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THE NINTH BOOK OF JOHN OWEN’S EPIGRAMS
1. TO A CRITICAL COURIER
These words, the same in sense, but not in sound:
He’s wise that with the last of them is crown’d.
Reason demonstrates God, makes it our Creed;
And by this Reason, Faith is Reasons deed.
God in all things sees, and yet is seen of none;
Sole in all places seen, unseen alone.
4. TO WILLIAM SIDLEY, KNIGHT AND BARONET &c.
Thy sundry Languages, thy skill i’ th’ Laws,
Arts, Piety, sublime thee with applause.
Thy counsel many, poor thy money have;
Thus Vertue leads the Journey to the Grave.
Live so to Christ, thy Countrey, to thy King,
Thy self, till Angels thee to Glory bring.
5. TO JOHN SIDLEY, ONLY SON OF THE AFORENAMED WILLIAM SIDLEY
Thou Janus art, but sole in name, now young;
Thy Father emulate, in Deed ere long.
Thou shalt be Janus, hard ’tis to precel (Surpass
Thy Father; if you equal’st him, ’tis well.
6. A PERPETUAL EQUINOCTIAL. TO A BLIND MAN
Thy Days and Nights are equal; thou canst see
Nor Day, nor Night, Aequators all to thee.
7. TO PONTICUS, AN ANABAPTIST
Wouldst keep good diet, for thy Souls Salvation?
Sup oft, wash once in thy Regeneration.
8. THE GODS OF INCONSTANCY
Romans,Vertumnus, Greeks Proteus ador’d;
What people make not each of these their Lord?
Men grease their Axle-trees lest Wheels should creak:
But Lawyers must be greas’d to make them speak.
10. OF HARPALUS, THE REPUTED FATHER OF TWO SONS
The Son, that bears thy name, is not thine own:
But he that bears anothers, thine is known.
11. THE CREATION OF WOMAN
When Paul the Gospel preach’d, this language then
Was us’d, not unto Women,* but to men:
“O Brethren pray,”” (but not “O Sisters pray”)
The priest in saying of the Mass doth say.
When Moses most exactly doth relate
The things, which God in order did create,
God solely good, who nothing made in vain
Or useless. God (saith Moses) did explain
And call his Works all good, excepting one,
When he the Woman made of Adam’s Bone.
* Men, Fathers and Brethren
12. OF PAPINIANUS AND PONTICUS
He saith he cannot err, and yet doth err;
This that he may, but errs not doth avert. (Assert
13. OF TUSTONUS
Tuston is dead: Now dead, his Coyn doth come,
Rising out of his Chest, as from a Tomb.
14. OF SIN AND PUNISHMENT
The Doctors place Sin with Non-Entities:
Why place they not its Punishment there likewise?
15. OF THE MOORS WHO PAINT ANGELS BLACK, AND DEVILS WHITE
Art cannot Metamorphose Black to White;
But Art makes White take Black, though black as night.
Divines affirm no Devil can repent:
Satan’s not White, then Black’s his Element.
16. L’ ARGENT FAICT TOUT
Whence comes it that after so many slain,
English and French each in their own Land raign?
The Shield,* O generous France, advan’d thy Van,
An Angel,** England, was thy Guardian.
* L’escu. ** L’Angelot.
17. OF A CERTAIN DRUNKARD
Nothing’s more thirsty than dry pratling: Bess
Thy Wife prates more than thee; why drinks shee less?
18. VERONA, PLACENTIA, BENEVENTUM. TO AN ITALIAN
Few pass Verona from, to Benevent;
Thou shall be Placent, if Bene-volent.* (Pleasing
* Bene-venuto per tutto.
19. TIME, TRUTH, HATRED
Truth is Times Daughter, Hatred’s Mother is,
Then Hatred’s Nephew unto Time by this.
20. DAUGHTER OF TIME
I who Times Daughter was in times of yore,
Am I Times Daughter now, as heretofore?
Daughter of those, not of these Times am I:
Times Daughter’s Christ, th’ Eternal Deity.
21. WEDLOCK, LOVE
No weddings, but much Love’s in Heaven above:
On Earth are many Weddings, but no Love.
22. THE DECALOGUE, THE LORDS PRAYER, AND THE APOSTLES CREED
One Love, ten Precepts: One Hope, seven votes:
Twelve Articles, one Faith, Religion notes.
23. TO CALISTRATUS
Pain’d with the Spleen, said I, ’s a painful thing.
The Spleen doth laughing cause, doth weeping bring.
24. THE SUN
Three Planets higher, lower three there be;
Thy Vertue, Sol, ’s amid the double three.
25. A METAPHOR
Bare knowledge knows not Natures voice; no sound
Of Natures words in Dictionary’s found.
Farmers by Figures do their Sense express,
Rusticks their talk with City language dress.
Mans as to words, t’ his life doth figure give;
’Tis figur’d all, and, as we speak, we live.
* Droit. ** Cy-raith.
26. CHRIST A DIVINE, PHYSICIAN, LAWYER
Christ, here on Earth was a Physician,
A Preacher, as in Heaven, a Judge, God-Man.
27. OF LAW, ENGLISH-WELSH-FRENCH
Di-rect* the French doth say, Welsh say Correct,**
But Law’s called Right in th’ English Dialect.
Erring’s direct, Errors are by Law
Corrected, Laws Rule rules, keeps all in awe.
28. CASTOR AND POLLUX
In Heaven the two Brother-Stars agree;
In Earth, I doubt, scarce two such Brothers be.
29. WHAT IS DEFERR’D IS NOT AUFERR’D (Taken away
Long Life deferrs but takes not Death away;
What differs then, to die this, or next day?
30. VENALE HONOURS APOLOGY. TO THE BARONETS
Gold, Honour, Lands, are Goods which Fortune lends;
And what on mans Abitrement depends:
Health, Beauty, Strength, the Bodies Goods: These three,
And the Minds Goods from Price, from sale are free.
’Tis madness to sell Bodies, sinful, Souls:
Fortune to sell, to buy, no Law controls.
31. AUTHORITY AND REASON
In humane words, not who, but what I weigh:
In words divine, not what, but who doth say?
The splendid Planet Venus doth adorn
With her resplendent Ray the Night, the Morn;
In Heaven she still waits upon the Sun:
Why then, the light on Earth should Venus shun?
33. OF THE END OF THE WORLD
The Worlds beginning, Genesis un’t us
Moses declar’d; could not its Exodus.*
34. TO PONTILIAN
Whether two Wives, both good; or one, a bad
Were best to marry with, thy Querie’s had?
If I must choose, I then would choose the least
Of both these Evils: one, though bad, is best.
35. LOVE IS THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW
Of the ten Precepts keep two, of the two
Keep one, that’s Love; it will suffice: do this.
The pious people caus’d the Clergy’s weal;
Ungrateful off-spring of religious Zeal.
37. OF HEAVEN AND EARTH`
Th’ Earth’s greatest part is hid, Heav’n spreads abroad:
I think that th’ Earth’s asham’d of Men, her load.
38. TO AULUS, ON SEXTUS, OF QUINTUS
Me Sextus envies, him I pity, I:
Quintus, who me not envies, I envy.
39. OF POLLIO
Thy Wife thou dost forsake, but why? Before
Thou didst her wed, thou said’st she was a Whore.
A Pre-contract doth Wedlock break, I know.
But why a Pre-contact should do’ it, me show.
40. MEER TRIFLES. TO ***
Thou truly said that Whores meer trifles are;
For Harlots skins are always base and bare.
41. TO BANISH’D PANNICUS. A PROBLEME
In Exile, free thou liv’st as ’t were, the while
Thy native Soul did thee from it exile.
42. THE EVENING
The Sun declin’d behind leaves little light,
So Gods sole back was she’wd to Moses sight.
Wee see bright Phoebus shine in th’ Orient,
Th’ Antipodes on’s Back look discontent.
43. BAPTISM. TO THE JEW
Baptism doth cure, but Circumcision wound;
The Laws wounds are by Baptism rend’red sound.
44. HEAUTONTIMOROUMENOS. SELF-VEXING
While Death to shun, Life to preserve, poor Man
Doth vex himself the space of all his span,
Brute Beasts enjoy the present Life’s supply,
Living they live, and when they die, they die.
45. TO WILLIAM SIDLEY, KNIGHT AND BARONET
Thy noble worth doth Gold, doth Honour merit;
Yet both flag beneath thy gen’rous spirit.
