David F. Gladish (ed.), Sir William Davenant's Gondibert

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TOSir WILLIAM D'AVENANT,Upon his two first Books of GONDIBERT,Finish'd before his Voyage to America

  • Methinks Heroick Poesy till now,
  • Like some fantastique Fairy-land did show;
  • Gods, Devils, Nymphs, Witches, and Giants race,
  • And all but Man, in Mans best Work had place.
  • Thou like some worthy Knight, with sacred Arms
  • Dost drive the Monsters thence, and end the Charms:
  • In stead of those, dost Men and Manners plant,
  • The things which that rich soyl did chiefly want.
  • But even thy Mortals doe their Gods excell,
  • Taught by thy Muse to Fight and Love so well.
  •  By fatall hands whilst present Empires fall,
  • Thine from the grave past Monarchies recall.
  • So much more thanks from human kinde does merit
  • The Poets Fury, then the Zelots Spirit.
  • And from the grave thou mak'st this Empire rise,
  • Not like some dreadfull Ghost t'affright our Eyes,
  • But with more beauty and triumphant state,
  • Then when it crown'd at proud Verona sate.
  • So will our God re-build Mans perish'd frame,
  • And raise him up much better, yet the same:
  • So God-like Poets doe past things rehearse,
  • Not change, but heighten Nature with their Verse.
  •  With shame me thinks great Italy must see
  • Her Conqu'rors call'd to life again by thee;
  • pg 271Call'd by such powerfull Arts, that ancient Rome
  • May blush no less to see her Wit o'rcome.
  • Some men their Fancies like their Faiths derive;
  • And count all ill but that which Rome does give;
  • The marks of Old and Catholick would finde;
  • To the same Chair would Truth and Fiction binde.
  • Thou in these beaten paths disdain'st to tread,
  • And scorn'st to Live by robbing of the Dead.
  • Since Time does all things change, thou thinkst not fit
  • This latter Age should see all new, but Wit.
  • Thy Fancy, like a Flame, her way does make;
  • And leaves bright tracks for following Pens to take.
  • Sure 'twas this noble boldness of the Muse
  • Did thy desire to seek new Worlds infuse;
  • And ne'r did Heaven so much a Voyage bless,
  • If thou canst Plant but there with like success.
  • ab. cowley

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