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My thoughts awhile, like you, imprison'd lay;
We'll write whate'er from you we hear; Great joys, as well as sorrows, make a stay ;
For that's the posy of the year. They hinder one another in the crowd,
This difference only will remainAnd none are heard, whilst all would speak aloud.
That Time his former face does shew, Should every man's officious gladness haste,
Winding into himself again; And be afraid to show itself the last,
But your unweary'd wit is always new. The throng of gratulations now would be
'Tis said, that conjurers have an art found out Another loss to you of liberty.
To carry spirits consin’d in rings about : When of your freedom men the news did hear,
The wonder now will less-appear, Where it was wish'd-for, that is every where,
When we behold your magic here. 'Twas like the speech which from your lips does
You, by your rings, do prisoners take, fall;
And chain them with your mystic spells, As soon as it was heard, it ravish'd all.
And, the strong witchcraft full to make, So eloquent Tully did from exile come;
Love, the great Devil, charm’d to those circles, Thus long'd for he return'd, and cherish'd Rome;
Say, like a ring, th' eqnator Heaven does bind. Should I compare any to him but you ;
When Heaven shall be adorn’d by thee You, to whom Art and Nature did dispense
(Which then more Heaven than 'tis will be) The consulship of wit and eloquence.
'Tis thou must write the posy there, Nor did your fate differ from his at all,
For it wanteth one as yet, Because the doom of exile was his fall;
Though the Sun pass through't twice a year For the whole world, without a native home,
The Sun, who is esteem'd the god of wit. Is nothing but a prison of larger room.
Happy the hands which wear thy sacred rings, But like a melting woman sufferd he,
They'll teach those hands to write mysterious He who before out-did humanity;
things. Nor could his spirit constant and stedfast prove.
Let other rings, with jewels bright, Whose art 't had been, and greatest end, to move.
Cast around their costly light; You put ill-fortune in so good a dress,
Let them want no noble stone, That it out-shone other men's happiness :
By nature rich and art refin'd; Had your prosperity always clearly gone,
Yet shall thy rings give place to none,
But only that which must thy marriage bind.
PROLOGUE TO THE GUARDIAN :
Who says the times do learning disallow? So, though less worthy stones are drown'd in night, Tis false ; 'twas never honour'd so as now. The faithful diamond keeps his native light,
When you appear, great prince ! our night is done ; And is oblig'd to darkness for a ray,
You are our morning-star, and shall be our sun, That would be more oppress'd than help'd by day. But our scene's London now; and by the rout Your soul then most show'd her unconquer'd pow- We perish, if the Round-heads be about: er,
For now no ornament the head must wear,
No bays, no mitre, not so much as hair.
Our only hope is this, that it may be
A play may pass too, made extempore.
Though other arts poor and neglected grow, Fortune henceforth will more of providence have,
They'll admit poesy, which was always so.
But we contemn the fury of these days,
Our Muse, blest prince! does only on you rely ;
Would gladly live, but not refuse to die.
Qur ignorance, but our duty too, we show;
I would all ignorant people would do so!
At other times expect our wit or art;
This comedy is acted by the heart.
The play, great sir! is done ; yet needs must fear, To womankind, epitomiz'd in you.
Though you brought all your father's mercies here, If, as the ancients did not doubt to sing,
It may offend your highness; and we ’ave now The turning years be well compar'd t' a ring, Three hours done treason here, for aught we know.
BEFORE THE PRINCE.
WHO MADE POSIES FOR RINGS.
ON THE DEATH OF
But power your grace can ahove Nature give, No tuneful birds play with their wonted cheer, It can give power to make abortives live;
And call the leamed youths to hear; In which, if our bold wishes should be crost,
No whistling winds through the glad branches ily: "Tis but the life of one poor week ’t has lost :
But all, with sad solemnity, Though it should fall beneath your mortal scorn,
Mute and unmoved be,
To him my Muse made haste with every strain,
He lov'd my worthless rhymes, and, like a friend,
Would find out something to commend.
