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Go, tune your voices' harmony,
Return with pleasant warblings! 32
WILLIAM BROW (1591–1643)
Yet as when I with other swains have been Invited by the maidens of our green To wend to yonder wood, in time of year When cherry-trees enticing burdens bear, He that with wreathed legs doth upwards go, Plucks not alone for those which stand below; But now and then is seen to pick a few To please himself as well as all his crew: Or if from where he is he do espy Some apricock upon a bough thereby, Which overhangs the tree on which he stands, Climbs up and strives to take it with his hands: So if to please myself I somewhat sing, I45 Let it not be to you less pleasuring. No thirst of glory tempts me, for my strains Befit poor shepherds on the lowly plains; The hope of riches cannot draw from me One line that tends to servile flattery, Nor shall the most in titles on the earth Blemish my Muse with an adulterate birth, Nor make me lay pure colours on a ground Where nought substantial can be ever found. No; such as sooth a base and dunghill spirit 155 With attributes fit for the most of merit, Cloud their free Muse; as, when the sun doth
On straw and dirt mix’d by the sweating hyne,
My freeborn Muse will not like Danae be, 161
Whose names would die but for some hired pen. No; if I praise, virtue shall draw me to it, 165 And not a base procurement make me do it. What now I sing is but to pass away A tedious hour, as some musicians play; Or make another my own griefs bemoan; Or to be least alone when most alone. In this can I as oft as I will choose Hug sweet content by my retired Muse, And in a study find as much to please As others in the greatest palaces. Each man that lives, according to his power, On what he loves bestows an idle hour. Instead of hounds that make the wooded hills Talk in a hundred voices to the rills, I like the pleasing cadence of a line Struck by the consort of the sacred Nine. #. lieu of hawks, the raptures of my soul *Transcend their pitch and baser earth's control. For running horses, Contemplation flies With quickest speed to win the greatest prize. For courtly dancing, I can take more pleasure 185 To hear a verse keep time and equal measure. For winning riches, seek the best directions How I may well subdue mine own affections. For raising stately piles for heirs to come, Here in this poem I erect my tomb. 190 And Time may be so kind in these weak lines To keep my name enroll'd past his that shines In gilded marble or in brazen leaves: Since verse preserves, when stone and brass deceives. Or if (as worthless) Time not lets it live To those full days which others' Muses give, Yet I am sure I shall be heard and sung Of most severest eld and kinder young Beyond my days; and, maugre Envy's strife, Add to my name some hours beyond my life. 200
From BOOK II, SONG W
Now was the Lord and Lady of the May Meeting the May-pole at the break of day, And Caelia, as the fairest on the green, Not without some maids' envy chosen queen. Now was the time com’n, when our gentle swain Must in his harvest or lose all again. 146 Now must he pluck the rose lest other hands, Or tempests, blemish what so fairly stands: And therefore, as they had before decreed, Our shepherd gets a boat, and with all speed, 150 In night, that doth on lovers' actions smile, Arrived safe on Mona's fruitful isle.
Between two rocks (immortal, without mother,) That stand as if out-facing one another,
There ran a creek up, intricate and blind, 155 As if the waters hid them from the wind; Which never wash'd but at a higher tide The frizzled coats which do the mountains hide; Where never gale was longer known to stay 159 Than from the smooth wave it had swept away The new divorced leaves, that from each side Left the thick boughs to dance out with the tide. At further end the creek a stately wood Gave a kind shadow to the brackish flood Made up of trees, not less kenn’d by each skiff Than that sky-scaling Peak of Teneriffe, 166 Upon whose tops the hernshaw bred her young, And hoary moss upon their branches hung; Whose rugged rinds sufficient were to show, Without their height, what time they 'gan to grow; And if dry eld by wrinkled skin appears, 171 None could allot them less than Nestor's years. As under their command the thronged creek Ran lessen'd up. Here did the shepherd seek Where he his little boat might safely hide, 175 Till it was fraught with what the world beside Could not outvalue; nor give equal weight Though in the time when Greece was at her height. The ruddy horses of the rosy Morn Out of the Eastern gates had newly borne 180 Their blushing mistress in her golden chair, Spreading new light throughout our hemisphere, When fairest Caelia with a lovelier crew Of damsels than brave Latmus ever knew Came forth to meet the youngsters, who had here Cut down an oak that long withouten peer 186 Bore his round head imperiously above His other mates there, consecrate to Jove. . The wished time drew on: and Caelia now, That had the fame for her white arched brow, While all her lovely fellows busied were 191 In picking off the gems from Tellus' hair, Made tow'rds the creek, where Philocel, unspied Of maid or shepherd that their May-games plied, Receiv'd his wish'd-for Caelia, and begun To steer his boat contrary to the sun, 196 Who could have wish'd another in his place To guide the car of light, or that his race Were to have end (so he might bless his hap) In Caelia's bosom, not in Thetis' lap. 2Oo The boat oft danc'd for joy of what it held: The hoist-up sail not quick but gently swell'd, And often shook, as fearing what might fall, Ere she deliver'd what she went withal. Winged Argestes, fair Aurora's son, 205 Licens'd that day to leave his dungeon, Meekly attended and did never err, Till Caelia grac'd our land, and our land her. As through the waves their love-fraught wherry ran, A many Cupids, each set on his swan, 2 ro
Guided with reins of gold and silver twist
Had unkind Nature given them more than one; Or in bestowing that had not done wrong, 215 And made their sweet lives forfeit one sad song.
May, be thou never graced with birds that sing.
Nor Flora's pride!
In thee all flowers and roses spring,
Mine only died.
ON THE COUNTESS DOWAGER OF PEMBROKE
Underneath this sable herse
\ l ROBERT HERRICK (1591–1674)
UPON THE LOSS OF HIS MISTRESSES
I have lost, and lately, these
Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry,
CORINNA'S GOING A-MAYING
CORINNA’S GOING A-MAYING
Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark 29
There's not a budding boy or girl this day
But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted
Come, let us go while we are in our prime;
TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
And this same flower that smiles to-day,
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The sooner will his race be run,
That age is best which is the first,
You may forever tarry. 16
HOW ROSES CAME RED
Roses at first were white,
Whether my Sapho's breast
A THANKSGIVING TO GOD FOR HIS HOUSE
Lord, Thou hast given me a cell