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the authority of this and several such examples, I had the ability and opportunity of drawing the value and strange worth of a Poet, and withall of applying some of the lineaments to the following picces; I should then do my self a real service, and attone in a great measure for the present insolence. But best of all will it serve my defence and interest, to appeal to your lordship's own conceptions and image of genuine Verse; with which so just, so regular original, if these copies shall hold proportion and resemblance, then am I advanced very far in your lordship's pardon : the rest will entirely be supplied me by your lordship's goodness, and my own awful zeal of being, my Lord ! Your Lordship's most obedient, most humbly devoted servant.

J. W.2

1

= freedom. G. ? These initials occur to the Verses prefixed to “Olor Iscanus.” It seems impossible to trace at this distant date their owner. Probably this ‘I. W.', “Charles W.', • R. W.', 'N. W' were of the same Family. G.

6

To the Reader.

HE Nation of Poets above all Writers

has ever challeng'd perpetuity of name,

or as they please by their charter of liberty to call it, Immortality. Nor has the World much disputed their claim, either easily resigning a patrimony in it self not very substantial; or, it may be, out of despair to controule the authority of inspiration and oracle. However the pricel as now quarrell’d for among the poets themselves is no such rich bargain : 'tis only a vanishing interest in the lees and dreggs of Time, in the rear of those Fathers and Worthies in the art, who if they knew any thing of the heats and fury of their successors, must extreamly pity them.

I am to assure, that the Author has no portion of that aiery happiness to lose, by any injury or unkindness which may be done to his Verse : his reputation is better built in the sentiment of

:

1 Prize. G.

several judicious persons, who know him very well able to give himself a lasting monument, by undertaking any argument of note in the whole circle of learning. But even these his Diversions have been valuable with the matchless Orinda, and since they deserv'd her esteem and commendations; who so thinks them not worth the publishing, will put himself in the opposite scale, where his own arrogance will blow him up.

I. W.

1 See Essay for remarks on "Orinda' and foot-note ante. G.

[graphic]

Preliminary Verses.

TO MR. HENRY VAUGHAN THE SILURIST:

UPON THESE AND HIS FORMER
POEMS.

AD I ador'd the multitude, and thence

Got an antipathy to wit and sence,

And hugg'd that fate, in hope the world

would grant 'Twas good affection to be ignorant : Yet the least ray of thy bright fancy seen, I had converted, or excuseless been. For each birth of thy Muse to after-times Shall expiate for all this Age's crimes. First shines thy Amoret,' twice crown'd by thee: Once by thy love, next by thy poetrie; Where thou the best of unions dost dispense, Truth cloth'd in wit, and Love in innocence. So that the muddie lover may learn here, No fountains can be sweet, that are not clear.

1 In the Poems of 1646. See ante. G.

There Juvenal,' by thce reviv'd declares
How flat man's joys are, and how mean his cares ;
And wisely doth upbraid the World, that they
Should such a value for their ruine

pay.
But when thy sacred Muse diverts her quill
The landskip to design of Sion's Hill,
As nothing else was worthy her, or thee,
So we admire almost t' idolatrie.
What savage breast would not be rap'd” to find
Such jewels in such cabinets enshrin'd ?
Thou fillid with joys—too great to see or count :-
Descend'st from thence, like Moses from the

Mount, And with a candid, yet unquestion'd awe Restor'st the Golden Age, when verse was Law. Instructing us, thou so secur'st thy fame, That nothing can disturb it but my name. Nay I have hopes that standing so near thino 'Twill loose its dross, and by degrees refine. Live! till the disabused world consent All truths of use, of strength or ornament, Are with such harmony by thee display'd As the whole world was first by number made ;

1 lbid. G.

raped : or qu: rapt = enraptured ? G.

2

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