chapter  18
12 Pages

SAMUEL WOODFORD, Ode to the Memory of Rochester 1680

Longer I cannot hold, and yet a Feare I know not what, misgives me least my Song To fields enur’d and woods, and th’artlesse throng Of Swayns and heard-groomes, pressing neare Harsh notes, like those of their own pipes to heare (Notes only worthy so unpurg’d an eare, And through severer studys discontinued long) Forreign to what its numbers do intend A contrary effect should apprehend And make me where an Honour is designd, offend. I feare, but yet will sing; and if the Muse, Ungratefully her noblest help refuse Ah too ungratefull Muse! whose uncharm’d Wand For all the Labour and the Paine We Rhymers in her mines sustayn Betrayes us ever to an empty veine. The Oare exhausted, and the bed damm’d up with Sand! Without her help I will assay The softest strokes of Cowleys sacred lyre And on its chordes such measures play She shall the tunefull Verse admire, And envy those great thoughts their loftyer sounds inspire.