Advice To My Best Brother

By Richard Lovelace

Frank, wil’tlive unhandsomely? trust not too far
Thy self to waving seas: for what thy star,
Calculated by sure event, must be,
Look in the glassy-epithete, and see.

Yet settle here your rest, and take your state,
And in calm halcyon’s nest ev’nbuild your fate;
Pretheelye down securely, Frank, and keep
With as much no noise, the inconstant deep
As its inhabitants; nay, steadfast stand,
As if discover’dwere a New-found-land,
Fit for plantation here. Dream, dream still,
Lull’din Dione’s cradle; dream, until
Horror awake your sense, and you now find
Your self a bubbled pastime for the wind;
And in loose Thetis blankets torn and tossed.
Frank, to undo thy self, why art at cost?

Nor be too confident, fix’don the shore:
For even that too borrows from the store.
Of her rich neighbor, since now wisest know.
(And this to Galileo’s judgment ow),
The palsies earth itself is every jot.
As frail, inconstant, waving, as that blot.
We lay upon the deep that sometimes lies.
Chang’d, you would think, with’s bottoms properties;
But this eternal, strange Ixion’s wheel.
Of giddy earth ne’er whirling leaves to reel,
Till all things are inverted, till they are
Turn’dto that antic confus’dstate they were.

Who loves the golden mean, doth safely want
A cobwebb’dcot and wrongs entail’dupon’t;
He richly needs a pallace for to breed.
Vipers and moths, that on their feeder feed;
The toy that we (too true) a mistress call,
Whose looking-glass and feather weighs up all;
And cloaths which larks would play within the sun,
That mock him in the night when’s course is run.

To rear an edifice by art so high,
That envy should not reach it with her eye,
Nay, with a thought, come near it. Wouldst thou know,
How such a structure should be raised, build low.
The blust’ringwinds invisible rough stroak
More often shakes the stubborn’st, prop’restoak;
And in proud turrets, we behold withal,
‘Tisthe imperial top declines to fall:
Nor does Heav’n’s lightning strike the humble vales,
But high-aspiring mounts batters and scales.

A breast of proof defies all shocks of Fate,
Fears in the best hopes in worser state;
Heaven forbid that, as of old, time ever.
Flourish’din spring so contrary, now never.
That mighty breath, which blew foul Winter hither,
Can eas’lypuffe it to a fairer weather.
Why dost despair then, Frank? Aeolus has
A Zephyrus as well as Boreas.

‘Tisa false sequel, solecism ‘gainstthose
Precepts by fortune giv’nus, to suppose
That, ’causeit is now ill, ’t will ere be so;
Apollo doth not always bend his bow;
But oft, uncrowned of his beams divine,
With his soft harp awakes the sleeping Nine.

In strictest things, magnanimous appear,
Greater in hope, however thy fate, then fear:
Draw all your sails in quickly, though no storm
Threaten your ruine with a sad alarm;
For tell me how they differ, tell me, pray,
A cloudy tempest and a too fair day?

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