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To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair ?
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days ;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with the abhorréd shears
And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise
Phoebus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears ;

Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies :
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove ;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.'

O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd food Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds, That strain I heard was of a higher mood : But now my oat proceeds, And listens to the herald of the sea That came in Neptune's plea ; He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds, What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain ? And question'd every gust of rugged wings That blows from off each beakéd promontory : They knew not of his story ; And sage Hippotades their answer brings, That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd ; The air was calm, and on the level brine Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd. It was that fatal and perfidious bark Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark, That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.

Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing siow, His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge 105 Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe :

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· Ah! who hath reft,' quoth he, 'my dearest

pledge ?' Last came, and last did go The pilot of the Galilean lake ; Two massy keys he bore of metals twain (The golden opes, the iron shuts amain); He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake : · How well could I have spared for thee, young

swain, Enow of such as for their bellies' sake Creep and intrude and climb into the fold ! Of other care they little reckoning make Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast, And shove away the worthy bidden guest. Blind: mouths ! that scarce themselves know how

to hold A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least That to the faithful herdman's art belongs ! What recks it them? What need they? They

are sped ; And when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw ; The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread : Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said :

But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.'

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Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past That shrunk thy streams ; return, Sicilian Muse, And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues. 135 Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, On whose fresh lap the swart star sparely looks, Throw hither all your quaint enamell'd eyes That on the green turf suck the honey'd showers And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.

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Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freak'd with jet,
The glowing violet,
The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears :
Bid amarantus all his beauty shed,
And daffadillies fill their cups with tears
To strew the laureat hearse where Lycid lies.
For, so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise ;
Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away,—where'er thy bones are hurl'd,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides
Where thou perhaps, under the whelming tide,
Visitest the bottom of the monstrous world;
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great Vision of the guarded mount
Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold,
-Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with

ruth : -And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth !

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Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no

more, For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead, Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor ; So sinks the day-star in the ocean-bed, And yet anon repairs his drooping head And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore Flames in the forehead of the morning sky : So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high Through the dear might of Him that walk'd the

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waves ;

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Where, other groves and other streams along,
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.

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There entertain him all the saints above
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing, and singing in their glory move, 180
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more ;
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.

Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills,
While the still morn went out with sandals grey ;
He touch'd the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay :
And now the sun had stretch'd out all the hills,
And now was dropt into the western bay : 191
At last he rose, and twitch'd his mantle blue :
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

J. MILTON.

67 ON THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Mortality, behold and fear,
What a change of flesh is here !
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within these heaps of stones ;
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands,
Where from their pulpits seal’d with dust
They preach, “In greatness is no trust.'
Here's an acre sown indeed
With the richest royallest seed
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin :
Here the bones of birth have cried

Though gods they were, as men they died !'
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings :
Here's a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.

F. BEAUMONT.

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THE LAST CONQUEROR
Victorious men of earth, no more

Proclaim how wide your empires are ;
Though you bind-in every shore,
And your triumphs reach as far

As night or day,
Yet you, proud monarchs, must obey
And mingle with forgotten ashes, when
Death calls ye to the crowd of common men,

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Devouring Famine, Plague, and War,

Each able to undo mankind, Death's servile emissaries are ; Nor to these alone confined,

He hath at will More quaint and subtle ways to kill ; A smile or kiss, as he will use the art, Shall have the cunning skill to break a heart.

J. SHIRLEY.

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DEATH THE LEVELLER

The glories of our blood and state

Are shadows, not substantial things ;
There is no armour against fate ;
Death lays his icy hand on kings :

Sceptre and Crown

Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

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Some men with swords may reap the field,

And plant fresh laurels where they kill : But their strong nerves at last must yield ;

They tame but one another still :

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