46. TO J. P.
A brisk, wise Wife, that Latine speaks and Greek,
That can dispute in Logick, thou dost seek;
One, that the Major and the Minor takes,
And from bad Premisses worse sequence makes.
One that was vers’d in puny Naturals
While puny Maid, now Mistress of her Art in all’s.
One that can render all Opponents mute,
And of all entities can well dispute.
Such a Wife, so rational, were mine,
I would exchange with thee, though brute were thine.
47. ON A RAMIST, BIPARTITE
Thou first definest, then what was defin’d
Thou dost divide, defin’st-divid’st each kind;
The whole thou in so many parts dissect’st,
That now thy comment’s longer than the Text’s.
48. TO SAINT PAUL, OF THE CITY OF GOD
Thou for thy self, when threatned with the Scourge,
A Citizen of Rome to be, didst urge:
But in the fatal day of final Doom
Wilt serve to plead that priviledge of Rome?
Christ came into this World, saw mortal men,
Death overcame, returned into Heaven.
50. TO WILLIAM CAMDEN, OF HIS BRITANNIA
Great Britains Isle, almost forgot, almost
In Lethe’s Lake of black Oblivion lost,
In name, in fame by thee reduc’d alive, (Brought back
Thou shalt in her, while she survives, survive.
51. TO PERPENNA
Like a Parenthesis thy fore-head is
Horn’d, Crescent-like: An hard Parenthesis.
An hard Metathesis; thy Wife too free,
Of flesh, all flesh, doth make all Horn of thee.
52. OF VICES AND RICHES
No man doth crimeless live, or Coinless here,
A full fill’d Purse from crime is seldom clear.
53. APOLOGY OF DEATH, AND THE SHAMBLES
If Death no Youths, Butchers no Bullocks kill’d,
The World with Fools and Calves would soon be fill’d.
54. EVE AND PROSERPINE COMPAR’D
The Serpent Eve seduc’d, and Proserpine
Was caught by Pluto’s specious design:
Eve fell from Paradise to prejudice
For eating th’ Apple, which she thought no Vice,
And Proserpine might have escaped Dis,
Had she not been surpriz’d in that Abyss.
Death captiv’d Eve, and Pluto Proserpine,
This, of feign’d Jove, that, Child of Jove divine.
Each took forbidden things, this Flow’rs, that Fruit,
Like Punishments to their like Sins did suit.
55. ASTROLOGER AND GEOGRAPHER
You two the total World divide: The Stars
Astrologers, th’ Earth claim Geographers.
56. TO FANNIA, NOBLE, FAIR, POOR
Fann’a, thou fain wouldst with some rich man wed,
But for thy Poverty canst not be sped:
Though thou be nobly born, of fair aspect,
The sordid Lover Wealth doth more affect:
In Categoricks, substance sole we find
More prevalent in Love, than form or kind.
Love’s Verbal now, not regal as of yore;
Belief depends on sense, not reasons score.
Religion soars i’ th’ Head, not sinks i’ th’ Heart,
It in the Brain, not Breast doth act its part.
58. AN UNSPOTTED SACRIFICE
Gods Temple’s th’ Earth, Altar the Cross, the Priest,
The Sacrifice, and Sacrificer’s Christ.
59. OF MORTAL AND VENIAL SIN. TO CHRIST
Thy Death hath clear’d the Sins men double call;
Thy Cross doth Mortal Sins make Venial.
60. UPON INHOSPITABLE PERSONS
I to those houses am no Page, nor guest,
Whose Gates are to the Thresholds fast, when Feast.
61. ANOTHER, THE SAME
His own, none others let him be that’s mine,
Let him be friendly that’s my Friend, in fine.
62. SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME
The wanton flesh doth youth to sin seduce;
Old age in wickedness is more profuse.
Hence I suspect that few (scarce one in seven)
Of old men, or young men enter Heaven.
63. OF PARACELSUS
The Salt of th’ Earth Christ his Disciples nam’d:
Why then that th’ Earth is salt have Chymists* Fam’d?
64. OF EGGS
The second Person humane form assum’d,
The third like an Egg-breeding Dove was plum’d:
The great Creator Birds and Fishes blest,
Egg-breeders, not Life-brreeders had his Test.
65. OF ROME, AND THE WORLD
Old Rome was square, and then the World was round.
The World’s now square, and new Rome Wheels hath found.
66. MAGICAL GENERATION
If Satan man succumb in Womans stead,
No Child from such coition can proceed.
But if like man h’ incumb a Woman, thence
Some monstrous birth may chance to’ have Effluence.
67. OF BREAD AND BUTTER
In Genesis I Bara;* Menin** find
In th’ Iliad; two Welsh words, one divin’d.***
* Bara, the first word in Genesis. ** Menin the first in Homers Iliad. Bara, in Welsh signifies Bread, Menin Butter. *** by Scripture.
68. THE AGE OF MOSES AND DAVID
Mans life is six-score years, as Moses said,*
And he,** so many years li’d, undecay’d:
King David said, man in his Pilgrimate
Lives threescore years, and ten,*** such was his age.****
Each of them liv’d so long, before they di’d,
As each had said; his Death each propheci’d.
He who taught Moses, David, (the Divine)
Their days to number, wills thee number thine.*****
* Gen. c. 6 v. 3 ** Deut. c. 34 v. 7. *** Psal 60 v. 110. This Palsm is called a Prayer of Moses, the man of God. **** Saml. l. 3 c. 5 v. 4. ***** Psal. 90 v. 12.
69. EVEN AND UNEVEN NUMBER
Each Number hath its mid, odd half doth want;
What’s even hath its half, of mid is scant.
70. PHYSICIANS AND LAWYERS COMPARED. TO GALEN
Galen, the feared Tyrants fear thee; Why?
The Life and Death of Kings in thee doth lie.
Physicians next to God, are Arbiters
Of Life and Death; none can their Pow’r reverse.
A Judge may Sentence give of Death (though loth)
Not without Crime and witness, thousans both.
71. OF KING, PEOPLE, LAW
Kings Shepherds; People Sheep: Laws Fodder are:
For sick Sheep, Doctors, Kings, Laws cure prepare.
72. ORTHOGRAPHY, AND ORTHODOX FAITH. TO THE HEBREWS
If the Right hand the Right side should decline,
And the left hand the left side: Both disjoyn..
But if the left incline to th’ right, the right
Incline unto the left hand, Both unite.
You Jews right Writers, we right Teachers are,
The Spirit’s ours, yours is the Letter bare.
73. FEW ARE CHOSEN
Each, and sole man adores the Pow’r divine:
Each and sole man offends against the trine; (Trinity
Each, and sole man the Saviour came to save;
Sole man, yet not each man this Boon shall have.
74. OF SALT PITS. AMBIGUOUS
Though generous English have Ingeniousness,
Yet Salt they prize as little, Wit as less:
Though English Salt be white, and Gallick brown;
Yet that French Salt sells dearer than our own.
What’s new, will not continue new; nor will
A pleasing Novelty be pleasing still.
What new then solely pleaseth not, ’cause new,
But that best pleaseth whence good doth ensue.
76. MAN, NO MAN
Man’s born by Nature, man did Arts invent;
Art is man’s work, not man Arts instrument:
None follow Natures Rules, by Art all live:
And now mans work t’ Himself a Work doth give.
77. AUTHORS OF SIN. TO GRAMMARIANS, AUTHORS OF ERRORS
Autor and Auctor you two much confound,
Pythatoras his saying* was renow’nd.
Th’ unhappy Tree produc’d Original Sin;
Whence Adam ate; but did not first begin.
The Serpent Author was, Eve *did proceed:
Adam not Author,** Author** was indeed.
* Ipse dixit; He hath said it. ** Beginner, or Author. *** Increaser.
78. ANAGRAM OF DIABOLUS, THE DEVIL. DIABOLOS BIA DOLOS, VIS FRAUS, FORCE, FRAUD
The Devil like a Lion seeks to find
Souls, to devour with force, more fierce than Wind:
He, Fox-like, spreads close frauds, and secret snares,
Surprizing, or by Force, or unawares.
79. TO TEACH AND DO. ACTS 1.1
Preachers good words teach people to believe;
But their good Works more lively Doctrine give.
He preacheth best, whose Words and Works do preach;
Their ill Works hurt more, than their good Words teach.
80. USURY AND LOT
Be with thy Lot content; Usorious gain
Is sinful, with thy Lot content remain.
