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When I resolved t exalt thy anointed name,
Business! the frivolous pretence
Business! the grave impertinence;
And see to what amount
Thy foolish gains by quitting me:
Art got at last to shore.
After a tedious, stormy night,
But then, alas! to thee alone,
With pearly dew was crown'd,
The fruitful seed of heaven did brooding lie,
It did all other threats surpass, When God to his own people said ('The men whom through long wanderings he had led)
That he would give them ev'n a heaven of brass : They look'd up to that heaven in vain, That bounteous heaven, which God did not restrain Upon the most unjust to shine and rain. “ The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more
Thou didst with faith and labour serve,
Though she contracted was to thee,
Given to another, who had store
Give thee to fling away
But think how likely 'tis that thou,
Shouldst even able be to live;
The melancholy Cowley said :
Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid
The ills which thou thyself hast made ?
And my abused soul didst bear
And ever since I strive in vain
My ravish'd freedom to regain;
There is a sort of stubborn weeds,
No wholesome herb can near them thrive,
No useful plant can keep alive; The foolish sports I did on thee bestow, Make all my art and labour fruitless now; Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever
grow. 6 When my new mind had no infusion known, Thou gavest so deep a tincture of thine own,
That ever since I vainly try
To wash away th' inherent dye; Long work, perhaps, may spoil thy colours quite, But never will reduce the native white :
To all the ports of honour and of gain,
I often steer my course in vain;
By making them so oft to be,
Must as entirely cast off thee,
Do from the world retire.
The court and better king t’ accuse:
Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou
Our patient sovereign did attend
His long misfortunes' fatal end; How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend; I ought to be accursed if I refuse To wait on his, oh thou fallacious Muse! Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I be So distant, they may reach at length to me.
However, of all the princes, thou [slow; Shouldst not reproach rewards for being small or Thou! who rewardest but with popular breath,
And that, too, after death."
Well, then; I now do plainly see
Does of all meats the soonest cloy ;
And they, methinks, deserve my pity,
Of this great hive, the city.
Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave,
Both wise, and both delightful too!
And, since love ne'er will from me flee,
Only beloved, and loving me!
Oh, fountains ! when in you shall I Myself, eased of unpeaceful thoughts, espy;
Oh fields, oh woods! when, when shall I be made
The happy tenant of your shade ?
Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood; Where all the riches lie, that she
Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.
Pride and ambịtion here Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear; Here naught but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter,
And naught but Echo flatter.
The gods, when they descended, hither From heaven did always choose their way; And therefore we may boldly say,
That 'tis the way to thither,
How happy here should I,
In deserts solitude.
I should have then this only fear, Lest men, when they my pleasures see, Should hither throng to live like me,
And so make a city here,
THE PRAISE OF POETRY.
'Tis not a pyramid of marble stone,