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What, were ye born to be
An hour or half's delight;
And so to bid good-night?
'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth,
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.
But you 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, a-while, they glide
Into the grave.
TO PRIMROSES FILLED WITH MORNING DEW.
Why do ye weep, sweet babes? can tears
Speak grief in you,
Who were but born
Just as the modest morn
Teem'd her refreshing dew?
Alas, you have not known that shower
That mars a flower,
Nor felt th' unkind
Breath of a blasting wind,
Nor are ye worn with years;
Or warp'd as we,
Who think it strange to see, Such pretty flowers, like to orphans young, To speak by tears, before ye have a tongue. Speak, whimp'ring younglings, and make known The reason why
Ye droop and weep;
Is it for want of sleep,
Or childish lullaby?
Or that ye have not seen as yet
Or brought a kiss
From that Sweet-heart, to this?
-No, no, this sorrow shown
By your tears shed,
Would have this lecture read,
That things of greatest, so of meanest worth, Conceived with grief are, and with tears brought forth.
Fair Daffadils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Until the hasting day
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you;
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or any thing.
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
Ye have been fresh and green,
Ye have been fill'd with flowers;
And ye the walks have been
Where maids have spent their hours.
You have beheld how they
With wicker arks did come,
To kiss and bear away
The richer cowslips home.
You've heard them sweetly sing,
And seen them in a round;
Each virgin, like a spring,
With honeysuckles crown'd.
But now, we see none here,
Whose silvery feet did tread,
And with dishevell❜d hair
Adorn'd this smoother mead
Like unthrifts, having spent
Your stock, and needy grown,
You're left here to lament
Your poor estates alone.
A THANKSGIVING TO GOD.
Lord, thou hast given me a cell,
Wherein to dwell;
A little house, whose humble roof
Is weather proof;
Under the spars of which I lie
Both soft and dry;
Where thou, my chamber for to ward,
Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep
Me, while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate;
Both void of state;
And yet the threshold of my door
Is worn by th' poor,
Who thither come, and freely get
Good words, or meat.
Like as my parlour, so my hall
And kitchen's small;
A little buttery, and therein
A little bin,
Which keeps my little loaf of bread
Some brittle sticks of thorn or briar
Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,
And glow like it.
Lord, I confess too, when I dine,
The pulse is thine,
And all those other bits that be
There placed by thee;
The worts, the purslain, and the mess
Which of thy kindness thou hast sent;
And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,
To be more sweet.
'Tis thou that crown'st my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth,
And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink,
Spiced to the brink.
Lord, 'tis thy plenty-dropping hand
That soils my land,
And giv'st me, for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one;
Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay
Her egg each day;
Besides, my healthful ewes to bear
Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
Run cream, for wine:
All these, and better, thou dost send
Me, to this end,—
That I should render, for my part,
A thankful heart;
Which, fired with incense, I resign,
As wholly thine;
-But the acceptance, that must be,
My Christ, by Thee.
THE MAD MAID'S SONG.
Good morrow to the day so fair;
Good morning, sir, to you;
Good morrow to mine own torn hair,
Bedabbled with the dew.
Good morning to this primrose too;
Good morrow to each maid;
That will with flowers the tomb bestrew
Wherein my Love is laid.
Ah! woe is me, woe, woe is me,
Alack and well-a-day!
For pity, sir, find out that bee,
Which bore my Love away.
I'll seek him in your bonnet brave;
I'll seek him in your eyes;
Nay, now I think they've made his grave
I' th' bed of strawberries.
I'll seek him there; I know, ere this, The cold, cold earth doth shake him; But I will go, or send a kiss
By you, sir, to awake him.
Pray hurt him not; though he be dead,
He knows well who do love him;
And who with green turfs rear his head,
And who do rudely move him.
He's soft and tender, pray take heed,
With bands of cowslips bind him,
And bring him home;-but 'tis decreed
That I shall never find him.
UPON JULIA'S Clothes.
Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Till, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes!