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Oh let our voice His praise exalt
Till it shall reach to Heaven's vault,
Which thence, perhaps, rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexique bay !
Thus sung they in the English boat,
A holy and a cheerful note;
And all the way, to guide their chime
With falling oars they kept the time.
How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak or bays;
And their incessant labors see
Crowned from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow vergèd shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close,
To weave the garland of repose. •
Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear;
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men.
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow.
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.
No white, nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green,
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name.
Little, alas ! they know or heed
How far these beauties her exceed !
Fair trees ! where'er your backs I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.
When we have run our passion's heat,
Love hither makes his best retreat.
The gods, who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race.
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that she might laurel grow;
And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
Not as a nymph but for a seed.
What wondrous life in this I lead !
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine, the curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean, where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find,
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide :
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings;
And, still prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.
Such was that happy garden-state,
While man there walked without a mate;
After a place so pure and sweet;
What other help could yet be meet!
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there;
Two Paradises are in one,
To live in Paradise alone!
How well the skillful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new :
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant Zodiac run :
And as it works the industrious bee
Computes his time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours,
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers ?
Wicked person ! I was over charitable in forgiving his conceits. It is not in woman to pardon his want of gallantry. One can only suppose that the unhappy man was an old bachelor. If the last stanza but one be provoking to female vanity, the last of all.excites another feminine quality, called curiosity. What
does the new dial mean? Is there really nothing new under the sun? And had they in the middle of the seventeenth century discovered the horologe of Flora ?
THE NYMPH COMPLAINING FOR THE DEATH OF HER PAWN.
The wanton troopers riding by
Have shot my fawn and it will die.
Ungentle men! they can not thrive
Who killed thee. Thou ne'er didst alive
Them any harm. Alas! nor could
Thy death to them do any good.
I'm sure I never wished them ill;
Nor do I for all this ; nor will :
But if my simple prayer may yet
Prevail with Heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears
Rather than fail. But oh, my fears!
It can not die so. Heaven's King
Keeps register of every thing,
And nothing may we use in vain :
Even beasts must be with justice slain.
Inconstant Silvio, when yet
I had not found him counterfeit,
One morning, (I remember well)
Tied in this silver chain and bell,
Gave it to me: nay, and I know
What he said then: I'm sure I do.
Said he, “Look how your huntsmen here
Hath brought a fawn to hunt his deer."
But Silvio soon had me beguiled.
This waxed tame, while he grew wild,
And, quite regardless of my smart,
Left me his fawn but took his heart.
Thenceforth I set myself to play
My solitary time away
With this, and very well content
Could so my idle life have spent;
For it was full of sport, and light
Of foot and heart; and did invite
Me to its game; it seemed to bless
Itself in me. How could I less
Than love it? Oh! I can not be
Unkind to a beast that loveth me.
Had it 'ived long, I do not know
Whether it too might have done so
As Silvio did ; ais gifts might be
Perhaps as false or more than he,
But I am sure, for aught that I
Could in so short a time espy,
Thy love was far more better than
The love of false and cruel man.
With sweetest milk and sugar, first
I it at my own fingers nursed;
And, as it grew so every day
It waxed more sweet and white than they:
It had so sweet a breath. And oft
I blushed to see its foot more soft
And white, shall I say than my hand ?
Nay, any lady's of the land.
It is a wondrous thing how fleet
'Twas on those little silver feet;
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race;
And, when 't had left me far away,
'Twould stay, and run again, and stay;
For it was nimbler much than hinds,
And trod as if on the four winds.
I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness,
And all the spring-time of the year
It only loved to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft where it should lie,
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes;
For in the flaxen lilies' shade
It like a bank of lilies laid;
Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips e'en seemed to bleed;
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold.
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.
Nothing can exceed the grace, the delicate prettiness of this little poem. There is a trippingness in the measure, now stop
ping short, now bounding on, which could not have been exceeded by the playful motions of the poor fawn itself. We must forgive his want of gallantry. It must have been all pretense. No true woman-hater could sò have embodied a feeling peculiar to the sex, the innocent love of a young girl for her innocent pet.
I must find room for a few stanzas of Marvell’s Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's return from Ireland. Fine as the praise of Cromwell is, it yields in grandeur and beauty to the tribute paid by the poet to the demeanor of the King upon the scaffold; by far the noblest of the many panegyrics upon the martyred King.