Edmund Waller.

The poems of Edmund Waller; online

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In darkening clouds, the power to close her eyes ;

Eyes which so far all other lights control,

They warm our mortal parts, but these our soul !

Let her free spirit, whose unconquered breast 15
Holds such deep quiet and untroubled rest,
Know that though Venus and her son should spare
Her rebel heart, and never teach her care,
Yet Hymen may enforce her 1 vigils keep,
And for another's joy suspend her sleep. 20

i. Fenton altered this, admittedly without authority, but,
as he hoped, for the better, to Ytt Hymtn. may in force kis
vifilt kttp.




As when a sort of wolves infest the night
With their wild howlings at fair Cynthia's light,
The noise may chase sweet slumber from our eyes,
But never reach the mistress of the skies ;
So with the news of Sacharissa's wrongs 5

Her vexed servants blame those envious tongues ;
Call Love to witness that no painted fire
Can scorch men so, or kindle such desire ;
While, unconcerned, she seems moved no more
With this new malice than our loves before ; 10

But from the height of her great mind looks down
On both our passions without smile or frown.
So little care of what is done below
Hath the bright dame whom heaven affecteth so !
Paints her, 'tis true, with the same hand which
spreads 1 5

Like glorious colours through the flowery meads,
When lavish Nature, with her best attire,
Clothes the gay spring, the season of desire ;
Paints her, 'tis true, and does her cheek adorn
With the same art wherewith she paints the morn ; 20
With the same art wherewith she gildeth so
Those painted clouds which form Thaumantias' bow.



As in old chaos (heaven with earth confused,

And stars with rocks together crushed and bruised)

The sun his light no further could extend

Than the next hill, which on his shoulders leaned ;

So in this throng bright Sacharissa fared, 5

Oppressed by those who strove to be her guard ;

As ships, though never so obsequious, fall

Foul in a tempest on their admiral.

A greater favour this disorder brought

Unto her servants than their awful thought 10

Durst entertain, when thus compelled they pressed

The yielding marble of her snowy breast.

While love insults, disguised in the cloud,

And welcome force, of that unruly crowd.

So the amorous tree, while yet the air is calm, 15

Just distance keeps from his desired palm ;

But when the wind her ravished branches throws

Into his arms, and mingles all their boughs,

Though loath he seems her tender leaves to press,

More loath he is that friendly storm should cease, 20

From whose rude bounty he the double use

At once receives, of pleasure and excuse.

E 2



THYRSIS, a youth of the inspired train,

Fair Sacharissa loved, but loved in vain.

Like Phoebus sung the no less amorous boy ;

Like Daphne she, as lovely, and as coy !

With numbers he the flying nymph pursues, 5

With numbers such as Phoebus' self might use !

Such is the chase when Love and Fancy leads,

O'er craggy mountains, and through flowery meads ;

Invoked to testify the lover's care,

Or form some image of his cruel fair. 10

Urged with his fury, like a wounded deer,

O'er these he, fled ; and now approaching near,

Had reached the nymph with his harmonious lay,

Whom all his charms could not incline to stay.

Yet what he sung in his immortal strain, 15

Though unsuccessful, was not sung in vain ;

All, but the nymph that should redress his wrong,

Attend his passion, and approve his song.

Like Phoebus thus, acquiring unsought praise,

He catched at love, and filled his arm with bays. 20



ARCADIA juvenis Thyrsis, Phoebique sacerdos,
Ingenti frustra Sacharissse 1 ardebat amore.
Haud Deus ipse olim Daphni majora canebat ;
Nee fuit asperior Daphne, nee pulchrior ilia :
Carminibus Phoebo dignis premit ille fugacem 5

Per rupes, per saxa, volans per florida vates
Pascua : formosam nunc his componere nympham,
Nunc illis crudelem insana mente solebat.
Audiit ilia procul miserum, cytharamque sonantem ;
Audiit, at nullis respexit mota querelis ! 10

Ne tamen omnino caneret desertus, ad alta
Sidera perculsi referunt nova carmina monies.
Sic, non quocsitis cumulatus laudibus, olim
Elapsa reperit Daphne sua laurea Phosbus.


SAY, lovely dream ! where couldst thou find
Shades 2 to counterfeit that face ?
Colours of this glorious kind
Come not from any mortal place.

In heaven itself thou sure wert dressed
With that angel-like disguise :
Thus deluded am I blessed,
And see my joy with closed eyes.

i. 1645, Galatea. a. 1686, Shadows.


But ah ! this image is too kind

To be other than a dream ; 10

Cruel Sacharissa's mind

Never put on that sweet extreme !

