Underneath this myrtle shade,
On flowerly beds supinely laid,
With odorous oils my head o’erflowing,
And around it roses growing,
What should I do but drink away
The heat and troubles of the day?
In this more than kingly state
Love himself on me shall wait.
Fill to me, Love! nay, fill it up!
And mingled cast into the cup
Wit and mirth and noble fires,
Vigorous health and gay desires.
The wheel of life no less will stay
In a smooth than rugged way:
Since it equally doth flee,
Let the motion pleasant be.
Why do we precious ointments shower?—
Nobler wines why do we pour?—
Beauteous flowers why do we spread
Upon the monuments of the dead?
Nothing they but dust can show,
Or bones that hasten to be so.
Crown me with roses while I live,
Now your wines and ointments give:
After death I nothing crave,
Let me alive my pleasures have:
All are Stoics in the grave.
(Sitting and drinking in the chair made out of the relics
of Sir Francis Drake’s ship.)
Cheer up, my mates, the wind does fairly blow;
Clap on more sail, and never spare;
Farewell, all lands, for now we are
In the wide sea of drink, and merrily we go.
Bless me, ’tis hot! another bowl of wine,
And we shall cut the burning Line:
Hey, boys! she scuds away, and by my head I know
We round the world are sailing now.
What dull men are those who tarry at home,
When abroad they might wantonly roam,
And gain such experience, and spy, too,
Such countries and wonders, as I do!
But pr’ythee, good pilot, take heed what you do,
And fail not to touch at Peru!
With gold there the vessel we’ll store,
And never, and never be poor,
No, never be poor any more.
Tell me, O tell, what kind of thing is Wit,
Thou who Master art of it.
For the First matter loves Variety less;
Less Women love’t, either in Love or Dress.
A thousand different shapes it bears,
Comely in thousand shapes appears.
Yonder we saw it plain; and here ’tis now,
Like Spirits in a Place, we know not How.
London that vents of false Ware so much store,
In no Ware deceives us more.
For men led by the Colour, and the Shape,
Like Zeuxes Birds fly to the painted Grape;
Some things do through our Judgment pass
As through a Multiplying Glass.
And sometimes, if the Object be too far,
We take a Falling Meteor for a Star.
Hence ’tis a Wit that greatest word of Fame
Grows such a common Name.
And Wits by our Creation they become,
Just so, as Tit’lar Bishops made at Rome.
’Tis not a Tale, ’tis not a Jest
Admir’d with Laughter at a feast,
Nor florid Talk which can that Title gain;
The Proofs of Wit for ever must remain.
’Tis not to force some lifeless Verses meet
With their five gowty feet.
All ev’ry where, like Mans, must be the Soul,
And Reason the Inferior Powers controul.
Such were the Numbers which could call
The Stones into the Theban wall.
Such Miracles are ceast; and now we see
No Towns or Houses rais’d by Poetrie.
Yet ’tis not to adorn, and gild each part;
That shows more Cost, then Art.
Jewels at Nose and Lips but ill appear;
Rather then all things Wit, let none be there.
Several Lights will not be seen,
If there be nothing else between.
Men doubt, because they stand so thick i’th’ skie,
If those be Stars which paint the Galaxie.
’Tis not when two like words make up one noise;
Jests for Dutch Men, and English Boys.
In which who finds out Wit, the same may see
In An’grams and Acrostiques Poetrie.
Much less can that have any place
At which a Virgin hides her face,
Such Dross the Fire must purge away; ’tis just
The Author Blush, there where the Reader must.
’Tis not such Lines as almost crack the Stage
When Bajazet begins to rage.
Nor a tall Meta’phor in the Bombast way,
Nor the dry chips of short lung’d Seneca.
Nor upon all things to obtrude,
And force some odd Similitude.
What is it then, which like the Power Divine
We only can by Negatives define?
In a true piece of Wit all things must be,
Yet all things there agree.
As in the Ark, joyn’d without force or strife,
All Creatures dwelt; all Creatures that had Life.
Or as the Primitive Forms of all
(If we compare great things with small)
Which without Discord or Confusion lie,
In that strange Mirror of the Deitie.
But Love that moulds One Man up out of Two,
Makes me forget and injure you.
I took you for my self sure when I thought
That you in any thing were to be Taught.
Correct my error with thy Pen;
And if any ask me then,
What thing right Wit, and height of Genius is,
I’ll onely shew your Lines, and say, ’Tis This.
The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks and gapes for drink again;
The plants suck in the earth, and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair;
The sea itself (which one would think
Should have but little need of drink)
Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up,
So fill’d that they o’erflow the cup.
The busy Sun (and one would guess
By ’s drunken fiery face no less)
Drinks up the sea, and when he’s done,
The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun:
They drink and dance by their own light,
They drink and revel all the night:
Nothing in Nature’s sober found,
But an eternal health goes round.
Fill up the bowl, then, fill it high,
Fill all the glasses there—for why
Should every creature drink but I?
Why, man of morals, tell me why?
First born of Chaos, who so fair didst come
From the old Negro’s darksome womb!
Which when it saw the lovely Child,
The melancholly 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 Heav’n to Earth make Love!
Hail active Natures watchful Life and Health!
Her Joy, her Ornament, and Wealth!
Hail to thy Husband Heat, and Thee!
Thou the worlds beauteous Bride, the lusty Bridegroom He!
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 Divine.
’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 Gawdy Heav’nly Bow.
Swift as light Thoughts their empty Carriere run,
Thy Race is finisht, when begun,
Let a Post-Angel start with Thee,
And Thou the Goal of Earth shalt reach as soon as He:
Thou in the Moons bright Chariot proud and gay,
Dost thy bright wood of Stars survay;
And all the year dost with thee bring
Of thousand flowry Lights thine own Nocturnal Spring.
Thou Scythian-like dost round thy Lands above
The Suns gilt Tent 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 ’em there hasts, and wildly takes the Alarm,
Of painted Dreams, a busie swarm,
At the first opening of thine eye,
The various Clusters break, the antick Atomes fly.
The guilty Serpents, and obscener Beasts
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 it self is said,
To shake his Wings, and rowse his Head.
And cloudy care has often took
A gentle beamy Smile reflected from thy Look.
At thy appearance, Fear it self grows bold;
Thy Sun-shine melts away his Cold.
Encourag’d at the sight of Thee,
To the cheek Colour comes, and firmness to the knee.
Even Lust the Master of a hardned Face,
Blushes if thou beest in the place,
To darkness’ Curtains he retires,
In Sympathizing Night he rowls his smoaky Fires.
When, Goddess, thou liftst up thy wakened Head,
Out of the Mornings purple bed,
Thy Quire of Birds about thee play,
And all the joyful world salutes the rising day.
The Ghosts, and Monster Spirits, that did presume
A Bodies Priv’lege to assume,
Vanish again invisibly,
And Bodies gain agen their visibility.
All the Worlds bravery that delights our Eyes
Is but thy sev’ral Liveries,
Thou the Rich Dy on them bestowest,
Thy nimble Pencil Paints this Landskape as thou go’st.
A Crimson Garment in the Rose thou wear’st;
A Crown of studded Gold thou bear’st,
The Virgin Lillies in their White,
Are clad but with the Lawn of almost Naked Light.
The Violet, springs little Infant, stands,
Girt in thy purple Swadling-bands:
On the fair Tulip thou dost dote;
Thou cloath’st it in a gay and party-colour’d Coat.
With Flame condenst thou dost the Jewels fix,
And solid Colours in it mix:
Flora her self envyes to see
Flowers fairer then her own, and durable as she.
Ah, Goddess! would thou could’st thy hand withhold,
And be less Liberall to Gold;
Didst thou less value to it give,
Of how much care (alas) might’st thou poor Man relieve!
To me the Sun is more delighful farr,
And all fair Dayes much fairer are.
But few, ah wondrous few there be,
Who do not Gold preferr, O Goddess, ev’n to Thee.
Through the soft wayes of Heaven, and Air, and Sea,
Which open all their Pores to Thee;
Like a cleer River thou dost glide,
And with thy Living Stream through the close Channels slide.
But where firm Bodies thy free course oppose,
Gently thy source the Land oreflowes;
Takes there possession, and does make,
Of Colours mingled, Light, a thick and standing Lake.
But the vast Ocean of unbounded Day
In th’ EmpyrÆan Heaven does stay.
