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With thy tuneless serenade?
Well 't had been had Tereus made
Thee as dumb as Philomel;
There his knife had done but well.
In thy undiscovered nest
Thou dost all the winter rest,
And dreamest o'er thy summer joys,
Free from the stormy seasons' noise,
Free from th’ ill thou'st done to me;
Who disturbs or seeks-out thee?
Hadst thou all the charming notes
Of the wood's poetic throats,
All thy art could never pay
What thou hast ta'en from me away.
Cruel bird ' thou'st ta'en away
A dream out of my arms to-day;
A dream, that ne'er must equall'd be
By all that waking eyes may see.
Thou, this damage to repair,
Nothing half so sweet or fair,
Nothing half so good, canst bring,
Though men say thou bring'st the Spring.
ELEGY UPON ANACREON; who w As CHOAKED BY A GRAPE-stone. Spoken by the God of Love.
How shall I lament thine end,
My best servant and my friend?
Nay, and, if from a deity
So much deified as I,
It sound not too profane and odd,
Oh, my master and my god!
For 'tis true, most mighty poet !
(Though I like not men should know it)
I am in naked Nature less,
Less by much, than in thy dress.
All thy verse is softer far
Than the downy feathers are
Of my wings, or of my arrows,
Of my mother's doves or sparrows,
Sweet as lovers' freshest kisses,
Or their riper following blisses,
Graceful, cleanly, smooth, and round,
All with Venus' girdle bound;
And thy life was all the while
Kind and gentle as thy style,
The smooth-pac'd hours of every day
Glided numerously away.
Like thy verse each hour did pass;
Sweet and short, like that, it was.
Some do but their youth allow me,
Just what they by Nature owe me,
The time that's mine, and not their own,
The certain tribute of my crown:
When they grow old, they grow to be
Too busy, or too wise, for me.
Thou wert wiser, and didst know
None too wise for love can grow;
Love was with thy life entwin'd,
Close as heat with fire is join'd;
A powerful brand prescrib'd the date
Of thine, like Meleager's, fate.
Th' antiperistasis of age
More cnflam'd thy amorous rage;
Thy silver hairs yielded me more
Than even golden curls before.
Had I the power of creation,
As I have of generation,
Where I the matter must obey,
And cannot work plate out of clay,
My creatures should be all like thee,
'Tis thou should'st their idea be:
They, like thee, should thoroughly hate
Business, honour, title, state;
Other wealth they should not know,
But what my living mines bestow;
The pomp of kings, they should confess,
At their crownings, to be less
Than a lover's humblest guise,
When at his mistress' feet he lies.
Rumour they no more should mind
Than men safe landed do the wind;
Wisdom itself they should not hear,
When it presumes to be severe;
Beauty alone they should admire,
Nor look at Fortune's vain attire.
Nor ask what parents it can shew ;
With dead or old 't has nought to do.
They should not love yet all, or any,
But very much and very many :
All their life should gilded be
With mirth, and wit, and gaiety;
Well remembering and applying
The necessity of dying.
Their cheerful heads should always wear
All that crowns the flowery year:
They should always laugh, and sing,
And dance, and strike th' harmonious string;
Verse should from their tongue so flow,
As if it in the mouth did grow,
As swiftly answering their command,
As tunes obey the artful hand.
And whilst I do thus discover
Th' ingredients of a happy lover,
'Tis, my Anacreon' for thy sake
I of the Grape no mention make.
Till my Anacreon by thee fell,
Cursed Plant I lov'd thee well;
And 'twas oft my wanton use
To dip my arrows in thy juice.
Cursed Plant ' 'tis true, I see,
The old report that goes of thee-
That with giants' blood the Earth
Stain’d and poison'd gave thee birth;
And now thou wreak'st thy ancient spite
On men in whom the gods delight.
Thy patron, Bacchus, 'tis no wonder,
Was brought forth in flames and thunder;
In rage, in quarrels, and in fights,
Worse than his tigers, he delights;
In all our Heaven I think there be
No such ill-natur'd god as he.
Thou pretendest, traitorous Wine !
To be the Muses' friend and mine:
With love and wit thou dost begin,
False fires, alas! to draw us in ;
Which, if our course we by them keep,
Misguide to madness or to sleep:
Sleep were well, thou'st learnt a way
To death itself now to betray.
It grieves me when I see what fate
Does on the best of mankind wait.
Poets or lovers let them be,
'Tis neither love nor poesy
Can arm, against Death's smallest dart,
The poet's head or lover's heart;
“My little life, my all !” (said she)
So may we ever servants be
To this best god, and ne'er retain
Our hated liberty again
So may thy passion last for me,
As I a passion have for thee,
Greater and fiercer much than can
Be conceiv'd by thee a man!
Into my marrow is it gone,
Fixt and settled in the bone;
It reigns not only in my heart,
But runs, like life, through every part.”
She spoke; the god of love aloud
Sneez'd again; and all the crowd
Of little Loves, that waited by,
Bow'd, and bless'd the augury.
This good omen thus from Heaven
Like a happy signal given,
Their loves and lives (all four) embrace,
And hand in hand run all the race.
To poor Septimius (who did now
Nothing else but Acme grow)
Acme's bosom was alone
The whole world's imperial throne;
And to faithful Acme's mind
Septimius was all human-kind.
If the gods would please to be But advis'd for once by me,
I'd advise them, when they spy Any illustrious piety, To reward her, if it be she — To reward him, if it be he – | With such a husband, such a wife; With Acme's and Septimius' life.
In a deep vision's intellectual scene,
Beneath a bower for sorrow made,
Of the black yew's unlucky green,
Mixt with the mourning willow's careful grey,
Where reverend Cham cuts out his famous way,
The melancholy Cowley lay:
And lo! a Muse appear'd to's closed sight,
(The Muses oft in lands of vision play,)
Body'd, array'd, and seen, by an internal light.
A golden harp with silver strings she bore;
A wondrous hieroglyphic robe she wore,
In which all colours and all figures were,
That Nature or that Fancy can create,
That Art can never imitate;
And with loose pride it wanton'd in the air.
In such a dress, in such a well-cloth'd dream,
She us'd, of old, near fair Ismenus' stream,
Pindar, her Theban favourite, to meet;
A crown was on her head, and wings were on her
She touch'd him with her harp, and rais'd him from
The shaken strings melodiously resound.
“Art thou return'd at last,” said she,
“To this forsaken place and me?
Thou prodigal who didst so loosely waste
Of all thy youthful years the good estate;
Art thou return'd here, to repent too late,
And gather husks of learning up at last,
Now the rich harvest-time of life is past,
And Winter marches on so fast?
But, when I meant t'adopt thee for my son,
And did as learn’d a portion assign,
As ever any of the mighty Nine
Had to their dearest children done;
When I resolv'd t'exalt thy anointed name,
Among the spiritual lords of peaceful fame;
Thou, changeling! thou, bewitch'd with noise and
Would'st into courts and cities from me go;
Would'st see the world abroad, and have a share
In all the follies and the tumults there:
Thou would'st, forsooth, be something in a state,
And business thou would'st find, and would'st
Business! the frivolous pretence
Of human lusts, to shake off innocence;
Business! the grave impertinence;
Business! the thing which I of all things hate;
Business! the contradiction of thy fate.
“ Go, renegado' cast up thy account, And see to what amount Thy foolish gains by quitting me: The sale of knowledge, fame, and liberty, The fruits of thy unlearn'd apostacy. Thou thought'st, if once the public storm were past,
All thy remaining life should sunshine be;
Behold ! the public storm is spent at last,
The sovereign's tost at sea no more,
And thou, with all the noble company,
Art got at last to shore.
But, whilst thy fellow-voyagers I see
All march’d up to possess the promis'd land,
Thou, still alone, alas! dost gaping stand
Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sands
*As a fair morning of the blessed spring,
After a tedious stormy night,
Seth was the glorious entry of our king;
Enriching moisture drop'd on every thing:
Plenty he sow'd below, and cast about him light!
But then, alas ! to thee alone,
One of old Gideon's miracles was shown;
Far every tree and every herb around
With pearly dew was crown'd,
And upon all the quicken'd ground
The fruitful seed of Heaven did brooding lie,
And nothing but the Muse's fleece was dry.
It did all other threats surpass,
When God to his own people said
[The men whom through long wanderingshehad led)
That he would give them ev’n a heaven of
They look’d up to that Heaven in vain,
That bountedus Heaven, which God did not re-
Upon the most unjust to shine and rain.
*The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more
Thou didst with faith and labour serve,
And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve,
Though she contracted was to thee,
Given to another thou didst see
Given to another, who had store
Offairer and of richer wives before,
And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be!
Go on; twice seven years more thy fortune try;
Twice seven years more God in his bounty may
Give thee, to fling away
Into the court's deceitful lottery:
But think how likely 'tis that thou,
With the dull work of thy unwieldy plough,
Should'st in a hard and barren season thrive,
Should'st even able be to live;
Thou, to whose share so little bread did fall,
In that miraculous year, when manna rain'd on all.”
Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile,
That seem'd at once to pity and revile.
And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head,
The melancholy Cowley said —
“Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid
The ills which thou thyself hast made?
When in the cradle innocent I lay,
Thou, wicked spirit ! stolest me away,
And my abused soul didst bear
Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,
Thy golden Indies in the air;
And ever since I strive in vain
My ravish'd freedom to regain;
Still I rebel, still thou dost reign;
Lo! still in verse against thee I complain.
There is a sort of stubborn weeds,
Which, if the earth but once, it ever, breeds;
No wholesome herb can near them thrive,
No useful plant can keep alive:
The foolish sports I did on thee bestow,
Make all my art and labour fruitless now;
Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever
“When my new mind had no infusion known,
Thou gav'st so deep a tincture of thine own,
That ever since I vainly try
To wash away th’ inherent dye:
Long work perhaps may spoil thy colours quite;
But never will reduce the native white:
To all the ports of honour and of gain,
I often steer my course in vain;
Thy gale comes cross, and drives me back again.
Thou slack'nest all my nerves of industry,
By making them so oft to be
The tinkling strings of thy loose minstrelsy.
Whoever this world's happiness would see,
Must as entirely cast off thee,
As they who only Heaven desire
Do from the world retire.
This was my error, this my gross mistake.
Myself a demi-votary to make.
Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate,
(A fault which I, like them, am taught too late,)
For all that I gave up I nothing gain,
And perish for the part which I retain.
“Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse!
The court, and better king, t'accuse:
The heaven under which I live is fair,
The fertile soil will a full harvest bear :
Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou
Mak'st me sit still and sing, when I should plough.
When I but think how many a tedious year
Our patient sovereign did attend
His long misfortunes' fatal end;
How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear,
On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend;
I ought to be accurst, if I refuse
To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse !
Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I be
So distant, they may reach at length to me.
However, of all the princes, thou
Should'st not reproach rewards for being small or
Thou ! who rewardest but with popular breath,
And that too after death.”
Fiast-born of Chaos, who so fair didst come
From the old Negro's darksome womb!
Which, when it saw the lovely child,
The melancholy mass put on kind looks and
Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know,
But ever ebb and ever flow !
Thou golden shower of a true Jove!
Who does in thee descend, and Heaven to Earth
make love! o
Hail, active Nature's watchful life and health !
Her joy, her ornament, and wealth !
Hail to thy husband, Heat, and thee!
Thou the world's beauteous bride, the lusty bride-
Fruition more deceitful is
Than thou canst be, when thou dost miss; Men leave thee by obtaining, and straight flee
Some other way again to thee; And that's a pleasant country, without doubt, To which all soon return that travel out.
| claudiAN's old MAN of veroNA.
- DE SENE VERONENS1, QUI subURBIUM NUNQUAM *GREssus rst.
i HAPPY the man, who his whole time doth bound
! Within th' enclosure of his little ground.
| Happy the man, whom the same humble place
| (Th’ hereditary cottage of his race)
From his first rising infancy has known,
And by degrees sees gently bending down,
With natural propension, to that earth
Which both preserv'd his life, and gave him birth.
Him no false distant lights, by fortune set,
Could ever into foolish wanderings get.
He never dangers either saw or fear'd :
The dreadful storms at sea he never heard.
He never heard the shrill alarms of war,
| Or the worse noises of the lawyers' bar.
No change of consuls marks to him the year,
The change of seasons is his calendar.
The cold and heat, winter and summer shows;
Autumn by fruits, and spring by flowers, he knows;
He measures time by land-marks, and has found
For the whole day the dial of his ground.
A neighbouring wood, born with himself, he sees,
And loves his old contemporary trees.
He 'as only heard of near Verona's name,
And knows it, like the Indies, but by fame.
Does with a like concernment notice take
Of the Red-sea, and of Benacus' lake.
Thus health and strength he to a third age enjoys,
And sees a long posterity of boys.
About the spacious world let others roam,
The voyage, life, is longest made at home.
WELL, then; I now do plainly see
This busy world and I shall ne'er agree;
The very honey of all earthly joy
Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
And they, methinks, deserve my pity,
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,
Of this great hive, the city.
Ah, yet, ere I descend to th’ grave, May I a small house and large garden have And a few friends, and many books, both true, Both wise, and both delightful too! And, since love ne'er will from me flee, A mistress moderately fair, And good as guardian-angels are Only belov'd, and loving me ! Oh, fountains ! when in you shall I Myself, eas'd of unpeaceful thoughts, espy? Oh fields ! oh woods ! when, when shall I be made The happy tenant of your shade 2