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Hyl. But say, from whence in thee this knowledge springs,

Of what his favour was with gods and kings, Mel. Dorus, who long had known books, men, and towns,

At last the honour of our woods and downs,
Had often heard his songs, was often fir'd
With their enchanting power, ere he retir'd,
And ere himself to our still groves he brought,
To meditate on what his muse had taught:
Here all his joy was to revolve alone,
All that her music to his soul had shown,
Or in all meetings to divert the stream

Of our discourse; and make his friend his theme, And praising works which that rare loom hath weav'd,

Impart that pleasure which he had receiv'd.
So in sweet notes (which did all tunes excell,
But what he praised) I oft have heard him tell
Of his rare pen, what was the use and price,
The bays of virtue and the scourge of vice:
How the rich ignorant he valued least,
Nor for the trappings would esteem the beast;
But did our youth to noble actions raise,
Hoping the meed of his immortal praise:
How bright and soon his Muse's morning shone,
Her noon how lasting, and her evening none.
How speech exceeds not dumbness, nor verse
prose,

More than his verse the low rough times of those, (For such, his seen, they seem'd,) who highest rear'd,

Possest Parnassus ere his power appear'd.
Nor shall another pen his fame dissolve,
Till we this doubtful problem can resolve,
Which in his works we most transcendant see,
Wit, judgment, learning, art, or industry;

VOL. IX.

A a

Which till is never, so all jointly flow,
And each doth to an equal torrent grow:
His learning such, no author old nor new,
Escap'd his reading that deserved his view,
And such his judgment, so exact his test,
Of what was best in books, as what books best,
That had he join'd those notes his labours took,
From each most prais'd and praise-deserving book,
And could the world of that choice treasure
boast,

It need not care though all the rest were lost:
And such his wit, he writ past what he quotes,
And his productions far exceed his notes.
So in his works where aught inserted grows,
The noblest of the plants engrafted shows,
That his adopted children equal not,
The generous issue his own brain begot :
So great his art, that much which he did write,
Gave the wise wonder, and the crowd delight,
Each sort as well as sex admir'd his wit,
The he's and she's, the boxes and the pit;
And who less lik'd within, did rather choose,
To tax their judgments than suspect his muse.
How no spectator his chaste stage could call
The cause of any crime of his, but all
With thoughts and wills purg'd and amended rise,
From th' ethic lectures of his comedies,
Where the spectators act, and the sham'd age
Blusheth to meet her follies on the stage;
Where each man finds some light he never sought,
And leaves behind some vanity he brought;
Whose politics no less the minds direct,
Than these the manners, nor with less effect,
When his Majestic Tragedies relate
All the disorders of a tottering state,
All the distempers which on kingdoms fall,
When ease, and wealth, and vice are general,

And yet the minds against all fear assure,
And telling the disease, prescribe the cure:
Where, as he tells what subtle ways, what friends,
(Seeking their wicked and their wish'd-for ends)
Ambitious and luxurious persons prove,
Whom vast desires, or mighty wants do move,
The general frame to sap and undermine,
In proud Sejanus, and bold Catiline;

So in his vigilant Prince and Consul's parts,
He shews the wiser and the nobler arts,
By which a state may be unhurt, upheld,

And all those works destroyed, which hell would build.

Who (not like those who with small praise had writ,

Had they not call'd in judgment to their wit)
Us'd not a tutoring hand his to direct,
But was sole workman and sole architect.
And sure by what my friend did daily tell,
If he but acted his own part as well
As he writ those of others, he may boast,
The happy fields hold not a happier ghost.
Hyl. Strangers will think this strange, yet he
(dear youth)

Where most he past belief, fell short of truth:
Say on, what more he said, this gives relief,
And though it raise my cause, it bates my grief,
Since fates decreed him now no longer liv'd,
I joy to hear him by thy friend reviv'd.

Mel. More he would say, and better, (but I spoil

His smoother words with my unpolish'd style) And having told what pitch his worth attain'd, He then would tell us what reward it gain'd: How in an ignorant, and learn'd age he sway'd, (Of which the first he found, the second made)

How he, when he could know it, reap'd his fame,
And long out-liv'd the envy of his name:
To him how daily flock'd, what reverence gave,
All that had wit, or would be thought to have,
Or hope to gain, and in so large a store,
That to his ashes they can pay no more,
Except those few who censuring, thought not so,
But aim'd at glory from so great a foe:
How the wise too, did with mere wits agree,
As Pembroke, Portland, and grave Aubigny;
Nor thought the rigid'st senator a shame,
To contribúte to so deserv'd a fame:
How great Eliza, the retreat of those
Who, weak and injur'd, her protection chose,
Her subject's joy, the strength of her allies,
The fear and wonder of her enemies,
With her judicious favours did infuse
Courage and strength into his younger muse.
How learned James, whose praise no end shall
find,

(But still enjoy a fame pure like his mind)
Who favour'd quiet, and the arts of peace,
(Which in his halcyon days found large encrease)
Friend to the humblest if deserving swain,
Who was himself a part of Phoebus' train,
Declar'd great JONSON worthiest to receive
The garland which the Muses' hands did weave;
And though his bounty did sustain his days,
Gave a more welcome pension in his praise.
How mighty Charles amidst that weighty care,
In which three kingdoms as their blessing share,
Whom as it tends with ever watchful eyes,
That neither power may force, nor art surprise,
So bounded by no shore, grasps all the main,
And far as Neptune claims, extends his reign;
Found still some time to hear and to admire,
The happy sounds of his harmonious lyre,

And oft hath left his bright exalted throne,
And to his Muse's feet combin'd his own:*
As did his queen, whose person so disclos'd
A brighter nymph than any part impos'd,
When she did join, by an harmonious choice,
Her graceful motions to his powerful voice:
How above all the rest was Phoebus fired
With love of arts, which he himself inspired,
Nor oftener by his light our sense was cheer'd,
Than he in person to his sight appear'd,
Nor did he write a line but to supply,
With sacred flame the radiant god was by.
Hyl. Though none I ever heard this last re-
hearse,

I saw as much when I did see his verse.

Mel. Since he, when living, could such honours have,

What now will piety pay to his grave?

Shall of the rich (whose lives were low and vile,
And scarce deserv'd a grave, much less a pile)
The monuments possess an ample room,
And such a wonder lie without a tomb?
Raise thou him one in verse, and there relate
His worth, thy grief, and our deplored state;
His great perfections our great loss recite,
And let them merely weep who cannot write.

Hyl. I like thy saying, but oppose thy choice;
So great a task as this requires a voice
Which must be heard, and listened to, by all,
And Fame's own trumpet but appears too small,
Then for my slender reed to sound his name,
Would more my folly than his praise proclaim,
And when you wish my weakness, sing his worth,
You charge a mouse to bring a mountain forth.
I am by nature form'd, by woes made, dull,
My head is emptier than my heart is full;

* In his Masques. Old Copy.

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