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The warlike yew, by which, inore than the lance,
The strong-armed English spirits conquered France.
Amongst the rest the tamarisk there stood,
For housewives' besoms only known most good :
The cold-place-loving birch and service tree;
The walnut loving vales, and mulberry ;
The maple, ash, that do delight in fountains
Which have their currents by the sides of mountains;
The laurel, myrtle, ivy, date, which hold
Their leaves all winter, be it ne'er so cold;
The fir, that often-times doth rosin drop;
The beech, that scales the welkin with his top.
All these, and thousand more, within this grove,
By all the industry of nature, strove
To frame an arbour that might keep within it
The best of beauties that the world hath in it.
LVII. FRANCIS QUARLES.
1. THE PRISONER. Jesus. Bring forth the prisoner, Justice. Justice.
Thy commands Are done, just judge : see here the prisoner stands.
Jes. What has the prisoner done ? say; what's the cause Of his commitment ? Just.
He hath broke the laws
Of his too gracious God; conspir'd the death
Of that great Majesty that gave him breath,
And heaps transgression, Lord, upon transgression.
Jes. How know'st thou this ?
Ev'n by his own confession :
His sins are crying; and they cried aloud :
They cried to heaven, they cried to heaven for blood.
Jes. What say'st thou, sinner? hast thou aught to plead That sentence should not pass ? hold up thy head, And shew thy brazen, thy rebellious face.
Sinner. Ah me! I dare not: I'm too vile and base To tread upon the earth, much more, to lift Mine eyes to heaven ; I need no other shrift Than mine own conscience; Lord, I must confess, I am no more than dust, and no whit less
Than my indictment stiles me; Ah! if thou
Search too severe, with too severe a brow,
What flesh can stand ? I have transgrest thy laws;
My merits plead thy vengeance; not my cause :
Just. Lord, shall I strike the blow ?
Hold, Justice, stay : Sinner, speak on; what hast thou more to say ?
Sin. Vile as I am, and of myself abhorred,
I am thy handy-work, thy creature, Lord,
Stampt with thy glorious image, and at first
Most like to thee, though now a poor accurst,
Convicted caitiff and degenerous creature,
Here trembling at the bar.
Thy fault's the greater.
Lord, shall I strike the blow ?
Hold Justice, stay : Speak, sinner; hast thou nothing else to say ?
Sin. Nothing but mercy, mercy, Lord: my state
Is miserably poor and desperate;
I quite renounce myself, the world, and flee
From Lord to Jesus, from thyself to thee.
Just. Cease thy vain hopes; my angry God has vowed ;
Abuséd mercy must have blood for blood :
Shall I yet strike the blow ?
Stay, Justice, hold:
My bowels yearn, my fainting blood grows cold,
To view the trembling wretch: methinks 1 spy
My father's Image in the prisoner's eye
Just. I cannot hold.
Then turn thy thirsty blade Into
my sides : let there the wound be made : Cheer
up, dear soul : redeem thy life with mine : My soul shall smart, my heart shall bleed for thine,
Sin. O groundless deeps! O love beyond degree! The offended dies to set the offender free.
2. ON TIME.
TIME's an hand's-breath, 't is a tale;
'Tis a vessel under sail ;
'Tis an eagle in its way
Darting down upon its prey :
'Tis an arrow in its flight,
Mocking the pursuing sight;
'Tis a short-liv’d fading flower;
'Tis a rainbow on a shower;
'Tis a momentary ray,
Smiling in a winter's day;
'Tis a torrent's rapid stream;
'Tis a shadow, 'tis a dream ;
'Tis the closing watch of night,
Dying at the rising light:
'Tis a bubble : 'tis a sigh ;
Be prepared, O man! to die.
LVIII. HENRY KING.
1. THE LIFE OF MAN.
Life's the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are ;
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue;
Or silver drops of morning dew :
Or like a wind that chafes the flood;
Or bubbles which on water stood ;
E'en such is man, whose borrow'd light
Is strait call'd in, and paid to-night.
The wind blows out, the bubble dies;
The spring entomb’d in autumn lies :
The dew dries up; the star is shot;
The flight is past--and man forgot.
2. TO HIS WIFE.
Sleep on, my love, in thy cold bed,
Never to be disquieted :
My last “good night!” Thou wilt not wake
Till I thy fate shall overtake:
Till age, or grief, or sickness, must
Marry my body to that dust
It so much loves, and fill the room
My heart keeps empty in thy tomb.
Stay for me there, I will not fail
To meet thee in that hollow vale:
And think not much of my delay,
I am already on the way;
And follow thee with all the speed
Desire can make, or sorrows breed.
Each mirute is a short degree,
And every hour a step towards thee.
At night when I betake to rest,
Next morn I rise nearer my west
Of life, almost by eight hours sail,
Than when sleep breathed his drowsy gale.
LIX. ROBERT HERRICK.
1. TO GOD, IN HIS SICKNESS.
What though my harp and viol be
Both hung upon the willow tree ?
What though my bed be now my grave,
And for my house I darkness have ?
What though my healthful days are fled,
And I lie number'd with the dead ?
Yet I have hope, by thy great power,
To spring-though now a wither'd flower.
2. HUMILITY. Humble we must be, if to heaven we go ; . High is the roof there, but the gate is low: Whene'er thou speak’st, look with a lowly eyeGrace is increased by humility.
3. TO BLOSSOMS. Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast ?
Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile,
To blush and gently smile
at last. What! were ye born to be
An hour or half's delight,
And go to bid good night?
'Twas pity nature brought ye forth,
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite !
But ye 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 awhile, they glide
4. SONG TO ANTHEA.
Bid me to live, and I will live,
Thy protestant to be ;
Or bid me love, and I will give
A loving heart to thee.
A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
A heart as sound and free,
As in the whole world thou canst find,
That heart I'll give to thee.
Bid that heart stay, and it will stay,
To honour thy decree:
Or bid it languish quite away,
And 't shall do so for thee.
Bid me to weep, and I will weep,
While I have eyes to see ;
And having none, yet I will keep
A heart to weep for thee.
Bid me despair, and I'll despair
Under that cypress tree;
Or bid me die, and I will dare
E’en death, to die for thee.
Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
The very eyes
And hast command of every part,
To live and die for thea.
5. THE ROSARY.
One asked me where the roses grew,-
I bade him not
But forthwith bade my Julia shew
A bud in either cheek.
Some asked me whore the rubies grew,
And nothing I did say,