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O fertile head! which every year
Could such a crop of wonder bear!
The teeming Earth did never bring, As lately I on silver Thames did ride,
So soon, so hard, so huge a thing :
Which might it never have been cast,
(Each year's growth added to the last)
These lofty branches had supply'd And thus she grac'd me with a voice divine.
The Earth's bold sons' prodigious pride:
Heaven with these engines had been scald,
When mountains heap'd on mountains fail'd.
THYR. Fair nymph! I have in your delights no
Sees not my love, how Time resumes
The glory which he lent these flowers ? Which is so great, as not to wish relief. [grief,
Though none should taste of their perfumes, She that had all which Nature gives, or Chance,
Yet must they live but some few hours : Whom Fortune join'd with Virtue to advance
Time, what we forbear, devours ! To all the joys this island could afford,
Had Helen, or th’ Egyptian queen“, The greatest mistress, and the kindest lord ;
Been near so thrifty of their graces; Who with the royal mixt her noble blood,
Those beauties must at length have been And in high grace with Gloriana stood;
The spoil of age, which finds out faces
In the most retired places.
A barren drought, or ceaseless shower,
And spare us neither fruit nor flower;
Winter would not stay an hour. That, though few years (too few, alas!) she told,
Could the resolve of Love's neglect She seem'd in all things, but in beauty, old.
Preserve you from the violation As unripe fruit, whose verdant stalks do cleave
Of coming years, then more respect Close to the tree, which grieves no less to leave
Were due to so divine a fashion;
Nor would I indulge my passion.
THE MISER'S SPEECH:
Balls of this metal slack'd At'lanta's pace,
And on the amorous youths bestow'd the race: Is soon removed from our wondering eyes!
Whom the rich spoils of cities overthrown But since the sisters 3 did so soon untwine
Had prostrated to Mars, could well advise
Th’adventurous lover how to gain the prize.
For, when he turn'd himself into a bribe,
Who can blame Danaë, or the brazen tower,
That they withstood not that almighty shower ?
Never till then did Love make Jove put on
A form more bright, and nobler, than his own : But naming her, grief lets me say no more. That slack devotion should his thunder scape.
'Twas not revenge for griev'd Apollo's wrong,
Those ass's ears on Midas' temples hung,
But fond repentance of his happy wish,
Because his meat grew metal like his dish. So we some antique hero's strength
Would Bacchus bless me so, I'd constant hold Learn by his lance's weight, and length;
Unto my wish, and die creating gold.
UPON BEN JONSON.
Mirror of poets! mirror of our age ! Or dogs, dare sueh a monster chase?
Which, her whole face beholding on thy stage, Resembling, with each blow he strikes,
Pleas'd, and displeas'd, with her own faults, endures The charge of a whole troop of pikes.
A remedy like those whom music cures. 3 Parcæ.
4 Cleopatra. 5 Hippomenes.
IN A MASQUE.
ON MR. FLETCHER'S PLAYS...TO MR. SANDYS.
55 Thou hast alone those various inclinations,
Wherewith they now assist the choir Which Nature gives to ages, sexes, nations : Of angels, who their songs admire! So traced with thy all-resembling pen,
Whatever those inspired souls That whate'er custom has impos'd on men,
Were urged to express, did shake Or ill-got habit (which deforms them so,
The aged deep, and both the poles ; That sarce a brother can his brother know)
Their numerous thunder could awake Is represented to the wondering eyes
Dull Earth, which does with Heaven consent
To all they wrote, and all they meant.
Say, sacred bard! what could bestow
Courage on thee, to soar so high? At leisure view and dress his nobler part.
Tell me, brave friend! what help'd thee so Narcissus, cozen'd by that flattering well,
To shake off all mortality? Wuich nothing could but of his beauty tell,
To light this torch thou hast climb'd higher,
Than he ? who stole celestial fire.
TO MR. HENRY LAWES,
Verse makes heroic virtue live;
But you can life to verses give.
As, when in open air we blow, Like Proteus, in variety of shapes;
The breath (though strain'd) sounds flat and low, Who Fas, nor this, nor that; but all we find,
But if a trumpet take the blast,
It lifts it high and makes it last :
Of nymphs, who, singing what we penn'd,
Our passions to themselves commend;
While Love, victorious with thy art, FLETCHER! to thee we do not only owe
Governs at once their voice and heart. All those good plays, but those of others too: You, by the help of tune and time, The wit repeated, does support the stage,
Can make that song, which was but rhyme:
Noy & pleading, no man doubts the cause,
What brave commander is not proud, to see Lets in a light but dim and faint;
So others, with division, hide
The light of sense, the poet's pride :
The writer's and the setter's skill
At once the ravish'd ears do fill. Deter'd by that inimitable Maid 6.
Let those, which only warble long, And, when I venture at the comic style,
And gargle in their throats a song,
Thas has thy Muse at once improv'd and marr'd Let words and sense be set by thee.
TO SIR WILLIAM D'AVENANT,
UPON HIS TWO FIRST BOOKS OP GONDIBERT: WRITTEN IN
Thus the wise nightingale, that leaves her home, Despairing stand; their sport is at the best. Her native wood, when storms and winter come,
Pursuing constantly the cheerful spring,
The drooping Hebrews banish’d, harps, unstrung,
Yours sounds aloud, and tells us you excel
No less in courage, than in singing well ; How bold a work attempts that pen,
While, unconcern'd, you let your country know, Which would enrich our vulgar tongue
They have impoverish'd themselves, not you; With the high raptures of those men,
Who, with the Muses' help, can mock those Fates, Who here with the same spirit sung,
Which threaten kingdoms, and disorder states. 6 The Maid's Tragedy.
7 Prometheus. 8 The attorney-generat:
Sn Ovid, when from Cæsar's rage he fled,
Thus would I further yet engage
Since none doth more to Phæbus owe,
Or in more languages can show
Those arts, which you so early know.
WORTHY FRIEND MASTER EVELYN,
UPON HIS TRANSLATION OF LUCRETIUS Like new-stamp'd coin, made out of angel-gold:
LUCRETIUS (with a stork-like fate, Such truth in love, as th' antique world did know,
Born and translated in a state) In such a style, as courts may boast of now;
Comes to proclaim, in English verse, Which no bold tales of gods or monsters swell,
No monarch rules the universe: But human passions, such as with us dwell.
But chance and atoms make this ALL Man is thy theme; his virtue, or his rage,
In order democratical; Drawn to the life in each elaborate page.
Where bodies freely run their course, Mars, nor Bellona, are not named here,
Without design, or fate, or force. But such a Gondibert as both might fear:
And this in such a strain he sings, Venus had here, and Hebe, been outshin'd, As if his Muse, with angels' wings, By thy bright Birtha, and thy Rhodalind.
Had soar'd beyond our utmost sphere, Such is thy happy skill, and such the odds,
And other worlds discover'd there. Betwixt thy worthies, and the Grecian gods !
For his immortal, boundless wit, Whose deities in vain had here come down,
To Nature does no bounds permit; Where mortal beauty wears the sovereign crown:
But boldly has remov'd those bars Such as, of flesh compos'd, by flesh and blood,
Of heaven, and earth, and seas, and stars,
By which they were before suppos'd,
So vast this argument did seem,
That the wise author did esteem
O'er the whole world, in triumph led)
A tongue too narrow to unfold
The wonders which he would have told.
This speaks thy glory, noble friend!
And British language does commend : The Muses all the chase adorn;
For here Lucretius whole we find, My friend on Pegasus is borne:
His words, his music, and his mind. And young Apollo winds the horn.
Thy art has to our country brought
All that he writ, and all he thought. Having old Gratius in the wind,
Ovid translated, Virgil too, No pack of critics e'er could find,
Show'd long since what our tongue could do: Or he know more of his own mind.
Nor Lucan we, nor Horace spar'd; Here huntsmen with delight may read
Only Lucretius was too hard. How to choose dogs, for scent or speed,
Lucretius, like a fort, did stand And how to change or mend the breed :
Untouch'd, till your victorious hand
Did from his head this garland bear, What arms to use, or nets to frame,
Which now upon your own you wear. Wild beasts to combat, ar to tame;
A garland ! made of such new bays, With all the mysteries of that game.
And sought in such untrodden ways,
As no man's temples e'er did crown,
Save this great anthor's, and your own.
WORTHY FRIEND SIR THOS. HIGGONS,
UPON HIS TRANSLATION OF THE VENETIAN TRIUMPH. No quarter now: but with the gun Men wait in trees from sun to sun,
The winged lion's 9 not so fierce in fight, And all is in a moment done.
As Liberi's band presents him to our sight;
Nor would his pencil make him half so fierce, And therefore we expect your next
Or roar so loud, as Businello's verse:
9 The arms of Venice.
THE TRANSLATOR OF GRATIUS.
VERSES TO DR. ROGERS...CHLORIS AND HYLAS. But your translation does all three excel,
CHLO. Hylas! the birds which chaunt in this grove, The fight, the piece, and lofty Businel.
Could we but know the language they use,
For love their breasts does fill with such a fire, Mor'd with a fuller and a nobler gale.
That what they once do choose, bounds their desire. Thus, while your Muse spreads the Venetian story, You make all Europe emulate her glory:
AYL. Chloris! this change the birds do approve, You make them blush, weak Venice should defend
Which the warm season hither does bring:
You, than the winter from the gay spring : Bxcause they're taught to use some different phrase. She that like lightning shin'd while her face lasted, 1, listening to your charms, we could our jars
The oak now resembles which lightning hath blasted. Compose, and on the Turk discharge these wars; Our British arms the sacred tomb might wrest From pagan hands, and triumph o'er the East : And then you might our own high deeds recite, And sith great Tasso celebrate the fight.
SIR JOHN SUCKLING'S VERSES.
IN ANSWER OF
VERSES TO DR. GEORGE ROGERS,
05 HIS TAKING THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR IN PHYSIC AT
PADUA, IN THE YEAR 1664.
When, as of old, the Earth's bold children strove,
ve brave friend, suppose that thy great skill,
Edm. Waller, Anglus.
Stay here, fond youth, and ask no more; be wise;
PRO. And, by your knowledge, we should be hereft
con. The virtuous joys thon hast, thou wouldst
PRO. How can the joy, or hope, which you allow,
con. Fruition adds no new wealth, but destroys;
PRO. Blessings may be repeated, while they cloy;
con. Urge not ’tis necessary; alas! we know
PRO. I need not plough, since what the stooping
con. Women enjoy'd, whate'er before they've been,
PRO. Plays and romances, read and seen, do fall
CON. 'Tis expectation makes a blessing dear;
PRO. If 'twere not Heaven, if we knew what it were, "Twould not be Heaven to those who now are there.
CALORIS AND HYLAS.
MADE TO A SARABAND.
Hrias, oh Hylas! why sit we mute,
Now that each bird saluteth the spring?
Never canst thou want matter to sing :
Of various flowers the bees do compose;
Of violet, woodbine, pink, or rose :
con. And as in prospects we are there pleas'd most, To man, that was in th' evening made,
PRO. Restraint preserves the pleasure we have got, Then, at Aurora, whose fair hand
Remov'd them from the skies,
She entertain'd his eyes.
All those he 'gan despise;
His wonder was determin'd there, Of the fair prospect may be always new.
And could no higher rise : con. They, who know all the wealth they have, are He neither might, nor wish'd to know He's only rich, that cannot tell his store. [poor; A more refulgent light:
PRO. Not he that knows the wealth he has is poor; For that (as mine your beauties now) But he that dares not touch, nor use his store.
Employ'd his utmost sight.
TO A FRIEND,
TO ZELINDA. OF THE DIFFERENT SUCCESS OF THEIR LOVES. Fairest piece of well-form'd earth! Thrice happy pair! of whom we cannot know
Urge not thus your haughty birth : Which first began to love, or loves most now :
The power which you have o'er us, lies Fair course of passion! where two lovers start,
Not in your race, but in your eyes. And run together, heart still yok'd with heart:
None but a prince !-Alas! that voice Successful youth! whom love has taught the way
Confines you to a narrow choice.
Should you no honey vow to taste,
But what the master-bees have plac'd
In compass of their cells, how small 1, with a different fate, pursued in vain
A portion to your share would fall! The haughty Cælia; till my just disdain
Nor all appear, among those few, Of her neglect, above that passion borne,
Worthy the stock from whence they grew : Did pride to pride oppose, and scorn to scorn.
The sap, which at the root is bred, Now she relents; but all too late, to move
In trees, through all the boughs is spread; A heart directed to a nobler love:
But virtues, which in parents shine, The scales are turn'd, her kindness weighs no more
Make not like progress through the line.
'Tis not from whom, but where, we live : Now, than my vows and service did before.
The place does oft those graces give.
Great Julius, on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps, or herd, had led: That with bold hands the Argive fleet he fires :
He?, that the world subdued, had been But there, from Heaven the blue-ey'd virgin' falls, "Tis art, and knowledge, which draw forth
But the best wrestler on the green.
The hidden seeds of native worth:,
They blow those sparks, and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.
To the old heroes hence was given
A pedigree, which reach'd to heaven:
Of mortal seed they were not held,
As your's, Zelinda! claims no less.
Smile but on me, and you shall scorn,
Henceforth, to be of princos born.
I can describe the shady give,
Where your lov'd mother slept with Jove, Of the grape's surprising juice,
And yet excuse the faultless dame, 'To the first delicious cup
Caught with her spouse's shape and name: All their reason render up;
Thy matchless form will credit bring
To all the wonders I shall sing.
TO MY LADY MORTON,
ON NEW-YEAR'S DAY, AT THE LOUVRE IN PARIS. 'Tis not she that first we love,
Mapam! new years may well expect to find But whom dying we approve.
Welcome from you, to whom they are so kind; 1 Minerva