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TO MASTER GEORGE SANDYS TREASURER FOR THE ENGLISH COLONY IN VIRGINIA, by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Friend, if you thinke my papers may supplie
Last Line: So (noble sandis) for this time adue.
Subject(s): News; Sandys, George (1578-1644); Virginia (state)

Friend, if you thinke my Papers may supplie
You, with some strange omitted Noveltie,
Which others Letters yet have left untould,
You take me off, before I can take hould
Of you at all; I put not thus to Sea,
For two monthes Voyage to Virginia,
With newes which now, a little something here,
But will be nothing ere it can come there.
I feare, as I doe Stabbing, this word, State;
I dare not speake of the Palatinate,
Although some men make it their hourely theame,
And talke what's done in Austria, and in Beame,
I may not so; what Spinola intends,
Nor with his Dutch, which way Prince Maurice bends;
To other men, although these things be free,
Yet (GEORGE) they must be misteries to mee.
I scarce dare praise a vertuous friend that's dead,
Lest for my lines he should be censured;
It was my hap before all other men
To suffer shipwrack by my forward pen
When King JAMES entred; at which joyfull time
I taught his title to this Ile in rime:
And to my part did all the Muses win,
With high-pitch Poeans to applaud him in:
When cowardise had tyed up every tongue,
And all stood silent, yet for him I sung;
And when before by danger I was dar'd,
I kick'd her from me, nor a jot I spar'd.
Yet had not my cleere spirit in Fortunes scorne,
Me above earth and her afflictions borne,
He next my God on whom I built my trust,
Had left me troden lower then the dust:
But let this passe; in the extreamest ill,
Apollo's brood must be couragious still,
Let Pies, and Dawes, sit dumb before their death,
Onely the Swan sings at the parting breath.
And (worthy GEOREG) by industry and use,
Let's see what lines Virginia will produce;
Goe on with OVID, as you have begunne,
With the first five Bookes; let your numbers run
Glib as the former, so shall it live long,
And doe much honour to the English tongue:
Intice the Muses thither to repaire,
Intreat them gently, trayne them to that ayre,
For they from hence may thither hap to fly,
T'wards the sad time which but to fast doth hie,
For Poesie is followed with such spight,
By groveling drones that never raught her height,
That she must hence, she may no longer staye:
The driery fates prefixed have the day,
Of her departure, which is now come on,
And they command her straight wayes to be gon;
That bestiall heard so hotly her pursue,
And to her succour, there be very few,
Nay none at all, her wrongs that will redresse,
But she must wander in the wildernesse,
Like to the woman, which that holy JOHN
Beheld in Pathmos in his vision.
As th' English now, so did the stiff-neckt Jewes,
Their noble Prophets utterly refuse,
And of those men such poore opinions had,
They counted Esay and Ezechiel mad;
When Jeremy his Lamentations writ,
They thought the Wizard quite out of his wit,
Such sots they were, as worthily to ly,
Lock't in the chaines of their captivity,
Knowledge hath still her Eddy in her Flow,
So it hath beene, and it will still be so.
That famous Greece where learning flowrisht most,
Hath of her muses long since left to boast,
Th'unletter'd Turke, and rude Barbarian trades,
Where HOMER sang his lofty Iliads;
And this vaste volume of the world hath taught,
Much may to passe in little time be brought.
As if to Symptoms we may credit give,
This very time, wherein we two now live,
Shall in the compasse, wound the Muses more,
Then all the old English ignorance before;
Base Balatry is so belov'd and sought,
And those brave numbers are put by for naught,
Which rarely read, were able to awake
Bodyes from graves, and to the ground to shake
The wandring clouds, and to our men at armes,
'Gainst pikes and muskets were most powerfull charmes.
That, but I know, insuing ages shall
Raise her againe, who now is in her fall;
And out of dust reduce our scattered rimes,
Th'rejected jewels of these slothfull times,
Who with the Muses would mispend an hower,
But let blind Gothish Barbarisme devoure
These feverous Dogdays, blest by no record,
But to be everlastingly abhord.
If you vouchsafe rescription, stuffe your quill
With naturall bountyes, and impart your skill,
In the description of the place, that I
May become learned in the soyle thereby;
Of noble Wyats health, and let me heare,
The Governour; and how our people there,
Increase and labour, what supplyes are sent,
Which I confesse shall give me much content;
But you may save your labour if you please,
To write to me ought of your Savages.
As savage slaves be in great Britaine here,
As any one that you can shew me there.
And though for this, Ile say I doe not thirst,
Yet I should like it well to be the first,
Whose numbers hence into Virginia flew,
So (noble Sandis) for this time adue.

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