Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ODE TO MASTER ANTHONY STAFFORD [TO HASTEN HIM INTO COUNTRY], by THOMAS RANDOLPH



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ODE TO MASTER ANTHONY STAFFORD [TO HASTEN HIM INTO COUNTRY], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Come, spur away, / I have no patience for a longer stay
Last Line: To civilise with graver notes our wits again.
Variant Title(s): Ode On Leaving The Great Town;an Ode To Mr Anthony Stafford To Hasten Him Into The Country
Subject(s): Cities; Country Life; Urban Life


Come, spur away,
I have no patience for a longer stay,
But must go down,
And leave the chargeable noise of this great town;
I will the country see
Where old simplicity,
Though hid in grey,
Doth look more gay
Than foppery in plush and scarlet clad.
Farewell, you city wits, that are
Almost at civil war;
'Tis time that I grow wise, when all the world grows mad.

More of my days
I will not spend to gain an idiot's praise,
Or to make sport
For some slight puisne of the Inns-of-Court.
Then, worthy Stafford, say,
How shall we spend the day?
With what delights
Shorten the nights?
When from this tumult we are got secure
Where mirth with all her freedom goes,
Yet shall not finger lose;
Where every word is thought, and every thought is pure.

There from the tree
We'll cherries pluck, and pick the strawberry.
And every day
Go see the wholesome country girls make hay,
Whose brown hath lovelier grace
Than any painted face,
That I do know
Hyde Park can show.
Where I had rather gain a kiss than meet
(Though some of them in greater state
Might court my love with plate)
The beauties of the Cheap, and wives of Lombard Street.

But think upon
Some other pleasures: these to me are none.
Why did I prate
Of women, that are things against my fate?
I never mean to wed
that torture to my bed.
My muse is she
My love shall be.
Let clowns get wealth and heirs; when I am gone,
And the great bugbear, grisly death,
shall take this idle breath,
If I a poem leave, that poem is my son.

Of this no more;
We'll rather taste the bright Pomona's store.
No fruit shall 'scape
Our palates, from the damson to the grape.
then (full) we'll seek a shade,
And hear what music's made;
How Philomel
Her tale doth tell,
And how the other birds do fill the quire:
The thrush and blackbird lend their throats
Warbling melodious notes;
We will all sports enjoy which others but desire.

Ours is the sky,
Whereat what fowl we please our hawk shall fly:
Nor will we spare
To hunt the crafty fox or timorous hare,
But let our hounds run loose
In any ground they'll choose,
The buck shall fall,
The stag, and all
Our pleasures must from their own warrants be,
For to my muse, if not to me,
I'm sure all game is free:
Heaven, earth, all are parts of her great royalty.

And when we mean
To taste of Bacchus' blessings now and then,
And drink by stealth
A cup or two to noble Barkley's health,
I'll take my pipe and try
The Phrygian melody
Which he that hears
Lets through his ears
A madness to distemper all the brain.
Then I another pipe will take
And Doric music make
To civilise with graver notes our wits again.






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