Famine and Dearth

Divine Fancies

DIVINE
FANCIES:
Digested into
EPIGRAMMES,
MEDITATIONS,
AND
OBSERVATIONS.
BY FRA: QUARLES.
LONDON,
Printed by M. F. for JOHN MARRIOT,
and are to be sold at his Shop in St. Dunstans
Churchyard in Fleetstreet.
1633.

London.
PUBLISHED BY M. F.
PUBLISHED FOR John Marriot
1633
[Page 31]

1. On Kain

BEfore that Monster spilt his Brothers blood,
W' re sure the fourth part of the world was good:
O, what a dearth of goodnes did there grow,
When the Fourth part was murd'red at a blow!
[Page 36]

2. On the Egyptians Famine

MArke but the course the pin'de Egyptians run:
When all their coyn, when all their corn is done:
They come to Joseph, and their stomacks plead;
They chage their beasts for corn, their flocks for bread,
Yet still they want: Observe what now they doe;
They give their Lands, and yeeld their Bodies too:
Now they have Corne enough; and now, they shall
Have seed to sow their barren soyle withall;
Provided that the fi t of their encrease
Be Pharoe's: Now their stomacks are at peace:
Thus when the Famine of the Word shall strike
Our hungry Soules; our Soules must doe the like:
We first must part with, (as by their directions)
Our Flocks, our Beasts, our Bestiall Affections;
When they are gone, what then must Sinners doe?
Give up their Lands, their Soules, and Bodies too:
O, then our hearts shall be refresht and fed,
Wee shall have seed to sowe, and present Bread:
Allowing but the fift of our encrease,
Wee shall have plenty, and our soules have peace
How art thou pleas'd, good God, that Man shold live!
How slow art thou to take! how free to give!
[Page 67]

3. On Davids choise

FAmine? the Sword? the Pestlence? which is least,
When all are great? which worst, when bad's the best?
It is a point of Mercy, yet, to give
A choise of death to such, as must not live:
But was the choise so hard? It seemes to me,
There was a worse, and better of the three,
Though all extreame: Me thinks, the helpe of hands
Might swage the first; The bread of forraine lands
Might patch their lives, & make some slender shift
To save a while, with necessary thrift:
Me thinks, the second should be lesse extreame
Then that; Alas! poore Israel could not dreame
[Page 68]
Of too much peace, that had so oft division
Among themselves, and forrain opposition:
Besides, their King was martiall; his acts glorious;
His heart was valiant, and his hand victorious;
Me thinks a Conquerour; a Man oth' sword
Should nere be puzzeld a so poore a word:
In both, however, David, at the worst,
Might well presume he should not die the first
But oh, the Plague's impartiall, It respects
No quality of Person, Age, nor Sex:
The Royall brest's as open to her hand
As is the loosest Pesant in the land:
Famin? the Sword? thePest'lence? David free,
To take his choice? and pick the worst of three?
He that gave David power to re use,
Instructed David, in the Art to chuse;
He knew no forrain Kingdoe could afford
Supply, where God makes Dearth: He knew the Sword
Would want an arm; the arm would want her skill;
And skill, successe, where heav'n prepares to kill:
He knew there was no trust, no safe recourse
To Martiall man, or to his warlike horse;
But it is Thou, Great God, the only close
Of his best thoughts, and the secure repose
Of all his trust; He yields to kisse thy Rod;
Israel was thine, and thou art Israels God:
He kn w thy gratious wont, thy wonted Grace;
He knew, thy Mercy tooke the upper place
Of all thy Attributes; 'Twas no adventure
To cast himselfe on Thee, the only Center
Of all his hopes; Thy David knew the danger
To fall to th'hands of man; or frend, or stranger:
[Page 69]
Thus Davids filiall hopes, being anchor'd fast
On Gods knowne Mercy, wisely hose the last:
If thou wilt give me Davids heart: Ile voyce,
Great God, with David; and make Davids choyce:
But stay; deare Lord, my tongue's too bold, too free,
To speake of choyce, that merits all the Three.

4. On SOLOMONS Rejoyce

[Page 138]
YOung man Rejoyce: What jolly mirth is here?
Let thy heart cheare thee: What delicious Cheare?
In thy young dayes; Thy Cates will relish sweeter.
Walk thy owne wayes: Thy Cares will passe the fleeter:
Please thine own heart: Carve where it likes thee best:
Delight thine eyes: And be a Joyfull Guest:
[Page 139]
But know withall, The Day will come, whereon
Thy Judge will doome thee for the deeds th'ast done:
O what a Feast! O what a Reckning's here!
The Cates are sweet; The Shot's extreamely deare:
Lord, I have been, and am a dayly Guest
(Too oft invited) at the Young mans Feast:
The Reckning's great; Although I cannot pay,
I can confesse; Great God, before this Day,
I had been dragd to the redeemlesse Iayle,
Hadst thou not pleas'd t'accept my Saviours Baile;
Lord, he must bear't I doubt: For I can get
Nor Coyne to pay, nor labour out the Debt:
I cannot digge, my Joynts are starke and lame,
But I can begge, although I beg with shame;
I have no Grace in begging; can receive
The first repulse: I have no Faith, to crave:
If th'entertainments of the Feast be these;
Lord give me Famine; take the Feast that please:

