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Fixed in delight, as if already there
Those rare fruits dangled, whence the golden Year
His crown expected, when (O Fate! O Time!
That seldom lett'st a blushing youthful prime
Hide his hot beams in shade of silver Age,
So rare is hoary Virtue) the dire rage
Of a mad storm these bloomy joys all tore,
Ravish'd the maiden blossoms, and down bore
The trunk. Yet in this ground his precious root
Still lives, which when weak Time shall be poured out
Into Eternity, and circular joys
Dance in an endless round, again shall rise
The fair son of an ever-youthful Spring,
To be a shade for angels while they sing.
Meanwhile, whoe'er thou art that passest here,
O do thou water it with one kind tear!
Upon the Death of the most desired
Death, what dost? O, hold thy blow,
What thou dost thou dost not know.
Death, thou must not here be cruel,
This is Nature's choicest jewel:
This is he, in whose rare frame
Nature labour'd for a name :
And meant to leave his precious feature
The pattern of a perfect creature.
Joy of Goodness, Love of Art,
Virtue wears him next her heart.
Him the Muses love to follow,
Him they call their vice-Apollo.
Apollo, golden though thou be,
Th' art not fairer than is he,
Nor more lovely lift'st thy head,
(Blushing) from thine Eastern bed.
The glories of thy youth ne'er knew
Brighter hopes than he can shew,
Why then should it e'er be seen
That his should fade, while thine is green?
And wilt thou (O, cruel boast!)
Put poor Nature to such cost?
O, 'twill undo our common mother,
To be at charge of such another.
What? think we to no other end
Gracious heavens do use to send
Earth her best perfection,
But to vanish, and be gone?
Therefore only given to-day,
To-morrow to be snatch'd away?
I've seen indeed the hopeful bud
Of a ruddy rose that stood
Blushing, to behold the ray
Of the new-saluted Day:
(His tender top not fully spread)
The sweet dash of a shower new-shed
Invited him no more to hide
Within himself the purple pride
Of his forward flower, when lo
While he sweetly 'gan to show
His swelling glories, Auster spied him,
Cruel Auster thither hied him,
And with the rush of one rude blast,
Shamed not spitefully to waste.
All his leaves, so fresh, so sweet,
And lay them trembling at his feet.
I've seen the Morning's lovely ray
Hover o'er the new-born Day
With rosy wings so richly bright
As if he scorned to think of Night;
When a rugged storm whose scowl
Made heaven's radiant face look foul,
Called for an untimely night
To blot the newly-blossomed light.
But were the rose's blush so rare,
Were the Morning's smile so fair,
As is he, nor cloud, nor wind
But would be courteous, would be kind.
Spare him, Death! O spare him then,
Spare the sweetest among men !
Let not Pity, with her tears,
Keep such distance from thine ears;
But O! thou wilt not, canst not spare,
Haste hath never time to hear.
Therefore if he needs must go,
And the Fates will have it so,
Softly may he be possessed
Of his monumental rest.
Safe, thou dark home of the dead,
Safe, O hide his loved head.
For Pity's sake, O, hide him quite
From his mother Nature's sight;
Lest for grief his loss may move
All her births abortive prove.
If ever Pity were acquainted
With stern Death, if e'er he fainted,
Or forgot the cruel vigour,
Of an adamantine rigour,
Here, O here we should have known it,
Here, or nowhere, he'd have shown it.
For he whose precious memory
Bathes in tears of every eye:
He to whom our sorrow brings
All the streams of all her springs,
Was so rich in grace and nature,
In all the gifts that bless a creature,
The fresh hopes of his lovely youth
Flourish'd in so fair a growth;
So sweet the temple was, that shrined
The sacred sweetness of his mind;
That could the Fates know to relent,
Could they know what mercy meant,
Or had ever learn'd to bear
The soft tincture of a tear,
Tears would now have flowed so deep,
As might have taught Grief how to weep.
Now all their steely operation,
Would quite have lost the cruel fashion.
Sickness would have gladly been
Sick himself to have saved him ;
And his fever wished to prove
Burning only in his love.
Him when Wrath itself had seen
Wrath itself had lost his spleen.
Grim Destruction here amazed,
Instead of striking, would have gazed.
Even the iron-pointed pen,
That notes the tragic dooms of men,
Wet with tears 'still'd from the eyes
Of the flinty Destinies,
Would have learned a softer style,
And have been ashamed to spoil
His life's sweet story, by the haste
Of a cruel stop ill-placed.
In the dark volume of our fate,