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Noisy nothing ! stalking shade!

By what witchcraft wert thou made ?

Empty cause of solid harms !
HAT shall I do to be for ever known,

But I shall find out counter-charms
And make the age to come my own ?

Thy airy devilship to remove
I shall, like beasts or common people, die,

From this circle here of love.
Unless you write my elegy ;
Whilst others great, by being born, are grown ;

Sure I shall rid myself of thee
Their mothers' labour, not their own.

By the night's obscurity, In this scale gold, in th' other fame does lie,

And obscurer secrecy!
The weight of that mounts this so high.

Unlike to every other sprite,
These men are Fortune's jewels, moulded bright ; Thou attempt'st not men to fright,

Brought forth with their own fire and light : Nor appear'st but in the light.
If I, her vulgar stone, for either look,

Out of myself it must be strook. Yet I must on.

What sound is't strikes mine ear? Sure I Fame's trumpet hear :

OF MYSELF. It sounds like the last trumpet ; for it can

This only grant me, that my means may lie Raise up the buried man.

Too low for envy, for contempt too high. Unpast Alps stop me; but I'll cut them all,

Some honour I would have, And march, the Muses' Hannibal.

Not from great deeds, but good alone; Hence, all the flattering vanities that lay

Th' unknown are better than ill known : Nets of roses in the way!

Rumour can ope the grave.
Hence, the desire of honours or estate,

Acquaintance I would have, but when't depends
And all that is not above Fate !
Hence, Love himself, that tyrant of my days !

Not on the number, but the choice, of friends.
Which intercepts my coming praise.

Books should, not business, entertain the light, Come, my best friends, my books! and lead me on ; And sleep, as undisturb'd as death, the night. 'Tis time that I were gone.

My house a cottage more Welcome, great Stagyrite ! and teach me now

Than palace; and should fitting be All I was born to know :

For all my use, no luxury: Thy scholar's victories thou dost far out-do;

My garden painted o'er He conquer'd th' earth, the whole world you. With Nature's hand, not Art's; and pleasures yield, Welcome, learn'd Cicero ! whose blest tongue and Horace might envy in his Sabin field.

wit Preserves Rome's greatness yet :

Thus would I double my life's fading space; Thou art the first of orators; only he

For he, that runs it well, twice runs his race.
Who best can praise thee, next must be.

And in this true delight,
Welcome the Mantuan swan, Virgil the wise ! These unbought sports, this happy state,

Whose verse walks highest, but not flies ; I would not fear, nor wish, my fate ;
Who brought green Poesy to her perfect age,

But boldly say each night, And made that art which was a rage.

To-morrow let my sun his beams display,
Tell me, ye mighty Three ! what shall I do Or in clouds hide them ; I have liv'd to-day.

To be like one of you ?
you have climb'd the mountain's top, there sit

On the calm flourishing head of it,
And, whilst with wearied steps we upwards go,

See us, and clouds, below.

MARGARITA first possest,

If I remember well, my breast,

Margarita first of all;

But when awhile the wanton maid
She loves, and she confesses too;

With my restless heart had play'd,
There's then, at last, no more to do;

Martha took the flying ball.
The happy work's entirely done ;
Enter the town which thou hast won;

Martha soon did it resign
The fruits of conquest now begin;

To the beauteous Catharine. Tö, triumphe ! enter in.

Beauteous Catharine gave place

(Though loth and angry she to part What's this, ye gods! what can it be?

With the possession of my heart)
Remains there still an enemy?

To Eliza's conquering face.
Bold Honour stands up in the gate,
And would yet capitulate ;

Eliza till this hour might reign,
Have I o'ercome all real foes,

Had she not evil counsels ta'en. And shall this phantom me oppose ?

Fundamental laws she broke,



And still new favourites she chose,

(Chiefly if I like them should tell Till up in arms my passions rose,

All change of weathers that befell.) And cast away her yoke.

Than Holinshed or Stow.

Mary, then, and gentle Anne,

Both to reign at once began ;

Alternately they sway'd, And sometimes Mary was the fair, And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,

And sometimes both I obey'd.

But I will briefer with them be,

Since few of them were long with me.

An higher and a nobler strain My present emperess does claim, Heleonora, first o' th' name;

Whom God grant long to reign !

Another Mary then arose,

And did rigorous laws impose ;

A mighty tyrant she ! Long, alas ! should I have been Under that iron-scepter'd queen,

Had not Rebecca set me free.



When fair Rebecca set me free,

'Twas then a golden time with me :

But soon those pleasures fled;
For the gracious princess dy'd,
In her youth and beauty's pride,

And Judith reigned in her stead.


One month, three days, and half an hour,

Judith held the sovereign power :

Wondrous beautiful her face !
But so weak and small her wit,
That she to govern was unfit,

And so Susanna took her place.

I'll sing of heroes and of kings,
In mighty numbers, mighty things.
Begin, my Muse! but lo! the strings
To my great song rebellious prove;
The strings will sound of nought but love.
I broke them all, and put on new;
'Tis this or nothing sure will do.
These, sure, (said I) will me obey ;
These, sure, heroic notes will play.
Straight I began with thundering Jove,
And all th' immortal powers; but Love,
Love smil'd, and from m'enfeebled lyre
Came gentle airs, such as inspire
Melting love and soft desire.
Farewell, then, heroes ! farewell, kings
And mighty numbers, mighty things!
Love tunes my heart just to my strings.

But when Isabella came,

Arm'd with a resistless flame,

And th' artillery of her eye; Whilst she proudly march'd about, Greater conquests to find out,

She beat out Susan by the by.


But in her place I then obey'd

Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy-maid;

To whom ensued a vacancy: Thousand worse passions then possest The interregnum of my breast;

Bless me from such an anarchy!

Gentle Henrietta then,

And a third Mary, next began ;

Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria; And then a pretty Thomasine, And then another Catharine,

And then a long et cætera.

THE thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks, and gapes for drink again,
The plants suck-in the earth, and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair ;
The sea itself (which one would think
Should have but little need of drink)
Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up,
So fill'd that they o'erflow the cup.
The busy Sun (and one would guess
By's drunken fiery face no less)
Drinks up the sea, and, when he 'as donc,
The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun:
They drink and dance by their own light;
They drink and revel all the night.
Nothing in nature 's sober found,
But an eternal health
Fill up the bowl, then, fill it high,
Fill all the glasses there ; for why
Should every creature drink but I;
Why, man of morals, tell me why?

goes round.

But should I now to you relate

The strength and riches of their state;

The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribbons, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,

That make up all their magazines ;
If I should tell the politic arts

To take and keep men's hearts ;

The letters, embassies, and spies, The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,

(Numberless, nameless, mysteries !) And all the little lime-twigs laid,

By Machiavel the waiting maid ;
I more voluminous should grow

III. BEAUTY. LIBERAL Nature did dispense To all things arms for their defence ; And some she arms with sinewy force, And some with swiftness in the course ; Some with hard hoofs or forked claws, And some with horns or tusked jaws :


And some with scales, and some with wings,
And some with teeth, and some with stings.
Wisdom to man sbe did afford,

UNDERNEATH this myrtle shade,
Wisdom for shield, and wit for sword.

On flowery beds supinely laid,
What to beauteous womankind,

With odorous oils my head o'er-flowing,
What arms, what armour, has sh' assign'd? And around it roses growing,
Beauty is both; for with the fair

What should I do but drink away
What arms, what armour, can compare ?

The heat and troubles of the day? What steel, what gold, or diamond,

In this more than kingly state More impassible is found ?

Love himself shall on me wait. And yet what flame, what lightning, e'er

Fill to me, Love; nay fill it up; So great an active force did bear?

And mingled cast into the cup They are all weapon, and they dart

Wit, and mirth, and noble fires, Like porcupines from every part.

Vigorous health and gay desires. Who can, alas! their strength express,

The wheel of life no less will stay Arm'd, when they themselves undress,

In a smooth than rugged way:
Cap-a-pie with nakedness?

Since it equally doth flee,
Let the motion pleasant be.

Why do we precious ointments show'r ?
Ort am I by the women told,

Nobler wines why do we pour ? Poor Anacreon! thou grow'st old :

Beauteous flowers why do we spread, Look how thy hairs are falling all ;

Upon the monuments of the dead ? Poor Anacreon, how they fall !

Nothing they but dust can show, Whether I grow old or no,

Or bones that hasten to be so. By th' effects, I do not know;

Crown me with roses whilst I live, This, I know, without being told,

Now your wines and ointments give; 'Tis time to live, if I grow old;

After death I nothing crave, 'Tis time short pleasures now to take,

Let me alive my pleasures have, Of little life the best to make,

All are Stoics in the grave. And manage wisely the last stake.




A MIGHTY pain to love it is,
And 'tis a pain that pain to miss;
But, of all pains, the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain.
Virtue now, nor noble blood,
Nor wit by love is understood ;
Gold alone does passion move,
Gold monopolizes love.
A curse on her, and on the man
Who this traffic first began !
A curse on him who found the ore !
A curse on him who digg'd the store !
A curse on him who did refine it!
A curse on him who first did coin it!
A curse, all curses else above,
On him who us'd it first in love!
Gold begets in brethren hate ;
Gold in families debate;
Gold does friendships separate;
Gold does civil wars create.
These the smallest harms of it!
Gold, alas! does love beget.

