Edmund Waller.

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Can, with a single look, inflame

The coldest breast, the rudest tame. 20



EDMUND WALLER. 101



THE SELF-BANISHED.

IT is not that I love you less,
Than when before your feet I lay ;
But to prevent the sad increase
Of hopeless love, I keep away.

In vain, alas ! for everything 5

Which I have known belong to you,
Your form does to my fancy bring,
And makes my old wounds bleed anew.

Who in the spring, from the new sun,
Already has a fever got, IO

Too late begins those shafts to shun,
Which Phoebus through his veins has shot ;

Too late he would the pain assuage,

And to thick shadows does retire ;

About with him he bears the rage, 15

And in his tainted blood the fire.

But vowed I have, and never must

Your banished servant trouble you ;

For if I break, you may mistrust

The vow I made to love you too. 20



102 POEMS OF

TO A FRIEND,
OF THE DIFFERENT SUCCESS OF THEIR LOVES. 1

THRICE happy pair ! of whom we cannot know

Which first began to love, or loves most now ;

Fair course of passion ! where two lovers start,

And run together, heart still yoked with heart ;

Successful youth ! whom love has taught the way 5

To be victorious in the first essay.

Sure love's an art best practised at first,

And where the experienced still prosper worst !

I, with a different fate, pursued in vain

The haughty Celia, till my just disdain 10

Of her neglect, above that passion borne,

Did pride to pride oppose, and scorn to scorn.

Now she relents ; but all too late to move

A heart directed to a nobler love.

The scales are turned, her kindness weighs no more

Now than my vows and service did before. [15

So in some well-wrought hangings you may see

How Hector leads, and how the Grecians flee ;

Here, the fierce Mars his courage so inspires,

That with bold hands the Argive fleet he fires ; 20

But there, from heaven the blue-eyed virgin falls,

And frighted Troy retires within her walls ;

They that are foremost in that bloody race,

Turn head anon, and give the conquerors chase.

i. 1645, To A . H., efthe different success of their Laves.



EDMUND WALLER. 103

So like the chances are of love and war, 25

That they alone in this distinguished are,
In love the victors from the vanquished fly ;
They fly that wound, and they pursue that die.



TO ZELINDA.

FAIREST piece of well-formed earth !

Urge not thus your haughty birth ;

The power which you have o'er us lies

Not in your race, but in your eyes.

" None but a prince !" Alas ! that voice 5

Confines you to a narrow choice.

Should you no honey vow to taste,

But what the master-bees have placed

In compass of their cells, how small

A portion to your share would fall ! IO

Nor all appear, among those few,

Worthy the stock from whence they grew.

The sap which at the root is bred

In trees, through all the boughs is spread ;

But virtues which in parents shine, 1 5

Make not like progress through the line.

'Tis not from whom, but where, we live ;

The place does oft those graces give.



104 POEMS OF

Great Julius, on the mountains bred,

A flock perhaps, or herd, had led. 20

He that the world subdued had been

But the best wrestler on the green.

'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth

The hidden seeds of native worth ;

They blow those sparks, and make them rise 25

Into such flames as touch the skies.

To the old heroes hence was given

A pedigree which reached to heaven ;

Of mortal seed they were not held,

Which other mortals so excelled. 30

And beauty, too, in such excess

As yours, Zelinda ! claims no less.

Smile but on me, and you shall scorn,

Henceforth, to be of princes born.

I can describe the shady grove 35

Where your loved mother slept with Jove ;

And yet excuse the faultless dame,

Caught with her spouse's shape and name.

Thy matchless form will credit bring

To all the wonders I shall sing. 40



EDMUND WALLER. 105



TO A LADY

SINGING A SONG OF HIS COMPOSING.

CHLORIS ! yourself you so excel,

When you vouchsafe to breathe my thought,

That, like a spirit, with this spell

Of my own teaching, I am caught.

That eagle's fate and mine are one, 5

Which, on the shaft that made him die,
Espied a feather of his own,
Wherewith he wont to soar so high.

Had Echo, with so sweet a grace,

Narcissus' loud complaints returned, 10

Not for reflection of his face,

But of his voice, the boy had burned. 1



i. 1645, mourned.



106 POEMS OF



TO THE MUTABLE FAIR.

HERE, Celia ! for thy sake I part

With all that grew so near my heart ;

The passion that I had for thee,

The faith, the love, the constancy !

And, that I may successful prove, 5

Transform myself to what you love.

Fool that I was ! so much to prize
Those simple virtues you despise ;
Fool ! that with such dull arrows strove,
Or hoped to reach a flying dove ; 10

For you, that are in motion still,
Decline our force, and mock our skill ;
Who, like Don Quixote, do advance
Against a windmill our vain lance.

Now will I wander through the air, 1 5

Mount, make a stoop at every fair ;
And, with a fancy unconfined,
(As lawless as the sea or wind)
Pursue you wheresoe'er you fly,
And with your various thoughts comply. 20

The formal stars do travel so,
As we their names and courses know ;



EDMUND WALLER. 107

And he that on their changes looks,

Would think them governed by our books ;

But never were the clouds reduced 25

To any art ; the motions 1 used

By those free vapours are so light,

So frequent, that the conquered sight

Despairs to find the rules that guide

Those gilded shadows as they slide ; 3

And therefore of the spacious air

Jove's royal consort had the care ;

And by that power did once escape,

Declining bold Ixion's rape ;

She, with her own resemblance, graced 35

A shining cloud, which he embraced.

Such was that image, so it smiled
With seeming kindness, which beguiled
Your Thyrsis lately, when he thought
He had his fleeting Celia caught. 40

Twas shaped like her, but, for the fair,
He filled his arms with yielding air.

A fate for which he grieves the less,
Because the gods had like success ;
For in their story, one, we see, 45

Pursues a nymph, and takes a tree;
A second, with a lover's haste,
Soon overtakes whom he had chased,

I. In all the editions motion, but I have ventured to alter it
in accordance with Mr. Waller's MS.



io8 POEMS OF

But she that did a virgin seem,

Possessed, appears a wandering stream ; 5

For his supposed love, a third

Lays greedy hold upon a bird,

And stands amazed to find his dear

A wild inhabitant of the air.

To these old tales such nymphs as you 55

Give credit, and still make them new ;
The amorous now like wonders find
In the swift changes of your mind.

But, Celia, if you apprehend
The muse of your incensed friend, 60

Nor would that he record your blame,
And make it live, repeat the same ;
Again deceive him, and again,
And then he swears he'll not complain ;
For still to be deluded so, 65

Is all the pleasure lovers know ;
Who, like good falconers, take delight,
Not in the quarry, but the flight.



EDMUND WALLER. 109

TO A LADY,

FROM WHOM HE RECEIVED A SILVER PEN.

MADAM ! intending to have tried

The silver favour which you gave,

In ink the shining point I dyed,

And drenched it in the sable wave ;

When, grieved to be so foully stained, 5

On you it thus to me complained :

" Suppose you had deserved to take

From her fair hand so fair a boon,

Yet how deserved I to make

So ill a change, who ever won 10

Immortal praise for what I wrote, 1

Instructed by her noble thought ?

" I, that expressed her commands

To mighty lords, and princely dames,

Always most welcome to their hands, 15

Proud that I would record their names,

Must now be taught an humble style,

Some meaner beauty to beguile 1"

So I, the wronged pen to please,

Make it my humble thanks express, 20

Unto your ladyship, in these :

And now 'tis forced to confess

That your great self did ne'er indite,

Nor that, to one more noble, write.

i. 1645, wrought.



no POEMS OF



ON THE HEAD OF A STAG.

So we some antique hero's strength

Learn by his lance's weight and length ;

As these vast beams express the beast,

Whose shady brows alive they dressed.

Such game, while yet the world was new, 5

The mighty Nimrod did pursue.

What huntsman of our feeble race,

Or dogs, dare such a monster chase,

Resembling, with each blow he strikes,

The charge of a whole troop of pikes ? 10

O fertile head ! which every year

Could such a crop of wonder bear !

