R. M. (Robert Maynard) Leonard.

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That fainting gasp of breath which first we vent,
Is a dumb show ; presents the argument.
Our new-bom cries, that new-born griefs bewray,
Are the sad prologue of the ensuing play.
False hopes, true fears, vain joys, and fierce distracts,
Are like the music that divides the Acts.
Time holds the glass, and when the hour 's outrun,
Death strikes the epilogue, and the play is done.

F. QUARLES.



767. SWEET PHOSPHOR

WILL 't ne'er be morning ? Will that promised light
Ne'er break, and clear those clouds of night ?
Sweet Phosphor, bring the day,

Whose conquering ray
May chase these fogs : sweet Phosphor, bring the day.

Let those have night that slily love to immure

Their cloistered crimes, and sin secure ;
Let those have night that blush to let men know

The baseness they ne'er blush to do ;
Let those have night that love to take a nap,

And loll in Ignorance's lap :

Let those whose eyes, like owls, abhor the light,
Let those have night, that love the night :
Sweet Phosphor, bring the day :

How sad delay
Afflicts dull hopes ! sweet Phosphor, bring the day.

F. QUARLES.



768. HOW SHOULD I YOUR TRUE LOVE KNOW



As you came from the holy land

Of Walsingham,
Met you not with my true love,

By the way, as you came ?



How shall I know your true love,
That have met many one,

As I went to the holy land,
That have come, that have gone?



RALEGH



387



She is neither white, nor brown ;

But as the heavens fair !
There is none hath a form so divine,

In the earth, or the air !

Such a one did I meet, good sir,

Such an angelic face,
Who like a queen, like a nymph,
did appear

By her gait, by her grace.

She hath left me here all alone,
All alone, as unknown ;

Who sometimes did me lead with

herself,
And me loved as her own.

What's the cause that she leaves
you alone,

And a new way doth take ;
Who loved you once as her own,

And her joy did you make ?



I have loved her all my youth,
But now old, as you see,

Love likes not the falling fruit
From the withered tree.

Know that Love is a careless

child,

And forgets promise past ;
He is blind ; he is deaf when he

list,
And in faith never fast !



His desire is a dureless content,
And a trustless joy.

He is won, with a world of despair ;
And is lost, with a toy.

Of womenkind such indeed is the

love,

Or the word love abused ;
Under which many childish desires

And conceits are excused.
But true love is a durable fire,

In the mind ever burning,
Never sick, never old, never dead,

From itself never turning. SIR W. RALEGH.

769. THE CONCLUSION
EVEN such is Time, which takes in trust

Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust ;

Who, in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days ;
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust. SIR W. RALEGH.

770. HIS PILGRIMAGE



GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,

My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true

gage;

And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

Blood must be my body's balmer ;

No other balm will there be

given ;

Whilst my soul, like quiet palmer,
Travelleth towards the land of
heaven ;



Over the silver mountains,

Where spring the nectar fountains:
There will I kiss
The bowl of bliss ;

And drink mine everlasting fill

Upon every milken hill.

My soul will be a-dry before ;

But, after, it will thirst no more.

Of death and judgement, heaven

and hell
Who oft doth think, must needs

die well. SIR W. RALEGH.



388 RALEGH



771. THE NYMPH'S REPLY TO THE PASSIONATE
SHEPHERD

IF all the world and love were young.
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.

But Time drives flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold ;
And Philomel becometh dumb ;
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade ; and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields :
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy-buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs,
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last, and love still breed,
Had joys no date, nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy love.

SIB W. RALEGH. 1



772. LIFE'S TRAGI-COMEDY

WHAT is our life ? A play of passion :
Our mirth ? The music of division.
Our mothers' wombs the tiring-houses be,
Where we are dressed for this short comedy.
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is,
That sits and marks still who do act amiss.
Our graves that hide us from the searching sun,
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest ;
Only we die in earnest ; that 's no jest.

SIR W. RALEGH.

1 See Marlowe's poem, No. 038.



RAMSAY RANDOLPH 389



773. AN THOU WERE MY AIN THING

AN thou were iny ain thing,
I would love thee, I would love thee ;
An thou were my ain thing
How dearly I would love thee.

Like bees that suck the morning dew,
Frae flowers of sweetest scent and hue,
Sae wad I dwell upon thy mow
And gar the gods envy me.

Sae lang 's I had the use of light
I'd on thy beauties feast my sight,
Syne in saft whispers through the night
I'd tell how much I loved thee.

I'd grasp thee to this breast of mine,
Whilst thou like ivy or the vine
Around my stronger limbs should twine,

Formed handy to defend thee. A. RAMSAY,



774. THE POET

FROM witty men and mad
All poetry conception had.

No sires but these will poetry admit :
Madness or wit.

This definition poetry doth fit :
It is witty madness, or mad wit.

Only these two poetic heat admits :

A witty man, or one that's out of 's wits.

T. RANDOLPH.



775. I HAVE A MISTRESS, FOR PERFECTIONS RARE

I HAVE a mistress, for perfections rare

In every eye, but in my thought most fair.

Like tapers on the altar shine her eyes ;

Her breath is the perfume of sacrifice ;

And wheresoe'er my fancy would begin,

Still her perfection lets religion in.

We sit and talk, and kiss away the hours

As chastely as the morning dews kiss flowers :

I touch her, like my beads, with devout care,

And come unto my courtship as my prayer.

T. RANDOLPH.



390



RAVENSCROFT ROGERS



776. WE BE THREE POOR MARINERS



WE be three poor mariners,

Newly come from the seas ;
We spend our lives in jeopardy,

While others live at ease.
Shall we go dance the round,
around ?

Shall we go dance the round ?
And he that is a bully-boy

Come, pledge me on this ground !



We care not for those martial men

That do our states disdain ;
But we care for th ose merchant men

That do our states maintain :
To them we dance this round,
around,

To them we dance this round ;
And he that is a bully-boy

Come, pledge me on this ground !
T. RAVENSCROFT.



777. AN ITALIAN SONG

DEAR is my little native vale,

The ring-dove builds and murmurs there ;
Close by my cot she tells her tale

To every passing villager.
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.

In orange groves and myrtle-bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,

I charm the fairy-footed hours

With my loved lute's romantic sound ;

Or crowns of living laurel weave

For those that win the race at eve.

The shepherd's horn at break of day,

The ballet danced in twilight glade,
The canzonet and roundelay

Sung in the silent greenwood shade ;
These simple joys, that never fail,
Shall bind me to my native vale. S. ROGERS.



778. MELANCHOLY

Go you may call it madness, folly ;

You shall not chase my gloom away.
There's such a charm in melancholy,

I would not, if I could, be gay.

Oh, if you knew the pensive pleasure
That fills my bosom when I sigh,

You would not rob me of a treasure
Monarchs are too poor to buy !



S. ROGERS.



ROGERS 391



779. MINE BE A COT BESIDE THE HILL
MINE be a cot beside the hill ;

A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear ;
A willowy brook, that turns a mill,

With many a fall shall linger near.

The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch,

Shall twitter from her clay-built nest ;
Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,

And share my meal, a welcome guest.

Around my ivied porch shall spring

Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew ;

And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing
In russet-gown and apron blue.

The village-church, among the trees,

Where first our marriage-vows were given,

With merry peals shall swell the breeze,

And point with taper spire to Heaven. S. ROGERS.

780. NATURE'S GIFT

NATURE denied him much,

But gave him at his birth what most he values :
A passionate love for music, sculpture, painting,
For poetry, the language of the gods,
For all things here, or grand or beautiful,
A setting sun, a lake among the mountains,
The light of an ingenuous countenance,
And, what transcends them all, a noble action.

S. ROGERS (Italy).
781. VENICE

THERE is a glorious City in the sea.
The sea is in the broad, the narrow streets,
Ebbing and flowing ; and the salt sea-weed
Clings to the marble of her palaces.
No track of men, no footsteps to and fro,
Lead to her gates. The path lies o'er the sea,
Invisible ; and from the land we went,
As to a floating city steering in,
And gliding up her streets as in a dream,
So smoothly, silently by many a dome
Mosque-like, and many a stately portico,
The statues ranged along an azure sky ;
By many a pile in more than eastern pride,
Of old the residence of merchant-kings ;
The fronts of some, though Time had shattered them,
Still glowing with the richest hues of art,
As though the wealth within them had run o'er.

S. ROGERS (Italy).



392 ROGERS ROSSETTI



782. THE ROBIN'S GRAVE

TREAD lightly here, for here, 'tis said,

When piping winds are hushed around,

A small note wakes from underground,

Where now his tiny bones are laid.

No more in lone and leafless groves,

With ruffled wing and faded breast,

His friendless, homeless spirit roves;

Gone to the world where birds are blessed !

