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Nor to the Eastern Ind dost rove, To bring from thence the scorched clove: Nor, with the loss of thy loved rest, Bring'st home the ingot from the West. No: thy ambition's master-piece Flies no thought higher than a fleece ; Or how to pay thy hinds, and clear All scores, and so to end the year; But walk'st about thy own dear bounds, Not envying others' larger grounds : For well thou know'st, 'tis not th' extent Of land makes life, but sweet content. When now the cock, the ploughman's horn, Calls forth the lily-wristed morn, Then to thy cornfields thou dost go, Which, though well-soil'd, yet thou dost know That the best compost for the lands Is the wise master's feet and hands. There at the plough thou find'st thy team, With a hind whistling there to them; And cheer'st them up by singing how The kingdom's portion is the plough. This done, then to th' enameli'd meads Thou go'st; and, as thy foot there treads, Thou see'st a present godlike power Imprinted in each herb and flower; And smell'st the breath of great-eyed kine, Sweet as the blossoms of the vine. Here thou behold'st thy large sleek neat, Unto the dewlaps up in meat; And, as thou look'st, the wanton steer, The heifer, cow, and ox draw near, To make a pleasing pastime there. These seen, thou go'st to view thy flocks Of sheep, safe from the wolf and fox; And find'st their bellies there as full Of short, sweet grass, as backs with wool; And leav'st them, as they feed and fill, A shepherd piping on a hill.
For sports, for pageantry, and plays,
Oh happy life, if that their good
ABRAHAM COWLEY. 1618–1667.
And make the age to come my own,
Unless you write my elegy ;
Their mothers’ labour, not their own.
The weight of that mounts this so high. These men are Fortune's jewels moulded bright;
Brought forth with their own fire and light : If I, her vulgar stone, for either look,
Out of myself it must be strook.
Sure I Fame's trumpet hear :
Raise up the buried man.
And march, the Muses' Hannibal.
Nets of roses in the way!
And all that is not above Fate!
Which intercepts my coming praise.
'Tis time that I were gone.
All I was born to know:
He conquer'd th' earth, the whole world you. Welcome, learn'd Cicero! whose bless'd tongue and Preserves Rome's greatness yet:
(wit Thou art the first of orators; only he
Who best can praise thee, next must be. Vol. I. G
Welcome the Mantuan swan, Virgil the wise!
Whose verse walks highest, but not flies ; Who brought green Poesy to her perfect age,
And made that art which was a rage. Tell me, ye mighty Three! what shall I do
To be like one of you?
On the calm flourishing head of it,
See us and clouds below.
This only grant me, that my means may lie
Some honour I would have,
Rumour can ope the grave.
My house a cottage more
My garden painted o'er
And in this true delight,
But boldly say each night,
In a deep vision's intellectual scene,
Th' uncomfortable shade
Of the black yew's unlucky green
The melancholy Cowley lay:
That art can never imitate;
feet. She touch'd him with her harp, and raised him from
the ground; The shaken strings melodiously resound.
“ Art thou return'd at last,” said she,
“To this forsaken place and me?
And winter marches on so fast?
Had to their dearest children done ;