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TO MR. HENRY LAWES,
Who had then newly fet a Song of mine,
in the Year 1635.
ERSE makes Heroic virtue live;
But you can life to verses give.
As when in open air we blow,
The breath (though strain'd) sounds flat and low::
But if a trumpet take the blast,
It lifts it high, and makes it last:
So in your Airs our Numbers drest,
Make a fhrill fally from the breast
Of nymphs, who finging what we pen'd,
Our paffions to themselves commend ;
While Love, victorious with thy art,
Governs at once their voice and heart.
You, by the help of tune and time,
Can make that Song, which was but Rhyme
Noy * pleading, no man doubts the cause;
Or questions verfes fet by Lawes.
As a church-window, thick with paint,.
Lets in a light but dim and faint:
So others, with divifion, hide
The light of fenfe, the Poets' pride:
But you alone may truly boast
That not a fyllable is loft:
The writer's and the fetter's skill
At once the ravish'd ears do fill.
*The Attorney General..
Let thofe which only warble long,
And gargle in their throats a song,
Content themselves with Ut, Re, Mi:
Let words and fenfe be fet by thee.
TO SIR WILLIAM D'AVENANT, Upon his Two Firft Books of GONDIBERT, written in FRANCE.
HUS the wife nightingale, that leaves her home, Her native wood, when storms and winter come; Pursuing constantly the chearful spring,
To foreign groves does her old music bring.
The drooping Hebrews' banish'd harps, unftrung At Babylon, upon the willows hung: Yours founds aloud, and tells us you excel No lefs in courage, than in finging well; While, unconcern'd, you let your country know, They have impoverish'd themselves, not you: Who, with the Mufes' help, can mock those fates Which threaten kingdoms, and diforder ftates. So Ovid, when from Cæfar's rage he fled, The Roman Mufe to Pontus with him led: Where he fo fung, that we, through pity's glass, See Nero milder than Auguftus was.
Hereafter fuch, in thy behalf, shall be
Th' indulgent cenfure of pofterity.
To banish those who with fuch art can fing,
Is a rude crime, which its own curfe doth bring:
Ages to come fhall ne'er know how they fought,
Nor how to love their prefent youth be taught.
This to thyself.-Now to thy matchless book:
Wherein thofe few that can with judgment look,
May find old love in pure fresh language told;
Like new-ftamp'd coin, made out of Angel-gold:
Such truth in love as th' antique world did know,
In such a style as Courts may boast of now:
Which no bold tales of Gods or monfters fwell;
But human paffions, such as with us dwell.
Man is thy theme; his virtue, or his rage,
Drawn to the life in each elaborate page.
Mars, nor Bellona, are not named here;
But fuch a Gondibert as both might fear:
Venus had here, and Hebe, been outshin'd,
By thy bright Birtha, and thy Rhodalind.
Such is thy happy fkill, and fuch the odds
Betwixt thy Worthies, and the Grecian Gods!
Whole Deities in vain had here come down,
Where mortal beauty wears the fovereign crown:
Such as, of flesh compos'd, by flesh and blood,
Though not refifted, may be understood.
TO MY WORTHY FRIEND, MR. WASE, The Tranflator of GRATIUS.
HUS, by the mufic, we may know
When noble wits a-hunting go,
Through groves that on Parnaffus grow.
The Mufes all the chace adorn;
My friend on Pegasus is borne:
And young Apollo winds the horn.
Having old Gratius in the wind,
No pack of critics e'er could find,
Or he know more of his own mind.
Here huntsmen with delight may read
How to chufe dogs, for fcent or speed;
And how to change or mend the breed:
What arms to use, or nets to frame,
Wild beafts to combat, or to tame :
With all the mysteries of that game.
But, worthy friend! the face of war
In antient times doth differ far,
From what our fiery battles are.
Nor is it like, fince powder known,
That man, fo cruel to his own,
Should fpare the race of beasts alone.
No quarter now: but with the gun
Men wait in trees, from fun to fun;
And all is in a moment done.
And therefore we expect your next
Should be no comment, but a text;
To tell how modern beafts are vext.
Thus would I further yet engage
Your gentle Muse to court the age
With fomewhat of your proper rage:
Since none doth more to Phoebus owe,
Or in more languages can show
Thofe arts, which you fo early know.
To his worthy Friend Mafter EVELYN,
Upon his Translation of LUCRETIUS.
UCRETIUS (with a ftork-like fate,
Born and tranflated in a state)
Comes to proclaim in English verse,
No monarch rules the univerfe:
But chance and atoms make this ALL
In order democratical;
Where bodies freely run their course,
Without defign, or fate, or force.
And this in fuch a ftrain he fings,
As if his Mufe, with Angels' wings,
Had foar'd beyond our utmost sphere,
And other worlds difcover'd there.
For his immortal, boundless wit,
To nature does no bounds permit;
But boldly has remov'd those bars
Of heaven, and earth, and feas, and stars,
By which they were before suppos'd,
By narrow wits, to be inclos'd;
Till his free Mufe threw down the pale,
And did at once difpark them all.
So vaft this argument did feem,
That the wife author did esteem
The Roman language (which was spread
O'er the whole world, in triumph led)
A tongue too narrow to unfold
The wonders which he would have told,