Слике страница



Close in the bosom of a bended hill,

Of fair and fruitful trees a forest stood;
Balm, myrtle, bdellium from their bark distil;

Ray, smilax, myrtle (Cupid's arrow-wood,) Grew there; and cypress with his kiss-sky tops, And Ferrea's tree, whence pure rose-water drops. The golden bee, buzzing with tinsel wings,

Sucked amber honey from the silken flower ; The dove sad love-groans on her sackbut sings,

The throstle whistles from his oaken tower ; And sporting lay the nymphs of woods and hills, On beds of heart's-ease, rue, and daffodils.


Clear had the day been from the dawn,

All chequered was the sky,
Thin clouds, like scarfs of cobweb lawn,

Veil'd heaven's most glorious eye.
The wind had no more strength than this,

That leisurely it blew,
To make one leaf the next to kiss,

That closely by it grew.
The flowers, like brave embroider'd girls,

Looked as they most desired
To see whose head with orient pearls

Most curiously was tired.
The rills that on the pebbles played,

Might now be heard at will";
This world the only music made,

Else every thing was still.
And to itself the subtle air

Such sovereignty assumes,
That it received too large a share
From nature's rich perfumes.

That noble Chaucer, in those former times,
Who first enriched our English with his rhymes,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

And was the first of ours that ever broke
Into the Muse's treasures, and first spoke
In mighty numbers; delving in the mine
Of perfect knowledge which he could refine

pass for current, and so much as then
The English language could express for men,
He made it do.



Now, when the hart doth hear
The often bellowing hounds to vent his secret leir,
He rousing rusheth out and through the brakes doth drive,
As though up by the roots the bushes he would rive;
And, through the cumbrous thicks as fearfully he makes,
He with his branched head the tender saplings shakes,
That, sprinkling their moist pearls, do seem for him to

When after goes the cry, with yellings loud and deep,
That all the forest rings, and every neighbouring place,
And there is not a hound but falleth to the chace ;
Rechating with his horn, which then the hunter cheers,
Whilst still the lusty stag his high-palmed head uprears,
His body showing state, with unbent knees upright,
Expressing, from all beasts, his courage in his flight.
But when, the approaching foes still following, he per.

That he his speed must trust, his usual walk he leaves,
And o'er the champain flies ; which when the assembly

Each follows as his horse were footed with the wind.
But, being then embost, the noble stately deer,
When he hath-gotten ground (the kennel cast arear)
Doth beat the brooks and ponds for sweet refreshing soil;
That serving not, then proves if he his scent can foil,
And makes amongst the herds, and flocks of shag-woolled

Them frighting from the guard of these who had their

But, when as all his sbifts his safety still denies,
Put quite out of his walk, the ways and fallows tries,

Whom when the ploughman meets, his team he letteth

stand, To assail him with his goad; so, with his hook in hand, The shepherd him pursues, and to his dog doth hollo, When, with tempestuous speed, the hounds and hunts

men follow; Until the noble deer, through toil bereaved of strength, His long and sinewy legs then failing him at length, The villages attempts, enraged, not giving way To any thing he meets now at his sad decay. The cruel ravenous hounds and bloody hunters near, This noblest beast of chace, that vainly doth not fear, Some bank or quick-set finds; to which his haunch op

posed, He turns upon his foes, that soon have him inclosed, The churlish-throated hounds then holding him at bay; And, as their cruel fangs on his harsh skin they lay, With his sharp-pointed head he dealeth deadly wounds. The hunter, coming in to help his wearied hounds, He desperately assails; until, oppressed by force, He who the mourner is to his own dying corse, Upon the ruthless earth his precious tears lets fall.


1. PRAISE OF A COUNTRY LIFE. Mistaken mortals ! did


know Where joy, heart’s-ease, and comforts grow,

You'd scorn proud towers,

And seek them in these bowers; Where winds sometimes our woods perhaps may shake, But blustering care could never tempest trake,

Nor murmurs e'er come nigh us,

Save of fountains that glide by us. Here's no fantastic masque or dance, But of our kids that frisk and prance;

Nor wars are seen,

Unless upon the green
Two harmless lambs are butting one another-
Which done, both bleating run each to his mother;

And wounds are never found,

Save what the ploughshare gives the ground.
Go! let the diving negro seek

gems hid in some forlorn creek ;
We all pearls scorn,

Save when the dewy morn
Congeals upon each little spire of grass,
Which careless shepherds beat down as they pass;

And gold ne'er here appears,
Save what the yellow harvest bears.

2. HAPPY LIFE. How happy is he born and taught

That serveth not another's will; Whose armour is his honest thought,

And simple truth his almost skill. Whose passions not his masters are,

Whose Bual is still prepared for death, Ontied unto the worldly care

Of public fame or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise,

Or vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise,

Nor rules of state, but rules of good.
Who hath his life from rumours freed,

Whose conscience is his strong retreat : Whose state can neither flatterers feed,

Nor ruin make oppressors great; Who God doth late and early pray

More of his grace than gifts to lend, And entertains the harmless day

With a religious book or friend ; This man is freed from servile bands

Of hope to rise, or fear to fall; Lord of himself, though not of lands;

And having nothing, yet hath all.

3. SONNET ON THE QUEEN OF BOHEMIA. You meaner beauties of the night,

That poorly satisfy our eyes


More by your number than your light;

You common people of the skies,

What aro you when the moon shall rise Ye violets that first appear

By your pure purple mantles known, Like the proud virgins of the year,

As if the Spring were all your own;

What are you when the rose is blown ? Ye'curious chaunters of the wood,

That warble forth dame Nature's lays, Thinking your passions understood

By your weak accents : what's your praise,

When Philomel her voice shall raise ? So when


mistress shall be seen
In form and beauty of her mind ;
By virtue first, then choice a queen;

Tell me, if she was not designed
The eclipse and glory of her kind.


1. THE CROSS. Since Christ embraced the Cross itself, dare I His image, th' image of his Cross, deny ? Would I have profit by the sacrifice, And dare the chosen altar to despise ? It bore all other sins, but is it fit That it should bear the sin of scorning it? From me no pulpit, nor misguided law, Nor scandal taken, shall the Cross withdraw. Who can blot out this Cross, which th' instrument Of God dew'd on him in the sacrament ? Who can deny me power and liberty To stretch mine arms and mine own Cross to be ? Swim-and at every stroke thou art thy Cross; The mast and yard are theirs whom seas do toss. Look down; thou see'st our Crosses in small things; Look up; thou see'st birds fly on crosséd wings.

« ПретходнаНастави »