The Fort or Castle of Hope

Hope, hearing Doubt an army great did bring1
For to assault the castle she was in,2
For her defense she made that castle3 strong,
Placing great ord’nance on the wall along.4
Bulwarks she5 built at every corner’s end;                                5
A curtain long the middle did defend.6
Two faces make7 a point, from whence the8 cannons play;
Two points do make9 a third to stop the en’mies10 way;
The wings were not11 too short, nor curtains were12 too long;
The points were not13 too sharp, but blunt to make them strong.14 10
Round15 the castle, enemies out to keep,
A ditch was dug,16 which was both wide and deep;
Bridges were17 made to draw or let at length;
The gates had iron bars of wondrous strength.
Soldiers upon the curtain’s line did stand,                               15
And each did hold18 a musket in his hand.
When Hope had ordered all about her fort,
Then she did call a council to her court.
“I hear,” said she19 “that Doubt a war will make,
And bring great force this castle for to take,                            20
Wherefore, my friends, provisions must be sought,
And first of all, good store of victuals bought:
Hunger doth lose more forts, than force doth win,
Then must we with the stomach first begin.
The next is arms, the body for to guard;                                   25
Those that unarmèd20 are, are soon’st afeared.
For21 to small use we make a ditch or wall
Without armed men to keep that22 wall withall.
Shall we neglect men’s lives and all their strength,23
More than a wall, that may be broke at length?24                  30
For ammunitïons, that mighty power,
Engines of death, which armies,25 towns devour,
Yet are they of no use, unless mankind
Hath strength, skill, will, to use them as design’d.
’Tis wisdom26 to advise what ways are best                            35
Us to defend, that we be not27 oppressed.”
Then Expectation, being gray with age,
Advises28 Hope by no means to engage
Too near her castle, but let that be free.
“Draw out a line about the town,” said she,                             40
“There make some works, soldiers entrench therein,
Let not the wars close at your gates begin.”
With that, Desire, though young, yet wisely spake:29
“Alas,” said she, “Doubt that small line will30 take;
So great a compass will your strength divide,                         45
A body weak may break through any side.
Besides, the soldiers will more careless be
When they a rescue strong behind them see.
But in the castle, where lies all their good,
There they will fight to the last drop of blood.”                      50

  1. an army great did bring] did a great Army raise 1664; did a great Army raise 1668
  2. For to assault the castle she was in,] Upon the castle, where she was, to Seize, 1664; Upon the Castle, where she was, to seise: 1668
  3. she made that castle] her Castle she made 1653
  4. Placing great ord’nance on the wall along.] Plac’d Pieces of Ordnance the VVall along; 1664; Plac’d Pieces of Ordnance the Wall along, 1668
  5. Bulwarks she] And Bulwarks 1664; And Bulwarks 1668
  6. long the middle did defend.] of twelve score was drawn between 1653
  7. make] made 1664, 1668
  8. from whence the] whence 1664, 1668
  9. points do make] Points 1664; Points, 1668
  10. en’mies] enemi’s 1653; Enemies 1664
  11. The wings were not] No Wing 1664; No Wing 1668
  12. nor curtains were] no Curtain was 1664; no Curtain was 1668
  13. The points were not] No Point 1664; No Point 1668
  14. a marginal note by lines 7-10 reads, “When bullets are shot from each corner, they make a triangular point upon the enemy.” In 1664 and 1668, the note reads, “Bullets shot from two bulwarks upon the enemy make a point.”
  15. Round] And round 1664, 1668
  16. dug,] digg’d, 1653, 1668; Digg’d 1664
  17. Bridges were] And bridges 1653
  18. each did hold] every one 1653
  19. said she] sayes Hope, 1653
  20. unarmèd] unarm’d 1653
  21. For] But 1653
  22. Without armed men to keep that] In not men arm’d to keep this 1653
  23. men’s lives and all their strength,] the lives, and strength of men, 1653
  24. broke at length?] broken in? 1653
  25. Engines of death, which armies,] And Death’s Engines, Armies and 1664; And Death’s Engines, Armies and 1668
  26. ’Tis wisdom] The last for 1653
  27. Us to defend, that we be not] For to defend our selves from being 1653
  28. Advises] Adviseth 1664, 1668
  29. though Young, yet wisely spake:] although young, did speak, 1653
  30. that small line will] will that small line 1653