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The virgin rose, that untouch'd stands, UA
Such fate, cre long, will thee betide,
Nor, Celia, that I juster am
Or truer than the rest;
But I'm so fixt alone to thee
By every thought I have,
"Twould be again your slave,
All that in woman is adored
In thy dear self I find;
The handsome, and the kind.
Not to my virtue, but thy power,
This constancy is due;
'Tis easy to be true.
It is not, Celia, in our power
To say how long our love will last;
May lose the joys we now do taste :
Then since we mortal lovers are,
Ask not how long our love will last;
Each minute be with pleasure past:
SAY, Myra, why is gentle love
A stranger to that mind Which pity and esteem can move,
Which can be just and kind?
Is it because you fear to share
The ills that love molest,
That rack the amorous breast?
Alas! by some degree of woe
We every bliss must gain :
Awake, awake, my lyre!
In sounds that may prevail;
Though Though so exalted she,
And I so lowly be, Tell her such different notes make all thy harmony.
Hark! how the strings awake:
Themselves with awful fear
Now all thy forces try,
Now all thy charms apply,
Weak lyre! thy virtue sure
To cure but not to wound,
Too weak too thou wilt prove
My passion to remove : Physic to other ills, thou’rt nourishment to love.
Sleep, sleep again, my lyre!
In sounds that will prevail,
All thy vain mirth lay by,
Bid thy strings silent lie, Sleep, sleep again, my lyre, and let thy master die. *
TO MY LUTE.
What shade and what stillness around !
Let us seek the loved cot of the fair;
And banish each phantom of care.
The virgin may wake to thy strain,
And be sooth'd, nay, be pleased with thy song; Alas ! she may pity the swain,
And fancy his sorrows too long.
Could thy voice give a smile to her chcek,
What a joy, what a rapture were mine!
* This song or ode is given in the “ Davideis” as addressed by David to Saul's daughter, Michal. It is one of the proofs that Cowley, when not unhappily an imitator of Donne and the rest of the metaphysical school, was capable of all the elegance and harmony properly belonging to lyrical poetry.