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But when the flame is out,
And ebbing wrath doth end;

I turn a late enraged foe
Into a quiet friend;

And taught with often proof,
A temper'd calm I find
To be most solace to itself,

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;

And when in froward mood,
She mov'd an angry foe,
Small gain I found to let her come,
Less loss to let her go.

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I WEIGH not Fortune's frown or smile,

I joy not much in earthly joys;

I seek not state, I reck not stile,
I am not fond of fancy's toys;
I rest so pleas'd with what I have,
I wish no more, no more I crave.

I quake not at the thunder's crack,
I tremble not at noise of war,
I swoon not at the news of wrack,
I shrink not at a blazing star:
I fear not loss, I hope not gain,
I envy none, I none disdain.

I see ambition never pleas'd,

I see some Tantals starv'd in store; I see gold's dropsy seldom eas'd,

I see e'en Midas gape for more. I neither want, nor yet abound: Enough's a feast; content is crown'd.


I feign not friendship where I hate,
I fawn not on the great in show,
I prize, I praise a mean estate,

Neither too lofty nor too low;
This, this is all my choice, my cheer,
A mind content, a conscience clear.*



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.

* 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.


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 poor, 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 :
Yet when of all she is accounted base,

And seeming in most miserable plight,
Out of her power new life to her doth take:
Least then dismay'd, when all do her forsake.
That is the man of an undaunted spirit,

For her dear sake that offereth him to die;
For whom when him the world doth disinherit,

Looketh upon it with a pleased eye;

What's done for virtue thinking it doth merit,
Daring 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.

BORN, 1568; DIED, 1639.


How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!


Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the wordly care

Of public fame or private breath.

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Or vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise,
Nor rules of state, but rules of good.

Who hath his life from rumours freed,

Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great.

Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend.

This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

BORN, 1570; DIED, 1626.


O 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:
Use all thy powers, that blessed power to praise,
Which gives thee power to be, and use the same.

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