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E P I G R A M S.

B O O K  I.

The Author B. J.

To  the  great  Example  of  Honour,  and  Vertue , the  most
Noble William, Earl of Pembroke, Lord Chamberlain, &c.

      M Y   L O R D,

Hile you cannot change your Merit, I dare not change your Title: It was that
made it, and not I. Under which Name, I here offer to your Lordship the ripest of my Studies, my
Epigrams; which, though they carry danger in the sound, do not therefore seek your shelter: For, when I made them, I had nothing in my Conscience, to expressing of which I did need a Cypher. But, if I be fallen into those Times, wherein, for the likeness of Vice, and Facts, every one thinks anothers ill Deeds objected to him; and that in their ignorant and guilty Mouths, the common Voice is (for their security) Beware the Poet, confessing, therein, so much love to their Diseases, as they would rather make a Party for them, than be either rid, or told of them: I must expect, at your Lordship's hand, the protection of Truth, and Liberty, while you are constant to your own Goodness. In thanks whereof, I return you the Honour of leading forth so many good, and great Names (as my Verses mention on the better part) to their remembrance with Posterity. Amongst whom, if I have praised, unfortunately, any one, that doth not deserve; or, if all answer not, in all Numbers, the Pictures I have made of them: I hope it will be forgiven me, that they are no ill Pieces, though they be not like the Persons. But I foresee a nearer Fate to my Book than this, That the Vices therein will be own'd before the Vertues, (though, there, I have avoided all Particulars, as I have done Names) and some will be so ready to discredit me, as they will have the impudence to bely themselves. For, if I meant them not, it is so. Nor, can I hope otherwise. For, why should they remit any thing of their Riotcomma omitted their Pride, their Self-love, and other inherent Graces, to consider Truth or Vertue; but, with the Trade of the World, lend their long Ears against Men they love not: And hold their dear Mountebank, or Jester, in far better Condition than all the Study, or Studiers of Humanity? For such, I would rather know them by their Visards, still, than they should publish their Faces, at their peril, in my Theatre, where C A T O, if he liv'd, might enter without scandal.

By your Lordship's most faithfull Honourer,                   

B E N.  J O H N S O N.   

O o                                       EPIGRAMS.


E P I G R A M S.


To the Reader.

Ray thee, take care, that tak'st my Book in hand,
 To read it well: that is, to understand.

I I.

To my Book.

T will be look'd for Book, when some but see
 Thy Title, Epigrams, and nam'd of me,
Thou shoul'dshould'st be bold, licentious, full of gall;
   Wormwood, and sulphur, sharp, and tooth'd withall,
Become a petulant Thing, hurl Ink, and Wit
   As Mad-men Stones: not caring whom they hit.
Deceive their Malice, who could wish it so.
   And by thy wiser Temper, let Men know
Thou art not Covetous of least Self-Fame,
   Made from the hazard of another's Shame.
Much less, with leud, prophane, and beastly Phrase,
   To catch the Worlds loose Laughter, or vain Gaze.
He that departs with his own Honesty
   For vulgar Praise, doth it too dearly buy.

I I I.

To my Bookseller.

Hou that mak'st Gain thy end, and wisely well,
   Call'st a Book good, or bad, as it doth sell,
Use mine so, too: I give thee leave. But crave
   For the lucks sake, it thus much Favour have,
To lye upon thy Stall, till it be sought;
   Not offer'd, as it made Suit to be bought;
Nor have my Title-leaf on Posts, or Walls,
   Or in Cleft-sticks, advanced to make Calls
For Termers, or some Clerk-like Serving-man,
   Who scarce can spell th' hard Names: whose Knight less can.
If, without these vile Arts, it will not sell,
   Send it to Bucklers-bury, there 'twill well.

I V.

To King James.

OW, best of Kings, dost thou a Scepter bear!
   How, best of Poets, dost thou Laurel wear!
But two Things Rare, the Fates had in their store,
   And gave thee both, to shew they could no more.
For such a Poet, while thy days were green,
   Thou wert, as chief of them are said t'have been:
And such a Prince thou art we daily see,
   As chief of those still promise they will be.
Whom should my Muse then fly to, but the best
   Of Kings for Grace; of Poets for my Test?


On the Union.

Hen was there Contract better driven by Fate?
   Or celebrated with more Truth of State?
The World the Temple was, the Priest a King,
   The spoused Pair two Realms, the Sea the Ring.

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V I.

To Alchymists.

F all you boast of your great Art be true;
   Sure, willing Poverty lives most in you.

V I I.

On the New Hot-house.

Here lately harbour'd many a famous Whore,
   A purging Bill, now fix'd upon the Door,
Tells you it is a Hot-house: so it ma',
   And still be a Whore-house. Th'are Synonyma.

V I I I.

On a Robbery.

Idway rob'd Duncote of Three hundred Pound,
   Ridway was ta'en, arraign'd, condemn'd to die;
But, for this Money was a Courtier found,
   Beg'd Ridway's Pardon: Duncote, now, doth cry;
Rob'd both of Money, and the Laws relief;
   The Courtier is become the greater Thief.

I X.

To All, to whom I write.

AY none, whose scatter'd Names honour my Book,
   For strict Degrees, of Rank, or Title look.
'Tis 'gainst the Manners of an Epigram:
   And, I a Poet here, no Herald am.


To my Lord Ignorant.

Hou call'st me Poet, as a term of Shame:
   But I have my Revenge made, in thy Name.

X I.

On Something, that Walks Somewhere.

T Court I met it, in Clothes brave enough,
   To be a Courtier; and looks grave enough,
To seem a Statesman: as I near it came,
   It made me a great Face, I ask'd the Name.
A Lord, it cried, buried in Flesh and Blood,
   And such from whom let no Man hope least good,
For I will do none: and as little ill,
   For I will dare none. Good Lord, walk Dead still.

X I I.

On Lieutenant Shift.

Hift, here in Town, not meanest amongst Squires,
   That haunt Pickt-hatch, Mersh-Lambeth, and Whitefryers,
Keeps himself, with half a Man, and defrays
   The Charge of that State, with this Charm, God pays.
By that one Spell he Lives, Eats, Drinks, Arrays
   Himself: his whole Revenue is, God pays.
The quarter Day is come; the Hostess says,
   She must have Money: he returns, God pays.
The Taylor brings a Suit home; he it 'ssays,
   Looks o'er the Bill, likes it: and says, God pays.
He steals to Ordinarys; there he plays
   At Dice his borrowed Money: which, God pays.

                Epigrams. 283

Then takes up fresh Commodities, for Days;
   Signs to new Bonds, Forfeits: and crys, God pays.
That lost, he keeps his Chamber, reads Essays,
   Takes Physick, tears the Papers: still, God pays.
Or else by Water goes, and so to Plays;
   Calls for his Stool, adorns the Stage: God pays.
To every Cause he meets, this Voice he brayes:
   His only answer is to all, God pays.
Not his poor Cocatrice but he betrays
   Thus: and for his Letchery, scores, God pays.
But see! th' old Baud hath serv'd him in his trim,
   Lent him a pocky Whore. She hath paid him.

X I I I.

To Doctor Empirick.

Hen Men a dangerous Disease did 'scape,
   Of old, they gave a Cock to Æsculape:
Let me give two; that doubly am got free,
   From my Disease's danger, and from thee.

X I V.

To William Camden.

Amden, most reverend Head, to whom I owe
   All that I am in Arts, all that I know.
(How nothing's that?) to whom my Countrey owes
   The great Renown, and Name wherewith she goes.
Than thee the Age sees not that thing more grave,
   More high, more holy, that she more would crave.
What Name, what Skill, what Faith hast thou in Things!
   What Sight in searching the most antique Springs!
What Weight, and what Authority in thy Speech!
   Man scarce can make that doubt, but thou canst teach.
Pardon free truth, and let thy modesty,
   Which conquers all, be once over-come by thee.
Many of thine this better could, than I,
   But for their Powers, accept my Piety.

X V.

On Court-worm.

LL Men are Worms: But this no Man. In Silk
   'Twas brought to Court first wrapt, and white as Milk;
Where, afterwards, it grew a Butter-fly:
   Which was a Caterpiller. So 'twill dye.

X V I.

To Brain-hardy.

Ardy, thy Brain is valiant, 'tis confest;
   Thou more; that with it every day, dar'st jest
Thy self into fresh Brawls: when, call'd upon,
   Scarce thy Weeks swearing brings thee off, of one.
So, in short time, th' art in arrearage grown
   Some hundred Quarrels, yet dost thou fight none;
Nor need'st thou: for those few, by Oath releast,
   Make good what thou dar'st do in all the rest.
Keep thy self there, and think thy value right;
   He that dares damn himself, dares more than fight.

X V I I.

To the Learned Critick.

Ay others fear, fly, and traduce thy Name,
   As guilty Men do Magistrates: glad I,
That wish my Poems a legitimate Fame,
   Charge them, for Crown, to thy sole censure hye.
And, but a sprig of Bayes given by thee,
   Shall out-live Garlands, stoln from the chast Tree.

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X V I I I.

To my meer English Censurer.

O thee, my way in Epigrams seems new,
   When both it is the old way, and the true.
Thou saist, that cannot be: for thou hast seen
   Davis, and Weever, and the best have been,
And mine come nothing like. I hope so. Yet,
   As theirs did with thee, mine might credit get:
If thou 'ldst but use thy Faith, as thou didst then,
   When thou wert wont t' admire, not censure Men.
Pr'ythee believe still, and not judge so fast,
   Thy Faith is all the knowledge that thou hast.

X I X.

On Sir Cod the Perfumed.

Hat Cod can get no Widdow, yet a Knight,
   I scent the Cause: He woesvariant of 'woos' with an ill Sprite.

X X.

To the same Sir Cod.

H' expence in Odours is a most vain Sin,
   Except thou couldst, Sir Cod, wear them within.

X X I.

On Reformed Gam'ster.

Ord, how is Gam'ster chang'd! his Hair close cut!
   His Neck fenc'd round with Ruff! his Eyes half shut!
His Cloths two fashions off, and poor! his Sword
   Forbidd' his Side! and nothing, but the Word
Quick in his Lips! who hath this wonder wrought?
   The late tane bastinado. So I thought.
What several ways Men to their calling have!
   The Bodies stripes, I see, the Soul may save.

X X I I.

On my first Daughter.

