Page images
PDF
EPUB

SO

*

*

*

JOHN ALDEN AND PRISCILLA. So I have come to you now, with an offer and

proffer of marriage (From “ The Courtship of Miles Standish.”)

Made by a good man and true, Miles Standish, O he entered the house; and the hum of

the Captain of Plymouth.” the wheel and the singing Suddenly ceased; for Priscilla, aroused by his step on the threshold,

Thus he delivered his message; the dexterous Rose as he entered, and gave him her hand, in

writer of letters, signal of welcome,

Did not embellish the theme, or array it in Saying, “I knew it was you, when I heard beautiful phrases, your step in the passage;

But came straight to the point, and blurted it For I was thinking of you, as I sat there sing

out like a school-boy; ing and spinning."

Even the Captain himself could hardly have Awkward and dumb with delight, that a

said it more bluntly. thought of him had been mingled

Mute with amazement and sorrow, Priscilla, Thus in the sacred psalm, that came from the the Puritan maiden, heart of the maiden,

Looked into Alden's face, her eyes dilated Silent before her he stood, and gave her the

with wonder, flowers for an answer.

Feeling his words like a blow, that stunned

her and rendered her speechless ;

Till at length she exclaimed, interrupting the Then they sat down and talked of the birds

ominous silence, and the beautiful spring-time,

"If the great Captain of Plymouth is so very Talked of their friends at home, and the May eager to wed me, flower that sailed on the morrow.

Why does he not come himself, and take the ** I have been thinking all day,” said gently If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not

trouble to woo me? the Puritan maiden, “ Dreaming all night, and thinking all day, of

worth the winning.” the hedge-rows of England; They are in blossom now, and the country is Then John Alden began explaining and all like a garden;

smoothing the matterThinking of lanes and fields, and the song of Urging the suit of his friend, explaining, perthe lark and the linnet;

suading, expanding ; Seeing the village street, and familiar faces But, as he warmed and glowed, in his simple of neighbors

and eloquent language, Going about as of old, and stopping to gossip Quite forgetful of self, and full of the praise together;

of his rival, And, at the end of the street, the village Archly the maiden smiled, and with eyes runchurch with the ivy

ning over with laughter, Climbing the old gray tower, and the quiet Said, in a tremulous voice, “Why don't you graves in the churchyard.

speak for yourself, John ?" Kind are the people I live with, and dear to

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW. me my religion ; Still my heart is so sad, that I wish myself

back in old England. You will say it is wrong, but I cannot help it;

STANZA: THE CHOICE. I almost Wish myself back in Old England, I feel so S when a lady, walking Flora's bower, lonely and wretched.

Picks here a pink, and here a gilly-flowTbereupon answered the youth: “Indeed, I er, do not condemn you;

Now plucks a violet from her purple bed, Stouter hearts than a woman's have quailed in And then a primrose, the year's maidenhead, this terrible winter.

There nips the briar, here the lover's pansy, Yours is tender and trusting, and needs a Shifting her dainty pleasures with her fancy, stronger to lean on;

This on her arms, and that she lists to wear

A

Upon the borders of her curious hair; She plucks, and bosoms in her lily breast. At length a rose-bud, passing all the rest,

FRANCIS QUARLES.

[graphic][merged small]

AT THE CHURCH GATE.
LTHOUGH I enter not,

She comes; she's here; she's past;
Yet round about the spot

May heaven go with her!
Ofttimes I hover;
And near the sacred gate

Kneel undisturbed, fair saint!
With longing eyes I wait,

Pour out your praise or plaint
Expectant of her.

Meekly and duly;

I will not enter there,
The minster bell tolls out

To sully your pure prayer
Above the city's rout

With thoughts unruly.
And noise and humming;
They've hushed the minster bell;

But suffer me to pace
The organ 'gins to swell;

Round the forbidden place,
She's coming, she's coming!

Lingering a minute,
My lady comes at last,

Like outcast spirits who wait,
Timid and stepping fast,

And see through heaven's gate
And hastening hither;

Angels within it.
With modest eyes downcast

WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.

TRIUMPH OF CHARIS.
EE the chariot at hand here of Love,

Wherein my lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,

And well the car Love guideth.
As she goes, all hearts do duty

Unto her beauty,
And enamored do wish so they might

But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side,
Through swords, through seas, whither she

would ride. Do but look on her eyes, they do light

All that Love's world compriseth!
Do but look on her hair, it is bright

As Love's star when it riseth!
Do but mark, her forehead's smoother

Than words that soothe her!
And from her arched brows, such a grace

Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life
All the gain, all the good of the elements'

strife.
Have you seen but a bright lily grow,

Before rude hands have touched it?
Have you marked but the fall of the snow,

Before the soil hath smutched it?
Have you felt the wool of the beaver,

Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt o’ the bud of the briar,

Or the nard in the fire ?
Or have tasted the bag o’ the bee?
O so white! Oh so soft! O so sweet is she!

BEN JONSON.

GOOD-MORROW. DACK clouds away, and welcome day;

With night we banish sorrow; Sweet air, blow soft; mount, larks, aloft,

To give my love good-morrow. Wings from the wind to please her mind,

Notes from the lark I'll borrow; Bird, prune thy wing; nightingale, sing,

To give my love good-morrow. Wake from thy nest, robin redbreast;

Sing, birds, in every furrow; And from each hill let music shrill

Give my fair love good-morrow. Blackbird and thrush in every bush,

Stare, linnet and cock-sparrow; You pretty elves, among yourselves, Sing my fair love good-morrow.

THOMAS HEYWOOD. TO LUCASTA.

.
DELL me not, sweet, I am unkind,

That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,

To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I chase,

The first foe in the field,
And with a stronger faith embrace

A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such

As you, too, must adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honor more.

SIR RICHARD LOVELACE.

SONG. WITHDRAW not yet those lips and fin

Whose touch to mine is rapture's spell;
Life's joy for us a moment lingers,

And death seems in the word farewell.
The hour that bids us part and go,
It sounds not yet-oh! no, no, no!
Time, while I gaze upon thy sweetness,

Flies like a courser nigh the goal;
To-morrow where shall be his fleetness,

When thou art parted from my soul?
Our hearts shall beat, our tears shall flow,
But not together-no, no, no!

THOMAS CAMPBELL.

CUPID AND CAMPASPE.

(From “ Alexander and Campaspe.") YUPID and my Campaspe played

At cards for kisses; Cupid paid. He staked his quiver, bow, and arrows, His mother's doves and team of sparrows; Loses them too; then down he throws The coral of his lip, the rose Growing on's cheek, but none knows how; With these, the crystal of his brow, And then the dimple of his chin. All these did my Campaspe win. At last he set her both his eyes; She won; and Cupid blind did rise. O Love, hath she done thus to thee? What shall, alas! become of me?

JOHN LYLY.

[merged small][graphic][merged small][subsumed][subsumed]

TO THE LADY ANNE HAMILTON.

. Too late I stayed; forgive the crime;

When all its sands are diamond sparks

That dazzle as they pass ? How noiseless falls the foot of Time

Ah! who to sober measurement That only treads on flowers !

Time's happy swiftness brings,

When birds of Paradise bave lent What eye with clear account remarks

Their plumage to his wings ? The ebbing of his glass.

WILLIAM ROBERT SPENCER.

THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses, TO HIS LOVE.

Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,

Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
NOME live with me, and be my love, In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, or hills and fields, Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Woods or steepy mountains yields.

Thy coral clasps, and amber studs;

All these in me no means can move
And we will sit upon the rocks,

To come to thee, and be thy love.
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls

But could youth last, and love still breed, Melodious birds sing madrigals.

Had joys no date, nor age no need,

Then these delights my mind might move And I will make thee beds of roses,

To live with thee, and be thy love. And a thousand fragrant posies,

SIR WALTER RALEIGH. A cap of flowers, and a kirtle, Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

[graphic]

A gown make of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs.
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
Thy silver dishes for thy meat,
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall, on an ivory table, be
Prepared each day for thee and me.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning.
If these delights thy mind may move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.

THE NYMPHS REPLY.
F all the world and love were young,

And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.
But Time drives flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb,
And age complains of cares to come.
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue—a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

FREEDOM AND LOVE.
DOW delicious is the winning
9 Of a kiss at love's beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
For the knot there's no untying!
Yet remember, mid your wooing,
Love has bliss, but love has ruing ;
Others' smiles may make you fickle,
Tears for other charms may trickle.
Love he comes, and Love he tarries,
Just as fate or fancy carries;
Longest stays where sorest chidden,
Laughs and flies when pressed and bidden.

« PreviousContinue »