The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive

Drake's Chair Lands in Oxford

Ex Reliquiis tabulatorum Navis
Dracanæ fabricata: Et a Johanne
Davisio, Deptfordiensi, Bibli-
othecæ Oxoniensi dedicata

ORBE pererrato, solarísque æmula Currûs
    Quem valuit totum noscere, digna Polo,
Eligit hunc Portum sapiens, rerúmque perita,
    Formam induta novam Pythagorea Ratis.
Non poterat meritis tribui Navísque, Dracíque
    Nobilius pretium, nobiliórve locus.
Nam sedet Æternâ compôstus uterque Quiete,
    Et Dracus in Cúlo, Navis et Oxonii.
A Chair
made from the remnants of
the planks of Drake's ship, and
donated to the Library at Oxford
by John Davison of Deptford
 [tr. DK]

Wandering over the globe, emulating the sun's chariot,
worthy of the skies it boldly surveyed throughout,
in its wise, seasoned way it chose this as its port,
taking on a new form, a Pythagoras-like boat.
For their merits neither Drake nor his ship
could have earned nobler place or reward;
for both sit anchored now in eternal repose,
heaven his haven, and Oxford his vessel's.
Upon the Chair made out of Sir Francis Drakes Ship,
Presented to the University Library in

Oxford, by John Davis of Deptford, Esquire.

TO this great Ship which round the Globe has run,
And matcht in Race the Chariot of the Sun,
This Pythagorean Ship (for it may claim
Without presumption so deserv'd a Name,
By knowledge once and transformation now)
In her New Shape this sacred Port allow.
Drake and his Ship could not have wish'd from Fate,
A more blest Station, or more blest Estate.
For (Lo!) a Seat of endless Rest is given,
To her in Oxford, and to him in Heaven.

[from the editor's copies of PoŽmata Latina and Works (1668); all texts normalized in the same way as Cowley's "Hymn to Light"]
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