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Stood pretty-dimpled boys, like smiling

Cupids, With divers coloured fans, whose wind did seem

[did cool, To glow the delicate cheeks which they And what they undid, did. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereids, So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes, And made their bends adornings : at the

helm A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,

[barge That yarely frame the office. From the A strange invisible perfume hits the sense Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast Her people out upon her; and Antony, Enthroned i'the market-place, did sit alone, Whistling to the air ; which, but for

vacancy, Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, And made a gap in nature.

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Or where the sons of Eden long before Dwelt in Telassar. In this pleasant soil His far more pleasant garden God or

dained ; Out of the fertile ground He caused to grow All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell,

taste; And all amid them stood the Tree of Life, High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit Of vegetable gold; and next to Life Our death, the Tree of Knowledge, grew fast by,

[ing ill. Knowledge of good bought dear by knowSouthward through Eden wenta river large, Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill

(thrown Passed underneath ingulfed ; for God had That mountain as His garden mound, high raised

(veins Upon the rapid current, which, through Of porous earth with kindly thirst up drawn, Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill Watered the garden ; thence united fell Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,

(appears ; Which from his darksome passage now And now divided into four main streams Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm

[account; And country, whereof here needs no But rather to tell how, if art could tell, How from that sapphire fount the crispèd

brooks, Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold, With mazy error under pendent shades Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not

nice art In beds and curious knots, but nature boon Poured forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,

[smote Both where the morning sun first warmly The open field, and where the unpierced shade

(was this place Imbrowned the noontide bowers. Thus A happy rural seat of various view : Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm,

[rind Others whose fruit burnished with golden Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true, If true, here only, and of delicious taste. Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and

flocks Grazing the tender herb, were interposed, Or palmy hillock, or the flowery lap Of some irriguous valley spread her store, Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the

Now that the winter 's gone, the earth has lost

[the frost Her snow-white robes ; and now no more Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream Upon the silver lake or crystal stream.

(earth, But the warm sun thaws the benumbed And makes it tender; gives a second birth To the dead swallows; wakes in hollow tree The drowsy cuckoo and the humble bee.

Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring In triumph to the world the youthful spring: The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array, Welcome the coming of the longed-for

May.

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JOHN MILTON.

1608—1674.

THE EARTHLY PARADISE.

EDEN stretched her line From Auran eastward to the royal towers Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,

rose.

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Another side, umbrageous grots and caves Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps

[fall Luxuriant: meanwhile murmuring waters Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake,

[crowned That to the fringed bank with myrtle Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.

Lairs, The birds their choir apply; airs, vernal Breathing the smell of field and grove,

attune The trembling leaves, while universal Pan, Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,

[field Led on th' eternal spring. Not that fair Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering

flowers, Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain

(sweet grove To seek her through the world , nor that Of Daphne by Orontes and the inspired Castalian spring might with this Paradise Of Eden strive nor that Nyseian isle Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham, Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan

Jove, Hid Amalthea and her florid son [eye; Young Bacchus from his stepdame Rhea's Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard, Mount Amara, though this by some

supposed True Paradise, under the Ethiop line By Nilus' head, enclosed with shining rock, A whole day's journey high, but wide remote From this Assyrian garden, where the fiend Saw undelighted, all delight, all kind Of living creatures new to sight and strange.

So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest

pair That ever since in love's embraces met; Adam the goodliest man of men since born His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve. Under a tuft of shade, that on a green Stood whisp'ring soft, by a fresh fountain

side They sat them down; and after no more toil Of their sweet gard'ning labour than sufficed To recommend cool Zephyr, and made ease More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell,

[boughs Nectarine fruits, which the compliant Yielded them, side-long as they sat reclined On the soft downy bank damasked with flow'rs.

[rind, The savoury pulp they chew, and in the Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming

stream.

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ADAM AND EVE.

Two of far nobler shape erect and tall, Godlike erect, with native honour clad In native majesty, seemed lords of all, And worthy seemed; for in their looks

divine The image of their glorious Maker shone, Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure, Severe, but in true filial freedom placed, Whence true authority in men: though both Not equal, as their sex not equal, seemed. For contemplation he and valour formed, For softness she and sweet attractive grace ; He for God only, she for God in him.

About them frisking played All beasts of th' earth, since wild, and of

all chase In wood or wilderness, forest or den ; Sporting the lion ramped, and in his paw Dandled the kid ; bears, tigers, ounces,

pards, Gambolled before them; th' unwieldy

elephant To make them mirth used all his might,

and wreathed His lithe proboscis ; close the serpent sly Insinuating wove with Gordian twine His braided train, and of his fatal guile Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass Couched, and now filled with pasture

gazing sat, Or bedward ruminating: for the sun Declined was hasting now with prone career To th'ocean isles, and in th'ascending scale Of heav'n the stars that usher evening rose.

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THE DESCENT OF RAPHAEL.

seems

Ris'n from a river o'er the marish glides, And gathers ground fast at the labourer's

heel Homeward returning. High in front

advanced The brandished sword of God before them

blazed Fierce as a comet ; which with torrid heat, And vapour as the Libyan air adust, Began to parch that temperate clime:

whereat In either hand the hast'ning angel caught Our ling'ring parents, and to the eastern

gate Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast To the subjected plain; then disappeared. They looking back all th'eastern side beheld Of Paradise, so late their happy seat, Waved over by that flaming brand, the gate With dreadful faces thronged and fiery Some natural tears they dropped, but

wiped them soon; The world was all before them, where to

choose Their place of rest, and Providence their

guide. They, hand in hand with wand'ring steps

and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way.

Down thither prone in flight He speeds, and through the vast ethereal

sky Sails between worlds and worlds, with

steady wing, Now on the polar winds, then with quick

fan Winnows the buxom air ; till within soar Of tow'ring eagles, to all the fowls he A phoenix, gazed by all, as that sole bird, When, to inshrine his reliques in the sun's Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies, At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise He lights, and to his proper shape returns A seraph winged: six wings he wore, to

shade His lineaments divine; the pair that clad Each shoulder broad came mantling o'er

his breast With regal ornament; the middle pair Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold

[his feet And colours dipped in heav'n ; the third Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail

(stood, Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he And shook his plumes, that heavenly fra

(the bands The circuit wide. Straight knew him all Of angels under watch; and to his state, And to his message high, in honour rise ; For on some message high they guessed

him bound. Their glittering tents he passed, and now is come

[myrrh, Into the blissful field, through groves of And flow'ring odours, cassia, nard, and

balm, A wilderness of sweets ; for nature here Wantoned as in her prime, and played at will

sweet, Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss.

arms:

grance filled

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SIR JOHN DENHAM.

1615–1668.

THE THAMES FROM COOPER'S

HILL.

My eye descending from the hill surveys Where Thames among the wanton valleys

strays; Thames! the most-loved of all the Ocean's

sons

THE EXILES FROM EDEN.

By his old sire, to his embraces runs,
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.
Though with those streams he no resem.

blance hold Whose foam is amber and their gravei gold, His genuine and less guilty wealth to

explore, Search not his bottom, but survey his shore, O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious

wing, And hatches plenty for the ensuing spring.

Now too nigh Th' Archangel stood, and from the other

hill To their fixed station all in bright array The Cherubim descended ; on the ground Gilding meteorous, as ev'ning mist

*

No unexpected inundations spoil
The mower's hopes, nor mock the plough-

man's toil ; But godlike, his unwearied bounty flows, First loves to do, then loves the good he

does ; Nor are his blessings to his banks confined, But free and common as the sea and wind; When he, boast, or to disperse his

stores, 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;

[it wants, Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where Cities in deserts, woods in cities plants; So that, to us, no thing, no place is strange, While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.

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So smiles upon us the first morn,
And speaks us good so soon as born?
Plague on 't! the last was ill enough,
This cannot but make better proof;
Or, at the worst, as we brushed through
The last, why, so we may this too ;
And then the next in reason should
Be superexcellently good;
For the worst ills (we daily see)
Have no more perpetuity
Than the best fortunes that do fall ;
Which also bring us wherewithal
Longer their being to support,
Than those do of the other sort.
And who has one good year in three,
And yet repines at destiny,
Appears ungrateful in the case,
And merits not the good he has.
Then let us welcome the New Guest
With lusty brimmers of the best;
Mirth always should Good Fortune meet,
And renders e'en Disaster sweet ;
And though the Princess turn her back,
Let us but line ourselves with sack,
We better shall by far hold out,
Till the next year she face about.

CHARLES COTTON.

1630—1687.

THE NEW YEAR.

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JOHN DRYDEN.

