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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, embaffies, and fpies, The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries, The quarrels, tears, and perjuries
(Numberless, nameless, myfteries!)
And all the little lime-twigs laid,
By Machiavel the waiting-maid;
I more voluminous fhould grow.
(Chiefly if I like them should tell
All change of weathers that befell)
Than Holinfhed or Stow.
But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me.
An higher and a nobler ftrain.
My prefent Emperefs does claim,
Heleonora, firft o' th' name;
Whom God grant long to reign f
TO SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT, Upon his two first Books of GONDIBERT, Finished before his Voyage to America.
ETHINKS heroic poefy till now,
Like some fantastic fairy-land did show;
Gods, devils, nymphs, witches, and giants' race,
And all but man, in man's chief work had place.
Thou, like fome worthy knight with facred arms,
Doft drive the monsters thence, and end the charms:
Inftead of thofe doft men and manners plant,
The things which that rich foil did chiefly want.
Yet ev❜n thy Mortals do their Gods excel,
Taught by thy Muse to fight and love fo well.
By fatal hands whilft 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 rife,
Not like fome dreadful ghoft, t' affright our eyes,
But with more luftre and triumphant state,
Than when it crown'd at proud Verona fate.
So will our God rebuild man's perish'd frame,
And raise him up much better, yet the fame :
So God-like poets do paft things rehearse,
Not change, but heighten, Nature by their verse.
With fhame, methinks, great Italy muft fee
Her conquerors rais'd to life again by thee:
Rais'd by fuch powerful verfe, that ancient Rome
May blush no less to fee 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 fame 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 fhould fee all new but wit ;
Thy fancy, like a flame, its way does make,
And leave bright tracks for following pens to take.
Sure 'twas this noble boldness of the Muse
Did thy defire to feek new worlds infuse;
And ne'er did Heaven so much a voyage bless,
If thou canst plant but there with like fuccefs.
S to a northern people (whom the fun
Uses just as the Romish church has done
Her prophane laity, and does affign,
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 foil from whence they came taste, smell, and fee:
Such is your prefent to us; for you must know,
Sir, that verfe does not in this ifland grow,
No more than fack: one lately did not fear
(Without the Mufes' leave) to plant it here;
But it produc'd fuch base, rough, crabbed, hedge-
rhymes, as ev'n fet the hearers' ears on edge;
Year of our Lord fix hundred thirty-three.
Brave Jersey Mufe! and he 's for this high style
Call'd to this day the Homer of the Isle.
Alas! to men here no words lefs hard be
To rhyme with, than * Mount Orgueil is to me;
Mount Orgueil! which, in fcorn o' th' Mufes' law,
With no yoke-fellow word will deign to draw.
Stubborn Mount Orgueil! 'tis a work to make it
Come into rhyme, more hard than 'twere 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,
'Twould need the preface of "God fave the King."
Yet this I'll fay, 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 moft fingular blessing, and no less
Than Ireland's wanting fpiders. And, fo far
From th' actual fin of bombaft too they are,
* The name of one of the castles in Jersey.
(That other crying fin o' th' English Mufe)
That even Satan himself can accuse
None here (no not so much as the divines)
For th' motus primò primi to strong lines.
Well, fince the foil then does not naturally bear
Verfe, who (a devil) should import it here?
For that to me would feem as ftrange a thing
As who did firft wild beafts 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;
'Tis true Green was made by it; for they say
The parliament did a noble bounty do,
gave him the whole prize, their tenths and fifteens
THAT THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE.
HE facred tree 'midst the fair orchard grew ;
The Phoenix truth did on it reft,
And built his perfum'd nest;
That right Porphyrian tree which did true Logick fhew.
Each leaf did learned notions give,
And th' apples were demonstrative
So clear their colour and divine,
The very fhade they caft did other lights out-fhine.