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Hail bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
AN EPITAPH ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATIC POET
What needs my Shakespeare for his honour'd bones,
The labour of an age in piled stones?
Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a star-y-pointing pyramid ?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst to th’ shame of slow-endeavouring art
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,
10 welcome) Chaucer's Knight's Tale, ver. 1511.
"O Maye! with all thy floures and thy grene,
Right welcome be thou, fair freshe May. Todd. These lines were prefixed to the folio ed. of Shakespeare's Plays in 1632, but without Milton's name or initials. It is, therefore, the first of his pieces that was published. War 11 unvalued] Invaluable. Rich. III. act i. sc. 4.
• Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels.' Todd.
Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving ;
And so sepúlchred in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER,
Who sickened in the time of his vacancy, being forbid to go to Lon
don, by reason of the Plague.
Here lies old Hobson ; Death hath broke his girt,
And here, alas, hath laid him in the dirt;
Or else the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
'Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known, 5
Death was half glad when he had got him down;
For he had any time this ten years full,
Dodg’d with him betwixt Cambridge and the Bull.
And surely Death could never have prevaild,
Had not his weekly course of carriage faild;
15 sepulchred] So accented in Shakesp. Rape of Lucrece.
. May likewise be sepúlcher'd in thy shade. Malone. 1 Hobson] Seven Champions of Christendom, p. 50. “Is Hobson there, or Dawson, or Tom Long ?' Ellis's Lett. on Engl. History, 1st Ser. iii. 207. "Our Hobson and the rest should have been forbidden.' Taylor's (W. Poet.) Works, fol. part ii. p. 188. "Oh! quoth hec, I could ve gone thither with my neighbour on on foot, like a foole as I was, and I might have rid backe upon my neighbour Jobson's mare, like an asse as I am.'
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
And that he had ta’en up his latest inn,
In the kind office of a chamberlin
Show'd him his room where he must lodge that
Pulld off his boots, and took away the light:
If any ask for him, it shall be said,
Hobson has supp'd, and's newly gone to bed.
HERE lieth one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die while he could move;
So hung his destiny, never to rot
While he might still jog on and keep his trot,
Made of sphere-metal never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time:
And like an engine mov'd with wheel and weight,
His principles being ceas’d, he ended straight.
Rest that gives all men lise, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm
Too long vacation hasten'd on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken’d;
Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed out-stretch'd,
If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd,
But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers,
For one carrier put down to make six bearers.
Ease was his chief disease, and to judge right,
He died for heaviness, that his cart went light:
His leisure told him that his time was come,
And lack of load made his life burdensome,
That even to his last breath (there be that say't) 25
As he were press’d to death, he cried more weight;
But had his doings lasted as they were,
He had been an immortal carrier.
Obedient to the moon he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his fate
Link'd to the mutual flowing of the seas,
Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase :
His letters are deliver'd all and gone,
Only remains this superscription.
What slender youth bedew'd with liquid odours
Courts thee on roses in some pleasant cave,
Pyrrha ? For whom bind'st thou
In wreaths thy golden hair,
Plain in thy neatness ? O how oft shall he
On faith and changed Gods complain, and seas
Rough with black winds, and storms
Unwonted shall admire!
Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold,
Who always vacant, always amiable
Hopes thee, of flattering gales
Unmindful. Hapless they
To whom thou untry'd seem'st fair. Me, in my
vow'd Picture, the sacred wall declares t have hung
My dank and dropping weeds
To the stern God of sea.
Brutus thus addresses Diana in the country of LEOGECIA.
GODDESS of shades, and huntress, who at will Walk'st on the rowling spheres, and through the
deep; On thy third reign the earth look now, and tell What land, what seat of rest, thou bidd'st me seek, What certain seat, where I may worship thee For aye, with temples vow'd, and virgin quires.
To whom, sleeping before the altar, Diana answers in a vision the
BRUTUS, far to the west, in th’ ocean wide,
Beyond the realm of Gaul, a land there lies,
Sea-girt it lies, where giants dwelt of old,
Now void, it fits thy people: thither bend
2 rowling spheres] Tickell and Fenton read • lowring spheres.'