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Flamma sine Fumo

or, poems without fictions. Hereunto are annexed the Causes, Symptoms, or Signes of several Diseases with their Cures, and also the diversity of Urines, with their Causes in Poetical measure. By R. W. [i.e. Rowland Watkyns]
1 occurrence of shall rise with fleas
[Clear Hits]

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The Poets Condition
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1 occurrence of shall rise with fleas
[Clear Hits]


The Poets Condition

Est Deus in nobis, agitante calescimus illo.

A poet, and rich? that seems to be
A paradox most strange to me.
A Poet, and poor? that Maxim's true,
If we observe the Canting crue.
What lands had Randolph, or great Ben,
That plow'd much paper with his pen?
Wise Chaucer, as old Records say,
Had never but his length of clay:
And by some men I have been told,
That Cleaveland had more brains than gold.
Shew me a Poet, and I'll shew thee
An Emblem of rich poverty:
An hundred Verses, though divine,
Will never buy one pint of wine.
I have a purse as free within
From gold, as Heaven is from sin,
And silver thinks, I do it wrong,
If I imprison it too long.
My purse no constant measure knows,
But like the Sea it ebbs and flows;
And as my purse doth rise or fall,
So I do rule my senses all.
When I have silver or pure gold,
I am most brave, divine, and bold;
And then I do not hold it fit
That any should outvie m'in wit:
But when these birds have taken wing,
I cannot crack a jest, nor sing:
All mirth and musick I detest,
And mad Orlando, Mortuus est.


But stay; I think no worldly gain
So sweet as a Poetick vein:
No grief disturbs a Poets head,
No discontent frequents his bed:
When riches ebb; my wits do flow,
The rich are dull, and nothing know.
I have a heart, I have a mind
More quick in motion than the wind;
And through the twelve Signs I can run
By thought, more swiftly than the Sun.
I know the motion of the Stars,
Which are for peace, which are for wars:
If I the Astrolabium take,
I know their height without mistake:
I know without all doubt or wonder,
The cause of lightning and of thunder:
What weather will be, I descry
By the complexion of the sky.
The vertues of each plant or tree,
Of flowers and herbs, are known to me.
I good and evil Angels know,
And can their strength and order show:
But (O my God) I know thee best,
When I confess I know thee least.
Thus I, when I am poor and bare,
By meditations banish care.
Then judge, which is the greatest curse,
An empty head, or empty curse.