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O THOU that swing'st upon the waving hair
Of some well-filled oaten beard, Drunk every night with a delicious tear, Dropp'd thee from heav'n, where now thou’rt
The joys of earth and air are thine entire,
That with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly ; And, when thy poppy works, thou dost retire
To thy carved acorn-bed to lie.
But ah, the sickle! golden ears are cropp'd;
Ceres and Bacchus bid good night; Sharp frosty fingers all your flow'rs have topp'd,
And what scythes spared, winds shave off quite.
Poor verdant fool! and now, green ice ; thy joys
Large and as lasting as thy perch of grass, Bid us lay in 'gainst winter, rain, and poize
Their foods with an o'erflowing glass.
TO LUCASTA, GOING TO THE WARS.
Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore,
Lov'd I not honour more.
DIED ABOUT 1650.
CRASHAW, a Catholic priest, is chiefly distinguished as a
sacred poet. He is perhaps the most purely poetical of all the devotional lyrists, and the more his writings are perused the more they will be relished. (a)
(a) The mere merits of this neglected and beautiful writer will be better appreciated from the specimens given of his poetry in the volume of Specimens of Sacred and Serious Poetry, than from the following extracts.
A moist spark it is,
A wat'ry diamond ; from whence The very term, I think, was found The water of a diamond.
Such a pearl as this is, (Slipt from Aurora's dewy breast)
The rose-bud's sweet lip kisses :
And such the rose itself, when vext With ungențle flames, does shed, Sweating in too warm a bed.
Such the maiden gem
Peeps from her parent stem,
And blushes on the wat'ry Sun : This wat'ry blossom of thy eyne, Ripe, will make the richer wine.
COME, and let us live, my dear,
Lives again as blithe to-morrow;
THE WEEPER, ABRIDGED.
Hall, sister springs,
Ever bubbling things !
Thawing crystal ! snowy hills ! Still spending, never spent ; I mean Thy fair eyes, sweet Magdalen.
Heavens thy fair eyes be,
'Tis seed-time still with thee,
And stars thou sow'st, whose harvest dares Promise the Earth to countershine Whatever makes Heaven's fore-head fine.
The dew no more will weep,
The dew no more will sleep,
Nuzzled in the lily's neck.
Not the soft gold, which
Makes sorrow half so rich,
As the drops distill’d from thee.
Not in the evening's eyes,
For the Sun that dies,
Sits sorrow with a face so fair;
BORN 1664-DIED 1721.
There are some doubts about the parentage of Prior. At
an early age he appears to have lost his father, and it is certain that, while living with his uncle, who kept a tavern near Charing Cross, in which he officiated as clerk or drawer, his classical attainments became known to the