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With thy tuneless serenade?

Had I the power of creation, Well 't had been had Tereus made

As I have of generation, Thee as dumb as Philomel ;

Where I the matter must obey, There his knife had done but well.

And cannot work plate out of clay, In thy undiscovered nest

My creatures should be all like thee, Thou dost all the winter rest,

'Tis thou should'st their idea be: And dreamest o'er thy summer joys,

They, like thee, should thoroughly hate Free from the stormy seasons' noise,

Business, honour, title, state; Free from th' ill thou'st done to me;

Other wealth they should not know, Who disturbs or seeks-out tliee?

But what my living mines bestow; Hadst thou all the charming notes

The pomp of kings, they should confess, Of the wood's poetic throats,

At their crownings, to be less All thy art could never pay

Than a lover's humblest guise, What thou hast ta'en froin me away.

When at his mistress' feet he lies. Cruel bird ! thou'st ta'en away

Rumour they no more should mind A dream out of my arms to-day ;

Than men safe landed do the wind; A dream, that ne'er must equall'd be

Wisdom itself they should not hear, By all that waking eyes inay see.

When it presumes to be severe ; Thou, this damage to repair,

Beauty alone they should admire, Nothing half so sweet or fair,

Nor look at Fortune's vain attire. Nothing half so good, canst bring,

Nor ask what parents it can shew;
Though men say thou bring'st the Spring.

With dead or old 't has nought to do.
They should not love yet all, or any,
But very much and very many :
All their life should gilded be

With mirtlı, and wit, and gaiety ;

Well remembering and applying
The necessity of dying.

Their cheerful heads should always wear
Spoken by the God of Love.

All that crowns the flowery year : How shall I lament thine end,

They should always laugh, and sing, My best servant and my friend ?

And dance, and strike th' harmonious string, Nay, and, if from a deity

Verse should from their tongue so flow, So much deified as I,

As if it in the mouth did grow, It sound not too profane and odd,

As swiftly answering their command, Oh, my master and my god !

As tunes obey the artful hand. For 'tis true, most mighty poet!

And whilst I do thus discover (Though I like not men should know it)

'Th' ingredients of a happy lover, I am in naked Nature less,

"Tis, my Anacreon! for thy sake Less by much, than in thy dress.

I of the Grape no mention make. All thy verse is softer far

Till my Anacreon by thee fell, Than the downy feathers are

Cursed Plant ! I lov'd thee well; Of my wings, or of my arrows,

And 'twas oft my wanton use Of my mother's doves or sparrows,

To dip my arrows in thy juice. Sweet as lovers' freshest kisses,

Cursed Plant ! 'tis true, I see, Or their riper following blisses,

The old report that goes of thee – Graceful, cleanly, smooth, and round,

That with giants' blood the Earth All with Venus' girdle bound;

Stain’d and poison'd gave thee birth ; And thy life was all the while

And now thou wreak'st thy ancient spite Kind and gentle as thy style,

On inen in whom the gods delight. The smooth-pac'd hours of every day

Thy patron, Bacchus, 'tis no wonder, Glided numerously away.

Was brought forth in fames and thunder; Like thy verse each hour did pass;

In rage, in quarrels, and in fights, Sweet and short, like that, it was.

Worse than his tigers, he delights ; Some do but their youth allow me,

In all our Heaven I think there be Just what they by Nature owe me,

No such ill-natur'd god as he. The time that's mine, and not their own,

Thou pretendest, traitorous Wine! The certain tribute of my crown:

To be the Muses' friend and mine : When they grow old, they grow to be

With love and wit thou dost begin, Too busy, or too wise, for me.

False fires, alas! to draw us in ; Thou wert wiser, and didst know

Which, if our course we by them keep, None too wise for love can grow ;

Misguide to madness or to sleep : Love was with thy life entwin'd,

Sleep were well, thou'st learnt a way Close as heat with fire is join'd;

To death itself now to betray. A powerful brand prescrib'd the date

It grieves me when I see what fate Of thine, like Meleager's, fate.

Does on the best of mankind wait. Th'antiperistasis of age

Poets or lovers let them be, More enflam'd thy amorous rage ;

'Tis neither love nor poesy Thy silver hairs yielded me'more

Can arm, against Death's smallest dart, Than even golden curls before.

The poet's head or lover's heart ;

But when their life, in its decline,

I'd advise them, when they spy Touches th' inevitable line,

Any illustrious piety, All the world's mortal to them then,

To reward her, if it be she And wine is aconite to men;

To reward him, if it be he Nay, in Death's hand, the grape-stone proves

With such a husband, such a wife; As strong as thunder is in Jove's.

With Acme's and Septimius' life.



Whilst on Septimius' panting breast
(Meaning nothing less than rest)
Acme lean'd her loving head,
Thus the pleas'd Septimius said :

“ My dearest Acme, if I be
Once alive, and love not thee
With a passion far above
All that e'er was called love ;
In a Libyan desert may
I become some lion's prey ;
Let him, Acme, let him tear
My breast, when Acme is not there.'
The god of love, who stood to hear him
(The god of love was always near him)
Pleas'd and tickled with the sound,
Sneez'd aloud ; and all around
The little Loves, that waited by,
Bow'd, and blest the augury.
Acme, enflam'd with what he said,
Rear'd her gently-bending head;
And, her purple mouth with joy
Stretching to the delicious boy,
Twice (and twice could scarce suffice)
She kist his drunken rolling eyes.
“ My little life, my all !" (said she)
So may we ever servants be
To this best god, and ne'er retain
Our hated liberty again!
So may thy passion last for me,
As I a passion have for thee,
Greater and fiercer much than can
Be conceiv'd by thee a man!
Into my marrow is it gone,
Fixt and settled in the bone;
It reigns not only in my heart,
But runs, like life, through every part."
She spoke; the god of love aloud
Sneez'd again ; and all the crowd
Of little Loves, that waited by,
Bow'd, and bless'd the augury.

THE COMPLAINT. In a deep vision's intellectual scene, Beneath a bower for sorrow made,

Th' uncomfortable shade

Of the black yew's unlucky green,
Mixt with the mourning willow's careful grey,
Where reverend Cham cuts out his famous way,

The melancholy Cowley lay :
And lo! a Muse appear'd to’s closed sight,
(The Muses oft in lands of vision play,)
Body'd, array'd, and seen, by an internal light.
A golden harp with silver strings she bore;
A wondrous hieroglyphic robe she wore,
In which all colours and all figures were,
That Nature or that Fancy can create,

That Art can never imitate;
And with loose pride it wanton'd in the air.
In such a dress, in such a well-cloth'd dream,
She us’d, of old, near fair Ismenus' stream,
Pindar, her Theban favourite, to meet ;
A crown was on her head, and wings were on her

feet. She touch'd him with her harp, and rais'd him from

the ground; The shaken strings melodiously resound.

“ Art thou return'd at last,” said she,

“ To this forsaken place and me?
Thou prodigal ! who didst so loosely waste
Of all thy youthful years the good estate ;
Art thou return'd here, to repent too late,
And gather husks of learning up at last,
Now the rich harvest-time of life is past,

And Winter marches on so fast?
But, when I meant t'adopt thee for my son,
And did as learn’d a portion assign,
As ever any of the mighty Nine

Had to their dearest children done;
When I resolv'd t'exalt thy anointed name,
Among the spiritual lords of peaceful fame;
Thou, changeling! thou, bewitch'd with noise and

show, Would'st into courts and cities from me go; Would'st see the world abroad, and have a share In all the follies and the tumults there: Thou would’st, forsooth, be something in a state, And business thou would'st find, and would'st

create ;

Business! the frivolous pretence
Of human lusts, to shake off innocence ;

Business! the grave impertinence;
Business ! the thing which I of all things hate ;
Business! the contradiction of thy fate.
“ Go, renegado! cast up thy account,

And see to what amount

Thy foolish gains by quitting me : The sale of knowledge, fame, and liberty, The fruits of thy unlearn’d apostacy. Thou thought'st, if once the public storm were


This good omen thus from Heaven
Like a happy signal given,
Their loves and lives (all four) embrace,
And hand in hand run all the race.
To poor Septimius (who did now
Nothing else but Acme grow)
Acme's bosom was alone
The whole world's imperial throne;
And to faithful Acme's mind
Septimius was all human-kind.

