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THE FIFTH BOOK OF JOHN OWEN’S EPIGRAMS
THE AUTHOR TO THE READER
In th’ Authors Praise, according to the Mode,
Dost wonder thou canst find nor Verse, nor Ode?
No Patronage can to my Verses add;
For if they’r good, they’r good: if bad, they’r bad.
THE SAME, TO THE SAME
Mine Epigrams are not like strifes, nor are
They like a Lawyers Client at the Bar:
None can our Verses (nor have Kings such power)
If low, make lofty, lofty if, make lower.
1. TO PRINCE HENRY
In Love, for Custome Books we Dedicate,
And I the Prince choose for my Principate.
2. TO MAECENAS
I for my Verses no Maecenas look,
I want one for my self, not for my Book.
3. TO MARCELLUS, A LAWYER
Thou wert Paulinus Patient; for it
Let him thy Client be; Then you are quit.
4. TO HENRY, GREATEST AND BEST PRINCE OF WALES
Thy Breast, Brain, Reason, Head, Affections, Heart,
In thee with good Effects perform their Part:
Thy Wit, thy Courage, Reason rules thy Sense;
Thine Head compleats thine Heart with Eminence.
Wales had three noble Princes* Great surnames,
And Thou, Great Prince, shalt be the fourth proclaim’d.
* Three Princes of Wales, surnamed Great.
5. MERCURY GALLO-BELGICK
Not ev’ry Tree will make a Mercury,
This Artist yet doth t’t all Woods apply.
Orpheus did fetch his Wife from Hell: But when
Fetch’d any Wife her Husband from that Den?
7. ACADEMICAL VESTS. TO THE STUDENTS OF OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE
Why are you Students, and our Clergy clad
In black, their Vestments wearing sable, sad?
Is’t that our Muses for Apollo mourn?
Or for Maecenas closed in his Urn?
Mecaenas yet left Heirs: ’Tis true, some one
Heir of Goods, but of his Goodness, none.
8. WHETHER PETER WERE AT ROME
Whether at Rome Saint Peter ever were,
’Tis doubtful: doubtless Simon was, is there.
9. TO BE AND HAVE
“’Tis good to Be and Have,” A Greek, I think
Once said, and th’ Alman added, “and to drink.”
10. TO LIGURINUS
Arr’us thy Wife doth till, doth fill: The seed
He sow’d, but thine’s what Harvest it doth breed.
11. THOU SHALT NOT KILL, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL
Thou shalt not steal, this Law’s for Lawyers writ:
Thou shalt not kill, this for Physicians fit.
12. OF ALANUS, A DECOCTING CHYMIST
This chymist Gold to Not Gold brought, in Fact:
But he from not-Gold could not Gold extract.
13. TO PRINCE HENRY
Ones own be first: If not, let none decline
Anothers to be, while he may be thine.
14. TO RICHARD, EARL OF DORSET, RETURNED FROM FRANCE
The change of Air hath chang’d (which is most rare)
Thy Qualities and wit: both better’d are.
More learn’d, more good thou now return’st: thy Fate
In both, great Earl, I do congratulate.
15. NINE MUSES / MUTES
When mute the Muses be, what odds (in fine)
Whether thou sayest nine Mutes, or Muses nine?
If th’ Idiome the diff’rence constitutes,
What diff’rence ’twixt the Muses and the Mutes?
16. HONOURS ETYMO - / GENEA- LOGIE
In Hebrew wealth’s call’d “Hon,” in French, Gold, “Or”:
Hence Hon-or hath its name and Metaphor.
17. TO A MAN WITH HORNS
Pythagoras his Letter hath upon’t
A Bipartite; That Letter’s on thy front. (Forehead
18. TO DINDIMUS
Of salt a Bushel thou with me must eat,
Thou sayst, to make our Amity compleat:
Thou never eat’st, as I remember, Salt:
What, shall thy friendship then for ever halt?
19. A CANONICAL WOMAN
A Woman’s like a Rule that’s general:
Which many times deceives, so women all.
