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Fashioned above within their inmost part,
That neither Phoebus' beams could through them throng, Nor Æolus' sharp blast could work them any wrong.
And all about grew every sort of flower
To which sad lovers were transformed of yore;
Fresh Hyacinthus, Phæbus' paramour
And dearest love;
Foolish Narcisse, that likes the watery shore;
Sad Amaranthus, made a flower but late,
Sad Amaranthus, in whose purple gore
Me seems I see Amyntas' wretched fate,
To whom sweet poets' verse hath given endless date.
SPENSER.—[From "The Faerie Queene." Book 3, Canto 6.]
TAKE, oh, take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, but sealed in vain.
Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
Are of those that April wears:
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.
To the Grasshopper and the Cricket.
GREEN little vaulter in the sunny grass,
Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that 's heard amidst the lazy noon,
When even the bees lag at the summoning brass ;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass;
Oh sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,
One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine ; both, though small, are strong
your clear hearts; and both seem given to earth
To ring in thoughtful ears this natural song,
In doors and out, summer and winter, Mirth.
Bu'r who the melodies of morn can tell?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain's side ;
The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple bell;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide ;
The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.
The cottage-curs at early pilgrim bark;
Crowned with her pail the tripping milkmaid sings;
The whistling ploughman stalks afield; and, hark !
Down the rough slope the ponderous waggon rings
Through rustling corn the hare astonished springs;
Slow tolls the village-clock the drowsy hour ;
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings;
Deep moans the turtle in sequestered bower,
And shrill lark carols clear from her aerial tower.
BEATTIE.-- [From "The Minstrel."]
The Procession of the Seasons.
So forth issued the Seasons of the year;
First lusty Spring, all dight in leaves of flowers
That freshly budded, and new blooms did bear,
In which a thousand birds had built their bowers,
That sweetly sung to call forth paramours ;
And in his hand a javelin he did bear,
And on his head (as fit for warlike stoures)
A gilt engraven morion he did wear,
That as some did him love, so others did him fear.
Then came the jolly Summer, being dight
In a thin silken cassock coloured green,
That was unlined all, to be more light,
And on his head a garland well beseen
He wore, from which, as he had chafed been,
The sweat did drop, and in his hand he bore
A bow and shafts, as he in forest green
Had hunted late the leopard or the boar,
And now would bathe his limbs with labour heated sore.
Then came the Autumn, all in yellow clad,
As though he joyed in his plenteous store,
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad
That he had banished hunger, which to-fore
Had by the belly oft him pinched sore ;
Upon his head a wreath, that was enrolled
With ears of corn of every sort, he bore,
And in his hand a sickle he did hold,
To reap the ripened fruits the which the earth had yold.
Lastly came Winter, clothed all in frieze,
Clattering his teeth for cold that did him chill,
Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freeze,
And the dull drops that from his purpled bill
As from a limbeck did adown distil ;
In his right hand a tipped staff he held,
With which his feeble steps he stayed still,
For he was faint with cold and weak with eld,
That scarce his loosed limbs he able was to weld.
SPENSER.-[From "The Faerie Queene."]
The ivy in a dungeon grew
Unfed by rain, uncheered by dew;
Its pallid leaflets only drank
Cave moistures foul, and odours dank.
But through the dungeon-grating high
There fell a sunbeam from the sky;