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When fair Rebecca set me free,
"Twas then a golden time with me :
But soon those pleasures fled ;
And Judith reigned in her stead.
One month, three days, and half an hour,
Judith held the sovereign power:
Wondrous beautiful her face! But so weak and small her wit, That she to govern was unfit,
And so Susanna took her place.
I. LOVE. I'll sing of' heroes and of kings, In mighty numbers, mighty things. Begin, my Muse! but lo! the strings To my great song rebellious prove; The strings will sound of nought but love. I broke them all, and put on new; "Tis this or nothing sure will do. These, sure, (said I) will me obey; These, sure, heroic notes will play. Straight I began with thundering Jove, And all th' immortal powers; but Love, Love smil'd, and from m'enfeebled lyre Came gentle airs, such as inspire Melting love and soft desire. Farewell, then, heroes! farewell, kings And mighty numbers, mighty things! Love tunes my heart just to my strings.
But when Isabella came,
Arm'd with a resistless flame,
And th' artillery of her eye; Whilst she proudly march'd about, Greater conquests to find out,
She beat out Susan by the by.
But in her place I then obey'd
Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy-maid ;
To whom ensued a vacancy: Thousand worse passions then possest The interregnum of my breast;
Bless me from such an anarchy!
Gentle Henrietta then,
And a third Mary, next began;
Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria; And then a pretty Thomasine, And then another Catharine,
And then a long et cætera.
The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
But should I now to you relate
The strength and riches of their state;
The powder, patches, and the pins,
That make up all their magazines ;
If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts;
The letters, embassies, and spies, The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries, The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,
(Numberless, nameless, mysteries :)
III. BEAUTY. LIBERAL Nature did dispense To all things arms for their defence; And some she arms with sinewy force, And some with swiftness in the course ; Some with hard hoofs or forked claws, And some with horns or tusked jaws:
And all the little lime-twigs laid,
By Machiavel the waiting-maid ;
And some with scales, and some with wings,
IX. ANOTHER. UNDERNEATH this myrtle shade, On flowery beds supinely laid, With odorous oils my head o'erflowing, And around it roses growing, What should I do but drink away The heat and troubles of the day? In this more than kingly state Love himself shall on me wait. Fill to me, Love; nay, fill it up; And mingled cast into the cup Wit, and mirth, and noble fires, Vigorous health and gay desires. The wheel of life no less will stay In a smooth than rugged way: Since it equally doth flee, Let the motion pleasant be. Why do we precious ointments show'r? Nobler wines why do we pour? Beauteous flowers why do we spread, Upon the monuments of the dead? Nothing they but dust can show, Or bones that hasten to be so. Crown me with roses whilst I live, Now your wines and ointments give; After death I nothing crave, Let me alive my pleasures have, All are Stoics in the grave.
V. AGE. Ort am I by the women told, Poor Anacreon! thou grow'st old : Look how thy hairs are falling all; Poor Anacreon, how they fall! Whether I grow old or no, By th' effects, I do not know; This I know, without being told 'Tis ame to live, if I grow old; "Tis time short pleasures now to take Of little life the best to make, And manage wisely the last stake.
VII. GOLD. A MIGHTY pain to love it is, And 'tis a pain that pain to miss But, of all pains, the greatest pair It is to love, but love in vain. Virtue now, nor noble blood, Nor wit, by love is understood Gold alone does passion move Gold monopolizes love. A curse on her, and on the man Who this traffic first began ! A curse on him who found the ore ! A curse on him who digg'd the store ! A curse on him who did refine it! A curse on him who first did coin it! A curse, all curses else above, On him who us'd it first in love! Gold begets in brethren hate; Gold in families debate; Gold does friendships separate; Gold does civil wars create. These the smallest harms of it! Gold, alas! does love beget.
X. THE GRASSHOPPER. Happy Insect! what can be In happiness compar'd to thee? Fed with nourishment divine, The dewy Morning's gentle wine! Nature waits upon thee still, And thy verdant cup does fill; "Tis fill'd wherever thou dost tread, Nature's sell's thy Ganymede. Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing ; Happier than the happiest king! All the fields which thou dost see, All the plants, belong to thee; All that summer-hours produce, Fertile made with early juice. Man for thee does sow and plow; Farmer he, and landlord thou! Thou dost innocently joy ; Nor does thy luxury destroy ; The shepherd gladly heareth thee, More harmonious than he. The country hinds with gladness hear, Prophet of the ripen'd year! Thee Phoebus loves, and does inspire ; Phæbus is hinself thy sire. To thee, of all things upon earth, Life is no longer than thy mirth. Happy insect, happy thou! Dost neither age nor winter know; But, when thou'st drunk, and danc'd, and sung Thy fill, the flow'ry leaves among, (Voluptuous, and wise withal, Epicurean animal!) Sated with thy summer feast, Thou retir'st to endless rest.
VIII. THE EPICURE. Fill the bowl with rosy wine! Around our temples roses twine! And let us cheerfully awhile, Like the wine and roses, smile. Crown'd with roses, we contemn Gyges' wealthy diadem. To-day is ours, what do we fear ? To-day is ours; we have it here: Let's treat it kindly, that it may Wish, at least, with us to stay. Let's banish business, banish sorrow; To the gods belongs to-morrow.
XI. THE SWALLOW. Foolish Prater, what dost thou So early at my window do,
With the tuneless serenade?
ELEGY UPON ANACREON; WHO WAS CHOKED BY A GRAPE STONE.
SPOKEN BY THE GOD OF LOVE.
