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FROM "PARADISE LOST," BOOK VIII
ADAM DESCRIBING EVE.
I led her blushing like the morn : all Heaven,
Shed their selectest influence ; the earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
Joyous the birds ; fresh gales and gentle airs Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape Whispered it to the woods, and from their wings Still glorions before whom awake I stood ;
flung odors from the spicy shrub, Who, stooping, opened my left side, and took
Disporting, till the amorous bird of night From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening star And life.blood streaming fresh; wide was the On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp. wound,
When I approach But sullenly with flesh filled up and healed : The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands;
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems, Under his forming hands a creature grew,
And in herself complete, so well to know Manlike, but different sex, so lovely fair,
Her own, that what she wills to do or say That what seemed fair in all the world seemed Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best;
All higher knowledge in her presence falls Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained
Degraded, wisdom in discourse with her And in her looks, which from that time infused
Loses discountenanced, and like folly shows;
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally ; and, to consumate all,
Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic placed. When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Neither her outside forined so fair, nor aught Such as I saw her in my dream, adorned With what all earth or Heaven could bestow To make her amiable. On she came,
So much delights me, as those graceful acts, Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and actions, mixed with love And guided by his voice, nor uninformed Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites :
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned
Union of mind, or in us both one soul ;
Harmony to behold in wedded pair
More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear. " This turn hath made amends; thou hast
fulfilled Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
TO A LADY BEFORE MARRIAGE. Giver of all things fair, but fairest this Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
O, FORMED by Nature, and refined by Art, Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself With charms to win; and sense to fix the heart ! Before me; Woman is her name, of man
By thousands sought, Clotilda, canst thou free Extracted : for this cause he shall forego
Thy crowd of captives and descend to me?
Ah! soothe thy partner in his waking dream ! Yet innocence and virgin modesty,
In some small hamlet on the lonely plain, Her virtue and the conscience of her worth, Where Thames through meadows rolls his mazy That would be wooed, and not unsought be won,
train, Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retired.
Or where high Windsor, thick with greens arThe more desirable ; or, to say all.
rayed, Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought, Waves his old oaks, and spreads his ample shade, Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turned ; Fancy has figured out our calm retreat ; I followed her ; she what was honor knew, Already round the visionary seat And with obsequious majesty approved
Our limes begin to shoot, our flowers to spring, My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower The brooks to murmur, and the birds to sing.
Where dost thou lie, thou thinly peopled green, 'Mong all the joys my soul hath known,
To all the past, the good, the fair ;
Will make a music in the air, Miilst gardens here my humble pile shall rise, With sweets surrounded of ten thousand dyes ; Like a wet fisher tempest-tost, All savage where the embroidered gardens end, Who sees throughout the weltering night The haunt of echoes, shall my woods ascend ; Afar on some low-lying coast And oh! if Heaven the ainbitious thought ap- The streaming of a rainy light, prove,
I saw this hour, -- and now 't is come; A rill shall warble 'cross the gloomy grove,
The rooms are lit, the feast is set ;
Within the twilight I am dumb,
Where'er she treads the pansy blows ; How loud that heifer lows from yonder vale ! Nor call her eyes twin stars, her sinile That thrush how shrill ! his note so clear, so
A sunbeam, and her mouth a rose. high,
Nor can I, as your bridegrooms do,
The fond romance of twenty-two
Familiar years, adieu, adieu !
An unknown door is open cast, Or rob the beehive of its golden hoard,
An empty future wide and new And bear the unbought luxuriance to thy board.
Stands waiting. Oye naked rooms, Sometimes my books by day shall kill the hours,
Void, desolate, without a charm ! While from thy needle rise the silken flowers,
Will Love's smile chase your lonely glooms, And thon, by turns, to ease my feeble sight,
And drape your walls, and make them warm i Resume the volume, and deceive the night.
The man who knew, while he was young, 0, when I mark thy twinkling eyes opprest,
Some soft and soul-subduing air, Soft whispering, let me warn my love to rest;
Melts when again he hears it sung, Then watch thee, charmed, while sleep locks
Although 't is only half so fair. every sense,
So I love thee, and love is sweet Ann to sweet Heaven commend thy innocence.
(My Florence, 't is the cruel truth) Thus reigned our fathers o'er the rural fold,
Because it can to age repeat
That long-lost passion of my youth.
0, often did my spirit melt,
Blurred letters, o'er your artless rhymes ! THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING ;
Fair tress, in which the sunshine dwelt,
I've kissed thee many a million times !
And now 't is done. -- My passionate tears, The country ways are full of mire,
Mad pleadings with an iron fate, The boughs toss in the fading light,
And all the sweetness of my years,
Are blackened ashes in the grate.
Then ring in the wind, my wedding chimes ;
Old churchyard, stuffel with buried crimes, This onwly dying pint of port.
Be clad in sunshine o'er and o'er ;
And youthful maidens, white and sweet,
Scatter your blossoms far and wide; Anıl with a bridal chorus greet
This happy bridegroom and his bride. “This happy bridegroom !" there is sin
At bottom of my thankless mood : What if desert alone could win
For me life's chiefest grace and good ? Love gives itself; and if not given,
No genius, beauty, state or wit, No gold of earth, no gem of heaven,
Is rich enough to purchase it, It may be, Florence, loving thee,
My heart will its old memories keep; Like some worn sea-shell from the sea,
Fiiled with the music of the deep. And you may watch, on nights of rain,
A shadow on my brow encroach ; Be startled by my sudden pain,
And tenderness of self-reproach.
FROM "A BALLAD UPON A WEDDING."
