Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO WILLIAM, EARL OF PEMBROKE, by BEN JONSON



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TO WILLIAM, EARL OF PEMBROKE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I do but name thee, pembroke, and I find
Last Line: The commonwealth still safe, must study thee.
Subject(s): Herbert, William, 3d Earl Of Pembroke


I do but name thee Pembroke, and I find
It is an epigram, on all mankind;
Against the bad, but of, and to the good:
Both which are asked, to have thee understood.
Nor could the age have missed thee, in this strife
Of vice, and virtue; wherein all great life
Almost, is exercised: and scarce one knows,
To which, yet, of the sides himself he owes.
They follow virtue, for reward, today;
Tomorrow vice, if she give better pay:
And are so good, and bad, just at a price,
As nothing else discerns the virtue or vice.
But thou, whose noblesse keeps one stature still,
And one true posture, though besieged with ill
Of what ambition, faction, pride can raise;
Whose life, even they, that envy it, must praise;
That art so reverenced, as thy coming in,
But in the view, doth interrupt their sin;
Thou must draw more: and they, that hope to see
The commonwealth still safe, must study thee.






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