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Yet shall you have, to rectify your palate,
An olive, capers, or some better sallet
Ushering the mutton; with a short-legged hen,
If we can get her full of eggs, and then
Lemons and wine for sauce; to these, a coney
Is not to be despaired of for our money;
And though fowl now be scarce, yet there are

The sky not falling, think we may have larks.
I'll tell you of more, and lie, so you will come:
Of partridge, pheasant, woodcock, of which some
May yet be there; and god-wit if we can;
Knat, rail, and ruff too. Howsoe'er, my man 20
Shall read a piece of Virgil, Tacitus,
Livy, or of some better book to us,
Of which we'll speak our minds, amidst our meat;
And I'll profess no verses to repeat.
To this if aught appear, which I not know of,
That will the pastry, not my paper, show of.
Digestive cheese, and fruit there sure will be;
But that which most doth take my muse and me
Is a pure cup of rich Canary wine,
Which is the Mermaid's now, but shall be mine:
Of which had Horace or Anacreon tasted, 31
Their lives, as do their lines, till now had lasted.
Tobacco, nectar, or the Thespian spring,
Are all but Luther's beer to this I sing.
Of this we will sup free, but moderately,
And we will have no Pooly, or Parrot by;
Nor shall our cups make any guilty men,
But at our parting we will be as when
We innocently met. No simple word,
That shall be uttered at our mirthful board,
Shall make us sad next morning, or affright
The liberty that we'll enjoy to-night.

I can love both fair and brown;
Her whom abundance melts, and her whom want

betrays; Her who loves loneness best, and her who masks

and plays; Her whom the country form’d, and whom the

Her who believes, and her who tries;
Her who still weeps with spongy eyes,
And her who is dry cork and never cries.
I can love her, and her, and you, and you;
I can love any, so she be not true.

9 Will no other vice content you? Will it not serve your turn to do as did your

mothers ? Or have you all old vices spent and now would

find out others ? Or doth a fear that men are true torment you? O we are not, be not you so;

twenty know; but bind me not, and let me go. Must I, who came to travel thorough you, 17 Grow your fix'd subject, because you are true? Venus heard me sigh this song; And by love's sweetest part, variety, she swore, She heard not this till now; it should be so no


Let me

- and do you Rob me,

JOHN DONNE (1573-1631)



Go and catch a falling star,

Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are,

Or who cleft the Devil's foot; Teach me to hear mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy's stinging,

And find

What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

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If thou be'st born to strange sights,

Things invisible go see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights

Till Age snow white hairs on thee; Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me All strange wonders that befell thee,

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love;

Or chide my palsy, or my gout;
My five grey hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout;

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FORGET If poisonous minerals, and if that tree Whose fruit threw death on else immortal us, If lecherous goats, if serpents envious Cannot be damn'd, alas! why should I be? Why should intent or reason, born in me, Make sins, else equal, in me more heinous ? And, mercy being easy and glorious To God, in His stern wrath why threatens He? 8 But who am I, that dare dispute with Thee? O God, O! of Thine only worthy blood And my tears make a heavenly Lethean flood, And drown in it my sin's black memory. That Thou remember them, some claim as debt; I think it mercy if Thou wilt forget.




Whoever comes to shroud me, do not harm

Nor question much
That subtle wreath of hair about mine arm;
The mystery, the sign you must not touch,

For 'tis my outward soul,
Viceroy to that which, unto heav'n being gone,

Will leave this to control And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dis

solution. For if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall

Through every part Can tie those parts, and make me one of all; Those hairs, which upward grew, and strength

and art

Have from a better brain,
Can better do't: except she meant that I

By this should know my pain, As prisoners then are manacled, when they're condemn'd to die.


Death, be not proud, though some have called

thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill



Whate'er she meant by't, bury it with me,

For since I am
Love's martyr, it might breed idolatry
If into other hands these reliques came.

As 'twas humility
T'afford to it all that a soul can do,

So 'tis some bravery
That, since you would have none of me, I bury

some of you.

From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be, Much pleasure; then from thee much more must

flow; And soonest our best men with thee do go Rest of their bones and souls' delivery! Thou’rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate

men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell; And poppy or charms can make us sleep as

well And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou

then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt

die !


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For my first twenty years, since yesterday,
I scarce believed thou couldst be gone away;
For forty more I fed on favours past,
And forty on hopes that thou wouldst they

might last; Tears drown'd one hundred, and sighs blew out

two; A thousand I did neither think nor do, Or not divide, all being one thought of you; Or in a thousand more, forgot that too. Yet call not this long life; but think that I Am, by being dead, immortal; can ghosts die?

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I have a sin of fear, that when I've spun

My last thread, I shall perish on the shore; But swear by Thyself that at my death Thy Son

Shall shine as He shines now and heretofore; And having done that, Thou hast done;

I fear no more.





Oh, to what height will love of greatness drive
Thy learned spirit, sesqui-superlative?
Venice' vast lake thou'st seen, and wouldst seek

Some vaster thing, and found'st a courtesan.
That inland sea having discover'd well,
A cellar-gulf, where one might sail to hell
From Heidelberg, thou longed'st to see;

and thou This book, greater than all, producest now. Infinite work! which doth so far extend, That none can study it to any end. 'Tis no one thing; it is not fruit nor root, Nor poorly limited with head or foot. If man be therefore man, because he can Reason and laugh, thy book doth half make



So doth the base, and the fore-barren brain,
Soon as the raging wine begins to reign.
One higher pitch'd doth set his soaring thought
On crowned kings, that fortune hath low brought;
Or some upreared, high-aspiring swain,
As it might be the Turkish Tamberlain:
Then weeneth he his base drink-drowned spright,
Rapt to the threefold loft of heaven hight,
When he conceives upon his feigned stage
The stalking steps of his great personage,
Graced with huff-cap terms and thund'ring

That his poor hearers' hair quite upright sets.
Such soon as some brave-minded hungry youth
Sees fitly frame to his wide-strained mouth,
He vaunts his voice upon an hired stage,
With high-set steps and princely carriage;
Now swooping in side robes of royalty,
That erst did scrub in lousy brokery.
There if he can with terms Italianate,
Big-sounding sentences and words of state,
Fair patch me up his pure iambic verse,
He ravishes the gazing scaffolders.
Then certes was the famous Corduban
Never but half so high tragedian.

30 Now, lest such frightful shows of Fortune's fall, And bloody tyrant's rage, should chance appall The dead-struck audience, midst the silent rout, Comes leaping in a self-misformed lout, And laughs, and grins, and frames his mimic

face, And justles straight into the prince's place; Then doth the theatre echo all aloud, With gladsome noise of that applauding crowd. A goodly hotch-potch! when vile russetings Are match'd with monarchs, and with mighty kings.

40 A goodly grace to sober tragic muse, • When each base clown his clumsy fist doth bruise,

And show his teeth in double rotten row,
For laughter at his self-resembled show.
Meanwhile our poets in high parliament
Sit watching every word and gesturement,
Like curious censors of some doughty gear,
Whispering their verdict in their fellow's ear.
Woe to the word whose margent in their scroll
Is noted with a black condemning coal. 50
But if each period might the synod please,
Ho! — bring the ivy boughs, and bands of bays.
Now when they part and leave the naked stage,
'Gins the bare hearer, in a guilty rage,
To curse and ban, and blame his likerous eye,
That thus hath lavish'd his late halfpenny.
Shame that the Muses should be bought and

For every peasant's brass, on each scaffold.

One-half being made, thy modesty was such,
That thou on th' other half wouldst

touch. When wilt thou be at full, great lunatic? Not till thou exceed the world? Canst thou be

like A prosperous nose-born wen, which sometimes

grows To be far greater than the mother-nose ? Go then, and as to thee, when thou didst go, Münster did towns and Gesner authors show, Mount now to Gallo-Belgicus; appear As deep a statesman as a gazeteer. Homely and familiarly, when thou comest back, Talk of Will Conqueror, and Prester Jack. Go, bashful man, lest here thou blush to look Upon the progress of thy glorious book.



JOSEPH HALL (1574-1656)


With some pot-fury, ravish'd from their wit,
They sit and muse on some no-vulgar writ:
As frozen dunghills in a winter's morn,
That void of vapours seemed all beforn,
Soon as the sun sends out his piercing beams,
Exhale out filthy smoke and stinking steams;

JOHN MARSTON (1575–1634)


In Lectores prorsus indignos

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Let me alone, the madams call for thee,
Longing to laugh at thy wit's poverty.
Sirra livery cloak, you lazy slipper-slave,
Thou fawning drudge, what, wouldst thou satires

Base mind, away, thy master calls, be gone.
Sweet Gnato, let my poesy alone;
Go buy some ballad of the Fairy King,
And of the beggar wench some roguy thing,
Which thou mayst chant unto the chamber-

maid To some vile tune, when that thy master's laid.

But will you needs stay? am I forced to bear
The blasting breath of each lewd censurer?
Must naught but clothes, and images of men,
But spriteless trunks, be judges of thy pen? 60
Nay then, come all! I prostitute my muse,
For all the swarms of idiots to abuse.
Read all, view all; even with my full consent,
So you will know that which I never meant;
So you will ne'er conceive, and yet dispraise
That which you ne'er conceived, and laughter

Where I but strive in honest seriousness
To scourge some soul-polluting beastliness.
So you will rail, and find huge errors lurk
In every corner of my cynic work.

Proface! read on, for your extrem'st dislikes
Will add a pinion to my praise's flights.
O how I bristle up my plumes of pride,
O how I think my satire's dignifi’d,
When I once hear some quaint Castilio,
Some supple-mouth'd slave, some lewd Tubrio,
Some spruce pedant, or some span-new-come

Of inns-o'court, striving to vilify
My dark reproofs! Then do but rail at me,
No greater honour craves my poesy.


Fie, Satire, fie! shall each mechanic slave,
Each dunghill peasant, free perusal have
Of thy well-labour'd lines? — each satin suit,
Each quaint fashion-monger, whose sole repute
Rests in his trim gay clothes, lie slavering,
Tainting thy lines with his lewd censuring?
Shall each odd puisne of the lawyer's inn,
Each barmy-froth, that last day did begin
To read his little, or his ne'er a whit,
Or shall some greater ancient, of less wit
That never turn'd but brown tobacco leaves,
Whose senses some damn'd occupant bereaves,
Lie gnawing on thy vacant time's expense,
Tearing thy rhymes, quite altering the sense?
Or shall perfum'd Castilio censure thee,
Shall he o'erview thy sharp-fang'd poesy
Who ne'er read further than his mistress lips,
Ne'er practised ought but some spruce cap’ring

skips, Ne'er in his life did other language use, But "Sweet lady, fair mistress, kind heart, dear

cuz" Shall this phantasma, this Coloss peruse, And blast, with stinking breath, my budding

Fie! wilt thou make thy wit a courtezan
For every broken handcraft's artisan ?
Shall brainless cittern-heads, each jobbernoul,
Pocket the very genius of thy soul?

Ay, Phylo, ay, I'll keep an open hall,
A common and a sumptuous festival.
Welcome all eyes, all ears, all tongues to me!
Gnaw peasants on my scraps of poesy!
Castilios, Cyprians, court-boys, Spanish blocks,
Ribanded ears, Granado netherstocks,
Fiddlers, scriveners, pedlars, tinkering knaves,
Base blue-coats, tapsters, broad-cloth-minded

slaves Welcome, i' faith; but may you ne'er depart Till I have made your gallèd hides to smart. Your galled hides? avaunt, base muddy scum, Think you a satire's dreadful sounding drum Will brace itself, and deign to terrify Such abject peasants' basest roguery? No, no, pass on, ye vain fantastic troop Of puffy youths; know I do scorn to stoop To rip your lives. Then hence, lewd nags, away, Go read each post, view what is play'd to-day, Then to Priapus' gardens. You, Castilio, I pray thee let my lines in freedom go;



GEORGE SANDYS (1578-1644)




In my prosperity I said,

My feet shall ever fix'd abide;

I, by Thy favour fortifi'd, Am like a steadfast mountain made.


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