Ere lies to each her Parents ruth,
 Mary, the Daughter of their youth:
Yet all Heavens gifts, being Heavens due,
It makes the Father, less, to rue.
At six Months end, she parted hence
With safety of her Innocence;
Whose Soul Heavens Queen, (whose Name she bears)
In comfort of her Mothers Tears,
Hath plac'd among her Virgin-train:
Where, while that sever'd doth remain,
This Grave partakes the fleshly Birth.
Which cover lightly, gentle Earth.

X X I I I.

To John Donne.

Onne, the delight of Phœbus, and each Muse,
   Who, to thy one, all other Brains refuse;
Whose every work, of thy most early Wit,
   Came forth Example, and remains so, yet:
Longer a knowing, than most Wits do live,
   And which no' affection praise enough can give!
To it, thy Language, Letters, Arts, best Life,
   Which might with half Mankind maintain a Strife;
All which I mean to praise, and, yet, I would;
   But leave, because I cannot as I should!

X X I V.

To the Parliament.

Here's reason good, that you good Laws should make:
   Mens Manners ne'er were viler, for your sake.
O o 2                           XXV. On    

284 Epigrams.                     

X X V.

On Sir Voluptuous Beast.

Hile Beast instructs his fair, and innocent Wife,
   In the past Pleasures of his sensual Life,
Telling the motions of each Petticoat,
   And how his Ganimede mov'd, and how his Goat,
And now, her (hourly) her own Cucquean makes,
   In varied Shapes, which for his Lust she takes:
What doth he else, but say, leave to be Chast,
   Just Wife, and, to change me, make Womans hast.

X X V I.

On the same Beast.

AnThan his Chast Wife, though Beast now know no more,
   He 'adulters still: his thoughts lye with a Whore.

X X V I I.

On Sir John Roe.

N place of Scutcheons, that should deck thy Herse,
Take better Ornaments, my Tears, and Verse.
    If any Sword could save from Fates, Roe's could;
    If any Muse out-live their spight, his can;
    If any Friends Tears could Restore, his would;
    If any Pious Life ere lifted Man
To Heaven; his hath: O happy State! wherein
We, sad for him, may glory, and not sin.

X X V I I I.

On Don Surly.

On Surly, to aspire the Glorious Name
   Of a great Man, and to be thought the same,
Makes serious use of all great Trade he knows.
   He speaks to Men with a Rhinocerote's Nose,
Which he thinks great; and so reads Verses, too:
   And that is done, as he saw great Men do.
H' has Tympanies of business, in his Face,
   And, can forget Mens Names, with a great Grace.
He will both Argue, and Discourse in Oaths,
   Both which are great. And laugh at ill made Cloaths;
That's greater, yet: to cry his own up neat.
   He doth, at Meals, alone his Pheasant eat,
Which is main greatness. And, at his still Board,
   He drinks to no Man: that's, too, like a Lord.
He keeps anothers Wife, which is a spice
   Of solemn greatness. And he dares, at Dice,
Blaspheme God, greatly. Or some poor Hind beat,
   That breathes in his Dogs way: and this is great.
Nay more, for greatness sake, he will be one
   May hear my Epigrams, but like of none.
Surly, use other Arts, these only can
   Stile thee a most great Fool, but no great Man.

X X I X.

To Sir Annual Tilter.

Ilter, the most may' admire thee, though not I:
   And thou, right guiltless, may'st plead to it, why?
For thy late sharp device. I say 'tis fit
   All Brains, at times of Triumph, should run Wit.
For then our Water-Conduits do run Wine;
   But that's put in, thou'lt say. Why, so is thine.

X X X.

To Person Guilty.

Uilty, be wise; and though thou know'st the Crimes
   Be thine, I tax, yet do not own my Rhimes:
'Twere madness in thee, to betray thy Fame,
   And Person to the World; ere I thy Name.

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X X X I.

On Banck the Usurer.

Anck feels no lameness of his knotty Gout,
   His Mony's Travail for him, in and out:
And though the soundest Legs go every day,
He toils to be at Hell, as soon as they.

X X X I I.

On Sir John Roe.

Hat two brave perils of the private Sword
   Could not effect, nor all the Furies do,
That self-divided Belgia did afford;
   What not the envy of the Seas reach'd too,
The cold of Mosco, and fat Irish Air,
   His often change of clime (though not of mind)
What could not work; at home in his repair
   Was his blest fate, but our hard lot to find.
Which shews, where ever Death doth please t'appear,
   Seas, Serenes, Swords, Shot, Sickness, all are there.

X X X I I I.

To the Same.

'LL not offend thee with a vain Tear more,
   Glad-mention'd Roe: thou art but gone before,
Whither the World must follow. And I, now,
   Breathe to expect my when, and make my how.
Which if most gracious Heaven grant like thine,
   Who wets my Grave, can be no Friend of mine.

X X X I V.

Of Death.

E that fears Death, or mourns it, in the just,
   Shews of the Resurrection little trust.

X X X V.

To King James.

Ho would not be thy Subject, James, t'obay
   A Prince, that Rules by' example, more than sway?
Whose Manners draw, more than thy Powers constrain.
   And in this short time of thy Happiest Reign,
Hast purg'd thy Realms, as we have now no cause
   Left us of fear, but first our Crimes, then Laws.
Like Aids 'gainst Treasons who hath found before?
   And then in them, how could we know God more?
First thou Preserved wert, our King to be,
   And since; the whole Land was Preserv'd for thee.

X X X V I.

To the Ghost of Martial.

Artial, thou gav'st far nobler Epigrams
   To thy Domitian, than I can my James:
But in my Royal Subject I pass thee,
   Thou flattered'st thine, mine cannot flatter'd be.

X X X V I I.

On Chev'rill the Lawyer.

O Cause, nor Client fat, will Chev'rill leese,
   But as they come, on both sides he takes Fees,
And pleaseth both: For while he melts his Grease
   For this: that wins, for whom he holds his Peace.

X X X V I I I.

To Person Guilty.

Uilty, because I bad you late be wise,
   And to conceal your Ulcers, did advise,
You laugh when you are touch'd, and long before
   Any Man else, you clap your hands, and roar,

                Epigrams. 285

And cry good! good! This quite perverts my Sense,
   And lyes so far from Wit, 'tis Impudence.
Believe it Guilty, if you lose your Shame,
   I'll lose my Modesty, and tell your Name.

X X X I X.

On Old Colt.

OR all Night-sins, with other Wives unknown,
   Colt, now doth daily Penance in his own.

X L.
On Margaret Ratcliffe.

Arble weep, for thou do'st cover
A   dead Beauty underneath thee,
R   ich as Nature could bequeath thee:
G   rant then, no rude Hand remove her.
A   ll the Gazers on the Skies
R   ead not in fair Heavens Story,
E   xpresser Truth, or truer Glory.period should be replaced with a comma
T   han they might in her bright Eyes.
R  are as Wonder was her Wit;
A   nd like Nectar ever flowing:
T   ill Time, strong by her bestowing,
C   onquer'd hath both Life and it.
L   ife whose Grief was out of fashion;
I   n these Times few so have ru'd
F   ate in a Brother. To conclude,
F   or Wit, Feature, and true Passion,
E   arth, thou hast not such another.

X L I.

On Gipsie.

Ypsie, New Baud, is turn'd Physitian,
   And gets more Gold than all the College can:
Such her quaint Practice is, so it allures,
   For what she gave a Whore, a Baud she cures.

X L I I.

On Giles and Jone.

HO says that Giles and Jone at Discord be?
   Th' observing Neighbours no such mood can see.
Indeed, poor Giles repents he Married ever.
   But that his Jone doth too. And Giles would never,
By his Free-will, be in Jones Company.
   No more would Jone he should. Giles riseth Early,
And having got him out of Doors is Glad.
   The like is Jone. But turning Home is sad.
And so is Jone. Oft-times when Giles doth find
   Harsh Fights at home, Giles wisheth he were Blind.
All this doth Jone. Or that his long-yearn'd Life
   Were quite out-spun. The like wish hath his Wife:
The Children that he keeps, Giles swears are none
   Of his begetting. And so swears his Jone.
In all Affections she concurreth still.
   If now, with Man and Wife, to will, and nill
The self-same Things, a note of Concord be:
   I know no Couple better can agree!

X L I I I.

To Robert Earl of Salisbury.

Hat need hast thou of me? Or, of my Muse?
   Whose Actions so themselves do celebrate?
Which should thy Countries Love to speak refuse,
   Her Foes enough would Fame thee in their Hate.

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'Tofore, great Men were glad of Poets:
   I, not the worst, am Covetous of thee.
Yet dare not to my thought least hope allow
   Of adding to thy Fame; thine may to me,
When in my Book men read but Cecil's Name,
   And what I writ thereof find far, and free
From servile Flattery (common Poets shame)
   As thou stand'st clear of the necessity.

X L I V.

On Chuffe, Banks the Usurer's Kinsman.

Huffe, lately rich in Name, in Chattels, Goods;
 And rich in Issue to inherit all,
       E'er Blacks were bought for his own Funeral,
Saw all his Race approach the blacker Flouds:
       He meant they thither should make swift repair,
       When he made him Executor, might be Heir.

X L V.

On my First Son.

Arwell, thou Child of my Right-hand, and Joy;
   My Sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd Boy,
Seven Years tho'wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
   Exacted by thy Fate on the just Day.
O, could I lose all Father, now. For why,
   Will Man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon scap'd Worlds, and Fleshes rage,
   And, if no other Misery, yet Age?
Rest in soft Peace, and ask'd, say here doth lie
   Ben. Johnson his best Piece of Poetry.
For whose sake, henceforth all his Vows be such,
   As what he loves may never like too much.

X L V I.

To Sir Luckless Woo-all.

S this the Sir, who some waste Wife to win,
   A Knight-hood bought, to go a Wooing in?
'Tis Luckless he, that took up one on Band
   To pay at's day of Marriage. By my hand
The Knight-wright's cheated then: he'll never pay.
   Yes, now he wears his Knighthood every day.

X L V I I.

To the Same.

Ir Luckless, troth, for Lucks sake pass by one;
   He that wooes every Widow, will get none.

X L V I I I.

On Mungril Esquire.

IS bought Arms Mung' not lik'd; for his first Day
   Of bearing them in Field, he threw 'em away:
And hath no Honour lost our Duell'ists say.

X L I X.

To Playwright.

Lay-wright me reads, and still my Verses damns,
   He says I want the Tongue of Epigrams;
I have no Salt: no Baudry he doth mean;
   For Witty, in his language, is obscene.
Play-wright, I loath to have thy Manners known
   In my chast Book: profess them in thine own.


