Page images
PDF
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

WILLIAM

Go, tune your voices' harmony,
And sing, I am her lover!
Strain loud and sweet, that every note
With sweet content may move her!
And she that hath the sweetest voice,
Tell her, I will not change my choicel
Yet still, methinks, I see her frown!
Ye pretty wantons, warble ! 24
O, fly! Make haste! See, see, she falls
Into a pretty slumber 1
Sing round about her rosy bed,
That, waking, she may wonder!
Say to her, "Tis her lover true,
That sendeth love to you! to you!
And when you hear her kind reply,

Return with pleasant warblings! 32

No *

WILLIAM BROW (1591–1643)
BRITANNIA'S PASTORALS
FROM BOOK II, SONG IV

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

shine

On straw and dirt mix’d by the sweating hyne,
It nothing gets from heaps so much impure
But noisome steams that do his light obscure.

My freeborn Muse will not like Danae be, 161
Won with base dross to clip with slavery;
Nor lend her choicer balm to worthless men,

135

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BROWNE 167

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

[ocr errors]

176

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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
The spotless birds about them as they list:
Which would have sung a song (ere they were

gone)

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.

EPITAPH

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
Lies the subject of all verse:
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother:
Death, ere thou hast slain another
Fair and learn'd and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.

\ l ROBERT HERRICK (1591–1674)

UPON THE LOSS OF HIS MISTRESSES

I have lost, and lately, these
Many dainty mistresses:
Stately Julia, prime of all;
Sapho next, a principal;
Smooth Anthea, for a skin
White and heaven-like crystalline; 5
Sweet Electra, and the choice
Myrha, for the lute and voice.
Next, Corinna, for her wit,
And the graceful use of it;
With Perilla: all are gone,
Only Herrick's left alone, I-
For to number sorrow by
Their departures hence, and die.

CHERRY-RIPE

Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry,
Full and fair ones; come and buy;
If so be you ask me where
They do grow? I answer, there,
Where my Julia's lips do smile; " 5.
There's the land, or cherry-isle,
Whose plantations fully show
All the year where cherries grow.

CORINNA'S GOING A-MAYING

CORINNA’S GOING A-MAYING

[blocks in formation]

Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and
green,
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown or hair:
Fear not; the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you:
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept;
Come and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night:
And Titan on the eastern hill
Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in
praying:
Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.

[ocr errors]

Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark 29
How each field turns a street, each street a park
Made green and trimm'd with trees; see how
Devotion gives each house a bough
Or branch: each porch, each door ere this
An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made up of white-thorn, neatly interwove;
As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street
And open fields and we not see’t?
Come, we'll abroad; and let's obey
The proclamation made for May: 40
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;
But, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.

There's not a budding boy or girl this day

But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
A deal of youth, ere this, is come
Back, and with white-thorn laden home.
Some have despatched their cakes and cream
Before that we have left to dream:

169

And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted
troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:
Many a green-gown has been given; 51
Many a kiss, both odd and even:
Many a glance too has been sent
From out the eye, love's firmament;
Many a jest told of the keys betraying
This night, and locks pick’d, yet we're not
a-Maying.

Come, let us go while we are in our prime;
And take the harmless folly of the time.
..We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
Our life is short, and our days run
As fast away as does the sun;
And, as a vapour or a drop of rain,
Once lost, can ne'er be found again,
So when or you or I are made
A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
All love, all liking, all delight
Lies drowned with us in endless night.
Then while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying. 7o

TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;

And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying. 4.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting. 8

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse and worst
Times still succeed the former. 12
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For, having lost but once your prime,

You may forever tarry. 16

HOW ROSES CAME RED

Roses at first were white,
Till they could not agree,

Whether my Sapho's breast
Or they more white should be. 4.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

A THANKSGIVING TO GOD FOR HIS HOUSE

Lord, Thou hast given me a cell
Wherein to dwell,
A little house, whose humble roof
Is weather-proof,
Under the spars of which I lie
Both soft and dry;
Where Thou, my chamber for to ward,
Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
Me while I sleep. Io
Low is my porch, as is my fate,
Both void of state;
And yet the threshold of my door
Is worn by th’ poor,
Who thither come and freely get
Good words or meat.
Like as my parlor so my hall
And kitchen's small;
A little buttery, and therein
A little bin, 2c
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
Unchipped, unflead;
Some little sticks of thorn or briar
Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,
And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine,
The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits that be
There plac'd by Thee; 30
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
Of water-cress,
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent;
And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,
To be more sweet.
'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth,
And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink,
Spiced to the brink. 40
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land,
And giv'st me, for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one;
Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay
Her egg each day;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear
Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
Run cream, for wine. So
All these, and better Thou dost send
Me, to this end,

« PreviousContinue »