« PreviousContinue »
Than were th' Ægyptian (by the life these give
Th' Egyptian pyramids themselves must live);
On these she lifts the world, and on their base
Shows the two terms and limits of Time's race:
That the Creation is, the Judgment this;
That the World's morning; this, her midnight is.
With a picture sent to a Friend.
I paint so ill, my piece had need to be
Painted again by some good poesy.
I write so ill, my slender line is scarce
So much as th' picture of a well-limn'd verse:
Yet may the love I send be true, though I
Send nor true picture nor true poesy :
Both which away, I should not need to fear
My love, or feign'd, or painted should appear.
OUT OF VIRGIL.
IN THE PRAISE OF THE SPRING.
All trees, all leafy groves confess the Spring
Their gentlest friend; then, then the lands begin
To swell with forward pride, and feed desire
To generation; Heaven's Almighty Sire
Melts on the bosom of His love, and pours
Himself into her lap in fruitful showers,
And by a soft insinuation, mixt
With Earth's large mass, doth cherish and assist
Her weak conceptions; no lone shade, but rings
With chatt'ring birds' delicious murmurings.
Then Venus' mild instinct (at set times) yields
The herds to kindly meetings, then the fields
(Quick with warm zephyr's lively breath) lay forth
Their pregnant bosoms in a fragrant birth.
Each body's plump and juicy, all things full
Of supple moisture: no coy twig but will
Trust his beloved blossom to the sun
(Grown lusty now); no vine so weak and young
That fears the foul-mouth'd Auster, or those storms
That the south-west wind hurries in his arms,
But hastes her forward blossoms, and lays out,
Freely lays out her leaves; nor do I doubt
But when the world first out of chaos sprang,
So smiled the Days, and so the tenour ran
Of their felicity. A spring was there,
An everlasting spring, the jolly year
Led round in his great circle; no wind's breath
As then did smell of Winter, or of Death;
When Life's sweet light first shone on beasts, and when
From their hard mother Earth sprang hardy men ;
When beasts took up their lodging in the wood,
Stars in their higher chambers: never could
The tender growth of things endure the sense
Of such a change, but that the Heavens' indulgence
Kindly supplies sick Nature, and doth mould
A sweetly-temper'd mean, nor hot nor cold.
THE BEGINNING OF HELIODORUS.
The smiling Morn had newly waked the Day,
And tipped the mountains with a tender ray :
When on a hill (whose high, imperious brow
Looks down, and sees the humble Nile below
Lick his proud feet, and haste into the seas
Through the great mouth that's named from Hercules)
A band of men, rough as the arms they wore,
Look'd round, first to the sea, then to the shore :
The shore that shew'd them what the sea denied―
Hope of a prey. There, to the mainland tied,
A ship they saw, no men she had; yet prest
Appear'd with other lading, for her breast
Deep in the groaning waters wallowed
Up to the third ring; o'er the shore was spread
Death's purple triumph; on the blushing ground
Life's late forsaken houses all lay drown'd
In their own blood's dear deluge, some new dead,
Some panting in their yet warm ruins bled;
While their affrighted souls, now wing'd for flight,
Lent them the last flash of her glimm'ring light.
Those yet fresh streams, which crawlèd everywhere,
Showed that stern War had newly bathed him there.
Nor did the face of this disaster show
Marks of a fight alone, but feasting too:
A miserable and a monstrous feast,
Where hungry War had made himself a guest ;
And, coming late, had eat up guests and all,
Who proved the feast to their own funeral, etc.
OUT OF THE GREEK-CUPID'S CRIER.
Love is lost, nor can his mother
Her little fugitive discover :
She seeks, she sighs, but nowhere spies him;
Love is lost, and thus she cries him :
Oyez ! if any happy eye
This roving wanton shall descry,
Let the finder surely know
Mine is the wag; 'tis I that own
The winged wanderer; and that none
May think his labour vainly gone,
The glad descrier shall not miss
To taste the nectar of a kiss
From Venus' lips; but as for him
That brings him to me, he shall swim
In riper joys more shall be his
(Venus assures him) than a kiss.
But lest your eye discerning slide,
These marks may be your judgment's guide:
His skin as with a fiery blushing
High-colour'd is; his eyes still flushing
With nimble flames; and though his mind
Be ne'er so curst, his tongue is kind :
For never were his words in aught
Found the pure issue of his thought.
The working bees' soft melting gold,
That which their waxen mines enfold,
Flows not so sweet as do the tones
Of his tuned accents; but if once
His anger kindle, presently
It boils out into cruelty
And fraud: he makes poor mortals' hurts The objects of his cruel sports.
With dainty curls his froward face
Is crown'd about; but O, what place,
What farthest nook of lowest Hell
Feels not the strength, the reaching spell
Of his small hand? yet not so small
As 'tis powerful therewithal.
Though bare his skin, his mind he covers,
And like a saucy bird he hovers
With wanton wing, now here, now there, 'Bout men and women; nor will spare
Till at length he perching rest,
In the closet of their breast.
His weapon is a little bow,
Yet such a one as (Jove knows how)
Ne'er suffer'd yet his little arrow
Of Heaven's high'st arches to fall narrow.