To Sir Cod.

Eave Cod, Tabacco-like, burnt Gumms to take,
   Or fumy Clysters, thy moist Lungs to bake:
Arsenike would Thee fit for Society make.
L I    

286 Epigrams.                     

L I.

To King James.

Upon the happy false Rumour of his Death, the Two
and Twentieth Day of
March, 1607.

Hat we thy loss might know, and thou our love,
   Great Heaven did well, to give ill Fame free Wing;
Which though it did but Panick Terrour prove,
   And far beneath least pause of such a King,
Yet give thy jealous Subjects leave to doubt:
   Who this thy scape from Rumour Gratulate
No less than if from Peril, and Devout
   Do beg thy Care unto thy After-state.
For we, that have our Eyes still in our Ears,
   Look not upon thy Dangers, but our Fears.

L I I.

To Censorious Courtling.

Ourtling, I rather thou should'st utterly
   Dispraise my Work, than Praise it Frostily:
When I am Read, thou fain'st a weak Applause,
   As if thou wert my Friend, but lack'dst a Cause.
This but thy Judgment fools: the other way
   Would both thy Folly, and thy Spite betray.

L I I.L I I I.

To Old-end Gatherer.

Ong-gathering Old-end, I did fear thethee wise,
   When Having pill'd a Book which no Man buys,
Thou wert content the Author's Name to loose:lose
   But when (in Place) thou didst the Patrons choose,
It was as if thou printed had'st an Oath,
   To give the World assurance thou wert both;
And that, as Puritanes at Baptism do,
   Thou art the Father, and the Witness too.
For, but thy self, where out of Motly's he
   Could save that line to dedicate to thee?

L I V.

On Chev'ril.

Hev'ril, crys out, my Verses Libels are;
   And threatens the Star-chamber, and the Bar.
What are thy Petulant Pleadings, Chev'ril, then,
   That quit'st the Cause so oft, and rayl'st at Men?

L V.

To Francis Beaumont.

Ow I do love thee Beaumont, and thy Muse,
   That unto me dost such Religion use!
How I do fear my self, that am not worth
   The least indulgent thought thy Pen drops forth!
At once thou mak'st me happy, and unmak'st;
   And giving largly to me, more thou tak'st.
What Fate is mine, that so it self bereaves?
   What Art is thine, that so thy Friend deceives?
When even there, where most thou praisest me,
   For Writing better, I must envy thee.

L V I.

On Poet-Ape.

Oor Poet-Ape, that would be thought our Chief,
   Whose Works are e'en the frippery of Wit,
From brocage is become so bold a Thief,
   As we, the rob'd, leave rage, and pitty it.
At first he made low shifts, would Pick and Glean,
   ByBuy the Reversion of Old Plays; now grown
To'a little Wealth, and Credit in the Scene,
   He takes up all, makes each Mans wit his own.

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And, told of this, he slights it. Tut, such Crimes
   The sluggish gaping Auditour devours;
He marks not whose 'twas first: and After-times
   May judg it to be his, as well as ours.
Fool, as if half Eyes will not know a Fleece
   From Locks of Wooll, or Shreds from the whole Piece?

L V I I.

On Baudes, and Usurers.

F, as their ends, their Fruits were so the same,
   Baudry', and Usury were one kind of Game.

L V I I I.

To Groome Ideot.

Deot, last Night, I pray'd thee but forbear
   To read my Verses; now I must to hear:
For offring, with thy Smiles, my Wit to grace,
   Thy Ignorance still Laughs in the wrong place.
And so my sharpness thou no less dis-joynts,
   Than thou did'st late my Sense, loosing my points.
So have I seen at Christmass Sports, one lost,
   And, hood-wink'd, for a Man embrace a Post.

L I X.

On Spies.

Pies, you are Lights in State, but of base Stuff,
 Who, when you'have burnt your selves down to the Snuff,
Stink, and are thrown away. End fair enough.

L X.

To William Lord Mounteagle.

O, what my Country should have done (have rais'd
   An Obelisk, or Column to thy Name,
Or, if she would but modestly have prais'd
   Thy Fact, in Brass or Marble Writ the same)
I, that am glad of thy great Chance, here do!
   And Proud, my Work shall out-last common Deeds,
Durst think it great, and worthy wonder too,
   But thine, for which I doo't, so much exceeds!
My Countrys Parents I have many known;
   But Saver of my Country thee alone.

L X I.

To Fool, or Knave.

Hy Praise, or Dispraise is to me alike;
   One doth not Stroke me, nor the other Strike.

L X I I.

To Fine Lady Would-be.

Ine Madam Would-be, wherefore should you fear,
   That Love to make so well, a Child to bear?
The World reputes you Barren: but I know
   Your 'pothecary, and his Drug says no.
Is it the Pain affrights? that's soon forgot.
   Or you Complexions loss? you have a Pot,
That can restore that. Will it hurt your Feature?
   To make amends yo'are thought a wholesome Creature.
What should the cause be? Oh, you live at Court:
   And there's both loss of Time, and loss of Sport
In a great Belly. Write, then on thy Womb;
   Of the not Born, yet Buried, here's the Tomb.

L X I I I.

To Robert Earl of Salisbury.

Ho can consider thy right Course's run,
   With what thy Vertue on the Times hath won,
And not thy Fortune; who can clearly see
   The Judgment of the King so shine in thee;

                Epigrams. 287

And that thou seek'st reward of thy each act,
   Not from the publick voice, but private fact;
Who can behold all Envy so declin'd
   By constant suffering of thy equal mind;
And can to these be silent, Salisbury,
   Without his, thine, and all times Injury?
Curst be his Muse, that could lye dumb, or hid
   To so true worth, though thou thy self forbid.

L X I V.

To the Same.

Upon the Accession of the Treasurership to him.

Ot glad, like those that have new Hopes, or Suits,
   With thy new Place, bring I these early Fruits
Of Love, and what the Golden Age did hold
   A Treasure, Art: Condemn'd in th' Age of Gold.
Nor glad as those, that old dependents be,
   To see thy Father's Rites new laid on thee.
Nor glad for Fashion. Nor to shew a Fit
   Of flattery to thy Titles. Nor of Wit.
But I am glad to see that Time Survive,
   Where Merit is not Sepulcher'd alive.
Where good Mens Virtues them to Honours bring,
   And not to dangers. When so wise a King
Contends t'have Worth enjoy, from his regard,
   As her own Conscience, still, the same reward.
These (Noblest Cecil) labour'd in my thought,
   Wherein what wonder see thy Name hath brought?
That whil'st I meant but thine to gratulate,
   I'have Sung the greater Fortunes of our State.

L X V.

To my Muse.

Way, and leave me, thou thing most abhor'd
   That hast betray'd me to a worthless Lord;
Made me commit most fircefierce Idolatry
   To a great Image through thy Luxury.
Be thy next Masters more unlucky Muse,
   And, as thou'hast mine, his Hours, and Youth abuse.
Get him the Times long grudg, the Courts ill will;
   And Reconcil'd, keep him Suspected still.
Make him lose all his Friends; and, which is worse,
   Almost all ways, to any better course.
With me thou leav'st an happier Muse than thee,
   And which thou brought'st me, welcome Poverty.
She shall instruct my After-thoughts to write
   Things manly, and not smelling Parasite.
But I repent me: Stay. Who e're is rais'd,
   For worth he has not, He is tax'd, not prais'd.

L X V I.

To Sir Henry Cary.

Hat neither Fame, nor Love might wanting be
   To greatness, Cary, I sing that, and thee.
Whose House, if it no other Honour had,
   In only thee, might be both great, and glad.
Who, to upbraid the Sloth of this our Time,
   Durst Valour make, almost, but not a Crime.
Which Deed I know not, whether were more high,
   Or, thou more happy, it to Justify
Against thy Fortune: when no Foe, that Day,
   Could conquer thee, but chance, who did betray.
Love thy great loss, which a Renown hath won,
   * To Live when Broeck not Stands, nor Roor doth Run.
Love Honours, which of best Example be,
   When they cost dearest, and are done most free.
Though every Fortitude deserves Applause,
   It may be much, or little, in the Cause.
He's valiant'st, that dares Fight, and not for Pay;
   That Vertuous is, when the Reward's away.

      * The Castle and River near where he was taken.

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L X V I I.

To Thomas Earl of Suffolk.

Ince Men have left to do praise-worthy Things,
   Most think all Praises flatteries. But Truth brings
That Sound, and that Authority with her Name,
   As, to be rais'd by her, is only Fame.
Stand high, then, Howard, high in Eyes of Men,
   High in thy Blood, thy Place; but highest then,
When, in Mens wishes, so thy Virtues wrought,
   As all thy Honours were by them first sought:
And thou design'd to be the same thou art,
   Before thou wert it, in each good Man's Heart.
Which, by no less Confirm'd, than thy King's Choice,
   Proves, that is God's, which was the Peoples Voice.

L X V I I I.

On Play-wright.

Lay-wright convict of publick Wrongs to Men,
   Takes private Beatings, and begins again.
Two kinds of Valour he doth shew at Ones;obsolete spelling of 'Once'
   Active in's Brain, and Passive in his Bones.

L X I X.

To Pertinax Cob.

Ob, thou nor Souldier, Thief, nor Fencer art,
   Yet by thy Weapon liv'st! Th'hast one good Part.

L X X.

To WillliamWilliam Roe.

Hen Nature bids us leave to Live, 'tis late
   Then to begin, my Roe. He makes a state
In Life, that can employ it; and takes hold
   On the true Causes, ere they grow too Old.
Delay is bad, Doubt worse, Depending worst;
   Each best Day of our Life escapes us, first.
Then, since we (more than many) these Truths know:
   Though Life be short, let us not make it so.

L X X I.

On Court-Parrat.

O pluck down mine, Poll sets up new Wits still,
   Still, 'tis his luck to praise me 'gainst his will.

L X X I I.

To Court-ling.

 Grieve not, Court-ling, thou art started up
   A Chamber-Critick, and doth Dine, and Sup
At Madams Table, where thou mak'st all Wit
   Go high, or low, as thou wilt value it.
'Tis not thy Judgment breeds the Prejudice,
   Thy Person only, Court-ling is the Vice.

L X X I I I.

To Fine Grand.

