1632 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Kenelm Digby

Thomas Randolph, "To that compleat and noble Knight, Sir Kenellam Digbie" Randolph, The Jealous Lovers (1632) sig. ¶2-¶2v.



Sir, when I look on you, me thinks I see
To the full height, how perfect man may be.
Sure all the Arts did court you, and you were
So courteous as to give to each their share
While we lie lock'd in darknesse, night and day
Wasting our fruitelesse oyl and time away,
Perchance for skill in Grammar, and to know
Whether this word be thus declin'd or no.
Another cheats himself, perchance to be
A pretty youth, forsooth, in fallacie:
This on Arithmetick doth hourely lie,
To learn the first great blessing, — Multiply.
That travels in Geometry, and tires,
And he above the world a map admires.
This dotes on Musicks most harmonious chime,
And studying how to keep it, loses time.
One turns o're histories, and he can show
All that has been, but knowes not what is now.
Many in Physick labour, most of these
Lose health, to know the name of a disease.
Some (too high wise) are gazing at a starre,
And if they call it by his name, they are
In heaven already. And another one
That cries Melpomene, and drinks Helicon,
At Poetrie throws wit and wealth away,
And makes it all his work to write a play.
Nay, on Divinity many spend their powres,
That scarce learn any thing, but to stand two houres.
How must we, Sir, admire you then, that know
All Arts, and all the best of these can show?
For your deep skill in State, I cannot say,
My knowledge there is onely to obey:
But I beleeve 'tis known to our best Peeres,
Amaz'd to see a Nestor of your yeares.
Mars claims you too, witnesse the Gallion,
That felt your thunder-bolts at Scanderon,
When Neptune frighted let his Trident fall,
And bid his waves call you their Generall.
How many men might you divide your store
Of vertues to, and yet not leave you poore,
Though enrich them? Stay here. How dare I then
To such an able judgment show my pen?
But 'tis, Sir, from a Muse that humbly prayes,
You'le let her ivie wait upon your bayes.
Your admiring servant, T. R.