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Ne treccie d'oro, ne guancia vermiglia
M' abbagliau sì, ma sotto nova idea
Pellegrina bellezza che' 1 cuor bea,
Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia
Quel sereno fulgor d'amabil nero,
Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una,
E '1 cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero
Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,
E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran fuoco
Che l'incerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.
Per certo i bei vostr' occhi, Donna mia
Esser non puo che non sian lo mio sole
Si mi percuoton forte, come ei suole
Per 1 arene di Libia chi s'invia,
Mentre un caldo vapor (ne sentì pria)
Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Che forse amanti nelle lor parole
Chiaman sospir; io non so che si sia:
Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela
Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco
Quivi d' attorno o s'agghiaccia, o s'ingiela,
Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco
Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
Finche mia Alba rivien colma di rose.
Giovane piano, e semplicetto amante,
Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono
Faro divoto; io certo a prove tante
L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,
De pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono;
Quando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono,
S'arma di se, e d'intero diamante;
Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro,
Di timori, e speranze al popol use
Quanto d'ingegno, e d' alto valor vago,
E di cetra sonora, e delle muse:
Sol troverete in tal parte men duro
Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago.
ON HIS BEING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arrived so near,
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven;
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.
WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO THE CITY.
Captain or colonel, or knight in arms,
Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize,
If deed of honour did thee ever please,
Guard them, and him within protect from harms.
He can requite thee, for he knows the charms
That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
And he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas,
Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:
The great Emathian conqueror3 bid spare
The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
Went to the ground: and the repeated air
Of sad Electra's poet3 had the power
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.
1 Written in 1631. 2 Alexander the Great.
3 Sophocles. It is said that the repetition of some verses from his "Electra" inspired the Athenians to resist an attempt made by Lysander to change the government, reduce the Athenians to slavery, and desolate the city.
TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY.
Lady, that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely hast shunned the broad way and the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,
That labour up the hill of heavenly truth,
The better part with Mary and with Buth
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween,
And at their growing virtues fret their spleen,
No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure
Thou, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hath gained thy entrance, virgin wise and pure.
TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY.
Daughter to that good earl,1 once President
Of England's Council, and her Treasury,
Who lived in both, unstained with gold or fee,
And left them both, more in himself content,
Till sad the breaking of that Parliament
Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chaeronea, fatal to liberty,
Killed with report that old man eloquent.
Though later born than to have known the days
Wherein your father flourished, yet by you,
Madam, methinks I see him living yet;
So well your words his noble virtues praise,
That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honoured Margaret.
1 Sir James Ley, afterwards made Earl of Marlborough, and r?is.>d to the highest offices in the state.
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON' 3IY
WRITING CERTAIN TREATISES."
A Book was writ of late, called " Tetrachordon,"
And woven close, both matter, form, and style;
The subject new: it waited the town a while,
Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored on.
Cries the stall-reader, Bless us! what a word on
A title-page is this! and some in file
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile-
End Green. Why is it harder, sirs, than Gordon,
Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?8
Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek,
That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp.
Thy age, like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheek,3
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp,
When thou taught'st Cambridge, and king Edward,
ON THE SAME.
I Did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transformed to frog:;*
Railed at Latona's twin-born progeny,
Which after held the sun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
And still revolt when truth would set them free,
license they mean when they cry " Liberty!"
For who loves that, must first be wise and good;
But from that mark how far they rove we see
For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.
1 Viz., those upon divorce, in which he gave great offence to ths Presbyterian clergy. - Probably some ministers who opposed him.
3 The first professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge.
4 The Lyoian shepherds, who were changed into frogs.—Ovid, Met . vi. i'ah. 1.
TO ME. H. LAWESi ON HIS AIRS.
Harry, whose tuneful and well-measured song
First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to seal
With Midas' ears, committing short and long;
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
With praise enough for envy to look wan;
To after age thou shalt he writ the man,
That with smooth air couldst humour best our tongue.
Thou honour'st verse, and verse must lend her wing
To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' quire,
That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn or story
Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he wooed to sing
Met in the milder shades of purgatory2
ON THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF MRS. CATHARINE
THOMSON, MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND.
Deceased 16/ft December, 1646.
When faith and love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripened thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load
Of death, called life; which us from life doth sever.
Thy works and alms and all thy good endeavour
Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But as faith pointed with her golden rod,
Followed thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Love led them on, and faith, who knew them best
Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple beams
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes
Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee rest
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams. .
1 See notes on " Comus.''
S See the second canto of Dante's '• Purgatory."