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Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see

The dew-bespangled herb and tree!
Each flower has wept and bowed toward the east,
Above an hour since, yet you not drest,

Nay, not so much as out of bed?
When all the birds have matins said,
And sung their thankful hymns, 'tis sin,

Nay, profanation, to keep in,
Whenas a thousand virgins on this day
Spring sooner than the lark to fetch in May.

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.

Come, my Corinna, come; and coming, mark
How each field turns a street, each street a park,

Made green and trimmed 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,
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:
And some have wept and wooed, and plighted troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:

Many a green-gown has been given,
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 picked: yet we're not a-May-

ing.

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.

VIII

TO ANTHEA

WHO MAY COMMAND HIM ANYTHING
Bid me to live, and I will live

Thy Protestant to be;
Or bid me love and I will give

A loving heart to thee.
A heart as soft, a heart as kind,

A heart as sound and free,
As in the whole world thou canst find,

That heart I'll give to thee.
Bid that heart stay, and it will stay

To honour thy decree;
Or bid it languish quite away,

And 't shall do so for thee.
Bid me to weep, and I will weep

While I have eyes to see;
And, having none, yet I will keep

A heart to weep for thee.

Bid me despair, and I'll despair

Under that cypress-tree;
Or bid me die, and I will dare

E'en death to die for thee.

Thou art my life, my love, my heart,

The very eyes of me,
And hast command of every part,
To live and die for thee.

Herrick.

IX

MEMENTO MORI

SWEET day, so cool, so calm, so bright-
The bridal of the earth and sky-
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night,

For thou must die.
Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave,

And thou must die. Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, A box where sweets compacted lie, My music shows ye have your closes,

And all must die. Only a sweet and virtuous soul Like seasoned timber never gives, But, though the whole world turn to coal,

Then chiefly lives.

X

THE KING OF KINGS

The glories of our birth and state

Are shadows, not substantial things:
There is no armour against fate:
Death lays his icy hand on kings:

Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down, And in the dust be equal made With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,

And plant fresh laurels when they kill, But their strong nerves at last must yield: They tame but one another still.

Early or late

They stoop to fate, And must give up their murmuring breath When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on their brow

Then boast no more your mighty deeds! Upon Death's purple altar now See where the victor-victim bleeds!

All heads must come

To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

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