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In pow'r, wit, figure, virtue, fortune, plac'd
“ But why all this of av’rice? I have none.” I wish you joy, Sir, of a tyrant gone ;
305 But does no other lord it at this hour, As wild and mad? the avarice of pow'r ? Does neither rage inflame, nor fear appall? Not the black fear of death, that saddens all ? With terrors round, can reason hold her throne, 310 Despise the known, nor tremble at th' unknown? Survey both worlds, intrepid and entire, In spite of witches, devils, dreams, and fire ? Pleas'd to look forward, pleas'd to look behind, And count each birth-day with a grateful mind? 315 Has life no sourness,
drawn so near its end? Can'st thou endure a foe, forgive a friend? Has age
but melted the rough parts away, As winter-fruits grow mild ere they decay? Or will
your bus’ness done, When, of a hundred thorns, you pull out one? 321
Learn to live well, or fairly make your will; You've play'd, and lov'd, and eat, and drank your Walk sober off; before a sprightlier age [fill: Comes titt'ring on, and shoves you from the stage: Leave such to trifle with more grace
ease, Whom folly pleases, and whose follies please.
DR. JOHN DONNE,
DEAN OF ST. PAUL's,
Quid vetat et nosmet Lucili scripta legenres
SIR, though (I thank God for it) I do hate
Perfectly all this town; yet there's one state In all ill things, so excellently best, That hate towards them, breeds pity towards the rest. Though poetry, indeed, be such a sin, As, I think, that brings dearth and Spaniards in : Though like the pestilence, and old-fashion'd love, Ridlingly it catch men, and doth remove Never, till it be starv'd out; yet their state Is poor, disarm’d, like Papists, not worth hate.
One (like a wretch, which at barre judg'd as dead, Yet prompts him which stands next, and cannot read, And saves his life) gives idiot actors means, (Starving himself,) to live by's labour'd scenes. As in some organs, puppits dance above, And bellows pant below, which them do move. One would move love by rhymes ; but witchcraft's
charms Bring not now their old fears, nor their old harms:
YES; thank my stars ! as early as I knew
This town, I had the sense to hate it too :
5 As who knows Sappho, smiles at other whores.
I grant that poetry's a crying sin; It brought (no doubt) th' excise and army in : Catch'd like the plague, or love, the Lord knows how, But that the cure is starving, all allow. Yet like the Papist's, is the poet's state, Poor and disarm’d, and hardly worth your hate !
Here a lean bard, whose wit could never give Himself a dinner, makes an actor live : The thief condemn’d, in law already dead, 15 So prompts, and saves a rogue who cannot read. Thus as the pipes of some carv'd organ move, The gilded puppets dance and mount above. Heav’d by the breath, th' inspiring bellows blow : Th' inspiring bellows lie and pant below.
One sings the fair ; but songs no longer move; No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love :