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Title: Bulchevy's Book of English Verse
Author: - To be updated
Language: English
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or


Previously released as:

Chosen and Edited by
Arthur Quiller-Couch


TO
THE PRESIDENT
FELLOWS AND SCHOLARS
OF
TRINITY COLLEGE OXFORD
A HOUSE OF LEARNING
ANCIENT LIBERAL HUMANE
AND MY MOST KINDLY NURSE

PREFACE

FOR this Anthology I have tried to range over the whole field of
English Verse from the beginning, or from the Thirteenth Century
to this closing year of the Nineteenth, and to choose the best.
Nor have I sought in these Islands only, but wheresoever the Muse
has followed the tongue which among living tongues she most
delights to honour. To bring home and render so great a spoil
compendiously has been my capital difficulty. It is for the reader
to judge if I have so managed it as to serve those who already
love poetry and to implant that love in some young minds not yet
initiated.

  My scheme is simple. I have arranged the poets as nearly as
possible in order of birth, with such groupings of anonymous
pieces as seemed convenient. For convenience, too, as well as to
avoid a dispute-royal, I have gathered the most of the Ballads
into the middle of the Seventeenth Century; where they fill a
languid interval between two winds of inspiration--the Italian
dying down with Milton and the French following at the heels of
the restored Royalists. For convenience, again, I have set myself
certain rules of spelling. In the very earliest poems inflection
and spelling are structural, and to modernize is to destroy. But
as old inflections fade into modern the old spelling becomes less
and less vital, and has been brought (not, I hope, too abruptly)
into line with that sanctioned by use and familiar. To do this
seemed wiser than to discourage many readers for the sake of
diverting others by a scent of antiquity which--to be essential--
should breathe of something rarer than an odd arrangement of type.
But there are scholars whom I cannot expect to agree with me; and
to conciliate them I have excepted Spenser and Milton from the
rule.

  Glosses of archaic and otherwise difficult words are given at
the foot of the page: but the text has not been disfigured with
reference-marks. And rather than make the book unwieldy I have
eschewed notes--reluctantly when some obscure passage or allusion
seemed to ask for a timely word; with more equanimity when the
temptation was to criticize or 'appreciate.' For the function of
the anthologist includes criticizing in silence.

  Care has been taken with the texts. But I have sometimes thought
it consistent with the aim of the book to prefer the more
beautiful to the better attested reading. I have often excised
weak or superfluous stanzas when sure that excision would improve;
and have not hesitated to extract a few stanzas from a long poem
when persuaded that they could stand alone as a lyric. The apology
for such experiments can only lie in their success: but the risk
is one which, in my judgement, the anthologist ought to take. A
few small corrections have been made, but only when they were
quite obvious.

  The numbers chosen are either lyrical or epigrammatic. Indeed I
am mistaken if a single epigram included fails to preserve at
least some faint thrill of the emotion through which it had to
pass before the Muse's lips let it fall, with however exquisite
deliberation. But the lyrical spirit is volatile and notoriously
hard to bind with definitions; and seems to grow wilder with the
years. With the anthologist--as with the fisherman who knows the
fish at the end of his sea-line--the gift, if he have it, comes by
sense, improved by practice. The definition, if he be clever
enough to frame one, comes by after-thought. I don't know that it
helps, and am sure that it may easily mislead.

  Having set my heart on choosing the best, I resolved not to be
dissuaded by common objections against anthologies--that they
repeat one another until the proverb [Greek] loses all
application--or perturbed if my judgement should often agree with
that of good critics. The best is the best, though a hundred
judges have declared it so; nor had it been any feat to search out
and insert the second-rate merely because it happened to be
recondite. To be sure, a man must come to such a task as mine
haunted by his youth and the favourites he loved in days when he
had much enthusiasm but little reading.

            A deeper import
Lurks in the legend told my infant years
Than lies upon that truth we live to learn.

  Few of my contemporaries can erase--or would wish to erase--the
dye their minds took from the late Mr. Palgrave's Golden Treasury:
and he who has returned to it again and again with an affection
born of companionship on many journeys must remember not only what
the Golden Treasury includes, but the moment when this or that
poem appealed to him, and even how it lies on the page. To Mr.
Bullen's Lyrics from the Elizabethan Song Books and his other
treasuries I own a more advised debt. Nor am I free of obligation
to anthologies even more recent--to Archbishop Trench's Household
Book of Poetry, Mr. Locker-Lampson's Lyra Elegantiarum, Mr. Miles'
Poets and Poetry of the Century, Mr. Beeching's Paradise of
English Poetry, Mr. Henley's English Lyrics, Mrs. Sharp's Lyra
Celtica, Mr. Yeats' Book of Irish Verse, and Mr. Churton Collins'
Treasury of Minor British Poetry: though my rule has been to
consult these after making my own choice. Yet I can claim that the
help derived from them--though gratefully owned--bears but a
trifling proportion to the labour, special and desultory, which
has gone to the making of my book.

  For the anthologist's is not quite the dilettante business for
which it is too often and ignorantly derided. I say this, and
immediately repent; since my wish is that the reader should in his
own pleasure quite forget the editor's labour, which too has been
pleasant: that, standing aside, I may believe this book has made
the Muses' access easier when, in the right hour, they come to him
to uplift or to console--
[Greek]

  My thanks are here tendered to those who have helped me with
permission to include recent poems: to Mr. A. C. Benson, Mr.
Laurence Binyon, Mr. Wilfrid Blunt, Mr. Robert Bridges, Mr. John
Davidson, Mr. Austin Dobson, Mr. Aubrey de Vere, Mr. Edmund Gosse,
Mr. Bret Harte, Mr. W. E. Henley, Mrs. Katharine Tynan Hinkson,
Mr. W. D. Howells, Dr. Douglas Hyde, Mr. Rudyard Kipling, Mr.
Andrew Lang, Mr. Richard Le Gallienne, Mr. George Meredith, Mrs.
Meynell, Mr. T. Sturge Moore, Mr. Henry Newbolt, Mr. Gilbert
Parker, Mr. T. W. Rolleston, Mr. George Russell ('A. E.'), Mrs.
Clement Shorter (Dora Sigerson), Mr. Swinburne, Mr. Francis
Thompson, Dr. Todhunter, Mr. William Watson, Mr. Watts-Dunton,
Mrs. Woods, and Mr. W. B. Yeats; to the Earl of Crewe for a poem
by the late Lord Houghton; to Lady Ferguson, Mrs. Allingham, Mrs.
A. H. Clough, Mrs. Locker-Lampson, Mrs. Coventry Patmore; to the
Lady Betty Balfour and the Lady Victoria Buxton for poems by the
late Earl of Lytton and the Hon. Roden Noel; to the executors of
Messrs. Frederic Tennyson (Captain Tennyson and Mr. W. C. A. Ker),
Charles Tennyson Turner (Sir Franklin Lushington), Edward
FitzGerald (Mr. Aldis Wright), William Bell Scott (Mrs. Sydney
Morse and Miss Boyd of Penkill Castle, who has added to her
kindness by allowing me to include an unpublished 'Sonet' by her
sixteenth-century ancestor, Mark Alexander Boyd), William Philpot
(Mr. Hamlet S. Philpot), William Morris (Mr. S. C. Cockerell),
William Barnes, and R. L. Stevenson; to the Rev. H. C. Beeching
for two poems from his own works, and leave to use his redaction
of Quia Amore Langueo; to Mssrs. Macmillan for confirming
permission for the extracts from FitzGerald, Christina Rossetti,
and T. E. Brown, and particularly for allowing me to insert the
latest emendations in Lord Tennyson's non-copyright poems; to the
proprietors of Mr. and Mrs. Browning's copyrights and to Messrs.
Smith, Elder & Co. for a similar favour, also for a copyright
poem by Mrs. Browning; to Mr. George Allen for extracts from
Ruskin and the author of Ionica; to Messrs. G. Bell & Sons for
poems by Thomas Ashe; to Messrs. Chatto & Windus for poems by
Arthur O'Shaughnessy and Dr. George MacDonald, and for confirming
Mr. Bret Harte's permission; to Mr. Elkin Mathews for a poem by
Mr. Bliss Carman; to Mr. John Lane for two poems by William
Brighty Rands; to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
for two extracts from Christina Rossetti's Verses; and to Mr.
Bertram Dobell, who allows me not only to select from James
Thomson but to use a poem of Traherne's, a seventeenth-century
singer rediscovered by him. To mention all who in other ways have
furthered me is not possible in this short Preface; which,
however, must not conclude without a word of special thanks to Dr.
W. Robertson Nicoll for many suggestions and some pains kindly
bestowed, and to Professor F. York Powell, whose help and wise
counsel have been as generously given as they were eagerly sought,
adding me to the number of those many who have found his learning
to be his friends' good fortune.
October 1900
A.T.Q.C.


Anonymous. c. 1250

1. Cuckoo Song

SUMER is icumen in,
  Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweth sed, and bloweth med,
  And springth the wude nu--
          Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb,
  Lhouth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth,
  Murie sing cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu, cuccu:
  Ne swike thu naver nu;
Sing cuccu, nu, sing cuccu,
  Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu!

lhude] loud.  awe] ewe.  lhouth] loweth.  sterteth] leaps.  swike]
cease.


Anonymous. c. 1300

2. Alison

BYTUENE Mershe ant Averil
  When spray biginneth to spring,
The lutel foul hath hire wyl
  On hyre lud to synge:
Ich libbe in love-longinge
For semlokest of alle thynge,
He may me blisse bringe,
  Icham in hire bandoun.
An hendy hap ichabbe y-hent,
Ichot from hevene it is me sent,
From alle wymmen my love is lent
  Ant lyht on Alisoun.

On heu hire her is fayr ynoh,
  Hire browe broune, hire eye blake;
With lossum chere he on me loh;
  With middel smal ant wel y-make;
Bote he me wolle to hire take
For to buen hire owen make,
Long to lyven ichulle forsake
  Ant feye fallen adoun.
An hendy hap, etc.

Nihtes when I wende and wake,
  For-thi myn wonges waxeth won;
Levedi, al for thine sake
  Longinge is y-lent me on.
In world his non so wyter mon
That al hire bounte telle con;
Hire swyre is whittore than the swon,
  Ant feyrest may in toune.
An hendy hap, etc.

Icham for wowyng al for-wake,
  Wery so water in wore;
Lest eny reve me my make
  Ichabbe y-yerned yore.
  Betere is tholien whyle sore
  Then mournen evermore.
    Geynest under gore,
    Herkne to my roun--
An hendy hap, etc.

on hyre lud] in her language.  ich libbe] I live.  semlokest]
seemliest.  he] she.  bandoun] thraldom.  hendy] gracious.  y-hent]
seized, enjoyed.  ichot] I wot.  lyht] alighted.  hire her] her
hair.  lossum] lovesome.  loh] laughed.  bote he] unless
she.  buen] be.  make] mate.  feye] like to die.  nihtes] at
night.  wende] turn.  for-thi] on that account.  wonges waxeth won]
cheeks grow wan.  levedi] lady.  y-lent me on] arrived to me.  so
wyter mon] so wise a man.  swyre] neck.  may] maid.  for-wake] worn
out with vigils.  so water in wore] as water in a weir.  reve]
rob.  y-yerned yore] long been distressed.  tholien] to
endure.  geynest under gore] comeliest under woman's
apparel.  roun] tale, lay.


Anonymous. c. 1300

3. Spring-tide

LENTEN ys come with love to toune,
With blosmen ant with briddes roune,
  That al this blisse bryngeth;
Dayes-eyes in this dales,
Notes suete of nyhtegales,
  Vch foul song singeth;
The threstlecoc him threteth oo,
Away is huere wynter wo,
  When woderove springeth;
This foules singeth ferly fele,
Ant wlyteth on huere winter wele,
  That al the wode ryngeth.

The rose rayleth hire rode,
The leves on the lyhte wode
  Waxen al with wille;
The mone mandeth hire bleo,
The lilie is lossom to seo,
  The fenyl ant the fille;
Wowes this wilde drakes,
Miles murgeth huere makes;
  Ase strem that striketh stille,
Mody meneth; so doth mo
(Ichot ycham on of tho)
  For loue that likes ille.

The mone mandeth hire lyht,
So doth the semly sonne bryht.
  When briddes singeth breme;
Deowes donketh the dounes,
Deores with huere derne rounes
  Domes forte deme;
Wormes woweth under cloude,
Wymmen waxeth wounder proude,
  So wel hit wol hem seme,
Yef me shal wonte wille of on,
This wunne weole y wole forgon
  Ant wyht in wode be fleme.

to toune] in its turn.  him threteth oo] is aye chiding
them.  huere] their.  woderove] woodruff.  ferly fele] marvellous
many.  wlyteth] whistle, or look.  rayleth hire rode] clothes
herself in red.  mandeth hire bleo] sends forth her light.  lossom
to seo] lovesome to see.  fille] thyme.  wowes] woo.  miles]
males.  murgeth] make merry.  makes] mates.  striketh] flows,
trickles.  mody meneth] the moody man makes moan.  so doth mo] so
do many.  on of tho] one of them.  breme] lustily.  deowes]
dews.  donketh] make dank.  deores] dears, lovers.  huere derne
rounes] their secret tales.  domes forte deme] for to give (decide)
their decisions.  cloude] clod.  wunne weole] wealth of joy.  y
wole forgon] I will forgo.  wyht] wight.  fleme] banished.


Anonymous. c. 1300

4. Blow, Northern Wind

ICHOT a burde in boure bryht,
That fully semly is on syht,
Menskful maiden of myht;
  Feir ant fre to fonde;
In al this wurhliche won
A burde of blod ant of bon
Never yete y nuste non
  Lussomore in londe.
    Blou northerne wynd!
    Send thou me my suetyng!
    Blou northerne wynd! blou, blou, blou!

With lokkes lefliche ant longe,
With frount ant face feir to fonge,
With murthes monie mote heo monge,
  That brid so breme in boure.
With lossom eye grete ant gode,
With browen blysfol under hode,
He that reste him on the Rode,
  That leflych lyf honoure.
    Blou northerne wynd, etc.

Hire lure lumes liht,
Ase a launterne a nyht,
Hire bleo blykyeth so bryht.
  So feyr heo is ant fyn.
A suetly swyre heo hath to holde,
With armes shuldre ase mon wolde,
Ant fingres feyre forte folde,
  God wolde hue were myn!
    Blou northerne wynd, etc.

Heo is coral of godnesse,
Heo is rubie of ryhtfulnesse,
Heo is cristal of clannesse,
  Ant baner of bealte.
Heo is lilie of largesse,
Heo is parvenke of prouesse,
Heo is solsecle of suetnesse,
  Ant lady of lealte.

For hire love y carke ant care,
For hire love y droupne ant dare,
For hire love my blisse is bare
  Ant al ich waxe won,
For hire love in slep y slake,
For hire love al nyht ich wake,
For hire love mournynge y make
  More then eny mon.
    Blou northerne wynd!
    Send thou me my suetyng!
    Blou northerne wynd! blou, blou, blou!

Ichot] I know.  burde] maiden.  menskful] worshipful.  feir]
fair.  fonde] take, prove.  wurhliche] noble.  won] multitude.  y
nuste] I knew not.  lussomore in londe] lovelier on
earth.  suetyng] sweetheart.  lefliche] lovely.  fonge] take
between hands.  murthes] mirths, joys.  mote heo monge] may she
mingle.  brid] bird.  breme] full of life.  Rode] the Cross.  lure]
face.  lumes] beams.  bleo] colour.  suetly swyre] darling
neck.  forte] for to.  hue, heo] she.  clannesse] cleanness,
purity.  parvenke] periwinkle.  solsecle] sunflower.  won] wan.


Anonymous. c. 1300

5. This World's Joy

WYNTER wakeneth al my care,
Nou this leves waxeth bare;
Ofte I sike ant mourne sare
  When hit cometh in my thoht
  Of this worldes joie, hou hit goth al to noht.

Nou hit is, and nou hit nys,
Al so hit ner nere, ywys;
That moni mon seith, soth hit ys:
  Al goth bote Godes wille:
  Alle we shule deye, thah us like ylle.

Al that gren me graueth grene,
Nou hit faleweth albydene:
Jesu, help that hit be sene
  Ant shild us from helle!
  For y not whider y shal, ne hou longe her duelle.

this leves] these leaves.  sike] sigh.  nys] is not.  al so hit ner
nere] as though it had never been.  soth] sooth.  bote] but,
except.  thah] though.  faleweth] fadeth.  albydene] altogether.  y
not whider] I know not whither.  her duelle] here dwell.


Anonymous. c. 1300

6. A Hymn to the Virgin

OF on that is so fayr and bright
        Velut maris stella,
Brighter than the day is light,
        Parens et puella:
Ic crie to the, thou see to me,
Levedy, preye thi Sone for me,
        Tam pia,
That ic mote come to thee
        Maria.

Al this world was for-lore
        Eva peccatrice,
Tyl our Lord was y-bore
        De te genetrice.
With ave it went away
Thuster nyth and comz the day
        Salutis;
The welle springeth ut of the,
        Virtutis.

Levedy, flour of alle thing,
        Rose sine spina,
Thu bere Jhesu, hevene king,
        Gratia divina:
Of alle thu ber'st the pris,
Levedy, quene of paradys
        Electa:
Mayde milde, moder es
        Effecta.

on] one.  levedy] lady.  thuster] dark.  pris] prize.


Anonymous. c. 1350

7. Of a rose, a lovely rose,
Of a rose is al myn song.

LESTENYT, lordynges, both elde and yinge,
How this rose began to sprynge;
Swych a rose to myn lykynge
    In al this word ne knowe I non.

The Aungil came fro hevene tour,
To grete Marye with gret honour,
And seyde sche xuld bere the flour
    That xulde breke the fyndes bond.

The flour sprong in heye Bedlem,
That is bothe bryht and schen:
The rose is Mary hevene qwyn,
    Out of here bosum the blosme sprong.

The ferste braunche is ful of myht,
That sprang on Cyrstemesse nyht,
The sterre schon over Bedlem bryht
    That is bothe brod and long.

The secunde braunche sprong to helle,
The fendys power doun to felle:
Therein myht non sowle dwelle;
    Blyssid be the time the rose sprong!

The thredde braunche is good and swote,
It sprang to hevene crop and rote,
Therein to dwellyn and ben our bote;
    Every day it schewit in prystes hond.

Prey we to here with gret honour,
Che that bar the blyssid flowr,
Che be our helpe and our socour
    And schyd us fro the fyndes bond.

lestenyt] listen.  word] world.  xuld] should.  schen]
beautiful.  hevene qwyn] heaven's queen.  bote] salvation.


Robert Mannyng of Brunne. 1269-1340

8. Praise of Women

NO thyng ys to man so dere
As wommanys love in gode manere.
A gode womman is mannys blys,
There her love right and stedfast ys.
There ys no solas under hevene
Of alle that a man may nevene
That shulde a man so moche glew
As a gode womman that loveth true.
Ne derer is none in Goddis hurde
Than a chaste womman with lovely worde.

nevene] name.  glew] gladden.  hurde] flock.


John Barbour. d. 1395

9. Freedom

A! Fredome is a noble thing!
Fredome mays man to haiff liking;
Fredome all solace to man giffis,
He levys at ese that frely levys!
A noble hart may haiff nane ese,
Na ellys nocht that may him plese,
Gyff fredome fail; for fre liking
Is yarnyt our all othir thing.
Na he that ay has levyt fre
May nocht knaw weill the propyrte,
The angyr, na the wretchyt dome
That is couplyt to foule thyrldome.
Bot gyff he had assayit it,
Than all perquer he suld it wyt;
And suld think fredome mar to prise
Than all the gold in warld that is.
Thus contrar thingis evirmar
Discoweryngis off the tothir ar.

liking] liberty.  na ellys nocht] nor aught else.  yarnyt] yearned
for.  perquer] thoroughly, by heart.


Geoffrey Chaucer. 1340?-1400

10. The Love Unfeigned

O YONGE fresshe folkes, he or she,
In which that love up groweth with your age,
Repeyreth hoom from worldly vanitee,
And of your herte up-casteth the visage
To thilke god that after his image
Yow made, and thinketh al nis but a fayre
This world, that passeth sone as floures fayre.

And loveth him, the which that right for love
Upon a cros, our soules for to beye,
First starf, and roos, and sit in hevene a-bove;
For he nil falsen no wight, dar I seye,
That wol his herte al hoolly on him leye.
And sin he best to love is, and most meke,
What nedeth feyned loves for to seke?

repeyreth] repair ye.  starf] died.


Geoffrey Chaucer. 1340?-1400

11. Balade

HYD, Absolon, thy gilte tresses clere;
Ester, ley thou thy meknesse al a-doun;
Hyd, Jonathas, al thy frendly manere;
Penalopee, and Marcia Catoun,
Mak of your wyfhod no comparisoun;
Hyde ye your beautes, Isoude and Eleyne;
My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.

Thy faire body, lat hit nat appere,
Lavyne; and thou, Lucresse of Rome toun,
And Polixene, that boghten love so dere,
And Cleopatre, with al thy passioun,
Hyde ye your trouthe of love and your renoun;
And thou, Tisbe, that hast of love swich peyne;
My lady cometh, that al this may disteyne.

Herro, Dido, Laudomia, alle y-fere,
And Phyllis, hanging for thy Demophoun,
And Canace, espyed by thy chere,
Ysiphile, betraysed with Jasoun,
Maketh of your trouthe neyther boost ne soun;
Nor Ypermistre or Adriane, ye tweyne;
My lady cometh, that al this may distevne.

disteyne] bedim.  y-fere] together.


Geoffrey Chaucer. 1340?-1400

12. Merciles Beaute

A TRIPLE ROUNDEL

1. CAPTIVITY

YOUR eyen two wol slee me sodenly,
I may the beaute of hem not sustene,
So woundeth hit through-out my herte kene.

And but your word wol helen hastily
My hertes wounde, whyl that hit is grene,
  Your eyen two wol slee me sodenly,
  I may the beaute of hem not sustene.

Upon my trouthe I sey yow feithfully,
That ye ben of my lyf and deeth the quene;
For with my deeth the trouthe shal be sene.
  Your eyen two wol slee me sodenly,
  I may the beaute of hem not sustene,
  So woundeth hit through-out my herte kene.

2. REJECTION

So hath your beaute fro your herte chaced
Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne;
For Daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne.

Giltles my deeth thus han ye me purchaced;
I sey yow sooth, me nedeth not to feyne;
  So hath your beaute fro your herte chaced
  Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne.

Allas! that nature hath in yow compassed
So greet beaute, that no man may atteyne
To mercy, though he sterve for the peyne.
  So hath your beaute fro your herte chaced
  Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne;
  For Daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne.

3. ESCAPE

Sin I fro Love escaped am so fat,
I never thenk to ben in his prison lene;
Sin I am free, I counte him not a bene.

He may answere, and seye this or that;
I do no fors, I speke right as I mene.
  Sin I fro Love escaped am so fat,
  I never thenk to ben in his prison lene.

Love hath my name y-strike out of his sclat,
And he is strike out of my bokes clene
For ever-mo; ther is non other mene.
  Sin I fro Love escaped am so fat,
  I never thenk to ben in his prison lene;
  Sin I am free, I counte him not a bene.

halt] holdeth.  sclat] slate.


Thomas Hoccleve. 1368-9?-1450?

13. Lament for Chaucer

ALLAS! my worthi maister honorable,
This landes verray tresor and richesse!
Deth by thy deth hath harme irreparable
Unto us doon: hir vengeable duresse
Despoiled hath this land of the swetnesse
Of rethorik; for unto Tullius
Was never man so lyk amonges us.

Also who was hier in philosophie
To Aristotle in our tonge but thou?
The steppes of Virgile in poesie
Thou folwedist eeke, men wot wel ynow.
Thou combre-worlde that the my maister slow--
Wolde I slayn were!--Deth, was to hastyf
To renne on thee and reve the thi lyf...

She myghte han taried hir vengeance a while
Til that sum man had egal to the be;
Nay, lat be that! sche knew wel that this y1e
May never man forth brynge lyk to the,
And hir office needes do mot she:
God bad hir so, I truste as for the beste;
O maister, maister, God thi soule reste!

hier] heir.  combre-worlde] encumberer of earth.  slow] slew.


John Lydgate. 1370?-1450?

14. Vox ultima Crucis

TARYE no lenger; toward thyn heritage
Hast on thy weye, and be of ryght good chere.
Go eche day onward on thy pylgrymage;
Thynke howe short tyme thou hast abyden here.
Thy place is bygged above the sterres clere,
Noon erthly palys wrought in so statly wyse.
Come on, my frend, my brother most entere!
For the I offered my blood in sacryfice.

bygged] built.  palys] palace.


King James I of Scotland. 1394-1437

15. Spring Song of the Birds

WORSCHIPPE ye that loveris bene this May,
For of your blisse the Kalendis are begonne,
And sing with us, Away, Winter, away!
  Cum, Somer, cum, the suete sesoun and sonne!
  Awake for schame! that have your hevynnis wonne,
    And amorously lift up your hedis all,
    Thank Lufe that list you to his merci call!

suete] sweet.  Lufe] Love.


Robert Henryson. 1425-1500

16. Robin and Makyne

ROBIN sat on gude green hill,
  Kepand a flock of fe:
Mirry Makyne said him till
  'Robin, thou rew on me:
I haif thee luvit, loud and still,
  Thir yeiris twa or thre;
My dule in dern bot gif thou dill,
  Doutless but dreid I de.'

Robin answerit 'By the Rude
  Na thing of luve I knaw,
But keipis my scheip undir yon wud:
  Lo, quhair they raik on raw.
Quhat has marrit thee in thy mude,
  Makyne, to me thou shaw;
Or quhat is luve, or to be lude?
  Fain wad I leir that law.'

'At luvis lair gif thou will leir
  Tak thair ane A B C;
Be heynd, courtass, and fair of feir,
  Wyse, hardy, and free:
So that no danger do thee deir
  Quhat dule in dern thou dre;
Preiss thee with pain at all poweir
  Be patient and previe.'

Robin answerit hir agane,
  'I wat nocht quhat is lufe;
But I haif mervel in certaine
  Quhat makis thee this wanrufe:
The weddir is fair, and I am fain;
  My scheip gois haill aboif;
And we wald prey us in this plane,
  They wald us baith reproif.'

'Robin, tak tent unto my tale,
  And wirk all as I reid,
And thou sall haif my heart all haill,
  Eik and my maiden-heid:
Sen God sendis bute for baill,
  And for murnyng remeid,
In dern with thee bot gif I daill
  Dowtles I am bot deid.'

'Makyne, to-morn this ilka tyde
  And ye will meit me heir,
Peraventure my scheip may gang besyde,
  Quhyle we haif liggit full neir;
But mawgre haif I, and I byde,
  Fra they begin to steir;
Quhat lyis on heart I will nocht hyd;
  Makyn, then mak gude cheir.'

'Robin, thou reivis me roiff and rest;
  I luve bot thee allane.'
'Makyne, adieu! the sone gois west,
  The day is neir-hand gane.'
'Robin, in dule I am so drest
  That luve will be my bane.'
'Ga luve, Makyne, quhair-evir thow list,
  For lemman I luve nane.'

'Robin, I stand in sic a styll,
  I sicht and that full sair.'
'Makyne, I haif been here this quhyle;
  At hame God gif I wair.'
'My huny, Robin, talk ane quhyll,
  Gif thow will do na mair.'
'Makyn, sum uthir man begyle,
  For hamewart I will fair.'

Robin on his wayis went
  As light as leif of tre;
Makyne murnit in hir intent,
  And trowd him nevir to se.
Robin brayd attour the bent:
  Then Makyne cryit on hie,
'Now may thow sing, for I am schent!
  Quhat alis lufe at me?'

Makyne went hame withowttin fail,
  Full wery eftir cowth weip;
Then Robin in a ful fair daill
  Assemblit all his scheip.
Be that sum part of Makynis aill
  Out-throw his hairt cowd creip;
He fallowit hir fast thair till assaill,
  And till her tuke gude keip.

'Abyd, abyd, thow fair Makyne,
  A word for ony thing;
For all my luve, it sall be thyne,
  Withowttin departing.
All haill thy hairt for till haif myne
  Is all my cuvating;
My scheip to-morn, quhyle houris nyne,
  Will neid of no keping.'

'Robin, thow hes hard soung and say,
  In gestis and storeis auld,
The man that will nocht quhen he may
  Sall haif nocht quhen he wald.
I pray to Jesu every day,
  Mot eik thair cairis cauld
That first preissis with thee to play
  Be firth, forrest, or fauld.'

'Makyne, the nicht is soft and dry,
  The weddir is warme and fair,
And the grene woid rycht neir us by
  To walk attour all quhair:
Thair ma na janglour us espy,
  That is to lufe contrair;
Thairin, Makyne, baith ye and I,
  Unsene we ma repair.'

'Robin, that warld is all away,
  And quyt brocht till ane end:
And nevir agane thereto, perfay,
  Sall it be as thow wend;
For of my pane thow maid it play;
  And all in vane I spend:
As thow hes done, sa sall I say,
  "Murne on, I think to mend."'

'Makyne, the howp of all my heill,
  My hairt on thee is sett;
And evirmair to thee be leill
  Quhill I may leif but lett;
Never to faill as utheris feill,
  Quhat grace that evir I gett.'
'Robin, with thee I will nocht deill;
  Adieu! for thus we mett.'

Makyne went hame blyth anneuche
  Attour the holttis hair;
Robin murnit, and Makyne leuche;
  Scho sang, he sichit sair:
And so left him baith wo and wreuch,
  In dolour and in cair,
Kepand his hird under a huche
  Amangis the holttis hair.

kepand] keeping.  fe] sheep, cattle.  him till] to him.  dule in
dern] sorrow in secret.  dill] soothe.  but dreid] without dread,
i.e.  there is no fear or doubt.  raik on raw] range in
row.  lude] loved.  leir] learn.  lair] lore.  heynd]
gentle.  feir] demeanour.  deir] daunt.  dre] endure.  preiss]
endeavour.  wanrufe] unrest.  haill] healthy, whole.  aboif] above,
up yonder.  and] if.  tak tent] give heed.  reid] advise.  bute for
baill] remedy for hurt.  bot gif] but if, unless.  daill]
deal.  mawgre haif I] I am uneasy.  reivis] robbest.  roiff]
quiet.  drest] beset.  lemman] mistress.  sicht] sigh.  in hir
intent] in her inward thought.  brayd] strode.  bent] coarse
grass.  schent] destroyed.  alis] ails.  be that] by the time
that.  till] to.  tuke keip] paid attention.  hard] heard.  gestis]
romances.  mot eik] may add to.  be] by.  janglour]
talebearer.  wend] weened.  howp] hope.  but lett] without
hindrance.  anneuche] enough.  holttis hair] grey
woodlands.  leuche] laughed.  wreuch] peevish.  huche] heuch,
cliff.


Robert Henryson. 1425-1500

17. The Bludy Serk

THIS hinder yeir I hard be tald
  Thair was a worthy King;
Dukis, Erlis, and Barronis bald,
  He had at his bidding.
The Lord was ancean and ald,
  And sexty yeiris cowth ring;
He had a dochter fair to fald,
  A lusty Lady ying.

Off all fairheid scho bur the flour,
  And eik hir faderis air;
Off lusty laitis and he honour,
  Meik bot and debonair:
Scho wynnit in a bigly bour,
  On fold wes nane so fair,
Princis luvit hir paramour
  In cuntreis our allquhair.

Thair dwelt a lyt besyde the King
  A foull Gyand of ane;
Stollin he has the Lady ying,
  Away with hir is gane,
And kest her in his dungering
  Quhair licht scho micht se nane;
Hungir and cauld and grit thristing
  Scho fand into hir waine.

He wes the laithliest on to luk
  That on the grund mycht gang:
His nailis wes lyk ane hellis cruk,
  Thairwith fyve quarteris lang;
Thair wes nane that he ourtuk,
  In rycht or yit in wrang,
Bot all in schondir he thame schuk,
  The Gyand wes so strang.

He held the Lady day and nycht
  Within his deip dungeoun,
He wald nocht gif of hir a sicht
  For gold nor yit ransoun--
Bot gif the King mycht get a knycht,
  To fecht with his persoun,
To fecht with him beth day and nycht,
  Quhill ane wer dungin doun.

The King gart seik baith fer and neir,
  Beth be se and land,
Off ony knycht gif he mycht heir
  Wald fecht with that Gyand:
A worthy Prince, that had no peir,
  Hes tane the deid on hand
For the luve of the Lady cleir,
  And held full trew cunnand.

That Prince come prowdly to the toun
  Of that Gyand to heir,
And fawcht with him, his awin persoun,
  And tuke him presoneir,
And kest him in his awin dungeoun
  Allane withouten feir,
With hungir, cauld, and confusioun,
  As full weill worthy weir.

Syne brak the bour, had hame the bricht
  Unto her fadir fre.
Sa evill wondit wes the Knycht
  That he behuvit to de;
Unlusum was his likame dicht,
  His sark was all bludy;
In all the world was thair a wicht
  So peteouss for to se?

The Lady murnyt and maid grit mane,
  With all her mekill mycht--
'I luvit nevir lufe bot ane,
  That dulfully now is dicht;
God sen my lyfe were fra me tane
  Or I had seen yone sicht,
Or ellis in begging evir to gane
  Furth with yone curtass knycht.'

He said 'Fair lady, now mone I
  De, trestly ye me trow;
Take ye my serk that is bludy,
  And hing it forrow yow;
First think on it, and syne on me,
  Quhen men cumis yow to wow.'
The Lady said 'Be Mary fre,
  Thairto I mak a vow.'

Quhen that scho lukit to the sark
  Scho thocht on the persoun,
And prayit for him with all hir hart
  That lowsit hir of bandoun,
Quhair scho was wont to sit full merk
  Into that deip dungeoun;
And evir quhill scho wes in quert,
  That was hir a lessoun.

Sa weill the Lady luvit the Knycht
  That no man wald scho tak:
Sa suld we do our God of micht
  That did all for us mak;
Quhilk fullily to deid was dicht,
  For sinfull manis sak,
Sa suld we do beth day and nycht,
  With prayaris to him mak.

This King is lyk the Trinitie,
  Baith in hevin and heir;
The manis saule to the Lady,
  The Gyand to Lucefeir,
The Knycht to Chryst, that deit on tre
  And coft our synnis deir;
The pit to Hele with panis fell,
  The Syn to the woweir.

The Lady was wowd, but scho said nay
  With men that wald hir wed;
Sa suld we wryth all sin away
  That in our breist is bred.
I pray to Jesu Chryst verray,
  For ws his blud that bled,
To be our help on domisday
  Quhair lawis ar straitly led.

The saule is Godis dochtir deir,
  And eik his handewerk,
That was betrayit with Lucefeir,
  Quha sittis in hell full merk:
Borrowit with Chrystis angell cleir,
  Hend men, will ye nocht herk?
And for his lufe that bocht us deir
  Think on the BLUDY SERK!

hinder yeir] last year.  ring] reign.  fald] enfold.  ying]
young.  fairheid] beauty.  air] heir.  laitis] manners.  bot and]
and also.  scho wynnit] she dwelt.  bigly] well-built.  fold]
earth.  paramour] lovingly.  our allquhair] all the world over.  a
lyt besyde] a little, (i.e. close) beside.  of ane] as any.  kest]
cast.  dungering] dungeon.  into hir waine] in her lodging.  hellis
cruk] hell-claw.  quhill] until.  dungin doun] beaten down.  his
awin persoun] himself.  withouten feir] without companion.  the
bricht] the fair one.  likame] body.  lowsit hir of bandoun] loosed
her from thraldom.  quert] prison.  coft] bought.  straitly led]
strictly carried out.  hend] gentle.


William Dunbar. 1465-1520?

18. To a Lady

SWEET rois of vertew and of gentilness,
Delytsum lily of everie lustynes,
    Richest in bontie and in bewtie clear,
    And everie vertew that is wenit dear,
Except onlie that ye are mercyless

Into your garth this day I did persew;
There saw I flowris that fresche were of hew;
    Baith quhyte and reid most lusty were to seyne,
    And halesome herbis upon stalkis greene;
Yet leaf nor flowr find could I nane of rew.

I doubt that Merche, with his cauld blastis keyne,
Has slain this gentil herb, that I of mene;
    Quhois piteous death dois to my heart sic paine
    That I would make to plant his root againe,--
So confortand his levis unto me bene.

rois] rose.  wenit] weened, esteemed.  garth] garden-close.  to
seyne] to see.  that I of mene] that I complain of, mourn for.


William Dunbar. 1465-1520?

19. In Honour of the City of London

LONDON, thou art of townes A per se.
  Soveraign of cities, seemliest in sight,
Of high renoun, riches and royaltie;
  Of lordis, barons, and many a goodly knyght;
  Of most delectable lusty ladies bright;
Of famous prelatis, in habitis clericall;
  Of merchauntis full of substaunce and of myght:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Gladdith anon, thou lusty Troynovaunt,
  Citie that some tyme cleped was New Troy;
In all the erth, imperiall as thou stant,
  Pryncesse of townes, of pleasure and of joy,
  A richer restith under no Christen roy;
For manly power, with craftis naturall,
  Fourmeth none fairer sith the flode of Noy:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Gemme of all joy, jasper of jocunditie,
  Most myghty carbuncle of vertue and valour;
Strong Troy in vigour and in strenuytie;
  Of royall cities rose and geraflour;
  Empress of townes, exalt in honour;
In beawtie beryng the crone imperiall;
  Swete paradise precelling in pleasure;
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Above all ryvers thy Ryver hath renowne,
  Whose beryall stremys, pleasaunt and preclare,
Under thy lusty wallys renneth down,
  Where many a swan doth swymme with wyngis fair;
  Where many a barge doth saile and row with are;
Where many a ship doth rest with top-royall.
  O, towne of townes! patrone and not compare,
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Upon thy lusty Brigge of pylers white
  Been merchauntis full royall to behold;
Upon thy stretis goeth many a semely knyght
  In velvet gownes and in cheynes of gold.
  By Julyus Cesar thy Tour founded of old
May be the hous of Mars victoryall,
  Whose artillary with tonge may not be told:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Strong be thy wallis that about thee standis;
  Wise be the people that within thee dwellis;
Fresh is thy ryver with his lusty strandis;
  Blith be thy chirches, wele sownyng be thy bellis;
  Rich be thy merchauntis in substaunce that excellis;
Fair be their wives, right lovesom, white and small;
  Clere be thy virgyns, lusty under kellis:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Thy famous Maire, by pryncely governaunce,
  With sword of justice thee ruleth prudently.
No Lord of Parys, Venyce, or Floraunce
  In dignitye or honour goeth to hym nigh.
  He is exampler, loode-ster, and guye;
Principall patrone and rose orygynalle,
  Above all Maires as maister most worthy:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

gladdith] rejoice.  Troynovaunt] Troja nova or
Trinovantum.  fourmeth] appeareth.  geraflour] gillyflower.  are]
oar.  small] slender.  kellis] hoods, head-dresses.  guye] guide.


William Dunbar. 1465-1520?

20. On the Nativity of Christ

RORATE coeli desuper!
  Hevins, distil your balmy schouris!
For now is risen the bricht day-ster,
  Fro the rose Mary, flour of flouris:
  The cleir Sone, quhom no cloud devouris,
Surmounting Phebus in the Est,
  Is cumin of his hevinly touris:
    Et nobis Puer natus est.

Archangellis, angellis, and dompnationis,
  Tronis, potestatis, and marteiris seir,
And all ye hevinly operationis,
  Ster, planeit, firmament, and spheir,
  Fire, erd, air, and water cleir,
To Him gife loving, most and lest,
  That come in to so meik maneir;
    Et nobis Puer natus est.

Synnaris be glad, and penance do,
  And thank your Maker hairtfully;
For he that ye micht nocht come to
  To you is cumin full humbly
  Your soulis with his blood to buy
And loose you of the fiendis arrest--
  And only of his own mercy;
    Pro nobis Puer natus est.

All clergy do to him inclyne,
  And bow unto that bairn benyng,
And do your observance divyne
  To him that is of kingis King:
  Encense his altar, read and sing
In holy kirk, with mind degest,
  Him honouring attour all thing
    Qui nobis Puer natus est.

Celestial foulis in the air,
  Sing with your nottis upon hicht,
In firthis and in forrestis fair
  Be myrthful now at all your mycht;
  For passit is your dully nicht,
Aurora has the cloudis perst,
  The Sone is risen with glaidsum licht,
    Et nobis Puer natus est.

Now spring up flouris fra the rute,
  Revert you upward naturaly,
In honour of the blissit frute
  That raiss up fro the rose Mary;
  Lay out your levis lustily,
Fro deid take life now at the lest
  In wirschip of that Prince worthy
    Qui nobis Puer natus est.

Sing, hevin imperial, most of hicht!
  Regions of air mak armony!
All fish in flud and fowl of flicht
  Be mirthful and mak melody!
  All Gloria in excelsis cry!
Heaven, erd, se, man, bird, and best,--
  He that is crownit abone the sky
    Pro nobis Puer natus est!

schouris] showers.  cumin] come, entered.  seir] various.  erd]
earth.  lest] least.  synnaris] sinners.  benyng] benign.  attour]
over, above.  perst] pierced.  raiss] rose.  best] beast.


William Dunbar. 1465-1520?

21. Lament for the Makers

I THAT in heill was and gladness
Am trublit now with great sickness
And feblit with infirmitie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Our plesance here is all vain glory,
This fals world is but transitory,
The flesh is bruckle, the Feynd is slee:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

The state of man does change and vary,
Now sound, now sick, now blyth, now sary,
Now dansand mirry, now like to die:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

No state in Erd here standis sicker;
As with the wynd wavis the wicker
So wannis this world's vanitie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Unto the Death gois all Estatis,
Princis, Prelatis, and Potestatis,
Baith rich and poor of all degree:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He takis the knichtis in to the field
Enarmit under helm and scheild;
Victor he is at all mellie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

That strong unmerciful tyrand
Takis, on the motheris breast sowkand,
The babe full of benignitie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He takis the campion in the stour,
The captain closit in the tour,
The lady in bour full of bewtie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He spairis no lord for his piscence,
Na clerk for his intelligence;
His awful straik may no man flee:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Art-magicianis and astrologgis,
Rethoris, logicianis, and theologgis,
Them helpis no conclusionis slee:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

In medecine the most practicianis,
Leechis, surrigianis, and physicianis,
Themself from Death may not supplee:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

I see that makaris amang the lave
Playis here their padyanis, syne gois to grave;
Sparit is nocht their facultie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has done petuously devour
The noble Chaucer, of makaris flour,
The Monk of Bury, and Gower, all three:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

The good Sir Hew of Eglintoun,
Ettrick, Heriot, and Wintoun,
He has tane out of this cuntrie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

That scorpion fell has done infeck
Maister John Clerk, and James Afflek,
Fra ballat-making and tragedie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Holland and Barbour he has berevit;
Alas! that he not with us levit
Sir Mungo Lockart of the Lee:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Clerk of Tranent eke he has tane,
That made the anteris of Gawaine;
Sir Gilbert Hay endit has he:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has Blind Harry and Sandy Traill
Slain with his schour of mortal hail,
Quhilk Patrick Johnstoun might nought flee:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has reft Merseir his endite,
That did in luve so lively write,
So short, so quick, of sentence hie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has tane Rowll of Aberdene,
And gentill Rowll of Corstorphine;
Two better fallowis did no man see:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

In Dunfermline he has tane Broun
With Maister Robert Henrysoun;
Sir John the Ross enbrast has he:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

And he has now tane, last of a,
Good gentil Stobo and Quintin Shaw,
Of quhom all wichtis hes pitie:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Good Maister Walter Kennedy
In point of Death lies verily;
Great ruth it were that so suld be:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Sen he has all my brether tane,
He will naught let me live alane;
Of force I man his next prey be:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Since for the Death remeid is none,
Best is that we for Death dispone,
After our death that live may we:--
    Timor Mortis conturbat me.

heill] health.  bruckle] brittle, feeble.  slee] sly.  dansand]
dancing.  sicker] sure.  wicker] willow.  wannis] wanes.  mellie]
mellay.  sowkand] sucking.  campion] champion.  stour]
fight.  piscence] puissance.  straik] stroke.  supplee]
save.  makaris] poets.  the lave] the leave, the rest.  padyanis]
pageants.  anteris] adventures.  schour] shower.  endite]
inditing.  fallowis] fellows.  wichtis] wights, persons.  man]
must.  dispone] make disposition.


Anonymous. 15th Cent.

22. May in the Green-Wood

IN somer when the shawes be sheyne,
  And leves be large and long,
Hit is full merry in feyre foreste
  To here the foulys song.

To se the dere draw to the dale
  And leve the hilles hee,
And shadow him in the leves grene
  Under the green-wode tree.

Hit befell on Whitsontide
  Early in a May mornyng,
The Sonne up faire can shyne,
  And the briddis mery can syng.

'This is a mery mornyng,' said Litulle Johne,
  'Be Hym that dyed on tre;
A more mery man than I am one
  Lyves not in Christiante.

'Pluk up thi hert, my dere mayster,'
  Litulle Johne can say,
'And thynk hit is a fulle fayre tyme
  In a mornynge of May.'

sheyne] bright.


Anonymous. 15th Cent.

23. Carol

I SING of a maiden
  That is makeles;
King of all kings
  To her son she ches.

He came al so still
  There his mother was,
As dew in April
  That falleth on the grass.

He came al so still
  To his mother's bour,
As dew in April
  That falleth on the flour.

He came al so still
  There his mother lay,
As dew in April
  That falleth on the spray.

Mother and maiden
  Was never none but she;
Well may such a lady
  Goddes mother be.

makeles] matchless.  ches] chose.


Anonymous. 15th Cent. (?)

24. Quia Amore Langueo

IN a valley of this restles mind
I sought in mountain and in mead,
Trusting a true love for to find.
Upon an hill then took I heed;
A voice I heard (and near I yede)
In great dolour complaining tho:
See, dear soul, how my sides bleed
  Quia amore langueo.

Upon this hill I found a tree,
Under a tree a man sitting;
From head to foot wounded was he;
His hearte blood I saw bleeding:
A seemly man to be a king,
A gracious face to look unto.
I asked why he had paining;
  [He said,] Quia amore langueo.

I am true love that false was never;
My sister, man's soul, I loved her thus.
Because we would in no wise dissever
I left my kingdom glorious.
I purveyed her a palace full precious;
She fled, I followed, I loved her so
That I suffered this pain piteous
  Quia amore langueo.

My fair love and my spouse bright!
I saved her from beating, and she hath me bet;
I clothed her in grace and heavenly light;
This bloody shirt she hath on me set;
For longing of love yet would I not let;
Sweete strokes are these: lo!
I have loved her ever as I her het
  Quia amore langueo.

I crowned her with bliss and she me with thorn;
I led her to chamber and she me to die;
I brought her to worship and she me to scorn;
I did her reverence and she me villany.
To love that loveth is no maistry;
Her hate made never my love her foe:
Ask me then no question why--
  Quia amore langueo.

Look unto mine handes, man!
These gloves were given me when I her sought;
They be not white, but red and wan;
Embroidered with blood my spouse them brought.
They will not off; I loose hem nought;
I woo her with hem wherever she go.
These hands for her so friendly fought
  Quia amore langueo.

Marvel not, man, though I sit still.
See, love hath shod me wonder strait:
Buckled my feet, as was her will,
With sharpe nails (well thou may'st wait!)
In my love was never desait;
All my membres I have opened her to;
My body I made her herte's bait
  Quia amore langueo.

In my side I have made her nest;
Look in, how weet a wound is here!
This is her chamber, here shall she rest,
That she and I may sleep in fere.
Here may she wash, if any filth were;
Here is seat for all her woe;
Come when she will, she shall have cheer
  Quia amore langueo.

I will abide till she be ready,
I will her sue if she say nay;
If she be retchless I will be greedy,
If she be dangerous I will her pray;
If she weep, then bide I ne may:
Mine arms ben spread to clip her me to.
Cry once, I come: now, soul, assay
  Quia amore langueo.

Fair love, let us go play:
Apples ben ripe in my gardayne.
I shall thee clothe in a new array,
Thy meat shall be milk, honey and wine.
Fair love, let us go dine:
Thy sustenance is in my crippe, lo!
Tarry thou not, my fair spouse mine,
  Quia amore langueo.

If thou be foul, I shall thee make clean;
If thou be sick, I shall thee heal;
If thou mourn ought, I shall thee mene;
Why wilt thou not, fair love, with me deal?
Foundest thou ever love so leal?
What wilt thou, soul, that I shall do?
I may not unkindly thee appeal
  Quia amore langueo.

What shall I do now with my spouse
But abide her of my gentleness,
Till that she look out of her house
Of fleshly affection? love mine she is;
Her bed is made, her bolster is bliss,
Her chamber is chosen; is there none mo.
Look out on me at the window of kindeness
  Quia amore langueo.

My love is in her chamber: hold your peace!
Make ye no noise, but let her sleep.
My babe I would not were in disease,
I may not hear my dear child weep.
With my pap I shall her keep;
Ne marvel ye not though I tend her to:
This wound in my side had ne'er be so deep
  But Quia amore langueo.

Long thou for love never so high,
My love is more than thine may be.
Thou weepest, thou gladdest, I sit thee by:
Yet wouldst thou once, love, look unto me!
Should I always feede thee
With children meat? Nay, love, not so!
I will prove thy love with adversite
  Quia amore langueo.

Wax not weary, mine own wife!
What mede is aye to live in comfort?
In tribulation I reign more rife
Ofter times than in disport.
In weal and in woe I am aye to support:
Mine own wife, go not me fro!
Thy mede is marked, when thou art mort:
  Quia amore langueo.

yede] went.  het] promised.  bait] resting-place.  weet] wet.  in
fere] together.  crippe] scrip.  mene] care for.


Anonymous. 15th Cent.

25. The Nut-Brown Maid

He. BE it right or wrong, these men among
  On women do complain;
Affirming this, how that it is
  A labour spent in vain
To love them wele; for never a dele
  They love a man again:
For let a man do what he can
  Their favour to attain,
Yet if a new to them pursue,
  Their first true lover than
Laboureth for naught; for from her thought
  He is a banished man.

She. I say not nay, but that all day
  It is both written and said
That woman's faith is, as who saith,
  All utterly decayd:
But nevertheless, right good witness
  In this case might be laid
That they love true and continue:
  Record the Nut-brown Maid,
Which, when her love came her to prove,
  To her to make his moan,
Would not depart; for in her heart
  She loved but him alone.

He. Then between us let us discuss
  What was all the manere
Between them two: we will also
  Tell all the pain in fere
That she was in. Now I begin,
  So that ye me answere:
Wherefore all ye that present be,
  I pray you, give an ear.
I am the Knight. I come by night,
  As secret as I can,
Saying, Alas! thus standeth the case,
  I am a banished man.

She. And I your will for to fulfil
  In this will not refuse;
Trusting to show, in wordes few,
  That men have an ill use--
To their own shame--women to blame,
  And causeless them accuse.
Therefore to you I answer now,
  All women to excuse--
Mine own heart dear, with you what cheer?
  I pray you, tell anone;
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. It standeth so: a deed is do
  Whereof great harm shall grow:
My destiny is for to die
  A shameful death, I trow;
Or else to flee. The t' one must be.
  None other way I know
But to withdraw as an outlaw,
  And take me to my bow.
Wherefore adieu, mine own heart true!
  None other rede I can:
For I must to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. O Lord, what is this worldis bliss,
  That changeth as the moon!
My summer's day in lusty May
  Is darked before the noon.
I hear you say, farewell: Nay, nay,
  We depart not so soon.
Why say ye so? whither will ye go?
  Alas! what have ye done?
All my welfare to sorrow and care
  Should change, if ye were gone:
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. I can believe it shall you grieve,
  And somewhat you distrain;
But afterward, your paines hard
  Within a day or twain
Shall soon aslake; and ye shall take
  Comfort to you again.
Why should ye ought? for, to make thought,
  Your labour were in vain.
And thus I do; and pray you to,
  As hartely as I can:
For I must to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. Now, sith that ye have showed to me
  The secret of your mind,
I shall be plain to you again,
  Like as ye shall me find.
Sith it is so that ye will go,
  I will not live behind.
Shall never be said the Nut-brown Maid
  Was to her love unkind.
Make you ready, for so am I,
  Although it were anone:
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. Yet I you rede to take good heed
  What men will think and say:
Of young, of old, it shall be told
  That ye be gone away
Your wanton will for to fulfil,
  In green-wood you to play;
And that ye might for your delight
  No longer make delay
Rather than ye should thus for me
  Be called an ill woman
Yet would I to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. Though it be sung of old and young
  That I should be to blame,
Theirs be the charge that speak so large
  In hurting of my name:
For I will prove that faithful love
  It is devoid of shame;
In your distress and heaviness
  To part with you the same:
And sure all tho that do not so
  True lovers are they none:
For in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. I counsel you, Remember how
  It is no maiden's law
Nothing to doubt, but to run out
  To wood with an outlaw.
For ye must there in your hand bear
  A bow ready to draw;
And as a thief thus must you live
  Ever in dread and awe;
Whereby to you great harm might grow:
  Yet had I liever than
That I had to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. I think not nay but as ye say;
  It is no maiden's lore;
But love may make me for your sake,
  As I have said before,
To come on foot, to hunt and shoot,
  To get us meat and store;
For so that I your company
  May have, I ask no more.
From which to part it maketh my heart
  As cold as any stone;
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. For an outlaw this is the law,
  That men him take and bind:
Without pitie, hanged to be,
  And waver with the wind.
If I had need (as God forbede!)
  What socours could ye find?
Forsooth I trow, you and your bow
  For fear would draw behind.
And no mervail; for little avail
  Were in your counsel than:
Wherefore I'll to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. Right well know ye that women be
  But feeble for to fight;
No womanhede it is, indeed,
  To be bold as a knight:
Yet in such fear if that ye were
  With enemies day and night,
I would withstand, with bow in hand,
  To grieve them as I might,
And you to save; as women have
  From death men many one:
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. Yet take good hede; for ever I drede
  That ye could not sustain
The thorny ways, the deep valleys,
  The snow, the frost, the rain,
The cold, the heat; for dry or wete,
  We must lodge on the plain;
And, us above, no other roof
  But a brake bush or twain:
Which soon should grieve you, I believe;
  And ye would gladly than
That I had to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. Sith I have here been partynere
  With you of joy and bliss,
I must alsò part of your woe
  Endure, as reason is:
Yet I am sure of one pleasure,
  And shortly it is this--
That where ye be, me seemeth, parde,
  I could not fare amiss.
Without more speech I you beseech
  That we were shortly gone;
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. If ye go thyder, ye must consider,
  When ye have lust to dine,
There shall no meat be for to gete,
  Nether bere, ale, ne wine,
Ne shetes clean, to lie between,
  Made of thread and twine;
None other house, but leaves and boughs,
  To cover your head and mine.
Lo, mine heart sweet, this ill diete
  Should make you pale and wan:
Wherefore I'll to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. Among the wild deer such an archere,
  As men say that ye be,
Ne may not fail of good vitayle
  Where is so great plentè
And water clear of the rivere
  Shall be full sweet to me;
With which in hele I shall right wele
  Endure, as ye shall see;
And, or we go, a bed or two
  I can provide anone;
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. Lo yet, before, ye must do more,
  If ye will go with me:
As, cut your hair up by your ear,
  Your kirtle by the knee;
With bow in hand for to withstand
  Your enemies, if need be:
And this same night, before daylight,
  To woodward will I flee.
If that ye will all this fulfil,
  Do it shortly as ye can:
Else will I to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. I shall as now do more for you
  Than 'longeth to womanhede;
To short my hair, a bow to bear,
  To shoot in time of need.
O my sweet mother! before all other
  For you I have most drede!
But now, adieu! I must ensue
  Where fortune doth me lead.
All this make ye: Now let us flee;
  The day cometh fast upon:
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. Nay, nay, not so; ye shall not go,
  And I shall tell you why--
Your appetite is to be light
  Of love, I well espy:
For, right as ye have said to me,
  In likewise hardily
Ye would answere whosoever it were,
  In way of company:
It is said of old, Soon hot, soon cold;
  And so is a woman:
Wherefore I to the wood will go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. If ye take heed, it is no need
  Such words to say to me;
For oft ye prayed, and long assayed,
  Or I loved you, parde:
And though that I of ancestry
  A baron's daughter be,
Yet have you proved how I you loved,
  A squire of low degree;
And ever shall, whatso befall
  To die therefore anone;
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. A baron's child to be beguiled,
  It were a cursed deed!
To be felaw with an outlaw--
  Almighty God forbede!
Yet better were the poor squyere
  Alone to forest yede
Than ye shall say another day
  That by my cursed rede
Ye were betrayed. Wherefore, good maid,
  The best rede that I can,
Is, that I to the green-wood go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. Whatever befall, I never shall
  Of this thing be upbraid:
But if ye go, and leave me so,
  Then have ye me betrayed.
Remember you wele, how that ye dele;
  For if ye, as ye said,
Be so unkind to leave behind
  Your love, the Nut-brown Maid,
Trust me truly that I shall die
  Soon after ye be gone:
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. If that ye went, ye should repent;
  For in the forest now
I have purveyed me of a maid
  Whom I love more than you:
Another more fair than ever ye were
  I dare it well avow;
And of you both each should be wroth
  With other, as I trow:
It were mine ease to live in peace;
  So will I, if I can:
Wherefore I to the wood will go,
  Alone, a banished man.

She. Though in the wood I understood
  Ye had a paramour,
All this may nought remove my thought,
  But that I will be your':
And she shall find me soft and kind
  And courteis every hour;
Glad to fulfil all that she will
  Command me, to my power:
For had ye, lo, an hundred mo,
  Yet would I be that one:
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. Mine own dear love, I see the prove
  That ye be kind and true;
Of maid, of wife, in all my life,
  The best that ever I knew.
Be merry and glad; be no more sad;
  The case is changed new;
For it were ruth that for your truth
  Ye should have cause to rue.
Be not dismayed, whatsoever I said
  To you when I began:
I will not to the green-wood go;
  I am no banished man.

She. These tidings be more glad to me
  Than to be made a queen,
If I were sure they should endure;
  But it is often seen
When men will break promise they speak
  The wordis on the splene.
Ye shape some wile me to beguile,
  And steal from me, I ween:
Then were the case worse than it was,
  And I more wo-begone:
For, in my mind, of all mankind
  I love but you alone.

He. Ye shall not nede further to drede:
  I will not disparage
You (God defend), sith you descend
  Of so great a linage.
Now understand: to Westmoreland,
  Which is my heritage,
I will you bring; and with a ring,
  By way of marriage
I will you take, and lady make,
  As shortly as I can:
Thus have you won an Earles son,
  And not a banished man.

  Here may ye see that women be
  In love meek, kind, and stable;
Let never man reprove them than,
  Or call them variable;
But rather pray God that we may
  To them be comfortable;
Which sometime proveth such as He loveth,
  If they be charitable.
For sith men would that women should
  Be meek to them each one;
Much more ought they to God obey,
  And serve but Him alone.

never a dele] never a bit.  than] then.  in fere] in company
together.  rede I can] counsel I know.  part with] share
with.  tho] those.  hele] health.  yede] went.  on the splene] that
is, in haste.


Anonymous. 16th Cent.

26. As ye came from the Holy Land

AS ye came from the holy land
  Of Walsinghame,
Met you not with my true love
  By the way as you came?

How should I know your true love,
  That have met many a one
As I came from the holy land,
  That have come, that have gone?

She is neither white nor brown,
  But as the heavens fair;
There is none hath her form divine
  In the earth or the air.

Such a one did I meet, good sir,
  Such an angelic face,
Who like a nymph, like a queen, did appear
  In her gait, in her grace.

She hath left me here alone
  All alone, as unknown,
Who sometime did me lead with herself,
  And me loved as her own.

What 's the cause that she leaves you alone
  And a new way doth take,
That sometime did love you as her own,
  And her joy did you make?

I have loved her all my youth,
  But now am old, as you see:
Love likes not the falling fruit,
  Nor the withered tree.

Know that Love is a careless child,
  And forgets promise past:
He is blind, he is deaf when he list,
  And in faith never fast.

His desire is a dureless content,
  And a trustless joy;
He is won with a world of despair,
  And is lost with a toy.

Of womenkind such indeed is the love,
  Or the word love abused,
Under which many childish desires
  And conceits are excused.

But true love is a durable fire,
  In the mind ever burning,
Never sick, never dead, never cold,
  From itself never turning.


Anonymous. 16th Cent. (?)

27. The Lover in Winter Plaineth for the Spring

O WESTERN wind, when wilt thou blow
  That the small rain down can rain?
Christ, that my love were in my arms
  And I in my bed again!


Anonymous. 16th Cent.

28. Balow

BALOW, my babe, lie still and sleep!
It grieves me sore to see thee weep.
Wouldst thou be quiet I'se be glad,
Thy mourning makes my sorrow sad:
Balow my boy, thy mother's joy,
Thy father breeds me great annoy--
          Balow, la-low!

When he began to court my love,
And with his sugred words me move,
His faynings false and flattering cheer
To me that time did not appear:
But now I see most cruellye
He cares ne for my babe nor me--
          Balow, la-low!

Lie still, my darling, sleep awhile,
And when thou wak'st thoo'le sweetly smile:
But smile not as thy father did,
To cozen maids: nay, God forbid!
But yet I fear thou wilt go near
Thy father's heart and face to bear--
          Balow, la-low!

I cannot choose but ever will
Be loving to thy father still;
Where'er he go, where'er he ride,
My love with him doth still abide;
In weal or woe, where'er he go,
My heart shall ne'er depart him fro--
          Balow, la-low!

But do not, do not, pretty mine,
To faynings false thy heart incline!
Be loyal to thy lover true,
And never change her for a new:
If good or fair, of her have care
For women's banning 's wondrous sare--
          Balow, la-low!

Bairn, by thy face I will beware;
Like Sirens' words, I'll come not near;
My babe and I together will live;
He'll comfort me when cares do grieve.
My babe and I right soft will lie,
And ne'er respect man's crueltye--
          Balow, la-low!

Farewell, farewell, the falsest youth
That ever kist a woman's mouth!
I wish all maids be warn'd by me
Never to trust man's curtesye;
For if we do but chance to bow,
They'll use us then they care not how--
          Balow, la-low!


Anonymous. 16th Cent. (?)

29. The Old Cloak

  THIS winter's weather it waxeth cold,
  And frost it freezeth on every hill,
And Boreas blows his blast so bold
  That all our cattle are like to spill.
Bell, my wife, she loves no strife;
  She said unto me quietlye,
Rise up, and save cow Crumbock's life!
  Man, put thine old cloak about thee!

He. O Bell my wife, why dost thou flyte?
  Thou kens my cloak is very thin:
It is so bare and over worn,
  A cricke thereon cannot renn.
Then I'll no longer borrow nor lend;
  For once I'll new apparell'd be;
To-morrow I'll to town and spend;
  For I'll have a new cloak about me.

She. Cow Crumbock is a very good cow:
  She has been always true to the pail;
She has helped us to butter and cheese, I trow,
  And other things she will not fail.
I would be loth to see her pine.
  Good husband, counsel take of me:
It is not for us to go so fine--
  Man, take thine old cloak about thee!

He. My cloak it was a very good cloak,
  It hath been always true to the wear;
But now it is not worth a groat:
  I have had it four and forty year'.
Sometime it was of cloth in grain:
  'Tis now but a sigh clout, as you may see:
It will neither hold out wind nor rain;
  And I'll have a new cloak about me.

She. It is four and forty years ago
  Sine the one of us the other did ken;
And we have had, betwixt us two,
  Of children either nine or ten:
We have brought them up to women and men:
  In the fear of God I trow they be.
And why wilt thou thyself misken?
  Man, take thine old cloak about thee!

He. O Bell my wife, why dost thou flyte?
  Now is now, and then was then:
Seek now all the world throughout,
  Thou kens not clowns from gentlemen:
They are clad in black, green, yellow and blue,
  So far above their own degree.
Once in my life I'll take a view;
  For I'll have a new cloak about me.

She. King Stephen was a worthy peer;
  His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence all too dear,
  Therefore he called the tailor 'lown.'
He was a king and wore the crown,
  And thou'se but of a low degree:
It 's pride that puts this country down:
  Man, take thy old cloak about thee!

He. Bell my wife, she loves not strife,
  Yet she will lead me, if she can;
And to maintain an easy life
  I oft must yield, though I'm good-man.
It 's not for a man with a woman to threap,
  Unless he first give o'er the plea:
As we began, so will we keep,
  And I'll take my old cloak about me.

flyte] scold.  cloth in grain] scarlet cloth.  sigh clout] a rag
for straining.  threap] argue.


John Skelton. 1460?-1529

30. To Mistress Margery Wentworth

WITH margerain gentle,
  The flower of goodlihead,
Embroidered the mantle
  Is of your maidenhead.
Plainly I cannot glose;
  Ye be, as I divine,
The pretty primrose,
  The goodly columbine.

Benign, courteous, and meek,
  With wordes well devised;
In you, who list to seek,
  Be virtues well comprised.
With margerain gentle,
  The flower of goodlihead,
Embroidered the mantle
  Is of your maidenhead.

margerain] marjoram.


John Skelton. 1460?-1529

31. To Mistress Margaret Hussey

MERRY Margaret
  As midsummer flower,
  Gentle as falcon
  Or hawk of the tower:
With solace and gladness,
Much mirth and no madness,
All good and no badness;
    So joyously,
    So maidenly,
    So womanly
    Her demeaning
    In every thing,
    Far, far passing
    That I can indite,
    Or suffice to write
  Of Merry Margaret
  As midsummer flower,
  Gentle as falcon
  Or hawk of the tower.
  As patient and still
  And as full of good will
  As fair Isaphill,
  Coliander,
  Sweet pomander,
  Good Cassander;
  Steadfast of thought,
  Well made, well wrought,
  Far may be sought,
  Ere that ye can find
  So courteous, so kind
  As merry Margaret,
  This midsummer flower,
  Gentle as falcon
  Or hawk of the tower.

Isaphill] Hypsipyle.  coliander] coriander seed, an
aromatic.  pomander] a ball of perfume.  Cassander] Cassandra.


Stephen Hawes. d. 1523

32. The True Knight

FOR knighthood is not in the feats of warre,
As for to fight in quarrel right or wrong,
But in a cause which truth can not defarre:
  He ought himself for to make sure and strong,
  Justice to keep mixt with mercy among:
    And no quarrell a knight ought to take
    But for a truth, or for the common's sake.

defarre] undo.


Stephen Hawes. d. 1523

33. An Epitaph

O MORTAL folk, you may behold and see
How I lie here, sometime a mighty knight;
The end of joy and all prosperitee
  Is death at last, thorough his course and might:
  After the day there cometh the dark night,
    For though the daye be never so long,
    At last the bells ringeth to evensong.


Sir Thomas Wyatt. 1503-1542

34. Forget not yet
The Lover Beseecheth his Mistress not to Forget his
Steadfast Faith and True Intent

FORGET not yet the tried intent
Of such a truth as I have meant;
My great travail so gladly spent,
Forget not yet!

Forget not yet when first began
The weary life ye know, since whan
The suit, the service, none tell can;
Forget not yet!

Forget not yet the great assays,
The cruel wrong, the scornful ways,
The painful patience in delays,
Forget not yet!

Forget not! O, forget not this!--
How long ago hath been, and is,
The mind that never meant amiss--
Forget not yet!

Forget not then thine own approved,
The which so long hath thee so loved,
Whose steadfast faith yet never moved:
Forget not this!


Sir Thomas Wyatt. 1503-1542

35. The Appeal
An Earnest Suit to his Unkind Mistress, not to Forsake him

AND wilt thou leave me thus!
Say nay, say nay, for shame!
--To save thee from the blame
Of all my grief and grame.
And wilt thou leave me thus?
    Say nay! say nay!

And wilt thou leave me thus,
That hath loved thee so long
In wealth and woe among:
And is thy heart so strong
As for to leave me thus?
    Say nay! say nay!

And wilt thou leave me thus,
That hath given thee my heart
Never for to depart
Neither for pain nor smart:
And wilt thou leave me thus?
    Say nay! say nay!

And wilt thou leave me thus,
And have no more pitye
Of him that loveth thee?
Alas, thy cruelty!
And wilt thou leave me thus?
    Say nay! say nay!

grame] sorrow.


Sir Thomas Wyatt. 1503-1542

36. A Revocation

WHAT should I say?
  --Since Faith is dead,
And Truth away
  From you is fled?
  Should I be led
    With doubleness?
    Nay! nay! mistress.

I promised you,
  And you promised me,
To be as true
  As I would be.
  But since I see
    Your double heart,
    Farewell my part!

Thought for to take
  'Tis not my mind;
But to forsake
  One so unkind;
  And as I find
    So will I trust.
    Farewell, unjust!

Can ye say nay
  But that you said
That I alway
  Should be obeyed?
  And--thus betrayed
    Or that I wist!
    Farewell, unkist!


Sir Thomas Wyatt. 1503-1542

37. Vixi Puellis Nuper Idoneus...

THEY flee from me that sometime did me seek,
  With naked foot stalking within my chamber:
Once have I seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
  That now are wild, and do not once remember
  That sometime they have put themselves in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking in continual change.

Thanked be fortune, it hath been otherwise
  Twenty times better; but once especial--
In thin array: after a pleasant guise,
  When her loose gown did from her shoulders fall,
  And she me caught in her arms long and small,
And therewithal so sweetly did me kiss,
And softly said, 'Dear heart, how like you this?'

It was no dream; for I lay broad awaking:
  But all is turn'd now, through my gentleness,
Into a bitter fashion of forsaking;
  And I have leave to go of her goodness;
  And she also to use new-fangleness.
But since that I unkindly so am served,
'How like you this?'--what hath she now deserved?


Sir Thomas Wyatt. 1503-1542

38. To His Lute

MY lute, awake! perform the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
  And end that I have now begun;
For when this song is said and past,
  My lute, be still, for I have done.

As to be heard where ear is none,
As lead to grave in marble stone,
  My song may pierce her heart as soon:
Should we then sing, or sigh, or moan?
  No, no, my lute! for I have done.

The rocks do not so cruelly
Repulse the waves continually,
  As she my suit and affectiòn;
So that I am past remedy:
  Whereby my lute and I have done.

Proud of the spoil that thou hast got
Of simple hearts thorough Love's shot,
  By whom, unkind, thou hast them won;
Think not he hath his bow forgot,
  Although my lute and I have done.

Vengeance shall fall on thy disdain,
That makest but game of earnest pain:
  Trow not alone under the sun
Unquit to cause thy lover's plain,
  Although my lute and I have done.

May chance thee lie wither'd and old
The winter nights that are so cold,
  Plaining in vain unto the moon:
Thy wishes then dare not be told:
  Care then who list! for I have done.

And then may chance thee to repent
The time that thou has lost and spent
  To cause thy lover's sigh and swoon:
Then shalt thou know beauty but lent,
  And wish and want as I have done.

Now cease, my lute! this is the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
  And ended is that we begun:
Now is this song both sung and past--
  My lute, be still, for I have done.


Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. 1516-47

39. Description of Spring
Wherein each thing renews, save only the Lover

THE soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale:
The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs:
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes flete with new repaired scale.
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale;
The busy bee her honey now she mings;
Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.

And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.

make] mate.  mings] mingles, mixes.


Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. 1516-47

40. Complaint of the Absence of Her Lover
being upon the Sea

O HAPPY dames! that may embrace
  The fruit of your delight,
Help to bewail the woful case
  And eke the heavy plight
Of me, that wonted to rejoice
The fortune of my pleasant choice:
Good ladies, help to fill my mourning voice.

In ship, freight with rememberance
  Of thoughts and pleasures past,
He sails that hath in governance
  My life while it will last:
With scalding sighs, for lack of gale,
Furthering his hope, that is his sail,
Toward me, the swete port of his avail.

Alas! how oft in dreams I see
  Those eyes that were my food;
Which sometime so delighted me,
  That yet they do me good:
Wherewith I wake with his return
Whose absent flame did make me burn:
But when I find the lack, Lord! how I mourn!

When other lovers in arms across
  Rejoice their chief delight,
Drowned in tears, to mourn my loss
  I stand the bitter night
In my window where I may see
Before the winds how the clouds flee:
Lo! what a mariner love hath made me!

And in green waves when the salt flood
  Doth rise by rage of wind,
A thousand fancies in that mood
  Assail my restless mind.
Alas! now drencheth my sweet foe,
That with the spoil of my heart did go,
And left me; but alas! why did he so?

And when the seas wax calm again
  To chase fro me annoy,
My doubtful hope doth cause me plain;
  So dread cuts off my joy.
Thus is my wealth mingled with woe
And of each thought a doubt doth grow;
--Now he comes! Will he come? Alas! no, no.

drencheth] i. e. is drenched or drowned.


Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. 1516-47

41. The Means to attain Happy Life

MARTIAL, the things that do attain
  The happy life be these, I find:--
The richesse left, not got with pain;
  The fruitful ground, the quiet mind;

The equal friend; no grudge, no strife;
  No charge of rule, nor governance;
Without disease, the healthful life;
  The household of continuance;

The mean diet, no delicate fare;
  True wisdom join'd with simpleness;
The night discharged of all care,
  Where wine the wit may not oppress.

The faithful wife, without debate;
  Such sleeps as may beguile the night:
Contented with thine own estate
  Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.


Nicholas Grimald. 1519-62

42. A True Love

WHAT sweet relief the showers to thirsty plants we see,
What dear delight the blooms to bees, my true love is to me!
As fresh and lusty Ver foul Winter doth exceed--
As morning bright, with scarlet sky, doth pass the evening's weed--
As mellow pears above the crabs esteemed be--
So doth my love surmount them all, whom yet I hap to see!
The oak shall olives bear, the lamb the lion fray,
The owl shall match the nightingale in tuning of her lay,
Or I my love let slip out of mine entire heart,
So deep reposed in my breast is she for her desart!
For many blessed gifts, O happy, happy land!
Where Mars and Pallas strive to make their glory most to stand!
Yet, land, more is thy bliss that, in this cruel age,
A Venus' imp thou hast brought forth, so steadfast and so sage.
Among the Muses Nine a tenth if Jove would make,
And to the Graces Three a fourth, her would Apollo take.
Let some for honour hunt, and hoard the massy gold:
With her so I may live and die, my weal cannot be told.

fray] affright.


Alexander Scott. 1520?-158-

43. A Bequest of His Heart

HENCE, heart, with her that must depart,
  And hald thee with thy soverane!
For I had liever want ane heart,
  Nor have the heart that dois me pain.
  Therefore, go, with thy love remain,
And let me leif thus unmolest;
  And see that thou come not again,
But bide with her thou luvis best.

Sen she that I have servit lang
  Is to depart so suddenly,
Address thee now, for thou sall gang
  And bear thy lady company.
  Fra she be gone, heartless am I,
For quhy? thou art with her possest.
  Therefore, my heart, go hence in high,
And bide with her thou luvis best.

Though this belappit body here
  Be bound to servitude and thrall,
My faithful heart is free entier
  And mind to serve my lady at all.
  Would God that I were perigall
Under that redolent rose to rest!
  Yet at the least, my heart, thou sall
Abide with her thou luvis best.

Sen in your garth the lily quhyte
  May not remain amang the laif,
Adieu the flower of whole delite!
  Adieu the succour that may me saif!
  Adieu the fragrant balme suaif,
And lamp of ladies lustiest!
  My faithful heart she shall it haif
To bide with her it luvis best.

Deploir, ye ladies cleir of hue,
  Her absence, sen she must depart!
And, specially, ye luveris true
  That wounded bene with Luvis dart.
  For some of you sall want ane heart
As well as I; therefore at last
  Do go with mine, with mind inwart,
And bide with her thou luvis best!

hald] keep.  sen] since.  belappit] downtrodden.  perigall] made
equal to, privileged.  garth] garden-close.  laif] rest.  with mind
inwart] with inner mind, i. e. in spirit.


Alexander Scott. 1520?-158-

44. A Rondel of Love

LO, quhat it is to love
  Learn ye that list to prove,
By me, I say, that no ways may
  The ground of grief remove,
But still decay both nicht and day:
  Lo, quhat it is to love!

  Love is ane fervent fire
  Kindlit without desire,
Short pleasure, long displeasure,
  Repentance is the hire;
Ane pure tressour without measour;
  Love is ane fervent fire.

  To love and to be wise,
  To rage with good advice;
Now thus, now than, so gois the game,
  Incertain is the dice;
There is no man, I say, that can
  Both love and to be wise.

  Flee always from the snare,
  Learn at me to beware;
It is ane pain, and double trane
  Of endless woe and care;
For to refrain that danger plain,
  Flee always from the snare.


Robert Wever. c. 1550

45. In Youth is Pleasure

IN a harbour grene aslepe whereas I lay,
The byrdes sang swete in the middes of the day,
I dreamed fast of mirth and play:
        In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.

Methought I walked still to and fro,
And from her company I could not go--
But when I waked it was not so:
        In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.

Therefore my hart is surely pyght
Of her alone to have a sight
Which is my joy and hartes delight:
        In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.


Richard Edwardes. 1523-66

46. Amantium Irae

IN going to my naked bed as one that would have slept,
I heard a wife sing to her child, that long before had wept;
She sighed sore and sang full sweet, to bring the babe to rest,
That would not cease but cried still, in sucking at her breast.
She was full weary of her watch, and grieved with her child,
She rocked it and rated it, till that on her it smiled.
Then did she say, Now have I found this proverb true to prove,
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.

Then took I paper, pen, and ink, this proverb for to write,
In register for to remain of such a worthy wight:
As she proceeded thus in song unto her little brat,
Much matter utter'd she of weight, in place whereas she sat:
And proved plain there was no beast, nor creature bearing life,
Could well be known to live in love without discord and strife:
Then kissed she her little babe, and sware by God above,
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.

She said that neither king nor prince nor lord could live aright,
Until their puissance they did prove, their manhood and their might.
When manhood shall be matched so that fear can take no place,
Then weary works make warriors each other to embrace,
And left their force that failed them, which did consume the rout,
That might before have lived their time, their strength and nature out:
Then did she sing as one that thought no man could her reprove,
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.

She said she saw no fish nor fowl, nor beast within her haunt,
That met a stranger in their kind, but could give it a taunt:
Since flesh might not endure, but rest must wrath succeed,
And force the fight to fall to play in pasture where they feed,
So noble nature can well end the work she hath begun,
And bridle well that will not cease her tragedy in some:
Thus in song she oft rehearsed, as did her well behove,
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.

I marvel much pardy (quoth she) for to behold the rout,
To see man, woman, boy and beast, to toss the world about:
Some kneel, some crouch, some beck, some check, and some can smoothly
    smile,
And some embrace others in arm, and there think many a wile,
Some stand aloof at cap and knee, some humble and some stout,
Yet are they never friends in deed until they once fall out:
Thus ended she her song and said, before she did remove,
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.


George Gascoigne. 1525?-77

47. A Lover's Lullaby

SING lullaby, as women do,
  Wherewith they bring their babes to rest;
And lullaby can I sing too,
  As womanly as can the best.
With lullaby they still the child;
And if I be not much beguiled,
Full many a wanton babe have I,
Which must be still'd with lullaby.

First lullaby my youthful years,
  It is now time to go to bed:
For crooked age and hoary hairs
  Have won the haven within my head.
With lullaby, then, youth be still;
With lullaby content thy will;
Since courage quails and comes behind,
Go sleep, and so beguile thy mind!

Next lullaby my gazing eyes,
  Which wonted were to glance apace;
For every glass may now suffice
  To show the furrows in thy face.
With lullaby then wink awhile;
With lullaby your looks beguile;
Let no fair face, nor beauty bright,
Entice you eft with vain delight.

And lullaby my wanton will;
  Let reason's rule now reign thy thought;
Since all too late I find by skill
  How dear I have thy fancies bought;
With lullaby now take thine ease,
With lullaby thy doubts appease;
For trust to this, if thou be still,
My body shall obey thy will.

Thus lullaby my youth, mine eyes,
  My will, my ware, and all that was:
I can no more delays devise;
  But welcome pain, let pleasure pass.
With lullaby now take your leave;
With lullaby your dreams deceive;
And when you rise with waking eye,
Remember then this lullaby.


Alexander Montgomerie. 1540?-1610?

48. The Night is Near Gone

HEY! now the day dawis;
The jolly cock crawis;
Now shroudis the shawis
  Thro' Nature anon.
The thissel-cock cryis
On lovers wha lyis:
Now skaillis the skyis;
  The nicht is neir gone.

The fieldis ouerflowis
With gowans that growis,
Quhair lilies like low is
  As red as the rone.
The turtle that true is,
With notes that renewis,
Her pairty pursuis:
  The nicht is neir gone.

Now hairtis with hindis
Conform to their kindis,
Hie tursis their tyndis
  On ground quhair they grone.
Now hurchonis, with hairis,
Aye passis in pairis;
Quhilk duly declaris
  The nicht is neir gone.

The season excellis
Through sweetness that smellis;
Now Cupid compellis
  Our hairtis echone
On Venus wha waikis,
To muse on our maikis,
Syne sing for their saikis--
  'The nicht is neir gone!'

All courageous knichtis
Aganis the day dichtis
The breist-plate that bright is
  To fight with their fone.
The stoned steed stampis
Through courage, and crampis,
Syne on the land lampis:
  The nicht is neir gone.

The freikis on feildis
That wight wapins weildis
With shyning bright shieldis
  At Titan in trone;
Stiff speiris in reistis
Ouer corseris crestis
Are broke on their breistis:
  The nicht is neir gone.

So hard are their hittis,
Some sweyis, some sittis,
And some perforce flittis
  On ground quhile they grone.
Syne groomis that gay is
On blonkis that brayis
With swordis assayis:--
  The nicht is neir gone.

shroudis] dress themselves.  shawis] woods.  skaillis]
clears.  gowans] daisies.  low] flame.  rone] rowan.  pairty]
partner, mate.  tursis] carry.  tyndis] antlers.  grone] groan,
bell.  hurchonis] hedgehogs, 'urchins.' maikis] mates.  fone]
foes.  stoned steed] stallion.  crampis] prances.  lampis]
gallops.  freikis] men, warriors.  wight wapins] stout weapons.  at
Titan] over against Titan (the sun), or read 'as.' flittis] are
cast.  blonkis] white palfreys.


William Stevenson. 1530?-1575

49. Jolly Good Ale and Old

I CANNOT eat but little meat,
  My stomach is not good;
But sure I think that I can drink
  With him that wears a hood.
Though I go bare, take ye no care,
  I nothing am a-cold;
I stuff my skin so full within
  Of jolly good ale and old.
      Back and side go bare, go bare;
      Both foot and hand go cold;
      But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
      Whether it be new or old.

I love no roast but a nut-brown toast,
  And a crab laid in the fire;
A little bread shall do me stead;
  Much bread I not desire.
No frost nor snow, no wind, I trow,
  Can hurt me if I wold;
I am so wrapp'd and thoroughly lapp'd
  Of jolly good ale and old.
      Back and side go bare, go bare, &c.

And Tib, my wife, that as her life
  Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she till ye may see
  The tears run down her cheek:
Then doth she trowl to me the bowl
  Even as a maltworm should,
And saith, 'Sweetheart, I took my part
  Of this jolly good ale and old.'
      Back and side go bare, go bare, &c.

Now let them drink till they nod and wink,
  Even as good fellows should do;
They shall not miss to have the bliss
  Good ale doth bring men to;
And all poor souls that have scour'd bowls
  Or have them lustily troll'd,
God save the lives of them and their wives,
  Whether they be young or old.
      Back and side go bare, go bare;
      Both foot and hand go cold;
      But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
      Whether it be new or old.


Anonymous. 16th Cent. (Scottish)

50. When Flora had O'erfret the Firth

QUHEN Flora had o'erfret the firth
  In May of every moneth queen;
Quhen merle and mavis singis with mirth
  Sweet melling in the shawis sheen;
  Quhen all luvaris rejoicit bene
And most desirous of their prey,
  I heard a lusty luvar mene
--'I luve, but I dare nocht assay!'

'Strong are the pains I daily prove,
  But yet with patience I sustene,
I am so fetterit with the luve
  Only of my lady sheen,
  Quhilk for her beauty micht be queen,
Nature so craftily alway
  Has done depaint that sweet serene:
--Quhom I luve I dare nocht assay.

'She is so bricht of hyd and hue,
  I luve but her alone, I ween;
Is none her luve that may eschew,
  That blinkis of that dulce amene;
  So comely cleir are her twa een
That she mae luvaris dois affray
  Than ever of Greece did fair Helene:
--Quhom I luve I dare nocht assay!'

o'erfret] adorned.  shawis] woods.  sheen] beautiful.  mene]
mourn.  hyd] skin.  blinkis] gets a glimpse.  dulce amene] gentle
and pleasant one.  mae] more.


Anonymous. 16th Cent. (Scottish)

51. Lusty May

O LUSTY May, with Flora queen!
The balmy dropis from Phoebus sheen
  Preluciand beams before the day:
By that Diana growis green
  Through gladness of this lusty May.

Then Esperus, that is so bricht,
Til woful hairtis castis his light,
  With bankis that bloomis on every brae;
And schouris are shed forth of their sicht
  Through gladness of this lusty May.

Birdis on bewis of every birth,
Rejoicing notis makand their mirth
  Richt plesantly upon the spray,
With flourishingis o'er field and firth
  Through gladness of this lusty May.

All luvaris that are in care
To their ladies they do repair
  In fresh morningis before the day,
And are in mirth ay mair and mair
  Through gladness of this lusty May.

sheen] bright.  til] into.  schouris] showers.  bewis]
boughs.  birth] kind.


Anonymous. 16th Cent. (Scottish)

52. My Heart is High Above

MY heart is high above, my body is full of bliss,
For I am set in luve as well as I would wiss
I luve my lady pure and she luvis me again,
I am her serviture, she is my soverane;
She is my very heart, I am her howp and heill,
She is my joy invart, I am her luvar leal;
I am her bond and thrall, she is at my command;
I am perpetual her man, both foot and hand;
The thing that may her please my body sall fulfil;
Quhatever her disease, it does my body ill.
My bird, my bonny ane, my tender babe venust,
My luve, my life alane, my liking and my lust!
We interchange our hairtis in others armis soft,
Spriteless we twa depairtis, usand our luvis oft.
We mourn when licht day dawis, we plain the nicht is short,
We curse the cock that crawis, that hinderis our disport.
I glowffin up aghast, quhen I her miss on nicht,
And in my oxter fast I find the bowster richt;
Then languor on me lies like Morpheus the mair,
Quhilk causes me uprise and to my sweet repair.
And then is all the sorrow forth of remembrance
That ever I had a-forrow in luvis observance.
Thus never I do rest, so lusty a life I lead,
Quhen that I list to test the well of womanheid.
Luvaris in pain, I pray God send you sic remeid
As I have nicht and day, you to defend from deid!
Therefore be ever true unto your ladies free,
And they will on you rue as mine has done on me.

wiss] wish.  heill] health.  invart] inward.  venust]
delightful.  glowffin] blink on awaking.  oxter] armpit.  a-forrow]
aforetime.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1557

53. A Praise of His Lady
Tottel's Miscellany
? by John Heywood

GIVE place, you ladies, and begone!
  Boast not yourselves at all!
For here at hand approacheth one
  Whose face will stain you all.

The virtue of her lively looks
  Excels the precious stone;
I wish to have none other books
  To read or look upon.

In each of her two crystal eyes
  Smileth a naked boy;
It would you all in heart suffice
  To see that lamp of joy.

I think Nature hath lost the mould
  Where she her shape did take;
Or else I doubt if Nature could
  So fair a creature make.

She may be well compared
  Unto the Phoenix kind,
Whose like was never seen or heard,
  That any man can find.

In life she is Diana chaste,
  In troth Penelopey;
In word and eke in deed steadfast.
  --What will you more we say?

If all the world were sought so far,
  Who could find such a wight?
Her beauty twinkleth like a star
  Within the frosty night.

Her rosial colour comes and goes
  With such a comely grace,
More ruddier, too, than doth the rose,
  Within her lively face.

At Bacchus' feast none shall her meet,
  Ne at no wanton play,
Nor gazing in an open street,
  Nor gadding as a stray.

The modest mirth that she doth use
  Is mix'd with shamefastness;
All vice she doth wholly refuse,
  And hateth idleness.

O Lord! it is a world to see
  How virtue can repair,
And deck in her such honesty,
  Whom Nature made so fair.

Truly she doth so far exceed
  Our women nowadays,
As doth the jeliflower a weed;
  And more a thousand ways.

How might I do to get a graff
  Of this unspotted tree?
--For all the rest are plain but chaff,
  Which seem good corn to be.

This gift alone I shall her give;
  When death doth what he can,
Her honest fame shall ever live
  Within the mouth of man.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1557

54. To Her Sea-faring Lover
Tottel's Miscellany
? by John Heywood

SHALL I thus ever long, and be no whit the neare?
And shall I still complain to thee, the which me will not hear?
  Alas! say nay! say nay! and be no more so dumb,
But open thou thy manly mouth and say that thou wilt come:
  Whereby my heart may think, although I see not thee,
That thou wilt come--thy word so sware--if thou a live man be.
  The roaring hugy waves they threaten my poor ghost,
And toss thee up and down the seas in danger to be lost.
  Shall they not make me fear that they have swallowed thee?
--But as thou art most sure alive, so wilt thou come to me.
  Whereby I shall go see thy ship ride on the strand,
And think and say Lo where he comes and Sure here will he land:
  And then I shall lift up to thee my little hand,
And thou shalt think thine heart in ease, in health to see me stand.
  And if thou come indeed (as Christ thee send to do!)
Those arms which miss thee now shall then embrace [and hold] thee too:

  Each vein to every joint the lively blood shall spread
Which now for want of thy glad sight doth show full pale and dead.
  But if thou slip thy troth, and do not come at all,
As minutes in the clock do strike so call for death I shall:
  To please both thy false heart and rid myself from woe,
That rather had to die in troth than live forsaken so!

neare] nearer.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1589

55. The Faithless Shepherdess
William Byrd's Songs of Sundry Natures

WHILE that the sun with his beams hot
  Scorched the fruits in vale and mountain,
Philon the shepherd, late forgot,
  Sitting beside a crystal fountain
        In shadow of a green oak tree,
        Upon his pipe this song play'd he:
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love!
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love!
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

So long as I was in your sight
  I was your heart, your soul, your treasure;
And evermore you sobb'd and sigh'd
  Burning in flames beyond all measure:
        --Three days endured your love to me,
        And it was lost in other three!
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love!
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love!
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

Another shepherd you did see,
  To whom your heart was soon enchained;
Full soon your love was leapt from me,
  Full soon my place he had obtained.
        Soon came a third your love to win,
        And we were out and he was in.
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love!
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love!
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

Sure you have made me passing glad
  That you your mind so soon removed,
Before that I the leisure had
  To choose you for my best beloved:
        For all my love was pass'd and done
        Two days before it was begun.
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love!
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love!
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1599

56. Crabbed Age and Youth
The Passionate Pilgrim
? by William Shakespeare

CRABBÈD Age and Youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare.
Youth is full of sport,
Age's breath is short;
Youth is nimble, Age is lame;
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold;
Youth is wild, and Age is tame.
Age, I do abhor thee;
Youth, I do adore thee;
O, my Love, my Love is young!
Age, I do defy thee:
O, sweet shepherd, hie thee!
For methinks thou stay'st too long.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1600

57. Phyllida's Love-Call
England's Helicon

Phyllida. CORYDON, arise, my Corydon!
  Titan shineth clear.
Corydon. Who is it that calleth Corydon?
  Who is it that I hear?
Phyl. Phyllida, thy true love, calleth thee,
  Arise then, arise then,
    Arise and keep thy flock with me!
Cor. Phyllida, my true love, is it she?
  I come then, I come then,
    I come and keep my flock with thee.

Phyl. Here are cherries ripe for my Corydon;
  Eat them for my sake.
Cor. Here 's my oaten pipe, my lovely one,
  Sport for thee to make.
Phyl. Here are threads, my true love, fine as silk,
  To knit thee, to knit thee,
    A pair of stockings white as milk.
Cor. Here are reeds, my true love, fine and neat,
  To make thee, to make thee,
    A bonnet to withstand the heat.

Phyl. I will gather flowers, my Corydon,
  To set in thy cap.
Cor. I will gather pears, my lovely one,
  To put in thy lap.
Phyl. I will buy my true love garters gay,
  For Sundays, for Sundays,
    To wear about his legs so tall.
Cor. I will buy my true love yellow say,
  For Sundays, for Sundays,
    To wear about her middle small.

Phyl. When my Corydon sits on a hill
  Making melody--
Cor. When my lovely one goes to her wheel,
  Singing cheerily--
Phyl. Sure methinks my true love doth excel
  For sweetness, for sweetness,
    Our Pan, that old Arcadian knight.
Cor. And methinks my true love bears the bell
  For clearness, for clearness,
    Beyond the nymphs that be so bright.

Phyl. Had my Corydon, my Corydon,
  Been, alack! her swain--
Cor. Had my lovely one, my lovely one,
  Been in Ida plain--
Phyl. Cynthia Endymion had refused,
  Preferring, preferring,
    My Corydon to play withal.
Cor. The Queen of Love had been excused
  Bequeathing, bequeathing,
    My Phyllida the golden ball.

Phyl. Yonder comes my mother, Corydon!
  Whither shall I fly?
Cor. Under yonder beech, my lovely one,
  While she passeth by.
Phyl. Say to her thy true love was not here;
  Remember, remember,
    To-morrow is another day.
Cor. Doubt me not, my true love, do not fear;
  Farewell then, farewell then!
    Heaven keep our loves alway!

say] soie, silk.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1600

58. A Pedlar
John Dowland's Second Book of Songs or Airs

FINE knacks for ladies! cheap, choice, brave, and new,
  Good pennyworths--but money cannot move:
I keep a fair but for the Fair to view--
  A beggar may be liberal of love.
Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true,
                    The heart is true.

Great gifts are guiles and look for gifts again;
  My trifles come as treasures from my mind:
It is a precious jewel to be plain;
  Sometimes in shell the orient'st pearls we find:--
Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain!
                    Of me a grain!


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 16th Cent.

59. Hey nonny no!
Christ Church MS.

HEY nonny no!
Men are fools that wish to die!
Is 't not fine to dance and sing
When the bells of death do ring?
Is 't not fine to swim in wine,
And turn upon the toe,
And sing hey nonny no!
When the winds blow and the seas flow?
Hey nonny no!


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 16th Cent.

60. Preparations
Christ Church MS.

YET if His Majesty, our sovereign lord,
Should of his own accord
Friendly himself invite,
And say 'I'll be your guest to-morrow night,'
How should we stir ourselves, call and command
All hands to work! 'Let no man idle stand!

'Set me fine Spanish tables in the hall;
See they be fitted all;
Let there be room to eat
And order taken that there want no meat.
See every sconce and candlestick made bright,
That without tapers they may give a light.

'Look to the presence: are the carpets spread,
The dazie o'er the head,
The cushions in the chairs,
And all the candles lighted on the stairs?
Perfume the chambers, and in any case
Let each man give attendance in his place!'

Thus, if a king were coming, would we do;
And 'twere good reason too;
For 'tis a duteous thing
To show all honour to an earthly king,
And after all our travail and our cost,
So he be pleased, to think no labour lost.

But at the coming of the King of Heaven
All 's set at six and seven;
We wallow in our sin,
Christ cannot find a chamber in the inn.
We entertain Him always like a stranger,
And, as at first, still lodge Him in the manger.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1601

61. The Now Jerusalem
Song of Mary the Mother of Christ (London: E. Allde)

HIERUSALEM, my happy home,
  When shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end,
  Thy joys when shall I see?

O happy harbour of the Saints!
  O sweet and pleasant soil!
In thee no sorrow may be found,
  No grief, no care, no toil.

There lust and lucre cannot dwell,
  There envy bears no sway;
There is no hunger, heat, nor cold,
  But pleasure every way.

Thy walls are made of precious stones,
  Thy bulwarks diamonds square;
Thy gates are of right orient pearl,
  Exceeding rich and rare.

Thy turrets and thy pinnacles
  With carbuncles do shine;
Thy very streets are paved with gold,
  Surpassing clear and fine.

Ah, my sweet home, Hierusalem,
  Would God I were in thee!
Would God my woes were at an end,
  Thy joys that I might see!

Thy gardens and thy gallant walks
  Continually are green;
There grows such sweet and pleasant flowers
  As nowhere else are seen.

Quite through the streets, with silver sound,
  The flood of Life doth flow;
Upon whose banks on every side
  The wood of Life doth grow.

There trees for evermore bear fruit,
  And evermore do spring;
There evermore the angels sit,
  And evermore do sing.

Our Lady sings Magnificat
  With tones surpassing sweet;
And all the virgins bear their part,
  Sitting about her feet.

Hierusalem, my happy home,
  Would God I were in thee!
Would God my woes were at an end,
  Thy joys that I might see!


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1601

62. Icarus
Robert Jones's Second Book of Songs and Airs

LOVE wing'd my Hopes and taught me how to fly
Far from base earth, but not to mount too high:
        For true pleasure
        Lives in measure,
        Which if men forsake,
Blinded they into folly run and grief for pleasure take.

But my vain Hopes, proud of their new-taught flight,
Enamour'd sought to woo the sun's fair light,
        Whose rich brightness
        Moved their lightness
        To aspire so high
That all scorch'd and consumed with fire now drown'd in woe they lie.


And none but Love their woeful hap did rue,
For Love did know that their desires were true;
        Though fate frowned,
        And now drowned
        They in sorrow dwell,
It was the purest light of heav'n for whose fair love they fell.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1602

63. Madrigal
Davison's Poetical Rhapsody

MY Love in her attire doth show her wit,
It doth so well become her;
For every season she hath dressings fit,
  For Winter, Spring, and Summer.
    No beauty she doth miss
      When all her robes are on:
    But Beauty's self she is
      When all her robes are gone.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1602

64. How can the Heart forget her?
Davison's Poetical Rhapsody
? F. or W. Davison

AT her fair hands how have I grace entreated
With prayers oft repeated!
Yet still my love is thwarted:
Heart, let her go, for she'll not be converted--
          Say, shall she go?
          O no, no, no, no, no!
She is most fair, though she be marble-hearted.

How often have my sighs declared my anguish,
Wherein I daily languish!
Yet still she doth procure it:
Heart, let her go, for I can not endure it--
          Say, shall she go?
          O no, no, no, no, no!
She gave the wound, and she alone must cure it.

But shall I still a true affection owe her,
Which prayers, sighs, tears do show her,
And shall she still disdain me?
Heart, let her go, if they no grace can gain me--
          Say, shall she go?
          O no, no, no, no, no!
She made me hers, and hers she will retain me.

