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TO THE DUTCHESS OF
They build themselves a nest :
To strike me: doubtless there had been a fray, From too much poetry, which shines
Had not I providently skipp'd away
Without replying; for to scold is ill,
And can out-sound Homer's Gradivus ; so
These two or three sharp curses back: “May he At morning May, at night a January : (carry
Be by his father in his study took
At Shakespeare's plays, instead of my lord Coke ! (For though it want an R, it has The letter of Pythagoras)
May he (though all his writings grow as si in
As Butter's out of estimation)
Get him a poet's name, and so ne'er come
Into a serjeant's or dead judge's room! Or from the stomach of the guard defend me.
May he become some poor physician's prey,
As he his client doth, till his health be
As far-fetcht as a Greek noun's pedigree !
Nay, for all that, may the disease be gone
Never but in the long vocation !
May neighbours use all quarrels to decide;
Unless he come in forma pauperis !
Grant this, ye gods that favour poetry!
That all these never-ceasing tongues may be
Brought into reformation, and not dare For all my use, no luxury.
To quarrel with a thread-bare black: but spare My garden painted o'er
Them who bear scholars' names, lest some one take With Nature's hand, not Art's
; that pleasures yield Spleen, and another Ignoramus make.”
If I should say, that in your face were seen
Nature's best picture of the Cyprian queen ;
If I should swear, under Minerva's name,
Poets (who prophets are) foretold your fame; To morrow let my Sun his beams display,
The future age would think it flattery; Or in clouds hide them; I have liv'd to day? But to the present, which can witness be,
"Twould seem beneath your high deserts, as far A POETICAL REVENGE.
As you above the rest of women are.
When Manners' name with Villiers' join'd I set W ESTMINSTER-hall a friend and I agreed
How do I reverence your nobility!
(Envy'd in your dead lord, admir'd in you) To the next court; for though I could not know i half adore them; for what woman can, Much what they meant, yet I might see and hear Besides yourself (nay, I might say what man) (As most spectators do at theatre)
But sex, and birth, and fate, and years excel Things very strange: Fortune did seem to grace In mind, in fame, in worth, in living well? My coming there, and helpt me to a place.
Oh, how had this begot idolatry, But, being newly settled at the sport,
If you had liv'd in the world's infancy, A semi-gentleman of the inns of court,
When man's too much religion made the best In a satin suit, redeem'd but yesterday,
Or deities, or semi-gods at least !
But we, forbidden this by piety,
Will make our hearts an altar, and there pray Besides a serjeant, thrust me from my seat:
Not to, but for, you ; nor that England may At which I 'gan to quarrel, till a neat
Enjoy your equal, when you once are gone, Man in a ruff (whom therefore I did take
But, what's more possible, t'enjoy you long.
TO HIS VERY MUCH HONOURED
GODFATHER, MR. A. B.
I LOVE (for that upon the wings of Fame An action of trespass: till the young man
Shall perhaps mock Death or Time's darts) my Aforesaid, in the satin suit, began
I love it more, because'twas given by you ; * The three concluding stanzas of this poem are I love it most, because 'twas your name too ; introduced by Mr. Cowley in his Essays in Verse For if I chance to slip, a conscious shame and Prose, N.
Plucks me, and bids me not defile your name,
I'm glad that city, t'whom I ow'd before
Whom I may rightly think, and term, to be
Of the whole city an epitoine.
In whose each look I may a sentence see;
In whose each deed, a teaching homily. llow shall I pay this debt to you? My fate Denies me Indian pearl or Persian plate; Which though it did not, to requite you thus, Were to send apples to Alcinous,
And sell the cunning'st way.-No! when I can,
In every leaf, in every verse, write Man;
Till future ages say, 'twas you did give'
His learning bad out-run the rest of heirs,
A TRANSLATION OF
VERSES UPON THE BLESSED VIRGIN,
WRITTEN IN LATIN BY THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL DR. A.
Once thou rejoiced'st, and rejoi e for ever,
SON AND HEIR TO SIR THOMAS LITTLETON,
SAVE HIS YOUNGER BROTHER.
It is unjust: black Flood ! thy guilt is more,
What have I said ? my pious rage hath been
BENEDICTA TU IN MULIERIRUS.
A PLEASANT POVERTY IS TO
BEFORE DISCONTENTED RICIES.
