Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 232 pages of information about Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham.

Great Sir! disdain not in this piece to stand,
Supreme commander both of sea and land. 
Those which inhabit the celestial bower,
Painters express with emblems of their power;
His club Alcides, Phoebus has his bow,
Jove has his thunder, and your navy you.

But your great providence no colours here
Can represent, nor pencil draw that care,
Which keeps you waking to secure our peace,
The nation’s glory, and our trade’s increase; 10
You, for these ends, whole days in council sit,
And the diversions of your youth forget.

Small were the worth of valour and of force,
If your high wisdom governed not their course;
You as the soul, as the first mover you,
Vigour and life on every part bestow;
How to build ships, and dreadful ordnance cast,
Instruct the artists, and reward their haste.

So Jove himself, when Typhon heaven does brave,
Descends to visit Vulcan’s smoky cave, 20
Teaching the brawny Cyclops how to frame
His thunder, mix’d with terror, wrath, and flame. 
Had the old Greeks discover’d your abode,
Crete had not been the cradle of their god;
On that small island they had looked with scorn,
And in Great Britain thought the Thunderer born.

TO THE DUCHESS, WHEN HE PRESENTED THIS BOOK TO HER ROYAL HIGHNESS.

Madam!  I here present you with the rage,
And with the beauties of a former age;
Wishing you may with as great pleasure view
This, as we take in gazing upon you. 
Thus we writ then:  your brighter eyes inspire
A nobler flame, and raise our genius higher. 
While we your wit and early knowledge fear,
To our productions we become severe;
Your matchless beauty gives our fancy wing,
Your judgment makes us careful how we sing. 10
Lines not composed, as heretofore, in haste,
Polish’d like marble, shall like marble last,
And make you through as many ages shine,
As Tasso has the heroes of your line.

Though other names our wary writers use,
You are the subject of the British Muse;
Dilating mischief to yourself unknown,
Men write, and die of wounds they dare not own. 
So the bright sun burns all our grass away,
While it means nothing but to give us day. 20

TO MR CREECH, ON HIS TRANSLATION OF ’LUCRETIUS.’[1]

What all men wish’d, though few could hope to see,
We are now bless’d with, and obliged by thee. 
Thou, from the ancient, learned Latin store,
Giv’st us one author, and we hope for more. 
May they enjoy thy thoughts!—­Let not the stage
The idlest moment of thy hours engage;
Each year that place some wondrous monster breeds,
And the wits’ garden is o’errun with weeds. 
There, Farce is Comedy; bombast called strong;

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Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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