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In pretty riddles to bewray our loves,
In questions, purpose, or in drawing gloves.
The noblest spirits, to virtue most inclined,
These here in court thy greatest want do find:
Others there be, on which we feed our eye,
Like arras-work, or such like imag'ry:
Many of us desire Queen Cath'rine's state
But very few her virtues imitate,
Then, as Ulysses' wife, write I to thee,
Make no reply, but come thyself to me.



How near I am now to a happiness
That earth exceeds not; not another like it.
The treasures of the deep are not so precious
As are the conceal'd comforts of a man
Lock'd up in woman's love. I scent the air
Of blessings when I come but near the house.
What a delicious breath marriage sends forth,
The violet bed's not sweeter! Happy wedlock
Is like a banqueting-house built in a garden,
On which the spring's chaste flowers take delight
To cast their modest odours

Now for a welcome
Able to draw men's envies upon man ;
A kiss, now, that will hang upon my lip
As sweet as morning dew upon a rose,
And full as long.

BENJAMIN JONson. 1574–1637.

QUEEN and huntress, chaste and fair,

Now the sun is laid to sleep;
Seated in thy silver chair,

State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.
Earth, let not thy envious shade

Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made

Heaven to clear, when day did close; Bless us then with wished sight, Goddess excellently bright. Lay thy bow of pearl apart,

And thy crystal-shining quiver; Give unto the flying heart

Space to breathe, how short soever: Thou that makest a day of night, Goddess excellently bright.


Still to be neat, still to be dress'd,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powder'd, still perfumed:
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.
Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free:
Such sweet neglect more taketh me,
Than all th' adulteries of art;
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.



UNDERNEATH this marble herse
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother ;
Death, ere thou hast slain another,
Learn'd, and fair, and good as she,
Time shall throw his dart at thee.

ON LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD. Tais morning, timely rapt with holy fire,

I thought to form unto my zealous Muse What kind of creature I could most desire,

To honour, serve, and love; as poets use. I meant to make her fair, and free, and wise,

Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great ; I meant the day-star should not brighter rise,

Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat. I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,

Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride ; I meant each softest virtue there should meet,

Fit in that softer bosom to reside. Only a learned and a manly soul

I purposed her; that should, with even pow'rs, The rock, the spindle, and the shears control

Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours. Such when I meant to feign, and wish'd to see,

My Muse bade, Bedford write, and that was she.


DRINK to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

And I'll not look for wine.

The thirst, that from the soul doth rise,

Doth ask a drink divine :
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,

I would not change for thine.

I sent thee, late, a rosy wreath,

Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope that there

It could not wither'd be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,

And sent'st it back to me:
Since when, it grows, and smells, I swear,

Not of itself, but thee.



BREAK, Phant'sie, from thy cave of cloud,

And spread thy purple wings;
Now all thy figures are allow'd,

And various shapes of things ;
Create of airy forms a stream,
It must have blood, and naughi of phlegm;
And though it be a waking dream,

Yet let it like an odour rise

To all the senses here,
And fall like sleep upon their eyes,

Or music in their ear.


UNDERNEATH this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die :
Which in life did harbour give
To more virtue than doth live.

SIR HENRY WOTTON. 1568-1639.

Farewell, ye gilded follies! pleasing troubles ;
Farewell, ye honour'd rags, ye glorious bubbles ;
Fame's but a hollow echo, gold pure clay,
Honour the darling but of one short day,
Beauty, th' eye's idol, but a damask'd skin,
State but a golden prison to live in
And torture free-born minds; embroider'd trains
Merely but pageants for proud swelling veins ;
And blood, allied to greatness, is alone
Inherited, not purchased, nor our own.
Fame, honour, beauty, state, train, blood, and birth,
Are but the fading blossoms of the earth.
I would be great, but that the sun doth still
Level his rays against the rising hill;
I would be high, but see the proudest oak
Most subject to the rending thunder-stroke ;
I would be rich, but see men too unkind
Dig in the bowels of the richest mind;
I would be wise, but that I often see
The fox suspected while the ass goes free;
I would be fair, but see the fair and proud
Like the bright sun oft setting in a cloud;
I would be poor, but know the humble grass
Still trampled on by each unworthy ass;
Rich, hated; wise, suspected; scorn'd if poor;
Great, fear'd; fair, temptea; high, still envied more.
I have wish'd all, but now I wish for neither
Great, high, rich, wise, nor fair-poor I'll be rather.
Would the world now adopt me for her heir,
Would beauty's queen entitle me “the fair,"
Fame speak me fortune's minion, could I vie
Angels* with India; with a speaking eye

* Angels, pieces of money. Vol. 1.-F

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