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Guided with reins of gold and silver twist
The spotless birds about them as they list:
Which would have sung a song (ere they were

Had unkind Nature given them more than one;
Or in bestowing that had not done wrong, 215
And made their sweet lives forfeit one sad song.


May, be thou never graced with birds that sing,

Nor Flora's pride !
In thee all flowers and roses spring,

Mine only died.



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)

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,

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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

Above an hour since: yet you not dress’d;

Nayl 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.

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;
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



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.

60 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 drowned with us in endless night.
Then while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying. 70


Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and

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 rceive 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.

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Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark 29
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.

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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 despatched their cakes and cream
Before that we have left to dream:

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But being vanquish'd quite,

A blush their cheeks bespread; Since which, believe the rest,

The roses first came red.








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 even-song;
And, having prayed 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


Like to the summer's rain; Or as the pearls of morning's dew,

Ne'er to be found again.





Lord, Thou hast given me a cell

Wherein to dwell,
A little house, whose humble roof

Is weather-proof,
Under the spars of which I lie

Both soft and dry;
Where Thou, my chamber for to ward,

Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep

Me while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate,

Both void of state;
And yet the threshold of my door

Is worn by th' poor,
Who thither come and freely get

Good words or meat. Like as my parlor so my hall

And kitchen's small;
A little buttery, and therein

A little bin,
Which keeps my little loaf of bread

Unchipped, unflead;
Some little sticks of thorn or briar

Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,

And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine,

The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits that be

There plac'd by Thee;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess

Of water-cress,
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent;

And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,

To be more sweet. 'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth

With guiltless mirth,
And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink,
Spiced to the brink.

40 Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand

That soils my land, And giv'st me,

for my bushel sown,

Twice ten for one;
Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay

Her egg each day;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear

Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine

Run cream, for wine.
All these, and better Thou dost send

Me, to this end,

Great men by small means oft are overthrown; He's lord of thy life who contemns his own.


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Is it to fast an hour,

Or ragg'd to go,

Or show A downcast look, and sour?

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Alas! my light-in-vain-expecting eyes

Can find no objects but what rise
From this poor mortal blaze, a dying spark

Of Vulcan's forge, whose flames are dark
And dangerous, a dull blue-burning light,

As melancholy as the night:
Here's all the suns that glisten in the sphere
Of earth: Ah me! what comfort's here?

35 Sweet Phosphor, bring the day;

Haste, haste away Heav'n's loitering lamp; sweet Phosphor, bring

the day.
Blow, Ignorance: 0 thou, whose idle knee

Rocks earth into a lethargy,
And with thy sooty fingers hast bedight

The world's fair cheeks, blow, blow thy spite;
Since thou hast puffed our greater taper, do
Puff on, and out the lesser too;
If e'er that breath-exiled flame return,

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


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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

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“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

So I did sit and eat.


THOMAS CAREW (1598?-1639?)



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.

I struck the board, and cried, “No more;

I will abroad!
What! shall I ever sigh and pine ?
My lines and life are free; free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.

Shall I be still in suit ?
Have I no harvest but a thorn

To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit ?

Sure there was wine
Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn

Before my tears did drown it;
Is the year only lost to me?

Have I no bays to crown it,
No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted,

All wasted ?
Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,

And thou hast hands.
Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasures; leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,

Thy rope of sands
Which petty thoughts have made; and made to

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.”
But as I raved, and grew more fierce and wild

At every word,
Methought I heard one calling, “Child";

And I replied, "My Lord.”


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