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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 H. Wotton

LXXIII

THE NOBLE NATURE

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T 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

LXXIV

THE GIFTS OF GOD

W

HEN 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.

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.

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,
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.

G. Herbert

LXXV

THE RETREAT

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

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

LXXVI

TO MR. LAWRENCE

L

AWRENCE, 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 carth, 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 artsul voice

Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air ?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

7. Milton

LXXVII

TO CYRIACK SKINNER

CYR

'YRIACK, whose grandsire, on the royal bench

Of British Themis, with no mean applause Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws, Which others at their bar so often wrench ;

To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that after no repenting draws ;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intends, and what the French.
To measure life learnt thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way ;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

7. Milton

LXXVIII

HYMN TO DIANA

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UEEN and Huntress, chaste and fair,

Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair
State in wonted manner keep:

Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.

Earth, let' not thy envious shade

Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close :

Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart

And thy crystal-shining quiver ;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever :

Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright !

B. Jonson

LXXIX

WISHES FOR THE SUPPOSED MISTRESS

HOE’ER she be,

That not impossible She
That shall command my heart and me;

WHOLE

Where'er she lie,
Lock'd up

from mortal eye
In shady leaves of destiny :

Till that ripe birth
Of studied Fate stand forth,
And teach her fair steps to our earth;

Till that divine
Idea take a shrine
Of crystal flesh, through which to shine:

- Meet you her, my Wishes,
Bespeak her to my blisses,
And be ye call’d, my absent kisses.

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