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1638-1674 A.D.

WHEN I consider, how my light is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide; And that one talent, which is death to hide, Lodged with me, useless: though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account; lest He returning chide, 'Doth GOD exact day-labour? light denied!' I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies, 'GOD doth not need Either Man's work, or his own gifts. Who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best! His State Is kingly. Thousands, at his bidding, speed And post o'er land and ocean without rest. They also serve, who only stand and wait.'

O, NIGHTINGALE! that, on yon bloomy spray,
Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still;
Thou, with fresh hope the Lover's heart dost fill,
While the jolly Hours lead on propitious May.
Thy liquid notes, that close the eye of day,
First heard, before the shallow cuckoo's bill,
Portend success in love. O, if Jove's will
Have linked that amorous power to thy soft lay,
Now, timely sing! ere the rude bird of hate

Foretell my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh As thou, from year to year, hast sung too late For my relief; yet hadst no reason Why? Whether the Muse, or Love, call thee his mate: Both them I serve; and of their train am I!

DAGER to that good Earl, once President
Of England's Council, and her Treasury,
Who lived in both, unstained with gold or fee;
And let them both, more in himself content:
Till the sad breaking of that Parliament
Broke him; as that dishonest victory
At Charonea, fatal to liberty,

Killed, with report, that old man eloquent.
Though later born, than to have known the days
Wherein your father flourished; yet, by you,
Madam, methinks, I see him living yet:
So well your words, his noble virtues praise,
That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honoured MARGARET!


YET once more, O, ye laurels; and once more
Ye myrtles brown; with ivy never sere;

I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude!
And, with forced fingers rude,

Shatter your leaves, before the mellowing year.

Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear
Compels me to disturb your season due.

For LYCIDAS is dead! dead ere his prime! (Young LYCIDAS!) and hath not left his peer! Who would not sing for LvCIDAS! He knew

Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme. He must not float upon his wat'ry bier

Unwept! and welter to the parching wind, Without the meed of some melodious tear!

Begin then, Sisters of the Sacred Well,

That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring! Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string! Hence, with denial vain, and coy excuse!

(So may some gentle Muse,

With lucky words, favour my destined urn!
And, as [s]he passes, turn

And bid, 'Fair peace be to my sable shroud!')

For we were nursed upon the selfsame hill;
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.

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