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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.
ON THE COUNTESS DOWAGER OF
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
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, 210
UPON THE LOSS OF HIS MISTRESSES
I have lost, and lately, these
Many dainty mistresses:
Stately Julia, prime of all;
Sapho next, a principal;
Smooth Anthea, for a skin
White and heaven-like crystalline;
Sweet Electra, and the choice
Myrha, for the lute and voice.
Next, Corinna, for her wit,
And the graceful use of it;
With Perilla: all are gone,
Only Herrick's left alone,
For to number sorrow by
Their departures hence, and die.
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;
Nay! 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 woo'd, and plighted
troth, And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:
Many a green-gown has been given; 51
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 1ceive 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.
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.
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:
Roses at first were white,
Till they could not agree, Whether my Sapho's breast
Or they more white should be.
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;
As yet the early rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Until the hasting day
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Expecting Spring! How long shall darkness soil
The face of earth, and thus beguile
The souls of sprightful action; when will day 10
Begin to dawn, whose new-born ray
May gild the weathercocks of our devotion,
And give our unsoul'd souls new motion !
Sweet Phosphor, bring the day,
Thy light will fray
These horrid mists; sweet Phosphor, bring the day.
Let those have night that silly love t'immure
Their cloister'd crimes, and sin secure;
Let those have night that blush to let men know
The baseness they ne'er blush to do;
Let those have night that love to take a nap
And loll in Ignorance's lap;
Let those whose eyes, like owls, abhor the light,
Let those have night that love the night!
Sweet Phosphor, bring the day; 25
How sad delay Afflicts dull hopes ! sweet Phosphor, bring the day. Alas! my light-in-vain-expecting eyes
Can find no objects but what rise From this poor mortal blaze, a dying spark 30
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
Blow, Ignorance: O 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-exilèd 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
GEORGE HERBERT (1593–1633)
How long! how long shall these benighted eyes Languish in shades, like feeble flies
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.
“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?)
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,
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.”