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Companion none is like
Unto the mind alone,
For many have been harm’d by speech,
Through thinking few or none.
Fear oftentimes restraineth words,
But makes not thoughts to cease;
And he speaks best that hath the skill
When for to hold his peace.
Our wealth leaves us at death,
Our kinsmen at the grave,
But virtues of the mind unto
The heavens with us we have;
Wherefore, for virtue's sake,
I can be well content
The sweetest time of all my life
To deem in thinking spent.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
Aspatia. Then, my good girls, be more than wom
At least be more than I was; and be sure
You credit anything the light gives light to,
Before a man.
Rather believe the sea
Weeps for the ruin'd merchant when he roars ;
Rather the wind courts but the pregnant sails,
When the strong cordage cracks; rather the sun
Comes but to kiss the fruit in wealthy autumn,
When all falls blasted. If you needs must love,
Forced by ill fate, take to your maiden bosoms
Two dead cold aspicks, and of them make lovers ;
They cannot flatter nor forswear; one kiss
Makes a long peace for all. Come, let's be sad.
That downcast eye of thine, Olympias,
Shows a fine sorrow. Mark Antiphila ;
Just such another was the nymph Oenone,
When Paris brought home Helen. Now a tear,
And then thou art a piece expressing fully
The Carthage queen, when from a cold sea-rock,
Full with her sorrow, she tied fast her eyes
To the fair Trojan ships, and having lost them,
Just as thine eyes do, down stole a tear. Antiphila!
What would this girl do if she were Aspatia?
Here she would stand till some more pitying god
Turn'd her to marble! 'Tis enough, my girl ;
Show me the piece of needlework you wrought.
Antiphila. Of Ariadne, madam?
Aspatia. Yes, that piece.
Fy, you have miss'd it here, Antiphila. You’re much mistaken, girl ; These colours are not dull and pale enough To show a soul so full of misery As this sad lady's was; do it by me; Do it again by me, the lost Aspatia, And you shall find all true but the wild island. Suppose I stand upon the sea-beach now, Mine arms thus, and mine hair blown with the wind, Wild as that desert; and let all about me Tell that I am forsaken. Do my face, If thou hadst ever feeling of a sorrow, Thus, thus, Antiphila : strive to make me look Like sorrow's monument; and the trees about me, Let them be dry and leafless; let the rocks Groan with continual surges, and behind me Make all a desolation. Look, look, maidens, A miserable life of this poor picture.
CARE-CHARMING Sleep, thou easer of all woes,
Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose
On this afflicted prince: fall like a cloud,
In gentle showers; give nothing that is loud,
Or painful to his slumbers; easy, sweet,
And as a purling stream, thou son of night,
Pass by his troubled senses; sing his pain,
Like hollow murmuring wind, or silver rain.
Into this prince gently, oh, gently slide,
And kiss himinto slumbers like a bride!
HENCE, all you vain delights,
As short as are the nights
Wherein you spend your folly!
There's naught in this life sweet,
If man were wise to see't,
But only melancholy;
Oh, sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms and fixed eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A look that's fastened to the ground,
A tongue chain'd up without a sound !
Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves !
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed, save bats and owls !
A midnight bell, a parting groan!
These are the sounds we feed upon; Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley: Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
GEORGE HERBERT. 1593–1632.
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky,
Sweet dews shall weep thy fall to-night,
For thou must die.
Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave,
And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
My music shows you have your closes,
And all must die.
Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives,
But when the whole world turns to coal,
Then chiefly lives.
MICHAEL DRAYTON. 1563–1631.
HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY, TO THE LADY GERALDINE.
From learned Florence (long time rich in fame), From whence thy race, thy noble grandsires came To famous England, that kind nurse of mine, Thy Surrey sends to heav'nly Geraldine. Yet let not Tuscan think I do it wrong, That I from thence write in my native tongue; That in these harsh-turn'd cadences I sing, Sitting so near the Muses' sacred spring;
But rather think itself adorn'd thereby,
That England reads the praise of Italy.
Though to the Tuscans I the smoothness grant,
Our dialect no majesty doth want,
To set thy praises in as high a key,
As France, or Spain, or Germany, or they.
What day I quit the foreland.of fair Kent,
And that my ship her course for Flanders bent,
Yet think I with how many a heavy look
My leave of England and of thee I took,
And did entreat the tide (if it might be)
But to convey me one sigh back to thee.
Up to the deck a billow lightly skips,
Taking my sigh, and down again it slips,
Into the gulf itself it headlong throws,
And as a post to England-ward it goes.
As I sate wond'ring how the rough sea stirr’d,
I might far off perceive a little bird,
Which, as she fain from shore to shore would fly,
Had lost herself in the broad vasty sky,
Her feeble wing beginning to deceive her,
The seas of life still gaping to bereave her:
Unto the ship she makes, which she discovers,
And there (poor fool!) a while for refuge hovers ;
And when at length her flagging pinion fails,
Panting she hangs upon the rolling sails,
And being forced to loose her hold with pain,
Yet beaten off, she straight lights on again,
And toss'd with flaws, with storms, with wind, with
weather, Yet still departing thence, still turneth thi er : Now with the poop, now with the prow doth bear, Now on this side, now that, now here, now there. Methinks these storms should be my sad depart, The silly, helpless bird is my poor heart, The ship, to which for succour it repairs, That is yourself, regardless of my cares. Of every surge doth fall, or wave doth rise, To some one thing I sit and moralize.