This to thyself.—Now to thy matchless book,
Wherein those few that can with judgment look,
May find old love in pure fresh language told,
Like new-stamp’d coin made out of angel-gold.
Such truth in love as th’antique world did know,
In such a style as courts may boast of now;
Which no bold tales of gods or monsters swell,
But human passions, such as with us dwell. 30
Man is thy theme; his virtue or his rage
Drawn to the life in each elaborate page.
Mars nor Bellona are not named here,
But such a Gondibert as both might fear;
Venus had here, and Hebe, been outshined
By the bright Birtha and thy Rhodalind.
Such is thy happy skill, and such the odds
Betwixt thy worthies and the Grecian gods!
Whose deities in vain had here come down,
Where mortal beauty wears the Sovereign crown; 40
Such as of flesh compos’d, by flesh and blood,
Though not resisted, may be understood.
 ‘Sir William Davenant’: Davenant
fled to France in fear of the
displeasure of the Parliament, and there wrote the two first cantos
TO MY WORTHY FRIEND, MR WASE, THE TRANSLATOR OF GRATIUS.
1 Thus, by the music, we may know
When noble wits a-hunting go,
Through groves that on Parnassus grow.
2 The Muses all the chase adorn;
My friend on Pegasus is borne;
And young Apollo winds the horn.
3 Having old Gratius in the wind,
No pack of critics e’er could find,
Or he know more of his own mind.
4 Here huntsmen with delight may read
How to choose dogs for scent or speed,
And how to change or mend the breed;
5 What arms to use, or nets to frame,
Wild beasts to combat or to tame;
With all the myst’ries of that game.
6 But, worthy friend! the face of war
In ancient times doth differ far
From what our fiery battles are.
7 Nor is it like, since powder known,
That man, so cruel to his own,
Should spare the race of beasts alone.
8 No quarter now, but with the gun
Men wait in trees from sun to sun,
And all is in a moment done.
9 And therefore we expect your next
Should be no comment, but a text
To tell how modern beasts are vex’d.
10 Thus would I further yet engage
Your gentle Muse to court the age
With somewhat of your proper rage;
11 Since none does more to Phoebus owe,
Or in more languages can show
Those arts which you so early know.
 ‘Mr. Wase’: Wase was a fellow
of Cambridge, tutor to Lord Herbert,
and translator of Grathis on ‘Hunting,’ a very learned man.