It nay be that your loving wiles
Will call a sigh from far-off years ; It may be that your happiest smiles
Will brim my eyes with hopeless tears; It inay he that my sleeping breath
Will shake, with painful visions wrung; And, in the awful trance of death,
A stranger's name be on my tongue.
The maid, and thereby hangs a tale,
that 's kindly ripe could be So round, so plump, so soft as she,
Nor half so full of juice.
It was too wide a peck;
About our young colt's neck.
As if they feared the light; But O, she dances such a way! No sun upon an Easter-day
Is half so fine a sight.
Yr phantoms, born of bitter blood,
Ye ghosts of passion, lean and worn, Ye terrors of a lonely mood,
What do ye here on a wedding-morn ? For, as the dawning sweet and fast
Through all the heaven spreads and flows, Within life discord, rude and vast,
Love's subtle music grows and grows. And lightened is the heavy curse,
And clearer is the weary road ; The very worm the sea-weerls nurse
Is cared for by the Eternal God. My love, pale blossom of the snow,
Has pierced earth wet with wintry showers, O may it drink the sun, and blow,
And be followed by all the year of flowers !
Her cheeks so rare a white was on,
Who sees them is undone ;
The side that's next the sun.
Here lips were red ; and one was thin, Compared to that was next her cbin.
Some bee had stung it newly ; But, Dick, her eyes so guard her face I durst no more upon them gaze,
Than on the sun in July.
Black Bayard from the stable bring;
The rain is o'er, the wind is down, Round stirring farms the birds will sing,
The dawn stand in the sleeping town, Wthin an hour. This is her gate,
Her sodden roses droop in night, And — emblem of my happy fate
In one dear window there is light.
Her mouth so small, when she does speak, Thou 'dst swear her teeth her words did break.
That they might passage get; But she so handled still the matter, They came as good as ours, or better,
And are not spent a whit.
SIR JOHN SUCKLING.
Thou hast left the joyous feast,
And the mirth and wine have ceased;
And now we set thee down before Lor! where she comes along with portly pace, The jealously unclosing door, Lyke Phrebe, from her chamber of the East,
That the favored youth admits Arysing forth to run her mighty rare.
Where the veiled virgin sits Clad all in white, that seems a virgin best.
In the bliss of maiden fear,
And the music's brisker din
To the chamber of his rest.
CHORUS OF MAIDENS.
Now the jocund song is thine, l'pon the lowly ground affixed are,
Bride of David's kingly line ; We are lift up her countenance too bold,
How thy dove-like bosom trembleth, But blush to heare her prayses sung so loul,
And thy shrouded eye resembleth So farre from being proud.
Violets, when the dews of eve Nathlesse doe ye still loud her prayses sing,
A moist and trenulous glitter leave. That all the wools may answer, and your eccho ring.
On the bashful sealed lil!
('lose within the bride-veil hiid, Tell me, ye merchants danghters, did ye see
Motionless thou sitt'st and mute ; So fayre a creature in your towne before ;
Save that at the soft salute
Of each entering maiden friend,
Hark! a brisker, merrier glee !
Thus we lift our lamps to meet him,
Thou shalt give a tenderer greeting.
And ring of gold, no fond illusions now,
Bind her as his. Across the threshold led,
His house she enters, – there to be a light,
Shining within, when all without is night;
A guardian angel o'er his life presiding,
Doubling his pleasures and his cares dividing,
Winning him back wheu mingling in the throng,
Back from a world we love, alas ! too long,
To fireside happiness, to hours of ease,
Blest with that charm, the certainty to please.
Still subject,-- ever on the watch to borrow
Mirth of his mirth and sorrow of his sorrow !
HENRY HART MILMAN,
FROM "HUMAN LIFE."
The soul of music slumbers in the shell,
What's the world, my lass, my love ! --- what can
it do? I am thine, and thou art mine ; life is sweet and
new. the world have missed the mark, let it stand
GIVING IN MARRIAGE.
For we two have gotten leave, and once more SEVEN TIMES SIX.
Like a laverock in the lift, sing, O bonny bride!
It 's we two, it's we two, happy side by side. To bear, to nurse, to rear,
Take a kiss froin me, thy man ; now the song To watch, and then to lose :
begins : To see my bright ones disappear,
* All is made afresh for us, and the brave heart Drawn up like morning dews ;
wins.” To bear, to nurse, to rear,
When the darker days come, and no
sun will This have I done when God drew near
Thou shalt dry my tears, lass, and I'll dry thine. Among his own to choose.
It's we two, it's we two, while the world's To hear, to heed, to wed,
away, And with thy lord depart
Sitting by the golden sheaves ou our wedding In tears that he, as soon as shed,
day. Will let no longer smart.
JEAN INGELOW. To hear, to heed, to wed, This while thou didst I smiled,
NOT OURS THE VOWS. For now it was not God who said, “Mother, give me thy child.”
Not ours the vows of such as plight
Their troth in sunny weather, O fond, O fool, and blind,
While leaves are green, and skies are bright, To God I gave with tears ;
To walk on flowers together.
But we have loved as those who tread
The thorny path of sorrow,
With clouds above, and cause to dreail
Yet deeper gloom to-morrow.
That thorny path, those stormy skies,
Have drawn our spirits nearer;
And rendered us, by sorrow's ties,
Each to the other dearer.
Love, born in hours of joy and mirth,
With mirth and joy way perish;
That to which darker hours gave birth
Still more and more we cherishı.
It looks beyond the clouds of time,
And through death's shadowy | ortal ;
Made by adversity sublime,
She was a creature framed hy love divine
In pondering her perfections ; so unmoved
FROM "PHILIP VAN ARTEVELDE.