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At nobis minitatur,
Si rex sit rediturus, Tunc iste (Phobo duce) est Tela resumpturus.
Sed parce, precor, parcito, Piscator ictus sapit, Fugatus namque miles iners Arma nunquam capit.
Et Cantabrigiam non
Lædi hinc speramus,
Ex ore tam spurcidico
Nil damui expectamus.
O parce, ergo, parcito,
Oxonia nunquam dicit,
Cum Martio princeps abiens
In Maio nos revisit.
Have I some forreigne practice undertooke
By poysou, short, sharp-knife, or sharper booke
To kill my king? have I betray'd the state
To fire and fury, or some newer fate,
Which learned murderers, those grand destinies,
The Jesuites, have nurc'd? if of all these
I guilty am, proceed; I am content
That Mallet take me for my punishment.
For never sinne was of so high a rate,
But one night's hell with her might expiate.
Although the law with Garnet 2, and the rest,
Dealt farr more mildly; hanging 's but a jest
To this immortall torture. Had she bin then
In Mary's torrid dayes engend'red, when
Cruelty was witty, and invention free
Did live by blood, and thrive by crueltye,
She would have bin more horrid engines farre
Than fire or famine, racks and halters are.
Whether her witt, forme, talke, smile, tire I name,
Each is a stock of tyranny and shame;
But for her breath, spectatours come not nigh,
That layes about; God blesse the company!
The man in a beare's skin baited to death,
Would chose the doggs much rather then her
One kisse of hers, and eighteene wordes alone
Put downe the Spanish inquisition.
"Thrice happy we" (quoth I, thinking thereon)
"That see no dayes of persecution;
For were it free to kill, this grisly elfe
Wold martyrs make in compasse of herselfe:
And were she not prevented by our prayer,
By this time she corrupted had the aire.'
And am I innocent? and is it true,
That thing (which poet Plinye never knew,
Nor Africk, Nile, nor ever Hackluyt's eyes
Descry'd in all his east, west-voyages;
That thing which poets were afrayd to feigne,
For feare her shadowe should infect their bra'ne;
This spouse of antichrist, and his alone,
She's drest so like the whore of Babylon;)
Should doate on me? as if they did contrive
The Devill and she, to damne a man alive.
Why doth not Welcome rather purchase her,
And beare about this rare familiar?
Sixe markett dayes, a wake, and a fayre too 't,
Would save his charges and the ale to boot.
No tyger's like her; she feedes upon man
Worse than a tygresse or a leopard can.
Let me go pray, and thinke upon some spell,
At once to bid the Devill and her farwell.
Ter circum Iliacos raptaverat Hectora muros. Virg. Æn. i. 483.
EVEN SO dead Hector thrice was triumph'd on
The walls of Troy, thrice slain when Fates had done:
So did the barbarous Greekes before their boast
Torment his ashes and profane his ghost:
As Henrye's vault, his peace, his sacred hearse,
Are torne and batter'd by thine Anniverse.
Was 't not enough nature and strength were foes,
But thou must yearly murther him in prose?
Or dost thou thinke thy raving phrase can make
A lowder eccho then the Almanake?
Good friend, our general tie to him that 's gone
Should love the man that yearlie doth him moane:
The author's zeal and place he now doth hold,
His love and duty makes him be thus bold
To offer this poor mite, his anniverse
Unto his good great master's sacred hearse;
The which he doth with privilege of name,
Whilst others, 'midst their ale, in corners blame.
A pennyworth in print they never made,
Yet think themselves as good as Pond or Dade.
One anniverse, when thou hast done thus twice,
Thy words among the best will be of Price.
Remembring him. An epitaph would last
Were such a trophee, such a banner placed
Upon his corse as this: Here a man lyes
Was slaine by Henrye's dart, not Destinie's.
Why this were med'cinable, and would heale,
Though the whole languish'd, halfe the common-
But for a cobler to goe burn his cappe,
And cry, "The prince, the prince! O dire mishappe!"
Or a Geneva-bridegroom, after grace,
To throw his spouse i' th' fire; or scratch her face
To the tune of the Lamentation; or delay
His Friday capon till the sabbath day:
Or an old popish lady half vow'd dead
To fast away the day in gingerbread:
For him to write such annals; all these things
Do open laughter's and shutt up griefe's springs.
