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And NOTES explanatory and critical



Prebendary of Rochester and Rector of Great Riffington
in Glocefterfhire.




Printed for J. and R. TONS ON in the Strand.



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O oft as I with state of present time
The image of the antique world compare,
Whenas mans age was in his freshest prime,
And the first bloffome of faire vertue bare;

Such oddes I finde twixt those, and these which are
As that, through long continuance of his courfe,
Me feemes the world is runne quite out of fquare

From the first point of his appointed fourse

And being once amiffe growes daily wourse and wourse :


For from the golden age, that first was named,

It's now at earst become a stonie one;


And men themselves, the which at first were framed
Of earthly mould, and form'd of flesh and bone,
Are now transformed into hardest stone
Such as behind their backs (fo backward bred)
Were throwne by Pyrrha and Deucalione:
And if then those may any worse be red,
They into that ere long will be degendered,
A 2

III. Let


Let none then blame me, if in discipline
Of vertue and of civill ufes lore

I do not forme them to the common line
Of present dayes which are corrupted fore;
But to the antique use which was of yore,
When good was onely for itselfe defyred,

And all men fought their owne, and none no more;
When iuftice was not for moft meed out-hyred,
But fimple truth did rayne, and was of all admyred.

For that which all men then did vertue call,

Is now cald vice; and that which vice was hight,
Is now hight vertue, and fo us'd of all:
Right now is wrong, and wrong that was is right;
As all things elfe in time are chaunged quight:
Ne wonder; for the heavens revolution

Is wandred farre from where it first was pight,
And fo doe make contrarie conftitution
Of all this lower world toward his diffolution.


For whofo lift into the heavens looke,
And search the courfes of the rowling fpheares,
Shall find that from the point where they first tooke
Their fetting forth, in these few thousand yeares
They all are wandred much; that plaine appeares:
For that fame golden fleecy ram, which bore
Phrixus and Helle from their stepdames feares,
Hath now forgot where he was plast of yore,
And shouldred hath the bull which fayre Europa bore:


And eke the bull hath with his bow-bent horne

So hardly butted those two twinnes of love,

That they have crusht the crab, and quite him borne
Into the great Nemaean lions grove.

So now all range, and doe at randon rove

Out of their proper places farre away,

And all this world with them amiffe doe move,

And all his creatures from their course astray;

Till they arrive at their last ruinous decay.


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