To the Lord Falkland

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To the Lord Falkland
by Abraham Cowley

Great is thy Charge, O North; be wise and just,
England commits her Falkland to thy trust;
Return him safe: Learning would rather choose
Her Bodley, or her Vatican to loose.
All things that are but writ or printed there,
In his unbounded Breast engraven are.
There all the Sciences together meet,
And every Art does all her Kindred greet,
Yet justle not, nor quarrel; but as well
Agree as in some Common Principle.
So in an Army govern'd right we see
(Though out of several Countrys rais'd it be)
That all their Order and their Place maintain,
The English, Dutch, the Frenchmen and the Dane.
So thousand diverse Species fill the aire,
Yet neither crowd nor mix confus'dly there,
Beasts, Houses, Trees, and Men together lye,
Yet enter undisturb'd into the Eye.

And this great Prince of Knowledge is by Fate
Thrust into th' noise and business of a State,
All Virtues, and some Customs of the Court,
Other mens Labour, are at least his Sport.
Whilst we who can no action undertake,
Whom Idleness it self might Learned make,
Who hear of nothing, and as yet scarce know,
Whether the Scots in England be or no,
Pace dully on, oft tire, and often stay,
Yet see his nimble Pegasus fly away.
'Tis Natures fault who did thus partial grow,
And her Estate of Wit on One bestow.
Whilst we like younger Brothers, get at best
But a small stock, and must work out the rest.
How could he answer't, should the State think fit
To question a Monopoly of Wit?

Such is the Man whom we require the same
We lent the North; untoucht as is his Fame.
He is too good for War, and ought to be
As far from Danger, as from Fear he's free.
Those Men alone (and those are useful too)
Whose Valour is the onely Art they know,
Were for sad War and bloody Battels born;
Let Them the State Defend, and He Adorn.