But if the love that hath and still doth burn me
No love at length return me,
Out of my thoughts I'll set her:
Heart, let her go, O heart I pray thee, let her!
          Say, shall she go?
          O no, no, no, no, no!
Fix'd in the heart, how can the heart forget her?


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1603

65. Tears
John Dowland's Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs

WEEP you no more, sad fountains;
  What need you flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
  Heaven's sun doth gently waste!
But my Sun's heavenly eyes
    View not your weeping,
    That now lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies
        Sleeping.

Sleep is a reconciling,
  A rest that peace begets;
Doth not the sun rise smiling
  When fair at even he sets?
Rest you then, rest, sad eyes!
    Melt not in weeping,
    While she lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies
        Sleeping.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1603

66. My Lady's Tears
John Dowland's Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs

    I SAW my Lady weep,
And Sorrow proud to be advanced so
In those fair eyes where all perfections keep.
    Her face was full of woe;
But such a woe (believe me) as wins more hearts
Than Mirth can do with her enticing parts.

    Sorrow was there made fair,
And Passion wise; Tears a delightful thing;
Silence beyond all speech, a wisdom rare:
    She made her sighs to sing,
And all things with so sweet a sadness move
As made my heart at once both grieve and love.

    O fairer than aught else
The world can show, leave off in time to grieve!
Enough, enough: your joyful look excels:
    Tears kill the heart, believe.
O strive not to be excellent in woe,
Which only breeds your beauty's overthrow.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1604

67. Sister, Awake!
Thomas Bateson's First Set of English Madrigals

SISTER, awake! close not your eyes!
  The day her light discloses,
And the bright morning doth arise
  Out of her bed of roses.

See the clear sun, the world's bright eye,
  In at our window peeping:
Lo, how he blusheth to espy
  Us idle wenches sleeping!

Therefore awake! make haste, I say,
  And let us, without staying,
All in our gowns of green so gay
  Into the Park a-maying!


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1605

68. Devotion
Captain Tobias Hume's The First Part of Airs, &c.

FAIN would I change that note
To which fond Love hath charm'd me
Long, long to sing by rote,
Fancying that that harm'd me:
Yet when this thought doth come,
'Love is the perfect sum
    Of all delight,'
I have no other choice
Either for pen or voice
    To sing or write.

O Love! they wrong thee much
That say thy sweet is bitter,
When thy rich fruit is such
As nothing can be sweeter.
Fair house of joy and bliss,
Where truest pleasure is,
    I do adore thee:
I know thee what thou art,
I serve thee with my heart,
    And fall before thee.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1607

69. Since First I saw your Face
Thomas Ford's Music of Sundry Kinds

SINCE first I saw your face I resolved to honour and renown ye;
If now I be disdained I wish my heart had never known ye.
What? I that loved and you that liked, shall we begin to wrangle?
No, no, no, my heart is fast, and cannot disentangle.

If I admire or praise you too much, that fault you may forgive me;
Or if my hands had stray'd but a touch, then justly might you leave
me.
I ask'd you leave, you bade me love; is 't now a time to chide me?
No, no, no, I'll love you still what fortune e'er betide me.

The Sun, whose beams most glorious are, rejecteth no beholder,
And your sweet beauty past compare made my poor eyes the bolder:
Where beauty moves and wit delights and signs of kindness bind me,
There, O there! where'er I go I'll leave my heart behind me!


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1607

70. There is a Lady sweet and kind
Thomas Ford's Music of Sundry Kinds

THERE is a Lady sweet and kind,
Was never face so pleased my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.

Her gesture, motion, and her smiles,
Her wit, her voice my heart beguiles,
Beguiles my heart, I know not why,
And yet I love her till I die.

Cupid is winged and doth range,
Her country so my love doth change:
But change she earth, or change she sky,
Yet will I love her till I die.


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1609

71. Love not me for comely grace
John Wilbye's Second Set of Madrigals

LOVE not me for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face,
Nor for any outward part,
No, nor for a constant heart:
    For these may fail or turn to ill,
      So thou and I shall sever:
Keep, therefore, a true woman's eye,
And love me still but know not why--
    So hast thou the same reason still
      To doat upon me ever!


Numbers from Elizabethan Miscellanies & Song-books
by Unnamed or Uncertain Authors. 1622

72. The Wakening
John Attye's First Book of Airs

ON a time the amorous Silvy
Said to her shepherd, 'Sweet, how do ye?
Kiss me this once and then God be with ye,
                    My sweetest dear!
Kiss me this once and then God be with ye,
For now the morning draweth near.'

With that, her fairest bosom showing,
Op'ning her lips, rich perfumes blowing,
She said, 'Now kiss me and be going,
                    My sweetest dear!
Kiss me this once and then be going,
For now the morning draweth near.'

With that the shepherd waked from sleeping,
And spying where the day was peeping,
He said, 'Now take my soul in keeping,
                    My sweetest dear!
Kiss me and take my soul in keeping,
Since I must go, now day is near.'


Nicholas Breton. 1542-1626

73. Phillida and Coridon

IN the merry month of May,
In a morn by break of day,
Forth I walk'd by the wood-side
When as May was in his pride:
There I spied all alone
Phillida and Coridon.
Much ado there was, God wot!
He would love and she would not.
She said, Never man was true;
He said, None was false to you.
He said, He had loved her long;
She said, Love should have no wrong.
Coridon would kiss her then;
She said, Maids must kiss no men
Till they did for good and all;
Then she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witness truth
Never loved a truer youth.
Thus with many a pretty oath,
Yea and nay, and faith and troth,
Such as silly shepherds use
When they will not Love abuse,
Love, which had been long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded;
And Phillida, with garlands gay,
Was made the Lady of the May.


Nicholas Breton (?). 1542-1626

74. A Cradle Song
The Arbor of Amorous Devices, 1593-4

COME little babe, come silly soul,
Thy father's shame, thy mother's grief,
Born as I doubt to all our dole,
And to thyself unhappy chief:
    Sing lullaby, and lap it warm,
    Poor soul that thinks no creature harm.

Thou little think'st and less dost know
The cause of this thy mother's moan;
Thou want'st the wit to wail her woe,
And I myself am all alone:
    Why dost thou weep? why dost thou wail?
    And know'st not yet what thou dost ail.

Come, little wretch--ah, silly heart!
Mine only joy, what can I more?
If there be any wrong thy smart,
That may the destinies implore:
    'Twas I, I say, against my will,
    I wail the time, but be thou still.

And dost thou smile? O, thy sweet face!
Would God Himself He might thee see!--
No doubt thou wouldst soon purchase grace,
I know right well, for thee and me:
    But come to mother, babe, and play,
    For father false is fled away.

Sweet boy, if it by fortune chance
Thy father home again to send,
If death do strike me with his lance,
Yet mayst thou me to him commend:
    If any ask thy mother's name,
    Tell how by love she purchased blame.

Then will his gentle heart soon yield:
I know him of a noble mind:
Although a lion in the field,
A lamb in town thou shalt him find:
    Ask blessing, babe, be not afraid,
    His sugar'd words hath me betray'd.

Then mayst thou joy and be right glad;
Although in woe I seem to moan,
Thy father is no rascal lad,
A noble youth of blood and bone:
    His glancing looks, if he once smile,
    Right honest women may beguile.

Come, little boy, and rock asleep;
Sing lullaby and be thou still;
I, that can do naught else but weep,
Will sit by thee and wail my fill:
    God bless my babe, and lullaby
    From this thy father's quality.


Sir Walter Raleigh. 1552-1618

75. The Silent Lover
i

PASSIONS are liken'd best to floods and streams:
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb;
So, when affection yields discourse, it seems
  The bottom is but shallow whence they come.
They that are rich in words, in words discover
That they are poor in that which makes a lover.


Sir Walter Raleigh. 1552-1618

76. The Silent Lover
ii

WRONG not, sweet empress of my heart,
  The merit of true passion,
With thinking that he feels no smart,
  That sues for no compassion.

Silence in love bewrays more woe
  Than words, though ne'er so witty:
A beggar that is dumb, you know,
  May challenge double pity.

Then wrong not, dearest to my heart,
  My true, though secret passion;
He smarteth most that hides his smart,
  And sues for no compassion.


Sir Walter Raleigh. 1552-1618

77. His Pilgrimage

GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet,
  My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
  My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage;
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

Blood must be my body's balmer;
  No other balm will there be given:
Whilst my soul, like quiet palmer,
  Travelleth towards the land of heaven;
Over the silver mountains,
Where spring the nectar fountains;
        There will I kiss
        The bowl of bliss;
And drink mine everlasting fill
Upon every milken hill.
My soul will be a-dry before;
But, after, it will thirst no more.


Sir Walter Raleigh. 1552-1618

78. The Conclusion

EVEN such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
  Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wander'd all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days;
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.


Edmund Spenser. 1552-1599

79. Whilst it is prime

FRESH Spring, the herald of loves mighty king,
In whose cote-armour richly are displayd
All sorts of flowers, the which on earth do spring,
In goodly colours gloriously arrayd--
Goe to my love, where she is carelesse layd,
Yet in her winters bowre not well awake;
Tell her the joyous time wil not be staid,
Unlesse she doe him by the forelock take;
Bid her therefore her selfe soone ready make,
To wayt on Love amongst his lovely crew;
Where every one, that misseth then her make,
Shall be by him amearst with penance dew.
    Make hast, therefore, sweet love, whilest it is prime;
    For none can call againe the passed time.

make] mate.


Edmund Spenser. 1552-1599

80. A Ditty
In praise of Eliza, Queen of the Shepherds

SEE where she sits upon the grassie greene,
        (O seemely sight!)
Yclad in Scarlot, like a mayden Queene,
        And ermines white:
Upon her head a Cremosin coronet
With Damaske roses and Daffadillies set:
        Bay leaves betweene,
        And primroses greene,
Embellish the sweete Violet.

Tell me, have ye seene her angelick face
        Like Phoebe fayre?
Her heavenly haveour, her princely grace,
        Can you well compare?
The Redde rose medled with the White yfere,
In either cheeke depeincten lively chere:
        Her modest eye,
        Her Majestie,
Where have you seene the like but there?

I see Calliope speede her to the place,
        Where my Goddesse shines;
And after her the other Muses trace
        With their Violines.
Bene they not Bay braunches which they do beare,
All for Elisa in her hand to weare?
        So sweetely they play,
        And sing all the way,
That it a heaven is to heare.

Lo, how finely the Graces can it foote
        To the Instrument:
They dauncen deffly, and singen soote,
        In their meriment.
Wants not a fourth Grace to make the daunce even?
Let that rowme to my Lady be yeven.
        She shal be a Grace,
        To fyll the fourth place,
And reigne with the rest in heaven.

Bring hether the Pincke and purple Cullambine,
        With Gelliflowres;
Bring Coronations, and Sops-in-wine
        Worne of Paramoures:
Strowe me the ground with Daffadowndillies,
And Cowslips, and Kingcups, and loved Lillies:
        The pretie Pawnce,
        And the Chevisaunce,
Shall match with the fayre flowre Delice.

Now ryse up, Elisa, decked as thou art
        In royall aray;
And now ye daintie Damsells may depart
        Eche one her way.
I feare I have troubled your troupes to longe:
Let dame Elisa thanke you for her song:
        And if you come hether
        When Damsines I gether,
I will part them all you among.

medled] mixed.  yfere] together.  soote] sweet.  coronations]
carnations.  sops-in-wine] striped pinks.  pawnce]
pansy.  chevisaunce] wallflower.  flowre delice] iris.


Edmund Spenser. 1552-1599

81. Prothalamion

CALME was the day, and through the trembling ayre
Sweete-breathing Zephyrus did softly play
A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay
Hot Titans beames, which then did glyster fayre;
When I, (whom sullein care,
Through discontent of my long fruitlesse stay
In Princes Court, and expectation vayne
Of idle hopes, which still doe fly away,
Like empty shaddowes, did afflict my brayne,)
Walkt forth to ease my payne
Along the shoare of silver streaming Themmes;
Whose rutty Bancke, the which his River hemmes,
Was paynted all with variable flowers,
And all the meades adornd with daintie gemmes
Fit to decke maydens bowres,
And crowne their Paramours
Against the Brydale day, which is not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.

There, in a Meadow, by the Rivers side,
A Flocke of Nymphes I chaunced to espy,
All lovely Daughters of the Flood thereby,
With goodly greenish locks, all loose untyde,
As each had bene a Bryde;
And each one had a little wicker basket,
Made of fine twigs, entrayl`d curiously,
In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket,
And with fine Fingers cropt full feateously
The tender stalkes on hye.
Of every sort, which in that Meadow grew,
They gathered some; the Violet, pallid blew,
The little Dazie, that at evening closes,
The virgin Lillie, and the Primrose trew,
With store of vermeil Roses,
To decke their Bridegromes posies
Against the Brydale day, which was not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.

With that I saw two Swannes of goodly hewe
Come softly swimming downe along the Lee;
Two fairer Birds I yet did never see;
The snow, which doth the top of Pindus strew,
Did never whiter shew;
Nor Jove himselfe, when he a Swan would be,
For love of Leda, whiter did appeare;
Yet Leda was (they say) as white as he,
Yet not so white as these, nor nothing neare;
So purely white they were,
That even the gentle streame, the which them bare,
Seem'd foule to them, and bad his billowes spare
To wet their silken feathers, least they might
Soyle their fayre plumes with water not so fayre,
And marre their beauties bright,
That shone as heavens light,
Against their Brydale day, which was not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.

Eftsoones the Nymphes, which now had Flowers their fill,
Ran all in haste to see that silver brood,
As they came floating on the Christal Flood;
Whom when they sawe, they stood amazed still,
Their wondring eyes to fill;
Them seem'd they never saw a sight so fayre,
Of Fowles, so lovely, that they sure did deeme
Them heavenly borne, or to be that same payre
Which through the Skie draw Venus silver Teeme;
For sure they did not seeme
To be begot of any earthly Seede,
But rather Angels, or of Angels breede;
Yet were they bred of Somers-heat, they say,
In sweetest Season, when each Flower and weede
The earth did fresh aray;
So fresh they seem'd as day,
Even as their Brydale day, which was not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.

Then forth they all out of their baskets drew
Great store of Flowers, the honour of the field,
That to the sense did fragrant odours yield,
All which upon those goodly Birds they threw
And all the Waves did strew,
That like old Peneus Waters they did seeme,
When downe along by pleasant Tempes shore,
Scattred with Flowres, through Thessaly they streeme,
That they appeare, through Lillies plenteous store,
Like a Brydes Chamber flore.
Two of those Nymphes, meane while, two Garlands bound
Of freshest Flowres which in that Mead they found,
The which presenting all in trim Array,
Their snowie Foreheads therewithall they crownd,
Whil'st one did sing this Lay,
Prepar'd against that Day,
Against their Brydale day, which was not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.

'Ye gentle Birdes! the worlds faire ornament,
And heavens glorie, whom this happie hower
Doth leade unto your lovers blisfull bower,
Joy may you have, and gentle hearts content
Of your loves couplement;
And let faire Venus, that is Queene of love,
With her heart-quelling Sonne upon you smile,
Whose smile, they say, hath vertue to remove
All Loves dislike, and friendships faultie guile
For ever to assoile.
Let endlesse Peace your steadfast hearts accord,
And blessed Plentie wait upon your bord;
And let your bed with pleasures chast abound,
That fruitfull issue may to you afford,
Which may your foes confound,
And make your joyes redound
Upon your Brydale day, which is not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softlie, till I end my Song.'

So ended she; and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong,
Which said their brydale daye should not be long:
And gentle Eccho from the neighbour ground
Their accents did resound.
So forth those joyous Birdes did passe along,
Adowne the Lee, that to them murmurde low,
As he would speake, but that he lackt a tong,
Yet did by signes his glad affection show,
Making his streame run slow.
And all the foule which in his flood did dwell
Gan flock about these twaine, that did excell
The rest, so far as Cynthia doth shend
The lesser starres. So they, enranged well,
Did on those two attend,
And their best service lend
Against their wedding day, which was not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.

At length they all to mery London came,
To mery London, my most kyndly Nurse,
That to me gave this Lifes first native sourse,
Though from another place I take my name,
An house of auncient fame:
There when they came, whereas those bricky towres
The which on Themmes brode aged backe doe ryde,
Where now the studious Lawyers have their bowers,
There whylome wont the Templer Knights to byde,
Till they decayd through pride:
Next whereunto there standes a stately place,
Where oft I gayned giftes and goodly grace
Of that great Lord, which therein wont to dwell,
Whose want too well now feeles my freendles case;
But ah! here fits not well
Olde woes, but joyes, to tell
Against the Brydale daye, which is not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble Peer,
Great Englands glory, and the Worlds wide wonder,
Whose dreadfull name late through all Spaine did thunder,
And Hercules two pillors standing neere
Did make to quake and feare:
Faire branch of Honor, flower of Chevalrie!
That fillest England with thy triumphes fame,
Joy have thou of thy noble victorie,
And endlesse happinesse of thine owne name
That promiseth the same;
That through thy prowesse, and victorious armes,
Thy country may be freed from forraine harmes;
And great Elisaes glorious name may ring
Through al the world, fil'd with thy wide Alarmes,
Which some brave muse may sing
To ages following,
Upon the Brydale day, which is not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly till I end my Song.

From those high Towers this noble Lord issuing,
Like Radiant Hesper, when his golden hayre
In th' Ocean billowes he hath bathed fayre,
Descended to the Rivers open vewing,
With a great traine ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to bee seene
Two gentle Knights of lovely face and feature,
Beseeming well the bower of anie Queene,
With gifts of wit, and ornaments of nature,
Fit for so goodly stature,
That like the twins of Jove they seem'd in sight,
Which decke the Bauldricke of the Heavens bright;
They two, forth pacing to the Rivers side,
Received those two faire Brides, their Loves delight;
Which, at th' appointed tyde,
Each one did make his Bryde
Against their Brydale day, which is not long:
  Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.


Edmund Spenser. 1552-1599

82. Epithalamion

YE learned sisters, which have oftentimes
Beene to me ayding, others to adorne,
Whom ye thought worthy of your gracefull rymes,
That even the greatest did not greatly scorne
To heare theyr names sung in your simple layes,
But joyed in theyr praise;
And when ye list your owne mishaps to mourne,
Which death, or love, or fortunes wreck did rayse,
Your string could soone to sadder tenor turne,
And teach the woods and waters to lament
Your dolefull dreriment:
Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside;
And, having all your heads with girlands crownd,
Helpe me mine owne loves prayses to resound;
Ne let the same of any be envide:
So Orpheus did for his owne bride!
So I unto my selfe alone will sing;
The woods shall to me answer, and my Eccho ring.

Early, before the worlds light-giving lampe
His golden beame upon the hils doth spred,
Having disperst the nights unchearefull dampe,
Doe ye awake; and, with fresh lusty-hed,
Go to the bowre of my beloved love,
My truest turtle dove;
Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake,
And long since ready forth his maske to move,
With his bright Tead that flames with many a flake,
And many a bachelor to waite on him,
In theyr fresh garments trim.
Bid her awake therefore, and soone her dight,
For lo! the wished day is come at last,
That shall, for all the paynes and sorrowes past,
Pay to her usury of long delight:
And, whylest she doth her dight,
Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Bring with you all the Nymphes that you can heare
Both of the rivers and the forrests greene,
And of the sea that neighbours to her neare:
Al with gay girlands goodly wel beseene.
And let them also with them bring in hand
Another gay girland
For my fayre love, of lillyes and of roses,
Bound truelove wize, with a blew silke riband.
And let them make great store of bridale poses,
And let them eeke bring store of other flowers,
To deck the bridale bowers.
And let the ground whereas her foot shall tread,
For feare the stones her tender foot should wrong,
Be strewed with fragrant flowers all along,
And diapred lyke the discolored mead.
Which done, doe at her chamber dore awayt,
For she will waken strayt;
The whiles doe ye this song unto her sing,
The woods shall to you answer, and your Eccho ring.

Ye Nymphes of Mulla, which with carefull heed
The silver scaly trouts doe tend full well,
And greedy pikes which use therein to feed;
(Those trouts and pikes all others doo excell;)
And ye likewise, which keepe the rushy lake,
Where none doo fishes take;
Bynd up the locks the which hang scatterd light,
And in his waters, which your mirror make,
Behold your faces as the christall bright,
That when you come whereas my love doth lie,
No blemish she may spie.
And eke, ye lightfoot mayds, which keepe the deere,
That on the hoary mountayne used to towre;
And the wylde wolves, which seeke them to devoure,
With your steele darts doo chace from comming neer;
Be also present heere,
To helpe to decke her, and to help to sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Wake now, my love, awake! for it is time;
The Rosy Morne long since left Tithones bed,
All ready to her silver coche to clyme;
And Phoebus gins to shew his glorious hed.
Hark! how the cheerefull birds do chaunt theyr laies
And carroll of Loves praise.
The merry Larke hir mattins sings aloft;
The Thrush replyes; the Mavis descant playes;
The Ouzell shrills; the Ruddock warbles soft;
So goodly all agree, with sweet consent,
To this dayes merriment.
Ah! my deere love, why doe ye sleepe thus long?
When meeter were that ye should now awake,
T' awayt the comming of your joyous make,
And hearken to the birds love-learned song,
The deawy leaves among!
Nor they of joy and pleasance to you sing,
That all the woods them answer, and theyr eccho ring.

My love is now awake out of her dreames,
And her fayre eyes, like stars that dimmed were
With darksome cloud, now shew theyr goodly beams
More bright then Hesperus his head doth rere.
Come now, ye damzels, daughters of delight,
Helpe quickly her to dight:
But first come ye fayre houres, which were begot
In Joves sweet paradice of Day and Night;
Which doe the seasons of the yeare allot,
And al, that ever in this world is fayre,
Doe make and still repayre:
And ye three handmayds of the Cyprian Queene,
The which doe still adorne her beauties pride,
Helpe to addorne my beautifullest bride:
And, as ye her array, still throw betweene
Some graces to be seene;
And, as ye use to Venus, to her sing,
The whiles the woods shal answer, and your eccho ring.

Now is my love all ready forth to come:
Let all the virgins therefore well awayt:
And ye fresh boyes, that tend upon her groome,
Prepare your selves; for he is comming strayt.
Set all your things in seemely good aray,
Fit for so joyfull day:
The joyfulst day that ever sunne did see.
Faire Sun! shew forth thy favourable ray,
And let thy lifull heat not fervent be,
For feare of burning her sunshyny face,
Her beauty to disgrace.
O fayrest Phoebus! father of the Muse!
If ever I did honour thee aright,
Or sing the thing that mote thy mind delight,
Doe not thy servants simple boone refuse;
But let this day, let this one day, be myne;
Let all the rest be thine.
Then I thy soverayne prayses loud wil sing,
That all the woods shal answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Harke! how the Minstrils gin to shrill aloud
Their merry Musick that resounds from far,
The pipe, the tabor, and the trembling Croud,
That well agree withouten breach or jar.
But, most of all, the Damzels doe delite
When they their tymbrels smyte,
And thereunto doe daunce and carrol sweet,
That all the sences they doe ravish quite;
The whyles the boyes run up and downe the street,
Crying aloud with strong confused noyce,
As if it were one voyce,
Hymen, iö Hymen, Hymen, they do shout;
That even to the heavens theyr shouting shrill
Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill;
To which the people standing all about,
As in approvance, doe thereto applaud,
And loud advaunce her laud;
And evermore they Hymen, Hymen sing,
That al the woods them answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Loe! where she comes along with portly pace,
Lyke Phoebe, from her chamber of the East,
Arysing forth to run her mighty race,
Clad all in white, that seemes a virgin best.
So well it her beseemes, that ye would weene
Some angell she had beene.
Her long loose yellow locks lyke golden wyre,
Sprinckled with perle, and perling flowres atweene,
Doe lyke a golden mantle her attyre;
And, being crowned with a girland greene,
Seeme lyke some mayden Queene.
Her modest eyes, abashed to behold
So many gazers as on her do stare,
Upon the lowly ground affixed are;
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold,
But blush to heare her prayses sung so loud,
So farre from being proud.
Nathlesse doe ye still loud her prayses sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Tell me, ye merchants daughters, did ye see
So fayre a creature in your towne before;
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she,
Adornd with beautyes grace and vertues store?
Her goodly eyes lyke Saphyres shining bright,
Her forehead yvory white,
Her cheekes lyke apples which the sun hath rudded,
Her lips lyke cherryes charming men to byte,
Her brest like to a bowle of creame uncrudded,
Her paps lyke lyllies budded,
Her snowie necke lyke to a marble towre;
And all her body like a pallace fayre,
Ascending up, with many a stately stayre,
To honors seat and chastities sweet bowre.
Why stand ye still ye virgins in amaze,
Upon her so to gaze,
Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing,
To which the woods did answer, and your eccho ring?

But if ye saw that which no eyes can see,
The inward beauty of her lively spright,
Garnisht with heavenly guifts of high degree,
Much more then would ye wonder at that sight,
And stand astonisht lyke to those which red
Medusaes mazeful hed.
There dwels sweet love, and constant chastity,
Unspotted fayth, and comely womanhood,
Regard of honour, and mild modesty;
There vertue raynes as Queene in royal throne,
And giveth lawes alone,
The which the base affections doe obay,
And yeeld theyr services unto her will;
Ne thought of thing uncomely ever may
Thereto approch to tempt her mind to ill.
Had ye once seene these her celestial threasures,
And unrevealed pleasures,
Then would ye wonder, and her prayses sing,
That al the woods should answer, and your echo ring.

Open the temple gates unto my love,
Open them wide that she may enter in,
And all the postes adorne as doth behove,
And all the pillours deck with girlands trim,
For to receyve this Saynt with honour dew,
That commeth in to you.
With trembling steps, and humble reverence,
She commeth in, before th' Almighties view;
Of her ye virgins learne obedience,
When so ye come into those holy places,
To humble your proud faces:
Bring her up to th' high altar, that she may
The sacred ceremonies there partake,
The which do endlesse matrimony make;
And let the roring Organs loudly play
The praises of the Lord in lively notes;
The whiles, with hollow throates,
The Choristers the joyous Antheme sing,
That al the woods may answere, and their eccho ring.

Behold, whiles she before the altar stands,
Hearing the holy priest that to her speakes,
And blesseth her with his two happy hands,
How the red roses flush up in her cheekes,
And the pure snow, with goodly vermill stayne
Like crimsin dyde in grayne:
That even th' Angels, which continually
About the sacred Altare doe remaine,
Forget their service and about her fly,
Ofte peeping in her face, that seems more fayre,
The more they on it stare.
But her sad eyes, still fastened on the ground,
Are governed with goodly modesty,
That suffers not one looke to glaunce awry,
Which may let in a little thought unsownd.
Why blush ye, love, to give to me your hand,
The pledge of all our band!
Sing, ye sweet Angels, Alleluya sing,
That all the woods may answere, and your eccho ring.

Now al is done: bring home the bride againe;
Bring home the triumph of our victory:
Bring home with you the glory of her gaine;
With joyance bring her and with jollity.
Never had man more joyfull day then this,
Whom heaven would heape with blis,
Make feast therefore now all this live-long day;
This day for ever to me holy is.
Poure out the wine without restraint or stay,
Poure not by cups, but by the belly full,
Poure out to all that wull,
And sprinkle all the postes and wals with wine,
That they may sweat, and drunken be withall.
Crowne ye God Bacchus with a coronall,
And Hymen also crowne with wreathes of vine;
And let the Graces daunce unto the rest,
For they can doo it best:
The whiles the maydens doe theyr carroll sing,
To which the woods shall answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Ring ye the bels, ye yong men of the towne,
And leave your wonted labors for this day:
This day is holy; doe ye write it downe,
That ye for ever it remember may.
This day the sunne is in his chiefest hight,
With Barnaby the bright,
From whence declining daily by degrees,
He somewhat loseth of his heat and light,
When once the Crab behind his back he sees.
But for this time it ill ordained was,
To chose the longest day in all the yeare,
And shortest night, when longest fitter weare:
Yet never day so long, but late would passe.
Ring ye the bels, to make it weare away,
And bonefiers make all day;
And daunce about them, and about them sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Ah! when will this long weary day have end,
And lende me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly do the houres theyr numbers spend?
How slowly does sad Time his feathers move?
Hast thee, O fayrest Planet, to thy home,
Within the Westerne fome:
Thy tyred steedes long since have need of rest.
Long though it be, at last I see it gloome,
And the bright evening-star with golden creast
Appeare out of the East.
Fayre childe of beauty! glorious lampe of love!
That all the host of heaven in rankes doost lead,
And guydest lovers through the nights sad dread,
How chearefully thou lookest from above,
And seemst to laugh atweene thy twinkling light,
As joying in the sight
Of these glad many, which for joy doe sing,
That all the woods them answer, and their echo ring!

Now ceasse, ye damsels, your delights fore-past;
Enough it is that all the day was youres:
Now day is doen, and night is nighing fast,
Now bring the Bryde into the brydall boures.
The night is come, now soon her disaray,
And in her bed her lay;
Lay her in lillies and in violets,
And silken courteins over her display,
And odourd sheetes, and Arras coverlets.
Behold how goodly my faire love does ly,
In proud humility!
Like unto Maia, when as Jove her took
In Tempe, lying on the flowry gras,
Twixt sleepe and wake, after she weary was,
With bathing in the Acidalian brooke.
Now it is night, ye damsels may be gon,
And leave my love alone,
And leave likewise your former lay to sing:
The woods no more shall answere, nor your echo ring.

Now welcome, night! thou night so long expected,
That long daies labour doest at last defray,
And all my cares, which cruell Love collected,
Hast sumd in one, and cancelled for aye:
Spread thy broad wing over my love and me,
That no man may us see;
And in thy sable mantle us enwrap,
From feare of perrill and foule horror free.
Let no false treason seeke us to entrap,
Nor any dread disquiet once annoy
The safety of our joy;
But let the night be calme, and quietsome,
Without tempestuous storms or sad afray:
Lyke as when Jove with fayre Alcmena lay,
When he begot the great Tirynthian groome:
Or lyke as when he with thy selfe did lie
And begot Majesty.
And let the mayds and yong men cease to sing;
Ne let the woods them answer nor theyr eccho ring.

Let no lamenting cryes, nor dolefull teares,
Be heard all night within, nor yet without:
Ne let false whispers, breeding hidden feares,
Breake gentle sleepe with misconceived dout.
Let no deluding dreames, nor dreadfull sights,
Make sudden sad affrights;
Ne let house-fyres, nor lightnings helpelesse harmes,
Ne let the Pouke, nor other evill sprights,
Ne let mischivous witches with theyr charmes,
Ne let hob Goblins, names whose sence we see not,
Fray us with things that be not:
Let not the shriech Oule nor the Storke be heard,
Nor the night Raven, that still deadly yels;
Nor damned ghosts, cald up with mighty spels,
Nor griesly vultures, make us once affeard:
Ne let th' unpleasant Quyre of Frogs still croking
Make us to wish theyr choking.
Let none of these theyr drery accents sing;
Ne let the woods them answer, nor theyr eccho ring.

But let stil Silence trew night-watches keepe,
That sacred Peace may in assurance rayne,
And tymely Sleep, when it is tyme to sleepe,
May poure his limbs forth on your pleasant playne;
The whiles an hundred little winged loves,
Like divers-fethered doves,
Shall fly and flutter round about your bed,
And in the secret darke, that none reproves,
Their prety stealthes shal worke, and snares shal spread
To filch away sweet snatches of delight,
Conceald through covert night.
Ye sonnes of Venus, play your sports at will!
For greedy pleasure, carelesse of your toyes,
Thinks more upon her paradise of joyes,
Then what ye do, albe it good or ill.
All night therefore attend your merry play,
For it will soone be day:
Now none doth hinder you, that say or sing;
Ne will the woods now answer, nor your Eccho ring.

Who is the same, which at my window peepes?
Or whose is that faire face that shines so bright?
Is it not Cinthia, she that never sleepes,
But walkes about high heaven al the night?
O! fayrest goddesse, do thou not envy
My love with me to spy:
For thou likewise didst love, though now unthought,
And for a fleece of wooll, which privily
The Latmian shepherd once unto thee brought,
His pleasures with thee wrought.
Therefore to us be favorable now;
And sith of wemens labours thou hast charge,
And generation goodly dost enlarge,
Encline thy will t'effect our wishfull vow,
And the chast wombe informe with timely seed
That may our comfort breed:
Till which we cease our hopefull hap to sing;
Ne let the woods us answere, nor our Eccho ring.

And thou, great Juno! which with awful might
The lawes of wedlock still dost patronize;
And the religion of the faith first plight
With sacred rites hast taught to solemnize;
And eeke for comfort often called art
Of women in their smart;
Eternally bind thou this lovely band,
And all thy blessings unto us impart.
And thou, glad Genius! in whose gentle hand
The bridale bowre and geniall bed remaine,
Without blemish or staine;
And the sweet pleasures of theyr loves delight
With secret ayde doest succour and supply,
Till they bring forth the fruitfull progeny;
Send us the timely fruit of this same night.
And thou, fayre Hebe! and thou, Hymen free!
Grant that it may so be.
Til which we cease your further prayse to sing;
Ne any woods shall answer, nor your Eccho ring.

And ye high heavens, the temple of the gods,
In which a thousand torches flaming bright
Doe burne, that to us wretched earthly clods
In dreadful darknesse lend desired light
And all ye powers which in the same remayne,
More then we men can fayne!
Poure out your blessing on us plentiously,
And happy influence upon us raine,
That we may raise a large posterity,
Which from the earth, which they may long possesse
With lasting happinesse,
Up to your haughty pallaces may mount;
And, for the guerdon of theyr glorious merit,
May heavenly tabernacles there inherit,
Of blessed Saints for to increase the count.
So let us rest, sweet love, in hope of this,
And cease till then our tymely joyes to sing:
The woods no more us answer, nor our eccho ring!

Song! made in lieu of many ornaments,
With which my love should duly have been dect,
Which cutting off through hasty accidents,
Ye would not stay your dew time to expect,
But promist both to recompens;
Be unto her a goodly ornament,
And for short time an endlesse moniment.

tead] torch.  ruddock] redbreast.  croud] violin.


Edmund Spenser. 1552-1599

83. From 'Daphnaida'
An Elegy

SHE fell away in her first ages spring,
Whil'st yet her leafe was greene, and fresh her rinde,
And whil'st her braunch faire blossomes foorth did bring,
She fell away against all course of kinde.
For age to dye is right, but youth is wrong;
She fel away like fruit blowne downe with winde.
Weepe, Shepheard! weepe, to make my undersong.

Yet fell she not as one enforst to dye,
Ne dyde with dread and grudging discontent,
But as one toyld with travaile downe doth lye,
So lay she downe, as if to sleepe she went,
And closde her eyes with carelesse quietnesse;
The whiles soft death away her spirit hent,
And soule assoyld from sinfull fleshlinesse.

How happie was I when I saw her leade
The Shepheards daughters dauncing in a rownd!
How trimly would she trace and softly tread
The tender grasse, with rosie garland crownd!
And when she list advance her heavenly voyce,
Both Nymphes and Muses nigh she made astownd,
And flocks and shepheards caused to rejoyce.

But now, ye Shepheard lasses! who shall lead
Your wandring troupes, or sing your virelayes?
Or who shall dight your bowres, sith she is dead
That was the Lady of your holy-dayes?
Let now your blisse be turned into bale,
And into plaints convert your joyous playes,
And with the same fill every hill and dale.

For I will walke this wandring pilgrimage,
Throughout the world from one to other end,
And in affliction wast my better age:
My bread shall be the anguish of my mind,
My drink the teares which fro mine eyed do raine,
My bed the ground that hardest I may finde;
So will I wilfully increase my paine.

Ne sleepe (the harbenger of wearie wights)
Shall ever lodge upon mine ey-lids more;
Ne shall with rest refresh my fainting sprights,
Nor failing force to former strength restore:
But I will wake and sorrow all the night
With Philumene, my fortune to deplore;
With Philumene, the partner of my plight.

And ever as I see the starres to fall,
And under ground to goe to give them light
Which dwell in darknes, I to minde will call
How my fair Starre (that shinde on me so bright)
Fell sodainly and faded under ground;
Since whose departure, day is turnd to night,
And night without a Venus starre is found.

And she, my love that was, my Saint that is,
When she beholds from her celestiall throne
(In which shee joyeth in eternall blis)
My bitter penance, will my case bemone,
And pitie me that living thus doo die;
For heavenly spirits have compassion
On mortall men, and rue their miserie.

So when I have with sorowe satisfide
Th' importune fates, which vengeance on me seeke,
And th' heavens with long languor pacifide,
She, for pure pitie of my sufferance meeke,
Will send for me; for which I daylie long:
And will till then my painful penance eeke.
Weep, Shepheard! weep, to make my undersong!


Edmund Spenser. 1552-1599

84. Easter

MOST glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye,
Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!

And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same againe;
And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne!
  So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,
  --Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.


John Lyly. 1553-1606

85. Cards and Kisses

CUPID and my Campaspe play'd
At cards for kisses--Cupid paid:
He stakes his quiver, bow, and arrows,
His mother's doves, and team of sparrows;
Loses them too; then down he throws
The coral of his lips, the rose
Growing on 's cheek (but none knows how);
With these, the crystal of his brow,
And then the dimple of his chin:
All these did my Campaspe win.
At last he set her both his eyes--
She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
  O Love! has she done this for thee?
  What shall, alas! become of me?


John Lyly. 1553-1606

86. Spring's Welcome

WHAT bird so sings, yet so does wail?
O 'tis the ravish'd nightingale.
Jug, jug, jug, jug, tereu! she cries,
And still her woes at midnight rise.
Brave prick-song! Who is't now we hear?
None but the lark so shrill and clear;
Now at heaven's gate she claps her wings,
The morn not waking till she sings.
Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat
Poor robin redbreast tunes his note!
Hark how the jolly cuckoos sing
Cuckoo! to welcome in the spring!
Cuckoo! to welcome in the spring!


Anthony Munday. 1553-1633

87. Beauty Bathing

BEAUTY sat bathing by a spring,
  Where fairest shades did hide her;
The winds blew calm, the birds did sing,
  The cool streams ran beside her.
My wanton thoughts enticed mine eye
  To see what was forbidden:
But better memory said Fie;
  So vain desire was chidden--
          Hey nonny nonny O!
          Hey nonny nonny!

Into a slumber then I fell,
  And fond imagination
Seemed to see, but could not tell,
  Her feature or her fashion:
But ev'n as babes in dreams do smile,
  And sometimes fall a-weeping,
So I awaked as wise that while
  As when I fell a-sleeping.


Sir Philip Sidney. 1554-86

88. The Bargain

MY true love hath my heart, and I have his,
  By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
  There never was a better bargain driven:
      My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
  My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
  I cherish his because in me it bides:
      My true love hath my heart, and I have his.


Sir Philip Sidney. 1554-86

89. Song

WHO hath his fancy pleased
  With fruits of happy sight,
Let here his eyes be raised
  On Nature's sweetest light;
A light which doth dissever
  And yet unite the eyes,
A light which, dying never,
  Is cause the looker dies.

She never dies, but lasteth
  In life of lover's heart;
He ever dies that wasteth
  In love his chiefest part:
Thus is her life still guarded
  In never-dying faith;
Thus is his death rewarded,
  Since she lives in his death.

Look then, and die! The pleasure
  Doth answer well the pain:
Small loss of mortal treasure,
  Who may immortal gain!
Immortal be her graces,
  Immortal is her mind;
They, fit for heavenly places--
  This, heaven in it doth bind.

But eyes these beauties see not,
  Nor sense that grace descries;
Yet eyes deprived be not
  From sight of her fair eyes--
Which, as of inward glory
  They are the outward seal,
So may they live still sorry,
  Which die not in that weal.

But who hath fancies pleased
  With fruits of happy sight,
Let here his eyes be raised
  On Nature's sweetest light!


Sir Philip Sidney. 1554-86

90. Voices at the Window

Who is it that, this dark night,
  Underneath my window plaineth?
It is one who from thy sight
  Being, ah, exiled, disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.

Why, alas, and are you he?
  Be not yet those fancies changeed?
Dear, when you find change in me,
  Though from me you be estranged,
Let my change to ruin be.

Well, in absence this will die:
  Leave to see, and leave to wonder.
Absence sure will help, if I
  Can learn how myself to sunder
From what in my heart doth lie.

But time will these thoughts remove;
  Time doth work what no man knoweth.
Time doth as the subject prove:
  With time still the affection groweth
In the faithful turtle-dove.

What if you new beauties see?
  Will not they stir new affection?
I will think they pictures be
  (Image-like, of saints' perfection)
Poorly counterfeiting thee.

But your reason's purest light
  Bids you leave such minds to nourish.
Dear, do reason no such spite!
  Never doth thy beauty flourish
More than in my reason's sight.

leave] cease.


Sir Philip Sidney. 1554-86

91. Philomela

THE Nightingale, as soon as April bringeth
  Unto her rested sense a perfect waking,
While late-bare Earth, proud of new clothing, springeth,
  Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making;
      And mournfully bewailing,
      Her throat in tunes expresseth
      What grief her breast oppresseth,
For Tereus' force on her chaste will prevailing.
    O Philomela fair, O take some gladness
    That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness!
        Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth;
    Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.

Alas! she hath no other cause of anguish
  But Tereus' love, on her by strong hand wroken;
Wherein she suffering, all her spirits languish,
  Full womanlike complains her will was broken
      But I, who, daily craving,
      Cannot have to content me,
      Have more cause to lament me,
Since wanting is more woe than too much having.

    O Philomela fair, O take some gladness
    That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness!
        Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth;
    Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.


Sir Philip Sidney. 1554-86

92. The Highway

HIGHWAY, since you my chief Parnassus be,
And that my Muse, to some ears not unsweet,
Tempers her words to trampling horses' feet
More oft than to a chamber-melody,--
Now blessed you bear onward blessèd me
To her, where I my heart, safe-left, shall meet;
My Muse and I must you of duty greet
With thanks and wishes, wishing thankfully;
Be you still fair, honour'd by public heed;
By no encroachment wrong'd, nor time forgot;
Nor blamed for blood, nor shamed for sinful deed;
And that you know I envy you no lot
  Of highest wish, I wish you so much bliss,
  Hundreds of years you Stella's feet may kiss!


Sir Philip Sidney. 1554-86

93. This Lady's Cruelty

WITH how sad steps, O moon, thou climb'st the skies!
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What! may it be that even in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case:
I read it in thy looks; thy languish'd grace
To me, that feel the like, thy state descries.
Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deem'd there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
  Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
  Do they call 'virtue' there--ungratefulness?


Sir Philip Sidney. 1554-86

94. Sleep

COME, Sleep; O Sleep! the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
Th' indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw:
O make in me those civil wars to cease;
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf to noise and blind of light,
A rosy garland and a weary head;
And if these things, as being thine by right,
  Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
  Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.

prease] press.


Sir Philip Sidney. 1554-86

95. Splendidis longum valedico Nugis

LEAVE me, O Love, which reachest but to dust,
And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things!
Grow rich in that which never taketh rust:
Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.
Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might
To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be;
Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light
That doth both shine and give us sight to see.
O take fast hold! let that light be thy guide
In this small course which birth draws out to death,
And think how evil becometh him to slide
Who seeketh Heaven, and comes of heavenly breath.
  Then farewell, world! thy uttermost I see:
  Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me!


Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke. 1554-1628

96. Myra

I, WITH whose colours Myra dress'd her head,
  I, that ware posies of her own hand-making,
I, that mine own name in the chimneys read
  By Myra finely wrought ere I was waking:
Must I look on, in hope time coming may
With change bring back my turn again to play?

I, that on Sunday at the church-stile found
  A garland sweet with true-love-knots in flowers,
Which I to wear about mine arms was bound
  That each of us might know that all was ours:
Must I lead now an idle life in wishes,
And follow Cupid for his loaves and fishes?

I, that did wear the ring her mother left,
  I, for whose love she gloried to be blamed,
I, with whose eyes her eyes committed theft,
I, who did make her blush when I was named:
Must I lose ring, flowers, blush, theft, and go naked,
Watching with sighs till dead love be awaked?

Was it for this that I might Myra see
  Washing the water with her beauty's white?
Yet would she never write her love to me.
  Thinks wit of change when thoughts are in delight?
Mad girls may safely love as they may leave;
No man can print a kiss: lines may deceive.

chimneys] cheminees, chimney-screens of tapestry work.  deceive]
betray.


Thomas Lodge. 1556?-1625

97. Rosalind's Madrigal

LOVE in my bosom like a bee
      Doth suck his sweet:
Now with his wings he plays with me,
      Now with his feet.
Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
His bed amidst my tender breast;
My kisses are his daily feast,
And yet he robs me of my rest:
      Ah! wanton, will ye?

And if I sleep, the percheth he
      With pretty flight,
And makes his pillow of my knee
      The livelong night.
Strike I my lute, he tunes the string;
He music plays if so I sing;
He lends me every lovely thing,
Yet cruel he my heart doth sting:
      Whist, wanton, still ye!

Else I with roses every day
      Will whip you hence,
And bind you, when you long to play,
      For your offence.
I'll shut mine eyes to keep you in;
I'll make you fast it for your sin;
I'll count your power not worth a pin.
--Alas! what hereby shall I win
      If he gainsay me?

What if I beat the wanton boy
      With many a rod?
He will repay me with annoy,
      Because a god.
Then sit thou safely on my knee;
Then let thy bower my bosom be;
Lurk in mine eyes, I like of thee;
O Cupid, so thou pity me,
      Spare not, but play thee!


Thomas Lodge. 1556?-1625

98. Phillis 1

MY Phillis hath the morning sun
  At first to look upon her;
And Phillis hath morn-waking birds
  Her risings still to honour.
My Phillis hath prime-feather'd flowers,
  That smile when she treads on them;
And Phillis hath a gallant flock,
  That leaps since she doth own them.
But Phillis hath too hard a heart,
  Alas that she should have it!
It yields no mercy to desert,
  Nor grace to those that crave it.


Thomas Lodge. 1556?-1625

99. Phillis 2

LOVE guards the roses of thy lips
  And flies about them like a bee;
If I approach he forward skips,
  And if I kiss he stingeth me.

Love in thine eyes doth build his bower,
  And sleeps within their pretty shine;
And if I look the boy will lower,
  And from their orbs shoot shafts divine.

Love works thy heart within his fire,
  And in my tears doth firm the same;
And if I tempt it will retire,
  And of my plaints doth make a game.

Love, let me cull her choicest flowers;
  And pity me, and calm her eye;
Make soft her heart, dissolve her lowers
  Then will I praise thy deity.

But if thou do not, Love, I'll truly serve her
In spite of thee, and by firm faith deserve her.


Thomas Lodge. 1556?-1625

100. Rosaline

LIKE to the clear in highest sphere
  Where all imperial glory shines,
Of selfsame colour is her hair
  Whether unfolded or in twines:
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
  Resembling heaven by every wink;
The gods do fear whenas they glow,
  And I do tremble when I think
      Heigh ho, would she were mine!

Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud
  That beautifies Aurora's face,
Or like the silver crimson shroud
  That Phoebus' smiling looks doth grace.
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Her lips are like two budded roses
  Whom ranks of lilies neighbour nigh,
Within whose bounds she balm encloses
  Apt to entice a deity:
      Heigh ho, would she were mine!

Her neck like to a stately tower
  Where Love himself imprison'd lies,
To watch for glances every hour
  From her divine and sacred eyes:
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Her paps are centres of delight,
  Her breasts are orbs of heavenly frame,
Where Nature moulds the dew of light
  To feed perfection with the same:
      Heigh ho, would she were mine!

With orient pearl, with ruby red,
  With marble white, with sapphire blue,
Her body every way is fed,
  Yet soft to touch and sweet in view:
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Nature herself her shape admires;
  The gods are wounded in her sight;
And Love forsakes his heavenly fires
  And at her eyes his brand doth light:
      Heigh ho, would she were mine!

Then muse not, Nymphs, though I bemoan
  The absence of fair Rosaline,
Since for a fair there 's fairer none,
  Nor for her virtues so divine:
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Heigh ho, my heart! would God that she were mine!


George Peele. 1558?-97

101. Fair and Fair

Oenone. FAIR and fair, and twice so fair,
  As fair as any may be;
The fairest shepherd on our green,
  A love for any lady.
Paris. Fair and fair, and twice so fair,
  As fair as any may be;
Thy love is fair for thee alone
  And for no other lady.
Oenone. My love is fair, my love is gay,
As fresh as bin the flowers in May
And of my love my roundelay,
My merry, merry, merry roundelay,
  Concludes with Cupid's curse,--
'They that do change old love for new
  Pray gods they change for worse!'
Ambo Simul. They that do change old love for new,
  Pray gods they change for worse!

Oenone. Fair and fair, etc.
Paris. Fair and fair, etc.
Thy love is fair, etc.
Oenone. My love can pipe, my love can sing,
My love can many a pretty thing,
And of his lovely praises ring
My merry, merry, merry roundelays
  Amen to Cupid's curse,--
'They that do change,' etc.
Paris. They that do change, etc.
Ambo. Fair and fair, etc.


George Peele. 1558?-97

102. A Farewell to Arms
(To Queen Elizabeth)

HIS golden locks Time hath to silver turn'd;
  O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
His youth 'gainst time and age hath ever spurn'd,
  But spurn'd in vain; youth waneth by increasing:
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.

His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;
  And, lovers' sonnets turn'd to holy psalms,
A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
  And feed on prayers, which are Age his alms:
But though from court to cottage he depart,
His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.

And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
  He'll teach his swains this carol for a song,--
'Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,
  Curst be the souls that think her any wrong.'
Goddess, allow this aged man his right
To be your beadsman now that was your knight.


Robert Greene. 1560-92

103. Samela

LIKE to Diana in her summer weed,
  Girt with a crimson robe of brightest dye,
        Goes fair Samela.
Whiter than be the flocks that straggling feed
  When wash'd by Arethusa faint they lie,
        Is fair Samela.
As fair Aurora in her morning grey,
  Deck'd with the ruddy glister of her love
        Is fair Samela;
Like lovely Thetis on a calmed day
  Whenas her brightness Neptune's fancy move,
        Shines fair Samela.

Her tresses gold, her eyes like glassy streams,
  Her teeth are pearl, the breasts are ivory
        Of fair Samela;
Her cheeks like rose and lily yield forth gleams;
  Her brows bright arches framed of ebony.
        Thus fair Samela
Passeth fair Venus in her bravest hue,
  And Juno in the show of majesty
        (For she 's Samela!),
Pallas in wit,--all three, if you well view,
  For beauty, wit, and matchless dignity,
        Yield to Samela.


Robert Greene. 1560-92

104. Fawnia

AH! were she pitiful as she is fair,
Or but as mild as she is seeming so,
Then were my hopes greater than my despair,
Then all the world were heaven, nothing woe.
Ah! were her heart relenting as her hand,
That seems to melt even with the mildest touch,
Then knew I where to seat me in a land
Under wide heavens, but yet there is not such.
So as she shows she seems the budding rose,
Yet sweeter far than is an earthly flower;
Sovran of beauty, like the spray she grows;
Compass'd she is with thorns and canker'd flower.
  Yet were she willing to be pluck'd and worn,
  She would be gather'd, though she grew on thorn.

Ah! when she sings, all music else be still,
For none must be compared to her note;
Ne'er breathed such glee from Philomela's bill,
Nor from the morning-singer's swelling throat.
Ah! when she riseth from her blissful bed
She comforts all the world as doth the sun,
And at her sight the night's foul vapour 's fled;
When she is set the gladsome day is done.
  O glorious sun, imagine me the west,
  Shine in my arms, and set thou in my breast!


Robert Greene. 1560-92

105. Sephestia's Lullaby

WEEP not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there 's grief enough for thee.
      Mother's wag, pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy;
      When thy father first did see
      Such a boy by him and me,
      He was glad, I was woe;
      Fortune changed made him so,
      When he left his pretty boy,
      Last his sorrow, first his joy.
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there 's grief enough for thee.
      Streaming tears that never stint,
      Like pearl-drops from a flint,
      Fell by course from his eyes,
      That one another's place supplies;
      Thus he grieved in every part,
      Tears of blood fell from his heart,
      When he left his pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy.
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there 's grief enough for thee.
      The wanton smiled, father wept,
      Mother cried, baby leapt;
      More he crow'd, more we cried,
      Nature could not sorrow hide:
      He must go, he must kiss
      Child and mother, baby bliss,
      For he left his pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy.
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old there 's grief enough for thee.


Alexander Hume. 1560-1609

106. A Summer Day

O PERFECT Light, which shaid away
  The darkness from the light,
And set a ruler o'er the day,
  Another o'er the night--

Thy glory, when the day forth flies,
  More vively doth appear
Than at mid day unto our eyes
  The shining sun is clear.

The shadow of the earth anon
  Removes and drawis by,
While in the East, when it is gone,
  Appears a clearer sky.

Which soon perceive the little larks,
  The lapwing and the snipe,
And tune their songs, like Nature's clerks,
  O'er meadow, muir, and stripe.

Our hemisphere is polisht clean,
  And lighten'd more and more,
While everything is clearly seen
  Which seemit dim before:

Except the glistering astres bright,
  Which all the night were clear,
Offuskit with a greater light
  No longer do appear.

The golden globe incontinent
  Sets up his shining head,
And o'er the earth and firmament
  Displays his beams abread.

For joy the birds with boulden throats
  Against his visage sheen
Take up their kindly musick notes
  In woods and gardens green.

The dew upon the tender crops,
  Like pearlis white and round,
Or like to melted silver drops,
  Refreshis all the ground.

The misty reek, the clouds of rain,
  From tops of mountains skails,
Clear are the highest hills and plain,
  The vapours take the vales.

The ample heaven of fabrick sure
  In cleanness does surpass
The crystal and the silver pure,
  Or clearest polisht glass.

The time so tranquil is and still
  That nowhere shall ye find,
Save on a high and barren hill,
  An air of peeping wind.

All trees and simples, great and small,
  That balmy leaf do bear,
Than they were painted on a wall
  No more they move or steir.

Calm is the deep and purple sea,
  Yea, smoother than the sand;
The waves that weltering wont to be
  Are stable like the land.

So silent is the cessile air
  That every cry and call
The hills and dales and forest fair
  Again repeats them all.

The flourishes and fragrant flowers,
  Through Phoebus' fostering heat,
Refresht with dew and silver showers
  Cast up an odour sweet.

The cloggit busy humming bees,
  That never think to drone,
On flowers and flourishes of trees
  Collect their liquor brown.

The Sun, most like a speedy post
  With ardent course ascends;
The beauty of the heavenly host
  Up to our zenith tends.

The burning beams down from his face
  So fervently can beat,
That man and beast now seek a place
  To save them from the heat.

The herds beneath some leafy tree
  Amidst the flowers they lie;
The stable ships upon the sea
  Tend up their sails to dry.

With gilded eyes and open wings
  The cock his courage shows;
With claps of joy his breast he dings,
  And twenty times he crows.

The dove with whistling wings so blue
  The winds can fast collect;
Her purple pens turn many a hue
  Against the sun direct.

Now noon is went; gone is midday,
  The heat doth slake at last;
The sun descends down West away,
  For three of clock is past.

The rayons of the sun we see
  Diminish in their strength;
The shade of every tower and tree
  Extendit is in length.

Great is the calm, for everywhere
  The wind is setting down;
The reek throws right up in the air
  From every tower and town.

The gloming comes; the day is spent;
  The sun goes out of sight;
And painted is the occident
  With purple sanguine bright.

Our west horizon circular
  From time the sun be set
Is all with rubies, as it were,
  Or roses red o'erfret.

What pleasure were to walk and see,
  Endlong a river clear,
The perfect form of every tree
  Within the deep appear.

O then it were a seemly thing,
  While all is still and calm,
The praise of God to play and sing
  With cornet and with shalm!

All labourers draw home at even,
  And can to other say,
Thanks to the gracious God of heaven,
  Which sent this summer day.

shaid] parted.  stripe] rill.  offuskit] darkened.  boulden]
swollen.  sheen] bright.  skails] clears.  simples]
herbs.  cessile] yielding, ceasing.  flourishes] blossoms.


George Chapman. 1560-1634

107. Bridal Song

O COME, soft rest of cares! come, Night!
  Come, naked Virtue's only tire,
The reaped harvest of the light
  Bound up in sheaves of sacred fire.
    Love calls to war:
      Sighs his alarms,
    Lips his swords are,
      The field his arms.

Come, Night, and lay thy velvet hand
  On glorious Day's outfacing face;
And all thy crowned flames command
  For torches to our nuptial grace.
    Love calls to war:
      Sighs his alarms,
    Lips his swords are,
      The field his arms.


Robert Southwell. 1561-95

108. Times go by Turns

THE lopped tree in time may grow again,
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower;
The sorest wight may find release of pain,
The driest soil suck in some moist'ning shower;
Times go by turns and chances change by course,
From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.

The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow,
She draws her favours to the lowest ebb;
Her tides hath equal times to come and go,
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web;
No joy so great but runneth to an end,
No hap so hard but may in fine amend.

Not always fall of leaf nor ever spring,
No endless night yet not eternal day;
The saddest birds a season find to sing,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay:
Thus with succeeding turns God tempereth all,
That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall.

A chance may win that by mischance was lost;
The net that holds no great, takes little fish;
In some things all, in all things none are crost,
Few all they need, but none have all they wish;
Unmeddled joys here to no man befall:
Who least, hath some; who most, hath never all.

unmeddled] unmixed.


Robert Southwell. 1561-95

109. The Burning Babe

AS I in hoary winter's night
  Stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat
  Which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye
  To view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright
  Did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat,
  Such floods of tears did shed,
As though His floods should quench His flames,
  Which with His tears were bred:
'Alas!' quoth He, 'but newly born
  In fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts
  Or feel my fire but I!
'My faultless breast the furnace is;
  The fuel, wounding thorns;
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke;
  The ashes, shames and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on,
  And Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought
  Are men's defiled souls:
For which, as now on fire I am
  To work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath,
  To wash them in my blood.'
With this He vanish'd out of sight
  And swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind
  That it was Christmas Day.


Henry Constable. 1562?-1613?

110. On the Death of Sir Philip Sidney

GIVE pardon, blessed soul, to my bold cries,
If they, importune, interrupt thy song,
Which now with joyful notes thou sing'st among
The angel-quiristers of th' heavenly skies.
Give pardon eke, sweet soul, to my slow eyes,
That since I saw thee now it is so long,
And yet the tears that unto thee belong
To thee as yet they did not sacrifice.
I did not know that thou wert dead before;
I did not feel the grief I did sustain;
The greater stroke astonisheth the more;
Astonishment takes from us sense of pain;
  I stood amazed when others' tears begun,
  And now begin to weep when they have done.


Samuel Daniel. 1562-1619

111. Love is a Sickness

LOVE is a sickness full of woes,
  All remedies refusing;
A plant that with most cutting grows,
  Most barren with best using.
              Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries--
                Heigh ho!

Love is a torment of the mind,
  A tempest everlasting;
And Jove hath made it of a kind
  Not well, nor full nor fasting.
              Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries--
                Heigh ho!


Samuel Daniel. 1562-1619

112. Ulysses and the Siren

Siren. COME, worthy Greek! Ulysses, come,
  Possess these shores with me:
The winds and seas are troublesome,
  And here we may be free.
Here may we sit and view their toil
  That travail in the deep,
And joy the day in mirth the while,
  And spend the night in sleep.

Ulysses. Fair Nymph, if fame or honour were
  To be attain'd with ease,
Then would I come and rest me there,
  And leave such toils as these.
But here it dwells, and here must I
  With danger seek it forth:
To spend the time luxuriously
  Becomes not men of worth.

Siren. Ulysses, O be not deceived
  With that unreal name;
This honour is a thing conceived,
  And rests on others' fame:
Begotten only to molest
  Our peace, and to beguile
The best thing of our life--our rest,
  And give us up to toil.

Ulysses. Delicious Nymph, suppose there were
  No honour nor report,
Yet manliness would scorn to wear
  The time in idle sport:
For toil doth give a better touch
  To make us feel our joy,
And ease finds tediousness as much
  As labour yields annoy.

Siren. Then pleasure likewise seems the shore
  Whereto tends all your toil,
Which you forgo to make it more,
  And perish oft the while.
Who may disport them diversely
  Find never tedious day,
And ease may have variety
  As well as action may.

Ulysses. But natures of the noblest frame
  These toils and dangers please;
And they take comfort in the same
  As much as you in ease;
And with the thought of actions past
  Are recreated still:
When Pleasure leaves a touch at last
  To show that it was ill.

Siren. That doth Opinion only cause
  That 's out of Custom bred,
Which makes us many other laws
  Than ever Nature did.
No widows wail for our delights,
  Our sports are without blood;
The world we see by warlike wights
  Receives more hurt than good.

Ulysses. But yet the state of things require
  These motions of unrest:
And these great Spirits of high desire
  Seem born to turn them best:
To purge the mischiefs that increase
  And all good order mar:
For oft we see a wicked peace
  To be well changed for war.

Siren. Well, well, Ulysses, then I see
  I shall not have thee here:
And therefore I will come to thee,
  And take my fortune there.
I must be won, that cannot win,
  Yet lost were I not won;
For beauty hath created been
  T' undo, or be undone.


Samuel Daniel. 1562-1619

113. Beauty, Time, and Love
Sonnets.

I
FAIR is my Love and cruel as she 's fair;
Her brow-shades frown, although her eyes are sunny.
Her smiles are lightning, though her pride despair,
And her disdains are gall, her favours honey:
A modest maid, deck'd with a blush of honour,
Whose feet do tread green paths of youth and love;
The wonder of all eyes that look upon her,
Sacred on earth, design'd a Saint above.
Chastity and Beauty, which were deadly foes,
Live reconciled friends within her brow;
And had she Pity to conjoin with those,
Then who had heard the plaints I utter now?
  For had she not been fair, and thus unkind,
  My Muse had slept, and none had known my mind.

II
My spotless love hovers with purest wings,
About the temple of the proudest frame,
Where blaze those lights, fairest of earthly things,
Which clear our clouded world with brightest flame.
My ambitious thoughts, confined in her face,
Affect no honour but what she can give;
My hopes do rest in limits of her grace;
I weigh no comfort unless she relieve.
For she, that can my heart imparadise,
Holds in her fairest hand what dearest is;
My Fortune's wheel 's the circle of her eyes,
Whose rolling grace deign once a turn of bliss.
  All my life's sweet consists in her alone;
  So much I love the most Unloving one.

III
And yet I cannot reprehend the flight
Or blame th' attempt presuming so to soar;
The mounting venture for a high delight
Did make the honour of the fall the more.
For who gets wealth, that puts not from the shore?
Danger hath honour, great designs their fame;
Glory doth follow, courage goes before;
And though th' event oft answers not the same--
Suffice that high attempts have never shame.
The mean observer, whom base safety keeps,
Lives without honour, dies without a name,
And in eternal darkness ever sleeps.--
  And therefore, Delia, 'tis to me no blot
  To have attempted, tho' attain'd thee not.

IV
When men shall find thy flow'r, thy glory, pass,
And thou with careful brow, sitting alone,
Received hast this message from thy glass,
That tells the truth and says that All is gone;
Fresh shalt thou see in me the wounds thou mad'st,
Though spent thy flame, in me the heat remaining:
I that have loved thee thus before thou fad'st--
My faith shall wax, when thou art in thy waning.
The world shall find this miracle in me,
That fire can burn when all the matter 's spent:
Then what my faith hath been thyself shalt see,
And that thou wast unkind thou may'st repent.--
  Thou may'st repent that thou hast scorn'd my tears,
  When Winter snows upon thy sable hairs.

V
Beauty, sweet Love, is like the morning dew,
Whose short refresh upon the tender green
Cheers for a time, but till the sun doth show,
And straight 'tis gone as it had never been.
Soon doth it fade that makes the fairest flourish,
Short is the glory of the blushing rose;
The hue which thou so carefully dost nourish,
Yet which at length thou must be forced to lose.
When thou, surcharged with burthen of thy years,
Shalt bend thy wrinkles homeward to the earth;
And that, in Beauty's Lease expired, appears
The Date of Age, the Calends of our Death--
  But ah, no more!--this must not be foretold,
  For women grieve to think they must be old.

VI
I must not grieve my Love, whose eyes would read
Lines of delight, whereon her youth might smile;
Flowers have time before they come to seed,
And she is young, and now must sport the while.
And sport, Sweet Maid, in season of these years,
And learn to gather flowers before they wither;
And where the sweetest blossom first appears,
Let Love and Youth conduct thy pleasures thither.
Lighten forth smiles to clear the clouded air,
And calm the tempest which my sighs do raise;
Pity and smiles do best become the fair;
Pity and smiles must only yield thee praise.
  Make me to say when all my griefs are gone,
  Happy the heart that sighed for such a one!

VII
Let others sing of Knights and Paladines
In aged accents and untimely words,
Paint shadows in imaginary lines,
Which well the reach of their high wit records:
But I must sing of thee, and those fair eyes
Authentic shall my verse in time to come;
When yet th' unborn shall say, Lo, where she lies!
Whose beauty made him speak, that else was dumb!
These are the arcs, the trophies I erect,
That fortify thy name against old age;
And these thy sacred virtues must protect
Against the Dark, and Time's consuming rage.
  Though th' error of my youth in them appear,
  Suffice, they show I lived, and loved thee dear.


Mark Alexander Boyd. 1563-1601

114. Sonet

FRA bank to bank, fra wood to wood I rin,
  Ourhailit with my feeble fantasie;
  Like til a leaf that fallis from a tree,
Or til a reed ourblawin with the win.

Twa gods guides me: the ane of tham is blin,
  Yea and a bairn brocht up in vanitie;
  The next a wife ingenrit of the sea,
And lichter nor a dauphin with her fin.

Unhappy is the man for evermair
  That tills the sand and sawis in the air;
  But twice unhappier is he, I lairn,
That feidis in his hairt a mad desire,
And follows on a woman throw the fire,
  Led by a blind and teachit by a bairn.


Joshua Sylvester. 1563-1618

115. Ubique

WERE I as base as is the lowly plain,
And you, my Love, as high as heaven above,
Yet should the thoughts of me, your humble swain,
Ascend to heaven in honour of my love.
Were I as high as heaven above the plain,
And you, my Love, as humble and as low
As are the deepest bottoms of the main,
Wheresoe'er you were, with you my love should go.
Were you the earth, dear Love, and I the skies,
My love should shine on you like to the Sun,
And look upon you with ten thousand eyes,
Till heaven wax'd blind, and till the world were done.
  Wheresoe'er I am,--below, or else above you--
  Wheresoe'er you are, my heart shall truly love you.


Michael Drayton. 1563-1631

116. To His Coy Love

I PRAY thee, leave, love me no more,
  Call home the heart you gave me!
I but in vain that saint adore
  That can but will not save me.
These poor half-kisses kill me quite--
  Was ever man thus served?
Amidst an ocean of delight
  For pleasure to be starved?

Show me no more those snowy breasts
  With azure riverets branched,
Where, whilst mine eye with plenty feasts,
  Yet is my thirst not stanched;
O Tantalus, thy pains ne'er tell!
  By me thou art prevented:
'Tis nothing to be plagued in Hell,
  But thus in Heaven tormented.

Clip me no more in those dear arms,
  Nor thy life's comfort call me,
O these are but too powerful charms,
  And do but more enthral me!
But see how patient I am grown
  In all this coil about thee:
Come, nice thing, let my heart alone,
  I cannot live without thee!


Michael Drayton. 1563-1631

117. The Parting

SINCE there 's no help, come let us kiss and part--
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free.
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies,
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes,
  --Now if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
  From death to life thou might'st him yet recover.


Michael Drayton. 1563-1631

118. Sirena

NEAR to the silver Trent
  SIRENA dwelleth;
She to whom Nature lent
  All that excelleth;
By which the Muses late
  And the neat Graces
Have for their greater state
  Taken their places;
Twisting an anadem
  Wherewith to crown her,
As it belong'd to them
  Most to renown her.
        On thy bank,
        In a rank,
        Let thy swans sing her,
      And with their music
        Along let them bring her.

Tagus and Pactolus
  Are to thee debtor,
Nor for their gold to us
  Are they the better:
Henceforth of all the rest
  Be thou the River
Which, as the daintiest,
  Puts them down ever.
For as my precious one
  O'er thee doth travel,
She to pearl paragon
  Turneth thy gravel.
          On thy bank...

Our mournful Philomel,
  That rarest tuner,
Henceforth in Aperil
  Shall wake the sooner,
And to her shall complain
  From the thick cover,
Redoubling every strain
  Over and over:
For when my Love too long
  Her chamber keepeth,
As though it suffer'd wrong,
  The Morning weepeth.
          On thy bank...

Oft have I seen the Sun,
  To do her honour,
Fix himself at his noon
  To look upon her;
And hath gilt every grove,
  Every hill near her,
With his flames from above
  Striving to cheer her:
And when she from his sight
  Hath herself turned,
He, as it had been night,
  In clouds hath mourned.
          On thy bank...

The verdant meads are seen,
  When she doth view them,
In fresh and gallant green
  Straight to renew them;
And every little grass
  Broad itself spreadeth,
Proud that this bonny lass
  Upon it treadeth:
Nor flower is so sweet
  In this large cincture,
But it upon her feet
  Leaveth some tincture.
          On thy bank...

The fishes in the flood,
  When she doth angle,
For the hook strive a-good
  Them to entangle;
And leaping on the land,
  From the clear water,
Their scales upon the sand
  Lavishly scatter;
Therewith to pave the mould
  Whereon she passes,
So herself to behold
  As in her glasses.
          On thy bank...

When she looks out by night,
  The stars stand gazing,
Like comets to our sight
  Fearfully blazing;
As wond'ring at her eyes
  With their much brightness,
Which so amaze the skies,
  Dimming their lightness.
The raging tempests are calm
  When she speaketh,
Such most delightsome balm
  From her lips breaketh.
          On thy bank...

In all our Brittany
  There 's not a fairer,
Nor can you fit any
  Should you compare her.
Angels her eyelids keep,
  All hearts surprising;
Which look whilst she doth sleep
  Like the sun's rising:
She alone of her kind
  Knoweth true measure,
And her unmatched mind
  Is heaven's treasure.
          On thy bank...

Fair Dove and Darwen clear,
  Boast ye your beauties,
To Trent your mistress here
  Yet pay your duties:
My Love was higher born
  Tow'rds the full fountains,
Yet she doth moorland scorn
  And the Peak mountains;
Nor would she none should dream
  Where she abideth,
Humble as is the stream
  Which by her slideth.
          On thy bank...

Yet my pour rustic Muse
  Nothing can move her,
Nor the means I can use,
  Though her true lover:
Many a long winter's night
  Have I waked for her,
Yet this my piteous plight
  Nothing can stir her.
All thy sands, silver Trent,
  Down to the Humber,
The sighs that I have spent
  Never can number.
        On thy bank,
        In a rank,
        Let thy swans sing her,
      And with their music
        Along let them bring her.


Michael Drayton. 1563-1631

119. Agincourt

FAIR stood the wind for France
When we our sails advance,
Nor now to prove our chance
    Longer will tarry;
But putting to the main,
At Caux, the mouth of Seine,
With all his martial train
    Landed King Harry.

And taking many a fort,
Furnish'd in warlike sort,
Marcheth tow'rds Agincourt
    In happy hour;
Skirmishing day by day
With those that stopp'd his way,
Where the French gen'ral lay
    With all his power.

Which, in his height of pride,
King Henry to deride,
His ransom to provide
    Unto him sending;
Which he neglects the while
As from a nation vile,
Yet with an angry smile
    Their fall portending.

And turning to his men,
Quoth our brave Henry then,
'Though they to one be ten
    Be not amazed:
Yet have we well begun;
Battles so bravely won
Have ever to the sun
    By fame been raised.

'And for myself (quoth he)
This my full rest shall be:
England ne'er mourn for me
    Nor more esteem me:
Victor I will remain
Or on this earth lie slain,
Never shall she sustain
    Loss to redeem me.

'Poitiers and Cressy tell,
When most their pride did swell,
Under our swords they fell:
    No less our skill is
Than when our grandsire great,
Claiming the regal seat,
By many a warlike feat
    Lopp'd the French lilies.'

The Duke of York so dread
The eager vaward led;
With the main Henry sped
    Among his henchmen.
Excester had the rear,
A braver man not there;
O Lord, how hot they were
    On the false Frenchmen!

They now to fight are gone,
Armour on armour shone,
Drum now to drum did groan,
    To hear was wonder;
That with the cries they make
The very earth did shake:
Trumpet to trumpet spake,
    Thunder to thunder.

Well it thine age became,
O noble Erpingham,
Which didst the signal aim
    To our hid forces!
When from a meadow by,
Like a storm suddenly
The English archery
    Stuck the French horses.

With Spanish yew so strong,
Arrows a cloth-yard long
That like to serpents stung,
    Piercing the weather;
None from his fellow starts,
But playing manly parts,
And like true English hearts
    Stuck close together.

When down their bows they threw,
And forth their bilbos drew,
And on the French they flew,
    Not one was tardy;
Arms were from shoulders sent,
Scalps to the teeth were rent,
Down the French peasants went--
    Our men were hardy.

This while our noble king,
His broadsword brandishing,
Down the French host did ding
    As to o'erwhelm it;
And many a deep wound lent,
His arms with blood besprent,
And many a cruel dent
    Bruised his helmet.

Gloster, that duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood
    With his brave brother;
Clarence, in steel so bright,
Though but a maiden knight,
Yet in that furious fight
    Scarce such another.

Warwick in blood did wade,
Oxford the foe invade,
And cruel slaughter made
    Still as they ran up;
Suffolk his axe did ply,
Beaumont and Willoughby
Bare them right doughtily,
    Ferrers and Fanhope.

Upon Saint Crispin's Day
Fought was this noble fray,
Which fame did not delay
    To England to carry.
O when shall English men
With such acts fill a pen?
Or England breed again
    Such a King Harry?

bilbos] swords, from Bilboa.


Michael Drayton. 1563-1631

120. To the Virginian Voyage

YOU brave heroic minds
  Worthy your country's name,
    That honour still pursue;
    Go and subdue!
Whilst loitering hinds
  Lurk here at home with shame.

Britons, you stay too long:
  Quickly aboard bestow you,
    And with a merry gale
    Swell your stretch'd sail
With vows as strong
  As the winds that blow you.

Your course securely steer,
  West and by south forth keep!
    Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals
    When Eolus scowls
You need not fear;
  So absolute the deep.

And cheerfully at sea
  Success you still entice
    To get the pearl and gold,
    And ours to hold
Virginia,
  Earth's only paradise.

Where nature hath in store
  Fowl, venison, and fish,
    And the fruitfull'st soil
    Without your toil
Three harvests more,
  All greater than your wish.

And the ambitious vine
  Crowns with his purple mass
    The cedar reaching high
    To kiss the sky,
The cypress, pine,
  And useful sassafras.

To whom the Golden Age
  Still nature's laws doth give,
    No other cares attend,
    But them to defend
From winter's rage,
  That long there doth not live.

When as the luscious smell
  Of that delicious land
    Above the seas that flows
    The clear wind throws,
Your hearts to swell
  Approaching the dear strand;

In kenning of the shore
  (Thanks to God first given)
    O you the happiest men,
    Be frolic then!
Let cannons roar,
  Frighting the wide heaven.

And in regions far,
  Such heroes bring ye forth
    As those from whom we came;
    And plant our name
Under that star
  Not known unto our North.

And as there plenty grows
  Of laurel everywhere--
    Apollo's sacred tree--
    You it may see
A poet's brows
  To crown, that may sing there.

Thy Voyages attend,
  Industrious Hakluyt,
    Whose reading shall inflame
    Men to seek fame,
And much commend
  To after times thy wit.


Christopher Marlowe. 1564-93

121. The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

COME live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Or woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy-buds
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.


Sir Walter Raleigh. 1564-93

122. Her Reply
(WRITTEN BY SIR WALTER RALEIGH)

IF all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy Love.

But Time drives flocks from field to fold;
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward Winter reckoning yields:
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither--soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy-buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs,--
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy Love.

But could youth last, and love still breed,
Had joys no date, nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy Love.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

123. Silvia

WHO is Silvia? What is she?
  That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she;
  The heaven such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.

Is she kind as she is fair?
  For beauty lives with kindness:
Love doth to her eyes repair,
  To help him of his blindness;
And, being help'd, inhabits there.

Then to Silvia let us sing,
  That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortal thing
  Upon the dull earth dwelling:
To her let us garlands bring.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

124. The Blossom

ON a day--alack the day!--
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind
All unseen 'gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn:
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet;
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
Do not call it sin in me
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom e'en Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiop were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

125. Spring and Winter
i

WHEN daisies pied and violets blue,
  And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
  Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
              Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!--O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
  And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
  And maidens bleach their summer smocks
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
              Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!--O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

126. Spring and Winter
ii

WHEN icicles hang by the wall,
  And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
  And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
          To-whit!
To-who!--a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doe blow,
  And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
  And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
          To-whit!
To-who!--a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

keel] skim.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

127. Fairy Land
i

OVER hill, over dale,
    Thorough bush, thorough brier,
  Over park, over pale,
    Thorough flood, thorough fire,
    I do wander everywhere,
    Swifter than the moone's sphere;
    And I serve the fairy queen,
    To dew her orbs upon the green:
    The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
    In their gold coats spots you see;
    Those be rubies, fairy favours,
    In those freckles live their savours:
  I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

128. Fairy Land
ii

YOU spotted snakes with double tongue,
  Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong;
  Come not near our fairy queen.

      Philomel, with melody,
      Sing in our sweet lullaby;
    Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby!
        Never harm,
        Nor spell nor charm,
      Come our lovely lady nigh;
      So, good night, with lullaby.

Weaving spiders, come not here;
  Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
  Worm nor snail, do no offence.

      Philomel, with melody,
      Sing in our sweet lullaby;
    Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby!
        Never harm,
        Nor spell nor charm,
      Come our lovely lady nigh;
      So, good night, with lullaby.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

129. Fairy Land
iii

COME unto these yellow sands,
  And then take hands:
Court'sied when you have, and kiss'd,--
  The wild waves whist,--
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.
      Hark, hark!
        Bow, wow,
      The watch-dogs bark:
        Bow, wow.
      Hark, hark! I hear
  The strain of strutting chanticleer
  Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow!


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

130. Fairy Land
iv

WHERE the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily:
  Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
  Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

131. Fairy Land
v

FULL fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
  Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
                        Ding-dong.
  Hark! now I hear them--
                Ding-dong, bell!


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

132. Love

  TELL me where is Fancy bred,
Or in the heart or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
    Reply, reply.
It is engender'd in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and Fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
    Let us all ring Fancy's knell:
    I'll begin it,--Ding, dong, bell.
All. Ding, dong, bell.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

133. Sweet-and-Twenty

O MISTRESS mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear! your true love 's coming,
  That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
  Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
  What 's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty!
  Youth 's a stuff will not endure.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

134. Dirge

COME away, come away, death,
  And in sad cypres let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath;
  I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
          O prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
          Did share it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
  On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
  My poor corse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
          Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave
          To weep there!

cypres] crape.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

135. Under the Greenwood Tree

Amiens sings: UNDER the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
    Here shall he see
    No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

  Who doth ambition shun,
  And loves to live i' the sun,
  Seeking the food he eats,
  And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
    Here shall he see
    No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Jaques replies:   If it do come to pass
  That any man turn ass,
  Leaving his wealth and ease
  A stubborn will to please,
Ducdame, ducdamè, ducdamè:
    Here shall he see
    Gross fools as he,
An if he will come to me.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

136. Blow, blow, thou Winter Wind

BLOW, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
  As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
  Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh ho! sing, heigh ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
        Then heigh ho, the holly!
        This life is most jolly.

      Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
      That dost not bite so nigh
        As benefits forgot:
      Though thou the waters warp,
      Thy sting is not so sharp
        As friend remember'd not.
Heigh ho! sing, heigh ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
        Then heigh ho, the holly!
        This life is most jolly.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

137. It was a Lover and his Lass

IT was a lover and his lass,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green corn-field did pass,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that life was but a flower
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

And, therefore, take the present time
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crown`d with the prime
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

138. Take, O take those Lips away

TAKE, O take those lips away,
  That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
  Lights that do mislead the morn!
But my kisses bring again,
              Bring again;
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain,
              Seal'd in vain!


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

139. Aubade

HARK! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
  And Phoebus 'gins arise,
His steeds to water at those springs
  On chaliced flowers that lies;
And winking Mary-buds begin
  To ope their golden eyes:
With everything that pretty bin,
  My lady sweet, arise!
    Arise, arise!


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

140. Fidele

FEAR no more the heat o' the sun,
  Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
  Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great,
  Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
  To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
  Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
  Thou hast finish'd joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave!


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

141. Bridal Song
? or John Fletcher.

ROSES, their sharp spines being gone,
Not royal in their smells alone,
  But in their hue;
Maiden pinks, of odour faint,
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
  And sweet thyme true;

Primrose, firstborn child of Ver;
Merry springtime's harbinger,
  With her bells dim;
Oxlips in their cradles growing,
Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
  Larks'-heels trim;

All dear Nature's children sweet
Lie 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet,
  Blessing their sense!
Not an angel of the air,
Bird melodious or bird fair,
  Be absent hence!

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
  Nor chattering pye,
May on our bride-house perch or sing,
Or with them any discord bring,
  But from it fly!


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

142. Dirge of the Three Queens
? or John Fletcher.

URNS and odours bring away!
  Vapours, sighs, darken the day!
Our dole more deadly looks than dying;
  Balms and gums and heavy cheers,
  Sacred vials fill'd with tears,
And clamours through the wild air flying!

  Come, all sad and solemn shows,
  That are quick-eyed Pleasure's foes!
  We convent naught else but woes.

dole] lamentation.  convent] summon.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

143. Orpheus
? or John Fletcher.

ORPHEUS with his lute made trees
And the mountain tops that freeze
  Bow themselves when he did sing:
To his music plants and flowers
Ever sprung; as sun and showers
  There had made a lasting spring.

Every thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
  Hung their heads and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art,
  Killing care and grief of heart
  Fall asleep, or hearing, die.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

144. The Phoenix and the Turtle

LET the bird of loudest lay
  On the sole Arabian tree,
  Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.

But thou shrieking harbinger,
  Foul precurrer of the fiend,
  Augur of the fever's end,
To this troop come thou not near.

From this session interdict
  Every fowl of tyrant wing
  Save the eagle, feather'd king:
Keep the obsequy so strict.

Let the priest in surplice white
  That defunctive music can,
  Be the death-divining swan,
Lest the requiem lack his right.

And thou, treble-dated crow,
  That thy sable gender mak'st
  With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st,
'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.

Here the anthem doth commence:--
  Love and constancy is dead;
  Phoenix and the turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.

So they loved, as love in twain
  Had the essence but in one;
  Two distincts, division none;
Number there in love was slain.

Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
  Distance, and no space was seen
  'Twixt the turtle and his queen:
But in them it were a wonder.

So between them love did shine,
  That the turtle saw his right
  Flaming in the phoenix' sight;
Either was the other's mine.

Property was thus appall'd,
  That the self was not the same;
  Single nature's double name
Neither two nor one was call'd.

Reason, in itself confounded,
  Saw division grow together;
  To themselves yet either neither;
Simple were so well compounded,

That it cried, 'How true a twain
  Seemeth this concordant one!
  Love hath reason, reason none
If what parts can so remain.'

Whereupon it made this threne
  To the phoenix and the dove,
  Co-supremes and stars of love,
As chorus to their tragic scene.

THRENOS

BEAUTY, truth, and rarity,
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclosed in cinders lie.

Death is now the phoenix' nest;
And the turtle's loyal breast
To eternity doth rest,

Leaving no posterity:
'Twas not their infirmity,
It was married chastity.

Truth may seem, but cannot be;
Beauty brag, but 'tis not she;
Truth and beauty buried be.

To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

can] knows.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

145. Sonnets
i

SHALL I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
  So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
  So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

146. Sonnets
ii

WHEN, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possest,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising--
Haply I think on thee: and then my state,
Like to the Lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at Heaven's gate;
  For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings
  That then I scorn to change my state with Kings.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

147. Sonnets
iii

WHEN to the Sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long-since-cancell'd woe,
And moan th' expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
  But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
  All losses are restored and sorrows end.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

148. Sonnets
iv

THY bosom is endeared with all hearts
Which I, by lacking, have supposed dead:
And there reigns Love, and all Love's loving parts,
And all those friends which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye,
As interest of the dead!--which now appear
But things removed that hidden in thee lie.
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
Who all their parts of me to thee did give:
--That due of many now is thine alone:
  Their images I loved I view in thee,
  And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

149. Sonnets
v

WHAT is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend.
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you;
On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set,
And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
Speak of the spring and foison of the year,
The one doth shadow of your beauty show,
The other as your bounty doth appear;
And you in every blessed shape we know.
  In all external grace you have some part,
  But you like none, none you, for constant heart.

foison] plenty.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

150. Sonnets
vi

O HOW much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The Rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The Canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the Roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses:
But--for their virtue only is their show--
They live unwoo'd and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves. Sweet Roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made.
  And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
  When that shall vade, my verse distils your truth.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

151. Sonnets
vii

BEING your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are how happy you make those!
  So true a fool is love, that in your Will,
  Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

152. Sonnets
viii

THAT time of year thou may'st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold--
Bare ruin'd choirs where late the sweet birds sang,
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after Sunset fadeth in the West,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
  This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong
  To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

153. Sonnets
ix

FAREWELL! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.
  Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter
  In sleep a King; but waking, no such matter.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

154. Sonnets
x

THEN hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
And do not drop in for an after loss:
Ah! do not, when my heart hath 'scaped this sorrow,
Come in the rearward of a conquer'd woe;
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their spite,
But in the onset come: so shall I taste
At first the very worst of fortune's might;
  And other strains of woe, which now seem woe,
  Compared with loss of thee will not seem so!


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

155. Sonnets
xi

THEY that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow--
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces,
And husband nature's riches from expense;
They are the Lords and owners of their faces,
Others, but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die;
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
  For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
  Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

156. Sonnets
xii

HOW like a Winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen,
What old December's bareness everywhere!
And yet this time removed was summer's time;
The teeming Autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime
Like widow'd wombs after their Lord's decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me
But hope of orphans and unfather'd fruit;
For Summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute:
  Or if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer
  That leaves look pale, dreading the Winter 's near.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

157. Sonnets
xiii

FROM you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the Lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the Rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
  Yet seem'd it Winter still, and, you away,
  As with your shadow I with these did play.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

158. Sonnets
xiv

MY love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seeming;
I love not less, though less the show appear:
That love is merchandised whose rich esteeming
The owner's tongue doth publish everywhere.
Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
When I was wont to greet it with my lays;
As Philomel in summer's front doth sing
And stops her pipe in growth of riper days:
Not that the summer is less pleasant now
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night,
But that wild music burthens every bough,
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight.
  Therefore, like her, I sometime hold my tongue,
  Because I would not dull you with my song.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

159. Sonnets
xv

TO me, fair friend, you never can be old;
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three Winters cold
Have from the forests shook three Summers' pride;
Three beauteous springs to yellow Autumn turn'd
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived:
  For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred:
  Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

160. Sonnets
xvi

WHEN in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rime
In praise of Ladies dead and lovely Knights;
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have exprest
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
  For we, which now behold these present days,
  Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

161. Sonnets
xvii

O NEVER say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify!
As easy might I from myself depart,
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie:
That is my home of love; if I have ranged,
Like him that travels I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so prepost'rously be stain'd,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good:
  For nothing this wide Universe I call,
  Save thou, my Rose; in it thou art my all.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

162. Sonnets
xviii

LET me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth 's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love 's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:--
  If this be error and upon me proved,
  I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

163. Sonnets
xix

TH' expense of Spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad:
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
  All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
  To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


William Shakespeare. 1564-1616

164. Sonnets
xx

POOR soul, the centre of my sinful earth--
My sinful earth these rebel powers array--
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end?
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:
  So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men;
  And Death once dead, there 's no more dying then.


Richard Rowlands. 1565-1630?

165. Lullaby

UPON my lap my sovereign sits
And sucks upon my breast;
Meantime his love maintains my life
And gives my sense her rest.
    Sing lullaby, my little boy,
    Sing lullaby, mine only joy!

When thou hast taken thy repast,
Repose, my babe, on me;
So may thy mother and thy nurse
Thy cradle also be.
    Sing lullaby, my little boy,
    Sing lullaby, mine only joy!

I grieve that duty doth not work
All that my wishing would;
Because I would not be to thee
But in the best I should.
    Sing lullaby, my little boy,
    Sing lullaby, mine only joy!

Yet as I am, and as I may,
I must and will be thine,
Though all too little for thyself
Vouchsafing to be mine.
    Sing lullaby, my little boy,
    Sing lullaby, mine only joy!


Thomas Nashe. 1567-1601

166. Spring

SPRING, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing--
  Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay--
  Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet--
  Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
    Spring, the sweet Spring!


Thomas Nashe. 1567-1601

167. In Time of Pestilence
1593

ADIEU, farewell earth's bliss!
This world uncertain is:
Fond are life's lustful joys,
Death proves them all but toys.
None from his darts can fly;
I am sick, I must die--
        Lord, have mercy on us!

Rich men, trust not in wealth,
Gold cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade;
All things to end are made;
The plague full swift goes by;
I am sick, I must die--
        Lord, have mercy on us!

Beauty is but a flower
Which wrinkles will devour;
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair;
Dust hath closed Helen's eye;
I am sick, I must die--
        Lord, have mercy on us!

Strength stoops unto the grave,
Worms feed on Hector brave;
Swords may not fight with fate;
Earth still holds ope her gate;
Come, come! the bells do cry;
I am sick, I must die--
        Lord, have mercy on us!

Wit with his wantonness
Tasteth death's bitterness;
Hell's executioner
Hath no ears for to hear
What vain art can reply;
I am sick, I must die--
        Lord, have mercy on us!

Haste therefore each degree
To welcome destiny;
Heaven is our heritage,
Earth but a player's stage.
Mount we unto the sky;
I am sick, I must die--
        Lord, have mercy on us!


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

168. Cherry-Ripe

THERE is a garden in her face
  Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
  Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow:
    There cherries grow which none may buy
    Till 'Cherry-ripe' themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
  Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
  They look like rose-buds fill'd with snow;
    Yet them nor peer nor prince can buy
    Till 'Cherry-ripe' themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still;
  Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threat'ning with piercing frowns to kill
  All that attempt with eye or hand
    Those sacred cherries to come nigh,
    Till 'Cherry-ripe' themselves do cry.


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

169. Laura

ROSE-CHEEK'D Laura, come;
Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty's
Silent music, either other
      Sweetly gracing.

  Lovely forms do flow
From concent divinely framed:
Heaven is music, and thy beauty's
      Birth is heavenly.

  These dull notes we sing
Discords need for helps to grace them;
Only beauty purely loving
      Knows no discord;

  But still moves delight,
Like clear springs renew'd by flowing,
Ever perfect, ever in them-
      selves eternal.


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

170. Devotion
i

FOLLOW thy fair sun, unhappy shadow!
  Though thou be black as night,
  And she made all of light,
Yet follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow!

Follow her, whose light thy light depriveth!
  Though here thou liv'st disgraced,
  And she in heaven is placed,
Yet follow her whose light the world reviveth!

Follow those pure beams, whose beauty burneth!
  That so have scorched thee
  As thou still black must be,
Till her kind beams thy black so brightness turneth.

Follow her, while yet her glory shineth!
  There comes a luckless night
  That will dim all her light;
And this the black unhappy shade divineth.

Follow still, since so thy fates ordained!
  The sun must have his shade,
  Till both at once do fade,--
The sun still proud, the shadow still disdained.


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

171. Devotion
ii

FOLLOW your saint, follow with accents sweet!
Haste you, sad notes, fall at her flying feet!
There, wrapt in cloud of sorrow, pity move,
And tell the ravisher of my soul I perish for her love:
But if she scorns my never-ceasing pain,
Then burst with sighing in her sight, and ne'er return again!

All that I sung still to her praise did tend;
Still she was first, still she my songs did end;
Yet she my love and music both doth fly,
The music that her echo is and beauty's sympathy:
Then let my notes pursue her scornful flight!
It shall suffice that they were breathed and died for her delight.


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

172. Vobiscum est Iope

WHEN thou must home to shades of underground,
And there arrived, a new admired guest,
The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round,
White Iope, blithe Helen, and the rest,
To hear the stories of thy finish'd love
From that smooth tongue whose music hell can move;

Then wilt thou speak of banqueting delights,
Of masques and revels which sweet youth did make,
Of tourneys and great challenges of knights,
And all these triumphs for thy beauty's sake:
When thou hast told these honours done to thee,
Then tell, O tell, how thou didst murder me!


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

173. A Hymn in Praise of Neptune

OF Neptune's empire let us sing,
At whose command the waves obey;
To whom the rivers tribute pay,
Down the high mountains sliding:
To whom the scaly nation yields
Homage for the crystal fields
    Wherein they dwell:
And every sea-dog pays a gem
Yearly out of his wat'ry cell
To deck great Neptune's diadem.

The Tritons dancing in a ring
Before his palace gates do make
The water with their echoes quake,
Like the great thunder sounding:
The sea-nymphs chant their accents shrill,
And the sirens, taught to kill
    With their sweet voice,
Make ev'ry echoing rock reply
Unto their gentle murmuring noise
The praise of Neptune's empery.


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

174. Winter Nights

NOW winter nights enlarge
      The number of their hours,
    And clouds their storms discharge
      Upon the airy towers.
    Let now the chimneys blaze
      And cups o'erflow with wine;
    Let well-tuned words amaze
      With harmony divine.
    Now yellow waxen lights
      Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
      Sleep's leaden spells remove.

    This time doth well dispense
      With lovers' long discourse;
    Much speech hath some defence,
      Though beauty no remorse.
    All do not all things well;
      Some measures comely tread,
    Some knotted riddles tell,
      Some poems smoothly read.
    The summer hath his joys,
      And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
      They shorten tedious nights.


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

175. Integer Vitae

THE man of life upright,
  Whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds,
  Or thought of vanity;

The man whose silent days
  In harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude,
  Nor sorrow discontent;

That man needs neither towers
  Nor armour for defence,
Nor secret vaults to fly
  From thunder's violence:

He only can behold
  With unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep
  And terrors of the skies.

Thus, scorning all the cares
  That fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book,
  His wisdom heavenly things;

Good thoughts his only friends,
  His wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn
  And quiet pilgrimage.


Thomas Campion. 1567?-1619

176. O come quickly!

NEVER weather-beaten sail more willing bent to shore,
Never tired pilgrim's limbs affected slumber more,
Than my wearied sprite now longs to fly out of my troubled breast:
O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soul to rest!

Ever blooming are the joys of heaven's high Paradise,
Cold age deafs not there our ears nor vapour dims our eyes:
Glory there the sun outshines; whose beams the Blessed only see:
O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my sprite to Thee!


John Reynolds. 16th Cent.

177. A Nosegay

SAY, crimson Rose and dainty Daffodil,
            With Violet blue;
Since you have seen the beauty of my saint,
            And eke her view;
Did not her sight (fair sight!) you lonely fill,
            With sweet delight
Of goddess' grace and angels' sacred teint
            In fine, most bright?

Say, golden Primrose, sanguine Cowslip fair,
            With Pink most fine;
Since you beheld the visage of my dear,
            And eyes divine;
Did not her globy front, and glistering hair,
            With cheeks most sweet,
So gloriously like damask flowers appear,
            The gods to greet?

Say, snow-white Lily, speckled Gillyflower,
            With Daisy gay;
Since you have viewed the Queen of my desire,
            In her array;
Did not her ivory paps, fair Venus' bower,
            With heavenly glee,
A Juno's grace, conjure you to require
            Her face to see?

Say Rose, say Daffodil, and Violet blue,
            With Primrose fair,
Since ye have seen my nymph's sweet dainty face
            And gesture rare,
Did not (bright Cowslip, blooming Pink) her view
            (White Lily) shine--
(Ah, Gillyflower, ah Daisy!) with a grace
            Like stars divine?

teint] tint, hue.


Sir Henry Wotton. 1568-1639

178. Elizabeth of Bohemia

YOU meaner beauties of the night,
  That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light,
  You common people of the skies;
  What are you when the moon shall rise?

You curious chanters of the wood,
  That warble forth Dame Nature's lays,
Thinking your passions understood
  By your weak accents; what 's your praise
  When Philomel her voice shall raise?

You violets that first appear,
  By your pure purple mantles known
Like the proud virgins of the year,
  As if the spring were all your own;
  What are you when the rose is blown?

So, when my mistress shall be seen
  In form and beauty of her mind,
By virtue first, then choice, a Queen,
  Tell me, if she were not design'd
  Th' eclipse and glory of her kind.


Sir Henry Wotton. 1568-1639

179. The Character of a Happy Life

HOW happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are;
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumours freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;

--This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall:
Lord of himself, though not of lands,
And having nothing, yet hath all.


Sir Henry Wotton. 1568-1639

180. Upon the Death of Sir Albert Morton's Wife

HE first deceased; she for a little tried
  To live without him, liked it not, and died.


Sir John Davies. 1569-1626

181. Man

I KNOW my soul hath power to know all things,
Yet she is blind and ignorant in all:
I know I'm one of Nature's little kings,
Yet to the least and vilest things am thrall.

I know my life 's a pain and but a span;
I know my sense is mock'd in everything;
And, to conclude, I know myself a Man--
Which is a proud and yet a wretched thing.


Sir Robert Ayton. 1570-1638

182. To His Forsaken Mistress

I DO confess thou'rt smooth and fair,
  And I might have gone near to love thee,
Had I not found the slightest prayer
  That lips could move, had power to move thee;
But I can let thee now alone
As worthy to be loved by none.

I do confess thou'rt sweet; yet find
  Thee such an unthrift of thy sweets,
Thy favours are but like the wind
  That kisseth everything it meets:
And since thou canst with more than one,
Thou'rt worthy to be kiss'd by none.

The morning rose that untouch'd stands
  Arm'd with her briers, how sweet she smells!
But pluck'd and strain'd through ruder hands,
  Her sweets no longer with her dwells:
But scent and beauty both are gone,
And leaves fall from her, one by one.

Such fate ere long will thee betide
  When thou hast handled been awhile,
With sere flowers to be thrown aside;
  And I shall sigh, while some will smile,
To see thy love to every one
Hath brought thee to be loved by none.


Sir Robert Ayton. 1570-1638

183. To an Inconstant One

I LOVED thee once; I'll love no more--
  Thine be the grief as is the blame;
Thou art not what thou wast before,
  What reason I should be the same?
    He that can love unloved again,
    Hath better store of love than brain:
  God send me love my debts to pay,
  While unthrifts fool their love away!

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown
  If thou hadst still continued mine;
Yea, if thou hadst remain'd thy own,
  I might perchance have yet been thine.
    But thou thy freedom didst recall
    That it thou might elsewhere enthral:
  And then how could I but disdain
  A captive's captive to remain?

When new desires had conquer'd thee
  And changed the object of thy will,
It had been lethargy in me,
  Not constancy, to love thee still.
    Yea, it had been a sin to go
    And prostitute affection so:
  Since we are taught no prayers to say
  To such as must to others pray.

Yet do thou glory in thy choice--
  Thy choice of his good fortune boast;
I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice
  To see him gain what I have lost:
    The height of my disdain shall be
    To laugh at him, to blush for thee;
  To love thee still, but go no more
  A-begging at a beggar's door.


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

184. Hymn to Diana

QUEEN and huntress, chaste and fair,
  Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
  State in wonted manner keep:
    Hesperus entreats thy light,
    Goddess excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy envious shade
  Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
  Heaven to clear when day did close:
    Bless us then with wished sight,
    Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
  And thy crystal-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
  Space to breathe, how short soever:
    Thou that mak'st a day of night--
    Goddess excellently bright.


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

185. To Celia

DRINK to me only with thine eyes,
  And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
  And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
  Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
  I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
  Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
  It could not wither'd be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
  And sent'st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
  Not of itself but thee!


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

186. Simplex Munditiis

STILL to be neat, still to be drest,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powder'd, still perfumed:
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.

Give me a look, give me a face
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free:
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all th' adulteries of art;
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

187. The Shadow

FOLLOW a shadow, it still flies you;
  Seem to fly it, it will pursue:
So court a mistress, she denies you;
  Let her alone, she will court you.
    Say, are not women truly, then,
    Styled but the shadows of us men?

At morn and even, shades are longest;
  At noon they are or short or none:
So men at weakest, they are strongest,
  But grant us perfect, they're not known.
    Say, are not women truly, then,
    Styled but the shadows of us men?


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

188. The Triumph

SEE the Chariot at hand here of Love,
  Wherein my Lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,
  And well the car Love guideth.
As she goes, all hearts do duty
          Unto her beauty;
And enamour'd do wish, so they might
          But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side,
Through swords, through seas, whither she would ride.

Do but look on her eyes, they do light
  All that Love's world compriseth!
Do but look on her hair, it is bright
  As Love's star when it riseth!
Do but mark, her forehead's smoother
          Than words that soothe her;
And from her arch'd brows such a grace
          Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life
All the gain, all the good, of the elements' strife.

Have you seen but a bright lily grow
  Before rude hands have touch'd it?
Have you mark'd but the fall of the snow
  Before the soil hath smutch'd it?
Have you felt the wool of beaver,
          Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt o' the bud o' the brier,
          Or the nard in the fire?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
O so white, O so soft, O so sweet is she!


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

189. An Elegy

THOUGH beauty be the mark of praise,
  And yours of whom I sing be such
  As not the world can praise too much,
Yet 'tis your Virtue now I raise.

A virtue, like allay so gone
  Throughout your form as, though that move
  And draw and conquer all men's love,
This subjects you to love of one.

Wherein you triumph yet--because
  'Tis of your flesh, and that you use
  The noblest freedom, not to choose
Against or faith or honour's laws.

But who should less expect from you?
  In whom alone Love lives again:
  By whom he is restored to men,
And kept and bred and brought up true.

His falling temples you have rear'd,
  The wither'd garlands ta'en away;
  His altars kept from that decay
That envy wish'd, and nature fear'd:

And on them burn so chaste a flame,
  With so much loyalty's expense,
  As Love to acquit such excellence
Is gone himself into your name.

And you are he--the deity
  To whom all lovers are design'd
  That would their better objects find;
Among which faithful troop am I--

Who as an off'ring at your shrine
  Have sung this hymn, and here entreat
  One spark of your diviner heat
To light upon a love of mine.

Which if it kindle not, but scant
  Appear, and that to shortest view;
  Yet give me leave to adore in you
What I in her am grieved to want!

allay] alloy.


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

190. A Farewell to the World

FALSE world, good night! since thou hast brought
  That hour upon my morn of age;
Henceforth I quit thee from my thought,
  My part is ended on thy stage.

Yes, threaten, do. Alas! I fear
  As little as I hope from thee:
I know thou canst not show nor bear
  More hatred than thou hast to me.

My tender, first, and simple years
  Thou didst abuse and then betray;
Since stir'd'st up jealousies and fears,
  When all the causes were away.

Then in a soil hast planted me
  Where breathe the basest of thy fools;
Where envious arts professed be,
  And pride and ignorance the schools;

Where nothing is examined, weigh'd,
  But as 'tis rumour'd, so believed;
Where every freedom is betray'd,
  And every goodness tax'd or grieved.

But what we're born for, we must bear:
  Our frail condition it is such
That what to all may happen here,
  If 't chance to me, I must not grutch.

Else I my state should much mistake
  To harbour a divided thought
From all my kind--that, for my sake,
  There should a miracle be wrought.

No, I do know that I was born
  To age, misfortune, sickness, grief:
But I will bear these with that scorn
  As shall not need thy false relief.

Nor for my peace will I go far,
  As wanderers do, that still do roam;
But make my strengths, such as they are,
  Here in my bosom, and at home.


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

191. The Noble Balm

HIGH-SPIRITED friend,
I send nor balms nor cor'sives to your wound:
        Your fate hath found
A gentler and more agile hand to tend
The cure of that which is but corporal;
And doubtful days, which were named critical,
        Have made their fairest flight
        And now are out of sight.
Yet doth some wholesome physic for the mind
        Wrapp'd in this paper lie,
Which in the taking if you misapply,
        You are unkind.

        Your covetous hand,
Happy in that fair honour it hath gain'd,
        Must now be rein'd.
True valour doth her own renown command
In one full action; nor have you now more
To do, than be a husband of that store.
        Think but how dear you bought
        This fame which you have caught:
Such thoughts will make you more in love with truth.
        'Tis wisdom, and that high,
For men to use their fortune reverently,
        Even in youth.


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

192. On Elizabeth L. H.
Epitaphs: i

WOULDST thou hear what Man can say
In a little? Reader, stay.
Underneath this stone doth lie
As much Beauty as could die:
Which in life did harbour give
To more Virtue than doth live.
If at all she had a fault,
Leave it buried in this vault.
One name was Elizabeth,
The other, let it sleep with death:
Fitter, where it died, to tell
Than that it lived at all. Farewell.


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

193. On Salathiel Pavy
A child of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel
Epitaphs: ii

WEEP with me, all you that read
    This little story;
And know, for whom a tear you shed
    Death's self is sorry.
'Twas a child that so did thrive
    In grace and feature,
As Heaven and Nature seem'd to strive
    Which own'd the creature.
Years he number'd scarce thirteen
    When Fates turn'd cruel,
Yet three fill'd zodiacs had he been
    The stage's jewel;
And did act (what now we moan)
    Old men so duly,
As sooth the Parcae thought him one,
    He play'd so truly.
So, by error, to his fate
    They all consented;
But, viewing him since, alas, too late!
    They have repented;
And have sought, to give new birth,
    In baths to steep him;
But, being so much too good for earth,
    Heaven vows to keep him.


Ben Jonson. 1573-1637

194. A Part of an Ode
to the Immortal Memory and Friendship of that noble pair,
Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morison

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.

    Call, noble Lucius, then for wine,
    And let thy looks with gladness shine:
Accept this garland, plant it on thy head,
And think--nay, know--thy Morison 's not dead.
        He leap'd the present age,
        Possest with holy rage
    To see that bright eternal Day
    Of which we Priests and Poets say
Such truths as we expect for happy men;
And there he lives with memory--and Ben

Jonson: who sung this of him, ere he went
        Himself to rest,
Or tast a part of that full joy he meant
        To have exprest
    In this bright Asterism
    Where it were friendship's schism--
Were not his Lucius long with us to tarry--
        To separate these twy
        Lights, the Dioscuri,
And keep the one half from his Harry.
But fate doth so alternate the design,
Whilst that in Heav'n, this light on earth must shine.

    And shine as you exalted are!
    Two names of friendship, but one star:
Of hearts the union: and those not by chance
Made, or indenture, or leased out to advance
        The profits for a time.
        No pleasures vain did chime
    Of rimes or riots at your feasts,
    Orgies of drink or feign'd protests;
But simple love of greatness and of good,
That knits brave minds and manners more than blood.

    This made you first to know the Why
    You liked, then after, to apply
That liking, and approach so one the t'other
Till either grew a portion of the other:
        Each styled by his end
        The copy of his friend.
    You lived to be the great surnames
    And titles by which all made claims
Unto the Virtue--nothing perfect done
But as a CARY or a MORISON.

And such the force the fair example had
        As they that saw
The good, and durst not practise it, were glad
        That such a law
    Was left yet to mankind,
    Where they might read and find
FRIENDSHIP indeed was written, not in words,
        And with the heart, not pen,
        Of two so early men,
Whose lines her rules were and records:
Who, ere the first down bloomed on the chin,
Had sow'd these fruits, and got the harvest in.


John Donne. 1573-1631

195. Daybreak

STAY, O sweet and do not rise!
The light that shines comes from thine eyes;
The day breaks not: it is my heart,
  Because that you and I must part.
      Stay! or else my joys will die
      And perish in their infancy.


John Donne. 1573-1631

196. Song

GO and catch a falling star,
  Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
  Or who cleft the Devil's foot;
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
        And find
        What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
  Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights
  Till Age snow white hairs on thee;
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me
All strange wonders that befell thee,
        And swear
        No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know;
  Such a pilgrimage were sweet.
Yet do not; I would not go,
  Though at next door we might meet.
Though she were true when you met her,
And last till you write your letter,
        Yet she
        Will be
False, ere I come, to two or three.


John Donne. 1573-1631

197. That Time and Absence proves
Rather helps than hurts to loves

ABSENCE, hear thou my protestation
    Against thy strength,
    Distance and length:
Do what thou canst for alteration,
    For hearts of truest mettle
    Absence doth join and Time doth settle.

Who loves a mistress of such quality,
    His mind hath found
    Affection's ground
Beyond time, place, and all mortality.
    To hearts that cannot vary
    Absence is present, Time doth tarry.

My senses want their outward motion
    Which now within
    Reason doth win,
Redoubled by her secret notion:
    Like rich men that take pleasure
    In hiding more than handling treasure.

By Absence this good means I gain,
    That I can catch her
    Where none can watch her,
In some close corner of my brain:
    There I embrace and kiss her,
    And so enjoy her and none miss her.


John Donne. 1573-1631

198. The Ecstasy

WHERE, like a pillow on a bed,
  A pregnant bank swell'd up, to rest
The violet's reclining head,
  Sat we two, one another's best.

Our hands were firmly cemented
  By a fast balm which thence did spring;
Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
  Our eyes upon one double string.

So to engraft our hands, as yet
  Was all the means to make us one;
And pictures in our eyes to get
  Was all our propagation.

As 'twixt two equal armies Fate
  Suspends uncertain victory,
Our souls--which to advance their state
  Were gone out--hung 'twixt her and me.

And whilst our souls negotiate there,
  We like sepulchral statues lay;
All day the same our postures were,
  And we said nothing, all the day.


John Donne. 1573-1631

199. The Dream

DEAR love, for nothing less than thee
Would I have broke this happy dream;
        It was a theme
For reason, much too strong for fantasy.
Therefore thou waked'st me wisely; yet
My dream thou brok'st not, but continued'st it.
Thou art so true that thoughts of thee suffice
To make dreams truths and fables histories;
Enter these arms, for since thou thought'st it best
Not to dream all my dream, let 's act the rest.

As lightning, or a taper's light,
Thine eyes, and not thy noise, waked me;
        Yet I thought thee--
For thou lov'st truth--an angel, at first sight;
But when I saw thou saw'st my heart,
And knew'st my thoughts beyond an angel's art,
When thou knew'st what I dreamt, when thou knew'st when
Excess of joy would wake me, and cam'st then,
I must confess it could not choose but be
Profane to think thee anything but thee.

Coming and staying show'd thee thee,
But rising makes me doubt that now
        Thou art not thou.
That Love is weak where Fear 's as strong as he;
'Tis not all spirit pure and brave
If mixture it of Fear, Shame, Honour have.
Perchance as torches, which must ready be,
Men light and put out, so thou deal'st with me.
Thou cam'st to kindle, go'st to come: then I
Will dream that hope again, but else would die.


John Donne. 1573-1631

200. The Funeral

WHOEVER comes to shroud me, do not harm
        Nor question much
That subtle wreath of hair about mine arm;
The mystery, the sign you must not touch,
      For 'tis my outward soul,
Viceroy to that which, unto heav'n being gone,
      Will leave this to control
And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dissolution.

For if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall
        Through every part
Can tie those parts, and make me one of all;
Those hairs, which upward grew, and strength and art
      Have from a better brain,
Can better do 't: except she meant that I
      By this should know my pain,
As prisoners then are manacled, when they're condemn'd to die.

Whate'er she meant by 't, bury it with me,
        For since I am
Love's martyr, it might breed idolatry
If into other hands these reliques came.
      As 'twas humility
T' afford to it all that a soul can do,
      So 'tis some bravery
That, since you would have none of me, I bury some of you.


John Donne. 1573-1631

201. A Hymn to God the Father

WILT Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
  Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin through which I run,
  And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done;
        For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
  Others to sin, and made my sins their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
  A year or two, but wallow'd in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done;
        For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I've spun
  My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by Thyself that at my death Thy Son
  Shall shine as He shines now and heretofore:
And having done that, Thou hast done;
        I fear no more.


John Donne. 1573-1631

202. Death

DEATH, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so:
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.
From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go--
Rest of their bones and souls' delivery!
Thou'rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou then?
  One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
  And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!


Richard Barnefield. 1574-1627

203. Philomel

AS it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap and birds did sing,
Trees did grow and plants did spring;
Everything did banish moan
Save the Nightingale alone:
She, poor bird, as all forlorn
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn,
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty,
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie! now would she cry;
Tereu, Tereu! by and by;
That to hear her so complain
Scarce I could from tears refrain;
For her griefs so lively shown
Made me think upon mine own.
Ah! thought I, thou mourn'st in vain,
None takes pity on thy pain:
Senseless trees they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless beasts they will not cheer thee:
King Pandion he is dead,
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead;
All thy fellow birds do sing
Careless of thy sorrowing:
Even so, poor bird, like thee,
None alive will pity me.


Thomas Dekker. 1575-1641

204. Sweet Content

ART thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers?
            O sweet content!
Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplex'd?
            O punishment!
Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vex'd
To add to golden numbers golden numbers?
    O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny--hey nonny nonny!

Canst drink the waters of the crisped spring?
            O sweet content!
Swim'st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine own tears?
            O punishment!
Then he that patiently want's burden bears,
No burden bears, but is a king, a king!
    O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny--hey nonny nonny!


Thomas Heywood. 157?-1650

205. Matin Song

PACK, clouds, away! and welcome, day!
  With night we banish sorrow.
Sweet air, blow soft; mount, lark, aloft
  To give my Love good-morrow!
Wings from the wind to please her mind,
  Notes from the lark I'll borrow:
Bird, prune thy wing! nightingale, sing!
  To give my Love good-morrow!
      To give my Love good-morrow
      Notes from them all I'll borrow.

Wake from thy nest, robin red-breast!
  Sing, birds, in every furrow!
And from each bill let music shrill
  Give my fair Love good-morrow!
Blackbird and thrush in every bush,
  Stare, linnet, and cocksparrow,
You pretty elves, among yourselves
  Sing my fair Love good-morrow!
      To give my Love good-morrow!
      Sing, birds, in every furrow!

stare] starling.


Thomas Heywood. 157?-1650

206. The Message

YE little birds that sit and sing
  Amidst the shady valleys,
And see how Phillis sweetly walks
  Within her garden-alleys;
Go, pretty birds, about her bower;
Sing, pretty birds, she may not lower;
Ah me! methinks I see her frown!
    Ye pretty wantons, warble.

Go tell her through your chirping bills,
  As you by me are bidden,
To her is only known my love,
  Which from the world is hidden.
Go, pretty birds, and tell her so,
See that your notes strain not too low,
For still methinks I see her frown;
    Ye pretty wantons, warble.

Go tune your voices' harmony
  And sing, I am her lover;
Strain loud and sweet, that every note
  With sweet content may move her:
And she that hath the sweetest voice,
Tell her I will not change my choice:
--Yet still methinks I see her frown!
    Ye pretty wantons, warble.

O fly! make haste! see, see, she falls
  Into a pretty slumber!
Sing round about her rosy bed
  That waking she may wonder:
Say to her, 'tis her lover true
That sendeth love to you, to you!
And when you hear her kind reply,
    Return with pleasant warblings.


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

207. Sleep

COME, Sleep, and with thy sweet deceiving
    Lock me in delight awhile;
    Let some pleasing dreams beguile
    All my fancies; that from thence
    I may feel an influence
All my powers of care bereaving!

Though but a shadow, but a sliding,
    Let me know some little joy!
    We that suffer long annoy
    Are contented with a thought
    Through an idle fancy wrought:
O let my joys have some abiding!


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

208. Bridal Song

CYNTHIA, to thy power and thee
          We obey.
Joy to this great company!
          And no day
Come to steal this night away
  Till the rites of love are ended,
And the lusty bridegroom say,
  Welcome, light, of all befriended!

Pace out, you watery powers below;
          Let your feet,
Like the galleys when they row,
          Even beat;
Let your unknown measures, set
  To the still winds, tell to all
That gods are come, immortal, great,
  To honour this great nuptial!


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

209. Aspatia's Song

LAY a garland on my herse
  Of the dismal yew;
Maidens, willow branches bear;
  Say, I died true.

My love was false, but I was firm
  From my hour of birth.
Upon my buried body lie
  Lightly, gentle earth!


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

210. Hymn to Pan

SING his praises that doth keep
  Our flocks from harm.
Pan, the father of our sheep;
  And arm in arm
Tread we softly in a round,
Whilst the hollow neighbouring ground
Fills the music with her sound.

Pan, O great god Pan, to thee
  Thus do we sing!
Thou who keep'st us chaste and free
  As the young spring:
Ever be thy honour spoke
From that place the morn is broke
To that place day doth unyoke!


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

211. Away, Delights

AWAY, delights! go seek some other dwelling,
        For I must die.
Farewell, false love! thy tongue is ever telling
        Lie after lie.
For ever let me rest now from thy smarts;
        Alas, for pity go
        And fire their hearts
That have been hard to thee! Mine was not so.

Never again deluding love shall know me,
        For I will die;
And all those griefs that think to overgrow me
        Shall be as I:
For ever will I sleep, while poor maids cry--
        'Alas, for pity stay,
        And let us die
With thee! Men cannot mock us in the clay.'


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

212. Love's Emblems

NOW the lusty spring is seen;
  Golden yellow, gaudy blue,
  Daintily invite the view:
Everywhere on every green
Roses blushing as they blow,
  And enticing men to pull,
Lilies whiter than the snow,
  Woodbines of sweet honey full:
    All love's emblems, and all cry,
    'Ladies, if not pluck'd, we die.'

Yet the lusty spring hath stay'd;
  Blushing red and purest white
  Daintily to love invite
Every woman, every maid:
Cherries kissing as they grow,
  And inviting men to taste,
Apples even ripe below,
  Winding gently to the waist:
    All love's emblems, and all cry,
    'Ladies, if not pluck'd, we die.'


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

213. Hear, ye Ladies

HEAR, ye ladies that despise
  What the mighty Love has done;
Fear examples and be wise:
  Fair Callisto was a nun;
Leda, sailing on the stream
  To deceive the hopes of man,
Love accounting but a dream,
  Doted on a silver swan;
    Danae, in a brazen tower,
    Where no love was, loved a shower.

Hear, ye ladies that are coy,
  What the mighty Love can do;
Fear the fierceness of the boy:
  The chaste Moon he makes to woo;
Vesta, kindling holy fires,
  Circled round about with spies,
Never dreaming loose desires,
  Doting at the altar dies;
    Ilion, in a short hour, higher
    He can build, and once more fire.


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

214. God Lyaeus

GOD Lyaeus, ever young,
Ever honour'd, ever sung,
Stain'd with blood of lusty grapes,
In a thousand lusty shapes
Dance upon the mazer's brim,
In the crimson liquor swim;
From thy plenteous hand divine
Let a river run with wine:
  God of youth, let this day here
  Enter neither care nor fear.

mazer] a bowl of maple-wood.

John Fletcher. 1579-1625

215. Beauty Clear and Fair

BEAUTY clear and fair,
      Where the air
Rather like a perfume dwells;
  Where the violet and the rose
  Their blue veins and blush disclose,
And come to honour nothing else:

      Where to live near
      And planted there
Is to live, and still live new;
  Where to gain a favour is
  More than light, perpetual bliss--
Make me live by serving you!

Dear, again back recall
      To this light,
A stranger to himself and all!
  Both the wonder and the story
  Shall be yours, and eke the glory;
I am your servant, and your thrall.


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

216. Melancholy

HENCE, all you vain delights,
  As short as are the nights
  Wherein you spend your folly!
There 's naught in this life sweet,
If men were wise to see't,
  But only melancholy--
  O sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms and fixed eyes,
A sight that piercing mortifies,
A look that 's fasten'd to the ground,
A tongue chain'd up without a sound!

Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves!
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed, save bats and owls!
  A midnight bell, a parting groan--
  These are the sounds we feed upon:
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley,
Nothing 's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.


John Fletcher. 1579-1625

217. Weep no more

WEEP no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that 's gone:
Violets pluck'd, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again.
Trim thy locks, look cheerfully;
Fate's hid ends eyes cannot see.
Joys as winged dreams fly fast,
Why should sadness longer last?
Grief is but a wound to woe;
Gentlest fair, mourn, mourn no moe.


John Webster. ?-1630?

218. A Dirge

CALL for the robin-redbreast and the wren,
Since o'er shady groves they hover,
And with leaves and flowers do cover
The friendless bodies of unburied men.
Call unto his funeral dole
The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole,
To rear him hillocks that shall keep him warm,
And (when gay tombs are robb'd) sustain no harm;
But keep the wolf far thence, that 's foe to men,
For with his nails he'll dig them up again.

dole] lamentation.


John Webster. ?-1630?

219. The Shrouding of the Duchess of Malfi

HARK! Now everything is still,
The screech-owl and the whistler shrill,
Call upon our dame aloud,
And bid her quickly don her shroud!

Much you had of land and rent;
Your length in clay 's now competent:
A long war disturb'd your mind;
Here your perfect peace is sign'd.

Of what is 't fools make such vain keeping?
Sin their conception, their birth weeping,
Their life a general mist of error,
Their death a hideous storm of terror.
Strew your hair with powders sweet,
Don clean linen, bathe your feet,

And--the foul fiend more to check--
A crucifix let bless your neck:
'Tis now full tide 'tween night and day;
End your groan and come away.


John Webster. ?-1630?

220. Vanitas Vanitatum

ALL the flowers of the spring
Meet to perfume our burying;
These have but their growing prime,
And man does flourish but his time:
Survey our progress from our birth--
We are set, we grow, we turn to earth.
Courts adieu, and all delights,
All bewitching appetites!
Sweetest breath and clearest eye
Like perfumes go out and die;
And consequently this is done
As shadows wait upon the sun.
Vain the ambition of kings
Who seek by trophies and dead things
To leave a living name behind,
And weave but nets to catch the wind.


William Alexander, Earl of Stirling. 1580?-1640

221. Aurora

O HAPPY Tithon! if thou know'st thy hap,
  And valuest thy wealth, as I my want,
  Then need'st thou not--which ah! I grieve to grant--
Repine at Jove, lull'd in his leman's lap:
  That golden shower in which he did repose--
      One dewy drop it stains
      Which thy Aurora rains
      Upon the rural plains,
  When from thy bed she passionately goes.

Then, waken'd with the music of the merles,
  She not remembers Memnon when she mourns:
  That faithful flame which in her bosom burns
From crystal conduits throws those liquid pearls:
  Sad from thy sight so soon to be removed,
      She so her grief delates.
      --O favour'd by the fates
      Above the happiest states,
  Who art of one so worthy well-beloved!


Phineas Fletcher. 1580-1650

222. A Litany

DROP, drop, slow tears,
  And bathe those beauteous feet
Which brought from Heaven
  The news and Prince of Peace:
Cease not, wet eyes,
  His mercy to entreat;
To cry for vengeance
  Sin doth never cease.
In your deep floods
  Drown all my faults and fears;
Nor let His eye
  See sin, but through my tears.


Sir John Beaumont. 1583-1627

223. Of his Dear Son, Gervase

DEAR Lord, receive my son, whose winning love
To me was like a friendship, far above
The course of nature or his tender age;
Whose looks could all my bitter griefs assuage:
Let his pure soul, ordain'd seven years to be
In that frail body which was part of me,
Remain my pledge in Heaven, as sent to show
How to this port at every step I go.


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

224. Invocation

    PHOEBUS, arise!
    And paint the sable skies
With azure, white, and red;
Rouse Memnon's mother from her Tithon's bed,
That she thy career may with roses spread;
The nightingales thy coming each-where sing;
Make an eternal spring!
Give life to this dark world which lieth dead;
Spread forth thy golden hair
In larger locks than thou wast wont before,
And emperor-like decore
With diadem of pearl thy temples fair:
Chase hence the ugly night
Which serves but to make dear thy glorious light.
This is that happy morn,
That day, long wished day
Of all my life so dark
(If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn
And fates not hope betray),
Which, only white, deserves
A diamond for ever should it mark:
This is the morn should bring into this grove
My Love, to hear and recompense my love.
Fair King, who all preserves,
But show thy blushing beams,
And thou two sweeter eyes
Shalt see than those which by Peneus' streams
Did once thy heart surprise:
Nay, suns, which shine as clear
As thou when two thou did to Rome appear.
Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise:
If that ye, winds, would hear
A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre,
Your stormy chiding stay;
Let zephyr only breathe
And with her tresses play,
Kissing sometimes these purple ports of death.

The winds all silent are;
And Phoebus in his chair
Ensaffroning sea and air
Makes vanish every star:
Night like a drunkard reels
Beyond the hills to shun his flaming wheels:
The fields with flowers are deck'd in every hue,
The clouds bespangle with bright gold their blue:
Here is the pleasant place--
And everything, save Her, who all should grace.


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

225. Madrigal

    LIKE the Idalian queen,
    Her hair about her eyne,
With neck and breast's ripe apples to be seen,
    At first glance of the morn
In Cyprus' gardens gathering those fair flow'rs
    Which of her blood were born,
I saw, but fainting saw, my paramours.
The Graces naked danced about the place,
    The winds and trees amazed
    With silence on her gazed,
The flowers did smile, like those upon her face;
And as their aspen stalks those fingers band,
    That she might read my case,
A hyacinth I wish'd me in her hand.

paramours] = sing.  paramour.  band] bound.


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

226. Spring Bereaved 1

    THAT zephyr every year
    So soon was heard to sigh in forests here,
It was for her: that wrapp'd in gowns of green
    Meads were so early seen,
That in the saddest months oft sung the merles,
It was for her; for her trees dropp'd forth pearls.
    That proud and stately courts
Did envy those our shades and calm resorts,
It was for her; and she is gone, O woe!
    Woods cut again do grow,
Bud doth the rose and daisy, winter done;
But we, once dead, no more do see the sun.


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

227. Spring Bereaved 2

SWEET Spring, thou turn'st with all thy goodly train,
Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with flow'rs:
The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their show'rs.
Thou turn'st, sweet youth, but ah! my pleasant hours
And happy days with thee come not again;
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee turn, which turn my sweets in sours.
Thou art the same which still thou wast before,
Delicious, wanton, amiable, fair;
But she, whose breath embalm'd thy wholesome air,
Is gone--nor gold nor gems her can restore.
  Neglected virtue, seasons go and come,
  While thine forgot lie closed in a tomb.


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

228. Spring Bereaved 3

ALEXIS, here she stay'd; among these pines,
Sweet hermitress, she did alone repair;
Here did she spread the treasure of her hair,
More rich than that brought from the Colchian mines.
She set her by these musked eglantines,
--The happy place the print seems yet to bear:
Her voice did sweeten here thy sugar'd lines,
To which winds, trees, beasts, birds, did lend their ear.
Me here she first perceived, and here a morn
Of bright carnations did o'erspread her face;
Here did she sigh, here first my hopes were born,
And I first got a pledge of promised grace:
  But ah! what served it to be happy so?
  Sith passed pleasures double but new woe?


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

229. Her Passing

    THE beauty and the life
    Of life's and beauty's fairest paragon
--O tears! O grief!--hung at a feeble thread
To which pale Atropos had set her knife;
    The soul with many a groan
    Had left each outward part,
And now did take his last leave of the heart:
Naught else did want, save death, ev'n to be dead;
When the afflicted band about her bed,
Seeing so fair him come in lips, cheeks, eyes,
Cried, 'Ah! and can Death enter Paradise?'


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

230. Inexorable

    MY thoughts hold mortal strife;
    I do detest my life,
    And with lamenting cries
    Peace to my soul to bring
Oft call that prince which here doth monarchise:
    --But he, grim-grinning King,
Who caitiffs scorns, and doth the blest surprise,
Late having deck'd with beauty's rose his tomb,
Disdains to crop a weed, and will not come.


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

231. Change should breed Change

    NEW doth the sun appear,
    The mountains' snows decay,
Crown'd with frail flowers forth comes the baby year.
    My soul, time posts away;
    And thou yet in that frost
    Which flower and fruit hath lost,
As if all here immortal were, dost stay.
    For shame! thy powers awake,
Look to that Heaven which never night makes black,
And there at that immortal sun's bright rays,
Deck thee with flowers which fear not rage of days!


William Drummond, of Hawthornden. 1585-1649

232. Saint John Baptist

THE last and greatest Herald of Heaven's King,
Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he than man more harmless found and mild.
His food was locusts, and what young doth spring
With honey that from virgin hives distill'd;
Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled.
There burst he forth: 'All ye, whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn;
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn!'
--Who listen'd to his voice, obey'd his cry?
    Only the echoes, which he made relent,
    Rung from their marble caves 'Repent! Repent!'


Giles Fletcher. 158?-1623

233. Wooing Song

LOVE is the blossom where there blows
Every thing that lives or grows:
Love doth make the Heav'ns to move,
And the Sun doth burn in love:
Love the strong and weak doth yoke,
And makes the ivy climb the oak,
Under whose shadows lions wild,
Soften'd by love, grow tame and mild:
Love no med'cine can appease,
He burns the fishes in the seas:
Not all the skill his wounds can stench,
Not all the sea his fire can quench.
Love did make the bloody spear
Once a leavy coat to wear,
While in his leaves there shrouded lay
Sweet birds, for love that sing and play
And of all love's joyful flame
I the bud and blossom am.
    Only bend thy knee to me,
    Thy wooing shall thy winning be!

See, see the flowers that below
Now as fresh as morning blow;
And of all the virgin rose
That as bright Aurora shows;
How they all unleaved die,
Losing their virginity!
Like unto a summer shade,
But now born, and now they fade.
Every thing doth pass away;
There is danger in delay:
Come, come, gather then the rose,
Gather it, or it you lose!
All the sand of Tagus' shore
Into my bosom casts his ore:
All the valleys' swimming corn
To my house is yearly borne:
Every grape of every vine
Is gladly bruised to make me wine:
While ten thousand kings, as proud,
To carry up my train have bow'd,
And a world of ladies send me
In my chambers to attend me:
All the stars in Heav'n that shine,
And ten thousand more, are mine:
    Only bend thy knee to me,
    Thy wooing shall thy winning be!


Francis Beaumont. 1586-1616

234. On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey

MORTALITY, behold and fear!
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within this heap of stones:
Here they lie had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands:
Where from their pulpits seal'd with dust
They preach, 'In greatness is no trust.'
Here 's an acre sown indeed
With the richest, royall'st seed
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin:
Here the bones of birth have cried--
'Though gods they were, as men they died.'
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings;
Here 's a world of pomp and state,
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.


John Ford. 1586-1639

235. Dawn

FLY hence, shadows, that do keep
Watchful sorrows charm'd in sleep!
Tho' the eyes be overtaken,
Yet the heart doth ever waken
Thoughts chain'd up in busy snares
Of continual woes and cares:
Love and griefs are so exprest
As they rather sigh than rest.
    Fly hence, shadows, that do keep
    Watchful sorrows charm'd in sleep!


George Wither. 1588-1667

236. I loved a Lass

I LOVED a lass, a fair one,
  As fair as e'er was seen;
She was indeed a rare one,
  Another Sheba Queen:
But, fool as then I was,
  I thought she loved me too:
But now, alas! she 's left me,
  Falero, lero, loo!

Her hair like gold did glister,
  Each eye was like a star,
She did surpass her sister,
  Which pass'd all others far;
She would me honey call,
  She'd--O she'd kiss me too!
But now, alas! she 's left me,
  Falero, lero, loo!

Many a merry meeting
  My love and I have had;
She was my only sweeting,
  She made my heart full glad;
The tears stood in her eyes
  Like to the morning dew:
But now, alas! she 's left me,
  Falero, lero, loo!

Her cheeks were like the cherry,
  Her skin was white as snow;
When she was blithe and merry
  She angel-like did show;
Her waist exceeding small,
  The fives did fit her shoe:
But now, alas! she 's left me,
  Falero, lero, loo!

In summer time or winter
  She had her heart's desire;
I still did scorn to stint her
  From sugar, sack, or fire;
The world went round about,
  No cares we ever knew:
But now, alas! she 's left me,
  Falero, lero, loo!

To maidens' vows and swearing
  Henceforth no credit give;
You may give them the hearing,
  But never them believe;
They are as false as fair,
  Unconstant, frail, untrue:
For mine, alas! hath left me,
  Falero, lero, loo!


George Wither. 1588-1667

237. The Lover's Resolution

SHALL I, wasting in despair,
Die because a woman 's fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flow'ry meads in May,
  If she think not well of me,
  What care I how fair she be?

Shall my silly heart be pined
'Cause I see a woman kind?
Or a well disposed nature
Joined with a lovely feature?
Be she meeker, kinder, than
Turtle-dove or pelican,
  If she be not so to me,
  What care I how kind she be?

Shall a woman's virtues move
Me to perish for her love?
Or her well-deservings known
Make me quite forget my own?
Be she with that goodness blest
Which may merit name of Best,
  If she be not such to me,
  What care I how good she be?

'Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die?
She that bears a noble mind,
If not outward helps she find,
Thinks what with them he would do
That without them dares her woo;
  And unless that mind I see,
  What care I how great she be?

Great, or good, or kind, or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go;
  For if she be not for me,
  What care I for whom she be?


George Wither. 1588-1667

238. The Choice

ME so oft my fancy drew
Here and there, that I ne'er knew
Where to place desire before
So that range it might no more;
But as he that passeth by
Where, in all her jollity,
Flora's riches in a row
Do in seemly order grow,
And a thousand flowers stand
Bending as to kiss his hand;
Out of which delightful store
One he may take and no more;
Long he pausing doubteth whether
Of those fair ones he should gather.

First the Primrose courts his eyes,
Then the Cowslip he espies;
Next the Pansy seems to woo him,
Then Carnations bow unto him;
Which whilst that enamour'd swain
From the stalk intends to strain,
(As half-fearing to be seen)
Prettily her leaves between
Peeps the Violet, pale to see
That her virtues slighted be;
Which so much his liking wins
That to seize her he begins.

Yet before he stoop'd so low
He his wanton eye did throw
On a stem that grew more high,
And the Rose did there espy.
Who, beside her previous scent,
To procure his eyes content
Did display her goodly breast,
Where he found at full exprest
All the good that Nature showers
On a thousand other flowers;
Wherewith he affected takes it,
His beloved flower he makes it,
And without desire of more
Walks through all he saw before.

So I wand'ring but erewhile
Through the garden of this Isle,
Saw rich beauties, I confess,
And in number numberless.
Yea, so differing lovely too,
That I had a world to do
Ere I could set up my rest,
Where to choose and choose the best.

Thus I fondly fear'd, till Fate
(Which I must confess in that
Did a greater favour to me
Than the world can malice do me)
Show'd to me that matchless flower,
Subject for this song of our;
Whose perfection having eyed,
Reason instantly espied
That Desire, which ranged abroad,
There would find a period:
And no marvel if it might,
For it there hath all delight,
And in her hath nature placed
What each several fair one graced.

Let who list, for me, advance
The admired flowers of France,
Let who will praise and behold
The reserved Marigold;
Let the sweet-breath'd Violet now
Unto whom she pleaseth bow;
And the fairest Lily spread
Where she will her golden head;
I have such a flower to wear
That for those I do not care.

Let the young and happy swains
Playing on the Britain plains
Court unblamed their shepherdesses,
And with their gold curled tresses
Toy uncensured, until I
Grudge at their prosperity.

Let all times, both present, past,
And the age that shall be last,
Vaunt the beauties they bring forth.
I have found in one such worth,
That content I neither care
What the best before me were;
Nor desire to live and see
Who shall fair hereafter be;
For I know the hand of Nature
Will not make a fairer creature.


George Wither. 1588-1667

239. A Widow's Hymn

HOW near me came the hand of Death,
  When at my side he struck my dear,
And took away the precious breath
  Which quicken'd my beloved peer!
    How helpless am I thereby made!
    By day how grieved, by night how sad!
And now my life's delight is gone,
--Alas! how am I left alone!

The voice which I did more esteem
  Than music in her sweetest key,
Those eyes which unto me did seem
  More comfortable than the day;
    Those now by me, as they have been,
    Shall never more be heard or seen;
But what I once enjoy'd in them
Shall seem hereafter as a dream.

Lord! keep me faithful to the trust
  Which my dear spouse reposed in me:
To him now dead preserve me just
  In all that should performed be!
    For though our being man and wife
    Extendeth only to this life,
Yet neither life nor death should end
The being of a faithful friend.

peer] companion.


William Browne, of Tavistock. 1588-1643

240. A Welcome

WELCOME, welcome! do I sing,
Far more welcome than the spring;
He that parteth from you never
Shall enjoy a spring for ever.

He that to the voice is near
  Breaking from your iv'ry pale,
Need not walk abroad to hear
  The delightful nightingale.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

He that looks still on your eyes,
  Though the winter have begun
To benumb our arteries,
  Shall not want the summer's sun.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

He that still may see your cheeks,
  Where all rareness still reposes,
Is a fool if e'er he seeks
  Other lilies, other roses.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

He to whom your soft lip yields,
  And perceives your breath in kissing,
All the odours of the fields
  Never, never shall be missing.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

He that question would anew
  What fair Eden was of old,
Let him rightly study you,
  And a brief of that behold.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...


William Browne, of Tavistock. 1588-1643

241. The Sirens' Song

STEER, hither steer your winged pines,
    All beaten mariners!
Here lie Love's undiscover'd mines,
    A prey to passengers--
Perfumes far sweeter than the best
Which make the Phoenix' urn and nest.
    Fear not your ships,
Nor any to oppose you save our lips;
    But come on shore,
Where no joy dies till Love hath gotten more.

For swelling waves our panting breasts,
    Where never storms arise,
Exchange, and be awhile our guests:
    For stars gaze on our eyes.
The compass Love shall hourly sing,
And as he goes about the ring,
    We will not miss
To tell each point he nameth with a kiss.
    --Then come on shore,
Where no joy dies till Love hath gotten more.


William Browne, of Tavistock. 1588-1643

242. The Rose

A ROSE, as fair as ever saw the North,
Grew in a little garden all alone;
A sweeter flower did Nature ne'er put forth,
Nor fairer garden yet was never known:
The maidens danced about it morn and noon,
And learned bards of it their ditties made;
The nimble fairies by the pale-faced moon
Water'd the root and kiss'd her pretty shade.
But well-a-day!--the gardener careless grew;
The maids and fairies both were kept away,
And in a drought the caterpillars threw
Themselves upon the bud and every spray.
  God shield the stock! If heaven send no supplies,
  The fairest blossom of the garden dies.


William Browne, of Tavistock. 1588-1643

243. Song

FOR her gait, if she be walking;
Be she sitting, I desire her
For her state's sake; and admire her
For her wit if she be talking;
    Gait and state and wit approve her;
    For which all and each I love her.

Be she sullen, I commend her
For a modest. Be she merry,
For a kind one her prefer I.
Briefly, everything doth lend her
    So much grace, and so approve her,
    That for everything I love her.


William Browne, of Tavistock. 1588-1643

244. Memory

SO shuts the marigold her leaves
  At the departure of the sun;
So from the honeysuckle sheaves
  The bee goes when the day is done;
So sits the turtle when she is but one,
And so all woe, as I since she is gone.

To some few birds kind Nature hath
  Made all the summer as one day:
Which once enjoy'd, cold winter's wrath
  As night they sleeping pass away.
Those happy creatures are, that know not yet
The pain to be deprived or to forget.

I oft have heard men say there be
  Some that with confidence profess
The helpful Art of Memory:
  But could they teach Forgetfulness,
I'd learn; and try what further art could do
To make me love her and forget her too.


William Browne, of Tavistock. 1588-1643

245. In Obitum M.S. Xo Maij, 1614
Epitaphs

MAY! Be thou never graced with birds that sing,
          Nor Flora's pride!
In thee all flowers and roses spring,
          Mine only died.


William Browne, of Tavistock. 1588-1643

246. On the Countess Dowager of Pembroke
Epitaphs

UNDERNEATH this sable herse
Lies the subject of all verse:
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother:
Death, ere thou hast slain another
Fair and learn'd and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

247. Corinna's going a-Maying

GET up, get up for shame! The blooming morn
    Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
    See how Aurora throws her fair
    Fresh-quilted colours through the air:
    Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
    The dew bespangling herb and tree!
Each flower has wept and bow'd 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,
Whereas 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 trimm'd 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 despatch'd their cakes and cream,
    Before that we have left to dream:
And some have wept and woo'd, 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 pick'd: yet we're not a-Maying!

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 drown'd with us in endless night.
Then, while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna, come, let 's go a-Maying.

beads] prayers.  green-gown] tumble on the grass.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

248. To the Virgins, to make much of Time

GATHER ye rosebuds 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 heaven, the sun,
  The higher he 's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
  And nearer he 's to setting.

That 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.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
  And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
  You may for ever tarry.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

249. To the Western Wind

SWEET western wind, whose luck it is,
  Made rival with the air,
To give Perenna's lip a kiss,
  And fan her wanton hair:

Bring me but one, I'll promise thee,
  Instead of common showers,
Thy wings shall be embalm'd by me,
  And all beset with flowers.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

250. To Electra

I DARE not ask a kiss,
  I dare not beg a smile,
Lest having that, or this,
  I might grow proud the while.

No, no, the utmost share
  Of my desire shall be
Only to kiss that air
  That lately kissed thee.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

251. To Violets

WELCOME, maids of honour!
    You do bring
    In the spring,
And wait upon her.

She has virgins many,
    Fresh and fair;
    Yet you are
More sweet than any.

You're the maiden posies,
    And so graced
    To be placed
'Fore damask roses.

Yet, though thus respected,
    By-and-by
    Ye do lie,
Poor girls, neglected.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

252. To Daffodils

FAIR daffodils, we weep to see
  You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
  Has not attain'd his noon.
        Stay, stay
    Until the hasting day
        Has run
    But to the evensong;
And, having pray'd together, we
    Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
  We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
  As you, or anything.
        We die
    As your hours do, and dry
        Away
    Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
    Ne'er to be found again.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

253. To Blossoms

FAIR pledges of a fruitful tree,
  Why do ye fall so fast?
  Your date is not so past
But you may stay yet here awhile
  To blush and gently smile,
      And go at last.

What! were ye born to be
  An hour or half's delight,
  And so to bid good night?
'Twas pity Nature brought you forth
  Merely to show your worth
      And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
  May read how soon things have
  Their end, though ne'er so brave:
And after they have shown their pride
  Like you awhile, they glide
      Into the grave.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

254. The Primrose

ASK me why I send you here
This sweet Infanta of the year?
Ask me why I send to you
This primrose, thus bepearl'd with dew?
I will whisper to your ears:--
The sweets of love are mix'd with tears.

Ask me why this flower does show
So yellow-green, and sickly too?
Ask me why the stalk is weak
And bending (yet it doth not break)?
I will answer:--These discover
What fainting hopes are in a lover.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

255. The Funeral Rites of the Rose

THE Rose was sick and smiling died;
And, being to be sanctified,
About the bed there sighing stood
The sweet and flowery sisterhood:
Some hung the head, while some did bring,
To wash her, water from the spring;
Some laid her forth, while others wept,
But all a solemn fast there kept:
The holy sisters, some among,
The sacred dirge and trental sung.
But ah! what sweet smelt everywhere,
As Heaven had spent all perfumes there.
At last, when prayers for the dead
And rites were all accomplished,
They, weeping, spread a lawny loom,
And closed her up as in a tomb.

trental] services for the dead, of thirty masses.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

256. Cherry-Ripe

CHERRY-RIPE, ripe, ripe, I cry,
Full and fair ones; come and buy.
If so be you ask me where
They do grow, I answer: There
Where my Julia's lips do smile;
There 's the land, or cherry-isle,
Whose plantations fully show
All the year where cherries grow.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

257. A Meditation for his Mistress

YOU are a tulip seen to-day,
But, dearest, of so short a stay
That where you grew scarce man can say.

You are a lovely July-flower,
Yet one rude wind or ruffling shower
Will force you hence, and in an hour.

You are a sparkling rose i' th' bud,
Yet lost ere that chaste flesh and blood
Can show where you or grew or stood.

You are a full-spread, fair-set vine,
And can with tendrils love entwine,
Yet dried ere you distil your wine.

You are like balm enclosed well
In amber or some crystal shell,
Yet lost ere you transfuse your smell.

You are a dainty violet,
Yet wither'd ere you can be set
Within the virgin's coronet.

You are the queen all flowers among;
But die you must, fair maid, ere long,
As he, the maker of this song.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

258. Delight in Disorder

A SWEET disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction:
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher:
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly:
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat:
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

259. Upon Julia's Clothes

WHENAS in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
The liquefaction of her clothes!

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
--O how that glittering taketh me!


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

260. The Bracelet: To Julia

WHY I tie about thy wrist,
Julia, this silken twist;
For what other reason is 't
But to show thee how, in part,
Thou my pretty captive art?
But thy bond-slave is my heart:
'Tis but silk that bindeth thee,
Knap the thread and thou art free;
But 'tis otherwise with me:
--I am bound and fast bound, so
That from thee I cannot go;
If I could, I would not so.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

261. To Daisies, not to shut so soon

SHUT not so soon; the dull-eyed night
  Has not as yet begun
To make a seizure on the light,
  Or to seal up the sun.

No marigolds yet closed are,
  No shadows great appear;
Nor doth the early shepherd's star
  Shine like a spangle here.

Stay but till my Julia close
  Her life-begetting eye,
And let the whole world then dispose
  Itself to live or die.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

262. The Night-piece: To Julia

HER eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
The shooting stars attend thee;
    And the elves also,
    Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.

No Will-o'-the-wisp mislight thee,
Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee;
    But on, on thy way
    Not making a stay,
Since ghost there 's none to affright thee.

Let not the dark thee cumber:
What though the moon does slumber?
    The stars of the night
    Will lend thee their light
Like tapers clear without number.

Then, Julia, let me woo thee,
Thus, thus to come unto me;
    And when I shall meet
    Thy silv'ry feet,
My soul I'll pour into thee.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

263. To Music, to becalm his Fever

CHARM me asleep, and melt me so
  With thy delicious numbers,
That, being ravish'd, hence I go
  Away in easy slumbers.
      Ease my sick head,
      And make my bed,
  Thou power that canst sever
      From me this ill,
      And quickly still,
      Though thou not kill
        My fever.

Thou sweetly canst convert the same
  From a consuming fire
Into a gentle licking flame,
  And make it thus expire.
      Then make me weep
      My pains asleep;
And give me such reposes
      That I, poor I,
      May think thereby
      I live and die
        'Mongst roses.

Fall on me like the silent dew,
  Or like those maiden showers
Which, by the peep of day, do strew
  A baptim o'er the flowers.
      Melt, melt my pains
      With thy soft strains;
That, having ease me given,
      With full delight
      I leave this light,
      And take my flight
        For Heaven.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

264. To Dianeme

SWEET, be not proud of those two eyes
Which starlike sparkle in their skies;
Nor be you proud that you can see
All hearts your captives, yours yet free;
Be you not proud of that rich hair
Which wantons with the love-sick air;
Whenas that ruby which you wear,
Sunk from the tip of your soft ear,
Will last to be a precious stone
When all your world of beauty's gone.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

265. To Oenone

WHAT conscience, say, is it in thee,
  When I a heart had one,
To take away that heart from me,
  And to retain thy own?

For shame or pity now incline
  To play a loving part;
Either to send me kindly thine,
  Or give me back my heart.

Covet not both; but if thou dost
  Resolve to part with neither,
Why, yet to show that thou art just,
  Take me and mine together!


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

266. 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 will I 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.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

267. To the Willow-tree

THOU art to all lost love the best,
  The only true plant found,
Wherewith young men and maids distrest,
  And left of love, are crown'd.

When once the lover's rose is dead,
  Or laid aside forlorn:
Then willow-garlands 'bout the head
  Bedew'd with tears are worn.

When with neglect, the lovers' bane,
  Poor maids rewarded be
For their love lost, their only gain
  Is but a wreath from thee.

And underneath thy cooling shade,
  When weary of the light,
The love-spent youth and love-sick maid
  Come to weep out the night.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

268. The Mad Maid's Song

GOOD-MORROW to the day so fair,
  Good-morning, sir, to you;
Good-morrow to mine own torn hair
  Bedabbled with the dew.

Good-morning to this primrose too,
  Good-morrow to each maid
That will with flowers the tomb bestrew
  Wherein my love is laid.

Ah! woe is me, woe, woe is me!
  Alack and well-a-day!
For pity, sir, find out that bee
  Which bore my love away.

I'll seek him in your bonnet brave,
  I'll seek him in your eyes;
Nay, now I think they've made his grave
  I' th' bed of strawberries.

I'll seek him there; I know ere this
  The cold, cold earth doth shake him;
But I will go, or send a kiss
  By you, sir, to awake him.

Pray hurt him not; though he be dead,
  He knows well who do love him,
And who with green turfs rear his head,
  And who do rudely move him.

He 's soft and tender (pray take heed);
  With bands of cowslips bind him,
And bring him home--but 'tis decreed
  That I shall never find him!


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

269. Comfort to a Youth that had lost his Love

WHAT needs complaints,
When she a place
Has with the race
  Of saints?

In endless mirth
She thinks not on
What 's said or done
  In Earth.

She sees no tears,
Or any tone
Of thy deep groan
  She hears:

Nor does she mind
Or think on 't now
That ever thou
  Wast kind;

But changed above,
She likes not there,
As she did here,
  Thy love.

Forbear therefore,
And lull asleep
Thy woes, and weep
  No more.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

270. To Meadows

YE have been fresh and green,
  Ye have been fill'd with flowers,
And ye the walks have been
  Where maids have spent their hours.

You have beheld how they
  With wicker arks did come
To kiss and bear away
  The richer cowslips home.

You've heard them sweetly sing,
  And seen them in a round:
Each virgin like a spring,
  With honeysuckles crown'd.

But now we see none here
  Whose silv'ry feet did tread
And with dishevell'd hair
  Adorn'd this smoother mead.

Like unthrifts, having spent
  Your stock and needy grown,
You're left here to lament
  Your poor estates, alone.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

271. A Child's Grace

HERE a little child I stand
Heaving up my either hand;
Cold as paddocks though they be,
Here I lift them up to Thee,
For a benison to fall
On our meat and on us all. Amen.

paddocks] frogs.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

272. Epitaph
upon a Child that died

HERE she lies, a pretty bud,
Lately made of flesh and blood:
Who as soon fell fast asleep
As her little eyes did peep.
Give her strewings, but not stir
The earth that lightly covers her.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

273. Another

HERE a pretty baby lies
Sung asleep with lullabies:
Pray be silent and not stir
Th' easy earth that covers her.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

274. His Winding-sheet

COME thou, who are the wine and wit
      Of all I've writ:
The grace, the glory, and the best
      Piece of the rest.
Thou art of what I did intend
      The all and end;
And what was made, was made to meet
      Thee, thee, my sheet.
Come then and be to my chaste side
      Both bed and bride:
We two, as reliques left, will have
      Once rest, one grave:
And hugging close, we will not fear
      Lust entering here:
Where all desires are dead and cold
      As is the mould;
And all affections are forgot,
      Or trouble not.
Here, here, the slaves and prisoners be
      From shackles free:
And weeping widows long oppress'd
      Do here find rest.
The wronged client ends his laws
      Here, and his cause.
Here those long suits of Chancery lie
      Quiet, or die:
And all Star-Chamber bills do cease
      Or hold their peace.
Here needs no Court for our Request
      Where all are best,
All wise, all equal, and all just
      Alike i' th' dust.
Nor need we here to fear the frown
      Of court or crown:
Where fortune bears no sway o'er things,
      There all are kings.
In this securer place we'll keep
      As lull'd asleep;
Or for a little time we'll lie
      As robes laid by;
To be another day re-worn,
      Turn'd, but not torn:
Or like old testaments engross'd,
      Lock'd up, not lost.
And for a while lie here conceal'd,
      To be reveal'd
Next at the great Platonick year,
      And then meet here.

Platonick year] the perfect or cyclic year, when the sun, moon, and
five planets end their revolutions together and start anew. See
Timaeus, p. 39.


Robert Herrick. 1591-1674

275. Litany to the Holy Spirit

IN the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When I lie within my bed,
Sick in heart and sick in head,
And with doubts discomforted,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the house doth sigh and weep,
And the world is drown'd in sleep,
Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the passing bell doth toll,
And the Furies in a shoal
Come to fright a parting soul,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the tapers now burn blue,
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the priest his last hath pray'd,
And I nod to what is said,
'Cause my speech is now decay'd,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When, God knows, I'm toss'd about
Either with despair or doubt;
Yet before the glass be out,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the tempter me pursu'th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half damns me with untruth,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the flames and hellish cries
Fright mine ears and fright mine eyes,
And all terrors me surprise,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the Judgment is reveal'd,
And that open'd which was seal'd,
When to Thee I have appeal'd,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me!


Francis Quarles. 1592-1644

276. A Divine Rapture

E'EN like two little bank-dividing brooks,
  That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams,
And having ranged and search'd a thousand nooks,
  Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames,
    Where in a greater current they conjoin:
So I my Best-beloved's am; so He is mine.

E'en so we met; and after long pursuit,
  E'en so we joined; we both became entire;
No need for either to renew a suit,
  For I was flax, and He was flames of fire:
    Our firm-united souls did more than twine;
So I my Best-beloved's am; so He is mine.

If all those glittering Monarchs, that command
  The servile quarters of this earthly ball,
Should tender in exchange their shares of land,
  I would not change my fortunes for them all:
     Their wealth is but a counter to my coin:
The world 's but theirs; but my Beloved's mine.


Francis Quarles. 1592-1644

277. Respice Finem
Epigram

MY soul, sit thou a patient looker-on;
Judge not the play before the play is done:
Her plot hath many changes; every day
Speaks a new scene; the last act crowns the play.


Henry King, Bishop of Chichester. 1592-1669

278. A Contemplation upon Flowers

BRAVE flowers--that I could gallant it like you,
      And be as little vain!
You come abroad, and make a harmless show,
      And to your beds of earth again.
You are not proud: you know your birth:
For your embroider'd garments are from earth.

You do obey your months and times, but I
      Would have it ever Spring:
My fate would know no Winter, never die,
      Nor think of such a thing.
O that I could my bed of earth but view
And smile, and look as cheerfully as you!

O teach me to see Death and not to fear,
      But rather to take truce!
How often have I seen you at a bier,
      And there look fresh and spruce!
You fragrant flowers! then teach me, that my breath
Like yours may sweeten and perfume my death.


Henry King, Bishop of Chichester. 1592-1669

279. A Renunciation

WE, that did nothing study but the way
To love each other, with which thoughts the day
Rose with delight to us and with them set,
Must learn the hateful art, how to forget.
We, that did nothing wish that Heaven could give
Beyond ourselves, nor did desire to live
Beyond that wish, all these now cancel must,
As if not writ in faith, but words and dust.
Yet witness those clear vows which lovers make,
Witness the chaste desires that never brake
Into unruly heats; witness that breast
Which in thy bosom anchor'd his whole rest--
'Tis no default in us: I dare acquite
Thy maiden faith, thy purpose fair and white
As thy pure self. Cross planets did envy
Us to each other, and Heaven did untie
Faster than vows could bind. Oh, that the stars,
When lovers meet, should stand opposed in wars!

Since then some higher Destinies command,
Let us not strive, nor labour to withstand
What is past help. The longest date of grief
Can never yield a hope of our relief:
Fold back our arms; take home our fruitless loves,
That must new fortunes try, like turtle-doves
Dislodged from their haunts. We must in tears
Unwind a love knit up in many years.
In this last kiss I here surrender thee
Back to thyself.--So, thou again art free:
Thou in another, sad as that, resend
The truest heart that lover e'er did lend.
Now turn from each: so fare our sever'd hearts
As the divorced soul from her body parts.


Henry King, Bishop of Chichester. 1592-1669

280. Exequy on his Wife

ACCEPT, thou shrine of my dead saint,
Instead of dirges this complaint;
And for sweet flowers to crown thy herse
Receive a strew of weeping verse
From thy grieved friend, whom thou might'st see
Quite melted into tears for thee.
  Dear loss! since thy untimely fate,
My task hath been to meditate
On thee, on thee! Thou art the book,
The library whereon I look,
Tho' almost blind. For thee, loved clay,
I languish out, not live, the day....
Thou hast benighted me; thy set
This eve of blackness did beget,
Who wast my day (tho' overcast
Before thou hadst thy noontide past):
And I remember must in tears
Thou scarce hadst seen so many years
As day tells hours. By thy clear sun
My love and fortune first did run;
But thou wilt never more appear
Folded within my hemisphere,
Since both thy light and motion,
Like a fled star, is fall'n and gone,
And 'twixt me and my soul's dear wish
The earth now interposed is....
  I could allow thee for a time
To darken me and my sad clime;
Were it a month, a year, or ten,
I would thy exile live till then,
And all that space my mirth adjourn--
So thou wouldst promise to return,
And putting off thy ashy shroud
At length disperse this sorrow's cloud.
  But woe is me! the longest date
Too narrow is to calculate
These empty hopes: never shall I
Be so much blest as to descry
A glimpse of thee, till that day come
Which shall the earth to cinders doom,
And a fierce fever must calcine
The body of this world--like thine,
My little world! That fit of fire
Once off, our bodies shall aspire
To our souls' bliss: then we shall rise
And view ourselves with clearer eyes
In that calm region where no night
Can hide us from each other's sight.
  Meantime thou hast her, earth: much good
May my harm do thee! Since it stood
With Heaven's will I might not call
Her longer mine, I give thee all
My short-lived right and interest
In her whom living I loved best.
Be kind to her, and prithee look
Thou write into thy Doomsday book
Each parcel of this rarity
Which in thy casket shrined doth lie,
As thou wilt answer Him that lent--
Not gave--thee my dear monument.
So close the ground, and 'bout her shade
Black curtains draw: my bride is laid.
  Sleep on, my Love, in thy cold bed
Never to be disquieted!
My last good-night! Thou wilt not wake
Till I thy fate shall overtake:
Till age, or grief, or sickness must
Marry my body to that dust
It so much loves; and fill the room
My heart keeps empty in thy tomb.
Stay for me there: I will not fail
To meet thee in that hollow vale.
And think not much of my delay:
I am already on the way,
And follow thee with all the speed
Desire can make, or sorrows breed.
Each minute is a short degree
And every hour a step towards thee....
  'Tis true--with shame and grief I yield--
Thou, like the van, first took'st the field;
And gotten hast the victory
In thus adventuring to die
Before me, whose more years might crave
A just precedence in the grave.
But hark! my pulse, like a soft drum,
Beats my approach, tells thee I come;
And slow howe'er my marches be
I shall at last sit down by thee.
  The thought of this bids me go on
And wait my dissolution
With hope and comfort. Dear--forgive
The crime--I am content to live
Divided, with but half a heart,
Till we shall meet and never part.


George Herbert. 1593-1632

281. Virtue

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 season'd timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
      Then chiefly lives.


George Herbert. 1593-1632

282. Easter

I GOT me flowers to straw Thy way,
  I got me boughs off many a tree;
But Thou wast up by break of day,
  And brought'st Thy sweets along with Thee.

Yet though my flowers be lost, they say
  A heart can never come too late;
Teach it to sing Thy praise this day,
  And then this day my life shall date.


George Herbert. 1593-1632

283. Discipline

THROW away Thy rod,
Throw away Thy wrath;
      O my God,
Take the gentle path!

For my heart's desire
Unto Thine is bent:
      I aspire
To a full consent.

Not a word or look
I affect to own,
      But by book,
And Thy Book alone.

Though I fail, I weep;
Though I halt in pace,
      Yet I creep
To the throne of grace.

Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed;
      For with love
Stony hearts will bleed.

Love is swift of foot;
Love 's a man of war,
      And can shoot,
And can hit from far.

Who can 'scape his bow?
That which wrought on Thee,
      Brought Thee low,
Needs must work on me.

Throw away Thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,
      Thou art God:
Throw away Thy wrath!


George Herbert. 1593-1632

284. A Dialogue

Man. SWEETEST Saviour, if my soul
  Were but worth the having,
Quickly should I then control
  Any thought of waving.
But when all my care and pains
Cannot give the name of gains
To Thy wretch so full of stains,
What delight or hope remains?

Saviour. What, child, is the balance thine,
  Thine the poise and measure?
If I say, 'Thou shalt be Mine,'
  Finger not My treasure.
What the gains in having thee
Do amount to, only He
Who for man was sold can see;
That transferr'd th' accounts to Me.

Man. But as I can see no merit
  Leading to this favour,
So the way to fit me for it
  Is beyond my savour.
As the reason, then, is Thine,
So the way is none of mine;
I disclaim the whole design;
Sin disclaims and I resign.

Saviour. That is all: if that I could
  Get without repining;
And My clay, My creature, would
  Follow My resigning;
That as I did freely part
With My glory and desert,
Left all joys to feel all smart----

Man. Ah, no more! Thou break'st my heart!

savour] savoir, knowing.


George Herbert. 1593-1632

285. The Pulley

      WHEN God at first made Man,
      Having a glass of blessings standing by--
Let us (said He) pour on him all we can;
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
      Contract into a span.

      So strength first made a way,
Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all His treasure,
      Rest in the bottom lay.

      For if I should (said He)
Bestow this jewel also on My creature,
He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
      So both should losers be.

      Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
      May toss him to My breast.


George Herbert. 1593-1632

286. Love

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
      Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
      From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
      If I lack'd anything.

'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
     Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
      I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
      'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
      Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
      'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
      So I did sit and eat.


James Shirley. 1596-1666

287. A Hymn

O FLY, my Soul! What hangs upon
        Thy drooping wings,
        And weighs them down
With love of gaudy mortal things?

The Sun is now i' the east: each shade
        As he doth rise
        Is shorter made,
That earth may lessen to our eyes.

O be not careless then and play
        Until the Star of Peace
Hide all his beams in dark recess!
Poor pilgrims needs must lose their way,
When all the shadows do increase.


James Shirley. 1596-1666

288. Death the Leveller

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 the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.


Thomas Carew. 1595?-1639?

289. Song

ASK me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauty's orient deep
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep.

Ask me no more whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For in pure love heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.

Ask me no more whither doth haste
The nightingale when May is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters and keeps warm her note.

Ask me no more where those stars 'light
That downwards fall in dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixed become as in their sphere.

Ask me no more if east or west
The Phoenix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.


Thomas Carew. 1595?-1639?

290. Persuasions to Joy: a Song

IF the quick spirits in your eye
Now languish and anon must die;
If every sweet and every grace
Must fly from that forsaken face;
    Then, Celia, let us reap our joys
    Ere Time such goodly fruit destroys.

Or if that golden fleece must grow
For ever free from aged snow;
If those bright suns must know no shade,
Nor your fresh beauties ever fade;
    Then fear not, Celia, to bestow
    What, still being gather'd, still must grow.

Thus either Time his sickle brings
In vain, or else in vain his wings.


Thomas Carew. 1595?-1639?

291. To His Inconstant Mistress

WHEN thou, poor Excommunicate
  From all the joys of Love, shalt see
The full reward and glorious fate
  Which my strong faith shall purchase me,
  Then curse thine own inconstancy!

A fairer hand than thine shall cure
  That heart which thy false oaths did wound;
And to my soul a soul more pure
  Than thine shall by Love's hand be bound,
  And both with equal glory crown'd.

Then shalt thou weep, entreat, complain
  To Love, as I did once to thee;
When all thy tears shall be as vain
  As mine were then: for thou shalt be
  Damn'd for thy false apostasy.


Thomas Carew. 1595?-1639?

292. The Unfading Beauty

HE that loves a rosy cheek,
  Or a coral lip admires,
Or from star-like eyes doth seek
  Fuel to maintain his fires:
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.

But a smooth and steadfast mind,
  Gentle thoughts and calm desires,
Hearts with equal love combined,
  Kindle never-dying fires.
Where these are not, I despise
Lovely cheeks or lips or eyes.


Thomas Carew. 1595?-1639?

293. Ingrateful Beauty threatened

KNOW, Celia, since thou art so proud,
  'Twas I that gave thee thy renown.
Thou hadst in the forgotten crowd
  Of common beauties lived unknown,
Had not my verse extoll'd thy name,
And with it imp'd the wings of Fame.

That killing power is none of thine;
  I gave it to thy voice and eyes;
Thy sweets, thy graces, all are mine;
  Thou art my star, shin'st in my skies;
Then dart not from thy borrow'd sphere
Lightning on him that fix'd thee there.

Tempt me with such affrights no more,
  Lest what I made I uncreate;
Let fools thy mystic form adore,
  I know thee in thy mortal state.
Wise poets, that wrapt Truth in tales,
Knew her themselves through all her veils.

imp'd] grafted with new feathers.


Thomas Carew. 1595?-1639?

294. Epitaph
On the Lady Mary Villiers

THE Lady Mary Villiers lies
Under this stone; with weeping eyes
The parents that first gave her birth,
And their sad friends, laid her in earth.
If any of them, Reader, were
Known unto thee, shed a tear;
Or if thyself possess a gem
As dear to thee, as this to them,
Though a stranger to this place,
Bewail in theirs thine own hard case:
  For thou perhaps at thy return
  May'st find thy Darling in an urn.


Thomas Carew. 1595?-1639?

295. Another

THIS little vault, this narrow room,
Of Love and Beauty is the tomb;
The dawning beam, that 'gan to clear
Our clouded sky, lies darken'd here,
For ever set to us: by Death
Sent to enflame the World Beneath.
'Twas but a bud, yet did contain
More sweetness than shall spring again;
A budding Star, that might have grown
Into a Sun when it had blown.
This hopeful Beauty did create
New life in Love's declining state;
But now his empire ends, and we
From fire and wounding darts are free;
  His brand, his bow, let no man fear:
  The flames, the arrows, all lie here.


Jasper Mayne. 1604-1672

296. Time

TIME is the feather'd thing,
    And, whilst I praise
The sparklings of thy looks and call them rays,
              Takes wing,
    Leaving behind him as he flies
An unperceived dimness in thine eyes.
    His minutes, whilst they're told,
        Do make us old;
    And every sand of his fleet glass,
    Increasing age as it doth pass,
    Insensibly sows wrinkles there
    Where flowers and roses do appear.
    Whilst we do speak, our fire
    Doth into ice expire,
        Flames turn to frost;
        And ere we can
    Know how our crow turns swan,
    Or how a silver snow
    Springs there where jet did grow,
Our fading spring is in dull winter lost.
    Since then the Night hath hurl'd
        Darkness, Love's shade,
    Over its enemy the Day, and made
             The world
    Just such a blind and shapeless thing
As 'twas before light did from darkness spring,
    Let us employ its treasure
    And make shade pleasure:
Let 's number out the hours by blisses,
And count the minutes by our kisses;
    Let the heavens new motions feel
    And by our embraces wheel;
    And whilst we try the way
    By which Love doth convey
        Soul unto soul,
        And mingling so
    Makes them such raptures know
    As makes them entranced lie
        In mutual ecstasy,
Let the harmonious spheres in music roll!

William Habington. 1605-1654

297. To Roses in the Bosom of Castara

YE blushing virgins happy are
  In the chaste nunnery of her breasts--
For he'd profane so chaste a fair,
  Whoe'er should call them Cupid's nests.

Transplanted thus how bright ye grow!
  How rich a perfume do ye yield!
In some close garden cowslips so
  Are sweeter than i' th' open field.

In those white cloisters live secure
  From the rude blasts of wanton breath!--
Each hour more innocent and pure,
  Till you shall wither into death.

Then that which living gave you room,
  Your glorious sepulchre shall be.
There wants no marble for a tomb
  Whose breast hath marble been to me.


William Habington. 1605-1654

298. Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam

  WHEN I survey the bright
        Celestial sphere;
So rich with jewels hung, that Night
  Doth like an Ethiop bride appear:

  My soul her wings doth spread
        And heavenward flies,
Th' Almighty's mysteries to read
  In the large volumes of the skies.

  For the bright firmament
        Shoots forth no flame
So silent, but is eloquent
  In speaking the Creator's name.

  No unregarded star
        Contracts its light
Into so small a character,
  Removed far from our human sight,

  But if we steadfast look
        We shall discern
In it, as in some holy book,
  How man may heavenly knowledge learn.

  It tells the conqueror
        That far-stretch'd power,
Which his proud dangers traffic for,
  Is but the triumph of an hour:

  That from the farthest North,
        Some nation may,
Yet undiscover'd, issue forth,
  And o'er his new-got conquest sway:

  Some nation yet shut in
        With hills of ice
May be let out to scourge his sin,
  Till they shall equal him in vice.

  And then they likewise shall
        Their ruin have;
For as yourselves your empires fall,
  And every kingdom hath a grave.

  Thus those celestial fires,
        Though seeming mute,
The fallacy of our desires
  And all the pride of life confute:--

  For they have watch'd since first
        The World had birth:
And found sin in itself accurst,
  And nothing permanent on Earth.


Thomas Randolph. 1605-1635

299. A Devout Lover

I HAVE a mistress, for perfections rare
In every eye, but in my thoughts most fair.
Like tapers on the altar shine her eyes;
Her breath is the perfume of sacrifice;
And wheresoe'er my fancy would begin,
Still her perfection lets religion in.
We sit and talk, and kiss away the hours
As chastely as the morning dews kiss flowers:
I touch her, like my beads, with devout care,
And come unto my courtship as my prayer.


Thomas Randolph. 1605-1635

300. An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford
to hasten Him into the Country

        COME, spur away,
        I have no patience for a longer stay,
        But must go down
    And leave the chargeable noise of this great town:
        I will the country see,
        Where old simplicity,
          Though hid in gray,
          Doth look more gay
    Than foppery in plush and scarlet clad.
      Farewell, you city wits, that are
        Almost at civil war--
'Tis time that I grow wise, when all the world grows mad.

        More of my days
    I will not spend to gain an idiot's praise;
        Or to make sport
    For some slight Puisne of the Inns of Court.
      Then, worthy Stafford, say,
      How shall we spend the day?
        With what delights
        Shorten the nights?
    When from this tumult we are got secure,
      Where mirth with all her freedom goes,
       Yet shall no finger lose;
Where every word is thought, and every thought is pure?

        There from the tree
    We'll cherries pluck, and pick the strawberry;
           And every day
    Go see the wholesome country girls make hay,
      Whose brown hath lovelier grace
      Than any painted face
        That I do know
        Hyde Park can show:
     Where I had rather gain a kiss than meet
      (Though some of them in greater state
        Might court my love with plate)
The beauties of the Cheap, and wives of Lombard Street.

        But think upon
    Some other pleasures: these to me are none.
        Why do I prate
    Of women, that are things against my fate!
        I never mean to wed
        That torture to my bed:
          My Muse is she
          My love shall be.
    Let clowns get wealth and heirs: when I am gone
      And that great bugbear, grisly Death,
       Shall take this idle breath,
If I a poem leave, that poem is my son.

        Of this no more!
    We'll rather taste the bright Pomona's store.
        No fruit shall 'scape
    Our palates, from the damson to the grape.
        Then, full, we'll seek a shade,
        And hear what music 's made;
           How Philomel
           Her tale doth tell,
    And how the other birds do fill the quire;
     The thrush and blackbird lend their throats,
       Warbling melodious notes;
We will all sports enjoy which others but desire.

        Ours is the sky,
    Where at what fowl we please our hawk shall fly:
        Nor will we spare
    To hunt the crafty fox or timorous hare;
      But let our hounds run loose
      In any ground they'll choose;
        The buck shall fall,
        The stag, and all.
    Our pleasures must from their own warrants be,
      For to my Muse, if not to me,
        I'm sure all game is free:
Heaven, earth, are all but parts of her great royalty.

        And when we mean
    To taste of Bacchus' blessings now and then,
        And drink by stealth
    A cup or two to noble Barkley's health,
      I'll take my pipe and try
      The Phrygian melody;
        Which he that hears,
        Lets through his ears
    A madness to distemper all the brain:
     Then I another pipe will take
       And Doric music make,
To civilize with graver notes our wits again.


Sir William Davenant. 1606-1668

301. Aubade

THE lark now leaves his wat'ry nest,
  And climbing shakes his dewy wings.
He takes this window for the East,
  And to implore your light he sings--
Awake, awake! the morn will never rise
Till she can dress her beauty at your eyes.

The merchant bows unto the seaman's star,
  The ploughman from the sun his season takes,
But still the lover wonders what they are
  Who look for day before his mistress wakes.
Awake, awake! break thro' your veils of lawn!
Then draw your curtains, and begin the dawn!


Sir William Davenant. 1606-1668

302. To a Mistress Dying

Lover. YOUR beauty, ripe and calm and fresh
  As eastern summers are,
Must now, forsaking time and flesh,
  Add light to some small star.

Philosopher. Whilst she yet lives, were stars decay'd,
  Their light by hers relief might find;
But Death will lead her to a shade
  Where Love is cold and Beauty blind.

Lover. Lovers, whose priests all poets are,
  Think every mistress, when she dies,
Is changed at least into a star:
  And who dares doubt the poets wise?

Philosopher. But ask not bodies doom'd to die
  To what abode they go;
Since Knowledge is but Sorrow's spy,
  It is not safe to know.


Sir William Davenant. 1606-1668

303. Praise and Prayer

PRAISE is devotion fit for mighty minds,
  The diff'ring world's agreeing sacrifice;
Where Heaven divided faiths united finds:
  But Prayer in various discord upward flies.

For Prayer the ocean is where diversely
  Men steer their course, each to a sev'ral coast;
Where all our interests so discordant be
  That half beg winds by which the rest are lost.

By Penitence when we ourselves forsake,
'Tis but in wise design on piteous Heaven;
In Praise we nobly give what God may take,
  And are, without a beggar's blush, forgiven.


Edmund Waller. 1606-1687

304. On a Girdle

THAT which her slender waist confined
Shall now my joyful temples bind;
No monarch but would give his crown
His arms might do what this has done.

It was my Heaven's extremest sphere,
The pale which held that lovely deer:
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Did all within this circle move.

A narrow compass! and yet there
Dwelt all that 's good, and all that 's fair!
Give me but what this ribband bound,
Take all the rest the sun goes round!


Edmund Waller. 1606-1687

305. Go, lovely Rose

GO, lovely Rose--
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
    That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

    Tell her that 's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
    That hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

    Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:
    Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

    Then die--that she
The common fate of all things rare
    May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!


Edmund Waller. 1606-1687

306. Old Age

THE seas are quiet when the winds give o'er;
So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness which age descries.

The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made:
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.


John Milton. 1608-1674

307. Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity

IT was the Winter wilde,
While the Heav'n-born-childe,
  All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in aw to him
Had doff't her gawdy trim,
  With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the Sun her lusty Paramour.

Only with speeches fair
She woo's the gentle Air
  To hide her guilty front with innocent Snow,
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinfull blame,
  The Saintly Vail of Maiden white to throw,
Confounded, that her Makers eyes
Should look so neer upon her foul deformities.

But he her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-eyd Peace,
  She crown'd with Olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning sphear
His ready Harbinger,
  With Turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing,
And waving wide her mirtle wand,
She strikes a universall Peace through Sea and Land.

No War, or Battails sound
Was heard the World around,
  The idle spear and shield were high up hung;
The hooked Chariot stood
Unstain'd with hostile blood,
  The Trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
And Kings sate still with awfull eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.

But peacefull was the night
Wherin the Prince of light
  His raign of peace upon the earth began:
The Windes with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kist,
  Whispering new joyes to the milde Ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While Birds of Calm sit brooding on the charmeed wave.

The Stars with deep amaze
Stand fixt in stedfast gaze,
  Bending one way their pretious influence,
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,
  Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
But in their glimmering Orbs did glow,
Untill their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.

And though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
  The Sun himself with-held his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferiour flame,
  The new enlightn'd world no more should need;
He saw a greater Sun appear
Then his bright Throne, or burning Axletree could bear.

The Shepherds on the Lawn,
Or ere the point of dawn,
  Sate simply chatting in a rustick row;
Full little thought they than,
That the mighty Pan
  Was kindly com to live with them below;
Perhaps their loves, or els their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busie keep.

When such musick sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,
  As never was by mortall finger strook,
Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringed noise,
  As all their souls in blisfull rapture took
The Air such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echo's still prolongs each heav'nly close.

Nature that heard such sound
Beneath the hollow round
  Of Cynthia's seat, the Airy region thrilling,
Now was almost won
To think her part was don,
  And that her raign had here its last fulfilling;
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all Heav'n and Earth in happier union.

At last surrounds their sight
A Globe of circular light,
  That with long beams the shame-fac't night array'd,
The helmed Cherubim
And sworded Seraphim,
  Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displaid,
Harping in loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive notes to Heav'ns new-born Heir.

Such musick (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,
  But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator Great
His constellations set,
  And the well-ballanc't world on hinges hung,
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the weltring waves their oozy channel keep.

Ring out ye Crystall sphears,
Once bless our human ears,
  (If ye have power to touch our senses so)
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;
  And let the Base of Heav'ns deep Organ blow
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full consort to th'Angelike symphony.

For if such holy Song
Enwrap our fancy long,
  Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold,
And speckl'd vanity
Will sicken soon and die,
  And leprous sin will melt from earthly mould,
And Hell it self will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.

Yea Truth, and Justice then
Will down return to men,
  Th'enameld Arras of the Rain-bow wearing,
And Mercy set between,
Thron'd in Celestiall sheen,
  With radiant feet the tissued clouds down stearing,
And Heav'n as at som festivall,
Will open wide the Gates of her high Palace Hall.

But wisest Fate sayes no,
This must not yet be so,
  The Babe lies yet in smiling Infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss;
  So both himself and us to glorifie:
Yet first to those ychain'd in sleep,
The wakefull trump of doom must thunder through the deep,

With such a horrid clang
As on mount Sinai rang
  While the red fire, and smouldring clouds out brake:
The aged Earth agast
With terrour of that blast,
  Shall from the surface to the center shake;
When at the worlds last session,
The dreadfull Judge in middle Air shall spread his throne.

And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
  But now begins; for from this happy day
Th'old Dragon under ground
In straiter limits bound,
  Not half so far casts his usurped sway,
And wrath to see his Kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly Horrour of his foulded tail.

The Oracles are dumm,
No voice or hideous humm
  Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
  With hollow shreik the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Inspire's the pale-ey'd Priest from the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o're,
And the resounding shore,
  A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;
From haunted spring, and dale
Edg'd with poplar pale,
  The parting Genius is with sighing sent,
With flowre-inwov'n tresses torn
The Nimphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.

In consecrated Earth,
And on the holy Hearth,
  The Lars, and Lemures moan with midnight plaint,
In Urns, and Altars round,
A drear, and dying sound
  Affrights the Flamins at their service quaint;
And the chill Marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat

Peor, and Baalim,
Forsake their Temples dim,
  With that twise-batter'd god of Palestine,
And mooned Ashtaroth,
Heav'ns Queen and Mother both,
  Now sits not girt with Tapers holy shine,
The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn,
In vain the Tyrian Maids their wounded Thamuz mourn.

And sullen Moloch fled,
Hath left in shadows dred,
  His burning Idol all of blackest hue,
In vain with Cymbals ring,
They call the grisly king,
  In dismall dance about the furnace blue;
The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Isis and Orus, and the Dog Anubis hast.

Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian Grove, or Green,
  Trampling the unshowr'd Grasse with lowings loud:
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest,
  Naught but profoundest Hell can be his shroud,
In vain with Timbrel'd Anthems dark
The sable-stoled Sorcerers bear his worshipt Ark.

He feels from Juda's Land
The dredded Infants hand,
  The rayes of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the gods beside,
Longer dare abide,
  Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe to shew his Godhead true,
Can in his swadling bands controul the damned crew.

So when the Sun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red,
  Pillows his chin upon an Orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale,
Troop to th'infernall jail,
  Each fetter'd Ghost slips to his severall grave,
And the yellow-skirted Fayes,
Fly after the Night-steeds, leaving their Moon-lov'd maze.

But see the Virgin blest,
Hath laid her Babe to rest.
  Time is our tedious Song should here have ending,
Heav'ns youngest teemed Star,
Hath fixt her polisht Car,
  Her sleeping Lord with Handmaid Lamp attending:
And all about the Courtly Stable,
Bright-harnest Angels sit in order serviceable.


John Milton. 1608-1674

308. On Time

FLY envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more then what is false and vain,
And meerly mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme Throne
Of him, t'whose happy-making sight alone,
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall clime,
Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,
Attir'd with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
  Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.


John Milton. 1608-1674

309. At a Solemn Musick

BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heav'ns joy,
Sphear-born harmonious Sisters, Voice, and Vers,
Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ
Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce,
And to our high-rais'd phantasie present,
That undisturbed Song of pure content,
Ay sung before the saphire-colour'd throne
To him that sits theron
With Saintly shout, and solemn Jubily,
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row
Their loud up-lifted Angel trumpets blow,
And the Cherubick host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal Harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious Palms,
Hymns devout and holy Psalms
Singing everlastingly;
That we on Earth with undiscording voice
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportion'd sin
Jarr'd against natures chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair musick that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd
In perfect Diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O may we soon again renew that Song,
And keep in tune with Heav'n, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endles morn of light.


John Milton. 1608-1674

310. L'Allegro

HENCE loathed Melancholy
  Of Cerberus and blackest midnight born,
In Stygian Cave forlorn
  'Mongst horrid shapes, and shreiks, and sights unholy.
Find out som uncouth cell,
  Where brooding darknes spreads his jealous wings,
And the night-Raven sings;
  There, under Ebon shades, and low-brow'd Rocks,
As ragged as thy Locks,
  In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But com thou Goddes fair and free,
In Heav'n ycleap'd Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus, at a birth
With two sister Graces more
To Ivy-crowned Bacchus bore;
Or whether (as som Sager sing)
The frolick Wind that breathes the Spring,
Zephir with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a Maying,
There on Beds of Violets blew,
And fresh-blown Roses washt in dew,
Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair,
So bucksom, blith, and debonair.
  Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful Jollity,
Quips and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,
Nods, and Becks, and Wreathed Smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrincled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Com, and trip it as ye go
On the light fantastick toe,
And in thy right hand lead with thee,
The Mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty;
And if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crue
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the Lark begin his flight,
And singing startle the dull night,
From his watch-towre in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
Then to com in spight of sorrow,
And at my window bid good morrow,
Through the Sweet-Briar, or the Vine,
Or the twisted Eglantine.
While the Cock with lively din,
Scatters the rear of darknes thin,
And to the stack, or the Barn dore,
Stoutly struts his Dames before,
Oft list'ning how the Hounds and horn
Chearly rouse the slumbring morn,
From the side of som Hoar Hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill.
Som time walking not unseen
By Hedge-row Elms, on Hillocks green,
Right against the Eastern gate,
Wher the great Sun begins his state,
Rob'd in flames, and Amber light,
The clouds in thousand Liveries dight.
While the Plowman neer at hand,
Whistles ore the Furrow'd Land,
And the Milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the Mower whets his sithe,
And every Shepherd tells his tale
Under the Hawthorn in the dale.
Streit mine eye hath caught new pleasures
Whilst the Lantskip round it measures,
Russet Lawns, and Fallows Gray,
Where the nibling flocks do stray,
Mountains on whose barren brest
The labouring clouds do often rest:
Meadows trim with Daisies pide,
Shallow Brooks, and Rivers wide.
Towers, and Battlements it sees
Boosom'd high in tufted Trees,
Wher perhaps som beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighbouring eyes.
Hard by, a Cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged Okes,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
Are at their savory dinner set
Of Hearbs, and other Country Messes,
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses;
And then in haste her Bowre she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the Sheaves;
Or if the earlier season lead
To the tann'd Haycock in the Mead,
Som times with secure delight
The up-land Hamlets will invite,
When the merry Bells ring round,
And the jocond rebecks sound
To many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the Chequer'd shade;
And young and old com forth to play
On a Sunshine Holyday,
Till the live-long day-light fail,
Then to the Spicy Nut-brown Ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How Faery Mab the junkets eat,
She was pincht, and pull'd the sed,
And he by Friars Lanthorn led
Tells how the drudging Goblin swet,
To ern his Cream-bowle duly set,
When in one night, ere glimps of morn,
His shadowy Flale hath thresh'd the Corn
That ten day-labourers could not end,
Then lies him down the Lubbar Fend,
And stretch'd out all the Chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And Crop-full out of dores he flings,
Ere the first Cock his Mattin rings.
Thus don the Tales, to bed they creep,
By whispering Windes soon lull'd asleep.
  Towred Cities please us then,
And the busie humm of men,
Where throngs of Knights and Barons bold,
In weeds of Peace high triumphs hold,
With store of Ladies, whose bright eies
Rain influence, and judge the prise
Of Wit, or Arms, while both contend
To win her Grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear
In Saffron robe, with Taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique Pageantry,
Such sights as youthfull Poets dream
On Summer eeves by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonsons learned Sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespear fancies childe,
Warble his native Wood-notes wilde,
And ever against eating Cares,
Lap me in soft Lydian Aires,
Married to immortal verse
Such as the meeting soul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of lincked sweetnes long drawn out,
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running;
Untwisting all the chains that ty
The hidden soul of harmony.
That Orpheus self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heapt Elysian flowres, and hear
Such streins as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half regain'd Eurydice.
These delights, if thou canst give,
Mirth with thee, I mean to live.


John Milton. 1608-1674

311. Il Penseroso

HENCE vain deluding joyes,
  The brood of folly without father bred,
How little you bested,
  Or fill the fixed mind with all your toyes;
Dwell in som idle brain,
  And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
As thick and numberless
  As the gay motes that people the Sun Beams,
Or likest hovering dreams
  The fickle Pensioners of Morpheus train.
But hail thou Goddes, sage and holy,
Hail divinest Melancholy,
Whose Saintly visage is too bright
To hit the Sense of human sight;
And therfore to our weaker view,
Ore laid with black staid Wisdoms hue.
Black, but such as in esteem,
Prince Memnons sister might beseem,
Or that Starr'd Ethiope Queen that strove
To set her beauties praise above
The Sea Nymphs, and their powers offended.
Yet thou art higher far descended,
Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore,
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she (in Saturns raign,
Such mixture was not held a stain)
Oft in glimmering Bowres, and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
Whilst yet there was no fear of Jove.
Com pensive Nun, devout and pure,
Sober, stedfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestick train,
And sable stole of Cipres Lawn,
Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
Com, but keep thy wonted state,
With eev'n step, and musing gate,
And looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes:
There held in holy passion still,
Forget thy self to Marble, till
With a sad Leaden downward cast,
Thou fix them on the earth as fast.
And joyn with thee calm Peace, and Quiet,
Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet,
And hears the Muses in a ring,
Ay round about Joves Altar sing.
And adde to these retired Leasure,
That in trim Gardens takes his pleasure;
But first, and chiefest, with thee bring,
Him that yon soars on golden wing,
Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne,
The Cherub Contemplation,
And the mute Silence hist along,
'Less Philomel will daign a Song,
In her sweetest, saddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow of night,
While Cynthia checks her Dragon yoke,
Gently o're th'accustom'd Oke;
Sweet Bird that shunn'st the noise of folly,
Most musicall, most melancholy!
Thee Chauntress oft the Woods among,
I woo to hear thy eeven-Song;
And missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven Green.
To behold the wandring Moon,
Riding neer her highest noon,
Like one that had bin led astray
Through the Heav'ns wide pathles way;
And oft, as if her head she bow'd,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Oft on a Plat of rising ground,
I hear the far-off Curfeu sound,
Over som wide-water'd shoar,
Swinging slow with sullen roar;
Or if the Ayr will not permit,
Som still removed place will fit,
Where glowing Embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom,
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the Cricket on the hearth,
Or the Belmans drousie charm,
To bless the dores from nightly harm:
Or let my Lamp at midnight hour,
Be seen in som high lonely Towr,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,
With thrice great Hermes, or unsphear
The spirit of Plato to unfold
What Worlds, or what vast Regions hold
The immortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook:
And of those Daemons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With Planet, or with Element.
Som time let Gorgeous Tragedy
In Scepter'd Pall com sweeping by,
Presenting Thebs, or Pelops line,
Or the tale of Troy divine.
Or what (though rare) of later age,
Ennobled hath the Buskind stage.
  But, O sad Virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musaeus from his bower
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes as warbled to the string,
Drew Iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what Love did seek.
Or call up him that left half told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,
That own'd the vertuous Ring and Glass,
And of the wondrous Hors of Brass,
On which the Tartar King did ride;
And if ought els, great Bards beside,
In sage and solemn tunes have sung,
Of Turneys and of Trophies hung;
Of Forests, and inchantments drear,
Where more is meant then meets the ear.
Thus night oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appeer,
Not trickt and frounc't as she was wont,
With the Attick Boy to hunt,
But Cherchef't in a comly Cloud,
While rocking Winds are Piping loud,
Or usher'd with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the russling Leaves,
With minute drops from off the Eaves.
And when the Sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me Goddes bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown that Sylvan loves,
Of Pine, or monumental Oake,
Where the rude Ax with heaved stroke,
Was never heard the Nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
There in close covert by som Brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from Day's garish eie,
While the Bee with Honied thie,
That at her flowry work doth sing,
And the Waters murmuring
With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd Sleep;
And let som strange mysterious dream,
Wave at his Wings in Airy stream,
Of lively portrature display'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid.
And as I wake, sweet musick breath
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by som spirit to mortals good,
Or th'unseen Genius of the Wood.
  But let my due feet never fail,
To walk the studious Cloysters pale,
And love the high embowed Roof,
With antick Pillars massy proof,
And storied Windows richly dight,
Casting a dimm religious light.
There let the pealing Organ blow,
To the full voic'd Quire below,
In Service high, and Anthems cleer,
As may with sweetnes, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into extasies,
And bring all Heav'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peacefull hermitage,
The Hairy Gown and Mossy Cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every Star that Heav'n doth shew,
And every Herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To somthing like Prophetic strain.
These pleasures Melancholy give,
And I with thee will choose to live.


John Milton. 1608-1674

312. From 'Arcades'

O'RE the smooth enameld green
    Where no print of step hath been,
    Follow me as I sing,
    And touch the warbled string.
Under the shady roof
Of branching Elm Star-proof,
    Follow me,
I will bring you where she sits
Clad in splendor as befits
    Her deity.
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.


John Milton. 1608-1674

313. From 'Comus'
i

THE Star that bids the Shepherd fold,
Now the top of Heav'n doth hold,
And the gilded Car of Day,
His glowing Axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantick stream,
And the slope Sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky Pole,
Pacing toward the other gole
Of his Chamber in the East.
Mean while welcom Joy, and Feast,
Midnight shout, and revelry,
Tipsie dance, and Jollity.
Braid your Locks with rosie Twine
Dropping odours, dropping Wine.
Rigor now is gon to bed,
And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strict Age, and sowre Severity,
With their grave Saws in slumber ly.
We that are of purer fire
Imitate the Starry Quire,
Who in their nightly watchfull Sphears,
Lead in swift round the Months and Years.
The Sounds, and Seas with all their finny drove
Now to the Moon in wavering Morrice move,
And on the Tawny Sands and Shelves,
Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves;
By dimpled Brook, and Fountain brim,
The Wood-Nymphs deckt with Daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath better sweets to prove,
Venus now wakes, and wak'ns Love....
Com, knit hands, and beat the ground,
In a light fantastick round.


John Milton. 1608-1674

314. From' Comus'
ii. Echo

SWEET Echo, sweetest Nymph that liv'st unseen
            Within thy airy shell
          By slow Meander's margent green,
    And in the violet imbroider'd vale
          Where the love-lorn Nightingale
  Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.
  Canst thou not tell me of a gentle Pair
          That likest thy Narcissus are?
            O if thou have
          Hid them in som flowry Cave,
            Tell me but where
  Sweet Queen of Parly, Daughter of the Sphear!
  So maist thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heav'ns Harmonies!


John Milton. 1608-1674

315. From' Comus'
iii. Sabrina

The Spirit sings: SABRINA fair
  Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassie, cool, translucent wave,
  In twisted braids of Lillies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair,
  Listen for dear honour's sake,
  Goddess of the silver lake,
                     Listen and save!

Listen and appear to us,
In name of great Oceanus,
By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys grave majestick pace,
By hoary Nereus wrincled look,
And the Carpathian wisards hook,
By scaly Tritons winding shell,
And old sooth-saying Glaucus spell,
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son that rules the strands,
By Thetis tinsel-slipper'd feet,
And the Songs of Sirens sweet,
By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
And fair Ligea's golden comb,
Wherwith she sits on diamond rocks
Sleeking her soft alluring locks,
By all the Nymphs that nightly dance
Upon thy streams with wily glance,
Rise, rise, and heave thy rosie head
From thy coral-pav'n bed,
And bridle in thy headlong wave,
Till thou our summons answered have.
                       Listen and save!

Sabrina replies: By the rushy-fringed bank,
Where grows the Willow and the Osier dank,
  My sliding Chariot stayes,
Thick set with Agat, and the azurn sheen
Of Turkis blew, and Emrauld green
  That in the channell strayes,
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
O're the Cowslips Velvet head,
  That bends not as I tread,
Gentle swain at thy request
  I am here.


John Milton. 1608-1674

316. From 'Comus'
iv

The Spirit epiloguizes: TO the Ocean now I fly,
And those happy climes that ly
Where day never shuts his eye,
Up in the broad fields of the sky:
There I suck the liquid ayr
All amidst the Gardens fair
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three
That sing about the golden tree:
Along the crisped shades and bowres
Revels the spruce and jocond Spring,
The Graces, and the rosie-boosom'd Howres,
Thither all their bounties bring,
That there eternal Summer dwels,
And West winds, with musky wing
About the cedar'n alleys fling
Nard, and Cassia's balmy smels.
Iris there with humid bow,
Waters the odorous banks that blow
Flowers of more mingled hew
Than her purfl'd scarf can shew,
And drenches with Elysian dew
(List mortals, if your ears be true)
Beds of Hyacinth, and roses
Where young Adonis oft reposes,
Waxing well of his deep wound
In slumber soft, and on the ground
Sadly sits th' Assyrian Queen;
But far above in spangled sheen
Celestial Cupid her fam'd son advanc't,
Holds his dear Psyche sweet intranc't
After her wandring labours long,
Till free consent the gods among
Make her his eternal Bride,
And from her fair unspotted side
Two blissful twins are to be born,
Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn.
  But now my task is smoothly don,
I can fly, or I can run
Quickly to the green earths end,
Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend,
And from thence can soar as soon
To the corners of the Moon.
  Mortals that would follow me,
Love vertue, she alone is free.
She can teach ye how to clime
Higher then the Spheary chime;
Or if Vertue feeble were,
Heav'n it self would stoop to her.


John Milton. 1608-1674

317. Lycidas
A Lament for a friend drowned in his passage from
Chester on the Irish Seas, 1637

YET once more, O ye Laurels, and once more
Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never-sear,
I com to pluck your Berries harsh and crude,
And with forc'd fingers rude,
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
Compels me to disturb your season due:
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer:
Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not flote upon his watry bear
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of som melodious tear.
  Begin, then, Sisters of the sacred well,
That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring,
Begin, and somwhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse,
So may som gentle Muse
With lucky words favour my destin'd Urn,
And as he passes turn,
And bid fair peace be to my sable shrowd.
For we were nurst upon the self-same hill,
Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill.
  Together both, ere the high Lawns appear'd
Under the opening eye-lids of the morn,
We drove a field, and both together heard
What time the Gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
Batt'ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the Star that rose, at Ev'ning, bright
Toward Heav'ns descent had slop'd his westering wheel.
Mean while the Rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to th'Oaten Flute;
Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fauns with clov'n heel,
From the glad sound would not be absent long,
And old Damaetas lov'd to hear our song.
  But O the heavy change, now thou art gon,
Now thou art gon, and never must return!
Thee Shepherd, thee the Woods, and desert Caves,
With wilde Thyme and the gadding Vine o'regrown,
And all their echoes mourn.
The Willows, and the Hazle Copses green,
Shall now no more be seen,
Fanning their joyous Leaves to thy soft layes.
As killing as the Canker to the Rose,
Or Taint-worm to the weanling Herds that graze,
Or Frost to Flowers, that their gay wardrop wear,
When first the White thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to Shepherds ear.
  Where were ye Nymphs when the remorseless deep
Clos'd o're the head of your lov'd Lycidas?
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Where your old Bards, the famous Druids ly,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream:
Ay me, I fondly dream!
Had ye bin there--for what could that have don?
What could the Muse her self that Orpheus bore,
The Muse her self, for her inchanting son
Whom Universal nature did lament,
When by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His goary visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore.
  Alas! what boots it with uncessant care
To tend the homely slighted Shepherds trade,
And strictly meditate the thankles Muse,
Were it not better don as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair?
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of Noble mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious dayes;
But the fair Guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with th'abhorred shears,
And slits the thin spun life. But not the praise,
Phoebus repli'd, and touch'd my trembling ears;
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to th'world, nor in broad rumour lies,
But lives and spreds aloft by those pure eyes,
And perfet witnes of all judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in Heav'n expect thy meed.
  O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd floud,
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocall reeds,
That strain I heard was of a higher mood:
But now my Oate proceeds,
And listens to the Herald of the Sea
That came in Neptune's plea,
He ask'd the Waves, and ask'd the Fellon winds,
What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain?
And question'd every gust of rugged wings
That blows from off each beaked Promontory,
They knew not of his story,
And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd,
The Ayr was calm, and on the level brine,
Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd.
It was that fatall and perfidious Bark
Built in th'eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
  Next Camus, reverend Sire, went footing slow,
His Mantle hairy, and his Bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
Like to that sanguine flower inscrib'd with woe.
Ah; Who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge?
Last came, and last did go,
The Pilot of the Galilean lake,
Two massy Keyes he bore of metals twain,
(The Golden opes, the Iron shuts amain)
He shook his Miter'd locks, and stern bespake,
How well could I have spar'd for thee, young swain,
Anow of such as for their bellies sake,
Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reck'ning make,
Then how to scramble at the shearers feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouthes! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A Sheep-hook, or have learn'd ought els the least
That to the faithfull Herdmans art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel Pipes of wretched straw,
The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
Besides what the grim Woolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing sed,
But that two-handed engine at the door,
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
  Return Alpheus, the dread voice is past,
That shrunk thy streams; Return Sicilian Muse,
And call the Vales, and bid them hither cast
Their Bels, and Flourets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low where the milde whispers use,
Of shades and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
On whose fresh lap the swart Star sparely looks,
Throw hither all your quaint enameld eyes,
That on the green terf suck the honied showres,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowres.
Bring the rathe Primrose that forsaken dies.
The tufted Crow-toe, and pale Gessamine,
The white Pink, and the Pansie freakt with jeat,
The glowing Violet.
The Musk-rose, and the well attir'd Woodbine.
With Cowslips wan that hang the pensive hed,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears:
Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And Daffadillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the Laureat Herse where Lycid lies.
For so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise.
Ay me! Whilst thee the shores, and sounding Seas
Wash far away, where ere thy bones are hurld,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world;
Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great vision of the guarded Mount
Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold;
Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth.
And, O ye Dolphins, waft the haples youth.
  Weep no more, woful Shepherds weep no more,
For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watry floar,
So sinks the day-star in the Ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new spangled Ore,
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
Through the dear might of him that walk'd the waves
Where other groves, and other streams along,
With Nectar pure his oozy Lock's he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptiall Song,
In the blest Kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the Saints above,
In solemn troops, and sweet Societies
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now Lycidas the Shepherds weep no more;
Hence forth thou art the Genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.
  Thus sang the uncouth Swain to th'Okes and rills,
While the still morn went out with Sandals gray,
He touch'd the tender stops of various Quills,
With eager thought warbling his Dorick lay:
And now the Sun had stretch'd out all the hills,
And now was dropt into the Western bay;
At last he rose, and twitch'd his Mantle blew:
To morrow to fresh Woods, and Pastures new.


