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(Like to a furnace, that the min'ral powers)
Seem'd to have molt it in their shining holes :
And on the water, like to burning coals,
On liquid silver leaves of roses lay :
But when Panglory here did list to play,
Rose-water then it ran, and milk it rain’d they say.
The roof thick clouds did paint, from which three
boys Three gaping mermaids with their eawrs did feed, Whose breasts let fall the streams, with sleepy noise, To lions mouths, from whence it leapt with speed, And in the rosy laver seem'd to bleed; The naked boys unto the waters fall, Their stony nightingales had taught to call, When zephyr breath'd into their wat’ry interail.
And all about, embayed in soft sleep,
A herd of charmed beasts aground were spread,
Which the fair witch in golden chains did keep,
And them in willing bondage fettered:
Once men they liv’d, but now the men were dead,
And turn’d to beasts, so fabled Homer old,
That Circe with her potion, charm’d in gold,
Us'd manly souls in beastly bodies to inmould.
INSTABILITY OF HUMAN GREATNESS.
From Phineas Fletcher's Purple Island. Canto vii.
Fond man, that looks on earth for happiness,
And here long seeks what here is never found !
For all our good we hold from Heav'n by lease,
With many forfeits and conditions bound;
Nor can we pay the fine, and rentage due :
Though now but writ, and seal'd, and giv'n anew,
Yet daily we it break, then daily must renew.
Why shouldst thou here look for perpetual good,
At every loss against Heav'n's face repining?
Do but behold where glorious cities stood,
With gilded tops, and silver turrets shining;
Where now the hart fearless of greyhound feeds,
And loving pelican in safety breeds ;
Where screeching satyrs fill the people's empty
Where is the Assyrian lion's golden hide,
That all the east once grasp'd in lordly paw?
Where that great Persian bear, whose swelling pride
The lion's self tore out with ravenous jaw ?
Or he which, 'twixt a lion and a pard,
Through all the world with nimble pinions far'd,
And to his greedy whelps his conquer'd kingdoms
Hardly the place of such antiquity,
Or note of these great monarchies we find:
Only a fading verbal memory,
And empty name in writ is left beliind :
But when this second life and glory fades,
And sinks at length in time's obscurer shades,
A second fall succeeds, and double death invades.
That monstrous beast, which, nurs'd in Tiber's fen, Did all the world with hideous shape affray ;
That fill’d with costly spoil his gaping den,
And trode down all the rest to dust and clay :
His battering horns pull'd out by civil hands,
And iron teeth lie scatter'd on the sands;
Back’d, bridled by a monk, with sev'n heads yoked
And that black vulture,* which with deathful wing
O’ershadows half the earth, whose dismal sight
Frighten’d the Muses from their native spring,
Already stoops, and flags with weary flight:
Who then shall look for happiness beneath ?
Where each new day proclaims chance, change,
And life itself's as fit as is the air we breathe.
HAPPINESS OF THE SHEPHERD'S LIFE.
Tarice, oh, thrice happy, shepherd's life and state !
When courts are happiness, unhappy pawns !
His cottage low and safely humble gate
Shuts out proud Fortune, with her scorns and fawns:
No feared treason breaks his quiet sleep:
Singing all day, his flocks he learns to keep;
Himself as innocent as are his simple sheep.
No Serian worms he knows, that with their thread Draw out their silken lives : nor silken pride :
His lambs' warm fleece well fits his little need,
Not in that proud Sidonian tincture dy'd :
No empty hopes, no courtly fears him fright;
Nor begging wants his middle fortune bite :
But sweet content exiles both misery and spite.
Instead of music and base flattering tongues,
Which wait to first salute my lord's uprise ;
The cheerful lark wakes him with early songs,
And birds sweet whistling notes unlock his eyes :
In countryplays is all the strife he uses ;
Or sing, or dance unto the rural Muses;
And but in music's sports all difference refuses.
His certain life, that never can deceive him,
Is full of thousand sweets, and rich content:
The smooth-leav'd beeches in the field receive him
With coolest shades, till noon-tide rage is spent :
His life is neither toss'd in boist'rous seas
Of troublous world, nor lost in slothful ease :
Pleas'd, and full blest he lives, when he his God can
His bed of wool yields safe and quiet sleeps,
While by his side his faithful spouse hath place ;
His little son into his bosom creeps,
The lively picture of his father's face :
Never his humble house nor state torment him ;
Less he could like, if less his God had sent him ;
And when he dies, green turfs, with grassy tomb
OR AN ELEGY UPON THE UNRIPE DECEASE OF
Composed at the request (and for a monument) of his
surviving lady. By Phineas Fletcher.
Look as a stag, pierc'd with a fatal bow,
(As by a wood he walks securely feeding)
In coverts thick conceals his deadly blow,
And feeling death swim in his endless bleeding,
(His heavy head his fainting strength exceeding)
Bids woods adieu, so sinks into his grave;
Green brakes and primrose sweet his seemly hearse
So lay a gentle knight now full of death,
With cloudy eyes his latest hour expecting;
And by his side, sucking his fleeting breath,
His weeping spouse Eliza, life neglecting,
And all her beauteous fairs with grief infecting :
Her cheek as pale as his, 'twere hard to scan, If death or sorrow's face did look more pale or
Close by, her sister, fair Alicia, sits;
Fairest Alicia, to whose sweetest graces
His tears and sighs a fellow passion fits:
Upon her eye (his throne) love sorrow places;
There comfort sadness, beauty grief embraces :
Pity might seem a while that face to borrow, And thither now was come to comfort death and