John Churton Collins.

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

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Was there a tree about which did not know
The love betwixt us two ?



OF MINOR BRITISH POE TRY 125

Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade ;
Or your sad branches thicker join,
And into darksome shades combine,

Dark as the grave wherein my Friend is laid.



Large was his Soul ; as large a Soul as ere

Submitted to inform a body here,

High as the place 'twas shortly in Heaven to have,

But low, and humble as his grave.
So high that all the Virtues there did come

As to their chiefest seat

Conspicuous, and great ;
So low that for me too it made a room.



So strong a wit did Nature to him frame,

As all things but his judgment overcame ;

His judgment like the heav'nly moon did show,

Temp'ring that mighty sea below.
Oh had he lived in learning's world, what bound

Would have been able to control

His over-powering Soul ?
We have lost in him arts that not yet are found.



But happy Thou, ta'en from this frantic age,
Where ignorance and hypocrisy does rage !
A fitter time for Heav'n no soul ere chose,
The place now only free from those.



126 A TREASURY



There 'mong the blest thou dost for ever shine,
And wheresoe'er thou casts thy view
Upon that white and radiant crew,

See'st not a soul cloth'd with more light than Thine.

A. COWLEY.



cxvi
EPITAPH

SHE on this clayen pillow layed her head,
As brides do use the first to go to bed.
He missed her soon and yet ten months he trys
To live apart and lykes it not and dyes.

ANON.



cxvn

AN EPITAPH UPON HUSBAND AND WIFE
WHO DIED AND WERE BURIED TOGETHER

To these, whom Death again did wed,
This grave's the second marriage bed.
For though the hand of Fate could force
'Twixt soul and body a divorce,
It could not sever man and wife
Because they both liv'd but one life.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 127



Peace, good reader, do not weep !
Peace ! the lovers are asleep.
They, sweet turtles, folded lie
In the last knot that Love could tie.
Let them sleep, let them sleep on,
Till the stormy night be gone,
And th' eternal morrow dawn ;
Then the curtains will be drawn,
And they waken with that light
Whose day shall never sleep in night.

R. CRASH AW.



CXVIII

DEATH

To die is landing on some silent shore,

Where billows never break, nor tempests roar ;

Ere well we feel the friendly stroke, 'tis o'er.

The wise through thought th' insults of death defy ;

The fools through blest insensibility.

'Tis what the guilty fear, the pious crave ;

Sought by the wretch, and vanquish'd by the brave :

It eases lovers, sets the captive free,

And, though a tyrant, offers liberty.

SIR S. GARTH.



128 A TREASURY



CXIX

OLD AGE

THE seas are quiet when the winds give o'er ;
So calm are we when passions are no more,
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.

Clouds of affection from our younger eyes

Conceal that emptiness which age descries ;

The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,

Lets in new light through chinks which time has made

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

E. WALLER.



cxx

LIKE to the falling of a Starre,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew ;



OF MINOR BRITISH POE TR Y 1 29

Or like a wind that chafes the flood,

Or bubbles which on water stood ;

Even such is man, whose borrow'd light

Is straight call'd in, and paid to-night.
The Wind blowes out, the bubble dies,
The Spring entomb'd in Autumn lies ;
The Dew's dried up, the Starre is shot,
The Flight is past, and man forgot.

DR. H. KING (?)



CXXI

THE PULLEY

WHEN God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by ;
Let us, said He, pour on him all we can,
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a spanne.

So strength first made a way ;

Then beautie flow'd, then wisdom, honoure, pleasure
When almost all was out, God made a staye,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure
Rest at the bottom laye.



130 A TREASURY



For if I should, said he,
Bestowe this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me
And rest in Nature, not the God of nature,
So both should losers be.



Yet let him keepe the rest,
But keepe them with repining restlessness,
Let him be rich and wearie, that at least
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.

G. HERBERT.



CXXII

A FAREWELL TO THE WORLD

THE night is come, like to the day ;
Depart not Thou, great God, away.
Let not my sins, black as the night,
Eclipse the lustre of Thy light.
Keep still in my horizon : for to me
The sun makes not the day, but Thee.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 131

Thou whose nature cannot sleep
On my temples sentry keep ;
Guard me 'gainst those watchful foes,
Whose eyes are open while mine close.
Let no dreams my head infest,
But such as Jacob's temples blest ;
While I do rest, my soul advance,
Make my sleep a holy trance ;
That I may, my rest being wrought,
Awake into some holy thought,
And with as active vigour run
My course as doth the nimble sun.
Sleep is a death ; O make me try,
By sleeping, what it is to die !
And as gently lay my head
On my grave, as now my bed.
Howe'er I rest, great God, let me
Awake again at last with Thee.
And thus assur'd, behold I lie
Securely, or to wake or die.
These are my drowsy days ; in vain
I do now wake to sleep again :
O come that hour, when I shall never
Sleep again, but wake for ever !

SIR T. BROWNE.



132 A TREASURY



CXXIII
SOUL AND BODY

GREAT Nature cloaths the Soul, which is but thin,
With fleshly garments, which the Fates do spin ;
And when these garments are grown old and bare,
With sickness torn, Death takes them off with care,
Doth fold them up in peace and quiet rest,
And lays them safe within an earthly chest ;
Then scours them well, and makes them sweet and clean,
Fit for the soul to wear those cloaths again.

MARGARET, DUCHESS OF NEWCASTLE



CXXIV

PURIFICATION

MY God ! If 'tis Thy great decree
That this must the last moment be

Wherein I breathe this are ;
My heart obeys, joy'd to retreate
From the false favours of the great

And treachery of the faire.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 133

When Thou shalt please this soule t' enthrone
Above impure corruption,

What should I grieve or feare
To think this breathlesse body must
Become a loathsome heape of dust

And ne'er again appeare ?

For in the fire when ore is tryed,
And by that torment purified,

Doe we deplore the losse ?
And when Thou shalt my soule refine,
That it thereby may purer shine,

Shall I grieve for the drosse ?

W. HABINGTON.



cxxv
IN BLISS

BRAVE spirits, whose advent'rous feet
Have to the mountain's top aspir'd,

Where fair desert and honour meet :
Here, from the toiling press retir'd,

Secure from all disturbing evil,

For ever in my temple revel.

With wreaths of stars circled about,
Gild all the spacious firmament,



I 3 4 A TREASURY OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY

And smiling on the panting rout

That labour in the steep ascent,
With your resistless influence guide
Of human change th' uncertain tide.

T. CAREW.
CXXVI

WELCOME, welcome, happy paire,

To these abodes, where spicy aire

Breathes perfumes, and every sense

Doth find his object's excellence :

Where's no heate, nor cold extreme,

No winter's ice, nor summer's scorching beame,

Where's no sun, yet never night,

Day always springing from eternal light ;

All mortal sufferings laid aside,

Here in endless blisse abide.

T. NABBES.

t

CXXVI I

AN EPITAPH

A VIRGIN blossom in her May
Of youth and virtues turn'd to clay ;
Rich earth accomplish'd with those graces
That adorn Saints in heavenly places.
Let not Death boast his conquering power,
She'll rise a Star, that fell a Flower.



BOOK III



CXXVIII

LIFE'S PROGRESS

How gaily is at first begun

Our Life's uncertain race !
Whilst yet that sprightly morning sun,
With which we just set out to run,
Enlightens all the place.



How soft the first ideas prove,

Which wander through our minds !
How full the joys, how free the love,
Which does that early season move,
As flow'rs the western winds !



Our sighs are then but vernal air,

But April-drops our tears,
Which swiftly passing, all grows fair,
Whilst beauty compensates our care,
And youth each vapour clears.



138 A TREASURY



But oh ! too soon, alas, we climb,

Scarce feeling we ascend,
The gently rising hill of Time,
From whence with grief we see that prime,

And all its sweetness end.



The die now cast, our station known,

Fond expectation past ;
The thorns, which former days had sown,
To crops of late repentance grown,

Thro' which we toil at last.



