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Or the times' envie :
Cynthius, I applie
My bolder numbers to thy golden lyre:
O, then inspire
HIGH spirited friend,
Thy priest in this strange rapture; heate my braine❘ I send nor balmes, nor cor'sives to your wound,
With Delphick fire:
That I may sing my thoughts, in some unvulgar
Your fate hath found,
A gentler, and more agile hand, to tend
The cure of that, which is but corporall,
And doubtfull dayes (which were nam'd criticall,)
Have made their fairest flight,
And now are out of sight.
Yet doth some wholsome physick for the mind,
Wrapt in this paper lie,
Which in the taking if you mis-apply,
You are unkind.
HELLEN, did Homer never see
Thy beauties, yet could write of thee?
Did Sappho, on her seven-tongu'd lute,
So speake (as yet it is not mute)
Of Phaon's forme? or doth the boy,
In whom Anacreon once did joy,
Lie drawne to life, in his soft verse,
As he whom Maro did rehearse?
Was Lesbia sung by learn'd Catullus?
Or Delia's graces by Tibullus?
Doth Cynthia, in Propertius' song
Shine more, then she the stars among>
Is Horace his each love so high
Rap't from the Earth, as not to die?
With bright Lycoris, Gallus' choice,
Whose fame hath an eternall voice.
Or hath Corynna, by the name
Her Ovid gave her, dimn'd the fame
Of Cæsar's daughter, and the line
Which all the world then styl'd devine?
Hath Petrarch since his Laura rais'd
Equall with her? or Ronsart prais'd
His new Cassandra 'bove the old,
Which all the fate of Troy foretold?
Hath our great Sidney, Stella set,
Where never star shone brighter yet?
Or Constable's ambrosiack Muse
Made Dian not his notes refuse?
Have all these done (and yet I misse
The swan, that so relish'd Pancharis)
And shall not I my Celia bring,
Where men may see whom I doe sing,
Though I, in working of my song,
Come short of all this learned throng,
Yet sure my tunes will be the best,
So much my subject drownes the rest.
TO THE NOBLE LADY, THE LADY MARY WORTH.
I THAT have beene a lover, and could show it,
Though not in these, in rithmes not wholly dumbe,
Since I exscribe your sonnets, am become
A better lover, and much better poët.
Nor is my Muse or I asham'd to owe it
To those true numerous graces; whereof some,
But charme the senses, others over-come
Both braines and hearts; and mine now best doe
For in your verse all Cupid's armorie, [know it:
His flames, his shafts, his quiver, and his bow,
His very eyes are yours to overthrow.
But then his mother's sweets you so apply,
Her joyes, her smiles, her loves, as readers take
For Venus' ceston every line you make.
FIT OF RIME AGAINST RIME.
RIME the rack of finest wits,
That expresseth but by fits
Spoyling senses of their treasure,
Cosening judgement with a measure,
But false weight.
Wresting words, from their true calling;
Propping verse, for feare of falling
To the ground.
Joynting syllabes, drowning letters,
Fasting vowells, as with fetters
They were bound!
Soone as lazie thou wert knowne, All good poëtrie hence was flowne, And was banish'd. For a thousand yeares together, All Pernassus' greene did wither, And wit vanish'd,
Pegasus did flie away,
At the wells no Muse did stay,
So to see the fountaine drie,
And Apollo's musique die,
All light failed!
Starveling rimes did fill the stage, Not a poët in an age,
Worthy crowning. Not a worke deserving baies, Nor a lyne deserving praise, Pallas frowning;
Greeke was free from rime's infection, Happy Greeke by this protection! Was not spoyled. Whilst the Latin, queene of tongues, Is not yet free from rime's wrongs, But rests foiled.
Scarce the hill againe doth flourish,
Scarce the world a wit doth nourish,
Phoebus to his crowne againe;
And the Muses to their braine;
Vulgar languages that want
Words, and sweetnesse, and be scant
Of true measure,
Tyrant rime hath so abused,
That they long since have refused,
He that first invented thee,
May his joynts tormented bee,
Cramp'd for ever;
Still may syllabes jarre with time,
Still may reason warre with rime,
May his sense, when it would meet
The cold tumour in his feet,
And his title be long foole,
That in rearing such a schoole
Was the founder.
WILLIAM LORD BURLEIGH,
LORD HIGH TREASURER OF ENGLAND.
If thou wouldst know the vertues of mankind
Read here in one, what thou in all canst find,
And goe no farther: let this circle be
Thy universe, though his epitome.
Cecill, the grave, the wise, the great, the good:
What is there more that can ennoble blood?
The orphan's pillar, the true subject's shield,
The poore's full store-house, and just servant's field.