Who did life's blessing give, 'tis fit that sbe, The laurel to the poet's hand did bow,
Craving the honour of his brow;
And every loving arm embrac'd, and made ET BENEDICTUS FRUCTUS VENTRIS TUI,
With their officious leaves a shade. Wrre mouth divine the Father duth protest,
The beasts too strove his auditors to be, He a good word sent from bis stored breast;
Forgetting their old tyranny.
The fearful bart next to the lion came,
And wolf was shepherd to the launb.
And Muses of the place, were there;
Unequal to so strange a sound,
O'ercome by art and grief they did expire,
Happy, O happy they, whose tomb might be, The breath gives sparing kisses, nor with power
Mausolus! envied by thee!
Why, O! doth gaudy Tagus ravish thee, Su from unbruised barl. the odours come.
Though Neptune's treasure-house it be?
Why doth Pactolus thee bewitch, ET VIRTUS ALTISSIMI OBUMBRABIT TIBI.
Infected yet with Midas' glorious itch? God his great Son begot ere time begun;
Their dull and sleepy streams are not at all, Mary in time brought forth her little son,
Like other foods, poetical ; Of double substance One; life he began,
They have no dance, no wanton sport, God without mother, without father, man.
No gentle murmur, the lov'd shore to court. Great is the birth ; and 'tis a stranger deed
No fish inhabit the adulterate food, That she no man, than God no wife, should need;
Nor can it feed the neighbouring wood; A shade del ghted the child-bearing majd,
No flower or herb is near it found, And God himself became to her a shade.
But a perpetual winter starves the ground.
An added beauty; whose clear brow
May be my looking-glass to see
What my face is, and what iny mind should be! When Moses sought God in a shade to see, The father's shade was Christ the Deity.
Here waves call waves, and glide along in rank, Let's seek for day, we darkness, whilst our sight
And prattle to the smiling bank;
Here sad king-fishers tell their tales,
Daisies, the first-born of the teeming spring,
On each side their embroidery bring;
Here lilies wash, and grow more white,
And daffodils, to see themselves, delight. 'Tis not a prramid of marble stone,
Here a fresh arbour gives her amorous shado, Though high as our ambition ;
Which Nature, the best gardener, made. 'Tis not a tomb cut out in brass, which can
Here I would sit and sing rude lays, Give life to th' ashes of a man ;
Such as the nymphs and me myself should please. But verses only: they shall fresh appear, Whilst there are men to read or hear.
Thus I would waste, thus end, my careless days i When Time shall make the lasting brass decay,
And robin-red-breasts, whom men praise And eat the pyramid away ;
For pious birds, should, when I die, Turning that monument wherein men trust
Make both my monument and elegy.
TO HIS MISTRESS,
Tyrian dye why do you wear,
You whose checks best scarlet are:
Why do you fondly pin His lyre, and gently on it strook,
Pure linen o'er your skin, The learned stones came dancing all along,
(Your skin that's whiter far) And kept time to the charming song.
Casting a dusky cloud before a star. With artificial pace the warlike pine,
Why bears your neck a golden chain? The elm and his wife the ivy twine,
"Did Nature make your hair in vain, With all the better trees, which erst had stood
Of gold most pure and fine? Unmov'd, forsook their nati od.
With geins why do you shine! VOL. 11.
ON THE PRAISE OP POETRY
They, neighbours to your eyes,
Then Revenge, married to Ambition,
Then limits to each field were strain'd,
And Terminus a god-head gain'd,
To men before was found,
Besides the sea, no bound.
In what plain, or what river, hath not been
This truth too well our England knows: For 'tis not buildings make a court,
'Twas civil slaughter dy'd her rose; Ur pomp, but 'tis the king's resort :
Nay, then her lily too
With blood's loss paler grew.
Such griefs, nay worse than these, we now should le than a golden one it cannot be.
Did not just Charles silence the rage of steel ;
He to our land blest Peace doth bring,
All neighbour countries envying.
Happy who did remain
Unborn till Charles's reign!
Where dreaming chymics! is your pain and cost?
How is your oil, how is your labour lost ! From sighs your breast, and from black clouds
Our Charles, blest alchymist! (though strange,
Believe it, future times !) did change When the Sun shines not with his wonted cheer,
The iron-age of old
Into an age of guld.
UPON THE SHORTNESS OF MAY'S LIFE.
Mark that swift arrow! how it cuts the air,
How it out-runs thy following eye! 'Tis by the gods appointed so,
l'se all persuasions now, and try Tlat good fare should with mingled dangers flow.
If thou canst call it back, or stay it there.
That way it went ; but thou shalt find
No tract is left behind. And on the Gabii and the Cures lay
Fool! 'tis thy life, and the fond archer thou.
Of all the time thou 'st shot away,
L'll bid thee fetch but yesterday,
Besides repentance, what canst find
That it hath left behind ? But seriousness, he shall again go home
Our life is carried with too strong a tide; To his old country-farm of yesterday,
A doubtful cloud our substance bears,
And is the horse of all our years.
Each day doth on a winged wbirlwind ride.
We and our glass run out, and must
Both render up our dust.
But bis past life who without grief can see;
Who never thinks his end too near,
But says to Fame, “ Thou art mine heir;".
That man extends life's natural brevityIN COMMENDATION OF THE TIME WE LIVE UNDER, THE
This is, this is the only way
To out-live Nestor in a day.
Curst be that wretch (Death's factor sure) who
Smiths (who before could only make
Arts, in most cruel wise
Man's life t' epitomize!
Then, then the silver hair,
AN ANSWER TO AN INVITATION TO
For, if thou tell'st what Cainbridge pleasures
The schoolboy's sin will light on me,
The taste once pleased me.
Tell me not how the waves appear
Why do I stay then? I would meet Of Cam, or how it cuts the learned shire;
Thee there, but plummets hang upon my feet; I shall contemn the troubled Thames
'Tis my clief wish to live with thee, On her chief holiday; ev'n when her streams
But not till I deserve thy company :
Till then, we'll scorn to let that toy,
Some forty miles, divide ou hearts:
Write to me, and I shall enjoy
Friendship and wit, thy better parts. When th' city shines with flags and pageants there, Though envious Fortune larger hindrance brings, And satin doublets, seen not twice a year,
We'll easily see each other; Love hath wings.
And, whilst with wearied steps we upwards go,
See us, and clouds, below.
ODE. OF WIT,
me, Otell, what kind of thing is Wit, Unless you write my elegy ;
Thou who master art of it? Whilst others great, by being born, are grown;
For the first matter loves variety less; Their mothers' labour, not their own.
Less women love't, either in love or dress. In this scale gold, in the other fame does lie,
A thousand different shapes it bears, The weight of that mounts this so high.
Comely in thousand shapes appears. These men are Fortune's jewels, moulded bright;
Yonder we saw it plain ; and here 'tis now,
London, that vents of false ware so much store, Out of myself it must be strook,
In no ware deceives us more; Yet I must on. What sound is 't strikes mine ear?
For men, led by the colour and the shape, Sure I Fame's trumpet hear:
Like 2 euxis' birds, fly to the painted grape. It sounds like the last trumpet; for it can
Same things do through our judgment Raise up the buried man.
pass Unpast Alps stop me; but I'll cut them all,
As through a multiplying-glass; And march, the Muses' Hannibal.
And sometimes, if the object be too far, Hence, all the flattering vanities that lay
We take a falling meteor for a star, Nets of roses in the way!
Hence 'tis, a Wit, that greatest word of fame, Hence, the desire of honours or estate,
Grows such a common name; And all that is not above Fate !
And Wits by our creation they become, Hence, Love himself, that tyrant of my days !
Just so as titular bishops made at Rome. Which intercepts my coming praise.
'Tis not a tale, 'tis not a jest Come, my best friends, my books! and lead me
Admir'd with laughter at a feast, on ;
Nor florid talk, which can that title gain; 'Tis time that I were gone.
The proofs of Wit for ever must remain.
'Tis not to force some lifeless verses mect Thy scholar's victories thou dost far out-do;
With their five gouty feet. He conquer'd th' earth, the whole world you.
All, every where, like man's, must be the soul, Welcome, learn'd Cicero! whose blest tongue and
And Reason the inferior powers controul. wit
Such were the numbers which could call Preserves Rome's greatness yet:
The stones into the Theban wall. Thou art the first of orators; only he
Such miracles are ceas'd; and now we see Who best can praise thee, next must be.
No towns or houses rais'd by poetry. Welcome the Mantuan swan, Virgil the wise ! Yet 'tis not to adorn and gild each part; Whose verse walks highest, but not flies;
That shows more cost than art. Who brought green Poesy to her perfect age,
Jewels at nose and lips but ill appear ; And made that art which was a rage.
Rather than all things Wit, let none be there. Tell me, ye mighty Three! what shall I do
Several lights will not be seen, To be like one of you?
If there be nothing else between. But you have climb’d the mountain's top, there sit Men doubt, because they stand so thick i’ th' sky, On the calm tourishing head of it,
If those be stars which paint the galaxy.