Like as the Oak whose roots descend Through earth and stillness seeking food Most apt to furnish in the end That dense, indomitable wood Which, felled, may arm a seaward flank Of Ostias mole or, bent to frame The beaked Liburnians triple bank, Carry afar the Roman name; But which, a tree, the season moves Through gentler Gods than Wind or Tide, Delightedly to harbour doves, Or take some clasping vine for bride; So this man, prescient to ensure (Since even now his orders hold) A little State might ride secure At sea from foes her sloth made bold, Turned in his midmost harried round, As Venus drove or Liber led, And snatched from any shrine he found The Stolen Draught, the Secret Bread. Nor these alone. His life betrayed No gust unslaked, no pleasure missed. He called the obedient Nine to aid The varied chase. And Clio kissed; Bidding him write each sordid love, Shame, panic, stratagem, and lie In full, that sinners undiscov- ered, like ourselves, might say: Tis I!
Find out more about the life of Samuel Pepys and his infamous diary offering a rare, first-hand account of the English Restoration period.