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JAMES SHIRLEY. 1594-1666.
Are shadows, not substantial things ;
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
With the poor crooked scythe and spade. Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill, But their strong nerves at last must yield, They tame but one another still ;
Early or late
They stoop to fate, And must give up their murmuring breath When they, pale captives, creep to death.
The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds, Upon death's purple altar now See where the victor-victim bleeds;
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb.
WHEN whispering strains do softly steal
With creeping passion through the heart,
When threads can make
Can scarce deny
Oh, lull me, lull me, charming air,
My senses rock with wonder sweet;
Grief who need fear
And slumbering die,
SIMON WASTELL. 1623.
LIKE as the damask rose you see,
The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
ROBERT HERRICK. 1591.
GATHER the rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying ; And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heav'n, the sun,
The higher he's a getting,
And nearer he's to setting.
The age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer; But, being spent, the worse and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Fair daffodils, we weep to see
We have short time to stay as you,
THE NIGHT-PIECE, TO JULIA. HER eyes the glow-worm lend thee, The shooting stars attend thee;
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
But on, on thy way,
Not making a stay, Since ghost there is none to affright thee.
Let not the dark thee cumber;
The stars of the night
Will lend thee their light, Like tapers clear without number.
Fair p.edges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past ;
And go at last.
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, a while, they glide
Into the grave.
THE COUNTRY LIFE.
SWEET country life, to such unknown,