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Peristeros: or the male Turtle. *
Not like that loose and party-liver'd sect Nought lasts that doth to outward worth
Of idle lovers, that (as different lights, contend, On colour'd subjects, different hues re- All love in smooth brows born is flect)
tomb'd in wrinkles. Change their affections with their mis. But like the consecrated bird* of love, tress' sights,
Whose whole life's hap to his sole-matet That with her praise, or dispraise, drown, alluded, or float,
Whom no proud flocks of other fowls And must be fed with fresh conceits, and
could move, fashions ;
But in herself all company concluded. Never wax cold, but die; love not, but doat: She was to him th' analysed world of Love's fires staid judgments blow, not pleasure, humorous passions,
Her firmness clothed him in varieties ; Whose loves upon their lovers' pomp Excess of all things he joy'd in her depend,
measure, And quench as fast as her eyes' sparkle Mourn'd when she mourn'd, and dieth twinkles,
when she dies.
Like him I bound th' instinct of all my * “ Divers Poeticall Essaies on the Turtle
powers, and Phænix. Done by the best and chiefest of
In her that bounds the Empire of desert, our moderne writers, with their names sub- And Time nor Change (that all things else scribed to their particular workes : never before devours, extant. And now first consecrated by them all But truth eternized in a constant heart) generally to the love and merite of the true. Can change me more from her, than her noble Knight, Sir John Salisburie. Dignum
from merit, laude virum Musa vetat mori. (Printed at the end of Love's Martyr, &c., by That is my form, and gives my being spirit. Robert Chester.) London : Imprinted for E. B. 1601, page 176."
* The Turtlc.
IN SEJANUM BEN. JONSONI
ET MUSIS ET SIBI IN DELICIIS.*
So brings the wealth-contracting jeweller For though thy hand was scarce address'd Pearls and dear stones from richest to draw shores and streams,
The semi-circle of SEJANUS' life, As thy accomplish'd travail doth confer Thy muse yet makes it the whole sphere, From skill-enriched souls, their wealthier and law, gems ;
To all state lives; and bounds ambition's So doth his hand enchase in amell'd gold, strife. Cut and adorn'd beyond their native And as a little brook creeps from his spring, merits,
With shallow tremblings through the His solid flames, as thine hath here lowest vales, enroll'd
As if he fear'd his stream abroad to bring, In more than golden verse, those better'd Lest profane feet should wrong it, and spirits ;
rude gales ; So he entreasures Princes' Cabinets But finding happy channels, and supplies
As thy wealth will their wished libraries; Ofother fords mix with his modest course, So on the throat of the rude sea he sets He grows a goodly river, and descries His venturous foot, for his illustrious The strength that mann'd him since he prize ;
left his source ; And through wild deserts, arm'd with Then takes he in delightsome meads and wilder beasts,
groves, As thou adventurest on the multitude, And with his two-edged waters, flourishes Upon the boggy and engulfed breasts Before great palaces, and all men's loves Of hirelings, sworn to find most right Build by his shores to greet his passages : most rude ;
So thy chaste muse, by virtuous selfAnd he, in storms at sea, doth not endure, mistrust, Nor in vast deserts, amongst wolves, Which is a true mark of the truest merit, more danger,
In virgin fear of men's illiterate lust, Than we that would with virtue live secure, Shut her soft wings, and durst not show Sustain for her in every vice's anger.
her spirit ; Nor is this allegory unjustly rack'd Till, nobly cherish'd, now thou lett'st her fly, To this strange length, only that jewels Singing the sable orgies of the Muses, are,
And in the highest pitch of Tragedy, In estimation merely, so exact ;
Makest her command all things thy And thy work, in itself, is dear and rare. ground produces. Wherein Minerva had been vanquished But, as it is a sign of love's first firing Had she, by it, her sacred looms Not pleasure by a lovely presence taken, advanced,
And boldness to attempt ; but close And through thy subject woven her graphic retiring thread,
To places desolate and fever-shaken ; Contending therein, to be more entranced; So, when the love of knowledge first affects
Our tongues do falter, and the flame * Verses prefixed to “ Seianvs his fall.
doth rove Written by Ben: Ionson. Mart.
hic Centauros, non Gorgonæs Harpyasgn inuenies: Through our thin spirits, and of fear Hominem pagina nostra sapit. At London
detects us Printed by G. Elld, for Thomas Thorpe. 1605. T'attain her truth, whom we so truly love.
Nor can, saith Æschylus, a fair young Performing such a lively evidence dame,
In thy narrations, that thy hearers still Kept long without a husband, more Thou turn'st to ihy spectators, and the contain
serise Her amorous eye from breaking forth in That thy spectators have of good or ill, flame,
Thou inject'st jointly to thy reader's souls, When she beholds a youth that fits her So dear is held, so deck'd thy numerous
task Than any man's first taste of knowledge As thou putt'st handles to the Thespian truly
bowls, Can bridle the affection she inspireth ; Or stuck'st rich plumes in the Palladian But let it fly on men that most unduly
cask. Haunt her with hate, and all the loves All thy worth, yet, thyself must patronize she fireth.
