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AN HEROICAL POEM.
[From the same Collection.]
My wanton muse, that whilom used to sing
Fair beauty's praise, and Venus' sweet delight, Of late had changed the tenor of her string
To higher tunes than serve to Cupid's fight: Shrill trumpets' sound, sharp swords, and lances
strong, War, blood, and death, were matter of my song.
The god of love by chance had heard thereof,
That I was proved a rebel to his crown. “ Fit words for war! (quoth he, in angry scoff)
“ A likely man to write of Mars's frown! “ Well are they sped, whose praises he shall write, “ Whose wanton pen can nought but love indite !"
This said, he whisk'd his party-colour'd wings; And down to earth he comes, more swift than
thought : Then to my heart, in angry haste he flings, To see what change these news of war had
wrought. He pries, he looks, he ransacks every vein, Yet finds he nought, save love, and lover's pain.
Then I, that now perceived his needless fear,
With heavy smile began to plead my cause. “ In vain (quoth I) this endless grief I bear,
“ In vain I strive to keep thy grievous laws, “ If after proof, so often trusty found, “ Unjust suspect condemn me as unsound.
“ My muse, indeed, to war inclines her mind;
“ The famous acts of worthy Brute to write ; “ To whom the gods this island's rule assign'd, “ Which long he sought by seas, through Nep
6 tune's spight. “ With such conceits my busy head doth swell, “ But in my heart nought else but love can dwell,
" And in this war thy part is not the least;
“ Here shall my muse Brute's noble love declare; “ Here shalt thou see thy double love increas'd
“ Of fairest twins that ever lady bare. “ Let Mars triumph in armour shining bright, “ His conquer'd arms shall be thy triumph's light.
“ As he the world, so thou shalt him subdue;
" And I, thy glory through the world will ring: " So, by' my pains, thou wilt consent to rue, “ And kill despair.” With that he whisk'd his wing,
! For ?
And bade me write and promised wished rest; But, sore I fear, false hope will be the best.
THE SOUL'S ERRAND.
Go, soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand,
Go, since I needs must die,
Go tell the court it glows,
And shines like rotten wood,
If church and court reply,
Tell potentates, they live
Acting by others actions,
If potentates reply,
Tell men of high condition,
That rule affairs of state,
And if they once reply,
Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
And if they make reply,
Tell zeal it lacks devotion,
Tell love it is but lust,
And wish them not reply,
Tell age it daily wasteth,
'Tell honour how it alters, Tell beauty how she blasteth, Tell favour how she falters.
And as they shall reply
Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness :
And when they do reply,
Tell physic of her boldness,
Tell skill it is pretension,
And as they do reply,
Tell fortune of her blindness,
Tell nature of decay,
And if they will reply,
Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming, Tell schools they want profoundness, And stand too much on seeming. If arts and schools reply, Give arts and schools the lie.