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By loss of all things, by all others sought,
This freedom, and the freeman's hat, is bought.
A lord and master no man wants, but he
Who o'er himself has no authority;
Who does for honours and for riches strive,
And follies, without which lords cannot live.
If thou from fortune dost no servant crave,
Believe it, thou no master need'st to have.


FREEDOM with Virtue takes her scat; Her proper place, her only scene,

Is in the golden mean,

She lives not with the poor nor with the great.
The wings of those Necessity has dipt,

And they're in Fortune's bridewell whipt

To the laborious task of bread; These are by various tyrants captive led. Now wild Ambition with imperious force Rides, reins, and spurs, them, like th' unruly horse;

And servile Avarice yokes them now,

Like toilsome oxen, to the plough;
And sometimes Lust, like the misguided light,
Draws them through all the labyrinths of night.
If any few among the great there be

From these insulting passions free,
Yet we ev'n those, too, fetter'd sec
By custom, business, crowds, and formal decency

And, whercsoe'er they stay, and wheresoe'er they go,

Impertinencies round them flow:

These are the small uneasy things

Which about greatness still are found,

And rather it molest than wound: Like gnats, which too much heat of summer brings; But cares do swarm there, too, and those have

stings: As, when the honey does too open lie,

A thousand wasps about it fly: Nor will the master even to share admit; The master stands aloof, and dares not taste of it.

T is morning: well; I fain would yet sleep on:

You cannot now; you must be gone

To court, or to the noisy hall:
Besides, the rooms without are crowded all;

The stream of business does begin,
And a spring-tide of clients is come in.
Ah cruel guards, which this poor prisoner keep!

Will they not suffer him to sleep r
Make an escape } out at the postern flee,
And get some blessed hours of liberty:
With a few friends, and a few dishes, dine,

And much of mirth and moderate wine.
To thy bent mind some relaxation give,
And steal one day out of thy life to live.
Oh happy man (he cries) to whom kind Heaven

Has such a freedom always given!


Why, mighty madman, what should hinder thee
From being every day as free?

In all the freeborn nations of the air,

Never did bird a spirit so mean and sordid bear,

As to exchange his native liberty

Of soaring boldly up into the sky,

His liberty to sing, to perch, or fly,

When and wherever he thought good, And all his innocent pleasures of the wood, For a more plentiful or constant food.

Nor ever did ambitious rage

Make him into a painted cage,
Or the false forest of a well-hung room,

For honour and preferment, come.
Now, blessings on you all, ye heroick race,
Who keep your primitive powers and rights so well,

Though men and angels fell!
Of all material lives the highest place

To you is justly given;
And ways and walks the nearest heaven.
Whilst wretched we, yet vain and proud, think fit

To boast, that we look up to it. Ev'n to the universal tyrant, Love,

You homage pay but once a-year:
None so degenerous and unbirdly prove,

As his perpetual yoke to bear;
None, but a few unhappy household fowl,

Whom human lordship does control;

Who from their birth corrupted were By bondage, and by man's example here,

He 's no small prince, who every day

Thus to himself can say: Now will I sleep, now eat, now sit, now walk, Now meditate alone, now with acquaintance talk; This I will do, here I will stay, Or, if my fancy call me away, My man and I will presently go ride (For yve, before, have nothing to provide, Nor, after, are to render an account) To Dover, Berwick, or the Cornish mount.

If thou but a short journey take,

As if thy last thou wert to make, Business must be dispatch'd, ere thou canst part,

Nor canst thou stir, unless there be

A hundred horse and men to wait on thee,

And many a mule, and many a cart;

What an unwieldy man thou art!

The Rhodian Colossus so

A journey, too, might go.

Where honour, or where conscience does not bind,

No other law shall shackle me;

Slave to myself I will not be,
Nor shall my future actions be confin'd

By my own present mind.

Who by resolves and vows engag'd does stand

For days that yet belong to Fate,
Does, like an unthrift, mortgage his estate

Before it falls into his hand:

The bondman of the cloister so,
All that he does receive, does always owe;
And still as time comes in, it goes away

Not to enjoy, but debts to pay.
Unhappy slave, and pupil to a bell,
Which his hours-work, as well as hours, does tell!
Unhappy, till the last, the kind releasing knell.

If life should a well-order'd poem be

(In which he only hits the white
Who joins true profit with the best delight),
The more heroick strain let others take,

Mine the Pindarick way I 'll make;
The matter shall be grave, the numbers loose and free.
It shall not keep one settled pace of time,
In the same tune it shall not always chime,
Nor shall each day just to his neighbour rhyme;
A thousand liberties it shall dispense,
And yet shall manage all without effence
Or to the sweetness of the sound or greatness of the

Nor shall it never from one subject start,

Nor seek transitions to depart,
Nor its set way o'er stiles and bridges make,

Nor thorough lanes a compass take,

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