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Had I the power of creation,

as I have of generation,

where I the matter must obey,

and cannot work plate out of clay: my creatures should be all like thee, 'tis thou should their idea be.

They, like thee, should thoroughly hate
business, honour, title, state.

Other wealth they should not know,
but what my living mines bestow;
the pomp of kings they should confess
at their crownings to be less
than a lover's humblest guise,
when at his mistress' feet he lies.
Rumour they no more should mind
than men safe-landed do, the wind;
wisdom itself they should nor hear,
when it presumes to be severe.
Beauty alone they should admire;
nor look at fortune's vain attire,
nor ask what parents it can shew;
with dead, or old, 't has nought to do.
They should not love yet all, or any,
but very much, and very many.
All their life should gilded be
with mirth, and wit, and gaiety,
well rememb'ring, and applying

the necessity of dying.

Their cheerful heads should always wear all that crowns the flowery year.

They should always laugh, and sing,

and dance, and strike th' harmonious string. Verse should from their tongue so flow, as if it in the mouth did


as swiftly answering their command,
as tunes obey the artful hand:
and whilst I do thus discover
th' ingredients of a happy lover,
't is, my Anacreon, for thy sake,
I of the grape no mention make.

Till my Anacreon by thee fell, cursed plant, I lov'd thee well! and 't was oft my wanton use, to dip my arrows in thy juice. Cursed plant! 'tis true, I see, the old report that goes of thee, that with giants' blood the earth stain'd and poison'd gave thee birth, and now thou wreak'st thy ancient spight on men, in whom the gods delight. Thy patron Bacchus, 't is no wonder, was brought forth in flames and thunder; in rage, in quarrels, and in fights, worse than his tigers, he delights; in all our heaven I think there be no such ill-natur'd god as he. Thou pretendest, trait'rous wine! to be the Muses friend and mine: with love and wit thou dost begin, false fires, alas! to draw us in; which, if our course we by them keep, misguide to madness, or to sleep. Sleep were well; thou'st learnt a way to death itself now to betray.

It grieves me when I see what fate does on the best of mankind wait. Poets, or lovers, let them be,

't is neither love nor poesy

can arm against death's smallest dart
the poet's head, or lover's heart.
But, when their life, in it's decline,
touches th' inevitable line,

all the world's mortal to 'em then,
as wine is aconite to men.

Nay, in death's hand, the grape-stone proves as strong as thunder is in Jove's.


Si tecum mihi chare Martialis, &c.

If, dearest friend! it my good fate might be
t' enjoy at once a quiet life and thee;
if we for happiness could leisure find,
and wand'ring Time into a method bind,
we should not, sure, the great men's favour need,
nor on long hopes, the court's thin diet, feed;
we should not patience find daily to hear
the calumnies and flatt'ries spoken there;
we should not the lords' tables humbly use
or talk in ladies' chambers love and news;
but books and wise discourse, gardens and fields,
and all the joys that unmix'd Nature yields,
thick summer-shades, where winter still does lie,
bright winter-fires, that summer's part supply,
sleep not control'd by cares, confin'd to night,
or bound in any rule but appetite;

free, but not savage or ungracious mirth,
rich wines to give it quick and easy birth;
a few companions, which ourselves should choose,
a gentle mistress, and a gentler muse;

such, dearest Friend! such without doubt, should be our place, our business, and our company;

now to himself, alas! does neither live,

but sees good suns, of which we are to give a strict account, set and march thick away; knows a man how to live, and does he stay?


Vota tui breviter, &c.

Well, then, sir, you shall know how far extend
the pray'rs and hopes of your poetic friend;
he does not palaces nor manors crave,


would be no lord, but less a lord would have:
the ground he holds, if he his can can call,
he quarrels not with Heaven because 't is small
and toilsome greatness others please,
he loves of homely littleness the ease:
can any man in gilded rooms attend,
and his dear hours in humble visits spend,
when in the fresh and beauteous fields he may
with various healthful pleasures fill the day?
if there be man, ye gods! I ought to hate,
dependence and attendance be his fate;
still let him busy be, and in a crowd,
and very much a slave, and very proud :
thus he, perhaps, pow'rful and rich may grow;
no matter, O ye Gods! that I'll allow;
but let him peace and freedom never see;
let him not love this life who loves not me.


Vis fieri liber? &c,

Would you be free? 'T is your chief wish, you say: come on; I'll shew thee, friend! the certain way. If to no feasts abroad thou lov'st to go,

whilst bounteous God does bread at home bestow; if thou the goodness of thy clothes dost prize, by thine own use, and not by others' eyes;

if, only safe from weathers, thou canst dwell in a small house, but a convenient shell; if thou, without a sigh, or golden wish, canst look upon thy beachen bowl and dish; if in thy mind such pow'r and greatness be, the Persian king's a slave compar'd with thee.


To-morrow you will live, you always cry; in what far country does this morrow lie, that 't is so mighty long e'er it arrive? beyond the Indies does this morrow live? 't is so far-fetch'd this morrow, that I fear 't will be both very old and very dear. To-morrow I will live, the fool does say; to-day itself's too late; the wise liv'd yesterday.


Vitam quæ faciunt beatiorum, &c.

Since, dearest friend! 'tis your desire to see
a true receipt of happiness from me,
these are the chief ingredients, if not all;
Take an estate neither too great nor small,
which quantum sufficit the doctors call;
let this estate from parents' care descend;
the getting it too much of life does spend.
Take such a ground whose gratitude may
a fair
encouragement for industry:
let constant fires the winter's fury tame,
and let thy kitchens be a vestal flame:
thee to the town let never suit at law,
and rarely, very rarely, busʼness draw:
thy active mind in equal temper keep,


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