The teeming earth did never bring

So soon, so hard, so huge a thing ;

Which might it never have been cast, 1 5

(Each year's growth added to the last)

These lofty branches had supplied

The earth's bold sons' prodigious pride ;

Heaven with these engines had been scaled,

When mountains heaped on mountains failed. 1 20

i. In a MS. in the British Museum (from Bliss's sale):
With Ladders Jove's high seat to scale,
When Hills on Hills could not prevaile.



EDMUND WALLER. ill

THE MISER'S SPEECH.

IN A MASQUE.

BALLS of this metal slacked At'lanta's pace,

And on the amorous youth * bestowed the race ;

Venus, (the nymph's mind measuring by her own)

Whom the rich spoils of cities overthrown

Had prostrated to Mars, could well advise 5

The adventurous lover how to gain the prize.

Nor less may Jupiter to gold ascribe ;

For, when he turned himself into a bribe,

Who can blame Danae, or the brazen tower,

That they withstood not that 2 almighty shower ? 10

Never till then did love make Jove put on

A form more bright, and nobler 3 than his own ;

Nor were it just, would he resume that shape,

That slack devotion should his thunder 'scape.

'Twas not revenge for grieved Apollo's wrong, 1 5

Those ass's ears on Midas' temples hung,

But fond repentance of his happy wish,

Because his meat grew metal like his dish.

Would Bacchus bless me so, I'd constant hold

Unto my wish, and die creating gold. 20

i. Hippomenes. 2. 1645, tht. 3. 1645, noble.



112 POEMS OF



TO CHLORIS.

CHLORIS ! since first our calm of peace
Was frighted hence, this good we find,
Your favours with your fears increase,
And growing mischiefs make you kind.
So the fair tree, which still preserves
Her fruit and state while no wind blows,
In storms from that uprightness swerves,
And the glad earth about her strows
With treasure, from her yielding boughs.



EDMUND WALLER. 113



TO A LADY IN A GARDEN. 1

SEES not my love how time resumes
The glory which he lent these flowers ?
Though none should taste of their 2 perfumes,
Yet must they live but some few hours ;
Time what we forbear devours ! 5

Had Helen, or the Egyptian Queen,

Been ne'er so thrifty of their graces,

Those beauties must at length have been

The spoil of age, which finds out faces

In the most retired places. 10

Should some malignant planet bring

A barren drought, or ceaseless shower,

Upon the autumn or the spring,

And spare us neither fruit nor flower ;

Winter would not stay an hour. 15

Could the resolve of love's neglect

Preserve you 3 from the violation

Of coming years, then more respect

Were due to so divine a fashion,

Nor would I indulge my passion. 2O

i. 1645, To a Lady in retirement.
a. 1645, these tweet.
3. 1645, tht.



114 POEMS OF



CHLORIS AND HYLAS.

MADE TO A SARABAND. 1

CHLORIS.

HYLAS, oh Hylas ! why sit we mute,
Now that each bird saluteth 2 the spring
Wind up the slack'ned 3 strings of thy lute,
Never canst thou want matter to sing ;
For love thy breast does fill with such a fire,
That whatsoe'er is fair moves thy desire.



Sweetest ! you know, the sweetest of things
Of various flowers the bees do compose ;
Yet no particular taste it brings
Of violet, woodbine, pink, or rose ;
So love the result 4 is of all the graces
Which flow from a thousand several faces.

i. 1645, headed simply Chloris and Hilas.

2. 1682, salutes.

3. Thus 1645 ; 1686, slackned.

4. 1645, 1664, 1668, resvltance.



EDMUND WALLER. 115



Hylas ! the birds which chant in this grove,

Could we but know the language they use,

They would instruct us better in love, 15

And reprehend thy inconstant Muse ;

For love their breasts does fill with such a fire,

That what they once do chose, bounds their desire.

HYLAS.

Chloris ! this change the birds do approve,

Which the warm season hither does bring ; 20

Time from yourself does further remove

You, than the winter from the gay spring ;

She that like lightning shined while her face lasted,

The oak now resembles which lightning hath blasted.



