against your Lord combin'd.
Curst be this tongue, base organ of deceipt;
Curst be this braine, that did high pride admire;
Curst be this heart, that burn'd in lustfull heat;
Curst be this spirit, that still blew the fire;
Curst be this flesh, the forge of lewd desire;
Curst be all senses, parts; and powers of mine,
That did all wayes of blessed life decline.
How have I ravell'd out the knotty thread
Of mortall life, that in our prime of yeeres
Hides wormes and dust within a flowery bed?
'Twixt Earth and Earth 'tis but a straite of teares,
A helplesse palsie of weake faithlesse feares,
A storme of sighes, a bubble fill'd with breath,
That swells, and shines, but vanishes in death.
Did I enjoy, (or were they all but dreames?)
All sweets of pleasure, heights of all delight,
That with swift motion, as the sunnie beames,
Tooke wing, and with irrevocable flight
Left me to horrours of this endlesse night,
(Like a shot starre,) from prides high turrets throwne
To Stygian deepes, where comfort never shone?
Where's now that wealth would counter-poize my woes?
Ill-honour'd Mammon, that with daring hand
Dost cast at Kingdomes, and of Crownes dispose,
Yet art a God of such a short command!
And you, faint friends, that by our fortunes stand,
How soone you loose us in a maze of griefe,
Nor ever will be found to yeild reliefe!
Prodigious world! the rende'vouz of Hell!
Vast Sea of danger! Nursery of woes!
Great shoppe of vanities, where all will sell!
Blacke stage of mischiefes! Field of mortall foes!
Rude garden-plot of vice, where rankely growes
In every bed, lust; in each border, pride,
'Mongst choicest plants some banefull weeds beside!
Old faithlesse baud! Enchantresse! More untrue
Then treasons heart! More various then the Moone!
More counterfeit then the Camelians hiew!
How hast thou clipt my golden hopes so soone,
Blasted and darkned all my joyes at noone!
How hast thou borrow'd all my time and strength,
And paid me home with miseries at length!
There's not a path in all thy spacious round,
But is with snares and traps, and serpents stor'd;
No piece of all thy painted beauties sound,
But for some blemish or disease abhor'd;
No limbe but lame, and for some wound deplor'd:
Now have I follow'd all my guilefull traines,
And pleasing dangers, to these lasting paines!
Shall I nere more thy joyfull face behold,
Thy face, O Heaven, where lasting beauties shine?
Nor (that which fairer seem'd,) my glittering Gold?
Did I at once my treasures all designe?
Where are my Robes? my junkets? and my Wine?
My swarmes of friends? like busy Gnats, each one
Fill'd, and flowne off, all in an instant gone.
Where is that coast, where safety doth reside?
Those bounteous Fields with Olive blest, and Vine?
Those swelling Hils, the lofty walkes of pride?
Rich Vales? faire Brooks, whose straying course, like mine,
So pleasant seem'd, and downeward did decline?
In one dead sea are all my pleasures drown'd,
All comforts wrackt, and never to be found?
For now false pleasures, that no sooner wed
But were diuorc'd, no sooner gain'd but gone,
Hath my damnd'd soule, in errours night mis-led,
Lost the true treasures to the world unknowne,
The rich possession of a heavenly throne,
With the blest vision of that forme divine,
Where thousand sunnes of light and glory shine!
Were Fates so kind, as to the coasts of light
To send me backe, and thread my life againe:
O Heaven, how for thy Kingdome would I fight!
How strive, and climbe the blessed Palme to gaine,
In that high Court of happinesse to raigne!
How should mine ages second course abound
With fruits of grace, to be with glory crown'd!
My meat should be the dainties of the Word,
Strongly concocted with the heate of zeale;
My Wine, such as the Bride-groome doth afford,
My mirth, sweete heavenly mercies to reveale,
And my whole age but one continued meale.
So would I proove a Glutton then, and spend
My lifes revenue to that gratefull end.
My garment should be Innocence, as white
As Chastity could blanch it, spangled round
