« PreviousContinue »
41. ON MY DEAR SON
Can I, who have for others oft compiled
The songs of death, forget my sweetest child,
Which, like a flower crushed, with a blast is dead,
And ere full time hangs down his smiling head,
Expecting with clear hope to live anew,
Among the angels fed with heavenly dew?
We have this sign of joy, that many days,
While on the earth his struggling spirit stays,
The name of Jesus in his mouth contains,
His only food, his sleep, his ease from pains.
O may that sound be rooted in my mind,
Of which in him such strong effect I find.
Dear Lord, receive my son, whose winning love
To me was like a friendship, far above
The course of nature, or his tender age ;
Whose looks could all my bitter griefs assuage ;
Let his pure soul-ordained seven years to be
In that frail body, which was part of me-
Remain my pledge in heaven, as sent to show
How to this port at every step I go.
SIR J. BEAUMONT.
If thou wilt ease thine heart But wilt thou cure thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
Of love and all its smart,
Then sleep, dear, sleep;
Then die, dear, die ; And not a sorrow
'Tis deeper, sweeter, Hang any tear on your eye
Than on a rose-bank to lie lashes;
dreaming Lie still and deep,
With folded eye ; Sad soul, until the sea-wave And there alone, amid the washes
The rim o' the sun to-morrow, Of love's stars, thou’lt meet her
In eastern sky.
In eastern sky.
T. L. BEDDOES (Death's Jest-Book).
44. LOVE IN FANTASTIC TRIUMPH SAT Love in fantastic triumph sat,
Whilst bleeding hearts around him flowed : For whom fresh pains he did create,
And strange tyrannic power he showed. From thy bright eyes he took his fires,
Which round about in sport he hurled ; But 'twas from mine he took desires
Enough to undo the amorous world. From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his pride and cruelty; From me his languishments and fears,
And every killing dart from thee.
Thus thou and I the God have armed,
And set him up a deity,
But my poor heart alone is harmed,
Whilst thine the victor is, and free. A. BEHN.
45. THE PROSPECT IN AMERICA THE Muse, disgusted at an age and clime
Barren of every glorious theme,
In distant lands now waits a better time,
Producing subjects worthy fame.
In happy climes, where from the genial sun
And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
The force of art by nature seems outdone,
And fancied beauties by the true :
In happy climes, the seat of innocence,
Where nature guides and virtue rules,
Where men shall not impose for truth and sense
The pedantry of courts and schools :
There shall be sung another golden age,
The rise of empire and of arts,
The good and great inspiring epic rage,
The wisest heads and noblest hearts.
Not such as Europe breeds in her decay ;
Such as she bred when fresh and young,
When heavenly flame did animate her clay,
By future poets shall be sung.
Westward the course of empire takes its way ;
The four first acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day ;
Time's noblest offspring is the last.
G. BERKELEY (On the Prospect of planting
Arts and Learning in America).
46. I CARE FOR NOBODY, NOT I THERE was a jolly miller once And this the burden of his Lived on the river Dee ;
song He worked and sang from morn For ever used to be : till night,
I care for nobody, not I, No lark more blithe than he. If no one cares for me.
I. BICKERSTAFFE (Love in a Village).
47. THE END OF LIFE
SURE the last end
Of the good man is peace! How calm his exit !
Night-dews fall not more gently to the ground,
Nor weary worn-out winds expire so soft.
Behold him! in the evening tide of life,
A life well spent, whose early care it was
His riper years should not upbraid his green:
By unperceived degrees he wears away ;
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting !.
High in his faith and hopes, look how he reaches
After the prize in view ! and, like a bird
That 's hampered, struggles hard to get away!
Whilst the glad gates of sight are wide expanded
To let new glories in, the first fair fruits
Of the fast-coming harvest.
R. BLAIR (The Grave).
48. FROM 'AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE' A ROBIN redbreast in a cage The wild deer, wandering here and Puts all Heaven in a rage.
there, A dove-house filled with doves Keeps the human soul from care. and pigeons
The lamb misused breeds public
Shudders Hell through all its strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's
A dog starved at his master's gate knife.
Predicts the ruin of the state. He who shall hurt the little wren
A horse misused upon the road Shall never be beloved by men.
Calls to Heaven for human blood. He who the ox to wrath has
Each outcry of the hunted hare moved
A fibre from the brain does tear. Shall never be by woman loved.
A skylark wounded in the wing, The wanton boy that kills the fly
A cherubim does cease to sing. Shall feel the spider's enmity.
The game-cock clipped and armed He who torments the chafer's
Does the rising sun affright. Weaves a bower in endless night.
Every wolf's and lion's howl The caterpillar on the leaf
Raises from Hell a human soul. Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butter
fly, For the last judgement draweth
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.
49. THE BUILDING OF JERUSALEM And did those feet in ancient time Bring me my bow of burning gold ! Walk upon England's moun Bring me my arrows of desire ! tains green ?
Bring me my spear !
O clouds, And was the holy Lamb of God unfold ! On England's pleasant pastures Bring me my chariot of fire ! seen ?
I will not cease from mental fight, And did the Countenance Divine Nor shall my sword sleep in my Shine forth upon our clouded hand, hills ?
Till we have built Jerusalem And was Jerusalem builded here In England's green and pleasant Among these dark Satanic Mills? land.
W. BLAKE (Milton).
50. A TEAR IS AN INTELLECTUAL THING
But vain the sword and vain the bow,
They never can work War's overthrow.
The hermit's prayer and the widow's tear
Alone can free the world from fear.
For a tear is an intellectual thing,
And a sigh is the sword of an angel king,
And the bitter groan of the martyr's woe,
Is an arrow from the Almighty's bow.
W. BLAKE (The Grey Monk).
51. I TOLD MY LOVE I TOLD my love, I told my love, Soon as she was gone from me, I told her all my heart;
A traveller came by,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears, Silently, invisibly-
Ah! she doth depart.
O! was no deny.
52. THE NEW DISPENSATION
JESUS was sitting in Moses' chair.
They brought the trembling woman there.
Moses commands she be stoned to death.
What was the sound of Jesus' breath ?
He laid His hand on Moses' law;
The ancient Heavens, in silent awe,
Writ with curses from pole to pole,
All away began to roll.
W. BLAKE (The Everlasting Gospel).
53. THE LAMB
LITTLE Lamb, who made thee ? Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb, I'll tell thee:
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed, He is called by thy name,
By the stream and o'er the mead; For He calls Himself a Lamb.
Gave thee clothing of delight, He is meek, and He is mild ;
Softest clothing, woolly, bright; He became a little child.
Gave thee such a tender voice, I a child, and thou a lamb,
Making all the vales rejoice ? We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, who made thee ? Little Lamb, God bless thee !
Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb, God bless thee !
54. MOCK ON, MOCK ON, VOLTAIRE, ROUSSEAU
Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau ;
Mock on, mock on ; 'tis all in vain !
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.
And every sand becomes a gem
Reflected in the beams divine ;
Blown back they blind the mocking eye,
But still in Israel's paths they shine.
55. THE LITTLE BLACK BOY
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereaved of light.
My mother taught me underneath a tree,
And, sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissèd me,
And, pointing to the east, began to say:
‘ Look on the rising sun,—there God does live,
And gives His light, and gives His heat away;
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.
“And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love ;
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.
'For when our souls have learned the heat to bear,
The cloud will vanish, we shall hear His voice,
Saying: “Come out from the grove, My love and care,
And round My golden tent like lambs rejoice.”