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Full Online Book HomePoemsTo His Friends--after His Many Solicitations--refusing To Petition Caesar...
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To His Friends--after His Many Solicitations--refusing To Petition Caesar... Post by :dburdon Category :Poems Author :Henry Vaughan Date :October 2011 Read :3246

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To His Friends--after His Many Solicitations--refusing To Petition Caesar...

(Ovid, Epistolarum) De Ponto, Lib. III. (epist. VII.)

To His Friends--After His Many Solicitations
--Refusing To Petition Caesar Or His Releasement


You have consum'd my language, and my pen,
Incens'd with begging, scorns to write again.
You grant, you knew my suit: my Muse and I
Had taught it you in frequent elegy.
That I believe--yet seal'd--you have divin'd
Our repetitions, and forestall'd my mind,
So that my thronging elegies and I
Have made you--more than poets--prophesy.
But I am now awak'd; forgive my dream
Which made me cross the proverb and the stream,
And pardon, friends, that I so long have had
Such good thoughts of you; I am not so mad
As to continue them. You shall no more
Complain of troublesome verse, or write o'er
How I endanger you, and vex my wife
With the sad legends of a banish'd life.
I'll bear these plagues myself: for I have pass'd
Through greater ones, and can as well at last
These petty crosses. 'Tis for some young beast
To kick his bands, or wish his neck releas'd
From the sad yoke. Know then, that as for me
Whom Fate hath us'd to such calamity,
I scorn her spite and yours, and freely dare
The highest ills your malice can prepare.
'Twas Fortune threw me hither, where I now
Rude Getes and Thrace see, with the snowy brow
Of cloudy Aemus, and if she decree
Her sportive pilgrim's last bed here must be,
I am content; nay, more, she cannot do
That act which I would not consent unto.
I can delight in vain hopes, and desire
That state more than her change and smiles; then high'r
I hug a strong despair, and think it brave
To baffle faith, and give those hopes a grave.
Have you not seen cur'd wounds enlarg'd, and he
That with the first wave sinks, yielding to th' free
Waters, without th' expense of arms or breath,
Hath still the easiest and the quickest death.
Why nurse I sorrows then? why these desires
Of changing Scythia for the sun and fires
Of some calm kinder air? what did bewitch
My frantic hopes to fly so vain a pitch,
And thus outrun myself? Madman! could I
Suspect fate had for me a courtesy?
These errors grieve: and now I must forget
Those pleas'd ideas I did frame and set
Unto myself, with many fancied springs
And groves, whose only loss new sorrow brings.
And yet I would the worst of fate endure,
Ere you should be repuls'd, or less secure.
But--base, low souls!--you left me not for this,
But 'cause you durst not. Caesar could not miss
Of such a trifle, for I know that he
Scorns the cheap triumphs of my misery.
Then since--degen'rate friends--not he, but you
Cancel my hopes, and make afflictions new,
You shall confess, and fame shall tell you, I
At Ister dare as well as Tiber die.


(The end)
Henry Vaughan's poem: To His Friends--After His Many Solicitations--Refusing To Petition Caesar Or His Releasement

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