With Gold of pure example shining bright,
Embroidred with rich vertues on the ground,
With constancies rare border fairely bound.
So would I then be proud, and loath to hide
From the worlds eyes such ornaments of pride.
My house should be the Hospitall of poore
My Barne their granary, my Gold their rent;
Still should the Altars smoake, and on the floore
Of the blest Temple should my knees be bent,
Mine eyes should flow, my beaten brest relent;
On Heavens pure beauties would I fixe my heart,
Nor should the stroke of thunder make it start.
Thus to her load-starre should my soule incline,
My breathed flesh still panting up the hill;
My studies should be height of things divine,
My teacher, truth; till happiest in my skill
I did my heart with sacred wisedome fill,
And knew the mysteries of Heaven as well.
As now (alasse!) the misteries of Hell.
Dire Conscience! what thunder broke thy rest.
And did not dash thy prisoner to ayre!
How dost thou now lye worming in my brest,
That raging Hell doth not more grimly stare
Then thy wild lookes of horrour, and despaire!
How hast thou hung each action upon times
Neglected file, and registred my crimes!
Why dost thou twit me with voluptuous pride,
How ill I spent the treasure of my time,
My thoughts mis-centerd, all mine actions wry'd
In falsest aimes; yet in my pleasures prime,
Whose headlong course did steepest dangers climbe,
Wouldst never prompt me how this fall to shunne,
Whilst I to Hell in full careere did runne?
As a high Rocke, hung on the craggy side
Of some steepe Mountaine, swelling with disdaine
Of the low Region prostrate to his pride,
Shooke with an Earth-quake, tumbling downe amaine
With thundring terrour on the trembling plaine,
That the tost aire from every cave rebounds,
And deafes the Vales with loud confused sounds:
So, hurried on, to ruine did I haste,
Whilst yawning fiends my funerals did yell,
That on my treasures mount had pitcht so fast,
As nought should shake me, ere I headlong fell;
So firmely, as a Rocke, I seem'd to dwell,
And rockt a sleepe in downy pleasure lay,
'Till mischiefe rouz'd, and seaz'd her cursed pray.
Injurious Time, that unto light doth bring
The worst of things, yet me to darknesse sent!
Cannot I plucke one feather from thy wing,
Recall one houre of thousands vainely spent,
Wherein I might my wretched age lament?
'Twere worth a Kingdome, wert thou now my friend,
A dearer favour Time could never lend.
Then would I purge the venome of my heart,
And beate my brest, that did the viper keepe;
With sharpe compunction every sense should smart,
My clouded braine with sad defluxion weepe,
And all my sinnes lie drown'd in sorrowes deepe:
So some few minutes might my losse repay,
And crowne a blacke night with a joyfull day.
What heavy darknesse, highest Lord of Light,
Doth thus oppresse me in this dreadfull place?
Ah! might I once enjoy thy blisfull sight!
T' admire new worlds of wonder in thy face!
How were I happy in so high a grace!
Once to behold, (though then for ever blind,)
In one blest knot, all beauties sweete combin'd!
High-honour'd Victours, joyn'd in glorious Quivers
To sing his praises, that your conquest crown'd,
Where hoasts of Angels, like bright mounting fires,
Tread the dimn'd Stars in measure to the sound;
Whilst wretched I sighes, plaints, and cries confound,
T' have lost at once both Crowne and State divine,
For pleasures base, for sinnes deceitfull shine!
If I have mourn'd to see that Prince of day,
When the pale love-sicke Lady of the maine
In a kind treason clipt his golden ray,
But straight restor'd it to the world againe,
How should mine eyes these bitter floods refraine,
But weepe his absence, at whose glory bright
A thousand sunny Lampes their beauties light?
Have I not seene a daring vapour rise
High into ayre, ambitious to ascend,
But straight imprison'd in the cloudy skies,
How it spittes lightning, roares, and seemes to rend
Those glittering curtaines, as at once to spend.
The angry engines of hot Heaven, to fright,
