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Or mortal glory O soon darken'd ray!
O winged joys of man, more swift than wind!
O fond desires, which in our fancies stray!
O trait'rous hopes, which do our judgments blind!
Lo, in a flash that light is gone away,
Which dazzle did each eye, delight each mind,
And with that Sun, from whence it came, combin'd,
Now makes more radiant Heaven's eternal day.
Let Beauty now bedew her cheeks with tears,
Let widow'd Music only roar and groan,
Poor Virtue, get thee wings and mount the spheres,
For dwelling place on Earth for thee is none:
Death hath thy temple raz'd, Love's empire foil'd,
The world of honour, worth, and sweetness spoil'd.
THOSE eyes, those sparkling sapphires of delight,
Which thousand thousand hearts did set on fire,
Of which that eye of Heaven which brings the light
Oft jealous, staid amaz'd them to admire :
That living snow, those crimson roses bright,
Those pearls, those rubies which inflaın'd desire,
Those locks of gold, that purple fair of Tyre,
Are wrapt (ah me!) up in eternal night.
What hast thou more to vaunt of, wretched world,
Sith she who caused all thy bliss is gone?
Thy ever-burning lamps, rounds ever whorl'd,
Cannot unto thee model such a one:
Or if they would such beauty bring on Earth, They should be forc'd again to give her birth.
O FATE, Conjur'd to pour your worst on me!
O rigorous rigour which doth all confound!
With cruel hands ye have cut down the tree,
And fruit with leaves have scatter'd on the ground.
A little space of earth my love doth bound;
That beauty, which did raise it to the sky,
Turn'd in disdained dust, now low doth lie,
Deaf to my plaints, and senseless of my wound.
Ah! did I live for this? ah! did I love?
And was 't for this (fierce powers) she did excel,
That ere she well the sweets of life did prove,
She should (too dear a guest) with darkness dwell?
Weak influence of Heaven! what fair is wrought,
Falls in the prime, and passeth like a thought.
O WOFUL life! life? no, but living death, Frail boat of crystal in a rocky sea,
A gem expos'd to fortune's stormy breath,
Which kept with pain, with terrour doth decay:
The false delights, true woes thou dost bequeath
My all-appalled mind so do affray,
That I those envy which are laid in earth,
And pity those who run thy dreadful way.
When did mine eyes behold one cheerful morn?
When had my tossed soul one night of rest?
When did not angry stars my designs scorn?
O! now I find what is for mortals best:
Even, since our voyage shameful is, and short,
Soon to strike sail, and perish in the port.
DISSOLVE, my eyes, your globes in briny streams,
And with a cloud of sorrow dim your sight,
The Sun's bright sun is set, of late whose beams
Gave lustre to your day, day to your night.
My voice, now cleave the earth with anathems,
Roar forth a challenge in the world's despite,
Till that disguised grief is her delight,
That life a slumber is of fearful dreams;
And, woful mind, abhor to think of joy ;
My senses all, from comforts all you hide,
Accept no object but of black annoy, [wide:
Tears, plaints, sighs, mourning weeds, graves gaping
I have nought left to wish; my hopes are dead,
And all with her beneath a marble laid.
SWEET Soul, which in the April of thy years,
For to enrich the Heaven mad'st poor this round,
And now, with flaming rays of glory crown'd,
Most blest abides above the sphere of spheres;
If heavenly laws, alas! have not thee bound
From looking to this globe that all up-bears,
If ruth and pity there-above be found,
O deign to lend a look unto these tears:
Do not disdain (dear ghost) this sacrifice;
And though I raise not pillars to thy praise,
My off'rings take, let this for me suffice,
My heart a living pyramid I'll raise:
And whilst kings' tombs with laurels flourish green,
Thine shall with myrtles and these flow'rs be seen.
SWEET Spring, thou com'st with all thy goodly train,
Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with flow'rs,
The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their show'rs.
Sweet Spring, thou com'st-but, ah! my pleasant
፡ My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst grow With thy green mother in some shady grove,
When immelodious winds but made thee move,
WHAT doth it serve to see the Sun's bright face,
And skies enamell'd with the Indian gold?
Or the Moon in a fierce chariot roll'd,
And all the glory of that starry place?
What doth it serve Earth's beauty to behold,
The mountain's pride, the meadow's flow'ry grace,
The stately comeliness of forests old,
The sport of floods which would themselves embrace?
What doth it serve to hear the sylvans' songs,
The cheerful thrush, the nightingale's sad strains,
Which in dark shades seems to deplore my wrongs?"
For what doth serve all that this world contains,
Since she, for whom those once to me were dear,
Can have no part of them now with me here?
And happy days, with thee come not again;
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee come, which turn my sweets to sours.
Thou art the same which still thou wert before
Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair;
But she whose breath embalm'd thy wholesome air Launder thy silken figures in this brine;
Is gone; nor gold, nor gems can her restore.
Neglected virtue, seasons go and come,
When thine forgot lie closed in a tomb.
No, I must yet ev'n beg of thee the grace,
That in my grave thou deign to shroud my face.
Tuis life, which seems so fair,
Is like a bubble blown up in the air,
By sporting children's breath,
Who chase it every where,
And strive who can most motion it bequeath.
And though it sometimes seem of its own might
Like to an eye of gold to be fix'd there,
And firm to hover in that empty height,
That only is because it is so light.
But in that pomp it doth not long appear;
For when 't is most admired, in a thought,
Because it erst was nought, it turns to nought.
And birds their ramage did on thee bestow.
Since that dear voice which did thy sounds approve,
Which wont in such harmonious strains to flow,
Is reft from Earth to tune those spheres above,
What art thou but a harbinger of woe?
Thy pleasing notes be pleasing notes no more,
But orphans' wailings to the fainting ear,
Each stroke a sigh, each sound draws forth a tear,
For which be silent as in woods before:
Or if that any hand to touch thee deign,
Like widow'd turtle still her loss complain.
AH! handkerchief, sad present of my dear,
Gift miserable, which doth now remain
The only guerdon of my helpless pain;
I never since have ceased to complain;
When I thee got thou showd'st my state too clear.
I since the badge of grief did ever wear;
Joy in my face durst never since appear;
Care was the food which did me entertain.
But since that thou art mine, O do not grieve,
That I this tribute pay thee for mine eine,
And that I (this short time I am to live)
Although thou never wouldst them comfort show,
Do not repine, they have part of thy woe.
"Ah wretch! too late I find
How virtue's glorious titles prove but wind;
For if that virtue could release from death,
Thou yet enjoy'd hadst breath:
For if she ere appear'd to mortal eine,
It was in thy fair shape that she was seen.
But O! if I was made
For thee, with thee why too am I not dead?
Why do outrageous Fates, which dimm'd thy sight, Let me see hateful light?
They without me made death thee surprise, Tyrants (no doubt) that they might kill me twice.
"When thou from Earth didst pass,
Sweet nymph, perfection's mirror broken was,
And this of late so glorious world of ours,
Like the meadows without flowers,
Or ring of a rich gem which blind appear'd,
Or starless night, or Cynthia nothing clear'd.
Love when he saw thee die
Entomb'd him in the lid of either eye,
And left his torch within thy sacred urn,
There for a lamp to burn:
Worth, honour, pleasure, with thy life expir'd,
Death, since grown sweet, begins to be desir'd.
O! that the cause which doth consume our joy Would the remembrance of it too destroy! What doth this life bestow,
But flow'rs on thorns which grow?
Which though they sometimes blandish soft delight, Yet afterwards us smite;
And if the rising Sun them fair doth see, That planet setting doth behold them die.
"This world is made a Hell,
Depriv'd of all that in it did excel.
O Pan! O Pan! winter is fall'n in May,
Turn'd is to night our day.
Forsake thy pipe, a sceptre take to thee,
Thy locks disgarland, thou black Jove shalt be.
The flocks do leave the meads,
And, loathing three-leav'd grass, hold up their heads;
The streams not glide now with a gentle roar,
Nor birds sing as before;
Hills stand with clouds like mourners veil'd in black,
And owls upon our roofs foretel our wreck.
O! IT is not to me, bright lamp of day,
That in the east thou show'st thy golden face;
O! it is not to me thou leav'st that sea,
And in those azure lists beginn'st thy race.
Thou shin'st not to the dead in any place;
And I dead from this world am past away,
Or if I seem (a shadow) yet to stay,
It is a while but to bewail my case.
And unto sad mishaps their place do yield;
My mirth is lost, my comforts are dismay'd,
My knowledge represents a bloody field,
So plaintful is life's course which I have run,
Where I my hopes and helps see prostrate laid.
That I do wish it never had begun.
SINCE it hath pleas'd that first and supreme Fair
To take that beauty to himself again,
Which in this world of sense not to remain,
But to amaze was sent, and home repair;
The love which to that beauty I did bear,
Made pure of mortal spots which did it stain,
And endless, which even death cannot impair,
I place on him who will it not disdain.
No shining eyes, no locks of curling gold,
No blushing roses on a virgin face,
No outward show, no, nor no inward grace,
Shall power have my thoughts henceforth to hold:
Love here on Earth huge storms of care doth toss,
But plac'd above exempted is from loss.
