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To a LADY in Retirement.

EES not my Love, how time resumes The glory which he lent these flowers? Though none should taste of their perfumes, Yet muft they live but fome few hours: Time, what we forbear, devours!

Had Helen, or th* Egyptian Queen,
Been near fo thrifty of their graces;
Those beauties must at length have been
The spoil of age, which finds out faces
In the most retired places.

Should fome malignant planet bring
A barren drought, or ceaseless shower,
Upon the autumn, or the spring,

And spare us neither fruit nor flower;
Winter would not stay an hour.

Could the refolve of love's neglect
Preferve you from the violation
Of coming years, then more respect
Were due to fo divine a fashion;
Nor would I indulge my paffion.

* Cleopatra.

The

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The MISER'S SPEECH; in a Masque.
ALLS of this metal flack'd Atlanta's pace,

And on the * amorous youth bestow'd the race
Venus (the nymph's mind measuring by her own)
Whom the rich spoils of cities overthrown
Had proftrated to Mars, could well advife
Th' adventurous lover how to gain the prize.
Nor lefs may Jupiter to gold ascribe :
For, when he turn'd himself into a bribe,
Who can blame Danaë, or the brazen tower,
That they withstood not that almighty shower?
Never till then, did Love make Jove put on
A form more bright, and nobler, than his own:
Nor were it juft, would he resume that shape,
That flack devotion fhould his thunder fcape..
'Twas not revenge for griev'd Apollo's wrong,
Those afs's ears on Midas' temples hung:
But fond repentance of his happy wish,,
Because his meat grew metal like his dish.
Would Bacchus blefs me fo, I'd conftant hold
Unto my wish, and die creating gold..

UPON BEN JONSO N.

MIRROR of Poets! Mirror of our age!

Which, her whole face beholding on thy Stage, Pleas'd, and difpleas'd, with her own faults, endures A remedy like those whom mufic cures.

* Hippomenes.

Thou

Thou haft alone thofe various inclinations,
Which nature gives to ages, fexes, nations:
So traced with thy all-refembling pen,
That whate'er custom has impos'd on men,
Or ill-got habit (which deforms them fo,
That scarce a brother can his brother know)
Is reprefented to the wondering eyes.
Of all that fee or read thy comedies.
Whoever in thofe glaffes looks, may find
The spots return'd, or graces, of his mind:
And, by the help of fo divine an art,
At Leisure view and dress his nobler part..
Narciffus, cozen'd by that flattering Well,
Which nothing could but of his beauty tell,
Had here, discovering the deform'd estate
Of his fond mind, preserv'd himself with hate..
But virtue too, as well as vice, is clad

In flesh and blood fo well, that Plato had
Beheld, what his high fancy once embrac'd,
Virtue with colours, fpeech, and motion grac'd..
The fundry poftures of thy copious Mufe
Who would exprefs, a thousand tongues must use;;
Whofe fate's no less peculiar than thy art;
For as thou couldst all characters impart,
So none could render thine; which still escapes,
Like Proteus, in variety of shapes:

Who was, nor this, nor that; but all we find,
And all we can imagine, in mankind.

ΟΝ

ON MR. JOHN FLETCHER'S PLAYS.
LETCHER! to thee we do not only owe

FLET

All thefe good plays, but those of others too:
Thy wit repeated, does fupport the Stage;
Credits the laft, and entertains this age.

No Worthies, form'd by any Mufe but thine,
Could purchase robes, to make themselves fo fine.
What brave commander is not proud, to fee
Thy brave Melantius in his gallantry?

Our greatest Ladies love to see their scorn
Out-done by thine, in what themselves have worn:
Th' impatient widow, ere the year be done,

Sees thy Afpafia weeping in her

gown.

I never yet the Tragic strain assay'd,

Deter'd by that inimitable Maid.
And, when I venture at the comic style,

Thy Scornful Lady seems to mock my toil.

Thus has thy Muse at once improv'd and mar'd
Our sport in Plays, by rendering it too hard!
So, when a fort of lufty shepherds throw
The bar by turns, and none the rest out-go
So far, but that the beft are measuring cafts,
Their emulation and their paftime lasts:
But, if fome brawny Yeoman of the Guard
Step in, and tofs the axle-tree a yard,
Or more, beyond the furthest mark, the rest
Despairing ftand, their sport is at the best.

* The Maid's Tragedy..

то

TO MR. GEORGE SANDYS,

On his TRANSLATION of fome Parts of the BIBLE.

H

OW bold a work attempts that pen,
Which would enrich our vulgar tongue
With the high raptures of thofe men,
Who here with the fame fpirit fung,
Wherewith they now affift the choir
Of angels, who their fongs admire!
Whatever those inspired fouls

Were urged to exprefs, did fhake
The aged Deep, and both the Poles;

Their numerous thunder could awake
Dull earth, which does with Heaven confent
To all they wrote, and all they meant.
Say, facred Bard! what could bestow
Courage, on thee, to foar fo high?

Tell me, brave friend! what help'd thee fo
To shake off all mortality?

To light this torch, thou hast climb'd higher
Than* he who ftole celeftial fire.

*Prometheus.

то

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