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RIDIONSI donne e giovani amorosi
M' accostandosi attorno, e " Perchè scrivi,
Perchè tu scrivi in lingua ignota e strana
Verseggiando d' amor, e come t'osi?
Dinne, se la tua speme sia mai vana,
E de' pensieri lo miglor t' arrivi!"
Così mi van burlando: altri rivi,
Altri lidi t' aspettan, ed altre onde,
Nelle cui verdi sponde
Spuntati ad or ad or a la tua chioma
L'immortal guiderdon d' eterne frondi.
Perchè alle spalle tue soverchia soma?
Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi: "Dice mia Donna, e 'l suo dir è il mio cuore 'Questa è lingua di cui si vanta Amore.'
DIODATI (e te 'l dirò con maraviglia),
Quel ritroso io, ch' amor spreggiar solea
E de' suoi lacci spesso mi ridea,
Gia caddi, ov' uom dabben talor s' impiglia
Nè treccie d'oro, nè guancia vermiglia
M' abbaglian si, ma sotto nova idea
Pellegrina bellezza che 'l cuor bea,
Portamenti alti onesti, e nelle ciglia
Quel sereno fulgor d'amabil nero,
Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una,
E 'l cantar che di mezzo l' emispero
Traviar ben può la faticosa Luna;
E degli occhi suoi avventa sì gran fuoco
Che l' incerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.
PER certo i bei vostr' occhi, Donna mia,
Esser non può che non sian lo mio sole;
Si mi percuoton forte, come ei suole
Per l'arene di Libia chi s' invia,
Mentre un caldo vapor (nè sentì pria)
Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Che forse amanti nelle lor parole
Chiaman sospir; io non so che si sia.
Parte rinchiusa e turbida si cela
Scosso mi il petto, e poi n' uscendo poco
Quivi d' attorno o s' agghiaccia o s' ingiela;
Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco
Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose,
Finchè mia alba rivien colma di rose.
GIOVANE piano, e semplicetto amante,
Poichè fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna, a voi del mio cuor l' umil dono
Farò divoto. Io certo a prove tante
L'ebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,
Di pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono.
Quando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono
S'arma di se, e d' intero diamante,
Tanto del forse e d' invidia sicuro,
Di timori, e speranze al popol use,
Quanto d' ingegno e d' alto valor vago,
E di cetra sonora, e delle Muse.
Sol troverete in tal parte men duro
Ove Amor mise l' insanabil ago.
WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO THE CITY
CAPTAIN or Colonel, or Knight in Arms,
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 power
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.
[TO A VIRTUOUS YOUNG LADY]
LADY, that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely hast shunned the broad way and the green, And with those few art eminently seen That labour up the hill of heavenly Truth, The better part with Mary and with Ruth.
Chosen thou hast; and they that overween, And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen, No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth. Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure Thou, when the Bridegroom with his feastful friends Passes to bliss at the mid-hour of night, Hast gained thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.
TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY
DAUGHTER to that good Earl, once President
Of England's Council and her Treasury,
Who lived in both unstained with gold or fee,
And left them both, more in himself content,
Till the sad breaking of that Parliament
Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,
Killed with report that old man eloquent,
Though later born than to have known the days
Wherein your father flourished, yet by you,
Madam, methinks I see him living yet:
So well your words his noble virtues praise
That all both judge you to relate them true
And to possess them, honoured Margaret.
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON MY
WRITING CERTAIN TREATISES
A BOOK was writ of late called Tetrachordon,
And woven close, both matter, form, and style; The subject new: it walked the town a while, Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored on. Cries the stall-reader, "Bless us! what a word on A title-page is this!"; and some in file
Stand spelling false, while one might walk to MileEnd Green. Why, is it harder, sirs, than Gordon, Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?
Those rugged names to our like mouths. grow sleek, That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp. Thy age, like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheek,
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp,
When thou taught'st Cambridge and King Edward
I DID but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs;
As when those hinds that were transformed to frogs
Railed at Latona's twin-born progeny,
Which after held the Sun and Moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
And still revolt when Truth would set them free,
Licence they mean when they cry Liberty;
For who loves that must first be wise and good:
But from that mark how far they rove we see,
For all this waste of wealth and loss of blood,
ON THE NEW FORCERS OF CONSCIENCE UNDER THE
BECAUSE you have thrown off your Prelate Lord,
And with stiff vows renounced his Liturgy,
To seize the widowed whore Plurality
From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorred,
Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword
To force our consciences that Christ set free,
And ride us with a Classic Hierarchy,
Taught ye by mere A.S. and Rutherford?
Men whose life, learning, faith, and pure intent,
Would have been held in high esteem with Paul
Must now be named and printed heretics
By shallow Edwards and Scotch What-d'ye-call!
But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
Your plots and packing, worse than those of Trent,
That so the Parliament
May with their wholesome and preventive shears
Clip your phylacteries, though baulk your ears,
And succour our just fears,
When they shall read this clearly in your charge:
New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large.
TO MR. H. LAWES, ON HIS AIRS
HARRY, whose tuneful and well-measured song
First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to scan
With Midas' ears, committing short and long,
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
With praise enough for Envy to look wan;
To after age thou shalt be writ the man
That with smooth air couldst humour best our tongue.
Thou honour'st Verse, and Verse must lend her wing
To honour thee, the priest of Phœbus' quire,
That tunest their happiest lines in hymn or story.
Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he wooed to sing,
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.