By quaffing more of the Castalian head; If our teeth, head, or but our finger ache, In expiscation of whose mysteries, We straight seek the physician ; if a Our nets must still be clogg'd with fever,
heavy lead, Or any cureful malady we take,
To make them sink and catch ; for cheerThe grave physician is desired ever; But if proud melancholy, lunacy,
Was never found in the Pierian streams, Or direct madness over-heat our brains, But wants, and scorns, and shames for We rage, beat out, or the physician fly, silver sold. Losing with vehemence even the ser.se What, what shall we elect in these exof pains.
tremes ? So of offenders, they are past recure, Now by the shafts of the great Cyrrhan That with a tyrannous spleen, their stings
That bear all light that is about the 'Gainst their reprovers; they that will world, endure
I would have all dull poet-haters know it, All discreet discipline, are not said t' They shall be soul-bound, and in darkoffend.
ness hurl'd Though others qualified, then, with natural A thousand years, as Satan was, their skill
sire, (More sweet-mouth'd, and affecting Ere any worthy the poetic name shrewder wits)
(Might I, that warm but at the muse' Blanch coals, call illness good, and good- fire, ness ill,
Presume to guard it), should let deathBreathe thou the fire, that true-spoke less fame knowledge fits.
Light half a beam of all her hundred Thou canst not then be great? yes : who is eyes, he
At his dim taper, in their memories. Said the good Spartan king-greater Fly, fly, you are too near ; so odorous than I,
flowers, That is not likewise juster? No degree Being held too near the censer of our Can boast of eminence, or Empery
sense, (As the great Stagyrite held) in any one Render not pure nor so sincere their Beyond another, whose soul farther
As being held a little distance thence ; And in whose life the gods are better Because much troubled earthy parts imknown :
prove them : Degrees of knowledge difference all Which mixed with the odours we exdegrees.
hale, Thy Poem, therefore, bath this due re- Do vitiate what we draw in. But remove spect,
them That it lets pass nothing without ob- A little space, the earthy parts do fall, serving
And what is pure, and hot by his tenuity, Worthy instruction ; or that might correct Is to our powers of savour purely borne Rude manners, and renown the well- | But fly, or stay; use thou the assiduity descrving :
Fit for a true contemner of their scorn.
Our Phoebus may, with his exampling Though of all heats that temper human beams,
brains, Burn out the webs from their Arachnean Hers ever was most subtle, high, and eyes,
holy, Whose knowledge-day-star to all dia- First binding savage lines in civil chains : dems
Solely religious, and adored solely, Should banish knowledge-hating poli- If men felt this) they would not think a cies :
love, So others, great in the sciential grace, That gives itself in her did vanities give; His Chancellor, fautor of all human Who is—in earth though low-in worth skills ;
above, His Treasurer taking them into his Most able t' honour life, though least to place,
live. Northumber, that with them his crescent And so, good friend, safe passage to fills,
thy freight, Grave Worcester, in whose nerves they To thee a long peace, through a guard their fire,
virtuous strife, Northampton, that to all his height in In which let's both contend to virtue's blood,
height, Heightens his soul with them, and Devon- Not making Fame our object, but shire,
good life. In whom their streams, ebb'd to their
spring, are flood, Oraculous Salisbury, whose inspired voice COME forth, Sejanus, fall before this book, In state proportions sings their mys- And of thy fall's reviver ask forgiveness, teries,
That thy low birth and merits durst to And, though last named, first in whom look they rejoice,
A fortune in the face, of such unevenTo whose true worth they vow most ob- ness ; sequies,
For so his fervent love to virtue, hates, Most noble Suffolk, who by nature noble, That her pluck'd plumes should wing vice And judgment virtuous, cannot fall by to such calling, Fortune,
That he presents thee to all marking Who, when our herd came not to drink, states, but trouble
As if thou hadst been all this while in The Muses' waters, did a wall impor- falling. tune
His strong arm plucking from the middleMidst of assaults--about their sacred world river;
Fame's brazen house, and lays her tower In whose behalfs my poor soul, consecrate
As Homer's Barathrum; that, from heaven To poorest virtue, to the longest liver
hurl'd, His name, in spite of death, shall propa- Thou might'st fall on it : and thy ruins gate.
grow O, could the world but feel how sweet a To all posterities from his work, the touch
ground, A good deed hath in one in love with And under heaven nought but his goodness
Song might sound. (If Poesy were not ravished so much, And her composed rage held the
Hæc Commentatus est implest
TO HIS DEAR FRIEND
BENJAMIN JONSON HIS VOLPONE.*
COME yet more forth, Volpone, and thy | And as the symbol of life's guard the chase
hare, Perform to all length, for thy breath will That, sleeping wakes ; and for her fear serve thee;
was safed ; The usurer shall never wear thy case : So shalt thou be advanced and made a“ Men do not hunt to kill, but to preserve
Pole to all wits, believed in for thy Before the best hounds thou dost still but craft, play ;
In which the scenes both inark, and And for our whelps, alas, they yelp in vain. mystery Thou hast no earth; thou hunt'st the Is hit, and sounded, to please best and Milk-white way,
worst; And through the Elysian fields dost To all which, since thou makest so sweet a make thy train,
Take all thy best fare, and be nothing * Prefixed to “Ben: Ionson his Volpone or cursed. the Foxe.--Simul & jucunda, & idonea dicere vitæ, Printed for Thomas Thorppe. 1607.