Page images
PDF
EPUB

CLXIX.

ON TWIN-SISTERS.

Fair marble tell to future days

That here two virgin-sisters lie,
Whose life employ'd each tongue in praise,

Whose death gave tears to every eye.
In stature, beauty, years and fame,

Together as they grew, they shone;
So much alike, so much the same,
That death mistook them both for one.

Supposed to be after Ronsard.
CLXX.

WIND, gentle evergreen, to form a shade
Around the tomb where Sophocles is laid :
Sweet ivy, wind thy boughs, and intertwine
With blushing roses and the clustering vine;
Thus will thy lasting leaves, with beauties hung,
Prove grateful emblems of the lays he sung ;
Whose soul, exalted, like a god of wit
Among the Muses and the Graces writ.

Unknown.

CLXXI.

Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought ;
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him.

After the Abbé Regnier.

CLXXII.

TO HIS LITTLE CHILD BENJAMIN, FROM THE

TOWER.
My little Ben, since thou art young,
And hast not yet the use of tongue,
Make it thy slave while thou art free ;
It prison, lest it prison thee.

John Hoskins.

K

CLXXIII.

TO AN INFANT NEWLY BORN.

On parent's knees, a naked new-born child,
Weeping thou sat'st while all around thee smiled;
So live, that sinking in thy long last sleep,
Calm thou may'st smile, while all around thee weep.

Sir William Jones.

CLXXIV.

TO HIS SOUL.

Poor little, pretty, fluttering thing,

Must we no longer live together?
And dost thou prune thy trembling wing,

To take thy flight thou know'st not whither?
Thy humorous vein, thy pleasing folly

Lie all neglected, all forgot :
And pensive, wavering, melancholy,
Thou dread'st and hop'st thou know'st not what.

Matthew Prior.

CLXXV.

He that will win his dame must do
As Love does when he bends his bow :
With one hand thrust the lady from,
And with the other pull her home.

Samuel Butler.

CLXXVI.

My muse and I, ere youth and spirits fled,

Sat up together many a night, no doubt : But now I've sent the poor old lass to bed, Simply because my fire is going out.

George Colman, the Younger,

CLXXVII.

To fix her,— 'twere a task as vain
To count the April drops of rain,
To sow in Afric's barren soil,-
Or tempests hold within a toil.
I know it, friend, she's light as air,
False as the fowler's artful snare,
Inconstant as the passing wind,
As winter's dreary frost unkind.
She's such a miser, too, in love,
Its joys she'll neither share nor prove;
Though hundreds of gallants await
From her victorious eyes their fate.
Blushing at such inglorious reign,
I sometimes strive to break my chain ;
My reason summon to my aid,
Resolve no more to be betray'd.
Ah, friend ! 'tis but a short-lived trance,
Dispellid by one enchanting glance;
She need but look, and I confess
Those looks completely curse or bless.
So soft, so elegant, so fair,
Sure something more than human's there :
I must submit, for strife is vain,
'Twas destiny that forged the chain.

Tobias Smollett.

CLXXVIII.

KATE OF ABERDEEN.

THE silver moon's enamour'd beam,

Steals softly thro' the night,
To wanton with the winding stream,

And kiss reflected light.
To beds of state go balmy sleep,

('Tis where you've seldom been), May's vigil while the shepherds keep

With Kate of Aberdeen.

Upon the green the virgins wait,

In rosy chaplets gay,
Till morn unbar her golden gate,

And give the promised May.
Methinks I hear the maids declare,

The promised May, when seen, Not half so fragrant, half so fair,

As Kate of Aberdeen.

Strike up the tabor's boldest notes,

We'll rouse the nodding grove ;
The nested birds shall raise their throats,

And hail the maid of love :
And see—the matin lark mistakes,

He quits the tufted green :
Fond bird ! 'tis not the morning breaks,-

'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.

Now lightsome o'er the level mead,

Where midnight fairies rove,
Like them the jocund dance we'll lead,

Or tune the reed to love :
For see the rosy May draws nigh,

She claims a virgin Queen;
And hark, the happy shepherds cry,
'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.

John Cunningham.

CLXXIX.

HOW SPRINGS CAME FIRST.

THESE springs were maidens once that loved :
But lost to that they most approved :
My story tells, by Love they were
Turn’d to these springs which we see here :
The pretty whimperings that they make,
When of the banks their leaves they take,
Tell ye but this, they are the same,
In nothing changed but in their name.

Robert Herrick.

CLXXX.

THE COUNTRY WEDDING.

WELL met, pretty nymph, says a jolly young swain
To a lovely young shepherdess crossing the plain;
Why so much in haste?—now the month it was May-
May I venture to ask you, fair maiden, which way ?
Then straight to this question the nymph did reply,
With a blush on her cheek, and a smile in her eye,
I came from the village, and homeward I go,
And now, gentle shepherd, pray why would you know?
I hope, pretty maid, you won't take it amiss,
If I tell you my reason for asking you this ;
I would see you safe home-(now the swain was in love !)--
Of such a companion if you would approve.
Your offer, kind shepherd, is civil, I own,
But I see no great danger in going alone ;
Nor yet can I hinder, the road being free
For one as another, for you as for me.

No danger in going alone, it is true,
But yet a companion is pleasanter too;
And if you could like (now the swain he took heart)
Such a sweetheart as me, why we never would part.
() that's a long word, said the shepherdess then,
I've often heard say there's no minding you men.
You'll say and unsay, and you'll flatter, 'tis true !
Then to leave a young maiden's the first thing you do.
() judge not so harshly, the shepherd replied,
To prove what I say I will make you my bride.
To-morrow the parson (well said, little swain !)
Shall join both our hands, and make one of us twain.
Then what the nymph answer'd to this isn't said,
The very next morn, to be sure, they were wed.
Sing hey-diddle,-ho-diddle,-hey-diddle-down-
Now when shall we see such a wedding in town?

Unknown,

« PreviousContinue »