20. SOLOMON’S WISH
Why did the wise King wisdome wish, not Health?
Had Solomon been wise h’ had wished for wealth.
But Solomon wish’d wiser. He did Prize
Wisdom ’fore Wealth, because he was not wise.
21. WHAT’S NEW
“There’s nothing new,” saith Solomon; yet, bold
Columbus found a new World in our old
22. A TRINE OF BRITISH WOMEN FROM WHOM CAME THE BRITISH UNION
Henry’s wife,* Mother Roses red and white
Conjoyn’d,** his Daughter did the Crowns unite:
Happy, O Son, happy O Husband rather,
Thrice happy Henry seventh as a Father.***
* Henry the seventh. ** Margaret, the wife to James the fourth King of Scots; Mother of the union.*** James the First, Britains Monarch.
23. DORON BASILICON
To thee the Wisdom’s wish’d of Solomon:
Thy wish thou hast, Doron Basilicon.
24. BLESSED ARE MUI - / PACI- FICENTS
King James the Britains state munites, unites: (Fortifies
Munificient, unificent he writes.
25. OF GAURUS, A CHURCH-CANON
Wisdom is read in Texts Apocryphal.
Thou, thou unwise, art yet Canonical.
26. A SNAYL. EMBLEMATICAL
Like Snayls are disagreeing Man and Wife:
One House will not contain them in their strife.
27. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
Columba * was the first which did relate
That Land appear’d, and waters did abate:
And thou Columbus was the first, whose hand
Discover’d to the World the New-Found-Land.**
This Gold, and Olive Branch that did produce
That Pleasures, and this Treasures for man’s use.
* The Dove. ** America.
28. AGAINST REGICIDES
Cut off they Right Hand,* if it make thee sin:
Thy Foot likewise,** if errours it walk in:
If that thy right Eye*** cause thee to transgress,
Then pull it out. What Member more or less
Is peccant in the Body, strike it dead:
Except, Divines and Doctors say, the Head.
* Mat. 9.43 ** v. 45. *** v. 47
29. A GRATULATION TO GEORGE, ARCH-BISHOP OF CANTERBURY, 1611
At Oxford Rector, thence thou didst arise
A Dean, two Cities didst Episcopize:*
Thou Londons Bishoprick soon hadst; and thee
The Metropolitan we soon did see:
Thou in the Triple Senate sitt’st on high:
What more remains for thee to doe? To die.
* Litchfield and Coventry.
30. TO DECIANUS, A JUDGE
I would not have thee deaf, noir dumb, but blind:
Not lame, but maim’d; not cruel, nor too kind.
31. TO CAESAR CAESARS, TO GOD GODS
All Pow’r on Earth beginning hath and end:
God solely doth beyond them both extend:
Indefinite not infinite are Powers:
On Earth God’s Infinite, but finite Ours.
32. THREE SABBATHS
Saturn, the Sun, and Venus in a Trine,
To th’ Jews, Turks, Christians Sabbaths three design:
The Jews their Sabbath have: And they the same
From pale-fac’d leaden colour’d Saturn name:
The Turk, whose Law permitteth many Wives,
His Sabbaths name from Venus name derives:
But Christians their Sabbath, on the Day
The Sun of Righteousness arose, display.
33. TO DAVID MURRAY, KNIGHT, ONE OF THE BED-CHAMBER UNTO PRINCE HENRY
Kings Favours to their Favourites impart:
Wise Kings to those alone of best desert:
Our King in this excels: For, Favours he
Daigns soley to worthy men, to Thee, like Thee.
34. I CAN, WILL, WILL NOT. ANOMALS
I will, but cannot, what I can, I nill. (Do not wish
Mans totale Life is only Nill, and will.
The man that suffers, overcomes: But then
The suff’ring woman’s overcome by men.
36. OF GENU-FLEXION. A PROBLEME
When Honour is conferr’d, or Friend to Friend,
Why man but one Knee, Woman both doth bend?
