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SATIRES AND HUMOROUS POEMS.

BEN JONSON.

1573-1637. WOMAN.

Shall a woman's virtues move
Me to perish for her love?
Or her well-deservings, known,
Make me quite forget my own?
Be she with that goodness blest
Which may gain her name of best,

If she be not so to me,
What care I how good she be?

FOLLOW a shadow, it still flies you;

Seem to fly it, it will pursue ;
So, court a mistress, she denies you;

Let her alone, she will court you.
Say, are not women truly then
Styled but the shadows of us men?
At morn and even shades are longest,

At noon they are or short or none; So men at weakest, they are strongest,

But grant us perfect, they're not known. Say, are not women truly then Styled but the shadows of us men?

'Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die?
Those that bear a noble mind,
Where they want of riches find,
Think what with them they would do,
That without them dare to woo ;

And unless that mind I see,
What care I how great she be?

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Great, or good, or kind, or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair :
If she love me, this believe,
I will die e'er she shall grieve :
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go;

For if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be?

GEORGE WITHER.

1588—1667.

SHALL I, WASTING IN DESPAIR.

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SHALL I, wasting in despair,
Die because a wonian's fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flow'ry meads in May,

If she be not so to me,
What care I how fair she be?

EARL OF ROCHESTER.

1647-1680.

LINES OVER CHARLES THE SECOND'S

BED-ROOM DOOR.

Should my heart be grieved or pined
'Cause I see a woman kind?
Or a well disposed nature
Joined with a lovely feature?
Be she meeker, kinder than
Turtle dove or pelican,

If she be not so to me,
What care I how kind she be?

HERE lies our sovereign Lord the King,

Whose word no man relies on, Who never said a foolish thing,

And never did a wise one.

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your tricks

"'Tis not restraint or liberty
That makes men prisoners or free,
But perturbations that possess
The mind or equanimities.
The whole world was not half so wide
To Alexander, when he cried
Because he had but one to subdue;
As was a paltry narrow tub to
Diogenes; who is not said
(For aught that ever I could read)
To whine, put finger i' the eye, and sob
Because he'd ne'er another tub.
The ancients make two several kinds
Of prowess in heroic minds,-
The active and the passive val'ant,
Both which are pari libra gallant ;
For both to give blows and to carry
In fights are equi-necessary ;
But in defeats the passive stout
Are always found to stand it out
Most desp'rately, and to outdo
The active 'gainst a conquering foe.

-If we had not weighty cause
To not appear in making laws,
We could, in spite of all
And shallow formal politics,
Force you our managements t' obey,
As we to yours (in show) give way.
Hence 'tis that while you vainly strive
T' advance your high prerogative,
You basely, after all your braves,
Submit, and own yourselves our slaves!
And 'cause we do not make it known,
Nor publicly our interests own,
Like sots, suppose we have no shares
In ordering you and your affairs;
When all your empire and command
You have

from us at second-hand !
As if a pilot, that appears
To sit still only, while he steers,
And does not make a noise and stir
Like every common mariner,
Knew nothing of the card nor star,
And did not guide the man-of-war !
Nor we, because we don't appear
In councils, do not govern there;

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While like the mighty Prester John,
Whose person none dares look upon,
But is preserved in close disguise
From being made cheap to vulgar eyes,
W'enjoy as large a power unseen
To govern him, as he does men.

We make and execute all laws;
Can judge the judges and the cause ;
Prescribe all rules of right and wrong
To the long robe and the longer tongue,
'Gainst which the world has no defence,
But our more powerful eloquence.
We manage things of greatest weight
In all the world's affairs of state ;
Are ministers of war and peace
That sway all nations as we please.

A fiery soul, which, working out its way,
Fretted the pigmy body to decay,
And o'er-informed the tenement of clay.
A daring pilot in extremity,
Pleased with the danger, when the waves

went high He sought the storm ; but for a calm unfit, Would steer too nigh the sands to boast

his wit. Great wits are sure to madness near allied, And thin partitions do their bounds divide; Else why should he, with wealth and

honour blest, Refuse his age the needful hours of rest? Punish a body which he could not please, Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease? And all to leave what by his toil he won To that unfeathered, two-legged thing

a son !

