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A thousand different shapes it bears,
Comely in thousand shapes appears. Yonder we saw it plain; and here 'tis now, Like spirits, in a place we know not how.
London, that vents of false ware so much store,
. . In no ware deceives us more;
For men, led by the colour and the shape,
Like Zeuxis' birds, fly to the painted grape.
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.
Hence ’t is 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.
"T is 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.
*T is 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 control.
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;
Rather than all things Wit, let none be there.
Several lights will not be seen,
If there be nothing else between.
Men doubt, because they stand so thick i' th'sky,
If those be stars which paint the Galaxy.
'Tis 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 acrostick 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 error with thy pen;
And, if any ask me then
What thing right Wit and height of Genius is,
I’ll only shew your lines, and say, "Tis this.
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.
'T is Nature's fault, who did thus partial grow,
And her estate of wit on one bestow;
Whilst we, like younger brothers, get at best
But a small stock, and must work out the rest.
How could he answer’t, should the state think fi
To question a monopoly of wit?
Such is the man whom we require the same
We lent the North ; untouch'd, as is his fame.
He is too good for war, and ought to be
As far from danger, as from fear he's free.
Those men alone (and those are useful too)
Whose valour is the only art they know,
Were for sad war and bloody battles born;
Let them the state defend, and he adorn.
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 to see.
So well he understood the most and best
Of tongues, that Babel sent into 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.