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Begin, my verse, and where the doleful mother fat
(As it in vision was to Efdras shown)
Bless’d Charles, who his forefathers has outgone,
Let a new city rise with beauteous state,
Lo! how the sacred fabric up does rise!
So grave, so humble, and so wise;
The axe's and the hammer's noise
'Tis up, and at the altar stand
With harps and incense in their hand.
Th’inferior priests, the while,
Need not the weary hours beguile,
Enough's the single duty of each day.
And tho' but lately enter'd there",
So ready and attent to hear
See 2 Efdras, from chap. ix. 38, to the end of the tenth chapter.
• See 1 Kings vi. 7.
Dr. Woodford, the author of this poem, was ordained by Bishop Morley in the year in which these verses were written,
VERSES TO MR. IZAAK WALTON.
The subjects are so noble al},
So great their beauties and thy art so small,
A name so despicably low,
But 'twill exceed what thou canst do,
Thy poverty a virtue make:
And, that thou may'st immortal live,
(Since immortality, thou canst not give) From one who has enough to spare be ambitious to receive.
Of reverend and judicious Hooker sing;
Hooker does to the church belong,
The church and Hooker claim thy song,
So far beyond itself will make it grow,
Thy joys how perfect, and thy, crown how fair.!
Who mad'st the church thy chiefest care; This church, which owes so much to thee, That all her sons are studious of thy memory.. 'Twas a bold work the captiv'd to redeem,
And not so.only, but th’oppress’d, to raise
When primitive zeal and piety
The rudely scrupulous and extravagantly vain
With judgment, candor, and such learning writ,
Matter and words fo exactly fit
To Chelsea', song; there tell thy master's friend
The church is Hooker's debtor-Hooker his;
And strange 'twould be if he fhould glory miss
Bid him cheer up, the day's his own,
And he shall never die,
Can all th' assauits of age defy;
• The residence of Morley Bishop of Winchester, whose liberality appropriated to the use of his successors a magnificent house at Chelsea, which he had purchased for four thousand pounds. He obtained an act of Parliament, by which that house was declared to be within the diocese of Winchester. Such was his known beneficence, that on his promotion to the see of Winchester, Charles II. said of him, “ That notwithstanding its vast revenue he would “ be never the richer for it."
* The author of these verses, Dr. Samuel Woodford, was born in 1636, and having been a commoner of Wadham College, in Oxford, he took his first degree in arts, and afterward removed to the Inner Temple, where he was chamber-fellow with Mr. Flatman, the poet. In 1669, he was ordained by Morley Bishop of Winchester, and being created Doctor of Divinity by a diploma from Archbishop Sancroft, was preferred to a prebend in the church at Winchester. He composed a Paraphrase on the Psalms, commended by Mr. Richard Baxter, as also on the Canticles, with many original poems, and translations from the Greek, Latin, Spanish, and Italian writers. He died in 1700. (Wood's Athen. Oxo)
TO THE READER.
I THINK it necessary to inform my reader, that Dr. Gauden (the late Bishop of Worcester) hath also lately wrote and published the life of Mr. Hooker. And though this be not writ by design to oppose what he hath truly written; yet I am put upon a necessity to say, that in it there be many material mistakes, and more omissions. I conceive some of his mistakes did proceed from a belief in Mr. Thomas Fuller, who had too hastily published what he hath since most ingenuously retracted. And for the Bishop's omiffions, I suppose his more weighty business and want of time made him pass over many things without that due examination, which my better leisure, my diligence, and my accidental advantages have made known unto me.
And now for myself, I can say, I hope, or rather know, there are no material mistakes in what I here present to you that shall become my reader. Little things that I have received by tradition (to which there may be too much and too little faith given) I will not at this distance of time undertake to justify: for, though I have used great diligence, and compared relations and circumstances, and probable results and expressions,
8 Dr. Thomas Fuller, celebrated as a biographer and an historian, was educated at Cambridge, having been first admitted of Queen's College, from whence, being incapacitated by the statutes from succeeding to a fellowship, he removed to Sidney College. He died in 1661. He was a general scholar, had a prodigious memory, a quick wit, a luxuriant fancy and invention, but not the most exact judgment. Such was his moderation during the time of the civil. wars, that by one party, before whom he preached, he was called “ a hot Royalist;" while, for his discourses before the King and Court at Oxford, he was blamed as being too lukewarm. Soon after the restoration he was made Chaplain in Ordinary to the King, being alfo in a wellgrounded expectation of some present farther advancement; but herë death stepped in, and drew the curtain between him and the ecclesiastical dignities that awaited him. His laborious but imperfect“ Hittory of the Worthies of England" is considered as the most valuable of his works. See his account of Mr. Hooker in “ The Church History of Britain,” B. IX. p. 214, 217, 235. (Echard's History of England, vol. III. p. 71. Life of Dr. Thomas Fuller, p. 5,53:)
yet I shall not impose my belief upon my reader, I shall rather leave him at liberty: But if there shall appear any material omission, I defire every lover of truth and the memory of Mr. Hooker, that it may be made known unto me. And to incline him to it, I here promise to acknowledge and rectify any such mistake in a second impression, which the printer says he hopes for; and by this means my weak, but faithful, endeavours may become a better monument, and, in some degree, more worthy the memory of this venerable man.
I confess, that when I consider the great learning and virtue of Mr. Hooker, and what satisfaction and advantages many eminent scholars and admirers of him have had by his labours; I do not a little wonder that in sixty years no man did undertake to tell posterity of the excellencies of his life and learning, and the accidents of both; and sometimes' wonder more at myself that I have been persuaded to it; and indeed I do not easily pronounce my own pardon, nor expect that my reader shall, unless my introduction shall prove my apology, to which I refer him.