The only faithfull watchman for the realme,
That in all tempests never quit the helme,
But stood unshaken in his deeds, and name,
And labour'd in the worke, not with the fame,
That still was good for goodnesse sake, nor thought
Upon reward, till the reward him sought.
Whose offices and honours did surprize,
Rather than meet him: and, before his eyes
Clos'd to their peace, he saw his branches shoot,
And in the noblest families tooke root
Of all the land, who now at such a rate,
Of divine blessing, would not serve a state?
THOMAS LORD ELSMERE,
THE LAST TERME HE SATE CHANCELLOR.
So, justest lord, may all your judgements be Lawes; and no change ere come to one decree:
Presented upon a plate of gold to his son Robert earl of Salisbury, when he was also tresurer, 2 For a poore man.
So may the king proclaime your conscience is
Law to his law; and thinke your enemies his :
So, from all sicknesse, may you rise to health,
The care and wish still of the publike wealth,
So may the gentler Muses, and good fame
Still flie about the odour of your name;
As with the safetie, and honour of the lawes,
You favour truth, and me, in this man's cause.
ANOTHER TO HIM 3.
THE judge his favour timely then extends,
When a good cause is destitute of friends,
Without the pompe of counsell, or more aide,
Then to make falshood blush, and fraud afraid:
When those good few, that her defenders be,
Are there for charitie, and not for fee.
Such shall you heare to day, and find great foes
Both arm'd with wealth and slander to oppose,
Who thus long safe, would gaine upon the times
A right by the prosperitie of their crimes;
Who, though their guilt and perjurie they know,
Thinke, yea and boast, that they have doue it so
As, though the court pursues them on the sent,
They will come of, and scape the punishment:
When this appeares, just lord, to your sharp sight,
He does you wrong, that craves you to doe right.
TO THE COUNCELLOUR THAT PLEADED AND CARRIED THE CAUSE.
THAT I hereafter doe not thinke the barre,
The seat made of a more then civil warre;
Or the great ball at Westminster, the field
Where mutuall frauds are fought, and no side yeild;
That henceforth I beleeve nor bookes, nor men,
Who 'gainst the law weave calumnies, my-
But when I read or heare the names so rife
Of hirelings, wranglers, stitchers-to of strife,
Hook-handed harpies, gowned vultures, put
Upon the reverend pleaders; doe now shut
All mouthes, that dare entitle them (from hence)
To the wolves studie, or dogs eloquence;
Thou art my cause: whose manners since I knew,
Have made me to conceive a lawyer new.
So dost thou studie matter, men, and times,
Mak'st it religion to grow rich by crimes!
Dar'st not abuse thy wisdome in the lawes,
Or skill to carry out an evill cause!
But first dost vexe, and search it! If not sound,
Thou prov'st the gentler wayes, to clense the wound,
And make the scarre faire; if that will not be,
Thou hast the brave scorne, to put back the fee!
But in a businesse, that will bide the touch,
What use, what strength of reason! and how much
Of bookes, of presidents, hast thou at hand?
As if the generall store thou didst command
Of argument, still drawing forth the best,
And not being borrowed by thee, but possest.
So com'st thou like a chiefe into the court
Arm'd at all peeces, as to keepe a fort
TO THE SMALL POXE.
ENVIOUS and foule disease, could there not be
One beautie in an age, and free from thee?
What did she worth thy spight? were there not store
Of those that set by their false faces more
Then this did by her true? she never sought
Quarrell with Nature, or in ballance brought
Art her false servant; nor, for sir Hugh Plot,
Was drawne to practise other hue, then that
Her owne bloud gave her: she ne're had, nor hath
Any beliefe, in madam Baud-bee's bath,
Or Turner's oyle of talck. Nor ever got
Spanish receipt, to make her teeth to rot.
What was the cause then? thought'st thou, in dis-
Of beautie, so to nullifie a face,
That Heaven should make no more; or should amisse,
Make all hereafter, had'st thou ruin'd this?
I, that thy ayme was; but her fate prevail'd:
And scorn'd, thou'ast showne thy malice, but hast
WHAT beautie would have lovely stilde, What manners prettie, nature milde, What wonder perfect, all were fil'd Upon record in this blest child.
And, till the comming of the soule To fetch the flesh, we keepe the roll.
COME, let us here enjoy the shade,
For love in shadow best is made,
Though envie oft his shadow be,
None brookes the sun-light worse then he.
Where love doth shine, there needs no sunne,
All lights into his one doth run;
Without which all the world were darke;
Yet he himselfe is but a sparke.
A sparke to set whole world a-fire,
Who more they burne, they more desire,
And have their being, their waste to see;
And waste still, that they still might be.
Such are his powers, whom time hath stil'd,
Now swift, now slow, now tame, now wild
Now hot, now cold, now fierce, now mild;
The eldest god, yet still a child.
