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Unfight, unfeen, espouse a fide
At random, like a prince's bride,
To damn their fouls, and swear and lye for,
And at a venture live and die for.
A godly man, that has ferv'd out his time 25 In holiness, may set up any crime; As scholars, when they've taken their degrees, May set up any faculty they please.
Why should not piety be made,
As well as equity, a trade,
And men get money by devotion,
As well as making of a motion?
B' allow'd to pray upon conditions,
As well as fuitors in petitions?
And in a congregation pray,
No less than Chancery, for pay?
All writers, though of different fancies,
Do make all people in romances,
That are diftrefs'd and discontent,
Make fongs, and fing t' an inftrument,
And poets by their sufferings grow;
As if there were no more to do,
To make a poet excellent,
But only want and discontent.
In foreign universities,
When a king's born, or weds, or dies,
Straight other studies are laid by,
And all apply to poetry:
Some write in Hebrew, fome in Greek,
And fome, more wise, in Arabic,
T'avoid the critic, and th' expence
Of difficulter wit and sense;
And feem more learnedish than those
That at a greater charge compofe.
The doctors lead, the ftudents follow;
Some call him Mars, and fome Apollo,
Some Jupiter, and give him th' odds,
On even terms, of all the gods:
Then Cæfar he's nicknam'd, as duly as
He that in Rome was chriften'd Julius,
And was addrefs'd to, by a crow,
As pertinently long ago;
And, as wit goes by colleges,
As well as ftanding and degrees,
He still writes better than the rest,
That's of the house that's counted beft.
What makes all fubjects discontent
Against a prince's government,
And princes take as great offence
At fubjects' difobedience,
That neither th' other can abide,
But too much reafon on each fide
No court allows thofe partial interlopers Of Law and Equity, two fingle paupers, T'encounter hand to hand, and trounce Each other gratis in a fuit at once: For one at one time, and upon free coft, is Enough to play the knave and fool with justice; And, when the one fide bringeth custom in, And th' other lays out half the reckoning, The devil himself will rather chufe to play At paltry small game than fit out, they say; But when at all there's nothing to be got, The old wife Law and Juftice, will not trot.
All fmatterers are more brisk and pert
Than thofe that understand an art;
As little sparkles shine more bright
Than glowing coals, that give them light.
As he that makes his mark is understood
To write his name, and 'tis in law as good; 90
So he that cannot write one word of fenfe,
Believes he has as legal a pretence
To fcribble what he does not understand,
As ideots have a title to their land.
All the inventions that the world contains, 95 Were not by reason first found out, nor brains; But pass for theirs who had the luck to light Upon them by mistake or overfight.
BY SIR JOHN DENHAM.*
SURE there are poets which did never dream
Upon Parnaffus, nor did tafte the ftream
Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose
Those made not poets, but the poets those :
And, as courts make not kings, but kings the court,
So where the Mufes and their train resort,
Parnaffus ftands; if I can be to thee
A poet, thou Parnaffus art to me.
Nor wonder, if (advantag'd in my flight,
By taking wing from thy auspicious height)
Through untrac't ways and aery paths I flye,
More boundleffe in my fancy than my eye:
My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space
That lies between, and first salutes the place
Crown'd with that facred pile, so vast, so high,
That, whether 'tis a part of earth, or sky,
Uncertain feems, and may be thought a proud
Afpiring mountain, or defcending cloud,
Paul's, the late theme of such a muse + whose flight
Has bravely reach't and foar'd above thy height:
* Born 1615; died 1688.
+ Mr. Waller.
Now fhalt thou ftand, though fword, or time, or fire,
Or zeal more fierce than they, thy fall conspire,
Secure, whilft thee the beft of poets fings,
Preferv'd from ruin by the best of kings.
Under his proud furvey the city lies,
And like a mift beneath a hill doth rife;
Whofe ftate and wealth, the business and the crowd,
Seems at this diftance but a darker cloud:
And is to him who rightly things efteems
No other in effect than what it seems :
Where, with like hafte, though feveral ways, they run,
Some to undo, and fome to be undone;
While luxury and wealth, like war and peace,
Are each the others ruine, and increase;
As rivers lost in seas, some secret vein
Thence reconveys, there to be loft again.
Oh happiness of sweet retir'd content!
To be at once fecure, and innocent.
Windfor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells,
Beauty with ftrength) above the valley fwells 40
Into my eye, and doth itself present
With fuch an eafie and unforc't ascent,
That no ftupendious precipice denies
Accefs, no horror turns away our eyes:
But fuch a rife as doth at once invite
A pleasure, and a reverence from the fight:
Thy mighty mafters emblem, in whofe face
Sate meeknefs, heightned with majestick grace.