How shall (lament thine end,
Some do but their youth allow me,
Had I the power of creation, As I have of generation, Where I the matter must obey, And cannot work plate out of clay, My creatures should be all like thee, "Tis thou should'st their idea be: They, like thee, should thoroughly hate Business, honor, title, state; Other wealth they should not know, But what my living mines bestow; The pomp of kings, they should confess, At their crownings, to be less Than a lover's humblest guise, When at his mistress' feet he lies. Rumor they no more should mind Than men safe landed do the wind ; Wisdom itself they should not hear, When it presumes to be severe ; Beauty alone they should admire, Nor look at Fortune's vain attire. Nor ask what parents it can show; With dead or old 't has nought to do. They should not love yet all, or any, But very much and very many : All their life should gilded be With mirth, and wit, and gaiety; Well remembering and applying The necessity of dying. Their cheerful heads should always wear All that crowns the flowery year: They should always laugh, and sing, And dance, and strike th' harmonious string, Verse should from their tongues so flow, As if it in the mouth did grow, As swifily answering their command, As tunes obey the artful hand. And whilst I do thus discover Th' ingredients of a happy lover, "Tis, my Anacreon! for thy sake I of the grape no mention make.
Till my Anacreon by thee fell,
It grieves me when I see what fate
But when their life, in its decline,
I'd advise them, when they spy
ODE, FROM CATULLUS.
ACME AND SEPTIMIUS. Whilst on Septimius' panting breast (Meaning nothing less than rest) Acme lean'd her loving head, Thus the pleas'd Septimius said :
“My dearest Acme, if I be
The god of love, who stood to hear him, (The god of love was always near him,) Pleas'd and tickled with the sound, Sneez'd aloud ; and all around The little Loves, that waited by, Bow'd, and blest the augury. Acme, inflam'd with what he said, Rear'd her gently-bending head; And, her purple mouth with joy Stretching to the delicious boy, Twice (and twice could scarce suffice) She kiss'd his drunken rolling eyes.
THE COMPLAINT. In a deep vision's intellectual scene, Beneath a bower for sorrow made,
Th' uncomfortable shade
Of the black yew's unlucky green
That art can never imitate;
feet. She touch'd him with her harp, and rais'd him from
the ground; The shaken strings melodiously resound.
“Art thou return'd at last," said she,
“To this forsaken place and me?
And Winter marches on so fast?
Had to their dearest children done;
show, Would'st into courts and cities from me go; Would'st see the world abroad, and have a share In all the follies and the tumults there : Thou wouldst, forsooth, be something in a state, And business thou would'st find, and would'st
Business! the frivolous pretence
Business! the grave impertinence;
“My little life, my all!" (said she)
This good omen thus from Heaven
“Go, renegado! cast up thy account,
And see to what amount
Thy foolish gains by quitting me : The sale of knowledge, fame, and liberty, The fruits of thy unlearn'd apostasy. Thou thought'st, if once the public storm were
If the gods would please to be But advis'd for once by me,
All thy remaining life should sunshine be; The foolish sports I did on thee bestow,
Make all my art and labor fruitless now;
Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever And thou, with all the noble company,
grow. Art got at last to shore. But, whilst thy fellow-voyagers I see
" When my new mind had no infusion known, All march'd up to possess the promis'd land, Thou gav'st so deep a tincture of thine own, Thou, still alone, alas! dost gaping stand
That ever since I vainly try Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand !
To wash away th' inherent dye:
Long work perhaps may spoil thy colors quite , “As a fair morning of the blessed spring,
But never will reduce the native white : After a tedious stormy night,
To all the ports of honor and of gain, Such was the glorious entry of our king;
I often steer my course in vain;
By making them so oft to be
Whoever this world's happiness would see,
Must as entirely cast off thee, And upon all the quicken'd ground
As they who only Heaven desire
Do from the world retire.
Myself a demi-votary to make
Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate, (The men whom through long wanderings he had led) |(A fault which I, like them, am taught too late,
That he would give them ev'n a Heaven of For all that I gave up I nothing gain,
And perish for the part which I retain
The court, and better king, t'accuse : Upon the most unjust to shine and rain
The heaven under which I live is fair,
The fertile soil will a full harvest bear: “The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou
Thou didst with faith and labor serve, Mak'st me sit still and sing, when I should plow, And didst (if faith and labor can) deserve, When I but think how many a tedious year Though she contracted was to thee,
Our patient sovereign did attend Given to another thou didst see,
His long misfortunes' fatal end; Given to another, who had store
How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, Of fairer and of richer wives before,
On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend; And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be! I ought to be accurst, if I refuse Go on; twice seven years more thy fortune try; to wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse! Twice seven years more God in his bounty may Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I be Give thee, to fling away
So distant, they may reach at length to me. Into the court's deceitful lottery:
However, of all the princes, thou But think how likely 'tis that thou,
Should'st not reproach rewards for being small or With the dull work of thy unwieldly plow,
slow; Should'st in a hard and barren season thrive, Thou! who rewardest but with popular breath, Should'st even able be to live;
And that too after death."
HYMN TO LIGHT,
From the old Negro's darksome womb! " Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid
Which, when it saw the lovely child, The ills which thou thyself hast made ? The melancholy mass put on kind looks and When in the cradle innocent I lay, Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away, And my abused soul didst bear
Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know, Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,
But ever ebb and ever fluw! Thy golden Indies in the air;
Thou golden shower of a true Jove! And ever since I strive in vain
Who does in thee descend, and Heaven to Earth My ravislı'd freedom to regain;
make love! Still I rebel, still thou dost reign; Lo! still in verse against thee I complain. Hail, active Nature's watchful life and health There is a sort of stubborn weeds,
Her joy, her ornament, and wealth! Which, if the earth but once, it ever, breeds;
Hail to thy husband, Heat, and thee! No wholesome herb can near them thrive, Thou the world's beauteous bride, the lusty bride. No useful plant can keep alive: