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A LILY BY MOONLIGHT. “ Know'st thou not me ?” the deep voice cried,
“ So long enjoy’d, so oft misused; Alternate, in thy fickle pride,
Desir’d, neglected, and accused ? Before my breath, like blazing flax,
Man and his marvels pass away; And changing empires wane and wax,
Are founded, flourish, and decay. Redeem mine hours ;—the space is brief,
While in my glass the sand-grains shiver, And measureless thy joy or grief
When time and thou shall part for ever!"
TO A LILY FLOWERING BY MOONLIGHT.
Oh, why, thou lily pale, Lov'st thou to blossom in the wan moonlight, And shed thy rich perfume upon the night?
When all thy sisterhood,
In silken cowl and hood, Screen their soft faces from the sickly gale, Fair-hornèd Cynthia wooes thy modest flower,
And with her beaming lips
Thy kisses cold she sips,
Trick'd in celestial light,
Oh, ask thy vestal queen,
If she will thee advise,
Where in the blessed skies · That maiden may be seen,
[day, Who hung, like thee, her pale head through the Love-sick and pining for the evening ray;
And lived a maiden chaste amid the folly
Oh, tell me where she dwells !
So on thy mournful bells
And find thee tears to feed thy sorrowing.
In sleep and quiet rest,
That riseth in the east ;
Come help me now to sing;
To praise the heav'nly King.
Or sickness doth suppress,
Or dolours do distress;
Yet bear a part in dolefulwise,
Yea, think it good accord, And acceptable sacrifice,
Each sprite to praise the Lord.
The dreadful night with darksomeness
Had overspread our light,
Had overprest our might :
Each storm that stops our breath;
And sleep like dreadful death.
Yet as this dreadful night did last
But for a little space,
Doth shew his pleasant face ;
At least in heaven on high,
And of such haps and heav'nly joys
As then we hope to hold,
Are tokens to behold.
The sun the Son of man,
Wherein we rest till then.
GOOD MORROW. The rainbow bending in the sky,
Bedeck'd with sundry hues, Is like the seat of God on high,
And seems to tell these news :
To drown the world no more,
He will our health restore.
The misty clouds that fall sometime,
And overcast the skies,
Which do but dim our eyes :
When Phæbus shews his face,
When God doth guide by grace.
The little birds which sing so sweet
Are like the angels' voice,
And teach us to rejoice :
Than dread the night's annoy,
But hell to heavenly joy.
Unto which joys for to attain
God grant us all His grace, And send us, after worldly pain,
In heaven to have a place ;
164 PLEA OF THE MIDSUMMER FAIRIES.
Which never shall decay :
To see that joyful day.
PLEA OF THE MIDSUMMER FAIRIES.
We are kindly things, And like her offspring nestle with the dove,Witness these hearts embroidered on our wings To shew our constant patronage of love : We sit at even in sweet bow'rs above Lovers, and shake rich odours on the air To mingle with their sighs, and still remove The startling owl, and bid the bat forbear Their privacy, and haunt some other where. And we are near the mother when she sits Beside her infant in its wicker bed ; And we are in the fairy scene that flits Across its tender brain; sweet dreams we shed, And whilst the tender little soul is fled Away, to sport with our young elves, the while We touch the dimpled cheek with roses red, And tickle the soft lips until they smile, So that their careful parents they beguile.