If the gods would please to be But advis'd for once by me,

All thy remaining life should sunshine be; The foolish sports I did on thee bestow,
Behold! the public storm

spent at last,

Make all my art and labour fruitless now; The sovereign's tost at sea no more,

Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever And thou, with all the noble company,

grow. Art got at last to shore. But, whilst thy fellow-voyagers I see

“ When my new mind had no infusion known, All march'd up to possess the promis'd land, Thou gav'st so deep a tincture of thine own, Thou, still alone, alas! dost gaping stand

That ever since I vainly try Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand !

To wash away th' inherent dye:

Long work perhaps may spoil thy colours quite ; “ As a fair morning of the blessed spring,

But never will reduce the native white : After a tedious stormy night,

To all the ports of honour and of gain, Such was the glorious entry of our king ;

I often steer my course in vain ; Enriching moisture drop'd on every thing : Thy gale comes cross, and drives me back again. Plenty he sow'd below, and cast about him light! Thou slack’nest all my nerves of industry, But then, alas ! to thee alone,

By making them so oft to be One of old Gideon's miracles was shown;

The tinkling strings of thy loose minstrelsy. For every tree and every herb around

Whoever this world's happiness would see, With pearly dew was crown'd,

Must as entirely cast off thee, And upon all the quicken'd ground

As they who only Heaven desire
The fruitful seed of Heaven did brooding lie,

Do from the world retire.
And nothing but the Muse's feece was dry. This was my error, this my gross mistake.
It did all other threats surpass,

Myself a demi-votary to make.
When God to his own people said

Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate, (The men whom through long wanderings he had led)|(A fault which I, like them, am taught too late,)

That he would give them ev'n a heaven of For all that I gave up I nothing gain, brass :

And perish for the part which I retain. They look'd up to that Heaven in vain, That bounteous Heaven, which God did not re “ Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse! strain

The court, and better king, t'accuse : Upon the most unjust to shine and rain.

The heaven under which I live is fair,

The fertile soil will a full harvest bear : “ The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more Thine, thine is all the barrenness ; if thou

Thou didst with faith and labour serve, Mak’st me sit still and sing, when I should plough. And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve, When I but think how many a tedious year Though she contracted was to thee,

Our patient sovereign did attend Given to another thou didst see

His long misfortunes' fatal end; Given to another, who had store

How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, Of fairer and of richer wives before,

On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend; And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be! I ought to be accurst, if I refuse Go on ; twice seven years more thy fortune try; To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse! Twice seven years more God in his bounty may Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I be Give thee, to fling away

So distant, they may reach at length to me. Into the court's deceitful lottery:

However, of all the princes, thou But think how likely 'tis that thou,

Should'st not reproach rewards for being small or
With the dull work of thy unwieldy plough,
Should'st in a hard and barren season thrive, Thou ! who rewardest but with popular breath,
Should'st even able be to live;

And that too after death."
Thou, to whose share so little bread did fall,
In that miraculous year, when manna rain'd on all.”


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Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile,
That seem'd at once to pity and revile.
And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head,

The melancholy Cowley said
“ Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid

The ills which thou thyself hast made ?
When in the cradle innocent I lay,
Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away,

And my abused soul didst bear
Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,

Thy golden Indies in the air ;
And ever since I strive in vain

My ravish'd freedom to regain ;
Still I rebel, still thou dost reign;
Lo! still in verse against thee I complain.

There is a sort of stubborn weeds,
Which, if the earth but once, it ever, breeds ;

No wholesome herb can near them thrive,
No useful plant can keep alive :

Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know,

But ever ebb and ever flow!

Thou golden shower of a true Jove!
Who does in thee descend, and Heaven to Earth

make love!

Hail, active Nature's watchful life and heal:h!

Her joy, her ornament, and wealth !

Hail to thy husband, Heat, and thee!
Thou the world's beautcous bride, the lusty bride

groom he!


Say, from what golden quivers of the sky

The ghosts, and monster-spirits, that did presume Do all thy winged arrows fly?

A body's privilege to assume,
Swiftness and Power by birth are thine :

Vanish again invisibly,
From thy great sire they came, thy sire, the Word And bodies gain again their visibility.

