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100. RICHARD CRASHAW. 1620-1650. (Manual, p. 168.)
LINES ON A PRAYER-BOOK SENT TO MRS. R.
Lo! here a little volume, but large book,
(Fear it not, sweet,
It is no hypocrite,)
Much larger in itself than in its look.
It is, in one rich handful, heaven and all-
Heaven's royal hosts encamped thus small;
To prove that true, schoòls used to tell,
A thousand angels in one point can dwell.
It is love's great artillery,
Which here contracts itself, and comes to lie
Close couched in your white bosom, and from thence,
As from a snowy fortress of defence,
Against the ghostly foe to take your part,
And fortify the hold of your chaste heart.
It is the armory of light:
Let constant use but keep it bright,
You'll find it yields
To holy hands and humble hearts,
More swords and shields
Than sin hath snares or hell hath darts.
Only be sure
The hands be pure
That hold these weapons, and the eyes
Those of turtles, chaste and true,
Wakeful and wise,
Here is a friend shall fight for you.
Hold but this book before your heart,
Let prayer alone to play his part.
But O! the heart
That studies this high art
Must be a sure housekeeper
And yet no sleeper.
Dear soul, be strong,
Mercy will come ere long,
And bring her bosom full of blessings-
Flowers of never-fading graces,
To make immortal dressings,
For worthy souls whose wise embraces
Store up themselves for Him who is alone
The spouse of virgins, and the virgin's son.
101. ROBERT HERRICK. 1591-1674. (Manual, p. 169.)
Gather the rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying;
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
The age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse and worst
Times still succeed the former.
102. SIR JOHN SUCKLING. 1609-1641. (Manual, p. 169.)
Out upon it, I have loved
Three whole days together;
And am like to love three more,
If it prove fair weather.
Time shall melt away his wings,
Ere he shall discover
In the whole wide world again
Such a constant lover.
But the spite on't is, no praise
Is due at all to me:
Love with me had made no stays,
Had it any been but she.
Had it any been but she,
And that very face,
There had been at least ere this
A dozen dozen in her place.
103. SIR RICHARD LOVELACE. 1618-1658. (Manual,
TO ALTHEA FROM PRISON.
When love with unconfinéd wings
Hovers within my gates,
And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at my gates;
When I lie tangled in her hair,
And fettered with her eye,
The birds that wanton in the air,
Know no such liberty.
When flowing cups run swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our careless heads with roses crowned,
Our hearts with loyal flames;
When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
When healths and draughts go free,
Fishes, that tipple in the deep,
Know no such liberty.
When, linnet-like, confinéd I
With shriller note shall sing
The mercy, sweetness, majesty,
And glories of my king;
When I shall voice aloud how good
He is, how great should be,
Th' enlarged winds that curl the flood,
Know no such liberty.
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage,
Minds innocent and quiet, take
That for an hermitage:
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.
104. THOMAS CAREW. 1589-1639. (Manual, pp. 170 and 86.)
Ask me no more, where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauties orient deep
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep.
Ask me no more, whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For, in pure love, heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.
Ask me no more, whither doth haste
The nightingale, when May is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters, and keeps warm her note.
Ask me no more, where those stars light,
That downwards fall in dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixed become, as in their sphere.
Ask me no more, if east or west,
The phoenix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.
105. WILLIAM BROWNE. 1590-1645. (Manual, p. 171.)
As in an evening when the gentle air
Breathes to the sullen night a soft repair,
I oft have sat on Thames' sweet bank to hear
My friend with his sweet touch to charm mine ear.
When he hath played (as well he can) some strain
That likes me, straight I ask the same again,
And he as gladly granting, strikes it o'er
With some sweet relish was forgot before:
I would have been content if he would play,
In that one strain to pass the night away;
But fearing much to do his patience wrong,
Unwillingly have asked some other song: