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A PARAPHRASE UPON THE SONG OF

SOLOMON

CANTO III

SPONSA

Stretched on my restless bed all night,

I vainly sought my soul's delight.

Then rose, the city search'd: no street,
No angle my unwearied feet

Untraced left: yet could not find

The only solace of my mind.

When lo! the watch, who walk the round,

Me in my soul's distemper found;
Of whom, with passion, I inquir'd,
Saw you the man so much desir'd?
Nor many steps had farther past,
But found my love, and held him fast;
Fast held, till I the so-long-sought
Had to my mother's mansion brought.
In that adornèd chamber laid

Of her who gave me life, I said:
You daughters of Jerusalem,
You branches of that holy stem,
I, by the mountain roes, and by
The hinds which through the forest fly,
Adjure you that you silence keep,
Nor, till he call, disturb his sleep.

JOHN FLETCHER (1579-1625)

ΙΟ

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THE SLEEPING MISTRESS

O, fair sweet face! O, eyes celestial bright, Twin stars in heaven, that now adorn the night! Oh, fruitful lips, where cherries ever grow,

And damask cheeks, where all sweet beauties blow!

O, thou, from head to foot divinely fair!
Cupid's most cunning net's made of that hair; 6
And, as he weaves himself for curious eyes,
"O me, O me, I'm caught myself!" he cries:
Sweet rest about thee, sweet and golden sleep,
Soft peaceful thoughts, your hourly watches
keep,

Whilst I in wonder sing this sacrifice,
To beauty sacred, and those angel eyes!

WEEP NO MORE

Weep no more, nor sigh, nor groan, Sorrow calls no time that's gone; Violets plucked 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 mo.

DIRGE

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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 pie,

May on our bride-house perch or sing,
Or with them any discord bring,
But from it fly!

FRANCIS BEAUMONT (1584-1616)

ON THE LIFE OF MAN
Like to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,

Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew,

Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood:
Even such is man, whose borrowed light
Is straight called in and paid to night:
The wind blows out, the bubble dies,
The spring intombed in autumn lies;
The dew's dried up, the star is shot,
The flight is past, and man forgot.

LINES ON THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER

Mortality, behold and fear!

What a change of flesh is here!

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ΤΟ

Lay a garland on my hearse

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!

MARRIAGE HYMN

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;

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Primrose, first-born child of Ver

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Merry spring-time's harbinger,

With her bells dim; Oxlips in their cradles growing,

Buried in dust, once dead by fate.

MASTER FRANCIS BEAUMONT'S

LETTER TO BEN JONSON

The sun (which doth the greatest comfort bring To absent friends, because the selfsame thing They know they see, however absent) is Here our best haymaker! Forgive me this; It is our country's style! In this warm shine I lie and dream of your full Mermaid Wine!

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EDWARD LORD HERBERT OF CHERBURY (1583-1648)

FROM AN ODE UPON A QUESTION MOVED WHETHER LOVE SHOULD CONTINUE FOR EVER

O no, Belov'd, I am most sure Those virtuous habits we acquire As being with the soul entire Must with it evermore endure.

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Methinks the little wit I had is lost Since I saw you! For wit is like a rest Held up at tennis, which men do the best With the best gamesters. What things have we seen Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have been So nimble and so full of subtle flame, As if that every one from whence they came Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest And had resolved to live a fool the rest

Of his dull life! Then, when there hath been thrown

Wit able enough to justify the town

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For three days past! Wit, that might warrant be
For the whole city to talk foolishly

Till that were cancelled! And, when we were gone,
We left an air behind us, which alone
Was able to make the two next companies
Right witty! though but downright fools, more
wise!

When I remember this, and see that now
The country gentlemen begin to allow
My wit for dry bobs; then I needs must cry,
"I see my days of ballading grow nigh!"
I can already riddle; and can sing
Catches, sell bargains; and I fear shall bring
Myself to speak the hardest words I find
Over as oft as any, with one wind,

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I hope hath left a better fate in store
For me, thy friend, than to live ever poor,
Banished unto this home! Fate, once again,
Bring me to thee, who canst make smooth and plain
The way of knowledge for me; and then I,
Who have no good but in thy company,
Protest it will my greatest comfort be
To acknowledge all I have to flow from thee!
Ben, when these scenes are perfect, we'll taste
wine!

I'll drink thy Muse's health! thou shalt quaff

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Else should our souls in vain elect,
And vainer yet were Heaven's laws,
When to an everlasting cause
They gave a perishing effect.
Nor here on earth then, or above,
Our good affection can impair;
For where God doth admit the fair,
Think you that He excludeth love?
These eyes again then eyes shall see,
These hands again these hands enfold,
And all chaste pleasures can be told
Shall with us everlasting be.

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WILLIAM DRUMMOND (1585-1649)

SONNET

A passing glance, a lightning 'long the skies,
That, ush'ring thunder, dies straight to our sight;
A spark, of contraries which doth arise,
Then drowns in the huge depths of day and night:

Is this small Small call'd life, held in such price
Of blinded wights, who nothing judge aright.
Of Parthian shaft so swift is not the flight
As life, that wastes itself, and living dies.
O! what is human greatness, valour, wit?
What fading beauty, riches, honour, praise?
To what doth serve in golden thrones to sit,
Thrall earth's vast round, triumphal arches raise?
All is a dream, learn in this prince's fall,
In whom, save death, nought mortal was at all.

SEXTAIN I

IO

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Fair king, who all preserves,

But show thy blushing beams,

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And thou two sweeter eyes

Shalt see, than those which by Peneus' streams Did once thy heart surprise;

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With watchful eyes I ne'er behold the night,
Mother of peace, but ah! to me of wars,
And Cynthia queen-like shining through the woods,
When straight those lamps come in my thought,
whose light

My judgment dazzled, passing brightest stars,
And then mine eyes en-isle themselves with floods.

Turn to their springs again first shall the floods,
Clear shall the sun the sad and gloomy night, 26
To dance about the pole cease shall the stars,
The elements renew their ancient wars
Shall first, and be depriv'd of place and light,
Ere I find rest in city, fields, or woods.

End these my days, indwellers of the woods, Take this my life, ye deep and raging floods; Sun, never rise to clear me with thy light, Horror and darkness, keep a lasting night; Consume me, care, with thy intestine wars, And stay your influence o'er me, bright stars!

A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre,
Your stormy chiding stay;

Let zephyr only breathe,
And with her tresses play,

Kissing sometimes those purple ports of death.
The winds all silent are,

And Phoebus in his chair,

Ensaffroning sea and air,

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