I 2



u6 POEMS OF



IN ANSWER OF SIR JOHN SUCKLING'S
VERSES.



Stay here, fond youth ! and ask no more ; be wise ;
Knowing too much, long since lost Paradise.

PRO.

And, by your knowledge, we should he bereft
Of all that paradise which yet is left.



The virtuous joys thou hast, thou wouldst should still
Last in their pride ; and wouldst not take it ill [5
If rudely from sweet dreams, and for a toy,
Thou wert awaked ; 1 he -wakes himself that does enjoy.



How can the joy, or hope, which you allow

Be styled virtuous, and the end not so ? 10

Talk in your sleep, and shadows stillfadmire !

'Tis true, he wakes that feels this real fire ;

But to sleep better ; for whoe'er drinks deep

Of this Nepenthe, rocks himself asleep.

i. 1686, Thou awaked. Suckling's " Fragmenta Aurea,"
1646, Tho' wert wak't.



EDMUND WALLER. 117

CON.

Fruition adds no new -wealth, but destroys, 15

And -while it pleaseth much, yet still it cloys. 1

Who thinks he should- be happier made for that,
As reasonably might hope he might grow Jot
By eating to a surfeit ; this once passed,

What relishes ? even kisses lose their taste. 2O



Blessings may be repeated while they cloy ;

But shall we starve, 'cause surfeitings destroy ?

And if fruition did the taste impair

Of kisses, why should yonder happy pair,

Whose 3 joys just Hymen warrants all the night, 25

Consume the day, too, in this less delight ?

CON.

Urge not 'tis necessary ; alas ! we kncnu
The homeliest thing that 4 mankind does is so.
The world is of a large* extent we see,
And must be peopled ; children there must be : 30
So must bread too ; but since there are enough
Born to that 6 drudgery, ivliat need -we plough ?

i. "Frag. Aur.," And while it pleaseth much the palate,
cloyes.

21645. thall. "Frag. Aur.," Who thinks he shall 6e
happier for that.

3. 1645. Where. 4. "Frag. Aur.." which.

5. " Frag. Aur.," vast. 6. " Frag. Aur.," ike.



n8 POEMS OF

PRO.

I need not plough, since what the stooping hind 1

Gets of my pregnant land, must all be mine ;

But in this nobler tillage 'tis not so ; 35

For when Anchises did fair Venus know,

What interest had poor Vulcan in the boy,

Famous yEneas, or the present joy ?

CON.

Women enjoyed, whatever before 2 they've been,
Are like romances read, or scenes once seen ; 40

Fruition dulls or 3 spoils the play much more
Than if one read, or knew, the plot before.

PRO.

Plays and romances read and seen, do fall

In our opinions ; yet not seen at all,

Whom would they please ? To an heroic tale 45

Would you not listen, lest it should grow stale ?

CON.

' Tis expectation makes a blessing dear ;

Heaven were not heaven if we knew what it were.

i. 1645, hine.

2. The reading of " Frag. Aur." All the editions of Waller
have what e'retofore.

3. " Frag. Aur.," Fruition's dull and spoils, &c.



EDMUND WALLER. 119

PRO.

If 'twere not heaven if we knew what it were,

'T would not be heaven to those 1 that now are there.

[50
CON.

As 2 in prospects we are there pleased most,
Where something ketps the eye from being lost,
And leaves us room to guess ; so here, restraint
Holds up delight, that with excess would faint.

PRO.

Restraint preserves the pleasure we have got, 55

But he ne'er has it that enjoys it not.
In goodly prospects, who contracts the space,
Or takes not all the bounty of the place ?
We wish removed what standeth in our light,
And nature blame for limiting our sight ; 60

Where you stand wisely winking, that the view
Of the fair prospect may be always new.

CON.

They, -who know all the wealth Uiey have, are poor ;
He's only rich that cannot tell his store.

PRO.

Not he that knows the wealth he has is poor, 65

But he that dares not touch, nor use, his store.

i. 1645, them. * a." Frag. Aur. " And as in, &c.



