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They, neighbours to your eyes, Show but like Phosphor when the Sun doth rise. I would have all my mistress' parts Owe more to Nature than to arts;
I would not woo the dress,
Or one whose nights give less
Contentment than the day,
She's fair, whose beauty only makes her gay,
For 'tis not buildings make a court,
Or pomp, but 'tis the king's resort:
If Jupiter down pour
Himself, and in a shower
Hide such bright majesty,
Ie than a golden one it cannot be.
ON THE UNCERTAINTY OF FORTUNE.
LEAVE off unfit complaints, and clear
From sighs your breast, and from black clouds
When the Sun shines not with his wonted cheer,
And Fortune throws an adverse cast for you!
That sea which vext with Notus is,
The merry East-winds will to morrow kiss.
The Sun to day rides drowsily,
To-morrow 'twill put on a look more fair:
Laughter and groaning do alternately
Return, and tears sport's nearest neighbours are.
'Tis by the gods appointed so,
That good fare should with mingled dangers flow.
Who drave his oxen yesterday,
Doth now over the noblest Romans reign,
And on the Gabii and the Cures lay
The yoke which from his oxen he had ta'en:
Whom Hesperus saw poor and low,
The Morning's eye beholds him greatest now.
If Fortune knit amongst her play
But seriousness, he shall again go home
To his old country-farm of yesterday,
To scoffing people no mean jest become;
And with the crowned axe, which he
Had rul'd the world, go back and prune some tree;
Nay, if he want the fuel cold requires,
With his own fasces he shall make him fires.
IN COMMENDATION OF THE TIME WE LIVE UNDER, THE REIGN OF OUR GRACIOUS KING CHARLES.
CURST be that wretch (Death's factor sure) who brought
Dire swords into the peaceful world, and taught
Smiths (who before could only make
The spade, the plough-share, and the rake)
Arts, in most cruel wise
Man's life t' epitomize!
Then Revenge, married to Ambition,
Begat black War; then Avarice crept on;
Then limits to each field were strain'd,
And Terminus a god-head gain'd,
To meu before was found,
Besides the sea, no bound.
AN ANSWER TO AN INVITATION TO
NICHOLS, my better self! forbear;
For, if thou tell'st what Cambridge pleasures
The schoolboy's sin will light on me,
I shall, in mind at least, a truant be.
Tell me not how you feed your mind
With dainties of philosophy;
In Ovid's nut I shall not find
The taste once pleased me.
O tell me not of logic's diverse cheer!
I shall begin to loathe our crambo here.
Tell me not how the waves appear Of Cam, or how it cuts the learned shire;
I shall contemn the troubled Thames
On her chief holiday; ev'n when her streams
Are with rich folly gilded; when
The quondam dung-boat is made gay,
Just like the bravery of the men,
And graces with fresh paint that day;
When th' city shines with flags and pageants there,
And satin doublets, seen not twice a year,
TENTANDA VIA EST, &c.
WHAT shall I do to be for ever known,
And make the age to come my own?
I shall, like beasts or common people, die,
Unless you write my elegy;
Whilst others great, by being born, are grown ;
Their mothers' labour, not their own.
In this scale gold, in th' other fame does lie,
The weight of that mounts this so high.
These men are Fortune's jewels, moulded bright;
Brought forth with their own fire and light:
If I, her vulgar stone, for either look,
Out of myself it must be strook.
Yet I must on. What sound is 't strikes mine ear?
Sure I Fame's trumpet hear:
It sounds like the last trumpet; for it can
Raise up the buried man.
Unpast Alps stop me; but I'll cut them all,
And march, the Muses' Hannibal.
Hence, all the flattering vanities that lay
Nets of roses in the way!
Hence, the desire of honours or estate,
And all that is not above Fate !
Hence, Love himself, that tyrant of my days!
Which intercepts my coming praise.
Come, my best friends, my books! and lead me
Why do I stay then? I would meet
Thee there, but plummets hang upon my feet;
'Tis my chief wish to live with thee,
But not till I deserve thy company:
Till then, we'll scorn to let that toy,
Some forty miles, divide our hearts:
Write to me, and I shall enjoy
Friendship and wit, thy better parts.
Though envious Fortune larger hindrance brings,
We'll easily see each other; Love hath wings,
"Tis time that I were gone. Welcome, great Stagyrite! and teach me now All I was born to know:
Thy scholar's victories thou dost far out-do;
He conquer'd th' earth, the whole world you. Welcome, learn'd Cicero! whose blest tongue and wit
Preserves Rome's greatness yet: Thou art the first of orators; only he
Hence 'tis, a Wit, that greatest word of fame,
Grows such a common name;
And Wits by our creation they become,
Just so as titular bishops made at Rome.
'Tis not a tale, 'tis not a jest
Admir'd with laughter at a feast,
Nor florid talk, which can that title gain;
The proofs of Wit for ever must remain.
'Tis not to force some lifeless verses meet
With their five gouty feet.
All, every where, like man's, must be the soul,
And Reason the inferior powers controul.
Who best can praise thee, next must be.
Welcome the Mantuan swan, Virgil the wise!
Such were the numbers which could call
The stones into the Theban wall.
Such miracles are ceas'd; and now we see
No towns or houses rais'd by poetry.
Yet 'tis not to adorn and gild each part;
That shows more cost than art.
Jewels at nose and lips but ill appear;
Ratner than all things Wit, let none be there.
Several lights will not be seen,
If there be nothing else between.
Whose verse walks highest, but not flies;
Who brought green Poesy to her perfect age,
And made that art which was a rage.
Tell me, ye mighty Three! what shall I do
To be like one of you?
But you have climb'd the mountain's top, there sit Men doubt, because they stand so thick i' th' sky, If those be stars which paint the galaxy.
On the calm flourishing head of it,
Some things do through our judgment pass
As through a multiplying-glass;
And sometimes, if the object be too far,
We take a falling meteor for a star,
T's not when two like words make up one noise
(Jests for Dutch men and English boys);
In which who finds out Wit, the same may see
In an'grams and acrostic poetry:
Much less can that have any place
At which a virgin hides her face.
'Such dross the fire must purge away: 'tis just
The author blush there, where the reader must.
Tis not such lines as almost crack the stage
When Bajazet begins to rage;
Nor'a tall metaphor in the bombast way;
Nor the dry chips of short-lung'd Seneca ;
Nor upon all things to obtrude
And force some odd similitude.
What is it then, which, like the power divine, We only can by negatives define?
In a true piece of Wit all things must be,
Yet all things there agree;
As in the ark, join'd without force or strife,
All creatures dwelt; all creatures that had life:
Or, as the primitive forms of all
(If we compare great things with small) Which, without discord, or confusion, lie In that strange mirror of the Deity.
But Love, that moulds one man up out of two,
Makes me forget, and injure you :
I took you for myself, sure, when I thought
That you in any thing were to be taught,
Correct my errour with thy pen;
And, if any ask me then
What thing right Wit and height of genius is,
I'll only show your lines, and say, "Tis this,
TO THE LORD FALKLAND,
FOR HIS SAFE RETURN FROM THE NORTHERN EXPEDITION AGAINST THE SCOTS.
GREAT is thy charge, O North! be wise and just,
England commits her Falkland to thy trust;
Return him safe; Learning would rather choose
Her Bodley or her Vatican to lose:
All things that are but writ or printed there,
In his unbounded breast engraven are.
There all the sciences together meet,
And every art does all her kindred greet,
Yet justle not, nor quarrel; but as well
Agree as in some common principle.
So, in an army govern'd right, we see
(Though out of several countries rais'd it be)
That all their order and their place maintain,
The English, Dutch, the Frenchman, and the Dane:
So thousand divers species fill the air,
Yet neither crowd nor mix confus'dly there;
Beasts, houses, trees, and men, together lie,
Yet enter undisturb'd into the eye.
And this great prince of knowledge is by Fate
Thrust into th' noise and business of a state.
All virtues, and some customs of the court,
Other men's labour, are at least his sport;
Whilst we, who can no action undertake,
Whom idleness itself might learned make;
Who hear of nothing, and as yet scarce know,
Whether the Scots in England be or no;
Pace dully on, oft tire, and often stay,
Yet see his nimble Pegasus fly away.
"Tis Nature's fault, who did thus partial grow,
And her estate of wit on one bestow;
ON THE DEATH OF
SIR HENRY WOOTTON.
WHAT Shall we say, since silent now is he
Who when he spoke, all things would silent be?
Who had so many languages in store,
That only Fame shall speak of him in more;
Whom England now no more return'd must see;
He's gone to Heaven on his fourth embassy.
On Earth he travell'd often; not to say
H' had been abroad, or pass loose time away.
In whatsoever land he chanc'd to come,
He read the men and manners, bringing home
Their wisdom, learning, and their piety,
As if he went to conquer, not too see.
So well he understood the most and best
Of tongues, that Babel sent io the West;
Spoke them so truly, that he had (you'd swear)
Not only liv'd, but been born every where.
Justly each nation's speech to him was known,
Who for the world was made, not us alone;
Nor ought the language of that man be less,
Who in his breast had all things to express.
We say, that learning's endless, and blame Fate
For not allowing life a louger date:
He did the utmost bounds of knowledge find,
He found them not so large as was his mind;
But, like the brave Pellæan youth, did moan
Because that art had no more worlds than one;
And, when he saw that he through all had past,
He dy'd, lest should idle grow at last.
ON THE DEATH OF MR. JORDAN,
SECOND MASTER AT WESTMINSTER SCHOOL.
HENCE, and make room for me, all you who come
Only to read the epitaph on this tomb!
Here lies the master of my tender years,
The guardian of my parents' hope and fears;
Whose government ne'er stood me in a tear;
All weeping was reserv'd to spend it here.
Come hither, all who his rare virtues knew,
And mourn with me: he was your tutor too.
Let's join our sighs, till they fly far, and shew
His native Belgia what she's now to do.
The league of grief bids her with us lament;
By her he was brought forth, and hither sent
In payment of all men we there had lost,
And all the English blood those wars have cost.
Wisely did Nature this learn'd man divide;
His birth was theirs, his death the mournful pride
Of England; and, t' avoid the envious strife
Of other lands, all Europe had his life,
ON HIS MAJESTY'S RETURN...DEATH OF VANDYCK.
But we in chief; our country soon was grown
A debtor more to him, than he to 's own.
He pluckt from youth the follies and the crimes,
And built up men against the future times;
For deeds of age are in their causes then,
Was a thing full of reverence, profit, fame;
Father itself was but a second name.
And though he taught but boys, he made the men.
Hence 'twas a master, in those ancient days
When men sought knowledge first, and by it And hasted to the sea to tell the news:
How was the silver Tine frighted before,
And durst not kiss the armed shore!
His waters ran more swiftly than they use,
The sea itself, how rough soe'er,
Could scarce believe such fury here.
How could the Scots and we be enemies grown?
That, and its master Charles, had made us one.
No blood so loud as that of civil war:
It calls for dangers from afar.
Let's rather go and seek out them and fame;
Thus our fore-fathers got, thus left, a name :
All their rich blood was spent with gains,
But that which swells their children's veins.
Why sit we still, our spirits wrapt in lead?
Not like them whilst they liv'd, but now they're
He scorn'd the profit; his instructions all
Were, like the science, free and liberal.
He deserv'd honours, but despis'd them too,
As much as those who have them others do.
He knew not that which compliment they call;
Could flatter none, but himself least of all.
So true, so faithful, and so just, as he
Was nought on Earth but his own memory;
His memory, where all things written were,
As sure and fixt as in Fate's books they are.
Thus be in arts so vast a treasure gain'd,
Whilst still the use came in, and stock remain'd:
And, having purchas'd all that man can know,
He labour'd with 't to enrich others now;
Did thus a new and harder task sustain,
Like those that work in mines for others' gain:
He, though more nobly, had much more to do,
To search the vein, dig, purge, and mint it too.
Though my excuse would be, I must confess,
Much better had his diligence been less;
But, if a Muse hereafter smile on me,
And say, "Be thou a poet !" men shall see
That none could a more grateful scholar have;
For what I ow'd his life I'll pay his grave.
ON HIS MAJESTY'S RETURN
OUT OF SCOTLAND.
ELCOME, great Sir! with all the joy that's due
To the return of peace and you ;
Two greatest blessings which this age can know !
For that to thee, for thee to Heaven we owe.
Others by war their conquests gain,
You like a god your ends obtain;
Who, when rude Chaos for his help did call,
Spoke but the word and sweetly order'd all.
This happy concord in no blood is writ,
None can grudge Heaven full thanks for it:
No mothers here lament their children's fate,
And like the peace, but think it comes too late.
No widows hear the jocund bells,
And take them for their husbands' knells:
No drop of blood is spilt, which might be said
To mark our joyful holiday with red.
'Twas only Heaven could work this wondrous thing,
And only work't by such a king.
Again the northern hinds may sing and plough,
And fear no harm but from the weather now;
Again may tradesmen love their pain,
By knowing now for whom they gain;
The armour now may be hung up to sight,
And only in their halls the children fright.
The gain of civil wars will not allow
Bay to the conqueror's brow:
At such a game what fool would venture in,
Where one must lose yet neither side can win?
How justly would our neighbours smile
At these mad quarrels of our isle;
Swell'd with proud hopes to snatch the whole away
Whilst we bet all, and yet for nothing play!
The noise at home was but Fate's policy,
To raise our spirits more high:
So a bold lion, ere he seeks his prey,
Lashes his sides and roars, and then away.
How would the German eagle fear,
To see a new Gustavus there;
How would it shake, though as 'twas wont to do
For Jove of old, now bore thunder too!
Sure there are actions of this height and praise
Destin'd to Charles's days!
What will the triumphs of his battles be,
Whose very peace itself is victory!
When Heaven bestows the best of kings,
It bids us think of mighty things:
His valour, wisdom, offspring, speak no less;
And we, the prophets' sons, write not by guess.
ON THE DEATH OF
SIR ANTHONY VANDYCK,
THE FAMOUS PAINTER.
VANDYCK is dead; but what bold Muse shall dare
(Though poets in that word with painters share)
T'express her sadness? Poesy must become
An art like Painting here, an art that's dumb.
Let's all our solemn grief in silence keep,
Like some sad picture which he made to weep,
Or those who saw't; for none his works could view
Unmoved with the same passions which he drew.
His pieces so with their live objects strive,
That both or pictures seem, or both alive.
Nature herself, amaz'd, does doubting stand,
And does attempt the like with less success,
Which is her own, and which the painter's hand;
When her own work in twins she would express,
His all-resembling pencil did out-pass
The mimic imagery of looking-glass.
Nor was his life less perfect than his art.
Nor was his hand less erring than his heart.
There was no false or fading colour there,
The figures sweet and well-proportion'd were.
Most other men, set next to him in view,
Appear'd more shadows than the men he drew.
Thus still he liv'd, till Heav'n did for him call;
Where reverend Luke salutes him first of all;
Where he beholds new sights, divinely fair, And could almost wish for his pencil there; Did he not gladly see how all things shine, Wondrously painted in the Mind Divine, Whilst he, for ever ravish'd with the show, Scorns his own art, which we admire below.
Only his beauteous lady still he loves (The love of heavenly objects Heaven improves); He sees bright angels in pure beams appear, And thinks on her he left so like them here. And you, fair widow! who stay here alive, Since he so much rejoices, cease to grieve: Yourjoys and griefs were wont the same to be; Begin not now, blest pair! to disagree. No wonder Death move not his generous mind; You, and a new-born you, he left behind: Ev'n Fate express'd his love to his dear wife, And let him end your picture with his life.
FRIENDSHIP IN ABSENCE. WHEN chance or cruel business parts us two, What do our souls, I wonder, do? Whilst sleep does our dull bodies tie, Methinks at home they should not stay, Content with dreams, but boldly fly Abroad, and meet each other half the way.
Sure they do meet, enjoy each other there,
And mix, I know not how nor where ! Their friendly lights together twine, Though we perceive 't not to be so! Like loving stars, which oft combine, Yet not themselves their own conjunctions know. "Twere an ill world, I'll swear, for every friend, If distance could their union end: But Love itself does far advance Above the power of time and space; It scorns such outward circumstance, His time's for ever, every where his place.
I'm there with thee, yet here with me thou art,
Lodg'd in each other's heart:
Miracles cease not yet in love.
When he his mighty power will try,
Absence itself does bounteous prove,
And strangely ev'n our presence multiply.
Pure is the flame of Friendship, and divine,
Like that which in Heaven's Sun does shine: He in the upper air and sky Does no effects of heat bestow; But, as his beams the farther fly, He begets warmth, life, beauty, here below, Friendship is less apparent when too nigh, Like objects if they touch the eye. Less meritorious then is love;
For when we friends together see
So much, so much both one do prove,
That their love then seems but self-love to be.
Each day think on me, and each day I shall
For thee make hours canonical.
By every wind that comes this way,
Send me, at least, a sigh or two;
Such and so many I'll repay,
As shall themselves make winds to get to you.
A thousand pretty ways we'll think upon,
To mock our separation.
Alas! ten thousand will not do;
My heart will thus no longer stay;
No longer 'twill be kept from you,
But knocks against the breast to get away.
And, when no art affords me help or ease,
I seek with verse my griefs t' appease;
Just as a bird, that flies about
And beats itself against the cage,
Finding at last no passage out,
It sits and sings, and so o'ercoines its rage.
TO THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN,
UPON HIS ENLARGEMENT OUT OF THE TOWER.
PARDON, my lord, that I am come so late
T'express my joy for your return of fate?
So, when injurious Chance did you deprive
Of liberty, at first I could not grieve;