chapter  31
2 Pages

Isaac Watts on Rochester

Strephon of noble blood and mind, (For ever shine his name!) As Death approach’d, his Soul refin’d, And gave his looser sonnets to the flame. ‘Burn, burn, he cry’d, with sacred rage, Hell is the Due of every page; Such be its fate.’1 —But, O indulgent Heaven! So vile the Muse, and yet the man forgiven! ‘Burn on my songs; for not the silver Thames, Nor Tyber, with his yellow streams, In endless currents rolling on the main Can e’er dilute the poison, or wash out the stain.’ — So Moses by divine command, Forbade the lep’rous house to stand; When deep the fatal spot was grown: ‘Break down the timber, and dig up the stone.’