And start old Chaos from the deepes of night?
How then must I for ever damned thrall,
Barr'd from my blisse, and center of my rest,
The soveraigne prize, and source of pleasures all;
That onely feast's the spirit, fill's the brest,
In endlesse honours doth the soule invest;
How must I here in woes, that know no bound,
Then the whole world a dearer soule confound!
Those slumbering yeeres, I did in pleasure spend,
Why did they wake in death, in woe expire?
Or, sith so soone they started to their end,
Stopping the torrent of my wild desire,
Why should my torments in this ruthlesse fire
Survive all ages, and my griefes amount
To higher summes, then ever time shall count?
Oft have I knowne an exhalation trie
The centers strength, and trembled to behold
How it shooke Mountaines, and dranke Rivers dry.
Still thirsty of revenge, as if it would
(For false imprisonment) the Earth have rowl'd
From her deepe seat, the massie base up-blowne.
And the huge frame to vaste confusion throwne.
And doe I here, empal'd in floods of fire,
That trembles to behold the farthest light,
Struggle with dying panges, and nere expire;
Yet arm'd with rage, my miseries to right,
Confound not Heaven, and Earth in fell despight;
That I might see, though in the ruin'd skie,
Some sparkes of joy, before all comfort die?
up Snaky vengeance, in a fiery storme
Bring on thy Furies, all the cursed band;
I shall out-face thee in thy ugliest forme;
Shake all thy whippes, and kindle every brand,
Thou shalt not fright, nor force me from my stand:
Let me, that here all hoasts of Heaven defie,
Thy Stygian troopes, all plagues infernall trie.
Come griesly torturers of ruthlesse Hell,
My coale-blacke scorpions, (if no blacker art
Hath charm'd your rage, that chain'd in darknesse dwell,)
Fixe all your stinges in center of my heart,
With poinant anguish strike through every part;
And where more strong some vitall force remaines,
Set to your tortures, sharpen all my paines.
O for some pyramid, to proudest fame
Rear'd high as Babell, on whose mounting spire,
(Sith I must perish in a cursed flame,)
Like some dire meteor streaming blood and ire,
I might stand centred in this hellish fire,
That with hot fury might his axell burne
From the maine globe and all to cinders turne.
'T were worth my ruine 'mongst the starres to fall,
Like Lucifer shot headlong for his pride;
To see the bolts of vengeance grind the ball
Of the curst Earth, benighted nature slide
To her first dungeon, and all creatures hide
Their formes in darkenesse; 't were a sport to make
Confusion shout, and hell with laughter shake.
But whither runnes my madnesse? how I rave?
Must woe and mischiefe ever be my theame?
Still must I call for death, yet keepe the grave?
Through rage and anguish must I still blaspheame,
And fry, and freeze, with heat, and cold extreame?
Still must I howle at heaven, and bite my chaine,
And gnash my teeth through horrour of my paine?
Were I more yeeres then time hath minutes spent,
Or this burst frame would into atomes fly,
In all the plagues, deepe hell could ere invent,
Adjudg'd to languish, and unpitied lie;
Yet lastly live, or, lost in darkenesse, die:
Still were my hope a Halcyon, to appease
These angry stormes, and calme these boiling Seas.
Were the hot engines, all that ever flew
With red-wing'd lightning, to my torture cast;
unto more flames, then ever Aetna threw,
Were I condemn'd and yet releas'd at last,
When thousand myriads of slow yeeres were past:
'T were yet a solace, that, in darkesome night
Of heaviest woes, would shew my sorrowes light.
But (Oh the griefe!) this ever-raging fire,
Which the incensed breath of heaven doth feed,
Th'immortall death, that on my heart doth tire,
This cursed heart, that evermore must bleed,
How farre it doth the direst thought exceed!
How quite confound me in a state of woe,
That onely hell is deepe enough to know!
But stay, what wonders doe mine eyes behold?
What strange impressions in so high a spheare?
Two sunnes at once embeam'd with flaming Gold?