Hat is't, fine Grand, makes thee my Friendship fly,
   Or take an Epigram so fearfully:
As't were a Challenge, or a Borrower's Letter?
   The World must know your greatness is my Debter.
In-primis, Grand, you owe me for a Jest;
   I lent you, on meer acquaintance, at a Feast.
Item, a Tale or two, some Fortnight after;
   That yet maintains you, and your House in Laughter.
Item, the Babylonian Song you Sing;
   Item, a fair Greek Posy for a Ring:
With which a Learned Madam you bely.
   Item, a Charm surrounding fearfully,

288 Epigrams.                     

Your partie-per-pale Picture, one half drawn
   In solemn Cyphers, the other cob-web Lawn.
Item, a gulling Imprese for you, at Tilt.
   Itemcomma omitted your Mistress Anagram, i'your Hilt.
Item, your own, sew'd in your Mistress Smock.
   Item, an Epitaph on my Lord's Cock,
In most vile Verses, and cost me more pain,
   Than had I made 'em good, to fit your vain.
Forty Things more, dear Grand, which you know true,
   For which, or pay me quickly, or I'll pay you.

L X X I V.

To Thomas Lord Chancelor.

Hil'st thy weigh'd Judgments, Egerton, I hear,
   And know thee, then, a Judge, not of one Year;
Whil'st I behold thee live with purest Hands;
   That no Affection in thy Voice commands;
That still th'art present to the better Cause;
   And no less Wise, than Skilful in the Laws;
Whil'st thou art certain to thy Words, once gone,
   As is thy Conscience, which is always one:
The Virgin, long since fled from Earth I see,
   T'our times return'd, hath made her Heaven in thee.

L X X V.

On Lippe the Teacher.

 Cannot think there's that Antipathy
   'Twixt Puritans and Players, as some cry;
Though Lippe at Pauls, ran from his Text away,
   T'inveigh 'gainst Plays: what did he then but play?

L X X V I.

On Lucy Countess of Bedford.

His Morning, timely rapt with holy Fire,
   I thought to form unto my zealous Muse,
What kind of Creature I could most desire,
   To Honour, Serve, and Love; as Poets use.
I meant to make her Fair, and Free, and Wise,
   Of greatest Blood, and yet more good than Great,
I meant the Day-star should not brighter rise,
   Nor lend like Influence from his lucent Seat.
I meant she should be Courteous, Facile, Sweet,
   Hating that solemn Vice of Greatness, Pride;
I meant each softest Vertue, there should meet,
   Fit in that softer Bosom to reside.
Only a Learned, and a Manly Soul
   I purpos'd her; that should, with even powers,
The Rock, the Spindle, and the Sheers controul
   Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours.
Such when I meant to fain, and wish'd to see,
   My Muse bad, Bedford write, and that was she.

L X X V I I.

To One that desired me not to Name him.

E safe, nor fear thy self so good a Fame,
   That any way, my Book should speak thy Name:
For, if thou shame, rank'd with my Friends, to go,
   I'm more asham'd to have thee thought my Foe.

L X X V I I I.

To Hornet.

Ornet, thou hast thy Wife drest for the Stall,
   To draw thee Custom: but her self gets all.

L X X I X.

To Elizabeth Countess of Rutland.

Hat Poets are far rarer Births than Kings,
   Your Noblest Father prov'd: like whom, before,
Or then, or since, about our Muses springs,
   Came not that Soul exhausted so their store.

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Hence was it, that the Destinies decreed
   (Save that most masculine Issue of his Brain)
No Male unto him: who could so exceed
   Nature, they thought, in all, that he would fain.
At which, she happily displeas'd, made you:
   On whom, if he were living now, to look,
He should those rare, and absolute Numbers view,
   As he would burn, or better far his Book.

L X X X.

Of Life and Death.

HE ports of Death are Sins; of Life, good Deeds;
   Through which, our Merit leads us to our Meeds.
How wilful Blind is he then, that should stray,
   And hath it, in his Powers, to make his way!
This World Deaths Region is, the other Lifes:
   And here, it should be one of our first strifes,
So to front Death, as Men might judge us past it.
   For good Men but see Death, the wicked tast it.

L X X X I.

To Proule the Plagiary.

Orbear to tempt me Proule, I will not show
   A Line unto thee, till the World it know;
Or that I'have by two good sufficient Men,
   To be the wealthy Witness of my Pen:
For all thou hear'st, thou swear'st thy self didst do.
   Thy Wit lives by it, Proule, and Belly too.
Which, if thou leave not soon (though I am loth)
   I must a Libel make, and cozen both.

L X X X I I.

On Cashier'd Captain Surly.

Urly's Old Whore in her New Silks doth swim:
   He cast, yet keeps her well! No, she keeps him,comma should be replaced with a period

L X X X I I I.

To a Friend.

O put out the word, Whore, thou do'st me wo,variant of 'woo'
   Throughout my Book. 'Troth put out Woman too.

L X X X I V.

To Lucy Countess of Bedford.

Adam, I told you late, how I repented,
   I ask'd a Lord a Buck, and he denied me;
And, e'er I could ask you, I was prevented:
   For your most Noble Offer had suppli'd me.
Streight went I home; and there most like a Poet,
   I fancied to my self, what Wine, what Wit
I would have spent: how every Muse should know it,
   And Phœbus-self should be at eating it.
O Madam, if your grant did thus transfer me,
   Make it your Gift. See whither that will bear me.

L X X X V.

To Sir Henry Goodyere.

Oodyere, I'm glad, and grateful to report,
   My self a Witness of thy few days sport:
Where I both learn'd, why wise-men Hawking follow,
   And why that Bird was sacred to Apollo,
She doth instruct men by her gallant flight,
   That they to Knowledge so should tour upright,
And never stoop, but to strike Ignorance:
   Which if they miss, yet they should re-advance
To former height, and there in Circle tarry,
   Till they be sure to make the Fool their Quarry.
Now, in whose Pleasures I have this discerned,
   What would his serious Actions me have learned?
L X X X V I.  

                Epigrams. 289

L X X X V I.

To the Same.

Hen I would know thee Goodyere, my thought looks
   Upon thy well-made choice of Friends, and Books;
Then do I love thee, and behold thy ends
   In making thy Friends Books, and thy Books Friends:
Now, I must give thy life, and deed, the voice
   Attending such a study, such a choice.
Where, though't be love, that to thy praise doth move,
   It was a knowledge, that begat that love.

L X X X V I I.

On Captain Hazard, the Cheater.

Ouch'd with the Sin of False-play, in his Punck,
   Hazard a month forswore his; and grew drunk,
Each night, to drown his Cares: But when the gain
   Of what she had wrought came in, and wak'd his brain,
Upon th'accompt, hers grew the quicker trade.
   Since when, he's sober again, and all play's made.

L X X X V I I I.

On English Mounsieur.

Ould you believe, when you this Mounsieur see,
   That his whole body should speak French, not he?
That so much scarf of France, and hat, and feather,
   And shoe, and tye, and garter, should come hether,
And land on one, whose face durst never be
   Toward the Sea, farther than half-way Tree?
That he, untravell'd, should be French so much,
   As French-men in his Company, should seem Dutch?
Or had his Father, when he did him get,
   The French Disease, with which he labours yet?
Or hung some Mounsieur's Picture on the Wall,
   By which his Dam conceiv'd him clothes and all?
Or is it some French Statue? No: 'T doth move,
   And stoop, and cringe. O then, it needs must prove
The new French-Taylor's motion, monthly made,
   Daily to turn in Pauls, and help the trade.

L X X X I X.

To Edward Allen.

F Rome so great, and in her wisest Age,
   Fear'd not to boast the Glories of her Stage,
As skilful Roscius, and grave Æsop, Men,
   Yet crown'd with Honors, as with Riches, then;
Who had no less a Trumpet of their Name,
   Than Cicero, whose every Breath was Fame:
How can so great Example dye in me,
   That Allen, I should pause to publish thee?
Who both their Graces in thy self hast more
   Out-stript, than they did all that went before:
And present worth in all dost so contract,
   As others speak, but only thou dost act.
Wear this renown. 'Tis just, that who did give
   So many Poets Life, by one should live.

X C.

On Mill, my Ladies Woman.

Hen Mill first came to Court, the unprofiting Fool,
   Unworthy such a Mistress, such a School,
Was dull, and long, ere she would go to Man:
   At last, ease, appetite, and example wan
The nicer Thing to taste her Ladies Page;
   And, finding good security in his Age,
Went on: and proving him still, day by day,
   Discern'd no difference of his years, or play.
Not though that Hair grew brown, which once was amber,
   And he grown Youth, was call'd to his Ladies Chamber,

[column break]

Still Mill continu'd: Nay, his Face growing worse,
   And he remov'd to Gent'man of the Horse,
Mill was the same. Since, both his Body and Face
   Blown up; and he (too unwieldy for that Place)
Hath got the Steward's Chair; he will not tarry
   Longer a day, but with his Mill will marry.
And it is hop'd, that she, like Milo, will
   First bearing him a Calf, bear him a Bull.

X C I.

To Sir Horace Vere.

Hich of thy Names I take, not only bears
   A Roman Sound, but Roman Vertue wears,
Illustrious Vere, or Horace; fit to be
   Sung by a Horace, or a Muse as free;
Which thou art to thy self: whose Fame was won
   In th'eye of Europe, where thy Deeds were done,
When on thy Trumpet she did sound a blast,
   Whose rellish to Eternity shall last.
I leave thy Acts, which should I prosecute
   Throughout, might Flatt'ry seem; and to be mute
To any one, were Envy: which would live
   Against my Grave, and Time could not forgive.
I speak thy other Graces, not less shown,
   Nor less in practice; but less mark'd, less known:
Humanity, and Piety, which are
   As noble in great Chiefs, as they are rare;
And best become the valiant Man to wear,
   Who more should seek Mens reverence, than fear.

X C I I.

The New Cry.

