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THE SEVENTH BOOK OF JOHN OWEN’’S EPIGRAMS
1. A JOVE PRINCIPIUM. BEGIN IN GOD
God’s the beginning, i’ th’ beginning’s God,
Before and after, without Period,
Without beginning the beginning: From
This sole beginning all beginnings come.
2. TO THE READER
I publish’d former Books with Verses clad,
I, to the former this, not naked add.
If more remain, they better will appear,
Kind Reader thou dost hope, but I do fear.
3. TO CHARLES, DUKE OF YORK
The Kings, the Kingdoms next Hope-Happiness,
Great Charles, yet then the Prince of Camb’ra less: (Wales
Thy Tutors Counsel use, thee which instruct:
Sage-sane advice, a Duke will safe conduct.
Be like thy Father, Second to thy Brother;
Thy Second, or thy like will be none other.
4. THE ART OF MEMORY
Simonides invented Mem’ries Art,
But th’ Art of Wit none yet, in whole or part.
5. THINGS, NAMES AND WORDS
God all things did Create, Man gave then Names,
Woman gave words: But word for word inflames.
6. REDEMPTION AND REGENERATION
Satan from Eve bought Man, Christ man re-bought:
Adam did death procure, the cure Christ wrought.
7. THE PRAISE OF LIBERALITY
A Gift’s eternal, follows him that gives;
The Giver and Receiver It relieves.
8. OXFORD’S NEW LIBRARY, TO THE READERS, 1610
Authors seek ye? Ready, before your Eyes,
Each Classick Author in his Classis crys: (Classification
Of this great Work, scarce parallel’d on Earth,
Seek ye the Founder? Bodley gave it birth.
9. TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
No Library there is with thine that dare
Compare, nor with thy Wits that can compare.
10. TO QUEEN ANNE
Sister, Wife, Mother, Daughter of a King,
Queen Anne: What greater Titles can we bring?
For Vertues thou with these four Titles hast:
What canst thou to thy Vertues add at last?
11. TO ELIZABETH THE KINGS DAUGHTER
Born of a Kingly, long continu’d Line,
A King, a Caesar meriting for thine:
Shouldst for an Husband stay, who could out-vie
Thy worth, thou mightst a Virgin live and die.
12. SPEECH AND WRITING
Mute Hand’s the speaking Tongues Interpreter,
As speaking Tongue’s the mute Hearts messenger.
13. A NEW MAN
Depel, Dispel that old-grown Man of Sin, (Put off, discard
And, with the new Man, a new life begin.
14. AN HEALTHFUL ANAGRAM
I wish much Health, but drink no Health to thee:
Better’s a dry, than drunken Health for me.
15. THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT
It was not sole an Apple, It was worse,
Adam bought Sins Original, the Curse.
16.THE CALENDS OF JANUARY
Greeks and Gift-giver, Tros thus saith, I fear:
Who’s Greek? The Poor. Who Tros? The Usurer.
17 .OF ALCON
Alcon wants credit, he will credit none;
All credit him; His credit then’s not gone.
18. TO ROBERT CAREY, KNIGHT, GOVERNOUR OF CHARLES, DUKE OF YORK
Great Queen Elisa, in Alliance nigh
Unto thy Parent, grac’d thy family;
The King of Britains Son thy Pupil is;
That’s th’ Honour of thy Kind, of thy Mind, this.
Vertue by good Example’s taught and learn’d:
In teaching me, my Teacher is concern’d.
20. A DOUBLE MEDIUM
Th’ Earth in the middle stands, yet low doth lie:
And Vertue’s in the midst, yet soareth high.
21. N. O.
N leads, O follows: Nothing’s more Old than All:
For God of Nothing made what th’ Orb we call.
22. TO JAMES FULLERTON, KNIGHT, GOVERNOUR OF CHARLES, DUKE OF YORK
Learn’d Fullerton, the credit of thy Nation,
Thou the Kings Son hath in thine Education;
And that the Son may like his Father move,
Thy Labour that, thine Honour this will prove.
23. HOLINESS, HEALTHFULNESS
All with long Life, few to live well endeavour:
Wouldst thou live long? Live well, and live forever.