5. On Bread

TAke up that bit of Bread: And understand,
what 'tis thou holdest in thy carelesse hand:
Observe it with thy thoughts, and it will reade thee
An usefull Lecture, ev'n as well as feed thee;
we stirre our Lands, or give directions how;
But God must send a season for the Plough:
we sow our Seede; But sowe our seed in vaine,
If Heav'n deny the first, the later Raine;
Small proofe in Showrs, if heau'ns pleas'd hand shall cease
To blesse those showrs, nor crowne the with encrease.
[Page 140]
The tender Blades appeare, before thine eye,
But, uarefresht by heav'n, as soone they die:
The infant Eares shoot forth, and now begin
To corne: But God must hold his Mildewes in:
The Harvest's come: But Clouds conspire together
Hands cannot work, til heav'n shall clear the weather:
At length 'tis reap'd: Between the Barne and Furrow
How many Offices poore Man runs thorow!
Now God has done his part: The rest we share
To Man: His providence takes now the care:
No; yet it is not ours: The use alone,
Not bare possession makes the thing our owne:
Thy swelling Barnes have crownd thy full desire;
But heav'n, when Mows should sweat, can make them
I, but the Sheaves are thrasht, & the heap lies
In thy full Garnier. He that sent the Flyes fire;
To Pharees Court, can, with as great an ease,
Send thee more wastfull vermin if he please:
Perchance 'tis grounded, kneded: and what though?
Gods Curse is often temper'd with the Dough;
Beleeve't the fruits of all thy toyle, is mine,
Untill they be enjoy'd, as much as thine:
But now t'has fed thee: Is thy soule at rest?
Perchance, thy stomack's dainty to digest.
No, if heav'ns following favour doe not last
From the first Furrow to the very Tast,
Thy labour's lost: The Bread of all thy travill,
Without that blessing, feeds no more then Gravill:
Now wastfull Man, thou mayst repose againe
That Modell of Gods Prov'dence and thy paine:
That bitt of Bread; And if thy Dog should fawne
Upon thy lappe, let not so deare a Pawne
[Page 141]
Of greater plenty be contemn'd and lost;
Remember how it came, and what it cost.
[Page 157]

6. On heavenly Manna

O What a world of heav'nly Manna falls
Within the Circuit of our happy Walls!
With how great Joy wold neighb'ring lands receive
The Fragments of those Fragments, that we leave!
Our furnisht Markets flourish all the yeare:
We need no Ephaths, nor yet Omers here:
We take, unmeasur'd, from the bounteous heape;
Thanks never were so deare: not that, so cheape:
we never hoard, but tosse from hand to hand,
As if that Famine had forsworne the Land;
Our satiate stomacks are so lavish fed,
That we ev'n sleight, and wanton with our Bread:
Ah Lord! I feare when carelesse children play
with their spoyl'd Bread, 'tis time to take away.
[Page 205]

7. To my BOOKE

SO; Now, 't is time to waine thee from my brest;
Thy Teeth grow sharp, my Babe, It will be best
For both: Thy hasty Nurse is come to take thee
From my fond arms: ne'r whimper; he wil make thee
A dainty golden Coate: Let it suffice thee,
Thou art mine stil: how ere; Thy Nurse will prize thee
For his own sake and thine: When thou art strong,
And fure of foot, hee'l let thee sport among
Thy fellow children; He will let thee see
The World, which thou hadst never seene, with me:
Thou mayst doe well; if Fortune strike thee lucke,
And faire Opinion; Thou didst never sucke
But one good Friday, and thou mayst improve
As well in Merit, as in pop'ular love:
Thou hast sixe Brethren (borne as well as thee
Of a free Muse) legitimate and free;
Pages to Cesar, and in Cesars Court,
Besides an Ishmael, that attends the Port
Of a great Lord, an Honourable Peere
Of this blest Realme: If ere thou wander, there.
[Page 206]
They'l bid thee welcome, at the times of leasure,
Perchance, and bring thee to the hand of Cesar:
Thou art but young, and tender, (for who knowes
The paths of Fate?) perhaps, and one of those
Whom Clotho favours not; perchance, thy Twine
May be produc'd (for thou art halfe divine)
To after Ages, to the utmost date
Of Time; who knowes? but we subscribe to Fate:
Perchance, thy Fortune's to be bought and sold;
Was not young Joseph serv'd the like of old?
Thy Bondage may, like his, be made perchance,
A steppe to Honour, and a meanes t'advance
Thy higher Fortunes, and prepare thy hand
To ease a dearth, if dearth should strike the Land:
But I transgresse, my Babe: 'Tis time to part;
The Lawes of Nature breake the Rules of Art;
Once more farewel: Let Heav'ns high blessings shine
On my poork Babe, as my poore Babe has mine.
This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

barren, body, bread, land, plenty, soil

Source text

Title: Divine Fancies

Author: Francis Quarles

Publisher: M. F.

Publication date: 1633

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 20530 Physical description: [14], 206 p. Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Reel position: STC / 1779:25

Digital edition

Original author(s): Francis Quarles

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) tp, pp. 26 (On the Egyptians famine), 31 ("On Kane"), 67-9 ("On Davids choice"), 138-41 (on Solomons rejoice, on Bread), 157 (on heavenly manna), 205-6 ("To my booke).

Responsibility:

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.

Acknowledgements