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101 In vain with various arts they striye
to keep their little names alive:
bid to the skies th' ambitious tower ascend;
the cirque its vast majestic length extend;
bid arcs of triumph swell their graceful round;
or mausoleums load th' encumbered ground;
or sculpture speak in animated stone
of vanquish'd monarchs tumbled from the throne;
the rolling tide of years,
rushing with strong and steady current, bears
the pompous piles with all their fame away
to black Oblivion's sea;
deep in whose dread abyss the glory lies
of empires, ages, never more to rise!
WHERE'S now imperial Rome,
who erst to subject-kings denounced their doom
and shook the sceptre o’er a trembling world ?
from her proud height by force barbarian hurld !
Now, on some broken capital reclined,
the sage of classic mind
her awful relics views with pitying eye,
and o'er departed grandeur heaves a sigh;
or fancies, wandering in his moonlight walk,
the prostrate fanes and mouldering domes among, he sees the mighty ghosts of heroes stalk
in melancholy majesty along;
or pensive hover o'er the ruins round,
their pallid brows with faded laurel bound;
while Cato's shade seems scornful to survey
a race of slaves, and sternly strides away.
103 Where old Euphrates winds his storied flood,
the curious traveller explores in vain
the barren shores and solitary plain
where erst majestic Babel's turret stood!
all vanish'd from the view her proud abodes,
her walls and brazen gates and palaces of gods!
a shapeless heap o'erspreads the dreary space,
of mingled piles an undistinguish'd mass:
there the wild tenants of the desert dwell:
the serpent's hiss is heard, the dragon's yell !
and doleful howlings o'er the waste affright,
and drive afar the wanderers of the night.
BELOVED of God, to thee was given
unscathed to see
the blaze of present Deity;
to see the veil in sunder riven,
and search the inmost court of Heaven.
Borne as on eagle-wings away
through ether far,
thy soul outstrips the utmost star,
nor Heaven's own lightning's fiery ray
thy spirit from its God can stay.
'Tis thine Heaven's deepest notes to tell
to seers divining;
thou op'st the light in darkness shining:
thou searchest life's o'er-flowing well,
and heaven-born light's primæval cell.
(ITH how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the
how silently, and with how wan a face !
what! may it be, and even in heavenly place,
that busy Archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long with love acquainted eyes
can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case;
I read it in thy looks, thy languish'd grace
to me that feel the like thy state descries.
Then even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
is constant love deem'd there but want of wit ?
are beauties there as proud as here they be?
do they above love to be lov'd, and yet
those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess ?
do they call virtue there ungratefulness?
SIR P. SIDNEY
EN call you fayre, and you doe credit it,
for that your selfe ye daily such doe see:
but the trew fayre, that is the gentle wit
and virtuous mind, is much more praysd of me:
for all the rest, how ever fayre it be,
shall turne to nought and loose that glorious hew;
but onely that is permanent, and free
from frayle corruption that doth flesh ensew.
That is true beautie: that doth argue you
to be divine, and borne of heavenly seed;
derived from that fayre Spirit, from whom al true
and perfect beauty did at first proceed:
He onely fayre, and what he fayre hath made,
all other fayre, lyke flowers, untymely fade.
YKE as the culver on the bared bough
sits mourning for the absence of her mate,
and in her songs sends many a wishfull vow
for his return that seemes to linger late:
so I alone, now left disconsolate,
mourn to myselfe the absence of my love;
and, wandering here and there all desolate,
seek with my plaints to match that mournful dove:
ne joy of ought that under heaven doth hove
can comfort me, but her owne joyous sight:
whose sweet aspect both God and man can move,
in her unspotted pleasauns to delight.
Dark is my day whyles her fayre light I mis,
And dead my life that wants such lively blis.
WEET warriour! when shall I have peace with
High time it is this warre now ended were,
which I no lenger can endure to sue,
nor your incessant battry more to beare:
so weake my powres, so sore my wounds appeare,
that wonder is how I should live a jot,
seeing my hart through launched everywhere
with thousand arrowes, which your eies have shot,
yet shoot ye sharpely still, and spare me not,
but glory thinke to make these cruel stoures.
Ye cruell one! what glory can be got,
in slaying him that would live gladly yours?
Make peace therefore, and graunt me timely grace
that al my wound wil heale in little space.
NON POSSVNT HÆC MONVMENTA MORI
OT marble, not the gilded monuments
of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
but you shall shine more bright in these contents
than unswept stone, besmeard with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
and broils root out the work of masonry,
nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
the living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
even in the eyes of all posterity
that wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgement that yourself arise,
you live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
HEN I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
the rich-proud cost of outworn buried age; when sometime lofty towers I see downrazed, and brass eternal slave to mortal rage; when I have seen the hungry ocean gain advantage on the kingdom of the shore, and the firm soil win of the watery main, increasing store with loss and loss with store; when I have seen such interchange of state, or state itself confounded to decay ; ruin hath taught me thus to ruminatethat Time will come and take my Love away:
-This thought is as a death, which cannot choose but weep to have that which it fears to lose.
THEN to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
and with old woes new wail my dear time's waste ;
then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
for precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
and weep afresh love's long-since-cancell'd woe,
and moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregonę,
and heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
the sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
which I new pay as if not paid before:
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
all losses are restored, and sorrows end.
ON HIS OWN BLINDNESS
HEN I consider how my light is spent
ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, and that one talent, which is death to hide,
lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
to serve therewith my Maker, and present
my true account, lest He, returning, chide;
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?'
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
that murmur, soon replies: ‘God doth not need
either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state is kingly. Thousands at His bidding speed
and post o'er land and ocean without rest;
they also serve who only stand and wait.'
AWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
where shall we sometimes meet and by the fire
help waste a sullen day, what may be won
from the hard season gaining? Time will run
on smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
the frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
the lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun.