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Whatever theme by Cowley's Muse is dress’d,
Whatever he'll essay,
Or in the fofter or the nobler way,

He still writes belt,
If he ever {tretch his strings
To mighty numbers, mighty things:
So did Virgil's heroes fight,
Such glories wore, tho' not fo bright.

80 If he'll paint his noble fire, Ah! what thoughts his fongs inspire! Vigorous love and gay desirc. Who would not, Cowley! ruin'd be? Who would not love that reads, that thimks of thce? Whether thou in th' old Roman doft delight, 86 Or English, full as strong, to write, Thy master-strokes in both are shown, Cowley in both excels alone, Virgil of theirs, and Waller of our own. 90

VI. But why Mould the soft fex be robb'd of thee? Why should not England know How much she does to Cowley owe? How much fair Boscobel's for-ever-facred tree? The hills, the groves, the plains, the woods, 93 The fields, the meadows, and the floods, The Aow'ry world, where gods and poets use To court a mortal or a Musc ?'

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It shall be done. But who? ah! who, shall dare
So vast a toil to undergo,
And all the world's just censure bear,
Thy strength, and their own weakness show? ....
Soft Afra *, who had led our shepherds long,
Who long the nymphs and swains did guide
Our envy, her own sex's pride,

When all her force on this great theme she’ad try'd,
She strain’d a while to reach th' inimitable fong,
She strain'd a while, and wisely dy'd.
Those who survive unhappier be,
Yet thus, great God of Poely!
With joy they sacrifice their fame to thee.

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Our wit, till Cowley did its lustre raise,
May be resembled to the first three days,
In which did shine only such streaks of light
As serv'd but to distinguish day from night;
But wit breaks forth in all that he has done,
Like light when 'twas united in the sun.

The poets formerly did lie in wait
To rifle those whom they would imitate:

* Mrs. A. Behn,

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We watch'd to rob all ftrangers when they writ,
And learn'd their language but to steal their wit : 10
He from that need his country does redeem,
Since those who want may be fupply'd from him ;
And foreign nations now may borrow more
From Cowley, than we could from them before :
Who, tho' he condescended to admit

The Greeks and Romans for his guides in wit,
Yet he those ancient poets does pursue
But as the Spaniards great Columbus do;
He taught them first to the New World to steer,
But they possess all that is precious there. 20

When first his spring of wit began to flow,
It rais'd in some wonder and sorrow too,
That God had so much wit and knowledge lent,
And that they were not in his praises spent.
But those who in his Davideis look,

Find they his blossoms for his fruit mistook:
In diff'ring ages diff'rent Muses shin'd,
His green did charm the sense, his ripe the mind.
Writing for Heav'n, he was inspir’d from thence,
And from his theme deriv'd his influence. 30
The Scripture will no more the wicked fright;
His Muse does make religion a delight.

O how severely man is us'd by Fate! The covetous toil long for an estate, And having got more than their life can spend, 35 They may bequeath it to a fon or friend;

But learning (in which none can have a Mare,
Unless they climb to it by time and care;
Learning, the truest wealth which man can have)
Does, with his body, perish in his


40 To tenements of clay it is confin'd, Tho' 'tis the noblest purchase of the mind : O why can we thus leave our friends poffefs'd Of all our acquisitions but the best?

Still when we study Cowley, we lament 45
That to the world he was no longer lent,
Who like a lightning to our eyes was shown,
So bright he shin'd, and was so quickly gone.
Sure he rejoic'd to see his fame expire,
Since he himself could not have rais'd it higher; so
For when wise poets can no higher fly,
They would, like faints, in their perfection die.

Tho' Beauty fome affection in him bred,
Yet only facred Learning he would wed,
By which th' illustrious offspring of his brain
Shall over Wit's great empire ever reign :
His works shall live when pyramids of pride
Shrink to such ashes as they long did hide.

That facrilegious fire (which did last year
Level those piles which Piety did rear)

60 Dreaded near that majestic church to fly, Where English king and English poets lie; It at an awful distance did expire; Such pow'r had facred ashes o'er that fire;


Such, as it durft not near that structure come, 65
Which Fate had order'd to be Cowley's tomb;
And 't will be still preserv'd by being so,
From what the rage of future flames can do.
Material fire dares not that place infest
Where he who had immortal fame does rest. 70
There let his urn remain, for it was fit
Amongst our kings to lay the King of Wit;
By which the structure more renown'd will prove
For that part bury'd, than for all above.





1. He who would worthily adorn his herse, Should write in his own way, in his immortal verse ; But who can such majestic numbers write, With such inimitable light? His high and noble Aights to reach,

'Tis not the art of precept that can teach.
The world's grown old since Pindar, and to breed
Another such did twenty ages need.

At last another Pindar came,
Great as the first in genius and in fame;
Volume I.


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