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“ Thou wouldst, forsooth, be something in a state,
“ Business! the frivolous pretence
“ Business! the grave impertinence;
“ And see to what amount
“Thy foolish gains by quitting me :
“ Art got at last to shore.
Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand! “ As a fair morning of the blessed spring,
“ After a tedious stormy night,
“But then, alas ! to thee alone
“With pearly dew was crown'd,
“ It did all other threats surpass,
" That he would give them ev'n a heaven of brass:
“ They look'd up to that heaven in vain, “ That bounteous heaven, which God did not
“ restrain “ Upon the most unjust to shine and rain. “ The Rachel, for which twice seven years and
“ Thou didst with faith and labour serve, “ And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve,
“ Though she contracted was to thee,
“ Given to another, who had store « Of fairer and of richer wives before, “And not a Leah left, thy recompence to be!
Go on : twice seven years more thy fortune try; « Twice seven years more God in his bounty may
“ Give thee, to fling away “ Into the court's deceitful lottery :
“But think how likely 't is that thou, u With the dull work of thy unwieldy plough, “ Shouldst in a hard and barren season thrive,
“ Should even able be to live ; “ Thou, to whose share so little bread did fall, “In the miraculous year when manna rain'd on all." Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile, That seem'd at once to pity and revile. And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head,
The melancholy Cowley said
“ The hills which thou thyself hast made ?
“ And my abused soul didst bear “Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,
“ Thy golden Indies in the air ;
My ravish'd freedom to regain ;
“There is a sort of stubborn weeds, " Which, if the earth but once, it ever, breeds;
“No wholesome herb can near them thrive,
“ No useful plant can keep alive : “The foolish sports I did on thee bestow, “ Make all my art and labour fruitless now; “ Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth
“ ever grow. “ When my new mind had no infusion known, “Thou gav'st so deep a tincture of thine own,
“ That ever since I vainly try
“ To wash away th' inherent dye : “ Long work perhaps may spoil thy colours quite, “ But never will reduce the native white:
“ To all the ports of honour and of gain
“Thou slacken'st all my nerves of industry,
By making them so oft to be
“ Must as entirely cast-off thee,
“ Do from the world retire.
Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate “ (A fault which I, like them, am taught too late), “ For all that I gave up I nothing gain, “And perish for the part which I retain. “ Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse!
“The court, and better king, t'accuse: “ The heaven under which I live is fair, " The fertile soil will a full harvest bear : « Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou “Mak'st me sit still and sing, when I should plough. “ When I but think how many a tedious year
“ Our patient sovereign did attend
“His long misfortunes' fatal end; “ How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, " On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend;
“I ought to be accurst, if I refuse “ To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse! “Kings have long hands, they say; and though I be “ So distant, they may reach at length to me.
.“ However, of all princes, thou “ Shouldst not reproach rewards for being small or
“ Thou ! who rewardest but with popular breath,
“ And that too after death."
HYMN TO LIGHT.
From the old negro's darksome womb!
Which, when it saw the lovely child, The melancholy mass put on kind looks and smil'd; Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know,
But ever ebb and ever flow!
Thou golden shower of a true Jove! Who does in thee descend, and heaven to earth
Hail, active Nature's watchful life and health !
Her joy, her ornament, and wealth!
Hail to thy husband Heat, and thee! Thou the world's beauteous bride, the lusty bride
Say from what golden quivers of the sky
Do all thy winged arrows fly?
Swiftness and power by birth are thine : From thy great sire they came, thy sire the Word
'Tis, I believe, this archery to show,
That so much cost in colours thou,
And skill in painting, dost bestow, Upon thy ancient arms, the gaudy heavenly bow.
Swift as light thoughts their empty career run,
Thy race is finish'd when begun;
Let a post-angel start with thee, And thou the goal of earth shalt reach as soon as he, Thou in the moon's bright chariot, proud and gay,
Dost thy bright wood of stars survey ;
And all the year dost with thee bring Ofthousand flowery lights thine own nocturnalspring. Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above
The sun's gilt tents for ever move,
And still, as thou in pomp dost go, The shining pageants of the world attend thy show. Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn
The humble glow-worms to adorn,
And with those living spangles gild (O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the field. Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright,
And Sleep, the lazy owl of night;
Asham'd, and fearful to appear, They skreen their horrid shapes with the black
hemisphere. With them there hastes, and wildly takes th' alarm,
Of painted dreams a busy swarm :
At the first opening of thine eye
Creep, conscious, to their secret rests :
Nature to thee does reverence pay, Ill omens and ill sights removes out of thy way. At thy appearance, Grief itself is said
To shake his wings, and rouse his head :
And cloudy Care has often took
Thy sun-shine melts away his cold.
Encourag'd at the sight of thee, To the cheek colour comes, and firmness to the knee.