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For common hands to touch, he rather chooses
To make a long day's journey to the Muses ;
To Athens (gown'd) he goes, and from that school
Returns unsped, a more instructed fool.
Where lies she then? or lies she any
Honours are bought and sold, she rests not there ;.
Much less in pleasures bath she her abiding,
For they are shar'd to beasts, and ever sliding;
Nor yet in virtue, virtue's often poor;
And (crush'd with fortune) begs from door to door.
Nor is she sainted in the shrine of wealth;
That, makes men slaves, is unsecur'd from stealth;
Conclude we then, Felicity consists
Not in exterior fortunes, but her lists
Are boundless, and her large extension
Outruns the pace of human apprehension;
Fortunes are seldom measur'd by desert,
The fairer face hath oft the fouler heart;
Sacred Felicity doth ne'er extend
Beyond itself; in it, all wishes end:
The swelling of an outward fortune can
Create a prosp'rous, not a happy man;
A peaceful conscience is the true content,
And wealth is but her golden ornament.
Job Militant, by F. Quarles,
Med. xii, Edit, 1630.
Where wards are weak, and foes encountring strong,
Where mightier do assault than do defend,
The feebler part puts up enforced wrong,
And silent sees that, speech could not amend;
Yet higher powers must think, though they repine,
When sun is set, the little stars will shine.
While pike do range, the silly tench doth ily,
And crouch in privy creeks, with smaller fish;
Yet pikes are caught when little fish go by,
These fleet afloat, while those do fill the dish;
There is a time even for the worms to creep,
And suck the dew while all their foes do sleep.
The marline cannot ever soar on high,
Nor greedy grey-hound still pursue the chase,
The tender lark will find a time to fly,
And fearful hare to run a quiet race.
He that high growth on cedars did bestow,
Gave also lowly mushrooms leave to grow.
In Haman's pomp poor Mordocheụs wept;
Yet God did turn his fate upon his foe.
The lazar pin’d, while Dives' feast was kept,
Yet he to heaven, to hell did Dives go.
We trample grass, and prize the flowers of May,
when flowers do fade away.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN WISDOM AND
The moral poets (nor unaptly) feign
That, by lame Vulcan's help, the pregnant brain
Of sovereign Jove brought forth, and at that birth
Was borne Minerva, lady of the earth.
O strange divinity! but sung by rote;
Sweet is the tune, but in a wilder note.
The moral says, all wisdom that is given
To hood-wink'd mortals, first proceeds from heaven;
Truth's error, wisdom's but wise insolence,
And light's but darkness, not deriv'd from thence;
Wisdom's a strain transcends morality,
No virtue's absent, wisdom being by.
Virtue by constant practice is acquir'd,
This (this by sweat unpurchas'd) is inspir'd:
The masterpiece of knowledge, is to know
But what is good from what is good in show,
And there it rests: wisdom proceeds, and chooses
The seeming evil, th' apparent good refuses;
Knowledge descries alone; wisdom applies;
That makes some fools, this maketh none but wise;
The curious hand of Knowledge doth but pick
Bare simples, Wisdom pounds them, for the sick;
In my afflictions, Knowledge apprehends
Who is the author, what the cause and ends,
It finds that Patience is
And that the hand that caus'd can cure my grief;
To rest contented here, is but to bring
Clouds without rain, and heat without a spring:
What hope arises hence ? the devils do
very same : they know and tremble too ;
But sacred Wisdom doth apply that good,
Which simple knowledge barely understood;
Wisdom concludes, and in conclusion proves
That wheresoever God corrects he loves:
Wisdom digests what Knowledge did but taste ;
That deals in futures, this in things are past:
Wisdom's the card of Knowledge, which, without
That guide, at random's wreck'd on every doubt:
Knowledge, when Wisdom is too weak to guide her,
Is like a headstrong horse, that throws the rider:
Which made that great philosopher avow,
He knew so much that he did nothing know.
Job Militant, by F. Quarles, Med. xi.
INSUFFICIENCY OF MONUMENTAL HONOURS
TO PRESERVE THE MEMORY.
You, mighty lords, that with respected grace
Do at the stern of fair example stand,
And all the body of this populace
Guide with the turning of your hand;
Keep a right course; bear up from all disgrace;
Observe the point of glory to our land:
Hold up disgraced Knowledge from the ground;
Keep' Virtue in request; give Worth her due.
Let not Neglect with barb'rous means confound
So fair a good, to bring in Night a-new:
Be not, O be not, accessary found
Unto her death, that must give life to you.
virtuous name safe laid,
In gorgeous tombs, in sacred cells secure?
Do you not see those prostrate heaps betray'd
Your father's bones, and could not keep them sure?
And will you trust deceitful stones fair laid,
And think they will be to your honour truer?
No, no; unsparing Time will proudly send
A warrant unto Wrath, that with one frown
Will all these mock’ries of vainglory rend,
And make them (as before) ungrac'd, unknown;
Poor idle honours, that can ill defend
Your memories, that cannot keep their own.
And whereto serve that wondrous trophy now
That on the goodly plain near Walton stands?
That huge dumb heap, that cannot tell us how,
Nor what, nor whence it is; nor with whose bands,
Nor for whose glory-it was set to show,
How much our pride mocks that of other lands.
Whereon when as the gazing passenger*
Hath greedy look'd with admiration;
* Whereon when as the gazing passenger, &c.] Pope had a similar jdea in bis intended Ode on the Folly of Ambition, the sketch of which is preserved in Ruffhead, p. 424.