Изображения страниц

Of all to the great master;
And look unto their faces,
Their qualities and races,
That both their odor take him,
And relish merry make him.

For, Bacchus, thou art freer

and overseer
Of feast and merry meeting,
And still beginn'st the greeting;
See then thou dost attend him,
Lyæus, and defend him,
By all the arts of gladness,
from any thought like sadness.

So mayst thou still be younger
Than Phoebus, and much stronger,
To give mankind their eases,
And cure the world's diseases !

the Muses follow
Thee still, and leave Apollo,
And think thy stream more quicker
Than Hippocrene's liquor;
And thou make many a poet,
Before his brain do know it!
So may there never quarrel
Have issue from the barrel,
But Venus and the Graces
Pursue thee in all places,
And not a song be other
Than Cupid and his mother!

That when King James above here

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Shall feast it, thou mayst love there
The causes and the guests too,
And have thy tales and jests too,
Thy circuits and thy rounds free,
As shall the feast's fair grounds be.

Be it he holds communion
In great Saint George's union;
Or gratulates the passage
Of some well-wrought embassage,
Whereby he may knit sure up
The wished peace of Europe;
Or else a health advances,
To put his court in dances,
And set us all on skipping,
When with his royal shipping
The narrow seas are shady,

And Charles brings home the lady. 80
Accessit fervor capiti, numerusque lucernis." 81

[ocr errors]

82 AN EPIGRAM ON THE COURT PUCELLE.S. Does the Court Pucelle then so censure me, And thinks I dare not her ? let the world see.

1 I

80 This piece appears to be of an earlier date than the preceding, and to have been written before the Spanish match was broken off. - B.

81 Horace, Sat. II. i. 25.

82 The subject of this Epigram was one Mistress Boulstred, upon whom Donne wrote two elegies. Jonson told Drummond that this “piece of the Pucelle of the Court was stolen out of his pocket by a gentleman who drank him drowsy, and given to Mistress Boulstred, which brought him great displeasure." - B.

What though her chamber be the very pit,
Where fight the prime cocks of the game, for wit,
And that as any are struck, her breath creates
New in their stead, out of the candidates;
What though with tribade lust she force a muse,
And in an epicene fury can write news
Equal with that which for the best news goes,
As airy light, and as like wit as those ;
What though she talk, and cannot once with them
Make state, religion, bawdry, all a theme;
And as lip-thirsty, in each word's expense,
Doth labor with the phrase more than the sense;
What though she ride two mile on holydays
To church, as others do to feasts and plays,
To show their tires, to view, and to be viewed ;
What though she be with velvet gowns endued,
And spangled petticoats brought forth to eye,
As new rewards of her old

What though she liath won on trust, as many do,
And that her truster fears her; must I too?
I never stood for any place; my wit
Thinks itself naught, though she should value it.
I am no statesman, and much less divine;
For bawdry, 'tis her language, and not mine.
Farthest I am from the idolatry
To stuffs and laces; those my man can buy.
And trust her I would least, that hath forswore
In contract twice; what can she perjure more ?
Indeed her dressing some man might delight,
Her face there's none can like by candlelight;

Not he, that should the body have, for case
To his poor instrument, now out of grace.

Shall I advise thee, Pucelle ? steal away From court, while yet thy fame hath some small

day; The wits will leave you if they once perceive You cling to lords; and lords, if them you leave For sermoneers, of which now one, now other, They say you weekly invite with fits o'th' mother, And practise for a miracle; take heed, This age

would lend no faith to Darrel's deed ; & Or if it would, the court is the worst place, Both for the mothers and the babes of grace; For there the wicked in the chair of scorn, Will call 't a bastard, when a prophet's born.




84 OF

The wisdom, madam, of your private life, Wherewith this while you live a widowed wife,


83 “Did you never read, sir, little Darrel's tricks

With the boy o' Burton, and the seven in Lancashire,

Somers of Nottinghanı." The Devil is an Ass, V. 3. John Darrel was a Roman Catholic priest who in 1600 published a book called A true Narration of the strange and grievous l'exotion by the Devil, of seven Persons in Lancashire, and William Somers, of Nottingham. Impositions of this kind were frequently carried on for the purpose of terrifying the illiterate and superstitious, and making converts of them. Dr. Harsnet, afterwards Archbishop of York, detected the fraud in this instance, and published an answer to Darrel's narrative. -- B.

84 The character drawn in this epigram, and the allusion

And the right ways you take unto the right,
To conquer rumor, and triumph on spite;
Not only shunning by your act to do
Aught that is ill, but the suspicion too-
Is of so brave example, as he were
No friend to virtue, could be silent here;
The rather when the vices of the time
Are grown so fruitful, and false pleasures climb,
By all oblique degrees, that killing height
From whence they fall, cast down with their own

weight. And though all praise bring nothing to your

name, Who, herein studying conscience, and not fame, Are in yourself rewarded; yet 'twill be A cheerful work to all good eyes, to see Among the daily ruins that fall foul Of state, of fame, of body, and of soul, So great a virtue stand upright to view, As makes Penelope's old fable true, Whilst your Ulysses hath ta'en leave to go, Countries and climes, manners and men to know. Only your time you better entertain, Than the great Homer's wit for her could feign; For you admit no company but good, And when you want those friends, or near in


to the absence of the lady's husband on his travels, suggest the probability that the piece was addressed to the Countess of Rutland. See ante, pp. 40, 117. See also Beaumont's Elegy on the death of the Countess of Rutland. – B.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »