Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

70

16

WHY SO PALE AND WAN?

Why so pale and wan, fond lover?

Prithee, why so pale ?
Will, when looking well can't move her,

Looking ill prevail ?
Prithee, why so pale?

[ocr errors]

5

[merged small][ocr errors]

90

Quit, quit for shame! This will not move;

This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,

Nothing can make her:
The devil take her!

'Tis many a pious Christian's case.

He was in logic a great critic,
Profoundly skill'd in analytic:
He could distinguish, and divide
A hair 'twixt south and south-west side;
On either which he would dispute,
Confute, change hands, and still confute.
He'd undertake to prove, by force
Of argument, a man's no horse;
He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl,
And that a lord may be an owl,
A calf an alderman, a goose a justice,
And rooks committee-men and trustees.
He'd run in debt by disputation,
And pay with ratiocination.
All this by syllogism, true
In mood and figure, he would do.

For rhetoric, he could not ope
His mouth, but out there flew a trope;
And when he happen'd to break off
I'th' middle of his speech, or cough,
H' had hard words ready to show why,
And tell what rules he did it by;
Else, when with greatest art he spoke,
You'd think he talk'd like other folk:
For all a rhetorician's rules
Teach nothing but to name his tools.
But, when he pleased to show't, his speech
In loftiness of sound was rich;
A Babylonish dialect,
Which learned pedants much affect;
It was a party-colourd dress
Of patch'd and piebald languages:
'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin,
Like fustian heretofore on satin;
It had an odd promiscuous tone,
As if h' had talk'd three parts in one;
Which made some think, when he did gabble,
Th' had heard three labourers of Babel,
Or Cerberus himself pronounce
A leash of languages at once.
This he as volubly would vent
As if his stock would ne'er be spent;
And truly, to support that charge,
He had supplies as vast and large;
For he could coin or counterfeit
New words, with little or no wit;
Words so debased and hard, no stone
Was hard enough to touch them on;
And, when with hasty noise he spoke 'em,
The ignorant for current took 'em;
That had the orator, who once
Did fill his mouth with pebble stones
When he harangued, but known his phrase,
He would have used no other ways.

In mathematics he was greater

15

SAMUEL BUTLER (1612–1680)

HUDIBRAS

PART 1. FROM CANTO I

100

50

We grant, altho' he had much wit,
H’ was very shy of using it,
As being loath to wear it out;
And therefore bore it not about,
Unless on holidays or so,
As men their best apparel do.
Beside, 'tis known he could speak Greek
As naturally as pigs squeak;
That Latin was no more difficile,
Than to a blackbird 'tis to whistle:
Being rich in both, he never scanted
His bounty unto such as wanted;
But much of either would afford
To many that had not one word.
For Hebrew roots, altho' they're found
To flourish most in barren ground,
He had such plenty as sufficed
To make some think him circumcised:
And truly so perhaps he was,

IIO

60

I 20

130

Below the moon, or else above it;
What Adam dreamt of, when his bride
Came from her closet in his side;
Whether the devil tempted her
By a High Dutch interpreter;

180
If either of them had a navel;
Who first made music malleable;
Whether the Serpent, at the Fall,
Had cloven feet, or none at all:
All this, without a gloss or comment,
He could unriddle in a moment,
In proper terms, such as men smatter
When they throw out, and miss the matter.

For his religion, it was fit To match his learning and his wit: 190 'Twas Presbyterian true blue; For he was of that stubborn crew Of errant Saints, whom all men grant To be the true Church Militant; Such as do build their faith upon The holy text of pike and gun; Decide all controversies by Infallible artillery; And prove their doctrine orthodox By apostolic blows and knocks; Call fire, and sword, and desolation, A godly, thorough Reformation, Which always must be carried on, And still be doing, never done; As if Religion were intended For nothing else but to be mended.

140

Than Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater;
For he, by geometric scale,
Could take the size of pots of ale;
Resolve by sines and tangents, straight,
If bread or butter wanted weight;
And wisely tell what hour o'th' day
The clock does strike, by algebra.