Tell me what juster or more congruous peere
Than ale, to judge of workes begott of beere?
Wherefore forbeare-or, if thou print the next,
Bring better notes, or take a meaner text.
THEN NEWLY DEAD.
He that hath such acuteness and such wit
As would aske ten good heads to husband it;
He that can write so well, that no man dare
Refuse it for the best, let him beware:
Beaumont is dead! by whose sole death appears
Wit's a disease consumes men in few yeares.
ON THE LATE LORD WILLIAM HOWARD, BARON OF EFFINGHAM.
I DID not know thee, lord, nor do I strive
To win access or grace with lords alive:
The dead I serve, from whence nor faction
Move me, nor favour; nor a greater man.
To whom no vice commends me, nor bribe sent,
From whom no penance warns, nor portion spent;
To these I dedicate as much of me,
As I can spare from my own husbandry:
And till ghosts walk as they were wont to do,
I trade for some, and do these errands too.
But first I do enquire, and am assur'd,
What tryals in their journeys they endur'd;
What certainties of honour and of worth
Their most uncertain life-times have brought forth;
And who so did least hurt of this small store,
He is my patron, dy'd he rich or poor.
First I will know of Fame (after his peace,
When flattery and envy both do cease)
Who rul'd his actions: reason, or my lord?
Did the whole man rely upon a word,
A badge of title? or, above all chance,
Seem'd he as ancient as his cognizance?
1 This poem, for what reason does not appear, is printed before some of the later editions of sir Thomas Overbury's "Wife." G.
What did he? acts of mercy, and refrain
Oppression in himself, and in his train?
Was his essential table full as free
As boasts and invitations use to be?
Where if his russet-friend did chance to dine,
Whether his satten-man would fill him wine?
Did he think perjury as lov'd a sin,
Himself forsworn, as if his slave had been?
Did he seek regular pleasures? was he known
Just husband of one wife, and she his own?
Did he give freely without pause or doubt,
And read petitions ere they were worn out?
Or should his well-deserving client ask,
Would he bestow a tilting or a masque
To keep need vertuous? and that done, not fear
What lady damn'd him for his absence there?
Did he attend the court for no man's fall?
Wore he the ruine of no hospital?
And when he did his rich apparel don,
Put he no widow, nor an orphan on?
Did he love simple vertue for the thing?
The king for no respect but for the king?
But, above all, did his religion wait
Upon God's throne, or on the chair of state?
He that is guilty of no quæary here,
Out-lasts his epitaph, out-lives his heir.
But there is none such, none so little bad;
Who but this negative goodness ever had?
Of such a lord we may expect the birth,
He's rather in the womb, than on the earth.
And 't were a crime in such a public fate,
For one to live well and degenerate:
And therefore I am angry, when a name
Comes to upbraid the world like Effingham.
Nor was it modest in thee to depart
But (which is monstrous) though against the tyde,
The watermen have neither rayl'd nor ly'd.
Of good or bad there's no dictinction known,
For in thy praise the good and bad are one.
It seems, we all are covetous of fame,
And, hearing what a purchase of good name
Thou lately mad'st, are carefull to increase
Our title, by the holding of some lease
From thee our landlord, and for that th' whole crew
Speak now like tenants, ready to renew.
It were too sad to tell thy pedigree,
Death bath disordered all, misplacing thee;
Whilst now thy herauld, in his line of heirs,
Blots out thy name, and fills the space with tears.
And thus hath conqu❜ring Death, or Nature rather,
Made thee prepostrous ancient to thy father,
Who grieve th' art so, and like a glorious light
Shines ore thy hearse.
My lord, I doe confesse at the first newes
Of your returne towards home, I did refuse
To visit you, for feare the northerne winde
Had peirc't into your manners and your minde;
For feare you might want memory to forget
Some arts of Scotland which might haunt you yet.
But when I knew you were, and when I heard
You were at Woodstock seene, well sunn'd and air'd,
That your contagion in you now was spent,
And you were just lord Mordant, as you went,
I then resolv'd to come; and did not doubt
To be in season, though the bucke were out.
