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John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
 
Epistles and Complimentary Addresses
To John Hoddesdon, on his Divine Epigrams
 
THOU 1 hast inspired me with thy soul, and I,
Who ne’re before could ken of poetry,
Am grown so good proficient I can lend
A line in commendation of my friend;
Yet ’tis but of the second hand; if ought        5
There be in this, ’tis from thy fancy brought.
Good thief who dar’st Prometheus-like aspire,
And fill thy poems with Celestiall fire,
Enliven’d by these sparks divine, their rayes
Adde a bright lustre to thy crown of bayes.        10
Young eaglet, who thy nest thus soon forsook,
So lofty and divine a course hast took
As all admire, before the down begin
To peep, as yet, upon thy smoother Chin;
And, making heaven thy aim, hast had the grace        15
To look the sunne of righteousnesse ith’ 2 face.
What may we hope, if thou go’st on thus fast!
Scriptures at first, Enthusiasmes at last!
Thou hast commenc’d, betimes, a saint: go on,
Mingling Diviner streams with Helicon,        20
That they who view what Epigrams here be,
May learn to make like, in just praise of thee.
Reader, I’ve done, nor longer will withhold
Thy greedy eyes; looking on this pure gold
Thou’lt know adult’rate copper, which, like this,        25
Will onely serve to be a foil to his.

J. DRYDEN, of Trin. C.    
 
Note 1. Text from the original prefixt to Hoddesdon’s Sion and Parnassus, 1650. [back]
Note 2. ith’] Editors wrongly give i’ the or in the. [back]
 
 
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