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THE NOBLE NATURE

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But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors !
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More
pangs

and fears than wars or women have:
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.

- From "HENRY VIII."

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BEN JONSON

ENGLAND, 1574–1637

The Noble Nature

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It is not growing like a tree
In bulk doth make man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere;

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be.

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JOHN MILTON

ENGLAND, 1608–1674

Song on a May Morning

Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth and youth and warm desire !
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

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ISAAC WATTS

ENGLAND, 1674-1748

O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home:

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Before the hills in order stood,

Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years

the same.

HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN

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A thousand ages in Thy sight

Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night

Before the rising sun.

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Time, like an ever-rolling stream,

Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream

Dies at the opening day.

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O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,

And our eternal home.

WILLIAM COWPER

ENGLAND, 1731-1800

The Diverting History of John Gilpin
John Gilpin was a citizen

Of credit and renown,
A trainband captain eke was he

Of famous London town.

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John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,

“Though wedded we have been These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen.

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"To-morrow is our wedding day,

And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton

All in a chaise and pair.

"My sister, and my sister's child,

Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride

On horseback after we.

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He soon replied, "I do admire

Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear,

Therefore it shall be done.

“I am a linendraper bold,

As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the calender

Will lend his horse to go.”

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Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, "That's well said;

And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own,

Which is both bright and clear.”

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John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife;

O’erjoyed was he to find,
That, though on pleasure she was bent,

She had a frugal mind.

HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN

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The morning came, the chaise was brought,

But yet was not allow'd
To drive up to the door, lest all

Should say that she was proud.

So three doors off the chaise was stay'd,

Where they did all get in; Six precious souls, and all agog

To dash through thick and thin.

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Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,

Were never folks so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath,

As if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin at his horse's side

Seized fast the flowing mane, And up he got, in haste to ride,

But soon came down again;

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For saddletree scarce reach'd had he

His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw

Three customers come in.

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So down he came; for loss of time,

Although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,

Would trouble him much more.

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