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POEMS

OF

JOHN DRYDEN.

ELEGIES AND EPITAPHS.

UPON THE

DEATH OF LORD HASTINGS.

1649.

MUST noble Hastings immaturely die,
The honour of his ancient family;
Beauty and learning thus together meet,
To bring a winding for a wedding-sheet?
Must Virtue prove Death's harbinger? must she,
With him expiring, feel mortality?

Is death, sin's wages, grace's now ? shall art
Make us more learned, only to depart?

If merit be disease, if virtue death;

To be good, not to be; who'd then bequeath
Himself to discipline? who'd not esteem
Labour a crime? study self-murder deem?

Our noble youth now have pretence to be
Dunces securely, ignorant healthfully. [praise,
Rare linguist! whose worth speaks itself, whose
Though not his own, all tongues besides do raise,
Than whom great Alexander may seem less,
Who conquer'd men, but not their languages.
In his mouth nations spake; his tongue might be
Interpreter to Greece, France, Italy.

His native soil was the four parts o' the' earth;
All Europe was too narrow for his birth.
A young apostle, and, with reverence may
I speak 't, inspired with gift of tongues as they.
Nature gave him a child, what men in vain
Oft strive, by art though further'd, to obtain,
His body was an orb, his sublime soul
Did move on virtue's and on learning's pole ;
Whose regular motions better to our view
Than Archimedes' sphere, the heavens did shew.
Graces and virtues, languages and arts,
Beauty and learning, fill'd up all the parts.
Heaven's gifts, which do like falling stars appear
Scatter'd in others, all, as in their sphere,
Were fix'd, conglobate in his soul; and thence
Shone through his body with sweet influence;
Letting their glories so on each limb fall,
The whole frame render'd was celestial.
Come, learned Ptolemy, and trial make
If thou this hero's altitude canst take:
But that transcends thy skill; thrice happy all,
Could we but prove thus astronomical.
Lived Tycho now, struck with this ray which shone
More bright i' the' morn than others beam at noon,
He'd take his astrolabe, and seek out here
What new star 'twas did gild our hemisphere.

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