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JAMES SHIRLEY. 1594-1666.

The glories of our blood and state

Are shadows, not substantial things ;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings.

Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made

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.
Only the actions of the just
Are sweet, and blossom in the dust.




WHEN whispering strains do softly steal

With creeping passion through the heart,
And when at every touch we feel
Our pulses beat and bear a part ;

When threads can make
A heart-string quake,

Can scarce deny
The soul consists of harmony.

Oh, lull me, lull me, charming air,

My senses rock with wonder sweet;
Like snow on wool thy fallings are,
Soft like a spirit are thy feet.

Grief who need fear
That hath an ear?
Down let him lie,

And slumbering die,
And change his soul for harmony.



LIKE as the damask rose you see,
Or like the blossom on the tree,
Or like the dainty flower of May,
Or like the morning to the day,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd which Jonah had,
E'en such is man, whose thread is spun
Drawn out, and cut, and so is done.

The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
The flower fades, the morning hasteth,
The sun sets, the shadow flies,
The gourd consumes, and man he dies.

Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
Or like a tale that's new begun,
Or like the bird that's here to-day,
Or like the pearled dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a swan,
E'en such is man, who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death.
The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended,
The hour is short, the span not long,
The swan's near death, man's life is done.



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,
The sooner will his race be run,

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
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd its noon.

Stay, stay
Until the hasting day

Has run
But to the even song;
And having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you or anything.

We die,
As your hours do, and dry

Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

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
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.
No Will o'th' Wisp mislight thee ;
Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee;

But on, on thy way,

Not making a stay, Since ghost there is none to affright thee.

Let not the dark thee cumber;
What though the moon does slumber?

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 ;
But you may stay yet here a while,
To blush and gently smile,

And go at last.
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, a while, they glide

Into the grave.


SWEET country life, to such unknown,
Whose lives are others, not their own!
But serving courts and cities, be
Less happy, less enjoying thee!
Thou never plough'st the ocean's foam
To seek and bring rough pepper home;

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