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Poem by William Somerville
Hudibras and Milton Reconciled
TO SIR ADOLPHUS OUGHTON. Dear Knight! how great a drudge is he Who would excel in poetry; And yet how few have learn'd the art To' inform the head or touch the heart! Some with a dry and barren brain, Poor rogues! like costive lapdogs strain; While others with a flux of wit The reader and their friends besh-t. Would you (Sir Knight) my judgment know? He still writes worst who writes so-so. In this the mighty secret lies, To elevate and to surprise. Thus far my pen at random run, The fire was out, the clock struck one, When, lo! strange hollow murmurs from without Invade my ears. In every quarter rous'd, The warning winds rush from their rocky caves Tumultuous; the vapours dank or dry, Beneath their standards rang'd, with lowering front Darken the welkin. At each dreadful shock Oaks, pines, and elms, down to their mother earth Bend low their suppliant heads: the nodding towers Menace destruction, and old Edric's house From its foundation shakes. The bellying clouds Burst into rain, or gild their sable skirts With flakes of ruddy fire: fierce elements In ruin reconcil'd, redoubled peals Of ceaseless thunder roar. Convulsions rend The firmament. The whole creation stands Mute and appall'd, and trembling waits its doom. And now, perhaps, dear friend! you wonder In this dread scene of wind, rain, thunder, What a poor guilty wretch could do: Then hear Ч (for, faith, I tell you true) I water'd, shook my giddy head, Gravely broke wind, and went to bed.
William Somerville's other poems:
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