Fair dream ! if thou intend'st me grace,

Change that heavenly face 1 of thine ;

Paint despised love in thy face, 15

And make it to appear like mine.

Pale, wan, and meagre let it look,

With a pity-moving shape,

Such as wander by the brook

Of Lethe, or from graves escape. 20

Then to that matchless nymph appear,
In whose shape thou shinest so ;
Softly in her sleeping ear,
With humble words, express my woe.

Perhaps from greatness, state, and pride, 25

Thus surprised she may fall ;
Sleep does disproportion hide,
And, death resembling, equals all.

i. 1645, this heavenly form.



FAIR fellow-servant ! may your gentle ear
Prove more propitious to my slighted care
Than the bright dame's we serve : for her relief
(Vexed with the long expressions of my grief)
Receive these plaints ; nor will her high disdain 5
Forbid my humble muse to court her train.

So, in those nations which the sun adore,
Some modest Persian, or some weak-eyed Moor,
No higher dares advance his dazzled sight,
Than to some gilded cloud, which near the light 10
Of their ascending god adorns the east,
And, graced with his beams, outshines the rest.

Thy skilful hand contributes to our woe,
And whets those arrows which confound us so.
A thousand Cupids in those curls do sit, 15

Those curious nets thy slender fingers knit.
The Graces put not more exactly on
The attire of Venus, when the ball she won,
Than that young Beauty 2 by thy care is dressed,

i. In the edition of 1645 these lines are headed, To Mistris
Braughton ; they were omitted from the editions of 1664 and
1668, out reappeared in that of 1682 (with the above heading),
with the exception of six lines, beginning at S0 in those nations,
which Keck says were omitted by the author's direction.

a. 1645, SacJiarissa.


When all our youth prefers her to the rest. 20

You the soft season 1 know when best her mind
May be to pity, or to love, inclined :
In some well-chosen hour supply his fear,
Whose hopeless love durst never tempt the ear
Of that stern goddess. You, her priest, declare 25
What offerings may propitiate the fair ;
Rich orient pearl, bright stones that ne'er decay,
Or polished lines, which longer last than they ;
For if I thought she took delight in those,
To where the cheerful morn does first disclose, 30
(The shady night removing with her beams)
Winged with bold love, I'd fly to fetch such gems.
But since her eyes, her teeth, her lip excels
All that is found in mines or fishes' shells,
Her nobler part as far exceeding these, 35

Nore but immortal gifts her mind should 2 please.
The shining jewels Greece and Troy bestowed
On Sparta's queen, 3 her lovely neck did load,
And snowy wrists ; but when the town was burned,
Those fading glories were to ashes turned ; 40

Her beauty, too, had perished, and her fame,
Had not the muse redeemed them from the flame.

i. 1645, seasons. 2. 1645, can.

3. 1645, Those shining- jewels Greece and Troy bestow' d t

The snowy wrists and lovely neck did lode

Of Sparta's Queen.



WHY came I so untimely forth

Into a world which, wanting thee,

Could entertain us with no worth

Or shadow of felicity,

That time should me so far remove 5

From that which I was born to love ?

Yet, fairest blossom ! do not slight

That age which you may know so soon ;

The rosy morn resigns her light,

And milder glory, to the noon ; IO

And then what wonders shall you do,

Whose dawning beauty warms us so ?

Hope waits upon the flowery prime ;

And summer, though it be less gay,

Yet is not looked on as a time 15

Of declination or decay ;

For with a full hand that does bring

All that was promised by the spring.

i. 1645, To my young LaJy Lucy Sidney.



FAIR ! that you may truly know
What you unto Thyrsis owe,
I will tell you how I do
Sacharissa love and you.

Joy salutes me, when I set 5

My blessed eyes on Amoret ;
But with wonder I am strook,
When I on the other look.

If sweet Amoret complains.

I have sense of all her pains ; IO

But for Sacharissa I
Do not only grieve, but die.

All that of myself is mine,
Lovely Amoret ! is thine j

Sacharissa's captive fain 15

Would untie his iron chain,
And, those scorching beams to shun.
To thy gentle shadow run.

If the soul had free election
To dispose of her affection, 20

I would not thus long have borne
Haughty Sacharissa's scorn ;
But 'tis sure some power above,


Which controls our will in love !

If not love, a strong desire 25

To create and spread that fire
In my breast, solicits me,
Beauteous Amoret ! for thee

Tis amazement more than love,
Which her radiant eyes do move ; 3

If less splendour wait on thine,
Yet they so benignly shine,
I would turn my dazzled sight
To behold their milder light ;
But as hard 'tis to destroy 35

That high flame, as to enjoy ;
Which how easily I may do,
Heaven (as easily scaled) does know !

Amoret ! as sweet and good
As the most delicious food, 40

Which, but tasted, does impart
Life and gladness to the heart.

Sacharissa's beauty's wine,
Which to madness doth incline ;
Such a liquor as no brain 45

That is mortal can sustain.

Scarce can I to heaven excuse
The devotion which I use
Unto that adored dame
For 'tis not unlike the same 50

Which I thither ought to send ;
So that if it could take end,


'Twould to heaven itself be due

To succeed her, and not you,

Who already have of me 55

All that's not idolatry ;

Which, though not so fierce a flame,

Is longer like to be the same.

Then smile on me, and I will prove
Wonder is shorter-lived than love. 60


TELL me, lovely, loving pair !
Why so kind, and so severe ?
Why so careless of our care,
Only to yourselves so dear ?

By this cunning change of hearts, 5

You the power of love control ;
While the boy's deluded darts
Can arrive at neither 2 soul.

i. 1645, On the Friendship betwixt Sacharissa and

2. 1645, neither s.


For in vain to either breast

Still beguiled love does come, 10

Where he finds a foreign guest,

Neither of your hearts at home.

Debtors thus with like design,

When they never mean to pay,

That they may the law decline, 15

To some friend make all away.

Not the silver doves that fly,

Yoked in Cytherea's car ;

Not the wings that lift so high,

And convey her son so far ; 20

Are so lovely, sweet, and fair,
Or do more ennoble love ;
Are so choicely matched a pair,
Or with more consent do move.



WHAT'S she, so late from Penshurst come,
More gorgeous than the mid-day sun,

That all the world amazes ?
Sure 'tis some angel from above,
Or 'tis the Cyprian Queen of Love

Attended by the Graces.

Or is't not Juno, Heaven's great dame,
Or Pallas armed, as on she came

To assist the Greeks in fight,
Or Cynthia, that huntress bold, IO

Or from old Tithon's bed so cold,

Aurora chasing night ?

No, none of those, yet one that shall
Compare, perhaps exceed them all,

For beauty, wit, and birth ; 15

As good as great, as chaste as fair,
A brighter nymph none breathes the air,

Or treads upon the earth.


Tis Dorothea, a maid high-born,

And lovely as the blushing morn, 20

Of noble Sidney's race,
Oh ! could you see into [her] mind,
The beauties there locked-up outshine

The beauties of her face.

Fair Dorothea, sent from heaven 25

To add more wonders to the seven,

And glad each eye and ear,
Crown of her sex, the Muse's port,
The glory of our English court,

The brightness of our sphere. 30

To welcome her the Spring breathes forth
Elysian sweets, March strews the earth

With violets and posies,
The sun renews his [da]rting fires,
April puts on her best attires, 35

And May her crown of roses.

Go, happy maid, increase the store
Of graces born with you, [and] more

Add to their number still ;

So neither all-consuming age, 40

Nor envy's blast, nor fortune's rage

Shall ever work you ill.



WHILE in the 1 park I sing, the listening deer

Attend my passion, and forget to fear.

When to the beeches I report my flame,

They bow their heads, as if they felt the same.

To gods appealing, when I reach their bowers 5

With loud complaints, they answer me in showers.

To thee a wild and cruel soul is given,

More deaf than trees, and prouder than the heaven !

Love's foe professed ! why dost thou falsely feign

Thyself a Sidney? from which noble strain 10

He sprung, that could so far exalt the name

Of love, and warm our nation with his flame ;

That all we can of love, or high desire,

Seems but the smoke of amorous Sidney's fire.

Nor call her mother, who so well does prove 15

One breast may hold both chastity and love.

Never can she, that so exceeds the spring

In joy and bounty, be supposed to bring

One so destructive. To no human stock

We owe this fierce unkindness, but the rock, 20

That cloven rock produced thee, by whose side

Nature, to recompense the fatal pride

i. 1645, this.


Of such stern beauty, placed those healing springs,
Which not more help, than that destruction, brings.
Thy heart no ruder than the rugged 1 stone, 25

I might, like Orpheus, with my numerous moan
Melt to compassion ; now, my traitorous song
With thee conspires to do the singer wrong ;
While thus I suffer not myself to lose
The memory of what augments my woes ; 30

But with my own breath still foment the fire,
With flames as high as fancy can aspire !

This last complaint the indulgent ears did 2 pierce
Of just Apollo, president of verse ;
Highly concerned that the muse should bring 35

Damage to one whom he had taught to sing,
Thus he advised me : " On yon aged tree
Hang up thy lute, and hie thee to the sea,
That there with wonders thy diverted mind
Some truce, at least, may with this passion 3 find." 40
Ah, cruel nymph ! from whom her humble swain
Flies for relief unto the raging main,
And from the winds and tempests does expect
A milder fate than from her cold neglect !
Yet there he'll pray that the unkind may prove 45
Blessed in her choice ; .ind vows this endless love
Springs from no hope of what she can confer,
But from those gifts which heaven has heaped on her.

i. 1645, that raggtd. a. 1645, dots.

3. 1645. may with affection find.



What fruits they have, and how Heaven smiles
Upon those late-discovered isles.

AID me, Bellona ! while the dreadful fight
Betwixt a nation and two whales I write.
Seas stained with gore I sing, adventurous toil,
And how these monsters did disarm an isle.

Bermudas, walled with rocks, who does not know ?
That happy island where huge lemons grow, [5

And orange trees, which golden fruit do bear,
The Hesperian garden boasts of none so fair ;
Where shining pearl, coral, and many a pound,
On the rich shore, of ambergris is found. IO

The lofty cedar, which to heaven aspires,
The prince of trees ! is fuel for their fires ;
The smoke by which their loaded spits do turn,
For incense might on sacred altars burn ;
Their private roofs on odorous timber borne, 15

Such as might palaces for kings adorn.
The sweet palmettos a new Bacchus yield,
With leaves as ample as the broadest shield,
Under the shadow of whose friendly boughs
They sit, carousing where their liquor grows. 20


Figs there implanted through the fields do grow,

Such as fierce Cato did the Romans show,

With the rare fruit inviting them to spoil

Carthage, the mistress of so rich a soil.

The naked rocks are not unfruitful there, 25

But, at some constant seasons, every year,

Their barren tops with luscious food abound,

And with the eggs of various fowls are crowned.

Tobacco is the worst of things, which they

To English landlords, as their tribute, pay. 30

Such is the mould, that the blessed tenant feeds

On precious fruits, and pays his rent in weeds.

With candied plantains, and the juicy pine,

On choicest melons, and sweet grapes, they dine,

And with potatoes fat their wanton swine. 35

Nature these cates with such a lavish hand

Pours out among them, that our coarser land

Tastes of that bounty, and does cloth return,

Which not for warmth, but ornament, is worn ;

For the kind spring, which but salutes us here, 40

Inhabits there, and courts them all the year.

Ripe fruits and blossoms on the same trees live ;

At once they promise what at once they give.

So sweet the air, so moderate the clime,

None sickly lives, or dies before his time. 45

Heaven sure has kept this spot of earth uncursed,

To show how all things were created first.

The tardy plants in our cold orchards placed,

Reserve their fruit for the next age's taste.

F 2


There a small grain in some few months will be 50

A firm, a lofty, and a spacious tree.

The palma-christi, and the fair papa,

Now but a seed, (preventing nature's law)

In half the circle of the hasty year

Project a shade, and lovely fruit do wear. 55

And as their trees, in our dull region set,

But faintly grow, and no perfection get ;

So, in this northern tract, our hoarser throats,

Utter unripe and ill-constrained notes,

Where the supporter of the poets' style, 60

Phcebus, on them eternally does smile.

Oh ! how I long my careless limbs to lay

Under the 1 plantain's shade, and all the day

With amorous airs my fancy entertain,

Invoke the Muses, and improve my vein ! 65

No passion there in my free breast should move,

None but the sweet and best of passions, love.

There while I sing, if gentle love be by,

That tunes my lute, and winds the strings so high,

With the sweet sound of Sacharissa's name 70

I'll make the listening savages grow tame.

But while I do these pleasing dreams indite,
I am diverted from the promised fight.

i. 1645, a -



Of their alarm, 1 and how their foes
Discovered were, this Canto shows.

