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I glory in the bravery of your mind,
To which your wealth 's a servant. Not that riches
Is, or should be, contemned, it being a blessing
Derived from heaven, and by your industry
Pulled down upon you; but in this, dear sir,
You have many equals: such a man's possessions
Extend as far as yours; a second hath
His bags as full; a third in credit flies
As high, in the popular voice: but the distinction,
And noble difference, by which you are
Divided from them, is, that you are styled
Gentle in your abundance, good in plenty;
And that you feel compassion in your bowels ..
Of others' miseries — I have found it, sir,
Heaven keep me thankful for 't—while they are cursed
As rigid and inexorable. .
Your affability and mildness, clothed
In the garments of your thankful debtor's breath,
Shall everywhere, though you strive to conceal it,
Be seen and wondered at, and, in the act,
With a prodigal hand rewarded. Whereas, such
As are born only for themselves, and live so,
Though prosperous in worldly understanding,
Are but like beasts of rapine, that, by odds
Of strength, usurp and tyrannize o'er others
Brought up under their subjection.
Can you think, sir,
In your unquestioned wisdom, I beseech you,
The goods of this poor man sold at an outcry,
His wife turned out of doors, his children forced
To beg their bread, — this gentleman's estate
By wrong extorted, - can advantage you?
Or that the ruin of this once brave merchant -
For such he was esteemed, though now decayed -
Will raise your reputation with good men ?
But you may urge, - pray you, pardon me, my zeal
Makes me thus bold and vehement, - in this
You satisfy your anger and revenge
For being defeated. Suppose this, - it will not
Repair your loss, and there was never yet
But shame and scandal in a victory,
When the rebels unto reason — passions — fought it.
Then for revenge, — by great souls it was ever
Contemned, though offered ; entertained by none
But cowards, base and abject spirits, strangers
To moral honesty, and never yet
Acquainted with religion.
Sir John. Shall I be
Talked out of my money ?
Luke. No, sir, but entreated
To do yourself a benefit, and preserve
What you possess entire.
Sir John. How, my good brother? - Luke. By making these your beadsmen. When they eat,
Their thanks, next Heaven, will be paid to your mercy;
When your ships are at sea, their prayers will swell
The sails with prosperous winds, and guard them from
Tempests and pirates ; - keep your warehouses
From fire, or quench them with their tears.
(From the “Great Duke of Florence."]
UNEQUAL LOVE. (Giovanni, nephew to the Grand Duke, taking leave of Lydia, daughter of his tutor.)
Lydia. Must you go, then,
So suddenly ?
Giovanni. There's no evasion, Lydia,
To gain the least delay, though I would buy it
At any rate. Greatness, with private men
Esteemed a blessing, is to me a curse.
Happy the golden mean! Had I been born
In a poor, sordid cottage, not nursed up.
With expectation to command a court,
I might, like such of your condition, sweetest,
Have ta'en a safe and middle course, and not, -,.
- As I am now, against my choice, compelled,
Or to lie grovelling on the earth, or raised
So high upon the pinnacles of state,
That I must either keep my height with danger,
Or fall with certain ruin. .
Lydia. Your own goodness
Will be your faithful guard.
Giov. O, Lydia! for had I been your equal,
I might have seen and liked with mine own eyes,
And not, as now, with others. I'might still,
And without observation or envy,
As I have done, continued my delights
With you, that are alone, in my esteem,
The abstract of society. We might walk
In solitary groves, or in choice gardens;
From the variety of curious flowers,
Contemplate nature's workmanship and wonders;
And then, for change, near to the murmur of
Some bubbling fountain, I might hear you sing,
And, from the well-tuned accents of your tongue,
In my imagination, conceive
With what melodious harmony a choir
Of angels sing, above, their Maker's praises ;
And then, with chaste discourse, as we returned,
Imp feathers to the broken wing of Time; –
And all this I must part from !
- One word more,
And then I come. And after this, when with
Continued innocence of love and service
I had grown ripe for hymeneal joys,
Embracing you, but with a lawful flame,
I might have been your husband.
Lydia. Sir, I was,
And ever am, your servant; but it was '
And 't is far from me in a thought to cherish
Such saucy hopes. If I had been the heir
Of all the globes and sceptres mankind bows to,
At my best, you had deserved me; as I am,
Howe'er unworthy, in my virgin zeal,
I wish you, as a partner of your bed,
A princess equal to you; such an one
That may make it the study of her life,
With all the obedience of a wife, to please you;
May you have happy issue, and I live
To be their humblest handmaid !
Giov. I am dumb, and can make no reply;
This kiss, bathed in tears,
May learn you what I should say.
ROBERT HERRICK. 1591 Herrick is regarded as one of the most exquisite of the early lyrical poets. His poems abound in “ lively images and conceits; but t] pensive moral feeling predominates, and we feel that the poet's smiles might as well be tears.” “He associated with the jovial spirits of the age, and quaffed the mighty bowl with Ben Jonson.”
TO PRIMROSES, FILLED WITH MORNING DEW.
Why do ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears
Speak grief in you,
Who were but born
Just as the modest morn
Teemed her refreshing dew?
Alas! you have not known that shower
That mars a flower,
Nor felt the unkind
Breath of a blasting wind;
Nor are ye worn with years,
Or warped as we, .
Who think it strange to see
Such pretty flowers, like to orphans young,
Speaking by tears before ye have a tongue.
Speak, whimpering younglings, and make known
The reason why
Ye droop and weep;
Is it for want of sleep,
Or childish lullaby?
Or that ye have not seen as yet
Or brought a kiss
From that sweet heart to this?
No, no! this sorrow shown
By your tears shed,
Would have this lecture read-
That things of greatest, so of meanest worth,
Conceived with grief are, and with tears brought forth.
FRANCIS QUARLES. 1592-1644. Quarles is distinguished as a religious poet, though he was a busy man of the world. He held the offices successively of cup-bearer to Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, secretary to Archbishop Usher, and chronologer to the city of London.
DELIGHT IN GOD ONLY.
I LOVE, and have some cause to love, the earth;
She is my Maker's creature, therefore good;
She is my mother, for she gave me birth ;
She is my tender nurse — she gives me food.
But what's a creature, Lord, compared with thee,
Or what's my mother, or my nurse, to me?
I love the air; her dainty sweets refresh
My drooping soul, and to new sweets invite me ;
Her shrill-mouthed choir sustain me with their flesh,
And with their polyphonian notes delight me.
But what's the air, or all the sweets that she
Can bless my soul withal, compared to thee ?
I love the sea; she is my fellow-creature;
My careful purveyor, she provides me store ;
She walls me round; she makes my diet greater;
She wafts my treasures from a foreign shore.
But, Lord of oceans, when compared with thee,
What is the ocean, or her wealth, to me ?