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Come, my Corinna, come; and coming, mark
How each field turns a street ; each street a park
Made green, and trimm'd with trees : see how
Devotion gives each house a bough
Or branch : Each porch, each door, ere this,
An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove ;
As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street,
And open fields, and we not see't?
Come we'll abroad : and let's obey
The proclamation made for May :
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying ;
But, my Corinna, come, let's go a Maying.
There's not a budding boy, or girl, this day,
But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
A deal of youth, ere this, is come
Back, and with white-thorn laden home.
Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream,
Before that we have left to dream :
And some have wept, and wo and plighted troth
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth :
Many a green-gown has been given ;
Many a kiss, both odd and even :
Many a glance too has been sent
From out the eye, Love's firmament :
Many a jest told of the keys betraying
This night, and locks pick'd :-Yet we're not a
-Come, let us go, while we are in our prime;
And take the harmless folly of the time !
We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
Our life is short ; and our days run
As fast away as does the sun :-
And as a vapour, or a drop of rain
Once lost, can ne'er be found again :
So when or you or I are made
A fable, song, or fleeting shade ;
All love, all liking, all delight
Lies drown'd with us in endless night. Then while time serves, and we are but decaying, Come, my Corinna ! come, let's go a Maying.
A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness :
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction,
An erring lace, which here and there .
Enthrals the crimson stomacher,-
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly,-
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat,-
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility,
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.
Whenas in silks my Julia goes
Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.
Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free ;
O how that glittering taketh me!
My Love in her attire doth shew her wit,
It doth so well become her :
For every season she hath dressings fit,
For Winter, Spring, and Summer.
No beauty she doth miss
When all her robes are on:
But Beauty's self she is
When all her robes are gone.
ON A GIRDLE
That which her slender waist confined
Shall now my joyful temples bind :
No monarch but would give his crown
His arms might do what this has done.
It was my Heaven's extremest sphere,
The pale which held that lovely deer
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love
Did all within this circle move.
A narrow compass ! and yet there
Dwelt all that's good, and all that's fair :
Give me but what this ribband bound,
Take all the rest the Sun goes round.
A MYSTICAL ECSTASY E'en like two little bank-dividing brooks,
That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams, And having ranged and search'd a thousand nooks,
Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames,
Where in a greater current they conjoin : So I my Best-Belovéd's am ; so He is mine.
E'en so we met ; and after long pursuit,
E'en so we join'd; we both became entire ; No need for either to renew a suit,
For I was flax and he was flames of fire :
Our firm-united souls did more than twine ;
So I my Best-Belovéd's am ; so He is mine.
If all those glittering Monarchs that command
The servile quarters of this earthly ball,
Should tender, in exchange, their shares of land,
I would not change my fortunes for them all :
Their wealth is but a counter to my coin : The world's but theirs; but my Belovéd's mine.
TO ANTHEA WHO MAY COMMAND HIM
Bid me to live, and I will live
Thy Protestant to be :
Or bid me love, and I will give
A loving heart to thee.
A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
A heart as sound and free
As in the whole world thou canst find,
That heart I'll give to thee.
Bid that heart stay, and it will stay,
To honour thy decree :
Or bid it languish quite away,
And 't shall do so for thee.
Bid me to weep, and I will weep
While I have eyes to see :
And having none, yet I will keep
A heart to weep for thee.
Bid me despair, and I'll despair,
Under that cypress tree :
Or bid me die, and I will dare
E'en Death, to die for thee.
Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
The very eyes of me,
And hast command of every part,
To live and die for thee.
Love not me for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face,
Nor for any outward part,
No, nor for my constant heart,-
For those may fail, or turn to ill,
So thou and I shall sever :
Keep therefore a true woman's eye,
And love me still, but know not why-
So hast thou the same reason still
To doat upon me ever!
Not, Celia, that I juster am
Or better than the rest ;
For I would change each hour, like them
Were not my heart at rest.
But I am tied to
thee By every thought I have ; Thy face I only care to see,
Thy heart I only crave.
All that in woman is adored
In thy dear self I find-
For the whole sex can but afford
The handsome and the kind.
Why then should I seek further store,
And still make love anew ?
When change itself can give no more,
'Tis easy to be true.
Sir C. Sedley