To Madam JANE BARKER, On Her Incomparable POEMS.
Soon as some envious Angel‘s willing hand
Snatch’d Great Orinda srom our happy Land;
The Great Orinda, whose Seraphick Pen
Triumph’d o’er Women, and out-brav’d ev’n Men:
Then our Male-Poets modestly thought fit,
To claim the honour’d Primacy in Wit;
But, lo, the Heiress of that Ladies Muse,
Rivals their Merits, and their Sence out-do’s;
With swifter flights of fancy wings her Verse,
And nobler Greatness valiant Acts reherse.
Her Modish Muse abhors a constant dress,
Appears each day in fineries afresh:
Sometimes in pompous Grandeur she do’s nobly stalk,
Then clad in tragick Buskins do’s Majestick walk;
She swells in blushing Purple, or looks big in Arms,
Proclaims destructive Wars, & triumphs in Alar’ms;
Denounces fall of States, and fate of greatest Kings,
Ruin of mighty Monarchs, and of mighty Things.
Sometimes her angry Muse, fill’d with Satyrick rage,
Lashes the frantick follies of a froward Age;
Then whips, and fiery Serpents ev’ry Verse entwine,
And sharpest-pointed Vengeance fills each threatning line.
Sometimes her kinder Muse do’s softly sing
Of native joys, which in the Country spring:
Noiseless as Planets, all her Numbers move,
Or silent breathings of a sleeping Dove;
Soft as the Murmur of a gentle Air,
Or Mid-nights whispers ‘twixt an Amorous pair.
A genuine sweetness through her Verses flow,
And harmless Raptures, such as Shepherds know;
She fills each Plain, each Wood, each shady Grove,
With wearied Echoes of repeated Love.
Bald and Bombastick equally you shun,
In ev’n paces all your Numbers run.
Spencer‘s aspiring fancy fills your Soul,
Whilst lawfull Raptures through your Poems rowl,
Which always by your guidance do submit,
To th’ curb of Iudgment, and the bounds of Wit.
When in a Comick sweetness you appear,
Ben Iohnson‘s humour seems revived there.
When lofty Passions thunder from your Pen,
Methinks I hear Great Shakespear once again.
But what do’s most your Poetry commend?
You ev’n begin where those great Wits did end.
Your infant fancy with that height is crown’d,
Which they with pains and cost (when old) scarce found.
Go on, Dear Madam, and command our praise,
Our freshest Laurels, and our greenest Bays.
St. Iohn’s Colledge.
© Jane Barker
READ MORE POEMS BY THIS POET:
- An Ode: “O Ye Blest Pow’rs, Propitious Be”
- Song: “Musing On Cares Of Humane Fate”
- A Pindarique Ode (On Mr. John Whitehall)
- In Elegantem Janae Barker Poeticen Epigramma
- Epitaph On The Secretary To The Muses
- On The Divine Spirit
- To Clarinda On Her Incom∣parable Painting And Wax-Work
- On The Posthume And Precious Poems Of Sir Matthew Hale
- A Love-Poem
- On New-Years-Day