Page images
PDF
EPUB

POEM S

BY

DR. THOMAS SPRAT,

BISHOP OF ROCHESTER.

L

D R.

TO THE REVEREND

WILKINS,

WARDEN OF WADHAM COLLEGE IN OXFORD.

SIR,

SEEING you are pleased to think fit that these

papers should come into the public, which were at firft defigned to live only in a defk, or fome private friend's hands; I humbly take the boldness to commit them to the fecurity which your name and protection will give them with the most knowing part of the world. There are two things especially in which they stand in need of your defence: one is, that they fall fo infinitely below the full and lofty genius of that excellent poet, who made this way of writing free of our nation: the other, that they are fo little proportioned and equal to the renown of that prince, on whom they were written. Such great actions and lives deferving rather to be the fubjects of the noblest pens and divine fancies, than of fuch small beginners and weak effayers in poetry as myself. Against these dangerous prejudices, there remains no other fhield, than the univerfal esteem and authority which your judgment and approbation carries with it. The right you have to them, Sir, is not only on the account of the relation you had to this great perfon, nor of the general favour which all arts receive from you; but more particu

[blocks in formation]

larly by reafon of that obligation and zeal with which I am bound to dedicate myself to your fervice: for having been a long time the object of your care and indulgence towards the advantage of my studies and fortune, having been moulded as it were by your own hands, and formed under your government, not to entitle you to any thing which my meannefs produces, would not only be injustice, but facrilege: fo that if there be any thing here tolerably faid, which deferves pardon, it is yours, Sir, as well as he, who is,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

'TIS

From the forgetfulness and rage

Of death, or envy, or devouring age;

Thou canft the force and teeth of time endure:

Thy fame, like men, the elder it doth grow,
Will of itself turn whiter too,

Without what needlefs art can do;

Will live beyond thy breath, beyond thy hearse,
Though it were never heard or fung in verfe.
Without our help, thy memory is fafe;
They only want an epitaph,

That do remain alone

Alive in an inscription,

Remember'd only on the brafs, or marble-ftone,

[blocks in formation]
« EelmineJätka »