THOUGH rocks so high about this island rise,
That well they may the numerous Turk despise,
Yet is no human fate exempt from fear,
Which shakes their hearts, while through the isle they


A lasting noise, as horrid and as loud 5

As thunder makes before it breaks the cloud.
Three days they dread this murmur, ere they know
From what blind cause the unwonted sound may grow.
At length two monsters of unequal size,
Hard by the shore, a fisherman espies ; 10

Two mighty whales ! which swelling seas had tossed,
And left them prisoners on the rocky coast.
One as a mountain vast ; and with her came
A cub, not much inferior to his dam.
Here in a pool, among the rocks engaged, 15

They roared, like lions caught in toils, and raged.
The man knew what they were, who heretofore
Had seen the like lie murdered on the shore ;
By the wild fury of some tempest cast,
The fate of ships, and shipwrecked men, to taste. 20
As careless dames, whom wine and sleep betray
To frantic dreams, their infants overlay :

i. 1645, affrigkt*


So there, sometimes, the raging ocean fails,
And her own brood exposes ; when the whales
Against sharp rocks, like reeling vessels quashed, 25
Though huge as mountains, are in pieces dashed ;
Along the shore their dreadful limbs lie scattered,
Like hills with earthquakes shaken, torn, and shattered.
Hearts sure of brass they had, who tempted first
Rude seas that spare not what themselves have nursed.
The welcome news through all the nation spread, [30
To sudden joy and hope converts their dread ;
What lately was their public terror, they
Behold with glad eyes as a certain prey ;
Dispose already of the untaken spoil, 35

And, as the purchase of their future toil,
These share the bones, and they divide the oil.
So was the huntsman by the bear oppressed,
Whose hide he sold before he caught the beast !

They man their boats, and all their young men arm
With whatsoever may the monsters harm ; [40

Pikes, halberts, spits, and darts that wound so far,
The tools of peace, and instruments of war.
Now was the time for vigorous lads to show
What love, or honour, could invite them to ; 45

A goodly theatre ; where rocks are round
With reverend age, and lovely lasses, crowned.
Such was the lake which held this dreadful pair,
Within the bounds of noble Warwick's share ;
Warwick's bold Earl ! than which no title bears 50
A greater sound among our British peers ;


And worthy he the memory to renew,
The fate and honour to that title due,
Whose brave adventures have transferred his name, [55
And through the new world spread his growing fame.
But how they fought, and what their valour gained,
Shall in another Canto be contained.


The bloody fight, successless toil,
And how the fishes sacked the isle.

THE boat which on the first assault did go,

Struck with a harping-iron the younger foe ;

Who, when he felt his side so rudely gored,

Loud as the sea that nourished him he roared.

As a broad bream, to please some curious taste, 5

While yet alive, in boiling water cast,

Vexed with unwonted heat, bounds, 1 flings about

The scorching brass, and hurls the liquor out ;

So with the barbed javelin stung, he raves,

And scourges with his tail the suffering waves. 10

Like Spenser's 3 Talus with his iron flail,

He threatens ruin with his ponderous tail ;

Dissolving at one stroke the battered boat,

And down the men fall drenched in the moat ;

With every fierce encounter they are forced 15

To quit their boats, and fare like men unhorsed.

i. Editions after 1645, bails. a. 1645, Fairy.


The bigger whale like some huge carrack lay,
Which wanteth sea-room with her foes to play ;
Slowly she swims ; and when, provoked she would
Advance her tail, her head salutes the mud ; 20

The shallow water doth her force infringe,
And renders vain her tail's impetuous swinge ;
The shining steel her tender sides receive,
And there, like bees, they all their weapons leave.

This sees the cub, and does himself oppose 25

Betwixt his cumbered mother and her foes ;
With desperate courage he receives her wounds,
And men and boats his active tail confounds.
Their forces joined, the seas with billows fill,
And make a tempest, though the winds be still. 30

Now would the men with half their hoped prey
Be well content, and wish x this cub away ;
Their wish they have : he (to direct his dam
Unto the gap through which they thither came)
Before her swims, and quits the hostile lake, 35

A prisoner there, but for his mother's sake.
She, by the rocks compelled to stay behind,
Is by the vastness of her bulk confined.
They shout for joy ! and now on her alone
Their fury falls, and all their darts are thrown. 40
Their lances spent, one bolder than the rest,
With his broad sword provoked 2 the sluggish beast ;
Her oily side devours both blade and haft,

i. 1645, -wisKd. 2. 1645, provokes.


And there his steel the bold Bermudian left.

Courage the rest from his example take, 45

And now they change the colour of the lake ;

Blood flows in rivers from her wounded side,

As if they would prevent the tardy tide,

And raise the flood to that propitious height,

As might convey her from this fatal strait. 5

She swims in blood, and blood does spouting throw

To heaven, that heaven men's cruelties might know.

Their fixed javelins in her side she wears,

And on her back a grove of pikes appears ;

You would have thought, had you the monster seen

Thus dressed, she had another island been. [55

Roaring she tears the air with such a noise,

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Online LibraryEdmund WallerThe poems of Edmund Waller; → online text (page 8 of 21)