Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EPISTLE TO JOHN BRADSHAW, ESQ.: 2, by CHARLES COTTON



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EPISTLE TO JOHN BRADSHAW, ESQ.: 2, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sir, you may please to call to mind
Last Line: And I will bless and kiss the hand that pen'd it.


SIR, you may please to call to mind,
That letters you did lately find
From me, which I conceiv'd were very kind;

So hearty kind, that by this hand, Sir,
Briefly, I do not understand, Sir,
Why you should not vouchsafe some kind of answer.

What though in Rhyme y' are no proficient?
Your love should not have been deficient,
When downright Prose to me had been sufficient.

'Tis true, I know that you dare fight, Sir,
But what of that? that will not fright, Sir;
I know full well your Worship too can write, Sir.

Where the peace therefore broken once is,
Unless you send some fair responses,
I doubt there will ensue some broken sconces.

Then dream not valour can befriend you,
For if I justly once suspend you,
Your Sanct'ary, nor your Club, can yet defend you;

But fairly, Sir, to work to go;
What the Fiend is the matter, trow,
Should make you use an old companion so?

I know the life you lead a-days,
And, like poor Swan, your foot can trace
From home to Pray'rs, thence to the forenam'd place.

And can you not from your Precation,
And your as daily Club potation,
To think of an old Friend find some vacation.

'Tis true you sent a little letter,
With a great present, which was better,
For which I must remain your humble debtor.

But for th' epistle, to be plain,
That's paid with int'rest back again,
For I sent one as long at least as twain.

Then mine was rhyme, and yours but reason,
If therefore you intend t' appease one,
Let me hear from you in some mod'rate season.

'Tis what y' are bound to by the tie
Of Friendship first, then Equity,
To which I'll add a third, call'd Charity.

For one that's banished the Grand Mond
Would sometimes by his Friends be own'd,
'Tis comfort after whipping to be moan'd.

But though I'm damned t' a people here,
Than whom my dog's much civiler,
I hear from you some twice or thrice a year.

Saints that above are plac'd in glory,
Unless the Papists tell a story,
Commiserate poor souls in Purgatory.

Whilst you, Sir Captain, Heav'n remit ye,
Who live in Heav'n on earth, the City,
On me, who live in Hell, can have no pity.

In faith it looks unkind! pray mend it,
Write the least script you will, and send it,
And I will bless and kiss the hand that pen'd it.





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