Whilst ev'ry care's a driving harm,

That helps to bear us down ;
Which faded smiles no more can charm,
But ev'ry tear's a winter storm,
And ev'ry look's a frown.



Till with succeeding ills opprest,

For joys we hop'd to find ;
By age too, rumpl'd and undrest,
We, gladly sinking down to rest,

Leave following crowds behind.

ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHILSEA.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 139



CXXIX

A SIMILE

BY this flow'ry meadow walking,

To this prattling echo talking,

As along the stream I pass,

Gazing on my floating face ;

Lo ! the ruffling winds arise,

To snatch the prospect from my eyes ;

The mimic form their fury braves,

And proudly triumphs o'er the waves ;

Yet, tho' with ev'ry wave 'tis tost,

The reflection is not lost.

Virtue wages such a strife,

In this turbulent stream of life ;

Rack'd with passions, tost with fears,

Vex'd with jealousies and cares :

But a good unspotted soul,

Tho' subject, yet knows no control

Whilst it turns on Virtue's pole.

But lo ! the clouds obscure the sun,

Swift shadows o'er the waters run !

Trembling too, my shadow flies,

And by its very likeness dies.

W. PATTISON.



I 4 o A TREASURY



cxxx
LIVE TO-DAY

SHALL man from Nature's sanction stray,

With blind Opinion for his guide,

And, rebel to her rightful sway,

Leave all her bounties unenjoy'd ?

Fool ! Time no change of motion knows ;

With equal speed the torrent flows

To sweep fame, power, and wealth away :

The past is all by death possest ;

And frugal Fate that guards the rest,

By giving, bids him live to-day.

E. FENTON.



CXXXI

THE TOPER

CONTENTED I am, and contented I'll be,
For what can this world more afford,

Than a lass who will sociably sit on my knee,
And a cellar as sociably stored,
My brave boys ?



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 141



My vault door is open, descend and improve ;

That cask, ay, that we will try ;
Tis as rich to the taste as the lips of your love,

And as bright as her cheeks to the eye,
My brave boys.

In a piece of slit hoop, see my candle is stuck,

'Twill light us each bottle to hand ;
The foot of my glass for the purpose I broke,

As I hate that a bumper should stand,
My brave boys.

Astride on a butt, as a butt should be strod,

I gallop the brusher along ;
Like grape-blessing Bacchus, the good fellow's god,

And a sentiment give, or a song,
My brave boys.

We are dry where we sit, though the oozing drops seem
With pearls the moist walls to emboss ;

From the arch mouldy cobwebs in gothic taste stream,
Like stucco-work cut out of moss,
My brave boys.

When the lamp is brimful, how the taper flame shines,
Which, when moisture is wanting, decays ;

Replenish the lamp of my life with rich wines,
Or else there's an end of my blaze,
My brave boys.



142 A TREASURY



Sound those pipes, they're in tune, and those bins are

well fffl'd,

View that heap of old Hock in your rear ;
Yon bottles are Burgundy ! mark how they're piled,
Like artillery, tier over tier,

My brave boys.

My cellar's my camp, and my soldiers my flasks,

All gloriously ranged in review ;
When I cast my eyes round, I consider my casks

As kingdoms I've yet to subdue,
My brave boys.

Like Macedon's madman, my glass I'll enjoy,

Defying hyp, gravel, or gout ;
He cried when he had no more worlds to destroy,

I'll weep when my liquor is out,
My brave boys.

On their stumps some have fought, and as stoutly will I,

When reeling, I roll on the floor ;
Then my legs must be lost, so I'll drink as I lie,

And dare the best buck to do more,
My brave boys.

Tis my will when I die, not a tear shall be shed,

No Hicjacet be cut on my stone ;
But pour on my coffin a bottle of red,

And say that his drinking is done,
My brave boys.

G. A. STEVENS.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 143



CXXXII
APOLLO MAKING LOVE

I AM, cry'd Apollo, when Daphne he woo'd,
And panting for breath, the coy virgin pursued,
When his wisdom, in manner most ample, express'd
The long list of the graces his godship possess'd,

I'm the god of sweet song, and inspirer of lays ;
Nor for lays, nor sweet song, the fair fugitive stays ;
I'm the god of the harp stop, my fairest in vain ;
Nor the harp, nor the harper, could fetch her again.

Every plant, every flower, and their virtues I know,
God of light I'm above, and of physic below ;
At the dreadful word physic, the nymph fled more fast ;
At the fatal word physic she doubled her haste.

Thou fond god of wisdom, then, alter thy phrase,
Bid her view thy young bloom, and thy ravishing rays,
Tell her less of thy knowledge, and more of thy charms,
And, my life for't, the damsel will fly to thy arms.

T. TICKELL.



144 A TREASURY



CXXXIII

CHLOE'S TRIUMPH

I SAID to my heart, between sleeping and waking,
" Thou wild thing, that always art leaping or aching,
What black, brown, or fair, in what clime, in what nation,
By turns has not taught thee a pit-a-patation ? "

Thus accused, the wild thing gave this sober reply :
" See, the heart without motion, though Celia pass by !
Not the beauty she has, not the wit that she borrows,
Give the eye any joys, or the heart any sorrows.

" When our Sappho appears, she, whose wit so refined
I am forced to applaud with the rest of mankind
Whatever she says is with spirit and fire ;
Ev'ry word I attend, but I only admire.

" Prudentia as vainly would put in her claim,
Ever gazing on heaven, though man is her aim :
Tis love, not devotion, that turns up her eyes
Those stars of this world are too good for the skies.

"But Chloe so lively, so easy, so fair,
Her wit so genteel, without art, without care :
When she comes in my way the motion, the pain,
The leapings, the achings, return all again."



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 145

O wonderful creature ! a woman of reason !
Never grave out of pride, never gay out of season ;
When so easy to guess who this angel should be,
Would one think Mrs. Howard ne'er dreamt it was she ?

C. MORDAUNT, EARL OF PETERBOROUGH.



CXXXIV

THE PLAYTHING

KITTY'S charming voice and face,
Syren-like, first caught my fancy ;

Wit and humour next take place,

And now I doat on sprightly Nancy.

Kitty tunes her pipe in vain,

With airs most languishing and dying ;
Calls me false, ungrateful swain,

And tries in vain to shoot me flying.

Nancy with resistless art,

Always humorous, gay, and witty,
Has talk'd herself into my heart,

And quite excluded tuneful Kitty.

Ah, Kitty ! Love, a wanton boy,

Now pleas'd with song, and now with prattle,
Still longing for the newest toy,

Has chang'd his whistle for a rattle.

ANON.
L



146 A TREASURY



cxxxv

I LOVED thee beautiful and kind,
And plighted an eternal vow ;

So alter'd are thy face and mind,
'Twere perjury to love thee now.

LORD NUGENT.



CXXXVI

ADVICE

CEASE, fond shepherd cease desiring
What you never must enjoy ;

She derides your vain aspiring,
She to all your sex is coy.

Cunning Damon once pursu'd her,
Yet she never would incline ;

Strephon too as vainly woo'd her

Tho' his flocks are more than thine.

At Diana's shrine aloud,

By the zone around her waist,

Thrice she bow'd, and thrice she vow'd
Like the goddess to be chaste.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 147



ANSWER

THO' I never get possession,

'Tis a pleasure to adore ;
Hope, the wretch's only blessing,

May in time procure me more.

Constant courtship may obtain her,
Where both wealth and merit fail,

And the lucky minute gain her,
Fate and fancy must prevail.

At Diana's shrine aloud,

By the bow and by the quiver,

Thrice she bow'd, and thrice she vow'd
Once to love and that for ever.

LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU.



CXXXVII

SONG

OH ! forbear to bid me slight her,
Soul and senses take her part ;

Could my death itself delight her,
Life should leap to leave my heart.

Strong, though soft, a lover's chain,

Charm'd with woe, and pleas'd with pain.



1 48 A TREASURY



Though the tender flame were dying,
Love would light it at her eyes ;

Or, her tuneful voice applying,

Through my ear my soul surprise.

Deaf, I see the fate I shun ;

Blind, I hear I am undone.

A. HILL.
CXXXVIII

MIRA'S SONG

SEE those cheeks of beauteous dye,
Lovely as the dawning sky,
Innocence that ne'er beguiles,
Lips that wear eternal smiles :
Beauties to the rest unknown,
Shine in her and her alone.

Now the rivers smoother flow,

Now the op'ning roses glow,

The woodbine twines her odorous charms

Round the oak's supporting arms :

Lilies paint the dewy ground

And ambrosia breathes around.

Come, ye gales that fan the spring,
Zephyr, with thy downy wing,
Gently waft to Mira's breast
Health, Content, and balmy Rest.
Far, O far from hence remain
Sorrow, Care, and sickly Pain.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 149

Thus sung Mira to her lyre,
Till the idle numbers tire :
"Ah ! Sappho sweeter sings," I cry,
And the spiteful rocks reply,
(Responsive to the jarring strings)
" Sweeter Sappho sweeter sings."

MARY LEAPOR.



CXXXIX

A SONG

WHEN thy beauty appears
In its graces and airs,

All bright as an angel new dropt from the sky ;
At distance I gaze, and am awed by my fears,
So strangely you dazzle my eye !



But when, without art,
Your kind thought you impart,
When your love runs in blushes through every vein ;
When it darts from your eyes, when it pants in your

heart,
Then I know you're a woman again.



150 A TREASURY



11 There's a passion and pride
In our sex," she replied,

" And thus, (might I gratify both,) I would do :
Still an angel appear to each lover beside,
But still be a woman to you."

T. PARNELL.



CXL

THE INDIFFERENT

IF from the lustre of the sun,

To catch your fleeting shade you run,

In vain is all your haste, Sir ;
But if your feet reverse the race,
The fugitive will urge the chace,

And follow you as fast, Sir.

Thus, if at any time, as now,
Some scornful Chloe you pursue,

In hopes to overtake her ;
Be sure you ne'er too eager be,
But look upon't as cold as she,

And seemingly forsake her.



OF MINOR BRITISH POE TRY 151

So I and Laura, t'other day,

Were coursing round a cock of hay,

While I could ne'er o'er get her ;
But, when I found I ran in vain,
Quite tir'd I turn'd me back again,

And, flying from her, met her.

w. PATTISON.



CXLI

TO A LADY MAKING LOVE

GOOD madam, when ladies are willing,
A man must needs look like a fool ;

For me, I would not give a shilling
For one who would love out of rule.

You should leave us to guess by your blushing,
And not speak the matter so plain ;

Tis our's to write and be pushing,
Tis your's to affect a disdain.

That you're in a terrible taking,

By all these sweet oglings I see ;
But the fruit that can fall without shaking,

Indeed is too mellow for me.

LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU.



152 A TREASURY



CXLII

AE HAPPY HOUR

THE dark grey o' gloamin',

The lone leafy shaw,
The coo o' the cushat,

The scent o' the haw ;
The brae o' the burnie

A' bloomin in flower,
An' twa faithfu' lovers,

Make ae happy hour.

A kind winsome wine,

A clean cantie hame,
An' smilin' sweet babies,

To lisp the dear name ;
Wi' plenty o' labour,

An' health to endure,
Make time to row round aye

The ae happy hour.

Ye, lost to affection,

Whom avarice can move
To woo an' to marry

For a' thing but love ;



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 153

Awa' wi' your sorrows,

Awa' wi' your store,
Ye ken na the pleasure

O' ae happy hour !

A. LAING.



CXLIII
THE SECOND MARRIAGE

" THEE, Mary, with this ring I wed,"
So, fourteen years ago, I said
Behold another ring ! " For what ? "
"To wed thee o'er again why not?"

With that first ring I married Youth,
Grace, Beauty, Innocence, and Truth ;
Taste long admir'd, sense long rever'd,
And all my Molly then appear'd.
If she, by merit since disclos'd,
Prove twice the woman I suppos'd,
I plead that double merit now,
To justify a double vow.

Here then, to-day, (with faith as sure,
With ardour as intense and pure,
As when, amidst the rites divine,
I took thy troth, and plighted mine),



154 A TREASURY



To thee, sweet girl, my second ring
A token and a pledge I bring :
With this I wed, till death us part,
Thy riper virtues to my heart ;
These virtues, which, before untry'd,
The wife has added to the bride ;
Those virtues, whose progressive claim,
Endearing wedlock's very name,
My soul enjoys, my song approves,
For Conscience' sake, as well as Love's.

For why ? They show me every hour,
Honour's high thought, affection's power,
Discretion's deed, sound Judgment's sentence,
And teach me all things but Repentance.

S. BISHOP.



CXLIV

EUPHELIA AND CLOE

THE merchant, to secure his treasure,
Conveys it in a borrowed name :

Euphelia serves to grace my measure ;
But Cloe is my real flame.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 155

My softest verse, my darling lyre,

Upon Euphelia's toilet lay ;
When Cloe noted her desire,

That I should sing, that I should play.

My lyre I tune, my voice I raise,

But with my numbers mix my sighs ;

And whilst I sing Euphelia's praise,
I fix my soul on Cloe's eyes.

Fair Cloe blushed : Euphelia frowned :

I sung and gazed : I played and trembled ;

And Venus to the Loves around

Remark'd, how ill we all dissembled.

M. PRIOR.



CXLV

THE HAPPY SWAIN

HAVE ye seen the morning sky,
When the dawn prevails on high,
When, anon, some purple ray
Gives a sample of the day,
When, anon, the lark, on wing,
Strives to soar, and strains to sing ?



156 A TREASURY



Have ye seen th' ethereal blue
Gently shedding silvery dew,
Spangling o'er the silent green,
While the nightingale, unseen,
To the moon and stars full bright,
Lonesome chants the hymn of night ?

Have ye seen the broider'd May
All her scented bloom display,
Breezes opening, every hour,
This, and that, expecting flower,
While the mingling birds prolong,
From each bush, the vernal song ?

Have ye seen the damask-rose
Her unsully'd blush disclose,
Or the lily's dewy bell,
In her glossy white, excell,
Or a garden vary'd o'er
With a thousand glories more ?

By the beauties these display,
Morning, evening, night, or day ;
By the pleasures these excite,
Endless sources of delight !
Judge, by them, the joys I find,
Since my Rosalind was kind,
Since she did herself resign
To my vows, for ever mine.

A. PHILIPS.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 157



CXLVI
SILVIA AND THE BEE

As Silvia in her garden stray'd,

Where each officious rose,
To welcome the approaching maid

With fairer beauty glows.

Transported from their dewy beds,

The new-blown lilies rise ;
Gay tulips wave their shining heads,

To please her brighter eyes.

A bee that sought the sweetest flow'r,

To this fair quarter came :
Soft humming round the fatal bow'r

That held the smiling dame.

He searched the op'ning buds with care
And flew from tree to tree :

But, Silvia, finding none so fair,
Unwisely fixed on thee.

Her hand obedient to her thought,

The rover did destroy ;
And the slain insect dearly bought

Its momentary joy.



158 A TREASURY



O, Silvia, cease your anger now
To this your guiltless foe ;

And smooth again that gentle brow,
Where lasting lilies blow.



Soft Cynthio vows when you depart,
The sun withdraws its ray,

That nature trembles like his heart,
And storms eclipse the day.



Amintor swears a morning sun's
Less brilliant than your eyes ;

And tho' his tongue at random runs,
You seldom think he lies.



They tell you, those soft lips may vie
With pinks at op'ning day;

And yet you slew a simple fly
For proving what they say.



Believe me, not a bud like thee

In this fair garden blows ;
Then blame no more the erring bee,

That took you for the rose.

MARY LEAPOR.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETR Y 159

CXLVII
SLIGHTED LOVE

THE tears I shed must ever fall,

I mourn not for an absent swain ;
For thoughts may past delights recall,


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Online LibraryJohn Churton CollinsA treasury of minor British poetry selected and arranged with notes .. → online text (page 6 of 19)