Her grace did beauty, voice yet grace did pass, Which thus through pearls and rubies broken was. "How long wilt thou," said she," estrang'd from Paint shadows to thyself of false annoy; [joy, How long thy mind with horrid shapes affright, And in imaginary evils delight;
Ir autumn was, and on our hemisphere
Fair Ericine began bright to appear,
Night westward did her gemmy world decline,
And hide her lights, that greater light might shine:
The crested bird had given alarum twice
To lazy mortals to unlock their eyes,
The owl had left to 'plain, and from each thorn
The wing'd musicians did salute the morn,
Who (while she dress'd her locks in Ganges' streams)
Set open wide the crystal port of dreams:
When I, whose eyes no drowsy night could close,
In sleep's soft arms did quietly repose,
And, for that Heavens to die did me deny,
Death's image kissed, and as dead did lie.
I lay as dead, but scarce charm'd were my cares,
And slaked scarce my sighs, scarce dried my tears,
Sleep scarce the ugly figures of the day
Had with his sable pencil put away,
And left me in a still and calmy mood,
When by my bed methought a virgin stood,
A virgin in the blooming of her prime,
If such rare beauty measur'd be by time.
Her head a garland wore of opals bright,
About her flow'd a gown like purest light;
Pure amber locks gave umbrage to her face,
Where modesty high majesty did grace;
Her eyes such beams sent forth, that but with pain
My weaker sight their sparklings could sustain.
No feigned deity which haunts the woods
Is like to her, nor syren of the floods:
Such is the golden planet of the year,
When blushing in the east he doth appear.
Esteem that loss which (well when view'd) is gain,
Or if a loss, yet not a loss to plain?
O leave thy plaintful soul more to molest,
And think that woe when shortest then is best.
If she for whom thou thus dost deaf the sky
Be dead, what then? was she not born to die?
Was she not mortal born? If thou dost grieve
That times should be in which she should not live,
Ere e'er she was weep that day's wheel was roll'd,
Weep that she liv'd not in the age of gold.
For that she was not then thou may'st deplore,
As well as that she now can be no more.
If only she had died, thou sure hadst cause
To blame the Fates, and their too iron laws.
But look how many millions her advance,
What numbers with her enter in this dance, [stay,
With those which are to come: shall Heavens them
And th' universe dissolve thee to obey?
As birth, death, which so much thee doth appal,
A piece is of the life of this great all.
Strong cities die, die do high palmy reigns,
And fondling thou thus to be us'd complains!
"If she be dead, then she of loathsome days
Hath pass'd the line whose length but loss bewrays,
Then she hath left this filthy stage of care,
Where pleasure seldom, woe doth still repair.
For all the pleasures which it doth contain
Not countervail the smallest minute's pain.
And tell me, thou who dost so much admire
This little vapour, this poor spark of fire,
Which life is call'd, what doth it thee bequeath
But some few years which birth draws out to death?
Which if thou parallel with lustres run,
Or those whose courses are but now begun,
In days' great numbers they shall less appear,
Than with the sea when matched is a tear.
But why should'st thou here longer wish to be?
One year doth serve all Nature's pomp to see.
Nay, even one day, and night: this Moon, that Sun,
Those lesser fires about this round which run,
Be but the same which under Saturn's reign
Did the serpenting seasons interchain.
How oft doth life grow less by living long?
And what excelleth but what dieth young?
For age, which all abhor, yet would embrace,
Doth make the mind as wrinkled as the face.
Then leave laments, and think thon didst not live
Laws to that first eternal Cause to give;
But to obey those laws which he hath given,
And bow unto the just decrees of Heaven,
Which cannot err, whatever foggy mists
Do blind men in these sublunary lists.
But what if she for whom thou spread'st those groans,
And wastes thy life's dear torch in ruthful moans,
She for whose sake thou hat'st the joyful light,
Courts solitary shades and irksome night, [space
Doth live? Ah! (if thou canst) through tears, a
Lift thy dimm'd lights, and look upon this face;
Look if those eyes which, fool! thou didst adore,
Shine not more bright than they were wont before.
Look if those roses death could aught impair,
Those roses which thou once saidst were so fair;
And if these locks have lost aught of that gold,
Which once they had when thou them didst behold.
I live, and happy live, but thou art dead,
And still shalt be till thou be like me made.
Alas! while we are wrapt in gowns of earth,
And, blind, here suck the air of woe beneath;
Each thing in sense's balances we weigh,
And but with toil and pain the truth descry.
"Above this vast and admirable frame,
This temple visible, which world we name,
Within whose walls so many lamps do burn,
So many arches with cross motions turn,
Where th' elemental brothers nurse their strife,
And by intestine wars maintain their life;
There is a world, a world of perfect bliss,
Pure, immaterial, as brighter far from this,
As that high circle which the rest enspheres
Is from this dull, ignoble vale of tears:
A world where all is found, that here is found,
But further discrepant than Heaven and ground:
It hath an earth, as hath this world of yours,
With creatures peopled, and adorn'd with flow'rs
It hath a sea, like sapphire girdle cast,
Which decks of the harmonious shores the waste;
It hath pure fire, it hath delicious air,
Moon, Sun, and stars, Heavens wonderfully fair:
Flow'rs never there do fade, trees grow not old,
No creature dieth there through heat or cold;
Sea there not tossed is, nor air made black,
Fire doth not greedy feed on others' wrack:
There Heavens be not constrain'd about to range,
For this world hath no need of any change:
Minutes mount not to hours, nor hours to days,
Days make no months, but ever-blooming Mays.
