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Thy star was judgment only and right sense,
Thyself being to thyself an influence :
Stout beauty is thy grace; stern pleasures do
Present delights, but mingle horrors too:
Thy Muse doth thus like Joves fierce girl appear,
With a fair hand, but grasping of a spear.
Where are they now that cry thy lamp did drink
More oil than th' author wine while he did think?
We do embrace their slander; thou hast writ
Not for dispatch, but fame; no market wit;
'Twas not thy care that it might pass and sell,
But that it might endure, and be done well ;
Nor would'st thou venture it unto the ear,
Until the file would not make smooth, but wear:
Thy verse came season'd hence, and would not give;
Born not to feed the author, but to live:
Whence 'mong the choicer judges rose a strife,
To make thee read a classic in thy life,
Those that do hence applause, and suffrage beg,
Cause they can poems form upon one leg,
Write not to time, but to the poet's day;
There's difference between fame and sudden pay:
These men sing kingdoms false, as if that Fate
Us’d the same force to a village and a state ;
These serve Thyestes' bloody supper in,
As if it only had a salad been;
Their Catilines are but fencers, whose fights rise
Not to the fame of battle but of prize.
But thou still put’st true passions on; dost write
With the same courage that try'd captains fight;
Giv'st the right blush and colour unto things;
Low without creeping *, high without loss of wings;
* Low without creeping, &c.] Thus Denbam, in his popular lines, addressing the Thames :
Smooth, yet not weak, and by a thorough care,
Big without swelling, without painting, fair ;
They, wretches, while they cannot stand to fit,
Are not wits, but materials of wit.
What though thy searching Muse did rake the dust
Of time, and purge old metals of their rust ?
Is it no labour, no art, think they, to
Snatch shipwrecks from the deep as divers do?
And rescue jewels from the covetous sand,
Making the sea's hid wealth adorn the land?
What though thy culling Muse did rob the store
Of Greek and Latin gardens, to bring o'er
Plants to thy native soil : their virtues were
Improv'd far more, by being planted here:
If thy still to their essence doth refine
So many drugs, is not the water thine
Thefts thus become just works; they and their grace
Are wholly thine ; thus doth the stamp and face
Make that the king's that's ravish'd from the mine;
In others then 'tis ore, in thee 'tis coin.
Bless'd life of authors, unto whom we owe
Those that we have, and those that we want too;
Thou art all so good, that reading makes thee worse,
And to have writ so well's thine only curse;
Secure then of thy merit, thou didst hate
That servile base dependence upon Fate;
O could I flow like thee! and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme;
Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull ;
Strong, without rage; without o’erflowing, full.
Cooper's Hill. See an excellent parody of these lines in the Dunciad, Book iii. 1. 169.
Success thou ne'er thought'st virtue, nor that fit
Which chance, or th' age's fashion, did make hit;
Excluding those from life in after-time,
Who into poetry first brought luck and rhyme;
Who thought the people's breath good air, styld name
What was but noise, and getting briefs for fame
Gather'd the many's suffrages, and thence
Made commendation a benevolence :
Thy thoughts were their own laurel, and did win
That best applause of being crown'd within.
And though th' exacting age, when deeper years
Had interwoven snow among thy hairs,
Would not permit thou shouldst grow old, 'cause they
Ne'er by their writing knew thee young; we may
Say justly, they're ungrateful, when they more
Condemn'd thee, 'cause thou wert so good before :
Thine art was thine acts blur, and they'll confess
Thy strong perfumes made them ņot smell thee less :
But, though to err with thee be no small skill,
And we adore the last draughts of thy quill;
Though those thy thoughts, which the now queasy age
Doth count but clods, and refuse of the stage,
Will come up porcelain wit some hundreds hence,
When there will be more manners and more sense;
'Twas judgment yet to yield, and we afford
Thy silence as much fame as once thy word:
Who like an aged oak, the leaves being gone,
Wast food before, and now religion;
Thought still more rich, though not so richly stord,
View'd and enjoy'd before, but now ador'd.
Great soul of numbers, whom we want and boast,
Like curing gold, most valu'd now thou ’rt lost;
When we shall feed on refuse offals, when
We shall from corn to acorns turn again;
Then shall we see that these two names are one,
Jonson and Poetry, which now are gone *.
Plays and Poems, by W. Cartwright,
THE EARL OF COVENTRY'S DEPARTURE FROM
US TO THE ANGELS.
WEET babe! whose birth inspir'd me with a song,
And callid my Muse to trace thy days along;
Attending riper years, with hope to find
Such brave endeavours of thy noble mind,
As might deserve triumphant lines, and make
My forehead bold a laurel crown to take:
How hast thou left us, and this earthly stage,
(Not acting many months) in tender age?
Thou cam’st into this world a little spy ;
Where all things that could please the ear and eye
Were set before thee, but thou found'st them toys,
And flew’st with scornful smiles ť eternal joys:
* There is a masculine flow of good sense in this panegyric, that places Cartwright very high both as a poet and a critic. It appeared first in the Virbius ; or, The Memorie of Ben. Jonson revived by the Friends of the Muses, Lond. 1638. The verses without a signature, page 27, are very excellent: they are also to be found in the Miscellaneous Pieces subjoined to Cleiveland's Poems, p. 80. Lond. 1668.
No visage of grim Death is sent t' affright
Thy spotless soul, nor darkness blinds thy sight;
But lightsome angels with their golden wings
O’erspread thy cradle, and each spirit brings
Some precious balm, for heavenly physic meet,
To make the separation soft and sweet.
The spark infus'd by God departs away,
And bids the earthly weak companion stay
With patience in that nurs'ry of the ground,
Where first the seeds of Adam's limbs were found :
For time shall come when these divided friends
Shall join again, and know no several ends,
But change this short and momentary kiss
To strict embraces of celestial bliss.
Sir John Beaumont's Poems.
man be silent, and not praises find
For her who liv'd the praise of womankind;
Whose outward frame was lent the world, to guess
What shapes our souls shall wear in happiness;
ose virtue did all ill so oversway,
That her whole life was a communion-day?
From the Church of Paston, Norfolk.