1633 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Phineas Fletcher

Edward Benlowes, "On the excellent moral Poem, entituled the Isle of Man" in Purple Island (1633) Sig. ¶4v.



Lord! how my youth with this vain world hath err'd,
Applauding theirs as th' onely happy fate,
Whom to some Empire bloud, choice, chance preferr'd,
Or who of learned arts could wisely prate;
Or travelling the world, had well conferr'd
Mens natures with the mysteries of state!
But now thy wiser Muse hath taught me this,
That these and most men else do aim at blisse;
But these and most men else do take their aim amisse.

Reign o're the world, not o're this Isle of Man,
Worse then a slave thou thine own slaves obey'st.
Study all arts devis'd since time began,
And not thy self, thou studiest not, but play'st.
Out travell wise Ulysses, (if you can)
Yet misse this Isle, thou travell'st not, but stray'st.
Let me (O Lord) but reigne o're mine own heart,
And master be of this self-knowing art,
I'le dwell in th' Isle of Man, ne're travell forrain part.