Where never cat glides o'er the green,

Or schoolboy's giant form is seen ;

But Love, and Joy, and smiling Spring

Inspire their little souls to sing. S. ROGERS.



783. UP-HILL

DOES the road wind up-hill all the way ?

Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day ?

From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place ?

A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face ?

You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night ?

Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight ?

They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak ?

Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek ?

Yea, beds for all who come. C. G. ROSSETTI.



784. A BIRTHDAY

MY heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a watered shoot ;
My heart is like an apple-tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit ;
My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea ;
My heart is gladder than all these,

Because my love is come to me.



ROSSETTI



393



Raise me a dais of silk and down ;

Hang it with vair and purple dyes ;
Carve it in doves, and pomegranates,

And peacocks with a hundred eyes ;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,

In leaves, and silver fleurs-de-lys ;
Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.

C. G. ROSSETTI.

785. REST

O EARTH, lie heavily upon her eyes ;

Seal her sweet eyes weary of watching, Earth ;

Lie close around her ; leave no room for mirth

With its harsh laughter, nor for sound of sighs.

She hath no questions, she hath no replies,

Hushed in and curtained with a blessed dearth

Of all that irked her from the hour of birth ;

With stillness that is almost Paradise.

Darkness more clear than noonday holdeth her,

Silence more musical than any song ;

Even her very heart has ceased to stir :

Until the morning of Eternity

Her rest shall not begin nor end, but be ;

And when she wakes she will not think it long.

C. G. ROSSETTI.



786. ROSES FOR THE FLUSH OF YOUTH



OH roses for the flush of youth,
And laurel for the perfect
prime ;

But pluck an ivy branch for me
Grown old before my time.



Oh violets for the grave of youth,
And bay for those dead in their

prime ;

Give me the withered leaves I chose
Before in the old time.

C. G. ROSSETTI.



787. WHEN I AM DEAD, MY DEAREST



WHEN I am dead, my dearest,

Sing no sad songs for me ;
Plant thou no roses at my head,

Nor shady cypress tree :
Be the green grass above me

With showers and dewdrops

wet :
And if thou wilt, remember,

And if thou wilt, forget.



I shall not see the shadows,

I shall not feel the rain ;
I shall not hear the nightingale

Sing on, as if in pain :
And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,

And haply may forget.

C. G. ROSSETTI.



394



ROSSETTI



788. THE BLESSED DAMOZEL



THE blessed Damozel leaned out

From the gold bar of Heaven ;

Her eyes knew more of rest and

shade

Than waters stilled at even ;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were
seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
No wrought flowers did adorn,

But a white rose of Mary's gift,
For service meetly worn ;

And her hair lying down her back
Was yellow like ripe corn.

Her seemed she scarce had been
a day

One of God's choristers ;
The wonder was not yet quite gone

From that still look of hers ;
Albeit, to them she left, her day

Had counted as ten years.

(To one, it is ten years of years.

. . . Yet now, and in this place,

Surely she leaned o'er me her

hair

Fell all about my face . . .
Nothing : the Autumn fall of

leaves.
The whole year sets apace.)

It was the rampart of God's house
That she was standing on;

By God built over the sheer depth
The which is Space begun ;

So high, that looking downward

thence
She scarce could see the sun.

It lies in Heaven, across the flood

Of ether, as a bridge.
Beneath, the tides of day and

night

With flame and blackness ridge
The void, as low as where this

earth
Spins like a fretful midge.



She scarcely heard her sweet new

friends :

Playing at holy games,
Softly they spake among them-
selves

Their virginal chaste names ;
And the souls, mounting up to

God,
Went by her like thin flames.

And still she bowed above the vast
Waste sea of worlds that swarm;

Until her bosom must have made
The bar she leaned on warm,

And the lilies lay as if asleep
Along her bended arm.

From the fixed place of Heaven,

she saw

Time like a pulse shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze

still strove

Within the gulf to pierce
Its path ; and now she spoke, as

when
The stars sung in their spheres.

The sun was gone now. The

curled moon

Was like a little feather
Fluttering far down the gulf.

And now
She spoke through the still

weather.
Her voice was like the voice the

stars
Had when they sung together.

' I wish that he were come to

me,

For he will come,' she said.
' Have I not prayed in Heaven ?

on earth,

Lord, Lord, has he not prayed ?
Are not two prayers a perfect

strength ?
And shall I feel afraid ?



ROSSETTI



395



' When round his head the aureole

clings,

And he is clothed in white,
I'll take his hand and go with him

To the deep wells of light,
And we will step down as to a

stream

And bathe there in God's sight.
' We two will stand beside that

shrine,

Occult, withheld, untrod,
Whose lamps are stirred continually
With prayers sent up to God;
And see our old prayers, granted,

melt

Each like a little cloud.
' We two will lie i' the shadow of

That living mystic tree,
Within whose secret growth the

Dove

Is sometimes felt to be,
While every leaf that His plumes

touch

Saith His Name audibly.
* And I myself will teach to him,

I myself, lying so,
The songs I sing here ; which his

voice

Shall pause in, hushed and slow,
And find some knowledge at each

pause,

Or some new thing to know.'
(Ah sweet ! Just now, in that

bird's song,

Strove not her accents there
Fain to be hearkened ? When

those bells

Possessed the midday air,
Was she not stepping to my side
Down all the trembling stair ?)
' We two,' she said, ' will seek the

groves

Where the Lady Mary is,
With her five handmaidens, whose

names

Are five sweet symphonies,
Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,
Margaret, and Rosalys.



' Circlewise sit they, with bound

locks

And foreheads garlanded ;
Into the fine cloth white like

flame

Weaving the golden thread,
To fashion the birth-robes for

them

Who are just born, being dead.
* He shall fear, haply, and be

dumb;

Then I will lay my cheek
To his, and tell about our love,

Not once abashed or weak :
And the dear Mother will approve

My pride, and let me speak.
' Herself shall bring us, hand in

hand

To Him round whom all souls
Kneel, the unnumbered ransomed

heads

Bowed with their aureoles :
And angels meeting us shall sing

To their citherns and citoles.
'There will I ask of Christ the

Lord

Thus much for him and me :
Only to live as once on earth

At peace only to be
As then awhile, for ever now

Together, I and he.'
She gazed, and listened, and then

said,

Less sad of speech than mild,
' All this is when he comes.' She



The light thrilled past her, filled

With angels in strong level lapse.

Her eyes prayed, and she smiled.

(I saw her smile.) But soon their

flight

Was vague in distant spheres;
And then she laid her arms along

The golden barriers,
And laid her face between her

hands,

And wept. (I heard her tears.)
D. G. ROSSETTI.



396 ROWLANDS ROYDON



789. FROM ' OUR BLESSED LADY'S LULLABY

UPON my lap my Sovereign sits,

And sucks upon my breast ;
Meanwhile his love sustains my life,
And gives my body rest.
Sing lullaby, my little boy !
Sing lullaby, my life's joy !

When thou hast taken thy repast,

Repose, my babe, on me !
So may thy mother and thy nurse
Thy cradle also be.

Sing lullaby, my little boy !
Sing lullaby, my life's joy !



My babe, my bliss, my child, my choice,

My fruit, my flower, and bud ;
My Jesus, and my only joy,
The sum of all my good !
Sing lullaby, my little boy !
Sing lullaby, my life's joy !

R. ROWLANDS.



790. SIDNEY

A SWEET attractive kind of grace,
A full assurance given by looks,
Continual comfort in a face,

The lineaments of Gospel books !
I trow that countenance cannot lie
Whose thoughts are legible in the eye.

Was ever eye did see that face,

Was ever ear did hear that tongue,
Was ever mind did mind his grace
That ever thought the travel long ?
But eyes and ears, and every thought
Were with his sweet perfections caught.



Did never love so sweetly breathe

In any mortal breast before,
Did never Muse inspire beneath
A poet's brain with finer store ;
He wrote of love with high conceit,
And beauty reared above her height.

M. ROYDON (Friend's Passion for Ms AstropJiill}.



RUSKIN-S4CKVILLE



397



791. ALAS, FOR MAN !



ALAS, for man! who hath no sense
Of gratefulness nor confidence,
But still rejects and raves;
That all God's love can hardly

win
One soul from taking pride in

sin,
And pleasures over graves.

J.



But teach me, God, a milder
thought,

Lest I, of all Thy blood hathbought,
Least honourable be ;

And this that moves me to con-
demn,

Be rather want of love for them,
Than jealousy for Thee.

RUSKIN (Mont Blanc Revisited).



792. DORINDA

DORINDA'S sparkling wit and eyes

United, cast too fierce a light,
Which blazes high, but quickly dies ;

Pains not the heart, but hurts the sight.

Love is a calmer, gentler joy ;

Smooth are his looks, and soft his pace;
Her Cupid is a blackguard boy,

That runs his link full in your face.

C. SACKVILLE, EARL OF DORSET.



793. MAY THE AMBITIOUS EVER FIND

MAY the ambitious ever find

Success in crowds and noise,
While gentle love does fill my mind

With silent real joys.

May knaves and fools grow rich and great,

And the world think them wise,
While I lie dying at her feet,

And all that world despise !

Let conquering kings new triumphs raise,

And melt in court delights ;
Her eyes can give much brighter days,

Her arms much softer nights.

C. SACKVILLE, EARL OF DORSET.



PHYLLIS, for shame, let us improve
A thousand several ways,

These few short minutes stolen by

love
From many tedious days.



want courage to



794. THE ADVICE

Whilst you
despise

The censure of the grave,
For all the tyrants in your eyes,

Your heart is but a slave.



398 SACKVILLE



My love is full of noble pride,
And never will submit

To let that fop, Discretion, ride
In triumph over wit.



False friends I have, as well as you,
That daily counsel me

Vain frivolous trifles to pursue,
And leave off loving thee.



When I the least belief bestow

On what such fools advise,
May I be dull enough to grow

Most miserably wise.

C. SACKVILLE, EARL OF DORSET.

795. A BALLAD WHEN AT SEA

To you, fair ladies, now at land,

We men at sea indite;
But, first, would have you understand

How hard it is to write.
The Muses now, and Neptune too,
We must implore, to write to you,
With a fa, la, la, la, la !

But though the Muses should be kind,

And fill our empty brain :
Yet if rough Neptune cause the wind

To rouse the azure main,
Our paper, pens, and ink, and we
Roll up and down our ships at sea,
With a fa, la, la, la, la !

Then if we write not by each post,

Think not that we're unkind !
Nor yet conclude that we are lost

By Dutch, by French, or wind.
Our griefs will find a speedier way:
The tide shall bring them twice a day,
With a fa, la, la, la, la !

The King, with wonder and surprise,

Will think the sea 's grown bold,
For that the tide does higher rise

Than e'er it did of old.
But let him know that 'tis our tears
Send floods of grief to Whitehall Stairs,
With a fa, la, la, la, la !

Should Count Toulouse but come to know

Our sad and dismal story,
The French would scorn so weak a foe,

Where they can get no glory,
For what resistance can they find
From men, who've left their hearts behind,
With a fa, la, la, la, la !



SACKVILLE 399



To pass our tedious time away

We throw the merry Main,
Or else at serious Ombre play.

But why should we in vain
Each other's ruin thus pursue ?
We were undone when we left you,
With a fa, la, la, la, la !

When any mournful tune you hear,

That dies in every note,
As if it sighed for each man's care,

For being so remote,
Then think how often love we've made
To you, while all those tunes were played
With a fa, la, la, la, la !

Let wind and weather do their worst,

Be you to us but kind,
Let Frenchmen vapour, Dutchmen curse,

No sorrows we shall find.
'Tis then no matter how things go,
Nor who 's our friend, nor who 's our foe,
With a fa, la, la, la, la !

Thus, having told you all our loves,

And likewise all our fears,
In hopes this declaration moves

Some pity to our tears,
Let 's hear of no inconstancy ;
We have too much of that at sea,
With a fa, la, la, la, la !

C. SACKVILLE, EARL OF DORSET.



796. MISERY

His face was lean, and some-deal pined away,
And eke his hands consumed to the bone,
But what his body was I cannot say,
For on his carcass raiment had he none
Save clouts and patches, pieced one by one ;
With staff in hand, and scrip on shoulders cast,
His chief defence against the winter's blast.

His food, for most, was wild fruits of the tree,
Unless sometime some crumbs fell to his share,
Which in his wallet long, God wot, kept he
As on the which full daintily would he fare ;
His drink, the running stream, his cup, the bare
Of his palm closed ; his bed, the hard cold ground ;
To this poor life was Misery ybound.
T. SACKVILLE, EARL OF DORSET (The Mirrour for Magistrates).



400



SCOTT



797. ODE ON HEARING THE DRUM

I HATE that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round :
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace and glittering arms,
And when Ambition's voice commands,
To march, and fight, and fall in foreign lands.

I hate that drum's discordant sound,



Online LibraryR. M. (Robert Maynard) LeonardThe pageant of English poetry → online text (page 30 of 46)