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An angel prisoned in an infant frame
Of mortal sickness and deformity,
Looks patiently from out that languid eye,
Matured, and seeming large with pain. The name
happy childhood” mocks his movements tame,
So propped with piteous crutch ; or forced to lie
Rather than sit, in its frail chair, and try
To taste the pleasure of the unshared game.
He does; and faintly claps his withered hands
To see how brother Willie caught the ball;
Kind brother Willie, strong yet gentle all :
’T was he that placed him, where his chair now stands,
In that warm corner 'gainst the sunny wall.-
God, in that brother, gave him more than lands.
He that loves a rosy cheek,
Or a coral lip admires,
Or from star-like eyes doth seek
Fuel to maintain his fires :
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.
But a smooth and stedfast mind,
Gentle thoughts and calm desires, Hearts with equal love combined,
Kindle never-dying fires. Where these are not, I despise Lovely cheeks, or lips, or eyes.
Corinna's going a-Maying.
Get up, get up, for shame; the blooming morn
Upon her wings presents the God unshorn:
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh quilted colours through the air :
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree:
Each flower has wept, and bowed toward the east,
Above an hour since; yet you not drest;
Nay not so much as out of bed;
When all the birds have matins said,
And sung their thankful hymns: 't is sin,
Nay, profanation to keep in ;
When as a thousand virgins on this day
Spring sooner than the lark to fetch in May.
Rise, and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth like the spring-time, fresh and green,
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown, or hair :
Fear not, the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you:
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept :
Come, and receive them, while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night,
And Titan on the eastern hill
Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying;
Few beads are best, when once we go a-Maying.
Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark
How each field turns a street, each street a park
Made green, and trimmed with trees: see how
Devotion gives each house a bough,
Or branch; each porch, each door, ere this,
An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made of whitethorn neatly interwove,
As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street,
And open fields, and we not see 't?
Come, we 'll abroad, and let 's obey
The proclamation made for May,
And sin no more, as we have done by staying;
But, my Corinna, come, let 's go a-Maying !
There 's not a budding boy or girl this day
But is got up and gone to bring in May:
A deal of youth, ere this, is come
Back, and with whitethorn laden home:
Some have dispatched their cakes and cream,
Before that we have left to dream.
And some have wept, and wooed, and plighted troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:
Many a green gown has been given;
Many a kiss, both odd and even;
Many a glance, too, has been sent
From out the eye, love's firmament;
Many a jest told of the keys betraying
This night, and locks picked; yet we're not a-Maying!
Come, let us go, while we are in our prime,
And take the harmless folly of the time:
We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty :
Our life is short, and our days run
As fast away as does the sun :
And as a vapour, or a drop of rain
Once lost, can ne'er be found again;
So when or you or I are made
A fable, song, or fleeting shade;
All love, all liking, all delight
Lies drowned with us in endless night.
Then, while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna, come, let 's go a-Maying !
Descent of the Angel Raphael to Earth.
So spake th' eternal Father, and fulfilled
All justice: nor delayed the winged Saint
After his charge received; but from among
Thousand celestial ardors, where he stood
Veiled with his gorgeous wings, up springing light,
Flew through the midst of Heaven; th' angelic choirs,
On each hand parting, to his speed gave way
Through all th' empyreal road; till at the gate
Of Heaven arrived, the gate self-opened wide
On golden hinges turning, as by work
Divine the sovran Architect had framed.