24. SHEEP AND GOATS
The Goats climb Rocks, and Promontories steep,
The lower Ground depasture flocks of Sheep:
’Tis so now, but it will not still be so,
The Sheep on high, the Goats belong shall go.
25. A SHIP
The Stern’s the Train, Bulk Belly, Bill the Prore;
The Sayls are Wings; Ships sayl, as Birds do soar.
26. TO THOMAS MURREY, TUTOR TO CHARLES, DUKE OF YORK
If Jacobines be the Kings Friends, I will
My self a Jacobine acknowledge still:
If Scotists be the Regal favourites,
I will a Scotist be by days, by nights:
Learn’d Thomas, thou me Thomist mak’st to be,
And Scotist, thou Scotch-Britain makest me.
27. BLOOD NOT VERTUE
Vertue, than Blood, ’twas said, is more preclare: (Distinguished
But Blood is better than all Vertues are:
Blood better is than Vertue: Not by Merits,
But by thy Blood, O Christ, man Heaven inherits.
28. THE SUN, AND TIME
The Sun is swift, but th’ Hour’s more swift: The Sun
Sometime stood still,* but th’ Hour that time did run.
* Josh. 10.12
29. THE BLOOD
I’m Crude, call’d Blood: A circled course I keep,
And Snake-like through the bodies Veins I creep.
30. OF PANNICUS, A RICH FOOL
Fortune doth favour Fools: Or credit me,
Or else believe thy Self, thou then shalt see.
Perspicuous Brevity doth please in chief:
In words, which things concern’d contain, be brief.
32. THE TOMB OF JOHN PUCKERINGE, KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL
This Tomb presents three Brothers, Sisters five,
One Sister’s dead, one Brother’s yet alive.
No wonder, Homer, former was of Lyes;
His Ears were his Informers, not his Eyes.
’Tis ask’d, why men Erasmus thee do call?
If Mouse, I was the best, or none at all.
35. A LTTLE, NOTHING; TOO MUCH, ENOUGH
The Poor have little, Beggars that are common,
Have nothing, rich too much, enough hath no man.
36. TO HENRY WOTTON, KNIGHT, THE KINGS EMBASSADOUR, &c., 1612
In dubious things thou didst remember me,
In serious, though late, I think on thee:
At Venice at Sabbaudies* for our King
Thou Legate wert, fair Winds thee back did bring.
The King must pay thee what he thee doth owe,
’Tis secret when: But that he will I know.
* A Town between France and Germany.
37. FORSEE THINE END
Mans death, not birth declares his bane, or bliss:
None bless’d before his death, nor wretched is.
38. THE POLAR SABBATH. TO THE POLARS
One day, one Night, doth your whole year display:
So that your Seventh year ’s your seventh day.
39. TO THE DESIRERS OF THE SALICK LAW
In Frence the Virile Law sets men at the Helm,
The female Distaff must not rule the Realm.
Would ye the Salick Law should here come in,
O Britains? Be robust: at home begin.
40. TO WALTER GWYN
That I no Disticks in thy praise design,
It is because thine better are than mine.
41. IRUS AND CROESUS EPITAPH
Croesus and Irus thus are different,
Both dead, that hath, this hath no Monument.
42. THE INTER-CALAR MONTH, 1612
Why February sole each fourth year grows?
’Cause ’tis the least month from the Moon that flows.
43. OF FAELIX
Rich, while alive, thou wert, now dead, poor art:
Wishing with Lazarus a place, a part.
44. TEN PRINCIPLES
One Substance doth nine Categors* confine,
As one Apollo doth the Muses nine.
* Predicaments in Logick.
A Creature born i’ th’ dark, Rude, Infant, Child,
Unt’ Oxford sent, will soon a man be stil’d.
46. TO SAMUEL DANIEL, POET
A Pen thy right Hand, Sword thy left doth follow:
Mars is Sinister, Dexter’s thine Apollo.
47. LOVER OF TRUTH. TO PAULUS
Fond Novelties, sottish Antiquities
Me please not, truth is all I praise-I prize:
I follow neither new, nor old: ’Tis true:
But Truth I love, whether ’tis old, nor new.
Long Grass in valleys, short on Mountains grows:
Low minds more Wisdome have, than lofty Brows:
A Mind’s a Mount, whose Top’s a Type of Wit,
Each Top is bare, and Type is like unt’ it.