Rather two Saints, that in that State appeare?
What thrones they hold? what Palmes in triumph beare?
What Diademes they weare? what Roabes, that shine
(Not like my purple, but) like rayes Divine?
'Tis Abraham, for Faith so farre renown'd,
With that Saint-begger, was so low debas'd
With wants and sores, but now with glory Crown'd.
Blest Lazarus! how highly is he grac'd!
With how deare armes of amity embrac'd!
His lifes poore stocke he might with comfort spend,
That was assur'd of such a bosome-friend.
I will assay what mercy raignes above
That with some truce affliction may befriend.
Deare Patriarch, if paine may pittie move,
If sorest throwes, that ever heart did rend,
If heaviest sorrowes may so high ascend,
To a sad captive curst to blackest woe
With favour shine, and some sweet comfort show.
Thou that, enthron'd upon the golden Poles,
Dost drinke rich Nectar from th' immortall spring
To thy joy'd children there triumphant soules,
(So may fresh armies serve thy Heavenly King,
And unto thee glad newes of conquest bring,)
Doe not in honours happy court disdaine
A wretches plaint, the language of my paine.
Let from thy bosome Lazarus descend,
With one cold droppe my burning tongue to slake,
One droppe of water on his fingers end:
For (oh!) my torments in this fiery Lake,
At whose dread Name the peccant soule should quake,
Who can expresse? my sorrowes boundlesse are,
As are thy joyes, and both beyond compare.
For cursed Sodome didst thou strongly pleade,
When ore their sinnes incensed vengeance hung;
But more dire droppes this goary heart hath bled,
Then on those heads the flaming tempest flung,
A hotter storme broyles this bewailing tongue:
Then let thy pitty to my plaints awake,
And on my woes some deare compassion take.
He ended; when, as if the spheares had rung
Some tune-full change, or thunder learn'd to chide
In milder language, or some Cherub sung;
With powerfull voyce, that Hell to silencety'd,
From his high throne the Patriarch repli'd,
Whose sacred words, first steept in heavenly dew,
Thus from his lippes in golden vollies flew.
What change is this? what wonder strikes mine eare?
Art thou the man that did supinely sleepe
On pleasures couch, unto the world so deare,
That now, benighted in th' infernall deepe,
Dost thus rave out thy sorrowes, howle, and weepe;
While I scorn'd wretch, that at thy gates did pine,
Doth in full Orbe of heavenly glory shine?
Where's now your power, you, that proudly could
Lead your blind Goddesse in a golden chaine?
Where now your roabes so gorgeous to behold?
Your mounts of Gold rais'd in your worldly raigne?
Of friends and parasites your pompous traine?
Did all like leaves, fly with your flitting breath,
And leave you naked in that storme of death?
Fond prodigall to spend an age of Gold,
And act at last a woefull beggers part,
When nought availes thy sorrowes to unfold!
A thousand times unhappy that thou art,
That 'bove thy dish wouldst never raise thy heart,
When mercy smil'd upon thee from the skies,
How canst thou now lift up those wretched eyes?
Doe but thy times of pleasure now record,
That didst no God, but Gluttony, confesse;
For whom thy house a Temple did afford,
Whose Altar was thy table of excesse,
Which still the fattest Sacrifice did presse;
The hallowed water was delicious wine,
The fire, thy lust, that never did decline.
Amongst thy cuppes, with Rosy garlands crown'd,
Cens'd with perfumes, in Princely purple drest,
All cares extinct, all sorrowes deepely drown'd,
Still didst thou sit, becalmd with ease and rest,
Mirth in thy face, and solace in thy brest;
But as for Heaven, it was (a Pole) to high
For thy bruite sense, that would to pleasure fly.
On basest Earth was centred all thy rest,
That drossy masse, expos'd to lowest scorne;
Which how it seemes like some foule wormy nest,
Of nature quite abandon'd and forelorne,
Clos'd in the thicket of sharpe rending thorne,
Whose prickles, cares, whose leaves, deceitfull arts.
And stony fruits are hard unfruitfull hearts?
