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Oh, when shall Englishmen
120 Michael Drayton,
TO HIMSELF. Where dost thou careless lie,
Buried in ease and sloth? Knowledge, that sleeps, doth die; And this security,
It is the common moth That eats on wits and arts, and [so] destroys them
both. Are all the Aonian springs
Dried up? lies Thespia waste ? Doth Clarius' harp want strings, That not a nymph now sings !
Or droop they as disgraced, To see their seats and bowers by chattering pies
As 'tis too just a cause,
Should not on Fortune pause ; 'Tis crown enough to Virtue still, her own applause. What though the greedy fry
Be taken with false baits
They die with their conceits,
Then take in hand thy lyre,
Strike in thy proper strain,
To give the world again :
31 Cannot endure reproof, Make not thyself a page To that strumpet the stage,
But sing high and aloof, Safe from the wolf's black jaw, and the dull ass's hoof.
MELANCHOLY. Hence, all you vain delights, As short as are the nights
Wherein you spend your folly ! There's nought in this life sweet, If man were wise to seet,
But only melancholy,
Oh, sweetest melancholy ! Welcome, folded arms, and fixed eyes, A sigh that piercing mortifies, A look that's fastened to the ground, A tongue chained up without a sound ! Fountain-heads, and pathless groves, Places which pale passion loves ! Moonlight walks, when all the fowls Are warmly housed, save bats and owls ! 15
A midnight bell, a parting groan !
These are the sounds we feed upon ; Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley; . Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
Beaumont and Fletcher.
LEWD LOVE IS LOSS Misdeeming eye! that stoopeth to the lure
Of mortal worths, not worth so worthy love;
That do thy erring thoughts from God remove.
If picture move, more should the pattern please ;
No shadow can with shadowed thing compare,
But silly signs of God's high beauty are.
Glean not in barren soil these offal ears,
Sith reap thou may'st whole harvests of delight;
Lewd love with loss, evil peace with deadly fight :
Let not the luring train of fancies trap,
Or gracious features, proofs of Nature's skill,
Or draw thy wit to bent of wanton will.
Self-pleasing souls, that play with beauty's bait,
In shining shroud may swallow fatal hook ; Where eager sight on semblant fair doth wait,
A lock it proves, that first was but a look : The fish with ease into the net doth glide, But to get out the way is not so wide.
So long the fly doth dally with the flame,'
Until his singèd wings do force his fall ;
Till love hath left the heart in heavy thrall.
Moth of the mind, eclipse of reason's light ;
The wrack of wit, the wrong of every right ;
TO THE WORLD. A FAREWELL FOR A GENTLE
WOMAN, VIRTUOUS AND NOBLE.
I know thou whole art but a shop
Or having 'scaped, shall I return,
My tender, first, and simple years
Then in a soil hast planted me,