49. THREE SELF-LOVERS
I next my self, and thou, my self art next;
What hinders, but that he should be context? (Woven to himself
50. SAINT MARKS FESTIVAL. TO MARIANUS, A SHEPHEARD
Why marks Saint Mark’s day Sheep, not Goats? Tell why?
Sheep Shall hereafter live, when Goats shall die.
51. TO DINDIMUS
Devouring time devoureth all that’s our:
But thou mispending time, dost time devour.
52. OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. A DOUBLE PARADOX
Heav’ns Motion errs not, erring is th’ Earth’s Station,
Fast, stedfast though, yet full of Variation.
Trod under foot, Plough’d, Harrow’d ev’ry Morn,
Poor Earth, while I am Earth, I shall be torn.
53. THE YEAR
Sparing, Summer, Autumn, Winter, make the year:
Autumn doth Summer, Spring doth Winter chear.
54. A CLIENT
Hast care to cure, and to secure thy Cause?
Incline then, Client, to thy Lawyers Laws.
55. OF THE COVETOUS
Shooes wider than thy Feet thou wilt not have;
Why then more Wealth than’s fit, or needs, dost crave?
I will, or must be patient, hoping still:
All things by this I suffer can, or will.
57. THE SERPENT, EVE, ADAM
The Serpent, not deceiv’d, deceiv’d poor Eve;
Adam deceiv’d not, but he did believe
His Wife, and was deceiv’d: The Womans fault
Was Active, Passive: Catch’d her self, she caught.
58. THE SWAN
When Fates me call, the Rivers Bank close by,
I sweetly sing my Requiem, and die.
59. TO POLYDORE
The Dative case than Ablative is better;
The Taker to the Giver is a Debtor.
Ah, th’ Ablative doth here too long remain,
When will the Dative case return again?
60. TO ALDINUS
Unhappy Servant of two Masters thou,
This Nothing doth, that Nothing hath t’ allow.
61. A THREE-FOLD CONTINECY
Lest ill thou seest, or hear’st, thy Windows close:
Lest ill thou speak’st Locks on thy Lips impose.
62. SATURNS THREE SONS
Nummipotent is one, Hell’s President:
Next Amnipotent, third Omnipotent.
63. THE OLD MAN SPEAKS TO THE YOUNG MAN
My Life is short, nor can long time import;
Thy Life seems long; but shortly will be short.
64. OF MY BOOK
Salted at Oxon (youth then) ’tis the Mode; (Oxford
Peppered at Winton (then Child I abode: (Winchester
If this by Book of Salt, or Pepper tast,
First, Winton Pepper gave, Salt Oxon last.
65. TO THEODORE, GODS GIFT, A PHYSICIAN
In Greek and Latine Theodore’s thy Name:
Thy skill in Physick* makes it thrice the same.
* The most high created the Physician, the Most High created Physick out of the Earth. Ecclesiasticus 38. 1.4.
66. OF QUINTUS
At School, A Boy, thou learn’dst four Swearing Adverbs,
Now grown a Man, thou swear’st four thousand Mad Verbs.
67. TO AN ANGRY MAN
Let Anger set, but not rise with the Sun;
Still let it with the Sun t’ Antipodes run.
68. OF A CLOAK AND COAT
Blew Coats, with Sleeves and Badges, yearly new
Here Serving Men did wear, a lazy crew:
Now Cloaks they wear: Why Cloaks? Because they may
Flagons or Capons under Cloaks convey.
Nothing’s here humane, but inhum’d must be;
Earth swallows Earth, but Souls from Earth flee free.
70. OF PONTIUS, A POET
Pont’us on one Foot halts, with th’ other stumbles;
Hexameters, Pentameters he rumbles.
71. OF FABIAN
Do what thou say’st, or say what thou dost do,
But Fabian doth neither of the two.
72. EDITION OF BOOKS
It happens, that when Verses I have penn’d,
Fasting or Full, Edition is their end.
73. GOD LOVES A CHEARFUL GIVER
Regard not what Reward thou giv’st the poor:
God will Regard, and it Reward with more.
74. OF QUINTUS, A RAMIST, HIS FATHERS THIRD SON
As if one Tree bare two bough0s, none beside;
So thou dost all things into Parts divide.
