T H E F
O R E S T .
XIV. — ODE TO SIR WILLIAM SIDNEY, ON HIS BIRTH-DAY.
|Now that the hearth is crown'd with smiling fire,
And some do drink, and some do dance,
And all do strive to advance
The gladness higher ;
Wherefore should I
Stand silent by,
Who not the least,
|Both love the cause, and authors of the feast ?
Give me my cup, but from the Thespian well,
That I may tell to SIDNEY what
And he may think on that
Which I do tell ;
When all the noise
Of these forced joys,
Are fled and gone,
|And he with his best Genius left alone.
This day says, then, the number of glad years
Are justly summ'd, that make you man;
Strive all right ways it can,
T' outstrip your peers :
Since he doth lack
Of going back
Little, whose will
|Doth urge him to run wrong, or to stand still.
Nor can a little of the common store
Of nobles' virtue, shew in you
And great, must seek for new,
And study more :
Not weary, rest
On what's deceas't.
For they, that swell
|With dust of ancestors, in graves but dwell.
'Twill be exacted of your name, whose son,
Whose nephew, whose grandchild you are
Say you have follow'd far,
When well begun :
Which must be now,
They teach you how,
And he that stays
|To live until to-morrow', hath lost two days.
So may you live in honor, as in name,
If with this truth you be inspired
Be more, and long desired ;
And with the flame
Of love be bright,
As with the light
Of bonfires ! then
|The birth-day shines, when logs not burn, but men.
Jonson, Ben. The Works of Ben Jonson.
Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1853. 807.
||to Works of Ben Jonson
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