"Here I remain, and bitherward do tend All who their span of days in virtue spend: Whatever pleasant this low place contains, Is but a glance of what above remains. Those who (perchance) think there can nothing be Beyond this wide expansion which they see, And that nought else mounts stars' circumference, For that nought else is subject to their sense, Feel such a case, as one whom some abisme In the deep ocean kept had all his time: Who, born and nourish'd there, cannot believe That elsewhere aught without those waves can live: Cannot believe that there be temples, tow'rs, Which go beyond his caves and dampish bow'rs: Or there be other people, manners, laws, Than what he finds within the churlish waves: That sweeter flow'rs do spring than grow on rocks, Or beasts there are excel the scaly flocks: That other elements are to be found, Than is the water and this ball of ground. But think that man from this abisme being brought, Did see what curious Nature here hath wrought, Did view the meads, the tall and shady woods, And mark'd the hills, and the clear rolling floods; And all the beasts which Nature forth doth bring, The feather'd troops that fly and sweetly sing: Observ'd the palaces, and cities fair, Men's fashion of life, the fire, the air, The brightness of the Sun that dims his sight, The Moon, and splendours of the painted night: What sudden rapture would his mind surprise! How would he his late-dear resort despise! How would be muse how foolish he had been, To think all nothing but what there was seen! Why do we get this high and vast desire, Unto immortal things still to aspire? Why doth our mind extend it beyond time, And to that highest happiness even climb ?
For we are more than what to sense we seem,
And more than dust us worldlings do esteem;
We be not made for Earth though here we come,
More than the embryo for the mother's womb:
It weeps to be made free, and we complain
To leave this loathsome gaol of care and pain.
"But thou, who vulgar footsteps dost not trace,
Learn to rouse up thy mind to view this place,
And what earth-creeping mortals most affect,
If not at all to scorn, yet to neglect:
Seek not vain shadows, which when once obtain'd
Are better lost than with such travel gain'd.
Think that on Earth what worldlings greatness call,
Is but a glorious title to live thrall:
That sceptres, diadems, and chairs of state,
Not in themselves, but to small minds are great:
That those who loftiest mount do hardest light,
And deepest falls be from the highest height:
That fame an echo is, and all renown
Like to a blasted rose, ere night falls down:
And though it something were, think how this round
Is but a little point which doth it bound.
O leave that love which reacheth but to dust,
And in that love eternal only trust,
And beauty, which when once it is possest
Can only fill the soul, and make it blest.
Pale envy, jealous emulations, fears,
Sighs, plaints, remorse, here have no place, nor tears:
False joys, vain hopes, here be not, hate nor wrath,
What ends all love here most augments it, death.
If such force had the dim glance of an eye,
Which but some few days afterwards did die,
That it could make thee leave all other things,
And like a taper-fly there burn thy wings;
And if a voice, of late which could but wail,
Such power had, as through ears thy soul to steal;
If once thou on that poorly fair couldst gaze,"
What flames of love would this within thee raise?
In what a musing maze would it thee bring,
To hear but once that choir celestial sing?
The fairest shapes on which thy love did seize,
Which erst did breed delight, then would displease;
But discords hoarse were Earth's enticing sounds,
All music but a noise, which sense confounds.
This great and burning glass which clears all eyes,
And musters with such glory in the skies;
That silver star, which with her purer light
Makes day oft envy the eye-pleasing night;
Those golden letters which so brightly shine
In Heaven's great volume gorgeously divine;
All wonders in the sea, the earth, the air,
Be but dark pictures of that sov'reign fair,
And tongues, which still thus cry into your ear
(Could ye amidst world's cataracts them hear:)
From fading things, fond men, lift your desire,
And in our beauty, his us made admire:
If we seem fair, O think how fair is he,
Of whose great fairness, shadows, steps we be.
No shadow can compare unto the face,
No step with that dear foot which did it trace;
Your souls immortal are, then place them hence,
And do not drown them in the mist of sense :
Do not, O do not by false pleasure's might
Deprive them of that true and sole delight.
That happiness ye seek is not below,
Earth's sweetest joy is but disguised woe'."
Here did she pause, and with a mild aspect
Did towards me those lamping twins direct.
The wonted rays I knew, and thrice essay'd
To answer make, thrice fault'ring tongue it stay'd.