Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN EPIGRAM ON WILLIAM, LORD BURLEIGH, LORD HIGH TREASURER, by BEN JONSON



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AN EPIGRAM ON WILLIAM, LORD BURLEIGH, LORD HIGH TREASURER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If thou wouldst know the virtues of mankind
Last Line: Of divine blessing, would not serve a state?


If thou wouldst know the virtues of mankind,
Read here in one, what thou in all canst find,
And go no farther: let this circle be
Thy universe, though his epitome.
Cecil the grave, the wise, the great, the good,
What is there more that can ennoble blood?
The orphan's pillar, the true subject's shield,
The poor's full storehouse, and just servant's field.
The only faithful watchman for the realm,
That in all tempests, never quit the helm,
But stood unshaken in his deeds, and name,
And laboured in the work; not with the fame:
That still was good for goodness' sake, nor thought
Upon reward, till the reward him sought.
Whose offices and honours did surprise,
Rather than meet him: and, before his eyes
Closed to their peace, he saw his branches shoot,
And in the noblest families took root
Of all the land; who now at such a rate,
Of divine blessing, would not serve a state?





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