Thy Rivers, Lakes, and Springs below
From thence took first their Rise, thither at last must Flow.
Poet and saint! to thee alone are given
The two most sacred names of earth and heaven;
The hard and rarest union which can be,
Next that of Godhead with humanity.
Long did the Muses banished slaves abide,
And built vain pyramids to mortal pride;
Like Moses thou, though spells and charms withstand,
Hast brought them nobly home, back to their Holy Land.
Ah, wretched we, poets of earth! but thou
Wert, living, the same poet which thou ‘rt now
Whilst angels sing to thee their airs divine,
And joy in an applause so great as thine.
Equal society with them to hold,
Thou need’d not make new songs, but say the old,
And they, kind spirits, shall all rejoice to see
How little less than they exalted man may be.
Still the old heathen gods in numbers swell,
The heav’nliest thing on earth still keeps up hell;
Nor have we yet quite purged the Christian land,
Still idols here, like calves at Bethel, stand,
And though Pan’s death long since all oracles broke,
Yet still in rhyme the fiend Apollo spoke;
Nay, with the worst of heathen dotage, we,
Vain men, the monster woman deify,
Find stars and tie our fates there in a face,
And paradise in them by whom we lost it, place.
What different faults corrupt our muses thus?
Wanton as girls, as old wives fabulous!
Thy spotless muse, like Mary, did contain
The boundless Godhead; she did well disdain
That her eternal verse employed should be
On a less subject than eternity,
And for a sacred mistress scorned to take
But her whom God himself scorned not his spouse to make.
It, in a kind, her miracle did do:
A fruitful mother was, and virgin too.
How well, blest swan, did fate contrive thy death,
And made thee render up thy tuneful breath
In thy great mistress’ arms, thou most divine
And richest off’ring of Loretto’s shrine!
Where like some holy sacrifice t’ expire,
A fever burns thee, and love lights the fire.
Angels, they say, brought the famed chapel there,
And bore the sacred load in triumph through the air;
’Tis surer much they brought thee there, and they
And thou, their charge, went singing all the way.
Pardon, my mother church, if I consent
That angels led him when from thee he went,
For even in error sure no danger is
When joined with so much piety as his.
Ah, mighty God! (with shame I speak ‘t, and grief),
Ah, that our greatest faults were in belief!
And our weak reason were ev’n weaker yet,
Rather than thus, our wills too strong for it.
His faith perhaps in some nice tenents might
Be wrong; his life, I’m sure, was in the right.
And I myself a Catholic will be,
So far at least, great saint, to pray to thee.
Hail, bard triumphant! and some care bestow
On us, the poets militant below,
Opposed by our old en’my, adverse chance,
Attacked by envy and by ignorance,
Enchained by beauty, tortured by desires,
Exposed by tyrant love to savage beasts and fires.
Thou from low earth in nobler flames didst rise,
And like Elijah mount alive the skies.
Elisha-like (but with a wish much less,
More fit thy greatness and my littleness),
Lo, here I beg (I whom thou once didst prove
So humble to esteem, so good to love)
Not that thy spirit might on me doubled be,
I ask but half thy mighty spirit for me;
And when my muse soars with so strong a wing,
’Twill learn of things divine, and first of thee to sing.
Well then; I now do plainly see
This busy world and I shall ne’er agree.
The very honey of all earthly joy
Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
And they (methinks) deserve my pity
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings
Of this great hive, the city.
Ah, yet, ere I descend to th’ grave
May I a small house and large garden have!
And a few friends, and many books, both true,
Both wise, and both delightful too!
And since love ne’er will from me flee,
A mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian angels are,
Only belov’d, and loving me.
O fountains! when in you shall I
Myself eas’d of unpeaceful thoughts espy?
O fields! O woods! when shall I be made
The happy tenant of your shade?
Here’s the spring-head of Pleasure’s flood:
Here’s wealthy Nature’s treasury,
Where all the riches lie that she
Has coin’d and stamp’d for good.
Pride and ambition here
Only in far-fetch’d metaphors appear;
Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter,
And nought but Echo flatter.
The gods, when they descended, hither
From heaven did always choose their way:
And therefore we may boldly say
That ’tis the way too thither.
