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AN EPIGRAM TO THE HOUSEHOLD.

1630.

What can the cause be, when the king hath given His poet sack, the household will not pay? Are they so scanted in their store? or driven For want of knowing the poet, to say him nay? Well, they should know him, would the king. but grant

His poet leave to sing his household true; He'd frame such ditties of their store and want, Would make the very Greencloth to look blue: And rather wish in their expense of sack, So the allowance from the king to use, As the old bard should no canary lack;

"Twere better spare a butt, than spill his muse. For in the genius of a poet's verse,

The king's fame lives.

tierce! 105

Go now, deny his

EPIGRAM TO A FRIEND AND SON.

Son, and my friend, I had not called you so
To me, or been the same to you, if show,
Profit, or chance had made us; but I know
What, by that name, we each to other owe,
Freedom and truth; with love from those begot:
Wise-crafts, on which the flatterer ventures not.

105 This epigram is said to have given offence to the Board of Greencloth; and it is added that Jonson did not get his tierce of wine, to which he was entitled as part of the perquisites of his office of laureate, till he had written another epigram in a more subdued tone.

His is more safe commodity, or none,
Nor dares he come in the comparison.
But as the wretched painter, who so ill
Painted a dog, that now his subtler skill
Was, t' have a boy stand with a club, and fright
All live dogs from the lane, and his shop's sight,
Till he had sold his piece, drawn so unlike:
So doth the flatterer with far cunning strike
At a friend's freedom, prove all circling means
To keep him off; and howsoe'er he gleans
Some of his forms, he lets him not come near
Where he would fix, for the distinction's fear.
For as at distance few have faculty

To judge, so all men coming near can spy;
Though now of flattery, as of picture, are
More subtle works, and finer pieces far,
Than knew the former ages; yet to life
All is but web and painting; be the strife
Never so great to get them, and the ends,
Rather to boast rich hangings, than rare friends.

TO THE IMMORTAL MEMORY AND FRIENDSHIP
OF THAT NOBLE PAIR, SIR LUCIUS CARY AND
SIR HENRY MORISON.106

I.

THE TURN.

Brave infant of Saguntum, clear
Thy coming forth in that great year,

106 Sir Lucius Cary, better known to modern readers as the gallant Lord Falkland who fell at the battle of Naseby,

When the prodigious Hannibal did crown with razing your immortal town.

His rage,

Thou, looking then about,
Ere thou wert half got out,

Wise child, didst hastily return,

And mad'st thy mother's womb thine urn. How summed a circle didst thou leave mankind Of deepest lore, could we the centre find!

THE COUNTER-TURN.

Did wiser Nature draw thee back,

From out the horror of that sack,

Where shame, faith, honor, and regard of right, Lay trampled on? the deeds of death and night, Urged, hurried forth, and hurled

Upon th' affrighted world;

Sword, fire, and famine, with fell fury met,
And all on utmost ruin set;

As, could they but life's miseries foresee,
No doubt all infants would return like thee.

was married to Letice, a sister of Sir Henry Morison. An early attachment appears to have grown up between these young men, who were two of the poet's most cherished "adopted sons." Sir Henry did not live to witness the marriage of his friend with his sister, and Falkland himself perished in the thirty-fourth year of his age. In some of the editions this poem is entitled "A Pindaric Ode," of which it is a perfect example; but as Jonson himself did not give it that title, it is not introduced into the text. The reader need scarcely be reminded that the terms "turn," "counter-turn," and "stand," prefixed to the stanzas, are merely the equivalents of the "strophe," "antistrophe," and "epode." - B.

THE STAND.

For what is life, if measured by the space
Not by the act?

Or masked man, if valued by his face,

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And told forth fourscore years;

He vexed time, and busied the whole state; Troubled both foes and friends,

But ever to no ends.

What did this stirrer but die late?

How well at twenty had he fallen or stood!
For three of his fourscore he did no good.

II.

THE TURN.

He entered well, by virtuous parts,

Got up, and thrived with honest arts;

He purchased friends, and fame, and honors.

then,

And had his noble name advanced with men: But weary of that flight,

He stooped in all men's sight

To sordid flatteries, acts of strife,
And sunk in that dead sea of life

So deep, as he did then death's waters sup,
But that the cork of title buoyed him up.

THE COUNTER-TURN.

Alas! but Morison fell young:

He never fell, — thou fall'st, my tongue.

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He stood a soldier to the last right end.
A perfect patriot, and a noble friend;
But most, a virtuous son.

All offices were done

By him, so ample, full, and round,
In weight, in measure, number, sound,
As, though his age imperfect might appear,
His life was of humanity the sphere.

THE STAND.

Go now, and tell out days summed up with fears,
And make them years;

Produce thy mass of miseries on the stage,
To swell thine age;

Repeat of things a throng,

To show thou hast been long,

Not lived for life doth her great actions spell, By what was done and wrought

In season, and so brought

To light: her measures are, how well

Each syllable answered, and was formed, how fair;

These make the lines of life, and that's her air!

III.

THE TURN.

It is not growing like a tree

In bulk, doth make man better be;

Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,

To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear;

A lily of a day

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