[Page 122]

The Challenge.

1 YE Sages that pretend
2 In Science to Transcend
3 The dull illit'rate Crowd,
4 You that of Ignorance impeach,
5 (Ere your Pretences be allow'd)
6 Define that Prudence which you Teach;
[Page 123]
7 I fear 'tis much above your Learning's Reach.
8 Prudence has no fixt Being, but depends
9 On Person, Time, and Chance,
10 And every petty Circumstance:
11 Actions directed to the Self-same ends,
12 May prudent th' one, the other peccant be;
13 For what would prove Discreet in Thee
14 Perhaps were wild Extravagance in Me.
15 The Ants are Wise, that from their Summer Hoard
16 Supply their Winter Board;
17 And doubtless full as wise as They
18 The Grashoppers that Play
19 And Revell all their Harvest Days away;
20 For 'twere in Them a Sensless Drudgery
21 To Toil for a Supply
22 In Winter's Dearth, that must ere Winter, Die.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The Challenge.
Author: Nahum Tate

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Tate, Nahum, c. 1652-1715. Poems by N. Tate. London: Printed by T.M. for Benj. Tooke ..., 1677, pp. 122-123. [15],133p. (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 2953].)

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