Hence now, my Muse! thou canst not me delight: IMMODICIS BREVIS EST ÆTAS, & RARA SENECTUS.
Be this my latest verse,
With which I now adorn his hearse ; It was a dismal and a fearful night,
And this my grief, without thy help, shall write. Scarce could the Morn drive on th' unwilling Had I a wreath of bays about my brow, Light,
I should contemn that flourishing honour now; When Sleep, Death's image, left my troubled Condemn it to the fire, and joy to hear breast,
It rage and crackle there. By something liker death possest.
Instead of bays, crown with sad cypress me; My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow,
Cypress, which tombs does beautify: And on my soul hung the dull weight
Not Phæbus griev'd, so much as I, Of some intolerable fate.
For him who first was made that mournful tree. What bell was that: ah me! too much I know.
Large was his soul ; as large a soul as e'er My sweet companion, and my gentle peer, Submitted to inform a body here; Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here, High as the place 'twas shortly in Hearen te Thy end for ever, and my life, to moan?
have, 0, thou hast left me all alone!
But low and humble as his grave: Thy soul and body, when death's agony
So high, that all the Virtues there did come. Besieg'd around thy noble heart,
As to their chiefest seat
Conspicuous and great;
Was fill'd with innocent gallantry and truth, If once my griefs prove tedious too.
Triumphant o'er the sins of youth. Silent and sad I walk about all day,
He, like the stars, to which he now is gone, As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by
That shine with beams like flame, Where their hid treasures lie;
Yet burn not with the same, Alas! my treasure's gone! why do I stay? Had all the light of youth, of the fire none. He was my friend, the truest friend on Earth; Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught, A strong and mighty influence join'd our birth; As if for him Knowledge had rather sought: Nor did we envy the most sounding name
Nor did more learning ever crowded lic By friendship given of old to Fame.
In such a short mortality. None but his brethren he, and sisters, knew,
Whene'er the skilful youth discours d or writ, Whom the kind youth preferr'd to me;
Still did the notions throng And ev'n in that we did agree,
About his eloquent tongue, For much above myself I lov'd them too.
Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit. Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights,
So strong a wit did Nature to him frame, How oft unweary'd have we spent the nights, As all things but his judgment overcame; Till the Ledæan stars, so fam'd for love,
His judgment like the heavenly moon did show, Wonder'd at us from above !
Tempering that mighty sea below.
Would have been able to control
His over-powering soul; Arts which I lov'd, for they, my friend, were We ’ave lost in him arts that not yet are found. thine.
His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit, Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say Yet never did his God or friends forget; Have ye not seen us walking every day?
And, when deep talk and wisdom came in view, Was there a tree about which did not know
Retird, and gave to them their due :
For the rich help of books he always took,
Though his own searching mind before
Was so with notions written o'er
As if wise Nature had made that her book.
So many virtues join'd in him, as we Henceforth, no learned youths beneath you sing, Can scarce pick here and there in history; Till all the tuneful birds to your boughs they More than old writers' practice e'er could reach; bring;
As much as they could ever teach.
IX IMITATION OP
These did Religion, queen of virtues ! sway;
He sees thee gentle, fair, and gay,
And trusts the faithless April of thy May.
T whom thou untry'd dost shine!-
But there 's no danger now for me, He always liv'd, as other saints do die.
Since o'er Loretto's shrine,
In witness of the shipwreck past,
My consecrated vessel hangs at lasi.
Like the Sun's laborious light,
Which still in water sets at night,
Si tecum mihi, chare Martialis, &c.
L. v. Ep. xx.
If, dearest friend, it my good, fate might be
If we for happiness could leisure find,
And wandering Time into a method bind;
Nor on long hopes, the court's thin diet, feed;
We should not patience find daily to hear
The calumnies and flatteries spoken there ;
We should not the lords' tables humbly use,
Or talk in ladies' chambers love and news;
But books, and wise discourse, gardens and fields,
And all the joys that unmixt Nature yields; See'st not a soul cloth’d with more light than thine. Thick summer shades, where winter still does lie,
Bright winter fires, that summer's part supply: And, if the glorious saints cease not to know Sleep, not control'd by cares, confin'd to night, Their wretched friends who fight with life below, Or bound in any rule but appetite : Thy flame to me does still the same abide, Free, but not savage or ungracious mirth, Only more pure and rarefy'd.
