Poems upon several occasions with, A voyage to the island of love
Behn, Aphra, 1640-1689.

To Mr. Creech (under the Name of Daphnis) on his Excellent Translation of Lucretius.

THou great Young Man! Permit amongst the Crowd
Of those that sing thy mighty Praises lowd,
My humble Muse to bring its Tribute too.
Inspir'd by thy vast flight of Verse,
Methinks I should some wondrous thing re∣hearse,
Worthy Divine Lucretius, and Diviner Thou.
Page  51But I of Feebler Seeds design'd,
Whilst the slow moving Atomes strove
With careless heed to form my Mind:
Compos'd it all of Softer Love.
In gentle Numbers all my Songs are Drest,
And when I would thy Glories sing,
What in strong manly Verse I would express,
Turns all to Womannish Tenderness within.
Whilst that which Admiration does inspire,
In other Souls, kindles in mine a Fire.
Let them admire thee on—Whilst I this newer way
Pay thee yet more than they:
For more I owe, since thou hast taught me more,
Then all the mighty Bards that went before.
Others long since have Pal'd the vast delight;
In duller Greek and Latin satisfy'd the Appetite:
But I unlearn'd in Schools, disdain that mine
Should treated be at any Feast but thine.
Till now, I curst my Birth, my Education,
And more the scanted Customes of the Nation:
Permitting not the Female Sex to tread,
The Mighty Paths of Learned Heroes dead.
The God-like Virgil, and great Homers Verse,
Like Divine Mysteries are conceal'd from us.
Page  52We are forbid all grateful Theams,
No ravishing thoughts approach our Ear,
The Fulsom Gingle of the times,
Is all we are allow'd to understand or hear.
But as of old, when men unthinking lay,
Ere Gods were worshipt, or ere Laws were fram'd
The wiser Bard that taught 'em first t' obey,
Was next to what he taught, ador'd and fam'd;
Gentler they grew, their words and manners chang'd,
And salvage now no more the Woods they rang'd.
So thou by this Translation dost advance
Our Knowledg from the State of Ignorance,
And equals us to Man: Ah how can we,
Enough Adore, or Sacrifice enough to thee!
The Mystick Terms of Rough Philosophy,
Thou dost so plain and easily express;
Yet Deck'st them in so soft and gay a Dress:
So intelligent to each Capacity,
That they at once Instruct and Charm the Sense,
VVith heights of Fancy, heights of Eloquence;
Page  53And Reason over all Unfetter'd plays,
VVanton and undisturb'd as Summers Breeze;
That gliding murmurs o're the Trees:
And no hard Notion meets or stops its way.
It Pierces, Conquers and Compels,
Beyond poor Feeble Faith's dull Oracles.
Faith the despairing Souls content,
Faith the Last Shift of Routed Argument.
Hail Sacred Wadham! whom the Muses Grace
And from the Rest of all the Reverend Pile
Of Noble Pallaces, design'd thy Space:
VVhere they in soft retreat might dwell.
They blest thy Fabrick, and said—Do thou,
Our Darling Sons contain;
We thee our Sacred Nursery Ordain:
They said and blest, and it was so.
And if of old the Fanes of Silvian Gods,
VVere worshipt as Divine Aboads;
If Courts are held as Sacred Things,
For being the Awful Seats of Kings.
VVhat Veneration should be paid,
To thee that hast such wondrous Poets made!
Page  54To Gods for fear, Devotion was design'd,
And Safety made us bow to Majesty;
Poets by Nature Aw and Charm the Mind,
Are born not made by dull Religion or Necessity.
The Learned Thirsis did to thee belong,
Who Athens Plague has so divinely Sung.
Thirsis to wit, as sacred friendship true,
Paid Mighty Cowley's Memory its due.
Thirsis who whilst a greater Plague did reign,
Then that which Athens did Depopulate:
Scattering Rebellious Fury o're the Plain,
That threatn'd Ruine to the Church and State,
Unmov'd he stood, and fear'd no Threats of Fate.
That Loyal Champion for the Church & Crown,
That Noble Ornament of the Sacred Gown,
Still did his Soveraign's Cause Espouse,
And was above the Thanks of the mad Senate-house.
Strephon the Great, whom last you sent abroad,
Who VVrit, and Lov'd, & Lookt like any God;
For whom the Muses mourn, the Love-sick Maids
Are Languishing in Melancholly Shades.
Page  55The Cupids flug their Wings, their Bows untie,
And useless Quivers hang neglected by,
And scatter'd Arrows all around 'em lye.
By murmuring Brooks the careless Deities are laid,
Weeping their rifled power now Noble Stre∣phon's Dead.
Ah Sacred Wadham! should'st thou never own
But this delight of all Mankind and thine;
For Ages past of Dulness, this alone,
This Charming Hero would Attone.
And make thee Glorious to succeeding time;
But thou like Natures self disdain'st to be,
Stinted to Singularity.
Even as fast as she thou dost produce,
And over all the Sacred Mystery infuse.
No sooner was fam'd Strephon's Glory set,
Strephon the Soft, the Lovely and the Great;
But Daphnis rises like the Morning-Star,
That guides the VVandring Traveller from afar.
Daphnis whom every Grace, and Muse inspires,
Page  56Scarce Strephons Ravishing Poetick Fires
So kindly warm, or so divinely Cheer.
Advance Young Daphnis, as thou hast begun,
So let thy Mighty Race be run.
Thou in thy large Poetick Chace,
Begin'st where others end the Race.
If now thy Grateful Numbers are so strong,
If they so early can such Graces show,
Like Beauty so surprizing, when so Young,
VVhat Daphnis will thy Riper Judgment do,
When thy Unbounded Verse in their own Streams shall flow!
What Wonder will they not produce,
When thy Immortal Fancy's loose;
Unfetter'd, Unconfin'd by any other Muse!
Advance Young Daphnis then, and mayst thou prove
Still Sacred in thy Poetry and Love.
May all the Groves with Daphnis Songs be blest,
Whilst every Bark is with thy Disticks drest.
May Timerous Maids learn how to Love from thence
And the Glad Shepherd Arts of Eloquence.
And when to Solitude thou woud'st Retreat,
May their tun'd Pipes thy Welcome celebrate.
Page  57And all the Nymphs strow Garlands at thy Feet.
May all the Purling Streams that murmuring pass,
The Shady Groves and Banks of Flowers,
The kind reposing Beds of Grass,
Contribute to their Softer Hours.
Mayst thou thy Muse and Mistress there Caress,
And may one heighten to 'thers Happiness!
And whilst thou so divinely dost Converse,
We are content to know and to admire thee in thy Sacred Verse.