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Where in their dustie gowns of brasse and stone
The judges lye, and markt you how each one
In sturdie marble-plets about the knee,
Bears up to shew his legs and symmetrie ?
Just so would this ; that I think't weav'd upon
Some stiffneckt Brownist's exercising loome.
O that thou hadst it when this jugling fato
Of souldierie first seiz'd me! at what rate
Would I have bought it then ; what was there
but I would have giv'n for the compendious hutt? I doe not doubt but-if the weight could please, 'Twould guard me better then a Lapland-lease. Or a German shirt with inchanted lint Stuff'd through, and th’ devil's beard and face
weav'd in't. But I have done. And think not, friend, that I This freedome tooke to jeere thy courtesie ; I thank thec for't, and I believe my Muse So known to thee, thou’lt not suspect abuse ; She did this, 'cause--perhaps—thy love paid thus Might with my thanks out-live thy cloke, and us.
UPON MR. FLETCHER'S PLAYES, PUB
KNEW thee not, nor durst attendance
Labell to wit, Verser remonstrative,
And in some suburb-page-scandal to thine -
Like Lent before a Christmasse scatter mine.
This speaks thee not, since at the utmost rate
Such remnants from thy peece intreat their date;
Nor ean I dub the coppy, or afford
Titles to swell the reare of verse with lord,
Nor politickly big, to inch low fame,
Stretch in the glories of a stranger's name,
And clip those bayes I court; weak striver I,
But a faint echo unto Poetrie.
I have not clothes t'adopt me, nor must sit
For plush and velvet's sake, esquire of Wit,
Yet modestie these crosses would improve,
And rags neer thee, some reverence may more.
I did believe-great Beaumont being dead-
Thy widow'd Muse slept on his flowrie bed ;
But I am richly cosen'd, and can see
Wit transmigrates: his spirit stayd with thee;
Which doubly advantag'd by thy single pen
I The folio of Beaumont and Fletcher of 1647, corresponds with those of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson &c. G.
In life and death now treads the stage agen;
And thus are wee freed from that dearth of wit
Which starr'd the Land, since into schismes split,
Wherein th’hast done so much, wee must needs guesse
Wit's last edition is now i'th' Presse,
For thou hast drain'd invention, and he
That writes hereafter, doth but pillage thee.
But thou hast plotts; and will not the Kirk strain
At the designes of such a tragick brain ?
Will they themselves think safe, when they shall see
The most abominable policie ?
Will not the Eares' assemble, and think fit
Their Synod fast, and pray, against thy wit ?
But they'le not tyre in such an idle quest,
Thou doest but kill, and circumvent in jest,
And when thy anger'd Muse swells to a blow
'Tis but for Field's, or Swansteed's overthrow.
Yet shall these conquests of thy layes outlive
Their Scotish zeale, and compacts made to grievo
The peace of spirits: and when such deeds fayle
Of their foule ends, a faire name is thy bayle.
But-happy thou !-ne'r saw'st these stormes,
our aire Teem'd with even in thy time, though seeming faire;
1 Sic. I fear it is used as = asses, though it may be a misprint for something less discreditable. G.
Thy gentle soule meant for the shade, and ease,
Withdrew betimes into the Land of Peace.
So neasted in some hospitable shore
The hermit-angler, when the mid-seas roare
Packs up his lines, and-ere the tempest raves —
Retyres, and leaves his station to the waves.
Thus thou died'st almost with our peace, and wee
This breathing time thy last fuire issue see,
Which I think such-if needless ink not soyle
So choice a Muse-others are but thy foile ;
This, or that age may wiite, but never see
A wit that dares run paralell with thee.
True, Bex' must live! but late him, and thou
Undone all future wits, and match'd the past.
UPON THE POEMS AND PLAYES OF THE
EVER-MEMORABLE MR. WILLIAM
DID but see thee! and how vain it is
To vex thee for it with Remonstrances,
Though things in fashion ; let those
judge, who sit
| Ben Jonson. G. ? This forms one of the many laudatory verses found in
Their twelve pence out, to clap their hands at wit; I fear to sinne thus neer thee; for-great saint !'Tis known, true beauty hath no need of paint.
Yet, since a labell fixt to thy fair hearse Is all the mode, and tears put into verse Can teach posterity our present griefe And their own losse, but never give reliefe ; l'le tell them-and a truth which needs no passeThat wit in Cartwright at her zenith was, Arts, fancy, language, all conven'd in thee, With those grand miracles which deifie The old world's writings, kept yet from the fire Because they force these worst times to admire. Thy matchless genius, in all thou didst write, Like the sun, wrought with such stayd heat, and
the volume of Cartwright's • Comedies, Tragi-Comedies,
with other Poems' (1651). I note here an overlooked
reference by the Fletchers' friend, T. BenLowes, to these
Cartwright' Verses', in lines to his brother, author of
• Theophila', to which Poem they are prefixed :
“Here heav'n-born Suadas star-like, gild each dresse
Of the bride-soul espous'd to happinesse :
Here Poetrie informs poetick art;
As all in all, and all in every part,
For all these dy'd not with fam'd Cartwright, though
A score of poets joyn'd to have it so." G.