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O do not think it strange: times were not come,
And these fair stars had not pronounc'd their doom.
The Destinies did on that day attend,
When on this northern region thou shouldst lend
Thy cheerful presence, and, charg'd with renown,
Set on thy brows the Caledonian crown.
Thy virtues now thy just desire shall grace,
Stern chance shall change, and to desert give place.
Let this be known to all the Fates admit
To their grave counsel, and to every wit
That courts Heaven's inside: this let Sybils know,
And those mad Corybants who dance and glow
On Dindimus' high tops with frantic fire:
Let this be known to all Apollo's choir,
And people: let it not be hid from you,
What mountains noise, and floods proclaim as true.
Wherever fame abroad his praise shall ring,
All shall observe, and serve this blessed king.
The end of king Charles's entertainment
at Edinburgh, 1633.
ON THE DEATH OF SIR WILLIAM ALEXANDER.
IN sweetest prime and blooming of his age,
Dear Alcon, ravish'd from this mortal stage,
The shepherds mourn'd, as they him lov'd before.
Among the rout, him Idmon did deplore;
Idmon, who, whether Sun in east did rise,
Or dive in west, pour'd torrents from his eyes
Of liquid crystal; under hawthorn shade,
At last to trees and flocks this plaint he made:
"Alcon! delight of Heaven, desire of Earth,
Off-spring of Phoebus, and the Muses' birth,
The Graces' darling, Adon of our plains,
Flame of the fairest nymphs the Earth sustains!
What pow'r of thee hath us bereft? what fate,
By thy untimely fall, would ruinate
Our hopes? O Death! what treasure in one hour
Hast thou dispersed! how dost thou devour
What we on Earth hold dearest! All things good,
Too envious Heavens, how blast ye in the bud!
The corn the greedy reapers cut not down
Before the fields with golden ears it crown;
Nor doth the verdant fruits the gardener pull;
But thou art cropt before thy years were full.
With thee, sweet youth! the glories of our fields
Vanish away, and what contentments yields.
The lakes their silver look, the woods their shades,
The springs their crystal want, their verdure meads,
The years their early seasons, cheerful days;
Hills gloomy stand, now desolate of rays:
Their amorous whispers zephyrs not us bring,
Nor do air's choristers salute the spring;
The freezing winds our gardens do deflow'r.
Ah Destinies, and you whom skies embow'r,
To his fair spoils his spright again yet give,
And, like another phenix, make him live! [stems,
The herbs, though cut, sprout fragrant from their
And make with crimson blush our anadems :
The Sun, when in the west he doth decline,
Heaven's brightest tapers at his funerals shine;
His face, when wash'd in the Atlantic seas,
Revives, and cheers the welkin with new rays:
Return to us again, and be the same? Why should not he, since of more pure a frame, But, wretch! what wish I to the winds I send These plaints and pray'rs: Destinies cannot lend Thee more of time, nor Heavens consent will thus Thou leave their starry world to dwell with us; Without these lamentations and tears. Yet shall they not thee keep amidst their spheres
Thou wast all virtue, courtesy, and worth; And, as Sun's light is in the Moon set forth, World's supreme excellence in thee did shine: Nor, though eclipsed now, shalt thou decline, But in our memories live, while dolphins streams Shall haunt, while eaglets stare on Titan's beams, Whilst swans upon their crystal tombs shall sing, Whilst violets with purple paint the spring. A gentler shepherd flocks did never feed On Albion's hills, nor sing to oaten reed. Grief doth distract her, and cut short thy praise. While what she found in thee my Muse would blaze,
How oft have we, environ'd by the throng Of tedious swains, the cooler shades among, Contemn'd Earth's glow-worm greatness, and the Of Fortune scorned, deeming it disgrace To court inconstancy! How oft have we [chace Some Chloris' name grav'n in each virgin tree; And, finding favours fading, the next day What we had carv'd we did deface away. Woful remembrance! Nor time nor place Of thy abodement shadows any trace; But there to me thou shin'st: late glad desires, And ye once roses, how are ye turn'd briars! Contentments passed, and of pleasures chief, Now are ye frightful horrours, hells of grief!
