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A crystal mirror hangeth at her breast,
By which men's consciences are searched and drest;
On her coach-wheels Hypocrisy lies racked ;
And squint-eyed Slander with Vainglory backed
Her bright eyes burn to dust, in which shines Fate :
An angel ushers her triumphant gait,
Whilst with her fingers fans of stars she twists,
And with them beats back Error, clad in mists.
Eternal Unity behind her shines,
That fire and water, earth and air combines.
Her voice is like a trumpet loud and shrill,
Which bids all sounds in earth and heaven be still.


[From Pan's Anniversary; or, The Shepherds' Holiday: 1625.]

First Nymph.

Thus, thus begin, the yearly rites
Are due to Pan on these bright nights ;
His morn now riseth and invites
To sports, to dances, and delights:

All envious and profane, away!

This is the shepherds' holiday.
Second Nymph.

Strew, strew the glad and smiling ground
With every flower, yet not confound;
The primrose drop, the spring's own spouse,
Bright day's-eyes, and the lips of cows,

The garden-star, the queen of May,

The rose, to crown the holiday.
Third Nymph.

Drop, drop you violets, change your hues
Now red, now pale, as lovers use,
And in your death go out as well,
As when you lived unto the smell :

That from your odour all may say,
This is the shepherds' holiday.


[From The Fortunate Isles and their Union, 1625.]
Spring all the graces of the age,

And all the loves of time;
Bring all the pleasures of the stage,

And relishes of rhyme ;
Add all the softnesses of courts,
The looks, the laughters and the sports ;
And mingle all their sweets and salts,
That none may say the triumph halts.



[Written after the failure of the comedy The New Inn, “never acted, but most

negligently played by some, the king's servants; and more squeamishly beheld and censured by others, the king's subjects,' January 19, 1629.]

Come, leave the loathèd stage,

And the more loathsome age ;
Where pride and impudence, in faction knit,

Usurp the chair of wit !
Indicting and arraigning every day

Something they call a play.
Let their fastidious, vain

Commission of the brain
Run on and rage, sweat, censure, and condemn;
They were not made for thee, less thou for them.

Say that thou pour'st them wheat,

And they will acorns eat ;
'Twere simple fury still thyself to waste

On such as have no taste!
To offer them a surfeit of pure bread

Whose appetites are dead !
No, give them grains their fill

Husks, draff to drink or swill :
If they love lees, and leave the lusty wine,
Envy them not, their palates with the swine.

No doubt some mouldy tale,

Like Pericles, and stale
As the shrieve's crusts, and nasty as his fish-

Scraps out of every dish
Thrown forth, and raked into the common tub,

May keep up the Play-club:
There, sweepings do as well

As the best-ordered meal ;
For who the relish of these guests will fit,
Needs set them but the alms-basket of wit.

And much good do't you.

then :
Brave plush-and-velvet-men
Can feed on orts; and, safe in your stage-clothes,

Dare quit, upon your oaths,
The stagers and the stage-wrights too, your peers,

Of larding your large ears
With their foul comic socks,

Wrought upon twenty blocks ; Which if they are torn, and turned, and patched enough, The gamesters share your gilt, and you their stuff.

Leave things so prostitute,

And take the Alcaic lute;
Or thine own Horace, or Anacreon's lyre ;

Warm thee by Pindar's fire :
And though thy nerves be shrunk, and blood be cold,

Ere years have made thee old,
Strike that disdainful heat

Throughout, to their defeat,
As curious fools, and envious of thy strain,
May, blushing, swear no palsy's in thy brain.

But when they hear thee sing

The glories of thy king,
His zeal to God, and his just awe o'er men :

They may, blood-shaken then,
Feel such a flesh-quake to possess their powers,

As they shall cry: ‘Like ours

In sound of peace or wars,

No harp e'er hit the stars,
In tuning forth the acts of his sweet reign,
And raising Charles his chariot 'bove his Wain.'


[From The Forest.]

Drink to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine ;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise,

Doth ask a drink divine :
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,

I would not change for thine.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,

Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there

It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,

And sent'st it back to me :
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,

Not of itself, but thee.



To thee, my way in Epigrams seems new,
When both it is the old way, and the true.
Thou sayst that cannot be ; for thou hast seen
Davis ? and Weever, and the best have been,
And mine come nothing like. I hope so; yet,

As theirs did with thee, mine might credit get, i From the (prose) love-letters of Philostratus the younger (about 250 A.D.) 2 Author of the Scourge of Folly. 8 Compiler of Funeral Monuments.

If thou 'dst but use thy faith as thou didst then,
When thou wert wont t'admire, not censure ? men.
Prithee believe still, and not judge so fast :
Thy faith is all the knowledge that thou hast.


All men are worms, but this? no man. In silk
'Twas brought to court first wrapt, and white as milk 3 ;
Where, afterwards, it grew a butterfly,
Which was a caterpillar. So 'twill die.

Thy praise or dispraise is to me alike :
One doth not stroke me, nor the other strike.


This morning, timely rapt with holy fire,

I thought to form unto my zealous Muse,
What kind of creature I could most desire

To honour, serve, and love, as Poets use.
I meant to make her fair, and free, and wise,

Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great ;
I meant the day-star should not brighter rise,

Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat.
I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,

Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride;
I meant each softest virtue there should meet,

Fit in that softer bosom to reside.
Only a learned, and a manly soul

I purposed her : that should, with even powers,
The rock, the spindle, and the shears control

Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours.
Such when I meant to feign, and wished to see,

My Muse bade BEDFORD write, and that was she ! Censure=criticise. This=this is. Compare Pope's .Sporus.' • Wife of Edward, third Earl of Bedford. She was also sung by Donne and Daniel



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