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Not puffod with weening self-affected pride,
Common to upstart honours counterfeit,
But favouring the worthy, he supplied
Desert's necessities, and made the height
Of his advancement on their needs to wait :
• True nobleness with breath sucks noble spirits,
«Where bastard broods conceit but bastard merits.'
Men rais'd to float of fortune from the mud
Of low dejection, and at length grown great,
Forget that they are men, and scorn the blood
Of mean alliance, boasting in the seat
Of empire which ambition doth beget:
Such not esteem desert, but sensual vaunts
Of parasites and fawning sycophants.
Be tyrants kings to such şervility ?
And peasants servile to such curs of shame?
DEVONSHIRE, the issue of nobility,
Avoided rumour of such foul defame;
True virtue graced his mind, applause his name:
Applause his name, which, while the heavens divine
Contain their lights, upon the earth will shine.
True virtue graced his mind, be witness ever,
The provident fore-care of wise discretion,
His wary prudence which did still endeavour
To hold him from the wrack of spite's impression,
From faith approv'd he never made digression:
· That is true prudence when, devoid of fear,
• A man untouch'd himself upright doth bear.'
True virtue graced his mind, in which was grounded
The modest essence of firm temperance,
Which never was with fortune's change confounded,
Or troubled with the cross of fickle chance ;
Distrust his spirit never could enhance :
That man is perfect temperate whose life
Can never be disturb’d, but free from strife.
True virtue graced his mind, witness his courage,
His resolution armed fortitude;
Witness his stomach's prime, which striv'd to forage
Extremes even by extremities subdu'd ;
Slaves with the eye of pity he review'd:
He who can conquer.miseries in need,
Enjoys the height of fortitude indeed.
True virtue graced his mind, witness at last
His sober carriage 'twixt the scales of measure,
Who, when he was in awe of justice placed,
Studied how to the meanest to do pleasure,
So rare a gift in such a man's a treasure:
Sincerest justice is not to discern,
But to defend, aid, further, and confirm.
True virtue graced his mind, witness all these
Which in his person were essential,
Ready to help the poor, the great to please
In rights of honour, neither great or small
Would he prefer, but merit pois'd them all:
Since all these virtues were in him combined,
Truth will avow true virtue graced his mind.
Not in the wrack of prodigality,
Nor thriftless riot of respectless mien,
Did he extend his liberality,
But to his honour's credit, where was seen
Apparent worthiness, he still hath been
A patron to the learned, and a prop
To favour study's now despised crop.
Thou marrow of our English poesy;
Thou life and blood of verse canst record this;
The bounty of his zeal can gratify
Thy labours of endeavours: what was his
He granted to thy Muse's happiest bliss ?
A liberal Macænas to reward thee,
A lord of special favour to regard thee.
By firm allegiance, courtesy, and kindness,
Unto his prince, his peers, his friends endear’d;
By stern constraint, meek scorn, and willing blindness
Of all his foes, backbiters, grudgers, fear'd:
He in his life-time evermore appear'd
Peace, pity, love with mildness, ease, and rest,
Ruld, forgave, joy'd his soul, his wrongs, his breast.
Link'd in the graceful bonds of dearest life,
Unjustly term’d disgraceful, he enjoy'd
Content's abundance, happiness was rife,
Pleasure secure, no troubled thought annoy'd
His comfort, sweets, toil was in toil destroy'd :
Maugre the throat of malice, spite of spite,
He liv'd united to his heart's delight.
His heart's delight, who was that glorious star
Which beautified the value of our land,
The lights of whose perfections brighter are
Than all the lamps which in the lustre stand
Of heaven's forehead, by discretion scann'd:
Wit's ornament, earth's love, love's paradise,
A saint divine, a beauty fairly wise.
A beauty fairly wise, wisely discreet
In winking mildly at the tongue of rụmour;
A saint, merely divine, divinely sweet,
In banishing the pride of idle humour,
Not relishing the vanity of tumour,
More than to a female of so high a race:
With meekness bearing sorrow's sad disgrace.
A sad disgrace! O that the eyes of sense
into the nature of the worst;
Poor fortune's envy, greatness, eminence,
Because themselves in worldly cares are nurs'd,
Deluding types of honour as accurs'd:
When they themselves are most accurs’d of all,
Who being lowest lower cannot fall.
Even as a quire of model-tuning birds,
Chirping their lays in nature's pliant strain,
Even so these courtiers flow'd in terms of words,
Until the nightingale in sweet complain,
Did urge the rest as ravish'd to refrain:
So this heart-stealing goddess charm’d their ears
To hear her fluent wit, they blush at theirs.
Let merit take her due, unfeed I write,
Compell’d by instance of apparent right,
Nor chok'd with private hopes do I indite,
But led by truth as known as is the light,
By proof as clear as day, as day as bright:
I reck not taunting mocks, but pity rather
The foolish offspring of so vain a father.
DEVONSHIRE, I write of thee, a theme of wonder,
Wonder unto posterity succeeding,
A style importing fame, as-loud as thunder,
Sounding throughout the world; the times yet breeding,
Shall deify thee by this story's reading :
Making large statues to honorify
Thy name, Memorials' rites to glorify.
As oft as James, the monarch of our peace,
Shall be in after chronicles recited,
In that to heaven's applause and subjects' ease,
England and Scotland he in one united,
A sight with which true Britons were delighted;
So oft shalt thou eternal favour gain,
Who recollectedst Ireland to them twain.
A work of thanks in strengthening the force
Of such an entire empire now secure,
A world within itself, which, while the course
Of heaven continueth lasting, will endure,
Fearless of foreign power, strong and sure:
A bulwark intermur'd with walls of brass,
A like can never be, nor ever was.