[Page 89]


1 MAlignant Humour, Poyson to my Blood!
2 Bane of those active Spirits that glide
3 And sport within the circling Tide,
4 As Fish Expire in an infected Flood.
5 When all th' Horizon of my Soul is clear,
6 And I suspect no change of Weather near,
7 Strait like a suddain Storm I find
8 Thy black Fumes gath'ring in my Mind,
9 Transforming All t'Egyptian Darkness there;
10 Darkness where nought occurs to Sight
[Page 90]
11 But Flashes, more amazing than the Night;
12 And fiery Spectres gliding through the troubled Air.
13 Sleep that in other Maladies brings Ease,
14 Feeds and enrages this Disease;
15 For when my weary Lidds I close
16 And slumber, 'tis without Repose.
17 This Fury still into my Dreams will creep
18 To Hagg my tim'rous Fancy while I sleep;
19 Through Charnel Houses then I'm led,
20 Those gloomy Mansions of the Dead,
21 Where pensive Ghosts by their lov'd Reliques stay,
22 And Curse th'approaching Day.
23 By Merc'less Foes pursu'd and tane;
24 Oft ship-wreckt on the Main,
25 Beneath the Floods I seem to Dive;
26 Oft in Wild Sarra's Desert forc't t'engage
27 Some Savage Monster's Rage.
28 Oft (Typhon-like) beneath a Mountain's weight I strive!
[Page 91]
29 Might I the Book of Fate peruse,
30 To Read the Lot for me design'd,
31 I should perhaps auspicious find
32 Those Planets I accuse;
33 But whilst for Information I
34 Consult the false Astrology
35 Of Melancholy Fear,
36 Dark and ore-cast my future Dayes appear:
37 All possible Misfortunes while I dread,
38 I draw all possible Misfortunes on my Head;
39 Whilst this solicitous Fear of Future Ill
40 My credulous Thought employs,
41 (Tho false its Augury, yet) it destroys
42 My present Rest, and still
43 Diverts me from pursuit of certain Joyes.
44 Who seeks for Happiness with nicest Care
45 Must watch its Seasons, and frequent its Haunt.
46 Delight is a Rich tender Plant
47 That Springs not in all Soils, and all the Year:
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48 'Tis like the Manna which in plenty lay,
49 If early sought, around
50 Each Hebrews Tent, but if till Heat of Day
51 Their Search they did delay.
52 Th' Ambrosial Food was no where to be found.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): Melancholy.
Author: Nahum Tate

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Source edition

Tate, Nahum, c. 1652-1715. Poems by N. Tate. London: Printed by T.M. for Benj. Tooke ..., 1677, pp. 89-92. [15],133p. (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 2953].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Nahum Tate