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- Discoveries and Some Poems - 16/20 -


How I do love thee, Beaumont, and thy muse, That unto me dost such religion use! How I do fear myself, that am not worth The least indulgent thought thy pen drops forth! At once thou mak'st me happy, and unmak'st; And giving largely to me, more thou takest! What fate is mine, that so itself bereaves? What art is thine, that so thy friend deceives? When even there, where most thou praisest me, For writing better, I must envy thee.


The ports of death are sins; of life, good deeds: Through which our merit leads us to our meeds. How wilful blind is he, then, that would stray, And hath it in his powers to make his way! This world death's region is, the other life's: And here it should be one of our first strifes, So to front death, as men might judge us past it: For good men but see death, the wicked taste it.


To-night, grave sir, both my poor house and I Do equally desire your company; Not that we think us worthy such a guest, But that your worth will dignify our feast, With those that come; whose grace may make that seem Something, which else could hope for no esteem. It is the fair acceptance, sir, creates The entertainment perfect, not the cates. Yet shall you have, to rectify your palate, An olive, capers, or some bitter salad Ushering the mutton; with a short-legged hen, If we can get her, full of eggs, and then, Lemons and wine for sauce: to these, a coney Is not to be despaired of for our money; And though fowl now be scarce, yet there are clerks, The sky not falling, think we may have larks. I'll tell you of more, and lie, so you will come: Of partridge, pheasant, woodcock, of which some May yet be there; and godwit if we can; Knat, rail, and ruff, too. Howsoe'er, my man Shall read a piece of Virgil, Tacitus, Livy, or of some better book to us, Of which we'll speak our minds, amidst our meat; And I'll profess no verses to repeat: To this if aught appear, which I not know of, That will the pastry, not my paper, show of. Digestive cheese, and fruit there sure will be; But that which most doth take my muse and me, Is a pure cup of rich canary wine, Which is the Mermaid's now, but shall be mine: Of which had Horace, or Anacreon tasted, Their lives, as do their lines, till now had lasted. Tobacco, nectar, or the Thespian spring, Are all but Luther's beer, to this I sing. Of this we will sup free, but moderately, And we will have no Pooly' or Parrot by; Nor shall our cups make any guilty men; But at our parting we will be as when We innocently met. No simple word That shall be uttered at our mirthful board, Shall make us sad next morning; or affright The liberty that we'll enjoy to-night.


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 seemed to strive Which owned the creature. Years he numbered scarce thirteen When fates turned cruel; Yet three filled zodiacs had he been The stage's jewel; And did act, what now we moan, Old men so duly; As, sooth, the Parcae thought him one He played so truly. So, by error to his fate They all consented; But viewing him since, alas, too late! They have repented; And have sought to give new birth, In baths to steep him; But, being so much too good for earth, Heaven vows to keep him.


Wouldst 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. If, at all, she had a fault Leave it buried in this vault. One name was Elizabeth, The other let it sleep with death. Fitter, where it died, to tell, Than that it lived at all. Farewell.


Underneath this sable hearse Lies the subject of all verse, Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother: Death! ere thou hast slain another, Learned, and fair, and good as she, Time shall throw a dart at thee.


To draw no envy, Shakspeare, on thy name, 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. 'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these ways Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise; For silliest ignorance on these may light, Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right; Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance; Or crafty malice might pretend this praise, And think to ruin, where it seemed to raise. These are, as some infamous bawd, or whore, Should praise a matron; what would hurt her more? But thou art proof against them, and, indeed, Above the ill-fortune of them, or the need. I, therefore, will begin: Soul of the age! The applause! delight! and wonder of our stage! My Shakspeare rise! I will not lodge thee by Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie A little further off, to make thee room: Thou art a monument without a tomb, And art alive still, while thy book doth live And we have wits to read, and praise to give. That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses, I mean with great, but disproportioned Muses; For if I thought my judgment were of years, I should commit thee surely with thy peers, And tell how far thou didst our Lily outshine, Or sporting Kyd, or Marlow's mighty line. And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek, From thence to honour thee, I will not seek For names: but call forth thundering Eschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles to us, Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordoua dead, To live 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,

Discoveries and Some Poems - 16/20

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