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Had your prosperity always clearly gone,
As your high merits would have led it on,
You 'ad half been lost, and an example then
But for the happy—the least part of men.
Your very sufferings did so graceful shew,
That some strait envy'd your affliction too;
For a clear conscience and heroic mind
In ills their business and their glory find.
So, though less worthy stones are drown'd in night,
The faithful diamond keeps his native light,
And is oblig'd to darkness for a ray,
That would be more oppress'd than help'd by day.
Your soul then most shew'd her unconquer'd power,
Was stronger and more armed than the Tower.
Sure unkind Fate will tempt your spirit no more;
Sh' has try’d her weakness and your strength before,
To oppose him still, who once has conquer'd so,
Were now to be your rebel, not your foe;
Fortune henceforth will more of providence have,
And rather be your friend than be your slave.
TO A LADY
WHO MADE POSIES FOR RINGs.
ILITTLE thought the time would ever be,
That I should wit in dwarfish posies see.
As all words in few letters live,
Thou to few words all sense dost give.
'Twas Nature taught you this rare art,
In such a little much to shew ;
Who, all the good she did impart To womankind, epitomiz'd in you.
If, as the ancients did not doubt to sing,
The turning years be well compar'd to a ring,
We'll write whate'er from you we hear;
For that's the posy of the year.
This difference only will remain—
That Time his former face does shew,
Winding into himself again;
But your unweary'd wit is always new.
'T is said that conjurers have an art found out
To carry spirits confin'd in rings about:
The wonder now will less appear,
When we behold your magic here.
You, by your rings, do prisoners take,
And chain them with your mystic spells,
And, the strong witchcraft full to make,
Love, the great devil, charm'd to those circles, dwells.
They who above do various circles find,
Say, like a ring th' Equator heaven does bind.
When heaven shall be adorn'd by thee
(Which then more Heaven than 'tis will be),
'T is thou must write the posy there;
For it wanteth one as yet,
Though the sun pass through't twice a year;
The sun, who is esteem'd the god of wit.
Happy the hands which wear thy sacred rings,
They'll teach those hands to write mysterious things,
Let other rings, with jewels bright,
Cast around their costly light;
Let them want no noble stone,
By nature rich and art refin'd;
Yet shall thy rings give place to none,
But only that which must thy marriage bind.
PROLOGUE TO THE GUARDIAN :
BEFORE THE PRINCE.
WHO says the times do learning disallow
'T is false; 't was never honour’d so as now.
When you appear, great Prince our night is done;
You are our morning-star, and shall be our sun.
But our scene's London now; and by the rout
We perish, if the Round-heads be about:
For now no ornament the head must wear,
No bays, no mitre, not so much as hair.
How can a play pass safely, when ye know
Cheapside-cross falls for making but a show
Our only hope is this, that it may be
A play may pass too, made extempore.
Though other arts poor and neglected grow,
They'll admit Poesy, which was always so.
But we contemn the fury of these days,
And scorn no less their censure than their praise:
Our Muse, blest Prince 1 does only’ on you rely;
Would gladly live, but not refuse to die.
Accept our hasty zeal a thing that's play'd
Ere 'tis a play, and acted ere 'tis made.
Our ignorance, but our duty too, we show ;
I would all ignorant people would do so:
At other times expect our wit or art;
This comedy is acted by the heart.
THE play, great Sir! is done; yet needs must fear,
Though you brought all your father's mercies here,
It may offend your Highness; and we 'ave now
Three hours done treason here, for aught we know.
But power your grace can above Nature give,
It can give power to make abortives live;
In which, if our bold wishes should be crost,
"T is but the life of one poor week’t has lost:
Though it should fall beneath your mortal scorn,
Scarce could it die more quickly than't was born.
MR. WILLIAM HERVEY. “Immodicis brevis est aetas, 3 rara senectus.” MART.
IT was a dismal and a fearful night, [light,
Scarce could the morn drive on th' unwilling
When sleep, death's image, left my troubled breast,
By something liker death possest.
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow,
And on my soul hung the dull weight
Of some intolerable fate.
What bell was that ah me! too much I know.
My sweet companion, and my gentle peer,
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here,
Thy end for ever, and my life, to moan
O, thou hast left me all alone!
Thy soul and body, when Death's agony
Besieg'd around thy noble heart,
Did not with more reluctance part,
Than I, my dearest friend! do part from thee.
My dearest friend, would I had dy'd for thee!
Life and this world henceforth will tedious be.
Nor shall I know hereafter what to do,
If once my griefs prove tedious too.