John Milton. 1608-1674

318. On His Blindness

WHEN I consider how my light is spent
  E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
  And that one Talent which is death to hide,
  Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
  My true account, least he returning chide,
  Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
  I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
  Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
  Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
  And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
  They also serve who only stand and waite.


John Milton. 1608-1674

319. To Mr. Lawrence

LAWRENCE of vertuous Father vertuous Son,
  Now that the Fields are dank, and ways are mire,
  Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
  Help wast a sullen day; what may be won
From the hard Season gaining: time will run
  On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
  The frozen earth; and cloth in fresh attire
  The Lillie and Rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
  Of Attick tast, with Wine, whence we may rise
  To hear the Lute well toucht, or artfull voice
Warble immortal Notes and Tuskan Ayre?
  He who of those delights can judge, and spare
  To interpose them oft, is not unwise.


John Milton. 1608-1674

320. To Cyriack Skinner

CYRIACK, whose Grandsire on the Royal Bench
  Of Brittish Themis, with no mean applause
  Pronounc't and in his volumes taught our Lawes,
  Which others at their Barr so often wrench:
To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
  In mirth, that after no repenting drawes;
  Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause,
  And what the Swede intend, and what the French.
To measure life, learn thou betimes, and know
  Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
  For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
  That with superfluous burden loads the day,
  And when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.


John Milton. 1608-1674

321. On His Deceased Wife

METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused Saint
  Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
  Whom Joves great Son to her glad Husband gave,
  Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.
Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint,
  Purification in the old Law did save,
  And such, as yet once more I trust to have
  Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
  Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight,
  Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
  But O as to embrace me she enclin'd
  I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.


John Milton. 1608-1674

322. Light

HAIL holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born,
Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear'st thou rather pure Ethereal stream,
Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun,
Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing,
Escap't the Stygian Pool, though long detain'd
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness borne
With other notes then to th' Orphean Lyre
I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,
Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend,
Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovran vital Lamp; but thou
Revisit'st not these eyes, that rowle in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs,
Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
Cleer Spring, or shadie Grove, or Sunnie Hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee Sion and the flowrie Brooks beneath
That wash thy hallowd feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor somtimes forget
Those other two equal'd with me in Fate,
So were I equal'd with them in renown.
Blind Thamyris and blind Maeonides,
And Tiresias and Phineus Prophets old.
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntarie move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful Bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year
Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men
Cut off, and for the Book of knowledg fair
Presented with a Universal blanc
Of Natures works to mee expung'd and ras'd,
And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out.
So much the rather thou Celestial light
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.


John Milton. 1608-1674

323. From 'Samson Agonistes'
i

OH how comely it is and how reviving
To the Spirits of just men long opprest!
When God into the hands of thir deliverer
Puts invincible might
To quell the mighty of the Earth, th' oppressour,
The brute and boist'rous force of violent men
Hardy and industrious to support
Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue
The righteous and all such as honour Truth;
He all thir Ammunition
And feats of War defeats
With plain Heroic magnitude of mind
And celestial vigour arm'd,
Thir Armories and Magazins contemns,
Renders them useless, while
With winged expedition
Swift as the lightning glance he executes
His errand on the wicked, who surpris'd
Lose thir defence distracted and amaz'd.


John Milton. 1608-1674

324. From 'Samson Agonistes'
ii

ALL is best, though we oft doubt,
What th' unsearchable dispose
Of highest wisdom brings about,
And ever best found in the close.
Oft he seems to hide his face,
But unexpectedly returns
And to his faithful Champion hath in place
Bore witness gloriously; whence Gaza mourns
And all that band them to resist
His uncontroulable intent.
His servants he with new acquist
Of true experience from this great event
With peace and consolation hath dismist,
And calm of mind all passion spent.


Sir John Suckling. 1609-1642

325. A Doubt of Martyrdom

O FOR some honest lover's ghost,
  Some kind unbodied post
    Sent from the shades below!
    I strangely long to know
Whether the noble chaplets wear
Those that their mistress' scorn did bear
    Or those that were used kindly.

For whatsoe'er they tell us here
  To make those sufferings dear,
    'Twill there, I fear, be found
     That to the being crown'd
T' have loved alone will not suffice,
Unless we also have been wise
    And have our loves enjoy'd.

What posture can we think him in
  That, here unloved, again
    Departs, and 's thither gone
    Where each sits by his own?
Or how can that Elysium be
Where I my mistress still must see
    Circled in other's arms?

For there the judges all are just,
  And Sophonisba must
    Be his whom she held dear,
    Not his who loved her here.
The sweet Philoclea, since she died,
Lies by her Pirocles his side,
    Not by Amphialus.

Some bays, perchance, or myrtle bough
  For difference crowns the brow
    Of those kind souls that were
    The noble martyrs here:
And if that be the only odds
(As who can tell?), ye kinder gods,
    Give me the woman here!


Sir John Suckling. 1609-1642

326. The Constant Lover

OUT upon it, I have loved
  Three whole days together!
And am like to love three more,
  If it prove fair weather.

Time shall moult away his wings
  Ere he shall discover
In the whole wide world again
  Such a constant lover.

But the spite on 't is, no praise
  Is due at all to me:
Love with me had made no stays,
  Had it any been but she.

Had it any been but she,
  And that very face,
There had been at least ere this
  A dozen dozen in her place.


Sir John Suckling. 1609-1642

327. Why so Pale and Wan?

WHY so pale and wan, fond lover?
        Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
        Looking ill prevail?
        Prithee, why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
        Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
        Saying nothing do 't?
        Prithee, why so mute?

Quit, quit for shame! This will not move;
        This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
        Nothing can make her:
        The devil take her!


Sir John Suckling. 1609-1642

328. When, Dearest, I but think of Thee

WHEN, dearest, I but think of thee,
Methinks all things that lovely be
  Are present, and my soul delighted:
For beauties that from worth arise
Are like the grace of deities,
  Still present with us, tho' unsighted.

Thus while I sit and sigh the day
With all his borrow'd lights away,
  Till night's black wings do overtake me,
Thinking on thee, thy beauties then,
As sudden lights do sleepy men,
   So they by their bright rays awake me.

Thus absence dies, and dying proves
No absence can subsist with loves
  That do partake of fair perfection:
Since in the darkest night they may
By love's quick motion find a way
  To see each other by reflection.

The waving sea can with each flood
Bathe some high promont that hath stood
  Far from the main up in the river:
O think not then but love can do
As much! for that 's an ocean too,
   Which flows not every day, but ever!


Sir Richard Fanshawe. 1608-1666

329. A Rose

BLOWN in the morning, thou shalt fade ere noon.
What boots a life which in such haste forsakes thee?
Thou'rt wondrous frolic, being to die so soon,
And passing proud a little colour makes thee.
If thee thy brittle beauty so deceives,
Know then the thing that swells thee is thy bane;
For the same beauty doth, in bloody leaves,
The sentence of thy early death contain.
Some clown's coarse lungs will poison thy sweet flower,
If by the careless plough thou shalt be torn;
And many Herods lie in wait each hour
To murder thee as soon as thou art born--
  Nay, force thy bud to blow--their tyrant breath
  Anticipating life, to hasten death!


William Cartwright. 1611-1643

330. To Chloe
Who for his sake wished herself younger

THERE are two births; the one when light
  First strikes the new awaken'd sense;
The other when two souls unite,
  And we must count our life from thence:
When you loved me and I loved you
Then both of us were born anew.

Love then to us new souls did give
  And in those souls did plant new powers;
Since when another life we live,
  The breath we breathe is his, not ours:
Love makes those young whom age doth chill,
And whom he finds young keeps young still.


William Cartwright. 1611-1643

331. Falsehood

STILL do the stars impart their light
To those that travel in the night;
Still time runs on, nor doth the hand
Or shadow on the dial stand;
The streams still glide and constant are:
      Only thy mind
      Untrue I find,
      Which carelessly
      Neglects to be
Like stream or shadow, hand or star.

Fool that I am! I do recall
My words, and swear thou'rt like them all,
Thou seem'st like stars to nourish fire,
But O how cold is thy desire!
And like the hand upon the brass
      Thou point'st at me
      In mockery;
      If I come nigh
      Shade-like thou'lt fly,
And as the stream with murmur pass.


William Cartwright. 1611-1643

332. On the Queen's Return from the Low Countries

HALLOW the threshold, crown the posts anew!
    The day shall have its due.
Twist all our victories into one bright wreath,
    On which let honour breathe;
Then throw it round the temples of our Queen!
'Tis she that must preserve those glories green.

When greater tempests than on sea before
    Received her on the shore;
When she was shot at 'for the King's own good'
    By legions hired to blood;
How bravely did she do, how bravely bear!
And show'd, though they durst rage, she durst not fear.

Courage was cast about her like a dress
    Of solemn comeliness:
A gather'd mind and an untroubled face
    Did give her dangers grace:
Thus, arm'd with innocence, secure they move
Whose highest 'treason' is but highest love.


William Cartwright. 1611-1643

333. On a Virtuous Young Gentlewoman
that died suddenly

SHE who to Heaven more Heaven doth annex,
Whose lowest thought was above all our sex,
Accounted nothing death but t' be reprieved,
And died as free from sickness as she lived.
Others are dragg'd away, or must be driven,
She only saw her time and stept to Heaven;
Where seraphims view all her glories o'er,
As one return'd that had been there before.
For while she did this lower world adorn,
Her body seem'd rather assumed than born;
So rarified, advanced, so pure and whole,
That body might have been another's soul;
And equally a miracle it were
That she could die, or that she could live here.


James Graham, Marquis of Montrose. 1612-1650

334. I'll never love Thee more

MY dear and only Love, I pray
  That little world of thee
Be govern'd by no other sway
  Than purest monarchy;
For if confusion have a part
  (Which virtuous souls abhor),
And hold a synod in thine heart,
  I'll never love thee more.

Like Alexander I will reign,
  And I will reign alone;
My thoughts did evermore disdain
  A rival on my throne.
He either fears his fate too much,
  Or his deserts are small,
That dares not put it to the touch,
  To gain or lose it all.

And in the empire of thine heart,
  Where I should solely be,
If others do pretend a part
  Or dare to vie with me,
Or if Committees thou erect,
  And go on such a score,
I'll laugh and sing at thy neglect,
  And never love thee more.

But if thou wilt prove faithful then,
  And constant of thy word,
I'll make thee glorious by my pen
  And famous by my sword;
I'll serve thee in such noble ways
  Was never heard before;
I'll crown and deck thee all with bays,
  And love thee more and more.


Thomas Jordan. 1612?-1685

335. Coronemus nos Rosis antequam marcescant

LET us drink and be merry, dance, joke, and rejoice,
With claret and sherry, theorbo and voice!
The changeable world to our joy is unjust,
      All treasure 's uncertain,
      Then down with your dust!
In frolics dispose your pounds, shillings, and pence,
For we shall be nothing a hundred years hence.

We'll sport and be free with Moll, Betty, and Dolly,
Have oysters and lobsters to cure melancholy:
Fish-dinners will make a man spring like a flea,
      Dame Venus, love's lady,
      Was born of the sea;
With her and with Bacchus we'll tickle the sense,
For we shall be past it a hundred years hence.

Your most beautiful bride who with garlands is crown'd
And kills with each glance as she treads on the ground,
Whose lightness and brightness doth shine in such splendour
      That none but the stars
      Are thought fit to attend her,
Though now she be pleasant and sweet to the sense,
Will be damnable mouldy a hundred years hence.

Then why should we turmoil in cares and in fears,
Turn all our tranquill'ty to sighs and to tears?
Let 's eat, drink, and play till the worms do corrupt us,
      'Tis certain, Post mortem
      Nulla voluptas.
For health, wealth and beauty, wit, learning and sense,
Must all come to nothing a hundred years hence.


Richard Crashaw. 1613?-1649

336. Wishes to His Supposed Mistress

WHOE'ER she be--
That not impossible She
That shall command my heart and me:

Where'er she lie,
Lock'd up from mortal eye
In shady leaves of destiny:

Till that ripe birth
Of studied Fate stand forth,
And teach her fair steps to our earth:

Till that divine
Idea take a shrine
Of crystal flesh, through which to shine:

Meet you her, my Wishes,
Bespeak her to my blisses,
And be ye call'd my absent kisses.

I wish her Beauty,
That owes not all its duty
To gaudy tire, or glist'ring shoe-tie:

Something more than
Taffata or tissue can,
Or rampant feather, or rich fan.

A Face, that 's best
By its own beauty drest,
And can alone commend the rest.

A Face, made up
Out of no other shop
Than what Nature's white hand sets ope.

A Cheek, where youth
And blood, with pen of truth,
Write what the reader sweetly ru'th.

A Cheek, where grows
More than a morning rose,
Which to no box his being owes.

Lips, where all day
A lover's kiss may play,
Yet carry nothing thence away.

Looks, that oppress
Their richest tires, but dress
And clothe their simplest nakedness.

Eyes, that displace
The neighbour diamond, and outface
That sunshine by their own sweet grace.

Tresses, that wear
Jewels but to declare
How much themselves more precious are:

Whose native ray
Can tame the wanton day
Of gems that in their bright shades play.

Each ruby there,
Or pearl that dare appear,
Be its own blush, be its own tear.

A well-tamed Heart,
For whose more noble smart
Love may be long choosing a dart.

Eyes, that bestow
Full quivers on love's bow,
Yet pay less arrows than they owe.

Smiles, that can warm
The blood, yet teach a charm,
That chastity shall take no harm.

Blushes, that bin
The burnish of no sin,
Nor flames of aught too hot within.

Joys, that confess
Virtue their mistress,
And have no other head to dress.

Fears, fond and slight
As the coy bride's, when night
First does the longing lover right.

Days, that need borrow
No part of their good-morrow
From a fore-spent night of sorrow.

Days, that in spite
Of darkness, by the light
Of a clear mind, are day all night.

Nights, sweet as they,
Made short by lovers' play,
Yet long by th' absence of the day.

Life, that dares send
A challenge to his end,
And when it comes, say, 'Welcome, friend!'

Sydneian showers
Of sweet discourse, whose powers
Can crown old Winter's head with flowers.

Soft silken hours,
Open suns, shady bowers;
'Bove all, nothing within that lowers.

Whate'er delight
Can make Day's forehead bright,
Or give down to the wings of Night.

I wish her store
Of worth may leave her poor
Of wishes; and I wish--no more.

Now, if Time knows
That Her, whose radiant brows
Weave them a garland of my vows;

Her, whose just bays
My future hopes can raise,
A trophy to her present praise;

Her, that dares be
What these lines wish to see;
I seek no further, it is She.

'Tis She, and here,
Lo! I unclothe and clear
My Wishes' cloudy character.

May she enjoy it
Whose merit dare apply it,
But modesty dares still deny it!

Such worth as this is
Shall fix my flying Wishes,
And determine them to kisses.

Let her full glory,
My fancies, fly before ye;
Be ye my fictions--but her story.


Richard Crashaw. 1613?-1649

337. The Weeper

  HAIL, sister springs,
Parents of silver-footed rills!
  Ever bubbling things,
Thawing crystal, snowy hills!
    Still spending, never spent; I mean
    Thy fair eyes, sweet Magdalene.

  Heavens thy fair eyes be;
Heavens of ever-falling stars;
  'Tis seed-time still with thee,
And stars thou sow'st whose harvest dares
    Promise the earth to countershine
    Whatever makes Heaven's forehead fine.

  Every morn from hence
A brisk cherub something sips
  Whose soft influence
Adds sweetness to his sweetest lips;
    Then to his music: and his song
    Tastes of this breakfast all day long.

  When some new bright guest
Takes up among the stars a room,
  And Heaven will make a feast,
Angels with their bottles come,
    And draw from these full eyes of thine
    Their Master's water, their own wine.

  The dew no more will weep
The primrose's pale cheek to deck;
  The dew no more will sleep
Nuzzled in the lily's neck:
    Much rather would it tremble here,
    And leave them both to be thy tear.

  When sorrow would be seen
In her brightest majesty,
  --For she is a Queen--
Then is she drest by none but thee:
    Then and only then she wears
    Her richest pearls--I mean thy tears.

  Not in the evening's eyes,
When they red with weeping are
  For the Sun that dies,
Sits Sorrow with a face so fair.
    Nowhere but here did ever meet
    Sweetness so sad, sadness so sweet.

  Does the night arise?
Still thy tears do fall and fall.
  Does night lose her eyes?
Still the fountain weeps for all.
    Let day and night do what they will,
    Thou hast thy task, thou weepest still.

  Not So long she lived
Will thy tomb report of thee;
  But So long she grieved:
Thus must we date thy memory.
    Others by days, by months, by years,
    Measure their ages, thou by tears.

  Say, ye bright brothers,
The fugitive sons of those fair eyes
  Your fruitful mothers,
What make you here? What hopes can 'tice
    You to be born? What cause can borrow
    You from those nests of noble sorrow?

  Whither away so fast
For sure the sordid earth
  Your sweetness cannot taste,
Nor does the dust deserve your birth.
    Sweet, whither haste you then? O say,
    Why you trip so fast away?

  We go not to seek
The darlings of Aurora's bed,
  The rose's modest cheek,
Nor the violet's humble head.
    No such thing: we go to meet
    A worthier object--our Lord's feet.


Richard Crashaw. 1613?-1649

338. A Hymn to the Name and Honour
of the Admirable Saint Teresa

LOVE, thou are absolute, sole Lord
Of life and death. To prove the word,
We'll now appeal to none of all
Those thy old soldiers, great and tall,
Ripe men of martyrdom, that could reach down
With strong arms their triumphant crown:
Such as could with lusty breath
Speak loud, unto the face of death,
Their great Lord's glorious name; to none
Of those whose spacious bosoms spread a throne
For love at large to fill. Spare blood and sweat:
We'll see Him take a private seat,
And make His mansion in the mild
And milky soul of a soft child.
Scarce has she learnt to lisp a name
Of martyr, yet she thinks it shame
Life should so long play with that breath
Which spent can buy so brave a death.
She never undertook to know
What death with love should have to do.
Nor has she e'er yet understood
Why, to show love, she should shed blood;
Yet, though she cannot tell you why,
She can love, and she can die.
Scarce has she blood enough to make
A guilty sword blush for her sake;
Yet has a heart dares hope to prove
How much less strong is death than love....

Since 'tis not to be had at home,
She'll travel for a martyrdom.
No home for her, confesses she,
But where she may a martyr be.
She'll to the Moors, and trade with them
For this unvalued diadem;
She offers them her dearest breath,
With Christ's name in 't, in charge for death:
She'll bargain with them, and will give
Them God, and teach them how to live
In Him; or, if they this deny,
For Him she'll teach them how to die.
So shall she leave amongst them sown
Her Lord's blood, or at least her own.

Farewell then, all the world, adieu!
Teresa is no more for you.
Farewell all pleasures, sports, and joys,
Never till now esteemed toys!

Farewell whatever dear may be--
Mother's arms, or father's knee!
Farewell house, and farewell home!
She 's for the Moors and Martyrdom.

Sweet, not so fast; lo! thy fair spouse,
Whom thou seek'st with so swift vows,
Calls thee back, and bids thee come
T' embrace a milder martyrdom....

O how oft shalt thou complain
Of a sweet and subtle pain!
Of intolerable joys!
Of a death, in which who dies
Loves his death, and dies again,
And would for ever so be slain;
And lives and dies, and knows not why
To live, but that he still may die!
How kindly will thy gentle heart
Kiss the sweetly-killing dart!
And close in his embraces keep
Those delicious wounds, that weep
Balsam, to heal themselves with thus,
When these thy deaths, so numerous,
Shall all at once die into one,
And melt thy soul's sweet mansion;
Like a soft lump of incense, hasted
By too hot a fire, and wasted
Into perfuming clouds, so fast
Shalt thou exhale to heaven at last
In a resolving sigh, and then,--
O what? Ask not the tongues of men.

Angels cannot tell; suffice,
Thyself shalt feel thine own full joys,
And hold them fast for ever there.
So soon as thou shalt first appear,
The moon of maiden stars, thy white
Mistress, attended by such bright
Souls as thy shining self, shall come,
And in her first ranks make thee room;
Where, 'mongst her snowy family,
Immortal welcomes wait for thee.
O what delight, when she shall stand
And teach thy lips heaven, with her hand,
On which thou now may'st to thy wishes
Heap up thy consecrated kisses!
What joy shall seize thy soul, when she,
Bending her blessed eyes on thee,
Those second smiles of heaven, shall dart
Her mild rays through thy melting heart!

Angels, thy old friends, there shall greet thee,
Glad at their own home now to meet thee.
All thy good works which went before,
And waited for thee at the door,
Shall own thee there; and all in one
Weave a constellation
Of crowns, with which the King, thy spouse,
Shall build up thy triumphant brows.
All thy old woes shall now smile on thee,
And thy pains sit bright upon thee:
All thy sorrows here shall shine,
And thy sufferings be divine.
Tears shall take comfort, and turn gems,
And wrongs repent to diadems.
Even thy deaths shall live, and new
Dress the soul which late they slew.
Thy wounds shall blush to such bright scars
As keep account of the Lamb's wars.

Those rare works, where thou shalt leave writ
Love's noble history, with wit
Taught thee by none but Him, while here
They feed our souls, shall clothe thine there.
Each heavenly word by whose hid flame
Our hard hearts shall strike fire, the same
Shall flourish on thy brows, and be
Both fire to us and flame to thee;
Whose light shall live bright in thy face
By glory, in our hearts by grace.
Thou shalt look round about, and see
Thousands of crown'd souls throng to be
Themselves thy crown, sons of thy vows,
The virgin-births with which thy spouse
Made fruitful thy fair soul; go now,
And with them all about thee bow
To Him; put on, He'll say, put on,
My rosy Love, that thy rich zone,
Sparkling with the sacred flames
Of thousand souls, whose happy names
Heaven keeps upon thy score: thy bright
Life brought them first to kiss the light
That kindled them to stars; and so
Thou with the Lamb, thy Lord, shalt go.
And, wheresoe'er He sets His white
Steps, walk with Him those ways of light,
Which who in death would live to see,
Must learn in life to die like thee.


Richard Crashaw. 1613?-1649

339. Upon the Book and Picture of the
Seraphical Saint Teresa

O THOU undaunted daughter of desires!
By all thy dower of lights and fires;
By all the eagle in thee, all the dove;
By all thy lives and deaths of love;
By thy large draughts of intellectual day,
And by thy thirsts of love more large than they;
By all thy brim-fill'd bowls of fierce desire,
By thy last morning's draught of liquid fire;
By the full kingdom of that final kiss
That seized thy parting soul, and seal'd thee His;
By all the Heav'n thou hast in Him
(Fair sister of the seraphim!);
By all of Him we have in thee;
Leave nothing of myself in me.
Let me so read thy life, that I
Unto all life of mine may die!


Richard Crashaw. 1613?-1649

340. Verses from the Shepherds' Hymn

WE saw Thee in Thy balmy nest,
  Young dawn of our eternal day;
We saw Thine eyes break from the East,
  And chase the trembling shades away:
We saw Thee, and we blest the sight,
We saw Thee by Thine own sweet light.

Poor world, said I, what wilt thou do
  To entertain this starry stranger?
Is this the best thou canst bestow--
  A cold and not too cleanly manger?
Contend, the powers of heaven and earth,
To fit a bed for this huge birth.

Proud world, said I, cease your contest,
  And let the mighty babe alone;
The phoenix builds the phoenix' nest,
  Love's architecture is His own.
The babe, whose birth embraves this morn,
Made His own bed ere He was born.

I saw the curl'd drops, soft and slow,
  Come hovering o'er the place's head,
Off'ring their whitest sheets of snow,
  To furnish the fair infant's bed.
Forbear, said I, be not too bold;
Your fleece is white, but 'tis too cold.

I saw th' obsequious seraphim
  Their rosy fleece of fire bestow,
For well they now can spare their wings,
  Since Heaven itself lies here below.
Well done, said I; but are you sure
Your down, so warm, will pass for pure?

No, no, your King 's not yet to seek
  Where to repose His royal head;
See, see how soon His new-bloom'd cheek
  'Twixt mother's breasts is gone to bed!
Sweet choice, said we; no way but so,
Not to lie cold, you sleep in snow!

She sings Thy tears asleep, and dips
  Her kisses in Thy weeping eye;
She spreads the red leaves of Thy lips,
  That in their buds yet blushing lie.
She 'gainst those mother diamonds tries
The points of her young eagle's eyes.

Welcome--tho' not to those gay flies,
  Gilded i' th' beams of earthly kings,
Slippery souls in smiling eyes--
  But to poor shepherds, homespun things,
Whose wealth 's their flocks, whose wit 's to be
Well read in their simplicity.

Yet, when young April's husband show'rs
  Shall bless the fruitful Maia's bed,
We'll bring the first-born of her flowers,
  To kiss Thy feet and crown Thy head.
To Thee, dread Lamb! whose love must keep
The shepherds while they feed their sheep.

To Thee, meek Majesty, soft King
  Of simple graces and sweet loves!
Each of us his lamb will bring,
  Each his pair of silver doves!
At last, in fire of Thy fair eyes,
Ourselves become our own best sacrifice!


Richard Crashaw. 1613?-1649

341. Christ Crucified

THY restless feet now cannot go
  For us and our eternal good,
As they were ever wont. What though
  They swim, alas! in their own flood?

Thy hands to give Thou canst not lift,
  Yet will Thy hand still giving be;
It gives, but O, itself's the gift!
  It gives tho' bound, tho' bound 'tis free!


Richard Crashaw. 1613?-1649

342. An Epitaph upon Husband and Wife
Who died and were buried together

TO these whom death again did wed
This grave 's the second marriage-bed.
For though the hand of Fate could force
'Twixt soul and body a divorce,
It could not sever man and wife,
Because they both lived but one life.
Peace, good reader, do not weep;
Peace, the lovers are asleep.
They, sweet turtles, folded lie
In the last knot that love could tie.
Let them sleep, let them sleep on,
Till the stormy night be gone,
And the eternal morrow dawn;
Then the curtains will be drawn,
And they wake into a light
Whose day shall never die in night.


Richard Lovelace. 1618-1658

343. To Lucasta, going to the Wars

TELL me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
  That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
  To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
  The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
  A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
  As thou too shalt adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
  Loved I not Honour more.


Richard Lovelace. 1618-1658

344. To Lucasta, going beyond the Seas

    IF to be absent were to be
        Away from thee;
      Or that when I am gone
      You or I were alone;
    Then, my Lucasta, might I crave
Pity from blustering wind or swallowing wave.

    But I'll not sigh one blast or gale
        To swell my sail,
      Or pay a tear to 'suage
      The foaming blue god's rage;
    For whether he will let me pass
Or no, I'm still as happy as I was.

    Though seas and land betwixt us both,
        Our faith and troth,
      Like separated souls,
      All time and space controls:
    Above the highest sphere we meet
Unseen, unknown; and greet as Angels greet.

    So then we do anticipate
        Our after-fate,
      And are alive i' the skies,
      If thus our lips and eyes
    Can speak like spirits unconfined
In Heaven, their earthy bodies left behind.


Richard Lovelace. 1618-1658

345. Gratiana Dancing

SHE beat the happy pavement--
By such a star made firmament,
  Which now no more the roof envìes!
    But swells up high, with Atlas even,
    Bearing the brighter nobler heaven,
  And, in her, all the deities.

Each step trod out a Lover's thought,
And the ambitious hopes he brought
  Chain'd to her brave feet with such arts,
    Such sweet command and gentle awe,
    As, when she ceased, we sighing saw
  The floor lay paved with broken hearts.


Richard Lovelace. 1618-1658

346. To Amarantha, that she would dishevel her Hair

AMARANTHA sweet and fair,
Ah, braid no more that shining hair!
As my curious hand or eye
Hovering round thee, let it fly!

Let it fly as unconfined
As its calm ravisher the wind,
Who hath left his darling, th' East,
To wanton o'er that spicy nest.

Every tress must be confest,
But neatly tangled at the best;
Like a clew of golden thread
Most excellently ravelled.

Do not then wind up that light
In ribbands, and o'ercloud in night,
Like the Sun in 's early ray;
But shake your head, and scatter day!


Richard Lovelace. 1618-1658

347. The Grasshopper

O THOU that swing'st upon the waving hair
  Of some well-filled oaten beard,
Drunk every night with a delicious tear
  Dropt thee from heaven, where thou wert rear'd!

The joys of earth and air are thine entire,
  That with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly;
And when thy poppy works, thou dost retire
  To thy carved acorn-bed to lie.

Up with the day, the Sun thou welcom'st then,
  Sport'st in the gilt plaits of his beams,
And all these merry days mak'st merry men,
  Thyself, and melancholy streams.


Richard Lovelace. 1618-1658

348. To Althea, from Prison

WHEN Love with unconfined wings
  Hovers within my gates,
And my divine Althea brings
  To whisper at the grates;
When I lie tangled in her hair
  And fetter'd to her eye,
The birds that wanton in the air
  Know no such liberty.

When flowing cups run swiftly round
  With no allaying Thames,
Our careless heads with roses bound,
  Our hearts with loyal flames;
When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
  When healths and draughts go free--
Fishes that tipple in the deep
  Know no such liberty.

When, like committed linnets, I
  With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetness, mercy, majesty,
  And glories of my King;
When I shall voice aloud how good
  He is, how great should be,
Enlarged winds, that curl the flood,
  Know no such liberty.

Stone walls do not a prison make,
  Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
  That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
  And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
  Enjoy such liberty.


Abraham Cowley. 1618-1667

349. Anacreontics
1. Drinking

THE thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks and gapes for drink again;
The plants suck in the earth, and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair;
The sea itself (which one would think
Should have but little need of drink)
Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up,
So fill'd that they o'erflow the cup.
The busy Sun (and one would guess
By 's drunken fiery face no less)
Drinks up the sea, and when he 's done,
The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun:
They drink and dance by their own light,
They drink and revel all the night:
Nothing in Nature 's sober found,
But an eternal health goes round.
Fill up the bowl, then, fill it high,
Fill all the glasses there--for why
Should every creature drink but I?
Why, man of morals, tell me why?


Abraham Cowley. 1618-1667

350. Anacreontics
2. The Epicure

UNDERNEATH this myrtle shade,
On flowerly beds supinely laid,
With odorous oils my head o'erflowing,
And around it roses growing,
What should I do but drink away
The heat and troubles of the day?
In this more than kingly state
Love himself on me shall wait.
Fill to me, Love! nay, fill it up!
And mingled cast into the cup
Wit and mirth and noble fires,
Vigorous health and gay desires.
The wheel of life no less will stay
In a smooth than rugged way:
Since it equally doth flee,
Let the motion pleasant be.
Why do we precious ointments shower?--
Nobler wines why do we pour?--
Beauteous flowers why do we spread
Upon the monuments of the dead?
Nothing they but dust can show,
Or bones that hasten to be so.
Crown me with roses while I live,
Now your wines and ointments give:
After death I nothing crave,
Let me alive my pleasures have:
All are Stoics in the grave.


Abraham Cowley. 1618-1667

351. Anacreontics
3. The Swallow

FOOLISH prater, what dost thou
So early at my window do?
Cruel bird, thou'st ta'en away
A dream out of my arms to-day;
A dream that ne'er must equall'd be
By all that waking eyes may see.
Thou this damage to repair
Nothing half so sweet and fair,
Nothing half so good, canst bring,
Tho' men say thou bring'st the Spring.


Abraham Cowley. 1618-1667

352. On the Death of Mr. William Hervey

IT was a dismal and a fearful night:
Scarce could the Morn drive on th' unwilling Light,
When Sleep, Death's image, left my troubled breast
      By something liker Death possest.
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow,
      And on my soul hung the dull weight
      Of some intolerable fate.
What bell was that? Ah me! too much I know!

My sweet companion and my gentle peer,
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here,
Thy end for ever and my life to moan?
      O, thou hast left me all alone!
Thy soul and body, when death's agony
      Besieged around thy noble heart,
      Did not with more reluctance part
Than I, my dearest Friend, do part from thee.

My dearest Friend, would I had died for thee!
Life and this world henceforth will tedious be:
Nor shall I know hereafter what to do
      If once my griefs prove tedious too.
Silent and sad I walk about all day,
      As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by
      Where their hid treasures lie;
Alas! my treasure 's gone; why do I stay?

Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights,
How oft unwearied have we spent the nights,
Till the Ledaean stars, so famed for love,
      Wonder'd at us from above!
We spent them not in toys, in lusts, or wine;
      But search of deep Philosophy,
      Wit, Eloquence, and Poetry--
Arts which I loved, for they, my Friend, were thine.

Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say
Have ye not seen us walking every day?
Was there a tree about which did not know
      The love betwixt us two?
      Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade;
Or your sad branches thicker join
      And into darksome shades combine,
Dark as the grave wherein my Friend is laid!

Large was his soul: as large a soul as e'er
Submitted to inform a body here;
High as the place 'twas shortly in Heaven to have,
      But low and humble as his grave.
So high that all the virtues there did come,
      As to their chiefest seat
      Conspicuous and great;
So low, that for me too it made a room.

Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught
As if for him Knowledge had rather sought;
Nor did more learning ever crowded lie
      In such a short mortality.
Whene'er the skilful youth discoursed or writ,
      Still did the notions throng
      About his eloquent tongue;
Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit.

His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit,
Yet never did his God or friends forget;
And when deep talk and wisdom came in view,
      Retired, and gave to them their due.
For the rich help of books he always took,
      Though his own searching mind before
      Was so with notions written o'er,
As if wise Nature had made that her book.

With as much zeal, devotion, piety,
He always lived, as other saints do die.
Still with his soul severe account he kept,
      Weeping all debts out ere he slept.
Then down in peace and innocence he lay,
      Like the Sun's laborious light,
      Which still in water sets at night,
Unsullied with his journey of the day.

But happy Thou, ta'en from this frantic age,
Where ignorance and hypocrisy does rage!
A fitter time for Heaven no soul e'er chose--
      The place now only free from those.
There 'mong the blest thou dost for ever shine;
      And wheresoe'er thou casts thy view
      Upon that white and radiant crew,
See'st not a soul clothed with more light than thine.


Abraham Cowley. 1618-1667

353. The Wish

WELL then! I now do plainly see
    This busy world and I shall ne'er agree.
The very honey of all earthly joy
Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
    And they, methinks, deserve my pity
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd and buzz and murmurings,
    Of this great hive, the city.

Ah, yet, ere I descend to the grave
May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends, and many books, both true,
Both wise, and both delightful too!
    And since love ne'er will from me flee,
A Mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian angels are,
    Only beloved and loving me.

O fountains! when in you shall I
Myself eased of unpeaceful thoughts espy?
O fields! O woods! when, when shall I be made
Thy happy tenant of your shade?
    Here 's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood:
Here 's wealthy Nature's treasury,
Where all the riches lie that she
    Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.

Pride and ambition here
Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear;
Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter,
And nought but Echo flatter.
    The gods, when they descended, hither
From heaven did always choose their way:
And therefore we may boldly say
    That 'tis the way too thither.

Hoe happy here should I
And one dear She live, and embracing die!
She who is all the world, and can exclude
In deserts solitude.
    I should have then this only fear:
Lest men, when they my pleasures see,
Should hither throng to live like me,
    And so make a city here.


Alexander Brome. 1620-1666

354. The Resolve

TELL me not of a face that 's fair,
  Nor lip and cheek that 's red,
Nor of the tresses of her hair,
  Nor curls in order laid,
Nor of a rare seraphic voice
  That like an angel sings;
Though if I were to take my choice
  I would have all these things:
But if that thou wilt have me love,
  And it must be a she,
The only argument can move
  Is that she will love me.

The glories of your ladies be
  But metaphors of things,
And but resemble what we see
  Each common object brings.
Roses out-red their lips and cheeks,
  Lilies their whiteness stain;
What fool is he that shadows seeks
  And may the substance gain?
Then if thou'lt have me love a lass,
  Let it be one that 's kind:
Else I'm a servant to the glass
  That 's with Canary lined.


Andrew Marvell. 1621-1678

355. An Horatian Ode
upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland

THE forward youth that would appear
Must now forsake his Muses dear,
   Nor in the shadows sing
   His numbers languishing.

'Tis time to leave the books in dust,
And oil the unused armour's rust,
    Removing from the wall
    The corslet of the hall.

So restless Cromwell could not cease
In the inglorious arts of peace,
    But through adventurous war
    Urged his active star:

And like the three-fork'd lightning, first
Breaking the clouds where it was nurst,
    Did thorough his own side
    His fiery way divide:

For 'tis all one to courage high,
The emulous, or enemy;
    And with such, to enclose
    Is more than to oppose.

Then burning through the air he went
And palaces and temples rent;
    And Caesar's head at last
    Did through his laurels blast.

'Tis madness to resist or blame
The face of angry Heaven's flame;
    And if we would speak true,
    Much to the man is due,

Who, from his private gardens, where
He lived reserved and austere
    (As if his highest plot
    To plant the bergamot),

Could by industrious valour climb
To ruin the great work of time,
    And cast the Kingdoms old
    Into another mould;

Though Justice against Fate complain,
And plead the ancient rights in vain--
    But those do hold or break
    As men are strong or weak--

Nature, that hateth emptiness,
Allows of penetration less,
    And therefore must make room
    Where greater spirits come.

What field of all the civil war
Where his were not the deepest scar?
    And Hampton shows what part
    He had of wiser art;

Where, twining subtle fears with hope,
He wove a net of such a scope
    That Charles himself might chase
    To Caresbrooke's narrow case;

That thence the Royal actor borne
The tragic scaffold might adorn:
    While round the armed bands
    Did clap their bloody hands.

He nothing common did or mean
Upon that memorable scene,
    But with his keener eye
    The axe's edge did try;

Nor call'd the gods, with vulgar spite,
To vindicate his helpless right;
    But bow'd his comely head
    Down, as upon a bed.

This was that memorable hour
Which first assured the forced power:
    So when they did design
    The Capitol's first line,

A Bleeding Head, where they begun,
Did fright the architects to run;
    And yet in that the State
    Foresaw its happy fate!

And now the Irish are ashamed
To see themselves in one year tamed:
    So much one man can do
    That does both act and know.

They can affirm his praises best,
And have, though overcome, confest
    How good he is, how just
    And fit for highest trust.

Nor yet grown stiffer with command,
But still in the republic's hand--
    How fit he is to sway
    That can so well obey!

He to the Commons' feet presents
A Kingdom for his first year's rents,
    And, what he may, forbears
    His fame, to make it theirs:

And has his sword and spoils ungirt
To lay them at the public's skirt.
    So when the falcon high
    Falls heavy from the sky,

She, having kill'd, no more doth search
But on the next green bough to perch;
    Where, when he first does lure,
    The falconer has her sure.

What may not then our Isle presume
While victory his crest does plume?
    What may not others fear,
    If thus he crowns each year?

As Caesar he, ere long, to Gaul,
To Italy an Hannibal,
    And to all States not free
    Shall climacteric be.

The Pict no shelter now shall find
Within his particolour'd mind,
    But, from this valour, sad
    Shrink underneath the plaid;

Happy, if in the tufted brake
The English hunter him mistake,
    Nor lay his hounds in near
    The Caledonian deer.

But thou, the war's and fortune's son,
March indefatigably on;
    And for the last effect,
    Still keep the sword erect:

Besides the force it has to fright
The spirits of the shady night,
    The same arts that did gain
    A power, must it maintain.


Andrew Marvell. 1621-1678

356. A Garden
Written after the Civil Wars

SEE how the flowers, as at parade,
Under their colours stand display'd:
Each regiment in order grows,
That of the tulip, pink, and rose.
But when the vigilant patrol
Of stars walks round about the pole,
Their leaves, that to the stalks are curl'd,
Seem to their staves the ensigns furl'd.
Then in some flower's beloved hut
Each bee, as sentinel, is shut,
And sleeps so too; but if once stirr'd,
She runs you through, nor asks the word.
O thou, that dear and happy Isle,
The garden of the world erewhile,
Thou Paradise of the four seas
Which Heaven planted us to please,
But, to exclude the world, did guard
With wat'ry if not flaming sword;
What luckless apple did we taste
To make us mortal and thee waste!
Unhappy! shall we never more
That sweet militia restore,
When gardens only had their towers,
And all the garrisons were flowers;
When roses only arms might bear,
And men did rosy garlands wear?


Andrew Marvell. 1621-1678

357. To His Coy Mistress

HAD we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
  But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave 's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
  Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

slow-chapt] slow-jawed, slowly devouring.


Andrew Marvell. 1621-1678

358. The Picture of Little T. C. in a
Prospect of Flowers

SEE with what simplicity
    This nymph begins her golden days!
      In the green grass she loves to lie,
  And there with her fair aspect tames
  The wilder flowers, and gives them names;
    But only with the roses plays,
                       And them does tell
What colour best becomes them, and what smell.

      Who can foretell for what high cause
    This darling of the gods was born?
      Yet this is she whose chaster laws
  The wanton Love shall one day fear,
  And, under her command severe,
    See his bow broke and ensigns torn.
                      Happy who can
Appease this virtuous enemy of man!

      O then let me in time compound
    And parley with those conquering eyes,
      Ere they have tried their force to wound;
  Ere with their glancing wheels they drive
  In triumph over hearts that strive,
    And them that yield but more despise:
                       Let me be laid,
Where I may see the glories from some shade.

      Meantime, whilst every verdant thing
    Itself does at thy beauty charm,
      Reform the errors of the Spring;
  Make that the tulips may have share
  Of sweetness, seeing they are fair,
    And roses of their thorns disarm;
                       But most procure
That violets may a longer age endure.

      But O, young beauty of the woods,
    Whom Nature courts with fruits and flowers,
      Gather the flowers, but spare the buds;
  Lest Flora, angry at thy crime
  To kill her infants in their prime,
    Do quickly make th' example yours;
                      And ere we see,
Nip in the blossom all our hopes and thee.


Andrew Marvell. 1621-1678

359. Thoughts in a Garden

HOW vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labours see
Crown'd from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose!

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men:
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow:
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.

No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name:
Little, alas! they know or heed
How far these beauties hers exceed!
Fair trees! wheres'e'er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.

When we have run our passions' heat,
Love hither makes his best retreat:
The gods, that mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race;
Apollo hunted Daphne so
Only that she might laurel grow;
And Pan did after Syrinx speed
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.

What wondrous life in this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that 's made
To a green thought in a green shade.

Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and combs its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

Such was that happy Garden-state
While man there walk'd without a mate:
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there:
Two paradises 'twere in one,
To live in Paradise alone.

How well the skilful gard'ner drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new!
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run:
And, as it works, th' industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckon'd, but with herbs and flowers!


Andrew Marvell. 1621-1678

360. Bermudas

WHERE the remote Bermudas ride
In the ocean's bosom unespied,
From a small boat that row'd along
The listening woods received this song:

  'What should we do but sing His praise
That led us through the watery maze
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms' and prelates' rage:
He gave us this eternal Spring
Which here enamels everything,
And sends the fowls to us in care
On daily visits through the air:
He hangs in shades the orange bright
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows:
He makes the figs our mouths to meet
And throws the melons at our feet;
But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars chosen by His hand
From Lebanon He stores the land;
And makes the hollow seas that roar
Proclaim the ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospel's pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound His name.
O, let our voice His praise exalt
Till it arrive at Heaven's vault,
Which thence (perhaps) rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexique bay!'

Thus sung they in the English boat
A holy and a cheerful note:
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.


Andrew Marvell. 1621-1678

361. An Epitaph

ENOUGH; and leave the rest to Fame!
'Tis to commend her, but to name.
Courtship which, living, she declined,
When dead, to offer were unkind:
Nor can the truest wit, or friend,
Without detracting, her commend.

To say--she lived a virgin chaste
In this age loose and all unlaced;
Nor was, when vice is so allowed,
Of virtue or ashamed or proud;
That her soul was on Heaven so bent,
No minute but it came and went;
That, ready her last debt to pay,
She summ'd her life up every day;
Modest as morn, as mid-day bright,
Gentle as evening, cool as night:
--'Tis true; but all too weakly said.
'Twas more significant, she's dead.


Henry Vaughan. 1621-1695

362. The Retreat

HAPPY those early days, when I
Shin'd in my Angel-infancy!
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy aught
But a white celestial thought:
When yet I had not walk'd above
A mile or two from my first Love,
And looking back--at that short space--
Could see a glimpse of His bright face:
When on some gilded cloud, or flow'r,
My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity:
Before I taught my tongue to wound
My Conscience with a sinful sound,
Or had the black art to dispense
A several sin to ev'ry sense,
But felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.

  O how I long to travel back,
And tread again that ancient track!
That I might once more reach that plain
Where first I left my glorious train;
From whence th' enlightned spirit sees
That shady City of Palm-trees.
But ah! my soul with too much stay
Is drunk, and staggers in the way!
Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps would move;
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came, return.


Henry Vaughan. 1621-1695

363. Peace

MY soul, there is a country
  Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
  All skilful in the wars:
There, above noise and danger,
  Sweet Peace sits crown'd with smiles,
And One born in a manger
  Commands the beauteous files.
He is thy gracious Friend,
  And--O my soul, awake!--
Did in pure love descend
  To die here for thy sake.
If thou canst get but thither,
  There grows the flower of Peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
  Thy fortress, and thy ease.
Leave then thy foolish ranges;
  For none can thee secure
But One who never changes--
  Thy God, thy life, thy cure.


Henry Vaughan. 1621-1695

364. The Timber

SURE thou didst flourish once! and many springs,
  Many bright mornings, much dew, many showers,
Pass'd o'er thy head; many light hearts and wings,
  Which now are dead, lodg'd in thy living bowers.

And still a new succession sings and flies;
  Fresh groves grow up, and their green branches shoot
Towards the old and still enduring skies,
  While the low violet thrives at their root.

But thou beneath the sad and heavy line
  Of death, doth waste all senseless, cold, and dark;
Where not so much as dreams of light may shine,
  Nor any thought of greenness, leaf, or bark.

And yet--as if some deep hate and dissent,
  Bred in thy growth betwixt high winds and thee,
Were still alive--thou dost great storms resent
  Before they come, and know'st how near they be.

Else all at rest thou liest, and the fierce breath
  Of tempests can no more disturb thy ease;
But this thy strange resentment after death
  Means only those who broke--in life--thy peace.


Henry Vaughan. 1621-1695

365. Friends Departed

THEY are all gone into the world of light!
    And I alone sit ling'ring here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
        And my sad thoughts doth clear.

It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,
    Like stars upon some gloomy grove,
Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest
        After the sun's remove.

I see them walking in an air of glory,
    Whose light doth trample on my days:
My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,
         Mere glimmering and decays.

O holy Hope! and high Humility,
    High as the heavens above!
These are your walks, and you have show'd them me,
        To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous Death! the jewel of the Just,
    Shining nowhere, but in the dark;
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
        Could man outlook that mark!

He that hath found some fledg'd bird's nest may know,
    At first sight, if the bird be flown;
But what fair well or grove he sings in now,
        That is to him unknown.

And yet as Angels in some brighter dreams
    Call to the soul, when man doth sleep:
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
        And into glory peep.

If a star were confin'd into a tomb,
    Her captive flames must needs burn there;
But when the hand that lock'd her up gives room,
        She'll shine through all the sphere.

O Father of eternal life, and all
    Created glories under Thee!
Resume Thy spirit from this world of thrall
        Into true liberty.

Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
    My perspective still as they pass:
Or else remove me hence unto that hill,
        Where I shall need no glass.


John Bunyan. 1628-1688

366. The Shepherd Boy sings in the
Valley of Humiliation

HE that is down needs fear no fall,
  He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
  Have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,
  Little be it or much:
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
  Because Thou savest such.

Fullness to such a burden is
  That go on pilgrimage:
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
  Is best from age to age.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

367. Thomas the Rhymer

TRUE Thomas lay on Huntlie bank;
  A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e;
And there he saw a ladye bright
  Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.

Her skirt was o' the grass-green silk,
  Her mantle o' the velvet fyne;
At ilka tett o' her horse's mane,
  Hung fifty siller bells and nine.

True Thomas he pu'd aff his cap,
  And louted low down on his knee
'Hail to thee Mary, Queen of Heaven!
  For thy peer on earth could never be.'

'O no, O no, Thomas' she said,
  'That name does not belang to me;
I'm but the Queen o' fair Elfland,
  That am hither come to visit thee.

'Harp and carp, Thomas,' she said;
  'Harp and carp along wi' me;
And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
  Sure of your bodie I will be.'

'Betide me weal; betide me woe,
  That weird shall never daunten me.'
Syne he has kiss'd her rosy lips,
  All underneath the Eildon Tree.

'Now ye maun go wi' me,' she said,
  'True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me;
And ye maun serve me seven years,
  Thro' weal or woe as may chance to be.'

She 's mounted on her milk-white steed,
  She 's ta'en true Thomas up behind;
And aye, whene'er her bridle rang,
  The steed gaed swifter than the wind.

O they rade on, and farther on,
  The steed gaed swifter than the wind;
Until they reach'd a desert wide,
  And living land was left behind.

'Light down, light down now, true Thomas,
  And lean your head upon my knee;
Abide ye there a little space,
  And I will show you ferlies three.

'O see ye not yon narrow road,
  So thick beset wi' thorns and briers?
That is the Path of Righteousness,
  Though after it but few inquires.

'And see ye not yon braid, braid road,
  That lies across the lily leven?
That is the Path of Wickedness,
  Though some call it the Road to Heaven.

'And see ye not yon bonny road
  That winds about the fernie brae?
That is the Road to fair Elfland,
  Where thou and I this night maun gae.

'But, Thomas, ye sall haud your tongue,
  Whatever ye may hear or see;
For speak ye word in Elfyn-land,
  Ye'll ne'er win back to your ain countrie.'

O they rade on, and farther on,
  And they waded rivers abune the knee;
And they saw neither sun nor moon,
  But they heard the roaring of the sea.

It was mirk, mirk night, there was nae starlight,
  They waded thro' red blude to the knee;
For a' the blude that 's shed on the earth
  Rins through the springs o' that countrie.

Syne they came to a garden green,
  And she pu'd an apple frae a tree:
'Take this for thy wages, true Thomas;
  It will give thee the tongue that can never lee.'

'My tongue is my ain,' true Thomas he said;
  'A gudely gift ye wad gie to me!
I neither dought to buy or sell
  At fair or tryst where I might be.

'I dought neither speak to prince or peer,
  Nor ask of grace from fair ladye!'--
'Now haud thy peace, Thomas,' she said,
  'For as I say, so must it be.'

He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
  And a pair o' shoon of the velvet green;
And till seven years were gane and past,
  True Thomas on earth was never seen.

ferlie] marvel.  tett] tuft, lock.  harp and carp] play and recite
(as a minstrel).  leven] ?lawn.  dought] could.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

368. Sir Patrick Spens

I. The Sailing

THE king sits in Dunfermline town
  Drinking the blude-red wine;
'O whare will I get a skeely skipper
  To sail this new ship o' mine?'

O up and spak an eldern knight,
  Sat at the king's right knee;
'Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
  That ever sail'd the sea.'

Our king has written a braid letter,
  And seal'd it with his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
  Was walking on the strand.

'To Noroway, to Noroway,
  To Noroway o'er the faem;
The king's daughter o' Noroway,
  'Tis thou must bring her hame.'

The first word that Sir Patrick read
  So loud, loud laugh'd he;
The neist word that Sir Patrick read
  The tear blinded his e'e.

'O wha is this has done this deed
  And tauld the king o' me,
To send us out, at this time o' year,
  To sail upon the sea?

'Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet,
  Our ship must sail the faem;
The king's daughter o' Noroway,
  'Tis we must fetch her hame.'

They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn
  Wi' a' the speed they may;
They hae landed in Noroway
  Upon a Wodensday.

II. The Return

'Mak ready, mak ready, my merry men a'!
  Our gude ship sails the morn.'
'Now ever alack, my master dear,
  I fear a deadly storm.

'I saw the new moon late yestreen
  Wi' the auld moon in her arm;
And if we gang to sea, master,
  I fear we'll come to harm.'

They hadna sail'd a league, a league,
  A league but barely three,
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,
  And gurly grew the sea.

The ankers brak, and the topmast lap,
  It was sic a deadly storm:
And the waves cam owre the broken ship
  Till a' her sides were torn.

'Go fetch a web o' the silken claith,
  Another o' the twine,
And wap them into our ship's side,
  And let nae the sea come in.'

They fetch'd a web o' the silken claith,
  Another o' the twine,
And they wapp'd them round that gude ship's side,
  But still the sea came in.

O laith, laith were our gude Scots lords
  To wet their cork-heel'd shoon;
But lang or a' the play was play'd
  They wat their hats aboon.

And mony was the feather bed
  That flatter'd on the faem;
And mony was the gude lord's son
  That never mair cam hame.

O lang, lang may the ladies sit,
  Wi' their fans into their hand,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
  Come sailing to the strand!

And lang, lang may the maidens sit
  Wi' their gowd kames in their hair,
A-waiting for their ain dear loves!
  For them they'll see nae mair.

Half-owre, half-owre to Aberdour,
  'Tis fifty fathoms deep;
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
  Wi' the Scots lords at his feet!

skeely] skilful.  lift] sky.  lap] sprang.  flatter'd] tossed
afloat.  kames] combs.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

369. The Lass of Lochroyan

'O WHA will shoe my bonny foot?
  And wha will glove my hand?
And wha will bind my middle jimp
  Wi' a lang, lang linen band?

'O wha will kame my yellow hair,
  With a haw bayberry kame?
And wha will be my babe's father
  Till Gregory come hame?'

'They father, he will shoe thy foot,
  Thy brother will glove thy hand,
Thy mither will bind thy middle jimp
  Wi' a lang, lang linen band.

'Thy sister will kame thy yellow hair,
  Wi' a haw bayberry kame;
The Almighty will be thy babe's father
  Till Gregory come hame.'

'And wha will build a bonny ship,
  And set it on the sea?
For I will go to seek my love,
  My ain love Gregory.'

Up then spak her father dear,
  A wafu' man was he;
'And I will build a bonny ship,
  And set her on the sea.

'And I will build a bonny ship,
  And set her on the sea,
And ye sal gae and seek your love,
  Your ain love Gregory.'

Then he 's gart build a bonny ship,
  And set it on the sea,
Wi' four-and-twenty mariners,
  To bear her company.

O he 's gart build a bonny ship,
  To sail on the salt sea;
The mast was o' the beaten gold,
  The sails o' cramoisie.

The sides were o' the gude stout aik,
  The deck o' mountain pine,
The anchor o' the silver shene,
  The ropes o' silken twine.

She hadna sail'd but twenty leagues,
  But twenty leagues and three,
When she met wi' a rank reiver,
  And a' his companie.

'Now are ye Queen of Heaven hie,
  Come to pardon a' our sin?
Or are ye Mary Magdalane,
  Was born at Bethlam?'

'I'm no the Queen of Heaven hie,
  Come to pardon ye your sin,
Nor am I Mary Magdalane,
  Was born in Bethlam.

'But I'm the lass of Lochroyan,
  That 's sailing on the sea
To see if I can find my love,
  My ain love Gregory.'

'O see na ye yon bonny bower?
  It 's a' covered owre wi' tin;
When thou hast sail'd it round about,
  Lord Gregory is within.'

And when she saw the stately tower,
  Shining both clear and bright,
Whilk stood aboon the jawing wave,
  Built on a rock of height,

Says, 'Row the boat, my mariners,
  And bring me to the land,
For yonder I see my love's castle,
  Close by the salt sea strand.'

She sail'd it round, and sail'd it round,
  And loud and loud cried she,
'Now break, now break your fairy charms,
  And set my true-love free.'

She 's ta'en her young son in her arms,
  And to the door she 's gane,
And long she knock'd, and sair she ca'd.
  But answer got she nane.

'O open, open, Gregory!
  O open! if ye be within;
For here 's the lass of Lochroyan,
  Come far fra kith and kin.

'O open the door, Lord Gregory!
  O open and let me in!
The wind blows loud and cauld, Gregory,
  The rain drops fra my chin.

'The shoe is frozen to my foot,
  The glove unto my hand,
The wet drops fra my yellow hair,
  Na langer dow I stand.'

O up then spak his ill mither,
  --An ill death may she die!
'Ye're no the lass of Lochroyan,
  She 's far out-owre the sea.

'Awa', awa', ye ill woman,
  Ye're no come here for gude;
Ye're but some witch or wil' warlock,
  Or mermaid o' the flood.'

'I am neither witch nor wil' warlock,
  Nor mermaid o' the sea,
But I am Annie of Lochroyan,
  O open the door to me!'

'Gin ye be Annie of Lochroyan,
  As I trow thou binna she,
Now tell me of some love-tokens
  That pass'd 'tween thee and me.'

'O dinna ye mind, love Gregory,
  As we sat at the wine,
We changed the rings frae our fingers?
  And I can shew thee thine.

'O yours was gude, and gude enough,
  But ay the best was mine,
For yours was o' the gude red gowd,
  But mine o' the diamond fine.

'Yours was o' the gude red gowd,
  Mine o' the diamond fine;
Mine was o' the purest troth,
  But thine was false within.'

'If ye be the lass of Lochroyan,
  As I kenna thou be,
Tell me some mair o' the love-tokens
  Pass'd between thee and me.'

'And dinna ye mind, love Gregory!
  As we sat on the hill,
Thou twin'd me o' my maidenheid,
  Right sair against my will?

'Now open the door, love Gregory!
  Open the door! I pray;
For thy young son is in my arms,
  And will be dead ere day.'

'Ye lie, ye lie, ye ill woman,
  So loud I hear ye lie;
For Annie of the Lochroyan
  Is far out-owre the sea.'

Fair Annie turn'd her round about:
  'Weel, sine that it be sae,
May ne'er woman that has borne a son
  Hae a heart sae fu' o' wae!

'Tak down, tak down that mast o' gowd,
  Set up a mast of tree;
It disna become a forsaken lady
  To sail sae royallie.'

When the cock has crawn, and the day did dawn,
  And the sun began to peep,
Up than raise Lord Gregory,
  And sair, sair did he weep.

'O I hae dream'd a dream, mither,
  I wish it may bring good!
That the bonny lass of Lochroyan
  At my bower window stood.

'O I hae dream'd a dream, mither,
  The thought o't gars me greet!
That fair Annie of Lochroyan
  Lay dead at my bed-feet.'

'Gin it be for Annie of Lochroyan
  That ye mak a' this mane,
She stood last night at your bower-door,
  But I hae sent her hame.'

'O wae betide ye, ill woman,
  An ill death may ye die!
That wadna open the door yoursell
  Nor yet wad waken me.'

O he 's gane down to yon shore-side,
  As fast as he could dree,
And there he saw fair Annie's bark
  A rowing owre the sea.

'O Annie, Annie,' loud he cried,
  'O Annie, O Annie, bide!'
But ay the mair he cried 'Annie,'
  The braider grew the tide.

'O Annie, Annie, dear Annie,
  Dear Annie, speak to me!'
But ay the louder he gan call,
  The louder roar'd the sea.

The wind blew loud, the waves rose hie
  And dash'd the boat on shore;
Fair Annie's corpse was in the faem,
  The babe rose never more.

Lord Gregory tore his gowden locks
  And made a wafu' moan;
Fair Annie's corpse lay at his feet,
  His bonny son was gone.

'O cherry, cherry was her cheek,
  And gowden was her hair,
And coral, coral was her lips,
  Nane might with her compare.'

Then first he kiss'd her pale, pale cheek,
  And syne he kiss'd her chin,
And syne he kiss'd her wane, wane lips,
  There was na breath within.

'O wae betide my ill mither,
  An ill death may she die!
She turn'd my true-love frae my door,
  Who cam so far to me.

'O wae betide my ill mither,
  An ill death may she die!
She has no been the deid o' ane,
  But she 's been the deid of three.'

Then he 's ta'en out a little dart,
  Hung low down by his gore,
He thrust it through and through his heart,
  And words spak never more.

jimp] trim.  kame] comb.  haw bayberry] ?a corruption for 'braw
ivory': or bayberry may=laurel-wood.  cramoisie] crimson.  reiver]
robber.  dow] can.  gore] skirt, waist.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

370. The Dowie Houms of Yarrow

LATE at een, drinkin' the wine,
  And ere they paid the lawin',
They set a combat them between,
  To fight it in the dawin'.

'O stay at hame, my noble lord!
  O stay at hame, my marrow!
My cruel brother will you betray,
  On the dowie houms o' Yarrow.'

'O fare ye weel, my lady gay!
  O fare ye weel, my Sarah!
For I maun gae, tho' I ne'er return
  Frae the dowie banks o' Yarrow.'

She kiss'd his cheek, she kamed his hair,
  As she had done before, O;
She belted on his noble brand,
  An' he 's awa to Yarrow.

O he 's gane up yon high, high hill--
  I wat he gaed wi' sorrow--
An' in a den spied nine arm'd men,
  I' the dowie houms o' Yarrow.

'O are ye come to drink the wine,
  As ye hae doon before, O?
Or are ye come to wield the brand,
  On the dowie banks o' Yarrow?'

'I am no come to drink the wine,
  As I hae don before, O,
But I am come to wield the brand,
  On the dowie houms o' Yarrow.'

Four he hurt, an' five he slew,
  On the dowie houms o' Yarrow,
Till that stubborn knight came him behind,
  An' ran his body thorrow.

'Gae hame, gae hame, good brother John,
  An' tell your sister Sarah
To come an' lift her noble lord,
  Who 's sleepin' sound on Yarrow.'

'Yestreen I dream'd a dolefu' dream;
  I ken'd there wad be sorrow;
I dream'd I pu'd the heather green,
  On the dowie banks o' Yarrow.'

She gaed up yon high, high hill--
  I wat she gaed wi' sorrow--
An' in a den spied nine dead men,
  On the dowie houms o' Yarrow.

She kiss'd his cheek, she kamed his hair,
  As oft she did before, O;
She drank the red blood frae him ran,
  On the dowie houms o' Yarrow.

'O haud your tongue, my douchter dear,
  For what needs a' this sorrow?
I'll wed you on a better lord
  Than him you lost on Yarrow.'

'O haud your tongue, my father dear,
  An' dinna grieve your Sarah;
A better lord was never born
  Than him I lost on Yarrow.

'Tak hame your ousen, tak hame your kye,
  For they hae bred our sorrow;
I wiss that they had a' gane mad
  When they cam first to Yarrow.'

lawin'] reckoning.  marrow] mate, husband or wife.  dowie]
doleful.  houms] water-meads.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

371. Clerk Saunders

CLERK SAUNDERS and may Margaret
  Walk'd owre yon garden green;
And deep and heavy was the love
  That fell thir twa between.

'A bed, a bed,' Clerk Saunders said,
  'A bed for you and me!'
'Fye na, fye na,' said may Margaret,
  'Till anes we married be!'

'Then I'll take the sword frae my scabbard
  And slowly lift the pin;
And you may swear, and save your aith,
  Ye ne'er let Clerk Saunders in.

'Take you a napkin in your hand,
  And tie up baith your bonnie e'en,
And you may swear, and save your aith,
  Ye saw me na since late yestreen.'

It was about the midnight hour,
  When they asleep were laid,
When in and came her seven brothers,
  Wi' torches burning red:

When in and came her seven brothers,
  Wi' torches burning bright:
They said, 'We hae but one sister,
  And behold her lying with a knight!'

Then out and spake the first o' them,
  'I bear the sword shall gar him die.'
And out and spake the second o' them,
  'His father has nae mair but he.'

And out and spake the third o' them,
  'I wot that they are lovers dear.'
And out and spake the fourth o' them,
  'They hae been in love this mony a year.'

Then out and spake the fifth o' them,
  'It were great sin true love to twain.'
And out and spake the sixth o' them,
  'It were shame to slay a sleeping man.'

Then up and gat the seventh o' them,
  And never a word spake he;
But he has striped his bright brown brand
  Out through Clerk Saunders' fair bodye.

Clerk Saunders he started, and Margaret she turn'd
  Into his arms as asleep she lay;
And sad and silent was the night
  That was atween thir twae.

And they lay still and sleepit sound
  Until the day began to daw';
And kindly she to him did say,
  'It is time, true love, you were awa'.'

But he lay still, and sleepit sound,
  Albeit the sun began to sheen;
She look'd atween her and the wa',
  And dull and drowsie were his e'en.

Then in and came her father dear;
  Said, 'Let a' your mourning be;
I'll carry the dead corse to the clay,
  And I'll come back and comfort thee.'

'Comfort weel your seven sons,
  For comforted I will never be:
I ween 'twas neither knave nor loon
  Was in the bower last night wi' me.'

The clinking bell gaed through the town,
  To carry the dead corse to the clay;
And Clerk Saunders stood at may Margaret's window,
  I wot, an hour before the day.

'Are ye sleeping, Marg'ret?' he says,
  'Or are ye waking presentlie?
Give me my faith and troth again,
  I wot, true love, I gied to thee.'

'Your faith and troth ye sall never get,
  Nor our true love sall never twin,
Until ye come within my bower,
  And kiss me cheik and chin.'

'My mouth it is full cold, Marg'ret;
  It has the smell, now, of the ground;
And if I kiss thy comely mouth,
  Thy days of life will not be lang.

'O cocks are crowing a merry midnight;
  I wot the wild fowls are boding day;
Give me my faith and troth again,
  And let me fare me on my way.'

'Thy faith and troth thou sallna get,
  And our true love sall never twin,
Until ye tell what comes o' women,
  I wot, who die in strong traivelling?'

'Their beds are made in the heavens high,
  Down at the foot of our good Lord's knee,
Weel set about wi' gillyflowers;
  I wot, sweet company for to see.

'O cocks are crowing a merry midnight;
  I wot the wild fowls are boding day;
The psalms of heaven will soon be sung,
  And I, ere now, will be miss'd away.'

Then she has taken a crystal wand,
  And she has stroken her troth thereon;
She has given it him out at the shot-window,
  Wi' mony a sad sigh and heavy groan.

'I thank ye, Marg'ret; I thank ye, Marg'ret;
  And ay I thank ye heartilie;
Gin ever the dead come for the quick,
  Be sure, Marg'ret, I'll come for thee.'

It 's hosen and shoon, and gown alone,
  She climb'd the wall, and follow'd him,
Until she came to the green forest,
And there she lost the sight o' him.

'Is there ony room at your head, Saunders?
  Is there ony room at your feet?
Or ony room at your side, Saunders,
  Where fain, fain, I wad sleep?'

'There 's nae room at my head, Marg'ret,
  There 's nae room at my feet;
My bed it is fu' lowly now,
  Amang the hungry worms I sleep.

'Cauld mould is my covering now,
  But and my winding-sheet;
The dew it falls nae sooner down
  Than my resting-place is weet.

'But plait a wand o' bonny birk,
  And lay it on my breast;
And shed a tear upon my grave,
  And wish my saul gude rest.'

Then up and crew the red, red cock,
  And up and crew the gray:
''Tis time, 'tis time, my dear Marg'ret,
  That you were going away.

'And fair Marg'ret, and rare Marg'ret,
  And Marg'ret o' veritie,
Gin e'er ye love another man,
  Ne'er love him as ye did me.'

striped] thrust.  twin] part in two.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

372. Fair Annie

THE reivers they stole Fair Annie,
  As she walk'd by the sea;
But a noble knight was her ransom soon,
  Wi' gowd and white monie.

She bided in strangers' land wi' him,
  And none knew whence she cam;
She lived in the castle wi' her love,
  But never told her name.

'It 's narrow, narrow, mak your bed,
  And learn to lie your lane;
For I'm gaun owre the sea, Fair Annie,
  A braw Bride to bring hame.
Wi' her I will get gowd and gear,
  Wi' you I ne'er gat nane.

'But wha will bake my bridal bread,
  Or brew my bridal ale?
And wha will welcome my bright Bride,
  That I bring owre the dale?'

It 's I will bake your bridal bread,
  And brew your bridal ale;
And I will welcome your bright Bride,
  That you bring owre the dale.'

'But she that welcomes my bright Bride
  Maun gang like maiden fair;
She maun lace on her robe sae jimp,
  And comely braid her hair.

'Bind up, bind up your yellow hair,
  And tie it on your neck;
And see you look as maiden-like
  As the day that first we met.'

'O how can I gang maiden-like,
  When maiden I am nane?
Have I not borne six sons to thee,
  And am wi' child again?'

'I'll put cooks into my kitchen,
  And stewards in my hall,
And I'll have bakers for my bread,
  And brewers for my ale;
But you're to welcome my bright Bride,
  That I bring owre the dale.'

Three months and a day were gane and past,
  Fair Annie she gat word
That her love's ship was come at last,
  Wi' his bright young Bride aboard.

She 's ta'en her young son in her arms,
  Anither in her hand;
And she 's gane up to the highest tower,
  Looks over sea and land.

'Come doun, come doun, my mother dear,
  Come aff the castle wa'!
I fear if langer ye stand there,
  Ye'll let yoursell doun fa'.'

She 's ta'en a cake o' the best bread,
  A stoup o' the best wine,
And a' the keys upon her arm,
  And to the yett is gane.

'O ye're welcome hame, my ain gude lord,
  To your castles and your towers;
Ye're welcome hame, my ain gude lord,
  To your ha's, but and your bowers.
And welcome to your hame, fair lady!
  For a' that 's here is yours.'

'O whatna lady 's that, my lord,
  That welcomes you and me?
Gin I be lang about this place,
  Her friend I mean to be.'

Fair Annie served the lang tables
  Wi' the white bread and the wine;
But ay she drank the wan water
  To keep her colour fine.

And she gaed by the first table,
  And smiled upon them a';
But ere she reach'd the second table,
  The tears began to fa'.

She took a napkin lang and white,
  And hung it on a pin;
It was to wipe away the tears,
  As she gaed out and in.

When bells were rung and mass was sung,
  And a' men bound for bed,
The bridegroom and the bonny Bride
  In ae chamber were laid.

Fair Annie's ta'en a harp in her hand,
  To harp thir twa asleep;
But ay, as she harpit and she sang,
  Fu' sairly did she weep.

'O gin my sons were seven rats,
  Rinnin' on the castle wa',
And I mysell a great grey cat,
  I soon wad worry them a'!

'O gin my sons were seven hares,
  Rinnin' owre yon lily lea,
And I mysell a good greyhound,
  Soon worried they a' should be!'

Then out and spak the bonny young Bride,
  In bride-bed where she lay:
'That 's like my sister Annie,' she says;
  'Wha is it doth sing and play?

'I'll put on my gown,' said the new-come Bride,
  'And my shoes upon my feet;
I will see wha doth sae sadly sing,
  And what is it gars her greet.

'What ails you, what ails you, my housekeeper,
  That ye mak sic a mane?
Has ony wine-barrel cast its girds,
  Or is a' your white bread gane?'

'It isna because my wine is spilt,
  Or that my white bread's gane;
But because I've lost my true love's love,
  And he 's wed to anither ane.'

'Noo tell me wha was your father?' she says,
  'Noo tell me wha was your mother?
And had ye ony sister?' she says,
  'And had ye ever a brother?'

'The Earl of Wemyss was my father,
  The Countess of Wemyss my mother,
Young Elinor she was my sister dear,
  And Lord John he was my brother.'

'If the Earl of Wemyss was your father,
  I wot sae was he mine;
And it 's O my sister Annie!
  Your love ye sallna tyne.

'Tak your husband, my sister dear;
  You ne'er were wrang'd for me,
Beyond a kiss o' his merry mouth
  As we cam owre the sea.

'Seven ships, loaded weel,
  Cam owre the sea wi' me;
Ane o' them will tak me hame,
  And six I'll gie to thee.'

jimp] trim.  yett] gate.  tyne] lose.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

373. Edward, Edward

'WHY does your brand sae drop wi' blude,
        Edward, Edward?
Why does your brand sae drop wi' blude,
    And why sae sad gang ye, O?'
'O I hae kill'd my hawk sae gude,
        Mither, mither;
O I hae kill'd my hawk sae gude,
    And I had nae mair but he, O.'

'Your hawk's blude was never sae red,
        Edward, Edward;
Your hawk's blude was never sae red,
    My dear son, I tell thee, O.'
'O I hae kill'd my red-roan steed,
        Mither, mither;
O I hae kill'd my red-roan steed,
    That erst was sae fair and free, O.'

'Your steed was auld, and ye hae got mair,
        Edward, Edward;
Your steed was auld, and ye hae got mair;
    Some other dule ye dree, O.'
'O I hae kill'd my father dear,
        Mither, mither;
O I hae kill'd my father dear,
    Alas, and wae is me, O!'

'And whatten penance will ye dree for that,
        Edward, Edward?
Whatten penance will ye dree for that?
    My dear son, now tell me, O.'
'I'll set my feet in yonder boat,
        Mither, mither;
I'll set my feet in yonder boat,
    And I'll fare over the sea, O.'

'And what will ye do wi' your tow'rs and your ha',
        Edward, Edward?
And what will ye do wi' your tow'rs and your ha',
    That were sae fair to see, O?'
'I'll let them stand till they doun fa',
        Mither, mither;
I'll let them stand till they doun fa',
    For here never mair maun I be, O.'

'And what will ye leave to your bairns and your wife,
        Edward, Edward?
And what will ye leave to your bairns and your wife,
    When ye gang owre the sea, O?'
'The warld's room: let them beg through life,
        Mither, mither;
The warld's room: let them beg through life;
    For them never mair will I see, O.'

'And what will ye leave to your ain mither dear,
        Edward, Edward?
And what will ye leave to your ain mither dear,
    My dear son, now tell me, O?'

'The curse of hell frae me sall ye bear,
        Mither, mither;
The curse of hell frae me sall ye bear:
    Sic counsels ye gave to me, O!'

dule ye dree] grief you suffer.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

374. Edom o' Gordon

IT fell about the Martinmas,
  When the wind blew shrill and cauld,
Said Edom o' Gordon to his men,
  'We maun draw to a hauld.

'And what a hauld sall we draw to,
  My merry men and me?
We will gae to the house o' the Rodes,
  To see that fair ladye.'

The lady stood on her castle wa',
  Beheld baith dale and down;
There she was ware of a host of men
  Cam riding towards the town.

'O see ye not, my merry men a',
  O see ye not what I see?
Methinks I see a host of men;
  I marvel wha they be.'

She ween'd it had been her lovely lord,
  As he cam riding hame;
It was the traitor, Edom o' Gordon,
  Wha reck'd nae sin nor shame.

She had nae sooner buskit hersell,
  And putten on her gown,
But Edom o' Gordon an' his men
  Were round about the town.

They had nae sooner supper set,
  Nae sooner said the grace,
But Edom o' Gordon an' his men
  Were lighted about the place.

The lady ran up to her tower-head,
  Sae fast as she could hie,
To see if by her fair speeches
  She could wi' him agree.

'Come doun to me, ye lady gay,
  Come doun, come doun to me;
This night sall ye lig within mine arms,
  To-morrow my bride sall be.'

'I winna come down, ye fals Gordon,
  I winna come down to thee;
I winna forsake my ain dear lord,
  That is sae far frae me.'

'Gie owre your house, ye lady fair,
  Gie owre your house to me;
Or I sall brenn yoursel therein,
  But and your babies three.'

'I winna gie owre, ye fals Gordon,
  To nae sic traitor as yee;
And if ye brenn my ain dear babes,
  My lord sall mak ye dree.

'Now reach my pistol, Glaud, my man,
  And charge ye weel my gun;
For, but an I pierce that bluidy butcher,
  My babes, we been undone!'

She stood upon her castle wa',
  And let twa bullets flee:
She miss'd that bluidy butcher's heart,
  And only razed his knee.

'Set fire to the house!' quo' fals Gordon,
  All wud wi' dule and ire:
'Fals lady, ye sall rue this deid
  As ye brenn in the fire!'

Wae worth, wae worth ye, Jock, my man!
  I paid ye weel your fee;
Why pu' ye out the grund-wa' stane,
  Lets in the reek to me?

'And e'en wae worth ye, Jock, my man!
  I paid ye weel your hire;
Why pu' ye out the grund-wa' stane,
  To me lets in the fire?'

'Ye paid me weel my hire, ladye,
  Ye paid me weel my fee:
But now I'm Edom o' Gordon's man--
  Maun either do or die.'

O then bespake her little son,
  Sat on the nurse's knee:
Says, 'Mither dear, gie owre this house,
  For the reek it smithers me.'

'I wad gie a' my gowd, my bairn,
  Sae wad I a' my fee,
For ae blast o' the western wind,
  To blaw the reek frae thee.'

O then bespake her dochter dear--
  She was baith jimp and sma':
'O row me in a pair o' sheets,
  And tow me owre the wa'!'

They row'd her in a pair o' sheets,
  And tow'd her owre the wa';
But on the point o' Gordon's spear
  She gat a deadly fa'.

O bonnie, bonnie was her mouth,
  And cherry were her cheiks,
And clear, clear was her yellow hair,
  Whereon the red blood dreips.

Then wi' his spear he turn'd her owre;
  O gin her face was wane!
He said, 'Ye are the first that e'er
  I wish'd alive again.'

He turn'd her owre and owre again;
  O gin her skin was white!
'I might hae spared that bonnie face
  To hae been some man's delight.

'Busk and boun, my merry men a',
  For ill dooms I do guess;
I canna look in that bonnie face
  As it lies on the grass.'

'Wha looks to freits, my master dear,
  It 's freits will follow them;
Let it ne'er be said that Edom o' Gordon
  Was daunted by a dame.'

But when the lady saw the fire
  Come flaming owre her head,
She wept, and kiss'd her children twain,
  Says, 'Bairns, we been but dead.'

The Gordon then his bugle blew,
  And said, 'Awa', awa'!
This house o' the Rodes is a' in a flame;
  I hauld it time to ga'.'

And this way lookit her ain dear lord,
  As he cam owre the lea;
He saw his castle a' in a lowe,
  As far as he could see.

The sair, O sair, his mind misgave,
  And all his heart was wae:
'Put on, put on, my wighty men,
  Sae fast as ye can gae.

'Put on, put on, my wighty men,
  Sae fast as ye can drie!
For he that 's hindmost o' the thrang
  Sall ne'er get good o' me.'

Then some they rade, and some they ran,
  Out-owre the grass and bent;
But ere the foremost could win up,
  Baith lady and babes were brent.

And after the Gordon he is gane,
  Sae fast as he might drie;
And soon i' the Gordon's foul heart's blude
  He 's wroken his dear ladye.

town] stead.  buskit] attired.  wud] mad.  grund-wa']
ground-wall.  jimp] slender, trim.  row] roll, wrap.  Busk and
boun] trim up and prepare to go.  freits] ill omens.  lowe]
flame.  wighty] stout, doughty.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

375. The Queen's Marie

MARIE HAMILTON 's to the kirk gane,
  Wi' ribbons in her hair;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
  Than ony that were there.

Marie Hamilton 's to the kirk gane
  Wi' ribbons on her breast;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
  Than he listen'd to the priest.

Marie Hamilton 's to the kirk gane,
  Wi' gloves upon her hands;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
  Than the Queen and a' her lands.

She hadna been about the King's court
  A month, but barely one,
Till she was beloved by a' the King's court
  And the King the only man.

She hadna been about the King's court
  A month, but barely three,
Till frae the King's court Marie Hamilton,
  Marie Hamilton durstna be.

The King is to the Abbey gane,
  To pu' the Abbey tree,
To scale the babe frae Marie's heart;
  But the thing it wadna be.

O she has row'd it in her apron,
  And set it on the sea--
'Gae sink ye or swim ye, bonny babe,
  Ye'se get nae mair o' me.'

Word is to the kitchen gane,
  And word is to the ha',
And word is to the noble room
  Amang the ladies a',
That Marie Hamilton 's brought to bed,
  And the bonny babe 's miss'd and awa'.

Scarcely had she lain down again,
  And scarcely fa'en asleep,
When up and started our gude Queen
  Just at her bed-feet;
Saying--'Marie Hamilton, where 's your babe?
  For I am sure I heard it greet.'

'O no, O no, my noble Queen!
  Think no sic thing to be;
'Twas but a stitch into my side,
  And sair it troubles me!'

'Get up, get up, Marie Hamilton:
  Get up and follow me;
For I am going to Edinburgh town,
  A rich wedding for to see.'

O slowly, slowly rase she up,
  And slowly put she on;
And slowly rade she out the way
  Wi' mony a weary groan.

The Queen was clad in scarlet,
  Her merry maids all in green;
And every town that they cam to,
  They took Marie for the Queen.

'Ride hooly, hooly, gentlemen,
  Ride hooly now wi' me!
For never, I am sure, a wearier burd
  Rade in your companie.'--

But little wist Marie Hamilton,
  When she rade on the brown,
That she was gaen to Edinburgh town,
  And a' to be put down.

'Why weep ye so, ye burgess wives,
  Why look ye so on me?
O I am going to Edinburgh town,
  A rich wedding to see.'

When she gaed up the tolbooth stairs,
  The corks frae her heels did flee;
And lang or e'er she cam down again,
  She was condemn'd to die.

When she cam to the Netherbow port,
  She laugh'd loud laughters three;
But when she came to the gallows foot
  The tears blinded her e'e.

'Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
  The night she'll hae but three;
There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton,
  And Marie Carmichael, and me.

'O often have I dress'd my Queen
  And put gowd upon her hair;
But now I've gotten for my reward
  The gallows to be my share.

'Often have I dress'd my Queen
  And often made her bed;
But now I've gotten for my reward
  The gallows tree to tread.

'I charge ye all, ye mariners,
  When ye sail owre the faem,
Let neither my father nor mother get wit
  But that I'm coming hame.

'I charge ye all, ye mariners,
  That sail upon the sea,
That neither my father nor mother get wit
  The dog's death I'm to die.

'For if my father and mother got wit,
  And my bold brethren three,
O mickle wad be the gude red blude
  This day wad be spilt for me!

'O little did my mother ken,
  The day she cradled me,
The lands I was to travel in
  Or the death I was to die!

wroken] avenged.  row'd] rolled, wrapped.  greet] cry.  hooly]
gently.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

376. Binnorie

THERE were twa sisters sat in a bour;
  Binnorie, O Binnorie!
There cam a knight to be their wooer,
  By the bonnie milldams o' Binnorie.

He courted the eldest with glove and ring,
But he lo'ed the youngest abune a thing.

The eldest she was vexed sair,
And sair envìed her sister fair.

Upon a morning fair and clear,
She cried upon her sister dear:

'O sister, sister tak my hand,
And let 's go down to the river-strand.'

She 's ta'en her by the lily hand,
And led her down to the river-strand.

The youngest stood upon a stane,
The eldest cam and push'd her in.

'O sister, sister reach your hand!
And ye sall be heir o' half my land:

'O sister, reach me but your glove!
And sweet William sall be your love.'

Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam,
Until she cam to the miller's dam.

Out then cam the miller's son,
And saw the fair maid soummin' in.

'O father, father draw your dam!
There 's either a mermaid or a milk-white swan.'

The miller hasted and drew his dam,
And there he found a drown'd women.

You couldna see her middle sma',
Her gowden girdle was sae braw.

You couldna see her lily feet,
Her gowden fringes were sae deep.

All amang her yellow hair
A string o' pearls was twisted rare.

You couldna see her fingers sma',
Wi' diamond rings they were cover'd a'.

And by there cam a harper fine,
That harpit to the king at dine.

And when he look'd that lady on,
He sigh'd and made a heavy moan.

He 's made a harp of her breast-bane,
Whose sound wad melt a heart of stane.

He 's ta'en three locks o' her yellow hair,
And wi' them strung his harp sae rare.

He went into her father's hall,
And there was the court assembled all.

He laid his harp upon a stane,
And straight it began to play by lane.

'O yonder sits my father, the King,
And yonder sits my mother, the Queen;

'And yonder stands my brother Hugh,
And by him my William, sweet and true.'

But the last tune that the harp play'd then--
  Binnorie, O Binnorie!
Was, 'Woe to my sister, false Helen!'
  By the bonnie milldams o' Binnorie.

soummin'] swimming.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

377. The Bonnie House o' Airlie

IT fell on a day, and a bonnie simmer day,
  When green grew aits and barley,
That there fell out a great dispute
  Between Argyll and Airlie.

Argyll has raised an hunder men,
  An hunder harness'd rarely,
And he 's awa' by the back of Dunkell,
  To plunder the castle of Airlie.

Lady Ogilvie looks o'er her bower-window,
  And O but she looks warely!
And there she spied the great Argyll,
  Come to plunder the bonnie house of Airlie.

'Come down, come down, my Lady Ogilvie,
  Come down and kiss me fairly:'
'O I winna kiss the fause Argyll,
  If he shouldna leave a standing stane in Airlie.'

He hath taken her by the left shoulder,
  Says, 'Dame, where lies thy dowry?'
'O it 's east and west yon wan water side,
  And it 's down by the banks of the Airlie.'

They hae sought it up, they hae sought it down,
  They hae sought it maist severely,
Till they fand it in the fair plum-tree
  That shines on the bowling-green of Airlie.

He hath taken her by the middle sae small,
  And O but she grat sairly!
And laid her down by the bonnie burn-side,
  Til they plunder'd the castle of Airlie.

'Gif my gude lord war here this night,
  As he is with King Charlie,
Neither you, nor ony ither Scottish lord,
  Durst avow to the plundering of Airlie.

'Gif my gude lord war now at hame,
  As he is with his king,
There durst nae a Campbell in a' Argyll
  Set fit on Airlie green.

'Then bonnie sons I have borne unto him,
  The eleventh ne'er saw his daddy;
But though I had an hunder mair,
  I'd gie them a' to King Charlie!'


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

378. The Wife of Usher's Well

THERE lived a wife at Usher's well,
  And a wealthy wife was she;
She had three stout and stalwart sons,
  And sent them o'er the sea.

They hadna been a week from her,
  A week but barely ane,
When word came to the carline wife
  That her three sons were gane.

They hadna been a week from her,
  A week but barely three,
When word came to the carline wife
  That her sons she'd never see.

'I wish the wind may never cease.
  Nor fashes in the flood,
Till my three sons come hame to me,
  In earthly flesh and blood!'

It fell about the Martinmas,
  When nights are lang and mirk,
The carline wife's three sons came hame,
  And their hats were o' the birk.

It neither grew in syke nor ditch,
  Nor yet in ony sheugh;
But at the gates o' Paradise
  That birk grew fair eneugh.

'Blow up the fire, my maidens!
  Bring water from the well!
For a' my house shall feast this night,
  Since my three sons are well.'

And she has made to them a bed,
  She 's made it large and wide;
And she 's ta'en her mantle her about,
  Sat down at the bedside.

Up then crew the red, red cock,
  And up and crew the gray;
The eldest to the youngest said.
  ''Tis time we were away.'

The cock he hadna craw'd but once,
  And clapp'd his wings at a',
When the youngest to the eldest said,
  'Brother, we must awa'.

'The cock doth craw, the day doth daw,
  The channerin' worm doth chide;
Gin we be miss'd out o' our place,
  A sair pain we maun bide.'

'Lie still, lie still but a little wee while,
  Lie still but if we may;
Gin my mother should miss us when she wakes,
  She'll go mad ere it be day.'

'Fare ye weel, my mother dear!
  Fareweel to barn and byre!
And fare ye weel, the bonny lass
  That kindles my mother's fire!'

fashes] troubles.  syke] marsh.  sheugh] trench.  channerin']
fretting.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

379. The Three Ravens

THERE were three ravens sat on a tree,
They were as black as they might be.

The one of them said to his make,
'Where shall we our breakfast take?'

'Down in yonder greene field
There lies a knight slain under his shield;

'His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they can their master keep;

'His hawks they flie so eagerly,
There 's no fowl dare come him nigh.'

Down there comes a fallow doe
As great with young as she might goe.

She lift up his bloudy head
And kist his wounds that were so red.

She gat him up upon her back
And carried him to earthen lake.

She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herself ere evensong time.

God send every gentleman
Such hounds, such hawks, and such a leman.

make] mate.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

380. The Twa Corbies
(SCOTTISH VERSION)

AS I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies making a mane:
The tane unto the tither did say,
'Whar sall we gang and dine the day?'

'--In behint yon auld fail dyke
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there
But his hawk, his hound, and his lady fair.

'His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady 's ta'en anither mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet.

'Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue e'en:
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.

'Mony a one for him maks mane,
But nane sall ken whar he is gane:
O'er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.'

corbies] ravens.  fail] turf.  hause] neck.  theek] thatch.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

381. A Lyke-Wake Dirge

THIS ae nighte, this ae nighte,
  --Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
  And Christe receive thy saule.

When thou from hence away art past,
  --Every nighte and alle,
To Whinny-muir thou com'st at last;
  And Christe receive thy saule.

If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
  --Every nighte and alle,
Sit thee down and put them on;
  And Christe receive thy saule.

If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
  --Every nighte and alle,
The whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane;
  And Christe receive thy saule.

From Whinny-muir when thou may'st pass,
  --Every nighte and alle,
To Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last;
  And Christe receive thy saule.

From Brig o' Dread when thou may'st pass,
  --Every nighte and alle,
To Purgatory fire thou com'st at last;
  And Christe receive thy saule.

If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
  --Every nighte and alle,
The fire sall never make thee shrink;
  And Christe receive thy saule.

If meat or drink thou ne'er gav'st nane,
  --Every nighte and alle,
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
  And Christe receive thy saule.

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
  --Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
  And Christe receive thy saule.

fleet] house-room.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

382. The Seven Virgins.
A CAROL

ALL under the leaves and the leaves of life
  I met with virgins seven,
And one of them was Mary mild,
  Our Lord's mother of Heaven.

'O what are you seeking, you seven fair maids,
  All under the leaves of life?
Come tell, come tell, what seek you
  All under the leaves of life?'

'We're seeking for no leaves, Thomas,
  But for a friend of thine;
We're seeking for sweet Jesus Christ,
  To be our guide and thine.'

'Go down, go down, to yonder town,
  And sit in the gallery,
And there you'll see sweet Jesus Christ
  Nail'd to a big yew-tree.'

So down they went to yonder town
  As fast as foot could fall,
And many a grievous bitter tear
  From the virgins' eyes did fall.

'O peace, Mother, O peace, Mother,
  Your weeping doth me grieve:
I must suffer this,' He said,
  'For Adam and for Eve.

'O Mother, take you John Evangelist
  All for to be your son,
And he will comfort you sometimes,
  Mother, as I have done.'

'O come, thou John Evangelist,
  Thou'rt welcome unto me;
But more welcome my own dear Son,
  Whom I nursed on my knee.'

Then He laid His head on His right shoulder,
  Seeing death it struck Him nigh--
'The Holy Ghost be with your soul,
  I die, Mother dear, I die.'

O the rose, the gentle rose,
  And the fennel that grows so green!
God give us grace in every place
  To pray for our king and queen.

Furthermore for our enemies all
  Our prayers they should be strong:
Amen, good Lord; your charity
  Is the ending of my song.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

383. Two Rivers

  SAYS Tweed to Till--
'What gars ye rin sae still?'
  Says Till to Tweed--
'Though ye rin with speed
  And I rin slaw,
For ae man that ye droon
  I droon twa.'


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

384. Cradle Song

O MY deir hert, young Jesus sweit,
Prepare thy creddil in my spreit,
And I sall rock thee in my hert
And never mair from thee depart.

But I sall praise thee evermoir
With sangis sweit unto thy gloir;
The knees of my hert sall I bow,
And sing that richt Balulalow!


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

385. The Call

    MY blood so red
    For thee was shed,
Come home again, come home again;
My own sweet heart, come home again!
    You've gone astray
    Out of your way,
Come home again, come home again!


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

386. The Bonny Earl of Murray

YE Highlands and ye Lawlands,
O where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl of Murray,
  And hae laid him on the green.

Now wae be to thee, Huntley!
  And whairfore did ye sae!
I bade you bring him wi' you,
  But forbade you him to slay.

He was a braw gallant,
  And he rid at the ring;
Ana the bonny Earl of Murray,
  O he might hae been a king!

He was a braw gallant,
  And he play'd at the ba';
And the bonny Earl of Murray
  Was the flower amang them a'!

He was a braw gallant,
  And he play'd at the gluve;
And the bonny Earl of Murray,
  O he was the Queen's luve!

O lang will his Lady
  Look owre the Castle Downe,
Ere she see the Earl of Murray
  Come sounding through the town!


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

387. Helen of Kirconnell

I WISH I were where Helen lies,
  Night and day on me she cries;
O that I were where Helen lies,
  On fair Kirconnell lea!

Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,
  And died to succour me!

O think na ye my heart was sair,
When my Love dropp'd and spak nae mair!
There did she swoon wi' meikle care,
  On fair Kirconnell lea.

As I went down the water side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,
  On fair Kirconnell lea;

I lighted down my sword to draw,
I hacked him in pieces sma',
I hacked him in pieces sma',
  For her sake that died for me.

O Helen fair, beyond compare!
I'll mak a garland o' thy hair,
Shall bind my heart for evermair,
  Until the day I die!

O that I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,
  Says, 'Haste, and come to me!'

O Helen fair! O Helen chaste!
If I were with thee, I'd be blest,
Where thou lies low and taks thy rest,
  On fair Kirconnell lea.

I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn owre my e'en,
And I in Helen's arms lying,
  On fair Kirconnell lea.

I wish I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
And I am weary of the skies,
  For her sake that died for me.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

388. Waly, Waly

O WALY, waly, up the bank,
  And waly, waly, doun the brae,
And waly, waly, yon burn-side,
  Where I and my Love wont to gae!
I lean'd my back unto an aik,
  I thocht it was a trustie tree;
But first it bow'd and syne it brak--
  Sae my true love did lichtlie me.

O waly, waly, gin love be bonnie
  A little time while it is new!
But when 'tis auld it waxeth cauld,
  And fades awa' like morning dew.
O wherefore should I busk my heid,
  Or wherefore should I kame my hair?
For my true Love has me forsook,
  And says he'll never lo'e me mair.

Now Arthur's Seat sall be my bed,
  The sheets sall ne'er be 'filed by me;
Saint Anton's well sall be my drink;
  Since my true Love has forsaken me.
Marti'mas wind, when wilt thou blaw,
  And shake the green leaves aff the tree?
O gentle Death, when wilt thou come?
  For of my life I am wearìe.

'Tis not the frost, that freezes fell,
  Nor blawing snaw's inclemencie,
'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry;
  But my Love's heart grown cauld to me.
When we cam in by Glasgow toun,
  We were a comely sicht to see;
My Love was clad in the black velvet,
  And I mysel in cramasie.

But had I wist, before I kist,
  That love had been sae ill to win,
I had lock'd my heart in a case o' gowd,
  And pinn'd it wi' a siller pin.
And O! if my young babe were born,
  And set upon the nurse's knee;
And I mysel were dead and gane,
  And the green grass growing over me!

cramasie] crimson.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

389. Barbara Allen's Cruelty

IN Scarlet town, where I was born,
  There was a fair maid dwellin',
Made every youth cry Well-a-way!
  Her name was Barbara Allen.

All in the merry month of May,
  When green buds they were swellin',
Young Jemmy Grove on his death-bed lay,
  For love of Barbara Allen.

He sent his man in to her then,
  To the town where she was dwellin',
'O haste and come to my master dear,
  If your name be Barbara Allen.'

So slowly, slowly rase she up,
  And slowly she came nigh him,
And when she drew the curtain by--
  'Young man, I think you're dyin'.'

'O it 's I am sick and very very sick,
  And it 's all for Barbara Allen.'
'O the better for me ye'se never be,
  Tho' your heart's blood were a-spillin'!

'O dinna ye mind, young man,' says she,
  'When the red wine ye were fillin',
That ye made the healths go round and round,
  And slighted Barbara Allen?'

He turn'd his face unto the wall,
  And death was with him dealin':
'Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all,
  And be kind to Barbara Allen!'

As she was walking o'er the fields,
  She heard the dead-bell knellin';
And every jow the dead-bell gave
  Cried 'Woe to Barbara Allen.'

'O mother, mother, make my bed,
  O make it saft and narrow:
My love has died for me to-day,
  I'll die for him to-morrow.

'Farewell,' she said, 'ye virgins all,
  And shun the fault I fell in:
Henceforth take warning by the fall
  Of cruel Barbara Allen.'

jow] beat, toll.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

390. Pipe and Can

I

THE Indian weed withered quite;
Green at morn, cut down at night;
Shows thy decay: all flesh is hay:
    Thus think, then drink Tobacco.

And when the smoke ascends on high,
Think thou behold'st the vanity
Of worldly stuff, gone with a puff:
    Thus think, then drink Tobacco.

But when the pipe grows foul within,
Think of thy soul defiled with sin,
And that the fire doth it require:
    Thus think, then drink Tobacco.

The ashes, that are left behind,
May serve to put thee still in mind
That unto dust return thou must:
    Thus think, then drink Tobacco.

II

WHEN as the chill Charokko blows,
  And Winter tells a heavy tale;
When pyes and daws and rooks and crows
Sit cursing of the frosts and snows;
        Then give me ale.

Ale in a Saxon rumkin then,
  Such as will make grimalkin prate;
Bids valour burgeon in tall men,
Quickens the poet's wit and pen,
        Despises fate.

Ale, that the absent battle fights,
  And frames the march of Swedish drum,
Disputes with princes, laws, and rights,
What 's done and past tells mortal wights,
        And what 's to come.

Ale, that the plowman's heart up-keeps
  And equals it with tyrants' thrones,
That wipes the eye that over-weeps,
And lulls in sure and dainty sleeps
        Th' o'er-wearied bones.

Grandchild of Ceres, Bacchus' daughter,
  Wine's emulous neighbour, though but stale,
Ennobling all the nymphs of water,
And filling each man's heart with laughter--
        Ha! give me ale!

Charokko] Scirocco.


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

391. Love will find out the Way

OVER the mountains
  And over the waves,
Under the fountains
  And under the graves;
Under floods that are deepest,
  Which Neptune obey,
Over rocks that are steepest,
  Love will find out the way.

When there is no place
  For the glow-worm to lie,
When there is no space
  For receipt of a fly;
When the midge dares not venture
  Lest herself fast she lay,
If Love come, he will enter
  And will find out the way.

You may esteem him
  A child for his might;
Or you may deem him
  A coward for his flight;
But if she whom Love doth honour
  Be conceal'd from the day--
Set a thousand guards upon her,
  Love will find out the way.

Some think to lose him
  By having him confined;
And some do suppose him,
  Poor heart! to be blind;
But if ne'er so close ye wall him,
  Do the best that ye may,
Blind Love, if so ye call him,
  He will find out his way.

You may train the eagle
  To stoop to your fist;
Or you may inveigle
  The Phoenix of the east;
The lioness, you may move her
  To give over her prey;
But you'll ne'er stop a lover--
  He will find out the way.

If the earth it should part him,
  He would gallop it o'er;
If the seas should o'erthwart him,
  He would swim to the shore;
Should his Love become a swallow,
  Through the air to stray,
Love will lend wings to follow,
  And will find out the way.

There is no striving
  To cross his intent;
There is no contriving
  His plots to prevent;
But if once the message greet him
  That his True Love doth stay,
If Death should come and meet him,
  Love will find out the way!


Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.

392. Phillada flouts Me

O WHAT a plague is love!
  How shall I bear it?
She will inconstant prove,
  I greatly fear it.
She so torments my mind
  That my strength faileth,
And wavers with the wind
  As a ship saileth.
Please her the best I may,
She loves still to gainsay;
Alack and well-a-day!
  Phillada flouts me.

At the fair yesterday
  She did pass by me;
She look'd another way
  And would not spy me:
I woo'd her for to dine,
  But could not get her;
Will had her to the wine--
  He might entreat her.
With Daniel she did dance,
On me she look'd askance:
O thrice unhappy chance!
  Phillada flouts me.

Fair maid, be not so coy,
  Do not disdain me!
I am my mother's joy:
  Sweet, entertain me!
She'll give me, when she dies,
  All that is fitting:
Her poultry and her bees,
  And her goose sitting,
A pair of mattrass beds,
And a bag full of shreds;
And yet, for all this guedes,
  Phillada flouts me!

She hath a clout of mine
  Wrought with blue coventry,
Which she keeps for a sign
  Of my fidelity:
But i' faith, if she flinch
  She shall not wear it;
To Tib, my t'other wench,
  I mean to bear it.
And yet it grieves my heart
So soon from her to part:
Death strike me with his dart!
  Phillada flouts me.

Thou shalt eat crudded cream
  All the year lasting,
And drink the crystal stream
  Pleasant in tasting;
Whig and whey whilst thou lust,
  And bramble-berries,
Pie-lid and pastry-crust,
  Pears, plums, and cherries.
Thy raiment shall be thin,
Made of a weevil's skin--
Yet all 's not worth a pin!
  Phillada flouts me.

In the last month of May
  I made her posies;
I heard her often say
  That she loved roses.
Cowslips and gillyflowers
  And the white lily
I brought to deck the bowers
  For my sweet Philly.
But she did all disdain,
And threw them back again;
Therefore 'tis flat and plain
  Phillada flouts me.

Fair maiden, have a care,
  And in time take me;
I can have those as fair
  If you forsake me:
For Doll the dairy-maid
  Laugh'd at me lately,
And wanton Winifred
  Favours me greatly.
One throws milk on my clothes,
T'other plays with my nose;
What wanting signs are those?
  Phillada flouts me.

I cannot work nor sleep
  At all in season:
Love wounds my heart so deep
  Without all reason.
I 'gin to pine away
  In my love's shadow,
Like as a fat beast may,
  Penn'd in a meadow.
I shall be dead, I fear,
Within this thousand year:
And all for that my dear
  Phillada flouts me.

guedes] goods, property of any kind.


William Strode. 1602-1645

393. Chloris in the Snow

I SAW fair Chloris walk alone,
When feather'd rain came softly down,
As Jove descending from his Tower
To court her in a silver shower:
The wanton snow flew to her breast,
Like pretty birds into their nest,
But, overcome with whiteness there,
For grief it thaw'd into a tear:
    Thence falling on her garments' hem,
    To deck her, froze into a gem.


Thomas Stanley. 1625-1678

394. The Relapse

O TURN away those cruel eyes,
  The stars of my undoing!
Or death, in such a bright disguise,
  May tempt a second wooing.

Punish their blind and impious pride,
  Who dare contemn thy glory;
It was my fall that deified
  Thy name, and seal'd thy story.

Yet no new sufferings can prepare
  A higher praise to crown thee;
Though my first death proclaim thee fair,
  My second will unthrone thee.

Lovers will doubt thou canst entice
  No other for thy fuel,
And if thou burn one victim twice,
  Both think thee poor and cruel.


Thomas D'Urfey. 1653-1723

395. Chloe Divine

CHLOE 's a Nymph in flowery groves,
  A Nereid in the streams;
Saint-like she in the temple moves,
  A woman in my dreams.

Love steals artillery from her eyes,
  The Graces point her charms;
Orpheus is rivall'd in her voice,
  And Venus in her arms.

Never so happily in one
  Did heaven and earth combine:
And yet 'tis flesh and blood alone
  That makes her so divine.


Charles Cotton. 1630-1687

396. To Coelia

WHEN, Coelia, must my old day set,
  And my young morning rise
In beams of joy so bright as yet
  Ne'er bless'd a lover's eyes?
My state is more advanced than when
  I first attempted thee:
I sued to be a servant then,
  But now to be made free.

I've served my time faithful and true,
  Expecting to be placed
In happy freedom, as my due,
  To all the joys thou hast:
Ill husbandry in love is such
  A scandal to love's power,
We ought not to misspend so much
  As one poor short-lived hour.

Yet think not, sweet! I'm weary grown,
  That I pretend such haste;
Since none to surfeit e'er was known
  Before he had a taste:
My infant love could humbly wait
  When, young, it scarce knew how
To plead; but grown to man's estate,
  He is impatient now.


Katherine Philips ('Orinda'). 1631-1664

397. To One persuading a Lady to Marriage

FORBEAR, bold youth; all 's heaven here,
  And what you do aver
To others courtship may appear,
  'Tis sacrilege to her.
She is a public deity;
  And were 't not very odd
She should dispose herself to be
  A petty household god?

First make the sun in private shine
  And bid the world adieu,
That so he may his beams confine
  In compliment to you:
But if of that you do despair,
  Think how you did amiss
To strive to fix her beams which are
  More bright and large than his.


John Dryden. 1631-1700

398. Ode
To the Pious Memory of the accomplished young lady,
Mrs. Anne Killigrew, excellent in the two sister arts of Poesy and
Painting

THOU youngest virgin-daughter of the skies,
  Made in the last promotion of the blest;
  Whose palms, new pluck'd from Paradise,
  In spreading branches more sublimely rise,
    Rich with immortal green above the rest:
  Whether, adopted to some neighbouring star,
  Thou roll'st above us, in thy wandering race,
    Or, in procession fixt and regular,
    Mov'd with the heaven's majestic pace;
    Or, call'd to more superior bliss,
  Thou tread'st with seraphims the vast abyss:
  Whatever happy region is thy place,
  Cease thy celestial song a little space;
  Thou wilt have time enough for hymns divine,
    Since Heaven's eternal year is thine.
  Hear, then, a mortal Muse thy praise rehearse,
          In no ignoble verse;
  But such as thy own voice did practise here,
  When thy first-fruits of Poesy were given,
  To make thyself a welcome inmate there;
    While yet a young probationer,
          And candidate of heaven.

    If by traduction came thy mind,
    Our wonder is the less, to find
  A soul so charming from a stock so good;
  Thy father was transfus'd into thy blood:
  So wert thou born into the tuneful strain,
  An early, rich, and inexhausted vein.
    But if thy pre-existing soul
    Was form'd at first with myriads more,
  It did through all the mighty poets roll
    Who Greek or Latin laurels wore,
And was that Sappho last, which once it was before.
    If so, then cease thy flight, O heaven-born mind!
  Thou hast no dross to purge from thy rich ore:
    Nor can thy soul a fairer mansion find,
  Than was the beauteous frame she left behind:
Return, to fill or mend the quire of thy celestial kind.

  May we presume to say, that, at thy birth,
New joy was sprung in heaven as well as here on earth?
  For sure the milder planets did combine
  On thy auspicious horoscope to shine,
  And even the most malicious were in trine.
    Thy brother-angels at thy birth
    Strung each his lyre, and tun'd it high,
    That all the people of the sky
  Might know a poetess was born on earth;
    And then, if ever, mortal ears
    Had heard the music of the spheres.
    And if no clust'ring swarm of bees
  On thy sweet mouth distill'd their golden dew,
    'Twas that such vulgar miracles
    Heaven had not leisure to renew:
  For all the blest fraternity of love
Solemniz'd there thy birth, and kept thy holiday above.

    O gracious God! how far have we
  Profan'd thy heavenly gift of Poesy!
  Made prostitute and profligate the Muse,
  Debas'd to each obscene and impious use,
  Whose harmony was first ordain'd above,
  For tongues of angels and for hymns of love!
  O wretched we! why were we hurried down
    This lubrique and adulterate age
  (Nay, added fat pollutions of our own),
    To increase the streaming ordures of the stage?
  What can we say to excuse our second fall?
  Let this thy Vestal, Heaven, atone for all!
  Her Arethusian stream remains unsoil'd,
  Unmixt with foreign filth, and undefil'd;
Her wit was more than man, her innocence a child.

    Art she had none, yet wanted none,
      For Nature did that want supply:
    So rich in treasures of her own,
      She might our boasted stores defy:
  Such noble vigour did her verse adorn,
  That it seem'd borrow'd, where 'twas only born.
  Her morals, too, were in her bosom bred,
    By great examples daily fed,
What in the best of books, her father's life, she read.
  And to be read herself she need not fear;
  Each test, and every light, her Muse will bear,
  Though Epictetus with his lamp were there.
  Even love (for love sometimes her Muse exprest)
Was but a lambent flame which play'd about her breast,
    Light as the vapours of a morning dream;
  So cold herself, whilst she such warmth exprest,
    'Twas Cupid bathing in Diana's stream....

    Now all those charms, that blooming grace,
  The well-proportion'd shape, and beauteous face,
  Shall never more be seen by mortal eyes;
  In earth the much-lamented virgin lies.
  Not wit, nor piety could fate prevent;
  Nor was the cruel destiny content
  To finish all the murder at a blow,
  To sweep at once her life and beauty too;
  But, like a harden'd felon, took a pride
    To work more mischievously slow,
    And plunder'd first, and then destroy'd.
  O double sacrilege on things divine,
  To rob the relic, and deface the shrine!
          But thus Orinda died:
  Heaven, by the same disease, did both translate;
As equal were their souls, so equal was their fate.

  Meantime, her warlike brother on the seas
  His waving streamers to the winds displays,
And vows for his return, with vain devotion, pays.
    Ah, generous youth! that wish forbear,
    The winds too soon will waft thee here!
    Slack all thy sails, and fear to come,
  Alas, thou know'st not, thou art wreck'd at home!
  No more shalt thou behold thy sister's face,
  Thou hast already had her last embrace.
  But look aloft, and if thou kenn'st from far,
  Among the Pleiads a new kindl'd star,
  If any sparkles than the rest more bright,
  'Tis she that shines in that propitious light.

  When in mid-air the golden trump shall sound,
    To raise the nations under ground;
  When, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
  The judging God shall close the book of Fate,
    And there the last assizes keep
    For those who wake and those who sleep;
    When rattling bones together fly
    From the four corners of the sky;
  When sinews o'er the skeletons are spread,
  Those cloth'd with flesh, and life inspires the dead;
  The sacred poets first shall hear the sound,
    And foremost from the tomb shall bound,
  For they are cover'd with the lightest ground;
  And straight, with inborn vigour, on the wing,
  Like mounting larks, to the new morning sing.
  There thou, sweet Saint, before the quire shalt go,
  As harbinger of Heaven, the way to show,
  The way which thou so well hast learn'd below.


John Dryden. 1631-1700

399. A Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687

FROM harmony, from heavenly harmony,
      This universal frame began:
  When nature underneath a heap
      Of jarring atoms lay,
    And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,
    'Arise, ye more than dead!'
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,
  In order to their stations leap,
     And Music's power obey.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony,
   This universal frame began:
   From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
    When Jubal struck the chorded shell,
  His listening brethren stood around,
    And, wondering, on their faces fell
  To worship that celestial sound:
Less than a God they thought there could not dwell
    Within the hollow of that shell,
    That spoke so sweetly, and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

    The trumpet's loud clangour
      Excites us to arms,
    With shrill notes of anger,
      And mortal alarms.
  The double double double beat
      Of the thundering drum
      Cries Hark! the foes come;
  Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!

    The soft complaining flute,
    In dying notes, discovers
    The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.

    Sharp violins proclaim
  Their jealous pangs and desperation,
  Fury, frantic indignation,
  Depth of pains, and height of passion,
    For the fair, disdainful dame.

    But O, what art can teach,
    What human voice can reach,
      The sacred organ's praise?
    Notes inspiring holy love,
  Notes that wing their heavenly ways
    To mend the choirs above.

  Orpheus could lead the savage race;
  And trees unrooted left their place,
    Sequacious of the lyre;
But bright Cecilia rais'd the wonder higher:
When to her organ vocal breath was given,
  An angel heard, and straight appear'd
    Mistaking Earth for Heaven.

GRAND CHORUS.

As from the power of sacred lays
  The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
  To all the Blest above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky!


John Dryden. 1631-1700

400. Ah, how sweet it is to love!

AH, how sweet it is to love!
  Ah, how gay is young Desire!
And what pleasing pains we prove
  When we first approach Love's fire!
Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.

Sighs which are from lovers blown
  Do but gently heave the heart:
Ev'n the tears they shed alone
  Cure, like trickling balm, their smart:
Lovers, when they lose their breath,
Bleed away in easy death.

Love and Time with reverence use,
  Treat them like a parting friend;
Nor the golden gifts refuse
  Which in youth sincere they send:
For each year their price is more,
And they less simple than before.

Love, like spring-tides full and high,
  Swells in every youthful vein;
But each tide does less supply,
  Till they quite shrink in again:
If a flow in age appear,
'Tis but rain, and runs not clear.


John Dryden. 1631-1700

401. Hidden Flame

I FEED a flame within, which so torments me
That it both pains my heart, and yet contents me:
'Tis such a pleasing smart, and I so love it,
That I had rather die than once remove it.

Yet he, for whom I grieve, shall never know it;
My tongue does not betray, nor my eyes show it.
Not a sigh, nor a tear, my pain discloses,
But they fall silently, like dew on roses.

Thus, to prevent my Love from being cruel,
My heart 's the sacrifice, as 'tis the fuel;
And while I suffer this to give him quiet,
My faith rewards my love, though he deny it.

On his eyes will I gaze, and there delight me;
While I conceal my love no frown can fright me.
To be more happy I dare not aspire,
Nor can I fall more low, mounting no higher.


John Dryden. 1631-1700

402. Song to a Fair Young Lady,
going out of the Town in the Spring

ASK not the cause why sullen Spring
  So long delays her flowers to bear;
Why warbling birds forget to sing,
  And winter storms invert the year:
Chloris is gone; and fate provides
To make it Spring where she resides.

Chloris is gone, the cruel fair;
  She cast not back a pitying eye:
But left her lover in despair
To sigh, to languish, and to die:
Ah! how can those fair eyes endure
To give the wounds they will not cure?

Great God of Love, why hast thou made
  A face that can all hearts command,
That all religions can invade,
  And change the laws of every land?
Where thou hadst plac'd such power before,
  Thou shouldst have made her mercy more.

When Chloris to the temple comes,
  Adoring crowds before her fall;
She can restore the dead from tombs
  And every life but mine recall.
I only am by Love design'd
To be the victim for mankind.


Charles Webbe. c. 1678

403. Against Indifference

MORE love or more disdain I crave;
  Sweet, be not still indifferent:
O send me quickly to my grave,
  Or else afford me more content!
Or love or hate me more or less,
For love abhors all lukewarmness.

Give me a tempest if 'twill drive
  Me to the place where I would be;
Or if you'll have me still alive,
  Confess you will be kind to me.
Give hopes of bliss or dig my grave:
More love or more disdain I crave.


Sir George Etherege. 1635-1691

404. Song

LADIES, though to your conquering eyes
Love owes his chiefest victories,
And borrows those bright arms from you
With which he does the world subdue,
Yet you yourselves are not above
The empire nor the griefs of love.

Then rack not lovers with disdain,
Lest Love on you revenge their pain:
You are not free because you're fair:
The Boy did not his Mother spare.
Beauty 's but an offensive dart:
It is no armour for the heart.


Sir George Etherege. 1635-1691

405. To a Lady asking him how long he would love her

IT is not, Celia, in our power
  To say how long our love will last;
It may be we within this hour
  May lose those joys we now do taste;
The Blessed, that immortal be,
From change in love are only free.

Then since we mortal lovers are,
  Ask not how long our love will last;
But while it does, let us take care
  Each minute be with pleasure past:
Were it not madness to deny
To live because we're sure to die?


Thomas Traherne. 1637?-1674

406. News

    NEWS from a foreign country came
As if my treasure and my wealth lay there;
    So much it did my heart inflame,
'Twas wont to call my Soul into mine ear;
        Which thither went to meet
            The approaching sweet,
        And on the threshold stood
    To entertain the unknown Good.
            It hover'd there
        As if 'twould leave mine ear,
    And was so eager to embrace
      The joyful tidings as they came,
    'Twould almost leave its dwelling-place
        To entertain that same.

    As if the tidings were the things,
My very joys themselves, my foreign treasure--
    Or else did bear them on their wings--
With so much joy they came, with so much pleasure.
        My Soul stood at that gate
            To recreate
        Itself with bliss, and to
    Be pleased with speed. A fuller view
            It fain would take,
        Yet journeys back would make
    Unto my heart; as if 'twould fain
      Go out to meet, yet stay within
    To fit a place to entertain
        And bring the tidings in.

    What sacred instinct did inspire
My soul in childhood with a hope so strong?
    What secret force moved my desire
To expect my joys beyond the seas, so young?
        Felicity I knew
            Was out of view,
        And being here alone,
    I saw that happiness was gone
            From me! For this
        I thirsted absent bliss,
    And thought that sure beyond the seas,
      Or else in something near at hand--
    I knew not yet--since naught did please
        I knew--my Bliss did stand.

    But little did the infant dream
That all the treasures of the world were by:
    And that himself was so the cream
And crown of all which round about did lie.
        Yet thus it was: the Gem,
            The Diadem,
        The ring enclosing all
    That stood upon this earthly ball,
            The Heavenly eye,
        Much wider than the sky,
    Wherein they all included were,
      The glorious Soul, that was the King
    Made to possess them, did appear
        A small and little thing!


Thomas Flatman. 1637-1688

407. The Sad Day

O THE sad day!
When friends shall shake their heads, and say
Of miserable me--
'Hark, how he groans!
Look, how he pants for breath!
See how he struggles with the pangs of death!'
When they shall say of these dear eyes--
'How hollow, O how dim they be!
Mark how his breast doth rise and swell
Against his potent enemy!'
When some old friend shall step to my bedside,
Touch my chill face, and thence shall gently slide.

But--when his next companions say
'How does he do? What hopes?'--shall turn away,
Answering only, with a lift-up hand--
'Who can his fate withstand?'

Then shall a gasp or two do more
Than e'er my rhetoric could before:
Persuade the world to trouble me no more!


Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset. 1638-1706

408. Song
Written at Sea, in the First Dutch War (1665),
the night before an Engagement.

TO all you ladies now at land
  We men at sea indite;
But first would have you understand
  How hard it is to write:
The Muses now, and Neptune too,
We must implore to write to you--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

For though the Muses should prove kind,
  And fill our empty brain,
Yet if rough Neptune rouse the wind
  To wave the azure main,
Our paper, pen, and ink, and we,
Roll up and down our ships at sea--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

Then if we write not by each post,
  Think not we are unkind;
Nor yet conclude our ships are lost
  By Dutchmen or by wind:
Our tears we'll send a speedier way,
The tide shall bring them twice a day--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

The King with wonder and surprise
  Will swear the seas grow bold,
Because the tides will higher rise
  Than e'er they did of old:
But let him know it is our tears
Bring floods of grief to Whitehall stairs--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

Should foggy Opdam chance to know
  Our sad and dismal story,
The Dutch would scorn so weak a foe,
  And quit their fort at Goree:
For what resistance can they find
From men who've left their hearts behind?--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

Let wind and weather do its worst,
  Be you to us but kind;
Let Dutchmen vapour, Spaniards curse,
  No sorrow we shall find:
'Tis then no matter how things go,
Or who 's our friend, or who 's our foe--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

To pass our tedious hours away
  We throw a merry main,
Or else at serious ombre play;
  But why should we in vain
Each other's ruin thus pursue?
We were undone when we left you--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

But now our fears tempestuous grow
  And cast our hopes away;
Whilst you, regardless of our woe,
  Sit careless at a play:
Perhaps permit some happier man
To kiss your hand, or flirt your fan--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

When any mournful tune you hear,
  That dies in every note
As if it sigh'd with each man's care
  For being so remote,
Think then how often love we've made
To you, when all those tunes were play'd--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

In justice you cannot refuse
  To think of our distress,
When we for hopes of honour lose
  Our certain happiness:
All those designs are but to prove
Ourselves more worthy of your love--
    With a fa, la, la, la, la.

And now we've told you all our loves,
  And likewise all our fears,
In hopes this declaration moves
  Some pity for our tears:
Let 's hear of no inconstancy--
We have too much of that at sea--
  With a fa, la, la, la, la.


Sir Charles Sedley. 1639-1701

409. To Chloris

AH, Chloris! that I now could sit
  As unconcern'd as when
Your infant beauty could beget
  No pleasure, nor no pain!
When I the dawn used to admire,
  And praised the coming day,
I little thought the growing fire
  Must take my rest away.

Your charms in harmless childhood lay
  Like metals in the mine;
Age from no face took more away
  Than youth conceal'd in thine.
But as your charms insensibly
  To their perfection prest,
Fond love as unperceived did fly,
  And in my bosom rest.

My passion with your beauty grew,
  And Cupid at my heart,
Still as his mother favour'd you,
  Threw a new flaming dart:
Each gloried in their wanton part;
  To make a lover, he
Employ'd the utmost of his art--
  To make a beauty, she.


Sir Charles Sedley. 1639-1701

410. To Celia

NOT, Celia, that I juster am
  Or better than the rest!
For I would change each hour, like them,
  Were not my heart at rest.

But I am tied to very thee
  By every thought I have;
Thy face I only care to see,
  Thy heart I only crave.

All that in woman is adored
  In thy dear self I find--
For the whole sex can but afford
  The handsome and the kind.

Why then should I seek further store,
  And still make love anew?
When change itself can give no more,
  'Tis easy to be true!


Aphra Behn. 1640-1689

411. Song

LOVE in fantastic triumph sate
  Whilst bleeding hearts around him flow'd,
For whom fresh pains he did create
  And strange tyrannic power he show'd:
From thy bright eyes he took his fires,
  Which round about in sport he hurl'd;
But 'twas from mine he took desires
  Enough t' undo the amorous world.

From me he took his sighs and tears,
  From thee his pride and cruelty;
From me his languishments and fears,
  And every killing dart from thee.
Thus thou and I the god have arm'd
  And set him up a deity;
But my poor heart alone is harm'd,
  Whilst thine the victor is, and free!


Aphra Behn. 1640-1689

412. The Libertine

A THOUSAND martyrs I have made,
  All sacrificed to my desire,
A thousand beauties have betray'd
  That languish in resistless fire:
The untamed heart to hand I brought,
And fix'd the wild and wand'ring thought.

I never vow'd nor sigh'd in vain,
  But both, tho' false, were well received;
The fair are pleased to give us pain,
  And what they wish is soon believed:
And tho' I talk'd of wounds and smart,
Love's pleasures only touch'd my heart.

Alone the glory and the spoil
  I always laughing bore away;
The triumphs without pain or toil,
  Without the hell the heaven of joy;
And while I thus at random rove
Despise the fools that whine for love.


John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. 1647-1680

413. Return

ABSENT from thee, I languish still;
  Then ask me not, When I return?
The straying fool 'twill plainly kill
  To wish all day, all night to mourn.

Dear, from thine arms then let me fly,
  That my fantastic mind may prove
The torments it deserves to try,
  That tears my fix'd heart from my love.

When, wearied with a world of woe,
  To thy safe bosom I retire,
Where love, and peace, and truth does flow,
  May I contented there expire!

Lest, once more wandering from that heaven,
  I fall on some base heart unblest;
Faithless to thee, false, unforgiven--
  And lose my everlasting rest.


John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. 1647-1680

414. Love and Life

ALL my past life is mine no more;
  The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams given o'er,
Whose images are kept in store
  By memory alone.

The time that is to come is not;
  How can it then be mine?
The present moment 's all my lot;
And that, as fast as it is got,
  Phillis, is only thine.

Then talk not of inconstancy,
  False hearts, and broken vows;
If I by miracle can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
  'Tis all that Heaven allows.


John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. 1647-1680

415. Constancy

I CANNOT change as others do,
  Though you unjustly scorn;
Since that poor swain that sighs for you
  For you alone was born.
No, Phillis, no; your heart to move
  A surer way I'll try;
And, to revenge my slighted love,
  Will still love on and die.

When kill'd with grief Amyntas lies,
  And you to mind shall call
The sighs that now unpitied rise,
  The tears that vainly fall--
That welcome hour, that ends this smart,
  Will then begin your pain;
For such a faithful tender heart
  Can never break in vain.


John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. 1647-1680

416. To His Mistress
(After Quarles)

WHY dost thou shade thy lovely face? O why
Does that eclipsing hand of thine deny
The sunshine of the Sun's enlivening eye?

Without thy light what light remains in me?
Thou art my life; my way, my light 's in thee;
I live, I move, and by thy beams I see.

Thou art my life--if thou but turn away
My life 's a thousand deaths. Thou art my way--
Without thee, Love, I travel not but stray.

My light thou art--without thy glorious sight
My eyes are darken'd with eternal night.
My Love, thou art my way, my life, my light.

Thou art my way; I wander if thou fly.
Thou art my light; if hid, how blind am I!
Thou art my life; if thou withdraw'st, I die.

My eyes are dark and blind, I cannot see:
To whom or whither should my darkness flee,
But to that light?--and who 's that light but thee?

If I have lost my path, dear lover, say,
Shall I still wander in a doubtful way?
Love, shall a lamb of Israel's sheepfold stray?

My path is lost, my wandering steps do stray;
I cannot go, nor can I safely stay;
Whom should I seek but thee, my path, my way?

And yet thou turn'st thy face away and fly'st me!
And yet I sue for grace and thou deny'st me!
Speak, art thou angry, Love, or only try'st me?

Thou art the pilgrim's path, the blind man's eye,
The dead man's life. On thee my hopes rely:
If I but them remove, I surely die.

Dissolve thy sunbeams, close thy wings and stay!
See, see how I am blind, and dead, and stray!
--O thou that art my life, my light, my way!

Then work thy will! If passion bid me flee,
My reason shall obey, my wings shall be
Stretch'd out no farther than from me to thee!


John Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire. 1649-1720

417. The Reconcilement

COME, let us now resolve at last
  To live and love in quiet;
We'll tie the knot so very fast
  That Time shall ne'er untie it.

The truest joys they seldom prove
  Who free from quarrels live:
'Tis the most tender part of love
  Each other to forgive.

When least I seem'd concern'd, I took
  No pleasure nor no rest;
And when I feign'd an angry look,
  Alas! I loved you best.

Own but the same to me--you'll find
  How blest will be our fate.
O to be happy--to be kind--
  Sure never is too late!


John Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire. 1649-1720

418. On One who died discovering her Kindness

SOME vex their souls with jealous pain,
While others sigh for cold disdain:
Love's various slaves we daily see--
Yet happy all compared with me!

Of all mankind I loved the best
A nymph so far above the rest
That we outshined the Blest above;
In beauty she, as I in love.

And therefore They, who could not bear
To be outdone by mortals here,
Among themselves have placed her now,
And left me wretched here below.

All other fate I could have borne,
And even endured her very scorn;
But oh! thus all at once to find
That dread account--both dead and kind!
What heart can hold? If yet I live,
'Tis but to show how much I grieve.


Thomas Otway. 1652-1685

419. The Enchantment

I DID but look and love awhile,
  'Twas but for one half-hour;
Then to resist I had no will,
  And now I have no power.

To sigh and wish is all my ease;
  Sighs which do heat impart
Enough to melt the coldest ice,
  Yet cannot warm your heart.

O would your pity give my heart
  One corner of your breast,
'Twould learn of yours the winning art,
  And quickly steal the rest.


John Oldham. 1653-1683

420. A Quiet Soul

THY soul within such silent pomp did keep,
  As if humanity were lull'd asleep;
So gentle was thy pilgrimage beneath,
  Time's unheard feet scarce make less noise,
  Or the soft journey which a planet goes:
Life seem'd all calm as its last breath.
  A still tranquillity so hush'd thy breast,
    As if some Halcyon were its guest,
    And there had built her nest;
  It hardly now enjoys a greater rest.


John Cutts, Lord Cutts. 1661-1707

421. Song

ONLY tell her that I love:
  Leave the rest to her and Fate:
Some kind planet from above
May perhaps her pity move:
  Lovers on their stars must wait.--
Only tell her that I love!

Why, O why should I despair!
  Mercy 's pictured in her eye:
If she once vouchsafe to hear,
Welcome Hope and farewell Fear!
  She 's too good to let me die.--
Why, O why should I despair?


Matthew Prior. 1664-1721

422. The Question to Lisetta

WHAT nymph should I admire or trust,
But Chloe beauteous, Chloe just?
What nymph should I desire to see,
But her who leaves the plain for me?
To whom should I compose the lay,
But her who listens when I play?
To whom in song repeat my cares,
But her who in my sorrow shares?
For whom should I the garland make,
But her who joys the gift to take,
And boasts she wears it for my sake?
In love am I not fully blest?
Lisetta, prithee tell the rest.

LISETTA'S REPLY

Sure Chloe just, and Chloe fair,
Deserves to be your only care;
But, when you and she to-day
Far into the wood did stray,
And I happen'd to pass by,
Which way did you cast your eye?
But, when your cares to her you sing,
You dare not tell her whence they spring:
Does it not more afflict your heart,
That in those cares she bears a part?
When you the flowers for Chloe twine,
Why do you to her garland join
The meanest bud that falls from mine?
Simplest of swains! the world may see
Whom Chloe loves, and who loves me.


Matthew Prior. 1664-1721

423. To a Child of Quality,
Five Years Old, 1704. The Author then Forty

LORDS, knights, and squires, the numerous band
  That wear the fair Miss Mary's fetters,
Were summoned by her high command
  To show their passions by their letters.

My pen amongst the rest I took,
  Lest those bright eyes, that cannot read,
Should dart their kindling fire, and look
  The power they have to be obey'd.

Nor quality, nor reputation,
  Forbid me yet my flame to tell;
Dear Five-years-old befriends my passion,
  And I may write till she can spell.

For, while she makes her silkworms beds
  With all the tender things I swear;
Whilst all the house my passion reads,
  In papers round her baby's hair;

She may receive and own my flame;
  For, though the strictest prudes should know it,
She'll pass for a most virtuous dame,
  And I for an unhappy poet.

Then too, alas! when she shall tear
  The rhymes some younger rival sends,
She'll give me leave to write, I fear,
  And we shall still continue friends.

For, as our different ages move,
  'Tis so ordain'd (would Fate but mend it!),
That I shall be past making love
  When she begins to comprehend it.


Matthew Prior. 1664-1721

424. Song

THE merchant, to secure his treasure,
  Conveys it in a borrow'd name:
Euphelia serves to grace my measure;
  But Chloe is my real flame.

My softest verse, my darling lyre,
  Upon Euphelia's toilet lay;
When Chloe noted her desire
  That I should sing, that I should play.

My lyre I tune, my voice I raise;
  But with my numbers mix my sighs:
And while I sing Euphelia's praise,
  I fix my soul on Chloe's eyes.

Fair Chloe blush'd: Euphelia frown'd:
  I sung, and gazed: I play'd, and trembled:
And Venus to the Loves around
  Remark'd, how ill we all dissembled.


Matthew Prior. 1664-1721

425. On My Birthday, July 21

I, MY dear, was born to-day--
So all my jolly comrades say:
They bring me music, wreaths, and mirth,
And ask to celebrate my birth:
Little, alas! my comrades know
That I was born to pain and woe;
To thy denial, to thy scorn,
Better I had ne'er been born:
I wish to die, even whilst I say--
'I, my dear, was born to-day.'
I, my dear, was born to-day:
Shall I salute the rising ray,
Well-spring of all my joy and woe?
Clotilda, thou alone dost know.
Shall the wreath surround my hair?
Or shall the music please my ear?
Shall I my comrades' mirth receive,
And bless my birth, and wish to live?
Then let me see great Venus chase
Imperious anger from thy face;
Then let me hear thee smiling say--
'Thou, my dear, wert born to-day.'


Matthew Prior. 1664-1721

426. The Lady who offers her Looking-Glass to Venus

VENUS, take my votive glass:
Since I am not what I was,
What from this day I shall be,
Venus, let me never see.


Matthew Prior. 1664-1721

427. A Letter
to Lady Margaret Cavendish Holles-Harley, when a Child

MY noble, lovely, little Peggy,
Let this my First Epistle beg ye,
At dawn of morn, and close of even,
To lift your heart and hands to Heaven.
In double duty say your prayer:
Our Father first, then Notre Pere.

And, dearest child, along the day,
In every thing you do and say,
Obey and please my lord and lady,
So God shall love and angels aid ye.

If to these precepts you attend,
No second letter need I send,
And so I rest your constant friend.


Matthew Prior. 1664-1721

428. For my own Monument

AS doctors give physic by way of prevention,
  Mat, alive and in health, of his tombstone took care;
For delays are unsafe, and his pious intention
  May haply be never fulfill'd by his heir.

Then take Mat's word for it, the sculptor is paid;
  That the figure is fine, pray believe your own eye;
Yet credit but lightly what more may be said,
  For we flatter ourselves, and teach marble to lie.

Yet counting as far as to fifty his years,
  His virtues and vices were as other men's are;
High hopes he conceived, and he smother'd great fears,
  In a life parti-colour'd, half pleasure, half care.

Nor to business a drudge, nor to faction a slave,
  He strove to make int'rest and freedom agree;
In public employments industrious and grave,
  And alone with his friends, Lord! how merry was he!

Now in equipage stately, now humbly on foot,
  Both fortunes he tried, but to neither would trust;
And whirl'd in the round as the wheel turn'd about,
  He found riches had wings, and knew man was but dust.

This verse, little polish'd, tho' mighty sincere,
  Sets neither his titles nor merit to view;
It says that his relics collected lie here,
  And no mortal yet knows too if this may be true.

Fierce robbers there are that infest the highway,
  So Mat may be kill'd, and his bones never found;
False witness at court, and fierce tempests at sea,
  So Mat may yet chance to be hang'd or be drown'd.

If his bones lie in earth, roll in sea, fly in air,
  To Fate we must yield, and the thing is the same;
And if passing thou giv'st him a smile or a tear,
  He cares not--yet, prithee, be kind to his fame.


William Walsh. 1663-1708

429. Rivals

OF all the torments, all the cares,
  With which our lives are curst;
Of all the plagues a lover bears,
  Sure rivals are the worst!
By partners in each other kind
  Afflictions easier grow;
In love alone we hate to find
  Companions of our woe.

Sylvia, for all the pangs you see
  Are labouring in my breast,
I beg not you would favour me,
  Would you but slight the rest!
How great soe'er your rigours are,
  With them alone I'll cope;
I can endure my own despair,
  But not another's hope.


Lady Grisel Baillie. 1665-1746

430. Werena my Heart's licht I wad dee

THERE ance was a may, and she lo'ed na men;
She biggit her bonnie bow'r doun in yon glen;
But now she cries, Dool and a well-a-day!
Come doun the green gait and come here away!

When bonnie young Johnnie cam owre the sea,
He said he saw naething sae lovely as me;
He hecht me baith rings and mony braw things--
And werena my heart's licht, I wad dee.

He had a wee titty that lo'ed na me,
Because I was twice as bonnie as she;
She raised sic a pother 'twixt him and his mother
That werena my heart's licht, I wad dee.

The day it was set, and the bridal to be:
The wife took a dwam and lay doun to dee;
She maned and she graned out o' dolour and pain,
Till he vow'd he never wad see me again.

His kin was for ane of a higher degree,
Said--What had he do wi' the likes of me?
Appose I was bonnie, I wasna for Johnnie--
And werena my heart's licht, I wad dee.

They said I had neither cow nor calf,
Nor dribbles o' drink rins thro' the draff,
Nor pickles o' meal rins thro' the mill-e'e--
And werena my heart's licht, I wad dee.

His titty she was baith wylie and slee:
She spied me as I cam owre the lea;
And then she ran in and made a loud din--
Believe your ain e'en, an ye trow not me.

His bonnet stood ay fu' round on his brow,
His auld ane look'd ay as well as some's new:
But now he lets 't wear ony gait it will hing,
And casts himsel dowie upon the corn bing.

And now he gaes daund'ring about the dykes,
And a' he dow do is to hund the tykes:
The live-lang nicht he ne'er steeks his e'e--
And werena my heart's licht, I wad dee.

Were I but young for thee, as I hae been,
We should hae been gallopin' doun in yon green,
And linkin' it owre the lily-white lea--
And wow, gin I were but young for thee!

may] maid.  biggit] built.  gait] way, path.  hecht]
promised.  titty] sister.  dwam] sudden illness.  appose]
suppose.  pickles] small quantities.  hing] hang.  dowie]
dejectedly.  hund the tykes] direct the dogs.  steeks]
closes.  linkin'] tripping.


William Congreve. 1670-1729

431. False though She be

FALSE though she be to me and love,
  I'll ne'er pursue revenge;
For still the charmer I approve,
  Though I deplore her change.

In hours of bliss we oft have met:
  They could not always last;
And though the present I regret,
  I'm grateful for the past.


William Congreve. 1670-1729

432. A Hue and Cry after Fair Amoret

FAIR Amoret is gone astray--
  Pursue and seek her, ev'ry lover;
I'll tell the signs by which you may
  The wand'ring Shepherdess discover.

Coquette and coy at once her air,
  Both studied, tho' both seem neglected;
Careless she is, with artful care,
  Affecting to seem unaffected.

With skill her eyes dart ev'ry glance,
  Yet change so soon you'd ne'er suspect them,
For she'd persuade they wound by chance,
  Tho' certain aim and art direct them.

She likes herself, yet others hates
  For that which in herself she prizes;
And, while she laughs at them, forgets
  She is the thing hat she despises.


Joseph Addison. 1672-1719

433. Hymn

THE spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
Th' unwearied Sun from day to day
Does his Creator's power display;
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The Moon takes up the wondrous tale;
And nightly to the listening Earth
Repeats the story of her birth:
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.

What though in solemn silence all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball;
What though nor real voice nor sound
Amidst their radiant orbs be found?
In Reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice;
For ever singing as they shine,
'The Hand that made us is divine.'


Isaac Watts. 1674-1748

434. The Day of Judgement

WHEN the fierce North-wind with his airy forces
Rears up the Baltic to a foaming fury;
And the red lightning with a storm of hail comes
                        Rushing amain down;

How the poor sailors stand amazed and tremble,
While the hoarse thunder, like a bloody trumpet,
Roars a loud onset to the gaping waters
                        Quick to devour them.

Such shall the noise be, and the wild disorder
(If things eternal may be like these earthly),
Such the dire terror when the great Archangel
                        Shakes the creation;

Tears the strong pillars of the vault of Heaven,
Breaks up old marble, the repose of princes,
Sees the graves open, and the bones arising,
                        Flames all around them.

Hark, the shrill outcries of the guilty wretches!
Lively bright horror and amazing anguish
Stare thro' their eyelids, while the living worm lies
                        Gnawing within them.

Thoughts, like old vultures, prey upon their heart-strings,
And the smart twinges, when the eye beholds the
Lofty Judge frowning, and a flood of vengeance
                        Rolling afore him.

Hopeless immortals! how they scream and shiver,
While devils push them to the pit wide-yawning
Hideous and gloomy, to receive them headlong
                        Down to the centre!

Stop here, my fancy: (all away, ye horrid
Doleful ideas!) come, arise to Jesus,
How He sits God-like! and the saints around Him
                        Throned, yet adoring!

O may I sit there when He comes triumphant,
Dooming the nations! then ascend to glory,
While our Hosannas all along the passage
                        Shout the Redeemer.


Isaac Watts. 1674-1748

435. A Cradle Hymn

HUSH! my dear, lie still and slumber,
  Holy angels guard thy bed!
Heavenly blessings without number
  Gently falling on thy head.

Sleep, my babe; thy food and raiment,
  House and home, thy friends provide;
All without thy care or payment:
  All thy wants are well supplied.

How much better thou'rt attended
  Than the Son of God could be,
When from heaven He descended
  And became a child like thee!

Soft and easy is thy cradle:
  Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay,
When His birthplace was a stable
  And His softest bed was hay.

Blessed babe! what glorious features--
  Spotless fair, divinely bright!
Must He dwell with brutal creatures?
  How could angels bear the sight?

Was there nothing but a manger
  Cursed sinners could afford
To receive the heavenly stranger?
  Did they thus affront their Lord?

Soft, my child: I did not chide thee,
  Though my song might sound too hard;
'Tis thy mother sits beside thee,
  And her arms shall be thy guard.

Yet to read the shameful story
  How the Jews abused their King,
How they served the Lord of Glory,
  Makes me angry while I sing.

See the kinder shepherds round Him,
  Telling wonders from the sky!
Where they sought Him, there they found Him,
  With His Virgin mother by.

See the lovely babe a-dressing;
  Lovely infant, how He smiled!
When He wept, the mother's blessing
  Soothed and hush'd the holy child.

Lo, He slumbers in His manger,
  Where the horned oxen fed:
Peace, my darling; here 's no danger,
  Here 's no ox anear thy bed.

'Twas to save thee, child, from dying,
  Save my dear from burning flame,
Bitter groans and endless crying,
  That thy blest Redeemer came.

May'st thou live to know and fear Him,
  Trust and love Him all thy days;
Then go dwell for ever near Him,
  See His face, and sing His praise!


Thomas Parnell. 1670-1718

436. Song

WHEN thy beauty appears
    In its graces and airs
All bright as an angel new dropp'd from the sky,
At distance I gaze and am awed by my fears:
    So strangely you dazzle my eye!

    But when without art
    Your kind thoughts you impart,
When your love runs in blushes through every vein;
When it darts from your eyes, when it pants in your heart,
    Then I know you're a woman again.

    There 's a passion and pride
    In our sex (she replied),
And thus, might I gratify both, I would do:
Still an angel appear to each lover beside,
    But still be a woman to you.


Allan Ramsay. 1686-1758

437. Peggy

MY Peggy is a young thing,
    Just enter'd in her teens
Fair as the day, and sweet as May,
Fair as the day, and always gay;
  My Peggy is a young thing,
    And I'm not very auld,
  Yet well I like to meet her at
    The wawking of the fauld.

  My Peggy speaks sae sweetly
    Whene'er we meet alane,
I wish nae mair to lay my care,
I wish nae mair of a' that's rare;
  My Peggy speaks sae sweetly,
    To a' the lave I'm cauld,
  But she gars a' my spirits glow
    At wawking of the fauld.

  My Peggy smiles sae kindly
    Whene'er I whisper love,
That I look down on a' the town,
That I look down upon a crown;
  My Peggy smiles sae kindly,
    It makes me blyth and bauld,
  And naething gi'es me sic delight
    As wawking of the fauld.

  My Peggy sings sae saftly
    When on my pipe I play,
By a' the rest it is confest,
By a' the rest, that she sings best;
  My Peggy sings sae saftly,
    And in her sangs are tauld
  With innocence the wale of sense,
    At wawking of the fauld.

wawking] watching.  lave] rest.  wale] choice, best.


William Oldys. 1687-1761

438. On a Fly drinking out of his Cup

BUSY, curious, thirsty fly!
Drink with me and drink as I:
Freely welcome to my cup,
Couldst thou sip and sip it up:
Make the most of life you may,
Life is short and wears away.

Both alike are mine and thine
Hastening quick to their decline:
Thine 's a summer, mine 's no more,
Though repeated to threescore.
Threescore summers, when they're gone,
Will appear as short as one!


John Gay. 1688-1732

439. Song

O RUDDIER than the cherry!
O sweeter than the berry!
    O nymph more bright
    Than moonshine night,
Like kidlings blithe and merry!
Ripe as the melting cluster!
No lily has such lustre;
    Yet hard to tame
    As raging flame,
And fierce as storms that bluster!


Alexander Pope. 1688-1744

440. On a certain Lady at Court

I KNOW a thing that 's most uncommon;
  (Envy, be silent and attend!)
I know a reasonable woman,
  Handsome and witty, yet a friend.

Not warp'd by passion, awed by rumour;
  Not grave through pride, nor gay through folly;
An equal mixture of good-humour
  And sensible soft melancholy.

'Has she no faults then (Envy says), Sir?'
  Yes, she has one, I must aver:
When all the world conspires to praise her,
  The woman's deaf, and does not hear.


Alexander Pope. 1688-1744

441. Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady

WHAT beck'ning ghost, along the moonlight shade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
'Tis she!--but why that bleeding bosom gored,
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword?
O, ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Is it, in Heav'n, a crime to love too well?
To bear too tender or too firm a heart,
To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky
For those who greatly think, or bravely die?
  Why bade ye else, ye Pow'rs! her soul aspire
Above the vulgar flight of low desire?
Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes;
The glorious fault of angels and of gods;
Thence to their images on earth it flows,
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows.
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull sullen pris'ners in the body's cage:
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years,
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres;
Like Eastern kings a lazy state they keep,
And close confined to their own palace, sleep.
  From these perhaps (ere Nature bade her die)
Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
As into air the purer spirits flow,
And sep'rate from their kindred dregs below,
So flew the soul to its congenial place,
Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.
  But thou, false guardian of a charge too good!
Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood!
See on these ruby lips the trembling breath,
These cheeks now fading at the blast of Death:
Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before,
And those love-darting eyes must roll no more.
Thus, if eternal Justice rules the ball,
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall;
On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
And frequent herses shall besiege your gates.
There passengers shall stand, and pointing say
(While the long fun'rals blacken all the way),
'Lo! these were they whose souls the Furies steel'd
And cursed with hearts unknowing how to yield.'
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day!
So perish all whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow
For others' good, or melt at others' woe!
  What can atone (O ever-injured shade!)
Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid?
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier.
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed,
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd!
What tho' no friends in sable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What tho' no weeping Loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
What tho' no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb?
Yet shall thy grave with rising flow'rs be drest,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast:
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of the year shall blow;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground now sacred by thy reliques made.
  So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame.
How loved, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee,
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!
  Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung,
Deaf the praised ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays,
Shall shortly want the gen'rous tear he pays;
Then from this closing eyes thy form shall part,
And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart;
Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er,
The Muse forgot, and thou beloved no more!


Alexander Pope. 1688-1744

442. The Dying Christian to his Soul

VITAL spark of heav'nly flame!
  Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
  Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying,
  O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

  Hark! they whisper; angels say,
  Sister Spirit, come away!
  What is this absorbs me quite?
  Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my ears
  With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
  O Death! where is thy sting?


George Bubb Dodington, Lord Melcombe. 1691?-1762

443. Shorten Sail

LOVE thy country, wish it well,
  Not with too intense a care;
'Tis enough that, when it fell,
  Thou its ruin didst not share.

Envy's censure, Flattery's praise,
  With unmoved indifference view:
Learn to tread Life's dangerous maze
  With unerring Virtue's clue.

Void of strong desire and fear,
  Life's wide ocean trust no more;
Strive thy little bark to steer
  With the tide, but near the shore.

Thus prepared, thy shorten'd sail
  Shall, whene'er the winds increase,
Seizing each propitious gale,
  Waft thee to the port of Peace.

Keep thy conscience from offence
  And tempestuous passions free,
So, when thou art call'd from hence,
  Easy shall thy passage be.

--Easy shall thy passage be,
  Cheerful thy allotted stay,
Short the account 'twixt God and thee,
  Hope shall meet thee on thy way.


Henry Carey. 1693?-1743

444. Sally in our Alley

OF all the girls that are so smart
  There 's none like pretty Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
  And she lives in our alley.
There is no lady in the land
  Is half so sweet as Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
  And she lives in our alley.

Her father he makes cabbage-nets,
  And through the streets does cry 'em;
Her mother she sells laces long
  To such as please to buy 'em;
But sure such folks could ne'er beget
  So sweet a girl as Sally!
She is the darling of my heart,
  And she lives in our alley.

When she is by, I leave my work,
  I love her so sincerely;
My master comes like any Turk,
  And bangs me most severely:
But let him bang his bellyful,
  I'll bear it all for Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
  And she lives in our alley.

Of all the days that 's in the week
  I dearly love but one day--
And that 's the day that comes betwixt
  A Saturday and Monday;
For then I'm drest all in my best
  To walk abroad with Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
  And she lives in our alley.

My master carries me to church,
  And often am I blamed
Because I leave him in the lurch
  As soon as text is named;
I leave the church in sermon-time
  And slink away to Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
  And she lives in our alley.

When Christmas comes about again,
  O, then I shall have money;
I'll hoard it up, and box it all,
  I'll give it to my honey:
I would it were ten thousand pound,
  I'd give it all to Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
  And she lives in our alley.

My master and the neighbors all
  Make gave of me and Sally,
And, but for her, I'd better be
  A slave and row a galley;
But when my seven long years are out,
  O, then I'll marry Sally;
O, then we'll wed, and then we'll bed--
  But not in our alley!


Henry Carey. 1693?-1743

445. A Drinking-Song

BACCHUS must now his power resign--
I am the only God of Wine!
It is not fit the wretch should be
In competition set with me,
Who can drink ten times more than he.

Make a new world, ye powers divine!
Stock'd with nothing else but Wine:
Let Wine its only product be,
Let Wine be earth, and air, and sea--
And let that Wine be all for me!


William Broome. ?-1745

446. The Rosebud

QUEEN of fragrance, lovely Rose,
The beauties of thy leaves disclose!
--But thou, fair Nymph, thyself survey
In this sweet offspring of a day.
That miracle of face must fail,
Thy charms are sweet, but charms are frail:
Swift as the short-lived flower they fly,
At morn they bloom, at evening die:
Though Sickness yet a while forbears,
Yet Time destroys what Sickness spares:
Now Helen lives alone in fame,
And Cleopatra's but a name:
Time must indent that heavenly brow,
And thou must be what they are now.


William Broome. ?-1745

447. Belinda's Recovery from Sickness

THUS when the silent grave becomes
Pregnant with life as fruitful wombs;
When the wide seas and spacious earth
  Resign us to our second birth;
Our moulder'd frame rebuilt assumes
New beauty, and for ever blooms,
And, crown'd with youth's immortal pride,
  We angels rise, who mortals died.


James Thomson. 1700-1748

448. On the Death of a particular Friend

AS those we love decay, we die in part,
String after string is sever'd from the heart;
Till loosen'd life, at last but breathing clay,
Without one pang is glad to fall away.

Unhappy he who latest feels the blow!
Whose eyes have wept o'er every friend laid low,
Dragg'd ling'ring on from partial death to death,
Till, dying, all he can resign is--breath.


George Lyttelton, Lord Lyttelton. 1709-1773

449. Tell me, my Heart, if this be Love

WHEN Delia on the plain appears,
Awed by a thousand tender fears
I would approach, but dare not move:
Tell me, my heart, if this be love?

Whene'er she speaks, my ravish'd ear
No other voice than hers can hear,
No other wit but hers approve:
Tell me, my heart, if this be love?

If she some other youth commend,
Though I was once his fondest friend,
His instant enemy I prove:
Tell me, my heart, if this be love?

When she is absent, I no more
Delight in all that pleased before--
The clearest spring, or shadiest grove:
Tell me, my heart, if this be love?

When fond of power, of beauty vain,
Her nets she spread for every swain,
I strove to hate, but vainly strove:
Tell me, my heart, if this be love?


Samuel Johnson. 1709-1784

450. One-and-Twenty

LONG-EXPECTED one-and-twenty,
  Ling'ring year, at length is flown:
Pride and pleasure, pomp and plenty,
  Great * * *  * * * *, are now your own.

Loosen'd from the minor's tether,
  Free to mortgage or to sell,
Wild as wind, and light as feather,
  Bid the sons of thrift farewell.

Call the Betsies, Kates, and Jennies,
  All the names that banish care;
Lavish of your grandsire's guineas,
  Show the spirit of an heir.

All that prey on vice and folly
  Joy to see their quarry fly:
There the gamester, light and jolly,
  There the lender, grave and sly.

Wealth, my lad, was made to wander,
  Let it wander as it will;
Call the jockey, call the pander,
  Bid them come and take their fill.

When the bonny blade carouses,
  Pockets full, and spirits high--
What are acres? What are houses?
  Only dirt, or wet or dry.

Should the guardian friend or mother
  Tell the woes of wilful waste,
Scorn their counsel, scorn their pother;--
  You can hang or drown at last!


Samuel Johnson. 1709-1784

451. On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet,
a Practiser in Physic

CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
  As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts or slow decline
  Our social comforts drop away.

Well tried through many a varying year,
  See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
  Of every friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affection's eye,
  Obscurely wise and coarsely kind;
Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
  Thy praise to merit unrefined.

When fainting nature call'd for aid,
  And hov'ring death prepared the blow,
His vig'rous remedy display'd
  The power of art without the show.

In Misery's darkest cavern known,
  His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan,
  And lonely Want retired to die.

No summons mock'd by chill delay,
  No petty gain disdained by pride;
The modest wants of every day
  The toil of every day supplied.

His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
  Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure th' Eternal Master found
  The single talent well employ'd.

The busy day, the peaceful night,
  Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm--his powers were bright,
  Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
  No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
  And freed his soul the nearest way.


Richard Jago. 1715-1781

452. Absence

WITH leaden foot Time creeps along
  While Delia is away:
With her, nor plaintive was the song,
  Nor tedious was the day.

Ah, envious Pow'r! reverse my doom;
  Now double thy career,
Strain ev'ry nerve, stretch ev'ry plume,
  And rest them when she 's here!


Thomas Gray. 1716-1771

453. Elegy written in a Country Churchyard

THE Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
  The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
  And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
  And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
  And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r
  The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
  Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
  Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
  The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
  The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
  No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
  Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
  Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
  Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
  How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
  Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
  The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
  And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour:
  The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye Proud, impute to These the fault,
  If Memory o'er their Tomb no Trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
  The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
  Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
  Or Flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
  Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
  Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
  Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
  And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene
  The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
  And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village Hampden that with dauntless breast
  The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
  Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
  The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
  And read their history in a nation's eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
  Their glowing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
  And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
  To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
  With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
  Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
  They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect
  Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
  Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
  The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
  That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
  This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
  Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
  Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
  Ev'n in our Ashes live their wonted Fires.

For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
  Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
  Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed Swain may say,
  'Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
  To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

'There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
  That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
  And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

'Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
  Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
  Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

'One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
  Along the heath and near his fav'rite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
  Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

'The next with dirges due in sad array
  Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
  Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn:'

THE EPITAPH.

Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
  A Youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
  And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
  Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear,
  He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
  Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
  The bosom of his Father and his God.


Thomas Gray. 1716-1771

454. The Curse upon Edward

WEAVE the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of Edward's race.
  Give ample room, and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death, thro' Berkley's roofs that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing King!
  She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate,
  From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs
The scourge of Heav'n. What terrors round him wait!
Amazement in his van, with Flight combined,
And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.

  Mighty Victor, mighty Lord!
Low on his funeral couch he lies!
  No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm that in thy noon tide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;
  Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm;
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

  Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare;
  Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair
  Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
  A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.
Heard ye the din of battle bray,
  Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
  Long years of havoc urge their destined course,
And thro' the kindred squadrons mow their way.
  Ye Towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight murder fed,
  Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame,
And spare the meek usurper's holy head.
Above, below, the rose of snow,
  Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled boar in infant-gore
  Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o'er th' accursed loom
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

  Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun)
  Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)


Thomas Gray. 1716-1771

455. The Progress of Poesy
A PINDARIC ODE

    AWAKE, Aeolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings,
From Helicon's harmonious springs
  A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
The laughing flowers, that round them blow,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of music winds along
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign:
Now rolling down the steep amain,
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour;
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.

  O Sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares
  And frantic Passions hear thy soft controul.
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
Has curb'd the fury of his car,
And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command.
Perching on the sceptred hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes and flagging wing:
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.

Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
  O'er Idalia's velvet-green
  The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
On Cytherea's day
  With antic Sports, and blue-eyed Pleasures,
  Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
  Now in circling troops they meet:
To brisk notes in cadence beating,
  Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:
  Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay.
With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
  In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O'er her warm cheek and rising bosom move
The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.

  Man's feeble race what ills await,
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
  Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
  And Death, sad refuge from the storms of fate!
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse?
Night, and all her sickly dews,
Her sceptres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts of war.

  In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam,
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
  To cheer the shiv'ring native's dull abode,
And oft, beneath the od'rous shade
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat
In loose numbers wildly sweet
Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the Goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.

Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles, that crown th' Aegean deep,
  Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
  Or where Maeander's amber waves
In lingering lab'rinths creep,
  How do your tuneful echoes languish,
  Mute, but to the voice of anguish?
Where each old poetic mountain
  Inspiration breathed around:
Ev'ry shade and hallow'd fountain
  Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,
  Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,
  And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, O Albion! next, thy sea-encircled coast.

  Far from the sun and summer gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
  To Him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smiled.
This pencil take (she said), whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of joy;
Of horror that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.

  Nor second he, that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
  He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time:
The living Throne, the sapphire-blaze,
Where Angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but blasted with excess of light,
Closed his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Wide o'er the fields of glory bear
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace.

Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-eyed Fancy hovering o'er
  Scatters from her pictured urn
  Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah! 'tis heard no more----
  O Lyre divine! what daring Spirit
  Wakes thee now? Tho' he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
  That the Theban eagle bear
Sailing with supreme dominion
  Thro' the azure deep of air:
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
  Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray,
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun:
  Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the Good how far--but far above the Great.


Thomas Gray. 1716-1771

456. On a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a
Tub of Gold Fishes

TWAS on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dyed
  The azure flowers that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima reclined,
  Gazed on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declared;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
  The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
  She saw; and purr'd applause.

Still had she gazed; but 'midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
  The Genii of the stream:
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Thro' richest purple to the view
  Betray'd a golden gleam.

The hapless Nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first and then a claw,
  With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd in vain to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold despise?
What Cat 's averse to fish?

Presumptuous Maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
  Nor knew the gulf between.
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled.)
The slipp'ry verge her feet beguiled,
  She tumbled headlong in.

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew'd to ev'ry wat'ry god,
  Some speedy aid to send.
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd:
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.
  A Fav'rite has no friend!

From hence, ye Beauties, undeceived,
Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,
  And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
   Nor all that glisters, gold.


William Collins. 1721-1759

457. Ode to Simplicity

    O THOU, by Nature taught
    To breathe her genuine thought
In numbers warmly pure and sweetly strong:
    Who first on mountains wild,
    In Fancy, loveliest child,
Thy babe and Pleasure's, nursed the pow'rs of song!

    Thou, who with hermit heart
    Disdain'st the wealth of art,
And gauds, and pageant weeds, and trailing pall:
    But com'st a decent maid,
    In Attic robe array'd,
O chaste, unboastful nymph, to thee I call!

    By all the honey'd store
    On Hybla's thymy shore,
By all her blooms and mingled murmurs dear,
    By her whose love-lorn woe,
    In evening musings slow,
Soothed sweetly sad Electra's poet's ear:

    By old Cephisus deep,
    Who spread his wavy sweep
In warbled wand'rings round thy green retreat;
    On whose enamell'd side,
    When holy Freedom died,
No equal haunt allured thy future feet!

    O sister meek of Truth,
    To my admiring youth
Thy sober aid and native charms infuse!
    The flow'rs that sweetest breathe,
    Though beauty cull'd the wreath,
Still ask thy hand to range their order'd hues.

    While Rome could none esteem,
    But virtue's patriot theme,
You loved her hills, and led her laureate band;
    But stay'd to sing alone
    To one distinguish'd throne,
And turn'd thy face, and fled her alter'd land.

    No more, in hall or bow'r,
    The passions own thy pow'r.
Love, only Love her forceless numbers mean;
    For thou hast left her shrine,
    Nor olive more, nor vine,
Shall gain thy feet to bless the servile scene.

    Though taste, though genius bless
    To some divine excess,
Faint 's the cold work till thou inspire the whole;
    What each, what all supply,
    May court, may charm our eye,
Thou, only thou, canst raise the meeting soul!

    Of these let others ask,
    To aid some mighty task,
I only seek to find thy temperate vale;
    Where oft my reed might sound
    To maids and shepherds round,
And all thy sons, O Nature, learn my tale.


William Collins. 1721-1759

458. How sleep the Brave

HOW sleep the brave, who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow'd mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there!


William Collins. 1721-1759

459. Ode to Evening

IF aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
    Like thy own solemn springs,
    Thy springs and dying gales;

O nymph reserved, while now the bright-hair'd sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
    With brede ethereal wove,
    O'erhang his wavy bed:

Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-eyed bat
With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing,
    Or where the beetle winds
    His small but sullen horn,

As oft he rises, 'midst the twilight path
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
    Now teach me, maid composed,
    To breathe some soften'd strain,

Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale,
May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
    As musing slow, I hail
    Thy genial loved return!

For when thy folding-star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
    The fragrant hours, and elves
    Who slept in buds the day,

And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge,
And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,
    The pensive pleasures sweet,
    Prepare thy shadowy car:

Then lead, calm votaress, where some sheety lake
Cheers the lone heath, or some time-hallow'd pile,
    Or upland fallows grey
    Reflect its last cool gleam.

Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut
    That from the mountain's side
    Views wilds and swelling floods,

And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
    Thy dewy fingers draw
    The gradual dusky veil.

While Spring shall pour his show'rs, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
    While Summer loves to sport
    Beneath thy lingering light;

While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves,
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
    Affrights thy shrinking train,
    And rudely rends thy robes:

So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, rose-lipp'd Health
    Thy gentlest influence own,
    And hymn thy favourite name!


William Collins. 1721-1759

460. Fidele

TO fair Fidele's grassy tomb
  Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,
  And rifle all the breathing Spring.

No wailing ghost shall dare appear
  To vex with shrieks this quiet grove;
But shepherd lads assemble here,
  And melting virgins own their love.

No wither'd witch shall here be seen,
  No goblins lead their nightly crew;
The female fays shall haunt the green,
  And dress thy grave with pearly dew.

The redbreast oft at evening hours
  Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gather'd flowers,
  To deck the ground where thou art laid.

When howling winds, and beating rain,
  In tempests shake the sylvan cell;
Or 'midst the chase, on every plain,
  The tender thought on thee shall dwell;

Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
  For thee the tear be duly shed;
Beloved, till life can charm no more;
  And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead.


Mark Akenside. 1721-1770

461. Amoret

IF rightly tuneful bards decide,
  If it be fix'd in Love's decrees,
That Beauty ought not to be tried
  But by its native power to please,
Then tell me, youths and lovers, tell--
What fair can Amoret excel?

Behold that bright unsullied smile,
  And wisdom speaking in her mien:
Yet--she so artless all the while,
  So little studious to be seen--
We naught but instant gladness know,
Nor think to whom the gift we owe.

But neither music, nor the powers
  Of youth and mirth and frolic cheer,
Add half the sunshine to the hours,
  Or make life's prospect half so clear,
As memory brings it to the eye
From scenes where Amoret was by.

This, sure, is Beauty's happiest part;
  This gives the most unbounded sway;
This shall enchant the subject heart
  When rose and lily fade away;
And she be still, in spite of Time,
Sweet Amoret in all her prime.


Mark Akenside. 1721-1770

462. The Complaint

      AWAY! away!
  Tempt me no more, insidious Love:
      Thy soothing sway
  Long did my youthful bosom prove:
  At length thy treason is discern'd,
  At length some dear-bought caution earn'd:
Away! nor hope my riper age to move.

      I know, I see
  Her merit. Needs it now be shown,
      Alas! to me?
  How often, to myself unknown,
  The graceful, gentle, virtuous maid
  Have I admired! How often said--
What joy to call a heart like hers one's own!

      But, flattering god,
  O squanderer of content and ease
      In thy abode
  Will care's rude lesson learn to please?
  O say, deceiver, hast thou won
  Proud Fortune to attend thy throne,
Or placed thy friends above her stern decrees?


Mark Akenside. 1721-1770

463. The Nightingale

TO-NIGHT retired, the queen of heaven
  With young Endymion stays;
And now to Hesper it is given
Awhile to rule the vacant sky,
Till she shall to her lamp supply
  A stream of brighter rays.

Propitious send thy golden ray,
  Thou purest light above!
Let no false flame seduce to stray
Where gulf or steep lie hid for harm;
But lead where music's healing charm
  May soothe afflicted love.

To them, by many a grateful song
  In happier seasons vow'd,
These lawns, Olympia's haunts, belong:
Oft by yon silver stream we walk'd,
Or fix'd, while Philomela talk'd,
  Beneath yon copses stood.

Nor seldom, where the beechen boughs
  That roofless tower invade,
We came, while her enchanting Muse
The radiant moon above us held:
Till, by a clamorous owl compell'd,
  She fled the solemn shade.

But hark! I hear her liquid tone!
  Now Hesper guide my feet!
Down the red marl with moss o'ergrown,
Through yon wild thicket next the plain,
Whose hawthorns choke the winding lane
  Which leads to her retreat.

See the green space: on either hand
  Enlarged it spreads around:
See, in the midst she takes her stand,
Where one old oak his awful shade
Extends o'er half the level mead,
  Enclosed in woods profound.

Hark! how through many a melting note
  She now prolongs her lays:
How sweetly down the void they float!
The breeze their magic path attends;
The stars shine out; the forest bends;
  The wakeful heifers graze.

Whoe'er thou art whom chance may bring
  To this sequester'd spot,
If then the plaintive Siren sing,
O softly tread beneath her bower
And think of Heaven's disposing power,
  Of man's uncertain lot.

O think, o'er all this mortal stage
  What mournful scenes arise:
What ruin waits on kingly rage;
How often virtue dwells with woe;
How many griefs from knowledge flow;
  How swiftly pleasure flies!

O sacred bird! let me at eve,
  Thus wandering all alone,
Thy tender counsel oft receive,
Bear witness to thy pensive airs,
And pity Nature's common cares,
  Till I forget my own.


Tobias George Smollett. 1721-1771

464. To Leven Water

PURE stream, in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave;
No torrents stain thy limpid source,
No rocks impede thy dimpling course
Devolving from thy parent lake
A charming maze thy waters make
By bowers of birch and groves of pine
And edges flower'd with eglantine.

Still on thy banks so gaily green
May numerous herds and flocks be seen,
And lasses chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds piping in the dale,
And ancient faith that knows no guile,
And industry embrown'd with toil,
And hearts resolved and hands prepared
The blessings they enjoy to guard.


Christopher Smart. 1722-1770

465. Song to David

SUBLIME--invention ever young,
Of vast conception, tow'ring tongue
    To God th' eternal theme;
Notes from yon exaltations caught,
Unrivall'd royalty of thought
    O'er meaner strains supreme.

His muse, bright angel of his verse,
Gives balm for all the thorns that pierce,
    For all the pangs that rage;
Blest light still gaining on the gloom,
The more than Michal of his bloom,
    Th' Abishag of his age.

He sang of God--the mighty source
Of all things--the stupendous force
    On which all strength depends;
From whose right arm, beneath whose eyes,
All period, power, and enterprise
    Commences, reigns, and ends.

Tell them, I AM, Jehovah said
To Moses; while earth heard in dread,
    And, smitten to the heart,
At once above, beneath, around,
All Nature, without voice or sound,
    Replied, O LORD, THOU ART.

The world, the clustering spheres, He made;
The glorious light, the soothing shade,
    Dale, champaign, grove, and hill;
The multitudinous abyss,
Where Secrecy remains in bliss,
    And Wisdom hides her skill.

The pillars of the Lord are seven,
Which stand from earth to topmost heaven;
    His Wisdom drew the plan;
His Word accomplish'd the design,
From brightest gem to deepest mine;
    From Christ enthroned, to Man.

For Adoration all the ranks
Of Angels yield eternal thanks,
    And David in the midst;
With God's good poor, which, last and least
In man's esteem, Thou to Thy feast,
    O blessed Bridegroom, bidd'st!

For Adoration, David's Psalms
Lift up the heart to deeds of alms;
    And he, who kneels and chants,
Prevails his passions to control,
Finds meat and medicine to the soul,
    Which for translation pants.

For Adoration, in the dome
Of Christ, the sparrows find a home,
    And on His olives perch:
The swallow also dwells with thee,
O man of God's humility,
    Within his Saviour's church.

Sweet is the dew that falls betimes,
And drops upon the leafy limes;
    Sweet Hermon's fragrant air:
Sweet is the lily's silver bell,
And sweet the wakeful tapers' smell
    That watch for early prayer.

Sweet the young nurse, with love intense,
Which smiles o'er sleeping innocence;
    Sweet, when the lost arrive:
Sweet the musician's ardour beats,
While his vague mind's in quest of sweets,
    The choicest flowers to hive.

Strong is the horse upon his speed;
Strong in pursuit the rapid glede,
    Which makes at once his game:
Strong the tall ostrich on the ground;
Strong through the turbulent profound
    Shoots Xiphias to his aim.

Strong is the lion--like a coal
His eyeball,--like a bastion's mole
    His chest against the foes:
Strong, the gier-eagle on his sail;
Strong against tide th' enormous whale
    Emerges as he goes.

But stronger still, in earth and air,
And in the sea, the man of prayer,
    And far beneath the tide:
And in the seat to faith assign'd,
Where ask is have, where seek is find,
    Where knock is open wide.

Precious the penitential tear;
And precious is the sigh sincere,
    Acceptable to God:
And precious are the winning flowers,
In gladsome Israel's feast of bowers
    Bound on the hallow'd sod.

Glorious the sun in mid career;
Glorious th' assembled fires appear;
    Glorious the comet's train:
Glorious the trumpet and alarm;
Glorious the Almighty's stretched-out arm;
    Glorious th' enraptured main:

Glorious the northern lights astream;
Glorious the song, when God 's the theme;
    Glorious the thunder's roar:
Glorious Hosanna from the den;
Glorious the catholic Amen;
    Glorious the martyr's gore:

Glorious--more glorious--is the crown
Of Him that brought salvation down,
    By meekness call'd thy Son:
Thou that stupendous truth believed;--
And now the matchless deed 's achieved,
    Determined, dared, and done!

glede] kite.  Xiphias] sword-fish.


Jane Elliot. 1727-1805

466. A Lament for Flodden

I'VE heard them lilting at our ewe-milking,
  Lasses a' lilting before dawn o' day;
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning--
  The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

At bughts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning,
  Lasses are lonely and dowie and wae;
Nae daffing, nae gabbing, but sighing and sabbing,
  Ilk ane lifts her leglin and hies her away.

In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,
  Bandsters are lyart, and runkled, and gray:
At fair or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching--
  The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

At e'en, in the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming
  'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play;
But ilk ane sits eerie, lamenting her dearie--
  The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

Dool and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border!
  The English, for ance, by guile wan the day;
The Flowers of the Forest, that fought aye the foremost,
  The prime of our land, lie cauld in the clay.

We'll hear nae mair lilting at our ewe-milking;
  Women and bairns are heartless and wae;
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning--
  The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

loaning] lane, field-track.  wede] weeded.  bughts]
sheep-folds.  daffing] joking.  leglin] milk-pail.  hairst]
harvest.  bandsters] binders.  lyart] gray-haired.  runkled]
wrinkled.  fleeching] coaxing.  swankies] lusty lads.  bogle] bogy,
hide-and-seek.  dool] mourning.


Oliver Goldsmith. 1728-1774

467. Woman

WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,
  And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy?
  What art can wash her tears away?

The only art her guilt to cover,
  To hide her shame from ev'ry eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
  And wring his bosom is--to die.


Oliver Goldsmith. 1728-1774

468. Memory

O MEMORY, thou fond deceiver,
  Still importunate and vain,
To former joys recurring ever,
  And turning all the past to pain:

Thou, like the world, th' oppress'd oppressing,
  Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe:
And he who wants each other blessing
  In thee must ever find a foe.


Robert Cunninghame-Graham of Gartmore. 1735-1797

469. If Doughty Deeds

IF doughty deeds my lady please,
  Right soon I'll mount my steed;
And strong his arm and fast his seat,
  That bears frae me the meed.
I'll wear thy colours in my cap,
  Thy picture in my heart;
And he that bends not to thine eye
  Shall rue it to his smart!
    Then tell me how to woo thee, Love;
      O tell me how to woo thee!
    For thy dear sake nae care I'll take,
      Tho' ne'er another trow me.

If gay attire delight thine eye
  I'll dight me in array;
I'll tend thy chamber door all night,
  And squire thee all the day.
If sweetest sounds can win thine ear,
  These sounds I'll strive to catch;
Thy voice I'll steal to woo thysel',
  That voice that nane can match.
    Then tell me how to woo thee, Love...

But if fond love thy heart can gain,
  I never broke a vow;
Nae maiden lays her skaith to me,
  I never loved but you.
For you alone I ride the ring,
  For you I wear the blue;
For you alone I strive to sing,
  O tell me how to woo!
    Then tell me how to woo thee, Love;
      O tell me how to woo thee!
    For thy dear sake nae care I'll take
      Tho' ne'er another trow me.


William Cowper. 1731-1800

470. To Mary Unwin

MARY! I want a lyre with other strings,
Such aid from Heaven as some have feign'd they drew,
An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new
And undebased by praise of meaner things;
That ere through age or woe I shed my wings,
I may record thy worth with honour due,
In verse as musical as thou art true,
And that immortalizes whom it sings:
But thou hast little need. There is a Book
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light,
On which the eyes of God not rarely look,
A chronicle of actions just and bright--
  There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine;
  And since thou own'st that praise, I spare thee mine.


William Cowper. 1731-1800

471. My Mary

THE twentieth year is wellnigh past
Since first our sky was overcast;
Ah, would that this might be the last!
                        My Mary!

Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see thee daily weaker grow;
'Twas my distress that brought thee low,
                        My Mary!

Thy needles, once a shining store,
For my sake restless heretofore,
Now rust disused, and shine no more;
                        My Mary!

For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil
The same kind office for me still,
Thy sight now seconds not thy will,
                        My Mary!

But well thou play'dst the housewife's part,
And all thy threads with magic art
Have wound themselves about this heart,
                        My Mary!

Thy indistinct expressions seem
Like language utter'd in a dream;
Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,
                        My Mary!

Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
Are still more lovely in my sight
Than golden beams of orient light,
                        My Mary!

For could I view nor them nor thee,
What sight worth seeing could I see?
The sun would rise in vain for me.
                        My Mary!

Partakers of thy sad decline,
Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet, gently press'd, press gently mine,
                        My Mary!

Such feebleness of limbs thou prov'st,
That now at every step thou mov'st
Upheld by two; yet still thou lov'st,
                        My Mary!

And still to love, though press'd with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,
                        My Mary!

But ah! by constant heed I know
How oft the sadness that I show
Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,
                        My Mary!

And should my future lot be cast
With much resemblance of the past,
Thy worn-out heart will break at last--
                        My Mary!


James Beattie. 1735-1803

472. An Epitaph

LIKE thee I once have stemm'd the sea of life,
  Like thee have languish'd after empty joys,
Like thee have labour'd in the stormy strife,
  Been grieved for trifles, and amused with toys.

Forget my frailties; thou art also frail:
  Forgive my lapses; for thyself may'st fall:
Nor read unmoved my artless tender tale--
  I was a friend, O man, to thee, to all.


Isobel Pagan. 1740-1821

473. Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes

CA' the yowes to the knowes,
  Ca' them where the heather grows,
  Ca' them where the burnie rows,
      My bonnie dearie.

As I gaed down the water side,
There I met my shepherd lad;
He row'd me sweetly in his plaid,
    And he ca'd me his dearie.

'Will ye gang down the water side,
And see the waves sae sweetly glide
Beneath the hazels spreading wide?
    The moon it shines fu' clearly.'

'I was bred up at nae sic school,
My shepherd lad, to play the fool,
And a' the day to sit in dool,
    And naebody to see me.'

'Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meet,
Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet,
And in my arms ye'se lie and sleep,
    And ye sall be my dearie.'

'If ye'll but stand to what ye've said,
I'se gang wi' you, my shepherd lad,
And ye may row me in your plaid,
    And I sall be your dearie.'

'While waters wimple to the sea,
While day blinks in the lift sae hie,
Till clay-cauld death sall blin' my e'e,
    Ye aye sall be my dearie!'

yowes] ewes.  knowes] knolls, little hills.  rows] rolls.  row'd]
rolled, wrapped.  dool] dule, sorrow.  lift] sky.


Anna Laetitia Barbauld. 1743-1825

474. Life

LIFE! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met,
I own to me 's a secret yet.
But this I know, when thou art fled,
Where'er they lay these limbs, this head,
No clod so valueless shall be
As all that then remains of me.

O whither, whither dost thou fly?
Where bend unseen thy trackless course?
    And in this strange divorce,
Ah, tell where I must seek this compound I?
To the vast ocean of empyreal flame
    From whence thy essence came
Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed
From matter's base encumbering weed?
    Or dost thou, hid from sight,
    Wait, like some spell-bound knight,
Through blank oblivious years th' appointed hour
To break thy trance and reassume thy power?
Yet canst thou without thought or feeling be?
O say, what art thou, when no more thou'rt thee?

Life! we have been long together,
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
  'Tis hard to part when friends are dear;
  Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;--
  Then steal away, give little warning,
        Choose thine own time;
Say not Good-night, but in some brighter clime
        Bid me Good-morning!


Fanny Greville. 18th Cent.

475. Prayer for Indifference

I ASK no kind return of love,
  No tempting charm to please;
Far from the heart those gifts remove,
  That sighs for peace and ease.

Nor peace nor ease the heart can know,
  That, like the needle true,
Turns at the touch of joy or woe,
  But turning, trembles too.

Far as distress the soul can wound,
  'Tis pain in each degree:
'Tis bliss but to a certain bound,
  Beyond is agony.


John Logan. 1748-1788

476. To the Cuckoo

HAIL, beauteous stranger of the grove!
  Thou messenger of Spring!
Now Heaven repairs thy rural seat,
  And woods thy welcome ring.

What time the daisy decks the green,
  Thy certain voice we hear:
Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
  Or mark the rolling year?

Delightful visitant! with thee
  I hail the time of flowers,
And hear the sound of music sweet
  From birds among the bowers.

The schoolboy, wand'ring through the wood
  To pull the primrose gay,
Starts, the new voice of Spring to hear,
  And imitates thy lay.

What time the pea puts on the bloom,
  Thou fli'st thy vocal vale,
An annual guest in other lands,
  Another Spring to hail.

Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
  Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
  No Winter in thy year!

O could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
  We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
  Companions of the Spring.


Lady Anne Lindsay. 1750-1825

477. Auld Robin Gray

WHEN the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at hame,
And a' the warld to rest are gane,
The waes o' my heart fa' in showers frae my e'e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.

Young Jamie lo'ed me weel, and sought me for his bride;
But saving a croun he had naething else beside:
To make the croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to sea;
And the croun and the pund were baith for me.

He hadna been awa' a week but only twa,
When my father brak his arm, and the cow was stown awa;
My mother she fell sick,--and my Jamie at the sea--
And auld Robin Gray came a-courtin' me.

My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin;
I toil'd day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintain'd them baith, and wi' tears in his e'e
Said, 'Jennie, for their sakes, O, marry me!'

My heart it said nay; I look'd for Jamie back;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a wrack;
His ship it was a wrack--Why didna Jamie dee?
Or why do I live to cry, Wae 's me?

My father urged me sair: my mother didna speak;
But she look'd in my face till my heart was like to break:
They gi'ed him my hand, tho' my heart was in the sea;
Sae auld Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.

I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
When mournfu' as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie's wraith,--for I couldna think it he,
Till he said, 'I'm come hame to marry thee.'

O sair, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say;
We took but ae kiss, and we tore ourselves away:
I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee;
And why was I born to say, Wae 's me!

I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
But I'll do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For auld Robin Gray he is kind unto me.


Sir William Jones. 1746-1794

478. Epigram

ON parent knees, a naked new-born child,
Weeping thou sat'st while all around thee smiled:
So live, that sinking to thy life's last sleep,
Calm thou may'st smile, whilst all around thee weep.


Thomas Chatterton. 1752-1770

479. Song from Aella

O SING unto my roundelay,
O drop the briny tear with me;
Dance no more at holyday,
Like a running river be:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

Black his cryne as the winter night,
White his rode as the summer snow,
Red his face as the morning light,
Cold he lies in the grave below:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

Sweet his tongue as the throstle's note,
Quick in dance as thought can be,
Deft his tabor, cudgel stout;
O he lies by the willow-tree!
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

Hark! the raven flaps his wing
In the brier'd dell below;
Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing
To the nightmares, as they go:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

See! the white moon shines on high;
Whiter is my true-love's shroud:
Whiter than the morning sky,
Whiter than the evening cloud:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

Here upon my true-love's grave
Shall the barren flowers be laid;
Not one holy saint to save
All the coldness of a maid:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

With my hands I'll dent the briers
Round his holy corse to gre:
Ouph and fairy, light your fires,
Here my body still shall be:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

Come, with acorn-cup and thorn,
Drain my heartes blood away;
Life and all its good I scorn,
Dance by night, or feast by day:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

cryne] hair.  rode] complexion.  dent] fasten.  gre] grow.  ouph]
elf.


George Crabbe. 1754-1832

480. Meeting

MY Damon was the first to wake
  The gentle flame that cannot die;
My Damon is the last to take
  The faithful bosom's softest sigh:
The life between is nothing worth,
  O cast it from thy thought away!
Think of the day that gave it birth,
  And this its sweet returning day.

Buried be all that has been done,
  Or say that naught is done amiss;
For who the dangerous path can shun
  In such bewildering world as this?
But love can every fault forgive,
  Or with a tender look reprove;
And now let naught in memory live
  But that we meet, and that we love.


George Crabbe. 1754-1832

481. Late Wisdom

WE'VE trod the maze of error round,
  Long wandering in the winding glade;
And now the torch of truth is found,
  It only shows us where we strayed:
By long experience taught, we know--
  Can rightly judge of friends and foes;
Can all the worth of these allow,
  And all the faults discern in those.

Now, 'tis our boast that we can quell
  The wildest passions in their rage,
Can their destructive force repel,
  And their impetuous wrath assuage.--
Ah, Virtue! dost thou arm when now
  This bold rebellious race are fled?
When all these tyrants rest, and thou
  Art warring with the mighty dead?


George Crabbe. 1754-1832

482. A Marriage Ring

THE ring, so worn as you behold,
So thin, so pale, is yet of gold:
The passion such it was to prove--
Worn with life's care, love yet was love.


William Blake. 1757-1827

483. To the Muses

WHETHER on Ida's shady brow
  Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the Sun, that now
  From ancient melody have ceased;

Whether in heaven ye wander fair,
  Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air
  Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
  Beneath the bosom of the sea,
Wandering in many a coral grove;
  Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry;

How have you left the ancient love
  That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move,
  The sound is forced, the notes are few.


William Blake. 1757-1827

484. To Spring

O THOU with dewy locks, who lookest down
Through the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell one another, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turn'd
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth
And let thy holy feet visit our clime!

Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our lovesick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languish'd head,
Whose modest tresses are bound up for thee.


William Blake. 1757-1827

485. Song

MY silks and fine array,
My smiles and languish'd air,
By Love are driven away;
  And mournful lean Despair
Brings me yew to deck my grave:
Such end true lovers have.

His face is fair as heaven
  When springing buds unfold:
O why to him was 't given,
  Whose heart is wintry cold?
His breast is Love's all-worshipp'd tomb,
Where all Love's pilgrims come.

Bring me an axe and spade,
  Bring me a winding-sheet;
When I my grave have made,
  Let winds and tempests beat:
Then down I'll lie, as cold as clay:
True love doth pass away!


William Blake. 1757-1827

486. Reeds of Innocence

PIPING down the valleys wild,
  Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
  And he laughing said to me:

'Pipe a song about a Lamb!'
  So I piped with merry cheer.
'Piper, pipe that song again;'
  So I piped: he wept to hear.

'Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
  Sing thy songs of happy cheer!'
So I sung the same again,
  While he wept with joy to hear.

'Piper, sit thee down and write
  In a book that all may read.'
So he vanish'd from my sight;
  And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
  And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
  Every child may joy to hear.


William Blake. 1757-1827

487. The Little Black Boy

MY mother bore me in the southern wild,
  And I am black, but O, my soul is white!
White as an angel is the English child,
  But I am black, as if bereaved of light.

My mother taught me underneath a tree,
  And, sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
  And, pointing to the East, began to say:

'Look at the rising sun: there God does live,
  And gives His light, and gives His heat away,
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
  Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.

'And we are put on earth a little space,
  That we may learn to bear the beams of love;
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
  Are but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

'For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear,
  The cloud will vanish; we shall hear His voice,
Saying, "Come out from the grove, my love and care,
  And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice."'

Thus did my mother say, and kissed me,
  And thus I say to little English boy.
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
  And round the tent of God like lambs we joy,

I'll shade him from the heat till he can bear
  To lean in joy upon our Father's knee;
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
  And be like him, and he will then love me.


William Blake. 1757-1827

488. Hear the Voice

HEAR the voice of the Bard,
Who present, past, and future, sees;
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word
That walk'd among the ancient trees;

Calling the lapsed soul,
And weeping in the evening dew;
That might control
The starry pole,
And fallen, fallen light renew!

'O Earth, O Earth, return!
Arise from out the dewy grass!
Night is worn,
And the morn
Rises from the slumbrous mass.

'Turn away no more;
Why wilt thou turn away?
The starry floor,
The watery shore,
Is given thee till the break of day.'


William Blake. 1757-1827

489. The Tiger

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


William Blake. 1757-1827

490. Cradle Song

SLEEP, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel
Smiles as of the morning steal
O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast
Where thy little heart doth rest.

O the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep!
When thy little heart doth wake,
Then the dreadful night shall break.


William Blake. 1757-1827

491. Night

THE sun descending in the west,
  The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest.
  And I must seek for mine.
    The moon, like a flower
    In heaven's high bower,
    With silent delight
    Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell, green fields and happy grove,
  Where flocks have took delight:
Where lambs have nibbled, silent move
  The feet of angels bright;
    Unseen they pour blessing
    And joy without ceasing
    On each bud and blossom,
    And each sleeping bosom.

They look in every thoughtless nest
  Where birds are cover'd warm;
They visit caves of every beast,
  To keep them all from harm:
    If they see any weeping
    That should have been sleeping,
    They pour sleep on their head,
    And sit down by their bed.

When wolves and tigers howl for prey,
  They pitying stand and weep,
Seeking to drive their thirst away
  And keep them from the sheep.
    But, if they rush dreadful,
    The angels, most heedful,
    Receive each mild spirit,
    New worlds to inherit.

And there the lion's ruddy eyes
  Shall flow with tears of gold:
And pitying the tender cries,
  And walking round the fold:
    Saying, 'Wrath, by His meekness,
    And, by His health, sickness,
    Are driven away
    From our immortal day.

'And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
  I can lie down and sleep,
Or think on Him who bore thy name,
  Graze after thee, and weep.
    For, wash'd in life's river,
    My bright mane for ever
    Shall shine like the gold
    As I guard o'er the fold.'


William Blake. 1757-1827

492. Love's Secret

NEVER seek to tell thy love,
  Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
  Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
  I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.
  Ah! she did depart!

Soon after she was gone from me,
  A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly:
  He took her with a sigh.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

493. Mary Morison

O MARY, at thy window be,
  It is the wish'd, the trysted hour!
Those smiles and glances let me see,
  That make the miser's treasure poor:
How blythely wad I bide the stour
  A weary slave frae sun to sun,
Could I the rich reward secure,
  The lovely Mary Morison!

Yestreen, when to the trembling string
  The dance gaed thro' the lighted ha',
To thee my fancy took its wing,
  I sat, but neither heard nor saw:
Tho' this was fair, and that was braw,
  And yon the toast of a' the town,
I sigh'd, and said amang them a',
  'Ye arena Mary Morison.'

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,
  Wha for thy sake wad gladly die?
Or canst thou break that heart of his,
  Whase only faut is loving thee?
If love for love thou wiltna gie,
  At least be pity to me shown;
A thought ungentle canna be
  The thought o' Mary Morison.

stour] dust, turmoil.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

494. Jean

OF a' the airts the wind can blaw,
  I dearly like the west,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
  The lassie I lo'e best:
There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
  And monie a hill between;
But day and night my fancy's flight
  Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
  I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
  I hear her charm the air:
There 's not a bonnie flower that springs
  By fountain, shaw, or green;
There 's not a bonnie bird that sings,
  But minds me o' my Jean.

airts] points of the compass.  row] roll.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

495. Auld Lang Syne

SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And days o' lang syne?

We twa hae rin about the braes,
  And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit
  Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl't i' the burn,
  Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
  Sin' auld lang syne.

And here 's a hand, my trusty fiere,
  And gie's a hand o' thine;
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught
  For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
  And surely I'll be mine;
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
  For auld lang syne!

      For auld lang syne, my dear,
        For auld lang syne,
      We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
        For auld lang syne.

gowans] daisies.  fit] foot.  dine] dinner-time.  fiere]
partner.  guid-willie waught] friendly draught.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

496. My Bonnie Mary

GO fetch to me a pint o' wine,
  An' fill it in a silver tassie,
That I may drink, before I go,
  A service to my bonnie lassie.
The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith,
  Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the ferry,
The ship rides by the Berwick-law,
  And I maun leave my bonnie Mary.

The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
  The glittering spears are ranked ready;
The shouts o' war are heard afar,
  The battle closes thick and bloody;
But it 's no the roar o' sea or shore
  Wad mak me langer wish to tarry;
Nor shout o' war that 's heard afar--
  It 's leaving thee, my bonnie Mary!

tassie] cup.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

497. John Anderson, my Jo

JOHN ANDERSON, my jo, John,
  When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,
  Your bonnie brow was brent;
But now your brow is beld, John,
  Your locks are like the snow;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
  John Anderson, my jo!

John Anderson, my jo, John,
  We clamb the hill thegither;
And monie a canty day, John,
  We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
  But hand in hand we'll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
  John Anderson, my jo.

jo] sweetheart.  brent] smooth, unwrinkled.  beld] bald.  pow]
pate.  canty] cheerful.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

498. The Banks o' Doon

YE flowery banks o' bonnie Doon,
  How can ye blume sae fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
  And I sae fu' o' care!

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
  That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days
  When my fause luve was true.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
  That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
  And wistna o' my fate.

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon,
  To see the woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o' its luve,
  And sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose
  Upon a morn in June;
And sae I flourish'd on the morn,
  And sae was pu'd or' noon.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose
  Upon its thorny tree;
But my fause luver staw my rose,
  And left the thorn wi' me.

or'] ere.  staw] stole.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

499. Ae Fond Kiss

AE fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me,
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy;
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever.

Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met--or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

wage] stake, plight.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

500. Bonnie Lesley

O SAW ye bonnie Lesley
  As she gaed o'er the Border?
She 's gane, like Alexander,
  To spread her conquests farther.

To see her is to love her,
  And love but her for ever;
For Nature made her what she is,
  And ne'er made sic anither!

Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
  Thy subjects we, before thee:
Thou art divine, fair Lesley,
  The hearts o' men adore thee.

The Deil he couldna scaith thee,
  Or aught that wad belang thee;
He'd look into thy bonnie face
  And say, 'I canna wrang thee!'

The Powers aboon will tent thee,
  Misfortune sha'na steer thee:
Thou'rt like themsel' sae lovely,
  That ill they'll ne'er let near thee.

Return again, fair Lesley,
  Return to Caledonie!
That we may brag we hae a lass
  There 's nane again sae bonnie!

scaith] harm.  tent] watch.  steer] molest.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

501. Highland Mary

YE banks and braes and streams around
  The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
  Your waters never drumlie!
There simmer first unfauld her robes,
  And there the langest tarry;
For there I took the last fareweel
  O' my sweet Highland Mary.

How sweetly bloom'd the gay green birk,
  How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
As underneath their fragrant shade
  I clasp'd her to my bosom!
The golden hours on angel wings
  Flew o'er me and my dearie;
For dear to me as light and life
  Was my sweet Highland Mary.

Wi' monie a vow and lock'd embrace
  Our parting was fu' tender;
And, pledging aft to meet again,
  We tore oursels asunder;
But oh! fell Death's untimely frost,
  That nipt my flower sae early!
Now green 's the sod, and cauld 's the clay,
  That wraps my Highland Mary!

O pale, pale now, those rosy lips
  I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!
And closed for aye the sparkling glance
  That dwelt on me sae kindly!

And mouldering now in silent dust
  That heart that lo'ed me dearly!
But still within my bosom's core
  Shall live my Highland Mary.

drumlie] miry.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

502. O were my Love yon Lilac fair

O WERE my Love yon lilac fair,
  Wi' purple blossoms to the spring,
And I a bird to shelter there,
  When wearied on my little wing;
How I wad mourn when it was torn
  By autumn wild and winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing
  When youthfu' May its bloom renew'd.

O gin my Love were yon red rose
  That grows upon the castle wa',
And I mysel a drap o' dew,
  Into her bonnie breast to fa';
O there, beyond expression blest,
  I'd feast on beauty a' the night;
Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
  Till fley'd awa' by Phoebus' light.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

503. A Red, Red Rose

O MY Luve 's like a red, red rose
  That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve 's like the melodie
  That's sweetly play'd in tune!

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
  So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
  Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
  And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
  While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
  And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
  Tho' it were ten thousand mile.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

504. Lament for Culloden

THE lovely lass o' Inverness,
  Nae joy nor pleasure can she see;
For e'en and morn she cries, 'Alas!'
  And aye the saut tear blin's her e'e:
'Drumossie moor, Drumossie day,
  A waefu' day it was to me!
For there I lost my father dear,
  My father dear and brethren three.

'Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay,
  Their graves are growing green to see;
And by them lies the dearest lad
  That ever blest a woman's e'e!
Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord,
  A bluidy man I trow thou be;
For monie a heart thou hast made sair,
  That ne'er did wrang to thine or thee.'


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

505. The Farewell

IT was a' for our rightfu' King
  We left fair Scotland's strand;
It was a' for our rightfu' King
  We e'er saw Irish land,
          My dear--
  We e'er saw Irish land.

Now a' is done that men can do,
  And a' is done in vain;
My love and native land, farewell,
  For I maun cross the main,
          My dear--
  For I maun cross the main.

He turn'd him right and round about
  Upon the Irish shore;
And gae his bridle-reins a shake,
  With, Adieu for evermore,
          My dear--
  With, Adieu for evermore!

The sodger frae the wars returns,
  The sailor frae the main;
But I hae parted frae my love,
  Never to meet again,
          My dear--
  Never to meet again.

When day is gane, and night is come,
  And a' folk bound to sleep,
I think on him that 's far awa',
  The lee-lang night, and weep,
          My dear--
  The lee-lang night, and weep.

lee-lang] livelong.


Robert Burns. 1759-1796

506. Hark! the Mavis

  CA' the yowes to the knowes,
      Ca' them where the heather grows,
  Ca' them where the burnie rows,
      My bonnie dearie.

Hark! the mavis' evening sang
Sounding Clouden's woods amang,
Then a-faulding let us gang,
    My bonnie dearie.

We'll gae down by Clouden side,
Through the hazels spreading wide,
O'er the waves that sweetly glide
    To the moon sae clearly.

Yonder Clouden's silent towers,
Where at moonshine midnight hours
O'er the dewy bending flowers
    Fairies dance sae cheery.

Ghaist nor bogle shalt thou fear;
Thou'rt to Love and Heaven sae dear,
Nocht of ill may come thee near,
    My bonnie dearie.

Fair and lovely as thou art,
Thou hast stown my very heart;
I can die--but canna part,
    My bonnie dearie.

While waters wimple to the sea;
While day blinks in the lift sae hie;
Till clay-cauld death shall blin' my e'e,
    Ye shall be my dearie.

  Ca' the yowes to the knowes...

lift] sky.


Henry Rowe. 1750-1819

507. Sun

ANGEL, king of streaming morn;
Cherub, call'd by Heav'n to shine;
T' orient tread the waste forlorn;
Guide aetherial, pow'r divine;
    Thou, Lord of all within!

Golden spirit, lamp of day,
Host, that dips in blood the plain,
Bids the crimson'd mead be gay,
Bids the green blood burst the vein;
    Thou, Lord of all within!

Soul, that wraps the globe in light;
Spirit, beckoning to arise;
Drives the frowning brow of night,
Glory bursting o'er the skies;
    Thou, Lord of all within!


Henry Rowe. 1750-1819

508. Moon

THEE too, modest tressed maid,
  When thy fallen stars appear;
When in lawn of fire array'd
  Sov'reign of yon powder'd sphere;
To thee I chant at close of day,
Beneath, O maiden Moon! thy ray.

Throned in sapphired ring supreme,
  Pregnant with celestial juice,
On silver wing thy diamond stream
  Gives what summer hours produce;
While view'd impearl'd earth's rich inlay,
Beneath, O maiden Moon! thy ray.

Glad, pale Cynthian wine I sip,
  Breathed the flow'ry leaves among;
Draughts delicious wet my lip;
  Drown'd in nectar drunk my song;
While tuned to Philomel the lay,
Beneath, O maiden Moon! thy ray.

Dew, that od'rous ointment yields,
  Sweets, that western winds disclose,
Bathing spring's more purpled fields,
  Soft 's the band that winds the rose;
While o'er thy myrtled lawns I stray
Beneath, O maiden Moon! thy ray.


William Lisle Bowles. 1762-1850

509. Time and Grief

O TIME! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
The faint pang stealest unperceived away;
On thee I rest my only hope at last,
And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
I may look back on every sorrow past,
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile:
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while:--
  Yet ah! how much must this poor heart endure,
  Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!


Joanna Baillie. 1762-1851

510. The Outlaw's Song

THE chough and crow to roost are gone,
  The owl sits on the tree,
The hush'd wind wails with feeble moan,
  Like infant charity.
The wild-fire dances on the fen,
  The red star sheds its ray;
Uprouse ye then, my merry men!
  It is our op'ning day.

Both child and nurse are fast asleep,
  And closed is every flower,
And winking tapers faintly peep
  High from my lady's bower;
Bewilder'd hinds with shorten'd ken
  Shrink on their murky way;
Uprouse ye then, my merry men!
  It is our op'ning day.

Nor board nor garner own we now,
  Nor roof nor latched door,
Nor kind mate, bound by holy vow
  To bless a good man's store;
Noon lulls us in a gloomy den,
  And night is grown our day;
Uprouse ye then, my merry men!
  And use it as ye may.


Mary Lamb. 1765-1847

511. A Child

A CHILD 's a plaything for an hour;
  Its pretty tricks we try
For that or for a longer space--
  Then tire, and lay it by.

But I knew one that to itself
  All seasons could control;
That would have mock'd the sense of pain
  Out of a grieved soul.

Thou straggler into loving arms,
  Young climber-up of knees,
When I forget thy thousand ways
  Then life and all shall cease.


Carolina, Lady Nairne. 1766-1845

512. The Land o' the Leal

I'M wearin' awa', John
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, John,
I'm wearin' awa'
  To the land o' the leal.
There 's nae sorrow there, John,
There 's neither cauld nor care, John,
The day is aye fair
  In the land o' the leal.

Our bonnie bairn 's there, John,
She was baith gude and fair, John;
And O! we grudged her sair
  To the land o' the leal.
But sorrow's sel' wears past, John,
And joy 's a-coming fast, John,
The joy that 's aye to last
  In the land o' the leal.

Sae dear 's the joy was bought, John,
Sae free the battle fought, John,
That sinfu' man e'er brought
  To the land o' the leal.
O, dry your glistening e'e, John!
My saul langs to be free, John,
And angels beckon me
  To the land o' the leal.

O, haud ye leal and true, John!
Your day it 's wearin' through, John,
And I'll welcome you
  To the land o' the leal.
Now fare-ye-weel, my ain John,
This warld's cares are vain, John,
We'll meet, and we'll be fain,
  In the land o' the leal.


James Hogg. 1770-1835

513. A Boy's Song

WHERE the pools are bright and deep,
Where the grey trout lies asleep,
Up the river and over the lea,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

Where the blackbird sings the latest,
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest,
Where the nestlings chirp and flee,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

Where the mowers mow the cleanest,
Where the hay lies thick and greenest,
There to track the homeward bee,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

Where the hazel bank is steepest,
Where the shadow falls the deepest,
Where the clustering nuts fall free,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

Why the boys should drive away
Little sweet maidens from the play,
Or love to banter and fight so well,
That 's the thing I never could tell.

But this I know, I love to play
Through the meadow, among the hay;
Up the water and over the lea,
That 's the way for Billy and me.


James Hogg. 1770-1835

514. Kilmeny

BONNIE Kilmeny gaed up the glen;
But it wasna to meet Duneira's men,
Nor the rosy monk of the isle to see,
For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be.
It was only to hear the yorlin sing,
And pu' the cress-flower round the spring;
The scarlet hypp and the hindberrye,
And the nut that hung frae the hazel tree;
For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be.
But lang may her minny look o'er the wa',
But lang may she seek i' the green-wood shaw;
Lang the laird o' Duneira blame,
And lang, lang greet or Kilmeny come hame!

When many a day had come and fled,
When grief grew calm, and hope was dead,
When mess for Kilmeny's soul had been sung,
When the bedesman had pray'd and the dead bell rung,
Late, late in gloamin' when all was still,
When the fringe was red on the westlin hill,
The wood was sere, the moon i' the wane,
The reek o' the cot hung over the plain,
Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane;
When the ingle low'd wi' an eiry leme,
Late, late in the gloamin' Kilmeny came hame!

'Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been?
Lang hae we sought baith holt and den;
By linn, by ford, and green-wood tree,
Yet you are halesome and fair to see.
Where gat you that joup o' the lily scheen?
That bonnie snood of the birk sae green?
And these roses, the fairest that ever were seen?
Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been?'

Kilmeny look'd up with a lovely grace,
But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny's face;
As still was her look, and as still was her e'e,
As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea,
Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea.
For Kilmeny had been, she knew not where,
And Kilmeny had seen what she could not declare;
Kilmeny had been where the cock never crew,
Where the rain never fell, and the wind never blew.
But it seem'd as the harp of the sky had rung,
And the airs of heaven play'd round her tongue,
When she spake of the lovely forms she had seen,
And a land where sin had never been;
A land of love and a land of light,
Withouten sun, or moon, or night;
Where the river swa'd a living stream,
And the light a pure celestial beam;
The land of vision, it would seem,
A still, an everlasting dream.

  In yon green-wood there is a waik,
And in that waik there is a wene,
  And in that wene there is a maike,
That neither has flesh, blood, nor bane;
And down in yon green-wood he walks his lane.

In that green wene Kilmeny lay,
Her bosom happ'd wi' flowerets gay;
But the air was soft and the silence deep,
And bonnie Kilmeny fell sound asleep.
She kenn'd nae mair, nor open'd her e'e,
Till waked by the hymns of a far countrye.

She 'waken'd on a couch of the silk sae slim,
All striped wi' the bars of the rainbow's rim;
And lovely beings round were rife,
Who erst had travell'd mortal life;
And aye they smiled and 'gan to speer,
'What spirit has brought this mortal here?'--

'Lang have I journey'd, the world wide,'
A meek and reverend fere replied;
'Baith night and day I have watch'd the fair,
Eident a thousand years and mair.
Yes, I have watch'd o'er ilk degree,
Wherever blooms femenitye;
But sinless virgin, free of stain
In mind and body, fand I nane.
Never, since the banquet of time,
Found I a virgin in her prime,
Till late this bonnie maiden I saw
As spotless as the morning snaw:
Full twenty years she has lived as free
As the spirits that sojourn in this countrye:
I have brought her away frae the snares of men,
That sin or death she never may ken.'--

They clasp'd her waist and her hands sae fair,
They kiss'd her cheek and they kemed her hair,
And round came many a blooming fere,
Saying, 'Bonnie Kilmeny, ye're welcome here!
Women are freed of the littand scorn:
O blest be the day Kilmeny was born!
Now shall the land of the spirits see,
Now shall it ken what a woman may be!
Many a lang year, in sorrow and pain,
Many a lang year through the world we've gane,
Commission'd to watch fair womankind,
For it 's they who nurice the immortal mind.
We have watch'd their steps as the dawning shone,
And deep in the green-wood walks alone;
By lily bower and silken bed,
The viewless tears have o'er them shed;
Have soothed their ardent minds to sleep,
Or left the couch of love to weep.
We have seen! we have seen! but the time must come,
And the angels will weep at the day of doom!

'O would the fairest of mortal kind
Aye keep the holy truths in mind,
That kindred spirits their motions see,
Who watch their ways with anxious e'e,
And grieve for the guilt of humanitye!
O, sweet to Heaven the maiden's prayer,
And the sigh that heaves a bosom sae fair!
And dear to Heaven the words of truth,
And the praise of virtue frae beauty's mouth!
And dear to the viewless forms of air,
The minds that kyth as the body fair!

'O bonnie Kilmeny! free frae stain,
If ever you seek the world again,
That world of sin, of sorrow and fear,
O tell of the joys that are waiting here;
And tell of the signs you shall shortly see;
Of the times that are now, and the times that shall be.'--
They lifted Kilmeny, they led her away,
And she walk'd in the light of a sunless day;
The sky was a dome of crystal bright,
The fountain of vision, and fountain of light:
The emerald fields were of dazzling glow,
And the flowers of everlasting blow.
Then deep in the stream her body they laid,
That her youth and beauty never might fade;
And they smiled on heaven, when they saw her lie
In the stream of life that wander'd bye.
And she heard a song, she heard it sung,
She kenn'd not where; but sae sweetly it rung,
It fell on the ear like a dream of the morn:
'O, blest be the day Kilmeny was born!
Now shall the land of the spirits see,
Now shall it ken what a woman may be!
The sun that shines on the world sae bright,
A borrow'd gleid frae the fountain of light;
And the moon that sleeks the sky sae dun,
Like a gouden bow, or a beamless sun,
Shall wear away, and be seen nae mair,
And the angels shall miss them travelling the air.
But lang, lang after baith night and day,
When the sun and the world have elyed away;
When the sinner has gane to his waesome doom,
Kilmeny shall smile in eternal bloom!'--

They bore her away, she wist not how,
For she felt not arm nor rest below;
But so swift they wain'd her through the light,
'Twas like the motion of sound or sight;
They seem'd to split the gales of air,
And yet nor gale nor breeze was there.
Unnumber'd groves below them grew,
They came, they pass'd, and backward flew,
Like floods of blossoms gliding on,
In moment seen, in moment gone.
O, never vales to mortal view
Appear'd like those o'er which they flew!
That land to human spirits given,
The lowermost vales of the storied heaven;
From thence they can view the world below,
And heaven's blue gates with sapphires glow,
More glory yet unmeet to know.

They bore her far to a mountain green,
To see what mortal never had seen;
And they seated her high on a purple sward,
And bade her heed what she saw and heard,
And note the changes the spirits wrought,
For now she lived in the land of thought.
She look'd, and she saw nor sun nor skies,
But a crystal dome of a thousand dyes:
She look'd, and she saw nae land aright,
But an endless whirl of glory and light:
And radiant beings went and came,
Far swifter than wind, or the linked flame.
She hid her e'en frae the dazzling view;
She look'd again, and the scene was new.

She saw a sun on a summer sky,
And clouds of amber sailing bye;
A lovely land beneath her lay,
And that land had glens and mountains gray;
And that land had valleys and hoary piles,
And marled seas, and a thousand isles.
Its fields were speckled, its forests green,
And its lakes were all of the dazzling sheen,
Like magic mirrors, where slumbering lay
The sun and the sky and the cloudlet gray;
Which heaved and trembled, and gently swung,
On every shore they seem'd to be hung;
For there they were seen on their downward plain
A thousand times and a thousand again;
In winding lake and placid firth,
Little peaceful heavens in the bosom of earth.

Kilmeny sigh'd and seem'd to grieve,
For she found her heart to that land did cleave;
She saw the corn wave on the vale,
She saw the deer run down the dale;
She saw the plaid and the broad claymore,
And the brows that the badge of freedom bore;
And she thought she had seen the land before.

She saw a lady sit on a throne,
The fairest that ever the sun shone on!
A lion lick'd her hand of milk,
And she held him in a leish of silk;
And a leifu' maiden stood at her knee,
With a silver wand and melting e'e;
Her sovereign shield till love stole in,
And poison'd all the fount within.

Then a gruff untoward bedesman came,
And hundit the lion on his dame;
And the guardian maid wi' the dauntless e'e,
She dropp'd a tear, and left her knee;
And she saw till the queen frae the lion fled,
Till the bonniest flower of the world lay dead;
A coffin was set on a distant plain,
And she saw the red blood fall like rain;
Then bonnie Kilmeny's heart grew sair,
And she turn'd away, and could look nae mair.

Then the gruff grim carle girn'd amain,
And they trampled him down, but he rose again;
And he baited the lion to deeds of weir,
Till he lapp'd the blood to the kingdom dear;
And weening his head was danger-preef,
When crown'd with the rose and clover leaf,
He gowl'd at the carle, and chased him away
To feed wi' the deer on the mountain gray.
He gowl'd at the carle, and geck'd at Heaven,
But his mark was set, and his arles given.
Kilmeny a while her e'en withdrew;
She look'd again, and the scene was new.

She saw before her fair unfurl'd
One half of all the glowing world,
Where oceans roll'd, and rivers ran,
To bound the aims of sinful man.
She saw a people, fierce and fell,
Burst frae their bounds like fiends of hell;
Their lilies grew, and the eagle flew;
And she herked on her ravening crew,
Till the cities and towers were wrapp'd in a blaze,
And the thunder it roar'd o'er the lands and the seas.
The widows they wail'd, and the red blood ran,
And she threaten'd an end to the race of man;
She never lened, nor stood in awe,
Till caught by the lion's deadly paw.
O, then the eagle swink'd for life,
And brainyell'd up a mortal strife;
But flew she north, or flew she south,
She met wi' the gowl o' the lion's mouth.

With a mooted wing and waefu' maen,
The eagle sought her eiry again;
But lang may she cower in her bloody nest,
And lang, lang sleek her wounded breast,
Before she sey another flight,
To play wi' the norland lion's might.

But to sing the sights Kilmeny saw,
So far surpassing nature's law,
The singer's voice wad sink away,
And the string of his harp wad cease to play.
But she saw till the sorrows of man were bye,
And all was love and harmony;
Till the stars of heaven fell calmly away,
Like flakes of snaw on a winter day.

Then Kilmeny begg'd again to see
The friends she had left in her own countrye;
To tell of the place where she had been,
And the glories that lay in the land unseen;
To warn the living maidens fair,
The loved of Heaven, the spirits' care,
That all whose minds unmeled remain
Shall bloom in beauty when time is gane.

With distant music, soft and deep,
They lull'd Kilmeny sound asleep;
And when she awaken'd, she lay her lane,
All happ'd with flowers, in the green-wood wene.
When seven lang years had come and fled,
When grief was calm, and hope was dead;
When scarce was remember'd Kilmeny's name,
Late, late in a gloamin' Kilmeny came hame!
And O, her beauty was fair to see,
But still and steadfast was her e'e!
Such beauty bard may never declare,
For there was no pride nor passion there;
And the soft desire of maiden's e'en
In that mild face could never be seen.
Her seymar was the lily flower,
And her cheek the moss-rose in the shower;
And her voice like the distant melodye,
That floats along the twilight sea.
But she loved to raike the lanely glen,
And keeped afar frae the haunts of men;
Her holy hymns unheard to sing,
To suck the flowers, and drink the spring.
But wherever her peaceful form appear'd,
The wild beasts of the hill were cheer'd;
The wolf play'd blythly round the field,
The lordly byson low'd and kneel'd;
The dun deer woo'd with manner bland,
And cower'd aneath her lily hand.
And when at even the woodlands rung,
When hymns of other worlds she sung
In ecstasy of sweet devotion,
O, then the glen was all in motion!
The wild beasts of the forest came,
Broke from their bughts and faulds the tame,
And goved around, charm'd and amazed;
Even the dull cattle croon'd and gazed,
And murmur'd and look'd with anxious pain
For something the mystery to explain.
The buzzard came with the throstle-cock;
The corby left her houf in the rock;
The blackbird alang wi' the eagle flew;
The hind came tripping o'er the dew;
The wolf and the kid their raike began,
And the tod, and the lamb, and the leveret ran;
The hawk and the hern attour them hung,
And the merle and the mavis forhooy'd their young;
And all in a peaceful ring were hurl'd;
It was like an eve in a sinless world!

When a month and a day had come and gane.
Kilmeny sought the green-wood wene;
There laid her down on the leaves sae green,
And Kilmeny on earth was never mair seen.
But O, the words that fell from her mouth
Were words of wonder, and words of truth!
But all the land were in fear and dread,
For they kendna whether she was living or dead.
It wasna her hame, and she couldna remain;
She left this world of sorrow and pain,
And return'd to the land of thought again.

yorlin] the yellow-hammer.  hindberrye] bramble.  minny]
mother.  greet] mourn.  westlin] western.  its lane] alone, by
itself.  low'd] flamed.  eiry leme] eery gleam.  linn]
waterfall.  joup] mantle.  swa'd] swelled.  waik] a row of deep
damp grass.  wene] ?whin, a furze-bush.  maike] a mate, match,
equal.  his lane] alone, by himself.  happ'd] covered.  speer]
inquire.  fere] fellow.  eident] unintermittently.  kemed]
combed.  kyth] show, appear.  gleid] spark, glow.  elyed]
vanished.  marled] variegated, parti-coloured.  leifu'] lone,
wistful.  girn'd] snarled.  weir] war.  gowl'd] howled.  geck'd]
mocked.  arles] money paid on striking a bargain; fig. a
beating.  lened] crouched.  swink'd] laboured.  brainyell'd]
stirred, beat.  mooted] moulted.  sey] essay.  unmeled]
unblemished.  her lane] alone, by herself.  seymar]=cymar, a slight
covering.  raike] range, wander.  bughts] milking-pens.  goved]
stared, gazed.  corby] raven.  houf] haunt.  raike] ramble.  tod]
fox.  attour] out over.  forhooy'd] neglected.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

515. Lucy
i

STRANGE fits of passion have I known:
  And I will dare to tell,
But in the lover's ear alone,
  What once to me befell.

When she I loved look'd every day
  Fresh as a rose in June,
I to her cottage bent my way,
  Beneath an evening moon.

Upon the moon I fix'd my eye,
All over the wide lea;
With quickening pace my horse drew nigh
Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reach'd the orchard-plot;
And, as we climb'd the hill,
The sinking moon to Lucy's cot
Came near and nearer still.

In one of those sweet dreams I slept,
Kind Nature's gentlest boon!
And all the while my eyes I kept
On the descending moon.

My horse moved on; hoof after hoof
He raised, and never stopp'd:
When down behind the cottage roof,
At once, the bright moon dropp'd.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide
Into a lover's head!
'O mercy!' to myself I cried,
'If Lucy should be dead!'


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

516. Lucy
ii

SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways
  Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
  And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
  Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
  Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
  When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and oh,
  The difference to me!


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

517. Lucy
iii

I TRAVELL'D among unknown men,
  In lands beyond the sea;
Nor, England! did I know till then
  What love I bore to thee.

'Tis past, that melancholy dream!
  Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
  To love thee more and more.

Among thy mountains did I feel
  The joy of my desire;
And she I cherish'd turn'd her wheel
  Beside an English fire.

Thy mornings showed, thy nights conceal'd,
  The bowers where Lucy played;
And thine too is the last green field
  That Lucy's eyes survey'd.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

518. Lucy
iv

THREE years she grew in sun and shower;
Then Nature said, 'A lovelier flower
  On earth was never sown;
This child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
  A lady of my own.

"Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
  The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
  To kindle or restrain.

'She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
  Or up the mountain springs;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
  Of mute insensate things.

'The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
  Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form
  By silent sympathy.

'The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
  In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
  Shall pass into her face.

'And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
  Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
  Here in this happy dell.'

Thus Nature spake--The work was done--
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
  She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
  And never more will be.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

519. Lucy
v

A SLUMBER did my spirit seal;
  I had no human fears:
She seem'd a thing that could not feel
  The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;
  She neither hears nor sees;
Roll'd round in earth's diurnal course,
  With rocks, and stones, and trees.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

520. Upon Westminster Bridge

EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
  Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
  A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
  Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
  Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
  In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
  The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
  And all that mighty heart is lying still!


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

521. Evening on Calais Beach

IT is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
  The holy time is quiet as a Nun
  Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the sea:
  Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
  And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder--everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
  If thou appear untouch'd by solemn thought,
  Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;
  And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
  God being with thee when we know it not.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

522. On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic, 1802

ONCE did she hold the gorgeous East in fee;
  And was the safeguard of the West: the worth
  Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.
She was a maiden City, bright and free;
  No guile seduced, no force could violate;
  And, when she took unto herself a mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
  Those titles vanish, and that strength decay;
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid
  When her long life hath reach'd its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
  Of that which once was great is pass'd away.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

523. England, 1802
i

O FRIEND! I know not which way I must look
  For comfort, being, as I am, opprest,
  To think that now our life is only drest
For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,
Or groom!--We must run glittering like a brook
  In the open sunshine, or we are unblest:
  The wealthiest man among us is the best:
No grandeur now in nature or in book
Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
  This is idolatry; and these we adore:
  Plain living and high thinking are no more:
  The homely beauty of the good old cause
Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence,
  And pure religion breathing household laws.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

524. England, 1802
ii

MILTON! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
  England hath need of thee: she is a fen
  Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
  Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
  O raise us up, return to us again,
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power!
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart;
  Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
  Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
  So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
  The lowliest duties on herself did lay.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

525. England, 1802
iii

GREAT men have been among us; hands that penn'd
  And tongues that utter'd wisdom--better none:
  The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington,
Young Vane, and others who call'd Milton friend.
These moralists could act and comprehend:
  They knew how genuine glory was put on;
  Taught us how rightfully a nation shone
In splendour: what strength was, that would not bend
But in magnanimous meekness. France, 'tis strange,
  Hath brought forth no such souls as we had then.
Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change!
  No single volume paramount, no code,
  No master spirit, no determined road;
  But equally a want of books and men!


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

526. England, 1802
iv

IT is not to be thought of that the flood
  Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
  Of the world's praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flow'd, 'with pomp of waters, unwithstood,'
Roused though it be full often to a mood
  Which spurns the check of salutary bands,--
  That this most famous stream in bogs and sands
Should perish; and to evil and to good
Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
  Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
  That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.--In everything we are sprung
  Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

527. England, 1802
v

WHEN I have borne in memory what has tamed
  Great Nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
  When men change swords for ledgers, and desert
The student's bower for gold, some fears unnamed
I had, my Country!--am I to be blamed?
  Now, when I think of thee, and what thou art,
  Verily, in the bottom of my heart,
Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.
For dearly must we prize thee; we who find
  In thee a bulwark for the cause of men;
  And I by my affection was beguiled:
  What wonder if a Poet now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
  Felt for thee as a lover or a child!


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

528. The Solitary Reaper

BEHOLD her, single in the field,
  Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
  Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
  More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
  Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?--
  Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
  And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
  As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
  And o'er the sickle bending;--
I listen'd, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

529. Perfect Woman

SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam'd upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann'd,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

530. Daffodils

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
  That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
  A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
  And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
  Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
  Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
  In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
  In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
  Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

531. Ode to Duty

STERN Daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love,
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring and reprove;
Thou, who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe;
From vain temptations dost set free;
And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!

There are who ask not if thine eye
Be on them; who, in love and truth,
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth:
Glad hearts! without reproach or blot;
Who do thy work, and know it not:
O, if through confidence misplaced
They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around them cast.

Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
Even now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed;
Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need.

I, loving freedom, and untried;
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust:
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferr'd
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.

Through no disturbance of my soul,
Or strong compunction in me wrought,
I supplicate for thy control;
But in the quietness of thought.
Me this uncharter'd freedom tires;
I feel the weight of chance-desires;
My hopes no more must change their name,
I long for a repose that ever is the same.

Yet not the less would I throughout
Still act according to the voice
Of my own wish; and feel past doubt
That my submissiveness was choice:
Not seeking in the school of pride
For 'precepts over dignified,'
Denial and restraint I prize
No farther than they breed a second Will more wise.

Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face:
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds,
And fragrance in thy footing treads;
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;
And the most ancient heavens, through Thee, are fresh and strong.

To humbler functions, awful Power!
I call thee: I myself commend
Unto thy guidance from this hour;
O, let my weakness have an end!
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give;
And in the light of truth thy bondman let me live!


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

532. The Rainbow

MY heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
      Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

533. The Sonnet
i

NUNS fret not at their convent's narrow room,
  And hermits are contented with their cells,
  And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
  High as the highest peak of Furness fells,
  Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison unto which we doom
Ourselves no prison is: and hence for me,
  In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound
  Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
  Should find brief solace there, as I have found.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

534. The Sonnet
ii

SCORN not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frown'd,
  Mindless of its just honours; with this key
  Shakespeare unlock'd his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
  With it Camöens sooth'd an exile's grief;
  The Sonnet glitter'd a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crown'd
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
  It cheer'd mild Spenser, call'd from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and when a damp
  Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains--alas, too few!


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

535. The World

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
  Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
  Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
  The winds that will be howling at all hours,
  And are up-gather'd now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
  A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
  Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
  Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

536. Ode
Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
    The earth, and every common sight,
            To me did seem
    Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;--
        Turn wheresoe'er I may,
            By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

        The rainbow comes and goes,
        And lovely is the rose;
        The moon doth with delight
    Look round her when the heavens are bare;
        Waters on a starry night
        Are beautiful and fair;
    The sunshine is a glorious birth;
    But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
    And while the young lambs bound
        As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
        And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
        And all the earth is gay;
            Land and sea
    Give themselves up to jollity,
      And with the heart of May
    Doth every beast keep holiday;--
          Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
    Shepherd-boy!

Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call
    Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
    My heart is at your festival,
      My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel--I feel it all.
        O evil day! if I were sullen
        While Earth herself is adorning,
            This sweet May-morning,
        And the children are culling
            On every side,
        In a thousand valleys far and wide,
        Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm:--
        I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
        --But there's a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look'd upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
          The pansy at my feet
          Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
        Hath had elsewhere its setting,
          And cometh from afar:
        Not in entire forgetfulness,
        And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
        From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
        Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
        He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
    Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
      And by the vision splendid
      Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a mother's mind,
        And no unworthy aim,
    The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her Inmate Man,
    Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years' darling of a pigmy size!
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learned art;
    A wedding or a festival,
    A mourning or a funeral;
        And this hath now his heart,
    And unto this he frames his song:
        Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
        But it will not be long
        Ere this be thrown aside,
        And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his 'humorous stage'
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
        As if his whole vocation
        Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
        Thy soul's immensity;
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,--
        Mighty prophet! Seer blest!
        On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a master o'er a slave,
A presence which is not to be put by;
          To whom the grave
Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight
        Of day or the warm light,
A place of thought where we in waiting lie;
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

        O joy! that in our embers
        Is something that doth live,
        That nature yet remembers
        What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest--
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:--
        Not for these I raise
        The song of thanks and praise;
    But for those obstinate questionings
    Of sense and outward things,
    Fallings from us, vanishings;
    Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
        But for those first affections,
        Those shadowy recollections,
      Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
  Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
            To perish never:
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
            Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
    Hence in a season of calm weather
        Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
        Which brought us hither,
    Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
        And let the young lambs bound
        As to the tabor's sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
      Ye that pipe and ye that play,
      Ye that through your hearts to-day
      Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
    Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
      We will grieve not, rather find
      Strength in what remains behind;
      In the primal sympathy
      Which having been must ever be;
      In the soothing thoughts that spring
      Out of human suffering;
      In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And O ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish'd one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripp'd lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
            Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

537. Desideria

SURPRISED by joy--impatient as the Wind
  I turned to share the transport--O! with whom
  But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recall'd thee to my mind--
  But how could I forget thee? Through what power,
  Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss?--That thought's return
  Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
  Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
  Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

538. Valedictory Sonnet to the River Duddon

I THOUGHT of Thee, my partner and my guide,
  As being pass'd away.--Vain sympathies!
  For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,
I see what was, and is, and will abide;
Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide;
  The Form remains, the Function never dies;
  While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
We Men, who in our morn of youth defied
The elements, must vanish;--be it so!
  Enough, if something from our hands have power
  To live, and act, and serve the future hour;
And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,
  Through love, through hope, and faith's transcendent dower,
We feel that we are greater than we know.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

539. Mutability

FROM low to high doth dissolution climb,
  And sink from high to low, along a scale
  Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
A musical but melancholy chime,
Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
  Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care.
  Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
That in the morning whiten'd hill and plain
And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
  Of yesterday, which royally did wear
His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
  Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
Or the unimaginable touch of Time.


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

540. The Trosachs

THERE 's not a nook within this solemn Pass,
  But were an apt confessional for one
  Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
That Life is but a tale of morning grass
Wither'd at eve. From scenes of art which chase
  That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes
  Feed it 'mid Nature's old felicities,
Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass
Untouch'd, unbreathed upon. Thrice happy quest,
  If from a golden perch of aspen spray
  (October's workmanship to rival May)
The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
  That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay,
Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest!


William Wordsworth. 1770-1850

541. Speak!

WHY art thou silent! Is thy love a plant
  Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
  Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant--
  Bound to thy service with unceasing care,
The mind's least generous wish a mendicant
  For nought but what thy happiness could spare.
Speak--though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
  A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold
  Than a forsaken bird's-nest filled with snow
  'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine--
  Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!


Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832

542. Proud Maisie

PROUD Maisie is in the wood,
  Walking so early;
Sweet Robin sits on the bush,
  Singing so rarely.

'Tell me, thou bonny bird,
  When shall I marry me?'
--'When six braw gentlemen
  Kirkward shall carry ye.'

'Who makes the bridal bed,
  Birdie, say truly?'
--'The grey-headed sexton
  That delves the grave duly.

'The glow-worm o'er grave and stone
  Shall light thee steady;
The owl from the steeple sing
  Welcome, proud lady!'


Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832

543. Brignall Banks

  O, BRIGNALL banks are wild and fair,
  And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there,
  Would grace a summer queen:
And as I rode by Dalton Hall,
  Beneath the turrets high,
A Maiden on the castle wall
  Was singing merrily:--

'O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
  And Greta woods are green!
I'd rather rove with Edmund there
  Than reign our English Queen.'

'If, Maiden, thou wouldst wend with me
  To leave both tower and town,
Thou first must guess what life lead we,
  That dwell by dale and down:
And if thou canst that riddle read,
  As read full well you may,
Then to the green-wood shalt thou speed
  As blithe as Queen of May.'

Yet sung she, 'Brignall banks are fair,
  And Greta woods are green!
I'd rather rove with Edmund there
  Than reign our English Queen.

'I read you by your bugle horn
  And by your palfrey good,
I read you for a Ranger sworn
  To keep the King's green-wood.'
'A Ranger, Lady, winds his horn,
  And 'tis at peep of light;
His blast is heard at merry morn,
  And mine at dead of night.'

Yet sung she, 'Brignall banks are fair,
  And Greta woods are gay!
I would I were with Edmund there,
  To reign his Queen of May!

'With burnish'd brand and musketoon
  So gallantly you come,
I read you for a bold Dragoon,
  That lists the tuck of drum.'
'I list no more the tuck of drum,
  No more the trumpet hear;
But when the beetle sounds his hum,
  My comrades take the spear.

'And O! though Brignall banks be fair,
  And Greta woods be gay,
Yet mickle must the maiden dare,
  Would reign my Queen of May!

'Maiden! a nameless life I lead,
  A nameless death I'll die;
The fiend whose lantern lights the mead
  Were better mate than I!
And when I'm with my comrades met
  Beneath the green-wood bough,
What once we were we all forget,
  Nor think what we are now.'

Chorus. Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
  And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather flowers there
  Would grace a summer queen.


Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832

544. Lucy Ashton's Song

LOOK not thou on beauty's charming;
Sit thou still when kings are arming;
Taste not when the wine-cup glistens;
Speak not when the people listens;
Stop thine ear against the singer;
From the red gold keep thy finger;
Vacant heart and hand and eye,
Easy live and quiet die.


Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832

545. Answer

SOUND, sound the clarion, fill the fife!
  To all the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life
  Is worth an age without a name.


Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832

546. The Rover's Adieu

A WEARY lot is thine, fair maid,
  A weary lot is thine!
To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
  And press the rue for wine.
A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien,
  A feather of the blue,
A doublet of the Lincoln green--
  No more of me ye knew,
        My Love!
No more of me ye knew.

'This morn is merry June, I trow,
  The rose is budding fain;
But she shall bloom in winter snow
  Ere we two meet again.'
--He turn'd his charger as he spake
  Upon the river shore,
He gave the bridle-reins a shake,
  Said 'Adieu for evermore,
        My Love!
And adieu for evermore.'


Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832

547. Patriotism
1. Innominatus

BREATHES there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
  'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
  From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.


Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832

548. Patriotism
2. Nelson, Pitt, Fox

TO mute and to material things
New life revolving summer brings;
The genial call dead Nature hears,
And in her glory reappears.
But oh, my Country's wintry state
What second spring shall renovate?
What powerful call shall bid arise
  The buried warlike and the wise;

The mind that thought for Britain's weal,
The hand that grasp'd the victor steel?
The vernal sun new life bestows
Even on the meanest flower that blows;
But vainly, vainly may he shine
Where glory weeps o'er NELSON'S shrine;
And vainly pierce the solemn gloom
That shrouds, O PITT, thy hallow'd tomb!

Deep graved in every British heart,
O never let those names depart!
Say to your sons,--Lo, here his grave,
Who victor died on Gadite wave!
To him, as to the burning levin,
Short, bright, resistless course was given.
Where'er his country's foes were found
Was heard the fated thunder's sound,
Till burst the bolt on yonder shore,
Roll'd, blazed, destroy'd--and was no more.

Nor mourn ye less his perish'd worth,
Who bade the conqueror go forth,
And launch'd that thunderbolt of war
On Egypt, Hafnia, Trafalgar;
Who, born to guide such high emprise,
For Britain's weal was early wise;
Alas! to whom the Almighty gave,
For Britain's sins, an early grave!
--His worth, who in his mightiest hour
A bauble held the pride of power,
Spurn'd at the sordid lust of pelf,
And served his Albion for herself;
Who, when the frantic crowd amain
Strain'd at subjection's bursting rein,
O'er their wild mood full conquest gain'd,
The pride he would not crush, restrain'd,
Show'd their fierce zeal a worthier cause,
And brought the freeman's arm to aid the freeman's laws.

Hadst thou but lived, though stripp'd of power,
A watchman on the lonely tower,
Thy thrilling trump had roused the land,
When fraud or danger were at hand;
By thee, as by the beacon-light,
Our pilots had kept course aright;
As some proud column, though alone,
Thy strength had propp'd the tottering throne.
Now is the stately column broke,
The beacon-light is quench'd in smoke,
The trumpet's silver voice is still,
The warder silent on the hill!

O think, how to his latest day,
When Death, just hovering, claim'd his prey,
With Palinure's unalter'd mood
Firm at his dangerous post he stood;
Each call for needful rest repell'd,
With dying hand the rudder held,
Till in his fall with fateful sway
The steerage of the realm gave way.
Then--while on Britain's thousand plains
One polluted church remains,
Whose peaceful bells ne'er sent around
The bloody tocsin's maddening sound,
But still upon the hallow'd day
Convoke the swains to praise and pray;
While faith and civil peace are dear,
Grace this cold marble with a tear:--
He who preserved them, PITT, lies here!

Nor yet suppress the generous sigh,
Because his rival slumbers nigh;
Nor be thy Requiescat dumb
Lest it be said o'er Fox's tomb.
For talents mourn, untimely lost,
When best employ'd, and wanted most;
Mourn genius high, and lore profound,
And wit that loved to play, not wound;
And all the reasoning powers divine
To penetrate, resolve, combine;
And feelings keen, and fancy's glow--
They sleep with him who sleeps below:
And, if thou mourn'st they could not save
From error him who owns this grave,
Be every harsher thought suppress'd,
And sacred be the last long rest.
Here, where the end of earthly things
Lays heroes, patriots, bards, and kings;
Where stiff the hand, and still the tongue,
Of those who fought, and spoke, and sung;
Here, where the fretted vaults prolong
The distant notes of holy song,
As if some angel spoke agen,
'All peace on earth, good-will to men';
If ever from an English heart,
O, here let prejudice depart,
And, partial feeling cast aside,
Record that Fox a Briton died!
When Europe crouch'd to France's yoke,
And Austria bent, and Prussia broke,
And the firm Russian's purpose brave
Was barter'd by a timorous slave--
Even then dishonour's peace he spurn'd,
The sullied olive-branch return'd,
Stood for his country's glory fast,
And nail'd her colours to the mast!
Heaven, to reward his firmness, gave
A portion in this honour'd grave;
And ne'er held marble in its trust
Of two such wondrous men the dust.

With more than mortal powers endow'd,
How high they soar'd above the crowd!
Theirs was no common party race,
Jostling by dark intrigue for place;
Like fabled gods, their mighty war
Shook realms and nations in its jar;
Beneath each banner proud to stand,
Look'd up the noblest of the land,
Till through the British world were known
The names of PITT and Fox alone.
Spells of such force no wizard grave
E'er framed in dark Thessalian cave,
Though his could drain the ocean dry,
And force the planets from the sky.
These spells are spent, and, spent with these,
The wine of life is on the lees.
Genius, and taste, and talent gone,
For ever tomb'd beneath the stone,
Where--taming thought to human pride!--
The mighty chiefs sleep side by side.
Drop upon Fox's grave the tear,
'Twill trickle to his rival's bier;
O'er PITT'S the mournful requiem sound,
And Fox's shall the notes rebound.
The solemn echo seems to cry,
'Here let their discord with them die.
Speak not for those a separate doom
Whom fate made Brothers in the tomb;
But search the land of living men,
Where wilt thou find their like agen?'


Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772-1834

549. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

PART I
An ancient Mariner meeteth three gallants bidden to a wedding feast,
and detaineth one.

  IT is an ancient Mariner,
  And he stoppeth one of three.
  'By thy long beard and glittering eye,
  Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

  The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
  And I am next of kin;
  The guests are met, the feast is set:
  May'st hear the merry din.'

  He holds him with his skinny hand,
  'There was a ship,' quoth he.
  'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
  Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

The Wedding-Guest is spell-bound by the eye of the old seafaring man,
and constrained to hear his tale.

  He holds him with his glittering eye--
  The Wedding-Guest stood still,
  And listens like a three years' child:
  The Mariner hath his will.

  The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
  He cannot choose but hear;
  And thus spake on that ancient man,
  The bright-eyed Mariner.

  'The ship was cheer'd, the harbour clear'd,
  Merrily did we drop
  Below the kirk, below the hill,
  Below the lighthouse top.

The Mariner tells how the ship sailed southward with a good wind and
fair weather, till it reached the Line.

  The Sun came up upon the left,
  Out of the sea came he!
  And he shone bright, and on the right
  Went down into the sea.

  Higher and higher every day,
  Till over the mast at noon----'
  The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
  For he heard the loud bassoon.

The Wedding-Guest heareth the bridal music; but the Mariner continueth
his tale.

  The bride hath paced into the hall,
  Red as a rose is she;
  Nodding their heads before her goes
  The merry minstrelsy.

  The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
  Yet he cannot choose but hear;
  And thus spake on that ancient man,
  The bright-eyed Mariner.

The ship drawn by a storm toward the South Pole.

   'And now the Storm-blast came, and he
  Was tyrannous and strong:
  He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
  And chased us south along.

  With sloping masts and dipping prow,
  As who pursued with yell and blow
  Still treads the shadow of his foe,
  And forward bends his head,
  The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast,
  The southward aye we fled.

  And now there came both mist and snow,
  And it grew wondrous cold:
  And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
  As green as emerald.

The land of ice, and of fearful sounds, where no living thing was to
be seen.

  And through the drifts the snowy clifts
  Did send a dismal sheen:
  Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken--
  The ice was all between.

  The ice was here, the ice was there,
  The ice was all around:
  It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd,
  Like noises in a swound!

Till a great sea-bird, called the Albatross, came through the
snow-fog, and was received with great joy and hospitality.

  At length did cross an Albatross,
  Thorough the fog it came;
  As if it had been a Christian soul,
  We hail'd it in God's name.

  It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
  And round and round it flew.
  The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
  The helmsman steer'd us through!

And lo! the Albatross proveth a bird of good omen, and followeth the ship as it returned northward through fog and floating ice.

  And a good south wind sprung up behind;
  The Albatross did follow,
  And every day, for food or play,
  Came to the mariners' hollo!

  In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
  It perch'd for vespers nine;
  Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
  Glimmer'd the white moonshine.'

   The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the pious bird of good omen.

  'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
  From the fiends, that plague thee thus!--
  Why look'st thou so?'--'With my crossbow
  I shot the Albatross.

PART II

  'The Sun now rose upon the right:
  Out of the sea came he,
  Still hid in mist, and on the left
  Went down into the sea.

  And the good south wind still blew behind,
  But no sweet bird did follow,
  Nor any day for food or play
  Came to the mariners' hollo!

His shipmates cry out against the ancient Mariner for killing the bird
of good luck.

  And I had done an hellish thing,
  And it would work 'em woe:
  For all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
  That made the breeze to blow.
  Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
  That made the breeze to blow!

But when the fog cleared off, they justify the same, and thus make
themselves accomplices in the crime.

  Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
  The glorious Sun uprist:
  Then all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
  That brought the fog and mist.
  'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
  That bring the fog and mist.

The fair breeze continues; the ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and
sails northward, even till it reaches the Line.

  The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
  The furrow follow'd free;
  We were the first that ever burst
  Into that silent sea.

The ship hath been suddenly becalmed.

  Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
  'Twas sad as sad could be;
  And we did speak only to break
  The silence of the sea!

  All in a hot and copper sky,
  The bloody Sun, at noon,
  Right up above the mast did stand,
  No bigger than the Moon.

  Day after day, day after day,
  We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
  As idle as a painted ship
  Upon a painted ocean.

And the Albatross begins to be avenged.

  Water, water, everywhere,
  And all the boards did shrink;
  Water, water, everywhere,
  Nor any drop to drink.

  The very deep did rot: O Christ!
  That ever this should be!
  Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
  Upon the slimy sea.

  About, about, in reel and rout
  The death-fires danced at night;
  The water, like a witch's oils,
  Burnt green, and blue, and white.

A Spirit had followed them; one of the invisible inhabitants of this
planet, neither departed souls nor angels; concerning whom the learned
Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus,
may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or
element without one or more.

  And some in dreams assured were
  Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
  Nine fathom deep he had followed us
  From the land of mist and snow.

  And every tongue, through utter drought,
  Was wither'd at the root;
  We could not speak, no more than if
  We had been choked with soot.

The shipmates in their sore distress, would fain throw the whole guilt
on the ancient Mariner: in sign whereof they hang the dead sea-bird
round his neck.

  Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
  Had I from old and young!
  Instead of the cross, the Albatross
  About my neck was hung.

PART III

  'There passed a weary time. Each throat
  Was parch'd, and glazed each eye.
  A weary time! a weary time!
  How glazed each weary eye!
  When looking westward, I beheld
  A something in the sky.

The ancient Mariner beholdeth a sign in the element afar off.

  At first it seem'd a little speck,
  And then it seem'd a mist;
  It moved and moved, and took at last
  A certain shape, I wist.

  A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
  And still it near'd and near'd:
  As if it dodged a water-sprite,
  It plunged, and tack'd, and veer'd.

   At its nearer approach, it seemeth him to be a ship; and at a dear
   ransom he freeth his speech from the bonds of thirst.

  With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
  We could nor laugh nor wail;
  Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
  I bit my arm, I suck'd the blood,
  And cried, A sail! a sail!

A flash of joy;

  With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
  Agape they heard me call:
  Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
  And all at once their breath drew in,
  As they were drinking all.

And horror follows. For can it be a ship that comes onward without
wind or tide?

  See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
  Hither to work us weal--
  Without a breeze, without a tide,
  She steadies with upright keel!

  The western wave was all aflame,
  The day was wellnigh done!
  Almost upon the western wave
  Rested the broad, bright Sun;
  When that strange shape drove suddenly
  Betwixt us and the Sun.

It seemeth him but the skeleton of a ship.

  And straight the Sun was fleck'd with bars
  (Heaven's Mother send us grace!),
  As if through a dungeon-grate he peer'd
  With broad and burning face.

  Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
  How fast she nears and nears!
  Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
  Like restless gossameres?

And its ribs are seen as bars on the face of the setting Sun. The
Spectre-Woman and her Death-mate, and no other on board the skeleton
ship. Like vessel, like crew!

  Are those her ribs through which the Sun
  Did peer, as through a grate?
  And is that Woman all her crew?
  Is that a Death? and are there two?
  Is Death that Woman's mate?

  Her lips were red, her looks were free,
  Her locks were yellow as gold:
  Her skin was as white as leprosy,
  The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
  Who thicks man's blood with cold.

Death and Life-in-Death have diced for the ship's crew, and she (the
latter) winneth the ancient Mariner.

  The naked hulk alongside came,
  And the twain were casting dice;
  "The game is done! I've won! I've won!"
  Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

No twilight within the courts of the Sun.

  The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
  At one stride comes the dark;
  With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,
  Off shot the spectre-bark.

  We listen'd and look'd sideways up!
  Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
  My life-blood seem'd to sip!
  The stars were dim, and thick the night,
  The steersman's face by his lamp gleam'd white;
  From the sails the dew did drip--
  Till clomb above the eastern bar
  The horned Moon, with one bright star
  Within the nether tip.

At the rising of the Moon,
One after another,

  One after one, by the star-dogg'd Moon,
  Too quick for groan or sigh,
  Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang,
  And cursed me with his eye.

His shipmates drop down dead.

  Four times fifty living men
  (And I heard nor sigh nor groan),
  With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
  They dropp'd down one by one.

But Life-in-Death begins her work on the ancient Mariner.

  The souls did from their bodies fly--
  They fled to bliss or woe!
  And every soul, it pass'd me by
  Like the whizz of my crossbow!'

PART IV

The Wedding-Guest feareth that a spirit is talking to him;

  'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
  I fear thy skinny hand!
  And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
  As is the ribb'd sea-sand.

  I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
  And thy skinny hand so brown.'--
  'Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
  This body dropt not down.

But the ancient Mariner assureth him of his bodily life, and
proceedeth to relate his horrible penance.

  Alone, alone, all, all alone,
  Alone on a wide, wide sea!
  And never a saint took pity on
  My soul in agony.

He despiseth the creatures of the calm.

  The many men, so beautiful!
  And they all dead did lie:
  And a thousand thousand slimy things
  Lived on; and so did I.

And envieth that they should live, and so many lie dead.

  I look'd upon the rotting sea,
  And drew my eyes away;
  I look'd upon the rotting deck,
  And there the dead men lay.

  I look'd to heaven, and tried to pray;
  But or ever a prayer had gusht,
  A wicked whisper came, and made
  My heart as dry as dust.

  I closed my lids, and kept them close,
  And the balls like pulses beat;
  For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky,
  Lay like a load on my weary eye,
  And the dead were at my feet.

But the curse liveth for him in the eye of the dead men.

  The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
  Nor rot nor reek did they:
  The look with which they look'd on me
  Had never pass'd away.

  An orphan's curse would drag to hell
  A spirit from on high;
  But oh! more horrible than that
  Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
  Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
  And yet I could not die.

In his loneliness and fixedness he yearneth towards the journeying
Moon, and the stars that still sojourn, yet still move onward; and
everywhere the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest
and their native country and their own natural homes, which they enter
unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected, and yet there is a
silent joy at their arrival.

  The moving Moon went up the sky,
  And nowhere did abide;
  Softly she was going up,
  And a star or two beside--

  Her beams bemock'd the sultry main,
  Like April hoar-frost spread;
  But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
  The charmed water burnt alway
  A still and awful red.

By the light of the Moon he beholdeth God's creatures of the great
calm.

  Beyond the shadow of the ship,
  I watch'd the water-snakes:
  They moved in tracks of shining white,
  And when they rear'd, the elfish light
  Fell off in hoary flakes.

  Within the shadow of the ship
  I watch'd their rich attire:
  Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
  They coil'd and swam; and every track
  Was a flash of golden fire.

Their beauty and their happiness.

  O happy living things! no tongue
  Their beauty might declare:
  A spring of love gush'd from my heart,
  And I bless'd them unaware:
  Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
  And I bless'd them unaware.

He blesseth them in his heart.
The spell begins to break.

  The selfsame moment I could pray;
  And from my neck so free
  The Albatross fell off, and sank
  Like lead into the sea.

PART V

  'O sleep! it is a gentle thing,
  Beloved from pole to pole!
  To Mary Queen the praise be given!
  She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
  That slid into my soul.

By grace of the holy Mother, the ancient Mariner is refreshed with
rain.

  The silly buckets on the deck,
  That had so long remain'd,
  I dreamt that they were fill'd with dew;
  And when I awoke, it rain'd.

  My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
  My garments all were dank;
  Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
  And still my body drank.

  I moved, and could not feel my limbs:
  I was so light--almost
  I thought that I had died in sleep,
  And was a blessed ghost.

He heareth sounds and seeth strange sights and commotions in the sky
and the element.

  And soon I heard a roaring wind:
  It did not come anear;
  But with its sound it shook the sails,
  That were so thin and sere.

  The upper air burst into life;
  And a hundred fire-flags sheen;
  To and fro they were hurried about!
  And to and fro, and in and out,
  The wan stars danced between.

  And the coming wind did roar more loud,
  And the sails did sigh like sedge;
  And the rain pour'd down from one black cloud;
  The Moon was at its edge.

  The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
  The Moon was at its side;
  Like waters shot from some high crag,
  The lightning fell with never a jag,
  A river steep and wide.

The bodies of the ship's crew are inspired, and the ship moves on;

  The loud wind never reach'd the ship,
  Yet now the ship moved on!
  Beneath the lightning and the Moon
  The dead men gave a groan.

  They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose,
  Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
  It had been strange, even in a dream,
  To have seen those dead men rise.

  The helmsman steer'd, the ship moved on;
  Yet never a breeze up-blew;
  The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
  Where they were wont to do;
  They raised their limbs like lifeless tools--
  We were a ghastly crew.

  The body of my brother's son
  Stood by me, knee to knee:
  The body and I pull'd at one rope,
  But he said naught to me.'

But not by the souls of the men, nor by demons of earth or middle air,
but by a blessed troop of angelic spirits, sent down by the invocation
of the guardian saint.

  'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!'
  Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest:
  'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
  Which to their corses came again,
  But a troop of spirits blest:

  For when it dawn'd--they dropp'd their arms,
  And cluster'd round the mast;
  Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
  And from their bodies pass'd.

  Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
  Then darted to the Sun;
  Slowly the sounds came back again,
  Now mix'd, now one by one.

  Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
  I heard the skylark sing;
  Sometimes all little birds that are,
  How they seem'd to fill the sea and air
  With their sweet jargoning!

  And now 'twas like all instruments,
  Now like a lonely flute;
  And now it is an angel's song,
  That makes the Heavens be mute.

  It ceased; yet still the sails made on
  A pleasant noise till noon,
  A noise like of a hidden brook
  In the leafy month of June,
  That to the sleeping woods all night
  Singeth a quiet tune.

  Till noon we quietly sail'd on,
  Yet never a breeze did breathe:
  Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
  Moved onward from beneath.

The lonesome Spirit from the South Pole carries on the ship as far as
the Line, in obedience to the angelic troop, but still requireth
vengeance.

  Under the keel nine fathom deep,
  From the land of mist and snow,
  The Spirit slid: and it was he
  That made the ship to go.
  The sails at noon left off their tune,
  And the ship stood still also.

  The Sun, right up above the mast,
  Had fix'd her to the ocean:
  But in a minute she 'gan stir,
  With a short uneasy motion--
  Backwards and forwards half her length
  With a short uneasy motion.

  Then like a pawing horse let go,
  She made a sudden bound:
  It flung the blood into my head,
  And I fell down in a swound.

The Polar Spirit's fellow-demons, the invisible inhabitants of the
element, take part in his wrong; and two of them relate, one to the
other, that penance long and heavy for the ancient Mariner hath been
accorded to the Polar Spirit, who returneth southward.

  How long in that same fit I lay,
  I have not to declare;
  But ere my living life return'd,
  I heard, and in my soul discern'd
  Two voices in the air.

  "Is it he?" quoth one, "is this the man?
  By Him who died on cross,
  With his cruel bow he laid full low
  The harmless Albatross.

  The Spirit who bideth by himself
  In the land of mist and snow,
  He loved the bird that loved the man
  Who shot him with his bow."

  The other was a softer voice,
  As soft as honey-dew:
  Quoth he, "The man hath penance done,
  And penance more will do."

PART VI

  First Voice: '"But tell me, tell me! speak again,
  Thy soft response renewing--
  What makes that ship drive on so fast?
  What is the Ocean doing?"

  Second Voice: "Still as a slave before his lord,
  The Ocean hath no blast;
  His great bright eye most silently
  Up to the Moon is cast--

  If he may know which way to go;
  For she guides him smooth or grim.
  See, brother, see! how graciously
  She looketh down on him."

The Mariner hath been cast into a trance; for the angelic power
causeth the vessel to drive northward faster than human life could
endure.

  First Voice: "But why drives on that ship so fast,
  Without or wave or wind?"

  Second Voice: "The air is cut away before,
  And closes from behind.

  Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
  Or we shall be belated:
  For slow and slow that ship will go,
  When the Mariner's trance is abated.'

The supernatural motion is retarded; the Mariner awakes, and his
penance begins anew.

  I woke, and we were sailing on
  As in a gentle weather:
  'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high;
  The dead men stood together.

  All stood together on the deck,
  For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
  All fix'd on me their stony eyes,
  That in the Moon did glitter.

  The pang, the curse, with which they died,
  Had never pass'd away:
  I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
  Nor turn them up to pray.

The curse is finally expiated.

  And now this spell was snapt: once more
  I viewed the ocean green,
  And look'd far forth, yet little saw
  Of what had else been seen--

  Like one that on a lonesome road
  Doth walk in fear and dread,
  And having once turn'd round, walks on,
  And turns no more his head;
  Because he knows a frightful fiend
  Doth close behind him tread.

  But soon there breathed a wind on me,
  Nor sound nor motion made:
  Its path was not upon the sea,
  In ripple or in shade.

  It raised my hair, it fann'd my cheek
  Like a meadow-gale of spring--
  It mingled strangely with my fears,
  Yet it felt like a welcoming.

  Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
  Yet she sail'd softly too:
  Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze--
  On me alone it blew.

And the ancient Mariner beholdeth his native country.

  O dream of joy! is this indeed
  The lighthouse top I see?
  Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
  Is this mine own countree?

  We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
  And I with sobs did pray--
  O let me be awake, my God!
  Or let me sleep alway.

  The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
  So smoothly it was strewn!
  And on the bay the moonlight lay,
  And the shadow of the Moon.

  The rock shone bright, the kirk no less
  That stands above the rock:
  The moonlight steep'd in silentness
  The steady weathercock.

The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies,

  And the bay was white with silent light
  Till rising from the same,
  Full many shapes, that shadows were,
  In crimson colours came.

And appear in their own forms of light.

  A little distance from the prow
  Those crimson shadows were:
  I turn'd my eyes upon the deck--
  O Christ! what saw I there!

  Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
  And, by the holy rood!
  A man all light, a seraph-man,
  On every corse there stood.

  This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
  It was a heavenly sight!
  They stood as signals to the land,
  Each one a lovely light;

  This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
  No voice did they impart--
  No voice; but O, the silence sank
  Like music on my heart.

  But soon I heard the dash of oars,
  I heard the Pilot's cheer;
  My head was turn'd perforce away,
  And I saw a boat appear.

  The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
  I heard them coming fast:
  Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy
  The dead men could not blast.

  I saw a third--I heard his voice:
  It is the Hermit good!
  He singeth loud his godly hymns
  That he makes in the wood.
  He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
  The Albatross's blood.

PART VII

The Hermit of the Wood.

  'This Hermit good lives in that wood
  Which slopes down to the sea.
  How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
  He loves to talk with marineres
  That come from a far countree.

  He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve--
  He hath a cushion plump:
  It is the moss that wholly hides
  The rotted old oak-stump.

  The skiff-boat near'd: I heard them talk,
  "Why, this is strange, I trow!
  Where are those lights so many and fair,
  That signal made but now?"

Approacheth the ship with wonder.

  "Strange, by my faith!" the Hermit said--
  "And they answer'd not our cheer!
  The planks looked warp'd! and see those sails,
  How thin they are and sere!
  I never saw aught like to them,
  Unless perchance it were

  Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
  My forest-brook along;
  When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
  And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
  That eats the she-wolf's young."

  "Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look--
  (The Pilot made reply)
  I am a-fear'd"--"Push on, push on!"
  Said the Hermit cheerily.

  The boat came closer to the ship,
  But I nor spake nor stirr'd;
  The boat came close beneath the ship,
  And straight a sound was heard.

The ship suddenly sinketh.

  Under the water it rumbled on,
  Still louder and more dread:
  It reach'd the ship, it split the bay;
  The ship went down like lead.

The ancient Mariner is saved in the Pilot's boat.

  Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful sound,
  Which sky and ocean smote,
  Like one that hath been seven days drown'd
  My body lay afloat;
  But swift as dreams, myself I found
  Within the Pilot's boat.

  Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
  The boat spun round and round;
  And all was still, save that the hill
  Was telling of the sound.

  I moved my lips--the Pilot shriek'd
  And fell down in a fit;
  The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
  And pray'd where he did sit.

  I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
  Who now doth crazy go,
  Laugh'd loud and long, and all the while
  His eyes went to and fro.
  "Ha! ha!" quoth he, "full plain I see
  The Devil knows how to row."

  And now, all in my own countree,
  I stood on the firm land!
  The Hermit stepp'd forth from the boat,
  And scarcely he could stand.

The ancient Mariner earnestly entreateth the Hermit to shrieve him;
and the penance of life falls on him.

  "O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!"
  The Hermit cross'd his brow.
  "Say quick," quoth he, "I bid thee say--
  What manner of man art thou?"

  Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd
  With a woful agony,
  Which forced me to begin my tale;
  And then it left me free.

And ever and anon throughout his future life an agony constraineth him
to travel from land to land;

  Since then, at an uncertain hour,
  That agony returns:
  And till my ghastly tale is told,
  This heart within me burns.

  I pass, like night, from land to land;
  I have strange power of speech;
  That moment that his face I see,
  I know the man that must hear me:
  To him my tale I teach.

  What loud uproar bursts from that door!
  The wedding-guests are there:
  But in the garden-bower the bride
  And bride-maids singing are:
  And hark the little vesper bell,
  Which biddeth me to prayer!

  O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
  Alone on a wide, wide sea:
  So lonely 'twas, that God Himself
  Scarce seemed there to be.

  O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
  'Tis sweeter far to me,
  To walk together to the kirk
  With a goodly company!--

  To walk together to the kirk,
  And all together pray,
  While each to his great Father bends,
  Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
  And youths and maidens gay!

And to teach, by his own example, love and reverence to all things
that God made and loveth.

  Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
  To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
  He prayeth well, who loveth well
  Both man and bird and beast.

  He prayeth best, who loveth best
  All things both great and small;
  For the dear God who loveth us,
  He made and loveth all.'

  The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
  Whose beard with age is hoar,
  Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
  Turn'd from the bridegroom's door.

  He went like one that hath been stunn'd,
  And is of sense forlorn:
  A sadder and a wiser man
  He rose the morrow morn.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772-1834

550. Kubla Khan

  IN Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree:
  Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
  Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea.
  So twice five miles of fertile ground
  With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossom'd many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But O, that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced;
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reach'd the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

  The shadow of the dome of pleasure
    Floated midway on the waves;
  Where was heard the mingled measure
    From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

  A damsel with a dulcimer
    In a vision once I saw:
  It was an Abyssinian maid,
    And on her dulcimer she play'd,
  Singing of Mount Abora.
  Could I revive within me,
  Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
  And close your eyes with holy dread,
  For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772-1834

551. Love

ALL thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
    And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
    Beside the ruin'd tower.

The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
    My own dear Genevieve!

She lean'd against the armed man,
The statue of the armed Knight;
She stood and listen'd to my lay,
    Amid the lingering light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best whene'er I sing
    The songs that make her grieve.

I play'd a soft and doleful air;
I sang an old and moving story--
An old rude song, that suited well
    That ruin wild and hoary.

She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew I could not choose
    But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he woo'd
    The Lady of the Land.

I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love,
    Interpreted my own.

She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace;
And she forgave me, that I gazed
    Too fondly on her face!

But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he cross'd the mountain-woods,
    Nor rested day nor night;

That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
    In green and sunny glade--

There came and look'd him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
    This miserable Knight!

And that, unknowing what he did,
He leap'd amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
    The Lady of the Land;--

And how she wept and clasp'd his knees;
And how she tended him in vain--
And ever strove to expiate
    The scorn that crazed his brain;--

And that she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest leaves
    A dying man he lay;--

His dying words--but when I reach'd
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp
    Disturb'd her soul with pity!

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,
    The rich and balmy eve;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,
    Subdued and cherish'd long!

She wept with pity and delight,
She blush'd with love and virgin shame;
And like the murmur of a dream,
    I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heaved--she stepp'd aside,
As conscious of my look she stept--
Then suddenly, with timorous eye
    She fled to me and wept.

She half enclosed me with her arms,
She press'd me with a meek embrace;
And bending back her head, look'd up,
    And gazed upon my face.

'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel, than see.
    The swelling of her heart.

I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;
And so I won my Genevieve,
    My bright and beauteous Bride.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772-1834

552. Youth and Age

VERSE, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee--
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
                            When I was young!
When I was young?--Ah, woful When!
Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and Then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er aery cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flash'd along--
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Naught cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in 't together.

Flowers are lovely! Love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
O the joys, that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
                            Ere I was old!
Ere I was old? Ah, woful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth 's no longer here!
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
'Tis known that thou and I were one;
I'll think it but a fond conceit--
It cannot be that thou art gone!
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd--
And thou wert aye a masker bold!
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe that thou art gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this alter'd size:
But springtide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
Life is but thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are housemates still.

Dewdrops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life 's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,
                            When we are old!
That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking-leave,
Like some poor nigh-related guest
That may not rudely be dismist.
Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772-1834

553. Time, Real and Imaginary
AN ALLEGORY

ON the wide level of a mountain's head
(I knew not where, but 'twas some faery place),
Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails outspread,
Two lovely children run an endless race,
      A sister and a brother!
      This far outstripp'd the other;
  Yet ever runs she with reverted face,
  And looks and listens for the boy behind:
      For he, alas! is blind!
O'er rough and smooth with even step he pass'd,
And knows not whether he be first or last.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772-1834

554. Work without Hope

ALL Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair--
The bees are stirring--birds are on the wing--
And Winter, slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrighten'd, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772-1834

555. Glycine's Song

A SUNNY shaft did I behold,
  From sky to earth it slanted:
And poised therein a bird so bold--
  Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted!

He sank, he rose, he twinkled, he troll'd
  Within that shaft of sunny mist;
His eyes of fire, his beak of gold,
  All else of amethyst!

And thus he sang: 'Adieu! adieu!
Love's dreams prove seldom true.
The blossoms, they make no delay:
The sparking dew-drops will not stay.
    Sweet month of May,
      We must away;
      Far, far away!
        To-day! to-day!'


Robert Southey. 1774-1843

556. His Books

MY days among the Dead are past;
  Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,
  The mighty minds of old:
My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal
  And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
  How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew'd
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
  I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
  Partake their hopes and fears;
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the Dead; anon
  My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
  Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

557. The Maid's Lament

I LOVED him not; and yet now he is gone,
        I feel I am alone.
I check'd him while he spoke; yet, could he speak,
        Alas! I would not check.
For reasons not to love him once I sought,
        And wearied all my thought
To vex myself and him; I now would give
        My love, could he but live
Who lately lived for me, and when he found
        'Twas vain, in holy ground
He hid his face amid the shades of death.
        I waste for him my breath
Who wasted his for me; but mine returns,
        And this lorn bosom burns
With stifling heat, heaving it up in sleep,
        And waking me to weep
Tears that had melted his soft heart: for years
        Wept he as bitter tears.
'Merciful God!' such was his latest prayer,
        'These may she never share!'
Quieter is his breath, his breast more cold
        Than daisies in the mould,
Where children spell, athwart the churchyard gate,
        His name and life's brief date.
Pray for him, gentle souls, whoe'er you be,
        And, O, pray too for me!


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

558. Rose Aylmer

AH, what avails the sceptred race!
  Ah, what the form divine!
What every virtue, every grace!
  Rose Aylmer, all were thine.

Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
  May weep, but never see,
A night of memories and sighs
  I consecrate to thee.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

559. Ianthe

FROM you, Ianthe, little troubles pass
  Like little ripples down a sunny river;
Your pleasures spring like daisies in the grass,
  Cut down, and up again as blithe as ever.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

560. Twenty Years hence

TWENTY years hence my eyes may grow,
If not quite dim, yet rather so;
Yet yours from others they shall know,
            Twenty years hence.

Twenty years hence, though it may hap
That I be call'd to take a nap
In a cool cell where thunder-clap
            Was never heard,

There breathe but o'er my arch of grass
A not too sadly sigh'd 'Alas!'
And I shall catch, ere you can pass,
            That winged word.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

561. Verse

PAST ruin'd Ilion Helen lives,
  Alcestis rises from the shades;
Verse calls them forth; 'tis verse that gives
  Immortal youth to mortal maids.

Soon shall Oblivion's deepening veil
  Hide all the peopled hills you see,
The gay, the proud, while lovers hail
  These many summers you and me.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

562. Proud Word you never spoke

PROUD word you never spoke, but you will speak
Four not exempt from pride some future day.
Resting on one white hand a warm wet cheek,
  Over my open volume you will say,
  'This man loved me'--then rise and trip away.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

563. Resignation

WHY, why repine, my pensive friend,
  At pleasures slipp'd away?
Some the stern Fates will never lend,
  And all refuse to stay.

I see the rainbow in the sky,
  The dew upon the grass;
I see them, and I ask not why
  They glimmer or they pass.

With folded arms I linger not
  To call them back; 'twere vain:
In this, or in some other spot,
  I know they'll shine again.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

564. Mother, I cannot mind my Wheel

MOTHER, I cannot mind my wheel;
  My fingers ache, my lips are dry:
O, if you felt the pain I feel!
  But O, who ever felt as I?

No longer could I doubt him true--
  All other men may use deceit;
He always said my eyes were blue,
  And often swore my lips were sweet.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

565. Autumn

MILD is the parting year, and sweet
  The odour of the falling spray;
Life passes on more rudely fleet,
  And balmless is its closing day.

I wait its close, I court its gloom,
  But mourn that never must there fall
Or on my breast or on my tomb
  The tear that would have soothed it all.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

566. Remain!

REMAIN, ah not in youth alone!
  --Tho' youth, where you are, long will stay--
But when my summer days are gone,
  And my autumnal haste away.
'Can I be always by your side?'
  No; but the hours you can, you must,
Nor rise at Death's approaching stride,
  Nor go when dust is gone to dust.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

567. Absence

HERE, ever since you went abroad,
  If there be change no change I see:
I only walk our wonted road,
  The road is only walk'd by me.

Yes; I forgot; a change there is--
  Was it of that you bade me tell?
I catch at times, at times I miss
  The sight, the tone, I know so well.

Only two months since you stood here?
  Two shortest months? Then tell me why
Voices are harsher than they were,
  And tears are longer ere they dry.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

568. Of Clementina

IN Clementina's artless mien
  Lucilla asks me what I see,
And are the roses of sixteen
            Enough for me?

Lucilla asks, if that be all,
  Have I not cull'd as sweet before:
Ah yes, Lucilla! and their fall
            I still deplore.

I now behold another scene,
  Where Pleasure beams with Heaven's own light,
More pure, more constant, more serene,
            And not less bright.

Faith, on whose breast the Loves repose,
  Whose chain of flowers no force can sever,
And Modesty who, when she goes,
            Is gone for ever.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

569. Ianthe's Question

'DO you remember me? or are you proud?'
Lightly advancing thro' her star-trimm'd crowd,
  Ianthe said, and look'd into my eyes.
'A yes, a yes to both: for Memory
Where you but once have been must ever be,
  And at your voice Pride from his throne must rise.'


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

570. On Catullus

TELL me not what too well I know
About the bard of Sirmio.
  Yes, in Thalia's son
Such stains there are--as when a Grace
Sprinkles another's laughing face
  With nectar, and runs on.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

571. Dirce

STAND close around, ye Stygian set,
  With Dirce in one boat convey'd!
Or Charon, seeing, may forget
  That he is old and she a shade.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

572. Alciphron and Leucippe

  AN ancient chestnut's blossoms threw
Their heavy odour over two:
Leucippe, it is said, was one;
The other, then, was Alciphron.
'Come, come! why should we stand beneath
This hollow tree's unwholesome breath?'
Said Alciphron, 'here 's not a blade
Of grass or moss, and scanty shade.
Come; it is just the hour to rove
In the lone dingle shepherds love;
There, straight and tall, the hazel twig
Divides the crooked rock-held fig,
O'er the blue pebbles where the rill
In winter runs and may run still.
Come then, while fresh and calm the air,
And while the shepherds are not there.'

Leucippe. But I would rather go when they
Sit round about and sing and play.
Then why so hurry me? for you
Like play and song, and shepherds too.

Alciphron. I like the shepherds very well,
And song and play, as you can tell.
But there is play, I sadly fear,
And song I would not have you hear.

Leucippe. What can it be? What can it be?

Alciphron. To you may none of them repeat
The play that you have play'd with me,
The song that made your bosom beat.

Leucippe. Don't keep your arm about my waist.

Alciphron. Might you not stumble?

Leucippe.                     Well then, do.
But why are we in all this haste?

Alciphron. To sing.

Leucippe.           Alas! and not play too?


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

573. Years

YEARS, many parti-colour'd years,
  Some have crept on, and some have flown
Since first before me fell those tears
  I never could see fall alone.

Years, not so many, are to come,
  Years not so varied, when from you
One more will fall: when, carried home,
  I see it not, nor hear Adieu.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

574. Separation

THERE is a mountain and a wood between us,
Where the lone shepherd and late bird have seen us
  Morning and noon and eventide repass.
Between us now the mountain and the wood
Seem standing darker than last year they stood,
  And say we must not cross--alas! alas!


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

575. Late Leaves

THE leaves are falling; so am I;
The few late flowers have moisture in the eye;
    So have I too.
Scarcely on any bough is heard
Joyous, or even unjoyous, bird
    The whole wood through.

Winter may come: he brings but nigher
His circle (yearly narrowing) to the fire
    Where old friends meet.
Let him; now heaven is overcast,
And spring and summer both are past,
    And all things sweet.


Walter Savage Landor. 1775-1864

576. Finis

I STROVE with none, for none was worth my strife.
Nature I loved and, next to Nature, Art:
I warm'd both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.


Charles Lamb. 1775-1834

577. The Old Familiar Faces

I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions,
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days--
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies--
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a Love once, fairest among women:
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her--
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man:
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.

Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces--

How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed--
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.


Charles Lamb. 1775-1834

578. Hester

WHEN maidens such as Hester die
Their place ye may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try
      With vain endeavour.

A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think upon the wormy bed
      And her together.

A springy motion in her gait,
A rising step, did indicate
Of pride and joy no common rate,
      That flush'd her spirit:

I know not by what name beside
I shall it call: if 'twas not pride,
It was a joy to that allied,
      She did inherit.

Her parents held the Quaker rule,
Which doth the human feeling cool;
But she was train'd in Nature's school;
      Nature had blest her.

A waking eye, a prying mind;
A heart that stirs, is hard to bind;
A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind;
      Ye could not Hester.

My sprightly neighbour! gone before
To that unknown and silent shore,
Shall we not meet, as heretofore,
      Some summer morning--

When from thy cheerful eyes a ray
Hath struck a bliss upon the day,
A bliss that would not go away,
      A sweet forewarning?


Charles Lamb. 1775-1834

579. On an Infant dying as soon as born

I SAW where in the shroud did lurk
A curious frame of Nature's work;
A floweret crush'd in the bud,
A nameless piece of Babyhood,
Was in her cradle-coffin lying;
Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying:
So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb!
She did but ope an eye, and put
A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne'er more to see
Through glasses of mortality.
  Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below?
Shall we say that Nature blind
Check'd her hand, and changed her mind,
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finish'd pattern without fault?
Could she flag, or could she tire,
Or lack'd she the Promethean fire
(With her nine moons' long workings sicken'd)
That should thy little limbs have quicken'd?
Limbs so firm, they seem'd to assure
Life of health, and days mature:
Woman's self in miniature!
Limbs so fair, they might supply
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make Beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry
That babe or mother, one must die;
So in mercy left the stock
And cut the branch; to save the shock
Of young years widow'd, and the pain
When single state comes back again
To the lone man who, reft of wife,
Thenceforward drags a maimed life?
The economy of Heaven is dark,
And wisest clerks have miss'd the mark,
Why human buds, like this, should fall,
More brief than fly ephemeral
That has his day; while shrivell'd crones
Stiffen with age to stocks and stones;
And crabbed use the conscience sears
In sinners of an hundred years.
  Mother's prattle, mother's kiss,
Baby fond, thou ne'er wilt miss:
Rites, which custom does impose,
Silver bells, and baby clothes;
Coral redder than those lips
Which pale death did late eclipse;
Music framed for infants' glee,
Whistle never tuned for thee;
Though thou want'st not, thou shalt have them,
Loving hearts were they which gave them.
Let not one be missing; nurse,
See them laid upon the hearse
Of infant slain by doom perverse.
Why should kings and nobles have
Pictured trophies to their grave,
And we, churls, to thee deny
Thy pretty toys with thee to lie--
A more harmless vanity?


Thomas Campbell. 1774-1844

580. Ye Mariners of England

YE Mariners of England
  That guard our native seas!
Whose flag has braved a thousand years
  The battle and the breeze!
Your glorious standard launch again
  To match another foe;
And sweep through the deep,
  While the stormy winds do blow!
While the battle rages loud and long
  And the stormy winds do blow.

The spirits of your fathers
  Shall start from every wave--
For the deck it was their field of fame,
  And Ocean was their grave:
Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell
  Your manly hearts shall glow,
As ye sweep through the deep,
  While the stormy winds do blow!
While the battle rages loud and long
  And the stormy winds do blow.

Britannia needs no bulwarks,
  No towers along the steep;
Her march is o'er the mountain-waves,
  Her home is on the deep.
The thunders from her native oak
  She quells the floods below,
As they roar on the shore,
  When the stormy winds do blow!
When the battle rages loud and long,
  And the stormy winds do blow.

The meteor flag of England
  Shall yet terrific burn;
Till danger's troubled night depart
  And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean-warriors!
  Our song and feast shall flow
To the fame of your name,
  When the storm has ceased to blow!
When the fiery fight is heard no more,
  And the storm has ceased to blow.


Thomas Campbell. 1774-1844

581. The Battle of the Baltic

OF Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day's renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark's crown,
And her arms along the deep proudly shone;
By each gun the lighted brand
In a bold determined hand,
And the Prince of all the land
Led them on.

Like leviathans afloat
Lay their bulwarks on the brine,
While the sign of battle flew
On the lofty British line:
It was ten of April morn by the chime:
As they drifted on their path
There was silence deep as death,
And the boldest held his breath
For a time.

But the might of England flush'd
To anticipate the scene;
And her van the fleeter rush'd
O'er the deadly space between:
'Hearts of oak!' our captains cried, when each gun
From its adamantine lips
Spread a death-shade round the ships,
Like the hurricane eclipse
Of the sun.

Again! again! again!
And the havoc did not slack,
Till a feeble cheer the Dane
To our cheering sent us back;--
Their shots along the deep slowly boom:--
Then ceased--and all is wail,
As they strike the shatter'd sail,
Or in conflagration pale
Light the gloom.

Out spoke the victor then
As he hail'd them o'er the wave:
'Ye are brothers! ye are men!
And we conquer but to save:--
So peace instead of death let us bring:
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
With the crews, at England's feet,
And make submission meet
To our King.'...

Now joy, old England, raise!
For the tidings of thy might,
By the festal cities' blaze,
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light!
And yet amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep
Full many a fathom deep,
By thy wild and stormy steep,
Elsinore!


Thomas Moore. 1779-1852

582. The Young May Moon

THE young May moon is beaming, love,
The glow-worm's lamp is gleaming, love;
        How sweet to rove
        Through Morna's grove,
When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!
Then awake!--the heavens look bright, my dear,
'Tis never too late for delight, my dear;
        And the best of all ways
        To lengthen our days
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear!

Now all the world is sleeping, love,
But the Sage, his star-watch keeping, love,
        And I, whose star
        More glorious far
Is the eye from that casement peeping, love.
Then awake!--till rise of sun, my dear,
The Sage's glass we'll shun, my dear,
        Or in watching the flight
        Of bodies of light
He might happen to take thee for one, my dear!


Thomas Moore. 1779-1852

583. The Irish Peasant to His Mistress

THROUGH grief and through danger thy smile hath cheer'd my way,
Till hope seem'd to bud from each thorn that round me lay;
The darker our fortune, the brighter our pure love burn'd,
Till shame into glory, till fear into zeal was turn'd:
Yes, slave as I was, in thy arms my spirit felt free,
And bless'd even the sorrows that made me more dear to thee.

Thy rival was honour'd, while thou wert wrong'd and scorn'd;
Thy crown was of briers, while gold her brows adorn'd;
She woo'd me to temples, whilst thou lay'st hid in caves;
Her friends were all masters, while thine, alas! were slaves;
Yet cold in the earth, at thy feet, I would rather be
Than wed what I loved not, or turn one thought from thee.

They slander thee sorely, who say thy vows are frail--
Hadst thou been a false one, thy cheek had look'd less pale!
They say, too, so long thou hast worn those lingering chains,
That deep in thy heart they have printed their servile stains:
O, foul is the slander!--no chain could that soul subdue--
Where shineth thy spirit, there Liberty shineth too!


Thomas Moore. 1779-1852

584. The Light of Other Days

OFT, in the stilly night,
  Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
  Of other days around me:
    The smiles, the tears
    Of boyhood's years,
  The words of love then spoken;
    The eyes that shone,
    Now dimm'd and gone,
  The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus, in the stilly night,
  Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
  Of other days around me.

When I remember all
  The friends, so link'd together,
I've seen around me fall
  Like leaves in wintry weather,
    I feel like one
    Who treads alone
  Some banquet-hall deserted,
    Whose lights are fled,
    Whose garlands dead,
  And all but he departed!
Thus, in the stilly night,
  Ere slumber's chain has bound me.
Sad Memory brings the light
  Of other days around me.


Thomas Moore. 1779-1852

585. At the Mid Hour of Night

AT the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I fly
To the lone vale we loved, when life shone warm in thine eye;
  And I think oft, if spirits can steal from the regions of air
  To revisit past scenes of delight, thou wilt come to me there,
And tell me our love is remember'd even in the sky.

Then I sing the wild song it once was rapture to hear,
When our voices commingling breathed like one on the ear;
  And as Echo far off through the vale my sad orison rolls,
  I think, O my love! 'tis thy voice from the Kingdom of Souls
Faintly answering still the notes that once were so dear.


Edward Thurlow, Lord Thurlow. 1781-1829

586. May

MAY! queen of blossoms,
  And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
  Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed
  In the green bowers?

Thou hast no need of us,
  Or pipe or wire;
Thou hast the golden bee
  Ripen'd with fire;
And many thousand more
Songsters, that thee adore,
Filling earth's grassy floor
  With new desire.

Thou hast thy mighty herds,
  Tame and free-livers;
Doubt not, thy music too
  In the deep rivers;
And the whole plumy flight
Warbling the day and night--
Up at the gates of light,
  See, the lark quivers!


Ebenezer Elliott. 1781-1849

587. Battle Song

DAY, like our souls, is fiercely dark;
        What then? 'Tis day!
We sleep no more; the cock crows--hark!
        To arms! away!
They come! they come! the knell is rung
        Of us or them;
Wide o'er their march the pomp is flung
        Of gold and gem.
What collar'd hound of lawless sway,
        To famine dear--
What pension'd slave of Attila,
        Leads in the rear?
Come they from Scythian wilds afar,
        Our blood to spill?
Wear they the livery of the Czar?
        They do his will.
Nor tassell'd silk, nor epaulet,
        Nor plume, nor torse--
No splendour gilds, all sternly met,
        Our foot and horse.
But, dark and still, we inly glow,
        Condensed in ire!
Strike, tawdry slaves, and ye shall know
        Our gloom is fire.
In vain your pomp, ye evil powers,
        Insults the land;
Wrongs, vengeance, and the Cause are ours,
        And God's right hand!
Madmen! they trample into snakes
        The wormy clod!
Like fire, beneath their feet awakes
        The sword of God!
Behind, before, above, below,
        They rouse the brave;
Where'er they go, they make a foe,
        Or find a grave.


Ebenezer Elliott. 1781-1849

588. Plaint

DARK, deep, and cold the current flows
Unto the sea where no wind blows,
Seeking the land which no one knows.

O'er its sad gloom still comes and goes
The mingled wail of friends and foes,
Borne to the land which no one knows.

Why shrieks for help yon wretch, who goes
With millions, from a world of woes,
Unto the land which no one knows?

Though myriads go with him who goes,
Alone he goes where no wind blows,
Unto the land which no one knows.

For all must go where no wind blows,
And none can go for him who goes;
None, none return whence no one knows.

Yet why should he who shrieking goes
With millions, from a world of woes,
Reunion seek with it or those?

Alone with God, where no wind blows,
And Death, his shadow--doom'd, he goes.
That God is there the shadow shows.

O shoreless Deep, where no wind blows!
And thou, O Land which no one knows!
That God is All, His shadow shows.


Allan Cunningham. 1784-1842

589. The Sun rises bright in France

THE sun rises bright in France,
  And fair sets he;
But he has tint the blythe blink he had
  In my ain countree.

O, it 's nae my ain ruin
  That saddens aye my e'e,
But the dear Marie I left behin'
  Wi' sweet bairnies three.

My lanely hearth burn'd bonnie,
  And smiled my ain Marie;
I've left a' my heart behin'
  In my ain countree.

The bud comes back to summer,
  And the blossom to the bee;
But I'll win back, O never,
  To my ain countree.

O, I am leal to high Heaven,
  Where soon I hope to be,
An' there I'll meet ye a' soon
  Frae my ain countree!

tint] lost.


Allan Cunningham. 1784-1842

590. Hame, Hame, Hame

HAME, hame, hame, O hame fain wad I be--
O hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree!

When the flower is i' the bud and the leaf is on the tree,
The larks shall sing me hame in my ain countree;
Hame, hame, hame, O hame fain wad I be--
O hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree!

The green leaf o' loyaltie 's beginning for to fa',
The bonnie White Rose it is withering an' a';
But I'll water 't wi' the blude of usurping tyrannie,
An' green it will graw in my ain countree.

O, there 's nocht now frae ruin my country can save,
But the keys o' kind heaven, to open the grave;
That a' the noble martyrs wha died for loyaltie
May rise again an' fight for their ain countree.

The great now are gane, a' wha ventured to save,
The new grass is springing on the tap o' their grave;
But the sun through the mirk blinks blythe in my e'e,
'I'll shine on ye yet in your ain countree.'

Hame, hame, hame, O hame fain wad I be--
O hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree!


Allan Cunningham. 1784-1842

591. The Spring of the Year

GONE were but the winter cold,
  And gone were but the snow,
I could sleep in the wild woods
  Where primroses blow.

Cold 's the snow at my head,
  And cold at my feet;
And the finger of death 's at my e'en,
  Closing them to sleep.

Let none tell my father
  Or my mother so dear,--
I'll meet them both in heaven
  At the spring of the year.


Leigh Hunt. 1784-1859

592. Jenny kiss'd Me

JENNY kiss'd me when we met,
  Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
  Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
  Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
      Jenny kiss'd me.


Thomas Love Peacock. 1785-1866

593. Love and Age

I PLAY'D with you 'mid cowslips blowing,
  When I was six and you were four;
When garlands weaving, flower-balls throwing,
  Were pleasures soon to please no more.
Through groves and meads, o'er grass and heather,
  With little playmates, to and fro,
We wander'd hand in hand together;
  But that was sixty years ago.

You grew a lovely roseate maiden,
  And still our early love was strong;
Still with no care our days were laden,
  They glided joyously along;
And I did love you very dearly,
  How dearly words want power to show;
I thought your heart was touch'd as nearly;
  But that was fifty years ago.

Then other lovers came around you,
  Your beauty grew from year to year,
And many a splendid circle found you
  The centre of its glimmering sphere.
I saw you then, first vows forsaking,
  On rank and wealth your hand bestow;
O, then I thought my heart was breaking!--
  But that was forty years ago.

And I lived on, to wed another:
  No cause she gave me to repine;
And when I heard you were a mother,
  I did not wish the children mine.
My own young flock, in fair progression,
  Made up a pleasant Christmas row:
My joy in them was past expression;
  But that was thirty years ago.

You grew a matron plump and comely,
  You dwelt in fashion's brightest blaze;
My earthly lot was far more homely;
  But I too had my festal days.
No merrier eyes have ever glisten'd
  Around the hearth-stone's wintry glow,
Than when my youngest child was christen'd;
  But that was twenty years ago.

Time pass'd. My eldest girl was married,
  And I am now a grandsire gray;
One pet of four years old I've carried
  Among the wild-flower'd meads to play.
In our old fields of childish pleasure,
  Where now, as then, the cowslips blow,
She fills her basket's ample measure;
  And that is not ten years ago.

But though first love's impassion'd blindness
  Has pass'd away in colder light,
I still have thought of you with kindness,
  And shall do, till our last good-night.
The ever-rolling silent hours
  Will bring a time we shall not know,
When our young days of gathering flowers
  Will be an hundred years ago.


Thomas Love Peacock. 1785-1866

594. The Grave of Love

I DUG, beneath the cypress shade,
  What well might seem an elfin's grave;
And every pledge in earth I laid,
  That erst thy false affection gave.

I press'd them down the sod beneath;
  I placed one mossy stone above;
And twined the rose's fading wreath
  Around the sepulchre of love.

Frail as thy love, the flowers were dead
  Ere yet the evening sun was set:
But years shall see the cypress spread,
  Immutable as my regret.


Thomas Love Peacock. 1785-1866

595. Three Men of Gotham

SEAMEN three! What men be ye?
Gotham's three wise men we be.
Whither in your bowl so free?
To rake the moon from out the sea.
The bowl goes trim. The moon doth shine.
And our ballast is old wine.--
And your ballast is old wine.

Who art thou, so fast adrift?
I am he they call Old Care.
Here on board we will thee lift.
No: I may not enter there.
Wherefore so? 'Tis Jove's decree,
In a bowl Care may not be.--
In a bowl Care may not be.

Fear ye not the waves that roll?
No: in charmed bowl we swim.
What the charm that floats the bowl?
Water may not pass the brim.
The bowl goes trim. The moon doth shine.
And our ballast is old wine.--
And your ballast is old wine.


Caroline Southey. 1787-1854

596. To Death

COME not in terrors clad, to claim
    An unresisting prey:
Come like an evening shadow, Death!
  So stealthily, so silently!
And shut mine eyes, and steal my breath;
  Then willingly, O willingly,
    With thee I'll go away!

What need to clutch with iron grasp
    What gentlest touch may take?
What need with aspect dark to scare,
  So awfully, so terribly,
The weary soul would hardly care,
  Call'd quietly, call'd tenderly,
    From thy dread power to break?

'Tis not as when thou markest out
    The young, the blest, the gay,
The loved, the loving--they who dream
  So happily, so hopefully;
Then harsh thy kindest call may seem,
  And shrinkingly, reluctantly,
    The summon'd may obey.

But I have drunk enough of life--
    The cup assign'd to me
Dash'd with a little sweet at best,
  So scantily, so scantily--
To know full well that all the rest
  More bitterly, more bitterly,
    Drugg'd to the last will be.

And I may live to pain some heart
    That kindly cares for me:
To pain, but not to bless. O Death!
  Come quietly--come lovingly--
And shut mine eyes, and steal my breath;
  Then willingly, O willingly,
    I'll go away with thee!


George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788-1824

597. When we Two parted

WHEN we two parted
  In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
  To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
  Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
  Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
  Sunk chill on my brow--
It felt like the warning
  Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
  And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
  And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
  A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me--
  Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
  Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
  Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met--
  In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
  Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
  After long years,
How should I greet thee?
  With silence and tears.


George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788-1824

598. For Music

THERE be none of Beauty's daughters
  With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
  Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:

And the midnight moon is weaving
  Her bright chain o'er the deep;
Whose breast is gently heaving,
  As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.


George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788-1824

599. We'll go no more a-roving

SO, we'll go no more a-roving
  So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
  And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
  And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
  And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
  And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
  By the light of the moon.


George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788-1824

600. She walks in Beauty

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
  Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
  Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
  Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
  Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
  Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
  How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
  So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
  But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
  A heart whose love is innocent!


George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788-1824

601. The Isles of Greece

THE isles of Greece! the isles of Greece
  Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
  Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,
  The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse:
  Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires' 'Islands of the Blest.

The mountains look on Marathon--
  And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
  I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sate on the rocky brow
  Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,
  And men in nations;--all were his!
He counted them at break of day--
And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou,
  My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now--
  The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something in the dearth of fame,
  Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
  Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
  Must we but blush?--Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
  A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylae!

What, silent still? and silent all?
  Ah! no;--the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
  And answer, 'Let one living head,
But one, arise,--we come, we come!'
'Tis but the living who are dumb.

In vain--in vain: strike other chords;
  Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
  And shed the blood of Scio's vine:
Hark! rising to the ignoble call--
How answers each bold Bacchanal!

You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet;
  Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
Of two such lessons, why forget
  The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave--
Think ye he meant them for a slave?

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
  We will not think of themes like these!
It made Anacreon's song divine:
  He served--but served Polycrates--
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.

The tyrant of the Chersonese
  Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
That tyrant was Miltiades!
  O that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind!
Such chains as his were sure to bind.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
  On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
  Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks--
  They have a king who buys and sells;
In native swords and native ranks
  The only hope of courage dwells:
But Turkish force and Latin fraud
Would break your shield, however broad.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
  Our virgins dance beneath the shade--
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
  But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
  Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
  There, swan-like, let me sing and die:
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine--
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!


Sir Aubrey De Vere. 1788-1846

602. The Children Band

ALL holy influences dwell within
The breast of Childhood: instincts fresh from God
  Inspire it, ere the heart beneath the rod
Of grief hath bled, or caught the plague of sin.
How mighty was that fervour which could win
  Its way to infant souls!--and was the sod
  Of Palestine by infant Croises trod?
Like Joseph went they forth, or Benjamin,
In all their touching beauty to redeem?
  And did their soft lips kiss the Sepulchre?
Alas! the lovely pageant as a dream
  Faded! They sank not through ignoble fear;
They felt not Moslem steel. By mountain, stream,
  In sands, in fens, they died--no mother near!


Charles Wolfe. 1791-1823

603. The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna

NOT a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
  As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
  O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
  The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light
  And the lanthorn dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
  Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest
  With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
  And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
  And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollow'd his narrow bed
  And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
  And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that 's gone,
  And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him--
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
  In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

But half of our heavy task was done
  When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
  That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
  From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
  But we left him alone with his glory.


Charles Wolfe. 1791-1823

604. To Mary

IF I had thought thou couldst have died,
    I might not weep for thee;
But I forgot, when by thy side,
    That thou couldst mortal be:
It never through my mind had past
    The time would e'er be o'er,
And I on thee should look my last,
    And thou shouldst smile no more!

And still upon that face I look,
    And think 'twill smile again;
And still the thought I will not brook,
    That I must look in vain.
But when I speak--thou dost not say
    What thou ne'er left'st unsaid;
And now I feel, as well I may,
    Sweet Mary, thou art dead!

If thou wouldst stay, e'en as thou art,
    All cold and all serene--
I still might press thy silent heart,
    And where thy smiles have been.
While e'en thy chill, bleak corse I have,
    Thou seemest still mine own;
But there--I lay thee in thy grave,
    And I am now alone!

I do not think, where'er thou art,
    Thou hast forgotten me;
And I, perhaps, may soothe this heart
    In thinking too of thee:
Yet there was round thee such a dawn
    Of light ne'er seen before,
As fancy never could have drawn,
    And never can restore!


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

605. Hymn of Pan

  FROM the forests and highlands
    We come, we come;
  From the river-girt islands,
    Where loud waves are dumb,
  Listening to my sweet pipings.
    The wind in the reeds and the rushes,
      The bees on the bells of thyme,
    The birds on the myrtle bushes,
      The cicale above in the lime,
And the lizards below in the grass,
Were as silent as ever old Tmolus was,
  Listening to my sweet pipings.

  Liquid Peneus was flowing,
    And all dark Tempe lay
  In Pelion's shadow, outgrowing
    The light of the dying day,
  Speeded by my sweet pipings.
    The Sileni and Sylvans and Fauns,
      And the Nymphs of the woods and waves,
    To the edge of the moist river-lawns,
      And the brink of the dewy caves,
And all that did then attend and follow,
Were silent with love, as you now, Apollo,
  With envy of my sweet pipings.

  I sang of the dancing stars,
    I sang of the daedal earth,
  And of heaven, and the giant wars,
    And love, and death, and birth.
  And then I changed my pipings--
    Singing how down the vale of Maenalus
      I pursued a maiden, and clasp'd a reed:
    Gods and men, we are all deluded thus!
      It breaks in our bosom, and then we bleed.
All wept--as I think both ye now would,
If envy or age had not frozen your blood--
  At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

606. The Invitation

BEST and brightest, come away!
Fairer far than this fair Day,
Which, like thee to those in sorrow,
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
To the rough Year just awake
In its cradle on the brake.
The brightest hour of unborn Spring,
Through the winter wandering,
Found, it seems, the halcyon Morn
To hoar February born.
Bending from heaven, in azure mirth,
It kiss'd the forehead of the Earth;
And smiled upon the silent sea;
And bade the frozen streams be free;
And waked to music all their fountains;
And breathed upon the frozen mountains;
And like a prophetess of May
Strew'd flowers upon the barren way,
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, dear.

Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs--
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music lest it should not find
An echo in another's mind,
While the touch of Nature's art
Harmonizes heart to heart.
I leave this notice on my door
For each accustom'd visitor:--
'I am gone into the fields
To take what this sweet hour yields.
Reflection, you may come to-morrow;
Sit by the fireside with Sorrow.
You with the unpaid bill, Despair,--
You, tiresome verse-reciter, Care,--
I will pay you in the grave,--
Death will listen to your stave.
Expectation too, be off!
To-day is for itself enough.
Hope, in pity mock not Woe
With smiles, nor follow where I go;
Long having lived on your sweet food,
At length I find one moment's good
After long pain: with all your love,
This you never told me of.'

Radiant Sister of the Day,
Awake! arise! and come away!
To the wild woods and the plains;
And the pools where winter rains
Image all their roof of leaves;
Where the pine its garland weaves
Of sapless green and ivy dun
Round stems that never kiss the sun;
Where the lawns and pastures be,
And the sandhills of the sea;
Where the melting hoar-frost wets
The daisy-star that never sets,
And wind-flowers, and violets
Which yet join not scent to hue,
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind
In the deep east, dun and blind,
And the blue noon is over us,
And the multitudinous
Billows murmur at our feet
Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal sun.


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

607. Hellas

THE world's great age begins anew,
  The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
  Her winter weeds outworn;
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
  From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
  Against the morning star;
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.

A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
  Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again,
  And loves, and weeps, and dies;
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.

O write no more the tale of Troy,
  If earth Death's scroll must be--
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
  Which dawns upon the free,
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.

Another Athens shall arise,
  And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
  The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if naught so bright may live,
All earth can take or Heaven can give.

Saturn and Love their long repose
  Shall burst, more bright and good
Than all who fell, than One who rose,
  Than many unsubdued:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.

O cease! must hate and death return?
  Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
  Of bitter prophecy!
The world is weary of the past--
O might it die or rest at last!


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

608. To a Skylark

      HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!
        Bird thou never wert--
      That from heaven or near it
        Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

      Higher still and higher
        From the earth thou springest,
      Like a cloud of fire;
        The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

      In the golden light'ning
        Of the sunken sun,
      O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
        Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

      The pale purple even
        Melts around thy flight;
      Like a star of heaven,
        In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight--

      Keen as are the arrows
        Of that silver sphere
      Whose intense lamp narrows
        In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

      All the earth and air
        With thy voice is loud,
      As when night is bare,
        From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd.

      What thou art we know not;
        What is most like thee?
      From rainbow clouds there flow not
        Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody:--

      Like a poet hidden
        In the light of thought,
      Singing hymns unbidden,
        Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

      Like a high-born maiden
        In a palace tower,
      Soothing her love-laden
        Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

      Like a glow-worm golden
        In a dell of dew,
      Scattering unbeholden
        Its aerial hue
Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

      Like a rose embower'd
        In its own green leaves,
      By warm winds deflower'd,
        Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-winged thieves.

      Sound of vernal showers
        On the twinkling grass,
      Rain-awaken'd flowers--
        All that ever was
Joyous and clear and fresh--thy music doth surpass.

      Teach us, sprite or bird,
        What sweet thoughts are thine:
      I have never heard
        Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

      Chorus hymeneal,
        Or triumphal chant,
      Match'd with thine would be all
        But an empty vaunt--
A thin wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

      What objects are the fountains
        Of thy happy strain?
      What fields, or waves, or mountains?
        What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

      With thy clear keen joyance
        Languor cannot be:
      Shadow of annoyance
        Never came near thee:
Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

      Waking or asleep,
        Thou of death must deem
      Things more true and deep
        Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

      We look before and after,
        And pine for what is not:
      Our sincerest laughter
        With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

      Yet, if we could scorn
        Hate and pride and fear,
      If we were things born
        Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

      Better than all measures
        Of delightful sound,
      Better than all treasures
        That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

      Teach me half the gladness
        That thy brain must know;
      Such harmonious madness
        From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

609. The Moon

I

AND, like a dying lady lean and pale,
Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The mood arose up in the murky east,
A white and shapeless mass.

II

    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
    Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

610. Ode to the West Wind

I

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being
  Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

  Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes! O thou
  Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
  Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

  Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
  With living hues and odours plain and hill;

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear!

II

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
  Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean,

  Angels of rain and lightning! there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
  Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
  Of the horizon to the zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

  Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
  Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: O hear!

III

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
  The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams,

  Beside a pumice isle in Baiae's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
  Quivering within the wave's intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers
  So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers

  Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
  The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: O hear!

IV

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
  If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

  The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! if even
  I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
  As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem'd a vision--I would ne'er have striven

  As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
O! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
  I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd
One too like thee--tameless, and swift, and proud.

V

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
  What if my leaves are falling like its own?
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

  Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
  My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
  Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse,

  Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
  Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

611. The Indian Serenade

I ARISE from dreams of thee
  In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
  And the stars are shining bright.
I arise from dreams of thee,
  And a spirit in my feet
Hath led me--who knows how?
  To thy chamber window, Sweet!

The wandering airs they faint
  On the dark, the silent stream--
And the champak's odours [pine]
  Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale's complaint,
  It dies upon her heart,
As I must on thine,
  O beloved as thou art!

O lift me from the grass!
  I die! I faint! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
  On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
  My heart beats loud and fast:
O press it to thine own again,
  Where it will break at last!


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

612. Night

SWIFTLY walk o'er the western wave,
        Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,--
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear
Which make thee terrible and dear,--
        Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle grey,
        Star-inwrought!
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out.
Then wander o'er city and sea and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand--
        Come, long-sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn,
        I sigh'd for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turn'd to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,
        I sigh'd for thee.

Thy brother Death came, and cried,
        'Wouldst thou me?'
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmur'd like a noontide bee,
'Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?'--And I replied,
        'No, not thee!'

Death will come when thou art dead,
        Soon, too soon--
Sleep will come when thou art fled.
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, beloved Night--
Swift be thine approaching flight,
        Come soon, soon!


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

613. From the Arabic
AN IMITATION

MY faint spirit was sitting in the light
      Of thy looks, my love;
  It panted for thee like the hind at noon
      For the brooks, my love.
Thy barb, whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight,
      Bore thee far from me;
  My heart, for my weak feet were weary soon,
      Did companion thee.

Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed,
      Or the death they bear,
  The heart which tender thought clothes like a dove
      With the wings of care;
In the battle, in the darkness, in the need,
      Shall mine cling to thee,
  Nor claim one smile for all the comfort, love,
      It may bring to thee.


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

614. Lines

WHEN the lamp is shatter'd,
The light in the dust lies dead;
  When the cloud is scatter'd,
The rainbow's glory is shed;
  When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remember'd not
  When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.

  As music and splendour
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
  The heart's echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute--
  No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruin'd cell,
  Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman's knell.

  When hearts have once mingled,
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
  The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possest.
  O Love, who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
  Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?

  Its passions will rock thee,
As the storms rock the ravens on high:
  Bright reason will mock thee,
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
  From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
  Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come.


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

615. To ----

ONE word is too often profaned
  For me to profane it;
One feeling too falsely disdain'd
  For thee to disdain it;
One hope is too like despair
  For prudence to smother;
And pity from thee more dear
  Than that from another.

I can give not what men call love:
  But wilt thou accept not
The worship the heart lifts above
  And the heavens reject not,
The desire of the moth for the star,
  Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar
  From the sphere of our sorrow?


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

616. The Question

I DREAM'D that, as I wander'd by the way,
  Bare Winter suddenly was changed to Spring;
And gentle odours led my steps astray,
  Mix'd with a sound of waters murmuring
Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay
  Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling
Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,
But kiss'd it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets;
  Daisies, those pearl'd Arcturi of the earth,
The constellated flower that never sets;
  Faint oxlips; tender bluebells, at whose birth
The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets--
  Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth--
Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.

And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,
  Green cowbind and the moonlight-colour'd May,
And cherry-blossoms, and white cups whose wine
  Was the bright dew yet drain'd not by the day;
And wild roses, and ivy serpentine,
  With its dark buds and leaves wandering astray;
And flowers, azure, black, and streak'd with gold,
Fairer than any waken'd eyes behold.

And nearer to the river's trembling edge
  There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prank'd with white,
And starry river-buds among the sedge,
  And floating water-lilies, broad and bright,
Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge
  With moonlight beams of their own watery light;
And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.

Methought that of these visionary flowers
  I made a nosegay, bound in such a way
That the same hues which in their natural bowers
  Were mingled or opposed, the like array
Kept these imprison'd children of the Hours
  Within my hand;--and then, elate and gay,
I hasten'd to the spot whence I had come,
That I might there present it--O! to whom?


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

617. Remorse

AWAY! the moor is dark beneath the moon,
  Rapid clouds have drunk the last pale beam of even:
Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon,
  And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven.
Pause not! the time is past! Every voice cries, 'Away!'
  Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood:
Thy lover's eye, so glazed and cold, dares not entreat thy stay:
  Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude.

Away, away! to thy sad and silent home;
  Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth;
Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come,
  And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth.
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head,
  The blooms of dewy Spring shall gleam beneath thy feet:
But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead,
  Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile, ere thou and peace, may
    meet.

The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose,
  For the weary winds are silent, or the moon is in the deep;
Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows;
  Whatever moves or toils or grieves hath its appointed sleep.
Thou in the grave shalt rest:--yet, till the phantoms flee,
  Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee erewhile,
Thy remembrance and repentance and deep musings are not free
  From the music of two voices, and the light of one sweet smile.


Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792-1822

618. Music, when Soft Voices die

MUSIC, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap'd for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.


Hew Ainslie. 1792-1878

619. Willie and Helen

'WHAREFORE sou'd ye talk o' love,
  Unless it be to pain us?
Wharefore sou'd ye talk o' love
  Whan ye say the sea maun twain us?'

'It 's no because my love is light,
  Nor for your angry deddy;
It 's a' to buy ye pearlins bright,
  An' to busk ye like a leddy.'

'O Willy, I can caird an' spin,
  Se ne'er can want for cleedin';
An' gin I hae my Willy's heart,
  I hae a' the pearls I'm heedin'.

'Will it be time to praise this cheek
  Whan years an' tears has blench'd it?
Will it be time to talk o' love
  Whan cauld an' care has quench'd it?'

He's laid ae han' about her waist--
  The ither 's held to heaven;
An' his luik was like the luik o' man
  Wha's heart in twa is riven.

cleedin'] clothing.


John Keble. 1792-1866

620. Burial of the Dead

I THOUGHT to meet no more, so dreary seem'd
Death's interposing veil, and thou so pure,
        Thy place in Paradise
        Beyond where I could soar;

Friend of this worthless heart! but happier thoughts
Spring like unbidden violets from the sod,
        Where patiently thou tak'st
        Thy sweet and sure repose.

The shadows fall more soothing: the soft air
Is full of cheering whispers like thine own;
        While Memory, by thy grave,
        Lives o'er thy funeral day;

The deep knell dying down, the mourners' pause,
Waiting their Saviour's welcome at the gate.--
        Sure with the words of Heaven
        Thy spirit met us there,

And sought with us along th' accustom'd way
The hallow'd porch, and entering in, beheld
        The pageant of sad joy
        So dear to Faith and Hope.

O! hadst thou brought a strain from Paradise
To cheer us, happy soul, thou hadst not touch'd
        The sacred springs of grief
        More tenderly and true,

Than those deep-warbled anthems, high and low,
Low as the grave, high as th' Eternal Throne,
        Guiding through light and gloom
        Our mourning fancies wild,

Till gently, like soft golden clouds at eve
Around the western twilight, all subside
        Into a placid faith,
        That even with beaming eye

Counts thy sad honours, coffin, bier, and pall;
So many relics of a frail love lost,
        So many tokens dear
        Of endless love begun.

Listen! it is no dream: th' Apostles' trump
Gives earnest of th' Archangel's;--calmly now,
        Our hearts yet beating high
        To that victorious lay

(Most like a warrior's, to the martial dirge
Of a true comrade), in the grave we trust
        Our treasure for awhile:
        And if a tear steal down,

If human anguish o'er the shaded brow
Pass shuddering, when the handful of pure earth
        Touches the coffin-lid;
        If at our brother's name,

Once and again the thought, 'for ever gone,'
Come o'er us like a cloud; yet, gentle spright,
        Thou turnest not away,
        Thou know'st us calm at heart.

One look, and we have seen our last of thee,
Till we too sleep and our long sleep be o'er.
        O cleanse us, ere we view
        That countenance pure again,

Thou, who canst change the heart, and raise the dead!
As Thou art by to soothe our parting hour,
        Be ready when we meet,
        With Thy dear pardoning words.


John Clare. 1793-1864

621. Written in Northampton County Asylum

I AM! yet what I am who cares, or knows?
  My friends forsake me like a memory lost.
I am the self-consumer of my woes;
  They rise and vanish, an oblivious host,
Shadows of life, whose very soul is lost.
And yet I am--I live--though I am toss'd

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
  Into the living sea of waking dream,
Where there is neither sense of life, nor joys,
  But the huge shipwreck of my own esteem
And all that 's dear. Even those I loved the best
Are strange--nay, they are stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod--
  For scenes where woman never smiled or wept--
There to abide with my Creator, God,
  And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Full of high thoughts, unborn. So let me lie,--
The grass below; above, the vaulted sky.


Felicia Dorothea Hemans. 1793-1835

622. Dirge

CALM on the bosom of thy God,
  Fair spirit, rest thee now!
E'en while with ours thy footsteps trod,
  His seal was on thy brow.

Dust, to its narrow house beneath!
  Soul, to its place on high!
They that have seen thy look in death
  No more may fear to die.


John Keats. 1795-1821

623. Song of the Indian Maid
FROM 'ENDYMION'

          O SORROW!
          Why dost borrow
  The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips?--
          To give maiden blushes
          To the white rose bushes?
  Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips?

          O Sorrow!
          Why dost borrow
  The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye?--
          To give the glow-worm light?
          Or, on a moonless night,
  To tinge, on siren shores, the salt sea-spry?

          O Sorrow!
          Why dost borrow
  The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue?--
          To give at evening pale
          Unto the nightingale,
  That thou mayst listen the cold dews among?

          O Sorrow!
          Why dost borrow
  Heart's lightness from the merriment of May?--
          A lover would not tread
          A cowslip on the head,
  Though he should dance from eve till peep of day--
          Nor any drooping flower
          Held sacred for thy bower,
  Wherever he may sport himself and play.

          To Sorrow
          I bade good morrow,
  And thought to leave her far away behind;
          But cheerly, cheerly,
          She loves me dearly;
  She is so constant to me, and so kind:
          I would deceive her
          And so leave her,
  But ah! she is so constant and so kind.

Beneath my palm-trees, by the river side,
I sat a-weeping: in the whole world wide
There was no one to ask me why I wept,--
        And so I kept
Brimming the water-lily cups with tears
        Cold as my fears.

Beneath my palm-trees, by the river side,
I sat a-weeping: what enamour'd bride,
Cheated by shadowy wooer from the clouds,
        But hides and shrouds
Beneath dark palm-trees by a river side?

And as I sat, over the light blue hills
There came a noise of revellers: the rills
Into the wide stream came of purple hue--
        'Twas Bacchus and his crew!
The earnest trumpet spake, and silver thrills
From kissing cymbals made a merry din--
        'Twas Bacchus and his kin!
Like to a moving vintage down they came,
Crown'd with green leaves, and faces all on flame;
All madly dancing through the pleasant valley,
        To scare thee, Melancholy!
O then, O then, thou wast a simple name!
And I forgot thee, as the berried holly
By shepherds is forgotten, when in June
Tall chestnuts keep away the sun and moon:--
        I rush'd into the folly!

Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus stood,
Trifling his ivy-dart, in dancing mood,
        With sidelong laughing;
And little rills of crimson wine imbrued
His plump white arms and shoulders, enough white
        For Venus' pearly bite;
And near him rode Silenus on his ass,
Pelted with flowers as he on did pass
        Tipsily quaffing.

'Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye,
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your bowers desolate,
        Your lutes, and gentler fate?'--
'We follow Bacchus! Bacchus on the wing,
        A-conquering!
Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide,
We dance before him thorough kingdoms wide:--
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
        To our wild minstrelsy!'

'Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs! whence came ye,
So many, and so many, and such glee?
Why have ye left your forest haunts, why left
        Your nuts in oak-tree cleft?'--
'For wine, for wine we left our kernel tree;
For wine we left our heath, and yellow brooms,
        And cold mushrooms;
For wine we follow Bacchus through the earth;
Great god of breathless cups and chirping mirth!
Come hither, lady fair, and joined be
        To our mad minstrelsy!'

Over wide streams and mountains great we went,
And, save when Bacchus kept his ivy tent,
Onward the tiger and the leopard pants,
        With Asian elephants:
Onward these myriads--with song and dance,
With zebras striped, and sleek Arabians' prance,
Web-footed alligators, crocodiles,
Bearing upon their scaly backs, in files,
Plump infant laughers mimicking the coil
Of seamen, and stout galley-rowers' toil:
With toying oars and silken sails they glide,
        Nor care for wind and tide.

Mounted on panthers' furs and lions' manes,
From rear to van they scour about the plains;
A three days' journey in a moment done;
And always, at the rising of the sun,
About the wilds they hunt with spear and horn,
        On spleenful unicorn.

I saw Osirian Egypt kneel adown
        Before the vine-wreath crown!
I saw parch'd Abyssinia rouse and sing
        To the silver cymbals' ring!
I saw the whelming vintage hotly pierce
        Old Tartary the fierce!
The kings of Ind their jewel-sceptres vail,
And from their treasures scatter pearled hail;
Great Brahma from his mystic heaven groans,
        And all his priesthood moans,
Before young Bacchus' eye-wink turning pale.
Into these regions came I, following him,
Sick-hearted, weary--so I took a whim
To stray away into these forests drear,
        Alone, without a peer:
And I have told thee all thou mayest hear.

        Young Stranger!
        I've been a ranger
In search of pleasure throughout every clime;
        Alas! 'tis not for me!
        Bewitch'd I sure must be,
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime.

        Come then, Sorrow,
        Sweetest Sorrow!
Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast:
        I thought to leave thee,
        And deceive thee,
But now of all the world I love thee best.

        There is not one,
        No, no, not one
But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid;
        Thou art her mother,
        And her brother,
Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade.

sea-spry] sea-spray.


John Keats. 1795-1821

624. Ode to a Nightingale

MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
  My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
  One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
  But being too happy in thine happiness,
    That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
          In some melodious plot
  Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
    Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage! that hath been
  Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
  Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South!
  Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
    With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
          And purple-stained mouth;
  That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
    And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
  What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
  Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
  Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
    Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
          And leaden-eyed despairs;
  Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
    Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
  Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
  Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
  And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
    Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays
          But here there is no light,
  Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
    Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
  Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
  Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
  White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
    Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
          And mid-May's eldest child,
  The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
    The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
  I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
  To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
  To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
    While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
          In such an ecstasy!
  Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain--
    To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
  No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
  In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
  Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
    She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
          The same that ofttimes hath
  Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
    Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
  To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
  As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
  Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
    Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
          In the next valley-glades:
  Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
    Fled is that music:--do I wake or sleep?


John Keats. 1795-1821

625. Ode on a Grecian Urn

THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
  Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
  A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
  Of deities or mortals, or of both,
    In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
  What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
    What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
  Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
  Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
  Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
    Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal--yet, do not grieve;
    She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
  For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
  Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
  For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
  For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
    For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
  That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
    A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
  To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
  And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
  Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
    Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
  Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
    Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
  Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
  Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
  When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
  Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'


John Keats. 1795-1821

626. Ode to Psyche

O GODDESS! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
  By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
  Even into thine own soft-conched ear:
Surely I dream'd to-day, or did I see
  The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes?
I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,
  And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side
  In deepest grass, beneath the whisp'ring roof
  Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran
        A brooklet, scarce espied:
'Mid hush'd, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,
  Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass;
  Their arms embraced, and their pinions too;
  Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu,
As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,
And ready still past kisses to outnumber
  At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love:
        The winged boy I knew;
  But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove?
        His Psyche true!

O latest-born and loveliest vision far
  Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy!
Fairer than Phoebe's sapphire-region'd star,
  Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky;
Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
        Nor altar heap'd with flowers;
Nor Virgin-choir to make delicious moan
        Upon the midnight hours;
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
  From chain-swung censer teeming;
No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat
  Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.

O brightest! though too late for antique vows,
  Too, too late for the fond believing lyre,
When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
  Holy the air, the water, and the fire;
Yet even in these days so far retired
  From happy pieties, thy lucent fans,
  Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan
          Upon the midnight hours;
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet
  From swinged censer teeming:
Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat
  Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.

Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
  In some untrodden region of my mind,
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
  Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind:
Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd trees
  Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
  The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull'd to sleep;
And in the midst of this wide quietness
A rosy sanctuary will I dress
With the wreath'd trellis of a working brain,
  With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign,
  Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same;
And there shall be for thee all soft delight
        That shadowy thought can win,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
        To let the warm Love in!


John Keats. 1795-1821

627. To Autumn

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
  For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
  Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
  Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
  Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
  Steady thy laden head across a brook;
  Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
  Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
  And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
  Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
  Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
  The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


John Keats. 1795-1821

628. Ode on Melancholy

NO, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist
  Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kist
  By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
  Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
    Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
  For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
    And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
  Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
  And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
  Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
    Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
  Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
    And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty--Beauty that must die;
  And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
  Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
  Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
    Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
  His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
    And be among her cloudy trophies hung.


John Keats. 1795-1821

629. Fragment of an Ode to Maia
(Written on May-Day, 1818)

MOTHER of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
          May I sing to thee
As thou wast hymned on the shores of Baiae?
          Or may I woo thee
In earlier Sicilian? or thy smiles
Seek as they once were sought, in Grecian isles,
By bards who died content on pleasant sward,
  Leaving great verse unto a little clan?
O give me their old vigour! and unheard
  Save of the quiet primrose, and the span
          Of heaven, and few ears,
Rounded by thee, my song should die away
          Content as theirs,
Rich in the simple worship of a day.


John Keats. 1795-1821

630. Bards of Passion and of Mirth
Written on the Blank Page before Beaumont and Fletcher's
Tragi-Comedy 'The Fair Maid of the Inn'

BARDS of Passion and of Mirth,
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Have ye souls in heaven too,
Doubled-lived in regions new?
Yes, and those of heaven commune
With the spheres of sun and moon;
With the noise of fountains wondrous,
And the parle of voices thund'rous;
With the whisper of heaven's trees
And one another, in soft ease
Seated on Elysian lawns
Browsed by none but Dian's fawns;
Underneath large blue-bells tented,
Where the daisies are rose-scented,
And the rose herself has got
Perfume which on earth is not;
Where the nightingale doth sing
Not a senseless, tranced thing,
But divine melodious truth;
Philosophic numbers smooth;
Tales and golden histories
Of heaven and its mysteries.

  Thus ye live on high, and then
On the earth ye live again;
And the souls ye left behind you
Teach us, here, the way to find you,
Where your other souls are joying,
Never slumber'd, never cloying.
Here, your earth-born souls still speak
To mortals, of their little week;
Of their sorrows and delights;
Of their passions and their spites;
Of their glory and their shame;
What doth strengthen and what maim.
Thus ye teach us, every day,
Wisdom, though fled far away.

  Bards of Passion and of Mirth,
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Ye have souls in heaven too,
Double-lived in regions new!


John Keats. 1795-1821

631. Fancy

EVER let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind's cage-door,
She'll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming;
Autumn's red-lipp'd fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting: What do then?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear faggot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter's night;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the caked snow is shuffled
From the ploughboy's heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad,
With a mind self-overawed,
Fancy, high-commission'd:--send her!
She has vassals to attend her:
She will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
She will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather;
All the buds and bells of May,
From dewy sward or thorny spray;
All the heaped Autumn's wealth,
With a still, mysterious stealth:
She will mix these pleasures up
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it:--thou shalt hear
Distant harvest-carols clear;
Rustle of the reaped corn;
Sweet birds antheming the morn:
And, in the same moment--hark!
'Tis the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plumed lilies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
And every leaf, and every flower
Pearled with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the fieldmouse peep
Meagre from its celled sleep;
And the snake all winter-thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the beehive casts its swarm;
Acorns ripe down-pattering
While the autumn breezes sing.

  O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Every thing is spoilt by use:
Where 's the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gazed at? Where 's the maid
Whose lip mature is ever new?
Where 's the eye, however blue,
Doth not weary? Where 's the face
One would meet in every place?
Where 's the voice, however soft,
One would hear so very oft?
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.
Let, then, winged Fancy find
Thee a mistress to thy mind:
Dulcet-eyed as Ceres' daughter,
Ere the God of Torment taught her
How to frown and how to chide;
With a waist and with a side
White as Hebe's, when her zone
Slipt its golden clasp, and down
Fell her kirtle to her feet,
While she held the goblet sweet,
And Jove grew languid.--Break the mesh
Of the Fancy's silken leash;
Quickly break her prison-string,
And such joys as these she'll bring.--
Let the winged Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home.


John Keats. 1795-1821

632. Stanzas

IN a drear-nighted December,
  Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
  Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them,
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
  From budding at the prime.

In a drear-nighted December,
  Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
  Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
  About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
  A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
  Writhed not at passed joy?
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbed sense to steal it,
  Was never said in rhyme.


John Keats. 1795-1821

633. Las Belle Dame sans Merci

'O WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
  Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge is wither'd from the lake,
      And no birds sing.

'O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
  So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
      And the harvest 's done.

'I see a lily on thy brow
  With anguish moist and fever dew;
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
      Fast withereth too.'

'I met a lady in the meads,
  Full beautiful--a faery's child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
      And her eyes were wild.

'I made a garland for her head,
  And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look'd at me as she did love,
      And made sweet moan.

'I set her on my pacing steed
  And nothing else saw all day long,
For sideways would she lean, and sing
      A faery's song.

'She found me roots of relish sweet,
  And honey wild and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said,
      "I love thee true!"

'She took me to her elfin grot,
  And there she wept and sigh'd fill sore;
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
      With kisses four.

'And there she lulled me asleep,
  And there I dream'd--Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream'd
      On the cold hill's side.

'I saw pale kings and princes too,
  Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried--"La belle Dame sans Merci
      Hath thee in thrall!"

'I saw their starved lips in the gloam
  With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
      On the cold hill's side.

'And this is why I sojourn here
  Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake,
      And no birds sing.'


John Keats. 1795-1821

634. On first looking into Chapman's Homer

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
  And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
  Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
  That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
  Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
  When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
  He stared at the Pacific--and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--
  Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


John Keats. 1795-1821

635. When I have Fears that I may cease to be

WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high pil`d books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And feel that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
  Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
  Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.


John Keats. 1795-1821

636. To Sleep

O SOFT embalmer of the still midnight!
  Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,
  Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,
  In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes,
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws
  Around my bed its lulling charities;
  Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still lords
  Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
  And seal the hushed casket of my soul.


John Keats. 1795-1821

637. Last Sonnet

BRIGHT Star, would I were steadfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priest-like task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No--yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
  Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
  And so live ever--or else swoon to death.


Jeremiah Joseph Callanan. 1795-1839

638. The Outlaw of Loch Lene
FROM THE IRISH

O MANY a day have I made good ale in the glen,
That came not of stream or malt, like the brewing of men:
My bed was the ground; my roof, the green-wood above;
And the wealth that I sought, one far kind glance from my Love.

Alas! on that night when the horses I drove from the field,
That I was not near from terror my angel to shield!
She stretch'd forth her arms; her mantle she flung to the wind,
And swam o'er Loch Lene, her outlaw'd lover to find.

O would that a freezing sleet-wing'd tempest did sweep,
And I and my love were alone, far off on the deep;
I'd ask not a ship, or a bark, or a pinnace, to save--
With her hand round my waist, I'd fear not the wind or the wave.

'Tis down by the lake where the wild tree fringes its sides,
The maid of my heart, my fair one of Heaven resides:
I think, as at eve she wanders its mazes among,
The birds go to sleep by the sweet wild twist of her song.


William Sidney Walker. 1795-1846

639. Too solemn for day, too sweet for night

TOO solemn for day, too sweet for night,
  Come not in darkness, come not in light;
But come in some twilight interim,
  When the gloom is soft, and the light is dim.


George Darley. 1795-1846

640. Song

SWEET in her green dell the flower of beauty slumbers,
  Lull'd by the faint breezes sighing through her hair;
Sleeps she and hears not the melancholy numbers
  Breathed to my sad lute 'mid the lonely air.

Down from the high cliffs the rivulet is teeming
  To wind round the willow banks that lure him from above:
O that in tears, from my rocky prison streaming,
  I too could glide to the bower of my love!

Ah! where the woodbines with sleepy arms have wound her,
  Opes she her eyelids at the dream of my lay,
Listening, like the dove, while the fountains echo round her,
  To her lost mate's call in the forests far away.

Come then, my bird! For the peace thou ever bearest,
  Still Heaven's messenger of comfort to me--
Come--this fond bosom, O faithfullest and fairest,
  Bleeds with its death-wound, its wound of love for thee!


George Darley. 1795-1846

641. To Helene
On a Gift-ring carelessly lost

I SENT a ring--a little band
  Of emerald and ruby stone,
And bade it, sparkling on thy hand,
  Tell thee sweet tales of one
    Whose constant memory
    Was full of loveliness, and thee.

A shell was graven on its gold,--
  'Twas Cupid fix'd without his wings--
To Helene once it would have told
  More than was ever told by rings:
    But now all 's past and gone,
    Her love is buried with that stone.

Thou shalt not see the tears that start
  From eyes by thoughts like these beguiled;
Thou shalt not know the beating heart,
  Ever a victim and a child:
    Yet Helene, love, believe
    The heart that never could deceive.

I'll hear thy voice of melody
  In the sweet whispers of the air;
I'll see the brightness of thine eye
  In the blue evening's dewy star;
    In crystal streams thy purity;
    And look on Heaven to look on thee.


George Darley. 1795-1846

642. The Fallen Star

A STAR is gone! a star is gone!
  There is a blank in Heaven;
One of the cherub choir has done
  His airy course this even.

He sat upon the orb of fire
  That hung for ages there,
And lent his music to the choir
  That haunts the nightly air.

But when his thousand years are pass'd,
  With a cherubic sigh
He vanish'd with his car at last,
  For even cherubs die!

Hear how his angel-brothers mourn--
  The minstrels of the spheres--
Each chiming sadly in his turn
  And dropping splendid tears.

The planetary sisters all
  Join in the fatal song,
And weep this hapless brother's fall,
  Who sang with them so long.

But deepest of the choral band
  The Lunar Spirit sings,
And with a bass-according hand
  Sweeps all her sullen strings.

From the deep chambers of the dome
  Where sleepless Uriel lies,
His rude harmonic thunders come
  Mingled with mighty sighs.

The thousand car-bourne cherubim,
  The wandering eleven,
All join to chant the dirge of him
  Who fell just now from Heaven.


Hartley Coleridge. 1796-1849

643. The Solitary-Hearted

SHE was a queen of noble Nature's crowning,
A smile of hers was like an act of grace;
She had no winsome looks, no pretty frowning,
Like daily beauties of the vulgar race:
But if she smiled, a light was on her face,
A clear, cool kindliness, a lunar beam
Of peaceful radiance, silvering o'er the stream
Of human thought with unabiding glory;
Not quite a waking truth, not quite a dream,
A visitation, bright and transitory.

But she is changed,--hath felt the touch of sorrow,
No love hath she, no understanding friend;
O grief! when Heaven is forced of earth to borrow
What the poor niggard earth has not to lend;
But when the stalk is snapt, the rose must bend.
The tallest flower that skyward rears its head
Grows from the common ground, and there must shed
Its delicate petals. Cruel fate, too surely,
That they should find so base a bridal bed,
Who lived in virgin pride, so sweet and purely.

She had a brother, and a tender father,
And she was loved, but not as others are
From whom we ask return of love,--but rather
As one might love a dream; a phantom fair
Of something exquisitely strange and rare,
Which all were glad to look on, men and maids,
Yet no one claim'd--as oft, in dewy glades,
The peering primrose, like a sudden gladness,
Gleams on the soul, yet unregarded fades;--
The joy is ours, but all its own the sadness.

'Tis vain to say--her worst of grief is only
The common lot, which all the world have known;
To her 'tis more, because her heart is lonely,
And yet she hath no strength to stand alone,--
Once she had playmates, fancies of her own,
And she did love them. They are past away
As Fairies vanish at the break of day;
And like a spectre of an age departed,
Or unsphered Angel wofully astray,
She glides along--the solitary-hearted.


Hartley Coleridge. 1796-1849

644. Song

SHE is not fair to outward view
As many maidens be,
Her loveliness I never knew
  Until she smiled on me;
O, then I saw her eye was bright,
A well of love, a spring of light!

But now her looks are coy and cold,
To mine they ne'er reply,
And yet I cease not to behold
  The love-light in her eye:
Her very frowns are fairer far
Than smiles of other maidens are.


Hartley Coleridge. 1796-1849

645. Early Death

SHE pass'd away like morning dew
  Before the sun was high;
So brief her time, she scarcely knew
  The meaning of a sigh.

As round the rose its soft perfume,
  Sweet love around her floated;
Admired she grew--while mortal doom
  Crept on, unfear'd, unnoted.

Love was her guardian Angel here,
  But Love to Death resign'd her;
Tho' Love was kind, why should we fear
  But holy Death is kinder?


Hartley Coleridge. 1796-1849

646. Friendship

WHEN we were idlers with the loitering rills,
The need of human love we little noted:
  Our love was nature; and the peace that floated
On the white mist, and dwelt upon the hills,
To sweet accord subdued our wayward wills:
  One soul was ours, one mind, one heart devoted,
  That, wisely doting, ask'd not why it doted,
And ours the unknown joy, which knowing kills.
But now I find how dear thou wert to me;
  That man is more than half of nature's treasure,
Of that fair beauty which no eye can see,
  Of that sweet music which no ear can measure;
  And now the streams may sing for others' pleasure,
The hills sleep on in their eternity.


Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

647. Autumn

I SAW old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;--
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
  Pearling his coronet of golden corn.

Where are the songs of Summer?--With the sun,
Oping the dusky eyelids of the south,
Till shade and silence waken up as one,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Where are the merry birds?--Away, away,
On panting wings through the inclement skies,
      Lest owls should prey
      Undazzled at noonday,
And tear with horny beak their lustrous eyes.

Where are the blooms of Summer?--In the west,
Blushing their last to the last sunny hours,
When the mild Eve by sudden Night is prest
Like tearful Proserpine, snatch'd from her flow'rs
      To a most gloomy breast.
Where is the pride of Summer,--the green prime,--
The many, many leaves all twinkling?--Three
On the moss'd elm; three on the naked lime
Trembling,--and one upon the old oak-tree!
  Where is the Dryad's immortality?--
Gone into mournful cypress and dark yew,
Or wearing the long gloomy Winter through
  In the smooth holly's green eternity.

The squirrel gloats on his accomplish'd hoard,
The ants have brimm'd their garners with ripe grain,
    And honey bees have stored
The sweets of Summer in their luscious cells;
The swallows all have wing'd across the main;
But here the Autumn melancholy dwells,
    And sighs her tearful spells
Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain.
      Alone, alone,
      Upon a mossy stone,
She sits and reckons up the dead and gone
With the last leaves for a love-rosary,
Whilst all the wither'd world looks drearily,
Like a dim picture of the drowned past
In the hush'd mind's mysterious far away,
Doubtful what ghostly thing will steal the last
Into that distance, gray upon the gray.

O go and sit with her, and be o'ershaded
Under the languid downfall of her hair:
She wears a coronal of flowers faded
Upon her forehead, and a face of care;--
There is enough of wither'd everywhere
To make her bower,--and enough of gloom;
There is enough of sadness to invite,
If only for the rose that died, whose doom
Is Beauty's,--she that with the living bloom
Of conscious cheeks most beautifies the light:
There is enough of sorrowing, and quite
Enough of bitter fruits the earth doth bear,--
Enough of chilly droppings for her bowl;
Enough of fear and shadowy despair,
To frame her cloudy prison for the soul!


Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

648. Silence

THERE is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be,
  In the cold grave--under the deep, deep sea,
Or in wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
  No voice is hush'd--no life treads silently,
  But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
That never spoke, over the idle ground:
But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
  Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Though the dun fox or wild hyaena calls,
  And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan--
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.


Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

649. Death

IT is not death, that sometime in a sigh
  This eloquent breath shall take its speechless flight;
That sometime these bright stars, that now reply
  In sunlight to the sun, shall set in night;
  That this warm conscious flesh shall perish quite,
And all life's ruddy springs forget to flow;
  That thoughts shall cease, and the immortal sprite
Be lapp'd in alien clay and laid below;
It is not death to know this--but to know
  That pious thoughts, which visit at new graves
In tender pilgrimage, will cease to go
  So duly and so oft--and when grass waves
Over the pass'd-away, there may be then
No resurrection in the minds of men.


Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

650. Fair Ines

O SAW ye not fair Ines?
  She 's gone into the West,
To dazzle when the sun is down,
  And rob the world of rest:
She took our daylight with her,
  The smiles that we love best,
With morning blushes on her cheek,
  And pearls upon her breast.

O turn again, fair Ines,
  Before the fall of night,
For fear the Moon should shine alone,
  And stars unrivall'd bright;
And blessed will the lover be
  That walks beneath their light,
And breathes the love against thy cheek
  I dare not even write!

Would I had been, fair Ines,
  That gallant cavalier,
Who rode so gaily by thy side,
  And whisper'd thee so near!
Were there no bonny dames at home,
  Or no true lovers here,
That he should cross the seas to win
  The dearest of the dear?

I saw thee, lovely Ines,
  Descend along the shore,
With bands of noble gentlemen,
  And banners waved before;
And gentle youth and maidens gay,
  And snowy plumes they wore:
It would have been a beauteous dream,--
  If it had been no more!

Alas, alas! fair Ines,
  She went away with song,
With Music waiting on her steps,
  And shoutings of the throng;
But some were sad, and felt no mirth,
  But only Music's wrong,
In sounds that sang Farewell, farewell,
  To her you've loved so long.

Farewell, farewell, fair Ines!
  That vessel never bore
So fair a lady on its deck,
  Nor danced so light before,--
Alas for pleasure on the sea,
  And sorrow on the shore!
The smile that bless'd one lover's heart
  Has broken many more!


Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

651. Time of Roses

IT was not in the Winter
  Our loving lot was cast;
It was the time of roses--
  We pluck'd them as we pass'd!

That churlish season never frown'd
  On early lovers yet:
O no--the world was newly crown'd
  With flowers when first we met!

'Twas twilight, and I bade you go,
  But still you held me fast;
It was the time of roses--
  We pluck'd them as we pass'd!


Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

652. Ruth

SHE stood breast-high amid the corn,
Clasp'd by the golden light of morn,
Like the sweetheart of the sun,
Who many a glowing kiss had won.

On her cheek an autumn flush,
Deeply ripen'd;--such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.

Round her eyes her tresses fell,
Which were blackest none could tell,
But long lashes veil'd a light,
That had else been all too bright.

And her hat, with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim;
Thus she stood amid the stooks,
Praising God with sweetest looks:--

Sure, I said, Heav'n did not mean,
Where I reap thou shouldst but glean,
Lay thy sheaf adown and come,
Share my harvest and my home.


Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

653. The Death-bed

WE watch'd her breathing thro' the night,
  Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
  Kept heaving to and fro.

So silently we seem'd to speak,
  So slowly moved about,
As we had lent her half our powers
  To eke her living out.

Our very hopes belied our fears,
  Our fears our hopes belied--
We thought her dying when she slept,
  And sleeping when she died.

For when the morn came dim and sad,
  And chill with early showers,
Her quiet eyelids closed--she had
  Another morn than ours.


Thomas Hood. 1798-1845

654. The Bridge of Sighs

ONE more Unfortunate,
  Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
  Gone to her death!

Take her up tenderly,
  Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly
  Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;
Whilst the wave constantly
  Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
  Loving, not loathing.

Touch her not scornfully;
Think of her mournfully,
  Gently and humanly;
Not of the stains of her,
All that remains of her
  Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
  Rash and undutiful:
Past all dishonour,
Death has left on her
  Only the beautiful.

Still, for all slips of hers,
  One of Eve's family--
Wipe those poor lips of hers
  Oozing so clammily.

Loop up her tresses
  Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
  Where was her home?

Who was her father?
  Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
  Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
  Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
  Under the sun!
O, it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
  Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
  Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God's providence
  Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
  With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
  Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
  Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
  Swift to be hurl'd--
Anywhere, anywhere
  Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly--
No matter how coldly
  The rough river ran--
Over the brink of it,
Picture it--think of it,
  Dissolute Man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
  Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
  Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
  Young, and so fair!

Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
  Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
  Staring so blindly!

Dreadfully staring
  Thro' muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
  Fix'd on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurr'd by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
  Into her rest.--
Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly,
  Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
  Her evil behaviour,
And leaving, with meekness,
  Her sins to her Saviour!


William Thom. 1798-1848

655. The Blind Boy's Pranks

MEN grew sae cauld, maids sae unkind,
  Love kentna whaur to stay:
Wi' fient an arrow, bow, or string--
Wi' droopin' heart an' drizzled wing,
  He faught his lonely way.

'Is there nae mair in Garioch fair
  Ae spotless hame for me?
Hae politics an' corn an' kye
Ilk bosom stappit? Fie, O fie!
  I'll swithe me o'er the sea.'

He launch'd a leaf o' jessamine,
  On whilk he daur'd to swim,
An' pillow'd his head on a wee rosebud,
Syne laithfu', lanely, Love 'gan scud
  Down Ury's waefu' stream.

The birds sang bonnie as Love drew near,
  But dowie when he gaed by;
Till lull'd wi' the sough o' monie a sang,
He sleepit fu' soun' and sail'd alang
  'Neath Heaven's gowden sky.

'Twas just whaur creeping Ury greets
  Its mountain cousin Don,
There wander'd forth a weelfaur'd dame,
Wha listless gazed on the bonnie stream,
As it flirted an' play'd with a sunny beam
  That flicker'd its bosom upon.

Love happit his head, I trow, that time
  The jessamine bark drew nigh,
The lassie espied the wee rosebud,
An' aye her heart gae thud for thud,
  An' quiet it wadna lie.

'O gin I but had yon wearie wee flower
  That floats on the Ury sae fair!'--
She lootit her hand for the silly rose-leaf,
But little wist she o' the pawkie thief
  That was lurkin' an' laughin' there!

Love glower'd when he saw her bonnie dark e'e,
  An' swore by Heaven's grace
He ne'er had seen nor thought to see,
Since e'er he left the Paphian lea,
  Sae lovely a dwallin'-place.

Syne first of a' in her blythesome breast
  He built a bower, I ween;
An' what did the waefu' devilick neist?
But kindled a gleam like the rosy east,
  That sparkled frae baith her e'en.

An' then beneath ilk high e'e-bree
  He placed a quiver there;
His bow? What but her shinin' brow?
An' O sic deadly strings he drew
  Frae out her silken hair!

Guid be our guard! Sic deeds waur deen
  Roun' a' our countrie then;
An' monie a hangin' lug was seen
'Mang farmers fat, an' lawyers lean,
  An' herds o' common men!

kentna] knew not.  wi' fient an arrow] i. q. with deuce an
arrow.  swithe] hie quickly.  laithfu'] regretful.  dowie]
dejectedly.  weelfaur'd] well-favoured, comely.  happit] covered
up.  lootit] lowered.  pawkie] sly.  glower'd] stared.  e'e-bree]
eyebrow.  lug] ear.


Sir Henry Taylor. 1800-1866

656. Elena's Song

QUOTH tongue of neither maid nor wife
  To heart of neither wife nor maid--
Lead we not here a jolly life
  Betwixt the shine and shade?

Quoth heart of neither maid nor wife
  To tongue of neither wife nor maid--
Thou wagg'st, but I am worn with strife,
  And feel like flowers that fade.


Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lord Macaulay. 1800-1859

657. A Jacobite's Epitaph

TO my true king I offer'd free from stain
Courage and faith; vain faith, and courage vain.
For him I threw lands, honours, wealth, away,
And one dear hope, that was more prized than they.
For him I languish'd in a foreign clime,
Gray-hair'd with sorrow in my manhood's prime;
Heard on Lavernia Scargill's whispering trees,
And pined by Arno for my lovelier Tees;
Beheld each night my home in fever'd sleep,
Each morning started from the dream to weep;
Till God, who saw me tried too sorely, gave
The resting-place I ask'd, an early grave.
O thou, whom chance leads to this nameless stone,
From that proud country which was once mine own,
By those white cliffs I never more must see,
By that dear language which I spake like thee,
Forget all feuds, and shed one English tear
O'er English dust. A broken heart lies here.


William Barnes. 1801-1886

658. Mater Dolorosa

I'D a dream to-night
  As I fell asleep,
O! the touching sight
  Makes me still to weep:
Of my little lad,
Gone to leave me sad,
Ay, the child I had,
  But was not to keep.

As in heaven high,
  I my child did seek,
There in train came by
  Children fair and meek,
Each in lily white,
With a lamp alight;
Each was clear to sight,
  But they did not speak.

Then, a little sad,
Came my child in turn,
But the lamp he had,
  O it did not burn!
He, to clear my doubt,
Said, half turn'd about,
'Your tears put it out;
  Mother, never mourn.'


William Barnes. 1801-1886

659. The Wife a-lost

SINCE I noo mwore do zee your feäce,
  Up steärs or down below,
I'll zit me in the lwonesome pleäce,
  Where flat-bough'd beech do grow;
Below the beeches' bough, my love,
  Where you did never come,
An' I don't look to meet ye now,
  As I do look at hwome.

Since you noo mwore be at my zide,
  In walks in zummer het,
I'll goo alwone where mist do ride,
  Droo trees a-drippen wet;
Below the raïn-wet bough, my love,
  Where you did never come,
An' I don't grieve to miss ye now,
  As I do grieve at hwome.

Since now bezide my dinner-bwoard
  Your vaïce do never sound,
I'll eat the bit I can avword
  A-vield upon the ground;
Below the darksome bough, my love,
  Where you did never dine,
An' I don't grieve to miss ye now,
  As I at hwome do pine.

Since I do miss your vaïce an' feäce
  In prayer at eventide,
I'll pray wi' woone sad vaïce vor greäce
  To goo where you do bide;
Above the tree an' bough, my love,
  Where you be gone avore,
An' be a-waïten vor me now,
  To come vor evermwore.


Winthrop Mackworth Praed. 1802-1839

660. Fairy Song

HE has conn'd the lesson now;
  He has read the book of pain:
There are furrows on his brow;
  I must make it smooth again.

Lo! I knock the spurs away;
  Lo! I loosen belt and brand;
Hark! I hear the courser neigh
  For his stall in Fairy-land.

Bring the cap, and bring the vest;
  Buckle on his sandal shoon;
Fetch his memory from the chest
  In the treasury of the moon.

I have taught him to be wise
  For a little maiden's sake;--
Lo! he opens his glad eyes,
  Softly, slowly: Minstrel, wake!


Sara Coleridge. 1802-1850

661. O sleep, my Babe

O SLEEP, my babe, hear not the rippling wave,
Nor feel the breeze that round thee ling'ring strays
      To drink thy balmy breath,
      And sigh one long farewell.

Soon shall it mourn above thy wat'ry bed,
And whisper to me, on the wave-beat shore,
      Deep murm'ring in reproach,
      Thy sad untimely fate.

Ere those dear eyes had open'd on the light,
In vain to plead, thy coming life was sold,
      O waken'd but to sleep,
      Whence it can wake no more!

A thousand and a thousand silken leaves
The tufted beech unfolds in early spring,
      All clad in tenderest green,
      All of the self-same shape:

A thousand infant faces, soft and sweet,
Each year sends forth, yet every mother views
      Her last not least beloved
      Like its dear self alone.

No musing mind hath ever yet foreshaped
The face to-morrow's sun shall first reveal,
      No heart hath e'er conceived
      What love that face will bring.

O sleep, my babe, nor heed how mourns the gale
To part with thy soft locks and fragrant breath,
      As when it deeply sighs
      O'er autumn's latest bloom.


Sara Coleridge. 1802-1850

662. The Child

SEE yon blithe child that dances in our sight!
Can gloomy shadows fall from one so bright?
            Fond mother, whence these fears?
While buoyantly he rushes o'er the lawn,
Dream not of clouds to stain his manhood's dawn,
            Nor dim that sight with tears.

No cloud he spies in brightly glowing hours,
But feels as if the newly vested bowers
            For him could never fade:
Too well we know that vernal pleasures fleet,
But having him, so gladsome, fair, and sweet,
            Our loss is overpaid.

Amid the balmiest flowers that earth can give
Some bitter drops distil, and all that live
            A mingled portion share;
But, while he learns these truths which we lament,
Such fortitude as ours will sure be sent,
            Such solace to his care.


Gerald Griffin. 1803-1840

663. Eileen Aroon

WHEN like the early rose,
            Eileen Aroon!
Beauty in childhood blows,
            Eileen Aroon!
When, like a diadem,
Buds blush around the stem,
Which is the fairest gem?--
            Eileen Aroon!

Is it the laughing eye,
            Eileen Aroon!
Is it the timid sigh,
            Eileen Aroon!
Is it the tender tone,
Soft as the string'd harp's moan?
O, it is truth alone,--
            Eileen Aroon!

When like the rising day,
            Eileen Aroon!
Love sends his early ray,
            Eileen Aroon!
What makes his dawning glow,
Changeless through joy or woe?
Only the constant know:--
            Eileen Aroon!

I know a valley fair,
            Eileen Aroon!
I knew a cottage there,
            Eileen Aroon!
Far in that valley's shade
I knew a gentle maid,
Flower of a hazel glade,--
            Eileen Aroon!

Who in the song so sweet?
            Eileen Aroon!
Who in the dance so fleet?
            Eileen Aroon!
Dear were her charms to me,
Dearer her laughter free,
Dearest her constancy,--
            Eileen Aroon!

Were she no longer true,
            Eileen Aroon!
What should her lover do?
            Eileen Aroon!
Fly with his broken chain
Far o'er the sounding main,
Never to love again,--
            Eileen Aroon!

Youth must with time decay,
            Eileen Aroon!
Beauty must fade away,
            Eileen Aroon!
Castles are sack'd in war,
Chieftains are scatter'd far,
Truth is a fixed star,--
            Eileen Aroon!


James Clarence Mangan. 1803-1849

664. Dark Rosaleen

O MY Dark Rosaleen,
  Do not sigh, do not weep!
The priests are on the ocean green,
  They march along the deep.
There 's wine from the royal Pope,
  Upon the ocean green;
And Spanish ale shall give you hope,
  My Dark Rosaleen!
  My own Rosaleen!
Shall glad your heart, shall give you hope,
Shall give you health, and help, and hope,
  My Dark Rosaleen!

Over hills, and thro' dales,
  Have I roam'd for your sake;
All yesterday I sail'd with sails
  On river and on lake.
The Erne, at its highest flood,
  I dash'd across unseen,
For there was lightning in my blood,
  My Dark Rosaleen!
  My own Rosaleen!
O, there was lightning in my blood,
Red lightning lighten'd thro' my blood.
  My Dark Rosaleen!

All day long, in unrest,
  To and fro, do I move.
The very soul within my breast
  Is wasted for you, love!
The heart in my bosom faints
  To think of you, my Queen,
My life of life, my saint of saints,
  My Dark Rosaleen!
  My own Rosaleen!
To hear your sweet and sad complaints,
My life, my love, my saint of saints,
  My Dark Rosaleen!

Woe and pain, pain and woe,
  Are my lot, night and noon,
To see your bright face clouded so,
  Like to the mournful moon.
But yet will I rear your throne
  Again in golden sheen;
'Tis you shall reign, shall reign alone,
  My Dark Rosaleen!
  My own Rosaleen!
'Tis you shall have the golden throne,
'Tis you shall reign, and reign alone,
  My Dark Rosaleen!

Over dews, over sands,
  Will I fly, for your weal:
Your holy delicate white hands
  Shall girdle me with steel.
At home, in your emerald bowers,
  From morning's dawn till e'en,
You'll pray for me, my flower of flowers,
  My Dark Rosaleen!
  My fond Rosaleen!
You'll think of me through daylight hours,
My virgin flower, my flower of flowers,
  My Dark Rosaleen!

I could scale the blue air,
  I could plough the high hills,
O, I could kneel all night in prayer,
  To heal your many ills!
And one beamy smile from you
  Would float like light between
My toils and me, my own, my true,
  My Dark Rosaleen!
  My fond Rosaleen!
Would give me life and soul anew,
A second life, a soul anew,
  My Dark Rosaleen!

O, the Erne shall run red,
  With redundance of blood,
The earth shall rock beneath our tread,
  And flames wrap hill and wood,
And gun-peal and slogan-cry
  Wake many a glen serene,
Ere you shall fade, ere you shall die,
  My Dark Rosaleen!
  My own Rosaleen!
The Judgement Hour must first be nigh,
Ere you can fade, ere you can die,
  My Dark Rosaleen!


James Clarence Mangan. 1803-1849

665. The Nameless One

ROLL forth, my song, like the rushing river,
  That sweeps along to the mighty sea;
God will inspire me while I deliver
                My soul of thee!

Tell thou the world, when my bones lie whitening
  Amid the last homes of youth and eld,
That once there was one whose veins ran lightning
                No eye beheld.

Tell how his boyhood was one drear night-hour,
  How shone for him, through his griefs and gloom,
No star of all heaven sends to light our
                Path to the tomb.

Roll on, my song, and to after ages
  Tell how, disdaining all earth can give,
He would have taught men, from wisdom's pages,
                The way to live.

And tell how trampled, derided, hated,
  And worn by weakness, disease, and wrong,
He fled for shelter to God, who mated
                His soul with song.

--With song which alway, sublime or vapid,
  Flow'd like a rill in the morning beam,
Perchance not deep, but intense and rapid--
                A mountain stream.

Tell how this Nameless, condemn'd for years long
  To herd with demons from hell beneath,
Saw things that made him, with groans and tears, long
                For even death.

Go on to tell how, with genius wasted,
  Betray'd in friendship, befool'd in love,
With spirit shipwreck'd, and young hopes blasted,
                He still, still strove;

Till, spent with toil, dreeing death for others
  (And some whose hands should have wrought for him,
If children live not for sires and mothers),
                His mind grew dim;

And he fell far through that pit abysmal,
  The gulf and grave of Maginn and Burns,
And pawn'd his soul for the devil's dismal
                Stock of returns.

But yet redeem'd it in days of darkness,
  And shapes and signs of the final wrath,
When death, in hideous and ghastly starkness,
                Stood on his path.

And tell how now, amid wreck and sorrow,
  And want, and sickness, and houseless nights,
He bides in calmness the silent morrow,
                That no ray lights.

And lives he still, then? Yes! Old and hoary
  At thirty-nine, from despair and woe,
He lives, enduring what future story
                Will never know.

Him grant a grave to, ye pitying noble,
  Deep in your bosoms: there let him dwell!
He, too, had tears for all souls in trouble,
                Here and in hell.


Thomas Lovell Beddoes. 1803-1849

666. Wolfram's Dirge

IF thou wilt ease thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
  Then sleep, dear, sleep;
And not a sorrow
  Hang any tear on your eyelashes;
    Lie still and deep,
  Sad soul, until the sea-wave washes
The rim o' the sun to-morrow,
    In eastern sky.

But wilt thou cure thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
  Then die, dear, die;
'Tis deeper, sweeter,
  Than on a rose-bank to lie dreaming
    With folded eye;
  And there alone, amid the beaming
Of Love's stars, thou'lt meet her
    In eastern sky.


Thomas Lovell Beddoes. 1803-1849

667. Dream-Pedlary

IF there were dreams to sell,
    What would you buy?
Some cost a passing bell;
    Some a light sigh,
That shakes from Life's fresh crown
Only a rose-leaf down.
If there were dreams to sell,
Merry and sad to tell,
And the crier rang the bell,
    What would you buy?

A cottage lone and still,
    With bowers nigh,
Shadowy, my woes to still,
    Until I die.
Such pearl from Life's fresh crown
Fain would I shake me down.
Were dreams to have at will,
This would best heal my ill,
    This would I buy.


Thomas Lovell Beddoes. 1803-1849

668. Song

HOW many times do I love thee, dear?
  Tell me how many thoughts there be
          In the atmosphere
          Of a new-fall'n year,
Whose white and sable hours appear
  The latest flake of Eternity:
So many times do I love thee, dear.

How many times do I love again?
  Tell me how many beads there are
          In a silver chain
          Of evening rain,
Unravell'd from the tumbling main,
  And threading the eye of a yellow star:
So many times do I love again.


Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1803-1882

669. Give All to Love

GIVE all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good fame,
Plans, credit, and the Muse--
Nothing refuse.

'Tis a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent;
But it is a god,
Knows its own path,
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout,
Souls above doubt,
Valour unbending:
Such 'twill reward;--
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavour--
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, for ever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise,
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture's hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay;
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know,
When half-gods go
The gods arrive.


Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1803-1882

670. Uriel

IT fell in the ancient periods
  Which the brooding soul surveys,
Or ever the wild Time coin'd itself
  Into calendar months and days.

This was the lapse of Uriel,
Which in Paradise befell.
Once, among the Pleiads walking,
Sayd overheard the young gods talking;
And the treason, too long pent,
To his ears was evident.
The young deities discuss'd
Laws of form, and metre just,
Orb, quintessence, and sunbeams,
What subsisteth, and what seems.
One, with low tones that decide,
And doubt and reverend use defied,
With a look that solved the sphere,
And stirr'd the devils everywhere,
Gave his sentiment divine
Against the being of a line.
'Line in nature is not found;
Unit and universe are round;
In vain produced, all rays return;
Evil will bless, and ice will burn.'
As Uriel spoke with piercing eye,
A shudder ran around the sky;
The stern old war-gods shook their heads;
The seraphs frown'd from myrtle-beds;
Seem'd to the holy festival
The rash word boded ill to all;
The balance-beam of Fate was bent;
The bounds of good and ill were rent;
Strong Hades could not keep his own,
But all slid to confusion.

A sad self-knowledge withering fell
On the beauty of Uriel;
In heaven once eminent, the god
Withdrew that hour into his cloud;
Whether doom'd to long gyration
In the sea of generation,
Or by knowledge grown too bright
To hit the nerve of feebler sight.
Straightway a forgetting wind
Stole over the celestial kind,
And their lips the secret kept,
If in ashes the fire-seed slept.
But, now and then, truth-speaking things
Shamed the angels' veiling wings;
And, shrilling from the solar course,
Or from fruit of chemic force,
Procession of a soul in matter,
Or the speeding change of water,
Or out of the good of evil born,
Came Uriel's voice of cherub scorn,
And a blush tinged the upper sky,
And the gods shook, they knew not why.


Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1803-1882

671. Bacchus

BRING me wine, but wine which never grew
In the belly of the grape,
Or grew on vine whose tap-roots, reaching through
Under the Andes to the Cape,
Suffer'd no savour of the earth to 'scape.

Let its grapes the morn salute
From a nocturnal root,
Which feels the acrid juice
Of Styx and Erebus;
And turns the woe of Night,
By its own craft, to a more rich delight.

We buy ashes for bread;
We buy diluted wine;
Give me of the true,
Whose ample leaves and tendrils curl'd
Among the silver hills of heaven
Draw everlasting dew;
Wine of wine,
Blood of the world,
Form of forms, and mould of statures,
That I intoxicated,
And by the draught assimilated,
May float at pleasure through all natures;
The bird-language rightly spell,
And that which roses say so well:

Wine that is shed
Like the torrents of the sun
Up the horizon walls,
Or like the Atlantic streams, which run
When the South Sea calls.

Water and bread,
Food which needs no transmuting,
Rainbow-flowering, wisdom-fruiting,
Wine which is already man,
Food which teach and reason can.

Wine which Music is,--
Music and wine are one,--
That I, drinking this,
Shall hear far Chaos talk with me;
Kings unborn shall walk with me;
And the poor grass shall plot and plan
What it will do when it is man.
Quicken'd so, will I unlock
Every crypt of every rock.

I thank the joyful juice
For all I know;
Winds of remembering
Of the ancient being blow,
And seeming-solid walls of use
Open and flow.

Pour, Bacchus! the remembering wine;
Retrieve the loss of me and mine!
Vine for vine be antidote,
And the grape requite the lote!
Haste to cure the old despair;
Reason in Nature's lotus drench'd--
The memory of ages quench'd--
Give them again to shine;
Let wine repair what this undid;
And where the infection slid,
A dazzling memory revive;
Refresh the faded tints,
Recut the aged prints,
And write my old adventures with the pen
Which on the first day drew,
Upon the tablets blue,
The dancing Pleiads and eternal men.


Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1803-1882

672. Brahma

IF the red slayer think he slays,
  Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
  I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near;
  Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanish'd gods to me appear;
  And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
  When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
  And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,
  And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
  Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.


Richard Henry Horne. 1803-1884

673. The Plough
A LANDSCAPE IN BERKSHIRE

ABOVE yon sombre swell of land
  Thou see'st the dawn's grave orange hue,
With one pale streak like yellow sand,
  And over that a vein of blue.

The air is cold above the woods;
  All silent is the earth and sky,
Except with his own lonely moods
  The blackbird holds a colloquy.

Over the broad hill creeps a beam,
  Like hope that gilds a good man's brow;
And now ascends the nostril-stream
  Of stalwart horses come to plough.

Ye rigid Ploughmen, bear in mind
  Your labour is for future hours:
Advance--spare not--nor look behind--
  Plough deep and straight with all your powers!


Robert Stephen Hawker. 1804-1875

674. King Arthur's Waes-hael

WAES-HAEL for knight and dame!
  O merry be their dole!
Drink-hael! in Jesu's name
  We fill the tawny bowl;
But cover down the curving crest,
Mould of the Orient Lady's breast.

Waes-hael! yet lift no lid:
  Drain ye the reeds for wine.
Drink-hael! the milk was hid
  That soothed that Babe divine;
Hush'd, as this hollow channel flows,
He drew the balsam from the rose.

Waes-hael! thus glow'd the breast
  Where a God yearn'd to cling;
Drink-hael! so Jesu press'd
  Life from its mystic spring;
Then hush and bend in reverent sign
And breathe the thrilling reeds for wine.

Waes-hael! in shadowy scene
  Lo! Christmas children we:
Drink-hael! behold we lean
  At a far Mother's knee;
To dream that thus her bosom smiled,
And learn the lip of Bethlehem's Child.


Robert Stephen Hawker. 1804-1875

675. Are they not all Ministering Spirits?

WE see them not--we cannot hear
  The music of their wing--
Yet know we that they sojourn near,
  The Angels of the spring!

They glide along this lovely ground
  When the first violet grows;
Their graceful hands have just unbound
  The zone of yonder rose.

I gather it for thy dear breast,
  From stain and shadow free:
That which an Angel's touch hath blest
  Is meet, my love, for thee!


Thomas Wade. 1805-1875

676. The Half-asleep

O FOR the mighty wakening that aroused
  The old-time Prophets to their missions high;
  And to blind Homer's inward sunlike eye
Show'd the heart's universe where he caroused
Radiantly; the Fishers poor unhoused,
  And sent them forth to preach divinity;
  And made our Milton his great dark defy,
To the light of one immortal theme espoused!
But half asleep are those now most awake;
  And save calm-thoughted Wordsworth, we have none
Who for eternity put time at stake,
  And hold a constant course as doth the sun:
We yield but drops that no deep thirstings slake;
  And feebly cease ere we have well begun.


Francis Mahony. 1805-1866

677. The Bells of Shandon

WITH deep affection,
And recollection,
I often think of
  Those Shandon bells,
Whose sounds so wild would,
In the days of childhood,
Fling around my cradle
  Their magic spells.
On this I ponder
Where'er I wander,
And thus grow fonder,
  Sweet Cork, of thee;
With thy bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
  Of the River Lee.

I've heard bells chiming
Full many a clime in,
Tolling sublime in
  Cathedral shrine,
While at a glib rate
Brass tongues would vibrate--
But all their music
  Spoke naught like thine;
For memory, dwelling
On each proud swelling
Of the belfry knelling
  Its bold notes free,
Made the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
  Of the River Lee.

I've heard bells tolling
Old Adrian's Mole in,
Their thunder rolling
  From the Vatican,
And cymbals glorious
Swinging uproarious
In the gorgeous turrets
  Of Notre Dame;
But thy sounds were sweeter
Than the dome of Peter
Flings o'er the Tiber,
  Pealing solemnly--
O, the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
  Of the River Lee.

There 's a bell in Moscow,
While on tower and kiosk O!
In Saint Sophia
  The Turkman gets,
And loud in air
Calls men to prayer
From the tapering summits
  Of tall minarets.
Such empty phantom
I freely grant them;
But there 's an anthem
  More dear to me,--
'Tis the bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
  Of the River Lee.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

678. Rosalind's Scroll

I LEFT thee last, a child at heart,
  A woman scarce in years:
I come to thee, a solemn corpse
  Which neither feels nor fears.
I have no breath to use in sighs;
They laid the dead-weights on mine eyes
  To seal them safe from tears.

Look on me with thine own calm look:
  I meet it calm as thou.
No look of thine can change this smile,
  Or break thy sinful vow:
I tell thee that my poor scorn'd heart
Is of thine earth--thine earth--a part:
  It cannot vex thee now.

I have pray'd for thee with bursting sob
  When passion's course was free;
I have pray'd for thee with silent lips
  In the anguish none could see;
They whisper'd oft, 'She sleepeth soft'--
  But I only pray'd for thee.

Go to! I pray for thee no more:
  The corpse's tongue is still;
Its folded fingers point to heaven,
  But point there stiff and chill:
No farther wrong, no farther woe
Hath licence from the sin below
  Its tranquil heart to thrill.

I charge thee, by the living's prayer,
  And the dead's silentness,
To wring from out thy soul a cry
  Which God shall hear and bless!
Lest Heaven's own palm droop in my hand,
And pale among the saints I stand,
  A saint companionless.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

679. The Deserted Garden

I MIND me in the days departed,
How often underneath the sun
With childish bounds I used to run
  To a garden long deserted.

The beds and walks were vanish'd quite;
And wheresoe'er had struck the spade,
The greenest grasses Nature laid,
  To sanctify her right.

I call'd the place my wilderness,
For no one enter'd there but I.
The sheep look'd in, the grass to espy,
  And pass'd it ne'ertheless.

The trees were interwoven wild,
And spread their boughs enough about
To keep both sheep and shepherd out,
  But not a happy child.

Adventurous joy it was for me!
I crept beneath the boughs, and found
A circle smooth of mossy ground
  Beneath a poplar-tree.

Old garden rose-trees hedged it in,
Bedropt with roses waxen-white,
Well satisfied with dew and light,
  And careless to be seen.

Long years ago, it might befall,
When all the garden flowers were trim,
The grave old gardener prided him
  On these the most of all.

Some Lady, stately overmuch,
Here moving with a silken noise,
Has blush'd beside them at the voice
  That liken'd her to such.

Or these, to make a diadem,
She often may have pluck'd and twined;
Half-smiling as it came to mind,
  That few would look at them.

O, little thought that Lady proud,
A child would watch her fair white rose,
When buried lay her whiter brows,
  And silk was changed for shroud!--

Nor thought that gardener (full of scorns
For men unlearn'd and simple phrase)
A child would bring it all its praise,
  By creeping through the thorns!

To me upon my low moss seat,
Though never a dream the roses sent
Of science or love's compliment,
  I ween they smelt as sweet.

It did not move my grief to see
The trace of human step departed:
Because the garden was deserted,
  The blither place for me!

Friends, blame me not! a narrow ken
Hath childhood 'twixt the sun and sward:
We draw the moral afterward--
  We feel the gladness then.

And gladdest hours for me did glide
In silence at the rose-tree wall:
A thrush made gladness musical
  Upon the other side.

Nor he nor I did e'er incline
To peck or pluck the blossoms white:--
How should I know but that they might
  Lead lives as glad as mine?

To make my hermit-home complete,
I brought clear water from the spring
Praised in its own low murmuring,
  And cresses glossy wet.

And so, I thought, my likeness grew
(Without the melancholy tale)
To 'gentle hermit of the dale,'
  And Angelina too.

For oft I read within my nook
Such minstrel stories; till the breeze
Made sounds poetic in the trees,
  And then I shut the book.

If I shut this wherein I write,
I hear no more the wind athwart
Those trees, nor feel that childish heart
  Delighting in delight.

My childhood from my life is parted,
My footstep from the moss which drew
Its fairy circle round: anew
  The garden is deserted.

Another thrush may there rehearse
The madrigals which sweetest are;
No more for me!--myself afar
  Do sing a sadder verse.

Ah me! ah me! when erst I lay
In that child's-nest so greenly wrought,
I laugh'd unto myself and thought,
  'The time will pass away.'

And still I laugh'd, and did not fear
But that, whene'er was pass'd away
The childish time, some happier play
  My womanhood would cheer.

I knew the time would pass away;
And yet, beside the rose-tree wall,
Dear God, how seldom, if at all,
  Did I look up to pray!

The time is past: and now that grows
The cypress high among the trees,
And I behold white sepulchres
  As well as the white rose,--

When wiser, meeker thoughts are given,
And I have learnt to lift my face,
Reminded how earth's greenest place
  The colour draws from heaven,--

It something saith for earthly pain,
But more for heavenly promise free,
That I who was, would shrink to be
  That happy child again.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

680. Consolation

ALL are not taken; there are left behind
  Living Beloveds, tender looks to bring
  And make the daylight still a happy thing,
And tender voices, to make soft the wind:
But if it were not so--if I could find
  No love in all this world for comforting,
  Nor any path but hollowly did ring
Where 'dust to dust' the love from life disjoin'd;
And if, before those sepulchres unmoving
  I stood alone (as some forsaken lamb
Goes bleating up the moors in weary dearth)
Crying 'Where are ye, O my loved and loving?'--
  I know a voice would sound, 'Daughter, I AM.
Can I suffice for Heaven and not for earth?'


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

681. Grief

I TELL you, hopeless grief is passionless;
  That only men incredulous of despair,
  Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upward to God's throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness
  In souls as countries lieth silent-bare
  Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death--
  Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
  Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:
If it could weep, it could arise and go.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

682. Sonnets from the Portuguese
i

I THOUGHT once how Theocritus had sung
  Of the sweet years, the dear and wish'd-for years,
  Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
  I saw in gradual vision through my tears
  The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years--
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
  So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
  And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,
'Guess now who holds thee?'--'Death,' I said. But there
  The silver answer rang--'Not Death, but Love.'


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

683. Sonnets from the Portuguese
ii

UNLIKE are we, unlike, O princely Heart!
  Unlike our uses and our destinies.
  Our ministering two angels look surprise
On one another, as they strike athwart
Their wings in passing. Thou, bethink thee, art
  A guest for queens to social pageantries,
  With gages from a hundred brighter eyes
Than tears even can make mine, to play thy part
Of chief musician. What hast thou to do
  With looking from the lattice-lights at me--
A poor, tired, wandering singer, singing through
  The dark, and leaning up a cypress tree?
The chrism is on thine head--on mine the dew--
  And Death must dig the level where these agree.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

684. Sonnets from the Portuguese
iii

GO from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
  Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
  Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
  Serenely in the sunshine as before,
  Without the sense of that which I forbore--
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
  With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
  Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
  And sees within my eyes the tears of two.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

685. Sonnets from the Portuguese
iv

IF thou must love me, let it be for naught
  Except for love's sake only. Do not say,
  'I love her for her smile--her look--her way
Of speaking gently,--for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
  A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'--
  For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee--and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
  Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
  Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
  Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

686. Sonnets from the Portuguese
v

WHEN our two souls stand up erect and strong,
  Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
  Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curving point,--what bitter wrong
Can the earth do us, that we should not long
  Be here contented? Think! In mounting higher,
  The angels would press on us, and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
  Rather on earth, Beloved--where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
  And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
  With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806-1861

687. A Musical Instrument

WHAT was he doing, the great god Pan,
  Down in the reeds by the river?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat
  With the dragon-fly on the river.

He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
  From the deep cool bed of the river;
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay,
And the dragon-fly had fled away,
  Ere he brought it out of the river.

High on the shore sat the great god Pan,
  While turbidly flow'd the river;
And hack'd and hew'd as a great god can
With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed
  To prove it fresh from the river.

He cut it short, did the great god Pan
  (How tall it stood in the river!),
Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man,
Steadily from the outside ring,
And notch'd the poor dry empty thing
  In holes, as he sat by the river.

'This is the way,' laugh'd the great god Pan
  (Laugh'd while he sat by the river),
'The only way, since gods began
To make sweet music, they could succeed.'
Then dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,
  He blew in power by the river.

Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan!
  Piercing sweet by the river!
Blinding sweet, O great god Pan!
The sun on the hill forgot to die,
And the lilies revived, and the dragon-fly
  Came back to dream on the river.

Yet half a beast is the great god Pan,
  To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:
The true gods sigh for the cost and pain--
For the reed which grows nevermore again
  As a reed with the reeds of the river.


Frederick Tennyson. 1807-1898

688. The Holy Tide

THE days are sad, it is the Holy tide:
  The Winter morn is short, the Night is long;
So let the lifeless Hours be glorified
  With deathless thoughts and echo'd in sweet song:
And through the sunset of this purple cup
  They will resume the roses of their prime,
And the old Dead will hear us and wake up,
  Pass with dim smiles and make our hearts sublime!

The days are sad, it is the Holy tide:
  Be dusky mistletoes and hollies strown,
Sharp as the spear that pierced His sacred side,
  Red as the drops upon His thorny crown;
No haggard Passion and no lawless Mirth
  Fright off the solemn Muse,--tell sweet old tales,
Sing songs as we sit brooding o'er the hearth,
  Till the lamp flickers, and the memory fails.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 1807-1882

689. My Lost Youth

OFTEN I think of the beautiful town
  That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
  And my youth comes back to me.
    And a verse of a Lapland song
    Is haunting my memory still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

I can see the shadowy lines of its trees,
  And catch, in sudden gleams,
The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,
And islands that were the Hesperides
  Of all my boyish dreams.
    And the burden of that old song,
    It murmurs and whispers still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

I remember the black wharves and the slips,
  And the sea-tides tossing free;
And Spanish sailors with bearded lips,
And the beauty and mystery of the ships,
  And the magic of the sea.
    And the voice of that wayward song
    Is singing and saying still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

I remember the bulwarks by the shore,
  And the fort upon the hill;
The sunrise gun with its hollow roar,
The drum-beat repeated o'er and o'er,
  And the bugle wild and shrill.
    And the music of that old song
    Throbs in my memory still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

I remember the sea-fight far away,
  How it thunder'd o'er the tide!
And the dead sea-captains, as they lay
In their graves o'erlooking the tranquil bay
  Where they in battle died.
    And the sound of that mournful song
    Goes through me with a thrill:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

I can see the breezy dome of groves,
  The shadows of Deering's woods;
And the friendships old and the early loves
Come back with a Sabbath sound, as of doves
  In quiet neighbourhoods.
    And the verse of that sweet old song,
    It flutters and murmurs still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

I remember the gleams and glooms that dart
  Across the schoolboy's brain;
The song and the silence in the heart,
That in part are prophecies, and in part
  Are longings wild and vain.
    And the voice of that fitful song
    Sings on, and is never still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

There are things of which I may not speak;
  There are dreams that cannot die;
There are thoughts that make the strong heart weak,
And bring a pallor into the cheek,
  And a mist before the eye.
    And the words of that fatal song
    Come over me like a chill:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

Strange to me now are the forms I meet
  When I visit the dear old town;
But the native air is pure and sweet,
And the trees that o'ershadow each well-known street,
  As they balance up and down,
    Are singing the beautiful song,
    Are sighing and whispering still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

And Deering's woods are fresh and fair,
  And with joy that is almost pain
My heart goes back to wander there,
And among the dreams of the days that were
  I find my lost youth again.
    And the strange and beautiful song,
    The groves are repeating it still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'


John Greenleaf Whittier. 1807-1892

690. Vesta

O CHRIST of God! whose life and death
  Our own have reconciled,
Most quietly, most tenderly
  Take home thy star-named child!

Thy grace is in her patient eyes,
  Thy words are on her tongue;
The very silence round her seems
  As if the angels sung.

Her smile is as a listening child's
  Who hears its mother's call;
The lilies of Thy perfect peace
  About her pillow fall.

She leans from out our clinging arms
  To rest herself in Thine;
Alone to Thee, dear Lord, can we
  Our well-beloved resign.

O, less for her than for ourselves
  We bow our heads and pray;
Her setting star, like Bethlehem's,
  To Thee shall point the way!


Helen Selina, Lady Dufferin. 1807-1867

691. Lament of the Irish Emigrant

I'M sittin' on the stile, Mary,
  Where we sat side by side
On a bright May mornin' long ago,
  When first you were my bride;
The corn was springin' fresh and green,
  And the lark sang loud and high--
And the red was on your lip, Mary,
  And the love-light in your eye.

The place is little changed, Mary,
  The day is bright as then,
The lark's loud song is in my ear,
  And the corn is green again;
But I miss the soft clasp of your hand,
  And your breath warm on my cheek,
And I still keep list'ning for the words
  You never more will speak.

'Tis but a step down yonder lane,
  And the little church stands near,
The church where we were wed, Mary,
  I see the spire from here.
But the graveyard lies between, Mary,
  And my step might break your rest--
For I've laid you, darling! down to sleep,
  With your baby on your breast.

I'm very lonely now, Mary,
  For the poor make no new friends,
But, O, they love the better still,
  The few our Father sends!
And you were all I had, Mary,
  My blessin' and my pride:
There 's nothin' left to care for now,
  Since my poor Mary died.

Yours was the good, brave heart, Mary,
  That still kept hoping on,
When the trust in God had left my soul,
  And my arm's young strength was gone:
There was comfort ever on your lip,
  And the kind look on your brow--
I bless you, Mary, for that same,
  Though you cannot hear me now.

I thank you for the patient smile
  When your heart was fit to break,
When the hunger pain was gnawin' there,
  And you hid it, for my sake!
I bless you for the pleasant word,
  When your heart was sad and sore--
O, I'm thankful you are gone, Mary,
  Where grief can't reach you more!

I'm biddin' you a long farewell,
  My Mary--kind and true!
But I'll not forget you, darling!
  In the land I'm goin' to;
They say there 's bread and work for all,
  And the sun shines always there--
But I'll not forget old Ireland,
  Were it fifty times as fair!

And often in those grand old woods
  I'll sit, and shut my eyes,
And my heart will travel back again
  To the place where Mary lies;
And I'll think I see the little stile
  Where we sat side by side:
And the springin' corn, and the bright May morn,
  When first you were my bride.


Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton. 1808-1876

692. I do not love Thee

I DO not love thee!--no! I do not love thee!
And yet when thou art absent I am sad;
  And envy even the bright blue sky above thee,
Whose quiet stars may see thee and be glad.

  I do not love thee!--yet, I know not why,
Whate'er thou dost seems still well done, to me:
  And often in my solitude I sigh
That those I do love are not more like thee!

  I do not love thee!--yet, when thou art gone,
I hate the sound (though those who speak be dear)
  Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone
Thy voice of music leaves upon my ear.

  I do not love thee!--yet thy speaking eyes,
With their deep, bright, and most expressive blue,
  Between me and the midnight heaven arise,
Oftener than any eyes I ever knew.

  I know I do not love thee! yet, alas!
Others will scarcely trust my candid heart;
  And oft I catch them smiling as they pass,
Because they see me gazing where thou art.


Charles Tennyson Turner. 1808-1879

693. Letty's Globe

WHEN Letty had scarce pass'd her third glad year,
  And her young artless words began to flow,
One day we gave the child a colour'd sphere
  Of the wide earth, that she might mark and know,
By tint and outline, all its sea and land.
  She patted all the world; old empires peep'd
Between her baby fingers; her soft hand
  Was welcome at all frontiers. How she leap'd,
  And laugh'd and prattled in her world-wide bliss;
But when we turn'd her sweet unlearned eye
On our own isle, she raised a joyous cry--
'Oh! yes, I see it, Letty's home is there!'
  And while she hid all England with a kiss,
Bright over Europe fell her golden hair.


Edgar Allan Poe. 1809-1849

694. To Helen

HELEN, thy beauty is to me
  Like those Nicean barks of yore
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
  The weary way-worn wanderer bore
  To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
  Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
  To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche
  How statue-like I see thee stand,
  The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche, from the regions which
  Are holy land!


Edgar Allan Poe. 1809-1849

695. Annabel Lee

IT was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
    By the name of Annabel Lee.
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
    Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child
    In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
    I and my Annabel Lee,
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
    Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
     In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
    My beautiful Annabel Lee,
So that her high-born kinsmen came
    And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
    In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
    Went envying her and me--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
    In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud one night,
    Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
    Of those who were older than we--
    Of many far wiser than we--
And neither the angels in heaven above,
    Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
    In the sepulchre there by the sea,
    In her tomb by the sounding sea.


Edgar Allan Poe. 1809-1849

696. For Annie

THANK Heaven! the crisis--
  The danger is past,
And the lingering illness
  Is over at last--
And the fever called 'Living'
  Is conquer'd at last.

Sadly, I know
  I am shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move
  As I lie at full length:
But no matter--I feel
  I am better at length.

And I rest so composedly
  Now, in my bed,
That any beholder
  Might fancy me dead--
Might start at beholding me,
  Thinking me dead.

The moaning and groaning,
  The sighing and sobbing,
Are quieted now,
  With that horrible throbbing
At heart--ah, that horrible,
  Horrible throbbing!

The sickness--the nausea--
  The pitiless pain--
Have ceased, with the fever
  That madden'd my brain--
With the fever called 'Living'
  That burn'd in my brain.

And O! of all tortures
  That torture the worst
Has abated--the terrible
  Torture of thirst
For the naphthaline river
  Of Passion accurst--
I have drunk of a water
  That quenches all thirst.

--Of a water that flows,
  With a lullaby sound,
From a spring but a very few
  Feet under ground--
From a cavern not very far
  Down under ground.

And ah! let it never
  Be foolishly said
That my room it is gloomy,
  And narrow my bed;
For man never slept
  In a different bed--
And, to sleep, you must slumber
  In just such a bed.

My tantalized spirit
  Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
  Regretting its roses--
Its old agitations
  Of myrtles and roses:

For now, while so quietly
  Lying, it fancies
A holier odour
  About it, of pansies--
A rosemary odour,
  Commingled with pansies--
With rue and the beautiful
  Puritan pansies.

And so it lies happily,
  Bathing in many
A dream of the truth
  And the beauty of Annie--
Drown'd in a bath
  Of the tresses of Annie.

She tenderly kiss'd me,
  She fondly caress'd,
And then I fell gently
  To sleep on her breast--
Deeply to sleep
  From the heaven of her breast.

When the light was extinguish'd,
  She cover'd me warm,
And she pray'd to the angels
  To keep me from harm--
To the queen of the angels
  To shield me from harm.

And I lie so composedly,
  Now, in my bed
(Knowing her love),
  That you fancy me dead--
And I rest so contentedly,
  Now, in my bed
(With her love at my breast),
  That you fancy me dead--
That you shudder to look at me,
  Thinking me dead.

But my heart it is brighter
  Than all of the many
Stars in the sky,
  For it sparkles with Annie--
It glows with the light
  Of the love of my Annie--
With the thought of the light
  Of the eyes of my Annie.


Edward Fitzgerald. 1809-1883

697. Old Song

TIS a dull sight
  To see the year dying,
When winter winds
  Set the yellow wood sighing:
    Sighing, O sighing!

When such a time cometh
  I do retire
Into an old room
  Beside a bright fire:
    O, pile a bright fire!

And there I sit
  Reading old things,
Of knights and lorn damsels,
  While the wind sings--
    O, drearily sings!

I never look out
  Nor attend to the blast;
For all to be seen
  Is the leaves falling fast:
    Falling, falling!

But close at the hearth,
  Like a cricket, sit I,
Reading of summer
  And chivalry--
    Gallant chivalry!

Then with an old friend
  I talk of our youth--
How 'twas gladsome, but often
  Foolish, forsooth:
    But gladsome, gladsome!

Or, to get merry,
  We sing some old rhyme
That made the wood ring again
  In summer time--
    Sweet summer time!

Then go we smoking,
  Silent and snug:
Naught passes between us,
  Save a brown jug--
    Sometimes!

And sometimes a tear
  Will rise in each eye,
Seeing the two old friends
  So merrily--
    So merrily!

And ere to bed
  Go we, go we,
Down on the ashes
  We kneel on the knee,
    Praying together!

Thus, then, live I
  Till, 'mid all the gloom,
By Heaven! the bold sun
  Is with me in the room
    Shining, shining!

Then the clouds part,
  Swallows soaring between;
The spring is alive,
  And the meadows are green!

I jump up like mad,
  Break the old pipe in twain,
And away to the meadows,
  The meadows again!


Edward Fitzgerald. 1809-1883

698. From Omar Khayyám

I

A BOOK of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou
  Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
  Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

Look to the blowing Rose about us--'Lo,
Laughing,' she says, 'into the world I blow,
  At once the silken tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw.'

And those who husbanded the Golden grain
And those who flung it to the winds like Rain
  Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

II

Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day,
  How Sultán after Sultán with his Pomp
Abode his destined Hour, and went his way.

They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
  And Bahrám, that great Hunter--the wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.

I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
  That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head.

And this reviving Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River-Lip on which we lean--
  Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
TO-DAY of past Regrets and Future Fears:
  To-morrow!--Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n thousand Years.

For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest,
  Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest.

And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom,
  Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend--ourselves to make a Couch--for whom?

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
  Dust unto Dust, and under Dust to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and--sans End!

III

Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
  And lay me, shrouded in the living Leaf,
By some not unfrequented Garden-side....

Yon rising Moon that looks for us again--
How oft hereafter will she wax and wane;
  How oft hereafter rising look or us
Through this same Garden--and for one in vain!

And when like her O Sákí, you shall pass
Among the Guests star-scatter'd on the Grass,
  And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made One--turn down an empty Glass!


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

699. Mariana

WITH blackest moss the flower-plots
  Were thickly crusted, one and all:
The rusted nails fell from the knots
  That held the pear to the gable-wall.
The broken sheds look'd sad and strange:
  Unlifted was the clinking latch;
  Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
Upon the lonely moated grange.
    She only said, 'My life is dreary,
      He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
      I would that I were dead!'

Her tears fell with the dews at even;
  Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;
She could not look on the sweet heaven,
  Either at morn or eventide.
After the flitting of the bats,
  When thickest dark did trance the sky,
  She drew her casement-curtain by,
And glanced athwart the glooming flats.
    She only said, 'The night is dreary,
      He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
      I would that I were dead!'

Upon the middle of the night,
  Waking she heard the night-fowl crow:
The cock sung out an hour ere light:
  From the dark fen the oxen's low
Came to her: without hope of change,
  In sleep she seem'd to walk forlorn,
  Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn
About the lonely moated grange.
    She only said, 'The day is dreary,
      He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
      I would that I were dead!'

About a stone-cast from the wall
  A sluice with blacken'd waters slept,
And o'er it many, round and small,
  The cluster'd marish-mosses crept.
Hard by a poplar shook alway,
  All silver-green with gnarled bark:
  For leagues no other tree did mark
The level waste, the rounding gray.
    She only said, 'My life is dreary,
      He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
      I would that I were dead!'

And ever when the moon was low,
  And the shrill winds were up and away,
In the white curtain, to and fro,
  She saw the gusty shadow sway.
But when the moon was very low,
  And wild winds bound within their cell,
  The shadow of the poplar fell
Upon her bed, across her brow.
    She only said, 'The night is dreary,
      He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
      I would that I were dead!'

All day within the dreamy house,
  The doors upon their hinges creak'd;
The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse
  Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek'd,
Or from the crevice peer'd about.
  Old faces glimmer'd thro' the doors,
  Old footsteps trod the upper floors,
Old voices call'd her from without.
    She only said, 'My life is dreary,
      He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,'
      I would that I were dead!'

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,
  The slow clock ticking, and the sound
Which to the wooing wind aloof
  The poplar made, did all confound
Her sense; but most she loathed the hour
  When the thick-moted sunbeam lay
  Athwart the chambers, and the day
Was sloping toward his western bower.
    Then, said she, 'I am very dreary,
      He will not come,' she said;
    She wept, 'I am aweary, aweary,
      O God, that I were dead!'


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

700. The Lady of Shalott

PART I

ON either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
          To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
          The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
          Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
          The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veil'd,
Slide the heavy barges trail'd
By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
          Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
          The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
          Down to tower'd Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers ''Tis the fairy
          Lady of Shalott.'

PART II

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
          To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
          The Lady of Shalott.

And moving thro' a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
          Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
          Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
          Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
          The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often thro' the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights,
          And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
'I am half sick of shadows,' said
          The Lady of Shalott.

PART III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
          Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
          Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
          As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
          Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
          As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
          Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
          As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
'Tirra lirra,' by the river
          Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
          She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
'The curse is come upon me!' cried
          The Lady of Shalott.

PART IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
          Over tower'd Camelot;

Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
          The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse--
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance--
With a glassy countenance
          Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
          The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right--
The leaves upon her falling light--
Thro' the noises of the night
          She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
          The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darken'd wholly,
          Turn'd to tower'd Camelot;
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
          The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
          Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
          The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they cross'd themselves for fear,
          All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, 'She has a lovely face;
God in His mercy lend her grace,
          The Lady of Shalott.'


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

701. The Miller's Daughter

IT is the miller's daughter,
  And she is grown so dear, so dear,
That I would be the jewel
  That trembles in her ear:
For hid in ringlets day and night,
I'd touch her neck so warm and white.

And I would be the girdle
  About her dainty dainty waist,
And her heart would beat against me,
  In sorrow and in rest:
And I should know if it beat right,
I'd clasp it round so close and tight.

And I would be the necklace,
  And all day long to fall and rise
Upon her balmy bosom,
  With her laughter or her sighs:
And I would lie so light, so light,
I scarce should be unclasp'd at night.


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

702. Song of the Lotos-Eaters

THERE is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro' the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.

Why are we weigh'd upon with heaviness,
And utterly consumed with sharp distress,
While all things else have rest from weariness?
All things have rest: why should we toil alone,
We only toil, who are the first of things,
And make perpetual moan,
Still from one sorrow to another thrown:
Nor ever fold our wings,
And cease from wanderings,
Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm;
Nor harken what the inner spirit sings,
'There is no joy but calm!'--
Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?

Lo! in the middle of the wood,
The folded leaf is woo'd from out the bud
With winds upon the branch, and there
Grows green and broad, and takes no care,
Sun-steep'd at noon, and in the moon
Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow
Falls, and floats adown the air.
Lo! sweeten'd with the summer light,
The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,
Drops in a silent autumn night.
All its allotted length of days,
The flower ripens in its place,
Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil,
Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.

Hateful is the dark-blue sky,
Vaulted o'er the dark-blue sea.
Death is the end of life; ah, why
Should life all labour be?
Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast,
And in a little while our lips are dumb.
Let us alone. What is it that will last?
All things are taken from us, and become
Portions and parcels of the dreadful Past.
Let us alone. What pleasure can we have
To war with evil? Is there any peace
In ever climbing up the climbing wave?
All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave
In silence; ripen, fall and cease:
Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.

How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream,
With half-shut eyes ever to seem
Falling asleep in a half-dream!
To dream and dream, like yonder amber light,
Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height;
To hear each other's whisper'd speech;
Eating the Lotos day by day,
To watch the crisping ripples on the beach,
And tender curving lines of creamy spray;
To lend our hearts and spirits wholly
To the influence of mild-minded melancholy;
To muse and brood and live again in memory,
With those old faces of our infancy
Heap'd over with a mound of grass,
Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass!

Dear is the memory of our wedded lives,
And dear the last embraces of our wives
And their warm tears: but all hath suffer'd change;
For surely now our household hearts are cold:
Our sons inherit us: our looks are strange:
And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy.
Or else the island princes over-bold
Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings
Before them of the ten years' war in Troy,
And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things.
Is there confusion in the little isle?
Let what is broken so remain.
The Gods are hard to reconcile:
'Tis hard to settle order once again.
There is confusion worse than death,
Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,
Long labour unto aged breath,
Sore task to hearts worn out with many wars
And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.

But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly,
How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly)
With half-dropt eyelids still,
Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
To watch the long bright river drawing slowly
His waters from the purple hill--
To hear the dewy echoes calling
From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined vine--
To watch the emerald-colour'd water falling
Thro' many a wov'n acanthus-wreath divine!
Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine,
Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out beneath the pine.

The Lotos blooms below the barren peak:
The Lotos blows by every winding creek:
All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone:
Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone
Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
We have had enough of action, and of motion we,
Roll'd to starboard, roll'd to larboard, when the surge was seething
    free,
Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie relined
On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.
For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl'd
Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl'd
Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world:
Where the smile in secret, looking over wasted lands,
Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery
    sands,
Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying
    hands.
But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song
Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong,
Like a tale of little meaning tho' the words are strong;
Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil,
Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil,
Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil;
Till they perish and they suffer--some, 'tis whisper'd--down in hell
Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell,
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel.
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;
O rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

703. St. Agnes' Eve

DEEP on the convent-roof the snows
  Are sparkling to the moon:
My breath to heaven like vapour goes:
  May my soul follow soon!
The shadows of the convent-towers
  Slant down the snowy sward,
Still creeping with the creeping hours
  That lead me to my Lord:
Make Thou my spirit pure and clear
  As are the frosty skies,
Or this first snowdrop of the year
  That in my bosom lies.

As these white robes are soil'd and dark,
  To yonder shining ground;
As this pale taper's earthly spark,
  To yonder argent round;
So shows my soul before the Lamb,
  My spirit before Thee;
So in mine earthly house I am,
  To that I hope to be.
Break up the heavens, O Lord! and far,
  Thro' all yon starlight keen,
Draw me, thy bride, a glittering star,
  In raiment white and clean.

He lifts me to the golden doors;
  The flashes come and go;
All heaven bursts her starry floors,
  And strows her lights below,
And deepens on and up! the gates
  Roll back, and far within
For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits,
  To make me pure of sin.
The sabbaths of Eternity,
  One sabbath deep and wide--
A light upon the shining sea--
  The Bridegroom with his bride!


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

704. Blow, Bugle, blow

    THE splendour falls on castle walls
      And snowy summits old in story:
    The long light shakes across the lakes,
      And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

    O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
      And thinner, clearer, farther going!
    O sweet and far from cliff and scar
      The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

    O love, they die in yon rich sky,
      They faint on hill or field or river:
    Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
      And grow for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

705. Summer Night

NOW sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

  Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

  Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

  Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

  Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

706. Come down, O Maid

COME down, O maid, from yonder mountain height:
What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang),
In height and cold, the splendour of the hills?
But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease
To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine,
To sit a star upon the sparkling spire;
And come, for Love is of the valley, come,
For Love is of the valley, come thou down
And find him; by the happy threshold, he,
Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize,
Or red with spirted purple of the vats,
Or foxlike in the vine; nor cares to walk
With Death and Morning on the silver horns,
Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine,
Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice,
That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls
To roll the torrent out of dusky doors:
But follow; let the torrent dance thee down
To find him in the valley; let the wild
Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave
The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill
Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke,
That like a broken purpose waste in air:
So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales
Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth
Arise to thee; the children call, and I
Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound,
Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;
Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro' the lawn,
The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees.


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

707. From 'In Memoriam'
(ARTHUR HENRY HALLAM, MDCCCXXXIII)

I

FAIR ship, that from the Italian shore
    Sailest the placid ocean-plains
    With my lost Arthur's loved remains,
Spread thy full wings, and waft him o'er.

So draw him home to those that mourn
    In vain; a favourable speed
    Ruffle thy mirror'd mast, and lead
Thro' prosperous floods his holy urn.

All night no ruder air perplex
    Thy sliding keel, till Phosphor, bright
    As our pure love, thro' early light
Shall glimmer on the dewy decks.

Sphere all your lights around, above;
    Sleep, gentle heavens, before the prow;
    Sleep, gentle winds, as he sleeps now,
My friend, the brother of my love;

My Arthur, whom I shall not see
    Till all my widow'd race be run;
    Dear as the mother to the son,
More than my brothers are to me.

II

I hear the noise about thy keel;
    I hear the bell struck in the night;
    I see the cabin-window bright;
I see the sailor at the wheel.

Thou bring'st the sailor to his wife,
    And travell'd men from foreign lands;
    And letters unto trembling hands;
And, thy dark freight, a vanish'd life.

So bring him: we have idle dreams:
    This look of quiet flatters thus
    Our home-bred fancies: O to us,
The fools of habit, sweeter seems

To rest beneath the clover sod,
    That takes the sunshine and the rains,
    Or where the kneeling hamlet drains
The chalice of the grapes of God;

Than if with thee the roaring wells
    Should gulf him fathom-deep in brine;
    And hands so often clasp'd in mine,
Should toss with tangle and with shells.

III

Calm is the morn without a sound,
    Calm as to suit a calmer grief,
    And only thro' the faded leaf
The chestnut pattering to the ground:

Calm and deep peace on this high wold,
    And on these dews that drench the furze,
    And all the silvery gossamers
That twinkle into green and gold:

Calm and still light on yon great plain
    That sweeps with all its autumn bowers,
    And crowded farms and lessening towers,
To mingle with the bounding main:

Calm and deep peace in this wide air,
    These leaves that redden to the fall;
    And in my heart, if calm at all,
If any calm, a calm despair:

Calm on the seas, and silver sleep,
    And waves that sway themselves in rest,
    And dead calm in that noble breast
Which heaves but with the heaving deep.

IV

To-night the winds begin to rise
    And roar from yonder dropping day:
    The last red leaf is whirl'd away,
The rooks are blown about the skies;

The forest crack'd, the waters curl'd,
    The cattle huddled on the lea;
    And wildly dash'd on tower and tree
The sunbeam strikes along the world:

And but for fancies, which aver
    That all thy motions gently pass
    Athwart a plane of molten glass,
I scarce could brook the strain and stir

That makes the barren branches loud;
    And but for fear it is not so,
    The wild unrest that lives in woe
Would dote and pore on yonder cloud

That rises upward always higher,
    And onward drags a labouring breast,
    And topples round the dreary west,
A looming bastion fringed with fire.

V

Thou comest, much wept for: such a breeze
    Compell'd thy canvas, and my prayer
    Was as the whisper of an air
To breathe thee over lonely seas.

For I in spirit saw thee move
    Thro' circles of the bounding sky,
    Week after week: the days go by:
Come quick, thou bringest all I love.

Henceforth, wherever thou mayst roam
    My blessing, like a line of light,
    Is on the waters day and night,
And like a beacon guards thee home.

So may whatever tempest mars
    Mid-ocean, spare thee, sacred bark;
    And balmy drops in summer dark
Slide from the bosom of the stars.

So kind an office hath been done,
    Such precious relics brought by thee;
    The dust of him I shall not see
Till all my widow'd race be run.

VI

Now, sometimes in my sorrow shut,
    Or breaking into song by fits,
    Alone, alone, to where he sits,
The Shadow cloak'd from head to foot,

Who keeps the keys of all the creeds,
    I wander, often falling lame,
    And looking back to whence I came,
Or on to where the pathway leads;

And crying, How changed from where it ran
    Thro' lands where not a leaf was dumb;
    But all the lavish hills would hum
The murmur of a happy Pan:

When each by turns was guide to each,
    And Fancy light from Fancy caught,
    And Thought leapt out to wed with Thought
Ere Thought could wed itself with Speech;

And all we met was fair and good,
    And all was good that Time could bring,
    And all the secret of the Spring
Moved in the chambers of the blood;

And many an old philosophy
    On Argive heights divinely sang,
    And round us all the thicket rang
To many a flute of Arcady.

VII

How fares it with the happy dead?
    For here the man is more and more;
    But he forgets the days before
God shut the doorways of his head.

The days have vanish'd, tone and tint,
    And yet perhaps the hoarding sense
    Gives out at times (he knows not whence)
A little flash, a mystic hint;

And in the long harmonious years
    (If Death so taste Lethean springs)
    May some dim touch of earthly things
Surprise thee ranging with thy peers.

If such a dreamy touch should fall,
    O turn thee round, resolve the doubt;
    My guardian angel will speak out
In that high place, and tell thee all.

VIII

The wish, that of the living whole
    No life may fail beyond the grave,
    Derives it not from what we have
The likest God within the soul?

Are God and Nature then at strife,
    That Nature lends such evil dreams?
    So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life;

That I, considering everywhere
    Her secret meaning in her deeds,
    And finding that of fifty seeds
She often brings but one to bear,

I falter where I firmly trod,
    And falling with my weight of cares
    Upon the great world's altar-stairs
That slope thro' darkness up to God,

I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,
    And gather dust and chaff, and call
    To what I feel is Lord of all,
And faintly trust the larger hope.

IX

'So careful of the type?' but no.
    From scarped cliff and quarried stone
    She cries, 'A thousand types are gone:
I care for nothing, all shall go.

Thou makest thine appeal to me:
    I bring to life, I bring to death:
    The spirit does but mean the breath:
I know no more.' And he, shall he,

Man, her last work, who seem'd so fair,
    Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
    Who roll'd the psalm to wintry skies,
Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer,

Who trusted God was love indeed
    And love Creation's final law--
    Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed--

Who loved, who suffer'd countless ills,
    Who battled for the True, the Just,
    Be blown about the desert dust,
Or seal'd within the iron hills?

No more? A monster then, a dream,
    A discord. Dragons of the prime,
    That tare each other in their slime,
Were mellow music match'd with him.

O life as futile, then, as frail!
    O for thy voice to soothe and bless!
    What hope of answer, or redress?
Behind the veil, behind the veil.

X

Unwatch'd, the garden bough shall sway,
    The tender blossom flutter down;
    Unloved, that beech will gather brown,
This maple burn itself away;

Unloved, the sunflower, shining fair,
    Ray round with flames her disk of seed,
    And many a rose-carnation feed
With summer spice the humming air;

Unloved, by many a sandy bar,
    The brook shall babble down the plain,
    At noon or when the lesser wain
Is twisting round the polar star;

Uncared for, gird the windy grove,
    And flood the haunts of hern and crake;
    Or into silver arrows break
The sailing moon in creek and cove;

Till from the garden and the wild
    A fresh association blow,
    And year by year the landscape grow
Familiar to the stranger's child;

As year by year the labourer tills
    His wonted glebe, or lops the glades;
    And year by year our memory fades
From all the circle of the hills.

XI

Now fades the last long streak of snow,
    Now burgeons every maze of quick
    About the flowering squares, and thick
By ashen roots the violets blow.

Now rings the woodland loud and long,
    The distance takes a lovelier hue,
    And drown'd in yonder living blue
The lark becomes a sightless song.

Now dance the lights on lawn and lea,
    The flocks are whiter down the vale,
    And milkier every milky sail
On winding stream or distant sea;

Where now the seamew pipes, or dives
    In yonder greening gleam, and fly
    The happy birds, that change their sky
To build and brood; that live their lives

From land to land; and in my breast
    Spring wakens too; and my regret
    Becomes an April violet,
And buds and blossoms like the rest.

XII

Love is and was my Lord and King,
    And in his presence I attend
    To hear the tidings of my friend,
Which every hour his couriers bring.

Love is and was my King and Lord,
    And will be, tho' as yet I keep
    Within his court on earth, and sleep
Encompass'd by his faithful guard,

And hear at times a sentinel
    Who moves about from place to place,
    And whispers to the worlds of space,
In the deep night, that all is well.


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

708. Maud

COME into the garden, Maud,
  For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
  I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
  And the musk of the roses blown.

For a breeze of morning moves,
  And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
  On a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
  To faint in his light, and to die.

All night have the roses heard
  The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr'd
  To the dancers dancing in tune;
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
  And a hush with the setting moon.

I said to the lily, 'There is but one
  With whom she has heart to be gay.
When will the dancers leave her alone?
  She is weary of dance and play.'
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
  And half to the rising day;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone
  The last wheel echoes away.

I said to the rose, 'The brief night goes
  In babble and revel and wine.
O young lord-lover, what sighs are those
  For one that will never be thine?
But mine, but mine,' so I sware to the rose,
  'For ever and ever, mine.'

And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
  As the music clash'd in the hall;
And long by the garden lake I stood,
  For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
  Our wood, that is dearer than all;

From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
  That whenever a March-wind sighs
He sets the jewel-print of your feet
  In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
  And the valleys of Paradise.

The slender acacia would not shake
  One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake,
  As the pimpernel dozed on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
  Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
  They sigh'd for the dawn and thee.

Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,
  Come hither, the dances are done,
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,
  Queen lily and rose in one;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls.
  To the flowers, and be their sun.

There has fallen a splendid tear
  From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
  She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, 'She is near, she is near;'
  And the white rose weeps, 'She is late;'
The larkspur listens, 'I hear, I hear;'
  And the lily whispers, 'I wait.'

She is coming, my own, my sweet;
  Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
  Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
  Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
  And blossom in purple and red.


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809-1892

709. O that 'twere possible

O THAT 'twere possible
After long grief and pain
To find the arms of my true love
Round me once again!...

A shadow flits before me,
Not thou, but like to thee:
Ah, Christ! that it were possible
For one short hour to see
The souls we loved, that they might tell us
What and where they be!


Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton. 1809-1885

710. Shadows

THEY seem'd, to those who saw them meet,
  The casual friends of every day;
Her smile was undisturb'd and sweet,
  His courtesy was free and gay.

But yet if one the other's name
  In some unguarded moment heard,
The heart you thought so calm and tame
  Would struggle like a captured bird:

And letters of mere formal phrase
  Were blister'd with repeated tears,--
And this was not the work of days,
  But had gone on for years and years!

Alas, that love was not too strong
  For maiden shame and manly pride!
Alas, that they delay'd so long
  The goal of mutual bliss beside!

Yet what no chance could then reveal,
  And neither would be first to own,
Let fate and courage now conceal,
  When truth could bring remorse alone.


Henry Alford. 1810-1871

711. The Bride

'RISE,' said the Master, 'come unto the feast.'
She heard the call and rose with willing feet;
  But thinking it not otherwise than meet
For such a bidding to put on her best,
She is gone from us for a few short hours
  Into her bridal closet, there to wait
  For the unfolding of the palace gate
That gives her entrance to the blissful bowers.
We have not seen her yet, though we have been
  Full often to her chamber door, and oft
Have listen'd underneath the postern green,
  And laid fresh flowers, and whisper'd short and soft.
But she hath made no answer, and the day
From the clear west is fading fast away.


Sir Samuel Ferguson. 1810-1886

712. Cean Dubh Deelish

PUT your head, darling, darling, darling,
  Your darling black head my heart above;
O mouth of honey, with thyme for fragrance,
  Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love?

O many and many a young girl for me is pining,
  Letting her locks of gold to the cold wind free,
For me, the foremost of our gay young fellows;
  But I'd leave a hundred, pure love, for thee!

Then put your head, darling, darling, darling,
  Your darling black head my heart above;
O mouth of honey, with thyme for fragrance,
  Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love?

Cean dubh deelish] darling black head.


Sir Samuel Ferguson. 1810-1886

713. Cashel of Munster
FROM THE IRISH

I'D wed you without herds, without money or rich array,
And I'd wed you on a dewy morn at day-dawn gray;
My bitter woe it is, love, that we are not far away
In Cashel town, tho' the bare deal board were our marriage-bed this
day!

O fair maid, remember the green hill-side,
Remember how I hunted about the valleys wide;
Time now has worn me; my locks are turn'd to gray;
The year is scarce and I am poor--but send me not, love, away!

O deem not my blood is of base strain, my girl;
O think not my birth was as the birth of a churl;
Marry me and prove me, and say soon you will
That noble blood is written on my right side still.

My purse holds no red gold, no coin of the silver white;
No herds are mine to drive through the long twilight;
But the pretty girl that would take me, all bare tho' I be and lone,
O, I'd take her with me kindly to the county Tyrone!

O my girl, I can see 'tis in trouble you are;
And O my girl, I see 'tis your people's reproach you bear!
--I am a girl in trouble for his sake with whom I fly,
And, O, may no other maiden know such reproach as I!


Sir Samuel Ferguson. 1810-1886

714. The Fair Hills of Ireland
FROM THE IRISH

A PLENTEOUS place is Ireland for hospitable cheer,
                Uileacan dubh O!
Where the wholesome fruit is bursting from the yellow barley ear;
                Uileacan dubh O!
There is honey in the trees where her misty vales expand,
And her forest paths in summer are by falling waters fann'd,
There is dew at high noontide there, and springs i' the yellow sand,
        On the fair hills of holy Ireland.

Curl'd he is and ringleted, and plaited to the knee--
                Uileacan dubh O!
Each captain who comes sailing across the Irish Sea;
                Uileacan dubh O!
And I will make my journey, if life and health but stand,
Unto that pleasant country, that fresh and fragrant strand,
And leave your boasted braveries, your wealth and high command,
        For the fair hills of holy Ireland.

Large and profitable are the stacks upon the ground,
                Uileacan dubh O!
The butter and the cream do wondrously abound;
                Uileacan dubh O!
The cresses on the water and the sorrels are at hand,
And the cuckoo 's calling daily his note of music bland,
And the bold thrush sings so bravely his song i' the forests grand,
        On the fair hills of holy Ireland.


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

715. Song from 'Paracelsus'

HEAP cassia, sandal-buds and stripes
  Of labdanum, and aloe-balls,
Smear'd with dull nard an Indian wipes
  From out her hair: such balsam falls
  Down sea-side mountain pedestals,
From tree-tops where tired winds are fain,
Spent with the vast and howling main,
To treasure half their island-gain.

And strew faint sweetness from some old
  Egyptian's fine worm-eaten shroud
Which breaks to dust when once unroll'd;
  Or shredded perfume, like a cloud
  From closet long to quiet vow'd,
With moth'd and dropping arras hung,
Mouldering her lute and books among,
As when a queen, long dead, was young.


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

716. The Wanderers

OVER the sea our galleys went,
With cleaving prows in order brave
To a speeding wind and a bounding wave--
  A gallant armament:
Each bark built out of a forest-tree
  Left leafy and rough as first it grew,
And nail'd all over the gaping sides,
Within and without, with black bull-hides,
Seethed in fat and suppled in flame,
To bear the playful billows' game;
So, each good ship was rude to see,
Rude and bare to the outward view.
  But each upbore a stately tent
Where cedar pales in scented row
Kept out the flakes of the dancing brine,
And an awning droop'd the mast below,
In fold on fold of the purple fine,
That neither noontide nor star-shine
Nor moonlight cold which maketh mad,
  Might pierce the regal tenement.
When the sun dawn'd, O, gay and glad
We set the sail and plied the oar;
But when the night-wind blew like breath,
For joy of one day's voyage more,
We sang together on the wide sea,
Like men at peace on a peaceful shore;
Each sail was loosed to the wind so free,
Each helm made sure by the twilight star,
And in a sleep as calm as death,
We, the voyagers from afar,
  Lay stretch'd along, each weary crew
In a circle round its wondrous tent
Whence gleam'd soft light and curl'd rich scent,
  And with light and perfume, music too:
So the stars wheel'd round, and the darkness past,
And at morn we started beside the mast,
And still each ship was sailing fast!

Now, one morn, land appear'd--a speck
Dim trembling betwixt sea and sky--
'Avoid it,' cried our pilot, 'check
  The shout, restrain the eager eye!'
But the heaving sea was black behind
For many a night and many a day,
And land, though but a rock, drew nigh;
So we broke the cedar pales away,
Let the purple awning flap in the wind,
  And a statue bright was on every deck!
We shouted, every man of us,
And steer'd right into the harbour thus,
With pomp and paean glorious.

A hundred shapes of lucid stone!
  All day we built its shrine for each,
A shrine of rock for ever one,
Nor paused till in the westering sun
  We sat together on the beach
To sing because our task was done;
When lo! what shouts and merry songs!
What laughter all the distance stirs!
A loaded raft with happy throngs
Of gentle islanders!
'Our isles are just at hand,' they cried,
  'Like cloudlets faint in even sleeping;
Our temple-gates are open'd wide,
  Our olive-groves thick shade are keeping
For these majestic forms'--they cried.
O, then we awoke with sudden start
From our deep dream, and knew, too late,
How bare the rock, how desolate,
Which had received our precious freight:
  Yet we call'd out--'Depart!
Our gifts, once given, must here abide:
  Our work is done; we have no heart
To mar our work,'--we cried.


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

717. Thus the Mayne glideth

THUS the Mayne glideth
Where my Love abideth;
Sleep 's no softer: it proceeds
On through lawns, on through meads,
On and on, whate'er befall,
Meandering and musical,
Though the niggard pasturage
Bears not on its shaven ledge
Aught but weeds and waving grasses
To view the river as it passes,
Save here and there a scanty patch
Of primroses too faint to catch
A weary bee.... And scarce it pushes
Its gentle way through strangling rushes
Where the glossy kingfisher
Flutters when noon-heats are near,
Glad the shelving banks to shun,
Red and steaming in the sun,
Where the shrew-mouse with pale throat
Burrows, and the speckled stoat;
Where the quick sandpipers flit
In and out the marl and grit
That seems to breed them, brown as they:
Naught disturbs its quiet way,
Save some lazy stork that springs,
Trailing it with legs and wings,
Whom the shy fox from the hill
Rouses, creep he ne'er so still.


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

718. Pippa's Song

THE year 's at the spring,
And day 's at the morn;
Morning 's at seven;
The hill-side 's dew-pearl'd;
The lark 's on the wing;
The snail 's on the thorn;
God 's in His heaven--
All 's right with the world!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

719. You'll love Me yet

YOU'LL love me yet!--and I can tarry
  Your love's protracted growing:
June rear'd that bunch of flowers you carry,
  From seeds of April's sowing.

I plant a heartful now: some seed
  At least is sure to strike,
And yield--what you'll not pluck indeed,
  Not love, but, may be, like.

You'll look at least on love's remains,
  A grave 's one violet:
Your look?--that pays a thousand pains.
  What 's death? You'll love me yet!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

720. Porphyria's Lover

THE rain set early in to-night,
  The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
  And did its worst to vex the lake:
  I listen'd with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
  She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneel'd and made the cheerless grate
  Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
  Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
  And laid her soil'd gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
  And, last, she sat down by my side
  And call'd me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
  And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
  And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
  And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me--she
  Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour,
To set its struggling passion free
  From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
  And give herself to me for ever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
  Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
  For love of her, and all in vain:
  So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I look'd up at her eyes
  Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshipp'd me; surprise
  Made my heart swell, and still it grew
  While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
  Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
  In one long yellow string I wound
  Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
  I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
  I warily oped her lids: again
  Laugh'd the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untighten'd next the tress
  About her neck; her cheek once more
Blush'd bright beneath my burning kiss:
  I propp'd her head up as before,
  Only, this time my shoulder bore
Her head, which droops upon it still:
  The smiling rosy little head,
So glad it has its utmost will,
  That all it scorn'd at once is fled,
  And I, its love, am gain'd instead!
Porphyria's love: she guess'd not how
  Her darling one wish would be heard.
And thus we sit together now,
  And all night long we have not stirr'd,
  And yet God has not said a word!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

721. Song

NAY but you, who do not love her,
  Is she not pure gold, my mistress?
Holds earth aught--speak truth--above her?
  Aught like this tress, see, and this tress,
And this last fairest tress of all,
So fair, see, ere I let it fall?
Because, you spend your lives in praising;
  To praise, you search the wide world over:
Then why not witness, calmly gazing,
  If earth holds aught--speak truth--above her?
Above this tress, and this, I touch
But cannot praise, I love so much!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

722. Earl Mertoun's Song

THERE 's a woman like a dewdrop, she 's so purer than the purest;
And her noble heart 's the noblest, yes, and her sure faith's the
    surest:
And her eyes are dark and humid, like the depth on depth of lustre
Hid i' the harebell, while her tresses, sunnier than the wild-grape
    cluster,
Gush in golden-tinted plenty down her neck's rose-misted marble:
Then her voice's music ... call it the well's bubbling, the bird's
    warble!

And this woman says, 'My days were sunless and my nights were
    moonless,
Parch'd the pleasant April herbage, and the lark's heart's outbreak
    tuneless,
If you loved me not!' And I who (ah, for words of flame!) adore her,
Who am mad to lay my spirit prostrate palpably before her--
I may enter at her portal soon, as now her lattice takes me,
And by noontide as by midnight make her mine, as hers she makes me!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

723. In a Gondola

THE moth's kiss, first!
Kiss me as if you made me believe
You were not sure, this eve,
How my face, your flower, had pursed
Its petals up; so, here and there
You brush it, till I grow aware
Who wants me, and wide ope I burst.

The bee's kiss, now!
Kiss me as if you enter'd gay
My heart at some noonday,
A bud that dares not disallow
The claim, so all is render'd up,
And passively its shatter'd cup
Over your head to sleep I bow.


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

724. Meeting at Night

THE gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

725. Parting at Morning

ROUND the cape of a sudden came the sea,
And the sun look'd over the mountain's rim:
And straight was a path of gold for him,
And the need of a world of men for me.


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

726. The Lost Mistress

ALL 's over, then: does truth sound bitter
  As one at first believes?
Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter
  About your cottage eaves!

And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
  I noticed that, to-day;
One day more bursts them open fully
  --You know the red turns gray.

To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest?
  May I take your hand in mine?
Mere friends are we,--well, friends the merest
  Keep much that I resign:

For each glance of the eye so bright and black,
  Though I keep with heart's endeavour,--
Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
  Though it stay in my soul for ever!--

Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
  Or only a thought stronger;
I will hold your hand but as long as all may,
  Or so very little longer!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

727. The Last Ride together

I SAID--Then, dearest, since 'tis so,
Since now at length my fate I know,
Since nothing all my love avails,
Since all, my life seem'd meant for, fails,
  Since this was written and needs must be--
My whole heart rises up to bless
Your name in pride and thankfulness!
Take back the hope you gave,--I claim
Only a memory of the same,
--And this beside, if you will not blame;
  Your leave for one more last ride with me.

My mistress bent that brow of hers,
Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs
When pity would be softening through,
Fix'd me a breathing-while or two
  With life or death in the balance: right!
The blood replenish'd me again;
My last thought was at least not vain:
I and my mistress, side by side
Shall be together, breathe and ride,
So, one day more am I deified.
  Who knows but the world may end to-night?

Hush! if you saw some western cloud
All billowy-bosom'd, over-bow'd
By many benedictions--sun's
And moon's and evening-star's at once--
  And so, you, looking and loving best,
Conscious grew, your passion drew
Cloud, sunset, moonrise, star-shine too,
Down on you, near and yet more near,
Till flesh must fade for heaven was here!--
Thus leant she and linger'd--joy and fear!
  Thus lay she a moment on my breast.

Then we began to ride. My soul
Smooth'd itself out, a long-cramp'd scroll
Freshening and fluttering in the wind.
Past hopes already lay behind.
  What need to strive with a life awry?
Had I said that, had I done this,
So might I gain, so might I miss.
Might she have loved me? just as well
She might have hated, who can tell!
Where had I been now if the worst befell?
  And here we are riding, she and I.

Fail I alone, in words and deeds?
Why, all men strive and who succeeds?
We rode; it seem'd my spirit flew,
Saw other regions, cities new,
  As the world rush'd by on either side.
I thought,--All labour, yet no less
Bear up beneath their unsuccess.
Look at the end of work, contrast
The petty done, the undone vast,
This present of theirs with the hopeful past!
  I hoped she would love me; here we ride.

What hand and brain went ever pair'd?
What heart alike conceived and dared?
What act proved all its thought had been?
What will but felt the fleshly screen?
  We ride and I see her bosom heave.
There 's many a crown for who can reach.
Ten lines, a statesman's life in each!
The flag stuck on a heap of bones,
A soldier's doing! what atones?
They scratch his name on the Abbey-stones.
  My riding is better, by their leave.

What does it all mean, poet? Well,
Your brains beat into rhythm, you tell
What we felt only; you express'd
You hold things beautiful the best,
  And pace them in rhyme so, side by side.
'Tis something, nay 'tis much: but then,
Have you yourself what 's best for men?
Are you--poor, sick, old ere your time--
Nearer one whit your own sublime
Than we who never have turn'd a rhyme?
  Sing, riding 's a joy! For me, I ride.

And you, great sculptor--so, you gave
A score of years to Art, her slave,
And that 's your Venus, whence we turn
To yonder girl that fords the burn!
  You acquiesce, and shall I repine?
What, man of music, you grown gray
With notes and nothing else to say,
Is this your sole praise from a friend,
'Greatly his opera's strains intend,
But in music we know how fashions end!'
  I gave my youth: but we ride, in fine.

Who knows what 's fit for us? Had fate
Proposed bliss here should sublimate
My being--had I sign'd the bond--
Still one must lead some life beyond,
  Have a bliss to die with, dim-descried.
This foot once planted on the goal,
This glory-garland round my soul,
Could I descry such? Try and test!
I sink back shuddering from the quest.
Earth being so good, would heaven seem best?
  Now, heaven and she are beyond this ride.

And yet--she has not spoke so long!
What if heaven be that, fair and strong
At life's best, with our eyes upturn'd
Whither life's flower is first discern'd,
  We, fix'd so, ever should so abide?
What if we still ride on, we two
With life for ever old yet new,
Changed not in kind but in degree,
The instant made eternity,--
And heaven just prove that I and she
  Ride, ride together, for ever ride?


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

728. Misconceptions

    THIS is a spray the Bird clung to,
      Making it blossom with pleasure,
    Ere the high tree-top she sprung to,
      Fit for her nest and her treasure.
      O, what a hope beyond measure
Was the poor spray's, which the flying feet hung to,--
So to be singled out, built in, and sung to!

    This is a heart the Queen leant on,
      Thrill'd in a minute erratic,
    Ere the true bosom she bent on,
      Meet for love's regal dalmatic.
      O, what a fancy ecstatic
Was the poor heart's, ere the wanderer went on--
Love to be saved for it, proffer'd to, spent on!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

729. Home-thoughts, from Abroad

O, TO be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England--now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops--at the bent spray's edge--
That 's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
--Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!


Robert Browning. 1812-1889

730. Home-thoughts, from the Sea

NOBLY, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the North-west died away;
Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay;
Bluish 'mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay;
In the dimmest North-east distance dawn'd Gibraltar grand and gray;
'Here and here did England help me: how can I help England?'--say,
Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise and pray,
While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.


William Bell Scott. 1812-1890

731. The Which's Ballad

O, I hae come from far away,
  From a warm land far away,
A southern land across the sea,
With sailor-lads about the mast,
Merry and canny, and kind to me.

And I hae been to yon town
  To try my luck in yon town;
Nort, and Mysie, Elspie too.
Right braw we were to pass the gate,
Wi' gowden clasps on girdles blue.

Mysie smiled wi' miminy mouth,
  Innocent mouth, miminy mouth;
Elspie wore a scarlet gown,
Nort's grey eyes were unco' gleg.
My Castile comb was like a crown.

We walk'd abreast all up the street,
  Into the market up the street;
Our hair with marigolds was wound,
Our bodices with love-knots laced,
Our merchandise with tansy bound.

Nort had chickens, I had cocks,
  Gamesome cocks, loud-crowing cocks;
Mysie ducks, and Elspie drakes,--
For a wee groat or a pound;
We lost nae time wi' gives and takes.

--Lost nae time, for well we knew,
  In our sleeves full well we knew,
When the gloaming came that night,
Duck nor drake, nor hen nor cock
Would be found by candle-light.

And when our chaffering all was done,
  All was paid for, sold and done,
We drew a glove on ilka hand,
We sweetly curtsied, each to each,
And deftly danced a saraband.

The market-lassies look'd and laugh'd,
  Left their gear, and look'd and laugh'd;
They made as they would join the game,
But soon their mithers, wild and wud,
With whack and screech they stopp'd the same.

Sae loud the tongues o' randies grew,
  The flytin' and the skirlin' grew,
At all the windows in the place,
Wi' spoons or knives, wi' needle or awl,
Was thrust out every hand and face.

And down each stair they throng'd anon,
  Gentle, semple, throng'd anon:
Souter and tailor, frowsy Nan,
The ancient widow young again,
Simpering behind her fan.

Without a choice, against their will,
  Doited, dazed, against their will,
The market lassie and her mither,
The farmer and his husbandman,
Hand in hand dance a' thegither.

Slow at first, but faster soon,
  Still increasing, wild and fast,
Hoods and mantles, hats and hose,
Blindly doff'd and cast away,
Left them naked, heads and toes.

They would have torn us limb from limb,
  Dainty limb from dainty limb;
But never one of them could win
Across the line that I had drawn
With bleeding thumb a-widdershin.

But there was Jeff the provost's son,
  Jeff the provost's only son;
There was Father Auld himsel',
The Lombard frae the hostelry,
And the lawyer Peter Fell.

All goodly men we singled out,
  Waled them well, and singled out,
And drew them by the left hand in;
Mysie the priest, and Elspie won
The Lombard, Nort the lawyer carle,
I mysel' the provost's son.

Then, with cantrip kisses seven,
  Three times round with kisses seven,
Warp'd and woven there spun we
Arms and legs and flaming hair,
Like a whirlwind on the sea.

Like a wind that sucks the sea,
  Over and in and on the sea,
Good sooth it was a mad delight;
And every man of all the four
Shut his eyes and laugh'd outright.

Laugh'd as long as they had breath,
  Laugh'd while they had sense or breath;
And close about us coil'd a mist
Of gnats and midges, wasps and flies,
Like the whirlwind shaft it rist.

Drawn up I was right off my feet,
  Into the mist and off my feet;
And, dancing on each chimney-top,
I saw a thousand darling imps
Keeping time with skip and hop.

And on the provost's brave ridge-tile,
  On the provost's grand ridge-tile,
The Blackamoor first to master me
I saw, I saw that winsome smile,
The mouth that did my heart beguile,
And spoke the great Word over me,
In the land beyond the sea.

I call'd his name, I call'd aloud,
  Alas! I call'd on him aloud;
And then he fill'd his hand with stour,
And threw it towards me in the air;
My mouse flew out, I lost my pow'r!

My lusty strength, my power were gone;
  Power was gone, and all was gone.
He will not let me love him more!
Of bell and whip and horse's tail
He cares not if I find a store.

But I am proud if he is fierce!
  I am as proud as he is fierce;
I'll turn about and backward go,
If I meet again that Blackamoor,
And he'll help us then, for he shall know
I seek another paramour.

And we'll gang once more to yon town,
  Wi' better luck to yon town;
We'll walk in silk and cramoisie,
And I shall wed the provost's son
My lady of the town I'll be!

For I was born a crown'd king's child,
  Born and nursed a king's child,
King o' a land ayont the sea,
Where the Blackamoor kiss'd me first,
And taught me art and glamourie.

Each one in her wame shall hide
  Her hairy mouse, her wary mouse,
Fed on madwort and agramie,--
Wear amber beads between her breasts,
And blind-worm's skin about her knee.

The Lombard shall be Elspie's man,
  Elspie's gowden husband-man;
Nort shall take the lawyer's hand;
The priest shall swear another vow:
We'll dance again the saraband!

miminy] prim, demure.  gleg] bright, sharp.  wud] mad.  randies]
viragoes.  flytin'] scolding.  skirlin'] shrieking.  souter]
cobbler.  doited] mazed.  a-widdershin] the wrong way of the sun:
or E. to W. through N.  waled] chose.  cantrip] magic.  stour]
dust.  cramoisie] crimson.  ayont] beyond.  glamourie] wizardry.


Aubrey De Vere. 1814-1902

732. Serenade

SOFTLY, O midnight Hours!
    Move softly o'er the bowers
Where lies in happy sleep a girl so fair!
    For ye have power, men say,
    Our hearts in sleep to sway,
And cage cold fancies in a moonlight snare.
    Round ivory neck and arm
    Enclasp a separate charm;
Hang o'er her poised, but breathe nor sigh nor prayer:
    Silently ye may smile,
    But hold your breath the while,
And let the wind sweep back your cloudy hair!

    Bend down your glittering urns,
    Ere yet the dawn returns,
And star with dew the lawn her feet shall tread;
    Upon the air rain balm,
    Bid all the woods be calm,
Ambrosial dreams with healthful slumbers wed;
    That so the Maiden may
    With smiles your care repay,
When from her couch she lifts her golden head;
    Waking with earliest birds,
    Ere yet the misty herds
Leave warm 'mid the gray grass their dusky bed.


Aubrey De Vere. 1814-1902

733. Sorrow

COUNT each affliction, whether light or grave,
  God's messenger sent down to thee; do thou
  With courtesy receive him; rise and bow;
And, ere his shadow pass thy threshold, crave
Permission first his heavenly feet to lave;
  Then lay before him all thou hast; allow
  No cloud of passion to usurp thy brow,
Or mar thy hospitality; no wave
Of mortal tumult to obliterate
  The soul's marmoreal calmness: Grief should be,
Like joy, majestic, equable, sedate;
  Confirming, cleansing, raising, making free;
Strong to consume small troubles; to commend
Great thoughts, grave thoughts, thoughts lasting to the end.


George Fox. 1815-?

734. The County of Mayo
FROM THE IRISH OF THOMAS LAVELLE

ON the deck of Patrick Lynch's boat I sat in woful plight,
Through my sighing all the weary day and weeping all the night;
Were it not that full of sorrow from my people forth I go,
By the blessed sun! 'tis royally I'd sing thy praise, Mayo!

When I dwelt at home in plenty, and my gold did much abound,
In the company of fair young maids the Spanish ale went round--
'Tis a bitter change from those gay days that now I'm forced to go
And must leave my bones in Santa Cruz, far from my own Mayo.

They are alter'd girls in Irrul now; 'tis proud they're grown and
high,
With their hair-bags and their top-knots, for I pass their buckles
by--
But it 's little now I heed their airs, for God will have it so,
That I must depart for foreign lands and leave my sweet Mayo.

'Tis my grief that Patrick Loughlin is not Earl of Irrul still,
And that Brian Duff no longer rules as Lord upon the hill:
And that Colonel Hugh McGrady should be lying dead and low,
And I sailing, sailing swiftly from the county of Mayo.


Emily Bronte. 1818-1848

735. My Lady's Grave

THE linnet in the rocky dells,
  The moor-lark in the air,
The bee among the heather bells
  That hide my lady fair:

The wild deer browse above her breast;
  The wild birds raise their brood;
And they, her smiles of love caress'd,
  Have left her solitude!

I ween that when the grave's dark wall
  Did first her form retain,
They thought their hearts could ne'er recall
  The light of joy again.

They thought the tide of grief would flow
  Uncheck'd through future years;
But where is all their anguish now,
  And where are all their tears?

Well, let them fight for honour's breath,
  Or pleasure's shade pursue--
The dweller in the land of death
  Is changed and careless too.

And if their eyes should watch and weep
  Till sorrow's source were dry,
She would not, in her tranquil sleep,
  Return a single sigh!

Blow, west wind, by the lonely mound:
  And murmur, summer streams!
There is no need of other sound
  To soothe my lady's dreams.


Emily Bronte. 1818-1848

736. Remembrance

COLD in the earth--and the deep snow piled above thee,
  Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
  Sever'd at last by Time's all-severing wave?

Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
  Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
  Thy noble heart for ever, ever more?

Cold in the earth--and fifteen wild Decembers
  From those brown hills have melted into spring:
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
  After such years of change and suffering!

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
  While the world's tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
  Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!

No later light has lighten'd up my heaven,
  No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
  All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.

But when the days of golden dreams had perish'd,
  And even Despair was powerless to destroy;
Then did I learn how existence could be cherish'd,
  Strengthen'd and fed without the aid of joy.

Then did I check the tears of useless passion--
  Wean'd my young soul from yearning after thine;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
  Down to that tomb already more than mine.

And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
  Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
  How could I seek the empty world again?


Emily Bronte. 1818-1848

737. The Prisoner

STILL let my tyrants know, I am not doom'd to wear
Year after year in gloom and desolate despair;
A messenger of Hope comes every night to me,
And offers for short life, eternal liberty.

He comes with Western winds, with evening's wandering airs,
With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest stars:
Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire,
And visions rise, and change, that kill me with desire.

Desire for nothing known in my maturer years,
When Joy grew mad with awe, at counting future tears:
When, if my spirit's sky was full of flashes warm,
I knew not whence they came, from sun or thunder-storm.

But first, a hush of peace--a soundless calm descends;
The struggle of distress and fierce impatience ends.
Mute music soothes my breast--unutter'd harmony
That I could never dream, till Earth was lost to me.

Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals;
My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels;
Its wings are almost free--its home, its harbour found,
Measuring the gulf, it stoops, and dares the final bound.

O dreadful is the check--intense the agony--
When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see;
When the pulse begins to throb--the brain to think again--
The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.

Yet I would lose no sting, would wish no torture less;
The more that anguish racks, the earlier it will bless;
And robed in fires of hell, or bright with heavenly shine,
If it but herald Death, the vision is divine.


Emily Bronte. 1818-1848

738. Last Lines

  NO coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
  I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

  O God within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
  Life--that in me has rest,
As I--undying Life--have power in Thee!

  Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts: unutterably vain;
  Worthless as wither'd weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

  To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
  So surely anchor'd on
The steadfast rock of immortality.

  With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
  Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

  Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes cease to be,
  And Thou were left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

  There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
  Thou--Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.


Charles Kingsley. 1819-1875

739. Airly Beacon

AIRLY Beacon, Airly Beacon;
  O the pleasant sight to see
Shires and towns from Airly Beacon,
  While my love climb'd up to me!

Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon;
  O the happy hours we lay
Deep in fern on Airly Beacon,
  Courting through the summer's day!

Airly Beacon, Airly Beacon;
  O the weary haunt for me,
All alone on Airly Beacon,
  With his baby on my knee!


Charles Kingsley. 1819-1875

740. The Sands of Dee

'O MARY, go and call the cattle home,
    And call the cattle home,
    And call the cattle home,
    Across the sands of Dee.'
The western wind was wild and dark with foam,
    And all alone went she.

The western tide crept up along the sand,
    And o'er and o'er the sand,
    And round and round the sand,
    As far as eye could see.
The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
    And never home came she.

'O is it weed, or fish, or floating hair--
    A tress of golden hair,
    A drowned maiden's hair,
    Above the nets at sea?'
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
    Among the stakes of Dee.

They row'd her in across the rolling foam,
    The cruel crawling foam,
    The cruel hungry foam,
    To her grave beside the sea.
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home,
    Across the sands of Dee.


Arthur Hugh Clough. 1819-1861

741. Say not the Struggle Naught availeth

SAY not the struggle naught availeth,
  The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
  And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
  It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
  And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
  Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
  Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
  When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
  But westward, look, the land is bright!


Walt Whitman. 1819-1892

742. The Imprisoned Soul

AT the last, tenderly,
From the walls of the powerful, fortress'd house,
From the clasp of the knitted locks--from the keep of the well-closed
doors,
Let me be wafted.

Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks--with a whisper
Set ope the doors, O soul!

Tenderly! be not impatient!
(Strong is your hold, O mortal flesh!
Strong is your hold, O love!)


Walt Whitman. 1819-1892

743. O Captain! My Captain!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
      But O heart! heart! heart!
        O the bleeding drops of red!
          Where on the deck my Captain lies,
            Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
      Here, Captain! dear father!
        This arm beneath your head!
          It is some dream that on the deck
            You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
      Exult, O shores! and ring, O bells!
        But I, with mournful tread,
          Walk the deck my Captain lies,
            Fallen cold and dead.


John Ruskin. 1819-1900

744. Trust Thou Thy Love

TRUST thou thy Love: if she be proud, is she not sweet?
Trust thou thy Love: if she be mute, is she not pure?
Lay thou thy soul full in her hands, low at her feet;
Fail, Sun and Breath!--yet, for thy peace, She shall endure.


Ebenezer Jones. 1820-1860

745. When the World is burning

WHEN the world is burning,
Fired within, yet turning
  Round with face unscathed;
Ere fierce flames, uprushing,
O'er all lands leap, crushing,
  Till earth fall, fire-swathed;
Up amidst the meadows,
Gently through the shadows,
  Gentle flames will glide,
Small, and blue, and golden.
Though by bard beholden,
When in calm dreams folden,--
  Calm his dreams will bide.

Where the dance is sweeping,
Through the greensward peeping,
  Shall the soft lights start;
Laughing maids, unstaying,
Deeming it trick-playing,
High their robes upswaying,
  O'er the lights shall dart;
And the woodland haunter
Shall not cease to saunter
  When, far down some glade,
Of the great world's burning,
One soft flame upturning
Seems, to his discerning,
  Crocus in the shade.


Frederick Locker-Lampson. 1821-1895

746. At Her Window

BEATING Heart! we come again
  Where my Love reposes;
This is Mabel's window-pane;
  These are Mabel's roses.

Is she nested? Does she kneel
  In the twilight stilly,
Lily clad from throat to heel,
  She, my virgin Lily?

Soon the wan, the wistful stars,
  Fading, will forsake her;
Elves of light, on beamy bars,
  Whisper then, and wake her.

Let this friendly pebble plead
  At her flowery grating;
If she hear me will she heed?
  Mabel, I am waiting.

Mabel will be deck'd anon,
  Zoned in bride's apparel;
Happy zone! O hark to yon
  Passion-shaken carol!

Sing thy song, thou tranced thrush,
  Pipe thy best, thy clearest;--
Hush, her lattice moves, O hush--
  Dearest Mabel!--dearest...


Matthew Arnold. 1822-1888

747. The Forsaken Merman

  COME, dear children, let us away;
      Down and away below.
  Now my brothers call from the bay;
  Now the great winds shoreward blow;
  Now the salt tides seaward flow;
  Now the wild white horses play,
  Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
    Children dear, let us away.
      This way, this way!

  Call her once before you go.
      Call once yet.
  In a voice that she will know:
    'Margaret! Margaret!'
  Children's voices should be dear
  (Call once more) to a mother's ear;
  Children's voices, wild with pain.
  Surely she will come again.
  Call her once and come away.
      This way, this way!
  'Mother dear, we cannot stay.'
  The wild white horses foam and fret.
    Margaret! Margaret!

  Come, dear children, come away down.
      Call no more.
  One last look at the white-wall'd town,
And the little grey church on the windy shore.
      Then come down.
  She will not come though you call all day.
    Come away, come away.
  Children dear, was it yesterday
  We heard the sweet bells over the bay?
  In the caverns where we lay,
  Through the surf and through the swell,
  The far-off sound of a silver bell?
  Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,
  Where the winds are all asleep;
  Where the spent lights quiver and gleam;
  Where the salt weed sways in the stream;
  Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round,
  Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground;
  Where the sea-snakes coil and twine,
  Dry their mail, and bask in the brine;
  Where great whales come sailing by,
  Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
  Round the world for ever and aye?
  When did music come this way?
  Children dear, was it yesterday?

  Children dear, was it yesterday
  (Call yet once) that she went away?
  Once she sate with you and me,
On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,
  And the youngest sate on her knee.
She comb'd its bright hair, and she tended it well,
When down swung the sound of the far-off bell.
She sigh'd, she look'd up through the clear green sea.
She said, 'I must go, for my kinsfolk pray
In the little grey church on the shore to-day.
'Twill be Easter-time in the world--ah me!
And I lose my poor soul, Merman, here with thee.'
I said, 'Go up, dear heart, through the waves.
Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea-caves.'
She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay.
  Children dear, was it yesterday?

  Children dear, were we long alone?
'The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan.
Long prayers,' I said, 'in the world they say.
Come,' I said, and we rose through the surf in the bay.
We went up the beach, by the sandy down
Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-wall'd town.
Through the narrow paved streets, where all was still,
To the little grey church on the windy hill.
From the church came a murmur of folk at their prayers,
But we stood without in the cold-blowing airs.
We climb'd on the graves, on the stones worn with rains,
And we gazed up the aisle through the small leaded panes.
  She sate by the pillar; we saw her dear:
  'Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here.
  Dear heart,' I said, 'we are long alone.
  The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan.'
But, ah! she gave me never a look,
For her eyes were seal'd to the holy book.
Loud prays the priest; shut stands the door.
  Came away, children, call no more.
  Come away, come down, call no more.

    Down, down, down;
  Down to the depths of the sea.
She sits at her wheel in the humming town,
  Singing most joyfully.
Hark what she sings: 'O joy, O joy,
For the humming street, and the child with its toy.
For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well.
  For the wheel where I spun,
  And the blessed light of the sun.'
  And so she sings her fill,
  Singing most joyfully,
  Till the shuttle falls from her hand,
  And the whizzing wheel stands still.
She steals to the window, and looks at the sand;
  And over the sand at the sea;
  And her eyes are set in a stare;
  And anon there breaks a sigh,
  And anon there drops a tear,
  From a sorrow-clouded eye,
  And a heart sorrow-laden,
    A long, long sigh
For the cold strange eyes of a little Mermaiden,
  And the gleam of her golden hair.

  Come away, away, children.
  Come children, come down.
  The hoarse wind blows colder;
  Lights shine in the town.
  She will start from her slumber
  When gusts shake the door;
  She will hear the winds howling,
  Will hear the waves roar.
  We shall see, while above us
  The waves roar and whirl,
  A ceiling of amber,
  A pavement of pearl.
  Singing, 'Here came a mortal,
  But faithless was she:
  And alone dwell for ever
  The kings of the sea.'

  But, children, at midnight,
  When soft the winds blow;
  When clear falls the moonlight;
  When spring-tides are low:
  When sweet airs come seaward
  From heaths starr'd with broom;
  And high rocks throw mildly
  On the blanch'd sands a gloom:
  Up the still, glistening beaches,
  Up the creeks we will hie;
  Over banks of bright seaweed
  The ebb-tide leaves dry.
  We will gaze, from the sand-hills,
  At the white, sleeping town;
  At the church on the hill-side--
    And then come back down.
  Singing, 'There dwells a loved one,
    But cruel is she.
  She left lonely for ever
    The kings of the sea.'


Matthew Arnold. 1822-1888

748. The Song of Callicles

THROUGH the black, rushing smoke-bursts,
Thick breaks the red flame.
All Etna heaves fiercely
Her forest-clothed frame.

Not here, O Apollo!
Are haunts meet for thee.
But, where Helicon breaks down
In cliff to the sea.

Where the moon-silver'd inlets
Send far their light voice
Up the still vale of Thisbe,
O speed, and rejoice!

On the sward at the cliff-top,
Lie strewn the white flocks;
On the cliff-side, the pigeons
Roost deep in the rocks.

In the moonlight the shepherds,
Soft lull'd by the rills,
Lie wrapt in their blankets,
Asleep on the hills.

--What forms are these coming
So white through the gloom?
What garments out-glistening
The gold-flower'd broom?

What sweet-breathing Presence
Out-perfumes the thyme?
What voices enrapture
The night's balmy prime?--

'Tis Apollo comes leading
His choir, The Nine.
--The Leader is fairest,
But all are divine.

They are lost in the hollows.
They stream up again.
What seeks on this mountain
The glorified train?--

They bathe on this mountain,
In the spring by their road.
Then on to Olympus,
Their endless abode.

--Whose praise do they mention:
Of what is it told?--
What will be for ever.
What was from of old.

First hymn they the Father
Of all things: and then,
The rest of Immortals,
The action of men.

The Day in his hotness,
The strife with the palm;
The Night in her silence,
The Stars in their calm.


Matthew Arnold. 1822-1888

749. To Marguerite

YES: in the sea of life enisled,
  With echoing straits between us thrown.
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
  We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know.

But when the moon their hollows lights,
  And they are swept by balms of spring,
And in their glens, on starry nights,
  The nightingales divinely sing;
And lovely notes, from shore to shore,
Across the sounds and channels pour;

O then a longing like despair
  Is to their farthest caverns sent!
For surely once, they feel, we were
  Parts of a single continent.
Now round us spreads the watery plain--
O might our marges meet again!

Who order'd that their longing's fire
  Should be, as soon as kindled, cool'd?
Who renders vain their deep desire?--
  A God, a God their severance ruled;
And bade betwixt their shores to be
The unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea.


Matthew Arnold. 1822-1888

750. Requiescat

STREW on her roses, roses,
  And never a spray of yew.
In quiet she reposes:
  Ah! would that I did too.

Her mirth the world required:
  She bathed it in smiles of glee.
But her heart was tired, tired,
  And now they let her be.

Her life was turning, turning,
  In mazes of heat and sound.
But for peace her soul was yearning,
  And now peace laps her round.

Her cabin'd, ample Spirit,
  It flutter'd and fail'd for breath.
To-night it doth inherit
  The vasty hall of Death.


Matthew Arnold. 1822-1888

751. The Scholar-Gipsy

GO, for they call you, Shepherd, from the hill;
  Go, Shepherd, and untie the wattled cotes:
    No longer leave thy wistful flock unfed,
  Nor let thy bawling fellows rack their throats,
    Nor the cropp'd grasses shoot another head.
      But when the fields are still,
  And the tired men and dogs all gone to rest,
    And only the white sheep are sometimes seen
    Cross and recross the strips of moon-blanch'd green;
Come Shepherd, and again begin the quest.

Here, where the reaper was at work of late,
  In this high field's dark corner, where he leaves
    His coat, his basket, and his earthen cruise,
  And in the sun all morning binds the sheaves,
    Then here, at noon, comes back his stores to use;
      Here will I sit and wait,
  While to my ear from uplands far away
    The bleating of the folded flocks is borne,
    With distant cries of reapers in the corn--
  All the live murmur of a summer's day.

Screen'd is this nook o'er the high, half-reap'd field,
  And here till sundown, Shepherd, will I be.
    Through the thick corn the scarlet poppies peep,
  And round green roots and yellowing stalks I see
    Pale blue convolvulus in tendrils creep:
      And air-swept lindens yield
  Their scent, and rustle down their perfumed showers
    Of bloom on the bent grass where I am laid,
    And bower me from the August sun with shade;
  And the eye travels down to Oxford's towers:

And near me on the grass lies Glanvil's book--
  Come, let me read the oft-read tale again:
    The story of that Oxford scholar poor,
  Of pregnant parts and quick inventive brain,
    Who, tired of knocking at Preferment's door,
      One summer morn forsook
  His friends, and went to learn the Gipsy lore,
    And roam'd the world with that wild brotherhood,
    And came, as most men deem'd, to little good,
  But came to Oxford and his friends no more.

But once, years after, in the country lanes,
  Two scholars, whom at college erst he knew,
    Met him, and of his way of life inquired.
  Whereat he answer'd that the Gipsy crew,
    His mates, had arts to rule as they desired
      The workings of men's brains;
  And they can bind them to what thoughts they will:
    'And I,' he said, 'the secret of their art,
    When fully learn'd, will to the world impart:
  But it needs Heaven-sent moments for this skill!'

This said, he left them, and return'd no more,
  But rumours hung about the country-side,
    That the lost Scholar long was seen to stray,
  Seen by rare glimpses, pensive and tongue-tied,
    In hat of antique shape, and cloak of grey,
      The same the Gipsies wore.
  Shepherds had met him on the Hurst in spring;
    At some lone alehouse in the Berkshire moors,
    On the warm ingle-bench, the smock-frock'd boors
  Had found him seated at their entering,

But 'mid their drink and clatter, he would fly:
  And I myself seem half to know thy looks,
    And put the shepherds, Wanderer, on thy trace;
  And boys who in lone wheatfields scare the rooks
    I ask if thou hast pass'd their quiet place;
      Or in my boat I lie
  Moor'd to the cool bank in the summer heats,
    'Mid wide grass meadows which the sunshine fills,
    And watch the warm green-muffled Cumnor hills,
  And wonder if thou haunt'st their shy retreats.

For most, I know, thou lov'st retired ground.
  Thee, at the ferry, Oxford riders blithe,
    Returning home on summer nights, have met
  Crossing the stripling Thames at Bablock-hithe,
    Trailing in the cool stream thy fingers wet,
      As the slow punt swings round:
  And leaning backwards in a pensive dream,
    And fostering in thy lap a heap of flowers
    Pluck'd in shy fields and distant Wychwood bowers,
  And thine eyes resting on the moonlit stream:

And then they land, and thou art seen no more.
  Maidens who from the distant hamlets come
    To dance around the Fyfield elm in May,
  Oft through the darkening fields have seen thee roam,
    Or cross a stile into the public way.
      Oft thou hast given them store
  Of flowers--the frail-leaf'd, white anemone--
    Dark bluebells drench'd with dews of summer eves,
    And purple orchises with spotted leaves--
  But none has words she can report of thee.

And, above Godstow Bridge, when hay-time 's here
  In June, and many a scythe in sunshine flames,
    Men who through those wide fields of breezy grass
  Where black-wing'd swallows haunt the glittering Thames,
    To bathe in the abandon'd lasher pass,
      Have often pass'd thee near
  Sitting upon the river bank o'ergrown:
    Mark'd thine outlandish garb, thy figure spare,
    Thy dark vague eyes, and soft abstracted air;
  But, when they came from bathing, thou wert gone.

At some lone homestead in the Cumnor hills,
  Where at her open door the housewife darns,
    Thou hast been seen, or hanging on a gate
  To watch the threshers in the mossy barns.
    Children, who early range these slopes and late
      For cresses from the rills,
  Have known thee watching, all an April day,
    The springing pastures and the feeding kine;
    And mark'd thee, when the stars come out and shine,
  Through the long dewy grass move slow away.

In autumn, on the skirts of Bagley Wood,
  Where most the Gipsies by the turf-edged way
    Pitch their smoked tents, and every bush you see
  With scarlet patches tagg'd and shreds of gray,
    Above the forest-ground call'd Thessaly--
      The blackbird picking food
  Sees thee, nor stops his meal, nor fears at all;
    So often has he known thee past him stray
    Rapt, twirling in thy hand a wither'd spray,
  And waiting for the spark from Heaven to fall.

And once, in winter, on the causeway chill
  Where home through flooded fields foot-travellers go,
    Have I not pass'd thee on the wooden bridge
  Wrapt in thy cloak and battling with the snow,
    Thy face towards Hinksey and its wintry ridge?
      And thou hast climb'd the hill
  And gain'd the white brow of the Cumnor range;
    Turn'd once to watch, while thick the snowflakes fall,
    The line of festal light in Christ Church hall--
  Then sought thy straw in some sequester'd grange.

But what--I dream! Two hundred years are flown
  Since first thy story ran through Oxford halls,
    And the grave Glanvil did the tale inscribe
  That thou wert wander'd from the studious walls
    To learn strange arts, and join a Gipsy tribe:
      And thou from earth art gone
  Long since and in some quiet churchyard laid;
    Some country nook, where o'er thy unknown grave
    Tall grasses and white flowering nettles wave--
  Under a dark red-fruited yew-tree's shade.

--No, no, thou hast not felt the lapse of hours.
  For what wears out the life of mortal men?
    'Tis that from change to change their being rolls:
  'Tis that repeated shocks, again, again,
    Exhaust the energy of strongest souls,
      And numb the elastic powers.
  Till having used our nerves with bliss and teen,
    And tired upon a thousand schemes our wit,
    To the just-pausing Genius we remit
  Our worn-out life, and are--what we have been.

Thou hast not lived, why shouldst thou perish, so?
  Thou hadst one aim, one business, one desire:
    Else wert thou long since number'd with the dead--
  Else hadst thou spent, like other men, thy fire.
    The generations of thy peers are fled,
      And we ourselves shall go;
  But thou possessest an immortal lot,
    And we imagine thee exempt from age
    And living as thou liv'st on Glanvil's page,
  Because thou hadst--what we, alas, have not!

For early didst thou leave the world, with powers
  Fresh, undiverted to the world without,
    Firm to their mark, not spent on other things;
  Free from the sick fatigue, the languid doubt,
    Which much to have tried, in much been baffled, brings.
      O Life unlike to ours!
  Who fluctuate idly without term or scope,
    Of whom each strives, nor knows for what he strives,
    And each half lives a hundred different lives;
  Who wait like thee, but not, like thee, in hope.

Thou waitest for the spark from Heaven: and we,
  Vague half-believers of our casual creeds,
    Who never deeply felt, nor clearly will'd,
  Whose insight never has borne fruit in deeds,
    Whose weak resolves never have been fulfill'd;
      For whom each year we see
  Breeds new beginnings, disappointments new;
    Who hesitate and falter life away,
    And lose to-morrow the ground won to-day--
  Ah, do not we, Wanderer, await it too?

Yes, we await it, but it still delays,
  And then we suffer; and amongst us One,
    Who most has suffer'd, takes dejectedly
  His seat upon the intellectual throne;
    And all his store of sad experience he
      Lays bare of wretched days;
  Tells us his misery's birth and growth and signs,
    And how the dying spark of hope was fed,
    And how the breast was soothed, and how the head,
  And all his hourly varied anodynes.

This for our wisest: and we others pine,
  And wish the long unhappy dream would end,
    And waive all claim to bliss, and try to bear,
  With close-lipp'd Patience for our only friend,
    Sad Patience, too near neighbour to Despair:
      But none has hope like thine.
  Thou through the fields and through the woods dost stray,
    Roaming the country-side, a truant boy,
    Nursing thy project in unclouded joy,
  And every doubt long blown by time away.

O born in days when wits were fresh and clear,
  And life ran gaily as the sparkling Thames;
    Before this strange disease of modern life,
  With its sick hurry, its divided aims,
    Its heads o'ertax'd, its palsied hearts, was rife--
      Fly hence, our contact fear!
  Still fly, plunge deeper in the bowering wood!
    Averse, as Dido did with gesture stern
    From her false friend's approach in Hades turn,
  Wave us away, and keep thy solitude.

Still nursing the unconquerable hope,
  Still clutching the inviolable shade,
    With a free onward impulse brushing through,
  By night, the silver'd branches of the glade--
    Far on the forest-skirts, where none pursue,
      On some mild pastoral slope
  Emerge, and resting on the moonlit pales,
    Freshen they flowers, as in former years,
    With dew, or listen with enchanted ears,
  From the dark dingles, to the nightingales.

But fly our paths, our feverish contact fly!
  For strong the infection of our mental strife,
    Which, though it gives no bliss, yet spoils for rest;
  And we should win thee from they own fair life,
    Like us distracted, and like us unblest.
      Soon, soon thy cheer would die,
  Thy hopes grow timorous, and unfix'd they powers,
    And they clear aims be cross and shifting made:
    And then thy glad perennial youth would fade,
  Fade, and grow old at last, and die like ours.

Then fly our greetings, fly our speech and smiles!
  --As some grave Tyrian trader, from the sea,
    Descried at sunrise an emerging prow
  Lifting the cool-hair'd creepers stealthily,
    The fringes of a southward-facing brow
      Among the Aegean isles;
  And saw the merry Grecian coaster come,
    Freighted with amber grapes, and Chian wine,
    Green bursting figs, and tunnies steep'd in brine;
  And knew the intruders on his ancient home,

The young light-hearted Masters of the waves;
  And snatch'd his rudder, and shook out more sail,
    And day and night held on indignantly
  O'er the blue Midland waters with the gale,
    Betwixt the Syrtes and soft Sicily,
      To where the Atlantic raves
  Outside the Western Straits, and unbent sails
    There, where down cloudy cliffs, through sheets of foam,
    Shy traffickers, the dark Iberians come;
  And on the beach undid his corded bales.


Matthew Arnold. 1822-1888

752. Philomela

HARK! ah, the Nightingale!
The tawny-throated!
Hark! from that moonlit cedar what a burst!
What triumph! hark--what pain!

O Wanderer from a Grecian shore,
Still, after many years, in distant lands,
Still nourishing in thy bewilder'd brain
That wild, unquench'd, deep-sunken, old-world pain--
  Say, will it never heal?
And can this fragrant lawn
With its cool trees, and night,
And the sweet, tranquil Thames,
And moonshine, and the dew,
To thy rack'd heart and brain
  Afford no balm?

  Dost thou to-night behold
Here, through the moonlight on this English grass,
The unfriendly palace in the Thracian wild?
  Dost thou again peruse
With hot cheeks and sear'd eyes
The too clear web, and thy dumb Sister's shame?
  Dost thou once more assay
Thy flight, and feel come over thee,
Poor Fugitive, the feathery change
Once more, and once more seem to make resound
With love and hate, triumph and agony,
Lone Daulis, and the high Cephissian vale?
    Listen, Eugenia--
How thick the bursts come crowding through the leaves!
  Again--thou hearest!
Eternal Passion!
Eternal Pain!


Matthew Arnold. 1822-1888

753. Shakespeare

OTHERS abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask: Thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill
That to the stars uncrowns his majesty,
Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,
Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place,
Spares but the cloudy border of his base
To the foil'd searching of mortality;
And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,
Self-school'd, self-scann'd, self-honour'd, self-secure,
Didst walk on earth unguess'd at. Better so!
All pains the immortal spirit must endure,
  All weakness that impairs, all griefs that bow,
  Find their sole voice in that victorious brow.


Matthew Arnold. 1822-1888

754. From the Hymn of Empedocles

      IS it so small a thing
      To have enjoy'd the sun,
      To have lived light in the spring,
      To have loved, to have thought, to have done;
To have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes;

      That we must feign a bliss
      Of doubtful future date,
      And while we dream on this
      Lose all our present state,
And relegate to worlds yet distant our repose?

      Not much, I know, you prize
      What pleasures may be had,
      Who look on life with eyes
      Estranged, like mine, and sad:
And yet the village churl feels the truth more than you;

      Who 's loth to leave this life
      Which to him little yields:
      His hard-task'd sunburnt wife,
      His often-labour'd fields;
The boors with whom he talk'd, the country spots he knew.

      But thou, because thou hear'st
      Men scoff at Heaven and Fate;
      Because the gods thou fear'st
      Fail to make blest thy state,
Tremblest, and wilt not dare to trust the joys there are.

      I say, Fear not! life still
      Leaves human effort scope.
      But, since life teems with ill,
      Nurse no extravagant hope.
Because thou must not dream, thou need'st not then despair.


William Brighty Rands. 1823-1880

755. The Flowers

WHEN Love arose in heart and deed
  To wake the world to greater joy,
'What can she give me now?' said Greed,
  Who thought to win some costly toy.

He rose, he ran, he stoop'd, he clutch'd;
  And soon the Flowers, that Love let fall,
In Greed's hot grasp were fray'd and smutch'd,
  And Greed said, 'Flowers! Can this be all?'

He flung them down and went his way,
  He cared no jot for thyme or rose;
But boys and girls came out to play,
  And some took these and some took those--

Red, blue, and white, and green and gold;
  And at their touch the dew return'd,
And all the bloom a thousandfold--
  So red, so ripe, the roses burn'd!


William Brighty Rands. 1823-1880

756. The Thought

INTO the skies, one summer's day,
I sent a little Thought away;
Up to where, in the blue round,
The sun sat shining without sound.

Then my Thought came back to me.--
Little Thought, what did you see
In the regions whence you come?
And when I spoke, my Thought was dumb.

But she breathed of what was there,
In the pure bright upper air;
And, because my Thought so shone,
I knew she had been shone upon.

Next, by night a Thought I sent
Up into the firmament;
When the eager stars were out,
And the still moon shone about.

And my Thought went past the moon
In between the stars, but soon
Held her breath and durst not stir,
For the fear that covered her;
Then she thought, in this demur:

'Dare I look beneath the shade,
Into where the worlds are made;
Where the suns and stars are wrought?
Shall I meet another Thought?

'Will that other Thought have wings?
Shall I meet strange, heavenly things?
Thought of Thoughts, and Light of Lights,
Breath of Breaths, and Night of Nights?'

Then my Thought began to hark
In the illuminated dark,
Till the silence, over, under,
Made her heart beat more than thunder.

And my Thought, came trembling back,
But with something on her track,
And with something at her side;
Nor till she has lived and died,
Lived and died, and lived again,
Will that awful thing seem plain.


William Philpot. 1823-1889

757. Maritae Suae

I

OF all the flowers rising now,
  Thou only saw'st the head
Of that unopen'd drop of snow
  I placed beside thy bed.

In all the blooms that blow so fast,
  Thou hast no further part,
Save those the hour I saw thee last,
  I laid above thy heart.

Two snowdrops for our boy and girl,
  A primrose blown for me,
Wreathed with one often-play'd-with curl
  From each bright head for thee.

And so I graced thee for thy grave,
  And made these tokens fast
With that old silver heart I gave,
  My first gift--and my last.

II

I dream'd, her babe upon her breast,
Here she might lie and calmly rest
Her happy eyes on that far hill
That backs the landscape fresh and still.

I hoped her thoughts would thrid the boughs
Where careless birds on love carouse,
And gaze those apple-blossoms through
To revel in the boundless blue.

But now her faculty of sight
Is elder sister to the light,
And travels free and unconfined
Through dense and rare, through form and mind.

Or else her life to be complete
Hath found new channels full and meet--
Then, O, what eyes are leaning o'er,
If fairer than they were before!


William (Johnson) Cory. 1823-1892

758. Mimnermus in Church

YOU promise heavens free from strife,
  Pure truth, and perfect change of will;
But sweet, sweet is this human life,
  So sweet, I fain would breathe it still;
Your chilly stars I can forgo,
This warm kind world is all I know.

You say there is no substance here,
  One great reality above:
Back from that void I shrink in fear,
  And child-like hide myself in love:
Show me what angels feel. Till then
I cling, a mere weak man, to men.

You bid me lift my mean desires
  From faltering lips and fitful veins
To sexless souls, ideal quires,
  Unwearied voices, wordless strains:
My mind with fonder welcome owns
One dear dead friend's remember'd tones.

Forsooth the present we must give
  To that which cannot pass away;
All beauteous things for which we live
  By laws of time and space decay.
But O, the very reason why
I clasp them, is because they die.


William (Johnson) Cory. 1823-1892

759. Heraclitus

THEY told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead,
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
I wept as I remember'd how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.

And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest,
Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.


Coventry Patmore. 1823-1896

760. The Married Lover

WHY, having won her, do I woo?
  Because her spirit's vestal grace
Provokes me always to pursue,
  But, spirit-like, eludes embrace;
Because her womanhood is such
  That, as on court-days subjects kiss
The Queen's hand, yet so near a touch
  Affirms no mean familiarness;
Nay, rather marks more fair the height
  Which can with safety so neglect
To dread, as lower ladies might,
  That grace could meet with disrespect;
Thus she with happy favour feeds
  Allegiance from a love so high
That thence no false conceit proceeds
  Of difference bridged, or state put by;
Because although in act and word
  As lowly as a wife can be,
Her manners, when they call me lord,
  Remind me 'tis by courtesy;
Not with her least consent of will,
  Which would my proud affection hurt,
But by the noble style that still
  Imputes an unattain'd desert;
Because her gay and lofty brows,
  When all is won which hope can ask,
Reflect a light of hopeless snows
  That bright in virgin ether bask;
Because, though free of the outer court
  I am, this Temple keeps its shrine
Sacred to Heaven; because, in short,
  She 's not and never can be mine.


Coventry Patmore. 1823-1896

761. 'If I were dead'

'IF I were dead, you'd sometimes say, Poor Child!'
The dear lips quiver'd as they spake,
And the tears brake
From eyes which, not to grieve me, brightly smiled.
Poor Child, poor Child!
I seem to hear your laugh, your talk, your song.
It is not true that Love will do no wrong.
Poor Child!
And did you think, when you so cried and smiled,
How I, in lonely nights, should lie awake,
And of those words your full avengers make?
Poor Child, poor Child!
And now, unless it be
That sweet amends thrice told are come to thee,
O God, have Thou no mercy upon me!
Poor Child!


Coventry Patmore. 1823-1896

762. Departure

IT was not like your great and gracious ways!
Do you, that have naught other to lament,
Never, my Love, repent
Of how, that July afternoon,
You went,
With sudden, unintelligible phrase,
And frighten'd eye,
Upon your journey of so many days
Without a single kiss, or a good-bye?
I knew, indeed, that you were parting soon;
And so we sate, within the low sun's rays,
You whispering to me, for your voice was weak,
Your harrowing praise.
Well, it was well
To hear you such things speak,
And I could tell
What made your eyes a growing gloom of love,
As a warm South-wind sombres a March grove.
And it was like your great and gracious ways
To turn your talk on daily things, my Dear,
Lifting the luminous, pathetic lash
To let the laughter flash,
Whilst I drew near,
Because you spoke so low that I could scarcely hear.
But all at once to leave me at the last,
More at the wonder than the loss aghast,
With huddled, unintelligible phrase,
And frighten'd eye,
And go your journey of all days
With not one kiss, or a good-bye,
And the only loveless look the look with which you pass'd:
'Twas all unlike your great and gracious ways.


Coventry Patmore. 1823-1896

763. The Toys

MY little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
Having my law the seventh time disobey'd,
I struck him, and dismiss'd
With hard words and unkiss'd,
--His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,
I visited his bed,
But found him slumbering deep,
With darken'd eyelids, and their lashes yet
From his late sobbing wet.
And I, with moan,
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;
For, on a table drawn beside his head,
He had put, within his reach,
A box of counters and a red-vein'd stone,
A piece of glass abraded by the beach,
And six or seven shells,
A bottle with bluebells,
And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art,
To comfort his sad heart.
So when that night I pray'd
To God, I wept, and said:
Ah, when at last we lie with tranced breath,
Not vexing Thee in death,
And Thou rememberest of what toys
We made our joys,
How weakly understood
Thy great commanded good,
Then, fatherly not less
Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay,
Thou'lt leave Thy wrath, and say,
'I will be sorry for their childishness.'


Coventry Patmore. 1823-1896

764. A Farewell

WITH all my will, but much against my heart,
We two now part.
My Very Dear,
Our solace is, the sad road lies so clear.
It needs no art,
With faint, averted feet
And many a tear,
In our opposed paths to persevere.
Go thou to East, I West.
We will not say
There 's any hope, it is so far away.
But, O, my Best,
When the one darling of our widowhead,
The nursling Grief,
Is dead,
And no dews blur our eyes
To see the peach-bloom come in evening skies,
Perchance we may,
Where now this night is day,
And even through faith of still averted feet,
Making full circle of our banishment,
Amazed meet;
The bitter journey to the bourne so sweet
Seasoning the termless feast of our content
With tears of recognition never dry.


Sydney Dobell. 1824-1874

765. The Ballad of Keith of Ravelston

THE murmur of the mourning ghost
  That keeps the shadowy kine,
'O Keith of Ravelston,
  The sorrows of thy line!'

Ravelston, Ravelston,
  The merry path that leads
Down the golden morning hill,
  And thro' the silver meads;

Ravelston, Ravelston,
  The stile beneath the tree,
The maid that kept her mother's kine,
  The song that sang she!

She sang her song, she kept her kine,
  She sat beneath the thorn,
When Andrew Keith of Ravelston
  Rode thro' the Monday morn.

His henchman sing, his hawk-bells ring,
  His belted jewels shine;
O Keith of Ravelston,
  The sorrows of thy line!

Year after year, where Andrew came,
  Comes evening down the glade,
And still there sits a moonshine ghost
  Where sat the sunshine maid.

Her misty hair is faint and fair,
  She keeps the shadowy kine;
O Keith of Ravelston,
  The sorrows of thy line!

I lay my hand upon the stile,
  The stile is lone and cold,
The burnie that goes babbling by
  Says naught that can be told.

Yet, stranger! here, from year to year,
  She keeps her shadowy kine;
O Keith of Ravelston,
  The sorrows of thy line!

Step out three steps, where Andrew stood--
  Why blanch thy cheeks for fear?
The ancient stile is not alone,
  'Tis not the burn I hear!

She makes her immemorial moan,
  She keeps her shadowy kine;
O Keith of Ravelston,
  The sorrows of thy line!


Sydney Dobell. 1824-1874

766. Return!

RETURN, return! all night my lamp is burning,
All night, like it, my wide eyes watch and burn;
Like it, I fade and pale, when day returning
Bears witness that the absent can return,
          Return, return.

Like it, I lessen with a lengthening sadness,
Like it, I burn to waste and waste to burn,
Like it, I spend the golden oil of gladness
To feed the sorrowy signal for return,
          Return, return.

Like it, like it, whene'er the east wind sings,
I bend and shake; like it, I quake and yearn,
When Hope's late butterflies, with whispering wings,
Fly in out of the dark, to fall and burn--
  Burn in the watchfire of return,
            Return, return.

Like it, the very flame whereby I pine
Consumes me to its nature. While I mourn
My soul becomes a better soul than mine,
And from its brightening beacon I discern
My starry love go forth from me, and shine
Across the seas a path for thy return,
          Return, return.

Return, return! all night I see it burn,
All night it prays like me, and lifts a twin
Of palmed praying hands that meet and yearn--
Yearn to the impleaded skies for thy return.
Day, like a golden fetter, locks them in,
And wans the light that withers, tho' it burn
  As warmly still for thy return;
Still thro' the splendid load uplifts the thin
Pale, paler, palest patience that can learn
Naught but that votive sign for thy return--
That single suppliant sign for thy return,
          Return, return.

Return, return! lest haply, love, or e'er
Thou touch the lamp the light have ceased to burn,
And thou, who thro' the window didst discern
The wonted flame, shalt reach the topmost stair
  To find no wide eyes watching there,
No wither'd welcome waiting thy return!
A passing ghost, a smoke-wreath in the air,
The flameless ashes, and the soulless urn,
Warm with the famish'd fire that lived to burn--
Burn out its lingering life for thy return,
Its last of lingering life for thy return,
Its last of lingering life to light thy late return,
          Return, return.


Sydney Dobell. 1824-1874

767. A Chanted Calendar

          FIRST came the primrose,
          On the bank high,
          Like a maiden looking forth
          From the window of a tower
          When the battle rolls below,
          So look'd she,
          And saw the storms go by.

          Then came the wind-flower
          In the valley left behind,
          As a wounded maiden, pale
          With purple streaks of woe,
          When the battle has roll'd by
          Wanders to and fro,
          So totter'd she,
          Dishevell'd in the wind.

          Then came the daisies,
          On the first of May,
          Like a banner'd show's advance
          While the crowd runs by the way,
With ten thousand flowers about them they came trooping through the
fields.
          As a happy people come,
          So came they,
          As a happy people come
          When the war has roll'd away,
          With dance and tabor, pipe and drum,
          And all make holiday.

          Then came the cowslip,
          Like a dancer in the fair,
          She spread her little mat of green,
          And on it danced she.
          With a fillet bound about her brow,
          A fillet round her happy brow,
          A golden fillet round her brow,
          And rubies in her hair.


Sydney Dobell. 1824-1874

768. Laus Deo

IN the hall the coffin waits, and the idle armourer stands.
At his belt the coffin nails, and the hammer in his hands.
The bed of state is hung with crape--the grand old bed where she was
wed--
And like an upright corpse she sitteth gazing dumbly at the bed.
Hour by hour her serving-men enter by the curtain'd door,
And with steps of muffled woe pass breathless o'er the silent floor,
And marshal mutely round, and look from each to each with eyelids red;

'Touch him not,' she shriek'd and cried, 'he is but newly dead!'
'O my own dear mistress,' the ancient Nurse did say,
'Seven long days and seven long nights you have watch'd him where he
lay.'
'Seven long days and seven long nights,' the hoary Steward said;
'Seven long days and seven long nights,' groan'd the Warrener gray;
'Seven,' said the old Henchman, and bow'd his aged head;
'On your lives!' she shriek'd and cried, 'he is but newly dead!'
      Then a father Priest they sought,
      The Priest that taught her all she knew,
      And they told him of her loss.
      'For she is mild and sweet of will,
      She loved him, and his words are peace,
      And he shall heal her ill.'
      But her watch she did not cease.
      He bless'd her where she sat distraught,
      And show'd her holy cross,--
      The cross she kiss'd from year to year--
      But she neither saw nor heard;
      And said he in her deaf ear
      All he had been wont to teach,
      All she had been fond to hear,
      Missall'd prayer, and solemn speech,
      But she answer'd not a word.
Only when he turn'd to speak with those who wept about the bed,
'On your lives!' she shriek'd and cried, 'he is but newly dead!'
Then how sadly he turn'd from her, it were wonderful to tell,
And he stood beside the death-bed as by one who slumbers well,
And he lean'd o'er him who lay there, and in cautious whisper low,
'He is not dead, but sleepeth,' said the Priest, and smooth'd his
brow.
'Sleepeth?' said she, looking up, and the sun rose in her face!
'He must be better than I thought, for the sleep is very sound.'
'He is better,' said the Priest, and call'd her maidens round.
With them came that ancient dame who nursed her when a child;
O Nurse!' she sigh'd, 'O Nurse!' she cried 'O Nurse!' and then she
smiled,
      And then she wept; with that they drew
      About her, as of old;
      Her dying eyes were sweet and blue,
      Her trembling touch was cold;
      But she said, 'My maidens true,
      No more weeping and well-away;
      Let them kill the feast.
      I would be happy in my soul.
      "He is better," saith the Priest;
      He did but sleep the weary day,
      And will waken whole.
      Carry me to his dear side,
      And let the halls be trim;
      Whistly, whistly,' said she,
      'I am wan with watching and wail,
      He must not wake to see me pale,
      Let me sleep with him.
      See you keep the tryst for me,
      I would rest till he awake
      And rise up like a bride.
      But whistly, whistly!' said she.
      'Yet rejoice your Lord doth live;
      And for His dear sake
      Say Laus, Domine.'
      Silent they cast down their eyes,
      And every breast a sob did rive,
      She lifted her in wild surprise
      And they dared not disobey.
'Laus Deo,' said the Steward, hoary when her days were new;
'Laus Deo,' said the Warrener, whiter than the warren snows;
'Laus Deo,' the bald Henchman, who had nursed her on his knee.
      The old Nurse moved her lips in vain,
      And she stood among the train
      Like a dead tree shaking dew.
      Then the Priest he softly stept
      Midway in the little band,
      And he took the Lady's hand.
      'Laus Deo,' he said aloud,
      'Laus Deo,' they said again,
      Yet again, and yet again,
      Humbly cross'd and lowly bow'd,
      Till in wont and fear it rose
      To the Sabbath strain.
      But she neither turn'd her head
      Nor 'Whistly, whistly,' said she.
      Her hands were folded as in grace,
      We laid her with her ancient race
      And all the village wept.


William Allingham. 1824-1889

769. The Fairies

UP the airy mountain,
  Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
  For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
  Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
  And white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore
  Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
  Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
  Of the black mountain lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
  All night awake.

High on the hill-top
  The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
  He 's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
  Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
  From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music
  On cold starry nights
To sup with the Queen
  Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
  For seven years long;
When she came down again
  Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
  Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
  But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
  Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag-leaves,
  Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,
  Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees
  For pleasure here and there.
If any man so daring
  As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
  In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
  Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
  For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
  Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
  And white owl's feather!


George MacDonald. 1824-1905

770. That Holy Thing

THEY all were looking for a king
  To slay their foes and lift them high:
Thou cam'st, a little baby thing
    That made a woman cry.

O Son of Man, to right my lot
  Naught but Thy presence can avail;
Yet on the road Thy wheels are not,
    Nor on the sea Thy sail!

My how or when Thou wilt not heed,
  But come down Thine own secret stair,
That Thou mayst answer all my need--
    Yea, every bygone prayer.


Dante Gabriel Rossetti. 1828-1882

771. The Blessed Damozel

THE blessed Damozel lean'd out
  From the gold bar of Heaven:
Her blue grave eyes were deeper much
  Than a deep water, even.
She had three lilies in her hand,
  And the stars in her hair were seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
  No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Mary's gift
  On the neck meetly worn;
And her hair, lying down her back,
  Was yellow like ripe corn.

Herseem'd she scarce had been a day
  One of God's choristers;
The wonder was not yet quite gone
  From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day
  Had counted as ten years.

(To one it is ten years of years:
  ...Yet now, here in this place,
Surely she lean'd o'er me,--her hair
  Fell all about my face....
Nothing: the Autumn-fall of leaves.
  The whole year sets apace.)

It was the terrace of God's house
  That she was standing on,--
By God built over the sheer depth
  In which Space is begun;
So high, that looking downward thence,
  She scarce could see the sun.

It lies from Heaven across the flood
  Of ether, as a bridge.
Beneath, the tides of day and night
  With flame and darkness ridge
The void, as low as where this earth
  Spins like a fretful midge.

But in those tracts, with her, it was
  The peace of utter light
And silence. For no breeze may stir
  Along the steady flight
Of seraphim; no echo there,
  Beyond all depth or height.

Heard hardly, some of her new friends,
  Playing at holy games,
Spake gentle-mouth'd, among themselves,
  Their virginal chaste names;
And the souls, mounting up to God,
  Went by her like thin flames.

And still she bow'd herself, and stoop'd
  Into the vast waste calm;
Till her bosom's pressure must have made
  The bar she lean'd on warm,
And the lilies lay as if asleep
  Along her bended arm.

From the fixt lull of Heaven, she saw
  Time, like a pulse, shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove,
  In that steep gulf, to pierce
The swarm; and then she spoke, as when
  The stars sang in their spheres.

'I wish that he were come to me,
  For he will come,' she said.
'Have I not pray'd in solemn Heaven?
  On earth, has he not pray'd?
Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
  And shall I feel afraid?

'When round his head the aureole clings,
  And he is clothed in white,
I'll take his hand, and go with him
  To the deep wells of light,
And we will step down as to a stream
  And bathe there in God's sight.

'We two will stand beside that shrine,
  Occult, withheld, untrod,
Whose lamps tremble continually
  With prayer sent up to God;
And where each need, reveal'd, expects
  Its patient period.

'We two will lie i' the shadow of
  That living mystic tree
Within whose secret growth the Dove
  Sometimes is felt to be,
While every leaf that His plumes touch
  Saith His name audibly.

'And I myself will teach to him,--
  I myself, lying so,--
The songs I sing here; which his mouth
  Shall pause in, hush'd and slow,
Finding some knowledge at each pause,
  And some new thing to know.'

(Alas! to her wise simple mind
  These things were all but known
Before: they trembled on her sense,--
  Her voice had caught their tone.
Alas for lonely Heaven! Alas
  For life wrung out alone!

Alas, and though the end were reach'd?...
  Was thy part understood
Or borne in trust? And for her sake
  Shall this too be found good?--
May the close lips that knew not prayer
  Praise ever, though they would?)

'We two,' she said, 'will seek the groves
  Where the lady Mary is,
With her five handmaidens, whose names
  Are five sweet symphonies:--
Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,
  Margaret and Rosalys.

'Circle-wise sit they, with bound locks
  And bosoms covered;
Into the fine cloth, white like flame,
  Weaving the golden thread,
To fashion the birth-robes for them
  Who are just born, being dead.

'He shall fear, haply, and be dumb.
  Then I will lay my cheek
To his, and tell about our love,
  Not once abash'd or weak:
And the dear Mother will approve
  My pride, and let me speak.

'Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,
  To Him round whom all souls
Kneel--the unnumber'd solemn heads
  Bow'd with their aureoles:
And Angels, meeting us, shall sing
  To their citherns and citoles.

'There will I ask of Christ the Lord
  Thus much for him and me:--
To have more blessing than on earth
  In nowise; but to be
As then we were,--being as then
  At peace. Yea, verily.

'Yea, verily; when he is come
  We will do thus and thus:
Till this my vigil seem quite strange
  And almost fabulous;
We two will live at once, one life;
  And peace shall be with us.'

She gazed, and listen'd, and then said,
  Less sad of speech than mild,--
'All this is when he comes.' She ceased:
  The light thrill'd past her, fill'd
With Angels, in strong level lapse.
  Her eyes pray'd, and she smiled.

(I saw her smile.) But soon their flight
  Was vague 'mid the poised spheres.
And then she cast her arms along
  The golden barriers,
And laid her face between her hands,
  And wept. (I heard her tears.)


George Meredith. 1828-1909

772. Love in the Valley

UNDER yonder beech-tree single on the green-sward,
  Couch'd with her arms behind her golden head,
Knees and tresses folded to slip and ripple idly,
  Lies my young love sleeping in the shade.
Had I the heart to slide an arm beneath her,
  Press her parting lips as her waist I gather slow,
Waking in amazement she could not but embrace me:
  Then would she hold me and never let me go?
.      .      .
Shy as the squirrel and wayward as the swallow,
  Swift as the swallow along the river's light
Circleting the surface to meet his mirror'd winglets,
  Fleeter she seems in her stay than in her flight.
Shy as the squirrel that leaps among the pine-tops,
  Wayward as the swallow overhead at set of sun,
She whom I love is hard to catch and conquer,
  Hard, but O the glory of the winning were she won!
.      .      .
When her mother tends her before the laughing mirror,
  Tying up her laces, looping up her hair,
Often she thinks, were this wild thing wedded,
  More love should I have, and much less care.
When her mother tends her before the lighted mirror,
  Loosening her laces, combing down her curls,
Often she thinks, were this wild thing wedded,
  I should miss but one for many boys and girls.
.      .      .
Heartless she is as the shadow in the meadows
  Flying to the hills on a blue and breezy noon.
No, she is athirst and drinking up her wonder:
  Earth to her is young as the slip of the new moon.
Deals she an unkindness, 'tis but her rapid measure,
  Even as in a dance; and her smile can heal no less:
Like the swinging May-cloud that pelts the flowers with hailstones
  Off a sunny border, she was made to bruise and bless.
.      .      .
Lovely are the curves of the white owl sweeping
  Wavy in the dusk lit by one large star.
Lone on the fir-branch, his rattle-note unvaried,
  Brooding o'er the gloom, spins the brown evejar.
Darker grows the valley, more and more forgetting:
  So were it with me if forgetting could be will'd.
Tell the grassy hollow that holds the bubbling well-spring,
  Tell it to forget the source that keeps it fill'd.
.      .      .
Stepping down the hill with her fair companions,
  Arm in arm, all against the raying West,
Boldly she sings, to the merry tune she marches,
  Brave is her shape, and sweeter unpossess'd.
Sweeter, for she is what my heart first awaking
  Whisper'd the world was; morning light is she.
Love that so desires would fain keep her changeless;
  Fain would fling the net, and fain have her free.
.      .      .
Happy happy time, when the white star hovers
  Low over dim fields fresh with bloomy dew,
Near the face of dawn, that draws athwart the darkness,
  Threading it with colour, like yewberries the yew.
Thicker crowd the shades as the grave East deepens
  Glowing, and with crimson a long cloud swells.
Maiden still the morn is; and strange she is, and secret;
  Strange her eyes; her cheeks are cold as cold sea-shells.
.      .      .
Sunrays, leaning on our southern hills and lighting
  Wild cloud-mountains that drag the hills along,
Oft ends the day of your shifting brilliant laughter
  Chill as a dull face frowning on a song.
Ay, but shows the South-west a ripple-feather'd bosom
  Blown to silver while the clouds are shaken and ascend
Scaling the mid-heavens as they stream, there comes a sunset
  Rich, deep like love in beauty without end.
.      .      .
When at dawn she sighs, and like an infant to the window
  Turns grave eyes craving light, released from dreams,
Beautiful she looks, like a white water-lily
  Bursting out of bud in havens of the streams.
When from bed she rises clothed from neck to ankle
  In her long nightgown sweet as boughs of May,
Beautiful she looks, like a tall garden-lily
  Pure from the night, and splendid for the day.
.      .      .
Mother of the dews, dark eye-lash'd twilight,
  Low-lidded twilight, o'er the valley's brim,
Rounding on thy breast sings the dew-delighted skylark,
  Clear as though the dewdrops had their voice in him.
Hidden where the rose-flush drinks the rayless planet,
  Fountain-full he pours the spraying fountain-showers.
Let me hear her laughter, I would have her ever
  Cool as dew in twilight, the lark above the flowers.
.      .      .
All the girls are out with their baskets for the primrose;
  Up lanes, woods through, they troop in joyful bands.
My sweet leads: she knows not why, but now she loiters,
  Eyes the bent anemones, and hangs her hands.
Such a look will tell that the violets are peeping,
  Coming the rose: and unaware a cry
Springs in her bosom for odours and for colour,
  Covert and the nightingale; she knows not why.
.      .      .
Kerchief'd head and chin she darts between her tulips,
  Streaming like a willow gray in arrowy rain:
Some bend beaten cheek to gravel, and their angel
  She will be; she lifts them, and on she speeds again.
Black the driving raincloud breasts the iron gateway:
  She is forth to cheer a neighbour lacking mirth.
So when sky and grass met rolling dumb for thunder
  Saw I once a white dove, sole light of earth.

Prim little scholars are the flowers of her garden,
  Train'd to stand in rows, and asking if they please.
I might love them well but for loving more the wild ones:
  O my wild ones! they tell me more than these.
You, my wild one, you tell of honied field-rose,
  Violet, blushing eglantine in life; and even as they,
They by the wayside are earnest of your goodness,
  You are of life's, on the banks that line the way.
.      .      .
Peering at her chamber the white crowns the red rose,
  Jasmine winds the porch with stars two and three.
Parted is the window; she sleeps; the starry jasmine
  Breathes a falling breath that carries thoughts of me.
Sweeter unpossess'd, have I said of her my sweetest?
  Not while she sleeps: while she sleeps the jasmine breathes,
Luring her to love; she sleeps; the starry jasmine
  Bears me to her pillow under white rose-wreaths.
.      .      .
Yellow with birdfoot-trefoil are the grass-glades;
  Yellow with cinquefoil of the dew-gray leaf;
Yellow with stonecrop; the moss-mounds are yellow;
  Blue-neck'd the wheat sways, yellowing to the sheaf.
Green-yellow, bursts from the copse the laughing yaffle;
  Sharp as a sickle is the edge of shade and shine:
Earth in her heart laughs looking at the heavens,
  Thinking of the harvest: I look and think of mine.
.      .      .
This I may know: her dressing and undressing
  Such a change of light shows as when the skies in sport
Shift from cloud to moonlight; or edging over thunder
  Slips a ray of sun; or sweeping into port
White sails furl; or on the ocean borders
  White sails lean along the waves leaping green.
Visions of her shower before me, but from eyesight
  Guarded she would be like the sun were she seen.
.      .      .
Front door and back of the moss'd old farmhouse
  Open with the morn, and in a breezy link
Freshly sparkles garden to stripe-shadow'd orchard,
  Green across a rill where on sand the minnows wink.
Busy in the grass the early sun of summer
  Swarms, and the blackbird's mellow fluting notes
Call my darling up with round and roguish challenge:
  Quaintest, richest carol of all the singing throats!
.      .      .
Cool was the woodside; cool as her white diary
  Keeping sweet the cream-pan; and there the boys from school,
Cricketing below, rush'd brown and red with sunshine;
  O the dark translucence of the deep-eyed cool!
Spying from the farm, herself she fetch'd a pitcher
  Full of milk, and tilted for each in turn the beak.
Then a little fellow, mouth up and on tiptoe,
  Said, 'I will kiss you': she laugh'd and lean'd her cheek.
.      .      .
Doves of the fir-wood walling high our red roof
  Through the long noon coo, crooning through the coo.
Loose droop the leaves, and down the sleepy roadway
  Sometimes pipes a chaffinch; loose droops the blue.
Cows flap a show tail knee-deep in the river,
  Breathless, given up to sun and gnat and fly.
Nowhere is she seen; and if I see her nowhere,
  Lighting may come, straight rains and tiger sky.
.      .      .
O the golden sheaf, the rustling treasure-armful!
  O the nutbrown tresses nodding interlaced!
O the treasure-tresses one another over
  Nodding! O the girdle slack about the waist!
Slain are the poppies that shot their random scarlet
  Quick amid the wheat-ears: wound about the waist,
Gather'd, see these brides of Earth one blush of ripeness!
  O the nutbrown tresses nodding interlaced!
.      .      .
Large and smoky red the sun's cold disk drops,
  Clipp'd by naked hills, on violet shaded snow:
Eastward large and still lights up a bower of moonrise,
  Whence at her leisure steps the moon aglow.
Nightlong on black print-branches our beech-tree
  Gazes in this whiteness: nightlong could I.
Here may life on death or death on life be painted.
  Let me clasp her soul to know she cannot die!
.      .      .
Gossips count her faults; they scour a narrow chamber
  Where there is no window, read not heaven or her.
'When she was a tiny,' one aged woman quavers,
  Plucks at my heart and leads me by the ear.
Faults she had once as she learn'd to run and tumbled:
  Faults of feature some see, beauty not complete.
Yet, good gossips, beauty that makes holy
  Earth and air, may have faults from head to feet.
.      .      .
Hither she comes; she comes to me; she lingers,
  Deepens her brown eyebrows, while in new surprise
High rise the lashes in wonder of a stranger;
  Yet am I the light and living of her eyes.
Something friends have told her fills her heart to brimming,
  Nets her in her blushes, and wounds her, and tames.--
Sure of her haven, O like a dove alighting,
  Arms up, she dropp'd: our souls were in our names.
.      .      .
Soon will she lie like a white frost sunrise.
  Yellow oats and brown wheat, barley pale as rye,
Long since your sheaves have yielded to the thresher,
  Felt the girdle loosen'd, seen the tresses fly.
Soon will she lie like a blood-red sunset.
  Swift with the to-morrow, green-wing'd Spring!
Sing from the South-west, bring her back the truants,
  Nightingale and swallow, song and dipping wing.
.      .      .
Soft new beech-leaves, up to beamy April
  Spreading bough on bough a primrose mountain, you
Lucid in the moon, raise lilies to the skyfields,
  Youngest green transfused in silver shining through:
Fairer than the lily, than the wild white cherry:
  Fair as in image my seraph love appears
Borne to me by dreams when dawn is at my eyelids:
  Fair as in the flesh she swims to me on tears.
.      .      .
Could I find a place to be alone with heaven,
  I would speak my heart out: heaven is my need.
Every woodland tree is flushing like the dogwood,
  Flashing like the whitebeam, swaying like the reed.
Flushing like the dogwood crimson in October;
  Streaming like the flag-reed South-west blown;
Flashing as in gusts the sudden-lighted whitebeam:
  All seem to know what is for heaven alone.


George Meredith. 1828-1909

773. Phoebus with Admetus

WHEN by Zeus relenting the mandate was revoked,
  Sentencing to exile the bright Sun-God,
Mindful were the ploughmen of who the steer had yoked,
  Who: and what a track show'd the upturn'd sod!
Mindful were the shepherds, as now the noon severe
  Bent a burning eyebrow to brown evetide,
How the rustic flute drew the silver to the sphere,
  Sister of his own, till her rays fell wide.
          God! of whom music
          And song and blood are pure,
          The day is never darken'd
          That had thee here obscure.
Chirping none, the scarlet cicalas crouch'd in ranks:
  Slack the thistle-head piled its down-silk gray:
Scarce the stony lizard suck'd hollows in his flanks:
  Thick on spots of umbrage our drowsed flocks lay.
Sudden bow'd the chestnuts beneath a wind unheard,
  Lengthen'd ran the grasses, the sky grew slate:
Then amid a swift flight of wing'd seed white as curd,
  Clear of limb a Youth smote the master's gate.
          God! of whom music
          And song and blood are pure,
          The day is never darken'd
          That had thee here obscure.

Water, first of singers, o'er rocky mount and mead,
  First of earthly singers, the sun-loved rill,
Sang of him, and flooded the ripples on the reed,
  Seeking whom to waken and what ear fill.
Water, sweetest soother to kiss a wound and cool,
  Sweetest and divinest, the sky-born brook,
Chuckled, with a whimper, and made a mirror-pool
  Round the guest we welcomed, the strange hand shook.
          God! of whom music
          And song and blood are pure,
          The day is never darken'd
          That had thee here obscure.

Many swarms of wild bees descended on our fields:
  Stately stood the wheatstalk with head bent high:
Big of heart we labour'd at storing mighty yields,
  Wool and corn, and clusters to make men cry!
Hand-like rush'd the vintage; we strung the bellied skins
  Plump, and at the sealing the Youth's voice rose:
Maidens clung in circle, on little fists their chins;
  Gentle beasties through push'd a cold long nose.
          God! of whom music
          And song and blood are pure,
          The day is never darken'd
          That had thee here obscure.

Foot to fire in snowtime we trimm'd the slender shaft:
  Often down the pit spied the lean wolf's teeth
Grin against his will, trapp'd by masterstrokes of craft;
  Helpless in his froth-wrath as green logs seethe!
Safe the tender lambs tugg'd the teats, and winter sped
  Whirl'd before the crocus, the year's new gold.
Hung the hooky beak up aloft, the arrowhead
  Redden'd through his feathers for our dear fold.
          God! of whom music
          And song and blood are pure,
          The day is never darken'd
          That had thee here obscure.

Tales we drank of giants at war with gods above:
  Rocks were they to look on, and earth climb'd air!
Tales of search for simples, and those who sought of love
  Ease because the creature was all too fair.
Pleasant ran our thinking that while our work was good.
  Sure as fruits for sweat would the praise come fast.
He that wrestled stoutest and tamed the billow-brood
  Danced in rings with girls, like a sail-flapp'd mast.
          God! of whom music
          And song and blood are pure,
          The day is never darken'd
          That had thee here obscure.

Lo, the herb of healing, when once the herb is known,
  Shines in shady woods bright as new-sprung flame.
Ere the string was tighten'd we heard the mellow tone,
  After he had taught how the sweet sounds came.
Stretch'd about his feet, labour done, 'twas as you see
  Red pomegranates tumble and burst hard rind.
So began contention to give delight and be
  Excellent in things aim'd to make life kind.
          God! of whom music
          And song and blood are pure,
          The day is never darken'd
          That had thee here obscure.

You with shelly horns, rams! and, promontory goats,
  You whose browsing beards dip in coldest dew!
Bulls, that walk the pastures in kingly-flashing coats!
  Laurel, ivy, vine, wreathed for feasts not few!
You that build the shade-roof, and you that court the rays,
  You that leap besprinkling the rock stream-rent:
He has been our fellow, the morning of our days;
  Us he chose for housemates, and this way went.
          God! of whom music
          And song and blood are pure,
          The day is never darken'd
          That had thee here obscure.


George Meredith. 1828-1909

774. Tardy Spring

    NOW the North wind ceases,
    The warm South-west awakes;
    Swift fly the fleeces,
    Thick the blossom-flakes.

Now hill to hill has made the stride,
And distance waves the without-end:
Now in the breast a door flings wide;
Our farthest smiles, our next is friend.
And song of England's rush of flowers
Is this full breeze with mellow stops,
That spins the lark for shine, for showers;
He drinks his hurried flight, and drops.
The stir in memory seem these things,
Which out of moisten'd turf and clay,
Astrain for light push patient rings,
Or leap to find the waterway.
'Tis equal to a wonder done,
Whatever simple lives renew
Their tricks beneath the father sun,
As though they caught a broken clue:
So hard was earth an eyewink back;
But now the common life has come,
The blotting cloud a dappled pack,
The grasses one vast underhum.
A City clothed in snow and soot,
With lamps for day in ghostly rows,
Breaks to the scene of hosts afoot,
The river that reflective flows:
And there did fog down crypts of street
Play spectre upon eye and mouth:--
Their faces are a glass to greet
This magic of the whirl for South.
A burly joy each creature swells
With sound of its own hungry quest;
Earth has to fill her empty wells,
And speed the service of the nest;
The phantom of the snow-wreath melt,
That haunts the farmer's look abroad,
Who sees what tomb a white night built,
Where flocks now bleat and sprouts the clod.
For iron Winter held her firm;
Across her sky he laid his hand;
And bird he starved, he stiffen'd worm;
A sightless heaven, a shaven land.
Her shivering Spring feign'd fast asleep,
The bitten buds dared not unfold:
We raced on roads and ice to keep
Thought of the girl we love from cold.

    But now the North wind ceases,
    The warm South-west awakes,
    The heavens are out in fleeces,
    And earth's green banner shakes.


George Meredith. 1828-1909

775. Love's Grave

MARK where the pressing wind shoots javelin-like,
Its skeleton shadow on the broad-back'd wave!
Here is a fitting spot to dig Love's grave;
Here where the ponderous breakers plunge and strike,
And dart their hissing tongues high up the sand:
In hearing of the ocean, and in sight
Of those ribb'd wind-streaks running into white.
If I the death of Love had deeply plann'd,
I never could have made it half so sure,
As by the unblest kisses which upbraid
The full-waked sense; or failing that, degrade!
'Tis morning: but no morning can restore
What we have forfeited. I see no sin:
The wrong is mix'd. In tragic life, God wot,
No villain need be! Passions spin the plot:
We are betray'd by what is false within.


George Meredith. 1828-1909

776. Lucifer in Starlight

ON a starr'd night Prince Lucifer uprose.
  Tired of his dark dominion swung the fiend
  Above the rolling ball in cloud part screen'd,
Where sinners hugg'd their spectre of repose.
Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.
  And now upon his western wing he lean'd,
  Now his huge bulk o'er Afric's sands careen'd,
Now the black planet shadow'd Arctic snows.
Soaring through wider zones that prick'd his scars
  With memory of the old revolt from Awe,
He reach'd a middle height, and at the stars,
Which are the brain of heaven, he look'd, and sank.
Around the ancient track march'd, rank on rank,
  The army of unalterable law.


Alexander Smith. 1829-1867

777. Love

THE fierce exulting worlds, the motes in rays,
  The churlish thistles, scented briers,
The wind-swept bluebells on the sunny braes,
  Down to the central fires,

Exist alike in Love. Love is a sea
  Filling all the abysses dim
Of lornest space, in whose deeps regally
  Suns and their bright broods swim.

This mighty sea of Love, with wondrous tides,
  Is sternly just to sun and grain;
'Tis laving at this moment Saturn's sides,
  'Tis in my blood and brain.

All things have something more than barren use;
  There is a scent upon the brier,
A tremulous splendour in the autumn dews,
  Cold morns are fringed with fire.

The clodded earth goes up in sweet-breath'd flowers;
  In music dies poor human speech,
And into beauty blow those hearts of ours
  When Love is born in each.

Daisies are white upon the churchyard sod,
  Sweet tears the clouds lean down and give.
The world is very lovely. O my God,
  I thank Thee that I live!


Alexander Smith. 1829-1867

778. Barbara

      ON the Sabbath-day,
      Through the churchyard old and gray,
Over the crisp and yellow leaves I held my rustling way;
And amid the words of mercy, falling on my soul like balms,
'Mid the gorgeous storms of music--in the mellow organ-calms,
'Mid the upward-streaming prayers, and the rich and solemn psalms,
      I stood careless, Barbara.

      My heart was otherwhere,
      While the organ shook the air,
And the priest, with outspread hands, bless'd the people with a
    prayer;
But when rising to go homeward, with a mild and saintlike shine
Gleam'd a face of airy beauty with its heavenly eyes on mine--
Gleam'd and vanish'd in a moment--O that face was surely thine
      Out of heaven, Barbara!

      O pallid, pallid face!
      O earnest eyes of grace!
When last I saw thee, dearest, it was in another place.
You came running forth to meet me with my love-gift on your wrist:
The flutter of a long white dress, then all was lost in mist--
A purple stain of agony was on the mouth I kiss'd,
      That wild morning, Barbara.

      I search'd, in my despair,
      Sunny noon and midnight air;
I could not drive away the thought that you were lingering there.
O many and many a winter night I sat when you were gone,
My worn face buried in my hands, beside the fire alone--
Within the dripping churchyard, the rain plashing on your stone,
      You were sleeping, Barbara.

      'Mong angels, do you think
      Of the precious golden link
I clasp'd around your happy arm while sitting by yon brink?
Or when that night of gliding dance, of laughter and guitars,
Was emptied of its music, and we watch'd, through lattice-bars,
The silent midnight heaven creeping o'er us with its stars,
      Till the day broke, Barbara?

      In the years I've changed;
      Wild and far my heart has ranged,
And many sins and errors now have been on me avenged;
But to you I have been faithful whatsoever good I lack'd:
I loved you, and above my life still hangs that love intact--
Your love the trembling rainbow, I the reckless cataract.
      Still I love you. Barbara.

      Yet, Love, I am unblest;
      With many doubts opprest,
I wander like the desert wind without a place of rest.
Could I but win you for an hour from off that starry shore,
The hunger of my soul were still'd; for Death hath told you more
Than the melancholy world doth know--things deeper than all lore
      You could teach me, Barbara.

      In vain, in vain, in vain!
      You will never come again.
There droops upon the dreary hills a mournful fringe of rain;
The gloaming closes slowly round, loud winds are in the tree,
Round selfish shores for ever moans the hurt and wounded sea;
There is no rest upon the earth, peace is with Death and thee--
      Barbara!


Christina Georgina Rossetti. 1830-1894

779. Bride Song
FROM 'THE PRINCE'S PROGRESS'

TOO late for love, too late for joy,
  Too late, too late!
You loiter'd on the road too long,
  You trifled at the gate:
The enchanted dove upon her branch
  Died without a mate;
The enchanted princess in her tower
  Slept, died, behind the grate;
Her heart was starving all this while
  You made it wait.

Ten years ago, five years ago,
  One year ago,
Even then you had arrived in time,
  Though somewhat slow;
Then you had known her living face
  Which now you cannot know:
The frozen fountain would have leap'd,
  The buds gone on to blow,
The warm south wind would have awaked
  To melt the snow.

Is she fair now as she lies?
  Once she was fair;
Meet queen for any kingly king,
  With gold-dust on her hair.
Now there are poppies in her locks,
  White poppies she must wear;
Must wear a veil to shroud her face
  And the want graven there:
Or is the hunger fed at length,
  Cast off the care?

We never saw her with a smile
  Or with a frown;
Her bed seem'd never soft to her,
  Though toss'd of down;
She little heeded what she wore,
  Kirtle, or wreath, or gown;
We think her white brows often ached
  Beneath her crown,
Till silvery hairs show'd in her locks
  That used to be so brown.

We never heard her speak in haste:
  Her tones were sweet,
And modulated just so much
  As it was meet:
Her heart sat silent through the noise
  And concourse of the street.
There was no hurry in her hands,
  No hurry in her feet;
There was no bliss drew nigh to her,
  That she might run to greet.

You should have wept her yesterday,
  Wasting upon her bed:
But wherefore should you weep to-day
  That she is dead?
Lo, we who love weep not to-day,
  But crown her royal head.
Let be these poppies that we strew,
  Your roses are too red:
Let be these poppies, not for you
  Cut down and spread.


Christina Georgina Rossetti. 1830-1894

780. A Birthday

MY heart is like a singing bird
  Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
  Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
  That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
  Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
  Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
  And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
  In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
  Is come, my love is come to me.


Christina Georgina Rossetti. 1830-1894

781. Song

WHEN I am dead, my dearest,
  Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
  Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
  With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
  And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
  I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
  Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
  That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
  And haply may forget.


Christina Georgina Rossetti. 1830-1894

782. Twice

I TOOK my heart in my hand
  (O my love, O my love),
I said: Let me fall or stand,
  Let me live or die,
But this once hear me speak
  (O my love, O my love)--
Yet a woman's words are weak;
  You should speak, not I.

You took my heart in your hand
  With a friendly smile,
With a critical eye you scann'd,
  Then set it down,
And said, 'It is still unripe,
  Better wait awhile;
Wait while the skylarks pipe,
  Till the corn grows brown.'
As you set it down it broke--
  Broke, but I did not wince;
I smiled at the speech you spoke,
  At your judgement I heard:
But I have not often smiled
  Since then, nor question'd s