To His Honoured and Most Ingenious Friend Mr. Charles Cotton
For brave comportment, wit without offence,
Words fully flowing, yet of influence:
Thou art that man of men, the man alone,
Worthy the public admiration:
Who with thine own eyes read'st what we do write,
And giv'st our numbers euphony, and weight.
Tell'st when a verse springs high, how understood
To be, or not born of the Royal blood.
What state above, what symmetry below,
Lines have, or should have, thou the best canst show.
For which (my Charles) it is my pride to be,
Not so much known, as to be loved by thee.
Long may I live so, and my wreath of bays,
Be less another's laurel, than thy praise.