Twas a blith prince[90.1] exchang'd five hundred crowns
For a fair turnip. Dig, dig on, O clowns
But how this comes about, Fates, can you tell,
This more then Maid of Meurs, this miracle?
Let me not live, if I think not St. Mark
Has all the oar, as well as beasts, in's ark!
No wonder 'tis he marries the rich sea,
But to betroth him to nak'd Poesie,
And with a bankrupt muse to merchandise;
His treasures beams, sure, have put out his eyes.[90.2]
His conquest at Lepanto[90.3] I'l let pass,
When the sick sea with turbants night-cap'd was;
And now at Candie his full courage shown,
That wan'd to a wan line the half-half moon.[90.4]
This is a wreath, this is a victorie,
Caesar himself would have look'd pale to see,
And in the height of all his triumphs feel
Himself but chain'd to such a mighty wheel.
And now me thinks we ape Augustus state,
So ugly we his high worth imitate,
Monkey his godlike glories; so that we
Keep light and form with such deformitie,
As I have seen an arrogant baboon
With a small piece of glasse zany the sun.
Rome to her bard, who did her battails sing,
Indifferent gave to poet and to king;
With the same lawrells were his temples fraught,
Who best had written, and who best had fought;
The self same fame they equally did feel,
One's style ador'd as much as t' other's steel.
A chain or fasces she could then afford
The sons of Phoebus, we, an axe or cord;
Sometimes a coronet was her renown,
And ours, the dear prerogative of a crown.
In marble statu'd walks great Lucan lay,
And now we walk, our own pale statua.
They the whole year with roses crownd would dine,
And we in all December know no wine;
Disciplin'd, dieted, sure there hath bin
Ods 'twixt a poet and a Capuchin.
Of princes, women, wine, to sing I see
Is no apocrypha: for to rise high
Commend this olio of this lord 'tis fit:
Nay, ten to one, but you have part of it;
There is that justice left, since you maintain
His table, he should counter-feed your brain.
Then write how well he in his sack hath droll'd,
Straight there's a bottle to your chamber roll'd,
Or with embroider'd words praise his French suit,
Month hence 'tis yours with his mans, to boot;
Or but applaud his boss'd legs: two to none,
But he most nobly doth give you one.
Or spin an elegie on his false hair:
'Tis well, he cries, but living hair is dear.
Yet say that out of order ther's one curl,
And all the hopes of your reward you furl.[90.5]
Write a deep epick poem, and you may
As soon delight them as the opera,
Where they Diogenes thought in his tub,
Never so sowre did look so sweet a club.
You that do suck for thirst your black quil's blood,[90.6]
And chaw your labour'd papers for your food,
I will inform you how and what to praise,
Then skin y' in satin as young Lovelace plaies.
Beware, as you would your fierce guests, your lice,
To strip the cloath of gold from cherish'd vice;
Rather stand off with awe and reverend fear,
Hang a poetick pendant in her ear,
Court her as her adorers do their glasse,
Though that as much of a true substance has,
Whilst all the gall from your wild[90.7] ink you drain,
The beauteous sweets of vertues cheeks to stain;
And in your livery let her be known,
As poor and tatter'd as in her own.
Nor write, nor speak you more of sacred writ,
But what shall force up your arrested wit.
Be chast; religion and her priests your scorn,
Whilst the vain fanes of idiots you adorn.
It is a mortal errour, you must know,
Of any to speak good, if he be so.
Rayl, till your edged breath flea[90.8] your raw throat,
And burn remarks[90.9] on all of gen'rous note;
Each verse be an indictment, be not free
Sanctity 't self from thy scurrility.
Libel your father, and your dam buffoon,
The noblest matrons of the isle lampoon,
Whilst Aretine and 's bodies you dispute,
And in your sheets your sister prostitute.
Yet there belongs a sweetnesse, softnesse too,
Which you must pay, but first, pray, know to who.
There is a creature, (if I may so call
That unto which they do all prostrate fall)
Term'd mistress, when they'r angry; but, pleas'd high,
It is a princesse, saint, divinity.
To this they sacrifice the whole days light,
Then lye with their devotion all night;
For this you are to dive to the abysse,
And rob for pearl the closet of some fish.
Arabia and Sabaea you must strip
Of all their sweets, for to supply her lip;
And steal new fire from heav'n, for to repair
Her unfledg'd scalp with Berenice's hair;
Then seat her in Cassiopeia's chair.
As now you're in your coach: save you, bright sir,
(O, spare your thanks) is not this finer far
Then walk un-hided, when that every stone
Has knock'd acquaintance with your ankle-bone?
When your wing'd papers, like the last dove, nere
Return'd to quit you of your hope or fear,
But left you to the mercy of your host
And your days fare, a fortified toast.[90.10]
How many battels, sung in epick strain,
Would have procur'd your head thatch from the rain
Not all the arms of Thebes and Troy would get
One knife but to anatomize your meat,
A funeral elegie, with a sad boon,[90.11]
Might make you (hei!) sip wine like maccaroon;[90.12]
But if perchance there did a riband[90.13] come,
Not the train-band so fierce with all its drum:
Yet with your torch you homeward would retire,
And heart'ly wish your bed your fun'ral pyre.
With what a fury have I known you feed
Upon a contract and the hopes 't might speed!
Not the fair bride, impatient of delay,
Doth wish like you the beauties of that day;
Hotter than all the roasted cooks you sat
To dresse the fricace of your alphabet,
Which sometimes would be drawn dough anagrame,[90.14]
Sometimes acrostick parched in the flame;[90.15]
Then posies stew'd with sippets, mottos by:
Of minced verse a miserable pye.
How many knots slip'd, ere you twist their name
With th' old device, as both their heart's the same!
Whilst like to drills the feast in your false jaw
You would transmit at leisure to your maw;
Then after all your fooling, fat, and wine,
Glutton'd at last, return at home to pine.
Tell me, O Sun, since first your beams did play
To night, and did awake the sleeping day;
Since first your steeds of light their race did start,
Did you ere blush as now? Oh thou, that art
The common father to the base pissmire,
As well as great Alcides, did the fire
From thine owne altar which the gods adore,
Kindle the souls of gnats and wasps before?
Who would delight in his chast eyes to see
Dormise to strike at lights of poesie?
Faction and envy now are[90.16] downright rage.
Once a five-knotted whip there was, the stage:
The beadle and the executioner,
To whip small errors, and the great ones tear;
Now, as er'e Nimrod the first king, he writes:
That's strongest, th' ablest deepest bites.
The muses weeping fly their hill, to see
Their noblest sons of peace in mutinie.
Could there nought else this civil war compleat,
But poets raging with poetic heat,
Tearing themselves and th' endlesse wreath, as though
Immortal they, their wrath should be so, too?
And doubly fir'd Apollo burns to see
In silent Helicon a naumachie.
Parnassus hears these at his first alarms;
Never till now Minerva was in arms.
O more then conqu'ror of the world, great Rome!
Thy heros did with gentleness or'e come
Thy foes themselves, but one another first,
Whilst envy stript alone was left, and burst.
The learn'd Decemviri, 'tis true, did strive,
But to add flames to keep their fame alive;
Whilst the eternal lawrel hung ith' air:
Nor of these ten sons was there found one heir.
Like to the golden tripod, it did pass
From this to this, till 't came to him, whose 'twas.
Caesar to Gallus trundled it, and he
To Maro: Maro, Naso, unto thee?
Naso to his Tibullus flung the wreath,
He to Catullus thus did bequeath.
This glorious circle, to another round,
At last the temples of their god it bound.
I might believe at least, that each might have
A quiet fame contented in his grave,
Envy the living, not the dead, doth bite:
For after death all men receave their right.[90.17]
If it be sacriledge for to profane
Their holy ashes, what is't then their flame?
He does that wrong unweeting[90.18] or in ire,
As if one should put out the vestal fire.
Let earths four quarters speak, and thou, Sun, bear
Now witnesse for thy fellow-traveller.
I was ally'd, dear Uncle,[90.19] unto thee
In blood, but thou, alas, not unto me;
Your vertues, pow'rs, and mine differ'd at best,
As they whose springs you saw, the east and west.[90.20]
Let me awhile be twisted in thy shine,
And pay my due devotions at thy shrine.
Might learned Waynman[90.21] rise, who went with thee
In thy heav'ns work beside divinity,
I should sit still; or mighty Falkland[90.22] stand
To justifie with breath his pow'rful hand;
The glory, that doth circle your pale urn,
Might hallow'd still and undefiled burn:
But I forbear. Flames, that are wildly thrown
At sacred heads, curle back upon their own;
Sleep, heavenly Sands, whilst what they do or write,
Is to give God himself and you your right.
There is not in my mind one sullen[90.23] fate
Of old, but is concentred in our state:
Vandall ore-runners, Goths in literature:
Ploughmen that would Parnassus new-manure;
Ringers of verse that all-in-chime,
And toll the changes upon every rime.
A mercer now by th' yard does measure ore
An ode, which was but by the foot before;
Deals you an ell of epigram, and swears
It is the strongest and the finest wears.
No wonder, if a drawer verses rack,
If 'tis not his, 't may be the spir't of sack;
Whilst the fair bar-maid stroaks the muses teat,
For milk to make the posset up compleat.
Arise, thou rev'rend shade, great Johnson, rise!
Break through thy marble natural disguise!
Behold a mist of insects, whose meer breath
Will melt thy hallow'd leaden house of death.
What was Crispinus,[90.24] that you should defie
The age for him?[90.25] He durst not look so high
As your immortal rod, he still did stand
Honour'd, and held his forehead to thy brand.
These scorpions, with which we have to do,
Are fiends, not only small but deadly too.
Well mightst thou rive thy quill up to the back,
And scrue thy lyre's grave chords, untill they crack.
For though once hell resented musick, these
Divels will not, but are in worse disease.
How would thy masc'line spirit, father Ben,
Sweat to behold basely deposed men,
Justled from the prerog'tive of their bed,
Whilst wives are per'wig'd with their husbands head?
Each snatches the male quill from his faint hand,
And must both nobler write and understand,
He to her fury the soft plume doth bow:
O pen, nere truely justly slit till now!
Now as her self a poem she doth dresse.
And curls a line, as she would do a tresse;
Powders a sonnet as she does her hair,
Then prostitutes them both to publick aire.
Nor is 't enough, that they their faces blind
With a false dye; but they must paint their mind,
In meeter scold, and in scann'd order brawl,
Yet there's one Sapho[90.26] left may save them all.
But now let me recal my passion.
Oh! (from a noble father, nobler son)
You, that alone are the Clarissimi,
And the whole gen'rous state of Venice be,
It shall not be recorded Sanazar
Shall boast inthron'd alone this new made star;
You, whose correcting sweetnesse hath forbad
Shame to the good, and glory to the bad;
Whose honour hath ev'n into vertue tam'd
These swarms, that now so angerly I nam'd.
Forgive what thus distemper'd I indite:
For it is hard a SATYRE not to write.
Yet, as a virgin that heats all her blood
At the first motion of bad[90.27] understood,
Then, at meer thought of fair chastity,
Straight cools again the tempests of her sea:
So when to you I my devotions raise,
All wrath and storms do end in calm and praise.