Windsor the place; the day was Holy roode;
St. George my muse: for be it understood,
For all St. George more early in the yeare
Broke fast and eat a bitt, he dined here:
And though in Aprill in redd inke he shine,
Know 't was September made him redd with wine,
To this good sport rod I, as being allow'd
To see the king, and cry him in the crowd;
And at all solemne meetings have the grace
To thrust, and to be trodde on by my place.
Where when I came, I saw the church besett
With tumults, as if the brethren mett
To heare some silenc't teacher of that quarter
Inveigh against the order of the garter:
And justly might the weake it grieve and wrong,
Because the garter prayes in a strange tongue;
And doth retaine traditions yet of Fraunce,
In an old Honi so t qui mal y pense.
To thy eternal home, where now thon art,
Ere thy reproach was ready; or to die,
Ere custom had prepar'd thy calumny.
Eight days have past since thou hast paid thy debt Whence learne, you knights that order that have
To sin, and not a libel stirring yet;
That all, besides the buckle, is profane.
Courtiers, that scoff by patent, silent sit,
And have no use of slander or of wit;
He therefore that would write
And blaze thee throughly, may at once say all,
Here lyes the anhor of our admiral.
Let others write for glory or reward,
Truth is well paid when she is sung and heard.
UPON HIS RETURNE FROM THE NORTH, WHITHER HE HAD
ACCOMPANIED KING JAMES IN 1617,
But there was noe such doctrine now at stake,
Noe starv'd precisian from the pulpit spake :
And yet the church was full; all sorts of men,
Religions, sexes, ages, were there then :
Whils't he that keepes the quire together locks
Papists and Puritans, the pope and Knox:
Which made some wise-one's feare, that love our
This mixture would beget a toleration;
Or that religions should united be,
When they stay'd service, these the letany.
But noe such hast; this daye's devotion lyes
Not in the hearts of men, but in their eyes;
They that doe see St. George, heare him aright;
For he loves not to parly, but to fight.
Amongst this audience (my lord) stood I,
Well edified as any that stood by ;
And knew how many leggs a knight letts fall,
Betwixt the king, the offering, and his stall:
Aske me but of their robes, I shall relate
The colour and the fashion, and the state:
I saw too the procession without doore, [wore.
What the poore knightes, and what the prebends
All this my neighbours that stood by me tooke,
Who div'd but to the garment and the looke;
But I saw more, and though I have their fate
In face and favour, yet I want their pate:
Me thought I then did those first ages know, [soe.
Which brought forth knightes soe arm'd and looking
Who would maintaine their oath,aud bind their worde
With these two seales, an altar and a sworde.
Then saw I George new-sainted, when such preists
Wore him not only on, but in their breasts.
Oft did I wish that day, with solemne vow,
O that my country were in danger now!
And 't was no treasou; who could feare to dye,
When he was sure his rescue was so nigh?
And here I might a just digression make,
Whilst of some foure particular knightes I spake,
To whome I owe my thankes; but 't were not best,
By praysing two or three, t' accuse the rest ;
Nor can I sing that order, or those men,
That are above the maistery of my pen;
And private fingers may not touch those things
Whose authors princes are, whose parents kings:
Wherefore unburnt I will refraine that fire,
Least, daring such a theame, I should aspire
T' include my king and prince, and soe rehearse
Names fitter for my prayer than my verse:
"He that will speake of princes, let him use
More grace then witt, know God's above his Muse."
Noe more of councell: Harke! the trumpetts sound,
And the grave organ's with the antheme drown'd:
The church hath said amen to all their rites,
And now the Trojan horse sets loose his knightes;
The triumph moves: O what could added be,
Save your accesse to this solemnitye?
Which I expect, and doubt not but to see 't,
When the king's favour and your worth shall meete.
I thinke the robes would now become you soe,
St. George himselfe could scarce his owne knights
If I procede; nay, though the captaine say,
"Hold him, or else you shall not eate to day;"
Those goodly yeomen shall not scape my pen;
'T was dinner-time, and I must speake of men;
So to the hall made I, with little care
To praise the dishes, or to tast the fare;
Much lesse t' endanger the least tart, or pye
By any waiter there stolne, or sett by;
But to compute the valew of the meate,
Which was for glory, not for hunger eate;
Nor did I feare, (stand back) who went before
The presence, or the privy-chamber doore.
