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Guided with reins of gold and silver twist
May, be thou never graced with birds that sing,
Nor Flora's pride !
Mine only died.
ON THE COUNTESS DOWAGER OF
Underneath this sable herse
ROBERT HERRICK (1591-1674)
There ran a creek up, intricate and blind,
155 As if the waters hid them from the wind; Which never wash'd but at a higher tide The frizzled coats which do the mountains hide; Where never gale was longer known to stay 159 Than from the smooth wave it had swept away The new divorced leaves, that from each side Left the thick boughs to dance out with the tide. At further end the creek a stately wood Gave a kind shadow to the brackish flood Made up of trees, not less kenn'd by each skiff Than that sky-scaling Peak of Teneriffe,
166 Upon whose tops the hernshaw bred her young, And hoary moss upon their branches hung; Whose rugged rinds sufficient were to show, Without their height, what time they 'gan to grow; And if dry eld by wrinkled skin appears, 171 None could allot them less than Nestor's years. As under their command the thronged creek Ran lessen'd up. Here did the shepherd seek Where he his little boat might safely hide, 175 Till it was fraught with what the world beside Could not outvalue; nor give equal weight Though in the time when Greece was at her height.
The ruddy horses of the rosy Morn Out of the Eastern gates had newly borne 180 Their blushing mistress in her golden chair, Spreading new light throughout our hemisphere, When fairest Cælia with a lovelier crew Of damsels than brave Latmus ever knew Came forth to meet the youngsters, who had here Cut down an oak that long withouten peer 186 Bore his round head imperiously above His other mates there, consecrate to Jove. The wished time drew on: and Cælia now, That had the fame for her white arched brow, While all her lovely fellows busied were 191 In picking off the gems from Tellus' hair, Made tow'rds the creek, where Philocel, unspied Of maid or shepherd that their May-games plied, Receiv'd his wish'd-for Cælia, and begun To steer his boat contrary to the sun,
196 Who could have wish'd another in his place To guide the car of light, or that his race Were to have end (so he might bless his hap) In Cælia's bosom, not in Thetis' lap. The boat oft danc'd for joy of what it held: The hoist-up sail not quick but gently swellid, And often shook, as fearing what might fall, Ere she deliver'd what she went withal. Winged Argestes, fair Aurora's son,
205 Licens'd that day to leave his dungeon, Meekly attended and did never err, Till Cælia grac'd our land, and our land her. As through the waves their love-fraught wherry ran, A many Cupids, each set on his swan,
CORINNA'S GOING A-MAYING
Get up, get up for shame, the blooming morn
See how Aurora throws her fair
The dew bespangling herb and tree.
Nayl not so much as out of bed ?
Nay, profanation, to keep in,
And some have wept, and wood, and plighted
troth, And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:
Many a green-gown has been given;
From out the eye, love's firmament;
Come, let us go while we are in our prime;
We shall grow old apace, and die
60 Our life is short, and our days run
As fast away as does the sun;
So when or you or I are made
Lies drowned with us in endless night.
Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
Gems in abundance upon you:
Come and rceive them while the light
Retires himself, or else stands still
praying: Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.
Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark 29
Made green and trimm'd with trees; see how
An ark, a tabernacle is,
Can such delights be in the street
The proclamation made for May:
There's not a budding boy or girl this day
A deal of youth, ere this, is come
But being vanquish'd quite,
A blush their cheeks bespread; Since which, believe the rest,
The roses first came red.
A THANKSGIVING TO GOD FOR HIS
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
But to the even-song;
Will go with you along.
We have as short a spring;
Like to the summer's rain; Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
LOSS FROM THE LEAST
Lord, Thou hast given me a cell
Wherein to dwell,
Both soft and dry;
Hast set a guard
Me while I sleep.
Both void of state;
Is worn by th' poor,
Good words or meat. Like as my parlor so my hall
And kitchen's small;
A little bin,
Make me a fire,
And glow like it.
The pulse is Thine,
There plac'd by Thee;
And my content
To be more sweet. 'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth,
40 Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land, And giv'st me,
for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one;
Her egg each day;
Me twins each year;
Run cream, for wine.
Me, to this end,
Great men by small means oft are overthrown; He's lord of thy life who contemns his own.
Is it to fast an hour,
Or ragg'd to go,
Or show A downcast look, and sour?
Alas! my light-in-vain-expecting eyes
Can find no objects but what rise
Of Vulcan's forge, whose flames are dark
As melancholy as the night:
35 Sweet Phosphor, bring the day;
Haste, haste away Heav'n's loitering lamp; sweet Phosphor, bring
Rocks earth into a lethargy,
The world's fair cheeks, blow, blow thy spite;
45 Thou hast not blown, as it will burn. Sweet Phosphor, bring the day;
Light will repay The wrongs of night; sweet Phosphor, bring the
FRANCIS QUARLES (1592-1644)
SWEET PHOSPHOR, BRING THE DAY
“ Lighten mine eyes, O Lord, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” — Ps. 13. 3. Will 't ne'er be morning? Will that promis'd
light Ne'er break, and clear these clouds of night? Sweet Phosphor, bring the day,
Whose conqu’ring ray May chase these fogs; sweet Phosphor, bring the
GEORGE HERBERT (1593-1633)
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.
How long! how long shall these benighted eyes Languish in shades, like feeble flies
“Truth, Lord; but I have marred them: let my
Go where it doth deserve." “And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the
“My dear, then I will serve." “You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my
THOMAS CAREW (1598?-1639?)
Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
I struck the board, and cried, “No more;
I will abroad!
Shall I be still in suit ?
To let me blood, and not restore
Sure there was wine
Before my tears did drown it;
Have I no bays to crown it,
All wasted ?
And thou hast hands.
Thy rope of sands
thee Good cable, to enforce and draw,
And be thy law, While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
Away! take heed;
I will abroad. Call in thy death's-head there, tie up thy fears: He that forbears
30 To suit and serve his need
Deserves his load.”
At every word,
And I replied, "My Lord.”