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But when their life, in its decline,
I'd advise them, when they spy
ODE, FROM CATULLUS.
ACME AND SEPTIMIUS.
Whilst on Septimius' panting breast
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 COMPLAINT. In a deep vision's intellectual scene, Beneath a bower for sorrow made,
Th' uncomfortable shade
Of the black yew's unlucky green
The melancholy Cowley lay.
A golden harp with silver strings she bore;
That art can never imitate;
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's here, to repent too late,
And Winter marches on so fast?
Had to their dearest children done,
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 Lores, 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,
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 thy 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;
By making them so oft to be
Whoever this world's happiness would see,
Must as entirely cast off thee, And upon all the quicken'd ground
As they who only Heaven desire
Do from the world retire.
Myself a demi-votary to make.
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, I 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."
HYMN TO LIGHT.
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 ravish'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 bride. No useful plant can keep alive:
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,
Vanish again invisibly,
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! (O 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, O 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 And cloudy Care has often took
must flow. A gentle beamy smile, reflected from thy look.
At thy appearance, Fear itself grows bold;
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 morning's purple bed,
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 j.
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;
To which all soon return that travel out.
CLAUDIAN'S OLD MAN OF VERONA.
DE SENE VERONENSI, QUI SUBURBIUM NUNQUAM
Felix, qui patriis, &c.
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,
Could ever into foolish wanderings get.
He never heard the shrill alarms of war,
The change of seasons is his calendar.
Autumn by huits, 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 strong 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
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.
Well, then ; I now do plainly see
This busy world and I shall ne'er agree ;
The very honey of all earthly joy
Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
And they, methinks, deserve my pity,
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,
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!
And, since love ne'er will from me flee,
A mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian-angels are,
Only belov’d, and loving me!
Oh, fountains! when in you shall I
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 moying 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, From 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.
Weak Lyre! thy virtue sure
To cure, but not to wound,
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!
In sounds that will prevail ;
Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire:
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 :