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AUTHOR'S DEDICATION

To

QUEEN ELIZABETH.

To that clear majesty which in the north
Doth, like another Sun, in glory rise, [worth;

Which standeth fix’d, yet spreads her heav'nly
Loadstone to hearts, and loadstar to all eyes.

Like Heav’n in all, like Earth to this alone,
That through great states by her support do

Yet she herself supported is of none, [stand;
But by the finger of th' Almighty’s hand.

To the divinest and the richest mind,
Both by Art's purchase, and by Nature's dow'r,

That ever was from Heaven to Earth confin'd,
To show the utmost of a creature's pow'r:

To that great spring, which doth great kingdoms
move; [streams,
The sacred spring, whence right and honour
Distilling virtue, shedding peace and love,
In every place, as Cynthia sheds her beams:

I offer up some sparkles of that fire,
Whereby we reason, live, and move, and be,

These sparks by nature evermore aspire,
Which makes them now to such a highness flee.

Fair soul, since to the fairest body join'd,
You give such lively life, such quick’ning pow'r;

And influence of such celestial kind,
As keeps it still in youth's immortal flower:

As where the sun is present all the year,
And never doth retire his golden ray,

Needs must the spring be everlasting there,
And every season like the month of May.

O! many, many years may you remain
A happy angel to this happy land:

Long, long may you on earth our empress reign,
Ere you in Heaven a glorious angel stand.

Stay long (sweet spirit) ere thou to Heaven depart, Who mak’st each place a Heaven wherein thou art.

Her majesty’s devoted subject
Jesty J
and servant,

John DAVIEs.

July 11, 1592.

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Why did my parents send me to the schools,
That I with knowledge might enrich my mind?

Since the desire to know first made men fools,
And did corrupt the root of all mankind;

For when God’s hand had written in the hearts
Of the first parents all the rules of good,

So that their skill infus'd, did pass all arts
That ever were before or since the flood;

And when their reason’s eye was sharp and clear,
And (as an eagle can behold the Sun)

Could have approach'd th’ eternal light as near
As th’ intellectual angels could have done.

E’en then to them the spirit of lies suggests,
That they were blind, because they saw not ill,

And breath’d into their incorrupted breasts
A curious wish, which did corrupt their will.

For that same ill they straight desir'd to know;
Which ill, being nought but a defect of good,

In all God’s works the Devil could not show,
While man their lord in his perfection stood.

* This poem was published by Mr. Tate, with the universal applause of the nation; and was, without dispute, except Spenser's Fairy Queen, the best that was written in Queen Elizabeth's, or even King James the first’s time. W. T.

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So that themselves were first to do the ill,
Ere they thereof the knowledge could attain,

Like him that knew not poison's power to kill,
Until (by tasting it) himself was slain.

E’en so by tasting of that fruit forbid,
Where they sought knowledge, they did error

Ill they desir'd to know, and ill they did; [find;
And to give passion eyes, made reason blind.

For then their minds did first in passion see
Those wretched shapes of misery and woe,

Of nakedness, of shame, of poverty, [know.
Which then their own experience made them

But then grew reason dark, that she no more
Could the fair forms of good and truth discern;

Bats they became, that eagles were before;
And this they got by their desire to learn.

But we, their wretched offspring, what do wer
Do not we still taste of the fruit forbid 2

Whilst with fond fruitless curiosity,
In books profane we seek for knowledge hid.

What is this knowledge? but the sky-stol’n fire,
For which the thief" still chain’d in ice doth sit?

And which the poor rude satyrs did admire,
And needs would kiss, but burnt his lips with it.

What is it? but the cloud of empty rain, [got 2 Which when Jove's guest; embrac'd, he monsters

* Prometheus, * See AEsop's Fables, + Ixion.

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In fine, what is it, but the fiery coach [withall? Which the youthf sought, and sought his death

Or the boysł wings, which, when he did approach The Sun's hot beams, did melt and let him fall:

And yet, alas! when all our lamps are burn’d,
Our bodies wasted, and our spirits spent;

When we have all the learned volumes turn’d
Which yield men's wits both help and ornament:

What can we know 2 or what can we discern ? When error chokes the windows of the mind;

The divers forms of things how can we learn, That have been ever from our birth-day blind?

When reason’s lamp, which (like the Sun in sky) Throughout man's little world her beams did

Is now become a sparkle, which doth lie [spread, Under the ashes, half extinct and dead:

How can we hope, that through the eye and ear, This dying sparkle, in this cloudy place,

Can recollect these beams of knowledge clear, Which were infus’d in the first minds by grace :

so might the heir, whose father hath, in play,
Wasted a thousand pounds of ancient rent,

By painful earning of one groat a day,
Hope to restore the patrimony spent.

* Danaides. + Phaeton. # Icarus.

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