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Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
As man's ingratitude !
Although thy breath bé rude.
Then heigh, ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
As benefits forgot!
Heigh ho! &c. &c.
SERENADE TO SYLVIA.
Who is Sylvia, what is she,
That all our swains commend her ?
That she might admired be.
For beauty lives with kindness ?
And being helped, inhabits there.
That Sylvia is excelling ;
To her let us garlands bring.
Over hill, over dale,
I do wander every where,
GILES FLETCHER. GILES FLETCHER was a cousin of Fletcher the dramatist. He was educated at Cambridge, and afterwards became a clergyman. Little is known of his life. He died at his living of Alderston, in Suffolk, A.D. 1623. His poem entitled the Temptation and Victory of Christ deserves a high place in the religious poetry of England. In its imaginative and allegorical vein it resembles Spenser. The diction of it possesses a remarkable affluence, vigour, and expressiveness.
CHRIST'S VICTORY IN HEAVEN.
The obsequies of Him that could not die,
And death of life, end of eternity,
Descended from the bosom of the High,
To clothe Himself in naked misery,
Wherein a blind and dead heart liv'd, to swell
With better thoughts, send down those lights that lend Knowledge, how to begin, and how to end The love, that never was, nor ever can be penn'd.
DESCRIPTION OF JUSTICE,
She was a virgin of austere regard :
Into the solid heart, and with her ears,
The silence of the thought loud speaking hears,
Sending his eyes to heav'n swimming in tears,
With hideous clamours ever struck her ears, Whetting the blazing sword that in her hand she bears. The winged lightning is her Mercury, And round about her mighty thunders sound : Impatient of himself lies pining by Pale Sickness, with her kercher'd head up wound, And thousand noisome plagues attend her round.
But if her cloudy brow but once grow foul,
The flints do melt, and rocks to water roll, And airy mountains shake, and frighted shadows howl. Famine, and bloodless Care, and bloody War, Want, and the want of knowledge how to use Abundance, Age, and Fear, that runs afar Before his fellow Grief, that aye pursues His winged steps; for who would not refuse
Grief's company, a dull, and raw-bon'd spright,
That lanks the cheeks, and pales the freshest sight,
Whose ragged flesh and clothes did well agree :
And round about, amazed Horror flies,
And over all, Shame veils his guilty eyes,
Where good, and bad, and life, and death, were painted :
Was never heart of mortal so untainted, But when that scroll was read with thousand terrors fainted. Witness the thunder that Mount Sinai heard, When all the hill with fiery clouds did flame, And wand'ring Israel, with the sight afеard, Blinded with seeing, durst not touch the same, But like a wood of shaking leaves became.
On this dead Justice, she, the living law,
Bowing herself with a majestic awe,
DESCRIPTION OF MERCY.
How may a worm, that crawls along the dust,
How may weak mortal ever hope to fill
His unsmooth tongue, and his deprostrate style ?
There to importune, and to beg apace
One happy favour of thy sacred grace,
Or why sweet plants so grateful odours show'r ?
It is because thy breath so like they be : Or why the orient Sun so bright we see ? What reason can we give, but from thine eyes, and thee ? Ros'd all in lively crimson are thy cheeks, Where beauties indeflourishing abide, And, as to pass his fellow either seeks, Seems both to blush at one another's pride : And on thine eyelids, waiting thee beside,
Ten thousand Graces sit, and when they move
To Earth their amorous belgards from above, They fly from Heav'n, and on their wings convey thy love. And of discolour'd plumes their wings are made, And with so wondrous art the quills are wrought, That whensoever they cut the airy glade, The wind into their hollow pipes is caught: As seems, the spheres with them they down have brought :
Like to the seven-fold reed of Arcady,
Which Pan of Syrinx made, when she did fly To Ladon sands, and at his sighs sung merrily.
Her upper garment was a silken lawn,
That seem'd the world she new created there;
And the mistaken eye would rashly swear
What it might be, was of so various hue;
For to itself it oft so diverse grew,