|Were these but worthless poems or light rhymes,|
Writ by some common scribbler of the times,
Without your leave I durst not then engage
You to ennoble 'em by your patronage;
But these, though orphans, and left fatherless,
Their rich endowments shew they do possess
A father's blessing, whom the fates thought fit
To make a master of a mine of wit:
Whose ravishing conceits do tower so high,
As if his quill had dropt from Mercury:
But when his fancy chanced of love to sing,
You'd swear his pen were plum'd from Cupid's wing.
He doth an amorous passion so discover,
As if, save Beaumont, none bad e'er been lover;
Some praise a manly bounty, some incline.
More to applaud the virtues feminine;
Some several graces in both sexes hid,
But only Beaumont's, he alone that did
By a rare stratagem of wit connex.
What's choice and excellent in either sex.
Then, cherish, sir, these saplings, whose each strain
Speaks them the issue of brave Beaumont's brain;
Which made me thus dare to prefix your name,
Which will, if aught can, add unto their fame.
I am, sir,
Your most humble and devoted servant,
|Like to the weak estate of a poor friend,|
To whom sweet fortune bath been ever slow,
Which daily doth that happy hour attend,
When his poor state may his affection show,
So fares my love, not able as the rest,
To chaunt thy praises in a lofty vein;
Yet my poor muse doth vow to do her best,
And, wanting wings, she'll tread an humble strain;
I thought at first her homely steps to raise,
Aud for some blazing epithets to look:
But then I feared that by such wond'rous praise,
Some men would grow auspicious of thy book:
For he that doth thy due deserts rehearse,
Derives that glory from thy worthy verse.
|Either the goddess draws her troops of loves|
From Paphos, where she erst was held divine,
And doth unyoke her tender-necked doves,
Placing her seat in this small pap'ry shrine;
Or the sweet graces through th' Idalian grove,
Led the beet author in their danced rings;
Or wanton nymphs in watry bow'rs have wove,
With fair Mylesian threads, the verse he sings;
Or curious Pallas once again doth strive
With proud Arachne, for illustrious glory,
And once again doth loves of Gods revive,
Spinning in silver twists a lasting story:
If none of these, then Venus chose his sight,
To lead the steps of her blind son aright.
Sir John Beaumont.
|The matchless lust of a fair poesy,|
Which was ent buried in old Rome's decays,
Wow 'gins with heat of rising majesty,
Her dust-wrapt head from rotten tomb to raise,
And with fresh splendour gilds her fearless crest,
Rearing her palace in our poet's breast.
The wanton Ovid, whose enticing rhymes
Have with attractive wonder forced attention,
No more shall be admired at; for these times
Produce a poet, whose more rare invention
Will tear the love-sick myrtle from his brows,
T'adorn his temples with deserved boughs.
The strongest marble fears the smallest rain
The rusting canker eats the purest gold;
Honour's best dye dreads envy's blackest stain;
The crimson badge of beauty must wax old:
But this fair issue of thy fruitful brain,
Nor dreads age, envy, cank'ring rust, or rain.