Thoughts on Poems – ‘To all ingenious lovers of Poesy.’


To you alone, whose more refined spirits out-wing these dull times, and soar above the drudgery of dirty intelligence, have I made sacred these fancies: I know the years, and what coarse entertainment they afford poetry. If any shall question that courage that durst send me abroad so late, and revel it thus in the dregs of an age, they have my silence: only,
Languescente seculo, liceat aegrotari.

My more calm ambition, amidst the common noise, hath thus exposed me to the world: you have here a flame, bright only in its own innocence, that kindles nothing but a generous thought: which though it may warm the blood, the fire at highest is but Platonic; and the commotion, within these limits, excludes danger. For the satire, it was of purpose borrowed to feather some slower hours; and what you see here is but the interest: it is one of his whose Roman pen had as much true passion for the infirmities of that state, as we should have pity
to distraction of our own: honest–I am sure– it is, and offensive cannot be, except it meet with such spirits that will quarrel with antiquity, or purposely arraign themselves. These indeed may think that they have slept out so many centuries in this satire and are now awakened; which, had it been still Latin, perhaps their nap had been everlasting. But enough of these–it is for you only that I have adventured thus far, and invaded the press with verse; to whose more noble indulgence I shall now leave it, and so am gone.

~ Henry Vaughn


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