Man once, but Woman twice must serve in Life:
While Maid, her father; Husband, when a Wife.
37. TO WILLIAM, EARL OF PEMBROKE, ONE OF THE KINGS PRIVY COUNCIL
Not old in years, nor young in Judgment sound,
The King, thee fit for him, thy Countrey found;
Shall I for this thine Honour, praise thy Fate?
Or thy Desert? I both congratulate.
38. TO JOHN, ELECTED BISHOP OF LONDON, 1611
The learned King, of the Metropolis
Thee Pastor made: The City wish’d for this:
The See-seat vacant, many sought for it,
As their Reward for Learning and for Wit:
The King, th’ Arch-bishop, thee the City call’d:
And thou the See-seat vocant are install’d. (Calling
39. OF RISING AND SETTING
Remember at Sun-setting Death, thine Urn:
And at Sun-rising mind thy thence return.
40. TO PETER JUNIUS, A SCOT-BRITAIN, FORMERLY TUTOR TO KING JAMES
He’s born unworthy, from whom none is born,
But thou thy birth, thy being dost adorn:
For seven from thy Loyns are issu’d forth,
Th’ Ideas of thy Body, Wit and worth.
So many learn’d from thee their Father sprung
As Wise men did to learned Greece belong.
41. OF GAURUS
Thou wise, and foolish art: Who credits it?
Wise in conceit, Foolish, for want of Wit.
St though a note of silence, doth expound,
Without a Vowels help, a vocal sound.
43. THE MOTTO OF HENRY, EARL OF NORTHAMPTON, UNI ET UNIVOCE, ONE AND ONELY
We Britans are univocal, serve one:
Only King James, uniting us alone.
44. OF QUINTUS, A DREAMER
Oft in the Morn I thee complaining heard
That in thy Dreams by Night no Truth appear’d:
What wonder, while by day thou speakst but lye,
That all thy Dreams by Night are falsities?
45. TO ROBERT CARRE OF THE KINGS COUNCIL, &c.
The vulgar seldome love whom Kings prefer,
The King as seldom loves the popular:
’Tis difficult to purchase both their Loves;
Thy Motion’s double, for with both it moves.
46. OF A CERTAIN HYPOCRITE
Thy left hand knows not what thy right hand gives:
True: For it gives to none, nor one relieves.
47. THE DEATH OF JUSTUS LIPSIUS, 1606
The seventi’th and sixth year of thine Age
Finish’d (oh Grief) thine Earthly Pilgrimage:
That Day brought first mine Epigrams to Light,
When thou didst die, my morning was thy night.
48. SIR THOMAS OVERBURY’S INGENIOUS POEME OF A COMPLEAT WIFE
Thou dost describe a Wife in such a dress
As Tully doth an Orator express:
And if to such a wife thou wedded wert,
She would be farr to short of thy desert.
49. CONFERRING BENEFITS
Good done t’ Child is lost, at least forgot:
Good done t’ an old man, is as good as not.
50. AMBIGUOUS RIGHT
Physicians and Lawyers expert are,
These for our wealth, those for our Health take care.
These to the Clients their just Portion give,
With just proportion those the sick relieve;
Dost ask what difference is between their Notions?
These arid Portions give, those liquid Potions.
51. TO PRINCE HENRY, BORN THE NINETEENTH OF FEBRUARY, 1594.* GOOD OR GOLDEN LUCK, 1612, 19 JUNE
Thou hast attain’d thy Nineteenth year of Age,
The Golden Number** doth much good presage:
And this a Golden year (if I not err)
Will Honour, Gold, and Good on thee confer.***
* The number of the Figure 1594, by Arithmetical Addition, are reduced to the Golden Number (viz.) 19 v. g. 1.5.9 and 4. put together make 19. ** 19. *** A Golden Verse.
52. TO THE KING
Noah, who liv’d before the Flood, and since,
Di’d in his Nineteenth Jubily: Great Prince,
Might my Vote pass, thou shalt our Noah be:*
Likes age, as he Jubilies, to see.