And woe is me, the guard, those men of warre,
Who but two weapons use, beife, and the barre,
Began to gripe me, knowing not in truth,
That I had sung John Dory in my youth;
Or that I knew the day when I could chaunt
Chevy, and Arthur, and the Seige of Gaunt.
And though these be the vertues which must try
Who are most worthy of their curtesy,
They profited me nothing: for no notes [coates:
Will move them now, they're deafe in their new
Wherefore on me afresh they fall, and show
Themselves more active then before, as though
They had some wager lay'd, and did contend
Who should abuse me furthest at armes end.
One I remember with a grisly beard,
And better growne then any of the heard;
One, were he well examin'd, and made looke
His name in his owne parish and church booke,
Could hardly prove his christendome; and yet
It seem'd he had two names, for there were writt
On a white canvasse doublett that he wore,
I spake them faire, desired to see the hall,
And gave them reasons for it, this was all;
By which I learne it is a maine offence,
So neere the clarke of th' check to utter sense:
Talk of your emblemes, maisters, and relate
How Æsope hath it, and how Alciate;
The Cock and Pearle, the Dunghill and the Gemme,
From the lord Mordant: pardon me that preach
A doctrine which king James can only teach;
To whome I leave you, who alone hath right
To make knightes lords, and then a lord a knight.
Imagine now the sceane lyes in the hall;
(For at high noone we are recusants all)
The church is empty, as the bellyes were
Of the spectators, which had languish'd there:
And now the favorites of the clarke of th' checke,
Who oft have yaun'd, and stretch't out many a neck
Twixt noone and morning; the dull feeders on
Fresh patience, and raisins of the sunne,
They who had liv'd in th' hall seaven houres at least, This passeth all, to talke sence amongst them.
As if 't were an arraignment, not a feast;
Much more good service was committed yet,
And look't soe like the hangings they stood nere,
Which I in such a tumult must forget;
None could discerne which the true pictures were;
But shall I smother that prodigious fitt,
These now shall be refresh't, while the bold drumme Which pass'd Heon's invention, and pure witt ?
Strikes up his frolick, through the hall they come. As this: a nimble knave, but something fatt,
Here might I end, my lord, and here subscribe Strikes at my head, and fairly steales my hatt:
Your honours to his power: but oh, what bribe, Another breakes a jest, (well, Windsor, well,
What feare or mulet can make my Muse refraine, What will ensue thereof there's none can tell,
When she is urg'd of nature and disdaine?
When they spend witt, serve God) yet twas not
Not all the guard shall hold me, I must write,
Though they should sweare and lye how they would
Two capitall letters of a name before;
Letters belike which he had spew'd and spilt,
When the great bumbard leak't, or was a tilt.
This Ironside tooke hold, and sodainly
Hurled me, by judgment of the standers by,
Some twelve foote by the square; takes me againe,
Out-throwes it halfe a bar; and thus we twaine
At this hot exercise an hower had spent,
He the feirce agent, I the instrument.
My man began to rage, but I cry'd, "Peace,
When he is dry or hungry he will cease:
Hold, for the Lord's sake, Nicholas, lest they take us,
And use us worse then Hercules us'd Cacus."
And now I breath, my lord, now have I time
To tell the cause, and to confesse the crime:
I was in black; a scholler straite they guest;
Indeed I colour'd for it at the least.
Although the clamours and applause were such,
As when salt Archy or Garret doth provoke them',
And with wide laughter and a cheat-loafe choake
What was the jest doe you aske? I dare repeate it,
And put it home before you shall entreat it;
He call'd me Bloxford-man: confesse I must
'T was bitter; and it griev'd me, in a thrust
1 These reverend gentlemen were jesters to James the first. The name of the former was Archibald Armstrong, of whom and of whose jests an account may be found in Granger, vol. ii. p. 399. ed. 1775. 8vo. They are again joined in a manuscript poem (penes me) by Peter Heylin, written in derision of
That most ungratefull word (Bloxford) to heare
From him, whose breath yet stunk of Oxford beere:
But let it passe; for I have now pass'd throw
Their halberds, and worse weapons, their teeth, too:
And of a worthy officer was invited
To dine; who all their rudeness hath requited:
Where we had mirth and meat, and a large board
Furnish't with all the kitchin could afford.
