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What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,

of Attic taste with wine, whence we may rise

to hear the lute well touched, or artful voice warble immortal notes and Tuscan air ?

He, who of those delights can judge, and spare to interpose them oft, is not unwise.

J. MILTON

114

TO THE NIGHTINGALE
O

NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy spray

warblest at eve, when all the woods are still ; thou with fresh hopes the lover's heart dost fill, while the jolly Hours lead on propitious May. Thy liquid notes that close the eye of Day,

first heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill,

portend success in love. Oh! if Jove's will have 'linked that amorous power to thy soft lay, now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate

foretell my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh as thou from year to year hast sung too late

for my relief, yet hadst no reason why : whether the Muse or Love call thee his mate, both them I serve, and of their train am I.

J. MILTON

115

THE POET'S HOUSE WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS

IN TENDED TO THE CITY OF LONDON

whose chance on these defenceless doors may

seize,
if deed of honour did thee ever please,

guard them, and him within protect from harms. He can requite thee ; for he knows the charms

that call fame on such gentle acts as these,
and he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas,

whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower:

the great Emathian conqueror bid spare

the house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
went to the ground: and the repeated air

of sad Electra's poet had the pow'r
to save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

J. MILTON

116

ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT

AVEN

VENGE, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose

bones
lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;
even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,

when all our fathers worshipt stocks and stones, forget not: in thy book record their groans

who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
slain by the bloody Piemontese, that rolled

mother with infant down the rocks; their moans the vales redoubled to the hills, and they

to heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow

o'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway the triple tyrant; that from these may grow

a hundredfold, who, having learned thy way,
early may fly the Babylonian woe.

J. MILTON

117

ON THE DEATH OF SIR PHILIP SIDNEY

IVE pardon, blessed soul, to my bold cries,

which now, with joyful notes, thou sing'st among
the angel-choristers of heavenly skies.
Give pardon eke, sweet soul, to my slow eyes,

that since I saw thee now it is so long,

and yet the tears that unto thee belong,
to thee as yet they did not sacrifice.

I did not know that thou wert dead before,
I did not feel the grief I did sustain ;

the greater stroke astonisheth the more;
astonishment takes from us sense of pain;

I stood amazed when others' tears begun,
and now begin to weep when they have done.

H. CONSTABLE

118

SONNET

AS
S when it happeneth that some lovely town

unto a barbarous besieger falls,
who both by sword and flame himself installs,
and shameless it in tears and blood doth drown;

her beauty spoiled, her citizens made thralls,
his spite yet cannot so her all throw down,
but that some statue, arch, fane of renown,
yet lurks unmaimed within her weeping walls:
só after all the spoil, disgrace and wreck,
that time, the world and death could bring combined,
amidst that mass of ruins they did make,
safe and all scarless yet remains my mind:

from this so high transcendent rapture springs,
that I, all else defaced, not envy kings.

W. DRUMMOND

119

PLEASURES OF RETIREMENT

THR
THRICE happy he, who by some shady grove,

far from the clamorous world doth live his own,
though solitary, who is not alone,
but doth converse with that eternal love.
O how more sweet is birds' harmonious moan,
or the hoarse sobbings of the widowed dove,
than those smooth whisperings near a prince's throne,
which good make doubtful, do the evil approve!
O how more sweet is zephyr's wholesome breath,
and sighs embalmed, which new-born flow'rs unfold,
than that applause vain honour doth bequeath!
how sweet are streams to poison drunk in gold !

the world is full of horrors, falehoods, slights: woods' harmless shades have only true delights.

W. DRUMMOND

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OOK as the flow'r which lingeringly doth fade;

the morning's darling late, the summer's Queen, spoild of that juice which kept it fresh and green, as high as it did raise, bows low the head; (right so the pleasures of my life being dead, or in their contraries but only seen) with swifter speed declines than erst it spread, and, blasted, scarce now shows what it hath been: therefore, as doth the pilgrim, whom the night hastes darkly to imprison on his way,

think on thy home, my soul! and think aright,
of what's yet left thee of life's wasting day;

the sun posts westward, passed is thy morn,
and twice it is not given thee to be born.

W. DRUMMOND

I21

OTH then the world go thus, doth all thus move?

is this that firm decree which all doth bind?
are these your influences Powers above?
Those souls which vice's moody mists most blind,
blind Fortune, blindly, most their friend doth prove:
and they who thee, poor idol Virtue! love,
ply like a feather tossed by storm and wind.
Ah! if a providence doth sway this all,
why should best minds groan under most distress?
or why should pride humility make thrall,
and injuries the innocent oppress?

Heavens! hinder, stop this fate; or grant a time
when good may have, as well as bad, their prime!

W. DRUMMOND

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OOK, Delia, how we esteem the half-blown Rose, Lthe image of thy blush and summer's honour! whilst yet her tender bud doth undisclose that full of beauty Time bestows upon her. No sooner spreads her glory in the air, but straight her wide-blown pomp comes to decline; she then is scorn'd that late adorn'd the fair; so fade the roses of those cheeks of thine ! No April can revive thy wither'd flowers, whose springing grace adorns thy glory now; swift speedy time, feather'd with flying hours, dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow.

Then do not thou such treasure waste in vain; but love now, whilst thou mayst be loved again.

S. DANIEL

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CA

“ARE-charmer sleep, son of the sable Night,

brother to Death, in silent darkness born, relieve my languish, and restore the light, with dark forgetting of my care, return.

And let the day be time enough to mourn
the shipwreck of my ill-adventured youth ;
let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn,
without the torment of the night's untruth.
Cease, dreams, the images of day-desires,
to model forth the passions of the morrow;
never let rising sun approve you liars,
to add more grief to aggravate my sorrow:

still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain,
and never wake to feel the day's disdain.

S. DANIEL

124

SWEET CONTENT
AR
RT thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers?

Oh, sweet content!
Art thou rich, yet in thy mind perplexed ?

Oh, punishment !
dost thou laugh to see, how fools are vexed,
to add to golden numbers golden numbers ?

Oh, sweet content!
canst drink the waters of the crisped spring?

Oh, sweet content !
swimm'st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine own tears?

Oh, punishment!
then he, that patiently want's burden bears,
no burden bears, but is a king, a king!
Oh, sweet content !

DEKKER AND HAUGHTON 125

TO SLEEP
FOND words have oft been spoken to thee, Sleep!

and thou hast had thy store of tenderest names ;
the very sweetest fancy culls or frames,
when thankfulness of heart is strong and deep!
dear Bosom-child we call thee, that dost steep
in rich reward all suffering; Balm that tames
all anguish; Saint, that evil thoughts and aims
takest away, and into souls dost creep,
like to a breeze from heaven. Shall I alone,
I surely not a man ungently made,
call thee worst Tyrant by which Flesh is crost ?
perverse, self-willed to own and to disown,
mere slave of them who never for thee prayed,
still last to come where thou art wanted most!

W. WORDSWORTH

FOND

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