The Purple Island

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CANTO I1.205Receivers of the customary rent;1.206On each side four (the foremost of the band)1.207Whose office to divide what in is sent;1.208 Straight other four break it in pieces small;1.209 And at each hand twice five, which, grinding all,1.210Fit it for convoy, and this city's arsenal.

XXXI1.212Delivers all unto near officers,1.213Of nature like himself and like agility;1.214At each side four, that are the governors1.215 To see the vict'als shipped at fittest tide;1.216 Which straight from thence with prosp'rous channel slide1.217And in Koilia's port with nimble oars glide.

XXXII1.219Opens itself to all that entrance seek;1.220Yet if aught back would turn and thence depart,1.221With thousand wrinkles shuts the ready creek;1.222 But when the rent is slack, it rages rife,1.223 And mut'nies in itself with civil strife:1.224Thereto a little groom eggs it with sharpest knife.

XXXIII1.226The island's common cook, Concoction;1.227Common to all; therefore in middle space1.228Is quarter'd fit, in just proportion;1.229 Whence never from his labour he retires;1.230 No rest he asks, or better change requires;1.231Both night and day he works, ne'er sleeps, nor sleep desires.

XXXIV1.233Is nothing like to our hot parching fire,1.234Which, all consuming, self at length consumeth,1.235But moist'ning flames a gentle heat inspire,1.236 Which sure some inborn neighbour to him lendeth;1.237 And oft the bord'ring coast fit fuel sendeth,1.238And oft the rising fume, which down again descendeth.

XXXV1.240Divided flames, the iron sides entwining,1.241Above is stopp'd with close-laid covering,1.242Exhaling fumes to narrow straits confining;1.243 So doubling heat his duty doubly speedeth;1.244 Such is the fire Concoction's vessel needeth,1.245Who daily all the isle with fit provision feedeth.

CANTO II2.2Of blazing air, upon the flow'ry banks,2.3(Where various flowers damask the fragrant seat,2.4And all the grove perfume) in wonted ranks2.5 Securely sit them down, and sweetly play:2.6 At length thus Thirsil ends his broken lay,2.7Lest that the stealing night his later song might stay.

II2.9When courts are happiness' unhappy pawns!2.10His cottage low and safely humble gate2.11Shuts out proud Fortune and her scorns and fawns.2.12 No feared treason breaks his quiet sleep;2.13 Singing all day, his flocks he learns to keep,2.14Himself as innocent as are his simple sheep.

III2.16Draw out their silken lives; nor silken pride.2.17His lambs' warm fleece well fits his little need,2.18Not in that proud Sidonian tincture dyed.2.19 No empty hopes, no courtly fears him fright,2.20 No begging wants his middle fortune bite,2.21But sweet content exiles both misery and spite.

IV2.23Which wait to first salute my lord's uprise,2.24The cheerful lark wakes him with early songs,2.25And birds' sweet whistling notes unlock his eyes.2.26 In country plays is all the strife he uses,2.27 Or song or dance unto the rural Muses;2.28And but in music's sports all differences refuses.

V2.30Is full of thousand sweets and rich content.2.31The smooth-leav'd beeches in the field receive him2.32With coolest shades, till noon-tide's rage is spent.2.33 His life is neither toss'd in boist'rous seas2.34 Of troublous world, nor lost in slothful ease.2.35Pleas'd and full blest he lives, when he his God can please.

VI2.37While by his side his faithful spouse hath place.2.38His little son into his bosom creeps,2.39The lively picture of his father's face.2.40 Never his humble house or state torment him;2.41 Less he could like, if less his God had sent him;2.42And when he dies, green turfs, with grassy tomb, content him.

© Phineas Fletcher