120 POEMS OF



AN APOLOGY FOR HAVING LOVED
BEFORE.

THEY that never had the use

Of the grape's surprising juice,

To the first delicious cup

All their reason render up ;

Neither do, nor care to know, 5

Whether it be best 1 or no.

So they that are to love inclined

Swayed by chance, not choice, or art,

To the first that's fair, or kind,

Make a present of their heart ; 10

'Tis not she that first we love,

But whom dying we approve.

To man, that was in the evening made,

Stars gave the first delight,

Admiring, in the gloomy shade, 15

Those little drops of light ;

Then at Aurora, whose fair hand

Removed them from the skies,

He gazing toward the east did stand,

She entertained his eyes. 20

i. 1645, the best.



EDMUND WALLER. 121

But when the bright sun did appear,

All those he 'gan 1 despise ;

His wonder was determined there,

And 2 could no higher rise ;

He neither might, nor wished to know 25

A more refulgent light ;

For that (as mine your beauties now)

Employed his utmost sight.



ON A BREDE OF DIVERS COLOURS,

WOVEN BY FOUR LADIES.

TWICE twenty slender virgin-fingers twine
This curious web, where all their fancies shine.
As Nature them, so they this shade have wrought,
Soft as their hands, and various as their thought.
Not Juno's bird, when his fair train dispread,
He woos the female to his painted bed ;
No, not the bow, which so adorns the skies,
So glorious is, or boasts so many dyes.

i. 1686, COM. a. 1645, /fee.



122 POEMS OF



TO CHLORIS.

CHLORIS ! what's eminent, we know
Must for some cause be valued so ;
Things without use, though they be good,
Are not by us so understood.
The early rose, made to display
Her blushes to the youthful May,
Doth yield her sweets, since he is fair,
And courts her with a gentle air.
Our stars do show their excellence
Not by their light, but influence ;
When brighter comets, since still known
Fatal to all, are liked by none.
So your admired beauty still
Is, by effects, made good or ill.



EDMUND WALLER. 123



SONG.

STAY, Pha-bus ! stay ;

The world to which you fly so fast,

Conveying day

From us to them, can pay your haste

With no such object, nor salute your rise, 5

With no such wonder as De Mornay's eyes.

Well does this prove

The error of those antique books,

Which made you move

About the world ; her charming looks 10

Would fix your beams, and make it ever day,

Did not the rolling earth snatch her away.



I2 4 POEMS OF



SONG. 1

PEACE, babbling Muse !

I dare not sing what you indite ;

Her eyes refuse

To read the passion which they write.

She strikes my lute, but, if it sound,

Threatens to hurl it on the ground ;

And I no less her anger dread,

Than the poor wretch that feigns him dead,

While some fierce lion does embrace

His breathless corpse, and licks his face ;

Wrapped up in silent fear he lies,

Torn all in pieces if he cries.



i. In Mr. Waller's MS. this piece is headed, Banist if he
made Lone.



EDMUND WALLER. 125



TO FLAVIA.



'Tis not your beauty can engage

My wary heart ;

The sun, in all his pride and rage,

Has not that art ;

And yet he shines as bright as you, 5

If brightness could our souls subdue.

'Tis not the pretty things you say,

Nor those you write,

Which can make Thyrsis' heart your prey ;

For that delight, 10

The graces of a well-taught mind,

In some of our own sex we find.

No, Flavia ! 'tis your love I fear ;

Love's surest darts,

Those which so seldom fail him, are 15

Headed with hearts ;

Their very shadows make l us yield ;

Dissemble well, and win the field.

i. 1645, jAodfW makes.



126 POEMS OF



BEHOLD THE BRAND OF BEAUTY
TOSSED !

A SONG.

BEHOLD the brand of beauty tossed !

See how the motion does dilate the flame !

Delighted love his spoils does boast,

And triumph in this game.

Fire, to no place confined, 5

Is both our wonder and our fear ;

Moving the mind,

As * lightning hurled through the air.

