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GEORGE WITHER.

This poet was born in 1588, and died in 1667. He was a most voluminous writer; but no complete edition of his works was ever published, although no author perhaps was ever more admired by his contemporaries. A list of his pieces is given in Wood's account of his life, (Ath. Vol. II. page 391.) and at the end of a small pamphlet called “ Extracts from Juvenilia, &c. printed by George Bigg, “ 1785;" and a more complete catalogue at the end of « Fides Anglicana, 1662.”

{The following Extracts are all to be found in his “ Mistresse “ of Phil'arete,” 1622; though in the first and seventh pieces, the text of the pirated edition (1620) has been sometimes preferred.]

Shall I, wasting in despair,
Die because a woman's fair ?
Or my cheeks make pale with care,
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flowery meads in May,

If she be not so to me,

What care I how fair she be? VOL. III.

Shall my foolish heart be pin’d,
'Cause I see a woman kind;
Or a well-disposed nature
Joined with a lovely feature i
Be she meeker, kinder, than
Turtle-dove or pelican,

If she be not so to me,
What care I how kind she be?

Shall a woman's virtues move
Me to perish for her love ?
Or her merit's value known,
Make me quite forget mine own?
Be she with that goodness blest
Which may gain her name of best ;

If she seem not such to me,
What care I how good she be?

'Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die ?
Those that bear a noble mind
Where they want of riches find,
Think what with them they would do,
Who without them dare to woo;

And unless that mind I see,
What care I though great she be?

Great or good, or kind or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair ;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die e'er she shall grieve;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go ;

For if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be?

AMARYLLIS I did woo,
And I courted Phillis too ;
Daphne for her love I chose ;
Chloris, for that damask rose
In her cheek, I held as dear;
Yea, a thousand lik’d, well-near;
And, in love with all together,
Feared the enjoying either;
'Cause to be of one possess'd,
Barr’d the hope of all the rest.

LORDLY gallants, tell me this:

Though my safe content you weigh not, In your greatness what one bliss

Have you gain'd, that I enjoy not?

You have honours, you have wealth,
I have peace, and I have health ;
All the day I merry make,
And at night no care I take.

Bound to none my fortunes be;

This or that man's fall I fear not;
Him I love that loveth me;
For the rest a pin I care not.

You are sad when others chafe,
And grow merry as they laugh;
I, that hate it, and am free,
Laugh and weep as pleaseth me.

Wantons ! 'tis not your sweet eyings,
Forced passions, feigned dyings,
Gesture's temptings, tear’s beguilings,
Dancings, singings, kissings, smilings,
Nor those painted sweets, with which
You unwary men bewitch,
(All united, nor asunder)
That can compass such a wonder,
Or to win you love prevail,
Where her moving virtues fail.

Beauties ! 'tis not all those features Placed in the fairest creatures, Though their best they should discover, That can tempt, from her, a lover. 'Tis not those soft snowy breasts, Where love, rock'd in pleasure, rests ; Nor the nectar that we sip From a honey-dropping lip; Nor those eyes whence beauty's lances Wound the heart with wanton glances ; Nor those sought delights, that lie In love's hidden treasury, That can liking gain, where she Will the best-beloved be.

For, should those who think they may Draw my love from her away, Bring forth all their female graces, Wrap me in their close embraces ; Practise all the art they may, Weep, or sing, or kiss, or pray ;One poor thought of her would arm me So as Circe could not harm me. Since, beside those excellencies, Wherewith others please the senses, She, whom I have praised so, Yields delights for reason too.

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