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That so my glory might proclaim
Thy favours in a joyful verse;
Incessantly Thy praise rehearse, And magnify Thy sacred Name.
Al agh the troubled ocean rise
Stretched on my restless bed all night,
JOHN FLETCHER (1579-1625)
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.
Drink to-day, and drown all sorrow;
BEAUTY CLEAR AND FAIR
Beauty clear and fair,
Where the air
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,
Where to gain a favour is
More than light, perpetual bliss, –
To this light
Both the wonder and the story
Shall be yours, and eke the glory: I am your servant, and your thrall.
SONG TO BACCHUS
God Lyæus, ever young,
This way, this way come, and hear, You that hold these pleasures dear; Fill your ears with our sweet sound Whilst we melt the frozen ground. This way come; make haste, O fair! Let your clear eyes gild the air; Come, and bless us with your sight; This way, this way, seek delight!
THE SLEEPING MISTRESS
Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
O, fair sweet face! O, eyes celestial bright,
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 !
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 ily!
Lay a garland on my hearse
Of the dismal yew;
Say, I died true.
From my hour of birth. Upon my buried body lie
Lightly, gentle earth!
Mortality, behold and fear!
Roses, their sharp spines being gone,
But in their hue;
And sweet thyme true;
Primrose, first-born child of Ver Merry spring-time's harbinger,
With her bells dim; Oxlips in their cradles growing,
O no, Belov'd, I am most sure
Those virtuous habits we acquire
As being with the soul entire Must with it evermore endure.
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
50 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!" 60
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, That takes no medicines ! But one thought of thee Makes me remember all these things to be The wit of our young men, fellows that show No part of good, yet utter all they know! Who, like trees of the guard, have growing souls.
Only strong Destiny, which all controls, 70 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
wipe! I'll drink thy Muse's health! thou shalt quaff mine!
Else should our souls in vain elect,
And vainer yet were Heaven's laws,
When to an everlasting cause They gave a perishing effect.
104 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? 108 These eyes again then eyes shall see,
These hands again these hands enfold,
And all chaste pleasures can be told
When bodies once this life forsake,
Or they could no delight partake, Why should they ever rise again? 116 And if every imperfect mind
Make love the end of knowledge here,
How perfect will our love be, where
Much less your fairest mind invade;
Were not our souls immortal made, Our equal loves can make them such. 124
In vain the stars, indwellers of the woods,
Is this small Small call'd life, held in such price
All is a dream, learn in this prince's fall,
The heaven doth not contain so many stars,
I look each day when death should end the wars,
SONG II Phæbus, 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; 5 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,
15 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 forever should it mark; This is the morn should bring unto this grove My love, to hear and recompense my love. Fair king, who all preserves, But show thy blushing beams,
25 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. 30 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,
35 And with her tresses play, Kissing sometimes those purple ports of death. The winds all silent are, And Phæbus 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 flow'rs are deck'd in every hue, The clouds bespangle with bright gold their
blue; Here is the pleasant place, And ev'ry thing, save her, who all should grace.