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EPISTLE ADDRESSED TO THE HONOURABLE W. E.

He who is good is happy. Let the loud Artillery of heaven break through a cloud, And dart its thunder at him, he'll remain Unmoved, and nobler comfort entertain, In welcoming the approach of death, than Vice E'er found in her fictitious paradise. Time mocks our youth, and (while we number past Delights, and raise our appetite to taste Ensuing) brings us to unflatter'd age, , Where we are left to satisfy the rage Of threat’ning death : pomp, beauty, wealth, and all Our friendships, shrinking from the funeral. The thought of this begets that brave disdain With which thou view'st the world, and makes those vain Treasures of fancy, serious fools so court, And sweat to purchase, thy contempt or sport. What should we covet here? Why interpose A cloud 'twixt us and heaven? Kind Nature chose Man's soul the exchequer where to hoard her wealth, And lodge all her rich secrets; but by the stealth Of her own vanity, we ’re left so poor, The creature merely sensual knows more. The learned halcyon, by her wisdom, finds A gentle season, when the seas and winds Are silenced by a calm, and then brings forth The happy miracle of her rare birth, Leaving with wonder all our arts possess'd, That view the architecture of her nest. Pride raiseth us 'bove justice. We bestow Increase of knowledge on old minds, which grow By age to dotage ; while the sensitive Part of the world in its first strength doth live.

Folly! what dost thou in thy power contain
Deserves our study ? Merchants plough the main
And bring home th’ Indies, yet aspire to more,
By avarice in the possession poor.
And yet that idol wealth we all admit
Into the soul's great temple; busy wit
Invents new orgies, fancy frames new rites
To shew its superstition; anxious nights
Are watch'd to win its favour: while the beast
Content with nature's courtesy doth rest.
Let man then boast no more a soul, since he
Hath lost that great prerogative. But thee,
Whom fortune hath exempted from the herd
Of vulgar men, whom virtue hath preferr'd
Far higher than thy birth, I must commend,
Rich in the purchase of so sweet a friend.
And though my fate conducts me to the shade
Of humble quiet, my ambition paid
With safe content, while a pure virgin fame
Doth raise me trophies in Castara's name;
No thought of glory swelling me above
The hope of being famed for virtuous love;
Yet wish I thee, guided by the better stars,
To purchase unsafe honour in the wars,
Or envied smiles at court; for thy great race,
And merits, well may challenge the highest place.
Yet know, what busy path soe'er you tread
To greatness, you must sleep among the dead.

TO HIS NOBLEST FRIEND, J. C., ESQ. I hate the country's dirt and manners, yet I love the silence; I embrace the wit And courtship, flowing here in a full tide, But loathe the expense, the vanity, and pride.

No place each way is happy. Here I hold
Commerce with some, who to my care unfold
(After a due oath minister'd) the height
And greatness of each star shines in the state,
The brightness, the eclipse, the influence.
With others I commune, who tell me whence
The torrent doth of foreign discord flow;
Relate each skirmish, battle, overthrow,
Soon as they happen; and by rote can tell
Those German towns, even puzzle me to spell.
The cross or prosperous fate of princes they
Ascribe to rashness, cunning, or delay;
And on each action comment, with more skill
Than upon Livy did old Machiavel.
O busy folly! why do I my brain
Perplex with the dull policies of Spain,
Or quick designs of France? Why not repair
To the pure innocence o' the country air,
And neighbour thee, dear friend? Who so dost give
Thy thoughts to worth and virtue, that to live
Blest, is to trace thy ways. There might not we
Arm against passion with philosophy;
And, by the aid of leisure, so control
Whate'er is earth in us, to grow all soul?
Knowledge doth ignorance engender, when
We study mysteries of other men,
And foreign plots. Do but in thy own shad
(Thy head upon some flow’ry pillow laid,
Kind Nature's housewifery,) contemplate all
His stratagems, who labours to enthrall
The world to his great master, and you 'll find
Ambition mocks itself, and grasps the wind.
Not conquest makes us great. Blood is too dear
A price for glory. Honour doth appear

,

To statesmen like a vision in the night;
And, juggler-like, works o' the deluded sight.
The unbusied only wise: for no respect
Endangers them to error; they affect
Truth in her naked beauty, and behold
Man with an equal eye, not bright in gold,
Or tall in little; so much him they weigh
As virtue raiseth him above his clay.
Thus let us value things: and since we find
Time bend us toward death, let's in our mind
Create new youth, and arm against the rude
Assaults of

age;

that no dull solitude O’ the country dead our thoughts, nor busy care O’ the town make us to think, where now we are, And whither we are bound. Time ne'er forgot His journey, though his steps we number'd not.

A DESCRIPTION OF CASTARA.

1 Like the violet which, alone,

Prospers in some happy shade,
My Castara lives unknown,
To no looser's eye betray'd,

For she's to herself untrue,
Who delights i' the public view.

2 Such is her beauty, as no arts

Have enrich'd with borrow'd grace;
Her high birth no pride imparts,
For she blushes in her place.

Folly boasts a glorious blood,
She is noblest, being good.

3 Cautious, she knew never yet

What a wanton courtship meant;
Nor speaks loud, to boast her wit;
In her silence eloquent:

Of herself survey she takes,
But 'tween men no difference makes.

4 She obeys with speedy will

Her grave parents' wise commands;
And so innocent, that ill
She nor acts, nor understands:

Women's feet run still astray,
If once to ill they know the way.

5 She sails by that rock, the court,

Where oft Honour splits her mast:
And retiredness thinks the port
Where her fame may anchor cast:

Virtue safely cannot sit,
Where vice is enthroned for wit.

6 She holds that day's pleasure best,

Where sin waits not on delight;
Without mask, or ball, or feast,
Sweetly spends a winter's night:

O’er that darkness, whence is thrust
Prayer and sleep, oft governs lust. .

7 She her throne makes reason climb;

While wild passions captive lie:
And, each article of time,
Her pure thoughts to heaven fly:

All her vows religious be,

And her love she vows to me.

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