Page images

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 disc 'ursed 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,
Vet 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.

A. Cowley


FRIENDS IN PARADISE They are all gone into the world of light !

And I alone sit lingering 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 gliminering and decays.

O holy Hope ! and high Humility,

High as the heavens above ! These are your walks, and you have shew'd them


To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous Death ! the jewel of the just,

Shining no where, but in the dark; What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,

Could man outlook that mark !

He that hath found some fledged bird's nest, may


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

And into glory peep.

H. Vaughan



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 ye 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.

R. Herrick



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 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 any thing.

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.

R. Herrick



With sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at my own fingers nursed ;
And as

grew, so every day
It wax'd more white and sweet than they-
It had so sweet a breath ! and oft
I blush'd to see its foot more soft
And white,-shall I say,—than my hand ?
Nay, any lady's of the land !

[ocr errors]


It is a wondrous thing how fleet
'Twas on those little silver feet :
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race:-
And when 't had left me far away
'Twould stay, and run again, and stay :
For it was nimbler much than hinds,
And trod as if on the four winds.

I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness :
And all the spring-time of the year
It only loved to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie;
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes :-
For in the flaxen lilies' shade
It like a bank of lilies laid.

Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips e'en seem'd to bleed :
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold :-
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without-roses within.

A. Marvell



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-vergéd 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.


« PreviousContinue »