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POEMS

OF

BISHOP CORBET

AN ELEGIE

WRITTEN UPON THE DEATH OF DR. RAVIS,

BISHOP OF LONDON.

WHEN I past Paul's, and travell'd in that walke

Where all our Britaine-sinners sweare and talk';

Ould Harry-ruffians, bankerupts, southsayers, And youth whose cousenage is as ould as theirs; And then beheld the body of my lord Trodd under foote by vice that he abhorr'd; It wounded me the landlord of all times Should let long lives and leases to their crimes, And to his springing honour did afford Scarce soe much time as to the prophet's gourd. Yet since swift flights of vertue have apt ends, Like breath of angels, which a blessing sends, And vanisheth withall, whilst fouler deeds Expect a tedious harvest for bad seeds; I blame not fame and nature if they gave, Where they could give no more, their last, a grave. And wisely doe thy grieved friends forbeare Bubbles and alabaster boyes to reare On thy religious dust: for men did know Thy life, which such illusions cannot show : For thou hast trod among those happy ones Who trust not in their superscriptions, Their hired epitaphs, and perjured stone, Which oft belyes the soule when she is gon; And durst committ thy body, as it lyes, To tongues of living men, nay unborne eyes. What profits thee a sheet of lead? What good If on thy coarse a marble quarry stood? Let those that feare their rising purchase vaults, And reare them statues to excuse their faults; As if, like birds that peck at painted grapes, Their judge knew not their persons from their shapes. Whilst thou assured, through thy easy dust Shall rise at first; they would not though they must.

1 Saint Paul's cathedral was in Corbet's time the resort of the idle and profligate of all classes. VOL. V.

Nor needs the chancellor boast, whose pyramis Above the host and altar reared is2;

For though thy body fill a viler roome, [tombe Thou shalt not change deedes with him for his

SPECTATISSIMO, PUNCTISQUE OMNIBUS DIGNISSIMO, THOME CORIATO DE ODCOMBE,

PEREGRINANTI,

PEDESTRIS ORDINIS, EQUESTRISQUE FAME.

THE following panegyric on the hero of Odcombe, Thomas Coryate, a pedantic coxcomb, with just brains enough to be ridiculous, to whom the world is much more indebted for becoming "the whetstone of the wits" than for any doings of his own, and the particulars of whose life and peregrinations may be found in every collection of biography, is printed in the Odcombian Banquet, 1611, 4to. sign. I. 3.

The Latin lines have been omitted in the former G. impressions of bishop Corbet's poems.

QUOD mare transieris, quod rura urbesque pedester,
Jamque colat reduces patria læta pedes:
Quodque idem numero tibi calceus hæret, et illo
Cum corio redeas, quo Coriatus abis:
Fatum omenque tui miramur nominis, ex quo
Calcibus et soleis fluxit aluta tuis.
Nam quicunque eadem vestig a tentat, opinor
Excoriatus erit, ni Coriatus eat.

2 This was not the first censure of sir Christopher Hatton's extravagant monument; as, according to Stow, some poet had before complained on the part of Sydney and Walsingham, that

Philip and Francis have no tombe,
For great Christopher takes all the room. G
O o

IN LIBRUM SUUM.

De te pollicitus librum es, sed in te Est magnus tuus hic liber libellus.

ΤΟ

THOMAS CORYATE.

I Do not wonder, Coryate, that thou hast
Over the Alpes, through France and Savoy past,
Parch'd on thy skin, and founder'd in thy feete,
Paint, thirstie, lowsy, and didst live to see't.
Though these are Roman sufferings, and do show
What creatures back thou hadst could carry so,
All I admire is thy returne, and how
Thy slender pasterns could thee beare, when now
Thy observations with thy braine ingendered,
Have stuft thy massy and voluminous head
With mountaines, abbies, churches, synagogues,
Preputial offals, and Dutch dialogues:
A burden far more grievous than the weight
Of wine or sleepe; more vexing than the freight
Of fruit and oysters, which lade many a pate,
And send folks crying home from Billingsgate.
No more shall man with mortar on his head
Set forwards towards Rome: no! thou art bred
A terrour to all footmen, and all porters,
And all laymen that will turne Jews' exhorters,
To flie their conquered trade. Proud England, then,
Embrace this luggage, which the man of men
Hath landed here, and change thy well-a-day!
Into some homespun welcome roundelay.
Send of this stuffe thy territories thorough
To Ireland, Wales, and Scottish Eddenborough.
There let this booke be read and understood,
Where is no theame nor writer halfe so good.

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To trim the town, great care before
Was tane by th' lord vice-chancellor;
Both morn and even he cleans'd the way,
The streets he gravelled thrice a day:
One strike of March-dust for to see
No proverb would give more than he.

Their colledges were new be-painted,
Their founders eke were new be-sainted;
Nothing escap'd, nor post, nor door,
Nor gate, nor raile, nor bawd, nor whore:
You could not know (Oh strange mishap!)
Whether you saw the town or map.

But the pure house of Emanuel'
Would not be like proud Jesabel,
Nor shew her self before the king
An hypocrite, or painted thing:
But, that the ways might all prove fair,
Conceiv'd a tedious mile of prayer.

8

Upon the look'd-for seventh of March,
Outwent the townsmen all in starch,
Both band and beard, into the field,
Where one a speech could hardly wield;
For needs he would begin his stile,
The king being from him half a mile.

They gave the king a piece of plate,
Which they hop'd never came too late;
But cry'd, "Oh! look not in, great king,
For there is in it just nothing:"
And so prefer'd with tune and gate,
A speech as empty as their plate.

Now, as the king came neer the town,
Each one ran crying up and down,
Alas poor Oxford, thou 'rt undone,
For now the king's past Trompington,
And rides upon his brave gray dapple,
Seeing the top of Kings-Colledge chappel

Next rode his lordship' on a nag,
Whose coat was blue 10, whose ruff was shag,
And then began his reverence
To speak most eloquent non-sensc:
"See how" (quoth he) "most mighty prince,
For very joy my horse doth wince.

"What cryes the town? What we?" (said he) "What cryes the University? What cry the boys? What ev'ry thing? Behold, behold, yon comes the king:" And ev'ry period he bedecks

With En et ecce venit rex.

"Oft have I warn’d” (quoth he) “our dirt
That no silk stockings should be hurt;
But we in vain strive to be fine,
Unless your graces sun doth shine;
And with the beams of your bright eye,
You will be pleas'd our streets to dry."

6 "A bushel of March dust is worth a king's ransom."

'Coll. Eman. abundat puritanis.

The king enterd Cambr. 7 Mar. 1614-5. Samuel Harsnett, then bp. of Chichester. 10 Vestis indicat virum.

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