Of the Style of this Book


I language want to dress my fancies in;
The hair’s uncurled, the garments loose and thin.
Had they but silver lace to make them gay
They’d2 be more courted than in poor array,
Or had they art, would3 make a better show.                 5
But they are plain; yet cleanly do they go.
The world in bravery doth take delight,
And glist’ring4 shows do more attract the sight,
For5 everyone doth honor a rich hood,
As if the outside made the inside good,                         10
And everyone doth bow and give the place
Not to the person,6 but the silver lace.
Let me entreat in7 my poor book’s behalf,
That all may not adore the golden calf.
Consider, pray: gold hath no life therein,8                    15
And life in nature is the richest thing.
So fancy is the soul in poetry,
And if not good, the9 poem ill must be.
Be just, let fancy have the upper place,
And then my verses may perchance find grace.         20
If flattering language all the passions rule,
Then sense, I fear, will be a mere dull fool.

  1. Of the Style of this Book] [This title does not exist in 1653.]
  2. They’d] Would 1653
  3. would] might 1653
  4. glist’ring] glistering 1653
  5. For] And 1653
  6. to the person,] for the Mans sake, 1653
  7. in] ye’ in 1664; ye’, in 1668
  8. gold hath no life therein,] that Gold no Life doth bring, 1664; that Gold no Life doth bring; 1668
  9. the] a 1653