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A crystal mirror hangeth at her breast,
THE SHEPHERDS' HOLIDAY.
[From Pan's Anniversary; or, The Shepherds' Holiday: 1625.]
Thus, thus begin, the yearly rites
All envious and profane, away!
This is the shepherds' holiday.
Strew, strew the glad and smiling ground
The garden-star, the queen of May,
The rose, to crown the holiday.
Drop, drop you violets, change your hues
That from your odour all may say,
SONG BEFORE THE ENTRY OF THE MASQUERS.
[From The Fortunate Isles and their Union, 1625.]
And all the loves of time;
And relishes of rhyme ;
ODE TO HIMSELF.
[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 ;
Usurp the chair of wit !
Something they call a play.
Commission of the brain
Say that thou pour'st them wheat,
And they will acorns eat ;
On such as have no taste!
Whose appetites are dead !
No doubt some mouldy tale,
Like Pericles, and stale
Scraps out of every dish
May keep up the Play-club:
As the best-ordered meal ;
And much good do't you.
Dare quit, upon your oaths,
Of larding your large ears
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;
Warm thee by Pindar's fire :
Ere years have made thee old,
Throughout, to their defeat,
But when they hear thee sing
The glories of thy king,
They may, blood-shaken then,
As they shall cry: ‘Like ours
In sound of peace or wars,
No harp e'er hit the stars,
[From The Forest.]
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine ;
And I'll not look for wine.
Doth ask a drink divine :
I would not change for thine.
Not so much honouring thee,
It could not withered be.
And sent'st it back to me :
Not of itself, but thee.
TO MY MERE ENGLISH CENSURER.
To thee, my way in Epigrams seems new,
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,
All men are worms, but this? no man. In silk
To FOOL, OR KNAVE.
ON LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD *.
This morning, timely rapt with holy fire,
I thought to form unto my zealous Muse,
To honour, serve, and love, as Poets use.
Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great ;
Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat.
Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride;
Fit in that softer bosom to reside.
I purposed her : that should, with even powers,
Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours.
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