AN EPISTLE TO A FRIEND:
SIR, I am thankfull, first to Heaven, for you;
Next to your selfe, for making your love true:
Then to your love, and gift. And all's but due.
You have unto my store added a booke,
On which with profit I shall never looke,
But must confesse from whom what gift I tooke.
Not like your countrie-neighbours, that commit
Their vice of loving for a Christmasse fit;
Which is indeed but friendship of the spit:
But, as a friend, which name your selfe receave,
And which you (being the worthier) gave me leave
In letters, that mixe spirits, thus to weave.
Which, how most sacred I will ever keepe,
So may the fruitfull vine my temples steepe,
And Fame wake for me, when I yeeld to sleepe.
Though you sometimes proclaime me too severe,
Rigid, and harsh, which is a drug austere
In friendship, I confesse: but deare friend, heare.
Little know they, that professe amitie,
And seeke to scant her comelie libertie,
How much they lame her in her propertie.
We cut not off, till all cures else doe faile:
And then with pause; for sever'd once, that's gone,
Would live his glory, that could keepe it on.
Doe not despaire my mending; to distrust
Before you prove a medicine, is unjust:
You may so place me, and in such an ayre,
As not alone the cure, but scarre be faire.
That is, if still your favours you apply,
And not the bounties you ha' done, deny.
Could you demand the gifts you gave, againe !
Why was't? did e're the cloudes aske back their raine?
The Sunne his heat and light? the ayre his dew?
Or winds the spirit, by which the flower so grew ?
That were to wither all, and make a grave
Of that wise Nature would a cradle have?
Her order is to cherish, and preserve,
Consumption's nature to destroy, and sterve.
But to exact againe what once is given,
Is nature's meere obliquitie! as Heaven
Should aske the blood, and spirits he hath infus'd
In man, because man hath the flesh abus'd.
O may your wisdome take example hence,
God lightens not at man's each fraile offence,
He pardons, slips, goes by a world of ills,
And then his thunder frights more then it kills.
'Tis true, I'm broke! vowes, oathes, and all I had He cannot angrie be, but all must quake,
Of credit lost. And I am now run madde:
Or doe upon my selfe some desperate ill;
This sadnesse makes no approaches, but to kill.
It is a darknesse hath blockt up my sense,
And drives it in to eat on my offence,
It shakes even him, that all things else doth shake.
And how more faire, and lovely lookes the world
In a calme skie; then when the heaven is horl❜d
About in cloudes, and wrapt in raging weather,
As all with storme and tempest ran together.
O imitate that sweet serenitie
Or there to sterve it. Helpe, O you that may
Alone lend succours, and this furie stay.
Offended mistris, you are yet so faire,
As light breakes from you, that affrights despaire,
And lesse they know, who being free to use
That friendship which no chance but love did chuse,
Will unto licence that faire leave abuse.
It is an act of tyrannie, not love,
In practiz'd friendship wholly to reprove,
As flatt'ry, with friends' humours still to move.
From each of which I labour to be free,
Yet if with either's vice I teynted be,
Forgive it, as my frailtie, and not me.
And fills my powers with perswading joy,
That you should be too noble to destroy.
There may some face or menace of a storme
Looke forth, but cannot last in such a forme.
If there be nothing worthy you can see
Of graces, or your mercie, here in me,
Spare your owne goodnesse yet; and be not great
In will and power, only to defeat.
For no man lives so out of passion's sway,
But shall sometimes be tempted to obey
Her furie, yet no friendship to betray.
God, and the good, know to forgive, and save;
The ignorant, and fooles, no pittie have.
I will nor stand to justifie my fault,
Or lay the excuse upon the vintner's vault;
Or in confessing of the crime be nice,
Or goe about to countenance the vice,
By naming in what companie 'twas in,
As I would urge authoritie for sinne.
No, I will stand arraign'd, and cast, to be
The subject of your grace in pardoning me,
And (stil'd your mercie's creature) will live more
Your honour now, then your disgrace before.
Thinke it was frailtie, mistris, thinke me man,
Thinkethat your selfe, like Heaven, forgive me can:
Where weaknesse doth offend, and vertue grieve,
There greatnesse takes a glorie to relieve.
Thinke that I once was yours, or may be now,
Nothing is vile, that is a part of you:
Errour and folly in me may have crost
Your just commands; yet those, not I, be lost.
I am regenerate now, become the child
Of your compassion; parents should be mild:
There is no father that for one demerit,
Or two, or three, a sonne will dis-inherit,
That is the last of punishments is meant ;
No man inflicts that paine, till hope be spent:
An ill-affected limbe (what e're it aile)
That makes us live, not that which calls to die.
In darke and sullen mornes, doe we not say,
This looketh like an execution day?