How happy here should I
And one dear she live, and embracing die!
She who is all the world, and can exclude
In deserts solitude.
I should have then this only fear:
Lest men, when they my pleasures see,
Should hither throng to live like me,
And so make a city here.
I wonder what those lovers mean, who say
They have giv’n their hearts away.
Some good kind lover tell me how;
For mine is but a torment to me now.
If so it be one place both hearts contain,
For what do they complain?
What courtesy can Love do more,
Than to join hearts that parted were before?
Woe to her stubborn heart, if once mine come
Into the self-same room;
’Twill tear and blow up all within,
Like a granado shot into a magazine.
Then shall Love keep the ashes, and torn parts,
Of both our broken hearts:
Shall out of both one new one make,
From hers, th’ allay; from mine, the metal take.
For of her heart he from the flames will find
But little left behind:
Mine only will remain entire;
No dross was there, to perish in the fire.
Foolish prater, what dost thou
So early at my window do?
Cruel bird, thou’st ta’en away
A dream out of my arms to-day;
A dream that ne’er must equall’d be
By all that waking eyes may see.
Thou this damage to repair
Nothing half so sweet and fair,
Nothing half so good, canst bring,
Tho’ men say thou bring’st the Spring.
Strange and unnatural! lets stay and see
This Pageant of a Prodigie.
Lo, of themselves th’enlivened Chesmen move,
Lo, the unbred, ill-organ’d Pieces prove,
As full of Art, and Industrie,
Of Courage and of Policie,
As we our selves who think ther’s nothing Wise but We.
Here a proud Pawn I’admire
That still advancing higher
At top of all became
Another Thing and Name.
Here I’m amaz’ed at th’actions of a Knight,
That does bold wonders in the fight.
Here I the losing party blame
For those false Moves that break the Game,
That to their Grave the Bag, the conquered Pieces bring,
And above all, th’ ill Conduct of the Mated King.
What e’re these seem, what e’re Philosophie
And Sense or Reason tell (said I)
These Things have Life, Election, Libertie;
’Tis their own Wisdom molds their State,
Their Faults and Virtues make their Fate.
They do, they do (said I) but strait
Lo from my’enlightned Eyes the Mists and shadows fell
That hinder Spirits from being Visible.
And, lo, I saw two Angels plaid the Mate.
With Man, alas, no otherwise it proves,
An unseen Hand makes all their Moves.
And some are Great, and some are Small,
Some climb to good, some from good Fortune fall,
Some Wisemen, and some Fools we call,
Figures, alas, of Speech, for Desti’ny plays us all.
Me from the womb the Midwife Muse did take:
She cut my Navel, washt me, and mine Head
With her own Hands she Fashioned;
She did a Covenant with me make,
And circumcis’ed my tender Soul, and thus she spake,
Thou of my Church shalt be,
Hate and renounce (said she)
Wealth, Honor, Pleasures, all the World for Me
Thou neither great at Court, nor in the War,
Nor at th’ Exchange shalt be, nor at the wrangling Bar.
Content thy self with the small Barren Praise,
That neglected Verse does raise.
She spake, and all my years to come
Took their unlucky Doom.
Their several ways of Life let others chuse,
Their several pleasures let them use,
But I was born for Love, and for a Muse.
With Fate what boots it to contend?
Such I began, such am, and so must end.
The Star that did my Being frame,
Was but a Lambent Flame,
And some small Light it did dispence,
But neither Heat nor Influence.
No Matter, Cowley, let proud Fortune see,
That thou canst her despise no less then she does Thee.
Let all her gifts the portion be
Of Folly, Lust, and Flattery,
Fraud, Extortion, Calumnie,
Rebellion and Hypocrisie.
Do Thou nor grieve nor blush to be,
As all th’inspired tuneful Men,
And all thy great Forefathers were from Homer down to Ben.
after the Anacreontea
Liberal Nature did dispence
To all things Arms for their defence;
And some she arms with sin’ewy force,
And some with swiftness in the course;
Some with hard Hoofs, or forked claws,
And some with Horns, or tusked jaws.
And some with Scales, and some with Wings,
And some with Teeth, and some with Stings.
Wisdom to Man she did afford,
Wisdom for Shield, and Wit for Sword.