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's 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 plow;
Farmer he, and landlord thou !
Thou dost innocently joy ;
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 Phæbus loves, and does inspire ;
Phæbus 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 danc'd, and sung
Thy fill, the flow'ry leaves among,
(Voluptuous, and wise withal,
Epicurean animal !)
Sated with thy summer feast,
Thou retir'st to endless rest.

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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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Foolish Prater, what dost thou
So carly at my window do,


With thy tuneless serenade?

Had I the power of creation, Well 't had been had Tereus made

As I have of generation, Thee as dumb as Philomel;

Where I the matter must obey, There his knife had done but well.

And cannot work plate out of clay, In thy undiscovered nest

My creatures should be all like thee, Thou dost all the winter rest,

'Tis thou should'st their idea be: And dreamest o'er thy summer joys,

They, like thee, should thoroughly hate Free from the stormy seasons' noise,

Business, honour, title, state ; Free from th' ill thou'st done to me;

Other wealth they should not know, Who disturbs or seeks-out thee?

But what my living mines bestow; Hadst thou all the charming notes

The pomp of kings, they should confess, Of the wood's poetic throats,

At their crownings, to be less All thy art could never pay

Than a lover's humblest guise, What thou hast ta'en from me away.

When at his mistress' feet he lies. Cruel bird ! thou'st ta'en away

Rumour they no more should mind A dream out of my arms to-day;

Than men safe landed do the wind; A dream, that ne'er must equall'd be

Wisdom itself they should not hear, By all that waking eyes may see.

When it presumes to be severe ; Thou, this damage to repair,

Beauty alone they should admire, Nothing half so sweet or fair,

Nor look at Fortune's vain attire. Nothing half so good, canst bring,

Nor ask what parents it can shew ;
Though men say thou bring'st the Spring.

With dead or old 't has nought to do.
They should not love yet all, or any,
But very much and very many:
All their life should gilded be
With mirth, and wit,

and gaiety ;

Well remembering and applying
The necessity of dying.

Their cheerful heads should always wear
Spoken by the God of Love.

All that crowns the flowery year : How shall I lament thine end,

They should always laugh, and sing, My best servant and my friend ?

And dance, and strike th' harmonious string, Nay, and, if from a deity

Verse should from their tongue so flow, So much deified as I,

As if it in the mouth did grow, It sound not too profane and odd,

As swiftly answering their command, Oh, my master and my god !

As tunes obey the artful hand. For 'tis true, most mighty poet!

And whilst I do thus discover (Though I like not men should know it)

Th' ingredients of a happy lover, I am in naked Nature less,

"Tis, my Anacreon! for thy sake Less by much, than in thy dress,

I of the Grape no mention make. All thy verse is softer far

Till my Anacreon by thee fell, Than the downy feathers are

Cursed Plant ! I lov'd thee well ; Of my wings, or of my arrows,

And 'twas oft my wanton use Of my mother's doves or sparrows,

To dip my arrows in thy juice. Sweet as lovers' freshest kisses,

Cursed Plant! 'tis true, I see, Or their riper following blisses,

The old report that goes of thee Graceful, cleanly, smooth, and round,

That with giants' blood the Earth All with Venus' girdle bound;

Stain’d and poison'd gave thee birth ; And thy life was all the while

And now thou wreak'st thy ancient spite Kind and gentle as thy style,

On men in whom the gods delight. The smooth-pac'd hours of every day

Thy patron, Bacchus, 'tis no wonder, Glided numerously away.

Was brought forth in flames and thunder ; Like thy verse each hour did pass ;

In rage, in quarrels, and in fights, Sweet and short, like that, it was.

Worse than his tigers, he delights ; Some do but their youth allow me,

In all our Heaven I think there be Just what they by Nature owe me,

No such ill-natur'd god as he. The time that's mine, and not their own,

Thou pretendest, traitorous Wine ! The certain tribute of my crown :

To be the Muses' friend and mine : When they grow old, they grow to be

With love and wit thou dost begin, Too busy, or too wise, for me.

False fires, alas ! to draw us in ; Thou wert wiser, and didst know

Which, if our course we by them keep, None too wise for love can grow ;

Misguide to madness or to sleep : Love was with thy life entwin'd,

Sleep were well, thou'st learnt a way Close as heat with fire is join'd;

To death itself now to betray. A powerful brand prescrib'd the date

It grieves me when I see what fate Of thine, like Meleager's, fate.

