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But when their life, in its decline,
Touches th' inevitable line,
All the world's mortal to them then,
And wine is aconite to men;
Nay, in Death's hand, the grape-stone proves
As strong as thunder is in Jove's.

I'd advise them, when they spy
Any illustrious piety,
To reward her, if it be she-
To reward him, if it be her
With such a husband, such a wife,
With Acme's and Septimius' life.



Whilst on Septimius' panting breast
(Meaning nothing less than rest)
Acme lean'd her loving head,
Thus the pleas'd Septimius said:

My dearest Acme, if I be Once alive, and love not thee With a passion far above All that e'er was called love ; In a Libyan desert may I become some lion's prey ; Let him, Acme, let him tear My breast, when Acme is not there."

The god of love, who stood to hear him,
(The god of love was always near him,)
Pleas'd and tickled with the sound,
Sneez'd aloud ; and all around
The little Loves, that waited by,
Bow'd, and blest the augury.
Acme, inflam'd with what he said,
Rear'd her gently-bending head ;
And, her purple mouth with joy
Stretching to the delicious boy,
Twice (and twice could scarce suffice)
She kiss'd his drunken rolling eyes.

THE COMPLAINT. In a deep vision's intellectual scene, Beneath a bower for sorrow made,

Th' uncomfortable shade

of the black yew's unlucky green Mixt with the mourning willow's careful grey Where reverend Cham cuts out his famous way,

The melancholy Cowley lay.
And lo! a Muse appear'd to's closed sight,
(The Muses oft in lands of vision play)
Body'd, array'd, and seen, by an internal light.
A golden harp with silver strings she bore;
A wondrous hieroglyphic robe she wore,
In which all colors and all figures were,
That Nature or that Fancy can create,

That art can never imitate;
And with loose pride it wanton'd in the air.
In such a dress, in such a well-cloth'd dream,
She us'd, of old, near fair Ismenus' stream,
Pindar, her Theban favorite, to meet;
A crown was on her head, and wings were on her

feet. She touch'd him with her harp, and rais'd him fror.

the ground; The shaken strings melodiously resound.

“Art thou return'd at last," said she,

"To this forsaken place and me? Thou prodigal! who didst so loosely waste Of all thy youthful years the good estate;

Art thou return'd here, to repent too late,
And gather husks of learning up at last,
Now the rich harvest-time of life is past,

And Winter marches on so fast ?
But, when I meant t'adopt thee for my son,
And did as learn'd a portion assign,
As ever any of the mighty Nine

Had to their dearest children done,
When I resolv'd t'exalt thy anointed name,
Among the spiritual lords of peaceful fame;
Thou, changeling! thou, bewitch'd with noise and

show, Would'st into courts and cities from me go; Would'st see the world abroad, and have a share In all the follies and the tumults there : Thou wouldst, forsooth, be something in a state, And business thou would'st find, and would'st


Business! the frivolous pretence
Of human lusts, to shake off innocence;

Business! the grave impertinence;
Business! the thing which I of all things hate ;
Business! the contradiction of thy fate.

“My little life, my all!" (said she)
So may we ever servants be
To this best god, and ne'er retain
Our hated liberty again!
So may thy passion last for me,
As I a passion have for thee,
Greater and fiercer much than can
Be conceiv'd by thee a man!
Into my marrow is it gone,
Fixt and settled in the bone;
It reigns not only in my heart,
But runs, like life, through every part.”
She spoke ; the god of love aloud
Sneez'd again ; and all the crowd
Of little Loves, that waited by,
Bow'd, and bless'd the augury.

This good omen thus from Heaven
Like a happy signal given,
Their loves and lives (all four) embrace,
And hand in hand run all the race.
To poor Septimius (who did now
Nothing else but Acme grow)
Acme's bosom was alone
The whole world's imperial throne;
And to faithful Acme's mind
Septimius was all human-kind.

“Go, renegado! cast up thy account,

And see to what amount

Thy foolish gains by quitting me: The sale of knowledge, fame, and liberty, The fruits of thy unlearn'd apostasy. Thou thought'st, if once the public storm were


If the gods would please to be But advis'd for once by me,


All thy remaining life should sunshine be; The foolish sports I did on thee bestow,
Behold! the public storm is spent at last, Make all my art and labor fruitless now;
The sovereign's tost at sea no more,

Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever And thou, with all the noble company,

grow. Art got at last to shore. But, whilst thy fellow-voyagers I see

" When my new mind had no infusion known, All march'd up to possess the promis'd land, Thou gav'st so deep a tincture of thine own, Thou, still alone, alas! dost gaping stand

That ever since I vainly try Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand !

To wash away th' inherent dye:

Long work perhaps may spoil ihy colors quite, ** As a fair morning of the blessed spring,

But never will reduce the native white: After a tedious stormy night,

To all the ports of honor and of gain, Such was the glorious entry of our king;

I often steer my course in vain;
Enriching moisture drop'd on every thing: Thy gale comes cross, and drives me back again.
Plenty he sow'd below, and cast about him light! Thou slack’nest all my nerves of industry,
But then, alas! to thee alone,

By making them so oft to be
One of old Gideon's miracles was shown; The tinkling strings of thy loose minstrelsy
For every tree and every herb around

Whoever this world's happiness would see,
With pearly dew was crown'd,

Must as entirely cast off thee, And upon all the quicken'd ground

As they who only Heaven desire
The fruitful seed of Heaven did brooding lie,

Do from the world retire.
And nothing but the Muse's fleece was dry. This was my error, this my gross mistake,
It did all other threats surpass,

Myself a demi-votary to make.
When God to his own people said

Thus, with Sapphira and her husband's fate, The men whom through long wanderings he had led) (A fault which I, like them, am taught too late,

That he would give them ev'n a Heaven of For all that I gave up I nothing gain, brass :

And perish for the part which I retain They look'd up to that Heaven in vain, That bounteous Heaven, which God did not re- "Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse! strain

The court, and better king, t'accuse : Upon the most unjust to shine and rain

The heaven under which I live is fair,

The fertile soil will a full harvest bear: "The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more Thine, thine is all the barrenness; if thou

Thou didst with faith and labor serve, Mak’st me sit still and sing, when I should plow And didst (if faith and labor can) deserve, When I but think how many a tedious year Though she contracted was to thee,

Our patient sovereign did attend Given to another thou didst see,

His long misfortunes' fatal end ; Given to another, who had store

How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, Or fairer and of richer wives before,

On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend; And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be! I ought to be accurst, if I refuse Go on ; twice seven years more thy fortune try; To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse! Twice seven years more God in his bounty may Kings have long hands, they say; and, though I be Give thee, to fling away

So distant, they may reach at length to me. Into the court's deceitful lottery :

However, of all the princes, thou But think how likely 'tis that thou, Should'st not reproach rewards for being small or With the dull work of thy unwieldly plow,

slow; Should'st in a hard and barren season thrive, Thou! who rewardest but with popular breath, Should'st even able be to live;

And that too after death."
Thou, to whose share so little bread did fall,
In that miraculous year, when manna rain’d on all.”
Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile,

That seem'd at once to pity and revile.
And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head, FIRST-BORN of Chaos, who so fair didst come
The melancholy Cowley said-

From the old Negro's darksome womb! “Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid

Which, when it saw the lovely child, The ills which thou thyself hast made? The melancholy mass put on kind looks and When in the cradle innocent I lay,

smil'd; Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away, And my abused soul didst bear

Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know, Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,

But ever ebb and ever fluw! Thy golden Indies in the air ;

Thou golden shower of a true Jove! And ever since I strive in vain

Who does in thee descend, and Heaven to Earth My ravislı'd freedom to regain;

make love! Still I rebel, still thou dost reign; Lo! still in verse against thee I complain. Hail, active Nature's watchful life and healtn There is a sort of stubborn weeds,

Her joy, her ornament, and wealth! Which, if the earth but once, it ever, breeds;

Hail to thy husband, Heat, and thee! No wholesome herb can near them thrive, Thou the world's beauteous bride, the lusty brideNo useful plant can keep alive:

groom he!

Say, from what golden quivers of the sky The ghosts, and monster-spirits, that did presume Do all thy winged arrows fly?

A body's privilege to assume,
Swiftness and Power by birth are thine :

Vanish again invisibly,
From thy great sire they came, thy sire, the Word And bodies gain again their visibility.

All the world's bravery, that delights our eyes, "Tis, I believe, this archery to show,

Is but thy several liveries; That so much cost in colors thou,

Thou the rich dye on them bestow'st, And skill in painting, dost bestow

Thy nimble pencil paints this landscape as thor Upon thy ancient arms, the gaudy heavenly bow. go'st. Swift as light thoughts their empty career run,

A crimson garment in the rose thou wear'st; Thy race is finish'd when begun;

A crown of studded gold thou bear'st; Let a post-angel start with thee,

The virgin-lilies, in their white, And thou the goal of Earth shalt reach as soon as he. Are clad but with the lawn of almost naked light Thou in the Moon's bright chariot, proud and gay, The violet, Spring's little infant, stands Dost thy bright wood of stars survey!

Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands. And all the year dost with thee bring

On the fair tulip thou dost doat; Of thousand flowery lights thine own nocturnal Thou cloth'st it in a gay and party-color'd coat. spring.

With flame condens'd thou do'st thy jewels fix, Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above

And solid colors in it mix : The Sun's gilt tents for ever move,

Flora herself envies to see And still, as thou in pomp dost go,

Flowers fairer than her own, and durable as she The shining pageants of the world attend thy show.

Ah, goddess! would thou could'st thy hand withhold

And be less liberal to gold! Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn

Did'st thou less value to it give, The humble glow-worms to adorn,

of how much care, alas! might'st thou poor man And with those living spangles gild

relieve! (0 greatness without pride!) the bushes of the field.

To me the Sun is more delightful far,

And all fair days much fairer are. Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright,

But few, ah! wondrous few, there be, And Sleep, the lazy owl of night;

Who do not gold prefer, 0 goddess ! ev'n to thee Asham'd, and fearful to appear, They screen their horrid shapes with the black Through the soft ways of Heaven, and air, and sea hemisphere.

Which open all their pores to thee,

Like a clear river thou dost glide, With them there hastes, and wildly takes th’alarm, And with thy living stream through the close chan Of painted dreams a busy swarm:

nels slide. At the first opening of thine eye The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly.

But, where firm bodies thy free course oppose,

Gently thy source the land o'erflows; The guilty serpents, and obscener beasts,

Takes there possession, and does make Creep, conscious, to their secret rests :

Of colors mingled light, a thick and standing lake Nature to thee does reverence pay, Il omens and ill sights removes out of thy way.

But the vast ocean of unbounded day,

In th' empyrean Heaven does stay. At thy appearance, Grief itself is said

Thy rivers, lakes, and springs, below, To shake his wings, and rouse his head :

From thence took first their rise, thither at last

must flow. And cloudy Care has often took A gentle beamy smile, reflected from thy look.

At thy appearance, Fear itself grows bold;

Thy sun-shine molts away his cold.
Encouraged at the sight of thee,

Hope! whose weak being ruin'd is, To the cheek color comes, and firmness to the Alike, if it succeed, and if it miss ; knee.

Whom good or ill does equally confound,

And both the horns of Fate's dilemma wound : Ev'n Lust, the master of a harden'd face,

Vain shadow! which does vanish quite, Blushes, if thou be'st in the place,

Both at full noon and perfect night! To Darkness' curtains he retires;

The stars have not a possibility In sympathizing night he rolls his smoky fires. Of blessing thee;

If things then from their end we happy call, When, goddess ! thou lift'st up thy waken'd head, "Tis hope is the most hopeless thing of all.

Out of the mornings purple bed,
Thy quire of birds about thee play,

Hope! thou bold taster of delight, [quite: And all the joyful world salutes the rising day. Who, whilst thou should'st but taste, devour'st i


Thou bring’st us an estate, yet leav'st us poor,

Fruition more deceitful is By clogging it with legacies before!

Than thou canst be, when thou dost miss ; The joys which we entire should wed, Men leave thee by obtaining, and straight flee Come deflower'd virgins to our bed;

Some other way again to thee ;
Goed fortunes without gain imported be, And that's a pleasant country, without doubt
Such mighty custom's paid to thee.

To which all soon return that travel out.
For joy, like wine, kept close does better taste;
If it take air before, its spirits waste.
Hope! Fortune's cheating lottery!

Where for one prize an hundred blanks there be ;
Fend archer, Hope! who tak'st thy aim so far,

That still or short or wide thine arrows are !
Thin, empty cloud, which th' eye deceives

Felix, qui patriis, &c.
With shapes that our own fancy gives !
A cloud, which gilt and painted now appears,

Happy the man, who his whole time doth bound But must drop presently in tears !

Within th' inclosure of his little ground. When thy false beams o'er Reason's light prevail, Happy the man, whom the same humble place By ignes fatui for north-stars we sail.

(Th' hereditary cottage of his race)

From his first rising infancy has known, Brother of Fear, more gayly clad!

And by degrees sees gently bending down,
The merrier fool o' th' two, yet quite as mad: With natural propension, to that earth
Sire of Repentance! child of fond Desire ! Which both preserv'd his life, and gave him birth
That blow'st the chymics', and the lovers', fire, Him no false distant lighis, by fortune set,
Leading them still insensibly on

Could ever into foolish wanderings get.
By the strange witchcraft of “anon!" He never dangers either saw or fear'd.
By thee the one does changing Nature, through The dreadful storms at sea he never heard.
Her endless labyrinths, pursue ;

He never heard the shrill alarms of war,
And th' other chases woman, whilst she goes Or the worse noises of the lawyers' bar.
More ways and turns than hunted Nature knows. No change of consuls marks to him the year.

The change of seasons is his calendar.
The cold and heat, winter and summer shows,

Autumn by fuits, and spring by flowers, he knows:

He measures time by land-marks, and has found Hope! of all ills that men endure,

For the whole day the dial of his ground. The only cheap and universal cure!

A neighboring wood, born with himself, he sees, Thou captive's freedom, and thou sick man's health! And loves his old contemporary trees. Thou loser's victory, and thou beggar's wealth !

He 'as only heard of near Verona's name, Thou manna, which from Heaven we eat,

And knows it, like the Indies, but by fame. To every taste a several meat!

Does with a like concernment notice take Thou strung retreat! thou sure-entail'd estate,

Of the Red-sea, and of Benacus' lake. Which nought has power to alienate!

Thus health and strength he to a third age enjoys Thou pleasant, honest flatterer! for none

And sees a long posterity of boys. Flatter unhappy men, but thou alone!

About the spacious world let others roam,

The voyage, life, is longest made at home.
Hope! thou first-fruits of happiness!
Thou gentle dawning of a bright success!
Thou good preparative, without which our joy
Does work too strong, and, whilst it cures, destroy !

Who out of Fortune's reach dost stand,

Well, then; I now do plainly see
And art a blessing still in hand!

This busy world and I shall ne'er agree ;
Whilst thee, her earnest-money, we retain,

The very honey of all earthly joy
We certain are to gain,

Does of all meats the soonest cloy ;
Whether she her bargain break or else fulfil ;

And they, methinks, deserve my pity,
Thou only good, not worse for ending ill!

Who for it can endure the stings,
Brother of Faith! 'twixt whom and thee

The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,
The joys of Heaven and Earth divided be!

of this great hive, the city. Though Faith be heir, and have the fixt estate, Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave, Thy portion yet in movables is great.

May I a small house and large garden have! Happiness itself's all one

And a few friends, and many books, both true, In thee, or in possession!

Both wise, and both delightful too! Only the future's thine, the present his !

And, since love ne'er will from me flee, Thine's the more hard and noble bliss :

A mistress moderately fair, Best apprehender of our joys! which hast

And good as guardian-angels are,
So long a reach, and yet canst hold so fast!

Only belov'd, and loving me!
Hope! thou sad lovers' only friend !

Oh, fountains ! when in you shall I
Thou Way, that may'st dispute it with the End ! Myself, eas’d of unpeaceful thoughts, espy?
For love, I fear, 's a fruit that does delight Oh fields! oh woods! when, when shall I be made
The taste itself less than the smell and sight.

The happy tenant of your shade ?

Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood; Though so exalted she Where all the riches lie, that she

And I so lowly be, Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.

Tell her, such different notes make all thy har

mony. Pride and ambition here

Hark! how the strings awake: Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear;

And, though the moving hand approach not near, Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter,

Themselves with awful fear, And nought but Echo flatter.

A kind of numerous trembling make. The gods, when they descended, hither

Now all thy forces try, t'rom Heaven did always choose their way ;

Now all thy charms apply, And therefore we may boldly say,

Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.
That 'tis the way too thither.
How happy here should I,

Weak Lyre! thy virtue sure
And one dear she, live, and embracing die! Is useless here, since thou art only found
She, who is all the world, and can exclude

To cure, but not to wound,
In deserts solitude.

And she to wound, but not to cure. I should have then this only fear

Too weak too wilt thou prove Lest men, when they my pleasures see,

My passion to remove, Should hither throng to live like me,

Physic to other ills, thou’rt nourishment to love. And so make a city here.

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre!
For thou canst never tell my humble tale

In sounds that will prevail ;

Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire:
AWAKE, awake, my Lyre!

All thy vain mirth lay by, And tell thy silent master's humble tale

Bid thy strings silent lie, In sounds that may prevail ;

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre; and let thy master Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire :


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