1631–1700.

THE GOOD PARSON.

HARK! the cock crows; and yon bright

star Tells us, the day himself 's not far. And see where, breaking from the night, He gilds the western hills with light ! With him old Janus doth appear, Peeping into the future year, With such a look as seems to say The prospect is not good that way. Thus do rise ill sights to see, And 'gainst ourselves do prophesy; When the prophetic fear of things A more tormenting mischief brings, More full of soul-tormenting gall Than direst mischiefs can befall. But stay! but stay! methinks my sight Better informed by clearer light, Discerns sereneness in that brow, That all contracted seemed but now. His reversed face may show distaste, And frown upon the ills are past; But that which this way looks is clear, And smiles upon the New-born Year. He looks too from a place so high, The year lies open to his eye; And all the moments open are To the exact discoverer. Yet more and more he smiles upon The happy revolution. Why should we then suspect or fear The influences of a year,

A PARISH priest was of the pilgrim train, An awful, reverend, and religious man. His eyes diffused a venerable grace, And charity itself was in his face. Rich was his soul, though his attire was poor,

[sador), (As God hath clothed His own ambasFor such, on earth, his blessed Redeemer bore.

[last Of sixty years he seemed ; and well might To sixty more, but that he lived too fast; Refined himself to soul, to curb the sense, And made almost a sin of abstinence. Yet had his aspect nothing of severe, But such a face as promised him sincere. Nothing reserved or sullen was to see, But sweet regards, and pleasing sanctity : Mild was his accent, and his action free. With eloquence innate his tongue was

armed ; Though harsh the precept, yet the people

charmed ;

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Who, should they steal for want of his relief,

[thief." He judged himself accomplice with the

Wide was his parish: not contracted close

[house ; In streets, but here and there a straggling Yet still he was at hand, without request, To serve the sick, to succour the distressed; Tempting on foot, alone, without affright, The dangers of a dark tempestuous night.

For, letting down the golden chain from

high, He drew his audience upward to the sky; And oft with holy hymns he charmed their

ears, (Amusic more melodious than the spheres) ; For David left him, when he went to rest, His lyre ; and after him he sung the best. He bore his great commission in his look ; But sweetly tempered awe, and softened

all he spoke. He preached the joys of heaven and pains

of hell, And warned the sinner with becoming zeal; But on eternal mercy loved to dwell. He taught the Gospel rather than the Law; And forced himself to drive; but loved to

draw. For fear but freezes minds : but love, like

heat, Exhales the soul sublime, to seek her native

seat. To threats the stubborn sinner oft is hard, Wrapped in his crimes, against the storm

prepared ; But, when the milder beams of mercy play, He melts, and throws his cumbrous cloak

away. Lightning and thunder (heaven s artillery) As harbingers before th' Almighty fily: Those but proclaim His style, and disappear;

[there. The stiller sound succeeds, and God is

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The tithes his parish freely paid he took; But never sued, or cursed with bell or book. With patience bearing wrong, but offering

none, Since every man is free to lose his own. The country churls, according to their

kind (Who grudge their dues, and love to be

behind), The less he sought his offerings, pinched

the more, And praised a priest contented to be poor.

Yet of his little he had some to spare, To feed the famished and to clothe the bare ; For mortified he was to that degree, A poorer than himself he would not see. "True priests,” he said, “and preachers

of the Word, Were only stewards of their sovereign

Lord ; Nothing was theirs, but all the public

store ; Intrusted riches, to relieve the poor.

The proud he tamed, the penitent he

cheered, Nor to rebuke the rich offender feared. His preaching much, but more his practice

wrought,(A living sermon of the truths he taught); For this by rules severe his life he squared, That all might see the doctrine which they

heard ; For priests, he said, are patterns for the

rest, (The gold of heaven, who bear the God

impressed): For, when the precious coin is kept unclean, The sovereign's image is no longer seen. If they be foul on whom the people trust, Well may the baser brass contract a rust.

The prelate for his holy life he prized ; The worldly pomp of prelacy despised. His Saviour came not with a gaudy show, Nor was His kingdom of the world below. Patience in want, and poverty of mind, These marks of church and churchmen he

designed, And living taught, and dying left behind. The crown he wore was of the pointed

thorn ; In purple he was crucified, not born. They who contend for place and high

degree Are not his sons, but those of Zebedee.

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