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For, as in angels, we Do in thy verses see Both improv'd sexes eminently meet ; They are than man morestrong, and more than woman Sweet.
They talk of Nine, I know not who, Female chimeras, that o'er poets reign; I ne'er could find that fancy true, But have invok'd them oft, I’m sure, in vain: They talk of Sappho; but, alas ! the shame! Ill-manners soil the lustre of her fame ; Orinda's inward virtue is so bright, That, like a lantern's fair inclosed light, It through the paper shines where she does write. Honour and friendship, and the generous scorn Of things for which we were not born (Things that can only by a fond disease, Like that of girls, our vicious stomachs please) Are the instructive subjects of her pen: And, as the Roman victory Taught our rude land arts and civility, At once she overcomes, enslaves, and betters, men,
But Rome with all her arts could ne'er inspire
A female breast with such a fire :
The warlike Amazonian train,
Who in Elysium now do peaceful reign,
And Wit's mild empire before arms prefer,
Hope 't will be settled in their sex by her.
Merlin the seer (and sure he would not lye
In such a sacred company)
Does prophecies of learn'd Orinda show,
Which he had darkly spoke so long ago;
Ev’n Boadicia's angry ghost
Forgets her own misfortune and disgrace,
And to her injur’d daughters now does boast,
That Rome's o'ercome at last by a woman of her
UPON OCCASION OF A COPY OF WERSES OF MY LoRD BRogHILL’s. BEgone (said I), ingrateful Muse ! and see What others thou canst fool, as well as me. Since I grew man, and wiser ought to be, My business and my hopes I left for thee: For thee (which was more hardly given away) I left, even when a boy, my play. But say, ingrateful mistress' say, What for all this, what didst thou ever pay ? Thou'lt say, perhaps, that riches are . Not of the growth of lands where thou dost trade, And I as well my country might upbraid Because I have no vineyard there.
Well: but in love thou dost pretend to reign;
There thine the power and lordship is;
Thou bad'st me write, and write, and write again;
'T was such a way as could not miss.
I, like a fool, did thee obey:
I wrote, and wrote, but still I wrote in vain;
For, after all my expence of wit and pain,
A rich, unwriting hand carried the prize away.
Thus I complain'd, and straight the Muse reply'd,
That she had given me fame.
Bounty immense ! and that too must be try’d
When I myself am nothing but a name.
Who now, what reader does not strive
T' invalidate the gift whilst we're alive
For, when a poet now himself doth show,
As if he were a common foe,
All draw upon him, all around,
And every part of him they wound,
Happy the man that gives the deepest blow:
And this is all, kind Muse ! to thee we owe.
Then in rage I took,
And out at window threw,
Ovid and Horace, all the chiming crew;
Homer himself went with them too;
Hardly escap'd the sacred Mantuan book:
I my own offspring, like Agave, tore,
And I resolv'd, nay, and I think I swore,
That I no more the ground would till and sow,
Where only flowery weeds instead of corn did grow.
When (see the subtle ways which Fate does find
Rebellious man to bind
Just to the work for which he is assign'd?)
The Muse came in more cheerful than before,
And bade me quarrel with her now no more:
“Lo! thy reward | look here, and see
“What I have made” (said she), “My lover and belov'd, my Broghill, do for thee! “Though thy own verse no lasting fame can give, “Thou shalt at least in his for ever live. “What criticks, the great Hectors now in wit, “Who rant and challenge all men that have writ,
“Will dare t' oppose thee, when “Broghill in thy de fence has drawn his conquering
I rose, and bow'd my head,
And pardon ask'd for all that I had said:
Well satisfy'd and proud,
I straight resolv'd, and solemnly I vow’d,
That from her service now I ne'er would part;
So strongly large rewards work on a grateful heart
Nothing so soon the drooping spirits can raise
As praises from the men whom all men praise:
"T is the best cordial, and which only those
Who have at home th' ingredients can compose;
A cordial that restores our fainting breath,
And keeps up life e'en after death !
The only danger is, lest it should be
Too strong a remedy;
Lest, in removing cold, it should beget
Too violent a heat;
And into madness turn the lethargy.
Ah! gracious God! that I might see
A time when it were dangerous for me
To be o'er-heat with praise !
But I within me bear, alas! too great allays.
'T is said, Apelles, when he Venus drew,
Did naked women for his pattern view,
And with his powerful fancy did refine
Their human shapes into a form divine;
None who had sat could her own picture see,
Or say, one part was drawn for me:
So, though this nobler painter, when he writ,
Was pleas'd to think it fit
That my book should before him sit,
Not as a cause, but an occasion, to his wit;
Yet what have I to boast, or to apply
To my advantage out of it; since I,
Instead of my own likeness, only find
The bright idea there of the great writer's mind