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The antient errant knights Won all their ladies' hearts in fights, And cut whole giants into fritters, To put them into am’rous twitters : Whose stubborn bowels scorn’d to yield, Until their gallants were hali kill'd; But when their sides were rubb’d so sore, They durst not woo one combat more, The ladies' hearts began to melt, Subdu'd with blows their lovers felt.
4. COURAGE IN ADVERSITY.
Hudibras, who scorn'd to stoop
To fortune, or be said to droop,
Cheer'd up himself with ends of verse,
And sayings of philosophers
I am not now in fortune's power,
He that is down, can fall no lower:
And as we see th'eclipsed sun
By mortals is more gaz'd upon,
Than when, adorn'd with all his light,
He shines in serene sky most bright:
So valour in a low estate
Is most admir'd and wonder'd at.
As beards, the nearer that they tend
To th' earth, still grow more reverend;
And cannons shoot the higher pitches,
The lower we let down their breeches;
I'll make this low dejected state
Advance me to a greater height.
5. MODERN WAR. 'Tis true, our modern way of war Is grown more politic by far, But not so resolute and boid, Nor tied to honour as the old,
For now they laugh at giving battle,
Unless it be to herds of cattle,
Ur fighting convoys of provision,
The whole design of the expedition :
And not with downright blows to rout
The enemy, but eat them out.
As fighting, in all beasts of prey,
And eating, are performed one day ;
To give defiance to their teeth,
And fight their stubborn guts to death.
And those achieve the high’st renown
That bring the other's stomach down.
There's now no flesh of wounds nor maiining;
All dangers are reduced to famine:
And feats of arms, to plot, design,
Surprise, aud stratagem, and mine;
But have no need nor use for courage,
Unless it be for glory or forage :
For, if they fight, 'tis but by chance,
When one side venturing to advance,
And come uncivilly too near,
Are charged unmercifully in the rear,
And forced with terrible resistance
To keep hereafter at a distance,
To pick out ground to encamp upon,
Where store of largest rivers run,
That serve instead of peaceful barriers
To part the engagements of their warriors;
Where both from side to side may skip,
And only encounter at bo-peep.
For men are found the stouter hearted
The certainer they're to be parted :
And therefore post themselves in bogs,
As the ancient mice attacked the frogs
And made their mortal enemy
The water-rat, their strict ally.
For 'tis not now who's stout and bold;
But who bears hunger best and cold;
And he's approved the most deserving
Who longest can hold out at starving :
And he that routs most figs and cows, is
The formidablest man of prowess.
So the emperor Caligula,
That triumphed o'er the British Sea,
Took crabs and oyslers prisoners,
And lobsters, 'stead of cuirassiers ;
Engaged his legions in fierce bustles
With periwinkles, prawns, and musclos ;
And led his troops with furious gallops
To charge whole regiments of scallops,
Not like their ancient way of war,
To wait on his triumphal car,
But when he went to dine or sup,
More bravely ate his captives up;
And left all war, by his example,
Reduced to victualling a camp well.
LXXII. JOHN CLEVELAND.
ELEGY ON CHARLES I. Charles !-ah! forbear, forbear, lest mortals prize His name too dearly, and idolatrize. His name! our loss! Thrice cursed and forlorn Re that black night which ushered in this morn. Charles our dread sovereign ! hold ! lest outlawed sense Bribe and seduce tame reason to dispense With those celestial powers, and distrust Heaven can behold such treason and prove just. Charles our dread sovereign's murdered ! tremble, and View what convulsions shoulder-shake this land : Court, city, country, nay three kingdoms run To their last stage, and set with him, their sun. Charles our dread sovereign's murdered at his gate ! Fell fiends ! dire hydras of a stiff-necked state ! Strange body politic, whose members spread, And monster-like swell bigger than their head. Charles of Great Britain! He! who was the known King of three realms, lies murdered in his own. He! he! who Faith's Defender lived and stood, Died here to rebaptize it in his blood.
No more! no more! Fame's trump shall echo all
The rest in dreadful thunder. Such a fall
Great Christendom ne'er patterned ; and 'twas strange
Earth’s centre reeled not at this dismal change.
The blow struck Britain blind : each well-set limb
By dislocation was lopt off in him :
And, though she yet lives, she lives but to condole
Three bleeding bodies left without a soul.
Religion puts on black; sad Loyalty
Blushes and mourns to see bright Majesty
Butchered by such assassinates; nay both
'Gainst God, 'gainst Law, Allegiance, and their Oath.
Farewell, sad Isle! farewell! Thy fatal glory
Is summed, cast up, and cancelled in this story.
LXXIII. HENRY VAUGHAN
How bright wert thou when Shem's admiring eye
Thy burnished flaming arch did first descry;
When Zerah, Nahor, Haran, Abram, Lot,
The youthful world's grey fathers in one knot,
Did with intentive looks watch every hour
For thy new light, and trembled at each shower!
When thou dost shine, darkness looks white and fair
Forms turn to music, clouds to smile and air :
Rain gently spends his honey-drops, and pours
Balm on the cleft earth, milk on grass and flowers.
Bright pledge of peace and sunshine, the sure tye
Of thy Lord's hand, the object of his eye!
When I behold thee, though my light be dim,
Distant and low, I can in thine see him,
Who looks upon thee from his glorious throne,
And minds the covenant betwixt all and One.
LXXIV. RICHARD CRASHAW.
HYMN TO THE NATIVITY.
Gloomy night embraced the place
Where the noble infant lay ;
The babe look’d up and show'd his face--
In spite of darkness it was day.
We saw thee in thy balmy nest,
Bright dawn of our eternal day!
We saw thine
break from the east,
And chase the trembling shades away :
We saw thee, and we bless'd the sight,
We saw thee by thine own sweet light.
She sings thy tears asleep, and dips
Her kisses in thy weeping eye;
She spreads the red leaves of thy lips,
That in their buds yet blushing lie.
Yet when young April's husband-showers
Shall bless the faithful Maia's bed,
We'll bring the first-born of her flow'rs
To kiss thy feet and crown thy head :
To thee, dread Lamb! whose love must keep
The shepherds, while they feed their sheep.
LXXV. SIR JOHN DENHAM.
COOPER'S HILL. My eye descending from the hill, surveys Where Thames among the wanton valleys strays. Thames ! the most loved of all the ocean's sons By his old sire, to his embraces runs, Hasting to pay
his tribute to the sea, Like mortal life to meet eternity. Though with those streams he no resemblance hold. Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold : His genuine and less guilty wealth t'explore, Search not his bottom, but survey his shore, O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing, And hatches plenty for th' ensuing spring; Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay, Like mothers which their infants overlay ; Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave, Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave. No unexpected inundations spoil The mower's hopes, or mock the ploughman's toil ; But Godlike his unwearied bounty flows; First loves to do, then loves the good he does.