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How happy is he born and taught,
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Not tied unto the world with care
Of public fame, or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Or vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good:

Who hath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make accusers great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;

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--This man is freed from servile bands

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

Sir Henry Wotton.



Away, let nought to love displeasing,
My Winifreda, move your care,
Let nought delay the heavenly blessing,
Nor squeamish pride nor gloomy fear.

What though no grants of royal donors
With pompous titles grace our blood?
We'll shine in more substantial honours,
And to be noble we'll be good.

Our name, while virtue thus we tender,
Will sweetly sound where'er 'tis spoke;
And all the great ones, they shall wonder
How they respect such little folk.

What though from fortune's lavish bounty
No mighty treasures we possess,
We'll find within our pittance plenty,
And be content without excess.

Still shall each returning season
Sufficient for our wishes give ;
For we will live a life of reason,
And that's the only life to live.





Through youth and age in love excelling,

We'll hand in hand together tread;

Sweet smiling peace shall crown our dwelling,
And babes, sweet smiling babes, our bed.


How should I love the pretty creatures,
While round my knees they fondly clung;
To see them look their mother's features,
To hear them lisp their mother's tongue.

And when with envy time transported,
Shall think to rob us of our joys,
You'll in your girls again be courted,
And I'll go wooing in my boys.




Stand still, and I will read to thee
A lecture, Love, in love's philosophy.
These three hours that we have spent
Walking here, two shadows went

Along with us, which we ourselves produced :
But, now the sun is just above our head,
We do those shadows tread,

And to brave clearness all things are reduced.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,

Disguises did and shadows flow

From us and from our cares; but now it is not so.

That love hath not attained the high'st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see;

Except our loves at this noon stay,

We shall new shadows make the other way.
As the first were made to blind
Others, these which come behind

Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes,
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline,

To me thou falsely thine,

And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadows wear away,

But these grow longer all the day;
But, oh! love's day is short, if love decay.
Love is a growing or full constant light,
And his short minute, after noon, is night.

John Donne.









Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauties, orient deep.
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep.

Ask me no more, whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For, in pure love, heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.
Ask me no more, whither doth haste
The nightingale, when May is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters, and keeps warm her note.

Ask me no more, where those stars light,
That downwards fall in dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixed become, as in their sphere.

Ask me no more, if east or west,
The phoenix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,

And in your fragrant bosom dies.

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Thomas Carew.



Ask me why I send you here

This sweet Infanta of the year?
Ask me why I send to you

This primrose, thus bepearled with dew?
I will whisper to your ears,

The sweets of love are mixt with tears.


Ask me why this flower does show
So yellow-green, and sickly too?
Ask me why the stalk is weak,
And bending, yet it doth not break?
I will answer, these discover

What fainting hopes are in a lover.

Robert Herrick.




It is not beauty I demand,

A crystal brow, the moon's despair,
Nor the snow's daughter, a white hand,
Nor mermaid's yellow pride of hair :

Tell me not of your starry eyes,
Your lips that seem on roses fed,
Your breasts, where Cupid tumbling lies,
Nor sleeps for kissing of his bed:-

A bloomy pair of vermeil cheeks,
Like Hebe's in her ruddiest hours,
A breath that softer music speaks
Than summer winds a-wooing flowers,



These are but gauds: nay, what are lips?
Coral beneath the ocean-stream,

Whose brink when your adventurer slips,


Full oft he perisheth on them.

And what are cheeks, but ensigns oft
That wave hot youth to fields of blood?
Did Helen's breast, though ne'er so soft,
Do Greece or Ilium any good?

Eyes can with baleful ardour burn;
Poison can breathe, that erst perfumed;

There's many a white hand holds an urn
With lovers' hearts to dust consumed.


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