And again in his ‘Mother Hubberd's Tale,’ in the most pithy and masculine verses he ever wrote:—
To warn young shepherds' wandering witEven such is all their vaunted vanity,
Which, through report of that life's painted bliss,
Abandon quiet home to seek for it
And leave their lambs to loss misled amiss;
For, sooth to say, it is no sort of life
For shepherd fit to live in that same place,
Where each one seeks with malice and with strife
To thrust down other into foul disgrace
Himself to raise; and he doth soonest rise
That best can handle his deceitful wit
In subtle shifts
To which him needs a guileful hollow heart
Masked with fair dissembling courtesy,
A filed tongue furnisht with terms of art,
No art of school, but courtiers' schoolery.
For arts of school have there small countenance,
Counted but toys to busy idle brains,
And there professors find small maintenance,
But to be instruments of others' gains,
Nor is there place for any gentle wit
Unless to please it can itself apply.
Naught else but smoke that passeth soon away.
So they themselves for praise of fools do sell,
And all their wealth for painting on a wall.
Whiles single Truth and simple Honesty
Do wander up and down despised of all.Compare Shakespeare's LXVI. Sonnet.
Most miserable man, whom wicked Fate
Hath brought to Court to sue for Had-I-wist
That few have found and many one hath mist!
Full little knowest thou that hast not tried
What hell it is in suing long to bide;
To lose good days that might be better spent,
To waste long nights in pensive discontent,
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow,