1. To the Reader.
Sermons and Epigrams haue a like end,
To improue, to reproue, and to amend:
Some passe without this vse, 'cause they are witty;
And so doe many Sermons, more's the pitty.
2. To the Reader.
Of my small course, poore wares I cannot boast:
Owen and others haue the choyce ingrost:
And if that I on trust haue ta'ne vp any;
Owen hath done so too, and so haue many.
3. Redargution or payd with his owne money.
When Pontius call'd his neighbour, Cuckold Asse,
Being mad to see him blinded, as he was,
His Wife him standing by, repli'd anon:
Fie, Husband, fie, y'are such another man.
Nay, I doe know (quoth Pontius) that there be
Nine more in Towne, in as bad case as he.
Then you know ten, if you (quoth she) say true.
Fye, Husband, fie, what an odde man are you?
4. Catholique, Apostolique Roman faith. To Papists.
If the word Catholique yea truly straine,
To neither of vs doth it appertaine.
Apostolique we dare our selues afford,
And proue it by their practice, and their word.
The now new Roman Faith yee stifly hold,
And brag of it, as if it were the old.
5. To elder Pelagians, more fine later Papists and our refined Arminians.
Though seu'rall wayes you one opinion twine,
'Twixt your conceipts there's but a little line:
For all of you with free-grace are too bold,
With good workes laying on presumptuous hold.
/57/ With your weake works, binding your boundlesse Maker,
Without whome, none can be an vndertaker.
Whilst God tyes vs by Faith to doe good deeds,
You will tye God to you by your fond Creeds.
Satan, that lowres at faithfull, fearefull workes,
Likes your good deed, because he knowes your querks.
At weake, faith-propt, due works Satan doth grieue:
At tip-toe good works, he laughs in his sleeue.
It's God that giues vs grace, and makes vs able,
Hauing all done, we are vnprofitable.
Worke, and worke on with fond credulity,
Mercy with faith is our security.
6. A Chronagram of the yeere wherein Queene Elizabeth dyed, and King Iames came to the Crowne of England: both of blessed memory. Wee MaDe a HappIe Change thIs Yeere. MDCIII.
This yeere of Grace, by Gods especiall grace,
When all our foes expected our disgrace,
God crusht their malice, and allai'd our feare:
We made a happy Change this Present yeere:
A Change we made, but yet no Alteration;
Of former happines a transmigration:
Two froward Sisters long at enmity,
Became the birth-twinnes of Virginity,
From a chaste, vertuous, blessed barren wombe,
From the ill-boding North, our Spring did come;
Whilst many wise foreseeing men did feare,
Who should with quietnes be the next Heire,
Our feares, so sodainly to ioyes did passe,
We cannot well tell in what yeere it was.
This yeere our iust victorious Warre did cease,
And we enjoy'd a fought-for proff'red Peace.
As soone as our wise Debora was gont,
God sent this Land a Peacefull Salomon.
Our warlike Pallas hauing rul'd her dayes,
Apollo came, adorn'd with learned Bayes.
Lastly herein our Chronogram doth hold,
This yeere we chang'd our Siluer into Gold.
/58/ Siluer a female is, Gold masculine:
Good God lengthen, strengthen this golden Lyne.
If any wise man iudge it otherwise,
I may well iudge that Wiseman ouerwise.
7. Of the Great and Famous, euer to bee honoured Knight, Sir Francis Drake, and of my little-little selfe.
The Dragon, that our Seas did raise his Crest,
And brought back heapes of gold vnto his nest,
Vnto his Foes more terrible then Thunder,
Glory of his age, After-ages wonder,
Excelling all those that excell'd before;
It's fear'd we shall haue none such any more;
Effecting all, he sole did vndertake,
Valiant, iust, wise, milde, honest, godly Drake.
This man when I was little, I did meete,
As he was walking vp Tetnes long Street,
He ask'd me whose I was? I answer'd him.
He ask'd me if his good friend were within?
A faire red Orange in his hand he had,
He gaue it me, whereof I was right glad,
Takes and kist me, and prayes, God blesse my boy:
Which I record with comfort to this day.
Could he on me haue breathed with his breath,
His gifts Elias-like, after his death,
Then had I beene enabled for to doe
Many braue things I haue a heart vnto.
I haue as great desire, as e're had hee
To iou; annoy; friends; foes; but 'twill not be.
8. To the right Reuerend Father in God, Ioseph Hall, by Gods especiall prouidence, Lord Bishop of Exceter.
Borne in a Christian new Plantation,
These kneele to you for Confirmation;
To you they come, that you might them adorne:
Their Father in your Diocesse was borne.