Re Cherries ripe, and Straw-berries be gon,
   Unto the Crys of London I'll add one;
Ripe Statesmen, ripe: They grow in every Street;
   At six and twenty, ripe. You shall 'em meet,
And have 'em yield no favour, but of State.
   Ripe are their Ruffs, their Cuffs, their Beards, their Gate,
And Grave as ripe, like mellow as their Faces.
   They know the States of Christendom, not the Places:
Yet have they seen the Maps, and bought 'em too,
   And understand 'em, as most Chapmen do.
The Counsels, Projects, Practices they know,
   And what each Prince doth for Intelligence owe,
And unto whom: They are the Almanacks
   For Twelve Years yet to come, what each State lacks.
They carry in their Pockets Tacitus,
   And the Gazetti, or Gallo-Belgicus:
And talk reserv'd, lock'd up, and full of fear,
   Nay, ask you, how the Day goes in your Ear:
Keep a Star-Chamber Sentence close, Twelve Days:
   And whisper what a Proclamation says.
They meet in Sixes, and at every Mart,
   Are sure to con' the Catalogue by heart;
Or, every Day, some one at Rimee's looks,
   Or Bills, and there he buys the Names of Books.
They all get Porta, for the sundry ways
   To write in Cypher, and the several Keys,
To ope' the Character. They've found the slight
   With Juice of Limons, Onions, Piss, to write;
To break up Seals, and close 'em. And they know,
   If the States make Peace, how it will go
With England. All forbidden Books they get.
   And of the Powder-Plot, they will talk yet.
At naming the French King, their Heads they shake,
   And at the Pope, and Spain slight Faces make.
Or 'gainst the Bishops, for the Brethren, rail,
   Much like those Brethren; thinking to prevail
With ignorance on us, as they have done
   On them: And therefore do not only shun
Others more modest, but contemn us too,
   That know not so much State, wrong, as they do.
P p                              XCIII. To           

290 Epigrams.                     

X C I I I.

To Sir John Radcliffe.

Ow like a Column, Radcliffe, left alone
   For the great mark of Virtue, those being gone
Who did, alike with thee, thy House up-bear,
   Stand'st thou, to shew the Times what you all were?
In Ireland.
Two bravely in the Battle fell, and dy'd,
   Upbraiding Rebels Arms, and barbarous Pride:
And two, that would have faln as great, as they,
   The Belgick Fever ravished away.
Thou, that art all their Valour, all their Spirit,
   And thine own goodness to increase thy merit,
Than whose I do not know a whiter Soul,
   Nor could I, had I seen all Nature's Roul,
Thou yet remain'st, unhurt, in Peace, or War,
   Though not unprov'd: which shews, thy Fortunes are
Willing to expiate the Fault in thee,
   Wherewith, against thy Blood, they 'Offenders be.

X C I V.

To Lucy Countess of Bedford, with Mr. Donne's

Ucy, you brightness of our Sphere, who are
   Life of the Muses day, their morning Star!
If Works (not th'Authors) their own Grace should look,
   Whose Poems would not wish to be your Book?
But these, desir'd by you, the Maker's ends
   Crown with their own. Rare Poems ask rare Friends.
Yet, Satyrs, since the most of Mankind be
   Their unavoided subject, fewest see:
For none ere took that pleasure in Sins sense,
   But, when they heard it tax'd, took more offence.
They, then, that living where the Matter is bred,
   Dare for these Poems, yet, both ask, and read,
And like them too; must needfully, though few,
   Be of the best: and 'mongst those best are you;
Lucy, you brightness of our Sphere, who are
   The Muses evening, as their morning-Star.

X C V.

To Sir Henry Savile.

F, my Religion safe, I durst embrace
   That stranger Doctrine of Pythagoras,
I should believe, the Soul of Tacitus
   In thee, most weighty Savile, liv'd to us:
So hast thou rendred him in all his Bounds,
   And all his Numbers, both of Sense, and Sounds.
But when I read that special Piece, restor'd,
   Where Nero falls, and Galba is ador'd,
To thine own proper I ascribe then more;
   And gratulate the breach, I griev'd before:
Which Fate (it seems) caus'd in the History,
   Only to boast thy merit in supply.
O, would'st thou add like hand, to all the rest!
   Or, better work! were thy glad Country blest,
To have her Story woven in thy thread;
   Minerva's Loom was never richer spread.
For who can master those great parts like thee,
   That liv'st from Hope, from Fear, from Faction free;
That hast thy Breast so clear of present Crimes,
   Thou need'st not shrink at voice of after-times;
Whose knowledge claimeth at the Helm to stand;
   But, wisely, thrusts not forth a forward hand,
No more than Salust in the Roman State!
   As, then, his cause, his glory emulate.
Although to write be lesser than to do,
   It is the next Deed, and a great one too.
We need a Man that knows the several graces
   Of History, and how to apt their places;
Where brevity, where splendor, and where height,
   Where sweetness is required, and where weight;

[column break]

We need a Man, can speak of the intents,
   The counsels, actions, orders, and events
Of State, and censure them: we need his Pen
   Can write the Things, the Causes, and the Men.
But most we need his Faith (and all have you)
   That dares not write Things false, nor hide Things true.

X C V I.

To John Donne.

Ho shall doubt, Donne, where I a Poet be,
   When I dare send my Epigrams to thee?
That so alone canst judge, so' alone do'st make:
   And, in thy censures, evenly, do'st take
As free simplicity, to disavow,
   As thou hast best Authority, t' allow.
Read all I send: and, if I find but one
   Mark'd by thy hand, and with the better Stone,
My Title's seal'd. Those that for Claps do write,
   Let Pui'nees, Porters, Players praise delight,
And, till they burst, their Backs, like Asses load:
   A Man should seek great glory, and not broad.

X C V I I.

On the new Motion.

Ee you yond' Motion? Not the old Fa-ding,
   Nor Captain Pod, nor yet the Eltham-thing;
But one more rare, and in the case so new:
   His Cloak with orient Velvet quite lin'd through;
His rosie Tyes and Garters so o'reblown,
   By his each glorious Parcel to be known!
He wont was to encounter me, aloud,
   Where ere he met me; now he's dumb, or proud.
Know you the cause? H' has neither Land, nor Lease,
   Nor bawdy Stock, that travels for Increase,
Nor Office in the Town, nor Place in Court,
   Nor 'bout the Bears, nor Noise to make Lords sport.
He is no Favorites Favorite, no dear trust
   Of any Madams, hath neadd 'Squires,'hath need o' Squires,' and must.
Nor did the King of Denmark him salute,
   When he was here. Nor hath he got a sute,
Since he was gon, more than the one he wears.
   Nor are the Queens most honor'd Maids by th'Ears
About his Form. What then so swells each Lim?Limb
   Only his Cloths hath over-leaven'd him.

X C V I I I.

To Sir Thomas Roe.

Hou hast begun well, Roe, which stand well too,
   And I know nothing more thou hast to do.
He that is round within himself, and streight,
   Need seek no other strength, no other height;
Fortune upon him breaks her self, if ill,
   And what would hurt his Virtue, makes it still.
That thou at once, then nobly mayst defend
   With thine own course the judgment of thy Friend,
Be always to thy gather'd self the same:
   And study Conscience, more than thou would'st Fame.
Though both be good, the latter yet is worst,
   And ever is ill got without the first.

X C I X.

To the Same.

Hat thou hast kept thy Love, encreast thy Will,
   Better'd thy trust to Letters; that thy Skill;
Hast taught thy self worthy thy Pen to tread,
   And that to write Things worthy to be read:
How much of great Example wert thou, Roe,
   If Time to Facts, as unto Men would owe?
But much it now avails, what's done, of whom:
   The self-same Deeds, as diversly they come,

                Epigrams. 291

From Place, or Fortune, are made high, or low,
   And even the Praisers judgment suffers so.
Well, though thy Name less than our great Ones be,
   Thy Fact is more: let Truth encourage thee.


On Play-wright.

Lay-wright, by chance, hearing some Toys I'had writ,
   Cry'd to my Face, they were th'Elixir of Wit:
And I must now believe him: for, to Day,
   Five of my Jests, then stoln, past him a Play.

C I.

Inviting a Friend to Supper.

O Night, grave Sir, both my poor House, and I
   Do equally desire your Company:
Not that we think us worthy such a Guest,
   But that your worth will dignifie our Feast,
With those that come; whose Grace may make that seem
   Something, which, else, could hope for no esteem.
It is the fair Acceptance, Sir, creates
   The Entertainment perfect: not the Cates.
Yet shall you have, to rectifie your Palate,
   An Olive, Capers, or some better Sallad
Ush'ring the Mutton; with a short-leg'd Hen,
   If we can get her, full of Eggs, and then,
Limons, and Wine for Sauce: to these, a Coney
   Is not to be despair'd of, for our Money;
And, though Fowl, now, be scarce, yet there are Clarks,
   The Sky not falling, think we may have Larks.
I'll tell you of more, and lye, so you will come:
   Of Partridg, Pheasant, Wood-cock, of which some
May yet be there; and Godwit if we can:
   Knat, Rail, and Ruff too. How so ere, my Man
Shall read a Piece of Virgil, Tacitus,
or of some better Book to us,
Of which we'll speak our Minds, amidst our Meat;
   And I'll profess no Verses to repeat:
To this, if ought appear, which I know not of,
   That will the Pastry, not my Paper, show of.
Digestive Cheese, and Fruit there sure will be;
   But that, which most doth take my Muse, and me,
Is a pure Cup of rich Canary Wine,
   Which is the Mermaids, now, but shall be mine:
Of which had Horace, or Anacreon tasted,
   Their Lives, as do their Lines, till now had lasted.
Tabacco, Nectar, or the Thespian Spring,
   Are all but Luther's Beer, to this I sing.
Of this we will sup free, but moderately,
   And we will have no Pooly', or Parrot by;
Nor shall our Cups make any guilty Men:
   But, at our parting, we will be, as when
We innocently met. No simple Word,
   That shall be utter'd at our mirthful Board,
Shall make us sad next Morning: or affright
   The Liberty, that we'll enjoy to Night.

C I I.

To William Earl of Pembroke.

 Do but Name thee Pembroke, and I find
   It is an Epigram, on all Mankind;
Against the bad, but of, and to the good:
   Both which are ask'd, to have thee understood.
Nor could the Age have mist thee, in this strife
   Of Vice, and Virtue; wherein all great Life
Almost, is exercis'd: and scarce one knows,
   To which, yet, of the sides himself he owes.
They follow Virtue, for reward, to day;
   To morrow Vice, if she give better pay:
And are so good, or bad, just at a price,
   As nothing else discerns the Virtue' or Vice,

[column break]

But thou, whose Nobless keeps one Stature still,
   And one true Posture, though besieg'd with ill
Of what Ambition, Faction, Pride can raise;
   Whose life, ev'n they, that envy it, must praise;
That are so reverenc'd, as thy coming in,
   But in the view, doth interrupt their Sin;
Thou must draw more: and they, that hope to see
   The Common-wealth still safe, must study thee.