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We rule in every public meeting,
And make men do what we judge fitting ;
Are magistrates in all great towns,
Where men do nothing but wear gowns.
We make the man-of-war strike sail,
And to our braver conduct veil ;
And when he's chased his enemies,
Submit to us upon his knees.
Is there an officer of state
Untimely raised, or magistrate
That's haughty and imperious ?
He's but a journeyman to us,
That, as he gives us cause to do't,
Can keep him in or turn him out.
We are your guardians, that increase
Or aste your fortun

how we please ;
And, as you humour us, can deal
In all your matters ill or well.

In friendship false, implacable in hate,
Resolved to ruin or to rule the state;
To compass this the triple bond he broke,
The pillars of the public safety shook,
And fitted Israel for a foreign yoke.
Then, seized with fear, yet still affecting

fame,
Usurped a patriot's all-atoning name;
So easy still it proves, in factious times,
With public zeal to cancel private crimes.
How safe is treason, and how sacred ill,
Where none can sin against the people's

(known, Where crowds can wink and no offence be Since, in another's guilt, they find their own !

[since, Now, manifest of crimes contrived long He stood at bold defiance with his prince; Held up the buckler of the people's cause Against the Crown, and skulked behind

the laws.

will ;

*

*

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CHARACTER OF VILLIERS, DUKE

OF BUCKINGHAM.

Of these the false Achitophel * was first-
A name to all succeeding ages curst;
For close designs and crooked counsels fit,
Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit;
Restless, unfixed in principles and place,
In power unpleased, impatient of disgrace;
* Anthony Ashly Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury,

but a type rather than an individual.

SOME of their chiefs were princes of the

land; In the first rank of these did Zimri stand, A man so various that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome. Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong, Was everything by turns, and nothing

long; But in the course of one revolving moon Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buf

foon.

JONATHAN SWIFT.

1667-1744.
VERSES ON THE DEATH OF

DR. SWIFT.
Occasioned by reading the following

maxim in Rochefoucauld. “Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis nous

trouvous toujours quelque choses, qui ne nous deplaist pas.” In the adversity of our best friends we always find something that doth not displease

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us.

As ROCHEFOUCAULD his maxims drew
From nature, I believe them true:
They argue no corrupted mind
In him; the fault is in mankind.

I grieve to be outdone by Gay
In my own humorous, biting way.
Arbuthnot is no more my friend,
Who dares to irony pretend,
Which I was born to introduce,
Refined it first, and showed its use.
St. John, * as well as Pulteney, t knows
That I had some repute for prose;
And, till they drove me out of date,
Could maul a minister of state.
If they have mortified my pride,
And made me throw my pen aside,
If with such talents Heav'n hath blest 'em,
Have I not reason to detest 'em?

To all my foes, dear Fortune, send
Thy gifts, but never to my friend;
I tamely can endure the first,
But this with envy makes me burst.

This maxim, more than all the rest, Is thought too base for human breast : "In all distresses of our friends We first consult our private ends; While nature, kindly bent to ease us, Points out some circumstance to please us." If this, perhaps, your patience move, Let reason and experience prove.

We all behold with envious eyes Our equal raised above our size. I love my friend as well as you ; But why should he obstruct my view ? Then let me have the higher post: Suppose it but an inch at most. If in a battle you should find One, whom you love of all mankind, Had some heroic action done,A champion killed or trophy won ; Rather than thus be overtopt, Would you not wish his laurels cropt? Dear honest Ned is in the gout, Lies racked with pain, and you without; How patiently you hear him groan ! How glad the case is not your own!

Thus much may serve by way of proem; Proceed we therefore to our poem.