But to conclude, to wipe of from before ye
All this which is noe better then a story;
Had this affront bin done me by command
Of noble Fenton 2, had their captaine's haud
Directed them to this, I should beleive
I had no cause to jeast, but much to greive:
Or had discerning Pembrooke 3 seene this done,
And thought it well bestow'd, I would have run
Where no good man had dwelt, nor learn'd would fly,
Where no disease would keepe me company,
Where it should be preferment to endure
To teach a schoole, or else to starve a cure.
But as it stands, the persons and the cause Consider'd well, their manners and their lawes, "T is no affliction to me, for even thus Saint Paul hath fought with beasts at Ephesus, And I at Windsor. Let this comfort then Rest with all able and deserving men: He that will please the guard, and not provoke Court-witts, must suite his learning by a cloake : "For at all feasts and masques the doome hath bin, A man thrust out and a gay cloake let in."
Quid immerentes hospites vexas canis, Ignacus adversus lupos ?
(AFTERWARDS CHARLES The first.)
(FROM A MANUSCRIPT IN ASHMOLE'S MUSEUM.)
For ever dear, for ever dreaded prince,
You read some verse of mine a little since,
And so pronounced each word and every letter,
Your gratious reading made my verse the better:
Since that your highness doth by gifte exceeding
Make what you read the better for your reading,
Let my poor Muse thus far your grace importune,
To leave to reade my verse, and read my fortune.
Barten Holiday's play already mentioned in the life of the bishop, of which the following are the introductory lines:
Whoop Holyday! why then 't will ne'er be better,
Why all the guard, that never saw more letters
Than those upon their coates; whose wit consists
In Archy's bobs and Garret's sawcy jests,
Deride our Christ-church scenc. G.
2 Thomas Ereskine, earl of Fenton. G.
3 William, earl of Pembroke, a poet himself, and an universal patron of learning, whose character is so admirably drawn by Clarendon. G.
TO MY LORDE DUKE OY BUCKINGHAM.
WHEN I can pay my parents or my king,
For life, or peace, or any dearer thing;
Then, dearest lord, expect my debt to you
Shall be as truly paid, as it is due.
But as no other price or recompence
Serves them, but love, and my obedience;
So nothing payes my lord but what's above
The reach of hands, 't is vertue, and my love.
"For, when as goodnesse doth so overflow,
Requitall were presumption; and you may
The conscience bindes not to restore, but owe:”
Call me ungratefull, while I strive to pay.
Nor with a morall lesson doe I shift,
Like one that meant to save a better gift;
Like very poore, or counterfeite poore men,
Who, to preserve their turky or their hen,
Doe offer up themselves: no; I have sent,
A kind of guift, will last by being spent,
Thankes sterling: far above the bullion rate
Of horses, hangings, jewells, or of plate.
you that know the choosing of that one, Know a true diamond from a Bristow stone:
You know, those men alwaies are not the best
In their intent, that lowdest can protest:
But that a prayer from the convocation,
Is better than the commons' protestation.
Trust those that at the test their lives will lay,
And know no arts but to deserve and pray:
Whilst they that buy preferment without praying,
Begin with broyles, and finish with betraying.
SENT FROM DR. CORBET TO SIR THOMAS AILESBURY, SECRETARY TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, DECEMBER THE 9TH, 1618.
ON THE OCCASION OF A BLAZING STAR.
My brother and much more, hadst thou been mine,
Hadst thou in one rich present of a line
Inclos'd sir Francis, for in all this store
No gift can cost thee less, or binde me more;
Hadst thou (dear churle) imparted his return,
I should not with a tardy welcome burn;
But had let loose my joy at him long since,
Which now will seem but studied negligence:
But I forgive thee, two things kept thee from it,
First such a friend to gaze on, next a comet;
Which comet we discern, though not so true
As you at Sion, as long tayl'd as you;
We know already how will stand the case,
With Barnavelt of universal grace,
Though Spain deserve the whole star, if the fall
Be true of Lerma duke and cardinal:
Marry, in France we fear no blood, but wine;
Less danger's in her sword, than in her vine.
The great negociator and general, who fell by the jealousy of the prince of Orange the 15th March 1619, G.