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But when the flame is out,
And ebbing wrath doth end;
Into a quiet friend ;
A temper'd calm I find
Best cure for angry mind. No change of fortune's calms
Can cast my comforts down: When fortune smiles, I smile to think
How quickly she will frown;
She mov'd an angry foe,
Less loss to let her go.
Born, 1563; DIED, 1618.
A CONTENTED MIND. I WEIGH not Fortune's frown or smile,
I joy not much in earthly joys;
I am not fond of fancy's toys;
I tremble not at noise of war,
I shrink not at a blazing star:
see some Tantals starv'd in store; I see gold's dropsy seldom eas'd,
I see e'en Midas gape for more.
I feign not friendship where I hate,
I fawn not on the great in show,
Neither too lofty nor too low;
MAN'S MORTALITY. Like as the damask rose you see, Or like the blossom on the tree, Or like the dainty flow'r of May, Or like the morning to the day, Or like the sun, or like the shade, Or like the gourd which Jonas had, E'en such is man ;-whose thread is spun, Drawn out, and cut, and so is done.The rose withers, the blossom blasteth, The flower fades, the morning hasteth, The sun sets, the shadow flies, The gourd consumes,—and man he dies. Like to the grass that's newly sprung, Or like a tale that's new begun, Or like the bird that's here to day, Or like the pearl’d dew of May, Or like an hour, or like a span, Or like the singing of a swan, E'en such is man ;—who lives by breath, Is here, now there, in life and death.The grass withers, the tale is ended, The bird is flown, the dew's ascended, The hour is short, the span not long, The swan's near death,-man's life is done. MICHAEL DRAYTON.
* This specimen was accidentally omitted in the first Edition, and is now inserted in place of “Times go by Turns," by Southwell.
BORN, 1563; DIED, 1631.
VIRTUE NOT HEREDITARY. That height and god-like purity of mind
Resteth not still where titles most adorn; With any, not peculiarly confined
To names, and to be limited doth scorn: Man doth the most degenerate from kind.
Richest and poorest, both alike are born; And to be always pertinently good,
Follows not still the greatness of our blood. Virtue, but
God in this earth doth place, 'Gainst this rude world to stand upon His right; To suffer sad affliction and disgrace,
Not ceasing to pursue her with despite :
And seeming in most miserable plight,
For her dear sake that offereth him to die;
Looketh upon it with a pleased eye;
aring the proudest menace's defy; More worth than life, howe'er the base world rate him, Belov'd of heaven, although the world doth hate him.
SIR HENRY WOTTON.
BORN, 1568; DIED, 1639.
THE HAPPY LIFE.
That serveth not another's will;
And simple truth his utmost skill!
Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Of public fame or private breath.
Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Or vice; who never understood
Nor rules of state, but rules of good.
Who hath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Nor ruin make oppressors great.
Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
With a religious book or friend.
This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
And having nothing, yet hath all.
SIR JOHN DAVIES.
Born, 1570; DIED, 1626.
THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL. 0
IGNORANT poor man! what dost thou bear Lock'd up within the casket of thy breast? What jewels, and what riches hast thou there? What heav'nly treasure in so weak a chest ?
Look in thy soul, and thou shalt beauties find,
Like those which drown'd Narcissus in the flood : Honour and pleasure both are in thy mind,
And all that in the world is counted good.
Think of her worth, and think that God did mean,
This worthy mind should worthy things embrace : Blot not her beauties with thy thoughts unclean, Nor her dishonour with thy passion base.
Kill not her quick’ning power with surfeitings:
Mar not her sense with sensuality : Cast not away her wit on idle things :
Make not her free-will slave to vanity.
And when thou think'st of her eternity,
Think not that death against her nature is ; Think it a birth: and when thou go'st to die,
Sing like a swan, as if thou went'st to bliss.
And if thou, like a child, didst fear before,
Being in the dark, where thou didst nothing see; Now I have brought thee torch light, fear no more;
Now when thou diest, thou canst not hoodwink'd be.
And thou, my soul, which turn’st with curious eye
To view the beams of thine own form divine, Now, that thou canst know nothing perfectly,
While thou art clouded with this flesh of mine,
Take heed of overweening, and compare
Thy peacock's feet with thy gay peacock's train: Study the best and highest things that are,
But of thyself an humble thought retain.
Cast down thyself, and only strive to raise
The glory of thy Maker's sacred name:
Which gives thee power to be, and use the same.