Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE, THE LORD TREASURER OF ENGLAND, by BEN JONSON



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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE, THE LORD TREASURER OF ENGLAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If to my mind, great lord, I had a state
Last Line: Aloud; and (haply) it may last as long.


If to my mind, great lord, I had a state,
I would present you now with curious plate
Of Nuremberg, or Turkey; hang your rooms
Not with the Arras, but the Persian looms.
I would, if price, or prayer could them get,
Send in, what or Romano, Tintaret,
Titian, or Raphael, Michael Angelo
Have left in fame to equal, or outgo
The old Greek hands in picture, or in stone.
This I would do, could I think Weston one
Catched with these arts, wherein the judge is wise
As far as sense, and only by the eyes.
But you, I know, my lord; and know you can
Discern between a statue, and a man;
Can do the things that statues do deserve,
And act the business, which they paint, or carve.
What you have studied are the arts of life;
To compose men, and manners; stint the strife
Of murmuring subjects; make the nations know
What worlds of blessings to good kings they owe:
And mightiest monarchs feel what large increase
Of sweets, and safeties, they possess by peace.
These I look up at, with a reverent eye,
And strike religion in the standers-by;
Which, though I cannot as an architect
In glorious piles, or pyramids erect
Unto your honour: I can tune in song
Aloud; and (haply) it may last as long.





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