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The following Rhomboidal Dirge, is inserted on account of its
Am I the swain,
That late, from sorrow free,
Did all the cares on earth disdain ?
And still untouch'd, as at some safer games,
Play'd with the burning coals of love and beauty's flames ?
Was't I, could dive, and sound each passion's secret depth at will,
And from those huge o’erwhelmings rise by help of reason still ?
And am I now, O heavens ! for trying this in vain,
So sunk, that I shall never rise again?
Then, let despair set sorrow's string
For strains that doleful'st be,
And I will sing
O fatal time,
Dost thou constrain, that I
Should perish in my youth's sweet prime?
I, but a while ago, you cruel powers !
In spite of fortune cropt contentment's sweetest flowers;
And yet, unscorned, serve a gentle nymph, the fairest she
That ever was belov'd of man, or eyes did ever see.
Yea, one whose tender heart would rue for my distress,
Yet I, poor I, must perish ne'ertheless;
And, which much more augments my care,
Unmoaned I must die,
And no man e'er
My dying song,
Yet take, ere grief bereave
The breath which I enjoy too long.
Tell thou that fair one this ; my soul prefers
Her love above my life: and that I died hers.
And let him be for evermore to her remembrance dear,
Who lov'd the very thought of her, whilst he remained here.
And now farewell, thou place of my unhappy birth,
Where once I breath'd the sweetest air on earth.
Since me my wonted joys forsake,
And all my trust deceive,
Of all I take
Sweet groves, to you!
You hills that highest dwell,
And all you humble vales adieu!
You wanton brooks, and solitary rocks ;
My dear companions all, and you my tender flocks!
Farewel, my pipe ! and all those pleasing songs, whose moving strains
Delighted once the fairest nymphs that dance upon the plains.
You discontents, whose deep and over-deadly smart
Have, without pity, broke the truest heart,
Sighs, tears, and every sad annoy,
That erst did with me dwell,
And others joy,
Fair shepherdesses !
Let garlands of sad yew
Adorn your dainty golden tresses !
1, that lov'd you, and often with my quill
Made music that delighted fountain, grove, and hill,
I, whom you loved so, and with a sweet and chaste embrace,
Yea, with a thousand rarer favours would vouchsafe to grace,
I now must leave you all alone of love to plain;
And never pipe, nor never sing again.
I must, for evermore, be gone,
And therefore bid I you,
And every one,
For, oh! I feel
Death's horrors drawing nigh,
And all this frame of nature reel.
My hopeless heart, despairing of relief,
Sinks underneath the heavy weight of saddest grief,
Which hath so ruthless torn, so rack’d, so tortur'd every vein;
All comfort comes too late to have it ever cur'd again.
My swimming head begins to dance death's giddy round,
A shuddering chillness doth each sense confound,
Benumb'd is my cold-sweating brow,
A dimness shuts my eye,
And now, oh now,
Author of the“ English Gentleman and Gentlewoman,” was
born in Westmoreland, 1588, entered at Oriel College, Oxford, 1604, and afterwards became a trained-band captain, a deputy lieutenant, a justice of peace, and a noted wit and poet. He died in 1673, leaving behind him (says Wood) the character of a well-bred gentleman, and a good neighbour. His publications were numerous. Vide Ath. Vol. II. p. 516.
[From the Shepherd's Tales, contained in “ Nature's
“Embassie,” 1621, 8vo.]
If marriage life yield such content,
What heavy hap have I!
Whose life with grief and sorrow spent,
Wish death, yet cannot die.
She's bent to smile when I do storm,
When I am cheerful too
She seems to low’r. Then, who can cure
Or counterpoise my woe?
My marriage-day chac'd joy away,
For I have found it true,
That bed which did all joys display
Became a bed of rue.
Where asps do browze on fancy's flow'r,
And beauty's blossom too;
Then where's that power on earth, may cure
Or counterpoise my woe?
I thought love was the lamp of life,
No life withouten love;
No love like to a faithful wife;
Which when I sought to prove,
I found her birth was not of eaith,
For ought that I could know,
Of good ones I perceiv'd a dearth ;
Then who can cure my woe ?
My board no dishes can afford
But chafing-dishes all!
Where self-will domineers as lord
To keep poor me in thrall. .
My discontent gives her content,
My friend she vows her foe;
How should I then my sorrows vent
Or cure my endless woe?