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So now I mourned that she was dead,
Whose single power did govern me ;
And quickly was by reason led
To find the harm of liberty.
Even so the lovers of this land
(Love's empire in Clorinda gone)
Thought they were quit from Love's command,
And beauty's world was all their own.
But lovers, who are Nature's best
Old subjects, never long revolt;
They soon in passion's war contest,
Yet in their march soon make a halt.
And those, when by my mandates brought
Near dead Clorinda, ceased to boast
Of freedom found, and wept for thought
Of their delightful bondage lost.
And now the day to night was turned,
Or sadly night's close mourning wore;
All maids for one another mourned,
That lovers now could love no more.
All lovers quickly did perceive
They had on earth no more to do
Than civilly to take their leave,
As worthies that to dying go.
And now all quires her dirges sing,
In shades of cypress and of yew;
The bells of every temple ring,
Where maids their withered garlands strew.
To such extremes did sorrow rise,
That it transcended speech and form,
And was so lost to ears and eyes
As seamen sinking in a storm.
My soul, in sleep's soft fetters bound,
Did now for vital freedom strive ;
And straight, by horror waked, I found
The fair Clorinda still alive.
Yet she's to me but such a light,
85 As are the stars to those who know We can at most but guess their height, And hope they mind us here below.
Sir William Davenant.
What is the existence of man's life
But open war, or slumbered strife ?
Where sickness to his sense presents
The combat of the elements;
And never feels a perfect peace,
Till death's cold hand signs his release.
It is a storm, where the hot blood
Outvies in rage the boiling flood;
And each loud passion of the mind
Is like a furious gust of wind,
Which bears his bark with many a wave,
Till he casts anchor in the grave.
It is a flower, which buds and grows,
And withers as the leaves disclose;
Whose spring and fall faint seasons keep,
Like fits of waking before sleep:
Then shrinks into that fatal mould
Where its first being was enrolled.
It is a dream, whose seeming truth
Is moralized in age and youth :
Where all the comforts he can share
As wandering as his fancies are ;
Till in the mist of dark decay
The dreamer vanish quite away.
It is a dial, which points out
The sunset, as it moves about:
And shadows out in lines of night
The subtle stages of time's flight,
Till all-obscuring earth hath laid
The body in perpetual shade.
It is a weary interlude,
Which doth short joys, long woes include ;
The world the stage, the prologue tears,
The acts vain hope, and varied fears :
The scene shuts up with loss of breath,
And leaves no epilogue but death.
PARAPHRASE · FROM SENECA.
Let him that will, ascend the tottering seat
Of courtly grandeur, and become as great
As are his mounting wishes : as for me,
Let sweet repose and rest my portion be ;
Give me some mean obscure recess, a sphere
Out of the road of business, or the fear
Of falling lower; where I sweetly may
Myself and dear retirement still enjoy :
Let not my life or name be known unto
The grandees of the time, tost to and fro
By censures or applause ; but let my age
Slide gently by ; not overthwart the stage
Of public action ; unheard, unseen,
And unconcerned, as if I ne'er had been.
And thus, while I shall pass my silent days 15
In shady privacy, free from the noise
And bustles of the mad world, then shall I
A good old innocent plebeian die.
Death is a mere surprise, a very snare
To him, that makes it his life's greatest care
To be a public pageant; known to all,
But unacquainted with himself, doth fall.
Sir Matthew Hale.
VANISHED BLESSINGS. The voice which I did more esteem
Than music in her sweetest key,
Those eyes which unto me did seem
More comfortable than the day-.
Those now by me, as they have been,
Shall never more be heard cr seen;
But what I once enjoyed in them
Shall seem hereafter as a dream.
All earthly comforts vanish thus ;
So little hold of them have we,
That we from them, or they from us,
May in a moment ravished be.
Yet we are neither just nor wise,
If present mercies we despise ;
Or mind not how there may be made
A thankful use of what we had.
In this marble casket lies
A matchless jewel of rich price ;
Whom Nature in the world's disdain
But showed, and put it up again.
False world, thou liest : thou canst not lend
The least delight:
Thy favours cannot gain a friend,
They are so slight:
Thy morning pleasures make an end
To please at night :
Poor are the wants that thou suppliest :
And yet thou vaunt'st, and yet thou viest
With heaven; fond earth, thou boast'st; false world, thou
Thy babbling tongue tells golden tales
Of endless treasure :
Thy bounty offers easy sales
Of lasting pleasure:
Thou ask'st the conscience what she ails,
And swear'st to ease her;
There's none can want where thou suppliest,
There's none can give where thou deniest ;
Alas! fond world, thou boast'st; false world, thou liest.
What well-advised ear regards
What earth can say ?
Thy words are gold, but thy rewards
Are painted clay :
Thy cunning can but pack the cards,
Thou canst not play:
Thy game at weakest, still thou viest;
25 If seen, and then revied, deniest : Thou art not what thou seem’st; false world, thou liest.