TO SIR JOHN BERKLEY, GOVERNOR OF EXETER.
by Robert Herrick
STAND forth, brave man, since fate has made thee here
The Hector over aged Exeter,
Who for a long, sad time has weeping stood
Like a poor lady lost in widowhood,
But fears not now to see her safety sold,
As other towns and cities were, for gold
By those ignoble births which shame the stem
That gave progermination unto them :
Whose restless ghosts shall hear their children sing,
Our sires betrayed their country and their king .
True, if this city seven times rounded was
With rock, and seven times circumflank'd with brass,
Yet if thou wert not, Berkley, loyal proof,
The senators, down tumbling with the roof,
Would into prais'd, but pitied, ruins fall,
Leaving no show where stood the capitol.
But thou art just and itchless, and dost please
Thy Genius with two strengthening buttresses,
Faith and affection, which will never slip
To weaken this thy great dictatorship.
Progermination, budding out.
Itchless, i.e., with no itch for bribes.
747. To Sir John Berkeley, Governour of Exeter.
Youngest son of Sir Maurice Berkeley, of Bruton, in
Somersetshire ; knighted in Berwick in 1638 ; com-
mander-in-chief of all the Royalist forces in Devon-
shire, 1643 ; captured Exeter Sept. 4 of that year and
held it till April 13, 1646. Created Baron Berkeley
of Stratton, in Cornwall, 1658 ; died 1678. ]
Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 63-64; 282.