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This, that did season all my sour of life,
Vex'd still at home with broils, abroad in strife.

* «Vex'd still at home with broils, abroad in strife, Dissention in my blood, jars in my bed; Distrust at board, suspecting still my life, Spending the night in horrour, days in dread; (Such life hath tyrants, and this life I led.) These miseries go mask'd in glittering shows, Which wise men see, the vulgar little knows.'

“ Thus, as these passions do him overwhelm,
He draws him near my body to behold it;
And as the vine niarried unto the elm,
With strict embraces, so doth he infold it:
And as he in his careful arms doth hold it,
Viewing the face that even death commends,
On senseless lips, millions of kisses spends.

« • Pitiful mouth!' said he, 'that living gav'st
The sweetest comfort that my soul could wish.
O be it lawful now, that dead thou hav'st,
This sorrowing farewell of a dying kiss.
And you fair eyes, containers of my bliss,
Motives of love, born to be matched never,
Entomb'd in your sweet circles, sleep for ever.

“« Ah! how methinks I see Death dallying seeks
To entertain itself in Love's sweet place ;
Decayed roses of discolourd cheeks,
Do yet retain dear notes of former grace:
And ugly Death sits fair within her face ;
Sweet remnants resting of vermilion red,
That Death itself doubts whether she be dead.

“ • Wonder of beauty, oh ! receive these plaints, These obsequies, the last that I shall make thee: For lo, my soul that now already faints, (That lov'd thee living, dead will not forsake thee) Hastens her speedy course to overtake thee. I'll meet my death, and free myself thereby, For, ah! what can he do that cannot die?

“Yet, ere I die, thus much my soul doth vow,
Revenge shall sweeten death with ease of mind :
And I will cause posterity shall know,
How fair thou wert above all woman kind,
And after-ages monuments shall find,
Showing thy beauty's title, not thy name,
Rose of the world, that sweeten'd so the same.'

“ This said, though more desirous yet to say, (For sorrow is unwilling to give over) He doth repress what grief should else bewray, Lest he too much his passions should discover, And yet respect scarce bridles such a lover, So far transported, that he knows not whither, For love and majesty dwell ill together.

“ Then were my funerals not long deferred,
But done with all the rites pomp could devise,
At Godstow, where my body was interred,
And richly tomb'd in honourable wise,
Where yet as now scarce any note descries
Unto these times, the memory of me,
Marble and brass so little lasting be.

“For those walls, which the credulous devout And apt-believing ignorant did found,

With willing zeal, that never call'd in doubt,
That time their works should ever so confound,
Lie like confused heaps as under ground.
And what their ignorance esteem'd so holy,
The wiser ages do account as folly.

“ And were it not thy favourable lines
Re-edify'd the wreck of my decays,
And that thy accents willingly assigns
Some further date, and give me longer days,
Few in this age had known my beauty's praise.
But thus renew'd, my fame redeems some time,
Till other ages shall neglect thy rhyme.

“ Then when confusion in her course shall bring
Sad desolation on the times to come:
When mirthless Thames shall have no swan to sing,
All music silent, and the Muses dumb;
And yet even then it must be known to some,
That once they flourish'd, though not cherish'd so,
And Thames had swans as well as ever Po.

“But here an end, I may no longer stay,
I must return t'attend at Stygian flood :
Yet, ere I go, this one word more I pray,
Tell Delia, now her sigh may do me good,
And will her note the frailty of our blood.
And if I pass unto those happy banks,
Then she must have her praise, thy pen her thanks.”

So vanish'd she, and left me to return
To prosecute the terrour of my woes:
Eternal matter for my Muse to mourn,
But yet the world hath heard too much of those,

My youth such errours must no more disclose.
I'll hide the rest, and grieve for what hath been,
Who made me known, must make me live unseen.




COME, worthy Greek, Ulysses come,

Possess these shores with me,
The winds and seas are troublesome,

And here we may be free.
Here may we sit and view their toil,

That travail in the deep,
Enjoy the day in mirth the while,

And spend the night in sleep.


Fair nymph, if fame or honour were

To be attain'd with ease,
Then would I come and rest with thee,

And leave such toils as these:
But here it dwells, and here must I,

With danger seek it forth;
To spend the time luxuriously

Becomes not men of worth.


Ulysses, ( be not deceiv'd

With that unreal name:
This honour is a thing conceiv'd,

And rests on others' fame.

Begotten only to molest

Our peace, and to beguile (The best thing of our life) our rest,

And give us up to toil !


Delicious nymph, suppose there we

No honour, or report,
Yet manliness would scorn to wear

The time in idle sport:
For toil doth give a better touch

To make us feel our joy ;
And ease finds tediousness, as much

As labour yields annoy.


Then pleasure likewise seems the shore,

Whereto tends all your toil ;
Which you forego to make it more,

And perish oft the while.
Who may disport them diversly,

Find never tedious day;
And ease may have variety,

As well as action may.


But natures of the noblest frame

These toils and dangers please ;
And they take comfort in the same,

As much as you in ease :
And with the thought of actions past

Are recreated still :
When pleasure leaves a touch at last,

To show that it was ill.

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