Wherefore, if men inclined are to look, Perhaps their graver fancies may be took With what is here, though but in homely rhimes: But he who pleases all must rise betimes. Some, I persuade me, will be finding fault, Concluding here I trip, and there I halt: No doubt some could these groy'ling notions raise By fine-spun terms that challenge might the bays. Should all be forced to lay their brains aside That cannot regulate the flowing tide, By this or that man's fancy we should have The wise unto the fool become a ave. What though my text seems mean, my morals be Grave, as if fetched from a sublimer tree. And if some better handle can a fly, Ihan some a text, wherefore should we deny Their making proof, or good experiment, Of smallest things, great mischiefs to prevent,

Wise Solomon did fools to pismires send,
To learn true wisdom, and their lives to mend.
Yea, God, by swallows, cuckoos, and the ass,
Shews they are fools who let that season pass
Which he put in their hand, that to obtain
Which is both present and eternal gain.

I think the wiser sort my rhime may slight, While I peruse them, fools will take delight. Then what care I ? The foolish, God has chose; And doth by foolish things their minds compose, And settle upon that which is divine : Great things by little ones are made to shine.

I could were I so pleased, use higher strains; And for applause on tenters stretch my brains ;

But what needs that? The arrow out of sight
Doth not the sleeper nor the watchman fright:
To shoot too high doth make but children gaze,
'Tis that which hits the man doth him amaze.

As for the inconsiderableness
Of things, by which I do my mind express;
May I by them bring some good things to pass,
As Samson with the jaw-bone of an ass;
Or as brave Shamgar, with the ox's goad,
(Both things unmanly, nor for war in mode ;)
I have my end, though I myself expose;
For God will have the glory in the close.

J. B.




What! barren here, in this so good a soil,
The sight of this doth make God's heart recoil
From giving thee his blessing; barren tree,
Bear fruit, or else thy end will cursed be!

Art thou not planted by the water side?
Know'st not the Lord by fruit is glorifi'd ?
The sentence is, Cut down the barren tree;
Bear fruit, or else thy end will cursed be!

Thou hast been digg’d about, and dunged too, Will neither patience, nor yet dressing do? The executioner is come, O tree! Bear fruit, or else thy end will cursed be!

He that about thy roots takes pains to dig,
Would, if on thee were found but one good Fig,
Preserve thee from the axe; but, barren tree,
Bear fruit, or else thy end will cursed be!
The utmost end of patience is at hand;
'Tis much if thou much longer here dost stand;
O cumber-ground, thou art a barren tree,
Bear fruit, or else thy end will cursed be!

Thy standing, nor thy name, will help at all;
When fruitful trees are spared, thou must fall.
The axe is laid unto thy roots, O tree!
Bear fruit, or else thy end will cursed be!


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