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26 A LITTLE SHRUB GROWING BY.
Ask not to know this man.
If fame should speak His name in any metal, it would break. Two letters were enough the plague to tear Out of his grave, and poison every ear. A parcel of court-dirt, a heap, and mass Of all vice hurled together, there he was, Proud, false, and treacherous, vindictive, all That thought can add, unthankful, the lay-stall" Of putrid flesh alive! of blood, the sink! And so I leave to stir him, lest he stink.
Though beauty be the mark of praise,
A virtue, like allay, so gone
Throughout your form, as though that move, And draw, and conquer all men's love,
This subjects you to love of one,
Wherein you triumph yet: because
'Tis of yourself, and that you use The noblest freedom, not to choose Against or faith or honor's laws.
26 This too is in the style of Donne. It was evidently designed to be a pendant of the former; whoever wrote that
But who could less expect from you,
And kept, and bred, and brought up true?
His falling temples you have reared,
And on them burns so chaste a flame,
gone himself into your name.
And you are he: the deity
To whom all lovers are designed, That would their better objects find; Among which faithful troop am I;
Who, as an offspring 28 at your shrine, Have sung this hymn, and here entreat One spark of your diviner heat
To light upon a love of mine;
Which, if it kindle not, but scant
28 Whalley makes the obvious correction to "offering."
AN ODE: TO HIMSELF.
Where dost thou careless lie
Buried in ease and sloth?
Knowledge, that sleeps, doth die;
It is the common moth,
That eats on wits and arts, and [so] destroys
Are all the Aonian springs
Dried up? lies Thespia waste? Doth Clarius' harp want strings, That not a nymph now sings? Or droop they as disgraced, To see their seats and bowers by chattering pies defaced?
If hence thy silence be,
As 'tis too just a cause,
Should not on fortune pause;
'Tis crown enough to virtue still, her own applause.
What though the greedy fry
Be taken with false baits
29 The deficient syllable is supplied by Gifford. Whalley had inserted the word "quite." "The reader," says Gifford, "may, perhaps, stumble upon a better substitute than either." - B.
Of worded balladry,
And think it poesy?
They die with their conceits,
And only piteous scorn upon their folly waits.
Then take in hand thy lyre,
To give the world again :
Who aided him, will thee, the issue of Jove's brain.
And since our dainty age,
To that strumpèt the stage,
But sing high and aloof,
Safe from the wolf's black jaw, and the dull ass's
THE MIND OF THE FRONTISPIECE TO A BOOK.
From death and dark oblivion, near the same, The mistress of man's life, grave History,
80 A part of the concluding stanza is to be found at the conclusion of the Poetaster; and the whole might be written about the period of the appearance of that drama. Jonson's dislike to the stage here breaks out :- but, in truth, this is not the only passage from which we are authorized to collect that necessity alone led him to write for the theatre. — G.
31 These lines are prefixed to Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World, 1614: they are descriptive of the ornamental
Raising the world to good and evil fame,
Doth vindicate it to eternity.
Wise Providence would so; that nor the good
Might be defrauded, nor the great secured, But both might know their ways were understood, When vice alike in time with virtue dured: Which makes that, lighted by the beamy hand Of Truth, that searcheth the most springs, And, guided by Experience, whose straight wand Doth mete, whose line doth sound the depth of things,
She cheerfully supporteth what she rears,
The light of Truth, and life of Memory.
AN ODE TO JAMES, EARL OF DESMOND. WRIT IN QUEEN ELIZABETH'S TIME, SINCE LOST AND RECOVERED.82
Where art thou, Genius? I should use
figures in the serious frontispiece to that volume, and can scarcely be understood without a reference to the plate itself.-G.
82 The Earl of Desmond, to whom these lines were addressed, was the son of Gerald Fitzgerald, the sixteenth Earl, who, after maintaining for ten years a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth's Government in Ireland, was made prisoner and executed in 1582. The Earl of Ormonde transmitted his