A1r omitted


to the
Reverend Doctor Burnet,

on the
Honour he did me of Enquiring after
me and my Muse.

By Mrs. A. Behn.

Printed for R. Bentley, and are to be ſold by Richard Baldwin in the
Old Baily. 16891689.

A1v A2r omitted 3

A Pindaric Poem


When Old Rome’s Candidates aſpir’d to Fame,

And did the Peoples Suffrages obtain

For ſome great Conſul, or a Cæſar’s Name;

The Victor was not half ſo Pleas’d and Vain,

As I, when given the Honour of your Choice,

And Preference had in that one ſingle Voice;

That Voice, from whence Immortal Wit ſtill flows;

Wit that at once is Solemn all and Sweet,

Where Nobleſt Eloquence and Judgment ſhows

A2 The A2v 4

The Inſpiring Mind Illuſtrious, Rich, and Great;

A Mind that can inform your wond’rous Pen

In all that’s Perfect and Sublime:

And with an Art beyond the Wit of Men,

On what e’re Theam, on what e’re great Deſign,

It carries a Commanding Force, like that of Writ Divine.


With Pow’rful Reaſoning dreſt in fineſt Sence,

A thouſand ways my Soul you can Invade,

And ſpight of my Opinions weak Defence,

Againſt my Will, you Conquer and Perſwade.

Your Language ſoft as Love, betrays the Heart,

And at each Period fixes a Reſiſtleſs Dart,

While the fond Liſtner, like a Maid undone,

Inſpir’d with Tenderneſs ſhe fears to own;

In vain eſſays her Freedom to Regain:

The fine Ideas in her Soul remain,

And Pleaſe, and Charm, even while they Grieve and Pain .


But yet how well this Praiſe can Recompenſe

For all the welcome Wounds (before) you’d given!

Scarce A3r omitted 5

Scarce any thing but You and Heaven

Such Grateful Bounties can diſpenſe,

As that Eternity of Life can give;

So fam’d by you my Verſe Eternally ſhall live:

Till now, my careleſs Muſe no higher ſtrove

T’inlarge her Glory, and extend her Wings;

Than underneath Parnaſſus Grove,

To Sing of Shepherds, and their humble Love;

But never durſt, like Cowly, tune her Strings,

To ſing of Heroes and of Kings.

But ſince by an Authority Divine,

She is allow’d a more exalted Thought;

She will be valu’d now as Currant Coyn,

Whoſe Stamp alone gives it the Eſtimate,

Tho’ out of an inferiour Metal wrought.


But oh! if from your Praiſe I feel

A Joy that has no Parallel!

What muſt I ſuffer when I cannot pay

Your Goodneſs, your own generous way?

And make my ſtubborn Muſe your Juſt Commands obey.

A3 My A3v 6

My Muſe that would endeavour fain to glide

With the fair proſperous Gale, and the full driving Tide

But Loyalty Commands with Pious Force,

That ſtops me in the thriving Courſe,

The Brieze that wafts the Crowding Nations o’re,

Leaves me unpity’d far behind

On the Forſaken Barren Shore,

To Sigh with Echo, and the Murmuring Wind;

While all the Inviting Proſpect I ſurvey,

With Melancholy Eyes I view the Plains,

Where all I ſee is Raviſhing and Gay,

And all I hear is Mirth in loudeſt Strains;

Thus while the Choſen Seed poſſeſs the Promis’d Land,

I like the Excluded Prophet ſtand,

The Fruitful Happy Soil can only ſee,

But am forbid by Fates Decree

To ſhare the Triumph of the joyful Victory.


’Tis to your Pen, Great Sir, the Nation owes

For all the Good this Mighty Change has wrought;

’Twas that the wondrous Method did diſpoſe,

E’re A4r omitted 7

E’re the vaſt Work was to Perfection brought.

Oh Strange effect of a Seraphick Quill!

That can by unperceptable degrees

Change every Notion, every Principle

To any Form, its Great Dictator pleaſe:

The Sword a Feeble Pow’r, compar’d to That,

And to the Nobler Pen ſubordinate;

And of leſs uſe in Braveſt turns of State:

While that to Blood and Slaughter has recourſe,

This Conquers Hearts with ſoft prevailing Force:

So when the wiſer Greeks o’recame their Foes,

It was not by the Barbarous Force of Blows.

When a long Ten Years Fatal War had fail’d,

With luckier Wiſdom they at laſt aſſail’d,

Wiſdom and Counſel which alone prevail’d.

Not all their Numbers the Fam’d Town could win,

’Twas Nobler Stratagem that let the Conquerour in.


Tho’ I the Wond’rous Change deplore,

That makes me Uſeleſs and Forlorn,

Yet I the great Deſign adore,

Tho’ Ruin’d in the Univerſal Turn.

Nor A4v 8

Nor can my Indigence and Loſt Repoſe,

Thoſe Meager Furies that ſurround me cloſe,

Convert my Senſe and Reaſon more

To this Unpreſidented Enterpriſe,

Than that a Man ſo Great, ſo Learn’d, ſo Wiſe,

The Brave Atchievement Owns and nobly Juſtifies.

’Tis you, Great Sir, alone, by Heaven preſerv’d,

Whoſe Conduct has ſo well the Nation ſerv’d,

’Tis you that to Poſterity ſhall give

This Ages Wonders, and its Hiſtory.

And Great Nassau ſhall in your Annals live

To all Futurity.

Your Pen ſhall more Immortalize his Name,

Than even his Own Renown’d and Celebrated Fame.