So in this differing key though I could well
A many hours but as few minutes tell,

Yet lest mine own delight might injure you

(Though loath so soon) I take my song anew.

106. WILLIAM HABINGTON. 1605-1654. (Manual, p. 171.)


My God! if 'tis thy great decree

That this must the last moment be
Wherein I breathe this air;

My heart obeys, joyed to retreat

From the false favors of the great,
And treachery of the fair.

When thou shalt please this soul t' enthrone
Above impure corruption;

What should I grieve or fear,

To think this breathless body must
Become a loathsome heap of dust,
And ne'er again appear.

For in the fire when ore is tried,
And by that torment purified,
Do we deplore the loss?

And when thou shalt my soul refine,
That it thereby may purer shine,
Shall I grieve for the dross?

107. EDMUND WALLER. 1605-1687. (Manual, p. 171.)


Go, lovely rose!

Tell her that wastes her time and me,

That now she knows

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,

And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung

In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,

And not blush so to be admired.

Then die! that she

The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee,

How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair.


That which her slender waist confined
Shall now my joyful temples bind:
No monarch but would give his crown,
His arms might do what this has done.

It was my heaven's extremest sphere,
The pale which held that lovely deer.
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Did all within this circle move!

A narrow compass! and yet there
Dwelt all that's good, and all that's fair;
Give me but what this ribbon bound,
Take all the rest the sun goes round.

108. SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT. 1605-1668. (Manual,

p. 172.)

From "Gondibert."


To Astragon, heaven for succession gave

One only pledge, and Birtha was her name;
Whose mother slept, where flowers grew on her grave,
And she succeeded her in face and fame

She ne'er saw courts, yet courts could have undone
With untaught looks and an unpractised heart;
Her nets, the most prepared could never shun;

For nature spread them in the scorn of art.

She never had in busy cities been,

Ne'er warmed with hopes, nor e'er allayed with fears;
Not seeing punishment, could guess no sin;

And sin not seeing, ne'er had use of tears.

But here her father's precepts gave her skill,
Which with incessant business filled the hours;
In Spring, she gathered blossoms for the still;
In Autumn, berries; and in Summer, flowers.

And as kind nature with calm diligence
Her own free virtue silently employs,
Whilst she, unheard, does ripening growth dispense,
So were her virtues busy without noise.

Whilst her great mistress, Nature, thus she tends,
The busy household waits no less on her;
By secret law, each to her beauty bends;
Though all her lowly mind to that prefer.

109. SIR JOHN DENHAM. 1615-1668. (Manual, p. 173.)

From "Cooper's Hill."


My eye, descending from the Hill, surveys

Where Thames among the wanton valleys strays.
Thames! the most loved of all the Ocean's sons,

By his old sire, to his embraces runs,

Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity;

Though with those streams he no resemblance hold,
Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold:
His genuine and less guilty wealth t' explore,
Search not his bottom, but survey his shore,
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing
And hatches plenty for th' ensuing spring;
Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay,
Like mothers which their infants overlay;
Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave,
Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave.
No unexpected inundations spoil

The mower's hopes, nor mock the ploughman's toil;

But godlike his unwearied bounty flows;

First loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor are his blessings to his banks confined,
But free and common as the sea or wind;
When he, to boast or to disperse his stores,
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying tours
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours;
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants,

Cities in deserts, woods in cities, plants.
So that to us no thing, no place, is strange,
While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.
O, could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!

Though deep yet clear, though gentle yet not dull,
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.

ABRAHAM COWLEY. 1618-1667. (Manual, p. 174.)

110. HYMN to Light.

Hail! active Nature's watchful life and health!

Her joy, her ornament, and wealth!

Hail to thy husband, Heat, and thee!

Thou the world's beauteous bride, the lusty bridegroom he!

Say, from what golden quivers of the sky

Do all thy wingéd arrows fly?

Swiftness and Power by birth are thine;

From thy great Sire they come, thy Sire, the Word Divine.

Thou in the moon's bright chariot, proud and gay,

Dost thy bright wood of stars survey,

And all the year dost with thee bring

Of thousand flowery lights thine own nocturnal spring.

Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above

The Sun's gilt tent forever move,

And still, as thou in pomp dost go,

The shining pageants of the world attend thy show.


What can be more extraordinary than that a person of mean birth, no fortune, no eminent qualities of body, which have sometimes, or of mind, which have often, raised men to the highest dignities, should have the courage to attempt, and the happiness to succeed in, so improbable a design as the destruction of one of the most ancient and most solidly-founded monarchies upon the earth? That he should have the power or boldness to put his prince and master to an open and infamous death; to banish that numerous and strongly-allied family; to do all this under the name and wages of a parliament; to trample upon them too as he pleased, and spurn them out of doors when he grew weary of them; to raise up a new and unheard-of monster out of their ashes; to stifle that in the very infancy, and set up

himself above all things that ever were called sovereign in England; to oppress all his enemies by arms, and all his friends afterwards by artifice; to serve all parties patiently for a while, and to command them victoriously at last; to overrun each corner of the three nations, and overcome with equal facility both the riches of the south and the poverty of the north; to be feared and courted by all foreign princes, and adopted a brother to the gods of the earth; to call together parliaments with a word of his pen, and scatter them again with the breath of his mouth; to be humbly and daily petitioned that he would please to be hired, at the rate of two millions a year, to be the master of those who had hired him before to be their servant; to have the estates and lives of three kingdoms as much at his disposal as was the little inheritance of his father, and to be as noble and liberal in the spending of them; and lastly (for there is no end of all the particulars of his glory), to bequeath all this with one word to his posterity; to die with peace at home, and triumph abroad; to be buried among kings, and with more than regal solemnity; and to leave a name behind him, not to be extinguished, but with the whole world; which, as it is now too little for his praises, so might have been too for his conquests, if the short line of his human life could have been stretched out to the extent of his immortal designs?

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