John Churton Collins.

A treasury of minor British poetry selected and arranged with notes .. online

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Yet what is Love ? I pray thee showe,
A thing that creepes, it cannot goe,
A prize that passeth to and fro,
A thing for one, a thing for mo ;
And he that proves, must finde it so :
And this is Love, sweet friend, I troe.

SIR W. RALEIGH (?)



XXVIII

PHILLIDA AND CORYDON

IN the merry month of May,
In a morne by breake of day,



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 29

Forth I walked by the wood-side,
When as May was in his pride :
There I spied all alone,
Phillida and Corydon.
Much ado there was, God wot,
He would love and she would not.
She said never man was true,
He said, none was false to you,
He said, he had lov'd her long,
She said, Love should have no wrong.
Corydon would kiss her then.
She said, maides must kiss no men,
Till they did for good and all :
Then she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witnesse truth :
Never lov'd a truer youth.
Thus with many a pretty oath,
Yea and nay, and faith and troth,
Such as silly shepherds use
When they will not love abuse.
Love which had beene long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded.
And Phillida with garlands gay,
Was made the lady of the May.

N. BRETON.



30 A TREASURY



XXIX

A SONG

PACKE, cloudes, away, and welcome day,

With night we banish sorrow,

Sweete ayre, blow soft, mount, Larke, aloft,

To give my love good morrow.

Winges from the winde, to please her minde,

Notes from the Lark I'll borrow;

Bird, prune thy wing, nightingale, sing,

To give my love good morrow.

To give my love good morrow,

Notes from them all I'll borrow.



Wake from thy nest, robin red-brest,
Sing birds in every furrow,
And from each bill, let musicke shrill,
Give my faire love good morrow ;
Blacke-bird and thrush, in every bush,
Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow,
You pretty elves, amongst yourselves,
Sing my faire love good morrow.
To give my love good morrow,
Sing, birds, in every furrow.

T. HEYWOOD.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 31



XXX

A SONG

YE little birds that sit and sing
Amidst the shadie valleys,
And see how Phillis sweetly walkes
Within her garden alleyes ;
Goe pretty birds about her bowre,
Sing pretty birds she may not lowre,
Ah me, me thinkes I see her frowne,
Ye pretty wantons warble.

Goe tune your voices harmonic,
And sing I am her lover ;
Straine loude and sweet, that every note,
With sweet content may move her :
And she that hath the sweetest voice,
Tell her I will not change my choice,
Yet still me thinkes I see her frowne,
Ye pretty wantons warble.

O fly, make hast, see, see, she falles
Into a pretty slumber,
Sing round about her rosie bed
That waking she may wonder,



32 A TREASURY



Say to her, 'tis her lover true,
That sendeth love to you, to you :
And when you heare her kinde reply,
Returne with pleasant warblings.

T. HEYWOOD.



, XXXI

AN INVITATION

COME, shepherds, come !

Come away

Without delay,
Whilst the gentle time doth stay.

Greene woods are dumb,
And will never tell to any
Those deare kisses, and those many
Sweete embraces that are given.
Dainty pleasures, that would even
Raise in coldest age a fire,
And give virgin blood desire.

Then, if ever,

Now or never,
Come and have it ;

Think not I

Dare deny,
If you crave it.

J. FLETCHER.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 33

XXXII
TO BACCHUS

GOD Lyaeus, ever young,
Ever honour'd, ever sung ;
Stain'd with blood of lusty grapes,
In a thousand lusty shapes ;
Dance upon the mazer's brim,
In the crimson liquor swim ;
From thy plenteous hand divine,
Let a river run with wine :

God of youth, let this day here

Enter neither care nor fear.

BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
XXXIII

LOVE AND TRUTH

SAY that I should say, I love ye,
Would you say, 'tis but a saying ?

But if Love in prayers move ye,

Will you not be mov'd with praying ?

Thinke I thinke that love should know ye,
Will you thinke 'tis but a thinking?

But if Love the thought doe show ye,
Will ye loose your eyes with winking ?



34 A TREASURY



Write that I doe write you blessed,
Will you write, 'tis but a writing ?

But if Truth and Love confesse it,
Will you doubt the true enditing ?

No, I say, and thinke, and write it,

Write, and thinke, and say your pleasure :

Love, and Truth, and I endite it,
You are blessed out of measure.

N. BRETON.



XXXIV

LOVE

FAIN would I change that note
To which fond love hath charm'd me
Long, long to sing by rote,
Fancying that that harm'd me :
Yet when this thought doth come,

" Love is the perfect sum

Of all delight,"
I have no other choice
Either for pen or voice
To sing or write.

O Love, they wrong thee much
That say thy sweet is bitter,



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 35

When thy rich fruit is such
As nothing can be sweeter.
Fair house of joy and bliss,
Where truest pleasure is,

I do adore thee ;
I know thee what thou art,
I serve thee with my heart,

And fall before thee.

ANON.



XXXV

STREPHON'S PALINODE

SWEET, I do not pardon crave,

Till I have

By deserts this fault amended :
This, I only this desire,

That your ire
May with penance be suspended.

Not my will, but Fate, did fetch
Me, poor wretch,

Into this unhappy error ;

Which to plague, no tyrant's mind
Pain can find

Like my heart's self-guilty terror.



36 A TREASURY



Then, O then, let that suffice !

Your dear eyes

Need not, need not more afflict me ;
Nor your sweet tongue, dipped in gall,

Need at all
From your presence interdict me.

Unto him that Hell sustains,

No new pains

Need be sought for his tormenting.
Oh ! my pains Hell's pains surpass ;

Yet, alas !
You are still new pains inventing.

By my love, long, firm, and true,

Borne to you ;

By these tears my grief expressing ;
By this pipe, which nights and days

Sounds your praise ;
Pity me, my fault confessing.

Or, if I may not desire,

That your ire

May with penance be suspended ;
Yet let me full pardon crave,

When I have
With soon death my fault amended.

F. DAVISON.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 37

XXXVI

TO HIS LOVE

COME away, come sweet Love,
The golden morning breakes :
All the earth, all the ayre
Of love and pleasure speakes.
Teach thine armes then to embrace,
And sweet rosie lips to kisse :
And mix our soules in mutual blisse.
Eyes were made for beautie's grace,
Viewing, ruing love's long paine :
Procur'd by beautie's rude disdaine.

Come away, come sweet Love,

The golden morning wasts :

While the sunne from his sphere

His fierie arrowes casts,

Making all the shadowes flie,

Playing, staying in the grove,

To entertaine the stealth of love.

Thither, sweet love, let us hie

Flying, dying, in desire,

Wing'd with sweet hopes and heavenly fire.

Come away, come sweet Love,
Doe not in vaine adiorne
Beautie's grace that should rise,
Like to the naked morne.



38 A TREASURY



Lillies on the river's side,

And faire Cyprian flowers newe blowne

Desire no beauties but their owne.

Ornament is nurse of pride,

Pleasure, measure, Love's delight :

Haste then, sweet Love, our wished flight.

ANON.



XXXVII

A WARNING FOR WOOERS

SOME love for wealth and some for hue,
And none of both these loves are true ;
For when the mill hath lost her sailes,
Then must the miller lose his vailes :

Of grass comes hay,
And flowers faire will soon decay :

Of ripe comes rotten,
In age all beautie is forgotten.

Some love too high and some too lowe,
And of them both great griefs do growe ;
And some do love the common sort,
And common folk use common sport.

Look not too high,
Lest that a chip fall in thine eye :

But high or lowe,
Ye may be sure she is a shrewe.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 39

But, sirs, I use to tell no tales,

Each fish that swims doth not bear scales ;

In every hedge I find not thornes,

Nor every beast doth carry homes :

I say not soe,
That every woman causeth woe.

That were too broad :
Who loves not venom must shun the toad.

Who useth still the truth to tell,
May blamed be, though he say well ;
Say crow is white, and snow is black,
Lay not the fault on woman's back :

Thousands were good,
But few scap'd drowning in Noe's flood :

Most are well bent,
I must say so, lest I be spent.

ANON.



XXXVIII

A MARRIAGE BLESSING

VERTUE, if not a God, yet God's chiefs part,
Be thou the knot of this their open vow,
That still he be her head, she be his heart ;
He leane to her, she unto him doe bow,
Each other still allow ;



40 A TREASURY



Like oak and misletoe,
Her strength from him, his praise from her doe growe ;

In which most lovely traine,
O Hymen, long their coupled joyes maintaine !

SIR P. SIDNEY.



XXXIX

A BRIDAL SONG

ROSES, their sharpe spines being gone,

Not royal in their smells alone,
But in their hue :
Maiden-pinkes, of odour feint,
Daisies smel-lesse, yet most quaint,
And sweet thyme true ;

Primrose, first-born child of Ver,
Merry spring-time's harbinger,

With her bells dimme ;
Qslips, in their cradles growing,
Marigolds, on death-beds blowing,

Lark-heeles trimme.

All dear Nature's children sweete,
Lie 'fore bride and bridegroome's feet,
Blessing their sense.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY



Not an angel of the aire,
Bird melodious, or bird faire,
Is absent hence.

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
The boding raven, nor chough hoar,

Nor chattring pie,
^lay on our bride-house perch or
Or with them any discord bring,

But from it fly.

J-



ROSALIND'S MADRIGAL

LOVE in my bosome, like a bee,

Doth sucke his sweete :
Now with his wings he playes with me,

Now with his feete :
Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
His bed amidst my tender breast,
My kisses are his daily feast,
And yet he robs me of my rest.

Ah, wanton, will ye?

And if I sleepe, then percheth he

With pretty flight :
And makes his pillow of my knee

The live-long ni^it



42 A TREASURY



Strike I my lute, he tunes the string,
He music playes if so I sing,
He lends me every lovely thing,
Yet cruel he my heart doth sting :
Ah, wanton, will ye ?



Else I with roses every day

Will whip ye hence,
And bind you, when you long to play,

For your offence ;
I'll shut mine eyes to keep you in,
I'll make you fast it for your sinne,
I'll count your power not worth a pinne,
Alas ! what hereby shall I winne,

If he gain-say me ?



What if I beate the wanton boy

With many a rod ?
He will repay me with annoy,

Because a God.

Then sit thou safely on my knee,
And let thy bowre my bosome be ;
Lurk in mine eyes, I like of thee,
O, Cupid, so thou pity me !

Spare not, but play thee.

T. LODGE.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 43



XLI
DAMELUS SONG TO HIS DIAPHENIA

DIAPHENIA, like the daffa-down-dilly,
White as the sunne, faire as the lilly,

Heigh ho, how I doe love thee !
I doe love thee as my lambs
Are beloved of their dams,

How blest were I if thou would'st prove me !



Diaphenia, like the spreading roses,
That in thy sweetes all sweetes encloses,

Faire sweet how I doe love thee !
I doe love thee as each flower
Loves the sunne's life-giving power,

For dead, thy breath to life might move me.



Diaphenia, like to all things blessed,
When all thy praises are expressed,

Deare joy, how I do love thee !
As the birds doe love the Spring,
Or the bees their careful king,

Then in requite, sweet virgin love me.

H. CONSTABLE.



44 A TREASURY



XLII
TO HIS COY LOVE

I PRAY thee, leave ; love me no more,

Call home the heart you gave me ;
I but in vaine that saint adore

That can, but will not save me.
These poore halfe kisses kill me quite ;

Was ever man thus served ?
Amidst an ocean of delight,

For pleasure to be sterved.

Show me no more those snowie breasts,

With azure riverets branched,
Where, whilst mine eye with plentie feasts,

Yet is my thirst not stanched.
O Tantalus ! thy paines ne'er tell ;

By me thou art prevented :
'Tis nothing to be plagu'd in hell,

But thus in heaven tormented.

%
Clip me no more in those deare armes,

Nor thy life's comfort call me ;
O ! these are but too powerful charmes,
And doe but more enthral me.



OF MINOR BRITISH POE TRY 45

But see how patient I am growne,

In all this coile about thee ;
Come, nice thing, let thy heart alone,

I cannot live without thee.

M. DRAYTON.



XLIII

WHAT IS LOVE?

TELL me, dearest, what is love ?
'Tis a lightning from above,
'Tis an arrow, 'tis a fire,
'Tis a boy they call Desire.

'Tis a grave,

Gapes to have
Those poor fools that long to prove.

Tell me more, are women true ?
Yes, some are, and some as you.
Some are willing, some are strange,
Since you men first taught to change.

And till troth

Be in both,
All shall love, to love anew.

Tell me more yet, can they grieve ?
Yes, and sicken sore, but live,
And be wise, and delay,
When you men are as wise as they.



46 A TREASURY



Then I see,
Faith will be,
Never till they both believe.

BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.



XLIV

LIFE'S PAGEANT

WHETHER men do laugh or weepe,
Whether they do wake or sleepe,
Whether they die young or olde,
Whether they feel heat or colde,
There is underneath the sunne
Nothing in true earnest done.

All our pride is but a jeste,
None are worst and none are beste ;
Grief and joye and hope and feare,
Play their pageants everywhere ;
Vaine opinion all doth sway,
And the worlde is but a play.

Powers above in cloudes do sit,
Mocking our poor apish wit,
That so lamely, with such state
Their high glory imitate :
No ill can be felt but paine,
And that happy men disdaine.

T. CAMPION.



OF MINOR BRITISH POE TR Y 47

XLV

TO SPRING AND DEATH

SWEET spring, thou turn'st with all thy goodly traine,
Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with flowers,
The zephyres curl the green locks of the plaine,
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their showers.

Turn thou, sweet youth ; but ah ! my pleasant hours

And happy days with thee come not againe,

The sad memorials only of my paine

Do with thee turn, which turn my sweets to sours.

Thou art the same which still thou wert before,
Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair ;
But she whose breath embalm'd thy wholesome air
Is gone ; nor gold, nor gems can her restore.

Neglected Virtue ! seasons go and come,
While thine, forgot, lie closed in a tomb.

W. DRUMMOND.
XLVI

SURSUM COR

LEAVE me, O Love, which reachest but to dust ;
And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things ;
Grow rich in that which never taketh rust ;
Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.



48 A TREASURY



Draw in thy beames, and humble all thy might
To that sweet yoke where lasting freedomes be :
Which breakes the cloudes, and opens forth the light,
That doth both shine, and give us sight to see.

O take fast hold ; let that light be thy guide

In this small course which birth draws out of death,

And thinke how ill becometh him to slide

Who seeketh heav'n and comes of heavenly breath.

Then farewell, world ; thy uttermost I see :
Eternal Love, maintaine thy life in me.

SIR P. SIDNEY.



XLVII

CONTENT

ART thou poore, yet hast thou golden slumbers

O sweet content !
Art thou rich, yet is thy minde perplexed :

O punishment !

Dost thou laugh to see how fooles are vexed
To add to golden numbers, golden numbers :

O sweet content !

Worke apace, apace, apace, apace ;
Honest labour beares a lovely face ;
Then hey noney, noney, hey noney, noney.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 49

Canst drinke the waters of the crisped spring :

O sweet content !
Swim'st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine owne

teares,

O punishment !

Then he that patiently want's burden beares,
No burden beares, but is a king, a king,
O sweet content !

Work apace, apace, etc.

T. DEKKER (?)



XLVIII

THE HAPPY LIFE

MARTIAL, the things that do attain
The happy life, be these, I finde.

The richesse left, not got with pain ;
The fruitful ground, the quiet minde ;

The equal friend, no grudge, no strife ;

No charge of rule, nor governance ;
Without disease, the healthful life ;

The household of continuance ;

The meane diet, no delicate fare ;

True wisdom join'd with simplenesse ;
The night discharged of all care,

Where wine the wit may not oppresse.
E



50 A TREASURY



The faithful wife, without debate ;

Such sleepes as may beguile the night ;
Contented with thine owne estate,

Ne wish for death, ne feare his might.

EARL OF SURREY.



XLIX

THE CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE

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 prepar'd for Death,
Unti'd unto the world by care
Of publick Fame or private Breath ;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor 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.

SIR H. WOTTON.



PARVUM SUFFICIT

HOMELY hearts doe harbour quiet,

Little feare, and mickle solace :
States suspect their bed and diet,

Feare and craft do haunt the palace.
Little would I, little want I,

Where the minde and store agreeth,
Smallest comfort is not scantie,

Least he longs that little seeth.
Time hath beene that I have longed,

Foolish I, to like of folly,
To converse where honour thronged,

To my pleasures linked wholly.



52 A TREASURY



Now I see, and seeing sorrow,

That the day consum'd returns not :
Who dare trust upon to-morrow,

When nor time, nor life sojourns not.

T. LODGE.



LI

FORTUNE AND VIRTUE

DAZZLED thus with height of place,
Whilst our Hopes our Wits beguile,
No man marks the narrow space
'Twixt a Prison and a Smile.

Then, since Fortune's favours fade,
You, that in her arms do sleep,
Learn to swim, and not to wade ;
For the Hearts of Kings are deep.

But if Greatness be so blind
As to trust in Towers of Air,
Let it be with Goodness lin'd,
That at least the Fall be fair.

Then, though dark'ned, you shall say,
When Friends fail, and Princes frown,
Vertue is the roughest way,
But proves at Night a Bed of Down.

SIR H. WOTTON.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 53



LI I



LOSS IN DELAY

SHUN delayes, they breede remorse ;

Take thy time while time is lent thee ;
Creeping snailes have weakest force,

Fly their fault lest thou repent thee.
Good is best when soonest wrought,
Linger'd labours come to nought.



Hoist up sail while gale doth last,

Tide and winde stay no man's pleasure
Seeke not time when time is past,

Sober speede is wisdom's leisure.
After-wits are dearly bought,
Let thy fore-wit guide thy thought.



Seek thy salve while sore is green,

Fester'd woundes ask deeper lancing ;

After cures are seldome seen,

Often sought scarce ever chancing.

Time and place give best advice,

Out of season, out of price.



54 A TREASURY



Tender twigs are bent with ease,

Aged trees do breake with bending ;

Young desires make little prease,

Growth doth make them past amending.

Happy man, that soone doth knock

Babel's babes against the rock !

R. SOUTHWELL.



LIII

A PORTRAIT

A SWEET attractive kinde of grace,
A full assurance giv'n by lookes,
Continual comfort in a face,
The lineaments of Gospell bookes.
I trowe that countenance cannot lie
Whose thoughts are legible in the eye.

Was never eye did see that face,
Was never eare did heare that tong,
Was never minde did minde his grace,
That ever thought the travell long ;
But eyes, and eares, and ev'ry thought
Were with his sweete perfections caught.

M. ROYDON.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 55

LIV
A CONTENTED MIND

I weigh not Fortune's frowne or smile*,

I joy not much in earthly joyes,

I seeke not state, I seeke not stile,

I am not fond of fancie's toyes.
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 warre,

I swound not at the newes of wrack,

I shrink not at a blazing-starre ;
I fear not losse, I hope not gaine,
I envie none, I none disdaine.

I see Ambition never pleas'd,

I see some Tantals starv'd in store,

I see gold's dropsie seldome eas'd,

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

I faine not friendship where I hate,

I fawne not on the great (in show),

I prize, I praise a meane estate,

Neither too lofty nor too low ;

This, this is all my choice, my cheere,
A minde content, a conscience cleere.

J. SYLVESTER.



56 A TREASURY



LV
THE STURDY ROCK

THE sturdy rock, for all his strength,
By raging seas is rent in twaine ;

The marble stone is pearst at length,
With little drops of drizzling rain :

The ox doth yeeld unto the yoke,

The steele obeyeth the hammer stroke.

The stately stagge, that seems so stout,
By yalping hounds at bay is set ;

The swiftest bird that flies about,
Is caught at length in fowler's net :

The greatest fish, in deepest brooke,

Is soon deceived by subtill hooke.

Yea, man himself, unto whose will
All thinges are bounden to obey ;

For all his wit and worthie skill,
Doth fade at length and fall away.

There is nothing but time doth waste ;

The heavens, the earth, consume at last.

But vertue sits triumphing still,

Upon the throne of glorious fame ;

Though spiteful death man's body kill,
Yet hurts he not his vertuous name.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 57



By life or death what so betides,
The state of vertue never slides.



ANON.



LVI

THE LIE

Go, Soul, the body's guest,

Upon a thankless arrant :
Fear not to touch the best \

The truth shall be thy warrant :
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Say to the Court, it glows

And shines like rotten wood ;
Say to the Church, it shows

What's good, and doth no good
If Church and Court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell Potentates, they live

Acting by others' action
Not loved unless they give,
Not strong but by a faction :
If Potentates reply,
Give Potentates the lie.



58 A TREASURY



Tell men of high condition.
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate :
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.



Tell them that brave it most,

They beg for more by spending,
Who, in their greatest cost,

Seek nothing but commending :
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.



Tell zeal it wants devotion ;

Tell love it is but lust ;
Tell time it metes but motion ;
Tell flesh it is but dust :
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.



Tell age it daily wasteth ;

Tell honour how it alters ;
Tell beauty how she blasteth
Tell favour how it falters :
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 59

Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness ;
Tell wisdom she entangles
Herself in over-wiseness :
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.



Tell physic of her boldness ;
Tell skill it is pretension ;
Tell charity of coldness ;
Tell law it is contention :
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.



Tell fortune of her blindness \

Tell nature of decay ;
Tell friendship of unkindness ;
Tell justice of delay :
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.



Tell arts they have no soundness,

But vary by esteeming ;
Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming :
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.



60 A TREASURY



Tell faith it's fled the city ;

Tell how the country erreth ;
Tell, manhood shakes off pity,
Tell, virtue least preferreth :
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

So when thou hast, as I

Commanded thee, done blabbing,
Although to give the lie

Deserves no less than stabbing,
Stab at thee he that will,
No stab the soul can kill !

SIR W. RALEIGH.



LVII

THE LULLABY OF A LOVER

SING lullaby, as women doe,

Wherewith they bring their babes to rest ;
And lullaby can I sing too,

As womanly as can the best.
With lullaby they still the childe,
And if I be not much beguil'd,
Full many wanton babes have I,
Which must be still'd with lullaby.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 61

First lullaby, my youthful yeares !

It is nowe time to go to bed,
For crooked age and hoary hairs

Have won the haven within my head :
With lullaby then, youth, be still,


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Online LibraryJohn Churton CollinsA treasury of minor British poetry selected and arranged with notes .. → online text (page 3 of 19)