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Written at Moor-park, June, 1689.

VIRTUE, the greatest of all monarchies !

Till, its first emperor rebellious man

Depos'd from off his feat,
It fell, and broke with its own weight
Into small states and principalities,

By many a petty lord possess’d,
But ne'er since feated in one single breast !


who must this land subdue,
The mighty conquest's left for you,
The conquest and discovery too ;
Search out this Utopian ground,
Virtue's Terra Incognita,

Where none ever led the way,
Nor ever since but in descriptions found,

Like the philofopher's stone,
With rules to search it, yet obtain’d by nonc.


II. Wc 'Tis you

And we,

We have, too long been led astray;
Too long have our misguided souls been taught
With rules from musty morals brought,

must put us in the way ;
Let us (for Thame!) no more be fed

With antique reliques of the dead,
The gleanings of philosophy,
Philosophy, the lumber of the schools,
The roguery of alchemy;

the bubbled fools,
Spend all our present life in hopes of golden rules.

But what does our proud ignorance Learning call ?

We oddly Plato's paradox make good,
Our knowledge is but mere remembrance all ;

Remembrance is our treasure and our food;
Nature's fair table-book, our tender fouls,
We fcrawl all o'er with old and empty rules,

Stale memorandums of the schools :
For Learning's mighty treasures look

In that deep grave a book;
Think that the there does all her treasures hide,
And that her troubled ghost still haunts there since the dy’d.
Confine her walks to colleges and schools ;

Her priests, her train, and followers show
As if they all were spectres too!
They purchase knowledge at th’expence
Of common breeding, common sense,
And grow at once scholars and fools;


Affect ill-manner'd pedantry, Rudeness, ill-nature, incivility,

And, fick with dregs of knowledge grown,

Which greedily they swallow down,
Still caft it up, and nauseate company.

Curst be the wretch! nay doubly curft!

(If it may lawful be
To curse our greatest enemy)
Who learnt himself that heresy first

(Which since has seiz’d on all the rest) That knowledge forfeits all humanity; Taught us, like Spaniards, to be proud and poor,

And fling our scraps before our door!
Thrice happy you have 'scap'd this general pest ;
Those mighty epithets, learn’d, good, and great,
Which we ne'er join'd before, but in romances meet,
We find in you at last united grown.

You cannot be compar'd to one :
I must, like him that painted Venus' face,

Borrow from every one a grace ;
Virgil and Epicurus will not do,

Their courting a retreat like you, Unless I


in Cæsar's learning too:
Your happy frame at once controls
This great triumvirate of souls.

Let not old Romne boast Fabius' fate;

He fav'd his country by delays,

But you by peace.
You bought it at a cheaper rate;

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Nor has it left the usual bloody scar,

To shew it cost its price in war;
War ! that mad game the world so loves to play,

And for it does so dearly pay ;
For, though with loss or victory a while

Fortune the gamesters does beguile,
Yer at the last the box sweeps all away.

Only the laurel got by peace

No thunder e'er can blast :
Th' artillery of the skies

Shoots to the earth, and dies ;
Nor ever green and flourishing 'twill last,
Nor dipt in blood, nor widows' tears, nor orphans' cries

About the head crown’d with these bays,

Like lambent fire the lightning plays ; Nor, its triumphal cavalcade to grace,

its folemn train with death ;
It melts the sword of war, yet keeps it in the sheath,

The wily shifts of state, those jugglers' tricks,
Which we call deep designs and politicks
(As in a theatre the ignorant fry,

Because the cords escape their eye,

Wonder to see the motions fy);
Methinks, when you expose the scene,

Down the ill-organ'd engines fall;
Off Ay the vizards, and discover all :

How plain I see through the deceit !
How shallow, and how gross, the cheat !


Makes up

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