'Tis but a Field, where sinne corruption sowes,
Where every breaths infection blastes an eare,
Against the graine where every creature goes:
Yet on this sandy base, that nought will beare,
How high thou didst thy bold ambition reare,
Whose honour 'fore the thunder-clap of death
Was but a flash, and vanisht with thy breath?
Looke how a Porcpisce, in the boyling Maine,
Joy'd with the newes of some tempestuous blast,
Playes in the waves, as in the winds disdaine;
While the poore Sea-man sadly climbs his Mast,
Folds up his sailes, and in his frights agast
Heaves his pale eyes these powers to implore,
To waft his light Barke to the restfull shore:
So, let high Heaven, that with a piercing beame
Disclouds each thought, his wrathfull forehead bend:
Still wouldst thou wallow in full pleasures streame:
Let poore pin'd Lazarus all day extend
His bloodlesse hands and throate with clamours rend:
Yet, as thy heart had from some Rocke bin hew'd,
Nor storme it fear'd, nor calme of pitty shew'd.
Now shall thy judge thy cruelty requite,
And strike that fire from out thy flinty brest,
Shall to his glory lend a forced light:
Nor shall the throwes of anguish ever wrest
The tune-full heart, with heavenly vertue blest,
Nor sinne still trumph, but too late shall thinke
Vengeance nere sleepes, though justice seeme to winke
Still, still ingulfed in that Brimstone-flood,
That rowles about those griesly vaults of night,
Shalt thou bewaile that lost eternall good,
Whereof this Saint enjoyes the joyfull sight,
A plenilune of never-waining light,
Whose very glimpse would cleare all clouds of woe,
And make to life dead seas of sorrow flow.
Behold this Bower, rear'd so high above
Those iarring elements their heate and cold,
Those cloudy Tents, that with the wind remove,
Or restlesse Orbes with rapid motion rowl'd:
No Earth quake undermines this happiest hold,
Upon these battlements no tempest fals,
No thunder batters these imperiall Wals.
It is that Pallace, built to lasting joyes,
Into whose height the King of glory goes,
That in his hand the mundane Globe doth poize,
And to the blest a world of pleasure showes;
To whom he doth rich Diademes dispose,
That here, (as pendant on the golden threads
Of their pure lives,) adorne their happy heads.
Wall'd all with Jasper is this lofty Bower,
Which, as his base, unvalued gemmes uphold;
The Porters, Angels high in place and power;
Each gate, a pearle of bright celestiall mould;
The pavement, Starres, fixt in eternall Gold;
Roof'd, as with Silver, with condensed flame
Of glorious light, that filles th' immortall frame.
In dazeling splendour of ten thousand dayes
Shines the high Monarch, that all glory lends,
Sunning all treasures in those precious rayes,
On whom the heavenly hierarchie attends
As on whose Throne all vitall joy depends.
In his pure beames let flights of Angels soare,
And with presented Crownes all Kings adore.
Pay worlds of Nations tribute to this King,
That doth their States in happines invest;
Let his high prayses with the Sunne take wing,
And cleare the Firmament from East to West.
Great glorious Lord, by all thine Armies blest;
Thou, in whose hand I see that golden reed,
Measure my heart, and let my zeale proceed.
Pure Majesty, that mayst all Crownes refine!
Thrise hallowed flame of light, of life, of love!
Bright Orbe of grace, that doth to glory shine!
High treasurer of honours stor'd above!
Circle, and center unto all that moove!
Natures sweet Organist! thy highest straine
What voyce can reach, to sing thy happi'st raigne?
One beame of thine out-shines a world of light,
One call would start corruption from the graves,
One glance would cleare the cloudy brow of night,
One nod becalme the Oceans surging waves,
One smile send sorrow sighing to his caves,
One Altar-sparke of thine in lightlesse Hell
Would kindle day, and all the shades dispell.
Of Heavens rich beauties to the ravisht sight
One mirrour here all treasures doe reflect,
One Globe all beames of glory doth unite,
One load-starre all the voyagers direct,
One soveraigne power in safety all protect,
One banquet here both soules and senses feasts,
And filles and feeds, nor ever cloyes the guests.
The ten-fold curtaine of these azure spheares
Serves but to vaile this Arke from fleshly eyes;
But when her head the soule exultant reares,
With open wings where heavenly glory flies,
What wonder doth her faculties surprize!
How doth she here extend her powers wide
To drinke in pleasures from the boundlesse tide!
A glittering Ocean of cleare waving glasse
Melts from the Throne of Majesty divine,
That Edens floods in purenesse doth surpasse,
Where severall droppes the galaxy out-shine,
That, mixt, would change the brackish waves to Wine,
And the blacke lake, where Sodome erst did burne,
To precious streames of liquid Crystall turne.
So, when the planets lovely Prince doth fixe
His dazeling beauties on some spongy cloud,
Where the brave beames in gorgeous colours mixe,
The rorid vapor of such honour proud,
To be in Heaven so gloriously embow'd,
Dissolves in joy, and 'bout the burning skies
In silver droppes the melting treasure flies.
Here the glad pilgrime, crown'd with lasting wealth,
Viewes his bath'd limbes from every blemish cleare.
Nor cares to weed the wonted fields for health:
Here mounts that tree, whose flourish all the yeere
For sacred guests doth soveraigne banquets beare,
In whose rich tast delicious pleasure flowes
Into all formes, and heavens all sweetnesse showes.
Not Angels dainties in the Desert shar'd,
Nor honied milke of Cana'ns flowery brest,
Have with this plants rare delicates compar'd;
Under whose shadowes sleepes eternall Rest
With joyes surcharg'd, of treasur'd hopes possest:
Who tast this fruit the Serpent have beguil'd,
Nor with foule lusts their shiny soules defil'd.
No thirst nor hunger shall their joyes devoure,
No wanes of sorrow shall their browes enfold,
No boisterous storme their vernant prime defloure;
Where beauty knowes not age, nor age makes old.
O wondrous change of base inglorious mould!
Blest soules, that in afflictions roughest maine
Wracking their sinnes, this heavenly Haven gaine!
Here are no pageants to invite the sight,
No syren-songs to rocke the slumbering eare,
No generous wines t'exalt the appetite,
No odorous fumes that spirits wont to cheare,
No amorous claspe to draw affection neare;
And yet a fulnesse, where all faire and sweet,
All lines of life, all pathes of pleasure meet.
A glorious triumph with high honours blest,
An aire of harmony that filles the quires,
A rich rare banquet, an ambrosiacke feast,
A sweet perfume that with no time expires,
A joy sublim'd in loves high sacred fires,
A pleasures maze, an Ocean, where to drowne
Is depth of blisse, a Kingdome and a Crowne.
Harke, how these Hero's, that in honour'd quest
Of higest blisse did to this mount aspire,
Shout out their joyes, with language not exprest;
How Zealous David, clear'd with heavenly fire,
Shrilles out his ditties to his golden lyre;
Whilst the rapt Angells with immortall layes
Make up the musicke, and their Makers praise.
Here may the souldier, that with painefull march
Did to such height of happinesse ascend
Hang up his armes in this triumphall arch.
And treasures share, that time shall never spend:
The Sea-sicke voyager let hither bend
A dextrous course; though now he plow the maine,
A bounteous harvest shall reward his paine.
This is a selection from the original text


death, dread, famine, gluttony, killing, plague, poison

Source text

Title: The Gluttons Feaver

Author: Thomas Bancroft

Publisher: John Norton

Publication date: 1633

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 1353 Physical description: [42] p. Copy from: Bodleian Library Reel position: STC / 823:07

Digital edition

Original author(s): Thomas Bancroft

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Title Page
  • 2 ) IT was in heate of summer height of noone----A bounteous harvest shall reward his paine.


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.