What to beauteous Woman-kind,
What Arms, what Armour has she’assigne’d?
Beauty is both; for with the Faire
What Arms, what Armour can compare?
What Steel, what Gold, or Diamond,
More Impassible is found?
And yet what Flame, what Lightning ere
So great an Active force did bear?
They are all weapon, and they dart
Like Porcupines from every part.
Who can, alas, their strength express,
Arm’d when they themselves undress,
Cap a pe with Nakedness?
Love in her Sunny Eyes does basking play;
Love walks the pleasant Mazes of her Hair;
Love does on both her Lips for ever stray;
And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there.
In all her outward parts Love ’s always seen;
But, oh, He never went within.
Within Love’s foes, his greatest foes abide,
Malice, Inconstancy, and Pride.
So the Earths face, Trees, Herbs, and Flowers do dress,
With other beauties numberless:
But at the Center, Darkness is, and Hell;
There wicked Spirits, and there the Damned dwell.
With me alas, quite contrary it fares;
Darkness and Death lies in my weeping eyes,
Despair and Paleness in my face appears,
And Grief, and Fear, Love’s greatest Enemies;
But, like the Persian-Tyrant, Love within
Keeps his proud Court, and ne’re is seen.
Oh take my Heart, and by that means you’ll prove
Within too stor’d enough of Love:
Give me but Yours, I’ll by that change so thrive,
That Love in all my parts shall live.
So powerful is this change, it render can,
My outside Woman, and your inside Man.
It was a dismal and a fearful night:
Scarce could the Morn drive on th’ unwilling Light,
When Sleep, Death’s image, left my troubled breast
By something liker Death possest.
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow,
And on my soul hung the dull weight
Of some intolerable fate.
What bell was that? Ah me! too much I know!
My sweet companion and my gentle peer,
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here,
Thy end for ever and my life to moan?
O, thou hast left me all alone!
Thy soul and body, when death’s agony
Besieged around thy noble heart,
Did not with more reluctance part
Than I, my dearest Friend, do part from thee.
My dearest Friend, would I had died for thee!
Life and this world henceforth will tedious be:
Nor shall I know hereafter what to do
If once my griefs prove tedious too.
Silent and sad I walk about all day,
As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by
Where their hid treasures lie;
Alas! my treasure’s gone; why do I stay?
Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights,
How oft unwearied have we spent the nights,
Till the Ledæan stars, so famed for love,
Wonder’d at us from above!
We spent them not in toys, in lusts, or wine;
But search of deep Philosophy,
Wit, Eloquence, and Poetry—
Arts which I loved, for they, my Friend, were thine.
Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say
Have ye not seen us walking every day?
Was there a tree about which did not know
The love betwixt us two?
Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade;
Or your sad branches thicker join
And into darksome shades combine,
Dark as the grave wherein my Friend is laid!
Large was his soul: as large a soul as e’er
Submitted to inform a body here;
High as the place ’twas shortly in Heaven to have.
But low and humble as his grave.
So high that all the virtues there did come,
As to their chiefest seat
Conspicuous and great;
So low, that for me too it made a room.
Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught
As if for him Knowledge had rather sought;
Nor did more learning ever crowded lie
In such a short mortality.
Whene’er the skilful youth discoursed or writ,
Still did the notions throng
About his eloquent tongue;
Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit.
His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit,
Yet never did his God or friends forget;
And when deep talk and wisdom came in view,
Retired, and gave to them their due.
For the rich help of books he always took,
Though his own searching mind before
Was so with notions written o’er,
As if wise Nature had made that her book.
With as much zeal, devotion, piety,
He always lived, as other saints do die.
Still with his soul severe account he kept,
Weeping all debts out ere he slept.
Then down in peace and innocence he lay,
Like the Sun’s laborious light,
Which still in water sets at night,
Unsullied with his journey of the day.
But happy Thou, ta’en from this frantic age,
Where ignorance and hypocrisy does rage!
A fitter time for Heaven no soul e’er chose—
The place now only free from those.
There ‘mong the blest thou dost for ever shine;
And whereso’er thou casts thy view
Upon that white and radiant crew,
See’st not a soul clothed with more light than thine.
Awake, awake, my Lyre!
