Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ANSWER TO A COPY OF VERSES SENT ME TO JERSEY, by ABRAHAM COWLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AN ANSWER TO A COPY OF VERSES SENT ME TO JERSEY, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: As to a northern people (whom the sun
Last Line: And gave him the whole prize, their tenths and fifteens too.
Subject(s): Jersey, Channel Island; Poetry & Poets

AS to a Northern People (whom the Sun
Uses just as the Romish Church has done
Her Prophane Laity, and does assigne
Bread only, both to serve for Bread and Wine)
A rich Canary Fleet welcome arrives:
Such comfort to us here your Letter gives,
Fraught with brisk racy Verses, in which we
The Soil from whence they came, taste, smel, and see:
Such is your Present to us; for you must know,
Sir, that Verse does not in this Island grow
No more than Sack: One lately did not feare
(Without the Muses' leave) to plant it here.
But it produc'd such base, rough, crabbed, hedge
Rhymes, as ev'n set the hearers' EArs on Edge,
Written by -- -- -- -- -- -- Esquire, the
Year of our Lord six hundred thirty three.
Brave Jersey Muse! and he's for this high stile
Call'd to this day the Homer of the Isle.
Alas, to Men here, no Words less hard be,
To Rhyme with, than Mount Orgueil is to me.
Mount Orgueil, which in scorn o' th' Muses' law
With no yoke-fellow Word will dain to draw.
Stubborn Mount Orgueil! 'tis a work to make it
Come into Rhime, more hard then 'twere to take it.
Alas, to bring your Tropes and Figures here,
Strange as to bring Camels and Elephants were.
And Metaphore is so unknown a thing,
'Twould need the Preface of, God save the King.
Yet this I'll say for th' honor of the place,
That by God's extraordinary Grace,
(Which shows the people's have judgement, if not Wit)
The Land is undefiled with Clinches yet.

Which in my poor opinion, I confess,
Is a most singular blessing, and no less
Then Ireland's wanting Spiders. And so farre
From th' Actual Sin of Bombast too they are,
(That other Crying Sin o' th' English Muse)
That even Satan himself can accuse
None here (no not so much as the Divines)
For th' Motus primo primi to Strong Lines.
Well, since the soil then does not naturally beare
Verse, who (a Devil) would import it here?
For that to me would seem as strange a thing
As who did first Wilde Beasts into Islands bring.
Unless you think that it might taken be
As Green did Gond'ibert, in a Prize at Sea.
But that's a Fortune falls not every day;
'Tis true Green was made by it; for they say
The Parl'ament did a noble bounty do,
And gave him the whole Prize, their Tenths and Fifteens too.

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