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To make a seizure on the light,

Or to seal up the sun.

TO PHYLLIS, TO LOVE AND

LIVE WITH HIM

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TO BLOSSOMS

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,

Why do ye fall so fast ?

Your date is not so past But you may stay yet here a while, To blush and gently smile;

And go at last.

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LIVE, live with me, and thou shalt see
The pleasures I'll prepare

for thee;
What sweets the country can afford
Shall bless thy bed and bless thy board.
The soft, sweet moss shall be thy bed
With crawling woodbine over-spread ;
By which the silver-sbedding streams
Shall gently melt thee into dreams.
Thy clothing, next, shall be a gown
Made of the fleece's purest down.
The tongues of kids shall be thy meat,
Their milk thy drink ; and thou shalt

eat The paste of filberts for thy bread, With cream of cowslips buttered ; Thy feasting-tables shall be hills With daisies spread and daffodils, Where thou shalt sit, and red-breast by, For meat, shall give thee melody. I'll give thee chains and carcanets Of primroses and violets. A bag and bottle thou shalt have, That richly wrought, and this as brave ; So that as either shall express The wearer's no mean shepberdess. At shearing-times, and yearly wakes, When Themilis his pastime makes, There thou shalt be; and be the wit, Nay, more, the feast, and grace of it. On holidays, when virgins meet To dance the heyes with nimble feet, Thou shalt come forth, and then ap

pear The queen

of roses for that year; And having danced, 'bove all the best, Carry the garland from the rest. In wicker baskets maids shall bring To thee, my dearest shepherling, The blushing apple, bashful pear, And shame-fac'd plum, all simp'ring there. Walk in the groves, and thou shalt find The name of Phyllis in the rind Of every straight and smooth-skin tree; Where kissing that, I'll twice kiss thee. To thee a sheep-hook I will send, Be-prank'd with ribands to this end; This, this alluring hook might be Less for to catch a sheep than me. Thou shalt have possets, wassails fine, Not made of ale, but spiced wine, To make thy maids and self free mirth, All sitting near the glitt'ring hearth.

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Like

TO A BED OF TULIPS

BRIGHT tulips, we do know

You bad your coming hither, And fading-time does show That ye must quickly wither.

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UPON JULIA'S CLOTHES

Thou sbalt have ribands, roses, rings,
Gloves, garters, stockings, shoes, and strings
Of winning colours, that shall move
Others to lust, but me to love.
These, nay, and more, thine own shall be
If thou wilt love, and live with me.

WHENAs in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
The liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see That brave vibration each way free; O how that glittering taketh me!

ART ABOVE NATURE: TO JULIA

TO HIS BOOK

WHEN I behold a forest spread
With silken trees upon thy head,
And when I see that other dress
Of flowers set in comeliness;
When I behold another grace
In the ascent of curious lace,
Which like a pinnacle doth show
The top, and the top-gallant too.
Then, when I see thy tresses bound
Into an oval, square, or round,
And knit in knots far more than I
Can tell by tongue, or true-love tie;
Next, when those lawny films I see
Play with a wild civility,
And all those airy silks to flow,
Alluring me, and tempting so:
I must confess mine eye and heart
Dotes less on Nature than on Art.

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THE NIGHT-PIECE: TO JULIA

Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
The shooting stars attend thee;

And the elves also,

Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.
No Will-o'-th’-Wisp mislight thee,
Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee;

But on, on thy way

Not making a stay, Since ghost there's none to affright thee.

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When the artless doctor sees
No one hope, but of his fees,
And his skill runs on the lees,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When his potion and his pill
Has, or none, or little skill,
Meet for nothing, but to kill;

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

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When the passing bell doth toll,
And the furies in a shoal
Come to fright a parting soul,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the tapers now burn blue,
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the priest his last hath prayed,
And I nod to what is said,
'Cause my speech is now decayed,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When, God knows, I'm toss'd about,
Either with despair, or doubt;
Yet before the glass be out,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When the tempter me pursu'th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half damns me with untruth,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When the flames and bellish cries Fright mine ears, and fright mine eyes, And all terrors me surprise,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me! When the judgment is reveal'd, And that open'd which was seal’d, When to Thee I have appeal'd,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

Like as my parlour, so my hall

Ånd kitchen's small;
A little buttery, and therein

A little bin
Which keeps my little loaf of bread

Unclipt, unflead.
Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar

Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,

And glow like it.
Lord, I confess, too, when I dine,

The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits, that be

There placed by Thee;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess

Of water-cress,
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent;

And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,

To be more sweet. 'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth

With guiltless mirth;
And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink,

Spiced to the brink.
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand,

That soils my land;
And giv’st me for my bushel sown,

Twice ten for one.
Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay

Her egg each day;
Besides

my healthful ewes to bear

Me twins each year,
The while the conduits of my kine

Run cream for wine.
All these, and better Thou dost send

Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,

A thankful heart;
Which, fired with incense, I resign,

As wholly Thine;
But the acceptance, that must be,

My Christ, by Thee.

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A THANKSGIVING TO GOD FOR

HIS HOUSE

THE DIRGE OF JEPHTHAH'S

DAUGHTER

LORD, Thou hast given me a cell

Wherein to dwell;
A little house, whose humble roof

Is weather-proof;
Under the spars of which I lie

Both soft and dry;
Where Thou my chamber for to ward

Hast set a guard
Of harmless thongbts, to watch and keep

Me, while I sleep. Low is my porch, as is my fate,

Both void of state; And yet the threshold of my door

Is worn by th' poor, Who thither come, and freely get

Good words or meat;

SUNG BY THE VIRGINS

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O thou, the wonder of all days !
O paragon, and pearl of praise !
O virgin-martyr, ever blest

Above the rest
Of all the maiden train ! We come,
And bring fresh strewings to thy tomb.

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No, no; our maiden pleasures be Wrapp'd in the winding-sheet with thee: 'Tis we are dead, though not i'th' grave:

Or, if we have One seed of life left, 'tis to keep A Lent for thee, to fast and weep. Sleep in thy peace, thy bed of spice, And make this place all paradise: Maysweets grow here: and smokefrom bence

Fat frankincense: Let balm and cassia send their scent From out thy maiden-monument. May no wolf bowl, or screech-owl stir A wing about thy sepulchre ! No boisterous winds, or storms, come hither

To starve or wither Thy soft sweet earth! but, like a spring, Love keep it ever flourishing. May all shy maids, at wonted hours, Come forth to strew thy tomb with flow'rs' May virgins, when

they come to mourn,

Male-incense burn
Upon thine altar! then return,
And leave thee sleeping in thy urn.

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Thus, thus, and thus we compass round
Thy harmless and unhaunted ground;
And as we sing thy dirge, we will

The daffodil
And other flowers lay upon
The altar of our love, thy stone.
Thou wonder of all maids, liest here,
Of daughters all the dearest dear;
The eye of virgins; nay, the queen

Of this smooth green,
And all sweet meads; from whence we get
The primrose and the violet.
Too soon, too dear did Jephthab buy,
By thy sad loss, our liberty:
His was the bond and cov'nant, yet

Thou paid'st the debt:
Lamented maid ! he won the day,
But for the conquest thou didst pay.
Thy father brought with him along
The olive branch and victor's song:
He slew the Ammonites, we know,

But to thy woe;
And in the purchase of our peace,
The cure was worse than the disease.
For which obedient zeal of thine,
We offer here, before thy shrine,
Our sighs for storax, tears for wine;

And to make fine
And fresh thy hearse-cloth, we will, here,
Four times bestrew thee ev'ry year.
Receive, for this thy praise, our tears:
Receive this offering of our hairs:
Receive these crystal vials fill'd

With tears distillid
From teeming eyes; to these we bring,
Each maid, her silver filleting,
To gild thy tomb; besides, these cauls,
These laces, ribbons, and these falls,
These veils, wherewith we use to hide

The bashful bride,
When we conduct her to her groom:
And all we lay upon thy tomb.
No more, no more, since thou art dead,
Shall we e'er bring coy brides to bed;
No more, at yearly festivals

We cowslip balls
Or chains of columbines shall make
For this or that occasion's sake.

1 Cauls, nets for the hair. * Falls, trimmings hanging loosely.

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TO KEEP A TRUE LENT Is this a fast, to keep

The larder lean ?

And clean From fat of veals and sheep ? Is it to quit the dish

Of flesh, yet still

To fill
The platter high with fish ?
Is it to fast an hour,

Or ragg'd to go,

Or show
A downcast look and sour ?
No; 'tis a fast to dole

Thy sheaf of wheat,

And meat,
Unto the hungry soul.
It is to fast from strife,

From old debate

And hate;
To circumcise thy life.
To show a heart grief-rent;

To starve thy sin,

Not bin;
And that's to keep thy Lent.

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JOHN MILTON

ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S

NATIVITY

(1629)

Oh! run; prevent them with thy humble ode,

And lay it lowly at his blessèd feet; Have thou the honour first thy Lord to

greet, And join thy voice unto the Angel Quire, From out his secret altar touched with bal

lowed fire.

I

THE HYMN

I

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This is the month, and this the happy morn, Wherein the Son of Heaven's eternal

King, Of wedded maid and virgin mother born, Our great redemption from above did

bring; For so the holy sages once did sing, That he our deadly forfeit should release, And with his father work us a perpetual peace.

II That glorious form, that light unsufferable,

And that far-beaming blaze of majesty, Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high coun

cil-table To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,

He laid aside, and, here with us to be, Forsook the courts of everlasting day, And chose with us a darksome house of

mortal clay.

It was the winter wild,

While the Heaven-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger

lies;
Nature, in awe to him,

Had doffed her gaudy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the Sun, her lusty para-

mour,

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II

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But he, her fears to cease,

Sent down the meek-eyed Peace. She, crowned with olive green, came

softly sliding Down through the turning sphere, His ready harbinger, With turtle wing the amorous clouds

dividing; And, waving wide her myrtle wand, She strikes a universal peace through sea

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IV See how from far upon the eastern road The star-led wizards haste with odours

and land.

sweet!

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