« PreviousContinue »
239. TO CHLORIS
FAREWELL, my sweet, until I come,
Improved in merit, for thy sake,
With characters of honour, home,
Such as thou canst not then but take.
To loyalty my love must bow,
My honour, too, calls to the field,
Where for a lady's busk I now
Must keen and sturdy iron wield.
Yet, when I rush into those arms,
Where death and danger do combine,
I shall less subject be to harms
Than to those killing eyes of thine.
240. FROM THE RETIREMENT'
Good God, how sweet are all things here,
How beautiful the fields appear,
How cleanly do we feed and lie,
Lord ! what good hours do we keep.
How quietly we sleep.
What peace, what unanimity! How innocent from the lewd fashion Is all our business, all our recreation !
How calm and quiet a delight
Is it, alone,
To read, and meditate, and write ;
By none offended, and offending none.
To walk, ride, sit, or sleep, at one's own ease,
And, pleasing a man's self, none other to displease !
Who from the busy world retires,
To be more useful to it still,
And to no greater good aspires
But only the eschewing ill.
Who with his angle and his books,
Can think the longest day well spent,
And praises God when back he looks,
And finds that all was innocent.
This man is happier far than he
Whom public business oft betrays
Through labyrinths of policy
To crooked and forbidden ways.
242. A PARADISE BELOW DEAR Chloe, while the busy crowd, Though fools spurn Hymen's The vain, the wealthy and the
gentle powers, proud,
We, who improve his golden hours, In folly's maze advance ;
By sweet experience know, Though singularity and pride That marriage, rightly understood, Be called our choice, we'll step Gives to the tender and the
aside, Nor join the giddy dance. A paradise below!
N. COTTON (The Fireside).
243. CHEER UP, MY MATES
CHEER up, my mates, the wind does fairly blow;
Clap on more sail, and never spare ;
Farewell, all lands, for now we are
In the wide sea of drink, and merrily we go.
Bless me, 'tis hot! another bowl of wine,
And we shall cut the burning Line :
Hey, boys ! she scuds away, and by my head I know
We round the world are sailing now.
What dull men are those who tarry at home,
When abroad they might wantonly roam,
And gain such experience, and spy, too,
Such countries and wonders, as I do!
But pr’ythee, good pilot, take heed what you do,
And fail not to touch at Peru !
With gold there the vessel we'll store,
And never, and never be poor,
No, never be poor any more.
(Sitting and drinking in the chair made out of the
relics of Sir Francis Drake's ship).
244. FILL THE BOWL WITH ROSY WINE
Fill the bowl with rosy wine,
Around our temples roses twine,
And let us cheerfully awhile,
Like the wine and roses, smile.
Crowned with roses, we contemn
Gyges' wealthy diadem.
To-day is ours; what do we fear ?
To-day is ours; we have it here !
Let 's treat it kindly, that it may
Wish, at least, with us to stay.
Let's banish business, banish sorrow,
To the gods belongs to-morrow. A. COWLEY.
245. THE SWALLOW FOOLISH prater, what dost thou By all that waking eyes may see. So early at my window do ? Thou this damage to repair
Nothing half so sweet or fair, Cruel bird, thou'st ta'en away Nothing half so good, canst bring, A dream out of my arms to-day; Though men say thou bring'st the A dream that ne'ermust equalled be Spring. A. COWLEY.
246. LARGE WAS HIS SOUL
LARGE was his soul; as large a soul as e'er
Submitted to inform a body here ;
High as the place 'twas shortly in Heaven to have,
But low and humble as his grave.
So high that all the virtues there did come,
As to their chiefest seat
Conspicuous and great ;
So low, that for me too it made a room.
Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught
As if for him Knowledge had rather sought;
Nor did more learning ever crowded lie
In such a short mortality.
Whene'er the skilful youth discoursed or writ,
Still did the notions throng
About his eloquent tongue ;
Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit.
His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit,
Yet never did his God or friends forget;
And when deep talk and wisdom came in view,
Retired, and gave to them their due.
For the rich help of books he always took,
Though his own searching mind before
.Was so with notions written o’er,
As if wise Nature had made that her book.
A. COWLEY (On the death of Mr. William Harvey).
LIFE 'S a name
That nothing here can truly claim ;
This wretched inn, where we scarce stay to bait,
We call our dwelling-place !
And mighty voyages we take,
And mighty journeys seem to make,
O’er sea and land, the little point that has no space.
Because we fight and battles gain,
Some captives call, and say, “The rest are slain ;'
Because we heap up yellow earth, and so
Rich, valiant, wise, and virtuous seem to grow ;
Because we draw a long nobility
From hieroglyphic proofs of heraldry,
And impudently talk of a posterity-
We grow at last by custom to believe,
That really we live ;
Whilst all these shadows, that for things we take,
Are but the empty dreams which in Death's sleep we make.
A. COWLEY. 248. WITHOUT AND WITHIN LOVE in her sunny eyes doth basking play ;
Love walks the pleasant mazes of her hair ; Love does on both her lips for ever stray,
And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there : In all her outward parts Love's always seen ; But oh! he never went within.
249. THE CHRONICLE
MARGARITA first possessed,
If I remember well, my breast ;
Margarita, first of all !
But when a while the wanton maid
With my restless heart had played,
Martha took the flying ball.
Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catharine.
Beauteous Catharine gave place
(Though loath and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)
To Eliza's conquering face.
Eliza till this hour might reign,
Had not she ill counsels ta’en.
Fundamental laws she broke ;
And still new favourites she chose,
Till up in arms my passions rose,
And cast away her yoke.
Mary then and gentle Anne
Both to reign at once began.
Alternately they swayed ;
And sometimes Mary was the fair,
And sometimes Anne the crown did wear ;
And sometimes both I obeyed.
Another Mary then arose
And did rigorous laws impose ;
A mighty tyrant she !
Long, alas, should I have been
Under that iron-sceptred Queen,
Had not Rebecca set me free.
When fair Rebecca set me free,
Twas then a golden time with me.
But soon those pleasures fled,
For the gracious Princess died
In her youth and beauty's pride,
And Judith reigned in her stead.
One month, three days, and half an hour,
Judith held the sovereign power.
Wondrous beautiful her face ;
But so weak and small her wit
That she to govern was unfit,
And so Susanna took her place.
But when Isabella came,
Armed with a resistless flame
And th' artillery of her eye,
Whilst she proudly marched about
Greater conquests to find out,
She beat out Susan by the by.
But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me.
A higher and a nobler strain
My present Empress does claim:
Heleonora, first o'th' name,
Whom God grant long to reign !
POET and Saint ! to thee alone are given
The two most sacred names of earth and heaven,
The hard and rarest union which can be,
Next that of Godhead with humanity.
Long did the Muses banished slaves abide,
And built vain pyramids to mortal pride :
Like Moses, thou (though spells and charms withstand)
Hast brought them nobly home back to their Holy Land.
Ah, wretched we, poets of earth! but thou
Wert living the same poet which thou’rt now.
Whilst angels sing to thee their airs divine,
And joy in an applause so great as thine.
Equal society with them to hold,
Thou need'sť not make new songs, but say the old.
And they (kind spirits !) shall all rejoice to see
How little less than they exalted man may be.
A. COWLEY (On the death of Mr. Crashau).