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THE EIGHTH BOOK OF JOHN OWEN’S EPIGRAMS

1. TO HENRY, THE AUGUST PRINCE OF WALES

Maecenas (gracious in Caesars Eyes)
Virgil and Horace daign’d to patronize.
And thou, great Prince, doest not disdain to lend
Thine Help unto mine Hope, for better end.
Three Knights me patronize; though each to me
Maecenas is, thou shalt my Caesar be.

2. TO HIS THREE MAECENASES, EDWARD NOEL, WILLIAM DEDLEY, KNIGHTS AND BARONETS, AND ROGER OWEN, KNIGHT

When old friends me forsoon, as ’tis in use,
Unhop’d for Help you three did me produce:
Your three Names therefore, next the Prince his name
I joyn, Maecenas sole deserves such fame.

3. LAWYER AND PHYSICIAN

Unless he subtile be, this rashly bold,
They both perhaps may beg their bread, when old.

4. THE COURTIERS LADDER

None, but by many steps doth rise at Court,
But falling, one’s enough, too much, though short.

5. TO EDWARD NOEL, KNIGHT AND BARONET

Though I, Maecenas, send this Book to thee,
Others may read it, if’t worth reading be.
How is my Patron better by this sped
Than Readers? Thus, he readeth, and is read.

6. ON TOMASINE

Many, these times, in praise of Asses writ.
I read a Book, and read thy praise in it.

7. TO ***, A COURTIER

The bold by Fortune, th’ eaters are by meat
Aided: Wilt something be? Be bold and eat.

8. HONOUR AND RICHES COMPARED

God gives men Riches, Honour claims as Donor.
Preferr’d before all Riches therefore’s Honour.

9. ON FABULOUS POETS

Poets of old, making small difference
’Twixt Truth and Lies, made something of each Ens: (Each thing
Their proper name, from making, Poets gather,
From making something, making nothing rather.

10. ON FABIANUS

Some bald without, thou bald within,’tis plain:
They waint their Hair, thou want’st as much of Brain.

11. OSCULUM, A KISS

Lovers affect three Syllables: this word
Is given by the Lovers that accord.
Is the first given? Doubtless, then, in fine
The rest will follow from the feminine.

12. DALILAH

Strong Sampsons Wife, despoyl’d him of his hair.
Our times have many Dalilahs, as fair.

13. COVENTRY AND WARWICK, MIDLAND CITIES

Not the same Prelate, the same Judge you see;
Your spirits differ, but one flesh you be.

14. THE BIRTH-DAY

To present born, reborn to future things,
The present’s first, the last more comfort brings.

15. ON THE ART OF LOVE

I think ’twas rudeness th’ Art of Love t’ impart.
Love is the work of Nature, not of Art.

16. IN FRANCE

Rare Judge, who giftless doth his office; Why?
Because with gifts he did his office buy.

17. ON PHYLLIS

The Love of Phyllis for a Solar year
Endures not; Lunar ’tis, like Phoebe’s Sphear.
Her love is like her Body, monthly sick:
Lunar’s her Love, her self is Lunatick.

18. ON PAETUS. A PROBLEME

Nor Father, Step-father, nor kin to those
Thy Wife brought forth: What shall we thee suppose?

19. ON PONTILIANA

Why wert thou wedded on bring Lucy’s light?
Because ’twas shortest Day, and longest Night.

20. TO FRONTO, A LAWYER

I many Penal statutes, Fronto, saw
But not one Premial in all your Law; (Rewarding
Laws Penal, Premial support a State;
This age hath lost the last, the first’s in date.

21. TO EDWARD NOEL, KNIGHT AND BARONET

Wise Nature did to thee much Wit impart,
To Natures strength thou dost add helps of Art.
Good Fortune with thy Vertue doth combine,
Unto thine Art and Wit thou Wealth dost joyn.
Fortune enables thee to succour wants,
And Vertue makes the willing: Both God grants.

22. ON FESTUS, AN UNJUST JUDGE

What Judas did, or Pilate, do the same:
Hang’d wouldst not be? Wash then thine hands from blame.

23. PARONOMASIA, GINGLING WITH WORDS (Jingling

A Maid looks on her Lovers face, not mind:
If wedded, ’tis enough her Husband’s kind:
Venus had rather courted be than painted;
WIth acts, then Complements she’s more acquainted.

24. TO MARTHA, OF QUINTUS

Quintus in Love is prodigal, recluse:
Of thy Love covetous, of’s own profuse.

25.THE ETYMOLOGY OF THE BACK

Mans Back-parts are in Latine Neuters stil’d:
But all his parts please Women, well compil’d.

26. OF COLINUS, DYING INTESTATE

Dying Colinus nothing did bequeath,
Left all: In LIfe a Dog, an Hog at’s Death.

27. OF VIRGINITY AND WEDLOCK

Virginity’s a narrow way; a broad
Is Wedlock: Hence most People ride this road.

28. OF PANSA

Great strife ’twixt Pansa and Eunomius
Arose about Church Rites, which they discuss.
Eunomius to prove his Period
The Scripture cites, th’ undoubted word of God:
“With Scripture what have I to do?” replies
Pansa, “my Bible in my Law books lies.”

29. TO D. T.

Thou followest two Masters; strange to me
If or thou pleaseth both, or both please three.

30. MERCHANTS FAITH

Where Debtors credit’s less, less credit give
The Creditors; by trust how should they live?
Sole trust, these times hath many Merchants split:
To trust now therefore ’tis not safe, nor fit.

31. GERUNDS AND SUPINES

Di-do-dum while Aeneas was away
Did want her Gerunds, and Un-supine lay.

32. GIVE ME AN ANGEL, AND I WILL GIVE THEE THE SPIRIT

The Spirit, here, an Angel, Michael,
Is promise’d there; here Gifts, there Hands excell.

33. TO A CERTAIN RICH MAN

If no thou givest much, thy love’s complet:
If much thou creditest, thy Faith is great.

34. TO A SERVANT OF TWO MOST PENURIOUS SISTERS

Three Parcae, fatal Sisters, once were known;
Thou now, poor wretch, two such do serve and own.

35. A LOUSE

Thou me doest bite, I kill thee: True, but small
Thy Crime’s, thy Punishment is Capital.

36. FROM BAD TO WORSE

He falls on Scylla that Charybdis shuns,
Who newly sick to the Physician runs:
Fools one extreme t’ avoid act the contrary,
When trifles men to Law, to Laywers, carry.

37. OF THE PRODIGAL AND COVETOUS

Both these are wretched: And it oft doth fall
That th’ Heirs of Cov’tous men prove Prodigal.

38. DIVINE VENGEANCE ON G. R., 1603

Thou kept’st the Prelates House against his mind;
Against thy mind th’ art t’ an House* confin’d.

* A Prison.

39. OF DAMAS

As oft as I thy promise claim, and I
Claim it more oft, sith thou dost not comply;
Thou never sayst, “I have,” oft sayst “I will”;
No more “I will,” but say, “do fulfill.”

40. ON UNFORTUNATE LINUS

No wonder, fortune is to thee contrary.
Thy front is bare and bland, her Front is hairy.

41. TO GAURUS

Thy Whispers did of me some small gift crave;
Wilt have a Culus gift? Thou shalt it have.

42. MAN ALL-EATING

Air, Water, Earth, with all the vast Extents
Of th’ Elements, scarce serve Mans Aliments.
If all man eateth, int’ his Substance ran,
As ’tis suppos’d, what Monster would be man?

43. THE BROAD WAY

Broad is the way, much trod, unt’ Hell that leads;
The Blind, himself the Guide, this broad way treads.

44. TO, IN, OF

Of, In, To, these three words my Book inhems:
Of Teacheth, To Commendeth, In Condemns.

45. ON UNMERCIFUL QUINTUS

When any Poor, or Naked, at thy door
Begs Alms, how canst deny, while such implore?
Thou sayst, none ought to Begg by th’ English Laws,
But no Law barrs relief to th’ poor, when cause.

46. ERROR IS HUMANE

I read a just man falls seven times a day:
How oft a Woman falls, I cannot say.

47. ON A CERTAIN FOOLISH WRITER

O, that all black had been thy Papers white;
Or tinctur’d with no black, when thou didst write.

48. THE USURERS APOLOGY

What good doth me my Money without use?
Gold’s bright with use, use doth me gain produce.

49. ON A CUCKOLD

Hadst Horns by Nature, them thou might’s Cashier:
But th’ Horns thy Wife thee gave, thou needs must wear.

50. THINGS ADJUDGED

Though Cicero call Law the sum of Reason,
And that Law’s best which thence proceeds in season:
Few Lawyers are Logicians; Use, Example,
The Laws and Statues are of either Temple.

51. A WOMAN

Fair women, famous: Youthful, sportful are:
If Witty, Wise: Buxome and Chaste are rare.

52. THE FOUR TERMS AT LAW

The first Term’s from Saint Michael declar’d,
For now the Arch-Angel* doth the Lawyers guard:
The next is Hilary, this Term doth cause
The Lawyers Hilarity by th’ Laws.
The third from Easter Feast its Title took,
The Lawyers Dockets are like th’ Easter Book.**
The fourth Term’s called the Trinity: But why?
Because each cause has a Triplicity.***

* The form of the Ach-Angel is this English Piece of Gold. ** The Parson’s Easter Book. *** The Client, Lawyer, Judge.

53. THE CROSS IN THE POULTREY-MARKET. TO CHRIST

The Crosses Image stands, thine’s took from thence:
Than thee, the Cross hath grater Reverence.

54. THAT THE LAWYERS TWO COLLEDGES, THE MIDDLE AND INNER TEMPLE, ARE THE SAME

One house both have, and both one Law apply,
No Middle-Inner sense i’ th’ Law doth lie.
What’s Middle, is the great World’s inner Cell;
For than the Center, what doth inner dwell?
The Middle Temple then, though Middle wrote,
From th’ Inner Temple differs not one Jot.

55. OF THE SAME

Two Parl’aments you have, one convocation;
Two Kitchens, but one Altar for oblation:
One Master calls to Supper, but the same.
One Horn doth not your Dinner time proclaim;
Nor the same winding both your Horns inflates, (Sounding of the horn
Yet one mind both your bodies animates.

56. E. N., BOUNTIFUL

Thou liberal and free dost nourish many,
And me thou nourishest as well as any.

57. TO FAUSTINUS

Thou sayst my Book is good: O, if’t be good,
I wish I were my Book, and understood.

58. O THE TIMES!

The Times are Chang’d, and in them Chang’d are we:
How? Man as Times grow worse, grows worse we see.

59. STAMMERING. TO BALBINUS

Though thou dost stammer in thy Speech, yet none
Can Pap-pa* pater** say, but thou alone.

* The Pope. ** Father.

60. AGNA * * * OF OXFORD

Thou Bride to Benedict (not so well nam’d)
Suppos’d a Lamb, a Wof art found, art fam’d.

61. TO AULUS, A PHYSICIAN. A VERNAL GRATULATION

Sick persons purge their Bodies in the Spring:
I thee salute, Spring doth thine Harvest bring.

62. A POET LAUREATE

In Fire the Bay leaves crackle, Poets live
In Death; Hence to the Poet Bays we give.

63. TO A CITIZEN

Sick of a Fever, thou dost make repair
From Town to Countrey, for exchange of Air,
And going thither, leaving Cities gain,
Thy former Health thou dost again attain:
Returning home to London healthful, poor,
Thou dost increase in Wealth: But, as before,
Thy Fever comes: Now which is better, try,
Sickness with Wealth, or Health with Poverty?

64. OF LABIENUS, A SELF-LOVER

He solely loves himself, beside loves none;
Loves sole himself, and loves himself alone.

65. A WIDOW

Who weds a Widow buys (as’t may be scann’d)
A Garment in Long-Lane, at second hand:
For all such Garments more or less were wore;
So more or less all Widows were before.

66. PYRAMUS AND THISBE

A fatal wall us parted: O how near,
How far asunder we two lovers are!

67. TO POLLUX, A CLIENT

Thy Suit depends in law: Better suspend
Than it should long depend: Pay, there’s an end.

68. HOT COLD

Women, though cold, their lovers yet inflame;
So Lime in water cast, doth heat the flame.

69. BY MY FAITH

None swear by Love, too many by their Faith:
Yet that is God,* but this no God-head hath.

* John Ep. 1 cap. 4 v. 16.

70. ASTRO- / PHYSIO- LOGY

Sublime Astrology soars in the Sky,
And Natures secrets in the Center lie.
I neither of these Mysteries can sound,
That for me’s too sublime, this too profound.

71. OF PONTICUS

Thou nothing giv’st, but dying wilt: Then dy:
He giveth twice, who giveth speedily.

72. UNEQUAL CONFLICT

His Sword at all Times Matho cannot wield,
But Pontia still ready hath her Shield.

73. OF LANDS AND MONEY. TO PONTILIAN, A MERCHANT

All Money with its Interest hath bounds;
But (doubtless) bottomless are Lands and Grounds.
Founts better are than Cisterns, Ground than Chest:
Though Cisterns greatest are, and Fountains least.

