Page images
[ocr errors][merged small]

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 buz, 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 beloved, and loving me!

O, fountains ! when in you shall I Myself, eased of unpeaceful thoughts, espy? O fields ! O woods! when, when shall I be made

The happy tenant of your shade?

Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood; 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 fearLest men, when they my pleasures see, Should hither throng to live like me, And so make a city here.

Abraham Cowley.



I in these flowery meads would be ;
These crystal streams should solace me;
To whose harmonious bubbling noise,
I with my angle will rejoice;

Sit here, and see the turtle-dove
Court his chaste mate to acts of love ;

Or on that bank feel the west wind
Breathe health and plenty; please my mind
To see sweet dew-drops kiss these flowers,
And then wash'd off by April showers;

Here, hear my Kenna sing a song;
There, see a blackbird feed her young,

Or, a laverock build her nest :
Here, give my weary spirits rest,
And raise my low-pitch'd thoughts above
Earth, or what poor mortals love:

Thus, free from lawsuits and the noise

Of princes' courts, I would rejoice.
Or, with my Bryan and a book,
Loiter long days near Shawford brook ;
There sit with him, and eat my meat,
There see the sun both rise and set,
There bid good morning to each day,
There meditate my time away,

And angle on: and beg to have
A quiet passage to a welcome grave.

Izaak Walton.

HAPPY the man whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air

In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,

Whose flocks supply him with attire ;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter, fire.
Blest, who can unconcern'dly find

Hours, days, and years slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease

Together mix'd, sweet recreation
And innocence, which most doth please

With meditation.
Thus let me live unseen, unknown;

Thus, unlamented, let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lie.

Alexander Pope. LXXXIV.

PHILLIS UNWILLING. A CHOIR of bright beauties in spring did appear, To choose a May-lady to govern the year; All the nymphs were in white, and the shepherds in green, The garland was given, and Phillis was queen: But Phillis refused it, and sighing did say, I'll not wear a garland while Pan is away. While Pan and fair Syrinx are fled from our shore, The Graces are banish'd, and love is no more : The soft god of pleasure, that warm'd our desires, Has broken his bow, and extinguish'd his fires; And vows that himself and his mother will mourn Till Pan and fair Syrinx in triumph return.

Forbear your addresses, and court us no more,
For we will perform what the deity swore :
But if you dare think of deserving our charms,
Away with your sheep-hooks, and take to your arms;
The laurels and myrtles your brows shall adorn,
When Pan, and his son, and fair Syrinx, return.

John Dryden.


Tell me no more I am deceived,

That Chloe's false and common;
I always knew (at least believed)

She was a very woman:
As such I liked, as such caress’d,
She still was constant when possess'd,

She could do more for no man.
But 0 ! her thoughts on others ran;

And that you think a hard thing!
Perhaps she fancied you the man ;

And what care I one farthing?
You think she's false, I'm sure she's kind,
I take her face, and you her mind,
- Who has the better bargain ?

William Congreve.



A Fragment.
FORTUNE, that, with malicious joy,

Does man her slave oppress,
Proud of her office to destroy,

Is seldom pleased to bless :
Still various and unconstant still,
But with an inclination to be ill,

Promotes, degrades, delights in strife,

And makes a lottery of life.
I can enjoy her while she's kind ;
But when she dances in the wind,

And shakes her wings and will not stay,

I puff the prostitute away:
The little or the much she gave, is quietly resign’d:

Content with poverty, my soul I arm;
And virtue, tho' in rags, will keep me warm.

John Dryden.


Fair Amoret is gone astray,

Pursue, and seek her, every lover ;
I'll tell the signs by which you may

The wandering shepherdess discover.
Coquet and coy at once her air,

Both studied, tho’ both seem neglected;
Careless she is, with artful care,

Affecting to seem unaffected.
With skill her eyes dart every glance,

Yet change so soon you'd ne'er suspect them;
For she'd persuade they wound by chance,

Though certain aim and art direct them.
She likes herself, yet others hates

For that which in herself she prizes ;
And, while she laughs at them, forgets
She is the thing that she despises.

William Congreve.



A BAND, a Bob-wig, and a Feather,
Attack'd a lady's heart together.
The Band, in a most learned plea,
Made up of deep philosophy,
Told her, if she would please to wed
A reverend beard, and take, instead

Of vigorous youth,

Old solemn truth,
With books and morals, into bed,

How happy she would be.

« PreviousContinue »