* A King before and after the union of Britain.
53. ON A CERTAIN MISER
I praise thy Tongue, but not thine Hand: None knows
To promise more than thou, none less bestows.
54. OF THOMAS MORE, FORMERLY CHANCELLOUR OF ENGLAND. TO THOMAS, BARON OF ELESMERE, CHANCELLOUR OF ENGLAND
Integrity of Life, sweet Eloquence,
Rare Wit advanc’d More to more Eminence.
And thee, thy Wisdome, Candor, grave Aspect
Makes Eminent, sublim’d from Vulgar Sect.
Thy Life with such Integrity, so led,
Proves thee to More more like; but that he’s dead.
And thou to More shalt be more like in all,
Except his fatal end, and final fall.
55. NATURA BREVIUM, PRAISE OF BREVITY. TO THE READER
Some praise prolixe Polysticks, I affect (Poems with many lines
Short Disticks, Dwarf-like, a short dialect:
Not sole in Epigrams, but in what sort
Of Things soe’re, What’s Neat, Good, Sweet, is short.
56. THOU SHALT MARRY A WIFE, AND ANOTHER SHALL SLEEP WITH HER*
This Scripture is in these our Days compleat,
One weds a wife, another doth her treat.
* Deut. 28.
57. THE ORIGNAL OF BRITAINS UNION
British Ilse Mona, Monads Author* bare:
Rare daughter Monas, Mona** Parent rare.
58. TO THE RIGHT LEARNED KING JAMES
To b’ a good Poet’s rare, if understood:
As rare a thing, a man to be that’s good:
But a good King is a transcendent thing:
Yet you good Poet are, good man, good King.
59. OF COTTA
Saint Paul’s Rule Cotta keeps t’ his wife: He’s one
That hath a Wife, and is as if h’ had none.
60. AS WELL TO MARS AS MERCURY
Neptune to Bacchus, Mars t’ Apollo joyn,
Art calmeth Rage as Water cooleth Wine.
61. TO JOHN HARINGTON, KNIGHT, ONLY SON OF JOHN HARINGTON, BARON OF EXTON
Nobility, Wit, Vertue, these in thee
Strive for Precedence: Honourable three.
These noting to speak Truth why should I fear?
Of youths in Court thy Peer doth scarce appear.
62. THE LOTTERY: IN FRENCH, THE BLANK*
Here mourn the White, the Black rejoyce; Yet this
Black colour proper for mourning is.
Why gains the Black? the White the while doth lack?
Is’t for that Dis give Wealth? And Dis is black.
* Every thing is to be nam’d from the major Part.
63. TO G. B., A BATCHELOUR
A wife is good, a good Wife better; best
No Wife; I wish thee this; me that, at least.
64. ON TRIFLING COTTA
In serious things thou triflest seriously;
Thy folly’s serious, thy Wit’s laid by.
65. ON PAETUS
Thy Front hath Horns: ’Tis ask’d who fix’d them there?
An Author gave them, write; what-ere he were.
Write, Authors gave them; On the Moon-like front,
There must be two that fix’d those Horns upon’t.
66. DELTOTON, OR THE LETTER D
Rocks to mans Life three Deltaes are; these be
Dives, * Delights and Devils: Deltaes three.
67. THE GALLOWS. TO P. L.
A Robber’s End’s a Rope; Death circles it.
And Ropes for Theives I think are Ropes most fit.
But many scape: ’Tis true: some have some scope:
Yet commonly a Robber’s End’s a Rope.
68. OF WOMENS WIT. A PROBLEME
Why is a woman, than a Man, less wise?
Because Eve from mans Rib, not Head did rise.
69. MINERVA, EVAH
Minerva, Joves Brains issue, wedded none:
But Eve was wedded, born from Adams Bone.
70. OF HELIUS
Lawyers grow rich by Clients, at Debate:
Thus Helius hath gain’d a vast Estate.
