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Early or late
They stoop to fate,
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 ;
WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED
TO THE CITY
Captain, or Colonel, or Knight in arms,
seize, If deed of honour did thee ever please, Guard them, and him within protect from harms.
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.
Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower :
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
Went to the ground : and the repeated air
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 ?
CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE
How happy is he born or taught
That serveth not another's will ;
And silly truth his highest skill !
Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Of princely love or vulgar breath ;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat ;
Nor ruin make accusers great ;
Who envieth none whom chance doth raise
Or vice; who never understood
Nor rules of state, but rules of good :
More of his grace than gifts to lend ; Who entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend;
-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.
THE NOBLE NATURE
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,
It was the plant and flower of Light.
THE GIFTS OF GOD
When God at first made Man,
Contract into a span.
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.
Yet let him keep the rest,
20 G. HERBERT.
Happy those early days, when I
But felt through all this fleshly dress
O how I long to travel back,
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
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.