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Richard Corbet

To His Son, Vincent Corbet

What I shall leave thee none can tell,
But all shall say I wish thee well:
I wish thee, Vin, before all wealth,
Both bodily and ghostly health;
Nor too much wealth, nor wit, come to thee,
So much of either may undo thee.
I wish thee learning, not for show,
Enough for to instruct and know,
Not such as gentlemen require
To prate at table or at fire.
I wish thee all thy mother's graces,
Thy father's fortunes, and his places.
I wish thee friends, and one at court,
Not to build on, but support,
To keep thee, not in doing many
Oppressions, but from suffering any.
I wish thee peace in all thy ways,
Nor lazy nor contentious days;
And when thy soul and body part,
As innocent as now thou art.

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An Epitaph on Doctor Donne, Dean of St. Paul's

He that would write an epitaph for thee,
And do it well, must first begin to be
Such as thou wert; for none can truly know
Thy worth, thy life, but he that hath lived so.
He must have wit to spare, and to hurl down;
Enough to keep the gallants of the town.
He must have learning plenty; both the laws,
Civil and common, to judge any cause;
Divinity, great store above the rest,
Not of the last edition, but the best.
He must have language, travel, all the arts,
Judgment to use, or else he want thy parts.
He must have friends the highest, able to do,
Such as Maecenas, and Augustus too.
He must have such a sickness, such a death,
Or else his vain descriptions come beneath.
Who then shall write an epitaph for thee,
He must be dead first! Let it alone, for me.

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The Fairies Farewell

FAREWELL, rewards and fairies,
Good housewives now may say,
For now foul sluts in dairies
Do fare as well as they.
And though they sweep their hearths no less
Than maids were wont to do,
Yet who of late for cleanness
Finds sixpence in her shoe?

Lament, lament, old Abbeys,
The Fairies’ lost command!
They did but change Priests’ babies,
But some have changed your land.
And all your children, sprung from thence,
Are now grown Puritans,
Who live as Changelings ever since
For love of your demains.

At morning and at evening both
You merry were and glad,

[...] Read more

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The Distracted Puritan

Am I mad, O noble Festus,
When zeal and godly knowledge
Have put me in hope
To deal with the Pope
As well as the best in the college?
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

In the house of pure Emanuel
I had my education,
Where my friends surmise
I dazel'd my eyes
With the sight of revelation.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

[...] Read more

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