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What, were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,
And so to bid good-night?
"Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave:
And after they have shown their pride
Like you, awhile, they glide

Into the grave.

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HY 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! ye have not known that shower

That mars a flower;

Nor felt th' 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

The violet?

Or brought a kiss

From that sweetheart 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.”

Abraham Cowley.


FILL the bowl with rosy wine,

Around our temples roses twine,

And let us cheerfully awhile,
Like the wine and roses, smile.
Crown'd with roses, we contemn
Gyges' wealthy diadem.

To-day is ours; what do we fear?
To-day is ours; we have it here.
Let's treat it kindly, that it may
Wish at least with us to stay.
Let's banish business, banish sorrow;
To the gods belongs to-morrow.

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HAPPY insect, what can be

In happiness compar'd to thee?
Fed with nourishment divine,
The dewy morning's gentle wine!

Nature waits upon thee still,

And thy verdant cup does fill;
'Tis fill'd wherever thou dost tread,
Nature self's thy Ganymede.

Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing,
Happier than the happiest king!
All the fields which thou dost see,
All the plants belong to thee;

All that summer hours produce,
Fertile made with early juice.
Man for thee does sow and plough;
Farmer he, and landlord thou!

Thou dost innocently enjoy;
Nor does thy luxury destroy.
The shepherd gladly heareth thee,
More harmonious than he.

Thee country hinds with gladness hear, Prophet of the ripen'd year!

Thee Phœbus loves, and does inspire; Phœbus is himself thy sire.

To thee, of all things upon earth,
Life is no longer than thy mirth.
Happy insect! happy thou,
Dost neither age nor winter know.

But when thou'st drunk, and danced, and sung

Thy fill, the flowery leaves among (Voluptuous and wise withal, Epicurean animal !),

Satiated with thy summer feast,
Thou retir'st to endless rest.

Edmund Waller.



Go, lovely Rose!

Tell her, that wastes her time and me That now she knows,

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young

And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung

In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,·
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die! that she

The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee:

How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!



HE seas are quiet when the winds give o'er;
So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, too certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness which age descries.

The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made:
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,

As they draw near to their eternal home.

Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

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