81. INVENTIONS OF TRUTH. TO THE DUBIOUS
Pythagoras (’tis said) when Truth he found
Bid sacrifice an Oxe, with Garlands crown’d:
Truth now’s so rarely seen with mortal eyes,
A Calf’s enough for thee to sacrifice.
82. CIRCUMCISION AND BAPTISM
Thou, Christ, wast Circumcis’d, thou wast Baptiz’d.
Though neither thou did’st need, yet both were priz’d:
Sins, which both cannot purge, though joyn’d together,
Why may not I, O Christ, have one of either?
83. THE WISDOME OF SOLOMON, AND OF SIRACIDES
Wisdomes two Books Apocryphal we call;
Wise men must then be still Apocryphal.
84. ON COVETOUS PERSONS. SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST, AND GIVE TO THE POOR
This killing Letter doth all misers kill;
What, say they, doth the Spirit herein will?
The Spirit wills, what you will not, your store
To give, but you give nothing to the poor.
85. OF SEXTUS, AN ANABAPTIST
Is the Church visible? Thou ask’st: Why? Ours
Is visible, invisible is yours.
86. AN EXILES COMFORT
Not banish’d while I live, while Earth doth stand,
Nor exil’d shall I be while th’ Earth’s call’d Land:
When dead, exil’d from Earth I shall at rest
In Heaven be blessed among the best.
87. MAN, AS HUNTER, FISHER, FOWLER
I hunt for Riches, Fowl for Praise and Honour,
I Fish for Mysteries; Would know their Donor.
While Fool, I strive to know, Proud, Honours crave,
Sordid seek Wealth, I travel to my Grave.
88. OF THE SAME
The Dog hunts on the Ground, Fish swim in Seas,
The winged Birds poys’d are in th’ Air at ease.
A wise man Fish-like sounds things hid-profound;
Proud men soar Bird-like, covetous hunt like hound.
89. FOOT-MENS COMFORT
A Horse int’ Heaven did not Castor bear,
Nor rode Triptolemus in’s Chariot there:
Heaven’s way’s strait-narrow, Foot-men travel it;
The broad way’s most for Horse and Chariot fit.
90. OF WAX
I trebly useful am, for Church, Laws, Health:
I bring Divines, Physicians, Lawyers Wealth.
91. OF A CERTIAN FAIR FICKLE WOMAN
The King of Stars thee decks, the Queen directs
The Sun thy Face, the Moon thy Breast aspects.
92. OF THE SOUL AND BODY. A PROBLEME
The Greeks their Slaves did bodies call, because
The Soul’s free from the servile Bodies Laws:
A Lord’s the Bodies Lord, a King its King,
But not the Souls: From God Souls solely spring.
Bodies begotten are; but Souls divin’d,
Deduce from God their unbegotten kind.
93. OF CHRISTS MIRACLES. TO ONE INCREDULOUS
Thy Faith’s not great, wonders thou canst do none;
Nor hast thou Faith to credit what are done.
94. THE OLD TESTAMENT
A Testament, while the Testator lives,
Is of no force, invalid, nothing gives:
Yet Gods word’s call’d th’ old Testament: But why?
Sith God, who did ordain it, cannot die. (Since
95. THE NEW TESTAMENT
This was of Christ call’d the new Testament,
By few first, now by general consent:
Yet not a letter of this Book was rit,
While the Testator liv’d t’ attestate it.
96. ALL THINGS ARE FULL OF ERRORS — CICERO
Physicians are sick, Lawyers mistake,
Many Divines pass to th’ infernal Lake.
97. AGAINST ALL NATIONS
Only one God, one man did make on Earth:
One man, once made to many Gods gave Birth.
98. ON ATHEISTS
Fear first taught to fear God: But now, alas,
The fear of God without all fear doth pass.
99. TO HIS MAECENAS, WILLIAM SIDLEY, &c .
Who to thee wisheth not old Nestors years,
Would wishes serve, before thou climb the Spears?
I wish thee not more years, one year wish I,
I wish thee Plato’s year, before thou die.
100. ON COTTA, A POOR AND FOOLISH WRITER
Thou sayst thou wantst new Clothes; That’s true, I grant:
But I think, rather, thou new Wit dost want.
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