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A COUNTRY LIFE.
Thy harvest-home, thy wassail-bowl,
That's tost up after fox i' th' hole;
Thy mummeries, thy twelfth-night kings
And queens, and Christmas revellings;
Thy nut-brown mirth, thy russet wit,
And no man pays too dear for it.
To these thou hast thy time to go,
And trace the hare in the treacherous snow:
Thy witty wiles to draw, and get
The lark into the trammel net;
Thou hast thy cock rood, and thy glade,
To take the precious pheasant made!
Thy lime-twigs, snares, and pitfalls, then,
To catch the pilfering birds, not men.
O happy life, if that their good
The husbandmen but understood!
Who all the day themselves do please,
And younglings, with such sports as these;
And, lying down, have nought t'affright
Sweet sleep, that makes more short the night.
Robert Herrick DEATH'S FINAL CONQUEST.
The glories of our birth and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
Some men with swords may reap the field,
The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds; Upon Death's purple altar, now, See where the victor victim bleeds: All heads must come To the cold tomb, Only the actions of the just Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.
James Shirley. SONNET UPON A STOLEN KISS.
Now gentle sleep hath closed up those eyes