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TO HIS VERY WORTHY FRIEND

MR. IZAAK WALTON,

UPON HIS WRITING AND PUBLISHING THE LIFE OF THE

VENERABLE AND JUDICIOUS

MR. RICHARD HOOKER.

1. Hail, sacred mother! British Church, all hail !

From whose fruitful loins have sprung

Of pious sons so great a throng That Heaven t' oppose their force, of strength did

fail, And let the mighty conquerors o'er Almighty arms

prevail ; How art thou changed from what thou wert a late !

When destitute and quite forlorn, And scarce a child of thousands with thee left to

mourn,

Thy veil all rent, and all thy garments torn, With tears thou didst bewail thine own and children's

fate.

VERSES TO MR. IZAAK WALTON.

Too much alas! thou didst resemble then

Sion, thy pattern, — Sion in ashes laid,

Despised, forsaken, and betrayed;

Sion thou dost resemble once again,
And, raised like her, the glory of the world art

made.
Threnes only to thee could that time belong,
But now thou art the lofty subject of my song.

II.
Begin, my verse, and where the doleful mother

sat
(As it in vision was to Esdras shown)
Lamenting, with the rest, her dearest son,

Bless'd Charles, who his forefathers has outgone,
And to the royal joined the martyr's brighter

crown,

Let a new city rise with beauteous state,
And beauteous let its temple be, and beautiful the

gate!
Lo! how the sacred fabric up does rise !
The architects so skilful all,

So grave, so humble, and so wise :

The axe's and the hammer's noise
Is drowned in silence or in numbers musical;

'T is up, and at the altar stand The reverend fathers as of old,

With harps and incense in their hand. Nor let the pious service grow or stiff or cold ;

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Th' inferior priests, the while,
To praise continually employed or pray,

Need not the weary hours beguile,

Enough 's the single duty of each day.
Thou thyself, Woodford, on thy humbler pipe may'st

play,
And though but lately entered there,
So gracious those thou honor’st all appear,

So ready and attent to hear,
An easy part, proportioned to thy skill, may'st bear

III. But where, alas? where wilt thou fix thy choice ?

The subjects are so noble all,
So great their beauties and thy art so small,
They'll judge, I fear, themselves disparaged by thy

voice :
Yet try, and since thou canst not take

A name so despicably low,

But 't will exceed what thou canst do, Though thy whole mite thou away at once shouldst

throw,
Thy poverty a virtue make :

And, that thou may'st immortal live,

(Since immortality thou canst not give) From one who has enough to spare be ambitious to

receive.
Of reverend and judicious Hooker sing ;

Hooker does to the church belong,

The church and Hooker claim thy song,
And inexhausted riches to thy verse will bring ;

10

VERSES TO MR. IZAAK WALTON.

So far beyond itself will make it grow, That life, his gift to thee, thou shalt again on him

bestow.

How great, bless'd soul, must needs thy glories be!

Thy joys how perfect, and thy crown how fair!

Who mad'st the church thy chiefest care ;
This church which owes so much to thee,
That all her sons are studious of thy memory.
’T was a bold work the captived to redeem,

And not so only, but th’ oppressed to raise
(Our aged mother) to that due esteem
She had and merited in her younger days,

When primitive zeal and piety
Were all her laws and policy,
And decent worship kept the mean

Its too wide stretched extremes between,
The rudely scrupulous and extravagantly vain-
This was the work of Hooker's pen;
With judgment, candor, and such learning

writ, Matter and words so exactly fit That were it to be done again Expected 't would be as its answer hitherto has

been.

RITORNATA.

To Chelsea, song ; there tell thy master's friend

The church is Hooker's debtor, Hooker his;

And strange 't would be, if he should glory miss For whom two such most powerfully contend:

Bid him cheer up, the day's his own,

And he shall never die,
Who, after seventy 's past and gone,

Can all th' assaults of age defy;
Is master still of so much youthful heat,
A child so perfect and so sprightly to beget.

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