The time is not remote, when I Must by the course of nature die; When, I foresee my special friends Will try to find their private ends; And, though 'tis hardly understood Which way my death can do them good, Yet thus, methinks, I hear them speak:-“See, how the Dean begins to break ! Poor gentleman! he droops apace! You plainly find it in his face: That old vertigo in his head Will never leave him till he's dead. Besides, his memory decays; He recollects not what he says; He cannot call his friends to mind; Forgets the place where last he dined; Plies you with stories o'er and o'er; He told them fifty times before. How does he fancy we can sit To hear his out-of-fashion wit?

What poet would not grieve to see His brother write as well as he? But, rather than they should excel, Would wish his rivals all in hell?

Her end when emulation misses, She turns to envy, stings, and hisses: The strongest friendship yields to pride, Unless the odds be on our side.

Vain human-kind! fantastic race! Thy various follies who can trace?

* Lord Viscount Bolinbroke. † William Pulteney, Esq. ; now Earl of Batlle

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But he takes up with younger folks, Who for his wine will bear his jokes, Faith, he must make his stories shorter, Or change his comrades once a quarter; In half the time he talks them round, There must another set be found.

For poetry he's past his prime; He takes an hour to find a rhyme; His fire is out, his wit decayed, His fancy sunk, his Muse a jade. I'd have him throw away his penBut there's no talking to some men."

Behold the fatal day arrive! “How is the Dean?" "He's just alive.” Now the departing prayer is read; He hardly breathes—the Dean is dead.

Before the passing-bell begun, The news through half the town has run. “Oh! may we all for death prepare ! What has he left? and who's his heir ?" I know no more than what the news is; 'Tis all bequeathed to public uses. "To public uses ! there's a whim ! What had the public done for him? Mere envy, avarice, and pride ; He gave it all—but first he died. And had the Dean, in all the nation No worthy friend, no poor relation? So ready to do strangers good, Forgetting his own flesh and blood ?"

And then their tenderness appears By adding largely to my years: "'He's older than he would be reckoned, And well remembers Charles the Second. He hardly drinks a pint of wine ; And that, I doubt, is no good sign. His stomach, too, begins to fail : Last year we thought him strong and hale; But now he's quite another thing ---I wish he may hold out till spring." They hug themselves, and reason thus: " It is not yet so bad with us."

In such a case they talk in tropes, And by their fears express their hopes. Some great misfortune to portend No enemy can match a friend. With all the kindness they profess, The merit of a lucky guess (When daily how-d'-ye's come of course, And servantsanswer, “Worseand worse!") Would please them better, than to tell That, God be praised ! the Dean is well. Then he, who prophesied the best, Approves his foresight to the rest : You know I always feared the worst, And often told you so at first." He'd rather chose that I should die Than his prediction prove a lie. Not one foretells I shall recover; But all agree to give me over.

Now Grub Streetswits are all employed ; With elegies the town is cloyed ; Some paragraph in every paper To curse the Dean or bless the Drapier. The doctors, tender of their fame, Wisely on me lay all the blame: We must confess his case was nice, But he would never take advice. Had he been ruled, for aught appears, He might have lived those twenty years; For, when we opened him, we found That all his vital parts were sound." From Dublin soon to London spread, 'Tis told at court, the Dean is dead. And Lady Suffolk* in the spleen Runs laughing up to tell Queen. The queen, so gracious, mild, and good, Cries, “Is he gone? 'tis time he should."

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Yet, should some neighbour feel a pain Just in the parts where I complain, How many a message would he send ? What hearty prayers that I should mend? Inquire what regimen I kept; What gave me ease, and how I slept ? And more lament when I was dead, Than all the sniv'llers round my bed.

Now Chartres t, at Sir Robert's levee, Tells with a sneer the tidings heavy: "Why, if he died without his shoes," (Cries Bob) “ I'm sorry for the news ;

* Mrs. Howard, then Countess of Suffolk, and of the bedchamber to the late Queen. + Colonel Francis Chartres.

Sir Robert Walpole, then First Minister of State, afterwards Earl of Orford.

My good companions, never fear; For though you may mistake a year,

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