Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

VERSES TO MR. IZAAK WALTON.

9

Th' inferior priests, the while,
To praise continually employed or pray,

Need not the weary hours beguile,

Enough 's the single duty of each day.
Thou thyself, Woodford, on thy humbler pipe may'st

play,
And though but lately entered there,
So gracious those thou honor’st all appear,

So ready and attent to hear,
An easy part, proportioned to thy skill, may'st bear

III. But where, alas ? where wilt thou fix thy choice?

The subjects are so noble all,

So great their beauties and thy art so small, They 'll judge, I fear, themselves disparaged by thy

voice:
Yet try, and since thou canst not take

A name so despicably low,

But 't will exceed what thou canst do, Though thy whole mite thou away at once shouldst

throw,
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,
And inexhausted riches to thy verse will bring;

So far beyond itself will make it grow, That life, his gift to thee, thou shalt again on him

bestow.

IV. How great, bless'd soul, must needs thy glories be!

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 captived to redeem,

And not so only, but th' oppressed to raise
(Our aged mother) to that due esteem
She had and merited in her younger days,

When primitive zeal and piety
Were all her laws and policy,
And decent worship kept the mean

Its too wide stretched extremes between,
The rudely scrupulous and extravagantly vain -
This was the work of Hooker's pen;
With judgment, candor, and such learning

writ, Matter and words so exactly fit That were it to be done again Expected 't would be as its answer hitherto has

been.

RITORNATA.

To Chelsea, song ; there tell thy master's friend

The church is Hooker's debtor, - Hooker bis ;

And strange 't would be, if he should glory miss For whom two such most powerfully contend:

VERSES TO MR. IZAAK WALTON.

11

Bid him cheer up, the day's his own,

And he shall never die,
Who, after seventy 's past and gone,

Can all th' assaults of age defy;
Is master still of so much youthful heat,
A child so perfect and so sprightly to beget.

SAM. WOODFORD.

BENSTEAD Hants,
March 10, 1669–70.

! TO THE READER.

am

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 put upon a necessity to say, that in it there be 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 omissions, 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

readLittle things that I have received by tradition (to which there may be too much and too lit

er.

« НазадПродовжити »