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TO Mr. THOMAS FLATMAN ON HIS Excellent POEMS.

1 STrange Magick of thy Wit and Stile
2 Which to their griefs mankind can Reconcile!
3 Whilst thy Philander's tuneful Voice we hear,
4 Condoling our Disastrous state,
5 Toucht with a sense of our hard Fate,
6 We sigh perhaps, or drop a Tear;
7 But he the mournful Song so sweetly sings,
8 That more of Pleasure than Regret it brings,
9 With such becoming Grief
10 The Trojan Chief
11 Troy's Conflagration did relate,
12 Whil'st ev'n the Suff'rers in the Fire drew near,
13 And with a greedy Ear
14 Devour'd the story of their own subverted state.
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II.
15 Kind Heav'n (as to her darling Son) to Thee
16 A double Portion did impart,
17 A Gift of Painting and of Poesie:
18 But for thy Rivals in the Painters Art,
19 If well they Represent, thy can effect
20 No more, nor can we more expect.
21 But more than this Thy happy Pencils give;
22 Thy Drafts are more than Representative;
23 For, if we'l credit our own eyes, they Live!
24 Ah! Worthy Friend, cou'dst Thou maintain the State
25 Of what with so much Ease thou do'st Create,
26 We might reflect on Death with Scorn!
27 But Pictures like th'Originals decay!
28 Of Colours Those consist, and These of Clay;
29 A like Compos'd of Dust, to Dust alike Return!
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III.
30 Yet 'tis our Happiness to see
31 Oblivion, Death, and adverse Destiny
32 Encounter'd, Vanquish'd, and Disarm'd by thee.
33 For if thy Pencils fail,
34 Change thy Artillery,
35 And Thou'rt secure of Victory;
36 Employ thy Quill, and thou shalt still prevail.
37 The grand Destroyer greedy Time reveres
38 Thy Fancy's Imag'ry, and spares
39 The meanest things that bear
40 Th' Impression of thy Pen:
41 Tho' course and cheap their Natural Mettal were,
42 Stampt with thy Verse, he knows th'are sacred, then.
43 He knows them by that Character to be
44 Predestinate, and set a part for Immortality.
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IV.
45 If native Lustre in thy Theams appear,
46 Improv'd by thee, it shines more clear:
47 Or if thy Subject's void of native Light,
48 Thy Fancy need but dart a Beam
49 To guild thy Theam,
50 And make the rude Mass beautiful and bright.
51 Thou vary'st oft thy Strains, but still
52 Success attends each Strain:
53 Thy Verse is alwayes lofty as the Hill,
54 Or pleasant as the Plain.
55 How well thy Muse the Pastoral Song improves!
56 Whose Nymphs and Swains are in their Loves,
57 As Innocent, and yet as Kind as Doves.
58 But most She moves our Wonder and Delight,
59 When She performs her loose Pindarick Flight;
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60 Oft to their outmost reach She will extend
61 Her towring Wings to soar on high,
62 And then by just Degrees descend:
63 Oft in a swift strait Course she glides,
64 Obliquely oft the air divides,
65 And oft with wanton Play hangs hov'ring in the sky.
V.
66 Whilst sense of Duty into my artless Muse,
67 Th' ambition wou'd infuse
68 To mingle with those Nymphs that Homage pay,
69 And wait on Thine in her tryumphant Way;
70 Defect of Merit checks her forward Pride,
71 And makes her dread t'approach thy Chariot side;
72 For 'twere at least a rude Indecency
73 (If not Prophane) t'appear
74 At this Solemnity,
75 Crown'd with no Lawrel Wreath (when others are.)
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76 But this she will presume to do,
77 At distance to attend the show,
78 Officiously to gather up
79 The scatter'd Bayes, if any drop
80 From others Temples; and with those,
81 A plain Plebeian Coronet compose.
82 This, as your Livery, she'd wear, to hide
83 Her Nakedness, not gratifie her Pride!
84 Such was the Verdant dress,
85 Which the offending Pair did frame
86 Of platted Leaves, not to express
87 Their Pride i'th' Novel-garb, but to conceal their Shame.

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Title (in Source Edition): TO Mr. THOMAS FLATMAN ON HIS Excellent POEMS.
Author: Nahum Tate
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Genres: address

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Tate, Nahum, c. 1652-1715. Poems by N. Tate. London: Printed by T.M. for Benj. Tooke ..., 1677, pp. 8-13. [15],133p. (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 2953].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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