Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN EPIGRAM ON SIR EDWARD COKE WHEN HE WAS LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, by BEN JONSON



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AN EPIGRAM ON SIR EDWARD COKE WHEN HE WAS LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: He that should search all glories of the gown
Last Line: Needs lend an aid, to thine she had her eyes.


He that should search all glories of the gown,
And steps of all raised servants of the crown,
He could not find, than thee of all that store
Whom Fortune aided less, or virtue more.
Such, Coke, were thy beginnings, when thy good
In others' evil best was understood:
When, being the stranger's help, the poor man's aid,
Thy just defences made the oppressor afraid.
Such was thy process, when integrity,
And skill in thee, now, grew authority;
That clients strove, in question of the laws,
More for thy patronage, than for their cause,
And that thy strong and manly eloquence
Stood up thy nation's fame, her crown's defence,
And now such is thy stand; while thou dost deal
Desired justice to the public weal
Like Solon's self; explat'st the knotty laws
With endless labours, whilst thy learning draws
No less of praise, than readers in all kinds
Of worthiest knowledge, that can take men's minds.
Such is thy all; that (as I sung before)
None Fortune aided less, or virtue more.
Of if chance must, to each man that doth rise,
Needs lend an aid, to thine she had her eyes.





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