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Look, as the flow'r which ling’ringly doth fade,
The morning's darling late, the summer's queen,
Spoil'd of that juice which kept it fresh and green,
As high as it did raise, bows low the head :
Right so the pleasures of my life being dead,
Or in their contraries but only seen,
With swifter speed declines than erst it spread,
And (blasted) scarce now shows what it hath been.
Therefore as doth the pilgrims, whom the night
Haste darkly to imprison on his way,
Think on thy home (my soul) and think aright,
Of what's yet left thee of life's wasting day;
Thy sun posts westward, passed is thy morn,
And twice it is not given thee to be born.
CATHARINE PHILLIPS. 1631-1664.
If we no old historian's name
Authentic will admit,
But think all said of friendship's fame,
But poetry or wit;
Yet what's revered by minds so pure
Must be a bright idea sure.
But as our immortality
By inward sense we find,
Judging that if it could not be,
It would not be design'd:
So here how could such copies fali,
If there were no original ?
But if truth be in ancient song,
Or story we believe ;
If the inspired and greater throng
Have scorned to deceive,
There have been hearts whose friendship gave
Them thoughts at once both soft and grave.
Among that consecrated crew
Some more seraphic shade
Lend me a favourable clew,
Now mists my eyes invade.
Why, having fill'd the world with fame,
Left you so little of your flame?
Why is't so difficult to see
Two bodies and one mind ?
And why are those who else agree
So difficultly kind ?
Hath nature such fantastic art,
That she can vary every heart?
Why are the bands of friendship tied
With so remiss a knot,
That by the most'it is defied,
And by the most forgot?
Why do we step with so light sense
From friendship to indifference?
If friendship sympathy impart,
Why this ill-shuffled game,
That heart can never meet with heart,
Or flame encounter flame?
What does this cruelty create ?
Is't the intrigue of love or fate ?
Had friendship ne'er been known to men
(The ghost at last confess'd),
The world had then a stranger been
To all that heav'n possess'd.
But could it all be here acquired,
Not heav'n itself would be desired.
The glories of our blood 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 where 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 your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds, Upon death's purple altar now See where the victor-victim bleeds ;
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb.
Only the actions of just
Are sweet, and blossom in the dust.
WHEN whispering strains do softly steal
With creeping passion through the heart,
And when at every touch we feel
Our pulses beat and bear a part;
When threads can make
A heart-string quake,
Can scarce deny
The soul consists of harmony,
Oh, lull me, lull me, charming air,
My senses rock with wonder sweet;
Like snow on wool thy fallings are,
Soft like a spirit are thy feet.
Grief who need fear
That hath an ear?
Down let him lie,
And slumbering die,
And change his soul for harmony.
LIKE as the damask rose you see,
Or like the blossom on the tree,
Or like the dainty flower of May,
Or like the morning to the day,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd which Jonah had,
E'en such is man, whose thread is spun
Drawn out, and cut, and so is done.
The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
The flower fades, the morning hasteth,
The sun sets, the shadow flies,
The gourd consumes, and man he dies.
Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
Or like a tale that's new begun,
Or like the bird that's here to-day,
Or like the pearled dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a swan,
E’en such is man, who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death.
The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended,
The hour is short, the span not long,
The swan's near death, man's life is done.
GATHER the rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying; And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heav'n, the sun,
The higher he's a getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
The 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,