To the Lord Protector. 1654 by Ralph Bathurst

Great Sir,
Though all are statesmen now, and ’tis the guise
These times have taught, not to be wits but wise;
Though plays be down, and our more serious age
Acts all in earnest on a wider stage:
‘Tis yet, we hope, no trespass that we dare
Usurp a verse, and sing the good we share.
So when Augustus, with his warlike hand,
Had brought home triumphs both by sea and land,
And, Janus’ temple shut, now conquer’d more
By arts of peace, than seats of arms before;
Then swarms of poets came, and made him known,
Deckt by their bays, no less than by his own:
As if one sacred heat did first incite
Him to atchieve great acts, next them to write.
And thus much we have done, only to show,
We can be poets, when you make us so.

From: Bathurst, Ralph and Warton, Thomas (ed.), The Life and Literary Remains of Ralph Bathurst, M.D. Dean of Wells, and President of Trinity College in Oxford, 1761, R. and J. Dodsley: London, p. 290.

Date: 1654

By: Ralph Bathurst (1620-1704)


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