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Over the hedge depends the graping elm,
Whose greener head, empurpuled in wine,
Seemed to wonder at his bloody helm,
And half suspect the bunches of the vine,
Lest they, perhaps, his wit should undermine,
For well he knew such fruit he never bore:
But her weak arms embraced him the more,
And her with ruby grapes laugh'd at her paramour.

PHINEAS FLETCHER. 1620.

HAPPINESS OF THE SHEPAERD's life.

Turice, oh, thrice happy, shepherd's life and state !
When courts are happiness, unhappy pawns !
His cottage low and safely humble gate
Shuts out proud Fortune, with her scorns and fawns :
No feared treason breaks his quiet sleep:
Singing all day, his flocks he learns to keep;
Himself as innocent as are his simple sheep.
No Serian worms he knows, that with their thread
Draw out their silken lives : nor silken pride:
His lambs' warm fleece well fits his little need,
Not in that proud Sidonian tincture dyed :
No empty hopes, no courtly fears him fright;
Nor begging wants his middle fortune bite :
But sweet content exiles both misery and spite.

Instead of music, and base flattering tongues,
Which wait to first salute my lord's uprise ;
The cheerful lark wakes him with early songs,
And birds' sweet whistling notes unlock his eyes :
In country plays is all the strife he uses;
Or sing, or dance unto the rural Muses;
And but in music's sports all difference refuses.

His certain life, that never can deceive him,
Is full of thousand sweets and rich content:
The smooth-leaved beeches in the field receive him
With coolest shades, till noontide rage is spent :
His life is neither toss'd in boist'rous seas
Of troublous world, nor lost in slothful ease:
Pleased, and full blest he lives, when he his God can

please.
His bed of wool yields safe and quiet sleeps,
While by his side his faithful spouse hath place;
His little son into his bosom creeps,
The lively picture of his father's face:
Never his humble house nor state torment him;
Less he could like, if less his God had sent him;
And when he dies, green turfs, with grassy tomb,

content him.

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First shall the heavens want starry light,
The seas be robbed of their waves,
The day want sun, and sun want bright,
The night want shade, the dead men graves,
The April flow'rs, and leaves, and tree,
Before I false my faith to thee.
First shall the top of highest hill,
By humble plains be overpry'd,
And poets scorn the Muses' quill,
And fish forsake the water glide,
And Iris lose her colour'd weed,
Before I false thee at thy need.

First direful Hate shall turn to peace, And Love resent in deep disdain, And Death his fatal stroke shall cease, And Envy pity every pain, And Pleasure mourn, and Sorrow smile, Before I talk of any guile. First Time shall stay his stayless race, And Winter bless his brows with corn, And snow bemoisten July's face, And Winter spring, and Summer mourn, Before my pen, by help of Fame, Cease to recite thy sacred name.

ROSALIND'S MADRIGAL.
Love in my bosom, like a bee,
Doth suck his sweet:
Now with his wings he plays with me,
Now with his feet:
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 sleep, then pierceth he
With pretty slight;
And makes his pillow of my knee
The live-long night.
Strike I my lute, he tunes the string,
He music plays if I but 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 ye, when ye long to play,
For your offence;

I'll shut my eyes to keep you in, I'll make you fast it for your sin, · I'll count your power not worth a pin, Alas! what hereby shall I win?

If he gainsay me.

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What if I beat 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 bower my bosom be;
Lurk in mine eyes, I like of thee,
Oh, Cupid, so thou pity me!

Spare not, but play thee.

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When all is done and said,

In the end thus you shall find, He most of all doth bathe in bliss

That hath a quiet mind;
And clear from worldly cares

To deem can be content,
The sweetest time in all his life

In thinking to be spent.

The body subject is

To fickle Fortune's power,
And to a million of mishaps

Is casual every hour;
And death in time doth change

It to a clod of clay,
When as the mind which is divine

Runs never to decay.

46

BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.

Companion none is like

Unto the mind alone,
For many have been harm'd by speech,

Through thinking few or none.
Fear oftentimes restraineth words,

But makes not thoughts to cease;
And he speaks best that hath the skill
When for to hold his peace.

Our wealth leaves us at death,

Our kinsmen at the grave,
But virtues of the mind unto

The heavens with us we have;
Wherefore, for virtue's sake,

I can be well content
The sweetest time of all my life

To deem in thinking spent.

BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER,

1586-1616.-1576-1625.

ASPATIA.

Aspatia. Then, my good girls, be more than wom

en wise,
At least be more than I was; and be sure
You credit anything the light gives light to,
Before a man.

Rather believe the sea
Weeps for the ruin'd merchant when he roars ;
Rather the wind courts but the pregnant sails,
When the strong cordage cracks ; rather the sun
Comes but to kiss the fruit in wealthy autumn,
When all falls blasted. If you needs must love,
Forced by ill fate, take to your maiden bosoms
Two dead cold aspicks, and of them make lovers;
They cannot flatter nor forswear; one kiss

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