And tell thy silent master’s humble tale
In sounds that may prevail;
Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:
Though so exalted she
And I so lowly be
Tell her, such different notes make all thy harmony.
Hark, how the strings awake!
And, though the moving hand approach not near,
Themselves with awful fear
A kind of numerous trembling make.
Now all thy forces try;
Now all thy charms apply;
Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.
Weak Lyre! thy virtue sure
Is useless here, since thou art only found
To cure, but not to wound,
And she to wound, but not to cure,
Too weak too wilt thou prove
My passion to remove;
Physic to other ills, thou’rt nourishment to love.
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre!
For thou canst never tell my humble tale
In sounds that will prevail,
Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire;
All thy vain mirth lay by,
Bid thy strings silent lie,
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre, and let thy master die.
Hope, whose weak Being ruin’d is,
Alike if it succeed, and if it miss;
Whom Good or Ill does equally confound,
And both the Horns of Fates Dilemma wound.
Vain shadow! which dost vanish quite,
Both at full Noon, and perfect Night!
The Stars have not a possibility
Of blessing Thee;
If things then from their End we happy call,
’Tis Hope is the most Hopeless thing of all.
Hope, thou bold Taster of Delight,
Who whilst thou shouldst but tast, devour’st it quite!
Thou bringst us an Estate, yet leav’st us Poor,
By clogging it with Legacies before!
The Joys which we entire should wed,
Come deflowr’d Virgins to our bed;
Good fortunes without gain imported be,
Such mighty Custom’s paid to Thee.
For Joy, like Wine, kept close does better tast;
If it take air before, its spirits wast.
Hope, Fortunes cheating Lottery!
Where for one prize an hundred blanks there be;
Fond Archer, Hope, who tak’st thy aim so far,
That still or short, or wide thine arrows are!
Thin, empty Cloud, which th’eye deceives
With shapes that our own Fancy gives!
A Cloud, which gilt and painted now appears,
But must drop presently in tears!
When thy false beams o’re Reasons light prevail,
By Ignes fatui for North-Stars we sail.
Brother of Fear, more gaily clad!
The merr’ier Fool o’th’ two, yet quite as Mad:
Sire of Repentance, Child of fond Desire!
That blow’st the Chymicks, and the Lovers fire!
Leading them still insensibly’on
By the strange witchcraft of Anon!
By Thee the one does changing Nature through
Her endless Labyrinths pursue,
And th’ other chases Woman, whilst She goes
More ways and turns than hunted Nature knows.
Though you be absent here, I needs must say
The Trees as beauteous are, and flowers as gay,
As ever they were wont to be;
Nay the Birds rural musick too
Is as melodious and free,
As if they sung to pleasure you:
I saw a Rose-Bud o’pe this morn; I’ll swear
The blushing Morning open’d not more fair.
How could it be so fair, and you away?
How could the Trees be beauteous, Flowers so gay?
Could they remember but last year,
How you did Them, They you delight,
The sprouting leaves which saw you here,
And call’d their Fellows to the sight,
Would, looking round for the same sight in vain,
Creep back into their silent Barks again.
Where ere you walk’d trees were as reverend made,
As when of old Gods dwelt in every shade.
Is’t possible they should not know,
What loss of honor they sustain,
That thus they smile and flourish now,
And still their former pride retain?
Dull Creatures! ’tis not without Cause that she,
Who fled the God of wit, was made a Tree.
In ancient times sure they much wiser were,
When they rejoyc’d the Thracian verse to hear;
In vain did Nature bid them stay,
When Orpheus had his song begun,
They call’d their wondring roots away,
And bad them silent to him run.
How would those learned trees have followed you?
You would have drawn Them, and their Poet too.
But who can blame them now? for, since you’re gone,
They’re here the only Fair, and Shine alone.
You did their Natural Rights invade;
Where ever you did walk or sit,
The thickest Boughs could make no shade,
Although the Sun had granted it:
The fairest Flowers could please no more, neer you,
Then Painted Flowers, set next to them, could do.
When e’re then you come hither, that shall be
The time, which this to others is, to Me.
The little joys which here are now,
The name of Punishments do bear;
When by their sight they let us know
How we depriv’d of greater are.
’Tis you the best of Seasons with you bring;
This is for Beasts, and that for Men the Spring.