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Than that applause vain honour doth bequeath!
How sweet are streams to poison drunk in gold !
The world is full of horrors, troubles, slights;
Woods' harmless shades have only true delights.
Sweet spring, thou turn'st, with all thy goodly
train, i Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with
flow'rs; The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain, The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their
show'rs. Thou turn'st, sweet youth! but ah ! my pleasant
And happy days, with thee come not again!
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee turn, which turn my sweets to sours !
Thou art the same which still thou wast before;
Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair,
But she whose breath embalm’d thy wholesome air
Is gone, nor gold nor gems her can restore.
Neglected virtue ! seasons go and come,
While thine, forgot, lie closed in a tomb.
SONNET TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours,
Of winters past, or coming, void of care,
Well pleased with delights which present are;
Fair seasons, budding sprays,sweet-smelling flow'rs:
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leavy bow'rs
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare ;
A stain to human sense in sin that low'rs.
What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs
(Attir'd in sweetness) sweetly is not driv'n
Quite to forget earth’s turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverend eye and thought to heav'n?
Sweet artless songster, thou my mind dost raise
To airs of spheres, yes, and to angel's lays.
This world a hunting is,
The prey poor man; the Nimrod fierce is Death ;
His speedy greyhounds are
Lust, sickness, envy, care,
Strife, that ne'er falls amiss,
With all those ills that haunt us while we breathe.
Now, if by chance we fly
Of these the eager chase,
Old age, with stealing pace,
Casts on his nets, and there we panting die.
[From his “ Coelia,"1611, consisting of sonnets and epitaphs,
annexed to “ the Tragical Death of Sophonisba,” a poem. See Campbell's Introduction to the History of Poetry in Scotland, p. 130.]
PALE sad Aurora, leave thy showers to raiụ,
Of pearl-like chrystal tears thou daily sheds,
In tender bosoms of the flowery meads,
Wailing his death who at Ilion's siege was slain.
Oh, let thy soul appeased with this remain,
That those thy tears plead pity by their sight,
And more, the great bright pattern of the light
To quench his drought, carouses them again.
Cease then to weep, and leave me still to mourn;
Complaining best becomes my mirthless state,
Whom quenchless flames of luckless love does burn;
(Thy Memnon's loss requires no more regret)
And since my own cannot procure but scorn,
Lend me thy moving tears, sweet weeping morn.
Ponder thy cares, and sum them all in one,
Get the account of all thy heart's disease,
Reckon the torments do thy mind displease,
Write up each sigh, each plaint, each tear, each
Remember on thy grief conceived by day,
And call to mind thy night's disturbed rest ;
Think on those visions did thy soul molest,
While as thy weary corpse a-sleeping lay;
And when all these thou hast enroll’d aright,
Into the count-book of thy daily care,
Extract them truly: then present the sight
With them of finty Cælia, the fair,
That she may see if yet more ills remain
For to be paid to her unjust disdain.