Beside, he was a shrewd philosopher,
And had read every text and gloss over;
Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath,
He understood b'implicit faith;
Whatever sceptic could inquire for,
For every why he had a wherefore;
Knew more than forty of them do,
As far as words and terms could go;
All which he understood by rote,
And, as occasion served, would quote;
No matter whether right or wrong,
They might be either said or sung,
His notions fitted things so well,
That which was which he could not tell,
But oftentimes mistook the one
For th' other, as great clerks have done.
He could reduce all things to acts,
And knew their natures by abstracts;
Where Entity and Quiddity,
The ghosts of defunct bodies, fly;
Where truth in person does appear,
Like words congeal'd in northern air.
He knew what's what, and that's as high
As metaphysic wit can fly:

In school divinity as able As he that hight Irrefragable; A second Thomas, or at once To name them all, another Dunce: Profound in all the Nominal And Real ways beyond them all; For he a rope of sand could twist As tough as learned Sorbonist; And weave fine cobwebs, fit for skull That's empty when the moon is full; Such as take lodgings in a head That's to be let unfurnished. He could raise scruples dark and nice, And after solve 'em in a trice; As if Divinity had catch'd The itch, on purpose to be scratch'd; Or, like a mountebank, did wound And stab herself with doubts profound, Only to show with how small pain The sores of Faith are cured again; Altho' by woful proof we find They always leave a scar behind. He knew the seat of Paradise, Could tell in what degree it lies; And, as he was disposed, could prove it

200

150

[blocks in formation]

Than he himself e'er saw before; Which to be seen needs not his light.

Tell him, Tityrus, where th' hast been Tell him, Thyrsis, what th' hast seen. TITYRUS. Gloomy night embraced the place

Where the noble Infant lay.

The Babe looked up and showed His face; In spite of darkness, it was day.

It was Thy day, Sweet! and did rise Not from the east, but from Thine eyes.

THYR. I saw the obsequious seraphim

Their rosy fleece of fire bestow,

For well they now can spare their wings Since Heaven itself lies here below. 61

Well done, said I; but are you sure Your down so warm, will pass for pure?

20

[blocks in formation]

Сно. . Well done, said I ...
Tit. No, no, your King's not yet to seek

Where to repose His royal head;

See, see how soon His new-bloomed cheek 'Twixt mother's breasts is gone to bed!

Sweet choice, said we! no way but so

Not to lie cold, yet sleep in snow. 70 CHO. Sweet choice, said we ... Вотн. We saw Thee in Thy balmy nest,

Bright Dawn of our Eternal Day!

We saw Thine eyes break from their east And chase the trembling shades away.

We saw Thee, and we blest the sight,

We saw Thee by Thine own sweet Light. Сно. . We saw Thee ..

CHO. By those sweet eyes ...

30 Вотн. . We saw Thee in Thy balmy nest,

Young Dawn of our Eternal Day!

We saw Thine eyes break from their east And chase the trembling shades away.

We saw Thee, and we blest the sight, We saw Thee by Thine own sweet light.

FULL CHORUS

[blocks in formation]

Welcome, all wonders in one night! Eternity shut in a span,

80 Summer in winter, day in night, Heaven in earth, and God in man. Great Little One! Whose all-embracing

birth Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to

earth. Welcome — though nor to gold nor silk, To more than Cæsar's birthright is;

Two sister-seas of virgin-milk With many a rarely-tempered kiss That breathes at once both maid and

mother, Warms in the one, cools in the other. 90

Welcome — though not to those gay flies Gilded i th' beams of earthly kings,

Slippery souls in smiling eyes But to poor shepherds, homespun things, Whose wealth's their flock, whose wit's

to be Well read in their simplicity.

Yet, when young April's husband show'rs Shall bless the fruitful Maia's bed,

We'll bring the first-born of her flow'rs To kiss Thy feet and crown Thy head.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

To Thee, dread Lamb! Whose love

must keep
The shepherds, more than they the sheep.

IOI

ON MR. ABRAHAM COWLEY'S DEATH
AND BURIAL AMONGST THE ANCIENT
POETS

10

20

To Thee, meek Majesty! soft King Old Chaucer, like the morning star,
Of simple graces and sweet loves !

To us discovers day from far.
Each of us his lamb will bring,

His light those mists and clouds dissolved,
Each pair of silver doves!

Which our dark nation long involved;
Till burnt at last in fire of Thy fair But he descending to the shades,
eyes,

Darkness again the age invades.
Ourselves become our own best sacrifice ! Next (like Aurora) Spenser rose,

Whose purple blush the day foreshews;

The other three, with his own fires
SIR JOHN DENHAM (1615-1669) Phæbus, the poets' God, inspires;

By Shakespear, Jonson, Fletcher's lines,
FROM COOPER'S HILL

Our stage's lustre Rome's outshines:

These poets near our princes sleep, My eye, descending from the hill, surveys

And in one grave their mansion keep; Where Thames amongst the wanton valleys They liv'd to see so many days, strays;

60

Till time had blasted all their bays;
Thames, the most loved of all the Ocean's sons, But cursèd be the fatal hour
By his old sire to his embraces runs,

That pluck'd the fairest, sweetest flower
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,

That in the muses' garden grew, Like mortal life to meet eternity;

And amongst wither'd laurels threw. Though with those streams he no resemblance

Time, which made them their fame outhold,

live,
Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold, To Cowley scarce did ripeness give.
His genuine and less guilty wealth to explore, Old mother wit, and nature, gave
Search not his bottom, but survey his shore, Shakespear and Fletcher all they have;
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing, In Spenser, and in Jonson, art
And hatches plenty for th' ensuing spring; 70 Of slower nature got the start;
Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay,

But both in him so equal are,
Like mothers which their infants overlay,

None knows which bears the happiest share; Nor, with a sudden and impetuous wave,

To him no author was unknown, Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave; Yet what he wrote was all his own; No unexpected inundations spoil

He melted not the ancient gold, The mower's hopes, nor mock the ploughman's Nor, with Ben Jonson, did make bold toil,

To plunder all the Roman stores
But godlike his unwearied bounty flows,

Of poets, and of orators:
First loves to do, then loves the good he does; Horace's wit, and Virgil's state,
Nor are his blessings to his banks confined, He did not steal, but emulate:
But free and common as the sea or wind; 80

And when he would like them appear,
When he to boast or to disperse his stores, Their garb, but not their clothes, did wear:
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying towers,
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours,
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it
wants,

RICHARD LOVELACE (1618–1658) Cities in deserts, woods in cities plants; So that to us no thing, no place is strange,

TO LUCASTA, GOING TO THE While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.

WARS
O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme ! 90

Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not

That from the nunnery dull,

Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.

To war and arms I fly.

30

[blocks in formation]

When Love with unconfined wings

Hovers within my gates, And my divine Althea brings

To whisper at the grates; When I lie tangled in her hair

And fetter'd to her eye, The birds that wanton in the air

Know no such liberty.

It was a dismal and a fearful night:
Scarce could the Morn drive on th’unwilling Light,
When Sleep, Death's image, left my troubled breast

By something liker Death possest.
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow,

And on my soul hung the dull weight
Of some intolerable fate.

7 What bell was that? Ah me! too much I know!

8

[blocks in formation]

My sweet companion and my gentle peer,
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here,
Thy end forever and my life to moan?

O, thou hast left me all alone!
Thy soul and body, when death's agony

Besieged around thy noble heart,

Did not with more reluctance part Than I, my dearest friend, do part from thee. 16 My dearest friend, would I had died for thee! Life and this world henceforth will tedious be! Nor shall I know hereafter what to do

If once my griefs prove tedious too. Silent and sad I walk about all day,

As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by

Where their hid treasures lie;
Alas! my treasure's gone; why do I stay?
Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights,
How oft unwearied have we spent the nights,

When, like committed linnets, I

With shriller throat shall sing The sweetness, mercy, majesty,

And glories of my King; When I shall voice aloud how good

He is, how great should be, Enlarged winds, that curl the flood,

Know no such liberty.

24

24

« PreviousContinue »