Rich wines, to give it quick and easy birth; There, whilst immortal hymns thou dost rehearse,
A few companions, which ourselves should chuse,
A gentle mistress, and a gentler Muse.
Such dearest friend! such, without doubt, should Where grief and misery can be join'd with verse. be
Our place, our business, and our company.
But sees good suns, of which we are to give
A strict account, set and march thick away:
Knows a man how to live, and does he stay?
Lib. I. Od. v.
ARGARITA first possest,
If I remember well, my breast,
Margarita first of all;
But when awhile the wanton maid
With my restless heart had play'd,
Martha took the flying ball.
Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catharine.
Beauteous Catharine gave place
(Though loth and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)
To Eliza's conquering face.
Eliza till this hour might reign,
Had she not evil counsels ta'ena
Fundamental laws she broke,
And still new favourites she chose,
Till up in arms my passions rose,
And cast away her yoke.
Mary then, and gentle Anne,
Both to reign at once began
Alternately they sway'd,
TO SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT, And soinetimes Mary was the fair, And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,
UPON HIS TWO FIRST BOOKS OF GONDIBERT, And sometimes both I obey'd.
HIS VOYAGE TO AMERICA. Another Mary then arose,
Metlinks heroic poesy till now,
Like some fantastje fairy-land did show ;
Gods, devils, nymphs, witches, and giants' race, Long, alas ! should I have been
And all but man, in man's chief work had place. Under that irou-scepter'd queen,
Thou, like some worthy knight with sacred arms, Had not Rebecca set me free.
Dost drive the monsters thence, and end the charms, When fair Rebecca set me free,
Instead of those dost men and manners plant, 'Twas then a golden time with me:
The things which that rich soil did chiefly want. But soon those pleasures fled;
Yet ev'n thy mortals do their gods excel, For the gracious princess dy'd,
Taught by thy Muse to fight and love so well. In her youth and beauty's pride,
By fatal hands whilst present empires fall,
Thine from the grave past monarchies recall ;
So much more thanks from human-kind does One month, three days, and half an hour,
The poet's fury than the zealot's spirit:
And from the grave thou mak'st this empire rise, But so weak and small her wit,
Not like some dreadful ghost, t' affright our eyes, That she to govern was unfit,
But with more lustre and triumphant state,
Than when it crown'd at proud Verona sate.
So will our God rebuild man's perish'd frame, Arm'd with a resistless flame,
And raise him up much better, yet the same : And th' artillery of her eye;
So god-like poets do past things rehearse, Whilst she prondly inarch'd about,
Not change, but heighten, Nature by their verse. Greater conquests to find out,
With shame, methinks, great Italy must see She beat out Susan by the by:
Her conquerors rais'd to life again by thee:
Rais'd by such powerful verse, that ancient Rome But in her place I then obey'd
May blush no less to see her wit o'ercome. Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy maid; Some men their fancies, like their faith, derive, To whom ensued a vacancy :
And think all ill but that which Rome does give; Thousand worse passions then possest
The marks of old and Catholic would find; The interregnum of my breast;
To the same chair would truth and fiction bind. Bless me from such an anarchy !
Thou in those beaten paths disdain'st to tread,
And scorn'st to live by robbing of the dead. Gentle Henrietta then,
Since Time does all things change, thou think'st And a third. Mary, next began;
not fit Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria;
This latter age should see all new but wit; And then a pretty Thomasine,
Thy fancy, like a flame, its way does make, And then another Katharine,
And leave bright tracts for following pens to take. And then a long et.cætera.
Sure 'twas this noble boldness of the Muse But should I now to you relate
Did thy desire to seek new worlds infuse;
And ne'er did Ileaven so much a voyage bless,
If thou canst plant but there with like success.