C I I I.

To Mary Lady Wroth.

Ow well, fair Crown of your fair Sex, might he,
   That but the twilight of your Sprite did see,
And noted for what Flesh such Souls were fram'd,
   Know you to be a Sydney, though unnam'd?
And being nam'd, how little doth that Name
   Need any Muses Praise to give it Fame?
Which is, it self, the Imprese of the great,
   And glory of them all, but to repeat!
Forgive me then, if mine but say you are
   A Sydney: but in that extend as far
As lowdest Praisers, who perhaps would find
   For every part a Character assign'd.
My Praise is plain, and where so ere profest,
   Becomes none more than you, who need it least.

C I V.

To Susan Countess of Montgomery.

Ere they that nam'd you, Prophets? Did they see,
   Even in the dew of Grace, what you would be?
Or did our Times require it, to behold
   A new Susanna, equal to that old?
Or, because some scarce think that Story true,
   To make those Faithful, did the Fates send you?
And to your Scene lent no less dignity
   Of Birth, of Match, of Form, of Chastity?
Or, more than born for the Comparison
   Of former Age, or Glory of our own,
Were you advanced, past those Times to be
   The light, and mark unto Posterity?
Judge they, that can: Here I have rais'd to show
   A Picture, vvhich the World for yours must know,
And like it too; if they look equally:
   If not, 'tis fit for you, some should envy.

C V.

To Mary Lady Wroth.

Adam, had all Antiquity been lost,
   All History seal'd up, and Fables crost;
That we had left us, nor by Time, nor Place,
   Least mention of a Nymph, a Muse, a Grace,
But even their Names were to be made a-new,
   Who could not but create them all, from you?
He, that but saw you wear the vvheaten Hat,
   Would call you more than Ceres, if not that:
And, drest in Shepherds tyre, who would not say:
   You were the bright OEnone, Flora, or May?
If Dancing, all would cry th' Idalian Queen
   Were leading forth the Graces on the Green:
And, armed to the Chase, so bare her bow
   Diana'alone, so hit, and hunted so.
There's none so dull, that for your style would ask,
   That saw you put on Pallas plumed Cask:
Or, keeping your due state, that would not cry,
   There Juno sat, and yet no Peacock by.
So are you Natures Index, and restore,
   I'your self, all Treasure lost of th'Age before.
P p 2                          CVI. To     

292 Epigrams.                     

C V I.

To Sir Edward Herbert.

F Men get Name, for some one Vertue: Then,
   What Man art thou, that art so many Men,
All-virtuous Herbert! on whose every part
   Truth might spend all her Voice, Fame all her Art.
Whether thy Learning they would take, or Wit,
   Or Valour, or thy Judgment seasoning it,
Thy standing Upright to thy self, thy Ends
   Like straight, thy Piety to God, and Friends:
Their latter praise would still the greatest be,
   And yet, they, all together, less than thee.

C V I I.

To Captain Hungry.

O what you come for, Captain, with your News;
   That's, sit, and eat: do not my Ears abuse.
I oft look on false Coin, to know't from true:
   Not that I love it, more, than I will you.
Tell the gross Dutch those grosser Tales of yours,
   How great you were with their two Emperours;
And yet are with their Princes: Fill them full
   Of your Moravian Horse, Venetian Bull.
Tell them, what parts you've tane, whence run away,
   What States you've gull'd, and which yet keeps yo'in pay.
Give them your Services, and Embassies
   In Ireland, Holland, Sweden; pompous lies
In Hungary, and Poland, Turky too;
   What at Ligorn, Rome, Florence you did do:
And, in some Year, all these together heap'd,
   For which there must more Sea, and Land be leap'd,
If but to be believ'd you have the hap,
   Then can a Flea at twice skip i'th' Map.
Give your young States-men, (that first make you drunk,
   And then lye with you, closer, than a Punk,
For news) your Ville-royes, and Silleries,
your Nuncio's, and your Tuilleries,
Your Arch-Dukes Agents, and your Beringhams,
   That are your words of credit. Keep your Names
Of Hannow, Shieter-huissen, Popenheim,
   Hans-spiegle, Rotteinberg,
and Boutersheim,
For your next Meal; this you are sure of. Why
   Will you part with them, here, unthriftily?
Nay, now you puff, tusk, and draw up your Chin,
   Twirl the poor Chain you run a feasting in.
Come, be not angry, you are Hungry; eat;
   Do what you come for, Captain, There's your Meat.

C V I I I.

To True Soldiers.

Trength of my Country, whilst I bring to view
   Such as are miss-call'd Captains, and wrong you;
And your high Names: I do desire, that thence
   Be nor put on you, nor you take offence.
I swear by your true Friend, my Muse, I love
   Your great Profession; which I once, did prove:
And did not shame it with my actions, then,
   No more, than I dare now do, with my Pen.
He that not trusts me, having vow'd thus much,
   But's angry for the Captain, still: is such.

C I X.

To Sir Henry Nevil.

Ho now calls on thee, Nevil, is a Muse,
   That serves nor Fame, nor Titles; but doth chuse
Where Virtue makes them both, and that's in thee:
   Where all is fair, beside thy Pedigree.
Thou art not one, seek'st miseries with hope,
   Wrestlest with dignities, or fain'st a scope

[column break]

Of service to the Publick, when the end
   Is private gain, which hath long guilt to Friend.
Thou rather striv'st the matter to possess,
   And elements of honour, than the dress;
To make thy lent Life, good against the Fates:
   And first to know thine own state, then the States.
To be the same in root, thou art in height;
   And that thy Soul should give thy Flesh her weight.
Go on, and doubt not, what Posterity,
   Now I have sung the thus, shall judg of thee.
Thy Deeds, unto thy Name, will prove new Wombs,
   Whil'st others toil for Titles to their Tombs.

C X.

To Clement Edmonds, on his Cæsar's Commentaries
observed, and translated.

Ot Cæsar's Deeds, nor all his Honours won,
   In these West-parts, nor when that War was done,
The Name of Pompey for an Enemy,
   Cato's to boot, Rome, and her Liberty,
All yielding to his Fortune, nor, the while,
   To have engrav'd these Acts, with his own stile,
And that so strong and deep, as't might be thought,
   He wrote, with the same Spirit that he fought,
Nor that his work liv'd in the hands of Foes,
   Unargued then, and yet hath Fame from those;
Not all these, Edmonds, or what else put too,
   Can so speak Cæsar, as thy Labours do.
For, where his Person liv'd scarce one just Age,
   And that, midst Envy, and Parts; then fell by rage:
His Deeds too dying, but in Books (whose Good
   How few have read! how fewer understood?)
Thy learned Hand, and true Promethean Art
   (As by a new Creation) part by part,
In every Counsel, Stratagem, Design,
   Action, or Engine, worth a Note of thine,
T'all future time, not only doth restore
   His life, but makes, that he can dye no more.

C X I.

To the Same; on the Same.

Ho Edmonds, reads thy Book, and doth not see
   What th'antick Soldiers were, the modern be?
Wherein thou shew'st, how much the latter are
   Beholding to this Master of the War;
And that, in action, there is nothing new,
   More, than to vary what our Elders knew:
Which all, but ignorant Captains, will confess:
   Nor to give Cæsar this, makes ours the less.
Yet thou, perhaps, shalt meet some Tongues will grutch,
   That to the World thou should'st reveal so much,
And thence, deprave thee, and thy Work. To those
   Cæsar stands up, as from his Urn late rose,
By thy great help: and doth proclaim by me,
   They murther him again, that envy thee.

C X I I.

To a weak Gamester in Poetry.

Ith thy small Stock, why art thou vent'ring still,
   At this so subtle Sport: and play'st so ill?
Think'st thou it is meer Fortune, that can win?
   Or thy rank setting? that thou dar'st put in
Thy all, at all: and what so ere I do,
   Art still at that, and think'st to blow me' up too?
I cannot for the Stage a Drama lay,
   Tragick, or Comick; but thou writ'st the Play.
I leave thee there, and giving way, intend
   An Epick Poem; thou hast the same end.
I modestly quit that, and think to write,
   Next morn, an Ode: Thou mak'st a Song e're Night.
I pass           

                Epigrams. 293

I pass to Elegies; Thou meet'st me there:
   To Satyrs; and thou dost pursue me. Where,
Where shall I 'scape thee? in an Epigram?
   O, (thou cry'st out) that is thy proper Game.
Troth, if it be, I pity thy ill luck;
   That both for wit, and sense, so oft dost pluck,
And never are encounter'd, I confess:
   Nor scarce dost colour for it, which is less.
Pr'y thee, yet save thy rest; give o're in time:
   There's no vexation, that can make thee prime.

C X I I I.

To Sir Thomas Overbury.

O Phœbus make me worthy of his Bays,
   As but to speak thee, Overbury, is praise:
So, where thou liv'st, thou mak'st life understood!
   Where, what makes others great, doth keep thee good!
I think, the Fate of Court thy coming crav'd,
   That the Wit there, and Manners might be sav'd:
For since, what Ignorance, what Pride is fled!
   And Letters, and Humanity in the stead!
Repent thee not of thy fair Precedent,
   Could make such Men, and such a Place repent:
Nor may' any fear, to lose of their Degree,
   Who'in such ambition can but follow thee.

C X I V.

To Mrs. Philip Sydney.

 Must believe some Miracles still be,
   When Sydney's Name I hear, or Face I see:
For Cupid, who (at first) took vain delight,
   In meer Out-forms, until he lost his Sight,
Hath chang'd his Soul, and made his Object you:
   Where finding so much Beauty met with Virtue,
He hath not only gain'd himself his Eyes,
   But, in your love, made all his Servants wise.

C X V.

On the Towns honest Man.

Ou wonder, who this is! and, why I name
   Him not, aloud, that boasts so good a Fame:
Naming so many, too! But, this is one,
   Suffers no Name, but a Description:
Being no vitious Person, but the Vice
   About the Town; and known too, at that price.
A subtle Thing, that doth Affections win
   By speaking well o'th' Company it's in.
Talks loud, and bawdy, has a gather'd deal
   Of News, and Noise, to sow out a long Meal.
Can come from Tripoly, leap Stools, and Wink,
   Do all, that 'longs to the Anarchy of Drink,
Except the Duel. Can sing Songs, and Catches;
   Give every one his Dose of Mirth: and watches
Whose Name's unwelcome to the present ear,
   And him it lays on; if he be not there.
Tells of him, all the Tales, it self then makes;
   But, if it shall be question'd, undertakes,
It will deny all; and forswear it too:
   Not that it fears, but will have to do
With such a one. And therein keeps it's Word.
   'Twill see it's Sister naked, ere a Sword.
At every Meal, where it doth Dine, or Sup,
   The Cloth's no sooner gon, but it gets up
And shifting of it's Faces, doth play more
   Parts than th'Italian could do, with his Dore.
Acts old Iniquity, and in the fit
   Of miming, gets th'Opinion of a Wit.
Executes Men in Picture. By defect,
   From friendship, is its own Fames architect.
An Ingineer, in Slanders, of all Fashions,
   That seeming Praises, are yet Accusations.

[column break]

Describ'd it's thus: Defin'd would you it have?
   Then, The Towns honest Man's her errant'st Knave.

C X V I.

To Sir William Jephson.

Ephson, thou Man of Men, to whose lov'd Name
   All Gentry, yet, owe part of their best Flame!
So did thy Virtue 'inform, thy Wit sustain
   That Age, when thou stood'st up the Master-brain:
Thou wert the first, mad'st Merit know her strength,
   And those that lack'd it, to suspect at length,
'Twas not entayl'd on Title. That some Word
   Might be found out as good, and not my Lord.
That Nature no such difference had imprest
   In Men, but every bravest was the best:
That Bloud not Minds, but Minds did Bloud adorn:
   And to live great, was better, than great born.
These were thy knowing Arts: which who doth now
   Vertuously practise, must at least allow
Them in, if not, from thee; or must commit
   A desperate Solœcism in Truth and Wit.

C X V I I.

On Groyne.

Royne, come of Age, his State sold out of hand
   For 'his Whore: Groyne doth still occupy his land.

C X V I I I.

On Gut.

UT eats all Day, and lechers all the Night,
   So all his Meat he tasteth over, twice:
And, striving so to double his delight,
   He makes himself a thorough-fare of Vice.
Thus, in his Belly, can he change a Sin,
   Lust it comes out, that Gluttony went in.

C X I X.

To Sir Ralph Shelton.

Ot he that flies the Court for want of Cloths,
   At Hunting rails, having no gift in Oaths,
Cries out 'gainst, Cocking since he cannot bet,
   Shuns Prease,obsolete form of 'Press' for two main Causes, Pox, and Debt,
With me can merit more, than that good Man,
   Whose Dice not doing well, to 'a Pulpit ran.
No, Shelton, give me thee, canst want all these,
   But dost it out of Judgment, not Disease;
Dar'st breath in any Air; and with safe Skill,
   Till thou canst find the best, chuse the least ill.
That to the Vulgar can'st thy self apply,
   Treading a better path, not contrary;
And, in their Errors maze, thine own way know:
   Which is to live to conscience, not to show.
He, that, but living half his Age, dyes such;
   Makes the whole longer, than 'twas given him, much.

C X X.

An Epitaph on S. P.Salathiel Pavy a Child of Q. Eliz. Chappel.

Eep with me all you that read
          This little Story:
And know from whom a Tear you shed
            Death's self is sorry.
'Twas a Child, that so did thrive
            In Grace, and Feature,
As Heaven and Nature seem'd to strive
            Which own'd the Creature.
Years he numbred scarce Thirteen
            When Fates turn'd cruel,
Yet three fill'd Zodiacks had he been
            The Stages Jewel;

294 Epigrams.                     

And did act (what now we moan)
            Old Men so duly,
As, sooth, the Parcæ thought him one,
            He play'd so truly.
So, by Error to his Fate
            They all consented;
But viewing him since (alas, too late)
            They have repented;
And have sought (to give new birth)
            In Baths to steep him;
But, being so much too good for Earth,
            Heaven vows to keep him.

C X X I.

To Benjamin Rudyerd.

Udyerd, as lesser Dames to great ones use,
   My lighter comes, to kiss thy learned Muse;
Whose better Studies while she emulates,
   She learns to know long difference of their states.
Yet is the Office not to be despis'd,
   If only Love should make the Action priz'd:
Nor he, for Friendship, to be thought unfit,
   That strives, his Manners should proceed his Wit.

C X X I I.

To the Same.

F I would wish, for Truth, and not for Show,
   The aged Saturn's Age, and Rites to know;
If I would strive to bring back Times, and try
   The World's pure Gold, and wise Simplicity;
If I would Virtue set, as she was young,
   And hear her speak with one, and her first Tongue;
If holiest Friendship, naked to the Touch,
   I would restore, and keep it ever such;
I need no other Arts, but study Thee:
   Who prov'st, all these were, and again may be.

C X X I I I.

To the Same.

Riting thy Self, or judging others Writ,
   I know not which th'hast most, Candor, or Wit:
But both th'hast so, as who affects the State
   Of the best Writer, and Judge, should emulate.

C X X I V.

Epitaph on Elizabeth, L. H.

Ouldst thou hear, what Man can say
   In a little? Reader, stay.
Underneath this Stone doth lie
   As much Beauty, as could die:
Which in Life did Harbor give
   To more Virtue, than doth live.
If, at all, She had a Fault,
   Leave it buried in this Vault.
One Name was Elizabeth,
   Th'other let it sleep with Death:
Fitter, where it dyed, to tell,
   Than that it liv'd at all. Farewell.

C X X V.

To Sir William Uvedale.

V'dale, thou Piece of the first Times, a Man
   Made for what Nature could, or Virtue can;
Both whose Dimensions, lost, the World might find
   Restored in thy Body, and thy Mind!
Who sees a Soul, in such a Body set,
   Might love the Treasure for the Cabinet.
But I, no Child, no Fool, respect the kind,
   (The full, the slowingflowing Graces there enshrin'd)

[column break]

Which (would the World not miscall't, Flattery)
   I could adore, almost t'Idolatry)

C X X V I.

To his Lady, then Mrs. Cary.

Etir'd, with purpose your fair Worth to praise,
   'Mongst Hampton Shades, and Phœbus Grove of Bayes,
I pluck'd a Branch; the jealous god did frown,
   And bad me lay th'usurped Lawrel down:
Said I wrong'd him, and (which was more) his Love.
   I answer'd, Daphne now no Pain can prove.
Phœbus replied. Bold Head, it is not She:
   Cary my Love is, Daphne but my Tree.

C X X V I I.

To Esme, Lord Aubigny.

S there a Hope, that Man would thankful be,
   If I should fail, in Gratitude, to thee
To whom I am so bound, lov'd Aubigny?
   No, I do, therefore, call Posterity
Into the debt; and reckon on her head,
   How full of want, how swallow'd up, how dead
I, and this Muse had been, if thou hadst not
   Lent timely Succors, and new Life begot:
So, all Reward, or Name, that grows to me
   By her attempt, shall still be owing thee.
And, than this same, I know no abler way
   To thank thy Benefits: which is, to pay.

C X X V I I I.

To William Roe.

OE (and my joy to name) th'art now, to go
   Countries, and Climes, Manners, and Men to know,
T' extract, and chuse the best of all these known,
   And those to turn to blood, and make thine own.
May Winds as soft as breath of kissing Friends,
   Attend thee hence; and there, may all thy Ends,
As the Beginnings here, prove purely sweet,
   And perfect in a Circle always meet.
So, when we, blest with thy Return, shall see
   Thy self, with thy first thoughts, brought home by thee,
We each to other may this Voice inspire;
   This is that good Æneas, past through Fire,
Through Seas, Storms, Tempests: and imbarqu'd for Hell,
   Came back untouch'd. This Man hath travell'd well.

C X X I X.

To Edward Filmer, on his Musical Work dedicated to
the Queen.
    Anno 1629.

Hat charming Peals are these,
 That, while they bind the Senses, do so please?
   They are the Marriage-rites
Of two, the choicest Pair of Man's delights,
   Musique and Poësie:
French Air, and English Verse, here wedded lie.
   Who did this Knot compose,
Again hath brought the Lilly to the Rose;
   And, with their chained Dance,
Recelebrates the joyful Match with France.
   They are a School to win
The fair French Daughter to learn English in;
   And, graced with her Song,
To make the Language sweet upon her tongue.

C X X X.

To Mime.

Hat, not a pair of Friends each other see,
   But the first Question is, When one saw thee?
That there's no Journy set, or thought upon,
   To Braynford, Hackney, Bow, but thou mak'st one;

                Epigrams. 295

That scarce the Town designeth any Feast
   To which thou'rt not a Week, bespoke a Guest;
That still thou'rt made the Suppers Flag, the Drum,
   The very Call, to make all others come:
Think'st thou Mime, this is great? or, that they strive
   Whose noise shall keep thy Miming most alive,
Whil'st thou dost raise some Player, from the Grave,
   Out-dance the Babion, or out-boast the Brave;
Or (mounted on a Stool) thy Face doth hit
   On some new Gesture, that's imputed Wit?
O, run not proud of this. Yet, take thy due.
   Thou dost out-zany Cokely, Pod; nay, Gue:
And thine own Coriat too. But (would'st thou see)
   Men love thee not for this: They laugh at thee.

C X X X I.

To Alphonso Ferrabosco, on his Book.

O urge, my lov'd Alphonso, that bold Fame,
   Of building Towns, and making wild Beasts tame,
Which Musick had; or speak her known Effects,
   That she removeth Cares, Sadness ejects,
Declineth Anger, persuades Clemency,
   Doth sweeten Mirth, and heighten Piety,
And is t'a Body, often, ill inclin'd,
   No less a sov'raign Cure, than to the Mind;
T' alledge, that greatest Men were not asham'd,
   Of old, even by her Practice to be fam'd;
To say, indeed, she were the Soul of Heaven,
   That the eighteighth Sphere, no less, than Planets seven,
Mov'd by her order, and the ninth more high,
   Including all, were thence call'd Harmony:
I, yet, had utter'd nothing on thy part,
   When these were but the praises of the Art.
But when I have said, the Proofs of all these be
   Shed in thy Songs; 'tis true: but short of thee.

C X X X I I.

To the Same.

Hen we do give, Alphonso, to the Light,
   A Work of ours, we part with our own Right;
For, then, all mouths will judge, and their own way:
   The Learn'd have no more Priviledge, than the Lay.
And though we could all Men, all Censures hear,
   We ought not give them taste, we had an Ear.
For, if the hum'rous World will take at large,
   They should be Fools, for me, at their own charge.
Say, this, or that Man they to thee prefer;
   Even those for whom they do this, know they err:
And would (being ask'd the truth) ashamed say,
   They were not to be nam'd on the same day.
Then stand unto thy self, nor seek without
   For Fame, with breath soon kindled, soon blown out.

