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Smile, then, ye sage and wise, and if love sever
Carew, the “sprightly, polished, and perspicuous,” wrote sundry love-ditties : one of his most popular begins
Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
His other noted song commences thus :
As old Time makes these decay,
But a smooth and steadfast mind, gentle thoughts and calm desires ;
Where these are not, I despise
Here, also, we have some terse lines of his, touching things terrene :
Fame's but a hollow echo-gold, pure clay, —
And blood allied to greatness, is alone
The “gallant and accomplished” LOVELACE wrote this beautiful song to his mistress, on joining the army of the King :
Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind, that from the nunnery
His fine lines written during his incarceration, T. Althea, commence:
When Love, with unconfined wings, hovers within my gates,
His last is the finest stanza :
Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage ;
Love, the great theme of the poets, has been in these pages presented in most of its Protean aspects; but as it is classed among the noblest virtues, we can hardly have too much of it from the poets. Dr. Johnson once remarked, that “we need not ridicule a passion, which he who never felt, never was happy; and he who
laughs at, never deserves to feel—a passion which has caused the change of empires and the loss of worlds—a passion which has inspired heroism and subdued avarice.”
Here is an airy, bird-like lyric, by HeywooD :
Pack, clouds, away, and welcome day;
With night we banish sorrow;
To give my love good-morrow!
Notes from the lark I'll borrow;
To give my love good-morrow.
Wake from thy nest, robin redbreast :
Sing, birds, in every furrow;
Give my fair love good-morrow.
Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow-
Sing my fair love good-morrow.
Sing, birds, in every furrow
Into a pretty slumber;
That, waking, she may wonder.
Lyly's genius for lyric verse is seen in the following little Song of the Fairies :
By the moon we sport and play;
Two by two, and three by three,
The following exquisitely sportive lines are also by this noted dramatist :
Cupid and my Campaspe play'd
TITCHBOURNE, who was one of the victims of political despotism in 1568, wrote these quaint and touching lines the night preceding his execution :
My prime of youth is but a frost of cares;
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my goods are but vain hopes of gain.
My Spring is past, and yet it hath not sprung ;
My fruit is dead, and yet the leaves are green ;
I saw the world, and yet I was not seen ;
HERRICK's lyrics are among the most sprightly and picturesque that we possess; they are fragrant with the aroma of Spring flowers. Listen to his lines addressed to “Primroses filled with morning dew :"
Why do ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears
Speak grief in you,
Who were but born
Teem'd her refreshing dew?
That mars a flower,
Nor felt the unkind
Or warp'd, as we,
Speak, whimp’ring younglings, and make known
The reason why