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From words, which are but pictures of the thought
(Though we our thoughts from them perversely drew,)
To things, the mind's right object, he it brought;
Like foolish birds to painted grapes we flew.
He sought and gathered for our use the true;
And when on heaps the chosen bunches lay,
He pressed them wisely the mechanic way,
Till all their juice did in one vessel join,
Ferment into a nourishment divine,

The thirsty soul's refreshing wine.

Who to the life an exact piece would make,
Must not from others' work a copy take;

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No, not from Rubens or Vandyck;

Much less content himself to make it like

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The ideas and the images which lie

In his own fancy or his memory:
No, he before his sight must place
The natural and the living face;
The real object must command

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Each judgment of his eye and motion of his hand.

From these, and all long errors of the way,

In which our wandering predecessors went,

And, like the old Hebrews, many years did stray

In deserts, but of small extent,

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Bacon! like Moses, led us forth at last;

The barren wilderness he passed,

Did on the very border stand

Of the blessed Promised Land,

And from the mountain's top of his exalted wit,
Saw it himself, and showed us it.

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But life did never to one man allow

Time to discover worlds, and conquer too;
Nor can so short a line sufficient be

To fathom the vast deeps of Nature's sca:

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The work he did we ought to admire,
And were unjust if we should more require
From his few years, divided 'twixt the excess
Of low affliction and high happiness :
For who on things remote can fix his sight,
That's always in a triumph or a fight?

From you, great champions! we expect to get
These spacious countries but discovered yet;
Countries where yet, instead of Nature, we
Her images and idols worshipped see:
These large and wealthy regions to subdue,

Though Learning has whole armies at command,
Quartered about in every land,

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A better troop she ne'er together drew.

Methinks, like Gideon's little band,

God with design has picked out you,

To do these noble wonders by a few.

When the whole host He saw, they are, said He,

Too many to o'ercome for Me:

And now He chooses out his men,

Much in the way that He did then:
Not those many, whom He found
Idly extended on the ground,

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To drink, with their dejected head,

The stream, just so as by their mouths it fled:

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No;
but those few who took the waters up,
And made of their laborious hands the cup.

Thus you prepared, and in the glorious fight
Their wondrous pattern too you take:

Their old and empty pitchers first they brake,

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And with their hands then lifted up the light.

Iö! sound too the trumpets here!

Already your victorious lights appear;

New scenes of heaven already we espy,

And crowds of golden worlds on high,

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Which from the spacious plains of earth and sea
Could never yet discovered be

By sailor's or Chaldean's watchful eye.
Nature's great works no distance can obscure,
No smallness her near objects can secure:
You' have taught the curious sight to press
Into the privatest recess

Of her imperceptible littleness:

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You' have learned to read her smallest hand,

And well begun her deepest sense to understand.

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Mischief and true dishonour fall on those

Who would to laughter or to scorn expose

So virtuous and so noble a design,

So human for its use, for knowledge so divine.

The things which these proud men despise, and call

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So when, by various turns of the celestial dance,

In many thousand years

A star, so long unknown, appears,

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Though heaven itself more beauteous by it grow,
It troubles and alarms the world below,

Does to the wise a star, to fools a meteor, show.

With courage and success you the bold work begin;

Your cradle has not idle been;

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None e'er but Hercules and you would be

At five years' age worthy a history:

And ne'er did fortune better yet

The historian to the story fit.

As you from all old errors free

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And purge the body of Philosophy,

So from all modern follies he

Has vindicated eloquence and wit:

His candid style like a clean stream does slide,

And his bright fancy all the way

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Does, like the sunshine, in it play;

It does like Thames, the best of rivers, glide,

Where the god does not rudely overturn,

But gently pour, the crystal urn,

And with judicious hand does the whole current guide. 'T has all the beauties Nature can impart,

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Abraham Cowley.

And all the comely dress, without the paint, of Art.

CVII

THE DREAM.

No victor that in battle spent,
When he at night asleep doth lie
Rich in a conquered monarch's tent,
E'er had so vain a dream as I.

Methought I saw the earliest shade
And sweetest that the spring can spread,
Of jasmin, briar, and woodbine made
And there I saw Clorinda dead.

Though dead she lay, yet could I see
No cypress nor no mourning yew;
Nor yet the injured lover's tree;
No willow near her coffin grew.

But all showed unconcerned to be,
As if just Nature there did strive
To be as pitiless as she
Was to her lover when alive.

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And now, methought, I lost all care,

In losing her; and was as free

As birds let loose into the air,

Or rivers that are got to sea.

Methought Love's monarchy was gone;
And whilst elective numbers sway,

Our choice and change makes power our own,
And those court us whom we obey.

Yet soon, now from my Princess free,

I rather frantic grew than glad,
For subjects, getting liberty,
Get but a license to be mad.

Birds that are long in cages awed,
If they get out, awhile will roam ;
But straight want skill to live abroad,
Then pine and hover near their home.

And to the ocean rivers run

From being pent in banks of flowers;
Not knowing that the exhaling sun

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Is but proud strutting in a chain ;

Then growing wiser, when undone,
In winter nights sad stories sing
In praise of monarchs long since gone,
To whom their bells they yearly ring;

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