|POET and Saint ! to thee alone are given
|The two most sacred Names of Earth and Heaven.
|The hard and rarest Union which can be
|Next that of Godhead with Humanitie.
|Long did the Muses banisht Slaves abide,
|And built vain Pyramids to mortal pride;
|Like Moses Thou (though Spells and Charms withstand)
|Hast brought them nobly home back to their Holy Land.
| Ah wretched We, Poets of Earth ! but Thou
|Wert Living the same Poet which thou'rt Now,
|Whilst Angels sing to thee their ayres divine,
|And joy in an applause so great as thine.
|Equal society with them to hold,
|Thou need'st not make new Songs, but say the Old.
|And they (kind Spirits !) shall all rejoyce to see
|How little less then They, Exalted Man may be.
|Still the old Heathen Gods in Numbers dwell,
|The Heav'enliest thing on Earth still keeps up Hell.
|Nor have we yet quite purg'd the Christian Land ;
|Still Idols here, like Calves at Bethel stand.
|And though Pans Death long since all Oracles broke,
|Yet still in Rhyme the Fiend Apollo spoke :
|Nay with the worst of Heathen dotage We
|(Vain men !) the Monster Woman Deifie ;
|Find Stars, and tye our Fates there in a Face,
|And Paradise in them by whom we lost it, place.
|What different faults corrupt our Muses thus ?
|Wanton as Girles, as old Wives, Fabulous !
| Thy spotless Muse, like Mary, did contain
|The boundless Godhead ; she did well disdain
|That her eternal Verse employ'd should be
|On a less subject then Eternitie ;
|And for a sacred Mistress scorn'd to take,
|But her whom God himself scorn'd not his Spouse to make.
|It (in a kind) her Miracle did do ;
|A fruitful Mother was, and Virgin too.
| How well (blest Swan) did Fate contrive thy death ;
|And made thee render up thy tuneful breath
|In thy great Mitress Arms ? thou most divine
|And richest Off'ering of Loretto's Shrine !
|Where like some holy Sacrifice t'expire,
|A Fever burns thee, and Love lights the Fire.
|Angels (they say) brought the fam'ed Chappel there,
|And bore the sacred Load in Triumph through the air.
|'Tis surer much they brought thee there, and They,
|And Thou, their charge, went singing all the way.
| Pardon, my Mother Church, if I consent
|That Angels led him when from thee he went,
|For even in Error sure no Danger is
|When joyn'd with so much Piety as His.
|Ah, mighty God, with shame I speak't, and grief,
|Ah that our greatest Faults were in Belief !
|And our weak Reason were ev'en weaker yet,
|Rather then thus our Wills too strong for it.
|His Faith perhaps in some nice Tenents might
|Be wrong ; his Life, I'm sure, was in the right.
|And I my self a Catholick will be,
|So far at least, great Saint, to Pray to thee.
| Hail, Bard Triumphant ! and some care bestow
|On us, the Poets Militant Below !
|Oppos'ed by our old En'emy, adverse Chance,
|Attacqu'ed by Envy, and by Ignorance,
|Enchain'd by Beauty, tortur'd by Desires,
|Expos'd by Tyrant-Love to savage Beasts and Fires.
|Thou from low earth in nobler Flames didst rise,
|And like Elijah, mount Alive the skies.
|Elisha-like (but with a wish much less,
|More fit thy Greatness, and my Littleness)
|Lo here I beg (I whom thou once didst prove
|So humble to Esteem, so Good to Love)
|Not that thy Spirit might on me Doubled be,
|I ask but Half thy mighty Spirit for Me.
|And when my Muse soars with so strong a Wing,
|'Twill learn of things Divine, and first of Thee to sing.