All the world's bravery, that delights our eyes, 'Tis, I believe, this archery to show,

Is but thy several liveries; That so much cost in colours thou,

Thou the rich dye on them bestow'st, And skill in painting, dost bestow,

Thy nimble pencil paints this landscape as thou Upon thy ancient arms, the gaudy heavenly bow. Swift as light thoughts their empty career run, A crimson garment in the rose thou wear’st; Thy race is finish'd when begun;

A crown of studded gold thou bear'st; Let a post-angel start with thee,

The virgin-lilies, in their white, And thou the goal of Earth shalt reach as soon as he. Are clad but with the lawn of almost naked light. Thou in the Moon's bright chariot, proud and gay, The violet, Spring's little infant, stands Dost thy bright wood of stars survey !

Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands And all the year dost with thee bring

On the fair tulip thou dost doat; Of thousand flowery lights thine own nocturnal Thou cloth’st it in a gay and party-colour'd coat spring

With flame condens'd thou do'st thy jewels fix, Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above And solid colours in it mix : The Sun's gilt tents for ever move,

Flora herself envies to see And still, as thou in pomp dost go,

Flowers fairer than her own, and durable as she. The shining pageants of the world attend thy show.

Ah, goddess! would thou could'st thy hand withhold,

And be less liberal to gold ! Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn

Did'st thou less value to it give, The humble glow-worms to adorn,

Of how much care, alas! might'st thou poor man And with those living spangles gild

relieve! (O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the field.

To me the Sun is more delightful far,

And all fair days much fairer are. Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright,

But few, ah! wondrous few, there be, And Sleep, the lazy owl of night ;

Who do not gold prefer, O goddess ! ev'n to thee, Asham’d, and fearful to appear, They screen their horrid shapes with the black Through the soft ways of Heaven, and air, and sea, hemisphere.

Which open all their pores to thee,

Like a clear river thou dost glide, With them there hastes, and wildly takes th’alarm, And with thy living stream through the close chanOf painted dreams a busy swarm :

nels slide. At the first opening of thine eye The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly But, where firm bodies thy free course oppose,

Gently thy source the land o'erflows; The guilty serpents, and obscener beasts,

Takes there possession, and does make,
Creep, conscious, to their secret rests : Of colours mingled light, a thick and standing lake.

Nature to thee does reverence pay,
Ill omens and ill sights removes out of thy way.

But the vast ocean of unbounded day,

In th' empyræan Heaven does stay. At thy appearance, Grief itself is said

Thy rivers, lakes, and springs, below, To shake his wings, and rouse his head: From thence took first their rise, thither at last And cloudy Care has often took

must flow. A gentle beamy smile, reflected from thy look,

At thy appearance, Fear itself grows bold;

Thy sun-shine melts away his cold.
Encouraged at the sight of thee,

Hore! whose weak being ruin'd is, To the cbeek colour comes, and firmness to the Alike, if it succeed, and if it miss ; knee.

Whom good or ill does equally confound,

And both the horns of Fate's dilemma wound: Ev'n Lust, the master of a harden'd face,

Vain shadow! which does vanish quite, Blushes, if thou be'st in the place,

Both at full noon and perfect night! To Darkness' curtains he retires;

The stars have not a possibility In sympathising night he rolls his smoky fires.

Of blessing thee;

If things then from their end we happy call,
When, goddess ! thou lift'st up thy waken'd head, Tis hope is the most hopeless thing of all.

Out of the morning's purple bed,
Thy quire of birds about thee play

Hope! thou bold taster of delight, [quite! And all the joyful world salutes the rising day. ! Who, whilst thou should'st but taste, devour'st it

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Thou bring'st us an estate, yet leav'st us poor,

Fruition more deceitful is By clogging it with legacies before !

Than thou canst be, when thou dost miss ; The joys which we entire should wed,

Men leave thee by obtaining, and straight flee Come deflower'd virgins to our bed ;

Some other way again to thee; Good fortunes without gain imported be,

And that's a pleasant country, without doubt, Such mighty custom's paid to thee.

To which all soon return that travel out.
For joy, like wine, kept close does better taste ;
If it take air before, its spirits waste.

Hope ! Fortune's cheating lottery ! | CLAUDIAN'S OLD MAN OF VERONA. Where for one prize an hundred blanks there be ;

DE SENE VERONENSI, QUI SUBURBIUM NUNQUAM Fond archer, Hope! who tak’st thy aim so far, That still or short or wide thine arrows are ! Thin, empty cloud, which th' eye deceives

Felix, qui patriis, &c. With shapes that our own fancy gives !

HAPPY the man, who his whole time doth bound A cloud, which gilt and painted now appears, Within th' enclosure of his little ground. But must drop presently in tears !

Happy the man, whom the same humble place When thy false beams o’er Reason's light prevail, By ignes fatui for north-stars we sail.

(Th' hereditary cottage of his race)

From his first rising infancy has known, Brother of Fear, more gayly clad !

And by degrees sees gently bending down,

With natural propension, to that earth The merrier fool o' th' two, yet quite as mad :

Which both preserv'd his life, and gave him birth. Sire of Repentance! child of fond Desire !

Him no false distant lights, by fortune set,
That blow'st the chymics', and the lovers', fire,

Could ever into foolish wanderings get.
Leading them still insensibly on
By the strange witchcraft of “ anon !"

He never dangers either saw or fear’d:

i The dreadful storms at sea he never heard. By thee the one does changing Nature, through

He never heard the shrill alarms of war, Her endless labyrinths, pursue ;

Or the worse noises of the lawyers'. bar. And th' other chases woman, whilst she goes

No change of consuls marks to him the year,
More ways and turns than hunted Nature knows.

The change of seasons is his calendar.
The cold and heat, winter and summer shows;
Autumn by fruits, and spring by flowers, he knows;

He measures time by land-marks, and has found

For the whole day the dial of his ground. Hope! of all ills that men endure,

A neighbouring wood, born with himself, he sees, The only cheap and universal cure !

And loves his old contemporary trees.
Thou captive's freedom, and thou sick man s health! He 'as only heard of near Verona's name,
Thou loser's victory, and thou beggar's wealth ! And knows it, like the Indies, but by fame.

Thou manna, which from Heaven we eat, Does with a like concernment notice take
To every taste a several meat!

Of the Red-sea, and of Benacus' lake.
Thou strong retreat! thou sure-entail'd estate, Thus health and strength he to a third age enjoys,
Which nought has power to alienate !

And sees a long posterity of boys. Thou pleasant, honest flatterer ! for none

About the spacious world let others roam,
Flatter unhappy men, but thou alone!

The voyage, life, is longest made at home.
Hope! thou first-fruits of happiness!
Thou gentle dawning of a bright success !
Thou good preparative, without which our joy

Does work too strong, and, whilst it cures, destroy !

Who out of Fortune's reach dost stand, WELL, then; I now do plainly see
And art a blessing still in hand!

This busy world and I shall ne'er agree;
Whilst thee, her earnest-money, we retain,

The very honey of all earthly joy We certain are to gain,

Does of all meats the soonest cloy ; Whether she her bargain break or else fulfil;

And they, methinks, deserve my pity, Thou only good, not worse for ending ill!

Who for it can endure the stings,

The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,
Brother of Faith! 'twixt whom and thee

Of this great hive, the city.
The joys of Heaven and Earth divided be!
Though Faith be heir, and have the fixt estate,

Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave,
Thy portion yet in moveables is great.

May I a small house and large garden have ! Happiness itself's all one

And a few friends, and many books, both true, In thee, or in possession !

Both wise, and both delightful too!
Only the future's thine, the present his !

And, since love ne'er will from me flee,
Thine's the more hard and noble bliss : A mistress moderately fair,
Best apprehender of our joys! which hast And good as guardian-angels are
So long a reach, and yet canst hold so fast !

Only belov’d, and loving me!
Hope! thou sad lovers' only friend!

Oh, fountains ! when in you shall I Thou Way, that may'st dispute it with the End ! Myself, eas'd of unpeaceful thoughts, espy ? For love, I fear, 's a fruit that does delight Oh fields! oh woods ! when, when shall I be made The taste itself less than the smell and sight.

The happy tenant of your shade ?

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