High heaven the glory does increase

Of all her shining lamps, this artful way ; 10

The sun in figures, such as these,

Joys with the moon to play ;

To the 2 sweet strains they advance,

Which do result from their own spheres,

As this nymph's dance 15

Moves with the numbers which she hears.

i. 1645, Like. 2. 1645, these.



EDMUND WALLER. 127



WHILE I LISTEN TO THY VOICE.

WHILE I listen to thy voice,

Chloris ! I feel my life decay ;

That powerful noise

Calls my flitting l soul away.

Oh ! suppress that magic sound, 5

Which destroys without a wound.

Peace, Chloris ! peace ! or singing die,

That together you and I

To heaven may go ;

For all we know IO

Of what the blessed do above,

Is, that they sing, and that they love.



i. 1645, flitting.



128 POEMS OF



GO, LOVELY ROSE!

Go, lovely Rose !

Tell her that wastes her time and me

That now she knows,

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be. 5

Tell her that's young,

And shuns to have her graces spied,

That hadst thou sprung

In deserts, where no men abide,

Thou must have uncommended died. 10

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired ;

Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,

And not blush so to be admired. 15

Then die ! that she

The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee ;

How small a part of time they share

That are so wondrous sweet and fair ! 20



EDMUND WALLER. 129



UNDER A LADY'S PICTURE.

SOME ages hence, for it must not decay,
The doubtful wonderers at this piece, will say
Such Helen was ! and who can blame the boy
That in so bright a flame consumed his Troy ?
But had like virtue shined in that fair Greek,
The amorous shepherd had not dared to seek
Or hope for pity ; but with silent moan,
And better fate, had perished alone.



WRITTEN IN MY LADY SPEKE'S
SINGING-BOOK.

HER fair eyes, if they could see

What themselves have wrought in me,

Would at least with pardon look

On this scribbling in her book :

If that she the writer scorn,

This may from the rest be torn,

With the ruin of a part,

But the image of her graces

Fills my heart and leaves no spaces.



130 POEMS OF



OF A LADY WHO WRIT IN PRAISE OF
MIRA.

WHILE she pretends to make the graces known
Of matchless Mira, she reveals her own ;
And when she would another's praise indite,
Is by her glass instructed how to write.



TO ONE MARRIED TO AN OLD MAN.

SINCE thou wouldst needs (bewitched with some ill

charms !)

Be buried in those monumental arms,
All we can wish is, may that earth lie light
Upon thy tender limbs ! and so good night.



EDMUND WALLER. 131



AN EPIGRAM ON A PAINTED LADY
WITH ILL TEETH.

WERE men so dull they could not see
That Lyce painted, should they flee,
Like simple birds, into a net
So grossly woven and ill set,
Her own teeth would undo the knot,
And let all go that she had got.
Those teeth fair Lyce must not show
If she would bite ; her lovers, though
Like birds they stoop at seeming grapes,
Are disabused when first she gapes ; 1

The rotten bones discovered there,
Show 'tis a painted sepulchre.



ON MR. JOHN FLETCHER'S PLAYS.

FLETCHER ! to thee we do not only owe

All these good plays, but those of others too ; 1

Thy wit repeated does support the stage,

Credits the last, and entertains this age.

No worthies, formed by any Muse but thine, 5

Could purchase robes to make themselves so fine.

i. This is the reading of the folio Beaumont and Fletcher,
1647. Waller's 1664, and subsequent editions, All our good
plays, and all those other too. 1645, All these good plays,
tut those others too.

K 2



132 POEMS OF

What brave commander is not proud to see
Thy brave Melantius in his gallantry ?
Our greatest ladies love to see their scorn
Outdone by thine, in what themselves have worn ; 10
The impatient widow, ere the year be done,
Sees thy Aspasia weeping in her gown.

I never yet the tragic strain essayed,
Deterred by that inimitable Maid ;
And when I venture at the comic style, 15

Thy Scornful Lady seems to mock my toil.

Thus has thy Muse at once improved and marred
Our sport in plays, by rendering it too hard !
So when a sort of lusty shepherds throw


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