AN ANSWER TO
A COPY OF VERSES
As to a northern people (whom the Sun
Uses just as the Römish church has done The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,
Her prophane laity, and does assign
A rich Canary fleet welcome arrives;
Such comfort to us here your letter gives,
Frought with brisk racy verses ; in which we (Chiefly if I like them should tell
The soil from whence they came taste, smell, and All change of weathers that befell) Than Holinshed or Stow.
Such is your present to us; for you must know,
Sir, that verse does not in this island grow,
No more than sack: one lately did not fear
But it produc'd such base, rough, crabbed, hedge, My present emperess does claim,
Rhymes, as ev'n set the hearers' ears on edge : Heleonora, first o' th' name;
esquire, the Whom God grant long to reiga!
Year of our Lord six hundred thirty-thrco.
SENT ME TO JERSEY.
Brave Jereey Muse! and he's for this high style And seeks by useless pride,
With slight and withering leaves that nakedness to Alas ! to men here no words less hard be
hide, To rhyme with, than 4 Mount Orgueil is to me;
“ Henceforth,” said God,“ the wretched sons of Mount Orgueil ! which, in scorn o'th' Muses law,
Earth With no yoke-fellow word will deign to draw.
Sball sweat for food in rain, Stubborn Mount Orgueil ! 'tis a work to make it
That will not long sustain ; Come into rhyme, more hard than 'twere to take it.
And bring with labour forth each fond abortive birth. Alas! to bring your tropes and figures here,
That serpent too, their pride, Strange as to bring camels and elephants were ;
Which aims at things deny'd; And metaphor is so unknown a thing,
That learn'd and eloquent lust; 'Twould need the preface of God save the king. Instead of mounting high, shall creep upon the Yet this I'll say, for th' honour of the place,
THE USE OF IT IN DIVINE MATTERS.
Some blind themselves, 'cause possibly they may From th'actual sin of bombast too they are,
Be led by others a right way; (That other crying sin o' th’ English Muse) That even Satan himself can accuse
They build on sands, which if umzov'd they find,
'Tis but because there was no wind. None here (no not so much as the divines)
Less hard 'tis, not to err ourselres, than know For th' motus primò primi to strong lines.
If our forefathers err'd or no. Well, since the soil then does not naturally bear
When we trust men concerning Gool, we then
Trust not God concerning men.
Their course here to direct;
Like senseless chymists their own wealth destroy, But that's a fortune falls not every day;
Imaginary gold t' enjoy : 'Tis true Green was made by it ; for they say So stars appear to drop to us from sky, The parl'ament did a noble bounty do,
And gild the passage as they ily;
What but a sordid slime is found ?
And fast, that they may dream of meat;
And bastard forms obtrude;
So Endor's wretched sorceress, althongh
She Saul through his disguise did know,
Yet, when the devil comes up disguis'd, she cries, The Phoenix Truth did on it rest,
“ Behold! the Gods arise." And built his perfum'd nest :
In vain alas ! these outward hopes are try'd; That right Porphyrian tree which did true logic Reason within's our only guide; shew.
Reason, which (God be prais'd !) still walks, for all Each leaf did learned notions give,
Its old orig'nal fall;
And, since itself the boundless Godhead join'd
With a reasonable mind,
May with our reason join. meat ;
The holy book,like the eighth sphere, does shino A certain death doth sit,
With thousand lights of truth divine:
So numberless the stars, that to the eye
Yet Reason must assist too; for, in seas
So vast and dangerous as these,
Our course by stars above we cannot know, Who tempted him to this grew yet more blind Without the compass too below. than he.
Though Reason cannot through Faith's mysteries The only science man by this did get,
It sees that there and such they be ;
Leads to Heaven's door and there does humbly keep, His ignorant poor estate, and was asham'd of it. And there through chinks and key-holes peep; Yet searches probabilities,
Though it, like Moses, by a sad command,
Must not come into th’ Holy Land,
Yet thither it infallibly does guide, Į The name of one of the castles in Jersey.
And from afar 'tis all descry'd,
THAT THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE.