Page images

Such were the storms good Sancroft long has

born; The mitre, which his sacred head has worn, Was, like his Master's Crown, inwreath'd with

thorn. Death's sting is swallow'd up in victory at last,

The bitter cup is from him past :

Fortune in both extremes
Though blasts from contrariety of winds,

Yet to firm heavenly minds,
Is but one thing under two different names;
And even the sharpest eye that has the prospect

seen, Confesses ignorance to judge between; And must to human reasoning opposite conclude, To point out which is moderation, which is



Thus Sancroft, in the exaltation of retreat,
Shows lustre that was shaded in his seat;

Short glimm’rings of the prelate glorified; Which the disguise of greatness only served to

Why should the Sun, alas, be proud

To lodge behind a golden cloud;
Though fringed with ev'ning gold the cloud

appears so gay, 'Tis but a lowborn vapour kindled by a ray ;

At length 'tis overblown and past,

Puff'd by the people's spightful blast, The dazzling glory dims their prostituted sight, No deflowered eye can face the naked light:



Yet does this high perfection well proceed

From strength of its own native seed, This wilderness the world, like that poetick wood

of old, Bears one, and but one branch of gold, Where the bless d spirit lodges like the dove, And which (to heavenly soil transplanted) will

improve, To be, as 'twas below, the brightest plant above; For, whate'er theologic lev'llers dream;

There are degrees above I know,

As well as here below, (The goddess Muse herself has told me so) Where high patrician souls, dress'd heavenlygay,

Sit clad in lawn of purer woven day, There some high-spirited throne to Sancroft shall

be given, In the metropolis of Heaven ; Chief of the mitred saints, and from archprelate

Translated to archangel there.


Since, happy saint, since it has been of late

Either our blindness or our fate,

To lose the providence of thy cares, Pity a miserable church's tears,

That begs the pow'rful-blessing of thy pray’rs. Some angel say, what were the nation's crimes, That sent these wild reformers to our times :

Say what their senseless malice meant,

To tear religion's lovely face:
Strip her of ev'ry ornament and grace :
In striving to wash off th’ imaginary paint?

Religion Religion now does on her death-bed lie, Heart-sick of a high fever and consuming atrophy; How the physicians swarm to show their mortal

skill, And by their college arts methodically kill : Reformers and physicians differ but in name,

One end in both, and the design the same;
Cordials are in their talk, while all they mean

Is but the patient's death, and gain---
Check in thy satire, angry Muse,

Or a more worthy subject choose:
Let not the outcasts of this outcast age
Provoke the honour of my Muse's rage,

Nor be thy mighty spirit rais’d,
Since Heaven and Cato both are pleas'd-

[The rest of the poem is lost.]




VIRTUE, the greatest of all monarchies !

Till, its first emperor, rebellious man,

Depos'd from off his seat,
It fell and broke with its own weight
Into small states and principalities,

By many a petty lord possess’d,
But ne'er since seated in one single breast.



who must this land subdue,
The mighty conquest's left for you,
The conquest and discovery too:
Search out this Utopian ground,
Virtue's Terra Incognita,

Where none ever led the way,
Nor ever since but in descriptions found;

Like the philosopher's stone,
With rules to search it, yet obtaind by none.


We have too long been led astray ;
Too long have our misguided souls been taught

With rules from musty morals brought,

you must put us in the way;
Let us (for shame!) no more be fed

With antique relics of the dead,
The gleanings of philosophy;
Philosophy, the lumber of the schools,
The roguery of alchemy;

And we, the bubbled fools,
Spend all our present life, in hopes of golden rules.


But what does our proud ignorance Learning call?

We oddly Plato's paradox make good,
Our knowledge is but mere remembrance all;
Remembrance is our treasure and our food;
Nature's fair tablebook, our tender souls,
We scrawl all o'er with old and empty rules,

Stale memorandums of the schools:
For learning's mighty treasures look
In that deep grave a book ;

Think that she there does all her treasures hide, And that her troubled ghost still haunts there

since she died.
· Confine her walks to colleges and schools;

Her priest, her train, and followers show
As if they all were spectres too!
They purchase knowledge at th’

Of common breeding, common sense,
And grow at once scholars and fools ;

Affect ill-manner'd pedantry, Rudeness, ill-nature, incivility,

And, sick with dregs and knowledge grown,

Which greedily they swallow down, Still cast it


and nauseate company.


Curst be the wretch! nay doubly curst!

(If it may lawful be
To curse our greatest enemy)
Who learn’d himself that heresy first

(Which since has seiz'd on all the rest) That knowledge forfeits all humanity; Taught us, like Spaniards, to be proud and poor,

And fling our scraps before our door!
Thrice happy you have ’scap'd this general pest;
Those mighty epithets, learn’d, good, and great, ,
Which we ne'erjoin'd before, butin romances meet,
We find in you at last united grown.

You cannot be compar'd to one:
I must like him that painted Venus' face,

Borrow from every one a grace;
Virgil and Epicurus will not do,

Their courting a retreat like you, Unless I put in Cæsar's learning too:


« PreviousContinue »