Does on the best of mankind wait. Th' antiperistasis of age

Poets or lovers let them be, More enflam'd thy amorous rage ;

'Tis neither love nor poesy Thy silver hairs yielded me more

Can arm, against Death's smallest dart, Than even golden curls before.

The poet's head or lover's heart;

But when their life, in its decline,

I'd advise them, when they spy Touches th' inevitable line,

Any illustrious piety, All the world's mortal to them then,

To reward her, if it be she And wine is aconite to men;

To reward him, if it be he Nay, in Death's hand, the grape-stone proves

With such a husband, such a wife; As strong as thunder is in Jove's.

With Acme's and Septimius' life.





Whilst on Septimius' panting breast
(Meaning nothing less than rest)
Acme lean'd her loving head,
Thus the pleas'd Septimius said :


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“ My dearest Acme, if I be
Once alive, and love not thee
With a passion far above
All that e'er was called love;
In a Libyan desert may
I become some lion's prey ;
Let him, Acme, let him tear
My breast, when Acme is not there.'
The god of love, who stood to hear him
(The god of love was always near him)
Pleas'd and tickled with the sound,
Sneez'd aloud; and all around
The little Loves, that waited by,
Bow'd, and blest the augury.
Acme, enflam'd with what he said,
Rear'd her gently-bending head;
And, her purple mouth with joy
Stretching to the delicious boy,
Twice (and twice could scarce suffice)
She kist his drunken rolling eyes.
“ My little life, my all !” (said she)
So may we ever servants be
To this best god, and ne'er retain
Our hated liberty again!
So may thy passion last for me,
As I a passion have for thee,
Greater and fiercer much than can
Be conceiv'd by thee a man!
Into my marrow is it gone,
Fixt and settled in the bone ;
It reigns not only in my heart,
But runs, like life, through every part.”
She spoke; the god of love aloud
Sneez'd again; and all the crowd
Of little Loves, that waited by,
Bow'd, and bless'd the augury.
This good omen thus from Heaven
Like a happy signal given,
Their loves and lives (all four) embrace,
And hand in hand run all the race.
To poor Septimius (who did now
Nothing else but Acme grow)
Acme's bosom was alone
The whole world's imperial throne;
And to faithful Acme's mind
Septimius was all human-kind.

THE COMPLAINT. In a deep vision's intellectual, scene, Beneath a bower for sorrow made,

Th' uncomfortable shade

Of the black yew's unlucky green,
Mixt with the mourning willow's careful grey,
Where reverend Cham cuts out his famous way,

The melancholy Cowley lay :
And lo! a Muse appear'd to’s closed sight,
(The Muses oft in lands of vision play,)
Body'd, array'd, and seen, by an internal light.
A golden harp with silver strings she bore ;
A wondrous hieroglyphic robe she wore,
In which all colours and all figures were,
That Nature or that Fancy can create,

That Art can never imitate;
And with loose pride it wanton'd in the air.
In such a dress, in such a well-cloth'd dream,
She us'd, of old, near fair Ismenus' stream,
Pindar, her Theban favourite, to meet ;
A crown was on her head, and wings were on her

feet. She touch'd him with her harp, and rais'd him from

the ground; The shaken strings melodiously resound.

“ Art thou return'd at last,” said she,

“ To this forsaken place and me?
Thou prodigal ! who didst so loosely waste
Of all thy youthful years the good estate;
Art thou return'd here, to repent too late,
And gather husks of learning up at last,
Now the rich harvest-time of life is past,

And Winter marches on so fast ?
But, when I meant t'adopt thee for my son,
And did as learn'd a portion assign,
As ever any of the mighty Nine

Had to their dearest children done;
When I resolv'd t'exalt thy anointed name,
Among the spiritual lords of peaceful fame;
Thou, changeling! thou, bewitch'd with noise and

show, Would'st into courts and cities from me go; Would'st see the world abroad, and have a share In all the follies and the tumults there: Thou would'st, forsooth, be something in a state, And business thou would'st find, and would'st


Business! the frivolous pretence
Of human lusts, to shake off innocence;

Business! the grave impertinence;
Business! the thing which I of all things hate;
Business ! the contradiction of thy fate.
“ Go, renegado! cast up thy account,

And see to what amount

Thy foolish gains by quitting me : The sale of knowledge, fame, and liberty, The fruits of thy unlearn'd apostacy. Thou thought'st, if once the public storm were


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If the gods would please to be But advis'd for once by me,

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