Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON MR. SHIRLEY'S POEMS, by THOMAS STANLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ON MR. SHIRLEY'S POEMS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When, dearest friend, thy verse doth re-inspire
Last Line: And poetry by this increase grow less.
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Shirley, James (1596-1666)

WHEN, dearest friend, thy verse doth re-inspire
Love's pale decaying torch with brighter fire,
Whilst everywhere thou dost dilate thy flame,
And to the world spread thy Odelia's name,
The justice of all ages must remit
To her the prize of Beauty, thee of Wit.
Then, like some skilful artist, that to wonder
Framing a piece, displeas'd, takes it asunder,
Thou Beauty dost depose, her charms deny,
And all the mystic chains of Love untie:
Thus thy diviner Muse a power 'bove Fate
May boast, that can both make and uncreate.
Next thou call'st back to life that love-sick boy,
To the kind-hearted nymphs less fair than coy,
Who, by reflex beams burnt with vain desire,
Did, Phoenix-like, in his own flames expire:
But should he view his shadow drawn by thee,
He with himself once more in love would be.
Echo (who though she words pursue, her haste
Can only overtake and stop the last)
Shall her first speech and human veil obtain
To sing thy softer numbers o'er again.
Thus, into dying poetry, thy Muse
Doth full perfection and new life infuse;
Each line deserves a laurel, and thy praise
Asks not a garland, but a grove of bays;
Nor can ours raise thy lasting trophies higher,
Who only reach at merit to admire.
But I must chide thee, friend: how canst thou be
A patron, yet a foe to poetry?
For while thou dost this age to verse restore,
Thou dost deprive the next of owning more;
And hast so far e'en future aims surpast,
That none dare write: thus being first and last,
All, their abortive Muses will suppress,
And poetry by this increase grow less.

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