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The chapel empties, and thou mayst be gone
One to the other, long ere these to light were brought.
Haste, haste, officious sun, and send them night
The ignoble never lived, they were awhile
Yet, as we may, we will,—with chaste desires,
There; but renewed, Say,
Till you behold a race to fill your hall,
And never may there want one of the stem,
They both are slipp'd to bed; shut fast the door,
Doth most humbly show it,
āşşHAT whereas your royal father, jo James the blessed, pleas'd the rather, * Of his special grace to letters, To make all the Muses debtors To his bounty; by extension Of a free poetic pension, A large hundred marks annuity, To be given me in gratuity For done service, and to come : And that this so accepted sum, Or dispens'd in books or bread, (For with both the muse was fed) Hath drawn on me from the times, All the envy of the rhymes, And the ratling pit-pat noise Of the less poetic boys, When their pot-guns aim to hit, With their pellets of small wit, Parts of me they judg’d decay’d; But we last out still unlay'd. Please your majesty to make Of your grace, for goodness sake, Those your father's marks, your pounds:" Let their spite, which now abounds,
* 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,” § I would present you now with curious plate Of Noremberg or Turky; hang your rooms, Not with the Arras, but the Persian looms: I would, if price or prayer could them get, Send in what or Romano, Tintoret, Titian, or Raphael, Michael Angelo, Have left in fame to equal, or out-go The old Greek hands in picture, or in stone. This I would do, could H think Weston one Catch'd with these arts, wherein the judge is wise As far as sense, and only by the eyes.
warrant creating him poet laureat, with a salary of 24, 1oo per annum. WHAL.
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 o of the treasurer, or the genius and address of Jonson. HAL. 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.