74. OF FAME

Fame seldome praiseth good, bad oft proclaims
Freely; from thence, evil the name of Fame’s.

75. OF GALLA

Thine Eyes inflame, Galla; Touch me not:
If seeing burn, touching will be more hot.

76. OF DECREPIT LINUS

Saturn from Saturate, or full of years
Was call’d; thine age now Saturn-like appears.

77. A DANCE

Th’ Heart dictates Love, Tongue’s silent, Feet advance
Love’s cunning meaning in a wanton Dance.

78. THE MEDITATIONS AND VOWS OF JOSEPH HALL

Thou vowing vow’st, writ’st to be read. Blest man,
Who reads thy Vows, if them perform he can.

79. ANAGRAM TO PRISCUS, AND OLD MAN

Priscus , thine Hairs were Crisped; Why no more?
“I Priscus am, who Crispus was before.”

80. THE BRITAINS NIGHT

The Britains with short Nights are pleased, ’tis said:*
But British Maid no long Night hath dismay’d.

* Juvenal. Sat. 2.

81. TO NAEVIA

We wish for th’ absent Sun, the present shun:
O how our Love in this is like the Sun!

82. OF FESTUS, A LYAR

All men are Lyars, Festus will confess:
Then call him man, he’s Lyar call’d; no less.

83. OF CARPOPHORUS

From home he laughs with Lasses which he keeps.
At home, with’s weeping wife, dissembling weeps.

84. THE WORLD

Two Worlds are in the World; one undefil’d,
This most defil’d; yet each the World is stil’d.

85. TO G. I., A MERCHANT

The more thou giv’st, the more thou gainst a Friend:
But get’st a Foe, where thou the more dost lend.

86. OF GIVING AND SATISFYING

“Give,” crys Laws voice in the West-minster Hall;
Though “satisfie” saith Law Pontifical:
Lawyers take much, give little: much apply
Themselves to speak, little to satisfy.

87. A WICHAMITE

I no Pompeian, no Caesarian,
No Syllan I, I am a Marian.*

* Of Winchester Colledge, and New Colledge in Oxon; both founded and indowed by William Wicham, Bishop of Winton, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

88. AGAINST THAT COMMON PROVERB, (VIZ.) THE YOUNGER BROTHER IS THE ANCIENTER GENTLEMAN

Adam was first of generous Mankind,
For him his maker next himself design’d:
Then he that’s nearest t’ Adam’s period,
More generous is, and nearer unto.

89. NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD

Dark minds see not Gods might, nor Owls the Light;
These see not day, nor those the God of might.

90. AN OLD MAN IS NO MAN

A young Man’s laughing; weeping, Child and Woman;
An old man dry, both hath unlearn’d, he’s no man.

91. OF A SARACEN ATHEIST

Bless’d Abr’hams Bosome seems a tale to thee;
In Sara’s bosome thou would’st rather be.

92. CUSTOME

Custome and usage seems t’ have force of Law:
Now wickedness the ballance down doth draw.

93. OF ALBINUS

Merchant Albinus is of all bereft,
Goods, Credit; He to lose hath nothing left:
In Love he lost Faith, Hope; All ill did prove;
What’s left him now to lose at last? Sole Love.

94. AN ANAGRAM. GERERE, REGERE

To bear Rule, and to bear, are proper, where
Is Man and Wife: Let Man Rule, Woman bear.

95. A FORSAKEN LOVER

As Tophets Fire is burning without,
So me thy Love doth burn, though nothing bright:
My Love to thee’s like Elementar fire,
It shines, but burns thee not with my desire.

96. THE PUNISHMENT OF THAIS. A PROBLEME

Sith in her former, not her hinder part (Since
Thais did offend, why should her hinder smart?
Whether, because the sin before was sign’d,
The Punishment must therefore come behind?

97. IRUS HIS OBSEQUIES

The Poor is like a Quartan; not one Bell
For the Poor’s tacite Fun’ral rings a knell.

98. THE EPITAPH OF CROESUS AND IRUS

Under a Marble Tomb lies Croesus, there;
But Irus where? The Poor lies ev’ry where.

99. OF MOMUS

That I might love, approve, or praise in thee,
Or that I envy might, I nothing see.

100. UNITIE NO NUMBER

Of Foreign writers, and Britannicks Tone,
I of no number am; yet am one.

Go to Book IX