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'Tis many a pious Christian's case.

He was in logic a great critic, Profoundly skill'd in analytic:

He could distinguish, and divide

A hair 'twixt south and south-west side;
On either which he would dispute,
Confute, change hands, and still confute.
He'd undertake to prove, by force
Of argument, a man's no horse;
He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl,
And that a lord may be an owl,
A calf an alderman, a goose a justice,
And rooks committee-men and trustees.
He'd run in debt by disputation,

And pay with ratiocination.

All this by syllogism, true

In mood and figure, he would do.

For rhetoric, he could not ope

His mouth, but out there flew a trope;
And when he happen'd to break off
I' th' middle of his speech, or cough,
H' had hard words ready to show why,
And tell what rules he did it by;
Else, when with greatest art he spoke,
You'd think he talk'd like other folk:
For all a rhetorician's rules

Teach nothing but to name his tools.

But, when he pleased to show't, his speech In loftiness of sound was rich;

A Babylonish dialect,

Which learned pedants much affect;

It was a party-colour'd dress

Of patch'd and piebald languages:

'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin, Like fustian heretofore on satin;

It had an odd promiscuous tone,

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As if h' had talk'd three parts in one;
Which made some think, when he did gabble,
Th' had heard three labourers of Babel,

Or Cerberus himself pronounce

A leash of languages at once.

This he as volubly would vent

As if his stock would ne'er be spent;
And truly, to support that charge,
He had supplies as vast and large;
For he could coin or counterfeit
New words, with little or no wit;
Words so debased and hard, no stone
Was hard enough to touch them on;
And, when with hasty noise he spoke 'em,
The ignorant for current took 'em;


For Hebrew roots, altho' they're found

That had the orator, who once

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Than Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater;
For he, by geometric scale,
Could take the size of pots of ale;
Resolve by sines and tangents, straight,
If bread or butter wanted weight;
And wisely tell what hour o' th' day
The clock does strike, by algebra.

Beside, he was a shrewd philosopher,
And had read every text and gloss over;
Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath,
He understood b' implicit faith;
Whatever sceptic could inquire for,
For every why he had a wherefore;
Knew more than forty of them do,
As far as words and terms could go;
All which he understood by rote,
And, as occasion served, would quote;
No matter whether right or wrong,
They might be either said or sung,
His notions fitted things so well,
That which was which he could not tell,
But oftentimes mistook the one
For th' other, as great clerks have done.
He could reduce all things to acts,

And knew their natures by abstracts;
Where Entity and Quiddity,

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He knew what's what, and that's as high As metaphysic wit can fly:

In school divinity as able

As he that hight Irrefragable;
A second Thomas, or at once

To name them all, another Dunce:
Profound in all the Nominal
And Real ways beyond them all;
For he a rope of sand could twist
As tough as learnèd Sorbonist;
And weave fine cobwebs, fit for skull
That's empty when the moon is full;
Such as take lodgings in a head
That's to be let unfurnishèd.

He could raise scruples dark and nice,
And after solve 'em in a trice;
As if Divinity had catch'd






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Below the moon, or else above it;
What Adam dreamt of, when his bride
Came from her closet in his side;
Whether the devil tempted her
By a High Dutch interpreter;
If either of them had a navel;
Who first made music malleable;
Whether the Serpent, at the Fall,
Had cloven feet, or none at all:
All this, without a gloss or comment,
He could unriddle in a moment,

In proper terms, such as men smatter
When they throw out, and miss the matter.
For his religion, it was fit

To match his learning and his wit:
'Twas Presbyterian true blue;

For he was of that stubborn crew
Of errant Saints, whom all men grant
To be the true Church Militant;
Such as do build their faith upon

The holy text of pike and gun;
Decide all controversies by
Infallible artillery;

And prove their doctrine orthodox
By apostolic blows and knocks;
Call fire, and sword, and desolation,
A godly, thorough Reformation,
Which always must be carried on,
And still be doing, never done;
As if Religion were intended

For nothing else but to be mended.




RICHARD CRASHAW (1613?-1649)





Come, we shepherds, whose blest sight
Hath met Love's noon in Nature's night;

Come, lift we up our loftier song
And wake the sun that lies too long.

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But godlike his unwearied bounty flows,
First loves to do, then loves the good he does;
Nor are his blessings to his banks confined,
But free and common as the sea or wind;
When he to boast or to disperse his stores,
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying towers,
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours,
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it

Cities in deserts, woods in cities plants;
So that to us no thing, no place is strange,
While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.
O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not

Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.


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Old Chaucer, like the morning star,
To us discovers day from far.

His light those mists and clouds dissolved,
Which our dark nation long involved;
But he descending to the shades,
Darkness again the age invades.
Next (like Aurora) Spenser rose,
Whose purple blush the day foreshews;
The other three, with his own fires
Phoebus, the poets' God, inspires;
By Shakespear, Jonson, Fletcher's lines,
Our stage's lustre Rome's outshines:
These poets near our princes sleep,
And in one grave their mansion keep;
They liv'd to see so many days,

Till time had blasted all their bays;

But cursed be the fatal hour

That pluck'd the fairest, sweetest flower
That in the muses' garden grew,
And amongst wither'd laurels threw.

Time, which made them their fame


To Cowley scarce did ripeness give.
Old mother wit, and nature, gave
Shakespear and Fletcher all they have;
In Spenser, and in Jonson, art
Of slower nature got the start;

But both in him so equal are,

None knows which bears the happiest share;
To him no author was unknown,
Yet what he wrote was all his own;
He melted not the ancient gold,
Nor, with Ben Jonson, did make bold
To plunder all the Roman stores
Of poets, and of orators:

Horace's wit, and Virgil's state,

He did not steal, but emulate:

And when he would like them appear, Their garb, but not their clothes, did wear:






Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery

Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.


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My sweet companion and my gentle peer,
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here,
Thy end forever and my life to moan?
O, thou hast left me all alone!
Thy soul and body, when death's agony
Besieged around thy noble heart,
Did not with more reluctance part
Than I, my dearest friend, do part from thee. 16

My dearest friend, would I had died for thee!
Life and this world henceforth will tedious be!
Nor shall I know hereafter what to do

If once my griefs prove tedious too.
Silent and sad I walk about all day,

As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by
Where their hid treasures lie;
Alas! my treasure's gone; why do I stay?


Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights,
How oft unwearied have we spent the nights,


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