If all thing else should bipartited be,
What of thy Fathers Goods would come to thee?
75. CUPID’S ARMS, BOW AND ARROWS
Offensive not Defensive weapons, why
Doth Cupid use? He conquers all thereby.
76. OF PROSE AND VERSE. A PROBLEME
Why runs a Speech in Verse than Prose more fleet?
Because that wanteth not, this wanteth Feet.
Heaven’s the specious spatious House of God;
All potent Lord, House patent all abroad.
78. ARISTON MEN HYDOR
Water’s made holy for Regeneration:
But ’tis but simply water in Creation.
79. A NEST OF BOXES. SUSCIPIO / SCIPIO / PIO. PYDIXUM TRIAS
I for my Countrey, Fathers, People, I
Adventure dare, said Scipio, to die.
80. OF PONTILIAN
The fawning Dog with wagging Tail doth flatter:
Pontill for want of Tail with’s Tongue doth chatter.
81. WE ARE DUST AND ASHES: HORACE
Let none, though clad with Earth, of Heaven despair;
Nor any, though a Shadow, thin as Air:
Dust is our Flesh, Christ’s body of like Clod:
Our Soul’s a shadow, shadow yet of God.
82. AN AENIGMA
Tell what whole word* in Heaven doth abound,
First Syllable of which** on Earth’s sole found.
* Felicitas [happiness]. ** Gall [fel].
83. A RICH MAN
While I with Wealth, I worse am, and in fine
Greatness to gain, I Goodness do decline.
84. CONVERSION OF PAUL
Thou, lately Saul, art now Saint Paul; Thou late
Didst persecute, but now dost predicate. (Preach
85. RIGHT REASON
That In our times Reason’s o’re rul’d ’tis grief.
’Twere Joy, if Reason might command in chief.
86. TO THOMAS MORREY, TUTOR UNTO CHARLES, DUKE OF YORK
I thee, thy Genius, ingenious head,
Know, read thy Writings worthy to be read:
Thou Doctor-ductor to the Duke, than thee (Guide
None fitter, by the Rules while rul’d is he.
Not forc’d, but by Propensity; What Praise
Hast gain’d, to lead thy Leader in his ways!
87. TO THE HEBREWS
Your Law is your Religion, Faith is ours.
Your want’s to do well, to believe well’s yours.
By this word Hospes Host, and Guest’s exprest:
I am to many, none to me’s a Guest.
Though God’s Infinitie’s dispers’d most clear
Through the whoe World, God yet is sought for there.
90. AN EAGLE
In Temples th’ Eagle sacred Scripture bears,
Now great Jehovah’s Bird, once Jupiter’s.
91. TOBY MATHEW
Thy first Name from th’ old Testament, thy Next
Is from the new; Both Names from sacred Text.
Strange, that a Gentiles name Canonical
Should be, which in the Fount’s Apocryphal
92. ON A PARAPHRASE
This Paraphrase is circle-like wrought round,
From Center to circumference ’tis found:
It toucheth the Diameter’s both ends,
But to the Center in no part extends.
93. OF CORBULO
Thou ruinest, and raisest, Corbulo;
Thy Wealth thou ruin’st, raiseth nothing: No.
94. OF GELLIA, A GRAMMATICASTRIX
Grammer was th’ Art of speaking call’d of old;
Thou needst not learn it, thou canst speak, and scold.
95. ON A CERTAIN GRAMMATICASTER
A Shred, an Hair, a Nut-shell, half a Groat,
Thou me doth prize at: What I thee? for nought.
War, sole to Souldiers seems pleasant: Why
Because sole Souldiers gain, live thereby.
Sole Gold’s a God: Goods Gods: Coyn Queen to some;
Pluto speaks with applause, but Plato’s dumb.
98. THREE GENDERS
Wives (though most chast) o’ th’ Doubtful are, o’ the common
Are Whores, o’ th’ feminine is ev’ry Woman.
99. ST. A NOTE OF SILENCE
What means this Roman ST? What? Express:
S stands for Silence, T for Taciteness.
100. PATRIA EST UBICUNQUE EST BENE. WHERE I DO WELL, THERE I DWELL
I count my Countrey, not where born, or bred;
But that, where known, where with mine own I’m fed.
