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The Discontent


1 Here take no Care, take here no Care, my Muse,
2 Nor ought of Art or Labour use:
3 But let thy Lines rude and unpolisht go,
4 Nor Equal be their Feet, nor Num'rous let them flow.
5 The ruggeder my Measures run when read,
6 They'l livelier paint th'unequal Paths fond Mortals tread.
7 Who when th'are tempted by the smooth Ascents,
8 Which flatt'ring Hope presents,
9 Briskly they clime, and Great Things undertake;
10 But Fatal Voyages, alas, they make:
11 For 'tis not long before their Feet,
12 Inextricable Mazes meet,
13 Perplexing Doubts obstruct their Way,
14 Mountains with-stand them of Dismay;
15 Or to the Brink of black Dispaire them lead,
16 Where's nought their Ruine to impede,
17 In vain for Aide they then to Reason call,
18 Their Senses dazle, and their Heads turn round,
19 The sight does all their Pow'rs confound,
20 And headlong down the horrid Precipice they fall:
21 Where storms of Sighs for ever blow,
22 Whre raped streams of Tears do flow,
23 Which drown them in a Briny Floud.
24 My Muse pronounce aloud, there's nothing Good,
25 Nought that the World can show,
26 Nought that it can bestow.


27 Not boundless Heaps of its admired Clay,
28 Ah, too successful to betray,
29 When spread in our fraile Vertues way:
30 For few do run with so Resolv'd a Pace,
31 That for the Golden Apple will not loose the Race.
32 And yet not all the Gold the Vain would spend,
33 Or greedy Avarice would wish to save;
34 Which on the Earth refulgent Beams doth send,
35 Or in the Sea has found a Grave,
36 Joyn'd in one Mass, can Bribe sufficient be,
37 The Body from a stern Disease to free,
38 Or purchase for the Minds relief
39 One Moments sweet Repose, when restless made by grief,
40 But what may Laughter, more than Pity, move:
41 When some the Price of what they Dear'st Love
42 Are Masters of, and hold it in their Hand,
43 To part with it their Hearts they can't command:
44 But chose to miss, what miss't does them torment,
45 And that to hug, affords them no Content.
46 Wise Fools, to do them Right, we these must hold,
47 Who Love depose, and Homage pay to Gold.


48 Nor yet, if rightly understood,
49 Does Grandeur carry more of Good;
50 To be o'th' Number of the Great enroll'd,
51 A Scepter o're a Mighty Realm to hold.
52 For what is this?
53 If I not judge amiss.
54 But all th'Afflicted of a Land to take,
55 And f one single Family to make?
56 The Wrong'd, the Poor, th'Opprest, the Sad,
57 The Ruin'd, Malecontent, and Mad?
58 Which a great Part of ev'ry Empire frame,
59 And Interest in the common Father claime.
60 Again what is't, but always to abide
61 A Gazing Crowd? upon a Stage to spend
62 A Life that's vain, or Evil without End?
63 And which is yet not safely held, nor laid aside?
64 And then, if lesser Titles carry less of Care,
65 Yet none but Fools ambitious are to share
66 Such a Mock-Good, of which 'tis said, 'tis Best,
67 When of the least of it Men are possest.


68 But, O, the Laurel'd Fool! that doats on Fame,
69 Whose Hope's Applause, whose Fear's to want a Name;
70 Who can accept for Pay
71 Of what he does, what others say;
72 Exposes now to hostile Arms his Breast,
73 To toylsome Study then betrays his Rest;
74 Now to his Soul denies a just Content,
75 Then forces on it what it does resent;
76 And all for Praise of Fools: for such are those,
77 Which most of the Admiring Crowd compose.
78 O famisht Soul, which such Thin Food can feed!
79 O Wretched Labour crown'd with such a Meed!
80 Too loud, O Fame! thy Trumpet is, too shrill,
81 To lull a Mind to Rest,
82 Or calme a stormy Breast,
83 Which asks a Musick soft and still.
84 'Twas not Almaleck's vanquisht Cry,
85 Nor Israels shout of Victory,
86 That could in Saul the rising Passion lay,
87 'Twas the soft strains of David's Lyre the Evil Spirit chace't away.


88 But Friendship fain would yet it self defend,
89 And Mighty Things i
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:56 min read

Anne Killigrew

Anne Killigrew was an English poet. more…

All Anne Killigrew poems | Anne Killigrew Books

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