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The safer vulgar this with wonder see,
With costly silks we do adorn
These stalking pageants, made of clay, Whose very flowers, while they are worn,
But emblems are of our decay: Batter'd by sickness, or inflam’d by lust, Or undermin’d by time, we fall to dust.
Frailty of Beauty.
Aurelia sat alone,
Envious at Nature's new-born pride,
Alas! that Nature should revive
These flowers, which after winter's snow
Spring fresh again, and brisker show; And for our brighter sex so ill contrive !
Beauty, like them, a short-liv'd thing,
On us in vain she did bestow ;
Beauty, that only once can grow, An autumn has, but knows no second spring.
See how the feather'd blossoms through the air
Traverse a thousand various paths, to find On the impurer earth a place that's fair,
Courting the conduct of each faithless wind!
See how they seem to hover near their end,
Nicely supported on their doubtful wings, Yet all by an impulse of fate descend,
On dunghills some, some on the courts of kings.
Of warmest vapours, which the sun exhales,
All are compos’d; and in a short liv'd hour Their dazzling pride and coyest beauty falls,
Dissolv'd by Phoebus, or a weeping shower.
All of one matter form’d, to one return :
Their fall is greatest who are plac'd most high : Let not the proud presume, or poorest mourn:
Their fate's decreed, and every one must die.
Boast not of endless wealth, or noble birth ;
JOHN WILMOT, EARL OF ROCHESTER,
Was born in 1648, and died in 1680. The anecdotes of his life are too numerous for abridgment, and too well known to require insertion in this place.
INSULTING beauty, you mis-spend
Those frowns upon your slave ;
their hearts defend From all the charms
Your conquering eyes so partial are,
Or mankind is so dull,
They an inglorious freedom boast ;
I triumph in my chain ;
Nor am I unreveng'd, though lost, Nor you unpunish'd though unjust, When I alone, who love you most,
Am kill'd with your disdain.
SIR FRANCIS FANE.
This author, who was grandson to the Earl of Westmoreland, and Knight of the Bath, is very highly commended by Langbaine. Besides a few poems printed in Tate's Miscellanies, he published two plays, viz. “ Love in the Dark,” a comedy, 1675, and “ The Sacrifice,” a tragedy, 1686 ; and a masque. The following is extracted from his comedy
Cupid, I scorn to beg the art
From thy imaginary throne,
Or how to heal my own.
If she be coy, my airy mind
Love is a game ; hearts are the prize;
When either's won