Ten thousand pounds a year will make me live;
A kingdom Fortune then to me must2 give.
I’ll conquer all, like Alexander Great,
And, like to Caesar, my opposers beat.
Give me a fame that with the world may last; 5
Let all tongues tell of my great actions past.
Let every child, when first ’tis taught to speak,3
Repeat my name, my memory for to keep.4
And then, great Fortune, give to me thy power
To ruin man, and raise him in an hour. 10
Let me command the Fates, and spin their thread,
And Death to stay his scythe when I forbid,
And, Destiny, give me your chains to tie,
Effects from causes to produce thereby.
And let me like the gods on high become,5 15
That nothing can6 but by my will be done.
- Foolish Ambition] Ambition. 1653
- A kingdom Fortune then to me must] Fortune then must a Kingdom to me 1664; Fortune then must a Kingdom to me 1668
- when first ‘tis taught to speak,] that Learns to Speak, my Name 1664; that learns to speak, my Name 1668
- my name, my memory for to keep.] to keep the Memory of my Fame; 1664; to keep the memory of my Fame: 1668
- on high become,] be high alone, 1664, 1668
- can] may 1664, 1668