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Trowl the bowl, the jolly nut-brown bowl,
And here, kind mate, to thee:
8 Down a down! hey down a down!
Hey derry derry, down a down!
Ring, compass, gentle joy.
And here, kind mate, to thee: etc. (Repeat as often as there be men to drink; and at
last when all have drunk, this verse :) Cold's the wind, and wet's the rain,
Saint Hugh be our good speed !
Nor helps good hearts in need.
Work apace ! apacel apace! apace!
FROM OLD FORTUNATUS
Virtue smiles : cry holiday,
THE END OF THE RENAISSANCE
BEN JONSON (15737-1637)
Have you seen but a bright lily grow,
Before rude hands have touched it?
Have you marked but the fall of the snow
Before the soil hath smutched it?
Have you felt the wool of the beaver ?
Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt o' the bud of the briar?
Or the nard in the fire ?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee ?
Oh so white! Oh so soft! Oh so sweet is she!
TO THE MEMORY OF MY BELOVED,
MASTER WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE I sent thee late a rosy wreath, Not so much honouring thee
To draw no envy, Shakespeare, on thy name, As giving it a hope, that there
Am I thus ample to thy book and fame;
While I confess thy writings to be such
As neither man, nor muse, can praise too much. And sent'st it back to me;
'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise;
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance See the chariot at hand here of Love,
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance; Wherein my Lady rideth!
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise, Each that draws is swan or a dove,
And think to ruin, where it seemed to raise. And well the car Love guideth.
These are, as some infamous bawd or whore As she goes, all hearts do duty
Should praise a matron. What could hurt her Unto her beauty;
more? And enamour'd, do wish, so they might
But thou art proof against them, and, indeed, But enjoy such a sight,
Above the ill fortune of them, or the need. That they still were to run by her side,
I therefore will begin. Soul of the age ! Through swords, through seas, whither she would
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage ! ride.
My Shakespeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie Do but look on her eyes, they do light
A little further, to make thee a room: All that Love's world compriseth!
Thou art a monument without a tomb, Do but look on her hair, it is bright
And art alive still while thy book doth live As Love's star when it riseth!
And we have wits to read and praise to give. Do but mark, her forehead's smoother
That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses, Than words that soothe her; I mean with great, but disproportioned Muses; And from her arched brows, such a grace
For if I thought my judgment were of years, Sheds itself through the face I should commit thee surely with thy peers, As alone there triumphs to the life
And tell how far thou didst our Lily outshine, All the gain, all the good, of the elements' strife. Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line. 30
To the immortal memory and friendship of that
noble pair, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morison.
The Strophe, or Turn Brave infant of Saguntum, clear
Thy coming forth in that great year, When the prodigious Hannibal did crown His rage with razing your immortal town.
Thou looking then about,
Ere thou wert half got out, Wise child, didst hastily return,
And mad'st thy mother's womb thine urn. How summ'd a circle didst thou leave mankind Of deepest lore, could we the centre find!
And though thou hadst small Latin and less
Greek, From thence to honour thee, I would not seek For names; but call forth thundering Æschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles to us; Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead, To life again, to hear thy buskin tread, And shake a stage; or, when thy socks were
on, Leave thee alone for the comparison Of all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come. Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe. He was not of an age, but for all time! And all the Muses still were in their prime, When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm! Nature herself was proud of his designs And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines ! Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit, As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit. 50 The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes, Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please; But antiquated and deserted lie, As they were not of Nature's family. Yet must I not give Nature all; thy art, My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part. For though the poet's matter nature be, His art doth give the fashion; and, that he Who casts to write a living line, must sweat, (Such as thine are) and strike the second heat 60 Upon the Muses' anvil; turn the same (And himself with it) that he thinks to frame, Or, for the laurel, he may gain a scorn; For a good poet's made, as well as born. And such wert thou! Look how the father's
face Lives in his issue, even so the race Of Shakespeare's mind and manners brightly
shines In his well turned, and true filèd lines; In each of which he seems to shake a lance, As brandished at the eyes of ignorance. 70 Sweet Swan of Avon! what a sight it were To see thee in our waters yet appear, And make those flights upon the banks of
Thames, That so did take Eliza, and our James ! But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere Advanced, and made a constellation there! Shine forth, thou Star of poets, and with rage Or influence, chide or cheer the drooping stage, Which, since thy flight from hence, hath mourned
like night, And despairs day, but for thy volume's light. 80
To sordid flatteries, acts of strife,
And sunk in that dead sea of life, So deep, as he did then death's waters sup, But that the cork of title buoyed him up.
Such truths as we expect for happy men; And there he lives with memory and Ben
The Antistrophe, or Counter-Turn Alas! but Morison fell young!
He never fell, – thou fall'st, my tongue. He stood a soldier to the last right end, A perfect patriot and a noble friend;
But most, a virtuous son.
All offices were done
In weight, in measure, number, sound, As, though his age imperfect might appear, His life was of humanity the sphere.
The Epode, or Stand
Himself, to rest,
To have exprest,
Where it were friendship's schism, 90 Were not his Lucius long with us to tarry,
To separate these twi
Lights, the Dioscuri; And keep the one half from his Harry. But fate doth so alternate the design, Whilst that in heaven, this light on earth must shine,
The Epode, or Stand
And make them years;
To swell thine age;
To show thou hast been long,
60 In season, and so brought To light: her measures are, how well Each syllabe answered, and was formed, how fair; These make the lines of life, and that's her air!
The Strophe, or Turn And shine as you exalted are;
Two names of friendship, but one star: Of hearts the union, and those not by chance Made, or indenture, or leased out t advance 100
The profits for a time.
No pleasures vain did chime, Of rhymes, or riots, at your feasts,
Orgies of drink, or feigned protests; But simple love of greatness and of good, That knits brave minds and manners more than
Whose lines her rolls were, and records; Who, ere the first down bloomed on the chin, Had sowed these fruits, and got the harvest in.
Indicting and arraigning every day
Something they call a play.
8 Run on and rage, sweat, censure and condemn; They were not made for thee, less thou for them.
AN EPITAPH ON SALATHIEL PAVY
Weep with me, all you that read
This little story: And know, for whom a tear you shed
Death's self is sorry. 'Twas a child that so did thrive
In grace and feature, As heaven and nature seem'd to strive
Which owned the creature.
When fates turned cruel,
The stage's jewel;
Old men so duly,
He played so truly. So, by error, to his fate
They all consented;
They have repented;
In baths to steep him;
Heaven vows to keep him.
Say that thou pour'st them wheat,
And they will acorns eat; 'Twere simple fury still thyself to waste
On such as have no taste!
Whose appetites are dead !
Husks, draff to drink and swill;
No doubt some mouldy tale,
Like Pericles and stale
Scraps, out of every dish
May keep up the Play-club.
As the best-ordered meal;
ON MY FIRST SON
EPITAPH ON ELIZABETH, L. H. Would'st thou hear what man can say In a little? Reader, stay.
Underneath this stone doth lie As much beauty as could die: Which in life did harbour give To more virtue than doth live.
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy: Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee
pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. Oh, could I lose all father now! for why Will man lament the state he should envy? To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage, And, if no other misery, yet age ! Rest in soft peace, and ask'd, say here doth lie Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry: For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such, As what he loves may never like too much.
INVITING A FRIEND TO SUPPER
FROM ODE TO HIMSELF UPON THE
And the more loathsome age;
Usurp the chair of wit !
To-night, grave sir, both my poor house and I