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I have some naked thoughts that rove about,
And loudly knock to have their passage out;
And, weary of their place, do only stay
Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best array;
That so they may, without suspect or fears,
Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears;
Yet I had rather, if I were to choose,
Thy service in some graver subject use,
Such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound:
Such where the deep-transported mind may soar
Above the wheeling poles, and at heaven's door
Look in, and see each blissful deity,
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings
To the touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly sire;
Then passing through the spheres of watchful
And misty regions of wide air next under,
And hills of snow, and lofts of piled thunder,
May tell at length how green-eyed Neptune raves,
In heaven's defiance mustering all his waves;
Then sing of secret things that came to pass
When beldame Nature in her cradle was;
And last of kings, and queens, and heroes old,
Such as the wise Demodocus once told
In solemn songs at king Alcinous' feast,
While sad Ulysses' soul, and all the rest,
Are held, with his melodious harmony,
In willing chains and sweet captivity.
But fie, my wandering muse, how dost thou stray!
Expectance calls thee now another way;
Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent
To keep in compass of thy predicament:
Then quick about thy purposed business come,
That to the next I may resign my room.
Then Ens is represented as father of the Predicaments, his ten
sons ; whereof the eldest stood for Substance, with his canons,
which Ens, thus speaking, explains : Good luck befriend thee, son; for, at thy birth, The faëry ladies danced upon the hearth; Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spy Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie, And, sweetly singing round about thy bed, Strew all their blessings on thy sleeping head. She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst
still From eyes of mortals walk invisible: Yet there is something that doth force my fear; For once it was my dismal hap to hear A sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age, That far events full wisely could presage, And, in time's long and dark prospective glass, Foresaw what future deve should bring to pass ; “ Your son," said she, “ (nor can you it prevent,) Shall subject be to many an accident. O’er all his brethren he shall reign as king, Yet every one shall make him underling; And those, that cannot live from him asunder, Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under:
In worth and excellence he shall outgo them;
Yet, being above them, he shall be below them;
From others he shall stand in need of nothing,
Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.
To find a foe it shall not be his hap,
And peace shall lull him in her flowery lap:
Yet shall he live in strife; and, at his door,
Devouring war shall never cease to roar:
Yea, it shall be his natural property
To harbour those that are at enmity.
What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not
Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot ?"
The next, Quantity and Quality, spake in prose : then Relation was
called by his name.
Rivers, arise : whether thou be the son
Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulfy Dun,
Or Trent, who, like some earth-born giant, spreads
His thirsty arms along the indented meads;
Or sullen Mole, that runneth underneath;
Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death;
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee;
Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scythian's name;
Or Medway smooth or royal-tower'd Thame.
AN EPITAPH ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATIC POET :
What needs my Shakspeare, for his honour'd
bones, The labour of an age in piled stones? Or that his hallow'd relics should be hid Under a star-ypointing pyramid ? Dear son of memory, great heir of fame, What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name? Thou, in our wonder and astonishment, Hast built thyself a livelong monument. For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art, Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart Hath, from the leaves of thy unvalued book, Those Delphic lines with deep impression took; Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving, Dost make us marble, with too much conceiving; And, so sepulchred, in such pomp
dost lie, That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die.
ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER, Who sickened in the Time of his Vacancy ; being forbid to go to
London, by reason of the Plague.
HERE lies old Hobson ; Death hath broke his girt,
And here, alas ! hath laid him in the dirt;
Or else the ways being foul, twenty to one
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
a 'Twas such a shifter, that, if truth were known, Death was half-glad when he had got him down For he had, any time this ten years full, Dodged with him betwixt Cambridge and The Bud.
And surely Death could never have prevaild,
Had not his weekly course of carriage faild;
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
And that he had ta’en up his latest inn,
In the kind office of a chamberlin
Show'd him his room where he must lodge that
Pulld off his boots, and took away the light:
If any ask for him, it shall be said,
“Hobson has supp'd, and's newly gone to bed."
HERE lieth one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die while he could move;
So hung his destiny, never to rot
While he might still jog on and keep his trot ;
Made of sphere metal, never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time :
And, like an engine moved with wheel and weight,
His principles being ceased, he ended straight.
Rest, that gave all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm,
Too long vacation hasten'd on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken'd;
• Nay,” quoth he, on his swooning bed outstretch'd,
“If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd,