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ROBERT HERRICK.

SONG.

GATHER the rose-buds while ye may,

Old Time is still a flying ; And this same flower that smiles to-day

To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heav'n, the sun,

The higher he's a getting, The sooner will his race be run,

And nearer he's to setting.

The age is best which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse and worst

Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,

And, whilst ye may, go marry; For having lost but once your prime, You may for ever tarry.

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Ye have been fresh and green,

Ye have been fill'd with flowers; And ye the walks have been,

Where maids have spent their hours.

Ye have beheld where they

With wicker arks did come, To kiss and bear away

The richer cowslips home.

You've heard them sweetly sing,

And seen them in a round, Each virgin like a Spring

With honeysuckles crown'd.

But now we see none here,

Whose silv'ry feet did tread, And, with dishevell'd hair,

Adorn'd this smoother mead.

Like unthrifts, having spent

Your stock, and needy grown, Ye're left here to lament

Your poor estates alone.

TO MEADOWS.

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet, the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd its noon.

Stay, stay
Until the hasting day

Has run
But to the even song;
And having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you or any thing.

We die,
As
your

hours do, and dry

Away,
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

THE NIGHT-PIECE, TO JULIA.

Her eyes the glow-wo

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-worin bite thee;

But on, on thy way,

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

Let not the dark thee cumber;
What though the moon does slumber?

The stars of the night

Will lend thee their light, Like tapers clear without number.

Then, Julia, let me woo thee,
Thus, thus, to come unto me:

And when I shall meet

Thy silvery feet,
My soul I'll pour into thee.

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 awhile,
To blush and gently smile,

And go at last.

What, were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,

And so to bid good-night? 'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth Merely to shew your worth,

And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we

May read how soon things have

Their end, though ne'er so brave: And after they have shewn their pride, Like you, awhile, they glide

Into the grave.

THE COUNTRY LIFE.

SWEET country life, to such unknown,
Whose lives are others, not their own!
But serving courts and cities, be
Less happy, less enjoying thee!
Thou never plough'st the ocean's foam,
To seek and bring rough pepper home;
Nor to the Fastern Ind dost rove,
To bring from thence the scorched clove:
Nor, with the loss of thy lov'd rest,
Bring'st home the ingot from the West.
No: thy ambition's master-piece
Flies no thought higher than a fleece;
Or how to pay thy hinds, and clear
All scores, and so to end the year;
But walk’st about thy own dear bounds,
Not envying others larger grounds :
For well thou know'st, 'tis not th' extent
Of land makes life, but sweet content.
When now the cock, the ploughman's horn,
Calls forth the lily-wristed morn,
Then to thy corn-fields thou dost go,
Which, tho' well-soil'd, yet thou dost know
That the best compost for the lands
Is the wise master's feet and hands.

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