Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Early or late

They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

15

:

The garlands wither on your brow;

Then boast no more your mighty deeds ; Jpon Death's purple altar now See where the victor-victim bleeds : 20

Your heads must come

To the cold tomb ;
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

J. SHIRLEY.

70

WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED

TO THE CITY

Captain, or Colonel, or Knight in arms,
Whose chance on these defenceless doors may

seize, If deed of honour did thee ever please, Guard them, and him within protect from harms.

6

He can requite thee; for he knows the charms

That call fame on such gentle acts as these,

And he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas, Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms.

[ocr errors]

Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower :

The great Emathian conqueror bid spare The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower

10

Went to the ground : and the repeated air
Of sad Electra's poet had the power
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

J. MILTON.

[ocr errors][merged small]

5

When I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,

And that one talent which is death to hide Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest He returning chide,

Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?
I fondly ask :—But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies ; God doth not need
Either man's work, or His own gifts : who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best : His

state
Is kingly ; thousands at His bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest :
They also serve who only stand and wait.

J. MILTON.

11

172

CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE

5

How happy is he born or taught

That serveth not another's will ;
Whose armour is his honest thought,

And silly truth his highest skill !
Whose passions not his masters are,

Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Untied unto the world with care

Of princely love or vulgar breath ;
Who hath his life from rumours freed,

Whose conscience is his strong retreat ;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,

Nor ruin make accusers great ;

10 1.

Who envieth none whom chance doth raise

Or vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given with praise ;

Nor rules of state, but rules of good :
Who God doth late and early pray

More of his grace than gifts to lend ; Who entertains the harmless day

With a well-chosen book or friend;

20

-This man is free from servile bands

Of hope to rise, or fear to fall ; Lord of himself, though not of lands; And having nothing, he hath all.

SIR H. WOTTON.

73

THE NOBLE NATURE

5

It is not growing like a tree

In bulk, doth make Man better be ; Or standing long an oak, three hundred year, To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere :

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night ;

It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see ;
And in short measures life may perfect be.

B. JONSON.

10

74

THE GIFTS OF GOD

When God at first made Man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by ;
Let us (said He) pour on him all we can :
Let the world's riches, which disperséd lie,

Contract into a span.

5

So strength first made a way ; Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure : When almost all was out, God made a stay, Perceiving that alone, of all His treasure, Rest in the bottom lay.

10 For if I should (said He) Bestow this jewel also on my creature, He would adore my gifts instead of me, And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature :

So both should losers be.

15

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness :
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.

20 G. HERBERT.

175

THE RETREAT

5

Happy those early days, when I
Shined in my Angel-infancy !
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy aught
But a white, celestial thought ;
When yet I had not walk'd above
A mile or two from my first Love,
And looking back, at that short space
Could see a glimpse of His bright face ; 10
When on some gilded cloud or flower
My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity ;
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,

15

But felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.

20

25

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.

H. VAUGHAN.

30

76

TO MR. LAWRENCE

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

6

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

11

Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air ?

He who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

J. MILTON.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »