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Here, the air and nimble fire
Compel Time himself to stay;
Lest occasion slip away.
This garden does not take my eyes,
Though here you show how art of men Can purchase nature at a price
Would stock old Paradise again.
These glories while you dote upon,
I envy not your spring, nor pride. Nay, boast the summer all your own!
My thoughts with less are satisfied.
Give me a little plot of ground,
Where, might I with the Sun agree, Though every day he walk the round,
My garden he should seldom see.
Those tulips, that such wealth display
To court my eye, shall lose their name; Though now they listen, as if they
Expected I should praise their flame,
But I would see myself appear
Within the violet's drooping head, On which a melancholy tear
The discontented Morn hath shed.
Within their buds let roses sleep,
And virgin lilies on their stem,
Into their leaves to open them.
l'th' centre of my ground, compose
Of bays and yew my summer room,
* * * * *
To charm me with their shames of art,
Unless some wandering nightingale
Come here to sing and break her heart;
Upon whose death I'll try to write
An epitaph in some funeral stone,
Myself to die, and prove mine own.
(From “ The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses for the Armor
“ of Achilles."]
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things ;
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill ;
Early or late,
And must give up their murmuring breath, When they, pale captives, creep to death,
The garlands wither on your brow:
Then boast no more your mighty deeds! Upon death's purple altar now See where the victor-victim bleeds !
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb; Only the actions of the just * Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust.
.: THOMAS MAY,
A celebrated poet and historian, born about 1596, in Sussex,
of a worshipful but decayed family, says Fuller: bred fellow-commoner in Sidney College, Cambridge, and afterwards resident in Westminster and about the court. He died suddenly in 1652, and lies buried in Westminster Abbey. See his character in lord Clarendon's History. His English Version of Lucan's Pharsalia, and his Latin Supplement to the same, have been much esteemed. He translated also Virgil's Georgics (1628, small 12mo.) and selected epigrams of Martial (1629, small 12mo.): besides which he wrote metrical histories of Henry II. (1633, 12mo.) and Edward III. (1685, 12mo.) a History of the Parliament, in prose, both Latin and English, and five plays.
[From “ The Old Couple,” 1658, 4to.]
Your cherry lip, red, soft, and sweet,