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Do but look on her eyes, they do light
As alone there triúmphs to the life
All the gain, all the good of the elements' strife.
Have you seen but a bright lily grow
Have you marked but the fall o' the snow
Or have smelt o' the bud o' the briar?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
O so white,-O so soft,-O so sweet is she!
[From Hymenai; or, the Solemnities of Masque and Barriers at the marriage of the Earl of Essex, 1606.]
Upon her head she wears a crown of stars,
Through which her orient hair waves to her waist,
Till with her breath she blows them up to heaven.
Upon each shoulder sits a milk-white dove,
Her spacious arms do reach from east to west,
Her left a curious bunch of golden keys,
With which heaven's gates she locketh and displays.
A crystal mirror hangeth at her breast,
By which men's consciences are searched and drest;
An angel ushers her triumphant gait,
That fire and water, earth and air combines.
Her voice is like a trumpet loud and shrill,
THE SHEPHERDS' HOLIDAY.
[From Pan's Anniversary; or, The Shepherds' Holiday: 1625.]
Thus, thus begin, the yearly rites
Are due to Pan on these bright nights:
His morn now riseth and invites
To sports, to dances, and delights:
Strew, strew the glad and smiling ground
Drop, drop you violets, change your hues
That from your odour all may say,
SONG BEFORE THE ENTRY OF THE MASQUERS.
Spring all the graces of the age,
And all the loves of time;
Bring all the pleasures of the stage,
Add all the softnesses of courts,
ODE TO HIMSELF.
[Written after the failure of the comedy The New Inn, 'never acted, but most negligently played by some, the king's servants; and more squeamishly beheld and censured by others, the king's subjects,' January 19, 1629.]
Come, leave the loathed stage,
And the more loathsome age;
Where pride and impudence, in faction knit,
Usurp the chair of wit!
Indicting and arraigning every day
Something they call a play.
Let their fastidious, vain
Commission of the brain
Run on and rage, sweat, censure, and condemn;
Say that thou pour'st them wheat,
Twere simple fury still thyself to waste
To offer them a surfeit of pure bread
No, give them grains their fill,
If they love lees, and leave the lusty wine,
Envy them not, their palate's with the swine.
No doubt some mouldy tale,
Like Pericles, and stale
As the shrieve's crusts, and nasty as his fish
Scraps out of every dish
Thrown forth, and raked into the common tub,
There, sweepings do as well
For who the relish of these guests will fit,
And much good do't you then:
Can feed on orts; and, safe in your stage-clothes,
Dare quit, upon your oaths,
The stagers and the stage-wrights too, your peers,
With their foul comic socks,
Wrought upon twenty blocks;
Which if they are torn, and turned, and patched enough, The gamesters share your gilt, and you their stuff.
Leave things so prostitute,
And take the Alcaic lute;
Or thine own Horace, or Anacreon's lyre;
Warm thee by Pindar's fire:
And though thy nerves be shrunk, and blood be cold,
Ere years have made thee old,
Strike that disdainful heat
Throughout, to their defeat,
As curious fools, and envious of thy strain,
But when they hear thee sing
The glories of thy king,
His zeal to God, and his just awe o'er men:
Feel such a flesh-quake to possess their powers,
As they shall cry: 'Like ours
In sound of peace or wars,
In tuning forth the acts of his sweet reign,
And raising Charles his chariot 'bove his Wain.'
SONG. TO CELIA'.
[From The Forest.]
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
Not so much honouring thee,
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
TO MY MERE ENGLISH CENSURER.
To thee, my way in Epigrams seems new,
1 From the (prose) love-letters of Philostratus the younger (about 250 A.D.) Author of the Scourge of Folly. Compiler of Funeral Monuments