The Author to the Critical Peruser


The naked Truth in many faces shewn,

Whose inward Beauties very few hav known,

A Simple Light, transparent Words, a Strain

That lowly creeps, yet maketh Mountains plain,

Brings down the highest Mysteries to sense

And keeps them there; that is Our Excellence:

At that we aim; to th’ end thy Soul might see

With open Eys thy Great Felicity,

Its Objects view, and trace the glorious Way

Wherby thou may’st thy Highest Bliss enjoy.


  No curling Metaphors that gild the Sence,

Nor Pictures here, nor painted Eloquence;

No florid Streams of Superficial Gems,

But real Crowns and Thrones and Diadems!

That Gold on Gold should hiding shining ly

may well be reckon’d baser Heraldry.


  An easy Stile drawn from a native vein,

a clearer Stream than that which Poets feign,

Whose bottom may, how deep so’ere, be seen,

Is that which I think fit to win Esteem:

Els we could speak Zamzummim words, and tell

A Tale in tongues that sound like Babel-Hell;

In Meteors speak, in blazing Prodigies,

Things that amaze, but will not make us wise.


On Shining Banks we could nigh Tagus walk;

In flow’ry Meads of rich Pactolus talk;

Bring in the Druids, and the Sybills view;

See what the Rites are which the Indians do;

Derive along the channel of our Quill

The Streams that flow from high Parnassus hill;

Ransack all Nature’s Rooms, and add the things

Which Persian Courts enrich; to make Us Kings:

To make us Kings indeed! Not verbal Ones,

But reall Kings, exalted unto Thrones;

and more than Golden Thrones! ‘Tis this I do,

Letting Poëtick Strains and Shadows go.


I cannot imitat their vulgar Sence

Who Cloaths admire, not the Man they fence

Against the Cold; and while they wonder at

His Rings, his precious Stones, his Gold and Plate;

The middle piece, his Body and his Mind,

They over-look; no Beauty in them find:

God’s Works they slight, their own they magnify,

His they contemn, or careless pass them by;


Their woven Silks and wel-made Suits they prize,

Valu their Gems, but not their useful Eys:

Their precious Hands, their Tongues and Lips divine,

Their polisht Flesh where whitest Lillies join

With blushing Roses and with saphire Veins,

The Bones, the Joints, and that which els remains

Within that curious Fabrick, Life and Strength,

I’th’ wel-compacted bredth and depth and length

Of various Limbs, that living Engins be

Of glorious worth; God’s Work they will not see:

Nor yet the Soul, in whose concealed Face,

Which comprehendeth all unbounded Space,

GOD may be seen; tho she can understand

The Length of Ages and the Tracts of Land

That from the Zodiac do extended ly

Unto the Poles, and view Eternity.


Ev’n thus do idle Fancies, toys, and Words,

(Like gilded Scabbards hiding rusty Swords)

Take vulgar Souls; who gaze on rich Attire

But God’s diviner Works do ne’r admire.


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One thought on “Poetry

  1. Katrina

    Zamzummim = a race of giants, cf. Deut 2 20Prodigies = something that excites wonder & admiration. 2. Something out of the ordinary course of nature; a monstrosity.Tagus = river in west central Spain & central Portugal; flowing 566 miles SW to the AtlanticMead = Poetic meadowPactolus = In ancient Lydia, a river whose gold was a traditional source of King Croesus’ wealth.Sybill (sybyl) = fortune-teller; sorceressParnassus = mountain north of the Gulf of Corinth in central Greece, anciently regarded as sacred to Apollo & the Muses; 8062 ft. 2. Domain of poetry or of literature. 3. A collection of poems or other literary works.

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