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But fie, my wandering Muse, how thou dost stray!
Expectance calls thee now another way;
Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent
To keep in compass of thy predicament :
Then quick about thy purpos’d business come,
That to the next I may resign my room.
Then Ens is represented as Father of the PREDICAMENTS
his two Sons, whereof the eldest stood for SUBSTANCE
with his Canons; which Ens, thus speaking, explains. Good luck befriend thee, Son ; for at thy birth, The faery ladies danc'd upon the hearth ; Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spie Come tripping to the room where thou didst lie, And, sweetly singing round about thy bed, Strew all their blessings on thy sleeping head. She heard them give thee this, that thou shouldst still From eyes of mortals walk invisible : Yet there is something that doth force my fear; For once it was my dismal hap to hear A Sibyl old, bow-bent with crooked age, That far events full wisely could presage, And, in Time's long and dark prospective glass, Foresaw what future days should bring to pass ; “ Your son,” said she, “ (nor can you it prevent) Shall subject be to many an Accident. O'er all his brethren he shall reign as king, Yet every one shall make him underling ; And those, that cannot live from him asunder, Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under ; In worth and excellence he shall out-go them, Yet, being above them, he shall be below them;
1. Ens,' &c. : scholastic terms personified.
From others he shall stand in need of nothing,
Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.
To find a foe it shall not be his hap,
And Peace shall lull him in her flowery lap ;
Yet shall he live in strife, and at his door
Devouring War shall never cease to roar;
Yea, it shall be his natural property
To harbour those that are at enmity.
What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not
Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot ?"
The next QUANTITY and QUALITY spake in Prose; then
Relation was called by his name.
RIVERS, arise ; whether thou be the son
Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulphy Dun,
Or Trent, who, like some Earth-born giant, spreads
His thirty arms along the indented meads
Or sullen Mole, that runneth underneath ;
Or Severn swift, guilty 2 of maiden's death;
Or rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee,
Or coaly Tine, or ancient hallow'd Dee ;3
Or Humber4 loud, that keeps the Scythian's name;
Or Medway smooth, or royal-tower'd Thame.
[The rest was Prose.]
I Mole:' a river in Surrey, which sinks in summer into a subterranean channel. – ? "Guilty :' the maiden is Sabrina; see · Comus.'— 3 Dee:' the river of the Druids, held sacred.-4Humber' was a Scythian king drowned in the river.
ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATICK POET W. SHAKSPEARE.
What needs my Shakspeare, for his honour'd bones,
The labour of an age in piled stones?
Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid ?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou, in our wonder and astonishment,
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art
Thy easy numbers flow; and that each heart
Hath, from the leaves of thy unvalued 2 book,
Those Delphick lines with deep impression took ;
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving ;
And, so sepulcher'd, in such pomp dost lie,
That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die.
ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER,
WHO SICKENED IN THE TIME OF HIS VACANCY ; BEING FORBID TO GO TO
LONDON, BY REASON OF THE PLAGUE.
HERE lies old Hobson ;3 Death hath broke his girt,
And here, alas ! hath laid him in the dirt ;
Or else, the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
' 'An Epitaph :' the first of Milton's pieces published. --> • Unvalued : ' invaluable.—5 • Hobson : ' he put up at the Bull in Bishopsgate Street. He died iu 1630.
'Twas such a shifter, that, if truth were known,
Death was half glad when he had got him down ;
For he had, any time this ten years full,
Dodg’d with him betwixt Cambridge and The Bull.
And surely Death could never have preraild,
Had not his weekly course of carriage fail'd;
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
And that he had ta'en up his latest inn,
In the kind office of a chamberlin 1
Show'd him his room where he must lodge that night,
Pull’d off his boots, and took away the light :
If any ask for him, it shall be said,
“ Hobson has supt, and's newly gone to bed."
HERE lieth one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die while he could move ;
So hung his destiny, never to rot
While he might still jog on and keep his trot,
Made of sphere-metal, never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time :
And, like an engine, moved with wheel and weight,
His principles being ceas'd, he ended straight.
Rest, that gives all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath ;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm,
Too long vacation hasten’d on his term.
1. Chamberlin :' the ancient Boots.
Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken'd;
“Nay,” quoth he, on his swooning bed out-stretch'd,
"If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd,
But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers,
For one carrier put down to make six bearers.”
Ease was his chief disease ; and, to judge right,
He died for heaviness that his cart went light :
His leisure told him that his time was come,
And lack of load made his life burdensome,
That even to his last breath (there be that say't),
As he were press'd to death, he cried, More weight :
But, had his doings lasted as they were,
He had been an immortal carrier.
Obedient to the moon he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his fate
Link'd to the mutual flowing of the seas,
Yet (strange to think) his wain was his encrease :
His letters are deliver'd all and gone,
Only remains this superscription.