71. THE STATE OF BRITAINS UNION. TO THE KING
This Ile, Elisa raigning, was like Wool.
By thee spun, Henry will make ’t Cloth in full.
72. WHETHER BACCHUS BE A GOD? TO A GERMAN
Seest not when drunk with Wine, that Bacchus shakes
Thine Head above, thy low Feet lofty makes?
He raising humble Feet, Heads lift on high
Dejecting, proves himself a Deity.
73. TO SIR THOMAS CHALONER, CHAMBERLAIN TO PRINCE HENRY
Thee from thy youth endow’d with noble Arts,
Advanc’d by Caesar for thine able Parts,
Thee who to thy poor friends a friend dost prove,
Not as so great, but, as so good, I love.
74. I LOVE, A PASSIVE; I AM LOVED, AN ACTIVE VOYCE
Who loves, doth serve: Who’s lov’d doth bear the sway;
This Active is, that Passive; must obey.
75. ON JULIUS, A PRETENDED MONK
Not in the World is Julius, but rather
The World’s in him: This from his Life I gather.
76. PRIESTS AND PEOPLE
Priests pray for People, for Priests People toil:
Those praying, these are ploughing all the while.
77. ON POPE JULIUS 2
“Behold two swords”: said Peter, armed with Sword:
“Behold two Keys, O Peter,” said his Lord.
Peter left Sword, and did the Keys receive,
But thou dost take the Sword, the Keys dost leave.
78. LIKE TO LIKE
Females deformed though, and Males by kind,
And knavish Davus will a Master find.
79. KNOW THY SELF
Wouldst know thy Self? Then Nature joyn to Grace,
This shews the Souls, and that the Bodies Face.
80. DEATH’S EQUITY
Rivers from Rivers differ; Man from Man:
While Men in LIfe, Rivers in Channels ran.
Ingulph’d in Seas, all Rivers have like Tast:
So Death doth all men equal make at last.
81. THOMAS BUTTON, 1612
From Britain, almost all the World apart,
I with fair Gales, thou saing Westward art.
Seek, thou shalt find the great Sea Mysteries;
Prince Henry’s way’s found by the Destinies.
82. ON GELLIA, PAINTED
Thy picture is not like thee: But ’tis plain
Thou like thy picture art, as vile, as vain.
83. CONJURERS CONTEST
In Magick Art the Conjurers contest,
Scotus Parmensis did excel the rest:
He with the Devil had a contract made,
Who know most, could do most in that black trade:
Like as chief servants in the Courts of Kings,
Under great Masters can perform great things.
84. OF RUFFUS, AN HYPOCRITE
Thou sayst that Ignorance makes men devout:
Thou then shal be the chief of all that Rout.
85. TO THE ENGLISH. A PROBLEME
Wherefore do Spanish, French Italian
Sleight Wifes? They reckon Women not Humane.*
* * Hommes femmes, hombres mugeres, huomini donne.
86. TO CINNA, A PHYSICIAN
Thou cur’st Disease, How? Thou kill’st the Sick:
And what thou dost (like Judas) thou dost quick:
Thy Patient is blest: Thou wilt not wrong
His Patience, to let him languish long.
87. WE HAVE ONE ADVOCATE IN HEAVEN
One Advocate we have in Heav’n, saith Paul;
Are no more Advocates within that Hall?
88. TO ONE YOUNG IN YEARS, OLD IN MANNERS
Why doth the Gout, which doth unt’ age belong,
Thee vex, A Souldier, Scholar, and so young?
The Gout mistook, it saw thee grave and sage,
And took thee for an old man, full of age.
89. ANGER IS A SHORT FURY
Thou writh be short, ’tis not for fury fit:
If furious, ’tis fit to shorten it.
90. TO HENRY GOOD-YEER, KNIGHT, CALENDS OF JANUARY, 1610
What new-years Gift shall I present to thee?
I wish, thy Name* thou many years mayst see.
* A good year.
91. LOVE ACTIVE AND PASSIVE. TO PONTIA
Wilt know what differ “I’m loved,” from “I love”?
That, I suppose: My knowledge this doth prove.
92. TO THE PRINCE
My dreams by night are much of Royal God,
But in the morning there’s no Gold, all’s cold.
If thou, O Prince, wilt with thine Hand assist,
I shall have Real Gold, not in a MIst.
93. ARITHMETICAL DIVISION. TO J. S., MERCHANT, 1607
Though living thou give nothing to thy Friends,
The total Sum at Death in nothing Ends.
94. THE COURT LOUSE
The pratling Parasite, through all the court,
To Grandees Chambers make their most resort:
So this vile Beast the Louse doth oft infest
Mens Bodies, but their Heads above the rest.
95. AESCULAPIUS THREE-FAC’D
The Physick Doctor seems three-fac’d to be
Unto the Sick: God, Man, and Devil’s he:
In giving Physick, he doth seem a Man:
If the disease be cur’d a God he’s than.
If Health’s restor’d, and the disease destroy’d,
When Doctor comes for Fees, Satan avoid.
96. OF GALATEA
The Stag, ’tis said, his Horns doth yearly mew: (Change
Thine Husband daily doth his Horns renew.
97. WATERS AND EARTHS EPITHALAMY
All generated are in Earth and Water:
Before these God hath united, former, later:
That nothing to Man-kind unkind should prove,
Th’ Earth leith under, Water flows above.
Earth’s waters Wife, Both one Globe constitute,
And well concurr, Humor doth Hume* salute.
* The ground.
98. OF THE SAME
Why, Water, which flows round, doth flow from th’ Earth?
’Cause Thirst this should not suffer, nor that Dearth.
99. DEATH’S IN THE POT. TO COURT CRITICKS
Is Death i’ th’ Pot, or Port (that is) in Court?*
For Plautus saith, Pot, Court the same import.
* With the antient Latines Olla and Aula signifie the same.
100. THE DELUGE. A DOUBLE PROBLEME
Why saith the Proverb,* as a fish so sound?
Fish sole was sav’d when all the World was drown’d.
All drown’d, why were the Fish from drowning freed?
Because the Mother would preserve her breed.
* So sound as a Fish.
101. A COLE OF WOOD
Born in the Fire, and perishing thereby:
Woods spoiling, I deserve by Fire to die.
102. OF GELLIA
Thou from thy youth a Papist wert: But now
Worst Papist art; How? Catholick art thou.
103. OF AULUS
As oft as Sickness casts thee on thy Bed,
Or hollow Tooth doth ake, or stupid Head:
“O would I were in Heaven from this smart!”
Thou sayst: Thine Heir saith, “O would thou wert!”
104. A WOMAN, WHAT CREATURE
Virgins untouch’d want sense, and Husbands grant
To them their sense, but then they Reason want.
105. REASON AND ORATORY
Rhet’rick’s the Palm, and Dialect’s the first:
This Combats, that Triumphs within the List.
To signifie the Sex? Or is our Name
Call’d Testicles, t’ attest thy Sin, thy Shame?
107. UPON THE DEATH OF HENRY CUFF, 1600
Learn’d well in Greek, happy thine Alpha was,
But thine Omega hapless prov’d; Alas.
108. OF FESTUS
Wilt marry now th’ art old? If thou be wise
With Lillies learned Grammer first advise:
There indeclinable the Horn thou’t find;
Old men have seldome that hard Rock declin’d.
109. SIR THOMAS MOORE
Imprison’d Moore, to guess what would befall,
Inspects his Urne in an Urinall: (Urine
He saw no sighs of Death: But he had seen
The Kings, the signs of his death had seen.
110. OF CORNELIUS
Thou knowst Th’ art Horn’d, tacite Cornelius:
Now thou shalt be Cornelius Tacitus.
111. A TRIPLIE LIE VENTED / INVENTED / PAINTED. ON TULLUS
Carvers invent, the painters paint a Lie, (Sculptors
Who vents it? Thou. Thou dost adventure high.
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