C X X X I I I.

To Mr. Joshua Sylvester.

F to admire were to commend, my praise
   Might then both thee, thy Work and Merit raise:
But, as it is (the Child of Ignorance,
   And utter Stranger to all Air of France)
How can I speak of thy great pains, but err?
   Since they can only judge, that can confer.
Behold! the reverend shade of Bartas stands
   Before my thought, and (in thy right) commands
That to the World I publish, for him, this;
   Bartas doth wish thy English now were his.
So well in that are his Inventions wrought,
   As his will now be the Translation thought,
Thine the Original; and France shall boast,
   No more; those Maiden Glories she hath lost.

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C X X X I V.

On the Famous Voyage.

O more let Greece her bolder Fables tell
   Of Hercules, or Theseus going to Hell,
Orpheus, Ulysses:
or the Latine Muse,
   With Tales of Troy's just Knight, our Faith's abuse.
We have a Shelton, and a Heyden got,
   Had power to act, what they to fain had not.
All, that they boast of Styx, of Acheron,
   Cocytus, Phlegeton,
our have prov'd in one;
The filth, stench, noise: save only what was there
   Subtly distinguish'd, was confused here.
Their Wherry had no Sail, too; ours had none:
   And in it, two more horrid Knaves, than Charon.
Arses were heard to croak, in stead of Frogs;
   And for one Cerberus, the whole Coast was Dogs.
Furies there wanted not: each Scold was ten.
   And, for the Cryes of Ghosts, Women, and Men,
Laden with Plague-sores, and their Sins, were heard,
   Lash'd by their Consciences, to die affeard.
Then let the former Age, with this content her,
   She brought the Poets forth, but ours th' Adventer.

The Voyage It Self.


Sing the brave Adventure of two Wights,
And pity 'tis, I cannot call 'em Knights:
One was; and he, for Brawn, and Brain, right able
To have been styled of King Arthur's Table.
The other was a Squire, of fair degree;
But, in the Action, greater Man than he:
Who gave, to take at his Return from Hell,
His three for one. Now, Lordlings, listen well.
   It was the day, what time the powerful Moon
Makes the poor Bankside Creature wet it'Shoon,'wet its Shoon,'
In it'own Hall;'In its own Hall;' when these (in worthy Scorn
Of those, that put out Monies, on Return
From Venice, Paris, or some Inland passage
Of six times to and fro, without Embassage,
Or he that backward went to Berwick, or which
Did dance the famous Morris, unto Norwich)
At Breadstreets Mermaid, having din'd, and merry,
Propos'd to go to Hol'born in a Wherry:
A harder task, than either his to Bristo',
Or his to Antwerp. Therefore, once more, list ho'.
   A Dock there is, that called is Avernus,
Of some Bridewel, and may, in time, concern us
All, that are Readers: But, methinks 'tis od,
That all this while I have forgot some god,
Or goddess to invoke, to stuff my Verse;
And with both Bombard-stile, and Phrase, rehearse
The many perils of this Port, and how
Sans'help of Sybil, or a golden Bough,
Or magick Sacrifice, they past along!
Alcides, be thou succouring to my Song.
Thou'st seen Hell (some say) and know'st all Nooks there,
Canst tell me best, how every Fury looks there,
And art a god, if Fame thee not abuses,
Always at hand, to aid the merry Muses.
Great Club-fist, tho' thy Back, and Bones be sore,
Still, with thy former Labours; yet, once more,
Act a brave Work, call it thy last Adventry:
But hold my Torch, while I describe the entry
To this dire passage. Say thou stop thy Nose:
Tis but light pains: Indeed this Dock's no Rose.
   In the first Jaws appear'd that ugly Monster,
Ycleped Mud, which, when their Oars did once stir,
Belch'd forth an Air, as hot, as at the Muster.
Of all your Night-tubs, when the Carts do cluster,
Who shall discharge first his merdurinous Load:
Thorow her Womb they make their famous Road,

296 Epigrams.                     

Between two Walls; where, on one side, to scarobsolete form of 'scare' Men,
Were seen your ugly Centaurs, ye call Carmen,
Gorgonian Scolds, and Harpys: on the other
Hung Stench, Diseases, and old Filth, their Mother,
With Famine, Wants, and Sorrows many a Dosen,
The least of which was to the Plague a Cosen.
But they unfrighted pass, tho' many a Privy
Spake to them louder, than the Ox in Livy;
And many a Sink pour'd out her Rage anenst'em;
But still their Valor, and their Virtue fenc't 'em,
And, on they went, like Castor brave, and Pollux:
Plowing the Main. When, see (the worst of all Lucks)
They met the second Prodigy, would fear a
Man, that had never heard of a Chimæra.
One said, It was bold Briareus, or the Beadle,
(Who hath the hundred Hands when he doth meddle)
The other thought it Hydra, or the Rock
Made of the Trull, that cut her Father's Lock:
But, coming near, they found it but a Liter,
So huge, it seem'd, they could by no means quit her.
Back, cry'd their Brace of Charons: they cry'd, No,
No going back; on still you Rogues, and row.
How hight the place? A Voice was heard, Cocytus.
Row close then Slaves. Alas, they will beshite us.
No matter, Stinkards, row. What croaking Sound
Is this we hear? Of Frogs? No, Guts Wind-bound,
Over your Heads: Well, row. At this a loud
Crack did report itself, as if a Cloud
Had burst with Storm, and down fell, ab Excelsis,
Poor Mercury, crying out on Paracelsus,
And all his Followers, that had so abus'd him:
And, in so shitten sort, so long had us'd him:
For (where he was the god of Eloquence,
And subtilty of Metals) they dispense
His Spirits, now, in Pills, and eke in Potions,
Suppositories, Cataplasms, and Lotions.
But many Moons there shall not wane (quoth he)
(In the mean time, let 'em imprison me)
But I will speak (and know I shall be heard)
Touching this Cause, where they will be affeard
To answer me. And sure, it was th'intent
Of the grave Fart, late let in Parliament,
Had it been seconded, and not in Fume
Vanish'd away: as you must all presume
Their Mercury did now. By this, the Steme
Of the Hulk touch'd, and, as by Polypheme
The sly Ulysses stole in a Sheep-skin,
The well-greas'd Wherry now had got between,
And bade her Farewell Sough, unto the Lurden:
Never did Bottom more betray her Burden;
The Meat-boat of Bears-Colledge, Paris-Garden,
Stunk not so ill; nor, when she kist, Kate Arden.
Yet, one day in the year, for sweet 'tis voyc't
And that is when it is the Lord Mayor's Foist.
   By this time had they reach'd the Stygian Pool,
By which the Masters swear, when on the Stool
Of Worship, they their nodding Chins do hit
Against their Breasts. Here, sev'ral Ghosts did flit
About the shore, of Farts, but late departed,
White, Black, Blue, Green, and in more Forms out-started,
Than all those Atomi Ridiculous,
Whereof old Democrite, and Hill Nicholas,
One said, the other swore, the World consists.
These be the cause of those thick frequent Mists
Arising in that place, through which, who goes,
Must try th' unused Valor of a Nose:

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And that ours did. For, yet, no Nare was tainted,
Nor Thumb, nor Finger to the Stop acquainted,
But open, and unarm'd, encounter'd all:
Whether it languishing stuck upon the Wall,
Or were precipitated down the Jakes,
And, after, swum abroad in ample Flakes,
Or, that it lay, heap'd like an Usurer's Mass,
All was to them the same, they were to pass,
And so they did, from Styx, to Acheron:
The ever-boiling Flood. Whose Banks upon
Your Fleet-Lane Furies; and hot Cooks do dwell,
That, with Still-scalding Steems, make the place Hell.
The Sinks ran Grease, and Hair of meazled Hogs,
The Heads, Houghs, Entrails, and the Hydes of Dogs:
For, to say truth, what Scullion is so nasty,
To put the Skins, and Offal in a Pasty?
Cats there lay divers had been flead and rosted,
And, after mouldy grown, again were tosted,
Then selling not, a Dish was ta'ne to mince 'em,
But still, it seem'd, the rankness did convince 'em.
For, here they were thrown in with th' melted Pewter,
Yet drown'd they not. They had five Lives in future.

   But 'mongst these Tiberts, who do you think there was?
Old Banks the Jugler, our Pythagoras,
Grave Tutor to the learned Horse. Both which,
Being, beyond Sea, burned for one Witch:
Their Spirits transmigrated to a Cat:
And, now, above the Pool, a Face right fat
With great grey Eyes, are lifted up, and mew'd;
Thrice did it spit: thrice div'd. At last, it view'd
Our brave Heroes with a milder Glare,
And in a pitious Tune, began. How dare
Your dainty Nostrils (in so hot a Season,
When every Clerk eats Artichokes and Peason,
Laxative Lettuce, and such windy Meat)
Tempt such a passage? when each Privies Seat
Is fill'd with Buttock? And the Walls do sweat
Urine, and Plasters? When the Noise doth beat
Upon your Ears, of Discords so unsweet?
And Outcries of the damned in the Fleet?
Cannot the Plague-Bill keep you back? Nor Bells
Of loud Sepulchres with their hourly Knels,
But you will visit grisly Pluto's Hall?
Behold where Cerberus, rear'd on the Wall
Of Holborne (three Sergeants Heads) looks o're
And stays but till you come unto the Door!
Tempt not his Fury, Pluto is away:
And Madame Cæsar, great Proserpina,
Is now from home. You lose your Labours quite,
Were you Jove's Sons, or had Alcides Might.
They cry'd out Pusse. He told them he was Banks,
That had so often, shew'd 'em merry Pranks.
They laught, at his laugh-worthy Fate. And past
The Tripple-Head without a Sop. At last,
Calling for Radamanthus, that dwelt by,
A Sope-Boyler; and Æacus him nigh,
Who kept an Alehouse; with my little Minos,
An ancient pur-blind Fletcher, with a high Nose;
They took 'em all to witness of their Action:
And so went bravely back, without Protraction.

   In memory of which most liquid Deed,
The City since hath rais'd a Pyramid.
And I could wish for their eterniz'd Sakes,
My Muse had plough'd with his, that sung A-jax.


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The Holloway Pages Ben: Jonson Page

© 2003 by Clark J. Holloway.