Posts tagged ‘1676’

Friday, 20 January 2017

Prologue to “The Man of Mode or, Sir Fopling Flutter – A Comedy” by Carr Scrope

Like dancers on the ropes poor poets fare,
Most perish young, the rest in danger are;
This, one would think, should make our authors wary,
But, gamester like, the giddy fools miscarry.
A lucky hand or two so tempts ’em on,
They cannot leave off play till they’re undone.
With modest fears a muse does first begin,
Like a young wench newly enticed to sin;
But tickled once with praise, by her good will,
The wanton fool would never more lie still.
’Tis an old mistress you’ll meet here to-night,
Whose charms you once have look’d on with delight;
But now of late such dirty drabs have known ye,
A muse o’th’ better sort’s ashamed to own ye.
Nature well drawn, and wit, must now give place
To gaudy nonsense and to dull grimace:
Nor is it strange that you should like so much
That kind of wit, for most of yours is such.
But I’m afraid that while to France we go,
To bring you home fine dresses, dance, and show,
The stage, like you, will but more foppish grow.
Of foreign wares why should we fetch the scum
When we can be so richly served at home?
For, heaven be thank’d, ’tis not so wise an age
But your own follies may supply the stage.
Though often plough’d, there’s no great fear the soil
Should barren grow by the too frequent toil,
While at your doors are to be daily found
Such loads of dunghill to manure the ground.
’Tis by your follies that we players thrive,
As the physicians by diseases live;
And as each year some new distemper reigns,
Whose friendly poison helps t’increase their gains,
So among you there starts up every day
Some new unheard-of fool for us to play.
Then for your own sakes be not too severe,
Nor what you all admire at home, damn here:
Since each is fond of his own ugly face,
Why should you, when we hold it, break the glass?

From: Etherege, Sir George, The Man of Mode or, Sir Fopling Flutter – A Comedy by George Etherege 1676, 2009, Eithin Acting Edition, p. 3.
(http://www.eithin.com/texts/The_Man_of_Mode.pdf)

Date: 1676

By: Carr Scrope (1649-1680)

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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Parting by John Oldham

Too happy had I been indeed, if fate
Had made it lasting, as she made it great;
But ’twas the plot of unkind destiny,
To lift me to, then snatch me from my joy:
She raised my hopes, and brought them just in view,
And then, in spite, the charming scene withdrew.
So he of old the promised land surveyed,
Which he might only see, but never tread:
So heaven was by that damned caitiff seen,
He saw’t, but with a mighty gulf between,
He saw’t, to be more wretched and despair again.
Not souls of dying sinners, when they go,
Assured of endless miseries below,
Their bodies more unwillingly desert,
Than I from you, and all my joys did part.
As some young merchant, whom his sire unkind
Resigns to every faithless wave and wind,
If the kind mistress of his vows appear.
And come to bless his voyage with a prayer,
Such sighs he vents as may the gale increase,
Such floods of tears as may the billows raise;
And when at length the launching vessel flies,
And severs first his lips, and then his eyes,
Long he looks back to see what he adores,
And, while he may, views the belovèd shores
Such just concern I at your parting had,
With such sad eyes your turning face surveyed:
Reviewing, they pursued you out of sight,
Then sought to trace you by left tracks of light;
And when they could not looks to you convey
Towards the loved place they took delight to stray,
And aimed uncertain glances still that way.

From: Oldham, John and Bell, Robert (ed.), The Poems of John Oldham, Edited with a Memoir by Robert Bell, 1871, Charles Griffin and Co: London, p. 47.
(https://archive.org/stream/poemsofjohnoldha00oldh#page/46/mode/2up)

Date: 1676

By: John Oldham (1653-1683)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Retirement by Charles Cotton

Stanzes Irreguliers, to Mr. Izaak Walton.

Farewell, thou busy world! and may
We never meet again!
Here I can eat, and sleep, and pray,
And do more good in one short day
Than he who his whole age out-wears
Upon the most conspicuous theatres,
Where nought but vanity and vice appears.

Good God! how sweet are all things here!
How beautiful the fields appear!
How cleanly do we feed and lie!
Lord! what good hours do we keep!
How quietly we sleep!
What peace, what unanimity!
How innocent from the lewd fashion
Is all our business, all our recreation!

Oh, how happy here’s our leisure!
Oh, how innocent our pleasure!
Oh, ye vallies, Oh ye mountains!
Oh, ye groves, and crystal fountains,
How I love at liberty,
By turns, to come and visit ye!

Dear solitude, the soul’s best friend,
That man, acquainted with himself dost make,
And all his Maker’s wonders t’intend:
With thee I here converse at will,
And would be glad to do so still,
For it is thou, alone, that keep’st the soul awake.

How calm and quiet a delight
Is it, alone,
To read, and meditate, and write,
By none offended, and offending none?
To walk, ride, sit, or sleep at one’s own ease!
And, pleasing a man’s self, none other to displease.

O my beloved nymph, fair Dove;
Princess of rivers, how I love
Upon thy flow’ry banks to lie;
And view thy silver stream,
When gilded by a summer’s beam!
And in it, all thy wanton fry,
Playing at liberty:
And, with my angle, upon them
The all of treachery
I ever learnt, industriously to try.

Such streams Rome’s yellow Tyber cannot show,
The Iberian Tagus, or Ligurian Po;
The Maese, the Danube, and the Rhine,
Are puddle-water all, compar’d with thine:
And Loire’s pure streams yet too polluted are
With thine, much purer, to compare:
The rapid Garonne, and the winding Seine,
Are both too mean,
Beloved Dove, with thee
To vie priority;
Nay, Tame and Isis, when conjoin’d submit,
And lay their trophies at thy silver feet.

O my beloved rocks! that rise
To awe the earth and brave the skies,
From some aspiring mountain’s crown,
How dearly do I love,
Giddy with pleasure, to look down;
And, from the vales, to view the noble heights above!
O my beloved caves! from dog-star’s heat
And all anxieties, my safe retreat:
What safety, privacy, what true delight,
In the artificial night,
Your gloomy entrails make,
Have I taken, do I take!
How oft when grief has made me fly,
To hide me from society
Ev’n of my dearest friends, have I,
In your recesses’ friendly shade,
All my sorrows open laid,
And my most secret woes intrusted to your privacy!

Lord! would men let me alone,
What an over-happy one
Should I think myself to be;
Might I, in this desert place,
(Which most men in discourse disgrace,)
Live but undisturb’d and free!
Here, in this despis’d recess,
Would I, maugre winter’s cold,
And the summer’s worst excess,
Try to live-out to sixty full years old;
And, all the while,
Without an envious eye
On any thriving under fortune’s smile,
Contented live, and, then, contented die.

From: Walton, Izaak, Cotton, Charles and Hawkins, John, The Complete Angler, or Contemplative Man’s Recreation: Being a Discourse on Rivers, Fish-Ponds, Fish, and Fishing. In Two Parts: The First Written by Mr. Izaak Walton, the Second by Charles Cotton, Esq. with the Lives of the Authors: And Notes, Historical, Supplementary, and Explanatory, by Sir John Hawkins, Knt. and the Present Editor, 1815, Samuel Bagster: London, pp. 399-401.
(http://books.google.com.au/books?id=MR4tAAAAYAAJ)

Date: 1676

By: Charles Cotton (1630-1687)

Friday, 11 July 2014

A Mouse, Whose Martial Valour Has So Long by Samuel Butler

A Mouse, whose martial valour has so long
Ago been try’d, and by old Homer sung,
And purchas’d him more everlasting glory
Than all his Grecian and his Trojan story,
Though he appears unequal match’d, I grant,
In bulk and stature by the Elephant,
Yet frequently has been observed in battle
To have reduc’d the proud and haughty cattle,
When, having boldly enter’d the redoubt,
And storm’d the dreadful outwork of his snout,
The little vermin, like an errant knight,
Has slain the huge gigantic beast in fight.

From: Butler, Samuel, The Poetical Works of Samuel Butler. Volume II, 1835, Willliam Pickering: London,p. 155.
(https://archive.org/stream/poeticalbutler02butluoft#page/154/mode/2up)

Date: 1676

By: Samuel Butler (1612-1680)