Imagens da página

Which, Venus hearing, thither came,

And for their boldness stript them;
And taking thence from each his flame,

With rods of myrtle whipt them.

[ocr errors]

Which done, to still their wanton cries

When quiet grown she'd seen them,
She kissed and wiped their dove-like eyes,

the bag between them.


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,
Then willow garlands 'bout the head,

Bedewed with tears are worn.

When with neglect the lover's bane

Poor maids rewarded be
For their love lost; their only gain

Is but a wreath from thee.

And underneath thy cooling shade,

of the light,
The love-spent youth and love-sick maid

Come to weep out the night.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


The rose was sick, and smiling died;
And being to be sanctified,
About the bed there sighing stood
The sweet and flowery sisterhood.
Some hung the head, while some did bring.
To wash her, water from the spring;
Some laid her forth, while others wept,
But all a solemn fast there kept.
The holy sisters some among
The sacred dirge and trental sung ;
But ah! what sweets smelt everywhere
As heaven had spent all perfumes there!
At last, when prayers for the dead
And rites were all accomplished,
They, weeping, spread a lawny loom,
And closed her up, as in a tomb.


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'-th'-wisp mislight thee;
Nor snake, nor slow-worm bite thee;

But on, on thy way,

Not making a stay, Since ghost there is none to affright thee,

Let not the dark thee cumber,
What though the moon doth slumber?

The stars of the night,

Will lend thee their light, Like tapers clear without number.


Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,

Why do ye fall so fast ?

Your date is not so past
But you may stay yet here awhile,
To blush and gently smile,


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;
For thy pace she flags too low.
But though for her sake I'm curst,
Though my best hopes I have lost,
And knew she would make my trouble,
Ten times more than ten times double ;
I would love and keep her too,
Spite of all the world could do.
For though banished from my flocks,
And confined within these rocks,
Here I waste away the light,
And consume the sullen night;
She doth for my comfort stay,
And keeps many cares away.
Though I miss the flowery fields,
And those sweets the spring-tide yields ;
Though I may not see those groves,
Where the shepherds chaunt their loves,

And the lasses more excel Than the sweet-voiced Philomel ; Though of all those pleasures past) Nothing now remains at last, But remembrance, poor relief That more makes than mends my grief ; She's my mind's companion still Maugre Envy's evil will : Whence she should be driven too, Were't in mortal's power to do. She doth tell me where to borrow Comfort in the midst of sorrow; Makes the desolatest place In her presence be a grace ; And the blackest discontents Be her fairest ornaments. In my former days of bliss Her divine skill taught me this, That from every thing I saw I could some invention draw; And raise Pleasure to her height Through the meanest object's sight : By the murmur of a spring, Or the least boughs rustling; By a daisy, whose leaves spread Shut when Titan goes to bed ; On a shady bush or tree She could more infuse in me Than all Nature's beauties can In some other wiser man. By her help I also now Make this churlish place allow Some things, that may sweeten gladness In the very gall of sadness :

« AnteriorContinuar »