1687 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nahum Tate

Philip Ayres, "To his ingenious Friend, Mr. N. Tate" Ayers, Lyric Poems (1687); Saintsbury, Minor Poets of the Caroline Period (1905-21) 2:317.



Thro' various paths, for pleasures have I sought,
Which short content, and lasting trouble brought;
These are the clouds, obscure my reason's light,
And charge with grief, when I expect delight.

Spight of all lets, thou Honour's hill dost climb,
Scorning to spend in empty joys thy time;
Thou in the foremost list of Fame dost strive,
Whose present virtues, future glories give.

With myrtle I, with bays, thou crown'st thy head,
Thine still is verdant, but my wreath is dead:
The trees I plant, and nurse with so much care,
Are barren; thine the glory of the year.

I only tune my pipe to Cynthia's fame,
With verse confin'd, but constant as my flame;
In thousand streams thy plenteous numbers fall,
Thy muse attempts all strains, excels in all.