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produce the effects which SOUTHEY describes in the following passage:"It is no trifling good to win the ear of children with verses which foster in them the seeds of humanity, and tenderness, and piety; awaken their fancy, and exercise pleasurably and wholesomely their imaginative and meditative powers. It is no trifling benefit to provide a ready mirror for the young, in which they may see their own best feelings reflected; and wherein, 'whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely,' are presented to them in the most attractive form. It is no trifling benefit to send abroad strains which may assist in preparing the heart for its trials, and in supporting it under them."


BORN, 1328; DIED, 1400.


FAR from mankind, my weary soul, retire,
Still follow truth, contentment still desire.


Who climbs on high, at best his weakness shows,
Who rolls in riches, all to fortune
Read well thyself, and mark thy early ways,
Vain is the muse, and envy waits on praise.

Wav'ring as winds the breath of fortune blows,
No pow'r can turn it, and no pray'rs compose.
Deep in some hermit's solitary cell,
Repose, and ease, and contemplation dwell.
Let conscience guide thee in the days of need;
Judge well thy own, and then thy neighbour's deed.

What heav'n bestows, with thankful eyes receive;
First ask thy heart, and then through faith believe.
Slowly we wander o'er a toilsome way,
Shadows of life, and pilgrims of a day.

"Who restless in this world, receives a fall;
"Look up on high, and thank thy God for all!"*

*These verses are modernized, and given in the spelling of the present day, as Chaucer's obsolete words and old mode of orthography would not be intelligible to young readers.


BORN, 1552; DIED, 1618.



E'EN Such is time, that takes on trust,

Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with age and dust;

Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wander'd all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days.


GIVE me my scallop shell of quiet,
My staff of truth to walk upon,
My scrip of joy-immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation;

My gown of glory, hope's true gage;
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage-
While my soul, like a quiet Palmer,
Travelleth towards the land of Heaven.


BORN, 1553; DIED, 1598.

FROM THE HYMN OF HEAVENLY BEAUTY. RAPT with the rage of mine own ravish'd thought, Through contemplation of these goodly sights And glorious images, in heaven wrought,

Whose wondrous beauty breathing sweet delights,
Doth kindle love in high-conceived sprites;

I fain to tell the things that I behold,
But feel my wits to fail and tongue to fold.


Vouchsafe, then, O thou most Almighty Sprite,
From whom all gifts of wit and knowledge flow,
To shed into my breast some sparkling light
Of thine eternal truth, that I may show
Some little beams to mortal eyes below,
Of that immortal beauty, there with thee,
Which in my weak distraughted mind I see;
That with the glory of so goodly sight,

The hearts of men, which fondly here admire
Fair learning's shows, and feed on vain delight,

Transported with celestial desire

Of those fair forms, may lift themselves up higher, And learn to love with zealous humble duty, Th' eternal fountain of that heavenly beauty.

But whoso may, thrise* happie man him hold,
Of all on earth whom God so much doth grace,
And lets his owne beloved to behold;

For in the view of her celestiall face

All joy, all blisse, all happinesse, have place; Ne ought on earth can want unto the wight Who of herselfe can win the wishfull sight.

For she, out of her secret treasury,

Plenty of riches forth on him will pour, Even heavenly riches, which there hidden lie Within the closet of her chastest bowre, The eternal portion of her precious dowre, Which mighty God hath given to her free, And to all those which thereof worthy bee.

None thereof worthy bee but those whom she
Vouchsafeth to her presence to receive,
And letteth them her lovely face to see,

Whereof such wondrous pleasures they conceive,
And sweet contentment, that it doth bereave
Their soul of sense through infinite delight,
And them transport from flesh into the spright.

* In this, and a few other pieces from the elder poets, the ancient form of spelling has been preserved.

In which they see such admirable things,
As carries them into an extasy,

And hear such heavenly notes and carolings
Of God's high praise, that fills the brazen sky,
And feel such joy and pleasure inwardly,
That maketh them all worldly cares forget,
And only think on that before them set.

Ne from thenceforth doth any fleshly sense

Or idle thought of earthly things remain, But all that earst seemed sweet seems now offence, And all that pleased earst now seems to pain;

Their joy, their comfort, their desire, their gain,

Is fixed all on that which now they see,

All other sights but fained shadowes bee.

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And that fair lampe which useth to inflame

The hearts of men with self-consuming fire, Thenceforth seems foul, and full of sinful blame; And all that pomp to which proud minds aspire, By name of honour, and so much desire, Seems to them baseness, and all riches dross, And all mirth sadness, and all lucre loss.

So full their eyes are of that glorious sight,
And senses fraught with such satietie,
That in nought else on earth they can delight
But in the respect of that felicitie,

Which they have written in their inward eye;
On which they feed, and in their fast'ned mind
All happy joy and full contentment find.

Ah, then, my hungry soul! which long hast fed
On idle fancies of thy foolish thought,
And with false beautie's flattering bait misled,
Hast after vaine deceitful shadows sought,
Which all are fled, and now have left thee nought
But late repentance through thy follies' prief;
Ah! cease to gaze on matter of thy grief:


And look at last up to that Soveraine Light,
From whose pure beams all perfect beauty springs,
That kindleth love in every godly spright,

Even the love of God; which loathing brings
Of this vile world and these gay-seeming things;
With whose sweet pleasures being so possest,

Thy straying thoughts henceforth for ever rest.


BORN, 1560; DIED, 1595.


My conscience is my crown;
Contented thoughts my rest;
My heart is happy in itself;
My bliss is in my breast.
Enough, I reckon wealth;

A mean, the surest lot;
That lies too high for base contempt,
Too low for envy's shot.

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