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Before I taught my tongue to wound
My conscience with a sinful sound,
Or had the black art to dispense
A several sin to every sense,
But felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.
O how I long to travel back,
And tread again that ancient track !
That I might once more reach that plain,
Where first I left my glorious train;
From whence th' enlighten'd spirit sees
That shady City of Palm trees !
But ah ! my soul with too much stay
Is drunk, and staggers in the way :-
Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps would move ;
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came, return.
Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining ? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air ?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
Cyriack, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that after no repenting draws ;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intends, and what the French.
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know Toward solid good what leads the nearest way; For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair
State in wonted manner keep :
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose ;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close ;
Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.
Lay thy bow of pearl apart
And thy crystal-shining quiver ;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever ;
Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright!
79. WISHES FOR THE SUPPOSED MISTRESS.
Whoe'er she be,
That not impossible She
That shall command my heart and me;
Where'er she lie,
from mortal eye
In shady leaves of destiny:
Till that ripe birth
Of studied Fate stand forth,
And teach her fair steps to our earth;
Till that divine
Idea take a shrine
Of crystal flesh, through which to shine:
-Meet you her, my Wishes,
Bespeak her to my blisses,
And be ye call'd, my absent kisses.
I wish her beauty
That owes not all its duty
To gaudy tire, or glist'ring shoe-tie:
Something more than
Taffata or tissue can,
Or rampant feather, or rich fan.
A face that's best
By its own beauty drest,
And can alone command the rest :
A face made up
Out of no other shop
Than what Nature's white hand sets ope.
Of sweet discourse, whose powers
Can crown old Winter's head with flowers,
Can make day's forehead bright
Or give down to the wings of night.
Soft silken hours,
Open suns, shady bowers;
'Bove all, nothing within that lowers.
Days, that need borrow
No part of their good morrow
From a fore-spent night of sorrow :
Days, that in spite
Of darkness, by the light
Of a clear mind are day all night.
Life, that dares send
A challenge to his end,
And when it comes, say,
I wish her store
Of worth may leave her poor
Of wishes ; and I wish-mno more.
-Now, if Time knows
That Her, whose radiant brows
Weave them a garland of my vows :
Her that dares be
What these lines wish to see ;
I seek no further, it is She.
'Tis She, and here
Lo! I unclothe and clear
My wishes' cloudy character,
Such worth as this is
Shall fix my flying wishes,
And determine them to kisses.
Let her full glory,
My fancies, fly before ye ;
Be ye my fictions :—but her story.
80. THE GREAT ADVENTURER,
Over the mountains
And over the waves,
Under the fountains
And under the graves ;
Under floods that are deepest,
Which Neptune obey ;
Over rocks that are steepest
Love will find out the way.
Where there is no place
For the glow-worm to lie ;
Where there is no space
For receipt of a fly;
Where the midge dares not venture
Lest herself fast she lay ;