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For, lady, you deserve this state;
Nor would I love at lower rate.
3. PICTURE OF A LADY IN A PROSPECT OF FLOWERS. See with what simplicity
This nymph begins her golden days! In the green grass she lores to lie,
And there with her fair aspect tames
The wilder flowers, and gives them names;
But only with the roses plays,
And them does tell
What colour best becomes them, and what smell.
Who can foretell for what high cause
This darling of the gods was born ? See this is she whose chaster laws
The wanton Love shall one day fear,
And, under her command severe,
See his bow broke and ensigns torn.
Happy who can
Appease this virtuous enemy of man!
O then let me in time compound,
And parley with those conquering eyes; Ere they have tried their force to wound,
Ere with their glancing wheels they drive
In triumph over hearts that strive,
And them that yield but more despise.
Let me be laid
Where I may see the glory from some shade.
Meantime, whilst every verdant thing
Itself does at thy beauty charm,
Reform the errors of the spring :
Make that the tulips may have shar
Of sweetness, seeing they are fair;
And roses of their thorns disarın;
But most procure
Thy violets may a longer age endure.
But oh, young beauty of the woods,
Whom nature courts with fruits and flowers,
Gather the flowers, but spare the buds ;
Lest Flora, angry at thy crime
To kill her infants in their prime,
Should quickly make the example yours;
And, ere we see,
Nip in the blossom all our hopes in thee.
LXXVIII. JOHN DRYDEN.
1. ALEXANDER'S FEAST.
'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won,
By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The god-like hero sate
On bis imperial throne:
His valiant peers were plac'd around :
Their brows with roses and with myrtle bound;
So should desert in arms be crown'd,
The lovely Thais by his side
Sat, like a blooming eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride:
Happy, happy, happy pair:
None but the brave, none but the brave,
None but the brave deserve the fair.
Timotheus, plac'd on high,
Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre;
The trembling notes ascend the sky,
And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above,
Such is the power of mighty love !
A dragon's fiery form bely'd the god :
Sublime on radiant spheres he rode,
When he to fair Olympia press’d,
And stamp'd an image of himself
, a sov'reign of the world.
The list'ning crowd admire the lofty sound
A present deity! they shout around;
A present deity! the vaulted roofs rebound:
With ravish'd ears the monarch hears,
Assumes the god, affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
178 The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young :
The jolly god in triumph comes :
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums :
Flush'd with a purple grace
He shows his honest face.
Now give the hautboys breath ; he comes ! he comes !
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain :
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure;
Rich the treasure, sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
Smooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain:
Fought all his battles o’er again,
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the
The master saw the madness rise ; slain.
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And, while he heaven and earth defied,
Chang'd his hand, and check'd his pride.
He chose a mournful muse soft pity to infuse ;
He sung Darius great and good,
By too severe a fate,
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And welt'ring in his blood :
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed :
On the bare earth expos’d he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.
With downcast look the joyless victor sate,
Revolving in his alter'd soul
The various turns of fate below;
And now and then, a sigh he stole :
and tears began to flow.
The mighty master smil'd, to see
That love was in the next degree:
'Twas but a kindred sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth'd his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toil and trouble:
Honour, but an empty bubble:
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying :
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, O think it worth enjoying ;
Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
Take the good the gods provide thee.
The many rend the skies with loud applause:
So Love was crown'd, but Music won the cause.
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gaz'd on the fair who caus’d his care,
And sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd and look'd,
Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again;
At length, with love and wine at once oppress'd,
The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast.
Now strike the golden lyre again;
And louder yet, and yet a louder strain.
Break his bands of sleep asunder,
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder. Hark, hark, the horrid sound Has rais’d up his head: As awak'd from the dead, And amaz’d, he stares around.
Revenge, revenge”! Timotheus cries,
See the Furies arise;
See the snakes that they rear,
How they hiss in the air,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes !
Behold a gastly band, each a torch in his hand ! Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain, And unburied remain Inglorious on the plain :
Give the vengeance due To the valiant crew.
Behold how they toss their torches on high,
How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glittering temples of their hostile gods,
The princes applaud, with a furious joy ;
And the king seiz'd a flambeau with zeal to destroy.
Thais led the way, To light him to his prey,
And, like another Helen, fir'd another Troy.
Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,
While organs yet were mute;
Timotheus, to his breathing flute,
And sounding lyre,
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
At last divine Cecilia came, Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,
Enlarg'd the former narrow bounds
And added length to solemn sounds, With nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.
Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown;
He rais'd a mortal to the skies ;
She drew an angel down.
2. CHRISTIAN FORBEARANCE.
If joys hereafter must be purchased here
With loss of all that mortals hold so dear,
Then welcome infamy and public shame;
And, last, a long farewell to public fame!
'Tis said with ease ; but, oh, how hardly tried
By haughty souls to human honour tied !
O sharp convulsive pangs of agonizing pride!
Down then, thou rebel, never more to rise !
And what thou didst, and dost, so dearly prize,
That fame, that darling fame, make that thy sacrifice.
'Tis nothing thou hast given; then add thy tears
For a long race of unrepenting years ;
'Tis nothing yet, yet all thou hast to give :
Then add those may-be years thou hast to live,
Yet nothing still: then poor and naked come,
Thy Father will receive his unthrift home,
And thy blest Saviour's blood discharge the mighty suin.
3. A DREAM. Two friends or brothers, with devout intent, On some far pilgrimage together went, It happen'd so, that when the sun was down, They just arrived by twilight at a town; That day had been the baiting of a bull, 'Twas at a feast, and every inn so full