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In nos jus habeat: jus habet omne malum. 80
Tu stabilis brevium genus immortale nepotum
Fundes; nec tibi Mars ipfa fuperftes erit.
Semper plena manens uteri de fonte perenni
Formofas mittes ad mare Mortis aquas.
Sic Venus humanâ quondam, Dea faucia dextrâ, 85
(Namque folent ipfis Bella nocere Deis)
Imploravit opem fuperùm, questúsque cievit,
Tinxit adorandus candida membra cruor
Quid quereris ? contemne breves secura dolores;
Nam tibi ferre Necem vulnera nulla valent. 90
I SING two constant lovers' various fate,
The hopes and fears that equally attend
Their loves, their rivals' envy, parents' hate;
I sing their woeful life and tragic end.
Aid me, ye Gods! this story to rehearse,
This mournful tale, and favour every verse.
In Florence, for her stately buildings fam’d,
And lofty roofs that emulate the sky,
There dwelt a lovely maid, Constantia nam'd,
Fam'd for the beauty of all Italy;
Her lavish Nature did at first adorn
With Pallas' foul in Cytherea's form.
And framing her attractive eyes so bright,
Spent all her wit in study, that they might
Keep earth from Chaos and eternal Night;
But envious Death destroy'd their glorious light.
Expcct not beauty, then, since she did part,
For in her Nature wanted all her art.
For victories of Wit, and victories of Art,
In which blind undiscerning Fortune had no part.
Tho' Cowley ne'er such honours did attain,
As long as Petrarch's Cowley's name hall reign;
'Tis but his dross that's in the grave,
His mem'ry Fame from death fhall fave;
His bays shall flourish, and be ever green,
When those of conqu’rors are not to be seen. 68
Nec tibi mors ipfa fuperftes erit.
AMONGST THE ANCIENT POETS.
BY THE HON. SIR JOHN DENHAM.
Old Chaucer, like the morning star,
To us discovers day from far;
His light those mists and clouds dissoly’d,
· Which our dark nation long involv'd; ;
But he descending to the shades,
Darkness again the age invades,
Next (like Aurora) Spenser rose,
Whose purple blush the day foreshows;
The other three, with his own fires,
Phæbus, the poets' god, inspires ;
By Shakespeare, Johnson, Fletcher's lines,
Our stage's lustre Rome's outlines:
These poets near our princes sleep,
And in one grave their mansion keep;
They liv'd to see so many days,
Till Timc had blasted all their bays;
But cursed be the fatal hour
That pluck'd the fairelt, sweetest, fow'r
That in the Muses' garden grew,
And amongst wither'd laurels threw.
Time, which made them their fame outlive,
To Cowley scarce did ripeness give.
Old mother Wit and Nature gave
Shakespeare and Fletcher all they have :
In Spenser and in Johnson, Art
Of Nower Nature got the start;
But both in him fo equal are,
None knows which bears the happiest share.
To him no author was unknown,
Yet what he wrote was all his own ;
He melted not the ancient gold,
Nor, with Ben. Johnson, did make bold
To plunder all the Roman stores
Of poets and of orators.
Horace's wit and Virgil's ftate
He did not steal, but emulate,
And when he would like them appear,
Their garb, but not their clothes, did wear :
He not from Rome alone, but Greece,
Like Jason, brought the Golden Fleece :
To him that language (tho’.to none
Of th' others) as his own was known.
On a stiff gale (as Flaccus sings)
The Theban swan extends his wings,
When thro' th'ethereal clouds he Aies :
To the same pitch our swan doth rise;
old Pindar's flights by him are reach'd,
When on that gale his wings are stretch'd;
His fancy and his judgment fuch,
Each to the other seem'd too much,