My Countrey, that I count, where I do well;
Where I have my subsistence, there I dwell.
101. A WIFE
That Wife is for a Duke, and King unfit,
Which will not be led, ruled, nor submit.
102. RHETORICK AND DIALECT
Rhet’rick to speak, Logick to teach is th’ Art:
Tis Wisdome, that to th’ Wise doth strength impart.
That neater, this compleater couch’d than it;
That seasoned, this reasoneth the Wit.
Rhet’rick doth veil, Logick doth Truth reveal;
This warns, that moves, that woundeth, this doth heal.
Actaeons Doggs devour’d his Flesh, Bones, Skin;
But yet his Horns some Cities are within.
104. ARITHMETICAL MULTIPLICATION AND DIVISION
Division Right, left Hand Multiplication
Respects, why? Vertue’s that, this a Privation.
Why upward that, why downward this aspect?
This unto man, that unto God directs.
105. A TREE
Spring makes me green, me Summers heat doth scald;
Autumn hoar-headed, Winter makes me bald.
106. TO THEODORE PRISE, AN OXONIAN DIVINE
One Verse my love to thee cannot declare;
Two will serve, lo, here two Verses are.
107. ONE GOD
Coelum’s* an Heteroclite, as Lily notes;
And Deus ** with the Plural Number quotes:
O, what Blasphemers our Grammarians are,
Who, that we Deus may decline, declare!
* Heaven. ** God.
108. GOD’S GENDER
Numen* to th’ Neuter gender doth incline;
’Tis neither Masculine, nor Feminine.
* The God-head.
108. GOVERNMENT OF THE BODY
Fools strain, but prudent men restrain their voice:
Which hath least labour, silence, or a noyse?
110. MALORUM,* THE LEAST AND GREATEST. TO MAXIMUS
At Table sitting chuse of ills the least,
The great’st of Apples, if the great’st be best.
* Malorum signifies Apples or Evils.
Abate a Latter unda’s* uda,** add
’Tis munda,*** Nuda,**** ’tis transpos’d, unclad.
* Water. ** Most. *** Clean. **** Naked.
112. OF DREAMS. A PARADOX
Bad Dreams are good, good bad: Why? when I wake
Of bad, I’m glad, if good, mine heart doth ake.
113. WATERS ORIGINAL
Unda,* the Latine word hath Declination:
Ask’st, whence deriv’d? It hath no derivation:
The year and River circulating run,
Ending, without an End, where each begun.
To th’ Ocean, Rivers run all places from:
It saith not “whence d’ye come,” but “hither come.”
115. THE ADAMANT
To Lovers Adamant ought to be sent:
Cupid can make an Adamant relent.
116. DOG AND HARE
Though light-foot Hare more swift than Grey-hounds be,
They run in hope, she (light) doth hopeless flee.
117. SPEECH AND WRITING
The nimble Tongue th’ Hearts secrets doth expound,
But writing hath a voice without a sound.
118. THE LAWREL
I, Phoebus tree, still frondent, flourishing,
Nor Bald, nor grisled, verdant as the Spring.
119. DICACITY AND PRUDENCE (LOQUACITY
Wit without Wisdom’s as without Meat, Salt:
Inurbane wit’s what? Salt-less Meat, like fault.
120. SOMETHING OF NOTHING. AN ARITHMETICAL RIDDLE
Add one to nothing,* nothing’s left, but then
Add one to nothing,** thence ariseth ten.
* 01. ** 10.
121. TO WILLIAM SUTTON, AN OXONIAN DIVINE
I owe thee more than can my Verse express;
Me thy perpet’al debtor I confess.
122. THREE SONS OF SATURN AND OPS, CO-HEIRS
Saturns three Sons, all rich, Dis, Neptune, Jove;
Whose Mother Ops, Beneath, About, Above
Them plac’d; I should be richer than those three,
Woud Mother Opes * lend her help to me.
123. OF A CERTAIN SUPERFLUOUS ORATOR
When all th’ has said, Thou want’st to say, “Ive done”;
That word would please more than those fore-gone.
124. TO THE READERS
All Readers, Hearers all I would not please,
Nor am I pleas’d with all of those, or these.
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