When from thy native soil love had thee driven, (Thy safe return prefigurating) a Heaven Of flattering hopes did in my fancy move; Then little dreaming it should atoms prove. These groves preserve will I, these loved woods, These orchards rich with fruits, with fish these
My Alcon will return, and once again His chosen exiles he will entertain;
The populous city holds him, amongst harms
Of some fierce Cyclops, Circe's stronger charms.
"These banks," said I, "he visit will, and streams;
These silent shades, ne'er kiss'd by courting beams.
Far, far, off I will meet him, and I first
Shall him approaching know, and first be blest
With his aspect; I first shall hear his voice,
Him find the same he parted, and rejoice
Of foreign shepherds, fawns, and fairy courts.
To learn his passed perils; know the sports
The swains enjoy, secure from what they hate:
No pleasure like the fields, an happy state
Free of proud cares they innocently spend
The day, nor do black thoughts their ease offend;
Wise Nature's darlings, they live in the world
Perplexing not themselves how it is hurl'd.
These hillocks Phoebus loves, Ceres these plains,
These shades the Sylvans; and here Pales strains
Milk in the pails; the maids which haunt the springs
Hesperian gardens, Tempe's shades, are here,
Dauce on these pastures; here Amintas sings:
Or what the eastern Inde and west hold dear.
Come then, dear youth! the wood-nymphs twint
With rose and lily to impale thy brows."
Thus ignorant I'mus'd, not conscious yet
Of what by Death was done, and ruthless Fate:
Amidst these trances Fame thy loss doth sound,
And through my ears gives to my heart a wound.
With stretch'd-out arms I sought thee to embrace,
But clasp'd, amaz'd, a coffin in thy place;
A coffin, of our joys which had the trust, [dust!
Which told that thou wert come, but chang'd to
Scarce, ev'n when felt, could I believe this wrack,
Nor that thy time and glory Heavens would break.
Now, since I cannot see my Alcon's face,
And find nor vows nor prayers to have place
With guilty stars, this mountain shall become
To me a sacred altar, and a tomb
To famous Alcon. Here, as days, months, years
Do circling glide, I sacrifice will tears;
Here spend my remnant time, exil'd from mirth,
Till Death at last turn monarch of my earth.
Shepherds on Forth, and you by Doven rocks, Which use to sing and sport, and keep your flocks, Pay tribute here of tears! ye never had To aggravate your moans a cause more sad: And to their sorrows hither bring your mands, Charged with sweetest flow'rs, and with pure hands; Fair nymphs, the blushing hyacinth and rose Spread on the place his relics doth enclose; Weave garlands to his memory, and put Over his hearse a verse in cypress cut: Virtue did die, goodness but harm did give, After the noble Alcon ceas'd to live: Friendship an earthquake suffer'd; losing him Love's brightest constellation turned dim.
PHIL. Learn I pray this, like to thee,
And say, I love as I do me.
DAM. Alas! I do not love myself,
For I'm split on beauty's shelf.
PHIL. Like to what, good shepherd, say?
DAM. Like to thee, fair cruel May.
ALL good hath left this age, all tracks of shame :
Mercy is banished, and pity dead;
Justice, from whence it came, to Heav'n is fled;
Religion, maim'd, is thought an idle name.
Faith to distrust and malice hath giv'n place;
Envy, with poison'd teeth, hath friendship torn;
Renowned knowledge is a despis'd scorn;
Now evil 't is, all evil not t' embrace.
There is no life, save under servile bands;
To make desert a vassal to their crimes,
Ambition with avarice joins hands:
O ever shameful, O most shameless times!
Save that Sun's light we see, of good here tell,
This Earth we court so much were very Hell.
DOTH then the world go thus, doth all thus move?
Is this the justice which on Earth we find?
Is this that firm decree which all doth bind?
Are these your influences, pow'rs above?
Those souls which vice's moody mists most blind,
Blind Fortune, blindly, most their friend doth prove;
And they who thee, poor idol virtue! love,
Ply like a feather toss'd by storm and wind.
Ah! if a providence doth sway this all,
Why should best minds groan under most distress?
Or why should pride humility make thrall,
And injuries the innocent oppress?
Heav'ns! hinder, stop this fate; or grant a time
When good may have, as well as bad, their prime.
STREPHON, in vain thou bring'st thy rhymes and songs,
Deck'd with grave Pindar's old and wither'd flow'rs;
In vain thou count'st the fair Europa's wrongs,
And her whom Jove deceiv'd in golden show'rs.
Thou hast slept never under myrtle's shed;
Or, if that passion hath thy soul oppress'd,
It is but for some Grecian mistress dead,
Of such old sighs thou dost discharge thy breast;
How can true love with fables hold a place?
Thou who with fables dost set forth thy love,
Thy love a pretty fable needs must prove:
Thou suest for grace, in scorn more to disgrace.
I cannot think thou wert charm'd by my looks,
O no! thou learn'st thy love in lovers' books.
No more with candid words infect mine ears;
Tell me no more how that you pine in anguish ;
When sound you sleep, no more say that you lan-
No more in sweet despite say you spend tears.
Who hath such hollow eyes as not to see,
How those that are hair-brain'd boast of Apollo,
And bold give out the Muses do them follow,
Though in love's library, yet no lovers be.
If we, poor souls! least favour but them show,
That straight in wanton lines abroad is blaz'd;
Their names doth soar on our fame's overthrow;
Mark'd is our lightness, whilst their wits are prais'd
In silent thoughts who can no secret cover,
He may, say we, but not well, be a lover.
Ye who with curious numbers, sweetest art,
Frame Dedal nets our beauty to surprise,
Telling strange castles builded in the skies,
And tales of Cupid's bow and Cupid's dart;
Well, howsoe'er ye act your feigned smart,
Molesting quiet ears with tragic cries,
When you accuse our chastity's best part,
Nam'd cruelty, ye seem not half too wise;
Yea, ye yourselves it deem most worthy praise,
Beauty's best guard; that dragon, which doth keep
Hesperian fruit, the spur in you does raise,
That Delian wit that otherways may sleep:
To cruel nymphs your lines do fame afford,
Oft many pitiful, not one poor word.
Is it be love, to wake out all the night,
And watchful eyes drive out in dewy moans,
And, when the Sun brings to the world his light,
To waste the day in tears and bitter groans;
If it be love, to dim weak reason's beam
With clouds of strange desire, and make the mind
In hellish agonies a Heav'n to dream,
Still seeking comforts where but griefs we find
If it be love, to stain with wanton thought
A spotless chastity, and make it try
More furious flames than his whose cunning wrought
That brazen bull, where he intomb'd did fry;
Then sure is love the causer of such woes,
Be ye our lovers, or our mortal foes.
AND would you then shake off Love's golden chain,
With which it is best freedom to be bound?
And, cruel! do you seek to heal the wound
Of love, which hath such sweet and pleasant pain?
All that is subject unto Nature's reign
In skies above, or on this lower round,
When it its long and far-sought end hath found,
Doth in decadens fall and slack remain.
Behold the Moon, how gay her face doth grow
Till she kiss all the Sun, then doth decay!
See how the seas tumultuously do flow
Till they embrace lov'd banks, then post away:
So is 't with love: unless you love me still,
O do not think I'll yield unto your will!
CARE'S charming sleep, son of the sable night,
Brother to death, in silent darkness born,
Destroy my languish ere the day be light,
With dark forgetting of my care's return;
And let the day be long enough to mourn
The shipwreck of my ill-adventur'd youth;
Let wat'ry eyes suffice to wail their scorn,
Without the troubles of the night's untruth.
Cease, dreams, fond image of my fond desires!
To model forth the passions of to morrow;
Let never rising Sun approve your tears,
To add more grief to aggravate my sorrow:
Still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain,
And never wake to feel the day's disdain.