9. To the Reuerend and diuinely witty, Iohn Dun, Doctor in Diuinity, Deane of Saint Pauls, London.
As my Iohn Owen (32) Seneca did praise,
So might I for you a like piller raise,
/59/ His Epigrams did nothing want but verse;
You can yours (if you list) that way rehearse:
His were neat, fine, diuine morality;
But yours, pure, faithfull, true Diuinity.
10. Aristotles ten Predicaments, to be reduced into questions, is an excellent rule for examining any busines for matter of iustice. To the hopefull and right worthy young Gentleman, Thomas Smith of Long-Ashton in the County of Sommerset, Esq.
1 2 3
The thing, how much, conditions of the men,
4 5 6
For what cause, what was done, who suffer'd then,
7 8 9 10
Where, when; their postures, how clad, foule, or cleane.
11. Their vse.
Who hath power of examinations,
If he desire to finde out guilty ones,
Let him reduce these into questions.
So if to finde out truth, be his intent,
Before that all these questions be spent,
The guilty's brought in a Predicament.
12. The cause of Dedication.
Strange not, that I these Lines to you haue sent;
I know, your worth will make you eminent.
Grace, Wisedome, Learning, Vertue, you haue store;
Were you not modest, I could say much more.
13. To the Reuerend, Learned, and Iudicious, Thomas Worall, Doctor in Diuinity, and Chapalme to the right Reue. Father in God, George, L. Bishop of London. Of my reprehending Epigrams.
It is for one of your gifts, and your place,
To looke bold-staring-black-sinne in the face,
To wound, and launce with the two-edged blade,
To clense, and heale those wounds that you haue made:
Yet suffer me, with my sharp-merry pinne,
To prick the blisters of some itching sinne.
And though Diuines, iustly loose Rymes condemne,
My tart, smart, chiding Lines doe not contemne.
/60/ 14. To the Reuerend, my worthy ingenious friend, Mr. Abel Louering, one of the Preachers of the Word of God at Bristoll. Of my commending Epigrams.
Those I commend, you would commend them too,
If you did know them truely, as I doe.
Preachers like you, may praise men at their ends,
Laymen like me, may praise wise-liuing friends.
15. To a Reuerend and witty friend.
Since few yeeres studying hath improu'd your wit,
That for the place you hold, you are held fit,
When you preach, you preach sweetly and compleat,
And other things you doe, smooth, witty, neate.
What place in Church would you not fitly hallow;
If you your study soberly would follow?
16. Of Epigrams.
Short Epigrams rellish both sweet and sowre,
Like Fritters of sowre Apples, and sweet flowre.
17. To the wise and Learned Sir Iohn Stradling, Knight Baronet, the Author of diuers Diuine Heroicall printed Poems.
Robert Fitz-Heman drew your Ancestor
To Wales, to be his fellow Conqueror.
And Robert Hayman would draw all your worth,
If he true knowledge had, to lymme it forth.
Wise Sir, I know you not, but by relation,
Sauing in this, which spreads your reputation:
Your high diuine sweet straines Poeticall.
Which crownes, adornes your noble vertues all.
Therein to dight a full Feast, you are able,
Whilst I fit Fritters for Apollo's Table.
18. To Master Beniamin Iohnson, Witty Epigramma- tist, and most excellent Poet.
My Epigrams come after yours in time;
So doe they in conceipt, in forme, in Ryme;
My wit's in fault, the fault is none of mine:
For if my will could haue inspir'd my wit,
There neuer had beene better Verses writ,
As good as yours, could I haue ruled it.
/61/ 19. To one of my neate Readers.
Thou say'st, my are Verses rude, ragged, rough,
Not like some others Rymes, smooth, dainty stuffe.
Epigrams are like Satyres, rough without,
Like Chessnuts, sweet, take thou the kernall out. Satyres.
20. To the acute Satyrist, Master George Wither.
The efficient cause of Satyres, are things bad,
Their matter, sharpe reproofes, instructions sad,
Their forme sowre, short, seuere, sharp, roughly clad:
Their end is that amendment may be had.
21. To the same Mr. George Wither, of his owne Satyres.
What cause you had, this veine too high to straine,
I know not, but I know, it caus'd your paine;
Which causeth others wisely to refraine:
Yet let some good cause draw you on againe.
You strip and whip th'ill manners of the times
So hansomely, that all delight your Rymes.
22. To my right worthy friend, Mr. Michael Drayton, whose vnwearied old Muse still produceth dainties.
When I was young, I did delight your lines,
I haue admyr'd them since my iudging times:
Your younger muse plai'd many a dainty fit,
And your old muse doth hold out stoutly yet.
Though my old muse durst passe through frost and snow,
In warres your (33) old muse dares her Colours shew.
23. To my worthy and learned good friend, Mr. Iohn Vicars, who hath translated part of Mr. Owens Epigrams.
Who hath good words, and a warme brooding pate,
Shall easier hatch neate new things, then translate:
He that translates, must walke as others please:
Writing our owne, we wander may at ease.
24. To my good friend, Mr. T.B. Vintner, at the signe of the Sunne in Milke-street.
Bacchus desiring an auspicious signe,
Vnder which he might sell his choysest wine,
Desiring much to choose one of the seuen
Celestiall Planets, reel'd one night to heauen,
/62/ He found old Bent-brow'd Saturne melancholly,
Ioue stern, Mars stout, Uenus repleat with folly,
Sly Mercury full of Loquacity,
And Luna troubled with vnconstancy:
Disliking these, he middle Sol espy'd,
Who vnto sober drinkers is a guide:
He liking this, in (34) uia Lactea plaste it,
And with his best wines, he hath e're since graste it,
And finding you no Brewer, as your due,
He doth commit the charge thereof to You.
27. To a Friend, who asked me why I doe not compose some particular Epigrams to our most gracious King, as my Friend Iohn Owen did to his famous Father, King IAMES of blessed memorie.
Thou ask'st, Why I doe not spinne out my wit,
In silken threds, and fine, smooth, neat lines fit,
In speciall Epigrams to our wise King?
All these my selfe I dedicate to him.
Its all too coorse, what my wit can weaue forth,
To wrap the little finger of his worth.
28. Sinnes short Grammar.
To my louing Cousin Master Iohn Gunning the younger, of Bristoll Merchant.
Sinnes easie Grammar, our Grandmother Eue
To her sinfull posteritie did leaue.
In Speach are eight parts, in sinne there are seuen,
We may put Satan in, to make them euen.
Satan a Noune.
Satan, Sins grandfather, stands as a Noune,
To all ill things giuing an ill renowne,
Inticing mildly; Roaring if withstood.
Being thereby felt, heard, and vnderstood.
Sloth, a Pronounne.
Sloth is a Pronoune: Idle men in name
Are men, but otherwise a sencelesse shame.
Sloth is the Deuils best sonne Primitiue,
/63/ And from him most sinnes doe themselues deriue.
Anger, A Uerbe.
Anger a Verbe is, for at euery word,
His Actiue and his Passiue spleen is stir'd,
In Mood and Tense declined is this sinne,
Moody it is, at all times full of spleene.
Couetousnesse, a Participle.
Couetousnes may be sinnes participle,
To helpe himselfe, from each one takes a little,
With euery Sinne he will Participate,
So he thereby may better his estate.
Pride, an Aduerbe.
Pride is an Aduerbe, if you'll take his word,
Nor Heauen, nor Earth the like thing doth afford.
In his conceit he is the thing alone,
He holds himselfe beyond Comparison.
Lust, a Coniunction.
Lust is a lawlesse, lewde Coniunction,
For Lust desires not to act sinne alone:
So ioyning sinnes his sinfull dayes dost waste,
Vntill they joyne him with the Deuill at last.
Enuie, a Preposition.
Enuie may be Sinnes Preposition,
'Gainst things well compos'd shewing opposition.
Ablatiues, and Accusatiues hee'll chuse
For he loues to Detract, and to Accuse.
Gluttony, an Interiection.
Gluttony is an Interiection,
Into his paunch all his delights are throwne.
As nothing but good bits, can make him glad,
So only want of them, can make him sad.
O God! in what bad Case are we declin'd?
Since thou in euery Case our sinnes maist find,
In Nominatiue, by furious Appellations,
In Genitiue, by spurious generations.
In Datiue, by corrupting briberie.
In the Accusatiue, by calumnie.
In Vocatiue, by grudging, and exclayming.
In Ablatiue, by cooz'ning, rape, and stealing.
Number, and Gender.
Singular sinnes, and Plurall we commit,
And we in euery Gender varie it.
Our Single sinnes are wicked cogitations,
Our Plurall, Ryots, Combinations
Against thee, Lord, and thy Anointed ones.
Out Masculine, first sin's vxoriousnes,
Our Feminine, to sin's sleights yeeldingnes,
Our Neuter sinne, is cold neutralitie,
Common of two, too common Venerie.
Thrice Common we commit sinnes against Three;
Against our selues, our Neighbours, against Thee.
Doubtfull is our Dissimulation.
In all sinnes, Hees and Shees take delectation.
Thus we in Sinne vse regularilitie,
Whil'st Wee with Grace haue no Congruitie.
29. To lashing, fault-finding Zoilus.
I know, thou wilt end, as thou hast begunne:
Put vp thy Rod (great whipper) I haue done.
30. To the ineffable, indiuiduall, euer blessed Trinity in Vnity.
To one in three, three in one be all praise,
For planting in me, this small bud of Bayes.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem