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The chapel empties, and thou mayst be gone
Now, sun, and post away the rest of day : These two, now holy church hath made them one, Do long to make themselves so' another way: There is a feast behind,
To them of kind,
Which their glad parents taught
And keep their fames
Alive, which else would die;
The ignoble never lived, they were awhile
Like swine, or other cattle here on earth :
We pray may grace,
Your fruitful spreading vine,
The holy perfumes of the marriage-bed,
You find no cold
There ; but renewed, say
Till you behold a race to fill your hall,
A Richard, and a Hierome, by their names Upon a Thomas, or a Francis call; A Kate, a Frank, to honour their grand-dames, And 'tween their grandsires' thighs,
Like pretty spies,
Peep forth a gem; to see How each one plays his part, of the large pedigree! And never may there want one of the stem,
To be a watchful servant for this state; But like an arm of eminence 'mongst them, Extend a reaching virtue early and late ! Whilst the main tree still found
Upright and sound,
By this sun's noonsted's made So
great; his body now alone projects the shade. They both are slipp'd to bed ; shut fast the door,
And let him freely gather love's first-fruits.
Will last till day ;
Night and the sheets will show
THE HUMBLE PETITION OF POOR BEN;
TO THE BEST OF MONARCHS, MASTERS, MEN,
Doth most humbly show it,
James the blessed, pleas'd the rather,
Of his special grace to letters,
And that this so accepted sum,
Please your majesty to make
Let their spite, which now abounds, 4 Those your father's marks, your pounds.] The petition succeeded; the reader has, annexed to our poet's life, a copy of the
Then go on, and do its worst ;
F to my mind, great lord, I had a state,
Not with the Arras, but the Persian looms :
This I would do, could I think Weston one
The warrant is dated March 1630, the Petition must therefore be referred to the beginning of that year.
• If to my mind, great lord, I had a state.] The learned reader may compare this with the 8th ode of the fourth book of Horace, as it seems to be copied from it. Our poet, as we find by some verses wrote by no well-wisher to him, received forty pounds for this Epigram. Let the reader judge which was greatest, the generosity of the treasurer, or the genius and address of Jonson. WHAL.
Whalley has strange notions of copying. Jonson has taken a hint from the opening of the Ode to Censorinus, and that is all.
The verses to which Whalley alludes are in the 4to. and 12mo.
But you, I know, my lord, and know you can
editions, 1640, in which this Epigram also appears; in Eliot's Poems, they are thus prefixed.
“To Ben Jonson, upon his verses to the earl of Portland,
“Your verses are commended, and 'tis true,
This poor simpleton, who appears to have earned a wretched subsistence by harassing the charitable with doggrel petitions for meat and clothes, was answered (according to his folly) by some one in Jonson's name; for the lines, though published in the small edition so often quoted, were not written by him.
To MY DETRACTOR.
“My verses were commended, thou dost say,
The question proposed by Whalley for the exercise of the reader's judgment seems very unnecessary. Forty pounds was a very considerable present in those days, and whether bestowed on want or worth, or both, argues a liberal and a noble spirit. The “Epigram ” was probably written in 1632.