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But should I now to you relate,
The strength and riches of their state;
The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribbons, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,
That make up all their magazines;
If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts;
The letters, embassies, and spies,
The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries,
The quarrels, tears, and perjuries
(Numberless, nameless, mysteries')
And all the little lime-twigs laid,
By Machiavel the waiting-maid;
I more voluminous should grow
(Chiefly if I like them should tell
All change of weathers that befell)
Than Holinshed or Stow.
But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me.
An higher and a nobler strain
My present Emperess does claim,
Heleonora, first o' th' name;
Whom God grant long to reign'
UPo N HIs Two FIRST Books of G on DIBERT, FINISHED BEFORE HIS VOYAGE TO AMERICA.
METHINKS heroick poesy till now,
Like some fantastick fairy-land did show;
Gods, devils, nymphs, witches, and giants' race,
And all but man, in man's chief work had place.
Thou, like some worthy knight with sacred arms,
Dost drive the monsters thence, and end the charms:
Instead of those dost men and manners plant,
The things which that rich soil did chiefly want.
Yet ev'n thy Mortals do their Gods excel,
Taught by thy Muse to fight and love so well.
By fatal hands whilst present empires fall,
Thine from the grave past monarchies recall;
So much more thanks from human-kind does merit
The Poet's fury than the Zealot's spirit:
And from the grave thou mak'st this empire rise,
Not like some dreadful ghost, t'affright our eyes,
But with more lustre and triumphant state,
Than when it crown'd at proud Verona sate.
So will our God rebuild man's perish'd frame,
And raise him up much better, yet the same:
So God-like poets do past things rehearse,
Not change, but heighten, Nature by their verse.
With shame, methinks, great Italy must see
Her conquerors rais'd to life again by thee:
Rais'd by such powerful verse, that ancient Rome
May blush no less to see her wit o'ercome.
Some men their fancies, like their faith, derive,
And think all ill but that which Rome does give;
The marks of Old and Catholick would find;
To the same chair would truth and fiction bind.
Thou in those beaten paths disdain'st to tread,
And scorn'st to live by robbing of the dead.
Since time does all things change, thou think'st not fit
This latter age should see all new but wit;
Thy fancy, like a flame, its way does make,
And leave bright tracks for following pens to take.
Sure 't was this noble boldness of the Muse .
Did thy desire to seek new worlds infuse;
And ne'er did Heaven so much a voyage bless,
If thou canst plant but there with like success.
A COPY OF VERSES
sENT ME to Jersey.
AS to a northern people (whom the sun
Uses just as the Romish church has done
Her prophane laity, and does assign
Bread only both to serve for bread and wine)
A rich Canary fleet welcome arrives;
Such comfort to us here your letter gives,
Fraught with brisk racy verses; in which we
The soil from whence they came taste, smell, and
Such is your present to us; for you must know,
Sir, that verse does not in this island grow,
No more than sack: one lately did not fear
(Without the Muses' leave) to plant it here;
But it produc’d such base, rough, crabbed, hedge-
Rhymes, as ev'n set the hearers' ears on edge:
Written by Esquire, the
Year of our Lord six hundred thirty-three.
Brave Jersey Muse! and he's for this high style
Call'd to this day the Homer of the Isle.
Alas ! to men here no words less hard be
To rhyme with, than * Mount Orgueil is to me;
Mount Orgueil! which, in scorn o' th' Muses' law,
With no yoke-fellow word will deign to draw.
Stubborn Mount Orgueill "t is a work to make it
Come into rhyme, more hard than't were to take it.
Alas! to bring your tropes and figures here,
Strange as to bring camels and elephants were;
And metaphor is so unknown a thing,
"T would need the preface of “God save the King.”
Yet this I’ll say, for th’ honour of the place,
That, by God's extraordinary grace
(Which shows the people have judgment, if not wit)
The land is undefil'd with Clinches yet;
Which, in my poor opinion, I confess,
Is a most singular blessing, and no less
* The name of one of the castles in Jersey.
Than Ireland's wanting spiders. And, so far
From th’ actual sin of bombast too they are,
(That other crying sin o' th' English Muse)
That even Satan himself can accuse
None here (no not so much as the divines)
For th’ motus primo primi to strong lines.
Well, since the soil then does not naturally bear
Verse, who (a devil) should import it here
For that to me would seem as strange a thing
As who did first wild beasts into' islands bring;
Unless you think that it might taken be
As Green did Gondibert, in a prize at sea :
But that’s a fortune falls not every day;
"T is true Green was made by it; for they say
The parliament did a noble bounty do,
And gave him the whole prize, their tenths and fif-
THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE.
THAT THERE Is No KNow LEDGE.
THE sacred tree 'midst the fair orchard grew ;
The Phoenix truth did on it rest,
And built his perfum’d nest;
That right Porphyrian tree which did true Logick
Each leaf did learned notions give,
And th' apples were demonstrative;
WOL. I. Q