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Which, Venus hearing, thither came,
And for their boldness stript them; And taking thence from each his flame,
With rods of myrtle whipt them.
Which done, to still their wanton cries
When quiet grown she'd seen them, She kissed and wiped their dove-like eyes, And gave
the bag between them.
TO THE WILLOW TREE.
Thou art to all lost love the best
The only true plant found, Wherewith young men and maids, distrest
And left of love, are crowned.
When once the lover's rose is dead
Or laid aside forlorn,
Bedewed with tears are worn.
When with neglect the lover's bane
Poor maids rewarded be
Is but a wreath from thee.
And underneath thy cooling shade,
of the light,
Come to weep out the night.
THE FUNERAL RITES OF THE ROSE.
The rose was sick, and smiling died;
Gather ye rosebuds, while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying ; And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a getting, The sooner will his race be run,
The nearer he's to setting.
The age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
No will-o'-thi-wisp mislight thee;
But on, on thy way,
Not making a stay, Since ghost there is none to affright thee,
Let not the dark thee cumber,
The stars of the night,
Will lend thee their light, Like tapers clear without number.
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
fall so fast ?
And go at last.
What were ye born to be
An hour or half's delight,
And so to bid good-night ? 'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth, Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.
But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave; And after they have shown their pride,
Like you, awhile they glide
Into the grave.
The want in these graceful and delicate lyrics is thew and sinew. And yet they are what they pretend to be-airy petals of the cherry-blossom, hinting of fruit, bees fluttering and musical, giving token of honey.
The Muse fares ill in civil contentions. As Herrick fled before the Roundheads, so was George Wither opprest by the Cavaliers. The following noble praise of poetry was written in a prison ; in a prison the poor poet passed many of his latter years, and it is still a question whether he actually died in confinement, or perished of want and misery after his release.
But alas! my muse is slow;
be a grace;
And the lasses more excel
my former days of bliss