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IKE to the falling of a starre;
Or as the flights of Eagles are ;
Or like the fresh Spring's gaudy hew:
Or filver drops of morning dew;
Or like a wind that chafes the flood;
Or bubbles which on water stood;
Even such is Man, whose borrow'd light
is streight call'd in, and paid to night.
To my noblest Friend J. C
I Hate the Countries durt and manners, yet
And courtship, flowing here in a fựll tide,
But loathe the expence, the vanity and pride.
No place each way is happy; here I hold
Commerce with some,' who to my eare unfold
(After a due oath miniftred) the height
And greatnefle of each star shines in the state,
The brightnefle, the eclypse, the influence.
With others I commune, who tell me whence
The torrent doth of forraigne discord flow:
Relate each skirmish, battle, overthrow,
Soon as they happen ; and by rote can tell
Those Germane townes, even puzzle me to spell,
The crofle or prosperous fate of Princes, they
Afcribe to rashnesse, cunning, or delay :
And on each action comment with more kill
Then 'upon Livy, did old Matchavill.
O busie folly! why doe I my braine
Perplex with the dull pollicies of Spaine,
Or quicke designes of France ? why not repaire
To the pure innocence of the Country ayre.
And neighbor thee, deare friend? who fo dost give
Thy thoughts to worth and vertue, that to live
Bleít, is to trace thy wayes, there, might not we
Arme against Passion with Philofophie;
And by the aide of leisure, fo controule
Whate'er is earth in us, to grow all foule ?
Knowledge doth ignorance ingender when
We ftudy misteries of other men
And forraigne plots. Doe but in thy owne fhade
Thy head upon some flowry pillow laide,
(Kind Nature's huswifery) contemplate all
His stratagems who labours to inthrall
The world to his great Master ; and you'le finde
Ambition mockes itselfe, and graspes the wind.
Not conquest makes us great, blood is too deare
A price for Glory : Honour doth appeare
To statesmen like a vision in the night,
And juggler-like workes on the deluded fight.
The unbụlied only wise : for no respect
Indangers them to error; they affect
Truth in her naked beauty, and behold
Man with an equall eye, not bright in gold
Or tall in title; so much him they weigh
As Vertue raiseth him above his clay.
Thus let us value things; and since we find
Time bends us toward death, let's in our mind
Create new Youth, and arme against the rude
Affaults of age ; that no dull solitude
Of the Country dead our thoughts, nor bufie care
Of the towne make us not thinke, where now we are
And whether we are bound ; Time nere forgot
His journey, though his steps we numbred not.
Caftara, by W. Habington,
Ed. 1640. Lond.
A Farewell to the Vanities of the World.
FAREWELL, ye gilded follies, pleasing troubles ;
Farewell, ye honour'd rags, ye glorious bubbles ;
Fame's but a hollow echo, gold pure clay;
Honour the darling but of one short day.
Beauty, th' eye's idol but a damask'd skin;
State but a golden prison to live in,
And torture free-born minds : embroider'd trains
Merely but pageants for proud swelling veins ;
And blood ally'd to greatness, is alone
Inherited, not purchas'd nor our own,
Fame, honour, beauty, state, train, blood and birth,
Are but the fading blossoms of the earth.
I would be great, but that the sun doth still
Level his rays against the rising hill :
I would be high, but see the proudest oak
Most subject to the rending thunder-stroke :
I would be rich, but see men too unkind,
Dig in the bowels of the richest mind:
I would be wise, but that I often see
The fox suspected, whilst the ass goes free:
I would be fair, but see the fair and proud
Like the bright sun, oft setting in a cloud:
I would be poor, but know the humble grass
Still trampled on by each unworthy ass :
Rich hated : wife fufpected : scorn'd if poor:
Great fear'd: fair tempted: high still envy'd more:
I have wilh'd all ; but now I wish for neither ;
Great, high, sich, wise nor fair ; pcor I'll be rather.
Would the World now adopt me for her heir,
Would Beauty's Queen entitle me “ The Fair,"
Fame speak me Fortune's minion, could I vie
Angels with India ; with a speaking eye
Command bare heads, bow'd knees, strike Justice dumb,
As well as blind and lame, or give a tongue
To stones by epitaphs: be callid Great Master
In the loose rhimes of every poetaster?
Could I be more than any man that lives,
Great, fair, rich, wise, all in fuperlatives :
Yet I more freely would these gifts resign,
Than ever fortune would have made them mine,
And hold one minute of this holy leisure,
Beyond the riches of this empty pleasure.
Welcome pure thoughts, welcome ye filent groves ,
These guests, these courts, my soul most dearly loves :
Now the wing'd people of the sky shall fing
My chearful anthems to the gladsome spring:
A prayer-book now shall be my looking-glass,
In which I will adore sweet Virtues face.
Here dwell no hateful looks, no palace-cares,
No broken vows dwell here, nor pale-fac'd fears :
Then here I'll fit, and figh my hot love's folly,
And learn t affect an holy melancholy;
And if Contentment be a stranger then,
I'll ne'er look for it, but in Heaven again.
Sir H. Wotton.