University of Virginia Library


Illvstr. XXXIV.

[Marke well this Caged-fowle; and, thereby, see]

My Fortune, I had rather beare;
Then come, where greater perills are.

Marke well this Caged-fowle; and, thereby, see,
What, thy estate, may, peradventure, be.
She, wants her freedome; so, perhaps, dost thou,
Some freedomes lacke, which, are desired, now;
And, though, thy Body be not so confin'd;
Art straitned, from some liberty of Minde.
The Bird in thrall, the more contented lyes,
Because, the Hawke, so neere her, she espyes;
And, though, the Cage were open, more would feare,
To venture out, then to continue there:
So, if thou couldst perceive, what Birds of prey,
Are hov'ring round about thee, every day,
To seize thy Soule (when she abroad shall goe,
To take the Freedome, she desireth so)
Thou, farre more fearefull, wouldst of them, become,
Then thou art, now, of what thou flyest from.
Not Precepts, but Experience, thus hath taught me;
Which, to such resolutions, now have brought me,
That, whatsoever mischiefes others doe me,
I make them yield some true Contentments to me;
And, seldome struggle from them, till I see,
That, smother-fortunes will securer be.
What spight soere my Foes, to me, can doe,
I laugh thereat, within an houre or two:
For, though the World, and I, at first, believe,
My Suffrings, give me cause enough to grieve;
Yet, afterward, I finde (the more to glad me)
That, better Fortunes, might farre worse have made me.
By some young Devills, though, I scratched am,
Yet, I am hopefull, I shall scape their Dam.