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Who was, nor this, nor that; but all we find,
And all we can imagine, in mankind.
On Mr. John FLETCHER's Plays.
LETCHER! to thee we do not only owe
All these good Plays, but those of others too:
Thy wit repeated, does support the Stage;
Credits the last, and entertains this age.
No Worthies, form'd by any Mufe but thine,
Could purchase robes, to make themselves so fine.
What brave commander is not proud, to see
Thy brave M ELANTIUs in his gallantry?
Our greatest Ladies love to see their scorn
Out-done by thine, in what themselves have worn :
Th’ impatient widow, e'er the year be done,
Sees thy As PASIA weeping in her gown.
I never yet the Tragic strain aslay'd, Deter'd by that inimitable * -MAID. And, when I venture at the Comic style, Thy SCORNFUL LADY seems to mock
Thus has thy Muse at once improv'd, and mar'd,
Our sport in Plays, by rendring it too hard !
So, when a sort of lufty shepherds throw
The bar by turns, and none the rest out-go
So far, but that the best are meas’ring casts,
Their emulation, and their pastime lasts:
But, if foine brawny Yeoman of the Guard
Step in, and toss the axle-tree a yard,
Or more, beyond the furthest mark the rest
Despairing stand, their sport is at the best.
* The Maid's Tragedy.
To Mr. GEORGE SANDYS, on bis Tran
Nation of some parts of the Bible.
pen, Which would With the high raptures of those men,
Who here with the same spirit sung, Wherewith they now aslift the choir Of Angels, who their songs admire! What-ever those inspired fouls
Were urged to express, did shake
The aged Deep, and both the Poles ;
Their numerous thunder could awake
Dull earth, which does with heav'n consent
To all they wrote, and all they meant.
Say, sacred Bard! what could bestow
Courage on thee, to soar so high?
Tell me, brave friend! what help'd thee fo
To shake off all mortality?
To light this torch, thou hast climb'd high'r
Than * he who stole cæleftial fire.
To Mr. HENRY LAW E S who bad then newly set a Song of mine in the Year 1635.
ERSE makes Heroic virtue live ; VER
can life to verses give. As when in open air we blow, The breath (tho' strain'd) sounds flat and low: * Prometheus.
But if a trumpet take the blast,
It lifts it high, and makes it last:
So in your Airs our numbers drest,
Make a shrill fally from the breast
Of nymphs, who singing what we pen'd,
Our passions 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 Caufe ;
Or questions verses set by Lawe s.
As a Church-window, thick with paint,
Lets in a light but dim, and faint:
So others, with division, hide
The light of fenfe, the Poets? pride :
But you alone may truly boat
That not a syllable is loft :
The writer's, and the fetter's, skill
At once the ravilh'd ears do fiú.
Let those which only warbie long,
And gargle in their throats a song,
Content themselves with Ut, Re, Mi:
Let words, and fenfe, be set by thee.
To Sir WILLIAM D' AVENANT, upon bis Two First Books of GONDIBERT, written in FRANCE.
HUS the wise Nightingale, that leaves her home,
Her native wood, when storms and winter come;
Persuing constantly the chearful spring,
To foreign groves does her old music bring.
The drooping HEBREWs' banith'd harps, unstrung,
At BABYLON, upon the willows hung:
Yours sounds 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 Mu se s' help, can mock those fates
Which threaten kingdoms, and disorder states.
So Ovi D, when from Cæsar's rage he fled,
The Roman Múse to Pontus with him led :
Where he so sung, that we, thro' pity's glass,
See NERO milder than AUGUSTUS was.
Hereafter such, in thy behalf, shall be
Th' indulgent censure of pofterity.
To banish those who with such art can fing,
Is a rude crime, which its own curse doth bring.
Ages to come shall ne'er know how they fought,
Nor how to love their present youth be taught.
This to thyself.Now to thy matchless book :
Wherein those few that can with judgment look,
May find old love in pure fresh language told;
Like new-stamp'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 monsters 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 such a GONDIBERT as both might fear:
Venus had here, and H E Be, been outshin'd,
By thy bright Birtha, and thy RHODALIND.
Such is thy happy skill, and fuch the odds
Betwixt thy Worthies, and the GRECIAN Gods !
Whose Deities in vain had here come down,
Where mortal beauty wears the sov'reign crown:
as of flesh compos’d, by flesh and blood, Though not refifted, may be understood.
To my Worthy Friend Mr. WAS E, the
Translator of GRATIU S.
HUS, by the music, we may know
When noble wits a Through groves
that on PARNASSU S grow.
The Muses all the chase adorn;
My Friend on Pe GA SU S is born;
And young APOLLO winds the horn.
Having old GRATI U 8 in the wind,
No pack of criticks e'er could find,
Or he know more of his own mind.
Here huntsmen with delight may read
How to chuse dogs, for scent, or speed ;
And how to change, or mend, the breed.
What arms to use, or nets to frame,
Wild beasts to combat, or to tame ;
With all the myst'ries of that game.