Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

LXV

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,

But sad mortality o'er-sways their power, How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea, Whose action is no stronger than a flower? O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out Against the wreckful siege of battering days, When rocks impregnable are not so stout, Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?

O fearful meditation! where, alack, Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?

Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?

Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?

O, none, unless this miracle have might, That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

LXVI

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,

As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honor shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly doctor-like controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be
gone,

Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

[blocks in formation]

Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.

This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,

To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

CVII

Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,

Can yet the lease of my true love control,
Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
Incertainties now crown themselves assured
And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time
My love looks fresh, and Death to me sub-
scribes,

Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme,

While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes:

And thou in this shalt find thy monument, When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.

[blocks in formation]

And let that pine to aggravate thy store; Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross; Within be fed, without be rich no more:

So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on

men,

And Death once dead, there's no more dying then.

MY MIND TO ME A KINGDOM IS

SIR EDWARD DYER

My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such present joys therein I find
That it excels all other bliss

That earth affords or grows by kind:

Though much I want which most would have,

Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely pomp, no wealthy store,
No force to win the victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to feed a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall:

For why? My mind doth serve for all.

I see how plenty [surfeits] oft,

And hasty climbers soon do fall; I see that those which are aloft

Mishap doth threaten most of all; They get with toil, they keep with fear: Such cares my mind could never bear.

Content to live, this is my stay;

I seek no more than may suffice;
I press to bear no haughty sway;
Look, what I lack my mind supplies:
Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring.

Some have too much, yet still do crave;
I little have, and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have,
And I am rich with little store:
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.

I laugh not at another's loss;

I grudge not at another's pain; No worldly waves my mind can toss;

My state at one doth still remain:

I fear no foe, I fawn no friend;
I loathe not life, nor dread my end.

Some weigh their pleasure by their lust, Their wisdom by their rage of will;

Their treasure is their only trust;

A cloaked craft their store of skill: But all the pleasure that I find Is to maintain a quiet mind.

My wealth is health and perfect ease; My conscience clear my chief defense; I neither seek by bribes to please,

Nor by deceit to breed offence: Thus do I live; thus will I die; Would all did so as well as I!

THE CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE

SIR HENRY WOTTON

How happy is he born and taught That serveth not another's will; Whose armor is his honest thought,

And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are;

Whose soul is still prepared for death, Untied unto the world by care

Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise;
Nor vice hath ever understood
(How deepest wounds are given by praise!)
Nor rules of State, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumors freed;

Whose conscience is his strong retreat; Whose state can neither flatterers feed, Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray,

More of his grace, than gifts, to lend, And entertains the harmless day

With a religious book or friend!

This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall!
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all!

DEATH

JOHN DONNE

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.

From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be,

Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow;

And soonest our best men with thee do go— Rest of their bones and souls' delivery! Thou'rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;

And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well

And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!

[blocks in formation]

The Epode, or Stand

For what is life, if measured by the space,
Not by the act?

Or masked man, if valued by his face,
Above his fact?

Here's one outlived his peers
And told forth fourscore years:

He vexed time, and busied the whole state;
Troubled both foes and friends;

But ever to no ends:

What did this stirrer but die late? How well at twenty had he fallen or stood! For three of his four score he did no good.

II

The Strophe, or Turn

He entered well by virtuous parts, Got up, and thrived with honest arts, He purchased friends, and fame, and honors then,

And had his noble name advanced with men ; But weary of that flight,

He stooped in all men's sight To sordid flatteries, acts of strife, And sunk in that dead sea of life, So deep, as he did then death's waters sup, But that the cork of title buoyed him up.

The Antistrophe, or Counter-Turn
Alas! but Morison fell young!
He never fell,-thou fall'st, my tongue.
He stood a soldier to the last right end,
A perfect patriot and a noble friend;
But most, a virtuous son.
All offices were done

By him, so ample, full, and round,

In weight, in measure, number, sound, As, though his age imperfect might appear, His life was of humanity the sphere.

The Epode, or Stand

Go now, and tell our days summed up with fears,

And make them years; Produce thy mass of miseries on the stage, To swell thine age;

Repeat of things a throng,

To show thou hast been long,

Not lived; for life doth her great actions spell,

By what was done and wrought

In season, and so brought

To light: her measures are, how well

[blocks in formation]

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.

Then by that happy blissful day

More peaceful pilgrims I shall see, That have cast off their rags of clay, And walk apparelled fresh like me. I'll take them first, To quench their thirst And taste of nectar suckets, At those clear wells

Where sweetness dwells,

Drawn up by saints in crystal buckets.

And when our bottles and all we Are filled with immortality, Then the blessèd paths we'll travel, Strowed with rubies thick as gravel; Ceilings of diamonds, sapphire floors, High walls of coral, and pearly bowers.

From thence to Heaven's bribeless hall, Where no corrupted voices brawl; No conscience molten into gold; No forged accuser bought or sold; No cause deferred, no vain-spent journey, For there Christ is the King's Attorney, Who pleads for all, without degrees, And he hath angels but no fees.

And when the grand twelve million jury Of our sins, with direful fury, Against our souls black verdicts give, Christ pleads his death; and then we live.

Be Thou my speaker, taintless Pleader! Unblotted Lawyer! true Proceeder! Thou giv'st salvation, even for alms, Not with a bribèd lawyer's palms.

And this is mine eternal plea

To Him that made heaven and earth and

sea:

That, since my flesh must die so soon,
And want a head to dine next noon,
Just at the stroke, when my veins start and
spread,

Set on my soul an everlasting head!

Then am I ready, like a palmer fit,

To tread those blest paths; which before I writ.

THE LAST PAGES OF "THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD"

SIR WALTER RALEIGH

For the rest, if we seek a reason of the succession and continuance of this boundless ambition in mortal men, we may add to that which hath been already said, that the kings and princes of the world have always laid before them the actions, but not the ends, of those great ones which preceded them. They are always transported with the glory of the one, but they never mind the misery of the other, till they find the experience in themselves. They neglect the advice of God, while they enjoy life, or hope it; but they follow the counsel of Death upon his first approach. It is he that puts into man all the wisdom of the world, without speaking a word, which God, with all the words of his law, promises, or threats, doth not infuse. Death, which hateth and destroyeth man, is believed; God, which hath made him and loves him, is always deferred; I have considered, saith Solomon, all the works that are under the sun, and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit; but who believes it, till Death tells it us? It was Death, which opening the conscience of Charles the Fifth, made him enjoin his son Philip to restore Navarre; and king Francis the First of France, to command that justice should be done upon the murderers of the protestants in Merindol and Cabrieres, which till then he neglected. It is therefore Death alone that can suddenly make man to know himself. He tells the proud and insolent, that they are but abjects, and humbles them at the instant, makes them cry, complain, and repent, yea, even to hate their forepast happiness. He takes the account of the rich, and proves him a beggar, a naked beggar, which hath interest in nothing but in the gravel that fills his mouth. He holds a glass before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein their deformity and rottenness, and they acknowledge it.

O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised; thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, Hic jacet!

« FöregåendeFortsätt »